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“The Mathematics of the Cross”

Luke 23:33-43

C:\JAMMc2009\MathandtheCross.SER.wpd April 5, 2009

 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God." 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself." 38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." NKJV


Introduction

God is interested in Math; even a book in the Bible called NUMBERS! But He looks at numbers differently.


God leaves the 99 to find the 1. God counts a mite as much as millions. To us: 1+1+1=3


To God 1+1+1=1! Representing the Trinity.

 

Perhaps you’ve seen: 1 cross + 3 nails; = 4-given!!!


In a math class, a teacher trying to help a boy with addition

ask: "If you had $4 in one pocket and $6 in the other, then what would you have?" The boy repeated the question and then said


If I had “$4 in one pocket and $6 in the other,” I would have on someone else’s pants.


 

1.       Division . . And Cross Mathematics.

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God." 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself."



Introduction Jn 7:42-43 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. NKJV


Jn 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." Others said,"How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. NKJV

 

A.        Three Crosses Represent Division.

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary,bvthere they crucified

            Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus

            said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they

            divided His garments and cast lots.

 

            1.         One Cross Represents Those Who Die . . In Sin.

35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered,

            saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God."

            36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying,

            "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself." 39 Then one of the criminals who were

            hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."      

            2.         One Cross Represents Those Who Die . . To Sin.

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God,

            seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive

            the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to

            Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

 

            3.         One Cross Represents The One Who Died . . For Sin.

43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

 

Illustration                Is Your Honsty Above Question?

As a schoolboy, I worked with my father during the summer months. Each morning we stopped to pick up the early edition of the newspaper at a small grocery store. One morning when we got to work, my father found that by mistake he had taken two newspapers instead of one. He first thought of paying the man the extra price the next morning, but then after a moment’s consideration he said, “I had better go back with this paper. I don’t want the man at the store to think I’m dishonest.” He got in his car, drove back to the store, and returned the paper.


About a week later, someone stole money from the grocery store. When police pinpointed the time it occurred, the grocer remembered only two people being in the store at the time—and one was my father. The grocer immediately dismissed my father as a suspect, saying, “That man is really honest. He came all the way back here just to return a newspaper he took by mistake.” The police then focused their investigation on the other man, who soon made a full confession. My father’s honesty made a big impression on that non-Christian store owner, and on me.


Application


Does your Christian walk square with your Christian talk? Is your honesty above question' Have you been divided from the ways of the World?         Our Daily Bread, March-May, 1998, p. for April 15


Lk 12:51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.


Ac 23:6-8 6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.


John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.



 

2.       Subtraction . . And Cross Mathematics.

            39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

 

A.        The Unrepentant Thief . . Subtracted Himself From Salvation.

          39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

 

B.        The Repentant Thief . . Subtracted Himself From Lostness.


Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! NKJV


1 Jn 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. NKJV


Illustration

I once heard of a father who had a prodigal boy who had sent his mother down to the grave with a broken heart. One evening the boy started out as usual to spend the night in drinking and gambling. As he was leaving, his old father said, "My son, I want to ask a favor of you tonight. You have not spent an evening with me since your mother died, and now I want you to spend this night at home. I have been very lonely since your mother died. Now, won't you gratify your old father by staying home with me?" "No," said the young man; "it is lonely here, and there is nothing to interest me, and I am going out." The old man prayed and wept, and at last he said, "My boy, you are just killing me as you have killed your mother. These hairs are growing whiter, and you are sending me, too, to the grave." Still the boy would not stay, and the old man said, "If you are determined to go to ruin, you must go over this old body tonight. I cannot resist you; you are stronger than I. But if you go out, you must go over this body." He laid himself down before the door, and that son walked over the form of his father, trampled the love of his father underfoot, and went out. William Moses Tidwell, "Pointed Illustrations."

  

Application


H. G. Spafforrd writes these immoral words in the song It is well with My Soul: “MY sin-oh, the bliss of this glorious thought:


My sin not in part but the whole Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul. “



 

3.       Addition . . And Cross Mathematics.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." NKJV


Matt 6:33 “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”


Ac 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.


Ac 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.


Ac 5:14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, NKJV

 

A.        The Unrepentant Thief . .

            Rejected Being Added To The Kingdom Of Heaven.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged

          blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save

          Yourself and us."

B.        The Repentant Thief . .

            Requested To Be Added To The Kingdom Of God.

            39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

 

Illustration    Rembrandt’s Painting

If you were to look at Rembrandt’s painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you’d be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. Source Unknown


He Added Himself to the cross scene. Did He add Himself to the Kingdom?


Application


Addition . . And Cross Mathematics.



 

4.       Multiplication . . And Cross Mathematics.

            Ac 2:22-44, 36-38 22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know — 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. . . . 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

A.        The Multiplying Cross Includes The Repentant Thief.

 

B.        The Multiplying Cross Excludes The Unrepentant Thief.


Additional Verses Indicating Multiplication


Ac 2:41 “. . . about three thousand souls were added to them. “


Ac 4:4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.


Ac 5:14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, NKJV


Ac 6:1,7 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, . . .” 7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. NKJV


Ac 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.


Acts 12:24 “But the word of God grew and multiplied.”



Conclusion


God grades on a CROSS, not a CURVE!


There’s room at the cross for you,

There’s room at the cross for you,

Tho millions have come, There’s still room for one,

Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.