Service of Praise: Crucifixion
May 7th, 1971
SERVICE OF PRAISE: CRUCIFIXION
Dr. W. A. Criswell
5-7-71 5:00 p.m. Communion
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him.
And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and placed it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe,
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote Him with their hands.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him.
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the Man! Ecce homo.
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye Him, and crucify Him: but I find no fault in Him.
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art Thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Then said Pilate unto Him, Speakest Thou not unto me? knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.
From henceforth Pilate sought to release Him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the Preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.
And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the Place of a Skull, called in the Hebrew language Golgotha:
Where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews.
Pilate answered, hos gegraphō gegraphō, What I have written I have written.
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
For these things were done, that the Scriptures should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken.
And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced
For I have received of the Lord Jesus that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:
And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.
After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death ‘til He come.
[1 Corinthians 11:23-26]
And He took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and they all shared, each his part of it.
Our Lord, if ever any moment comes in our lives when we feel ourselves unworthy, unprofitable servants, it is now. Who could say he is of the worth of the suffering and sacrifice, the agony and the death, of the Prince of glory, the Son of God? [Matthew 27:27-50; John 19:19-34]. Yet the Lord died for each one of us [1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2], for each one of us as though he alone had sinned, was to be redeemed, bought back [1 Peter 1:18-19]. O Christ in glory, in compassionate mercy, how Thou hast loved us, and our Master give us somehow that disposition of soul and affinity of mind and life to love Thee back in return, to give Thee all that we have and are. Sanctify and hallow this precious moment of memory, as we break bread together, as we share it, bringing to mind the body of our Lord, symbolized by this broken bread in Thy dear name, amen.
Before we eat this bread, and you’ll know when to eat it, for I shall read the passage where the Lord asked us to do so, before we eat it I’m going to pray again. But this time, we’re going on our knees. If you cannot kneel, it’s all right, just bow your head deeply with us. But all over the congregation, if you can, in the aisle, between the pews, let’s get down on our knees for the prayer.
Our Lord, somehow we just feel this is where we belong, down on our knees, with our faces bowed to the earth. Ah! the goodness and graciousness and compassionate love and remembrance of God for us in Christ Jesus. And our Master, we love Thee, and have not words in verse or song to express the depths of our gratitude to Thee for what Thou hast done for us. And in keeping with this Holy Word, we now share this memorial of Thy broken body, as Thou hast said, “This is My body, which is given for you: Take, eat, in remembrance of Me” [1 Corinthians 11:24]. And let us eat it together. In Thy name, dear Lord, amen.
And after the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
[1 Corinthians 11:25]
And once again, precious Lord, that same feeling of hallowed, holy reverence overwhelms us in the presence of the sacrifice, and suffering, and sobs, and tears of Christ our Lord [1 Corinthians 5:7]. O Master, that somehow, some way we might give ourselves completely and fully unto Thee. And as we share in this cup, the red, pressed, crushed fruit of the vine, may we remember once again, in all holiness and hallowed remembrance, that this is the blood of atonement, poured out for the remission of our sins [Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26], that someday we might see God’s face and live [Revelation 22:3-5], in the love and mercy of Christ, in His Spirit, and in His name, amen.
In the Holy Scriptures, you will find many times where the people worshiped God prostrate on their faces, where they kneel before the Lord, many times where they stand before God. At no place in the Bible, at no place will you ever find where the people were seated and worshiped the Lord. So, for this cup, in a moment, we’re going to stand, and I’m going to pray again. And I want you to hold up that little cup, hold it up in your hand for the prayer; then when I read the verse, we shall drink together. Now may we stand, and hold the cup in your hand?
Our Lord, the redness of the crushed fruit of the vine [Matthew 26:28-29], bringing back to heart and memory the pouring out of the crimson of the life of our Lord [John 19:28-34], that we might be washed from our sins [Revelation 1:5], clothed in garments of white [Revelation 7:13], worthy to stand in the presence of our great God and Savior. Thank You, Lord.
And now, in keeping with His Holy Word, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me” [1 Corinthians 11:25].
Now Dr. Bryant, you all come down here, let’s join hands, and sing our song.