GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH
PO Box 2830 McDonough, Ga. 30253-1777
10452 Fitzgerald Rd., Jonesboro, Ga. 30238
THEY THAT PASSED BY
Matthew 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
It is amazing to see that four of these things which the chief priests of Israel led their nation in mocking the Lord, actually proved that he was their Messiah. Yet, because they had no spiritual eyes to see them, only understanding them in a literal, physical way, they thought these proved he was not Messiah! And that is what sustains the majority of religion in our own day! Just ask the next church-goer you meet why they practice and observe the religious things they do and the answer will almost inevitably be, “Because we’ve always done it that way!” Most know nothing of a personal and spiritual commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ! 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
To prove this point let us see that the Lord Jesus actually listed out these various things that would happen to him, where they would happen, and who would be doing it. But his instructions, were not understood by the very apostles themselves, being only received as religious information. Therefore they were not prepared for these actually events!
Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
For you see, dear Reader, the kingdom of Christ is only conveyed effectually by the Holy Spirit’s revelation! Zechariah 4:6 … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
And now, less we easily brush aside the enormity and the severity of this mockery upon the human heart, let us consider some verses. First we read that our present day experiences will be like those of the ancient church. For just as Isaac was “persecuted,” so shall we be! Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
And just what was that “persecution” that Isaac had, in which we shall also have to endure? The only thing we can find is mockery! Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. For Ishmael was born of Hagar and Abraham before Isaac was born. So the religious person, with only a natural birth, always taunts and mocks the spiritual man who has had the birth from above! John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
And let us also see what word the Apostle uses to describe this persecution. Hebrews 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: He states that God’s people, those who were overcoming by faith, were subject to “cruel mockings!”
And what of the severity of God’s judgment against such mockers? Will not the degree of his righteous judgment against them reflect the degree of the offense of this crime? 2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Wow! God shall unleash such wrath against these criminals until there is no hope of mercy! Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Those who mock the Lord’s Christ and his peoples are storing up for themselves a horrible and unending wealth of God’s wrath! Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
God’s true people will suffer after the pattern of the Lord Jesus! Jeremiah could lament concerning those who were just curious on-lookers as he bore his cross. Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
And the Apostle Peter gives us a clear statement as to our sufferings being after the pattern of the Lord’s. 1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
They mocked their relationship with the spiritual temple! Matthew 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.
These, like the majority of the religionists in our own day can only think of a physical temple located in Jerusalem. These have no concept of the embodiment of the Holy Spirit within the believer! John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Most think “the church” is the building where religionists assemble. But the church is a living organism, not an organization! Therefore “the church” comes together to assemble in that meeting house!
Here is what the Lord actually said: John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. He was speaking of their destroying him – God’s abiding presence among us – and he would be resurrected in three days!
And in the revelation that John saw, there was no temple in the true, spiritual church, which he saw coming down from heaven. For the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ is the center of worship therein. Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And here is how the true christian thinks about the temple. 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
They mocked their new relationship with God! Matthew 27:40B If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. “If thou be?” Just where have we heard that before? It came out of the mouth of Satan at the time of the Lord’s temptation in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:3,6).
These said that they were worshippers of the only true God! But here he was in front of them and they refused to believe it. He had plainly instructed that the Old Testament belief in the God of Israel could be carried over to the New Testament belief of Jesus Christ as that very God! John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? He plainly told that he was very God! John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Jesus Christ is either the biggest liar that world has ever known, or he is who he says he is! There’s no two ways about it!
They mocked the new, complete salvation! Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.
The Father himself was satisfied with the perfect redemption his Son provided! Why could they not be? Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
Even in our day, religionists who have dedicated their lives to it’s practice, have no knowledge that full justification from a complete redemption took place at the cross! I wonder just what they think he meant by, It is finished (John 19:30)? Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Was the Lord Jesus raised again? Then the matter of justification was completely established. Now it is up to the Holy Spirit to make application of it into the hearts of those who have the gift of faith! Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: The Lord’s sacrifice brought justification into existence. The Holy Spirit brings it into practice within the hearts of God’s elect. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
They mocked their new relationship with their King! If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
The chief priests who had the authority to speak for the nation of Israel made the official statement that they no longer had a religious king. But there’s was now the secular king of Rome! John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 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. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
And this is the place where the Prophet Zechariah prophesied that God would break his covenant with Israel. He would no longer be their Shepherd-King! And it would happen when Israel only valued his worth as thirty pieces of silver! (See Zechariah 11:10,12,13).
They wanted a king to conquer the world and set Israel up as a world, ruling power! But they wanted a literal, physical king and kingdom. Yet, King Jesus has gone forth conquering by the gospel to establish his world wide kingdom! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And not having the spiritual insight, but demanding a physical kingdom caused them to miss all this in their day, and these religious masses of our day, committing the same error are going to miss it again! Revelation 11:15 The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 31, 2015