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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Luke 23:38

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I. THIS TITLE BEGAN SHORTLY AFTER HIS BIRTH.
A. When the wise men came from the East following the star, they came to Herod and enquired "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?"
B. In His entry into Jerusalem He was fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah.
ZEC 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
C. He gave a series of parables beginning in Matthew 22 concerning the King which is obviously a reference to Himself.
D. When they brought Jesus to Pilate one of the charges that they brought against Him was He said that He was Messiah the King.
E. Pilate then asked Him if He were a King, and Jesus responded, "You said it."
1. John tells us that He said, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world."
F. We read how the soldiers mocked Him and put on a purple robe and a crown of thorns on His head and said, "Hail, King of the Jews."
G. When Pilate presented Jesus to the people he declared, "Behold your King."
H. The title that was put above His head as He hung on the cross was, "This is the King of the Jews."
I. Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom.
1. When the angel announced to Mary that she was to give birth to the Messiah, he told her, "And Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His father David and He shall reign over the house of David forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
2. The message of John the Baptist was, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3. Matthew tells us that this was also the message that Jesus began to preach as He went about Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
4. Jesus began to announce the requirements to get into that kingdom.
a. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom.
b. Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
c. Your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisee's if you are to enter the kingdom.
d. He told them that not all who say "Lord, Lord" were going to enter the kingdom, but he that did the will of the Father.
5. He told His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come,"
6. They were told to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
7. You cannot have a kingdom without a king.
II. THIS BRINGS US TO THE STORY OF THE TWO CRIMINALS THAT WERE CRUCIFIED ON EITHER SIDE OF JESUS.
A. Why would God ordain that His Son be crucified between two thieves. It was obviously a part of God's eternal plan for it was predicted in the prophecy of Isaiah, "And he will be numbered with the transgressors in His death."
1. In His life they found fault with Him because He would keep company with sinners, and even eat with them.
2. Now in His death, he is in company with sinners.
3. In defending His association with sinners Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance.
4. He had also stated that, those who are whole do not need a physician, but those who are sick.
B. In the beginning of the ordeal we are told that both thieves were joining the crowd in mocking Jesus.
1. That was at nine in the morning when they all began hanging on their crosses.
2. Three hours have now passed and it is noon, during this three hours a transformation has been going on in the heart of one of the malefactors.
3. When His friend began again to rail against Jesus, he rebuked his friend saying, "Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? We are here because we deserve to be here, but this man has done nothing amiss." In essence he was saying "Knock it off."
4. Then addressing Jesus he said, "Lord, when you come into your kingdom, will you remember me?"
5. How did he know that Jesus was a king?
1. No doubt by reading the accusation above His head for it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. "This is the King of the Jews."
6. What is amazing is how he believed that though Jesus was dying, yet He was coming into His kingdom.
1. This can be attributed to nothing less than a revelation of the Holy Spirit. Truly salvation is of the Lord.
2. The Holy Spirit had given to him greater spiritual insight than even that of the disciples.
3. Their hope of the kingdom was shattered with His crucifixion. Yet somehow this man realized that even though Jesus was dying, yet He was coming into His Kingdom.
4. Jesus had told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, else His servants would have been fighting to defend it.
5. To me it is amazing that the only gospel that he probably ever had was written above the head of a dying man, yet he believed the gospel.
6. Even as Jesus had said that the men of Nineveh will rise in the resurrection with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold a greater than Jonah is here.
a. So I believe that this thief will rise in the resurrection with this generation and condemn it for he repented by reading the inscription above the head of Jesus, and surely a fuller gospel is being presented to you this day.
III. THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS IS SPOKEN OF IN THE EPISTLES.
1TI 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen
1TI 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
A. When He returns in glory we are told that on His vesture will be a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
B. These are the things that the scriptures teach concerning Jesus as King.
1. He is the King of the Jews.
2. He is the King over the whole earth.
3. He is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
C. The question is, "Is He the King and Lord of your life?"
1. Remember the declaration of Jesus in Luke 19
LUK 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
LUK 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
LUK 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this [man] to reign over us.
2. Are you as those who said, "We will not have this man to reign over us"?
3. Listen to their fate according to Jesus.
LUK 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me.
D. The second question is, "If Jesus is not the King and Lord over your life, then who or what is?"
1. Every man bows his knee to some scepter.
a. Is your life ruled by your desire for pleasure?
b. Is it the desire for success?
c. Do the lusts of your flesh rule your life?
2. It is very important that you define in your mind before whose throne you are bowing your knee, and paying your homage. Your eternal destiny is determined by it.
E. We are told when the Lord comes to judge the earth, He will gather the nations before Him and to those on His right side, He will say, "Come ye blessed of the Father, inherit the kingdom that has been prepared for you from the foundations of the earth." But to those on the left He shall say, "Depart from Me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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