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Disgraced for His Grace - Part II

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | October 1, 2023 | Matthew 27:32-44

KEY VERSE: In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him heaped insults on him. Matthew 27:44 (NIV)


MESSAGE

Despite facing mockery, insults, and disgrace from soldiers, one might have hoped that Christ would have been allowed to die in peace on the cross during his crucifixion. However, even while on the cross, the insults persisted, this time from a criminal who hung on a nearby tree beside Jesus. In the past, being crucified and hung on a cross was seen as a curse or disgraceful act, as stated in Galatians 3:13. Those who were crucified were often hung on the cross naked, adding to the shame. Therefore, being associated with the cross was considered a dishonour. The symbol of the cross we wear around our necks today is a representation of hope and glory. Some people even wear it as a fashionable accessory with their clothing. We don't associate it with shame and disgrace anymore because Jesus Christ died on it and took away its shame. His death on the cross made grace available, and now the cross is a symbol of grace and salvation. It is worth noting that some prominent figures in our religious history were punished by being crucified on the cross, which they had previously regarded as a symbol of their salvation. As a result, the cross became associated with death among them and their contemporaries.


We should carry the cross with meaning, understanding, and reflection of the grace it offers us and others we reach out to.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE

What do you see when you see the cross? What does the symbol of the cross mean to you? It was Christ's disgrace on the Cross that transformed the shame and disgrace of the cross into the grace we enjoy today. Share that grace with someone as the Lord leads you to.


PRAYER

When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died. My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Lord, help me to know the relevance of the cross to our world today. And help me to share the grace it provides with all I come across. Amen.

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___________ DAILY word study: REBELS

The term "rebels" in our Key verse for today Matthew 27:44 is translated from the following Greek word:

"λῃστής" (lēstēs): This term is often translated as "robber" or "bandit." In the context of the crucifixion account, it refers to those who were crucified with Jesus.


The term "lēstēs" is used in various places in the New Testament, and its usage provides insights into its meaning:

In Matthew 26:55, Jesus refers to those who came to arrest Him with swords and clubs as "lēstai," indicating a violent or criminal element.

In Mark 15:27 and Luke 23:32, the term is used to describe the two criminals who were crucified alongside Jesus.


In Matthew 27:44, the term "rebels" refers to the criminals or robbers who were crucified on either side of Jesus. These individuals were not only enduring physical torment but also actively participated in insulting Jesus along with the crowd.


  1. Criminal Association: The use of the term "rebels" or "robbers" suggests that these individuals were likely involved in criminal activities, leading to their crucifixion. Yet, even in their dire situation, they joined in mocking and insulting Jesus.

  2. Parallel with Prophecy: The fact that Jesus was crucified among criminals fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 53:12, which foretold that the Messiah would be "numbered with the transgressors."

  3. Opportunity for Redemption: Despite their initial mockery, one of the criminals later repents and acknowledges Jesus as Lord (Luke 23:39-43). This demonstrates the profound opportunity for redemption even in the darkest moments.

Today's word study invites us to think about the inclusiveness of God's redemptive plan. It challenges our preconceived notions about who can receive God's grace and emphasizes the transformative power of Christ's sacrifice even for those deemed as societal outcasts. Reflections: How does this narrative challenge our perceptions of who is deserving of God's mercy, and how can we extend grace to those we might consider beyond redemption?



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Pastor Israel Kuadzi
Pastor Israel Kuadzi
Oct 01, 2023

Good Insight, the good Lord provide you with more wisdom. Amen 🙏

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