Text: John 19:1-7, 16-18, 23-26, 38-42
Introduction. When Christ was put to death it was the time of the Passover and the city of Jerusalem was filled with strangers. The case of Jesus had stirred the entire country and a large crowd gathered to watch him die. In that crowd there was at least four distinctive groups and today I want us to look briefly at each of these groups and examine their attitudes toward the one whose death they were witnessing, for in one of these groups we shall find ourselves.
1. One group around the cross was composed of the Roman soldiers and their attitude toward Jesus was one of total indifference. They saw Him as a man accused of being a religious fanatic and a revolutionist so they abused Him cruelly. You can almost hear their harsh laughter as John describes their mockery of Jesus. Then they lead Him down the street Via Delorsa to a hill outside of the city called Golgotha and there they nailed Him to a cross. No doubt they had performed this task many times before and were hardened to the sight of blood. They saw nothing significant in what was taking place and when they had finished their gruesome task they fell to their knees and started gambling for the clothing of their victim. So far as we know they never looked up again. Hanging just above their heads was the Sinless Son of God, the Savior of the world, but they were so engrossed in the pursuit of their own selfish interests that not once did they look up to see Him. This is a picture of cruel indifference. Their attitude was, “Let Him die; what do we care? His death means nothing to us.”
This same attitude is characteristic of a great many people in the world today. There are thousands of people in the world today who have never thought their way through to any well-defined views concerning Jesus Christ. They have no convictions about who He is or what He has done and is doing. How they escape Him is more than I can understand. His birth gave the world a new era. His death and resurrection turned the stream of history out of its channel, and how intelligent people go on living and continually ignore Him is beyond my comprehension. Their attitude is, Let Him die; what do I care? His death means nothing to me.” Over and over they have heard the old, old story of Jesus and His love but they are so engrossed in the pursuit of their own selfish interests that they never stop to give any serious thought to the cross upon which Jesus died.