B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every outline posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.





SCRIPTURE: And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 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. "Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, "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. "He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. "The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. (Matthew 27:39-44)


KEY VERSE: If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. (Matthew 27:40)


INTRODUCTION: The Bible definitely tells us what held Jesus to the cross. It was not simply nails, though He was nailed to the cross. The Son of God, with power to raise the dead, heal the sick, make the blind to see, still the storm-tossed sea, surely had power to step down from a cross, even though He was nailed to it.


A. It was not human weakness which bound Him to the cross, for He said regarding His life:


"No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down; I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10 :18).


B. It was not because He was friendless that He stayed on the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane, when Peter drew his sword and began to battle in defense of the Master, Jesus said, "Thinkest thou not that I cannot now say to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels." The twelve legions of angels were still available when Jesus was on the cross.


C. What then is the answer to the question, “What held Jesus to the cross?” Here is the answer.




But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)


A. Jesus said nothing and did nothing when the scoffers passed by reviling Him and wagging their heads.


They called to mind a statement that He had made regarding His death and resurrection. He had said that if they destroyed the temple, He would raise it up in three days, He was speaking of Himself, but they thought He spoke of the temple in Jerusalem; therefore, they said, "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."


B. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders also came by and said, "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. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him."


C. Surely these taunting statements were enough to try the soul, even of the Son of God. He did not come down from the cross, for His love for a lost mankind held Him to the cross.


D. Many verses declare this great truth unto us. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20 that the Son of God loved us, and gave Himself for us. John tells us in 1 John 3:16, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."


·        There are three things I would like to say about the love of Christ.


First, His love was unusual. It is an ordinary, everyday thing for us to love those who love us, but Jesus loved those who hated Him. "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)


Jesus loved His enemies, and even on the cross, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The love of Christ was unusual, and this is the love that Christ demands us to have for our fellowman.


INSIGHT: History tells us the story of Peter Miller, an old-fashioned Baptist preacher of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in the days of the Revolutionary War. Near his church lived a man who abused the pastor to the last limit.


The man became involved in treason, and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The old preacher started out on foot, and walked the whole seventy miles to Philadelphia, that he might plead for the man's life. George Washington heard his plea, but he said, "No, your plea for your friend cannot be granted."


"My friend?" said the preacher, "He is the worst enemy I have!" "What!" said Washington. "You have walked nearly seventy miles to save the life of an enemy. That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon." And Washington did!


That is what makes the love of Christ unusual. Jesus loved His enemies, and this love BOUND HIM TO THE CROSS.


Secondly, His love was unending. "Now, before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)


Sometimes even the love of a mother for her child fails. Occasionally even a father may turn against his own son, but the love of Jesus never fails. Jesus’ love continued to the cross, beyond the cross, and overflows unto us today. His love bound Jesus to the cruel tree.


Thirdly, His love was unselfish. Man had nothing to give to Jesus that He did not have already. All things belong to Him. The silver and the gold, the cattle upon a thousand hills, and yet, the Savior died in our behalf.


It always seems like a foolish thing to beg people to receive Jesus, when the giving must be all on His side. All we can do is surrender ourselves. There is nothing in a material way that we can give to God that He does not already have.

All things are His by act of creation, and yet, the Son of God humbled Himself to die for us, and His unselfish love bound Him to the cross of Calvary. It is a rare and beautiful thing to see people give and love when nothing can be given to them in return.


INSIGHT: God gave us His BEST GIFT!


In our modern of society, where pampered affluence is rampant, we are often at a loss to know what kind of gifts to buy our friends and loved ones on special occasions. For some people (especially those who "have everything") the standard gift won't cut it. Nothing in the shopping mall catches our fancy.


I have a suggestion. It may not seem that expensive or sound very novel, but believe me, it works every time. It's one of those gifts that has great value but no price tag. It can't be lost, nor will it ever be forgotten. No problem with size either. It fits all shapes, any age, and every personality. This ideal gift is YOURSELF. In your quest for character, don't forget the value of unselfishness.


Jesus gave us Himself! He took our place and died for OUR sins. When Jesus died upon the cross, bound by the divine love for poor, lost, sinful mankind, Jesus’ love was UNSELFISH.




Jesus’ Prayer in the garden of Gethsemane:


38 Then He said to [His disciples], “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:38-39)


“42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”(Matthew 26:42)


He “…prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:44b-46)

A. The bitter, angry mob, especially the religious leaders told Him to come down from the cross if He were the Son of God. One of the malefactors railed on Him, saying, "If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us."


B. In the common language of today, they were saying, "If you are not a liar and a hypocrite, come down from the cross. If you are such a big person, if you are what you claim to be, then show us by coming down from the cross." But Jesus could not come down, because His submission to GOD’S WILL bound Him to the rugged cross.


C. Let me pause here to make this plea: May our lives be so submissive to the will of God that we will be unable to do anything but say, "Thy will be done." May our submission to His holy will bind us to separated living, to soul-winning, to consecrated service, to liberal giving, to earnest praying. May our submission to the Father's will bind us to do His divine purpose and plan for our lives.


D. Jesus said, "Lo, I come to do thy will." It was the will of God that Jesus should die for sinful mankind. It was the will of God that He should enter into the holy of holies, and there make one sacrifice for sin forever. It was the Father's will that He should shed His blood upon Calvary's hill. Jesus was submissive to the will of God.




What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:… 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:9-10, 23


A. The trail of sin from the Garden of Eden to the present time is a bloody and tragic one. Sin separates men from God, just as it drove the first pair from the garden. Sin brings shame. Adam and Eve sought to hide from God. Sinners are still ashamed, and try to hide their sins -- therefore, men love darkness rather than light. Sin brings sorrow. See it for yourself.


The life of sin will end in sorrow. The home of sin will end in sorrow. Sin brings suffering. All of the world's suffering came about because of sin. Mental anguish, physical suffering, all come from sin. But the crowning act of sin's dastardly career came in the death of Jesus Christ.


B. But let’s not stand back and say, "Shame on you, sin, for crucifying the Savior." Let’s remember it was OUR SINS which nailed Him and held Him to the cross."


"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."


"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:5-6)


1. Jesus bore our sins to satisfy the LAW OF GOD.


God's law says, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." "The wages of sin is death." Because of our sins, we deserve the penalty of death and Hell, but Jesus Christ came and died in our place. He satisfied the law of God, and God accepted Christ’s death as payment for our sins.


"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).


2. Jesus took our sins that He might bear them AWAY FROM US.


John the Baptist announced the ministry of Jesus by saying, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."


Just as the Old Testament priest in Leviticus could lay his hands upon the head of a live goat and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, and send him away into the wilderness, so did Jesus bear our sins that He might bear them away from us.


INSIGHT: The picture is also given in the Old Testament Passover scene of the Lamb slain, and the blood put upon the door posts. Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb. JESUS CHRIST’S blood covers our sins, and releases us from the penalty of hell. John writes, "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sin, and in him is no sin." (1 John 3:5)


3. Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree that He might bring us unto God.


The redemptive work of Jesus is to take out of this world a people for His name. The whole world will NOT be saved, but SOME WILL be saved, and with them God is going to abide forever – YOU MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION TO TRUST CHRIST.


Yes, your sins and my sins bound Jesus to the cross. Christ was fully conscious that only His death could satisfy the law of God, bear away our sins, and bring us unto the Heavenly Father. Therefore, though men scoffed at Jesus and accused Him of lying and hypocrisy, He stayed on the cross, bound by our sins, to the tree.


There is but one way open to the fair-minded person who realizes that his sins nailed  Jesus to the cross, and that is to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. He died that you might live. You cannot live without Him.




This is what the Bible says about Jesus’ death on the cross: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).


·        Blood is mentioned 460 times in the Bible.


Fourteen times in the New Testament Jesus spoke of His own blood. Why? Because by the shedding of His blood, He accomplished the possibility of our salvation. Christ paid the penalty for our sin and redeemed us. The penalty for our sin and rebellion is death; Jesus stepped out and said, “I’ll take that death.” He voluntarily laid down His life and took the penalty we deserve. That’s what the cross is all about.


·        The blood of Jesus Christ not only redeems us, it justifies us.


Being justified means more than being forgiven. I can say, “I forgive you,” but I can’t justify you. But God not only forgives the past, He clothes you in righteousness as though you had never committed a sin. Yet it cost the blood of His Son on the cross. – Adapted from Billy Graham, a BGEA devotional, March 29, 2020


CONCLUSION: If you have never trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation, come to Jesus today and live!


Let Him plunge all your sins in the fountain filled with blood. Let Him write your name upon the Lamb's book of life. Let Him keep you in the hollow of His hand. Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, and know the blessedness of salvation.


"I'll go to Jesus, though my sin, like mountains round me close, I know His courts, I'll enter in, whatever may oppose;


Prostrate I'll lie before His throne, and there my guilt confess, I'll tell Him I'm a wretch undone, without His sovereign grace.


I can but perish if I go — I am resolved to try, For if I stay away, I know I must forever die."


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Jesus died for us that we might live for Him.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, Tony Evans Commentary, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-Mail: Ronald Purkey


·       Return to BIBLE STUDY OUTLINES


·       Return To HOME PAGE