Good Friday: The suffering Christ -2

A Good Friday sermon that shows Jesus Christ’s suffering the various forms of suffering Jesus went through before and during his crucifixion.

This morning we had an in-depth study of the betrayal, arrest, and trial of Jesus. We saw how unjustly Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

Matthew 27:31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Can you imagine the depth of Jesus’ suffering? Jesus was beaten, his body was bleeding profusely, sweating on one side, people are watching him, the shock of death is upon him, and now he is walking to Golgotha with the Cross.

Jesus was so tired by now that he could not pick the cross. Luke 23:26-27 26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Luke 23:32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Mark 15:22-23 22They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.

Once they reached Golgotha. They stripped his clothes again, put on a loin cloth. The cross was laid on the ground. Jesus with his back lacerated was thrown backward on the cross. They put nail through His wrists. The Bible says hands but in crucifixion they nail the wrists so that you can hang on the wrist bone or the hand will tear off. They pulled the feet together and nailed the arch of the feet. Now Jesus lying on the ground is nailed to the cross both his hands and feet. He is crying in pain and agony. The erected the cross on a hole and Jesus fell thud, his body came down and hung on the nails. What pain he would have gone through.

As Jesus hung there, his hand sent excruciating pain to the brain, he would stand on his feet. When he felt the pain on his feet he would hang hand on his hands and ease the feet. When he would go on his hands he would inhale, when he put weight on his leg he would exhale. Jesus kept shifting weight from the hand to the feet to breathe.

As Jesus hung there in pain Jesus uttered 7 short sentences. Jesus who was not speaking in his trial suddenly said something on the Cross.

THE 7 SAYINGS ON THE CROSS.

1. FATHER FORGIVE THEM.

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus called God Father because He is Jesus’ father. What does Jesus say to His father? Forgive them. You do not forgive someone while they are wronging you, while people are wronging us we are immediately angry. Usually it is after some time afterward that we choose to forgive them. None forgives while in the act, Jesus forgave in the moment. This shows the forgiveness of God even when he suffered the most.

Jesus prayed this prayer from the cross for everyone who sins. He prayed for our act of sin. What kind of forgiveness is this? When we are saved we are offered a blanket forgiveness for all our past sins. This prayer was not a blanket forgiveness for those who are doing wrong. Some people say Jesus died for the whole world, so I am also forgiven and saved. Such people can look at this verse and say Jesus forgave them all. No, this is not a blanket pardon though Jesus died for the whole world, the whole world is by no means saved.

When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” It was a plea for God to be merciful and to give opportunities for people to be saved before they died. This is just like Abraham pleaded with God for mercy upon Lot from the judgement. Jesus prayed on the cross to Father God to be merciful to us. Jesus knew in the cross that Peter is eventually going to get saved, he knew on the cross that you and I are going to get saved, so Jesus prayed that God give us opportunity to be saved before we die. Jesus is telling Father do not judge people according to what they are doing, give people time to repent.

2. TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.

Luke 23:39-49 39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus spoke this to the thief on the cross who believed on Him. This teaches us that salvation is available to anyone, at anyplace, and at anytime. You don’t have do good works to be saved; faith is the basis of our salvation. In the morning this thief was a sinner nailed to a cross, and that evening he was in paradise having fellowship with angels and saints of God. That morning he was the enemy of Caesar, that evening he was the friend of God. On the cross Jesus gave salvation, not only to this drying criminal but to the entire world. You maybe an enemy to anyone but if you ask God for forgiveness you become His friend.

3. DEAR WOMAN HERE IS YOUR SON.

John 19:25-27 25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

With the weight of the sins of the world in his shoulders, Jesus is concerned about the welfare of his mother. Joseph had died, now he is concerned about his mother. This shows the responsibility of Jesus to his parents. We have a responsibility towards our parents. This also shows the love of Jesus for human pain and worry even when he died. He is worried about your heartache. If in the cross Jesus knew his mother’s heart, he knows your condition today.

4. MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

Matthew 27:45-46 45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This is again a prayer. This is a prayer like the first saying we saw, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Now Jesus is not saying father, now Jesus has called, “My God, my God, (He has called him God) why have you forsaken me?”

This prayer is deeper in mystery and higher in meaning than any other prayer Jesus ever prayed. What we see here is God forsaking God…how could we ever understand this? Now Jesus is being judged for sins. Jesus has taken the sins of the world, he has owned our sins, so not the tender term father. God Judged Jesus, so he is no more Father, He is God. God is the Judge, Jesus’ Father is behaving like God. It was not the father who turned his back upon Jesus, it was God Almighty. Here Jesus 100% God and 100% man on the cross is in the man mode, sinful man who took our place, being judged. How can we ever understand this?

Listen, when God the Father judges, it is a judgement of wrath. Praise God Jesus went through that judgement. The judgement of wrath results in death, Jesus died. Now we are judged by Jesus which result in life. Jesus judges us with mercy and love. Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

5. I AM THIRSTY.

John 19:28-29 28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.

Psalm 69 predicted this hundreds of years before Jesus. Psalm 69:21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. Jesus had a physical body, Jesus was thirsty. He cried out, “I am thirsty.” They offered him vinegar and Jesus turned it down, Jesus declined it. Jesus said I thirst but when they gave vinegar why did He declined it? You see, Jesus wanted to die, he did not have to. Jesus wanted to suffer. As a man Jesus said, “I thirst.” As God Jesus said, “I won’t, I won’t even take a temporary relief that the vinegar would give.” Jesus tasted the vinegar but did not drink it.

6. IT IS FINISHED.

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
In Greek it is called Tetelestai! It means mission accomplished, it is finished, the job is done.

In Jesus’ days, when a servant finished his work he would report to the master saying, Tetelestai, I did what you told me to do. In the OT on the day of atonement the High Priest would apply the blood in the Holy of Holies and then would emerge and cry out to the people Tetelestai! A painter would say it when he completed a picture, and a writer when he finished a manuscript. When a customer paid a merchant for goods or services, they would receive a receipt that said Tetelestai, paid in full! It is over with. Jesus said it because he had finished a masterpiece at the Cross, a story that had been written for ages. Now mankind’s sins could justly be forgiven and man could be reconciled to God.

Well, God has certainly left none of His work unfinished. God completed all what he started. In creation when he created the heavens and the earth God finished his work. He worked diligently for 6 days and completed his work. Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and earth were completed in all their vast array. He worked diligently for six days, God rested only after He had completed the work. Genesis 2:2 But the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Moses completed the work of the tabernacle. God had commissioned him to oversee the building of the huge and elaborate Tabernacle in the wilderness. Thousands of details were to be carried out. Certain metals were to be used, and particular colours were important. In a multitude of ways, the Tabernacle was to be a type of Christ. We read in Exodus 39:32 So all the work on the tabernacle was completed. Aren’t you glad they did not call a strike and stop short of completing this building?

When Nehemiah built the wall, he faced insurmountable problems. He fought discouragement, fear, doubt and much opposition. There were plenty of reasons why it couldn’t be done, but he did it just the same! Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed in the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Lying on his deathbed, Paul the apostle gave that testimony that ought to strengthen us. He said: 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Jesus gathered His disciples around Him just before His death and prayed His great intercessory prayer. John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. Now just a few days later, He is crying out from the cross, “Tetelestai, it is finished!” Everything needed for the mankind is complete. Our forgiveness is complete, the way to heaven is complete, the scripture is completely fulfilled, the provision for all those who are saved to go to heaven in rapture is complete. It is finished.

7. INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.

Luke 23:44-46 44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Jesus died. He died when He chose to die. They didn’t kill Him. He laid down His life. He released His Spirit not when they said but when HE said. It wasn’t nails or blood loss, nor a spear in His side that ended His life…He ended it because it was finished. And it was only the beginning of a new chapter for you and me!

Jesus never died the death of crucifixion. The death of crucifixion was suffocation by breaking of the legs. Medical science say Jesus died from heart failure due to shock and constriction of his heart vessels. Yes, Jesus died of a broken heart for you and for me. This is the pinnacle of all of human history. What is happening right now are the most important events of all of human history! The nature, heavens, and God the Father responded to the death of Jesus.

Luke 23:44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining.
The sun darkened. Several times in the scripture we see God supernaturally darkening the sun. All times God is telling pay attention, God is doing something. God got the whole world’s attention when the sun darkened that day.

Matthew 27:50-54 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

The veil in the temple tore: Imagine being that priests in the temple. You realize that this cannot be this way. No one can tear it from top down, it is too high. It is God at work.

The earth shook: Suddenly the earth begins to shake. People are running for shelter and safety.

The dead arose: Dead people are rising up out of their graves and waking up and appearing unto people. No wonder the centurion and other with him said, “Surely this was the son of God.”

Something quite phenomenal took place when Jesus died. The whole nature, heavens, and people of the world responded to the death of Jesus. God completed his task of redeeming the world. Now God is expecting us to respond. We need complete repentance.

John 19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a sphere, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
There was a fountain opened in Calvary, a fountain of blood and water. The brought brings salvation for all those who believe in Him and the water is the symbol of abundant life that Christ provides to us. Jesus completed His task.

COMPLETE REPENTANCE

Now that Jesus has completely done his task, we need complete repentance to claim what he did for us on the cross. This is about us. We have some unfinished business. This is not repentance for salvation, but unconditional surrender to the will of God.

God has done his part but we will miss out what Christ gained for us if we do not have complete repentance. Repentance means complete surrender. It suggests wholly submitting to God’s will. God does not require penance, but repentance. There is a vast difference between penance and repentance.

Penance: Voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong.

Judas did wrong. Judas felt guilty but finally he did penance by giving back the silver, he tried to make up for it but he finally killed himself. God does not require such repentance. Peter betrayed Jesus. Peter then repented and went out and wept bitterly. When he got back with Jesus he made things right, there was absolute repentance.

We need total repentance.
Jesus said: Luke 13:13 Unless you repent, you too will perish.
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your of sins.
Paul Said: Acts 17:30 God commands all people everywhere to repent.
John wrote: Revelation 2:5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.

CONCLUSION: To the sinner, without repentance there is no salvation. To the child of God, without complete, wholehearted, full repentance, there will be no power to overcome, no peace that passes all understanding, no joy unspeakable, no cup running over and no abundant life that God wants to give us.

God did His part, no unfinished job; let us do ours. Fully repent, submit, yield, dedicate, give in, surrender, turn, sanctify ourselves and commit completely to Him! If we would all do this, there’s no limit to what God could achieve here on earth thru us…God left us here for a reason…there’s unfinished business to do! But God’s work is completed on the cross…Tetelestai! We have time now complete the job.

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