Monday, January 26, 2015

The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

These are the raw teaching notes from my recent study, The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross."  I've used the raw unedited notes so that any Bible study teacher can use them.  They are intended to be a framework allowing another person to use their own illustrations, and creativity to present the information.  If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at this link.

The Bible says that throughout history God has spoken to us in various ways:  The Prophets, the Law, etc.  But it also says that in the Last days He will speak to us through Jesus.  This Study looks at the things that Jesus spoke while being crucified and how they can speak to us about salvation in our times.  

Study 1:  Father Forgive Them

Today we’re going to begin a new Bible Study series called Jesus speaks from the cross.  In this series we’ll look at the 7 things that Jesus spoke from the cross.  They are:

1.      "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:33-34)
2.      "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43; to thief on cross)
3.      "Woman, behold thy son!...Behold thy mother!" (John 19:26-27; to Mary; to John)
4.      "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:45-46)
5.      "I thirst" (John 19:28; Mark 15:36)
6.      "It is finished" (John 19:28-30)
7.      "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46)


The text for this study is:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Tonight we’ll look at the first statement – Father Forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing:  (Text for tonight’s study)

Luke 23:33-34 (NKJV)23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

First let’s look at what Jesus purpose for coming to the earth.  In order to do that, we have to look at Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Who can tell me what happened there?

God created the Garden and placed Adam and Eve into it.  The Garden provided for every need of mankind:  Food, shelter, purpose for their lives, companionship and spiritual need.  But he gave them a commandment and that commandment was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…But they ate and sinned and God kicked them out of the Garden.  He had to separate himself from them.

Genesis 3:23-24 (NKJV)3:23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

And people remained separated from God until Jesus’ time.  The temple was designed with a place called the Holy of Holies, which is where the Ark of the Testimony and the Mercy seat were.  The Mercy seat is where God said that he would meet with His people.  So it was the place where God was.  But the H of H was separated from the places where the people could go by the veil in the Temple.  This was in place until when?

Until Jesus died:

Matthew 27:51 (NKJV)27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

SO what Jesus did when he died was to restore the relationship that mankind was meant to have with God.  The veil’s tearing is symbolic of the idea that the separation is removed and we have access to God once more.  He restored the relationship.  Look at how John puts it:

John 1:12-13 (NKJV)1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (emphasis mine)

He gave us the right to become Children of God.  We are now able to be adopted into the family of God through our receiving Jesus.  If Jesus had never come to die for us on the cross that separation would always remain in force.

The first step to accomplishing that comes with Jesus’ first saying from the cross, “Father forgive them.”  He’s crying out for our forgiveness.  That the sins we have committed would not be held against us.

Think of this scene for a moment.  Jesus has been beaten and whipped; His beard torn out by the roots; His back laid open with the scourging.  They've nailed him to the cross and perhaps lifted him up and dropped the cross into a three-foot hole that would secure it.  The he cries out for their forgiveness.

Some commentators think that He may have cried out while they were nailing Him to the cross.  His first expression was one of forgiveness for His tormentors.  Those that were in the very process of murdering Him, He was crying out for.  He was a living example of “Love your enemies.”

God’s forgiveness of our sins is the substance of our reconciliation – If in your marriage or any relationships of importance in your life, if there is a violation the relationship kind of stops.  People hurt us and make us angry and we walk away from the relationship.  We separate ourselves from that person.  In order to be reconciled, (what does that word mean?) there must first be forgiveness.  In order for the relationship to become normal once again, the injured party must for give the one who injured him/her.  This is essentially what is happening here.  Jesus is beginning the process of reconciliation by interceding with God on our behalf.  He’s going to God and crying out for our forgiveness. “Father, forgive them.”

This is the job of the High priest.  He goes beyond the veil and cries out for the atonement of the people.  This happens once a year:

Leviticus 16:11-14 (NKJV)16:11 "And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. 12 Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. 13 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

So once a year the High Priest would atone for his own sins through the sacrifice of a bull.  He would go behind the veil with the incense. Which he would light and burn before the Mercy seat.  Who knows what incense represents in the Bible? Prayers.  Then he would take one of the goats and make a sacrifice with it.  He would take that blood and splatter it on the Mercy Seat.

He’s interceding with God on behalf of the people.  This is what Jesus is doing on the cross.  Interceding on our behalf.  The high priest offers up prayers for the people, symbolized by the burning of incense in the Holy of Holies.  Jesus offers up this prayer of forgiveness, which is an intercession with God for us all.  He is our High Priest:

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV)4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This intercession opens the door to the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation that allows us to come once more into the presence of God.  Because of what Jesus has done the time of separation is ended for those who receive Christ and become as sons of God.  The whole meaning of the cross is summed up in that one declaration:

John 3:17 (NKJV)3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
________________ooo______

But now let’s look at the quote one more time:

Luke 23:34 (NKJV)23:34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

He says Father forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing.  They don’t know what they’re doing.  The phrase, "For they do not know what they do," is an important phrase. It doesn't suggest that they were unaware of the evil of what they were doing. Anybody knew that that was an evil thing to do to anyone, it was a horrific torturous way to treat a human being, they knew that. They were aware of their cruelty. They were aware of their sinning. They were aware of their hatred.
When Jesus said, "They do not know what they do," He didn't mean they didn't know they were committing a crime, He didn't mean that they didn't know there were no legitimate charges against Him, there were none and everybody knew there were none. Pilot himself had said, I find no fault in this man. The Jewish Sanhedrin had tried to trump up false charges unsuccessfully by bribing false witnesses. The soldiers knew, the crowd knew that this was a grave injustice. The very taunting spectators at Calvary had heard Jesus teach and had seen His life and His miracles.

What they didn't know was whom it was that they were crucifying.  They didn't realize that this was the Son of God, whom they were murdering.  Look at what paul says later:

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NKJV)2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

I think this is really interesting.  These people the Sanhedrin, we always dismiss them as evil.  They are evil, they were concerned about their own power.  They didn't want things to change and they crucified Jesus because he was a threat to their power… BUT they didn't know who he really was.  They didn’t know that he was God’s plan for salvation.  They may have even thought they were doing something for God by preserving the temple structure intact.  THEY MIGHT HAVE EVEN THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE DOING SOMETHING FOR GOD… We nee to be careful that we are able to discern the will of God in everything we do or we could make that same mistake of putting to death God plans rather than furthering them.

One last thought, Jesus knew that He had to die in order for God’s plan of salvation to play out.  That’s why he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Listen to His prayer:

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)26:39 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."

He saying if there’s any other way let’s do it like that so I don’t have to endure this.  I know that for them to be forgiven I have to pay this price but if there’s another way let’s do that.  Then He says, “Not my will but yours.”


God orchestrated this moment.  He sent him at a time when the enemies of Christ would be in power.  In the fullness of time.  That phrase means when the time is right.  What made the time right is that these people were in place and corrupt, so that Jesus could be sent and would be crucified.  The Sanhedrin was corrupt enough to bribe false witness to speak against Jesus.  The Romans were in power and used crucifixion as punishment for crimes.  In this fullness of time God sent Jesus so that His plan could be played out and we have the restoration of the cross and the FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS.

Study 2:  Today You Will be in Paradise With Me

Last week we talked about Jesus’ saying, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”  We said that this was essentially what the cross was about.  It was about reconciling us with God. 

The first step to reconciliation is forgiveness.  If there’s no forgiveness, there can be no reconciliation.  Last week we discussed that the purpose of the cross was to reconcile God and us.  It was the atonement for the sin of Adam and Eve.  It was also the end to the separation that took place in the Garden of Eden.  Jesus came into the world for one reason and one reason only, to suffer and die on the cross and reconcile our relationship with God. That’s the message of the cross.  That’s God speaking to us through His Son.

So let’s begin with the text for our study:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

God “has in these last days spoken to us through His Son.”   What does that mean?  Certainly we can look at the Bible and see Jesus’ life.  We can see what he did and what he said.  But I really believe Jesus is speaking to us from the cross.  Let’s examine the next saying of Jesus on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:39-43 (NKJV)23:39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

So, here’s the story:

Jesus is being crucified and on crosses on either side of Him are two “Criminals.”  These men were being crucified.  Crucifixion was reserved for the very worst of the worst.  These were usually murderers, rebellion leaders who killed many people.  Theyw re hung up there as an example, for others.  So that other people would see them  and see the consequences of that behavior.  The men hanging on the cross with Jesus were of that sort.  They were evil and dangerous men.  We often think of them as the “thief on the cross.”  But if he was being crucified he was a murderer and evil person, in addition to being a thief.

So let’s look for a moment at the interactions that Jesus had with these men.

They've been led out of the gate to the pace called Golgotha.  They've been put on their crosses.  And they've been stood up in place and they are hanging there.  Look at what happens:

Matthew 27:39-43 (NKJV)27:39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' "

So the religious people, and the Temple leaders came by and mocked Jesus.  They’re laughing; they’re cursing Him.  They’re mocking Him.  But it’s not just the religious leaders.  It’s not just the ones who put him on the cross.  The other crucified men join in as well.

Matthew 27:44 (NKJV)27:44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Mark 15:30-32 (NKJV)
15:30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" 31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.


So both of these men joined in and ridiculed Jesus.  They also mocked.  This is what Jesus had prayed for forgiveness for.  These who were mocking and ridiculing and glorying in His death, had no idea who it was they crucified.

But they had, no doubt heard of Him.  Jesus had a times 4,000 and 5,00 people following Him:

Matthew 15:32 (NKJV)15:32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

Matthew 15:38 (NKJV)15:38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.


Luke 9:12-14 (NKJV)9:12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." 13 But He said to them, "You give them something to eat." And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people." 14 For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of fifty."

So there is no doubt that they had heard of Jesus.  Jesus was well known; the miracles and the feeding of the people these things were well known.  In Acts 26:26 Paul is testifying to King Agrippa about what Jesus had done and about His crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection and he makes this statement:

 Acts 26:26 (NKJV)26:26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.

The things Jesus did were well known through Israel and beyond.  I’m sure the criminals that were crucified with Him knew these things.  But they ridiculed Him anyway. Until one of them begins to have an understanding of what is really going on:

Luke 23:39-41 (NKJV)23:39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."

This is important, because this is the first step of repentance.  He has recognized his sin.  he has had a change of heart.  He’s gone from a blasphemer, and a mocker to a man who recognizes the sin that is his life.  He’s confessing – What I have done I deserve.  I am receiving the rewards of my sin.  The wages of sin is whatIt’s death and this man is receiving the wages,(what he has earned, what he deserves) for his sin.

But something else is taking place here.  He’s confessing his sin.  he is speaking it out.  The Bible tells us that if we confess then God is faithful to forgive:

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Finally, He expresses faith in Jesus:

Luke 23:42 (NKJV)23:42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
  
Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.  He’s saying I know who you are.  I believe that you will inherit the Kingdom of God.  I believe that you are the Christ, the anointed one, sent to redeem the world. 

Finally, Jesus speaks the words to Him:

Luke 23:42-43 (NKJV)23:42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

There are a couple of things that are powerful here.  We are seeing a man come to grips with his sin and repent.  This is the way that we get saved.  It’s through repentance that we receive God’s grace.  What was Jesus’ first sermon?  Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.  What dies repentance do for us?

Acts 3:19 (NKJV)3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

This is what took place on the cross that day.  The criminal repented and Jesus accepted him into the Kingdom of God.  How simple it is.  This story is a story of great hope for you and I.  because it exemplifies the promise of salvation.  Simple repentance buys us redemption.

It’s not about works.  There is nothing this man has done that’s right.  He’s criminal – a thief, a liar, a murderer, and he did nothing to make those things right.  It wasn’t about his behavior.  It wasn’t about the good works he did.  He didn't do any good works.  He merely confessed his sin, and had faith in Jesus, and he was accepted into heaven.

Before class we passed out a convert card with a sinner’s prayer printed on it:  The sinner’s prayer is a prayer of repentance.

  1. It is an acknowledgement of sin – Dear God I know I’m a sinner.
  2. And acknowledgment of faith in Jesus. – I know you sent your only son to die on the cross so I could be forgiven. – And he rose from the dead three days later, to show the promise of eternal life.
  3. Finally it is a promise to change – Come into my heart and change me. I repent of my sin and turn my back on that life.

And like the criminal on the cross we can be forgiven and redeemed through that.  Jeus speaks to us through his suffering on the cross.  The cross is not only our means for redemption but also a way of demonstrating how redemption works.

Study 3: Woman, Behold thy son!...Behold thy mother!

Last week we talked about how Heaven comes by grace.  We can’t do anything to purchase a ticket to Heaven.  (We can do no works that will guarantee us heaven.) It is given freely to those who repent, through Jesus’ death on the cross.  We see that clearly in Jesus’ acceptance of the “thief”

He had done nothing good in life and was granted “paradise with me,” through simple confession and faith.  This is the story of the cross. 

In the first study we saw how forgiveness is the beginning of the reconciliation.  In the second we looked at God’s grace and redemption.  But the third saying is about something else that takes place in the moment of Salvation and that is ADOPTION.  We are adopted into the family of God.  So let’s begin:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.


This is the text for the overall study.  The scriture tells us thst God has spoen to us in various ways through the prophets.  But now in the last days he speaks to us through His Son, jesus.  This study is looking at the words spoken by Jesus on the cross and how those words speak to us concerning our salvation.

Today we will study the third thing spoken by Jesus:

John 19:26-27 (NKJV)19:26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

First of all I want to look at this in the context of what is happening in the culture of the time.  In Israel at that time husband was the sole support for his wife.  If anything happened to him it was up to the eldest son to care for her, financially.

There was no government support or anything like that.  In fact look at this:

2 Kings 4:1 (NKJV)4:1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves."

She’s crying out to the prophet for help because her husband has died and she can’t pay the bills.  So the creditors are going to sell her sons as slaves to pay off her debt.  There was never any mechanism in place to help widows before this.

The church in the book of acts has begun to care for widows:

Acts 6:1 (NKJV)6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

So the early church here has begun to care for the widows and this dispute that has arisen is over the Greeks feeling that the Greek widows were being overlooked as the Jewish widows were taken care of.

But this took place after Jesus’ death and resurrection.  So when Jesus is on the cross He is concerned for his mother.  Joseph has already died and so Jesus’ mother is in need of financial support so this moment takes place.  What is interesting is that Jesus had brothers.  He wasn’t an only child.  In fact, the Bible names four of Jesus’ brothers:

Mark 6:3 (NKJV)6:3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" And they were offended at Him. (emphasis mine)

So Jesus had brothers and sisters.  Mary was not really in danger of having nothing.  She had sons to provide support for her.  But Jesus appoints John to be her son.  So why do you think Jesus did that? 

John 7:5 (NKJV)7:5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

His brothers didn’t believe in Him.  They didn't believe that He was the Son of God.  They didn't believe that He was the Messiah, so Jesus committed His mother into the care of one who did.

But just so you know, Jesus’ brothers did come to believe in Him after the resurrection:

1 Corinthians 9:5 (NKJV)9:5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

Paul is talking about giving here and mentions the brothers of Jesus as apostles. 

So as we look at this in one sense He is just insuring that Mary is provided for as a widow.  He wants her needs to be met.  But I think there is something more here that we can see.  There is something taking place in a symbolic sense.  Just like the Thief who is taken into Heaven speaks to us about grace and mercy.  I believe this gesture speaks to us about adoption and redemption.

In order to understand this let’s look at John Chapter 1:

John 1:10-13 (NKJV)1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John is making a statement about what happened with Jesus.

  1. He was in the world.  He walked the earth like you and I.  He physically lived as a man.

John 1:14 (NKJV)1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  1. The world was made through Him.  He is the creative force for the universe.  The universe was created through Him.  He is God.

John 1:1 (NKJV)1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  1. He came to His own, but they didn't receive Him.  He came to the Jews first and then the gentiles.

Matthew 15:24 (NKJV)15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 

  1. But as many as received Him he gave the right to become Children of God.

Romans 8:14-15 (NKJV)8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

So, for a moment, let’s consider who the Children of God are.  The Children of God originally were the people of Israel.  The Old Testament Israelites were the people of God.  They were the ones who would receive the inheritance.  They were the ones who received the Promised Land, their inheritance.

Joshua 1:6 (NKJV)1:6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

An inheritance is for your children, right?  Israel had the right to an inheritance from God (the Promised Land) because they were the children of God.  We will also receive an inheritance, as the Israelites received an inheritance as Children of God, so will we.

Romans 8:16-17 (NKJV)16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

So as Children of God there is an inheritance for us.  In fact, we are joint-heirs in Christ.  Not by birth.  We are not born Children of God, but we become Children of God:

Galatians 4:4-7 (NKJV)4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (emphasis mine)

God sent forth His Son, born of a woman.  God’s Son was born through a woman, who was under the law.  She had not received the grace of salvation at that point.  Mary was a Jewish woman.  He came to redeem us.  To purchase us back. (that’s what redeem means.)  “That we might receive the adoption as sons.”  Through his death on the cross he purchases us, through His spilled Blood.  His blood was the cost of redemption.  And in that moment we become sons  and heirs adopted.

That word Abba is important here.  It is Aramaic for Father.  It could only be used by a son for HIS father.  A slave could call his master father, and often did, but that word Abba was reserved only for sons.  Only a blood son, or and ADOPTED SON could call his father Abba.  It implies a blood bond, closeness.  It implied that the speaker was an inheritor.  We becomes sons of God through our redemption and salvation.

When Jesus takes his own mother and turns her over to John to provide for her as a widow, He is basically making him, His mother’s son.  There is an implication of the adoption that takes place through our redemption by Christ.  We become inheritors of the “Promised Land” (Heaven).  We become equal to Jesus as Joint-Heirs.  We become Sons of God. 

Study 4:  My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? 

Last week we talked about adoption.  How in repentance we’re given the right to become Children of God.  We gain all the rights of a son:  The right to inheritance, the right to say Abba, Father. 

Let’s quickly recap what we've studied so far.

  1. Father Forgive Them:  Forgiveness is the beginning of reconciliation.
  2. This day you will be in paradise:  A picture of God’s grace and mercy.
  3. Woman, behold your son:  The message of Adoption.

So God speaks to us and has spoken to us in many different ways: First, through the prophets and now through His Son.  I believe these words spoken on the cross are one way Jesus speaks to us:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

So God has spoken to us through Jesus.  He has done that in many ways and one way has been through the cross and the things He said while on the cross.  So today we will look at the next saying from the cross, which is this:

Matthew 27:45-46 (NKJV)27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

The first thing I want to look at in this scripture is the words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  This is a fulfillment of prophesy:  Look at Psalms 22:

Psalm 22 has a number of prophecies about the crucifixion in it:

Psalms 22:1 (NKJV)22:1 To the Chief Musician. Set to 'The Deer of the Dawn.' A Psalm of David. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

Psalms 22:7-8 (NKJV)22:7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, "He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!"

Psalms 22:14 (NKJV)22:14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.

Psalms 22:16-18 (NKJV)22:16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; 17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.


This psalm was written by David about 1000 years before Jesus was born, so this demonstrates the long term promise of God.  The people of Israel had been waiting for the Christ for a very long time.  For me these types of things are a proof of the truth of the Bible.  David wrote the psalm 1000 years before Jesus was born yet on the cross so many of the things David said in this psalm came true.  Let’s look at the Gospels to see prophecy fulfilled in this case. 

Of course there is our text:

Why have You forsaken Me?:

Matthew 27:45-46 (NKJV)27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

They Ridicule Me:

Matthew 27:42-43 (NKJV)27:42 "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' "

My Bones out of joint:
This is a picture of the physical affects of crucifixion. 

Pierced My hands and feet:

Matthew 27:34-35 (NKJV)27:34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. 35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."

John 20:27 (NKJV)20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."

Luke 24:38-40 (NKJV)24:38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

So, David accurately predicted what would happen to Jesus in the crucifixion, 1000 years before his birth.  How could he know?  How could he make that prediction?  This is why I believe the Bible is true.  There are so many prophecies that have been proven so many times.  Some people have said well Jesus only said and did those things to make the prophecies true.  Does it really seem possible that Jesus could remember what to say and what to do to prove a point while in the midst of that kind of suffering?  I wouldn't think so.  I believe David just foretold this moment 1000 years before.

Now let’s look at what is being spoken to us through this saying, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?

Throughout the Bible God warns us that He will turn His back on us because of sin:

2 Chronicles 24:20 (NKJV)24:20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, "Thus says God: 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.' "

This is a part of the separation that took place when Adam and Eve sinned and when Lucifer was cast out of the heavens.  God separated Himself from us because of sin. 

Micah 3:4 (NKJV)3:4 Then they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.

Maybe you know the story of Samson and Delilah.  Samson was a Nazarite.  He had made a vow of separation to God.  He was vowed to live according to that code, and thereby separating himself to God. But Samson broke the vow and sinned before God.  He took up with a woman named Delilah and she set him up to be destroyed by the Philistines. 

But because of his vow to God he was always able to break free until this:

Judges 16:20 (NKJV)16:20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

The Lord had departed from him.  Or another way to say that is that the Lord had forsaken him.  This took place because of Samson’s sin.

Now we have Jesus on the cross.  And Jesus cries out My God, My God why have you forsaken me.  But Jesus was without sin:

Hebrews 4:14-15 (NKJV)4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

So Jesus was sinless, if so then why would God forsake him?  What was God’s purpose in forsaking Jesus while He was on the cross?

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus was made sin in order to pay the penalty of sin for us.  It is the story of the scapegoat from the sin offering.  The High priest takes two goats.  The first he cuts the throat of and collects the blood.  He takes that blood and sprinkles it on the mercy seat and on the people.  This blood is the price of the remission of sin:

Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

So that blood pays the price of remission of sin.  Then the high priest lays hands on the second goat and the sin of Israel is transferred on that got.  It is then led into the wilderness and abandoned or FORSAKEN taking with it the sin of the people.

Jesus has become that scapegoat for us.  Our sin was transferred onto him and he was forsaken for us. 

So while he was on the cross all of the sin of mankind was laid on him.  He was the scapegoat for us.  The blood he spilt remitted the sin.  Remit means to send away. 

Psalms 103:12 (NKJV)103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

This moment on the cross speaks to us of remission and redemption.  Jesus paid the price for us.  He was the scapegoat for our sin.  

Study 5:  I Thirst

Last week we talked about the saying, “my God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” 
That Jesus became the scapegoat for us, our sin was transferred to Him.  That God turned His back on Jesus during that time is because of the separation that He must have from sin.  In order for our sin to be atoned blood had to be spilled.  It is a parallel of the sin offering from the Old Testament.  You can read that for yourself in Leviticus Chapter 16:11-28.

It’s very interesting the parallel between the sin offering and the offering of Christ.  Read it and maybe after we finish this series we’ll do a brief study of the Sin offering and Passover.  One thing to remember is that many of the things in the Old Testament are a foreshadowing of Jesus.  We think of the Old Testament as separate from the New Testament.  It’s easy to do that because the Old Testament is about the Mosaic Covenant, or the Covenant of the Law and the New Testament is about the Covenant of Grace.  The Old Testament is not separate from the New Testament.  The New Testament doesn’t destroy the Old Testament; it is FULFILLED in the New Testament and we will talk about those things after this series is finished.

This study has been about God speaking to us through Jesus, and specifically, through Jesus’ words on the cross.  So let’s look at our text for the overall Study:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

So God has spoken through us in many ways and I believe one of those ways was through Jesus on the cross.  Let’s look at our text for this specific study:

John 19:28-30 (NKJV)19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Jesus was FULLY GOD and FULLY MAN.  He was God in the flesh.  Let’s look at Jesus prior to his birth on earth:

John 1:1-3 (NKJV)1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
John refers to Jesus as the “Word.”  Jesus is the Word of God.  This is interesting isn’t it.  Why would he call him Word?  Doesn’t that seem like a strange thing to call Him?  There’s a clue in our text, who knows what is the clue to why John calls him the Word?

All things were made through Him.  Look back at the first chapter of Genesis.  This is the Creation of the universe.  How did God do it?  How did God create everything?  He spoke it into existence.  He spoke and those things were.  Everything was created by His words.  Eight times in the first chapter of Genesis it says, “God said…” Look:

Verse 3:  “And God said let there be light…”
Verse 6:  “Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament…’”
Verse 9:  “Then God said, ‘Let the waters…be gathered together…’”
Verse 11:  “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass…’”
Verse 14:  “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament…’”
Verse 20:  “Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance…’”
Verse 24:  “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature…’”

And finally, there is the most important instance of God’s word in Genesis:

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

“Let Us make man in Our image.” God, the Father, is not alone here.  He’s speaking to a co-creator.  This is the one that Pul calls, “The Word.”  What does it say in John 1: 3?  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Paul says that the words of God was God:

John 1:1 (NKJV)1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This is a testimony of the Word’s divinity.  The Word is God. Later Paul says that Jesus is the Word of God.  He shows that in John 1:14

John 1:14 (NKJV)1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word was made flesh.  God became man.  That’s Jesus.  We all know the story of Jesus’ birth.  Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph.  An angel visited her and told her she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph was shocked by her pregnancy.  He was going to send her away quietly but look at this:

Matthew 1:20-23 (NKJV)1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

So Jesus was to be born and he was called Emmanuel – God with us.  This is testimony that He is God.  Jesus himself testifies to that during His lifetime:

John 8:54-58 (NKJV)8:54 Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

Before Abraham was, I AM.  That’s an interesting way to say that.  It sounds like bad grammar doesn't it.  We would think it should say, Before Abraham was I was…  But he said I AM.  Look at what happens after he said that:

John 8:59 (NKJV)8:59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

They wanted to kill Him:  Talk about Grammar Nazis.  The real issues is that they think He blasphemed because he said the sacred name of God.  When God spoke to Moses by the burning bush Moses was nervous about leading the people.  So he said to God, Who shall I say sent me?  Look at God’s response:

Exodus 3:13-15 (NKJV)3:13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " 15 Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'

“Thus you shall say to the Children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you’.”  That word translated as I AM is Yahweh.  The word Yahweh is the name of God.  So when Jesus tells them before Abraham was, I AM. He said before Abraham was, Yahweh.  He was answering a question, How could Abraham know you.  Abraham had died thousands of years before Jesus.  Jesus basically answered with these words, Before Abraham was, I am God. That’s why they got so mad.  So Jesus himself is testifying to the FACT that he’s God. 

Jesus is also a man.  He was born of flesh.  Mary was His mother.  He lived on the earth and felt the same things we feel.  He was tempted just like we are:

Hebrews 4:14-15 (NKJV)4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus is the High Priest who has passed through the Heavens.  He was tempted in all points just like we are.  He was human.  The only difference is that He didn’t sin.

So here he is on the cross.  And he is enduring a massive dehydration.  He’s lost a lot of blood, he has sweat hard carrying the cross and suffering the whips and all.  And he’s thirsty.  God is spirit he doesn’t endure thirst.  God doesn’t have the physical needs that we have.  Yet Jesus cries out on the cross.  I thirst.  So in this moment Jesus is testifying to His humanity.  It’s important for us that Jesus is as fully man as he is fully God.  Why?

1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NKJV)2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

The mediator is the reconciler.  He is the go-between for us with God.  He’s the one who approaches God saying we want to reconcile with Him.  He argues our case and makes the connection between us and God.  He did this through the shedding of His blood.  He understands our weaknesses because He has endured our flesh.  He can speak to God on our behalf.  His death reconciles us.  He was fully God and Fully man.

Study 6: It is Finished

Last week we talked about the saying, “I thirst.”  We talked about Jesus’ divinity, and humanity.  Jesus was the word of God.  He was with God and He was God.  But he was also incarnated as a man.  he walked the earth and felt the same things we feel:  Temptations and all.  This was so that he could sympathize with our weaknesses, and be a mediator between God and us.  Today we will look at the sixth saying on the cross, “It is finished.” 

First, let’s look at the text for the overall study:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

The Bible tells us that God has spoken to us in different ways throughout history, but that He speaks to us now through Jesus.  I believe that one of the ways He is speaking to us is through the things that Jesus said while suffering on the cross. 

So, let’s now look at our text for tonight’s study:

John 19:29-30 (NKJV)19:29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

What was finished?  What did Jesus mean by “It is finished!”?  There was a work that was being done on the cross.  The suffering and the death and blood spilled was a work that God was doing through Jesus.  It’s the work of redemption.  Redemption means to buy back. So Jesus was paying a price that day on the cross:  The price of our sin.  In order to free us from sin.  Freeing us from sin is called the remission of sin.  To remit means to send away.  Our sin will be sent away from us.  But there is a price for that.  Only one thing will pay for the remission of sin:

Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

So blood had to be spilled in order for us to be relieved of sin:  In order to make us acceptable to enter into the presence of God.  The spilled results in the death of the atoner.  In this case the atoner is Jesus:

Psalms 22:15 (NKJV)22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

That spilling of blood that results in Jesus’ death is the WORK of the cross.

Daniel 9:24 (NKJV)9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.

This is a prophecy of Daniel of what will take place in 70 X 7 years.  But this is complicated because Jesus’ death came after 69 X 7 years.  The 7 years of Tribulation are included.  BUT the power of sin was destroyed in Tesus’ death..  The transgression (sin) is finished.  Jesus died and reconciled us with God.  Iniquity has been reconciled.  We receive everlasting life through faith is Jesus as savior.  Everlasting righteousness has been brought in.  The work of the cross is completed.  All that remains is for Jesus to return and wrap up the age. (all emphasis mine)


It is finished is talking about the remedy for sin being completed.  It is the fulfillment of the prophecy first begun in genesis 3:15:

Genesis 3:15 (NKJV)3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

This happened immediately after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.  It is part of the curse on the serpent, who we all know was really the devil.  He would inflict a wound on jesus’ heal.  He would injure him but it wouldn't be fatal.  Jesus would then injure Satan’s head – A Fatal Blow.  His power would be destroyed. 
  
The kingdom of God has begun.  In the moment of Jesus’ death we made the leap from the Covenant of the Law to the Covenant of Grace.

This is the problem with the Mosaic Covenant: (The Covenant of the Law)

Psalms 119:1-6 (NKJV)119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.

Here’s the psalmist talking about the blessing of keeping the law.  Of doing all things right. 

1.      Walking in the law of the Lord.
2.      Keeping the Testimonies (the law)
3.      Seeking Him with the whole heart.
4.      Doing NO iniquity
5.      Keeping the precepts.       (a command or principle intended as a general rule of action or conduct)
6.      Walk in His ways

These are the things that would get us into Heaven under the law.  How many can do ALL of those things?  Without Fail.  We usually do our best to do the right thing, but how many of us are ALWAYS successful?  Because that’s what it takes if you want to make it to Heaven by the Law.

The Psalmist says, “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!  (Laws)  he’s acknowledging his failure to be able to do it.  The law is like Buddhism and Karma.  In order to make it to heaven you MUST be able to live out life perfectly.  It is about works.  What a cruel and unreachable way to live life.  But the covenant of Grace is jesus’ sacrifice.  His paying of our penalty so that we could be forgiven,

In the first study we talked about the words Father forgive them… as the beginning of reconciliation.  His death here is the fulfillment of that reconciliation.  That is seen symbolically by the tearing of the veil.  We are able now to enter into the presence of God.  No longer are we to be separated from God because of SIN.  That price has been paid for.

So Jesus came and died for us in order to fulfill the law:  To buy us the grace necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.  But he knew it would be difficult.

Matthew 26:36-39 (NKJV)26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "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." (emphasis mine)


He prays this three times.  But each time he says , “Not my will but yours.”  Jesus was looking for another way but he was obedient.  He was the only one who could live by the law. 

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

He was able to live out the law.  Thjat;’s what made him the perfect sacrifice for us.  He was a Passover Lamb:  A lamb without blemish or spot.

Exodus 12:1-5 (NKJV)12:1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

He was a man like we are. A COMMON Man (as well as God) if we look at the common man as if he is one of the lambs.  But those lambs for the majority are not without blemish.  The common man is has the blemish of iniquity, Jesus is the one without spot because he has no sin.  That blemish of iniquity is not there. 

So he is the Passover lamb…What is the Passover lamb?  He’s the one who kept Israel from death in Egypt.  It is a picture of redemption.  Jesus is THAT Passover lamb for us.

Study 7:  Into Your Hands I Commit my Spirit

So, Last week as we studied the words, “It is Finished,” we learned about the work of the cross.  At what was accomplished by his death on the cross.  We saw Jesus as the scapegoat and as the Passover Lamb.  What is the significance of Jesus as the Passover Lamb?  What does that refer to?  The Passover Lamb is the lamb sacrificed during Passover in Exodus, where the first-born were killed, the angel of death passed over the Hebrews because of the blood of that lamb.

How about the scapegoat?  What is the scapegoat a reference to?  It is the Lamb that the sin of everyone was transferred to in the sin offering on the Day of Atonement.  That lamb was led into the wilderness and abandoned.

So today we’re going to look at Jesus final saying on the cross, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.”  So let’s begin with a look at the text for the overall study:

Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

So throughout time God has spoken to His people in various ways.  In these Last Days he has spoken to us through His Son Jesus.  Through Jesus’ words and actions, even His words on the cross of Calvary.  We've looked at the other sayings and today we’ll look at the final saying:

Luke 23:46 (NKJV)23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.

Isn’t this an interesting moment?  It doesn't seem like you would think death on the cross would be.  Here’s what death on the cross is like:

  1. You are scourged and whipped and your back is ton open from the Cat O’ nine tails.  (9 X 39 = 351 wounds)  Your back is torn open.
  2. The cross is rough wood.  It’s not a nicely sanded four by six.  It’s rough and splintery.  It has a small seat on it.
  3. You are nailed to the cross.  We think that they put nails through the palm of his hands.  But they couldn't do that, because they would tear away. So they put the nail through the place in your wrist where the bones come together.  It is also the place where all the nerves from your hand run.  The same is true of the feet.  They are nailed at the ankles.  This would be extremely painful.
  4. And you are hung up. All of your weight pulls at your arms.  You have to labor for breath.  You will use your leg muscles to push up and gasp for breath.  (this is why the break legs to finish the criminals. So they are unable to push up and grab a breath.) Each time you push up you scrape those open wounds on your back up and down that Rough cross.
  5. Your lungs fill with fluid and you literally drown. 

It’s a slow, painful and agonizing process.  It usually ends with men fighting in a frenzy for that last breath.  But Jesus didn't die that way.  He loudly proclaims, “It is finished!” and then bows his head and softly says, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit,” and dies.  There was no frenzy.  Why do you think He died like that?

There’s a message there.  I think the message is about submission.  Do you remember what Jesus prayed in Gethsemane?  Who remembers?

Luke 22:39-46 (NKJV)22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

So Jesus is struggling with the crucifixion that is coming up.  He saying if there’s another way, Father, let’s do that.  But then he says not my will but yours.  He has submitted himself to the will of God.  He has committed Himself to do what God has called Him to do.  This is submission.  He’s submitting himself to God’s plan for His life. 

He’s not trying to fight it.  He’s saying to God if we can do it an easier way then I’m for it.  Then he says, Nevertheless…BUT…whatever you think is best, that I will do.

Submission = to commit to the discretion or decision of another or of others.  2: YIELD: SURRENDER

He has surrendered to the will of God.  This should speak to us as Christians.  Are you surrendered to the will of God? Will you follow God’s call even when it’s hard…very hard?  Even if it means that you have to give some things up?  Even if it’s painful?

That’s submission.  Jesus was murdered but look at what He says:

John 10:17-18 (NKJV)10:17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." (emphasis mine)

I lay down my life…No one takes it from me , but I lay it down myself. 

You know the other day an American Journalist was executed, beheaded by Islamists in the Middle East.  They took him out and videotaped the beheading:  Brutal, ugly murder.  But he wasn’t crying and thrashing around, he just knelt there calmly while he waited.  The story is that apparently he convinced them to kill him rather that someone else.  He GAVE his life for someone else. 

Mark 10:45 (NKJV)10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Jesus submitted himself to die for us.  He gave his life. THEY DID NOT TAKE IT.  He’s an example for us.  We are to be submitted as well.  The word Christian means follower of Jesus.  Are you willing to follow Him into submission to God?  Look at this interesting moment in scripture:

Mark 10:17-22 (NKJV)10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' " 20 And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth."

So here Jesus confronts him with the RULES.  This is how to get to heaven.  Do all of these things.  The man says, “Oh, yeah, I always did those things.”  So then jesus tells him:

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

So He tells him, there’s just one other thing, “sell it all and follow me.”  What does he mean by that?  Do you have to be poor and destitute to go to Heaven?  Only poor people can have eternal life?

I think the more important thing is “take up the cross and follow me.”  What does he mean by that?  That only crucified people go to heaven?  YES that right.  But it isn’t a physical crucifixion it’s a crucifixion of our flesh:

Romans 6:5-8 (NKJV)6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

If we crucify the old man: That is our old selves before salvation  Then we will have Eternal Life.  But when we were in “the OLD man” what were we doing.  We were living our own will, weren't we?  We weren't thinking about what God wanted we were thinking about what we wanted.  But if we will SUBMIT our will to Him, like he did we will have eternal life. 

The young man put his possessions before Jesus will.  He couldn't cut those things loose.  In a sense they were his god.  He was more willing to sacrifice for them than for eternal life.  He wasn't SUBMITTED to God.  This is why the question of are you submitted to Christ’s will is so important.  It is a matter of eternal life.  It’s not about possessions it’s about submission.  I want you to see one final scripture:

Hebrews 5:5-9 (NKJV)5:5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

He cried to the one who was able to save him from death.  He learned obedience through His obedience.  He learned obedience through the submission to someone else’s will.  He became the author of salvation…He shows us the way.  The way is through obedience, which comes from submission.  Are you submitted to your own will or to God’s will?  If you’re not actively PURSUING your calling in Him then you’re pursuing your own. 

No comments:

Post a Comment