Thursday, April 17, 2003

M Thursday

Maundy Thursday 
April 17, 2003
John 19:30
6th Word - The word of completion

INTRODUCTION:  From the 6th hour to the 9th hour the Bible tells us, the sun was hidden from view. Darkness covered the land. Then at the 9th hour Jesus offered to us His 6th word - a word of completion. It is finished! When Jesus cried these words what exactly is finished? I would suggest four things were brought to completion on the day Christ died -

1                    The first thing to find its conclusion is the physical sufferings of Jesus.

A.     This was the plan of God from the very beginning. On the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus Jesus had to explain to the two from Scripture that the Son of God had to be arrested, tried, crucified, died and rise again.  The crucifixion of Christ was never a surprise to the Father. It happened all according to His divine plan.

B.      Because the Savior fulfilled this divine plan we no longer have to fear that we will have to suffer for our sins. Oh yes, there might be consequences that we might have to bear because of sin. For example; a thief might have to do time when caught.  Running a stop sign might mean an accident. However, we need not fear that we will have to suffer for our sins as punishment from God. All suffering for punishment was finished at the cross - mark the words of Jesus well: "It is finished!" 

2.                  The humiliation of Jesus Christ is now finished.

A.       Because Jesus has suffered all His mission of humiliation is finished. What is the humiliation? The humiliation are those steps Jesus deliberately took where He had all of the power and glory and majesty of God but refused to use it.

B.        Let's retrace those steps again-

Ø   He was born of the virgin Mary

Ø   He suffered

Ø   Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified

Ø   He died

Ø   He was buried

3.                  The whole program of the Old Testament is now finished.

A.     The gap bridging institutions of the Old Testament was no longer necessary nor are they valid. A question - why don't we sacrifice animals any more?  Why don't we observe ceremonies established in the Old Testament any more? There is a clear answer - "It is finished!" These things are no longer necessary because they were a focus of things to come. Their substance belongs to Christ.

B.      To symbolize that these practices had come to an end the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The rent of the veil in the middle of the temple speaks volumes - the animosity and the barrier that separated God and man are now broken down! Why do we have nothing hindering the chancel area in the front of the church? Because Jesus speaking from the cross said: "It is finished! The cross reminds us that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

4.                  The work of redemption is now finished!

A.       The center of Christ's of redemption is found at the cross. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament we see a common thread that says at the fullness of time, at just the right time - the Son of God would suffer and die on a cross for the redemption of man. The whole world's salvation is focused on the cross. Your personal redemption is found at the cross. When the Son of God suffered and died on the cross all sin was forgiven. At the cross all debts were canceled. So the cross now stands at the center of the entire world's and your personal salvation.

B.        What does this mean for us today?

1.   God and man are now reconciled. St. Paul tells us "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"

2.   The conflict of the ages is already won. Now there is peace on earth and good will toward men. The powers of sin death and Satan are now rendered powerless. They have no control over you. They are no longer in control. They can no longer have any power over you.

3.   Because of Jesus' work on the cross a door is now open to all to receive the Lord's free salvation. It is great and free. A glorious future awaits you because this redemptive work has been completed.

CONCLUSION: It is finished!  It is finished indeed! 

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