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2018 April

The Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

2018 April

03 April 2018

Pastor's Update April 2018:

The first quarter of the year 2018 has now passed. Easter came early this year due to the lunar cycle of the moon. Passover always came on the first full moon of the Spring Solstice. This first fruits or Easter or Resurrection Sunday came on April first. We had two teens baptized in March. One has been accepted to Christ in the Nations for Missions. We had Dr. Steve Anderson come from the Transworld Accrediting Commission and speak. Our Bible College received a powerful word on Numbers Chapter 32. On the Good Friday service I ministered on the Sayings of Jesus from the Cross. I wanted for you to be able to read this message. In April I will be attending the ICFM National Conference at Kenneth Copeland's Church at Eagle Mountain. Also, I will be attending Dr. Jerry Savelle's Cabinet and Vision Conference in Southlake, TX. These will be outstanding meetings. Now onto the message:

The Sayings of Jesus on the Cross:

As we come into this Resurrection season and remember the death of our Savior on the cross, let us never forget what He did for us. The death of Christ on the cross was unique, miraculous, and supernatural. It was God's greatest act of unconditional love.

While He was on the cross, He was fulfilling prophecy. He was completing the work He was sent to do. 

There were certain words that fell from His lips while He hung upon that cross -- words which reveal to us the purpose, the meaning, and the suffering of the cross.

Now let us go to the Scripture and allow the words Jesus spoke to come alive and reveal to us their meaning. How do they apply to us today?

(1)   The word of forgiveness (Luke 23:34) "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."

(2)   The word of salvation (Luke 23: 42-43) "And he said unto Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' 'Verily, I say to you today shall you be with Me in paradise.'"

(3)   The word of affection (John 19: 25-26) "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple standing by,whom He loved, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then said He to the disciple, 'Behold your mother.'"

(4)   The word of anguish (Matthew 27:46) "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

(5)   The word of suffering (John 19:28) "Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled said, 'I thirst.'"

(6)   The word of victory (John 19:30) "When Jesus had received the vinegar (sour wine), He said, 'It is finished.'"

(7)   The word of contentment (Luke 23:46) "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.' And having said this, He breathed His last or gave up His spirit."

Now let us go back and look at each of these sayings in more detail to obtain their meaning and application for our lives.

(1)   The word of forgiveness

The Son of God had yielded Himself up to the cry of the people -- "Crucify Him!" A death of intense suffering and shame was decided upon Him. A cross had been secured, the Savior had been nailed to it. And there He was -- silent. 

But then His lips moved. What is He saying? Is He crying for pity? Or mercy? No, He is praying for His enemies. "Then Jesus said, 'Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.'"

The first of His sayings was in an attitude of prayer. He began His ministry in prayer and He was ending it with prayer. Even though He was nailed to the cross, He could pray. What an example for us! Remember, every one of us can pray. We may be bed-ridden, but we still have the ministry of prayer. Many times we can accomplish more in prayer than in active ministry.

He taught us to pray for those who wrong us. Also, that no one is beyond the reach of our prayers. Never lose hope when praying for someone, even if it looks hopeless in the natural. Our heavenly Father is the God of the supernatural.

Remember, Jesus Christ prayed for you and me long before we believed in Him. He even died for us before we believed. John 17:20 -- He prayed for us.

In praying for His enemies and crucifiers, He:

   A.   Fulfilled the prophetic word. Isaiah 53:12 -- "...to make intercession for the transgressors." Now He makes intercession for us. (Hebrews 7:25) Isaiah 53:12 -- He waas numbered with the transgressors and made intercession for them. He bore the sin of many. In Isaiah 53 we see 10 things about the humiliation and suffering of the Redeemer:

          (1)    Despised and rejected of men

          (2)    Man of sorrows and grief

          (3)    Wounded, bruised, and chastened

          (4)    Led unresistingly to slaughter

          (5)    Silent before His enemies

          (6)    Bruised by the Lord

          (7)    Poured out His soul unto death

          (8)    Was buried in a rich man's tomb

          (9)    Numbered with the transgressors

          (10)  Should make intercession for the transgressors

   B.   Christ identified with His people. "Father, forgive them." Jesus never before asked the Father to forgive. He had always forgiven others by Himself. Why then now did He ask? Instead of directly promising forgiveness Himself? Forgiveness of sin is a divine prerogative. Who can forgive sins, but God? (Mark 2:7) Jesus is God -- the God-man. But on the cross as He identified with humanity, offering Himself as a sin-offering. He did not exercise His divine perogatives.

          Remember Jesus said, "The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6). But He no longer was on the earth. He was lifted up from the earth. He was acting as our substitute--the just dying for the unjust. He absolutely identified with His people. He intercedes for sinners as we must also do.

C.     "For they know not what they do." A sin of ignorance. 1 Corinthains 2:8 explains this, "Had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Even though they were ignorant of what they were doing, they were not innocent.

          Sin is always sin in the sight of God. Hebrews 9:7 says the pries offered blood for the people's sins committed in ignorance. Today Jesus offers His blood for our sins of ignorance and asks for forgiveness.

          These enemies of Christ had rejected Christ. They had neglected God's great salvation. Hebrews 2:3 warns us of neglecting so great a salvation.

            Hebrews 10:29 warns us of insulting the Spirit of Grace. Do not spurn God's invitation of mercy. Everyone of us is faced with the question, "What shall I do with Jesus wich is called Christ?" For you have to do something with Him. Either you despise and reject Him as His enemies did, or you receive Him as Savior of your soul and make Him the Lord of your life.

            Remeber that man's primary need is forgiveness of sin. It doesn't matter what you have accomplished in life. What will matter most in the hour of death is, "Have my sins been put away by the blood of Jesus Christ?"

            Remission and forgiveness comes through the shedding of blood. Repent and ask for cleansing. It was in view of the blood that Jesus was shedding that He cried, "Father, forgive them." Blessed be God and the forgiveness that He bestows covers all sin past, present, and future. Christ bore your sins on the tree. (I Peter 2:24). When you ask, you receive His mercy of forgiveness. (I John 1:9)

(2)      The word of salvation. (Luke 23:42-43)

          The second of Jesus'    sayings was in response to the request of the dying thief. This thief was in a "hopeless" situation. His life was coming to an end without a savior. 

          Picture the scene: John 19:18--They crucified Him and two others with Him. One on either side. Jesus in the center. A sign had been made by Pontius Pilate written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. "The King of the Jews." This sign had been carried through the streets as Jesus carried the cross. The criminals had seen the sign, "The King of the Jews."

         Why was Jesus between two criminals on the cross? To fulfill prophecy, Isaiah 53:12 says, "...numbered with transgressors." Also to demonstrate the unfathomobile depths of shame into which He had descended on our behalf.

         Let's look at the two criminals. Both were suffering, both were dying, both were deserving, both needed forgiveness. Both were close and next to Christ, yet one died in his sins. The other reprented and called on Jesus for mercy and went to Paradise with Jesus. This is a picture of God's grace reaching out to the hopeless and the lost.

         The sinner had come to the end of himself. There was no hope in himself. His only hope was the Person hanging next to him. This sinner knew God as Judge. Luke 23:40--He passes sentence upon himself. Verse 41--He makes no excuses. He was a transgressor. He openly confirmed his sins. He called Jesus Lord. He knew Jesus had a kingdom to receive. He believed the written word--King of the Jews. You come into your kingdom. His faith rested upon Jesus, his only hope. He believed with his heart and confessed with his mouth (Romans 10:10). "Lord, remeber me." 

          In verse 41 he says this man has done nothing wrong. He in essence condemned the whole Jewish nation. He also confesses his kingship before them.

                                (1) He believes in a future kingdom.

                                (2) He had sight of his own sinfulness.

                                (3) He bore testimony of the sinlessness of Jesus.

                                (4) He confirmed His place in the God-head.

                                (5) He believed Jesus was able to save him.

                                (6) He had faith in Jesus Kingship--"Your Kingdom."

                                (7) He was looking for the second coming of Christ--"When you come."

       Jesus was ready and willing to save him when he asked. He is able to save all who come to Him. This man was the first trophy of His redeeming blood. What happened to the two criminals--two thieves? The non-repentant theif-his soul and spirit went to the pit or Sheol. The penitent thief's spirit and soul went to Paradise with Jesus.

       Jesus said, "Today, Today you will be with Me forever." Paul says, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."

           Today, we have a living Hope in our Saven--we have hope in the resurrection, we have hope in eternal life. I John 3:3 says, "this hope in Him purfies us, just as He is pure." Today is your day--come to Him today--Today is the day of salvation. Come--Just as you are!