S-1115 4/10/09 Good Friday/3B Hymns: (O) #; (S) # ; (C) #
Texts Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 19:17-30
Theme: “His Death” (8th sermon series in Lent on HIStory, John 19:30b)
Question: “Have you stood at a cemetery and mourned the death of loved one?
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
(Tonight I preach at the end of the service, when all of the lights have been extinguished and the only light remaining is the Paschal (Christ’s) light. Its light reflect on my face so that the saints can see me).
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen! Indeed! Alleluia! The text for Good Friday is from the Gospel lesson “[Jesus] said, ‘It is finished,’ and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30b)
Saints in Christ, today is known the world over with many different names, Great Friday, Good Friday, God’s Friday and Black Friday. All of these names point to an event that took place outside the Jerusalem walls to the King of the Jews, Jesus of Nazareth as He hung on the cross suspended on a tree between heaven and hell cursed by God and man.
But why did He have to die the death of a criminal. Why did He have to be cursed on a tree? Why did He have to endure such degradation? Why did the Son of God have to be forsaken by God? Why did He have to endure such punishment and humiliation?
Because God was not bluffing when He told our first parents in the Garden of Eden “You sin…You die!” Good Friday is the result of God’s promise to our first parents because they submitted their will to the devil by disobeying God and His Word. And on that cross, Jesus paid the penalty for all sins for all times reaching all the way back to the first couple in the Garden of Eden; and reaching forward to the last person who will ever walk on the face of the earth. That is the reason Jesus went to the cross. His death is for all people. This is no joking matter.
As you listen to the Gospel reading tonight, you heard the words of. John as Jesus spoke from the cross in a loud voice said, “IT IS FINISHED!” In Greek it is “Tetelestai!” In Hebrew, “Neshlam!” In Arabic “Tama Kul Shaie!” In French “C’est fini!” and in German, “Es Ist Vollbracht!” It doesn’t make a difference in what language you hear it, or what language you read it; the end result is the same. “It is finished!” The work of our salvation has been completed there is nothing else needs to be done. Death has been destroyed; the devil has been crushed and the grave has been conquered. (my voice raised) This is why this night is called GOD’S FRIDAY. God’s Friday, Black Friday because it speaks of death—His death instead of yours and mine.
If you really want to understand the magnitude of human sin, then go to Golgatha. If you really want to understand what God thinks of sin then travel with me and see the Lamb of God suspended on the cross of Calvary. There behold those outstretched arms—with one hand He draws His ancient people to His bosom and with the other one hand reaches out to the Gentiles and bring them to His bosom as well. And from the two, He made one holy people, redeemed by God and become the family of God. And thus fulfilled what He said in John, “When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to Myself.” (John 13:32).
This is why it is called Good Friday. For there in the King of the Jews offers His life for the sins of the world as the Lamb of God to be slain and slaughtered and His blood spilled on the altar of the tree.
You and I can’t do anything about our time of departure. O Lord, God Knows we try. We seek ever avenue to lengthen our lives on earth. We spare no expense seeking out doctors, exercising and eating healthy so that we can lengthen our lives. But the end results WE WILL DIE. And there is nothing that you and I can do to stop death when it comes knocking at our door.
But it wasn’t so with our Savior. It wasn’t so because before He went to the cross, He told His disciples over and over again, that the Son of Man must go to Jerusalem, must suffer, must die and the third He will RISE again. And in another place He said, ““I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord,” now proved this fact as He committed His soul into the hands of His heavenly Father. You and I can’t control death. BUT Jesus did. At the right moment of History, He laid down His life. PAUSE.
“IT IS FINISHED!” John tells us and with that He bowed His head and died. At the right moment, when everything was done He won our salvation. He procured our freedom; the white robes of righteousness bought with His own precious blood; life granted to sinner like you and me. By faith we to the promise that we are the redeemed of God; the blood-bought; and the forgiven ones because of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus carried out so long ago on that Friday. To every knee that adores and worships this Royal King-the King of glory life is his now and forever.
With the hymn writer we have to marvel, “O sorrow dread, God’s Son is dead. God’s Son is dead.” Yes that is true! He died. But H also rose. And that is the sure and certain hope we have. Because He rose, we too shall rise again and have life eternal.
In the midst of this dark night, in the midst of this darkness; there is only one light—Christ’s Light (standing by the light), but the light can never be extinguished. For Christ gave His own life temporarily out of His will, and out of His own accord, so that you and I may never be forsaken by God; so that you and I may never be lonely or alone when we face death; so that you and I may never be sent to the abyss of hell, where there is the gnashing of teeth and eternal fire. PAUSE.
For us it is Good Friday, because of what the Savior has done. It is good for us, even though it was miserable for Him, as He hung motionless on that cross. His eyes bulging out; His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth; His muscles and nerves aching for relief. And yet throughout the 3 hours of punishment as He hung on the cross YOU were on His mind.
Our choir sang a beautiful hymn, “Were you there at Calvary?” Oh, yes we were. Each of us nailed Him to the cursed tree. Every sin of ours past, present and future nailed Him to the cross. He endured it with great joy and scorns the cross for our sake. Yes, God’s Son is dead, but we, God’s sons and daughters live and shall live forever with Him in heaven.
From the cross with a loud voice Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” “Tetelestai!” “Neshlam!” “Tama Kul Shaie!” “C’est fini!” “Es Ist Vollbracht!” There is nothing else that needs to be done. But for us we can give thanks and praise for the love was displayed for us so long ago that Good Friday. Thank God with me that tonight you are hearing the Words of the Savior again saying “IT IS FINISHED!” AMEN.