S-1425 6MIL/3A 4/08/2014 Hymns: (O) # 170 vv1-4; S #159; (C) # 170 vv 5-7
Texts: Psalm 27:7-14; Hebrew 9:23-28; John 19:28-30
Theme: “A Cry of Completion” (John 19:30)
Question: “Have you completed every project you started?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, the text is from the Gospel lesson “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30)
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Tonight, we complete our midweek Lenten opportunities as we prepare to enter the most Holy week of the Church, beginning this Sunday observing Palm Sunday. Therefore, as we continue our journey this evening we will listen to John the youngest of the disciples about the final hours of Jesus on the cross and the words He uttered.
Remember beloved that John grew up in a Levetical priestly home of his father Zacharias. He knew what it meant to be in the temple of God and what worship is all about. He had witnessed firsthand many of the completed sacrifices of lambs slaughtered to pay for the sins of the Israelites. Through these slaughtered lambs the imputation of sin was placed upon them. He had seen how his father transferred the imputation of sins upon the lamb. And this evening he sees how the true Lamb—God’s Son, Jesus is imputed with the sins of all of humanity and thus, Jesus shout out, “The Cry of Completion.”
Therefore, I invite you to come by the cross, stop and listen attentively. Can you imagine the cry from the cross? The sky is dark. The other two victims are moaning. The jeering mouths are silent. Perhaps there is thunder. Perhaps there is weeping. Perhaps there is silence. Then Jesus draws in a deep breath, pushes His feet down on that Roman nail, and cries, “It is finished!”
What was finished? What was is that Jesus has completed? The battle is over. The history-long plan of redeeming man was finished. The message of God to man was finished. The works done by Jesus as a man on earth were finished. The task of selecting and training ambassadors was finished. The job was finished. The song had been sung. The blood had been poured. The sacrifice had been made. The sting of death had been removed. It was over and complete once and for all.
Do you think this was a cry of defeat? NEVER! This was planned before the creation of the world. It is possible that if the hands of Jesus had not been fastened to the Roman cross, He might have raised His hands up in triumph. Certainly this is no cry of despair. It might well have been a cry of relief. This cry was a cry of fulfillment. It was certainly a cry of completion. It was most certainly a cry of victory! PAUSE.
An old poster once read: I know that the Lord won’t let me die until I have accomplished everything He has sent me to do. At this point I am so far behind that I might not EVER die! Does anyone leave this world with everything done? With every word written and every goal reached? Just ask my wife about my projects that are all over my house that have not been completed. How about you? Have you completed every project you started? How many books have you started, but never completed? A letter begun but never finished, a discourse with a friend, a visit of someone sick, finishing a term paper, or study for a test? There are many projects in our homes that have not been completed. And of course, we can’t forget even here in the Lord’s house, we have not completely forgiven the brother or sister who has sinned against us.
Then the burden and frustration that death brings is the fact that there are many incomplete events in our lives; but not with our Savior, Jesus. Not so with Jesus. When He breathed His last, He could shout triumphantly, “It is finished! It is complete! It is done!”
What did Jesus mean when He uttered the Cry of Completion? Just as the Greeks stamped these words on tax bills to show they were paid in full, so Jesus now wrote them with the red ink of His blood on the bill of our sins. “Finished, paid in full,” He said. “Not one more penny needs to be added. I have paid for all sins; not one is left. I have shed My precious blood to redeem every sinner. And now, My work of salvation is finished and completed.” From His cross Jesus turned His gaze from the first sinner to the last and saw none for whom He had not paid; not even you. PAUSE.
What joy there must have been in heaven when Jesus spoke this Word! The Father must have said again, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I Am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The angels must have sung again, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace” (Luke 2:14)—peace made possible by the blood of God’s Son.
Know and learn that the Cry of Completion took place for your redemption and salvation. How, then should you act and feel? Please hear me well dear saints in Christ: When your sins causes you alarm, then the voice of Jesus bring comfort to you as He utters the Cry of Completion. “It is finished!”
When Satan tries to drag us and lead us around by the nose, the voice from Calvary answers, “It is completed! I have earned the right for you to be with me in paradise!” When death chills us with its icy breath, the voice from Calvary answers, “It is finished!” Our Savior, Jesus has fought the good the fight, He has finished the race, and He has completed the mission the Father has sent Him to earth to complete. Jesus has the greatest victory man desires and you and I are blessed to share in this glorious victory.
John understood this. He had witnessed firsthand the baptism of His Savior and heard the voice of God the Father, saying: “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I Am well pleased” Why was God pleased with His Son, because Jesus didn’t shun from His responsibilities to complete the saving of the human race from death and the grave and sin. Because upon Him had been imputed the sins of all the human race beginning from the first Adam who lived to the final Adam who will ever live.
What joy is ours tonight and always because Jesus has uttered the Cry of Completion for us and for our benefit? And thus, we stand tonight beneath the cross and cry out in our incompleteness and in this incomplete world, assure me daily of my complete forgiveness in You O Lord, Jesus. Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA