Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Friday 2011 - Saying # 7 Be Ready to Face Eternity














We had a great Good Friday/Easter Weekend at South Brandon Worship Center and the Sunday Night Remix Church. For Good Friday, like last year, six men from my church and I had the opportunity to present the "7 Last Words of Christ." This year I spoke on number 7, which comes from Luke 23:46. My notes are below. Since I was the last of the 7 speakers, my presentation included a challenge.

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father into your hands I commit my spirit. When he said this he breathed his last.

This last saying highlights the importance of submitting to the Lord. Yielding to God’s will. That was the kind of life lived by Christ.

There is no dispute that Jesus was severely wounded; beaten. He was hanging on the cross for hours. Yes, he was dying. But I would argue that at this point he was still far from death. He was in bad shape. He truly was hurting, but take a close look at verse 46 – Jesus called out in a loud voice.

Despite the hours spent on the cross, there was still a certain level of strength in him. His calling out in a loud voice, gives us insight into his death. In dying, Jesus, truly laid his life down on our behalf. It was not the Jews who killed him. The conspired to have him sentenced. They worked towards his execution. But it was not the Jews who killed him. It wasn’t the Romans who killed him. They beat him. They nailed him on the cross, they cast lots for his clothing, but they could not kill him on their own.

John addresses how Jesus death was an act of submission.

John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down and the authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

The Jews and the Romans could not have killed him, without Jesus willingly submitting himself to the Father.

Again, this statement is a lesson on submission. The word commit means to put in charge or to trust. Jesus last words are teaching us to put our trust in the Father.

Jesus lived his life submitting to the Father. This statement was his final message on the subject. To imitate Christ, we must be willing to trust God. This is revealed throughout scripture. For example, Peter tells us

1 Peter 2:21 because Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow his steps.

In other words Peter is telling us to follow the example set by Christ to submit ourselves to God’s will.

Peter continues, v.22-23 He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate, when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.

With this statement, he teaches us to place our trust in Him and the Father. This is an important lesson.

This last saying is interesting because it comes directly from the Psalms. No one was more familiar with the scripture than the Scribes and Pharisees.

While this statement describes what was happening – Jesus submitting to the Father, it also quotes from the book of Psalms, where in chapter 31, verse 5 David writes into your hands I commit my Spirit. The theme throughout this entire Psalm is a lesson on submitting to God. v.1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. v.13 they conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord; I say you are my God.”

So these Pharisees who were looking forward to his death, if they were paying attention received a lesson on trusting God. We who are in need of a Savior, need to receive that same lesson. Hopefully, we do not have the same religious barriers as the Pharisees. Over and over again, the scriptures remind us to trust in the Lord.

Pro.3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Mk 9:7 This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him. John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

For those of you who say that Jesus is the Lord of your life, have you made him Lord over every aspect of your life. I am not talking about the Lord over Sunday morning; or the Lord over Good Friday. Have you made him Lord over Monday through Saturday? Is he Lord over your workplace. Is he Lord over your finances. Is he the Lord over your home and your Family. Are you listening to Him.

To those who have not received Jesus; I ask, what will you do with the Cross. What will you do with Good Friday. This is not simply a historical event where an innocent man has died. Jesus has reminded us that God wants to be our Father. He said, when you pray say “Our Father.” Jesus died to reconcile you with the Father. None of your sins are too big for God’s forgiveness. Jesus illustrated this in describing the father running to embrace the prodigal son after he squandered his share of his father’s estate. God’s love for us is great. He wants you to be part of the family. That invitation comes with a promise. John 1:12 tells us, to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

So, do not leave this Worship Center without doing business with God. Do not leave here without receiving the free gift of salvation. If you have any questions, go to any of the men who spoke this evening, or go to any of the pastors of this Church. Do not leave here not knowing whether you will spend eternity with the Father. Today can be your day of salvation!