Good Friday (2023)

Lent--Our Greatest Needs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:42
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Scripture records the greatest event in history with a shocking lack of words: “There they crucified him.” Here was the culmination of God's plan: the innocent for the guilty, the sinless for the sinful. The participants in this divine drama are carried along fulfilling prophecy after prophecy, Pilate with his sign, soldiers with their lots, hyssop, and vinegar. They are all just one drum beat after another, sounding the cadence of Christ advance and the battle for humanity.
Jesus fulfilled every promise that scripture made. He fulfilled every act of righteousness that we needed. He suffered every bit of judgment that we deserved. And when it was all fulfilled, when there was nothing left for him to do, he cried, “it is finished.” It was God's plan; It was Christ’s mission; it was our salvation, and now it is accomplished. As he died, he won. Every thorn in his crown was becoming a shining jewel in his diadem of glory. The nails in his hands were being forged into the scepter of a king, and his wounds were clothing him with the purple of empire. He won! And all things will be made new. Humanity is redeemed, and from that moment on, the eternal fate of all people from all ages will be determined by the cross. Because what happened on that cross was the Perfect Sacrifice.
By this perfect sacrifice we know His death was real. We also know that His death was voluntary. And His death was the death of death itself. Finally, this means, His death means life for us.
John 19:30 (NIV84)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

His Death Was Real

We cannot fathom how Jesus — the God-man — could die, and yet His spirit left His body.
His body hung lifeless; His lips no longer spoke; His eyes no longer saw; His ears no longer heard.
He was as dead as a dead body lays in a locker downtown awaiting preparations for a funeral.
Jesus’ death was real.

His Death Was Voluntary

Death comes to us because of something — an illness, accident, or we just get old and the body deteriorates.
But, Jesus came to death, giving up His spirit when He was ready to, in full possession of His faculties. In full control. John 10:18
John 10:18 NKJV
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
He died only when He had accomplished everything He was sent to do John 17:4
John 17:4 NKJV
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
He dies only when He had finished the work of atonement.
Jesus came to death. Death did not come for Him. Our Lord Jesus was under complete control the entire time. He was born for this mission of making atonement for you and me. Jesus’ death was 100% voluntary.

His Death Was the Death of Death Itself

Jesus took upon Himself the penalty for our sin, which causes death. Ezek 18:4
Ezekiel 18:4 NKJV
“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Death could not hold Christ our Lord, because He is perfectly sinless and holy. As sinless man, He had to make a perfect atonement.
Romans 6:4 NKJV
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:9 NKJV
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Early Church Father — St. John Chrysostom wrote:
At the foot of the tree the devil conquered Adam; At the foot of the tree of the cross Christ defeated the devil.
Again, the former tree concealed man already pillaged and stripped; the second tree shows a naked victor on high for all to see.
And that earlier death condemned those who were born after it; this second death gives life again to those who are born before it.
Who can tell the Lord's mighty deeds? By death we were made immortal: these are the glorious deeds of the cross.
Truly, the Death of Christ means the death of death itself. Thanks be to God!
And this results in Life for Us

His Death Means Life for Us

Death is only a “shadow” of its former menacing power, for it is not a step in the unknown. Death used to be a fearful thing. But the Christian we know this:
Psalm 23:4 NET
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff reassure me.
Psalm 118:17 NET
I will not die, but live, and I will proclaim what the Lord has done.
2 Corinthians 5:8 NET
Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
For the believer, death is no longer feared. It is now the avenue — the highway — to God’s presence, which is eternal bliss 1 Cor 15:54
1 Corinthians 15:54c (NKJV)
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What an incredible death! What a perfect sacrifice!
Because Jesus died, “It is not death to die.”
The sting of death has been removed.
We can live well — and die well.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
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