"It Is Finished" on John 19:30 (Good Friday Service)

GOOD FRIDAY

It Is Finished 


Thank you for joining us. With COVID-19, we have changed some things and kept some things for our traditional Good Friday service. We still are remembering Jesus died 2000 years ago. However, we are taking precautions and recommendations from the medical community, so this service is online, not in person. We want to see this disease mitigated so we can gather together again. Tonight, my family, and a few others are here to help you, as we prepare for Easter.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. We will take a deep dive into the most momentous event in all of history. Two thousand years ago and some 6000 miles away time pivoted. Everything changed for the better. What led up to that was remarkable.

For example, one curious statement was an ancient prophecy to the first woman that her offspring would bruise the head of the very serpent that led her out of fellowship with God. Subsequently, prophecy after prophecy predicted with more and more specificity the undoing of the curse of our iniquity culminating in the arrival of a young lady from a backwater town conceiving a divine child miraculously. Forty weeks later, she, a virgin, gave birth to a beautiful little boy named Jesus. We read of a star, shepherds, angels, wise men, a flight to Egypt, return, and another prophecy by an elderly adult named Simeon. He said to her, “A sword will pierce your soul” (Luke 2:35). And it did when her boy became a man concluding his ministry and life in his 30’s. She watched on with the gut-wrenching pain of a mother losing a child.

The plague of sin wreaked havoc throughout time, slaughtering, stealing, lying, abusing, cheating, eclipsing good, suffocating hope, and squandering joy. Now, evil was before her puncturing her heart and stealing her child’s breath on a hill of death. Innocent, he had done nothing wrong, nothing wrong. Jesus was perfect, the perfect Lamb of God, without any blame. No one in history could have lived the life he did. He never broke a rule. He never thought a sinful thought or said a sinful word. He was tempted in every way, yet without sin. He was hungry, thirsty, but he had done nothing wrong.
In that middle eastern heat, he hung naked before his mom, with his life ebbing away. Nails pierced his feet and hands displayed the injustice of it all. The iron and wood he created and sustained, suspended him now in a torturous reality.
Why? This doesn’t seem like a Good Friday, yet it was. Why?
“Come down from there!” Mockers and scoundrels yelled and taunted at him. “Do another miracle.”
  • As if turning 150 gallons of water to wine was not enough,
  • as if calming a storm with a word was not enough,
  • as if feeding 25,000 people with a few lunches was not enough,
  • as if walking on water was not enough,
  • as if healing the sick, disabled, and demon-possessed was not enough
“Hail the king of the Jews!” They said.

“If you are whom you say you are, prove it!”

Why were insults added to injury? This doesn’t seem like a Good Friday, yet it was. Why?

Jesus was the king of the Jews and everyone else. That Good Friday, he would come down from the cross, dead.

Why? This doesn’t seem like a Good Friday, yet it was. What was good about it? Why did Jesus have to suffer and die? What good came from it? Jesus spoke seven sayings on the cross from his heart. Each word took effort and had a purpose. Over the years, I have shared the different sayings of Jesus. Tonight, I want to focus on one more, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Before we explore more, let’s pray.

God help us see you in new ways tonight. Help us worship you with all our hearts tonight. Help us meet you where we need you most. God, you are great and glorious and worthy of all praise. Be with us now as we sing, read, and listen for your glory and our everlasting joy. AMEN!


SIN IS TAKEN 

Reading Isaiah 53:5 -9 
But he was pierced for our transgressions; 
he was crushed for our iniquities; 
  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, 
and with his wounds we are healed. 
All we like sheep have gone astray; 
we have turned—every one—to his own way; 
  and the Lord has laid on him 
the iniquity of us all. 
 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, 
yet he opened not his mouth; 
  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, 
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, 
so he opened not his mouth. 
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; 
and as for his generation, who considered 
  that he was cut off out of the land of the living, 
stricken for the transgression of my people? 
 And they made his grave with the wicked 
and with a rich man in his death, 
  although he had done no violence, 
and there was no deceit in his mouth. 

At the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, John the Baptist foretold the result of this finished work: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). On the cross, Jesus did what John the Baptist said he would do. He was the sacrificial lamb that God sent to take away the sin of the world. That is what was finished on the cross. No other sacrifice was necessary or sufficient. “It is finished.” Through your faith in Christ, he took away your sin. He took away jealousy, envy, greed, dissatisfaction, grumbling, complaining, lying, and deceiving. He took lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He took idolatrous exchanges of worshipping God’s gifts in place of God. He took cheating, adultery, and perversity. He took violence, rudeness, and unkindness. He took selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-absorption. He took gluttony, foolishness, and wickedness. He took not only the sins of doing the wrong things but the sins of not doing the right things. Every time you did not love, did not encourage and did not speak up, he took those sins. He knows all your shortcomings because he took them. It was finished for you, believer, at the cross.

What does that mean? He experienced your punishment on your behalf. He doesn’t merely remove sin; he suffered the penalty for sin. You and I will never, never, never know that punishment because of what Jesus finished on the cross. It is finished.

FORGIVEN 

Colossians 2:13–14 
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
What is finished? YOU ARE FORGIVEN! 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Your sin, all of it, is as far as the east is from the west. How far is that? Friends, the east, never meets the west. All your sin is thrown into the heart of the sea and never to return. The penalty for your sin is erased. You are pardoned because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. He gives you remission and clemency if you truly believe. God took your sin and forgave it! Every last bit of it, past, present, and future is on the cross through your faith in him. It is finished!

REDEEMED

Reading Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

What is finished on the cross, children of God? You are redeemed because Jesus died. 1 Peter 1:18–19 says, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” God spent the priceless blood of his Son on your behalf. With that blood, you are bought.

You and I redeem pop cans and glass bottles. We redeem coupons to get a discount. Terrorists demand a ransom. God buys us back and purchases us by grace through faith in him alone. He frees us from the debt we owe to God. We are owned by a kind, loving Master and Father forever. Our sin is taken, we are forgiven, and we are redeemed at the cross. It is finished.

CLEANSED

Reading 1 John 1:7
If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
What is finished? You are cleansed through Christ’s work on the cross!

Sin has a way of making us dirty. When my little kids go and play after it rains, they get muddy. Their clothes get stained. Sin is like that, but a trillion times worse. It drives itself deep down into the bones and wrecks us. Friends, you and I need a cleansing that you can’t purchase or get off with stain spray. Jesus’s death accomplished what we can’t. It washes us up and clothes us in pristine robes of righteousness. Scripture teaches that God washed away our spiritual grime through Christ’s blood. No religious rite or alternative sacrifice can accomplish that.

Hebrews tells us, “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:13–14). You are pure. You are pure before God because of what Jesus did. You are set apart, holy, blameless, and perfected through Jesus’s work on the cross. Not only is sin taken, and you are forgiven, redeemed, but also cleansed. It is finished.

BROUGHT NEAR

Reading Ephesians 2:13
Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Jesus’s finished work means you are brought near to God. When Jesus said it is finished, that means what is necessary to reconcile you to God is complete. Romans 5:10–11 says, “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” You and I can sing, whoop, and holler because of what he has done for us. We no longer are estranged from the Creator of the universe. Our relationship with God doesn’t have to be awkward, uncomfortable, foreign, or dysfunctional. No, we can be at peace with the King of kings and Lord of lords by faith in Jesus’s finished work on our behalf. This is not just for the religiously minded, educated, white male, or wealthy. This is cross-cultural, intergenerational, and radical.

He made the first move. He jumped the fence. He ran to us and bridged the gap that we created.

Hebrews 10:19 declares, “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.” Why do we have such audacity to go before YAHWEH? It is because of the mighty blood of our Lord and Savior.

If we ever met a president, pope, or prime minister, I think we would naturally be anxious. They carry an air of authority, power, pomp, and prestige. Picture meeting one of them. Imagine they knew we had broken one of their regulations. If that happened, the anticipation of that meeting would be so incredibly uncomfortable. Now, think of meeting God. He is exponentially more grand and transcendent, and we are way more guilty.

Yet, we have courage because God brought us near through his Son’s death 2000 years ago. What a gift. We don’t need to cower or shrink back or delay. We can speak honestly and forthrightly today because of what Jesus did yesterday. Your sin is taken; you are forgiven, redeemed, cleansed, and brought near. It is finished.

DELIVERED


Romans 6:6
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”’
How is sin brought to nothing? How are we free from the slavery of sin? It is through the finished work of Jesus, beloved. When Jesus said, “it is finished,” he meant the work necessary to free us from the power of sin is obliterated. We are delivered from death to life.

You are free from the spiritual bondage of the past. Jesus crucified your old self at the cross. The old man is dead. Now, you have a new life in God that makes you able to resist sin and the Devil. The shackles and chains of sin are demolished. Although Satan tempts, roars, and threatens, his reign of terror is over. Revelation 12:10–11 states, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb.” The accuser, our enemy, no longer has authority over God’s people. Christ has conquered. The Devil is thrown down.

Jesus will destroy one day the Devil for good. No one, nothing can thwart God’s promise. We can have the confidence to fight sin, and Satan, like never before. The rules of engagement are forever transformed because of Jesus’s work on Calvary. He died, defeating the curse. We need not fear death or the Devil. That is what Jesus meant when he said, “It is finished.”

Your sin is taken, you are forgiven, redeemed, cleansed, brought near, and delivered. It is finished.

MISSION

Reading 1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
Through Jesus’s death, we have a holy purpose. We have a mission, and an aim to make much of Jesus and live to righteousness. When Jesus says, “It is finished,” that means what was necessary to give us a purpose was complete. We are to live lives for his glory.

Our Savior died to take away sins. He died to redeem us from our punishment. He died to cleanse us from our guilt. He died to free us to follow and bring us near him and each other. He died that our joy may be complete, and others might know him.

COVID-19 can’t stop God. It can’t cancel Easter. Easter is on, brothers and sisters. Jesus rose from the dead. That is a fact. Death could not hold Jesus back, and neither can disease or social isolation. We are going to celebrate no matter what.

Will you join us in celebrating the finished work of Christ? If you are watching this, then you found the link for our 10 AM Sunday service. This good news is not just for you. It is for you to share. We are called to know God and make him known, to love God and love people. What better way to love people than to share what God has done. Consider, who are two people you can invite to check out our service this Sunday. Take a moment to think about that. Maybe you write them now or put their names down on paper. Would you text, call, or email an invitation to them for our 10 AM Easter service? Maybe you have a Bible-believing church. Then invite a friend to attend online with you. This is not about our church, this is about sharing the finished work of Jesus.

What if by hearing the worship, the prayers, and the Word of God proclaimed, a friend or family member, a co-worker or classmate, a neighbor or enemy comes to faith in Christ this weekend? What if God were to use you by his Spirit to change the destiny of someone you know forever? Pastor Jeff is going to tell us more about our wonderful savior. Maybe God would bring revival to our country as we face death and despair, finding hope in the finished work of Christ, through our church and churches like it across the land.

Last Sunday, for some reason, YouTube recommended the service to some 73k people. What if God did the same thing through your sharing of the service this Sunday? Join me, and pray that the gospel would move forward in our church, community, and like-minded churches in these peculiar days for God’s great glory.

You and I have so much to praise God. Our sin is taken; we are forgiven, redeemed, cleansed, brought near, delivered, and have a mission. It is finished, but we are not. Let’s continue in worship of our great God in one last song.

*Use by permission. All rights reserved. 

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