Good Friday Service In Luke 23 With Richard Bueno
Did you enjoy this teaching?
Let others know!
It is great to be here with you guys this evening as we have the opportunity to reflect and remember on this Good Friday, God is good. Oh man. A few weeks ago, I. My son Noah, he's. A 6th grader. He had a an assignment that he had to do. It was a writing assignment and the assignment was to write on his most memorable day. And so if you know, writing, he had to do some. Just just little bits of brainstorming, trying to figure out a few different days that he would consider his most memorable, and after going through those days, he finally narrowed down to one specific day. It was a birthday that he said this is my most memorable day. I'll always remember this day and then as the. Point came where he had to actually start writing, it turned out. That he didn't remember quite as much as he thought he knew about that day. In fact, when he can remember, he's like I don't. I just remember the day. I don't remember what happened. That day and. So I thought it was funny because so often in our lives we do the exact same thing. There's there's days or things that we say we'll always remember that, you know, maybe for you and your spouse, it's your your wedding day. You say I'll always remember that. That was a day that I'll never forget. Then you get asked that question about that day and how long have been married again and and you forget certain things, right? And you forget little details and and that happens. It was well this evening I want to encourage you guys as we have the opportunity to reflect and remember on this Good Friday, I want to encourage you guys truly remember this day. It was a. Good Friday, some 2000 years ago that Jesus went to the cross. And it's a day that I want to encourage you to to put at the forefront of your minds and your hearts. Not just this. I mean, but constantly this for us as Christians, this should be something we're constantly thinking about. You know, it's something we should constantly reflect upon. And so this evening, we're going to have that opportunity. We're going to spend some time in Luke chapter 23. If you have your Bibles, you can go ahead. And turn there. To Luke Chapter 23, and as you're turning there. I'm going to go ahead and start in a word of prayer. Father, we come before you this evening and we just want to thank you, Lord. Thank you for the work that you did upon the cross from 2. 1000 years ago. Because of that day, we're here gathering, reflecting, and remembering upon your goodness to us, Lord. I pray that as we get into your scriptures like Rosen, Pray Lord, that your word would come alive, that it would speak to our hearts. Lord, you know the things that each and everyone of us are going through. You know, their hurts, the hardships, the trials. Well, you know the one here who just needs to hear from you. We pray that this evening that. You would speak to our hearts. We love you, Lord. We ask for your spirit to follow upon me right now and upon your people in Jesus name. Amen. There we are in Luke Chapter 23. The previous chapter. If I can just share a couple verses from Luke. Chapter 22 of the Sanhedrin, which were the religious leaders they were meeting with Jesus and I want to. I read these two verses in the previous chapter because they had asked Jesus a question and they asked him the specific question, which was are you the son of God? That was Luke 22, verse 70, they said. Are you the son? Of God and he said to them, you rightly say that I am and they say. Said what further testimony do we need for we have heard it ourselves from his own mouth. These verses are so important as we get into Luke Chapter 23 because in order for today Good Friday to be Good Friday, we have to truly understand who it was who went to the cross for us that it was. In fact, Jesus. The son of God, who went to the cross. It wasn't just any person that went to the cross. If one of us, for some strange reason. Decided that we wanted one of our loved ones. To guarantee that they're going to make it to heaven, we don't know what their life has been like, but I want to guarantee that my loved one is gonna go to heaven. So we decided, you know what? I want to be that sacrifice. I wanna make sure that my son or my daughter or my loved one makes it into heaven. And we decided I'm going to go to the cross for them. If we decided that that act would be completely futile, it would make no sense. It would be pointless. Because you as well as myself are sinners. We're sin. The scriptures tell us that we've all sinned. We've all fallen short of the glory of God, and so none of us could be that propitiation for sins. We're all sinners. It had to be a perfect, sinless person, which is why Jesus was the only one who could fulfill the work that had to be done upon the cross. And so that's why. We read here in Luke Chapter 23 right there in Luke Chapter 23. Begin reading in verse one. It says then the whole multitude of them arose and led him to pilot, and they began to accuse him, saying we found this fellow, perverting the nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king. And then pilot asked him, saying are you the king of the Jews? And he answered and said it is as you see. So Pilate said to the chief priest and the crowd. I find no fault in this man, but they were the more fierce saying he stirs up the people teaching. Sorry, I lost my patient there. He stared up with teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place. When pilot heard of Galilee, he asked if the men were a Galilean and as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herode jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at the time. And so here we are because Jesus. That claimed to be the son of God. It tells that the Jews for that reason they wanted to put him to death, but they had a problem. You see, the Jews were under Roman authority under Roman law, so they had no power for capital punishment. They wanted him dead, but they had no power to do that in and of themselves. And So what did they do? They said let's take him to pilot. He has the power to put him to death, but notice they wanted to put him death for claiming to be the son of God. But look at the accusation that they brought to pilot. They didn't bring up the accusation of him claiming to. Be the son of God. No, they had to come up with a different accusation. They said that Jesus was forbidding people to pay taxes to Caesar. See they knew that pilot would not be concerned with who Jesus claimed to be. Pilot didn't care about that if they wanted pilot to be concerned, they had to bring up something that he would be interested. In, if they wanted him to put him to death, they had to think of something. That pilot would be considering. OK, this is something I need to talk to him about. And so they said he's forbidding people to pay taxes to Caesar. Now, after questioning him, pilot would find out like you and I know from Matthew Chapter 22 that Jesus in fact said the exact opposite. When he came to paying taxes, Jesus said give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God the things that are God. So that was. A false accusation. And so after questioning Jesus. Pilot cannot find anything wrong with Jesus there in verse three and four. He couldn't find anything wrong. That's because you and I know, right, that Jesus was sinless. Jesus was. But along the questioning that he did, he does find out. One detail about Jesus. He finds out that he's a Galilean, and at that word pilot says, OK, He's a Galilean. I'm free from having anything to do with this, he says. Send him over to Herod. This is Harold's jurisdiction. I don't have to deal with this anymore. Pilot didn't want to deal with any repercussions. People being upset, these people saying I want him crucified, these people say no. He's a good guy. Pilot wanted to stay back and say I'm going to get out of this conversation, send him to Herod. That's his jurisdiction. We down with me. In verse 8 through 12. It says when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad for he had desired a long time to see him because he had heard many things about him and he hoped to see some miracle done by him. And then he questioned him with many words, but he answered him nothing. And the chief priest and the scribe stood. And vehemently accused him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated him with contempt and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him back to pilot that very day pilot and Herod became friends with each other, for previously there had been an enmity with each other. So Jesus has sent over to this Heron the same Herod who killed John the Baptist, and it tells us that when he saw Jesus that he was glad to see him, this wicked man was not just glad, it says he was exceedingly glad to see Jesus. But look at the reason that he was glad to see him. It says he was glad to see him because he wanted to see a miracle. He wanted us to. That was the only reason why he wanted to see Jesus. He wanted to. See a miracle. You know, there's many people too. They who look to God, who only turn to God when they need a miracle. But the the problem with looking to God only when we need a miracle is miracles in and of themselves. They're not going to do anything for us. Miracles are great and. We love them. But miracles will simply leave us desiring more miracles. They're not going to increase our faith if you and I want to increase our faith, the scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We need to spend time diving into the word of God, asking God to reveal himself to us. That's how our faith is going to be increased. Not through miracles, when we, when we go to Jesus, we need to go with them. Seeking him and being satisfied with simply seeking him because we desire a relationship with him, Herod had no desire to have a relation to he just wanted a miracle. He sought him for the wrong reason. My question this evening for you is, are you seeking Jesus for the right reasons? Maybe I should take a step back. Are you even seeking Jesus at all? See, not only did Heron not get his miracle, but they're in verse nine. It says Jesus didn't even answer him at all. If we're not hearing from God. Could it be that we're not seeking him for the right reason? Jeremiah 2913 tells us that you will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with. All of your heart. In verse 11, when Herod did not get what he wanted, it tells us that him and his men mocked him and they sent him back to pilot. Again, this is so often how people are with God. God, you didn't answer me when I came to you. I'm not. There's no way I can follow this kind of God. He must not be real. If he's not gonna answer me when I call out to. He didn't come through and I needed him most, you might say. You invite someone, you might invite some of your friends and family to to Easter, and they said, oh, get away. I don't want to hear about this Jesus thing. I I tried that before. It didn't work for me. No, no, no, that's not the case when? When we. Come to God when people come to God. We shouldn't come with the expectation that he's going to do what we want. How we want him to do it when we want him to do it, we have to remember that we're coming to God. The same God who created the heavens and the earth. This is the God we're coming to. We have to know and trust that he does know what's best, that he will do what's best, even if our finite minds cannot comprehend it cannot understand it. We have to trust that he knows what's best. It tells us there are side note in verse 12 that that very day Herod and Pilate had became friends. They found commonality in being against Jesus. What a sad day that was. They became friends in their likeness of being against Jesus. Going on in verse 13 through 17. It says that then pilot, when he had called together the chief priest, the rulers and the people, he said to them, you have brought this man to me as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined him in your presence, I have found no fault in this man concerning those things of which you accuse him. No, neither did Herod. For I sent you back to him, and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done. I will therefore chastise him and release him, for it was necessary for him to release one to them. At the feast. Your pilot is addressing the leaders. He's addressing the people and he says, hey, guys, you brought this man to me and I've examined him. I've thoroughly examined him and. The bold words there is. I found no fault in him. He clearly declares that Jesus is in fact innocent. See, at this point what should have happened is this mob that's gathering saying they want Jesus put to death. Once Pilate declared that he was innocent. And as a leader with the authority that pilot had, he should have said, you know what? All you guys need to disperse right now. In fact, if you don't disperse right now, I'm going to charge you with causing a riot. Because this child is over, Jesus is innocent. Yet pilot didn't do that. He had the authority to do it. He had the power to do that. But why didn't he do that? He feared the people. Pilate feared the people he knew Jesus was innocent. But instead of making that decision to release Jesus based upon his innocence based upon justice instead. What does pilot do? He tries to appease the crowd. His main concern was the people. It was the people. How often? Are our lives just so concerned with other people? What are they going to say? What are they going to think if they know that I'm a Christian? If I talk to them about Jesus? If I do invite them to Easter service, what are they going to think about me? And we're so concerned about what they're going to say, what they're gonna think. We're concerned about other people. Do you know what we need today more than ever? We need godly people who will speak up for righteousness sake. We need people will stand up and be bold about our faith in Jesus. The world right now is so against Jesus. It's so against Christianity, and as a result, what's happening is people, specifically Christians, are staying silent. About their faith and about the things of the Lord, they're afraid to speak up, because while the world does not look favorably upon Christians. Especially when you come to a part of the Bible that doesn't align with what today's morals are, if you can call them that. I don't want to get involved in that. You know, I just want to love that said. I don't want and and we're afraid to speak what the Bible says and because of that, Christians are struggling. And the biggest? Struggle is we're trying to conform. We're trying to confirm this is what pilot was doing. He was trying to conform. I'll chastise him. You know, you guys want to put it? I'll just chastise them. He was just conforming. Come on, guys. But we have to build a reason here. When it comes to the scriptures and what the Bible teaches, we need not conform. Romans 12 Two tells us the exact opposite. It says do not conform to the pattern of this world. We're not called to conform to the pattern of this world. In fact, it says be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As Christians were called to be. We're not called to blend in with the world does and what the world. Says pilot began conforming to the people's desires, and so he says. I will therefore chastise him and then release him. In verses 18 through 22, it says, and they all cried out at once, saying away with this man released to us. Bur rabbis who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city and for murder pilot, therefore wishing to release Jesus again, called out to them. But they shouted, saying crucify him, crucify him. Then he said to them the third time, why? What evil has he done? I have found no reason for death in him. I will therefore chastise him and let him go. The thought of. Releasing Jesus was not an option for the people here. These people wanted Barabbas. They wanted that known murder to be released. At this time, it was at the feast, one person, one prisoner, would be released to him and pilot thought. Surely they're going to say, OK, fine, we know he's not guilty of anything, but we'll just you can release him. That's fine and pilot thought for sure. They're gonna release Jesus, this evil murderer or Jesus. Come on, guys. Common Sense says release Jesus, but the people did not have. Common sense. There was number common sense for this group of people. They were stuck in wanting Jesus crucified. In the same way, many today in the day and age in which we live do not have common sense anymore. Right versus wrong is not the question anymore. We live in a world today that says. You know what if? It feels good to you. Just do it. Whatever feels good to you, that's what you need to do. And that's completely backwards from what the Scriptures teach us. Back in the judges. You know what the problem? Was the people did what was right in their eyes. That's the same theme of judges over and over again, and the people did what was right in their eyes and what happened. Punishment, destruction. Hardship. When we do what's right in. Our own eyes, like the world is. It's not going to go good. Pilot is saying it's OK, I'll chastise him, but the people are saying no. We want death. Even though he's innocent, they want death even though he's innocent, pilot says. I'm still going to chastise him. You know what it was that was keeping both pilot and these people from trying to get what they want and chastisement and in death it was pride. None of them could admit that they needed to do and say something. Different their pride. Was keeping them stuck on one thing death. Chastise men? How often has pride kept you and me from doing what we know we need to do? How often this pride kept us going in a direction that we know we're not supposed to be going down. Doing that thing that no one knows about, we know we shouldn't be doing it, going to that place that we shouldn't be going to hanging around that person or those people, things that we should not be doing, but instead we know there's things we should be doing, like getting help for the struggles that we go through. Finding a Christian brother or sister who we can pray with. But what do? We do. Oh, no, no, no. Pride says don't do that. What are they going to think if they know that you're struggling in that way? What are they going to say? They they're going to judge you. That's what your pride said. You can't talk to someone. No, no, no. There's no way you can do that. That's pride. Keeping us from doing what we know we need to do. Pride can, and so often does, get in the way of us doing what we know we're called to be doing. The people here were so set in their ways, not willing. To admit their faults. And therefore only two words could come from their mouth. Crucify him. Crucify him. They kept we want him crucify. They were set on putting Jesus to death. Many of these same people who are saying crucify him just days earlier were the ones as Jesus was entering into the city on the donkey. They were the ones saying, Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. See one day they're praising them. The next day they're saying crucify him. It's a sad thing, but if we look at our own lives, so often our lives do the exact same thing as we come to church on a on a Sunday or a Wednesday. And and we're saying praise the Lord God, you're so worthy of our praise. And then we leave church and we go back to our sinful lives and those sinful things, those sinful deeds cry out. Them crucify him because those are the things that put Jesus. Upon the cross. Our lives should not be doing those kinds of things. Yes, we need to come here and praise the Lord, but when we leave here, we also need to be praising our lives. Need to be worshipping and giving glory to God in everything that we do. Again, in verse 22, pilot says I'm going to chastise him. I'm then going to release him. And we know from the book of John that somewhere between here and verse 22 and verse 23, that pilot sent Jesus away to be chastise even though he found no fault in him, he still decided to chastise Jesus. And then release him, of course. Right. That was justice. He needed to release him because he was innocent. We can read this so casually as as he says, I'm going to chastise them and release them. And we, we take it and just like, OK Chastaine is in, that's it. He's gonna release him. Like, give me a few minutes. He'll be on his merry way. No, that's not what happened here. This isn't as easy as you and I read it. This chastisement was a very gruesome process. Remember the Romans were masters of torture. When they whipped Jesus, they would use this little tool that had this short handle with leather straps that would branch out from it, and in each of these leather straps that would come out of this handle, the leather straps would have bits of metal, glass, bone fragments embedded inside these chaps. And so when they would whip Jesus. These pieces would get stuck in his back and they'd rip out flesh. This was a gruesome process. The design of this tool was literally to maximize the pain that Jesus would go through. It would rip into his flesh. It would expose arteries, it would expose veins, some cases it would expose organs. This is the process that Jesus went through. The pilot says I. Will chastise him and then release him. Jesus being innocent. Chose to endure every bit of this process. Why, we might ask. The short answer is he did it because of his love for you and for me. That's why he chose to endure this. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53 five, he said. But he Jesus, was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. It was because of our sin that Jesus endured the pain and the suffering that he did. Going on here in verse 20. Three, it says, but they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that he be crucified and the voices of these men, and the chief priest prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested, and he released to them the one they requested for who rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison. But he delivered Jesus to them. So again, as I said earlier, Jesus now has already been chastised. He's whipped, his back is shredded. But that wasn't enough. For the people. Verse 23 says they were insistent demanding that he be crucified, and it tells us they're in verse 23 that their voices prevailed. It prevailed, pilot said. Fine. I'll give you guys what you want, Mark 1515 tells us that pilot wanting to gratify the crowd release Barabbas to them and delivered Jesus after he had scourged him to be crucified. Pilot wanted to gratify the crowd. He was too concerned with pleasing people. Instead of pleasing God. It was as in in his hands at this point, choose life or choose death for Jesus. Pilate chose death. He chose to please the crowd. Verse 26, it says now as they led him away, they lay hold of a certain man, Simon a sirenian, who was coming from the country and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it. After Jesus and a great multitude of people followed him and women who also mourned and lamented. But Jesus turning to them, said daughters of Jerusalem do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, for indeed the days are coming in which they will say, blessed are the barren wombs that never bore and breast which never nursed. Then they would begin to say they. Then they would begin to say to the mountains. Fallen us into the hills. Cover us for if they do these things in the Greenwood, what will be done in the dry? We see here that a man by the name of Simon comes onto the scene and they force this man Simon to carry Jesus's cross because Jesus, as I said already, has been whipped. He's weak. He can't even carry this cross. That was the customers. Someone was about to be crucified. They literally have to carry their cross over to the point of where they would be crucified. That everyone in the city might see this person. Who's about to be crucified? But Jesus was beaten. He was so weak that he could not carry the cross. This shows us the humanity of Jesus that yes, he was in fact 100% God, but he was also 100% man. See, he did not, at this point say, you know what? I don't want to go through the process of a regular man. Jesus didn't say I'm going to use my God attributes to alleviate any pain and suffering. Jesus became a man, suffered as a man, Philippians 2 seven and eight tells us that he made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bond. Servant and coming in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man. Humbled himself and became obedient. To the point of death, even the death of the cross. Jesus didn't just say, OK, I'll use my God attributes. I'm not gonna have to go through pain. No, he was in pain. He was suffering. He had no strength to carry the cross on his own. And so Simon here gets the opportunity to physically carry out. Where you and I are called. To do in a spiritual sense with our own lives. You see, he physically carried the Cross of Jesus. You and I, the scriptures encourages, Jesus said are also called to carry across, though not Jesus's cross. You and I are called to pick up our own cross. Jesus said in Luke chapter nine, he said then Jesus said to them if anyone. Desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. That means that you and I like Jesus as he was crucified. You and I are called to pick. Up our own cross. That means we're called the die to ourselves. Here we are. As Christians. This is our life, right? Our life is not our only more. As Christians, we're called to die, to our own wants, to die, to our own desires and say, Lord, I am yours. I'm here to live for you. And how often are. We told to do this. Jesus said daily. Daily, Daily, we're called to pick up our. Cross and follow him. I love what Paul said in. Galatians chapter 2 verse. Paul said I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in, the flesh I live by, faith in the son of God, who love me, and who gave himself for me. That's something that we need to implement in our own lives. It's not one time we accept Jesus into our heart and OK, that's it. I picked my cross from here. Forward I'm leaving. No, daily we need say, Lord, these are my plans that I have today. But what is it you want me to do? I'm yours. Paul said it the life I live in, the flesh, the the person you see here. It's not me. It's Christ living in me. I'm now living by faith in the son of God who. Loved me, that's how. We're called to live, going to church alone. Guys, that's not picking up your cross and following Christ. No, we're called to do it daily in whatever we do, whether at church or at work. Whether at school, whether with our family, celebrating holidays, we're called to represent Christ, pick up our cross daily, and follow him in whatever we do and wherever we go. It tells us there is. They carried this cross that. A great multitude. Followed him, including the women. Now it tells us that a great multitude followed him, but it does not say that they were followers of him. You see, there's a difference. Multitudes followed him, but they weren't necessarily followers of him. There were many reasons why these people were following Jesus. Some followed him, possibly out of pity because of what he. Was going through. Maybe some were following him. Just out of curiosity. I wonder if. He really is who he says he is. There were those following him, maybe because they were the ones saying crucify him. They wanted to see him put. To death. But there are also those who are following him, who truly loved him. Jesus, as he was weak carrying this cross, he says. He looked over and he saw a specific group. These ladies, and he said, daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourself. Why not weep for him? Jesus was late and this was something that had to be done. Jesus being crucified had this death, the death of Christ was literally his victory and his triumph over sin and his enemies. This was Jesus purchasing eternal life for you and for me. Don't weep for me, Jesus says, he said. Weep for yourselves. Why would he have to weep for themselves? Jesus was saying they're going to be some times and they need times that were coming upon him. That would be hard. Hard times, difficulties that they're not even gonna want to live. They're gonna wish that they didn't have kids to go to the hardships that they were going to go through. In fact, Jesus himself. He wept. In regards to the city in Luke Chapter 19, verse 41, I'll read it for you. Jesus as he was joling near to the. City of Jerusalem. And says he saw. The city and he wept over it. Seen if you had known even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side and level you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another. Get this why? Because you did not know the time. Of your visitation. Those hard times were going to come upon them because they did not know. The time of their visitation. What did? He mean when he. Said that, the time of the visitation. He said that you didn't know. You didn't recognize that my coming to you was in fact God coming for your redemption and for your salvation. They missed it. They did not know the time of their salvation. Yes, God in Christ came into this world. But they rejected him. They rejected him. The ones that should be weeping are those who reject Christ. The same is true today. People should be weeping who reject Christ in verse 32 to 34. It says there were also two other criminals led with him to be put to. And when they had come to the place called Calvary. There they crucified him and the criminals went on the right hand and one on the left. And then Jesus said, father, forgive them, for they do not. Know what they do. And they divided his garments and cast lots. Here Jesus was led away with these criminals to be crucified, treated as if he was a criminal also. Fulfilling what Corinthians said, that he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. Here's where they would start the process of the crucifixion, where they would literally get his hands. Remember, his back is shredded. They put him upon this beam on the floor. Just that alone, as he's already full flesh full. And I hate to be so graphic, but his back is just open. Laying upon this beam, they would grab his hand. Put it to the the cross beam and boom boom. They would nail that hand to the cross. And then they would get the other one and stretch their crosses back, just being exposed. And again the nail boom, boom. Would go into that cross beam. The process will start again with his feet. As they'd get that nail and they'd drive it into his feet. And he'd be there against the cross. As you can imagine. This excruciating pain that he would go through. Pain that none of us would desire for any. Of our loved ones. But if. You can imagine. Picture that your son, your loved one's innocent, but yet going through this pain in this barbaric manner. As much as we'd hate to think about that, this was the reality for God that his son, his only son, who was innocent, was given up was broken, was beaten, was nailed to that cross. Because of his love for you and for me. Because of our sin, Jesus willingly laid down his life for you and for me and even right here, through all this pain, even through all this agony. What is Jesus doing? He's thinking about others. Here he is in thirst, verse 34, mediating for the people saying Father, forgive them for they know not what. They do. He's saying father don't hold their sin against them cause them to repent, which means you're going this direction. Turn around, go the other way. Help them to follow you. This is Jesus's heart towards the people. It was so evident that he loved them even in their sin. Even in their sin, he loved them. In verse 35 it says that the. People stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying he saved others, let him save himself. If he is the Christ, the chosen of God. The soldiers also mocked him coming and offering him sour wine and saying if you are the king of the Jews, save yourself and an inscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, Latin and Hebrew. This is king of the Jews. Right after Jesus asked the father to forgive them, we see the people and the rulers and the soldiers. Everyone is mocking Jesus, saying you've saved others. Why can't you save yourself? You know what this. Cousins, it tells us that they know about Jesus. Yes, they've seen that he saved others. They followed him closely enough to know what he has done. And that he has saved others. But the sad thing is. They didn't fall home enough to save themselves, to understand truly. What he is about to do, they fought him enough to know that he's done work for others, but their lives themselves were not changed. And this begs the question for us here this evening that are we following Jesus in such a way that there is true change in our lives? Is there fruit? Is there evidence that we are followers of Christ, not just to know that yes, he's changed certain people's lives? Is there evidence that he's changed your life? Are you following him in that manner, or does your life and the way you live it do what these people are doing? Mock our Lord. Oh, you say you follow him, but your life says the complete opposite. Let's see you save yourselves. They mocked him. Could Jesus have saved himself absolutely with one spoken word? Jesus could have knocked him all up, been off that cross with one spoken word, but then he wouldn't have been about fulfilling what God had called him to do. He wouldn't have been about his father's business. Jesus stood on that cross for one reason and one reason only. Because of you and me. If he would have saved himself, you and I would have no hope of salvation. Jesus chose to stay there because of his love, his great love for you, and for me, This is why we celebrate Good Friday. That yes, it it is a sad day in the sense that an innocent man was wrongfully accused that Jesus had to go to the cross and suffer in this way. But in reality it is a good day because his great love for you and for me was demonstrated upon that cross. He paved the way for you and for me to have the hope of salvation. His love was demonstrated upon the cross. And not only for you and for me, but as we continue on. And says. He also did this for someone else in verse 39. It says that one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed him, saying if you are the Christ, save yourself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, do you not even fear God seeing that you were under the same condemnation and we indeed. Justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done nothing. And then he says to Jesus, Lord Remember Me when you come into your Kingdom. And Jesus said to him assuredly I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise. See one criminal mocked Jesus like the other people did. But I don't want to focus on him. I want to focus on this other criminal because. This other criminal, this Sinner. You and I. Can relate with. Because yes, he is a Sinner just like you and I are sinners, but we can learn from this man because this man he realized something. He realized that the position and the situation that he was in was brought about by his own merit. He understood that he was there because of his own sin. His sin caused him to be upon. That cross and so essentially he acknowledged his sin. And what did he do at that point he calls out to Jesus and. He says Lord. Lord, Remember Me when you come into your Kingdom. He calls out and acknowledges Jesus as Lord. As he called out to him, did Jesus say, you know what? Get out of here, you Sinner. I don't have time to deal with you. Don't you say I'm suffering.
No, not at all.
With literally his last dying breath, Jesus gave this man the assurance of salvation, as he said assuredly, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise. And may I add that he didn't say that the way I just said it. So casually. Surely I say to you today. No, no, he was on that cross. The cross was meant to suffocate you the way he would be upon that cross. And he literally would have to pull himself up to to gather enough breath to say, surely. And he probably took a few breaths to get up. There he released. I say to you. And today, and it's hard to get these words out, but he he took every breath he had to say today you will be with me in Paradise. It was excruciating. It was painful, but he wanted to assure this man of salvation. This literally is one of the acts the Scriptures show is that demonstrate to us the saying that many of us heard before that it wasn't nails that held him to the cross, but it was his love for us. He wanted to give us the assurance that we can have the hope of salvation by turning to him. Ending in verse 44 through 46, it says that it was about the 6th hour and there was darkness over all the earth until the 9th hour and then the sun was darkened and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said father into your hands. I commit my spirit. And having said this, he breathed his last. When it says it was about the 6th hour, that was about noon middle of the day. And from the middle of the day. Till about 3. O'clock it says that it was dark. Darkness filled the whole earth. At this point, everyone recognized and realized that this wasn't some ordinary criminal. It wasn't an ordinary criminal. This was in fact, Jesus, the savior of the world, the man who went to the cross to pay for your sins and for mine. And when he did that, and when darkness covered the earth, that tells us that a veil was torn from top to bottom, some of you. Know this was that thick veil. That kept people from entering into the Holy of Holies. Remember there was the high priest only one time a year. High Priest was able to enter into this holy of Holies, which represented the presence of God, and he was his job was to go in there to intercede for the people. Those who had blown and those who had messed up but. He himself had to make sure that he was right, because if that high priest who entered into God's presence, if he wasn't right before the Lord, he'd be shut down dead immediately. This one man had power to go into the presence of God one time A. That veil is what's separated the people from going in there, but it tells us right here that veil was torn from top to bottom. Signifying that it was in fact God. Who tore that? When Jesus went to the cross, guys, when he died upon that cross, that veil was torn. You know what that means for you and for me that we have access into the presence of God. That you and I can go before God at anytime. Any place, no matter the situation, no matter how much we've blown it, we can come into the presence of God. Simply because of what Jesus had did had done. He paved the way for you and I. He gave us complete access into the presence of God. He paid the price we have access to enter into the presence of God because of what Jesus did. Right before Jesus committed his hands. Committed his spirit to God as we just read. There are John 1930 tells that he said something else. In John 1930, it tells us that Jesus said it is finished, it is finished and then he says father into your hands. I commit my spirit, see before he could commit his spirit to God, he said. It is finish. Jesus finished the work. There is nothing else that needed to be done. There is nothing else that still needs to be done. Many people might say you have to do this if you want to go to heaven, a bunch of lists of things you have to do. No, no, no. The work has been done. Jesus said it is finished. We have complete access to God, no religion, no sacrifice, no priest, no anything. That we have to go to, we simply can enter into the presence of God simply because of what Jesus has done. Nothing else needs to be. Done the only thing. That needs to be done, I should say. Is us entering in to his presence? That's it. Nothing can keep you from now we have access into his presence, Hebrews 416 says. Let us. Therefore we have access. Let us therefore come boldly into the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This evening I want to encourage you guys. Enter in to the presence of the Lord. As Roslyn and the worship team come forward right now, they're going to lead us in. Some worship we. Have the opportunity to partake of communion right now. I'm going to read to you from First Corinthians as they're preparing to lead us in worship. In first Corinthians 11 verses 23 to 26. It says for I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you. That the Lord Jesus on the same night in which he was betrayed, he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and said take eat. This is my body which is broken for you do this in remembrance of me. And in the same manner he took the cup after supper scene. This cup is the new covenant of my blood. This do as often as you drink in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. That's what we're here to do. His name guys, as we have that cracker that represents Christ's body that was broken for us. As you take that, I want you to remember what he went through for you and for me. And then we have the cup. The juice which represents his blood that was poured out on Calvary. As they lead us in this song, I want to encourage you guys before you come up and I'm gonna ask you to come up as you will take it back to your seat and you can partake it anytime. But before you do that, I want. To encourage you, if you. Are here this? And you're not walking right with. The Lord, you've blown it, you've. Messed up like many of us have, get right with the Lord first. If you're hearing you don't know Jesus, you don't have that relationship with him. I want to encourage you. This isn't something for you, but it can be. If you haven't accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. There's not a bunch of steps you have to do just like that. Even the cross. You just didn't say. Get down. And hey, you got to do a bunch of things first. No, he simply acknowledged his sin that he was a Sinner. And he called out to the Lord. That's all you have to do. A simple prayer. Lord, forgive me. I know I'm a Sinner and I want you to lead my life. And as you do that, I invite you to partake with us. And so as they lead us at anytime, you can come forward, take the elements back with your seat and partake as the Lord leads. Father, we coming for you this evening. And we just thank you. Thank you for the work that you did upon the cross. That, though many of us lore have blown it so often, maybe even this day, though, we've blown it. We don't represent you well at times. Lord, forgive us for our shortcomings. Forgive us for our sins that call out, crucify him, crucify him. Where? We ask. That you would help us to come back to that place. Where we give you. Free access into every area of our hearts. That we would make room for you to occupy every bit of us. We are not our own. We are yours. We want to live for. You give us the power through your. Holy Spirit to live for you. This evening we remember what you did for us upon that cross. Jesus name.