In this passage from our study in the Gospel of John, we come to the crucifixion of Jesus. We may want to look the other way, to not face the harsh reality of an innocent man nailed to a cross, to not bear the weight of the torture and agony and injustice of this moment, because it may it’s just too personal.
We were made to love and serve God, but we hijacked our life, and stiff-armed God, and insisted on living according to our own rules.
If anyone deserves to be punished… it’s not Jesus. If anyone deserves to be condemned… it’s not Him. If anyone deserves to die… it’s us. This is our story: Jesus died for us.
In this sermon, we’ll look at three portraits of Jesus:
- The Crucified King: On the cross, the King is lifted up for all to see. John wants us to discern the hidden hand of God, moving in spite of all this chaos and injustice and evil, fulfilling his purposes in it all. As Jesus takes his place with guilty sinners, he is numbered with the transgressors. As Jesus is lifted up as King for all to see, so that all people might be drawn to Him.
- The Fleeced Protector: In His loss, Jesus protects the ones He loves. I’m amazed at Jesus’ empathy and compassion in the midst of the height of his excruciating pain. Pain tends to turn us inward. But look at Jesus! He’s being mocked and tortured and rejected and violated and tormented. And in empathy and compassion, He is thinking of those He loves. Jesus always looks past his own pain in the protection of the ones He loves.
- The Parched Savior: By His thirst, Jesus quenches ours. Jesus became thirsty on the cross to give us living water so that we might never thirst again! Through Jesus’ sacrifice, He is able to proclaim, “it is finished.” What is He saying? Everything He had come to do, He completed it all; finally, fully, and forever.
Takeaway: Jesus died for you.
Has that reality come home for you? “Jesus died,” that’s just a historical fact. But if you say, “Jesus died… for you,” That’s when it gets personal. It’s all in the pronouns.
Has Jesus become your Crucified King? Is He your Fleeced Protector? Is He your Parched Savior?
Has that reality come home in you? Do you rest in His finished work? Do you really believe “it is finished?” That nothing you do adds or subtracts from the final, full, and finished work of Christ?
Nothing in your past, present, or future can alter who you are in Christ, because you are forever loved by Jesus. And “it is finished!”