Introduction—Jesus death on a cross was never plan “b”. It was always plan “a”. God in His infinite wisdom had always had the cross in His plan. No one would ever be able to say that God was unapproachable, God was unavailable, or that God was unlovable. God, through the cross, made a way for all of humankind to come to a place and time where He was approachable, available, and lovable. You may here this morning thinking that God has forgotten about you. He hasn’t. You too have always been part of His plan. Today as we read from His Word, I pray you will find yourself in God’s redemption plan!
As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
- Final Words—verses 28-30
- As Jesus hangs from the cross of Calvary, He utters His final earthy statements, I am thirsty, and it is finished
- “I am thirsty.” Jesus musters up enough courage to ask for a drink to utter His final statement, and final words.
- “It is finished” represents the plan of God. God had purposed this day from the start. Some have said that since humans could not obey God’s original commands and limited access to God, then He decided to send Jesus so that we could access God at anytime from the moment we come to Christ. But that just isn’t true. God’s commands actually point us to the fact that we need a Savior since we could never fulfill the obedience of His law. Therefore, Jesus death and burial has always been plan A.
Illustration—The Last 7 Words of Jesus Christ:
(1) Matthew 27:46 tells us that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him – and because of that, God had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing a separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. This was also a fulfillment of the prophetic statement in Psalm 22:1.
(2) Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. Those who crucified Jesus were not aware of the full scope of what they were doing because they did not recognize Him as the Messiah. While their ignorance of divine truth did not mean they deserved forgiveness, Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him is an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace.
(3) Luke 23:42-43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” In this passage, Jesus is assuring one of the criminals on the cross that when he died, he would be with Jesus in heaven. This was granted because even at the hour of his death, the criminal had expressed his faith in Jesus, recognizing Him for who He was.
(4) Luke 23:46 “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” Here, Jesus is willingly giving up His soul into the Father’s hands, indicating that He was about to die – and that God had accepted His sacrifice.
(5) John 19:26-27 “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!” When Jesus saw His mother standing near the cross with the Apostle John, whom He loved, He committed His mother’s care into John’s hands. And from that hour John took her unto his own home. In this verse Jesus, ever the compassionate Son, is making sure His earthly mother is cared for after His death.
(6) John 19:28 “I am thirsty.” Jesus was here fulfilling the Messianic prophecy from Psalm 69:21: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
(7) “John 19:30 “It is finished!” Jesus’ last words meant that His suffering was over and the whole work His Father had given Him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for His people, was done, accomplished, fulfilled. The debt of sin was paid in full.
Application—When you die and leave this earth, do you know for sure where you will spend eternity? Will you be able to say, “It is finished”, meaning you have completed your purpose that God assigned to you?
- Final preparations 31-37
- The bodies had to taken down off the crosses. The 2 criminals had their legs broken to speed up the death process.
- Jesus life ended at the end of His earthly work, so there was no need to break His bones. One of many prophetic Messianic truths that have been fulfilled.
- Exodus 12:46—“It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. This was not only a rule for partaking in the Passover; it was part of the careful preparations in order to be in the presence of a Holy God.
- John 10:17-18—The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
- Jesus’ side was pieced by a soldier to see if there was a reaction, but we know that this too was a fulfillment of Scriptural prophecy.
- Isaiah 53:4-5—Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Illustration—Burial preparations are tough. They can be messy as well, especially if you have a large family. Everyone wants to make sure the loved one is remembered for who they were. Emotions run high, tempers can flare, and many times the one being remembered is forgotten all for the sake of personal desires.
Jesus burial preparations had already been taken care of. All the Scriptures were pre-ordained for this very day, much like your life will be when your Lord calls you home. No surprises on that day.
Application—Have you made preparations for your final resting place? Which will it be heaven or hell?
- Final goodbyes-verses 38-42
- As Jesus body is being laid to rest, goodbyes are in order.
- A final goodbye gives closure to Jesus’ death.
- Spices, aloes, and grave clothes make His death a reality.
- Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. This group upheld the law and made all decisions regarding the law. They were a lot like our supreme court is today. So for a member to of this group to give a burial tomb to Jesus was a big deal. Joseph obviously loved Jesus and was able to express his goodbye by providing the tomb.
- Jesus body was laid to rest and that was the final goodbye.
Illustration—Goodbyes are necessary when it comes to death, but what about your spiritual death?
Application—Have you said goodbye to your old self?
Conclusion—We have finished the entire birth, life, death, and now burial of our Lord through our study of John. John has given you and me a first hand account of what Jesus’ plan is for us. If you are still wondering and struggling with God’s plan for you, start by asking yourself this question. If today was the your final day, and you were going to stand before a holy God, what would be your final answer to Him, when He asks you did you know Jesus?
Stray in the Light, 1 John 1:7,