Summary: This 3-part Good Friday message focuses on:- 1) The human Jesus, therefore He is the only Saviour; 2) The dead Jesus who is not broken, therefore He can help those who are broken; 3) The buried Jesus who brings disciples out of darkness into the light.
You can listen to the full message here:-
Message (Part 1)
Dead and Buried
Read John 19:28-30
In total there are seven phrases that Jesus speaks while on the cross.
Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.
Today you will be with me in paradise.
My God. My God. Why have You forsaken Me?
These are sayings with meaning and power; aren’t they.
Then we get to these words of Jesus.
I am thirsty.
The words seem so mundane.
But that is precisely the point. Just when we think we have the cross nicely packaged, we are given a little reminder:-
Don’t forget that Jesus was human. He had flesh. He knows what it means to be like us.
Jesus gets thirsty.
In John 4:7 when Jesus is talking with the Samaritan woman He asks her to give Him a drink.
Not just because He will use the question to teach a spiritual lesson.
But because Samaria is a hot dry country and when you walk all day to get to a town … you are thirsty.
If that is the case when you walk are walking through the countryside, how much more thirstier would you be if you were in Jesus’ situation.
It is quite possible that the last drink Jesus had was at the Passover – early in the previous night. Since then He was pierced by the crown of thorns, beaten with a wooden staff, whipped and nailed to a cross.
No wonder Jesus is thirsty
But don’t forget also that Jesus has also been enduring the wrath of God. He already has made the cry My God. My God. Why have You forsaken Me? It is not a small thing to face the anger and wrath of God.
No wonder Jesus is thirsty
It seems like a natural statement.
But the words are not recorded because they make a natural statement. The recording of these words are absolutely necessary.
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
What Scripture is fulfilled?
They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
As Jesus cries out “I am thirst” we are reminded that He is promised Messiah.
The thirst of Jesus says, “I am the real deal.”
Thirsting because He has taken the anger of God.
Thirsting as a man – just to let us know how down-to-earth Christianity really is.
The thirst of Jesus is a guarantee that He is fixing the relationship that we broke with God.
Message (Part 2)
Dead and Buried
Read John 19:31-37
There is something powerful about an eye-witness statement isn’t there.
I saw what happened.
John the disciple is the author of this Gospel and he is an eye-witness. As the eyewitness he specifically testifies to the piercing of the side of Jesus.
Why highlight the truth of the testimony of the spear piercing?
When the Romans crucified anyone they would usually let the bodies rot on the crosses. It was a very visual reminder of what happens when you try and mess with Rome. So the process acted as a great deterrent.
But the Jewish leaders had this Scripture in mind:-
22 If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
Leaving bodies hanging any day violated Jewish custom.
Leaving bodies on the Sabbath was worse.
Leaving bodies on a special Sabbath was unthinkable.
So the Jewish leaders again come to Pilate to make sure everything is just right.
We can’t let these bodies be there tomorrow on the Special Sabbath
Two men are still alive. So their legs are broken.
Why do that?
The only way to get air in your lungs when you are being crucified is to push your body up with your legs and take the weight off your shoulders. When you break the legs there is no way to get air – so you suffocate. Ironically having your leg smashed and broken would almost be a relief. It means the agony is nearly over.
Two men are still alive.
Jesus is dead.
That is the main point. Jesus is dead.