Summary: Today we’re starting a new series called 7 Words that will go through Easter Sunday. Each week we’re going to be looking at one of the seven phrases Scripture records that Jesus spoke as He was dying on the cross. Today we will be looking at the word Forg
This morning, we’re starting a new series called 7 Words that will go through Easter Sunday. Each week we’re going to be looking at one of the seven phrases Scripture records that Jesus spoke as He was dying on the cross. But as we look at those phrases, we’re going to do something a little bit different. Each week we’re going to focus primarily on one word from that phrase. We’re not going to yank it out of context and talk about anything we want to. I trust that you’ll check things out for yourself to make sure that I don’t do that and hold me accountable if I do. But what we’re going to do is look specifically at one word in each phrase and talk about how that illustrates a specific aspect of what Jesus’ death on the cross provides for us. If I were to ask most people what they thought Jesus death on the cross means to them, I’d probably get a variety of answers. The sad thing is that most of those answers would be very self-centered. “It means I can have peace.” “It means I can go to heaven.” Does Jesus’ death on the cross mean that? Of course it does, but it means so much more. Jesus’ death on the cross is far more than just a personal sin eraser. It is so much more than just a personal ticket to a really cool place called heaven. Jesus’ death on the cross was a cosmic, universal event. Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection three days later is the focal point of all of human history. As a matter of fact, it’s even more than that. Because Jesus’ death on the cross is the focal point of all of eternity. It is the focus of all of the mysteries of the eternal council of God Himself. It is the focus of the mind-boggling Trinitarian relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you think about it, all of human history and all of eternity hinge on the cross and the empty tomb.
33 years prior to this, Jesus was born. He was born of a woman, apart from any seed of man. He was God of very God and took on flesh and dwelt among men. Because He was born of a virgin, Jesus was born without the sinful nature that has been passed down to all people through Adam. Unlike any of us, He was born without the original stain of sin on His life. But also unlike any of us, He also lived every moment of every day of His life without committing a sin. He was the spotless Lamb of God who had come into the world to take away sin. For 33 years, Jesus lived a sinless life on the earth. But not only did Jesus live a life that was WITHOUT sin, He lived a life that was filled with true righteousness—something else that none of us have apart from Him. When John the Baptist wanted confirmation that Jesus was indeed the Christ that they had been looking for, Jesus told his disciples this: “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” All of those things were evidence of the righteousness of Christ. He lived a life free from sin and full of righteousness. And of course you know what that got Him, right? As Isaiah prophesied 700 years before in Isaiah 53:3: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” All of Jesus’ sinlessness made Him hated by people who tried to justify their own sin. All of Jesus’ righteousness made Him hated by people who thought that they were righteous. Just like it does today. As John 1:11 says, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” So they rejected Him. And they betrayed Him. And they abandoned Him. And they falsely accused Him. And they mocked Him. And they scorned Him. And they beat Him. And they hung Him on a cross to die. But unless you think that Jesus was a pitiful victim in all of this, Peter puts it all in perspective in Acts 2:22-24. He said, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” In other words, you killed Him, but it was all according to God’s plan. And according to that exact same plan, God raised His Son from the tomb. And according to that exact same plan, God the Son sits at the right hand of the Father continually making intercession for you and me today. And according to that exact same plan, He is alive today, saving people and reconciling them to a right relationship with Himself according to the provision He made on the cross. And one day, Philippians 2:10-11 tells us that according to that exact same plan, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” According to that exact same plan, one day, all things will be made right. Justice will be served, judgment will be meted out, righteousness will be recognized, and holiness will be realized. And all of that was made possible during a short span of just six hours, one Friday, over 2000 years ago.