Summary: Sermon over the life changing work of Jesus and the unexpected actions of people. Healing. Salvation. By His wounds we are healed!
It is finished
- Labor is finished
- Need to wory is finished
o This world has been conquered
- Chains of slavery to sin – broken
o bondage is no more
- No longer a slave to fear!
- This world is temporary – Your life is eternal!
These words should mean something!
The problem is, you and I have not witnessed Jesus with our own eyes. We were not there when Jesus performed miracles. We were not there when He went before the Sanhedrin. We didn’t witness his crucifixion. And we have not seen the empty tomb. His resurrection.
“Those who believe without seeing are blessed!” (John 20:29)
What we do have, is the WORD OF GOD! And in this wonderful WORD we have the testimony of God Himself, and the stories of people who made DRAMMATIC transformations.
What do I mean?
When you look at the Crucifixion account you will see some VERY interesting things happen. One of the most interesting things is that people almost immediately begin doing things that are NOT characteristic of themselves.
Follow me here for a moment as we discover interesting thing:
It was noon, and the darkness covered the land – that’s interesting, but maybe it was a cloudy day?
Just a thought, but you don’t remember a cloudy day as something to recount. Seems to me that being noon, and being dark must have been a very noticeable strange thing.
The curtain in the Temple was torn = interesting, but most people would have no idea that happened at that exact time. But the Pharisees knew! The Sadducees knew! The priests knew!
How about the Centurion. One of the men who was responsible for actually crucifying Jesus. He was in charge of the whole thing! His word would be considered beyond question! A GENTILE!
“This man really was righteous” – He may not have understood who Jesus was
But he sure understood that a righteous man was just murdered. And that this man was special!
VS 48 – All the witnesses went away striking their chests – Sounds strange = this is something symbolizing GRIEF or REGRET! They were remorseful over what they had just cheered on!
WOW! Big changes from people you would not expect!
But now notice this person: who I reality takes the largest chance, shows the largest change, and does something that required courage beyond measure!
Lets stop right there for a moment:
There was a GOOD and RIGHTEOUS man – strong descriptive words!
A member of the Sanhedrin – this is the group had just accused Jesus of BLASPHEMY and took Jesus before Pilate to be crucified!
WHO HAD NOT AGREED with the plan – He was probably one of the only people to not go along with the plan to kill Jesus – he may have even voted NO, if they were to take a vote!
He was looking forward to the kingdom! This man KNEW scripture, KNEW prophecy – and was watching Jesus the way the OT told the people to – with eyes open and a mind discerning!
But notice what he does:
HE approaches Pilate and asks for the body of the man who had just been executed! This was contrary to Roman policy that bodies would remain on the cross! This was crazy, because this move would potentially mean that Joseph was self-identifying as a follower of Jesus!
Which he was by the way (Matt 27:57)
John 19:38 – HE JUST EXPOSED HIMSELF to the very people who sought to kill Jesus!
This took AMAZING COURAGE – and being a member of the Sanhedrin, you surely do not expect this man to take this course of action!
And he takes Jesus to a tomb, where no one had been laid.
Guys all of this fulfills prophecy!
EVERY BIT of this was PROMISED in the OT!
But that is not the end to the interesting character changes:
How about another Pharisee named Nicodemus!
A leader of the Jews = Sanhedrin!
Now Nicodemus had previous visited with Jesus in the cool of the night,
He is among the first to acknowledge that Jesus is a Rabbi
AND that HE is from God!
In this encounter, Nicodemus struggles to understand who Jesus is, and Jesus teaches about being born again, and about His own crucifixion! John 3:14
Now lets jump back to the Crucifixion in John 19:39-40
Now you have 2 members of the Sanhedrin doing something VERY Courageous and DANGEROUS!
Joseph goes and gets the body of Jesus
Nicodemus shows up with 75lbs of myrrh and aloes!
And they bury Him in the borrowed tomb!
EASTER hasn’t happened yet! - they don’t know what the future holds, but we do!
Now, one final jump!