Sermons

Summary: Today we consider what Jesus means when He says "it is finished and we ask ourselves if it is finished for us.

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Introductory Considerations

1. After being ordained into ministry and installed in Welland, local paper reported on the event - heading was "From Saving money to saving souls", referring to how an accountant became a minister of the word. Being involved in the work of God in saving souls is a much greater task than that of helping a business save money to increase its profits.

2. For that reason the work of ministry should be and often is more satisfying than that of accounting.

3. But there is one thing that I miss about accounting - every month we would have a number of jobs to do - paying bills, balancing books, preparing financial statements. Every year we would prepare a budget and go through a long and tedious budget. Sometimes we would have special analysis or projects to work on.

4. In each of these jobs, there was one thing that gave me joy that I often do not have in ministry. Each of these things were completed and after that I could rest from the work with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The work was done. I could say "It is finished"

5. You experience this when car repaired, planting or harvest is over etc.

6. I still experience this when I finish a sermon or some other work.

7. But what I have deep inside is a sense of incompleteness - things are not finished. In working with believers, with you - there are struggles, issues, doubts, tensions, conflicts that seem to hang on and on - that never seem to be resolve.

8. While that is a normal part of our human existence, I wonder if it needs to be this way, at least as much as it is.

9. It seems that we hang on to the past, to sins, to hurts, to insecurities more than we need to. It seems that we struggle so much that we do not have rest or have peace or joy. Sometimes I wish we could just take some of these things and say "It is finished, lets move on".

10. Today we here Jesus say "It is finished" from the cross. As we consider what Jesus means when He says these words we also consider what they mean for us and how these words should help us to put some of our struggles to rest. So we can also say "It is finished"

Teaching

1. "It is finished". The suffering of our Lord had come to an end.

2. Jesus said these words that he said that he was thirsty and so one man put some cheap wine on a sponge and on a stalk of a hyssop plant and lifted it to His lips.

3. The thirst that Christ felt would well have been because of the heat and the crucifixion itself.

4. But it could reminds us of what Jesus had said to His Father in Gethsemane. (Mat 26:39). Rev 14:10 talks about drinking the wine of God’s fury.

5. Jesus suffered at the hands of those who killed Him - but also at the fury of God - the sense of even being forsaken by Him. It was a suffering that He could only take, a suffering on our behalf.

6. Some of us have seen loved ones suffer and have actually felt relieved when they died. The words "It is finished" are words of relief, like an escape.

7. We suffer because of different reasons. We suffer with each other as members of the same body. One of hardest tasks as minister is that of sharing in the suffering of others.

8. Becoming a Christian does not make us immune to suffering - some say it increases our suffering because we are more aware of sin and injustice - that may be true, but we need to be careful.

9. Person telling me they were struggling with what God wanted them to do. They felt that if they really felt a strong desire to serve in a way, they should not - they should rather take the job that would create more suffering. Then they would be denying themselves. (Mat 16:24)

10. We will have crosses to bear but we must not think all is bad if it does not create suffering. To deny self means to not even consider suffering as a big deal. To lay self aside and focus on Christ and others as well. Not to ignore but not to make it the main focus of our lives.

11. To deny self means to not take upon ourselves that which Christ died for, not to suffer for that for which He suffered. (Mat 16:25)

12 Recently I saw suffering with family in deciding what to do with baby that was dying.

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