Summary: A sermon for Good Friday.
“It Is Finished”
By Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church
Newport News, VA
Why do we call this Good Friday?
The Crucifixion is an extraordinary scene of darkness and despair!
The events surrounding the death of Christ portray a picture of the most intense evil.
The unfair trial, the agony of Jesus, Peter’s 3 denials, the fleeing disciples, the crown of thorns, the mockery of the soldiers and the cries of “Crucify Him!”…
…the darkness that covered the land from noon to 3 pm…
…the earthquake, and the cry of Jesus: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
What’s so Good about it?
In John chapter 15 Jesus says: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends…”
The Love of God is what makes it good…
…the love of God for sinful me and sinful you…
…the love of God that will stop at nothing so that we will not get what we deserve…
…the love of God Who desires that no one be condemned to hell, but that all be saved!
You see Satan didn’t want this to happen.
Satan didn’t want Jesus to go through with it.
Satan wanted to convince Jesus that we aren’t worth trying to save…
…that we wouldn’t appreciate it…
…wouldn’t accept it…
…that it would all be in vain.
Without the shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ there can be no forgiveness of sins…
…without the shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ humankind cannot be saved.
Without the shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ—Satan wins!
Well, Satan doesn’t win my friends!
“For God so loved the world…”
For “all who receive” Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior “to those who believe in his name, he” gives the right to “become children of God”!
Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?
Are you a child of God?
Who is winning in your life?
Up until Good Friday, Jesus had never experienced separation from God the Father, but He willingly experienced this separation…this horrible, indescribable agony for us---so that we won’t have to.
Oh what love God has for you and for me!!!
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This is the cry of a sinless God on behalf of a sinful race.
This is love.
In Christ we have victory over death and the devil!
Without Christ there is nothing but emptiness, despair, hell.
A way…the Way…the Only Way has been made available to bridge the gap between God and sinful humankind.
Christ took our place on that Cross!
Christ’s death sounded the eternal sentence against our enemy, Satan.
In Matthew chapter 12 Jesus asks the question: “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.”
The strong man is Satan.
The strong man’s house is this world.
Jesus Christ tied up the strong man through what He was willing to endure for us on Good Friday.
And because the strong man has been tied up---Christ can take us away from the grips of the strongman and make us His own!
…when Jesus said: “It is finished.”…
…the enemy, who had the power, stood defeated and doomed.
There is nothing left to do except for us to accept Christ’s invitation to follow Him out of the strong man’s house!
He has come to rescue us.
He has thrown us a life raft.
His work is complete!
What a name.
It is the most awful, wicked and incongruous thing that has ever happened on this planet.
It was the world at it’s worst.
Almighty God comes to earth, lives as a human among humans—and is whipped, spat upon, mocked, pierced with nails, and hung on a tree to die.
And yet, if we find time during this Good Friday to sit quietly before the Cross…
…and as we gaze, it will be borne in upon us that only a crucified Savior can use something so wicked and turn it into something so beautiful!
It was the world at it’s worst, but it was heaven at it’s best.
It is Good.
It does make sense.
It is finished!