Summary: A short message on the meaning and value of the Cross for at Easter time.
After this, Jesus knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth. 30 When Jesus tasted the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died. Jn 19:28-30
Easter represents the coming of a new series of seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter all follow Easter. Easter heralds a new hope and a promise of better things to come. Warm weather among other things.
Yet in reality Easter is so much more, true it speaks of new beginnings and hope of better things but if we take the time to think about the Christian origin of Easter we realise it is foundational to all that the Christian believes and is.
In the way that Easter is so much more than most folk realise so Good Friday is utterly foundational to everything Easter is.
Good Friday puts the magnifying glass on the ultimate abuse, Christ utterly abused for the sins of the world.
See how little respect his persecutors showed to him, There was a vessel full of vinegar, instead of the cup of wine which they used to give to those that were ready to perish; they filled a sponge with this sour vinegar for they would not allow him to drink from a cup, and they put it upon a hyssop-stalk, and with this heaved it to his mouth so that He might suck the fluid out because He was thirsty. A drop of water would have cooled his tongue better than a drink of vinegar yet He submitted to this indignity for us. At the time of His death the heavens closed off their light and as heaven denied him a beam of light earth denied him a drop of water, and put vinegar in its stead.
It was after this that Jesus said, “It is finished”
Tiny words but on them hang all the hopes of millions of souls.
Jesus was referring to the whole purpose of His coming to earth. In short what He said on the cross summed up His whole earthly existence. Jesus came to say “it is finished” These words are the conclusion of all His teaching, all His miracles, all His actions and all His love for you.
Let me be very simplistic this morning in trying to explain what Jesus was meaning.
The fact that Jesus used the word “finished” implies that something had been started.
What did Jesus start when He came to earth?
He started to show love,
He started to show how we could be united to the God who loves us if we believe in Him.
He started to show how we can have an assurance of heaven or Eternal life.
The whole life and ministry of Jesus was to show to ordinary people these important things.
Speaking of Himself Jesus said,
“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life
When Jesus said “it is finished” He was saying, I have shown to the world the Father, I have paid the price for human misery and sin, I have settled the account with the father and because it is finished anyone can come and benefit by My death.
Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand.
Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires; but on what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.
St Augustine said,
I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden." ~
John Newton said,
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believer's ear; It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear.