Here at Pilgrim Presbyterian Church we are always harping on the truth! I always call you to know the truth. We focus on the truth. We believe in the truth. We Christians believe in truth because Jesus told us, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Before we do anything spiritual, we need to have God’s truth speak into our lives. In our worship service, God calls to worship by the word and only then d we life our voices to sing!
Why do Christians always focus on the truth? First, if we don’t believe anything, we have nothing to offer. There is nothing more obnoxious than a ministry that believes little or nothing. When you come for knowledge they say—we don’t worry about that!
We Christians believe in Truth because Truth has power! Truth gives life. Peter realized this when he testified to Jesus, “You alone have the words of eternal life!” (Jon 6:68). Peter was involved with Jesus because only Jesus had the true words that give eternal life. Truth is also how we Christians grow (Rom 12:1-2).
Jesus is the only way of salvation. He is the “Way, truth, and life, no one comes to the Father but through [him]” (John 14:6). Put this in perspective: if Jesus is the only way to the Father, and the only Truth about the way to the Father, and the only Life giver – gives life to be with God forever—It seems like a bad idea to cut out truth about Jesus! Get Jesus wrong and you don’t get God forever!
The truth of Jesus alone has the power to convert sinners John 19:35, “And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth so that you may believe!” John’s stated purpose in this chapter is to “testify to the truth” about Jesus so that we who read it believe! The words about Jesus create faith, belief, trust in Jesus!
FCF: Do you lack assurance? Do you want to grow in your faith? Do you want to desire God more? Do you want to love your neighbor more? Do you want to get your theology straight so you can share the Gospel? Then you need the truth of Jesus.
Point: The point of the passage is to know the truth, and build up your faith! So my point/purpose today is to build your faith by teaching you the truth about Jesus as taught in this passage!
Intro to Text:
This particular section, John focused our attention in verse 30 on the Truth about Jesus. What is the Truth about Jesus?The truth about Jesuis that he fulfilled everything!
Notice in verse 28 he says, “Knowing all things had already been accomplished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’” First, He knew he was going to “accomplish all things.” Second, he knew that the Scripture had to be fulfilled! Jesus knew his Bible, and knew that it pointed to him. He would tell his disciples, “It is written in Moses and the Prophets” that the “Messiah would suffer prior to entering his glory” (Luke 24:25f, 45-49). He realized that He had come to accomlishe something. He had a mission in Scripture.
Then, just before Jesus gave up his spirit, He cried out, “It is finished!” (v. 30). What was finished? The answer is all things (28)! Our goal today is to know what are “all” those “things.”
1) Fully Satisfied God’s Justice
The Bible teaches that God is a just God. Unbelieving people often say about God, “If God were really just, why would he let evil happen happen?” They intuitively (from the image of God within them) know that the real God is a just God. He gives equal just wages for good and evil. But that is just our problem! The real God is justice in infinite perfection. He is not just like we are just. He is the utter perfection of Justice. He is totally consistent.
We are not totally just. And any sin we commit against someone else results in our condemnation in God’s courtroom. Our crimes against God are infinitely evil because he is infinitely just! On our own, there is no escape from our punishment!
But praise the Lord, God satisfied his justice for us in the cross of Jesus! Notice the way Jesus satisfied God’s justice. Jesus fully took the punishment for the crimes against God.
First, in verse 17-18 we read about three details that symbolize Jesus satisfying God’s justice. In v. 17, He “bore his own cross” is a clear symbol from the OT about being cursed by God. Deuteronomy 21:23 and Gal 3:13 tell us God’s “curse” is upon “everyone who hangs on a tree.” The Second detail in v. 17 is that “He was brought to the place called the skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha” In the first century this rock formation was associated with the place where Adam’s skull found its final burial place. It may have been legend, but God used the connotations of this place to describe the curse on Jesus that Adam and all his posterity deserved. It reminds us that Adam’s sin brought death into the world. Justice requires death for sin. Jesus received the death we deserved on the cross on Golgotha.
The third detail is in verse 18, it says, “He was crucified between two robbers.” He is associated with robbers, criminals crucified for their crimes. But then notice that in verses 19-22 Pilate did not blame Jesus for any crime. The Priests say, “no don’t do that, then it looks like he’s innocent. Say, he claimed to be a king who tried to fight against the state.” But Pilate won’t let them get away with it. This points to Jesus’ innocence. The perfectly innocent-just Jesus died for his people.
These three details show us ***The seriousness of Sin. God’s wrath at sin was so serious that he did not have us try to outweigh our guilt with good. He sent his son to die for us. He has to send the Son to take on flesh and endure the punishment because no one else could bear that kind of punishment. God alone could take the just penalty for sin and satisfy his infinite Justice! God is infinitely just and the wrath of God is infinitely against sin! He is so Just he could not just let us go free for our sin. God’s Justice had to be satisfied!
2 Jesus Fulfilled All Righteousness
Kids, do you always obey the Lord? The Bible teaches you to obey the Lord by obeying your parents. They love you and are looking for your good. The Bible teaches you, “You shall honor your father and your mother.” He says this to everyone! Not only do we obey when we are kids, but we also honor our parents by believing in the Lord, continuing the religious worship of God, and caring for them when they age.
Notice in verse 25b-27 that Jesus takes care of his mom. Joseph, who was Jesus adoptive earthly father must have died at some point before this, and without Jesus around, she would have been destitute. Jesus’ brothers could have cared for her after he was gone, but he gives the disciple John the responsibility. The reason for this was an act of obedience to the law while on the cross. Specifically, he obeyed the 5th commandment, “You shall honor your father and your mother that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
The Lord Jesus was totally obedient to God’s law. Once he told John the Baptist that he had to submit to baptism in order to “Fulfill all righteousness.” The point is, Jesus not only fulfilled God’s justice, but he also obeyed God fully for us!
I just told you that Jesus satisfied God’s justice, he fully paid the penalty for the sins of you who believe in Him. But paying the penalty for sin only puts us back at square one! That just makes us just, right before God. The satisfaction of God’s justice removed the penalty, but it is not all Jesus did! He also earned salvation for us! He earned the resurrection of the dead!
Not only did Jesus honor his earthly mother to be obedient to the Father in heaven, but this also points to how he is totally obedient to his Father in Heaven! This detail is not a throw away! All who believe in Jesus both have his full satisfaction of the Just penalty against him, but he also fully obeyed the Father for us!
3 Jesus Fulfilled Gods plan
Jesus fulfilled the predicted plan of God. God predicted the work of Jesus before it happened in the OT. Notice a few examples.
Verses 23-25a, The soldiers divided his things as if they were spoils of war. In war, soldiers would plunder the belongings of the dead bodies on the battlefield. They thought they conquered Jesus. Notice though, they did not conquer Jesus, God planned for them to do this! Look at verse 24. It says, “That the scripture might be fulfilled!” (Psalm 22:18). And then in 25a, it says, “Therefore the soldiers did these things!” The word therefore teaches us that the soldiers did not conquer Jesus, but they did this because of God’s plan predicted and accomplished!
31-34 we see that the legs of Jesus were not broken, because in verse 30 “He gave up his spirit.” The romans did not kill him, God did this on his own terms and plan. So in verse 36 we read that this fulfilled God’s plan that his “bones would not be broken.” (Psa 34:20)
Also, in verses 28 we read that Jesus “accomplished all things.” What Things? Satisfied God’s justice? Obeyed God Perfectly? What about fulfilling God’s plan predicted in Scripture? IN verse 30, Jesus concluded, “It is finished!” in better translates, “It is fulfilled!”
God predicted these things in the OT because he planned them from beyond eternity. In all eternity, God planed with the Son and Spirit to redeem mankind. The Father and the Son planned from all eternity, beyond time, to send the son to redeem mankind!
***This shows us the Love of God! God’s love is so great that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Rom 5:8), “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be a propitiation for our sins.” (1John 4:10).
The drama of the cross shows us God’s love clearer than anything else. Sure, we could say God loves us in the sense that he des not destroy the world instantly, but he is patient. But really we are sinners at odds with him, waiting for judgment day. In the cross we see that we are sinners, and God is angry at us for our sin, but he also loved us so much that he sent the Son to die for us!
Here is where it all comes together—-God’s plan was motivated by God’s justice and God’s love. God loves us, but he is also Just. How do the two work together? The answer is God’s Justice.
You need to know these truths about Jesus! my point today is to build your faith by informing your mind about the work of Jesus. He accomplished all things, God’s justice, all righteousness, and the eternal plan of salvation.
You need these truths. We Christians believe but we desire to learn more. If you’re new to the faith, you need to learn the facts. If you know nothing about Jesus, you need to learn about Jesus to be saved!
We Christians believe in truth! Truth gives freedom (John 8:31-34), Truth gives life (John 6:61?), Truth is why we come to church (Acts 2:42). Truth is how we grow (Rom 12:1-2). Truth of Jesus alone has the power to convert sinners (Rom 10:14).
John’s point was to build up your faith… v.35, he was “testifying to Jesus that you may believe!” Because the testimony to Jesus builds our faith, we must seek that testimony!
One of the greatest blessings this testimony gives is assurance that though we are sinners, and God justly condemns us, He also loves us infinitely in his Son!
This week I have had a half dozen people ask me about assurance of salvation. These were all strong mature believers. I wonder if we are being tested specially as to whether we will look to Jesus, or to our merit!? If you are suffering from a lack of assurance today, know for certain that God is for you in the cross, and not against you. If you rest and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross, all of your sins are absolved!
Why? Because he fulfilled all things for you— Not some things, not most things, but all things!
If you lack assurance, You need to remember that Jesus really fulfilled all things! He does not meet you halfway. He gives full security to all who trust in him! You need to remember that the wrath of God is infinite against sin, but so is his love to you who believe!
This is what the Apostle Paul said to the church at Rome,
Rom 8:31ff What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth;
who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.