John 19:30  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 

Stand at the foot of the cross and hear Jesus say it is finished.  He said those final words as He gasped for breath – crucifixion is a death of asphyxiation.

 

Most of the disciples had run away the night before – they were already in despair.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, who heard the words of the angel.

Luke 1:32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

 

Can you imagine the grief and confusion Mary was going through as she stood at the foot of the cross?  Grieving the pain of her son – knowing He was about to die – and remembering what God has promised her.

I can imagine grief and anger, maybe even a shaking of faith thinking God had not keep His word.

 

We also hear and see the despair of the two disciples walking home to Emmaus.

Luke 24:21  but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

 

Let’s go back a few hours in the Upper Room.

Jesus had already predicted His death

John 12:23  Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. … 27  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28  Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

 

We see Jesus’ heart is troubled – He opens up and shares the inner struggle between survival and obedience (not wanting to suffer pain and death but wanting to obey His Father).

 

That is what we hear in the Garden also.

Matthew 26:38  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

 

Jesus is totally God and totally man – the emotions we struggle with – He struggled with (Hebrews 4:15).

 

In the Upper Room Jesus reveals His betrayer.  No wonder He is troubled.

John 13:21  After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”

 

Have you ever been betrayed?

Then you know what Jesus is experiencing.  One of the 12, one of the inner circle is about to betray Him and Judas as the audacity to ask if it is him.

 

Matthew 26:23  Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25  Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”

 

How could Judas go through with his planning knowing that his actions were a betrayal?  Even after Jesus told him he did not understand the sin he was committing.  Judas didn’t understand his evil actions until Jesus was condemned (Matthew 27:3).

 

Jesus was not just betrayed by one disciple – all the disciples fled when He was arrested and then Peter denied he even knew Jesus three times.

 

Mark 14:48  “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49  Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50  Then everyone deserted him and fled.

 

The 11 faithful disciples who promised to go to prison with you and die with you (Matthew 25:35) all fled as soon as you are arrested.  Jesus knew this was going to happen but it doesn’t make the betrayal any easier.

 

Jesus’ heart was breaking for the sin of the world – He knew the suffering He was about to experience and His closest friends where running away and denying Him.  Jesus even saw Peter deny Him while He was standing trial before the High Priest.

 

Luke 22:60  Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62  And he went outside and wept bitterly.

 

Peter wept and Judas was sorrowful when they finally understood their betrayal.  Their sin and their response to their sin lead them in two different directions.  Judas hanged himself and Peter repented.

We are told by Paul the difference between Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow.

 

2 Corinthians 7:10  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

 

It is not that we will not betray Jesus it is how will we grieve?  We will sin, the question is will we repent.

When you sin do have sorrow that leads to repentance?

Some people don’t even have sorrow – they glory in their shame (Philippians 3:19).

 

God’s love is so great – Jesus died for the traitor Judas, the denier Peter, and for the sinner Jim and for you too.

 

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to die for us.

Do you understand how much you are loved?

Jesus left Heaven to die for you.

 

Philippians 2:6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

 

Jesus is like a protective mom who would do anything to save her child.

In 1987 Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed on take-off in Michigan, killing 155 passengers. Only four year old Cecilia survived. Just prior to the crash, Cecilia’s mother, Paula, unbuckled her seat belt and knelt in front of Cecilia with her arms wrapped around her daughter. Paula took the devastation of the crash and Cecilia lived. Paula took the fall for her daughter that she loved.

 

Why did Jesus come and die?

Because of our sin and God’s Holiness.

Sin is the world’s problem – not government, education, or psychological behavior.

Sin is the problem, we see that from Genesis to Revelation.

Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit and their son Cain killing his brother.

Noah’s generation so evil that God was sad that He had created the world.

To the Apostle John telling us about the future evil of those who turn their back on God.

Sin is the problem – Dylan Roof was not mentally unstable – he was evil and murdered nine innocent people.

Jesus died for Dylan – Dylan deserves God’s grace as much as you.

Sin is the problem – Those who practice homosexuality are wicked.

Soon that will get me in trouble as hate speech but for now I still have religious liberty to preach the Bible.

Jesus died for all homosexuals – they deserve God’s grace as much as you.

Sin is the problem – My sin and your sin is wickedness before God.

Jesus died for you.

 

Sin is wicked and the wicked will not enter Heaven.

1 Corinthians 6:9  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

It is not them and us – it is all of us who commit wicked actions against God.  There is Good News

 

1 Corinthians 6:11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

 

That is why Jesus came and died – to save us from our wickedness.

But why didn’t God just overlook our sin and wickedness?

Why can’t God just let us live the way we want and accept us as we are if He is so loving?

God is loving but He is also Holy (Leviticus 11:45)

 

1 Peter 1:15  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

 

Our Holy God does not pretend our sin is a mental lapse or condone our sin as simple stubbornness.

God hates sin and cannot turn a blind eye to it.

God will not compromise his Holiness by indulging our sinful behavior.

 

Habakkuk 1:13  Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.

 

God’s Holiness means He is separate from us.

 

Isaiah 6:1  …I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, …. 2  Above him were seraphs, … 3  And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” …5  “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

 

God’s Holiness means He is perfect in all He does – He is not tempted by sin and can’t not do evil.

James 1:13  When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

 

God’s Holiness will not let Him do anything evil.  Holiness is an unchangeable character of God.

 

1 John 1:5  … God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

 

There is a problem – we are evil and sinful and God is Holy

Because of God’s Holiness we should be destroyed just like the evil people of Noah’s day – just like the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

God is not only Holy He is also Love.  God had a solution from the beginning (1 Peter 1:20).

God sent Jesus to die on the cross to remove the guilt of our sin.

 

1 Peter 1:18  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

 

Our sin problem was solved by God’s love (1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 3:13).

 

2 Corinthians 5:21  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

That is why Jesus was willing to go through the dark hours of the cross.

He came to serve us, He came to die so that we might live.

 

How many of you parents have said you would rather suffer than to see your kids suffer?

That is God’s heart – Jesus left heaven was nailed to a cross to protect us from the destruction of hell.

 

Jesus said it is finished – The suffering was over – salvation had been bought.

 

Will you accept His gift?

Will you be washed clean of your sin?

Come believing, come repenting, and come ready to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.