Thursday, October 4, 2012

John 19:28-30 with Matthew 27:45-54

Jesus was born to die. He came to earth, Emmanuel, God with us, for the specific purpose of paying the price for our sin, so that we might be reconciled to the Father. Everything He said and did during His life here on Earth pointed to this one event. We’ll look at it with some help from Matthew:

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46)

Jon Courson reminds us that when Jesus “became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Father had to turn His back on the Son, because He could look on iniquity. At this point Jesus was completely alone. The atmosphere mirrored the judgment as darkness overtook the land. When Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was not only expressing His agony, but He was, in mercy, pointing the people to Psalm 22, which begins with that cry, and which describes in detail the crucifixion, hundreds of years before it was a form of execution.  He was pointing to the fulfillment of that prophecy.

John tells us what happened at the end:

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)

 “It is finished.”

The significance of that statement is huge! The work of salvation was completed. The price for ALL our sin, past, present, and future was PAID IN FULL! There is nothing left to do - neither Jesus nor we can add anything to that work. The message of the good news is not DO, but DONE!

As proof that the sacrifice had satisfied the debt, Matthew tells us that the veil in the temple that separated the people from God in the Holy of Holies was ripped in two, from top to bottom! (Matthew 27:51) The way to God had been opened forever through Christ’s sacrifice. I love that Matthew gives the detail that the veil split from top to bottom, because it signifies that the work of salvation is God reaching down to us, not us trying to reach up to Him.

Matthew further tells us that there was an enormous earthquake that even opened up graves! (vs.46). It was enough to completely shake up one of the centurions standing guard at the cross:

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

To that I add, Hallelujah!  

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