Tom Scott - 25/03/2018
Date: March 26, 2018
This morning I read a blog in which the author talked about preparations for the Easter celebrations this week. One of the points he repeated throughout the article was the importance of prayer. He talked about the trap of business and programs which draw our attention away from our time of prayer. The article had lots of good insights into preparing for Easter, but the power of prayer topped them all. With that being stated, let me encourage you to join me in making a concerted effort this week in praying that God would use our Easter celebration here at Cumberland to impact lives in a positive way for his kingdom. Let’s pray that God uses our invitations to open people’s eyes to their need for Christ in their lives. Let’s pray that God will open doors for us by which we can share with them how the Lord has finished the path that leads us back into a right relationship with God. I look forward to seeing how the Lord answers our prayers this week. Send me your stories of how God answers your prayers next week.
Sunday morning we looked at the sixth statement from the cross. It is Finished signified the end had come for Jesus and his suffering on the cross. As we looked at this statement, we examined how it impacts our spiritual journey with the Lord today. Here are five questions to help us reflect on the message.
1. We are down to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. One of the big stories from the tournament was the win of UMBC over number one seed Virginia. What is the greatest victory you have ever experienced in your lifetime?
2. Dennis Billy in his book on the seven statements from the cross talks about how this statement signified an end to the suffering and a completion to the mission. Do you see this sixth statement as more of a cry of defeat or a shout of victory and how would you defend your choice?
3. In the Old Testament, we see that God required an animal sacrifice when people sinned against him. The temple was full of animals being prepared for sacrifice which filled God with grief because it was not accomplishing the intended purpose. How was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross able to accomplish what the animals in the temple could not? (Hebrews 9:26-28, 1 Peter 1:18-19)
4. The path has been finished which leads from earth into Heaven. The world likes to tell us that all roads lead to Heaven, but that simply is not true. In John 14:6, Jesus tells his disciples that he is the only way to his father in Heaven. How prepared are we today to defend this position?
5. It is finished was spoken in the final seconds of Jesus’ life as he hung there on the cross. In a matter of moments Jesus would conqueror sin and death for all those who put their faith in him as their Savior. According to Paul we have become more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. How should being classified as conquerors in this battle change our disposition when we go out into the world?
Let me close this E-study by once again expressing my sincere appreciation for all those who ventured out yesterday for the service. What a weekend we had with more than eight inches of snow! Despite the bad weather and the rough road conditions, we were blessed with a great service. I’m praying that our Easter service is a powerful celebration of the greatest victory ever experienced in the universe. Remember our Good Friday service is at 6:30pm. If you can’t make it Friday night, then I’ll see you Sunday morning!
It is Finished
Introduction: There is great joy in completing an assignment, finishing a project, or accomplishing a feat. As we near the end of Jesus’ time on the cross, he will cry out: “It is finished.” These words proclaim his victory, not his defeat. This morning, we will look at the impact these words have on our own spiritual journey.
I. They won.
What has been one of the surprise moments from this year’s NCAA basketball tournament?
A. It is historic.
No one would believe that a 16 seed would beat a 1 seed in the tournament and yet it happened this year.
B. It is finished.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
II. He’s done.
This is the sixth statement to come from Jesus’ lips as he hung there on the cross. What promise is contained in this statement!
A. The end of his suffering.
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
B. The completion of his mission.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
III. It’s complete.
How does this statement impact our spiritual journey with the Lord?
A. The sacrifice has been made.
Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
B. The debt has been paid.
1 Peter 1:18-19
1 Peter 1:18-19
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 ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
C. The path has been finished.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
D. The victory has been secured.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Conclusion: Today is Palm Sunday and we celebrate that moment when Jesus entered into Jerusalem on the back of a colt. Jesus came to Jerusalem with a purpose and through his sacrifice on the cross he was able to complete that task. “It is finished” has become a victory chant for those who put their faith in Jesus as our Savior.