Sunday, March 13, 2016

7 Sayings Of The Cross – Part 5 – I Thirst

Temple Baptist Church - 3-13-2016
John 19:28-30; Isaiah 52:14-53:11


A.  Calvary is an inexhaustible subject as it involves the infinite love, mercy, grace, and sacrifice of God for sinful man. 

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (Sinful man, loved by a holy God in spite of fault and failure.  The reconciliation of the irreconcilable!   Oh, what a Saviour Jesus Christ is!)

B.  Thus far, we have seen:

1.  Calvary’s Pardon as Jesus Christ cried out for the forgiveness of those who knew not what they did.   “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!”

2.  Calvary’s Promise as Jesus Christ responded to the penitent cry of a dying thief.  “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise,” thus giving hope to all who put their faith in Him.

3.  Calvary’s Provision as Jesus Christ placed His loving mother into the hands of John the beloved.  “Woman, behold thy son…Behold thy mother.”  Dying, our Lord entrusted His earthly family to His earthly church.

4.  Calvary’s Price as our Lord became sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him!  “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Because Jesus Christ literally became sin for us that we might one day live forever with Him.

5.  Now we come to Calvary’s Pain as, in the darkness of the noon day, Jesus Christ’s voice was heard once more.  “I thirst.”

C.  All things are now accomplished!  Jesus Christ has done all that He came to do.  He has left nothing undone including the care of His earthly mother.  I continue to emphasis “His earthly mother” because Jesus Christ—as Jehovah God—had no mother!  He has now become sin for us and is “forsaken” of the Father.  As we were separated from the Father by our sin, Jesus Christ is now separated from the Father by our sin! 

Romans 14:8-9  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.  (9)  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

D.  At Calvary, we find the climax of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry; the culmination of God’s Salvation Plan which was pre-determined from the foundation of the world.  During these hours of darkness, we find the payment of sin manifested in a twofold suffering. 

E.  “I thirst!”  For the first time, Jesus Christ requested something for Himself!  In Matthew 27, before His crucifixion, the Roman soldiers offered Him vinegar mingled with gall—which would have dulled the pain and lessened the suffering.  Jesus Christ refused the sedation offered! 

Matthew 27:33-35a  And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,  (34)  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.  (35)  And they crucified him…  

F.  That the scripture might be fulfilled - Psalms 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.  (Our Lord fulfilled every Old Testament prophesy during His earthly life. This was proof positive that Jesus Christ was Jehovah God in the flesh!)

G.  An ordinary man would not have made it to this point!  Isaiah 52:14, 53:5  “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men… But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  (No man has ever been beaten as Christ was beaten!  He was unrecognizable as a man before He went to the cross.)

H.  The pain and suffering was beyond our human imagination!  I have read much concerning the suffering from a medical viewpoint and the agony must have been beyond anything that we have ever experienced.  I do not want to major on these physical sufferings but do want us to realize that no man has ever or ever will suffer as He suffered.

I.  The Roman soldiers could not kill Him!  The crucifixion could not kill Him! 

John 10:17-18  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  (18)  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.  (We will find in a later message that Jesus Christ had to dismiss (lay down) His life for us.  His death was entirely voluntary!)

J.  The Sufferings of Christ were manifold:  **Isaiah 52:14-53:11

1.  The Sufferings of Gethsemane – The Sorrow of the Soul

a.  Suffering at the hands of Sorrow of the Soul - Matthew 26:38  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

b.  Suffering at the hands of Sleeping Saints - Matthew 26:40  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

c.  Suffering at the hands of Sinners - Matthew 26:45  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

d.  Suffering at the hands of a Supposed Saint - Matthew 26:47-49  And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.  (48)  Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.  (49)  And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

2.  The Suffering of Separation – The Sorrow of the Spirit

a.  The Son of God, for the first and last time in all eternity, separated from God the Father.  The great Three In One no longer in unity!  The great I AM became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him!

b.  The suffering of separation from God the Father!  I believe that the greatest of all of the sufferings of Christ were shown in the statement, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

c.  In hell, the rich man of Luke 16 was separated from Abraham’s Bosom by a gulf that was “fixed” by God.  It was a gulf that could not be breached.  Sin separates and this division must be reconciled in order for men to eternally live with the Lord.  At Calvary, we find a great gulf “fixed” by God that could not be breached until sin had been paid for once and for all.

3.  The Sufferings Of Golgotha – The Sorrow of the Flesh

a.  He was lied about - Mark 14:55-56  And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.  (56)  For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

b.  They spit upon Him - Matthew 27:30  And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

c.  They smote Him - Matthew 26:67  Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

d.  They mocked Him - Luke 23:11  And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

e.  They scourged Him - John 19:1  Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

f.  They crowned Him with thorns - Mark 15:17  And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

g.  They smote Him on the crown of thorns - Mark 15:19  And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

h.  They rejected Him for a thief - Luke 23:18  And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:

i.  They caused Him to bear His cross - John 19:17  And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

j.  They nailed Him to the tree - Psalms 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

k.  They pierced His side - John 19:34  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Conclusion:  So few words to describe such suffering.  “They crucified him…I thirst!”  What the world normally watched in the light, God shrouded with darkness.
1.  The Magnitude Of That Thirst can never be fully realized.

2.  The Meaning Of That Thirst takes to the depths of hell and a rich man who cried for water out of his torments.

3.  The Message Of That Thirst is once again that Christ died for the sins of the world!  They crucified Him – Three little words!  Psalms 22:14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  (He suffered physically in almost every way – I know that the death and suffering of Christ was not like that of others but here is a description of what crucifixion would feel like to the human body and Christ had one.)

Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild sedative. He refuses to drink. He is placed on the cross on His back.  His flesh in ribbons, the pain is excruciating.  The Roman soldier drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through a hand and deep into the wood. He moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement.   The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The cross is then lifted into place and then drops into place.  His weight falls helplessly upon the nailed hands and feet.   The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the hands excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain -- the nails in the hands and feet are putting pressure on the nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet. At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences recorded. Now follows hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins...A terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels." It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue; the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps His fifth cry, "I thirst." One remembers another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death." A sponge soaked in vinegar is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn't take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremes and death now nears. He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. His mission of atonement has completed as He cries, "It is finished." With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, "Father! Into thy hands I commit my spirit."  Now He wills His body to die for you and for me!

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