Title: Seven Words From The cross
Text: Romans 15:4
Reading: Matthew 27:27-56
Subject: The Message of Our Lord’s Seven Sayings
Date: Sunday Morning - July 21, 1996
Tape # S-76
I want to begin my message this morning in Romans 15:4 - "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Here the Apostle Paul the fourfold purpose of Holy Scripture. "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written...”
1. “FOR OUR LEARNING.” - God the Holy Spirit has by divine and perfect inspiration caused this Book to be written that we might learn by the things herein revealed...
· The Character of God.
· The Condition of Man.
· The Redemptive Work of Christ.
· The glory and Grace of God in the Gospel.
I realize that sinners are not saved merely by acquiring knowledge. You may become a proficient theologian, a scholar of Bible languages, and a respected teacher or preacher, and never know the living God. Knowledge is not salvation. But no one will ever be saved apart from knowledge. You cannot trust an unrevealed, unknown Savior. You simply cannot trust Christ until you know something about who he is, what he has done, and why he did it.
Romans 10:13-17 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
2. “THAT WE THROUGH PATIENCE” - The Word of God was written to teach us patience.
Psalms 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
I have not yet found a more needful or a more difficult thing to learn and acquire than patience. But we must learn to “wait on the Lord” for...
· The Fulfilment of His Purpose.
· The Revelation of His Will.
· The Performance of His Work.
NOTE: This business of preaching the gospel, this thing called the church and kingdom of God is not a business. We do not make things happen. We wait for things to happen. We wait for God to do his work. We sow the seed and wait. We cast our bread upon the waters and wait. We pray and wait. “He that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16).
3. “AND COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES” - This blessed Book was written for our comfort. The children’s Bread is the the Bible. This is the Source of all comfort for the believing heart. All the doctrines, promises, and revelations of this Book are written to minister comfort to our hearts in this world.
God delights for his children to be comforted.
John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Hebrews 13:5-6 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
It is my responsibility as a gospel preacher to minister comfort to God’s elect. He says to every gospel preacher, in Isaiah 40:1-2 - "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (2) Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."
NOTE: When your heart is heavy and your soul is is troubled, do not neglect your God-given Source of comfort.
· The Reading of The Word.
· The Preaching of the word.
· Meditation upon the Word.
· Eternal Life.
· Everlasting Acceptance with God.
What is the basis of this hope? How can sinful men and women like us face the holy Lord God and eternity with confident hope? Our hope is Jesus Christ himself (1 Tim. 1:1). And our hope in Christ is based upon the Word of God.
John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
This is the purpose of Holy Scripture. All that is written in the Book of God has been “written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
In this Volume of Inspiration the Holy Spirit has taken very special care to record for us each of those things that were spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ, as he hung upon the cross suffering the wrath of God as our Substitute, to pu away our sins. As you know, there were seven things spoken by our Redeemer from the cross.
1. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
2. “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
3. “Woman, behold thy Son!” - Son, “Behold thy mother!”
4. “My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?”
5. “I thirst!”
6. “It is finished!”
7. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
There have been mountains of words and thousands of sermons preached from these Seven Words from the Cross. I cannot add anything to what has already been spoken and written by faithful men. But I do hope that God the Holy Spirit will enable me to give you a glimpse of what I see in them. That is what I want to do in this message, for your learning, patience, comfort, and hope in Christ.
The only fear I have in preaching this message is the tendency to reduce these tremendous themes to mere homeletical points of dry doctrine and lifeless theology. May God forbid that from being the case!
These Seven Words from the Cross are the very words our our great God and Savior, spoken as he engaged the forces of hell and endured the indescribable wrath of God in the place of sinners.
The enormous load of all my guilt
Was on my Savior laid;
With woes, as with a garment, He
For sinners was arrayed.
And in the horrid pangs of death
He wept, He prayed for me;
Loved and embraced my guilty soul
When nailed to the tree.
Oh love amazing! Love beyond
The reach of human tongue;
Love which shall be the subject of
An everlasting song.
I. The first word from the cross is found in Luke 23:34. "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Here I see CHRIST OUR MEDIATOR.
Here is the Son of God suffering by the hands of wicked men, suffering with wicked men, suffering as a wicked man, and yet praying for the men who made him suffer. “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men,” and that Mediator is “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
A. We must have a Mediator (Heb. 5:1).
B. The Mediator must be a man of God’s choosing (Heb. 5:4-5).
C. The Mediator must pray and be heard (Heb. 5:7).
Who meets all these qualifications? Only the Lord Jesus Christ!
· John 14:6
· Romans 8:34
· Hebrews 7:25
Illustration: Peter - “I have prayed for thee!”
1 John 2:1-2 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
II. The second word is found in Luke 23:43. "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Here I see CHRIST OUR KING.
Even as he hung upon the cross, suffering untold agony under the wrath of God, Jesus Christ reigned as Lord and King over everything.
· Here is the sovereign King, the Ruler of the Kingdom of God, saving whom he will!
· Here is the King of Grace opening the door which no mere man can ever open.
· Here is the Prince of Peace, giving peace that no man can give.
· Here is the King of Glory, promising mercy and eternal life that no man can merit.
Would you obtain mercy like this dying thief? If you would, come to the King, Christ Jesus. Acknowledge him as your Lord, and cry, “Remember me!”
“I’ll go to Jesus, though my sin
Hath like a mountain rose.
I know His courts I’ll enter in,
Whatever may oppose.
I’ll to the gracious King approach,
Whose sceptre mercy gives.
Perhaps He will command my touch;
And then this sinner lives!
I can but perish if I go,
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away I know
I must forever die!
“Salvation is of the Lord!” Grace comes from the throne of grace. And the King who sits upon that throne is the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:22 "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."
John 5:20-21 "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."
John 17:2 "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
III. The third word spoken by our Lord as he hung upon the cross is found in John 19:26-27. "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." Here I see CHRIST OUR REPRESENTATIVE AND EXAMPLE.
Even in the agonies of death, under the penalty of sin, enduring the wrath of God, fulfilling the everlasting covenant, accomplishing eternal redemption for us, and satisfying the divine justice, our Lord Jesus Christ did not neglect the responsibilities of manhood! Our Savior, as our Representative and Examle, deliberately gave attention to his responsibilities as a man, even in the time of his dying agony. He fulfilled all righteousness! He did everything that it is right for a man to do.
· He was circumcised.
· He was subject unto his parents.
· He was baptized.
· He attended the synagogue.
Our Lord Jesus was “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”
A. He fulfilled all righteousness as our legal Representative.
Romans 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
B. He fulfilled all righteousness as our Example of Righteousness.
John 13:14 "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet."
1 Timothy 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
IV. The fourth word is found in Matthew 27:46. "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Here I see CHRIST OUR SUBSTITUTE.