DEVOTIONS WITH PASTOR BOB
The Gospel of John Chapter 19
“The Wonder of the Cross”
The Book of John in Song - Chapter 19 - "The Cross"
JOHN 19:16-18, 28-30 (NLT)
16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
So, they took Jesus away.
17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).
18 There they nailed him to the cross.
Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”
29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.
30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!”
Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
As we approach Easter in just a few weeks, we turn our attention to the cross.
JESUS IN THE CENTER
This was literally true; of the three crosses, Jesus was in the middle.
Yet as a concept, there are many ways that it could be said that Jesus is the center.
JESUS WAS CENTERED AMONG ALL HUMANITY.
Jesus never distanced Himself from common people, and freely interacted with those thought to be great men.
From His birth, through His whole life, He lived as one of us.
Jesus died among men and women, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor.
He died among the high class and no class, the educated and the uneducated.
Jesus died among the religious and the secular, the guilty and the innocent.
He died among the weepers and the mockers, those deeply moved and those indifferent, those who hated Him and those who loved Him.
JESUS WAS CENTERED AMONG SINFUL HUMANITY.
His enemies thought this would make His sufferings worse.
They thought it would bother Him more to see the low company He died with.
In His death, the religious people mocked Him and His disciples forsook Him.
Yet Jesus was centered among sinners to the end.
JESUS WAS CENTERED AMONG CONFUSION.
Matthew 27:46-49 tells us that when Jesus cried out in agony to His Father, that the people around Him didn’t understand and some even felt it was amusing, and mocked Him.
JESUS WAS CENTERED BETWEEN THE BELIEVING AND THE REJECTING.
The last human voice testifying to Jesus was a criminal on a cross converted right before his death.
The disciples were gone…
All the people Jesus healed and taught were nowhere to be found…
The religious leaders mocked Him and spit upon Him…
Even the faithful women who followed Jesus to Golgotha with Mary His mother, and John were silenced by their grief.
Yet there was one lone human voice that told the truth about Jesus when all others were silent. (The repentant man on the cross beside Him)
JESUS WAS CENTERED BETWEEN THE SAVED AND THE PERISHING.
The thief on the cross was the last companion of Jesus on this earth before His death – and Jesus brought Him to salvation.
This was perhaps the only comfort to Jesus on the cross.
Still, one thief was saved, but one was lost, and Jesus was in the center between them.
God want all to be saved and His sacrifice upon the cross made it possible for all to be saved.
Yet all will not be saved because God will not force salvation on anyone.
JESUS WAS CENTERED BETWEEN GOD AND HUMANITY.
Jesus on the cross took ALL the punishment our sin deserved.
During the O.T. times the priest would bring the sacrifice
At the cross Jesus was both the priest and the sacrifice.
JESUS WAS CENTERED IN ALL OF GOD’S WORK THROUGHOUT HISTORY.
We do not look at Jesus on the center cross with pity, as if we should all feel sorry for poor Jesus.
He was the winner at the cross.
This was the greatest victory of all time.
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
KNOWING THAT ALL THINGS WERE NOW ACCOMPLISHED:
Jesus knew that His great work, His life and death work on the cross was fulfilled.
He then made preparation to yield His life and die, having finished the work.
Jesus says, it is finished!
His final word was the cry of a winner.
Jesus had finished the eternal purpose of the cross.
What Jesus accomplished still stands today as a finished work, the foundation of all Christian peace, and faith.
The payment in full for the debt we righteously owed to God.
Then making peace between God for all those who believe and receive the gift.
PRAYER IN SONG
Thank You for The Cross / Graham Kendrick