03/10/13 Are They Just Words?

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Under: Sermon

Text: Luke 23:44-47(NKJV)

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' "Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23

Intro: The crucifixion was the summit of sin and love. The crucifixion itself was the most horrible of deaths. There was the pain of the driven spikes forced through the flesh of Jesus' hands and feet or ankles. There was the weight of His body jolting and pulling against the spikes as the cross was lifted and rocked into place. There was the scorching sun and the unquenchable thirst gnawing away at His dry mouth and throat. There was the blood oozing from His scourged back, His thorn crowned brow, His stick beaten head. In addition, just imagine the aggravation of flies, gnats, and other insects. And for Jesus, there was the piercing pain of the spear thrust into His side. On and on the sufferings could be described. There has never been a more cruel form of execution than crucifixion upon a cross. Two criminals were crucified with Him. He was dying because of them and because of all other men. Why? Because all men are criminals against God, rebelling against Him and breaking His commandments. The bible reminds us: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

Please picture this, Jesus is on the cross, He is not alone all humanity is there with Him. He could hang there and not say a word, wait until He takes His last breath, until His heart stops and cease to exist. But that is not what happens! There are words He shares with mankind. Some call these His last seven sayings from the cross, utterances, or words. These utterances or words do fall on some deaf ears, not everyone is going to respond. Not everyone is going to believe what He has to offer or what He has done. But these words change the history of mankind forever! Last words from the cross:

1. “Father, forgive”
2. “Today you will be with me”
3. “Woman, here is your son”
4. “My God”
5. “I’m thirsty”
6. “It is finished”
7. “Father, into your Hands”

The last thing He said: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

The last words this side of Glory. This was the seventh of His sayings, the number 7 means perfection. Were these just words from the cross or was perfection revealed? Could these words help us to see how we should live and die! In the last saying from the cross there are eight words. Eight means new beginnings; although it is the last saying of Christ on the cross it starts a brand new beginning. In this last saying we have TRUST, COMFORT, and SECURITY.

1. Was there trust in these last words?

We live in a world where it is really hard to trust a lot of different people. The car salesman, can you trust them? The mechanics are they honest. The friend, who do you trust? Jesus trusted without any reservations His Heavenly Father. To really understand that last utterance on the cross you have to experience the same kind of trust for Christ. Many will never experience this kind of trust. First of all it requires a relationship.

First and foremost this is a saying of trust. “Father into thy hands.” The Father’s hands are trustworthy. Christ had no problem putting his spirit into his Father’s hands because He knew there were no better hands than His Father’s and He knew that He could totally trust His Father.

We need to know that we can entrust our spirit, we can entrust every part of our lives into God’s hands because there is no one more trustworthy. When you truly entrust your spirit to God you will entrust all of you to Him. The Allstate commercials slogan is you’re in good hands - “the good hands people”. But I’m here to tell you that their hands do not come anywhere near being as trustworthy as the hands of our Father. There are people who are afraid to put their spirit, afraid to put their life in the hands of God. Some are scared because they’re not sure what God might have them do or what He might have them give up. Others won’t put their hands in the life of God because they’re not ready to take their hands off the stirring wheel. They want to be in charge of the direction of their life.

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2

That happens today, God is holding out his hand saying put your life in my hands. You can trust me. But instead people continue to pursue their own desires and wants and imaginations. In chapter 65:2 not only was there mention of rebellious people, but a rebellious person also means obstinate or (pig-headed), pig-headed or stubborn person continues to turn a deaf ear to Christ. There is no trust!

I mentioned just a moment ago the challenge of trusting someone, Christ with His very life trusted His father! What trust! “Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus then to trust and obey!”

2. Was there comfort in these last words?

Second is COMFORT = to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to make physically comfortable. Jesus knew that in the hands of the Father that He would find rest. In the midst of all He was going through He found comfort in the hands of the Father, He found reassurance that everything was going to be alright. He was comforted in knowing that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed.

When Jesus was in the upper room prior to His death on the cross He used words to bring comfort to His disciples. Words that still resonate hundreds of years later: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1 (KJV)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (KJV)

Was there comfort in those last words on the cross?

3. Was there security in these last words?

Third is SECURITY "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." It will be secure with thee, into thy hands. My, how wonderful it is to know about the strength of the hands of God: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one." John 10:27-30

There is security in the hands of God. Jesus welcomed the security of those hands; Jesus welcomed the comfort found in those hands; Jesus found trust in the hands of the father, Jesus welcomed the ability of those hands to do what no other hands could do; and that was to deliver him out of the hands of man.

You see when Jesus was in the hands of man, for those last 18 hours of his life:
With their hands - they arrested illegally.
With their hands - they stripped him naked.
With their hands - they whipped him, until flesh fell from His bones.
With their hands - they beat Him unmercifully all night long.
With their hands - they plucked His beard out hair by hair.
With their hands - they slapped Him, until He was blue in the face.
With their hands - they punched Him, until He was unrecognizable.
With their hands - they jammed a crown of thorns down on his head.
With their hands - they placed a robe of mockery upon Him.
With their hands - they nailed Him to a cross.

Wicked hands did all they could to defeat Jesus, but now Jesus remembers whose hands He actually was in. He knows He is returning to the tender hands of His father. So He says the last thing before He falls asleep in the Father’s Arms – Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Conclusion:

The Hymn: “At the Cross!” Author: Isaac Watts; Composer: Ralph E. Hudson
1 Alas, and did my Savior bleed, And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?
2 Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity, grace unknown, And love beyond degree!
3 Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ the mighty Maker died For man, the creature’s sin.
4 Thus might I hide my blushing face While Calvary’s cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes to tears.
5 But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do.
Chorus At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!

Luke: 23:33–35, 39-43

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God." 39Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

What have you done for this righteous man? “So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!" Are they just words?

In : Sermon 


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