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Faithlife
Faithlife

Worship Jan 17

Pastor Ed Hatch  •  Palermo Christian Church
Sermon  •  Submitted   •  33:54
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Message 1

John 19:28–30 (ESV) —28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

God wants his creation back. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We jump ahead to John 1:1 and we find that “in the beginning…” was the word. John introduces Jesus who existed before creation, was the creator, and has come to bring creation back to its creator. God wants his creation back.

I lent a guitar to someone years ago. I would like my guitar back. There are people who want their children or parents back. Something has happened. They wish the clock could be turned back and they could reestablish that relationship.

That is what God wants. He wants you back. You and I are part of his creation. He wants us back.

It is amazing how many people don’t know God. They may believe that there is a God. They may seek God. They may pray to an unknown God. But they don’t know God.

If we were to ask many of the people on the street the question “What is God like?”, they would answer, “I think he or she or it is…” Or they might say, “I hope that God is…” In other words, they don’t know. Because people don’t know God, God wants you to know him and wants you to come back to him.

In order to help us know God, the Father sent his Son, Jesus down to this earth to let us know about God. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was with God and was God even before his birth.

Jesus had a purpose for coming into this world. The apostle John said,

1 John 4:14 (ESV) —14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

The apostle Paul said it this way.

2 Corinthians 5:18–19 (ESV) —18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Jesus said it this way.

Luke 19:10 (ESV) —10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The message this morning is simple. Jesus did what he came to do.

He did what he did for us. But he did it. He became the Savior of the world. He reconciled us to God. He sought and saved the lost. He did it.

John records the words of Jesus on this:

John 4:34 (ESV) —34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

John 5:36 (ESV) —36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

John 17:4 (ESV) —4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

John 19:28–30 (ESV) —28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

It is finished. The work that Jesus was given was done.

God wants us back. The purpose of Jesus’ life and death was to bring us back.

Returning to the words of Jesus,

Luke 19:10 (ESV) —10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

He sought and he saved!

Give me a reason why you might not be able to come back to God. Tell me how bad you are. Jesus finished the work of saving bad people. Tell me how you are not worthy of coming back to God. Jesus finished the work of reconciliation. Tell me how there are some things you need to get straightened out before you can come to God. I will tell you that the work you need to do on coming to God is finished. Jesus did what you think you need to do.

When Jesus cried out, “It is finished” it was finished.

Note in John 19:18 that he could not say “it is finished” before one more thing had to happen. Several hundred years before Jesus came to this earth, God told us a lot about Jesus’ coming and what would happen. We call these prophecies. Jesus could not die and his work would not be done until everything that God had planned to happen took place. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, there was one prophecy that hadn’t been fulfilled. There was one thing left to do.

John 19:28–30 (ESV) —28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.

He had to drink this sour wine in order for everything that God had said about Jesus could be complete. If he had been stoned without asking for a drink and being given the exact drink they gave him, he would have died before his work was finished.

A minute or so before his death, he was aware that he had to do one more thing. There is no question that he experienced dehydration while hanging on the cross. He was thirsty. But he dies right after wetting his lips with this sour wine. It provided little relief. It’s like giving someone a shot for pain that would take a minute to take effect and having the person die after thirty seconds.

Yet he had to have this attempt to quench his thirst in order to fulfill prophecy. This was the only prophecy left that was unfulfilled concerning his life and death. When this act was done, it was finished.

His life was finished.

The prophecies were all completed.

His work was finished. He came to seek and to save the lost.

His part in seeking the lost was done. He prayed to his Father in John 17.

John 17:18 (ESV) —18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

The task of seeking the lost rests with us. If you come to Palermo Christian Church we put people into two basic categories. You are either saved or lost. Those who are saved are those who have trusted Jesus from the heart. Those who are lost are those who don’t trust Jesus. As Jesus was sent into the world to seek the lost, so we are sent to seek the lost.

Who is lost? There are two ideas about who is lost. The first are people who don’t know where they are or how to get to where they are going, if they even have a destination.

The second are people who know where they are, but don’t know how to get to where they are going.

Those people who don’t know how to get to where they are going may not know they don’t know, but they don’t.

I have been accused of being on the wrong road and being absolutely sure that I was on the right road. My assurance didn’t make much different on whether or not I was on the right road. My sincerity didn’t affect whether or not I was on the right road. My confidence didn’t determine whether or not I was on the right road. I can tell you from personal experience that I have been assured, sincere and confident that I was on the right road until I reached the end of the road and found out that the other person in the car who obviously didn’t know their way around was absolutely right. I should have listened, but I didn’t.

God has a plan to bring you back to himself. His plan revolved around Jesus. He wants you to come back to him and he sent Jesus to tell you how to do it. Jesus’ death on the cross removed every obstacle you might have.

The only obstacle you have in coming back to God is to refuse to listen to Jesus.

John 14:6 (ESV) —6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 10:9 (ESV) —9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

Why could he say that? Because the work that God gave him to be the savior of the world, to reconcile us to God, to seek and save the lost was a finished work. He did it.

Our refusal to listen and to believe what Jesus said is the only obstacle to our finding our way back to a God who wants us back.

John 3:16–17 (ESV) —16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

You can come back to God today. You will need to believe in Jesus. You will need to trust him.

The work is done. It is finished. Your part is to believe. This is a decision you make in your heart. You make a decision to trust Jesus.

When you make that decision, God wants you to show it openly in baptism. Because I believe in Jesus and trust him, I have a responsibility to tell people what Jesus said.

He said,

Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV) —19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So if you choose to trust Jesus and follow him, I want the privilege of baptizing you and then through the church ministries, teach you to observe all that Jesus commanded.

So if you make that decision in your heart, let us know so we can help you with the next step out of our own trust and obedience to Jesus.

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