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Death

The Last Days of Jesus Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus is the blameless lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Notes & Transcripts
I want to take us back to a much earlier passage of Scripture to set the stage for the text we read earlier. Let’s look at
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John 1:29 ESV
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
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Mocking (vs. 32-38)
Jesus Christ came as the blameless lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.
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Revelation (vs. 39 - 48)
The reality is that sin requires a payment. And it was on this cross that Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of mankind.
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Reverence (vs. 49-56)
But not just anyone could pay that debt. It had to be someone who was innocent and blameless. And the only one who could do that is Jesus.
Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
He was beaten so severely during his trial, he couldn’t carry his own cross as was required, so they recruited a man from the crowd to do so - Simon of Cyrene.
His followers wept and mourned for him as he was led to the cross, but he told them not to cry for him - but to cry for the nation of Israel.
Judgement is coming, Jesus warns them. Judgement is coming. In verse 31, he is the green wood, fresh and full of life. And if God would not spare his own son, as we read in , what more will he do to the nation that rejected their Messiah King?
No, even as he heads to the cross, we see a ray of hope.
Jesus is warning them - “Turn away from your sins before it is too late! Because there is a judgement coming, it won’t be pleasant, and you had best be ready to meet your God.”
Even now, Jesus looks to his mission to seek and to save the lost. Because Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Now as Jesus was lead to Golgotha, the place called Skull, others were set to be crucified as well.
Dr. Luke tells us that there are two others in particular, one on either side of Jesus.
And while the world mocked him, saying “If you are who you say you are, King of the Jews, then prove it! Save yourself!”
The world mocks what it cannot comprehend. For we know that the darkness cannot overcome nor comprehend the light that is Jesus Christ.
And while they gambled for his clothes and ridiculed our Lord, one small voice rose up. A lone voice, but not the last.
And while they gambled for his clothes and ridiculed our Lord, one small voice rose up. And he
A voice that recognized that Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
This thief, this criminal. He understood. And he defended the Lord Jesus.
And in this thief we see that there is hope. For the very first time in this narrative, we see hope that this tragedy has a purpose. And that purpose is that he came to take away the sins of the world.
The thief understood his guilt. He understood his crimes. He understood his sentence.
Unlike the world, unlike the other thief who believed he should get away with a crime, our thief understood where he stood in all of this.
And he knew that Jesus was innocent. He knew that he had done no wrong.
Certainly this man had heard of Jesus - perhaps even hearing him preach about the Kingdom.
And so, with the only thing any of us sinners can do, he turns to Jesus and asks for mercy.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This is the sinner’s cry for mercy.
And because Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, He confirms to this man - this thief, this criminal, this murderer - a gift beyond all measure. “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Even as he hangs on a cross, he does not do so helplessly. He does not do so as a victim. He does so as the conquering King who for the joy before him endured the cross.
He forgives the sinner who hangs next to him, he assures him of his eternal destiny because Jesus is in control. He lays down his life willingly and he will take it back up again.
This wonderful forgiveness of Jesus given to this thief who repents reminds us that there is a blessed hope for anyone.
What a blessed hope for anyone that until breath is gone from our body, the hope of salvation and forgiveness exists because Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The hope that until breath is gone from our body, salvation and forgiveness are possible because Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
It is now about noon on that day. Dr. Luke records for us that a darkness spread over the whole land for about three hours. This was not a natural darkness, but a supernatural one tells us
Amos 8:9–10 ESV
“And on that day,” declares the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.
The celebration of God’s deliverance from Egypt takes a somber and dark turn. Now, God is delivering mankind from the slavery of sin.
The festival becomes mourning. The innocent becomes sin. And Jesus commits his spirit to the Father.
The curtain that served as a reminder of the barrier between man and God in his temple is torn from top to bottom. Through the blood of our innocent lamb, our passover lamb, we are now free to approach the very throne of God.
The blood of Jesus spilled for you and for me brings us hope that we can access God directly. All this because Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
And as He breathed his last and committed himself to his loving father - we see another ray of hope.
We see a centurion who declares in verse 47 that Jesus is innocent and he praised God. In other gospel accounts, we read that the man declared that Jesus is the Son of God or the Messiah.
I am inclined to say based on Luke’s account that he praised God and Matthew and Mark’s account of his confession, that it sure seems to me that the Centurion became a Christian that day. Church tradition backs me up on this.
Because this man saw the truth. That Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
And now, as we continue in our text Jesus is dead. And we see one last ray of hope, even if it doesn’t look like it.
Joseph of Arimathea, a Jewish leader who was looking for the Kingdom and a follower of Jesus according to Matthew and John’s gospels, asked for the body to pay respect.
Normally, unless a body was claimed, the executed criminals were buried in a common pit. But not so with Jesus.
The body was claimed and was buried in the tomb of a wealthy person since it was unused.
But Jesus, King and royal
Luke records for us that while there was still work to be done to prepare the body for burial, they rested in obedience to the sabbath.
And so, the body was claimed and was buried. But as Luke ends his account of the events that day, I want to point out a thread to Easter.
Because although we sit here tonight, mournful and reflective on the death of Jesus, we have an advantage unknown to the disciples.
We know that the grave could not keep Jesus - his body while dead, was never prepared for burial. Because while Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world we know he would not remain dead.
But there is one more who rested. Jesus, himself, rested on the Sabbath.
He body placed in the tomb with eye witnesses to verify.
We know that the grave could not keep Jesus - his body dead, but we are told not yet prepared for burial.
Because of what we read earlier where he said to the thief that he would be with Jesus in paradise and because of what we read in -
John 19:30 ESV
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
His work was done. Jesus is the innocent lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.
Now, the question for each one of us - how will we respond to this?
Will you stand with the world and mock and scoff at the crucified King?
Or will you humble yourself and ask Jesus to remember you in his kingdom and declare that he is the son of God?
Jesus made his choice to go to the cross so that you might chose to follow Him.
Will you mourn with the crowds, beating your breast as you leave?
Let’s pray.
Or will you sneer
Chances are, the crucifixion will bring all of these emotions to you
EX - It is clear to me that Jesus was the innocent lamb led to slaughter.
The words of the centurion in verse 47 points this out abundantly clear when he says, “Certainly this man was innocent!”
The thief on the cross in verse 41 tells us that Jesus has done nothing wrong.
No, Jesus was indeed innocent. He did nothing to warrant or merit the cross.
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It is clear to me in this text that we should see the cross as a horrible, mournful event.
Yes, it was on the cross that our sins were paid for in order that we might trust in Christ and turn to him and away from our sins.
And while that is a relief, it is not a happy situation. It is a mournful situation.
Whenever there is an organ donation, we cannot forget that in many cases someone died in order to provide that organ. And it is appropriate to mourn with that family who’s loved one died and now brings life to you.
In our text today, we see a great multitude of people following Jesus, mourning and crying for him even before he is placed upon the cross.
And after his death, the crowds left, beating their breasts, a sign of grief.
And what is noticeable about this is that while the event started with two groups - those that mourned and those that mocked, everyone left beating their breast - mourning that the innocent lamb of God was killed on that cross.
Only the hardest of rebel towards God would look to the cross and say that it wasn’t a tragedy. That it wasn’t said.
So today, let me encourage each one of us come and mourn awhile at the foot of the cross.
May the great injustice that was done that day move us even to tears as we consider what Jesus endured so that we might be able to confess our sins and go free.
May the beauty we find in Christ’s sacrifice move us to mourn our own sins that nailed him to the cross. May we mourn our own sins, our own rebellion and turn from it.
With confession
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There were many who mocked Jesus on this day, but there were also many who came to the cross with
With reverence
Observation 2 - There were two responses
With purpose
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These words from an 1849 hymn written by Frederick Faber sum up the feeling of today.
In our text today, we see the truth that Jesus was lead away to a criminal’s death.
This happened on the Friday of Passover, leading us to remember every Friday of Passover, that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and buried according to the Scriptures - both the prophecies in the Old Testament and the records of the New.
The religious leaders finally thought that they had won the day.
Seven times He spake seven words of love; And all three hours His silence cried For mercy on the souls of men; Jesus our Lord is crucified.
O love of God! O sin of man! In this dread act Your strength is tried; And victory remains with love; Jesus our Lord is crucified!
O break, O break, hard heart of mine! Thy weak self-love and guilty pride His Pilate and His Judas were: Jesus our Lord is crucified.
A broken heart, a fount of tears, Ask, and they will not be denied; A broken heart love’s cradle is: Jesus our Lord is crucified.
O sin of man! In this dread act Your strength is tried; And victory remains with love; Jesus our Lord is crucified!
A broken heart, a fount of tears, Ask, and they will not be denied; A broken heart love’s cradle is: Jesus our Lord is crucified.
And victory remains with love; Jesus our Lord is crucified
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