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I need a release

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Title: He released me

Text: Luke 23:34

Introduction:  Walk with me to Calvary to hear words which reveal the excellencies of the one who suffered there; words in which is wrapped up the gospel of our salvation; and words which inform us of the purpose, the meaning, the sufferings, and the sufficiency of the death divine.  We come to the first word, Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”.  It is spoken by the one whom the world was made, had come into it but the world knew him not. The Lord of glory had tabernacled among men, but he was not wanted. The eyes which sin had blinded saw in him no beauty that he should be desired. At his birth there was no room in the inn, which foreshadowed the treatment he was to receive at the hands of men. Shortly after his birth Herod sought to slay him. His whole life, his enemies attempted his demise. And now their vile desires are granted. The Son of God had yielded himself up into their hands. A mock trial was formed but his judges found no fault in him. Nevertheless, they had yielded to the outcry of those who hated him as they cried again and again “Crucify him”.

Now the crowd is jeering as Jesus hangs from the cross, He is not silent. He does not scream from the pain but He utters the cry of the first word.  It was a word that meets man’s ultimate need: forgiveness.  Forgiveness means to let go, dismiss, to liberate, set free, release from a penalty. We all need to be released from something! 

I. Position

In the text, mankind needed a release from its current position; sin.  Due to our sin nature, man was destined for damnation.  That is the position you don’t want to be in. Has anybody ever found themselves in a position that they wish they were not in?  But the hard part about being in that current position is that you did it yourself.  But you quickly found out you could not get out of it by yourself.  Even though you we in a bad position, God in his foreknowledge knew your predicament and had a promised for you! 

II.                     Promise from a Prophesy

This promise was prophesied for you in Is. 53:12c to release you from your current position of sin: He bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors.  Aren’t you glad that God sent his Son one Good Friday to release you from stuff that you are guilty of?  Today is proof that God kept his promises.  You don’t have to suffer on the cross for your sins. Jesus did it just for you! Look at how he did it.  Jesus became God’s propitiation. 

III.                Propitiation

Propitiation means that the death of Christ fully satisfied the righteous demand of God towards sinners. He was a suitable for the sacrifice because He knew no sin.  Propitiation in the original language means “covering” or mercy seat.   In the OT, the priest would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat to atone for sins.  Jesus became our mercy seat on the cross when His blood flowed from over his body, it atone your sins to release you.  It is here Christ our mercy seat, makes a cry of mercy for those who He is hanging there for.  Father, forgive… Jesus is now practicing what he preached.  This is a lesson for all of us when we are persecuted; pray for your enemies!

IV.                   Prayer

Pray that God will bless them so much they leave you alone! Jesus did not have to open his mouth but he shows us how what real prayer is.  In the midst of pain and persecution, He talks to God and not to people. He had every right to curse them but he blesses them!  Father forgive them…Jesus prays for those who are mocking him and who put him on the cross because they really did not know what they were doing.  They knew he was innocent. They knew he was right. They knew what they were doing when they beat him and hung him on a cross.  But they really did not know who they were doing this to!  If they really knew, they would have stopped! My beloved, if people really knew that you were one of God’s chosen they would stop lying on you.  If they knew you were that anointed your enemies would have left you alone along time ago!  But they really did not know. So, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!  You could understand about not knowing what you were doing. You were once just as ignorant. You did not know that that man once you got involved with would start acting crazy. You did not know once you laid with that woman the problem you would have ending that relationship. You did not know!  …for they know not what they do!... But the Lord released you from the consequences of your ignorance even when you were dead wrong.  Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.  But the Lord, lastly, on the cross of Calvary gave you a pardon for your ultimate release. 

V.                        Pardon

Pardon means that you are released from the penalty of an offense. The President has the power to pardon someone but they still have see God about the sin. But when Jesus in his omnipotence pardons, the sin is paid in full!  When Jesus prayed for forgiveness of his accusers, He released them from the judgment of God! My brothers and my sisters on this Good Friday and you can celebrate that you have been released for the penalty of your sins. 

Celebration: It’s Friday and every Friday I like to listen to a particular radio show in the morning.  Every Friday, Steve Harvey does something called Freedom Friday.  It is a different format from Mon. to Thurs. On Friday, Mr. Harvey plays anything he wants because he is not held by any restriction.  He is free to get loose! Nothing is holding back from jamming the way he wants!  My brothers and my sisters, Good Friday is our Freedom Friday and we can jam like we want to jam because sin can’t hold us back!  It was on one Friday Jesus became bound so we would not be bound.  He was beaten so we would have to beaten.  He died so we can live. But when he got up with all power He released me forever!  And I free!!  I’ve been released! I’ve been released from the pit of hell. I’ve been released the bondage. I’ve been released from the shame and deceit!  I’ve been released from the hand of Satan. I’ve been released!! Look at your neighbor…He released me!  Into my destiny, into my victory, into prosperity!  Since I’ve been released, I am going to release! I am going to release praise and give him glory! 

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