Independence Baptist Church
P. O. Box 70 124 South Main Foristell, Missouri 63348 636-673-2180 October 2000
The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross
By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
It is the prayer of Independence Baptist Church that you enjoy receiving this newsletter, and that you will gain some knowledge of our church and Biblical doctrines. If there is any way I, as pastor of Independence Baptist Church, can be a spiritual help to you, I will be glad to help. You can contact me at the above address.
Beginning with this newsletter and in future newsletters, I want to continue to share with you some fascinating facts concerning the seven sayings Christ uttered while He was on the cross.
Much of the material in this series of lessons are taken from A. W. Pink's book on the Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross.
The gospel story, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, is very interesting, and the hope of everlasting life to all who believe. There have been many books written on this subject, so it is obvious I will not be able to cover the entire scope of the gospel message in these short articles. It is my prayer, however, that these articles will be a spiritual help to you. Our eternity depends entirely on Christ and what he did on the cross; therefore a detailed study of these events is very profitable. I trust this study will be meat to your soul, and encouragement to continue faithful in serving God.
Future issues of this newsletter will cover the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross. The seven sayings are:
1. Luke 23:34 - Forgiveness.
2. Luke 23:42,43 - Salvation.
3. John 19:25,26 - Affection.
4. Matt. 27:46 - Anguish.
5. John 19:28 - Suffering.
6. John 19:30 - Victory.
7. Luke 23:46 - Contentment.
By way of introducing our subject, I want to mention some facts about the death of Christ.
There have been many deaths since Adam brought sin and death into the world, but there has never been a death like the death of Christ. He died a very unique death, totally unlike any deaths before Him or after. The death of Christ was substitutionary death. He had no sin, but died in our place.
We will look at the death of Christ on the cross in four ways.
(1) His death was natural.
(2) His death was unnatural.
(3) His death was preternatural.
(4) His death was supernatural.
His Death Was Natural
Christ’s death was natural in that it was a very real death. There was nothing fake or simulated about it.
The death of Christ is completely amazing, because the one who died is the only begotten Son of God. Jesus Christ is a man, but He is more than just a man, he is God incarnate in the flesh. John 1:3 states that Jesus Christ is the one who spoke the worlds into existence in six literal 24 hours days. Jesus Christ is God, who, in Genesis chapter one, created the vast heavens and this earth, and gave life to everything that has life. Jesus Christ is the everlasting existing one, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, without beginning and without ending. Without God there is nothing, and by God all things consist.
Therefore the question is: Since Jesus Christ is everything, since Jesus Christ is God, how could God, in the form of Jesus Christ die? Inexplicable?
This perplexing question is explained in John 1:14. "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Philippians 2:8 further clarifies this mystery when it declares that Jesus Christ was in the form of God, yet took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of sinful man, yet without sin. When Jesus said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," he tasted death for every man.
So you see how natural the death of Christ was, and the reality of His death is more apparent when we understand that his body lay in the tomb for three days and three nights.
His Death was Unnatural
There is no contradiction in the death of Christ being natural, and unnatural at the same time.
The death of Christ was natural in that it was a real death, but unnatural in that it was abnormal. It is to be clearly understood that death has no claim on Christ because He has no sin. Romans 6:23 declares that the wages of sin is death. Christ has no sin, so how could He die?
Why do people die? They die because of sin. Sin and death came into the world 6,000 years ago when Adam disobeyed the only command God gave him. People die because of the sin of Adam, but Christ did not have a natural, physical, fleshly father. His father is God. The Holy Spirit of God overshadowed the virgin Mary and the child conceived in her womb was of God, not of man. Jesus didn’t come into the world with the stain of sin upon Him. Luke 1:35 records "…that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." I Peter 2:22 states that Jesus "did no sin," while 1 John 3:5 declares that Jesus "had no sin," and 2 Corinthians 5:21 emphasizes Christ "knew no sin." Pilate states that he could find no fault in Him. The death of Christ was unnatural or abnormal in that He was not a sinner.
His Death was Preter-natural
The preter-natural death of Christ means that Christ was marked out and His death was predetermined beforehand. Revelation 13:8 emphatically declares, "…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." I Peter 1:18-20 further proves this point by stating, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
These Scriptures reveal very clearly that Adam’s disobedience was no surprise to God. God had already made provision for the sinfulness of man by foreordaining his son. Jesus Christ to come into the world to die for the sins of mankind. There was no other person that could pay the sin debt of fallen mankind. Jesus would pay it all.
The Death of Christ was Supernatural
Christ’s death was different from every other death. Notice: the birth of Christ was different from every other birth; the life of Christ was different from every other life; and the death of Christ was different from every other death. John 10:17,18 underscores the supernatural death of Christ by stating, "…I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment I have received of my Father."
Notice the following seven proofs of the supernatural death of Christ.
(1) Christ laid down his life. It is amazing to understand that Christ had power to lay down his life, or not lay it down. He is God and not man, and therefore has this power. John 18:4-8 records that when the band of officers came to the Garden of Gethsemane to take Christ to the mock trial, Jesus asked them who they were seeking, and they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered and said, "I am he." As soon as Jesus said, I am he; the band of soldiers went backward and fell to the ground! This is amazing power, and reflects the fact that Christ allowed himself to be taken captive by the band of men. If he didn’t go with them peaceably, they would not be able to take him.
(2) Now notice Matthew 27:46, where Jesus cried with a loud voice, "…Eli, Eli, lama, sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" Why does the Bible state that Jesus cried with a "loud voice?" While we ponder this question, notice just four verses later, Christ "…cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." All the suffering he endured on the cross did not weaken him. The death of Christ was supernatural in that he remained physically strong until it came time for him to yield up his spirit to his heavenly father.
(3) The fulfillment of Scripture. Next look at John 19:28 which states, "…Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." Christ uttered these words at the end of the six hours of darkness, having hung on the cross all that time. Christ was still in complete control of his mental facilities. His mind was not deranged because of the pain he had suffered and was suffering, but was clear. He was thinking of the scriptures, and as he checked off the prophecies he was to fulfill, he came to Psalms 69:21 that states, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Christ said, "I Thirst" to fulfill this passage, not necessarily because he was thirsty.
(4) Christ bowed His head in death. Another verification that Christ had the power to lay down his life is found in John 19:30, which declares, "When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." A careful reading of this passage reveals that before Christ could bow His head, he held it upright. Christs’ head was not lolling helplessly because He didn’t have the strength to hold it upright. After Christ had received the vinegar, he consciously, calmly, reverently bowed His head and gave up the ghost.
(5) Christ gave up the ghost. The last act of Christ on the cross is recorded in Luke 23:46. "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost." Christ indeed laid down his life, as He stated in John 10:17,18. No man took His life from him. Compare the death of Stephen when he called out to God, "...Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Unbelievers stoned the life of Stephen out of him, but Christ gave up His life, and so voluntarily dismissed his spirit to God.
(6) Not a bone was broken. John 19:31-33 records the amazement of the soldiers who came to break the legs of the three who were being crucified. When they came to Christ, they discovered he was dead already. It was not a natural thing that Christ should be dead already. The two thieves were still alive, showing that a man in his natural, physical condition should still be alive. Why did Christ die first? Because He gave up the ghost. He had control of the time of His death.
(7) The temple vail was rent. The final demonstration of the supernatural death of Christ is seen in Matthew 27:51,52, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. Why did that happen? And how did it happen? God did it. The vail was rent from the top to the bottom, not from the bottom to the top. Christ has shed his blood so all sinners have a way to enter into the holy of holies.
I am often asked why Independence Baptist Church is an "independent" Baptist church. Some wonder what it means to be independent, and others wonder why Independence Baptist Church isn’t affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, or the American Baptist Association, or the American Baptist Convention, or the Bible Baptist Fellowship, or some other association of Baptist churches. Several years ago, I wrote a tract explaining why I am an Independent Baptist. If you are interested in understanding why our church is an Independent Baptist Church, drop me a short note, or call the church phone and request a copy of the tract, "Why I Am An Independent Baptist." I will be happy to send one to you – no strings attached.
Independence Baptist Church of Foristell, Missouri – IBC
Who are we? People who love God and one another
What are we? A body of saved, scripturally baptized believers who have coveted together to worship and serve Jesus Christ, who is our head.
Where are we? We meet at 124 South Main in the city of Foristell.
Why are we? Our main purpose is to serve God, first and foremost. Another purpose is to reach out to the surrounding community with the love of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of His saving power and grace.
What is the mission of Independence Baptist Church?
Generally speaking, the mission of Independence Baptist Church is three fold, as given in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. The mission is: (1) to lead the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Saviour, (2) then after salvation to instruct those saved people to be scripturally baptized and (3) to teach them to observe whatsoever God commands.
The first part of our mission is to reach the lost with the saving message of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. What is lost? This is a very important question because without a Biblical knowledge of what lost is, a person cannot be saved. Lost means "to be fully destroyed, to die, to perish." People come into the world with the seed of sin and eternal destruction already in them. They don’t have to do anything to be lost and go to hell. People are born with the sin of Adam in them, as is stated in Romans 5:12, "For as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned." They are already lost. They are already condemned to eternity in hell, as declared in John 3:18, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:17 emphasizes that Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Hebrews 9:22 summarizes the salvation message by stating, "…without shedding of blood is no remission." According to Luke 19:10, "For the son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost," Jesus Christ came into the world to die for sinners. Therefore the condition of being lost doesn’t have to be permanent. Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross of Calvary so sinners, those that are lost, could have eternal life. Eternal life is by unmerited, unearned grace "…through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
The second part of our mission is to give scriptural baptism to each believer who makes a public profession of salvation and requests baptism. Scriptural baptism is not just dunking a person in water. There is much more involved than that. Scriptural baptism involves four things.
(1) The scriptural subject is a person who is already saved. Baptism does not save, but is a picture of salvation. John 4:1 makes a clear distinction between salvation and baptism by stating, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John." Notice that Jesus made, then baptized disciples. Salvation and baptism are two separate events. Another conclusive scripture is Acts 16:20 when the Philippian jailer asked, "…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas answered "…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house." The jailer was saved, and then baptized.
(2) The scriptural method is to completely immerse in water, reflecting the complete death to sin and being raised to newness of life. There are numerous scriptural examples of people being immersed in water, but there are no scriptural examples of anybody being baptized by sprinkling, pouring, or any other method. In Acts 8:38,39, both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and both Philip and the eunuch came up out of the water. Romans 6:4 declares "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death..."
(3) The scriptural administrator is the one who has the authority to baptize. When Jesus was baptized, he walked approximately 60 miles to receive baptism by John the Baptist. Why? Because John had authority as one sent from God. Today the authority for scriptural baptism rests in the kind of church established by Jesus Christ during his personal ministry. That kind of church continues to this present day, so scriptural baptism is still available.
(4) The scriptural purpose is for obedience to the Lord’s commands. Jesus was baptized, not to be saved, but to fulfill all righteousness. The result of His obedience is revealed in Matthew 3:17, when God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
The third part of our mission is to teach every saved, baptized believer (church members) to obey whatsoever God commands. What are the commands of God? You will find them recorded in detail in the Bible. Love is the key to spiritual obedience.