The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross
The Sixth Saying – The Word of Victory
By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
The lesson this month is a word of victory, as declared in John 19:30, "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Jesus spoke only three little words, "It is finished," but look how much these three words contain. Many things were completed on the cross.
üIt was the end of the personal ministry of Christ.
üIt was the end of the perfect life he lived.
üIt was the accomplished work of the plan of salvation.
Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a perfect death. Everything needed, Jesus performed to perfection, and then declared, "It is finished." The end had come. There was no more to be done, and there is no more for us to do toward our salvation. All we need to do to be saved is to accept the fact that we are sinners in the sight of God – and such sinners that we do not have the strength to save ourselves. We need a substitute to save us. And Christ is the perfect substitute. We, as totally depraved sinners must never trust ourselves. We must trust Christ, who finished the work of redemption on the cross. What a marvelous truth this is: all we need to do is to trust in the shed blood of Christ for remission of our sins.
We need to notice also that Christ didn’t die helpless or devoid of strength. The death of Christ on the cross was not like the death of any other person. Christ was still strong and in total control when he gave up his spirit to God. When a man dies, he dies because all strength has left his body. A man has no other choice except to die, but Christ gave up his spirit to his Father. Notice in John 19:30, Jesus said, "It is finished," and then bowed his head and gave up the ghost. Jesus didn’t allow his head to loll helplessly or to drop, out of control. Jesus had plenty of strength. His head was in an upright position in order for him to bow it and then give up the ghost.
Also notice that Jesus did not give up the ghost and then bow his head, but that he bowed his head and then gave up the ghost. This reveals that Christ was still in complete control of his entire body and mind. Jesus did not die weak and powerless, but full of power. This is the Jesus that can save your soul. He’s not a weak, puny Saviour.
When Christ uttered the words, "It is finished," he meant that all of the prophecies concerning his life and death had been fulfilled. Notice a few of these:
üHe was born of a woman’s seed, a virgin, of the seed of Abraham, a literal descendent of David.
üHe was named before He was born.
üHe was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
üHe went down to Egypt.
üHe had a forerunner, John the Baptist.
üHe spoke in parables.
üHe died upon the cross.
üHe was despised and rejected of men.
üHe shed His life’s blood for the salvation of sinners.
All of these things came to pass. The plan of God to give eternal salvation to fallen mankind was truly finished.
Proofs the work of Salvation is finished.
(1) In Matt. 27:51, we find the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. The veil separated the Holy of Holiest from the Holy Place. The Holy of Holiest was a place where the High Priest went one time every year, and gave an animal sacrifice for the sins of the people. This animal sacrifice was a type of the sacrifice that Christ became on the cross. This veil was torn in two by the hand of God, that we might know that God doesn’t want those kind of offerings again. Now his Son has died, and that is the offering He wants.
(2) God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. In Hebrews 9:23-25, we find that Christ took his blood into heaven to offer it to his Father, just like the High Priest had to do in times past. God would not have raised his Son from the dead, if the sacrifice had not been acceptable.
(3) Jesus Christ went into heaven and sat down on the right hand of his Father.
Mark 16:19 states, "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
Ephesians 1:20 declares, "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Would God have exalted Christ to this extent, if the work of Christ had not been finished?
I Peter 3:22 affirms "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." Again, would God have allowed Christ to sit in the seat of power if the work of salvation had not been finished?
(4) God sent the Holy Spirit to the earth as a comforter to the church, that the church might be helped in its every endeavor for Christ. Remember that Christ established the church while he was here on the earth and God sanctioned every work of Christ when he sent the Holy Spirit to the church, that the church might have the help that was needed from God.
The End of Our Sins
We also see the end of our sins in this passage of scripture. Christ has cast our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, and will remember them no more, and all because Jesus Christ paid all of our sins on the cross of Calvary.
A Thought Concerning Judas
If, as most people say, Jesus wants to save all men, then he wanted to save Judas. He said in Matthew 28:18, "…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." If he truly had all power, and he did, and he truly wanted to save all men, then he truly wanted to save Judas. Why then wasn’t Judas saved? What made him to differ from the other 11 apostles who were saved?
Is it possible that Jesus did not want to save Judas? Or was Jesus unable to save Judas? Did Jesus lose his power? Was Judas’ rejection just too much for Jesus that he could not persuade him? Or, could it be that Judas was not one of his sheep, his elect, and his chosen from before the foundation of the world; even though Jesus chose him to be one of the apostles? Romans 9:21 says, "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"
You see, even the vessels of dishonor ultimately bring glory to God.
Used by permission
Twinbrook Hills Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ohio
Cloning - Scriptural or not?
A research company’s experiment to clone what it declares to be the first human embryo is being strongly condemned by the Bible-proclaiming ministry of Answers in Genesis.
Researchers at Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts claim that they are developing human embryos in order to harvest embryonic stem cells. These cells, which can turn into other body tissue, presumably could help patients suffering from various injuries and diseases. Such ‘therapeutic cloning,’ however, necessitates that human embryos will be killed for their cells. Thus Congress should heed President George Bush’s call for legislation to ban human cloning.
A clone is a genetically identical copy of a living organism, such as the famous sheep ‘Dolly’ (unveiled in 1997). The cells of any living thing contain a complete set of genetic information or ‘instructions’ for itself. Dolly was a copy or ‘clone’ of a sheep. (By the way, human clones are never absolutely identical to the original; for example, so-called ‘identical’ human twins, while clones, are still two different people who possess their own separate souls.)
Should Christians view the cloning of animals differently than humans? In Genesis 1:28, humans were appointed by their Creator to rule over ‘every living thing that moveth upon the earth’ (as well as fish and birds—verse 26). Therefore, if the cloning of animals could benefit mankind (e.g. producing cows that yield more milk that would feed more people), then there seems to be no Biblical reason not to clone animals.
What about cloning humans? This can be opposed for many reasons:
The Bible draws a very clear line between the nature of animals and humans. People are created differently (‘in the image of God’—Genesis 1:27) and separately from the animals. In verses 2:6 and 2:8, God entrusts humans with dominion over the animals, but humans are never told to have the same kind of dominion over other humans.
Each fertilized human egg, including any that results from cloning, is a new human individual. Perfecting the cloning technique requires several experiments, and many embryos will be destroyed in the process. Indeed, the dark experiments in Massachusetts have so far been a massive failure—the embryos died before they became large enough to produce stem cells (the very goal of the researchers).
Human cloning is closely tied to the issue of abortion and the real beginning of human life; for one, if defects are noticed in developing clones, abortion would be the preferred solution. Furthermore, no serious biologist who is familiar at all with the human body would argue against the clear fact that all the DNA coding needed to build each individual’s physical features is there right at the egg’s fertilization. No new genetic information is ever added to a developing embryo. An embryo is human from the beginning. And according to the Bible (Exodus 20:13) and virtually all ethical standards, it is wrong to intentionally kill such innocent human life.
Cloning is in opposition to the Biblical institution of the family. Because a manufactured human clone could never have two parents, the process of cloning would go against the doctrine of the family (i.e. a father and mother) as ordained by God in the Book of Genesis.
In a world that increasingly denies the authority of the Bible and its very first book, Genesis, people who view the Creation account as a myth will disregard standards such as the divine institutions of the family and dominion, as well as the sacredness of human life made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Sadly, human cloning will become more acceptable to those who reject the Creator and His Word.
Permission to distribute given 11/27/01 by Answers in Genesis: www.AnswersInGenesis.org