Family Bible Study lesson for July 8: It is finished!
June 22 2001 by Catherine Painter , John 19:16-18, 28-31, 33-42

Family Bible Study lesson for July 8: It is finished! | Friday, June 22, 2001

Friday, June 22, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for July 8: It is finished!

By Catherine Painter John 19:16-18, 28-31, 33-42 I'm going to Calvary. Come too, if you like, but remember - it's serious business. God compels no one to accept Jesus' sacrifice. You can reject; you're just not free to decide "not to decide." That is rejection. Then, too, it's not for the weak of stomach. It's ugly, and there'll be a bloody stench. I don't understand it all yet, but I steer my life by it anyway.

I remember the first time I heard the crucifixion described. Years ago, John Bisagnio preached about it at a convention. Until then, my knowledge was limited to that one phrase: "... there they crucified him" (Luke 23:33), and my gold cross necklace.

With fingers in both ears and with my eyes shut, his words still found their way in, and my tears forced their way out. I begged Jack to leave, but I'm glad we stayed.

Charles Spurgeon said, "Measure yourself by the cross and see how high you stand."

The crucifixion (John 19:16-18)Crucifixion originated with wild tribes, was picked up by Persians, was passed on to Carthage where Romans reserved it for their worst criminals. Yet, the best man who ever lived died, not for anything He did, but for being who He was - "The King of the Jews" (v. 19).

We're here. His crucifiers have finished, "And sitting down they watched Him there" (Matt. 27:36). Imagine that - doing nothing - not loving Him, not living for Him, not letting Him change anything - just watching Him? They gamble for His clothing. I want to say, "Jesus played for keeps, too," but I keep my distance.

The observations (Selected verses)I like to people-watch. Jesus' mother and other women weep (see Mark 15:40-41).

One malefactor insults Him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save Yourself and us" (Luke 23:39)! He doesn't answer (Ps.66:18). The other prays, "Jesus, remember me ..." and Jesus promises: "... today you will be with Me in paradise (Luke 23:42-43).

No probing His past, no probationary period; just immediate forgiveness and eternal status (see John 6:37b).

Passersby rail (Matt. 27:40b), and chief priests make an offer: "Come down and we will believe" (Mark 15:32). It's staged; Jesus won't respond. But the centurion says, "Surely, this was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39). Reporting for work, he had assumed Jesus was one more criminal to dispose of, but leaving his mind open and his heart's door ajar, I believe Jesus entered (cf. Rev. 3:20).

The completion (John 19:31, 33-34)Jesus says, "I thirst." The One who created water is thirsty. Fulfilling Isaiah 69:21, someone puts a sponge filled with vinegar to His lips. Receiving it, He cries, "It is finished!" It's a cry of victory, much like our "Mission accomplished!"

Suddenly it's dark (Luke 23:44). Those crucified hands have turned off the light of the sun. The earth shakes (Matt. 27:51b); the guards tremble (Luke 23:44-45). The Sanhedrin, their hands still wet with His blood, worry about some Old Testament law that denies leaving anyone crucified overnight on a cross (see Deut. 21:22-23). Soldiers come with mallets to break their legs. Unable to exhale now, they'll die of suffocation. But Jesus has committed His spirit to God (see Ps. 34:20).

The burial (John 19:38-42)Someone said, "Joseph of Arimathea originated 'Christians Anonymous.'" He believed in Jesus but kept it secret "for fear of the Jews" (v.38). It's interesting how some people will parade their loyalty to an organization, but will remain strangely hesitant about voicing their allegiance to Christ.

The testimony (John 19:35-37)John declares what he has written is true. It looks like a shut case. But when Emile Zola was condemned, his lawyer pointed to a crucifix, saying, "Remember, gentlemen, that was once a closed case, too, but it was opened again." I'll see you at the empty tomb!

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6/22/2001 12:00:00 AM by Catherine Painter , John 19:16-18, 28-31, 33-42 | with 0 comments
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