Date: 
Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 10:45am
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John 19:28-29

FINDING HOPE IN THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

JOHN 19:28-29

Are you familiar with Murphy’s Law? The original “Murphy” was an engineer who was conducting an experiment to test human acceleration tolerances. Unfortunately for him, he installed 16 motion sensors the wrong way, leading to the now famous quotation, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” I guess the corollary is also true: “If anything can’t go wrong, it will anyway.”  You would know it would be an engineer.  

Here are some other laws blamed on poor Mr. Murphy:
• Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
• Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
• You will never find a lost article until you replace it.
• Everything goes wrong all at once.
• If everything seems to be going well, you’ve obviously overlooked something.

That reminds me of a situation that took place several years ago in Darlington, Maryland. Edith, a mother of eight, came home one Saturday afternoon from her neighbor’s house, only to discover five of her youngest children huddled together in the living room intensely concentrating on something. As she slipped in behind them to see what they were doing, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Smack dab in the middle of her kids were several baby skunks. She screamed at the top of her voice, “Children, run!” So each kid grabbed a skunk and ran to their bedroom!
        If anything can go wrong, it certainly will! 
       

Did you know that there is a plague sweeping the country today? It’s not the Beijing flu, or cancer, or even the common cold. This outbreak, however, can be just as deadly as the most dreaded disease known to man. ­ It’s called the epidemic of discouragement. At least three things make it such a potent problem. 
        It’s universal. None of us are immune to discouragement. Everyone you have ever known has been discouraged at one time or another. 
        It’s recurring. Being discouraged once does not give you immunity to the disease. You can be discouraged over and over again. In fact, you can even be discouraged by the fact that you are discouraged a lot. 
        It’s highly contagious. Discouragement spreads by even casual contact.  You can become discouraged because other people are discouraged. 
        But there is hope.  There is a God and He offers hope. In fact, He made seven incredible statements while hanging on a cruel Roman cross that tell us there is hope and it is in great supply.  We are talking mega hope, omni hope, mammoth hope. 

I Peter 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

        God wants to give you hope.  God doesn’t want you to live in hopelessness.  God wants you to live a life filled with hope.  In this series we are finding hope in the seven statements Christ made while hanging on the cross.

        Statement #1 was, “Father, forgive them…”.  Knowing that God will forgive us instills us with hope.

        Statement #2 was, “I assure you, today, you will be with Me in paradise…”  We find hope knowing that our eternal life is assured by Jesus Himself.

        Statement #3 was, “Woman, behold your son…”  We know there is hope because we know that Christ will take care of us the way He took care of Mary and John. 

        Last week we looked at statement #4, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”  We know we have hope because we know that God only abandoned Christ on the Cross because He was unwilling to abandon us to our sins. 

        Today, we are looking at the fifth statement, “I thirst…”.  Read with me from John’s Gospel a short passage that speaks volumes.

John 19:28-29  After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He said, “I’m thirsty!” 
29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it up to His mouth.

        Jesus was on the cross for six hours.  In biblical language, He was there from the third hour until the ninth.  For you and me, that is from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.  Hottest part of the day.  He was dehydrated to start with from the loss of blood, and now He has hung on the cross for six hours.  So He looks down at the soldiers and says, “I am thirsty”. 

        Now at the beginning of the crucifixion, the soldiers offered Him wine mixed with myrrh.  Myrrh was a narcotic, a pain killer.  Soldiers would offer this to crucifixion victims so that the soldiers would not have to hear them scream in pain while they hung their dying. 

But Jesus refused the wine with myrrh.  He had come to face the wrath and the justice of Almighty God and He was going to face it completely composed with all His human faculties. 

        But after six hours, when everything has been accomplished, when God’s justice has been met and God’s wrath has been measured out and Christ has endured the separation from the Father and He is ready to give up His life because God’s plan of salvation has been fulfilled, Jesus says, “I am thirsty”. 

1.  JESUS SHOWS HE IS HUMAN

        Now, we know that Jesus was God.  He was 100% God.  He has always existed.  He is the second part of the divine Trinity.  He spoke the world into existence.  He always was God and never stopped being God. 

        He was also a man.  God took on flesh and wrapped His deity in human skin.  He was just as much a man as any of us in this room. He got tired, hungry, cold, sleepy and thirsty.  That is hard to grasp because God has never been nor will He ever be thirsty for anything.  Jesus got thirsty.  Even though He was God, He was also a man and there were times He got thirsty. 

And He was not half God and half man.  He was not a combination.  He was not fifty percent God and fifty percent man.  He was not a hybrid.  He was fully God and He was fully man. 

Orthodox Jews will not debate the existence of Jesus.  They just don’t believe He was God.  On the other hand, in the days of the Apostles, there was a heretical cult known as the Gnostics that believed Jesus was God but not a man. 

Jesus demonstrates repeatedly that He was fully God and fully man.  And because He was fully man, He can relate to everything you and I go through.  He knows how we feel.  He understands what we experience.  He knows what it is to be human.  You will never look at Jesus and say, “You just don’t understand”. 

Heb. 4:15-16  This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. 

16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

        And that folks is where you find hope.  God chose to became a man so we would know that He understands what it is like to walk in our shoes.  As God He knows what it is like because He knows everything.  But He still chose to become a man and experience life as we do.  He knows the problems you face, the issues you encounter, the doubts your struggle with.  He knows and He cares.  In fact, He chose to become like us so that He could know us because he cares.     

And being God, He has the power to see you through.  Jesus knows what it is like to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  He knows that experience.  He understands it completely.  And that is where we find hope. 

2.  JESUS SHOWS HE IS THE MESSIAH

        I also want you to see that this passage not only shows that Jesus was human, it shows He was the prophetically promised Messiah.  See how John writes it, “…that the scriptures might be fulfilled…” 

        All the way back to the Garden of Eden, God has been telling the nation of Israel that He was going to send a Messiah to this sin stained earth.  God was going to send a Savior to redeem people from their sins.   385 times the Old Testament records a word from God describing what the Messiah would look like, what He would say, what He would do, and where He would go.  God says you can know who the Messiah is because He is going to do these things and say these things, and go these places.  Here are 385 signs that will point you to the Messiah.

        Look with me at one specific sign from the Psalms. 

Psalms 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

       

Have you ever stopped and wondered why there just happen to be a jar of sour wine sitting at the foot of the cross.  Scholars tell us it was actually a drink called, “Pasca”.  It was the standard drink among Roman soldiers.  It was the poor man’s beverage.  They would take wine that had soured because they had no way to store it, they would mix it with water and special herbs to give it taste and fill their canteens.  So when Jesus asked for a drink, one of the soldiers took his canteen and fulfilled a prophecy written 1000 years earlier. 

        They gave Jesus the pasca by soaking a sponge, sticking the sponge on the end of a long hyssop reed and reaching it up to Him.  Remember, His hands are nailed to a cross.  There is no way for Him to hold a cup.  This is the only way for Him to drink.  Now here is why that is prophetically important.  Look at this closely with me. 

 

Ex. 12:22  Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and brush the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin.

 

        During the plagues on Egypt, Moses instructed the Israelites to prepare themselves for the 10th and final plague, the Death Angel, by taking a hyssop reed, dipping it in the blood of the sacrificial lamb and then wiping the blood on the doorpost and lintel of their homes. 

        The day Jesus was crucified was the day after the Jewish Passover.  Every Jewish man there had taken a hyssop reed, dipped it in the blood of a sacrificial lamb and marked the door of his house in a symbolic gesture referencing back to the Exodus.  And when they saw the Roman soldier lift up the hyssop reed to Jesus who was hanging on the cross as God’s sacrificial lamb, every man there saw it is a prophetic sign.     

I want to finish this semon by reading a passage from the book, God Came Near, by Max Lucado (Multnomah Press, 1987. pages 25-27).  Listen closely….

God entered the world.  Has He entered your life? 

 

FINDING HOPE IN THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

JOHN 19:28-29

 I Peter 1:3 

 

1.  JESUS SHOWS HE IS HUMAN

 

Heb. 4:15-16 

 

2.  JESUS SHOWS HE IS THE MESSIAH

 

Psalms 69:21

 

Ex. 12:22 

  

God Came Near, by Max Lucado (Multnomah Press, 1987. pages 25-27)

  

God entered the world.  Has He entered your life?