[0:00] So we've been looking at the person of Jesus and the work of Jesus and really kind of everything about the person and the work of Jesus comes almost to its height when we look at the cross.
[0:16] And that's remarkable really isn't it? It's remarkable that this central event is the crucifixion. It's unique in literature, it's unique in history that we have this crucifixion of a itinerant preacher in Israel as the focus of the faith of all of us today as Christians in 21st century Scotland as something that it wasn't cobbled together but was clearly from before the foundation of the world God's purpose and plan, remarkable reality for us to consider and even in that short passage we read there's many references to scripture being fulfilled, to the plan and the purpose of God being fulfilled with Jesus dying on the cross and that's hugely comforting for us that we find here something rather mysterious, something beyond our understanding but something great and something planned by God and something clearly accomplished by God so that when we gather together in Jesus' name here what has happened on the cross is hugely significant and what has been achieved on the cross is hugely significant which is why Jesus says, do this in remembrance of me, that we remember the accomplishment, I think it was Jay Thomas who mentioned the last time he preached here about the cross and the Lord's Supper that it is not just the death of Jesus but everything that surrounds the accomplishment of Jesus on the cross with his death, his burial, his resurrection, his ascension, his return which we'll look very briefly at a little bit of that prophecy this evening in Daniel but this message is hugely significant for us more so than anything because it's a message about death to people who are dying, isn't that interesting? It's a message about death to people who are dying and it's a message that is intended to radically impact and radically change our death event. I don't know about you guys but I think about death quite, I think I've said this to you before, I think about death quite a lot and I don't feel it's a particularly pleasant thing necessarily to think about but it's a remarkably good thing, it's a remarkably significant and important thing to remember and to know that our death is impacted massively by who Jesus is and what he has done and we really need to take comfort from that this morning as believers.
[3:20] I still want to look at this passage for a short while this morning and just say a couple of things about it. Really talk about Jesus being the king and then talk about Jesus being the king who was slain and why that's significant for us. At the beginning of the passage we read we have this act of pilot where I don't think he fully realises what he's done, clearly he doesn't but probably just for badness towards the religious leaders of the day and maybe even for mischief he wants to put a notice on the cross that read Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews and he couldn't possibly have understood the significance of that statement and of that inscription that he makes but for us as we think about it and consider that we recognise and remember that who we have here is Jesus Christ who is the king of kings.
[4:28] We sung about that, we believe he was ascended to the right hand of the Father, he is sitting on the throne of heaven now but Jesus Christ here is also revealed as the king. Now for most people at that event surely he was a hidden king and notice was prepared and they crucified him with two on the others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Nobody thought that he was a king, nobody thought that he was the king of kings, in many the eyes of most people he was simply another criminal who was being convicted and being crucified in the cross and that is the story of the New Testament and that's the story of the gospels is that Jesus came and hid his glory and Jesus came and walked among people and people didn't know him as God, people didn't see him and recognise him as God, there was this great need for them to look with the eye of faith and for his glory to be revealed from, I was at a wedding yesterday, at a wedding yesterday in Pitlochery and one of the readings was from John chapter 2 that speaks about the marriage at the wedding in Cana and we've got that great story and yet what we find in that story is that the point of what Jesus did among other things was so that his disciples might know and understand that his glory was being revealed in what he was doing. That was I think unseen to most people but his disciples were given and saw with the eye of faith that this hidden miracle worker was the Lord of glory and his glory was revealed and you know for millions of people today and for many of your friends and for my friends the glory of Jesus Christ is hidden, the fact that he is the King of Kings that we will fall down before, that we will fall on our knees before and worship as Christians as King of King and Lord of Lords, he's nothing to many people, his glory is hidden and that's a hugely grievous fact for us to recognise. Many people only see him as a crucified criminal and so we remember that for many people this glory of
[6:54] Jesus Christ is hidden and we pray and we witness to people so that we seek God to work in their lives so that they may see his glory and see him not just as a hidden saviour but they will be revealed that they will see and understand and know him as the King of Kings.
[7:17] And maybe you're here today having come to church for many years but for you the glory and the majesty and the beauty of Jesus Christ is also hidden that to you he's not this King of Kings because he's sidelined in your life. At best you give a nodding acquaintance to him on the Lord's Day but he is not Lord of your life, you don't feel your need for him as your saviour, you don't bow the knee to him as Lord, this is the extent of your recognition of the King of Kings, his glory really for you in your life is hidden when the communion cup and the bread will be passed you will pass it on because you don't trust and love Jesus Christ and you may be waiting for something to happen and I say to you and will say as we go on because that's the theme of what we're doing what Jesus has done is accomplished, it's finished and he wants you to trust in what he's done not try to do things not wait but to trust and to seek the eye of faith so that he is no longer a hidden saviour because Jesus is in that paradoxical way as we recognise he's hidden to many people as Christians we can't understand that for us it's the absolutely the clearest most obvious thing in the world to trust in Jesus Christ, we know there's a spiritual battle and we know it's a gift that we've been given by God as we've asked to come with the eye of faith to know and understand Jesus Christ as Lord, he's a hidden saviour but we also recognise I think it's fair to say I hope it's not too much of an extension of the text here to say that he is also even though he is hidden his glory and he is humbled himself he is also a universal king, he's a universal king pilot insisting on, well there's insistence on truth here on doing what he did having denied his responsibilities previously to do what was right it's almost like he's salving his conscience at one level here he says that
[9:39] Jesus Christ is the king of the Jews and it's written in Aramaic and it's written in Latin and it's written in Greek so the enemies of Jesus are powerless to do anything about what a pilot has written but it's for all to see this declaration of who Jesus is as king it's in Latin that was the language of the law and the government it's written in Aramaic which was the language of religion and it's written in Greek which the universal language of the day the language of commerce and culture and it's as if this goes out this cry goes out that Jesus Christ is king and he's a universal king he's a king not just of the Jews but he's king far beyond that he's a king far beyond what a pilot understood and Christ is Lord and God and universal king and that is the truth that pilot was confused about and asked about when he said what is truth so we have this picture of a hidden king that Jesus is a hidden messiah at many ways that we see only with the eye of faith he's also a universal king before whom every knee will bow at one time but the passage also speaks of Jesus Christ in personal terms in his ability to deal with people personally and redeem people personally and deal with their situation verses 25 to 29 you've got that beautiful interaction between Jesus and his mother remember this point Jesus is suffocating to death he's on the cross physically under huge physical pain and suffering but spiritually even greater as he heads towards the darkness of the hour and the facing the wrath of God and the hell of separation from him and at that point he looks down from his cross and his mother is there and says dear woman here is your son and to the disciple here is your mother from that time on this disciple took Jesus into their home the small cameo picture of Jesus at work on the cross now there's many things you could say about that there's a just a general loving son who is fulfilling the law but in a loving way his family obligation to make sure that his mother was looked after provided for cared for by handing her over to his beloved disciple John who would care for her and I think within that fulfillment of perfect righteousness right to the very end there's also a picture of the personal nature of the salvation that Jesus provides that we recognize that Jesus in that moment where he had anyone had their right to be self absorbed at that moment with the task that he was undertaking he at that point is sacrificing his concern for himself and reflecting that he is on the cross not to deal with his own needs and his own weakness of his own sin but he is there as a substitute in atonement for our sins and there's almost a reflection of that in the way he provides for his mother at that point and at the same time as the one who is providing for his people so we have this king of kings who is providing for his people in this most self sacrificial and personal of ways and again it may be for you that you think Christ Jesus couldn't possibly be interested in my life he's got far more important things he's the king of kings he doesn't know he couldn't be interested in the minutiae of what's happening the problems the details the worries the fears the concerns the the smallness of my life and the life of the world is going on and I'm saying this is the king of kings who's a personal savior who knows intimately our needs and who is fulfilled and accomplished for us a tremendous salvation this king who we see in these different ways but he's a king who we also see and know and understand is a crucified king so he is a king who is crucified but he's crucified not as a victim but as a victor so is a victorious king who is crucified on the cross because he's achieving this great work for us he says in John 8 28 that he needs to be lifted up let's look up that verse John chapter 8 and verse 28 the disciples didn't understand what he was telling them about the father so Jesus said when when you've lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am the one I claim to be is added in parenthesis and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the father has taught me basically says before you know when I'm lifted up then you will know that uses that great biblical lordship name of God I am the great I am before I'm lifted up you will know that I am and this is the one who Christ had this focus and this attention on moving to the cross moving to the crucifixion this king's choice this king who came to defeat death and to make that the focus of our faith and of our witness for I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified so however however much we move on in our thinking we can never move on from this crucified saviour because it's in his death that we have hope for our death and as we get older that hope becomes stronger and the reality of death it becomes more real and the reality of falling asleep in Jesus becomes more attractive than dying than the terrible thought of dying out of Jesus and coming to the end of a life where you've lived and you're separated from this great king of kings and so he is the one who is crucified as a victor so that we sit here today and we will celebrate the Lord's Supper today as victors under the king and it really is a hugely significant and important reality for us that Christ was crucified and we also know as we look on further from this passage we didn't read it but there's the burial of Jesus he's a king who is also buried and again he's not buried like a criminal he's actually buried like a king he's buried in a garden like David his forefather before him buried in a tomb a tomb set aside never used before a king's tomb buried with the rich and a new tomb with a weight of spices that would usually be reserved for a king he's laid to rest there's a kind of kingly aspect to even the burial of Jesus that fits in with the scripture and with his calling and with his genealogy as the greater son of David so remember that tremendously important fact in his crucifixion that we have crucified not a man an ordinary man and it's not the crucifixion of someone insignificant not even an angel but the crucifixion of God to the son king of kings and that's hugely significant for us to remember in our lives as we will leave from here that this is a risen savior who is to be our Lord so he's the king and obviously he's the king we see more closely the king who is slain and we come before him as one who are people that need rescued rescued spiritually and rescued from the reality of physical death and separation from God all that has been spoken of all we've looked at in the past we've looked at over the last number of weeks and months about the Passover about Jesus being the Lamb of God that he comes to rescue us from certain death it's all fulfilled and we see all being fulfilled in this chapter the lamb that is given the lamb that is slain the lamb whose bones aren't broken the lamb who is a living sacrifice whose blood is poured out and I think there's maybe lots of different things that may be symbolised and spoken of in the spearing of
[18:48] Jesus side after his death his legs aren't broken he has died because he has given himself over to death unlike those on either side of him his work is finished gives himself over into death and as an assurance rather brutal and gruesome assurance that those on the cross were dead if their legs hadn't been broken and yet they seem to be dead was that a spear was thrust into his side in accordance with scripture and out poured blood and water this lamb who is slain the water I think medically wasn't water it was a fluid but medically it symbolised that this separation within his blood system was a mark of death but as it seems symbolic of the water that flows the living water that flows from and there's that picture really of Jesus Christ as the one who pours out his life and death and through the blood so that we receive life he's the water of life for us and he's the fulfilment of all the signs that come for us from scripture and through what he has done we receive life and receive the Holy Spirit he goes back to the Father and the counter the Holy Spirit is given to us so I just want to say a couple of things very briefly we've looked at that very briefly this morning a couple of things I want to conclude with and that is firstly his own cry from the cross which he says in verse 30 which is that it is finished when he'd received the drink he said it is finished with that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit could also be translated it is accomplished it's done it's finished and we take him at his word you get questions about that you get questions about faith do you have questions about what it means is there mystery in that absolutely will we ever get to the bottom of that and absolutely not but the more I go on the less I feel I know about the mystery of that statement it is finished but by faith we believe that when Jesus said on the cross it's accomplished it's done it's done for me it's finished my guilt is removed as I put my trust in Jesus Christ because Christ has paid the price the work has been done for us we can't add to that work the basis of our security as Christians will not be that we sit at the Lord's table will not be what we can do will not be our obedience it is that we trust that Jesus has finished the work for us with all the mystery of that and that trust enables us to move forward and live a life of obedience and faith but that is not on what our faith is based it's done it's finished and it's secure and it's accomplished and death has been defeated and our sins have been dealt with do you understand that? do you understand how significant that is and again can I ask you if you sit spiritually on the fence today if you're around Christian people but have not made a profession of faith and trust in Jesus Christ what can I ask are you waiting for it is finished the work has been done he wants you to trust in that work what more can he do what are you waiting for him to do to come in some different way to come and in a spooky way kind of make himself more real are you waiting to feel different he doesn't guarantee any different feeling he simply asks you if you're on the periphery on the edge of commitment but have never committed to trust him that what he has done he has finished and that he has done it because he loves you and because he wants you to put your faith and trust in him now as Lord and Savior the work is finished the work is accomplished work is done there's nothing more to be done in our coming to church in our development of theological thinking in our unpacking of scripture there's nothing more that can be done to finish the work that Jesus has come to there's no new insight that will make the work more complete may make our understanding of it more complete but the work has been done it's finished God the King of Kings says it is done so I think it's hugely important to recognize that I think then it's hugely important as Christians to it's usually important as people rather to recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord and to publicly profess Jesus Christ as Lord in verse chapter 12 of John's gospel and at verse 43 Jesus is talking again it's this holding about recognizing who Jesus is and how significant he is yeah the same time many even among the leaders believed in him that's the leaders of the Jewish people the religious leaders but because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue for they loved praise from men more than praise from God and then we find in the passage we read or we didn't actually read the last section about the burial that Joseph of Arimathea came and asked for Jesus body he feared the Jews but he was accomplished by Nicodemus the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night now there is faltering faith there there's weak faith there's stumbling faith but the fact that they were willing to take Jesus and to take him and bury him in their own tomb and that Nicodemus was willing to associate with that reveals that there was a realignment and the beginnings of a realignment in their lives and that they were beginning to understand it's more significant to worship and fall behind Jesus Christ and is to receive the praise from people and that was a hugely significant change in the New Testament church wasn't it that when they met the risen savior they were bold and courageous and were ordinary unscobed men and women but they had been with
[26:18] Jesus and they were not afraid because they sought God's praise rather than the praise of people and I think that's where a lot of ourselves that's where a lot of us find ourselves even as Christians and as Christians for many years we're more afraid of our peers and the people around us and what they'll think if we could profess and tell them about Jesus and tell him that he's our King of Kings we're more afraid of their response than we are of Jesus and acknowledging him as our Lord and Savior and what he thinks of us may it not be that's the case in our lives give us a holy boldness a courage and a gentleness certainly but a holy boldness to profess Jesus to whoever we meet and to tell them that it matters more than anything we're not going to kind of twist sort of fine tune little theological philosophical arguments with people and say it might be nice for you to consider
[27:20] Jesus now and again or at the end of your life and you've got nothing else to do or as an adjunct to your life we want to tell them because we have come to that place where we see well look he's the King of Kings every I ought of your life every breath that you take every sin you that is in your life is a gift from God and that he is the one to whom we give account and that he has come to accomplish our salvation he has accomplished it he has won it his resurrection is that great seal of approval on our salvation which we're going to sing about when we sit at the Lord's table because we remember it is not just the death but is all that the death entails and all the death has won for us that we remember as we serve him and remember him as we sit at the Lord's table so let's say just think about him today and let's rejoice that we can share the bread and the wine together as we do so.