Supremacy of Jesus over His death on the Cross of Calvary
Jesus celebrated the Passover on Thursday with his disciples and went over to the Garden of Gethsemane. His disciples slept but Jesus prayed that the cup be removed from him. Somewhere around midnight and early Friday morning he was betrayed and arrested.
He was tried the whole night and they abused Jesus and hurled insults upon him. He was tried in Jewish as well as Roman courts and found to be innocent. However the outcry of the people led by the Sanhedrin forced Pilate to sentence Jesus to crucifixion. It was mockery of justice. During the death of Christ, we find the supremacy of Jesus displayed.
Here’s the high point of salvation history. This is the death of Christ. This is the long-awaited Lamb of God dying for the sins of the world. Words are inadequate to capture the supernatural reality of what is happening on the cross.
Hanging on the cross Jesus spoke seven statements:
Supremacy of Jesus During the Sayings On The Cross
a. Father Forgive Them – Forgiveness
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
b. Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise – Salvation
To the thief on the cross Jesus said:
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
c. Dear Woman Here Is Your Son – Love
26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
d. My God, My God Why Have You Forsaken Me? – Rejection
45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
e. I Am thirsty – Human Nature Of Christ
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
f. It Is finished
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
g. Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
28Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
This is divine supremacy. Jesus controls everything from his birth to his death.
Supremacy of Jesus
a. The Omniscience Of Christ Is Revealed Here
Omniscience is to know everything.
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled
He knows everything, because as God He has omniscience. He knows the plan of God exactly. Jesus knows when every single detail has been accomplished. He knows that all scripture must be fulfilled in His dying. He knows He’s near the end.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
That was Jesus’ words anticipating this moment some hours later the next day. But there was one prophecy yet to be fulfilled, and Jesus knew it. So He says, “I am thirsty.” What did He have in mind? He had in mind Psalm 69:21. This prophesy had to be fulfilled.
A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
Jesus refused the drink after tasting it.
There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
Gall was sedative to try to diminish the pain of crucifixion because it was so horrifying. He refused that, because he wanted the full impact of the suffering.
Notice that they put a sponge on the end of a hyssop reed, put it up to His mouth. Anybody reading that would immediately think of Exodus 12, Passover night in Egypt. When the angel of death came, you had to have blood on the doorposts and the lintels or the angel of death would kill your firstborn. They were told to sacrifice the lamb, and take the spread it on the doorpost and the lintel using hyssop.
Here is the true Passover Lamb.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Understand the supremacy of Jesus over his death
Jesus died way ahead of schedule for crucified people. It is important for you to know that He died because He willed Himself to die. He gave up His spirit.
People die on a cross either of dehydration or loss of breath. If they do not die of such a death, their knees are broken wherein they cannot breathe. But not Jesus. Jesus died of neither of these. He was shouting, “It is finished.” That means he is still breathing strong. Jesus gave up his own life.
See what Jesus said about his life:
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
What Did Jesus Finish?
He finished redemption by substitution. Redemption of man’s sin by substitution himself to God’s wrath. He finished bearing the wrath of God for the sins of His people. Here is a dying man who controls death and life.
I want you to see what actually happened with those watching Him die.
The Thief on the Cross
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
This man was literally converted watching Jesus die. He started out hurling abuse and blasphemy of Jesus but he is going to be in heaven because of what he saw on the cross and his response to it. The glory of the Cross, the glory of Christ was on display.
While they are killing Jesus as a blasphemer, He is saving the very people blaspheming Him. One thief hurled insults at Jesus, the other received Jesus. This is a transformation of a man by what he sees in the dying of Jesus. He is transformed at the cross. He came to fear God.
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said..
a. The Thief Fears God
He fears judgment from God. This wicked, rebel sinner rebuked the other thief from insulting Jesus. While his mind and his body are in severe experience of torture and shame of crucifixion, he perceives the truth that God is at work here. He is terrified looking at Jesus.
b. The Thief Understands His Own Sinfulness
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
He recognized it’s his own sin. This man is like the prodigal son who came to his senses at the last moment. He knows he needs mercy and grace. He knows he needs forgiveness to escape judgment. I am sure he heard what Jesus said:
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The thief knew there was forgiveness, even for the worst criminal.
c. The Thief Knew Jesus Was Sinless
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.
d. The Thief Knew Jesus Is Coming Back Again
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Now he knew no one survives crucifixion. So he knew that not only would Jesus rise, but Jesus could raise him also.
His theology has been formed while he’s been watching Jesus in His death. Jesus is the King. He has the power over life. Jesus is going to rise from the dead. Jesus can raise me from the dead. He has come to forgive our sins. Jesus intercedes for us with the Father that we might be forgiven even of the worst of crimes. He offered that forgiveness to the very ones killing Him. The thief is now a believer in Jesus, and he wants forgiveness. He wants mercy and he wants to be there with Jesus in paradise. When Jesus comes back to life, he wants to come to life as well.
Our Lord didn’t say to him, “You know, you’re close, but you need a little more theology.” He said, “Truly today you’ll be with Me in paradise.” He saw the glory of Jesus at the cross. Thief saw the power of the cross from the cross, and he wasn’t alone.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”
He is a Roman. This is a Gentile Roman. The centurion began praising God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was righteous or innocent.’” That’s John’s term.
See what Matthew said about him.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The Romans, came to the conclusion by looking at Jesus dying that He was deity. They knew Him to be God. When Jesus died there was blackness, pitch blackness or darkness in the middle of the day. There was a massive earthquake. Dying the way He died, saying the things Jesus said; they were convinced of His glory by looking at the cross.
When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.
The crowd saw the supremacy of Jesus. Beating one’s breast is a Jewish sign of guilt and grief. Pounding on their chests like the tax collector in Luke 18, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” They were terrified. They were terrified, because Jesus spoke loudly and they all heard what He said. Pitch darkness was another reason for their terror. They were terrified of the earthquake which split the veil in the temple top to bottom and opened the Holy of Holies for all to see. Crowd were terrified by that earthquake that also split the rocks so that even dead people came back to life. They were terrified, and they left beating their breasts in absolute fear.
They were afraid, “What if He was truly the Son of God? Probably they were talking to one another, “We said it, didn’t we, on Monday when He came in, ‘Son of David, Messiah, King.’ We said that; we hailed Him as that. Then we saw His miracles; we heard His teaching. We saw the cross. The nature has responded to the death of Jesus. There was the darkness. We saw the earthquake. What is going to happen to us?”
And then came the Resurrection. Jesus rose from the grave on the third day. It is said at a time Jesus appeared to more than 500 people post his resurrection. Then, 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven in the presence his disciples.
Then came the day of Pentecost. In Acts 2, as the disciples, around 120 people were praying and waiting in the upper room for the promise of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit descended on them. Peter stands up to preach to the same crowd gathered in the city of Jerusalem.
32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Peter then reaches this climax:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
You killed Him; God resurrected Him and exalted Him. Jesus is the Messiah.
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Three thousand people finally got relief from being terrified since they stood by the cross.
Proof is conclusive. He is the Christ. The thief saw it, the soldiers saw it, the crowd saw it, and grace was offered to all of them. Peter also said:
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
No matter what sins you’ve committed, and grace and forgiveness is offered at the cross.
We could see the supremacy of Jesus in this devotion. To the sinner, without repentance there is no salvation. To the child of God, without complete, wholehearted, full repentance, there will be no power to overcome, no peace that passes all understanding, no joy unspeakable, no cup running over and no abundant life that God wants to give us.
God did His part, no unfinished job; let us do ours.
Fully repent, submit, yield, dedicate, give in, surrender, and commit completely to Him! If we would all do this, there’s no limit to what God could achieve here on earth through us.
God left us here for a reason, there’s unfinished business to do! But God’s work is completed on the cross. It is Finished! We have time now complete the job.
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