Jesus Died for Me
John 19:16–19, 28–30, 38–42
There is a small community in southern Mississippi by the name of It — yes, It. There is not much to It. No restaurants, retail stores or even a school will be found in It. The most noteworthy thing about It is the signage designating its existence. The sign simply reads, “This Is It.”
When it comes to our theology and beliefs as Christians, our lesson on this Palm Sunday is it. It is the center of world history and the pinnacle of our existence. When looking at the crucifixion, we are seeing the perfect Son of God fulfill His twofold purpose of honoring the Father and atoning for the sins of the world.
Jesus was free of sin, yet He was crucified. (16–19)
In just three verses, a summary of the crucifixion story is told. The suffering and death of Jesus are the most contemplated events in history.
It is no exaggeration to presume the crucifixion account has been the subject of millions of sermons, commentaries, debates, songs and doctrinal discussions.
Seminaries, graduate schools and colleges around the world are still pondering and researching the events of the day that occurred more than 2,000 years ago.
It is impossible to fully express or appreciate all the things Christ accomplished on the cross, but we should begin with His willingness to humbly lay down His life.
He was innocent of the charges against Him just as He was innocent for our sins. The essence of the gospel is Jesus, the only perfect sacrifice, dying in our place and His substitutionary atonement.
Christ’s work on the cross was completed when He died. (28–30)
You would think a needy person would be grateful to receive a gift. However, in some church circles, people feel the need to add to the finished work of the cross. Some say you must be baptized to be saved. Others argue speaking in tongues is needed to secure eternal life. Both are wrong.
The only thing I contribute to my salvation is my sinfulness, and the only remedy is the cross of Christ. When you foolishly attempt to add to the sufficiency of the cross, you lose the message and the meaning of what grace is all about. Jesus was claiming victory when He declared, “It is finished!” The cross is enough.
The death and burial of Jesus was attested to by others. (38–42)
Jesus’ death reveals the differences in people’s choices. Some are broken when they hear the gospel and repent. Some, unfortunately, harden their hearts. Nicodemus had been a secret follower for fear of persecution.
Following the death of Christ, Nicodemus became a brave and visible disciple. By giving the burial spices, Nicodemus was honoring his Lord.
For years, I have tried to make the cross of Jesus the theme of my preaching. It is a true statement to say that the way you choose to respond to the work of the cross determines your eternity.
The death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus is it.
Looking for hope? This is it.
Looking for forgiveness? This is it.
Jesus said it best when He said, “IT is finished!”
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi