Our Lord Jesus went into the slave market of sin, bought us, and took us out and set us free. So Paul could then write, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty where Christ hath made us free." Ah yes, when He said it's finished, God's law was satisfied, God's holiness was vindicated, and God's redemptive purpose was fulfilled.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Yes, we’re in the world but we don’t have to be of the world. And I guess that’s part of the meaning of the little corny greeting that establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. Sitting across the breakfast table with some of you, driving with some of you to work, and for those of you who listen in the late evening hours, sitting comfortably there just before your eyes start to droop and you get ready for bed but you’re listening to Cook. [chuckle] Well, I’m glad to have you as my friends, wherever you are and whatever time of the day it is, God bless you. You know I pray for you.
Well, we’re looking at John 19. We talked the last time we got together about fulfilled prophecies. We talked about the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then I wanted to stop just for a moment on just a couple of comments. One was, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, says, ‘I thirst.'” Now He fulfilled the Scripture but you have to realize that the extreme suffering through which He was going was bound to produce an intense thirst.
Those of you who’ve been badly wounded, either in a war or in some accident, or whatever it is, you know the sensation. And so, here you have the very God-man suffering a purely human reaction, which reminds me again that He was in all points tested like as we are yet without sin. I just want you to realize, beloved, that you have a Savior Who has been through it. He knows. It says, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” You know why He knows how? ‘Cause He’s been there! Trust Him today for something that baffles you. Trust Him today for something that angers you. Trust Him today for something that hurts you deeply. Trust Him today for some of the impossibles in your life with the knowledge that He’s been there and He knows. I just wanted to pass that along to somebody. Somebody needs it, and I just felt I better say it for your sake.
“Then when Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished.'” We’re not going through all the seven last sayings on the Cross- that’s a good series but I’m just reading what’s in the 19th chapter of John right now. “It is finished.” What is finished?
Well, the work of atonement and redemption was finished. “Christ also hath suffered for us, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. “God hath made Him, Christ, to be sin for us, He Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses and hath delivered unto us the word of reconciliation. Now therefore we beseech you, be reconciled to God.” “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. Chastisement of our peace was on Him. By His stripes we are healed.” “God commendeth his love toward us then,” we read in Romans 5, “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us in our place.” Little Greek word huper, which means up, over, instead of, in our place.
Let me tell you again the story that JC Massee told in my hearing back in my salad days. Dr. Massee was a great evangelist and later became pastor of Tremont Temple in Boston, a place that they called the graveyard of evangelism. Everybody told him that he wouldn’t make it there, but he told us boys in seminary, that he decided he would win at least one soul a week himself and have that one person ready to come down the aisle when he gave the invitation. He said, “It never failed that there were many more that followed.” A good idea, Pastor, for you. I did it myself in 18 years and at full time in the pastorate, win one soul a week and have somebody ready to confess Christ publicly when you give the invitation and other people are going to follow always.
JC Massee then was my teacher for awhile when I went to seminary, and he told us this story. He said he was brought up in the south. His mother kept a spotless house; it was a big southern-plantation kind of a house with a porch running around three sides of it and great, big airy bedrooms that let in light and the gentle breeze, and then the big four poster beds covered with snowy white coverlets made of cotton that she’d grown in her own fields, and as he put it, “ginned in her own cotton gins, and woven on her own looms.” And there was that beautiful home that she was keeping so spotless, and so tidy, and so beautiful. He himself, at the time, was about six years old. And as little boys do, he went outdoors and was playing with mud pies. What a joy it is when you’re very small to make mud pies. Just don’t eat them, that’s all. [chuckle]
So he’d been out playing in the dirt. Tiring of his play, he went up on the porch and was walking along, dirt and all, when he looked through an open window, the casement of the window was low enough to almost step over it. He looked through the open window and saw that beautiful white bed there and just on impulse, he stepped across the windowsill and jumped on that bed and it felt so good, he jumped some more. And as he was having a high old time jumping and rolling, dirt and all, on that snowy white, formerly snowy white, coverlet, he heard the rustle of petticoats in the doorway and there stood his mother and her right hand held behind her. He knew that it had a switch in it, and instinctively, he rolled over, covering his face expecting the spanking that he so richly deserved.
But as he told the story, he said, just at that instant his older brother who was 21, and he added, “free from the law, oh, blessed condition,” he quoted a hymn there, 21. And his older brother who’d been out in the field came into the yard on horseback, took in the scene and in an instant, vaulted over the porch railing and in through the window and on top of the bed laid his great body over the little boy and said, “Alright, mother, lay it on, I’ll take it for him.” Well, of course, that was too much for his mom, and she smiled and said, “Get on out of here before I whip you both.” Say, has it ever occurred to you that our Lord Jesus said in effect, when He said it’s finished, what really was finished? He had said, “Lay it on, I’ll take it for him.” “All thy waves and billows have passed over me,” the prophetic utterance says. He took it all. Jesus died for me. “The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God,” said Paul, “Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Jesus our Lord said, “Even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.”
The idea of redemption has a number of shades of meaning. One is to buy in the market, another is to buy out of the market. And our Lord Jesus went into the slave market of sin and bought us and took us out and set us free. So that Paul could then write, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty where Christ hath made us free.” Ah, yes when He said it’s finished, God’s law was satisfied, God’s holiness was vindicated, God’s redemptive purpose was fulfilled. All of the pictures and types of the Old Testament offerings were completely fulfilled as Christ our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us. And the door of mercy was opened so that you and I can call on the name of the Lord. “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
All you need to do today listening to me, beloved, if you’ve never made that approach to God’s mercy, you’ve never asked Him to save you, all you need to do is to say, “Jesus save me. I wanna be Yours. I wanna be forgiven. I want to be born again. I want You to come and live in my life.” You talk to Him. “Call,” says the Bible, “unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
It is finished, which tells me that I don’t have to go back and try to do anything about it. “‘Tis done,” says the songwriter, “‘Tis done. The great transaction’s done. I am my Lord’s and He is mine. He drew me and I followed on, charmed to confess the voice Divine. Happy day when Jesus washed my sins away.” We often change those words for people who got saved in the evening, and we sing it happy night when Jesus washed my black heart white. Well, however you put it, the work is done, and you can’t do one thing to make you any more acceptable to God. Your poor old sinful heart is just no good to God until and unless you allow the Lord Jesus to give you Himself dwelling within you, a new heart. “A new spirit will I put within them,” the prophet says. The blessed Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you when you open your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Finished work. All done.
And in the process, God reserves the right to cleanse the record. Will H. Houghton, the distinguished president for years at the Moody Bible Institute, before that the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, was a good friend of mine, and he told me sometimes things about his own life. And in his salad days as a young man, he’d been far from God. He’d done some things of which he was ashamed and then later being converted and heading toward the ministry, he said he had some terrible times. As trying sometimes to get to sleep. Satan would say to him, “How dare you try to be a minister. Look at what you’ve said and look at what you’ve done.” And then he came upon that passage that says, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more forever.”
And he told me one time, he got down on his knees and he said, “Well, Satan, I remember it and I know you do, but God says He’s forgotten it and that settles it.” [chuckle] Alright. Finished work, sins put away, Heaven opened. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hey, turn to God today, will you? Whatever your need and let Him prove to you that He still answers prayer.
Dear Father today, thank you for Jesus and all that His atonement means to us. We love You. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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