Matthew 5:4 ESV
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. WHY?
So why did Jesus even incarnate? (PURPOSE)
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
We have a comforter, He is with us now, the Spirit of the very same God we are effectively mourning in remembrance for this Good Friday
We are here in remembrance and celebration of God, in Christ Jesus, fully God and fully man. His very existence implies a mission and purpose to be fulfilled.
Jesus’ very Life, His mission is in direct alignment with the Fathers will, and direct fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and the expected Messiah come to save His people.
Jesus came to demonstrate the very nature of Heaven on earth, as a person in flesh and blood, aware of His identity as an immortal Life Giving Spirit.
Taking it upon Himself, in obedience with the will of the Father, to march toward a condemnation that the Law demanded, though one that Jesus Himself never deserved in His complete innocence – that fallen man in his own strength could NEVER fulfill in completeness by works or sacrifices that were mere temporary satisfaction of the requirements of ritual cleansing.
However, fallen man would continually invoke judgment upon himself and his fellow man – condemnation, shame, cursing and death …into eternity….unless there was a better way, a Savior, a Messiah to deliver him. The Law says the penalty for sin is death and in order for God to be a righteous judge He must uphold this fulfillment of the Law. He will and must remain consistent with His Word.
Through Jesus’ sermon on the mount, we see the DIRE nature of what it truly means to fall short of The Law, and we can truly see that anyone who is guilty of breaking the law even in his heart is invoking the death penalty so to speak. We can see that every single person who has ever lived, save Jesus, has fallen short of this requirement to fulfill the Law completely
How can God be just and merciful at the same time? Isn’t this the wonderful mystery revealed through the Life and death of our Lord?
Mercy Triumphs over Judgement (MERCY AND FORGIVENESS OFFERED) THE COST
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
How does Communion depict the coming suffering Jesus is about to face? THE CUP
The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath
15 Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”
See: Jeremiah 25:15-16; Isaiah 51:17, 22; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:28-34; Habakkuk 2:16
The Bread – His body – broken for us
The Cup – His Blood, innocent and pure, intertwined with the divine life force from the Father – poured out for us (fruit of the vine – Jesus is the true vine)
And when the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My Blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.
Why do we need a savior? (NEED)
a rejection of the savior (or even the acknowledgment of a need for a savior) implies by our own declaration that we are willing and ready to bear and take on the consequences of even our most discrete sins.
In this case, we have usurped the righteous Judge who would ultimately come to offer us mercy – in favor of our own ruling where we, by our own declaration, condemn ourselves…
The ironic part is that if we don’t recognize Jesus as Lord, we will submit to something – We are made in a way that there is a deep and yearning cry for a greater Love in our very soul…Where we often search for that love varies person to person, but the wake of destruction and death this implies is catastrophic – tragically we may not even realize or even be slightly aware to magnitude of the ripple effect our actions and consequences our sin has had on this world, and our fellow brothers and sisters. We truly need a mirror to look in – A way for us to realize , this is REAL
For Jesus to live His Life in our stead as the perfect man, and offer His body to God as an offering for atonement, Jesus is fulfilling the penalty of death as required by the Law in COMPLETENESS by being the only man to never sin, therefor the only truly pure sacrifice/offering to end all ritual sacrifice (via the temple system of offering an animal for partial cleansing)
To receive Jesus as Savior is to acknowledge our need and desperation for deliverance from a system we could never fulfill, while simultaneously receiving righteousness as a gift received from the only true Righteous One, rather than trying to work our way there….we are saved and receive His Life
Before receiving Jesus as our personal Messiah, we are dead, Spiritually dead. Whether we realize and acknowledge this or not.
In order for us to receive Life, He had to give His
this is a picture of both judgment AND mercy
note* As a part of the communion scene we see Jesus acknowledge both His betrayal at the hands of Judas, and the coming denial by Peter – Jesus speaks woe unto His betrayer, but in Peter’s case He says He has prayed for Him as Satan has demanded to sift Peter as wheat.
And now we transition, temporary temple sacrifices to observing communion in remembrance
Jesus is both drinking a cup (Wrath) – and pouring out a new one…
(New Covenant) (Forgiveness) (forbearance because there would be an atoning sacrifice)
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
How do we recognize our dire need? Can we even realize the depth of our loss? (countless sources) (WHAT IS OUR LOSS AS FALLEN MAN)
How does sorrow help us realize our need for a savior?
Can we get a picture of Godly sorrow? From Jesus’ point of view? (SORROW IS NECESSARY FOR HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION)
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[g] 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Jesus is about to be betrayed by Judas…One of His 12 personally selected disciples and one whom He would keep close like a brother and a friend.
(JESUS’ BETRAYAL, DENIAL, AND TRIAL)
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant[h] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Jesus’ disciples want to defend Him, they are ready to fight but this is not the way…This is the way of His very accusers.
Maybe some of the harshest betrayals or denials in this life come at the hands of those who are the closest, and we cannot simply avoid every one of these relationships, Jesus embraced this relationship in full awareness of what it meant for Him to suffer – Further confirming, no-one could take Jesus life from Him, but it was truly …given… What is the key difference between Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denials?
God clearly knows the deepest intentions of the heart.
There is a contrition and immediate sense of repentance felt on Peter’s part as He realizes what He has done, and the fact that Jesus foretold this happening.
We are never too far gone to have a heart that truly is geared toward relationship – with the Lord. Repentance can’t be made toward worldly authority (i.e. High Priest of the temple system) – Repentance can only be in submission to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Peter is also not the only disciple to leave the Lord’s side in these moments… There are many different kinds of denials going on through these verses…
Peter Denies Jesus
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also
was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
And now we see Jesus led away to be “tried” and mocked by His captors…
(AUTHORITY – WHERE IS TRUE AUTHORITY DEMONSTRATED – HOW DO WE RESPOND TO IT?)
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
Man is demanding that God prove Himself to them…Or justify Himself
a denial of their accusations that He is the Son of God would simply be untrue
and His confirmation of their accusations merely adds fuel to their lust for vengeance
How many times have I demanded God to prove Himself to me?
How many times has God’s confirmation of His divinity offended me to the point of anger? (maybe because His divinity exactly means He absolutely does NOT owe it to me to prove to me anything)
How many times have I had God right in front of me, showing Himself to me, in complete humility, and I denied Him because He was not who I wanted Him to be?
How many times have I mocked God? (even subtly)
What does worldly authority seek to do with God?
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
Pilate “I find no guilt in this man” …. Pilate was convicted of the Truth…
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews[a] answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Jesus is juggled between authorities of Pilate and Herod, as man tries to decide what to do with Jesus. Pilate and Herod are noted as becoming friends that day, while the Lord Himself is treated with contempt and mocked.. Jesus is then delivered back to Pilate, a little more abused than before…with intention to release Him as they are coming to the conclusion that He has done nothing deserving of death.
The crowd is not pleased or satiated.
(JUSTICE – AND GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY WHEN MAN ABUSES OR MISUSES AUTHORITY)
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.”
Pilate really does not want to have Jesus killed, He simply seeks to appease the mob.
This is a picture of the authority of man, in the form of democracy – in real-time action. The authoritative headship finds no guilt in the man Jesus, but is swayed and controlled by the mob, who are emotionally controlled and stirred by the chief priests
Can we feel the SPIRITUAL weight? – perversion of justice in the face of God? Himself, the truest picture of Justice, fully humbled, handing Himself over like a lamb to the slaughter.
Jesus’ Life was not taken from Him, He gave it.
Can we feel the SPIRITUAL weight, and even the irony, of man handing over and casting aside His God given authority over and over again? The very authority that is being used to decide the lawful fate of the Savior of all mankind.
Note* God’s authority and will is sovereign even as man continues to misuse his stewardship of given authority
23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
Barabbas is representative of us – We are actually guilty of terrible crimes and yet we are being released as Jesus is being condemned.
There IS a physical weight that Jesus is prepared to bare, but men have been crucified before…
There is a far greater SPIRITUAL weight, having to do with the fact of His innocence and undeserving of ANY punishment, scourging, or execution
Jesus is not only taking on the penalty for a crime He did not commit, He is taking upon Himself the penalty for sins of the entire world, essentially EVERY crime He did not commit, every crime ever committed or to be committed
Every crime that has been committed, or will be committed, bears a weight, and our Lord took that weight upon Himself, so that SOME, might come unto to Him
and we are not talking of merely crime against man, but crimes against God himself.
The only One who truly had the right to be offended, willingly forfeit His right to be offended, and traded it for Godly, merciful, forgiveness.
Humility is royalty
Humility is nobility
Humility is authority
26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”[b] And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37
and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him,[c] “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,[d] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
TODAY you will be with me in paradise.
One man makes a demand of God, demanding God prove Himself and His authority by appeasing his own request – The other man, in humility and the fear of God, recognizes his own guilt and honors Jesus’ innocence – his request to be remembered when Jesus comes into His kingdom is repentance and recognition of Lordship….a plea for mercy of which the Lord is faithful.
(DEATH – GRIEVING, MOURNING, AND BURIAL)
Matthew 27:45-56 (see also Luke 23:44-49)
The Death of Jesus
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Why Have You Forsaken Me?
To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.
creation even MOURNS Jesus as the Messiah – the sky darkens..
When we look in the mirror that is Jesus, we see the person we could never be, giving His Life for us, to the very people who would reject Him, as a gift – though His selfless Love declares, by the Faith of God, we may don His Righteousness, and see ourselves through the Fathers eyes as truly innocent and righteous…. in order to even be able to accept this we must take up our cross and follow Jesus to the crucifixion, and realize we do not merely watch Him die as bystanders and grieve as onlookers …. We die with Him, while the whole of creation mourns Him and the earth quakes in recognition as the veil is being torn from heaven to earth.
When we see Jesus on the cross we can see ourselves, knowing that this is the very fate we earned for ourselves. And an innocent man, God in the flesh, is up there in our place, on purpose.
He didn’t just die for us, He died as us.
When Jesus gives His Life, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins, while pleading with the Father for the forgiveness of the very people who were scorning and killing Him (That’s essentially all of us) – shows us that He sees, recognizes and even prophecies the potential for so much greater in Lives of the very beings made to bare His Image, only now that image can only be donned as a gift, and has been given in a way that can NEVER be taken away or given away in the way that Adam did. It is FINISHED. This DIVINE act of unconditional LOVE and MERCY, undeniably Glorifies God the Father, God the Son, and we will see as Easter approaches, God the Holy Spirit as well…
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Is anybody amongst us mourning?
Loss of a loved one?
loss of any kind?
change in a way of life?
Let’s walk with John, the beloved, the Mother Mary, and Mary of Magdalene for a moment. Jesus, God Himself, had a real life mom.
Let that sink in….
Are there any mom’s among us who have lost a son?
(What about the countless mothers who have lost their children to violent crimes, acts seeking some sort of retribution, or any other senseless acts toward essentially innocent victims.)
Jesus’ mother knows that grief.
John, essentially an adopted brother, assumes the role of Jesus in the family as Mary’s Son John lost his Lord, His Messiah, Jesus the Nazarene
But he also lost and grieved for a man, whom he loved in person, in the flesh, walked with, ate with, camped with, shared intimate moments with – all to see Him writhe in agony and call him(John) to be His mother’s son in His stead – this is heartbreaking
What about trauma, a form of loss that is hard to categorize and diagnose let alone administer aid…
The Lord shows us there is a time to grieve, reflect, mourn, digest our sorrow, and every important perhaps painful bit that is leading into ultimate redemption and resurrection.
He doesn’t skip the pain, He doesn’t skip the sorrow – That doesn’t mean He won’t heal, in fact maybe the sky darkening, the earth quaking in reflection, the “3 day period” are ALL ESSENTIAL to the healing that is taking place. To skip that would actually be to skip a critical process in the healing.
How inappropriate would that feel?
How insensitive would that be?
It is a healing thing to let ourselves grieve, and we ultimately need a model for this as well. Christ Jesus, lovingly and mercifully recognizes our desperate need and provides us with the blueprint for grieving if we allow ourselves to process through it with Him, and He used Himself as the teaching tool through His own betrayal, rejection, scorning, scourging, sorrow, chastisement, pain and agony
God understands pain, grief and sorrow more than we can even comprehend, but He was gracious enough to show us a picture of this through His very own incarnation as the Word became flesh even if that meant He would face His very own betrayal, pain, suffering, agony, mocking, and even death.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Jesus Is Buried
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.[g] 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
A Kings Burial
What does a proper burial represent?
What does a proper burial do for the mourning and grieving process?
What goes into the ground?
How is a tree planted?