The Father's "Amen"
Mt 27:45-54. 57-61; 28:1-10
Pastor Jon Hueni | April 4, 2021
Mt 27:45-54. 57-61; 28:1-10
Pastor Jon Hueni | April 4, 2021
The Lord has given us four accounts of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and John's account of the crucifixion tells us something that Matthew’s doesn't tell us. Matthew says that when Jesus had received the drink of wine vinegar, “…He cried out again in a loud voice and gave up His Spirit.” John fills in the blank and tells us the very words that Jesus cried with a loud voice. “Later, knowing that all was now completed…when He had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” So says John 19:30.
Now that was Friday, and three days later, Jesus dead body came alive and left the tomb as the Father raised Him from the dead. And what I want to set before you today is this proposition—that the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the Father's “Amen” to His Son’s “It is finished.” That what Jesus said on the cross—“It is finished”—the Father said “Amen” to by raising Him from the dead. Now, that's something that I heard or read, I can't remember where or when or I would give credit to whom credit is due, but I've been thinking about that and I want to present it to you. The resurrection is the Father's “Amen” to the Son’s “It is finished.”
Now, in order to understand this, we need to understand the Bible's use of the “Amen”. It was a way to affirm something as true. Most commonly we attach it to the end of our prayers, don't we? And we pray “In Jesus name. Amen.” ‘It's true’, ‘Let it be so’. Or think of Jesus’ use of the double “Amen” before something He was about to say that was perhaps very difficult for the hearers to believe. And so Jesus would say, “Amen, Amen”. ‘I say unto you’, or ‘truly, truly, I say to you’, ‘what I am saying is the truth.’ It's also a way to express our agreement with a statement. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says that “Through Christ the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Amen. ‘That's the truth’, ‘I agree’, ‘so be it’. Maybe something’s said in preaching and you say, “Amen!”, ‘that's the truth’, expressing your affirmation that something is true. Now that's what I'm saying this morning, that the Father's resurrection of Christ from the dead is His own statement of affirmation. Affirming His agreement with what the Son said on the cross when He cried, “It is finished.” And God's “Amen” is His powerfully raising His Son from the dead. “That's right. It is finished” is what the resurrection tells us.
So what did Jesus mean on the cross when He said, “It is finished”? We've got to know that if we're to know what the Father is saying “Amen” to. Now, some liberal scholars would tell us that Jesus’ cry, “It is finished” was a cry of a defeated and disappointed man expressing His failure. His failure to accomplish all that He set out to do…and His mission on Earth…and what's it all come to? Well, to nothing but this—a lonely, torturous death, forsaken and alone. And, feeling His failure, He cries out in utter despair, “It's over.” Defeated. Finished. And I assure you, brothers and sisters, nothing could be further from the truth. Our Lord did not die as a disappointed man who had failed in His endeavor. His cry, “It is finished”…Jesus’ cry, “It is finished”, was a triumphant cry of victory, of accomplishment, of completion, of all the work that His Father had given Him to do just hours earlier.
He’s talking to His Father in heaven, John chapter 17:4. And He’s now coming to the end of His life and ministry and He’s looking back and He’s viewing it as a whole, including His upcoming death that He’s just hours away from accomplishing. And He’s got all of it in view. And He says to His Father, “I have brought you glory on Earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” By completing the work You gave me to do. “I've fully obeyed every command, I've been obedient, even unto death, even the death of the cross”. His final saving act. And John, when he’s recording this cry of Jesus from the cross, says that after hanging on the cross for six hours “knowing that all was now completed” (same word—knowing that all was now finished) Jesus said, “It is finished.” ‘It is completed’. All the work of redemption, all that was necessary to save us hell-bound, wrath-deserving sinners. Finished. All that was needed to pay for our sins, done. Paid for. All that needed to be suffered, completed in full. “It is finished” was not the cry of a disappointed man over the failure of His mission, but the cry of victory at the full accomplishment and completion of His mission…indeed, our redemption. And with that satisfaction in His heart He then said, “Father, into Your hands I now commit My spirit.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Now, that's why we refer to Christ’s finished work. We refer to this work of redemption as the finished work of Christ. He did it all. He left nothing undone, nothing incomplete. “It's finished.” Jesus says so and that's enough to establish anything as fact. Remember, He is the truth. And He only speaks the truth. He cannot lie. We need no other proof. Does Jesus say “It is finished”? It's finished.
But the law did say that for anything to be firmly established as true there must be two or three witnesses. And so the first witness came from the middle cross as Jesus cried, “It is finished.” And the second witness comes from heaven as the Father raises His Son from the dead. “Amen.” It is finished.”
Now we come to Calvary's cross and we need to remember there are two sides to the transaction that is happening here. There's God's side and there's man's side. And on man's side is Jesus, the God-man, the real man, the perfect man that He is. And He’s here standing in for us as our representative, as our substitute and proxy. He’s taking our side of the transaction as the one to be smitten, stricken, afflicted, suffering pain, cursed, dying the death that we deserve. That's man's side. And Jesus takes it in our place.
But there's another side to what's happening at Calvary. And this is God's side. The Father is the One representing the offended deity. And so God the Father in heaven is the One striking, the One smiting, the One afflicting. The One wounding, and bruising, and crushing, and cursing, and pouring out His wrath, and demanding and receiving payment from His Son. “For it pleased the Lord to crush Him and to cause Him to suffer”, Isaiah 53:10. It was His curse that fell upon His son, not another’s. The Lord Almighty said, “I will strike the shepherd. I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”
So two divine actors in this drama of salvation—the Father, for God's side…and His beloved Son, for man's side. And we'll never understand Calvary unless we understand that the Son of God was there in our place, as our substitute. Jesus is the Lamb of God, sacrificed instead of His people, to take away our sins. We heard of it Friday night and the picture in the Old Testament is that of the sinner coming to the temple and bringing with him his sacrificial lamb. And before the lamb is slain, he lays his hands on the head of the sacrificial animal, the innocent lamb, and confesses his sins to God, symbolically transferring his sin and guilt onto the head of that sacrificial victim. And from that point on, that innocent lamb is now treated as the guilty sinner and is slain. Its blood, shed. Its life, taken. And the sinner is now treated as the innocent victim deserved. He walks free from penalty and punishment.
That was the Old Testament picture. That was the symbol. But what was symbolic with millions of lambs in the Old Testament sacrifice really was happening here at Calvary with this Lamb of God on the altar of the cross.
“For God made Him who had no sin to be sin…”
That was not said of any lamb, any goat, any bullock.
God made Him, His own Son—sinless pure Son—“to be sin for us.”
“God laid on Him the iniquities of us all.”
“He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree.”
These are the words of the New Testament and the Old Testament alike, to explain to us what's transacting here at Calvary when Jesus stepped in for us. He took it all in our stead. The moment, believer, the moment our sins were transferred to Him—the Father did that—our debt of sin became His debt to pay. Our guilt of sin is now His guilt to atone for. Our penalty of sin is now His penalty to bear. Our death, due for sin, is now His death to die. And it's not just any death, but death with the sting left in it. With God's curse and God's wrath in it. With God's forsakenness in it. And it's not just the first death—the separation of the body and soul that happens at physical death—it wasn't just that death, but it was also the second death that we all deserve. The death of the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20. Hell. Our hell is now His hell to pay. And all of this He was so willing to do in order to save us. And when in love He stood in our place, He had to suffer everything that we should have and would have suffered in hell forever.
Now stick with me. The cross really does lead us to the empty tomb. We're getting there. But we won't appreciate the resurrection unless we understand the “It is finished” that it “Amened” three days later. So consider if we had died unconverted. You'd never been saved, let's say. You continued to reject the gospel. You died without Christ, with your sins still on your head. And so you would be sent to hell. And no matter how long you suffered there, a million or 10 trillion years, there would never ever be a time when you would be able to say, “It’s finished. It is finished. My full debt is now paid.” We'd never get there. And yet. Jesus Christ, our substitute in our place, is nailed to the cross at 9:00 in the morning. And at noon the sun goes dark with the strange darkness of God's judgment, and He suffers the forsakeness of God. The torments and outer darkness of hell, as ‘”hell came to Calvary that day”, as we say, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 in the afternoon. And after those three hours the darkness dissipates and lifts. And just seconds before dismissing His spirit, our triumphant Savior shouts, “It is finished.” “It's finished.”
That was something no priest in Israel could ever say after making a sacrifice. No, the very sacrifice on the Day of Atonement was just a reminder that things are going to need to be confessed and sacrificed for next year, too. Could the Lord Jesus, in the words of Daniel 9:24, really have “finished transgression”? Really “put an end to sin”? Really “atoned for wickedness”? Really “brought in everlasting righteousness”? And all within those three dark hours on the cross when He was forsaken by His God? Could He and did He really drain the cup of God's wrath so that there was nothing left in the cup of wrath to drink? Did He really suffer enough to fully satisfy God's offended justice for all His people of all time? Did He pay enough for it to forever remove all my sin debt on God's ledger in heaven? Was there nothing more that death could demand of Him? Were all of its claims fully satisfied? From the cross Jesus says, “Yes—It is finished.” All of it. And three days later His Father in heaven, with sheer delight in His Son, added His loud “Amen” by raising Him from the dead.
And then the risen Jesus starts to appear to His followers. First, Mary Magdalene. Other women, too. On the road to Emmaus. Peter. The other apostles. James, the brother of Jesus, and 500 of the brothers at the same time…and then even Paul. And over a period of (Paul was much later), but over a period of 40 days He appeared to His disciples and taught them about the kingdom of God that He had come to establish in their hearts on Earth. And then He ascended into heaven before their watching eyes.
Does not the Father comfort us by raising our substitute from the dead? To see Him raised? Just to see Jesus alive and well. Talking to Mary. Talking to His disciples. Walking on the beach. Just to see Him back from the dead. Walking free from the debtor's prison of death means that, indeed, the debt was fully paid or He wouldn't have been released. It means that death has nothing more to claim from Him. It means God's wrath and justice have been fully satisfied. That God's curse has been exhausted upon Him. There's nothing more to do to Him. A living Jesus, walking free, means that sins that He bore are gone. He’s completely removed sin that stood between us and God…as that obstacle keeping us from God. Maintaining our alienation from God. The enmity. That we were His enemies. Sin’s the cause, but by His blood, He’s taken away the sin and so He’s effectively reconciled us to God. So to see Jesus alive and well means that He has reconciled us to God. That Christ‘s “death for sin, once for all, the righteous, for the unrighteous, has”, indeed, “brought us to God”, as 1 Peter 3:18 says. He has brought us to God by His death.
So, believer, a living Jesus means that according to God there was enough merit in His suffering and death on Calvary to purchase us for God. For all who are united to Jesus by saving faith, “It is finished”, is the good news from the cross. Jesus says so. The resurrection says so. God the Father says so—by raising His Son from the dead.
So brothers and sisters, this then means not only that God, the judge has been satisfied with Jesus payment and death and therefore has nothing more to demand from Him since He paid all that was due to Him. But it also means that there's nothing more to be demanded from us who are in Christ Jesus. Since we are united to Him by faith and He was the one acting on our behalf. Being united to this living Savior means that His death to sin—His death to sin—was my death to sin. That when He finished all that sin deserved, He finished it for me. So there's no more wrath in the cup for me to drink, there's no more curse for me, there's no more payment of sin for me. I'm forever set free from the reigning power of sin, from the condemnation of sin. From the fear of death..because He took the sting out of death. And so Christ has forever changed death for the believer. It's now death without the sting, without the curse, without the wrath, without the forsakenness. No longer is death, for the believer, the wages of sin. No, He paid that. Death has lost its victory over us, and, as for the second death, it cannot touch us who are hidden in Jesus Christ since He died that death for me.
United to a living Savior, not only is His death to sin our death to sin, but His resurrection to life is also our resurrection to life. That's Romans 6. Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. A newness of life, a life of sweet fellowship with God, with nothing between my soul and the Savior. Why not? Because He took the sin out of the way and has reconciled us, and now we have this sweet communion with God. And I am now no longer His enemy, but His friend, His beloved child. And knowing Him and enjoying Him—this is eternal life. United to Him, never to be separated from Him or His love. And so to be united to Him in resurrection means that just as His body was raised from the dead, even so our death is to be followed by resurrection. That all who are in Christ shall be raised as well. “Because I live, you too will live.”, He says to those who are in Christ. And so our bodies, too, will be raised incorruptible, never more to die, forever with the Lord. And then death will be completely swallowed up by victory. His victory. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And so just the sightings of the risen Christ in the gospel accounts are precious to the Saints. He’s alive! And that's “Amen” from heaven. That my redemption is accomplished. Finished.
But then came the three day wait after Christ cried, “It is finished.” There were earlier indications of the Father's “Amen” to what had just happened on the cross. Not all of the Father's “Amen” came three days later. He gave some, maybe we should say quieter, “Mmm…Amen” before the three day “Amen” in raising His Son from the dead. These came without the three days wait, but they were more like hints that were not understood until the Father said “Amen” and raised His Son from the dead. And then looking back, “Oh, yeah, look, yeah the Father has weighed in on the Son’s, “It is finished.”
Let me give you three of these that came before the resurrection. There was the ending of the darkness after the three hours. It didn't go on and on like hell will go on and on, that outer darkness. No, the judgment of God lifted from Calvary. And so there wasn't the outer darkness, neither was there the inner darkness that caused our Savior to cry, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” That, too, lifted after His three hours of abandonment on the cross. And during that three hours, our Lord Jesus—who had enjoyed sweet fellowship as the Son with His Father, and hearing His Father say, “This is my Son in whom I'm well pleased”— during those three hours He was cursed and treated as a curse rather than a Son. And so He doesn't say, “Father. My Father, My Father, why have you abandoned Me?” He says, “My God, My God”, showing something of that loss, of forsakenness, and yet hanging on to the fact that He is His God, but it's not “My Father”. But after the three hours of forsakenness have ended and the sun begins to shine again—both outwardly and on the inside of His heart—just before He dies He’s able to say, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” Father. So it was a limited darkness outside and inside. And that restoring of light was an indication of the Father's pleasure in the Son's redemptive act on Calvary.
There were two other indications of the Father's approval and agreement with the Son’s “It is finished.” And they’re recorded for us in the passage that was read in Matthew 27:50 and following. It says, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice—we know what that was. John tells us—“It is finished.” “…He gave up His Spirit.” And God in heaven answered with a sign in the temple. It says, “At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” God was speaking in that event. It came down from above, from top to bottom. This was an act of God. And He’s saying “Amen” to what just came from His Son's lips—“It is finished.” And the curtain was torn at that moment in the temple. The work needed to bring God and sinful man together is finished, and it’s seen to be finished by God tearing this curtain in half. Now, this curtain was what separated the Holy—the Most Holy Place—the Holy of Holies in the temple where God's presence dwelt over the mercy seat. No person could go in there and this veil, this curtain…thick curtain, was there to keep people from going in and dying because God cannot dwell with sinful man. And the curtain keeping everyone out of the Most Holy Place in the temple where God dwelt carried the message, “Stay out. Keep your distance! God is too holy to live with sinful men who've rebelled against you…can't go in there where God is.” So only the High Priest could enter, and only once a year, and never without blood which he offered for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. The same sacrifices done year after year, again and again, which could never take away sins. Never finished.
That's why the temple stayed up. It was showing that men could not draw nearer to God with their sins. But when this priest, Jesus Christ, without any sin of His own, but holy, blameless, and pure, had offered for all time one sacrifice for sin, He sat down at the right hand of God—and God himself tore the dividing curtain in half. The work of redemption is finished. The need for the temple is finished. The need for its priest is finished. The need for its sacrifices is now obsolete and would soon disappear. For Christ has “opened up a new and living way” into the Most Holy Place of God's presence. So finished are all the types and shadows of the ceremonial law. Christ, the Redeemer, has come as the real Priest with a real satisfying offering of sacrifice that has brought us into God's presence. So no more keeping our distance because of sin. Finished!
“Therefore brothers, therefore sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way open for us through the curtain, that is, His body. And since we have a Great Priest over the House of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
The torn veil was the Father's earlier “Amen” to Jesus’ “It is finished.” No sooner did it come out of His lips—at the moment—the Father tore the veil. Now, they didn't get it right away. It took some time to sink in, and indeed it would only be after He raised His Son from the dead that they would look back and they would settle the timing. “What time did it?...When did it split?...And when did He cry, ‘It is finished?’ It was the very moment! What was He saying by that?” And the Lord opened their minds so that they would understand the Scripture. And then, later, they got it, you see. It was that way with “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it.” Of course, He was talking about the temple of His body and it was only after the resurrection that they were, “Oh yeah. Remember He said that?” That's the way it was with this torn veil.
And then there's the 3rd “Amen” from heaven. You not only had the ending of the darkness, the tearing of the veil—but there was this fact of the saints who were raised from their graves at the very moment when He said “It is finished.”
“The earth shook, and the rocks split, and the tombs broke open, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life, and they came out of the tombs. And after Jesus’ resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
It's like a movie trailer telling us what's coming. Because of Christ’s death—He has destroyed death for His people—and immediately, once that work is finished, they pop out of their graves. Saints, who've received the benefits of Calvary, of what’s just happened, they’re brought to life on the merits of Christ and His atoning work. They stay there until Jesus is raised and then they come into town and people see their loved ones that they had buried—now very much alive. And then it takes time to put it all together. “Well yeah, that happened exactly when Jesus cried, “It is finished”. And this is the fruit of His finished work—a picture of what's going to happen when Jesus comes back. Our bodies will be raised incorruptible. And because He lives, we too shall live.
You see, it was the resurrection of Christ that changed the disciples’ view of the death of Christ. They had the liberal scholars’ view of the death of Christ, in one sense. They were bummed out about the death of Christ. They were sad, they were forlorn, their hopes were dashed. “Oh no. What has happened to all of our hopes of what this Jesus was going…? We had hoped that He was going to be the One who was promised to redeem us. But now it’s all over. What do we do now? Do we go fishing again? What do we do with our lives?”
They were beside themselves. Tthey saw the death of Christ as the end of it. For three days, they wallowed in that despair, and confusion, and perplexity. “What does it all mean?” They were not expecting it. Yes, He had told them. He had told them often about it—especially more recently. And yet there was no way they could figure out…”What does He mean by ‘I must be killed and then be raised again?’ I wonder what He means by that?” They had no idea that He simply meant what He said. And they were too scared to ask Him for fear that He might just be meaning what He said, but it didn't fit into their box of what the Messiah has come to do.
And so these disciples, for three days, are down the pits and their view of the death of Christ brought sadness and grief. But then—He lives. Oh. And the Spirit of God opens their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. “Oh, this was no surprise. This was foretold. Jesus was telling us all about it. This is no disruption of the plan of redemption. This is the fulfilling of it! We thought he'd do it riding a big horse into Jerusalem. He did it riding a cross. In weakness and shame…to His death.” And it was by His death…but the ‘death of death’ was won for His believers. Oh, and now they sang His praise.
And so the very thing that gave them paralyzing grief for three days suddenly became their greatest joy, as God raised His Son from the dead. Now, Christ’s death became the heart of the good news. Christ and Him crucified became their delight to proclaim the glory of the cross—or the gory, I should say—the gory and gore of the cross became their glory as they now gloried in the cross of Christ. And all because the Father raised His Son from the dead. That was the game changer that changed their whole perspective on the death of Christ.
And so the death and resurrection of Christ is the gospel message that they took into all the world—the message that they were willing to live for and die for—not just the death of Christ, but His death and resurrection. There's an inseparable connection between the two. Without either one of them, there would be no salvation.
So I read once of a pastor who, when he was in seminary, had to write a story about the gospel—a paper on the gospel. And he studied and he had all the Scripture references in there, and he preached Christ and Him crucified. And he had it all in there, and he handed in his paper and he thought for sure he'd get an A, A-, B+. It came back with an F. “You left Him on the cross. You left Him in the grave. That is not the gospel. The gospel is that God the Father has raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Yes, He died. But He’s raised Him from that death that He died.” And as I read the Book of Acts, I'm convicted. I don't preach the resurrection of Christ like they did. You read through there and they're talking as much about the resurrection as they are about the cross-- because the two stand or fall together. So Paul can say in 1 Corinthians 15…
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you've taken your stand, and by this Gospel you were saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and on the third day was raised to life according to the Scriptures.”
That's the gospel. That's God's way of salvation. That's the word of faith we're proclaiming that “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart,”— what? —“that God has raised Him from the dead…” You've got death and resurrection. Do you believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead? You shall be saved, “…for with the heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.”
There's a sweet word in 2 Corinthians 2:8, as we draw this to a close, where Paul just tells his son in the faith, Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David.” This is my gospel. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David” How do you remember Jesus Christ when you think of Him? Well, on Friday, Friday evening, we remembered Him by taking the elements of the bread and the cup to remember His body and blood that was shed for us on the cross. We remembered His death for us and all that it accomplished. But if we stop there, we're not remembering Jesus as we need to. Remember Jesus Christ—raised from the dead.
Some of you have a more pessimistic spirit and outlook on life. You always see the glass half empty. Then come with me to 2 Timothy 2:8 and see what we need to do. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead. That's the most optimistic word that could be spoken. That, after Jesus finished the work, the Father showed His approval and raised Him from the dead. And that was all for me. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead. He’s no longer hanging on the cross. He’s no longer dead in the tomb. And folks, it's only a risen Savior that can save us. It's only a living Savior that can help us. Remember Him, then, as risen from the dead. Hebrews 12:2, “Fix your eyes on Jesus…” How do you run this race of life? With your eyes fixed on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross…”
Now we're at Calvary, and we're looking at Him there. Enduring the cross, scorning it's shame. We don't stop there. We see Him as now “seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High”. That’s how verse 2 ends. He’s there on High. “God raised Him”, this pastor said, “not just from the grave but all the way into heaven, there to rule and reign upon the throne that rules the universe. ” He is “Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” He is the King of David that had long been promised that would have a kingdom that would never end and would sit on the throne and reign forever and ever. When the Father raised Jesus, He didn't just stop at the tomb, He raised Him to the highest place. That's not only Hebrews 12:2, it’s Hebrews 1:3—“After He had provided purification for sins” (which is what He finished on the cross) “He sat down at the right hand of majesty in heaven.” Well, He couldn’t sit down there unless He’d been raised first here, so it's all included, you see.
The Roman Church invented purgatory as a place where Christians, after they die, need to suffer in order to purge and purify…be purified…from their sins. Hebrews 1:3 says the purging has been finished. “After He had provided purification for sins…” Past tense. Had provided. Finished providing. “…He took His seat at the right hand of the majesty.” There's no purging to be left. He was purged on Calvary. He cleansed us.
So remember, Jesus Christ, risen and reigning. The quickest way to get from despair to hope. Remember Jesus Christ, risen and reigning for your good. It's only a living Savior that can hear our prayers, can intercede for us. And that can watch over us, and help us, and sympathize with us, and care for us, and send us mercy, and send us grace, according to our need. It's a living Savior who can do all this. And He’s coming! It's a living Savior who's coming for us. Not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to all who are waiting for it.
Hallelujah. The Lord reigns. He lives! And lost person—on the cross Jesus claimed to accomplish everything necessary to make you right with God. He said, “It's finished.” He did it all. He left nothing undone. Nothing of your work to do to be added to His. In fact, to think that you can, and must, add to it is the greatest insult to God possible. For it belittles Jesus’ work as if He didn't suffer enough. As if He didn't pay enough. As if He didn't drink enough of God's wrath. Wasn't cursed enough. Wasn't separated enough? “No. I must do something…” And Jesus says, “No. Didn’t you hear My cry from the cross?” And the Father says, “No, didn't you see what I did in saying “Amen” to “It is finished.”? All that remains is for you to come with the empty hands of faith, with nothing to bring. Nothing good in your hands, but just to receive Jesus and His work as a free gift, undeserved by you. That's what's left. That's what you must do or you'll be damned. You must have your sins paid for and taken care of by Christ, or you will be forever taking care of them.
And so, on this Easter morning Jesus Christ holds His hands out to receive you. Won’t you come with your empty hands and receive Him and go on your way rejoicing?