Good Friday—Chief Service (Jn 18,1—19,42)

Artwork “It was dark” by Full of Eyes

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Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword in its sheath. Shouldn’t I drink the cup that the Father has given Me?”

᛭ INI ᛭

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

He didn’t flinch. He didn’t shy away from it. He didn’t see the wolf coming and run away. (Jn 10) He was distressed, as we know from the Synoptic Gospels, but not in the way of fear. “For this purpose I came into the world: to bear witness about the truth.” The truth that God wants to save sinners, to “reconcile the world to Himself.” “The mystery hidden for ages…that Gentiles are fellow heirs.”

“For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame.” (Heb 12) “He humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2) “He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—cursed is everyone hanged on a tree,” (Gal 3) “by His wounds you’ve been healed.” (1 Pt 2)

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

(I. He knew what was coming, and went anyway.)

We know, in fact, you can believe and trust that JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU because He knew what was coming at Him, and yet He did it anyway. That’s what John tells us: “Jesus knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out and said, ‘Whom do you seek?’”

There wasn’t a single event that escaped His notice beforehand. Jesus said, “The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn Him to death and betray Him to the Gentiles to mock, beat, and crucify [Him]. On the third day He will be raised.” (Mt 20:18–19)

Jesus knew what Judas would do. “What you’re doing, do quickly” (Jn 13:27) He told Judas. He knew every accusation, every strike, every insult. He knew the thorns. He knew the lots they cast for His garments. He knew the cross. “Jesus, knowing that everything was already finished, said, ‘I thirst.’ He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.” He knew the tomb. He knew the resurrection, too. “I lay down My life that I may take it back again.” (Jn 10)

(II. He drank the cup to the dregs.)

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

We hear that in Jesus’ pointed remark to Peter after Peter cut off the High Priest’s servant’s ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword in its sheath. Shouldn’t I drink the cup that the Father has given Me!?”

The Psalmist says, “In the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.” Jesus Himself drinks the cup of wrath and suffering that the Father prepared of Him. Jesus offers “His soul as an offering for sin.”

“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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Every sin we commit against each Commandment—no matter the Commandment. It doesn’t matter if it’s sins against the First Table of the Law or the Second Table of the Law. It doesn’t matter if we sin against God or neighbor. It doesn’t matter if we did something wrong or failed to do what was right—sin of commission, sin of omission.

Not honoring the Lord’s name or day, not loving your neighbor as yourself, every vile sin listed in the Bible that the world now praises—all the wrath for that sin, swallowed up by Jesus. He is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Since He drank the cup of woe, Downed for us who dwell below, Here His blesséd Cup now flows Where we taste His blessing. No wrath in the Cup for you, only blessing, only forgiveness the given through His blood, for that’s what’s there! “The Cup of blessing that we blessing, isn’t it the communion of the blood of Christ?” “For you for the forgiveness of sins.”

(III. “It is finished.”)

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

All the way to the end. That’s what we heard in last night’s Gospel: “Now before the Feast off the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (Jn 13) Through Thursday into Friday, even throughout His whole earthy life—nothing was left undone, nothing left unfinished. He’s not piecemeal in His work, what He does for you to save you. All in, all the way.

Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. For you, for your sins, for your forgiveness.

(Conclusion.)

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

He didn’t flinch. He didn’t shy away from it. He didn’t see the wolf coming and run away. (Jn 10) He knew what was coming, but went anyway…to save you.

He was all in, downed the cup of God’s wrath that’s due to us sinners. We deserve that cup, and not the one Jesus freely offers in His Supper: “Drink of it all of you.” There’s no wrath, no separation at His table. There’s peace. There’s Communion—with the Lord and with each other. “This [bread] is My body, given for you.” “This cup [of wine] is the New Testament in My blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

He was all in all the way to the end. “It is finished.” Nothing left for you to do. “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

JESUS WAS ALL IN TO SAVE YOU.

And so you’re saved—all the way and forever.

᛭ INI ᛭

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