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Rev. Cecil Bromell is one of the great pulpiteers from Darlington, South Carolina. Hear ye him.


Last Updated November 27, 1998
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Chapter 1:14, 42

1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

   John 1:14 reflects on the reality of the incarnation of the Word into flesh. It refers to the birth of Christ through the virgin Mary. In the beginning there was only the Father, The Word and the Holy Ghost. But to provide a means of salvation for lost mankind, the word took on a bodily form and became flesh. Mary was the surrogate instrument of incubation, but the Holy Spirit initiated the process.
   The birth of Christ was not a mistake. It was not a blunder on the part of the God head. It was not a miscalculation. It was a planned event that had been predicted hundreds of years before it actually occurred. Isaiah 7:14  "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." The fact that the  idea predicted the birth of Christ and the immaculate conception so long before it happened suggests that it was not a mistake but a planned event.
   While Isaiah's prediction was hundreds of years away, there were others even closer. In Luke 1:35  Mary is told in advance about the great thing she had been selected to do for God. It says, " And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Thus, the birth of Christ through Mary was not a mistake but a planned response to the sinful condition of mankind by a loving God.
    It was not a mistake for Mary to journey to Bethlehem, knowing she was nine months pregnant. It was in the plan.
    It was not a mistake for Christ to be born in a stable, laid in manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. It was in the plan.
    All of the events surrounding Christ's birth were not mistakes, but they went according to plan.

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1:42 "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." John 1:42 "

This text focuses on Jesus as he gives Simon a different name that indicates the inner qualities he saw. At the beginning of his ministry, Christ began to assemble his apostles. He saw in each person, characteristics that would be useful to the expansion of the kingdom. After he met Andrew, the excited new disciple ran to his brother Simon and said "I have found the Messiah!"

When Jesus met Simon, he immediately discerned his spirit, character and persuasion. He saw what those around him could not see. Without debate or discussion, Jesus first words to Simon had the impact of announcing the state of Simon's inner self. At his first meeting with Simon Jesus called him Cephas. After ministering with him for a while Jesus gave him yet another name. Each reflected the progressive growth of the man known as Simon.

CEPHAS: When Jesus told Simon he would be called Cephas, He demonstrated how he looks at a man or a woman. The name Cephas means literally a hollow or empty stone. Naming Simon Cephas suggested that he had a hard exterior but was hollow and empty on the inside. Simon, was known for his often volatile temperament. He was strong willed, but cowardly. He was bold but yet fragile in his confidence. Outwardly he was the picture of strength, but inwardly he was weak. When Jesus decided to rename Simon, it demonstrated how Jesus looks at men. He does not only see what a man is, he sees what a man can become. He sees not only the actualities in a man; he also sees the possibilities. Jesus looked at Peter and saw in him not only a Galilean fisherman but one who had it in him to become a much stronger man than stood before him. When Simon met Jesus, he had no confession of faith. He had not witnessed any miracles. He had not listened to the great teachings of Christ. He was a strong man who was spiritually empty.

PETER: Matthew relates an instance between Christ and Cephas (Simon) that took place after Cephas had witnessed Christ on almost a daily basis. He had seen him heal countless numbers of sick and lame people. He witnessed a number of miracles and was impressed with what he saw. At one point, Christ paused in his discourse to ask his disciples how he was being perceived by the general public. Several stood and told of the various ways that Christ was being received. Some saw him as John the Baptist. Others saw him as the prophet Elijah. However, Christ narrowed the scope of the questioned and asked "Who do you think I am?" It was then that Cephas stood and said "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16). The statement of affirmation from Cephas was one that came as a result of his relationship with Christ.

It was a testimony that was based on what his eyes had seen and what his ears had heard. It was a statement of truth that he believed Christ to be the son of God. Cephas, the man Christ first described as a "hollow rock" had graduated. His witness was stronger. His belief was stronger. His faith was more secure. Jesus no longer referred to Simon as Cephas. He no longer called him a hollow and shallow rock, but said "Thou art Peter!" The name Peter is important. In the Greek it is "Petros" or a piece of a rock.

This man had graduated from a situation where he did not know Christ and was called Simon. To where he was introduced to him and called "Cephas" and finally to where he knew him for himself and was called "Peter!" Jesus said it was the kind of belief that Peter displayed that would be substance of the church. Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

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Chapter 3: 3,16

3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

This text first considers Nicodemus, one of the three richest men in Jerusalem and a member of the Sanhedrin council. He was a man of considerable influence among the Jews, immense popularity and well connected and respected.

With respect to Jesus, we see Nicodemus in three places in the book of John. We see him meeting Jesus in John 3:2, leaning toward supporting Jesus, at his trial in 7:50-51; and coming to wrap the body of Jesus in 19:39.

In each instance Nicodemus was careful to hide his support of Jesus. Verse 19:38 says specifically that he came "secretly" to avoid negative feedback from the community.

Nicodemus could easily be described as a secret Christian! He was attracted to the Gospel message, the Saviour himself, and desired to enter the kingdom of heaven, but he feared the wrath of his neighbors. He did many good things to help the cause but he never openly confessed Christ himself.

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3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that who-so-ever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life

   In his relationship with his followers, Jesus quickly found that he had a perception problem. There were people who were attributing different reasons for his coming on this earth.
  The Zealots said he came to establish a new earthly kingdom. But had to rebuke them by reminding them that he that lives by the Sword *will die by the Sword.
  The Romans at first thought he came to overthrow the Roman government. But he established early that his kingdom *was not of this world.
  The Hungry thought he came as a manifestation of God's renewal of Manna From Heaven. They joyfully proclaimed "Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, Feed me till I want no more." But they heard Jesus pronounce that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
  The sick thought he came to open a medical practice. But he had to constantly remind them that the cause of many of their sicknesses was their sin.
  Scribes and Pharisees thought he came to overthrow the law but Jesus declared that "I come not to destroy the law but fulfill it."
  His disciples thought he came to be served, but Jesus reminded them that he came not to be ministered unto but to minister, not to be served but to serve.
  The followers of John thought he came to carry on the mission, but Jesus answered only "Tell John that the blind can see, the lame can walk and the informed have been made whole."
  Despite all of the perceptions, Jesus came only for one purpose, to show the world that God loves them.

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Chapter 5: 30 

5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

This text focuses on Jesus as he reflects upon the source of His tremendous confidence and optimism. In John 5 Jesus gives a sermon on the nature of the kingdom of God. As people marveled at all of the wonderful things he was able to do in his ministry, they were puzzled. They wanted to know how he was able to perform his mighty works. They saw the lame walking after an encounter with Jesus. They saw the blind able to see again after they met Jesus. They saw those with leprosy made whole.

They saw the broken hearted and dispirited encouraged. They saw people making full transitions in life after coming in contact with Jesus. They marveled at his power and many sought after his ôsecretö so that they themselves could use it. In response to those who were inquisitive about his power, Jesus took time to explain to them that while he got the credit for the miracles it was actually God working through him that made it so.

As those around him kept elevating him higher in prominence he kept humbling himself and reminding them that alone, he was not able to do anything. He did not have to make the mistake of Samson to know the source of his power. Samson flirted with the flattering words of Delilah only to be awakened one morning to learn that the source of his power was gone. He had muscles and great physical statue but yet was unable to do any powerful acts because the real source of his power was the presence of God.

Thus, Christ told his followers the source of his great deeds was not in himself but was in God. His hand touched the lame but it was God that made them walk. He spoke the words to the blind but it was God that made them see. Lepers were made whole after leaving his presence only because God willed it so. The simple acts and words he spoke would be powerless and empty were it not for God taking them and making them into powerful instruments to perform his will.

When Christ said "I can do nothing" he pointed to a great truth. To do his mighty works he had to reach a point in his life in which he decided to lose himself in the will of God. That was the point in which he decided to pursue a life lost in the will of God. That point was reached in his wilderness experience where he was tempted three times by the Devil who challenged him to use his popularity and gift of miracles for personal profit and fame. But in the wilderness, Christ decided to empty himself and let God use him as an instrument of his will. Thus, he could said "I can do nothing" of myself. Without God I am nothing. Without the eternal power of the father I am weak and without ability to do anything. But everytime I act, he uses me to make a point for the kingdom.

While Christ said "I can do nothing" Paul writes to the Philippians saying: "I can do all things!" At first it appears that Paul is boasting of an ability that Christ didn't have. But in actuality he is saying the same thing. Christ said in John 5:30 "I can do nothing" but it is God. Paul said "I can do all things through Christ." Christ, letting God work through him, was able to perform miracles. Paul, depending on Christ the mediator between God and man, realized that he too had great potential. Each says, alone we are powerless. With God we are unbeatable.

Together the two statements of truth seem to say "I can do all things through Christ" but "without God I can't do anything!" It is both a statement of confidence, while at the same time being a statement of humility. "With God I Can do anything. Without him, I can do nothing.

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Chapter 6: 17,18,19,20,21, 35

6:17-21"And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went."
John 6:17-21 gives us a picture of believers toiling through the storm in the dark, but with a positive outcome. In John 6 Jesus stayed on shore to pray and think. His disciples decided to row to the other side. As they were rowing, one of the sudden storms that was common to the area, broke out and tossed their ship.

The disciples were afraid. It was dark. The storm was raging and Jesus was not with them! Mark 6 tells this same episode but at verse 48 gives another insight when it notes that Jesus, while on the shore, saw them rowing against the storm. They did not see him. While the storm was yet raging, in the blackest of night, Jesus came to them walking on the water.

When the disciples saw Jesus they allowed him to enter the boat and suddenly they were on the other side. They were safely through the storm. They had made it safely through the night.

Unlike David in the 88th psalm, who could not see God in his darkness, in the midst of their darkness and storms they were able to see Jesus and made it to the other side!

Believers may face sudden storms that come upon them at the most inopportune times. Although momentarily we might become distracted, each should remember that while we are yet toiling help is on the way!

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6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

   This text focuses on an episode in the early portion of the Jesus's ministry in which crowds of people followed him wherever he went in hopes of catching a glimpse of one of his famous miracles, or better still to be a participant in a miraculous event. On this occasion, a crowd of several thousand people had gathered to hear him and there was no food available to feed them. One lad in the group had brought along two fishes and five loaves of bread. Jesus had the men in the crowd to sit and he took the little fish and bread that was available, gave thanks for it, and began to distribute it to his disciples. As they distributed it among the crowd it never ran out until all had been filled; and even then there were leftovers.
  The people were so excited about what they had seen that they immediately wanted to make Jesus their king because they envisioned feasts for everyone under his administration. They wanted more fish and more bread. Jesus rebuked the crowd for following their growling bellies, seeking food. He offered them food, but it was not of mere fish and bread. He told them that just as Moses gave them manna or the "bread from heaven" in the wilderness so had the father made it possible for them to have a greater bread.
  He summed up this truth by telling them "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." What Christ told the crowds was simple: "if its fish and bread you seek, keep looking; but if its food for your soul that you want, I can satisfy your needs."

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Chapter 10: 17

10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again

 The events that surrounded the death of Christ were not mistakes but were all part of the plan. Pilate's decision to all Jesus to be crucified was not a mistake, it was part of the plan. Even Judas' betrayal kiss was part of the plan, even though it appeared to be a tremendous blunder in judgment at the least, and betrayal at the most. Jesus said no man took his life from him, he gave it up.  John 10:18 says, " No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
    Thus,  no matter how distasteful the acts of the crucifixion were to the observing eye, they were not mistakes. They were planned by God from the beginning.
    In the same way, the resurrection was also a planned event. The tomb was not empty on Sunday morning because someone had made a mistake. It was empty because God planned it that way. Jesus himself had predicted his own resurrection. That's why the angel said, " He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

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Chapter 12: 32

12:32 "And I, If I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me." John 12:32

This text first considers Jesus as he contemplates his death on the cross.

He tells his disciples, much to their puzzlement, that he will be lifted up on a cross and crucified, but that very act in itself will "draw" all men unto him. What drew men to Christ? Was it simply that he was a charismatic personality endued with special traits that caused people to want to be around him?

Obviously people came to Christ for different reasons. Some came to receive healings from their sicknesses because they had heard that Christ was a mighty healer. Others came to receive forgiveness of their sins because they had heard that he had often forgave sins before he healed. Some came to have life restored to dead relatives or friends. Some, like the rich young ruler, were curious about the kingdom of God and wanted to know how to receive the blessing of salvation. Still others followed him because he was constantly giving away fish and bread and they just wanted to get something that was free.

They were drawn to what he was saying and doing! But Jesus in all of his ministry Jesus never traveled over 100 miles and his ministry was limited to the Hebrew people and those who happened to hear him in the course of their journeys.

But Jesus told his disciples, if he would be lifted up he would draw "all men unto me," implying that his ministry and message would be expanded beyond the narrow confines of Israel to the limits of the world.

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Chapter 13: 34

13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that that ye also love one another. By this all men shall know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another

   Jesus was often challenged to give his position on the commandments and whether or not the people should follow them. In Mark he was challenged by a certain scribe who wanted to know the greatest commandment. That was
important to the scribes, especially since the scribes had divided the Mosaic law into 248 affirmative laws and 365 negative laws. They believed that, of the 613 commandments of Moses that, some were greater than others.
  Jesus' response was to quote Deuternonmy 6:2-4 and say "Hear oh Israel the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength,
this is the first commandment. Then Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18 and gave them a second important commandment from the 613 "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Chapter 14:6, 8,9

14:6:"Jesus Jsaid to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

Jesus is the final signpost for the believers looking for the way. He announced to all that followed him that he is the way. God will do for every person that believes what he promised in Isaiah. He will make a way, lead us in the path, turn darkness to light and straighten out crookedness if we will simply believe on him. No man can find the way to heaven except first he accepts Christ and let him show him how to get there from here!

14:8-9 "Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"

14:8-9 This text focuses on Jesus as he talks with Philip about the nature of his relationship with God the father.

During the course of his ministry with his disciples Jesus was often frustrated by the fact that the people were having difficulty accepting the idea that he and the father were one. They accepted him as a miracle worker of sorts and they respected him as a great teacher, but many did not perceive of him as being one with God. On one occasion Jesus even asked his disciples to tell him how he was being received by the people. The reports varied: teacher, resurrected prophet, and miracle man. Peter stood to attest that he was the son of God. Peter stood, but Philip did not readily get the connection. Here, Philip who had been exposed to his teaching for the length of his ministry had not accepted the oneness between Christ and the father. The essence of Jesus' discourse to him was to chide him for being around him so long, yet not fully understanding the nature of his being. "You've been acquainted with me for all these years, but you still don't know me" is what Jesus seems to have said.

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Chapter 16: 13

16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

This text focuses on the Holy Spirit's work to help believers prepare for the future life. In John, Christ paints a picture of a time when bodily he would not be with the faithful. However, he promised that while he would be absent physically that there would be a "comforter" or a divine presence in the guise of the Holy Spirit. The function of the Holy Spirit would be numerous, including convicting the world of sin and convincing the world of the righteousness of Christ. It would be the Holy Spirit's function to help the world know itself better, through knowing God better.

In the body, Christ was limited to being in one place at one time, but in his physical absence the comforter could be in many places at the same time, comforting advising and giving hope to millions simultaneously.

The Holy Spirit has one additional function, according to Christ; not only will the He guide you daily, but he will speak whatever He receives from God and will "show you things to come." The Holy Spirit will reveal to believers the nature of things to come with respect to their faith and their future. With respect to their faith, he would reveal his power through miracles, an outpouring of the spirit, and the amazing ability to spread the word about his goodness to people of every tongue and nationality.

The immediate future for the Jewish believer was to be drastically different from what was traditional. The church would be expanded beyond the traditional "For Jews Only" philosophy. It would be extended to all nations. That was a radical idea because it challenged racial and nationality barriers. Jews believed that they were God's chosen people and they did not relish the idea of extending their faith to "Gentiles."

Not only that, women would play a different role among them as prophecies of Joel were fulfilled "that their sons and their daughters shall prophesy." That too was a radical idea because it challenged long established gender barriers that excluded women as equal partners in the faith. Without a doubt the direction of the church was set in a direction that would ultimately go against traditional beliefs, chart new ground, and establish the Lordship of Christ in the hearts of men and women everywhere.

Christ said the Holy Spirit would show believers "things to come" and he remained true to his word. In Revelation 1 John said he was in the spirit on the Lord's Day and God showed him a picture of "things to come." It was a panoramic picture of the last seven years of this world order, of the rise of the anti-Christ, the defeat of Satan, death and its powers, and of the eventual victory of the Christ over all of the forces of evil.

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Chapter 19:2, 26, 27, 28, 3041,42

19:2 "And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe."

First note that the color purple was symbolic of royalty and achievement. In Biblical times those who wore the color purple were those who had achieved a level of success.

In Exodus, Moses prescribed that the vestments of the priests were to embody the color purple. Moreover he described in detail how the bright red hues described as "purple" were to drape the walls of the Tabernacle.

Mordecai, the Jewish man who did not have many material things in his life, but who came to be sitting at the gate of the King of Persia and overheard a plot being discussed to overthrow the king. By getting word to queen Esther, Mordecai was elevated to a position of honor in the nation. Esther 8:15 notes that he was rewarded by being lifted from his poor estate and given a crown, draped in royal robes of blue, linen and purple.

For Mordecai the color purple represented a change in his physical condition and an elevation from poverty to riches..

The symbol of achievement is seen clearly again when we look at Daniel.

He interpreted the handwriting on the wall as "Mene, Mene,Tekel, Upharsin" meaning your time is at an end. The King gave Daniel robes of scarlet or purple and elevated him to a high position, third in the nation.

For Daniel the color purple represented those things which he had achieved, not by his own power, but by the power of the Lord.

For Daniel the color purple represented God's accomplishment and God's mighty power.

For Daniel the color purple represented God's special work in his life, for

In this text Jesus is given a purple robe. But there is difference in the symbolism of this purple robe and those previously mentioned.

When Mordecai's wore the color purple it symbolized his rise from poverty to riches.

When Daniel wore the color purple he had been elevated from slave to a prince.

But here we have Jesus,the son of the living God, being persecuted and ridiculed by soldiers of the Roman army.

This text declares that Jesus is given the purple robe from the uniform of a Roman Soldier. A reed is placed in his hand for a scepter. A crown of thorns is placed on his head for crown.

For Jesus the color purple represented man's defiance of an almighty God.

For Jesus, the color purple represented man's attempt to mock the plan of salvation.

For Jesus, the color purple represented the futility of the ungodly to understand the mysteries of God.

What the soldiers did not know was that Jesus was not only the king of the Jews but the world was his dominion.

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19:26-27 He said to his mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold thy mother!

   Jesus showed concern for his mother. Perhaps the most  humiliating experience of any son is to be stripped naked before his mother. When boys are little, their mothers bathe them playfully in tubs. Yet when they start to mature they cover themselves, hide behind shower curtains and closed doors. Sometimes mothers respond, "You don't have anything that I haven't seen before!" In a more adult way, every man wants his mother to see him in his best light. It is humiliating to have our worst side shown to our mothers. Yet Christ, stripped completely naked and dying was exposed to the world and his mother. He expressed concern for her. She alone knew exactly who he was. Though he had three brothers and sisters, none of them had really known, all through their childhood and young adult lives, who he really was. They simply remember him as their play partner, but not as the Son of God. However, Mary knew. What would she think about the death of her son? Jesus turned to John and urged him to be a comfort and support for her because, unlike his brothers, John understood who Jesus was. Even though John's mother was standing close by, Jesus told John "Behold your mother!" Mothers feel the agony and pain of sons and daughters. Mothers. Mothers feel. Mothers empathize. Mothers love their daughters! Mothers love their sons! But yet on the cross, Jesus demonstrated another great truth, Jesus loves mothers!

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19:28 "I thirst"

   Jesus demonstrated "arranged suffering." On the cross Jesus spoke the words, "I thirst." He seemed to complain about a small matter of thirst when he had not complained about any other discomfort. They falsely accused him but he did not complain. He had to drag a cross through the streets of Jerusalem but he did not complain. They nailed his hands without a complaint from him. They nailed his feet ...still no complaint. Yet after enduring all of that, he seems to complain about being thirsty. Why?
   Throughout his  ministry Jesus sought to fulfill scripture. From the very day that he announced his ministry, his acts fulfilled scripture. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, according to scripture. He was falsely accused according to scripture. He kept quiet through his turmoil, according to scripture. He was crucified according to scripture. Yet there was another scripture which had not been fulfilled. It had been prophesied that he would be given vinegar on the cross. It had not been he asked for something to drink, knowing that a few seconds after he would die anyway. It indicated that he arranged his suffering to fulfill all of the demands of God.
    Believers today are familiar with arranged suffering. There are many parents today are suffering financially to help their children finish their education. Some are suffering in their health because they neglected themselves to care for others. The father that works three jobs to pay college tuition for a son suffers by arrangement.  He asked for it!
    Jesus only spoke because it was necessary to the arrangement. Today, those who feel the stings of life agree with the song writer. "I've had some good days. I've had some hills to climb...but when I think things over, all of my good days outweigh my bad days, so I won't complain!"

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19:30 It is finished"

   Christ completes our salvation. The suffering of Christ on the cross completed the necessary suffering and death prescribed by the law for sin. When Christ said "it is finished" he did not refer to himself. Notice, he did not say, "I am finished!" He said, "It" is finished. The great work of atonement that he began was finished on the cross. When Jesus cried out with a loud voice, John 19:30  tells us what He said: it is finished, which is one word in the Greek (tetelestai - "paid in full") this is the cry of a winner, because Jesus had paid in full the debt of sin we owed, and had finished the eternal purpose of the cross . On the cross, Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God, who was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father's fury, so we would not have to drink that cup
    The prophet Isaiah saw the day of victory approaching. Isaiah 53:3-5 puts it powerfully: He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
   It is finished. It is done.
   It is finished means the way has been paved.
   It is finished means those who are sick can be healed,
   It is finished means those who have sinned can be forgiven!
   It is finished means those who are dispirited can be revived!
   It is finished means those who have lost hope can have hope restored!
   On Calvary there was a cross, but God had a Word for that cross. Not just any word, for John said "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God!

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19:41-42 "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden and in the garden a new sepulchre wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day for sepulchre was nigh at hand."

This text brings to mind some important considerations about the mortal nature of Jesus. Even after his crucifixion he was buried in a tomb that was borrowed. This idea of poverty marked Jesus' life considerably. Jesus didn't own anything, but he borrowed a whole lot of things. He did not bring a chest of the jewels of heavben when he decided to dwell among men, but he came in abject poverty, not owning anything.

He was born in a borrowed manger in a borrowed stable room. He carried no money on his person and did not have a bank account or money market...for he borrowed a coin from a fish's mouth, just to pay taxes to Ceasar.

He slept every night in a borrowed house and a borrowed bed. Hear him say: "Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man hath not place to lay his head." He preached regularly from boats, fed crowds with borrowed fish and borrowed bread.

He rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey and ate his last meal in a borrowed upper room was draped in a borrowed robe, and crucified on a borrowed cross.

Christians should realize that Jesus need us in his service. He needs to borrow a few things from us.

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Chapter 20: 26,27,28,29

20:26:"And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

In John, the text verse occurs a week after the resurrection. It was the Sunday following Easter. On Easter Sunday Jesus appeared to his disciples in a miraculous way. They had locked themselves behind closed doors out of fear. They were afraid that the temple guards would come and arrest them, accusing them of stealing the body of Jesus. They feared they would be crucified. They literally feared for their lives. So they shut the doors tight and would not let anyone enter or leave. Verse 19 notes that in the midst of their fear Jesus came, despite the closed doors and appeared among them physically. His announcement of faith to them was simple: "Peace be unto you!" They were afraid of the Jews, but not of Jesus and he appeared to them to calm their fears.

A week later despite having seen the risen Lord and talked with him in their midst, they still met behind closed doors. This time, Thomas who was absent from the first meeting, was with them. They may have wanted to unlock the doors but there was one among them that doubted the resurrection. He had not seen the Lord as the others had and protested that he would not believe until he saw the nail prints in Jesus' hands and could put his fingers in his wounded side. In the midst of this atmosphere of doubt, Jesus came, although the doors were locked shut, with the same announcement of faith "Peace be unto you!" He encouraged Thomas to touch him, but it was not necessary because Thomas dropped to his knees saying "My Lord, and my God."

In each of these instances Jesus appeared to men even though the doors were locked. They were locked to keep the world out, but they wanted him present and he came. No doors or locks could stop him from coming to those who wanted his presence. However, in the Revelation text verse Jesus sent a message to the church at Laodicea and to the modern church as well. His message was that they had become wealthy, confident and secure in their own ability and were refusing to answer the call to mission. They were neither hot nor cold but lukewarm, a condition the Lord found unacceptable. They had shut the doors of their hearts, confident that they were in control. He was knocking, but they were not answering. He was knocking but they were not answering the door. Unlike the disciples who locked their doors out of fear of the world, but welcomed the presence of the Lord, these Laodiceans simply refused to answer the knocks at their door and Jesus refused to come in.

Jesus said any person that hears his knock and opens to him will share in the sweet communion of his fellowship. Those who do no share in the fellowship will miss out, only because they "wouldn't answer the door!"

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20:27-29;Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

Thomas did not trust what his eyes were seeing. It appeared that saviour was standing before him in theflesh. It appeared that the image he saw was that of Christ. However, Thomas was not sure. Too many things had happened and they had happened so fast. He had earlier said he would not believe that Christ was risen unless he could touch the wound prints with his own hands. Thus, when Christ appears in this text He invites Thomas to do just that. It was then that Thomas knelt in submission and belief not needing to touch the Lord. He believed what he saw. He concluded that Christ was not a fake but a real presence before him. When he bowed he acknowledged Christ as the Lord and worshipped him.

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