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What the Death of Jesus Means to You: Enduring Pain on Our Behalf

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 16, 2021 3:00 am

What the Death of Jesus Means to You: Enduring Pain on Our Behalf

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 16, 2021 3:00 am

For the past month, we’ve studying the rich writings of the Gospel of Mark. Mark weaves together a vivid narrative of the life of Jesus . . . and certainly the most vivid is his description of the end of Jesus’ life and ministry. These events were choreographed by the Father from the beginning of time, but the events were surprising to a First Century citizen seeing it in real time. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie presents his message, What the Death of Jesus Means to You.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. For the past month, we've been studying the rich writings of the Gospel of Mark. Mark weaves together a vivid narrative of the life of Jesus, and certainly the most vivid is his description of the end of Jesus' life and ministry.

These events were choreographed by the Father from the beginning of time, but the events were surprising to a first-century citizen seeing it in real time. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie presents his message, What the Death of Jesus Means to You. Grab your Bible and turn to Mark chapter 15. The title of my message is, What the Death of Jesus Means to You.

Let me start with a question. When do you think Jesus experienced the most pain? Do you think it's when they put the crown of thorns on his head? Do you think it's when he was beaten with a Roman whip, most likely a Roman cat of nine tails? Do you think it's when they drove those nails through his hands and his feet as horrible and horrific as all of that was? I don't think that was his most painful moment. I'll tell you what I think his most painful moment was.

And I'm also going to talk about the most painful moment in my own life at the end of the message. Mark 15 says in verse 22, they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha. That is the place of the skull. They offered him wine drug with myrrh, but he refused it. And the soldiers crucified him. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.

And a sign announced the charge was against him. The king of the Jews and the revolutionaries were crucified with him. One on his right and one on his left. Look back at the cross for a moment. Here's Christ hanging on the cross. The crown of thorns is on his head. His back is torn open by the Roman whip.

Understand this. Death by crucifixion was not dying by having the nails put through your hands and feet as horrible as it was. In effect death by crucifixion was death by suffocation. The Carthaginians invented crucifixion.

Let's just say the Romans perfected it in a horrific way. It was designed to humiliate a prisoner. Prisoners would often be nailed to the cross naked. It was designed as a warning to anyone that would rise up against Rome. These were serious criminals that were hung there on the crosses.

And the reason you died was because you could not breathe. So you see that little step at the foot of the cross. The crucified person would have to push themselves up to get a gulp of air into their lungs. Obviously that would cause great pain on your hands which were nailed to the cross. The nail pounded through the feet as well. And so there is Jesus hanging. So it is hard to breathe. Now you want to talk about saying things from the cross.

Extremely difficult. Yet Christ gave seven significant statements from the cross. We have to kind of piece them together from all the gospel to get them in their proper order. So as Jesus is hanging on the cross between two thieves or two other criminals His first words were, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. One of the criminals crucified next to Him turns to Him and says, Lord remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

And Jesus gives a second statement from the cross when He says to this man, truly truly I say to you today you will be with Me in paradise. Standing at the foot of the cross there stands Mary the mother of Jesus. Imagine her anguish to look up there and see her beloved son. She once guided those little tiny hands that are now nailed to a cross.

Isaiah tells us he was so bloodied and beaten and traumatized you could not even tell he was a man. And Jesus looks down from the cross and He says His third statement from the cross which is, woman behold your son. John the apostle was standing nearby and then He says to John, son behold your mother.

In effect saying to John, take care of My mother for Me. Then presumably He takes on the sin of the world and gives the fourth statement from Calvary which is, Eli, Eli lama sabachthani, which is My God, My God why have you forsaken Me? Statement number five is, I thirst.

Statement number six, it is finished. And the final statement, statement number seven, He says to the Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit. Let's contemplate for a moment that riveting first statement of Jesus when He says, Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

That's in Luke 23 34. Jesus is basically saying, Father forgive them. They need forgiveness so desperately they've committed a sin that is wicked beyond all comprehension. Father forgive them. They don't know what they've done. And by the way, it's implied in the original language, He said that more than once.

So it wasn't just one statement. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. But rather, Father forgive them they know not what they do. Father forgive them. They don't know what they've done. Father forgive them.

He was saying it over and over again. Now initially we know that both thieves joined in the chorus of mockery with the people standing at the foot of the cross who are saying, if He is the Christ, if He is the Son of God, let Him come down from that cross. He should save Himself. So at the beginning, first Christ is crucified. Everyone's mocking Him including the criminals on each side. Jesus gives statement number one from Calvary. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. And one of those thieves comes to his senses and he believes and he rebukes the other guy. In fact he actually says to the other guy, don't you fear God knowing we're under the same condemnation?

What woke this man up? Why did he believe so quickly? And by the way to become a Christian it doesn't take years, it doesn't take months, it doesn't even take hours. It can happen just like that. It can happen for you at this moment while you're listening to me speak where you suddenly realize all of this is true. Jesus is the Son of God. I can come into a relationship with Him.

I can know God in a personal way. That's what happened to that guy. What won him over? What softened his hardened heart? It's when he saw Jesus forgive the men who had done this horrific thing to Him. By the way we don't know that those thieves had been scourged. We don't believe those thieves had crowns of thorns on their heads. But Jesus had all that in addition to the horrors of the crucifixion. And that man believed because he saw this forgiveness in action.

Amazing. And then he says to Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus says, truly truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. This is what we call a deathbed conversion. Am I talking to someone on a deathbed right now? Am I talking to someone whose life is coming to an end?

Let me say to you no matter how you've lived, no matter what sins you've committed, God could and will forgive you if you will call out to Him. I've told you before my mother was married and divorced seven times. So I had a full-time ministry sharing the gospel to my mom's former husbands. And I tried to reach as many of them as I could.

The one she was married to when her life finally came to an end, he was a man who was not open to God throughout his life. And actually kind of made fun of me and what I believed. But then he got very ill. My mother died. And then some time passed and someone called me up and told me that he was very sick and at death's door. I was on my way to a speaking engagement on the other side of the country. I had a fight to catch. And I said, you know what, I'll go visit him tomorrow when I get back. And they said, well do whatever you want to do. But he's really ill.

I don't think he'll make it through the night. And so I'm driving to the airport and I'm telling you the Lord spoke to me and said, go to him right now. So I did a U-turn. Drove over to his house. Walked in. And there he was in a hospital bed in his den.

Clearly not long for this world. And I shared with him the gospel. And I told him Jesus died on the cross for him and rose again from the dead.

And he could believe in Jesus. I said, would you like to do this right now? And he said yes and we prayed. It was a deathbed conversion. And then I bid him God bless and said I'll see him when I got back. And I caught my flight and when I landed I got a text on my phone that said he just died. Wow. Got in under the wire.

Got in under the wire. And I'll tell you what, you can call on the Lord no matter what you've done and he'll forgive you. Jesus forgave this hardened criminal. Today you'll be with me in paradise. Now an ominous moment takes place. This has been described as the crucifixion in the crucifixion. It's nine o'clock in the morning. Suddenly the sun goes dark. It's like an eclipse. And some extra biblical sources suggest there was a universal darkness. This darkness falls on the land. And that darkness is pierced by the voice of Jesus giving this fourth statement from the cross in Mark 15 33.

As darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. At three o'clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, Eli Eli lama sabachthani. Which means my God my God why have you forsaken me. No fiction writer would ever have his hero make a statement like this. Some people say, oh the Bible's fiction.

It's all made up. No this is a true story and this is showing what Christ was experiencing. Now we know at some moment Jesus bore the sin of the world. The Bible clearly tells us this.

When it happened we can't be exactly sure but it would seem to me this is the moment when all of the sin of humanity past present and future is poured upon Christ. Thus he says, my God my God why have you forsaken me. Look Jesus had been forsaken by his disciples.

By and large they had fled. But he always had the father. The father was always there with him. Jesus said in John 8 29, the one who sent me is with me and the father has not left me alone. Then in John 16 32 Jesus says, indeed the hour is coming and now has come and you'll be scattered each to his own and you will leave me alone but I'm not alone because the father is with me. But now at the cross as the sin of the world is poured upon Jesus God the father turns his face away from the son.

Why? Because God in his holiness cannot look at sin. The scripture says of God he's of pure eyes and to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity. So in effect the father turns his face away as he pours his wrath on his son. The wrath and anger of God that should have been poured on you and should have been poured on me was poured instead on Jesus and this was his most painful moment.

I raised a question earlier. What was the most painful moment? Was it when they put the crown of thorns on his head? I don't think so. Was it when they used the Roman whip on his back as horrible as that was? I don't think that was it.

Was it when they pounded the spike through his hands and his feet? Again no. It was when all the sin of the world was placed upon him.

Why? Because Jesus had never sinned ever. Not even one thought out of harmony with the father. Jesus said I always do the things that please him. Who could say that? But Jesus.

And it was true. But here is Jesus now separated in effect from the father. But listen to this. Jesus was forsaken so I don't have to be.

Let me say that again. Jesus was forsaken so I don't have to be. Jesus was forsaken of God so I could be forgiven. Jesus entered the darkness that I might walk in the light. Jesus was forsaken of God for a time that I might enjoy his presence forever.

Jesus then gives his fifth statement from Calvary. I thirst. I thirst. This wasn't any normal thirst. He was just dying up there dehydrated. And he cries out I thirst. Bringing us and by the way that shows the humanity of Christ.

Yes he was God walking among us but he was also a man. He felt that pain when they struck him in the face. He felt that pain of the crown of thorns.

He felt that pain as they tore his back open and when they nailed him to the cross and he felt the pain of separation from the father. Now statement number six. It is finished. Jesus was 33 when he died.

At the age of 33 most people are saying it is beginning. But Jesus was saying it is finished. But he did not say I am finished.

This is not the shout of the victim. This is a shout of a victor overcoming his enemies. In the Greek it is one word. It is finished as one word in the Greek tetelestai. Tetelestai.

It was a word that was commonly used in the language of that day and in many situations. If you built a table and it was finally completed you would say tetelestai. It is done. Or even after a great meal was prepared you would say tetelestai.

The meal is completed. So he says tetelestai. They knew what that word meant. It is a word that meant it is finished. It stands finished and it will always be finished. And by the way he cried out with a loud voice. He didn't just say tetelestai.

He said tetelestai. It is finished. It is completed.

It is done. The war is over. A new covenant now has been established with God and man. And I think what I call the battle cry of the cross reverberated through the hallways of heaven as well as the hallways of hell. The mission had been accomplished.

The job had been completed. The death of Jesus satisfied the righteous demands of the Father. Now the final statement of Christ from the cross.

He says to the Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. The Roman soldier was shocked to see that he had died. And normally they would take the mallet, the hammer, and smash the legs until the crucified person would collapse and could no longer breathe. And that is how they would kill him. But Jesus did not need that done. The Bible says they haven't broken a bone in his body.

That is prophesied of Christ. He gave his life up. See no one took the life of Jesus. He gave his life.

He laid his life down. Jesus said greater love is no man than this and he laid down his life for his friends. Notice three times on the cross Jesus addressed the Father. His first words, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. His fourth word, my God, my God why have you forsaken me. And his last words, Father into your hands I commit my spirit.

Jesus addressed the Father at the beginning, in the middle, and the end. And we should do the same in life shouldn't we? Address God in the beginning when you're a young man or a young woman. Commit your life to the Lord. Do it in the middle of your life. And obviously you want to do it at the end of your life.

So the question is raised earlier. Why did Jesus die for us on the cross? What does the death of Jesus mean to you? Answer, it means everything.

He did this for you because he loves you and he wants you to come into a relationship with the Father. In the beginning of the message I said I was going to tell you what I believe God's most painful moment was. And I also mentioned I wanted to tell you what my most painful moment was.

And if you know me you already know what I'll say. But if you don't, the most painful moment of my life happened in 2008 when my son Christopher died in a tragic automobile accident at the age of 33. It was the darkest moment of my life.

And I called out to God. And you know God knows what it's like to lose a son, doesn't he? But I don't think it's really accurate to say I've lost my son because I know where he is. I know he's in heaven. I know that I will see him again. And why will I see him again? Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross and Jesus did for me rising again from the dead.

This is the hope that I have. Now some might think the cross was an aberration. It was a mistake.

It was a tragic turn of events. But actually it was all part of the plan of God. As I already said God was the master of ceremonies at the cross. Isaiah 53 10 says it was the will of the Lord to crush him and to put him to grief. And Romans 8 32 God did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all. And then Isaiah 53 says it pleased the father to bruise him. How could it possibly please the father to bruise his son? How could it possibly be something that had any merit or good in it?

Here's the simple answer. Because of what it accomplished. God the father was not pleased by the suffering of his son and the anguish of his son. He was pleased that his son was able to purchase eternal life for all of humanity. This is the most evil act ever perpetrated by sinful hearts.

The sinless son of God tortured, slaughtered, and heartlessly murdered in cold blood. Yet from this horrible event came the greatest good of all time. The salvation of countless souls. Your salvation and mine. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for me. And because of his death we can live. Jesus was born to die that we might live.

What an amazing event it was. And now this same Jesus who hung on that cross and died for your sins rose from the dead and now he stands at the door of your life and he knocks. Let's pray. Father I pray for everybody watching this right now. If they don't have a relationship with you.

If they don't know you in a personal way. Let this be the moment that they believe. We commit them to you now. Bring them to yourself we pray. In Jesus name we ask this.

Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And as you've listened to A New Beginning today, maybe you feel you need to make a change in your relationship with the Lord. Well Pastor Greg would like to help you do that in just a moment so stay with us. If you missed any part of today's moving message just take a moment to go online to

You can hear this program from start to finish or just the part you missed. Look for the title of What the Death of Jesus Means to You. Well Pastor Greg we've been talking recently about Billy Graham. Yes.

Of course you just released your new book, Billy Graham the Man I Knew. Yeah. And you're revealing 10 things, 10 surprises about Billy that most people just don't know. You've already mentioned that Billy first dreamed of being a major league baseball player. Right. What's the next on your list?

Okay. Number two, he had his fair share of trouble. Billy Graham as a young man was what we would call today hyperactive, somewhat mischievous, and he actually wasn't born walking on water. He teased his siblings. He didn't have blinders on when it came to pretty girls. He got into scrapes with his schoolmates. He wasn't crazy about sitting in church on Sunday morning and he would shoot wads of chewing gum paper at women's hats with a strong rubber band according to his brother Melvin.

In fact he went to see a doctor and the doctor said he was simply built differently and he was. I think God was going to take that energy that coursed in the veins of Billy and use it because he had such a long ministry, such a long career. He actually lived almost to 100 but preached for a good part of his life so that energy served him well.

Here's another thing. Billy Graham used to be a fuller brush salesman and it was actually during his time with a fuller brush company that Billy was able to develop confidence that he did not previously have. He also had to deal with rejection.

One lady saw him coming and dumped a whole pail of water on his head as he stood on her doorstep but it was actually working as a door-to-door salesman. Billy was developing a way to get over his shyness and and become more confident in what he was saying and these are just a couple of things I mentioned. I mentioned a whole lot more in my new book Billy Graham the Man I Knew. I intentionally went out of my way to share things about him that maybe people don't know Billy wasn't born walking on water.

He was a human like the rest of us but he was used in a singular way by God. So in this book I'm trying to share with you here's what I've learned by observing him and by being with him one-on-one. You know Dave some things are caught some things are taught so you know I would watch Billy preach and I would read his books and listen to him on cassette tapes that dates it so those are things that are taught but other things are caught that's by being with a person observing them in their interactions with other observing them in their interactions with you and so it made a great impression on me and there were takeaway truths from those things and I wanted to share with the readers of this book which is simply titled Billy Graham the Man I Knew available for you for your gift of any size whatever you send you can be assured that we'll take that money and use it to reach people with the gospel if there's one thing I learned from Billy Graham it is that we should leverage every opportunity be it on radio or on the internet or on television or in a movie or whatever platform we're using at the moment in the written word to get the gospel to people and so that's what we're all about here at Harvest I think you know that if you've been listening for a while so if you believe in the power of the gospel and you want to see more people come to Christ then order your copy of Billy Graham the Man that I Knew and give what you can and we'll use it to reach more people for Jesus. Yeah that's right and we appreciate those who partner with us your generosity helps change lives if you're going to change lives and we'll thank you with this new book from Pastor Greg it's one you won't be able to put down it's a fascinating look at the life of history's greatest evangelist and we'll send you a copy to thank you for your investment in making these daily studies possible it's only through listener support that we can feature Pastor Greg's teachings each day so send your gift today to A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and look for Billy Graham the Man I Knew and then Pastor Greg just before we go would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord I'd be happy to Dave you know as you've been listening to this today maybe you've heard another voice by that I mean yeah you heard me say a few things but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned on you this is what I need or to state it more accurately this is who I need I need Jesus and I want Jesus but maybe you don't know how to make that connection let me help you pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin and I need your forgiveness right now would you come into my heart my life as Savior as God as friend I choose to follow you from this moment forward thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray amen I know that was a relatively short prayer maybe you felt something as you prayed it maybe you felt nothing that doesn't really matter because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life it doesn't say so you may think you have it or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood no that you can know it and I want you to know if you pray that prayer in minute Jesus Christ the Son of God has come into your life so congratulations you're now a Christian now continue to follow the Lord yeah and to help you with that we'd like to send you some resource materials we call our new believers growth packet it'll answer many of the questions you might have and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord so get in touch and ask for it we'll send it free of charge write a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime 24 7 again that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and click on know God you know sometimes we can't always make it to church but here's the good news church is coming to you it's coming to you on your tv screen or on your tablet or your computer or even your phone we do it every weekend and it's called Harvest at Home we have worship we have a message from the word of God if you want to find out more just go to and join us this weekend for Harvest at Home well next time on a new beginning the resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God isn't that great to know Pastor Greg has important insights on the Lord's resurrection and how it impacts our lives today join us next time for a new beginning everybody thanks for listening to a new beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners so for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-03 21:44:51 / 2023-11-03 21:55:50 / 11

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