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I Am Thirsty - Life of Christ Part 107

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2024 7:00 am

I Am Thirsty - Life of Christ Part 107

So What? / Lon Solomon

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I was out in San Francisco over the weekend, just got back late last night. I was at a board meeting of Jews for Jesus and one of the pastors asked me as kind of just banter talk said, well, you know, what series are you preaching now? What are you doing? And I said, well, we're doing a series on the life of Christ.

We're almost to the end. We're doing the last seven things Jesus said from the cross. So he said, well, which one are you doing this week? And I said, well, I'm doing, I am thirsty. And he said, how in the world are you going to fill a whole sermon on I am thirsty? He said, I'd leave that one out if I were you. And I said, well, that's great. How am I going to do the last seven sayings of Jesus and only speak on six of them? He said, no, I got to say something about it. He goes, man, I wouldn't know where do you start? Well, I think I've got a whole message on this. And if I don't, we'll just leave early.

How's that sound? We'll try it and see if it fills the whole time. So here we are John chapter 19, beginning in verse 28. And here's what it says later, knowing that all was now completed, so that the scripture would be fulfilled. Jesus said, I'm thirsty, and a jar of vinegar was there. So they soaked a sponge in it and put the sponge on a stalk of his supplant and lifted it to Jesus's lips. And when he had received the drink, Jesus said it is finished.

And with that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Now, knowing what was completed, the Bible says, knowing now that all was completed, well, what is he talking about? Well, he's talking about his mission, the mission for which Jesus Christ came to this planet.

And what was that? Well, John the Baptist said, behold, not the miracle worker, behold, not the great moral teacher, behold, not the fabulous example of love, behold, not the great religious reformer, behold, not the newest prophet from God. Although Jesus did all those things, none of those were the key to his mission. John the Baptist said, behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. See, Jesus's mission, folks, was more than just doing miracles or teaching great principles.

His mission was to come to earth to die on the cross, to have the sin of the whole world transferred onto him and to pay for that sin for you and for me in the sight of a holy God and to be our ransom in the sight of God. And that's why Jesus himself said, Matthew chapter 20, verse 28, he said, I've come to give my life as a ransom for many. During the last three hours as Jesus is hung on the cross, it's been totally dark because the sin of the world has been transferred onto him. He's been paying for it.

Now that great transaction is over, the sunlight's returned. And as I've told you before, one, two, three, just that quick, Jesus says the last three things he has to say from the cross and he's gone. Why? Because he's done. No reason to stay around. He's finished.

It's done. Now, this is the second of those last three things. I'm thirsty. You say, all right, Lon, so what's the deal with this I'm thirsty thing here? Some people would say that the only thing that this really points out is the humanity of Jesus, that he was a real man, just like he was really God, that he had real human weaknesses and real human foibles, just like we all do.

And after an exhausting day, he was thirsty. And so preach a whole sermon on the humanity of Jesus. Now that would be a good sermon.

I mean, and he was human, but there's a whole lot more than that happening here. Look what it says in verse 28. It says later, knowing that all was now completed and so that the scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, I'm thirsty. Jesus himself did not say so that the scripture would be fulfilled. John, the writer of the gospel, as he looked back over the life of Jesus, as he looked back over the events of the cross, he said, I see what's happening.

Everything that went on that day was so that the Old Testament scripture would be fulfilled. And here's one more so that the scripture would be fulfilled. Jesus said, I'm thirsty. What scripture was he talking about? Well, in Psalm 69, written a thousand years before Jesus ever lived, the Bible says, describing the events of the cross, describing the life of Messiah, that they gave me vinegar for my thirst, which is exactly what happened here. And so when we compare Jesus's life and his ministry to the Old Testament, what we find is that there are over 30 prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament, specifically regarding his life in ministry and the New Testament records that he fulfilled every single one of them perfectly.

In fact, Jesus himself said in Luke chapter 18 to his disciples, we're going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written in the Old Testament prophets about the Messiah will be fulfilled. I'm going to do it. Now that's the end of what I want to say about I'm thirsty, except it leads us to the really important question. And what's that question? So what? Right. So what, Lon? What difference does this really make to me in the 20th century?

Well, let me see if I can answer that question. A few years ago, I was going through the airport in Denver and I had my 13 year old son with me. We stopped into one of these little bookstores, you know, in the airport and they had a big picture of Jesus right on the front of Life magazine. And it said, Jesus, who was he? Well, that kind of caught my attention and I decided I was going to go over and buy it. It was $2.95 and it had to catch my attention because Jewish people don't pay retail. You understand what I'm saying?

But I paid retail for this magazine. And as I read it, I came across some really interesting quotes. And here was one of them from John Murray, the president of the American Atheists. And I quote, There was no such person in the history of the world as Jesus Christ. There was no historical living, breathing, sentient human being by that name ever. The Bible is a fictional, non historical narrative.

It's a myth that's good for business. End of quote. Well, I talked about this with my son.

I said, Justin, what do you think about this? And he goes, Well, Dad, you know, all religions say they're right. They all say they're the true way to God. They're all say they're the one and only way. I mean, how do you really know that the Bible really is true? How do you really know the Bible really is the right way to God?

I mean, it's kind of like watching television, you know, you got AT&T and MCI and Sprint, they all come on and tell you they got the cheapest rates. Who really knows? That's a real good question. And as Christians, we better have a real good answer to that question.

And we do. The answer to that question, how do we know that the Christian faith is the one and correct avenue to eternal life and to God? The answer I would give to that is because the Christian faith is the only approach to God that is based upon supernatural revelation, supernatural information directly from God. We call that supernatural information the Bible. He said, But yeah, line that breaks another question. And that question is, how do we know what this atheist guy said isn't true? He said the Bible is a fictional, non historical myth. And how do you know for sure he's wrong?

Prove it. Up in the tape area of our church, I've got a tape from spiritual boot camp. It's tape number one, and it's entitled the reliability of the Bible. It's 55 minutes long. And if you really want some information about how we know the Bible is reliable, go up there and I got 55 minutes of listening material that you can listen to.

I don't have 55 minutes right now to give you all of that so you can go get the tape. But let me just kind of cover a couple of real quick points. If I were having to defend the Bible, here's some of the things I would tell you. Number one, I would tell you about archaeology, that as I've said to you many times, the more we dig out the ground, the more the Bible proves to be historically accurate and correct.

I would talk to you about the change lives of the people who simply believe the Bible at face value. Hey, I was a 21 year old college student with hair out to my shoulders. I had love beads, I wore tank top, I wore bell bottoms and motorcycle boots, and I carried marijuana joints behind my ear on both sides. And I had tried everything to make my life rich and rewarding and fulfilling. I tried Eastern religions and mainline Judaism and drugs and psychedelics.

I had been to Woodstock, I had done the partying route, I'd done the women route, I'd done the drinking route, I'd done the fraternity life route, I'd done the higher education, you name it, I did it. And my life was worse than when I started. And then somebody gave me a Bible and said, you need to read the Bible what it has to say about what Jesus Christ can do in your life. And you need to believe it. And I read the Bible.

And amazingly enough, I found myself believing it. And when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, everything changed. I mean, I'm 47 years old, and I don't do most of those things anymore that I used to do.

My hair's shorter, I don't want any joints behind my ears today. And everything changed. And the reason it changed is not because all of a sudden I just decided, oh, I like this best, I'm going to change. That's not right.

It changed because something supernatural, transformational happened in my life that none of those other things had been able to produce. And I have friends who would say to me, oh, you stupid man, you stupid. How can anybody believe the Bible? Nobody believes the Bible.

You know, this is the 20th century, yada, yada, yada. And I felt like the guy who was blind in John chapter nine that Jesus healed, you remember that? And after they healed this blind guy, the Pharisees got him in there and said, now look, Jesus can't be the Messiah. He's a sinner. He's not from God. And they started giving him all this theological poppycock about why Jesus couldn't be the Messiah. You know what the blind man said?

He said, well, look, you guys, whether he's the Messiah or not, I don't know. But one thing I know yesterday I was blind and today I can see I'll stick with him. And that's how I felt. I felt like one thing I know, and that is this guy has changed my life. You can give me all the reasons you want while the Bible can't possibly be true. But when I believed it, my life changed. I'll stick with him. And it's still changing 25 years later.

That was a good decision. And there are people all around the world whose lives have changed just like that. And there is no logical explanation except what they're telling you.

And that is when they believe the Bible at face value, Jesus changed their life. But without a doubt, the most intellectually solid proof of the Bible's integrity is fulfilled prophecy. And that's what I want to spend the last few minutes I've got talking to you about. And the reason I say that it's intellectually solid is because this is a proof that you and I can verify with a slide rule and a calculator and a history book.

It's not subjective at all. And I wish I had the time to go through and share with you all the prophecies in the Old Testament that God has given us before they happen that came true exactly the way God said they were going to happen. I don't have enough time. But like I said, there are 30 alone just dealing with the life of Jesus Christ. For example, Daniel chapter nine tells us the exact year in which we can expect the Messiah to be killed. And you don't need a theological degree to figure it out.

All you need is a calculator and abacus will do all you got to do is multiply, subtract and add. I mean, it's simple. And it says in 32 AD, we should expect to see the Messiah die. Guess who died in 32 AD?

Take a whopping big guess. Jesus Christ. Now, how could that possibly happen when Daniel was written 400 years before Jesus was ever born? How could somebody know that?

And hear a bunch more. The Bible tells us in Second Samuel chapter seven, that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David, that was 1000 years before Jesus was ever born. It tells us in Isaiah seven that he would be born of a virgin 850 years that was written before Christ was ever born. The Bible tells us in Micah chapter five in the Old Testament that he would be born in the town of David in Bethlehem 800 years before the birth of Christ. The Bible tells us that his parents would take him as a child down into Egypt, Hosea chapter 11, 800 years before Christ was born.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah chapter nine 850 years before the birth of Christ that he would grow up in Galilee just as he did. And I want to show you one actual passage I'd like you to turn back to Psalm 22 in the Old Testament. If you're using our copy of the Bible, it's page 391, Psalm 22, if you turn back there. Psalm 22 is an incredible look at the events surrounding the cross. Now remember, Psalm 22 was written by David, which means that Psalm 22 was written a thousand years before the cross ever happened. Now look at this. Verse one, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Does that sound familiar? Jesus said that from the cross.

We covered that a few weeks ago. Skip down with me from there to verse eight. He trusts in the Lord. Let the Lord rescue him. Let the Lord deliver him since he delights in him.

Does that sound familiar? That's almost verbatim what the rabbis and the other enemies of Christ used to mock him with as they stood at the foot of the cross and he hung on it. Read John's gospel. Skip down to verse 16. Dogs have surrounded me. A band of evil men have encircled me.

They have pierced my hands and my feet. Well, it sure sounds like the cross to me. Verse 18, they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. If you read the gospels, you find the Roman soldiers did exactly the that for the clothing of Jesus Christ. And we could look at verse 15, which says my strength is dried up like a pot sure, like a piece of pottery.

My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. Is that the I am thirsty that John was thinking about? Maybe, or maybe it was Psalm 69 either way.

How do you explain this incredible correlation between the events of the cross and something written a thousand years before the cross ever happened? One of our staff guys was down with a lady that works for the Pentagon. She's a mathematician. And she said that she had calculated that the probability, the mathematical probability of all 30 prophecies about Jesus Christ being fulfilled by one person was one times 10 to the 30th power with 30 zeros behind it. Now, even if she's half right, that's unbelievable. He said, Lon, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Time out. You're such an idiot. Don't you see what happened here, Lon?

Jesus knew all these things. Don't you see what he did? He orchestrated his whole life so that it all fit in. I mean, this is a big con job. Don't you understand that?

This is just like a big setup. Well, I think that's pretty silly. I mean, how do you think Jesus talked the Romans into crucifying him between two thieves? How do you think he talked those soldiers into casting lots for his clothing? How do you think he talked Joseph of Arimathea into burying him in a rich man's tomb the way Isaiah 53 says after he's already dead?

Say, well, Lon, of course. He went to all these people first. He slid them a few shekels under the table. He paid them to do this and it was all set up before it ever happened.

All right. Well, then how do you explain Micah chapter five, which says he'd be born in Bethlehem? Explain to me how he talked Caesar Augustus into having a census and his parents to going to Bethlehem while he was still in the womb. Explain that. They say, oh, okay, Lon. Maybe he got me on that one, but I got an answer. They went back and they rewrote the Old Testament. Yeah, that's what they did. When his life was over, they went back and they changed all the stuff in the Old Testament.

So it looked like he'd really fulfilled it, but he had. Don't you understand? Etiology. I paid $10,000 in graduate school to learn the meaning of that word.

Etiology means it's when you go back and change something to make it look like it was there when it wasn't. You could have maybe gotten away with saying that until 1947, but in 1947, with the discovery of tens of thousands of the Dead Sea Scrolls and fragments, folks, we now have a copy of the Book of Isaiah. We now have a copy of the Psalms. We now have copies of Micah and Hosea and Second Samuel, all of which date from somewhere between 100 and 200 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. And guess what they all say? They all say exactly what your English Bible says.

They didn't go back and change anything. This stuff was already written and we've got copies of it a hundred years before Jesus ever lived. It says exactly what these prophecies say. You say, well, Lon, I got one more shot at this. Go ahead.

Take it. The people in the New Testament made this whole thing up. Jesus never did any of this stuff. It's all a hoax.

They stole his body, threw it in the Mediterranean or something, and then they made this whole thing up. Isn't that possible? Remotely.

Remotely. But the problem with that, my dear friends, is that this violates the number one most basic law of human nature, self-preservation. Do you realize every single one of the disciples, with the exception of John, was martyred for their faith? Peter was crucified upside down. These people were killed for their faith and lots of others with them. It makes no sense whatsoever to say that one of these people, if they knew it was a hoax, wouldn't have broken when they got to that point and said, oh, wait a minute, this is a big, no, uh-uh, it's great while it lasted, but it's over. These people made this whole thing up. I'm not going down with them. Nobody did that.

I mean, those of us who remember Watergate, there's a John Dean in every party. You understand what I'm saying? No, I think when you look at this and you look at it honestly, you're back to one times 10 with 30 zeros on it.

So how do you explain that kind of probability? I got an answer. Listen, Isaiah 46, here's the answer. I am God and there's no other. I am God and there's none like me. I make known the end from the beginning and I make known from ancient times things that are still yet to come. My answer is that there is a living transcendent God who runs the world so that it does exactly what he wants it to do, who knows future events the way you and I know past events.

And he took the trouble to record some of these events in the Bible before they ever happened in time and space, not only to convince us that he was real, but to convince us that this book had integrity and to authenticate it to mankind as the inspired, inerrant, authentic word of God. That's my answer. And to me, that's the best explanation for 30 zeros on the end of 10. That works. You say, well, Lon, if that's the so what, then what's the now what? Now what do we do? What difference? I got two quick things to say in closing.

I think if that's true, what we've just said, that that means that we've got two huge issues staring us right in the face. One is an issue that deals with eternity and one is an issue that deals with how we're going to live till we get to eternity. The first one deals with eternity. Jesus said in the Bible, John 14 verse six, I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody, nobody comes to the father. Nobody gets to heaven unless they come by way of me.

Now, let me give you an if then statement. If the Bible really is the word of God, if the Bible really was written by a supernatural God, if the Bible really is correct in all that it tells us about God and our relationship with God and how to get forgiveness of sin in eternal life, if all of that's true, then, then it is a fantasy that our world has created when it says, hey, all roads are going to the same place. It doesn't matter how you get there. We're all going to the same God.

That's not right. Not if the Bible is what it claims to be because Jesus didn't say that. He said, I am the way, the truth and the life, and nobody comes any other way than by me and what I did for them on the cross.

That's the only way. And it means that every other religion is a dead end street and a counterfeit. Now, because of that 10 with 30 zeros on the end, I've staked my eternal destiny on the fact Jesus is telling the truth and he's right. And my challenge to you is, unless you can find another way to explain fulfilled prophecy in one times 10 with 30 zeros on it, you would be wise to jettison the fantasy the world's putting out that all roads are the same and we're all going to the same place. And you'd be very wise if you've never done it before to embrace Jesus Christ as your personal savior and what he did on the cross as your entrance into heaven. Because if the Bible is what it says it is, then that's the only way to get there. And I hope you'll think about that. Now, for those of us who've done that, there's a second issue. And that is, once we've trusted Christ, how do we live until we get to eternity?

Well, listen, I got another if and then statement for you. If the Bible really is supernatural information directly from God, not only about how to get to heaven, but how to live successful, functional, healthy, fulfilling lives until we get there, then here's my then, then on every subject to which the Bible speaks, it speaks with absolute authority. And if we're Christians, it's our obligation to alter our lifestyle and try to bring it into line with what the Bible says. Now, that won't always be easy, and it won't always be comfortable, and it won't always be inexpensive. But if the Bible is what it claims to be, then don't forget, God didn't give these things to us as suggestions.

It's not the 10 suggestions, right? And when the Bible speaks to business ethics, these are not just good ideas for us to think about. When the Bible speaks to personal integrity, these are not just optional things for us to consider. When the Bible speaks to moral standards and sexual behavior and how to run personal relationships, these are not just things that if we really feel like it, we might want to take note of. Now, if we say that we believe in Jesus Christ, and we've trusted the Word of God to be what it claims to be, then these become divine pieces of information that God has given us, not only so we'll live lives that will be a credit to Him, but so that we'll live lives that will be a blessing to us and to people around us.

When you come here week after week, what we're trying to do is to first of all teach us what the Bible really says about relationships, about behavior, about integrity, about ethics, about standards, about whatever, and then we're trying to motivate all of us to alter our lifestyle so that we come in line with what the Bible says. As many of you know, I have a little girl that has been quite ill. She's got a very serious seizure disorder, and we've been to doctor after doctor after doctor. She's four now, trying to figure out, well, how did this happen? What caused it?

She wasn't born with seizures. What happened? And so far, we don't have any answers.

Nobody can tell us. Now, I have a suspicion. It's a suspicion. I can't prove it, but my suspicion is that it was all related to the first DPT vaccine that she got. She had no seizures before that shot, and within three weeks of the shot, her seizures began. I can't get any doctor to agree with that.

I understand why. I understand it's a political and a legal situation, but when I say that to doctors, I watch their body language change. Do you think this could be from the vaccine, and they become different people?

No, I think we're done for the day. But I really believe that could be what did it. So I was telling that to somebody, and they were telling me, you know, there's a federal program that helps financially, helps parents and families of children that were vaccine damaged. You should write and get the information and apply for that program. Since my daughter was born in 1992, on our 1040s as we filed our taxes, we have been able to claim, I'm not sure this is any privilege, but we've been able to claim over $40,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. That's over and above insurance and everything else.

Not all of which goes for my daughter, but the vast majority of it is hers. And someone said, you know, you ought to get some help. I mean, these people will help you. So I wrote and I got a copy of this vaccine program from the federal government. And it took me about six and a half months to wade through the paperwork.

Not quite, but it was, you know, a big stack of junk. But anyway, I finally got to filling out the form and everything was going fine. And then I got down to the end and it says that you have to certify that the first seizure happened within seven days of the DPT shot. Well, my little girl's first seizures were just a little twitching in her hand. Well, we didn't notice the first one of those for three weeks after the shot, but one could have happened before. We weren't looking. So I got a real dilemma on my hands here.

The first seizure I know about happened three weeks after the shot. But, you know, $40,000 is looking me in the face. I mean, that's two little red sports cars. You understand what I'm saying? Not just one.

That's two. And one of my friends said, hey, you just ought to fill that out. I mean, the government steals your money all the time.

What difference does it make? You know, you deserve that money. And she could have had them before and you don't know whether she had them. And just, you know, maybe she probably did have them, you know, and it's your word against their word. Sign the thing and get the money.

You need it. I'll tell you, I wanted to sign it. I wanted to sign it, but I never did. And the only reason I didn't is not because I didn't need the money or not because I don't believe that the shot may be the cause, but there's only one reason I didn't sign the form. And that's because in the Bible, it says, you shall not lie. That's the only reason I didn't sign the form.

Because to sign it is to lie. There's something else in the Bible too that I like. It's a verse that says, those who honor me, I will honor, says the Lord.

I like that verse too. And I said, well, God, I'll throw in with that verse and I'm not going to sign this. And you know, God has been very gracious. God has provided, I mean, we're not bankrupt.

I don't have a little red sports car, but we're not bankrupt. And over and above the money to pay my little girl's medical bills, you know what God also did for us over the last three years? He provided another $20,000 that we were then able to give to the building program of our church to pay off this building because that's what we had committed.

And God provided not only that money, but the 20,000 on top of it to meet our commitment to the building program. That's a miracle. You might not think that's a miracle, but I know what I make. That's a miracle. Trust me.

That is a miracle. And I decided a long time ago, what I want you to decide is that our job is not to worry about what's most comfortable for us. Our job is not to worry about what is most advantageous for us.

Our job is not to worry about what is most financially beneficial to us. Our job as Christians is to worry about bringing our lives into conformity with the Word of God. And God promises He will take care of all the rest of that stuff.

And if there's a living, transcendent God, He can do that. I've been here 15 years, almost 16 years at McLean Bible Church. I know it feels like I've been speaking this morning for 15 years, but that's not true. But I've been at this church for 15 years and I'm done speaking. Not being here, I hope, but done speaking.

But this is all I want to say. If the only thing that the folks who come here, if the only thing you dear people ever pick up from my ministry are two things, I'll be very happy. Number one, that the only way to get to heaven is by a personal reliance on what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you. And number two, that once we do that, our number one responsibility is duty to the Word of God. Bringing our life into conformity with the Word of God by the grace of God to the best of our ability. If that's the only two things you ever pick up that I ever said, I'll consider my ministry a success. If you will let those two things become part of your life. That's it.

Everything else is incidental. That's what it's really all about. And I thank God for giving us the Bible. And I pray that we'll use it the way He gave it as a compass to keep us on the road out of the ditch and get us to heaven.

Let's pray together. Lord Jesus, we're so grateful that you went to the time and the trouble to give us supernatural information directly from God himself. Thank you that you authenticated that it's true in so many ways, but most significant for our discussion this morning in the area of fulfilled prophecy. Only you Lord, only you could have made these kind of predictions so precise and had them come true so perfectly.

I don't think there is another explanation. And I pray that we would be wise men and women and that we would take the Bible for what you gave it and that is as a compass for life. Lord Jesus, thank you that you gave it as a way to keep us on the road to heaven out of the ditch. And I pray we would use it as such. Take our lives and change the way we think and live by what we've heard here today from your Word. And I pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Let's pray together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-19 09:53:04 / 2024-02-19 10:05:58 / 13

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