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Affection From the Cross

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2022 8:00 am

Affection From the Cross

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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April 14, 2022 8:00 am

Join us for our Maundy Thursday worship service- For more information about Grace Church, please visit www.graceharrisburg.org.

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It was 9 o'clock in the morning when the Roman soldiers like Jesus Dale MoMA rugged splinter.

He crawls took the hammers up over their head and with swift precision nail huge spikes to his hands and his feet.

They took a road bike tied it around the top of the cross. They lifted it up in the air and drop down into the hole, drawing all of Jesus bones out of joint at 12 o'clock noon that day. All of a sudden darkness covered over the entire land in that darkness stayed there for three straight hours until until 3 o'clock in the afternoon when Jesus died during those six hours, Jesus made seven statements from the cross and I will edges very quickly share with you what those seven were the first one we call the word of forgiveness as Jesus looked out at the people that were crucifying him spending only mocking them laughing at him and and and just cursing him in Jesus looked up into heaven, said father forgive them for they know not what they do. The second statement was what we called up the word of salvation is Jesus looks beside he met the repentant thief and looks right in his eyes and says to him today you will be with me in paradise. Third statement that Jesus made was what we might call the word of affection and I'll get to that in just a bit before statement that Jesus made us what we might call the word of anguish as Jesus looked up to heaven, and said, my God, my God wants them, forsaken me the for statement we would call the word of suffering is Jesus cried out and said I thirst. This six statement that Jesus made.

We could call the word of victory for Jesus cried out and he said it is finished and then the seventh statement that Jesus made. We could call the word of contentment. As Jesus is breathing his last breath. He says father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. I don't know about you, but as I think about those statements as I roll them over in my mind, my heart begins to get tremendously stirred up in the theologian and Millie immediately begins want to lay out the doctrines of justification and retention in substitutionary atonement and then there's the preacher in me that wants to challenge you and to look at what Jesus did for us.

How can we neglect so great a salvation and then the sooner he may want to just weep as I think about how much he loved us as I wonder, why would he die for somebody like me somebody that is so sinful, so vile and so undeserving. And then when I think of myself as a Christian I just want a rare back and shout. I just want to shout and scream out to the world. What can wash away my sin. Nothing with the blood of Jesus.

The statement that I was to look at today is the third statement that Jesus made from the cross. I call it the word of affection.

Jesus looked down from the cross. He saw John there. He saw his mother right deciding Jesus said to his mother, behold, your son, he said to John, behold your mother three point someone to share with you very quickly tonight and the point number one is the fulfillment of Simeon's prophecy.

Now look at verse 25 with me, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother's mother, sister, Mary the wife of Clovis and Mary Magdalene. There were four women there.

The cross that are named one of them was Mary. That's the mother Jesus the second was Mary's sister and Jesus aunt and her name is Salomé, and that she was the mother of James and John. She was the wife of Zebedee the third woman that is mentioned is Mary the wife of Clovis and her son is James the lesser, sometimes called James the younger the fourth one was Mary Magdalena. She's the one from which Jesus cast out seven demons now and in Luke chapter 2 verse 23 and 25 to 26 we read about Simeon and the Scripture says this. Another was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was a punning and had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ, who was the Simeon Simeon was an old man.

He was a godly man. He was a holy man, his heart hungered to be obedient to the Lord's heart hungered for holiness. He love the Lord with all of his heart and for several decades. He had been praying and expecting that the Messiah, the long-awaited promised Messiah would come. He'd been preaching on that excited about that and finally the Lord speaks to his heart and says to him, Simeon, you will not die until you have seen the Lord's Christ was Simeon was excited about this. He was so excited that every day he would go through the streets of Jerusalem and he would look at all the women that had newborn babies and he would go to them. Looking intently at each baby wondering could this thing could it possibly be the Christ.

Finally, the baby Jesus is born in Bethlehem in eight days after the birth of Jesus that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem and they dedicated him to the Lord and they had Jesus circumcise their by the way God have a reason for telling the parents of newborn babies baby boys that they should circumcise them on the eighth day after the baby's birth as a reason for that. And people had no idea what that reason was for millennia, but what they found out he is on the eighth day after the male child is born is enzyme level is higher in his body than any other time in his life way, which means that the blood clots more easily than any other time in his life and his pain tolerance is higher.

So on that particular day, eight days after his birth. That's the easiest time in the safest time for him to be for him to be circumcised now asked the evolutionists if that just happened by chance. Folks that didn't just happened by chance. Back then they had no idea even when the enzyme level was but what they were able to do is this, they were able to say we know that our God is the one who created this earth. He is sovereign. He is all wise.

He is all-powerful, we can trust him because everything he says is right and good in our response should just be obedience. But, as Joseph and Mary walking away from the temple after just having Jesus circumcised.

As they're walking away from the temple. The Lord speaks to Simeon's heart and says Simeon that's the one that's the Messiah, and I can see this old man just shuffling over to them as fast as he can go. His eyes were twinkling. His hands were trembling with excitement and he walks over to Mary and he holds out his arms and she knows that this is a special time and she reaches over with her baby and she hands it to Simeon and his Simeon takes that baby and he holds the baby Jesus up to his chest and then he looks up to heaven and he says all praise God.

Now I can die in peace, bribes, saying the Messiah. I have seen the long-awaited Christ I've seen my Lord and my Savior and then he gives a prophecy to Mary and this is what he says behold the child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against, and yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also surely Mary had that thought in mind, she stood under the cross and looked up at Jesus suffering and bleeding and dying. Surely she thought back to that night. 33 1/2 years before that where the angel Gabriel came to her and said Mary you're going to have a baby and you have a baby that is going to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, it will be a virgin born baby and that baby will be the son of God, and she wondered at that time helps Joseph going to believe this difficult story and are thus the people in Nazareth. The gossips are they going to try to ruin my reputation by calling me a woman that had a baby out of wedlock. She remembered back to Jesus birth, they went to Bethlehem and there was no room for them in the end. So they went to the stable back behind one of the ends and in there and that stable Jesus was born and they took the baby Jesus, and laid him in a manger. She remembered the decree of Herod, who decreed that all the baby boys in in Bethlehem that were under two years all would be killed and she remembered how how Joseph and her took the baby Jesus and fled all the way down to Egypt to protect Jesus and were there for two years and she remembered the last three years. She remembered the ministry of her son Jesus. What did he do heal the sick. He fed the hungry, he ministered very powerfully. The gospel he shared truth and share the word of God like nobody had ever heard with such clarity and such power and such anointing as such unction touched people's heart cast out demons of people who were demon possessed. He did all of these things. Simeon was right because the religious leaders than even knowing all the good that Jesus had done, they they cursed him and called him agent of Satan, the prophecy of Simeon was fulfilled for what it happened or a sword had pierced through Mary soul also. She looks up at Jesus hanging in there dying on the cross.

I'm sure she remembered back to that night in Bethlehem, where Jesus is lying in the manger and she reaches over and she kisses him on his four head and now she looks up and she sees a four head that has a crown of thorns crushed down in it and blood is just rolling down Jesus face. She she looks down and and thinks back to that time where where she reached down in the manger and played with his chubby little fingers in and Jesus chubby little toes and now she looks at those feet in his hands on the cross and they rip the absolute shreds by the huge iron spikes.

No mother ever suffered like this. His disciples deserted him.

His friends forsook him his nation despised him and yet Mary stood there firmly under the cross. The crowds are mocking the thieves are toning the priest are jeering the the of the soldiers are laughing but Mary stands there firmly under the cross, surely as he watched all that she remembered the words of the old man Simeon this little baby will one day cause a sword to pierce through your soul that was fulfilled. Like the second thing I was to consider is the example that Jesus is setting for children to honor their parents. Ephesians chapter 6 verses one through three, Paulson children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Jesus looked down from the cross and he told his disciple. His friend John that John, you are responsible for taking care and taking responsibility for my mother. I give you that responsibility now.

Think about the silence of the Scriptures we can rest assured that by this time Joseph has has died and Mary is a widow, Mary has other sons to his other daughters is James who's was became the first pastor in Jerusalem. He is the one who wrote the book of James or Jude or Judas who is a great evangelist to write the book of Jude. This time they are not believers and would not become believers until after the resurrection. So Jesus looks down at John and gives him responsibility because he is got to have a man of God to do this in a man that truly loves him and so he wants a man that's going to not only take care of Mary physically taken care for the food and and shelter. He wants a man that's going to feed her soul is gonna share the Scripture with her this, the with her and give her godly counsel. I've often wondered if this event where Jesus did this. Probably surely in front of James and Ann Jude.

I wonder if that's not what brought great conviction into their heart thinking this is not mother and here he's given responsibility for our mother to another to one of his friends to our cousin. Why would he do that, then they remember they're not believers. John is. I wonder if the Lord just use that in their lives after his resurrection to bring them to faith. I think maybe so, but by this action, Jesus demonstrated his respect in his honor for his mother.

Here in Ephesians 6133, the fifth commandment is being shared. We read it again. Paul said children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. This command means much more than just a begrudging obedience boats what's involved here and honoring and respecting your parents is love and affection and gratitude and respect young people almost speak to you for just a minute.

Personally you live in a time when the fifth commandment is mocked and laughed at you watch TV shows. The kids only shows ridicule their parents and mock them and disobey them.

They laugh at their values, they break the rules and there are no consequences. None whatsoever that they have to pay for the TV programs always make the parents look out look out of touch and stupid and the kids have to disobey the parents because parents just really don't know what's going on will fifth commandment did not say that if you were smarter than your parents or if you were more spiritual than your parents and you didn't don't have to worry about being obedient to them and honoring them and respecting them, look at Jesus. Nobody was wiser than Jesus. Nobody was more spiritual than Jesus.

Joseph was a sinner. Mary was a sinner.

Jesus was not in yet Jesus showed unbelievable respect and honor for his parents. I remember not long after I came to know the Lord I went to a seminar and the teacher was teaching on the God-given authority that we are to submit our lives to in our memory and send us when God gave the fifth commandment, he meant business and then he said this never forget it. He said if your mother were to become a prostitute and you are not to follow her example you are not to condone her behavior, but you are to steal respect and honor her position as mother and he said if you do that you don't know what God will do with that honor and respect he may use your testimony to her to break her heart and bring her to a saving relationship with Christ. I'll never forget that that same crazy but as God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

We don't understand how all those principles work out when I called understand him a figure amount which is called to be obedient is command of God is for you to honor your parents why we give you free read couple reasons. Number one, your relationship with your parents is God's tool to teach you the principle of submission to authority. And if you're rebellious and stubborn and stiffnecked as a child, then it's a good chance that you're going to be predisposed to have that same attitude of stubbornness since been stiffnecked and in rebellious against God-given authority when you're an adult that easily happens and the most miserable people on earth that I know are the people who are living in rebellion against God. If you learn how to obey your parents as a child, then you will find it 100 times easier to be obedient to God as an adult. Secondly, as a young person.

There's a tendency to think the parents restrictions are old-fashioned, or just unnecessary. For example, young man may be dating a girl. She's cute she's flirty she's fun. She is happy and said he wants to introduce her to his parents and he does, and after being with her for a while. The parents talk to the son later and they say, you know, we just don't feel good about this and he said why feel good about it. I feel great about it because parents could see something that was lacking in the character of that young girl.

The young man keeps dating or he falls in love with her. They get married.

Not long after the marriage he finds out that she's cheating owning that she's been unfaithful to him. The marriage falls apart, they get divorced and his heart is absolutely broken wrist parents just be an old-fashioned no God was speaking to that young man to his God-given authority he was choosing not to listen in the breaking of that commandment costing dearly.

My dad's mama on the length and agony was one of the greatest Christian influences on my life. She died at 92. She had seven children had a plethora grandchildren. I was always a favorite. I thought I was until I found that that everybody else thought that they were to she.

She was a an unbelievable lady. She gave me one thing material thing in my life that I can remember I was five years old and winterhouse is Christmas time. She had a Christmas card up on the piano and it was a picture of a little boy walking through the snow in East Dragon, a Christmas tree got acts up over his shoulder and little dog is walking with them. I was just mesmerized by that and so I was. She saw how much I liked it and so she took it down and took it away in and next Christmas she gave it to me, all framed up in a picture.

I have had that Christmas card picture on my wall for 65 years. It was so precious to me so I took it to Martha Ferris. I asked Martha said could you paint this picture and make it bigger and and she did and so I had those duplicated and gave them all out his presence to my kids that thing that she gave me was absolutely precious to me but it was not stuff that my grandmother gave me that meant so much. It was spiritual things that she did him a lot.

She put me on her lap and she would share with me different Scriptures and she would tell me about things that God had done in her life and I remember saying to my dancing dad.

She's different why she so different and that's it is Jesus is just Jesus and he was right. She died when I was 26 years old when my dad was get ready to die. Hey, a shared something with me that it was just very beautiful to me, but he gave me a little devotional book.

It was about the size that you can put in your pocket and an accident which you get this.

It was fall apart and it was a book that was filled with promises from God's word and it had quotations from Spurgeon and DL Moody and an RA Torrey acid which you get the yes and dad said my mother gave it to me.

I was getting on the plane to go to North Africa to fight in World War II and she said I want you to take this with you because this can be some scary times over there and she said I want you to learn how to stand on the promises of God's word. He said the whole time he was there. He always kept in his pocket. He took it out over and over again.

He said there were scary times that that that he went through, but the Lord used the promises of God to get him through those difficult times. There is, get ready to die and he said Doug he said I am so ready to see Jesus. He said I can't wait to see him face-to-face exhibit you know hoarsely my mom to him to see that one who pointed me to Jesus. My grandmother made a difference in the reason that she made a difference because of her relationship and her fellowship with Christ like. The third thing I want you to consider is the power of love. Look at verse 26 to 27 when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, said to them, his mother, woman, behold, your son, then he said to the disciple, behold your mother and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. By the way this disciple, John was the only disciple out of all the rest a minute by this time Judah story committed suicide, but he was the only one that was not martyred for his faith.

They took him they threw them into a vat of boiling oil and he lived through it, but 65 years after Jesus died on the cross. They the Roman authorities took John from Asia minor and they they put them on a boat they carried him over to the island Isle of Patmos and he was there in exile and it was there that he wrote the book of Revelation, but before he was in on the Isle of Patmos before they took them over there he was at his church in Ephesus. Paul started that church he planned it, but after that John came into pastor the church. He pastored it for several decades. And when John left Jerusalem to come to Ephesus. He took his family with each of his wife.

He took his kids. Guess who else he took took Mary and Mary went to Ephesus and she lived with him for years and years, until finally she died right there and what that tells me is this John carried out Jesus's commission. Behold, she's your mother take care of her. And boy did he ever. But to really catch the beauty of this event, you must remember what is happened on the night before the crucifixion before the soldiers came to arrest Jesus a Jesus got the disciples together nieces government tables can happen and I said you're all going to get scared.

You can dessert me your all going to run away. This will be fulfillment of Zechariah chapter 13 verse seven that says strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered these events was can happen.

This is the time that Peter jumped up said no no no that's not can happen.

That's all about the rest of these guys but I would never deny got go to prison for you I would die for you, but I'd never deny you said Peter before the cockroach twice, you will deny me three times. Matthew 26 verse 56 says that the the disciples right before as the soldiers were coming me and they deserted him and they scattered and Peter did denied Jesus three times that night. The next day when Jesus walked down what is called the Via Dolorosa. The heel of the road that goes to Golgotha or Calvary.

As he walked down that road. He walked without friends.

He walked without the disciples, he walked alone without people that you loved and cared for him before he walked down that road. The Roman soldiers, it taken a cat of nine tails with a beating across his back. 39 lashes the law so much blood that he was very, very weak. He tried to carry the cross and he could in the mail and in one of the soldiers grabbed man Simon Cyr Nguyen forced him to constraint him to come and carry Jesus cross and he did.

But when Jesus was walking along with him. We need to remember that he was alone did it by himself is no encouragement from Peter was no prayer from John. There were no words of compassion from Thomas. There were no tears of sympathy from James. They all deserted him, they'd all gotten scared and they ran off and they were hiding from the authorities what they thought was that what the authorities were doing to Jesus by crucifying him. That would probably happen to them so they took off so and I were that Jesus needed them most. They were nowhere to be found but there was one disciple who couldn't stand it any longer.

His name is John and next morning's Jesus is going to be crucified.

John says I gotta be there.

I've got to see Jesus. I've got to let him see me. I wanting to know that I am so sorry for deserting him and maybe you'll forgive me. John gets there's a tremendous crowd. They are the people are cursing Jesus in spring, the netting and spit netting and John makes his way through the crowd, he gets right there to the foot of the cross of look trite deciding and there's Mary and she sobbing. I can imagine John reaching over to her just hugging her and holding her while she cries and they both turn around. They look back at the cross, Jesus looks at them is that that point Jesus commissions John to take care of his mother, people, and ask a question what was it that drove John back to the cross. I don't think it was courage. I don't think it was truth. I don't think it was faith. I don't think those things were strong enough think it was love. John loved Jesus and Jesus loved him and John knew it. In John chapter 21 we read a very interesting statement Peter speaking to the disciple whom Jesus loved, who is it who is the disciple who Jesus love to listen to John 21 2324 Peter turned and saw the disciple who Jesus love following them.

The one who also had leaned back against him during the suffering. It said, Lord, who is it that's going to betray you and Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man Jesus said to him if it's my will that he remain until I come. What sent you. You follow me. So the same spread abroad among the brothers at this disciples not to die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not die but if it's my will that he remain until I come. What is that to you in verse 24 says this is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true is the disciple of Jesus love is the one who wrote these words who wrote these words, the apostle John wrote these words, the this is the man who Jesus look down to from the cross and said, behold your mother. This is the man who Jesus says to the power the Holy Spirit. This is the met disciple whom Jesus loved, and he loved Jesus me ask you a question.

The ultimate question. Do you love Jesus, remember several years ago. This lady in our church came up to me and she said that I need to pray for me. I could tell she was very agitated and answered what's going on what I need to pray for you.

She said I'm frustrated empty and she said I think maybe that I have left my first love. I said yes.

I will pray for your pray for you right now but I said I will also want to give you a verse of Scripture we share with you that verse of Scripture is second Corinthians chapter 11 verse three Paul said, but I'm afraid that is the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning.

Your thoughts will be led astray from a pure and sincere devotion to Christ. Listen, you leave your first love.

When you lose your daily dependence on Jesus. Most of us leave our first love because our minds and our hearts get cluttered up, cluttered up with junk that it didn't need to be evil.

John sometimes just everyday job sometimes is your business. You get so busy you don't have time to pray you'll have time to read the Scripture you don't have time to go to church if you're that way only tell you something you're too busy. I remember a few years ago I was reading in second Chronicles and I was reading about the hardheaded son of King Solomon same as Rehoboam, and in verse in verse 14 there is a verse in second Chronicles chapter 12 really hit my heart about Rehoboam and I were read to you said Rehoboam did evil, for he did not determine in his heart to seek the Lord what's going to cause you to get off base.

What's going to cause you possibly leave your first love is by not determining in your heart to seek the Lord if you want to regain your fellowship with Christ, if you want to to go back to your first love is the way to do it. Determine in your heart right now before you leave this building that you will be one who seeks the Lord seeking his will, seeking his heart seeking his presence that you will seek the Lord if you left your first love me ask you something, who moved in one Jesus. Jesus said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. It was she so what are you doing Scripture says you do this draw near to him and he will draw near to you as pray heavenly father, I as a pastor in this church have been trying to prepare myself in this congregation for persecution with a country that is moving rapidly away from your truth in your principles, we realize that there will be animosity toward your people. We beg you to remove fear for my heart and give us a bulldog stick to witness. Help us to despise compromise to be more concerned with your glories in our comfort.

May our world secular agenda completely failed to break us. Help us to develop a solid steel spiritual backbone. How we grow to study the meditation memorization of your word, but also through participation in the Lord's supper tonight we have that privilege. May your presence be so sweet and reeled us as we partake of the bread and wine that we would leave this building more in love with Jesus than we've ever been before.

It's in Jesus holy and precious name that I pray, amen


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