Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 16
CLOSING OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
Now there are seven statements that Jesus made from the Cross. It isn’t that people don’t know what He said, but I fear that so few people are realizing that everything in this Book is in a distinct pattern. It’s for the purpose of proving to us that this is not something that man thought up, but rather it’s so intrinsically put together that only God have could of done it. Especially as He groups these things in sevens, which, of course, is God’s perfect number.
In the last lesson we listed the seven “I Am’s” in the Old Testament and the seven “I AM’s” in the Book of John. Remember that the term “Jehovah” in the Old Testament translated out of its contraction, stood for, or meant, what? The “I AM.” Jehovah is the “I AM” in all of Scripture. We pick that up in Exodus Chapter 3 at the burning bush, when Moses said, “When I go to the children of Israel and tell them God has sent me, what shall I tell them is your name?” God said, “You go tell the children of Israel that “I AM” has sent you.” Then in John’s Gospel that Jesus referred to Himself as the “I AM” from the Old Testament economy. Consequently, in John’s Gospel we have the seven “I AM’s.” 1. I AM the Bread of life. 2. I AM the Light of the world. 3. I AM the Door of the sheep. 4. I AM the Good Shepherd. 5. I AM the Resurrection and the life. 6. I AM the way, the truth and the life. 7. I AM the True Vine. So there are the seven “I AM’s” found in John’s Gospel. And we always like to tie the eighth with the seven and we find that in Revelation Chapter 22. Number eight is indicative of new beginnings, as we are here entering into the eternal state. 8. I AM the bright and morning Star. And remember the morning star shines the brightest just before the start of the new day. Christ is claiming that the darkness of the 6000 years of human history where man has been existing under the curse, is about to end. The dawning of the new day, the eternal day of which He is the bright and morning Star, is about to come on the scene.
Now let’s take a look at the seven statements that Jesus said while hanging on the Cross. Let’s turn to Luke Chapter 23. We will be taking these seven statements in their chronological order in time, not according to their order in Scripture. Hopefully you can see this unfold as we jump back and forth. This is what you must do with the Four Gospels. Many people have the idea that the feeding of the 5000 spoken of in one Gospel is the same feeding of 5000 spoken of in another. That is not necessarily true. Each one, if you will look at it closely, will normally have different circumstances. That doesn’t mean that the writers are in conflict with each other, but rather one is talking about one event and another writer is talking about another totally different event. Remember what John says:
“This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which… I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. A men.” So they only recorded a small portion of His miracles. Now here in Luke 23 we find Jesus’ first words from the Cross.
“Then said Jesus, `Father, forgive them (mainly the Jews); for they know not what they do….'”
We know that Romans and Jews were both involved in this Crucifixion, but Scripture primarily lays the blame on the Nation of Israel. Israel should of known Who He was. Israel could have known because the Old Testament was full of it. But Israel did not know, and so Jesus here is referring primarily to the Jew. And as we go into the Book of Acts you will see Peter put that responsibility of murder on the Jew. The second statement is made here in this same chapter. One of the thieves on the cross has recognized Who Jesus was.
“And Jesus said unto him, `Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.'”
And in the Old Testament economy people who died as believers did not go up to Heaven, but rather down into Paradise. Jesus made that so very plain. Now we know that as a result of the finish work of the Cross, that Jesus has emptied out Paradise that was in the heart of the earth. Now we find Paradise in Heaven for all believers from Adam to the present. Now for the third one we have to go back to John’s Gospel in Chapter 19:26-27. But let’s start with verse 25.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved (that was John), he saith unto his mother, `Woman, behold thy son!’ Then saith he to the disciple, `Behold thy mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”
Remember, “woman” in this economy in which Jesus is speaking, was a word of endearment. It wasn’t derogatory in the least. It was just the custom of the day. And we know that from that day forth John cared for Mary for the rest of her life. Joseph had died, evidently, and was not on the scene.
For the fourth statement we turn to Matthew 27:46, but I would like to start with verse 45. Remember, from one of our previous lessons, I feel that during that three hours of darkness and absolute silence from the Cross, that Christ in His Deity; in everything that was associated with His being God; in the soul and Spirit realm He went and suffered the punishment for every human being. Then He comes back after that three hours of silence. and we pick it up here:
“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (that noon till 3:00 P.M.). And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'”
Now that statement has caused consternation among believers for hundreds and hundreds of years. Martin Luther wrestled with it, and finally after many many years, he came out of his study one day and exclaimed to his wife, “I’ve found it.” He said, “I can finally see it, That when Jesus said, `My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ It was God speaking to God.'” Always remember that The Christ of the Cross was the same God Who created everything in Genesis Chapter 1. He’s One and the Same. And the New Testament constantly gives Him credit for being the Creator. I’m afraid too many believers are not even aware of Who Jesus really is. Many folk cannot comprehend that Jesus wasn’t just a prophet, and priest, but the eternal Creator God, and He never stopped being God. He was God in the womb. He was God in the manger. He was God in those growing up years, and God in His earthy ministry. And this is the concept of His earthy ministry, to prove to the Nation of Israel Who He really was. And that is why He performed all those miracles and signs, so they could understand that this was not just another great man, but rather the eternal God.
I hadn’t intended to do this but come back to Isaiah Chapter 9. I have quite a few Orthodox Jews who watch the program and they just can’t comprehend that Christ was the God of the Old Testament. They can’t comprehend the Trinity. They refuse the Trinity, and they use the verse in Deuteronomy where Moses writes, “Our God is one.” Well, absolutely He’s one, but we know from the rest of Scriptures that He is One in three Persons. Now I can’t understand that. You can’t understand it. They can’t understand it. So what do we do? We take it by faith. Because that’s what this Book says. And God is looking for our faith. He expects us to believe what He has said. And we are not to argue with it.
I like to use this illustration. If you know something, and you know you know it, and someone comes along and says, “I don’t believe it!” How do you feel? Well, they are calling you a liar. And no one likes to be called a liar. Especially when you know you’re not. Well, that’s what we do to God. Anytime a man says, “I can’t believe what this Book says.” Then that person is calling God a liar. So that is why God tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please him,…” We have to believe what He has said, or we cannot please God. It’s doesn’t matter if you give the Church a million dollars a week, or visit the sick every night, or go to the worst mission field in this world. It won’t do you a nickel’s worth of good if you do it outside the realm of faith. We have to take God at His Word, and I mean the whole Word. You can’t pick and choose. Let’s look at that passage in Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 6. This is Old Testament. The pronoun here is the Nation of Israel. The prophets never wrote to the Gentiles, they were not permitted to. Only the Jew.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (flash ahead to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” How did God give His Son? When He was born in Bethlehem): and the government shall be upon his shoulder (that glorious Kingdom that is going to come upon the earth, that’s what all the Old Testament prophets were looking forward to. There will be a King of Kings and Lord of Lords Who will not only rule Israel but the whole world. It’s going to be perfect): and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” See how this verse ties them together.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (Rule)…”
I’ve presented in other lessons, how when you come into the Book of Matthew, Jesus is presented as the King. In the very first verse you have to go all the way back to Abraham, in Genesis Chapter 12, because out of the Abrahamic Covenant comes the promise of this King and Kingdom. When you get into the genealogy in Luke Chapter 3, that genealogy goes all the way back to Adam. Why? Because Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man. So, consequently, He is tied to Adam the first man. And then Paul refers to Christ as the Second Adam. You can see how beautifully all of Scripture fits. So we see in Isaiah that Christ was indeed God. He’s God the Father, He’s God the Son, and we can see it in John’s Gospel:
“Philip saith unto him, `Lord, shew 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;…'” They are One and the Same. The only difference is Christ is God the Father in human flesh and appearance. Getting back to the seven statements Jesus made from the Cross.
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, `I thirst.'” Now for the 6th one in verse 30:
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, `It is finished:’ and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” But we must go back to Luke 23 one more time and pick up His final statement.
“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, `Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.'”