The passage for the sermon was John 19:31-37. These verses are a part of prophecy concerning the Cross revealed in the Old Testament. In John 19:31 the Jews wanted the bodies removed before the Sabbath. In Deuteronomy 21:23 it is prophesied that Jesus would not remain all night upon the tree. This was written around 1400 B.C. Psalms 34:20 states that no bones will be broken and John 19:33 confirms the prophecy. Zechariah 12:10 tells of “looking upon whom they have pierced” which coincides with John 19:34. The death of Jesus on the Cross is the single most important event in all of history.
This single event took place only one time and it was done for all. Never has it been done before and never will it be done again. This is God’s free pardon for everyone. There’s a story about a fellow back in the early 1800s who killed a government employee while robbing the mails. He was tried and sentenced to be hanged. But the current President of the United States granted him a pardon which he rejected. This refusal was so unusual that it went all the way to the Supreme Court. The presiding Chief Justice wrote in his opinion that a pardon is only a piece of paper and only becomes of value by the acceptance of the person it was granted to. Since it wasn’t accepted, it was only a piece of paper. The man was hanged. What a waste!
Picture that--a free pardon. But that is exactly what is offered to all of us. How many have, for one reason or another, rejected the gift of eternal life. All that has to be done is to accept the pardon in faith and obedience. It’s so simple.
The last words Jesus spoke on the cross were “Father, into they hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46). He cried out in faith. He had done his best. He had given his all. “Jesus, keep me near the cross, There a precious fountain Free to all-- a healing stream, Flows from Cal-v’ry’s mountain”. (The first verse of Near the Cross by Fanny J. Crosby.)