Luke: All in-02/02/20

Message: All In                        Text: Luke 23:44-49

Introduction: How many of you like being in the water? Whether it’s the ocean, lake, pond, stream, or pool? I think there are basically two kinds of people when it comes to getting into water for the first time:

PP: Those who take their time and inch their way in. Getting only a small part of their body wet at a time.
PP: And there’s Matt who abandons all fear of cold water, and just jumps in getting every part of his body wet at the same time.
We might say Matt went ‘All In.’ He held nothing back.

PP: Here’s Kathy and Walt. They’re already in the water. Let me ask them… which one are you?

PP: With the Superbowl being held today, it reminded me that football players have a saying leave it all on the field.

It means that during the game they don’t hold anything back.
At the end of the game, thy leave the field w/ nothing left to give.

And, there is a similar phrase in the game of poker.

PP: When a player has a handthey believe they can’t lose with, they go ‘all in.’
PP: Then they push all theirpoker chips into the center of the table. They hold nothing back, they have no more chips.

Certainly, among many other truths we can glean from our text this morning, we’ll see that Jesus held nothing back, that He was ‘all in’ while He hung on the cross… for you and for me.

Transition: Open your Bibles to Luke 23:44.

1. Luke 23:44-45  The big picture of the cross

PP: It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

What we see here are two of the most important, spiritually significant truth of what happened when Jesus was on the cross.

The first is God’s greatest judgment.
The second is God’s greatest blessing.

A. Luke 23:44-45a  God’sgreatest judgment

PP: It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed.

For the Jews, time started at 6am. So the 6th hour would have been Noon.

We’re told that it was dark from the 6th to the 9th hours… noon till 3pm… not usually dark that time of day. But there’s more about this darkness than it was just dark.

The sun’s light failed. PP:

This was not an eclipse, this was not very cloudy day.
This was utter darkness, extreme darkness like they had never seen before.
It was a supernatural darkness.

Scholars tell us that darkness in Scripture is often linked to an eschatological event…

An eschatological event is one of huge Biblical proportion and is most often associated with either future events or current events that have a significant impact on the future.

What eschatological event of great significance, does this darkness refer too?

The time of God’s greatest judgment for sin.

God the Father was pouring out on Jesus, God the Son, His divine wrath for the sin of the world.

It’s the greatest judgment for sin for at least two reasons:

First, God’s wrath was poured out for every sin of every person who would one day come to a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus…

That’s an unimaginable amount of sin… every sin, every, single, sin.

John MacArthur put it this way: PP: The darkness was not caused by the absence of God, but rather by His presence in full judgment, vengeance, and fury. Infinite wrath moved by infinite righteousness released infinite punishment on the Son. Because He is infinite, in just three hours He was able to absorb all the punishment of eternal hell for all who will ever believe.

I have no words… that is just HUGE! Just, thank You Jesus. And I don’t mean that in a trite way.

Second, God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus, God the Son, for every sin of every person who would one day come to a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus.

To multiply the severity of this judgment, remember that as God’s wrath for sin was poured out on Jesus on the cross, Jesus was Himself, without sin.
Jesus was suffering the full wrath of the Father for sin He never committed.

It’s understandable then that this darkness was more than just being dark, it was a supernatural event of immense proportion.

For it represented God’s response to our sin.

Not that Jesus responded to the darkness, to the Fathers judgment for sin, with words we find in Matthew 27:46b PP: My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

The darkness was so dark because the judgment for sin was so great… how great?

So great that it resulted in the unimaginable…
the loss of fellowship between God the Father and God the Son, Jesus.

Yet, Jesus was ‘all in’.

It’s one thing to be ‘all in’ when things are going well in our lives.
It’s an altogether different thing to be ‘all in’ when everything is coming apart in our lives.

Folks, we can’t wrap our hands around the fact that Jesus, on the cross, suffered the greatest judgment for our sin.

Transition: But listen, w/o Jesus experiencing the greatest judgment, we could neverexperience the greatest blessing.

B. Luke 23:45b  God’s greatest blessing

PP: And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Do you ever feel like there’s a huge wall between you and God? Do you ever feel that God is far away, not approachable? That’s how the OT people felt about God.

God is holy, righteous, pure, majestic
and because they were none of that,
there was always a huge separation between God and His people.

Nowhere is that best represented than in the tabernacle and temple.

PP: There was a huge wall of layered, thick cloth that stood as a barrier between the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place where God’s manifest presence dwelt.
One priest could pass beyond that curtain only one day of the year, the Day of Atonement when God covered over the people’s sin.

In 2 Corinthians 4:6 the apostle Paul writes: PP: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Get this… everyone who repents of their sin and places their faith in Jesus as their Savior, have been taken from the darkness of God’s wrath and judgment into the light of God forgiveness and acceptance.

Let’s see how that happened:

Around 3pm the darkness lifted. Jesus had suffered the greatness of God’s judgment for sin. The perfect and complete sacrifice for sin has been made by Jesus.

It was at that time that Jesus said It is finished… (John 19:30b)

When He said that, the veil in the temple was torn in two. Let me briefly tell you why it’s perhaps the greatest blessing.

The tearing of the veil between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place in the temple meant that what had previously separated God’s people from their God… sin, has been forever removed…

Making full and permanent access to God, now a reality.
Declaring the OT Law fulfilled in Jesus.
Establishing a new Covenant of faith through Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.
Making the sacrificial system with all of its laws; over, done, completed.

And in its place, is JESUS!, Just and only Jesus.

You see Jesus had to experience the greatest judgment from God the Father for our sin…
so that we could experience the greatest blessing from God for Jesus’ willing sacrifice… free and permanent access to the very presence of God.

That’s what the writer of the Book of Hebrews promisesconcerning God’s greatest judgment and God’s greatest blessing. PP: Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:19–22a)

Christian… you are blessed beyond all measure!

2. Luke 23:46  Jesus gives up His life

PP: Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” And having said this He breathed His last.

All the Gospel writers use an economy of words to tell of Jesus’ death. So, I too will be brief.

Jesus was weak, in excruciating pain, both physical and spiritual as we’ve just seen. Yet, He cries out with a loud voice; not a whimper of defeat, but a shout of triumph: Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.

Catch this; on the cross; beaten,  physically weak, Jesus was ‘all in’… both His strengths and His weaknesses, given over to the Father to be used to bring many sons and daughters to glory.

Take note:

Jesus, even after suffering the greatest judgment, refers to God, as Father here. Showing that His love for the Father hasn’t diminished.
Jesus, even after suffering the greatest judgment, places His Spirit, His life in the Father’s hands. Showing that His trust in the Father hasn’t diminished.

Then, with sin judged, with God’s presence being opened to those who place their faith in Jesus, Jesus…dies.

Christian, God wants us to be ‘All in’ with Jesus. So that ourfamily, friends, neighbors, who don’t know Jesus, will see Him in us… even in our weakness, our struggling and ourbrokenness.

3. Luke 23:47  A Gentile’s declaration

PP: Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

Crucifixions were the preferred form of execution of the Romans. Being a part of the crucifixion detail, this Roman soldier would have witnessed many. BUT, the text implies that he had never seen anything like this.

It had such an impact on him that, because of what he had seen and heard, he praised God for revealing to him Jesus’ innocence.
In Marks Gospel the centurion also said Truly this Man was the Son of God.

Was this centurion saved? We can’t say for sure, but it certainly sounds like it.

4. Luke 23:48  The crowd leaves disturbed

PP: And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.

Crucifixions always drew spectators, curious people who wanted to know what was happening. Notice Dr. Luke even calls it a spectacle.

He acknowledges it’s not a just punishment for wrong doing.

But in connection to Jesus, it’s a dog and pony show to ease the guilt and puff up the pride of the religious leaders.

Even though many in the crowd had called for Jesus’ death… it seems they left knowing something wasn’t right about what happened. Which is why Dr. Luke tells us they returned home beating their breasts which was a sign of remorse.

Was the Holy Spirit beginning to work in their hearts?
Remember, over 3000 Jews were saved only 50 days later at Pentecost.

5. Luke 23:49  Family & friends watch

PP: And all His acquaintances and the women who had followed Him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking… they stood at a distance watching these things.

They were Jesus’ family, followers and friends… and they kept their distance from Jesus while He suffered and died on the cross.

Remember, they were all in shock over Jesus’ crucifixion. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.

But they had forgotten that all along Jesus had been warning them of this very thing. They just didn’t want to believe it.

Remember, the crowd was wild and worked up by the religious leaders.

There was no reason for them to make a scene by getting closer and being open about their relationship with Jesus…
the religious leaders might have turned on them and they were needed to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the known world… and they would.

One observation worth noting is that women were mentioned by Dr. Luke. Matthew and Mark superficially mention the names of some of the women who were present when Jesus was crucified.

Jesus had a very special place in his heart for women.
I think it was because their hearts were especially sensitive to who He was… I believe it’s still that way.
More women seem to come to faith in Jesus than men. That men, is to our shame.

Conclusion: PP: Next Slide

Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, once said:

I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all;
but whatever I placed in God’s hands, I still possess.

In Luke 18 we learned about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus. Allow me to refresh your memory of what happened at their meeting:

And a ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (Luke 18:18–25)

Like the rich young ruler, we can hold on to what we have, or we can go all in.’ turning our lives to follow Jesus.

But we have to let go of all the distractions; money, success, pride, envy, anxiety, fear, hurt, brokenness.
We have to go ‘all in’ by giving Jesus not only our strengths, but also our weaknesses

I’m certain that every follower of Jesus here this morning has committed some of their life to Jesus.

Quite honestly, some areas are easier than others to give to Jesus.

And I’m certain that few, if any, have given ‘all’ to Jesus.

Because quite honestly some areas are much harder to give to Jesus.

I wonder how often we hold back, just in case.

I’m also certain that every follower of Jesus has committed some of their life to Jesus. But, when storms come, when doubts and fear raise their ugly heads, we take back some of what we’ve given to Jesus… Just in case.

So let me challenge you with this:

First, recognize, admit that you struggle in the area of giving your all to Jesus.
Second, ask God to reveal to you those areas that are hard for you to give to Him, that you haven’t given over to him.
Third, ask God to so fill you with the Holy Spirit that nothing you have in life is worth holding on to compared to the blessings found in going ‘all in’ for Jesus.

Truth is, when it comes to going ‘all in’ for Jesus, we’re like the people who take their time going into the water, a little at a time. 

BUT, let’s start thinking, praying for and having a heart, to want to just jump in… all at once.

To be ‘all in’ for Jesus!
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