Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” And He said that at the time of His death, men would then truly know who He is. It is at the cross that we are helped to see the truth of God and the way to escape sin, death, and judgment. His cross shines brightly still today for those in the dark to find real hope and salvation. What happened on the cross? We see four amazing things: the darkness in the sky, His two cries from the cross, and the tearing of the veil. This is holy powerful truth for our souls.
John chapter 8 verse 12. We are going to go through all of these verses 12 to 30, step by step. As I said, these three verses are going to be our focus: 12, 21 and 28. First, Jesus says this beautiful, instructive ‘I AM’ statement. He speaks openly and says this, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” This world is plunged in darkness. And people are walking around not knowing where they are going, not knowing the purpose for their life, not knowing God, not knowing about where they will be going when they die, walking in the darkness, groping in the dark. But Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” And if you look in verse 20, you realize He is teaching in the temple. He is right in the very heart of Jerusalem, surrounded by religious Jews, surrounded by Pharisees even. And openly in the temple, in the court, He says it so clearly, “I am the light, (not of Jerusalem,) I am the light of the world.” Not, “God is the light,” pointing away from Himself. Because He was God, He says, “I am the light.” This is an amazing statement, and when they hear this, they complain.
Verse 13, So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Their complain is, “It is easy to say that about yourself, but if God were to testify about you or if there were some other testimony that we could believe about you, we would receive your word. But this testimony we do not receive, it’s just a self testimony. Anybody could say that.” And verses 14 through 20, Jesus does not go where they want Him to go. He doesn’t try and prove anything. He speaks with authority. Now, He could appeal to other witnesses, as He has done in the past (the witness of Scripture, the witness of John the baptist,) but look at where He goes. Verse 14, “Jesus answered, ‘Even if I do bear witness about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one (meaning, not in that way, that fleshly way.) Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent Me. In your Law it is written the testimony of two people is true. I am the One who bears witness about Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness about Me.’ They said to him therefore, ‘Where is your Father?'” You see Jesus here, He doesn’t go where they want to go. He just says, “I know where I came from. I know where I am going. And you don’t know.” It’s like He is saying, “I am the light of the world, whether you believe it or not. And if you want another witness, you can ask My Father, He is the second witness. I’ll bear witness about Myself, and He’ll bear witness about Me.”
Then they complain again. They challenge Him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” In another place He said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” They challenge Him and He just passes right by it. “These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; but no one arrested Him, because His hour had not yet come.” I think of verse 14, “I know where I came from. My testimony is true. I know where I am going.” And I love the way Jesus answers them. It’s like when I was in India, you know, my wife is Hispanic, and a lot of times the Indian people wouldn’t believe that she was Hispanic. They thought she was Indian. And we would say “No, we are both from America.” And they’ll say, “No, no, you are not from America.” They’ll tell her that. And we just said, “Hey, I know we are from America.” It is simple answer. We don’t have to prove anything. It is our identity, and we know our identity.
In the same way, Christ was well aware of who He was, where He had come from, what He was about, what He was doing, where He was going. They were the ones in the dark. He was the light of the world. It is like a blind man who cannot see the sun. And people around tell him the sun is up there. And he says, “Well, I don’t believe there is a sun.” Listen, whether you believe me or not, I can see it. It’s right there. You can’t see it. The reason why is, you’re blind. And these men were blind. And they didn’t know the Father, even though they had the Old Testament. And they didn’t know His Son when He showed up, and He was among them. And there are times, I think, when we ought to be the same way as Jesus Christ here; when we ought to imitate Christ and be this way with other people. “Do you know who you are in Christ? Do you know that God has saved you? Do you have a testimony?” You can tell people, “Listen, I know I am saved. I know who God is. I know what He said.” We don’t have to prove anything to anyone. God is who He is.
And then in verse 21, He gives a warning, “So He said to them again, ‘I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.'” Now I’ll say at the beginning, this is a warning. This is not final judgment. He says, “You will die in your sin,” but later He says, “Unless you believe, you will die in your sin.” It may not be the end of the story for this people, but it is a strong warning. “If you refuse to come to the light, if you refuse to hear My words and believe on the One the Father has sent, you will die in your sin. And there will come a time when you will seek Me, or you will seek the Messiah, you will seek one that can do what only I can do, and you won’t find him, because I am here among you now.” He warns them, but, verse 22, they continue mocking and resisting, “So the Jews said, Will He kill Himself, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” And you have to realize, they are mocking Him. They are taunting Him. They don’t think Jesus is going to kill Himself. They are bringing up suicide to tease Him for what He just said. “Oh, you’re going somewhere where we can’t come. Are you going to kill yourself?”
And He said to them again; He warns them with the same warning twice. He gives this warning three times. “He said to them, ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jesus doesn’t budge an inch. “I am the light of the world. I have been sent by My Father. I know where I have come from. And if you mock me, I’ll warn you again. I tell you, you will die in your sins. Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Verse 25, they ask a good question, “So they said to Him, ‘Who are you?'” He just said, “You have to believe that I am He.” Well, I am who? What does ‘He’ mean? What is ‘He’ referring to? They say, “Who are you?” It is a good question, but the sad thing is they are not truly listening to Him. When they say, “Who are you?” they just say that after He says, “I am He.” But if they would have been listening, they would have heard Him say, “I am the light of the world; I have been sent by My Father.” It is like everything He is saying is passing through their mind. Nothing is reaching home. “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.”
Who is Jesus Christ? That is a good question. “I am the Son of Man. The Son of God. The Lamb of God. The light of the world. The door. The good Shepherd that lays His life down for the sheep. The One sent by the Father. The I AM. The resurrection and the life.” That is who Jesus is. But these people are not listening to Him, and they are blind, and their hearts are hardened, and He is warning them. And then He goes on again to state, with authority, His identity. Verse 26, “I have much to say about you and much to judge, but He who sent Me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him. They did not understand that He had been speaking to them about the Father.” I declare to the world what I have heard from Him, and they don’t even realize He is speaking about God in heaven. That is how blind they were that day. “Where is your Father, Who is your Father?” They don’t realize.
Verse 28, “So Jesus said to them,” this is important, “‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own authority, but speak just as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.’ As He was saying these things, many believed in Him.” Amen. This last verse, He is speaking to a group of Jews, most of them, every thing He is saying about who He is and why He is coming and how He can help them get out of the darkness, every thing is passing through their mind. They are not catching any of it, and He is warning them. But He ends with something that’s a key; something that is helpful; something that could help them. He says this, “If you want to see the light, if you want to know who I am, when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.
What is ‘being lifted up’? There is no doubt, according to the Bible, this is Jesus Christ being lifted up on the cross. This is not God lifting Him up into heaven. He says, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man.” This is when men would nail Jesus to the cross and lift Him up from the earth. Suspended on the cross at that moment, at that time, a light would shine. Jesus is the light of the world, but there is a brightness that shines from the cross at the time that He was crucified. “Then you will know.” And He might mean this in two ways: Some of you will know by being converted. Some of you will know only too late after you have rejected Me (some of you won’t find out who I am, until it’s too late).
But today, we are going to focus on this positive aspect of coming to know who Jesus is, through the cross. Coming to see His light. Coming to know who God is through the cross of Jesus Christ. Verse 28 is a help to us. It says that the cross will make it plain. We need to set our eyes on the cross. We need to put our gaze there and behold what happened on the cross. And so, that’s what we are going to do today. This verse, He deals with a lot of hard hearts, He deals with people that don’t believe. Even when it says many believed in Him, later on they go on not to believe in Him. False faith. He is dealing with a hard crowd here, but He tells them there is a key: “When you lift Me up from the earth, then you’ll know who I am. Then you’ll know that I am He. I am who I am. I am the ‘I AM’ of the Old Testament. I am God in the flesh. The Son of God. The light of the world.”
So, today we are going to look at the cross. We need to constantly be looking at the cross of Jesus Christ. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 27 verse 45. We are going to read again slowly, in detail, what happened upon the cross. The cross is not as simple as you might think. The cross is not one verse in the Bible. There are details here. We need to go slow. We need to look at what was happening; look at what Christ was saying; that we might catch what they were meant to catch. At this point, they have already gone through all the physical beatings. They have scourged Him, they have stripped Him, they have spit on Him, they have beat Him, they have mocked Him. They have made Him carry His cross, they have led Him away to the Place of a Skull. The priests were mocking Him, the thieves were mocking Him, the passers-by were mocking Him saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” And it seems like every one is venting their anger on Jesus Christ. Here you see man spewing out all their hatred at God; at God’s Son. Why did they hate Jesus Christ? Because He was God in the flesh. And men hate God, deep in their hearts from birth.
And here, they are just venting their animosity toward Jesus Christ. And then in Matthew 27:45, this whole account changes, and the focus turns away from man altogether. It’s like there is a culmination. What man was doing to Christ, what He experienced, is only building up. And then this amazing thing happens. There’s four amazing things that we see here. Verse 45, this is the first, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.” This is in the middle of the day, from noon to 3 pm. For three hours, from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the land. What is this darkness? How did this happen? This is not a cloudy sky. This is a darkness that covered the whole land for three hours. It is a miracle. It is supernatural. Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross as a part of the plan of God, and now, the whole sky is growing dark. Do you ever think of the cross? Do you ever picture it in your mind? Don’t forget the sky was dark. It was very dark. If you are going to picture that scene in your mind, don’t think of it like daylight. The lights went out. And now it seems the mocking has come to a stop, for three hours. And you can imagine that people are beginning to wonder, “What is this darkness?”
This darkness really happened. But it is a symbol, and it is teaching us something important. To put it simply, the darkness is God’s wrath in a visible way being manifested for all of the onlookers to see. Why do I say that? Why do I think the darkness is a picture of God’s wrath? Well, one, because Jesus Himself over and over when He talked about hell, (yes He talked about the lake of fire, this hell of fire, the fire that couldn’t be quenched,) but when Jesus talked about hell, much of the time He said it was the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. An outer darkness; a gloomy darkness. This was Jesus’ own teaching about the wrath of God. Not only from Christ, but even in the Old Testament, when you look, you see again and again throughout the Psalms, in the book of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, “God will cut off the wicked in darkness.” And you see God becoming angry and coming down from heaven with darkness going before Him. His anger is kindled and darkness comes before Him. You see in Zephaniah, it says, “A day of distress, a day of anguish, a day of wrath, a day of great darkness.”
And here was a day that grew dark; in history, miraculously, so that every one who is standing near Jesus Christ as He is being crucified, everyone that is passing by had to stop and think, “The sky is growing dark.” And whether they realized it or not, we who have the Word of God know what this means. The wrath of God was coming upon Jesus Christ. Darkness is a separation from the light. A separation from the blessing, from the joy. That is what hell is described to be. No, we don’t believe that Christ went to hell and suffered in hell, after He died on the cross. No, we don’t believe that. But something of the suffering of hell was laid upon Jesus Christ on the cross. The Son of God was taking the wrath of God in Himself. When God is angry, and when His wrath is coming, it gets dark. That is the message of the prophets over and over again. And it happened 2,000 years ago.
And if there is any doubt in your mind; maybe you think, “Well, I think the darkness means something else. I don’t think John is right.” Keep reading. This is the second amazing thing. Verse 46. Here we have it explained by the Lord Himself, “At about the ninth hour,” when it was almost nearing the end, “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” We see the symbol first and then we have the statement to make it clear. Something visible for your eyes to see, and something that explains with clarity from the Lord Himself. He was being forsaken by God. And that’s part of what His wrath is. Part of God’s anger is not just punishment and fire; part of His anger is He is done with you. He puts you away. Distances Himself from you. No more of My blessings, no more of My help, no more of My love, no more of My favor or My joy. Away from Me! Depart from Me!
Being forsaken. We know that is what the darkness meant that Christ was going through. He was suffering the wrath of God, because here, don’t misread what He says. Read it slowly, read it carefully. He didn’t say in a soft voice in despair, in a whimper, “God, defeated, why did You forsake Me? I failed.” No. He cries out with a loud voice for everybody to hear, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” So that everyone would hear. People passing by on the road, He wanted them to know. He is making an announcement; a proclamation. He is not ashamed of this. This was spoken of in the Old Testament in Psalm 22. This day had to come. The day when God would forsake His Servant, forsake His perfect One. He was suffering His wrath, and He was announcing it for men to hear, for men to understand. Do you realize what is happening? It is not man that has forsaken Me. Jesus Christ was not scared of men. Jesus Christ was not worried about men on that day. They did their worst to Him, and He set His face to keep going. What was on His mind, what comes out of His lips is not, “O humanity, O humanity, how you have misunderstood Me and how you have crucified Me.” No. He says, “My God, My God, You have forsaken Me.” This is not the wrath of man. This is the wrath and anger of God.
We know what that darkness meant. It was not in self-pity and despair. He had become a curse. The curse of the Law. The broken Law. The laws that we broke. That curse was coming upon Him, and He was suffering under it. As the Scripture said, (this would not be my word, this would not be the word that I would use to describe it,) but the Scripture said, “He had become sin.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Taking our sins. Having our sins transferred unto Him; brought upon Himself. Jesus always called God ‘Father’ in prayer. Have you ever noticed that? When He would talk about God, sometimes He would say God. But when He would pray to God, He always said Father. All of His prayers, He says Father, Father, Father. And here He says, “My God, My God.” Why the change? Because here, He is standing in our place. Here, He is taking our position. The position of a criminal. The position of one who is unworthy to even pray to God. The position of one who is suffering under the wrath of God. And He says, “My God, My God.” He does not even pray, “Father,” because He took our sin; because He became an abomination in all of the sins being put upon Him.
The precious Lamb of God, the perfect Son of God taking these abominations on Himself. And this is what the cross is all about. You can see pictures of the cross, you can see movies about the cross, and totally miss what we are reading here in Matthew 27. This is the Word of God. This is what He wants you to know about the cross. It is not so important that you even live 2,000 years ago to witness it. He has written here what you need to know. Do you need to know about the cross? You need to know, first of all, the sky grew dark because God’s wrath was coming on Christ. And He said, “You have forsaken Me.” He was forsaken. And this is what the Bible has foretold would happen from the very beginning. If you read the Old Testament, it is preaching the Gospel in advance. It is making clear the way of Jesus Christ, who He is and what He would do; what is the great thing that He would come to do.
We read about it in the Old Testament. You say, “Well, this is strange that the Son of God would take the wrath of God?” That’s exactly what was prophesied. The reason why I know this, the reason why I believe this and I rejoice in this, is because there are statements in the Prophets that you cannot explain any other way. How is it that David and Jeremiah and Job could say the things they said? David would say in Psalm 88, “All of the waves of Your wrath have passed over me.” How could a man like David say that? He didn’t experience all the waves of the wrath of God. Or Job saying, “You have made me your target. All of Your arrows have pierced me. You have torn me in Your wrath.” Job suffered, but he did not take all of the arrows of God. Or even in Lamentations chapter 1, he says, “There is no suffering like my suffering.” How could he say that? It was a prophecy about Jesus Christ. And he says this: “You sent fire from on high into my bones.” These are prophecies about what Jesus Christ would do to set us free. He took our sin, and He took the wrath of God. It came upon Him. There is no suffering like His suffering. And just this, in and of itself, would not be the full story. It would not even really be good news. That God would bring destruction upon His own Son on the cross? That would terrify us. If He would do that to the Son, what would He do to us? But that is not the story. That is not where it ends.
There’s two more amazing things. Verse 47, “And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, ‘This man is calling Elijah.'” They didn’t understand. “And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” This is the next thing. The third thing, He cries out again with a loud voice, right before He dies. Right before He gives up His spirit. What did He say? It almost makes you wonder. It is almost like the Holy Spirit has left it out to make you wonder. What did He cry out with a loud voice? And I think it is good that it says it this way. We don’t have to wonder. We have four Gospels. We can read the rest of the story. What was this next thing that He cried out? First, He cries out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” But then, right at the end, the moment before He dies, He cried something out with a loud voice.
Luke tells us. And I think I heard somebody say, “It is finished.” I am glad you said that. We are going to get there. We’re going to talk about that in a minute. But I think the last thing He said was, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” And He cried it out, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Now this is amazing. A minute ago, He was saying, “You have forsaken Me. My God, You have forsaken Me.” And now, He is saying, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. I trust My spirit to You.” How is it that God is His Father again? The Father is smiling on Him again? The Father is willing to receive Him again, and He knows it, and He gives up His spirit, and He dies on the cross. Because in the middle of those two statements, is another statement: It is finished. It is finished. Jesus said upon the cross, “It is finished.” What does that mean? What was the darkness? What was He undergoing? What was He thinking about? What was He experiencing? The wrath of God. And when He said it is finished, the wrath of God was finished. And this is good news.
Oh, if God were just to pour out His wrath and flood the world, that would not be good news. If God were to deal with all of us according to our iniquities and our sins, and what we have done, that would not be good news. But if the wrath of God is finished, that is good news. That means there is no more fear. That means there is no more death, there is no more hell, there is no more curse. It is finished. That is the good news. And it was a loud cry. God was satisfied with the work of His Son. The debt for sin had been paid. The punishment of the Law and of hell had been received in the body and soul of Jesus Christ. He finished it forever. He finished it fully. I love what it says in the book of Revelation. Have you ever read where God is pouring out His wrath on the earth in these bowls? And He is pouring out His wrath, and then when He gets to this one bowl, it says, “In this, the wrath of God is finished.” When I read that, I think of Christ. He said, “It is finished.” The Father’s wrath, anger, done. It is like all of the arrows, like Job said, all of the arrows have pierced Him. There is no more arrows. God’s quiver is empty. And He called Him Father once more.
And then, this last amazing thing. Look at the next verse. Verse 51, “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” Here again is something observable, something you can see with your eyes. Something God wanted all men to know. He wanted them to hear Christ say these things from the cross, and He wanted them to see His power demonstrated at the time of the cross. There was an earthquake and the city started shaking. Jesus said, “It is finished.” He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” And this earthquake shook the land, and it broke open the rocks, and it broke open tombs. And the curtain in the temple split in half. What does that mean? His statement made it clear. He said it is finished. Father, I am coming back to You. The curtain is torn means it is finished. The debt has been paid. The way to God has been opened. That is what happened on the day of the cross. Did you know that? The price was paid. The way was opened – a new and living way. That barrier blocking sinful men from a holy God was split in two; torn in two.
We don’t have to question and scratch our heads as to what that means. That veil kept men out from God. That veil said no one is worthy to pray to God. No one is worthy to approach God. No one is worthy to see the glory of God. No one is worthy to go to heaven. Did you know that the temple is a picture of heaven? Just like the garden of Eden is a picture of heaven, and God stations this cherubim with a flaming sword, “You cannot enter the garden anymore.” God built the temple and He made walls, and He put a thick curtain, “No one goes in anymore. You are too sinful.” And then Jesus Christ by His death on the cross, He tore down the veil. He opened the way for all to go in. It means God has given proof as to what He has done in Jesus Christ. He has given this visible sign, “I put My wrath upon Him. It was finished in Him, and now the way is opened.” There is a curse, there is death, but now it’s done and the way is open to go in to God; to call Him Father, like Jesus called Him Father. To commit your spirit to Him, like Jesus committed His spirit to Him.
Why is it that we can be accepted by God? Because Jesus Christ on that day, 2000 years ago, was forsaken on the cross, and finished it all, and opened the way. He is our answer. Christ is our hope. Christ is the key. The key is not in you. The key to heaven, you’re not going to find it out in the world in things that you would do, or prayers that you would pray, [or] acts of devotion. Jesus Christ Himself; Jesus Christ in His work as a High Priest offering Himself as a sacrifice, that’s the key. And I would say this. You can search the world over. You will never find this. You will never find this light. Christ said, “I am the light of the world. There is no other light. You can search the world over, and you will never find another Savior. You can search all the books, all the philosophies and all the religions. All of the rituals and all of the ceremonies; you will never find an answer for sin. You will never find God becoming a Man, taking our curse, our problem in Himself, and solving it graciously, and giving it freely to us as a gift. That is only in Jesus Christ. No one has ever claimed to do it. No one has ever done it. No one has ever even compared to Jesus Christ. And that’s why He said this: “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that I am He. I am going to do something at the cross you cannot be mistaken about. There is no one like Me. I am the beginning and the end. I am who I am. I have come down out of heaven to save you from your sins. If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself.”
When you look at the cross, there is a drawing power there. There is something convincing there. There is something that our lives, our souls, we need desperately. Yes, we need someone to take the curse off of us. We cannot do it ourselves. It is a story that is divine. A Man who was divine. A love that was divine. Only in the cross of Jesus Christ do you see the love of God and the justice of God meeting together in such a way that has never happened. It makes sense to our souls that we know this is what I need. That was my problem; this is the answer. This is what Christ has done. He died upon the cross to take my curse, and He finished it. To take my hell, and He finished it. Now it is true that at the resurrection, there is proof. At the resurrection three days later, when Jesus bodily rose from the grave, He was declared to be the Son of God with power. But I think there is something interesting about the cross. There is something glorious about the cross as well. There is something that declares who Christ is about the cross as well. Think about this. Even the resurrection, as amazing as it is, it was revealed to a few chosen believers. But upon the cross, God was doing signs in the sky, He was shaking the land, a loud voice was going out, it was even at a public place where men had to walk by. Passers-by would have been witnessing what happened that day.
And I think it is powerful, and I think you need to kneel at the cross. You need to surrender to Christ at the cross. You need to receive Christ at the cross because here we see other people being converted, don’t we? What Jesus said was fulfilled. Men would know that He is the I AM at the cross. Who was saved at the cross? Well, the thief on the cross. He was saved that day. He saw His glory that day. The centurion and actually all of the soldiers with the centurion, if you read it, they all said, “Who is this Man? The Son of God. A Man without sin.” It is amazing. And I think, even when you read about Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, here they were, afraid to even show themselves to be followers of Christ. They were followers but they were full of fear. But by the time Christ died on the cross, it’s like they are just done with being secret disciples. “Give us His body, we want to bury Him.” – publicly associating with Jesus Christ. And who knows who else that day witnessed that event and was changed forever.
A beacon was lit; a light like a lighthouse. You know, you have a light; but then at the lighthouse, because of its position up high, because of the mirrors that they use, the light shines out as this brilliant ray. And the cross is like that. Oh, Christ is the light of the world and His light was shining as He walked among men. But His light shone in a brilliant way and a glorious way the day that He gave Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins. This bright revelation of the glory of God, of the plan of God, of the love of God was shown at the cross.
And so, I want to end my message now with a warning. Jesus warned those Jews, and He warned them three times. And I’ll give three warnings as well. The first is this: there is a warning for any of you who have come into this room and who don’t care. Maybe you’re dragged here by your family; maybe your friend convinced you into coming. And you really don’t want to think about God, and you don’t really want to sing the songs, and you don’t really want to study the Bible, you’re not even searching for God. There is a warning for you. Beware. If you do not come to the light, you will die in your sins. And that is not the way you want to die. You do not want to die with your evil deeds, with your bad words, with your bad thoughts still on your record. You do not want to die defiled and dirty and contaminated with sin, because then you will be forsaken. There is a warning for you. My first warning is for any of you who don’t care. You will die in your sins unless you believe that Jesus is who He is. The Son of God.
The second warning is this: I am warning anyone who would come in here and be religious, but your eyes are on something else other than Christ. You want God, you want to go to heaven, you do care about spiritual things, but you have not come to God through Christ. Maybe you are coming through another person – some other figure in history, some other prophet, some other [like] Mary, or some other way, your own good deeds, the things that you could do, “You know I want to have this born again experience and if I have it in the right way, then I can come to God. I want to feel a certain way.” Your eyes are not on Christ. Your eyes are on yourself, your eyes are on what you can do, your eyes are on other people. But no one else is the light of the world, only Jesus is the Son of God; the light of the world; the Savior from our sins. And I warn you today. If you look to anyone else, you will die in your sins. You must believe in Him. “That I am He,” He said.
And my last warning is this: For any of you, you want to be saved, and you know, you are convinced that there is no one but Christ. You know He died on the cross. You know the prophet said He would take our sin, He would take the wrath of God, He would take our curse. You know all of that. You know about the darkness in the sky. Even today, you’ve heard these things again. And yet, you still do not trust in Christ. You still have not committed yourself to Him; you still have not received Him; you still have not believed upon Him. And I would say this: You must know that Jesus is the only way. You must know that it was His cross that has opened the way to God. But what did Jesus say? He said in John 8, unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
Now, I know some of you have thought about being saved, in one sense you want to be saved truly, but you are not looking to Christ, you are waiting around. You are delaying outside the ark. It’s there, there is safety, but you are not going in. You are finding one reason or another not to surrender to the freeness of the Gospel. But I would say unless you believe, unless you take Him, unless you trust upon Him, you will die in your sins. “You will seek Me,” He said, “I am going away, you will seek Me and where I am going, you cannot come. And unless you believe, you will die in your sins.” But don’t take that the wrong way. Don’t think, “Well, I want to be saved but God hasn’t saved me, and so therefore, maybe it’s just final judgment for me; maybe my time is over, and I am going to die in my sins.” No, that is not what Jesus said. Go back to John 8. This is a warning, but it is only a warning, it is not a closed door. John 8:24, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe…” What is He saying? He is saying if you believe, whoever believes has eternal life. Not “will have in the future”. Whoever believes right now has eternal life. The moment a person believes; the moment you trust Christ. Trust Him now. Trust Him as you are hearing these words. Trust in Christ, and His promise is you have eternal life.
‘It is finished’ means He has done everything and made the way. That is the kind of God we worship, that is the kind of God we serve. That is the kind of God that revealed Himself at the cross. A God who has done everything. Trust in Him now with your soul. I would say take words to the Lord, but it is not even the words of your mouth. The Scripture does say take words to the Lord, but it’s not even the words of your mouth. Trusting is not even talking. Trusting is in the heart. It is when you realize, “I have no other way. I would never be saved any other way. Only what Christ has done.” It is falling helpless at the feet of Christ. Believe Him today and be saved. Because if you wait, and if you don’t trust; if you refuse to trust, then you will die in your sins, even though you know about Christ. And that, perhaps, is the worst way to die of all. To die right outside the door of the ark. Just trust Him and He will give you peace. And He promises forgiveness, and He promises eternal life.
To the Christian, I would just say this again, I have no warning for you. To the Christian, I would say Christ is your light. And He shone a light at the cross that is bright. A light at the cross that puts our whole world, our whole universe, all of our deeds, all of our days, all of the chapters of our life, everything into perspective at the cross. Believe in Him. His promise for you is an encouraging one: you will not walk in darkness. Not only will you not sin in darkness, but you won’t be confused. You won’t have to go around asking these questions. The Lord has answered them. Trust in Christ.
Let’s pray. O Father in heaven, truly You have done the greatest thing for us in Jesus Christ. He is the good news. And Father I pray today for any that have heard the good news, any that have understood it, but until today have not believed it, have not leaned upon it, have not put their weight upon it. O Lord, today, make them your children. O Father I pray, Lord, not my words but the words of Christ Himself from the cross. Plant them in hearts and ears in a way that could never be erased; in a way that gives hope; in a way that gives joy. O Father I pray, Lord tear out every false view of salvation, every false gospel in people’s minds in this room. Lord open eyes and hearts. Save, Lord. Save Your people. Save them now. And Father I pray, thank You, thank You for Your Son. Thank You for these precious words. Thank You for these last words of Christ before He died. O Lord, keep us near. Keep us near this lighthouse, keep us walking in the light. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.