Pastor Jeffrey Khoo
Good Friday Sermon, 7 April 2023
The Lord Jesus Christ was truly a Suffering Servant—a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We see this throughout his 33½ years of life on earth, and even more so on His final day when He went the Way of Sorrow to His crucifixion. Let us see how much Jesus suffered for you and me on Good Friday 1,993 years ago.
Agony in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36–39)
We see the fullness of His humanity here. He was flesh and blood, and His body could feel pain. Anyone here likes to be tortured, beaten, whipped, humiliated, ridiculed and nailed to a tree? He was so overwhelmed by the pain and suffering that He had to go through that He agonised in prayer to His Father to let this cup of suffering pass from Him. The agony was so intense and great that He perspired drops of blood. Nevertheless, He prayed, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Three times He prayed. It was the Father’s will for Him to go to the cross, and He obediently went.
The Betrayal (Matt 26:47–50)
One of the most painful things in life is to be betrayed, especially by a trusted friend and closest to you. It is very heartbreaking. Jesus trusted Judas very much and appointed him treasurer. But he proved to be a thief and stole from the offering bag (John 12:6). Now, he was willing to sell Jesus away for 30 pieces of silver—the price of a slave. He despised Jesus and regarded His master no more than a slave. As Isaiah 53:2 says, “He is despised and rejected of men”. To add insult to injury, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. He pretended to be a friend of Jesus, when he was actually an enemy.
The Trials (Matt 26:57–67)
Jesus went through an illegal trial convened by the High Priest and Sanhedrin in the middle of the night. According to Jewish law, no capital trials were to be conducted at night. More heinously, Jesus was falsely accused by many false witnesses. When Jesus answered truthfully that He was the Christ, the Son of God, they accused Him of blasphemy and condemned Him to death. Then they blindfolded Him, and “spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands” (Matt 26:67).
Jesus was abused by the chief priests and Sanhedrin throughout the night, and now at dawn, He was sent to Pilate (Matt 27:1–2). Pilate judged Jesus to be innocent and wanted to release Him but they shouted for His crucifixion. Pilate gave them what they wanted. But before Jesus was crucified, He had to go through a time of mocking and scourging by the Roman soldiers (Matt 27:27–31). All bloodied, black and blue, they made Him carry His cross to Calvary. But He was by then too weak to do so, and they forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Him (Matt 27:32).
The Crucifixion (Matt 27:33–50)
Jesus spent six hours on the cross (9am–3pm). The pain from the long, rusty iron nails that were hammered into His hands and feet must have been excruciating. They gave Him vinegar mixed with gall to drink. This would numb His pain but He refused it (Matt 27:34). He was hanging on the cross naked; the soldiers stripped Him of His clothes and cast lots to see who would have them (Matt 27:35). The chief priests, scribes and elders watched from below and taunted Him, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” (Matt 27:42–43). Jesus could have easily come down from the cross. In Matthew 26:53–54 He said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” As prophesied, “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31).
Jesus not only suffered physically, He also suffered spiritually. At 12 noon, there was a mysterious and supernatural darkness that covered the land (Matt 27:45). This lasted for three hours. This was perhaps the darkest moment in the life of our Lord, when His Father left Him all alone on the cross to suffer and to die for our sins, and He in agony cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46). As the hymn by Ben Price goes, “Alone, alone, He bore it all alone; He gave Himself to save His own, He suffered, bled and died alone, alone.” “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:4–6).
Finally at 3pm, He cried with a loud voice, “It is finished: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (Matt 27:50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30).
He Died, Was Buried, and Rose Again
Jesus was buried on the same day—Friday, and remained in the tomb on Saturday, but on Sunday, the third day, miracle of miracles—He arose! What a powerful and wonderful Saviour we have. He has the power to save us from our sins, and He is ever ready and willing to save us if we will only believe on Him who died for our sins and rose from the dead. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom 10:9). He calls on one and all to come to Him and find peace and rest, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28–30).
He invites all to go to Him for spiritual help and salvation, for He is now our Great High Priest who is ever ready to help, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14–16).
Pray to no one but the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not pray to Mary, or to the departed saints, or to angels, for only the Lord Himself can hear us and save us, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:15). Only He is worthy, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev 5:12). Amen.
24 March 2023
Dear brothers and sisters in TLBPC,
We thank the LORD for the precious works of your church which are blessed and used profitably by the LORD.
We give thanks to you for giving us the love gift of SGD2,150. We will use this precious gift for the LORD, and for evangelism.
We remember Pastor Khoo and Pastor Lagapa and brothers and sisters in Singapore who visited us and we had good time of friendly fellowship in 2018 and 2019. We thank the LORD for that precious opportunity.
Brother Tadahito Yamazaki works hard to preach and give Gospel tracts to houses, and works for a company taking care of elderly people. He fills an important role in our church as a workman.
We hope that we will have a good fellowship with you again.
We pray that the LORD may bless and use your Church and Bible College more profitably for His glory.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Elder Takashi Kanaya
Elder Kazunori Sato
Elder Kiichi Tada
Abashiri Christ Gospel Assembly
1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, S(308899) firstname.lastname@example.org 6254 1287
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