The Thread of Life – Part 25 (The Day of Darkness)

November 28, 2021   /   Jesus Church

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The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

Part 25

Welcome to Jesus church: Here and Online

We are wrapping up our series of going through the Bible

  • Last week we looked at who Jesus is… through a couple questions
    • Jesus asked – Who am I (Messiah, Son of the Living God)
    • Jesus asked – Why am I here (To be the resurrection & life)
  • When we believe the who/why of Jesus…
    • We find that life is only found in him
    • Serving anything else will never bring life to you
    • Only in serving Jesus will you find life
  • And Jesus says this understanding gives us keys to His kingdom
    • Which is symbol for authority… You have authority in God
    • And not only that – You can open the door to others as well

Today we continue the story of Jesus – In his last hours

  • Funny that Friday was black Friday… today we look at good Friday
    • Black Friday is a GOOD DAY where we buy gifts – it’s fun
    • Good Friday is a DARK DAY where the greatest gift was rejected

Jn 1:10-11

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.


Michelle & I have this favorite breakfast place we eat

The staff is the very best… 2 sisters (sweetest ever) are waitresses

  • The other day we were there… there was a family at table next to us
    • Admittable they were short staffed like everywhere else
    • The dad was really getting irritated
    • Maybe they waited a bit longer than usual… on a time crunch
  • He wasn’t very nice – I’m sorta protective over our breakfast place
    • He was snapping his fingers… I almost went over there
    • But then their food came out and it calmed everything down
  • But sadly… that’s not abnormal… Honestly I’m no different at times
    • Is the coffee good enough
    • Are the service fast enough
    • Is the sermon short enough… jokes funny enough

And its just systemic of the world we live in

  • Biggest question people ask when giving an approval rating…
    • “Am I being served to the standard I have set”
    • If my food isn’t served fast enough – speak to manager
    • If my seat isn’t comfortable enough – different theater
  • This is the mentality many are proud of
    • Are my opinion most important
    • Are my preferences being met
    • Am I being served

TAG: That’s opposite to the question that brings life: “Am I serving?”

John 13 – Upper room of a house

Jesus is coming to the point where he is soon to be killed

  • There isn’t much time left with His disciples… needs quality time
    • What are disciples doing: Arguing about who is the greatest
    • They all think that they are the most important
  • And this has everything to do with serving… Jewish culture
    • Those who were greater were served by those who were lesser
    • So they are all posturing because they don’t want to serve
    • They want to be served
  • And this isn’t new… it’s the 3rd time they’ve had this argument
    • And Jesus was very clear on his thoughts on this theme
    • Just a few days before this… Jesus gives them a teaching

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

This was in all His teachings: First shall be last… least will be greatest

  • This was obviously a lesson they had a hard time understanding
    • Because we live in a world that doesn’t operate this way
      • You don’t turn the cheek… you even the score
      • You don’t pray for enemies… you defeat them
      • Elbows and cutting get you first… the first are first
      • To be exalted you praise yourself… exalted are exalted
  • This is constantly what Jesus modeled against
    • Jesus came to lay down his life – calls us to the same
    • Its an attitude so rare that when we see it… its new worthy
  • Story in the USA today about a football game in Ohio
    • This Highschool had game locked up in the 4th quarter
      • Start player broke out a 50 yards run to endzone
      • About to run in but instead stepped out at the 1 yard line
    • Refs called it a TD and coach and player argue that it wasn’t
      • Call reversed so a freshman could score the Touchdown
      • Why was that important… he had just lost his dad
      • And his Dad was so proud he made varsity as a freshman
        • This isn’t the norm… and it inspires us to be better

So in upper room: Jesus has 1 last lesson for disciples

  • And he doesn’t use words as much as he uses action
    • So he picks up a towel and a wash basin
    • And the arguments on who should serve who dies down
    • As status seeking disciples watch their creator wash their feet

Jn. 13:4-5

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

  • Now this was a task reserved for the lowest of the servants
    • There was no question that this needed to be done on this day
    • Been walking all day… about to share a very important meal
    • They all knew someone would have to take that role
  • Any of the disciples could have volunteered
    • But none of them would volunteer
    • Why… because let someone else do it
    • So Jesus volunteers

Jn. 13:14-17

Now that I , your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed IF you do them.

TAG: So Jesus came to serve… and he calls us to the same

Notice: When we serve like Jesus we don’t discriminate

Jesus doesn’t choose who to serve based on their worthiness

  • Because the human tendency is to often love others
    • Based on what they can do for me in return
    • Almost all people serve because of what they can get back
    • Not always consciously… but emotional/monetary/career
  • Jesus knew the disciples were about to abandon and betray him
    • Washes the feet of Peter who would deny he knew Jesus
    • Washes the feet of Judas who would set up his arrest
  • And we all know how hard it is to serve people like that…
    • How do you serve someone who never thinks of your needs
    • How do you serve someone who never had a kind word to say
    • How do you serve a child that never says thank you
    • How do you serve a father that constantly belittled you
    • How do you serve a coworker that always stabs you in the back
    • How do you serve a friend who always takes and never gives back

And we come to the conclusion: I just wont serve someone like that

  • Yet Jesus didn’t come to be served… but to serve
    • Didn’t come to be paid back or noticed
    • Didn’t come to be rewarded or crowned
  • And he calls (doesn’t suggest) he calls us to do the same
    • Peter who denied him
    • Phillip who doubted him
    • Judas who would betray him
      • People like that… people like us
  • And it’s easy to feel unworthy of this relationship with Jesus
    • Many of us identify with Peter… saying no Lord don’t do that
    • And allowing Jesus to love us might be harder than loving others
      • Because we just don’t feel worthy of it

Pastor Tony Campolo – Book with a story about communion at 7 years old

  • Preacher was talking about grace and forgiveness
    • And this Lady in front of her cried the whole time
    • As communion was passed… she didn’t take any
    • His dad told lady “Please take it, it was meant for you”
  • She nodded her head with tears streaming down her cheeks
    • But they weren’t tears of shame… but of thanks
    • This was meant for you
    • And I know this is meant for you – Jesus wants to serve you
  • This morning we get to take communion together…
    • And if Jesus was physically here serve this last supper
    • I think he would challenge us to serve others
    • I think he would challenge us to do it in remembrance
      • But for those who have a hard time with the grace of Jesus
      • He would say… This was meant for you

But it doesn’t end there… after the washing & meal – COMMUNION

Jesus takes his disciples to a place called the mount of olives

  • They sing song and Jesus asks them to watch and pray
    • They went to the Garden of Gethsemane (Jesus went here often)

Matt. 26:38

The he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

  • Bible says that Jesus was deep in prayer… his sweat was like blood
    • He was in this epic tug of war
    • The battle between the flesh and spirit
    • Between protecting himself and obeying the Father

Matt. 26:39

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

  • And Jesus doesn’t just ask this once… he prays 3 times
    • Often in scripture Cup = Life… he’s asking if there’s another way
    • But He knows… that he is the only way (he’d said it many times)

And in this time Jesus asks his disciples to pray for him… pray is powerful

  • But after a full stomach and its late… the are fast asleep
    • Jesus awakens them a couple times… but then chaos breaks out
    • The soldiers come on the scene led by Judas

Luke 22:48

but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

  • But Jesus is never one to mince words… and he calls out Pharisees

Luke 23:52-53

Am I leading a rebellion that you come to be with swords. I taught everyday in the temple and you did nothing. Yet this is your hour when darkness reigns.

  • John and Peter follow Jesus’ arrest… eventually the split up
    • Peter who says he would die for Jesus: denies Jesus 3 times
    • And what happens to Jesus over the next hours was 5 or 6 trials
    • And one of the Pharisees asked Jesus if he is the son of God
      • Jesus says yes and everything changes
  • And then they take him to pilot (why) because Jews couldn’t execute
    • And middle of the night… everyone is asleep
    • They are pounding on pilots door to get this done
    • They gather a crowd… too early for crowd to just be there
  • Pilot wants Jesus punished and released… but the Jews want blood
    • So Jesus beaten with whips – 2/3rds died just from this whipping
    • But Jesus was a tough carpenter
      • Death hear would have left many prophecies unfulfilled
      • And then the crowd echo’s 2 words – crucified him
      • A slow death of humiliation by suffocation

Imagine living 1000 years before Jesus

Typical day: You would hear the sound of people in the city (Play sound)

  • Sound of Shofar… Israel heard this sound twice a day
    • This sound made everyone stop… merchants to children
    • Reason was sound meant priest was making a sacrifice to God
      • A lamb was being sacrificed on their behalf
  • Silence was in gratitude that something was taking place of their sins
    • God was conditioning people that sin brings death
    • Twice a day for centuries
    • Ongoing reminder that there is a cost for forgiveness

Isaiah prophecy said

The coming messiah would bear our sins, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities and by his stripes we would be healed.

Words of John the Baptist

“Look the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world”

100’s of years before Jesus

Bible says as a lamb before his sheers is silent, so will he be

  • It cost Jesus his life and throughout the Bible we read…

Heb. 9:22

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness

Let fast forward to that Friday

  • By Jesus time Sacrifice became very elaborate
    • Priest would hold a knife to the throat of the lamb
    • Another priest stood on the highest point of temple with Shofar
    • He would blow the shofar twice… 9am and 3pm
      • When did crucifixion begin?

Mark 15:25

It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.

  • Jesus was put on cross same time the shofar is blown
    • And when the horn sounded… everyone heard it and stopped
    • Just like they had done for 1000’s of years
    • 3 hours later, darkness covers the sky for 3 hours

Estimate is 2 million people in Jerusalem for Passover

  • And the city is veiled in darkness … at 3pm the Shophar sounds again
    • And they all know a sacrifice was being made on their behalf
    • Jesus came to serve but he also came to save
  • And Jesus hung on the cross and stayed alive until 3pm
    • He says “Father into your hands I commit my spirit. It is finished”
    • Which means… “It has been paid”
    • Debt of sin is now forgiven
  • Satan thought he had won
    • Next week we see that Jesus conquered the grave
    • When it comes to sin, victory was won at the cross

This is why Revelation says, “We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony”


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