IT IS FINISHED
THE SHAME OF SIN
I don't suppose there is any more exciting prospect to a struggling, perplexed, and beleaguered human being than the idea that there can be change for the better.
The elixir the world craves today is for something that will free them from the shame, the guilt, and the penalty of sin. What they don't know is that this is freely available. To be renewed in mind and heart, to have new birth -- new life - is what they really desire. That is the message of the cross, That is the declaration of Jesus Christ when He said, "It is finished!"
Since the creation of mankind, we have struggled with the problem of our wretchedness -- our inability to change our basic self for the better. We will philosophize, rationalize, perhaps even justify, our selves and our actions. We may even try to blunt some of our guilt and shame temporarily by using alcohol or other drugs. Our attention may be diverted momentarily through securing power, wealth, or pleasures of sin, but ultimately our gaze will be fixed again upon our own sin and selfishness and then, perhaps, cry out as did the apostle Paul, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
Not only are we frustrated in our effort to deliver ourselves but we also become very disillusioned in our quest to deliver other people in the same boat as ourselves.
Now, through the knowledge and expertise of medical science, man can cure sickness and disease, but he cannot cleanse the polluted soul.
By financial assistance man can ease the binding poverty of mankind, but he cannot fill the empty heart.
Through sophisticated educational programs man can strengthen the intellect, but he cannot clear the guilty and troubled conscience.
At weekly psychiatric staff meetings at one of the nations largest hospitals a new difficult or unusual case would be presented by a different doctor and the experts would discuss it. And every week, after much discussion and occasional heated argument, they would consent to the same conclusion: "put the patient on another experimental drug and observe the reaction." After experiencing this week after week, a top neurologist (one who, when he spoke, everyone listened) said "Listen, for months I have attended these sessions and I have come to the conclusion that we really don't know how to help people. Almost without exception we wind up putting the patient on another drug because we don’t know what else to do. We complain about drug addiction, but we are the ones who are responsible. We can't help ourselves, so how can we help others?"
With that, he walked out of the room and the rest of the staff sat in stunned silence for several minutes. There was nothing they could say because THEY KNEW THIS MAN HAD SPOKEN THE TRUTH.
It is a fact. Man cannot heal himself. We have been under the curse of sin since the fall of Adam and we cannot break that curse. Man needs to be saved; he needs to be rescued from the bondage of sin and its shame.
THAT IS WHY WE CELEBRATE SOMETHING SO GRUESOME AS DEATH, ESPECIALLY SUCH A HORRIFICALLY BRUTAL DEATH AS JESUS SUFFERED, ON GOOD FRIDAY.
Paul knew without Christ and his death on the cross he was nothing but a wretched and shamed man. But Paul knew what it meant to be delivered. Listen to what he said in Romans 7 (paraphrased): "Okay, you see how it is. My new life tells me I should do right, but my old nature still wants to sin. So, what a terrible predicament I am in. Who is going to free me from the slavery of my deadly, old lower nature? THANK GOD! IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE -- BY JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. HE SET ME FREE!!!
Why not say that now, aloud, "He set ME free!"
The message of the cross is this: through the blood of Jesus Christ, when we truly believe and repent we are justified, regenerated, and born again, and the SHAME OF SIN HAS BEEN REMOVE
Jesus said it," IT IS FINISHED!!" And I proclaim to you today:
IT IS FINISHED. THE SHAME OF SIN HAS BEEN REMOVED! YOU HAVE BEEN SET FREE!