Gilbert campus, thank you so much for being with us on this Good Friday service. It says in John chapter one verses four through five, in Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. The darkness has not overcome it. As we think about what this means.
We think about what it means in this moment. We live in a time in which there's right and wrong, win or lose, up or down. And I want us to wrestle with one simple statement as we think about what this means. God is not supposed to lose. You think about this light overcoming the darkness. He's not supposed to lose.
So how do we come to grips and how do we come to realize what happened on this horrible horrific event? Jesus Christ is on the cross. He dies for our sin. God is not supposed to lose, but now we find ourselves in a really difficult situation. How do we explain it? Because we think about what God is and who he is and how we describe him.
We describe him with wonderful words. He's omniscient, all knowing. He's omnipresent, he's everywhere. He's omnipotent, he's powerful. Those kinds of things are so important for us because we don't have loss or losing, when describing God. He's not supposed to lose. The Creator of life. The Creator of the universe, the Alpha and Omega and the Beginning
and the End is a not supposed to lose. But here we are in a moment such as this, in which we now see light being overcome by darkness. Light is now in a situation where it's being snuffed out by the darkness. So how do we explain what goes on in the garden of Gethsemane? When the disciples are all around Jesus in, and they are told what's going to happen by Jesus, they are told of what's going to occur and they fall asleep and Jesus responds by saying all kinds of things.
And he starts by saying, keep watch, watch out for what? What's about to happen in the garden of Gethsemane? What did Jesus, what was he trying for his disciples to understand what was going on? He says this, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Disciples sleep. Soldiers arrive. They approached Jesus as he's praying, and they seize him.
They ask him a question and he says a really important response. I am. When asked, are you, Jesus? Is I am he. Now I am, those words that Jesus had spoken many times in his teaching before Abraham. I am, I am the good shepherd. I am the door to the sheepfold. I am the vine. I am the bread of life. I am the vine.
I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life. I am the light of the world. I am he. Is what Jesus conveys. The son of man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Now he is seized now he is taken by a mob and the mob is upset. The mob wants to do harm to Jesus. The mob overtakes he's betrayed by even, even this betrayal is so intriguing, betrayed by a kiss.
What an incredible moment in history that's going on. Jesus of Nazareth. I am he. His faithful disciples, they scatter. No more nowhere to be found. Now we have this. Jesus would no resistance in one, one of the disciples named Peter to tries to resist, pulls out a sword and strikes a soldier, and he was rebuked by Jesus.
Jesus chooses something that we can't miss. Jesus chooses to be silent. See God is not supposed to lose. God is not supposed to lose to mobs. God's not supposed to find himself overwhelmed and in a situation where he's taken by people who want to do him harm. And now the truth and the life it's being led away and put on trial.
So how do you put truth on trial? How do you put truth on trial? How do you do this? As you see the accusations and the things that were false and things that were not real things that were not, uh, not factual, but accusations that were so unreasonable. Accusations that didn't make any sense, even contradicted. Jesus,
when he asked, when he's asked, will you not answer, will you not? What do you have to answer for yourself, rather Jesus, for all these charges against you. And he says nothing. But he does answer one of the key questions. When he's asked, are you the Messiah? Jesus says, I am. There it is again the light of the world.
I am the way, and I am the truth is Jesus response. I am the light of the world. I am the resurrection and the life I am. With those two words, the high priest begins to completely lose it. He yells balsphemy. He loses and gets so upset. He even says in the, in our, in the scripture that he tore his own clothes. He found himself in a situation where now he spit on him, blindfolded him.
They said, prophesy who hits you? They begin to mock Jesus. Jesus was taken before Pilot. Pilot was a man of power, Roman power, the power to kill an the power to crucify. And now he's face-to-face with the truth and he doesn't realize who he's facing. He doesn't see the truth. In fact, Jesus still remains silent.
And we think about this. Why does truth remain silent? Why the lies, why the false accusation? Speak Jesus, speak. Pilot would not remain silent because he says, what is truth? Pilot asks Jesus. Pilot asked the question to the ultimate truth of the universe. What is truth? Pilot would not remain silent. He stood face to face with him and the crowd would not remain, would not remain silent.
In fact, the crowd began to say, crucify him, crucify him. And now Jesus Christ. Why would he remain silent? Doesn"t truth drown out deception? Speak Jesus, speak. God is not supposed to lose. Then why is the truth being led to the crucifixion? Or is that love, is that love, that is being led and handed over to be crucified.
This is a very definition of love. To be beaten, to be flogged, to be ridiculed, to endure all of that. This is the ultimate expression of love. But God is not supposed to lose. God is it's not supposed to lose. Maybe, maybe love is too soft. A man is not supposed to, man who claims love could never be a King.
I mean, think about what we see a King as. We see a King as powerful. We see the King as influential. We see the King of, of being able to make things happen. But this King, kings aren't supposed to lose. And now we see the King needs a crown. A crown of three-inch thorns placed on his head. A King needs a royal clothing to denote his status, a purple robe, instantly streaked with blood.
He's given a scepter and he's given an indicator and wait and they took the scepter from him and began to hit him with that very thing. They ridiculed him. Jesus is not supposed to lose. Hail the King of the Jews. A King displays strength, not love. A King gives orders. A king doesn't lose. A King doesn't carry his own cross.
This King does. This King carries the cross. This King carries the cross and he says, whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow after me. This is what love looks like. It's what it looks like to love others. Our King carries his cross to the place of the skull,
Golgotha, to be crucified among thieves. Three nails pounded through his hands and feet. Love is hung on a cross for the world to see. God is not supposed to lose. Jesus is silent. Others are not. They say, save yourself. Why are you allowing this to happen? If you were the King of the Jews, then do this. Save yourself.
God is not supposed to lose. He trusts in God, let God save him, they say. God is not supposed to lose. He said he was the son of God. God is not supposed to lose. Isn't his presence on the cross, a sign of what was wrong in this sixth hour, darkness covers the land. God is losing. And Jesus is no longer silent. He says these incredible words, Father forgive them for, they do not know what they're doing.
We have no idea what we are doing, what we have done. And then he continues to say even deeper words. He says, my God. My God, why have you forsaken me? God is losing. And then he says something that is so incredible for us to think about. Where's God, what he do wrong. He says this, it is finished.
It's over. God has lost. Creation is disrupted. A storm, like no other overtakes the land. Incredible things began to happen. The light of the world goes out. Darkness overtakes the sun. The earth shakes. The curtain in the temple that separated God from his people is torn in half. Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.
Did he know he was? Did he know what was happening? Where's his power now. The Creator of life is not supposed to lose. He's not supposed to lose his life. Darkness is not supposed to overcome light. He lost, we lost the light was shining but the light has been put out. Truth spoke, but with the accused of truth, he remained silent.
This incredible moment in history changed everything. Everything that we thought was going to happen. Everything that we believe to occur, everything that we understood about power, everything we understood about hope, everything we understood about what it means to give your life is now on display. And it changed everything.
See, we understand power, in a different context. We understand power in the different perspective. We believe power is about influence and control, but power like this changes everything. Did God lose? Did we lose? What happened on this Good Friday was good news for us. Could it be? The cross has the final word.
Could it be the cross has the final word for us? I want to read to you in closing a very powerful part of his famous sermon by SM Lockridge and it's so, so encouraging in moments like this, but yet so reflective for what it means to follow after Christ and what this evening means for us. It's Friday, he's hanging on the cross.
Feeling forsaken by his Father. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save him? Oh, it's Friday, but Sunday's coming. It's Friday. The earth trembles a sky grows dark. My King yields, his spirit. It's Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered and Satan's just the laughing. It's Friday. Jesus is buried, soldiers stand guard, and a rock is rolled into place, but it's Friday, it's only Friday and Sunday is coming.
Could it be the cross, has the final word. Or could it be the cross has the final word. Could it be that we did not lose, but rather we were given victory for what happened. See our adversary thought he won. But he was mistaken. Our adversary thought that all was lost, but then we, I realize the bigger story you and I were there.
We were there in this moment. We were there in that moment. We're here to hear about the hope of what Jesus did, his gesture of what he did for us on that cross changed everything and it gave us victory. The cross, the final word.