From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
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Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking
Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking
On Sunday, July 25th, I finished preaching the series, Taking a Kingdom Risk. In this series we learned that Kingdom Risk Taking is a necessary component of true discipleship and is a Kingdom protocol (code of conduct) for following Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us to risk, to obey and step out in faith for His glory and to the fullest potential for the kingdom of God realized. Every great risk in Jesus’ Name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God. That He who calls us to “step out in faith” means to trust the One who supplies us with whatever we need to fulfill plans and purposes in and through us.
Kingdom Risk Taking has 6 Characteristics that helps us recognize and understand what is required in in this endeavor. The first five characteristics I have preached about and they are described on the podcast at our website (wordofvictory.org). Here is a synopsis of the last and sixth characteristic:
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Identity.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Calculated.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Faith, Not Fear.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Invites Uncertainty.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Requires Persistence.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Ensures Growth.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green…
Godly risk taking is different than the risk tied to immediate gratification, which is plentiful in our culture.
- Immediate gratification is often self-serving and short sighted.
- Kingdom Risk Taking is God-driven with long range
The latter can take you some place different, some place better!
Obeying God and stepping out of our comfort zone to trust Him and to walk by faith not only has positive repercussions for us and others around us today, but also for generations to come in the future (see Gen. 26:24).
Because it requires discipline, tempering the uncertainty (characteristic #4) and persistence (characteristic #5)…however, Godly Risk Taking is less common among many Christians.
Day 6: Trial, Crucifixion, Death, and Burial on Good Friday
Good Friday is the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ's journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.
According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment. After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment known at the time.
Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns. Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.
Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross. His first words were, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34, NIV). His last words were, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46, NIV)
Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last breath and died.
By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus' body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
My Insights on the Jesus’ words while on the Cross:
In incredible agony, Jesus made seven statements from the cross:
1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
In Luke 23:34, Jesus made this statement following the people’s comment in Matthew 27:42, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”
2. “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Found in Luke 23:43, Jesus uttered these hopeful words in response to the one thief beside Him who had come to his senses and asked Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
3. “Woman, behold your son…[Son,] behold your mother.”
Jesus spoke these endearing words in John 19:26–27 to two of the closest people in His life: His mother, Mary, and His disciple John. Even in death, He refused to think only of Himself. At this point, Scripture records that there was “darkness over all the land” (Matthew 27:45). The Greek word for “land” could be translated “earth,” indicating the entire world. Several historical and extra-biblical sources suggest that such a universal darkness did occur. In fact, history relates that in a report from Pilate to Emperor Tiberius, Pilate assumes the Emperor’s knowledge of a certain widespread darkness, even mentioning that it took place from 12:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.
4. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
These words are found in Matthew 27:46. The horrifying presence of sin surrounded Jesus at this dreaded moment: “And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). To be forsaken of God was much more of a source of anguish to Jesus than to anyone else because He was absolutely holy. Never for one moment during His entire earthly life did He ever step outside of intimate fellowship with His Father. Yet, this was something the Father had to do in the life of the Son so that we could come back into the relationship He desired to have with us from the beginning—the relationship that had been forfeited back in the Garden.
Scripture repeatedly speaks of this moment:
- “He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
- “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- “[He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24).
Imagine for a moment how hard this must have been for the Father. He loved His Son! Jesus never had a thought that was out of harmony with the Father’s mind. His Son never spent a moment out of His conscious presence. He had never committed one sin!
5. “I thirst!”
In John 19:28, Jesus said, “I thirst!” In saying this, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy, “They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” (Psalm 69:21).
6. “It is finished!”
In John 19:30, we find this “battle cry of the cross.” Never again would He experience pain or be in the hands of Satan. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. He had completed what He had been sent to do (John 5:36; John 17:4).
The word finished is translated in many ways…
- It is made an end of.
- It is paid.
- It is performed.
- It is accomplished.
What was made an end of? Our sins and the guilt that accompanied them.
What was paid? The price of redemption.
What was performed? The righteous requirements of the law.
What was accomplished? The work the Father had given Jesus to do.
Finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. “He has made [you] alive together with Him,having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13–14).
7. “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”
These final words (see Luke 23:46) signified the restoration of the relationship between the Father and the Son, but they also ushered in the new relationship we can now have with the Father. Immediately the veil in the temple, a visible reminder of the barrier between God and man, was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). In essence, God was saying, “Through the death of my Son, you now have total access into My presence” (see Hebrews 10:19).
What kept Jesus going when His disciples deserted Him, when the crowds screamed “Crucify Him!”, when He underwent the horrible ordeal of taking on all of the sins of the world? You did! Paul said, “[He] loved me and gave Himself for me…” (Galatians 2:20).
Friday's events are recorded in Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, and John 18:28-19:37.
Published on Friday, April 2, 2021 @ 8:35 AM CDT