At Manna Church, our mission is to glorify God by equipping His people to change their world and by planting churches with the same world-changing vision.
“I am thirsty...it is finished!”
Theme - Jesus accomplished His mission. Everything the Father sent Him to do is done!
John 19:28-30 NLT Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Not all victories are created equal. There are some victories that are decided by the slimmest of margins and some that feel a bit ‘undeserved’ as the losing team outplayed their opponent in every aspect of the game other than the final score. And then there are the dominant victories; the ones that leave NO DOUBT who the better team or individual is because the score is so lopsided and the game was one-sided from start to finish. This is Jesus on the Cross. IT...IS...FINISHED!!! He is the Champion of Heaven and the Savior of the earth. There is nothing that Jesus is not Lord over. He dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ to ensure eternal victory. It is amazing that, after already having perfectly fulfilled an impossible amount of Messianic Prophecies and an estimated 12 hours of physical torture beyond comprehension, He still takes a moment to say “I am thirsty” so He could fulfill one more with the sour wine. God is in the details! And He cares about the details of your life today.
Going Deeper Questions:
Why is it so important that Jesus fulfilled every Messianic Prophecy?
What does it say about Jesus that after 12 hours of unimaginable pain and suffering He still has the wits about Him to mention His thirst, knowing that He would be given sour wine and thus fulfill a Messianic Prophecy?
Pray: “God, I take comfort in the impossible probability that one man, Jesus, could perfectly fulfill prophecies written down centuries before His birth. I take comfort in Your attention to detail and in Jesus’ ability to pay such close attention to detail in the midst of such tremendous physical agony. There is nothing outside of Your authority. Jesus has won it all! Help me to live out this victory today.”
Theme - Your debt has been paid!
Colossians 2:13-14 NLT You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
In May of 2019, Robert Smith stood before the graduating class of Morehouse College with a strong desire to inspire them toward success. Like many commencement speakers, his words were strong and uplifting. But unlike other commencement speakers, he didn’t just rely on his words. Robert Smith knew that most of the graduates he was speaking to, their chances of success would be hampered by the large debt they took on in order to complete the degree they were celebrating. And that’s when he did the unthinkable and announced that he would pay off EVERY DOLLAR of student loan debt for the entire graduating class…$34 million in total!!!! You talk about a graduation celebration!
This is what Jesus has done for us. Every single sin you and I commit in this lifetime must be atoned for in order for us to enter the Presence of God. Sin and God cannot co-exist, so God did the unthinkable and sent His Son to pay off EVERY DEBT our sin requires. Let that sink in for a moment...Ok, now go ahead and celebrate!
Going Deeper Questions:
Have you ever been in debt? Do you have a car payment or a mortgage? What would your reaction be if someone were to randomly pay off every penny?
Why can it be so difficult to get beyond our shortcomings and past mistakes and see ourselves as free from all shame and guilt like God does?
Is there something from your past that you consistently feel guilty or ashamed about? What does it mean that Jesus “canceled the record of the charges against you and took it away by nailing it to the cross?”
Pray: “God, thank You for paying off my debt! My sin is great, but Your love is greater. Help me to fully understand what it means to be forgiven of everything associated with any and all of my sin so that I can live the life that You created me to live. I declare that I am free and unhindered by my past thanks to Jesus!”
Theme - Jesus didn’t just pay for our sin; He made a way for us to be adopted into the very family of God!
Galatians 4:4-7 NLT But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Adoption is a powerful thing. We have many families in our church who have adopted children into their home. My mother-in-law and one of my brother-in-laws were adopted. Adoption does for a child what they cannot do for themselves - it makes them a member of a family. Parents go to great lengths and often incur tremendous costs to adopt a child who has done nothing to earn their affection other than be born and be in need of a home. And every time they do, they reflect the nature of God that Jesus put on display on the cross. He wasn’t just making a way for us to be forgiven of our sin; He was making a way for us to be adopted into the royal family of Heaven! And as in any adoption, the parents drive the process. God chose you, and God has made room in His family for you. The only thing you did was be born (again!) and be in need of a home.
Going Deeper Questions:
What does it mean to you to have God go to such great lengths and pay such a high price to adopt you into His family?
Pray: “Abba, I am grateful to be Your son/daughter. I am grateful that You would go to such great lengths to bring me into Your family. I am grateful that You would put Your name on me and that You chose me because You love me and not because I impress You in any way. Help me to fully understand my identity as Your son/daughter and not confuse who I am with what I do.”
Theme - Jesus’ finished work on the cross gives us intimate access to God’s Presence.
Mark 15:37-38 NLT Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
The curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was a constant reminder that humanity was unfit for the Presence of God due to sin. It separated the most holy place from the holy place. The most holy place was the dwelling of the Presence of God. It was so sacred that the high priest only went in once a year. And when he went in, it would only be after he had washed himself and put on special clothing. Then he would bring burning incense to let the smoke cover his eyes from a direct view of God, and bring sacrificial blood with him to make atonement for sins. He would have a rope tied around his waist so that he could be pulled back out should he drop dead because God found sin in him. They were so careful to ensure nobody could ever accidentally trip and fall into the most holy place that the curtain itself was believed to be about 60 feet high, 30 feet wide and up to 4 inches thick - it was said that 2 horses pulling opposite one another couldn’t tear the curtain and that it took 300 priests to get it in place! Thus the significance of Mark’s detail here. When Jesus finished His work, the barriers of sin that kept humanity from the intimacy of God’s Presence were torn away. Thanks to Jesus, nothing can keep you from enjoying God. No longer do we need a priest or religious leader to make constant atonement for our sin; Jesus took care of that. So I encourage you - live free and enjoy God’s Presence today!
Going Deeper Questions:
What is the significance of the Temple curtain being torn in two?
What does it look like for you to spend time in God’s Presence? What keeps you from taking this privilege for granted?
Pray: “Lord, I boldly enter Your Presence today. I want more of You and less of me. I am not here because I am holy enough or clean enough; I am here because Jesus has given me access. I thank You for this privilege, and I pray that You would help me take full advantage of it. Speak to me and minister to me and change me in Your Presence; don’t let me leave the same way I came in. When people see me today, I pray that they will recognize that I have been with You today.”
Theme - There is nothing more powerful than a clean conscience.
Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
At any time. In any moment. In any place. We can enter into the most holy place. We have direct access to the Presence of God. This is not based on OUR holiness, but instead based on His. At your best or at your worst, you have access to God. He sees you through your faith in the finished work of Jesus. Why don’t we take advantage of this more often? My guess is that it has to do with the guilt we feel for something we’ve done, and that guilt produces shame, and shame often causes us to hide from God rather than run to God. Can I encourage you today? God is big enough to handle your shame. Jesus’ finished work allows us to be forgiven and our conscience to be wiped clean. Give your shame to Jesus. Acknowledge your humanity and rely on His divinity. The Bible says He is faithful to forgive us and that He separates our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. There is nothing more powerful than a clean conscience. May you experience this power throughout your day today.
Going Deeper Questions:
What are you holding back from God because of shame? Search deep in your heart.
Why is a clean conscience so powerful?
If you have already acknowledged a mistake or shortcoming, what can anyone hold over you?
Pray: “God, I acknowledge my humanity in Your Presence today. I am here because You are holy, not me. But You see me through the finished work of Jesus, so I can stand here boldly in the forgiveness that comes in His name. Give me a clean conscience today as I humble myself before You. Keep me from pride’s grip and the temptation to hide my humanity. Help me to own my mistakes and to take responsibility for any bad attitudes I may have today so that the enemy has nothing to hold over me.