Matt Hagee - Headline News
Today, we're discussing "Headline News" because headlines are these stories that drown out every other story that's being told in the week, in the month, in the year. When you look at the headlines of newspapers, sometimes they cause time to stop and stand still with what they report because it's so earth shaking. Consider some of the headlines that have grabbed the attention of the world over the last 100 years. In 1912, on April 16th, the New York Times posted the headline: "Titanic sinks four hours after it hit the iceberg". October 25th, 1929, maybe the greatest understatement of all time, but it says, "Wall Street Crashes". Wall Street didn't crash, it collapsed, sending this country into the great depression.
December 8, 1941, "The Los Angeles Times" carried the headlines that Pearl Harbor had been bombed, sending the United States into four years of World War II. December 22nd, 1963, the assassination of J.F.K. July 21st, 1969, Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. September 12th, 2001, it says, "War on America," as the terror attacks of 9/11 had hit New York and Washington, D.C. These are just a few of the headlines that we can recall, and we remember where we were, and we remember what we were doing because all of a sudden, breaking news caused us to pause and reflect on the world that we were living in.
Let me tell you about a headline that is going to be written soon and very soon. It's a headline that's going to say, "Millions have disappeared and vanished from every nation and from every continent in the world". Those who called upon Jesus Christ cannot be found. Graveyards are empty. Churches are packed. Tables with food are set but nobody's there to eat it. Cars have been abandoned going down the road. Why? Because the trump of God has sounded, the dead in Christ have risen, and we who are alive have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air! Give the Lord a shout of praise for what he's going to do soon and very soon!
And as marvelous as that headline is going to be for those who are gone in the twinkling of an eye, I believe that the greatest headline that has ever been given was spoken by the greatest life that has ever been lived. And that comes from the words of Jesus Christ that we read in John 19, beginning at verse 28. If you're there, say, amen. "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, 'i thirst'. And a vessel of sour wine was sitting there, and there they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth". Verse 30: "So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'it is finished'. And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit".
Heavenly Father, thank you for what you have given us through Jesus Christ, your son. Thank you that the work that he did at the cross is completed and the price for our sin has been paid. Help us to remember today who we are because of what Christ has done, and how we have this victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil because of your son and our Savior. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. "It is finished". If there was ever a headline that you would want to read and remember, it's captured in these three words: "It is finished". Without question, the life of Jesus Christ was nothing but one headline after another, beginning with the statement that John the Baptist made when he saw Jesus walking on the banks of the Jordan. He pointed to him, and he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world"! That headline should have echoed throughout all of Israel, but no one understood exactly what John meant. "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" is the same one that was spoken of in Genesis 3, spoken by God, who said, "The seed of the woman would come and crush the head of the serpent".
"The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" is the fulfillment of what David wrote in Psalms 118 when he said, "This is the day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be made glad in it". David was saying that when Jesus comes, we'll rejoice because the price of our sin has been paid. He's saying, when Jesus comes, we'll rejoice because, "By his stripes, we have been healed". He's saying, we'll be glad because the chains of death have been broken, the shackles of the grave have been shattered, the yoke of your yesterday is destroyed. Do you want to know some headline news? The headline news is this: "Jesus Christ has come to earth. He has died and risen again, and we'll never be the same"! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
He captured the moment with these words: "It is finished". When we read them, we read them as if it's a sigh of surrender. But I don't want you to hear it that way today. This is no sigh of surrender: this is a shout of triumph. Read what verse 28 says. "Jesus, knowing that all things had been fulfilled". That statement right there lets us know that Jesus was in total control. The situation hadn't gotten beyond his ability to be King of kings and Lord of lords. He knew that every prophecy was fulfilled. He knew that every objective under heaven had been achieved. He knew that the purposes of God were complete: and therefore, he had an announcement to make. He wanted every angel in heaven to know that what God had planned from the foundations of the earth, it is finished. He wanted every power and principality who had been kicked out of heavenly places in the fall with Lucifer that it was finished: that now, because of what Christ had done, those who were outside had been grafted inside.
Now, because of what Christ had done, the royal blood of heaven was flowing in man's veins. Now it is finished. If we speak the name of Jesus, powers and principalities must submit. If we plead the blood of Jesus, the plans that they had for us are canceled. If we pray the name of Jesus, no weapon formed against us would ever prosper. "It is finished". It's an eviction notice on every burden you ever carried. "It is finished". It is the breaking of every yoke that's ever been placed upon you. "It is finished" is the shattering of every chain you've ever worn. Because whom the son sets free is free indeed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
1 Corinthians 1:18, it says, "The preaching of the cross to those who perish is foolishness. But to those who are saved". Say that with me. "To those who are saved. It is the power of God". The question is, which one of those groups are you in? Because there's only two types in this world, those who are perishing, and those who are saved. If you're perishing, messages like this are irritating because you have no idea what we're so excited about. But if you're saved, people say, "What do you mean, 'saved'"? I'm saved from the power of sin. You see, before Jesus, I was a slave to sin. Whatever sin told me to do, I had to do. Wherever it told me to go, I had to go. Whoever it told me to be, I had to be. But when Jesus came in, he saved me from the power of sin. And now old things have passed away: and behold, all things are new to those who are in Christ Jesus.
I'm not only saved from the power of sin, I'm saved from the price of sin. For Romans tells us that the wages of sin is death. And when you do work, you earn wages. It's expected. Well, when you lived in sin, the work that you did in sin earned you something, and it was a death sentence. Understand this: your debt has not been forgiven: your debt has been fulfilled. Someone who knew no sin, for your sake became sin. And when he died and announced, "It is finished," he was letting death, hell, and the grave know that the price on my head and the price on your head had been fully paid! Jesus paid it all! All to him I owe! Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
I'm saved from the pain of sin. The price of sin is death. The pain of sin is guilt and shame and all of the things that you carry around because of the life you used to live. But the Bible says, "Where sin did abound, his grace did that much more abound". Romans says, "There is no condemnation unto those who are in Christ Jesus". My past is under the blood. My life is in his hand. My future is filled with his promises. Why? Because I'm saved! Hallelujah! I'm saved!
Christ made an announcement when he was on the cross: "It is finished". So the question should be, if it is finished, why are you still carrying it around? If it is finished, why are you still worried about it? You see, Calvary was not the beginning of a process: Calvary was the fulfillment of a plan. The New Testament says, "He is the lamb slain from the foundations of the earth". That means before creation began in Genesis, God knew that his son would have to die. And he created heaven and earth anyway. It was always God's plan. It was not something that God created as a solution, it was his plan before time began. It was God's gift to each and every one of us who are willing to receive it. For the Bible says, "To as many as received him..." Understand that Jesus is available to anyone who wants to receive him. "To as many as received him, to them, he gave the power to become sons of God". Ephesians 2: "It is by grace that you have been saved. It is the gift of God". "It's the gift of God that no man can boast".
When someone gives you a gift, the only thing that you have to do to enjoy it is open it up. When Jesus said, "It is finished," what he was letting you know is that everything was perfect and everything was complete. All you have to do is open up your life and your heart and receive him. Revelation 12:11 tells us of a group of believers that overcame the enemy. It says, "They overcame him", the devil, "By the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony". You can't overcome the devil without the blood of Jesus Christ. But you need to understand that the word of your testimony is what Jesus Christ has done in your life. It's by the blood and the word of what he did in your marriage. It's the blood and the word of what he did in your business, what he did when he paid the price for you, what he did when he laid down his life for you, what he did when he made a way where there seemed to be no way for you, what he did when he brought you into the family of God. Your testimony is "He did it". To God be the glory!
Great things he has done! Because Christ did it, we should live for him. Because Christ did it, we should tell others about him. If you could have done it, if you could have worked out the sin problem on your own, then you could take the credit, but you could not. You couldn't break the generational curses of your past. You couldn't overcome the bitterness and guilt and pain of your yesterday. You couldn't pay high enough a price. So you and I have nothing to boast or brag about except Jesus Christ. Romans 8 says, "You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear". Paul is saying that when you came to Christ, you didn't come to Christ so that you could continue to live in fear. You received the spirit of adoption. "By whom we cry, 'Abba father'".
Now, this is a beautiful scripture because it is intimately describing the close nature of the relationship that you have with God because of Jesus. You see, Jesus, the Son of God, he has an intimate relationship with God his father in heaven. And the intimate term that you give to your father is "Abba". It's like saying "Daddy". And what Jesus is saying is, because you have now been adopted, you are so close to God the Creator of heaven and earth that all you have to do is whisper his name. And you don't have to be formal about it. You can just say, "Daddy," and he knows who you are. He knows what you sound like. He wants to hear from you. You've received the spirit of adoption, meaning that you now belong to the family of God. You belong to God your father in heaven. You are his child. You are his son. You are his daughter. "It is finished". Start acting like it. Sons and daughters, they don't doubt their father's love.
So many Christians, "I wonder if God loves me". God loves you so much: he gave his only begotten son to die for you. Sons and daughters, they don't worry about their father's provision. "I wonder if God will meet my need". If he doesn't meet your need, then he's not the God of the Bible. He is all-sufficient. He said, "I will supply your need according to my riches in glory". Children don't doubt provision: children live in provision. Every time I bring my children to the breakfast table, do you know what they don't do? They don't doubt who paid for the eggs. They just eat them. But so often, as children of God, "Oh, I wonder what God's going to do. I wonder what God's going to do".
Let me tell you: God is going to take care of you. Why? Because he said he would. Most importantly, children don't doubt their identity. They know who they are. They know where they belong. And you need to understand, as a child of God, your identity is that you are an heir and a joint heir with Jesus. There's a headline that you need to receive and believe: "You are a child of the Most High God". The royal blood of heaven is flowing in your veins. Live like it. You are the head and not the tail. You are above only and not beneath. Act like it. You are more than a conqueror through Christ. Talk like it. Let the world know that greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. Walk like it. Wherever you go, let the joy of the Lord be your strength. And let the redeemed of the Lord say so! "It is finished".
People say, "Well, what about"? I don't care what your "What about" is: it's finished. "Well, what about my family history"? It's finished. Old things have passed away. "Oh, no, no, no, no. You see, we come from a long line of troubled past". It's gone. We've got addictive behaviors. We've got divorced homes. We've got a long list of bondage and misery. Don't let your long list of bondage seem like it can overpower the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ has conquered it. "It is finished". What you need to understand is that there is not any man or any expert or any source that gave his life for you: there's only one who gave his life for you, and his name is Jesus Christ. Therefore, it doesn't matter what they say. It doesn't matter what the experts write. It doesn't matter what the forecast is.
Listen to me, child of God. Jesus Christ is on his throne and everything is going to be alright! "It is finished". It's a headline that we have to share. This world is in desperate need of good news, and the church has that good news. The problem that we have is not the story: it's the fact that we're not telling others. We've gotten good at having church, but we need to remember what it is to be the church. Psalm 107 says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so". And when we, the redeemed, start saying so, you're going to see this world change. How different would this nation be if the redeemed of the Lord would stop arguing, stop debating, stop discussing, and just start telling others what Jesus did?
You say, "Well, I could never do that". Sure, you can. Colossians 2:14 and 15, it says that, "Jesus nailed our sins to the cross. He disarmed powers and principalities, and he made a public spectacle of them". The point is this: every enemy that you ever had has already been defeated. So if they have already been defeated, why are you giving them your victory? Jesus said, "It is finished". In this life, you will either live in the triumph of the cross or you will carry the burdens of your past. Many people look to the cross for salvation but they don't look to the cross for triumph. Where does the triumph begin? Peter said it this way: "Cast all of your cares on him".
The problem that many of us suffer with is Christ can't carry your burden because you won't cast your burden. He's not going to take it from you: you have to give it to him. You have to say, "Lord, I trust you with this". Solomon said this in Proverbs: "In all of your ways, acknowledge him," in the big ways and the small ways. Many people look to the cross when they want forgiveness from sin but they don't look to the cross when they're looking for provision. They don't look to the cross when they're looking for peace. They don't look to the cross when they're looking for answers in their life. I come to church and I look to the cross and say, "Thank you, Jesus, that I'm saved". But then I go to work and I hear about the economy and I call my CPA. I'm not saying that expert advice isn't useful.
What I am telling you is your CPA is not your provider: Jesus Christ is. People look to the cross and they're so glad for what Jesus did. But then they look to the world and they're overwhelmed and they're worried and they're losing their peace. Listen to me. No matter what you need in this life, look to the cross. Look to Jesus. You want provision? Look to your provider who died in your place. You want hope? Look to the cross because there the weak become strong. You want peace? Embrace the triumph of the cross and you'll have peace that the world didn't give and the world can't take away.
It's the cross where Christ exchanged his glory for your shame. It's the cross where you received his prosperity and his provision. It's at the cross that he became your righteousness, that he took your sorrow and he gave you joy: that he took your sickness and he gave you divine health: that he took your doubts and your fears and he gave you confidence in Christ that cannot be shaken. Child of God, if you want victory today, look to Jesus! The enemy will use the news of the world to try and steal your joy. Don't let him do it. Proclaim the cross. Say in faith:
Because of the cross, my future is filled with hope. Because of the cross, my home is a refuge from this world. Because of the cross, my business is going to prosper. Because of the cross, my marriage is going to be stronger than ever. Because of the cross, my sick body will walk in health and healing. Because of the cross, there is no fear in my life. Because of the cross, all doubts are erased because I can do all things through Christ! Because of the cross, I am more than a conqueror and victory is mine!
"It is finished". Live like it. Talk like it. And tell others about it. This is good news, too good to keep to yourself. So share it with someone who's got a broken life and let them see what Jesus can put back together. Share it with somebody who's in great need and let them see Jesus as their provider. Share it with somebody who is bound so that they can see what Jesus can do when he sets you free. It's good news. Share it with those who are deep in sorrow so that they can feel the fullness of joy. It's good news. So tell the world until every person has heard and every heart has had the chance to receive what Jesus Christ has done for you and me when he was nailed to a cross and declared, "It is finished".