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Posts tagged ‘death’

Jesus The Dying King

85. Partake – Jesus The Dying King

Isaiah 52v13-14: See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—

Isaiah 53v10-11: Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Isaiah, centuries before Jesus’ birth, was speaking about Jesus. As we look together briefly at John 19, correlate the two passages and see how they interlink!

1. What of Jesus?

a. Jesus was Condemned

Pilate gave in an permitted the flogging and mockery in the hope of shaming Jesus’ accusers (John 19vs. 1-3)

Pilate affirmed Jesus’ innocence after the scourging (John 19v4)

Jesus’ refusal to answer stung Pilate into reminding Jesus of his Roman authority (John 19v10)

Jesus, however, corrected Pilate’s idea of authority and told him that although Pilate may have power on earth, his power did reach beyond earth (John 19v11).

Jesus knew that his work of bring people back to God in a loving relationship did not rest on the actions of a mere Roman governor.

Pilate was more concerned with his own position than he was for justice.

Jesus was the true Passover lamb.

b. Jesus was Crucified

Jesus bearing his own cross, was killed as a common criminal (John 19v17).

Pilate was responsible for fixing the sign “The King of the Jews” (John 19v21-22).

Clothes of condemned men were given to soldiers on duty (John 19v23).

Jesus showed concern for his mother, even when he himself was in agony, committing her to the Apostle John (John 19vs.26-27).

The crucifixion site “was purposely chosen to be outside the city walls because the Law forbade such within the city walls… for sanitary reasons… the crucified body was sometimes left to rot on the cross and serve as a disgrace, a convincing warning and deterrent to passers-by.” Sometimes, the subject was eaten while alive and still on the cross by wild beasts.

Jesus’ final moments – “ I am thirsty.” (John 19v28) and “ It is finished.” (John 19v30).

The desire of the Jews (John 19v32) to fulfil their rituals was important because the Sabbath fell within the Passover festival.

The breaking of legs (John 19vs.32-33) sped up the process of death.

The piercing of Jesus’ side, and the flow of blood and water proved Jesus was really dead (John 19v34).

c. Jesus was Buried

Joseph of Arimithea and Nicodemus buried Jesus. The significance of “in which no-one had ever been laid” (John 19v41) is to demonstrate that the body of Jesus at no point came into contact with the decay of a dead body.

2. What Has Jesus’ Death Done For All Mankind?

  • Our natural state – Romans 3v23 – (We are all sinners).
  • b) Forgiveness – Ephesians 1v7 – (God forgives our sins).
  • Peace – Romans 5v1 – (We have peace with God).
  • Reconciled us to God – 2 Corinthians 5v19 – (No longer enemies with God).
  • Justified us – Romans 3v24-26 – (Makes us just before God).
  • Cleanses us from sin – 1 John 1v7
  • Makes us right before God – 2 Corinthians 5v21
  • Gives us direct access to god – Ephesians 2v18
  • Freedom from the power of slavery to sin – Galatians 5v1
  • Freedom from the power of devil – Hebrews 2v 14
  • Gives us Christ’s intercession – Hebrews 2v17-18

None of the above things are true if we do not follow Jesus.

3. Why did Jesus go to the cross?

3a The problem!

Sin is what separates humans from God and as a consequence leads to both a spiritual and physical death (Romans 3v23, Romans 6v23, Isaiah 59v2). In the Old Testament, sins were dealt with by blood sacrifices of atonement as coverings for sin (Leviticus 17v11), for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin (Hebrews 9v22). A blood sacrifice is God’s way of dealing with sin. These blood sacrifices of the Old Testament signified several things:

·It provided a covering for sin.

·It showed the great cost of sin.

·It was an exchange or substitution.

·It was only always going to be a temporary measure as it pointed forward to Jesus’ death

3b. The Solution!

The solution lies not in continual animal sacrifice of the Old Testament because Hebrews 10v4 reminds us that the blood of animals cannot take away sin but was only a veneer or covering. That was why it was necessary to repeat time and time again! It is only through the death of Jesus, that sin is taken away (Hebrews 9:v11-15, 26-28), because Jesus is our permanent sacrificial substitute!

3c. Substitution

Jesus died for our sin, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3v18). That is how God is both just and the Justifier of sinners. That is why Jesus needed to be both fully God and fully human! If he lacked either, it would not be the full substitutionary sacrifice that was necessary to bear the permanent consequences of sin! When Jesus died on the cross, in our place, he bore the consequences of all sin – past, present and future. He therefore became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5v21) and it was His precious blood as a lamb without spot or blemish (1Peter 1:18-19) that fulfils God’s requirements permanently.

3d. Propitiation

Towards sin and sinful behaviour, God has great fury, anger and wrath (Jeremiah 21v5). Yet as Micah 7v18 “He is slow to anger and quick to forgive”. Propitiation basically means the turning aside of God’s anger by the offering of the sacrifice of Christ. God’s anger and judgment of sin falls on Christ, instead of us. We need to approach God to appease His anger, in order to accept it (Romans 3:25; Isaiah 53:5; John 2:2, 5:6).

1 John 2v2: He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4v10: This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice (or propitiation) to take away our sins.

3e. Redemption (Ransom) Mark 10:45

Not only was it propitiation, but also an act of redemption! In the time of the New Testament, this word was used to refer to the buying back of a slave – the price paid to buy the slave’s freedom. God paid redemption so that humans can be freed from the slavery to sin (John 8:35 Romans 7:14). The price was paid (1 Peter 1:18-19) and so we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). But it is our responsibility to choose that way! God does not coerce forcefully – He leaves it as a choice for humans to make as individuals.

What is our response to this to be? Sacrifice, substitution, propitiation and redemption can be summed up in one word: love. For 1 John 3v16 states: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Jesus told us to take up our cross if we are to follow Him as His Disciple (Luke 9v23). Are you as a Christian Disciple willing to take up your cross and do all you can do to love others?

Price to pay for true followers

  • We must surrender completely to Him
  • We must identify with Him in suffering and death
  • We must follow Him obediently, wherever He leads.

For more to think about please do read John 18-19. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

 

Q1. In the light of Jesus teaching about suffering under persecution, how far am I prepared to go as His disciple?

Q2. Why was it necessary that Jesus be both fully human and fully God?

Q3. How is Jesus a king and how does that affect my relationship with Him?

As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at partakes(at) googlemail.com. Thank you

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Easter – Jesus’ Last Breath

Way of the Cross

Way of the Cross – Taken when I visited Jerusalem during Holy Week in 1992… These Franciscan monks re-enact the walk of our Saviour Jesus Christ up the Via Dolorosa (Way of Grief/Suffering)…

Friday – Jesus’ Last Breath

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Isaiah 52v13-14: See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness-

Isaiah 53v10-11: Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Those words were spoken of the coming Messiah, by the prophet Isaiah centuries before Jesus Christ. Together we have looked at during this Easter series, Jesus’ mission and identity and have placed Him as the Messiah spoken about throughout the Old Testament, including Isaiah. We have looked at Jesus’ last teaching, last prayers and the events of his last night. Following his betrayal he is now facing trial in a Roman court, being interrogated by Pontius Pilate. Now, as we look together briefly at John 19, let us see what happened to Jesus Christ – His condemnation, crucifixion, death and burial.

(more…)

WISE – Sacrifice

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Sacrifice


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In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were to make sacrificial offerings to God, in order to worship and have fellowship with Him. For without sacrifice, nobody could enter God’s presence! But what does all this have to do with us in the 21st century.

In the book of Leviticus, God commanded that the cleansing of a defiled house required sprinkling with a mixture of blood and ‘living’ water, the bird having been slain over the water (Leviticus 14v51). Elsewhere we read of the ‘water of cleansing’ (Numbers 19), which is also called ‘living water’. This was water that had been sprinkled with the ashes of a young cow, and was kept aside for purification by sprinkling those who had touched a dead body. In both cases, this water had been cleansed by the shedding of blood and sacrifice. The cleansing was to be through the blood of sacrifice, applied through the sprinkled water. For there is no cleansing without the shedding of blood.

At the time of Ezekiel, Israel was in exile due to their sin and idolatry. They needed to be cleansed before being allowed back into their own country. Ezekiel 36v24-25 tell us that “God will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols.” This pointed forward to One, the Messiah, who would be slain as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

This One, was Jesus Christ who died for sin, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3v18). That is how God is both the Just and the Justifier of sinners. That is why if Jesus was not simultaneously fully God and fully human, His death on the cross would not be the full substitutionary sacrifice that was necessary to deal with the permanent consequences of sin! This substitution was the sin offering sacrifice, required so that Jesus as the Lamb of God could take away the sins of the world (John 1v29). Jesus became sin for people (2 Corinthians 5v21) and it was His blood as the lamb without spot or blemish (1Peter 1:18-19) that permanently fulfils God’s righteous requirements.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are no longer defiled and you have no need to make sacrifices to God, in order to enter His presence, worship Him or have fellowship with Him. Jesus, who is your living water and your sacrificial lamb, gives you permanent access to God. You may no longer be called to make sacrifices, but you are called to be a sacrifice. You are to be a living sacrifice that continually offers sacrifices of praise to God! You do this, through a whole life totally devoted to God, doing good and sharing (Hebrews 13v15-16)! By doing this, you help Jesus’ church revolutionise the world! May it be so. Thank you.

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Remember

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Colossians 3v1-4

“Remember Who You Are!”

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3:1 If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.

3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.

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About six years ago, I slipped into a coma on a Saturday evening. But that story is a bit of a bore and not really important. After a couple of days in hospital, I woke up and there was a face of a pretty woman peering down at me, smiling and asking “Do you remember who you are?” My response was “Of course I do!! But who are you, and what have you done with my wife”. And that is the same for us as Christians. If we are listening, we are constantly being reminded by God the Holy Spirit, of our status before God if we are His children. The Holy Spirit is always there behind us, reminding us, that we are now His children and not His enemy, and therefore to stop living as if we were His enemy. In these verses, Paul reminds us of our identity.

This morning we are going to look at primarily our new identity and five facts about our Christian identity…

Doctrine and morality

What we believe, is intrinsically caught up with how we behave. When at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the last century, the church started questioning the central core of our beliefs about Jesus, that was the beginning of a long slide into moral decay. If the synods back then had stamped out doctrinal decay, then the synods today would not be discussing the moral decay within the church today and whether something is right or not. If the 5 facts before us in these 4 verses weren’t watered down by the church itself back then, and in some segments now, then perhaps we wouldn’t be asking the moral questions that are now being asked of us.

1. What are we to do with this Jesus if we claim to be his followers and in relationship with him?

These five things are fact. They are not hypothesis. They are not theory. They are not merely symbolic. They are existent facts about us. We are not marked as Christians because we go to Church regularly, though its a good idea if we do. We are not marked as Christians because we were baptized, though I hope that we are. We are not marked outwardly as Christians because we go to a Bible College, though its a good place to be, and none better than Moorlands. We are marked as Christians, not because of any outwardly visible mark, but here Paul tells us what marks us out as Christians.

a. We died with Christ (3a). Paul expounds this fully in his letter to the Romans. Jesus not only died for us, but we died with Him. Christ not only died for sin, but died unto sin to break its power. Through the work of the Holy Spirit we are in Christ. We died with Christ. We can conquer our old sinful nature if we want to. Our new identity is Christ and we have died with Him. You have died with Christ.

b. We are raised with Christ (1a). Just as we died with Christ, we are also raised with Christ. It is a fact that we are raised with Him and we rule with him, seated at the right hand of the Father. Our new identity is Christ and we have been raised with Him. You have been raised with Christ.

c. We live with Christ (4a). As Christian people, Jesus is our life and our eternal life, is Jesus. We are dead to sin, yet alive to Christ. Our new identity is Christ and we live with Him. You live with Christ.

d. We are hidden with Christ (3b). For those of you who like a good mystery, here is one for you. We are hidden with Him!! We no longer belong to this world, but we belong to Christ. We are hidden with him in heaven. That is not to say we are to neglect our earthly duties and responsibilities, but that our motives and strengths come from heaven. Our new identity is Christ and it is hidden with Him. You are hidden with Christ.

e. We will be glorified with Christ (4b). When Christ comes again, we will see Him face to face. When Christ comes again, He will take us home. We shall enter eternal glory. So, we will not be hidden with Christ perpetually because when Christ is revealed in glory, we too shall be revealed in glory. We already have some of this glory, but one day the full extent of this glorification will be revealed. Our new identity is Christ, and we will be glorified with Him when He comes to take us home… You will be glorified with Christ when He comes again in glory to take you home.

These five events… These five facts cover all three tenses in time – past, present and future… In the past, we died and were raised with Christ. In the present, we live with Christ and we are hidden with Him. In the future, when He comes again, we will be glorified with Him.

And because we share in Jesus’ death, resurrection and future glorification, we are to stop sinning. We are to stop thinking about ways in which to sin. This is what Paul says in verse 2. Our feet are to be in this world, but our minds are to be with Jesus, focusing on ways in which to serve Him, day in and day out. Look at the list of things we are to put to death in verses 5-10. That list is not conclusive. Don’t sin is the message, and yet we continue to do so…

I long for perfection. I yearn it. Even when as a child, being dragged up irreligiously, I longed to be perfect. Yet, every time I succumb to temptation, and therefore disobey God, and sin, I forget who I am. I forget my new identity. I forget that I am a child of the Living God. I forget that I have died with Christ. I forget that I have been raised with Him. I forget that I live in Him. I forget that I am hidden in Him. I forget that one day He is coming again and that I, Dave Roberts, will be glorified with Him. When we sin, it is as if I am telling the Holy Spirit to rack off and leave me alone… Instead we should be telling our three enemies to rack off… Tell old hairy legs Satan to depart from you. Tell the world to get lost. Tell your old nature, that it is dead and you have a new nature to which you seek to serve.

By keeping our minds and hearts set upon Him, talk to yourself. Talking to yourself is actually a sign of maturity. Tell yourself these five things to help you in your Christian life. You have died with Christ. You have been raised with Christ. You live with Christ. You are hidden in Christ. You will be glorified with Christ. Paul elsewhere in his other letters, says “Have you forgotten who you are?” Immerse yourself in the Bible.

Steinbeck – “obsolescent religion.” Travels with Charley.

Only use, if there is a great deal of time… Who is this Jesus we worship. Was he just a man? Was he just a god? Or was he both? Lets look together and find out.

2. Jesus – fully human.

That Jesus was a man is not really disputed. Scripture says that he was born of a woman which in itself tells us that prenatally he was nurtured and formed in the womb as any other male baby was and is. His genealogical line is given. He grew into manhood as any young Jewish boy did. With his humanity, he exhibited normal human emotions such as love, weeping, sadness, anger and anguish. Jesus ate and drank. He had a body and a soul. He undertook the baptism of John, just as others had done. Jesus grew tired, he slept & perspired. Religiously, he worshipped as a Jew. Jesus died, just as all mortal people do. He was human in every way that we are – physically, mentally and emotionally. The only exception is that he was sinless. His humanity is beyond question, though unlike us, he was sinless.

Jesus needed to be fully human for various reasons.

a. so that his death could sacrificially atone for us.

b. so that he can empathize and pray for us.

c. Jesus exhibited true and perfect humanity.

d. due to his perfect humanity, Jesus is to be our example to follow.

e. true human nature is good.

f. Jesus shows that while God is transcendent, He is not so far removed from us that He can’t interact with his creation.

3. Jesus’ deity

Jesus’ deity and the Incarnation are central and basic teaching of historic Christianity as it is central to God’s eternal plan of salvation. God’s salvation plan for humans involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this. Because of this, God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so as to live every facet of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so as to defeat sin, death and the grave. Jesus, being sinless (Heb.4:15), was this God-man, consisting as he was of two complete natures: the God nature and the human nature.

Anselm the church father observed that God had formed Adam without mother and father and had formed Eve without mother and father but from a man. So he could certainly form Jesus, without the usual sexual reproduction process, from a woman.

Recapitulation

  • Remember who you are.
  • Remember your identity.
  • Remember you have died with Christ,
  • Remember you have been raised with Christ.
  • Remember you have new life in Christ – NOW!!.
  • Remember you are hidden with Christ – NOW!!.
  • Remember you will be glorified with Christ when He comes again.

Conclusion

Therefore let us conclude. We are to focus our minds on Him for heavenly reasons. We are to let heaven fill our thoughts. In another translation, verse 2 reads “habitually set your mind on things above”.

Jesus was fully-god and fully-man. It is this Jesus we claim to follow. Be assured of your identity. Remember who you are. Stop sinning and remember who you are – a child of the living God. Cast off all that hinders your Christian growth. Live for Him and make a difference in a world that is dying without knowledge of Him. Most of all, as a motivation to aspire to live a perfect life in honour of Him – remember who you are, and I don t mean just your name!! Remember….

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