Radio Broadcast Tuesday 12/01/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P23 (12-01-20)

Synopsis

Have you ever loved to read history books? Were you there when president John F. Kennedy was assassinated? Did you see what happened on live television? What if you were one of the disciples who saw what happened to Jesus? How would that impact your life? Would it be just an event in history to say that you know that horrible event happened to him? By knowing that president Kennedy died, did that make a difference in your life today? Maybe it did in some way, if you realized what could have happened if he never died? In the case of Jesus of Nazareth, do you see a deeper meaning, a greater purpose for what He came to do, when he died only to be raised to new life again on the third day?

Jesus fulfilled a plan that was recorded even in Genesis 1:1, if you look carefully at every Hebrew symbol and know the numerical meaning of that symbol, and how those combinations of symbols map out a future unfolding of events. Think about what the prophet Isaiah said.

Isaiah 46:10
10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

What was in the heart of God when he created man with free will? What was in His foreknowledge when, because man was created with free will, that man would become lost, dead to God, without the Spirit of God living in him, who had to leave because of sin. Jesus fulfilled the master plan laid out by God, the master plan that is full of patterns and details, and revealed by the Spirit to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. In that plan is the plan to redeem lost mankind back to Himself.

We have gone through many prophecies, that were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ, to the precise detail, even details of how he would be betrayed by a close friend, for thirty pieces of silver, and would be later used to purchase a field known as a field of blood, of how he would be beaten beyond recognition, spit on and mocked, and he would be silent like a lamb before his accusers. He would be betrayed into the hands of men, all to fulfill prophecy, for Jesus said.

John 10:17-18
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

So again, why did Jesus die? He died for you and me. He did not die for himself, for he had no sin worthy of death. Could not he have called upon 10,000 legions of angels to prevent his going to death on a cross? He could but it would not be the fulfillment of the only plan to redeem mankind. God is love and He cannot do what is contrary to who He is.

Our sins earned death for us. So the punishment for sin is death and that debt we owed had to be paid for. For God to be a perfectly just God, He sent Jesus to pay that price and Jesus loved the Father and did all that His Father asked of Him to say and do. But we cannot pay that debt because it is too great a price to pay. Jesus became sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

What was the meaning of his resurrection? If he was not raised, then we are still dead in our sins and are without hope. Sin caused our death, and was solved by the cross, but death is a greater problem than sin. Death can only be solved by life. So he was raised to new life so that that same life that raised him from the dead can raise you and me from the dead. How is that possible? He is alive and He is God.

Recall that Jesus is God in human flesh. God is eternal. He is eternal life. He has eternal life in His name. If God lives, and always lives, then He can always intercede for you and me. How? Sin has already been forgiven once and for all when he shed his blood on a cross. All that he is waiting for, is for you and me to recognize your utter wretchedness, your need of a Savior, to turn from believing in what you can do to what Christ alone accomplished for you. You have a change in heart, that you want to have His new life to be placed in you, to be lived out through you. You turn to Him to ask for the life He came to give you, His very life.

Transcript

We resume our study in A Closer Look at Jesus Christ, in Chapter 6: Biblical Prophecies about Jesus Christ. When you have taken a closer look at Him, I do not know what else there is to see. You have seen all there is to see. We thank God for that. In this particular study, on the biblical prophecies concerning Jesus, turn to Luke 24:44, our key verse in our study.

Luke 24:44
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

So Jesus was saying to his followers at that time that he said, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”. In essence he was saying, “Those were the words, when you saw me in my humanity before my resurrection, the words you heard me speak.” Those were the words of God Himself. The essence of that is “that all of the things were written about me in the Old Testament are going to have to be fulfilled.”

You look back there in the Old Testament, finding over 300 prophecies that had to be fulfilled in a single person called the promised Messiah. Every one of those prophecies was totally fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He did not come to this planet half-haphazard. Neither are we living here half-hazard. There is an unfolding plan. What is logical to me is that I believe we are in that winding down period of this huge plan. It is my desire for that to be so. I am ready to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. I am ready for His rapture to come and to take away the saints and His children and to bring an end to this vile land that we live in today. I am not talking about the United States but the entire world.

So, Jesus walked on the earth and the only bible he ever had in his hand was the Old Testament. That was the only one he ever quoted out of and the only one he ever used. It was not that he did not like the New Testament, for it had not been written yet. So what he read, studied and literally authored through the Holy Spirit is the word of God that prophesied through the foreknowledge of God, every single thing that was going to happen in this world he wanted us to know about and where he fit in every one of those prophecies.

As we begin our study in chapter 6, we talked about the prophecies in Micah, his place of birth, the prophet Isaiah who talked about his miraculous birth and childhood in Egypt, where he had written, “out of Egypt I called my son” and what Hosea also wrote about, Isaiah wrote again about a voice calling in the wilderness.

Isaiah 40:3
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah was thus announcing John the baptist as the one preparing the way of the Lord. In Isaiah, was recorded about Jesus ministry beginning in Galilee, by way of the Gentiles, which was of course fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Then the prophet Isaiah spoke of the miracles to be performed through the Messiah to come, how he would open the eyes of the blind and make the ears of the deaf to be unstopped, the lame to leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb to shout for joy, the waters to break forth in the wilderness and the streams flow in desert lands. We talked about his public entry into Jerusalem and Zechariah wrote about that. What we know today as his triumphal entry in Jerusalem, humble, riding on donkey. We talked about his betrayal to take place, and not a normal betrayal but a betrayal by a close and trusted friend. David wrote about that.

Psalm 41:9
9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

That happened to king David. It happened to Jesus. In reality, it happens to people who are still in the ministry today. It talks about the fact that a friend betrayed him and he betrayed him to people in order for gain. He was paid thirty pieces of silver. Again, a miraculous prophecy. It was not 31 or so but exactly 30 pieces. The prophet Zechariah wrote about that. They were to weigh out 30 shekels of silver for turning over the Messiah, the betrayal from his best friend. That was fulfilled in Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his best friend. It talked about the price for that Potter’s field. When Judas came back, repented, changed his mind, realized he turned over his master, he came back and said, “take this back”. The Pharisees said “No, we cannot take that. We do not care. We already got him. But if you want to turn the money back, then throw it into the Potter’s field”. Today, in Israel, there is a place called the Potter’s field.

We talked about his suffering. In Isaiah 50, we talked about the beginning of his suffering, of how he gave his back to those who struck him and his cheek to those who plucked his beard and he did not cover his face from humiliation and spitting. So we realize how that was fulfilled at the cross.

Another prophet in Isaiah 50, of course, where he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities, the chastening for our well being fell upon him. By his scourging we are healed. It was Christ taking our punishment for us that enabled us to be healed spiritually. By having a substitutionary death, taking a debt I owed that I could not pay. It was paid by the one who paid a debt he did not owe. You and I are healed today. We are healed spiritually today. We are new creatures in Christ today because of the substitutionary death of Christ Jesus, and of course, his resurrection, which enabled us to be born again, raised from the dead.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That eternal life is through one person and one person only, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

We will study three separate prophecies concerning the sufferings of Christ Jesus that, of course, were all fulfilled by the person of Christ Jesus Himself at the cross. This, of course, being recorded in the gospel of Matthew.

Let us look at the prophecies, three different prophets at three different times, Micah, written about 500 B.C., then King David in the Psalms, some 1000 years B.C., and then Isaiah, written about 700 B.C.

Micah 5:1
1 Marshal your troops now, city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.

Psalms 69:21
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

Isaiah 52:14
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness

Those three prophecies all took place at the cross. We can pick up on that in Matthew 27:27-34.

Matthew 27:27-34
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.

That tied into what King David wrote, “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”

Matthew 27:46-48
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[Psalm 22:1]

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

Again, this fulfilled the prophecy about giving him gall for food, vinegar to drink, and then talking about how he was marred more than any man. Friends, as I talked about last week, we sometimes see pictures of a crucifixion. We look at those pictures of a crucifixion, and we kind of see Jesus there and looking intact and sort of nice, with a beard, but we do not realize his face was absolutely unrecognizable. By the time that they finished with him, there was nothing recognizable about him at all. Those governor’s soldiers were not light weights. They were huge men. As we are told, they took something like a bag over his face and hit him and said mockingly, “Prophesy. Who hit you?”. Then they would turn him around and hit him again, saying again, “Who hit you this time?” It says that he was marred more than any man and his form more than the sons of man. You can imagine going to sticking a robe on somebody, beating him half to death, and then taking the robe after the blood dried, jerking it off of him, and seeing the unbelievable torture that took place.

Then, he is later taken to the cross, and hanging there on a cross, with nails in his hands and feet, and his cry is heard, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That is the same words we read from the Psalms.

Psalm 22:1
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

At any rate, it starts off, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, and then it describes in detail that death by crucifixion. It is an unbelievable prophecy that we see.

For when Jesus talked about the fact that everything written in the Psalms and prophets, in essence the Old Testament, about him had to be fulfilled, that is exactly what he was talking about. Every single one of them had to be fulfilled.

We talked about this type of a crucifixion that took place. In the book we described there that the whippings of a person prior to crucifixion is described by John Mattingly.

The whipping of a victim prior to crucifixion is described by John Mattingly: “The adjudged criminal was usually first forcefully stripped of his clothes, and then tied to a post or pillar in the tribunal. Then the awful and cruel scourging was administered by the lictors or scourgers.”

The brutal instrument used to scourge the victim was called a flagrum. Of this device Mattingly comments:

“It can readily be seen that the long, lashing pieces of bone and metal would greatly lacerate human flesh.”

The sufferer’veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews and bowels of the victim were open to exposure. As the Scripture tells us, He was beaten as no man has been beaten (Isaiah 52:14).

John Mattingly, citing John Peter Lange, says:
“Although the normal scourging was administered by lictors, there were no lictors at Pilate”s disposal, so he used the soldiers. Thus, from the very character of these low, vile soldiers, it may be supposed that they exceeded the brutality meted out by the lictors.”

Isaiah 52:14
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness

So, when you see Christ crying out and in Psalm 22:1, it goes on to describe that.

Psalm 22:1
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

People asked me, “Why did Christ cry that from the cross?” Do you mean God turned His back on him? You have all kinds of thoughts that take place like that. When Christ took upon himself the sins of the world, it was not to tough out the beating. It was taking upon himself the sins of the world, literally becoming sin for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The Spirit of God had to depart from Adam when Adam sinned. The Spirit of God had to depart from Jesus when he took upon our sin. The forsaking, taking sin upon himself, for someone who had never seen sin, who took upon every vile thought of man. What Jesus was doing on his cry on the cross was pointing us back to Psalm 21 for the purpose of letting people know it is not an accident, but this is all a part of prophecy and all a part of the plan of God for the redemption of man. He cried out in that Psalm.

Psalm 22:6-8
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Psalm 22:14-18
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.

So Jesus fulfilled all that was written in the Psalms. It is amazing isn’t it? Here is a prophecy in Psalms written a thousand years prior to this event, describing death by crucifixion before there was anything such as death by crucifixion. Jesus is pointing us back to that fact that what you are seeing take place today on this cross is a prophecy. It is all in the plan of God. Just as man fell, man had to be redeemed. The only one who can redeem a fallen man is a holy God. So Jesus went to that cross. There at that cross, he reconciled us unto Himself.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.

Surely as the prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53:4
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

We thought God was punishing him. But he was pierced for our transgressions, not his, our iniquities, not his.

Isaiah 53:5-6
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

We are talking about Christ’s substitutionary death for us, reading from Isaiah 53:4-6. He carried our sorrows. We ourselves see him stricken. It is amazing to me how man could stand there watching God, a sinless human being dying on a cross, and saying God is punishing him for his afflictions. The self righteousness of man is unbelievable. How easy it is for us to look at the faults of others and be so blind to our own. That is why Jesus said this.

Matthew 7:3-5
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Jesus came to even die for those sins. Peter spoke of this also.

1 Peter 2:21-25
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[Isaiah 53:9]

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[Isaiah 53:4-6] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

So, Christ took our sins upon Himself. How did he bear our sins? He took it upon Himself.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

How many sins did he die for? He died for all of them.

John 15:13
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Romans 5:8
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

So, Christ went and paid that price for us who could never pay that price. What literally happened was Christ paid a debt he did not owe so you and me who owed a debt we could not pay. Folks, as we are going through these studies, through this substitutionary death, Christ’s death on a cross and His sufferings for you and me, we have to personalize this. We have to go beyond just looking at that as an historical event that took place. Unfortunately, many times, we look at the things that took place with Jesus not much differently than we would look at something that took place with Abraham Lincoln. We study the death of Christ on a cross and we study the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s theater by John Wilkes Booth and put that in the same category the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We put all those things in the same category. We study those and ponder over, not so much Lincoln, but with John F. Kennedy. Many were alive when that took place. The event was very real. There was no doubt in my mind that was occurring. We saw that on live television while it was happening. We experienced remorse and heartache of the needless death of a human being in that particular time. Historically, you would stand up and give your life over the fact that event occurred. Many times Christians will say the same thing. “I will give my life believing that event occurred.” That is one you will stand up to, to do that, but what is the meaning to it? Was there meaning to John F. Kennedy’s death? Well, maybe this, this and this. You might have to study to come up with meaning for those things.

But with Christ, there was a meaning to that. It was for the total salvation of you and me. All of us have gone astray. All of us need to return to the Shepherd. We all need healed. I am not talking about getting your leg straightened. I am talking about healing spiritually. What a healing is is life. So when Christ died on a cross, and was raised from the dead, it is not just an historical event to give an assent to. Mentally I assent to that, that that event took place. That does not save anybody. That is like walking into a kitchen and seeing mom or grandmother cooking a phenomenal meal. I believe mom cooked a meal and then starved to death because you never bothered to eat it but you sure believed it was cooked. There are people who would bet that you could testify that you saw that event. I will give my life to the event that it occurred but you do not know what that means. And all that happened is not what it seems.

That is why you have court systems today. If everybody that got arrested was guilty, you would not need a court system. You might eliminate all lawyers and that might not be a bad idea. And all court systems in the country. If the police arrested you, people just sent to jail. But it is not always what it seems. The world works that way. So you have to go back and say what is the meaning to this thing? With Christ’ death on a cross, there was a meaning to it. What it meant to you and me was far beyond just an event. He is doing that for you. “I am not dying on a cross for someone to say, ‘He died on a cross.’ I am not raised from the dead so people can say I was raised from the dead. I died on a cross for you. I was raised to new life for you.” To know that someone loved me perfectly and died for my sins, and to think that I deserved to die on that cross. I am dead and in need of life. He has life that I need, so I will go to Him to receive that life, and in Him I will have that forgiveness of sins and His righteousness, all that belongs to Christ!

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