Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P24 (12-02-20)
So Jesus fulfilled everything that was written about Him through the prophets, in the Psalms by King David around 1000 B.C., through Micah, around 500 B.C. and through Isaiah, around 700 B.C., and through other prophets as well. Did they understand what they were writing? No. But the Holy Spirit spoke through them, and they wrote down what they heard. They had some revelation but certainly did not understand everything that they wrote down.
All of us were born without the Spirit of God living in us, including the prophets. Truth had to be revealed to men by the Spirit of God, even to the prophets, not what the word of God says, but what the word of God means. Now, certainly the prophets had certain revelation revealed to them in their time in history. Even Abraham believed God and that was credited to him as righteousness. We read about the faith of many of these Old Testament people in the book of Hebrews, and that faith they had led to certain action and behavior. They trusted God, that God was able to fulfill what He had promised.
Do you know the deeper meaning behind the death, burial and resurrection of Christ? What did God promise to the Jews? A coming Messiah. Even the Samaritan knew that, for she said, “when the Messiah comes, He will explain everything to us.” What did Jesus say to her? “I, who is speaking to you, am He.”
God wants to reveal Himself to each of us, who He is, perfect love and perfect righteousness, so when we see His, we can see what we do not have and would long to have His. Jesus wants us to have humble hearts, so that we can recognize our great need. What is our need? We sin because of our condition of the flesh, dead to God in the loins of Adam, without the Spirit of God living in us. By recognizing our helpless state, we can be free to come to Him so He can give us what He came to give.
What did He come to give? Eternal life, His life, His righteousness. He came to restore in us what was lost in Adam. When Adam sinned, the Spirit of God left him. The only way mankind can be redeemed is if someone pays the price for our sin, which is death. Only Jesus, who has no sin of his own, and who has life to lay down, only he could pay that price for us. His love for us is what motivated Him to do for us what we could never do for ourselves.
And he died on a cross so that the cause of our death, which is sin, is eternally, forever, taken away from the eyes of God. If he had not died, then He could not offer us eternal life. And that is really what He wants to give us, His life placed back in us, as was originally designed by God at creation, when Adam was first created. That is what salvation is.
We are saved by His life, that is lived in us and worked out through us, as we place our faith in Him and learn to walk in that same faith in God’s provision for us. What did God provide? He provided a solution to our problem of death by His resurrected life. So, the Holy Spirit is drawing men unto Himself so that we might come to Jesus and ask for the life He offers, His eternal life.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
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!
For the self-righteous, that gets very tough to think someone took my place. It is even worse when you are trying to kill one of your brothers or sitting there with a vindictive heart to someone else and to think Jesus died for him. But he did. He died for all of us. There is no one righteous. No one can stand before God in our own righteousness and be accepted in sight ofGTod. Jesus had to do that. He did that for you and me. That is the meaning of his cross. Not just some historical event. It had meaning to it. He was raised from the dead. There was a reason for that. He did that for you and me. Why? So you and I can experience resurrected life. If a man is dead spiritually then he needs life and the only life available to you and me is resurrected life. The resurrected life only came from Jesus Christ.
So it was not just an event saying that I believe that occurred and that happened. If you were standing there, you could see the empty tomb. But have you figured out why? So you ask someone why the tomb was empty? Since we think physically instead of spiritually, the only thing we can come up with is maybe someone rolled the stone away. I am not questioning whether the tomb was empty or not, or questioning how it got empty. Do you know why it is empty? It is empty because Christ is not there. The reason he is not there is because he is in heaven. What did he do when he got there? He gave us His Holy Spirit so we can be in heaven and so we can be alive while here on earth while waiting for that magnificent event that is going to take place.
So we look at these things and ask the right questions. Do we have any doubt about this relationship with Jesus, whether or not you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. People have an intellectual assent to that.
I talked to a man on the radio about that. Then all of a sudden the reality hit. “Christ died for me.” It is not simply a historical event, that Christ died on a cross, but that Christ died for me. That is personal. To come to the point of seeing your own condition, that I am a sinner, and I am dead as a hammer inside. I need life. The only life that is available to me is the resurrection life of Christ. I have a need for forgiveness. Folks, there isn’t a need of forgiveness. It is a need to know you are forgiven by God. There is an unbelievable, soulish need to know you are forgiven by man. That is why it does not do us any good to sit back to bask and wallow in the fact to be forgiven by God and not forgive one another.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
How many times do you forgive? Seven? No seventy times seven. In other words, you keep forgiving on and on just like God forgave you. God did not forgive you because you asked Him. He forgave you because that was in His character to do so. If you and I have taken on the character of God then the character of God has to be the character of forgiveness, of compassion and mercy. It has to be a character of kindness. It has to be a character of not a willingness to go out and harm one another but to love one another. That is the character of God. If you do not possess those characteristics, it is because you do not possess His character. Only you can answer that.
But if that is the case and, if in your own heart, that you have a doubt as to whether or not you have truly accepted Christ into your life. Maybe you accepted what He did, but did you realize He did it for you. Have you possibly never come to the point in your life of faith saying, “Lord, I believe you died for me and you were raised to life for me.” “I want you to come into my heart and raise me from the dead and receive forgiveness of sins.” If you have not done that, you can do that this very moment. It is merely being able to say to the Lord.
“Lord, I need you. I confess I have been in control of my life, sinned against you, dead, and I thank you for dying for forgiveness of my sins. Come into my heart. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.” Then, as an expression of your faith, you thank Him for coming into your life, for giving you a life called eternal life. Friends, if you did that right now, or any other time, you can rest assured, according to the word of God, that you have stepped out of darkness into light, out of lostness into salvation, given a life called eternal life that can never be taken from you and to be able to begin that creative adventure of which God called you into, to be made complete as to what a true human is to be. A human being is one who is alive bodily, soulishly and spiritually. If you have entered into that relationship, you are now alive, born again of the Spirit of God.
Let us turn to another prophecy written by King David around 1000 B.C. These are prophecies concerning what is to be following the death of Christ.
20 He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.
In John 19, we have the testimony of that.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath,
In other words, the legalist Jewish leaders are saying, “I do not mind crucifying you, but I do not want those bodies lying around on the Sabbath.”
they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
In the event they are not dead yet, you break the legs. With the position you have on the cross, with legs broken, you have nothing to support you, so you just suffocate to death.
32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it [John testifying about himself] has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20]
David also wrote in Psalm 16:9-10.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
So now we are talking about the prophecy dealing with the resurrection. “You are not going to abandon me to the grave” was written a thousand years before Christ, “nor see your holy one see decay”. There would be no decaying of the body. Let us see if that was fulfilled at the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[b]
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
Well, what about his ascension? Once again, King David wrote about that in Psalm 68:18.
18 When you ascended on high,
you took many captives;
you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious –
that you, Lord God, might dwell there.
Was that fulfilled? Of course it was, and written about in the book of Acts.
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
It talks about how in Ephesians 4:7-8
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why God says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[Psalm 68:18]
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man.
24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Jesus Christ ascended, the same Jesus that stood on the mount of olives, and ascended into heaven is coming back again to the same place. He ascended physically and he is coming back physically.
The conclusion to the 6th chapter in this study.
1 Peter 1:10-11
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.
We look at that. Do you think those old prophets had a full understanding of what they were writing? Of course not. Do you think they understood for sure what they were writing? Of course not. So how did they write it down? Because the Holy Spirit put it down. The Holy Spirit told them. The Lord declared.
1 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares:
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
We have to realize that the Old Testament prophecies, even though they are there, and are exactly accurate, the Old Testament prophets did not know what they meant. They just wrote down what they were told to say.
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