[SW374] 4/13/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
Text: Isaiah 25:1, 52:10, 53:1, 4-6
There is no other god worshiped on the earth, no other religion that makes this claim — God came down to save us from His wrath and reconcile us to Himself. All other religions require man to attempt to obtain “god status,” or to appease an angry god, or to somehow reach a “god.” But the God of heaven sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to reach down to us and die on a cross for us!
What kind of God would do such a thing? One who is perfectly faithful —
Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
What has He been faithful to do?
Isaiah 52:10 The LORD will lay bare his holy arm (His power), in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
He bares His holy arm for all who will believe the message I and others bring (Isaiah 53:1). You will see His salvation, if you will believe. He does not desire any to perish, but that all would come to repentance, turning to Him (2Peter 3:9).
He bares His holy arm not to strike, but to heal, if you will come to Him! If you refuse, you have chosen to face His judgment, for you have rejected the salvation He has provided in perfect faithfulness, at immeasurable cost to Himself.
In the sight of all the nations (all the peoples of the earth), He reveals His Son as the source of salvation. But some are offended, believing that they are good, when none of us is good — not even one (Romans 3:10)! He sent His Son so that, after you are saved and reconciled, you obey His command to be filled with Him and His goodness. Only then are you truly good!
At what cost does all the world see that salvation comes through God? There could not have been a higher cost. He offered His son, to carry our sin —
Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace (with God) was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity (sin) of us all.
And it pleased God to do it . . .
Isaiah 53:10 But the LORD was pleased to crush Him (striking Him with a firm blow), putting Him to grief (wounding Him); if He would render Himself as a guilt offering . . .
That is God’s perfect faithfulness! If you are not awestruck, you are not listening.
In God’s great love, mercy and perfect faithfulness toward those He created, He sent a part of Himself to the earth — His Son, Jesus Christ, who spoke wondrous words and did wondrous miracles that proved He is God the Son. Then He bore the iniquity of us all, upon His body! No other “god” does such a thing— only the God of heaven, who is perfectly faithful to do what He has promised!
On this Palm Sunday, I pray you will grasp the enormity of what God has done, the perfect faithfulness with which He did it, and the outcome for all who will believe into His Son!
You and I do not receive what we deserve. It is a selfless act, a self-giving act from a selfless and self-giving, perfectly faithful God. He does not demand that you sacrifice your children in the fire, nor blow yourself up in order to kill infidels, nor sexually violate innocent children so that you prosper, nor vainly attempt to strive to reach godhood. He requires that you believe His message. Then you will see the arm of His salvation!
He was the only acceptable, perfect, sinless offering with no spot or blemish, whom John the Baptist announced —
John 1:29, 36 . . . “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
36. . . and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
That is God’s faithfulness. But what does He require of you, considering what He has done? When you have seen His arm and believed, and have been saved and reconciled, Peter tells you what you must do —
1Peter 1:17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Conduct yourself in fear — literally, be afraid because you have experienced the saving power of the One who offered His Son in perfect faithfulness!
If you truly understand the magnitude and cost of God’s offering on your behalf, you will quickly obey Jesus Christ’s commands — Believe (John 3:16)! Stay (Luke 24:49)! Wait (Acts 1:4-5)!
Why must you not only believe, but stay and wait? Because He requires you to follow in His footsteps, and die to sin so you live to righteousness —
1Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 24 . . . and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
When you stay and wait, you will surely die to sin — your sin nature will be crucified — and live to righteousness because He will fill you with His Holy Spirit and His divine nature, which is righteous! That is the healing for which He commands you to stay and wait!
Again, Peter exhorts the church —
1Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Beloved, it is not a time for Easter bunnies and Easter egg hunts! These things represent the worship of pagan fertility goddesses, Ashtoreth, and in Europe, Eostre (EES-tra). That is why “Easter” involves eggs and rabbits — symbols of fertility!
I tell you the truth, when I privately exhorted one pastor about Easter egg hunts at his church, he told me, “We are taking back the egg!” What a strange statement to the ears of Jesus Christ! How I pray for that one, and for all churches and believers!
O believer, next Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, a celebration of the Christ who endured unspeakable suffering, died on a cross to save you and reconcile you, rose on the third day, ascended to His Father and sat down at His right hand, and poured out His Holy Spirit.
Celebrate God’s perfect faithfulness by responding in faithfulness to the One who was faithful to you! Respond by obeying Jesus Christ’s commands to stay and wait! Obey the One who will heal you of your sin nature and fill you with His divine nature (2Peter 1:4)!
Now the Lord has commanded me to exhort you as Paul exhorted Timothy, regarding God’s perfect faithfulness —
Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
If you have crucified your sin nature (Galatians 2:24), you will live with Him. If you endure (suffer death to your sin nature), you will also reign with Him.
But if you deny Him by refusing to obey His commands, He will deny you. When you stand before Him in the day of judgment, He will say to you, “I never knew you!” (See Matthew 7:23, 25:12.)
If you are faithless and do not believe He is able to crucify the sin nature in you and fill you with His divine nature, know that He remains faithful to His own righteous, just and holy nature. Therefore, you will face His judgment, for He cannot deny His own nature.
If you find this message offensive, you are one for whom I pray. I was the same as you, for the first 42 years of my life.
I tell you the truth, I have seen God’s perfect faithfulness, I have seen His salvation and His sanctification! In faith, I stayed and waited, and now I am entirely His, my sin nature is crucified and His nature is in me. He fully indwells me (John 14:23)! He has done it so others will see Him in me, and will honor and revere Him, and believe His message!
Lord Jesus, You are the salvation which Your Father has shown to the whole earth. May many open their eyes to see the wonder that You have done, and may the hearts of many believers be pricked by Your words. Amen!