[SW424] 03/28/2020 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn
Texts: Psalm 22:14-18, Isaiah 53:5-6, etc.
Two weeks from now, all Christians will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2Corinthians 9:15)!
So, it is a good time to remember the price God paid for the gift of your salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him. And it is a good time for you to do what Jesus Christ commands you to do, in response to His gift. What He commands is a small thing, compared with the price He paid.
It was the Father’s plan, from before time was, to send Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for your sin and my sin — our sins that we committed before we believed into Him. It pleased the Father to have Him bear the punishment we deserved (Isaiah 53:5, 10).
He is the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8, KJV).
He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36), for whoever will believe into Him.
Before the Father sent Him to the earth, Jesus Christ was in a glorious position, eternally seated with the Father in heaven (John 1:1-2). But He gladly set aside that glory (Philippians 2:9), in order to save and reconcile you and me. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the inexpressible agony of the cross, scorning its shame. He saw all who would be saved and reconciled!
King David had a vision of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross for you and for me, and heard Him say —
Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death.”
As He hung on the cross, His bones were put out of joint because of the position of His body. His heart was greatly weakened, because the position of His body kept His heart from pumping properly.
His strength was gone, He had lost massive amounts of blood and body fluids, so His tongue stuck to the inside of His mouth, because of His thirst. His Father laid Him in the dust of death, on my behalf and your behalf.
Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.
King David wrote this 700 years before this form of crucifixion was invented by the Romans. Prior to that, men were impaled on trees, resulting in nearly instantaneous death. But the Romans were masters at torture, so they invented this form of crucifixion, which caused an excruciating, lingering death.
Who were the dogs and the band of evildoers? Jesus was surrounded by the Jewish leaders who hated Him, and by the wicked, depraved Roman soldiers.
The soldiers pierced His hands in the opened position, as He was spread-eagled on the cross. Again, it was to inflict maximum pain, and apply maximum pressure to His chest, to prevent Him from drawing a breath. And they pierced His feet, one on top of the other, so He could not lift Himself up to relieve the pressure on His chest.
Psalm 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
Jesus could count all of His bones because He could see all of them. He had been severely scourged with whips that had sharp objects at the end of each cord. The sharp objects slashed his skin and muscle, as the whip connected with His body.
And when the Romans pulled the whips back in order to strike Him again, the sharp objects stripped the skin and muscle away from His body. He was skinned alive. He was nearly unrecognizable as human (Isaiah 52:14).
They cast lots for His clothing. This prophecy was fulfilled, as He hung on the cross —
John 19:24 “Let’s not tear it,” they (the soldiers) said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.
Why did He have to endure this unspeakable punishment? Because you and I rebelled against Him because of our inward twistedness —
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions (rebellion),
He was bruised for our iniquities (inward twisted-ness):
The chastisement (i.e. punishment) of our peace (with God) was upon Him; and with His stripes (wounds) we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity (again, inward twisted-ness) of us all.
There had to be a perfect sacrifice to pay for our rebellion against God that stemmed from our inward twisted-ness because of our sin nature. Jesus Christ was that price!
God the Father sent God the Son to pay for our rebellion and twisted-ness! What other so-called god claims to do such a thing! There are none!
Beloved, if you understand the immense price that the Lord has asked me to show you, then you will cry, “There is nothing I can do to respond to the Lord for what He has done!” And I will cry to you, “Yes, there is!” Respond by obeying Him in the things which He commands you do to do. I will show you.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to (will) come after (follow) Me, he must deny (utterly disown) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (be in union with Me). 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it (fully destroy it); but whoever loses his life (fully destroys His life) for My sake will find it (permanently obtain it).”
You cannot follow Jesus Christ unless you utterly disown yourself — that is, your sin nature — understanding that it is worthless and makes you incapable of being His witness here. You must take up your cross, asking the Lord to crucify your sin nature —
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (impaled it on a cross) with its passions and desires (lusts).
You must die to yourself. If you understand the price He paid, you will respond by obeying Him.
Then you will be in union with Him! To be in union with Him is to be one with Him, united with Him in purpose, and working together with Him.
But if you disobey what He says you must do, because you love yourself — your sin nature — you will fully destroy yourself.
You must utterly disown yourself and fully destroy yourself for His sake, in response to the price He paid. Only then you will permanently obtain eternal life, here and now, for He and the Father and the Son will fully and permanently indwell you (John 14:23). And when your body dies, you will dwell with Him in heaven, forever.
So, just as Paul beseeched and exhorted the believers at Rome, I beseech and exhort you, beloved. Considering the mercies of God, die to yourself. That is your spiritual act of worship, and is holy and pleasing to Him —
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you (beseech, exhort you), brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)
Then, you will respond to the price He paid by carrying out His commandments to stay and wait —
Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Acts 1:4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (literally into you); and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
That is how you must respond to Jesus Christ for the price He paid to save you and reconcile you. You must obey His command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will walk as He walked and be as He is in the world (1John 2:6, 4:17).
You must respond. Why? Only then will the world believe that the Father sent the Son, because you will be the proof of it (John 17:21).
But I tell you the truth, beloved, in many of today’s churches and ministries, a false gospel is taught. The church is filled with infants in Christ who are not yet spiritual (1Corinthians 3:1). They gladly receive another gospel (2Corinthians 11:14) — one that says the only reason Jesus came was to do good things, to make your life better, and to find out what it was like to be you. They teach such infants that there are no consequences for their continued sin, because He will just keep forgiving them.
Many of today’s believers know only this false gospel, and therefore believe that their continued sinning has no consequences. They shrug off any mention of the true gospel. But He will hold both them and today’s false teachers accountable, for the false teachers have led you down the broad path to the wide gate that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13), and you have chosen to believe them rather that the words of Jesus Christ.
So, I have told you the truth. You must decide whether you will disregard the price Jesus Christ paid, or believe the truth and respond to the price He paid by obeying Him in all that I have told you. His commandments to you are not optional.
Lord Jesus, I am awestruck by the price You paid. May many infants in Christ understand the price, be equally awestruck, and respond by obeying Your commands. Let it be so, I pray! Amen.