Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Gospel at the Cross

            Nearly 2700 years ago the Prophet Isaiah saw the Lord, 700 years before Jesus was born of a virgin Isaiah saw Him!  Before we go on, I must explain how I know this is Jesus for certain, John 12:41 tells us that, “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.”  We have an awesome glimpse of Jesus’ deity prior Him becoming flesh, Isaiah explains to us that He is “lofty and exalted” and “the train of His robe filling the temple.”  More than this, There were Seraphim created for the sole purpose of praising Jesus they said to each other, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole Earth is full of His glory.”  There is a couple things to note here, the Apostle John states the one speaking is Jesus while Paul says, “And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 'GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY, "YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;” (Acts 28:25-26)  Paul says that the speaker is the Holy Spirit, there is a contradiction!  Oh wait, let us look at the Seraphim’s statement, “Holy, Holy, Holy…” and compare it to John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. Three Holies, the Son and the Holy Spirit are both said to be speaking and nobody has ever seen the Father; more than this, the Father is often attributed to being the invisible God.  Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy--- Holy Spirit, the whole Earth is full of Your glory—Praise and glory be to Jesus!  What a scene Isaiah saw, but soon we will skip up about 50 chapters and see a prophecy about God’s future. 
Through Adam sin became the birthright of every person (Psalms 51:5) and the human race became totally depraved.  The basics of total depravity is that in man there is nothing good or pleasing to God to the point that we cannot even initiate a conversation with God.  It is only the common grace of God that holds us back from making Hitler and Ted Bundy look like saints!  We can look at two aspects of God’s common grace for the unredeemed, Acts 14:17 tells us that He does not only give prosperity to the sinner but gladness.  In Genesis 20:6 (Exodus and 1 Samuel have spot on accounts as well) we see God restraining Abimelech from touching Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  Not only does God restrain Abimelech He had no problem telling Abimelech that He “violated” the man’s Free Will.  Going back to the problem, the fallen state of man, and the hatred God has for us (Psalms 5:5 “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.”)  Notice that the Scripture says “all who do iniquity” many commentators have stated that God hates the sin or He hates those who love to sin but that is not what the Bible says, God hates all who do iniquity.  God hates all who do iniquity because He sees us for who we are, He sees us without the protective covering of His common grace.  I heard a story about a preacher and a rebellious teen:  A rebellious teen came to me and said, “I will kill myself and it will hurt everybody that loves me, then they will suffer like me.”  The boy was taking pleasure in the fact that he was going to Hell and would hurt others; so I said, “Boy, let me tell you what will happen when you are in Hell.”  He said, “Go for it I am not scared.”  I hissed back “You will be!  (Calmer tone) This is what is going to happen; you and many others will be naked before God and the saints, even the ones you hurt in this life.  This time the grace God gives to all men will be taken off of you and everyone will see you for what you really are, a seething monster making Hitler look like a choir boy.  Your parents along with all the saints and angels will be applauding God for ridding you and the rest of the evil from our existence, and then you will be alone in The Lake of Fire while your parents are praising God for being just to you!”  The boy did not like this; there was a tear in his eye and he said, “That is horrible” My only reply was “More horrid than you could ever imagine, repent and believe.  Flee from the wrath to come!”  This is the state of man, hopelessly lost until… 
John 3:16-18 we see the simplest version of the Gospel, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Now let us jump back to Isaiah 53, examine the prophecies Jesus is not pierced with our transgressions and iniquities but He is because of them.  He was chastised for our well being!  It pleased the Father to crush His Son, the Father loved us so much that He crushed His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish!  Jesus became sin and then drank down the wrath of His Father on the Cross.  When Jesus died, our sins and God’s wrath died with Him, and now we become the righteousness of God.  The wrath of God that was consumed by Jesus is gone along with our sins, God supernaturally made both non-existent!  That is the love of God, that He sent His Son to rid creation of sin and His wrath towards monstrously sinful people that truly hate Him. 

Let us put it into perspective, all of you imagine if I could take all the thoughts you have ever had and then separate out the top ten worse most embarrassingly evil thoughts.  These ten thoughts were going to be posted on Facebook, put into the Churches bulletin, and freely distributed.  With these ten thoughts there was a complete tally for every sinful thought and action you ever did put into general categories such as sexual immorality, covetousness, murderous, etcetera.  You would probably kill me before I got the chance!  Now I will tell you what, right now I will tell you my full list!  I will!  My list… It is blank because Jesus is Lord and my sins have been annihilated!

The rebellious teen and preacher story was adapted from Paul Washers: The Gospel of Christ (Ps 75; Rev 19)

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