ADDoration Ministries
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Jesus' Sacrifice Why Wonderful

JESUS DIED ON CROSS, 
WHY WONDERFUL?

(OLD TESTAMENT BUILD UP)


Beginning with creation, God has desired to provide for humans, a privileged first class relationship. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created humankind in his image." But God sets rules, that humans have found impossible to perfectly follow.

Early Genesis dwelled on several of man's misdeeds. Adam and Eve were set in The Garden of Eden. God said to Adam, "You must not eat fruit from tree of knowledge." The serpent gave Eve, Adam's wife, contrary advice. Eve said to Adam, "No problem with that fruit." Already humankind is off on the wrong foot with God. Cain slew Abel. There was the Tower of Babel, then Sodom and Gomorrah. Things got so bad, that God sent a flood, so that he could start over again, with Noah's Ark. In good faith, through Noah, God sent a rainbow with a covenant stating that never again will a flood destroy humankind.

As another fresh start, God sent Abraham to go to a new land to start a new nation. Things went better with the first Jewish people, but not perfectly. Jacob swindled Esau out of his birthright. Jacob became even more low down, when he took advantage of that his dad, Isaak, was going blind, and he swindled Esau out of his blessing. Jacob's sons became so jealous over favored son Joseph (with his Technicolor Dreamcoat), that they sold him into slavery. God turned that misdeed around for good, because Joseph became executive assistant to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Joseph was in a position to rescue his brothers and Jacob from starvation.

After nearly 400 years captivity in Egypt, Moses was God's instrument to lead Israeli people out of captivity. Powerful signs included the miracles of the Red Sea parting and manna in the wilderness. God was giving Israel another chance.

God presented Moses with The Law, including The Ten Commandments and Levitical law. Before Moses came down off Mount Sinai, the Israeli people angered God when they built a golden calf to worship (being impatient for Moses to come down). When Moses came off the mountain, he delivered the laws, including a solution for regaining justification after any breach in God's law -- a Levitical collection of atonement laws mandating such things as detailed sacrifice practices and burnt offerings. I know that you detest the idea of burnt offerings and animal sacrifices. At that time, that was their culture. People thought that an angry God could be appeased by feeding him food. Actually sacrifices were not new then, but Moses felt led to put them into law. Abraham had once mistakenly thought that God had requested that Isaak be sacrificed, but a ram miraculously appeared.

After Moses, problems continued. After Joshua, some of the judges were corrupt, especially Sampson. Then Israel went to kingly government, although God warned, "You don't want a king." People of Israel kept insisting that a king was needed for military reasons, such as defense against the Phillistines. Kings have human failings (kings sin too). David had the adulterous affair with Bathsheba and sent her husband to front lines battle, so that he would be killed. Solomon came along with extreme extravagance and opulence, that was financed by oppressive taxes. Israel was so strained, that the kingdom divided in two, Israel and Judah. Then the two nations had horrendous problems with corrupt kings, and corrupt people too. At this time, prophets like Elijah, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, warned the people, hoping to correct them.

Isaiah, along with Malachi and others, prophesied hope, big time. Isaiah prophesied a savior named Emanuel, meaning God with us. Accurate prophecies included that the savior will be born in Bethlehem. Humankind now was expecting a savior to come along any time.

SACRIFICES -- GOD DOESN'T WANT THAT!!!

The Old Testament does have some scriptures that indicate that God doesn't want sacrifices.

Psalm 40:6, "Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required."

Psalm 51:16 , "For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased."

Micah 6:7-8, "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

JESUS HAS ARRIVED

Jesus did indeed come along, to rescue humankind from estrangement from God. Jesus was a servant who taught, healed, washed feet, and forgave. Most of all, Jesus was love, and still is. Jesus was teaching radical ideas, that humankind had problems with. The Jewish experts (Scribes and Pharisees) were put in their places. Jesus reached out to tax collectors and harlots, and he healed on the sabbath day. Humankind was so outraged, that they looked for a way to do him in. To help do in Jesus, they bribed Judas to betray him.

Jesus was sentenced to death by a flagrant miscarriage of justice. He was tried by a kangaroo court. Pontius Pilate, the judge, kept insisting that there isn't any legal basis to sentence Jesus to death. But the jury (or rather, the mob) was prejudiced. The jury refused to listen to Pontius Pilate, and instead they kept shouting, "Crucify him!" The jury even insisted on releasing a hardened criminal named Barabbas. Mob rule caused the verdict. However, this was God's plan, that also called for Jesus's resurrection two days later.

The supreme sacrifice came along, when Jesus died on the cross, to save us from our sins. Animal sacrifices and burnt offerings have been abolished. Jesus died on the cross, so that you don't need to kill any animal to regain justification after sin. Today, most people think that it is ludicrous to sacrifice any animal to be forgiven of any sin. Jesus has a better idea of forgiveness and grace as a free gift. Jesus knows very well that perfect adherence to God's laws is impossible for humankind. Jesus more importantly knows that you are fully entitled to justification. Paul's letters (especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians) say much more to clarify the meaning of Jesus's supreme sacrifice.

John 1:17 says, "The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

Jesus's sacrifice on the cross is so awesomely wonderful, that it very difficult to explain in few words. None of us ever comes to really understand it. To compare Jesus's sacrifice with Old Testament sacrifices -- that is only one attempt at explaining it. That Jesus has paid your debt in full, or that Jesus bought your pardon -- that is another image to explain it. In other words, there is the substitutional image -- Jesus suffered for your sins, to lovingly substitute for you. To help you see the substitutional image -- think of the release of Barabbas while Jesus was crucified.

The new covenant of Jesus's blood (the wine or grape juice) is associated with a new agreement with God. And the new agreement includes that the debts of sin are already paid. True, you still are responsible for your relationship with the Lord. The word "atonement" is often used to describe it, and the word means At-One-Ment with God -- that is you become At One with God.

Hebrews 10 is a good scripture to read, for understanding Jesus's sacrifice. Hebrews 10 tells of the futility of burnt offering sacrifices, and it explains why Jesus willingly went to the cross.

I could go on and on about the miraculousness of Jesus's sacrifice. Here is another highly significant detail -- the curtain was torn in two when Jesus breathed his last breath. This too has Old Testament significance. Exodus and Leviticus have detailed specifications for the tabernacle where sacrifices took place. The curtain separated the holiest place, because only certain priests were allowed to pass beyond the curtain. Today's significance -- you can speak to God DIRECTLY, because the curtain was torn in two when Jesus sacrificed himself. And this means that Jesus's sacrifice takes care of us all forever, as for our being forgiven -- now that the curtain was destroyed.

Most of all, it takes a believer's relationship with the Lord to truly demonstrate the significance of Jesus's sacrifice. That you might not undertand it now, that is understandable. Be patient with yourself and the understanding will come to you eventually.

Final closing thought of assurance -- on the third day, Jesus arose from the grave when the stone was miraculously rolled away. Because Jesus arose to defeat death, he is still alive in us today. PRAISE GOD THAT JESUS LIVES WITH US TODAY!!!

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries