Fred R. Coulter—March 28, 2015

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! This is the Sabbath before Passover, and it's very interesting that for a space of ten years we do not have the Passover in the middle of the week, on day four. That occurs very rarely. Then when we come to 2020, I believe, we have half of the Passovers for the following ten years coming on a Wednesday.

Psa. 49 is very interesting, and like everything else in God's Word there is more than one meaning and what meets the eye. This was not a Psalm by David, but to the Chief Musician, a psalm for the sons of Korah

Psalm 49:1: "Hear this, all you people; give ear, all inhabitants of the world." It's not addressed to Israel and not directly addressed to God, but it's from God to all people in the world.

Verse 2: "Both low and high, rich and poor together." This sounds a little bit like what we heard in Revelation. Everyone receives the mark of the beast, rich and poor, etc.

Verse 3: "My mouth shall speak of wisdom, and the thoughts of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline my ear to a parable; I will open my dark saying upon the lyre" (vs 3-4).

Dwight Blevins is a harp-maker. He has the kind of mind that puts things together that are symmetric. In other words, you think in circles, complete circles rather than straight lines. Most of us are straight line, begin and end. In the universe everything is symmetrical. There's no such thing as a straight line from here to there.

In order to get from the earth to the moon, they take off and they make almost like a big, huge question mark so that they can land on the moon. The earth is moving, the spaceship is moving, the moon is moving, and you want to get to a certain point on the moon, so you have to have astro-physics to figure that out.

Well, Dwight points out that with this, this is the same number of books that are in the Bible—49. The Bible is the whole message to people. Also, many of the things in the Calculated Hebrew Calendar coincide with the [musical] scale, and within the scale we have whole steps and half-steps—do re me fa so la tee—seven; do is the first step of the next one—do re me fa so la tee do. Then there are various scales ranging from lo to high, ranging from major to minor, etc., ranging from various parts of music.

In saying this, this is telling us that we need to look to the Hebrew calendar and also many things are layered in the understanding. Psa. 50 talks about those who have made covenant with God.

Let's see what Christ had to do to become Savior, and how important His confrontation with Satan the devil was. The very reason that God made human beings after His likeness and kind was for the very purpose of coming as a human being to pay for the sins of human activity, and also to show that only God has the right way. When we look at what is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, different religions have different rituals, different laws, different things like this, but none of those things can change the mind or the heart. There has to be a spiritual element to do that, and that is the Spirit of God.

We're going to learn today why only through Jesus Christ we can have our sins forgiven, and only through His blood can we have sins forgiven. When Adam and Eve sinned, what did God do? He judged them, and they then were subject to death! They also were given a nature that was subject to sin. Paul calls this the law of sin and death.

Sin is not just the behavior outwardly, because all of the things we do outwardly are an expression of thoughts and choices inwardly. Those can be based on thought, emotion, anger, kindness and love; all of those with the human mind. If you look at it this way:

  • Could God overcome Satan the devil as God? No problem!
  • What if God became an angel?
  • Could He over Satan as an angel? Probably so!
  • What about as a human being?

All atheists accuse God:

  • Why is there so much evil? That's because when Adam and Eve sinned they put themselves under Satan's jurisdiction and listening to him rather than God's jurisdiction!

Human beings can never, by themselves, overcome Satan. You need the:

  • help of God
  • Word of God
  • The Truth of God

God just became a human being, born of the virgin Mary and took within Him human nature, like all human beings. God—in judging human beings—also judged Himself to take on the same nature to defeat Satan the devil. That is a fantastic thing! Everything that human beings have done to other human beings He subjected Himself to. After He was baptized, to fulfill all righteousness…

It's also very interesting that in 26A.D. when this began, this was on the Day of Atonement and that year Atonement was in the middle of the week, day-four, and He began His ministry on day-four in the seventh month and finished it on day-four in the second week in the first month. Plus, this was a Jubilee Year. Of course, Jubilee is the release from sin, release from slavery, release of debts and everything else.

Luke 4:1: "And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered" (vs 1-2).

Not only did God take on the form of a man, with human nature within Him, He also was confronting Satan the devil at the weakest physical point that could possibly be after fasting 40 days and 40 nights.

Verse 3: "Then the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread.'" Here's a perfect example of a benefit. 'I will help you, but there's one catch.' If Jesus would have done it, He could say, 'Yes, I'm the Son of God and I can do it.' He would have obeyed Satan! That's the whole substance of human behavior, obeying Satan the devil who is the 'prince of the power of the air.'

Now, since He represents all of mankind, v 4: "But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."'"

Here's the next temptation, v 5: "Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all; for it has been delivered to me…'" (vs 5-6). How was it delivered to Satan? Beginning with Adam and Eve, obeying Satan instead of God!

"'…and I give it to whomever I desire'" (v 6). Just kind of keep that in mind when you're watching the news! Look at some of these so-called leaders in the news. Look at how the whole Middle East is literally on fire!

By the way, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and some other ones, are all getting together and are now afraid that there will be attacks on Italy from Libya, because they have eleven airplanes that they cannot account for. Guess what would be the target? St. Peter's Basilica!

This is why we have to overcome and why we have to be changed from flesh to spirit at the resurrection: We must have the character of God first, which is what we are to develop now so that we can rule the nations under Christ the way God wants it! We likewise have to resist Satan the devil, fight human nature, etc.

Here's the catch, v 7: "'Therefore, if You will worship me in my presence, all things shall be Yours.'" Just think what that would have been if Jesus would have succumbed to that. Satan would have gotten Him, because Satan wanted to kill Christ from the very beginning when He was born. Now, in this weakened state, 'Can I get Him to believe me. I will reward You. I will give you all the kingdoms of the world. You won't have to wait until later, You can have it now.'

It's kind of like the lottery. If you win the lottery, do you want it all now, or do you want it in payments?

Verse 8: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan; for it is written, "You… [talking to Himself as a human being] …shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."'" Jesus wasn't talking about Satan worshiping God. No! It doesn't mean that!

The last one, v 9: "Then he led Him to Jerusalem and set Him upon the edge of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here; for it is written, "He shall give His angels charge concerning You to keep You; and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone"'" (vs 9-11).

Here's another lesson for all of us: Satan can quote Scripture! Just because Scripture is quoted doesn't necessarily mean that it's entirely correct and from God. Remember: partial truth is also an error!

Verse 12: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'It is clearly stated, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."' Now, when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a time" (vs 12-13). Very interesting!

Was Christ so weak that Satan literally picked Him up and took Him there? Yes! Can't do it otherwise! If Jesus would have worshiped Satan, all of these would result in Him dying, if He would have sinned. Satan wanted to get Jesus Christ all alone. This is why His life and death, and everything He went through, is so absolutely awesome!

Now let's come to the end of Jesus' ministry. Satan had his hand here in trying to get Jesus and try and destroy Him, and Satan wanted Jesus to die! To commit one sin that way He could not be resurrected from the dead.

Luke 22:1: "Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching; and the chief priests and the scribes were speculating as to how they might put Him to death, for they feared the people" (vs 1-2).

Who were the ones to have the Truth? The priests and the scribes! They were the ones who were running the temple. How far can it go away from God even at the temple of God? Or, as our experience has been, even in the Church of God?

Here were some Jews who were believing in Jesus, and He was teaching at the temple. Jesus said, John 8:24: "That is why I said to you that you shall die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM…"—they understood what that meant. They knew!

"'…you shall die in your sins.' Then they said to Him, 'Who are You?'…." (vs 24-25).

Then a little later He said, v 31: "…'If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples.'"

One of the things that Satan likes to do is get into the place where he can corrupt the leaders. Think of that politically and religiously. That's what Satan does!

Jesus said, v 41: "'You are doing the works of your father.'…. [because they were seeking to kill Him] …Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication…. [they understood all about His birth] …We have one Father, and that is God.' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words. You are of your father the devil…'" (vs 41-44).

Think of what that did to those leaders. Just like today, the quickest way to be hauled off and killed by a bunch of Italians or Swiss guards is to run up to the pope and say, 'Your father is the devil.'

"'…and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me'" (vs 44-45).

There was that battle always going on. There was that tension all the time. Even here at the Passover, let's see what happened:

Luke 22:3: "Then Satan entered into Judas… [another one says that he put it into Judas' heart; Satan was in and out of Judas] …who was surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve." Right there at the top!

Verse 4: "And he went away, and spoke with the chief priests and the captains about a way by which he might betray Him to them. And they rejoiced, and agreed to give him money. And he promised, and sought an opportunity to betray Him to them away from the multitude" (vs 4-6).

Why was Satan so involved in the background to come against Jesus? Satan wanted Jesus to sin! If He sinned once He would die for His sin and there would be no Savior.

John 13:2 "And after supper began…" Some people today are practicing foot-washing at the end; that's complete nonsense. During those days, when you were walking dusty roads and you came into someone's house, you had your feet washed. You don't stay there with all your dirty feet and eat and socialize with the guests and it is said, 'Oh by the way, before you go down this dusty road, let's wash your feet.' It doesn't work that way.

"…(the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, that he should betray Him), Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper…" (vs 2-4). So, foot-washing is not after supper. If you rise from supper it is not after supper. Then He washed the disciples feet.

Let's look at the lesson for this. This was a tremendous lesson, because Satan was also a violator of what Jesus was telling the disciples.

Verse 13: "You call Me the Teacher and the Lord, and you speak rightly, because I am. Therefore, if I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also are duty-bound to wash one another's feet; for I have given you an example, to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you" (vs 13-15). Here is the lesson:

Verse 16: "Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord…" Did not Lucifer rebel against God and take a third of the angels? Yes, indeed! Why? Because he wanted to become 'like the Most High'! He wanted to become God!

He succeeded in becoming the 'god of this world' because Adam and Eve sinned, and all the rest of humanity has sinned. Now, if he can conquer Jesus he would achieve his goal! This is the lesson that Jesus is telling the disciples.

"…nor a messenger greater than he who sent him" (v 16).

Remember the message where David sent the message to Joab, to pull back and let Uriah the Hittite die? That was sent with a seal. Too bad Joab didn't open it, but 'the messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.' Same way, because the disciples were to go out and teach all the world. They weren't to go out and all of a sudden have an idea:

Oh, this is really nice; we'll do this: Since all of the pagans meet on Sunday, let's do it on Sunday. Since all the pagans have the Eucharist on a spring Sunday morning, we'll do the same thing.

No, you don't change anything!

We find that Satan was there, Jesus dipped the sop and gave it to Satan/Judas and he left, v 27: "And after the sop, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, 'What you do, do quickly.'" None of them knew! The disciples were arguing back and forth as to who was the greatest. When Jesus said that 'someone is going to betray Me' they didn't know who it was. What a lesson!

That's why we have to go by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. That's the only way to the Truth. You can't base it on personalities. You can't base it on because people act nicely. We are to love one another and be nice to one another, that is true, but the to base eternal life on how good a person is, or a minister is, is to put the messenger ahead of God.

Let's see how Peter violated what he was just taught with the foot-washing, Luke 22:31: "Then the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, listen well. Satan has demanded to have all of you, to sift as wheat.'" Doesn't that tell you a lot! Yes, Satan wanted to have Peter.

Verse 32: "'But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.' And he said to Him, 'Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death'" (vs 32-33).

If you were a commander in the army and your troops acted that way, you would say, 'That's precisely how I want you to act.' But that would have been an interference with God's mission. He was putting himself, exalting himself, in a high position.

Verse 34: "But He said, 'I tell you, Peter, the cock shall in no wise crow today before you have denied knowing Me three times.'" We can look at it this way: You can apply this to:

  • the student is not above his teacher
  • he is 'to become like the teacher
  • the messenger is not greater than the one who sent him
  • the servant is not greater than his lord

Take all of that and apply it to false teachings and false doctrines.

Matthew 27:1: "Now, when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. And after binding Him, they led Him away and delivered Him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor. Now, when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He was condemned, he changed his mind and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, 'I have sinned and have betrayed innocent blood.'…." (vs 1-4). Satan was removed from Judas.

"…But they said, 'What is that to us? You see to it yourself.' And after throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he went out and hanged himself" (vs 4-6).

Now, the priests—ever righteous, v 6: "But the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, 'It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.'" They knew that it was murder money! They knew they were committing murder! But 'we're righteous.'

Verse 7: "And after taking counsel, they bought a potter's field with the pieces of silver, for a burial ground for strangers."

Why was it necessary for Judas to hang himself and die? Think about how many evil men in the world… Look at the end of WWII, Hitler committed suicide, all of his top henchmen committed suicide, and even Hermann Goring Geering. He was captured, went on trial and was convicted, but he wouldn't let them hang him. They were even watching him all that night, but he had a cyanide capsule in a jar of cream and he killed himself.

Look at what happens to people when the follow after Satan the devil. Would you not say that the whole nation of Germany was possessed? Yes! Madness!

After WWII we brought many of them here and Werner von Braun, the one who made the V-2 rockets, was the one who provided the way to go to the moon. Furthermore, all of the medical experiments that they were doing in Germany, we are now doing here. We conquered Germany and brought their sins to us. What's happened to our society?

When Judas said that 'I've sinned,' that doesn't mean that he really repented. It's like a mass murderer who says, 'I've sinned.' Well, we're still going to take your life.

  • Why did Judas' life have to be taken by himself?
  • Would the priests have put him on trial? No!
  • Would Pontius Pilate put him on trial and execute him? No!
  • Would the apostles take care of him their way? No!

God is the One Who took care of him! He had to pay the penalty of murder, which is death. That was his judgment. He confessed that he did it and took his life.

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What we need to do in understanding about the Passover and the crucifixion of Christ is how much God is directly involved in our lives. Those He is calling now and are in the New Covenant are very special to Him.

  • the world doesn't know us
  • the world doesn't understand us

But He's not calling the world now. He's calling:

  • those who want the Truth
  • those who want to know about God
  • those who love God
  • those who are willing to yield to Him in everything

Here in the first part of the Gospel of John it tells us how much God is involved in everything.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (vs 1-4).

Whether human beings admit it or not, all of are dependent upon God. In Him we live, move and have our being. He's given us free moral agency to where if we choose to reject Him, we can do that. But we will also pay the penalty, and the penalty will be that we will never know God! He's also made us so that we can repent and change and be converted. All of that is what He created. On His part:

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us… [dwelt temporarily with us] …(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and Truth."

Verse 16: "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." {note sermon series: [1] Grace Upon Grace, [2]Grace of God in the Bible, [3]Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping}

God is involved in our lives, and only through grace and Christ can we be saved. Because God gave the judgment against Adam and Eve—and our nature was changed to being hostile toward God, and we have the 'law of sin and death' within us—He took upon Himself this very same thing to redeem us. He did it willingly!

Remember the sermon Passover and the Love of God, and how we are to live in the love of Christ as He lives in the love of the Father. In John 10 the love of God is expressed.

What would you be willing to totally give up in order to save another human being? Jesus said that He 'lays His life down for us. That we are His friends and there is nothing greater that a person can do than 'lay down His life for His friends.' Even in wartime they give medals to those who give their lives to save others. But here God is doing it for a great and fantastic purpose.

John 10:14: "I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine." That comes from God's Spirit, God's Word and living God's way.

Verse 15: "Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." This is important because what Jesus did was obligatory, because of His judgment. But was voluntary because of His choices.

Verse 16: "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father" (vs 16-18).

Not only this, but He prophesied everything that would happen to Him. You might say that everything that has come upon the whole world—through sickness, disease, war, death, famine, everything that human beings have done—He took upon Himself. In effect, because He was God in the flesh, perfect and never sinned, to take all of things upon Himself is a fantastic judgment that He brought upon Himself to save humankind. That's why it's important and essential to understand all of the Holy Days and to realize that God has deliberately blinded the majority of the world, because He's only dealing with the firstfruits at the present time. His sacrifice will be applied to them later.

The whole chapter 53 of Isaiah is a prophecy of Jesus' life, His sacrifice and what He willingly did.

Isaiah 53:1: "Who has believed our report?…." Who would believe that God would do this. The atheists always say, 'Why did God do this? Why did God allow this? Why is there so much evil?' God alone is going to solve it!

"…And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant…" (vs 1-2). Jesus was taught every morning by the Father (Isa. 50).

"…and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor comeliness that we should look upon Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him" (v 2). He didn't come as a great movie star. He didn't come as a handsome giant. He didn't come greater or better than any other human being. He took upon Himself the form of man being born of the virgin Mary, to live a life just like all the rest of the human beings.

When we go through this, I want you think about some of the things that you may have suffered. I want you to understand that He was sinless and these things were greatly magnified against Him.

Verse 3: "He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows…" Yes, indeed! You look out and see the condition of human beings and all it does is just bring tears to your eyes. Jesus knew what was in every man! He knew what He had put in them!

"…and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not" (v 3).

For example: There's a quite an interesting little ad. This man is talking to some people—he's very nice looking and well-dressed—about finances and he says, 'Would you trust me as your financial advisor? They all say, 'Yes, we would trust you as our financial advisor.' All of a sudden he revealed who he was. He was a rock star and he started dancing around and all of this sort of thing. They couldn't believe it!

You take someone who is despised and rejected and say, 'All right, do you accept him?' Oh, no, couldn't accept him; look at that, how bad he is!

Here's what He did, v 4: "Surely He has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows; yet, we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." 'Yes, He deserved it.' All the scribes, Levites, etc. said that He deserved it. If You're the Messiah, why don't You come down off the cross? If You're Messiah, why don't You come to us, we're the leaders, we're righteous? We only follow Satan the devil, that's okay, but come to us!'

Verse 5: "But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities…" Think about all the human beings that have been killed, bludgeoned and everything, and all that die in war. Look at the 150 people killed recently just because one man was nuts! No one knew what was in his head. No one knew that he was going to do this. But he comely and coolly just locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the plane to descend to ground-zero and smashed into the Alps. Did they have a chance? Did they deserve to die? Don't you think that if they knew they were going to die before they got on the plane that they would not have gotten on the plane? Or they would have made arrangements for something?

But now it's so devastating that they didn't even know where they were. You couldn't tell who was who. Would you say that's being crushed? Yes! That's why Christ was crushed!

"…the chastisement of our peace was upon Him…" (v 5)—in order that we can have peace with God.

Remember how all the epistles start; the epistles are something! No other book in the world is like the Bible; all of them are unholy, but people consider some of them to be 'holy.' The New Testament is like none other.

  • God came and talked to His people in person—the Gospels
  • a history of the preaching of the Gospels—the book of Acts
  • the epistles—personal letters

It's not like a declaration or a contract under law. It not even like the Old Testament in the same way. Parts of the Old Testament are carried over into the New Testament, but these are personal letters. How did Paul open every one of His letters? Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! He was chastised for our peace!

"…and with His stripes we ourselves are healed" (v 5)—physically and spiritually! We need our mind healed with God's Spirit. We need the 'washing of the water by the Word.'

Physically there are many things we can do today to help ourselves. But physically we need to look to Christ. Sometimes we end up with afflictions like I've had with my feet. Sooner or later I know that God is going to heal me. If not, I just say that Paul was afflicted, he besought God three times to be healed and God didn't do it, so whatever it may be. We can't let that deter us either.

Verse 6: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned each one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." The sins of the whole world caused by the one sin of Adam and Eve and Satan the devil.

Verse 7: "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet, He opened not His mouth…." He didn't say 'that's not fair.' How many times have you gone through things and said, 'That's not fair!'

  • What is fairness?
  • What is justice?
  • Jesus taking upon Himself the sins of the whole world, is that not fair?
  • For those who are not called in this lifetime, is not fair?
  • Is it not more than fair that God give you a second physical life to understand the Truth?

No one else can do that but God! That's amazing!

"…He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away…" (vs 7-8). Everything about what happened to Jesus was illegal—everything!

"…and with His generation who did consider that He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken" (v 8). He knew this! He knew what it was!

Verse 9: "And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet, the LORD willed… [planned it, purposed it] …to crush Him and He has put Him to grief: You shall make His life an offering for sin. He shall see His seed… [we're to be the seed of Abraham—spiritual seed] …He shall prolong His days… [through the resurrection] …and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper in His hand" (vs 9-10). That's why we need to understand everything about the plan of God. It is His purpose!

Verse 11: He shall see of the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many…" We will see why only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can justify from sin, to be put in right standing with God!

Think about how special God's people are to God and how you are to God in spite of everything that may be in the physical circumstances around you.

  • He loves you
  • He has called you
  • He died for you

He has a plan and purpose that you are going to work with Christ to save all of humanity and all of those who never had an opportunity for salvation. That is something!

"…and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will divide to Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul to death; and He was counted among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors" (vs 11-12).

Let's see something else that He also knew was going to take place. Psa. 22 is one of the most astounding Psalms of all of the 150 Psalms. I've often wondered that when David wrote this down, did he really understand what he was writing down? None of these things affected him. There are some words of David here, but most of them are the prophetic words of Christ, what was going to happen to Him while He was on the cross dying.

He willingly came and divested Himself of everything that He was as God. He gave up His glory and power and became a pinpoint of life to be begotten in the virgin Mary, to be born to live a whole physical life. He became the offering; God Himself in the flesh dying for His creation. He felt this, that the time from the third hour to the sixth hour that it was dark. He had to bear the sins Himself. He cried out and we find this in the Gospels:

Psalm 22:1: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me… [that was an expression of His human nature; alone, desperate, suffering, dying] …and why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?"

Verse 6: "But I am a worm…" Yet, He was God. How many people feel down and out and depressed, all the things that come upon human beings. Wasted lives, ruined lives, upset emotions. Everything that human nature goes through and human beings experience.

"…I am a worm and no man…" (v 6). He didn't say, 'God, why did you do this? Don't You know I'm Your Son on this cross?' NO! He said:

"…a reproach of men and despised by the people. All who see Me mock Me; they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying, 'He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him!'" (vs 6-8). That's what the priests were doing. 'Well, look at You, You're all beaten and flesh is hanging down from you; come down off the cross and we'll believe You.' The plan and purpose of God was greater!

Verse 9: "For You are He who took Me out of the womb…" Notice what He was focusing on. His whole purpose and reflecting back on when He was born.
The Father brought Him forth "…causing Me to trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth; You are My God from My mother's womb" (vs 9-10). And absolutely true He never sinned once.

Verse 11: "Be not far from Me; for trouble is near, for there is none to help. Many bulls have encircled around Me…" (vs 11-12). Just imagine the whole city of Jerusalem under a big super dome. Here are all the demons circling around and Satan there: 'Yes! Let Him sin! Let Him sin! Let Him die!'

The angels of God were also there. The Father had to cover over; He couldn't look at it, because Christ had to take all of this on His own. There's this great battle going forth. Christ knew that He could not sin, even hanging on the cross, so He was thinking about how He came and how He was born.

"…strong bulls of Bashan have surrounded Me. They opened wide their mouths at Me, like a ravening and a roaring lion" (vs 12-13). Who is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? None other than Satan the devil!

Verse 14: "I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint…" Talk about pain, hurt, sorrow and difficulties that we go through as human beings, think of what Christ went through never having sinned!

"…My heart is like wax…" (v 14). He could just feel Himself dying.

"…it is melted in the midst of My bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; dogs have surrounded Me; a band of evildoers have encircled Me; they have pierced My hands and My feet; and You have brought Me into the dust of death" (vs 14-16):

  • because He loves us
  • because He loved the Father
  • because He loves all those who have His Holy Spirit
  • because He loves all of mankind, to give them an opportunity, as well, in His great plan

Verse 17: "I can count all My bones… [looking down He could see His ribs] …they look and gloat over Me. They divide My garments among them and cast lots upon My vesture" (vs 17-18). They didn't even know that they were doing it, that it was prophesied.

Verse 19: "But You, O LORD, be not far from Me; O My strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver My soul from the sword… [the spear] …My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth; yea, and from the wild ox's horns. You have answered Me. I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him; all of you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and stand in awe of Him all of you, the seed of Israel" (vs 19-23).

I think every year when we go through these things, we learn a little more, we understand more. Since God made us physical human beings, He:

  • made us to be renewed
  • made us so we could be converted
  • made us so we could be born into the Kingdom of God

The reason we go through so much difficulty and problem, and have to fight against sin and Satan the devil, is that is in the plan of God He does not want anymore rebellion ever in all the ages of eternity. Therefore:

  • we learn obedience
  • we learn love
  • we learn through the things that we suffer

Christ went through and shared all of that with us. All the Israelites knew of God.

Hebrews 1:1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things… [that's going to be given to us] …by Whom also He made the ages; Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…" (vs 1-3). Remember when Philip said, 'Show us the Father.' Jesus said, 'If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.'

"…and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3). That's why there has to be love, truth, faith, belief and all of these characteristics first. You cannot wield power without righteousness and Truth. Look what happens when there isn't that. Look at the world today! Look at our narcissistic President, acting as if he's the only person on the face of the earth. You have to have the humility that comes from God.

Verse 3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory… [after being resurrected] …and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power… [to use it all righteously for the purpose of God] …when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… [the resurrection and ascension] …having been made so much greater than any of the angels…" (vs 3-4). Angels could not do this, what Jesus did.

"…inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'?…." (vs 4-5). Quote from Psa. 2 when did Jesus become the Son? When He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary!

"…And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'?" (v 5). Notice how Paul quotes all these Scriptures, one after the other.

Verse 6: "And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world… [when Jesus was born] …He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'" Remember the two shepherds out there watching the sheep? The heavens opened up and here's a whole host of angels singing Glory to God in the Highest! Then they told the shepherds to go into Bethlehem and you'll find a babe in a manger. They did, they found Him.

Verse 7: "Now, on the one hand, of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.' But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God…'" (vs 7-8).

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Christ was God manifested in the flesh!

Hebrews 1:8: "…'Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom… [the rule] …You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions'" (vs 8-9).

Hebrews 2:6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man, that You are mindful of him…'" Think about how great God is! There are nearly 7-billion people alive in the world today. How many from Adam and Eve up until this time? Are we into trillions? A trillion is a thousand billion. God has the capacity and the ability to be in contact with every single one. But He's not! He's in contact with those who have His Spirit, wherever they are.

I imagine that in the world there are many that we don't even know about, that we have never even heard about that will be in the resurrection.

Verse 7: "You did make him a little lower than the angels…" That's true, and Psa. 8:5 says a little lower than God, that is true; they're both true.

"…You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands" (v 7). What did He tell Adam and Eve? Here's the whole world, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it, use it, I made it for you! That ought to be the guide of all of our ecological things. God is the greatest ecologist of all!

Verse 8: "'You did put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him…. [but that comes later] …But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death…" (vs 8-9). Christ's death was the death!It covers the death of all human beings! It was so absolutely spectacular what He went through: the death!

"…in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9)—to forgive their sins, because the wages of sin is death. How great is that? I just wonder what it's going to be like when these atheists are all raised from the dead to a second physical life? 'Where am I? What is this?' Remember the God that you rejected? He's given you life again so that you may have an opportunity for eternal life! 'Really?' That's going to be a shocker, yes, indeed!

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (vs 10-11). The Firstborn among many brethren! This brings in the first resurrection.

  • the first resurrection is special
  • the first resurrection puts us into the Family of God at a level, which will not be attainable in the second resurrection

That's something! We are called the Church of the Firstborn, and the firstborn that suffers gets a double portion. Think about it! That's why we're not to get bogged down in all the little things that go on, but to keep our mind on the purpose of God. God is so great in what He has for us, and I don't think—even though we preach about love and teach about love and say we need to love each other; all that is true—to be able to experience the spiritual love of God the Father and see Him face-to-face is going to be quite a thing! All of this is because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

I think that this is going to happen on the Sea of Glass when we're all there: we're going to be presented to the Father. After all, doesn't He want to see His children? After all that has gone on through history and all that has gone on through the Church and everything? Yes!

We're all assembled and Christ is going to introduce us to God the Father and He will say, v 12: "…'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'" (vs 12-13). I wonder if that's the time we get our new name?

Verse 14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil; and that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels…" (vs 14-16). That's interesting—isn't it? Does that include the sinning angels? He doesn't help them?

"…but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham" (v 16). That's why you have to go back to Gen. 15 where He says, 'Your seed will be like the stars of heaven that will shine forever.

Verse 17: "For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted" (vs 17-18).

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" (vs 14-15). We all have weaknesses—don't we? We do things we don't want to do. We even tell ourselves we're not going to do them and then we do them! Isn't that true? Yes!

"…but One Who was tempted in all things… [that's where we started in Luke 4] …according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin" (v 15). That's why He had to have full human nature; otherwise, He couldn't be tempted.

Verse 16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

This is what Christ had to do while He was in the flesh. Do you think your fighting human nature is hard? Think about Christ having to fight human nature, having to carry it within His own fleshly body so that sin could be condemned in the flesh, Jesus' flesh, and He could not sin!

Hebrews 5:7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered" (vs 7-8). That is why we need to learn from the things that we suffer. Us, we deserve it! Him, He did not!

Verse 9: "And having been perfected…" He went through this and did this, God Himself—Who is perfect—was perfected even more.

"…He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, after He had been designated by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 9-10).

Seven Sayings of Christ while on the Cross

We see the very first thing He does on the cross, with His blood pouring down, was to intercede as High Priest. This is quite amazing when you understand it. This is why we have to study the Bible over and over again, because we learn things that we wouldn't have learned otherwise.

This tells us a great deal about the mercy of God. Have you had a hard time forgiving someone who did something to you? Sometimes there are things that come along and it's awfully hard to forgive! You run around in your own mind and think, 'How could he/she do that? How could this happen? How could it be?

We've all gone through things like that. Then we read that we're to get along with one another, forgive one another. Peter said, 'Seven times?' Jesus said, 'No, seven times seventy!' That's a tall order!

Now, think about everything that was done to Christ just on this crucifixion day, to say nothing of all the times during His ministry.

Luke 23:34: "Then Jesus said, 'Father, [#1]forgive them… [the ones who were doing it] for they do not know what they are doing.'…." It was the great battle between righteousness and evil, between God and Satan. "…they do not know what they are doing…." What's the intercession of the High Priest? Father forgive them!

Don't ever think that you've sinned so bad that God can't forgive you. Well, if you're worried about the unpardonable sin because of your sins, you haven't committed it. The unpardonable sin is an absolute rejection of God and His Spirit, and there is no remorse.

Talking to the thief who was crucified with Him, v 43: "And Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I tell you today, [#2]you shall be with Me in paradise.'"

Sidebar: If the thief immediately went to 'paradise' when he died, then who would be the first one to heaven? Christ? or the thief? Ever think about that? It's just the placement of the comma. He said that He was telling today that the thief will be with Him in paradise, but He didn't say when it would happen.

Here again it shows Christ's love, His compassion, understanding, etc., John 19:26: "When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, [#3]'Woman, behold your son.'" Jesus' mind was not on Himself; it was on others. We don't know the exact reason for that, but maybe it was because the apostles' abodes or His brothers' abodes may have been subject to adverse things. I don't know.

Verse 27: "Then He said to the disciple, [#4]'Behold your mother.' And from that time, the disciple took her into his own home."

Matthew 27:46: "And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, [#5]'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" The words that we read in Psa. 22.

Jesus had to experience being totally alone, because all during His ministry He says, 'I and My Father are one. My Father is with Me.' Just like in Heb. 1, that by Himself purged our sins; left totally alone!

Luke 23:46: "And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, [#6]'Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.'…."—trusting God fully to the end. That spirit that went back to God the Father, was everything that Jesus was. But remember, the spirit cannot function without a mind and a body. So, this spirit was reunited with the body and mind of Christ at the resurrection.

"…And when He had said these things, He expired" (v 46).

There's one other thing that He said, John 19:30: "And so, when Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, [#7]'It is finished.' And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit."

Let's keep all these things in mind as we come to the Passover. This is why it would be good to take the time between now and then and really study the things in the Passover Ceremony booklet, because that is the contract, or the New Covenant, all written down. They are all the words of God.

This how we can prepare for the Passover and give us a greater understanding of what God has done for us and will be applied to all humanity in God's plan and time!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 49:1-4
  • Luke 4:1-13
  • Luke 22:1-2
  • John 8:24-25, 31, 41-45
  • Luke 22:3-6
  • John 13:2-4, 13-16, 27
  • Luke 22:31-34
  • Matthew 27:1-7
  • John 1:1-4, 14,16
  • John 10:14-18
  • Isaiah 53:1-12
  • Psalm 22:1, 6-23
  • Hebrews 1:1-8
  • John 1:1
  • Hebrews 1:8-9
  • Hebrews 2:6-18
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Hebrews 5:7-10
  • Luke 23:34, 43
  • John 19:26-27
  • Matthew 27:46
  • Luke 23:46
  • John 19:30

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 50
  • Isaiah 50
  • Psalm 2; 8:5
  • Genesis 15

Also referenced:

Sermon Series

  • Grace Upon Grace
  • Grace of God in the Bible
  • Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping

Sermon: Passover and the Love of God
Booklet: Passover Ceremony

Transcribed: 5-23-15

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