Lesson from John 12

Fred R. Coulter—March 29, 1986
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I have broken down John 12 into eight sections:

  • the anointing of Jesus' feet
  • the crowds of people and Lazarus
  • Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem
  • the Pharisees' jealousy
  • total loving—Jesus toward us and us toward Jesus
  • the selection of Jesus as the Lamb of God
  • the hardening of the heart
  • belief and Jesus

I just want to refer you to a sermon that I did: The One Who is Believing into Jesus.

We will find that down through about John 12:8 that there appears to be a contradiction with this in another account in Mark 14. When I did A Harmony of the Gospels I discovered that there was no contradiction at all. These events in John 12 quickly go through much of the six-day period, which is covered in the Harmony. That's what we find, there were two incidents.

John 12:1: "Now, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had died, and whom He had raised from the dead. There they made a supper for Him… [at Lazarus' house] …and Martha served; and Lazarus was one of those who sat with Him. Mary… [sister of Martha and Lazarus] …then took a pound of pure spikenard ointment worth a great price and anointed Jesus' feet, wiping His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the aroma of the ointment. As a result, one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who was about to betray Him, said, 'Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred silver coins, and given to the poor?' Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and carried what was put in it" (vs 1-6). In other words, he was taking from their community treasury.

This is Judas Iscariot's ideological mask. How many people have very evil lives, but have an ideological mask for the world to consume, that they're really 'good guys.'

We can just start with politicians, church leaders and everything else. Here's one of the apostles. It wasn't that he cared for the poor.

Verse 7: "Then Jesus said, 'Let her alone; she has been keeping it toward the day of My burial. For you have the poor with you always, but you do not always have Me.'" (vs 7-8).

Let's just think about what we covered. First of all it was in Lazarus' home. Next, it was Mary who took the ointment and put it on Jesus' feet. We find that the very next morning He goes into Jerusalem. So, apparently, this had to do with His feet going into Jerusalem.

We're going to see a different account in Mark 14, a completely different situation than the one we find in John 12. Most Bible commentaries will tell you that they can't figure out why there's such a contradiction. They never think to ask that maybe there could have been two incidences of it.

Mark 14:1: "Now, after two days was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread…" The first one was six days before the Passover. This is two days before the Passover.

"…and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might stealthily lay hold of Him and kill Him. But they said, 'Not during the Feast, lest there be a riot among the people.' Now He was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper…" (vs 1-3)—same town, different house. Was there more than one house in Bethany? Yes, there was! Was Lazarus' house and there was Simon the leper.

"…and as He was sitting to eat, a woman came…" (v 3). Didn't know who it was. We know specifically who it was in John 12: Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

"…carrying an alabaster flask of ointment of pure spikenard worth a great price…" (v 3). Was there only one flask of spikenard in the town of Bethany? or Could there have been many more than one? There could have been many more than one!

"…and after breaking the alabaster flask, she poured it on His head" (v 3). This tells us that this was a new box; it couldn't have been the one that was used four days before, because she broke it open.

Let's notice something else: Where was this put? In John 12 it was on His feet, and in Mark 14 it was on His head. Why would the one be on His feet in one case, and the other be on His head in the other case? The only answer I can give is that to anoint His feet, the next day He came in and was proclaimed Hosanna!  Walking and then riding the colt into Jerusalem. Those four days of confrontation with the Jews and the Pharisees in Jerusalem, and everyday He would go into Jerusalem and come back to Bethany.

When He finished that, then two days before the Passover He was all done with the confrontation with the scribes, Pharisees and Jews. He was ready for the crucifixion. That's the only reason I can figure that His head was anointed in that particular case rather than His feet.

Here "…she poured it on His head. But some were indignant within themselves and said… [the same excuse]: …'Why has this ointment been wasted? For it was possible for this to be sold for over three hundred silver coins, and to give to the poor.'…." (vs 3-5). Could Judas Iscariot have said that more than once? Sure he could have! And if it was done the second time, he would do it even more; he would be even more indignant. Here's the situation looking at it from Judas' point of view: Look at that! What a waste!

"…And they were criticizing her…. [it was more than Judas this time] …But Jesus said, 'Let her alone; why are you causing her trouble? She has performed a good work toward Me. For you have the poor with you always, and you are able to do good for them whenever you desire; but you do not always have Me. She did what she could for Me. She came to anoint My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this Gospel shall be preached in all the world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of for a memorial of her'" (vs 5-9).

I think that there were two separate distinct anointings on two different days, and, obviously, for the burial of Jesus, but for two distinct portions of the work that He was going to do.

Otherwise, He would have said here, clearly, Lazarus or Mary—because we come down here a little further in Mark 16 and He names both Marys having to do when they went up to the tomb after the resurrection. So, obviously, he would have named it.

I think that's the best way to handle what would appear to be a contradiction. Many contradictions appear to be in the Bible, because too many of the Bible scholars put Scripture against Scripture rather than adding them together. Many times they will take one Scripture and say, 'The contradicts this Scripture over here when you actually have two different circumstances, and they should all be put together.

There's a time when Jesus said, 'Judge not that you be not judged.' and 'Judge righteous judgment.' Does one contradict the other. No! There's a time when not to judge, and there is a time to judge, both circumstances different. So, just remember that in studying the Bible, when you come to something that looks like a contradiction don't assume that it is just because someone might say so.

There's a book put out by Halley, the same man that put out Halley's Handbook of the Bible, and he has 219-23 apparent contradictions in the Bible. He goes through and shows that they are not contradictions.

Here is the section with the crowds of people with Lazarus. Remember, it was spread all abroad that Lazarus was raised from the dead. Of course, leading up to the time just before the Passover there were crowds and crowds of people there. If someone came up and told you, 'I know a man who was resurrected from the dead. I saw him.' Where is he? 'He's only over here in Bethany.'

How far away is that from Jerusalem? Two miles! 'Let's go see him.' Wouldn't you want to see him, someone who was raised from the dead. We're kind of callus, because we have all these hospitals that people go to and people are saved from death right along, so we don't view that as they would. They had no television to watch, no newspaper to read, no photograph to see. What would they do? All run out to see Lazarus!

Here's Jesus in there for the supper and Lazarus is with him; John 12:9: "Then a great crowd of the Jews found out that He was there. And they came, not only because of Jesus…" Who did it? Jesus did! Their over here in the house together, 'let's go see Him.'

"…but also that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead" (v 9). That was a big drawing card for them to come and see Jesus and also Lazarus.

Verse 10: "But the chief priests took counsel in order that they might kill Lazarus also…. [get rid of the evidence] …Because by reason of him [Lazarus], many of the Jews were leaving them… [from the scribes and Pharisees and the religious things that they had] …and believing in Jesus" (vs 10-11). There's part of the jealousy of the Jews.

Verse 12: "On the next day… [in the morning] …a great crowd of people who had come for the Feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, took branches from palm trees and went out to meet Him, and were shouting, 'Hosanna!…. [salvation or to be saved (the root of that)] …Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.' Now, after finding a young donkey, Jesus sat upon it, exactly as it is written: 'Fear not, daughter of Sion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a colt of a donkey'" (vs 12-15). That's an unusual thing to happen in that particular case, but there He did.

Verse 16: "And His disciples did not understand these things at the beginning…" That's quite a statement, especially in relationship to our discussion of the resurrection.

  • How many times did Jesus tell them about the resurrection? I don't know!
  • How many times did Jesus preach the things similar to what we find in what is called The Sermon on the Mount? I don't know!

But I'm sure He preached them more than once. You've got to sure that He preached them more than once, just as He healed on many occasions. Hundreds! Thousands of occasions!

"…but when Jesus was glorified…" (v 16).

  • What did Jesus say He would send when He was resurrected? The Holy Spirit!
  • What was the Holy Spirit to do? Bring to remembrance all things that He had taught them!

"…then they remembered that these things were written about Him, and that they had done these things to Him. Then the group that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, testified of what they had seen" (vs 16-17). Here these people are all going around testifying that, 'yes, we saw it; we were there. We knew that he died four days before this occurred.'

Verse 18: "Because of this, the people also met Him, for they had heard of this miracle that He had done." Why would people want to do that? Lord, when I die will you raise me from the dead? Isn't that the first thing they would ask? Sure they would! Or: 'Lord, if my daughter or son dies, will you raise them from the dead? Jesus didn't raise very many dead people! If my memory serves me, only three! I think the Apostle Paul raised one, and the Apostle Peter raised one; that's the only accounts that we have.

I'm sure there may have been others from time-to-time, but this was a phenomenal thing that was done. That's why the people were coming.

Verse 19: "Then the Pharisees said among themselves, 'Do you see that we are not gaining in any way? Look! The world has gone after Him.'" Does that mean the whole world, all the nations? No! That means the whole Jewish world! Who controlled the Jewish world? The Pharisees! The Sadducees! They controlled it.

A little analogy: Adlai Stevenson ran as a candidate on the Democratic ticket for governor and he won. However, the Democratic Party has a radical right wing element called the LaRouche Party. The candidate on the Democratic ticket for the Lt. Governor was a LaRouche supporter, and the candidate for Secretary of State was a LaRouche supporter. What happened to the Democrats. They sent out the word to get rid of all the LaRouche supporters on all tickets. Why? Because they were afraid of losing power!

The same thing was happening here with Jesus and the people. Who would want to follow a hateful Pharisee when you could follow Christ? Who would want to go after the Pharisees—who could do no miracles—when you could follow Christ, Who did miracles? That's some competition; 'we have to get rid of the competition.'

This also tells us how well-known Jesus really was! Remember what the Apostle Paul said when he told Felix the king that 'this was not done in a corner'? It was done openly! How well was Jesus known? Do you think that God would send the Messiah and have a three and half-year ministry in which no one was touched? No! It turned the whole Jewish world upside down!

We know that the Jews would come in on the pilgrim feast for Passover and Feast of Tabernacles. Where was Jesus when all these things occurred? Right there! Jesus was right there when they occurred! What do you think these people would do when they'd go back to the country they came from? You get together on the Sabbath in your local synagogue back in Babylon;'Tell us about your trip to Jerusalem.' There was this man Jesus and I saw Him heal lepers!

That's why when it came to the Day of Pentecost there were so many people in Jerusalem. They wanted to know what happened to Jesus. You can believe that it didn't take too long. I don't know how long the Roman postage was, but I'm sure it didn't take 50 days—from Passover to Pentecost—that they couldn't have gotten a letter out by mail to some of their friends somewhere to say, 'Come to Jerusalem for Pentecost, because this One Who is called the Savior and Messiah has been resurrected. The Jews say that He was taken away by His disciples. Come!'

That must have been really something when that Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) came. It wasn't some little thing done over here in a corner. It was a huge, gigantic thing, so much so that the Pharisees were saying, 'We don't prevail anything; "…the world has gone after Him." So, they had to stop Jesus!

That's why in the last six days before the crucifixion, Jesus went in and deliberately confronted the scribes and Pharisees! Deliberately went in and did things! That's why He went in and cleansed the temple. The Pharisees probably said, 'Here we go again!'

Remember when Jesus fed the 5,000 (John 6)? Where the people said, 'Let's make Him king so we can be fed forever'? How about with all these miracles? They were thinking that Jesus just came in and they were saying 'Hosanna, the King of Israel!' They were going to lose everything!

Verse 20: "Now there were certain Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the Feast." Greeks in this particular case can mean Greek-speaking Jews. Not necessarily Greek proselytes. It can mean both, but chances are this means Greek-speaking Jews. They were called 'Hellenists': one who spoke the Greek language. It could be Greek proselytes and/or Greek-speaking Jews.

Verse 21: "And these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee; and they asked him, saying, 'Sir, we desire to see Jesus.' Philip came and told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, 'The time has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit'" (vs 21-24). He was talking of Himself. This was His death, a prophecy of His death.

Then Jesus goes on to say something very important. Remember that the prayer of Jesus, before He was arrested: Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from Me; but nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done!

His humanness was saying the same thing that any other human would. It's going to be a hassle. Why go through it. But nevertheless, 'Your will be done!' Of course, He knew all the prophecies and everything involved with it.

Then He says, which gets to the thing of fear and death; v 25: "The one who loves his life shall lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life."

That's quite a saying! How is it that we lose our lives? That's full sermon in itself, to lose your life in Christ! How do you lose your life in Christ? You go off up into a hill, like some of these monasteries. The finally ran a test on some of these monasteries where they go for peace, quiet and serenity. They found out that they end up being a bunch of mental cases and goofy people.

Do you lose your life in Christ by going up there? No! You lose your life in Christ by letting Christ be in you! That's how you lose your life in Christ!

Let's see how we can put all this together. The word hates means love less in comparison to. We're to love God and 'love our neighbor as ourselves.' This Greek word means to love less in comparison to. Here's a commitment that we make to God. This is why, when you really think of it and put it all together, if a person is going to make this kind of commitment to God, what is one of the worst sins that someone can do to that individual?

What is the worst sin that someone can do to an individual who has completely done this:

Luke 14:26: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate… [to love God more in comparison to] …his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." This is a commitment we make to God. Let's all think about the things that we have gone through. We make this commitment to God. We don't go back on it; there is no retrieving this commitment to God. It is absolute, it is irrevocable, it is on-going, it is something that has to be done all the time, daily.

Verse 27: "And whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." There's another account in the book of Luke that says, 'and bear His cross daily.' It's a daily thing that we have to do.

To love God and not the world requires an awful lot of sacrifice from a human point of view. If you've come to the point of making that kind of commitment:

  • What is the worst thing that can be done to people who have made that kind of commitment?
  • People interfere with it!
  • How do they interfere with it?
  • What is the worst kind of interference that can be done to a person's life who has made that commitment?
  • Putting doubts in!
  • What is the worst?
  • The religious leaders who use that as leverage against you to control you!

Have you ever had that done to you? That is the worst thing, because you take a commitment to God and then you transfer that as a commitment to a human being, or to human regulations.

Why does the Church of God go through these different cycles? Because church leaders will use that as leverage against people! If you don't believe in church authority you're not going to be in the Kingdom of God. What is that? You've taken the dedication and commitment to Christ and transferred that to the authority of the Church for human means!

To me, that is the worst thing that someone could do to a person's faith and commitment to Christ. That they use it for their own ends and means. I can't think of anything else that it would mean, because what you're doing is taking a commitment to Christ and diverting it to the means of the organization or the way to get things done.

That's why, brethren, all of us here are very sensitive to that kind of thing. We've had our faith trampled enough that we don't want it trampled again. Therefore, the only way that we are going to grow and continue in the way that we are is that there is no one between you and Christ and no one has the right to leverage your faith in Christ to do something that they want done. That includes:

  • taking of tithes and offerings
  • doing favors and things for ministers
  • following a man in spite of the fact they're following Christ

All of those things; every one of those things? If we have that kind of commitment to God, then for someone to come along and abuse it, that's really quite an abusive thing. Let's see this kind of love and commitment we have to Christ:

Matthew 10:34: "Now then, whoever shall confess Me before men…" There's nothing between the person and Christ. Does 'whoever' limit it to anybody? No!

"…that one will I also confess before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, that one will I also deny before My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 34-35). Imagine how Peter felt when he went back and read that later on after his incident with denying Christ.

  • What is the limitation here?
  • Who is doing the limiting?
  • Christ! and God the Father!

No human being can! No human being can come along and say, 'If you don't do thus and such you're going into the Lake of Fire. They can say it, but they can't make it stick. Who knows, you may do something really bad, but you may also go repent.

Verse 34: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." As far as 'religion' goes, that is true! As far as Christianity and Judaism that is absolutely true! In a book Anti Judaism and the Origin of Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi it tells you two things:

  • the continuation of Judaism has been based on hatred to Christ
  • the foundation of the Catholic Church has been based on hatred toward Jews

Is God going to build on anything based upon hate?

If you read this book you will be amazed at the extent that the Gentiles and the Jews both hated each other with such an acrimonious bitterness, it's incredible. When I read this, it really opened my eyes into seeing what really went on and why so many people were willing to believe these false apostles and preachers. Because once you do a job on someone and really put them down…

And, of course, the Jews—Pharisees and scribes—did a lot to themselves. So then, Satan comes in and divides and conquers even more with hatred. That's why Jesus said, 'Don't think I've come to bring peace on earth, I came not to send peace but a sword. Isn't that interesting. Yet, He's called the Prince of Peace! Is that a contradiction? Could you say that this is a contradiction of the Bible? No! He's going to bring peace in God's time! Right now we have peace with God.

Verse 35: "For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household" (vs 35-36). That doesn't sound like too grand a time—does it?

Verse 37: "The one who loves father or mother more than Me… [here's this total dedication to God] …is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." How many people base their entire religion, supposedly, in Christ.

They base it on their family: 'I was born a Catholic, my parents were Catholics, I will remain a Catholic.' They make the choice based upon family or whatever it is. 'I am a Jew, my parents are Jews, I'm going to remain a Jew.' Or a Hindu, Buddhist—"…is not worthy of Me."

Verse 38: "And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life shall lose it…" (vs 38-39). How do people find their lives in the world? They find a way of living that is comfortable to them provided by Satan, so they can avoid God! Did Satan offer this to Jesus? Yes, he did! (Matt. 4; Luke 4).

"…and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (v 39). God does not view things as we view things. If we lose our life in Christ we are going to find it. Therefore, we can relax, have happiness and peace. God will be with us. It doesn't mean that we won't have difficulties or trials along the way. Sure we will, but we can face every one of them through Christ! As far as the world is concerned, we're lost. As far as Christ is concerned, we're saved. How deceived is the world going to be? They're going to fight Christ when He returns!

Brethren, always remember: you make this commitment to God—which you and I have made—and no one is to interfere with that or leverage that against you!

There was a man who was deacon in the Church in Southern California—I don't know if it was Church of God or not—who read that a deacon is supposed to go out and relieve the widows and the fatherless. Well, he used that as leverage against people so that he would go out and tell them that God's Word tells the widows that they ought to commit adultery with him because he's to 'relieve' the widows and the fatherless.

That may sound humorous, but there are people who have gone to that length! Be on guard! What did Jesus say, the first thing He told His disciples when they asked, 'When will these things be?'? Beware that no one deceives you! NO ONE!

I think when we know the true history of the Church, as Christ is going to write it for the textbooks for being taught in the Millennium, it's going to stand our hair on end to know what went on!

John 12:25: "The one who loves his life shall lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life. If anyone will serve Me, let him follow Me…" (vs 25-26).

We're going to learn during the Days of Unleavened Bread how you are really unleavened. Not just because you put leavened bread out of your homes—which we're to do; we're really unleavened because Christ is in us! That's how we're really unleavened! And you follow Christ!

"…and where I am, there shall My servant be also. And if anyone serves Me, him shall the Father honor" (v 26). Those are tremendously important teachings for us to really know, understand and realize.

If you put the shoe on the other foot; let's reverse the scenario. If there have been ministers who have leverage against this commitment to brethren, to have them do the things of a man, if you do it the other way: if the people in the ministry know that we are following Christ, serving Christ, then those things don't have to be—do they?

I think you can see since we've been together, how much of a hassle have we had? Haven't had any! None! It's a 'no hassle' church. Why? Because no one is trying to take advantage of anyone! Everyone is serving and loving Christ! That' makes it a lot easier! We don't have to wait for great, huge quivering letters to come in the mail bombastically telling us thus and such and the other thing. We've gone through all that.

Verse 27: Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this very purpose I have come to this hour." We're going to see the tremendous thing that Jesus did.

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Just think of what Jesus had to go through, especially from the point of view of

  • knowing that he was the Son of God
  • knowing that God was His Father
  • knowing the total evil of Satan the devil

Remember that when the disciples came back and said, 'We can even cast out the demons.' He told them, 'Don't rejoice over that, rejoice that your names are written in heaven, but I saw Satan fall from heaven as lightning!'

He knew all of that! All of that was in His mind! Imagine what a total agony it was for Christ to go through what He did just to live in the flesh, let alone go through the crucifixion. You would know that you could not sin once, not once!

This part of the conversation, from v 27 on, occurred on the Sabbath, which was the 10th of Nisan, the 1st month. What were the Israelites to do on the 10th of Nisan in relationship to the Passover? They were to select a lamb! Who is the Lamb of God? Jesus Christ! Here is the day that Jesus was officially designated by God the Father as the Lamb of God.

Verse 28: "'Father, glorify Your name.' Then a voice came from heaven, saying, 'I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.'" Obviously, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I want you think about what was glorious about what Jesus did in coming here as a human being.

Verse 29: "Then the people standing there, who heard it, said, 'It thundered.' Others said, 'An angel spoke to Him.' Jesus answered and said, 'This voice did not come because of Me, but because of you. Now is the judgment of this world….'" (vs 29-31). Here we have kind of an overlap between the Passover and the Day of Atonement as far as some of the meaning goes. The Day of Atonement has an overlapping with the Passover. The Day of Atonement is for forgiving all the sins of the children of Israel.

The Passover is passing over the firstborn, and also, we know for the forgiveness of our sins. But who is the author of all sin? Satan the devil! Here is the judgment of Satan the devil. Who chose Christ? God the Father!

"'…Now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (v 31). To refresh your memory, I'll just summarize: Lev. 16—there were two goats to be selected for the Day of Atonement: one for the Lord, one for Azazel, a name of Satan the devil.

When the one was selected for the Lord, it was sacrificed to God. The One for Azazel was removed and sent away! So, we have an exact parallel here. Christ was selected as the sacrifice of God, and at that point the judgment of Satan the devil came upon his own head.

Verse 31: "Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out." The 'prince of this world' is not Jesus Christ! Who is the 'prince of the power of the air'? Satan the devil! The 'prince of this world' is Satan the devil (John 16). Here is the distinction. Christ is selected, Satan is rejected.

Verse 32: "'And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.' But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die. The people answered Him, 'We have heard out of the law that the Christ lives forever…'" (vs 32-34). Were there Scriptures talking about His crucifixion? Yes, there were! But it also tells about how He lives forever.

"'…and why do You say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?' Then Jesus said to them, 'Yet, a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness will not overtake you. For the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going'" (vs 34-35). Obviously, Christ was talking about Himself in that particular situation there.

Let's see concerning Christ and the crucifixion, Isaiah 52:13: "Behold, My Servant shall rule well; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. Many were astonished at Him—for His body was so disfigured—even His form beyond that of the sons of men" (vs 13-14). Think about what Christ had to go through in the crucifixion and all the beatings leading up to the crucifixion, that it would be said of Christ that it would be this: "…for His body was so disfigured—even His form beyond that of the sons of men"

Verse 15: "So shall He sprinkle many nations…" In other words, that's how He's going to have the sin forgiven, through His own blood.

Isaiah 53:1: "Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, 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. He is despised and rejected of men…" (vs 1-3). He had to live a life totally alone! What's one of the things, as human beings, we crave? Acceptance of other people!

Verse 3: "He is despised and rejected of men a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…" He could have true sorrow, because He knew where it all came from. When all the problems and difficulties happen, think of what Jesus felt; think of what came up inside Him.

"…and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows; yet, we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (vs 3-4). That's what the Jews did. You died for your own sin, rather than for the sins of the world.

Verse 5: "But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him…" In other words, the chastisement of God that we might have peace with God, was upon Him.

"…and with His stripes we ourselves are healed" (v 5). That has more to do with more than just physical healing and sickness. That has to do also with mental and spiritual healing of the mind and heart. It takes the stripes of Jesus Christ to do that. Why? Because He was rejected of men, He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief—all these things were heaped upon Him!

I don't really think, brethren, that we have fully grasp what God did! That we really appreciate what Jesus did! The Catholics have the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary and also of Jesus. Even too much in the minds of people in the Church of God they think Jesus had it easy. 'Well, if I had been born with the Holy Spirit, I could live without sin, too.' Have you thought that yourself? Have you ever heard someone say, 'It really wasn't fair of God, because Jesus had it made. He was going to make it.' I've heard people tell me that.

How do you answer them as a minister, or as a person if someone came up and said it to you. It was tough! It was hard! It was difficult!

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." That's the iniquity of all the world; every sin that human beings have done. Remember, Jesus is responsible for Satan the devil.

  • Did you know that? Yes, He is!
  • How is He responsible?
  • Who created him?
  • Who left him here on the earth with human beings?

There's an awful lot more to the sacrifice of Christ and what God did through Christ than we have understood. When you understand it, your love of God is going to be so much greater. It's going to be so much deeper. It's not just some sort of ritual exercise that God sent His Son with the Holy Spirit and He just sort of trips through the earth and made it wonderful and the hardest thing He ever had to do was the crucifixion. I have had people come up to me and say that.

Verse 7: "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet, He opened not His mouth…. [not much like human beings today] …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; 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. 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 to crush Him…" (vs 7-10). You can tie that in with the prophecy about bruising Satan and Satan bruising Christ (Gen. 3:15-16).

"…and He has put Him to grief: You shall make His life an offering for sin. He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper in His hand" (v 10). This is talking about the result of what's going to happen because of His resurrection.

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; and He shall bear their iniquities." I want you to keep that in mind. Next time you go around because you have sinned, and you're going around bearing this iniquity yourself: 'oh woe is me!' and you're carrying this thing around like extra baggage. Christ bore it for you!

Verse 12: "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."

How can the Jews say, 'The Law says He'll live forever' when we have this here.

  • Do we have people who are professed Christians today who have a Bible but never read it?
  • Do we have Christians today who have a Bible and read some of it and don't understand it correctly?
  • Were there Jews back then who didn't read the Scripture?
  • Were there Jews back then who didn't understand it?

Sure! That's why some of them said this in John 12:

John 12:34: "The people answered Him, 'We have heard out of the law that the Christ lives forever, and why do You say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?' Then Jesus said to them, 'Yet, a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness will not overtake you. For the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going'" (vs 34-35).

There is also a light that is called darkness. There is an angel of sin that appears as an angel of light. That's what it's talking about. "…For the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going." Isn't that true? If you just ran a man in the street survey:

  • What are you going to do in your life?
  • How long do you expect to live?
  • What do you expect to accomplish?
  • Is there life after death?
  • What do you know about God?

Imagine what kind of answers you would get.

Verse 36: "While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become the children of Light.' Jesus spoke these things and then departed from them and was in hiding." After He spoke to them He had to run off and hide, lest they come and get Him before the time.

Remember what we said about this total commitment to God. We'll see how this ties in here.

Matthew 6:22: "The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, if your eye be sound, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (vs 22-23).

  • Where do you suppose that light comes from?
  • Do we have such a thing as a dark light? Yes, we do!

They have lights that can cast dark beams. There's an ultraviolet beam that can be projected. You get something white in front of it, it would be almost iridescent.

  • Who is the 'prince of the power of the air'?
  • Who has the control of this kind of light, which is darkness?

Jesus said, v 23:  "Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!" That's total dedication to Satan. There are the two opposites. We're to walk in the light!

1-John, chapter one talks about a tremendous blessing of walking in the Light. There are so many things that go on, that if you're just walking in the light, as Christ is in the Light, it won't even come near you.

1-John 1:5: "And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is light, and there is no darkness at all in Him."

One of the teachings of the Gnostics was that there are varying degrees of enlightenment. That's the same thing as Hinduism today. You start as a flea or a rat and you come up and you're a dog, then a cow, then a baboon and then a human being. Then you go on into nirvana.

There is no darkness in God! Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth. However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7). Notice how this ties right in with the Passover, because it's through the blood of Jesus Christ that we're cleansed from all sin.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (vs 8-9).

John 12:37: "Although He had done so many miracles in their presence, they did not believe in Him." Isn't that interesting? There were a lot that didn't believe. What does it take to convince some people?

Verse 38: "So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled who said, 'Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this very reason they could not believe because again Isaiah said, 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts…'" (vs 38-40). God has to take those off our eyes and heart.

"'…so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them'" (v 40). Here healing and conversion are equated. So, it has to do with more than sickness. What is the worst sickness to be healed of? Being a child of Satan the devil!

Verse 41: "Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory and spoke concerning Him. But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they wouldnot be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God" (vs 41-43).

Here it is again, political considerations! How many people are involved in political considerations? Not what is right or wrong, but political considerations.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • John 12:1-8
  • Mark 14:1-9
  • John 12:9-25
  • Luke 14:26-27
  • Matthew 10:32-39
  • John 12:25-35
  • Isaiah 52:13-15
  • Isaiah 53:1-12
  • John 12:34-36
  • Matthew 6:22-23
  • 1 John 1:5-9
  • John 12:37-43

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Mark 16
  • Acts 2
  • John 6
  • Matthew 4
  • Luke 4
  • Leviticus 16
  • John 16
  • Genesis 3:15-16

Also referenced:

Sermons: The One Who is Believing in Jesus

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Halley's Handbook of the Bible by Henry H. Halley
  • Anti Judaism and the Origin of Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi

Transcribed: 12-8-14