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Jesus Among Friends (Luke 22) April 7, 2011

Posted by roberttalley in Atonement, Blood of Christ, Body of Christ, Christ, Communion, Covenant, Crucifixion, Death of Christ, Falling Away, Jesus, Lord's Table, Luke, Messiah, Millenial Kingdom, Passover, Suffering.
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JESUS AMONG FRIENDS
(Luke 22:1-62)

A couple of weeks ago I asked for questions from the congregation to be written out on a 3” by 5” card. I received a card with the following question, “Is it sinful to “befriend” persons outside the faith or should we see this “opportunity” as one to bring these people to Christ?”

Now I don’t know what provoked this question but it does address a real problem. As believers in Christ, what should our relationship be to those outside the faith? One of my biggest concerns as pastor is that most of us do not bring many unsaved friends to church. There are many possible reasons for this but one of them could be that we tend to isolate ourselves from sinners.

Jesus, however, was known by his enemies as a friend of sinners (Luke 7:33-34). Was this a just accusation? In this chapter we find Jesus with twelve of his closest friends; men who He chose to follow them. One of those men was a man named Judas.
How did Jesus show friendship to Judas (22:2, 21, 27)?
I. Jesus chose a sinner to be His friend, to be one of the twelve (22:2). Sometimes we forget that Jesus knew all along who would betray Him (John 6:64-71). He chose a friend who he could never help. It is interesting that Jesus knew also that Judas would never believe, Jesus befriended a liar, a traitor, a thief simply because it was God’s will.
This helps us to answer the first part of our question. It is obviously not sinful to befriend a sinner. It also helps us to answer the second part but not directly. We are not just to look at people as “opportunities” but rather we are to live in God’s will and be so full of a passion for Jesus Christ and His gospel that we become the “opportunity” for them to hear the gospel of Christ.
II. Jesus shared His table with a sinner (22:21, 27). It was such a high honor at that time to be invited to eat with someone that to refuse the invitation opened one up to the revenge of slander and defamation. Jesus gave Judas a place of honor.
Judas seemed to be singled out by Jesus for honor and intimacy at this feast (John 13:26). Based on this chapter, it appears that Judas has been given by Jesus, the host of this feast, the place of honor on his left. In addition, Jesus gave Judas the sop. The sop was a piece of bread that was dipped into some type of sauce or mixture. To give the sop to some one was not only a great honor but symbolic of a close friendship. Jesus treated Judas at this festival with the greatest of honor and signs of friendship.
III. Jesus served sinners (22:27). When Jesus washed feet, He washed Judas’ feet also. When Jesus instituted the Communion that we celebrate today, He did not withhold it from Judas but rather served him also. Jesus, the King of Kings, served Judas in whose heart the devil had accomplished an awful work (John 13:2).
What ended the friendship between Judas and Jesus (22:4-6)? There are a lot of theories about Judas’ motivation, money being the most obvious. I think money certainly played a part (John 12:6). There was something deeper though for all of the disciples were tainted by their desire to be important in the kingdom and they certainly could have assumed that great riches would come with the kingdom. What ended the friendship was Judas’ lack of faith in Christ (John 6:64-71). Oh, he certainly began believing but he did not have a faith that would last.

This tells a lot about true faith. True faith that lasts is not dependent on excellent surroundings. Judas heard the Creator of the universe teach truth and wisdom. His faith, however, did not continue to respond. There was an initial response but it was broken easily on the banks of a few coins. What will break your faith?
What was Jesus’ desire for His friends (22:14-30)? He desired that they be a part of His eternal kingdom.
What is the kingdom of which Jesus is speaking?
a. It is a coming kingdom (22:15-19) Last week we saw where Jesus said that the kingdom is in the heart of those who believe but it is also a future eternal kingdom. This coming kingdom must be prepared through suffering (compare v. 15 with 17:22-25). Hebrews 1:8a-10 describes this kingdom through suffering in this way, “But now we do not yet see all things [in submission to Jesus]. But we see Jesus…for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him…in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
b. It is also a new covenant kingdom (22:20). I do not have time to go back to Jeremiah and look at these Old Testament passages but the main characteristic of the new covenant kingdom is heart transformation. Jesus died so that I might be born from above, regenerated in heart, passing from the kingdom of darkness into His eternal light.
c. It is a caring kingdom (22:24-27). Service is more important than authority.
Leroy Eims of the Navigators tells about a man who came to Christ and desired to serve Eims. Because he was young and inexperienced in the faith, there were not a lot of opportunities at the Navigators office for this man to serve. Winter was coming though and the man greatly desired to serve in some way. Leroy Eims gave him the task of shoveling the walkway to the office building. The man was very zealous in this service. In fact he was so zealous, Eims quipped, that not a snowflake hit the walkway the whole winter long. Eims said that such valuable service could not go unrewarded and they brought him into the office to train for service within the Navigators organization. The young man cared enough to serve.
How do we show friendship to Christ (22:28)? We show friendship to Christ by continuing with Him even in His trials. Can we do that? Absolutely, Jesus said, take up My cross and follow Me.
“They tried my Lord and Master with no one to defend.
Within the halls of Pilate He stood without a friend.
I’ll be a friend to Jesus, my life for Him I’ll spend.
I’ll be a friend to Jesus, until my years shall end.

The world may turn against Him, I’ll love Him to the end,
And while on earth I’m living, My Lord shall have a friend.

I’ll do what He may bid me; I’ll go where He may send;
I’ll try each flying moment to prove that I’m His friend.

To all who need a Savior, my friend I recommend;
Because He brought salvation is why I am His friend.”
Sometimes, however, even the most loyal of us fail Jesus when He needs us most. Peter is a true example and Jesus knew Peter would fail. Yet He showed friendship to Peter anyway. How did Jesus show friendship to Peter (22:31-34)? He warned him, He prayed for Him to endure in the faith, He gave him a positive hope for the future, and He was honest in telling Peter what he did not want to hear.
Let us return to our question about befriending sinners. Here is a good plan to follow them. We must warn them. Only a friend will warn someone of the dangers of hell. We must pray for them to come to faith. We cannot argue them into the faith. We need God’s help to bring them to faith. We need to give them hope, let them know that there is a purpose for them in this life and the life to come. Finally, we need to be honest even if they do not want to hear the gospel. It is possible to antagonize people but if you are a real friend who lives out a real faith in Christ, you will figure out how to give them the gospel of Christ.
As we come to the close of our service, we come to the time when we celebrate the Lord’s Table. How does the Lord’s Table or communion show our friendship with Christ and with each other (22:19, 26)? It shows our friendship with Christ according to verse 19 by remembering what He did for us. It shows our friendship with each other in that each one of us comes together to the table. We are all equal in Christ’s kingdom. It is interesting that the only people unworthy of this bread and juice are those who considered themselves above others (1 Corinthians 11). Today, I want us to take a few moments and ask ourselves, not if we’ve sinned but if there is anyone here today who we consider ourselves superior to. Think through the rows of seats. If you find anyone who you feel you are above, would you not repent of that ungodliness now and humble yourself before God in silent prayer?

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Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Servant) – A Passion Sermon March 29, 2009

Posted by roberttalley in Atonement, Crucifixion, Death of Christ, Isaiah, Jesus, Religion, Resurrection, Sermons.
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JESUS, THE SUFFERING SERVANT (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

The LORD God wants your attention on the Glorious Deeds of His Servant, Jesus Christ. Again, it is important to identify who this Servant is.

1. As in Isaiah 42, the Servant here must be the Messiah. In Isaiah, sometimes the nation of Israel is called God’s Servant. In at least one place Isaiah himself is referred to as the servant of God but in verses 4-6, we find that the Servant has the sin of others laid on Him. Israel as God’s chosen people is not responsible to deal with our sin problem but the Messiah is. Isaiah also was not responsible to deal with the sin problem of his people but the Messiah is.

2.Since it is clear that this passage is talking about the Messiah, it remains to us to determine if Jesus fulfills this prophecy, is he the Suffering Servant, the Messiah. There are a number of prophecies in this passage and we will look at some of them this morning but I want to call your attention to Acts 8:30-35. Philip explained to the Ethiopian eunuch that this passage among others is talking about Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the Messiah.

I. Jesus, the Servant is honored by God because He acted wisely (52:13). This verse is an introduction to the details that are to follow. God wants us to pay attention to His Servant because He has acted wisely. He wants us to know what those actions are and He wants us see that His Servant is honored, is glorified by God based on the wise actions described later in these verses. As we read the following verses, the actions Jesus undertook may see foolish to us. It may seem like a huge mistake. God’s evaluation is different. God says, this plan of action that My Servant has undertook is a wise plan of action and I will honored Him accordingly.

II. Not everyone, however, honors Jesus, the Suffering Servant. The next verse indicates that Jesus, the Servant is not honored by men (52:14-53:3).

A. His life ended in shocking humiliation (52:14-15). Isaiah begins here with the end of the life of Christ. Here is a man whose disfigurement is astonishing. Now why would the disfigurement of a man be so shocking. Have we not all seen people whose bodies or faces are so ravaged by disease or disaster that we have been astonished? But to see God’s honored Servant so disfigured is shocking. To this day, many do not believe that God could have had a hand in the crucifixion. They prefer to think that Jesus had a different end in mind than His shameful death. That God would allow such a thing to happen is shocking.

It is like water being splashed in your face. The nations and their rulers when confronted with the humiliation of Christ are shocked, even repulsed by the horribleness of the crucifixion of the Suffering Servant of God.

B. His life began in unbelievable humility (53:1-3). Before He died in humiliation, He must first be born in humility. Again, hardly anyone can believe the message. That the Servant of God should be born into a poor, humble family, that God should come into the world in the weakness of infancy, that He should live and walk on this earth for thirty years in insignificance and that even when He begins His work there are no military victories won. Immediately after His crucifixion, the best that one might could say was that He simply was a fad for a year or so, who, when the fad was over, did not simply fade away but died, hated, betrayed, and forsaken. The life of Christ, even in the midst of the miracles He performed and the teachings He expounded, never rose above the life of a simple man surrounded by other simple men. So we see that Jesus, the suffering Servant is honored by God but not by man. His humility and humiliation is not honorable in the eyes of humankind but rather is despised by them, by us.

III. Yet, Jesus, the Servant was unjustly executed for the crimes of humankind (53:4-9), for the crimes of those who despised Him. This we recognize. There are few who would say that Jesus deserved the death He died. It is hard for people to recognize is that He died for their sins.

This passage explains to us what it means for Jesus to die for our sins. Verses 5-6 makes it clear that Jesus died for criminals. Our criminality is described in verse 6, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way.” We want to do, what we want to do; and what we want to do is criminal. “But He was wounded for our transgressions.”

So what? What does that accomplish? What good is it that Jesus died? Verse 5 tells us that our peace, our well-being, was accomplished through His bearing of our punishment. We are healed by the death of Christ.

Now it is important to understand what this means. There are those who teach that Jesus died so that we should be delivered from physical poverty and troubles and sickness. They turn to these verses to teach this. If, however, we look at the context, the picture is much different. It is the picture of a criminal, who is condemned but another takes his punishment. This peace, this well-being is not a two car garage and a freezer full of steaks. It is the release from the penalty of death. That is the well-being, the peace that the Suffering Servant provides. This healing is not the healing of our physical illnesses but rather the release from certain death through His death. The word “healed” means to be restored to its proper condition. Medically this meaning is obvious but it is also used when Elijah repaired the altar. He restored the altar to its proper condition. His successor, Elisha, later performed a miracle. The water in a certain city was unsuitable for drinking and unsuitable for irrigating. The properties of the water were poisonous. Elisha took a bowl of salt, tossed it into the source of the water, and “healed” the water, that is, restored the water to its proper condition. The psalms speak of healing of the soul and healing of the broken-heart. What Isaiah is speaking of here is the restoration of a condemned criminal. The criminal by the death of the Suffering Servant is taken off of death role and given his freedom. That is a healing that surpasses all medical healings.

Verses 7-9 describe in detail the death and burial of the Suffering Servant.

First, we find that He suffered silently. He did not try to defend Himself but rather submitted Himself to the death of a criminal. Matthew tells us three times that Jesus kept silent at the accusations made against Him, He answered not one word. Mark, Luke, and John also mention the silence of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:23 say that Jesus, “…when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” Jesus, fulfilled the prophecies in verse 7 regarding the Suffering Servant.

Then, verse 8 tells us that He was killed. The Muslims may say that Jesus did not die but that another took His place but all the eyewitnesses are certain, without any doubt, that Jesus is the one who died on that cross. The soldier, who came to break His legs, so that He might die more quickly, found Him dead (and on finding that, took a spear and drove it into the side of Jesus Christ). Jesus’ died as predicted by this prophecy in verse 8.

The beginning of verse 9 tells us that Jesus died with the wicked. Between two criminals, Jesus died. Was He guilty of anything? No, but he died with the wicked as prophesied 700 years earlier by Isaiah.

The middle of the verse reminds us that He was buried with the rich. Joseph or Arimathea, a wealthy man, begged the body of Jesus from Pilate and took it and buried the body in his own tomb, the tomb of a rich man. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the Suffering Servant being executed for our behalf, freeing us, healing us from condemnation.

IV. These are the actions, for which Jesus is honored. Jesus, the Suffering Servant is honored by God because He atoned for our crimes (53:10-12).

A. God honors Jesus with long life (53:10). The implications of the resurrection are not dealt with in this passage but Isaiah predicted that this Suffering Servant, who died for us criminals and was buried in the tomb of a rich man would see His seed. Now Jesus never married. How is it that He can see His seed? He must rise again from the dead and see men and women turn to Him for salvation. Those who trust Christ become the sons of God, by believing in His name. This is an honor that only God can offer. Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world, if He would only bow down to Him. He did not, however, and could not offer life. God honored Jesus with life, God raised Him from the dead.

B. God honors Jesus with a portion among the great (53:12). What portion did Jesus get? Hebrews 1 tells us exactly. It tells us that Jesus, “…when He had by Himself purged us from our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels has He said at any time, ‘You are my Son, this day have I begotten You…” Do you understand that Jesus does not sit on the right hand of God because He Himself is God but because He is being honored for dying on our behalf for our criminal acts. He atoned for our crimes and for that wise action, God has honored Jesus Christ in our behalf.

When Philip preached this passage to Philip, he asked about being baptized. Philip’s reply was simply this, do you believe? Do you believe that you are a criminal before God, deserving of death but that He was executed on your behalf and that through Him you can have spiritual healing, that is, be freed from the penalty of God? The eunuch answered, “Yes.” Philip then baptized Him as a testimony of His faith in Christ. This message is worthless to you if you do not believe it and follow Christ. Will you believe today?

NEXT WEEK: Zechariah 9:9-17 – The Coming King

Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement October 5, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Atonement, Leviticus, Religion, Sermons.
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THE DAY OF ATONEMENT – FOUR MEN (Leviticus 16:1-34)

There are four men mentioned in this chapter. Through these four men, I would like to illustrate and explain the importance of the day of atonement as well as the importance of the atoning work of Christ on the cross. The word atonement literally means “to cover up”, specifically the covering up of sin, a way in which forgiveness of sins is made possible.

The first of the men that I want you to meet is named at the beginning of the chapter. His name is Aaron (verses 1-2). He was the high priest at the time. God gives him in Leviticus 16 the responsibility to go once a year before God and through an animal sacrifice make atonement possible. In a real way, the high priest makes atonement (verses 32-34). This atonement involves cleansing from sin (Compare with Hebrews 9:13-14). Jesus makes atonement for us as both high priest and sacrifice.

As high priest, Jesus is both…

…anointed… (verse 32), that is, He is the chosen one for this office. You see, Jesus is the Christ. Christ is not Jesus surname but rather His title: Jesus the Chosen One. Jesus, the High Priest chosen by God to accomplish the task of cleansing us from our sin.

…and consecrated (verse 32), that is, confirmed for the work for which He was chosen. The years in which Jesus walked on this earth showed that Jesus was truly the Christ. His pure manner of life, His miraculous work, His testimony of the truth of God, all of these things confirm that Jesus really is the Christ.

As the atoning sacrifice, Jesus makes it possible…

…for us to come to God… (compare verse 33a with verses 15-19). Before the sins of men could be atoned for, it was necessary for the priest, first, to make atonement for the place at which God met His people. In some sense, it seems that the sinfulness of man is so great, that it somehow pollutes the Holy of Holies. Perhaps this was a reference to the sin of Aaron’s two sons who God burned up with fire because they did not obey God’s Word. We need to understand how corrupting the influence of sin is in our lives.

Jesus, however, did much more than just purify a place as Aaron did. Jesus made it possible for us to come to God (Hebrews 9:8 with 10:19-20).

…and for God to deal justly with our sin (verses 33b-34). Now there were other sin offerings that were regularly offered, both national offerings and personal. It is also true that the Day of Atonement involved more than the forgiveness of specific sins in that it was also to cleanse the Tabernacle of God from any taint of sin. On the other hand, it was part of God’s provision at the time, dealing with the sins of the people. Hebrews 9:7 refers to them as the sins committed in ignorance. This had to be done every year.

However, when Jesus died, He went before God, not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood and He only had to do it once (Hebrews 9:12, 25-26 with Romans 3:24-26).

The man with the scapegoat (verses 20-22). This involves the imputation of sin (Compare with Isaiah 53:6, 11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Jesus accepted the charge of sin that actually belonged to us. Psalm 32:1-5 explains that blessedness is found, not just in having our sin forgiven but rather also imputed to another. When my sins are simply forgiven, then there is the possibility of those sins being brought up again but when my sins are imputed, they are longer my sins. They belong to another. Sometimes we talk about Christ being our substitute. What that means is this: Something happened to Christ and because it happened to Him, it need not happen to me.

Imputation involves confession. Remember, confession is more than the listing of sins. It is agreeing with someone else about a matter that you deeply believe to be so. The same word in the Old Testament used for thanksgiving is also used for confession. We see in this act of confession a glimpse into what faith in Christ really means. I come before God realizing that I am a sinner. I can do nothing about my sin problem. If nothing is done about it, I am a condemned man. I ask God in mercy to forgive me but God cannot just say it is done. Something must be done about my sin problem. God takes my sin problem which I have consciously brought to Him and transfers it to Jesus Christ. It is no longer my problem but rather that of Jesus Christ. It is imputed to Him. It is no longer mine to deal with.

The man who burns the sin offering (verses 27-28). This involves the sanctification of the sinner (Compare with Hebrews 13:11-14). Jesus makes us a holy people through His blood. More than cleansing, more than forgiveness, more than the bearing of our sin by Christ is involved in the atonement. A relationship is established and maintained through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

This burning of the bones was unique to the sin offering. Most other offerings like burnt offerings and peace or thanksgiving offerings were reserved to feed the priest. But they had no portion in the sin offering. That was for God alone. In the same way, that the sin offering made the carcass of the sacrificed animal holy and reserved to God, the shed blood of Jesus Christ makes those, who put their faith in Christ, holy, a peculiar people before God (1 Peter 2:4-10).

The man who afflicts himself (verses 29-30). This passage does not tell us exactly what is involved in afflicting one’s self but there are other passages that help us to understand what is meant. Isaiah 58:1-10 describes the day of affliction as a day of fasting accompanied by a forsaking of sin.

This involves repentance from sin (Compare with Luke 18:9-14). It is only as we humble ourselves before a merciful God that we can be forgiven. True, the high priest confessed the national sins of his people but there was also the opportunity for the Israelite to apply that forgiveness personally. That is the significance of afflicting one’s self. It is personal application, personal appropriation. Christ died for my sins and I need not die for them if I accept His sacrifice for me but I will not accept His sacrifice until I realize my own inability, my own sinfulness, my own need.

Conclusion: We have met four men. The tasks of the first three are accomplished by Jesus Christ. You can be the fourth man. The first three tasks result in forgiveness of sin. The fourth applies that forgiveness to himself. Leviticus 23:29 tells us that the one, who refuses to afflict his soul, that is humble himself on the Day of Atonement, is to be cut off, killed. Yes, Christ died for the church but if you do not personally trust Christ alone for salvation, one day you will also be cut off, to die eternally in the lake of fire. Will you not accept Christ today as your only hope of forgiveness of sins, as the one who bore you sins in His body to take them away, as the one who makes you holy through His blood?

Next Week: Exodus 13:3-10 – The Feast of Unleavened Bread: How Best to Declare the Glorious Works of God

 

 

Three Types of Sacrifices in the Bible November 4, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Amos, Atonement, Forgiveness, Leviticus, Praise, Religion, Second Chronicles, Sermons, Thanksgiving.
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WE BRING THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE – THREE TYPES OF SACRIFICES

2 Chronicles 29

 

There are certain sections of the Bible that are difficult reading. When I was in the first grade and first began to read, my mother thought that it would be a good idea for me to start reading a chapter a day in the Bible. This was in the days before Dobson was everywhere telling us how to rear our children. Now I was the oldest child and my mother knew practicing reading was important and that reading the Bible was important, so she combined the two and got me started reading Genesis. I enjoyed Genesis and I enjoyed Exodus, reading the stories exactly as they were first told by God rather than in the pared down version that is usually given to children. But then I got to Leviticus. The first five chapters were okay with descriptions of the burnt offering and the meal offering and the peace offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering but then I got to Leviticus 6 and the multitude of rules describing the sacrifices and the priests and the laws concerning cleanliness and eventually just lost interest. It was too great for my elementary school aged mind to handle.

How then can we in the short time we have today understand all the detail of the sacrifices of the Old Testament and how they might apply to us today? Simply said, there are three general categories of sacrifices found in the Bible and all three of them are found in their spiritual order in 2 Chronicles 29.

THE SIN OFFERING

The first type of sacrifice we find in this passage is the sin offering (verses 20-24). We have already read how that Hezekiah became king at the age of twenty-five. His father before him was Ahaz. If you look in the previous chapter, we find an account of the sins of Ahaz. This was a man who was described as continually unfaithful (28:19) and in times of distress increasingly unfaithful (28:22). He worshiped other gods and treated the temple of God as his property. He gave some of the temple items to the king of Assyria in an attempt to appease their king but it did not work. Then he turned to the gods of Damascus, shutting the temple down, destroying some of the temple items, and setting up gods all through Jerusalem for worship. His son, Hezekiah though was a different sort of man. He immediately determined to change the direction of his kingdom and commanded that the temple be cleaned and prepared again for use and committed himself to a renewal of the covenant between God and Israel. He recognized that their problem was a sin problem and that they as a people needed forgiveness of sin.

Of course, this is what we most often think about as Christians when we think of a blood sacrifice and it is the primary picture that we have of the sacrifice that Christ paid for us on the cross. He died as the sacrifice for my sin. That is what we celebrated today during the Lord’s Table. Christ paying the penalty for my sin. That is what the word “atonement” means. Forgiveness of sin through a sacrifice does not mean that God is ignoring the sin but that the sacrifice is bearing that sin. That is the significance of the laying on of hands on the animal. It was a symbolic transfer of the sins from the people to the animal. We know that animal sacrifices could not take care of all sin because it had to repeated over and over and over but there came a day when the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was nailed to the cross to bear our sins in His own body, to suffer the penalty for sin once and for all.

That is what was necessary for us to be reconciled to God. Sin is what separates us from God. That is the common trait of each person born and that is why Jesus had to die and that is why without faith in Jesus Christ alone there is no forgiveness of sin.

THE BURNT OFFERING (AN OFFERING OF CONSECRATION) 

Hezekiah, however, did not stop with the sin offering but then had a special burnt offering sacrificed (verses 27-31a). A burnt offering was for the purpose of dedicating yourself or something to God. Through it one says, “I am consecrating myself to God.” Now this word “consecration” is an important word and we need to explain what it means. The Hebrews had a unique phrase for this word, “filling the hands”, i.e., making your hands complete. This is discipleship. This is dedication. This is saying that God has all of my life. This is worship in that I am submitting my life to His will and control. We find in this passage that music accompanies worship but music is not worship. Worship is a sacrifice of dedication and submission.

We find this concept in the New Testament also. Paul begged the Romans to “…present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

To Timothy he wrote that when we pray we are to life up holy hands, hands that are consecrated, hands that are made perfect before God. In the sin offering I am putting my hands on Christ’s head so that He can pay the penalty for my sin but with the burnt offering I am lifting my hands to heaven and dedicating myself to Him and Him alone.

CONDITIONS FOR CONSECRATION

Not just anybody however can give offer a burnt sacrifice. Not everyone can dedicate themselves to God. You have to be holy. You have to be clean. You have to be blameless.

Now what did it mean to be holy. Two things were necessary to be holy. You had to have a relationship to God and you had to live in such a way that showed your holiness. Look at Leviticus 22:31-33.

 

    31 “Therefore you shall keep My commandments, and perform them: I am the LORD.

    32 “You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the LORD who sanctifies you,

    33 “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.”

     

    What happened is that God established a relationship with Israel when He brought them out of Egypt and through bringing them out of Egypt, He made them holy. He made them clean. He made them blameless. He filled their hands. He completed their hands and He expected them to live like the special people that they were. He commanded them, “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

       

    We no doubt have a number of people here who have believed God, who have trusted His Son, Jesus Christ as Savior but have gone back on the commitments that they have made to God. They have accepted the sacrifice that Christ made for them on the cross of Calvary but they need to make again that sacrifice of commitment that God demands from them. That is the emphasis of Hezekiah. They were already God’s people but they had forsaken Him and forsaken His ways and forsaken His temple and Hezekiah determined that it was a time to recommitment themselves to the covenant that God had made to them under Moses. The sin offering is sufficient for forgiveness of sins, the cross of Christ is sufficient enough to bring you to heaven but Christ demands commitment with that faith.

    THE PEACE OFFERING (A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING)

    The third category of sacrifices that follows the sin offering and the burnt offering is the peace offering (verses 29-36). These offerings are those of praise and thanksgiving. Hebrews 13 calls this type of offering the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips in thanksgiving to God. This sacrifice was not for forgiveness of sin, neither was it was a sacrifice of commitment to God, but rather a sacrifice that signified a close relationship with God that is going well. Now it is possible to have a close relationship and it not be healthy or it being one sided but a true relationship with God is a relationship in which things are going well.

    This third type of sacrifice is best exhibited through a song that we used to sing. “Everything’s all right in my Father’s house. In my Father’s house. In my Father’s house. Everything’s all right in my Father’s house. There is joy, joy, joy!” This is the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

    IT’S KINDA LIKE GETTIN’ MARRIED!

    It’s relationship to the other types of sacrifices is the same as that of the wedding anniversary to the marriage contract and to ceremony. The contract, the piece of paper that you sign is like the death of Christ for our sins and our acceptance by faith of that sacrifice. The wedding ceremony and other times of public and private commitment that you make to your spouse are like the offering of consecration. It is a time where you are taking ownership of your part in the relationship. The sacrifice of praise, though is like the anniversary date. The party that you throw for your spouse after five, ten, or twenty years of marriage. All of these are important to a strong relationship but they are different from each other in purpose.

    In the same way, God will not accept your commitment until your sin problem is taken care of, there is not true thanksgiving if you are not holy before God both in relationship and in life. One of the prophets, Amos, in the fourth chapter of the book (Amos 4:1-13, page 618 in the pew Bible) that bears his name writes about those who offered thanksgiving offerings that God found unacceptable. Rather than read all the verses, let us look at just a few.

     

    1 ¶ Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”

    2 The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the days shall come upon you When He will take you away with fishhooks, And your posterity with fishhooks.

    3 You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon,” Says the LORD.

    4 “Come to Bethel and transgress, At Gilgal multiply transgression; Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days. {Or years (compare #De 14:28)}

    5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; For this you love, You children of Israel!” Says the Lord GOD.

    6 ¶ “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

    12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

     

These people were offering the proper sacrifices but they had strayed from their relationship to God. They were celebrating Thanksgiving but they were living in a way that was displeasing to God. God says, your sacrifices of thanksgiving are unacceptable. Prepare to meet your God!

 

Now we use that phrase sometimes to talk about death and that is partially in view here but the fuller view is prepare to meet your judge. God is going to judge you. If you do not have that holy relationship that He provided for you through Jesus Christ or you have that relationship and are not committed to that relationship, you will be judged. If you do have that holy relationship with God through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for your sin and you live committed to that relationship, then your praise and your thanksgiving will be pleasing and acceptable to God.

 

No doubt it is due to our evil human nature that we forget God and break our commitments to Him who has helped us the most and instead of committing ourselves to Him, we focus on ourselves. According to thecatholicpriest.com, “The post office official in charge of the Dead Letter Box in Washington, DC, reported that he had received hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to “Santa Claus” asking him to bring many things, but after Christmas, only one letter came to the box thanking Santa Claus for bringing the toys.” Obviously, that one letter came from someone who really believed, who was really committed to Santa Claus.

THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE IS NOT A SMALL THING.

 

There is a sense that all of these sacrifices are given from a willing heart but what makes the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving so great and wonderful is that it can only be given willingly. The highest obedience is the obedience that is given at suggestion and not at command.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Spurgeon “knew a youth who had wished to be baptized, but his friends kept him back. When he fell ill, he fretted because he had not confessed his Lord according to the Scripture. “But Isaac,” said his mother, “you know baptism will not save you.” “No, mother,” he replied, “of course it will not, for I am saved. But when I see Jesus in heaven I should not like Him to say, ‘Isaac, it was a very little thing I asked of you; did you not love Me enough to do it?’ ”

 

Concentrating on being thankful to God may seem like a little thing. Praising Christ in word and deed may not seem significant. What makes it significant is because it is an indication that “everything’s alright in my Father’s house.”

Help from Spurgeon (and Mike Ratliff) in preparing for the Lord’s Table August 28, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Atonement, Blood of Christ, Communion, Crucifixion, Death of Christ, Good Friday, Lord's Table, Religion, Spurgeon.
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“After our Lord’s death was over, the blood of animals was not the type, but the blood of the grape. That which was terrible in prospect is joyous in remembrance. That which was blood in the shedding is wine in the receiving. It came from him with a wound, but it comes to us with a blessing.” Originally posted here by Mike Ratliff.

The Lord’s Table reminds us that the pivotal event in world history is the cross. It is not the invention of fire or the wheel neither is it the printing press or the computer as pivotal as all of these things were. The pivotal event in world history is the death of God’s Son on the cross establishing a new covenant between God and man. Everything before and after depend on the outcome of Christ’s death.