The Meaning of His Death

Scripture: Mark 10:45, Luke 2:25-35, Matthew 27:45-46
Date: 06/07/2008 
Lesson: 10
The Bible is clear that Christ was born to die. His death solved the problem of sin and ensures the security of the universe for eternity to come.
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Good morning, and welcome to Sacramento central study hour. We're glad that you're joining us for our study this morning. I want to welcome those of you that are here in the sanctuary. We have visitors here today from australia and from poland and from fairfield and from pleasant hill. We're so glad to have you with us.

And a very special welcome to those of you that are watching live online or joining us weeks later on television or on the radio. We are so glad that you are part of our church family as well. This morning, as is our tradition, we want to lift our voices and praise our maker this morning. We have some requests for hymn number 524, "'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." This is a request from Timothy in australia, barry and June from australia, ralph and birdie from the bahamas, zachary from barbados, kendra from Canada, vijay from india, rufus and renilda from india, steven from jamaica, anne from jamaica, renata from st. Lucia, Mark from south africa, selena from the netherlands and katrina and lily from the cayman islands.

And lily is 2 years old, and this is one of her favorite songs. Isn't that neat? Two years old and your favorite song, "'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." To learn to trust in Jesus at such an early age, that's awesome. So we're going to sing and this morning, 524, stanzas 1, 2 and 4. Amen. That's a beautiful song, and I just want to introduce to you.

I have his envoy up here with me, leading out. And they come to us from pleasant hill, California and I'm just so happy. I'm so glad you guys are here with us today. Well, we're glad to be here. Aw, thank you.

If anybody has a hymn request, please go to our website at and you can click on the music little thing there, and then go down and it tells you how to make a hymn request. And we'd love to get your requests and any messages that you might have for us. All right, our next request is , "because he lives." This is from cheryl in australia, Moses in brazil, omar from brazil, tony from Canada, Elisha from china, roger and sophia from england, nono from england, dr. Clarence and sangeeta from india, galea and mario from norway, marco from switzerland, sunnydale from California, natalie who's 8 years old from California, jim, diane, jamie and buffy from florida, lane and John from Minnesota, bacari from Missouri, frank from Texas and tito and alma from South Dakota. Thank you for requesting "because he lives.

" We're going to sing the first and second stanzas. Wow. Is life worth the living because Jesus lives? Would you want to be living without him? Oh no, let's pray. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the calm assurance that we can face on certain days because Jesus lives. And Lord, it is so sweet to trust in Jesus.

Thank you for the hope you give us. Lord, we ask for your Holy Spirit to be with us this morning as we open Your Word. Lord, we pray that you would edify us by your truth. Lord, I thank you so much for this church family and I pray that you'd bless and guide them. Those that are here and those that are watching, I just pray a special blessing for them from this study this morning.

Please be with pastor thompson as he leads out. I pray that you'd give him the words to speak this morning. Thank you, Lord, we love you so much. In Jesus' Name, amen. And now, pastor mike thompson will be sharing our lesson with us.

Thank you very much, jennifer. Thank you, gentlemen, for singing this morning very much. Wasn't that a blessing? Happy Sabbath, by the way. First of all, before I go any further, there is a special offer to do our little commercial here. It's offer number 156.

It's a book written originally by Joe Crews, "the high cost of the cross." Contact "Amazing Facts" at Does that sound about right? Offer number 156, that's a great little book by the way. If you haven't got it, you should certainly get it. We're on lesson ten this week. This quarter, the lessons are "the wonder of Jesus.

" And lesson ten, it's called "the meaning of his death," the meaning of his death, the purpose of his death. There's a memory text from Mark 10:45. It says, "for even The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Jesus didn't come to be waited upon, to be--everybody run to his beck and call. He came to take care of us because it's the fact is we need taking care of. We're a lot of work, at least I know I am in God's eyes.

But you know, I appreciate the fact that he spends that time on me, which I need. Okay so, we're looking at the meaning of Jesus' death. Now, this is a very poor illustration but imagine if you can, a line that represents eternity, just goes on and on and on and on and on and on, never comes to an end, of course. But as you are looking along this line that represents eternity, you see these spikes, these kind of like the blips that you see on a, you know, on a celioscope. And imagine that every time God created a galaxy, there was a blip, there was a spike on that line there.

And the more spectacular God's creative miracle, the thing he did, it was a bigger a spike. And I'm sure if we could see the line that represents eternity, we won't see all of it of course, there's a lot of these tremendous spikes as these galaxies came into existence. But I'd like to submit to you this morning that the biggest spikes you'll see representing the wonder of God's love and power are two things: I would say the incarnation of Jesus Christ when he became a human being. That must have been a tremendous, poof! And also, when that same Jesus gave his life away at the cross. And I'm sure if each of those spikes we speak about, the height represented the magnitude of the wonder of God, then those two spikes on that line of eternity, you'd never see the top.

There'd be spikes that would just, whoosh! You'd never be able to get a measure and just measure it. It's just too much. What we're speaking about this morning, things we talk about but really don't understand because our minds are so small. But you know, we see enough to realize. We see enough to realize that God is worth giving everything we have back to him for what he's done to redeem us.

And that's what he did when Jesus died upon the cross, the meaning--the meaning of his death, the purpose of his death. Now, there may be somebody listening out there. It doesn't--it may be the first time they've ever kind of set foot inside a cyberchurch, if I can use that term or maybe somebody here this morning. I want to go over something very quickly with you here. Why did Jesus need to come and die? I'll tell you why Jesus needed to come and die because the Bible says we all sinned, and we've all come short of the glory of God.

We're sinners. That's in Romans 6. The Bible also tells us that sin, which we speak of, is to break his law, 1 John 3:4, "sin is a transgression of the law." So, we've all broken the law of God. That makes us all sinners. In Romans 6:23, it tells us what the consequences are of breaking God's law.

It is death. And when it's speaking of death, it's not just the death we all die in this life because we can come back from that death. This is why Jesus came. What he's talking about is an eternal death, what the Bible calls in Revelation 20, "the second death." It's a black hole that you go into and for all eternity, you never come out. That's the kind of awesome, fearful end consequence of sin.

But the Bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved the world, so loved each one of us, that we're worthy of just being pitched into the black hole with the lid put on and we stay there forever; "God so loved us, he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." They believe on him. They go to the cross at calvary, and they see him crucified. The meaning of his death, that's what we're looking at this morning. And as they put their faith in him and say, "Lord, forgive me, I'm a wretch. I'm a sinner.

I deserve that black hole." God says, "you do, but you know what? I love you so much. Jesus went in the black hole for you. Can you be glad for that today?" And so, that is the Gospel, that God forgives us. And as we respond in penitence, we confess our sins. He washes us clean.

Whatever the sin, if the soul repents, the sin is washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ. And then, of course, all truth faith means doing the right thing at the right time. This doesn't give us a license to go do the same thing again. We ask God to give us the strength and power to imbue us, to anoint us with the Holy Spirit so that we can live a life that is faithful to his revealed will, to His Word, to his law. We grow in grace, and we begin to reflect his righteousness.

The purpose of the Gospel is not just to forgive sin and then leave us to do the same thing all over again, 'cause that would be a miserable experience. The purpose of the Gospel is to restore the moral image of God in fallen men and women. And the lower you are, the more God loves to take you on as a challenge. So, I just thought I should mention that for maybe somebody who wonders, "what is all this talk about Jesus died for me, his blood and atonement?" There you have it. There you have it, and I hope you could follow that.

So through the suffering of Jesus, there are some things which might not kind of meet the eye of the casual observer. There are things about his death in terms of what he achieved that we need to more fully understand. And in terms of the kind of the suffering that Jesus endured as he was--he not just died, but the process of dying. You know, when you're dead, you know nothing and it was the same for Jesus. When he actually died, he was asleep.

But it was the process of going through that dying that we so often don't get. It's just, whoosh! So, I hope this morning we might be able to grasp a little bit more of that, a little more, more clearly. I'm sure I won't tell you anything you don't already know. Sometimes reading the Bible, the things we've read a thousand times but, you know, sometimes the Holy Spirit comes and it's like, doo! Suddenly, you grasp something about it that you've never grasped before. You know what I'm talking about? It happens to me all the time.

So, in suffering through to the very end of his mission, Jesus fulfilled many old-time prophecies, which clearly taught that he, the Messiah, was to die. He was born to die, born to die. The very first one we get, we won't turn to this one because we have to move on, but I think you're aware of it. Genesis 3:15, as soon as adam and eve sinned, there was God; didn't excuse their sin. There would be a price for this.

But he said, "you know what? I'm going to divert my wrath, and it's going to go upon Jesus," so the first promise of a Messiah there. Speaking of Jesus figuratively, he said to the snake, he said, "you'll bruise his heal, but he'll bruise your head." And in destroying the devil and sin, Jesus would also make a way of salvation for those who had stumbled and fallen for the devil's wiles. Also Isaiah 53, let's just look there for a moment. Isaiah 53, it's amazing, Isaiah was about, what, 700 years b.c. And yet we find in this passage here some wonderful, wonderful messianic passages, speaking of the Messiah of Jesus.

Oh, where shall we begin? The whole one, it says in verse 5--it says in verse 4, "surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." Verse 5, Isaiah 53:5, "but he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes, we are healed." Verse 6, "all we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, which makes us worthy of death." But look, what does it say here? "But the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." And so, it continues there. We see here that Jesus was born to die.

Look in psalm 22, again so precise. You may have one of those Bibles with some little stars or a crown by the side of these messianic passages that might make it easier for you to find some of them. He says in verse 13, he says, "they gaped upon me with their mouths." Here is--it's a prediction of Jesus here hanging here upon the cross. And this was before the time when Isaiah gave his prophecies. This is in the time of David.

He says, "they gaped upon me with their mouths as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted within me." Look at verse 16, "for dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and," what? "My feet," crucifixion. Verse 18, "they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture," predicting here the death of Jesus Christ. And in Luke 2, let's turn to Luke chapter 2. Here we come up in the stream of time.

This is where just Jesus was tiny, a tiny little child, a few days old. And his mother and father, Joseph and mary, they bring him here to the temple. Let me just find this. I'd like somebody to read if they would, Luke 2:25-35. Would somebody do that? Do we have our roving microphone? "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the holy ghost was upon him.

And it was revealed unto him by the holy ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.' And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And simeon blessed them, and said unto mary his mother, 'behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'" Thank you very much, mike. Thank you for reading that. So, here, speaking is the Messiah.

And he says to mary, "a sword shall pierce through you." Did she suffer at the cross as well? Yes, she did. Yeah, it was a time of great, great suffering but this child set forth for the rise and the fall of many, many in Israel. A little thought just comes to my mind. I have a copy of a book somewhere in my office where there's a--it's just an artist's representation of Joseph and mary and baby Jesus and simeon holding the little child. And I will say the person who drew this or painted it have put the most amazing expression on simeon's face.

It's just kind of a halfway expression, and he's looking. He's got this little tiny head in his hand and this little body here. And just the look on the--it's just gazing right into the face of this little baby with this most incredible awe. And I know I often use this term, "can you imagine if you were there?" I did that the other time and somebody commented on it. But I want to take you there again.

Could you imagine if you knew what you know now and you got the Bible and you're there unseen and you're following Joseph and mary into the temple. You know that in a moment, simeon, whose been looking for the Savior and the Lord told him he would see him before he died, this old man is going to see him now. He's going to hold him. And you see simeon and you see the parents walking up, and you see him just waiting patiently. And the Holy Spirit tells him, "that couple over there with that little baby, that is the Messiah.

" Imagine looking in his face at that moment as it dawns on him. And he walks over there. He must have been kind of transfixed. There's people all around but he's just walking toward this couple with this little child. Many other children in the place, but he walks toward this little child.

And he takes this little child from this mother's arms and he looks. He looks. He looks in the face of God in human--i would've loved to have seen that. I just would've loved the reverence and the awe. The artist just got it so incredibly.

And then finally, he hands the little baby back. And in his heart, he must have been in awe. And in his heart, he probably could have said, "I can die now. I can die now, Lord. Thank you, thank you so much.

" You know, there's a little lesson in this as well. Why did he recognize in all the people in that temple? Why did he recognize in that couple in that little baby? No different, very poor people. What was it that made him realize that this was the Messiah while nobody else? Not even the priest. The priest, you know, the priest, it was like "baby educations 'r us," you know? "Next one, next one, next one." Priest picks him up just like another one, passes him on. But this old man, how did he recognize it? The same way that we can recognize sacred things.

The same way where we can discern the presence of God. The same way we can discern the hand of God. The same way we can discern the touch of Jesus. When we walk so close to him, we are able to hear his breath. We're able to hear his heartbeat as he stands by our side, and God wants us, every one of us, to be--to have such a close, intimate spiritual union with Jesus Christ that our heartbeat becomes one with his heartbeat and our breath becomes one with his.

You know, when we have an experience like that with God, it is the most wonderful thing. And we will discern when the Savior comes into our presence as simeon did albeit in the form of a little child. So, we could cite other passages relating this, you see, because the death of Jesus was so central to the purpose of his mission and to the success of his mission that he would eventually die. And his death, the death of Jesus, was symbolically represented for hundreds of years in the temple services. As for hundreds of years, these lambs and goats and little turtledoves and bullocks were brought in and they were slain and the blood--and the blood was shed.

And the sad thing is the jews, of course, they lost sight of what it represented. The temple became an abattoir, slaughterhouse, in so many ways, just blood. And they lost the vision, you see. They lost the vision of what that blood represented. And so, for hundreds of years, in Hebrews 9:22, it says, "without shedding of blood is no remission.

" Remember I quoted from Romans 6:23, "the wages of sin is death." There has to be death. Every time that--if the law of God could speak, if you were to go as it were into the temple and you were able to, well, stand outside the veil and the ark of the covenant is just through that veil and if you could hear the law of God speak, you would hear that law say, "if you break me, you die. If you break me, you die for I am holy, I am sacred. I'm the foundation of the almighty's government. I cannot be bent.

I cannot be twisted. I cannot be distorted. I stand like a rock. I cannot be changed. You break me, you die.

" That's the law. If you could hear that, we may perhaps if we could get a deeper and clearer understanding of the holiness and the sacredness of God and the sacredness of his law. He says, "you break me, you die." And so, throughout the years, this blood was shed for this broken law. But it tells us, "without shedding of blood is no remission of sin." And so, the sacrifice of these animals was to demonstrate this but it also tells us in Hebrews 10:4, and I should let somebody else read. I don't want to monopolize this.

Somebody else want to read a verse, Hebrews 10:4? "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Thank you, ray. So, the blood of bulls and goats was shed, but it says that "it's not possible that blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin." Absolutely not because only the blood of Jesus can do that. All this other blood, it just symbolized his one sacrifice. That one sacred and holy sacrifice. But that one sacrifice was so holy.

It was all sufficient to atone for every sin of every man, woman and child, both before the cross and even afterwards, even to this very moment and beyond, beyond until the moment when we need an intercessor no more. That is how, to use this fancy term, that is how efficacious, all encompassing, all encompassing, all powerful the blood of Jesus Christ is to wash away and to atone for every single sin. So no matter how far you feel you have fallen, don't come to God and say, "you know, you're a holy God and you're a merciful God, but my God is-- my sin is too great for you." Don't talk to God like that. That's disrespectful. You're saying the cross of Jesus Christ isn't enough.

It is, and that's the wonderful thing about it. And we can rejoice in that. So, he shed his blood. And this blood atoned for our sins but it did something as well, which is involved in the atonement of our sins. The blood of Jesus ratified what the Bible calls the eternal or the everlasting covenant.

The everlasting covenant was an agreement made between God The Father and God The Son that together, they would work together for the redemption of the human race should the human race fall into sin. They made this agreement, this pact, we call it "a council of peace" even before adam and eve were ever created. That agreement, that covenant was already in place. They agreed that they would do that. And simply, that covenant, that agreement between God The Father and The Son was this: Jesus would provide the sacrifice, and that would be the grounds or the basis upon which God would grant pardon to every penitent sinner who had broken his law.

And they came, and they said, "Lord, forgive me for what I've done." That was the eternal covenant. That is how God saves us. And not just that, let's turn to Romans 3:24,25. Romans 3:24,25, somebody read this please. "Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus: whom God displayed publicly as propitiation in his blood through faith, this was to demonstrate the righteousness because in the forbearance of God; he passed over the sins previously committed.

" Thank you, steven. Yeah, "God set him forth to be a propitiation that through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness." And verse 24, "being justified freely by his grace." So, Jesus when he died, he ratified this agreement with The Father, ratified the everlasting covenant that we could be justified, forgiven of our sins. But not just that, and let's go to Romans--i mean, Hebrews 13 because the everlasting covenant, that blood through which Jesus ratified the everlasting covenant is also the means by which not just forgiveness should come to us, but we might be restored to the moral image of God, through a process known as sanctification. In Hebrews 13:12, it says, "wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." And verse 20, "now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant." There you have it. The blood of the everlasting covenant shed to sanctify is in verse 12 is the same blood which in verse 21, if you follow me here, it shows what sanctification means.

It says, "to make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." You get that? I hope so. So, he shed his blood to ratify the everlasting covenant. Even before we're born--before we're born, The Father and The Son had entered into that. But it was finally at the cross where the blood was shed, and this pact was fulfilled.

This is why when Jesus died, he said, "it is finished." He said, "father, here now I declare, hereby I give you notice I've taken the sins of the world upon myself. I've suffered your wrath. I've given up the ghost. It is finished. The blood's shed.

" That covenant then was written in blood. Nothing could break it. Nothing could change it. You and i, as we trust in Jesus, from that point on, we were home and we were dry. Praise God for that.

That one single sacrifice. But when you think about it, how much do you suppose satan sought desperately to get Jesus off track so that he wouldn't go to the cross? How desperately must he have sought to prevent this thing happening whereby he would lose finally his kingdom? He would lose his subjects who would go to Jesus Christ, and he'd die with the subjects that he chose to keep in his own possession. How he must have tried? And this is why the struggle that took place in the garden of Gethsemane was extremely intense and very passionate. Because as Jesus felt The Father's presence being separated from him, he felt himself being drawn down into the blackness of this great shuttering horror. Father separated himself.

He had never experienced that before, and the sins of the world start pressing down upon him, just this awful, awful depression and despair. And so, we read in Matthew there. He says, "father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Jesus' humanity trembled as the cup of suffering was placed in his hand. Would he drink it? Would he drink it? Human history, here we are, the big benchmark now that separates eternity past which will separate eternity future is the atonement of Jesus Christ. Will he drink the cup? Will we see that big spike on that eternal timeline? Well, God planted the cross and gave us the Savior.

I was going to read from "Desire of Ages," but I left it in my office. But the words go something like this: the humanity of Jesus trembled before, I'll use the term, the abyss. He felt the horror and the dread of being separated eternally from his father. But as he's hoping and praying that this cup might pass from him, as his humanity recoils from the dread and horror of the cross, before his eyes, there arises the history of this doomed planet. He sees little children being born into this world without hope to be torn to pieces and shreds by demons, to become the sport of fiends, and he can't stand it.

And he accepts his baptism of blood. He says, "father, accept--if it thy will, may this cup pass from me but nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt." He says, "if I have to drink it, then here I am. Put it to my lips. I'll drink it." And that's what he did. Can you say amen this morning? Amen, this morning.

Yeah, praise God. But now, we need to move on here. I'd like to--so, we've looked at one of the things, the major thing that was achieved through the death of Jesus. You remember when I started off, I said the casual observer, we may have missed some things about what he achieved. He achieved on the death-- on the cross, not just dying for our sins but ratifying the eternal covenant.

That was a thing then that made the atonement effective. But moving on now to consider the kind of suffering Jesus endured as he hung dying upon the cross. You see, his suffering was far more than just being the scourge. And I don't want to speak about that lightly. But you know, he was scourged.

That whip had maybe five thongs on it with bits of bone or metal on the end. They give you 39 lashes. He got that once, and then they gave him it twice in the same day within hours. First time, it was probably across his back. The second time was probably across his front.

We don't know, maybe even across his face. I have no idea. I've never seen "the passion of the Christ." So, maybe they did that in the movie. I don't know, but I've never seen it. But he may have got it even across his face.

And then, of course, there was the beating that Jesus got. A few weeks ago, they came in my mailbox, a flyer from a church in where I live up in rocklin. And I mean this as no disrespect to them. Don't get me wrong. But it was easter time and they were advertising easter services.

They were inviting me to go to their church, it was very nice of them, to celebrate Jesus' death and his suffering. But there was an artist's rendition of the head of Jesus with a crown of thorns, and it looked like some hollywood heartthrob kind of an actor. There wasn't a hair out of place. And the crown of thorns was very nicely drawn and there was one tiny trickle of blood just about here. Jesus' face was brutalized.

You realize that. He was beaten up real bad. And that crown of thorns was just rammed onto his brow. I mean, it wasn't any hollywood picture shoot--photo shoot by any means. So that was terrible suffering, but that compared to what else came at the cross, that was just about very insignificant.

Nailed to a cross, imagine that. I mean crucifixion was--crucifixion was probably the most cruel thing that anybody could come up with. The Romans invented it, inspired by the devil. Just the most horrible thing. Crucifixion was not meant to kill you, not right away.

It was meant to keep you alive, suffering for as long as you possibly could. And people sometimes lasted days upon a cross. There wasn't a lot of bleeding. They put the nails through here and here and through the feet. They bypassed the main arteries, so you slowly hung there, dehydrating, in terrible agony.

The pressure on your rib cage, you're sagging down so you'd have to push upon your feet to catch a breath. And you push down on the nails; that must have been excruciating. Then that's so agonizing; you let yourself down and then you're hanging on the nails in your hands--it was just awful. And that's how it was meant to be. Engineered to be precisely that.

So there he is hanging and going through all this terrible agony. And then, of course, at the foot of the cross is those who he actually came to save and they're just hurling abuse in his face. But what I want to look at right now is something that we can very easily bypass in respect to Jesus' sufferings. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says, "he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "For he made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." Now, I don't want you to miss this. When Jesus hung upon the cross, he didn't merely take upon him the guilt of our sins.

He actually took the sin himself. Jesus became so identified with our sin; he assimilated our sin. It became him. He became the personification of sin. Not just of one person's life or two person's life, he became the personification of sin for every single human being.

Talk about a-- I don't understand it. I really don't. I grapple with that. But nonetheless, I believe it's true. My mind's too small to grasp the magnitude.

But what I can grasp, it's--Lord, how could you go through this? So, it became his own. And this brought dire consequences to Jesus in respect to his suffering and also to the consequences that he would face because of that. And so, bear with me now, I'm going to come back to this in a moment. This is still related to it, but I'm going to go to the temple services. I'm going to show here how it was symbolized in the temple service how Jesus would become sin for us, and that this would intensely increase his suffering.

Corinthians 5:21, you know, "he became sin for us, who knew no sin." In the sanctuary services, sometimes the priest would not bring the blood of the sin offering into the sanctuary and sprinkle it before the veil. Sometimes he would actually eat the flesh. It would be cooked. It would be boiled. He would sometimes actually eat the flesh of that sin offering.

And in eating that flesh of the sin offering, because the sin offering turned, the sin offering itself, the innocent lamb, assumed not just the guilt of the man who put his hand on its head and slit its throat. It actually assumed the man's sin. So, the sin offering itself, the innocent lamb, became sin. The priest eats the flesh. He assimilates the sin himself.

And through this means, God was illustrating that the priest, the lamb, and in turn, the priest actually assimilated the sin of the sinner, became so identified with it. And in these particular instances, the priest would make an atonement, most times before the brazen altar. But he assimilated the sin, symbolizing how Jesus doesn't just forgive your sin; he takes it from you. He makes it his own. He binds it to him, and he takes it down to the grave.

'Cause that's where it needs to be. It needs to be dead as a doornail. I hope we get the idea this is how absolutely Jesus takes sin from us. It goes down to the grave with him. Let me read from Leviticus 10:17 here.

This is Moses talking to The Sons of aaron. He had a little dispute with them but that aside, notice here he's speaking about how they were to bear the iniquity by--through this action here. Leviticus 10:17, it says, "whereof have you not eaten the sin offering in the holy place," have you not eaten it, you see? "Seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it for you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord?" So, you get the picture here. So, this is what Jesus did upon the cross. It was all symbolized to types and shadows.

He became sin for us. All right, bear that in mind. I want you to think about this now. In Isaiah 53 it says, "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him." This is all tied together by the way if you're wondering. If you have a marginal reading for "wounded" in your Bible, does anybody have a marginal reading there in Isaiah 53:5 for the word "wounded"? Anybody? "Tormented"? The marginal reading says actually "tormented.

" You could put it this way. It says, "but he was tormented for our transgressions." When Jesus took our sin and became sin, it was a torment to--this is the point I'm trying to make. It was a torment to him. It was a torment. It was a form of suffering we never really think about.

I want to read you a statement. This is out of my old Bible that's falling to pieces here. But opposite Isaiah 53, I've got a couple of statements from "Desire of Ages." And I hope you get the point. This is "Desire of Ages," page 88, "speaking of Jesus, he hated one thing in this world, and that was sin. He could not witness a wrong act without pain, which it was impossible to disguise.

" See, Jesus was so sinless, so pure. His spirit was so sensitive that just to witness one wrong act, it caused him such pain. It was impossible for him to disguise. "Desire of Ages," 111, "every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought was torture to his spirit." Did you get that one? Every time he witnessed the expression of defiling, it was torture to his spirit. Why was it such torture? Because in himself, he was so pure and sinless.

So to witness one act, it was a torture. Get the point. What was it like for him to then assimilate the sins of every human being? What kind of torture was that? Can you get your mind around that? I can't. His spirit was so sensitive. He recoiled from sin.

It was revolting to him. He loathed it, and yet it was put upon him. So, Jesus felt this torment, this torment of this--the defilement of the putrefying filth of our unrighteousness that was infused into his very being. You need to go home and think about that. See, people look at the cross and they say, "well, it's no big deal.

Thousands of people were crucified. Well, you know, Jesus, we talk about Jesus. He only lasted a few hours. He got off pretty easy." No, he didn't. No, he didn't.

The pain of the cross was excruciating but I believe truly that the pain of the cross was hardly felt to the emotional anguish and this torment that came upon him because of his sinlessness when he became so defiled by our filth, it is incomprehensible. I truly believe that. So, where do we go from here? And also, the dire consequences of suffering in this way, when he took our sins upon him, in God's eyes, this is a mystery. This must have been so hard for God to have to do this. But God kept His Word.

Jesus kept His Word. This was keeping the pact, the agreement of the eternal covenant. This must have been so hard. Here's his son that he loves, and the agreement is that God's going to take all the sins of the world and put them on his son. And so, God does it.

And he sees his son suffering this awful torment. And he longs to deliver him. But can he do it? No, they've pledged themselves that they're going to save this unworthy race at any cost to themselves. So, what does God have to do? He's got to pour upon him his wrath now. Imagine doing that, his beloved son.

But you see, when Jesus took our sins, he became the chief offender of the human race. He became the chief culprit, the chief offender of the human race. He became responsible and guilty for every transgression that had ever been committed by the human race and the law of God demanded his life and the law of God took his life without mercy. And God stood there and let it happen. That broke the heart of God.

And it broke the heart of Jesus. As a brokenhearted father standing beside the cross in the shadows looking at a brokenhearted son hanging there, and around the cross, wretched human beings just mocking him. But The Father and The Son had entered into an agreement that they would say was regardless. And so, even though God could've let his glory shine forth and slay them all and Jesus could've come down himself and laid them in the dust and the angels could've come and just smoked the whole bunch of them, heaven was silent. The angels stood back, and God stood in the shadows and the devil came in and rang the heart of Jesus.

And God just let it be. That must've been tough. But that's the measure of his love for you and for me. The high cost of the cross. You know that is-- where's our little book? The high cost of the cross, it's a cost we--it's a price we barely comprehend.

And this is why it is throughout ceaseless ages, we, along with the angels, we will never cease contemplating the wonderful gift and the great sacrifice that God made for us. Because you see that death that Jesus suffered, the dire consequence of that, as he became the chief offender and received the wrath of God, it was the second death. In Hebrews, the beginning of Hebrews, it says that Jesus tasted death for every man. Not the death we all die and can come back from in this life, it is that second death. Do you remember that black hole I told you about? It was that death, that death.

That's what he spared us from. And you see, the agony of that death--yeah, the process of dying that death for those who are lost will be the lake of fire. It's going to be horrible. But finally when they're dead, you know they're gone, but it's the process. It's the realization that they are eternally separated now from God.

Not that the wicked will ever love God, but they will recognize God too late as the author and the source of all life, all ability to love, the source of existence. It's eternally separated from him, and that's going to be the thing that's going to bring him such terrible anguish. As they stand, as the lost stand outside the new Jerusalem, you read there in acts chapter 20, there's a great white throne judgment of God. And everything comes home to their mind. They see exactly why they're lost.

It wasn't their mother's fault, their father's fault, their friend's fault, their fiancee's fault. It wasn't the stock exchange going down or a broken romance. It was nothing. It was a choice they made, and they chose to push away him who came to give his life. That's when the scales will come off, and they'll see very clearly it was their fault.

How will they feel? The remorse, the anguish, "I could've had all this, but I pushed it away." And all they'll see before them is an eternal-- an eternity of blackness and eternal death, the grave from which they will never rise again to life. That should give you some shudders. Don't be there. You don't have to be there. But this horror of the separation when Jesus suffered the second death, he experienced that.

That is the horror that he felt. This is why he cried out, "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The sad thing is, you know, friends, we get so busy in this life. There's so many things that impinge upon us that just bombard our senses. Even as Christians, we know God's there and we pray and we read but very often, there's just a bit of a numbness around our minds that we don't discern things as clearly and starkly as we should. We don't see that our actions are fraught with eternal consequences.

We don't let our minds go forward to the scenes of Revelation 20. These scenes are very real, and they will be lived out in their reality very, very soon. And there's people who are going to stand there, who sat in Sabbath school classes like this morning, and they're going to recall, "I heard the pastor say that, and he mentioned about this kind of--this numbness about my head, but I didn't care to shake it off. I just wanted to stay with these little pleasures over here that just kept my conscience dampened down, so I felt comfortable. And I decided one day I'd do something about it.

So, I had good intentions." They're going to stand outside those walls and going to wish that they had one last chance, but they won't because it's too late. Now, now. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the day of salvation. Can you say amen to that? And so, we should--and of course, time's almost gone.

But one other thing, I want us to realize what Jesus achieved through his death is reconciliation. I've got some good things, but we don't have time for. In 2 Corinthians 5, it speaks of Jesus being the means of reconciling us to God, things in heaven and things in earth. And the wonderful thing is that fallen as we may be, he reconciles us back to the one who has paid such a price in giving his son to redeem us. I want to read you this.

This is what God does when we're redeemed. This is the meaning and the purpose of Christ's life, to restore that which was lost. "Desire of Ages," page 826, "God desires that the receivers of his grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose cost has been the most offensive to him, he freely accepts when they repent, imparts to them his divine spirit." This is incredible. "Places them in the highest positions of trust and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim his boundless mercy.

" That is beautiful. He doesn't just forgive you, but he gives you his trust. He gives you responsibilities, "and I'm sending you into the camp of the disloyal and I want you to tell them what God has done for you." That is the purpose and the meaning of Jesus' death. He redeems. He restores.

And that which the devil stole, Jesus brings back to its rightful place. If you're resisting this morning, don't resist. It's too high a price to pay. The price has already been paid. Thank God for it and say, "Lord, I accept the gift of the Savior.

Here I am. Take me. Reconcile me and fulfill your purpose in my life." [Music]

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