Atonement at the Cross

Scripture: Colossians 1:13-14, Mark 14:33-36, John 19:28-30
Date: 12/06/2008 
Lesson: 10
By exploring Jesus' experience leading to and at the cross, we can better understand what He did for us.
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Good morning. Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you're tuning in wherever you're watching from this morning or listening on the radio. Those of you watching on the various television networks or watching live on our web site at, we welcome you to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the fist week in December for those of you who are watching on television, and so we're singing some of your Christmas requests that have come in.

And we've received so many of them, but keep sending them in. We still have a few weeks to sing them. Go to our web site, and send in your Christmas requests. Our first one for the year is "away in a manger" on 124 in your hymnals. Those of you at home, pull out your hymnals and sing along with us here at central.

This request is from ralph and birdie in bahamas; andre in barbados; raulie in California; Michael in California-- Michael, who's sitting right here on the front row-- Luke in florida; the springland Seventh-day Adventist Church in guyana and noreen and allison also in guyana; amoy in jamaica; trisha and ingrid in jamaica; tina in Montana; mari in New Jersey; carol in new zealand; chantel in New York; evelyn in New York--in the Philippines; jerMaine in trinidad and tobago: nelva in Texas: carlos in venezuela; and kebby in zambia. This is a favorite, "away in a manger," 124. And we'll do all three verses. [Music] Thank you so much for sending in that beautiful Christmas request. And I want to thank the musicians that help us every week here at central, handerson on the piano and our guys in the "mini orchestra.

" We have a trumpet and a cello this morning, and it's so beautiful. Our next song is "o little town of Bethlehem," 135. This is from minnie and jesse in australia; hilda in Canada; jim, diane, jamie and buffy in florida; trenton and sonya in guyana; ada in North Carolina; manuel in peru; aban in sri lanka; patrice in Texas; william in Virginia; and kayla in Wisconsin. One thirty five, we'll do verses one, two and four. [Music] Father in Heaven, we thank you so much this morning for the beautiful Sabbath that you have given to us, and we ask that you will come and live in our hearts and abide with us today.

We pray that you will send your spirit to be with us as we open up Your Word and study together. I pray that you'll be with each person that's here this morning and those that aren't with us but are joining us from across the country and around the world, our extended Sabbath school family. I pray you'll be with each and every one of them and just put your arms around them they would know that no matter where they are, whether they're a hundred miles from the local church and this is their church, that you are with them and you're worshiping with them together this morning. And I pray that you'll be with our speaker as he brings us the lessons today. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our youth pastor here at central church, pastor steve allred. Our free offer this morning is offer number 156, a little book called "the high cost of the cross" by Joe Crews. So we invite you to call into our number there on the screen -866-788-3966 For offer number 156. Happy Sabbath. How's everyone doin' today? I want to begin this morning by asking a question that might seem a little bit, simplistic or, you know, obvious.

But here's the question: when we make a mistake--anybody here made a mistake before? Oh, okay. All right, so we've all done that. And we mess up and we sin, and then we repent and we're sorry for that sin, what happens to the consequence or the penalty for that sin? Does it just disappear? Does it kind of just vanish into thin air somewhere out in the universe and evaporate? Or what happens to our sins? Does someone somewhere have to pay? And the answer is yes, someone somewhere has to pay. As they nothing say, nothing in this world is free, right? You know I mean it's true. And for our sins, someone had to pay.

Every sin committed has a penalty, that penalty according to Romans 6:23 is what? It's death, eternal death. And so if you sin, if I sin, we are supposed to pay that penalty. Now, there's no coming back from eternal death, is there? And so that's why as human beings if we sin even once, it's hopeless unless, unless someone else were to step in and say, "I will take the penalty. I will be a substitute. I will pay for your sin myself.

" And so that's the beautiful story of the Gospel, isn't it? It's that Jesus Christ stepped up and he said, "I will pay the price for sin, not just for a few people, not just for the good people, the ones who, you know, kind of are maybe better than the others, but for every human being. Every human being." Sin does not just disappear. It did not just disappear. It had to be paid for and Jesus paid the price for our sin. But we as human beings, we like to think, at least if you're like me, that sometimes when we do something bad, we can somehow avoid taking responsibility.

And in case you think that that's not true, I mean come on. Let's just be honest, look back at our own lives and think of all the times that we have tried to make excuses, right? It began in the Garden of Eden. Adam and eve were like, "no, no, no. It was their fault. It was his fault.

It was the snake's fault." Right? "It was her fault." And so we don't like to take responsibility. The lesson began with the story about a guy who sued a fast food restaurant, right, for making him obese, which I always laugh when I hear that because it's like, weren't you the one that ate it, you know? I mean obviously they provided the food but, you know, use your head and think about what it might do to you. Anyway, we like to blame other people for our problems, don't we? And sometimes people do help to make our problems. But we, as human beings, don't like to take personal responsibility sometimes. I see it all the time when I hear about people's marriage problems.

It's always her problem. "You know if she would just be a better wife, then I could be a better husband." Right? Right? That's how it works. And of course, "if he wasn't such a lousy husband and actually was more responsible and just a nicer guy, we would have a great marriage. It's his fault." Right? It happens with parents and kids too. I talk to parents sometimes and they'll say, "you know, if my kid would just behave and quit being so disrespectful, I wouldn't have to slap him around so much and be so impatient with him.

" And so the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that God allows our sins to be forgiven. In fact he not only allows it, he wants our sins to be forgiven but the prerequisite to that is that we have to own up to the fact that we're a sinner, right? We have to say, "God, I am messed up. I need your help." I like what the lesson said. It says, "when we acknowledge our responsibility, we are liberated from the penalty of our rebellion." What happened to that penalty? God did not overlook it, no, instead he allowed it to fall on Jesus. And Christ's experience of that punishment is what we're going to be studying today.

And so I want to take you to Matthew--or sorry, Mark 14. Mark 14 the Gospel according to Mark there in the new testament, chapter 14. And our lesson this week kind of looks at the big picture of what happened at the cross. But if you read your Bible, you'll notice that the experience of Jesus sacrificing himself, of Jesus being a sacrifice began, not at the cross but, where? Where did Jesus first shed his blood for us? Garden of Gethsemane, right? It says that he shed his blood there. Now let's read it.

Mark 14 and we are going to look at verses 33-34. Mark 14:33-34. It says in verse 33, "and he took with him Peter and James and John and began to be very distressed and troubled." And listen to this, "and he said to them, 'my soul is deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and keep watch.'" And the Bible here gives us some indication--Ellen white follows up and confirms this, that Jesus would have died in the garden of Gethsemane if later on an angel had not come and strengthened him. He could have sacrificed himself right here, but he knew that he was going to go to the cross and there he would complete his sacrifice, perfectly on time with the prophecies of the Bible on the passover day at the hour of the evening sacrifices when Jesus died on the cross.

And so Jesus knew that this was not going to be his final sacrifice. But there in the garden, he was grieved to the point of death. I like what the lesson brings out. It talks about how the-- the Greek words here, that are used to tell us this story. "Deeply distressed or disturbed denotes a highly emotional condition of deep excitement caused by something perplexing, amazing or disorienting.

It is often companied by fear or even terror and trembling." Jesus, the one who was always at peace with God, the one who even in the midst of trouble had never shown this kind of fear before is now seized with a terror and a horror that even his disciples, as they watch, are troubled by. Matthew 26, let's go there. Someone out here has that verse for us, and they are going to read for us Matthew 26:27-38. This is the account of this same experience that Matthew gives. "And he took with him Peter and the two sons of zebedee and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Then saith he unto them, 'my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Tarry here and watch with me.'" Thank you. And so here again we see very similar words used. Again, overwhelming sorrow. Overwhelming.

Have you ever felt like that before? An overwhelming sense of guilt, of sorrow, of horror, of terror. And of course back in Mark, Mark said he began to feel this way. This was just the beginning of a long road that was going to take him to the cross and then finally to his death on that cross. And I used to wonder I thought, why was Jesus to emotional in the garden of Gethsemane? I mean there have been people who have suffered worse deaths than crucifixion? Right? And I thought, you know, why was it, I remember as a kid I thought, why was it that Jesus was so scared? I mean come on, you're sweating drops of blood. I mean that's pretty intense, right? For fear of physical pain? And it wasn't 'til I was about years old, I was sitting in a travel trailer in Pennsylvania where I was living.

I was working as a Bible working and an intern pastor at a little church--couple of churches back there. And someone had given me a book by dwight nelson, pastor dwight nelson called "the God forsaken God." And I've told this story here before, I think. And as I read that book, it came home to me that Jesus was not afraid of physical pain in the garden of Gethsemane. He was not a scaredy cat who was worried about suffering some pain the next day. But in fact, he was experiencing something else.

As he clutched the ground, as he sweat blood, Jesus actually, according to 1 Corinthians 5, became sin for us. He was going to be drinking a cup that no one else in the universe would or could ever drink. The cup that had the combined penalty of sins of all the world in it, and he was drinking that there. The choice he was struggling with was whether or not he was going to go through with this. Would he choose to go through with this incredible sacrifice that would literally tear his soul apart, tear him away from his father who he had been with forever.

And so Mark 14 again, going back there verse 34 again, "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," it says. And as the lesson pointed out, as this verse says, he began to feel sorrowful and experience this death. He was beginning to suffer the fate already that should have been ours. And so I like what the lesson asked. They said, how does it make you feel? How does it make us feel that this suffering Jesus' experienced should have been ours? Think about that.

This is the suffering that those who reject God at the end of time will ultimately experience. But not because they have to, not because anyone said this is what you have to experience or because they've chosen to, right? We don't have to experience that if we choose what Jesus has done for us. How does that make us feel? How does that translate into our daily life? Wow. Should it make us grateful? Should it make us-- I mean think about this. Just let it sink in sometime what God has done for us.

All right, let's go to Luke 22. We're gonna talk about the cup that we just mentioned, Luke 22. I really enjoyed this lesson because you know whenever I experience a time in my spiritual life that I'm kind of, let's see, what's the word? You know a dry spot, let's say, a time when I am not feeling as spiritually alive as I think I should be, you know what? I can always go to this story and it revives me. Anytime that I need spiritual revival, I can go to the story of Gethsemane, the story of the cross and it revives me. I think there's power in the blood.

Do you agree? In fact if you read Revelation, what is it? Twelve verse nine, twelve verse seven, it says that they over came him, what? By the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. The people in a time are allowing their lives to be seeped in the blood of calvary, to go back and to experience this, this amazing sacrifice that Jesus made. Twenty-two verses forty through forty four. Let's read it. It says, this is Luke 22, it says, "and when he arrived at the place he said to them, 'pray that you may not enter into temptation,' and he withdrew from them about a stone's throw and he knelt down and began to pray.

" Here's what he said, "father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.' Now an angel from heaven appeared to him strengthening him. And being in agony, he was praying more fervently and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down to the ground." This cup, the cup in the Bible has been used as the lesson noted as a metaphor for at least two things. In psalm 16:5 it talks about taking the cup of, what? Salvation or God's blessings, right? Taking the cup of God's blessings. So this cup is used as a metaphor, an example, of God's blessings in our lives. But it's also used in Jeremiah as an example chapter 25 there, verses 15 and 16 and in psalm 75 as a cup that contains God's wrath or judgment against sin and sinners.

And so which cup do you think it was that Jesus was drinking from here? The latter, right? And you know as I was thinking about this, I though you know there's a verse that I wanted to take us to today. Revelation 14, one that was not in your lesson but one that I feel fits very well right here. And as I have read the three angels messages before, the three angels messages are some messages that we, as a church, claim to understand and share with the world, right? That's what we're all about. That's why we have three angels out there on the mosaic of our church there in the front. And so Revelation 14 contains these three messages.

Starts in verse 6, let's read it, and it says, "I saw another angel flying in mid heaven having an eternal Gospel," that means the good news about salvation, "to preach to those who live on the earth, every nation, tribe, tongue and people." And here's what he said verse 7, "saying with a loud voice, fear God, give him glory because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and the springs of water." I mean this is powerful stuff, right? Worship the creator. Worship a God who wants you to be happy. He wants to give you eternal life, right? Well, then there follows these other verses though. Look what it says, verse 8. Another angel, a second one falls saying, "fallen, fallen is Babylon.

" Now listen to this, "because she made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality." Here this cup shows up again, another cup. We can read more about that in Revelation 18--17. Verse 9, "then another angel, a third one, followed them saying with a loud voice, 'if anyone worships the beast, his image or sees his Mark in his forehead or in his hands,'" verse 10, "he also will drink of the wine of," what? "The wrath of God which is mixed in full strength in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the presence of the lamb." Wow. And I've read this statement from Ellen white where she said the third angel's message contains the message of justification by faith.

And I said, where? Because I only read about receiving the Mark of the beast and drinking from a cup. And I was like, where is justification there? And then one day it hit me, that the cup that the evil, the wicked who choose to reject God at the end of time-- it's their choice-- the ones that choose to drink that cup, that cup is the same cup that Jesus drank for them in the garden of Gethsemane. And no one has to drink the cup in Revelation 14. Amen? No one has to drink this cup. In fact I think the message of hope here in Revelation 14 is that this wrath of God against sin, you don't have to suffer that.

Folks, Jesus has something so much better for you. That's the point. And in the garden of Gethsemane, we see where Jesus in that garden drank that cup all the way to its very dregs. Now did he do this with someone holding a gun to his head? Did he do this where God said, "you gotta do this or else"? Let's go back to Matthew 26. Notice what it says in verse 42.

Matthew 26:42, there was a struggle according to this verse. Jesus in his humanity was struggling with this sacrifice. Should he go through with it? He would be separated from his father to him. He could not see past the portals of the tomb, we're told. And so he thought, "maybe this is it.

Maybe I'll never see my father again." Matthew 26:42, and he went away again a second time and he prayed saying, "my father if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, your will be done." Your will be done. He did it willingly after that struggle there you read about in verse 39. And of course in John 18, John 18, the Gospel of John 18:11 these words, "so Jesus said to Peter, 'put the sword into the sheathe the cup which The Father has given me. Shall I not drink it? Shall I not drink this cup?'" Jesus did it willingly for us. And so the lesson moves on.

It talks about how on--as Jesus got up from the--from clutching the ground, sweating drops of blood, making that choice to go through with this sacrifice, he gets up. He hears the mob coming to arrest him. Through the night, you can hear the clamber of their weapons and the muffled voices and the footsteps and sees the light of their lanterns as they make their way through the olive trees to where Jesus is there with his disciples. And the Bible says he got up. And here's the story, verse--chapter 26 of Matthew verse 45.

It says that Jesus was betrayed. Let's read it Matthew 26:45. It says, "then he came to the disciples and said to them, 'are you still sleeping and resting? Behold the hour is at hand. The Son of man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up.

Let us be going. Behold the one who betrays me is at hand.' And while he was still speaking, Judas--behold Judas, one of the twelve came up and accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he was betraying him gave him a sign saying, 'whomever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him.' Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, 'hail rabbi' and kissed him." And Jesus was betrayed. Verse 45 says, "behold the hour is at hand, The Son of man is being betrayed," what? "Into the hands of sinners.

" The very word "betrayed" is not a nice word, is it? It doesn't bring very nice feelings to light when you think about it, does it? It means to hand somebody over, to make a transfer from here to there, from one person who possesses something to another. Can you imagine this? The Son of God is handed over to sinners, handed over. In fact in Luke 22, you read this in the lesson. Verse 53, look what it says. It says that not only was he handed over to sinners, but in verse 53 it says, "when I was with you daily in the temple.

" Speaking to the mob. "You did not lay hands on me, but this is your hour and the hour of the power of," what? "Darkness." He was handed over to darkness, to the power of darkness. Ellen white, in the lesson they had a quote. It says, "the light of God was receding from his vision. He was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness.

" Imagine that. He was walking into the mouth of the dragon. He was Marching into the dark cavern. He was going thinking that he might never come back. And of course, it was one of his own disciples that betrayed him.

I mean imagine how that must have just taken the knife that was already in Jesus' heart and turned it. And we read that, of course, Jesus again was an active and willing participant. But how about The Father? What about The Father? Go to Romans 8. What was God The Father thinking as all of this happened? As he watched his son being betrayed into the hands of those who would torture and torment his son. Romans 8, a verse that was not in the lesson but one that I want to bring out today that I think says it so well.

Romans 8:31, "what then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" And here's why, verse 32, "he who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him freely give us all things?" Wow. Any parent that would give up their child to save someone else, you gotta know that parent must love that other person, right? And the story of the Gospel is that The Father gave his only son, his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Story of the Gospel. "He who did not spare his own son but delivered him over for us all.

How would he not also with him freely give us all things?" I like what the Sabbath school lesson brings out here. Page 118 in the teachers' edition, it says that Christ was going into the Kingdom of darkness by himself. And yet it was there in that kingdom that he would defeat evil--the evil one once and for all. Doesn't that give you-- just imagine this. And by the way, I think it's telling.

It's an example for us of how Jesus did this. You know the weapons of our warfare according to-- where does Paul say that? Corinthians? Are not carnal but, what? They're spiritual. Carnal means fleshly, earthly, right? The way that Christians fight, the way that we overcome satan in our lives, and by the way in our world, is with what? Heavenly, heavenly weapons. And what are the heavenly weapons? Word of God. What else? Prayer.

I mean these are some powerful weapons. Jesus, as he went into the mouth of the dragon, as he went into the tunnel of darkness, as he was delivered over to satan himself and satan was allowed to have full access to The Son of God, to his body, to his mind, to his soul. Jesus, you notice, did not fight back with the weapons that are so natural in our flesh to fight back with. He didn't retaliate. He didn't become angry and grab Peter's sword and use it, did he? In fact he didn't even use the powers that he could have used to wipe these people out completely.

But instead the power of meekness and love and humility conquered, didn't they? I think that's a lesson for us. In fact in acts 26, notice what the verse here tells us happened. Acts 26:18 it says that Jesus there went into the--that dark-- the power of darkness into their realm "to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light. And from the dominion of satan," where Jesus had stepped into to God, "that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among those who had been sanctified by faith." This was what Jesus accomplished as he stepped into that awful place. And of course in Colossians, this is a verse that the lesson brought out, Colossians 2:15.

It says, "when he had disarmed the rulers and authorities, he stepped into the realm of the power of darkness." This is so amazing. And he disarmed satan. He took the teeth out of the lion, right? He declawed the dragon. It says, "when he had disarmed the rulers and authorities, he made a," what? "Spectacle, a public display of them having triumphed over them through him." Can you say, "amen?" Wow. And so when you feel like satan is oppressing you, when we feel like satan is, is messing with our lives, can we turn to Jesus for help? Has Jesus already defeated this enemy? He has.

Satan is still alive and well in our world today. He is. We see it all around us. We see it as he is glorified openly in movies that are out there today, right, in books and in people who actually claim to be able communicate with this power. But we also see him in other subtle ways, don't we? Working to oppress and to discourage people to the point where they want to take their life or the life of someone else, to the point where children want to be hateful to their parents or parents to their children.

Or we see satan all around us but we can know that Jesus has won. And how should that make us feel when we battle satan? We can be victorious by God's--with his power. Sometime read Ephesians 6 if you want to read about how specifically you can do that, Ephesians 6. Okay, let's go to Matthew 27. Matthew 27.

And we move on to Wednesday's lesson. Here Jesus now is taken from the garden of Gethsemane to the cross. And we're talking about the atonement that Jesus made at the cross. Matthew 27:46. "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, 'eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' This is--says, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Good job.

Jesus cried out this cry, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Had his father really forsaken him? You don't think so, okay. What do you think it means? Did Jesus just--he was on the cross and he was like, "I think God has forsaken me"? Had God really forsaken him? Let's look at a few verses. Corinthians 5:21. Corinthians 5:21. There you go, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, acts, Romans, and then 2 Corinthians 5.

It says, "he made him who knew no sin to be," what? To what? To be or "to be made," what? "Sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him." That first part, he made him who had never sinned to become, to be made... Is sin is a pretty thing? Sin is an ugly thing. If you can think of the ugliest thing that you've ever heard of or seen in this world, the most despicable act, the most disgusting crime, that's sin, right? Along with all the other ones that are more fashionable and the ones that we kind of like to excuse sometimes, right? But it's all sin. But that most despicable act, that is what Jesus became. So let's talk about this concept, though, of Jesus being made sin for us.

Did that actually happen? Jesus actually became sin for us. Now let's go to Romans 1:18. I'm gonna take you through a little step-by-step process here. Romans 1:18. The Bible tells us something about God's attitude toward sin.

What does it say? It says for the what? "Wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unGodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness." And you go on, you read and it says that God gets very angry against sin. He doesn't like sin because sin hurts his children, basically. Sin as really messed up this universe, right? And it's messed up a lot of relationships. It's messed up the relationship between us and God. And it's always interfering in other horizontal relationships as well, isn't that right? Marriages broken up, people hurting each other and killing each other.

All those things are result of sin. So God says, "I don't like sin." He is angry against sin. And so according to what we're reading in the Bible, Jesus took this cup. It was full of the penalty for people's sin. Sin is a hateful thing.

Jesus, himself, drank it and in drinking it, obviously a metaphorical cup right? Became sin. And God, in his wrath against sin, turned his face away from his son. Matthew--sorry, Daniel 9, go there really quick. Daniel 9:26. You know, this verse.

If you're an adventist who studied prophecy in the book of Daniel, you've read this verse before. But read it again. Matthew--I'm hung up on Matthew today. Daniel 9:26 it says, "then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be," what? "Cut off and have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.

.." After 62 weeks, this was a prophetic time-line that Jesus was to fit into, the Messiah would be, what? Cut off. What does that mean? Not a very nice, warm, fuzzy-sounding situation, right? The Messiah would be cut off, wow. And in the Hebrew language, the idea was that the breaker of the covenant would be cut off. Remember back in the old testament times when someone had sinned or something in the camp of Israel? If they were really bad and they didn't want to repent and they didn't think anything was wrong that they had done, they were sent off into the wilderness. They were cut off from the camp.

They would wave bye-bye to 'em because they would die out in the wilderness probably. Not a very nice thing have happened to you obviously, but it was kind of their choice. They didn't want to be in the camp and comply with the rules, so they would banish them. And the same picture is given here of someone who has broken the covenant. Someone who--you know when they make a covenant back then, they would divide an animal in two kind of signifying that whoever broke the covenant, that would happen to them too.

Wow. Jesus was cut off. He was cut in two in a way. His heart was broken, and he did this for us. Isaiah 53 uses a different word but in the english it's translated the same way.

It's a different word in the Hebrew, but it implies the same thing. Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53:4-8. "Surely our griefs he himself bore." Okay, so if griefs are a tangible object, he had everyone's griefs on his shoulders. He was weighed down with the sins of the world.

"Our sorrows he carried yet we are ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." But look what it says. "He was pierced through for our transgressions," not his. "He was crushed for our iniquities," not his own, nothing he had done. "The chastening for our well-being fell upon him. By his scourging, we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each has turned his own way." We've done our own thing, we don't really care. We just do it. But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to, what? Fall on Jesus. And here's the part that's very--that ties in there.

It says, "he was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth like a lamb that is led to the slaughter. Like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And as for his generation who considered that he was cut off out of the land of living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due." He was cut off for us. He was divided from his father.

He was pulled apart from the one who he had been one with for all eternity. And he thought, I really believe this, that's why he cried out on the cross, "why have you forsaken me, God?" He thought that that separation would be forever. But you notice that Jesus didn't say, "God, why have you forsaken me? Wait a minute, I think I've rethought this. Let's not go through with this." He didn't do that, did he? In fact what that means to me is that Jesus there on the cross looked down through the ages, through the centuries to today and he saw me and he said, "I'm going to go through with this so that steven can take my place in heaven." Put your name there, "so that Michael can be there in heaven, so that dora can sit on my throne beside my father in my place. I'm willing to go through with the sacrifice.

" Ellen white, "it was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about his soul." It was necessary. "Because of the withdrawal of The Father's love and favor, for he, Jesus, was standing in the sinner's place. The righteous one must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God." Not because God was being vindictive. "For the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when his son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering, pulling apart, of the divine powers, the Godhead, will never again occur throughout eternal ages.

" And there on that cross, there in the garden, the Godhead, the oneness of the Godhead was pulled apart as Jesus sacrificed himself for us. And so there on the cross as he cried out, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I think that even though God was very near in one sense, in another sense he was--he was as far away as he could possibly be from his son because his son had to suffer that eternal death for us. And yet God, as he turned his back on his son, felt his own heart breaking as his son was making this sacrifice for us. Finally though we know the story in John 19, let's read it. John, the Gospel of John 19.

The Bible tells us what happens. Nineteen. Jesus it says verse 28, "knowing that all things had already been accomplished to fulfill the Scripture." There he was on the cross. He had cried out those words, "my God. Father.

Dad." In the Hebrew the word is "abba," daddy. "Why have you forsaken me?" And as he cried those words, I believe that there was a time on the cross where Jesus really felt like that was it, he would never see his father again. And yet somehow towards the end of that experience on the cross, we get the picture in the Bible, and Ellen white confirm this, that Jesus, his faith grasped on to those--those previous experiences he had of his father. He knew that--he knew the prophecies. He knew what was happening to him at that moment.

And he knew that, in fact, he was going to come forth from the tomb and go back to heaven. And so we see him here on the cross in verse 28, "something has changed after this. Jesus knowing that all things had already been accomplished to fulfill the Scripture." Here he is. He's in the mouth of the power of darkness realm. He is there.

And it says he realizes that he is going to triumph. He said, "I am thirsty." Verse 29, "a jar full of sour wine was standing there so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to his mouth. And therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine he said," what? "'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and he gave up his spirit." A finished sacrifice. Turn to Hebrews 7:26-27. Listen to what it says.

It says, "it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, as Jesus, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens." Verse 27, "who does not need daily like the earthly high priest to offer up sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. Because--" here's why. "He did this once for all when he offered up himself." Man, can you-- isn't that beautiful? Jesus did that once for all. Go to Hebrews 9:23 and all the way down there to verse 28 it says, "therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, the blood of animals. But the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

" Oh, I love this. Verse 24, "for Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself." There is a sanctuary in heaven. "Now to appear in the presence of God for us." Now listen verse 25, "nor was it that he would offer himself often as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with the blood that is not his own. Otherwise he would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the consummation of the ages, he has been manifested to put away sin by--" what? "The sacrifice of himself.

" And here's this part that's so amazing. "In as much as it was appointed for men to die once--" and after this comes the judgment. "So Christ also having been once offered to bear the sins of many will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin to those who eagerly await him." Unlike what some churches teach, that Christ is offered every time the Lord's supper is sacrificed, we believe that Christ made one sacrifice and that was sufficient. Amen? That one sacrifice as he was on the cross there, he offered himself forever for every human being that ever wanted to accept that sacrifice. I want to talk really quick about sacrifices.

Okay, go back in the old testament. Rewind in your mind. Imagine you were a Hebrew, you were gonna bring your sacrifice, you wanted to be forgiven of your sin. So what did you do? You picked a lamb or a goat from your flock and you brought this innocent, little creature, and you would confess your sins on this animal's head. And you would then kill the animal, with your own hands.

And as I think about it, I think you know we kind of make this so abstract. It's, you know, something that happened. But imagine if it was your own pet. I mean just don't imagine that too much, but think of the pain. Think of the pain that that must have caused to the person who had sinned.

Would that make sin a little more disgusting? Yeah. And so they would bring this-- their sheep or their goat. They would sacrifice it. They would confess their sins. The priest would then, would burn the sacrifice in some instances on the altar, burnt offering.

And then he would take the blood inside of the sanctuary and sprinkle it in front of the veil or on the horns of the altar and-- but it was interesting because if I were a sinner, if you were a Hebrew, brought your lamb, you would sacrifice it and watch the priest. And then the last thing you'd be able to see was the priest going behind the veil, right? That was it. You couldn't go inside there. You couldn't see inside either one of those compartments. That was it.

And so you had to imagine what was going on behind there, right? What do we call that? When you can't see something, but you believe that someone else says about it? Faith, right? See, they would have to go by faith inside the veil. According to the Bible, Jesus sacrificed himself on this earth. We saw it. There were witnesses. But now Jesus has gone through the veil, so to speak, into heaven, right? And it says that we follow him by faith as he ministers in heaven for us.

Let's go back to Matthew 27. Notice what it says, Matthew 27 here as we wind things up. In verse 51 it says, "the veil of the temple was," what? "Torn in two from top to bottom and the earth shook and the rocks were split." What veil of what temple was that? It was the earthly temple, right? And as Jesus was on that cross, he sacrificed himself. He was the real sacrifice, right, that was going to take-- he was the high priest as well. He was going to take his blood into the real temple.

And so that earthly temple ceased to have significance, right? The sacrifices on that altar no longer were needed because the real sacrifice had been offered there on that cross. And no longer was the sanctuary itself significant, and so an angel came down from heaven, apparently, and the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Christ would now ascend to minister in the real sanctuary, which is in heaven. And like the ancient Israelites looked by faith to what the priest was doing inside the veil, so we look by faith to what Christ is doing in heaven. What's he doing up there? You want to find out? Go to Hebrews 4.

Hebrews 4 and let's read here this incredible promise. Hebrews 4:14-16. It says, "therefore since we have," what? "Such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens." Who is it? Jesus The Son of God. What does it say? "Let us holdfast our confession." Verse 14, Hebrews 4:15, "for we do not have a high priest who cannot," what? "Sympathize with our weaknesses but one who has been tempted in all points like as us but yet," what? "Without sin." And then it says, here's what it says, verse 16. If you want to know how to know that your sins are forgiven, how to know what to do during this time as Jesus is ministering in the heavenly sanctuary, and if we study Daniel 8 and 9, we believe that he has moved into the most holy place, a time of judgment, the day of atonement in heaven.

Verse 16 here's what we should do, "therefore, let us draw near with confidence. Let us come boldly unto the throne of," what? "That we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need." Those are the two things we need. We need forgiveness, don't we? We need forgiveness. We need mercy. And the second thing we need is what? We need help, right? When we are out there day-to-day basis, "God, I need your help in my life.

" Two things that we need. And according to my Bible, according to your Bible, Jesus is applying his sacrifice to our case right now. He made that sacrifice. It was once and for all. And as he claim it by faith, he gives us this forgiveness and this help every day.

Can you say, "amen" to that? And so there's a little quote as we finish up today I wanted to read with you. It's on page 124 in the lesson, at least in my quarterly. And all it says is this, it says, "man has not been made a sin bearer, and he will never know, she will never know the horror of the curse of sin which the Savior bore." Listen to this, "no sorrow can bear any comparison with the sorrow of him upon whom the wrath of God fell with overwhelming force. Human nature can endure but a limited amount of test and trial. The finite can only endure the finite major.

The human nature succumbs, but the nature of Christ had a greater capacity for suffering. For the human existed in the divine nature and created a capacity for suffering to endure that which resulted from the sins of a lost world." Now listen to this, "the agony which Christ endured broadens, deepens and gives a more extended conception of the character of sin and the character of the retribution which God will bring upon those who continue in sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ to the repenting, believing sinner." We can never atone for our own sins by our own suffering. You can't climb enough staircases, as martin luther once tried, in order to atone for your sins, can you? You can't be a good enough Christian to somehow atone for the bad things that you have done. The only thing that we can do is eternally die for our own sin, isn't that right? Or accept Jesus' sacrifice to pay for them.

And that's the question today: which will we choose today? If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our web site at There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including "amazing fact presents." One location, so many possibilities. Hello friends, I'm supposing that you know that Amazing Facts is 100% viewer supported. If you've appreciated these programs, if it's been a source of encouragement for you and if it's blessed your life, we'd love to hear from you.

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