God as Redeemer

Scripture: Revelation 5:12
Date: 01/21/2012 
Lesson: 3
God is not only our Creator, He is our Redeemer. "From the earliest pages of Genesis, the Bible points us to the death of Christ on the cross, where He would die a sinner's death in order to redeem us, as sinners, from the eternal destruction that sin brings." Sabbath Schooo Lesson
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Welcome to Sacramento central seventh day adventist church for another central study hour. The time where we gather each week, we open God's Word, and we study together and, of course, before we do that we sing your favorite songs that you have sent into our website at saccentral.org and, of course, if you haven't already sent in your favorite songs, you can do that. Just visit our website and send them in. Our first song this morning, 'Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing' is a favorite. #334 - This is from jizelle and patrick in antigua and barbuda, romel in barbados, brentnol and marilyn in british virgin islands, andrew and gloria in California, vimbai in cayman islands, tristan in china, michele, lancelot, alsonia, and yeukai in england, winda in florida, bob and Paula in Idaho, delmeira, brittany, rhonda, Mark, steve, and rayon in jamaica, tenganawo in malawi, courtney in Maryland, laly in Michigan, bakari in Missouri, chris and charles in netherlands, victoria in nigeria, jamie, jenny, jared, sandie and vern in north carolina, angel in the Philippines, jasmine in saint lucia, jason and andrea in saint vincent and the grenadines, la toya, che', nicholas, petal, avionne, emrold, sherma, and bryan in trinidad and tobago, bryan in wales, and maila and jacqueline in zambia.

Okay guys, you requested this - there's a lot of you so there's not many of us here this morning so sing loud wherever you are around the world. We're going to do all three stanzas. #334 - 'Come, thou fount of every blessing.' Thank you so much for that request. Our next one - 'day by day' and with each passing moment strength I find to meet my trials here. I know that on a beautiful sunny day, for us, it's not always like that in your life.

It's not always sunshine. There are people around the world and right here in this church that are hurting. This may have been the best week for some of us. It may have been the absolute worst for some of us. We want to remember those this morning who are hurting.

It is day by day and one day the day will be over and we will be in heaven where there will be no more pain, no more sadness and no more tears. #532 - This is from barbara in Alabama, vincere and jizelle in antigua and barbuda, Christopher in australia, ameidi and dorran in belize, elias in California, andrew, Karen, faith, cris, and stephanie in england, st cyr family, wilfred, Karen, and allena in grenada, annmarie in Indiana, amir in indonesia, nordia, renville, Simone, clifton, justin, samantha, teena, Pauline, tanika, and kenwrick in jamaica, florence in Massachusetts, selina, sandra, chief, cj, craig, and jonathan in the netherlands, sandra in New York, vern and sandie in North Carolina, ibelle in the Philippines, albert in qatar, adrian and sheila in singapore, grace in tennessee, and nigel, evelyn, nicole ann, and kristoph in trinidad and tobago. #532 - All three stanzas. Father in Heaven, we are so thankful that one day we will reach the promised land where there'll be no more toil and trouble. May we each be ready for that day.

Father, thank you so much for blessing us like you do. And we're not worthy of what you give to us but that's the mystery of you and that's why you're our Heavenly Father and it's not the other way around. Thank you so much for blessing us with this Sabbath day. I pray that you will come and live in our hearts. Be with as we open up your word and we study together.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor mike thompson. He is our health and outreach pastor here at Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. Thank you very much debbie and jan and Happy Sabbath everybody. We have an offer this morning.

It's called 'to live in his sight' - it's by a lady called leslie kaye and there's a foreword by Pastor Doug. It's a book that deals with practical Godly living - how to have a real experience with Jesus. It's very biblically based as well, so if you call the following number - 1-866-study- more or 1-866-788-3966 and ask for offer #ss21203 they will send it to you - provided you live in the continental united states or something like that. Anyway, I'd like to welcome you this morning. We're on lesson #3 from our new quarterly theme 'glimpses of God' and there's a picture.

Some of you maybe watching haven't seen this before. Glimpses of God - it's really interesting how we get - in the old testament, for example, some very amazing glimpses of God. You know, the best glimpses we get of God are really just glimpses - if we were able to be as adam before the fall we could stand in his presence and just feast on the glory but we can't do that so we get glimpses and sometimes those glimpses that God gives us they're not meager by any means. Not at all. And today, we're looking at lesson #3, which is entitled 'God as redeemer' and there's a memory verse, which I will read, from Revelation 5:12 "worthy is the lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

" If anything was ever truthful, that certainly is and that, of course, will be sung especially by not just the choir of heaven, but the additional members of heaven's choir, which will be the redeemed of earth. We can all be there singing that song. What a wonderful anthem that will be. And I hope this morning we can catch some of these things that as we do, we can catch the glory. And as you follow, you know, a ray of light, you may be in a dark room and there's a ray of light and it just comes and splashes on the door, you follow that ray of light and it takes you to a hole in the wall.

If you're able to crawl through the hole in the wall - crawl along that beam, that sunbeam, it will take you all the way back to the sun, the source of that light. So I pray this morning the glimpses that we get we'll follow the source and we'll go to the Word of God and we'll get upon our knees and say, 'Lord, let me see more than a glimpse of you. Let me see the bigger picture so that everything else in this world - the things that kind of tinsel and flash and tickle our fancy, they'll just fade away into insignificance and we will hunger and thirst for you.' We need to see especially, as far as we can with our small minds and dark eyes, the wonder of God's wondrous and in so many ways, mysterious love toward us that he, in Christ, the great creator of this universe, came down to this earth here to become emmanuel, God with us in the flesh, to open for us the door of eternal life. It took a lot of suffering on Christ's part to be able to do that, but he came here. And I hope that we can grasp some of that this morning so that in our Christian experience as individuals and also as a church, one thing will prevail - that is Christ and him crucified.

Christ and his righteousness. And everything we preach and believe and teach as seventh day adventists, whether it's the sanctuary, the state of the dead, the second coming of Jesus, any of those things, it all needs to center around that hub of Christ - Jesus Christ. And I hope you get the point when I say that. I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see. What does that come from? Amazing grace.

The man himself, John newton, was once a slave trader but caught that little glimpse of that light and he followed it back. And what happened? He became a Christian. That man who had been a slaver in the souls of men - a trader in the souls of men became a fisher for the souls of men. That's what the cross and the glory of Christ can do as we behold that. So, I want to go straight to Sunday, it speaks of 'at the cross.

' Now, you're probably aware the Scriptures tell us that the cross is foolishness to those who perish. It is. It's foolishness. And when you look at the Christian religion from a worldly standpoint - I mean it's rather crazy. It doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Really.

You know, the leader of this great movement came down here and what did he do? He laid down his life. Well, he didn't get far in life, did he? I mean, that's the way the worldling looks at it - he was a failure. Died at 33. But you see, when we put on the glasses - if you like - when God anoints our eyes with that spiritual discernment. Jesus is not a failure.

His life was one of spheres of uninterrupted victories and he established upon this earth a church that has been beaten around over the centuries. Sometimes it's gotten a little flabby and weak and can get a little lazy sometimes, and here we are this morning, we need to get a bit more spiritual sinew and a bit more strength and get out there and work for the Lord. But nonetheless we're here and it's God's purpose that through his church, weak and defective as we are, they will still fulfill his wonderful purpose that his truth, his righteousness will be seen and men and women who today may sit in absolute darkness and ignorance and be doing some of the worst, gross, groveling things, can be changed and raised up to be the next Paul or some other great missionary. God has people out there, they don't realize it, but he's wanting to confer upon them serious talent. And it begins with us, because if there's no preacher nor teacher to go out and tell them, what will happen? Well, God sends angels sometimes when we don't do our job - thankfully for that.

But anyway, so the cross - so we need to go to the cross. And as we go to the cross there are two vital things, which he made clear to us, two vital things about the character, the personality of God, the way he functions, which relate very much to our salvation. Two things. We see the justice of God, the righteousness of God and we see the love of God. Those two things.

I want to say the righteousness of God - the justice of God. Righteousness and justice - it's kind of the same thing. At least in the Greek language. One means the other. And the righteousness of God is reflected in his law, of course.

It's a transcript of his character. As we look at God's law we see the high, holy, beautiful, sinless state of being that God exists in and possesses just by nature. Nobody conferred it upon him. He's the source of all righteousness, the source of all justice. And, at the same time, as we go to the cross - well, no - let me leave that for a moment - the righteousness and the justice of God is part of the living essence of his being, if you like.

It's the very opposite of sin. In fact, even the smallest sin or the smallest - even the fragrance of sin - cannot come in to God's presence without this innate essence of righteousness immediately going forth to destroy it. Sin just cannot exist in his presence. It's alien to him. He despises it.

It's an affront to his purity and it just has to be wiped out. No exceptions. Some might ask, 'well, if that's so, why are we still here?' Why is it that we do blunder from time to time - sometimes by accident, sometimes deliberately? Willfully we sin. Why is it if there's no exceptions, if God's righteousness goes forward to meet sin and to destroy it, why are we still here? Well, because of that other quality, that other part of God, his character - his love, his long-pitying mercy. You see, this is just as much a part of God's innate being as his righteousness is and some people might think, 'well, you know, aren't they always clashing?' No, actually not - they're not.

God's justice is not at odds with his mercy and God's mercy is not at odds with his justice. They equally coexist - his two innate essences of how God is. He's the author of both of them and it's a wonderful thing to see how both of these things - God's righteousness, his justice and his love and his mercy. We find him at the cross in this mysterious process of our redemption - these two things perfectly coexisting in perfect harmony with one another. And it's a wonderful thing when we go to the cross and we contemplate this.

Because, at the cross, we see on one hand how God, who hates sin, upheld his righteous law. And we know that, of course, John 3:4 tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. And there's other things people bring up like 'that which is not of faith is sin.' That's true as well. And there's another one, it just slips my mind, you probably will remember what it is. Some people say there's more - oh yeah, 'sin is missing the Mark.

' Some people say, 'well, you know, there's other definitions than that. It still comes down, I believe, to sin being the transgression of the law. Because, if you miss the Mark, what Mark? Who sets the Mark? Who sets the standard? It's God's law. And when we say that sin is 'that which is not of faith' is sin - well all true faith lends itself to true obedience to God. So, you cannot get away from the law of God.

So there at the cross we see God's law - it's righteous unswerving principles being upheld - not bent one slightest little bit. While his wrath, if you like, was - and the sentence of eternal death - was meted out in type to every human being. It was our doing. All that wrath of God and that sentence of death was poured out upon the cross because we have all violated his law. Yet, at the same time, there was an exercise there functioning - there was also God's mercy and his love.

And so, what did he do? As that wrath was poured out - and it should have been poured out on us - here's his son and he uses his son. He has him put upon a cross as a lightning rod for his own divine wrath. And so, that wrath is diverted. It should have come down in every city - in every home and wiped every one of us out. But here's Jesus.

He's the lightning rod of God's wrath. He didn't get off lightly, not by any means, but we did. Why? Because, while God is just, he is also infinitely merciful, kind, and longsuffering. In 'Desire of Ages', page 25, it says, "Christ was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as he deserves." Now, that wrath of God which was poured out, it was poured out on Christ, but there's going to be another outpouring of wrath one day and I'll talk about this a little further in the lesson, but it deals with the fact - well, I'll just mention it now in case we run out of time. Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath.

No idea what that was like. It must have been just beyond comprehension. He drank the cup of God's wrath for every human being - to secure for each one of us a probationary time - a second chance - through faith in God and his grace, to allow him to restore his image in us - his moral image in us. Jesus bought that for us on the cross. He drank the cup so we wouldn't have to drink it.

But those who, in this life - and we all get one life and we all get the opportunity to make the choice. Those who say, 'Lord, I'm just not interested in what you did. You drank the cup of wrath for me? Well, thank you very much, but it doesn't interest me very much.' That cup, one day, God will put in their hands and they will drink it themselves. But on the cross it was to help us understand justice and mercy. It was a watershed in God's outworking of the plan of salvation - Christ crucified.

So many lessons to be learned from that. Years ago, yet how many people really take the time to think back and go and stand by that cross? Relatively few. Well, we're here this morning. I hope we take advantage of that. I want to read Romans 5:8.

If somebody would read that. Just hold your hand up and I'll give you the cue when to speak. Romans 5:8. "But God commanded his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Thank you. Thank you very much.

While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God commends his love to us in the fact that he did this. Let's be clear about something, however. This does not mean that Jesus bought us a free pass to heaven on the cross. I mean, it will be a free pass for those who take advantage of that, yes.

But yet, we still have some effort to make ourselves in cooperating with him. So, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, we have a second probation and if we will allow him to fulfill his will in our lives, as we trust ourselves to the outworking of his grace, this indeed will be the case. He will restore his moral image in us. When he comes the second time we will be like him. We can go with him to that eternal kingdom.

But again, just because we did mention wrath here, I want us to read Romans chapter 1, verse 18, and I will read this one. Romans 1:18 - bear with me here - it says here, "for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unGodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." Those are dire consequences. We live in a country where you can even go to a supermarket - I was once in one supermarket where they had paperback Bibles at the cash register right next to - what's that silly stuff? National review? No, what is it? You know, those cheap - yeah, thank you - Bibles right next to them. I would never pay for the other stuff, but there's a Bible for $5.00 - you know, that's a good deal. None of us here in the western world have to be deficient in spiritual knowledge - it's there.

And God will pour his wrath out on those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Somebody might say, 'but, I didn't know it.' Well, you had every opportunity. Willful ignorance, dear friends, is not an excuse. It's certainly not an excuse at all. Romans 5:9 - I want to read that also.

Romans 5:9 - but it says this, "much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Do you want to say something to that? What did you say? Amen? You mean that? I should hope so. Let me read it again. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." An amazing thing is, as we consider God as our redeemer, as we just read here in Romans - when Jesus died for us, it wasn't that we were his friends - he had a few friends, I suppose, but it says here that we were his enemies. 'While we were yet sinners" - he died for a race of people, with which he had the least thing in common, other than he came in our flesh and he knew what it was to have to struggle against temptation and sin.

He who stretched out the universe became one with us and so few wanted to be his friend and yet, he died even for his enemies. You know, in wartime we hear these stories of men throwing themselves on a hand grenade for a friend - very brave, very very brave. I don't think I could do that. Hopefully I would, but imagine doing that for the man who is about to come over the top of your trench and then bayonet you - he's thrown a hand grenade in first and then he's going to come in - it's late exploding and you don't want him to be killed so you throw yourself on the hand grenade. It wouldn't make sense, would it? But that's what Jesus has done for us.

That's why I said at the beginning the Christian religion doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to people who are out there and are living just for this world. But to us who hopefully understand what this is all about, this is one of the most wonderful and precious things that we could ever, ever contemplate. But anyway, because we live in the age in which we do, sin is so lightly esteemed. And preaching about sin and the wrath of God to come - we tend to think - we kind of bring up the stereotype, if you like, the stereotypical picture of like a southern baptist in the 19th century. By the way, there are some good southern baptist people - if there are any watching, I don't mean this in a bad way.

It wasn't just those that would preached it, wesley would preach about wrath and hellfire sometimes. We tend to get away from that because we think, 'you know, that was kind of crude preaching.' But, you know, it's in the Word of God. I mean, to present it, it needs to be out there so people can understand, because we have a society and a church that need waking up. And when I say a church, I mean Christendom at large. Sin is hardly spoken about - you're okay, I'm okay, let's go and have a rock concert at church, let's go feed ourselves with ice cream afterwards, let the kids jump in the bounce house.

You know, if you like ice cream, that's fine - I like the tofutti type - but, you know, church is not a place for me to eat that. And it's fine to let kids jump in the bounce house, that's perfectly fine. It's fine to do all those things, but when you come in the house of God to worship him, we don't need entertainment. We don't need food. We don't need candy.

We don't need ice cream. We need to hear the truth that is, if necessary, going to cut and wake us up so that we can realize our days are numbered. Probation is going to close. Jesus is coming back. There's a time of trouble coming.

But no, we hear this 'Jesus loves you' - and it's true. He loves me enough to die for me - to drink the cup of wrath so I that I wouldn't have to drink it myself. So it's the kindest thing to wake people up and give them both sides of the Gospel. Can you say amen? So that's where we are. And so, because we have this superficial, this liberal, contemporary Christianity, the wages of sin are rarely preached about - rarely dwelt upon and, because of this, so many people they're left - you know, it's getting off the track a little bit here, but the other day somebody sent me a link and it was - it was a well-known female - she has a t.

v. Show - I won't give her name, you might figure it out - and she was there with two or three people on this small panel and there were people who were calling - it was like a talk radio program but you could see the callers on the screen. And there was a young gentleman who called in and he said he was homosexual and you could see he was - if I read his expression right - he was a little nervous about mentioning this - by the way, before I go any further, I want you to know this. Yes, I believe the Bible condemns homosexual practices, I do. It's plain as day - you can't get away from that.

At the same time, I want you to know that if a homosexual - somebody with those leanings - came through this door, and they said, 'you know, I'm struggling, I've read the Bible and I know I shouldn't do this - I'm struggling with this, but can I still come to your church?' I would welcome him with open arms - I'd give him a hug. I'd say, 'yes, of course you can.' Because with Jesus' help you can overcome anything. So I'd welcome these people, I would. So I want you to know where I'm coming from when I say this. So, there's this young man and he says, 'I'm homosexual.

' And there was this gentleman who was an episcopal priest - at least he was fairly high ranking. He was from southern California. He was an episcopal priest. He was there in his black robes and his dark collar. And another gentleman from another church - and the lady from the show put the mic over in the hand of the episcopal gentleman and she went to see what he would say.

And the episcopal gentleman said, 'well, God has given you the gift of homosexuality.' And the lady on the show said, 'that's the first clergyman that's ever said that on my show. And then the other clergyman reached across and gave the other one a high five and said, 'that's two of us.' So I was just - just sat there - I didn't know what to say. And so, I was listening to these two men, who were very nice people by the way. The episcopal gentleman, I mean if you passed him in the street with his robes on and, you know, you were hungry, I'm sure he'd give you all the money in his pocket. Very nice man.

But he had an idea that God had given this young man the gift of homosexuality. Well, maybe God had, but not the God of the Bible. But, I'm using this just to illustrate the point - we're living in a world - and by the way, this young man on the screen, after they'd said their bit to encourage him, he seemed quite encouraged. He said, 'well, I think I'll have to take a fresh look at life.' And off he went on his way and I thought, you know, that poor young man - woe to these men of the so-called cloth who give other people who are trying to, you know, they're struggling, they're wondering, a directive. And we should not just eat the words of pastors or anybody else.

But this young man, you could tell, it meant so much to him. I thought, 'woe be for these men.' God is going to call them to account. But it's just an example of how, in this world, in this society, sin has become such a light thing and the consequences are barely thought about. Anyhow, let's move on to Monday 'the Gospel in the old testament.' Would somebody read Genesis 3:15 please? Genesis chapter 3, verse 15. We would - surely we've got somebody on this side here.

Genesis 3:15. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Thank you dr. De rose. As soon as adam and eve sinned and ate the forbidden fruit, of course they should have been snuffed out of existence. After all, God had said what? He said, 'if you eat this you will surely die.

' But deserving of death as they were, they were not snuffed out because in heaven God The Father immediately invoked for them a life-saving provision, previously agreed between himself, God The Father, and God The Son. Both had sworn that in the event that this new race - adam and eve - succumbed to a moral fall, Jesus would immediately become surety under the eternal covenant. Again, to cover their sin and to purchase a second probation which, through faith in God's grace, they would be able to be restored to their moral image originally and be able to enter paradise restored, and live there forever in the immediate presence of God. And that's a wonderful thing and this is the first glimpse that we get in the old testament of this plan of salvation that God had already prepared for those should they fall. That blood that was to be shed would be sufficient - efficacious enough to cover the sin of every single human being.

And that was the point. Here was the promise in John - in Genesis 3:15. But that promise of this eternal covenant that was now beginning to be disclosed, it had to be ratified. It had to be ratified through the blood of Jesus. And we know as we look through the rest of the old testament, of course, animal sacrifices were instituted in a more simple and a crude form - when we look at the patriarchs.

We look at Noah, even before the flood he understood about sacrificing - when he came out of the ark. We go to the time of Abraham and wherever Abraham went he built an altar. And we move on from the time of Abraham to the time of Moses and the children of Israel moved into the wilderness and then things get more detailed and more elaborate. We have there the sanctuary that's built and the animal sacrifices, and we have the priest who is more - has on the priestly robes and those things - and there's different, more detailed, protocol dealing with the different types of sacrifices and things. So it becomes more of a picture book in the old testament, through the sanctuary system, to show how God, through the everlasting covenant was dealing - was working out this sin problem.

And finally, it all goes down to the time when Jesus came to this world, of course, when the promised redeemer came and Jesus was actually sacrificed there upon the cross. And there upon the cross, it wasn't just the sin problem that was resolved for fallen human beings, something else was resolved as well, and this encompasses the bigger picture of the everlasting covenant and that is also the instigator of sin - satan himself is also to be destroyed. In fact, going back to Genesis :15 we see there that the backdrop to the working out of the eternal covenant would be that there would be a conflict. That there would be a conflict between the woman's seed and the seed of the serpent. And, of course, as seventh day adventists, we have our great theme of the Great Controversy.

We look on the life of Jesus, the life of the apostles, prior to that, of course, the patriarchs and so on - Kings. We find this conflict has always been taking place. Satan's always trying to break down what God is seeking to establish. But in becoming the fulfillment of everything that the types represented - I'm going to go to Hebrews now, Hebrews chapter 2 - we find that the Gospel and the old testament comes through, of course, to the new - we have its fulfillment - and here we find the fullness of Christ coming, not only to be the surety for our sin, but also to be the one who is going to make sure - in fact, his sacrifice made sure that the instigator of sin is going to be destroyed. Go to Hebrews 2:14 and 15.

It says, "forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he" - that is Jesus - "also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." So Jesus came not just to deliver us from sin, but from the consequences - the wages - of sin. But the one himself, who leads us into sin and kind of gloats that he has this dominion here of death, whereby he tries to take human beings and hold them captive - he tried to hold Jesus captive in the domain of death, after Jesus was crucified. You remember that. And the only way that Jesus could go down into that domain and spoil it was for himself to become a prisoner of death. So, as he's hanging there upon the cross, and he's bearing our sins, and he receives the wrath of God, the devil was himself just wanting Jesus to sin so that his mission would be ruined - or get Jesus to just give up on his mission and go back to heaven.

None of those worked, but Jesus finally died and so the devil's last attempt was to keep him a prisoner in the tomb. If he could do that then there would be a Savior who could not rise, deliver those who trusted in him, and his kingdom would be secure. And so we know the story of how he had a roman guard put around the tomb - and also, Ellen white mentions as well that - in the book Desire of Ages - that there was a guard of evil angels around the tomb. But Jesus rose, did he not? Jesus rose and in rising it means that he had been down there, he had plundered the devil's domain of death, he came out through the portals of the tomb and he had the keys of death and the grave. And this was one of the most wonderful achievements that comes from the cross.

Not just to deliver us from death, but to finally make sure he rang the death knell of the devil himself - the instigator of death. And this was all pictured in the old testament when we look, of course, at the sanctuary service on the day of atonement there was the scapegoat - it was all pictured there - then Jesus comes and we get one step closer to the final reality of when that will actually be. The cross decided it all, of course. But we're still in the section of looking at the Gospel in the old testament and we see a larger picture in Genesis 22, where we have the story there of Isaac, being the type of Christ, but in the story in Genesis 22, I think it's fair to say that Abraham is featured more than Isaac, who is the type, because, we get a new and a bigger picture here of God's personal involvement in the plan of salvation. He was the one who loved us in the first place to want to send his son.

Of course Jesus is one with the father, we're dealing with this as well, but here's a picture that comes to us in Genesis 22 of it's The Father that loves us. It's The Father that gives his son and it's The Son that comes down and gives his life in turn. And so, we get this beautiful picture of God who loves us. I'm having to move on quickly here, but in Genesis 22, verses through 16, we find there what Abraham - type of God - is there, he's got the knife and he's ready to slay Isaac, and he's just ready to just plunge that knife down, and the angel says, 'Abraham! Don't do the lad any harm. Don't do it.

' Abraham had passed the test, praise the Lord. But then the next thing we see is what? There is still a sacrifice - oh, and it says here, this is the point I was going to make, "you have not withheld thy son from me, thine only son." Abraham is a type of God giving all he has - not withholding your son - of course, this applies to the great anti-type where God gave his son for us. There in 22:8 it says, "God will provide a lamb." That is actually God himself providing a lamb which, of course, a ram was caught in the thicket - a type - but there again, it's giving us this picture of God The Father, who 'so loved the world he gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.' Let's go to Tuesday 'salvation in Isaiah.' I'm just giving you references this morning because I need to keep moving, so you can write them down, but in Colossians :16 and 17 and Hebrews 1:2 and 10, to cite a couple of passages, we see here that Christ was the great agent in creation - Jesus Christ - but in Isaiah 4 - and in Isaiah 40:22 we see how the great creator stretched forth the heavens as a curtain - spread them out as a tent in which to dwell - and in Isaiah 40, verse 26, we read there how God has given to every star a number and a name. And so, what creative majesty is here ascribed to Jesus Christ? And yet, a little further on in the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, we find Christ, the glorious creator, in a totally different setting. Here is - he's incarnate in human flesh - as a human being.

And in verse 3 of Isaiah 53, it says "he is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief:" we know that Jesus suffered much sorrow upon this earth during his earthly sojourn. He found peace and communion with God, his father, but he was often misunderstood, put down - even in his own home where he grew up, there was so little understanding about why he was really here. And then, hanging on the cross - dying there - he became the object, again, of just cruel and vile verbal abuse from the very people he came even to save. They mocked Jesus in his dying agonies. And, as you know, satan tried to provoke Jesus to just absolute disgust and say, 'I'm not dying for these people if this is how they treat me.

' But he didn't do that, did he? He stayed there and he suffered and he drank the cup. And so, we notice the wonderful reaction of Christ when he came down here and he was misunderstood and abused. He was reviled. But in Peter - 1 Peter 2, verse 23, it's a reflection - the lesson reminds us of Isaiah 53. We see that there's several verses here where Peter kind of reflects the passage of Isaiah 53 - at least some of the passages.

Peter 2:23. It says here, speaking of Christ "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." So, he just left it in God's hands. And there on that cross, it's kind of incredible but, the pharisees hanging around there looking at him - they were just hardening their hearts more and more and more. They were looking at God's great gift and yet, it just hardened their hearts because of their attitude toward it. And yet, there were others around the cross, who began to see, behind the veneer of the suffering servant, a mysterious being - something different about this person here.

A mysterious being - like a benevolence - a compassion - merciful even to those who were abusing him. There seemed to be something about him that could this being really be of heavenly origin? Well, the thief on the cross finally acknowledged that, didn't he? And even that hardened roman centurion - even he turned around when it was all done, looking up at that lifeless form of Jesus and he said, 'truly this - this was The Son of God.' So forgiveness, righteousness, eternal life are only found in him, who was nailed to that awful cross for us. There's nothing we can do to atone for our own sins. All we can do is to come to that cross and lay them there at Jesus' feet. As it says there in Isaiah 53 - going back there for a moment - it says, "all we like sheep have gone astray.

" Isaiah 53 - let's just turn there - Isaiah 53. "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." And the verse before says, "but he was wounded for our transgressions," - Isaiah 53:5 - "he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." There's no other way about it, friends. You can't do anything. There's nothing you can bring to God to make yourself be any better. You can - if you could perfectly keep the law of God - you could never do it in your own strength, but through the grace of God, suppose you perfectly kept the law of God from this point on, it will still not atone for all the evil of the past.

I may - a policeman may pull me over for doing 85 miles an hour in roseville. He may get to me by the time I get to the split and maybe at the split I'm doing 65, but he writes me a ticket. I say, 'I'm doing the speed limit now, I've been doing the speed limit for the last couple of miles.' 'Well maybe you are, sir, but back there in roseville you were doing 85.' 'Yeah, but I'm being good now, right?' 'Yes, you are being good. And that's a good thing, but it doesn't negate the fact that you were doing 85 in roseville.' I haven't done 85 in roseville, by the way, but you get the point here. All we can do for all our mess of the past is bring our mess to Jesus and ask him to forgive us.

And you know what he'll do? He'll do that. He delights - he delights in mercy. Delights in mercy. Okay, let's move on to Wednesday 'the Gospel and the cross' - the Gospels and the cross. Now, remembering that this quarter's theme is called 'glimpses of God' - excuse me here - Jesus tried to give his disciples a glimpse of how he was going to be their source of redemption.

In Matthew 10:32 and 34 - we don't have time to read it, but just make a note of it at least - here Jesus is going up to Jerusalem - this is going to be his last visit - and his disciples - you can read it there - they're a little nervous and they're following him because they don't know what's going to await them there. But finally, they get to Jerusalem - but before they do get there, Jesus tells them very plainly, he says, 'the scribes and pharisees' he says, 'they're going to betray me. They're going to hand me over to the gentiles - the Romans - they're going to scourge me, he says, and they'll kill me, but on the third day I'll rise again.' He tells them - I mean, how plain can it be but - so they carry on walking to Jerusalem still a little nervous are the disciples. Next thing you know Jesus says go to that house, there's a colt there, I want to ride it into Jerusalem. So he starts riding into Jerusalem - next thing all the people around 'hosanna, hosanna to The Son of David.

' That was fulfillment from a prophecy in Zechariah - and then the disciples look around and they see all these people and they think, 'wow, why were we afraid? It looks like Jesus is going to finally fulfill the crowning act of his ministry. He's going to let them crown him king.' So they lose all their fear and apprehension and he'd already told them, 'I'm going there and when they get me, they're going to betray me. The gentiles - the Romans - they're going to crucify me. They'll scourge me. But on the third day I'll rise again.

' And so, there they are. They're going into Jerusalem now and they think that Jesus is finally - he's going to sit upon the throne of David. And not just that, just a little while before - you remember James and John - they said, 'Lord, when you come into your kingdom, can one of us sit on your right and one of us on the left?' And the other disciples heard this and they were really irked. Do remember that? But Jesus wanted them to understand - you see, the disciples, this is what they were looking at. They were looking at what was happening when Jesus was arriving into Jerusalem.

The disciples saw a crown and a throne and Jesus saw a cross and a tomb. Two totally different expectations. Two totally different views. And Jesus needed them to understand that before a crown there has to come a cross. And that's why Jesus said to James and John, 'are you able to drink the cup and be baptized with the baptism that I'll be baptized?' They said, 'Lord, we are able.

' They had no idea what they were saying. They had no idea what they were saying. But, you know, afterwards they did understand. They understood things a lot more clearly. And we look at the cup they drank and the baptism that they were baptized with - following in the footsteps of Christ.

He told them, 'you are here to be servants. Whoever is the greatest, let him be the servant.' Jesus was the example. He was the greatest but he was a servant and he gave his life a ransom for all. We are God's people - God's children. If we want to do anything for God, let us not see ourselves as leaders.

If we're put in a place of leadership, fine, but still see yourself as a servant and that is to be our position. So, they learned the hard way that before that crown there has to come a cross. There has to come a cross. And we know that James was the first to be executed. John actually survived.

All the others were put to death. John survived, but it was only by the grace of God he lived the longest. But he sure knew what it was to finish up as a servant and to go through strife and pain and bitterness. And if we want to be servants of Jesus Christ - I didn't quite get to the end, did i? - We need to recognize too that our place is to be an instrument in his hands so that this wonderful Gospel that was reflected in all the old testament came into reality - and the great anti-type at the cross was preached by the early church, has been preached for years and now is getting into its final mode - the everlasting covenant - the Gospel - is going to the whole world. It's our hour, let's not throw it away.

Let's not fail. Let's be faithful to God that his purpose can be fulfilled in us. In closing, a free offer. Offer #ss21203 'to live in his sight.' If you call 1-866-study-more this will be sent to you and -866-788-3966 'To live in his sight.' God bless you. Have a good rest of the Sabbath and may God be with you.

Thank you.

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