Emmanuel - God With Us
NOTE: CBBC is sending our readers this small study booklet for this Fall season viewing, in place of our regular newsletter that is posted every other month. It is a little longer but we know you will enjoy a brief history written by Pastor Ellis about ourprecious Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST!
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23
In the beginning man and God were in a perfect relationship. There was harmony, peace and fellowship between them. What a beautiful world our Holy Father created for man to enjoy, as he lived his life on earth in the love of God.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. ... And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-18
When God created Adam and placed him and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he gave them the freedom to choose. He did not make man a robot, but he made him with an intellect capable of making decisions. Man is a free moral being. To see if man would obey him, God told Adam he could eat of every tree of the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. All the other trees of the garden he could eat of their fruit as much as he wanted.
In the beginning Adam was created an innocent being who had no tendency to do evil, or good. He would be able to choose and make decisions based upon what God had told him. We can assume that Adam understood what God told him, and that later he must have told Eve, because of what she said to the serpent.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
ADAM IS CHARGED WITH THE ORIGINAL SIN because he was the first man, and God had told him of the consequences of disobeying him. Adam was to be the sole ruler of this earth but through his disobedience, Satan gained control of man’s world. Today, Satan is the prince of the power of the air;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2:2
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 1 John 5:19
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 5:8
Remember God had warned Adam concerning the forbidden tree.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
That very day Adam and Eve sinned they died spiritually and were separated from God. The process of death began in their physical bodies and in time they would die because of their sin. Because God is Holy he should be obeyed. Even Lucifer and the angels, when they rebelled against their Creator were cast out of heaven and now they await being thrown into the Lake of Fire. The suffering in the world today is the result of sin. Troubles, sorrows, disease and death are all because sin entered the world through Adam. Since we are all descendants of Adam, we are all sinners.
The "GOOD NEWS" tells of the way God provided for us to be forgiven of all our sins and given eternal life, so we could live forever one day with our Great God and Savior. Someone may question why they are condemned because of Adam’s sin. May I tell you, my reader friend: You are not condemned because of Adam’s sin, but because of your own sin. This will be discussed further as we proceed with our thoughts. We hope that all of our readers know the forgiveness of their sins is through the Lord Jesus Christ. If not, our prayer is that our study will encourage you to trust him for your salvation. The Bible, throughout, continues to warn us of the danger of sin. Sin, is committing those acts of disobedience forbidden by the Lord.
REMEMBER- ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN: (1 John 5:17)
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Romans 1:28-31
The Need of Man
Again, we see man is capable of choosing what he does, or does not do. He can choose to follow the Lord or he can choose to ignore God and go his own way. Jesus, when he was here, told his listeners in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter seven, there is a broad road and a narrow road in life. Those on the broad road are heading for judgment and hell, while those on the narrow road are on their way to heaven and life forever. Which road are you traveling on today? YOU! have made a choice and the choice was totally yours. You were free to make that choice after hearing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:16-21
Read those verses above carefully and think about what Jesus said. Remember: You and I are accountable to God. We are living in his world, and a record of our lives is being kept to be reviewed at the judgment to come. “Thank God” he loved, and loves sinners, but he does not love our sin. So from the third chapter of Genesis on, we see the redemptive plan of God unfolding in the scriptures to redeem sinners and to have a people who would love and serve him. With Adam’s sin, man became a helpless sinner. He could not remove his sin. He could not undo his sin. He was now a sinner and when he had children, all his children would be sinners. Adam could only produce a race of sinners and all of them condemned because they were sinners. Think of the billions of sinners that have been born who have all descended from Adam and Eve, the parents of all sinners. Of these billions and billions many have died and are dying daily.
Man’s Heart Problem
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Mark 7:21
How can man get his heart fixed? How can it be changed? Is there any hope for man, a sinner? Yes, all by the grace of God who sent his only son to be our savior. Look around you today. What do you see? Go to the hospitals, to the nursing homes, the rest homes, the homes where people are pitiful, suffering, and dying. Folks, there is no cure for their death! This is what every person has to look forward to in life. Growing old and feeble and finally dying. Is this all there is to life? Live a while here in this world of sorrow, and struggles, and then die? Think of how hard people work, how they love their family, friends, and the things of this life. Knowing that when they grow old and die they have to leave it to someone else. The wisdom writer said this long ago;
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Ecclesiastes 2:17
All is vanity if there is no God and no savior! Focusing on Jesus Christ allows life to have purpose and meaning. Looking to God does not mean we need a “religion,” or that we live a good life. Because of man’s sin against God, HE provided a way we might have forgiveness and reconciliation for our sins, thru Jesus.
The religions of the world attest to the truth man has a need for a higher power. Through religions man hopes to reach God or please God. But no religion has ever provided salvation, because religions do not cleanse one from sin. God himself, would have to provide for man’s salvation, but far to few are willing to accept the provision that God has made through his only son.
Man knows he needs food, water, shelter and clothing. He works and plans for these things because they are the basic needs of life. But does man know he needs salvation? Does man know his sin condemns him before his Creator? Does man know there is a Devil who is deceiving him? While man knows all about his physical needs, he seems to care little for his spiritual needs. If he is concerned about his spiritual need, often his rationale is it is something that can be taken care of “later.” Unfortunately later comes before it is ever dealt with and the person dies and goes to hell. But folks, man needs to know truth! And real truth is found only in the Word of God. God’s Holy Bible is the only source of truth man can rely upon. It tells him of the truth of his real need. Man is a sinner and he is already condemned. He cannot hide behind his excuses whatever they may be, whether it is a religion or ignorance. God calls all men everywhere to repent of their sin and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. Do you remember when Jesus said the following statement about some people who would one day come before him;
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
Did you notice Jesus said, only those who did the will of his Father would be allowed into heaven. What is the will of his Father? BELIEVE IN JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR! Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 1 John 2:23
FOLKS, we need a savior who God will accept and there is "ONLY ONE" - THAT IS HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON!
Long ago in eternity past, the all knowing God of heaven planned for the salvation of a race of sinners through the death of his only son. It is almost unimaginable the goodness, mercy and grace of God in view of this most pitiful state of lost mankind. How in HIS great wisdom and incredible power he would bring about a means of rescuing sinners from their sin against his holy character. His plan involved him becoming one of man through what we know as the incarnation. So God decreed in eternity past, even before he made the world, how he would provide salvation for all mankind. His plan included allowing each person to choose, or not to choose, if they wanted to be saved from their sin. As we said above - God did not make man to be as a robot!
Through his foreknowledge God chose a lineage of men beginning with Seth in the Old Testament by whom he would bring about the fulfillment of his plan of redemption. Later from twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Judah would bring forth a young virgin who would be the mother of the Son of God.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luke 1:26-31
What a shock to a young teenage girl who had plans to marry a man named Joseph. But! God had some other plans for her first. Now, Mary knowing she was a virgin wondered how could she have a child? But the angel told her how it all would happen;
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35 I
n God’s provision for the salvation of sinners he came into the world he had made, as a man. He was fully God and fully Man! Without the sin nature of all other men. Being sinless allowed him to be the sacrifice that would pay for all of man’s sin. Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and made that clear;
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
This can’t even begin to show us how indescribable God’s love is for us, that even though he knew how vile, evil, selfish, greedy and proud man can be he chose to be our SAVIOR! Yes, God sent his only son to die in order to save men from utter destruction.
Yet!! The arch enemy of man and God, Satan, continues to deceive man into rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. The ONLY ONE who can keep them from everlasting torment in the Lake of Fire. Does my reader today understand the effort God has put forth so you can live forever? And not only live forever, but live in an eternal state of paradise where there will never, ever be another heartache or disappointment. Yet, untold millions of people today still neglect this great salvation of the Lord God.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3
A KING IS BORN
Two thousand years ago in a little town named Bethlehem as predicted long before in the providence of God the Son of God would be born among men.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:4-11
Think of God as a little baby boy being fed as any other little baby born to parents. Think of the one who made the world and all things visible and invisible, clothed in the garb of a new born babe? Yes, God, very God and still he was also very man like any other except he had no sin nature because his father was the Holy Spirit. There has never been a conception or birth like the baby Jesus. The prophet Isaiah had prophesied;
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Matthew in writing the gospel of Matthew, wrote concerning this; And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:21-23
Both Isaiah and Matthew said that his name would be Emmanuel meaning, “God with us.” Personally, I can’t get over this great truth, that God came to live among men. People actually ate with, talked to, saw, and enjoyed God on earth two thousands years ago. Jesus, as God, laughed, cried, got tired, thirsty and hungry just as you and I do. Jesus loved people and people loved him, even as we love him today, although we have never seen him.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:7-9
Have you ever thought about Jesus as God, walking down the road in the hot sunshine for miles to reach the places he would travel to? And think of his sweat when working in Joseph’s carpentry shop in the smoldering heat of the day. Yes, Jesus, although he was very God knew what it was like to live as you and I live and experience life as we do.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he 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. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:14-15
Yes, Jesus knows just how you and I feel today. He knows what it is to struggle, be disappointed, rejected and unwanted. He has been here and has experienced life just like you and I. Why, he has even tasted death for us!
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9
After Jesus is about three years of age we know nothing else concerning him. Herod had attempted to kill him but Joseph was warned to take the child and flee to Egypt.
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Matthew 2:13
Generally, it’s thought Jesus began his ministry at thirty years of age. But Luke in his gospel tells us that at the age of twelve Jesus stunned the religious leaders of his day answering their questions.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. Luke 2:41-42
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. Luke 2:46-47
After the feast, Jesus went back with his parents to Nazareth and we hear no more about him until he appears at the river Jordan where John the Baptist is preaching and baptizing. Jesus later said about John, there was none born among men greater than John the Baptist. This is the best compliment that could have been given.
Although the ministry of Jesus would only last for about three and one half years, think of the multitudes he met, fed, and healed their sick. We are told of only a few of the miracles he performed. He had power over nature, demons, diseases, and even raised the dead. One of the last things Apostle John said about Jesus was;
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. John 21:24-25
Think of how the blind felt when their darkened eyes were opened. Think of how the lepers felt when they could go back home to their loved ones. Think of how the cripples felt as they could walk and run as never before. Yes, Jesus changed their lives dramatically, but he also did something else that was even more wonderful. He forgave sinners of their sins.
The woman that was brought to Jesus at the well, that had been taken in adultery washed his feet with her tears. Saul of Tarsus, the chief of sinners, Zacchaeus a publican, and others discovered the love and grace of God in Jesus. Oh, what a Savior! Have you personally discovered his grace?
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus in his ministry went about doing good and manifesting that he was God, and he stated and indicated it a number of times. Even so, he was not believed and was rejected by many.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
I and my Father are one. John 10:30
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; John 14:9
As the time passed the leaders of Israel became so jealous because of the popularity Jesus had with the people that they continually attempted to discredit him. Every method to trap him was used because they hated him so much. If he did a miracle on the Sabbath the pharisees condemned him. If he claimed he was God, they said it was blasphemy. The religious leaders were very bitter in their displeasure with him. Later when he was betrayed to them they said to Pilate;
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Matthew 27:25
They did not realize they were bringing down the judgment of God upon themselves and their children.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12
Jesus came into the world being born as a Jew. He was the long awaited Messiah that Israel had looked for and hoped for. For centuries the Jewish nation longed for God to deliver them from her enemies who had ravaged her, and enslaved her. But when God sent his son, even as the prophet Isaiah said, he was rejected;
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:1-6
Rejected, by his own people! My friends, could anything be sadder than this statement?
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. John 1:11
Is there anything worse than rejection? The pain of rejection often leads people to alcoholic beverages, doping and immorality because they are rejected. Some people even commit suicide because they cannot face life having been rejected. To make it even more painful, one of his own disciples would be used by Satan to betray the Savior into the hands of his enemies. Yet, as strange as it may sound, it is all the foreordained plan of God.
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. Mark 14:10-11
The fickleness of people has often been, and is often still seen, that for even the slightest bit of money people will take advantage of you, or sell you out quickly. It was this way back then and it is still the same today, but worse. Jesus was not the Messiah the religious leaders of Israel wanted. They wanted a Messiah who would come and deliver them from Rome and make them the head of all the nations as in the days of King David. Little did they know that before a crown, there had to be a cross where the sins of the world would be judged.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
Out in the garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal the Lord Jesus took his disciples to pray with him. They did not know the testing they were about to encounter and rather than be awake praying as Jesus asked, they all fell asleep. When they awoke, it was too late because the officers led by Judas Iscariot had come to arrest Jesus and put him through a series of mock trials.
If there ever was a person put on trial who did not deserve it, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only person who has ever been tried who had no sin in word, thought or deed. Yet, he was put on trial. The writer of Hebrews wrote;
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Hebrews 7:25-27
After Judas betrayed Jesus to the religious rulers, Jesus instituted what we now call the Lord’s Supper so that during the church age the believers could remember what the Lord had done for them in his death, burial and resurrection. Then he took his disciples to the garden of Gethsemane so he could pray and prepare for the coming ordeal of a trial, his sufferings, and his death before his glorious resurrection. And while he is there in the garden his enemies came led by Judas Iscariot himself.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. Matthew 26:59
The Bible says that one of the things that God hates is a false witness.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19
Think of being the ones who spoke lies against the Lord Jesus. What an awful judgment against those souls one day. Scripture says they searched for false witnesses. They did not want true witnesses, but those that would be willing to condemn him.
A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. Proverbs 19:9
We must remember that these mock trials were being carried out improperly. Bible scholars tell us that there was six such trials conducted before the Sanhedrin court, Pilate and Herod. The reason Jesus was brought before Pilate and Herod was because at this time in history only Rome could put a person to death. So the Sanhedrin court had to have a reason sufficient for Rome’s approval that would allow Jesus to be put to death. They hated Jesus so much that they wanted Jesus dead. They brought Jesus before Pilate;
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. John 18:36-38
Pilate the Governor of the Roman Province at Jerusalem told the angry mob, “I find no fault in him.” But the people would not be satisfied with Pilate’s answer, although he later repeated it again. Mobs are like a pack of dogs attacking some helpless prey. There would be no reasoning with them. The angry shouts were to “crucify him, crucify him!”
Here, supposedly, were the people of God rejecting God’s only son, who was truly their Messiah. But they did not want him. Not only that, but because of the blindness of their hearts, they had put God himself, who loved them so much on trial. Earlier, Jesus had wept over the city of Jerusalem, which was called the City of God because he loved the nation of people so much. He had wept over it, because they had rejected him and his message.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. John 19:13-18
The religious leaders had plotted the death of Jesus and succeeded to persuade Pilate to have him crucified. Before his crucifixion, he was severely beaten. Often such beatings would bring death to many victims. But Jesus endured the beating and was made to carry his cross up the hill toward Calvary.
The one who had come from heaven to help them they did not want. The only one who could keep them out of hell was hated, despised, and put to death. This is what sin does to the human heart: it blinds, it deceives, it destroys!
Back in the sixties the atheists said that God was dead. Of course he was dead to them because they had no use for him. God is a spirit and life and he will never die. But by sending his son into the world as a human he would be able to die in sinful man’s place. Death is ugly no matter what form it takes. Whether it’s a natural death, some disease, affliction or murder, death is horrible. But man is a sinner and he will die a sinner without Jesus.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27
Even, the Son of God was going to die. Die, not for his sin, but for the sins of the whole world. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
Jesus came into the world to pay a debt he did not owe. He became a substitute for you and me, taking our place so we could live forever by believing in him. He was an innocent victim. He had no sin. Yet, he took all of our sins upon himself and was judged in our place by his Holy Father, God. This shows the depth and breadth of God’s love for us. God was willing to do all this in order for us to be saved from the penalty of our sin.
Being nailed to the cross naked, with nails or spikes driven through his hands and feet was shameful and painful. Hanging on the cross some six hours exposed to the jeering, sneering, angry mob of people added to his misery. They did not know he was doing this for their salvation. What self control Jesus had to stay upon the cross when he could have come down at any time. Folks, this is why Jesus came into the world. He came to save lost sinners from their sins. But sinners must recognize they are sinners and need the forgiveness that only Jesus can give.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:28-30
Yes, death is so ugly, so unnatural. God created man to live, but sin brought death. Even the Son of God chose to die, but his death would turn into a victory for all who believed in him. He entered death for a purpose. He was going to defeat it by rising from the dead three days later as he said he would.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Matthew 16:21
The message of the Bible is clear that all who put their faith and confidence in Jesus, would be given eternal life. Think of living forever in an perfect environment where there will never be any sorrow or disappointments. What more can one ask for? And in that eternal paradise, we are living and being loved by God.
That’s what the death of Jesus means. It takes away our sins and it gives us victory over death, hell and the Devil. What a Savior! Only because Jesus is very God could our sin be forever removed. Only God who is infinite, could pay the eternal debt of sinners and he did. NO ONE HAS TO GO TO HELL. SIN HAS BEEN PAID FOR. But men and women go to hell because they refuse to repent of their sins and trust Jesus as their own personal savior.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
To think that God, in Jesus, would come and live with man to suffer and die as he died, on purpose, so that we might be saved. Because he loved and loves us that much! But God is Holy and he cannot over look man’s sin. He is just and demands total obedience. What God demanded, he provided himself for us. He died in my place and yours, so that we might live, and live with him forever. My friends, this is what God has done for us.
There have been some great events in this world of sorrows. But the greatest and most dramatic event was when a man who was dead got up out of his tomb by his own volition. In the Old and New Testament, people have been restored to life by the prayers of others. But no one has ever gotten out of a grave by their own power. It was a defeat for Satan who had used death from the beginning to cause fear and despair to the human family. Death has lost its power because there is One who is greater than death. Not only did Jesus arise from the dead, but when he arose his body was now glorified.
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:1-6
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:14-15
That is how Jesus appears in his glorified body. That is how the apostles Paul and John saw him. He was the same Jesus with the same body, but his body had undergone a great change. We who believe in him have been promised our present body will be changed to be like his.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
What a day that will be when all the true believers are suddenly released from the places where their earthly bodies lie. Their soul will come from heaven and enter into their new bodies and living believers at that time will be changed without even tasting death.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
This is the promise of God who cannot lie. There is going to be a resurrection day for all of God’s children. All because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. This is why God became a man named Jesus, so he could save his people from their sins. THAT IS WHAT THE NAME OF JESUS MEANS: JESUS SAVES!
The apostle Paul gives us a some wonderful information concerning the coming resurrection. This scripture below is copied from the King James Bible, but let me suggest you read it the Living Bible as well. It describes it even more wonderfully the great change our bodies are going to experience one glorious day.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:42-57
Do you ever wonder about life after this life? Do you ever long for a time free of worry, problems and trials? Do you ever think about living without body pains? Do you ever wish of being where there is no sickness or death. Well, my friend, there is such a place called Heaven, where life is real and the presence of love will fill every heart. It is a real land of beauty, and the glory of it is without compare. There is peace there with God, people, and angels like we have never experienced. Oh, what an exciting place awaits all who have received the “GIFT” of salvation. And the joy of it all is, it will never end. It’s hard to even comprehend such a future. Then to make it even more wonderful, we will be with the One who loves us so much. Oh, the love and grace of God who would save us sinners from our sins, even though he had to come and suffer in a sin cursed world and die so we could live. One day we will surely thank him and praise him forever for his marvelous mercy unto us.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:1-5
My friends, the coming again of our blessed Savior to receive us as he has promised seems to be very near. So we must be busy telling others of his love, mercy and grace so they too can live forever and enjoy the eternal blessings of our Lord. Allow me to conclude with these last words of the Apostle John;
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. We look forward to the up and coming New Year in order that we may continue to serve You. Amen - Preacher