Sermon audio and notes: Jesus, The True and Better Everything

Yesterday I had the opportunity to preach at Grace Bible Church in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The audio is embedded below and I’ve also included my speaking notes.

 

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Jesus, the True and Better Everything

  • Everyone thinks Jesus was good man.
    • From NT evidence
    • Can we then ignore the OT? Jesus didn’t
    • Luke 24:25-27
  • Whole Bible about Jesus, not just NT
  • biblical theology = studying something throughout the entire narrative or story of the Bible
  • Why Biblical Theology of Jesus? Culture has lots of Jesus, most of which aren’t from the Bible
    • Revolutionary Jesus
    • Hippy Jesus
    • Republican Jesus
    • Democrat Jesus
    • Therapist Jesus
    • Touchdown Jesus
    • Gandhi – “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ”
      • Fact is, he didn’t really like Christ or he would have believed
  • All of these Jesus’ have enough truth to make them appealing, but not all of them have the full truth, Let’s look at what the Bible says and we’ll get a much clearer picture of who Jesus really is and how He really is the True and Better Everything.

Adam

  • The story of Adam starts the Bible.
  • God creates everything
  • He puts Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden, which is perfect.
    • They lack nothing
    • Adam even got to name the animals. Awesome
  • God gave them only 1 command
    • Genesis 2:16-17
  • Adam and Eve – perfect place in community with God.
    • They were so close that they could hear God walking (Genesis 3:8).
  • All they had to do: refrain from eating from that one tree.
  • Sadly, they did not. The serpent comes, tempts them, and they both eat.
  • Adam and Eve eat and everything changes. They’re ashamed of their nakedness and afraid of God. Let’s continue in Genesis 3:16-19
  • So now, everything has changed.
    • Death
    • Pain
    • Toil
    • All because of the actions of one man, Adam.
    • The rest of the Bible is the story of humanity dealing with the effects of one man’s sin
  • Because of that sin, a way was needed to be cleansed from that sin. This was done through the Old Testament system of priestly sacrifices

OT High Priest / Sacrifice

  • Modern man don’t know about sacrifices
    • they were integral to the life of the Jewish people
  • Here is the prescription for the sacrifice from Leviticus 16:15-22 which was a yearly sacrifice to make atonement for Israel (Leviticus 16:15-22)
  • That is a lot to that.
    • Atoning for sin is serious.
    • Even rope tied to leg.
  • Imagine if that’s how seriously we took atoning for our sin.
  • Legacy of that sacrifice – term scapegoat.
  • Don’t think God is blood thirsty
    • but God is a holy and just God
    • His holiness and justice requires repenting and atoning for sins committed against Him.
    • Alternative, facing His righteous wrath
      • If He isn’t holy, then why worship Him? He would be fallible .
      • If He isn’t just, then why repent? No confidence of forgiveness or mercy
  • Blood of sacrifices reminds us
    • sin and its effects aren’t pretty.
    • God spilled blood in the garden to clothe Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21)
  • If we sacrificed, we would think differently about sin
  • Jewish people thought it could be atoned for yearly.
  • Anything that needs to happen regularly isn’t truly satisfied, though.
  • Repeating yearly = more work for the people
  • With that work, comes need for rest

Sabbath / Rest

  • God commands that work / rest cycle
    • Genesis 3:18-19
  • Adam’s sin, life requires hard work.
  • God told us to rest (Moses & 10 Commandments)
    • Exodus 20:8-11
  • We’ve made Sabbath into the day that we gather to worship God, but physiologically, it’s very beneficial to have a day off every week, even if we rarely treat it like a day of rest.
    • Ends up being yardwork day or fix-it day
    • Tell story of growing up
  • In the Bible, however, It seems like it required a lot of work to not do work.
    • Pharisees beefed with Jesus in Matthew 12 about his disciples plucking heads of grain
    • Are we that picky sometimes? How Christian is Christian enough?
  • How did a day of rest become so much work, then?
    • When it became all about men and what they have to do, what things they can or can’t do.
  • In fact, if you look at the three things we’ve talked about so far (Adam, High Priest and sacrifice, the Sabbath) they’re all about man
    • First Man sins (Adam)
    • Man needs to repent and atone for his, and others, sins which brings in the High Priest
    • Man needs to work and then rest (Sabbath)
  • Each of these repeats and repeats and by the end of the Old Testament, there was no hope for an end. However, there would soon come a Man who would satisfy all of these and become
    • True and Better Adam
    • True and Better High Priest
    • True and Better Sacrifice
    • True and Better Sabbath

Jesus, the True and Better Adam

  • Started with the First Man, Adam, the man who started everything off bad.
  • Now it’s the Second Adam, Jesus, the God Man who makes everything right.
  • Look at Romans, written by Paul
  • Give Paul’s history.
    • Damascus conversion
    • Planted churches
    • Wrote letters to churches which became books of the Bible.
  • His letter to the church in Rome, the book of Romans, is deep. Specifically, let’s look at Romans 5:17-19
  • Paul contrasts
    • Adam, whose sin led to condemnation for all men,
    • Jesus, whose righteousness leads to life for all mankind.
  • Jesus led a completely sinless, perfect life, even while being fully human.
    • We can’t imagine it
    • Jesus did it.
  • He lead a sinless life so we can be reconciled to God and declared righteous.
    • This is the idea of imputed righteousness, that Christ’s righteousness has been credited to believers through no action of their own.
    • There is nothing we can do to deserve it and nothing we can do to lose it.
  • When we receive Christ’s righteousness, we acknowledge him as the True and Better Adam because He was fully righteous and obedient before God.

Jesus, both the True and Better High Priest AND the True and Better Sacrifice

  • Adam’s sin required atonement.
  • I talked about High Priest, who needed to make sacrifices to atone for the sins of Israel.
    • Done yearly
    • Dangerous (rope)
  • We need High Priest who once and for all atoned and became the perfect mediator between us and God
  • Let’s read Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10
  • Contrasts between High Priest and Jesus as High Priest
  • Sacrifice defines mediatorial relationship
    • High Priests between the Jews and God.
    • Jesus is acting on our behalf as a mediator between us and God.
  • Frequency of sacrifice
    • High Priests – yearly
    • Jesus – once
  • Jesus’ mediation better
    • Jesus is fully man – experience of being human and “sympathizing with our weaknesses”
    • Jesus is fully God – authority to be our mediator, no chance of “messing up”
  • And not only is Jesus our High Priest, he’s also the rest of the atoning act by being the Sacrifice as well . Let’s look at 1 John 4:10
    • 1 John 4:10
  • Propitiation is the idea of satisfying wrath, or “appeasing wrath by the offering of a gift”
    • Our sins, our rebellion against God rightly deserve God’s wrath
  • We can’t satisfy God’s wrath.
  • How do we respond?
    • Despair of knowing we’re going to hell.
    • No. We can rejoice that God sent Jesus to appease God’s wrath, as the atoning sacrifice or propiation for us.
      • Jesus = fully human = proper payment
      • Jesus = fully God = the ability to take God’s punishment for all the sins of man that have ever and will ever happen.
  • That’s amazing to think of, that Jesus satisfied God’s righteous wrath forever, on our behalf, that through it we might worship God.
  • Jesus is the True and Better Priest, because He perfectly acts as the mediator between us and God, making petitions for us in love and mercy.
  • Jesus is the True and Better Sacrifice, because He gave His life on the cross, forever satisfying God’s righteous wrath against sin.
  • And now as a result of that mediation and that sacrifice, we can find rest.
  • That rest, however, is not the temporary rest of the Sabbath, but the permanent rest for those who live in Christ.

Jesus, the True and Better Rest

  • To recap,
    • Adam’s sin = condemnation.
    • Christ’s life = True and Better Adam
      • we are made righteous.
    • High Priest’s sacrifice = Israel’s sinned were atoned for, with a goat being the yearly sacrifice.
    • Christ’s life = True and Better High Priest
      • we have a mediator between us and God
      • we can approach Him based on Christ’s righteousness.
    • Christ’s death = True and Better Sacrifice
      • propitiation has been made for our sins
      • God’s wrath has been appeased
      • we are no longer in fear of judgment.
  • That’s good news, due in no part to us but due all to Christ
  • But some people still think they need to work for it, that they still have to toil to be righteous.
    • They are still looking at the law, with its command to Sabbath
    • They think they need to do work to be righteous before God and to obey and please him.
    • There’s no grace, it’s all work
  • They aren’t believing the promises made to us in Scripture that in Christ we find rest.
  • Matthew 11:28-29
  • Those verses promise
    • rest in Christ.
    • release from our burdens
    • understanding from Christ.
  • Do we live in the truth of those promises? NO
    • We work, trying to prove our worth to Jesus
    • We worry about the burdens in our lives
    • We seek to learn about Christ without going to Him
  • How then, should we rest in Christ?  What does that even mean?
  • It means resting in the Gospel, secure in the Good News of who Jesus is and what He has done — The perfect God man who lived a holy life, dies on the cross taking the penalty for sin and facing God’s righteous wrath, and rising from the dead triumphing over death. Resting in the Gospel means trusting that it’s not “I do it” but “Jesus did it”
  • It means resting in your identity in Christ, as a beloved son or daughter of God.
    • Dad issues
      • God is the perfect father and run to Him as a child.
    • Christians
      • Rejoice in your faith and share God with others.
    • Non-Christians
      • The offer of rest in Christ is made to everyone.
      • Requires nothing special but
        • acknowledge of your sin, your rebellion
        • acknowledge your inability to both stop sinning & pay the just penalty for your sins.
      • When you
        • seek after God,
        • repent of your sin, your rebellion against God
        • ask for forgiveness and turn away from sin,
        • you will find that you are turning into God, who has been seeking you all along.
        • Then you find true identity in Christ
  • It means resting in contentment,
    • Having joy in pain
    • Having peace in struggle
  • And finally, it means resting in worship because
    • Our sin being cleansed.
    • Our debt being paid for.
    • Our need to work being replaced by rest.
  • Our reflection on the grand narrative of Jesus in the Bible, from Adam through the High Priests and the Sabbath, should cause us to
    • fall on our knees in worship.
    • sing and shout praises to God.
    • want to share that good news, that gospel, with others.
    • look forward to the day foretold in Revelation 7:9-12