Matthew 27:34-44

FOUR CLASSES OF PEOPLE WHO REJECT CHRIST

Matthew 27:34-44

INTRODUCTION

Every issue in America today is examined by pollsters. No matter the issue, they find every position possible on the subject and then determine how many people hold to what position. No other people in the history of the world knows the pulse of society like we do today. No matter what the issue or candidate, everyone is for, against or undecided. In a way its fun.

The same is true regarding the Cross of Calvary. But there is a difference. Instead of being categorized by a pollster, we all are categorized by God Himself. But there is also an important difference. In God’s polling there is no “undecided” category. In our message today we are going to fix our attention on those who reject the Christ of Calvary. While they all reject Him, they all have different reasons. We must focus our attention, as does the Scriptures, on the four classes of people who reject Christ. Either we accept the work of Calvary or we reject it.

THEME: WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST?

I. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO BE SPECTATORS 27:34-38

NOTE: vs. 36

     A. They Wanted To Soften The Effects Of The Crucifixion vs. 34

           1. They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall

                a. A light vinegar wine

                b. Doped wine

                c. Bitter tasting but it numbed the senses and pain

          2. No evidence of mercy but just the opposite

               a. It was intended to make their labor of crucifying easier

               b. A man heavily doped could be handled easily

          3. He tasted and would not drink

               a. They repeatedly urged Him to drink

               b. He repeatedly refused

               c. He intended to endure all with a clear mind

     B. And They Crucified Him vs. 35a

NOTE: Song: My Sins Nailed Him There

          1. It is the evident intention of all the gospels not to describe the awful act of crucifixion

          2. The fact, not the details, is to occupy the reader’s mind

     C. They Gambled Before The Cross vs. 35b

NOTE: They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots. Psalm 22:18 NKJV

          1. The soldiers were known as great gamblers

          2. This was nothing exceptional; probably the same for the clothes of the two thieves

NOTE: His clothes or righteousness meant nothing to them

     D. They Try To Identify Who He Is vs. 37

           1. They emphasize His humanity King of the Jews

           2. Not Son of God

     E. They Try To Just Make Him To Be Another Sinner vs. 38

          1. Two thieves

               a. First mention of them

               b. Greek: Bandits; plundering by violence

          2. It has been suggested that they worked with Barabbas

T.S. WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST?

          I. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO BE SPECTATORS

II. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE TIME FOR HIM 27:39-40

     A. They Pass By Instead Of Examining The Facts vs. 39

          1. They revile Him

               a. To blaspheme

               b. To speak against God

               c. To speak against anything pertaining to God in anger or derision

          2. They wag their heads

               a. A token of derision and insult

               b. The shaking of the head to mean “no”

               c. They shake their heads to express their complete disapproval

     B. They Have Some Imperfect Knowledge Of Him vs. 40

          1. Save yourself

               a. Because you can destroy the Temple

               b. Because you can build it in three days

NOTE: People remember: Jesus said this three days ago

          2. Come down

               a. From the cross

               b. Prove you are the Son of God

NOTE: They claimed weakness kept Jesus on the cross. Actually it was strength; the strength of His love for sinners.

T.S. WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST?

          I. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO BE SPECTATORS

         II. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE TIME FOR HIM

III. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE ARE RELIGIOUS BUT LOST 27:41-43

     A. Three Classes Of Lost Religious People

          1. Chief priests

               a. Religious by birth

               b. Pedigree to Aaron, Abraham, Adam

          2. Scribes

               a. Intellectual salvation

               b. Cluttered with facts

          3. Elders

               a. Traditionalists

               b. Too old to change

     B. Their Reasoning

NOTE: They would not even talk to Jesus or interact with Him (the other groups did)

          1. He saved others? No!

               a. He can’t save Himself

NOTE: They actually struck Jesus and spit in His face

NOTE: Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

Mathew 26:67-68 NKJV

               b. He can’t come down from the cross

               c. He is not the King of Israel cf. Jews vs. 37

               d. Let Him add to the salvation of the cross and we will believe

NOTE: They think only of power used in self-interest; of grace and mercy that cares only for others at the complete expense of self, they know nothing

          2. He trusted God vs. 43

NOTE: It is not enough to trust God, they infer

               a. They now change their angle of attack

               b. Let God deliver Him

               c. After all He claims to be the Son of God

NOTE: This attack affected Him as if a sword went through Him

NOTE: As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:10 NKJV

T.S. WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST?

          I. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO BE SPECTATORS

         II. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE TIME FOR HIM

        III. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE ARE RELIGIOUS BUT LOST

IV. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE ARE TOO FAR GONE IN SIN 27:44

     A. They Die Like Jesus Died

          1. In humiliation

          2. In agony

NOTE: Not so for the Child of God; Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints

     B. The Thieves Mocked His Inability

          1. They talked to Jesus as an equal (sinners on a cross)

          2. Jesus did not answer them

               a. He did not answer the ignorant sinners (passing by)

               b. He did not answer the religious sinners

               c. He did not answer the condemned sinners

NOTE: But Jesus answered the repentant sinner

NOTE: Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:39-43 NKJV

CONCLUSION

WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST?

I. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO BE SPECTATORS

II. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE TIME FOR HIM

III. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE ARE RELIGIOUS BUT LOST

IV. WE WOULD REJECT THE WORK OF CHRIST BECAUSE WE ARE TOO FAR GONE IN SIN

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#Matthew 28:1-8

THE RESURRECTION

Matthew 28:1-8

INTRODUCTION

Since 9-11 we live in a wider world. We are more aware of the beliefs of other religious groups. If we were standing and talking to a representative of each of the major religious groups we would find that we have much in common.

All of us could talk about the religious writings we have.

All of us could talk about prayer.

All of us could talk about the morals and ethics of our belief systems.

All of us could talk about our theologies.

But there will come a time when all the others will have to drop their heads and be silent as we talk about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Their hopes are in their works. Their hopes are in the works of their founders. Their hopes are in the teachings of their founders. Their hopes are in a distant future that will never arrive.

Our hope is in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source of our hope. He promised our hope. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. John 14:19 NKJV

The message of Scripture has always been a message of resurrection hope. Death is not the end for those who belong to God. Death is a doorway that leads to eternity with God.

We now come to the last chapter of Matthew. In Matthew we follow Christ all the way from the cradle to the grave and beyond. In Matthew we find Him preaching the greatest sermons ever to be preached. We see Him performing His mighty miracles. We see Him go through suffering and sorrow for our sake. We see Him die on Calvary to save us from our sins. We see Him buried in Joseph’s new tomb. And we see more.

The Romans had thirty names for death and not one of those words had any hope in them. Some of their terms:

A broken harp with all the music gone

A crushed flower with the fragrance gone

A demon with a cup of poison

A hunter with his traps

A jailer with his keys

A mower with his sickle

A shattered pillar

The disciples had probably been there when the body of Jesus was placed in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus. No one believed that they would ever see Him alive again. His death was a final and an awful thing. They turned away from the tomb, their love and their hopes buried with Jesus.

Now He lays still and dead in that tomb. Does the story end there? Is that all of Christ? Shall we see Him no more? Has His life been snuffed out? Will His body return to dust? Will not the prophecies be fulfilled? Is this the end? Will the One Who raised others from the grave be conquered by death? The answer is a resounding “NO!” He will not be subject to the grave. No tomb on earth can hold the body of Him Who made the earth. He comes back to life to live forevermore.

THEME: WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION MEAN TO US?

I. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE ONLY AN EMPTY GRAVE vs. 1

     A. The End Of The Sabbath

           1. The holiest day of the week

           2. Our rest in our sin is ended

           3. There is now a work to be done

     B. The Dawn Of A New Week In God’s Work

          1. The darkness of sin is now being repelled

          2. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 HCSB

     C. The Witness Of The Women

          1. These women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb

          2. There are at least five women and probably more

          3. They started out while it was still dark and arrived at the tomb in the new light of the dawn

NOTE: In a garden (Genesis 3) a woman took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and gave it to a man. In this garden John 19:41) these women took the fruit of the resurrection and gave it to the disciples.

     D. The Mission Of The Women

          1. To see the sepulcher

          2. They did not come to see a risen Lord

          3. They came to see a grave

          4. They left seeing the power of the resurrection

NOTE: The beloved John saw the power of the resurrection on the island of Patmos. He saw life, not death. He saw the glorious, living, resurrected Jesus in all of His living power.

NOTE: A TV network once talked about showing its programs in ‘living color.’ That is nothing compared to life that is living in resurrection power.

T.S. WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION MEAN TO US?

I. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE ONLY AN EMPTY GRAVE

II. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN vs.2-6

     A. We Have A Message From The Place Where All Power Resides vs. 2

          1. Behold

               a. Found over 200 times in the New Testament

               b. First time; it is used is regarding the announcement of the birth of Jesus

               c. The last time; it is used is regarding He is coming again

          2. The Earthquakes

               a. Greek – seismos

               b. Two earthquakes

                    1) At the death of Jesus

NOTE: At the death of Jesus the earth trembled with horror at His death

                    2) At the resurrection of Jesus

NOTE: At His resurrection the earth leapt with joy

          3. He rolled back the stone

               a. Records of some stones that took sixteen men to move

               b. One angel – one stone

NOTE: The stone was not removed to let Jesus out; The stone was moved to let the women and the world in

     B. The Power Of An Angel Over Sin vs. 3

          1. Countenance – external appearance

          2. Lightning

               a. Brightness of a lightning bolt in the darkness of a storm

               b. An appearance that cannot be ignored

          3. White as snow – the Old Testament term for purity without sin

     C. The Power Of An Angel Over Soldiers vs. 4

          1. They did shake

               a. Greek – seio

               b. A play on words

         2. The earth shook (an earthquake)

              a. At the death of Jesus

              b. At the resurrection of Jesus

          3. They shook

               a. They shook in body and in mind

               b. They shook in the presence of sinlessness

         4. For fear

              a. They feared because they were still in their sins

              b. They were scared out of their wits

              c. Strong Roman soldiers

                   1) Had seen many scenes on the battlefield

                   2) Their courage melted at the presence of one angel

NOTE: What fears and terrors will posses the souls of the lost when they realize that they can no longer avoid God’s presence?

          5. They became as dead men

               a. Those holding the dead a prisoner

               b. They become dead

               c. Christ’s resurrection is just as terrifying to His foes as it is comforting to His friends

NOTE: The guards guarded the tomb against the disciples stealing the body. They made no provision of guarding the tomb against Jesus taking His own body

     D. The Peace Message Of An Angel To God’s People vs. 5a

          1. Fear not

               a. The soldiers feared

               b. Their mission was known

               c. To keep Jesus in the grave

          2. The women are told not to fear

               a. Their mission was known

               b. To find Jesus

          3. Two fears the women faced

               a. The fear that His body had been stolen

               b. The fear that they were afraid it was not true that He was alive

               c. In spite of their fears they believed

     E. The Messages Of The Angel vs. 5b-6

          1. The First message – I know that you seek Jesus

               a. They were seeking Him in the wrong place

               b. But they were seeking Him

               c. Their knowledge was not perfect

               d. But their love for Him was strong

          2. The second message – Because He lives we have a task

               a. Fear not vs. 5

               b. Examine the tomb vs. 6

               c. Tell others He is alive vs. 7

              d. Go where He tells us vs. 7

              e. See Jesus vs. 7

          3. The third message – He is risen vs. 6

               a. As He said

                    1) A gentle rebuke

                    2) Jesus told them about His death and resurrection

                    3) They were present

                    4) They did not hear

               b. Come – much might have hindered them from examining the evidence of the resurrection

                    1) They were in a graveyard and it is not full daylight

                    2) The fear of Rome might have hindered them

                         a) The seal had been broken

                         b) Even a woman could have broken the seal

                    3) Something holy had taken place

                         a) This is sacred ground

                         b) We can’t get closer

          4. The fourth message – See (What are we to see?)

               a. The submission of Jesus to death Who could not die because He never sinned; but He did die for us

               b. The horror of our sins

NOTE: The song, My Sins Nailed Him There

NOTE: But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. Isaiah 53:5 HCSB

               c. We are reminded that we too will die

                    1) There is a life beyond this life

                    2) We must prepare for that life

               d. We see that Jesus is not in the tomb

                    1) He has conquered death

                    2) Even the enemies acknowledged the tomb was empty

               e. We see that we will rise also

NOTE: See … Go … Tell

T.S. WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION MEAN TO US?

          I. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE ONLY AN EMPTY GRAVE

         II. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN

III. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE A MESSAGE TO GIVE vs. 7-8

     A. Go Quickly

          1. We are tempted to remain near the tomb

          2. There is much yet to be learned about the Resurrection

          3. There is also work that remains to be done and we must get on with it

          4. There are those in despair

          5. The sooner they are told, the sooner they will rise out of their distress and despair

     B. Tell

          1. We have come to the tomb and found it empty

          2. We must speak of what we know

           3. Good news must be told

     C. Tell Disciples

          1. Anyone who wants to learn

          2. Anyone who want to live

          3. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you … Matthew 28:20 KJV

     D. They Did Not Have Time To Just Celebrate In The Resurrection

          1. They had a task

          2. Tell others so they can rejoice

     E. Jesus Is Alive! And Because He Lives, We Shall Live Also.

          1. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

I Corinthians 15:20-22 KJV

          2. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NKJV

     F. He Goes Before You Into Galilee

          1. He leads us

          2. He is there before we are there

          3. Galilee is our home

               a. He leads us to our place of ministry

               b. Our first place of ministry is our home

NOTE: Before we tell our family and friends about Jesus, He has already been there preparing them for our message

     G. We Are To Immediately Respond vs. 8

           1. The resurrected Jesus was seen by:

                a. The women

                b. The disciples

                c. The five hundred

                d. But, no lost people

NOTE: The next time lost people will see Jesus is at the Judgment where all hope is lost for them

          2. Why did Jesus first give the news of the resurrection to women?

               a. Death came by a woman in a garden

               b. New life was first announced to women in a garden

          3. The closer a person is to the Lord, and to His work, the more that person is going to witness and experience the Lord’s power and resurrection

          4. The work of the women

               a. They feared – had reverence to God and the ministry

               b. They had great joy

               c. They fulfilled their ministry

               d. They told of the resurrection of Jesus

               e. They told those who needed to know

                f. They told those that God led them to tell

NOTE: William Saroyan was an acclaimed bestselling author noted for his sensitivity in his writings. He won a Pulitzer Prize. In his final days with cancer in New York City, he called a reporter of the Associated Press one night and discussed dying. He concluded his conversation with these words: “Everyone has got to die. But I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?” And then he hung up the phone.

CONCLUSION

WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION MEAN TO US?

I. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE ONLY AN EMPTY GRAVE

II. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN

III. THE RESURRECTION MEANS THAT WE HAVE A MESSAGE TO GIVE

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#The Christmas Story – Chronological Order

THE CHRISTMAS STORY

Chronological Order

  1. Zachariah And Elisabeth Have No Child Luke 1:5-7

  2. The Angel Before Zachariah Luke 1:8-23

  3. The Pregnancy Of Elisabeth Luke 1:24-25

  4. Gabriel Before Mary Luke 1:26-38

  5. Mary Is Found Pregnant Matthew 1:18  

  6. Mary Visits Elisabeth Luke 1:39-56

  7. Joseph: Decision, Dream, Decision Matthew 1:24-25

  8. Marriage Of Mary And Joseph Matthew 1:24b-25

  9. Birth Of John (The Baptist) Luke 1:57-79

10. Birth Of Jesus Luke 2:1-7

11. Visit To, And Of, The Shepherds Luke 2:8-20

12. The Visit To The Temple Luke 2:21-39

     A. Circumcision And Sacrifice Luke 2:21-24

     B. Simeon Luke 2:25-35

     C. Anna Luke 2:36-38

13. The Magi Matthew 2:1-12

14. The Trip To Egypt Matthew 2:13-15a

15. The Murders In Bethlehem Matthew 2:15b-18

16. The Return To Nazareth Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39

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#Matthew 28:19-20

THE GREAT COMMISSION

Matthew 28:19-20

INTRODUCTION

As humans we have been made to work. Some work too much, some too little. Some work too hard; some too little. Some work after the right things; some after the wrong things. But we have been made to work. The truth is, God created us for work. The choice is ours as to the kind and quality of work we do.

In our passage today Jesus has completed His great work. Now He is ready to help us in our work that is actually His work. Nearly every resurrection appearance of Jesus ends with Jesus telling those present to announce the good news. The New Testament indicates that there were at least ten appearances of the risen Lord. In eight of these appearances Christ gives an explicit commission. In five He commands His followers to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Matthew is unique in what he includes in his Gospel and what he does not include. Matthew does not include an account of Christ’s ascension. Instead he ends his Gospel with the Lord’s Great Commission. It is evident to Matthew, as it should be to us, that the life and death and resurrection of Christ should affect our speech, conduct and work.

This passage, known as the Great Commission passage is the focal point of all Scripture, Old Testament as well as New Testament. This is the central message of the people of God. This is the central mission of the people of God.

THEME: JESUS HAS GIVEN US THE GREAT COMMISSION BECAUSE:

I. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY

     A. Jesus Begins With His Authority To Give The Great Commission

          1. Power refers to the freedom and right to speak as one pleases

          2. The power of Jesus

               a. It is absolute

               b. It is universal

NOTE: Tiberius Caesar would never have dreamed that this small meeting of twelve men would in three centuries conquer the Roman empire. How could eleven Jews be able to start such a movement that claims over a billion followers today? There is only one answer: the authority or power of Christ.

     B. Our Relationship To The Great Commission

          1. As people of God submission to the Great Commission is not an option but our supreme obligation

          2. It is not negotiable

          3. It not adjustable to our particular inclinations and plans

          4. It is: “Whatever my Lord commands, I will do”

NOTE: Years ago a Chinese gentleman was gloriously converted. In telling about it he said, “I knocked at the door of Buddha, and all that I heard was the hollow echo of the tomb. I knocked at the door of Mohammed, but there was no answer. I knocked at the door of Confucius, but the dust of centuries gathered upon his tomb and there was no answer. Then I knocked at the door of Jesus Christ and found Him to be alive. He came to the door, He invited me in, He saved me and set my heart to rejoicing and my feet upon the road to Glory.”

     C. The Great Commission Is The Reason For Our Salvation

          1. We are not saved by a church

          2. We are not saved by a preacher

          3. We are not saved by a doctrine

          4. We are not saved by a ritual

          5. We are saved by a Person, a living Person Who commissioned people to bring us the Gospel

     D. The Importance Of His ‘Power’

           1. Greek – ‘out of being”’

           2. It is the authority that resides in the nature of one’s being

           3. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Matthew 7:29 KJV

           4. But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Luke 5:24 NKJV

          5. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name John 1:12 KJV

          6. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. John 10:18 NKJV

          7. His power or authority is the only power in the universe

               a. All the power of Satan has been broken by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus

               b. All that remains is the conquest of the remaining strongholds of Satan

T.S. JESUS HAS GIVEN US THE GREAT COMMISSION BECAUSE:

          I. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY

II. HE WANTS ALL NATIONS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS

     A. The Great Work Of Redemption

          1. When Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead the redemptive work was finished

          2. Now the work of subduing the universe began

          3. The battle is now for the material universe

NOTE: How soldiers die in battle

          a. They die bravely, advancing the cause

          b. They die while they hide in a foxhole

          c. They die fleeing as cowards

NOTE: Some die as draft dodgers or AWOL. In the Vietnam war many draft dodgers moved to Canada; one die in a car accident there.

     B. The Sorrow Of Christians Who Refuse To Serve

          1. They do not want to enlist in God’s army

          2. They flee to a culture foreign to he culture of heaven

          3. They could have died nobly for Christ

          4. Instead, they died as a citizen of that foreign culture, the world

     C. The Success And Failure Of Each Local Church Is Based On This Command

          1. When the church is doing the Great Commission, it is prospered

          2. When the church is failing in the Great Commission, it is stagnating and drying up

          3. The reason:

               a. Discipleship demands evangelism

               b. Jesus blesses obedience

               c. If we are following Jesus, we will go to others for whom He died

               d. A disobedient church is one that does not fulfill the Great Commission, it begins to dry up, or even dies

T.S. JESUS HAS GIVEN US THE GREAT COMMISSION BECAUSE:

          I. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY

         II. HE WANTS ALL NATIONS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS

III. HE WANTS US TO TELL ALL THAT HE HAS COMMANDED

NOTE: This is the complete work of the church

     A. For The Christian A Lifetime Of Learning Follows Our Salvation

          1. The sinful contrast is to learn all we can from this temporary, extremely superficial age

          2. Powerful disciples are not made by watered – down teaching

          3. Jesus centers upon content of preaching and teaching

          4. Modern gimmicks center on methods rather than content

     B. The Whole Of Evangelism

NOTE: Go – teach – baptize – teach

          1. Go

               a. We are not to wait for the world to come to our door

               b. We are to go to the world

               c. We cannot do God’s work sitting and laying around

NOTE: The priest Eli is shown three times in the Bible; each time he was sitting or lying down

           a. Sitting when Hannah was standing before God begging Him for a son

           b. Asleep when God spoke to Samuel

           c. Sitting and blind when the ark was taken by the Philistines (he was so fat his weight broke his neck)

NOTE: S. D. Gordon in Quiet Talks With World Winners, tells of a group of amateur climbers who planned to ascend Mont Blanc in the French Alps. The night before the guide stated the basic requirement for success. One could only reach the top by leaving all unnecessary accessories behind.

One young man discounted the guide’s advice, bringing all sorts of paraphernalia. As they climbed the guide noticed that the young man kept discarding the junk he had brought. First, what was least important to him. Finally, all of it. And he made it to the top, more exhausted than his friends.

S. D. Gordon likened this to many Christians who carry so much unneeded paraphernalia for the Christian walk. He went on to say many Christians simply give up, stop climbing and settle down on the mountainside.

          2. Teach

               a. Greek – to be a disciple of someone

               b. This word carries a beautiful combination of meanings

                    1) It refers to those who have placed their faith in trust in Jesus

                    2) They now follow Him in lives of continual learning and obedience

               c. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32 NKJV

               d. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch Acts 14:21 KJV

          3. Baptize

               a. Greek – immerse

               b. A permanent change

               c. In the name

                    1) The Name is the very essence of the character of the individual

                    2) Jesus – Savior

          4. Teaching

               a. Greek – didasko

               b. To be a teacher

               c. Conduct one’s self as a teacher

              d. To impart instruction

NOTE: Someone has said that the process of evangelism is not completed until the evangelized become evangelizers

          5. To observe

               a. Greek – To keep watch over, guard

               b. Keep in the sense of preserving

               c. Protecting

               d. Not losing

               e. To keep something unharmed

T.S. JESUS HAS GIVEN US THE GREAT COMMISSION BECAUSE:

          I. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY

         II. HE WANTS ALL NATIONS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS

        III. HE WANTS US TO TELL ALL THAT HE HAS COMMANDED

IV. HE WILL BE WITH US ALWAYS

     A. Matthew Opens With Jesus Introduced As Immanuel, God With Us

          1. 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 KJV

          2. Matthew closes with the same promise: God is with us

NOTE: … I am with you always … Matthew 28:20 KJV

NOTE: David Livingstone was once in great danger in Africa. He read these words, “Lo, I am with you.” Livingstone said, “That settles it. These are the words of a Gentleman of sacred honor. I will trust Him and not be afraid.”

Years later he said to an audience in England, “The thing that sustained me, in all the years in Africa, were these words, ‘Lo, I am with you.’ “

          3. Always – Greek – All the days, even to the completion of the age

     B. This Is For Each Generation Of The Church Age

          1. Each generation of Christians has this responsibility

          2. This continues until the end of this Church Age

          3. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God … Acts 13:36 KJV

     C. The Contrast Of The Great Commission To The Commissions Of The World

          1. What Jesus did not give His disciples

               a. An army

               b. A government

               c. A budget

               d. A building

         2. What Jesus did give His disciples

              a. Himself

              b. The Holy Spirit

NOTE: The most important question that humanity is called upon to answer is the question faced by Pontius Pilate, “What shall I do then with Jesus, Who is called Christ?” The answer determines all human destiny forever.

NOTE: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. I John 4:4 NKJV

NOTE: A young minister went to the Duke of Wellington for advice as to how he might have a successful ministry. “What are you marching orders?” asked the Duke. The young man replied by quoting the Great Commission. Then the Iron Duke who had defeated Napoleon looked him in the eye and said, “Well, what are you waiting for?”

NOTE: And our question: What are we waiting for?

CONCLUSION

JESUS HAS GIVEN US THE GREAT COMMISSION BECAUSE:

I. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY

II. HE WANTS ALL NATIONS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS

III. HE WANTS US TO TELL ALL THAT HE HAS COMMANDED

IV. HE WILL BE WITH US ALWAYS

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#Matthew 27:45-49

THE DARKNESS

Matthew 27:45-49

INTRODUCTION

Recently our church witnessed the sorrow, the separation and the agony of a family separated by death. It does not matter if a child dies or a grandparent dies, there is agony and sorrow in that separation. If we have not had that experience, we will. Or we will be the subject of that experience.

In our passage today we are witnesses to the agony of separation first of all caused by crucifixion. By the time of Christ the Romans had crucified some 30,000 men in Palestine alone. Our minds cannot imagine the number of family and friends and their grief for the death of their loved ones on a cross. Some of these men were guilty. Some were innocent. Some were patriots who hoped to free Israel from oppression. History only remembers the name of one Man Who was crucified – Jesus.

There is a greater separation experienced in this passage. We can only stand in awe. We cannot comprehend what took place. We can give mental assent that it happened. It will take all eternity for us to truly comprehend the separation that took place here between the Father and the Son so we can enter heaven.

But we still must go to the cross.

I. WE FACE JUDGMENT vs. 45

NOTE: When Jesus was born the night sky around Bethlehem was filled with supernatural light. Now at His death there was not supernatural light but dread darkness.

     A. The First Great Sign In Connection With The Crucifixion Of Jesus Is This Strange Darkness

          1. Jesus was crucified at 9 a.m.

          2. The darkness was from noon until three o’clock

          3. Not an eclipse

          4. Passover was the time of a full moon

NOTE: Jesus spoke three times from 9 a.m. to noon

          a. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. Luke 23:34 NKJV

          b. And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 HCSB

          c. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”

Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

John 19:26-27 NKJV

          5. Began when the sun is at its strongest

               a. And the sun was darkened … Luke 23:45 KJV

               b. The sun’s light failed

NOTE: Historical reports on this darkness

          a. Origin reports a statement by a Roman historian of such a darkness

          b. Tertullian mentions to some pagan acquaintances about a darkness “preserved in your own archives to this day”

          c. A supposed report from Pilate to Emperor Tiberius that assumed the emperor’s knowledge of a three-hour darkness

NOTE: It is said that a pagan elsewhere exclaimed: “Either the world is about to expire, or the God who made the world is in anguish”

     B. The Darkness Signifies Judgment

          1. A sign by God

          2. Darkness and judgment go together

          3. Hell came to Calvary that day

          4. The Babylonian Talmud

               a. Rabbis taught that darkening of the sun was a judgment of God on the world for an unusually heinous sin

               b. If true, God gave a gigantic object lesson

T.S. WHEN WE GO TO THE CROSS:

          I. WE FACE JUDGMENT

II. WE FACE JESUS DYING FOR US vs.46

     A. The Cry Of Jesus Signifies That The Judgment Was Upon Him

          1. The darkness and the agonized cry of Jesus go together

          2. About the ninth hour; just before the darkness ends

          3. Cried with a loud voice

          4. Reflects the agony He was now enduring

NOTE: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? Psalm 22:1 NKJV

     B. Why

          1. Greek

               a. To what end?

               b. What is the purpose?

          2. By actually forsaking Jesus could the full price of our redemption be paid

          3. God separated from God – a divine miracle

     C. Forsaken

          1. Leave

          2. Abandon

          3. Desert

          4. Leave helpless

          5. Totally abandoned

          6. Utterly forsaken

          7. To be forsaken of God is to taste His wrath

          8. Jesus was forsaken for the three hours of darkness

     D. Why Was Jesus Suffering At This Time?

NOTE: Pilate had Jesus scourged, a most terrible torture in which the prisoner was tied to a post with His back bent, and a whip with long leather thongs studded with sharp pieces of bone and pellets of lead was used. The pain was so severe that men died under it, or broke with loss of their senses. Augsburger

          1. The agony of the crucifixion itself

          2. A spiritual battle with Satan

          3. The sin of the world placed on Him

               a. He was by the grace of God tasting death for every one of us

NOTE: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9 KJV

               b. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. I Peter 2:24 NKJV

               c. He was the Lamb, slaughtered at the altar, to take away the sin of the world

NOTE: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 NKJV

                d. He was made a curse for us

NOTE: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” Galatians 3:13 NKJV

                e. Our transgressions, our iniquities were taken upon Him

NOTE: 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. Isaiah 53:5 KJV

                f. He became sin for us

NOTE: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

          5. Facts that we are not able to comprehend until we get to heaven

     E. Sin Explains The Forsakenness Of Our Savior

          1. Sin caused this isolation

          2. He was singled out for the sacrifice and marked out for death

          3. It was God’s way of dealing with our sin, washing it out with His own blood

          4. The punishment that we deserved fell upon Him

NOTE: In the Gethsemane God heard and strengthened Jesus. On Golgotha God turned wholly away.

NOTE: In Gethsemane Jesus wrestled with Himself and made Himself to do His Father’s will. On Golgotha Jesus wrestled with God and simply endured for our sakes.

     F. A Wall Of Separation Now Exists Between The Father And The Son

          1. The only time in eternity this has or will ever occur

          2. The wall is our sin and the curse

          3. The Father leaves the Son

          4. The Son cries for God and God makes no reply

          5. Jesus cries, “My God” not “My Father”

          6. The only time Jesus did not address God as Father

NOTE: The Father could have looked on the death of Jesus if:

          a. He had died as a martyr to a righteous cause

          b. He had died as an heroic gesture against man’s inhumanity to man

          7. Jesus writhed in anguish not from the lacerations on His back or the thorns on His head or the nails piercing Him

          8. He writhed in anguish because of the painful loss of fellowship with His Father when He became sin for us

NOTE: All we know about these three hours of darkness is that Jesus suffered indescribable agonies

T.S. WHEN WE GO TO THE CROSS:

          I. WE FACE JUDGMENT

         II. WE FACE JESUS DYING FOR US

III. WE FACE THOSE WHO MAKE FUN OF WHAT JESUS DID FOR US vs .47-49

     A. Unbelievers Find No Fault With The Teachings Of Jesus

          1. They call Him the greatest ethical leader ever

          2. But they refuse to accept a crucified Christ and Savior

          3. To admit the necessity of Christ’s death, they admit they have no power to save themselves

     B. Their Answer Was Bald, Bold Mockery vs. 47

          1. Stated in a sense of cruel cynical mockery

          2. They were not listening to Him so they misunderstood Eli for Elijah

          3. They pervert the first two words of Jesus and disregard the rest

NOTE: The darkness had lasted so long that its impression had faded away

          4. This is how they treated Jesus as He drank the bitter cup of agony for the sin and guilt of the world

   C. Some Are ‘Humanitarian’ In Their Actions vs.48

           1. The one that ran was probably a soldier

           2. Sponge

                a. Jesus was elevated so they could not use a cup

                b. It is remarkable that the sponge which is the lowest forms of life, should have been brought into contact with Christ Who is at the top of all life

          3. Vinegar

               a. The common drink of Roman soldiers and common labors

               b. A light wine, turned sour and mixed with water

          4. Reed

               a. May have been a walking stick

               b. A limb from a hyssop shrub

NOTE: At the Passover hyssop was used to sprinkle blood on the door

               c. About 18 inches long

               d. This gives us an ideal of the height of the cross

          5. Gave Him to drink

               a. One of the effects of crucifixion was excessive thirst

               b. He needed to be able to speak His last words with a loud voice

     D. The Attitude Of The Rest vs. 49

          1. The rest said

               a. Still deriding His sufferings

               b. Refusing to allow even the consolation of a drink

               c. It seems incredible that even the pitch darkness of midday did not alarm the wicked crowd

              d. The single thought now on their minds was to make Jesus’ death painful and humiliating

          2. Let be

               a. Let things stay as they are

               b. We will see

               c. Do not give Him any aid or comfort

               d. See if Elijah will hear His prayers

NOTE: These Jews made sport of the cry of Jesus

NOTE: With such mockery ringing in His ears, Jesus comes to His end on the cross

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE GO TO THE CROSS:

I. WE FACE JUDGMENT

II. WE FACE JESUS DYING FOR US

III. WE FACE THOSE WHO MAKE FUN OF WHAT JESUS DID FOR US

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#Mark 11:15-19

THE SIN OF BARRENNESS

Part II

Mark 11:15-19

INTRODUCTION

In Part One we discussed the sin of being barren toward those around us.

We have all heard the statement: “There is honor among thieves.” Thieves can be cataloged in two categories: honorable and scum. (We must remember we are looking at this through the eyes of the world, not God’s eyes.) Several years ago in Chattanooga a blind man worked with a carpentry crew on the construction of a new building. He had a trailer filled with specially designed tools in Braille. One night a burglar broke into the trailer and stole every tool. A man was over heard saying, “I’d have to get mighty hungry before I stole from a blind man.”

There have been accounts of someone breaking into an apartment. Later the thief heard of the physical condition of their victim and returned the stolen goods.

Some would call them ‘honorable thieves.’

How thoughtless a person must be to steal from a blind person, a paraplegic or a quadriplegic! How low can a person stoop?

The answer is simple. The lowest a person can stoop is to sin against Almighty God. It is a terrible thing to sin against a helpless individual. But, as bad as that is, to sin against God is greater.

When has God ever cheated us?

When has God ever withheld anything from us?

When has God ever lied to us? When has God ever stolen from us? What is the most terrible thing about sinning against God?

A thief may never stand before his victim and the victim judge that thief. But we will stand before Almighty God and answer for what we did against Him and be judged by Him.

When we are barren, or fruitless, in our service before God we are sinning just as sure as we used a gun. We are stealing God’s investment in us.

THEME: WHEN WE ARE BARREN IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD WE SIN BY:

I. USING THE TEMPLE FOR PERSONAL GAIN vs. 15

     A. And they came to Jerusalem … temple vs. 15

          1. If anywhere in the world there should be fruit, it should be here

NOTE: Herod’s Temple – Real gold decorations

          2. No fruit

     B. The Sin Of The Temple

          1. More interest in personal advancement than in God’s advancement

          2. Self vs. God

     C. Jesus Drove Out Sellers And Buyers (Worshippers) vs. 15

          1. Worshippers

NOTE: We are doing nothing wrong

               a. Too docile

               b. Weaklings and wimps for Jesus

               c. They accepted conditions as they were

NOTE: The priest knew what they should do; so did the worshippers

          2. A condemning of a religion of convenience for buyer and seller

T.S. WHEN WE ARE BARREN IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD WE SIN BY:

          I. USING THE TEMPLE FOR PERSONAL GAIN

II. USING THE TEMPLE TO COVER OUR SINS vs. 16-17

     A. The Sin Of ‘Short – Cuts’ vs. 15

          1. The Temple was a short cut between the city and the Mount of Olives

NOTE: Using the church as a short cut for personal instead of spiritual advancement

          2. If Jesus came today, how many would He stop from passing through our church?

     B. The Sin Contrasts: It Was To Be A House Of Prayer But:

          1. Instead of voices rising in prayer, voices arguing over who is right

NOTE: Make me a blessing vs. my rights, what have you got for me?

NOTE: Bargain basement, garage sale religion

          2. Instead of smelling the incense of prayer, the smell of animal filth

          3. Instead of being drawn to Jehovah, driven from Him

NOTE: Court of the Gentiles; Morning prayer of Jewish male

     C. The Sin Of Making The Temple A Den Of Thieves

          1. A refuge of robbers

          2. The church is not to be a refuge for those who continue to go out in their sins

NOTE: They used the Temple to cover their sins

T.S. WHEN WE ARE BARREN IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD WE SIN BY:

          I. USING THE TEMPLE FOR PERSONAL GAIN

         II. USING THE TEMPLE TO COVER OUR SINS

III. USING THE TEMPLE TO DESTROY OUR MASTER vs.18-19

NOTE: The fig tree seeks to destroy the Master

     A. The Scribes And Priests Combined:

          1. To keep the status quo

          2. To destroy Jesus

     B. They Ministered In Their Natural Abilities, Not The Power Of God

NOTE: This destroys God’s work

     C. Jesus Will Not Stay Where He Is Not Wanted vs. 19

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE ARE BARREN IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD WE SIN BY:

I. USING THE TEMPLE FOR PERSONAL GAIN

II. USING THE TEMPLE TO COVER OUR SINS

III. USING THE TEMPLE TO DESTROY OUR MASTER

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#Mark 14:22-25

WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

Mark 14:22-25

INTRODUCTION

When we get to heaven there will be many things about this life that we will forget or will see them in such a different light that they will no longer be an embarrassment and no longer matter. All of the sins we committed in our lives here will be forgotten. All of our failures, our short comings, our indiscretions, our faults, our stupidities, our ignorance, etc. will no longer influence us in the wonderful life in eternity.

What we considered so valuable in this life will be so insignificant, and maybe even childish, there. What we begged for here will not be worth a thought there. What we fought for, lusted for, dreamed about, etc. will not even bring a second thought there.

But there will be plenty we will remember there. George Frederick Handel put it most perfectly in his Messiah: “Worthy Is The Lamb.”

… “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12 NKJV

For all eternity we will never forget what Jesus did for us on the cross. What we are now doing in this service, commemorating the work of Jesus for our sins and our redemption is going to be remembered forever.

THEME: WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER:

I. WE MUST CONSIDER THE BREAD vs.26

NOTE: The bread represents His body vs.26

     A. The Body Of Christ Is Blessed

           1. The Body

                a. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Matthew 26:26 NKJV

                b. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. I Peter 2:24 NKJV

                c. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Luke 23:55 NKJV

                d. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. Luke 24:23 NKJV

          2. The Blessing

NOTE: Greek – eulogeo; eulogy, eulogize

               a. To praise

               b. To ask God’s blessing on a thing

               c. To pray God to bless it to one’s use

               d. To cause to prosper

NOTE: How is there prospering regarding the body of Christ? Every time someone is redeemed there is profit.

               e. To be favored of God

NOTE: Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11 NKJV

NOTE: And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. Mark 9:7 KJV

     B. The Body Of Christ Is Broken For Us

NOTE: Every time this Greek word for broken is used in the New Testament it either refers to the body of Christ or bread

     C. The Body Of Christ Is Given For Us

          1. Given

               a. To give something to someone

               b. To supply, furnish, necessary things

               c. To give over to one’s care, entrust, commit

               d. To give one to someone as our own

          2. For us

               a. To give one something, to our advantage

               b. For us to give to others

NOTE: Two advantages for us to receive the body of Christ

          a. So we are saved

          b. So we can help others to receive the body of Christ

T.S. WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER:

          I. WE MUST CONSIDER THE BREAD

II. WE MUST CONSIDER THE CUP – THE WINE – THE BLOOD

     A. Our Thankfulness For His Blood

NOTE: Blood is mentioned 406 times in the Bible

          1. And I said to him, “Sir, you know. So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14 NKJV

          2. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11 KJV

     B. Our Thankfulness Because His Blood Was Given To Us

          1. We who are unworthy

          2. We who are needy

          3. We who cannot repay

          4. We who did not want it

          5. We who had to have it

T.S. WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER:

          I. WE MUST CONSIDER THE BREAD

         II. WE MUST CONSIDER THE CUP THE WINE – THE BLOOD

Ill. WE MUST CONSIDER THE FUTURE vs.29

     A. In The Future We Will Partake Because Of The Symbol Of His Blood

          1. While we partake of His communion on a regular basis, Jesus has not, and will not partake until the Millennium

          2. The fruit of the vine ct. the fruit of His blood

               a. That which has been born

               b. As wine is the fruit of the vine, we are the fruit of the blood

          3. I will drink it new

               a. Recently made

               b. Fresh

NOTE: Like new wine, the saints of the ages will be made new in God’s new day

     B. In The Future We Will Have New Fellowship

          1. With God

          2. With each other

          3. With the saints of the ages

NOTE: Because of:

          a. The broken body

          b. The poured – out blood

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER:

I. WE MUST CONSIDER THE BREAD

II. WE MUST CONSIDER THE CUP THE WINE – THE BLOOD

Ill. WE MUST CONSIDER THE FUTURE

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