For The Joy Set Before HimSeries: Probing The Passion
FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM
Sermon By Terry Siverd / July 03, 2022 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
My aim for this Probing The Passion mini-series has been to urge us to think more deeply about The Lord's Supper.
As we gather 'round The Table our thoughts need be educated by and anchored in the text of Scripture.
We began this series with a question: What was the real HORROR of the cross?
It wasn't the suffering connected to physical elements like scouring...mockery...nails...spear...crown of thorns
Neither was it the mental/emotional pain associated with being abandoned by His disciples or seeing his mother grieve.
And it wasn't the shame that accompanied a crucifixion between thieves covered only by a loincloth.
Mt.27:45-46 reveals the answer - - Why have You forsaken Me? - - Jesus was FORSAKEN BY GOD THE FATHER.
That message was followed by another addressing the question:
Why would the loving Father smite and forsake His only-begotten and dearly-beloved Son?
In becoming sin for us Jesus became the object of God's righteous wrath. cf. 2Cor.5:21 and Isa.59:2
Our third sermon in this four-part series concerned Jesus' prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
In light of His very own teachings, how does one explain Jesus' petition to His Father to 'let this cup pass'?
At every turn (especially at the cross drew nearer) Jesus spoke of His coming crucifixion.
Mt.16:21/ From that time Jesus began to to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem,
and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed...
We're correct to think of Jesus as God's Son, but we sometimes fail to emphasize is that Jesus was GOD IN THE FLESH. Col.2:9 declares, in Him all the fulness Deity dwells in bodily form.
Jn.1:1 affirms without equivocation, the word was with God and the word was God.
2Cor.5:19 speaks of -- GOD IN CHRIST.
It is sometimes difficult to comprehend the full deity of Christ.
But it may be even harder for us to grasp THE FULL HUMANITY OF JESUS.
Although Jesus was God incarnate, he was also fully human which explains
cf. Heb. 5:7 / He offered up prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears...
What is noteworthy here is that even in this agonizing ordeal, Jesus prayed not My will, but Thy will be done” (Lk.22:44).
e.g. Jn.6:38 / I have come from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
There are multiple mysteries pertaining to the cross that we may never fully fathom, but I'm convinced that
making an effort to understand them better will cause us to be more thoughtful participants in the weekly Supper.
To wrap up this brief series, I want us to dwell on one more mysterium tremendum (tremendous mystery).
Reading the scroll of Isaiah (specifically chapter 53) alongside the four gospels invites us to consider marvel upon marvel.
Just when we think we have explored all the the various intricacies of the passion
we run head-on into Isa.53:10 – It pleased the Father to crush Him.
Closely related, what is the meaning of Heb.12:2 - - For the joy set before Him, He endured the the cross.
The full text from Isa.53:10 states: But the Lord was PLEASED to crush Him, putting Him to grief.
In this text “the Lord” is God the Father, and the “Him” is Jesus the Son..
If we read only the first half of this passage we would be dumbfounded and aghast.
But the second half of this verse brings clarity: If He would render Himself as a guilt offering...
There are several places in the gospels where a voice from heaven is heard declaring,
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.
cf. Mt.3:17 & 17:5; Mk.1:11 & 9:7; Lk.3:22 & 9:35 and 2Pet.1:17-19
The broader text of 2Cor.5:18f also helps us grasp the meaning of Isa.53:10 - -
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ...
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them...
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Heb.12:1-3 reads as follows - - Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance
the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before
Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider
Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
Did you catch the wording in vs.2 - - who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross.
That which brought pleasure to the Father and joy to the Son was the end product - - salvation offered to all.
I want to close with an important postscript.
Isaiah 53 is quoted or alluded to in the New Testament more frequently than any other Old Testament chapter.
Some scholars speak of Isa.53 as the gospel according to Isaiah.
Among the numerous “conversion stories” recorded by Luke in the book of Acts, chapter 8 contains one of my favorites.
It is found in Acts 8:26f and it details the travels of of the treasurer for the queen of the Ethiopians.
The Scriptures do not reveal his name but they applaud His actions.
He had journeyed to Jerusalem to worship and while he was there he purchased a copy of the scroll of Isaiah.
While returning home in his chariot he was reading aloud and Philip, who was sent by God, asked him:
Do you understand what you are reading?
The passage where he was reading is located in the very heart of what we know of as Isa.53:7.
Vs.34 records: The treasurer asked Philip - - of whom is the prophet speaking - - about himself or someone else?
Now note vs.35 - - beginning from this Scripture he PREACHED JESUS to him.
This text, along with the following verses, reveal an undeniable connection between preaching the gospel and baptism.
Acts 8:35 states, beginning with this Scripture, he preached Jesus to him - - i.e., Philip preached Jesus to the treasurer.
Vss.36f interject the role of baptism in responding to the gospel.
It is sometimes painful to watch commentators overlook this important linkage.
Some would even argue that baptism has nothing to do with preaching the gospel.
To those who have dismissed baptized as part of God's plan of salvation, we can kindly ask them to explain vs.36ff.
What Philip did was exactly what Jesus directed His disciples to do (Mk.16:15-16) - -
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who disbelieved shall be condemned.
Every Sunday, when we commune, the Lord's Supper reminds us of two things:
1) what God did in Christ on our behalf …
2) and what God demands of us - - the obedience of faith.