The Word Was GodSeries: Probing The Passion
THE WORD WAS GOD
Sermon By Terry Siverd /August 07, 2022 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
Our thanks to Vic Rossi for the sermon he preached in my absence on 07/24.
It was titled, Fearfully & Wonderfully Made - - it was superb in content & delivery and was both inspiring & humbling.
Thank you for your prayers and your cards and your calls and your visits.
You have been a great encouragement to me and to Jeannie and we are most grateful for your kindness.
A few weeks ago, in one of the sub-points from a sermon series I titled, Probing The Passion, I found myself hungering and thirsting for more Scripture that might illuminate the general subject of Christology. If you were present for that sermon or if were able to listen online you might remember that in our study of the passion of Jesus we were struck by a TENSION that is revealed in the New Testament. One might even dare to characterize this tension as a CONTRADICTION.
On one hand, the Scriptures declare that Jesus had (Lk.9:51) resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem. A bit later in
Lk.18:31-33 we read, (Jesus) took the twelve aside and said to them, 'Behold, we are going to Jerusalem, and all
things which are written about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles,
and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him...
Matthew's account (Mt.16:22) of this same incident records Peter's reaction to these declarative words of Jesus - -
God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to you. Matthew 16:23 also details Jesus' stern rebuke of Peter - -
Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's.
But then, on the other hand, we read one particular text (perhaps from among several) that shows us another side of Jesus. Turning to Luke's account of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion we read of Jesus' prayer (Lk.22:42) - - He knelt down and prayed...Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me...
Where Lk.22:44 notes the intensity of Jesus' prayer: being in agony He was praying very fervently;
and His sweat became like drops of blood, both Matthew's account (Mt.26:36ff) and Mark's account (Mk.14:32ff) pointedly emphasize that Jesus uttered this prayer - - not once, not twice, but three times. Now, it would be a serious oversight to fail to observe that Jesus qualified His prayer by adding, yet not My will but Thine be done. cf. Mt, Mk & Lk.. Nevertheless one cannot deny that the Scriptures openly depict this other side of Jesus.
When we read the Bible fairly we cannot honestly fail to ask, “How does one explain these two versions of Jesus?”
On the one hand His face is set for the cross (this was precisely why He came - - to give His life as a ransom for many) and yet on the other Jesus prays fervently that this cup might pass.
The only answer to this so-called contradiction is to wrestle with both the humanity of Jesus as well as His deity.
Christology is the study of Christ Jesus - - both His Divine nature and His humanity. It is one of those topics that can quite easily “blow your mind” or “strain your brain”. Sometimes I fear that because this intermingling of divinity and humanity can be so hard to grasp we often write it off as almost incomprehensible, and subsequently this topic is placed on the back burner reserved for a time when we will have hopefully acquired a stronger biblical foundation for
undertaking such a monumental study. Sadly, however, we often fail to mature as we ought to and as a
result we also fail to revisit this tension and/or contradiction by engaging in a deeper study of Christology.
Indeed, a careful study of Christology reveals that Christ Jesus was GOD IN THE FLESH. In the opening pages of Matt-hew's rendition of the incarnation of Christ (Mt.1:19f) we read how an angel appeared to Joseph prior to the birth of Jesus telling him, (Mary) will bear a Son; and you shall call His name JESUS, for it is He who will save His people from their sins. Mt.1:22 adds, this was to fulfill which was spoken by the Lord through the Isaiah: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMANUEL, which translated means, 'God with us.'
John's gospel is filled with numerous claims made by Jesus Himself about His oneness with God the Father.
Jn.1:1 & 14a / In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jn.10:30 Jesus states, I and the Father are one! cf. Jn.17:11 & 21
These claims of divinity concerning Jesus which begin with the His birth or nativity,
and are further emphasized in the epistles of the apostles.
Listen to Col.1:19 - - For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and
through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross.
Also note Col.2:9 - - For IN HIM (CHRIST) all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form...
Hear again Paul - - this time in words recorded 2Cor.5:18-19 - - Now all these things are from God,
who reconciled Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely that
GOD WAS IN CHRIST reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.
In studying Christology, the emphasis is often primarily on Jesus being fully God.
What we sometimes miss is that Jesus was also fully human.
It is there that we want to concentrate our thoughts in the two upcoming Sundays.
In doing so, we will focus preeminently on some of the exhortations found in the epistle to the Hebrews.
We can never fully grasp the passion of Christ without a close look at both aspects of Christology:
His deity and His humanity.
When we come to understood the inter-workings of both of these elements
it will cause us to fall more deeply in love with Jesus and it will enrich our time around the Table of the Lord.
So I hope that we can all make a strong effort to tune in for these upcoming sermons.
Unless you show up with a really bad attitude, I promise you will not go away weaker in your faith.
I might snap out of my current illness and be around for a good while yet.
But should I not prove to be victorious over this disease that has been hindering me of the last year or so,
nothing would honor me more than to think that your last memories of my preaching had
served to heighten and sharpen your appreciation for the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our dearest heavenly Father, whose steadfast love never ceases and whose mercies never come to an end,
we kneel before You in recognition of Your profound act of love for us - - that You as our great God would
come to us through Your beloved Son to save us, to redeem us, to buy us back into your presence.
May this realization direct the way we live and breathe and having our very being.
Through Jesus - - our beloved God in Christ - - we pray. Amen.