Listen to this glorious verse as Paul writes in the Colossians. When you were dead in your transgressions, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. Having, I love this language, cancelled out the certificate of debt. He cancelled it.
The debt then is not just covered temporarily, but cancelled. In fact, Paul ends that by saying in verse 14, he has taken it out of the way that debt, having nailed it to the cross. Think for a moment about the cross of Jesus Christ. Consider all that he suffered.
And with that in mind, I want to ask you this. What did Jesus accomplish for you? Here on Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen Davey has been taking us through a very practical series on how we should live as citizens of heaven while still here on earth. But living as we should is only possible because of Jesus Christ and what he accomplished for us.
We're going to explore that together today. Stephen returns to his series called Above Politics and Parliaments with this message entitled The Wounds of Jesus. Grab your Bible as we prepare to study together right now. It's as if Peter pulls off the highway here for a verse or two and emphasizes the grace of God through Jesus Christ. In fact, I invite your attention back to his letter, 1 Peter 2, verse 24 is where we find ourselves in.
Frankly, it's a set. It's a series of theological truths waiting to be discovered. It's as if Peter, however, in this immediate context, says, look, it's so easy to get caught up in the politics and the machinations and the difficulties and the challenges of life.
Let's just pause for a moment and go back to what matters most, the glorious truth of how to go to heaven by the grace of God. Now, as we unpack verse 24, I want to give you three categorical phrases that will form an outline. The first phrase is simply willing substitution.
Willing substitution. Notice verse 24, just the first phrase. And he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. He himself, you ought to circle himself.
It's placed forward in the text for emphasis. It's as if Peter is saying there isn't anybody else that could do this, but he himself. There isn't any other man or woman who can pay for their sins.
They can't fully pay for their own, much less anybody else. But Jesus could and did he himself, as if to say he alone. He himself, notice, bore our sins. Peter's reaching back into the Old Testament context of the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Once a year the high priest confessed the sins of the people over the head of that innocent goat, laying his hands on the head of that goat as if to signify that on that goat now rested the sins of the people and that goat was then led away to wander and die alone in the wilderness. Leviticus chapter 4 gives you the details.
That's the idea. Peter's using a word from that analogy that means to bear away our sins. He is the final sin-bearer.
We use that phrase and I'm sure if you're old in the faith you've heard that. In fact, you might be old enough in your understanding of the Gospel and Scripture to know that Jesus also fulfilled the symbol of the innocent lamb being killed on another festival, the Day of Passover, the Jewish Passover celebration, which began centuries earlier in Egypt, where the Jews were slaves. God instructed them to kill the lamb. Each household paint upon the doorposts of their slave quarters the blood of that lamb and everybody who effectively hid behind the blood was spared death to that household and judgment. Exodus chapter 12 gives those details. Jesus, the innocent lamb, shed his blood and everyone who hides behind him, as it were, his bloodshed is spared separation and judgment from God. But in the emphasis here in this text, in Peter's mind he's going back to Yom Kippur. He's going back to the Day of Atonement, typified by that innocent animal who carried away, who bore away the sin of the people, so Jesus, the innocent one, had laid upon him the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2, 2.
But let me make an important note here. It's important to notice, as you study the Old Testament and the way God pointed toward the cross, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, never solved anything. It never completely took care of the problem. In fact, the high priest had to do it again the next year, and the next year, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next.
It never dealt with it permanently. Atonement, by the way, in the Hebrew language means to cover. So the leading away of a goat or the sacrifice of a lamb can cover, and God will see them through that bloodshed, but that's a temporary thing, and they had to do it year after year. So every year, the sins of the people are recited in general terms by the high priest. He lays his hands upon that innocent animal, and the symbol is that he carries that animal, carries it away.
That symbol, however, is going to be replaced one day by substance. That ritual is going to be exchanged one day by reality, permanent, final atonement. Peter is recalling that saying that Christ upon the cross is fulfilling what that animal could never do. It could never cancel. Jesus bore it completely away.
Think about it this way. On the cross, the accumulated debt of the sins of the whole world, from the very first sin, and then the accumulated sins of the whole world, and the very last sin to be yet committed in the history of the human race, all of it comes due at the cross. All of the past and all of the future accumulated converges on Christ, who will be saturated with sin.
He bore it all. Now, wait a second. How do we know that God has canceled it all? How do we know that it isn't just a temporary thing and we're going to find out one day?
There was one more thing you're supposed to know and act upon, and I'm sorry. Listen to this glorious verse as Paul writes to the Colossians. When you were dead in your transgressions, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having, I love this language, canceled out the certificate of debt.
He canceled it. The certificate of debt, that mounting debt in your own life and mine. The debt then is not just covered temporarily, but canceled. In fact, Paul ends that by saying in verse 14, he has taken it out of the way, that debt, having nailed it to the cross. Notice again how Peter writes, he bore our sins. He's speaking confessionally here. He's acknowledging his own sins, which by the way would be encouraging to the readers in the first century who would have thought that Peter probably didn't need this as much as they did.
He wasn't nearly as bad a guy as they are. Peter includes himself as if to say, hey, he died for my sins too. In fact, let me warn you, you're not going to go to heaven just because you believe Jesus died on the cross for sin. The devil believes that. You're not even going to go to heaven because you believe Jesus rose from the dead. The devil believes that. He was there.
He saw the whole thing. It's never personal to the devil, never personally applied to him. There has to be a time in your life when you understand and you admit in repentance, Jesus died for my sins. He paid for my crimes.
He took my death penalty. He paid for my sin. You see, it isn't until you admit that you're the guilty sinner whose sins were placed upon Jesus that you could ever personally experience forgiveness. And I talk to a lot of people and they're tracking with me about Jesus dying and dying for sin and he's the Savior. But as soon as I bore in, you know, you're the sinner. He died for... Oh, I don't know about that.
I know he needs to die for those people but not me. You see, you have to personally join Peter in saying he bore our sins as if to say he bore mine as well. Do you mean that when I place my faith in what Jesus did for me then that every one of my sins was paid for 2,000 years ago, past, present, and future? Well, notice again, he himself bore our sins. Note the plurality of that word which Peter uses to indicate the multitude. Not just sin but sins, the multitude committed. As if to say Jesus paid the penalty for every imaginable sin, every kind of sin, every type of sin, every sordid sin, every culturally accepted sin, every past sin, every present sin, every future sin, every sin no one knows but you and God, every sin that everyone knows about along with you and God, all of it placed on Jesus as he is saturated with sin. In fact, Peter uses the aorist tense here for the verb to carry or to bear away. In other words, it is a definitive act at a moment in time. It isn't repeated over and over and over again in some celebration of a mass.
It is once for all time at Calvary. Notice Peter writes, and he himself bore our sins in his body. Peter is shutting down false teachings that had already started in the first century that Jesus only seemed to have a body and he wasn't really a man.
He didn't really suffer. He didn't have a real body. Peter puts that to rest here. In fact, the plan of God the Son taking a real body, becoming a real human being, tracks back before anything was created. In fact, the writer answers that issue in the book of Hebrews by saying it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin. Remember, permanently.
It's impossible. Therefore, when he, Jesus, comes into the world, he says, and this is Jesus speaking, sacrifice and offering, he says to the Father, you've not desired but a body you have prepared for me. Hebrews 10, 4 and 5, later in verse 10. And we have been cleansed through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. He really did die. He really did bleed. It was a real body. It was real suffering. By the way, not only was Jesus a real human being, not only did Jesus have a real body, he really did experience real suffering.
Notice, Peter writes again, and he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. That was the symbol of the most horrific means of execution known on this planet. Designed differently than the Latinized, romanticized version of the cross. It was only about six feet tall. The vertical piece was permanent. The criminal would carry that beam, horizontal beam with him, mortise and tenon joint, a hole in the middle of that beam. He'd be laid down, his hands at his wrists nailed.
Then he'd be stood up. That mortise and tenon joint applied. That beam slipped over the vertical piece, and he would be hoisted up to sit on a saddle, a sedulum.
And then his ankles turned and overlapped and the nail driven through them. He could live for a week or two. He was low enough he wasn't way up there. He was low enough to be spit upon and mocked. Many of these who were executed in 1200, we know from history, were crucified the year Jesus died by crucifixion.
They'd be eaten by wild animals. Most of them died insane. He really suffered?
He did. On that kind of cross. And all of humanity, from the shedding of the blood of those innocent animals in the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were clothed in that first temporary, covering, atoning work of God on their behalf, from that point forward, everything in redemptive history pointed forward to that cross. And from that cross onward, everything points back to it where it all culminated, where Jesus had placed upon him all the sin of the world.
Peter again draws from the Old Testament, this time from Isaiah's prophecy. Isaiah writes, he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. Verse 6, the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.
It fell on him. This incredibly perverse cascade of all the sin of all of human history. He had to be man to experience the death of it, but he had to be God to bear it. Now in the mind of Peter, there's something we ought to do about it. Notice the middle of verse 24, so that we might die to sin and live unto righteousness. So let me give you the second phrase, willing substitution ought to be followed by joyful obligation. Now don't misunderstand me, when I use the word obligation, don't run down religion's path. Yeah, I knew you'd come around to that.
Probably got to join and give money and all that stuff. That's not what I'm talking about. Frankly, I can't be because there's no way we could ever begin to pay him back. We can't handle the fringe of that debt. But you say, but that doesn't seem right. Surely God requires us to pay him back somehow.
I mean, if we can't pay people back when they do something for us, we shouldn't benefit from what they do, right? Well, it occurred to me, as I'm studying this text, that next week is Mother's Day. How many of you men knew that?
You're right, okay, 30% of you. Next week is Mother's Day. Actually, I thought it was today. All week, you know, I thought it was today. Got a gift, texted the kids, they're coming over for lunch. Don't forget, today's Mother's Day.
Bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, okay? I found out yesterday that it's next Sunday and I'm thinking, this is great, I'm ahead. I am way ahead, a week ahead.
For the rest of you guys who are procrastinating and you haven't gotten anything yet, let me speak to you for a moment. Frankly, no matter what we do, do you think you can pay your mother back? Do you think you can pay your mother back? Do you think you can even begin to pay her back for nearly dying in order to deliver you? Do you think you can pay her back for nine months of suffering and pain and 19 years of purgatory? Do you think you can begin to pay her back for caring for you and clothing you and feeding you?
Do you think taking out the trash evens the score for a moment? No. Mothers, this is my tribute to you, how we do it.
Are you enjoying this? And all the women said, no, that's okay, that's what I thought. There's no way we could ever pay you back. The truth is we're all recipients of gifts. We're all recipients of sacrifices, some great, some smaller, but all lesser than that of Christ. We could never begin repaying our mother. How in the world could we imagine trying to repay the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life?
Oh, Lord, I'm going to pay you back. Now, Peter goes on to say, though, in light of that correct theology, there is a sense of obligation, but it's a joyful obligation. So that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. You might understand that a little more woodenly, you could translate it this way, so that we having parted with our sins, or so that we no longer bound or related to our sin.
In fact, the verb rendered might die occurs only here in the New Testament. It means to have no part in. That's a daily decision and that obligation to pursue the character of God is your joyful obligation. Because of whatever he's done for you, we're just skimming the surface. You decide daily, I'm not going to have any part in that. Besides, I'm not bound by that anymore. I don't have to do that. I don't have to go there.
I don't have to think that. I'm going to choose to live as it were, separated from that, having parted with that. That's the daily challenge of Christianity based upon your conversion.
Satan still tempts you and still deceives you and sometimes trips you up. And by the way, beloved, he is no longer your landlord. He has no legal right over you.
Don't act like you belong to him. That ended. That's over. We, having no relation to sin, now have a new relationship to righteousness. In this context, righteousness is a right relationship. You no longer have a relationship with sin. It no longer owns you.
Decide daily to separate from it and choose daily to have a relationship with the righteous character of Christ. So there is this willing substitution. There is this joyful obligation.
Third, there is a growing anticipation. Notice what he says next. For by his wounds you were healed. For by his wounds, it's used in a general reference.
It's a synonym for all of the suffering and all of the pain and all of the agony, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually, all the separation, all that he suffered. By those real, tangible, literal wounds, you were healed. Now that phrase has caused a lot of heartburn in the church. The healing Isaiah and Peter refer to here is spiritual in this immediate context, not physical. You might write into the margin of your Bible the word spiritually. By his wounds you were healed spiritually. If Peter was teaching that the atonement brought believers to physical health, then you can imagine the confusion they might feel as this letter is being read in that first century assembly because it would be read to people who are sick. If I read that and you were to interpret that, oh, my conversion healed me. Well, why in the world am I wearing glasses?
Why does your left knee and mine hurt? He's got to mean something else. In fact, all of us eventually grow ill enough to die. Nobody dies from good health. That's the means whereby God takes us home, right? People and preachers who claim that Christians should never get sick because there's healing in the atonement, they promise that healing should happen every day. If your faith is strong enough, by the way, that's their loophole.
It's all up to you. If your faith wasn't strong enough, that's why you didn't get healed. It's a nice little cop-out.
Why not then claim more than that? Why stop with physical healing? Because the atonement did more than that then. The atoning work of Christ destroyed sin, so Christians should never sin again.
It destroyed death, so why do we still die? Peter's delivering the gospel here, the news of Christ's death on the cross and payment for our sin, not our sicknesses. This is the good news of forgiveness, not health. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, not to write some prescription you can tap into if you get the right clue or code. He was made sin for us, not disease. Now there is this future aspect that we can anticipate and that will be that moment when every believer receives their glorified body and you and I enjoy heaven and what awaits us there, it's as if our bodies catch up to our spirits because we'll no longer experience sickness and pain and suffering and your left knee and mine will work wonderfully and will not need glasses or prescription ever again and we, with growing anticipation, look forward to that day. It's interesting to me, not only was the Lord wounded, but he chose to remind us of that. In fact, when the resurrected Lord appeared to his disciples, you may remember if you're old enough in the faith that Thomas wasn't there, he'd skipped the meeting, he thought, this is, you know, it's a myth, we've been wasting our time, I don't believe anymore, and they came and said, Thomas, he's alive, he was there, you missed him. No, no, not unless, he says, I see in his hands the imprint of the nails and, I'm quoting, and put my finger into the place of the nails and then put my hand into his side. I will not believe.
This is a myth we've been chasing. Thomas demands empirical evidence and Jesus stoops in wonderful humility. The next time they're gathered, he shows up again and says to Thomas, Hello, Thomas, reach here your hand, your finger, touch, see here, my side. It's this atoning work that Jesus never wants us to forget as a church. He has created a memorial where we remember his crushing, his dying, his bleeding, his suffering.
Why? Because that culminating moment in history is your defining moment. How you respond to that defines where you will spend forever. I think it's a good thing to remember, don't you? It is this atoning work that Christ will remind Israel. In fact, when Israel is reconstituted as a nation in repentance during the tribulation, Zechariah prophesies, and I take those prophecies as literal as I do.
His first advent, his second coming, Zechariah says that the nation brought to repentance, and Jesus actually is being quoted, They will look upon me whom they have pierced. Imagine our Savior has chosen to keep his wounds and then to display them throughout all of eternity, even though his atoning work and by his divine grace, he's chosen in heaven one day to wipe all yours away in mine. Spiritual, physical, emotional, entirely everything reconstructed in that glorified body. No more wounds, no more suffering.
Even our memories perfected in our perspective. We will be reminded forever every time we see Jesus. We'll be reminded by his wounds, by these wounds. We were and we are forever healed. Stephen Davey called the lesson you just heard the wounds of Jesus. The glorious news for us and for the whole world is that Jesus Christ died for us, and by his wounds we are healed.
Wisdom for the Heart is produced by Wisdom International. You can learn more about our ministry if you visit our website, wisdomonline.org. Stephen has been teaching God's Word for over 35 years, and on our website you'll have access to the complete archive of those full length sermons.
Most of Stephen's preaching ministry has been spent going verse by verse through books of the Bible, but the complete sermon library is online and you'll find it at wisdomonline.org. Thanks for tuning in today. Please join us again next time for more Wisdom for the Heart. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-19 20:45:16 / 2023-05-19 20:55:09 / 10