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God Visits Calvary B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2021 4:00 am

God Visits Calvary B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 31, 2021 4:00 am

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Bible Christ Jesus church scriptures John MacArthur grace salvation truth 452945 Jesus
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It pleased the Lord to crush him to put him to grief. It was the will of God that he be treated in this manner, and that he be killed, that he might be a sacrifice for sin, that he might bear the curse for us might bear the punishment for our sin. And yet, as John MacArthur will show you today on grace to you, even in that dark hour God was at work. Many people who once despised Jesus came to believe he was the son of God. So what happened why this sudden transformation find out as John continues his study, the divine drama of redemption that before that John have a question for you. That's not so much related to the content of the lesson were about to hear, but to our purpose in doing what we do. Would you say that there is a common goal, no matter what series were airing. We have one purpose that weaves its way through every broadcast on grace to you. Well, the goal is obviously instruction in the word of God so that we can become mature, so that we can be shaped into Christ likeness so that we have discernment back in 1984 grace to put a purpose statement in writing. It's been guiding us ever since. It's a it's the fountain from which all this water of teaching flows we we look to our purpose statement very often written permanent is why we exist. It's why we do what we do.

In fact, every member of the grace to staff is asked to affirm that purpose statement in writing every year at because of time constraints will only share a couple of portions of it, but I think you'd like to know what is behind what were doing today here here a couple of paragraphs from our purpose statement we as mass communication media to expose our teaching to his wide an audience as possible.

Here's the key for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry to the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith in the knowledge of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. In other words, all we do is to shape people into Christ likeness. And here's the concluding paragraph of our purpose statement. Our desire is that God be glorified through grace to use resources Lord Jesus Christ is the head of this ministry and we desire to perform our work as unto him to reflect him, to all those we encounter and to operate not in our own strength but through his power summing it up. This is a Christ centered ministry. Everything focuses on Christ, that we want to draw every listener to every resource so that they can see the glory of Christ revealed in the Scripture we want every Scripture to contribute to shaping believers into the very image of Christ, and we want to honor Christ in doing all of that.

Yes friend as long as we are here. Our desire will always be to help conform people to the image of Christ. If you'd like to partner with us in that ministry go to GT Y.org after today's lesson, but for now, stay here as John MacArthur continues his look at the divine drama of redemption.

We returned to Mark chapter 15 and the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything about this is intended to show Jesus scorn and disdain and ridicule and mock the notion that he is any kind of King at all.

The blasphemy is so great, unparalleled and unequaled in history that we ask the question this morning where is God. Shouldn't he have consumed the blasphemers and stop to the ridicule of his beloved son. Shouldn't he have come down immediately and obliterated these blasphemers and protected his son, the answer to that is no God doesn't come down to destroy the blasphemers and he doesn't come down to protect his son and that is because of what it says in Isaiah 5310 that it pleased the Lord to crush him to put him to grief. It was the will of God that he be treated in this manner, and that he be killed. We know why that he might be a sacrifice for sin, that he might die in the place of sinners, that he might bear the curse for us, that he might bear the punishment for our sins. God did not come down either to destroy the blasphemers or to protect his son, and you might think that God never came down because Jesus said my God, my God, why have you forsaken me is that indication that God was not there when the answer to that question is he was there in the moment. The Jesus said that he was feeling the absence of God but God was there and God was there in a way that you would not suspect. Yes, God was there and he was there not to punish the blasphemers and not to protect his son, but to punish his son. Let's look at the passage three features come out of this account. Three separate features. First, we look at the Savior and the consummation of his sacrifice.

Then we look at the centurion and the confession of his faith, and then we look at the women in the confusion in their minds. First of all, the Savior, and the consummation of his death. In verses 33 through 38 when the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, and it is the darkness of God's presence. He is the one who is present in judgment from noon to 3 o'clock hell came to Israel from noon to 3 o'clock hell came to Jerusalem for three hours. Hell came to Golgotha as God unleash the full extent of everlasting punishment on his son wrath.

In the words of Isaiah with fierce anger. Isaiah 13 nine.

As God is the true power behind the hills punishing experience.

God is the true power behind the darkness of Calvary for here he unleashes hell on his son. The darkness then listen is not the absence of God.

And it's not the presence of Satan. The darkness is not the absence of God.

It is the presence of God is God in full judgment, vengeance, God, in full judgment. Fury is infinite wrath moved by infinite justice, releasing infinite punishment on the infinite son who can absorb all the tortures of the eternities of hell and do it in three hours. It is in those three hours that he bore in his body are sins. It is in those three hours that he was made sin for us is in those three hours that he took the curse and at the ninth hour. It ended 3 o'clock it ended.

What happened is stunning and Mark tells us of two immediate events. The first one is in verse 38, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, that there were about a dozen curtains in the temple, but this was the most important curtain because it separated the holy of holies, from the holy place the holy of holies in which no one can go to the high priest once a year to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant to make atonement for the nation on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. This symbolized the sinners separation from God. No access to God the high priest only allowed once in order to sprinkle the blood in quickly and back out with the new covenant of salvation at the moment Jesus died was ratified, he had paid in full. The punishment the penalty justly for all who would ever believe and officially at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on that Friday in April in the year A.D. 30. The old covenant was abolished.

The temple was nullified the priesthood was void and all sacrifices became pointless because the only true and saving sacrifice had been offered and when the veil was split from top to bottom. It couldn't of been done by man. It had to be done by God. It was God's! On the death of his son and what it said was the way into the presence of God is wide open for anyone. What does the death of the Lord Jesus accomplished, it opens the way it obliterates the symbols in the ceremonies and brings the reality of salvation to everyone who chooses to enter at that very hour. The Passover lamb himself had been slain by God and all other sacrifices were pointless, pointless. Mark doesn't tell us, but Matthew does that there was another miracle that happened at the time the veil was torn. Matthew 2751 says the earthquake and the rocks were split. This is an earthquake powerful enough to split rocks frightening experience and by the way, earthquakes in Scripture are very often like the darkness when Moses met with God at Sinai to receive the law. The whole mountain quaked greatly.

Exodus 1918. Psalm 18, seven says the earth shook and trembled the foundations of the hills quaked and were shaken because God was angry.

Psalm 68.

Eight.

The earth shook at the presence of God Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

The prophet Nahum rights name 15, the mountains quaked before him.

The hills melt the earth heaves that his presence yes the world and all who dwell in it. The Jews knew if they knew there, Scripture, the darkness meant judgment and the earth quake meant judgment.

Another miracle happened. According to Matthew 2752 and 53 the graves were open and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the graves after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. The veil is torn, the earth begins to shake earthquakes take place. Graves are open. Dead people come back to life and proclaim the truth after the resurrection of our Lord. Matthew 2753 says those came out of the graves appeared to many many this is a prefiguring of the resurrection. So did God show up at Calvary. If he did he showed up at Calvary. He showed up in the darkness. He showed up in the earthquake. He showed up in the ripping of the veil and he showed up in opening the graves and giving life to dead saints. He made his presence known verse 39 takes us to the second scene here. The centurion's confession centurion's confession and the centurion who was standing right in front of him, saw the way he breathed his last.

He said truly this man was the son of God.

Centurion is involved in the execution. He has to be is a commander of 100 minutes was called a centurion he's been guarding Jesus he's overseeing this the execution squad probably played a key role in the arrest and everything else that went on the scourging. He is an eyewitness of everything, most likely from the arrest of Jesus in the early hours of Friday in the garden all the way to this final moment he saw it all the mock trials. The abuse the spitting the punching the slapping, the sneering, the mocking the ridicule he saw Jesus take it. He saw no retaliation.

He heard what Jesus said. Perhaps he heard them say father forgive them for they know not what they do. Perhaps he heard because he was near the cross today will be with me in paradise. He heard everything he heard Pilate repeatedly declare that Jesus was innocent and he concluded, this is no ordinary man and he now comes to the right conclusion that he is the son of God, see how to come to that conclusion.

What were helped a little bit by Matthew 27 Jesus cried out verse 50 again with a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. That's we just read along with this, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and the earth shook, and the rocks were split. Know that would convince him that something special was going on. The tombs were open many bodies of the saints would fall asleep were raised coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, the end of the holy city and appeared to many.

Now the centurion and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening became very frightened and said truly this was the son of God. They were frightened by the darkness. Frightened by the earthquake, some wonderful things happened at Calvary, a Jew, a Jewish blasphemer was saved the thief a Gentile nephew Gentiles, the blaspheming soldiers and the message is that the grace of God in forgiveness and salvation is extended to the worst blasphemers.

The worst blasphemers are not beyond the possibility of salvation. On the other hand Luke 2348 says the crowds when they observed what happened began to return beating their breasts. Not so funny anymore wasn't so funny after the darkness and the horrific earthquakes that scared them.

Not so funny when they found out the veil had been rent from top to bottom.

They left them say anything about them believing but I think some of them did in acts chapter 2. Some of them must've been there on the day of Pentecost and 3000 repented, believed, and were saved and within a few weeks, thousands, thousands more.

So what you have illustrated at the very moment of the death of Christ is the purpose of his death to save penitents sinners. The Jew first and then the Gentile. So we see the consummation regarding Christ the confession regarding the centurion 1/3 point is the confusion of the women versus 40 and 41. This is an interesting footnote. There were also some women looking on. Here we see a small group of faithful women. These are women who started to follow him when he was in Galilee.

According to verse 41 they used to follow him and minister to him or serve him and there were many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

We know all about the men don't we wish we know about the apostles and were familiar with them, but there was a group of women who had been with him since his days in Galilee where way back at the beginning of the Galilean ministry at the start of the second year of ministry now or the end of the third year, so there were women who had followed him for two years. Their true disciples their lovers of Christ their believers in the Savior. They are frankly now baffled. They are discouraged they are devastated they are lost for an explanation there, confused. Mark even identifies the names of a few of these women. There were many Mary Magdalene in who later becomes the first eyewitness of Jesus after his resurrection Mary the mother of James the less, and Josephus Mary the mother of James, the lesson Josephus that would be two sons, James the less is also called James the son of Althea's in Matthew 10 frames one of the 12. So this lady named Mary and there are lots of Mary's was the mother of one of the apostles James the son of Alpheus not James the brother of John, sons of Zebedee different James is another lady there by the name of Salome. She is, however, the mother of James and John, the wife of the 70 according to Matthew 2756.

Why are they there was a funny taste for all that can be said about the greatness of the apostles. They were gone and these ladies were there so much for male courage, something precious about that, even in their confusion. They were there. Slowly they started out at the foot of the cross may be hoping for some miracle, some something to happen that would make sense out of all of it and then he died and their way at the fringe they had been with him. Verse 41 says when he was in Galilee in the used to follow him. That means they did it all the time regularly and serve him, minister to him.

They were eyewitnesses of his entire ministry in Galilee and subsequently in Judea for the last year of his life. They would be the eyewitnesses.

First of all of his resurrection and their unique because they're not apostles they're not the chosen 12. They're not men their there women believers who used to follow him imperfect verb meaning in a continual fashion and use to minister to him. Another imperfect verb continually and by the way in the gospel of Mark. Only two persons are ever said to have ministered to Christ. One these women and the other in chapter 1 verse 13 the holy angels so they function as kind of earthly angels they're not leaders they are not empowered like the apostles to do miracles. They're not called to be preachers, but they are the truly precious faithful, who while the apostles have forsaken him have not. They are still there and they will be rewarded because they will be the first to see him on Sunday morning and the sorrow of those ladies will turn to great joy. I want to close by taking you back to verse 39 for a moment when Mark began this gospel in chapter 1 verse one. He said it's the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It's the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God's only beginning. It's only beginning the story is much more to be told this is the beginning, but it is about the son of God. It's the story of the son of God.

Finally, here in verse 39 a human being, says truly this man was the son of God and would you like to know that is the first time in the entire Gospel of Mark that any human being has said that it's almost like Mark waits until the cross to have someone say this is the son of God or the father said it. The father said in chapter 1 verse 11 that is baptism.

This is my beloved son. The father said it at his transfiguration in chapter 9. The father said it from heaven.

This is my beloved son, and by the way, the demons said it chapter 1 verse 24, three verse 11 five verse nine.

The demons called him the son of God. So heaven has said it. And hell has said it finally commences and what a man, a Gentile, the Roman soldier, the head of the execution squad and we all say it to do. The story of Marcus written for the very purpose that John gives these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God and that believing you may have life in his name for all who believe that he is the son of God from the centurion on the promises you have life in his name. Father, we have no words to express the depth of our gratitude to you for awakening our dead hearts, giving us life opening our blind eyes, letting us see on stopping our deaf ears so we could hear and believe that this is the son of God the only Savior thank you that you gave us eyes to see past the ridicule the scorn in the joke to the truth. We who once before we were saved were also blasphemers for anyone who does not love the sun and confess the son is Lord has committed high crime against you has blasphemed you because you're the one who said this is my beloved son, listen to him believing acknowledge that we confess our own treason in our own blasphemy. Until that day when you awakened us.

We thank you Lord for the gift of salvation is a gift that can't be earned, can only be received by faith. Thank you for the testimony that centurion.

Finally, after 15 chapters and 39 verses a person says what the whole story is intended to prove this true is the son of God came to die in our place rise again for our justification. That's grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John's current study, the divine drama of redemption is helping you prepare for a more worshipful Easter celebration this weekend and out going back to what John said before the lesson this broadcast. This ministry is driven by one goal and that is to help people become more like Christ. When you give to Grace to you financially. You play a vital role in connecting people with verse by verse teaching through radio, television, and thousands of online resources to help make a spiritual difference in people's lives.

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I'm Phil Johnson inviting you to watch grace to you. Television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channel in time and be back tomorrow as John continues his series the divine drama of redemption with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you


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