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The Cross: The Suffering Of God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2020 1:00 am

The Cross: The Suffering Of God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 23, 2020 1:00 am

As we run life’s race, let us not forget that mercy is not getting what you deserve. God was not obligated to save any of us, and yet He has. When skeptics question God’s love, we must point them first to the cross where the Son of God suffered and died—for us. 

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Looking to Jesus and let's never forget that mercy is getting what you don't deserve God was not obligated to save any of you have today we begin and also how far God to provide redemption for lost mankind stay with the Moody Church in Chicago this morning with Sir James helps us make it across the finish line something electing the right guy will stave off national disaster. Rater disaster is missing the attention Jesus and you know Dave. That's why I preached a series of messages is to help people to understand that no matter what happens politically Jesus is still Lord the cross of Christ is still the center of God's purpose for the universe for this earth for his people.

And so what we need to do is to encourage ourselves and that's why I'm preaching on the topic.

The suffering of God now, could I say also that this message is somewhat controversial because there's some people who think that it is wrong to speak about the suffering of God. Well you listen in and you make up your own mind, but I believe that what I'm sharing is consistent with Scripture across the suffering of God.

God cares about the world. There is a statement that is part of evangelical theology.

Everyone knows that God cares about the world. But what if you meet a skeptic somebody who doesn't believe that to. Are you going to point you going to point to nature and say will, God gives us rain and sun crops so that we can eat while it's wonderful that nature also gives us tornadoes and floods and hailstorms and earthquakes that devastated that tear and drought can look at nature and believe that God loves us even appoint other human beings and say well we know that God loves the world because we see love in others and therefore there must be loving and God, well, you know you and I know that for every person who is generous. There is one who is not generous. Somebody was stingy and greedy and small minded. We read the newspaper and we look at television and we see all of the devastation, the wars, the heart ache of the the terrible things that been done by human beings and nobody can convince me that God is love. Just because I look at a person or persons, where do we look when we see love and say that's it. It's there is only one point at which we can do that and that is the cross cross because it is there at the cross that God overcame our skepticism. It is there that God demonstrated his love toward us finally and completely and ambiguously.

Now we live in a very cynical age away. There many people who believe that Christianity has failed the world and they think that we have to get a new religion and some of us struggle because we see that God does not intervene in the heartaches of life and we are tempted to wonder what kind of a god is it, in whom we have come to trust. I agree completely with CS Lewis when he said that his fear is not to wake up some morning and disbelieve in God that will probably not happen. Lewis says his greater fear is to wake up and realize that he believes such dreadful things about him. That's our problem and not all of us as we have seen the carnage of this world and we've seen the suffering and the injustice sometimes cried out in the depths of our heart.

Oh God. You can't really care you don't care.

We both said it had we not yet we are commanded to take the cross into the world and that is the emphasis in this series of messages.

What kind of across do we step before the world. What do we say to a world who says that I don't matter. People say how can we look them in the eye and say yes you matter because God cares well today were going to hopefully see why the cross of Christ is the answer to the inner turmoil finding God to whom we really do matter. As we go on this journey.

I'm to begin with some very familiar territory. But as we progress. The territory will become more unfamiliar. I believe I want you to be with me all the way don't stop to smell the flowers along the way.

Stick with us first of all to very familiar passages of Scripture and then I shall ask you to turn to Isaiah chapter 53. In fact, if you wish to.

You can turn to Isaiah 53 right now, but you familiar passages. The first is second Corinthians 519. Just listen to it. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, and that another he bore in his own body. Our sins upon the tree sonic Isaiah chapter 53. I see three descriptive words, they are not found in the text, but they are words that describe what is happening here a passage of Scripture which someone says. Isaiah wrote as if he were sitting at the very foot of the cross and there he sits in he writes about Jesus Christ dying there for us. The first word that I see is the word substitution substitution. Now you know of course that the idea of substitution is found throughout the whole Bible in the early chapters of Genesis. When God killed animals and clothes, Adam, and even those animals were a substitute. They died so that Adam and Eve would have a covering and then you get to Isaac.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice them on Mount Moriah, and when he found a RAM instead the Scripture says he offered the ran in the place he is son a type of Jesus Christ was to come and we get to the Passover and the Lamb that was slain in the blood that was put upon the doorpost of the houses that land was killed in the place of the firstborn, but of course lambs and rams do not take away sin. Only God can do that. And so here we have now. The language of substitution. I pick it up in verse three. Speaking of Christ. He was despised and forsaken of man, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And like one from whom men hid their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem him. Shirley, our griefs, he himself bore and hours sorrows he carried that we ourselves esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted with peers through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon him and by his scourging we are healed. He did it for us. When God looked around it. We may use human language and was looking for a substitute for humanity. Animals couldn't do it. Human beings couldn't do it. God says that he is going to have to do it him self. If mankind is to have a qualified substitute, the son of God, will have to pay the penalty so that that penalty will be sufficient. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself and authored by the name of Canfield wrote God propose to direct against his very own self in the person of his son. The full weight of the righteous wrath, which we deserved. You see, God became both the judge and the substitute he condemned us.

He pointed out our sin and that he paid for the sin that he brought to our attention. That's the heart of the gospel.

He bore our sins in his own body on the tree is not true that just a week or two ago there was a woman who threw herself over the body of her son as the car was coming toward her and she was killed in the sun lived. That's substitution Jehovah bad his sword awake all Christ. It won't against the bio open blues and was awarded grade the storm for me. Christ took the hit, but belongs to us and that's the essence of the gospel yesterday, coming back from St. Louis on an airplane God put me next to a woman who needed to hear this wonderful talk about her life, but it soon drifted to Christ and she said how can you be so sure that if this plane goes down you're going to be in heaven where it is the assurance like she was a good woman. I told her lovingly. She was a good woman, but not good enough for God that she needed to trust Christ where it is the assurance I said, it is the deep settled conviction that when Jesus died on the cross he did every thing that God will ever demand of me and that there is nothing that God will demand that Christ has not already done on my behalf and I have embrace that as my own. Now that is assurance the language of substitution is a second descriptive word for Isaiah 53 and that is the word submission. Submission, speaking of Christ.

It says in verse seven he was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers so he did not open his mouth when the Bible says that Jesus went to his death like a lamb don't think that this means that Jesus was as weak as a lamb.

Don't know yet all kinds of options that he did take, but it was the symbol of submission he submitted to the will of the father and he submitted therefore to the violence and to the injustice and to the cruelty of man and allowed himself to be nailed to the cross without so much as really a whimper.

He did not try to get out of the cross on which he knew he must die, but now we come to a what shall we say, a misrepresentation, many of us are easily guilty of. It is easy for us to think that was Christ's idea to redeem humanity and a benevolent Lord Jesus, convinced God the father that he that if that is to say Christ were to die then the father could be appeased and a reluctant father said all right if you want to die for these people find I will accept your sacrifice.

It's easy to fall into that ever and to think that somehow God was not involved in this. All that he did is he took all of his anger against us and he directed it toward Christ, and he was appeased, but he was not really a part of the loving process is easy to think that that's wrong is wrong you realize of the Bible repeatedly says it is because of God's loving kindness toward us that we are redeemed. The most famous verse John 316 for God so love the world that he gave God was not simply the recipient of Jesus Christ sacrifice. Though he was that he was a part of the law that drew salvation's plan.

John Stott put it very succinctly. He said the father did not lay on the sun and ordeal he was reluctant to bear nor did the sun extract from the father as salvation. He was reluctant to bestow. Think about this. The Trinity was united at creation was in it. The Trinity was united with one wheel land one voice and one purpose. At creation how much more so in in something much more grand, namely redemption. It was read the entire Godhead was involved the will of the father and the will of the sun coincided in the perfect self sacrifice of love God, love the world, there is the language here of submission, but it is a mutual submission to accomplish the task of redemption is 1/3 word and that is of course the word suffering. I won't reread any of these passages and unfortunately we don't have time to go through the entire chapter but clearly it is a story of suffering.

Jesus Christ suffered, he bore our griefs. He was stricken.

He was smitten of God, yes, and afflicted it please the Lord to bruise him that clearly Christ suffered now want to ask you a question.

Did God the father suffer did he or did he not know throughout the centuries that theologians have debated this and they have come up with the impossibility of God, not impossibility, but in impossibility of July giveaway theologians. They love big words so that you and I can come along and try to figure out what it is that they mean but there's an idea. There were impassable means that he is unaffected either by pleasure or pain and and they argued that based on the immutability of God. The fact that the Lord does not change that. Therefore he cannot be subject to the pushes and pulls of emotions like we as human beings, and therefore God is beyond all of the pleasures and the pains of this world and actually that error and it is an error has led to the idea that somehow Jesus is compassionate but the father isn't.

Let me ask you a question today is the father compassionate or is the father passive and detached, unaffected by our humanness and our dilemma. There is a passage and there are many passages but let me read simply one to you now listen, this is God the father. This is Jehovah speaking and you answer whether or not God is a God of D pathos and emotion.

How can I give you level Ephraim. How can I surrender you, O Israel, how can I make you like them. How can I treat you like Zappos BM. My heart is turned over within me. All my compassions are kindled I will not execute my fears anger. I will not destroy Ephraim again for I am God, and not a man, the holy one who is in your midst, and I will not come in my wrath Scott have emotion. He is a being with deep emotion, far from being untouched by the human dilemma.

He is one who not only knows what we are going through, but he is keenly aware of pain, having endured it himself is a will does not. This impinge on the sovereignty of God. A man is God, the victim of emotions just like we are the answer is no. Here's the difference you see you and I are subject to emotions because of circumstances that we cannot control. God is not a jilted lover. He's not someone who wishes he wouldn't have to endure pain but things kind of got out of control and what is heatedly asked to endure it as best he can no God is one who has voluntarily and willingly chosen to suffer was a choice he did not have to. He had the option of creating a whole bunch of other worlds worlds in which there was no sin world in which there was no fault but he chose this particular world because he said I voluntarily choose suffering and that's why he remains God.

He remains God completely. He remains God did because it was the consent of the Godhead to suffer.

Let us just simply say boldly that when you see Christ on the cross. You see God on the cross, Jesus said he that hath seen me hath seen the father is it true to say that God died for man PT Forsyth said God dying for man. I am not afraid of that phrase. In fact, I cannot do without it thinkable the sun would suffer on the cross and the father will you know this is course when we talk about the cross of Jesus Christ. It has been this amount is three but I believe that God is honored when we attempt to probe that mystery, let me ask you a question. Is your family divided over politics and continually meeting families where the parents say our kids don't talk to us because we have a different political view and they have one view and the parents have another, sometimes even parents are divided, you know, I've written a book entitled Christians politics in the cross because I believe that if we are Christians we can unite on that which is most important. Despite our political disagreements. Matter fact, the subtitle of the book is an urgent plea for the church to return to its mission for gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 Christians politics and the cross. Let's at least unite on what is most important call is 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor look certain a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The consequences of sin can be heartbreaking today. Homer from North Carolina tells us the story. I need reconciliation with my wife who hasn't talked with me for three years for five years. She witnessed to me and prayed for me continuously. It wasn't until I was arrested for a sex crime that I repented of my sins and had to confess to her that I had been unfaithful to our marriage. The Lord answered her prayers for my salvation, but not in the way she planned it, although I'm now in prison I'm growing in the Lord and my heart belongs to him.

She hasn't divorced me, but we have no communication. If I had not come to prison I would never have come to Christ, but would've stayed on the path to hell. I want to be reconciled to her so we can grow in the Lord together. So now I'm the one praying for her as she did for me for so many years. While Dave isn't it interesting that no matter how many questions we answer. Everyone is unique.

Everyone is different and here we have one that is very puzzling because on the one hand we see the grace of God in saving this man. At the same time we see the ravages of sin. So Homer a couple of comments. First of all I want you to continue to keep demonstrating to your wife. That is a believer you are truthful, loving and deeply repentant. You have to keep that up. Secondly, you have to spend some time in your wife shoes she's been deeply wounded.

I mean during these years. As you your self-confessed you are being untrue to her and that has just ravaged her faith in her trust in you. So understand that. I'm glad that she hasn't divorced you yet because I think there is still hope for your marriage but I think it is very important that you seek some counsel for yourself and from her. Even though you are in prison.

Maybe you can get in touch with her pastor or a friend who can speak to her. This pastor or friend can say things to her that she might not want to hear from you and she needs to understand the depth of your own repentance and genuine transformation in God's presence and remember this Homer. Even though we can't control the response of others. And there is no guarantee of how your wife will ever proceed or respond. It's important that your own actions be ongoing before the Lord. No matter what you know I think of Proverbs.

I think it's chapter 21 verse three that tells us do what is right and just and acceptable to the Lord. In fact, it says that to do that is better than sacrifice. God bless you brother. I pray that your wife and you will be reconciled. Thank you.

Documents are if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our website@rtwoffer.com and click thereon. Ask Pastor lutes or or you can call us with your question at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 outside of Jerusalem. One day Jesus the Messiah died then as now people passed by, not realizing the eternal consequences of what was happening on that cruel Roman cross. Next time I'm running to win will turn again to Isaiah chapter 53 that great prophecy of the suffering servant will explore again the wonder of that supreme sacrifice, and why its implications mean much more for our lives today than who wins in the upcoming election running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life.

This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the move nature


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