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Meditation: With Five Senses

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
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January 26, 2024 12:00 am

Meditation: With Five Senses

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 26, 2024 12:00 am

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The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode of The Truth Pulpit.

We're so glad that you joined us. And I know that many of you have recently signed up for the podcast looking for the series that I told you about called Building a Christian Mind, and that series is going to start on February the 5th. February the 5th for Building a Christian Mind. Until then, here's the next episode of our teaching as we look to God's Word and as we continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word on The Truth Pulpit. All five of the human senses were involved in the suffering of Christ on the cross.

He suffered in his sight, hearing, sense of smell, taste, touch, and that's what I want to remind you of and to show you and maybe pull some things together in a way that you haven't quite seen them in the same context before. Teaching God's people God's Word. This is The Truth Pulpit with Don Green. Don is founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm Bill Wright. Today, a look at how the various aspects of Christ's suffering on the cross can bring fresh insight for the believer on the subject of the Lord's Supper. Don has titled today's message, With Five Senses, and it was originally presented to the congregation at Truth Community Church on Communion Sunday, but it's timely and relevant for us anytime.

Here is Don Green now in The Truth Pulpit. Well, it's a Communion Sunday here at Truth Community Church, and we're going to celebrate communion here at the beginning of the service. I think it's very important for us, and we like to emphasize this, it's important for us to prepare our hearts for communion. It is a holy time to remember the death of our Lord, and it is not something that we should barge into without forethought, without setting aside the things of this world and preparing our hearts with a meditation of some kind on Christ before we partake of the elements together. Scripture tells us clearly that we are to examine ourselves before we take of the elements, that we are to reflect and to take it in a worthy manner, and to be hurried and to be rushed in it is something that is to take it in an unworthy manner.

And so we try to have a different kind of meditation of some kind before we come to the table. What we want to remember here is this. Christ truly suffered for us on the cross. He truly suffered in every aspect of his humanity. There was a genuine pain that was present in his suffering on the cross for us. And yes, each one of us has our own aspects of pain and difficulty in life, but we recognize that the suffering of Christ is supreme, and we we subordinate our thoughts and our our issues in life when we come to the table and we set them aside in order to remember Christ and his supremacy in our affections and the supremacy of his sufferings on our behalf.

And so this is not about us in this hour, this is about Christ and what he has done for us. And when you look at Scripture, you examine Scripture, you see that all five of the human senses were involved in the suffering of Christ. He suffered in his sight, he suffered in his hearing, he suffered in his sense of smell, his sense of taste, and his physical touch. All of that was incorporated into his suffering on the cross, and that's what I want to just briefly remind you of and to show you and maybe pull some things together in a way that you haven't quite seen them in the same context before. Christ suffered with his physical sight. The things that he saw caused sorrow to him, and that's our first aspect of it as we consider the five senses of his suffering. First of all, we see that he suffered with his sight, and I'd invite you to turn to the Gospel of John chapter 19.

We're just going to touch on these very briefly. This is not a full-fledged message by any means, but just a means of getting us to sympathetically view Christ as we remember him. On the cross, it says in John chapter 19, verse 25, that standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. And when Jesus then saw his mother, saw her with his physical sight, physical sight, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, woman, behold your son. And then he said to the disciple, behold your mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own household. Jesus saw these ladies gathered around the cross, including his own mother. And it's very striking to me that our Lord himself saw fit to honor his mother and to care and provide for his mother, even as he was hanging on the cross suffering for the sins of the world. And so he cares for her. He provides for her. The transaction, so to speak, that is taking place here is that he was pointing his mother to the disciple John and John to his mother and says, now that I am departing from this earth, John, you take care of my mother and mother, you will be with John henceforth going forward.

And he actually addresses her as woman there, but whatever, you get the point. He sees what's happening in front of him. And with a full awareness, he takes in the scene in front of him with his physical sight.

And he responds to it accordingly. And with a great sense of kindness and sympathy and an honoring of his mother in full compliance with the fifth commandment, even in his dying hour, he provides for with his care based on what he saw as he hung on the cross. Now, secondly, Christ suffered in his hearing as well. He heard the words of accusation and rejection that were slung at him from vile mouths while he hung on the cross. Mark, chapter 15, if you would turn there with me.

Mark, chapter 15. And the verbal abuse was wretchedly intense for our Lord as he hung on the cross. In Mark, chapter 15, verse 27, it says this, they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which says, and he was numbered with transgressors. And those passing by were hurling abuse at him, wagging their heads and saying, ha, you who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross. In the same way, the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking him among themselves and saying, he saved others, he cannot save himself.

Let this Christ, the king of Israel, now come down from the cross so that we may see and believe. And those who were crucified with him were also insulting him. There he hung between heaven and earth, as it were, while earth rejected him and hurled its vile rejection and its vile verbal abuse at him, mocking his claim to be the king of Israel, mocking his power to save. And Christ responds in what manner? He suffers as a lamb led to the slaughter.

He suffers in silence. He hears it all, but he does not revile in return. He had said earlier that he had the power to call 12 legions of angels down in his defense, and he refused to do so. He had that power. He had that authority as the son of God, and he deferred. He did not do that. He bore the accusations. He bore the rejection in silence in order to fulfill the eternal plan of God by which God had appointed this hour to be for the redemption of the people of God.

It's remarkable to see. And what I would ask you to do, what I would encourage you to do as we prepare for communion here, is to just realize that Christ suffered that rejection on behalf of you, if you are a believer in Christ, and to realize that he suffered this rejection at the hands of men in order that he might reconcile you to a holy God. And in his suffering, we see something of the measure of his love displayed for us. He was willing to suffer for us. We all know the people that will love us while circumstances are good, but when times turn bad, they'll abandon you.

Fair weather friends is what they are sometimes called. Christ was no fair weather friend. When the storms rained down upon his own head and he heard these words of accusation, he continued on until the work would be complete. Well, thirdly, we can say that he suffered also with his sense of smell. I won't dwell on this so much, but it says in Mark chapter 15 verse 19, you can look up the page just a bit there, that they kept beating his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling and bowing before him. And after they had mocked him, they took the purple robe off him and put his own garments on him, and then they let him out to crucify him. As Christ was being prepared for crucifixion, he smelled the foul breath of those that were preparing him for crucifixion. He smelled their sputum as it fell upon his cheek, and he suffered in his sense of smell and the repulsive nature of the whole situation.

Again, he silently bore that on our behalf. And so with his sight, he sees the people around him. He sees what's happening. He suffers in his physical vision. He suffers in his physical hearing with the accusations and the rejection. He suffers with his sense of smell. He suffered also with his sense of taste. If you look at Matthew chapter 27, his taste, his sense of taste was involved in his suffering as well. Matthew chapter 27 verses 33 and 34.

Matthew 27 verses 33 and 34. When they came to a place called Golgotha, which means place of a skull, they gave him wine to drink mixed with gall, and after tasting it, he was unwilling to drink. Sometimes they would give to the crucified person a sort of a sedative that would deaden the pain just a bit. Christ tasted that, rejected any further because he wanted to fulfill the fullness of suffering on our behalf.

But even in his taste, his sense of taste was involved in the collective sufferings that he made for us. And when we consider his sense of touch, his sense of physical pain, we don't need to dwell on that. His hands were literally nailed to the cross. His feet were probably placed together in a spike driven through his ankles to nail him to the cross. So both hands and feet suspended by nails and thorns and suffering in that manner. Every one of his human senses was involved in the physical suffering that he did on our behalf.

Now there's a lot that we can draw out of that. There is a spiritual significance that we should draw out of this. First of all, let me just remind you that this is the holy blameless Son of God of whom we speak. This is the one who is God incarnate.

God is love. This is love incarnate that we see suffering like this, the eternal Son of God, the one who was without sin of his own. He invited his enemies, convict me of sin.

Which one of you convicts me of sin? And they fall silent because he was utterly blameless. And in the perfection of his wonderful character, the perfection of his attributes, the wonder of his humility leaving heaven to come to earth, and you just see the blessed nature of his character and the blessed nature of his impeccable heart. And you see that he is suffering like that, you realize that there is a cosmic significance to what is in play here.

And we remember this. We remember why he was suffering. Christ was not suffering in order to give us an example. There was far more to the atonement than that. He simply wasn't providing a moral influence for us and say, this is how you should love and how you should obey God.

That is so inadequate of an understanding. Christ was suffering like this physically because he was paying the price for your sin and for mine. And scripture makes this abundantly clear.

The suffering on the cross physically was displaying something of the far greater, more infinite power of content, spiritual suffering that he was undergoing on our behalf. I would ask you to turn to the book of 1 Peter after Hebrews and James. You'll find 1 Peter in your Bible. 1 Peter chapter 2 in verse 24. We could say in verse 23 because it picks up on things that I said earlier.

1 Peter chapter 2 verses 23 and 24. The while being reviled, Christ did not revile in return. While suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously. In all of this, there was no spirit of retaliation in Christ.

This is that in itself is worthy of an entire message. There was no spirit of retaliation. There was no response of anger on his behalf. And why was he doing this? Verse 24. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. This was a guilt offering to God that Christ was making.

He offered his sinless life as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of his people to satisfy the justice and the wrath of God. I fear sometimes that we get a little too familiar with the idea that we're sinners and that the profundity of that doesn't often go as deeply into our hearts as it should. But as a member of the human race, you have a fundamental problem of guilt that Christ was addressing there. You're guilty in Adam, and Adam's sin is assigned to his posterity.

You're guilty in your own corruption and pollution of nature. You're guilty in your own violations of the law of God. And that guilt and those violations must be punished.

There must be a consequence. The justice of God demands a payment for the violation of his law. What Scripture teaches us is that as our substitute, Christ was paying for that sin, and it was a consequence of suffering that he endured in order to do so. He bore our sins in his body on the cross. Look at chapter 3, verse 18 there in 1 Peter, where it says, Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God.

Christ, on the cross, received the imputed nature of our sins. God counted Christ as guilty of the sins of all of his people and caused him to suffer. And the ultimate suffering was during the three hours of darkness as the wrath of God fell upon him, and the universe went dark.

As well the sun might hide when the Son of God is suffering in that way. And so this is the price of sin. Suffering is the price of sin, and Christ gladly paid that for us in his body on the cross. And here's what I want you to see, is that in his suffering, in the miserable aspects of the physical suffering that we can sort of see, the external suffering in his five senses, and then we see the the suffering, the spiritual suffering that he did as he bore the wrath of God on our behalf, we start to see something.

What we start to see is this. We start to see how dark and how ugly and how repulsive your sin and my sin is in the sight of God, because it took suffering like that in order to pay for sin like yours and like mine. The Puritan Thomas Watson said this. He said, in the bloody sacrifice of Christ, see the horrible nature of sin. Sin is ugly as it banished Adam out of paradise. Sin is ugly as it throws the angels into hell. But that which makes most of all sin appear so ugly is this, is that it made Christ veil his glory and lose his blood. We see the ugliness of sin in the ugliness of the sufferings of Christ. And it's not simply to make us see the darkness, it's made that we discuss these things today, it's that we would see the glory of it, that Christ in his love gladly suffered like that for sin as ugly as that in order to bring us to God, in order to reconcile us, in order to cleanse us and to wash us of all of our guilt so that we could stand blameless before a holy God. This is a wonderful thing to remember, and it's what we remember at the table today. His suffering was the price of our salvation, and in love he gladly paid it in full.

He paid it with all of his senses and with all of his soul in order to purchase a complete and full salvation for us, offered and given to us as a gift, received by faith alone. What a wonderful Savior we remember. What an episode of suffering that we remember as we partake of the cup, as we partake of the bread and remember our Lord Jesus Christ. We invite every true Christian here today to participate in the table. We only ask that you would confess and forsake any sins in your life that you know of before you partake. If you're here and you know that you're not a Christian or your life has been one of darkness for a considerable period of time that you just not responded to the promptings of the Spirit, we would ask you as a church, we'd ask you in the name of Christ to pass on the elements.

We should not mock and denigrate the elements that represent and symbolize his suffering for sin if we're hardened in sin and pursuing it ourselves. This is for believers alone, and this is for believers who want to forsake sin. And if you are like that today, this is for you. This is a remembrance from Christ to you that he gladly paid that price on your behalf, that you can draw near to him, draw near to God with confidence through faith in him. That's Don Green with a message titled, With Five Senses, and you're listening to The Truth Pulpit. If you missed any part of today's message, just click on thetruthpulpit.com. While you're there, you can listen again to today's message or any of Don's teaching. And please be sure to share this broadcast with your friends and loved ones.

Again, that's thetruthpulpit.com. Well, Don, although this isn't the first time you've taught on the subject of communion, this particular lesson was unique, in that you took the time to illustrate how Christ's suffering on the cross offers us deep biblical insight into the significance of communion. Well, Bill, many times on The Truth Pulpit we like to air the brief meditations that I do during a Truth Community Church communion service. We like to take communion seriously at our church, and so we take time to focus in one way or another on the person and work of Jesus Christ in a biblical meditation before we take the elements. Today we have another one talking about the physical experience of Christ on the cross, and I just wanted to remind us of what we are celebrating and remembering when we take communion.

Just four quick little points. First of all, communion reminds us of the holiness of God. God is high and he is holy.

He is perfectly righteous and he cannot look on evil with favor. That means that sinners need a mediator before him if we are going to be able to have fellowship with him. The holiness of God demanded the sacrifice of Christ. Secondly, communion reminds us of the seriousness of the gospel. When you have sinned against a high and holy God, it is a serious matter to realize that forgiveness is offered to you in Christ, and that offer of the gospel must be taken seriously and not lightly dismissed as though the blood of Christ was not worthy of your consideration. Thirdly, communion reminds us, of course, of the sacrifice of Christ.

Nothing less than a perfect human blood sacrifice could take away your sins. And when we take the bread and take the cup, it reminds us of the body and blood of Christ who voluntarily laid down his life on our behalf. It's a wonderful symbol.

You can see why it should be taken seriously because of what it represents. And then finally, and this is a highlight for the redeemed soul, communion reminds us of satisfied justice. In the Lord Jesus Christ, all the demands of the law of God on your soul have been satisfied. His perfect life fulfills what the law requires. His shed blood pays and washes away all of our sins. And so in those things, communion reminds us of all of the wonders of the person and work of Christ.

And it brings us to a place of holy and humble joy in our hearts. I'm glad you're with us today on The Truth Pulpit. Thanks Don. And friend, thank you for listening. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time as Don Green continues in his ministry of teaching God's word to God's people here on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-19 21:52:08 / 2024-02-19 22:00:46 / 9

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