Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Atonement of the Servant

This is the message I will be preaching this morning at San Pedro Christian Reformed Church:

Read Aloud: Isaiah 53:1-12

three-crosses

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

8By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10Yet it was the Lord ‘s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

I.  Introduction:

You need to know and understand –so you will and can defend it….

I learn this –these past few weeks in our place of work… that it is not easy to defend something that you have never ever experienced first-hand- you need to be told-and even that is not enough-for you can easily forget something that you only heard but did not understand –much less applied in your life –or use it.

And so I will be teaching about atonement: it is defined as- a compensation for wrong done or committed; an expiation or satisfaction. Isang pagbabayad…

But before that-we need to know something about :

1 John 2:18-19 & 22

18       Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

19       They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us…

22       Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

satan

One of the examples (which includes Karl Marx, Nietzche, Muhammad, Felix Manalo, Joseph Smith, Charles Darwin, Adolf Hitler) from those of modern –Marcus Borg, Bart Ehrman, Karen Armstrong, John Dominic Crossan  – is :

 Elaine Pagels, (born Palo Alto, California, February 13, 1943), is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is best known for her studies and writing on the Gnostic Gospels. Her popular books include The Gnostic Gospels (1979), Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (1988), The Origin of Satan (1995), Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003) and others…

On of her first book is “The First Christian” about the Apostle Paul…

Pagels was born in California, the daughter of a research biologist.Pagels began attending an evangelical church as a teenager, attracted by the certainty and emotional power of the group, but ceased attending church after the death of a Jewish friend in a car crash when other church members said that her friend had not been saved and would go to hell. Pagels said, “Distressed and disagreeing with their interpretation — and finding no room for discussion — I realized that I was no longer at home in their world and left that church

There is a truth there that some go away from the church –and we are blameworthy- but in the end –they all turn away from the Lord Jesus and turn against Him.

Fallen Man/Redemptive Focus:

  1. Either a man is in open rebellion – adultery, theft, murder, extortion, perjury

(San Pedro is highlighted by what happened at the road going to Cavite –by police and robbery gang)

  1. Or…Self-righteous – who disavows any need for Someone to take his place-

Sometimes trials test us and then when we can no longer take it- we turn and walk away from Him…

Just like what the song says:

“Isip mo’y litong lito
Sa mga panahong nais mong maaliw
Bakit ba bumabalakid
Ay ang iyong mundong ginagalawan
Ang buhay ay sadyang ganyan
Sulirani’y di mapigilan…”

We should learn to know the other part of the song:

Huwag mong isiping ikaw lamang
Ang may madilim na kapalaran
Ika’y hindi tatalikuran
Ng ating Ama na Siyang lumikha
Hindi lang ikaw ang nagdurusa
At hindi lang ikaw ang lumuluha
Pasakit mo’y may katapusan

Intro to Main text:

His Life – Isa 53:1-3

53 Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,

and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 jesus-torture-786120

God’s way are not our ways :

Romans 11:

33                   Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34                   “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

Who would have believed that the Servant –as God’s warrior-would win –by surrendering his life to his enemies? Satan always think in terms of power and deception – and He thought for God to win-He will just assert His power- How wrong he was – Righteousness, Love and Truth is foremost in God’s nature .

 And yet that is how the arm of the Lord is shown-through weakness.

1. He was punished because of us – [Punished- Us Sinners]

Isa 53:4-7

4 Surely he took up our infirmities

and carried our sorrows,

yet we considered him stricken by God,

smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

Infirmities refers to physical sickness and malady-while sorrows is physical and mental anguish.

Then he was pierced, crushed and punished –in other version it says that he was struck, smite and humbled

A picture of a warrior –kicked and bludgeoned repeatedly and when he fall down he is still made fun of by repeated blows.

All the while we thought that this is because of his blasphemy and sins- His doing…God is punishing Him.

That He was smitten/ afflicted by God Himself.

It is our transgressions and iniquities…

I was asked in a Bible study-that if Jesus came here-and acted and spoke like He did before-I might be part of those of conspired to have Him killed

Iniquities is indirect or passive sins –result of Adamic nature

while transgression are active ones. We are deliberate in our sins.

And they are all violations of the Law of God.

Example : If we swerve from lane to lane in the road and then enter a no-entry road-making our own counter-flow- that is an example of transgressions.

But if we fail to check our brakes, our wiper- and our side mirrors while driving- those are iniquities and it depends in the situation what is worse.

Crucifying him is transgression…leaving him alone to die is iniquity- what we have done and what we failed to do…

But this is for US: our peace our SHALOM – our healing OUR HEALTH…not just physical healing –which is lesser and included –ultimately as discussed last month…but spiritual and whole person healing.

Why ? was he punished –not because of our sins but because:

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;

It is as if there is one road-or lane –but we keep on changing lanes and even make our own roads- like bulldozer going through the middle of the road –to make another lane or road

And what is worse is that the Lord let SIN attack HIM

In this verse : and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

As if he was thrown to the water in order for sharks or piranha to eat HIM…

Part of the Good News – the core teachings –the kerygma- is substitutionary atonement- The Great exchange. Our sins to Him and then His righteousness for our sins.  This is essential part of the Gospel –If we don’t say –we don’t have the Gospel.

The life –that we should have lived- for the Death-that we should have died.

But this is easier said than done

Because we are NOT;

  1. Perfect
  2. Sinless

So what is needed?

  1. He must be both God and Man
  2. He must be sinless
  3. He must suffer a horrible death
  4. He must rise from the grave
  5. He must then ascend to heaven
  6. He must then intercede for us before His Father

I must tell you these things –especially for someone who experienced the death of my nephew last year 2012 –through a drowning accident-and then this past few months –I went through medical examinations and then a colonoscopy –which I thought already have a colorectal cancer – and through many doctors-I need to address the questions …I have to hurry up and tell you what you need to hear… not just like what you want to hear.

2. He Died because we have gone astray [With Evildoers- Sinless]

Isa 53:7-9

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth;

he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.

And who can speak of his descendants?

For he was cut off from the land of the living;

for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in his death,

though he had done no violence,

nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus-sentenced-to-death

He remains a perfect example or picture of LOVE- in spite of the difficulties or hardships he has gone through.

Example: For us – if we have not eaten, rested or good electric fan or air conditioner –we will not be an easy person to talk to- but the Lord – in spite of what He had experienced –He never raised his voice nor call His angels to destroy them…:

“and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth. “

 Sheep when being sheared –cut their hair for wool and used for clothing –are meek and does not bleep-make a noise-as his shearers are benefitting from what he is doing –

 and this the picture  of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, Herod and Pilate- He did not call out the fires from heaven to consumed them.

 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.

And who can speak of his descendants?

 He is the God who can BUT He did not.

There was grave injustice in the trial of Jesus- done overnight-in fact before the annual Sabbath-there was haste in deciding against Him.

They pronounced death for him –in spite of great injustice:

For he was cut off from the land of the living;

for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 

He was truthful –even if it will incriminate Him-especially when He was asked under oath if He is the Messiah and Son of God.

though he had done no violence,

nor was any deceit in his mouth.

And then at the Cross –he was placed between two thieves- criminals –both self-confessed doers of the evil deed-common criminal…and then at His burial –Joseph of Arimathea took it into his hand to get his body from Pilate:

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in his death,

His death between 2 thieves –and then using the tomb of Joseph Arimathea (a rich man) was prophesied sure and true.

20120507-emtombment Rembrandt_van_Rijn_191

The judgment is sure and final:

For he was cut off from the land of the living;

for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 

I just want to comment on what Dan Brown had done (another antichrists in history- Both of Brown’s parents are also singers and musicians, having served as church choir masters, with his mother also serving as church organist. Brown was raised an Episcopalian.) – who spoke against the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus in the Da Vinci Code by explaining it away as if Jesus can still be alive after what the Romans- expert in torture and death – to him . and then went to Southern France to start a human dynasty protected by the Knight Templar’s especially during the Crusades and the Priory of Sion.

Clearly they don’t believe in prophecy for by just reading the above prophesy –they would realize that He really died at the cross-and not someone else-like Judas –as the Quran says –another false gospel.

For – he was taken away.

And who can speak of his descendants?

There is no human descendant of Jesus-no God DNA running around somewhere…

But this injustice is not because of Him –but for His people- Israel or the elect.

Let us now go to the biblical teaching of Definite Atonement

Let us read our confessions on this:

Canons of Dordt

Second Head of Doctrine

Article 2

Since, therefore, we are unable to make that satisfaction in our own persons, or to deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, He has been pleased of His infinite mercy to give His only begotten Son for our Surety, who was made sin, and became a curse for us and in our stead, that He might make satisfaction to divine justice on our behalf.

Article 3

The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.

Article 4

This death is of such infinite value and dignity because the person who submitted to it was not only really man and perfectly holy, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, which qualifications were necessary to constitute Him a Savior for us; and, moreover, because it was attended with a sense of the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin.

Article 8

For this was the sovereign counsel and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of His Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation; that is, it was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father; that He should confer upon them faith, which, together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, He purchased for them by His death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them, free from every spot and blemish, to the enjoyment of glory in His own presence forever.

Rejection of Errors

The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:

Paragraph 1

Who teach: That God the Father has ordained His Son to the death of the cross without a certain and definite decree to save any, so that the necessity, profitableness, and worth of what Christ merited by His death might have existed, and might remain in all its parts complete, perfect, and intact, even if the merited redemption had never in fact been applied to any person.

For this doctrine tends to the despising of the wisdom of the Father and of the merits of Jesus Christ, and is contrary to Scripture. For thus says our Savior: I lay down my life for the sheep, and I know them (John 10:15, 27). And the prophet Isaiah says concerning the Savior: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand (Isa. 53:10).

Jesus is more than enough- excess of what is needed- but it is applied to His people –his children –just enough for their release.

Mahigit at sapat. And yes-His grace is overwhelming exceeding what is needed for his children.

The prime benefit for His People I s Justification – considered/declared as righteous

Justification of the many v. 12- is a term to be used repeatedly by Paul as we saw–and is not a universalistic term-like all- but it refers to numbers– a definite number of people.

There is a different teaching which says that –theoretically Jesus died for all men –but it is upto man to apply it to them. This is common to our evangelical brothers. They believe this with good motives but most of them have not gone deep in thinking its implications.

There is also another teaching that says theoretically Jesus death is for all –but the application is only for the elect.

The first is Arminianism-the other is Amyraldianism. Both are not true.

For it divides the Father from His Son and Spirit-the Trinity-in their divine purpose.

It also cheapens Jesus death –as if it is not enough to purchase everything and fulfill or complete everything for our salvation.

For those –who are first hearing this- the Death of Jesus is enough for your sins- so just come – come to him in Faith –holding into His hand that was pierced by nails for you…for our sins- for your sins…

Example: What is Jesus death like?

Is it a chance to win a just ticket –or a chance to win the house and lot per se?

Is it like a father who gifted his son a house and lot- and then to find out that the tax and the furniture, the paint-the comfort room is still incomplete? Parang NHA housing –you still have to complete everything?

Or was it a mansion –already waiting for us in heaven –fully furnished and fully paid? Yes and much more.

Was Jesus mission here is like teaching only swimming lesson ?

Will you teach him how to swim –to a drowning man?

No-you save him-by swimming to him and getting him by the back and getting him safely ashore and even applying CPR and then bringing him to a nearby hospital to check up on him.

Complete!

We –as a man cannot do all those things- as I failed in my nephew when he drowned in 2012

But Jesus is not just a man –He is the Creator and Sustainer of this world –of this universe!

God the Father –in eternity loves the Son-and wants to give Mankind as a gift to His Son -and they know-in any scenario of the future that man-though sinless in creation will be tempted by Satan –and fell-because of Jealousy and Pride.

And so to insure such Gift-the Son decided-before the foundation of the world-to die for them-pay for the sake of His Father’s justice-their nature Holy and Just -their Triune hatred of sin –lawlessness and hate .

And the Spirit agrees to apply this to the elect-in time-complete with everything in it– Faith, Justification, Adoption, Reconciliation, Born Again, Conversion, Sanctification, Eternal Security or Preservation and Final Glorification.

3.He was exalted because He gave his life for us

[Honored-High Priest-Guilt offering]

Jesus

Isa 53:10-12

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,

and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,

he will see his offspring and prolong his days,

and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,

he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; 

by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,

and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,

and he will divide the spoils with the strong,

because he poured out his life unto death,

and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many,

and made intercession for the transgressors.

To crush and make him suffer/weak and sick –this is not an afterthought –but it is the Father’s desire and will.

It is also the will of the Son for His life to be a guilt offering:

John 10:17-18

17                   For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.

18                   No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Predestination is always primarily and initially referred to Jesus – It is His will to crush him. It is through His election as the Suffering Servant –that we are chosen in Jesus.

He partook of suffering – He undergo “the travail of his soul’ –his life- because He was thinking of us:

Hebrews 12:

2                      looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

And that as vindication –that the Father is pleased with His death –

he will … prolong his days,

and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,

he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; 

 which refers to His Resurrection and His exaltation.

After resurrection-came His ascension-His reign over the nations –at the right hand of God.

In His Kingship- Rulership – The Father’s will be executed rightly –from than and until now

Please remember that when we encounter problems in our life and in history…

It is also the will of the Father to exalt His Son later because:

Philippians 2:8-11

8                      And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

9                      Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

10                   so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11                   and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And thus of what He had done – His death – His bearing of their iniquities- will gain them innumerable benefits for US who are his spiritual offspring:

1 Corinthians 1:30

30                   And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

The wording using “Many” is hallmark of the teaching on definite atonement. It is the Hebrew “rabBim”

As used by Apostle Paul –

Romans 5: 15-19

15                   But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

16                   And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

19                   For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And part and parcel of His Atonement’s benefits is His High Priestly duties for His people.

He intercedes for His People and intervene for them. Sometimes we thought He is not concern for us-But we are wrong.

Example : It is said that Muslim empire proved their power – 1000 years of destroying churches North Africa and Southern Europe and Middle East- before they were halted by Charles Martel the Hammer at the Battle of Tours and Europe then Spain fell from their grasp – making sure that Ferdinand Magellan was able to sail through the seas and discover the Philippine Islands before the whole archipelago became Moslem.

and then in the First World War the Turkish or Ottoman Empire made a mistake of siding with the losers-and in the WW 2 with Germany and Italy – and so they eventually lost Palestine to the Jews in 1948.

The Philippines voted in favor of UN Resolution 181 concerning the partition of Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel in 1947. The Philippines was among the 33 countries who supported the creation of Israel and the only Asian country to who voted for the resolution.

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When we think that God is not doing anything –He is silently doing something in the background..

In history and in salvation and in our life we must learn to trust Him completely –For we are in His thoughts and in His heart.

To the enemies of God – the exalted Son of Man will prove their undoing –for this is his spoils-his inheritance -and He will not be thwarted-and this is in the future. All His foes will later see the extent of His Ruling –because –once upon a tree – He dies the death of a criminal –but was resurrected as King of the Nations.

Application

    1. Because He is just like one of us-and yet He is also our champion-our victor-our general –who went ahead in assaulting our enemy- It is appropriate to volunteer in His army –in extending His rule to others-through evangelism –through discipleship-by sharing the Good News about Jesus.
    2. Because He suffered everything for us –physical, mental and emotional –He felt the alienation of others-He can understand us –and knows the loneliness of the heart. Sometimes we hide these things from others-But the Messiah knows-and He understands these things. We should share this to Him in our prayer. We should not keep these things a secret from Him-He can help us…

Review:

He- God the Son- became a Man..who live the Life that we should have lived…and died the Death –we should have died…He rose from the grave and He ascended into Heaven and is now sitting as the King of the Nations and is now pleading for us as our High Priest –and He sent the Holy Spirit to us to help and empower us in our daily lives. Therefore let us live in Him and through Him.

To End:

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wag Ka nang Umiyak

Wag ka nang umiyak, sa mundong pabago-bago
pag-ibig ko ay totoo
ako ang iyong bangka, kung magalit man
ang alon, ng panahon, sabay tayong aahon

[chorus]
Kung wala ka nang maintindihan
Kung wala ka nang makapitan
Kapit ka sa akin, kapit ka sa akin
Di kita bibitawan

Wag kang umiyak, mahaba man ang araw
uuwi ka sa yakap ko
wag mo nang damdamin kung wala ako sayong tabi
iiwan kong puso ko sa yo
at kung pakiramdam mo’y wala ka nang kakampi
isipin mo ako dahil puso’t isip ko’y
nasa yong tabi

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