Recently I preached through the book of Daniel. Daniel was an incredible book in which I greatly grew in my understanding of God’s power, provision, and presence. When I look back at the series, there is one sermon in which I wish I could redo (and I will someday in the future). And that is the sermon from Daniel 9:24-27. Now admittedly this is a very difficult passage which has been the occasion of much disagreement in Christian circles. The reason I look forward to preaching this passage again is because it was not as clear as I would have liked for it to have been. I became too caught up in all the details that the main point became somewhat muddied. Here is the general outline I would use next time I preach Daniel 9:24-27:
- The passage is about Jesus and all that He accomplished for us at the cross (v.24).
- Hope is not found in an earthly city, temple, or a specific plot of land. This is evident in that the Jews will return to their land and rebuild their city and temple but will not be free from suffering and trials (v.25).
- Jesus is the one who comes and makes a strong covenant through His death and resurrection. And by His death He will put an end to the entire sacrificial system (v.26-27).
- Suffering will characterize the church between Jesus’ first and second coming (v.26-27).
- There is a day coming in which all sin, suffering, and evil will be done away with and only those who have trusted in Jesus will experience God’s blessed rule for all eternity (v.26-27)
Jesus died to free us from the bonds of sin. He died so that no longer would we be slaves to sin but that we would be slaves to God. He died that we would live for the glory of God in all that we do. As John Piper said, “Christ died for the glory of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:15 (ESV)
15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Philippians 3:7–8 (ESV)
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
It doesn’t get much more clear than these two verses. We were far from God. But by the grace of Jesus Christ at the cross we are brought near. PRAISE GOD!
1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
Ephesians 2:13 (ESV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Jesus Christ willfully went to the cross of in order to absorb the wrath of God.
Galatians 3:13 (ESV)
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Romans 3:25 (ESV)
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
1 John 4:10 (ESV)
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Here is an excerpt from my sermon for this upcoming Sunday.
There have been many great sacrificial and heroic acts performed by man. Men have dived off of bridges to save a drowning man and have died in the process. Soldiers have thrown themselves on grenades to save their buddies. People have pushed others out of the way of a vehicle only to be hit themselves. These are all great heroic acts of love, but let us not think for one moment they compare to what Jesus did. At the cross Jesus threw himself on the “death-inflicting explosion of His own wrath” (Ensor, 96). John Ensor wrote, “The cross was not a heroic, impulsive act of self-sacrifice to shield us from an unfortunate accident or dangerous situation. The cross was God’s intentional and punitive action” (Ensor, 96). Justice had to be upheld. Punishment had to be handed out. There was no escaping it. But rather than us paying for the crime, Jesus stood in our place and received His own holy wrath against sin.
Joe Rigney at desiringgod.org wrote a great post on When Envy Turns Deadly. Here Rigney walks through the deadly role envy played in the crucifixion of Jesus. Envy is not a toy, it is not a neutral emotion, it is not something to be trifled with. Envy is sin. It is like a weed that will keep trying to come back no matter how many times you pull it out. Envy needs to be regularly killed by the power of the Spirit and the Word.
Check out Rigney’s post. It will not disappoint.
Philippians 2 is a treasure chest of joy. It is a text that when I read I find I cannot help but break out into great praise and worship to God. It reveals the great cost of our salvation. It reveals the incredible humiliation that Christ endured. It reveals the glory of God as the chief purpose of the cross. It reveals that their is one path for salvation, and it is only through the God-man, Christ Jesus. It reveals that upon faith in Jesus by grace we have the mind of Jesus. It reveals that our worship of the Father comes through the Son.
Philippians 2:5–11 (ESV)
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 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.
Being that this is Easter week I though I would post a lot of quotes, verses, and songs that all talk about the cross. My goal is to do at least 12 posts before Easter. So here we go. This first post is going to be Isaiah 52:13-53:12 because that is the text that I will be preaching out of on Easter Sunday.
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
(bold emphasis is mine)