April 4, 2010

Concerning Christ, All Things Must be Fulfilled - Apr 4, 2010

Luke 24:44-47 (NIV)

44Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Sometimes it’s hard to get through to someone.

“Yes, the world is ROUND, not flat.” It took quite a while before that one was generally accepted.

“The SUN is the center of the solar system, not the earth.” That one took some time to get through also.

“If you put it on “Facebook”, other people ARE going to see it.” Some people are just beginning to grasp this.

Sometimes it’s hard to get through to someone. Some of the people who there when Jesus came back from the dead had a hard time accepting it.

The Bible says that the Roman soldiers who were assigned to guard Jesus’ tomb actually saw the angel who descended from heaven to roll the stone away. It scared the heck out of them! Matthew’s Gospel tells us that they laid there in a state of shock, like dead men. But later on, they accepted money to spread a lie about Jesus’ disciples stealing His body away. Seeing an angel didn’t get through to them. (Matthew 28:11-15)

Or how about the disciples of Jesus. When their friends came running back from the tomb saying that Jesus had risen from the dead and that they had actually SEEN Him, they didn’t believe it. Luke’s Gospel tells us they thought the women’s story sounded like “nonsense”. (Luke 24:11)

When Jesus Himself appeared to the apostles in that closed, upper room, their first thought was, “It’s a ghost!” (Luke 24:37)

Even after showing them the wounds He still had from being crucified to death, the Bible says they STILL didn’t believe it. (Luke 24:41)

I have this problem with my youngest daughter sometimes. She’s two, and really into puzzles. I’ve seen her do her Diego puzzle about fifteen times in one mad puzzling session. She gets it done and it’s “Yay, I did it!” And plop, it’s time to do it all over.

Diego she can handle all herself. But one harder puzzles, sometimes she needs a little direction. “Look Carmen, here’s Dora’s hand. It goes on her arm right. Where’s her arm? No, not on her head, on her arm. No, no. You’ve got it upside down turn it around. There you go!”

All the pieces are right there. Sometimes she’s even got the two pieces that go together, but still needs a little more help.

That’s what it must of felt like for Jesus. Guys, here I am. Here’s the wounds. Here, I’ll eat something to prove I’m not a phantom. Okay. Do you get it?

But they didn’t get it. Because they didn’t understand what the Old Testament Scriptures meant. Or didn’t believe it. So Jesus takes them back to the Word of God and showed them from the prophets that it HAD to happen this way.

Romans 10, verse 17 says,
“…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).
That’s where Jesus had to take them. That’s the only place faith can start.

Now, we’re not actually told where Jesus took them in the Old Testament. And there’s plenty of prophesy concerning the Messiah. Some have counted around 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah, 29 of them being fulfilled in the final 24 hours of His life.

Obviously we can’t look all these up right now. But the risen Jesus told His disciples, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise form the dead on the third day” (Luke 24:46). So, let’s look at one of the prophesies concerning the Messiah’s death.

If you’ve got your Bible, turn to Psalm 22. This Psalm was written by King David in about 1,000 B.C. Many Jews considered it to be a Psalm about the Messiah. Verse one says,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1 NIV).
Those are the same words Jesus said on the cross. And that’s not where the similarity ends. Verses 6-8 read...
“6But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8“He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him” (Psalm 22:6-8).
While Jesus was on the cross, He was mocked by the people who looked on from below. The religious leaders, who hated Jesus, even mocked Him with THESE SAME WORDS.

Let’s look at three more verses. Verses 16-18 say…
“16Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
18They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing” (Psalm 22:16-18 NIV).
Obviously, Jesus hands and feet were pierced when He was crucified. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that the soldiers who were in charge of Jesus’ cross sorted his remaining possessions and “rolled the dice” to see who got what (Matthew 27:35).

Turn to Isaiah 53, verse 3. The prophet Isaiah was also led by God to predict the suffering of the Messiah.
“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” (Isaiah 53:3-6 NIV).
Isaiah also speaks of the Messiah’s death, and His resurrection. Listen to verses 9-11.
“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” (Isaiah 53:9-11 NIV).

When Jesus walked alongside those disciples going to Emmaus, He rebuked them. He said,
“How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26 NIV).
These things had to happen because God said they would. And God keeps His word. His Servant had to suffer, die and rise again.

But there is another reason why these things had to happen. These events happened to fulfill prophesy, but more importantly because this is what had to happen if God was going to save sinners from hell.

Someone had to pay the price for sin. If we had to pay the price for sin, we’d never get out of debt. We’d have to spend eternity away from God. So God’s Son did it for us. That’s what Jesus did, and that’s the message Jesus gave the apostles to preach.

Sometimes it’s hard to get through to someone. Some times it takes an act of God. In fact, every one of us would turn away from Christ if it weren’t for the God’s Holy Spirit getting through to us with the Word.

The world is round.

The sun is the center of our solar system.

And your sins have been paid for.

God promised, and God’s Son paid. And then God raised His Son from the dead to get our attention. To say to us – it’s done. You are forgiven. That’s what the resurrection means.


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