God’s Sacrifice John 18:33-19:16, Genesis 3:21

John 18:33-19:16

Introduction:  isn’t it interesting that when I talk about trusting a car I mean that I trust it by using it, by working with it, by filling it with gas and oil, and taking care of it.

But when I talk about trusting Christ—well, I (maybe its just me) tend to think trusting Christ excludes my effort

I don’t drive him around, but I live and move and have my being in him.  JC Ryle said something like “we should act on the things we know and in our doing we end up learning who our savior is”

What Jesus Christ did for his people was free and full. 

  • Free—you don’t earn it
  • Full—Jesus did everything you need for salvation

Just to be clear:  what’s salvation?

  • We have to start with you and what you deserve:  You’re a sinner, meaning you have violated God’s law
    • You’ve lied and cheated—even the smallest lie or deception counts
    • You’ve been angry unnecessarily
    • You’ve been impatient
    • And those are the quote “little sins”
    • So you deserve death and hell
    • Hell is God’s eternal punishment on sin
  • But salvation delivers you from what you deserve and gives you the best gift ever.  Salvation comes through Jesus who fulfilled the law you violated for you in two ways
    • Lived a perfect life, fulfilling god’s law by keeping it
    • Died as a perfect sacrifice, fulfilling God’s law by paying our sin debt

We trust in Christ for salvation and strengthen our trust by using it in life and in faith, knowing that Jesus has done what we needed.  He willingly died for our sins—Pilate bears his guilt but Jesus makes it clear it was his will to die for our sins.

Jesus is before Pilate.

  •  The Roman governor of the province
  • who has the power to condemn our savior to death
  • and instead of showing deference to the ruler, Jesus questions his authority: v. 33-34  So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
  • The only reason Pilate is asking if Jesus is king is he heard some people saying it
  • But to Pilate the Jews’ rightful king is Caesar
  • Jesus asks Pilate this question to shos us that his death isn’t of human design, but God’s—his death is the fulfillment of everything the OT sacrifices were building to
    • Which is how it ties in to our sermon series concerning the great events of the Bible
    • Not only is this arguably the greatest event of the Bible, but it is the fulfilment of Genesis 3:21 where God offered the first sacrifice to cover the shame of Adam and Eve

Three points:  Why the sacrifice?, Who gave the sacrifice?, and What do we do knowing this?

  1. Why the sacrifice?
    1. Pay the sin debt
      1. Adam and Eve sinned
        1. Sinful nature inherited—we sin because we’re sinners
        1. Inherently selfish at birth
      1. Cain
      1. Lamech—how bad it can get!
      1. Even the good guys sin:  “And he died” 8x in Gen. 5 all the line of Seth
      1. Sin doing more than God allows on one side and not enough to fulfill what he requires on the other.
      1. Sacrifice paid the sin debt
    1. Sacrifice also Restores Immanuel
      1. “God with Us”
      1. God’s presence in the garden was lost with their sin
      1. Jesus came as God in the flesh to be “Immanuel” and his death fixes the problem that caused the separation
        1. Is. 59:2 “your iniquities have made a separation with you and your God”
      1. Immanuel was lost because of sin, but restored through Jesus’ sacrifice
      1. And Immanuel will be the glory of heaven:  Rev. 21:3 “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man.”
    1. When you read your Bible and see the OT sacrifices and Jesus’ final sacrifice don’t separate his paying for sin and restoring Immanuel—they both happen, they are both equally important.  IN this way we see that the true freedom of heaven, isn’t freedom in the splendor of wealth, or the magnificence of mansions, but it’s freedom from sin and freedom to be with God.
      1. That’s what the OT sacrifices point to and what Jesus’ death and resurrection earned
      1. Now we await the day it will be fulfilled in his return
  2. Who gave the sacrifice?
    1. Pilate reluctantly sentenced Jesus to death
      1. Barabbas set free (38-40)—we see a little picture of God’s mercy here (sinner freed, Jesus dies)
    1. Jesus reassures Pilate 19:11 “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
      1. The greater sin—Judas
    1. At the same time, Judas’ sin has nothing to do with the sacrifice
      1. John 10:17-18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 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.”
      1. Judas is guilty of betrayal and murder
      1. But God is the one who gave the sacrifice
        1. The father sent the son
        1. The son laid down his life
    1. Just like we see in the OT
      1. Gen. 3:21—God offered the sacrifice that covered Adam and Eve’s shame
      1. Our OT reading, Gen 15—Abraham is asleep when God alone walks between the pieces
        1. Covenant ceremony
        1. “What is done to these animals and moreso will be done to me if I don’t keep the covenant.”
        1. Jesus is torn apart on the cross
      1. And Jesus offers the ultimate sacrifice that pays for sin in every part
  3. What do we do knowing this?
    1. Appreciate the gift—God’s love is a merciful love
      1. We can never deserve it
      1. We always deserve death and wrath, but in Jesus we are given love and mercy
    1. Trust in Christ as God’s sacrifice for you
      1. Like putting oil and gas in the car so we can trust it to take us where we’re going—our trust in Christ is an active trust
        1. We have things to do
      1. Like the OT sacrifices
        1. They had to offer the animals
        1. The reason they did was because God had offered the first sacrifice
        1. And their sacrifices didn’t remove sin, it just pointed to the fact that they actively trusted God to provide a way
        1. Gen. 22—Abraham and Isaac, v. 24 “God will provide”
    1. We trust by believing Jesus’ work was done for us, personally, fully, and perfectly
      1. As he died, he did so with my name written on his hands
      1. And there’s nothing else ever needed
    1. We trust by believing that Jesus is in heaven today praying for us, interceding for us, and his daily requests for our good, our peace, His intercession is part and parcel with our salvation
      1. Because he lived as one of us he understands our trials and knows how to heal us because of them
    1. Like the OT sacrifices we demonstrate trust in daily living:
      1. Offering our minds to Christ in our devotions and study of God’s word
      1. Giving our hearts to Christ by humbling ourselves
        1. Serving others
        1. Putting their needs above yours
      1. Making yourself a whole offering to God
        1. Generosity in time, money, and relationship
        1. Forgiving and reconciling—don’t take too long, it will only get harder
    1. Growing in your active trust will increase your feeling of Immanuel—because Jesus the sinless lamb of God died for sinners like you, all you need to do is believe it. Amen.