April 2, 2023
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Magnifying Jesus Through Worship and the Word.
If you read the Bible and don’t find Jesus, go back and re-read. It is His story.
Even in the Old Testament, you can find the Gospel—not according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, but according to Isaiah, who wrote the messianic prophecy 700 years before Jesus came.
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.”
Isaiah is talking about Christ stepping out of glory and coming to this world. Isaiah also wrote, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
The law of genetics is 1) there is nothing in you that was not in your parents, and 2) everything that was in your parents is in you.
If Mary and Joseph were Jesus’ parents, then the Lord Jesus would have only been human.
But suppose Mary was deity, and God is Jesus’ Father. Jesus would have only been divine—remote and unapproachable. He could not have been our dear Savior who was made like us.
But if Mary was human and Jesus’ Father is Almighty God, then according to genetics (and divine revelation), you have the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If there is no Virgin Birth, Jesus has no deity; if there is no deity, there’s no sinless life, no blood atonement, no new birth, and no hope of Heaven. Jesus became the Son of Man so that we might become children of God.
“He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Your eyes would not have recognized Jesus as deity. He was a nondescript person, physically.
God did not come down from Heaven in robes woven on looms of light, riding in a jeweled chariot. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the least of all the cities of Judah. He was raised as a carpenter’s son in Nazareth, another obscure village. “Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’” (Matthew 8:20).
Did Jesus live a sinless life? Yes! He could say to His enemies,
“Which of you convicts Me of sin?."
Jesus was the suffering servant. He was not without sorrow, but He was without sin.
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 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.”
The major purpose of the cross was that Jesus Christ would die as our substitute.
Sin had to be punished—no question about that. The question is, who will bear the punishment? The Bible says that all our sins were laid upon Christ.
“He was wounded for our transgressions….and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
In Gethsemane, Jesus said, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” (See Matthew 26:39.) He was not talking about the death, but about the “cup” full of the sins of all God’s people from all the ages. Jesus knew that God would have to treat Him as He would treat every sinner. Jesus, who had been in the bosom of the Father, would become the object of the Father’s loathing.
The silence from Heaven said, “There is no other way.” And Jesus took that bitter cup.
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth."
Pilate asked Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (See John 19:10.) But Jesus didn’t say a word, because along with our sin comes shame.
Jesus could not have justified Himself without condemning us.
“He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken."
Only the damned in Hell can begin to know the price Jesus paid, but even they will never know because they are still paying, and only for their sins. Jesus paid it all. He paid for the sin or all people for all time. He, being infinite, suffered in a finite period of time what we, being finite, would suffer infinitely.
Jesus was separated from God the Father. He cried out from that cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34b). The demons taunted, the rabble mocked, and the disciples fled.
King David could say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4a). But Jesus walked that lonesome valley by Himself.
Why? He was taking your place. Your sin will bring separation from Almighty God for all eternity if you are not saved.
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.”
That does not sound like a dead man, does it?
Confucius is dead. Buddha is dead. Mohammed is dead. Jesus died, but He walked out of the grave! He is “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4; emphasis added).
“He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.”
When Jesus sees you and me saved, He will say, “It was worth it all.” God the Father says,
“Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
God is talking about the return of Christ. The only hope of this world is the second coming of Jesus Christ—and friends, we are on the winning side.
Isaiah 7:14, 53:1-12; Matthew 8:20; John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 26:39; John 19:10; Mark 15:34; Psalm 23:4; Romans 1:4
“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’”
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. ‘...I will declare the decree:’ The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.’”
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? ...But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’ ...A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, they will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.”