1. Open your bibles to Isaiah 53:5&6.
2. Again, this being Valentine’s Day and the fact that many cards, candies, meals and gifts have been shared to express love to different ones, we want to for the evening lesson remind ourselves of the love that Christ has shown to us.
3. Isaiah 53:5&6 was prophesized about 750 years before Christ died on the cross. The words help us to visualize the horrible suffering that Christ went through, as He died on the cross.
(1) Christ’s death on the cross was because He loves us so much. Be looking at Isaiah 53:5&6 as I make a few comments. Look at your bibles as I say a few things.
(2) When we read these verses notice the words that describe the suffering that Christ went through, that would have been so painful. Christ was “wounded” – Christ was “bruised” – Christ was “chastised” – Christ received “stripes” and “our iniquity or sin was laid upon Him”.
(3) When we read theses verses notice that we are the ones who are benefiting from Christ’s death. The phrase “for our” – “for our” – “for our” is used three times and the phrase “we are” and then the phrase “of us all” all refer to us as the ones who are benefitting from all the horrible pain that Christ voluntarily endured.
(4) When we read Isaiah 53:5&6 notice the words that describe the guilt of each one of us: “transgressions” – “iniquities” – “we have gone astray” – “we have turned, every one, to his own way” – “the iniquity of us all”.
(5) Let’s read Isaiah 53:5&6, “5 But 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. 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.”
4. I know that this passage causes us to have gratitude for the suffering and terrible pain that Christ went through for us.
5. I know that we must also see the love dripping from these words that would be sweeter than chocolate covered cherries or any other Valentine Candy.
6. Let’s focus on the love that Christ has shown and is showing us. We will also focus on the love that Christ’s followers should have for one another.
I. FIRST, TURN TO 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21. THIS PASSAGE TEACHES THAT CHRIST DIED IN OUR PLACE!
1. Let’s read 2 Cor. 5:21, “For He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us
[that is to bear the guilt that there is for our sin and die on the cross for each one of us, instead of us having to one by one die on a cross],
“that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
[Not by Christ’s righteousness’ alone. Christ’s sinless life and death on the cross became the means for man that is willing to obey the teaching of Christ to have the privilege of becoming righteous.]
2. In other words when Jesus was made to be sin on our behalf means Jesus took the penalty for the sins of men and women and paid the price on the cross for their sins.
(1) Jesus took the penalty of man and died in man’s place.
(2) The result of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was that man might become the righteousness of God in him.
1) Righteousness means to be right with God and to be reconciled and made friends again with God.
2) Man is made right with God by the death of Jesus on the cross; he receives this reconciliation when he obeys the gospel (Mark 16:15-16).
3. Someone has said, “In the gospel, we discover we are far worse off that we thought, and far more loved that we ever dreamed.”
4. Maybe an illustration can help, in a feeble way, to cause us to further appreciate the fact that Christ has died in our place.
(1) There is a story about a farmer named Blake who was drafted.
(2) Blake was deeply troubled about leaving his family because his wife had died and there would be no one to support and take care of his children in his absence.
(3) The day before he was to leave for the army, his neighbor Charlie Durham came to visit him. “Blake,” he said, “I’ve been thinking. You’re needed here at home, so I’ve decided to go in your place.”
[At that time in history it was allowed for someone to take the place of another who had received a draft notice. During the U.S. Civil War, having been drafted was not absolute. The drafted man could always hire a substitute if he could afford it.
Starting in 1862, the U.S. government allowed this escape from military service on the theory that, so long as each name drawn from the wheel produced a man, it made no difference whether the drafted person or one hired to take his place appeared for service. (Answers.com)]
(4) Blake was so overwhelmed that for a few moments he was speechless. The loving offer of Charlie seemed too good to be true.
(5) Blake grasped the hand of the young man and praised God for Charlie, who was willing to go as his substitute.
(6) Sadly, Charlie was shot and killed in his first battle!
(7) When Blake heard the bad news, he immediately rode out to the battlefield.
[Undoubtedly, the war between the north and south and going on right in the vicinity of where Blake had his farm.]
1) He found the body of his friend and arranged to have it buried in the churchyard near the spot where they had often stopped to talk after attending the services of the church.
2) On a piece of marble he carved the inscription with his own hands. It was roughly done, but with every blow of the hammer on the chisel, tears fell from his eyes.
3) He placed the marker on the grave of his substitute. The inscription read: He died for me.
5. Turn to Hebrews 2:9. This passage teaches us that Christ died for me, in my place, as my substitute. Let’s read Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
(1) Jesus tasted death for us. This should cause us cause us to appreciate the sweet love that Jesus has and does daily flood upon us.
(2) The passages that we’ve been reading remind us of the sweet taste of Jesus’ love.
(3) I’m praying that every taste we take in the future of sweet Valentine or any other kind of candy will remind us of the sweet and wonderful love that comes to us from God and Christ.
II. SECOND, LET’S OBSERVE A FEW PASSAGES THAT TEACH THAT FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND EVEN THOSE WHO DO NOT LOVE THEM.
1. Turn to John 15:11-14. This passage is spoken by Jesus. Jesus reminds us that he has proven His love to us, by dying in our place.
(1) Jesus also challenges Christians to love others in the same way that He has shown His love to us.
(2) Jesus is not talking about Christians themselves having to die on a cross to prove their love for others, but Jesus is teaching us that we are to make necessary sacrifices to prove our love for one another.
(3) Let’s read John 15:11-14, “11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
1) Notice in verse eleven that Jesus teaches that when Christians love one another in sacrificial ways, as He sacrificially proved His love to us, that we will be blessed to be full on joy.
2) This reminds us of Acts 10:35, where Paul quotes Jesus as having said, “It is more blessed to given than to receive.”
2. Turn to 1 John 3:16-18. This passage teaches that loving others as Jesus has and does prove His love for us means that we are to share our material blessing with them.
(1) Let’s read 1 John 3:16-18, “16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
(2) This teaches that Christians, in “laying down their lives for others” are not expected to die on the cross for them, but we must be benevolent and sharing our food and clothing and the necessities of life with others.
(3) We must do more than talk about how sorrowful we feel for others, such as for the people in Haiti or maybe it is the poor folks down or across the street or maybe it is the widow that we keep saying that we are going to cook a meal for.
(4) James 1:27, when speaking of pure and undefiled religion, is speaking of showing a love toward others, like that Jesus has and is showing toward us. James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
3. There is a short Poem on Benevolence that might help motivate us to apply these exhortations to share from God’s word.: Reaching Out a helping hand Lifting spirits where we can Colour, creed are not criteria Urgency’s where decisions lay Hope is what’s needed today Not violence to fill the land
4. William F Russell has these thought provoking words, “While random acts of kindness are a great place to start, be sure to emphasize to your children that the Bible calls Christians to practice SPECIFIC acts of kindness.” There will be times when you’re simply not in the mood for a “random” act of kindness. Christ like compassion means that we act kindly even when we’re not in the mood.
5. Bob Hope once said, “If you haven’t got charity in your heart, you’ve got one of the worst kind of heart problems”.
1. There is much more that the bible teaches about Christians following the example of Christ and showing love for others, but they all emphasize the importance of being willing to sacrifice and put others first.
2. The first thing of importance is to become a Christian, if you are not. John 14:15 states, ““If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Mark 16:16 is a command from Jesus that promises salvation for one’s soul, when obeyed, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
3. If you need prayers or if you need to obey the gospel please comes as we stand and sing!
Acknowledgements for help with thoughts in the preparing of this sermon go to: (1) please contact Jon R Mcleod through sermon central. (2) Jim Sheerer’s New Testament Commentary Yeomen Press 110 Meadowdale Drive Chickasha, Oklahoma 73018 (3) Robert AuBuchon through sermon central.