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Summary: Packed within three verses are some of the most important truths of the Gospel, for these verses explain WHY Jesus died on the cross and exactly what He accomplished by that death.

Celebrating the Victory, But What Was the Battle?

(Romans 3:24-26)

1. A wife wrote: Last year, when the power mower was broken and wouldn’t run. I kept hinting to my husband that he ought to get it fixed, but somehow the message never sank in. Finally I thought of a clever way to make the point. When my husband arrived home that day, he found me seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing

scissors.

He watched silently for a short time and then went into the

house. He was gone only a few moments when he came out again.

He handed me a toothbrush. "When you finish cutting the grass," he

said, "you might as well sweep the sidewalks."

The doctors say he will probably live, but it will be quite awhile

before the casts will be off.

2. Some people just don’t get it.

3. When it comes to Easter, folks don’t get it either.

4. The Resurrected Christ is what Easter is all about. But the Resurrection was the victory celebration, the vindication of the work of Christ. Although many Christians understand Christ died on the cross and rose again, few Christians have a thorough understanding of what Christ accomplished on the cross.

5. Several years ago Phil Donahue (who hosted a popular TV talk show for many years) listed the various reasons why he had become disillusioned with Christianity. Among them was this: "How could an all-knowing, all-loving God allow his Son to be murdered on a cross to redeem my sins?" That’s an excellent question because it goes to the very heart of the gospel. (cited by Dr. Ray Prichard).

6. Three verses of Scripture—those we are about to examine today – are filled to overflowing with meaning and truth about this very issue.

MAIN IDEA: Packed within three verses are some of the most important truths of the Gospel, for these verses explain WHY Jesus died on the cross and exactly what He accomplished by that death.

I. What He Provided: ____Redemption___(24)

1. Redemption is a __commercial__ term; it means to buy back.

(1) example of freeing a ___slave__.

(2) example in __redemption__ money & OT Law

(3) example of the __Exodus_.

(4) We might think of redemption as an EXTRACTION

2. God’s love and grace bought sinners back from the Kingdom of _darnkness___ (where sinners align themselves by default) as well as from the slave market of _sin_.

3. When Jesus died, the text tells us he yelled, “tetelesthai,” another commercial term, meaning, “it has been and now stands paid in full.”

4. Redemption closely parallels the concept of salvation (being delivered), only redemption indicates that one is delivered by a price (ransom) being paid.

II. How He _Provided_ It: Propitiation/Atonement (25a)

We might call this “the mechanics of redemption.”

1. Who was the ransom (redemption cost) __paid_ to? God!

Hebrews 9:11-12, 14 “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption…. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

2. Our problem in not only __sin__, but God’s wrath upon us because of our sin (see 1:18, 2:5, and 3:5).

2. Propitiation or Sacrifice of Atonement (Greek, hilasterion)

---this does mean to placate God’s wrath…but is very different from pagan practices

---from natural revelation, we know that God is great and God is angry…

3. John Stott: “In the pagan perspective, human beings try to placate their bad-tempered deities with their own paltry offerings. According to Christian revelation, God’s own great love propitiated his own holy wrath through the gift of his own dear Son, who took our place, bore our sin and died our death. Thus God himself gave himself to save us from himself.”

4. God’s wrath is turned away from us because of the death of Jesus Christ

5. Why Jesus had to be more than man, but the God-man…Psalm 49:7-8 : “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him-- the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—“

6. Yet the Jews thought otherwise. I am quoting David Flusser’s book, Jewish Sources in Early Christianity (p.59). Though not an evangelical believer, Flusser writes:

“Since the age of the Hasmoneans, Jews had believed that the saints who died to sanctify the name of God atoned for the sins of Israel. The story of the mother and her seven sons in the Second Book of Maccabees acquires a greater significance in the Fourth Book of Maccabees, where their death is seen as an atoning sacrifice. In another Jewish source, Midrash Sifre, the idea is expressed that the killing of the Children of Israel by the Gentiles atones for the former’s sins.

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