Summary: How great Jesus is
Christ the Suffering Sacrifice”
Intro: During the last three weeks, we have been looking at Jesus, the child born in the manger. And we have seen him to be far more than just a baby boy. We have seen that Jesus was a secret treasure; there was far more value in this infant child than we realized. We need to value him. We saw that he was a servant, and we need to imitate him. We saw that he was King, and we need to worship him. This morning we see that he also is a Suffering Sacrifice, and we need to accept him.
You will remember that Old Testament Jewish life was centered in a sacrificial system. Every person was to bring a sacrifice of a lamb or goat to the high priest to offer as a sacrifice, a payment to cover their sins. In the Garden of Eden, when Adam & Eve sinned, God took animal skins and covered them. Sin had to be atoned for through death. Yet the sacrificial system was an imperfect system, because the blood of bulls and goats never could take away the sin. We read that last week in Hebrews 10.
The Jews looked forward to one day when a perfect sacrifice would come. And the years of waiting were fulfilled when this baby, Jesus, was born.
I. Christ’s suffering sacrifice was predicted by prophets. -
READ 1 Peter 1:10-12
The prophets didn’t understand what they were writing about. Yet under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they wrote about this promised Messiah. Verses from Isaiah 53 are an example of this. Isaiah wrote “But 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. We 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. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
The prophets tried to figure out what was meant. We have been going through Revelation on Wednesday nights. There’s a lot we don’t understand. All these predictions about Antichrist, Armageddon, 666 - we can take a guess, but that’s the best it is, just a guess. The prophets didn’t understand, but they prophesied a suffering sacrifice would come, a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
It goes on to say that their prophecies were not for their sake, but for ours. They were given so that we might understand the ministry of Jesus, the Messiah, once he came to earth.
Jesus was also prophesied about after his birth. In Luke 2, we see Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple. A man named Simeon comes up to them, led there by the Holy Spirit, and takes Jesus in his arms. READ Luke 2:25-35
Anna also, a widow at the temple, comes up and recognizes that this baby Jesus is the promised Messiah. (Luke 2:36-38)
The Sacrifice of Jesus was prophesied before he was ever born. Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
We see that Christ’s sacrifice was predicted. It was also a personal sacrifice.
II. Christ’s sacrifice was personal. Look over in 1 Peter 2. READ 2:20-24
Christ’s sacrifice was personal in that it is for each one of us. Christ died to atone for our sins. What the blood of lambs could never do, the sacrifice of Jesus did, providing forgiveness of sins to all who would receive his free gift of salvation.
This morning as we think about giving and receiving gifts, we are reminded that salvation is a free gift. Jesus died for all men and women, boys and girls. Yet, only those who receive the gift will be saved. This morning have your accepted God’s gift of salvation?
Verse 24 says that Jesus took our sins so that we would die to sins and live to righteousness. Jesus was a sacrifice for us not only to take away the penalty of our sins, but to provide a life that is free to do right.
Christ’s sacrifice is personal in that it provided salvation for each one of us. Yet it is also personal in that it provided an example for each one of us to follow. We are told in verse 24 that we should follow in his steps. When we face suffering, realize that Jesus also faced suffering for us. I talked this week with a man who didn’t like the fact that God “dealt him a bad hand” in life. He blamed God for the bad things that had happened in his life.