Summary: Mama always used to say: “You don't really know someone and can't really understand them until you've walked in their shoes.” This Resurrection Sunday I'd like us to take some time 'walking in Jesus' shoes' – even if only in our vague imagination.
In Jesus' Shoes
4th in Series: “What If YOU Were There?”
Perth Bible Church, April 4, 2010 AM Easter Service Rev. Todd G. Leupold
Mama always used to say: “You don't really know someone and can't really understand them until you've walked in their shoes.” This Resurrection Sunday I'd like us to take some time 'walking in Jesus' shoes' – even if only in our vague imagination. We certainly do not have the time to try to re-experience with Him every step along the way, but we can settle in on several of the most significant moments.
I.) ON THE CROSS
Aside from the physical torture and human indignity, what did Jesus experience on the cross? Why?
A.) His Willful Sacrifice
Jesus was nailed to the cross as a willing sacrifice! As unimaginably awful as it was, as absurd as it may sound, Jesus was on that cross ONLY because He chose to be in order to personally offer the only just and eternally effective sacrifice for our sins and transgressions against the law and character of the LORD God Almighty.
This was no mere acceptance of an unexpected martyrdom. It was a planned, purposeful choice made with full comprehension of all it would require.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life--a ransom for many."
John 10:17-18 This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father."
Mark 14:32-38 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified. Then He said to them, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow--to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake." Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing."
The people knew not, but Jesus the Messiah knew perfectly well. Though it may seem and be believed otherwise, this is all according to His plan and not theirs. Though 100% innocent and holy, Jesus took 100% responsibility for His unjust crucifixion and murder.
Luke 23:35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God's Messiah, the Chosen One!"
The people spoke with mocking, but what they sarcastically challenged is something He very well could have done. For Jesus, however, it was not a matter of what He was capable of doing, but rather of what He needed to do if any could ever be truly saved from condemnation and eternal separation from God in Hell. He chose not to save Himself in order that you and I might have the opportunity to receive His salvation!
1Peter 2:23-24 when reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounding you have been healed.
B.) His Father's Pleasure
It is commonly asked: “How could a Father ever allow such a thing to happen to His Son - even if the Son were willing? How awful!”
The biblical truth is that God the Father took pleasure in the crucifixion!
NOT in it's brutality or cost, but in knowing what great treasure it would produce: an opportunity that none should ever have to perish, that if any one does perish it is only by their own foolish choice.
Isaiah 1:11 "What are all your sacrifices to Me?" asks the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats.
God had enough of temporary, symbolic sacrifices that carried no real, eternal weight or value. The time had come for a permanent, perfect human sacrifice of eternal and infinite value!
Isaiah 53:5-10 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered His fate? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was struck because of My people's rebellion. They made His grave with the wicked, and with a rich man at His death, although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully. Yet the LORD was pleased to crush Him, and He made Him sick. When You make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will succeed by His hand.