“A Forethought Not an Afterthought”
A. The Passion of the Christ
1. The cross and Christ are getting a lot of publicity these days.
a.To the tune of 100’s of millions.
b.That’s great because salvation comes only via Calvary.
2. I’d like for us to look at the cross from another perspective.
a.What God experienced & what Calvary says about Him.
b.Christ’s sacrifice is so great; it’s easy to lose sight of God in it.
c.Sometime a main character can get lost in a story. I.e. Calvary
B. What does the cross say about God?
1. He is faithful: Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled.
a.Isa. 53: 7-9
b.Psa. 22 pierced hands and feet/parting of garments/ridicule
c.Ex. 12: 46 no broken bones
d.Zach. 12: 10 He was pierced
2. He cares about all his creation. (Isa. 49: 6 & Rom. 8: 14-15)
3. He was willing to provide the ultimate sacrifice. (John 3: 16)
C. I want us to remember that the Cross came about by design, not by accident and thereby God should be glorified eternally for it.
1. Calvary was to redeem us, not to redeem God; this doesn’t follow human logic: because HE made us, it’s His fault we failed.
a.We know better consciously, but subconsciously we process even Calvary with human logic and we lose perspective of God’s omnipotence. (Rev. 19: 6)
b.We need to stop, retrace the path to Calvary, and realize that it began with God. ~~ Reemphasize lesson title here ~~
1. We are quick to verbally attest to God’s greatness but do we truly appreciate it? A blanket statement can be passionless.
2. Most everyone will say our grandparents
love(d) us; but that statement in itself does not conger up the same appreciation as it does when we say, “I know they loved me because….” God planned Calvary. (I Pet. 1: 18-21)
3. In today’s world we are in such a hurry we don’t always plan for the future as we should. No time for forethought. Those that do are more likely to be successful things both spiritual and temporal.
a.God saw forward and made plans and that shows how much He thought of us all.
b.This helps to bring harmony to the seemingly two different ideas of predestination (Rom. 8 & Eph. 1) and free moral agency. He not only had a plan, he had one that works.
A. God has always had the ability to see in the future.
1. God’s omnipotence did not begin at creation!
2. Rev. 13: 8 describes Christ as “the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.”
a.This is evidence that God knew man would fall.
1. Rom. 4: 17 knowing the nations Abraham would father before they were existent.
2. Jer. 1: 5 God says He knew Jer. before He formed him in the womb.
2. It is hard for us to understand the awesomeness of God.
a.He is bigger than any box we can imagine to put Him in.
b.Calvary proves that He was greater than death.
c.How many of us would be willing to raise a son from birth,knowing that he would be killed for the sins of others? Only God! Jo. 1: 1 tells us Jesus was at creation, not that He was formed at creation! Jo. 3: 16. God had Christ for eons longer than the 33 years we read about in scripture. Think about it!
d.God’s words to Isaiah in Isa. 55: 8 rings true today also.
B. Phil. 2: 5-11 Paul tells us of Jesus’ willingness to die for our sins.
1. Read I Jo. 5: 7 & Jo. 1: 14 and we see that God gave of Himself.
2. J.C. was equal to God; therefore He knew His destiny before He ever entered the womb of Mary. Calvary was no surprise, it was a mission.
3. We don’t know exactly when our time on earth will end but even the human side of Jesus did. Ref. all the statements He made and the prayers that He prayed just prior to His arrest.
a.Last supper and it’s meaning: Mt. 26: 26-35 Jesus knew!
b.Heb. 5: 7-9 Speaks of His prayers and submission. We’ll notice they end in “not my will but Thine.”
1. Mt. 26: 39 & 42 “let this cup pass from me.”
2. Mk. 14: 36 & 39 “Father with You, all things are possible…”
a. Ever felt like God wasn’t going to do what you asked of Him and knew He could? I.e. Heal sick, save a marriage
b. Jesus tells Peter He could have called a host of angels. Mt. 23: 53-54.
* Jesus had all the just reasons and weapons to employ self-defense, but chose rather to die for us.
* This is a wonderful lesson in submission to God’s will and not using scriptural weapons for one’s own agenda.
c. God knew what was coming also. Can you imagine having the power to save your child who is praying not to be tortured and killed yet allowing it to happen for the salvation of mankind? Personally, I believe this is why:
1. There was darkness from 6th to the 9th hour. (I couple this passages like Mic. 3: 4 & Hab. 1: 13 that say God doesn’t look upon sin.) Applicable if the passages are figurative or
emphatic. Wouldn’t we suffer for our child if possible?
2. Jesus was compelled to ask, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
3. Luke 12: 6-7 If He knows about the sparrows that fall, He knew about Jesus’ pain. His Eye Is On The Sparrow .
A. The cross bore the final sacrifice for the atoning of sin.
1. Heb. 10: 4 “The blood of bulls and goats could not save us from sins.”
a.God was consistent in that He fulfilled the prophesies so that Jews could not scripturally deny Christ or claim that the Christ came and they were unable to identify Him.
b.Christ was treated as the Passover lamb was.
2. The cross was and is truly the center point of human history.
a.Heaven looked forward to the cross before the world was made.
b.Since the resurrection history has looked back for salvation.
B. Not one event in the birth, life, death and resurrection was chance, thanks to God.
C. To God be the glory.
1. Though Jesus was equal to God, He was God’s to give: God gave and Jesus glorified Him. Three passages from the book of John:
a.Jo. 3: 16 - God loved: God gave
b.Jo. 17: 1-5 - Jesus sought not the praise of man for His coming death, but the glorification of His Father Who would in turn glorify Him.
c.Jo. 21: 18-19 - Jesus says to Peter he would also glorify God in death.
2. God never wants us to make light of Calvary and the sacrifice that was made but we must never forget that it was by God’s design that Calvary came about.
a.God gave His son!
b.If Jesus strove to glorify God in Calvary, then it behooves us to see it and why Jesus thought it was so important.
c.Illustration: If a car ride =’s salvation, car =’s Jesus and Henry Ford =’s God. To whom would you give the ultimate glory for a ride?
1. The auto itself
2. The line worker who put it together
3. The people who produced the parts
4. The dealer who sold it to you
5. How about the one who conceived the idea, wrote the assembly manual and gathered all the parts together and ultimately gave us the perfect prototype.
a.Applying this logic, w/o Hen. Ford there would be no car rides. and
b.W/o God there would have been no Calvary/salvation.