Friday, January 30, 2009

Jesus, the Son of God

Here is the sermon I am preaching tomorrow at the nursing home. Take a look!

Jesus, the Son of God
Mark 1.9-11; 10:45

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1.9-11)

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10.45)

In life there are many important questions that we may ask ourselves. When we are younger some of us ask, “What will I do with myself or what career path will I choose?” This is an important question because depending on what we want to do with our life will determine what we will do with our time or what college/university we will attend. When we’re a little older another important question is, “Who will I marry?” For those people who want to get married this is a crucial matter. Obviously we won’t go out and marry anyone. We want to choose someone who is compatible with us, whom we love, and, in the case of a Christian, someone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps a question that older people have to deal with is, “What will happen to all my things after I die?” Some things we own are very precious to us and we want them to go to particular loved ones. This is why we have things like wills so that we can determine beforehand where our possessions will go after we die.

But although all these questions are important and necessary there is one question that rises above them all. There is one question that is most important. This question is, “Who is Jesus Christ?” This question is so important because it determines your relationship to God. Your confession of Jesus Christ will determine the outcome of your life. It is the “Sum” of your entire life.

When Jesus was on earth he did many mighty things. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and even exercised control over nature. Because of these things people asked, “Who is this man?” The Bible Says:

On that day, when evening had come, [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4. 35-41)

Jesus, talking with his disciples says:

And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8. 27-29)

Today, in this nursing home, Jesus asks each and every one of us, “But who do you say that I am?” And that’s what I want to speak with you about. I want to look to the Bible, God’s word, and see what it says about Jesus and who he is. There are many opinions today about Jesus Christ. Some say he was a good man, an inspiring teacher or a good example. But, ultimately, all of these fall short and we must ask, “what does God have to say about Jesus?” And that’s what we will find out today.

1. Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, and the world’s true King

Where can we find hope? Our world is a broken world. Wherever we look there is sickness, poverty and death. We see it on the news and we see it in our own lives. Of course, there are wonderful things in this world. Things we can enjoy and things we can love. Some of us have families who we very much get along with and love to fellowship with. But then what happens when a family member suddenly dies in a car accident or develops a drug addiction? Or what about when a family is split up because of an adulteress relationship? It forces us to confess, “There is something deeply wrong with our world.”

Or perhaps we can think of our justice system. We can give thanks to God that we have police officers to protect us and judges who can execute justice. We can feel safe in our communities, in our homes, and know that people will be punished for their crimes. But what happens when one day we look out the window and see police cars and ambulances only to find out that our neighbors’ 5 year old girl was murdered while she slept. And worse, what happens when the murderer gets away with it? Again, we must confess, “There is something deeply wrong with our world.”

In Canada we are very blessed. We have healthcare, we have a government that values equality, we can get jobs, and we can buy homes. But then what happens when we wander through the streets of Toronto and see that there are many left without homes, people who sleep out in the cold and sometimes freeze to death. There are some women who cannot feed their children so they stand on street corners and sell their bodies to make a living. Again all of these things cause us to confess, “There is something deeply wrong with our world.”

So where do we find our hope? Do we find it in our families? NO! Do we find it in our government? NO! Do we find it in our money? NO! None of these things can give us ultimate hope!

The only true hope for this world is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the Old Testament God looked on his oppressed people and promised times of blessing, time of refreshment; it would be a time when there would be a new King who would make all things right. All evil would be judged and the earth would be filled with righteousness. There would be a new earth where there would be no more pain or tears and the lion would lie down with the lamb. The King would come with his kingdom and all evil would be judged.

In our passage, Jesus comes to John the Baptist and is baptized. As he comes up from the water there is a voice heard from heaven. It is God! And he says that Jesus is his Son. In Psalm 2:7 God says to King David, “You are my Son”. This points to Jesus. Jesus is the true king. Jesus is the Messiah who would put all things right.

He is the one who gives hope of a world, a new creation, where there will be no more sin and death. No more will there be any phone calls or knocks on the door reporting that a dear family member has just died in a tragedy. The world will no longer be plagued with injustice where guilty people get away free. There will be no more oppression. There will be peace. People won’t go hungry, they won’t be homeless and they won’t freeze to death.

People were expecting a Messiah to put things right. But they didn’t expect that the Messiah would die and rise again. They didn’t think that God’s king would be hung on a cross.

2. Jesus is the King who Dies for Sinners

Jesus was a humble king. He wasn’t born in a palace but he was born in a stable that probably smelled of animal dung. People rejected him. Even his own people sought to kill him. But Jesus’ death was no accident. Although men handed him over to be crucified, it was part of God’s age old plan to rescue sinners just like you and me.

So why did Jesus die? The answer is quite simple really. Jesus came as the Messiah to put the world right and to judge all evil. But what happens when we are all sinners? What happens when we are all evil? Well the fact of the matter is that if God is going to judge all wickedness he will have to judge you and me too. We are sinner’s who have rejected God. We have chosen our own way and have gone astray. Just like God’s people were carted off to exile because of their sin, we are all sinners and are in the exile of death.

You need to hear this. Your fundamental problem is not that your neighbor is a sinner. Your fundamental problem is that you yourself are a sinner and deserve the judgment of God. But when Jesus Christ came he showed what kind of king he really was. He was a humble king who would take upon himself the punishment that we deserve. Our passage says this, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus would pay the price that our sinned deserved. He would bear God’s awful wrath so that we, sinners, could go free. Jesus died so that we could enter into the kingdom. He died so that we could come under his gracious rule and could experience life when Jesus puts all things right.

But Jesus was the King. He could not stay dead. The Bible says, “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2.29-33). It also says, “[God promised the gospel] beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 1.1-4).”

Jesus was the suffering servant who bore our sins on the cross so that we might be forgiven. And through the resurrection of Jesus he was declared to be the true King of the entire world. He is the one who will make all things right, will take away all pain and all suffering.

Trust in him. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved.


Anonymous said...

FYI - based on length I've been holding off on reading this post/sermon. I am now going to print it so I can enjoy it off-line but since I probably won't get back to comment later let me say thanks for posting this now.
God bless,

Darryl said...

Time for a new post, Nick!