Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 14 Logos since 31 July 2017 . Never second guess the value of the cross

. Never second guess the value of the cross

NEVER SECOND GUESS THE VALUE OF THE CROSS

Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV) 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

Introduction.

Somebody in an atheistic debate I was participating in asked me the following question. “Why the cross, why did Jesus not just come and preach His message and gain followers for Himself that way?” The atheist sadly believes that Jesus came to simply make followers. Hebrews 1:3b says otherwise: After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

I love the book of Hebrews because the Hebrew writer uses very short explosive statements that you and I can spend hours unpacking in our day. In the same way, we can take the second half of verse 3 and preach 5 sermons on it.

So, as we think of the question of the atheist, and as we consider the meaning of Easter we need to ask ourselves the question: what if Jesus just came and preached good sermons? Maybe another way to ask it is: what if Jesus did not die? Let me tell you what.

Point 1. We would never have beheld God’s glory.

Hebrews 1:3b: “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

The reason that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, is because He rose, the reason He rose is because He was buried, the reason He was buried is because He died, the reason He died is to save us, the reason He had to save us is because we have sinned, because of sin we did not see God’s glory, but now we have seen the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, because He came, He lived, He died, He was buried, He was risen and He is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV) reminds us: 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Christ paid the price so that Christ could be our prize.

Hebrews 1:1-4 is all about Christ. According to these four verse he is the reason and the mediator of creation, He is the heir of all things, He is the radiance of the Glory of God, He is the exact imprint of God’s nature and He upholds the universe by His power. Now, how do you get an exact imprint? You can only get an exact imprint if it looks exactly like that which caused the imprint. So, Christ taking on the form of man is none less than God.

So, what would have happened if Jesus did not die? We would never in this life have had any way to behold the glory of God fully. No angel could present it to us, no man could have died for us.

John 1:14 (ESV) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

You cannot read these few verses from Hebrews and miss the fact that the very Christ who lived as a human on earth is everything this section claims. Think again, God’s mouthpiece, Creator, Heir, radiance of God’s glory, exact imprint of God’s nature, seated at right hand, superior than the angels and a Name above all names.  So, what if Jesus did not die. Well, based on Old Testament teaching we would have no Saviour and we know that based on Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) that says: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,” we would have no forgiveness, and the wages of sin which is death would be our future.  We also know that the only reason Christ could pay for our sin was because He was sinless, otherwise He would have to pay for His own sin.

What more of a perfect offering could you want for sin than God in the flesh? So, if Jesus did not die, there is nobody else who could, as only Christ is the exact representation of God’s glory and any smaller sacrifice would be too small.

Point 2. We would still be personally accountable for our sins.

Hebrews 1:3b: “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

I wonder if we really understand just how bad the effects of sin are, that it required God to make purification? Sin is a reality. It's a power in the world. It moves in the heart. It moves in the will. It moves in the world. It takes hold. It's got a grip on every human being. It's an awful thing. It kills and everybody in this church this morning is infected with it. And it's lethal. We will all die physically. He has not willed to remove that aspect of the curse. What is it? How bad is it? The book of Hebrews helps us in this regard.

Hebrews 3:14-19 (ESV) "14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief."

There are three things from this section that I want us to see about the ugliness of sin.

2.1 Sin is rooted in unbelief.

Look at verse 19. 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” Now, we know that this talks about the reasons the Jews did not enter the Promised Land.  These are people who died in the desert. Why did they die in the desert? Simply because they did not trust God. Why did they so often go against the will of God? Because they relied on their own wisdom and lived for their own desires instead of trusting in the wisdom, love, power and provision of God. They would rather go back to Egypt instead of forward to Canaan. That is a sign of unbelief, and that unbelief was based on their personal experience in the desert at that time instead of in a future hope in the promises of God. That is why the Hebrew writer says:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” Can I ask you? Are you still holding onto your original confidence in Christ, or do you think your own ways are better? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

2.2  Sin is rooted in  disobedience

The Greek word for is hamartia. That simply means to miss the mark. Disobedience is one of the clearest evidences of wilfully missing the mark. Those who live like that will not enter God’s rest. Now if Christ did not die there would be no remedy for this. But Christ did die to bring us from disobedience into the realm of obedience.

2.3 Sin provokes God’s anger.

Some Christians still believe that the God of the New Testament is a loving God while the God of the Old Testament is an angry God. Let me tell you this. In the Old Testament God was angry at sin and in the New Testament God is angry at sin. Now, something we all need to know is that the cross is not just a sign of God’s love, but it is the outflow of God’s anger. We are sinners, right, God is angry at sin, and the anger that God feels against sin is what brought Christ to this earth and to the cross. If Jesus did not die, then you and I will have to die for our sin.

Point 3. We would not have enjoyed purification.

Hebrews 1:3b:After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

This part of verse 3 is really a summary of the gospel. The two words ‘after making’ or it can be translated ‘had made’ are critical. If Jesus did not die He would not have made. The fact that Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father is because He came to do what He set out to do and that was to die in your and my place as a purification for our sins. Do you realise as a believer that the purification Christ made for your sin was for your sin, past, present and future.

Now because this is true, it does not mean that you can continue in your sin, as you are dead to sin.  Christ has made, means He did it once and for all. Our sanctification was purchased fully in the offering of Christ once for all.

Look at what you have in Jesus Christ who died for our sins. Hebrews 7:27 (ESV) “27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”

Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV) 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”

Hebrews 9:25-26 (ESV) 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

I think you get the message. Christ has made purification for our sins once for all. If Christ did not die, there would be no purification at all as we cannot do it for ourselves as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Maybe a good verse to end this sermon on Easter Friday morning is Hebrews 10:10 (ESV) “10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Never second guess the value of the cross. No Christ on the cross, and there is no sanctification. But because Christ died we have one offering, once for all, for all sin and it is finished.

If Christ did not die, you and I would not have beheld the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. If Christ did not die, we will personally still have to account for our sins, and we know that the wages of sin is death. It is a wage, which means sin is hard work and you are paid for it. If Christ did not die then there would be no eternal purification once and for all.

But Christ did die, and we beheld His glory, our sins are no longer for our account and Christ has declared us righteous before the Father once and for all.

Hallelujah!

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: - 14 April 2017