Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Message - The Victory of Jesus

The Victory of Jesus

I would like to talk to you about the victory in Jesus. I'm sure most of us have heard about "victory that Jesus won", or the phrase "victory in Jesus", or "there's victory in the cross", and this is great, but before I came to understand what this was all about I used to wonder what the big deal was, why should I be all happy about some victory that Jesus won, and why my Christian friends were always telling me about it.  And how in the world could dying on a cross be considered a victory, it just didn't make sense to me.

Well, eventually, I was saved, some of you here heard my testimony about how God rescued me at a time in my life when I called out to Him for help when I reached the bottom.  That was the moment that Jesus entered my heart and began to bring me back to health, and at that time, I started developing an interest in the things my friends were telling me about, Jesus, the cross, victories and such.  As time went on and I learned more and more, the concept of this victory that Christ won became clearer to me, and I discovered that there is indeed a link between what Jesus did on the cross, why it was a victory, and what it has to do with me.

What Were We Told The Victory Would Be?

Well, to uncover just what this victory is, we can start by looking back in the Old Testament. Now the interesting thing about the Old Testament is it was written hundreds of years before Jesus was around, let alone that he won any victory. This is prophecy, and prophecy is given to us that seeing it come to pass, we might believe.

·         The book of Isaiah was written around 700 years before Jesus was born. These scriptures foretell the death of Jesus, and the victories He won through it.

Isa 53:10-12  The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others. Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned.  (11)  By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD. Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty.  (12)  The LORD will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us.

Isn't that amazing, that is clearly speaking about the Lord Jesus, and was written long before He came to earth, clearly, there was a plan in place here from the foundation of the world to bring the victory of Jesus to mankind.

·         Again, in Isaiah 61, the pre-incarnate Christ tells us about this forthcoming victory that will be His.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me! The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives.

And then when Jesus arrived here on earth, He confirmed this in Luke 4:16-18 where he quotes from Isaiah 61.  He was returning to Nazareth from a time of teaching around Galilee and other places.

Luke 4:16-18  Jesus went back to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as usual he went to the meeting place on the Sabbath. When he stood up to read from the Scriptures,  (17)  he was given the book of Isaiah the prophet. He opened it and read,  (18)  "The Lord's Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers,

·         Not only do we hear this in Isaiah, but 1000 years before Christ came to earth, the David wrote in the Psalms of this victory which was forthcoming.

Psa 98:1  A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

·         500 years before Jesus' arrival, in 1st Chronicles, we hear From David:

1 Chron 29:11  Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

There are many more Old Testament writings that foretell the arrival and victory that Jesus would win when he came, in fact, there are more than 300 prophecies that tell us that Jesus is coming, and Jesus fulfilled every one of them.

What Did Jesus Say The Victory Would Be?

·         At the time Jesus walked the earth with His disciples, He also told them about this victory that would come through the cross.

Mat 20:17-19  As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he took his twelve disciples aside and told them in private:  (18)  We are now on our way to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death,  (19)  and then they will hand him over to foreigners who will make fun of him. They will beat him and nail him to a cross. But on the third day he will rise from death.

Mat 26:1-2  When Jesus had finished teaching, he told his disciples, "You know that two days from now will be Passover. That is when the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross.

·         The Passover was a remembrance of God's protection upon the Israelites in Egypt when God brought judgment against the Egyptians for worshipping false gods. The sprinkling of blood over the doorposts and it's intervening safety is a foreshadow of the protection and salvation that Jesus will victoriously bring to those who believe on Him and the work He did on the cross, and this is what Jesus was pointing out.

Here is the story:

Exo 12:3-7  Tell the people of Israel that on the tenth day of this month the head of each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for his family to eat.  (4)  If any family is too small to eat the whole animal, they must share it with their next-door neighbors. Choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male that has nothing wrong with it. And it must be large enough for everyone to have some of the meat.  (5)  (SEE 12:4)  (6)  Each family must take care of its animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, when the animals are to be killed.  (7)  Some of the blood must be put on the two doorposts and above the door of each house where the animals are to be eaten.

Exo 12:12-14  That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the LORD, and I will punish the gods of Egypt.  (13)  The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won't be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt.  (14)  Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor.

This is a stunning, acted out picture on the part of the Israelites that is an image of what Jesus will do in the future for all of mankind. Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God, and His blood was shed for us, saving us from eternal death. This is one of the reasons that churches have communion where we partake of the wine and bread together, the wine helps us remember the blood that Jesus the Lamb shed to save us from death, and the bread helps us remember that victory which he accomplished by coming to earth as a man.

·         Jesus was replying to questions from people that were gathered around him when he said this:

John 6:38-40  I didn't come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me,  (39)  and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day.  (40)  My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day.

·         And speaking to His disciples in the upper room just before his death, He said the following:

John 17:1-5  After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, he looked up toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come for you to bring glory to your Son, in order that he may bring glory to you.  (2)  And you gave him power over all people, so that he would give eternal life to everyone you give him.  (3)  Eternal life is to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent.  (4)  I have brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you gave me to do.  (5)  Now, Father, give me back the glory that I had with you before the world was created.


·         After Jesus' death, and subsequent resurrection back to heaven, His followers confirmed this victory.

Peter is speaking here to a group that has gathered and has just witnessed the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

Act 2:23-24  Now, listen to what I have to say about Jesus from Nazareth. God proved that he sent Jesus to you by having him work miracles, wonders, and signs. All of you know this.  God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross.  (24)  But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power.

      Peter continues telling the crowd:

Act 2:32-33  All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life!  (33) Jesus was taken up to sit at the right side of God, and he was given the Holy Spirit, just as the Father had promised. Jesus is also the one who has given the Spirit to us, and that is what you are now seeing and hearing.

Peter and John had been arrested for teaching people that the dead would be raised to life just like Jesus was, and here, they are told to defend themselves:

Act 4:7-12  They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, "By what power and in whose name have you done this?"  (8)  Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation's leaders and the elders:  (9)  You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a crippled man was healed.  (10)  But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life.  (11)  He is the stone that you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all.  (12)  Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

      And in various letters that the apostles wrote, they also wrote about these victories:

Rom 6:23  Sin pays off with death. But God's gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heb 12:2  We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne!

1 Peter 2:24  Christ carried the burden of our sins. He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning and start living right. By his cuts and bruises you are healed.

Philippians 2:8-9  Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. (9)  Then God gave Christ the highest place and honored his name above all others.

Col 1:20-22  And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.  (21)  You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things.  (22)  But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

Col 2:13-15  You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God's people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.  (14)  God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross.  (15)  There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.


Let's Review What the Victory Is!

·         No one God gave to Jesus would be lost.
·         He won the right to raise those who believe in him to life on the last day.
·         He successfully completed God's plan for the salvation of mankind.
·         He took away the guilt of sin from others, so that many would no longer be guilty.
·         He was the Passover lamb, bringing eternal life to all who will receive it by His shed blood.
·         He received honor and power.
·         He brought healing to the broken hearted.
·         He brought freedom to the prisoners and captives, and to those who suffer.
·         He brought sight to the blind.
·         He defeated death, bringing man hope and joy!
·         He was given a seat at the right hand of God.
·         He was given the power to save.
·         His name alone became the name that can bring salvation to mankind.
·         He healed us by His cuts and bruises.
·         He enabled all of mankind to stop sinning and start living right.
·         He received the highest place, and His name was honored above all others.
·         He pleased God.
·         He brought all beings in heaven and earth back to God.
·         He brought peace between God and man.
·         He enabled us to stand in God's presence holy, faultless and innocent.
·         He defeated all powers and forces, and led them away as prisoners.


Why do we Need Jesus' Victory?

Well this is stunning!  Do you see that His victory was not for Himself, but for us?  How is it that the God of the universe would care so much about us that He would make the victory of Jesus all about us?  Surely we don't deserve this, but He has provided it. But why do we need this particular victory, why do we need to be brought back to God, to have peace made anew with Him?

God knew before he created the heavens and the earth that we would need Jesus and the victories He would provide. We saw that in the prophecies we looked at earlier. So when did our separation from God actually start.  It started in the Garden of Eden, at the inception of the human race.

Gen 2:15-17  The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it.  (16)  But the LORD told him, "You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden,  (17)  except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over!"

Gen 3:1-7  The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the LORD God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, "Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"  (2)  The woman answered, "God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden,  (3)  except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die."  (4)  "No, you won't!" the snake replied.  (5)  "God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does."  (6)  The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too.  (7)  Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.

The results were devastating.  The intent of Satan here was to separate man from God, by causing them to disobey God. Satan tried to convince the first humans that they did not need God. How crazy was this?? God had created them from the dust of the earth, and now Satan caused them to think they could be just like God, which is always Satan's lie.  In doing so, Satan brought death into existance.

Gen 3:14-17  So the LORD God said to the snake: "Because of what you have done, you will be the only animal to suffer this curse-- For as long as you live, you will crawl on your stomach and eat dirt.  (15)  You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. One of hers will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel."  (16)  Then the LORD said to the woman, "You will suffer terribly when you give birth. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you."  (17)  The LORD said to the man, "You listened to your wife and ate fruit from that tree. And so, the ground will be under a curse because of what you did. As long as you live, you will have to struggle to grow enough food.

By listening to Satan, instead of God, mankind separated himself from God. I don't think the tree of life was something God put there so that He could dish out punishment to humans when they disobeyed. It is more like telling a child not to walk off a cliff. The child has a choice, and the parent, knowing what the consequences are, tells the child not to do it for their own good. But if the child rebels, and does it anyway, death is the result, and the parent would be very sad about it. God was sad about death entering the human race.

What Does Jesus Victory Mean to Me Now?

Psa 40:1-5  (A psalm by David for the music leader.) I patiently waited, LORD, for you to hear my prayer. You listened  (2)  and pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire. You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm,  (3)  and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you. Many will see this, and they will honor and trust you, the LORD God.  (4)  You bless all of those who trust you, LORD, and refuse to worship idols or follow false gods.  (5)  You, LORD God, have done many wonderful things, and you have planned marvelous things for us. No one is like you! I would never be able to tell all you have done.

Act 13:38-39  My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins.  (39)  But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free.

Rom 6:9-11  We know that death no longer has any power over Christ. He died and was raised to life, never again to die.  (10)  When Christ died, he died for sin once and for all. But now he is alive, and he lives only for God.  (11)  In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.

1 John 5:4-5  Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory.  (5)  No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God.

1 John 5:11-12  God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son.  (12)  And so, if we have God's Son, we have this life. But if we don't have the Son, we don't have this life.

John 4:14  But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give is like a flowing fountain that gives eternal life."

Rom 5:21  Sin ruled by means of death. But God's kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life.


What Does Jesus Victory Mean to Me In The Future?

1 Cor 15:54-57  The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true, "Death has lost the battle!  (55)  Where is its victory? Where is its sting?"  (56)  Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin.  (57)  But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!

John 3:13-16  No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there.  (14)  And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert.  (15)  Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life.  (16)  God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.


The Call

So the question before you tonight is, what are you going to do with this?

1 Cor 1:17-18  Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.  (18)  The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work.

Gal 6:7-8  You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant.  (8)  If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.

Tit 3:4-7  God our Savior showed us how good and kind he is.  (5)  He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.  (6)  God sent Jesus Christ our Savior to give us his Spirit.  (7)  Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and gave us the hope of eternal life.

1 John 5:11-12  God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son.  (12)  And so, if we have God's Son, we have this life. But if we don't have the Son, we don't have this life.

John 20:31  But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.

Psa 69:33  The LORD will listen when the homeless cry out, and he will never forget his people in prison.

Psa 72:4  Let the king defend the poor, rescue the homeless, and crush everyone who hurts them.  (5)  Let the king live forever like the sun and the moon.   (7)  Let the king be fair with everyone, and let there be peace until the moon falls from the sky.    (11)  Make other rulers bow down and all nations serve him.  (12)  Do this because the king rescues the homeless when they cry out, and he helps everyone who is poor and in need.  (13)  The king has pity on the weak and the helpless and protects those in need.  (14)  He cares when they hurt, and he saves them from cruel and violent deaths.

Is there anyone here who would like to cry out to the Lord Jesus. Not only does He promise to help those who call out to Him, but the practically inconceivable fact is, He went to the cross and died to bring you back to God. You can call out to God where you are by just raising your hand, and indicating to God that you are ready.

You should follow that up by contacting the Rescue Mission chaplain and telling him what you did tonight.  He will help you find a church where you can get additional information, a Bible if you need one, and meet other believers.

3 comments:

  1. I was sexually, mentally, emotionally and verbally abused by my grandfather as far back as I can remember. He did many terrible things, some of which are too distasteful for me to talk about publicly. I want to share my testimony, because so many people have been hurt, and they need to realize that someone has made it through their struggles so they can have hope. More than anything, I want you to know and really understand that anyone who has been abused can fully recover if they will give their life completely to the Lord...It may seem impossible, but God's truth has set me free from a life of pretense and lies and has restored my soul. I am living proof that nothing is too hard for God. No matter what you've been through or how bad you've been hurt, there is hope!
    My book is available at Amazon and I would love for each person who has liked this page to order a copy. Each copy sold will go toward the prevention of child abuse across the country and world. The Little Girl Inside. God Bless, Diane Waltma

    ReplyDelete