"IF I BE LIFTED UP."
Jno. 12:32,33; Mt. 27:27-37; Lk. 24:1-7; Acts 1: 9-11; 1 Cor. 15.
This lesson will be considered in three different parts:
1. The lifting up on the cross in the crucifixion.
2. The lifting up from the grave in the resurrection.
3. The lifting up from the earth in the ascension.
I. THE FIRST TIME CHRIST WAS LIFTED UP, WAS UPON THE CROSS.
A. Note these scriptures: Jno. 12:32,33; 3:14-16; 8:28.
B. Sin from the beginning has separated man from God. Isa. 59:1,2.
C. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23.
D. Man has not understood the seriousness of his sin.
E. Man has failed to realize the great cost for redemption. Eph. 1:7.
II. MAN CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF NOR HIS BROTHER. Psa. 49:7.
A. God began to give man a knowledge of the all out redemptive plan gradually -- He first dealt with the family in the patriarchal law, then He dealt with the Jewish nation in the Law of Moses, now he deals with the whole universe in the law of Christ. Jno. 1:17.
B. Christ is the ultimate and consumate end of this knowledge. He was sent in the fulness of time to consumate all things in Himself. Gal. 4:3-5.
C. Christ is the great divine atonement. 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 8:3; 11:33.
D. Everything in the plan was incomplete until Christ came and died on the cross. Heb. 10:1-10.
E. Two outstanding facts come from this great fact of Christ being the Divine Atonement.
1. The terrible nature of sin.
a. The positions men occupy toward sin are very varied.
1) Some are revelling in its pleasures, but have not yet felt its sting severly, others have become enslaved by its power, and are filled with its misery.
2) Others again are beginning to loathe the terrible bondage, and long for freedom.
b. But no man can realize all its awfulness, and horror until he has viewed it in the light of the cross.
c. Do we realize WHO it was that was lifted up on Calvary?
1) It was the Holy One of God, the only begotten of the Father, the sin- less Son of God. Full of grace and truth.
2. And then there is the fact that we owe this great redemption to the abounding love and mercy of God. Jno. 3:16; Rom. 5:8-11.
a. God fights sin with love.
b. Force is no remedy, it will break in pieces the ice, and yet every fragment remains hard and cutting.
c. But the sunshine of God's love is that which melts the ice of the heart and makes it flow down in sweet water that mirrors the light that loosed its bonds of cold.
III. ALL TRANSGRESSIONS OF GOD'S LAW, MUST HAVE A JUST AND ADEQUATE RECOMPENSE.
A. Like Zaleucus, when he made a law that everyone caught in adultery would have both eyes put out.
1. One of the offenders of this law was his own son.
a. But instead of Zaleucus putting aside the law to save the eyes of his son, he just showed forth his love and mercy in that he caused one of his own eyes to be put out and one of his son's eyes also.
b. In doing this, he gained a higher respect from his subjects, for when justice and love prevail together such is the case.
B. No sin has ever been pardoned except on the merits of the blood of Christ.
IV. BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD! Jno. 1:29; Heb. 9:22.
A. We might think of the Passover when we think of the lamb. Exo. 12.
B. But moreso, we should think of the lamb of the trespass. Lev. 4:32- 35.
C. We might consider Him as being the scapegoat for our iniquities. Lev. 16:20,21.
D. He hath borne our sins in His body on the tree. 1 Pet. 2:24.
E. Like a lamb led to the slaughter. Isa. 53.
F. He shed His blood once for all. Heb. 10:12; 1 Jno. 1:7.
G. Sin has no more dominion. Rom. 6:14; Heb. 9:26.
V. HIS BEING AS A LAMB ALSO DEPICTED HIS GENTLENESS, AND MEEKNESS. Mt. 11:28-30.
A. He was merciful and tenderly compassionate.
VI. HE WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO HIMSELF:
A. Not by force, although powerfully.
B. They are not treated as machines.
C. The Father seeks to influence them as rational, accountable beings.
D. He presents the truth of His word to their understanding; makes it sharp to pierce their conscience, touches their hearts with the power of His love.
E. He does not drag them to Him as a thief dragged to the gallows: but draws and entices them lovingly as a father seeks to bring back a disobedient son to his allegiance. Jer. 31:3;Hos. 11:3,4.
VII. CHRIST IS ASCRIBED AS THE REDEEMER OF EVERY TONGUE AND NATION, AND EVERY DISPENSATION. Rev. 5:8, 9.
A. O what a sweet, exalted son, When every tribe and every tongue, Redeemed ;by blood with Christ appear, And join in one full chorus there!
B. "O my Father if it be possibe, let this cup pass from me."
1. That is, if there is any other possible way in which poor sinners can be saved, the claim of justice satisfied, and the Divine law magnified, then and only then, let this cup pass from me.
2. But rich and inexhaustable as are the Divine resources it seems that there was no other possible remedy.
C. And no, O, sinner, will you reject the rich benefits procurred for you through the infinite merits of that blood?
1. Or will you not rather say, "Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small, Love so amazing, so Divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all."
VIII. SINCE CHRIST SHED HIS BLOOD FOR ALL MEN, WHY AREN'T ALL MEN SAVED? Lk. 13:34.
A. Christ is the answer. But we must all obey Him.
B. There must be the cordial consent of two wills for a soul to be saved. the will of God, and the will of the man.
1. I speak not of infants and idiots, but I speak of responsible beings.
C. God has consented on His part, He stands at the door and knocks.
1. But the knob to open the door is in your heart. You must turn the knob and open the door for Him to come in.
2. One of the most clearly defined laws of the human mind is this: that the injurer always becomes an enemy of the injured.
1. Christ has been lifted up in every needful and conceivable way so that you and I may approach Him as our Savior.
2. Why don't you draw nigh to him in full allegiance?
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