Thursday, October 27, 2011

Take Time


Tuesday night, CRU was honored to have Pastor Clint Pressley from Hickory Grove Baptist Church come and speak to us. It was a very deep and solemn time but I know it was just the reality check I needed this week. We lead such busy lives. Especially during the college years...it's hurry to class or hurry and study or hurry for this or that. Sometimes in the business of life...it's good to pause and think on things. As some would say, "stop and smell the roses." But what I'm asking you to consider today is something deep. It's good for us to think about the deep things of theology. The sufferings of Christ. If you can survive in college(even barely)...if you can read assignments and textbooks and comprehend what you need to for each of your classes...then you can handle the deeper things of theology. Take time for a while and think on what Christ has done for you...what it took for you to become a child of God.
Isaiah 53:1-11Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.  He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering or sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
This passage always brings tears to my eyes. Isaiah was a prophet who lived well over 700 years before Christ ever even walked the earth...and yet this passage seems like it was written from the foot of Calvary.

Lets take a few moments to ponder the sufferings of Jesus. He suffered in a way that no one else has ever suffered. No matter who you can think up, no martyr or murder victim has ever come close to experiencing the kind of suffering that Jesus endured.
  • He became flesh.
    • Philippians 2 says that he emptied himself. He went from being all God..to being flesh(John 1). He humbled himself.
  • He was despised.
    • Have you ever had anyone really really hate you? People hated him...they couldn't even stand the sight of him. They despised the Holy One and tried multiple times to kill him.
  • He was rejected and forsaken.
    • Jesus was left for dead...he was stabbed in the back. His disciples who had been with him 24/7 betrayed him. Peter denied him 3 times, Judas handed him over for slaughter with a kiss, and every one of them left.
  • He was a man of sorrows.
    • Jesus was used to crying. When he saw something it moved him and he wept. In the Garden of Gethsemane he wept. Gethsemane means olive press...Jesus was pressed and sorrowful.
  • He was not esteemed by us.
    • We did not value him. What is valuable to you? Do you really value him above all things?
He suffered physically:
  • He was pierced, crushed and beaten.
  • He was oppressed and afflicted.
He suffered spiritually:
  • Our iniquity was laid on him.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    • He did not know sin and he took on every single sin of every single person and the wrath that each sin deserved.
  • He suffered willingly.
    • He didn't open his mouth to say anything to stop his suffering.
    • John 10: he gave up his life
Jesus' suffering was planned. God's plan has always been for the suffering of Christ. His suffering brought glory to God. In his death he was glorified and God was glorified. Our suffering and Christ's suffering always bring us right back to God. It gives us a reason to live...to bring glory to God

It's important every once in a while to remind yourself of Christ's work on the cross and his work in your life. It's sobering and encouraging. So take time...think on the deep things. Remember where you came from and praise him for what he has done.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
 
Oh! precious is the flow
    That makes me white as snow;
    No other fount I know,
      Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see--
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea--
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, 'tis all of grace--
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

This is all my hope and peace--
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness--
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

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