27 Jun 2nd Peter #2 – 25 Prophecies That Prove the Bible is True (2 Peter 1:16-21)
– Howdy, big weekend for Grace and I, 28th wedding anniversary this weekend. Very good. So I’m excited to be with you, and for us everything started, while we met at the age of 17, we were in high school, and then at the age of 18 Grace, actually, my great wife, she bought me this Bible. This was my first real bible. You know, a cow gave its life. A tree gave its life. I mean, a lot went into this. So this was the first real Bible that was given to me. And then at the age of 19 I was sitting in a dorm room at a state university, reading the book of Romans and somewhere in there I became a Christian. And God saved me in the book of Romans. I’ve waited 30 years to preach it. We’ll start it next month and really excited about that. And then, now I’m a brand new Christian. Now I’ve gotta find a church. By God’s grace I found an awesome church, wonderful people, great Bible teaching pastor. And one of the first things that he did is he brought us through, all of us new Christians, through a Bible study in the Old Testament showing us all the prophecies that pointed to Jesus to build our confidence that the scriptures are in fact, the word of God. And he was a PhD in Hebrew, which is the language of the Old Testament, super humble godly guy, forever grateful for that first church. And then Grace and I went through our premarital counseling and it was all Bible based, and Grace and I were praying together and going to church together and studying the Bible together. And lo and behold, I’ve been a Christian now for more than 30 years, been married to Grace for 28, been a senior pastor teaching through books of the Bible for some 25 years. And it was the first men’s retreat I went to in college. God spoke to me audibly. I didn’t know he still did that. Peter is gonna share a similar experience with us in just a moment. He said, marry Grace, which I was excited about, preach the Bible, train men and plant churches. God told me what to do. So that’s what I’ve been doing. My life is built on the scriptures. Our marriage is built on the scriptures. Our parenting is built on the scriptures. Our finances are built on the scriptures. Our ministry and our church is built on the scriptures. For us, the word of God is foundational. Everything is built upon it. And if we didn’t have the word of God everything would be different and nothing would be better. And so I’m really excited today because what we find with Peter is that he is nearing the end of his life. And he just told them, previous to the section that we’ll be studying, that he knows that his time is short and his end is near. And what he wants to do is build their confidence in the word of God and their curiosity about the word of God, which to me, that’s the most exciting thing in my whole life. I love building people’s confidence in the word of God. And I love helping people who are curious learn the word of God. So that’s where we’re going and what we’re doing today. And we’re gonna start by God speaking is great. And second Peter chapter one, verses 16 through 18. And here’s what he says, for we did not follow cleverly devised myths… So we’re just going through a book of the Bible today. When we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, so he’s focusing our energy and attention on Jesus, but we were eye witnesses of his majesty, Peter saying I was there, for when he received honor and glory from God, the father, and the voice was born to him by the majestic glory. And then he quotes what God said out loud. This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. We ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven for we were with him on the holy mountain. He’s going to compare and contrast teachers of myth and the Mount of Transfiguration. And that’s what he’s gonna compare and contrast. And early on in Christianity, Jesus did miracles. He cast out demons. He healed the sick. He did supernatural things that they couldn’t really explain away, because these were large public events where there were many eye witnesses. And then he dies. And then he rises from death which is the greatest miracle in the history of the world. And not having any way to refute these historical facts, apparently, very early on, they started just saying that Christianity was founded on a bunch of myths. That’s what Peter is addressing. It’s not dissimilar to today. If you go to college where people get an education but not wisdom, they are told, slipped that in there, they are told that Christianity is just myth. It’s fable, it’s legend, it’s folklore, it’s fairytale to quote Sigmund Freud, Sigmund Freud the psychologist. He said that Christianity was fairytale. He died not knowing Jesus. So he’s having a very bad day right now. Nonetheless, fairytale means, I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, I don’t believe in the Easter bunny and I don’t believe in Santa Claus and I don’t believe in Jesus because I’m an adult, I’m not a child that believes in fairytales. What Peter is saying is, what we are telling you about Jesus is actual historical, factual, not mythical. Peter is saying I was an eye witness. And in their day, before they had audio and video recording, eye witness testimony was the strongest. So Peter spent three years with Jesus, ate meals with him, traveled with him, when he taught Peter was there to hear it, when he did supernatural, miraculous things he was there to witness it. And what he says is there was one particular day that was just a total mind-blower. And that was the day of the Mount of Transfiguration. And what he’s telling you is a story that’s in three of the four gospels about the story and life of Jesus. He went up to a mountain with Jesus and a few other disciples. They get to the top. And it’s one of the most amazing days in the history of the world. Jesus who veiled his glory and came in humility and came in humanity, looked like a normal, average, typical human being, but he is Lord, God, Savior, King, Creator and Christ. And all of that glory is veiled. On the Mount of transfiguration his glory is unveiled and Peter was there to witness it. Not only that, who comes down from heaven? Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets. That’s amazing. It’s one thing to do a Bible study. It’s another thing when the guys who wrote the books come down to help. That’s an awesome Bible study. And if that wasn’t enough, he heard God the father speak over Jesus from heaven, this is my son, the son of God with whom I am well pleased. That’s an amazing day. How many of you… You’re gonna go hike Camelback, and don’t do it now because we love you. Wait till the winter. But when the winter comes, imagine you’d go say, honey, I’m gonna go hike Camelback today. I’ll be back later. Come back later. How was it? It was great. Jesus showed up and all of his glory. I met Moses and Elijah and the Father said some stuff. What did you do today? That’s an amazing day. That’s an incredible day. And what Peter is saying is he saying I was there. I saw it. I heard it. I’m not lying. This is the truth. And what that means is that there wasn’t time for myth to occur because the eyewitnesses were still present. Peter saying, I’m telling you things that I saw and other people who saw it are still alive. We’re not making this up. In fact, we’re not benefiting from it. They’re going to put me to death because I keep talking about it. And if it wasn’t true, why would I die for it? That’s what his argument is. But then he says something regarding you and I that is even more incredible. And that is that God’s speaking through scripture is greater. That the word of God that you and I have is greater than the revelation that Peter received. He says it this way, second Peter one 19 through 21. And we have the prophetic word, talking about prophecy, about 25% of your Bible was prophetic in nature at the time of its writing, predicting the future in advance because the God who knows the future, rules of the future, reveals the future, more fully confirmed. What he says is we have even greater evidence for the Bible to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. That’s Jesus. I’ll explain that in a moment. Knowing this, first of all, no prophecy of scriptures. Gonna talk about prophecy. And none of it ever comes from someone’s own interpretation. People didn’t make this stuff up. This wasn’t just a really creative mind or a group of people or a delusional person, for no prophecy. He’s hammering the issue of prophecy to verify the scriptures as the word of God was ever produced by the will of man. But men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. He’s talking here about something that the theologians will call dual authorship. And that is that there are human authors of the Bible, and behind them is ultimately God the Holy Spirit as the divine capital A author. The God the Holy Spirit perfectly communicates through imperfect servants. The good news is that God can do perfect work through imperfect people. That’s really encouraging for us, because we’re all imperfect. Well, God is perfect. And what he does through his imperfect servants in the scriptures, he does a perfect work. And so Peter here is writing scripture coming up at chapter three, is gonna talk about Paul writing scripture, that God is ultimately revealing his truth through his servants. He uses their personality, their language, their experience. He doesn’t override who they are, but who they are is the conduit through which he communicates. He says this dual authorship in this way, men spoke from God. Men spoke from God. And so ultimately what that means is if you and I wanna hear a word from God, the best way to do that is to open the word of God, and that there are many authors, but ultimately behind all of the human authors is one divine author, God the Holy Spirit. That’s exactly what he’s saying. And this is different than all other books on the earth. This is actually a library, it’s 66 books, 39 books in the Old Testament, 27 in the New, all written by the Holy Spirit through human authors. I’ve had the honor in my life. I don’t even know how many books I’ve written and published, maybe 20, I don’t even know. And there’s lots of books on the earth, but ultimately the books that comprise scripture, the word of God, they are unique in that they are perfect and ultimately authored by God himself through human servants. That’s what he’s saying with divine authorship. That’s why we don’t edit it because God doesn’t need an editor. He just needs messengers. This is why we don’t argue with it. We submit to it. This is why we don’t ultimately consider ourselves in any position to alter it in any form, because when God speaks he expects us to obey, not to disagree. In addition, he’s talking about something called divine inspiration. He says men were carried along to give us the prophetic words of scripture by God the Holy Spirit. If you’ve seen a ship, let’s say it’s out on the body of water, and the sail is set and then a large powerful wind comes and it fills the sail and it empowers and drives the ship forward toward a destination forcefully, it’s that same image. Men were carried, they were driven by the power of God, the Holy Spirit toward the revelation that God intended for us to know. And the Bible uses this language a lot. “Thus saith the Lord” appears hundreds of times, where the author will say, the Lord is saying this through me. 3,800 times in the scriptures alone other statements are given just in the Old Testament. The word of the Lord came to me, or God said or God showed or God spoke. And it’s all saying that the information is through me, but it’s from him. The information is through me but it is ultimately from him. Paul says it this way, all scripture is breathed out by God. All scripture is breathed out by God. And ultimately he uses two incredible principles that are really helpful. The first is that the scriptures are like a light or a lantern or a lamp for a dark world. How many of you know our world is dark? Did you notice that? I don’t care if you’re Democrat, Republican, I don’t care if you’re on the left or the right, you’re an optimist or a pessimist. This world stinks, that we all agree on. It’s a dark place, right? It’s a dark place and it’s getting darker. That’s why I think people who believe in evolution are adorable. They’re adorable. It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse. It’s getting worse. It’s very, very dark. And what you and I do when we’re traveling in physical darkness, particularly in a vehicle, we turn on lights, turn on our headlights. And if it’s really dark, we turn on our high beams so that we can see as far as we can go. In their day they traveled by foot. And what they would have is a lantern or a lamp. And the Bible says elsewhere that his word is a light into our feet and a lamp onto your path. Can you see very far with a lantern or a lamp? Nope. Usually just the next step. So what he’s saying is this, that the world is dark and that you and I need to stay very close to the word of God. Imagine you’re taking a walk in the middle of the night, total darkness. You better keep the lantern with you for the whole journey, amen. I could see this step. Can’t see, that’s dark, but I can see this step, that’s dark. That’s how life with Jesus is in your walk with God. And this is the light that lights the path. And what this means is you can’t just read it once and say I’m set for 50 years. That’s not how it works. That’s not how it works. You’re like, I’m set till lunch. Okay? That’s as far as I can see, I could see between breakfast and lunch and then at lunch, I’m gonna get a little time with the Lord and see what’s up between now and dinner. All you’re gonna get is the next step, one step at a time. And that’s the life of faith. And some of you would say, I wish God would show me the future. No, you don’t. It would freak you out. You would sleep with a helmet on, a cup and one eye open, you would put your open carry under your pillow. You would not sleep better. God loves you. So he’s just gonna show you a little bit at a time. That’s how this works. Number two, he tells us that scripture is for us, but it’s about Jesus. Scripture is not primarily about you. It’s about him. And he uses the language of the morning star. And the language is like, the whole world is dark, but now there’s the beginning of the unveiling of light, that ultimately the light of the word of God is to lead us to Jesus, the light of the world. There is a connection between Jesus as the light of the world and the scriptures as the light for the path to Jesus. And when he talks about Jesus as the morning star, Jesus tells us in revelation 22 16, I, Jesus, am the bright morning star. So what he’s saying is in this dark world the scriptures light the path. And ultimately the path is the path to Jesus who is the light of the world. So three things. Number one, the scriptures, the word of God, the prophecies are the only perfect thing on the earth. That’s what we believe. There’s nothing perfect on the earth, except for the word of God. Number two, we also believe that the scriptures are the only book that read you as you read them. God, the Holy Spirit, not only inspired the writing of scripture, he indwells the reader who loves Jesus. And as you read the word of God, you find out very quickly that it is living and active and that it is also reading you. How many of you have read the Bible? You’re like, oh my gosh, it’s questioning my motives. It’s changing my mind. It’s bringing forth my sin. This is getting very personal. It’s different than other books in that regard that God uses it to reveal who he is to reveal who you are so that he can change you to become more like him. And then thirdly and lastly, the Bible is the only book where every time you read it, the author will meet with you to help you learn it and answer your questions. How many of you have wondered reading a book, you’re like, I wish I could ask the author some questions. What the heck were they talking about? God the Holy Spirit wrote the scriptures, lives in the believer, Holy Spirit, please help me understand this. Holy Spirit, I don’t get this. Holy Spirit, please teach me this. Please help me to obey this. The author, the divine author of the scripture meets with the reader if they approach the text humbly and just simply make that request. And where he’s driving it all, he talks about the prophetic word. Then he talks about prophecy. Then he talks, again, about prophecy. And what he’s saying is that history is driving toward Jesus, that God has an intention, a purpose, a mission for all events, all peoples, all times, all places, that is the unveiling of his son in glory for all eternity as Peter experienced him on the Mount of Transfiguration. And so your Bible is about prophecy, and prophecy is about Jesus. And the scholars will tell us that there are anywhere between 60 and 300, what they will call messianic prophecies pointing with great specificity to the coming or second coming of Jesus. So here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna take a deep breath. Eye of the tiger. We’re gonna look at 25 of them in succession. I’m gonna go very fast. It’s gonna be like I’m auctioning off the Old Testament. There’s no way you’re gonna be able to take notes quickly enough at realfaith.com or the Sermon Notes. And if you sign up for daily devotions, every sermon series I’m doing a free introduction and study guide and also daily devotions. I’ll send them to your inbox five days a week. And starting this week, it’s prophecies. It’s eight weeks looking at these prophecies and their fulfillment and I’ll send it to you, but we’re gonna deal with five. This will be fun. I’m a little tired. So a little love along the way would really help. Okay? So just get your hands ready. Okay. Just a little practice. All right. If, as we’re studying the Bible like, that’s awesome. Feel free to let the rest of us know. Okay. All right, here we go. Number one, locked, loaded, ready to roll. Prophecy number one, 25 prophecies that prove the Bible is true. Number one, 4,000 years BC, and to state the obvious BC is before Christ, AD is anno Domini. We measure history by Jesus Christ. He is the center of not only prophecy, but history. Now what happens? God creates the world, makes our first parents in his image and likeness. Our first parents sin against God. Now humanity has a sin problem. Here’s the point. You and I are the problem. We are not the solution. You and I are the problem, not the solution. And so God comes and says, you are the problem, my son will be the solution. You are a sinner, you need a savior. And he tells us about Jesus, Genesis three. I will put enmity between you and the woman. God says, there’s going to, there’s gonna be this conflict, because these two kingdoms are in conflict, between your offspring, child, descendant and hers. He, male child will crush your head. You will strike his heel. What he’s saying is, Satan, there will be a woman who gives birth to a son. You will do harm to that son, but that son will defeat you and deliver these sinners from their plight. The promise here is that Jesus is coming. Now, if you know the book of Genesis, it has what I’ll call genealogies that are patriarchal meaning this guy had these kids and this guy or these kids, and it always works through the male line, except for this genealogy. This is the only exception. That Jesus will come, he will have an earthly mother, but there is no mention of an earthly father. Why? This is the first intimation of the Virgin birth, because God the Father will be his father. He will not have a biological earthly father but he will have a biological earthly mother. So God tells us, the problem is sin, the answer is my son. He is coming through the womb of a woman. And then 1,400 years before Christ it predicts specifically his family line. Looking at everybody on the earth God looks at one guy and says I’m to send Jesus through you. And then he looks through his sons and grandsons and great grandsons and points out every generation exactly which descendant will be in the line of Jesus. It’ll only give you two. We could go much deeper into the family genealogy but it begins with a man named Abraham in Genesis 12, 11. 1,400 years before Jesus walked the earth, God looks at him and says all people on earth will be blessed through you. The rest of the story and context, God comes to a guy named Abraham, saves him. He trusts in God by faith. He’s got a wife named Sarah, they’re elderly and they’re barren. How many of you are elderly and barren? You’re like, we cannot have kids. That’s for sure. That’s way in the rear view mirror. That was a long time ago. That’s where they’re at. They never had children. Now they’re elderly and barren. God comes and he says I’m gonna give you a baby boy. And through him is gonna come a nation called Israel and through them is gonna come the son of God, named Jesus, to deal with the sin problem. Sarah laughed. Ha-ha. God’s hilarious. She doesn’t believe. They wait a long time. No baby shows up. Now they’re really, really, really old, right? They’ve gone from walker to scooter. That’s where they’re at. So Sarah comes up with a terrible idea. She says, well, if we’re supposed to have a baby boy, maybe you should get a second wife. You know? And for the sake of the Lord sleep with her and get her pregnant and then she can give us a son. Ladies, is this a good or a bad idea? It’s a really bad… Two wives is too many. Okay? So Abraham’s like, Whoa, honey, I’m here to serve. And you know what… I mean? You just, whatever you want, baby. You know? And if it’s for the Lord, I mean, I’ll give it a shot. So what he does, he picks a younger wife, Scottsdale. Picks a younger wife. I just had something in my throat. I apologize. Takes a younger wife. She gives birth to a son. Now he’s got two wives, one baby boy. And then God does something awesome. Lets Sarah get pregnant. Now we’ve got two wives, two boys, one promise. That’s a problem. So the boy is born, his name is Isaac, which means laughter, because God always gets the last laugh. Hey grandma, you’re pregnant. Okay? So now they got two boys. And the question is which one will be the heir of the promise? Is that the first born son biologically? Or is it the first born son through the family line? And the debate to this day between Jews and Christians and Muslims is over this family. They would say, no, no, no. It was through that son. No, no. It was through that son. This our the whole geopolitical crisis. All of the conflict in the Middle East is baby mama drama. That’s all that it is. If you wanna know what’s going on in the Middle East, it’s one big Jerry Springer episode for 1,500 years. That’s all that it is. And here’s where it begins. Genesis 17, 19, God said, your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will call him Isaac, which means laughter. And I will establish my covenant with who? Him. So God starts to point out exactly in the family line, who Jesus is coming through. And it’s complicated. Number three, Jesus mother would be a Virgin. This was prophesied 700 years before he walked the earth. This really limits the list of potential candidates. A male child is born to a virgin mother. How many of you are like, I’ve seen mothers and I’ve seen virgins. I’ve not seen a ton of virgin mothers. See, this narrows the list of who we’re waiting for. Here’s the great Christmas card verse, Isaiah 7 14, therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The Virgin will be with child, give birth to a son, male child. And we’ll call him who? Emmanuel, which means God with us. We don’t go up to God. God comes down to us. Salvation is not something we earn. It’s something that God gives. It’s not we earn the right to ascend to God. It’s that God in humility descends to us. And so we’re waiting for the Virgin. Ultimately this would be Jesus mother Mary who was a rural, peasant, poor teenage girl who was probably in her early to mid teens. She fulfills the prophecy. In addition, Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem. We see 700 years before he walked the earth, Micah 5 2, but you, Bethlehem… That is the city Ephrathah. That’s like their county or region, though you are small. It’s a little tiny itty bitty town. It’s not a big place. Among the clans of Judah. These are cities that descend from sons. Out of you will come from me one who will be ruler over Israel. So a King is coming from an itty bitty town whose origins are from old, from ancient times, in the original Hebrew, literally means from eternity. So somebody who is eternal, which would make them greater God, is going to show up. They are going to be the ruler over the nation of Israel which is the descendants of father Abraham. And ultimately they’re going to arrive in the city of Bethlehem, which is an out of the way unexpected place. Question. Did Jesus’ mom and dad, his adoptive dad, Joseph. He was adopted by Joseph. Did they live in Bethlehem? No. They lived in a small town called Nazareth. Now, the way it worked, the government wanted more money. Sound familiar? Socialism they knew. So the Roman empire, they decided, you know what, there’re citizens that maybe we don’t have in the census, therefore maybe we’re missing their tax dollars, therefore let’s have a census so that we can make sure to get all the tax dollars from all the people. They’re greedy. Now, to register, you need to go to your hometown of your family of origin. Okay? So think of it. None of us are from Arizona. None of you are native Arizonans, right? Right. Unless you’re a lizard, your family didn’t start here. It’s too hot. Nobody could live here, till we had air conditioning, nobody was here except for weird people who were running from the law. That’s the only people who are here. So let’s say that the government had a census and said everybody go back to your hometown. For me, this would be County Cork, Southern Ireland. We were the O’Driscolls, okay? So we would go to County Cork, Southern Ireland. That’s where my family was from. Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph. He did not have a biological earthly father, but he had an adoptive father. This is why we love adoption. Jesus was adopted. And if you’re a Christian, God the Father has adopted you. Joseph is engaged or betrothed to Mary. They’ve not yet consummated their covenant. Mary is very pregnant. And it comes time for the census. They have to go to his hometown to register, which just so happens to be Bethlehem because he’s a descendant of David. So now pregnant Mary, I’m sure she’s very excited about this. I mean, what woman doesn’t like a road trip pregnant in the last week when you’re at a one… I mean, so she makes the trip and she’s in Bethlehem and it says in the fullness of time. So just at the right time, she happened to be in Bethlehem to fulfill the census requirements that were over her husband, who was the adoptive father of their soon to be born child. And she was there for just a short window of time in Bethlehem, just long enough to give birth to who? Jesus. God is very much into the specific details, including where and when people are born, including you and your kids. God’s over it all. When I was in college I had a critic of the New Testament, said it was myth. And he said, well Jesus knew the prophecies of the old Testament. And he just orchestrated and architected his life in such a way to fulfill them as an act of deception. I was like, nobody picks where they’re born. Right? It’s not like the kids, and then I’m like, we gotta get to Bethlehem real quick here, it’s gotta get done. I was reading Micah 5 2 and we’re running out of time. It doesn’t work like that. God chose when he would be born and used even a godless government to fulfill the will of God. There’s good news in this. God can use a godless government to fulfill the will of God. That’s our hope. Number five. Jesus would have a sinless life. Isaiah 53 verse nine. 700 years BC. We’re gonna look at Isaiah a lot. From Isaiah 42, Isaiah 66. Jesus is revealed as the suffering servant. He would serve us through his suffering and here he would do so without sinning. He had done no violence. Those are his works. Nor was any deceit in his mouth. Those are his words. Jesus alone is perfect, sinless, pure, that he would suffer not because of his sin. You and I, we suffer, sometimes because people sin against us, but oftentimes at least in part we contribute to our own suffering through our sinning. Amen? And let me just say this, I’m so sick of everyone confessing everyone else’s sin. I’m so sick, let me tell you what they did. All right, look, we’ll get to them. Let’s deal with you. And when that 20 years is up, after we have gone through the list of all of your failures, if there’s any time left let’s get to theirs, because we live in a world where everybody thinks they’re the victim. And let me tell you, only Jesus suffered perfectly without having done anything sinfully. He alone is the one who is mistreated, used and abused more than any of us could ever taste or imagine. It says that he never did anything wrong, but only wrong was done to him. This is the injustice. He goes on to say, that Jesus’ family would flee to Egypt. Prophecy number six, 700 years before Christ was born, Hosea 11 1, when Israel was a child. So it’s talking about this one who would come from the nation of Israel which comes from the family of Abraham. This boy, this male child we’re waiting for. He will be a child, he is gonna be a little boy. I loved him. And out of Egypt, I called my son. He’s talking here about Jesus, the son of God. And this prophecy was fulfilled when there was a godless government, everything God creates Satan counterfeits. It’s a counterfeit of the kingdom of God. There is a demonic ruler named Herod and he hears the Jesus is gonna be born and he’ll be the King of the Jews. And now he fears for his political power. And so what he determines and decides is to put out a death sentence to murder all the little boys of the Hebrews so that Jesus would die before he could get big and rule. The same thing happened in the Old Testament because though they are different rulers, that same demons are at work behind the scenes in the nation of Egypt. There was a godless Pharaoh and he decided that all the male sons should be put to death because one of them was gonna rise up and be a leader. Here’s what I’m telling you. You know that it’s demonic when governments murder children. Just say, Pastor Mark, that’s political. No, that’s biblical. God gives life. And when government takes innocent human child life it is demonic, an offense to God. So what about choice? If there is a demon named choice I would encourage you not to worship it. Okay? They tried to murder Jesus as a baby, through governmental funding, raised by taxes from his parents. Connect the dots, go register so you could pay your taxes so we could murder your baby. They try to kill Jesus and they want his parents to pay for it with the tax dollars. I’m just telling you, friends. God says in Proverbs, just comes to mind in the Holy Spirit. All who hate me love death. What do you mean, they love death? They have parades for it. They have holidays for it. They have campaigns for it. They love it. That means they hate him because he’s the living God. Some of you are very, I’m very offended. It’s because you gotta get out of the womb so you could be offended. Well, that’s not how I would vote. That’s because you got out of the womb so you get to vote. Congratulations. Okay. Well, what about women, Pastor Mark? Half the people we murder are girls. I’m not sure how that is liberation. I’ll just hold my ground.
– Okay. What he’s saying is Jesus’ family had to flee to another country. Otherwise their son was gonna be put to death by the government. And then eventually many did die. It was a great Holocaust. Satan’s always been about killing God’s people, but then eventually God calls his son back from Egypt and he goes back to Israel so that he can get to the temple so that he can get to the cross so that he can get to the tomb so he can get out of the tomb so that sinners can have a savior. Number seven, 400 years before Jesus is born it was prophesied that he would enter the temple. Malachi 3 1. See, I will send my messenger. When a King was coming, they would send out a messenger to declare, make way for the King. This is going to be John the Baptist, John the baptizer, Jesus’ rural homeschooled very eccentric cousin who lived in Jerome. He was that kid. Okay. It’s talking about him. See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me, then suddenly the Lord, that’s the Lord Jesus you are seeking. We’re all waiting for him. Will come to his temple. Geographic specificity, the messenger of the covenant. That’s the new covenant. Whom you desire. We’re longing for him. Will come says the Lord almighty. Says that not only would Jesus come, he would come to the nation of Israel and he would come to the temple. And ultimately you need to know that the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. That gives us a historical timeline and deadline. Jesus said that ultimately the temple would be destroyed because it was a placeholder until he fulfilled all that the temple foreshadowed. The temple was the presence of God. Now we got Jesus. He is the presence of God on the earth. The temple had a priest that would mediate between sinners and God. Jesus is our great high priest who mediates… And he is the one mediator between man and God. It was at the temple that sacrifices were offered and Jesus is the sacrifice offered once for all. So we had the temple till we got Jesus. Now we don’t need the temple. All we need is Jesus. Therefore the temple was destroyed in 70 AD so that you can’t even be a faithful Jewish worshiper of God because you don’t have a temple. You don’t have a priesthood. You don’t have a sacrificial system. So for my Jewish friends, who I love, and you’re saying we’re just waiting for Messiah to come to the temple. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD. He already came. He was Jewish. His name was need Jesus. You need Jesus. You need Jesus. And all of the other prophecies that regard the temple had to be fulfilled by 70 AD. God’s left us no choice. Number eight. John the Baptizer would prepare the way for Jesus. 700 BC, A voice, Isaiah 40 verse three, of one calling in the desert, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Says a prophet is coming and he is going to prepare the way. And right behind him will be Jesus. These two boys met in the wombs of their mothers. Elizabeth was pregnant. Mary was pregnant. They come together. The old covenant, the new covenant, the prophet, the fulfillment, and John is filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. And he leaps for joy in the presence of Jesus. He’s about six months older than Jesus. He starts preaching and teaching and baptizing and gathering and his fame rises. And then he hands it all to Jesus. And he says, he must increase, I must decrease. My job is done. I was just paving the highway for the coming of the Lord. Jesus says, of men born of women none is greater than John. His ministry lasted maybe six months, but he paved the highway that Jesus would come on. And Jesus’ first followers originally were all followers of John. And then John gave Jesus his ministry. All of that was prepared. And then it was said that Jesus would perform miracles. 700 BC in Isaiah, 35, 5 and 6. Then the eyes of the blind will be open. Did Jesus do that? He did, blind people saw. No deductible, no copay. It was awesome. Awesome. And the ears of the deaf unstopped. Now you can hear people worshiping God. Then the lame will leap like a deer. And the mute tongue shout for joy. Jesus said, if you don’t believe my words, examine my deeds. What he was saying is not only do I say I’m God, I show I’m God. I do things that only God can do. Like the supernatural. We believe in the supernatural. How many of you would testify that not only did Jesus heal, he still does sometimes. Amen? He still does. He still does. And so he is the same yesterday, today and forever. And this is part of our testimony and the difference between a testimony and a biography is this. A biography is what I did. A testimony is what he did. And this is for some of you, your testimony. Jesus has done a miracle and he’s physically healed you. Number 10, Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey in humility, 500 BC, Zachariah 9, 9, rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion. That’s the presence of God. That’s language of the kingdom of God and the temple of God. Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem. That’s the city that housed the temple. See your King. So Jesus is King of Kings. Lord of Lords comes to you, righteous. He alone is sinless and perfect and holy and good. Having salvation, he’s gonna give it to you. He’s gonna give you a salvation and forgiveness of sins and love and eternal life and relationship with God, the Father. Gentle and riding on a donkey, a colt, on the foal of a donkey. Many people missed Jesus because he came in humility. And proud people assume that God would come in greatness and grandness, not in humility. Well, Jesus is humble and we are proud. And he doesn’t come like us, but he comes to make us like him. And all of this was fulfilled. There was a great holiday. Everybody came together and Jesus very humbly rode into town, not with a chariot and an army, but on the foal of a donkey, he came in humility. He still does. He still does. And then he he would be betrayed by a friend. How many of you have been betrayed by a friend? You’re my spouse. You committed adultery. You’re my business partner. You ripped me off. You said you were my friend. I thought I could trust you. And you betrayed me? God experienced that with a man named Judas Iscariot. Jesus had 12 disciples. One was a son of the devil and he betrayed the son of God. And it was prophesied in advance, a thousand years previous in Psalm 41 9. Even my close friend, not some distant relative or co-worker, not a former friend. Jesus spent three years with him, feeding him, loving him, blessing him. He got to see the miracles. He got to hear the sermons. He got a front row seat for the life of Jesus. Even my close friend, whom I trusted. I let you close enough that you stab me in the front. That’s what he did. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss. He stabbed him in the front. He looked him in the eye. It’s bad enough to get stabbed in the back. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to get stabbed in the front Who shared my bread. We had meals together. We took community together, we did life together. Has lifted up his heel against me. In that culture one of the greatest dishonors was to lift your heels. So the way it would work in Eastern cultures and to this day in many Asian cultures, when they dine they sit on the floor, not in a chair, and the table is low to the ground about the height of one of our coffee tables. And they sit on pillows and recline. And if you really wanna dishonor somebody, you put your stinky nasty foot up on the table right next to their plate for them to look at. That is worse than us giving someone the middle finger. Now you think of the feet and you think of that moment where Jesus and his disciples went into a house for a party, and their streets, the Roman roads, the Pax Romana, the Roman peace for the Roman road system. The roads are dirt and everybody’s traveling on them. So animals are going to the bathroom and stuff’s getting spilled and it rains. And it’s just a grotesque mess. And you’re walking with open toed sandals. By the time you venture to your destination your feet are absolutely disgusting. So as you would go into someone’s home, as an act of hospitality they would assign to the lowest ranking slave the nasty duty of cleaning the feet. Jesus and his disciples went in for an event. And the disciples were too arrogant and they weren’t humble enough to do the job. So what did Jesus do? God, who went from heaven to earth actually went further down. This is his humility. And he cleans the feet of his disciples including whose feet? Judas, who would lift his nasty heel against him. God, knew this in advance but this does not make Judas Iscariot a victim. You and I, God knows our future, but the decisions we make we are responsible for because we choose, we choose. Judas was not forced by God against his will. Judas did what he wanted to do and it’s what God prophesied in advance would be done. But God used that horrendous evil for great good. Judas’s betrayal led to Jesus’ death which led to our forgiveness. Because Jesus is not a friend like Judas. Jesus is not a friend who lifts up his heel against those who are close with him and break bread with him as friend. Goes on to talk about Jesus’ betrayal for 30 pieces of silver thrown into the temple. Again, giving us a historical deadline by 78 AD. Zachariah, 11, 12 and 13. They paid me 30 pieces of silver, not 29, not 31, not gold, not bronze, very specific. God’s in the details. The Bible says, he knows every day of your life. He knows every longing of your heart. He knows every hair on your head. And for some guys that’s a short count, but God knows it all. God knows it all. God’s in the big he’s in the small. It goes on to say and the Lord said to me, throw it to the potter. That is a section or segment of the temple which again was destroyed in 70 AD. The handsome price. It’s kind of hyperbole and mockery, which they priced me. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter. Here’s the big idea. You will love God and use money, or you will love money and use God. Judas loved money and used God. For three years as the bookkeeper he kept stealing from Jesus. And once Jesus is going to die he knows that there is no more income to steal. So he betrays Jesus and all he looks at Jesus is as an income stream, as an economic opportunity, not as a savior and a friend. So for 30 pieces of silver, he betrays Jesus. And then he throws it into the potter’s field which is a portion of the house in disgust. And then he goes and hangs himself. The point is, you cannot love God and love money. You must worship one or worship the other. That’s why our money says in God we trust. And the truth is, for most people, it’s in that God they trust. They love money and they use God. Judas is that horrific warning to us all, that we do not worship our wealth. We worship with our wealth. We do not worship our wealth. We worship with our wealth. 700 years before it was prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 50 verse 6 that Jesus would be beaten and abused. Offered my back to those who beat me. This is the beginning of the unveiling of what is called this flogging or scourging to Roman executioners with a cat of nine tails, would have a handle, straps of leather at the end, balls that would be made out of metal or stone. They would tenderise the man’s flesh, hooks would dig in made out of metal or bone. And then they would take turns ripping the flesh off the back of the man, so that he was marred beyond human likeness. And many men simply died from the scourging. Offered my back to those who beat me. My cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. And that was dishonor and disrespect. Cars run on gas. Men run on respect. Okay? Cars run on gas. Men run on respect. Pulling a man’s beard out was an ultimate disrespect in that culture. You’re not a man. You’re a boy. It was a way for other men who were bullies to show their superiority. And they did that to Jesus. I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. As Jesus hangs on the cross. He is probably crucified at eye level. That was typical. His mother is there weeping as he is bleeding. She is crying as he is dying and what he hears is mocking and spitting. People are placing bets when he will die and they are making sport and light and fun of him. What the cross shows us is how good God is and how bad we are. God comes to love us and we hate him. God comes and says, we have a problem and we decide that he is the problem. Number 14, Jesus’ clothing is gambled for. Psalm 22 18. They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. When the soldiers crucified Jesus they recognize that his outer garment had some measure of value, to this would be equivalent of our coat. And so what they did is they cast lots to see which one would earn the prize of Jesus’ outer garment. All of this happened exactly as was prophesied. Number 15, 700 years prior to his walking on the earth, Jesus, it was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 3 that he would be hated and rejected. He was despised. People hated him. And they still do. They still do. People will use Jesus for their cause or their issue. And as soon as he is no longer convenient for them, they will despise him. Be wary of any leader, politician, any religious or spiritual figure, any dating relationship where they’re using Jesus, but they’re not loving Jesus. Ultimately they are using him. And when he is no longer convenient to them they will despise him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. The shortest verse in the New Testament is simply Jesus wept. He was a man of sorrows. He was familiar with suffering. He was acquainted with grief. If you have shed tears, had hard seasons, Jesus is a God who identifies with you. And we esteemed him not. He’s like one we hid our faces from. You’d look at Jesus and be like, that guy has beaten beyond recognition. The religious leaders hate him. The political leaders hate him. God must hate that guy. No, actually that’s the son of God. Just because the world hates him doesn’t mean that the father doesn’t love him. Same is true for you and me. That he would not defend himself. Isaiah 53 7, 700 years in advance. He was oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter and as a sheep before shearers is silent, so did he did not open his mouth. How many of us on the cross? If everyone’s there speaking evil of us, we’re going to return fire. Because Jesus knows all the details of everyone’s lives. Oh, hey. I know about your girlfriend. Your wife doesn’t. And now she does. Good luck with that. And for, and you, you’ve been ripping off your boss, and you molested your kid and you’re drunk. Let me tell you my side of the story. Let me clear the air. Let me set the record straight. Not a word. The only things Jesus said from the cross were to benefit others, not himself. This is where Peter earlier, in first, Peter, he says, don’t return evil for evil or reviling for reviling. Instead, bless and you may receive a blessing. He got that by watching Jesus die. He didn’t defend himself. Here’s the point. Don’t defend yourself in history. Let God defend you in eternity. Don’t worry about what they say. Wait to hear what he has to say. Then Jesus would be crucified. 1000 years, BC, Psalm 22, 16, dogs, evil men, have you met a pack of wild dogs? Scary, right? We’ve got coyotes, and we’ve got coyotes near our house. How do I know? ‘Cause they yelp and they howl. We’ve also got bunnies. I could tell for sure when the coyotes get a bunny, they let us know. It’s haunting. What he’s saying here is that some men are like animals. They’re so demonically empowered that what they do is like a wild beast. Dogs have surrounded me, a band of evil men has encircled me. They have pierced were? Hands and feet. This is the crucifixion of Jesus through the most sensitive nerve centers in the human body, the carpenter has nails driven through his hands and feet. This is not only 1000 years in advanced predicting and prophesying , anticipating and foreshadowing the crucifixion of Jesus. This is also anticipating the invention of crucifixion, crucifixion, wasn’t to be created or invented historically for 200 years, it was created by the Persians. It was perfected by the Romans who executed Jesus. God is not only prophesizing here the crucifixion of Jesus. He is prophesying the invention of crucifixion. Number 18. Jesus would die with sinners, Isaiah 53 12. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great. He will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, was numbered with the transgressors. On the day that Jesus died there were two people crucified with him. We don’t know their name because they’re dead. We’re not having a party for them this morning because they’re dead. We don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter for them because they’re dead. We don’t have a movement called Christianity for them because they’re dead. Three guys died. One guy rose. That’s why we’re here. He died with the transgressors, but he didn’t die like the transgressors. And he didn’t stay dead with the transgressors. 1400 BC. None of Jesus’ bones would be broken. It says this an Exodus 12 46, do not break any of the Passover Lamb’s bones. So all the way back in the days of the Exodus, God’s people were being held in bondage and slavery to a demonic counterfeit King and kingdom, Pharaoh in Egypt. And God said, those are my kids. They need to be set free so they can worship me. That’s why we’re gonna worship God in a moment. And ultimately, there was a succession of plagues that were sent to the nation. The last was the killing of the first born. And God said, this is it. I’m done. Either you confess your sins and trust in my son or I because of your sins will take your sons. And so it was said that they needed to, in faith, take a lamb without defect or blemish, spotless, symbolizing sinlessness. This is what John, the baptizer intimates when he sees Jesus on the horizon, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is what Paul says, I think in first Corinthians 5 7, behold Christ, our Passover lamb has been slain. They took the lamb without spot or blemish showing the sinlessness and humility and peaceability of Jesus. They would confess their sins and then they would slaughter the animal as a substitute for their sins and blood would be shed and the animal would die in the place of the sinner. But then we’re told to take the blood and in faith go outside and paint the doorpost over the entryway of the home. The point is that you’re to worship God in your home and witness about God outside of your home. And that then the death would come to the homes that were not covered by the blood of the lamb and would take the life of the first born son. The only exception is that death would pass over those homes that in faith trusted in the God who would die as the lamb of God. And the promise was given that they were not to break any of the bones in the lamb. All of this was leading to Jesus. He says the same thing in Psalm 34 20, 1,000 years BC, he protects all of his bones. Not one of them will be broken. So 1400ish years later, Jesus comes, in the final moments of his life leading up to his death he gets together with his disciples. We call it the last supper. It was the Passover. And he says, this is my body broken for you. This is my blood shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me, he’s showing that all of the prophetic indication and intention of the Passover was fulfilled in him. And then he went to the cross and he died during the season of Passover. But what’s interesting is none of his bones were broken. Now, the way the crucifixion would occur, it was painfully slow death by asphyxiation. you would hang on the cross and air would escape your lungs and you would start to pass in and out of consciousness. So because your feet were nailed, you would push yourself up on your feet and pull yourself up on your hands. Excruciating pain. That word excruciating literally means, from the cross we created a word to describe the horror of crucifixion, and then you would get more air in your lungs and you would pass in and out of consciousness. Historians outside of scripture will tell you that some people hung on the cross in a climate like ours for upwards of nine days. We’re in the Arizona summer. Nine days. No water, no food, no medical treatment, day and night. To hasten his death, they would have broken his legs so that he couldn’t push himself up. But the scourging and the giving up of his spirit meant that he died quickly. Therefore none of his bones were broken. To ensure that he was dead a Roman executioner took a spear thrust it through his side. It punctured his heart sack so that water and blood flowed from his side. Jesus literally, physically, metaphorically, emotionally died of a broken heart. But in God’s providence, they missed the rib. No bones were broken. No bones were… Let me just say this. God also knows how you are gonna die. And God knows how his son was going to die. And that he would be forsaken by God on the cross. Psalm 22 1, my God, my God. Why have you forsaken me 1,000 years in advance? Who said that? Jesus. Where did he say that? On the cross. Jesus was forsaken so you could be forgiven. Jesus died so you could live. Jesus was hated so you could be loved. Jesus took your place so that you could take his place. Second Corinthians 5, 21 says God made him who knew no sin to become sin. So that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, called this the great exchange. Here’s my point. You need Jesus and you need him right now! You are living as a sinner! You are living as an enemy of God! You are the problem, not the solution! You are the sinner, not the savior! The wrath of God is real! Hell is real! The judgment of God is real! You’re getting away with nothing! You are storing up everything for the day of judgment! And you need Jesus! And you need him right now! And you need them more than you think you do! He was forsaken! So that you don’t have to be. This is why we love Jesus, right? This is why we love the cross. I wanna keep talking about the cross. Well, the worst thing for him was the best thing for me. He went where I should go and he takes me where I should have not go. Do you know Jesus? Do you love Jesus? Do you trust Jesus? Do you realize you’re a sinner and you need a savior? That’s the most important decision you’re ever gonna make. When he says, why have you forsaken me? Let me answer that question for you. So he could glorify God and save him. That’s why. That he would die. He was cut off from the land of the living. He would die. Jesus died on the cross, in our place, for our sins. Number 22. That he’d be buried with the rich. 700 BC, Isaiah 53, 9. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, with the rich in his death. Was Jesus, poor, rich? Poor. He died. Joseph of Arimathea. I gotta move quick. I’m over time. I’ve been over time for a while. If I’m totally honest. Joseph of Arimathea was a more quiet, distant disciple of Jesus. When Jesus died, Jesus was poor. He didn’t have a rich tomb. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man, gave Jesus his tomb. Jesus was buried in that tomb. A few days later, got out handed the keys back. It was just a weekend at a hotel. It worked out well for both of them. Kind of worked out well for both of them because Jesus would rise from death. 1000 years, BC, Psalm 16 10. You will not abandon me to the grave! And you know what? That’s a promise for all who trust in Jesus! That is awesome! That’s amazing! Because everybody right now, they’re freaking out. What if we die? What if we die? Spoiler alert. You’re gonna die! I don’t know when! I don’t know how! Here’s what I do know, you’re gonna die. Right now, through human history. 100% death rate! That’s how it works! All sin, all die! You’re gonna die! Would it be nice if somebody defeated death? Wouldn’t that be amazing if somebody could meet us on the other side and welcome us home instead of take us to hell? His name is Jesus. I wanna live a long time. Hydrate, bottled water. I take vitamins. I try to be able to get things out of my pockets without taking my pants off. I’ve tried to extend my life. But at the end of the day I don’t fear death because I know that if he was not abandoned to the grave, I will not be abandoned to the grave. Nor let your Holy One see decay. How many of you’re Holy? Just one. And he’s gonna go to the grave, but he’s gonna get out of the grave. The Lord make his life a guilt offering. That is death. He will see his offspring prolong his days. After he dies he’s gonna live. And the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. He’s gonna accomplish salvation. After the suffering of his soul he will see the light of life and be satisfied. He’s roaring back. He’s coming back. Here’s what I’m telling you. Jesus is not dead. He’s alive. The grave does not get the final word. The son of God does. All of the prophecies, all of the promises about everything that Jesus would be and do were all fulfilled for me and you! So here’s what I don’t want you to do! This! I don’t want you to do that! If you don’t read the word of God, you’re doing that! If you don’t believe the word of God, you’re doing that! If you’re not trusting the word of God, you’re doing that! I love you! Jesus loves you! He’s taken care of our biggest problem! He will forgive you and help you with all of your other problems! But at the end of the day, you will just be blind walking around in darkness if you don’t spend time opening the word of God. He’s alive right now. He went to heaven. He’s having a great day. Psalm 68 18, 1,000 years in advance. When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train! Jesus ascended back to his throne. And those who were awaiting him in faith, trusting in the promises of the Old Testament, they went with him! Here’s what I’m telling you. Jesus is alive right now! Just as real as you are sitting in a chair Jesus is seated on a throne! Just as real as you are surrounded with saints, he is departed! He is surrounded rather by departed saints and divine beings! That Jesus is King of Kings! That Jesus is Lord of Lords! That Jesus is who he says he is and he does what he says he does! And I love this. The Lord says to my Lord, so the father says to the son, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool under your feet. There’s a day coming. When you go home and you put your feet on the coffee table, realize, when all is said and done, Jesus is coming back to earth. He is judging the living and the dead. And he will take his enemies and he’ll put his feet on them and they will be his coffee table forever and ever and ever. You and I will be as family living in that house. So until we see him, we trust him. And here’s what I’m telling you, everything that God promised would happen with the first coming of Jesus happened exactly specifically in history as God promised! Amen!?
– So here we are. We’re on the precipice of history. We’re waiting for the second coming of Jesus! It says that he is coming again! He’s coming! It says that he will ride on a cloud! He’s going to ride back on a cloud! It says that he will call us by name! He will call us by name! It says that we will leave our grave and we will have eternal life in his presence! That all of the nations will be reconciled! That all of the ailments will be healed! That all of the needs will be met! That all of the prayers will be answered! And all of the tears will be wiped away forever by nail scarred hands. So, whew! Let’s worship Jesus until we see him. Let’s just see right now that he is being worshiped up there. Let’s make sure that he is worshiped down here. Let’s worship him down here until we see him come from up there. Lord Jesus, I just wanna say thank you. You’ve made it super simple. And God, we confess, we need it to be really simple. Lord, if it was about 12 things, that would be tough. It’s just about Jesus. It’s all about Jesus. It’s only about Jesus. It’s always about Jesus. God, thank you for the scriptures. You didn’t have to speak to us once. You’ve been speaking to us for a long time. God, you could have said it just once, you’ve said it over and over. Jesus, we just wanna say you are the center of history, you are the fulfillment of prophecy and you are our Lord, God, Savior, Creator, King and Christ. God, thank you that we live in this privileged position in human history where we get to see the fulfillment of so much prophecy. And we by faith, trust that everything else that the book says is going to happen just like the book says. Lord God in a world filled with myths, I thank you that we have truth. In a world filled with darkness we thank you that we have light. In a world filled with sinners we thank you that we have a savior. We thank you that in a world that is coming to an end that we get to be with Jesus in a world that never ends. God, I pray that no one would hear this message and not receive Jesus. That for those who do know Jesus I pray that they would keep the scriptures open, figuring out the next step on the path home, until, Jesus, we see you face to face and everything that we believe by faith becomes something that we enjoy by sight. Give us that grace, Holy Spirit, until we see Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen. Love you. Thank you guys.