The Great Exchange

Posted: April 28, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Three Days Lessons
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The Great Exchange

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  • We love justice.
    • And yet our sense of justice is almost always skewed.
  • We love to see other people receive bad when we feel like they deserve it.
    • If someone cuts someone else off on the road… it feels good to see them get cut off.
    • If someone cuts in front of the line, it feels good to have someone intervene and send them to the back of the line.
    • If someone makes fun of you, it feels good to see them get torn down.
  • And on the flip side, we balk when we feel like we don’t get something good that we deserve.
    • If an older brother or sister received a phone when they were 12 years old, but you were told you would have to wait until you were 16, you would flip out.
    • If your friends are all invited to a party, but you aren’t invited, you sulk, get angry, and plot how to get back at the person who did the inviting.
    • If I gave half of you candy, the other half of you would balk at the fact that you did not also receive any candy.
  • We have this intrinsic sense that is quick to be happy when bad things happen to people that “deserve” them, while also feeling that we only deserve good things and get upset when we don’t get them.
  • The cross teaches us that we actually deserve that bad that we so often reserve for “other” people and yet we receive good that we don’t deserve because Jesus took on the bad that we deserve.

Big Idea: Jesus got what we deserved so we get what we don’t deserve.

 Main Points:

  • On the cross, Jesus gets what he doesn’t deserve.
  • On the cross, Jesus gets what we do deserve.
  • Because of the cross, we get what we don’t deserve.

On the cross, Jesus gets what he doesn’t deserve.

  • Do you know what it means to say something is an injustice?
    • It means that someone is punished or suffers in a way they don’t deserve.
    • Imagine someone else set off a stink bomb at school and you were accused of the action and ultimately given in-school suspension for the action, but you didn’t actually do it and you don’t know who did. You are being treated with injustice.
  • Mark tells us Jesus faces two trials. And at each trial, Jesus is condemned despite the fact that he has done nothing wrong.
  • First Trial (Mark 14:55-65): Jesus before the Sanhedrin
    • The Sanhedrin is the Jewish ruling body made up of 71 people.
    • Mark makes it clear from the start that they came into this trial with a bias.
    • They were seeking testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death (vs. 55).
    • People got up and told lies about Jesus, but their stories didn’t agree.
    • Jesus stands before them, and they can bring no charge that will stick to him.
    • Finally the judge gets up and asks a question, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
    • Jesus’ response immediately ignites the room in chaos…
    • “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
  • Why does everybody go berserk at this? I mean one dude rips off his clothes and everyone else starts hitting and spitting on Jesus… it’s out of control.
    • Because Jesus is claiming to be equal with God, and in doing so he is claiming to be the ultimate judge.
    • The Son of Man is a term used in the OT to refer to someone who comes from heaven to judge the entire world.
    • There is a great irony in this picture… the judge of the world is being judged by the world.
    • The one who should rightly judge and condemn mankind, is being falsely and unjustly condemned by mankind.
    • It’s as if a group of blades of grass got together to accuse the sun of being too bright.
      • “How dare you shine down on us everyday!?!? Someone should do something about that! We’re going to blot you out and take you away.” It’s a ridiculous picture.
      • The very thing that controls whether the grass lives or dies is being put on trial by the grass.
    • This is what’s happening to Jesus… and yet he stands by silently, allowing them to unjustly accuse and condemn him.
  • Second Trial (Mark 15:1-15)
    • Then Jesus gets taken to a second trial. This time before the Romans because the Jews ultimately needed the Romans to carry out the death.
    • Perhaps things will turn out better for him at this trial…
    • Pilate is amazed as Jesus stands silent before all that accusations that are thrown at him.
    • He knows that any normal man would bite back and defend himself in the midst of such accusations.
    • And yet Jesus remains silent…
    • Pilate is convinced that Jesus is innocent and that the Jewish leaders are simply seeking to kill him out of jealousy and envy.
    • So, Pilate tries to do some clever maneuvering… he offers to release Jesus according to a yearly prisoner release.
    • But they cry out for Pilate to release Barabbas, a known and convicted murderer who is a real threat to Rome.
    • Pilate pardons a guilty man and condemns an innocent man to death on a cross.
    • Jesus, the only completely innocent man who ever lived, is condemned to a cruel death.
    • And yet, he stands by silently and does nothing about it… he does not defend himself… he does not call down fire from heaven on these idiots… rather he lays down his rights, his comfort, and his very life to those who unjustly demand it.
    • Jesus does not demand what he deserves… but gives up what is rightly his for the sake of others.
  • Apply:
    • We have this internal mindset that we are going to get what we deserve, and throw a massive stink about it when we don’t get what we deserve.
    • But the cross teaches us to be willing to give up what we deserve for the sake of others.
      • Comfort – Giving up comfort to make a new friend at school despite the awkwardness.
      • Revenge – Giving up revenge a friend or enemy at school does something against you.
      • Rights – Giving up your rights as the big 8th graders at Junior High to put younger people ahead of you.
    • The cross compels us to lay down “what we deserve” for the sake of other people.

 On the cross, Jesus gets what we do deserve. (Mark 15:29-33)

  • While there is no greater injustice then the cross, there is also no greater justice then the cross.
  • How can this be??
  • Because on the cross sin is being punished with justice… not Jesus’ sin, but our sin.
  • How do we know this??
    • Two reasons… God the Father abandons Jesus the Son on the cross… we talked about this last week.
    • AND… all went dark for the final 3 hours of Jesus life.
  • Why does this second thing matter??
    • Every night everything goes dark until I turn on my Winnie the Pooh Nightlight.
    • What’s the big deal about darkness?? I ain’t afraid the dark!
  • Because this darkness is a supernatural darkness… it happens at 12:00pm – normally the brightest part of the day.
  • And when darkness shows up in this way… it is a sign of God’s judgment.
  • The Plague on the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21-23)
    • 21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived.
  • This is the ninth plague that God sends on Pharaoh and the Egyptians in judgment for not letting his people go. AND it’s the plague that directly precedes God’s final act of judgment on Pharaoh and Egypt… the death of each firstborn son in Egypt.
  • Here darkness precedes the death of God’s own firstborn son.
  • Here is God carrying out the greatest act of judgment.
  • Here is Jesus on cross getting what sin deserves… death
  • Here is Jesus on the cross getting what we deserve… death.
  • This is the significance of the words the people are using to mock Jesus on the cross.
  • “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ the King of the Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”
  • They unwittingly speak the truth… Jesus cannot save both himself and others… it’s an either-or scenario.
  • Either Jesus avoids this death and we eventually receive it OR Jesus takes on this death so that we can go free.
  • He is our substitute… taking on what we deserve in our place.
  • When I was in fourth grade, my family went to the cabin for the weekend and we took along two of my cousins. At some point in the weekend my cousin Rachel went into the woods after a ball that was thrown. Within seconds she screamed and came running back out of the woods with a swarm of bees right behind her. I, like a coward, immediately turn and ran for house and managed to get in the front door completely unharmed. She stepped on the nest, and she would have to pay the price.
  • The cross tells us that we stepped on a bees nest and the bees are rightfully coming after us. But rather than us taking the sting, Jesus runs towards the bees nest, throws himself on it, and endures every last sting in our place. He is our substitute payment for sin.
  • He endures the sting of God’s judgment for sin that we rightfully deserve.
  • And it is a horrible sting, both in what we know from the suffering of the cross, and what we can imagine was going on behind the scenes as Jesus suffered under the weight of every last sin.
  • Apply:
    • The cross redefines what we deserve.
    • Until we see that it should be you and me hanging there under the weight of sin, bleeding, gasping for breath, and dying completely abandoned by God… we don’t get the gospel.
    • This is why the Gospel is so offensive!!
    • Because it tells us God came into the world and died a horrible death.
    • And it says the reason he did this, is because that’s what we deserve.
    • We instinctively push back against that…I’m not that bad. I don’t really deserve that. Maybe a slap on the wrist and 5-minute turn on the Chill Out Chair. At worst a spanking from a paddle. But not death! No, I don’t deserve that.
    • But that’s the message of the gospel… we are far worse and far more undeserving then we ever imagined.
    • And the only thing we really deserve is death.
    • But Jesus steps in, taps in for us and takes on what we deserve.
    • And in return we get what we don’t deserve… life.

Because of the cross, we get what we don’t deserve. (Mark 15:37-39)

  • And in return we get what we don’t deserve… life.
  • That’s the essence of grace – it is an undeserved gift.
  • It is a teacher extended a hw deadline even though you don’t deserve it.
  • It is someone buying you present that you didn’t expect or deserve.
  • It is getting life when you only deserve death.
  • This is what is being shown when the temple curtain tore in two.
  • It is a tall thick curtain, almost like a wall, not like the curtains you have on your window.
  • The curtain was meant to keep people from God’s presence. Only one person, one time a year, could go behind that curtain into God’s presence. Without the right credentials, you would suffer the consequences.
  • Like going back stage at a concert, only certain people get to go back stage and meet the band at a concert and they need the right pass in order to be able to do it.
  • But when the curtain was torn down the center at Jesus death it showed that anyone can come into God’s presence through faith in Jesus.
  • And its only as we come into his presence that we truly find life… not just hope for eternal life, but fullness of life here and now.
  • This is why in another account of Jesus death we find out that as the Curtain ripped, an earthquake happened, and dead men from the past came walking out of their graves!!
  • That’s what’s offered to us in the gospel… fullness of life now, eternal life in the future, and all by God’s grace.
  • How do we get that life??
    • Look at the centurion.
    • Here is a battle-hardened man, a man who has witnessed many deaths, and overseen many crucifixions.
    • And yet there is something about the manner in which Jesus dies that leads him to this confession, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”
    • How do we get life? By confessing that truly Jesus was the son of God and that he took what we deserve so that we could get what we don’t deserve.
  • This is the message of the cross.
  • Apply:
    • The cross reminds us that everything good we have is a gift of God’s grace.
    • The cross teaches us not to be people of entitlement who are constantly focused on what we deserve, but rather to be people of thankfulness and gratefulness that are overwhelmed by what we don’t deserve.
    • Christians should not be people going around life ungratefully, pointing out everything that we don’t have.
    • Neither should Christians be people who go around life self-righteously… pointing out all the flaws and faults of everyone around them.
    • Rather Christians should be people who are so focused on the cross and getting what they don’t deserve that they respond in thankfulness and love to God and grace and love to the people who are around them.

So What??

  • The cross compels us to give up what we “deserve” for the sake of other people.
  • The cross redefines what we truly deserve.
  • The cross should make us grateful and gracious people.

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