How He Gave
Many people around the world know, from an intellectual standpoint, that Jesus died on the cross.
Intellectual “knowing,” though, doesn’t necessarily change one’s life.
Even those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior have various levels of understanding and insight into what Christ’s death means to them.
If there is anything Christians should value and seek to understand more fully, it is what Christ’s death on the cross means to them.
If you have a genuine love for Jesus, you should never be content to have a surface or superficial knowledge of Jesus’ death on Calvary.
There are two types of people who will not grow in their knowledge of what Jesus did:
- The person who thinks he knows it all
- The person who chooses not to care
You may have heard hundreds of sermons about Calvary, the blood of Jesus, and his great work of redemption, but there’s always more to be received.
Ephesians 3:8 refers to “…the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Paul prayed that believers would…
…be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
There are hundreds of different angles from which we can approach the subject of Jesus’ death, the power of his blood, the purpose of communion, etc.
Today, we’re going to be talking about “How He Gave.”
1. Jesus Gave Deliberately
Jesus’ death was no accident.
It was not the result of:
- an unfortunate turn of events
- a lack of wisdom
- a failure to recognize impending danger
Jesus’ death was a result of a master plan that Jesus Himself was fully aware of and with which he cooperated fully.
Revelation 13:8 describes Jesus as, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Referring to Jesus crucifixion, Acts 2:23 says that Jesus was, “…delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.”
Jesus knew the Old Testament Scriptures that were about him. He knew that he was the suffering servant Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 53. The one who would:
- Bear our griefs
- Carry our sorrows
- Be wounded for our transgressions
- Be bruised for our iniquities
- Take chastisement for our peace
- Take stripes for our healing
- Present His soul as an offering for sin
He knew that he would be the one graphically portrayed in Psalm 22:
- “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
- Whose hands and feeet would be pierced
- Whose garment would be gambled for
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”
Jesus had options out, but he chose not to take them.
Though everything in him was repulsed at the idea of bearing the sins of the world and experiencing separation from God, Jesus submitted his will to that of the Father and stayed in Gethsemane. He refused to run.
When the soldiers came to apprehend Jesus, he asked them, “Who is it that you want?” They answered, and Jesus said, “I am he.” All 600 of them fell to the ground.
When Peter decided to defend Jesus and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus told him to put the sword up and informed Peter that he could ask the Father and receive the help of 12 legions of angels (36,000 – 72,000 angels).
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor essentially begged Jesus to cooperate with him so he could set him free, but Jesus refused to say anything in his own defense.
Jesus was not a martyr. His life was not taken from him.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
2. Jesus Gave Totally
In his book, Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.
“Would you give your blood to Mary?” the Doctor asked.
Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, “Sure, for my sister.”
Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room—Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.
As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube. With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. “Doctor, when do I die?”
Only then did the Doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he’d agreed to donate his blood. He’d thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that moment, he’d made his great decision.
Johnny, fortunately, didn’t have to die to save his sister. Each of us however, had a condition more serious than Mary’s, and it required Jesus to give not just his blood, but his life.
Jesus withheld nothing. Everything that he was and everything that was in him was given to us and for us.
Other religious leaders have given:
But none have ever given what Jesus gave. Jesus gave Himself.
Jesus went to the cross in the totality of his being: spirit, soul, and body.
He bore the effects and the consequences of our sin in the totality of his being: spirit, soul, and body.
The result is that he has redeemed us in the totality of our being: spirit, soul, and body!
Consider the words to the powerful song: He Gave His All
He was born the baby Jesus,
In a cradle made of hay.
God made good his promise,
He had joined those made of clay.
A baby bound for glory,
But shadowed by the cross.
The Father knew He must give all,
So that all would not be lost.
He grew up in the favor of God and man
With wisdom beyond his years.
The people loved to hear him speak,
It brought music to their ears.
But to some his words became a threat,
They determined to murder the man.
But little did the people know,
They were part of a master plan.
At last the people had heard enough,
They would not understand.
So they beat him, they cursed him,
They cruicified the man.
His broken heart beat sporadically,
His head slowly bowed,
He could see your face and my face
In his last look at the crowd.
Then he surrendered all and willingly,
To the will of him above,
And he died hung between earth and sky,
The supreme display of love.
He gave his all so all would not be lost.
He gave his all when he hung upon that cross.
he showed us all we ever need to know
Of his undying love, the day he gave his all.
3. He Gave Efficaciously
Don’t let the word throw you—it simply means “producing the intended result.” It’s similar to the word “effective.”
We live in a society where the U.S. Dollar is the standard currency. When you go to the store, and put down dollars, they produce the intended result—you are able to buy what you want. You can’t walk into an American store and make purchases with the yen, the mark, the pound, the kroner, etc.
Credit card companies thrive of their ability to be accepted at a large number of stores and locations—it’s only when they are accepted that they produce the intended result.
One of our nation’s largest credit card companies loves to point out the number of places where one of their leading competitor’s cards are not accepted.
When it comes to obtaining things from God (forgiveness, sonship, blessing) there’s a different currency altogether. There are some things that won’t work:
- Dollars don’t produce the intended result
- Human effort (works)
- Religious ceremonies
The Blood of Jesus is the only valid currency in the spiritual realm.
Even Old Testament sacrifices couldn’t ultimately produce the right results.
Old Testament sacrifices were like paying rent—you kept paying and paying and paying, but it never became yours.
The sacrifice of the New Testament was not rent, but rather a purchase—no installments—the price was paid in full.
Old Testament sacrifices were like the interest payments on a debt—if all you can ever pay on a debt is the interest, you’ll never touch the principle.
Old Testament sacrifices never touched the principle. The human debt of sin continued to mount until Jesus came—not with a debt-reduction plan, but with a debt-obliteration plan. He consolidated all of humanity’s debts into one payment, and then paid them off at the First Bank of Calvary!
Instead of humanity continuing under the overwhelming and insurmountable debt, one that we could never pay, mankind’s account was cleared. But we didn’t just go back to a zero balance.
Instead, he gave us access to his account—an account that was full of his glory and riches.
We became heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We became partakers of the Divine Nature.
Credited to our account was everything Jesus had:
When you release your faith in the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, you might say that you are using Your Master’s Card.
Credit card companies boast about how many locations their cards are accepted at.
My MasterCard is recognized and accepted universally, at every location.
It’s honored in heaven.
It’s honored in earth.
Even the forces of hell have to honor it.
Standing behind that broken body and that shed blood is the Name of Jesus—a Name that we have the privilege of using.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Today is a celebration of what God has given to us. We’ve seen today that He gave:
- Efficaciously (His giving produced the intended result)
That’s why we celebrate His death, burial, and resurrection. That’s why we’re thankful for these emblems—the bread that represents His broken body, and the juice that represents His shed blood. These remind us that He’s given us the greatest gift of all: Himself!