Who is this Jesus? #2 – Just and the one who justifies

Following are the rough teacher’s notes from lesson 2 of a four-week Sunday School series titled, Who is this Jesus? See also the series preface and lesson 1.

“Just and the one who justifies”
Clearnote Indy Adult Sunday School class
December 7, 2014

1. Jesus: The fulfillment of the ages

1.1. The view from history

Last week we saw that all through history God was demonstrating that nothing was enough. He was showing man his need of a Savior. Every other hope disappointed, but Jesus fulfills all our hopes…
a. State of innocency
When tempted, Adam fell from innocency through sin.
Christ was tempted in all ways even as we are, yet without sin.

b. Physical sons
Even if sons according to the flesh are true to their fathers, their fathers are sinners
Jesus: the Son who accomplishes the will of His Father: bringing many sons to glory

c. Being left to themselves
Independence from God is a false quest to begin with. Jesus: “I do nothing of my own initiative…” (John 5:30)

d. Starting over
God started over with a new Head who brought life instead of death
“For since by a man came death…” (1 Cor 15:21)

e. Interlude: Promise to Abram
Jesus is the Lamb Abraham looked for: “God will provide the lamb”

f. The good Law
The requirements perfectly fulfilled by Jesus

g. Sacrifices for sin
Jesus is the Sacrifice once for all
Better priest – ever intercedes for His own

h. Redeemer-judges
Jesus is the ever-living Redeemer
Brings eternal peace with the Father

i. Kings
Jesus is King
Lord of heaven and earth
Mighty to save
The Lord mighty in battle
Wins the hearts of the people
Leads to everlasting victory

j. Prophets
Jesus is the greater Prophet
Faithfully warns
Raises the spiritually dead
Gives men new hearts to receive the Word

k. Remnant
Jesus is the faithful Remnant
“A shoot shall spring up from the root of Jesse”

l. Zealot
Jesus has zeal that accomplishes its goal
“Zeal for your temple has consumed me”

1.2. The view from Hebrews

Jesus Christ is…
Better than the angels (Heb 1:4-14)
– Angels are ministering spirits
– Jesus is Lord

Worthy of more glory than Moses (Heb 3:1-6)
– Moses was faithful in God’s house
– Jesus is the builder of God’s house
– Moses faithful as a servant in the house
– Jesus faithful as a Son over His house

Better priest
– Always lives to intercede (Heb 7:23-25)

Mediator of a better covenant
– Based on the sinless Christ (7:27)
– Holds priesthood forever (Heb 7:28)

The covenant He mediates is founded on better promises
– God the Father’s oath (Heb 7:21)

Has a better ministry
– Serves in the true temple instead of the shadow (Heb 8:5; 9:11)

Better sacrifice
– through His own blood
– once for all

2. Just and the One who justifies

Understanding the atonement
Everyone shut up under sin
Wages of sin is death
No one could expect anything but everlasting torment
What can be done?

Answer: Christ became a curse for us
Gal 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE'”

Laws of uncleanness applied to Jesus

  • woman with the flow of blood
  • leper
  • dead girl
    In performing each of these miracles He became unclean

Our sin could not be ignored

Curses on Mt. Gerazim, blessings on Mt. Ebal (Deut 27-28)

‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
***’Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’*** And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
– Deut 27:24-26

How much of the law?
(ALL of it)
The whole world is under the curse.
And the price MUST be paid

How does Christ save His people?
(He was nailed to the cross for our sins)
But how was that accepted as a sacrifice?

Our error

The problem of evil (as commonly thought): “How can a good and loving God allow bad things to happen to good people?”
The problem of evil (truly): “How can a perfectly just, righteous, and holy God justify sinners?”
He ought to destroy us
He hasn’t, so holiness must not matter
Justice must not matter
Righteousness must not matter
We think this is how God is…
So we live this way
Very dishonoring to God
We profane God’s name

So then, how can God be just and the one who justifies sinners (reckons them not guilty)?

How Jesus’ death was an atoning sacrifice for our sins

1. He is high priest
Appointed by God to that office
Psalm 110:4 “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.'”
(See also Heb 5:4-6)

The high priest brought the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement each year (Heb 7:26-27)

Sidebar: if you know the law…
Q: What kind of offering has to be taken outside the gate?
A: The sin offering
(Lev 4:1-4,11-12; 16:27)
Jesus suffered outside the gate (Heb 13:11-14)

Q: What kind thing do you not leave any till morning and not break its bones?
A: The Passover Lamb
Numbers 9:12 “They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.”
(Cf. Exodus 12:10,46)

2. It was the Day of Atonement
At the end of the Passover feast: Priest brought an offering for himself and an offering for the people
(Lev 16:3,5,9-10,15,17,20-22,27; Heb 9:6-7)

3. Christ brought the offering
Not two offerings, one for his own sins and one for the sins of the people
– One Lamb: Himself

Q: What kind of offering is for hidden sins?
A: The sin offering (Leviticus 5)

Q: What kind of offering is for willful sins?
A: The guilt offering (Lev 6:1-7)

Jesus is our sin offering AND our guilt offering:

10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
***If He would render Himself as a guilt offering…***
– Isaiah 53:10-11

(See also Psalm 19:12-13)

They did not take His life: He offered it.
John 10:18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.”

4. It was accepted by God
As the high priest, Jesus brought and offered the sin offering…but was it an acceptable, unblemished lamb? (Ex 12:5)
How do we know if God accepted the sacrifice?
1 Cor 15:17 “…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”

We know God accepted the sacrifice because He raised Christ from the dead (Psalm 16:8-11):

“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol…”

David was not talking about himself, because he did undergo decay! (See Acts 2:23-36)
The One God raised was His Holy One.

And what did God say He would do when He raised His Holy One?
Make Him Lord:
Psalm 110:1 “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'”
That’s lordship! (see also the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:36)

  • Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates that He is God’s Holy One who was not abandoned to Sheol.
  • Jesus’ ascension to the Father is for the purpose of receiving His kingdom

2 Cor 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

What about those who sinned before Jesus came?
God didn’t care about their sins? (Yes, He did)
Not sloppiness, but forbearance (Rom 3:25-26)


What to say in light of such a great salvation?

Hebrews 13:15-19:
– Praise and thanksgiving
– Doing good and sharing
– Obedience
– Prayer

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