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Now I Lay me Down to Sleep -sml

Notes & Transcripts
            
Instrumental Meditation  
   
CALL TO WORSHIP Mike
O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus  
Beloved and Blessed  
   
Continue Reading the Psalms-Ps. 102:23-28 Mike
O God Our Help in Ages Past  
   
Welcome, Announcements  Dan
FAMILY/OFFERTORY PRAYER  Dan
   
Thank You, Jesus for the Cross  
   
SCRIPTURE READING Mickey
MESSAGE Mickey
   
Power of the Cross  
   
CLOSING PRAYER/BENEDICTION Mickey


INTRO

 

My wife and I were talking about my preaching this morning and she said

“You don’t often preach encouraging messages.

 

I said .. You’re right

 

So ths morning I’m going to preach about Death!

Maybe it’s because I am officiating at more funerals than weddings…

 

Maybe its because

 

Michael Jackson – King of Pop

Norbi Spreinig – Solon Shool bus driver

Farah Fawcett – Movie Star

Walter Cronkite – The most trusted man in America

Joy Cabot – a Christian who happened to be of Jewish Descent.


Death is the only prohibited topic for discussion in our society.

We can talk about sex,

Money, drugs, Racial issues,

maybe even Religion..

But we cannot talk about the one universal reality in life… Death

The mental panic  that the thought of death creates is probably the greatest single reason we do not think much beyond  it. 

 

 

But the Scriptures do not shy away from the topic.

 

Please turn to Heb 2
Heb 2:14-18

14        Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil--

15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.

17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Will you Pray with me

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die Before I wake

I Pray the Lord my Soul to take


Now I Lay me Down to Sleep

I have organized my thoughts this morning around three headings in my Notes

I. Jesus Identifies with Man

II. Jesus Identifies with  The High Priest

III. Jesus Identifies with The Atoning Sacrifice


I. Jesus Identifies With Man

 

WHY DO WE FEAR DEATH?

 

A. The Perfect Environment

When God created Man,  He put him in a perfect environment to prosper.

He only gave one Rule.

Only One Caveat, which  demonstrated that He was God and Man was not.

 

And Man was told that disobedience to that Rule would bring Death.

B. Disobedience

We know the rest of the story.

Instead of Believing God,

taking Him at His Word

Adam and Eve believed the Lie of the Evil One and disobeyed God’s One rule.

That Disobedience brought God’s Curse  upon the creation instead of His Blessing.

 

 


C. The Curse

 

Gen 3:16-19 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

17        To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18        It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

19        By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

The man and woman created out of dust in the image of God would begin to disintegrate and eventually become mere dust again.

When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree,  Disintegration and Destruction

- physical..social and ..spiritual, began immediately

 

1. Their Godward relationship was destroyed

2. Their self-ward relationship was destroyed ;

-          The peace within themselves was gone

-          , They became dissatisfied.  Their consciences rose up to accuse.

-          The marriage relationship was destroyed

3. Their Creation- ward relationship was destroyed. 

Adam  was alienated from the world of nature.  Instead of having dominion over it, he now had to sweat and laber to subdue the earth

4. Their Family relationships were destroyed

Death  involves the disintegration of life and begins as soon as we cut ourseves off from its only ture source.

Physical Death then is the outward expression of their spiritual disintegration

Sinclair Furgeson says that

“In some ways, physical death is simply the Sacrament of death: it is the outward physical emblem of the spiritual reality that is already present.

 

Death involves the disintegration of life and begin as as soon as we cut ourselves off from its only true source

Physical death then is the outward expression of this spirtual disintegration”

Disobedience is Sin.

Death is the wages of Sin

Death entered the world

From that time to today Man finds himself enslaved by His Fear of Death.

Just like Adam and Eve,

He doesn’t know when, or How,

but he knows that it is coming.


The Roman author Seneca wrote about death,”‘Nothing can be said

’Anyone can stop a man’s life,

but no one his death”

 

Why do we fear death?

1. We fear Pain

2. Fear of separation

3. Fear of the unknown

4. Fear of everlasting Punishment

Because of our Slavery to the Fear of Death, we have become adept at putting it aside… keeping the thought of the Reality of Death away from our minds.

We  go through our days as though we will live forever..

Our priorities….

Our thoughts.. for self and family

Our actions…

Our planning …for retirement

is all done as though death will never come to us!

And we are not allowed to speak about death in polite social circles..

Death is the elephant in the room that no one will acknowledge.

And why is this so?

Because every man is “held in slavery by his fear of death” 2:15

Since the cause of Sin was man’s desire for independence, we should not be surprised that man has decided to make himself feel better about death by making up all manor of ways to deal with it.

All to no avail.  Death is still with us.

 

But along with the Curse,

God also made a Promise

 

 

 


D. The Promise

In Genesis 3:15 He promised that One   from the ‘ seed of the woman” would come to destroy the Devil.

Gen 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

And God did just as He promised.

And we read these words about Jesus:

Heb 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity

And in the fullness of Time, Mary a Virgin, came to be with child and as

 

Matt 1:21 explains,  “ You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

 

Jesus Identifies with Man by Becoming  a Man
The Incarnation..

What is the incarnation?

It is the creator of the universe becoming a man..

The taking on human flesh, blood, bone and consciousness gave the Son of God the capacity to experience life..

John 1:14“The Word became flesh”

ILLUS:  Just as Shakespeare acted in some of his plays, Jesus now comes to participate in His World

As Bruce Milne says, 

“In becoming incarnate, the divine Word did not  relinquish his deity;

he added to it, if one may so speak,

by taking a full human nature into hypostatic union with the Word.”

Life through a body bound by space and time/

…without ceasing to be anything that He was before,

… he added to Himself all that being human in the world involves.

 

He became that which he was not.

The union of human and divine natures in one person is called the hypostatic union

 

This phrase simply means the union of Christ’s human and divine natures in one being.

Jesus was  Fully Human yet Fully Divine

There are mysteries here beyond what we can understand.

God is True to His Word!

 

He promised Disobedience would bring a Curse and Death.. and it did

But He also Promised to send One to Reverse the Curse and bring Life

.. And He Did

Jesus Identifies with Man by becoming a Man

 

But He had to do more than just become a man…

This passage tells us that He also Identifies with the High Priest
II. Jesus Identifies  with The High Priest

 

16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.

17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God,

 

A. The High Priest is A Man

The High Priest was Selected from among men.

 

God chose Aaron, Moses’ brother to be the First High Priest and we can read in Leviticus

 

What is the role of the High Priest?

 

B. the High Priest is a Mediator between God and Man

Once a year the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to Make Atonement  for the Sins of the Israelites


Lev 16:15-16 "He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.

16 In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

There are two characteristics of the High Priesthood of Jesus:

  1. He is  merciful
  2. He is Faithful

Mercy is directed to man.

Only in the Beatitudes is this word merciful used and it has to do with those who are merciful to others will receive mercy from God

Faithful speaks of God. 

It is two pronged.  Not only must man be faithful to god, but it is God who is always faithful to man!

The purpose of Jesus’ High Priesthood is made clear in verse 17

For Atonement –

 

PEACE between God and Man

 

Rom 5:1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

 

 

C. The high Priest pronounces Blessing

 

When the sins of the Israelites were atoned for by the High Priest ,

Num 6:22-27The LORD said to Moses,

23 "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

 

"The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." '


The Aaronic Blessing

The Lord bless you and keep you;

.. Conveys the  most basic truth about the presence of God.  He is good to His people and he cares deeply for them

 

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you

Here the  blessing and keeping of the Father is expressed on his face which shines with grace and joy and he extends his blessing to us.

Most children know that certain looks from their parents speak far more and hurt far more  than any other action could.

The Lord turn His face towards you and give you His peace

Even more painful than a parents look of disappointment is NO Look AT ALL

The thought that  He might never look at us is more than we can bear.

Thankfully the  face of God has been lifted up toward us.
I. Jesus Identified with Man  by becoming a Man

II. Jesus Identified with The High Priest

By becoming The high Priest

 

III. Jesus Identifies with the Sacrifice of Atonement

17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

On the Cross,

Jesus becomes The Sacrifice of Atonement.

 

 

 

 

 


Heb 2:9-11But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

The taking on human flesh, blood, bone and consciousness gave the

Son of God the capacity to experience Not only life…But Death

This taste of death was a taste of Damnation!!!!

that is – separation from the Father!

In his cry from the cross, (Mt 27:46)

“My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is telling the world that he was experiencing deep death….during those dark hours In fulfillment of prophecy

God  turned His back on His own son who bore our guilt and judgment on the Cross.

When Jesus  went into the presence of God as our sin-bearer

 the Aaronic blessing was reversed

“The Lord bless you and keep you” became

The Lord curse you and forsake you

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you became

 The Lord make his face frown upon you and condemn you

 

The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace became

The Lord turn his face away from you and give you grief.

Is 53:4-5

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.5       But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
ATONEMENT

 

“Since God is the ultimate judge and definer of what is REAL in the universe…when He thought  of our sins as belonging to Christ.. then in fact they actually did belong to Christ!!

 

This does not mean the God thought that Jesus himself had committed the sins… or that Christ himself had a sinful nature, but rather that the guilt for our sins…the liability to punishment.. was thought of by God as belonging to Christ rather than to us”

--Grudem

 

 

All of the hundreds of years of Blood Sacrifice since Aaron’s initiatory Sacrifice was but a precursor to

Jesus’ Perfect, Efficacious Sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary
Just as the high priest once year entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled blood as a covering for sin, 

Jesus, Shed His Blood,  Once for All Time and became The Atoning Sacrifice for the Sins of His brothers.

 

Because the Incarnation was real – blood  and flesh- he was able to die for his peoples sins

In their place, so that in Him we might become the righotusness of God

2 Cor 5:21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

And in doing so

2:14B “He too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is the devil

Jesus is identified with His people

The certain fact is that as his life was a divine person’s totally human life..

So his death was a divine person’s totally human death


Christ’s death accomplished two things:

1.      He conquered (or destroyed)Satan

Where did Death come from?

Death is the result of sin

 

Rom 5:12-14 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

 

Sin gives Satan his power over us but the power itself is Death

 

Men are in life long bondage of the fear of death

After the Fall, Satan  had the power of death over Adam and his descendants and used death as a weapon against  us.

He desires man’s death in the fullest sense of the word.. his physical death and his spiritual death which is separation from God.

Satan is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44)

But It Was God Who Pronounced The Curse Of Death On The Human Race At The Fall

Satan Is An Angel Created By God And A Servant Of God.

Without permission from God, Satan is unable to do anything

 

It was through Jesus, the Son of God, that God created the universe (Heb 1:2)

 

He alone would be able to destroy Satan.

 

Jesus defeated Satan by using the weapon of death.

Jesus not only conquered Satan

2. He set his people free from the fear of death.

Jesus paid the penalty of sin by giving his life and set us free from the curse of death. 

By paying the penalty for us, Jesus took the weapon of death out of  Satan’s hands.

But For WHOM did Jesus take away the Fear of Deat?

2:16 For surely it is not angels he helps but Abraham’s descendants.

 

Who are Abraham’s descendants?

First of all Abraham’s descendants were flesh and blood..

They are people

Jesus did not come for angels but for men and women

But out of all the people in the world who are Abraham’s descendants?

 

 Who are Abraham’s children?


Please Turn To Gal 3:26-29

 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise

 

(Ferguson)

The Son of God took our human nature and entered into our fallen sin-ravaged environment. 

He lived a life of perfect obedience for the glory of God. 

He Bore God’s judgment against our sin on the cross. 

He experienced the divine curse. 

Now divine blessing and restoration flow to us along the path of grace He has opened ( Gal 3:13)


Bearing shame and scoffing Rude

In my place condemned He stood

Sealed my pardon with His Blood

Halleluiah what a Savior!

 

 

Because Jesus

Became Man and was our faithful High Priest and our Sacrifice who took our sins, our guilt and our judgment  upon Himeself, ON THE CROSS.

 

HE PAID THE PRICE DUE US SO 

We no longer are held in slavery of the fear of death.

 

We are no longer Slaves of the Evil one but are set Free to live under the Smile of God.

 

If you ‘belong to Christ’you  are no longer held in slavery of the Fear of Death


Unbelievers

Adam and Eve wanted life without limits.

Instead of making themselves independent, they destroyed themselves.

In place of Life, they experienced Death

Death is God’s Final Limit on all our Independence.

Death is the final proof that

 Self-centeredness and self-interest cannot triumph because they can’t endure

 

Heb 9:27  tells us that

Man is destined to die once and then face the judgment


God’s Judgment

God’s judgment is based on Truth – the reality of the situation

God’s judgment is Rightous based on His self-integrity

He can’t lower or change His standards or He would no longer be God

God’s Judgment is Universal and Personal – There is No Hiding

Can you face God’s judgment  of your life with confidence in yourself?

If you would like to talk to someone about  these things, please go to the Prayer room where you will find people who will be glad to talk with you and put something in your hand to take with you.
Why do we fear death?

1. We fear Pain

I believe that God gives us time to loosen our roots to this earthly dwelling and allows us to get our priorities in order

2. Fear of separation

Jesus Said,  “I am with you always to the end of the age”  Mt 28

 

3. Fear of the unknown

For ‘to me to Live is Christ and to Die is…MORE CHRIST

4. Fear of everlasting Punishment

 

Jesus has become A Man and The High Priest and The Atoning Sacrifice for

YOU – If you belong to Him


Jesus didn’t like Funerals

 “A pastor was preparing for a funeral once and decided to go through the Gospels to see how Jesus dealt with funerals.

What he discovered is that Jesus did not care for them much.

Every Funeral  Jesus went to

He raised the Person from the Dead

 

Jesus doesn’t do funerals,

…Not even His own.

Jesus Came To Reverse the Curse

 


Rev 1:17-18When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.

18        I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

1 Cor 15:55; 57"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

57        But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

How is all of this true?

By The Power of The Cross
The Heidleberg Chetchism begins:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

 

 


 By the Power of the Cross

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

CHORUS:
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow. 

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry. 


Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

FINAL CHORUS:
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost! 
We stand forgiven at the cross. 


Closing

When my Grandson Stays over our house he is afraid of the dark

I tell him that there is no need to be afraid

1. First of all, I have been there and I know that there is nothing to harm him

And Secondly

I am there with Him so that nothing can harm him.

That’s what Jesus Says to us this morning.

14        Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil--

15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death

 

x
Will you Pray With Me

 

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die Before I wake

I Pray the Lord my Soul to take

 


Final Prayer

 

14        Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil--

15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death

 

"The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." '

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