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Faithlife

He Descended into Hell

John Crucifixion   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How do we make sense of the tragedy of Charlottesville? How do we make sense that the things in our world right now seem purely evil? Is God failing? Are churches dying? Is Christianity a fade that soon will pass?

Intro

We live in an upside down world right now
1st Century AD Docetism - Belief that Jesus' physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die
“Swoon Theory”
18-19 Century AD
Early proponents of this theory include German Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, who suggested in around 1780, that Jesus deliberately feigned his death, using drugs provided by the physician Luke to appear as a spiritual messiah and get Israel to abandon the idea of a political messiah.
Today - 2016
Crucifixion’s a Doddle by Julian Doyle
10 reasons why Jesus death was not real
Uses ancient text and dare I say Monty Pythons “The life fo Brian” as references.
We do live in a world where anything goes.
Relativism is prevelenet even lending itself toward lawlessness and evil is now good
Destruction of property is justified, killing of innocent children, killing of police officers is justified, and even free speech is only free if others agree it is OK.
How do we make sense of this?
Christ’s death is not negotiable in our belief system
If Christ did not die then God’s wrath still exists and we stand guilty for our sin

Drama

Jesus is buried
Joseph of Arimathea - A senator and a rich man (Matt and Luke)
Nicodemus - - nobleman and rich
They were afraid to claim to be a disciple of Jesus in the past
So, at Jesus death something happened to change that - something “heavenly” as Calvin calls it
So, what kept these men from coming forward before?
SIN
“Swoon Theory”
18-19 Century AD
Early proponents of this theory include German Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, who suggested in around 1780, that Jesus deliberately feigned his death, using drugs provided by the physician Luke to appear as a spiritual messiah and get Israel to abandon the idea of a political messiah.
Today - 2016
Crucifixion’s a Doddle by Julian Doyle
10 reasons why Jesus death was not real
Uses ancient text and dare I say Monty Pythons “The life fo Brian” as references.
We do live in a world where anything goes.
Relativism is prevelenet even lending itself toward lawlessness and evil is now good
Destruction of property is justified, killing of innocent children, killing of police officers is justified, and even free speech is only free if others agree it is OK.
How do we make sense of this?

Doctrine

Depravity of Man
Deuteronomy 21:22–23 ESV
“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
We must first understand the depravity of man
The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition Chapter VI. Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof

IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.k

V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated: and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.m

Deuteronomy 21:22 ESV
“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
Romans 8:7 ESV
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
If we know that Original sin effects the whole man and that man is depraved then we can understand how these evils around us happen.
We can also understand the need for Jesus death
Covenant with Abram
Genesis 24:9–10 ESV
So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter. Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor.
Genesis 15:9–10 ESV
He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half.
Gen 24:9
Genesis 15:17 ESV
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
Gen 15:
God basically took the curse and responsibility of death upon himself
Atonement of Christ
Deuteronomy 21:22–23 ESV
“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
“He descended into Hell”
Calvin - Jesus died a real death and experienced the pains of hell separated from God for a time while in the tomb
This was a part of the atoning sacrifice - God’s wrath on Jesus, His Son, for you
The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition Chapter VIII. Of Christ the Mediator

IV. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that he might discharge, he was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil it;a endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body;c was crucified, and died; was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption.e On

Galatians 4:4 ESV
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
Philippians 2:8 ESV
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

θάνατος (thanatos), death. Cognate

120 times used in the NT to refer to dead or being dead
This is an important belief in the Christian faith because without it we have not received atonement for sin
We are still under the curse
Romans 5:19 ESV
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:12 ESV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
Rom 5:19
Rom 5
Jesus death was so important that John mentioned more detail than we might expect

Doxology

Through death Jesus brings a quickening to life
Illus: Joseph and Nicodemus
Something happened to where they did not fear public ridicule
They did not fear being at odds with their own political party
Jesus death provided a quickening and regeneration in one who was plagued with sin
Now, they carrying Jesus to the tomb make a outward profession of faith
As Christians, we still struggle with sin
We are not immune to the war within - the tug between sin and righteousness
App:
We should be so bold as to be willing to profess our faith publically, knowing that men are deprave and in need of Christ
It should cause us to have urgency in sharing the gospel to those in need, still unregenerate and lost
We need to realize that of all of the sinners out there there is one that you are most responsible for - you
Jesus death is set apart and special
Set apart in the fact that it is unique and could only be accomplished by him
God established a new tomb where no one had laid
Since he is the first-born from the dead () and first-fruits to rise () as Paul says
His death is greater than any other death
It’s abnormal, and it is real
It is special in the sense that it accomplished the atoning work through sacrifice the appeasing of God’s wrath against sin for you and for me
This is what we mean when we say Christ died for you
He had to in order for you to be saved.
App: We should praise him for this gift of grace
Jesus death won the victory over sin for us

Conclusion

Death is a part of life, without it we will never experience the resurrection
At every level you cannot escape the fact that something has to die in order for life to take place
John 12:24 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Jesus is telling us that in order for life to occur death has to happen first
Spiritually, in order for the new life in Christ to begin there has to be death within us - death to the old self and old ways
If we have never been quickened to even know what sin is and that we are in need of Christ we will not experience the resurrection - Justification
If we have never and are not continually dying to the depraved self we will not experience the resurrection - Sanctification
Physically, we will all die in order to be raised again on that last day - glorification
How is all of this possible? Through the completed and real death of Jesus Christ, who descended into Hell for you and for me.
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