Law, Grace, and Citizenship Lesson 5
King or Savior, Law or Grace?
Labor Day Conference at North Stonington Bible Church
02 September 2012
© Charles A. Clough 2012
This is our 5th session and we are going to move on to the last 3 parts of the Ten Commandments – commandments 5, 6, and 7. Then we are going to move from law to grace. This is going to involve hopefully a renewed appreciation for what our Savior has done and what He is doing (in the present tense.)
Okay, in session 5 in the outline we have entitled it King or Savior, Law or Grace. So we are coming out to the edge so to speak of the Law. We want to look at the 5th and 7th commandments. So we’re going back to this diagram. We’ve gone through the heart allegiance. We’ve gone through the integrity of communication; and we’ve gone through labor and property. So obviously the theme tonight is going to be marriage, family and life. This is sort of the heart of the Ten Commandments, the top parts of the society basically.
So let’s start by ...we’re going to look now ...the 5th commandment, remember, is “honor your father and your mother.” Now let’s go to the commandment and look at the fine print because there is something peculiar about that particular one of the Ten Commandments. If we look at the text in Deuteronomy 5 ... Verse 6 of course starts the Ten Commandments in chapter 5 and then it goes down through these commandments until you get down to verse 16. In verse 16 we run into the 5th commandment here. But the 5th commandment as Paul points out in his commentaries in the New Testament, the 5th commandment has something the other commandments do not have. So let’s look at what it says.
NKJ Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that”
Ooo ... There’s a purpose clause on this particular command.
“your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
Remember the land that God is giving Israel is contingent upon their obedience to His law. What this command shows you -that little purpose clause attached to the 5th commandment is saying that if you want to stay in the land you’d better honor your parents, your father and your mother.
Now what on earth does honoring your father and mother have to do with the nation Israel being able to sustain itself in this land? Well, the answer to that question is very important. The family is the cultural transmitter to the next generation. The next generation is shaped, not by the government; it is shaped by moms and dads. So what it’s saying is that when it talks about honoring the father and the mother is talking about honoring their authority. It’s not saying that parents are infallible – they can’t make mistakes. You know every parent makes mistakes. But there is a principle and we’ll see that now as Moses shows us little instances in life that the first place in our lives when we were little kids, the first place where we ran into the issue of authority is with mom and dad. And, if that issue and if that lesson isn’t dealt with what happens is that families propagate undisciplined kids into society. Society pays the price. We’re going to see a very sobering command that God gives here tonight about that little issue. So we want to make we understand what the 5th commandment is saying.
So let’s first turn to Deuteronomy 6 and we’ll see one of the manifestations of the authority of mom and dad. Verse 4 of course is the key verse of Jewish faith.
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Now the next verse deals with the issue of “well if I’m going to love the Lord with all my heart, how does my heart get the love? How does it get into my heart?”
Now Moses is very practical here – God guiding him of course. In this verse he gives us a how-to. The instructions are all here. Here’s how you do it – the procedure.
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”
7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Let’s see if we can work our way through these verses and try to understand what this is doing for mom and dad. Well, it says you will teach them diligently to your children. That means very carefully and that means taking time that children understand. So in ancient Israel the Jewish families would diligently do this to make sure their kids were educated.
What does this say about educational authority? Is educational authority vested in the government? Or is educational authority vested in mom and dad? Do you see the structure? We’re looking at these basic ideas people and our culture does not want these. It objects to these and is resisting these. So we have a structure that’s happening in our country that is structurally opposing these principles.
That’s why in this conference we are trying to firm up your faith so that at least you know where you’re standing in the middle of the storm. You may not be able to do too much about it but at least you know what is the right thing. And, that’s comforting to know at least we’re right. They’re wrong. That’s a powerful notion.
So when it says you should diligently teach them to your children (verse 7) and you will talk of them – now here’s the how-to.
Moses not only tells them, “Teach your kids,” - he tells them how the teaching happens.
He says, “You’ll talk of them.”
Now it doesn’t mean telling them Bible stories 24/7. That’s not the impact of this Deuteronomy 6 passage. The power of this passage is - it’s saying that whatever you do with your kids they have to see that you are living consistently with the Word of God. Sometimes not verbalizing it is a very powerful notion because they can understand that. They know when the Word of God isn’t being followed after you’ve taught it to them and then they see you don’t follow it. I mean kids pick that up. They come equipped with brains; and so they’ll understand that. They watch the parents, the mom and the dad, as role models. That’s all this is saying.
7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,”
So that’s family time – just around.
“when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
That “walk by the way” is outside the home. Often times the children in ancient Israel were helping mom and dad on the farm so that’s when they’d be talking about different things. They might not be talking about specific things in the Torah, but the father might be telling his son about the fact that we can be thankful for the rain today. Kids just pick up these little things. This is a powerful way of teaching. It has an advantage over a public classroom.
We don’t learn because we walk into a classroom and say at 9:30 we are going to learn. It doesn’t really work that way. It’s too mechanical. And every parent knows this that sooner or later you observe a learning moment. It may be in a car back seat driving on your vacation somewhere and that’s a teaching moment. And, nobody is around except mom and dad to do that. That’s why this passage is structured the way it is.
Then it says:
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
In Jewish orthodox homes they literally followed this in a very mechanical way that:
sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
The actually have these little accoutrements physically. Then when it says:
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I have the little thing at home where the Ten Commandments are in Hebrew. It’s a little thing and you stick it on your door. Now that’s physically; but this is a metaphor for something.
Notice what it says:
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Now what do hands do and what do eyes do? Hands do work. So what they are saying is when you do work with your hands, do it according to the Word of God.
What do eyes do? They see, interpret what you see in terms of the Word of God. That’s the thrust here.
Now Moses doesn’t leave it at that. He has in intervening session from verses 10 down to 19 where he talks about relationships with the Lord. But then by golly look what he does in verse 20. Here again he gives simple, specific instructions to mom and dad.
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:20 “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?’
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:21 “then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;
KJV Deuteronomy 6:22 “ ‘And the LORD shewed signs and wonders,’ ”
Basically, what are mom and dad doing there? They are teaching their children history. Now let’s just pause for a moment and think about this. One of the most frequent verbs in the Old Testament particularly is zacar. The zacar is a word that means remember. Over and over and over again the Bible says to remember, remember, remember ....
What happens when you have your monthly communion, in the middle of that communion? Isn’t it something called remember?
Now why does God keep talking about remembering? Here’s why. Your identity and my identity come from our memory. It comes from where we come from, where we are going. That’s our history. The sad thing is when you have people who are either brain damaged or they go into a shock or coma or they have traumatic brain injury or even Alzheimer’s or something like that they lose their memory; they lose a sense of their own identity.
You can wreck a person’s identity by erasing their history. They don’t know who they are. History is an accumulation of experience; and you need that to figure out – where do I fit in this picture? You see that the point is that the Bible says we must have authentic history of who we are.
This is why the propaganda people – by that what I mean by that is people who are deliberately trying to rewrite American history and write off the Christian influence of the Founding Fathers – they know very well what they’re doing. If they can alter American history they can change the identity of the country - very simple.
So the Scriptures are very serious about this – of remembering, remembering. So you see this.
NKJ Deuteronomy 6:21 “then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;’ ”
You are going to repeat the history. That is why in the Framework approach that I am using we using I emphasize the flow of history.
So we want to move on to another passage here tonight. Let’s go to chapter 14. We are dealing here with traditions that are passed in the home because the home is the place where culture is learned.
In chapter 14 we have one of those passages that is kind of weird. It has stuff in it. You wonder, “What’s this got to do with what we’re talking about?”
But think about this. Think of culture. Cultures are set by simple things like diet, like attitudes toward death, and how to mourn. So that’s what is going on here in chapter 14. God is giving guidance to the Israelites in the bureaucracy. Some of this is just for them and that’s what’s hard about the Law.
I’ve tried to point out to you in the series how important it is to go to the Torah - this section of the Bible for wisdom principles. It’s not easy because some of these principles were peculiar to Israel. Other wisdom principles are phrased in 15th century BC kind of culture so you have to translate and mentally translate and move it to our culture. That’s hard to do. It’s also hard to pick away – what are the universals and what are the peculiar areas of the text. This involves one of those passages where special diet and all kinds of customs that God wanted His people in the Old Testament to do because they were playing a role in history. It would like you were being assigned to a drama. You had a role in the drama so you used a script. You had a different costume on in this play. You played a role. So a lot of this is role-playing. But God didn’t make these roles arbitrary.
When we read them yes, they may be peculiar to Israel; but we need to say, “Wait a minute. What is going on here? Is there a principle that is universal taught by this peculiar area?”
So let’s watch verses 1 and 2, talking about mourning.
NKJ Deuteronomy 14:1 “You are the children of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.
NKJ Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Now it was universally done in the pagan cultures of the time to express mourning by cutting yourself. You see that in 1 Kings 18. Remember Elisha on Mount Carmel? What were the prophets of Baal doing? They were cutting themselves. It’s a normal pagan way. It goes back centuries. It goes back thousands of years. It was a normal expression.
God says, “I don’t want you mutilating your body. I created your body as a temple, just leave it alone.”
So He is saying that to these people.
“Mark yourselves different so that you are different from the pagans living around you.”
Then we have the diet from verse 3 to 21. We have the food. “Do this. Eat this. Don’t eat detestable things.”
That’s the kosher diet. If you have any orthodox Jewish friends you’ll know that they still adhere to a kosher diet and there are certain things you eat and certain things the rabbis say you can’t. And, they’ve maintained that. What does that do? It sets them apart. It creates a Jewish orthodox culture because of their diet. It’s easy to see this. We always think of Italian food or Chinese food. Food and culture go together. So that’s what’s going on here in Deuteronomy 14.
Now we come forward to a further claim, chapters 16 through 18. We are dealing with and in your outline you’ll see where I have the sections where I am saying that society in the italics section - society is the greater family and its respect sociopolitical begins in the family.
Now remember I said that in the 5th commandment there is that purpose clause “that you may stay long in the land.” Well, let’s turn to Deuteronomy 16. These are the statements - “how I want your officials to be chosen.” In 16:20, here’s where they’re talking about one of the leading officials in their culture of their time, which were the judges. In your outline you’ll see where I say it’s from 16:19 to 17:13. That deals with judges. And, you’ll notice in verse 20, what does it say? Purpose clause.
NKJ Deuteronomy 16:20 “You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
See the extension? In other words the basic authority is learned in the home. Now that authority - the sense we have people there are certain people that are leaders and we need to respect those leaders. So now the Bible goes to here is what those leaders are. But, the idea of an authority in society starts with mom and dad. That’s the idea of the 5th commandment. So in this section of the 5th commandment; it’s all expanded not just to be the home but the authority to the different offices. And, the judges were one of those offices.
In your outline I’ve listed the others. Turn to chapter 17 and you’ll see verse 14 which politically had tremendous implications in Western history at least. Look at 17:14. Now Israel at this point did not have a king; and it was not God’s direct will for Israel to have a king.
But after the judges period they were so messed up they figured, “Hey, we need order in our society; give us a leader.”
That’s how the expression came to have a king. God used that because it was the office of a king that led to revelation about Messiah and so we could now interpret Jesus. So God is always in control here. But it is interesting the steps He takes.
But look at verse 14 of chapter 17.
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:14 “When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ ”
See, there we go again. This is Babel again.
“Since we don’t let God define existence, we in our finite limited minds know so much that we can make universals. So, we are going to define reality.”
So God says:
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:15 “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:16 “But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:17 “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.”
What principle do you see taught there? Limited government, not like Pharaoh. Remember we dealt with the Exodus. Remember you saw that the Egyptologist at the University of Chicago said Pharaoh could simply sum up his political platform by saying, “I am the state. I am the state.” And, we saw the architectural expression of that.
God said, “Look I got you out of Egypt. You don’t go back to Egypt. You can go back to Egypt in your head. You can go back to Egypt philosophically. You can go back to Egypt politically. I don’t want you to do that. That’s what the Exodus was all about.”
So here we have the classic expression. “You’re going to have a king. Okay, you got a centralized officer. But darn it; don’t let him grow a bureaucracy that becomes a tyranny. Put limits on this thing.”
Then of course verse 18; furthermore God would not permit a secular state. Look what it says.
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.”
Look at the verb “write.” What’s the subject? The king. You know why? He didn’t have a Xerox machine. The priest kept the Torah on scrolls. Well if the king wanted a scroll; he can’t scan it. So what does he do? He gets a 30-foot piece of papyri on a roll and he sits there and he writes it.
God directed him to do the writing. Now why do you suppose this verse says very carefully the king will do the writing. Because, in writing the text, what is he learning? He’s learning the text because he had to copy the text. So this forces this man who becomes king to understand at the very start - now they didn’t do this. That’s the whole history of the Old Testament. But this is what God wanted them to do. He is trying to protect His people. He is trying to minimize costs. He is trying to minimize suffering. And, nobody pays any attention.
“Just do it our way!”
And then we wonder why everything falls apart. I mean this is a great picture of our Christian life here. And so we go along, and what does it say?
NKJ Deuteronomy 17:20 “that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren,”
That’s arrogance. It’s so easy for leaders to be seduced by arrogance. The Bible warns him – don’t let your heart exceed.
“You are just one of the people. You happen to hold authority here but that does not make you some hyper person.”
So that’s the kings.
Then if you notice - we could go on, but we won’t. If you look at your outline after the kings see chapter 18. It deals with the priests. Then you go to the end of chapter 18 and it deals with the prophets.
So now we go all the way over to Deuteronomy 21 and we go back to the family. Now I don’t know why this happens; but I’ve noticed something in the text of Deuteronomy. And, I see it in several places in the book. And, what I’ve done on this chart for you is I tried to show you that chapter 6 that we were talking about has what I call a sandwich structure. It’s a very interesting way Moses apparently taught. He did 2 things.
You go to seminary and usually in a homiletics class they tell you three points and a poem. Moses didn’t follow that homiletical structure. What he does in these chapters is fascinating.
Look at what he did in chapter 6. In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 that was where he’s was telling them how to teach your kids. And then in verses 20 to 25 what to do with your son. Then in-between that in verses 10-19 he talks about heart relationship with the Lord. So he’s dealing with relationships with the Lord; but he’s giving how-tos with that.
Now you see what happens? If just deal with how-tos you the Christian life becomes mechanical. If you just deal with relationships it becomes generic and you don’t know how to do this, do that. You need both. It’s interesting in the text you have structure.
We’ve got the same thing in Deuteronomy 21. In verses 22-23 he deals with murder and really basically the 6th commandment. But then in the intervening thing he’s dealing with something else – family relationships. So this shows you – remember in the diagram you go from family, marriage up to life. The 5th and 7th commandments ...the fifth:
NKJ Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother,”
And the 7th ...
NKJ Deuteronomy 5:18 “You shall not commit adultery.”
Both of these protect marriage and family. Then the in-between commandment, the 6th,
NKJ Deuteronomy 5:17 “You shall not murder.”
Which is protection of life and life is produced out of the family.
So here in chapter 21 we are looking at the family as a sociopolitical bulwark in society. In verses 15-17 and in the interest of time we have to just take selections of this. In verses 15-17 we are dealing with a family issue.
Again we encounter the issue of inheritance. Inheritance is very critical in Old Testament Israel. Now we kind of demean that today. But in the Old Testament they didn’t have Social Security. They didn’t have welfare. They didn’t have retirement plans. The economic security of a family was their inheritance. And, they protected it very, very carefully.
Now in our society we tax the heck out of inheritances. And, the reason we do that goes back to Karl Marx. By taxing the inheritance, you weaken the family.
They say, “Oh well, it’s just to prevent people from getting wealthy.”
What’s the problem here? Did they get wealthy by doing hard work legitimately? That’s not a crime. Why are you punishing somebody for being successful? That sends a note.
“Why be successful if they’re going to take everything away? The heck with it! I’ll just sit around and do nothing.”
In the Old Testament there is this protection of inheritance. So let’s look at it.
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:15 “If a man has two wives,”
Remember it was a polygamist culture at the time. What the Mosaic Law did was it tried to reduce polygamy which was endemic to the ancient world.
Then we’ll come back again by the way since that we’ve redefined marriage to same sex marriage. The next thing we want to do is have polygamy. The ACLU says this. They are already preparing legislation to push the envelope further because we’ve made marriage just a noun to be decided by who voted last week. It’s not at all related to how God designed men and how God designed women and what we’re supposed to do in families. That’s irrelevant. Now it’s whatever relationships you have. Well, I may love my cat. Do you want to get married? How stupid this has become! And you watch. We are going to learn something – that once you are on a little slippery slope it keeps going down. And in about 5 or 10 more years you are going to see a movement in every single state for polygamist marriage. Mark my words.
So here we have:
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:15 “If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved,
16 “then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn.”
Well you can’t read that without realizing that polygamist marriage has a problem. This is a good illustration. We think we’re so smart. Here’s what happens. They have to deal with this mess of a polygamist marriage. One wife is favored over the other one.
So the issue now comes – what are we going to do with the firstborn?
You say, “What’s the issue with the firstborn?”
This is the issue with the firstborn. The firstborn son is the one who had the responsibility to take care of his parents in old age. That is why he was given a double portion. That was their social security program, the firstborn son. In this passage we get to some touchy and controversial things about this passage. So I’m setting you up here. The firstborn son was given the responsibility to care for his parents. Therefore he inherited twice the amount.
There is no firstborn girl here. You say, “Well, why not?”
Because the girl when she is an adult would be married to a man and he was to support her. So economically she was not responsible for her parents. The sons or the son were responsible.
You ask what happened if they didn’t have sons. Well obviously the girls did the job. But normally speaking, what we have here is a protection of the family. That’s obviously impartiality and so forth.
Now today in our culture what has happened is that we have maybe unintentionally done this. What we have done is we have turned over the role of the firstborn son which is to care for the parents; and we have basically given it to the government.
Let me show you a quote. This is a quote by Gary North. And I think this is a relevant quote. I differ with Dr. North on the eschatology and how to interpret some of these passages but he is an economist and very sharp in economics and in watching the economic implications of certain texts in the Bible.
The state has become a pseudo-family educating children according to its standards and presuppositions, funding health care, paying for men’s retirements, and so forth. To do this the state must decapitalize the family through taxation. The state unlike a biblically family does not create wealth, right? It consumes wealth as it redistributes it from one group to another. Voters do not recognize the cause and effect relationship between the state’s offer of support for the aged, they do not recognize the implicit legal claim which the state is making reducing the ability of economically successful men to pass on the wealth to their heirs. As voters transfer more and more responsibility to the state for the care of the aged, the state steadily becomes the substitute heir.
This again is the sensitivity of the law. The law says ...
The people all say, “This is all ancient stuff.”
Yeah, but it worked. And the point is that when we turn these tasks over we shouldn’t whine, cry and bellyache because now the state says, “We have the right to dictate this.”
Well, of course, we gave it to them. When we turn responsibility over, the mandate also went with it. So here in this passage in verse 15 and 16 we are protecting the family.
Now that we got a little problem here because later in verse 18 this is the passage our illustrious President tried to use in some gathering somewhere to ridicule the fact that we don’t use the moral standards of the Old Testament. So let’s try to read the passage. This is not an easy passage to understand some fine points of the law here. Let me read it.
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them,
19 “then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.”
That’s the local government.
20 “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
21 “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.”
Put that one on and try it. Now what’s going on here? Throughout Old Testament history by the way we haven’t got one instance where this is actually put into effect. But, let’s try to get inside God’s head here and understand what is it He is driving at in this text. Well, in thinking that let’s observe certain things.
In verse 18 the parents have a complaint.
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who,”
Now it extends that with another clause.
“when they have chastened him, will not heed them,”
That shows you the parents, the mom and the dad, exercised as much authority as they had. They do not have the authority to forcibly chasten him by capital punishment. They have to turn that over to the state. But they have exhausted all means of discipline here.
This as I said is a difficult passage to interpret; but we can sort of fill in some blanks here. What we’re going to assume is this is an adult son. We are also assuming that the issue probably surrounds the firstborn. Here’s why. If he were any ordinary son, they could disinherit him and solve the problem apparently. But what does that do? What does that solve?
In your outline you’ll see in verse 28 children are supposed to learn authority before joining society as an adult. So, this person is probably an adult son. It’s not like some ten year old. This is probably a twenty-something who is supposed to carry on the inheritance and manage the money for that family. He has shown by his behavior pattern that he’s apparently absolutely incompetent to do it.
So the parents come to the city because by this time they’ve exhausted their authority. Now the problem and what is difficult in this passage is what is the crime that becomes a capital offense. It’s not gluttony and drunkenness as such because that’s not a capital offense in the Bible. It’s not violence against his parents – which by the way any child that physically assaulted his mom or his dad, that was a capital crime – Exodus 21 if you need the reference. So it isn’t that. It isn’t that he is physically assaulting them. So it’s not gluttony. It’s not drunkenness. It’s not violence. It’s not false religion because if it were false religion Deuteronomy 13 would come into play. So the hard part of this passage is what is the crime that warrants capital punishment? This is why this passage is so hard to discern. Clearly it is being treated as a capital offense.
The best guess is in the words of the parents when they talk to the elders of the city when they call their son a glutton and a drunkard. Apparently that is sort of metaphorical for his behavior pattern. This guy is a parasite. He is incapable of going out, getting a job, earning something and raising a family. He’s a glutton and a parasite. So therefore they do not just expel him from the family. They take him and they remove him from society.
What this is saying is that God says - this is the sobering part of the passage regardless of how you fix the details. The output of a family gets put into society. If you transfer a problem from your family and you kick it out, now society has got to deal with it. You deal with it. That’s what’s basically said here. Mom and Dad this is your production – and it’s not blaming mom and dad per say but this is the condition of this kid – don’t throw him on society and have everybody else have to deal with it. So in the Old Testament they took him out. I mean it’s a pretty simple straightforward solution to the problem, isn’t it? You don’t develop a criminal class. You don’t have people that are social parasites for the next 40 years that somebody has to take care of.
So I think the lesson out of here is the sober role of a mom and a dad. When you’re raising your kids you’re not just raising your kids for you; you are raising your kids for society at large. So have a heart on other people. So this is the 5th commandment.
Now let’s go to the 7th commandment, chapter 22. This deals with violation and here’s where you get into the sexual laws of the Bible. We’ll just skim through some of these but in verse 22 of chapter 22 - clearly these deal with adultery and rape. Our modern laws at least used to deal with these issues. Again these are capital offenses in most cases. But the reason for capital crimes is this law code is this ....
And maybe we ought to turn here to the New Testament to pick up the spirit of why you have capital punishment, capital punishment, capital punishment. What is going on? Well, I cautioned you earlier that capital punishment could not be executed unless you had two witnesses. So even though the Bible says that these people warrant capital punishment it probably could not be carried out because of the rule of 2 or 3 eye witnesses.
But God nevertheless calls it capital punishment. Now why does He do that?
“Because this is offensive to Me and this is how I’m expressing My heart to you. I don’t like this and when this occurs I wish you weren’t around.”
That’s what is going on here. And you can pick this up now if you’ll hold the place and turn to Romans 1. Paul in Romans 1 is dealing with a pagan society. In the very last verse of chapter 1 he says the same thing.
Look at what he says in verse 32 of chapter 1 of Romans. He lists a bunch of sins. Do you see where the sin list start in verse 29? Goes through all these sins, goes through all these sins ...then in verse 32 he says:
NKJ Romans 1:32 “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Where did Paul get that idea? He got it from the Torah. He got it by reading the Old Testament where God said, “This is worthy of death.” A capital crime is worthy of death by definition. So the idea that Paul is expressing in Romans 1 is directly the result of reading Deuteronomy which as a good Jewish rabbi he read it many times.
So going back to these passages there is a finesse to this in the sense the courts were given some sort of guidance on how to decide cases.
So verse 22:
NKJ Deuteronomy 22:22 “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.”
People say, “Well didn’t Jesus countermand that in John 8?”
Well, no He didn’t because there were no 2 eyewitnesses that came to Him.
In verse 23 and this is kind of interesting. Here is where people misread the Old Testament in spirit and they get it by ... “the Bible is against women.”
Let’s look at this and see if we can fit it in the family sense.
NKJ Deuteronomy 22:23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,
24 “then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
25 “But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.
26 “But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter.
27 “For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.”
So these are evidences that are trying to help the elders deal with these situations.
Now in those cases we have a capital offense. But now you come to verse 28 and it’s not a capital offense. So now what’s happening?
NKJ Deuteronomy 22:28 “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out,
29 “then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver,”
Which by the way was a costly fine.
“and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.”
So here is some hotshot that goes around impregnating girls and in Israel if he tried that little thing he’d be stuck economically for the rest of his life. So try that one on for size. This is how God is trying to restrain sin.
What did we say government was for? Remember? We went back to the idea of Genesis 9. Government doesn’t save. Government only restrains sin. It is not a vehicle of salvation.
Now I want to take you to one further passage because in contemporary debate this is a hot one. So let’s turn over to Leviticus 20. Leviticus does the same thing Deuteronomy 22 does, but it adds a little statement.
Beginning in verse 9 we have a list of sins. God goes through very explicitly and says, “You say you are going to love Me with all your heart. If you love Me with all your heart, you don’t do these things.” Very simple!
NKJ Leviticus 20:9 “For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.”
Now this expresses God’s attitude. Whether this was ever literally enforced we don’t know. Probably not, because most parents wouldn’t treat their kid this way. The point is we are getting insight into how our Lord thinks. This is the way He thinks when He sees us engaging in these behaviors.
He is looking down at us and He’s saying, “That’s worthy of death.”
That is why the law is so necessary in a promiscuous relativistic culture like ours. We need more teaching on the Law, not less because this is the source of conviction of sin so we will now understand why we need what? Grace.
So he goes on and there are a whole lot of sins here. Verse 10 goes on. In verse 10-21 every one of sins is a sexual sin. Then you get down to in the middle from 10 to 21 you hit verse 13.
Now something happens in verse 13 that doesn’t happen in all the other verses.
NKJ Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”
Now it’s interesting that no other sin in this list is called an abomination. It is only the sin of homosexuality that is labeled as an abomination. The word abomination is a technical term in the Hebrew language that was used pagan law codes as a pagan behavior. That’s what I said. Homosexuality has always been around. It is not new. It’s been around for centuries and millennial of time in every culture except a culture that has been influenced by the Bible. It’s this passage Leviticus 20 that infuriates the political discussion today. As a Christian you had better be accountable for that because you’re going to get called on the carpet for that.
“Do you believe in Leviticus 20?”
I mean most unbelievers don’t believe in what the reference is; but it’s Leviticus 20. This is the hot button of present discussion.
“Well, I’m sorry. That’s God speaking and that’s what He thinks. So I am more impressed with God than I am with you.”
That’s the answer, right?
So we go ahead and we’ve gone through the 7th commandment. You see it’s protected.
Now in your outline we go down to the 6th commandment. And now we’re going back to chapter 21 which we said has the structure to it. We said at the front end the front side and the inside deals with life. That’s the 6th commandment. Verses 1 to 9 deal with the issue of unsolved murder. That’s interesting. How many unsolved murders do you get in Hartford or in New Haven or any other city in Connecticut? If you live like I do near Baltimore they kill more people than they do in Afghanistan. So unsolved murders is all over the place.
Now let’s get back to Deuteronomy here and think if we were transported back in a time machine and we went back to ancient Israel what would they do with an unsolved murder? Now watch this.
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:1 “If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,
2 “then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance from the slain man”
That is from the body ....
to the surrounding cities.
3 “And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer which has not been worked and which has not pulled with a yoke.
4 “The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with flowing water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.
5 “Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled.
6 “And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.
7 “Then they shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it.
8 “Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.
9 “So you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.
Can you imagine what a bloody mess it would be if we were doing this for every unsolved murder in our cities or in the countryside?
Now what is going on in this passage? Let’s ask a few questions. Why do you suppose they are measuring to the nearest city? Probably because that city is held accountable for what goes on in its domain. That’s what we would call legally I guess jurisdiction. So they are figuring out what city has jurisdiction over this situation.
Then notice what they do. They take a heifer and it’s a particular heifer. Notice the qualifications.
“which is neither plowed nor sown,”
Now what does that mean? A heifer who has not pulled - that means that the heifer is a new heifer and whoever is supplying this heifer has got a big economic burden now because it’s like translated to our culture- it’s don’t use and old tractor, use a new one. See, the heifer is a brand new model so when it’s sacrificed what economically have you lost? All the work the heifer could have done. So this is not - this is a substantial economic cost to that community. God makes it painful because He wants people get the point. You just don’t take unsolved murder casually.
“It’s a body. I made that man or that woman in my image; and they’re dead. Now that is a big deal for Me. It may not be a big deal for you; but it’s a big deal for Me and I’m God and you aren’t. So that’s what I want you to do.”
So this shows you the concern that God has for life. See, we are back to the 6th commandment, thou shalt not murder.
Then at the end of this chapter we have a further issue. This one helps us understand our New Testament. You see the New Testament has many cases. You really need to know the Old Testament to know the New Testament.
So skip down to the end of chapter 21 down to verse 22.
NKJ Deuteronomy 21:22 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
23 “his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”
Does that ring a bell with anyone that knows the New Testament? Oh, now isn’t this interesting? Let’s think this one through and see if now this doesn’t give us an appreciation for something in the New Testament. Notice this is not crucifixion. They’ve already killed the body. But, the body is put on a tree or a post as a display. Now it’s not left overnight. But, it would be like us taking a person who has been electrocuted and sticking it up on a post on I-95. That’s what is going on. Everybody drives by and sees it.
Why does God have society do something like that? What do you suppose He is trying to say in this?
“This is punishment for sin and I want you to remember this.”
See over and over what the Law is doing? It is making us sensitive to how God thinks. We get calloused. Our hearts get calloused.
And the Law pricks it and says, “This is what God thinks.”
Now what it says and Paul picks this up because Jesus was on a cross. You’ll notice the last section the idea of an executed body being on the tree was this last sentence.
“for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”
That is a criminal who has been executed under the laws of God and when you see that body hanging there; you’re looking at someone who is cursed of God. Now why does Paul, the rabbi who knows his Old Testament, why of all passages does he pick this one in the book of Galatians to talk about the crucifixion of our Lord? Do you know why Paul uses that? Do you know what he is saying is that when you look at the crucifix you are looking at someone accursed of God? What? Jesus is accursed of God? Yes! Why? Because He took your sin and my sin on Himself.
Paul in order to get that truth said, “I want to take you back to the Old Testament. I want you to see something. I want you to understand that when Jesus Christ hung on that cross He became sin for us.”
This is not some religious spooky little thing that sounds nice. This is an actual legal judicial act. God took your sin, our sin, my sin, and He placed them on Jesus Christ on the cross. That’s what the cross is all about. He was executed as it were for your sin and for mine. That’s why we cannot forgive ourselves in that sense. Legally it has to be the work of Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone that atones for your sin and my sin. We do not self atone for sin.
Just because we’ve been bad boys and girls doesn’t mean that God’s going to be impressed with “I’ll be a good boy, I’ll be a good girl from now on.” That doesn’t impress God because He’s offended. There has been a judicial issue here and it has to be dealt with judicially. The cross has to be understood legally and in judicial terms. It is not a sentiment.
During the Middle Ages, we had theologians debate this issue. Those of you who want to study history go back and read the story of Anselm and Abelard. That was these two guys.
We had the Abelard people saying, “Well, the cross is just to poster. It’s just a poster to show God’s holiness and we’re supposed to be impressed, but nothing really happened on the cross. I mean Jesus died on the cross. It was a martyrdom, but we look at it and we feel bad.”
In other words the Abelardians believed that the cross was there to psychologically cause a subjective feeling in our hearts. Well, the cross does cause a subjective feeling in our hearts. But the reason it causes a subjective feeling in our hearts is because something happened there.
And that’s what Anselm said.
He said, “No.” He said, “There’s something that actually happened judicially on the cross.”
Of course in the New Testament what happened while Jesus was paying for our sins? What happened to the light? It was dark. People were freaking out. There was an earthquake or something that happened because it broke the temple lintel that held the curtain and it was torn from top to bottom. This was something.
One of the executioners a Roman soldier who did this regularly because Roman soldiers always crucified people. I mean they crucified thousands of people. Crucifixion was not unusual. It was a horrible way to die but that’s what the Romans did. The Germans used gas on Jews; the Romans used crosses on people. So that’s the way their culture was. But in the New Testament the gospels give you the words of one of those Roman executors that sat there and watched this. And what did he say?
“This is the Son of God.”
Something happened when Christ was bearing our sin that was physically traumatic to the people who were looking at this thing.
I mean this guy had seen thousands of these things. Why should he be concerned with this Jewish carpenter dying on the cross? Something happened that shook this man down to the balls of his feet. He was a broken man because he was seeing what was happening on that cross. Nothing like that had ever happened before in this man’s life and he’d crucified a lot of people. So the gospels pick that up.
That brings us to Jesus. So we want to spend the rest of the time on Roman numeral 3 in your outline because now we’re going to deal with the start of grace. We’re finally getting to it.
The section in your outline is entitled Social Justice and Jesus Christ. We want to get through some basic truths. Remember the big ideas of Scripture. There is a danger in going back to the Old Testament law code. You know it because you’ve had people tell you this – in the family, in the workplace.
“Oh, I don’t read the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament, He’s a meany. I like the New Testament.”
Well, look at the first point here. The second person of the Godhead is YHWH. Jesus is the incarnation of the God of the Law. When Jesus was on the Sermon on the Mount and the lawyers of His day were trying to tell Him, “Well, you don’t kill people because they get caught.”
Jesus said, “No. You don’t kill people because they’re made in My image.”
So in the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament you have the author of the Sermon on Mount Sinai in the Old Testament explaining what He meant. So here we have the first truth. Jesus Christ (and this is not Marcionite that’s heresy.) He is king and He is Savior. Now we don’t see Him as king; but we ought to see Him right now as Savior. And thank the Lord for His death on the cross.
Now we are transitioning. The title of this series is Law, Grace, and Citizenship. I’m now moving from the law, which expresses God’s holiness; and we are starting to move to grace for the person of Christ.
I want to point out I have a series there ...offer 1, offer 2 offer 3. What am I talking about offers? I am talking about God offering us the Kingdom of God. Now theologians have used these words “kingdom of God”; and you can read theology texts; and they’re used thousands of times. But I hope tonight after listening to what we are doing in the Law that you would understand that when the Bible talks about a kingdom of God it is talking about a society that is holy, a society that conforms to His standards. That is what the Kingdom of God is all about. It’s not just happy time. It’s talking about a society that is just. It is talking about real social justice, not some college professor in his bully pulpit in the classroom talking about some Marxist timid stupid little interpretation of social justice. We are talking about the social justice we are seeing in the Old Testament – every single detail, all those capital crimes that are in there, in the Old Testament. My attitude ...
“You behave this way this is worthy of death in My sight. You behave this way this is worthy of death in My sight. You behave this way this is worthy of death in My sight.”
That’s living in the presence of a holy God. That’s being sensitive to how He thinks and His character. That’s why we need a savior.
So God offered the kingdom several times in history. Think about it. He offered it to the Jews when they were coming out of Egypt. They could have started the kingdom of God and moved into it. But what did they do? They fiddled around in the desert for 38 years. Do you know how long it takes to walk from where they left Egypt to the boundary of the Promised Land? Eleven days! Well, that’s a great accomplishment.
“It took us 38 years to go 11 days worth of travel.”
So that tells you a little bit about how super this great generation was.
Then he offers it a second time on the plains of Moab in Deuteronomy.
He says, “When you get in the land and you conquer it you can get the Kingdom of God. If you will just obey Me, I will bring in the kingdom for you.”
So they get in there and as someone said just before this particular session – what was the last verse in the book of Judges?
NKJ Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Well, that was great. That’s a real introduction of the Kingdom of God. So that’s why we have the big mess that goes on and on and on in the Old Testament.
Then you come to the time of Jesus Christ. Now, and I point out those verses. We won’t turn there in the interest of time. See where I have offer #3 and I put the verse Mark 1:15? That’s Jesus offering the kingdom to Israel.
“The King is here. Repent,” said John the Baptist, “for the King is here and He’s going to bring in the kingdom if you will accept the King. You’re not going to have the kingdom without the King.”
Did they accept the King? No.
So we go to verse Matthew 23:39. What’s Matthew 23:39? Just before Jesus is crucified He is on the donkey on Palm Sunday. He’s going through the city; and He says to them:
NKJ Matthew 23:39 “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”
He said, “I’m not coming back until I get invited back by Israel.”
So this is again an offer that was rejected.
Then Peter offers it again in Acts 3. Of course that was kissed off. So now something happens. God is a wonderful God and He never does one thing. He always does 20 things at the same time. You’ve seen that in your Christian life probably.
Well, what happened after Jesus was crucified? There were 3 or 4 key events. What were those events? Jesus died on the cross. What’s the next one? He rose from the dead. Then what happened 40 days later? He ascended into heaven. The Bible tells us – what did He do in heaven? He sat down at the Father’s right hand. Now that’s a big surprise. Those details aren’t in Old Testament prophecy.
So what is God doing now? Well, that goes back to those 10 basic ideas. Remember I said that we have to think about our situational awareness? And I said that history is not 4 dimensional; it’s 5 dimensional. There is an invisible component in history. Now when Jesus arrives up in heaven what does the New Testament say that He is? He is above us. But what else is He also now above? The principalities and powers, the invisible world. So not only has Jesus Christ become that human being at the Father’s right hand; He is now in the supreme position of the universe that includes the myriads and myriads of unseen beings that are in that 5th dimension, the angelic beings. See what’s going to happen here? This is an amazing thing because He was rejected. The very act of rejecting Him solved the sin problem. Then further rejection He rises from the dead, He ascends to heaven, and He sits at the Father’s right hand.
Now military parlance, the person who controls the high ground, controls the battlefield. The good news is that when Jesus Christ as a human being God incarnate but as a human being with a human body when He sat down at the Father’s right hand He is now above all principalities which means that throne is occupied and Satan can never have it. This seat is occupied; and it’s occupied by our Savior. Jesus Christ is cosmic in His reign. He isn’t just the king who is going to come and rule the earth; He is the king of the universe. Angels have to answer to Him. Now that’s a profound moment in history because man was created lower than the angels. Remember the text in Hebrews? We are created less than the angels. But now with the ascent and session, now there is a man above the angels.
This has never happened before and this has ramifications inside the 5th dimension as I put it.
That’s why in your outline I say, “New light on the battle for social justice, Jesus is on the high ground.”
Next we have say, “What’s going on here?”
That brings up the next major concept #6 that we dealt with. That is Satan is the god of the world has raised the doxological in history. He is fighting. Satan means he is the accuser.
In the angelic realm there is no redemption. No angel has ever been saved. No angel ever will be saved. So in the angelic 5th realm so to speak redemption is not the issue. Doxology is the issue. Is God honored or not? Is God self-consistent with His character so this constant stream going on in the background that we don’t sense, we can’t see it. We don’t know what’s going on. But there is a forensic battle going on and that is why when you share Christ you want to share Him clearly as a Savior and no man, no woman is saved with their own merit. It is only the merit of the Lord Jesus and His finished atonement that can handle the accusations going on in the unseen realm. That’s why a clear gospel is so necessary. Anything else is not going to cut it under the fierce forensic debate that’s going on beyond our sight.
So now we conclude with the logic here. Follow with me these steps. This gives a flow of things so that tomorrow - what do we do now as Christian citizens in this position of being in the body of Christ, in union with Him but yet at a time when Christ - He is still waiting there in heaven.
There are passages in the New Testament that talk about Him waiting. Let me show you one of them, which is a quotation from the New Testament, Hebrews 2. If you turn to Hebrews 2 the author here speaking to Jewish people obviously. He is quoting Psalm 110. Look at what he says about Jesus.
NKJ Hebrews 2:5 “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.”
Now this world – who is the god of this world? Satan. Remember, he says to Jesus, “Bow down to me Messiah; and then I’ll give you the kingdoms.”
Jesus didn’t say, “Oh gee Satan, you don’t have the kingdoms to give to Me.”
Oh, yes he does. Satan gained legal powers and they must be legally dismantled. That’s the battle that’s going on. So he has not put the world to come of the future of which we speak but one testified
NKJ Hebrews 2:6 “But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?”
7 “You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.
8 “You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
Then it talks about how He was glorified and so forth on down to the end of verse 9 where He is tasting death for everyone. He is sitting there waiting. In Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 the references are there. The text says that He is waiting until He subdues all things. So there is a battle going on and the mystery for us and what we want to talk about tomorrow is what is the progress in the Church Age all about. We don’t see the Christian religion conquering the world. We haven’t seen it for 2,000 years. What the heck is going on? Why have we been waiting 20 centuries and Jesus hasn’t come back yet? I mean, is there something screwed up or is there actually progress being made? That is central to our hope as Christians.
So we want to conclude tonight by looking at these 5 logical statements to get the flow of the argument of the Bible.
Number 1, man is the ordained creature to have dominion over the earth. That’s the starting point. That’s how God created us – having dominion. Remember we went through that early on Saturday and we pointed this out. This is a hot button for the Green Movement.
The ecologist looks at this and says, “Gee the Bible says we should trash the environment.”
That’s not what the Bible is saying. Remember?
What’s the answer you are going to give when somebody says to you, “Oh you Christians! You believe in trashing the environment.”
The response is – try reading Genesis 2 along with Genesis 1 because Genesis 2 tells you what God meant by having dominion – planting a garden, bringing nature to its full productivity.
Number 2, Satan became the god of this world and has legal claim. We don’t understand all of that, but it is forensic in character. Somehow he has gotten legal claim over man and his co-optiveness and that’s major concept 5 and 6.
Point 3, Jesus is the first man to pass the forensic challenge. Adam didn’t, right? None of us have passed it. Jesus lived the perfect life. He is the first human being to ever do that. It is very critical that we remember Philippians 2 here because what that passage shows you is Satan can’t look down and say, “Yeah, yeah. Jesus lived a perfect life God, but He’s omnipotent.”
What’s the answer to that one? It’s the Doctrine of Kenosis taught in Philippians 2 where the Doctrine of Kenosis says that Jesus Christ gave up the voluntary use of all of His divine attributes. At every point of Jesus’ life whenever He faced a temptation He had to trust the Father to work through His humanity to meet that test. Later Jesus could use His deity to authenticate Himself in certain situations, one of which was in the movie – what was the one I’m thinking of? The Roman Catholic person? The famous one on the life of Jesus – Mel Gibson – The Passion.
Do you remember how that movie started? Smoke and fire and it was Gethsemane. He had some great zymology there where you see a snake. You see a foot step on it. Well, that was Gibson’s attempt to try to get the connotation of the crucifixion. But do you know where he screwed up and where he missed out? He missed out on the key event and had he put the key event in the first 5 minutes of the film it would have heightened the tension and the neat design of the film. What he should have done in the first couple of minutes of the film instead of worrying about the fog on Gethsemane what he should have pointed out was watching the temple police coming up to arrest Him.
And they find out. “Who is Jesus?”
And Jesus, “Ego eimi.”
I AM. And what does the Gospel of John say happened to the policeman? They all fell over.
Now think if Gibson had put that cinematography in the first 5 minutes of the film where you see that all He had to say was “ego eimi” and the guys fall over. With that in your mind now we go ahead and see the whippings and things in the crucifixion.
“Man, all he has to say is ego eimi and they were toast.”
That would have shown us the tension that Jesus was under.
But the Doctrine of Kenosis says that Jesus when He was tempted He had to meet the temptation in the same way you and I meet the temptation – by relying on the Holy Spirit. And He is the first person in history to be perfectly successful. And, He was directly tempted by Satan himself.
Now we have to deal with our old sin nature, let alone Satan. So He mastered that. That’s point 3 – Jesus is the first man to pass the forensic test and in a surprise move has been given authority over the earth over the heavens. This universe is now under the authority of not some half creature with 15 eyes on galaxy 552 somewhere. This universe is under the command of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Point 4, God the Father exercised grace to send His Son but the cross had to be perfectly definable defensible against every forensic challenge by Satan.
Remember what Jesus said in the Upper Room Discourse in John 16?
NKJ John 16:11 “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Now we are going to get back to strategy tomorrow. One of the things we are going to point out is God has a fantastic indirect strategy that military historians noticed. I’ll quote one of them who have studied thousands of years of warfare.
In military conflict, the victor is usually the one who uses indirect strategy. I’ll give you an example. You see these horrifying pictures of the Civil War, Gettysburg. You see the horrifying pictures of the Argon in World War I. You see hundreds of soldiers charging across the fields being shot to their death. You see the massive casualties. But we forget that in World War I in one battle, the British had 50,000 casualties. We worry about 5. They endured in one afternoon 50,000 men. This is because we have the stupid idea that we are going to get into a line and charge into a machine gun nest. Not too smart. So later we have maneuverability where you out flank the enemy. You go around the enemy. Or you even get the enemy to come out of his defenses and get on your killing ground and then you blast him. That’s using some strategy.
God uses that strategy and with the crucifixion you see it because you see the Doctrine of Kenosis Satan also knew. Satan knew that Jesus was told that He couldn’t use His divine attributes. That’s why in that temptation Matthew 4 he say, “Why don’t you turn the bread into stones, big boy?
That was sarcasm to try to get Him mad enough that He would break His promise to His Father because I’m sure Jesus sat there and said, “You know I’d like to do that to you right now.” But He didn’t because His mission was to execute the protocols of His Father by His Father’s means. So at that point He didn’t say that.
So think about how Satan would think.
“Oh. He’s not going to use His omnipotence huh. Hum ... We’ll look around for somebody that can take Him out.”
And there was one. His name is Judas Iscariot.
“So we’ll just get Judas and I’ll work this thing out and we’ll get rid of this guy because He’s not going to use His divine attributes.”
But Satan forgot something. People who are evil no matter how brilliant they are, their brilliance is always less than their arrogance. So, evil is more arrogant than its intelligence. So here Satan arranges to get rid of the Messiah. The very act of trying to get rid of the Messiah undoes his whole legal claim to his kingdom of darkness. Good move pal. God is like a superior chess player. Satan move his piece and he got jumped. He didn’t think about the next move. This is something that is encouraging to us and we’ll emphasize this tomorrow.
We are on the winning side. It looks like we’re not. It looks like we are the weak ones. It looks like Jesus isn’t doing anything or not enough. But our Father knows better and He is a superior player. And, we know how it’s going to end.
Now point 5, Jesus is now waiting for a remaining conquest that we will deal with on Monday before reigning as king. He is functioning as a priest; but He really isn’t functioning as a king because He is waiting for something to happen – waiting and waiting and waiting for 2,000 years.
We want to understand what He is waiting for because you and I are part of that. So as we move from law and grace – we’ve seen the law. We’ve looked at grace. God has come to our rescue. Now what do we do as citizens?