Easter Sunday, 2018: Substitution

Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

Substitution: Genesis 3:7, 21

Jesus is alive!

  1. The resurrection is the inauguration of the work of making all things new.
  2. The resurrection is the climactic event that completes the glorious work of substitution.
  3. Substitution – Jesus in our place for our sin giving to us all the benefits of being perfectly righteous.

Why study substitution from the Old Testament? Because without the Old Testament, there is no context to the New Testament. The authors are preaching from the text of the Old Testament, so it’s our job to teach you not only these truths but show you how to do this for yourselves.

Genesis 3:7, 21 Shows us this pattern of substitution that God will fulfill at the cross and the resurrection.

  1. Man’s effort to cover sin is never enough. Genesis 3:7, 21
  2. God’s substitutes the innocent for the guilty by killing the innocent in the place of the guilty in order to cover the sin of the guilty. Genesis 3:21
  3. HUGE: In substitution, God uses the curse (in this instance death) to defeat the curse (death) for his people.

In God’s work of substitution, why does God use the curse to save from the curse?

  1. God shows his power over sin when he uses sin’s affects to defeat sin.
  2. God redeems his name and reputation as the one who is true in his all-powerful might when he defeats sin with sin’s affects.

Because God’s name and reputation are challenged in Genesis 3:1-7, God sets out to glorify his name and recapture his honor as the highest name above all names when he defeats sin with sin.

Scripture gives us a “pre-figure” or “type” pointing us to God’s work in this through Benaiah.  

2 Samuel 23:20-21 (ESV) And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.

Benaiah, one of David’s Mighty Men is a type pointing us to God’s work in Jesus. He shows us in his winning an honorable name by killing an enemy with his own weapon how Jesus will conquer Satan with Satan’s own weapon of death. Jesus uses death to defeat death and wins the name of honor as the name above all names.

Where else can we see this design of substitution?

Four examples from the New Testament where the writers are preaching from the Old Testament about the work of substitution where Jesus is substituted in the place of the curse to take on the punishment of the curse to break the curse and release those who repent and believe from the curse to receive all the benefits of the innocent and perfect Son of God.

  • Galatians 3:10-13 Referencing Deuteronomy 21:22-23; 27:26

God uses the curse to save from the curse.

Jesus takes on the punishment of the law in order to release us from the demands of the law.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:7 Referencing Exodus 12:1-3, 49

God uses the curse to save from the curse.

Jesus is the Passover lamb who takes our punishment and covers our sin to rescue us from God’s righteous wrath.

  • John 3:14-16 Referencing Numbers 21:4-9

God uses the curse to save from the curse.

Jesus takes on the punishment of the people’s sin in order to release repentant sinners from the curse.

  • Romans 5:19 Teaching out of the pattern of Genesis 3 and Joshua 7:1, 26

God uses the curse to save from the curse.

One man’s sin infects the whole people. One man’s death substitutes for all the people’s death.

We sing a song about how God defeats sin in substitution.  “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death”.

He kills death, by death, but not our death, his death. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What are we to do with this gospel truth today?

  1. Because Jesus has been substituted for you, we invite you to receive Jesus by faith and repentance.
  2. Because Jesus has been substituted for you, leave Cultural Christianity for the real thing.

Cultural Christianity looks like 2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV) “…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

Indicator of Cultural Christianity: If you can’t separate your national identity from the Kingdom of God, you may be a cultural Christian.

Indicator of Cultural Christianity: If your consumption of Christianity and Christian things has no clear oversight / covering / accountability to mission you may be a cultural Christian expressing Constitutional Liberty in the place of biblical constraint.

Indicator of Cultural Christianity: If you wear Christianity’s symbols without applying the implications on church attendance, commitment to disciple making, practical care of others before oneself, etc. you may be a cultural Christian.

  1. Because Jesus has been substituted for you, live to be a living picture of the substitute work of Jesus. 
  2. Because Jesus has been substituted for you, rest from labor to earn God’s favor.
  3. Because Jesus has been substituted for you, God may bring fatherly discipline to you in order to make you more like Jesus. Because he counts you as completely holy, he’s going to lovingly work to make you practically holy with the final lesson being our death, where God graciously uses the curse of death as our slave to usher us into completion. He will use death to defeat death.

What if the one thing you wish would just go away is the one thing God us using to make you more like Jesus? That’s fatherly discipline. Receive it, enjoy it, hear and obey and grow up into more Christ likeness because he was substituted for you and rose to secure it your completion in him.

 

 

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