Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things Into Which Angels Long To Look (part2/2) 1 Peter 1:10-12 Sermon Transcript

Peter tells us that prophets spoke of the grace we have received in our salvation by and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first part of thisarticle considered how this story of salvation may be seen in the themes andpatterns of the stories of the exile, the liberation from Egypt, the Flood, andeven Creation. This second half will look at several prophesies of the Hebrew Scripture (what Christians call the Old Testament), and how they also point to Jesus.

1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESVUK)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and enquired carefully, enquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Our story is all about Jesus. Our sin separated us from God, who loved us so much that he paid the penalty himself, in Jesus. His death for our sin and his resurrection made available to us his life so that by grace, through faith, we could be restored to God.

Peter is reminding his readers that people have been waiting a very long time for this.
 The full audio of this message, parts 1 and 2.
In The Garden

In the beginning, our first story is of humanity in a garden, God’s place, ruled by God’s good word. Adam and Eve, God’s first priests to Creation, disobeyed God’s word. Though God said “let there be light” and light was, humanity dared say no to the word of God. We were cursed, made mortal, given death in our own bodies, cast from God’s presence, but given this hope:

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.

The offspring of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. And from that day on, we looked.

Could it be our son, Abel? Will he be the one to defeat the deceiver, the death that now reigns in us? Is it Seth? Who will be the Chosen One to suffer, yet ultimately defeat this curse?

Hebrews 2:14-15 (ESV)
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

The writer of Hebrews identified Jesus as the seed of the woman, the true human who would defeat death, the curse for the sin that followed us after our rebellion. In Romans, Paul tells us that the defeat of the accuser will be accomplished by being crushed under our feet. We share in the victory of our older brother, Jesus.

Romans 16:20 (ESV)
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

In The Wilderness

Moses told the people in the wilderness even before they entered the Promised Land that they would rebel. But he also said that God would give them a redeemer that would set them free again, bring them into the new Promised Land. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen” Moses says in Deuteronomy 18:15. And this was fulfilled in Joshua, who shares his name with Jesus in the original language. But just as Moses said, the people rebelled, and were scattered into exile. Under the authority of Assyria, and Babylon, and Persia, and Rome, the people asked, “Where is this prophet that will come, the one like Moses, who will set us free?”

Just as in the days of Moses, Jesus was born as many children were being destroyed by the King. Like Moses, he was kept safe in Egypt. Like Moses, whose face shone for being in God’s presence, Jesus would be the very presence of god among his people. Like Moses, miracles would follow him. He is the new Moses, the new Joshua, our deliverer from slavery.

In Canaan

In Genesis, Jacob, the man named Israel by God, prophesied over his son Judah, that his descendants would have a throne and kingdom that would last forever (Genesis 49:10). The people of Israel watched the tribe of Judah. “Which one will be our king?” From Judah came David, who became Israel’s ideal king, a shepherd, a poet, a worshipper, whom God called “after my own heart”. To David God said:

1 Chronicles 17:11 (ESV)
When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.

God said David’s son would build his temple, and that the throne would never, ever end in his family. And then his son, Solomon, built the temple. And then he rebelled, and Israel and the kings followed after him in rebellion, and in the exile, the throne of David ended.

In exile, the people asked, “Where is our new Moses, the king from the tribe of Judah, the Son of David whose throne will never end?”

Luke 1:26-33 (ESV)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Joseph and Mary, descendants of David, in Galilee of the Gentiles, are promised a king as a son, whose reign will never end.

In The Kingdom Of David

God promised David that his body would never see corruption (Psalm 16:10). He fulfilled this again and again as he miraculously protected him from death. But then, of course, he did die eventually, as Peter pointed out in his sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2). But in Jesus’ resurrection he defeated death once for all, and reigns forever.

In Psalm 22, David prophesied the crucifixion, writing a near script for Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, beginning the Psalm with Jesus’ words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

In The Rebellion And Exile

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Like Joshua fulfilled Moses’ prophecy, and Solomon fulfilled David’s prophecy, this prophecy of Jesus was also fulfilled in its’ day. A woman who was once a virgin, was married ceased to be one, and had a child. In that time, Isaiah’s prophecy over Israel’s present king was fulfilled. But Jesus was not only named Immanuel, God-with-us. Jesus was God, with us, born of Mary, a virgin.

Isaiah 50:6 (ESV)
I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.

Jesus could have stopped those who were beating him. He created them, their arms with which they held the whip, the wood and leather from which the wood was made, the breath they took between each strike, he gave them. Jesus gave them his back. Jesus gave us his back.

In Matthew (26:27), Jesus held up the cup of wine at the last supper, and said, “this is my blood, poured out for you.” He broke bread, and said “this is my body, broken for you.”

Isaiah 53:4 (ESV)
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.

He took our sorrows.

He gave his back.

And the prophets searched diligently. Who will it be?

Micah 5:2 (ESV)
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.

In Matthew 5, the priests are asked where Jesus will be born. They don’t even need to look. They know it will be in Bethlehem, David’s city, from the line of David, because they were searching, looking, waiting. They knew.

Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Revelation 1:7(ESV)
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

In Every Story

Every story in the Bible whispers the name of Jesus.

The serpent lifted up in the wilderness by Moses in Numbers so that people could be healed from snake venom is Jesus lifted up on a cross so that we may look to him and be healed of our sin, as jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3.

In the book of Ruth Jesus is the kinsmen redeemer.

At the end of Malachi, Jesus is the sun of righteousness who will rise with healing in his wings. The woman with issue of blood took this literally, and was healed when she touched his robe’s tassels, his “wings” (Malachi 4).

Abraham’s son, Isaac, was saved from being sacrificed on mount Moriah when God provided Abraham a ram to take his son’s place (Genesis 22). In Jesus, God would offer all of us salvation from death by providing the Son of God in our place.

On this very same mountain, King David threw himself down before God, begging for mercy on the nation that was being cursed for his sin. From the same mountain that God provided a ram in Isaac’s place, David offered himself to God to be cursed instead of his people (2 Samuel 24:17). Our High King places himself between us and the death we’ve earned by our sin, saving us by his willing death.

David’s son, Solomon, would build a temple to God on this same mountain. In that temple would the people of God make sacrifices of innocent animals before God for their sins, according to the Law of Moses as recorded in the Torah. In these laws were sacrifices, festivals, and family traditions that all reminded God’s people of redemption, of liberation, of forgiveness, and of God’s love for all the world, for whom they were chosen to bless. Jesus became the perfect expression of this law for God’s people. By his willing sacrifice, he delivered all of Creation from the curse of death because of sin. He became God’s temple, and the sacrifice, and God’s place, and God’s word, so that through him all the world could be blessed (Romans 8).

And there are many, many more stories.

Adam longed to know Jesus.
Moses longed to know Jesus.
David longed to know Jesus.
Isaiah longed to know Jesus.

1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESVUK)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and enquired carefully, enquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Isaiah was writing for us.

What do angels see that they have never yet seen? When angels see Peter, the early church, and us, they see grace. Angels see sinners like us that God loves. They know by experience God the Creator. But before Christ, they had never known God the Saviour. For God so loves the world that he gave in a way the angels have never experienced (John 3:16). The Son of God loves you and gave himself for you, personally.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53). Though your sins are like scarlet, Jesus will make them white as snow (Isaiah 1).

He gave us his back. He gave us his body. He gave us his blood. Let us always praise God together for our salvation, a privilege so great that generations wish they could join us, and angels watch amazed as we share.

This transcript was part of a sermon: Listen

Next Thursday: 1 Peter 2:11-12 - Aliens
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