MADE ALIVE WITH CHRIST
A. Introduction: We are taking time to look at the Cross of Christ -- the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for our lives. I Cor 1:17,18
1. We are focusing on the power of the Cross for us who are saved. God has met every human need through the Cross of Christ, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
2. To understand how the Cross has met every human need, you must understand substitution and identification. The words are not found in the Bible, but the principles are there.
a. A substitute takes the place of another. Jesus took our place on the Cross. Rom 5:8
b. Identification works like this: I wasn't there, but what happened there affects me as though I was.
c. The Bible teaches that we were crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20), died with Christ (Rom 6:8), were buried with Christ (Rom 6:4), were made alive with Christ (Eph 2:5), were raised up with Christ (Eph 2:6).
1. We weren't there, but whatever happened at the Cross in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus affects us as though we were there.
2. That is why we need the preaching of the Cross -- so we know what happened to us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
3. God's plan, God's purpose in creation, was to have a family of holy sons and daughters conformed to the image of Christ. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29
a. But, because of the disobedience of the first man, Adam, we are born into a fallen race under the control of Satan. We are born with a sin nature and as soon as we are old enough, we willfully rebel against God by sinning. Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 3:23
c. The result of all of this is that death reigns in the human race. We are no longer eligible for sonship, but rather for an eternity in hell separated from God.
4. God's solution to all of this was and is the Cross of Christ. Jesus went to the Cross as the Last Adam, as the representative of the whole human race. He went to the Cross as our substitute. I Cor 15:45-47
a. Jesus became our substitute so He could identify with us. To identify means to make identical so you can consider or treat the same.
b. On the Cross Jesus identified with us or became what we were so that the Father could treat Him the way we should have been treated. II Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13
c. Through the Cross an exchange took place. All the evil due to us because of our sin and disobedience went to Jesus so that all the good due to Him for His obedience could come to us.
d. At the Cross, Jesus became one with us in our sin and death so we could be one with Him in life and righteousness. God treated Jesus as we deserved to be treated for our sin so He can treat us like Jesus -- as a holy, righteous son.
5. If you are going to understand and benefit fully from the impact and provision of the Cross, you must be aware of the spiritual aspects of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.
a. By spiritual we mean unseen -- what was going on in the unseen realm, what happened to Jesus' soul and spirit. Jesus experienced more than the physical suffering which could be seen at the Cross.
1. Our sins were laid on Him (Isa 53:6). Our sicknesses were laid on Him (Isa 53:4,5). His soul was made an offering for sin (Isa 53:10). He was made sin (II Cor 5:21). He was made a curse (Gal 3:13). The wrath of God was laid on Him (Isa 53:6--Iniquity = sin and its consequences; Ps 88)
2. None of this could be seen by eyewitnesses of the crucifixion because it happened in the unseen, invisible realm. It was spiritual suffering or the suffering of Jesus' soul and spirit.
b. God's wrath against us and our sins was poured out on Jesus. When Jesus had suffered enough to pay for our sins, enough to give God the legal right to declare us not guilty, then Jesus rose from the dead.
c. It is in these unseen aspects of the Cross that we see the full impact of what God has provided for us through the sacrifice of Christ. The eyewitnesses of the crucifixion had no idea what was happening, why it was happening, or what it was going to provide.
6. We could say there is a negative and a positive side to Jesus' substitution and identification for us at the Cross. The negative side: Jesus suffered and died for us as us. The positive side: Jesus was made alive for us as us.
a. In the past two lessons we have focused on the negative side of substitution and identification. Jesus suffered and died for us as us.
b. In this lesson we want to begin to focus on the positive side -- Jesus was made alive for us as us to give us new life.
B. Just as there seen and unseen (spiritual and physical) aspects to Jesus' death on the Cross, there seen and unseen (spiritual and physical) aspects to His resurrection
1. The Bible teaches that Jesus was justified (made righteous) and made alive in spirit before He was made alive in body. I Tim 3:16; I Pet 3:18
a. If Jesus had to be made alive in spirit, that means there was a time when He was not alive in spirit.
b. If Jesus had to be justified (made righteous) in spirit, that means there was a time when He was not righteous in spirit.
2. Jesus was never unrighteous in Himself. At the Cross He took our unrighteousness on Himself. He took our spiritual death on Himself. II Cor 5:21; Eph 2:1,5
a. When Jesus did that, He was cut off from God which is spiritual death. Matt 27:46; Eph 4:18
b. When Jesus died physically His spirit went where we should have gone, where all who die cut off from God go. He went to hell and suffered. Acts 2:22-32
c. Because Jesus identified with us, became what we were, God treated Jesus as we should have been treated. Unrighteous us died on the Cross and went to hell in the person of our substitute. Unrighteous us had to be made righteous in hell.
1. This shows how real Jesus' substitution for and identification with us was. Jesus was so literally made sin with our sin that He had to be made righteous in hell.
2. I Tim 3:16--Who was declared righteous in spirit (Rotherham). Became righteous in spirit (Beck).
d. Keep in mind, it was God pouring out His wrath on Jesus (on us). The devil was not beating up on Jesus in hell. Jesus was under the judgment of God. He took our place under God's wrath.
3. Remember, God's goal in all of this was to make us righteous, holy sons.
a. God could not justify us or make us righteous because He cannot let us off the hook for our sins, and the only payment we can make which would satisfy His justice is to go to hell forever.
b. But Jesus, because of the value of His person, because He is the God-man, was able to pay for the sins of a whole race and satisfy Divine Justice after three days and nights of suffering the penalty of sin. Jesus satisfied the claims of justice against us. Isa 53:11
c. Once the price for sin was paid, because Jesus had no sin of His own, He could be justified or made righteous in spirit. Because Jesus was in hell for me as me, when He was justified, I was justified or made righteous.
4. Once Jesus was justified or made righteous He could be made alive in spirit. I Pet 3:18
a. The word “the” is not in the original text. It reads “put to death in flesh, made alive in spirit”.
1. Having in fact been put to death with respect to the flesh [His human body], but made alive with respect to the spirit [His human spirit]. (Wuest)
2. That Jesus underwent physical death, but in his spirit, he was brought to life. (Berkeley)
b. Life, the life of God, came back into His human spirit because He was righteous (justified) again. Physical death could no longer hold Him and He reentered His body and rose from the dead.
c. Rom 4:25 tells us Jesus was raised from the dead because we were justified.
1. Rom 4:25--Who was surrendered to death because of all the offenses we had committed and was raised to life because of the acquittal secured for us. (Weymouth)
2. According to this, we were not justified while Jesus was on the Cross but at the end of three days and nights when Jesus was justified at the resurrection. I Cor 15:14,17
5. We are not trying to minimize or exaggerate the importance of any part of the Cross or the Blood of Christ. It was all necessary -- Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. But consider this:
a. In Lev 16:7-10; 15-22 we have a picture of what Jesus did for us and our sins through His death, burial, and resurrection. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) the High Priest performed a sacrifice to deal with the sins of the nation for that year.
1. Two goats were offered up. One was slain -- an innocent shed his blood. The other goat was the scapegoat. The sins of Israel were transferred to that goat and he was taken to the wilderness and let go in a land of separation.
2. Both were necessary to provide an atonement (covering) for the sins of the people.
3. Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God, shed His blood for us. Then, in His own person, he took our sins and their consequences to the land of separation (hell) to remove them from us.
b. Jesus, as our High Priest, presented His Blood to His Father after He was raised from the dead. John 20:14-17; Heb 9:12-14
c. The work of redemption was finished when Jesus sat down at the Father's right hand. Heb 1:3
C. Just as Jesus' spiritual and physical suffering and death was our death, so His spiritual and physical resurrection was ours. When Jesus was justified and made alive in spirit we were justified and made alive in spirit.
1. Eph 2:1,5--At the Cross, Jesus joined us in spiritual death. When we were spiritually dead, God made us alive together with Jesus. We were given life in our spirit (spiritual life) together with Christ.
a. Our sins had made dead men of us, and He, in giving life to Christ, gave life to us, too. (Knox)
b. He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him. (Amp)
2. Once our sin was paid for, removed through the work of our substitute, God could legally do what He originally planned -- give us His life. John 10:10; II Tim 1:9,10
a. He gave it to our substitute first, in hell. But, because Jesus was there for us as us, when He received life, legally, we did, too.
b. It becomes a vital reality to us at the new birth. When you were born again God gave you, in your spirit, the same life which was given to Jesus in the resurrection.
3. Jesus was the first to come out of death -- spiritually, then physically. Col 1:18; Rev 1:5
a. Col 1:18--His was the first birth out of death (Knox). Being the first to be born again from the dead (20th Cent).
b. The new birth is a reenactment of Jesus' resurrection, of Jesus being made alive in spirit because that is when we are made alive in spirit.
c. I Cor 15:45-47--Jesus came out of death -- spiritual and physical -- as the Second Man, the head of a new race, a race of men born out of death into life.
4. Something else happened to our Substitute when He was made alive in spirit. He was restored to sonship. Acts 13:30-33
a. God has no sons who are dead in trespasses and sin. When Jesus became dead in our trespasses and sins, He lost His position as son. God would never forsake His son as He did Jesus.
b. At the resurrection Jesus was made God's son or restored to sonship. v33--This day thou has been born to me (20th Cent). Today I have become thy Father (Weymouth). Begotten (GENNAO) means to procreate. Figuratively = to regenerate. Translated bear, beget, be born, conceive.
c. Keep in mind, Jesus lost His sonship, was forsaken of God, because of His identification with us.
1. We were not sons, and, on the Cross, Jesus became what we were -- not sons. He continued as what we were (not sons) in the heart of the earth, in hell, until our sins were paid for.
2. Jesus was made a son for us, as us. He did not need sonship, we did but couldn`t get it. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was the only way we could be made righteous sons.
D. Conclusion: Consider these points about the Cross -- the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
1. The reality of the Cross. Jesus was really made sin with our sin, was really cut off from His Father, really died, really went to hell and suffered.
a. What does this show us about God's love for us? John 3:16
b. If God did this for you when you were His enemy, what would He not do for you now? Rom 8:32
2. The effectiveness of the Cross. Jesus (for you as you) came out of sin, death, hell, and the grave so free from every trace of it that He could go into heaven, right into the Father's presence, to present His Blood. That's how free you are.
3. Jesus' death was a means to an end. It was carried out so that God could legally give us His life and make us sons like Jesus. Mission accomplished!! I Pet 3:18; Rom 8:29,30