dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Reviewing Humble Orthodoxy, Week 4

Title: The Cross: A Meditation on Jesus’ Atoning Death
Speaker: C.J. Mahaney
Session: Main Session #4, Na06
Date: May 28, 2006

Main Texts
Isaiah 53:1-6,10a

Some Opening Thoughts
This message by C.J. is one of the finest sermons on the atonement that you will ever hear, and I am reminded again of how little I can effectively represent in one of these posts. My hope is that this will encourage you to listen to the message yourself and, more importantly, to find fresh joy and wonder as you consider the love of God manifested in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

C.J. opens by reading the passage from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe where Susan and Lucy Pevensie, having witnessed Aslan’s death, learn that he has risen. The excerpt ended with Susan’s question to Aslan, “But what does it all mean?”A more relevant question, C.J. says, could not be asked of Aslan – nor, more importantly, of the Savior he represents.

A Brief Outline
The Appearance (v.1-3)
–> One cannot discern the identity of the suffering servant without divine illumination (verse 3, “we esteemed him not”)
–>"Suffering observed and misunderstood" (Alex Montiere)
2. The Reality (v.4-6)
–> We transition from human expectations to divine revelation – we discover the purpose of His suffering.
–> We discover the divine reality: that He was crucified for our sins.
(A) Christ suffered for us and because of our sins
–> Our first reaction upon surveying this scene: “I didn't do it!”
–> Isaiah is aware that this tendency resides in each of us, but he portrays us as present. Why? Because we were morally present. Our sin necessitated this.
(B) He suffered and died as our substitute
–> Note the language of substitution: “borne,” “carried,” “wounded,” “crushed,” “chastisement,” “stripes,” “laid on him”
–> This is what it all means: He died in my place for my sin so that I might be saved from that punishment and spared the wrath of God.
3. The Significance (v.10)
–> The substitution of Jesus reveals the Father's love to guilty sinners like you and me.
–> “It was the will of the Lord to crush him”
–> Consider John 3:16 informed by Isaiah 53:10 – “God so loved the world that he crushed his only Son”

Other Points
–> “The Bible in miniature and the Gospel in essence” (Charles Spurgeon, speaking of Isaiah 53)
–> Human expectations of the Savior tend to be consistent through the ages – certainly not that of a suffering servant; as Paul said to the Corinthians, “the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
–> “We all walk around with His nails in our pocket.” (Martin Luther)
–> “When we behold the disfigurement of the Son of God – when we find ourselves appalled by His appearance, we need to reckon afresh that it is upon ourselves that we gaze, for He stood in our place.” (John Calvin)
–> This will be the mainspring of our joy in and throughout eternity
–> “Heaven is cross-centered, and quite blaring about it” (Jim Elliff, see Revelation 5)
–> If you are tempted to doubt God's love for you, consider the love of God for you as described in Isaiah 53:10: He crushed His Son for you.
–> “God does something to us as well as for us on the cross: He persuades us that He loves us.” (Sinclair Ferguson)
–> We should Take time each day to dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard.
(Note: I may not have the correct spelling of the names of some of the men C.J. quoted.)

Some Application Questions
–> Do I take time to dwell each day where the cries of Calvary can be heard?
–> If not, how long has it been since I have?
–> When I am tempted, in some way, to doubt God’s love for me, what are my thoughts centered on? How might remembering this passage in Isaiah reinform and reform my attitude?

One Thing That Has Stuck With Me
Thinking specifically of John 3:16 in light of Isaiah 53:10.

One Thing I Re-learned By Re-listening
If you’re a Christian, you will find nothing new or surprising in this message. It’s the Gospel, articulated clearly and powerfully. That I (and we) know this message, however, does not mean that we should move on from it. I would do well to be more intentional in purposefully meditating on the cross each day; I would also do well to re-listen to this message periodically, to be both exhorted to that end and reminded of the centrality of the cross.

–> What are one or two things that you learned in listening to this teaching?
–> If you were re-listening to it, what are some ways that God has used this teaching in your life over the last two years?
–> Also, feel free to give suggestions on the focus and format of these posts.
–> Finally, as great as it is to be able to talk about this online, talk about it personally with people you know. Use it as an opportunity to share with each other what God is teaching you, and how He has given (and is giving) you the grace to apply it.

This was Week 4 in the fifteen weeks of reviewing humble orthodoxy, leading up to New Attitude 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky on May 24-27. Listen to “A Meditation on Jesus’ Atoning Death” for free.

Next Week: The Power: Understanding And Experiencing the Holy Spirit (Jeff Purswell)

Background on this series: Humble Orthodoxy



Anonymous megan said...

yeah it's such a great message. What a blessing it is to have gifted preachers and writers both from the past a present to learn from.

3/19/2008 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I was convicted as I read the application question: "Do I take time to dwell each day where the cries of Calvary can be heard?"
I can't wait until I re-relisten to that message. I remember coming to tears when I heard C.J. read the story about the prisoner who willingly gave up his life for others. But that doesn't even compare to the Holy, Righteous, and Perfect Lamb of God who willingly sacrificed Himself for me.

3/25/2008 8:23 PM


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