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From the sermon

Why Jesus? God ONE OF US

Pastor Michael T Stephenson

From the sermon Why Jesus? God ONE OF Us

Pastor Michael T Stephenson, December 12, 2014
First Baptist Church, Medina NY
Matthew 9:11-13 (The Message) What kind of example is this
from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?
Jesus, overhearing, shot back,
Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?
Go figure out what this Scripture means:
Im after mercy, not religion.
Im here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.
Isaiah 53:12 ...He was numbered with the transgressors.
1. Jesus' Identification as Human Isaiah 53 NIV vv.1-3
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

December 12, 2014

First Baptist Church, Medina NY

2. Jesus' Identification As Sinful vv.4-6

(Jesus relates to us in our sin)
Surely He took up our pain
and bore/carried our suffering,
yet we considered Him punished by God,
stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Jesus submitted Himself to the disgraces due to the worst of
and felons...
Jesus Identified with
-the infirm
-the sorrowing
-the stricken and afflicted
-the smitten; those struck sharply and heavily
-convicted criminals
-the judged
-the punished and penalized
-the wounded
-the iniquitous; those committing gross injustice or wickedness
His sorrows bruised Him. He felt pain;
He bled and agonized from what He suffered.
He had wounds and stripes
He was scourged on His back and breast.
He was pierced through in His hands, feet and side.
He had a crown of thorns on His head.
Every part of His body was marked by the time He hung on the
Jesus identified with the worst of us, not with the best of us.
This must destroy all of our pride,
all of our self-righteousness,
all of our I-deserve-better-mentality.

Notice that Jesus does NOT relate to

-the Religious
-the self-Righteous
-the Holier-than-thou
-the famous
What do all of these have in common?
NONE need God.
Jesus did not just become human
Jesus became a sinful human by taking upon Himself
the sin of the entire human race on the cross.
2 Cor5:21 - God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us,
So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
He became one of us
in enduring sin AND all of its deadly consequences
Physically enduring pain, suffering and eventually death
Emotionally enduring grief, sorrow, distress, regret
Relationally enduring ostracism by others,
mocking, cruel and inhumane treatment
Spiritually enduring separation from God

People usually have God all wrong

People expect God to be an angry father
who demands perfect devotion or
People expect God to be a harsh taskmaster
who demands perfect religion, or
People expect God to be an unforgiving deity
who can't wait to judge everyone.

Jesus showed us that God gives love and grace,

even though we really deserve judgment
Jesus endured GOD'S justice by being pierced for our transgressions
Jesus showed GOD'S omnipassion by taking up our infirmities and
by being punished for our sins.
How do we respond to Jesus' Identification with us
in our humanity and sinfulness?
Think of the first responders in Matthew and Luke:
#The religious leaders
knew all the facts but they had no faith.
They were arrogant, church going, judgmental men
Who kept the rules and did the right things.
But they missed Jesus' birth.
They didn't believe
so they couldn't be bothered with Jesus.
#The shepherds were Israel's low life.
They were the disrespected ones that no one cared about
except God.
When they were told "the Good News of great joy for all the people"
They would not miss this opportunity
to go and see The newborn Savior.
And after seeing Him they were Jesus' first witnesses
They "spread the word about this Child."
#About two years after Jesus was born
The wise men had few facts
but they acted on the information they had.
They saw a star and knew that The King of the Jews was born.
They were seekers who would not miss this opportunity.
They came with expensive gifts,
worthy of the One they came to worship.
#But imagine being the innkeeper?

"Just A Girl" by Brandon Heath

I wonder if you've heard the story

Of little fame and lesser glory

The night the keeper of the innkeeper.

The little town of Bethlehem

Encountered Joseph and his Mary

About to birth the Savior of the world

His wife said go and see who's knocking
He ran down to the gate unlocked it

The moment he heard Mary's cry

He couldn't look them in the eye

Denied them and went back to bed.
When his wife asked who was there
He said I don't know

Just a girl.

Just a couple gypsies begging at the door

Told them we don't have room for anymore.
And closed the door
It was just a girl
He tried to sleep and wasn't able.
He snuck out to the dirty stable
The two had found for covering.
And later in her suffering

The keeper knelt outside the barn

And in the light of that great star
He prayed what have I done

One of our continuing challenges is The Room issue.

He's just a babe.

Just minutes old there trembling in the hay

I could have found a room for them to stay

I'm so ashamed

He's just a babe

There was no robe

There was no crown

The shepherds stood On royal ground

The keeper wept

For what he'd done

He turned away God's own Son

Just a King.
Just a million angels crowding in to see
Jesus there among humanity

Just a babe.
Just minutes old there trembling in the hay
Staring at his mother in the face.
She's just a girl

Just a girl
Does she even know that she just changed the world
Does she even know that He will save the world
Does Mary know that He will save the world
She's just a girl
Just a girl

Just a girl

[Listen at https://www.google.com/#q=just%20a%20girl%20by%20brandon%20heath]

Who do you identify with this Christmas?

The church-going religious leaders who were good enough
That they didn't need to give Jesus room
And they missed His birth.
Perhaps it's the innkeeper.
It just wasn't practical to find or make room for a pregnant lady
Life is too full, too crowded, with too much other stuff
Good stuff
But by not giving room to a needy pregnant lady
He also missed the greatest arrival in history.
My friends
We need to be identifying ourselves
With the shepherds and the seekers, two groups who
Opened up their hearts and lives, gave Jesus room and
Changed their destiny and legacies as a result.
Both grabbed hold of their moment to go after Jesus.
The seekers were truly wise men
for following The Star of The Savior.
Their finding led to overwhelming joy.
Their finding led to exceptional worship.
The shepherds
were truly blessed for simply going to see
what they were informed of.
Their finding Jesus led to powerful witness that produced God-awe
in each one who heard them.
Can we humble ourselves
as we open our eyes to GOD'S Suffering Servant
The One Who with undeserving grace
identified with us at our worst
sinners all?

From a ministry standpoint

Christ followers are not here to blame,
or judge,
or criticize.
We're not better than anyone.
We are as needy as everyone.
We are to be like TRUE first responders
They come to free the trapped,
bandage the wounded,
help the hurting
Just like Jesus.
And when someone comes home to The Lord
and is saved by grace,
We celebrate their homecoming