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Writing ministry of Nicholas A. Cooley







"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.? Ezekiel 18:4



Let?s review what we?ve covered so far. God is loving, caring, righteous, holy, and just, and he must punish sin. We are evil, proud, arrogant, sexually immoral, unmerciful and rebellious against God. God must punish us, and we deserve it. Death is the only punishment for sin.


"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.? Ezekiel 18:4

Let?s review what we?ve covered so far. God is loving, caring, righteous, holy, and just, and he must punish sin. We are evil, proud, arrogant, sexually immoral, unmerciful and rebellious against God. God must punish us, and we deserve it. Death is the only punishment for sin.

I?m going to take it back a few thousand years, to Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4, Cain and Abel brought a sacrifice to the Lord to cover their sins. As we know, only death can pay for sin. Abel brought a lamb and killed it, but Cain brought fruits and vegetables. God accepted Abel?s sacrifice, but not Cain?s, for without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22.)

Throughout the Old Testament, Jews sacrificed bulls, lambs, goats, and rams for the forgiveness of their sins. These sacrifices had to have specific qualities. They needed to be:

Male ? Exodus 12:5
Unblemished ? Exodus 12:5
Free from broken bones ? Leviticus 22:22

This sacrifice was not enough to save them from hell. It?s important to note that when spreading the gospel. Since these people lived before Jesus, they could not trust in Jesus? sacrifice, so God made a little visual aid for them; a shadow of things to come. They trusted God to forgive them when they sacrificed the lamb for their sins, the same way we trust in Jesus for ours. They were actually saved by Jesus? sacrifice years later, the same way we are now.

I?ve jumped a little ahead of myself. The bible also spoke of a Promised Deliverer, who would save them from their sins. This Promised One, the Messiah, would be:

The seed of Jacob (and Isaac, and Abraham) ? Numbers 24:17
Born in Bethlehem ? Micah 5:2
Called a Nazarene ? Judges 13:5
Born of a virgin ? Isaiah 7:14
Preceded by a forerunner ? Malachi 3:1
A minister in Galilee ? Isaiah 9:1-2
One who would heal the blind, lame, and deaf ? Isaiah 29:18

Moreover, several things would happen to Him. He would:

Be hated without reason ? Psalm 35:19
Have rulers would plot to kill Him ? Psalm 2:2
Ride into Jerusalem on a donkey ? Zechariah 9:9
Be betrayed by a friend ? Psalm 41:9
Be sold for thirty pieces of silver ? Zechariah 11:12
Be silent to accusations against Him ? Isaiah 53:7
Be mocked and spit upon ? Isaiah 50:6, Mark 10:34
Be beaten ? Isaiah 50:6,
Be whipped ? Isaiah 53:5, Mark 10:34
Be a vicarious sacrifice ? Isaiah 53:5
Be pierced through hands and feet ? Psalm 22:16
Be crucified among thieves ? Isaiah 53:12
Be scorned and mocked by His captors ? Psalm 22:7-8
Be given vinegar and gall ? Psalm 69:21
Pray for His enemies ? Psalm 109:4
Have no bones broken ? Psalm 34:20
Have soldiers gamble for His clothing ? Psalm 22:17-18
Be buried with the Rich ? Isaiah 53:9
Be resurrected ? Psalm 16:10
Be resurrected after three days ? Mark 10:34, Hosea 6:2
Be God Himself ? Malachi 3:1

This is quite a specific list. How many people throughout time could fulfill all of these prophecies? You can narrow it down to one with only one of these. He would be resurrected. Only one person has ever done that. He would be born of a virgin. I only know of one person throughout history who even claimed to be that, Jesus.

Jesus met the requirements of the sin offering. He was male, He was unblemished (without sin), and He was free from broken bones (John 19:33.) He also met all the requirements of the Messiah. He:

Was born in Bethlehem ? Luke 2:4-7
Was called a Nazarene ? Matthew 2:23
Was born of a virgin ? Luke 1:26-31
Was preceded by a forerunner ? Luke 7:27
Was a minister in Galilee ? Matthew 14:13-16
Healed the blind, lame, and deaf ? Matthew 11:4-5
Was hated without reason ? John 15:24-25
Had rulers would plot to kill Him ? Mark 3:6
Rode into Jerusalem on a donkey ? Mark 11:7-11
Was betrayed by a friend ? Luke 22:47-48
Was sold for thirty pieces of silver ? Matthew 25:16
Was silent to accusations against Him ? Mark 15:4-5
Was mocked and spit upon ? Matthew 27:29-30
Was beaten ? Matthew 26:67
Was whipped ? Matthew 27:26
Was a vicarious sacrifice ?Romans 5:6-8
Was pierced through hands and feet ? John 20:27
Was crucified among thieves ? Mark 15:27-28
Was scorned and mocked by His captors ? Luke 23:25
Was given vinegar and gall ? Matthew 27:34
Prayed for His enemies ? Luke 23:34
Had no bones broken ? John 19:33
Had soldiers gamble for His clothing ? Matthew 27:35-36
Was Buried with the Rich ? Matthew 27:57-60
Was resurrected ? Mark 16:6-7
Was resurrected after three days ? John 20:1
Was God Himself ? John 1:1, John 20:28

Jesus was, unquestionably, the Messiah. Nobody else in history comes close to fulfilling these prophecies. There are records of these prophecies dating back well before Jesus was born. The real proof that He was the Messiah comes from these predictions coming true. God said this would happen, and when it did, it not only proved He is real, but proved the accuracy of the Old Testament and proved Jesus really was our savior. There is enough evidence to convince anybody who will hear it. Christ was the solution to our sin debt.

John 1:1 says of Jesus, ?In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.? Later, in John 1:14, we learn that ??the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.? Jesus was God, in the flesh, coming to pay for our sins for us.

Now, it?s important here to realize that the deity of Christ is a difficult topic to explain. When you are sharing the Gospel, if you get to the point where you explain Jesus was God, and the person with whom you are sharing the Gospel does not disagree, you can move on. There will be time to explain how Jesus is God later, when you disciple him or her. But if he or she does not agree, you must stop and explain it to them. It doesn?t seem from scripture to be necessary that you understand the deity of Christ to be saved, but it is important you do not deny it, because since Jesus claimed to be God, if you deny it you are not trusting and believing in Him. We will cover the deity of Christ later, so you will be able to describe it to anyone who asks.

People often ask how Jesus dying solved anything. Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn?t God just forgive us, if He loves us so much? As we learned earlier, God is a righteous judge. God must punish sin. If you were a judge, and a man was found guilty by the jury, and a fine was to be assessed, would you be a fair judge if you let him go without paying the fine? No, and neither can God. Only death can pay for sins, and Jesus, after living a blameless life, had no sin to die for. Yet He CHOSE to die anyway, for ours instead. He was our sacrificial lamb. He died on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the exact time the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the Temple. Before He died, he drank wine given to him on hyssop, commonly used to prepare the Passover lamb for sacrifice (John 19:29.) Hyssop typically wouldn?t even be found nearby, and the man who gave it to Him had no idea He was preparing a sacrifice. Everything the Jewish traditions had foreshadowed had now come to be.

He paid our fine with His blood, and gave us His righteousness. It was the only way we could be saved. When Jesus took on our sins, God poured out His wrath on His own Son ? the wrath we deserved. God cannot lie, and when He said the only payment for sin is death, He meant it. He did not even spare His own Son, and He certainly won?t spare you if you reject His plan. Like Cain and Abel, God has said there is only one way to atone for sins, death. We have a choice: accept Jesus? death as payment for sins, or bring fruit and vegetables, and be forced to pay for our own. There is no other way.

??I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.? (John 14:6)









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Published on: 2006-04-11 (1933 reads)

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