If you read closely the New Testament record you find a reference to specific days in the ministry of Jesus. By comparing the four gospel accounts we find there are 52 “days” chronicled in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will study just seven of them tonight. The first one was one of the most celebrated. We call it Christmas. On that night God sent a celestial sound and light show to herald the birth of the King of the Universe into human affairs. The Eternal One became an infant, and was born in a stable! The last day is His ascension to heaven. The Life of Christ may be divided into seven key days’ events which together frame the entire earthly life of Christ !
- His Birth In Matthew 1-2 we are introduced to the King of the Universe to only the Humble, shows the only way to His Presence. Who missed out on His arrival ? Remember them:
- First there was AUGUSTUS: “Mr. BIG” Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. (NKJV)
- Augustus was too big to notice the significance of this event
- GOD COMES IN SMALL THINGS. LISTEN TO PAUL: I Corinthians 1:26-27 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called.] ; (NKJV)
- Second, there was QUIRINIUS: “Mr. Somewhere Else” Luke 2:2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) (NIV)
- Quirinius was too far away to notice thge significance of this event.
- GOD COMES IN THE THINGS THAT ARE CLOSE. LISTEN TO PAUL: Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: (NIV)
- Third, there was the INNKEEPER: “Mr. Busy” Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NIV)
- The Innkeeper was too busy to notice the significance of this event.
- GOD COMES TO THE SIMPLE. LISTEN AGAIN: I Corinthians 1:27-28 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, (NIV)
- FOURTH, there was Herod: “Mr. Earthly Minded” Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem (NIV)
- Herod was to earthly minded to notice the significance of this event.
- GOD CAME TO THE SPIRITUAL . LISTEN AGAIN TO PAUL: I Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (NIV)
- Fifth, there were the RELIGIOUS LEADERS: “Mr. Self Righteous” Matthew 2:4-5 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: (NIV)
- The Religious Leaders were too SELF-RIGHTEOUS/GOOD [God’s word isn’t for me here and now, its something for out there or something] to notice the significance of this event.
- GOD COMES TO THE LOST SEEKERS. They knew it, but didn’t care enough to go five miles south of town and experience it. They pointed others to seek out the Savoior but never went to worship themselves. LISTEN TO GOD: Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. (NIV)
- WELL HOW ABOUT IT: ARE YOU:
- TOO BIG? GOD WANTS YOU SMALL
- TOO FAR? GOD WANTS YOU CLOSE.
- TOO BUSY? GOD WANTS YOU TO STOP.
- TOO EARTHLY MINDED? GOD WANTS YOU TOO LOOK UP.
- TOO SELF-RIGHTEOUS? GOD WANTS LOST SEEKERS.
- The childhood of Christ was a sinless childhood, boyhood, youth and manhood. Those days were invested as an example to all humans of humility, hard work, obscurity, submissiveness, contentedness, prayerfulness and Scripture mastery. He endured the scorn of singleness as all were normally wed by 18
- His Baptism. In Matthew 3 we find the second key day of the Life of Christ. It was the day the small door leading to the carpenter’s shop closed for the last time. Gone would be the hours of wonderfilled talks the local folks had enjoyed with the kindest man they ever had met. No more would the wide eyes of children be seen looking wistfully off as stories from the Scriptures of David and Elijah and Moses were shared seemingly with an eye witness aura about them. As the meek and lowly Carpenter headed toward the Jordan, He had to wind His way through the crowds. His cousin John was preaching at thr River’s edge. A group of scowling Pharisees were standing off to the side as the Baptist fiery words aimed at them told of their utter viperlike lack of contrition was excluding them from his baptism of repentance. Looking back at the crowds John was struck by the serenity of One confidently striding to the waters edge. As he looked into the eyes of Jesus he saw for the first time in any man such purity, holiness and truth that the same lips that denied the wicked false religionists now were disqualifying himself. In the presence of Jesus John saw his own sinfulness. But today after a protest, John yielded to the Master that day and baptized the Christ.
- Why did Christ seek baptism?
- Jesus was identifying with us the fallen human race Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like [His] brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (NKJV)
- John was introducing the Promised Savior. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (NKJV)
- God was approving of the Prepared Christ. Psalm 2:7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You [are] My Son, Today I have begotten You. (NKJV)
- The Spirit of God was empowering the work of redemption. Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (NKJV)
- The Spirit is the only power for Ministry
- This is the Authentication of the King
III. His Temptation In Matthew 4 we are given the sight of Christ’s Testing by Satan.
- The Arena was the Wilderness (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4) Christ was with wild beasts (Mark 1:13); He was 40 Days without food (Matthew 4; Luke 4) How unlike the 1st Adam is this last Adam. “The Devil challenged the first man. The Last Man challenged the Devil. The Devil ruined the first Adam. The Last Adam spoiled the Devil. The First Adam involved the Race in his defeat. The Last Adam included the Race in His victory. The First Adam stood as the head of the race and falling, dragged the race down with him. The Last Adam stood as the Head of the new race, and being victorious, lifted that race with Him.
- The Adversary was Satan. Christ met the Devil, that Dragon and slandererous fallen Lucifer, the father of sin, lies, murder, death and hell. The very powerful King of Darkness.
- The Account is Christ’s personal and private eyewitness Account. It is so special because only He was there. The fact that we have it speaks to His personal desire that we have it to help us as we face the same adversary. May we likewise conquer in His power! God approving of those 30 silent years of patient preparation. God approved of the life investment of Christ. Are we living in a way that God has approved? The baptism of Jesus by John was the Holy Spirit accomplishing God’s purposes through His yielded life. From the manger to the Tomb the Holy Spirit empowered Him to do the will of God. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (KJV) All Jesus did was through the Spirit. Christ accomplished a life of devoted obedience in the power of the Spirit. WHAT HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH YOU? The Holy Spirit asks: Have you met Him? Identified with Him? Been approved by Him? Accomplished His plan?
- The attack was temptation to sin. In the Gospels we have Satan tempting Christ. The 40 days were filled with a spiritual struggle. The climax of Satan’s attack is given in Matthew and Luke 4. In Matthew 4 we have the chronological order.
- Physical Attack:
- a) APPETITE = The Desire to Enjoy (Mt. 4:2-4; Luke. 4:2-4; I John 2:16 ‘lust flesh’.
(1) In the Bread into stones temptation Satan attacks Christ at the point of submission to the will of God. Would Christ submit and obey the Father at all costs or not.
(2) This attack was the temptation to satisfy a legitimate desire by illegitimate means.
(3) This is the whole realm of sensual things, drugs, and alcohol. Trying to get what only God can give. Filling that God shaped vacuum in our lives with pleasure over worship.
- b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 8:3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every [word] that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (NKJV)
- Mental Attack:
- a) AMBITION = The Desire to Achieve Mt. 4:5-6; Luke. 4:9-11; I John 2:16 ‘pride of life’
(1) In the jump temptation the Devil was attacking Christ and His reliance upon God and His timing. Stunts, dazzling displays and presumption are all contrary to God’s plan.
(2) This attack was according to J. Oswald Sanders the temptation to produce spiritual results in an unspiritual way.
(3) This is the whole realm of rivalry, externalism, pride, haughtiness and self-reliance.
- b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:16
- Spiritual Attack: AVARICE = The Desire to Obtain Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-7; I John 2:16 ‘lust of eyes’
- a) THE TEMPTATION
(1) In the bow down temptation the Devil was offering the possibility of Christ circumventing the Cross-and Calvary. This was the escape pain and suffering route.
(2) Again this was the temptation to obtain a godly heritage in an ungodly way!
(3) This is the whole realm of materialism, greed, possessiveness, trust in riches and worldliness
- b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:13 “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. (NKJV). As Augustine said: “We all have a god and we look more like who or whatever it is every day.”
- The Answer of Christ
- His answer was Simple: Christ used a simple method when facing temptation:
- a) His response was not clever, novel or sophisticated.
- b) Even a child could understand exactly what He said.
- His answer was Scriptural: Christ used a scriptural method when facing temptation:
- a) For each temptation He had discovered an appropriate Scripture.
- b) For each temptation He quoted an appropriate Scripture.
- His answer was Successful:
- a) In relation to Christ = TOTAL TRIUMPH He is absolutely seen as pure and empowered by the Spirit. He goes on in ministry enables and strengthened.
- b) In relation to Satan = TOTAL DEFEAT he is absolutely exposed as being in line for his final defeat and destruction in the lake of fire forever.
- In relation to Believers = TOTAL ASSURANCE because x met and conquered Satan, through Jesus we are more than conquerors. No temptation but God is able to give us an exit!
- This was the Battle of the King, and in it the Word is the only means of Victory.
- His Transfiguration In Matthew 17 Jesus pulls back the veil of His flesh and lets His glory shine.
- Sharing the Exodus. Both Moses and Elijah in a special way shared in Christ’s decease. Both had seen a special manifestation of God’s glory passing before them (Ex. 33:17-23 and I Kings 19:9-13). Both had unusual ends to their earthly lives: Moses, a personal graveside death and burial by God and Elijah a death defying fiery chariot ride to heaven.
- MOSES: Led the people of God from Egypt.
- a) The Lawgiver comes to the Land of Promise at last. God said the Law could never lead to the rest of Heaven only grace. Romans 8:2-3 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
- b) 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (NKJV).
- c) He is a picture of the dead in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16b And the dead in Christ will rise first. (NKJV)
- ELIJAH: Led the people of God from Idolatry.
- a) The Prophet sees the Lord of Promises at last 1 Peter 1:11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NKJV).
- b) He is a picture of the Raptured saints. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (NKJV)
- JESUS: Led the people of God to Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16a For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. (NKJV)
- Showing the King. The Son is the only key to Worship.
- A Glimpse at His Glory: John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (NKJV) 2 Peter 1:17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (NKJV).
- A Preview of our Powerful Second Coming King. Matthew 24:30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)
- A Peek at the Eternal Glory always in Christ. John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (NKJV)
- A Promise of the glory we will share with. John 17:22, 24 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (NKJV)
- A Strengthening for the Horrors of His Cross. Luke 9:31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (NKJV)
- His Crucifixion In Matthew 26-27 He is crucified. (#183 “Beneath” I take o cross thy shadow)
- The Work of the King at the Cross-is the only door to Heaven.
- The Seven words from the Cross
- The first three speak to the deepest needs of humanity
- a) “Father forgive” His mercy upon sinners.
- b) “Today . . . Paradise” His love for seekers.
- c) “Woman . . . thy son” His care for sharers.
- The second four to the deepest woes of His agony
- a) “My God” a cry of spiritual anguish. The net result of sin is to be forsaken by God. So Jesus experienced that horror for us!
- b) “I thirst” a cry of physical anguish.
- c) “It is finished” a cry of triumphant certainty.
- d) “Father” a cry of eternal fellowship.
- The Crowds at the foot of the Cross-mirror the people of all time.
- Observers: some were sorrowing disciples who knew and loved Him so. Others were spectating bystanders who never came to faith in spite of all they witnessed.
- Objects: one repenting and one resisting were the thieves, one descends to darkness the other ascends to light. Both were sinners, both faced Jesus but only one repents.
- Officials: what a contrast between the mocking and celebrating religious leaders, and meditating and moved to faith centurion.
- His Resurrection. In Matthew 28 we find Him Risen. What a shock it was. The Destroyers hold upon death was destroyed (Hebrews 2:14 – Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,). And from the grave by the power of the Father no corruption could touch Him, He broke the bars and walked out in Triumph. By His resurrection He confirmed all the promises of God, He assured all who had died in faith and He empowered all who would follow Him. The Resurrection and the Life was forever our Risen Lord! “Arise my soul” #199 (Five bleeding wounds he bears)
- The Triumph of the King because the Empty Tomb is the only key to Hope/Confidence.
- Conclusion: Why? Jesus Christ our Lord, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.
- John 20:11-18 He came to save the: The Defiled like Mary He gives purity when they come to Him.
- John 20:19-23 He came to rescue the depressed like the disciples who were in hiding.
- John 20:24-31 He came to save the: The Doubters like Thomas and He patiently gives them Faith when they doubt?
- John 21:1-14 He came to restore the Deserters like James and John He gives them Humility when they ask Him.
- John 21:15-25 He came to save the Deniers like fearful Peter and gives them forgiveness when they fail Him!
- Four eyewitness accounts in the Gospels. They all agree!
- The Tomb is empty. Then and to this day no body ever found!
- The abandoned Grave clothes.
- The witnesses who saw Him alive.
- Transformed lives of disciples.
- The New day of Worship for Christians.
VII. His Ascension. The last day was the day He went home. How the hosts of heaven had waited. He whose glory fills the heavens now was coming home in triumph. crown him w/many crowns #234
- The Exaltation of the King
- His entrance into Glory
- The Perfect One. Others came by the Mercy, this One came on His own merits! Hebrews 11 better than Abel
- The Triumphant One: Psalm 24:8-10 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He [is] the King of glory. Selah (NKJV)
- The Exalted One: God gave Him a name. Phil 2 What name? The name promised Mat 1, the name placarded on the Cross, the name scoffed by the lost, the name loved by His own, the name of Jesus!
- The Savior is the only Sign we look for.
- He is our Wounded God the Son Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (NKJV).
- He is our Wrathful God the Son 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 and to [give] you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
- Wounded for me, Wounded for me, There on the Cross He was wounded for me, Gone my transgressions and now I can sing, all because Jesus was wounded for me. (W.G. Ovens)