Jesus Lifted High
Posted on 06/01/2008 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)
Good morning, and welcome to Abundant Living Ministries CyberChurch!
If you're a visitor, please be sure to click the welcome sign before you leave. We also want to welcome you and invite you to worship God in the way the Holy Spirit leads you, seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Jesus is here among us by his Holy Spirit. Do you want to sense his presence? The Holy Spirit is present with us today, ready to heal, deliver, and transform hearts and minds. Do you want to let him have his way in your life today?
Then let's put aside all our distractions, and put our whole heart and mind on Jesus, on worshiping him, and on hearing his voice.
Let's all stand to our feet and start seeking him now.
Lord God, we want your presence. We need your presence. We can do nothing without you. We are nothing without you. You are our reason for living. You give us every breath we breathe. You sustain us. You enlighten us. You guide and direct us. You give us peace. You give us joy. You give us victory. You set us free.
And you deserve all the glory, all the honor, all the worship, and all the praise, and we lavish our love upon you, as we cry out for more of your Spirit, longing to feel your presence, to know that your hand is upon us, and to rest under the shadow of your wing.
Thank you that we can come to you knowing that we are completely forgiven, and the way has been opened so we can have our fellowship restored with you.
We ask that as we seek you today, as we reach out to you today, that you will touch us. Touch lives today. Touch hearts today. Touch sick bodies today. Touch families, touch jobs, touch situations. Turn us more fully into your way today so that the things in our lives that matter will follow your way too.
Lord, we bring before you some requests from our brothers and sisters.
We pray for one of Sixgin's student, who was brutally raped and then had her throat slit. You see her condition, as she waits helplessly in critical care, and you are the one who can bring healing to her body and to her mind.
We ask that you pour out your healing power upon her. Wrap her in your arms. If she does not know you, we ask that she would come to you during this time, and that she would find the peace and healing that only you can bring.
*** other prayer, hear the audio for the complete service ***
Please continue standing, and let's honor God with our offerings.
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the door, and give as the Lord leads.
Click the pulpit for a notecard, and let's continue seeking his presence as we sing to God our songs of praise.
WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH
We want to see Jesus lifted high,
A banner that flies across this land,
That all men might see the Truth and know
He is the way to heaven.
We want to see, we want to see,
We want to see Jesus lifted high.
we want to see, we want to see,
We want to see Jesus lifted high.
Step by step we're moving forward, little by little we're taking ground.
Every prayer a powerful weapon,
strongholds come tumbling down, and down, and down, and down.
PASS ME NOT O GENTLE SAVIOR
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition;
Help my unbelief.
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.
Thou the Spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in Heav’n but Thee?
JESUS I ADORE YOU
Father, I adore you
Lay my life before you
How I love you
*** Listen to audio for introduction to message ***
The title of today's message is "Jesus Lifted High."
Generally when we hear the phrase "Lift Jesus high," we think of the verse of Scripture which says, "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to myself." Let's read this passage and see if it means what we generally think it does, and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
John chapter twelve, beginning with verse 27.
27 "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
28 Father, glorify Your name."
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again."
29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him."
30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."
Is this saying that if we lift Jesus us, others will be drawn to him? Let's read the next verse and find out.
32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."
33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
So verse 32 could have accurately said, "If I am crucified on the cross, I will draw all peoples to myself." It's not saying, "If you lift me up, I'll draw all people," but, "If I am crucified, I'll draw all people to myself."
When God spoke from heaven in verse 28 and said, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again," Jesus pointed out that the voice came for the sake of those hearing, and that the judgment of this world was now, and the ruler will be cast out.
All of this is in the context of Jesus' death by crucifixion.
First he said, "Now is the judgment of this world." Remember that Jesus took all of our sins upon himself on the cross, and that the judgment of God fell upon those sins and the bearer of those sins, as he turned his back on Jesus. At that point, the sins of the world were being judged, and the judgment of God against the sins released to the cross was satisfied that day.
But as thorough and complete as the blood of Jesus is for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation from sin and from the judgment of God against that sin, those who do not come to the cross and surrender their sins to Jesus are still subject to the judgment of God. Dear unrepented sinner, do not leave here today without making sure your sins have already been judged and you bear them no more. Come to the cross, and there be made clean.
So he said that "now" was the judgement of this world; then he said, "Now the ruler of this world will be cast out." What does this mean? Is satan no longer in the world going to and fro seeking whom he may devour? Have we entered a time of eutopia in which the influence of satan and his demons has been removed?
Other than a few ostriches, I don't think many people would buy that. In fact, Bible prophecy speaks of a time when satan will be cast down to the earth, having great fury, knowing that his time is short. And this prophecy was written after Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven.
Let's read this in the book of Revelation, chapter twelve, starting with verse seven.
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that his time is short."
While there are varying interpretations of the time line of this spiritual event, we see that satan is cast down. And in the verse that says he is cast down, it does not refer to satan as the devourer or the destroyer; rather, it says, "the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."
This was the accuser we read about in the book of Job, who accused Job to God. He didn't accuse him of anything he had done, but of what he might do. And when God asked satan from where he came, he said that he had been walking to and fro on the earth. From elsewhere in Scripture, we see that satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He found someone he loathed more than others, because that someone, Job, was right with God. But satan had to ask permission before he destroyed Job. So he went before God to accuse Job, in that place where he is allowed to communicate with God, and the two of them had a dialog.
But here in Revelation we see that the accuser has been cast down, the accuser who used to accuse the brethren day and night.
It's important to note that satan did not accuse the unbelievers, or the pagans, or the sorcerers, or the idol worshipers. Rather, he accused the brethren.
And it's been suggested that satan's basis for accusing us had been destroyed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, who fulfilled God's legal requirements against sin.
Let's read a little more starting in verse 13 of Revelation chapter 12.
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Who is this woman who gave birth to the male child? Could this be Israel, who gave birth to Jesus? We know for certain that verse seventeen is speaking of believers in Jesus, for it says, "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Of course this takes place after satan is cast down to the earth, where he can no longer accuse the brethren day and night to God.
So when Jesus spoke of being lifted up, he was speaking about his death on the cross. And he said, "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out." So since the judgment of God was poured out upon sin as Jesus became that sin on the cross, satan lost his place in the heavenly realm as the accuser of the brethren.
And it says in Revelation, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!" It is a time of great rejoicing. But then it says, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that his time is short."
So we have a mixture of rejoicing, of our accuser being expelled from daily communication with God, and his place being changed from the heavenlies to the earth, coming with great wrath, knowing that his time is short.
And all of this, because Jesus was lifted up.
So we see the first elements of Jesus' being lifted up from the earth on the cross: Judgment of our sins fulfilled in Jesus, and casting out of satan from the position of accusations to God.
And we see that the first of these carries with it a condition in the form of "whosoever will." Scripture makes it clear that those who do not turn to Jesus and repent of their sins will suffer eternal judgment for those sins in hell. So the time of judgment has come, on the cross, and as we surrender our lives of sin to Jesus and turn from them, they are covered with the blood, passed through time to the time of judgment on the cross, and we bear them no more.
When God turned his back on Jesus, he turned his back on our repented sins. And just as he chose to not see Jesus at that time of judgment, so he does not see our sins any longer. That's why Scripture tells us that just as far as the east is from the west, so has he removed our sins from us, and he remembers them no more. It's as if we had never sinned.
Let's just make sure that when we realize there's sin in our life, we don't hold on to that sin, but instead repent of it, turn from it, and surrender it to Jesus.
So the time of judgment and of satan's being cast down came when Jesus was lifted up. The other thing we see being started at the time of the crucifixtion is this: "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to myself."
Just as we did not have to do anything for satan to be cast down from his position as our accuser, so we do not have to do anything for all people to be drawn to Jesus.
These two things do not depend upon our actions: our accuser's fall, and the drawing of all people to Jesus.
But there are two things that do require our involvement, and these are:
1. We have to surrender our lives to Jesus and repent of our sins for them to be under the blood of Jesus instead of on our own hands, and
2. We have to give the invitation if we are to see the fruit of the drawing of sinners to the cross.
The Bible asks us the question, "How will they hear if no one tells them?" It is because all peoples will indeed be drawn to Jesus that he commanded us to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to all peoples of the earth.
Jesus has already been lifted up. We cannot lift him up in the context of drawing all peoples to himself. It has already been done, and all the peoples of the earth are drawn to Jesus. The closest we can come is not to repeat the original event, but to re-enact.
Let me explain what I mean.
Galatians 2:20 says that we have been crucified with Christ, and in Luke 9:23, Jesus says, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
It is this daily denial of the fleshly, carnal desires in exchange for holy, Godly desires, attitudes, words, and actions, that is the requirement for actively following Christ.
And this doesn't mean living a life of drudgery. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of fun. Life can be a blast full of Holy Ghost parties, and enjoying the life God has given us to live.
But God has immortalized his Word in the pages of the Holy Bible. He has shown us what pleases and displeases him. He has shown us his nature and his ways. And he has laid out for us the path on which we must walk.
To take up your cross daily is to choose his ways over all others, his attitudes over those of our flesh, his words over our unruly tongues, his thoughts over every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of Christ, and his actions above those which would displease our heavenly father.
The cross of our self-denial is not the ultimate sacrifice, it is simply the only acceptible response to that which IS the ultimate sacrifice: Jesus, willingly choosing to be lifted up, so that the time of the judgment of God against sin would come at the time that our sins were layed upon Jesus.
THAT is the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice which makes us right with God and draws the nations to the Savior of all mankind.
And that ultimate sacrifice requires our daily and moment-by-moment response of walking in the righteousness he gives us.
Paul said in 1 Corintians 15:31, "I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."
I submit this statement to you today, that as we respond daily to Jesus' ultimate sacrifice by taking up our cross and crucifying the flesh, then we become visible testaments, living signs of his being lifting up from the earth, and their attention will be brought to the drawing of the Holy Spirit, who will open their ears to the message of the power of the blood of the Lamb, shed for the forgiveness of sins so the world could be reconciled to God.
Let's read Galatians 2:17-20, and then we'll close.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!
18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The ministry team can come to the front now.
When our sins are placed under the blood of Jesus, they are no longer our sins, but his. Sure, we can reclaim them, but as Paul said in verse eighteen, "If I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor."
Are your sins nailed to the cross? Or have you rebuilt those things which, by surrendering your life to Jesus, you destroyed?
We have been cruicified with Christ. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. Let's make sure this is our daily choice.
Can others see Jesus in you today? Certainly love, patience, and kindness are parts of the nature of Jesus. But so is intollerance for sin and compromise, and refusal to accept the lie that there is any other way to the Father but by him.
Mercy and forgiveness are certainly part of the nature of God. But so is self-sacrifice, and complete surrender of the personal will to the will and the ways of God.
Let the world see Jesus in you. Let the power of his being lifted up from the earth be mirrored to the world through your life, your life of daily taking up your cross and following him, dying to yourself and your carnal desires so that you can live to righteousness and walk in the paths of God.
The world needs to see Jesus in us. They don't need to see a pretty religion. They don't need to see a fun, all-embracing religious buffet. They don't need to see a not-so-holy, compromising, grace-abusing bride of Christ. They don't need to see some of Jesus and some of the ways of man.
Rather, they need to see Jesus. They need to see him lifted up. And he is lifted up as we take up our cross and follow him. He is seen as we get ourselves and our flesh man out of the way so the ways and the nature of God is reflected in our lives.
This altar is open. If you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you today, you're invited to come gather at the front. Just get out of your seat and come to the front, and let's answer his call and seek him together.
If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus and exchanged your sin and guilt for his forgiveness and his direction, then answer his call today. Just accept him as your Lord and Savior. Let him have your old life of sin, and turn to follow him wherever he leads.
Feel free to instant message someone on the ministry team to talk and pray with you, or if you're listening later to the podcast, contact someone through the website at almcyberchurch.org.
If you need to go, you're free to do so, and we ask that any conversations be held outside during this time of altar ministry. Come, and let's pray and seek after God together.
Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, was lifted up from the earth on that old rugged cross, so that the time of judgment would come while our sins where placed upon him, so the one who accuses us to God could be cast out of his presence, so the peoples of all lands would be drawn to Christ, and so we could take up our cross and follow him, walking in newness of life, and lifting him up for the world to see so they can follow him too.