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The Cup of His Wrath, the Joy of His Resurrection Various Scriptures

Jeremiah preaches the resurrection of Christ

Jeremiah 25:15-16, 27-28; Matthew 12:40, 26:36-39; Acts 2:23&27; John 1:10-11, 2:18-19, 20:1-18; Isaiah 53:3, 7-8; Mark 8:31-34; Luke 16:19-31, 24:13-27; Psalm 16:10, 49:15; Numbers 6:24-26

Mar 31, 2013 12:00 PM

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I was checking my email this morning and I got a coupon from Harbor Freight in Altoona for 25% off all their tools and stuff.  But it’s today only.  So, even tho Sharon and I were planning to have a couple of you over to the house this afternoon for dinner and to celebrate Easter, we’re going to have to cancel that and today’s sermon is going to be rather abbreviated.  This Easter Tool Sale only happens once a year and I just can’t afford to miss it.  I’m very sorry.  ;-)

Turn with me please, to Jeremiah 25, and look with me at verse 15.

15 Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.” (Jeremiah 25:15 ESV)

This verse is typical of all of Jeremiah’s prophecies.  We could read any number of passages in this book and we would see the theme of the rest of chapter 25 and of the book as a whole.  God has determined to bring judgement upon His rebellious people as well as all the surrounding nations.  Their sin and their refusal to repent has provoked Jehovah to anger and His wrath which is about to fall upon them is described as a cup of wine which they must drink.  It is, in essence, a poisoned cup which shall result in their destruction.  Verses 16, 27 and 28 give us a fuller description:

16 They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”

27 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’ 28 “And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink! (Jeremiah 25:16, 27-28 ESV)

Obviously, the cup is figurative language.  The Lord did not give Jeremiah a physical cup of wine to take to Egypt for the Pharaoh to drink.  This was a metaphor used to describe with mental imagery what was about to take place.  God was bringing His anger to bear upon the nations of the world and they would be forced to endure it.  Such is the case of all people even today.  The wrath of God abides on all whose faith is NOT in Jesus Christ.  All men everywhere, without Christ, will drink that cup.

Now turn with me to Matthew 26.

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:36-39 ESV)

In Jeremiah 25, it appears that it was Jesus Himself who, in a dream or a vision, handed the cup of God’s wrath to Jeremiah to be taken to Jerusalem and the nations for them to consume.  And three times Jesus prayed to be delivered from drinking a “cup” very similar to Jeremiah’s: A cup of the wrath of God against sinners.  Now it was time for Jesus to drink that cup.

But He was not forced to endure it.  He willingly drank the cup the Father gave Him.  It was God who crushed Jesus by the hands of sinful men, for sinful men, by nailing Him to a cross as a sacrifice, as a substitute, as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23 ESV)

That was the cup Jesus drank.  But that was the plan.  It had always been the plan from before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19 ESV).  The Trinity had purposed before the beginning, before the creation of mankind, before there was a single sinner in all the world--the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit--purposed to have Jesus become the Savior of a multitude of sinners like you and me.  They pre-determined that Jesus would take on human flesh, become a man like us, yet without sin, in order that God the Son might die as a ransom for many.

And so . . .

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. (John 1:10-11 ESV)

3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; (Isaiah 53:3, 7-8 ESV)

And nailed to a cross, cursed by God for our sakes.  Then He finally said, “It is finished!” and died.

It is finished. He came and accomplished what God the Father had sent Him to do.  He sacrificed Himself and died for us and was buried. But just because it is finished doesn’t mean it is all over.  There was one more very important thing left for God to do:

40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish (in other words, dead), so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 ESV)

18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:18-19 ESV)

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. (Mark 8:31-32a ESV)

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them.  And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.  And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him.

And after three days he will rise." (Mark 10:32-34 ESV)

Yes, what Jesus said on the cross was true: It is finished!  The magnificent work of redemption was accomplished!  All the sins of God’s people, and the immeasurable sin-debt that we owed to God, was paid in full.  Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath, His righteous anger against us was satisfied in His punishment of Christ, and we were purchased for God by His blood.  THAT sacrificial work of redemption was finished!  But . . .

1 . . . on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb.  He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.  10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."

16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."  She turned and said to him in Aramaic,"Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"--and that he had said these things to her. (John 20:1-18 ESV)

Q: What was the purpose for Jesus rising from the dead?

A: He rose from the dead so that everyone who believes can say with conviction, “It worked!”

  • It really IS finished!
  • This Man really IS the Messiah!
  • Death really COULDN’T hold Him!
  • He really IS from God!
  • He really DID finish the work which His Father sent Him to do!
  • He really IS the sacrificial Lamb who has taken away our sins!

 

It worked!  His life offered on the cross in exchange for mine is true, and we know it is true because God raised Him from the dead.  This really is God’s Son in whom He is well-pleased.  And we’re pretty happy with Him TOO!

Had Jesus not risen from the dead, we never would have known if the cross had accomplished its work.  We never would have had any assurance that Jesus wasn’t the liar and deceiver people accused Him of being.  We never would have known God was pleased with Him and His work for our sakes.  Had He not come alive from the dead, we would never know there was such a thing as true victory over sin and death and hell.  We would have no reason to hope in life after this life.  We would have no basis upon which to claim God’s forgiveness of our sins.  We would have no assurance that Jesus actually accomplished anything at all in His death -- if He had not risen from the dead.

That’s the point of the resurrection!  Jesus drank the cup, God killed Him for our sakes, and then raised Jesus from the dead to prove that He was the promised Messiah and His death was a substitutionary death for people who actually deserved to die, and that He did not die because of any sins of His own.  The sinless Savior died FOR all who believe.

I cannot pass up this opportunity to take you to what is certainly one of my very favorite texts in all the Bible.  If there was ever an occasion when Jesus was humorous, this is it:

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19 And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth . . . ! (Luke 24:13-19a ESV)

Now that is funny!  Are you the only guy in town who doesn’t know whats been going on?  To which Jesus replies, ”Like what?”  “What things?”  They are talking to the resurrected Jesus and they don’t know it.

And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us.  They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." (Luke 24:19b-24 ESV)

Well, their eyesight isn’t so great either.  They have no idea who they are talking to or looking at.  They even mention that it has been three days since His death.  And how Jesus was able to contain Himself in this conversation is nearly unbelievable.

But I believe this is how salvation works.  God begins to speak to our hearts without us even knowing it is Him.  His Spirit begins to woo us and draw us to Christ before we ever know what’s really going on.  We’re made to feel a sense of our guilt and shame.  We’re caused by the grace of God to understand our lost condition.  We’re moved by Him to about holy things and long for an escape from condemnation and judgement, the cup of God’s wrath.  And then we are convinced, without really understanding it is God convincing us, that Jesus Christ is the only answer to our plight.  We are granted faith to believe that what He did on the cross is what actually accomplished our salvation.  It was there that He finished the work necessary to save me from the wrath of God.

25 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27 ESV)

Things like drinking the cup of God’s wrath for the sake of His chosen people.  This is why we teach from the Old Testament - because Jesus did.  So did all the apostles.  Because they tell us of things concerning the coming of the Christ.  Hundreds of times in the Old Testament we read specific prophecies concerning Christ, even prophecies concerning His resurrection:

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (Psalm 16:10 & Acts 2:27 ESV)

But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah (Psalm 49:15 ESV)

Innumerable multitudes do not think of the resurrection of Christ when they hear the word Easter.  Bunnies and egg hunts and Spring Break and shopping for summer clothing come to mind.  But not the Lord Jesus and Him rising from the dead.  For those people, the resurrection is unimportant.  The single most significant event in human history is, for billions of people, a non-event.

What do you think of the Resurrection?  Does it matter to you that Jesus Christ is alive?  Does it matter that this man whom God raised from the grave said He would come again someday to judge the world?

The majority of the world is in the same sad condition as those unbelievers whom Jesus described in Luke 16 -

19 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table.  Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.  The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house-- 28 for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"(Luke 16:19-31 ESV)

Jesus did leave the tomb.  Most are not convinced.  Or they just don’t care.  Apparently those in Hell care very much.  It is to our great Savior, the risen Christ, that all men will one day bow the knee in acknowledgement of who He is--the Son of God.  One day all men everywhere will see the resurrected Jesus, the one who drank the cup of God’s wrath.  But only for those who listen to Moses and the Prophets and believe.

Please Stand:

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;

25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV)


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