A blessed Remembrance Day for everyone remembering those that lost their life in defending Canada in time of war. And may God bless Israel who is battling to save their Nation from the brutal butchers of Hamas, killers of babies and kidnappers of Jews. May God protect and liberate them. Amen.
JESUS CHRIST: SAVIOUR Son of God & Friend of Sinners By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
One of the accusations brought against Jesus by the Pharisees was that He received sinners and sat down to dinner with them. “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, this man receiveth sinners...” (Luke 15:2). They called Him “a friend of publicans and sinners”. (Luke 7:34)
That is GOOD NEWS - Jesus is a friend of sinners. How marvellous, wonderful, and thrilling! Sinners have someone they can trust, someone who cares for them and someone who is able to save them!
“This man”, they accused, “receives sinners and eats with them”. And their accusations were true, He reached out to the sinful, poor, maligned, sick and needy and gave them hope, peace, forgiveness, healing, and joy! And this disturbed the Pharisees!
The Pharisees were the politically oriented, elite, exclusive branch of Judaism. As teachers of the law, they were self-righteous, proud and very legalistic! They made up their own laws which had nothing to do with God’s Word - laws which neither they nor anyone else could keep. These religious “do-gooders” were often sterile, cold, and harsh, and ruled the people with an iron fist!
JESUS WAS DIFFERENT
He was kind, understanding and friendly. He was fair, as well as compassionate, caring and filled with wisdom and power from on High! And He loved the people because God is love and He was God in the flesh! (1 John 4:8)
By His touch lepers were cleansed, the blind were made to see, the deaf received hearing and deadly diseases died as God’s healing power flowed from the Saviour into the lives of those whom He encountered!
His compassion ran very deep, and His mercy extended to people like the widow woman at Nain, whose only son had died. Jesus raised the young man from the dead so that the mother would have someone to look after her! To the two blind men whose sight He restored when they cried out to Him, the leper whom He cleansed and the Canaanite woman whose demon-possessed daughter Jesus delivered, He showed great mercy and compassion!
God’s grace through Jesus Christ reached into the heart of the ‘woman taken in adultery’, the Roman centurion whose servant was sick and Zaccheus the corrupt tax collector! The critics of Jesus’ life and ministry stated:
He receives sinners and eats with them!
He has saved others,
Himself He cannot save!
He trusts in God!
He claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God!
HE SAVED OTHERS!
What a list of pluses! A commendation extra-ordinaire. He receives sinners and forgives them. He is the Saviour! His enemies, who were seeking to twist His words and discredit our Lord Jesus Christ, were testifying on His behalf. They derisively stated, “He saved others, but cannot save Himself.” Unknowingly, they were calling Him the Saviour!
What they didn’t grasp was that He had come to earth as the Redeemer and must die for the sins of the world, theirs included! The very purpose of the incarnation (God becoming flesh) was to be our Substitute, which had been prophesied 700 years earlier by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah:
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4,5)
HIS DEATH & RESURRECTION!
If He would have succumbed to the challenge: “Come down from the cross and we will believe on you”, there would be no salvation for anyone, because His death and resurrection were necessary to assure our salvation!
The angel prophesied to Joseph, “...for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus: For He shall save His people from their sins”. (Matt. 1:20-21)
The Bible says, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:17, 18, 36)
The Scripture says, “It’s not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”. (Zech. 4:6). Repeatedly Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God and He remains today the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Bible calls Him the only begotten, one and only Son of God. The High Priest demanded of Him, “...I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matt. 26:63)
Jesus affirmed in no uncertain terms that He is the Christ, the Son of God! “Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said, nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven”. (vs. 64, 65)
The Central verse of the Bible is John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
A question rises within us all, believers in Christ as well as unbelievers: “What does all this have to do with me?” And the answer is, “Everything!” It has everything to do with us! You may ask “Why?” Jesus came unto the world to save sinners. He was born crucified, born to die to atone for our sins. To bring us to God!
The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom. 3:23). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23). “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil”. (1 John 3:8)
He came to earth, the promise to fulfill, A rugged cross He bore on Calvary’s Hill; And for my sins He cried, ‘Father forgive’; Born to die, that I might live. Born to die, a cruel cross to bear; Born to die, His everlasting love to share. Between two thieves He bowed His head and cried: ‘It’s finished now, I came to die’.
YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee. Ye must be born again”. (John 3:3,7); “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “He that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16)
The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. (Acts 16:31): “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”. (John 5:1)
Believe on Him today, call upon His Name and you will be saved! I have never been sorry that I received Jesus Christ as a young man of 24 and I know you will be satisfied with Christ!
The High Priest rent His clothes and accused Jesus of blasphemy and the council condemned Him to death for making Himself equal to God. (Matt. 27:20; John 5:18)
The Chief Priests then forced Pilate, the Roman Governor to crucify Him, saying: “...If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar”. (John 19:12)
There are numerous witnesses who testified that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, including the Roman Centurion who stood guard duty beneath the Cross! “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly, this was the Son of God.” (Matt. 27:54)
St. Paul summed it up in his letter to the Roman Church: “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Rom. 1:3-4)
The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; He that believeth not hath made Him a Liar because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life”. (1 John 5:10-12)