|Create Date||March 6, 2018|
|Last Updated||March 6, 2018|
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VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS
25 FEB 2018 – CHRIS KHOURY - SERMON
Christianity can be very simple to understand, explain and apply.
I could say - Jesus died for our sins and because of that we are saved.
However as we grow in faith, we move past the simplicity of the Gospel.
We can delve into the riches of the Word.
Paul said to the Hebrews, (Heb 5:12) ...they should be teachers of the Word by now, but instead they needed milk not solid food. Their faith was very shallow. Their understanding was just scraping the surface. How about us?
SPS/ SO WHAT
How much do you really understand what God has done for us through Jesus Christ? How much do you appreciate it?
Easter is just over 4 weeks away. It is the most important week in the Christian calendar. Even now many Christians prepare themselves for that time by entering into a period of lent in preparation for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. During lent, many Christians fast, ideally give up something they love for a period of 40 days. Taking their queue from Jesus who fasted for 40 days in the desert before being tempted by the devil.
Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that when Good Friday and eventually Easter Sunday comes, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing grace God has to offer.
Lent is also an opportunity to contemplate what our Lord really did for us on the Cross - and it wasn't pretty. During lent we are reminded of what Jesus has done for us.
So today in preparation for Easter I wish to give you a little bit of a theological lesson.
If I asked you to explain the “vicarious humanity of Jesus” could you do it?
Do you perhaps have a little bit of an idea, but are not sure how to put it into words?
Or perhaps you have no idea at all. A week ago, I was of the same opinion. Fortunately Gary Dedo has written about it and given us an explanation. I will attempt to explain it to you.
THE “VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS”
What does the word vicarious mean. That is a key.
Vicarious refers to a representative substitute!
Its like someone who is appointed as a “proxy”. In other words they are appointed to act on behalf of someone else. I can appoint (?) as my proxy to go to the licence department and get my car licence. I sign a form and I give them full authority to act on my behalf. They can sign for the licence, receive it, pay for it ext. This gives us an idea of what is meant by the vicarious nature of Jesus.
We could say Jesus is appointed by God as our proxy.
THE DUAL NATURE OF JESUS
How does this work?
Jesus is the Son of God. He is God. He is with God. Jesus is the 3rd person of the trinity. Making up the Godhead. But in order to take on the vicarious nature the Son of God had to become one of us. He had to become the Son of Man. To do this he had to go through the incarnation. The Son of God had to become flesh and blood. He had to become an embryo in the womb of a young virgin girl and he had to be born of flesh and blood. He also had to take on human nature. As a child he grew, he played, he fell down and he cried when he got hurt. His mom gave him hugs and cuddles. He probably swam in the Jordan river with his friends. As he grew, he learnt the trade of a carpenter, no doubt from his human father. He was tempted in all ways just like us, but was without sin. Because although he was human, he still was the Son of God with the divine nature.
So Jesus who was God became fully human. In order to be our substitute. To be our “proxy”.
A substitute for what?
Let’s consider the following scriptures which explain this vicarious humanity of Jesus.
1 John 2:2 (NIV)
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
2 He (Jesus) died in our place to take away [is the atoning sacrifice/ propitiation for] our sins [his death pays the penalty and removes God’s anger from us; and not only our sins but the sins of all people [the whole world].
This passage and many like it shows that Jesus died for all humanity, that is, in their place and on their behalf. Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves. That is what is meant by the vicarious humanity of Jesus. That is why we say ‘we are saved by grace through faith’.
NOT WHAT WE DO
Our salvation does not depend on what we do. It is not our faith that saves us. Not our repentance no matter how sincere it might be. Jesus has done everything necessary for our salvation, from start to finish.
THE ROLE OF HUMAN CHOICE
So what is our place in all of this? WE choose to accept Jesus and all he has to offer or to reject him. Through the Spirit, God the Father is calling all people to place their trust in Jesus.
Brothers, what must we do, repent and be baptised, in the name of the (Trinity) Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we do this we begin to participate in God’s Love for us.
If we deny God’s grace we exclude ourselves from the salvation. Our choice is very necessary.
2 Peter 2:1 (NIV)
False Teachers and Their Destruction
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Saviour who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
- The Son of God became the man Jesus Christ, taking on our human nature.
- He did this to reconcile all humanity to God through his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension.
- Jesus Christ has paid for our sins, past, present and future and there is no longer any debt to pay.
- When we believe the good news, pick up our cross, follow Jesus, the Spirit leads us into the transformed life of the Kingdom of God.
Even though he has done all this, he has not left it there.
In Hebrews Jesus is depicted as our great High Priest. He (Jesus) is now seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father as our intercessor. As mediator, Jesus ministers from God to us - and represents us in our relationship with God.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
Our participation now in Jesus’ love and life bears good fruit and personal joy that stretches into eternity. As we welcome the truth of the gospel, we can’t help but worship our Lord and Saviour.
As we approach Easter just over 4 weeks away let’s prepare our hearts and minds. Spend some time in fasting and prayer.
I want us to get into groups of 3 or 4 and express in prayer our gratitude to God for what he has done for us in and through Jesus.