Why Did He Do What He Did?
EASTER 2023 Why Did He Do What He Did?
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Most of you know the Easter story; We know the timeline:
Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday – riding on a donkey and everyone singing and praising God, shouting Hosanna and waving palm branches.
Jesus taught the people daily in the temple while the religions leaders plotted His death.
On Thursday, Jesus gathered with His disciples in an upper room to observe the Passover meal, with what we have come to know as the Last Supper, or the first Lord’s Supper. From there Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed this prayer . . .
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39b (NKJV)
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Even Jesus did not want to go to the cross. Why was this part of the plan?
Jesus was betrayed by Judas, delivered into the hand of the high Priest and temple officials. Jesus was given a mockery of a trail where false witnesses were brought in.
He was delivered to the Romans and the crowd, who just 5 days earlier was singing Hosanna now was shouting “Crucify Him.” Jesus was scourged, whipped to literally an inch of His life, then mocked and forced to wear a crown made of thorns.
Nailed to cross, and left to die a most excruciating death.
Then on the third day, Jesus arose from the grave in victory.
That's my story and I am sticking to it!
The Question this morning is Why? If Jesus is God, WHY did He do what He did?
Did He have to die?
Why is Easter so important?
The Resurrection, so what?
What does the resurrection have to do with me?
Why was all this necessary?
Why is all this important?
We hear the church talk: “Jesus died for our sins.” Even today on Easter, many just don’t understand the “why?” of it all. The answer to this question begins way back in Genesis.
In the beginning when God created man and woman, they were sinless. They had the whole Garden of Eden to do as they pleased. They had only one rule.
And here it is . . .
Remember ONLY one!
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
God establishes one rule, one commandment. Only one act would be a sin. The penalty for sin was established – death. The Penalty for offending a Holy God, God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, is death! From the very beginning, death has been the penalty for any and all sin.
Well you know what happened. The serpent tempted Eve; Eve ate the forbidden fruit and passed the fruit on to Adam, then along came God. God asked:
Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Genesis 3:11b (NKJV)
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then both Eve and then Adam played the blame game and did what people have done ever since – failed to take responsibility for their actions – but do you know what? God knows all.
Both Adam and Eve paid the penalty. They died and death has been with us ever since. You see that has been the condition of human race ever since. Those who say people are basically good has never read the Bible to see what God has to say on the subject.
The fact is, man is inherently prone to do bad. We all have inherited a sin nature from Adam. Think about it, you don’t have teach a baby to misbehave, be bad, to be selfish, to be self-centered. Skip forward to the days of Noah – This is what God had to say about mankind so far in history:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 (NKJV)
5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.
Then came the first great judgment on the Earth. God passed sentence on the sinfulness on the Earth, and all the Earth died except for Noah and his family.
But even after the flood, God knew that humans have not changed. Noah got out of the boat and made a burnt offering to God:
And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. Genesis 8:21 (NKJV)
21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
We are all naturally incline to do evil. You do not have to teach sin to a child. The Psalms tell us:
Psalm 14:2–3 (NKJV)
2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
I'm just walking through our history, an no it would change because you remove it from the history books.
Any way, God told Jeremiah about the condition of the human heart.
He said 9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:9–10 (NKJV)
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
You only have to watch the news on TV or open a newspaper to know this is true. Everyone is sinful. Everyone has offended the Lord God. The Apostle Paul further explains: in Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
He further says that the penalty of sin that was given in the Garden so long ago is still in force.
Paul repeats these words to all of us (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23a (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do you know what? We cannot change that our sinful nature, no matter how hard we might try. We can fake it for a while but the bad in us continues come out of us. The NLT translates this very well and clearly
Romans 7:15–20 (NLT)
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
Can anyone identify with Paul in this? We find that we cannot help ourselves and we are slave to our sinful nature. We are not sinners because we sin, We sin because we are sinners
We cannot ever hope to please God. Much less ever hope to earn a pardon, a reprieve from the death we so justly deserve. God is a God of Justice. Justice must be satisfied. The result of sin is death.
Not just physical death, but eternal everlasting death and torment. Our New Testament has more to say about Hell than Heaven. You see what we do not understand is that everyone has eternal existence.
Note that I did not say eternal life. When we offend an infinitely Holy God, the result is an infinite punishment, eternal death and torment. Considering all this, Paul further says:
Romans 7:24 (NLT)
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
The question becomes what can I do to cover my sins. No one, save Jesus, has ever lived a sinless life. If we begin to understand the very nature of God, we quickly realize that there is nothing we can ever do to make right on our sins.
But God makes a way. In the Old Testament, sin was satisfied through the sacrifice of a lamb, one without spot or blemish. Because death is the only payment for sin, the Bible tells us:
Hebrews 9:22b (NKJV) . . . without shedding of blood there is no remission.
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Hebrews 9:22b (NLT) . . . without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
That has been the requirement from the very beginning, the result of sin is death, blood must be shed, because of sin we owe the payment of death.
This began back in the Garden, Adam and Eve was naked, they tried to cover their sin with fig leaves. But God provided tunics of skins, animal skins for Adam and Eve to cover with.
21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
The skins meant some animal had died, shed its blood to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. In the OT a Lamb was sacrificed for the Passover. The blood of that lamb was place on the doorpost of the house and the Death Angel passed over.
Over the many years of the OT, Lambs were sacrificed daily to cover the sin for the people. That sacrifice of a lamb was insufficient, because a sacrifice had to be made every day because we sin every day.
Anyone ready for the Good News? – the Gospel? That’s why it is called the Gospel. We have hope!
John 3:16 says . . . (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God’s crowning achievement was the creation of man. He loves us so much that He does not want to see us come to eternal death.
1 John 4:10 (NKJV) say "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins".
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
That word “propitiation” means a payment for a wrong, to satisfy an angry God. The Christian Standard Bible and the New International Version of the Bible has “atoning sacrifice.”
Jesus became that payment for our wrongs. Jesus becomes that Lamb. John the Baptist makes that connection when he sees Jesus.
In the Book of John 1:29 (NKJV) it reads The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
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!
You see, God sent Jesus not because we loved Him. In fact we are, because of our sinful nature, incapable of going to God or loving Him on our own. And we cannot ever do anything to earn God’s love. What do we have or what could we ever do to earn His love?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
That is why Jesus died on that cross over 2,000 years ago. God loved me, God loved you so much that His Son paid the price that He demanded from the time of Adam and Eve. Here is the fact about the cross: Our sin put Jesus on the cross.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus put our sins on Himself because He loved me, Because He loved you. Because Jesus became our sins, God cannot look upon sin. Jesus, who was sinless, became sin for us. And God turn His face from Jesus.
So as Jesus hung on the that cross, and He said: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46b (NKJV)
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Just before taking His last breath Jesus could be heard saying “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
John 19:30b (NKJV) Then when Jesus died.
30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Let me tell you what was finished! The payment for our sins was done, when Jesus died:
And at that moment as it is written
51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The veil in the temple that kept people from God
Previously, no one was able to approach God. Now because everything that is unholy in us has been covered by the blood of Jesus, we now have access to Almighty God, to those who believe. Not just believe about Jesus, but put their whole trust in Jesus and commit their lives to Him.
John 3:18 (NKJV) says “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
But you see, the Jesus dying on the cross is only half the story. If Jesus stayed in the grave, we would still have no hope. We might of had received forgiveness, but we would still be dead. But just as the scriptures had said, just as Jesus said He would do, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. To those who came to the tomb the angel said:
5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
Jesus paid the price for our sins and God raised Him from the dead. Because Jesus rose from the dead, he have hope that we too, those of us are found in him will rise one day too.
1 Corinthians 15:20–21 (NKJV) says . . . But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
Sin came into the world because of the disobedience of one man, that is Adam. But because of Jesus Christ, God Who has come in the flesh, paid the penalty of our sins and now becomes the first-fruits of those who are in Him – those who have put their trust, their hopes, their very lives into Him.
If we continue reading verses 22 and 23
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Those in Christ never need to fear death, never need to fear eternal punishment.
THAT IS WHY HE DID WHAT HE DID!!!
and I’m almost finished, reading from
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This what we celebrate today. The forgiveness of sin and life over death. And Jesus is coming again. Remember, God does not owe us our next heart-beat.
Those that are in Jesus will meet Him in death or at His coming. But the Bible is very clear; everyone will meet Him. We will all meet Him one day. We will meet Him as Judge, or We will meet Him as Savior. He gives us that choice.
How will you meet Jesus? Jesus calls us, just as we are. To heal our broken lives.
You are responsible before God with what you have heard. Ask yourselves, do you know without any doubt that you know Jesus personally and if you took your last breath right now do you know that you will be with Him in all eternity?
You have heard the Gospel clearly this morning, and if you feel God is calling you to trust in Jesus, in what He did for you on the cross, will you surrender to Him today?
Coming to Jesus is just as simple as that. God will not force you against your will. The choice is clear. You either choose Him or reject him, there is no middle ground.
As I close I want to read on more scripture to you . . .
Reading from Isaiah 53:3–12 the Amplified Bible.
3 He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living [stricken to His death] for the transgression of my [Isaiah’s] people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick. When You and He make His life an offering for sin [and He has risen from the dead, in time to come], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, and the will and pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord]. 12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers], and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty, because He poured out His life unto death, and [He let Himself] be regarded as a criminal and be numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore [and took away] the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (the rebellious).
So I want to close with these two questions:
My first question is "Why did Jesus have to die?"
And my second question is "What does the Resurrection mean to you?