"Descending Further" (Ch. 27); "The Lamb Slain" (Ch. 28); "Jesus Ascends, the Spirit Descends" (Ch. 29)

"Created to Draw Near" by Edward T. Welch  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:25
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Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward Welch

“Descending Further” (Ch. 27)

Jesus Descends
Philippians 2:6–7 NIV
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Compassion and Gentleness
“He passed by the smug and arrogant, and he stopped and spoke to the ones no one else saw.” - Edward Welch
Humble and Ordinary
Isaiah 53:2–3 NIV
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
“His glory was apparent to those whose daily life was full of shame. It was veiled from those who felt no need for rescue.” - Edward Welch
Luke 7:22 NIV
22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.
“With all these, Jesus not only came near, but he touched them. He touched lepers, the blind, the sick, and even the dead. He touched children who, though not necessarily unclean, were considered to be of little worth.” - Edward Welch
Identifying with the Lowly
A humble, sinful woman full of gratitude (Luke 7:36-50)
An outcast, sick woman full of faith (Luke 8:43-48)
“Jesus used the moment to reveal the deeper meaning of what happened. She had laid hands on God’s Lamb and transferred her uncleanness to him, and the Lamb had given his power and life to her while he went off into the wilderness bearing the weight of sin, shame, sickness, and everything connected to death.” - Edward Welch
Descending Further
Making Himself a Servant
John 13:4–5 NIV
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
John 13:8 NIV
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“In turns out that a requirement for being close to him is that you let him serve you… Jesus was both host and servant. As host, he supplied for us the meal of his very body and blood. As servant, he washed the feet of weary travelers. He also washed the day’s debris of sin from those who believed.” - Edward Welch
Giving Himself to the Cross
Philippians 2:8 NIV
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
“The story of God is a story of descent. We might have missed that during the tabernacle and temple periods, but looking back, we see that the tabernacle was, indeed, God descending. He pursued his people for forty years in a harsh wilderness, never leaving their side. The movement from heaven to earth was always natural to him.” - Edward Welch

“The Lamb Slain” (Ch. 28)

Relating to a Holy God
God used priestly representatives who experienced cleansing and closeness on behalf of all the people.
God worked through representatives or substitutes who experienced God’s wrath against rebellion and contempt.
Blood was shorthand for life, and the lifeblood of animals was poured out so that God’s people might live.
The blood of animals was not the final word. An animal could not ultimately stand in for a human being.
The Day of Atonement was always in view, pointing to the goal of humanity of being close to God.
The Prophet Isaiah saw that a coming Messiah would be the suffering servant representative of God’s people.
Isaiah 53:10 NIV
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
A New Adam
“All creation had been waiting for a new Adam—a new priest—to introduce a new creation.” - Edward Welch
Imperfect Forerunners:
“Jesus was the true human being, our suitable representative, and the true God who alone could give us life and bring us with him into heaven. For this to happen, he joined himself to us, took everything of ours that was associated with death, gave everything of his that was associated with life, and brought our death to its rightful end.” - Edward Welch
John 19:5 NIV
5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
“All we can do is agree—believe—that Jesus is, indeed, the man and God, and his death becomes our peace.” - Edward Welch

“Jesus Ascends, the Spirit Descends” (Ch. 29)

Descending in order to Ascend
Descending to Humility
Descending to Humanity
Descending to Servanthood
Descending to Death on a Roman Cross
Descending to the Grave
Ascending from the Grave
Ascending to the Heavens
Ascending as Lord over all Powers and Authorities
Ascending to the Right Hand of Deity
Ascending to Glory
John 3:13 NIV
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
Mark 9:31 NIV
31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
“The resurrection declared to the world that Jesus—and Jesus alone—is the eternal Son of God, and Jesus alone has all rights to the heavenly realms and can bring people to God.” - Edward Welch
Romans 1:4 NIV
4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
First of Many to Ascend
“When he ascended, he was by no means alone. God always intended to have his people near, and in Christ they would be brought to him.” - Edward Welch
John 14:1–3 NIV
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 20:17 NIV
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
Acts 1:3 NIV
3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
“After forty days he ascended to prepare a home for his people, not to return until his final coming. He ascended to the throne that was over all the demonic usurpers. Satan and his accomplices always had death as evidence of their power… This was the beginning of creation being brought back to its proper head so that nothing could separate us from God, and, instead of heaven and earth having a mere point of contact, heaven would fill the entire earth in Jesus.” - Edward Welch
Ephesians 1:20–22 NIV
20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
Jesus Ascends so that the Spirit May Descend
“The final act of his ascension and coronation was the Spirit, received from the Father, poured out on us.” - Edward Welch
Acts 2:2–3 NIV
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
“Kings typically receive gifts when they ascend to the throne; Jesus gave himself as the gift, and the Spirit binds us to Jesus.” - Edward Welch
“This Pentecost revealed that the heavenly ladder remained a busy one. After Jesus ascended, the Spirit descended. In his descent he gives power to his people, groans on our behalf before the throne, and brings us into Jesus so that we abide in him. The Spirit has raised us with Jesus.” - Edward Welch
Romans 8:11 NIV
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
“As a result, it is now official. We are no longer citizens of earth, nor do we have dual citizenship. Instead, we are strangers and aliens on earth, and we are full citizens of heaven as we wait with Christ for the day when he will bring heaven to earth (Phil. 3:20). - Edward Welch
Philippians 3:20 NIV
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
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