Turn to Philippians 3.10. When you find that verse, please stand for the reading of Godís Word:
ďThat I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.Ē
In my text, the Apostle Paul relates the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, to that process by which believers are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ over the course of their Christian lives, from salvation to death (or the Rapture, whichever comes first). We know this process in the Christianís life is identified by theologians as sanctification.
Please remember that this verse we have been looking at, and seeking to understand the implications of, has no direct impact on you who have never come to Jesus Christ for salvation. For you who remain lost, the suffering of Christ, the death of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ, are just so many meaningless words that describe historical events that to you have no relevance. However, words donít have to be meaningless. Words are symbols used to communicate real information and important truths. And the words in this verse refer to historic facts that really did occur in time and history. There really is someone Who is Jesus Christ. He really did come from a throne at His Fatherís side in heaven and He really did suffer, and die, and rise from the dead.
Let me speak to you about those three realities:
First, THE REALITY THAT JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED
By suffered, I mean that Jesus, the Son of God, actually did experience physical pain, emotional anguish, and spiritual torture. It was horrible beyond comprehension. It really did happen.
There are reasons why Jesus Christ suffered, since it was no accident or coincidence. The Lord Jesus Christ suffered because of you. He suffered because of your nature. You see, you are sinful by nature and estranged from the God Who made you. I dealt with that at some length this morning. Therefore, because God loves you and wanted His Son to come and make a way for you to be reconciled to Him, Jesus Christ came, and when He came He suffered. He suffered because you have despised Him. He suffered because you have rejected Him. He suffered because you have not esteemed Him. He suffered because you have oppressed Him and afflicted Him. Of course, you may protest that you have done none of these things, but Godís Word shows that these very things happened to Jesus Christ, and they happened precisely because your sin brought all these things upon Him. Looking at it from another side, the Lord Jesus also suffered because of His Own holy nature. To lightly esteem me doesnít particularly affect me. To reject me may affect me for only a few moments. But Iím not holy. Jesus Christ is holy. And His holy nature is extremely sensitive to the offensiveness sin and its rebellious stance toward Him. On one occasion Christís enemies said to Him that He was not yet fifty. What a thing to say to someone barely past thirty years of age. Why did they say that to Him? They said that to Him because He looked decades older than He actually was. The cumulative effect on Him of living in the very midst of sinful men, you see. Of course, that was nothing compared to the horror that began in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was willing to suffer at your hands because He loves His Father, and because He loves you.
What did the Lord Jesus Christ accomplish with His suffering that culminated on the cross of Calvary? Letís consider just two things He accomplished with His suffering: Amazingly, Hebrews 5.8 declares to us that though He is the eternal Son of the living God, Jesus Christ actually learned obedience by the things He suffered. In other words, He actually experienced His suffering. And in experiencing His suffering He actually experienced obedience to His Father of a kind He had never before known by personal experience. That is profoundly important, because Romans 5.19 shows to us that it was by His obedience that many were made righteous. However, that is not all. First Peter 4.1 shows that Christ suffered for us in the flesh, wherein it is written, ďForasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh.Ē That is, He suffered on behalf of us in some way. Isaiah 53.3-7, written seven centuries earlier, shows us the reason the Savior suffered during the last 24 hours, culminating with His death on the cross:
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 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.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He took upon Himself your sins. The Lord Jesus Christ suffered for you. Really.
Next, THE REALITY THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED
By died, let me point out that the Son of God actually experienced physical death on the cross. He really did die. This is astounding when you think of it, since it is sin that causes death. Were it not for Him becoming sin for us Who had known no sin, He would never have died but would have lived forever. However, He did become sin for us, and He did die. And as He was dying, and after He died, His blood was poured out. Let me take just a few minutes to point out to you four reasons why Jesus Christ died:
First, He died to punish sin. Perhaps your sins donít seem like they are all that serious to you, but they are serious enough that Jesus Christ left heavenís glory, and at a time appointed of His Father, He suffered the death of the cross for your sins. First Corinthians 15.3 tells us that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Why did He die for our sins? In punishment for our sins. Remember, God had laid on Him the iniquity of us all. God punished Him for you, my friend. Romans 5.7-8:
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Few men would die even for a good man. The Lord Jesus died for a sinful scoundrel like you. If that isnít love, what is?
Second, Jesus Christ died to propitiate God. Propitiate is a difficult word to pronounce, but it expresses a simple concept. First John 2.2 says that Jesus Christ ďis the propitiation for our sins.Ē It simply means that Jesus Christ, with His death and with the shedding of His blood, satisfied Godís righteous demands that sin be punished. In other words, Godís outraged holiness has now been vindicated on behalf of the elect through Christís sacrifice of the cross.
Third, the Lord Jesus died to prepare the way. Hebrews 9.12 and Hebrews 10.19 show us that Jesus Christ, with His Own blood, has obtained an eternal redemption for His Own, and we are thus enabled to enter the holy of holies into Godís presence with boldness. This is something you unsaved people cannot do, since to you my God is a consuming fire, and no one can come unto the Father but by His Son, Jesus Christ. But the way is prepared for that sinner who will come to Jesus Christ.
Fourth, Christ died to purge your conscience. Many unsaved people who have had a religious experience think they are saved because they donít feel guilty any more. But such are self-deluded and their conscience is seared if they feel this way before they are genuinely saved. Christ raised this issue in His parable of the soils in Matthew 13.20: ďBut he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it.Ē Joyful, while yet lost. How sad. Because of the work of Christ on our behalf, the believerís conscience is purged from dead works to serve the living God. My, what glorious blessings await the sinner who will but come to Jesus Christ.
THE REALITY THAT JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED, THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED, AND THAT JESUS CHRIST AROSE
By this I mean that the Lord Jesus, the same Lord Jesus Who came from heavenís glory and was born of a virgin, the same Lord Jesus Who suffered and bled and died for your sins, actually rose from the dead in a physical, but glorified, body.
There are at least three reasons why Jesus Christ rose from the dead . . . bodily: First, His nature demanded it. In Acts 2.24, Simon Peter declared that God raised His Son Jesus up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held of it. And this makes sense when you consider what the Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself. In John 12.25 He said, ďI am the resurrection and the life.Ē That being true, as amazing as it was that He died, it would be impossible for Him to stay dead. Second, His mission demanded that He rise from the dead. Romans 4.25 tells us that He was raised for our justification. Christ shed His precious blood for the remission of our sins. But it is not until the blood is properly applied to the mercy seat that atonement is actually made. For that reason, after the Savior as the Lamb of God had shed His blood as our sacrifice and died, He as our High Priest had to rise up and take His Own shed blood to complete the offering of that blood in heaven for the remission of our sins. Third, Christ rose from the dead after three days and nights because prophecies demanded it. The Lord Jesus Himself said that as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so He would rise again after three days. However, that is not the only thing which compelled His resurrection. There are many prophecies which predict the coming of the Messiah in power and great glory which have yet to be fulfilled. Therefore, He needed to rise from the dead so He could go and then come again, in fulfillment of those Old Testament prophecies related to His second coming. I will list those prophecies for you when this sermon is uploaded to the church web site in a few hours.
I close with the reality of Christís resurrection. No one denies that He suffered. No one denies that He died. People do those things all the time; though for different reasons than Jesus Christ did those things. However, so many people deny that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. They like the idea of it but they deny the reality of it. How does the Christian faith respond to questions concerning the resurrection? Simple. Go ask the Jews who lived in Jerusalem about the soldiers who guarded the tomb, Matthew 28.11-15:
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governorís ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
It was common knowledge back in the day that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that the soldiers were bribed to be quiet about it. Quite a departure from normal Roman policy to execute soldiers who lost something they were guarding. But you couldnít execute the guards and still maintain that Jesus Christ hadnít risen from the dead, now could you? Executing the guards would have been an admission of the resurrection. Or you could ask some of the 500 or so still alive in the Apostle Paulís day to tell you what they had seen, including Paul himself, First Corinthians 15.4-8:
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
No one for centuries dared question the resurrection; the proofs of it were so abundant. Only those far removed in time and distance have ever doubted that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
Jesus Christ suffered. Really.
Jesus Christ died. Really.
Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Really. Indisputable. Undeniable, at least by reasonable and rational men.
All of this to secure your salvation from sin. Too bad it wonít do you any good. It wonít do you any good, you see, unless and until you come to Jesus Christ Himself and trust Him as your Savior. That done, He will apply to you the benefit of His suffering, of His death, and of His resurrection. Come to Jesus Christ and He will save you. If only you will.
 Isaiah 53.3
 Isaiah 53.7
 Isaiah 53.5
 John 8.57
 John 15.13
 2 Corinthians 5.21; Ezekiel 18.4, 20; Romans 6.23
 John 19.34
 Isaiah 53.6
 Deuteronomy 4.24; 9.3; Hebrews 12.29
 Matthew 12.40
 Tim LaHaye Prophecy Bible, Tim LaHaye, General Editor (AMG Publishers, 2000), pages 1420-1429, Genesis 5.24; 17.7-8; 49.10; Numbers 24.17, 19, Deuteronomy 30.5; Psalm 2.6, 8-9; 45.6; 72.5, 8, 17; 96.13; 110.1-2, 5-6; Isaiah 9.4, 7; 11.4; 13.19; 25.9; 26.19, 21; 40.10; 55.3; 59.20; 63.1-2, 4-5; 64.2; 66.15; Jeremiah 23.5-6; 25.30, 33; 30.7; 31.31; 34.23-24; 37.22, 24-25; 43.7; Daniel 2.44-45; 7.9, 13-14, 26-27; 9.24; 12.1-2, 13; Hosea 1.11; 2.18, 20; 3.5; Joel 2.31-32; 3.1-2, 10, 12, 14, 16-17, 20-21; Amos 5.18, 20; 9.14; Micah 1.3; 2.12-13; 4.1-4, 5, 7-8, 10; 5.3; Habakkuk 2.14; Zephaniah 1.14-15; 3.8, 20; Haggai 2.7, 21-22; Zechariah 2.10-12; 3.8; 6.12; 8.3, 7, 12-13; 12.6, 8-10; 13.2, 8-9; 14.1, 4-5, 9, 12, 20, 21; Malachi 3.1-2, 5; 4.1-2
 Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case For The Resurrection Of Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2004) pages 48-49.
Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank firstname.lastname@example.org