and What Was Behind the Crucifixion?
A. What is the Work of a Shepherd (Isa 40:11) – that’s Jesus!
B. Sheep were God’s choice animal for sacrifice
1. There were other animals, but the lamb was God’s favourite.
2. We have all learned about the passover lamb, and Abel’s lamb back just outside of the Garden of Eden
3. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Israelites were to bring a lamb on the Day of Atonement (day of Forgiveness) in Jerusalem.
4. Through the years, millions died as sacrifices. Why? Three-fold reason:
a. Because God said it was to be so – His design
b. To show the price of our sin is DEATH
c. To show God would rather someone else took the place of the soul of man – God could have just decreed all humanity hopelessly lost – but He didn’t thank God. He provided a substitute in those lambs.
d. All so people would appreciate THE Lamb when He showed up
C. But God says something in Zechariah 13 that blows the mind – “It’s time to smite the SHEPHERD!”
D. Let’s look at John 10:10-18, and specifically verse 11
E. I would like us to take a look at just WHO and WHAT was behind the SMITING of the Great Shepherd
F. To do that we need a little more background
A. The children of Israel have left Egypt – free – headed for the Promised Land
B. They go three days, and find no water – they are in desert country
C. They begin to get worried, and start complaining, and blaming
D. Moses goes to prayer – asks God, what he should do
E. God tells him to go up on a hill, and face a large stone wall bigger than himself (Exod 17:5,6)
1. He is to take his rod, and then strike the rock with great force
a. The word “strike” and “smite” are used in connection with murders
b. It tells you the kind of force Moses was called upon to use: not gentle
2. After the rock has been smitten, it will gush forth with life-giving water
3. What a miracle – enough water for a group totally over a million and a half, if not 2 and a half million – from one stone!
F. Well, on they go. And around the desert they travel.
G. In the Book of Numbers, 38 years later, the children of Israel again begin to lack water and strangely arrive near to that same Rock – only the people still complain about God not taking care of them so good (Num 20:7-12).
H. Well, Moses gets all flustered, and goes to God in prayer (starts off good), where he is told to go up to that Rock, and NOT smite the rock, but just simply SPEAK to it – ASK for water from the Rock.
I. Somewhere in the reception of the information, Moses settles on his course of action – “I’m going to show those good-for-nothing rebels, just what they deserve” and he steps back up to that rock and with all his might SMITES that rock. But nothing happens. So out of embarrassment, he smites it again.
J. To which, God declares it that Moses has committed the sin-unto-death.
K. Now, I tell you all thins, because there is a lot going on here folks, and to arrive at the right conclusion, we need to be reminded of these things!
1. According to 1Cor 10, that Rock was a type of WHO? Jesus
2. According to the Book of Hebrews, Jesus was smitten, broken, crucified, for our sins, to supply living water
L. We all basically know this, I hope. But I want to look at just what happened when those people smote the Good Shepherd, and remind ourselves just Why
Message – When They Smote the Shepherd
A. When they Smote the Shepherd, It was God’s Plan
1. I don’t preach enough about this, but God is in control folks, or else Romans 8:28 is a LIE!
2. God has had a plan in action since before creation
a. The birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus is the focal point of that plan
b. No travesty of accident – it all went according to His plan
c. Many people think God PRE-FIXED everything to come out like that
1) He predetermined that it was those lambs that would have to die
2) He predetermined NO ONE would find forgiveness without them
3) He predetermined that HE HIMSELF would one day come down as the Great Shepherd, and give HIS OWN life for the sheep
3. Watch the Scriptures (Acts 4:26-28; 2:23; 3:18)
4. There was no defeat at Calvary – only the FINISHING of our redemption all according to God’s plan
5. To you and I, it may seem strange, or confusing, but to the Lord of heaven, those stripes laid across the back of God’s dear Son were beautiful – they were just what was needed
B. When they Smote the Shepherd, It was Our Hands (Acts 2:22,23; 3:13-15). That cross was all because of OUR sins, our will, and therefore is OUR fault
1. Our Sins (2Cor 5:21) – if not HIS sins, then WHOSE sins killed Jesus?
2. Our Will – I will preach more on this tonight. It is US that is the problem.
a. We can’t just blame it on our environment, or our human nature
b. Doesn’t anybody look around and see that if Jesus were here in this world today, he would be killed again.
c. We humans just don’t WANT God interfering
d. That is, until we realise that we so desperately NEED Him
3. Our Fault (Heb 2:3)
a. God doesn’t have to send anyone to hell
b. If a person goes to hell, it is only because of two reasons:
1) Rejecting God’s Son as payment for your sins
2) Neglecting God’s payment for your sins – same as rejecting
4. Folks, When they SMOTE the Shepherd, it was our OWN hands that whipped His body, and spit in His face, and nailed Him to that tree!
a. We can’ call the Jews, Christ-killers.
b. We can’t say it was the fault of those Roman soldiers
c. We can’t blame Pilate and Herod
d. It was us – all of us, who stood there and cried CRUCIFY Him, every time we sin, curse, blaspheme, hate, steal, lie, drink, fight
C. When they Smote the Shepherd, It was Enough (Isa 53:10,11) What we all need to wake up to, is the fact that, when they smote the Shepherd, it was enough:
1. To Change me – a sinner (1Pet 1:18-23; 2Co 5:17) it’s still in the Book!
a. That’s why Paul preached the CROSS – it alone CHANGES a man!
b. Now, you can preach about heaven, family, creation and even hell…
c. But the cross forces us to face ourselves, and see that it is US that deserve to be on that cross, only to see the love of God take our place
d. If the cross can’t change you – nothing will! That’s why Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
2. To Free me. That single event freed me
a. From the penalty of my sins – FORGIVEN!
b. From the power of my sins – they have no dominion over me
c. And one day soon, from the very presence of sin!
3. To Use me – make me useable by God (Eph 2:8-10). You say, God can’t use you? You need to look back at the cross! He didn’t save you for no reason. He saves a soul to USE THEM FOR HIS GLORY! Find THAT REASON, and SERVE as a living sacrifice now!
Conclusion, and Application
A. The ROCK has been Smitten – 2,000 years ago!
B. No one, absolutely NO ONE needs to smite Jesus again!
C. Our choice is whether to ignore the Rock, or speak to Him, telling Him
1. You are a filthy sinner, that deserves hell, but you accept His living water
2. You cling only to His grace
3. You now gladly serve Him out of so great a debt of love!
Bible Baptist Church Blarney
29 Westcourt Heights
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland