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notes of a short Sermon on 2 CORINTHIANS 15:17 –21)
‘Can Jesus Identify
With Your Struggles?’
Christians say that Jesus is sinless. If He is sinless, then
how on earth can He relate to my struggles? How can I trust a Saviour who does
not understand my struggles? These are great questions.
17 Therefore, if anyone is (A)in
Christ, he is (B)a
old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is
from God, (D)who
through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us (E)the
ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was
world to himself, (F)not
counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us (G)the
message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, (H)we
are ambassadors for Christ, (I)God
making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled
to God. 21 (J)For
our sake he made him to be sin (K)who
knew no sin, so that in him we might become (L)the
righteousness of God.
Let's look at what the Bible teaches. We will read Second Corinthians 5:17-21, but we will
really be focusing on verse 21: God made Him who
had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him, we could become the righteousness
This text teaches us that God made Jesus our Representative.
At times we need someone to represent us. God did not set us up for failure by
assigning us a hopeless representative. He gave us the best.
This text teaches that Jesus identifies with us. Because He
is sinless, only He knows the full power of temptation and struggle.
This text teaches that Jesus is our Substitute. Knowing
everything there is to know about us, He willingly takes our place.
This text teaches that Jesus offers us an Exchange. He
trades His destiny for my doom.
How do we respond? How do we get in on the exchange? Repent
Repentance involves two aspects. First we acknowledge our
wrongdoing and then we repudiate it (this means we say, “never again”).
Believe is a personal word and involves two aspects. Asking
Jesus into our lives and giving Him full permission to live within us.
There is no better time that right now to accept Jesus'
offer and come to Him in repentance and belief.
Let’s bow our heads to pray:
Jesus, Thank you, so much
that you loved us enough that you were willing to die for us. Thank you Jesus
that you can represent us; that you, Father, loved us so much that you sent
your best; You sent your own son to be a representative. Thank you Jesus that
you know what it’s like to be human; that you identify with us, fully, that you
identify with me, fully.
Thank you, Jesus that you were
willing to die on the Cross, in my place, in my stead. And thank you Jesus that
you were willing to die and exchange your destiny for my doom, when you died
upon the Cross.
Jesus, draw me ever closer
to yourself and help me to live my life, in light of your grace.
Rev. George Sinclair
To listen to the above broadcast, click
on the following link:
1 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the
preached to you, which you received, (B)in
which you stand, 2 and by which (C)you
are being saved, if you (D)hold
fast to the word I preached to you—(E)unless
you believed in vain.
3 For (F)I
delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died (G)for
our sins (H)in
accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he
was raised (I)on
the third day (J)in
accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that (K)he
appeared to Cephas, then (L)to
the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred
brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen
asleep. 7 Then he appeared to (M)James,
all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, (O)he
appeared also to me. 9 For (P)I
am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because (Q)I
persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am
what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain. On the contrary, (R)I
worked harder than any of them, (S)though
it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether
then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Paul’s actual letter to the Corinthians was sent about 20 to
25 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s why Paul refers to
the witnesses as “most of whom are still alive”.
Paul writes to a church in Greece to remind them what the
good news is that changed their lives. He wants to assure them that Jesus
really did die. Jesus really did rise from the dead on the third day. Paul
provides a partial list of eyewitnesses. He is saying to his readers that they
can track these people down and ask them questions.
Jesus did not
enter death and then return from the dead. He did not have what we now call a
'near-death experience'. Lazarus, by contrast, was dead 4 days and came back to life. But
that is precisely the point. We do not follow Lazarus even though he was dead
longer than Jesus. Lazarus died and returned to this side of death. He would
still die because death was stronger than Him.
There is no comparison between the death of Lazarus (John
11:1-44) and the miracle of his resuscitation four days later. Lazarus, in
fact, was resuscitated from death, by Jesus, and went on living until his
natural death, like every other person.
Jesus died, on the other hand, tasted all there
is to taste of death. He resurrected from the
dead after three days. Then he rose alive on the far side of death. He triumphed
When Jesus appeared before multiple witnesses, as
described in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, it was entirely different from the
situation with Lazarus.
The Christian claim is that Jesus appeared on the far side
of death -- immune to all causes of death
-- having defeated death, so that death no longer had a hold of Him.
The heart of the matter is that when Jesus died and rose
again, it was to atone for our sins; so that we, too,might experience the same triumph of Jesus.
He died and was resurrected so that those who repent and
follow Him might also have victory over death, like Jesus.
There is no better time, than today, to give your life to
Jesus and to trust in Him.
Father, we thank you so much that you love us; that you desire
us to be yours; that you desire us to be reconciled to you. We thank you for
Jesus. We thank you that He was willing to die for us, knowing everything there
is to know about us and still loving us and dying for us. We thank and praise
you that He rose from the dead; that He triumphed over sin and death and Hell
and all hostile spiritual powers in His resurrection.
We give you thanks and praise that His resurrection is not just
His private victory, but that it’s a victory that He can share with us, and
wants to share with us.
We ask, Father, that you help us to put our faith and trust in
Jesus; that you help us to repent and turn to your son, Jesus Christ, and put
our faith and trust in Him; and we thank and praise you, Father, that when Jesus
comes into our life, He will never let us go.