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Mission | Accepted

Mission 3:16 | Possible  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:54
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Welcome

Good Morning! I’m Pastor Wayne and I’d like to welcome you all to the gathering of Ephesus Baptist Church.
Proverbs 22:1 ESV
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Jesus is a great example of this verse. He chose the Good name that His Father bestowed on Him along with the favor that accompanied it over the great riches of Heaven when He took on the frailty of human flesh to come and rescue us from ourselves.
Today, you are here to worship God; to chose a better name for yourself than all the riches of this world. The name, “child of God” or “follower of Jesus.”
May you experience in the Father’s Favor as we worship Him together for His glory and our joy!
If you are visiting with us this morning, we want you to know that Ephesus is an active faith community on a mission with Jesus.
Here at Ephesus, we are one people giving our all to love God, love others, proclaim Jesus, and make disciples in our generation.
We have a connect card in the pew in front of you. I invite you to take one and fill it out! If you have prayer needs, you can let us know about those as well.
I promise, our prayer team will lift you up soon. You can place those cards in the offering plate when it comes around.

Scripture Memory

Luke 9:51 ESV
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
John 3:17 ESV
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Opening Scripture

Isaiah 61:1–3 ESV
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Introduction

John 3:16–18 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
What a great passage of Scripture we studied last week which relays to us the Father’s commitment to save His creation through His Son Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father designed a rescue mission to save all who would believe in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Concerning this rescue mission, God the Father was All In, but what about the Son of God? How did He feel about this mission? Is He All In on His Father’s plan? Does He willingly accept His mission?
This morning we are going to survey the Scriptures to seek to answer that question. It is my prayer that you will come away with a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice that was made on your behalf. I pray that Easter will loom even more meaningful after our study this morning.
You will see that Jesus Christ our Lord, willingly and faithfully submitted to the Father’s will as He looks at the Rescue Mission and very clearly says: Mission | Accepted!
There are at least two things we must realize about Jesus and the rescue mission of God.
First, we must realize that.....

1. God’s rescue mission involved Jesus’ Sacrifice from the very beginning.

Genesis 1:1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Genesis 2:16–17 ESV
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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 allowed Adam and Eve an abundance of liberty in how they lived their lives, but with one exception: they could “not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”(2:17).
Death is clearly promised if they break this command (2:17), because God knows that they will be removed from their connection to the tree of life.
It becomes clear, then, that God’s favor is not unconditional in the sense that Adam and Eve may do as they please and still enjoy God’s blessing.
What God is saying is that they must live by keeping His command. To do so they must trust God’s word and believe God’s warning. Faith is required. Loyalty is required.
God said, “You see that tree. Don’t touch it!” That should have been enough. If they just left it alone. That would have demonstrated the faith and loyalty they owed to their Creator. But, you see, in the liberty God gifted us, there’s something about our freedom that causes us to want to investigate and see for itself.
Adrian Rogers once said,
Have you ever touched the paint when the sign says, “Wet paint—don’t touch”? ...There’s something about us that, when the sign says, “This is wet paint,” rather than just simply taking what the sign says, rather than just taking the revelation, we want the experimentation. And so we touch, and we have the results there on our fingertips. And the wall is marred, because we cannot just simply believe the sign, obey the sign. We have to see for ourselves.1
Had mankind obeyed God at this point, the rescue mission would never have been necessary.
But God knew that humanity was going to rebel against Him. He knew that we would be disobedient and unfaithful. He knew that our loyalty would cease. He knew what would be in our hearts.
For that reason, Calvary was in the heart and mind of God before He even created this world. When John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit about the beast, he spoke of the authority the beast would have over two groups of people.
Revelation 13 and verses 7 and 8 say
7b And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
The beast will have total authority over those who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
But the names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, he has no power over.
Those names were “written before the foundation of the world.” Where were they written, in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
God planned our redemption, our rescue, before He even created the first molecule of earth.
His plan was detailed and thorough. God knew that there was only one way to save humanity. He knew that it would require the sacrifice of His beloved Son.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
In fact, He revealed to us the precise time the sacrifice would happen.
Daniel 9:24–26 ESV
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
Daniel Akin, in his book, Discovering the Biblical Jesus, is very helpful on this point.
The Angel Gabriel told Daniel “Seventy Weeks” are decreed. The word for “weeks” is best translated “sevens.” “Sevens” refer to a period of years similar to our word “dozens.”
Decreed means to “cut out” or to “be determined.”
God has cut out or determined 490 years of history in His plan for Israel.
From the time of Nehemiah’s calling to rebuild to the completion of the rebuilding was 49 years or seven weeks or sevens.
Then there are 62 weeks or sevens until the arrival of the anointed prince or the messiah.
So that is 49 years of rebuilding plus 434 years until the the arrival of the great prince.
The decree to rebuild can be dated to the time of King Artaxerxes found in Nehemiah 2:1-8. According to our calendars, the date was March 5, 444 BC.
The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem has been dated around March 30, AD 33.
Since the Jews use a 360 day lunar calendar, we can start at 444 BC and go forward 483 years of 360 days each, and we get a total of 173,880 days.
Going from March 5, 444 BC to March 30, AD 33 is exactly 173,880 days.
God knew the very century, year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second His plan would be accomplished. Indeed, our God has His hand on history2.
He planned when His Son would come. He also preordained when Jesus would die as the suffering Lamb of God.
Galatians 4:4–5 ESV
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Ephesus, do you realize that from the very beginning, before the foundations of earth were spoken into existence, God’s rescue mission involved the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Second, we must realize that

2. In the ultimate act of humility, Jesus accepted His role as the sacrificial Lamb of God and set His face toward Jerusalem.

John 1:1–4 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The whole trinity is at work in planning and implementing the greatest rescue mission ever.
Jesus who is the Logos or the Word of God, was with God, and was God as the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Son of God.
All things were made through him, including the plan for this rescue mission we call redemption. Jesus knew that He would have to condescend or come down to us to save us.
In Him, Life is available to all who would have a relationship to God the Father through Christ the Son.
John 1:14 ESV
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Philippians 2:6–8 ESV
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Whatever God is in essence, Christ is, in all of His heavenly Glory. Christ gave up His high and lofty position in heaven for the salvation of souls and the pleasure of His Father.
Paul says that Jesus “emptied himself.”
This does not mean that He gave up divinity, He was still God, but He voluntarily became subordinate in His function as the Lamb of God. It was an emptying by addition.
He assumed the form of a servant or slave, but was still God.
He took on the form and flesh of man, but was still God.
He humbled himself, but was still God.
He became obedient and died on the cross, but was still God.
He did not surrender his deity, but He did surrender His glory. In adding on the flesh of mankind, He underwent a permanent change. He will now permanently be the God-Man. 100% God and 100% Man.
Partaking of un-glorified man was the ultimate example of humility. For a time, in humble obedience He willingly laid aside the prestige of Heaven for the humiliation of flesh, placing His dependence on His Father and the Holy Spirit in order that He might accomplish the mission He had humbly accepted.
Jesus knew His glory only came from the Father and apart from the Father He was in a state of humble humanity apart from His former glory.
John 8:54 ESV
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
When His mission was almost over, Jesus prayed
John 17:5 ESV
5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus was eager to return to His Father, but not until the mission was over. A mission that He diligently set His face toward. In fact He set His face toward a specific location. The location of His death.
Luke 9:51 ESV
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Luke 13:22 ESV
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Luke 17:11 ESV
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.
As a child, He was told of the purpose of His life. Certain verses come to my mind like....
Mary telling Him what Gabriel told her....
Luke 1:31–33 ESV
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Or David telling Him what the Angel of the Lord said about Him....
Matthew 1:21–23 ESV
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
I am sure He thought about the voice of His Father during His Baptism by the John the Baptist as He pondered His mission.
Mark 1:11 ESV
11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
During His ministry there were several places where Jesus tried to tell those close to Him about His ultimate mission, but they didn’t understand Him.
Luke 5:34–35 ESV
34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
Matthew 16:21 ESV
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
After the transfiguration
Matthew 17:9 ESV
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Then
Mark 9:30–32 ESV
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
John 11:25–26 ESV
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Matthew 20:17–19 ESV
17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”
To the Pharisees, Jesus warned of the eternal damnation that would result from the completion of His mission for those who did not believe.
John 8:21–29 ESV
21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
Conclusion:
Because God has had this plan from the very beginning, we must be a people who trust Him completely.
Give the Father your problems, your pain, and your praises. He is worthy of it all!
Trust Him completely, follow Him wholeheartedly and obey Him fully.
Jesus in humble submission to His Father, exchanged the glory of heaven for our salvation.
From Heaven’s throne room, He set His face towards Jerusalem to become the Lamb of God on your behalf.
He accepted the Mission to rescue a sinful dying humanity because of His great grace and mercy.
Therefore, we should live as people who have the light of life dwelling in us, as people who have the truth of the gospel guiding us.
Flee temptations of worldliness, live as those who have been purchased by the blood of Christ, who have been set apart for holiness. Walk a walk worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus.
Be the ambassadors of reconciliation that Christ commands us to be. He is the only way that people can be restored. He is the only mediator between God and Man.
John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Let us so live as to prove to the world that we believe Christ to be true to His word. Let us point them to the only way, the only truth, and the only life!
HYMN OF INVITATION
The Savior is Waiting
Hymn No. 321
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