What three things happened while there was utter blackness when Jesus was on the cross?

The final hour. Matt 27:45-56, Tim Keller, iTunes

The bid idea. Jesus’ screemed out three times on the cross and it tells us three things about our main dilemmas.

1. Why have you forsaken me? – the modern dilemma.
In Our modern dilemma we are influenced by Niche who argued that God is dead. If God is dead, goes the dilemma, then justice died with God and Hitler and Pol Pot have no basis to be consideed wrong. Jesus died on the cross and fulfilled the end of Psalm 22. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. — Though God is damning me, said Jesus, I will stick to the plan to save Eric, et al.

2. Jesus gave up his spirit and said it is finished – the human dilemma.
The human dilemma is tried to be solved by modern man with religion which says if I act good, God will bless me. As Mark Twain said, he felt religion was like his dream where each night he felt he had a 300 pound Bible on his chest, suffocating him.
On the other hand, the gospel is, obey BECAUSE IT IS FINISHED, not to get it finished – not to finish our right standing before God.

3. The soldier watching said surely this was the son of God – the personal dilemma.
The irony of how Matthew tells the story is that the Gentiles and the women get it, the truth about Jesus as God’s son and our king, but the religious and the religious leaders and elite miss it entirely

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Nakedness and the holiness of God. Genesis 3:7-24. Tim Keller sermon. iTunes

Why does God ask what he already knows? Every night Adam and Eve were naked in the garden when God came to walk with them in the cool of the day. This night he knows the answer to why they now see themselves as naked but he sakes anyway. Why? Because in this we sewe God as the ultimate counsellor. Redemption is in telling God from the heart what he already knows to be true.

God asks them three questions: Where are you? Who told you you were naked? And have you eater on the tree?

This sermon focuses on question two: who told you you were naked?

1. The problem of nakedness
They lost their purity and acceptability, therefore they hid from God who they no longer felt acceptable before. They knew they were now vulnerable before God and each other. God has the ultimate unseen eyes that they knew they were not pure before anymore. Hebrews talks about God seeing all and nothing hidden from his eyes.

2. The human solution to nakedness
They cover themselves with weak fig leaves. They feel now like we all feel in that we must be hidden so that we can be fully loved. They feel to be loved they must not be fully known. Perfectionism is fig leaves. So are other functional saviors. Religion is a fig leaf that can make people not pleasant to be around in their smugness, pride or despair. We have to repent of both our bad fig leaves of wrong living but also the fig leaves we use that are ‘good’ but are used to cover us and make us hidden and loved. For example we say, I will be covered if I have a good family, a good job, do well at church, etc. Only God can cover us.

Can we be fully known, not hidden by leaves, AND fully loved?

3. The divine solution to nakedness.
Ezekiel 16 talks of the baby girl cast off in helpless nakedness.
Hosea talks of buying back his naked wife from the slave stand and hosea clothes her. This is a picture of what God does with his people?
Isaiah 61 says we are clothed. How? Through Christ’s utter nakedness on the cross, God charged to his account my sin! He covered me with something other than fig leaves.

Romans 4:7 says, 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

In Luke 24 we see people begging the rocks to fall on them and cloth them before the pure, always seeing eyes of God. They are looking for clothing of their nakedness before God. The only clothing is God clothing us.

When adam and Eve left the garden a flaming sword guarded the entrance. To commune again with God as Adam did in the cool of the day, someone has to go through the sword for us. That is what Jesus did through him hanging naked, shamefully on the cross for all who would call on him to save them. Revelation talks of us being given clothes of righteousness to wear one day.

God covers us from God best!

What is the road to change? How can we change?

Perfect freedom. Romans 6, Tim Keller, iTunes

The big idea. Three keys to profound spiritual change.

1. Recognize the shape of your spiritual slavery.
V15-16. Everyone is a slave to whatever gives you an identity. Three tests to find out what is functional savior or who your master really is: what gives or causes not just anger but epi-anger. Anger in over drive. Or what are your fears. What arenyour nightmares about? And thirdly, what do you not must shed tears over but epi-tears to depressed, dark state? Everyone worships something.

2. Realize the scope of your cosmic unity.
V3-5 says we are grafted into the roots which are Christ. His past is our past. His future is our future. Matt 19:28 palengenesia Greek word also used in Titus 3. It means cosmic renewal. Our goals are too low.

3. Live daily out of your new identity. Remember who you are. Remind yourself daily!

A. V6. How does change work? Redically redone by God. When Augustine’s mistress met him years later she said, ‘it is i, dont you recognize me?’ He said, oh yes, but it is not I.

B. Why does it take so long? We forget what has been proclaimed. This is like the laws in the south that were repealed that kept African Americans out and in fear but white people often still threatened as if they were still enforced.

C. V17. Why is change so hard? Satan’s lie in the garden is fear to submit to God. And it worked. Three seasons movie quoted.

Greed: the case of the rich young ruler. Mark 19:16-25; Tim Keller, iTunes

The big idea: four reasons the rich young ruler went away grieved from Jesus

1. Because he talked to the real Christ.
The real Christ demands more AND offers more.

2. Jesus crushed his religious views.
He knew he had a hole in his heart – he came to Jesus feeling his sense of lacking. He thought Christianity was something you could add to, something he could do. He had done these things. What one thing did he lack was his question. He was more of a sinner than he thought. He had not even done the first commandment perfectly and lovedGod with all his heart.

3. Jesus Gets personal not academic.
Christ loved him means that he read his soul. For the caught adultress woman Jesus doesn’t say give all your money away. To Abraham he does not say anything but go sacrifice your only son. Jesus gets at our dreams. He wants to offer and be to us that which we dream about most fondly. He gets at this mans soul, that which he thinks will give him a life of power and joy without God. Surrender your fondest dreams to Christ. He wants to be even more than that to and for you.

4. Jesus showed him he did not have true treasure in heaven.
We need to see both that Jesus is our supreme treasure AND that I am his treasure. In Isaiah 49 we are faced with the question will a mother forget her child? This is not likely but even so, how much MORE will God not forget us. That is the point of that passage. We are his treasure. In the Song of Soloman we hear that he is our beloved one and we are his. I am my beloved’s and he is mine.

Simultaneously sinner and saint – Galatians 2:17-18

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.

If followers of Christ begin to think that they are only sinners, there will be much despair. Interactions with people will only be in fear. On the other side if they believe they are only forgiven there can be a gross pride and arrogance about them making them not fun to be around. The beauty of this passage is that, as Luther said, followers of Christ are at the same time both sinners and forgiven! This brings the unthinkable – bold humility!

God, help us to, by grace, see both!