Joseph Prince - Jesus: Your Reason For A Fear-Free Life
Praise the Lord. Lift your voices and give him praise, church. Hallelujah to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We give you praise, Lord. With one heart, one voice, happy birthday, Lord Jesus, and a blessed Christmas to every one of you, amen, amen. Feliz Navidad, amen. Look at one another and now learn one Hebrew word. Say this word, "al tirah". Say it again. You said it right, well done. Al tirah, what does that mean? You'll get to know in a while's time. You may be seated. At least greet three or four persons around you. Tell them, "Blessed Christmas. Have a great New Year. The Lord loves you". Tell them, "You're seated by a cool guy, a wonderful woman, don't worry, I won't sleep and slobber on you, it's Christmastime".
Praise God. Give him all a wonderful, wonderful thank you and God bless you, every one of you. Praise the Lord. It's Christmas again, hallelujah. The prophet Isaiah prophesied these words: "For unto us a child is born, and to us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called wonderful counselor the mighty God, The everlasting Father and the Prince of peace is he"
If you are troubled, and you are anxious, and you are worried, listen, he's the Prince of peace. Isaiah will say it like this, Sar Shalom, the Captain of peace, the Prince of peace, and the peace that Jesus gives is an aggressive peace. It's not dependent on things outside being peaceful but even in the midst of your difficulty, in the midst of your problem, in the midst of going through the fire, deep down there's a peace that's aggressive. Jesus said it like this on the night before he was crucified, I mean one would have thought that you'll be anticipating the pain, the agony, the separation from the Father, exposed to shame and all kinds of suffering on that cross but the night before he was crucified he looked at his disciples and he said, "Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, not as the world gives. The world gives peace but a false kind that goes away when things and circumstances fail to line up but not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid".
Now here is where I want to tell you what you said just now in Hebrew, al tirah is the message from heaven. Al tirah means fear not. Say it again, "Al tirah, fear not". If somebody comes from heaven and somebody comes fresh from there, a citizen of heaven, a heavenly being, an angel, and he comes fresh from heaven where he comes from a place where there is no chaos, where there is no disease and sickness, where is there no death, there is no decay, what would he say to a world that is fallen because of man's sin, that a world that's rebellious, a world that doesn't care about God and they don't care, they don't care about God, but God still loves them? But if a heavenly being comes from heaven, what will his message be?
And the Christmas story tells us that when the angel appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist because his son John the Baptist will prepare the way for our Lord Jesus Christ and the message is don't be afraid. "Do not be afraid, Zechariah. Do not be afraid. Your prayer is heard". I love the way Hebrew names carry meanings. Zechariah means God remembers. Don't be afraid, God remembers what you prayed. Don't be afraid, God remembers. Don't be afraid, your prayer is heard. So, the message from a heavenly being is this, they see us creatures in this earth here so full of stress, worry, anxiety.
We're so afraid, so afraid about tomorrow, afraid what's gonna happen to our children, afraid about growing old, afraid about this disease, that sickness, afraid about the symptom in our body may carry more forboding or could be a harbinger of something bad. We are fearing all the time, fearing all the time and the message from heaven is al tirah, don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. And then when the angel appeared to Mary with a message that she will carry the Son of God, not that his life will begin there, his life as a human being with a body will begin there but Jesus will be sent the Son. He always existed the Father, but he'll be sent into the virgin's womb. And again the angel said, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God".
And I want to announce to all of you, all of you have favor with God. The fact that God gave his Son to us, God didn't wait for our permission. God gave his Son to a world that there were no righteous men. We've all sinned, everyone has sinned. And yet the message to sinners is, al tirah, don't be afraid. For unto you is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, not a judge, not a lawgiver like Moses, but a Savior, Jesus Christ. Give him praise, hallelujah. Thank you, hallelujah. Say, "al tirah". One more time, "al tirah". So, you got an Israeli friend you can tell them, "Al tirah, don't be afraid," amen? But we have a solid basis to say, al tirah, why? Our God is with us. God is for you, God is not against you, and when did the heavenly being say al tirah? When man was repentant, when man was turned around, when man turn on a new leaf. When did God say that? When man was still in their sin God says, Don't be afraid. God is love. The definition of God is love.
"But I have to satisfy my righteousness and justice. I cannot bless you at the expense of my righteousness. I cannot provide for you, and protect you, and heal your body when you are sick, and bless your family at the expense of my holiness. So, my holiness must be fully met and this is the way," God says, "bring an innocent lamb and then you lay your hands on the lamb". So, in other words, all your sins is transferred to the lamb. By the same token, all the lamb's innocence is transferred to you. And then the priest gives you the knife and he says, "Kill the lamb".
Now, this is a sobering moment for the offerer because he has to kill the lamb. In other words, he must know that it is his sin that kills the lamb. I want to tell you something, when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming out of the waters of baptism he says, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". Jesus is the true lamb, the rest are shadows, the rest are pictures of the substance when he came and that's why Christmas is such a celebration, amen? Behold the lamb of God who takes away, not only cover, the sins of these sheep that they bring every day, daily and yearly on Yom Kippur. They bring a bull on Yom Kippur for the nation of Israel. All the blood slain on Jewish altars cannot remove or take away sin. It just covers up, like your Visa card. It's not a real payment. Hey guys, your Visa card is not a payment, all right? It only defers your payment. Your payment has still gotta be paid.
So, what happened is that these sheep and lamb just cover sin. The blood of a sheep have no power to take way sins. So, it covers year after year after year after year but when it covers your sin, God does not see your sin. God is righteous. God is holy because an innocent died in your place, an innocent has given you his place, the priest passed the knife to the offerer, the offerer kills the lamb, the lamb is dead, the priest brings the lamb up to the misbach the burnt offering place. He puts it there, the fire of judgment consumes the lamb. It's a picture of God's anger and wrath against all unholiness, against all rebellion but it falls not on the offerer who deserves it. It doesn't fall on the offerer who did it. It falls on the lamb because now the transfer has taken place. God's judgment falls on the lamb, the lamb is consumed, and the man walks free but this time he walks free, not the same way he came to the temple, when he came to the temple, he was a sinner, but now he walks away with the righteousness of the lamb on him. In other words, what the lamb deserved, amen, he got! What he deserved, judgment, wrath, the lamb got! And the innocent lamb that deserves blessings, he got! So, he walks away from the temple richer. He walks away from the temple with the grace of God added on him with greater favor. He walks away accepted by God! He walks away blessed! But can he be proud? It wasn't something he did. But where he cannot be proud, he can be thankful because it's all grace.
When Jesus came, they examined him. They examined Jesus for one solid week because they had to examine the lamb, the Passover lamb. They examined Jesus, they tested him, the Pharisees did, and they went off. In fact, they sent one time some groups of people to arrest him, the soldiers came back empty handed. When asked why, they said, "Never a man spoke like this man". He came so that we can live a life of al tirah, of no fear, amen. Fear will kill you slowly. Fear can give you heart attacks, constant fear. And Jesus laid down, laid down his life. When he hung there on the cross, he was crucified the Bible says at 9 a.m. Why is that important? And then three hours after that as he hung there at 12 noon the Bible says there was an eclipse over the whole land. There was an eclipse. Darkness covered the whole land.
It's very interesting that in the annals of China's history, China was a nation existing at that time when Christ was on earth in Jerusalem. In the annals of China's history, they record a worldwide eclipse at exactly the same time. In the midday, they said, there was a three hour of darkness. In that three hour of darkness from 12 noon to 3 p.m. where Jesus finally said, "It is finished"! What happened during these three hours is nothing for man's eyes to see. It's between God and the sacrifice.
Now mind you, at this moment, it's not Father and Son, it is God and the sacrifice. David already prophesied in Psalms 22. God's Spirit came on David and David says, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? They pierced my hands and my feet, and they pierced my side. My bones, look at me. Stare at me". In other words, the beating, they scourged him before he went to the cross. When they scourged him, those soldiers that scourged him, flesh rip out of Jesus's body until his bones, his rib cage were exposed. It's a very cruel beating. In fact, they stretch you and then the whip is of leather and they have broken bones put in between metal, sharp metal, dried, crusty, rusty, coin bits and then when it grips your body, it stays there embedded and then with a jerk, flesh fly out.
I want to tell you something, the Bible says that Jesus went through that before the cross, why? Why go through that before the cross? Because the Bible says, "By his stripes, we are healed". We have so many people in this church, as well as testimonies that come around the world, that have told us they have claimed that promise, "With his stripes, we are healed. We are healed". In other words, he provided for our health by having his body broken so he deserves nothing but good. He deserves everything wonderful, but he took our place. It's as if on that cross we look at Jesus and he's the lamb of God. We put our hands on him. We trust him. The transfer takes place. He's carrying our sins and then the other way happens as well, all that Jesus deserves is transferred to us and on your head, and on your children, and on your family if you will but receive.
And then after three hours at 3 p.m. he cried and then he said, "Finished"! "Kalah" in Hebrew. What does that mean? Everything finished. God's holiness that demands punishment, God's vindication is satisfied. The blood of Jesus that was shed at Calvary's cross fully met all the divine requirements of a thrice holy God, that means your sins have all been remitted. And by the way, when I say sins, I mean when God doesn't live inside time, God lives outside time. God gathers all your sins of the past, present, and future. With God, he's always, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob".
He's always "I Am" because he lives outside time. We talk about was, will be. You know, God is not a God of was and will be. He's always outside time. God created time. We don't understand because we live in time. So, God is able to go to your future, all right, and God can take all your sins of your entire life from the day you were born and God laid it on Jesus. And when God says, you are forgiven, you are forgiven. All right, we think of our forgiveness like watching a parade at night one float after another. God sees the entire parade from the sky. God sees your entire life of sins. When God says you are forgiven, you are forgiven, amen. All you gotta do just believe, believe, amen, amen?
God loves you, al tirah, don't be afraid. God loves you. Now, God's heart is unleashed. God, who is love, can now receive sinful man but not at the expense of his holiness. In fact, right now his righteousness is on your side because your sins were paid for. Your sins cannot be tried twice. You cannot be punished again for your sins. If your sins were punished in the body of Jesus Christ, today you cannot be punished. If God punishes you for your sins, God is breaking his universe, his law, the law that binds and upholds the whole universe, why? The same sin cannot be tried again, you understand? God arranged it to be like that. Have you been blessed?
Today, your eyes have been turned to Jesus. He was crucified at 9 a.m. and he died at 3 p.m. In the Old Testament in the tabernacle where they bring the sacrifices, the first lamb is killed at 9 a.m. They call it the morning sacrifice. The second lamb is killed at 3 p.m. They call it the evening sacrifice. Jesus fulfilled both. Friend, have you received him? This is your opportunity right now.
Pray this, "Heavenly Father, I believe today on Christmas Day, I believe that you love me and that you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die on that cross for all my sins. All that my sins deserve fell on Jesus, the judgment, the condemnation, the curse, fell on Jesus and all that Jesus deserves, favor with you, acceptance with you, the blessings of God, this wonderful peace comes on me and on my family. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. And I thank you, Father, that you have raised Christ bodily from the dead. Yes, death has been conquered. No more fear of death. Jesus conquered death and rose bodily. Father, I thank you, Jesus Christ is my Lord. In Jesus's name, and all the people said, amen, amen, amen.
Praise the Lord. God bless you. Merry Christmas. You are dismissed.