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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Kerry Shook » Kerry Shook - Amazing Grace

Kerry Shook - Amazing Grace

Kerry Shook - Amazing Grace

Have you ever tried to fill up a gas can at the gas station? You're trying to fill it up to the top, but the next thing, you know, gas is overflowing and it's just spilling all over your hands and your shoes. And then you get in the car and the gasoline fumes just overwhelm you? We've all been there? A lot of people today are overflowing with stress. They're overflowing with frustration, or worry, or anger, and it just splashes onto everyone around them, and it fills them with stress, frustration and anger. But God doesn't want his kids to be overflowing with stress. God doesn't want his kids to be overflowing with worry and anger. God wants us to be filled to overflowing with his grace so that it splashes on everyone around us so they can experience the power of his grace.

We're concluding this series we've been on, it's all about the goodness of God in the middle of uncertain times, because God wants you to experience his goodness, even when you're uncertain about everything else. And we're gonna look at one of the most important chapters in all the Bible, Isaiah chapter 53. It's a powerful prophecy. It's been called the Fifth Gospel by many Christian theologians because it points so clearly to Christ. It's also been called the forbidden chapter because it's hardly ever mentioned in Jewish synagogues because it points so clearly to Christ. And it was written 700 years before Christ was born. But it's as if the author is looking up at Christ on the cross and describing it in detail. It's an amazing picture of grace.

Hey, by the way, Jesus fulfilled 332 distinct Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah, including the place he'd be born, Bethlehem, where he would grow up, how he would be betrayed, how they would gamble over his clothes, how he would be silent before his accusers and the way he would die. It says he would be pierced and raised up for all to see. And crucifixion wasn't even invented at the time. The Romans invented crucifixion years after this prophecy to torture people and to execute people in such a way to make an example so that everyone else said, ok, I will obey the empire. And the prophecies also tell us his bones would not be broken, not one of them. And yet they broke the bones of the thieves on either side of Christ.

So they would die quicker. And when they came to Christ, he was already dead, so they didn't need to break his bones. And it says in Isaiah 53 he'll be assigned a grave with the wicked, and he was assigned a grave with the wicked. His body was supposed to be thrown out, outside the city and burned with the bodies of all the other criminals. The prophecy says he was assigned to grave with the wicked, but instead buried in a rich man's tomb. And we know that Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, stepped up and had Jesus buried in his garden tomb.

Now, the mathematical probability that all 332 distinct Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah would be fulfilled by the life of one man is astronomical. In fact, mathematicians have actually done the math on it and the probability of one man and one life fulfilling all 332 distinct Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah get this number. It's one and 840 with 97 zeros behind it. And here's the number right there. I don't even know what that number is. You see, I can't even say this number, but that's the probability. It's one in 840 with 97 zeros behind it. The probability that one man and one life could fulfill all 332 distinct Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah? But Jesus did because he is the Messiah.

So open your Bibles to this forbidden chapter, Isaiah 53. And would you stand in honor of God's Word? And look at verses 4 through 6, it's on the screens and, "Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed". We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord is laid on him, the iniquity of us all. You can be seated. When you read this, it's like God transported Isaiah 700 years into the future right there at the foot of the cross because he's looking up and he's seeing Jesus Christ on the cross and describing it.

So it's my prayer today that God takes us back in time, 2,000 years. So we can sit in that very place and look up and see Jesus Christ on the cross. Because if we wanna experience an overflow of grace, it all starts at the cross. The grace overflow started at the cross and it's turned into a mighty river that's joining an ocean of grace that God wants us to plunge into, that God wants us to swim in and live in. So I want you to look at three snapshots of God's grace as we look at Jesus on the cross. First, I want you to look at the face of grace. I want us to look into the face of Christ on the cross.

Now, most paintings when they depict Christ upon the cross really sanitize it. I mean, all the renaissance paintings of Christ on the cross, make sure a little bit of blood trickling from his hands and his feet and his side and a few drops of blood on his forehead from the crown of thorns. But they clean it up, sanitize it completely, because if you looked at Jesus face upon the cross, you'd see that you couldn't even see his face because it was so covered in his blood that was shed for you and me.

Look what Isaiah says as he looks at Jesus face upon the cross in Isaiah 52 verse 14, "Just as there were many who are appalled at Him, His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness, so He will sprinkle many nations". After he was beaten and flogged and bruised and bleeding, his face was so marred and so disfigured, he was unrecognizable. His appearance was so horrific that people looked away in disgust, for when you looked at the face of Christ on the cross, all you would see is ugliness, the beautiful savior took on all the ugliness of our sins.

And as we look into the face of Christ on the cross today, we see the ugliness of our sins and no matter how hard we try to hide them, the ugliness of our sins eventually comes out. We can put a good face on it. We can act like we've got it all together on the outside, but on the inside sin is ugly. There's the ugliness of selfishness, the ugliness of pride, the ugliness of lust, the ugliness of lies, the ugliness of greed, the ugliness of our sins just comes out and it disfigures and destroys our soul. It disfigures and destroys families. And that's what's wrong with our society today. The family structure has crumbled as the ugliness of sin has taken hold.

Now let's go to John in the New Testament. John chapter 19, verse 2, it says, "The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head". When I think about the soldiers putting together the crown of thorns to mock Jesus, usually, I think about thorns on a rose bush. You know, if you've ever had rose bushes and you're trimming them and you get a little thorn, and you pull back and it catches even more. The little thorns like that are maybe a half inch long, but a middle eastern thorn bush had thorns that were up to 5 inches long. It was more like a crown of knives. The crown of mockery was like a crown of knives going onto Jesus scalp and there are more capillaries in the scalp than just about any other surface area of the human body.

So when those Roman soldiers shoved that crown of knives onto Jesus scalp, the blood just gushed down his face. His sinless blood covered his face and matted in his hair and he was unrecognizable. Just think about that for a moment as we look into the face of grace. I know why Jesus died. I don't understand everything about it because it's such a supernatural thing. But I know why Jesus died. He had to die to take on all of the sins of the world, so that we could be forgiven and we could have a right relationship with God. Perfect, holy God who cannot tolerate sin, but loves us so much that he sent his one and only son to be the perfect lamb of God, that was sacrificed to take our place so that we could have forgiveness of all our sins.

You see, I know why Jesus died. But why did he have to take on all that other stuff? Why did he have to take on all of that other suffering on the cross? Why couldn't it have just been a quick clean execution? He still would have died for our sins. Why did he have to have the crown of thorns shoved into his scalp? Why did he have to suffer so much with flogging and beating? Well after Adam and Eve sinned, God said no longer will you be able to cultivate the ground without thorns? There'll be thorns in the ground now. And every time one of those thorns sticks into your hand, it will remind you of the consequences of your sin.

You see the thorn represented the consequences of their sin and all throughout scripture, God tells us that the consequences of our sin will stick into us like a thorn in our side. Thorns have always symbolized the consequence of our sin. And we're all familiar with the consequences of our sin. We're all familiar with the thorn of our sin, the thorn of shame, the thorn of guilt, the thorn of anxiety and fear, the thorn of loneliness, the thorn of separation from God. All those are the consequences of our sin. And Jesus Christ took all the other pain, the humiliation and the suffering, the crown of thorns so that we would know that not only did he die to forgive us of our sins, he also died to take away the consequences of our sins. He also died to take away the thorn. And when Jesus Christ died on the cross, he took upon his body, all the sins of everyone who's ever lived. The Bible says, he who knew no sin became sin for us upon that cross.

You see, he took it all upon himself, all the worst sins that have ever been committed in this world, all my sins, all your sins, but not only did he take all of our sins, he also took upon his body, the consequences of all our sins. So for the first time ever, the Son of God upon the cross felt total shame. He felt total humiliation. He felt the thorn of guilt and shame for all those sins. He felt this almost unbearable fear and anxiety. He felt total loneliness. He felt complete separation from his Father. He took upon himself all the consequences of our sins. And the good news is when we look at the ugliness of the face of Christ upon the cross, it becomes beautiful to us because the ugliness that he took upon himself was the ugliness of our sins, and the consequences of our sins, the thorn, so we don't have to live in shame anymore. We don't have to live in guilt anymore.

You see if you're a Christ follower, Satan will say to you, you can't come back to God and receive forgiveness for this same old sin. You're messing up so much and you better not tell anyone else about your struggle. You better not tell anyone else about your sin. I mean, it's just too ugly. You need to keep it hidden, keep it hidden from God and you better keep it hidden from others. But that keeps you stuck in the sin. It keeps you from getting victory because you're stepping out of the light into the darkness of shame.

Now don't get me wrong, guilt is real. Before you come to Jesus Christ, you will experience guilt and a lot of people deny it. They say that it's something that religious people made up to control others, but guilt is real. You could deny it. You can act like it doesn't exist. But if you don't deal with it, it will come out in your life in all kinds of crazy ways. It will come out in your life, in all kinds of destructive ways in your life, your relationships, your family, because guilt is real. When you receive Christ, all the guilt is taken away. So if you're a Christ follower and you're putting guilt upon yourself, shame upon yourself, that's not coming from Jesus. That's coming from Satan, because he wants to keep you stuck in guilt. He wants to keep you stuck in shame. It's like you're putting the crown of thorns on your own head.

Now, as Christ followers, the Holy Spirit will convict us when we sin. But it's different from guilt because conviction just draws you back to him and we say God, you're right. I sinned, I need your forgiveness. Thank you that you'll never leave me. Then we're back in a right relationship with God. You see that conviction of the Holy Spirit draws us closer to God, draws us into the light and honesty, draws us to tell a friend what we're going through so they can pray with us and help us overcome it, so we can walk in the light as he is in the light.

See, guilt is unnecessary. You see guilt is caused by Satan and guilt pushes us away from the light. Conviction from the Holy Spirit, pushes us toward the light. You see guilt is unnecessary because of the face of grace. We live in grace, guilt free but not grief free. You see we still as Christ's followers have grief over our sins and the pain that they cause, we still hurt over the loss, and the pain our sins cause in our lives and relationships. We still need to make amends, not to gain forgiveness, but because of love, and because we wanna overflow with grace, and we wanna build trust back, and we wanna repair damaged relationships.

Well, let's not only look at the face of grace, let's look at the feet of grace today. As you look up today and you see the feet of Jesus Christ on the cross, you see that huge spike going through his feet and into the wood, and his blood is pouring out from the same feet that walk mile after dusty mile to heal, hurting people. The same feet that walked on the water, the same feet that were washed with sweet perfume, mixed with tears of regret, the same feet that walk after us in love, those same feet were willing to lay down on the cross and take the spike. Let's look at Isaiah 53:5. So we go back again over and over to this forbidden chapter, "But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins".

The reason Jesus had to take the spike in his feet, is because our feet walked away from God in rebellion, and it crushed his heart. And Isaiah 53:6, it says, "All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all". You see all of us have rebellious feet that have walked away from God. And when we walk away from God, go our own way instead of God's way, what we're really rebelling against is God's control of our lives. And we're saying, I know more than you God. I know better than you God about my life. I'm gonna do what I want. I'm going to choose my path. And we're saying, I want to be my own God. And the scripture says that whenever we try to play God, we become enemies of God. It's not just that we're choosing our own path and not choosing God's path, but we literally become enemies of God. We're at war with God, we're at war for control.

See, God made you to need him to be in control of your life. You were made to have a general manager of your life. You were made to have God as the general manager of your life. You were created, needing the God of the universe to control your life, to place it under his control. So when you try to play God, you're at war with God for control, and that's why pastors sometimes say, have you made peace with God? Have you made peace with God? Because until you come to Christ, you're at war with God. And we've all been at war with God. We've all walked away from his path to go our own way, thinking that we know what's best for us.

We've all rebelled against him. And the reason he took the spike in his feet is because our rebellious feet walked away from him. And whenever you turn to him, he's always right there. He will always walk toward you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. But whenever I walk away from him, it crushes his heart.

Max Lucado in his classic book, "He Took the Nails," tells the story of Madeleine. When Madeleine was three years old, her father Joe started a tradition that every Christmas Eve, he would dance with his daughter. He'd put the music on and they would do a dance on Christmas Eve, and when Madeleine was five years old, she grabbed her father's hand and said, Daddy, it's time to dance. Did you forget? Just you and me, we dance on Christmas Eve before all the relatives come over. And he said, of course, I didn't forget, honey. You're right. How could I forget it's time to dance?

So he took his little girl by the hand, he turned the music on and they started to dance and it reminded him of his wife, because Joe and his wife spent many nights before Christmas dancing late into the evening. They felt like they were going to dance forever. But then came the pregnancy and the complications and Madeleine survived, but her mother didn't. So Joe, this butcher from Minnesota, was left to raise a girl on his own. He didn't know quite how to do it, but he did everything he could. He wasn't great at expressing emotions, but he loved Madeleine. And one of the things that he thought to do was this tradition to dance with her on Christmas Eve, just like he had done with Madeleine's mother for so many years.

So every Christmas Eve, Madeleine reminded him, hey, daddy, it's time to dance. It's just you and me, remember? Father, daughter dance. When Madeleine became a teenager, rebellion swept into Joe's house like a Minnesota blizzard. And he would say later, I just never saw it coming. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do about all the parties. I didn't know what to do about her loser boyfriend, and all the friends that she hung around that were taken in the wrong direction. I didn't know what to do about her poor grades, but I did everything I could. So one Christmas Eve when she was a teenager, he put the music on and as she came down the stairs, he said, will you dance with Papa one more time? She just shook her head, and walked out the door and slammed it.

Even after all the love that her father had given her, she ran away from home, and a friend told her dad that she'd spotted her at a bus station with her loser boyfriend buying a ticket. Well, they actually ended up in Houston, then the boyfriend broke up with Madeleine, she got kicked out of the place where she was living. She found herself homeless. She ended up dancing in a club being objectified and used each and every night, and after a few months, she felt so empty and so lonely, she didn't know what to do, but she thought about her father often, and she desperately wanted to go home. But shame kept her from going home.

You see, she left in pride. Her pride caused her to run away from home. But it was her shame that kept her from coming home. She thought I can't go back after what I've done. Then a few weeks before Christmas, one of the other dancers came to her and said, hey, here's a letter from a guy that came up to me a couple of days ago, and wanted me to give this to you, but you weren't there that day. And Madeleine opened up the letter and it was a letter from her dad. It said, dear sweetheart, I know where you are. I know what you do. And I just want you to know that doesn't change anything about the way I feel about you. And then when she read the next sentence, the tears started streaming down her face.

Within an hour, she'd gotten on a bus headed home and then she knocked on the door, and her dad answered the door and she said, if the invitation is still there I accept. And he said, of course, of course it is honey. He turned the music on, he took her by the hand and they started dancing. You see the last sentence in the letter said, dear sweetheart, would you come home and dance with your papa? And that's what she did, and no matter what you've done, no matter where you've been, your God says, I still feel the same about you. I love you so much that I went to the cross and I died for you. I took the spikes in my feet that so no matter how far you run with your rebellious feet, I will be right there for you, and all you have to do is turn, and I'll run to you and I'll hold you in my arms and you'll be home.

The same feet that were nailed to the cross are the feet of grace that run to you when you stop running, and he will pick you up and hold you in the hands of grace. You see the same hands that broke the bread and produced the miracle that fed the 5,000 on the hillside, with the same hands, they reached out and touched the man with leprosy that no one else would even come close to, and he healed the leper. You see those same hands that washed the disciples feet, were the same hands that stretched out and created the universe and put the stars in space, and they were the same hands that stretched out again and took the nails, willingly took the nails because he loves us so much.

Let's go back to Isaiah 53 again, verse 5, it says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed". All that Christ went through on the cross is so we could experience his healing. Do you need healing today? Because of his wounds on the cross, he can heal our deepest needs and wounds today. You see, he wants to heal you.
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