We will be in Matthew chapter 2 this morning, and we’re going to finish out another chapter in Matthew’s Gospel. So we’re moving right along. So if you have your Bible, I would encourage you to turn with me please to Matthew chapter 2,

verses 13 through 23. Matthew chapter 2, verses 13 through 23. And I’m sorry if it smells like chili the whole time, and you’re very hungry.

Thank God for that. Yeah, well.

So let’s start in verse 13.

Now, when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed. He departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet out of Egypt, I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old and under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud, a cry of lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted because they are no more. But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead. And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warmed in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

I try to be up to date with what’s going on in the world, you know, being an informed citizen, know what’s up locally, nationally, internationally. And I think as believers there’s probably prudence in doing that so we can know the world in which we live and how to engage it. It’s really difficult, and if you read the news at all, you know this, it’s really difficult to read the news on a regular basis and not, like, get depressed.

It’s very taxing to read the news, incredibly taxing, because there’s so many stories of suffering, there’s so many stories of hurt going on. Here are just a few from this past week, very recently. Two-year-old boy, his arms and legs turned purple, was rushed to the hospital, had his arms and legs amputated to save his life. Death tolls rising in Venice, Italy, from floods. Missionary father murdered in front of his wife and children in Cameroon. Fifteen-year-old Pakistani boy, Christian boy, brutally beaten to the point his bones are exposed.

Rise in suicide rates, anxiety, depression, hate in politics, more and more and more. So I think it’s not so much the news organization’s fault as it is just the fact of the matter that part of human life, a very real part of it, an inescapable reality of human life, is suffering and is sorrow. And so I’ve been pushing this idea really hard for the last few weeks. There’s this king named Jesus, and he has his kingdom.

And this king and his kingdom, it offers us a better and truer life. And I think if that’s true, and I do believe it is true, that means he’s going to have to address every aspect and facet of human life. And that’s going to have to mean that Jesus and his kingdom have a particular way of dealing with, wouldn’t you agree, the deepest, sorrow and hurts of human life. So what I want to talk about this morning from our passage is suffering, sorrow, and the kingdom. And how does this great king and what does his kingdom have to do and how does it address the suffering and sorrow in human life? So go back to verse 13 with me. It says, Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you. For hair is about to search for the child. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet. Out of Egypt I called my son. So the wise men, they go back home. And this is the second of a total of four dreams that Joseph will get. And his obedience to these dreams is remarkable because every time God asks something unimaginably difficult of Joseph and he always obeys right away. So his godly character really shines. He shines in these first couple chapters of Matthew’s gospel. But what the angel says to him the second time is, Hey, I want you to get up and I want you to flee to Egypt. So right now in the middle of the night, in the covering of dark, get up and go to Egypt. Herod knows he’s been duped and he’s hell-bent to murder Jesus. And you stay in Egypt until I tell you to come back. That’s a lot to tell someone to do. Let’s recap this. Jesus was born into an embarrassing line and lineage of horrible, awful, sinners. He was born to a mother who was suspected of adultery. At the point of her birth, she’s dragged all the way to Bethlehem. And then when they get there, there’s no proper place for a child, much less a king to be born. So Jesus is born in a manger or probably a cave. And now the true king of the Jews is being run out of his own kingdom.

That’s a lot of humility. That’s a lot of humiliation, wouldn’t you say, for a king.

Egypt is not a hopscotch. Skip and jump away. It’s like 300 miles. It’s a great feat for me to drive five and a half hours to my in-laws with my two and five-year-old and get there with my sanity intact. And so they’re going on foot or on donkey 300 miles. This is a great pilgrimage. So why did they have to go here?

Well, one, very possibly there are Jewish communities they could have hidden within, so I guess that would have helped them out.

But Egypt’s still far away. If God is God. Why couldn’t he have found a closer, more convenient place for them to hide?

Egypt has a special place in Jewish history. And Matthew references the prophet Hosea here to bring that memory to our forefront. Hosea 11, verse 1, he says, Out of Egypt I called my son.

Egypt, for the Jews, is synonymous with slavery, synonymous with oppression, synonymous with bondage. And so we talked about Abraham. The very first week when we started Matthew’s Gospel. And remember, Abraham, he was called out of his land to inherit as an everlasting possession the land of Canaan. So he’s in Canaan, and then his son Isaac, then his son Jacob. They are on a land, but they never actually own the land. And in Jacob’s time, such a severe famine hits Canaan that they have to flee to Egypt. And now by God’s providence, they’re warmly welcomed into Egypt. And there they stay, and they’re fed. But they grow a great number. They grow a great number to the point that a future pharaoh doesn’t know about the warm relationship between the Hebrews and Egypt. And out of fear that they’re going to overwhelm the Egyptians, he enslaves them harshly. He oppresses them, and he, in fact, commits infanticide. Consider it in Exodus 1, verse 22. The pharaoh commanded all his people, Every son that is born to the Hebrews, you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live. That sounds awfully familiar to our story. Doesn’t it? So now God’s people are not in the freedom and rest of Canaan. They’re in harsh oppression under the pharaoh. They cannot save themselves. They cannot help themselves.

But God raises up Moses. And Moses is the great deliverer, the great savior of God’s people. Through Moses, God leads the people up out of Egypt and back to the promised land. Through Moses, God brings harsh plagues on the Egyptians for enslaving his people. God shows himself strong to save. God, through Moses, leads the people up in triumphant procession out of Egypt and back to freedom and rest. So God uses Moses to set the captive free. There’s a word in studying the scriptures I want you to know. Here’s the word. The word is typology. What is typology? Well, typology is a literary device in which a person, event, or institution in the Old Testament is understood to correspond with the person. A person, event, or institution in the New Testament. Type is something that finds its greatest meaning and fulfillment in a person, place, or event that has yet to come to pass. So type in the Old Testament is a great pointer to something that is to come.

As great as the physical salvation was that God provided his people, and as great as the savior and deliverer that Moses was, and as great as the rest was that the people really had in Canaan, friends, it was a type. It was a type of something greater. And this is why Matthew, references the prophet Hosea and says it’s now fulfilled. Because as humiliating as it would have been, as much humility as it took for this king to endure it, God sent his son Jesus into Egypt to once and for all come up out of Egypt as the true savior and deliverer of God’s people. And not just from physical oppression. Jesus came as the greater and truer Moses who will rescue his people from greater slavery of spiritual bondage and oppression, from the taskmaster’s sin, the enemy, Satan. Jesus has come. He has come up out of Egypt to set us, his church, his beloved, free. True spiritual rest, true spiritual freedom in him alone. And that’s a wonderful truth that we should celebrate as the church. But let me say something that’s super obvious. Here’s what’s super obvious. God saved them out of Egypt so they could go into the promised land. In other words, God didn’t just save them from something. He saved them to something. From a specific kind of bondage and slavery to a specific kind of freedom and rest. And the great tragedy with the Hebrews at this time is that while God took them out of Egypt, Egypt was never taken out of them. Acts 7, verse 39, it says, Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt. So God never intended just to save the people from physical slavery. He always intended… He always intended to save them from spiritual oppression through obedience to his word. But they did not want that. They didn’t want God’s exact kind of freedom. They wanted the best of both worlds. They wanted one foot in and one foot out. Not God’s total and complete rule and reign over their life. And their partial disobedience, their partial obedience, their partial disdain, sometimes liking, sometimes not liking God and what he had to say makes it glaringly obvious. And last week I challenged us to consider this. Are we living for our own little kingdom? Above and beyond God’s kingdom. But friends, I want to press us this week to consider, are we trying to live for both? One foot in the kingdom of God and one foot in the kingdom of man. Because that kind of half-hearted devotion, God doesn’t accept a somewhat free, somewhat enslaved life. God didn’t send his son to endure humility, to endure hostility, so that Jesus could come and kind of save us. Jesus saved our whole selves and so requires our total devotion to him and to his kingdom. It’s a very specific kind of freedom that Jesus is bringing us into. Nothing else is on offer. And so the attempt to kind of straddle that line between the two, it shows a soul, it shows a life that’s still completely and fully under the bondage of sin of the enemy. Because a partial obedience, a partial devotion is not possible. The apostle James draws it out. He says, you adulterous people, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity or hostility with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God. And I promise I’m not trying to use like exaggerated bombastic language to make like a really good charismatic sermon. I’m just trying to help us see that the scriptures are very plain that God doesn’t tolerate a partial devotion. A partial devotion is a spitting upon heaven’s Christ who came and sacrificed so much, not to kind of free us, but completely bring us out of spiritual oppression to entirely satisfy the wrath of God, to wholly lift us up from the mire, and firmly plant both of our feet on the rock. And the apostle Paul says that rock is the spiritual rock who is Christ. 1 Corinthians chapter 10.

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

Nevertheless, for the most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. So they were with God bodily, but in their hearts they were not devoted. God did not and God does not allow for except that kind of posture of living. It’s only when God has taken Egypt out of us and replaced it with the Spirit of the Christ who has defeated the enemy, resisted sin, that we truly are devoted to the Lord and we’re truly free. It’s only when the Spirit of God comes upon us, on us, that we’re out of Egypt and truly in His kingdom. We cannot have it both ways. So lip service says, oh yes, I’ve been taken out of Egypt. But true devotion says, Egypt has been taken out of me.

Again, Paul in 2 Corinthians 3,

verse 15, Yes, to this day, whenever Moses has read, a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord, there’s freedom. And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed to the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Friends, you and I, the proof that we have truly been not just taken out of Egypt, but Egypt has been taken out of us is a swelling affection for Jesus. I’m not just devoted to the Lord. I want to be devoted to the Lord. I want to give myself away for Him. I’m not paying lip service.

Full, uninhibited devotion to Christ is the happy proof of a truly freed life.

Truly freed life. And you can see it in what God says to His people in Amos 5, verse 21.

He says, I hate, I despise your feasts. I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. And the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of, of your songs, to the melody of your harps. I will not listen, but let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. And you know that smacks of the Apostle James in the New Testament where he says, hey, you want true religion? It’s not doing stuff for God. It’s truly keeping yourself unstained from the world. It’s loving the orphan and widow in their trouble. It’s giving yourself away for the cause of Christ completely and totally. I saw an email that was forwarded to me from a pastor, a different pastor, from a different country. He sent it to a friend here and he was saying, pray for us because we are under severe persecution. They’re interrupting our services. Radicals are getting worse and worse and worse. And you’ve got to think, man, to live there, you better be committed. You better be committed. But you and I, in our context, we live in this thing called the Bible Belt. And it is a great lie. You and I live under the umbrella of this. And here’s what it does. And I think it’s a wonderful schema of the enemy. It produces in us this laziness that says, everybody’s heard of Jesus and if you haven’t heard it, Jesus, it’s your fault because there are plenty of churches everywhere. And so we give ourselves this license subconsciously to say there’s not a place where I am right now to live fully devoted to God. The thing about it is, on Judgment Day, God is not going to judge me on some romantic Christian life. I never live somewhere else. He’s going to ask me, Chad, were you devoted to sharing my gospel in Huntsville? Were you devoted to Christ-centered community in Huntsville? Were you prayer dependent in Huntsville? Were you proclaiming the gospel and growing up the word in Huntsville? Were you loving my bride here in Huntsville? Were you making a promise? Were you making disciples here? Were you becoming holy here? That’s the question for you and I is right now the life you actually live, are you fully devoted? Not how you think it maybe should be somewhere else where it would be more authentic. Ministry is not more authentic somewhere else. It’s authentic right where you are. Are you devoted in the life you have to live?

And so I say, I don’t want to be a normal church. And when I say I don’t want to be normal, I’m saying I want to be normal as you see it in the Bible, which would make us abnormal.

I want to be abnormal from being just another church and we just take up space. And as much as I love worship services, we just have worship services and that’s enough. Let it not be enough, friends. Let us be abnormal by the way that we together as one body die to ourselves, utterly die to ourselves for the cause of Christ. We get these few little moments to live on this earth. I want mine and I want yours to be for Christ. I want to enter eternity with the echo of having lived a life that shouted and screamed the name, but Jesus. That’s why we were saved out of so we could be to a fully free and devoted life.

The kingdom and suffering and sorrow. Look back at verse 16 with me.

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious. And he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old and under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.

A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, loud lamentation. Rachel weeping for her children because she refused to be comforted because they are no more. So Herod sees that he’s been tricked. The wise men have taken a different pathway back home and the Greek word connotates great embarrassment.

So he feels very foolish. Herod does. So he… He retaliates. And how does he retaliate? He becomes extremely furious and he does something awful. And there’s no two ways about it. There’s no way to cut it up. He just does something awful. He commits, much like Pharaoh, infanticide. He massacres all the children who are possibly the same age as Jesus and younger. And in Jeremiah’s time, when Jeremiah’s writing that prophecy, he’s writing about all the mothers in Israel weeping because their sons are going into Assyrian exile for their sins. So they’re weeping for the loss of their sons. But it finds its truest meaning here in saying that these mothers in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas, they’re weeping because their baby boys have been slaughtered.

Now again, there’s no two ways about that. And I think that it’s dishonest intellectually or even biblically to try to chalk that up as not as big a deal as it is. And I think it leads us to ask a question that Christians, non-Christians, decent people just ask. And it’s this question, is God good? I think that’s a pretty fair question, at least humanly speaking, to ask how can God be good if He let that happen? Because we have to come to terms with this fact. He didn’t just let it happen in the moment. There was a prophecy about it. In other words, for centuries, God saw this coming. We could even say He ordained it to happen. So what do we do with that kind of God?

Well, for the fourth week in a row, I’m going to have to point us back to the garden.

And in the garden, we’re reminded of this. The effects of the fall of man are far more penetrating than we often want to realize. The sin that Adam and Eve committed in the garden ravaged the heart of man and all creation, not just in their time, but throughout the centuries, and even so today. It’s in our careless moments, foolishly, when things are going well in our own little bubble, everything’s great, I’m subconsciously thinking, hey, the world’s great, everything’s fine, no one’s sick, nothing big is going on. And that’s just a lie that we’re choosing to believe. Everything is not fine. Things are broken because of sin. The world is warped, and mankind is bent out of shape in an evil and perverse manner. So if you’re surprised by darkness, and you’re surprised by what’s happening, you see the sorrow and suffering of any one individual in this world, you’re ignorant to how broken we are. You’re ignorant to how broken the world is. And I’ll say, that in a mean way, but oftentimes I think when that comes from someone’s mouth, if God’s good, how could He let this happen? It’s a misunderstanding. You and I did that over here. That’s not God. God’s over here. Man chose to sin, to disobey, and so long and hard was his fall. But God, God is both good and sovereign over all things. He was good and sovereign over the genesis of sin. He’s good and sovereign over the life cycle and effects of sin. He’s good and sovereign over the seasons and times of our lives, just as He’s good and sovereign over the times and seasons of Adam’s life when He allowed him to fall into sin. So because God is God, He is able to take what’s bad and use it to His benefit in His universe for His glory and our good. And I’m not going to lie and pretend like that’s easy. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m just saying it’s true. It’s a real stretch of faith for us to believe that God’s using the sorrows and the sufferings in our life to both preserve us, and prepare us for glory. Consider what Paul says in Romans 8, verse 18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption of sons, the redemption of our bodies. God uses suffering to strengthen our faith and prepare us for glory with Himself. Here’s what Jonathan Edwards says. True virtue never appears so lovely, as when it is most oppressed.

The divine excellency of real Christianity is never exhibited with such advantage as when under the greatest trials. Then it is that true faith that appears as much more precious than gold. And upon this account is found to be in praise and honor and glory.

But I think at the same time we have to conclude this. God is not numb to the suffering and pain that we endure. So God hasn’t just done something about it and He’s using it. God also uniquely identifies. I think you could say God’s plowing through time and space and He sees from a distance what’s happening. Not so.

Jesus became a human, not as an observer, but as a very real participant. He drank the bitter cup. He was called a man of sorrow. He was stricken with grief. Jesus was abandoned by His friends. Jesus on the cross felt the abandonment of His Father. Jesus identifies better than anyone else what it means to be human and experience the consequences of sin and of the fall. And the Father is not an observer. The Father knew the horror of sending His beloved Son into the world to watch His Son experience the suffering and sin that sin has unleashed. So friends, we have to conclude this good and sovereign God is also loving and compassionate as no one else could possibly be. He has brought us peace, life, and joy. He alone has done this. And so we look to Revelation, chapter 21, verse 4. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away. So all we can say is, God, You are good and You are sovereign in our suffering that we’re responsible for. And You are loving and You are compassionate in the way that You not just watch it, but You identify with us. You’ve come here among us to feel it, to comfort us, and to do something about it. And we must say, Come, Lord Jesus.

A lot of people are familiar with the hymn, It Is Well. Very popular hymn. Most of you don’t know the story behind It Is Well. It’s an incredible story. In 1871, Horatio Spafford, he was a successful businessman lawyer in Chicago, but the great Chicago fire of 1871 wiped out practically all of his real estate. So overnight, he lost everything. Right before this, he had lost his child. He was called to an illness. So in taking care of his business, he puts his wife and his four daughters on a ship to go overseas while he takes care of his business. And he receives a note a few days later, saved alone. His wife only survived the wreck of that ship. It had collided with another ship.

And so Horatio Spafford, in the bottom of the boat on his way to mourn with his wife, wrote that song. You want to talk about an outward belief that God is good and suffering? When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say is well, is well with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blessed assurance control that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate

and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Believe God is good. Especially when it seems He is not. God cares for you. He cares for me. He cares for us. He identifies with us in a way that no one else can. And I will say also,

God comforts us in our affliction so that we can comfort others in their affliction. So God is often putting us through things so we know what it means to love and comfort other people as they experience suffering, the Apostle Paul tells us. So you see really how it’s an evangelistic means to preach the hope of Christ into the suffering of the world. No one can do that but the church uniquely because the church uniquely knows the one who has dealt with sorrow, the one who has dealt with suffering. So don’t waste your suffering. I knew someone whose grandmother had cancer. And he said, yeah, but she’s not wasting her cancer. What a means to tell about God’s love and God’s grace in the midst of such a hard and difficult time. And every night when we go to bed, we lay the kids down and we’ll pray. And there are always a couple people in our life who are ill. And we’ll pray with, our kids, Lord, bless them, strengthen their faith, but strengthen their witness that other people will see how they’re hoping, they’re trusting in Jesus despite what’s going on in their life.

The kingdom and sorrow and suffering. Look back at verse 19 with me.

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt saying, rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child’s life are dead. And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that he would be called a Nazarene. So he gets to this dream, hey, go back home. Herod’s dead. But when he gets back home, he realizes, uh-oh, Archelaus is ruling and Archelaus is just as murderous and brutal as his father Herod was. So they were going to go back to the royal city of Bethlehem, which would have made sense because Jesus is the royal king. Go to Bethlehem. But he gets another dream. He says, no, go to the district of Galilee because Antipas was ruling there and he was not nearly as vicious as Archelaus.

So Joseph goes back to his hometown, Nazareth.

And that’s like insult to injury

because Nazareth was not a place you wanted to be from.

Nazareth was backwoods. It was off the beaten path. In fact, it was a slight to call someone a Nazarene. So here we have again, Jesus just can’t catch a break in his own story. So Jesus is going to be a Nazarene and we see it in the way that Nathaniel responds. To Philip when he said he’s found the Messiah. In John 1, verse 45, Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, We have found him of whom Moses is in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nathaniel said to him,

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Can anything good come out of Nazareth? And Philip said to him, Well, come and see. Come and see. What a good word that was. And Philip, even if he didn’t realize it, he says, come and see.

Interesting, there’s no prophecy in the Old Testament. There was one for Hosea’s. There was one for Jeremiah’s. There is no prophecy in the Old Testament that says he will be a Nazarene. So was Matthew just making that up? No, he wasn’t. If you notice, it said he fulfills the prophets.

In other words, Jesus is the full embodiment of everything God always said he would be. He would come in a mean, low estate. Jesus would be despised and looked over. This is Jesus. This is God’s Christ from the Old Testament that had been prophesied about by so many. So to both understand that and really answer Nathaniel’s question, I’d really like to answer it just by reading Isaiah chapter 53 with you this morning.

I guess it’s kind of long, but I want to read it. So I’m going to read Isaiah chapter 53

for us.

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And as from whom men hide their faces, he was despised. And we esteem, we esteem him not. Surely he has borne our griefs. He has carried our sorrows. Yet we esteem him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. And he was crushed for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. And with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed. He was afflicted. Yet he opened not his mouth like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent. So he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out from the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with the rich man and his death. And although he had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth, yet it was the will of the Lord, to crush him. He has put him to grief. When his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring. He shall prolong his days. The will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied. By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous. And he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many and he shall divide the spoiled with the strong because he poured out. His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors. Yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Jesus is our deliverer. He has lifted us from spiritual bondage and oppression. He has identified with our suffering and our sorrow. And he has brought himself low

to lift us up to a place we don’t belong.

In eternity and joy and life with him and with his Father. And friends, at the foot of Calvary we find freedom. At the foot of Calvary we find comfort.

So I ask you in your own heart and then I ask us as a church, can we be fully turned to this Christ? Fully turned to this kingdom. Fully submitted to his will. Fully devoted.

Let’s pray.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: A look at Matthew 2:13-23