This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
The Cost of Redemption
Today we come to the last section of our studies on the cross. The theme of this closing section is indicated by the title on the last page of your outline, “The Cross Revealed the Love of God.” I believe it’s appropriate that we close by studying the love of God. If you could say that any one theme of the Bible is the greatest, I believe we’d have to say it’s the love of God. Any study of the cross that doesn’t focus some time on the love of God is an incomplete study.
There are many, many different possible ways of approaching this theme, I’m going to approach it by one particular route which is to try to discover the extent of God’s love by the value that he set on us or by the price that he paid for us. So that’s the way we’ll be looking at this, what was the price that God was willing to pay for us, for you and me.
I believe if you can receive this by faith it will do a great deal for your self image. If you feel unimportant or unworthy or in some way inferior, I do believe that’s an indication that you’ve never understood the value that God set upon you. And the value that he set upon you is the expression of his love for you. I don’t believe that the love of God can be measured. Also, the love of God can’t be explained. It’s very interesting, but nowhere in the Bible do you find an explanation of God’s love.
I think we’ll begin with a little passage of scripture that’s not in your outline in Deuteronomy 7 where Moses is trying to tell Israel why God loved them. It’s an interesting example. He says in Deuteronomy 7:6, and these words should apply to you and me as believers in Jesus:
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God: the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
Do you realize that we are God’s special treasure? But then Moses seems to start out to tell Israel why God loved them. He never gets there. If you read verse 7:
“The Lord did not set his love on you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any other peoples; for you were the least of all peoples.”
That’s true of us, we were the least. We’re the foolish, the base, the despised. So why did God love us? Well the next verse says:
“But because the Lord loved you...”
He did not love you because you were this or this, but because he loves you. And that’s the end of the explanation. And you will search in vain for any explanation of God’s love. The unexplained love of God is the ultimate fact behind history.
I want to take a particular route to try to depict the love of God. I’m going to consider two parables that are found in Matthew 13 and I want to say right at the outset the way I’m interpreting these parables is by no means the only possible way. I know from the cross references by the margin in my own Bible that whoever put the cross references there interpreted the parable in a different way. It doesn’t worry me, don’t let it worry you. Just accept what I’m saying because one of the features about parables is that they can be applied and interpreted in different ways in different contexts.
These two parables are the parable of the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price. They’re very short. The treasure in the field is one verse, the pearl of great price is two verses but the content is really measureless. So we’ll begin reading from Matthew 13:44.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field; which a man found, and hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant, seeking beautiful pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
The common feature to each parable is that the man in question found something so valuable that in order to obtain it he had to part with everything else he had.
Let’s consider the picture, first of all, of the treasure in the field. How did the treasure get hidden in the field in the first place? Well, I think if you’re familiar with the history of the Middle East, especially the land that’s called Palestine, you will understand that it was frequently invaded by bands of marauders who came in to plunder and to steal. So we can picture this man with his house and all his valuables in it and the news comes that marauders are on the way and he knows he can’t hide his house so he takes a big wooden chest and piles all his valuables, money, jewels, everything that’s of value into the chest, goes out at night, digs a hole in his field and buries the chest and covers it over hoping that no one will find it. Well, perhaps in the ensuing fighting he gets killed and he’s the only person that knew there was a treasure buried in that field. The treasure may lie there for centuries, who knows. And then this man is walking across the field one day and he kicks his toe on something and he thinks it’s a rock but he looks down and it’s a piece of wood. So he wants to find out what it is, he starts to dig around and he finds this rotting old chest. He just pulls up one corner and his eye sees jewelry, pearls, gold, and he realized in a moment what’s happened.
Now the story says he hid it again. Why? Because he didn’t want anyone else to know there was treasure in that field. You see? Because the price of the field would have gone up a whole lot if anybody else had known about the treasure. Now, he didn’t want the field, he wanted the treasure. But in order to have a legal right to the treasure he had to buy the field. And when he inquired the price, it was a very high price. Some of the neighbors said whatever does that man want that field for, nothing ever really grew in it. Why is he prepared to spend so much money on that field? He doesn’t tell anybody.
Then he goes home to his wife—I’m adding a little bit to the parable, you understand! He says, “I found a field I’m going to buy.”
“Oh, why are you going to buy it?”
“Well, I like the field, I’m going to buy it.”
“Is it a productive field?”
“Not very but I’m still going to buy it.”
“How much is it going to cost.” When he tells her the sum she says, “Where are we going to get that money from?” He said, “We’re going to sell our house, we’re going to sell our farm, we’re going to sell our shop.”
“We’re going to sell all that? Are you crazy! What are you talking about? What do you want that field for?” He says, “We’re going to do it anyhow.”
So he sells everything he has, everything. He’s left with nothing except the clothes on his back. He takes the money and purchases the field. Then he’s got title to the field and he really knows and says to his wife, “Now I’ll show you why I wanted the field.” He takes her out and they begin to pry open the lid of the chest and she sees all the tremendous value that’s in the chest and she’s convinced at last!
Take the other parable, the pearl. It’s very important to see that this man was a merchant. He was not a tourist. He just didn’t wander through the street of Kona and see some pearls in a shop window and listen to the story that the lady told. He found one pearl and he knew immediately it was unique. There was no other pearl he’d ever seen like it. Not only was he a merchant but he really loved his business. So he found out the price of the pearl, went back and said to his wife, “I’ve found a pearl.”
“Oh? How much does it cost?”
“Well, it costs a good deal.”
“How are you going to get the money for it?”
“We’re going to sell everything we have.”
“Are you crazy? For one pearl?” But he goes ahead and does it. Then he buys it and then he holds the pearl in his hand and he looks down at it and says, “I paid a lot for you but you’re worth everything I paid and more.”
Now those are parables. I’m going to interpret them for you. This is the Prince interpretation. I have to tell you Dr. Scofield has a slightly different interpretation. Not altogether different, but slightly. The man is a picture of Jesus. Really, in a sense he’s the only one that can buy. We have nothing to buy with when it comes to the spiritual realm. The field is interpreted by Matthew 13:38 where it says:
“The field is the world...”
I think that runs consistently through this chapter. Every time the field is mentioned it’s the world. Jesus with his divine insight, looking at the world knew that hidden somewhere in the world was this priceless chest full of treasure. What was the chest, what was the treasure? Well, I’m suggesting to you it’s God’s people whom he foreknew from eternity, the ones he chose for himself.
Now in order to have legal right to the treasure like the man in the story, he had to buy the field. It wasn’t the field he wanted but the treasure in the field. What is the treasure in the field? It’s God’s people. People like you and me and millions and millions more. And there are a lot of them still in the field.
Let’s picture ourselves as the Lord’s servants. He’s paid the price for the field. What was the price? His precious blood. But our job is to go out into the field and dig up the treasure. He has the legal right to it but he gives us the privilege. And there’s a lot of treasure that’s right down under the earth and it’s all dirty and maybe it’s corroded, and it takes a lot of work to get the treasure out and make it what it ought to be.
Many, many years ago when I was a New Christian in l943—I’d only been saved two years—the British Army sent me to the Sudan which is the country just south of Egypt. It was then a British protectorate or something like that, administered by the British Government. The word Sudan means “the black people.” They’re very primitive, the northern part of the Sudan is totally Moslem. The southern part is very primitive but is becoming Christian. I was for a short while as a medical orderly put in charge of what they call the reception station in a railway junction in a town called Atbara in the northern Sudan.
This is just by the way, but it sticks with me. I remember being in the train going there from Khartoum and because I was a British soldier I had a carriage all to myself which the civilians couldn’t use. We stopped at this platform somewhere. If you’ve never been in the Third World you can’t picture this. The platform was just totally alive with creatures. Every kind of thing that you can imagine: old men, old women, young men, young women, toddlers, babies being nursed by their mothers, donkeys, camels, chickens, dogs... I mean, it was a seething mass of life. And as I looked out of the window at them, without being super-spiritual I just said to myself, “I wonder what God thinks of these people.” I got an immediate answer. It stays with me to this day. “Some weak, some foolish, some proud, some wicked and some exceeding precious.” As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never had any reason to change that categorization of humanity. “Some weak, some foolish, some proud, some wicked, and some exceeding precious.” I think any way you look out on humanity in the mass, there’ll be representatives of every one of those categories.
So I arrived at Atbara and I was put in charge of what was called a reception station which was just a place where if soldiers were sick they were brought in and I decided whether they needed medicine or whether they needed to go to the hospital or whatever it might be. Now the British Army never provided soldiers with pajamas, so for years I got used to sleeping in my underwear. But in this reception station there were two hospital beds and there were three white nightdresses, flannel nightdresses with which we were supposed to equip patients if we put them to bed. First of all, to have a really soft bed was a luxury. Then I thought, “I’m going to sleep in a nightdress.” I mean, here it is, why shouldn’t I have it? So I put this nightdress on and went to bed. I don’t know how to describe this but something supernatural happened. I woke up with this tremendous burden of prayer for the people of the Sudan. It was totally supernatural. And I have to say, in the natural you really wouldn’t find them very attractive people. I just began to pour out my heart in prayer to God for these people whom I didn’t know and in the natural didn’t care much about.
Something happened and I don’t know how to describe this. My clothing became luminous. It was like, in a sense, Jesus was there inside me. I don’t know if I can make this clear. And he began to speak to me about the way he loved those people. And he spoke to me about his jewels and he said they’re buried deep in the earth and you have to mine them. Then he said they’re cut with suffering and washed with tears. This I think is in line with what I’m saying.
After that I was sent to another place, a little place in the Red Sea hills called ?Jabate? where I spent the rest of the year. I was put in charge of the “native” labor in the hospital. It was a very small hospital. There were two doctors and just a few people like myself. It was a hospital for Italian prisoners of war. That’s the only people there. There were thousands and thousands of Italian prisoners of war under the care of the British at that time in l943. So I ended up being responsible to see that the native labor did its job.
Well, the man in charge of the native labor was named Ali which is a very common Arabic name. He was a rogue. I mean, he cheated on the wages that he got, he kept back something. He was a brawler, he was a very good footballer. We never seemed to get any kind of real relationship. I would meet him every morning and we talked about what had to be done. He’d learned English simply by talking to soldiers. He never had a lesson in English. He had an amazingly accurate memory. For instance, one of the things we had to do was disinfestation of blankets. My British soldiers never could get the word disinfestation right no matter how many times they tried. He heard it once and never got it wrong after that.
For awhile we just didn’t really make contact and then I discovered one day that he believed in the devil. All Moslems do. I knew nothing about Moslems at that time. I said, “I believe in the devil, too.” That was our point of meeting strangely enough. After that he would come to my little store because I was also in charge of the rations for the hospital and we’d line up the day’s work.
One day he was late. So when he came I said, “Why are you late?” He said, “I went to the hospital clinic to have my foot dressed, I’ve got a sore on my foot and it doesn’t heal.” I knew what it said in Mark 16, “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover”. I’d never seen anybody do it but there it was. I said, “Would you like me to pray for you?” “Oh, yes,” he said. I said, “The Bible says if I lay hands on you in the name of Jesus you’ll be healed.” So he was quite ready. I mean, I treated him like a bomb about to explode. I laid my hands on him, prayed for him. A week later he showed me his foot completely healed. I tell you I was somewhat surprised!
The next thing that happened—I don’t know how I got into telling this story. I got in and I can’t get out! The next thing that happened was that I was lying on my bed one evening about 7 p.m. and I felt the most excruciating pain in my ankle that I had ever experienced. I leapt off the bed with a scream and discovered I’d been bitten by a hornet. Now Sudanese hornets are not to be played with. The scripture came to me, “They shall tread upon serpents and scorpions and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” I said that should be good for hornets. So I walked up and down in that room for about ten minutes just saying “nothing shall by any means hurt me, nothing shall by any means hurt me.” And at the end of that time the pain had disappeared and all I had on my ankle was just a little hole where the stinger had gone in, no inflammation of any kind. The next day in conversation with Ali I said to him, “I got stung by a hornet last night.” He said, “Stung by a hornet! Where?” I showed him my ankle. He said, “It didn’t swell up?” I said, “No.” He said, “Why not?” I said, “I prayed in the name of Jesus.” He took me to the door of the store and showed me a man hobbling across the hospital compound with one knee bent up. He said, “Do you know what happened to that man?” I said, “No.” He said, “He got stung by a hornet.”
So I now had his attention! He wouldn’t have listened to anything I said at the beginning. I said, “I read the Bible every day, perhaps you’d like me to read it to you?” He said, “Yes.” Here am I reading the King James Version of the Bible and translating it into soldier’s English if you please! That went on for awhile and then he said, “I’d like to teach you to ride a camel.” Now you may have been to Egypt and been on one of those tame creatures, but that’s not what we’re talking about. These were real camels! So we went out and I mastered the art of staying on a camel. I don’t know about saying riding on it.
Then one day I said to him, “Why don’t we ride out on our camels into the outside country there and take some food with us?” I was in charge of the rations, I had a selection of food. So we set out on our camels, got there but we hadn’t taken any water. There was a little brackish stream trickling down the foothill and he said to me, “We [Sudanese] drink this water. But you [white people] don’t.” Well, I said, “Since there’s nothing else, I’m willing to drink it.” He said, “Why are you willing to drink it and other white people aren’t?” I said, “I drink it in the name of Jesus. Jesus said if I drink anything deadly in his name it won’t hurt me.” He looked and I drank the water and I didn’t swell up or die or do anything.
So that day it happened that we were reading John 3 about being born again. I tried to tell him what it was to be born again, I said God gives you a new heart. He just laughed in my face, that was ridiculous! So we got back on our camels to go back and he kept on talking about this being born again. I said to him, “Would you like to be born again?” He said, “Yes, I would.” I didn’t know how to handle this. I said, “Listen, tonight when the sun sets, you in your hut pray to God and ask to be born again. I’ll be in my barrack room and I’ll pray for you at the same time.” He said yes.
The next morning we met as scheduled at 10:00 o’clock. I said to him, “Did you pray?” He said yes. I said, “Did you get anything, did anything happen?” He said, “Nothing.” I’m so glad he was honest. While I was rather disappointed, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “He’s a Moslem.” I knew very, very little about Moslems. I said, “Did you pray in the name of Jesus?” He said no. I said, “You can’t be born again unless you pray in the name of Jesus. Are you willing to do that?” He said yes. So I said, “All right. This evening when the sun goes down, you pray in your hut, I’ll pray in my barrack room.” The next morning I met him, I looked at him and said, “You’ve got it.” He said, “I have.” I tell you, he had.
Every person on the personnel of that hospital wanted to know what had happened to my friend Ali. He was a totally changed person. The commanding officer of the hospital, the medical doctor sent for me and said, “What’s happened to your friend Ali?” I said, “He got saved.” He said what’s that? I said, “Let me tell you!” My British soldiers that were with me saw the change and I started a Bible class with three soldiers of whom two got saved and one apparently didn’t.
Now, I didn’t intend to get involved in that but in a way it’s an illustration of what I’m trying to share with you that the Lord Jesus that night there in Atbara before I ever got to ?Jabate? gave me just a tiny little measure of his passionate love for those very unlovable people. They were called the ?Hudundua?, that was the name of that tribe. The British soldiers called them the fuzzy wuzzies because they habitually did their hair up about twelve inches above their head and greased it with mutton fat. It was not very attractive. But the Lord loved them and he imparted just a little bit of his love for them to me. During the time I was there in that hospital Ali and one other workman got saved. I baptized Ali in the hospital swimming pool before I left.
But we’re talking now about why I went into all that, because Jesus was talking to me about going down into the earth and mining out the jewels that are buried there. That’s why I got into that from this treasure in the field. Our responsibility as the Lord’s servants, I believe, is to go into the fields and find the treasure. Unearth it, clean it up, remove the corrosion, the rust, whatever it may be and make it fit to be presented to the Lord.
In the parable, going back to that, Jesus paid all that he had for that field. That’s the measure of his love.
Then you take the parable of the pearl. Again, the merchant I understand to be Jesus. Now you can interpret the pearl various ways. I believe that it’s legitimate to interpret the pearl as every redeemed soul. I believe it’s important to understand that if there had only been one soul to be saved, Jesus would have paid the full price. I believe this can really help you to have a sense of your own worth as a redeemed soul. You are the pearl of great price. I think of the joy that that merchant experienced when he bought that pearl. He didn’t complain about the price, he was just satisfied he got the pearl. I’d like to suggest to you for a moment that you picture that merchant there with the pearl in his hand and he’s talking to it. He says, “Now you’re mine. You belong to me. You cost me a lot but I don’t regret what I paid. You’re the most beautiful pearl I’ve ever seen. You’re altogether lovely. You’re altogether perfect.”
If you have a problem with self worth, why don’t you just for a moment picture yourself in the hand of the Lord Jesus, the nail pierced hand of the Lord and say, “I’m that pearl. He died for me. He paid that price for me. If there had been no one else in all the world to be saved, he would still have paid the price for me.”
There’s some very beautiful words in the Song of Solomon which you can interpret, if you will, as the Lord speaking to a redeemed soul. You can interpret it as the Lord speaking to the church. But somehow it’s a little more exciting when you think about the Lord speaking to you personally. Song of Solomon 1:15:
“Behold, you are fair [or beautiful], my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves’ eyes.”
Now the dove so often is a type of the Holy Spirit. You have eyes that see by the Holy Spirit. You can see me as others can’t.
Interestingly enough, I’ve also been told—I’m not an expert on birds—but I’ve been told that the dove is the only bird who has two eyes that can focus on a single object. Every other bird looks with one eye or the other eye. But the dove can focus. So when the Lord says to his beloved “you have doves’ eyes” it means you can see by the Holy Spirit and you can see me as the single focus of your sight.
And then in Song of Solomon 4:7:
“You are all fair, my love; and there is no spot in you.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Not one spot, not one blemish.
Now I want to consider the price that Jesus paid. We’ve talked about the purchase, we’ve talked about the motivation for the purchase. Let’s go back to the price. The price is stated very, very clearly in various parts of the New Testament. We’ll only look in two passages. Acts 20:28. This is Paul talking to the elders of the church at Ephesus and he says;
“Therefore take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.”
Notice there that Paul gives to Jesus the specific title of God. He says God purchased the church with his own blood. So the purchase price was the blood of Jesus.
Then in 1Peter 1 beginning at verse 17:
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear...”
Some Christians here have never heard that verse. That’s not slave-ish fear but it’s a deep sense of responsibility. What’s the reason? Because of the price that was paid to redeem us. We never must treat ourselves as cheap.
Let me say that frankly to young ladies. Never make yourself cheap. You don’t have to do that to get the right man. Generally speaking, a man will not value you more than you value yourself. When you realize you’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, you cannot afford to make yourself cheap.
Going on to verse 18:
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible [or perishable] things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
So what was the price that Jesus paid to redeem us? His precious blood. He’s called the Lamb of God without blemish and without spot. A blemish, I understand, is something that a creature would be born with. A spot is something that would come upon it afterwards. So Jesus is without blemish, he’s without original sin. And he’s without spot, he’s without personal sin. It’s his blood that has redeemed us.
There’s another reference in the Psalms which is worth turning to. In Psalm 130:7:
“O Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is abundant redemption.”
Redemption is buying back, understand that. The Old King James Version said “plenteous redemption,” this one says “abundant.” I think one of the new versions says “overflowing redemption.” But you’ve got to understand what it means is Jesus overpaid. He paid more than it was worth.
I have a week’s Bible teaching basically on this theme. I wanted to find a good word to describe the love of God that wasn’t worn out by religious clichés. After awhile I chose the word extravagant. That’s not overused by religious people. Jesus was extravagant. He paid everything. He didn’t hold anything back. He paid actually more than the price. God’s love is extravagant. He’s not stingy. So many people have got a picture of God as stingy. He’s extremely generous. When he sees something he wants he’ll pay the price and more.
I want to consider the way in which Jesus paid the price. I want to turn back to an Old Testament preview of the sacrifice of Jesus in Leviticus 16. I think there are two great prophetic pictures of Jesus and his sacrifice in the Old Testament. There are many, but I think the two great ones are the Passover lamb and the day of atonement. There are probably most of us more familiar with the Passover lamb than with the day of atonement which is described in Exodus 16. The day of atonement is a Jewish holiday which has persisted from then until now. It’s called in Hebrew “Yom Kippur” or “Yom Kippurim,” the day of the Hebrew word for atonement. Basically most Jewish people still fast from sunset ‘til sunset on that day. In Jerusalem it’s an absolutely unique day because all traffic ceases just before sunset and there is no more traffic except for an emergency vehicle occasionally. A total silence settles on the city. You can hardly imagine what it’s like to be in a completely silent city. You can walk out right in the streets because there’s no traffic, nothing is going to run you down. Even the non-religious Jews who are in the majority are pretty respectful about their day of atonement.
When it says here in Leviticus 16, we won’t be reading it, God says “you shall afflict your souls.” The Jewish people have always understood that means to fast. They do fast. Basically without food or water for 24 hours.
However, I just want to take the central part of this. The essence of this is the high priest going into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of himself, his household and the people of Israel. He only did it once in a year. It was the only time that any human being went beyond the second veil out of the holy place into the Holy of Holies. And the way in which he did it was very exactly prescribed. Had anything varied or been missing, he would have died.
Let’s read from verse 11:
“And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself, and his house...”
You need to understand that the Hebrew word in the Old Testament for atonement means “covering.” Another form of that same noun is used for the pitch with which they waterproofed the ark. So that gives you a kind of picture. See, full atonement was never made in the Old Testament. All that happened was sin was covered for one more year—until Jesus died. Jesus came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. That’s totally different. After that there’s no more sacrifice for sins.
We’re going back to verse 11:
“...to make atonement for himself, and for his house, and he shall kill the bull as a sin offering which is for himself: then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.”
So the high priest had to have two things to get through the veil. He had to have a censer of coals with fragrant incense on it so that there was a cloud of incense that covered him and filled the Holy of Holies. And the other thing he had to have was the blood of the sacrifice. So it is with blood and incense.
Now, I think that’s a pattern for us in a way. I think we have no right of access into the presence of God unless we come with the incense of worship, the blood of Jesus on our behalf.
Then it says in verse 13:
“He shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony [that’s the copy of the law that’s inside the ark], lest he die: [verse 14:] he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.”
Now the tabernacle (or the temple) faced east, so the east side of the mercy seat was what you would call the front of it. What we would call the front. So, in approaching the mercy seat, making sure all the time that he was enveloped in this cloud of incense, the High Priest sprinkled blood seven times in front of the mercy and then he sprinkled it on the front of the mercy seat.
Now, seven, of course, is a very significant number in the Bible. But I believe that had an exact fulfillment in the experience of Jesus. And I want, with you, to trace the sevenfold sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
Let me say something to you. We were talking about the difference between the soulish and the spiritual—and let me say one thing to you. Anybody who does not appreciate the blood of Jesus is soulish and not spiritual. That is one clear dividing line. We’re going to talk further about what the blood of Jesus does for us.
You see, vast sections of the church today have turned against the blood of Jesus. The Methodists have published a new hymn book which leaves out every hymn that refers to the blood of Jesus. This is going to be a major issue in the years that lie ahead.
All right. I don’t think we’ll have time to complete this, but we’ll start and we’ll go on next time. Luke 22:44. This is in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus surrendered to the will of the Father in prayer. It says, Luke 22:44:
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
It wasn’t a hot night. It was probably pretty cool, because it was in the springtime. But it was the physical and spiritual and emotional agony that caused Him to sweat and His blood transfused His sweat. That was the first sprinkling of the blood.
Then we go on (or back in the Bible) but on in time to Matthew 26:67. This is Jesus in the high court of Annas, the high priest—in the court of Annas the High Priest. Verse 67:
Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,
But if you have a Bible with a marginal reference, it says “or with rods.” Now I believe it was with rods because there was a very specific prophecy in the Old Testament that that’s how it would be. Keep your finger in Matthew 26 and turn to Micah 5:1. Micah—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum.
Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
To me, that is a clear prediction of what happened to Jesus. Well, if you strike anybody with a rod on the cheek, you are certainly going to bring forth blood.
And then, if we turn to Matthew 27 and verse 26. This is the final determination of Pontius Pilate as to what to do with Jesus. It says:
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
I would say a better translation, “when he had Him scourged,” because obviously the governor wasn’t going to do it himself.
Now a Roman scourge was a special instrument, really of torture, in which it had a handle and various lashes. And in the lashes they embedded pieces of bone or metal. So that it was deliberately designed to tear a person’s flesh open. So, again, that was the third sprinkling of His blood.
Now, for the fourth, which goes very closely with it, we have to turn back to the Old Testament, to Isaiah 50:6. I don’t know whether you’ve ever realized that the New Testament tells us nothing of what went on inside Jesus during His suffering. It simply presents an objective picture of what happened. But if you read the prophets and the Psalms with an insight you’ll find out a whole lot of what Jesus endured within Himself. That’s where it is. And in Isaiah 50:6—remember I said to you earlier about Messianic prophecies? I’m sure it was this group I was talking to, wasn’t it? The spirit of the Messiah predicted the sufferings of Jesus and the prophets spoke in the first person about things that didn’t happen to them. Well, here is one very clear example. Isaiah 50:6:
I gave My back to those who struck Me [that’s the flogging],
[And notice, “He gave His back.” He did it by His own free will and choice. It’s very important to understand that. He did not struggle, He did not resist, He did not protest.]
I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
Now I understand that means that amongst the other things that they did to Jesus, they pulled out the hairs of His beard. And if they did, then they brought forth blood with that.
Now, we’ve almost exhausted our time and I think it would be better if we didn’t try to squeeze any more into this. Just let me enumerate the fourfold sprinkling of the blood which we have looked at:
First, it came out in His sweat.
Then they struck Him on the face with rods.
And then, either in what order it’s hard to say, they pulled out His beard and they flogged Him on the back with this Roman scourge studded with bone.
So, the Lord helping us, we’ll continue the next session of the further study on that theme.