What Jesus Has Done For You by Tim Greenwood
As we approach Easter and the Passover Season, it's time to re-focus on Jesus and what it is that HE has DONE for you.  I mean REALLY KNOW what He has done for you.
Back in the earlier years of my married life, I would occasionally get kind of selfish and full of self-pity when something didn't quite go my way.  And I would have the thought towards my wife of "What have you done for me – lately?" 

Now the whole question was absurd, because Marcia was always a good wife and always did her best.  Besides – Looking back on the kind of person I was back then… I wouldn't have wanted to live with me!

But, then I became deathly ill.  I couldn't do anything for myself.  I couldn't even think for myself.  And that woman – took care of me; stuck by me; protected me; practically carried me; held me up; never left my side – and was ready to sacrifice the rest of her life for me.

NEVER AGAIN – will I EVER question, "What she has done for me!" 
Because I KNOW – I REALLY KNOW what she has done for me.

Now before we get started I want each of you reading this - to stop, and go and gather a few items before continuing.  Go get your Bible.  And since we are going to take communion together, go get a small cracker or piece of bread and a glass with a tiny amount of wine, grape juice or whatever you may have handy.  Even though the symbols are important, they are still just symbols and it's more important to participate than getting everything symbolically correct.  Now Jesus used unleavened bread and red wine (which He referred to as the "cup."  But like I said anything will do in this situation.  So, go gather your Bible, bread and drink and come back and let's continue…

Ok, welcome back.
Set the communion elements aside for now and open your Bible to Mark 8:31.

And he (Jesus) began to teach them (his disciples), that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Now, That brings up two important questions.
1. Why did he have to suffer those things?
2. How did he KNOW what was to happen to him?

I'll try to condense this HUGE topic into the fewest number of words.

After Adam sinned, God, through Moses, set up a legal system of redemption for his man.  Since the penalty of any sin was death by the shedding of the sinner's life-blood, God had Moses set the precedent of allowing man to "pay for" the penalty of his sin through the life-blood sacrifice of a valuable animal he owned.  I mean a 1400 pound ox or a steer at today's prices might be worth $1000.00 or more. And a 75 pound ram might be worth $200.00 or more. So it really did cost people something when they sinned. But these animals, no matter how valuable, were "impure" sacrifices, and that sacrifice only covered the penalty until the person sinned again.  And, as a result, the sacrifices, mo matter how much it cost the person, became (for the most part) an unending and meaningless routine. 

These sacrifices set the legal precedent which allowed God, to make the ultimate, perfect and sinless sacrifice of His only son Jesus to, once and for all, pay the penalty for his man's (mankind's) sins. 

How did he KNOW what was to happen to him??

Yes, it's true that he communicated with the Holy Spirit… but that's not the ONLY way he knew.

He KNEW what the prophets had foretold of him.

You know, it's one thing to go through a terrible experience.  But, its an entirely different thing - to go through that experience knowing every detail of what's going to happen to you. 

Let's look and some of these prophesies.
Here's one most of us know…

Isa 53:4-5  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
So he KNEW he was going to have to go through some bad stuff with words like "stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, chastised and stripes."   But HOW bad?
Isa 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

Isa 52:14  …his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.

In our taking of communion, we will partake of the elements of the bread and the cup which Jesus said were types of his broken body and shed blood.  And he said that as often as you renew this covenant with these elements, to remember what the elements really stand for.

The Broken Body – the broken bread

I recently saw this quote, "Thank you Father, that you had Jesus stop for a beating -- on the way to the cross!" For some this may seem like an "in your face" kind of statement – but for me, I found it very moving.

When taking the elements of communion, I like most people focused on Jesus' suffering at and on the cross, and the shedding of his blood, which are symbolized by the second element of the cup.

But, I never really appreciated the first element of the broken bread -- until I had a very unusual experience. 
A Vision
That morning, I had just read a lady's testimony who had received a very moving vision.  I had been praying, and got up to go get cleaned up and dressed for the day.  When I got into the shower, I continued to pray and began to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I ask God to allow me to see what that lady saw.
(Now, I was wide awake, besides, when I dream, it is rarely in color, and hardly ever see any kind of detail, i.e., everything is just implied.)  Then His presence became strong, and there as if projected in front of the tile wall, as detailed and colorful and as real as if I was there, a picture appeared, as if looking in, through a window.

I was looking into a large room or inner courtyard with a stone wall and dirt and hay covered stone floor.  On the far side of the room directly across from me was a man, standing with his back to me.  I thought he might be homeless, because he looked to be dirty and sweaty and covered with dark greasy smears all over him. His hair was long, dirty, greasy, tangled and matted with gunk and dirt and pieces of hay.  He was wearing only what appeared to be a diaper with extra material hanging down his right leg.  He was standing on tip toes and his arms were extended up over his head, and his wrists were tied with a rope that was hooked to a chain that stretched up out of my view.

Something dark moved from left to right completely blocking my view, as if someone had come and stood in front of a TV camera. I heard a guttural growl, a "CRACK", loud enough to startle me, a gasp and then a low groan. 
Just as quickly as my view was blocked, the obstruction moved left out of my view.  And now, there, across the man's back were sunburn red parallel lines.  The lines swelled and whelped before my eyes.  Along the center of the lines, elongated blisters popped up, some bursting, spilling out water and blood.  One of the wounds sagged open along its length and began to flow with blood.  Then I realized that all those grease smears, were actually large dark bruises and dried blood.

I heard the chain squeak as the man twisted his body around to his left until I could see his battered face.  His right eye was swollen almost shut, blackened and split along the brow.  His nose was bloody and scraped.  Chunks of his beard and skin had been ripped out revealing blood curdled fatty raw meat.  And he was looking right at me with tear filled eyes.  I was stunned at this man's condition.  Then in a half whispered yet forceful voice the man said, "My name is Jesus, and that stripe, was for you!"  And with a painful little smile through split and swollen lips, he twisted back around to face the wall.  And the vision disappeared.

I was so moved, so stunned, so awed at his love for me, that I had hardly breathed!  I began sobbing so hard that legs would no longer hold me upright. 

THAT stripe was for YOU - too!

Do YOU UNDERSTAND what he allowed them to do to him?

He had to allow them to rip out his beard.
He had to allow them to cover him in spit.
He had to allow them to wound and slay him – for OUR sins. (wound)
He had to allow them to beat him to pieces – for OUR iniquities. (bruised)
He had to allow them to bind and torment him – for OUR peace. (chastised)
He had to allow them to whelp and tear his flesh – for OUR healing. (stripes)
He had to allow them to do these things to his BODY!

1 Cor 11:23  … The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1 Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
So, when you get down to the part where it says:
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread (body), and drink of that cup (blood).
For he that eats (body) and drinks (blood) unworthily, eats (body) and drinks (blood) judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
What does not discerning the Lord's body have to do with anything?

For this cause, (not discerning the Lord's body), many are weak and sick among you, and many are dead.

Jesus wants you to discern (to KNOW and understand) what He did for you with his body!

There is HEALING in the Broken Body of Jesus – by His STRIPES you were healed.

Father God, 
We come before you now, thanking you for sending your Son Jesus.

We thank you and praise you for allowing them to beat and mistreat you.
We thank you and praise you for taking those stripes for us.
We thank you and praise you for carrying our sicknesses, diseases, pain and sorrows - for us.

We appropriate now, each and every thing that Jesus did for us that is symbolized in the partaking of this bread.  We take it now and and thank you for it - in Jesus Name.

Go ahead and take the bread at this time.

First came his beatings and then came his shed blood on the cross.
First comes the broken bread, then comes the cup. 

There are two elements of Christ's atonement or sacrifice.
There are two elements of the Passover or communion.

The Blood – the wine (or the cup)

Jesus also KNEW what was going to happen to him on the cross.

How?  Because he read what King David prophetically wrote about him in Psalms 22.
(Now I took this entire 22nd chapter and broke down the original Hebrew text and retranslated it based upon the words available and what we know happened to Jesus.  And I believe that THIS is how Jesus read and understood this passage:) 
How do I know Jesus knew Psalms 22?  Because He was quoting it on the cross!

Read this carefully…

1 MY GOD, my God, why have You left me? Deliverance from the cause of my moaning suddenly seems so far away?

6 Head to toe, I've been dyed crimson red and I'm such a bloody mess that even the soldiers are reviled by me. I no longer look like a man.
7 Everyone is mocking me: sticking out their bottom lips and shaking the heads, saying,
8 "He said that he trusted the LORD to deliver him: Maybe we'll get to see a miracle since God is supposed to like him so much!"

11 I feel so far from You, I know that affliction is coming from every direction and that no help is coming.
12 Many divisions of demons have swarmed me: gigantic strong ones have pinned me in.
13 Like ravenous, roaring lions, they are trying to tear me to pieces with their mouths.
14 My blood and body fluids are pouring out like water, my arms have pulled from their sockets: my heart is failing; and my bowels have been severed.
15 I'm so thristy that my tongue sticks to the inside of my mouth; my strength is as dried up like an old chunk of pottery; and my skin has the gray look of death.
16 Attacks are now coming from every side: the swarms of inflictors are climbing over each other to destroy me: my hands and feet have been violently pierced.
17 I can see my bones through the gore of my torn flesh.
18 They're sizing my nice robe to see if it fits, and then roll dice to see who gets my clothing.

Jesus KNEW all this was going to happen – and STILL – DECIDED to pay this as YOUR penalty and my penalty for our sins.
Mat 26:57  And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Mat 26:60  But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
Mat 26:61  And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
Mat 26:62  And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
Mat 26:63  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Mat 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mat 26:65  Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
Mat 26:66  What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Mat 26:67  Then did they spit in his face, and beat him with their fists; and others slapped him with the palms of their hands,
Mat 26:68  Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Mat 27:24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Mat 27:25  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Mat 27:26  Then released he Barabbas unto them: 
And when he had Jesus scourged, he delivered him to be crucified.

Mat 27:28  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
Mat 27:29  And when they had braided a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a staff in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
Mat 27:30  And they spit upon him, and took the staff, and beat the crown down onto his head.

With each application of the "cat of nine tails," with each whelp, with each bruise, with each tear in his flesh, with each application of the fist, the open hand, the ropes and staffs upon his body – were our sicknesses, diseases, poverties, captivities and bondages systematically placed upon Jesus for him to carry to the cross.
Mat 27:31  And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

Mat 27:35  And they nailed him to the cross, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Mat 27:45  Now starting at noon (the sixth hour) there was (supernatural) darkness over all the land until 3PM (the ninth hour)
I believe that it was during this period that the Father allowed every sin ever sinned or will be sinned to be laid upon Jesus to carry.
Mat 27:46  when Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Mat 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried with a loud voice ("IT IS FINISHED!") and expelled his last breath.

They didn't know it yet but…

Death Hell and the grave were – finished!
Sickness and disease were – finished!
Demon powers were – finished!

Mat 27:51  And, behold, and the earth was rocked by a violent earthquake, and the rocks of Golgotha split beneath their feet; And the veil of the temple was ripped in two from the top to the bottom; 
WE have been REDEEMED by the blood of the LAMB!

NOT the blood of the lamb at the altar – But the blood that flowed from Jesus' veins! 
YOU are not saved by what you do!  You are saved because of what Jesus Christ has done FOR YOU! 

WE are saved by the power of HIS precious blood!

Paul said that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins!

What blood SAVES you?
The precious blood of the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ!

The blood that flowed through Emanuel's veins – THAT BLOOD!
The blood that cleanses from all sins – THAT BLOOD!
The blood that covers disease and sickness -- THAT BLOOD!
The blood that terrifies every demon – THAT BLOOD!
The blood that makes me free from the fears of tomorrow and the guilt of the past – THAT BLOOD!

Not by keeping this commemoration!
Not by church attendance!
Not by baptism!
But by the BLOOD!

I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ! 

Do YOU believe THAT?  SAY IT!
"I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ!"

NOTHING can touch me – because of his precious blood!

Father God, 
Again we come before you now, thanking you for sending your Son Jesus.

We thank you and praise you for allowing them to nail you to that cross.
We thank you and praise you for taking all of OUR sins upon you and taking them to the cross.
We thank you and praise you for shedding your precious blood - for us.

We appropriate now, each and every thing that Jesus did for us that is symbolized in the partaking of this cup.  We do this in rememberance of Jesus and we as a renewal of our New Testamant covenant with Jesus.  We take it now and and thank you for it - in Jesus Name.

Go ahead and take the cup at this time.

Now they put Jesus in the grave.
And both Ephesians and Acts imply that Jesus descended into hell.

But He didn't STAY in that grave!
He didn't STAY in hell!

The grave couldn't hold him!
Hell couldn't keep him captive!

HE took captivity captive!

Col 2:15  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
He is ALIVE!
He ROSE from the dead!
He Ascended into heaven!
And He now sits at the right hand of the Father!

Jesus said, ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME in heaven and in earth.

Let me introduce you to my Jesus – My SAVIOR! – My LORD! – My KING!

He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
He who is and who was and who always will be, 
He's the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the A and the Z. 
He is the I Am that I Am. 
By Him were all things made that were made. Without Him, was not anything made that was made. 
And by Him all things are held together. 

He's our performing high priest, our personal Prophet, and our reigning King. 
He's enduringly strong, He's entirely sincere, He's eternally merciful. He's immortally graceful, He's imperially powerful. 
He's God's Son. 

There is no means of measuring His limitless love. 
He's the only One able to supply all our needs simultaneously. 
No barriers can hinder him from pouring out His blessings. 

He delivers the captives. 
He delivers the debtors. 
He forgives the sinners. 
He heals the sick. 
He saves. 

His goodness is limitless. 
His grace is sufficient. 
His light is matchless. 
His love is never- changing. 
His mercy is everlasting. 
His offices are manifold. 
His promises are sure. 
His reign is righteous. 
His Word is enough. 
His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. 

The pharisees couldn't stand Him and learned they couldn't stop Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. 
Death couldn't handle Him, the grave couldn't hold Him. 
He has always been and always will be. 

He had no predecessor and will have no successor. 
You can't impeach Him, and He isn't going to resign. 

THIS is MY Jesus... and
His is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.