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The Genealogy of Jesus Christ - Luke 3:23-38

Taught on | Topic: Genealogy of Jesus | Keywords: family record, history, genealogy, names, Scripture, prophecy, family tree, Jesus Christ, Mary, Joseph, legal right, racial purity, bloodline, lineage, royal line, royalty, virgin birth, sin, salvation, darkness, light

When studying the Scriptures, genealogies can often be overlooked, mistakenly seen as an unimportant list of names. But as we consider the genealogy of Christ found in Luke 3, we find that the lineage of Mary, Jesus' mother, shows us four important things about Christ and solves one of the biggest problems of the Old Testament.

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8/6/2014
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The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Luke 3:23-38
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
When studying the Scriptures, genealogies can often be overlooked, mistakenly seen as an unimportant list of names. But as we consider the genealogy of Christ found in Luke 3, we find that the lineage of Mary, Jesus' mother, shows us four important things about Christ and solves one of the biggest problems of the Old Testament.
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42 Luke - 2014

42 Luke - 2014

As a physician, Luke focused on the humanity of Jesus and presented Him as the Son of Man. In our study of this gospel, Pastor Skip Heitzig takes us through Luke's methodical account of Jesus' life, death,and resurrection so that we may "know the certainty of those things in which [we] were instructed" (Luke 1:4).

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Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. In Luke, we find a family record and history of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
    2. A lot of the names in Luke 3 are hard names
      1. But sometimes the driest orchards yield the sweetest fruit
      2. Sometimes what appears to be the driest part of Scripture yields some of the greatest truths about the Lord
    3. This portion of Scripture is as much of Scripture as John 3:16
    4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    5. What's important about the genealogy of Jesus Christ?
      1. Shows us Jesus was a part of history
        1. The Gospels and the Bible appeal to history
        2. The focal point of all history is the birth of Christ
      2. Shows us Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy
        1. Makes Him unique
        2. All the prophecies that deal with Christ are 100 percent accurate
        3. Abraham; see Genesis 12:3
        4. David; see 2 Samuel 7:16
      3. Shows us that Jesus had the right pedigree; genealogies were very important to the Jews
        1. To buy and sell land
        2. If you were in the priesthood, to prove you were directly related to Aaron
        3. Anyone claiming to be the Messiah had to prove it by a genealogical record
  2. Luke 3:23-38
    1. The other genealogical record of Jesus is found in Matthew 1:1-17
    2. Differences between the two
      1. Matthew is a descending genealogy; Luke is ascending
      2. Once we get to King David, there are two different family trees
        1. Matthew is Joseph's genealogy
        2. Luke is Mary's genealogy, most scholars believe
      3. Why?
        1. Matthew says it is Joseph's genealogy
        2. Luke emphasizes Mary more than Joseph, while Matthew emphasizes Joseph more than Mary
        3. Women were typically not named in genealogical records
          1. We would expect to find Joseph's name in the genealogical record in Luke
          2. Numbers 27:1-11; Luke is an application of this Old Testament principle
        4. Son in this passage in Lukehas a broader meaning than actual blood son
          1. Bar mitzvah, son of the commandment
          2. Could mean son-in-law
        5. Greek word tou in this passage in Luke
          1. Means of—ownership
          2. Used for every single name except Joseph's
      4. We can safely say Matthew is a genealogy of Joseph and Luke is a genealogy of Mary
        1. Legal record in Matthew
        2. Racial record in Luke
        3. For Jesus to ever lay claim to the throne of David, He had to show He has the legal right—found in Joseph
        4. Racial purity found in Mary
    3. This solves for us the biggest problem in the Old Testament: the blood lineage of David had been cursed
    4. Jesus had no human father; how was He going to be a direct blood descendant through his father?
      1. He couldn't; He had to have it through his mother
      2. Legal right vs. biological bloodline
    5. Jeremiah 22:26-30
      1. Another name for Coniah is Jeconiah or Jehoiachin
      2. One of the kings of Judah who was a direct bloodline descendant of David
      3. If the bloodline of David was cursed, how could the son of David rule and reign?
      4. After Coniah was deposed, none of his descendants took the throne
    6. Matthew's genealogy follows the line back to David through Solomon, including Coniah
      1. Jesus has the legal right to the throne through the royal line of David, even though that bloodline was cursed
      2. Luke's genealogy goes back to David not through Solomon, the royal line, but through the second surviving son of Bathsheba, Nathan
    7. God got around His own curse by having His Son virgin-born
      1. The father's bloodline was cursed, but so what?
      2. Joseph was not Jesus' father
      3. This is why the virgin birth is absolutely essential to salvation
      4. Isaiah 7:14
      5. Genesis 3:15: the seed of the woman
        1. Biological and theological oxymoron
        2. Women don't have seed; men do
    8. Jesus is perfectly and wholly man
      1. He can represent humankind
      2. He died like a human
    9. As God, He is the perfect, sinless sacrifice
    10. This genealogy solves the greatest problem of the Old Testament
  3. Closing
    1. Jesus' genealogy also shows us that Jesus came to save humanity
      1. Some of the names in His genealogy are a good representation of human history and show why He needed to come
        1. They were not perfect people
        2. Judah committed incest and adultery
        3. David committed adultery and murder
        4. Abraham was a liar
        5. Terah was an idolater
      2. A perfect microcosm picture of the problem of humanity in every generation; shows us that Jesus came to save sinners
    2. We have a dark history, but light came into the world
      1. John 1:4; 8:12
      2. Allow the Lord to penetrate the darkest parts of your life

Greek/Hebrew words: bar mitzvah, tou

Cross references: Genesis 3:15; 12:3; Numbers 27:1-11; 2 Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 7:14; Jeremiah 22:26-30; Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; John 1:4; 3:16; 8:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17


Transcript

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Introduction: Welcome to Expound our verse-by-verse study of God's Word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the Word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.

Skip Heitzig: Okay, so we're going to have a Bible study right now and even though we're outside---and outside always has the potential to be a little more, you know, it could be distracting, because it's just so beautiful and a bird might fly by and you might have severe ADD, and who knows. But I'm going to ask that everyone finds a seat and remains in the seat, and we give reverence to the Word of God and as it's being taught. Because what I'm going to teach tonight is a little bit of what we started to go through last week. And I'm going to do what---well, nobody ever really does what I'm about to do. I mean, at least I haven't heard it. And you wouldn't probably hear this at a communion service. But I'm going to talk about names. I'm going to talk about a genealogy that is found in the Bible.

Now, as we get started---hold on. I brought another book with me besides my Bible. And this book is so heavy that when I put it on the music stand and lifted it up, it just collapsed it. So this is a book that I have at home. And I have a lot of books at home. I have a study with lots of different materials. But of all of the books in my library---and some are very precious and some are even signed by people who are now in heaven---this is one of the most precious, because it is in part a record of my genealogy. It is a record about my family, at least the part that they played in settling a little place in Wyoming called Laramie County, Wyoming. And it tells me that my grandfather and my grandmother on my dad's side were married in Denver, Colorado.

And then they in the United States Homestead Act moved up to Wyoming and settled this piece of land. And why it's precious to me is because there's a couple pictures of my grandfather. I never met my grandfather. He died before I was born, on my dad's side. So the only surviving photographs that I have of my grandpa on my dad's side are in this book when he is homesteading a piece of land. So it's precious to me. It wouldn't---it really wouldn't be a book that you would pick up and buy if it were in a store. You wouldn't care. You go through this book, it's a list of names and their family, but to those who are in the genealogy it's very precious. And in the gospel of Luke we find a family record, a family history of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords the Lord Jesus Christ.

And today, nowadays finding where you came from in your genealogy is pretty popular. There's all sorts of websites you can go to that will help you find out your family tree. And one time I went over the Austria where my mother's family came from and I had a little card to search my great-grandfather's burial place in a place called Gibian, Austria. And so I was looking for my dad's genealogy in this book, and then my mom's genealogy over in the old country of Austria. The names that are found in the gospel of Luke in chapter 3, if you turn your Bibles there, a lot of them are hard names. In fact, if you ever came across this in your devotional time, you probably just noticed it, you glanced over it, and you may have even ignored it because of these names.

But I'm here to tell you that sometimes the driest orchards yield the sweetest fruit. And sometimes what appears to be the driest part of Scripture yields some of the greatest truths about the Lord. And I think we have that in the genealogies. Just a word about this portion of Scripture: it's a part of Scripture. It's as much of Scripture as "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." It's in the Book. And what Paul told Timothy was "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God or woman of God might be complete, mature, and fruitful in every good work." What's important about the genealogy of Jesus Christ, this list of names, it shows us that Jesus was a part of history.

It goes back and covers certain portions of Old Testament history as it leads up to Jesus being born in Bethlehem. And it's important that you remember that the gospels appeal to history. It's not just a story about a person who just floated out of heaven but had no historical background. The Bible appeals to history and the focal point of all history is the birth of Christ. This is 2014 AD or 2014 years anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord." We have divided history by the birth of Christ: everything before him was before Christ, BC; every after him is in the year of our Lord. You can't write a check that is valid unless you attest in the upper right-hand corner to the birth of Christ. No document is legal unless it is dated, which makes an attestation to the birth of Christ. So it shows us that Jesus was a part of history.

The second thing the genealogy shows us is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of prophecy. Now, we're not going to go through all the different prophecies. We have done that in other studies. But so many of the Old Testament Scriptures predicted where he would be born, what lineage he would be from, that after he was born he and his family would go to Egypt before they would come back. So this makes Jesus Christ unique, is that we're dealing with a person from history who has prophecy about him being born, and what he would do, and how he would die, etcetera. That makes him unique. I don't think you had somebody give prophecy about you. I never did in my family. In my lineage there was never some Uncle Fred who said, "Thus saith Fred: A boy named Skip will one day be born." I didn't have that, did you?

But Jesus had several of those, so he is the fulfillment of prophecy. Though, by the way, when my son, before he was born, when my wife Lenya was pregnant, we had some very interesting people approach us who at that time were a part of this church. And many of them said, "The Lord spoke to me and told me that you were going to have a girl." [laughter] And then others would come and say, "The Lord spoke to me and told me you were going to have a boy." Well, you know, I figure you got a fifty/fifty chance of being right. And half of them were right, and a good majority of them were wrong. But all the prophecies that deal with Jesus Christ were 100 percent accurate and-and many of the predictions that were made about Jesus were made to the very people that are mentioned in this genealogy.

Abraham is one of them. The Lord said, "In you all of the nations of the earth will be blessed." That's a prophecy about Jesus Christ who would be born and be able to bless the world with salvation. There's a promise God made to David that his family and his kingdom would endure forever. It's a prophecy about Jesus Christ ruling and reigning forever and ever. So Jesus is a part of history. It tells us that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy. It also tells us something else: the genealogy found in the book of Luke tells us that Jesus Christ had the right pedigree. Now let me explain. Genealogies were important to Jewish people. If you wanted to buy or sell land, you had to prove, produce a genealogical record. Why? Because the land had to stay within your tribal allotment. It couldn't go to another tribe.

The way that the Lord preserved the different tribal allotments of the twelve tribes was through genealogy, genealogical records. So to buy or sell land you had to produce a genealogical record. Number two, it was important to the Jews if you were in the priesthood. You could not serve in the priesthood unless you could prove your direct lineage all the way back to Aaron. You had to prove through successive generations that you were directly related to Aaron. Moreover, if you were a priest and you married a wife, she had to produce her generations five generations back. So it was very, very important. The third reason it was important to Jewish people---and that brings this to bear, what we're dealing with in Luke---anybody claiming to be the Messiah had to prove it by a genealogical record.

If somebody comes along and says, "I am the Messiah"---and, by the way, thousands of people in history have done that. The Jewish person would say, "Really? Well, what family do you come from? Who were your parents and grandparents? And what tribe are you from?" Because there are predictions that he would be of the tribe of Judah, of the lineage of King David, etcetera, etcetera. Several years ago a man showed up in my office and said he was Jesus Christ. Actually, I was told by a secretary. She came in and her face was sort of pale, and she said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but there's a fella out in the foyer who says he's Jesus." And I said, "Great! I've always wanted to meet Jesus face-to-face. [laughter] I'd love to---show him in." So he came and he said, "My name is Jesus."

And I said, "Well, okay, a lot of people's name---I mean, are you Jesús or---" "No, no. My name is---I am Jesus the Messiah." I said, "Really?" I said, "What tribe are you from?" And he looked at me with a blank look, like, "I don't even know how to answer that question." And then I---since he couldn't answer the question---said, "Okay, what city were you born in?" Because, you know, the prophets said you had to be born in Bethlehem, right, Micah chapter 5 verse 2? So I said, "Where were you born?" He goes, "Pittsburgh." [laughter] So I spoke to him just for a few minutes and then I rather politely, but definitely firmly pointed toward the door. And I said, "Until you are ready to stop telling me that you are Jesus Christ, there's the door. You can go through it and never coming back this way in it until there's a change."

But he claimed to be Jesus, but he had no genealogical proof. So genealogies were important and Jesus shows that he has the right pedigree. This is the family album of the King of Kings. So it begins in chapter 3 of the gospel of Luke. And I know we read it last week. We just sort of got through the names. But look at verse 23, "Now Jesus himself began his ministry at about thirty-three years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph," and then it says, "the son of Heli." If you're familiar at all with the Gospels, you know that this is not the only genealogical record of Jesus. Where's the other one found? Matthew, chapter 1. It begins with the genealogical record. It's a little different than this one.

And here are the differences: the one in Matthew is a descending genealogy, it goes from Abraham and descends; the one here is an ascending genealogy, begins with Joseph and then goes to Heli and then goes backwards. So it's different in the way it's stated. The names, when it comes to the generations between David and Abraham, are identical. But once we get to King David there's a difference between Matthew's record and Luke's record. Different names are used, because we have two different family trees that are mentioned in these two genealogies. Let me just cut to the chase and tell you that the gospel of Matthew is Joseph's genealogy; the gospel of Luke most scholars believe is Mary's genealogy. You say, "But I'm confused, Skip. Why does it say "Joseph," and then it says "the son of Heli?"

Well, let me explain to you why that is. Number one, we know that Joseph's genealogy is the one in Matthew because it says it is. That is Joseph's heritage. And we know that Joseph's dad was a guy named Iakób or Jacob as stated in chapter 1 of Matthew. That is Joseph's genealogy, it plainly says that. Here's the second reason we believe this is Mary's genealogy in Luke: Luke does something none of the gospel writers do, they emphasize Mary at the beginning chapters of the gospel of Luke, and don't put much emphasis at all on Joseph. Luke does that---emphasizes Mary, not much emphasis on Joseph. However, Matthew emphasizes Joseph and doesn't put much emphasis on Mary. So we believe that just as it says in Matthew, Matthew is Joseph's genealogy, and Luke is Mary's genealogy.

There's a third reason: women were not named in genealogical records usually. And in Luke there's no women named. Now, there are women named in Matthew, but typically you don't name them. It's just the male lineage: "the son of . . . ," "the son of . . . ," "the father of . . . ." That's how genealogical records typically are presented. So because that is true, we would expect then to find Joseph's name in the genealogical record. Why? Now, this is where I need your attention. I'm banking on you who have been with me on Wednesday nights in the book of Numbers to remember a chapter that we uncovered and looked at a couple of different ways. In chapter 27 of Numbers there were the daughters of Zelophehad. Do you remember that name? Anybody? Okay, some of you are nodding.

The daughters of Zelophehad went to Moses and said, "Okay, there's no males in our family to get the land. I think that we should not lose our land allotment just because there's no dude whose name can be in the genealogical records." So we have here in Luke an application of that Old Testament principle where Joseph is mentioned, because Heli, who is the father of Mary, in a sense adopts Joseph as his own son for land purposes, because there were no males in the family. It's based on that chapter 27 of Numbers with that "daughters of Zelophehad" ruling, that if you were with us on Wednesday night you remember. Here's a fourth reason: when it says "the son of . . . ," "the son of . . . ," the son of . . . ," which you read a lot, and we're going to read them again in just a moment, the word "son" has a broader term than the actual blood son of somebody.

For instance, if you're a Jewish male and at age thirteen you become a "son of the commandment," bar mitzvah. Bar mitzvah, that means "son of the commandment." You're not literally born from a commandment. The commandment isn't your dad. It's a term, it's a broad term. And the term has been used and is used here and could mean son-in-law as well as a direct descendant. So it's a broad term. Okay, I'm going to give you one more reason, okay, because I just want to nail this down. In the Greek language there's a little word that would be spelled T-O-U, tou, and it means "of." It's in the genitive case and it means ownership. And so all through this genealogical record you have the son of this, the son of that, the son of this, the son of that. And that little word T-O-U is used.

It's used in every single name except one, and that's the name of Joseph in the original. So all of that is say to you: we can safely say Matthew is a record of the genealogy of Joseph all the way back to Abraham; Luke is a genealogy of Mary all the way back to Abraham and all the way back to Adam. What does that give us then? We have the legal record in Matthew, and we have the racial record in Luke. Now follow me carefully here. For Jesus to ever lay claim to the throne of David---that's the promise God gave to David, that someone from your lineage will rule and reign forever---that that son of David, which Jesus is called "the son of David," has so show that he has the legal right to the throne of David. And he does through Joseph, but we know that Joseph was not the literal father.

But Jesus would have the legal right to reign because he is legal son of Joseph. But when it comes to racial purity, that's where we come to Mary. Okay, now hopefully all of you are asking this question: "So what?! [laughter] You spent a long time talking about a lot of names and genealogical records and why one is this and one is that---who cares!" Let me tell you why it's so important. That's why I say the driest orchards can yield the sweetest fruit. Because it solves for us the biggest problem in the Old Testament. Did you know that there was a problem in the Old Testament? Did you know that the line of King David had been cursed? The blood lineage of King David had been cursed, which poses a problem for God: How is his Son going to be the son of David who rules over the world if the bloodline is cursed? That's the problem.

Okay, I'm going to answer that question. Let's read the genealogical record. Verse 24---verse 23, "The son of Heli, the son the son of Matthat, the son of Levi [or Leví], the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, the son of [not José, but Yose or] Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of [ Leví] Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah," I got messed up on that one last week too.

"The son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Caīnan [or Cāinan], the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God," or the direct creation of God. He was made what we say ex nihilo, a direct creation of God.

Now, Jesus had no human father. How is he going to be a direct blood descendant through his father? He can't be because he had no human father. He has to have it through his mother. So there are two genealogies: one is the legal right; one is the biological bloodline. Now I said it solves a problem. I'm going to turn, and you can turn, and this is where we close, in Jeremiah 22. It will be displayed for you and I will explain it to you. Jeremiah 22 shows you the biggest problem of the Old Testament that these two genealogies solve. You ready to find it? Chapter 22, I'll begin in verse 26. The Lord is predicting that the Jews will go into captivity by the Babylonians, by the Chaldeans. He says, "So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die."

"But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. 'Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol---a vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, and cast into a land which they do not know? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord: "Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah." ' " Who is Coniah? Coniah, another name for him is Jechoniah, another name for him is Jehoiachin. I know they're weird names. He was one of the kings of Judah who was a direct bloodline descendant of King David. Here in Jeremiah God places a curse on his bloodline, which poses a problem for God.

If the bloodline, the royal line of David is now cursed with a blood curse, how can the son of David, who will eventually come, rule and reign, the bloodline is cursed? Now you read the prophecy with me. It said none of his descendants will sit on the throne of David anymore, and that prophecy literally came true. After Jechoniah, also known as Coniah, also known as Jehoiachin, after he was deposed from him throne, he had none of his own descendants sit on the throne. His uncle took the throne, and then a couple other different people until eventually they were taken captive. So listen, in Matthew's genealogy it follows the line all the way back to David through King Solomon, including Jechoniah on whom the blood curse was pronounced.

What that shows is that Jesus has the legal right to the throne through the royal line of David: David, Solomon, Rehoboam---all the rest. But that bloodline is cursed, right? When we come to Luke's gospel, the genealogy goes back to David, not through King Solomon, not through the royal line, the reigning line, it takes a bifurcation. It takes a turn and it goes tracing the lineage of David, not through Solomon, but through the second surviving son of Bathsheba named Nathan. That bloodline was not cursed. You follow me? So what we have is God getting around his own curse. How does he do that? By having his son virgin born, virgin born. Because the father's bloodline is cursed. So what? Joseph isn't the father. Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit.

But Mary's pure bloodline, uncursed bloodline traces all the way back to King David. So Jesus has the legal right to reign through Joseph, though bloodline is cursed, he still he still can maintain the legal right, but the bloodline is pure on Mary's side. So God effectively curses the bloodline, and then gets around his own curse by having the Messiah born of a virgin. This is why the virgin birth is absolutely essential to salvation, absolutely essential. You go, "I don't know about the virgin birth thing. I don't know if I can hang with that." Really? Everything in your life for heaven and earth depends on the virgin birth---everything, everything. And so Isaiah the prophet said this would be the sign, "The virgin will conceive and bear a Son and you will call his name Immanuel."

And the very first hint of the virgin birth is back in Genesis, chapter 3, when God says the Seed of the woman---remember that little phrase? The Seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, Satan's head. Now that term, "the Seed of the woman," is a theological oxymoron. Biologically and theologically women don't have seed, men do. The seed of the woman---Mary was the only woman who ever lived who carried in her pregnant child the seed not of a human man but of the Holy Spirit. So God cursed the bloodline. It had to be done. God got around his own curse by a virgin birth and now we have two genealogies that bear that out. So he is perfectly man, wholly man, and as a man he can represent humankind. He can die like a human, only a human can, but as God he is the perfect, sinless sacrifice.

So this genealogy solves the greatest problem that the Old Testament has to offer. I want to close with this thought. I mentioned that the genealogy shows us that Jesus is a part of history. It shows us that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy. It shows us that Jesus has the right pedigree. But it also shows us that Jesus came to save humanity. Let me briefly explain and then we'll pass out the elements. If you look at the genealogy that we just read, there are some names in there that are a really good representation of all of human history and show why Jesus needed to come. The people that are listed in this genealogical record are not, like, perfect people. Judah is mentioned in this; he committed incest and adultery. David is mentioned in this; he committed adultery and murder.

Abraham is mentioned in this; he was a liar. Terah is mentioned in this; he was an idolater. It's a perfect little microcosm picture of the problem of humanity in every generation and shows us that Jesus came to save sinners. I'm not an artist, but if somebody asked me to paint the picture of human history, I would just get a big ole black can of paint, blackest paint I could find and pour it all over a white canvas and just make it all black. And I'd hold it up and say, "Here is my fabulous artwork of human history, Black Paint on Canvas," and sell it for $15,000. [laughter] But then I would start in one corner and take the whitest paint I could find, and begin with a little light streaking from one corner toward the center, and then increase the paint and increase the light until the bottom is flooded with light.

And I would say, "Now that is my depiction of humanity, human history." We have a black history. We have a dark history of misdeeds and sinful deeds generation after generation. Every person is affected and infected, but Light came into the world. And Jesus is the Light of the World, and in him is the light of mankind. And it's my prayer that just through this simple, little, dry genealogy you would extract the kind of truth tonight that says, "Wow! God's plan is more profound than I originally thought," and allow the Lord's light to penetrate the darkest spots, the darkest parts of your life. Let him in. Let him penetrate that dark spot, that dark area, that area you've been struggling with. Let him in. Let the Light penetrate and let his light be the life that carries you.

Let's bow our heads, and as we do that we're going to have a song, and then we're going to pass out the communion elements. Father, when we think of a list of names, our mind at some point goes to the book of Revelation, to the Lamb's Book of Life. And we're so thankful that because of one physical genealogy there is now a spiritual genealogy that includes our name. That because of names like Abraham and David and others that we read about, and how the Lord Jesus is in that pool, that genealogical pool identifying with people, identifying with mankind, he came to identify with us. He came to take our sin and to solve the greatest problem which really was the sin problem in every generation.

We're so thankful, Lord, that because of that genealogy there's another genealogical record where you have written our name in the Lamb's Book of Life. Our name is there. You put it there. And no one can snatch us out of your hand. We thank you for your salvation. We rest in it. We rejoice in it tonight. I pray, Father, that we would allow the Spirit of God to speak to our hearts in the next few moments, as we take hold of these elements, you would do a penetrating work where we would pull off the mask and not hide, Lord, just behind little words or activities, Lord, but walk in the light as you are in the light, so that the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son would cleanse us from all our sin, in Jesus' name, amen. We're going to pass out the elements and we're going to ask that you just hold onto them till we all have them together, and then we'll take them together as a group. [worship music plays]

Pastor Brian Nixon: Before we take communion Pastor Skip has asked a couple of us to share some thoughts. And I want to begin by just asking you, not to look at me, but to look at the person next to you. Go ahead, look at the person next to you, and look at the person behind you, and take a gander to your left, and to your right. And for those of you who are brave enough, you could even stand up and look down this corridor and see that really there's thousands of people here. Well, this past summer Pastor Skip has been telling the story of Calvary Albuquerque, of what the Lord did in his and Lenya's heart to bring them from California to the Land of Enchantment. And did you know Calvary Albuquerque started with four people? Skip, Lenya, Kent Bagdasar, and an elderly gentleman who never returned.

But week after week Pastor Skip got up and faithfully taught the Bible. [applause] Yes! And more and more people began to gather, began to surround themselves around the teaching of the Word. And this reminded me of a section in Acts where the early church experienced a similar phenomenon. And in Acts 2:42 it says, "And they," that is, the early Christians, "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine," meaning, the teaching of the Word, "and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in all their prayers." And then later on in Acts 2:42 it says, "The Lord added to the church daily." You see, the Lord is not finished and wasn't finished 2,000 years ago in the book of Acts, and the Lord wasn't finished with the genealogies of Luke and Matthew, so to speak. Why? Because we are, to a certain extent, part of that genealogy.

Those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are part of God's family. And so as we gather together breaking bread there's two things I want you to ponder: one, the act of communion brings us closer to the Lord. It's a memorial whereby we gather around his table, around his sacrifice, around what he accomplished on yours and my behalf. But, secondly, communion is a way for us to gather closer to one another, to be a community of believers around a single cause; and that is, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You see, communion is the only factor in all denominations that we all share. I don't care if you're Lutheran or Episcopalian or Baptist or Nazarene or Pentecostal or any other brand or stripe, but when we come to the Lord's table, we are one. And so we have the great privilege of celebrating this very act.

And so I invite you to take this wonderful communion apparatus, peel back that top layer, and hold up this little wafer, and join me in prayer. Heavenly Father, we are thankful, so very thankful for what you did on our behalf. This, Lord, this time, this breaking of the bread is about you. It's about what you did on planet earth through people, through your Spirit, so we can be part of that genealogy, part of that family of God who you are saving and building a kingdom of people. So, Lord, as we take this bread, we're reminded of your broken body, we're reminded of your pure sacrifice of your goodness towards us, but we're also reminded, Lord, of our love for one another and the unity we have in you. So we take this bread, Lord, in the power of your Spirit, rejoicing and thanking you for what you have done, and we pray this in Christ's name. And let's all partake together.

Pastor Nathan Heitzig: Before we take the juice I want to take a moment to think about what the shedding of Christ's blood means for you and I. When Jesus Christ hung on the cross, when he shed his blood, every sin that's ever been committed was put upon his shoulders. He tasted death for you and I. He was forsaken for you and I. And so just a second ago Brian had you look around at everyone that was here. For a second I want you to look inward at every sin you've ever committed, every bad thing that you're ashamed of, the things you don't want the person next to you to know about, the things you don't want to person in front of you or behind you, the things you don't want the person in that corridor to know about. Think about all those things, all those sins.

Now combine those with all the sins of every person here in this amphitheater. Combine those with all the sins of everyone here in Albuquerque, of everyone here in New Mexico, of everyone in the United States, of everyone in the world---all those sins Jesus Christ took upon himself for you. He became in that moment the most wretched, disgusting, vile creature that had ever been on earth as he became sin for us. We heard about lineages tonight. Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of his fathers, the sins of the future: Adam's apple, Cain's murder, Noah's drunkenness, David's adultery, Abraham's lying. But he didn't stop there. He went to the future. Every Jew that Adolf Hitler burnt, every child molested, every marriage vow broken, every porno purchased, every lie told, every filthy thing that we think about Jesus Christ took those sins upon himself.

And when he shed his blood, his blood covers that multitude of sins. And so as we take this, I want you to take a moment of introspection and look in your life, look at the sins in your life, maybe the things that you have yet to confess to Lord, the things that you're ashamed of. And I want to take a moment before we take this juice for you privately to pray to the Lord and ask God to forgive you for those sins, ask the Lord to cover you, and to wash you white as snow. "Come now, let us reason . . . though your sins are red like scarlet, I will wash them white as snow." Let's make that true for our lives tonight. As we peel back the top layer of our little packet and reveal the juice, in a second we're going to sing these words one more time: "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

I want you as we take this juice and as we sing these lyrics, remember that it is by nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ that you can be called sons and daughters of God. Amen, church? And so tonight as we take this juice we're going to stand up and we're going to sing and we're going to rejoice in the sacrifice of Jesus. We're going to rejoice in the sanctification of saints. We're going to rejoice in our salvation, because it is not by our good works, it is not by the things that we have done, but it is by the blood of Jesus Christ that we are saved. Amen? Amen. Lord, we thank you so much for your blood that you sacrificed so willingly for our sins. And, Lord, as we take it, we ask that you would continue to sanctify us, Lord, that we would be more and more turned into your image as we seek to completely give ourselves over to your will, in Jesus' name we pray, amen. Let's take the juice.

If you've missed any of our Expound studies, all of our services and resources are available at expoundabq.org.

Additional Messages in this Series

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6/25/2014
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Luke 1:1-25
Luke 1:1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Luke gave a methodical account of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection that painted just one perspective of the full portrait of Christ. In this study, we recount the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and see how God closed the Old Testament with both a promise and a curse. In a natural segue, Luke picked up on that promise with the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth, and we see how God turned the curse into grace when Jesus entered the picture.
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7/9/2014
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Luke 1:26-80
Luke 1:26-80
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Two thousand years ago, an angel announced to the young virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God. Her response of faith and song of praise demonstrated a deep love for the Lord. As we close out the first chapter of Luke, we are also introduced to the man who would announce Jesus the Messiah, and we are exhorted to reevaluate our own concept of greatness in light of God's view.
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7/16/2014
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Luke 2
Luke 2
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As we study the birth of Jesus in Luke 2, we learn about the events surrounding this special occasion, including the days leading up to Jesus' birth, Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem, the angel's proclamation to the shepherds, and blessings from two people present at Jesus' dedication in the temple. Through these events recorded in Luke's gospel, we are reminded about God's sovereignty, Jesus' humility, and our salvation.
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7/30/2014
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Luke 3
Luke 3
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In Luke 3, we are introduced to John, the forerunner of Jesus. Although John seemed to be an unusual man and shocked many people by what he said and did, his dedication to follow the Lord is what made his life count. Jesus even said that there hasn't been anyone greater than John. As we get a glimpse into his life and character, we are directed to the message he wished to proclaim: Jesus Christ the Messiah.
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8/13/2014
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Luke 4:1-29
Luke 4:1-29
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After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness, where He experienced a season of oppression and conflict. In this study, we see the tempting offers the Devil extended to Jesus and how Jesus handled them, and we learn how to overcome our own temptations.
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9/3/2014
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Luke 4:16-5:26
Luke 4:16-5:26
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Message Summary
As we wrap up Luke 4 and begin our study in Luke 5, we continue to explore the public ministry of Jesus, examining aspects of His character as the promised Messiah, our compassionate healer, our great teacher, and the Son of Man who forgives sins. In this passage of Scripture, we learn what it means to serve the Lord and follow Him with uncompromised obedience.
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9/10/2014
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Luke 5:27-6:19
Luke 5:27-6:19
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God uses a variety of people to build His kingdom; in fact, the men Jesus chose as His disciples might even go on a list of "Most Unlikely to Succeed." In this study, we see how Jesus' interactions with His disciples, the Pharisees, and the multitudes were infused with a deep compassion. We are also reminded that God chooses to use the foolish things of the world, and we can take comfort knowing that He sees us for who we will become.
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9/17/2014
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Luke 6:17-7:23
Luke 6:17-7:23
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Jesus' public ministry of preaching to the multitudes and performing miracles went against the flow of the world—especially since He reached out to the downtrodden with love and grace. As we continue our study through Luke 6-7, we examine a different take on the Beatitudes, observe an extraordinary encounter with a Roman centurion that even left Jesus amazed, and learn what it means to live with Jesus as our Lord.
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9/24/2014
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Luke 7:19-8:3
Luke 7:19-8:3
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As we finish our study of Luke 7, John the Baptist comes back into the picture, this time imprisoned and doubting who Jesus is. But Jesus comforted John through the message He sent, and we consider why Jesus called this final Old Testament prophet great. Then, in a passage of Scripture found only in Luke's gospel, we observe the great mercy Jesus extended to the outcasts of society He often spent time with—in this case, women.
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10/1/2014
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Luke 8:1-39
Luke 8:1-39
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Jesus displayed a great measure of compassion throughout His ministry on earth, whether He was performing miraculous works or revealing deep spiritual truths. In this study of Luke 8, we consider Jesus' power to save and heal us, and we learn from His actions and parables about what it means to grow spiritually and place our faith in Him.
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10/8/2014
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Luke 8:40-9:17
Luke 8:40-9:17
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The miracles Jesus performed show that He is sovereign, compassionate, and powerful. Throughout His ministry on earth, a number of people approached Him by faith to ask for healing. As we study Luke 8-9, we see how Jesus met these people where they were and how He challenged His own disciples to trust in God's provision. We are reminded that God cares deeply for us and that He will use us in big ways if we offer Him what we have.
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10/29/2014
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Luke 9:18-62
Luke 9:18-62
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Over the centuries, countless groups and individuals have made claims about the person of Jesus Christ, but that's not enough to know who He really is. Luke presents an accurate picture as he records both Jesus' claims about Himself and what those nearest said about Him. As we continue our study in Luke 9, we consider two different ways to approach life, how to navigate mountaintop and valley experiences, and how worship and evangelism should naturally weave together in our lives.
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11/5/2014
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Luke 10
Luke 10
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The service we give to the Lord is important, but it's equally important to sit before Him in adoration. In Luke 10, we read that Jesus sent out a group of His followers to share His message of peace, told the parable of the good Samaritan, and encountered sisters Mary and Martha. As we study these stories, we are reminded to keep our focus on Christ.
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11/19/2014
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Luke 11:1-28
Luke 11:1-28
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Message Summary
As the disciples listened to Jesus' teachings and watched Him perform miraculous works, they also saw His dynamic prayer life with God the Father. In this study of Luke 11, we learn that praising and pouting are difficult to do at the same time, see Jesus' great power as he encountered an unclean spirit, and break down the prayer that He gave to the disciples.
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1/7/2015
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Luke 11:29-12:21
Luke 11:29-12:21
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As the antagonism toward Jesus began to grow, the focus of Luke's gospel transitions from the works of Jesus to the words of Jesus. In this study, we see that the Pharisees were unwilling to accept Jesus, focusing only on outward acts. We are cautioned to watch out for hypocrisy in our lives and focus on our relationship with God rather than material satisfaction.
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1/14/2015
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Luke 12:22-13:9
Luke 12:22-13:9
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As Jesus began His private ministry to His disciples, He explained what the attitude of His followers should be. In this study, we are reminded that we can rest in God's care because of our new relationship with Him, even when we're tempted to worry. We are also challenged to let our faith become action by living differently than the world and working to bring others into God's kingdom while we still can.
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1/28/2015
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Luke 13:10-14:24
Luke 13:10-14:24
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Jesus often searched out those who were overlooked by society. He wanted to heal them and love them so He could showcase His work in them to the world. Unfortunately, His acts of love weren't always accepted. In this study, we see the response of His religious adversaries who strictly adhered to the Law of the Old Testament. We also learn that tradition can cause us to miss the most important thing: a relationship with the Lord.
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2/4/2015
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Luke 14:15-15:32
Luke 14:15-15:32
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Jesus was a master storyteller, and He shared stories that shed light on some important truths. In this study, we examine five different parables of Jesus about things that had been lost. We learn what our highest priority should be, what it really means to be a disciple, and what the Lord is all about—rescuing those who were once lost and redeeming them for His glory.
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2/11/2015
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Luke 16:1-18
Luke 16:1-18
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After Jesus addressed several religious leaders in Luke 15, He turned His attention to the disciples to teach about stewardship. Jesus essentially asked them what they were investing their lives in—the temporal or the eternal? In this study, we learn that we must answer this same question and that our response will reveal who we truly serve.
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2/18/2015
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Luke 16:19-17:37
Luke 16:19-17:37
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As Jesus continued to talk to His disciples and the nearby Pharisees, He told them stories about the kingdom of heaven and warned those listening about their eternal fate. He also shared four basic things expected of those who follow Him. In this message, we're challenged to forgive freely, serve faithfully, live thankfully, and be prepared for Jesus' second coming.
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3/11/2015
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Luke 18
Luke 18
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In Luke 18, Jesus continued to share parables with those He encountered, explaining that humility and persistence in prayer are pleasing to the Lord. We also see Him tenderly bless children and call out a rich young ruler's obsession with wealth before we wrap up the chapter by looking at the faith of a blind man Jesus healed.
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3/25/2015
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Luke 19
Luke 19
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In Luke 19, Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as the Messiah and the Passover Lamb, beginning the grand finale of His life: death on the cross. As we look at the story of Zacchaeus, we learn that all of us are short in stature, spiritually speaking. We're also challenged to faithfully serve the Lord, and we study one of the Bible's most intricate prophecies about the end times.
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4/1/2015
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Luke 20
Luke 20
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Luke 20 is all about confrontation: in the middle of the crowded temple court, Jesus addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees' pointed questions with sharp wisdom and divine discernment. Mere days before His crucifixion, we also see Jesus expose the sin of His chosen people and discuss the topics of baptism, taxes, and the resurrection of the dead.
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4/8/2015
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Luke 21
Luke 21
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As Jesus continued to teach in the temple just days before His death, He noted the generosity of a poor widow and then launched into the Olivet Discourse, in which He gave an overview of what the end times will look like. This chapter of Luke is extremely relevant for believers today as we watch and wait for Jesus to come back and establish His kingdom on earth.
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4/15/2015
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Luke 22:1-46
Luke 22:1-46
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In Luke 22, Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover, which was—and is—of monumental importance to the Jewish nation. As we get into the details of the Passover meal itself, we examine how Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross would soon transform the meal's meaning, and we are reminded of the coming kingdom and Jesus' love for all people.
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4/22/2015
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Luke 22:39-23:1
Luke 22:39-23:1
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Human life—including human failure—began in the garden of Eden, but new life began in the garden of Gethsemane. In the second half of Luke 22, we see how Jesus fought the battle for our eternal fate, and we learn about Judas' betrayal and Peter's denial, both of which demonstrate God's sovereignty and control.
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4/29/2015
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Luke 23
Luke 23
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Luke 23 details the sentencing, beating, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. In our study of this chapter, we explore the significance of where Jesus was crucified and ponder the great truth that the cross had to come before the empty tomb.
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5/6/2015
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Luke 24
Luke 24
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As we wrap up our study in the book of Luke, we zero in on the event that sets Christianity apart from every other religion: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this message, we dive into the details surrounding the resurrection, including the women's visit to the tomb, the disciples' conversation on the road to Emmaus, and Jesus' ascension.
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There are 28 additional messages in this series.