“AS NO OTHER MAN”
1. There were theological wars in the first half of the 20th century. They were struggles within the professing Christian community, and within church congregations, over the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some doubted the reliability of the Bible and therefore denied that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God. Those who held to the trustworthiness of Scripture upheld Christ’s deity.
2. An unanticipated consequence of those theological wars, in which those who denied the deity of Christ were called liberals or modernists, and those who upheld the deity of Christ were called fundamentalists or evangelicals, was an almost complete failure to keep before the people the Lord Jesus Christ’s human nature.
3. Beloved, it is important that the Lord Jesus Christ was not only God but also man. Great emphasis is placed in the Bible on the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as John’s first epistle, in 1.1-3, clearly shows:
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4. Notice how the apostle stressed his hearing of Jesus Christ, his seeing of Jesus Christ, and his feeling of Jesus Christ’s body with his hands. The humanity of the Savior is important. Were He not fully man He could not be the savior of men.
5. Having established that the Lord Jesus Christ is shown in the Bible to be a man, who wept, who slept, who hungered and ate, who thirsted and drank, who grew and matured from infancy to adulthood, let me take a few minutes to remind you that though He is a man, the Lord Jesus Christ is like no other man.
1A. First, HE WAS BORN AS NO OTHER MAN WAS BORN
1B. How many other men’s births have been anticipated?
1C. Oh, I know that a man and a woman get married and begin to anticipate the birth of a child, unless they wickedly try to play God and by one means or another interfere with God’s reproductive processes. But with the Lord Jesus Christ it was different. When I refer to His birth being anticipated I am referring to being anticipated for thousands of years.
2C. As early as the Garden of Eden, almost immediately after the serpent had tempted Eve and Adam had sinned against God, bringing on the Fall of mankind into sin, God intimated the birth of His Son.
3C. In Genesis 3.15 we read these words spoken by God to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
4C. From that moment forward the birth of “her seed” was anticipated, though the anticipation would not be realized for more than 3,000 years.
2B. How many other men’s births have been predicted?
1C. Fritz Coleman cannot tell from one day to the next, with any certainty, if the sun will shine. And though weather patterns are more predictable using current technology than ever before, what can be predicted beyond general seasonal trends? Not much.
2C. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ’s birth was predicted by prophetic utterance through the prophet Isaiah in the 8th century before Christ’s birth.
3C. Isaiah 9.6 reads, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
3B. Unimpressed by a prediction of the Savior’s birth seven centuries before the fact? How about a prediction of the place of His birth?
1C. A contemporary of the prophet Isaiah was a prophet named Micah. In Micah 5.2, uttered more than 700 years before Christ’s birth, we are told the village where He would be born: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
2C. What an astonishing turn of events. God, in His providence, moving in the affairs of men invisibly to fulfill His divine plan, brought about a Roman taxation that moved Joseph and Mary from Galilee to the wilderness of Judea just in time for her to deliver Israel’s Messiah in the city of David, the king of Israel’s golden era on whose throne our Savior will someday sit.
4B. But if the anticipation of His birth, the prediction of His birth, and even the prediction of the place of His birth shows that He was born as no other man was born, consider His supernatural conception.
1C. Predicted in Isaiah 7.14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
2C. Witnessed to by an angel in Luke 1.26-35:
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
3C. Fulfilling what God anticipated in Genesis 3.15 when He referred to “her seed,” meaning the seed of a woman rather than the seed of a man, one born without a human father because the first person of the triune godhead is His Father, truly, no other man was born like this man.
2A. Second, HE LIVED HIS LIFE AS NO OTHER MAN EVER LIVED
1B. Though Mary definitely offered a sacrifice for sins in Luke 2.24, the sacrifice she offered could not have been for the Christ child’s sins. Remember that He was born without sin, His mother offering that sacrifice for her own sins, as Leviticus 12 required for every mother of a newborn child.
2B. There are two phrases found in the letter to the Hebrews which sum up the life that Jesus Christ lived. In both Hebrews 4.15 and 9.28 He is described using the phrase “without sin.” Who else has ever lived an entire span of life without sin? Only my Lord Jesus Christ.
3B. He prayed for those who despitefully used Him. He asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. In yielding to His Father’s will He allowed Himself to be illegally arrested, improperly accused, unjustly tried, and illicitly condemned. He called for His accusers to find fault in Him, and they could not. Truly, He had no sin and He did no sin. He was, and is, holy.
3A. Third, HE DIED AS NO OTHER MAN EVER DIED
1B. If He died and was no sinner, for whose sins did He then die? The Bible declares that the wages of sin is death, in Romans 6.23. But He was no sinner, so there was no necessary cause of His death. Only sinners must die. Why, then, did He die?
2B. This bears directly on my Lord Jesus Christ’s unique death. Other men have died. Other men have died cruel and painful deaths. Other men have died by that terrible instrument of the crucifixion. But only Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of others.
3B. Do not misunderstand. Others have died sacrificially, giving their lives for other people. Mothers have died to save their children’s lives. Soldiers have died to save their friend’s lives. But who else, after being born as no other has been born, after having lived as no other has lived, died as He died?
4B. What can be said about His brutal and tortured death, “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men”? My friends, His death was a substitutionary death. He voluntarily died for, as He said in John 10.15, “the sheep.”
5B. The prophet Isaiah, used by God to reveal to us so many things about the Savior, wrote these words in Isaiah 53.4-6:
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 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.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
6B. Consider this passage carefully and you will clearly see that what Isaiah is describing is the punishment of the One by God for the many. Why? “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The apostle Peter summarized the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in this way in First Peter 3.18: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God . . . .”
7B. My friends, even if someone wanted to, who could have died as Jesus died? Who, other than Him, had a supernatural conception, meaning He was sinless? Who, other than Him, lived like He lived, perfectly fulfilling God’s laws? Thus, who, other than Him, was qualified to die the kind of substitutionary death for sinners that Jesus died?
4A. Finally, HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD AS NO OTHER MAN EVER AROSE
1B. We know that Elisha raised a boy from the dead. And did you know that a man was once buried sometime after the prophet Elisha died, and when the dead man’s body touched the bones of Elisha the man was brought back to life? Second Kings 13.21.
2B. Lazarus was raised from the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ. It may even be that the apostle Paul was somehow raised from the dead after being stoned to death.
3B. But none of those instances of someone being brought back from the dead was anything like the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Those others were brought back to life by some power other than their own, but the Lord Jesus Christ rose up by His Own power. He said about His life in John 10.18: “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
4B. As well as rising up by His Own power, consider that He rose up with a glorified body. In First Corinthians chapter 15 the apostle Paul discusses the subject of having a physical body that is useful for existence in time and space and what we might call a glorified body that is useful for existence in the hereafter, in eternity. When the Lord Jesus Christ rose up from the dead He rose up, not as a spirit or a ghost, but physically, in a glorified physical body.
5B. That’s one reason why His followers had a bit of difficulty recognizing Him after His resurrection. That’s what enabled Him to suddenly appear and then disappear, all the while with a body that could be touched and felt. So you see, no man ever rose from the dead as Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
1. Born as no other man was born. Lived as no other man ever lived. Died as no other man ever died, actually suffering God’s wrath for His sheep. Rising from the dead as no other man ever rose from the dead.
2. Keep in mind, however, that whose who are His Own will someday rise from the dead just as He has, and with glorified bodies like His.
3. So, for the child of God, Easter Sunday is basically just another Sunday. This is because each and every Sunday is our acknowledgment and reminder that the Savior, Who was born like no one else has ever been born, Who lived like on one else has ever lived, Who died like on one else has ever died, also rose from the dead as no one else has ever risen.
4. What religion has such a savior as this one? Buddha is dead and still buried. Mohammed is dead and still buried. Marx and Lenin and Stalin and Mao are dead and buried. But the tomb of my Savior is empty.
5. After brother Isenberger comes to lead us in a glorious resurrection song, this morning’s sermon from God’s Word.
1. As the sun was coming up on that first Easter morning, three women came to the tomb where the body of the Lord Jesus Christ had been placed days before.
2. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome came to complete the task of prepare the Lord’s body for burial that had been interrupted by the setting of the sun and the onset of the Sabbath.
3. Entering into the tomb, they saw in appearance a young man off to the right wearing a long white garment (who I take to be an angel) who said, “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”
4. He told them not to be afraid. The Lord Jesus Christ is no one to be afraid of. He acknowledged that Jesus had been crucified. A Roman crucifixion was an execution. The Lord Jesus Christ is risen. He is not here. Look for yourself. The body was gone, meaning the Lord Jesus Christ arose bodily, not as some ghost or apparition, leaving a dead body behind. No. He rose from the dead!
5. This Savior, who is as no other man, both God and man, Who was born as no other, lived as no other, died as no other, and rose from the dead as no other, demands a response. What is your response to Him?
6. Perhaps you are overwhelmed with loneliness. It may be that you are astounded by your feelings of worthlessness or incompetency. Perhaps you are more conscious of your sinfulness than you have ever before been.
7. This morning, let me hold up this Savior before you. Allow me to tell you what you should do in response to the kind of Person He is. Take action, my friend.
1A. First, YOU SHOULD FLEE TO HIM FOR SALVATION
1B. By salvation, I am referring to salvation from your sins. It is your sins, you see, that condemn your soul to Hell. It is your sins that keep you out of heaven. It is your sins that estrange you from God. It is your sins that wreck your life and any hopes of real connection with other people.
2B. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one, and the only one, who can provide that kind of salvation for you. As Acts 4.12 shows, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
3B. In the Old Testament, God provided for cities of refuge as safe havens for Jews to flee to for protection from avengers. There were six, three on each side of the Jordan River, making them fairly close at hand in that small country. The Lord Jesus Christ is that city of refuge for sinners. Flee to Him for salvation from your sins. He is the sufficient Savior.
2A. Next, YOU SHOULD BOW BEFORE HIM IN WORSHIP
1B. Turn to Philippians 2.9-11:
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2B. There is coming a time when everyone will bow before Jesus Christ as Lord and as King. This time is predicted in the Old Testament and referred to twice in the New Testament. Thus, you will someday bow before Jesus Christ in an attitude of worship and adoration and praise.
3B. If you are a Christian you will not wait until the final judgment to bow before Him, you will bow before Him now, in your private prayer and devotional life, and in your public worship and service to Him.
4B. Why bow before Him? It is His due. Remember, He is the king of all glory. He is the Messiah of Israel. He is the Son of the living God. He is worthy.
3A. Third, YOU SHOULD TESTIFY OF HIM IN BAPTISM
1B. We live in an incredible country, with people who claim to being Christians but who resist or who refuse or who make light of believer’s baptism. When I got saved, some 31 years ago, I was not immediately baptized. But when I was invited to church as a new Christian, and there learned that believers submit to believer’s baptism as a step of obedience to Christ and as a testimony about Christ, I responded to the pastor’s challenge and was baptized that evening.
2B. After 30 years in the gospel ministry I am far more careful about baptizing than was exercised in my own case, but I would be far more concerned about someone who claims to be a Christian who has no interest in being baptized than I would about someone who claims to be a Christian who wants to be baptized. Why so? Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God, First Peter 3.21.
3B. What does that mean, the answer of a good conscience toward God? It means, when your conscience is clear, really clear, truly clear, because your sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ, you will have a longing to be baptized. It will be your heart’s desire to be baptized. You will really, really want to be baptized. You will take serious steps to be baptized.
4B. Why so? Romans 6.3-4: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
5B. My friends, baptism is the Christian’s public testimony of saving faith in Jesus Christ. Tell people you are a Christian all day long, but it really doesn’t mean much. Insist that you are born again if you want to, but I am not much impressed. What is impressive, what is convincing, and what the Word of God shows to be the dramatic public identification with Jesus Christ, is believer’s baptism. If you are a Christian you should testify of Christ’s saving work in your life by means of the church ordinance of baptism.
4A. Finally, YOU SHOULD SERVE HIM WITH HUMILITY
1B. I have a serious problem with people who claim to be Christians, but who stand around supervising while the rest of us put our noses to the grindstone. Keep in mind that Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, identified himself as a slave of Jesus Christ. Also keep in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” Matthew 20.28. And keep in mind that real ministry and service to Christ is in and through the local church.
2B. Listen to what Jonathan Edwards wrote about Christians and serving: “Christians, in their effectual calling, are not called to idleness, but to labour in God’s vineyard, and spend their day in doing a great and laborious service. All true Christians comply with this call (as is implied in its being an effectual call), and do the work of Christians; which is everywhere in the New Testament compared to those exercises wherein men are wont to exert their strength with the greatest earnestness, as running, wrestling, fighting. All true Christians are good and faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ, and ‘fight the good fight of faith;’ for none but those who do so, ‘ever lay hold on eternal life.’”
3B. Edwards, as he usually was, was absolutely correct. Here it is in a nutshell. Christians are saved to serve. Ephesians 2.10 shows that Christians are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” In First Thessalonians 1.3-4, the apostle Paul showed how the believer’s work of faith and labor of love gave evidence that he was the elect of God. Do you labor and work in Christian ministry?
4B. There are some who are not interested in service. They have not the humility that is needed to engage in lowly ministry. They feel called only to high and noble tasks. How sad. Pathetic, really. You see, God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
5B. Let me tell you something. I’ve cleaned plenty of church bathrooms in my time, picked up a great deal of litter, and I am still thrilled at the prospect of having once been an usher at the church house. I loved being an usher. If you are too good for that type of ministry then you are too good for this church. You are too uppity for us. We’re just regular people. No one uppity at Calvary Road Baptist Church. Amen? At Calvary Road it’s our Savior Who is lifted up, not our members. Amen?
1. Allow me to conclude with just a few comments on this Easter Sunday.
2. Jesus is a man Who is like no other man. No one else was born as He was born, lived as He lived, died as He died, and rose from dead as He rose. This is because the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the living God, is not only a man. He is also God manifest in the flesh, while still being fully man.
3. Do you not flee to Him for salvation from your sins, my unsaved friend? It is because you do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to truly be Who He really is.
4. Do you not bow before Him in worship and adoration and praise? It is because you do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to truly be Who He really is.
5. Have you not testified of Him in believer’s baptism? It is because you do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to truly be Who He really is.
6. Do you not humbly serve Him? It is because you do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to truly be Who He really is.
7. Let us keep in mind, on this Easter morning, that the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of your worship, adoration and praise. Flee to Him, sinner. He is the Savior Who receives sinners. Testify of Him by baptism. Eagerly serve Him with the humility that recognizes what an astounding privilege it is to serve the king.