If we were to try to put our finger on the one thing, above all, that prevents believers from living the victorious life we see pictured in the Bible it would be this: the lack of full surrender. Surrendering to God is something every one of us would say we want to do, but when it comes to living out that surrender day to day it becomes surprisingly difficult. All sorts of inner attitudes rise up and start screaming when we decide to surrender to God. We picture all the sacrifices well have to make and by the time were done a life surrendered to God starts looking pretty bleak. Thats why todays passage in Hebrews is so good for us. It takes us inside Jesus mind as He was making the choice to surrender Himself to the will of the Father, and the more we look at Him and the more we understand the choices He made for us, the smaller our own sacrifices become in our own eyes (Heb 12:2, 3). And as we keep looking at Jesus we discover that though His surrender took Him to the cross, it was also the key that released Gods power in His life and made Him a glorious overcomer. It will do the same for us as well.
1. Review Hebrews 10:1-10
a) (vs 5-7) On numerous occasions in the Old Testament God made it clear that He didnt think animal blood was enough (e.g. Ps 50:8-13; 51:16, 17). An example of this is found in Psalm 40:6-8 where David speaks prophetically concerning the Messiah. In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint David quotes the Messiah as saying, Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for me, in whole burnt offering and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.
Note: What is particularly notable is the statement in the Septuagint which says,
a body You have prepared for me. If David were speaking on his own behalf it would be hard to think of a reasonable explanation of why he would say such a thing. But when we read on to the next verse (Psa 40:7) we recognize David is prophetically speaking on behalf of the Messiah who is voluntarily presenting His body as the ultimate sacrifice which the Father requires.
In effect, the Messiah says, When I read in the Torah I recognize that it is My death which is being prophetically pointed to there by the sacrifice of animals. This is why I, the Son of God, have been incarnated into a human body: so that I might offer it to You, Father, in sacrifice. So here I am presenting Myself to fulfill what You desire.
b) (vs 8, 9) The Messiahs own mouth declares the insufficiency of all the forms of sacrifice and offering contained in the Law of Moses. Then He presents Himself as the true and complete sacrifice. The Messiah Himself made it clear that the old sacrificial system would end when He provided His sacrifice: He takes away the first (covenant) in order to establish the second (new covenant).
c) (v 10) Now, in case we missed his point the author makes it clear that the body referred to in Psalm 40:6 is the body of the Messiah Jesus. His cross was the once for all sacrifice.
2. Jesus Himself is the source of insight into the Messianic passages of the Old Testament for the early church.
a) Luke 24:25-27; 44-47 (Especially note: Acts, Hebrews)
3. Jesus didnt function here on earth in omniscience. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit He discovered Himself in Scripture.
a) Luke 2:40-52 By the time He was twelve He was already a profound student of the Bible.
4. What did He discover about Himself in Scripture?
a) That His future involved brutal death, resurrection and exaltation.
From the Torah: tabernacle
From the Psalms: Psalm 16, 22
From the Prophets: Daniel 7, 9; Isaiah 53
b) From Psalm 40:6-8: That God had given Him a body that He must willingly surrender to God in death.
5. How did He respond to the assignment He discovered there?
a) His water baptism: I choose the cross
b) Tested by the devil: I wont take the easy way out.
c) Satans temptation through Peter: I will let no one dissuade me.
d) Mt of Transfiguration: I wont put my own blessing first. (Luke 9:51 He set His face to go to Jerusalem.)
e) Garden of Gethsemene: I wont try to escape.
f) It is finished: I wont die early (3pm evening sacrifice)
6. Why did He do this?
a) He loved the Father
b) He trusted the Father
c) He desired to fulfill the Fathers plan for Him
d) He had faith to see what His obedience would accomplish
e) He loved you and wanted you with Him forever
7. What is surrender?
a) A willful choice to stop: Living for myself, depending on myself, evaluating myself
b) A willful choice to: Live to bring people to God, to rely on God in every matter, to please God, not people
8. What must happen inside me to surrender like this?
a) Humility: I need Gods help
b) Trust: Gods will is always good
c) Faith: He will do what He promised (in this life and the next; whats on the other side of the grave is more important than whats on this side).
9. Surrender isnt something we do once.
a) It begins the new life: repentance & faith
b) We proclaim it in water baptism
c) Its tested by the devil repeatedly over a lifetime
d) Its constantly refreshed in worship
Ro 12:2 living sacrifices, daily selfless choices, not ashamed of Him
10. Surrender is the key to the victorious life
a) Answered prayer (Mt 6:10; 1Jn 5:14)
b) Purpose (Jn 17:4)
c) Peace (depression, anger at self, failure to achieve)
d) Guidance (Pr 3:5, 6)
e) Ministry I only do what I see the Father do
11. Heres the mystery:
a) When I finally let go of the control then I receive clear guidance for my life and the resources I need are provided.
b) When I stop competing with others and decide to be who God has made me I find fulfillment and peace.
c) When I stop trying to get God to do what I want Him to, I find my prayers are answered.
d) When I accept the fact that I have nothing to give anybody and just become Gods helper, I see the power of God do miracles through me.
12. Remember God will help us surrender
a) Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender, Moody Press, pp 8-10
a) What is the toughest thing God has ever asked you to surrender?
b) Describe an area of your life where you make daily choices to surrender.