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Radical Resolution: The Healing Faith and Rest of Christ

John Howe

Description

"Radical Resolution" describes both the moral vision to recognize our brokenness and the resolve to live with integrity. The Faith of Christ and the Rest (as in Sabbath Rest) of Christ will be explored as the healing instruments of God to wholeness and salvation. 

Presenter

John Howe

Medical Intern in the Internal Medicine Residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Recorded

  • October 28, 2016
    7:30 PM

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Good evening. Amen. It wasn't so long ago that in turn in my residency in New Hampshire. I was starting my night float rotation and my first night on night float I arrived in the Resident work room. And the first fellow in turn signed out his team to me and he said OK here's the people I think you need to worry about. Here's the people that are going to be fine for night and as a P.S. Here's my pager. And then the second and turn signed out her team to me. Same route routine and one two three four. I had four pagers on my bell. And I sat down with all of their handouts in front of me and lined them up on the desk and I thought well this is going to be interesting. And it's one of those sort of moments when you realize that after four years of study and medical school. You still don't really know that much. And around about seven o'clock at the after the change of shift that pages would start to come in. One after another. Sometimes we refer to it is in turns as being hammer paged that's when one page after another just hits you in and you're trying to treat. Well it's. Balance seem this person's potassium more important nor do I need to worry about this constipation or. Or or. What's happening but there was another pager that I was given each night on the night float and that pager was the one that really would get my heart rate going and that was called the code pager. And in addition to covering the album in patient teen. At my hospital I was responsible to report to a code as soon as that pager would go off and there was a sense of ironic humor I suppose that the hospital tested that pager at seven pm and seven AM just after I started night float and just before I finished night flow and without fail that pager would really get my heart rate going. One of the words of advice that a more senior resident gave me that I held on to during those nights was John. If your page to a code and for those of you may not know code is what we refer to when somebodies heart stops. They're not responding. And it's the signal for us to evaluate the patient fast and begin C.P.R. if necessary. He said John. If you're called to a code there's one thing I want you to remember when you arrive at the bed. The first thing to do is check your own polls. And there's a logic to that. If you're so panicked when you get to the bedside. You're not going to be able to think clearly and the one thing that matters more than starting chest compressions is being able to think clearly and ask the right people to help you. So in that spirit is that sat here tonight. I checked my pulse. It's ninety. Now part of that is that I'm out of shape. But I suppose that as I'm on the tail end of a cold and I'm sweating up here in my brother's suit. I probably meet sepsis criteria as well. But I'd encourage all of you to check your pulse tonight we need vital signs. We need a sense of where we are in this time in earth's history in to that end I like to place a call a page to the master physician that he would impress on each of your hearts tonight. What your vital signs are like what your pulse is where is your heart. And that he would convince you and convict you of the necessity in these times of radical practice healing in the eleventh hour and that reminds me before I pray that the only slide of my Power Point is right in front of you. Radical practice healing in the eleventh hour. It's actually not my slide but it's nicely designed. And I wish it was my slide but I encourage you to think about that as I speak. Let's pray. Loving Father. I'm in turn standing before a whole roomful of experienced clinician lord whom I the least of all my father's house to bring this message to your people. And yet my weakness can mins your strength. And I pray that your spirit would fill this room tonight. Bless our hearts and our minds that we might have the focus to fasten our attention on you. Having fastened our attention on you and your character. You might be transformed into your enemy which I prayed in Jesus' name amen. You know I love Amen. I've come three years as a medical student and I'm very grateful for the gift. That the Amen members provide to medical students and dental students to come here free of charge. It's wonderful to see all of the medical students from my home institution Loma Linda there's many of you here in dental students as well and I'm encouraged by your testimonies tonight. I was also encouraged denies talking to both in a second year medical student from Rumania today. He described how he kept the Sabbath when Sabbath keeping is not that the fall in Rumania. I was encouraged last night by. Dr Guthrie's presentation on free radicals in practice particularly his story. At the end of his presentation and I was encouraged this morning to participate in Dr Schwartz's morning prayer rounds and courage all of you to come if possible tomorrow morning and again this morning during morning devotionals but I confess that after morning devotionals I retired to my room to study and to pray. I didn't attend any more of the meetings today besides the meeting for lunch. I prayed and studied and prayed some more. And as I looked out over the view from the veranda in our room. I could see the golf course. That said Jason to this whole facility. It's huge and it's quite beautiful. It's green and there's perfectly formed hills that stretch as far as I could see in both directions and I thought about that golf course and I wondered if that golf course is not implemented in some respects of Palm Springs and in some respects of our whole experience here in Palm Springs or perhaps America or perhaps the West and what I mean is that the golf course stretches as far as we can see from here. But if you were to get into a car and drive just ten minutes north ten minutes west ten minutes east or ten minutes south the greenness of the golf course would quickly evaporate into dry and dusty sand. In some senses it's a promise of beauty and fulfillment. That doesn't pan out. If you go for any distance from its epicenter. I'm afraid that we could have a whole conference on radical practices here at Palm Springs and leave and return to our work to our large fancy homes our high pain salaries are nice cars and forget the outside of Palm Springs in the world like it that we happen to live in there's another sort of a world a suffering world a world that is growing dark. The orthopedic surgeons are Atar wrote a perspective piece for The New England Journal of Medicine just earlier this year. It was titled The hell of Syria's field hospital to put us in perspective about what I'm talking about with suffering in the world I'd like to read an excerpt from this piece. He's describing some of the patients he saw at that time when a father he writes who's five year old son was shot in the head by a sniper asks. Who would kill an innocent boy. Why didn't he just shoot me instead. How do we respond. What do we tell the family whose daughter died coughing and choking on her own blood. The bleeding wouldn't stop the blood pooled on the floor. No matter how many lines and tubes we placed we couldn't save her. How do we console the father whose thirteen year old son's skull was blown open above his right ear when I saw the boy his exposed brain was covered with goblets his eyes were swollen shut. He went and grimace now and then in response to pain but he did not last very long. How do we care for the seven year old grandmother who presented with her abdomen lacerated opened her left foot amputated in her right leg crushed. How is she expected to survive on a recent visit to a border hospital in Jordan. I entered one room that held two little girls with traumatic brain injury from shrapnel and concussive bomb blasts. They sat with expressionless faces vacant eyes and contract had limbs. How do we console the parents who asked why this had happened to them and whether their children would return to talking plain and laughing. Next Door were three young siblings who'd been severely burned when a rocket hit their home. Two of them required amputations all three were risk scarred for life. One morning I saw a mother carrying her son into the hospital. They had just survived an air strike they were covered in blood and caked in grey dust the son was bleeding from a torn artery in his left arm his life in Islam were saved by blood transfusions and emergency surgery. The mother said that she'd been holding two of her sons. Before the bomb landed. The other one had died in her arms she felt his intestines in her hands from an open wound in his abdomen. He wasn't moving. She had to let go of him in order to save her other son. I hope that takes us far away from Palm Springs for just a moment puts us in the mood for what the world is really like outside of this oasis puts us in perspective to the fact that the world is growing dark around us. What do we do indeed when we look at the world suffering. What is our response to surgeon Atar and to the patients that he faced. What do we tell our patients here in the United States or elsewhere when they suffer and what do we tell ourselves. There's probably three solutions three any ways that I know of to the problem of suffering. One is to say that God exists and that he's a God of love. And that he suffers alongside of us. Furthermore he has a plan to change the suffering. One day. To a land in a place that suffering will be no more. That's the opinion that I hold to the second is to say that God does exist. But he doesn't care. Or he doesn't love those who suffer in the third is to say that that opinion of God is so very objectionable. That would be much better off not to believe in God and all this opinion is held by the atheists many of whom I work with in New Hampshire. In Syria and other parts of the Middle East the rise of ISIS has caused us in the West to ask many deep existential questions but perhaps none is more pointed than the question that comes to us as we consider why is it that university trained students from Western nations such as Western Europe Canada and America have been radicalized to go and serve as part of a culture that is perpetuating this horror. What is behind ISIS and the process of radicalization. In the spirit of a conference that's dedicated to the word radical at least in part. It might be well for us to perform a root cause analysis. First though would need to understand what we mean by radical This is already being well established. By Dr Guthrie and others subsequently and I don't want to hammer the point but I do want to add this perspective a radical in my opinion is a person a man or a woman who is actuated by core beliefs roots. If you will that are embedded in a belief about something or someone larger than themself a radical is someone whose actuated by core beliefs or roots that are embedded in the bedrock of something or someone that is larger than themselves. I mention the atheist position. Richard Dawkins one of the foremost in their camp approaches the question of suffering in the world and describes God in this way he says. Begin quote the God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction jealous and proud of it a petty unjust unforgiving control freak a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser a massage a mystic homophobic racist infanticide all genocidal fil A Seidel pestilential megalomaniacal saddo masochistic capriciously malevolent bully. Richard Dawkins The God Delusion. Who would be a radical communists would be radicals they believed in a Utopia that was bigger than themselves and millions of them over the past century have passed away to prove that point jihad. Are radicals. They also believe in something by. Or than themselves something worth dying for atheists are not radicals. There's nothing bigger than themselves. But Richard Dawkins I believe is a radical the way he describes God the detail he invests in these care. The lies of belief in that god. What is behind this radicalization. If we were to conduct a root cause analysis in terms of radical is that just to find it. I think we would find that these young men and women coming from the west and entering into this spirit and culture of ISIS are actuated by two principles number one the void created by atheism and X. the stench will void that removes a sense of meaning. And a sense of purpose is absolutely unacceptable they behold the golf courses of Palm Springs and they say no there's no meaning in that sort of a life. I want to live a life that is actuated by purpose principle wonder for it is unacceptable and then principle to an understanding of God that is fundamentally different they believe that God loves those who obey his will. And hates those who don't we are. Well I believe to be horrified at what's happening in Syria to be horrified at what Richard Dawkins said about God but our whore is Mr directed. Too often are horrors directed at Isis at Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris or any of the other new atheists instead our horror should be self directed for we as a generation have not yet demonstrated to the world. The true loving care of guy. Ellen White in Christ object lessons page sixty nine says Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of himself in his church when the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in his people. Then he will come to claim them as his own Can you imagine God the whole being. What's happening in Syria right now. Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of himself in his church. And when we look with horror at what's happening as a result of a misperception of God's character. We would do well to take a careful look in the mirror. The Darkness. Is deep in mean can you see the need for a light. If so how do we go about it. What are we to do as a people as individuals. When we were turned from this weekend. What are we to do. Should we try harder. It's been tried before. And it hasn't worked. You know I'm reminded as we wrestle with this problem of patients who present diagnostic dilemma it's. They don't fit neatly into one of our boxes. There's things about their story that just don't ring true. These sort of patients. I found that this story is worth a thousand lab tests. Tonight. I'd like to share some stories with you and I pray that the Spirit would guide your hearts and minds to understand. The diagnosis for our people for patients for each of us individually. My first story begins in the year seventeen twenty five a baby was born named John Newton John was born to a sea faring father and a God fearing mother. His mother taught him the catechism which he learned by heart. And not a few of the hands of Isaac Watts' which he would remember for the rest of his life but two weeks before his seventh birthday his mother died she had been coughing and the doctors told his grief stricken father and John. That it was consumption a process we call tuberculosis. John was shipped off to boarding school where his fickleness and laziness as a student made two years of boarding school help both I suspect for him and his teachers. It was an intel he was eleven that he convinced his father to let him come with him on a sailing ship. As the captain's son I suspect that these traits of laziness were only aided and abetted protected perhaps from the rigors of see that other men. Those times would have been chiseled away. When he was eighteen years old he returned from one those his father's sailing voyages and was visiting friends and relatives in London he was captured and impressed into the Royal Navy at the age of eighteen on that visit. It was sixty eight years before another young man an American named Joseph would be impressed into the Royal Navy by much the same mechanism. John Newton was not a fan. You might say of the Royal Navy and at the first opportunity when the ship came to port. He walked off the ship. Intending to never come back. Unfortunately for him. The captain caught wind of this and did bring him back but he didn't only bring him back he brought him back stripped off his shirt lashed him to the metal grating of the ship and in front of three hundred fifty of his crew members. Administered ninety six lashes eight dozen lashes. It's a miracle really when you think of the bacteria that live on a ship in those times that he even survived but survived he did. Unfortunately as often is the case the psychological wounds lasted longer than the physical wounds. And John. One night on the in the darkness on the edge of his ship was preparing to carry out a plan that he had hatched in humiliation and anger over this he planned to steal into the captain's room kill him walk out jump over the side of the ship and kill himself. As he was preparing to do this he would later write I felt the mighty restraining hand of God keeping me from fulfilling this purpose. He remained with the Royal Navy only as long as he had to and transferred to a ship known as the Pegasus a slave ship bound for West Africa. John Wood did not hit it off. Well with that crew either whether his laziness and his disruptive behavior turned the crew against him nor he had been had the cards stacked against him by the report of being a desert or is not clear but hate him. The crew did so much so that they felt glad to part with his company when they reached the coast of West Africa and they gave him to a slave captain. The slave captain in turn gave John to his wife. The princess paid an African princess of Sierra Leone. The Princess didn't treat him well in fact she abused him. And treated him as worse than her own slaves and for three long years. John would serve as a slave to slaves. In the land of West Africa. At length at the age of twenty one. His father growing anxious for the welfare of his son. Sent one of his fellow captains in search and he found John and took him on board his own slave ship. Over the following years John would serve as both a crew member and then as a captain of multiple slave ships traveling and carrying human cargo between West Africa. West Africa and the new world. He encountered multiple storms and each time he would run into a storm. He would promise God cry out to God that he would live a reformed life. If only God would save his life. This one time but repeatedly he would not be able to deliver on this promise and would fall back into his old ways Kirsteen swearing living. The life. He writes I was governed by present appearances and looked no further in time in his childhood faith changed into Deism and deism changed to atheism. He writes the troubles in miseries were my own I brought them upon myself by first seeking God's good and pleasant paths and choosing the way of transgressors which I found very hard they lead to slavery contempt famine and despair. On one of his final voyages the age of twenty nine John was returning from the New World. And picked up in boredom more than anything else a book by Thomas a campus. Known as the Imitation of Christ as he read. He writes that he experienced an odd sensation of feeling almost bordering on on ask himself could these things be true. During that final voyage. They did meet a violent storm off the coast of Ireland in which the whole of the ship was breached and the ship began to sink hole filled with water and John once again cried out to God for deliverance. He writes that the ship. Shifted suddenly baggage moved in the hall and stopped up the hole and nuff that they were able to flounder their way to the coast of Ireland when he landed John went directly to the nearest church received the communion and committed his life to Christ. Whether or not he planned to go back to sea is uncertain but. A terrible and sudden illness befell him at the age of twenty nine. It's not clear exactly what that was some scholars believe it was a stroke. I was looking at an old painting of John Newton that shows a very mild droop in his left eye lens suggestive of the residual effects of a stroke. Whatever it was he recovered fully. But he would never return to the sea. He committed his life to Christ and purpose to become a minister of the Gospel but without much of an education. It took him ten years to convince any church to ordain him as a minister in the meantime he worked as a tax collector in London and studied Hebrew Greek in Syria. AK. He was ordained a minister in seven hundred sixty four by the influence of the second Earl of Dartmouth a man by the name of William leggy this gentleman incidentally was the gentleman for whom my home institution was named in seven hundred sixty one. John Newton went on for the next and final forty years of his life to labor with dedication for his churches but there was a sense of unresolved guilt and his life. A sense of discord and a question of purpose. Much of this stemmed from a deep Naing sense of guilt. He would constantly recall the voices and the experiences of the slaves on the ships that he took to the new world. But as Newton grew older he continued to study the character of God as revealed in Jesus and it led him to what I would call a retrospective root cause analysis. He began digging down deep to the principles that had actuated his actions and God's actions over the course of his life and as he did so discord resolve to Concord and inspired a fierce determination and his heart. In deep repentance at the age of sixty three he would write thoughts upon the slave trade an exposé of his entire career as a slave master. And shipper he mailed this to every minister of Parliament in his old age. John Newton began to lose his eyesight. Slowly gradually it dropped away and the world darkened perceptibly around him. But in the deepening darkness. John Newton found a radical resolution. Radical because he was motivated by principles greater than himself resolution because he was not only motivated but felt a sense that the discord in his life was resolving. Into harmony in Concord. In his final years John would preach with a up assistant just behind him then to his side in the assistant had a long stick. Before him he had his manuscript. And the assistant would follow along his progress word by word sentence by sentence. This helped John in his terrible eyesight he could look up at the congregation and then look back down to dismantle scrip and see right where he was and one day he was preaching. And he came to the line and he spoke it out said Jesus Christ is precious. You can almost imagine the old man. He was bit plump he wore a wig. His face was weather beaten by many many years on storms and it see. I imagine that the old captain probably gripped his podium. As if swaying on the deck of his ship. There was a pause after he said Jesus Christ is precious. Perhaps he scanned the face of his congregation to try and see if there was any impact and perhaps he was just trying to catch his breath. But then he said it again. Jesus Christ is precious. There is an imperceptible stiffening in the crowd they wondered if the old preacher may be had made a mistake. The young man behind him leaned forward and said John you've already said that you can keep going. John turned slowly. I imagine and looked directly at the young man standing behind him and said I know I said it twice. And I mean to say it again. And turning back to his congregation. John Newton said Jesus Christ is precious. Why was Jesus precious to John Newton to understand that we need to turn to the experience of another blind man this blind man inhabits the text of Luke eighteen thirty five and I invite you to turn with me there to Luke eighteen verse thirty five. Luke eighteen in verse thirty five says and it came to pass that as he that is Jesus was coming to Jericho a certain blind man sat by the wayside begging this man Mark tells us was named Bartimaeus Bartimaeus who was blind. We don't know if it was congenital or acquired. But what we do know is that Bartimaeus his blindness had led him to a life of utter dependency on his fellow man. He begged for a living. As he sat there in the dust passers by May or may not have given him offerings of mercy. His position was compounded by the fact that people in his time believed that disease was a sign of God specific judgment on specific people. It was the Passover season the memorial of the time when the children of Israel in Egypt had experienced God passing over them with mercy to spare their firstborn. Berta mayors must have wondered would God pass him over without mercy. Imagine start to mate sitting Blind Side. And in the roadside dust as he contemplated this Passover season. Keep your finger in Luke will come back to it but turn to John eleven fifty five. John eleven fifty five says in the Jews Passover was nine hand in many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves then they sought for Jesus and spake among themselves as they stood in the temple What think ye that he will not come to the feast. Now both the chief priests and the fairies he's had given a commandment that if any man knew where he were he should show it that they might take him. There is a great debate in the Jewish economy about Jesus who was he. What was his purpose. The people and priests alike wanted to see him at this Passover. But for different reasons. The people longed for a Messiah who would deliver them from the Romans. The priest longed for the blood of the man they saw as a cancerous usurper. Of their rightful authority. And in this context we learn in the viruses just proceed in the story of Bartimaeus that Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem knowing what would come upon him there. He purposed to go up. Luke eighteen. We turn back then he took on to him the twelve and said to them. Behold we go up to Jerusalem and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished for he shall be delivered on to the Gentiles and shall be mocked and spitefully and treated and spit on. And they shall scourge him and put him to death in the third. Day he shall rise again we skip back to verse thirty seven Bartimaeus sitting in the dust wondering about the Passover wondering what God's character was like. And they told him Jesus of Nazareth passes by. I'm sorry I think and I know it's got out of order Bartimaeus asked as the group was passing What is this commotion and they told him Jesus of Nazareth passes by. Suddenly the silent man by the roadside finds his voice. Jesus the Son of David have mercy on me. I want you to notice the pivot Bartimaeus makes between Jesus of Nazareth as announced a hand. And Jesus that son of David. By contrast we see in John Chapter seven. Verses fifty. Nicky Demas said to them. He came to Jesus by night being one of them does or law judge any man before hears him and know what he does. They answered and said to him. Art thou also of Galilee search and look for out of Galilee or rises no prophet and every man went into his own house here the fair seas were convinced that Jesus of Nazareth could not be a prophet and here blind Bartimaeus was convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was none other than Jesus the Son of David. What made the difference between Bartimaeus in the fair sees the hearts longing defines a watershed in understanding the character of Christ. If we long for Dominion. Or for deliverance. It makes a very big difference as he cried out. Jesus that son of David have mercy on me the story continues in the verse thirty nine they that went before rebuked him. That he should hold his peace. This is a classic story of misdiagnosis and misapprehension of need Bartimaeus was a beggar. He probably had a cup in his hand and those in the vanguard of Jesus's group thought don't bother Jesus with that Bartimaeus he's got more important things to do. He's not going to give you any coins anyways sinner that you are. That misdiagnosis was based on it's an assumption of need. Do you and I do the same when a patient comes to us asking for pain meds. When a colleague comes to us telling us about this event enter that event in their life and we're not listening for what's really behind what they're asking for Bartimaeus asked for mercy. But Jesus list sent. Jesus stood in verse forty and commanded him to be brought to him when he was come he asked him saying What will that I shall do unto thee. Do you and I pause with our patients stop along the roadside long enough to ask them what is at the root of their cries for hell part of Mass replied. Lord. That I am there so may receive my sight and Jesus said to him received I say that i faith. I saved. And immediately he received his sight and followed him glorifying God and all the people when they saw I gave praise to God. Bartimaeus is blind faith was not blind at all. It was a determined relentless focus of his mind's eye on the character of Jesus Christ the Son of David a focus that would not be rebuffed by the rebuke of those in Jesus fan guard but held fast to Jesus the Son of David where did this remarkable transformative faith come from Bartimaeus must have heard of the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth and the hearing of that miracle history had convinced him that Jesus of Nazareth was Jesus the Son of David the actions of Jesus ignited the faith Bartimaeus. But we read in Isaiah fifty three that there's a deeper significance to this transaction. Isaiah fifty three starting in verse three says he is despised and rejected of men a man of sorrows and a coin to do with grief and we hid as it were faces from him. He was despised and we steamed him not surely he have 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. This text makes a. Clear that healing is a transactional transformation in which our sickness is transferred to Jesus and His health is transferred to us. Therefore if Jesus said that I faith has saved to be as the mechanism by which this healing was imparted would not. He also have meant my faith in exchange for your weakness has saved you. There is an important distinction between a faith in or about Jesus and the faith of Jesus. What happened to Bartimaeus we wonder were only given a snapshot of his life. The faith of Jesus had transformed his life and now we're all had been darkness light filled his life but as somebody who sees lots of relapse. Did he relapse. Or did he maintain his faith. Jesus continued to Jerusalem and in Jerusalem. He kept the Passover in a way that was unique. We behold in the chapters of each gospel a written dition of Jesus in that final Passover week. It is filled with conflict the fairy seeds in anger seeking a way to kill him. The people hope fall that this will be the Messiah to bring dominion. And a few like Mary just seeking. A deeper faith view of Jesus' face looking for a messiah of deliverance. We are led from the Last Supper to get seventy and from get seventy through all of the horror surrounding the Cross L and White writes in her chapter Calvary in desire of ages chapter seventy eight as Jesus was falling under the weight of the cross. She writes since the Passover supper with his disciples he had taken neither food nor drink. He had agonized in the garden of gifts and many in conflict with say Tanach agencies. He had endured the anguish of betrayal and had seen his disciples for sake him and flee. He had been taken to anice then decay ifas and then to pilot from pilot he had been sent to harried and then sent again to pilot from insult to renewed insult from mockery to mockery twice tortured by the scourge all that night. There had been a scene after scene of a character to try the soul of man to the uttermost Christ had not failed. And yet his trials continued. What do we learn from the faith of Jesus on the cross in Luke twenty three verse thirty three we pick up Luke's version of the story. Luke twenty three verse thirty three. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary there they crucified him and the malefactors one on the right hand and the other on the left then said Jesus Father forgive. I'm for they know not what they do and they parted his Rayment and cast lots. We skip down to verse forty four of Luke twenty three and it says and it was about the sixth hour. And there was a darkness. Over all the earth and tell the ninth hour like the darkness that John Newton felt in his extremity like the darkness that Bartimaeus had experienced in his blindness a darkness descended on Jesus at the cross a darkness that was much more real much more spiritual much more discouraging a darkness that separated from his view the presence of God. And caused him to wonder is God Still there is God still there for me will God pass me over without mercy. What do we learn from the faith of Jesus in this moment. If there's one thing you learned tonight I'd encourage you to listen it in this next statement from Ellen White. This is desired ages page seven five six. Amid the awful darkness apparently for saken of God Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human world in those dreadful hours he had relied upon the evidence of his father's acceptance here to forgiven him he was a coin tid with the character of God. He understood his justice His mercy and His great love. By faith. He rested in Him whom it had ever being his joy to obey and as in submission he committed himself to God the sense of the loss of his father's favor was withdrawn. By faith Christ was Victor. The faith of Jesus was a personal experience will understanding of the justice the mercy and the great love of God. This he must have desired to communicate to us as we read in his final prayer in John seventeen verse twenty five and twenty six. John seventeen verse twenty five says oh righteous father the world has not known you but I have known you. And these have known that you have sent me and I have declared unto them via name and will declare it that the love wherewith that has loved me. Maybe in then and I in their Jesus says I have declared to them dying name by my life and work and then he says it's and will declare it. He must have meant that there was something about the cross that was specifically designed to reveal to each one of us the true fundamental nature of God. Something about the cross that would make clear the faith of Jesus and its impartation each and every one of us in the ministry of healing page four twenty three we read the revelation of God's love to man. Centers on the cross. It's full significance tongue cannot attend cannot per tray the mind of man cannot comprehend looking upon the cross of Calvary we can only say God so loved the world that he he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. She goes on the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have it is the knowledge that works transformation of character this knowledge received will recreate the soul in the image of God it will impart to the soul to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine. Faith then is recast as the experience chill knowledge of God received in Christ. Yet knowing is different than doing as each one of us can probably attest to. Jesus who is now under the most extreme physiologic and emotional stress that any human being has ever known. The description of his death makes me wonder and maybe Dr Schwartz can back me up on this whether or not he died of cardio myopic a stress induced enlargement of the heart that likely lead to have been trickle or wall rupture Jesus knew he was on the point of death his faith the reaching out and holding on to the character of God in the midst of the darkness had endured to this point. And yet. There was with another action that Jesus did before he died. Luke twenty three forty six when Jesus had cried with a loud voice he said Father into their hands. I commend my spirit and having said that he gave up the ghost. This I believe is the rest of Jesus the secret in my opinion. I've been during faith the finishing touch. If you will on faith. There is a point to which faith in our humanity can endure. But our brains rely on glucose and that supply is a limited supply after while. The faith. The focus on God. Gradually corrupts itself into a version of all just try a little harder and that sets us up for total and complete failure rest is the antidote to that sort of fatigue not a couch potato sort of rest but an active commitment of our hearts and minds to the keeping of God We read in Hebrews four a passage which I encourage all of you to consider deeply Hebrews four verse nine to eleven for sake of time I want to explore the whole passage though I would love to you. It says in verse nine there remains therefore a rest to the people of God For he that is entered into his rest. The rest of Jesus. He also has ceased from his own works as God did from his. Let us labor. Are therefore to enter into that rest. Lest any man fall after the same example of on the leaf on the Sabbath evening Friday night at the beginning of the Sabbath. I think it behooves us to reflect that there is an untapped potential for behavioral change and behavioral maintenance in the Sabbath day rest. There seems to be a reciprocal relationship between faith and rest. Faith leads us to rest in fact rest cannot really be enjoyed without faith and rest maintains that faith both find their source in the example of Jesus on the cross. They are in reality the faith of Jesus and the rest of Jesus imparted to us as so to fix our eyes on his care. Hebrews Chapter twelve starting in verse one says. Wherefore seen we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us and let us run with patience or in durance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is set down at the right hand if the throne of God For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself less. The weird and faint in your minds. We are compassed about with the great cloud of witnesses all heavenly intelligences bend their mind this point in the universe's history to examine will God's character be replicated in his people and all of those around us in the world who are struggling with the darkening specter of the world the Syria. Of our world are wondering about God's character is God there and if he is can he be trusted. Is he a god of love or a god of hate. Let us lay aside every weight in this sandwich does so easily beset us and run with him during the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the author in the finisher of our faith. John Newton four days before Christmas eighteen zero zero seven it was the year that the slave trade was abolished in Parliament lay dying in his bed now John was almost completely blind he could at last say in the him he wrote in titled Faith's review and expectation as a blind man he could at last say I once was blind but now I see as he lay there in his bed dying Newton dictated to a friend the epitaph. If that he wished to have inscribed on his tombstone. The one phrase that would capture the essence of his life and as he approached his final moment he turned to his friend and whispered My memory is nearly gone but I remember to think that I am a great center and that Christ is the great savior. John Newton died later that day likely bending the full weight of his attention on the phrase that he had repeated three times in that sermon. Jesus Christ is precious. He rested in that phrase and will rest and tell Jesus comes to raise him up at the last day in the meanwhile his tombstone reads John Newton. Once an infidel and libertine. A servant of slaves was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ preserved restored pardoned and appointed to preach the faith. He had long labored to destroy. Yes John Newton by faith will continue to rest in Jesus. The question is in the world's great darkness. What would you have your epitaph to read. Please bear your heads and pray Lord and Father. If your spirit has pricked us tonight. May it be on to repentance and if we have experienced conviction. Maybe for more than a weekend. Help us to fasten our eyes. Focus on your character. They we behold your face by faith and commit our hearts to your keeping by rest. And may you work in our lives a radical resolution. To live for you to display your character to the world. To prepare hearts and minds for Jesus this media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio first you would like to listen to more sermons leave the Visit W W W or.

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