Christ’s Holy, Lavish, One-Sided Exchange

Christ’s Holy, Lavish, One-Sided Exchange

I think that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to persevere—to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty. Yet perseverance is what followers of Jesus Christ are called to. We are called to continue to trust in his goodness and mercy at all times, even in the face of difficulty. Because with our recommendation to sell the Leslie House this past week has been one of persevering for our church family, this morning I’m going to take a momentary pause from our study in Exodus to talk about the importance of persevering and trusting in our gracious Father, Son, and Holy Spirit especially in the midst of trials.

In our Old Testament passage from Isaiah 61, Isaiah begins by declaring, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” Although these words “may refer to Isaiah in a limited sense,” as one scholar notes “the Messianic servant is the main figure intended.”[1] In other words, Isaiah is looking forward to the Messiah and the day he’ll arrive. The Messiah will be notable by his commissioning—the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD will be upon him; and by his purpose—he will come “to proclaim good news to the poor.”

The specific nature of the good news to come is spelled out in the remainder of verse 1 into verse 3. God’s promised Messiah, the one upon whom the Sovereign LORD places his Spirit, will be sent:

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion.”

The “year of the Lord’s favor” is the “day of salvation.”[2] Positively, on that wondrous day, God will repair those whose hearts have been broken, set free those who are captive, and bring light to those who are imprisoned by releasing them. Those who have suffered unjustly—and mourn—and grieve will be comforted and provided for. This is the promise of God, the Sovereign LORD. Negatively, on the day when God makes right all wrongs, those who have done wrong will be punished; they will know the “vengeance of our God” and be punished. The coming of the year of the LORD’s favor, the day of salvation, is certain for the Sovereign LORD has promised it.

But in the meantime, Isaiah called God’s people to persevere. They were told to believe in his Word and trust in his loving and compassionate care even in the midst of their very real difficulties and trials. For, as Isaiah went on to specify in verse 3, the Sovereign LORD promised a holy, lavish, one-sided exchange “to bestow on them

a crown of beauty instead of ashes,

the oil of joy instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

In other words, one day God will make right all the wrongs Satan brought about when he lured our first parents to believe and do the bidding of him who hates and seeks to destroy them over that of God who loves and promises to care for them. But the goodness of God is far greater than the evil of Satan; the creative and loving power of God is far greater than the destructive and evil power of Satan. For, again, the Sovereign LORD will take away the ashes experienced during the earthly part of human existence and replace them with a crown of beauty; he will take away the mourning that is part and parcel of earthly life and replace it with the oil of joy—as one commentator notes in the ancient world, “anointing with oil was common on joyous occasions”[3]; and he will take away the spirit of despair that accompanies this earthly journey and replace it with a garment of praise.

Indeed, as Isaiah states at the end of verse 3, in that wondrous day when the favor of the LORD falls lavishly upon those who are his and his vengeance falls upon all who deny him, those who persevere by trusting in the goodness of God “will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Notice that this righteousness isn’t our doing but God’s. We are his planting. Therefore, the righteousness he gives will display his splendor and glory. If we were to trust in our own strength and wherewithal, the result would be ashes, mourning, and despair. But if we trust and rest in the power of the Sovereign LORD, we become the recipients of his holy, lavish, one-sided exchange and receive instead a crown of beauty—the oil of joy—and a garment of praise to him who made and saves us.

Before turning to the end of Isaiah 61 that was read earlier, in the intervening verses Isaiah teases out a vision of triumph for God’s people in which their ancient ruins and riches are restored beyond all imagination.[4] Such a lavish restoration is also due to God’s power alone. And he does so because, as stated in verse 8, “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.” In the year of the LORD’s favor, the day of his salvation, God’s faithfulness to his people will be evident to all.[5]

That Isaiah believed the promise disclosed to him by God is evident by his response to this divine revelation. As recorded in verse 10, “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” God’s promised deliverance—the garments of salvation he gives, the robe of righteousness he provides—are the source of Isaiah’s praise. Such clothing of the redeemed are an expression of God’s grace, of the undeserved merit, he so lavishly bestows upon those who are his. Again, he’ll exchange, he’ll replace, our sin and sorrow with his salvation and righteousness.[6] Because Isaiah placed his hope and confidence in God and God alone, he was able to delight in the LORD not just a little but greatly; and he was able to rejoice not in himself or in his circumstances but in his God. As he goes on to declare in verse 11, “as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” The sprout can’t make itself come up out of the ground but needs good soil; seeds aren’t able to grow of their own accord but need a place that has been tended and cared for by a gardener. That Gardener is the Sovereign LORD. He alone is able to make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations for he alone is righteous—and holy—and good.

Now since Isaiah lived prior to the first Advent of Messiah,[7] he spoke of a future time and events promised by God. But we’re fortunate enough to live when the promised time and events began to be fulfilled. For the promised Messiah arrived in the Person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, the identification of Jesus with God’s Messiah—and, again, as we’ve noted before “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Messiah”—is made evident in a number of places in the New Testament:

First, he is the One upon whom the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD mentioned in Isaiah 61:1 descends. We see this in two key events in the life of Jesus, his baptism and Transfiguration. Matthew recounts that “16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”[8] Similarly, the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD descended upon Jesus at his Transfiguration. Mark records how Jesus’ “clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before [Peter, James, and John] Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus….Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’”[9] So we see how, by the Holy Spirit’s descent upon him, Jesus is commissioned by God as he fulfills Isaiah 61’s declaration, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me.”

Second, there can be no question that in looking at the events in Jesus’ life as recorded by the Gospel writers, he also fulfilled the purpose of Messiah’s coming, that of proclaiming good news to the poor, declared by Isaiah. To take one notable example, Matthew recounts that “2 When John [the Baptist], who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”[10] Listen to Jesus’ response to John’s question: “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”[11] Jesus’ answer to John is in keeping with the deeds that Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets foretold concerning the Messiah. Therefore, as one commentator rightly observes, “Through his death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the ‘day of salvation’…in which the gospel is preached all over the world, and those who were estranged can find peace in him.”[12]

Third, not only do these events from Jesus’ life fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy, but he himself testified that he had fulfilled them. The Gospel of Luke recounts that after Jesus’ baptism and subsequent temptation in the wilderness by the devil, he “14 returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.”[13] Then

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”[14]

Jesus said, “Today this scripture”—the very Scripture from Isaiah 61 that we began with this morning—“is fulfilled in your hearing.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that!

Fourth and last, it’s worth noticing what Jesus omitted concerning his fulfilling Isaiah 61. Whereas he noted the proclamation of good news to the poor and all that that that entailed, he didn’t include Isaiah’s reference to “the day of vengeance of our God.” Scholars widely agree that the reason for this exclusion is because this part of his Messiahship is to be fulfilled after his second Advent, after his second coming when he returns to judge the nations. In the words of one commentator, “The time of healing belongs to His first coming; the time of judgment to the second.”[15] Indeed, all who have lived in the time of fulfillment of Messiah’s coming when our heavenly Father sent Christ to earth are able to experience the day of salvation. And though we who have graciously been given Christ’s salvation may be anxious for his promised final return, Peter reminds us that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”[16] Our merciful and kind Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will tarry until the fulness of those who will believe in and receive Jesus is complete.

As we turn to our passage from Hebrews 13, it’s evident that the author well understood that it is only through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, Jesus Messiah’s sacrifice, that God’s holy and lavish gifts of favor and salvation are granted. Beginning in verse 11 he references the provisional practice God put in place for dealing with humanity’s sin prior to Messiah’s arrival: “The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.”[17] Concerning the latter practice, one scholar notes that “the bodies of the animals burned outside the camp indicated that the substitute became unclean as the bearer of the people’s sins.”[18] But the more important part to note is that prior to Messiah’s coming—prior to Christ’s coming—the way that God dealt with humanity’s sin was by placing its penalty upon animals that were sacrificed in their place. As the author of Hebrews earlier explains,

19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.[19]

Sin is such a serious offense in the eyes of our holy God that nothing less than the shedding of blood is able to appease his holy wrath against it.

Yet the incredible reason that such animal sacrifices are no longer required to appease his wrath is because our merciful Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, determined before the foundation of the world[20] that he would become that sacrifice by placing the penalty for sin upon himself in the Person of the eternal Son, God’s Messiah, the Christ, sent from heaven to earth as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of all who believe in him.[21] As stated in verse 12, “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.” [22] Jesus is the only way to holiness. He is the only way we can become righteous. The blood he shed is efficacious, is effective, only for those who believe and receive him.

Because those who do believe and receive Jesus are united to him[23] by the Holy Spirit he sends them,[24] those who belong to him also share in his disgrace. As stated in verse 13, “Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.”

Because of our union with him, Jesus’ priorities—proclaiming good news to the poor; proclaiming freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind; setting the oppressed free; and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor—should be our priorities;

Because of our union with him, Jesus’ servant attitude, who despite creating the world and all that is in it washed his disciples’ feet,[25] should become our servant attitude;

Because of our union with him, Jesus’ willingness to suffer for doing what is right should typify our lives;

Because of our union with him, Jesus’ willingness to love and die for the ungodly should motivate us to do the same—for we were once ungodly until we experienced his grace, his undeserved merit, and kindness.[26]

But as the ashes and mourning and despair spoken of by Isaiah were but temporary, so too is the bearing of Jesus’ disgrace. As verse 14 reminds us, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” As one scholar notes, “Christian endurance is founded on a realization that this world is a mere temporary dwelling…en route to an eternal abode.”[27]

This future enduring city that is our destiny, this city to come that is promised to all who are Christ’s, is a means of our perseverance. Consequently, as we are exhorted in verse 15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.” Praise comes easily when things are going as we would like them, doesn’t it? But when life is difficult; when what we are experiencing is ashes—and mourning—and despair, then praise becomes a sacrifice. It becomes something we can offer our kind LORD in the midst of our pain or, as stated in the latter half of verse 15, “the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”[28]

And because we have been made not only for God but also for each other, believers are further exhorted in verse 16 to “not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” As we noted last week, it isn’t enough simply to know what God’s Word asks of us; we must also do as it says. The author of Hebrews states that part of the doing of a sacrifice of praise is caring for others. For our gracious Lord is pleased not only with our praises and service to him but, because those who belong to him belong to one another, he is pleased with our doing good and sharing with others.

I began this morning by noting that with the recommendation that we sell the Leslie House, we as a family are being called to persevere as we grieve the loss of this place that has been not only a house but also our home, the place where we’ve studied God’s Word—and sung praises to him—and prayed to him—and shared meals as his children—and, throughout the pandemic, has been our house of worship as well. And all of these have been enhanced by the gracious hospitality of Gail and Richie who will now need to find a new home. Therefore, I felt it appropriate to acknowledge this loss by preaching from God’s Word on the importance of persevering and trusting in our kind and good Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we turn to him in gratitude and praise in the midst of our loss.

The timing of this loss for us as a church family coincides with the beginning of the Lenten season that begins this coming week. Although historically Linebrook Church hasn’t celebrated the Lenten practices of fasting and self-sacrifice associated with Lent,[29] I think it’s appropriate that as together we grieve this loss in the days and weeks ahead, that we focus upon the truths presented to us in Scripture that “here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Therefore, let us remember that our gracious Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has greater things in store for us. By the sacrifice of his Son,

he will take away our ashes and replace them with a crown of beauty;

he will take away our mourning and replace it with the oil of joy;

he will take away our spirit of heaviness and replace it with a garment of praise.

Dear sisters and brothers, I’m so very grateful for the family our gracious Father in heaven has made us. I know that he will continue to bind us together in the days and weeks to come. Because of our loving and merciful Lord Jesus, though we may be grieving together now, we can be confident that days of joy lie ahead. As David so beautifully put it, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

And so let us this morning and always offer a sacrifice of praise to our gracious Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who provides his holy, lavish, one-sided exchange in his Son who willingly died in our place in order that we might live eternally with him; who took our sins upon himself and in their place gave us his righteousness that we might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Let us pray.

Benediction: Romans 15:5–6: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on Isiah 61:1.

[2] See Isaiah 49:8–9: 8 This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’”

[3] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on Isaiah 61:3. Emphasis added.

[4] Isaiah 61:4–7:They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

[5] Isaiah 61:9: Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.

[6] This teaching is also found in the New Testament as human sin is placed on those who believe in Christ in exchange for his righteousness. See, e.g., 2 Corinthians 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31: 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:24]

[7] Isaiah dates to c. 740–681 BC.

[8] Matthew 3:16–17. Emphasis added. See parallel accounts in Mark 1:9–11:At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”; Luke 3:21–23a: 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” John 1:32–34: 32 Then John [the Baptist] gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

[9] Mark 9:2–3, 7–8. See parallels in Matthew 17:1–3, 5–7: 1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus…. While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” Luke 9:28–31, 34–35: 28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem…. 34 While [Peter] was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”; See also John 12:27–32:27 Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

[10] Matthew 11:2–3.

[11] Matthew 11:4–6. See parallel in Luke 7:18–23: 18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

[12] Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Isaiah 61:2. The note references 2 Corinthians 6:[1]–2: 1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[Isaiah 49:8] I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.; Ephesians 2:12, 13: 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.; Ephesians 3:[4]–5: In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.; 2 Timothy 1:[9]–10: He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

[13] Luke 4:14–15. Emphasis added.

[14] Luke 4:16–21. See also Isaiah 58:6: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”

[15] The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Isaiah 61:2. It goes on to reference 1 Thessalonians 1:10: “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”.

[16] 2 Peter 3:9.

[17] See Leviticus 4:11–12: 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the internal organs and the intestines—12 that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it there in a wood fire on the ash heap.

[18] Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:11, 12.

[19] Hebrews 9:19–21. The reference in verse 20 is to Exodus 24:8: Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

[20] See Ephesian 1:3–6: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

[21] John 1:29: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”; 1 John 3:5: But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

[22] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:13 states concerning the comparison made here: “Christ’s death outside Jerusalem represented the removal of sin, as had the removal of the bodies of sacrificial animals outside the camp of Israel.” The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:13 further states that “Jesus’ suffering outside the camp symbolized not only the curse He bore as our sin-bearer, but also His rejection by the Jewish religious establishment and its leaders. The readers are now summoned to accept with courage their own expulsion from Jewish institutions (synagogue and temple, and perhaps family as well), in the confident expectation of the city that is to come.” And the Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:12 observes that “Jesus went to the place of sacrificial animals…, referring to Calvary, outside the gate of Jerusalem.”

[23] Romans 8:9–11, 15:You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you…. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

[24] Both Father and Son send the Holy Spirit. See John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.; John 15:26: When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

[25] John 13:2–5, 12–17: 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him…. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

[26] Romans 5:6–8: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.; Romans 2:4: Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

[27] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:13–14. It references Hebrews 12:2–3: 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

[28] Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Hebrews 13:15 observes that in Hosea 14:2,[28] “this attractive figure of speech”— i.e., “fruit of lips”—“is used for the words that one offers to God when one’s sins are forgiven. This is the ‘sacrifice of praise.’”

[29] For an interesting explanation of the history of Lent, see Christopher Hunt, A Short Version of the History of Lent, February 1, 2018. <>