I Pick You

Pastor Jake Schram

Worship Theme: I Pick You

First Lesson: Daniel 12:1-3 (NIV)
Second Lesson & Sermon Text: Hebrews 10:11-18 (NIV)
Gospel : John 5:25-29 (NIV)

  • CW 551: For All the Saints
  • Men's Chorus: Wayfarin' Stranger
  • Sr. Choir: Carry Me Over
  • Soon Very Soon

Message Notes & Growth Group Questions

Watch the livestream beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. After the livestream is finished, the video will be available to watch at any time.

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Message: I Pick You

Pastor Jake Schram

A lot of people have trouble reading through the Bible. Part of the reason is most people start at the beginning. Everything goes well at first. Genesis has some exciting accounts like the creation of the universe, the start of God’s people, the flood, Abraham and Sarah having a child after he turned 100 and she turned 90, as well as so much more. Then Exodus is interesting as God performs miracles among his people and frees them from slavery. The accounts are filled with danger, drama, suspense, incredible feats, and unbreakable promises. Then people hit the end of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and things don’t seem so exciting. The Narratives are replaced with rules and regulations. You have the dimensions of the tabernacle given in excruciating detail (ugh). The civil laws for the people (yawn). You also get to read the long list of repetitive duties for the priests. And most people don’t make it through those several books of the Bible when they read them consecutively. The work of a priest was repetitive to say the least. You think it was boring to read about it. Try living it. I’m just going to read a small section from Numbers 28:3-8 for you about what the priests would do. The people would bring things to the priests and the priests would have to carry out the actions.

“Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives. This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord. The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the Lord at the sanctuary. Offer the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you offer in the morning. This is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord”….ZZZZZZZzzzzz.

Sorry. Almost fell asleep there. Hopefully you are all still awake. Now, God’s Word is actually very exciting when you understand the context of everything, but to be fair, that section was a little hard to get through. It basically showed us the type of offerings and sacrifices the priests would offer to God over and over and over and over and over and…

The first verse of our text says, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” The priests were often standing to do the work set out for them. They had to continually do these things because these sacrifices could never actually take sins away. Trying to earn salvation or cleansing the soul through these sacrifices was a fruitless endeavor. It would never get the job done. So why do it? Hebrews 10:1 explains, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” Colossians 2:17 describes further, “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.“ If you try to give your shadow something to hold onto. It doesn’t work. For example if you toss your shadow a plate, your shadow will not catch it. You will most likely just be the proud owner of a broken plate. Now, someone else can hold the plate and the shadow will reflect that. It may even seem like the shadow is holding the plate, but it’s not. Something else had to be doing it. The shadow can’t. It’s the same with the sacrifices. They couldn’t forgive sins. It was only a reflection of the sacrifice who would come to forgive all sins. It pointed people ahead to the Savior, Jesus.

Now, it’s incredibly important to know who to ask for something you want or need. Who you ask for something would depend on what you need. For example, when I was small and wanted sports cards, aka. something that cost money, I didn’t ask my sister because she was also a kid with no job or money. There was no way my sister could give me what I wanted. So who do you think I asked? (Give a second to ask). Yeah, Mom or Dad. If my grandparents lived nearby, I might have tried them, but the two sources of revenue in our house were the parental figures. But it even went a step further. I knew my parents. Organization and cleanliness was very important to my mom so if I wanted binders and pages to keep my sports cards organized and tidy, I would ask her. If I wanted cards, I would ask my Dad because there was good chance he wanted to open a pack of sports cards just as badly as I did. I’m not advocating manipulating your parents. It’s just important to find a source that can actually provide what you are looking for.

With sin, there’s really only one source that can forgive all sins. And he wants to forgive sins. The source is Jesus. “When this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” The priests were often standing because there was still more work to be done. Jesus is sitting because the work is over. It is finished. The world is saved. “13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The victory is won. He gave us all the forgiveness of sins that we need. He’s the one source of that and gives it freely to all people of the earth. And one day all peoples and nations, even his enemies, will have to admit that he won. And he picks you to be saved.

It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be picked. It’s as if someone is telling you the words, “I want you! You are important! You are loved! In this world there are so many with a void in their hearts that could be filled with something. So many songs, movies, books deal with finding something better, something that is missing. To find where you belong, where you are appreciated and loved. We don’t have to go to the movies to see this theme. Everything can feel wonderful when the void is filled. When you feel loved there’s dancing and inexpressible joy. When you are in an argument with your best friend or spouse, despair is like a dark blanket that covers your whole life.

I know a guy who growing up was not the child his parents wanted. He tried. He really did, but he just didn’t fit in. He didn’t have the talents his parents wanted him to have. He didn’t have the interests his parents wanted him to have. He didn’t have the personality his parents wanted him to have. He wasn’t smart enough or athletic enough or mechanical enough. They just didn’t want him. And remember, the kid was trying. From what he told me he wasn’t trying to get into trouble or anything. He just wasn’t what they wanted. Now this guy told me that one night he was sitting in a room close by and his parents were talking and he overheard them say something that shook him to his core. He heard his parents say that they hated him. They didn’t love him. Now my heart just broke hearing that. How could they say something like that? I know a lot of us, myself included, have very good parents and so it may be hard to even fathom something like that. We all like to think we have it unfair, but most of us have it really good. Maybe most of us cannot relate with that situation, but I bet you can relate to the feeling. This guy had a hole in his heart, longing to fill it with something meaningful and lasting. He’s not the only one. So many of you have been hurt in some way.

Collectively, you’ve had coworkers tell lies about you, friends that have betrayed you, people that haven’t kept their promises, church family that wasn’t there for you when you thought they would be. You’ve had houses burned down or broken into. You’ve lost children, lost spouses, experienced spiritual pitfalls, and just flat out been through a lot. Other people have put you through painful experiences…and I’m sure you’ve already thought about that a lot. There’s no doubt people have sinned against you. When’s the last time you’ve really been loved by someone in a perfect and selfless way? It’s hard to find.

But have you thought in depth about the things you’ve put people through? The promises you broke that didn’t seem like a big deal? The person you didn’t show love because you didn’t want to deal with it? The time you screamed at people for no other reason than to let off steam? When’s the last time you’ve truly shown love in a perfect and selfless way? It’s hard to do.

Truth is we all fall short of the glory of God. We currently live in a society that is obsessed with digging up sins from 20 years ago and then trying to use them to ruin people’s lives. But we don’t have to look at society for those types of things. We can look at churches where some dig up decisions made 20 years ago, blame people, blast their stupidity, and refuse to forgive or move forward together. Some nitpick at the others who volunteer, but don’t lift a finger to help. Some hold grudges over comments that were taken out of context and plot their next passive aggressive backhanded response. Some just don’t like letting go. Who does that sound like? That sounds like you. That sounds like me.

When we see that all of us, especially in the church, have messed up we begin to see why we need Christ as a sacrifice. Because every single one of us has sinned at some point or another. All of us have something that could be dragged up to present before God that would make us look down in embarrassment and shame. But Christ looks you in the eyes and says, “I pick you.”

Christ fills that empty void we sometimes have with something lasting. A love that never fails. A grace that forgives all sins. A Spirit that comes from his Word and guides. In fact this same Holy Spirit testifies to us that what Jesus did was true. Our text says, “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” He fills that void in your hearts with his precious Word enabling us to show love to one another. “Then he adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” Jesus says to you, “Don’t feel as if you don’t measure up or that you need to do anything to look special in my eyes. You are forgiven in my sacrifice. I’ve covered you with my perfection. I pick you. There’s a heavenly place waiting. I pick you. When you have your lows in life, I’ll be right beside you. I pick you!”

The world may tell you aren’t strong enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough, or brave enough, but that’s all just meaningless chatter. It’s not true. You are amazing. You are incredible. You are valuable because you are clothed by Christ. You are loved by God. God looks at what his son Jesus has done for you and then he looks at you and out of love he says I pick you. I embrace you, I love you. I pick you. Amen.