Jesus the Lord of Sinners
Pastor Duane Smets
June 10th, 2018
I. The Sinner’s Meal
II. The Sinner’s Prayer
III. The Sinner’s Sight
We’ve been reading and studying through the book of Luke in our church now for a little over a year and four months and everything we’ve been reading has been up to this point…the final twenty-four hours of Jesus life. It’s in these final twenty-four hours where Jesus gives Himself fully and completely to His mission, to give His life for sinners.
He said it early in the book in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” The scenes we’re looking at today are the final events of Jesus life before His arrest and in each one we see Him calling sinners to Himself in a powerful way. So I simply titled my sermon for this morning, “Jesus the Lord of Sinners.”
We’ll read the text in a minute but before we do I want to set it up. And the way I want to set it up is simply by talking about this word “sinner.” It’s not a popular word, is it? It’s not a word we like. It’s a word that provokes defensiveness, distaste and feels derogatory.
I was meditating on this and pondering my own objections to the term and why I don’t like being identified as a sinner and I was dropping my kids off at school the other day and outside of the library they had a banner hanging which said this:
T - Is is Thoughtful?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Needed?
K - Is it Kind?
I read that and I realized that my objections to being called a “sinner” are two-fold.
One, we live in a culture which is constantly telling us to be good and that we can be good if we only try hard enough. The message we are fed is that if we want to be, we can be thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, attend to needs and be kind. You just gotta think, right? The funny thing is we wouldn’t actually need to be told this if we didn’t actually have a problem doing so. But we do and the problem goes deep down.
So that’s one thing, we are constantly fed this narrative in our culture that we are good people. There are a few bad ones out there who shoot up schools, who are racist, and who do bad things but the rest of us are pretty good.
The other reason I realized I don’t like the moniker “sinner” is because it feels like someone is telling me I’ve done something wrong or that there’s something wrong with me and that doesn’t feel good. It feels like the good things about me are dismissed and the bad things about me are emphasized and exploited. It automatically puts me in this judging game with myself about my worth and how good I’ve been.
What I want to present to you today is a somewhat different perspective. What I want to present to you today is that to be a sinner is simply to be in need. To be a sinner is to be someone who needs help. A sinner needs help because no matter how hard they try they can’t be good enough OR they get really prideful about how good they are. And both of those are terrible ditches one can’t escape.
What we have in our text today is Jesus reaching out, offering Himself to sinners in a meal, in a prayer, and in His eyes as the one who can help and save sinners. So if there’s one thing I hope you walk away today remembering for the rest of your life it’s that Jesus saves sinners. Jesus saves sinners.
With that let’s go ahead and read our text, acknowledge God’s blessing in it and pray over our time together.
1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.
3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” 9 They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10 He said to them, “Behold when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.
24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day until you deny three times that you know me.”
35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness.”
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour, still, another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
So three points for today, “The Sinner’s Meal”, “The Sinner’s Prayer”, “The Sinner’s Sight”. Let’s jump into this first point.
I. The Sinner’s Meal
To understand this meal and how big of a deal it was you’ve got to know some things about the background of this meal. This meal was a special ceremonial meal that all Jews would partake in once a year. And get this they had been doing it every year in their race and religion for approximately 1,476 years.
I mean just think about that. This is a significant tradition. Like Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has only been a holiday and tradition for 397 years. Tack another thousand plus some on that was how long the Jewish people had been having this special Passover meal once a year by the time Jesus did it here with His disciples in Luke.
What started the whole Passover meal was a miracle event God did in Egypt for His people and it’s loaded with symbolism, which is the backdrop of everything Jesus says and does when He has the meal with His disciples. You can go read about it in detail in Exodus 12 in the Bible. Here are the nuts and bolts of it.
God’s people had been slaves for over four hundred years. They cried and cried out to God praying and asking Him for deliverance and God heard their cry. He did eight different miracles, announced by His servant Moses, each of which attacked a supposed Egyptian god. But after each miracle, Pharaoh the rule of Egypt would not free God’s people.
So God decided on one final plague to attack the last Egyptian deity, Pharaoh himself who considered himself a god. God said He would sweep through the night and kill the firstborn of every man and beast. God is a just God, who when defied over and over again eventually says no more.
But God is also a merciful God, so He said, look, anyone who believes in me and wants to be saved, do this. Take a white spotless lamb and kill it and take some of its blood and put it on the doorframe of your house and when I come in the night I will pass over your house, not killing it’s firstborn.
So God’s people did that and lo and behold that’s exactly what took place. Pharaoh didn’t do it, didn’t believe in God, and his supposed son of God was killed and after that Pharaoh let God’s people go. And from that point on, every year the Jews had a special meal to remember that great event simply called, “The Passover.” This is the backdrop of the meal Jesus has with his disciples.
Now I want us to look at how Jesus feels about this meal. In verse 15 of our text, Jesus says, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”
I have earnestly desired. Seven different times in Luke so far Jesus has specifically said He would suffer and die. The whole of His ministry was executed meticulously looking forward to this last 24 hours of His life. This meal is a meal which is ultimately symbolic of death…and Jesus says He has “earnestly desired it.”
The word for “desired” there in the original Greek it is translated from is the same word the Bible translates in other places as “lust.” Jesus lusted after this final meal. He could not wait to get to this point in his life.
He surely spent the last three years of His time with the disciples looking forward to it but I would also bargain He was looking forward to it a lot longer than that. Not just the last three years of His life and not even the last thirty years of His life on earth, but I’d venture to say Jesus had been looking forward to it for the last one-thousand four-hundred and seventy-six years. Waiting and wanting to come and to give Himself as the ultimate Passover so that sinners everywhere might be saved.
This is what the people were waiting for. Jeremiah the prophet, hundred of years before this promised it from God. He said in Jeremiah 31:31-32, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant…not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke.”
You see God’s covenant back in Egypt from the Passover was a deal, God would save them if they would serve and obey Him. But they kept running into a problem, the problem we talked about at the beginning of the sermon. No matter how hard they tried they failed…because they, like us, were sinners.
So verse 19-20 in our text today, Jesus, looking forward to what He was about to do in roughly 24 hours, takes the bread and takes the cup and says, “This is my body which is given for you…This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Do you get what Jesus doing in this? He is saying He is the fulfillment of the Passover. With this supper and His death, He initiates the New Covenant. What He’s doing is presenting Himself as the Passover lamb, so that all who not just wipe His blood on their door but drink it with their lips, will have the eternal wrath of God pass over them.
What Jesus is doing in this meal, the meal we have every week here at our church is offering Himself to us. Jesus gives us this meal. He gives it as a tangible way that we taste His grace.
I read the story of the original Passover to my girls the other night. Their immediate response was, “yuck!” The Bible is actually pretty gory about it. And then my middle daughter who loves animals asked me a very good theological question. She said, “Daddy, why did God want them to kill a poor lamb?”
I said, “That’s a very good question, sweetie.” God loves lambs. It’s one of the things that God calls us in the Bible, His beloved sheep. But it also says that we all like sheep have gone astray.
When God asked them to sacrifice the Passover lamb He had very specific instructions. He said it had to be without spot, wrinkle or blemish, pure white. If you’ve ever seen sheep in real life their wool gets dirty fast. But a fresh, clean lamb is one of the whitest animals God ever made.
When Jesus first started preaching, John the Baptist looked at Him and said, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).”
Jesus is our perfect lamb. Unlike us, He wasn’t a sinner. He never sinned and then offered His perfect life on our behalf so we could be forgiven. You see that’s why the old covenant didn’t work. Like sheep we get dirty. But Jesus never did and then gave Himself so that God would not be mad at us but see Jesus blood and pass over us.
This is the meal of all meals. The meal for sinners. Every meal we ever eat is meant to remind us of it.
What is it that makes you think about a meal? It’s when you get hungry, isn’t it? Being a sinner is being someone in need. It’s being hungry.
In this meal, the Passover meal, the Lord’s Supper, Jesus offers Himself to us, to satisfy our eternal need…our need for a savior, one who blood can cause God’s wrath for sin to pass over us.
So today I have a very simple question for us, are you hungry? Do you see and feel your need? We like the ancient Jews need deliverance from our slavery to sin, slavery to our pride, slavery to our self-confidence and failing self-salvation projects. In and through Jesus and His blood we can be freed and fed.
He offers the meals to hungry sinners. Are you hungry yet? None of the other foods out there will do. You can’t make the food you need. It can only come from the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, who saves sinners.
Well, that leads us to our next point, “The Sinner’s Prayer.”
II. The Sinner’s Prayer
Some of you may have heard of “The Sinner’s Prayer.” It’s often referred to as a prayer you pray to become a Christian. You say something like, “Lord, I confess I am a sinner. I believe you died on the cross and rose again for my sin. Come into my heart and my life. Amen.”
Now, that’s not necessarily a bad prayer to pray. But it’s not the prayer that makes someone a Christian. The true sinner’s prayer is the one that Jesus prayed out on the Mount of Olives for those who would believe.
Right after the meal they basically get in a fight about who is going to get to be Jesus’ lieutenants and generals when He comes into His kingdom…they want to know who is going to be the greatest. They just don’t get it. Jesus just said He was about to do an even better Passover, better than the one that happened over fourteen-hundred years ago and it just went completely over their heads.
He’s said seven times in Luke this far that He’s going to die and then rise but they are still thinking they’re going to fight, probably thinking some will die but they as a group will rise victorious. Verse 38 is actually kind of funny. They basically say, “Jesus we’re ready to fight, we’ve got two swords!” And Jesus’ response is basically, “enough of this silly talk.”
They still don’t get it and when the rulers come to arrest Jesus, one of them cuts off a dudes ear and Jesus gets upset and says in verse 51, “No more of this.” And then performs one last healing miracle.
They just don’t get it. Just like us. We often just don’t get it. So many Christians today are fighting for the right government and the right laws and missing who Jesus is and how Jesus works.
Before He’s arrested Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives to pray. He asks the disciples to pray twice, but they can’t do it. Once again, disciples, followers of Jesus, like us are seen as weak sinners who need help.
In verse 32, Jesus points out Peter and all of our weaknesses and says that He prays for us and then in verse 42, the Bible records one of His prayers for us. It says he was about a stone’s throw away, so they could hear him. Let’s look at His words.
Verse 42 says, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
First, He calls upon God as Father. It’s a tender moment. Jesus consistently throughout His life spoke of this intimate connection with God the Father unlike one anyone ever had.
Earlier in Luke 10:22 Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Jesus’ claim both with His words and His deeds was that He was more than just a mere man, but was also the divine Son of God. And that’s the picture we see of Him here in these scenes we’re looking at today, He’s guiding and directing everything with a divine foreknowledge of everything that was going to take place.
In verses 7-12 Jesus gives them specific instructions on where to go in the giant city of Jerusalem, knowing that just at the time they get there they’ll see a guy with a jar of water, then to talk to him and he’ll have a big house and he’ll let them eat the Passover in. And verse 13 says, “They went and found it just as he had told them.”
The whole meal discussion is predicated upon Jesus imagining in His mind what He was about to do in how He would “suffer” and then explaining the meaning and significance of it.
He predicts with precision Judas betrayal and Peter’s denial even down to the number of times Peter will deny Him within a certain amount of hours when a rooster will crow. Everything. Every little detail, Jesus knows as the divine Son of God who knows all things and knows the future.
So He prays in verse 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours, be done.”
What’s the cup? We read it earlier in verse 20. It’s His blood, from His death as the Passover lamb. Jesus is crying out in anguish, His divine knowledge of the future bumping up against His human fear of death and God’s wrath and asking God if there’s any other way. But there wasn’t.
God’s will to save sinners through the death of His Son was greater than His will that no one should suffer, which is a helpful reminder. There are always two wills in God and His greater sovereign will which always acts for ultimate good always wins. And if you want to read more about that text? to? right now and I’ll send you something I’ve written on that.
So Jesus is feeling this. He’s imagining in His mind all that is about to happen. The mockery. The beating. The injustice. The whipping. The nails in His hands and feet. The wrath of God poured out on His sinless soul as He took on the sins of the world.
He’s imaging all that and it almost breaks Him. He’s feeling deeply and begins to experience hematridosis, a medical condition where under great anxiety, you begin to sweat blood. That ought to be a comfort for us. Jesus knows what it feels like to feel stressed out. Probably panic attack level and in the middle of it was able to resist temptation.
So Jesus is feeling His humanity deeply and bitterly. But look what happens, what He says, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours, be done.” He knows God’s answer and in this moment of sweet resolution, He recommits to the plan that He and the Father had drafted before the foundation of the world. Not human will, but God’s divine will be done.
How? How could Jesus do this? How could He give up His life for sinners?
Romans 5:7-8 says it this way, “One will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The answer to how Jesus could do this is because He loves sinners. He loves you and I no matter what we’ve done and what we will do. That’s why this is the true sinners' prayer because Jesus prays the prayer which commits His life to save sinners. It’s because Jesus prayed this prayer that there is any hope for sinners like you and me.
To be a sinner is to be one in need. Jesus’ submission to the will and plan of God in this moment was the decisive point where Jesus embraced all of His suffering in order to meet our need.
Jesus drank the cup so we don’t have to. Today, this morning do you need to hear Jesus words, “I am willing.” So many of us, so easily try to pick up the burden of life and try to fix and bear our own sin. But Jesus said, “I will.” I will take that for you.
Is there something you’ve been beating yourself up for? Is there a burden you’re trying to carry and it’s just got too heavy?
None of us are strong enough, we fail God’s will every time, easily. But Jesus didn’t, for us. And because of that, there’s no need to beat ourselves up or try to save ourselves any longer because Jesus was willing to be beaten and to give His life in order to save ours. Jesus saves sinners.
Well, let’s move on to our last point for the today, “The Sinner’s Sight.”
III. The Sinner’s Sight
In this last point, I want to look at the story of Peter in our text. The text separates Judas and Peter. Judas betrayed Jesus which is identified as a bitter, Satanic, hatred of Jesus. What we see with Peter is something different, his faith falters but does not fail. He doesn’t betray Jesus, he denies Him and then turns back.
In the story of Peter’s denial, there are two crucial moments for us to pay attention to. First, in verse 31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Earlier it said that Satan got ahold of Judas, but He didn’t get Peter. Why? Because Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith wouldn’t fail. He says Peter will deny Him, but never fully give up His faith and afterward will turn again and become a leader.
Often we think that our faith is something we keep. Jesus says here the only thing that keeps our faith from failing is His prayers for us. That ought to comfort us. We don’t keep ourselves, Jesus keeps us. He’s got you.
So Jesus is arrested and brought to the high priest’s mansion estate and Peter follows watching from a distance. In the courtyard, there’s a small crowd hanging out and I imagine there was just a buzz in the air. Everyone wondering what was happening, what was going to happen, sort of a diabolic excitement.
The night wears on and it starts to get cold. There are a fire and Peter starts standing by the fire to warm Himself and three different times in a row Peter denies being Jesus’ disciple, to the point where he seemingly gets angry and says, “Man, I do not know what you’re talking about!”
Interestingly though, none of the other disciples are mentioned as being in the courtyard. But Peter is. He still cares. He still believes. He still has faith. He’s just in a weak moment.
You might be here today and you may not at this point in your life verbally identify yourself as a Christian to other but deep down you still believe. You might be a really low moment of your life and faith but it’s still there.
I love Peter. He’s the guy I identify with more than anyone else in the Bible. Probably because I feel like if there was hope Peter than there’s hope for me.
So Peter is standing there by the fire and just low. Afraid to admit He’s one of Jesus’ disciples. And then immediately right after denying Jesus the third time, just like Jesus said would happen, a rooster crows. Can you imagine that moment? How must Peter have felt? He probably felt sick to His stomach.
But here’s the line I want us to focus on. Jesus said Peter would turn again and then later strengthen his brothers. Watch what happens in verse 61-62, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, 'Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.' And he went out and wept bitterly.”
The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter looked at him. They made eye contact.
How do you imagine the Lord looked at Peter? In disgust? In anger? In disappointment? No, I don’t believe Jesus looked at Him in any of those ways. At that moment I’m sure Jesus looked at Him with those eyes of love and tenderness and forgiveness. And it hit Peter. Hard. And He went out and wept.
At that moment, Peter, a sinner, saw Jesus. He saw His eyes and saw His heart. And it filled Him with sorrow and also I believe, faith.
After Jesus rose, when Peter first heard about it He ran to go see Jesus. His sorrow turned to joy and He leaped forward in faith. And when He saw Jesus, Jesus took Him out for breakfast and fully restored Him. Three times the risen Jesus said to Peter, “Peter do you love me?” And each time Peter answered, “Lord, you know that I love you.” To which Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.”
Peter went on to be the greatest preachers and church planters the world has ever known and he ended up writing two books of the Bible. I think it all started at that look. I’m just guessing but I think it was when He saw Jesus and they made eye contact that His heart turned once again to the Lord.
I’m not sure about that but here’s what I am sure about, our biggest need as sinners is to see Jesus. Our biggest need is to see that He doesn’t condemn us but dies for us so that we can be forgiven and saved.
Our fear is that God won’t love us but reject us. Our guilt consumes us and we think it’s too much. And our shame tells us there’s something wrong with us deep down so God wouldn’t want us anyway.
What we need to see is that there is nothing to fear because the eyes of Jesus look upon us taking on our guilt upon His shoulders and dying for us because we are worth it to Him.
As the old hymn says, our biggest need as sinners is to “Turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face.” Today, where are you looking to deal with your fears, your guilt your shame? Look elsewhere no longer. Look into the eyes of the savior and see His forgiveness and grace.
Jesus saves all sinners who look to Him. Jesus saves all sinners who look to Him.
Jesus is the Lord of sinners. The Sinner’s Meal, The Sinner’s Prayer and The Sinner’s Sight are all gifts of Jesus for those in need of help.
Well, I started out the sermon talking about the term sinner and the acronym T-H-I-N-K. Where we end the day is finding that it’s Jesus who truly thinks about us.
Our problem is we could never be thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, attending to needs and kind enough and when we are able to in small amounts we love to pat ourselves on the back. What we find in Jesus one who is truly thoughtful of us and our condition. He did something that actually helps us. He inspires us with His sacrificial nature. He meets our true need and shows us the ultimate kindness.