Can You See Him Series
  • The son trudges uphill, bearing wood for his own sacrifice; his father has decided to give him up to death. What biblical event does this bring to mind? Is it Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, or Christ’s passion in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? The kinship between these two stories is deeper than mere coincidence. Christ is present in the story of Abraham and Isaac. In fact, He is present on every page of the Old Testament. Can You See Him?
Sermon Preparation Guide
  • Importance - What are the central ideas of this text?
    • A holy God judges sin. –  Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 1:18-20; 3:10-20
    • A gracious God provides salvation. – Genesis 7:1; Romans 3:21-26; 5:6-11
    • A loving God took on human form in the Person of Jesus to effectuate salvation. –  John 1:14-18; Romans 4:24 & 25; 5:1, 12-21
  • Implications - What questions should the listener be asking?
    • What is sin and why is mankind subject to punishment for sin?
    • How did God provide for salvation? In other words, what was His plan? 
    • Why did Jesus have to come to earth to life, die and then rise from the grave?
Talk it Over Discussion Guide 
  • Interpretation - What is the text telling/showing us?
    • What does it mean that God's plan of salvation is in place literally from the beginning?
    • What does it mean that Noah was a “righteous” man?  What does it mean to be righteous?  
    • Was Noah righteous in the same way that Jesus was righteous?
    • Why is God's judgment against sin necessary?  How did God deal with sin in Noah's day?
    • Why did God save Noah and his family?  How did God accomplish it?
    • Noah and his family were saved “through the water” of the flood (I Peter 3:20).  The water was the judgment of the sinful humanity. How was judgment of sinful humanity carried out by Jesus dying on the cross? (hint: read I Peter 3:18, 21 & 22)
    • When we see a “picture” of Jesus in the Old Testament, it is not an exact comparison in every detail, as opposed to being a “big picture” sort of thing.  Summarize how Noah is a picture of Jesus in the “big picture” way.
  • Implementation - What should the listeners response be?
    • Do you consider yourself righteous?  If not, how are you “unrighteous?”  
    • What is your just and proper punishment from God for your unrighteousness?     
    • How did Jesus take care of the problem of your unrighteousness?
    • What was the basis on which God saved Noah and his family?  Did Noah and his family deserve to be saved from the flood?
    • Was sin dealt with permanently by the flood?  In other words, why did Jesus have to come to earth still?
    • What is it about the story of Noah and his family being saved form the flood through the ark that excites you?  That causes you to give praise to God?
    • How might we as a church, and you as an individual, use the story of Noah to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Sermon Teaching Notes (as compiled by Pastor Dick Murphy)
  • Investigation - What's generally going on in this area of scripture?
The Bible is a collection of writings about God's dealing with the world and mankind in terms of salvation. The Bible was written over a period of approximately 1500 years by some 40 different authors, and is thus a “book of books.” It is divided into what are termed the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.” The former contains 39 books which mainly concern the record of God’s dealings with His chosen people, Israel. The latter contains 27 books which deal with the fulfillment of prophecies contained in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah and the new covenant in Jesus who is the Messiah. Despite being this “book of books,” the Bible is nevertheless one book in terms of the focus of the writings (they all deal with God and salvation), the consistency of the writings (the books are internally consistent), and the claims of the writings (that they are God’s word). And as to salvation, this one book is all about one person, namely Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus is present throughout the whole of the Bible, not just the New Testament; Jesus is present on every page of the Old Testament as well. This series deals with that truth, and using various Old Testament texts and characters asks this question about the Messiah in the Old Testament: Can you see Him?

In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's commandment not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16 & 17), and sin thus entered the heretofore perfect world. Man had fallen and was separated from the presence of a holy God, without full access to Him, and under His judgment. Mankind and the world is still under the ravages of sin and the judgment of God for that sin. But God has provided a way back to Him, and it is through His Son, Jesus, the Messiah, who will Himself pay the required price of death to meet the penalty for sin and allow the judgment of God on sin to be fully meted out. This is God's plan of salvation and it is seen in the garden immediately following Adam and Eve's sin when God refers to the offspring of the woman (Jesus!) who will crush the head of the serpent (Satan) and whose heel will be struck by the serpent (Genesis 3:15. See also Genesis 4:25). This reference is to none other than Jesus and His work of salvation, and Jesus whose death and resurrection brings defeat to Satan. After being banished from the garden of Eden for their sin, Adam and Eve have children, and those children have children, and so on, so that mankind begins.

The 9th line after Adam starts with Noah (The lineage starting at Adam is as follows: Adam → Seth → Enosh → Kenan → Mahalalel → Jared → Enoch → Methuselah → Lamech → Noah. Genesis 5:3-28. Note that this geneology is not necessarily like one we might prepare today in that it likely skips any number of generations, as the literary conventions of the day when Genesis was written allowed.) The line of Seth is the “godly” line (cf. Genesis 4:25 & 26), as he “replaced” Abel (Genesis 4:25) who had been murdered by Cain. It seems that most people, whether or not Christians, know about Noah and the ark. Yet they don't generally know about Noah the man. When he was born, his father, Lamech named him with a name which means “rest” and indicates that Noah was seen as bringing relief from the work and toil of their hands in working the ground (Genesis 3:17b-19; 5:29). Genesis 6:8 & 9 tell us that Noah “found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” that he “was a righteous man, blameless in his generation,” and that he “walked with God.”

This description falls squarely in the midst of, and provides a stark contrast to, the surrounding verses that describe the corruption and violence of mankind (Genesis 6:5-7, 11-13). Sin was rampant, and God was about to judge that sin by destroying mankind and all the earth (Genesis 6:13). But in this awful situation, God denominates Noah as the one through whom He will save a remnant of mankind (namely, Noah and his family). In other words, God had a plan of salvation, and it was through an individual who was righteous. The Hebrew word translated “righteous” is also translated “just” and “innocent.” The Hebrew word translated “blameless” is also translated “perfect,” “sound,” “without defect,” and “integrity.”

The picture we have of Noah, therefore, is that he was a good man, full of integrity, one who followed after God and His ways, one who was obedient to God (Genesis 6:22), and that his life was in marked contrast to the lawlessness and godlessness of those all around him (Genesis 6:9). Ultimately, God directed Noah to build the ark and to bring animals from the earth to enter the ark along with his whole family. When the floods came, God shut them all in (Genesis 7:16). The flood proceeded to destroy everything on the earth. But Noah and his family were saved because they were in the ark (Genesis 7:23).

So, can you see Him? Can you see Jesus in Noah and this story? Through the obedience of the righteous Noah, God saved humanity even while exacting His judgment on sinful humanity. And isn't this just what God did for us in Jesus Christ? Indeed it is! Isaiah described God as “a righteous God and Savior” (Isaiah 45:21), and later prophesied about the Messiah as the one who will bring about salvation when he wrote, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11) In his prophecies, Jeremiah referred to the Messiah as a “righteous Branch” and “the Lord is our righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15).

In addressing the crowd that gathered after he and John had healed the crippled beggar, Peter spoke of Jesus and reminded the crowd that they had “denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted” to them (Acts 3:14), and then ended his message by saying, “God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.” (Acts 3:26) Stephen spoke to the Sanhedrin before he was martyred, and referred to the “Righteous One” whom they had betrayed and murdered (Acts 7:52). When giving his testimony to the crowd of Jews in Jerusalem from whom he had been rescued by the Roman troops, Paul spoke of his conversion and being told by Ananias that he had been appointed by God to “know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth.” (Acts 22:14). And the Apostle John completes this picture of Jesus, the Righteous One, as the author of salvation when in his first letter he refers to Jesus Christ as, “the Righteous One” and states that “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1 & 2)

Our salvation from sin did not come from ourselves; there is nothing a human being can do to save himself or herself, as we are all dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3). Salvation must come from outside of ourselves, and it does – from God Himself when He showed “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7) and “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:13 & 14) In Noah, we see the same picture.

Noah lived as a righteous God follower in the midst of fallen humanity. God's judgment against sin was to be carried out, and Noah could not otherwise save himself from God's judgment. Yet God saved him by having him build the ark, by putting him and his family into the ark, by allowing the ark to survive the flood, and by placing Noah and his family back onto the dry ground of the earth (Genesis 8:14-19). The righteous God and Savior saved the right living Noah, just as the Righteous One, Jesus, saved us through His perfectly righteous life (even Pilate at Jesus' trial conceded His righteousness. Matthew 27:23 & 24. See also II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:9-11; 4:15; 5:8 & 9; 9:14 & 15).

Note Jesus' voluntary death on the cross, and His resurrection (I Peter 3:18-22) by which salvation was bought, paid for, and accomplished. We are people of the “ark of God in Christ” by which we have been saved unto eternal life, through faith and faith alone in the Righteous One (Ephesians 2:8-10). In Christ, God's judgment has been satisfied as His was the perfect sacrifice, given “once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) Praise be to God for what He has done for us, graciously pouring out His mercy and grace in Jesus to pay for and rescue us from the flood of our sin!! Can you see Him? Yes indeed, He is there!