Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalms 85:10
“Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.” Matthew 26:48,49
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:12
One of the most beautiful statements in all of the Bible is the one I read awhile ago, “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” A dozen more sermons on the same Scripture are boiling up inside me.
One of the most beautiful romances in the world is the romance between righteousness and truth. They had been separated for four thousand years; when they go back together, they had to kiss. What a reunion!
A kiss is a very interesting thing. You will agree with that! I have always loved to kiss under proper conditions and proper people. A kiss of affection between members of the family certainly is a good thing and I would advise every family to tea ch boys and girls the expressiveness of kissing their mothers and fathers. Why, when I was a boy I never went out to play without kissing my mother good-by. I never came home form the ball diamond without kissing Mother again.
In the Bible, a kiss is certainly an interesting study. In Exodus, chapter 4, verse 27, when Moses and Aaron met each other in the wilderness, they came to the mount of the Lord and there they kissed each other.
First Samuel, chapter 10, verse 1, says when Samuel came to anoint Saul as the first king of the people of God, that he anointed Saul with oil, then he kissed him.
When David and Jonathan, the sweetest friends in the Bible, humanly speaking, had been united after separation for a lengthy period, the Bible says that David and Jonathan kissed each other.
Joseph had been away from his brothers in Egypt for many, many long years. When his brothers came to him he, unknown by them, provided provisions for their lives, then came that glorious day when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. The Bible sa ys that Joseph kissed his father and his brothers.
Esau and Jacob had come to the place of reconciliation. Esau had forgiven the trickster Jacob for having cheated him out of his birthright and out of the blessing of his father Isaac. When Jacob and Esau were united again, the Bible says there they kissed. When Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus’ feet, the Bible says that she kissed Him on the feet.
When Paul left the city of Ephesus in Acts, chapter 20, the Bible says the people clave unto Paul, they loved him so dearly. He had been their pastor for three years, three blessed, glorious, wonderful years but he longed to go back to Jerusalem, so he resigned his pastorate there. The Bible says they clave to him. They threw themselves on his neck and kissed him good-bye.
When the prodigal son returned from the far country, “having spent all”, his father said, ‘Put a ring on his finger, a robe on his body; let’s kill the fatted calf, and put shoes on his feet’, and then is said that he “kissed him”. In writing to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul said, Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.” Again in writing to the church at Thessalonica the apostle admonished these people to greet one another in the services with an holy kiss.
Now bear in mind what that means. In those days when you came in and sat down by somebody in church you kissed him. Now wait a minute. Don’t do it– yet! There was also another difference in those days. In the early church the men and boys sat o n one side, the ladies and girls on the other. Like we shake hands, they kissed each other. The men would kiss the men; the ladies would kiss the ladies. It was a sign of affection, a sign of fellowship, a sign of tenderness, a sign of love when you gr eeted one another with an holy kiss.
In I Peter 5:14, Peter speaks about greeting “one another with a kiss of charity”. Now the message this morning is on “The Kisses of Calvary”. We have enumerated at least ten places in the Bible or more where kissing was acceptable. But on the cros s of Calvary there were three kisses that I call to your attention for our message today: The kiss of reconciliation, the kiss of hypocrisy and the kiss of salvation.
As we approach the subject of kissing, we think of romance between a husband and wife, or the love between a mother and a son or daughter, or the love between a father and his son or daughter, or the love between brothers and sisters.
My only sister and I always kiss hello and good-bye. When we say good-bye there is weeping and tender words of expression of love, but we always kiss. One of the saddest things about the age and area in which we live is the seeming belief that kis sing and affection is a sign of emotional instability and weakness. It is not a sign of that, but our not wanting to kiss or otherwise to show affection is a sign of deadness and hardness and the fact that we are ashamed to express our feelings one to t he other.
Certainly there ought to be in the heart of every Christian a feeling of closeness, affection and tenderness. And this, “Well, we don’t kiss much since we got married” — I wouldn’t say that in public if I were you. “we feel it but we don’t show it” . No, if you felt it, you would show it.
People across the country have often asked me, “how about the North and the South?” The South has a reputation of being wild and woolly, and they don’t feel much. The North has the reputation of feeling it deeply and not saying much about it. All over the nation they say, “You have pastored in Texas and in Indiana — what do you think about it? Do you think the Southerner says it and doesn’t feel it, and the Northerner feels it and doesn’t say it?” No, no, I do not think so.
I have noticed Northerners when they sit on a tack, and I have noticed Southerners when they sit on a tack. A Northerner jumps just as high when he is stimulated properly as the Southerner! Do not hide behind your geographical location for your coldness of heart and deadness of soul and the fact that you do not express love. Actually, people who love express it. People who feel it, say so. People who are stimulated properly also respond properly.
Now let us notice the three kisses of Calvary. Two of them are beautiful, one of them is tragic.
I) THE KISS OF RECONCILIATION
I will read for you again the verse that I read a little while ago, Psalm 85:10 – “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other”. Now when did righteousness and peace kiss each other? When did this wonderful reunion take place? When did righteousness see peace and peace see righteousness? When did they embrace, and kiss?
It said that truth came up from the ground and righteousness looked down from Heaven and there righteousness and peace met each other and in a tender moment of embrace they kissed. Righteousness and mercy or truth have kissed each other. Now peace and righteousness walked together for many millenniums. In Heaven, peace and righteousness walk together. Oh, what a blessed walk it was for perfect peace between God and His creatures and perfect righteousness to walk together. There was no sin in Heaven.
Let me say this: the degree that you have of sin is also the degree you have of unrest and lack of peace. If you live righteous, you have more peace, and the more righteous you get, the more peace you will have. And so in eternity peace and righteousness walk together. In Heaven with the angels they were such close friends. Peace was never without righteousness, and righteousness was never without peace.
God made man, He put him in the Garden of Eden, and once again in the Garden of Eden peace walked hand in hand with righteousness. Righteousness was there. Peace was there. Adam and Eve were without sin. There was no sin originally in the Garden o f Eden, and because there was no sin, there was peace. And so hand in hand, oh, the sweet fellowship that peace and righteousness enjoy. They loved each other, they walked together and it was always a wonderful relationship.
But the day came when our lovers were forced to part. The day came when peace and righteousness got a divorce. The day came when peace and righteousness no longer could go with each other. Why was that? Sin came in the Garden of Eden. When sin comes, peace must leave.
When righteousness is sinned against, then peace can stay no longer. The reason you do not have peace in your home, you do not have righteousness in your home. Listen, you are not going to build a home with liquor in the icebox and sexy magazines in the magazine rack and the Beatles on you record player and fussing and cursing and lying and cheating and immorality. You are not going to build a home like that and have peace.
People all the time come to me and say, “Brother Hyles, our home has no peace. We cannot get along. Our children are at each other. My wife and I cannot get along. What is the trouble?” And in every case it is one word –SIN. When you get the righteousness problem settled, peace will go with righteousness. But when righteousness leaves, peace cannot stay any longer.
And so in the Garden of Eden the Serpent, Satan, came and said to Adam and Eve, ‘If you will eat this fruit, ye shall live and be as God. Oh, I know God has said ye shall surely die, but if you eat this fruit, your eyes shall be opened then. You do not know what you have had until you have had a fling with sin. You do not know what joy you can have until you do what I say.’
The Devil always says that. The Devil always comes to young people and says, “You do not know what you are missing until you take a fling in sin”. I will tell you what you are missing when you are not in sin. You are only missing brokenness and heartfelt weakness and sadness and misery and unhappiness and unrest. Always when you go into sin, you leave peace. And so in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve reached out and took the forbidden fruit. As is always the case, the woman did it first! Eve took the forbidden fruit, then she took it home to Adam. Now if Eve had been home baking biscuits, she would not have seen the Devil in the first place.
If Eve had been home sweeping the floor where she ought to have been–. Adam was home washing the dishes! Did you hear about the henpecked husband? He went to the doctor and said, “Doctor, I am henpecked”. “Well, what is the matter?” And the husband said, “I have to cook all the time at home.” The doctor said, “Well, why did you come to me?” He answered, “I had the most horrible dream.” When the doctor asked what his dream was, he said, “I dreamed I was on a boat with twelve gorgeous girls.” “Oh”, the doctor said, “what is so bad about that?” He said, “Cooking for twelve people!”
Adam was home cooking some hot rolls and washing the breakfast dishes. Eve was out in the garden when she should have been home taking care of the household, and Satan tempted her. She took the fruit, she brought it back to Adam, Adam ate the fruit , and for the first time man had sinned against God. When man sinned, righteousness and peace could no longer walk together.
Now any time righteousness and peace must go, peace is the one that ought to go. It is better to have no peace and be right, than to have peace and be wrong. I am sick at my soul of politicians talking about appeasing Russia and appeasing communism and people co-existent. Brother, you cannot be in the same room with a rattlesnake and have peace or co-existence. What happens? We have gotten to the place where we would rather have peace than righteousness. We are not willing to fight for truth anymore. We are raising a soft, mealy-mouthed, shallow generation. We would rather be red than dead. God give us some people who would rather be right and have war, than be wrong and have peace.
Oh, the greatest thing in this world is righteousness. And so when sin came in the Garden of Eden, peace and righteousness no longer could go with each other, and so peace left. For four thousand years peace and righteousness were separated. Why? Sin had come. Righteousness could not accept peace. Peace wanted to come back but righteousness would not allow it. Peace could not come back to righteousness unless righteousness had been satisfied. Righteousness could not be satisfied unless payment for sin was made. So righteousness says sin must be paid for. Righteousness says sin must be condemned. Righteousness said no man can come to God unless the sin question has been settled.
So peace says, “Can I come back?” Righteousness said, “No. I want you back. I love you dearly. We walked together in Heaven. We walked together in Eden. I want you back, but I cannot receive you back, peace, until I have been satisfied.” What happened? God Himself came to the world in the form of a man. His name was Jesus Christ. For thirty-three long, lonely, homeless years Jesus lived a life of perfection and righteousness on the earth. Then at the end of those thirty-three years Jesus Christ went to Calvary.
On the cross of Calvary the righteous One, Righteousness, was crucified. Righteousness took sin upon Himself and Jesus died and He said, “It is finished.” What He was sailing was: Righteousness has been satisfied, righteousness had been met, now peace can come home and, brother, you talk about a happy reunion! Peace looked at righteousness and said, “Can I come back now?” Righteousness answered, “Yes, you can. I have been satisfied now. The payment has been made. Jesus has died for the sins o f the world.” The sins of all the world were laid upon Him.
Righteousness said, “Peace, won’t you come back?” Peace said, “Would I!” Peace looked up from earth and came out of the earth (that is the resurrection of Christ) and righteousness looked down from Heaven (that is the holiness and justness of God the Father) and peace and righteousness ran and threw arms around the cross of Calvary and at Calvary they hugged and they kissed. Now after four thousand years those lovers had been reunited. That, dear friends, is the kiss of Calvary. God’s justice has been satisfied. God’s holiness has been met. In Jesus Christ and in Him alone can peace and righteousness walk together.
Do you want peace? Peace in your heart? Are you tired of tranquilizers? Of psychiatrists? Of misery? Are you tired of worry? Of fretting? Then come to Calvary. At Calvary righteousness and peace kissed each other, and were reunited.
Ah, these reunions! I recall when my first furlough came when I was away in service. My mother and I had been close. Just the two of us lived together. Daddy was gone, my sister was married, and I was the only thing Mother had. Boy, when I am all you have got, you haven’t got much! I was all she had and I went off to service. The first furlough came. I rode the streetcar. I got off the streetcar, on my first furlough, at Bryant and San Jacinto Streets in Dallas, Texas. We lived about a block and two houses form the streetcar line; I looked down and there was my little mother up on her tiptoes looking to see if I had gotten off the streetcar.
When she saw those paratroopers walking down the steps of the streetcar, she took off running. She ran as fast as she could. I had run ten miles a day in the paratroopers, and I was as slim and trim as I am fat and sassy now, and I ran as fast as I could. I had done ninety push-ups with a field pack on my back and I was as hard as rocks; yet my little old mother met me more than halfway. Ah, she was glad to see me!
She took me home. “Son, this furniture–I put it back where it was when you left. Son, I have got your favorite meal cooked.” In those days it was veal cutlets, green beans, sauerkraut, thickened gravy and biscuits. Ah, you cannot beat that. Glory to God–that’s eatin’. There it was on the table. We sat in our little kitchen, little apartment, and ate the food.
When it came time to go to bed, there was sweetness, tenderness, caresses, kissing. Why? Because her boy had come home. Oh, you talk about joy! For four thousand years peace and righteousness had walked apart; for four thousand years righteousness could not receive peace back because righteousness had not been satisfied. Then when one day on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished”, once again righteousness said, “Hallelujah! Peace can come back!”
Peace came to righteousness and on the cross they kissed. Once again, thank God, man can have peace because Christ has become his righteousness. Now they are together, they have kissed. Now man can come himself and do some kissing at Calvary.
II) THE KISS OF HYPOCRISY
We have noticed the first kiss of Calvary; let us look at the second. Not only was there a kiss of reconciliation when righteousness kissed peace, but the second kiss of Calvary was the kiss of hypocrisy. Judas Iscariot was watching, like the serpent he was, out there in the Garden of Gethsemane, with soldiers behind him.
Jesus was praying in the garden, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”, and saying the great prayer recorded in John 17. Jesus is overlooking the city of Jerusalem, He is in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas lurks outside the garden. Judas says, ‘I’ll show you the one by kissing Him. When I kiss Him, come and get Him’.
Judas Iscariot went out and while our Lord was in Gethsemane, Judas did the most dastardly act ever done by human hands or lips–he placed the loving tenderness of a kiss on the brow of the Saviour and in doing so, the motley crowd of soldiers came and led Jesus away to be crucified. Judas was kissing Jesus but there is one mistake Judas made. He should have kissed Jesus. It was right to kiss Christ. Psalm 2:12 says, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry”. I will discuss that in a minute.
We are commanded to kiss Jesus Christ. That means kiss the feet of the Son; come and throw yourself at His feet and kiss Him. Man has been commanded to kiss the Son, BUT man cannot kiss the Son until righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Judas made the mistake of kissing the Son without the meaning of Calvary. He kissed the Son short of Calvary.
If that day when Jesus was on the cross, lonely, forsaken, betrayed, suffering, crucified, deserted by man and God the Father — if Judas had come up then and meant it and thrown himself at the feet of the crucified One and kissed the kiss of affection and faith and trust, he could have been saved. But Judas made the mistake of kissing Jesus without reference to trust in Calvary. Now that is the kiss of hypocrisy.
Maybe you have made an effort to kiss Jesus. Maybe you have gotten religion. Maybe you have joined the church. But if you have kissed anything — I do not care what it is — and are trusting anything short of Calvary, then you are a kisser of hypocrisy. There is nothing short of Calvary that can save you. The mistake that Judas made was kissing Jesus short of Calvary.
That is the reason that joining a church cannot save you. This is a kiss short of Calvary. That is the reason living a good life and being a good friend and a good husband and a good neighbor cannot save you. That is a kiss short of Calvary. When you are sprinkled as a baby and they say that conveys some kind of mysterious salvation to you — that won’t take you one step toward Heaven. That is a kiss short of Calvary. Being confirmed as a twelve-year old and learning the Catechism of the church when you have never received Christ in believing faith won’t take you to Heaven. That is a kiss short of Calvary.
Going into the baptistry and being baptized won’t save you. That is a kiss short of Calvary. When you go into a little room and confess your sins to a man, which is a waste of your time and his and your money, that is why it does not do any good. You are kissing short of Calvary. Coming and taking the holy communion and trusting that little wafer and the juice to save your soul won’t do it. It is a kiss short of Calvary.
Judas, the mistake you made was to kiss the Saviour short of Calvary. And Judas lies in Hell this morning, Judas burns in Hell, Judas suffers the pangs of Hell this morning. Why? He kissed the Saviour short of Calvary. Judas is in Hell because he did not kiss Jesus at Calvary. Judas was a church member, yet he is in Hell because he trusted something short of Calvary. Judas was a preacher, yet he is in Hell because he trusted something short of Calvary. Judas was an apostle, but he is in Hell because he trusted something short of Calvary. Judas followed Jesus, but he is in Hell because he trusted something short of Calvary.
“Preacher, my church believes…” I would not give you a dime for what your church or mine believes! The only thing that matters is that you can only kiss the Son at Calvary. The only place you can kiss the Son is at Calvary. Anything short of Calvary is a kiss of hypocrisy and you will end up in Hell thinking you were going to Heaven.
III) THE KISS OF SALVATION
Now I call your attention very quickly to the third kiss. The first kiss was when righteousness and peace kissed — the kiss of reconciliation. Number two was when Judas placed the kiss of hypocrisy on the Saviour. Number three — the kiss of salvation. In Psalm 2: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Three kisses on Calvary: The kiss of righteousness and peace, the kiss of betrayal and hypocrisy, but oh, thank God, there is the third kiss — the kiss of salvation. Jesus is dying. He speaks about it in the Psalms. His apostles have forsaken Him and fled. His followers are scattered. His Father looked on Him and saw Him in sin and turned his back on the Son. Jesus hangs on Calvary and the psalmist said when righteousness and peace had kissed, then any poor sinner may kiss the Son, any poor sinner may come to Calvary and kiss His feet. What does that mean? It means the kiss of trust, the kiss of faith, the kiss of committal.
And he goes on to say, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry”. When you have not put your faith in Christ, it angers God. When you reject Jesus as your Saviour, it angers God. And yet when a person says no to Calvary, the Bible says God is angry and His wrath is kindled. Then he says, ‘Blessed are those that put their trust in Him’. Blessed are those who have kissed the Son.
Now today, you are in one of these two groups. Either you have kissed Him short of Calvary, or you have kissed him at Calvary. Whether you kissed Him short of Calvary or at Calvary determines where you spend eternity. If you have kissed Jesus short of Calvary, if you have joined the church but have not been born again, you are lost. If you have been baptized short of Calvary, you are lost. If you have taken communion or sacraments or the Eucharist short of Calvary, you are lost.
And if you have come, ever, in your life to Jesus Christ and seen Him crucified at Calvary and heard Him say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” “It is finished”, and then righteousness looked from Heaven and peace looked from earth and they ran to each other and embraced and kissed; righteousness said, “I am satisfied — now we can come back together” — if you have ever seen that, my precious friends, and come to Jesus Christ in believing faith and said, “Dear Lord, I trust you. I kiss the Son. I believe in the Son”, then God said He will take you to Heaven when you die.
Are you kissing short of Calvary this morning? Are you kissing short of Calvary? Let me illustrate:
I am going to confess something that breaks my heart. I am going to confess something that will classify me as an awful, awful wretched sinner. Before I was married, I stole a kiss from Mrs. Hyles! Isn’t that awful! One time, maybe twice, but that did not mean I was married. I will say this: I was older than most of you kissing kids are and that did not mean I was married. I mean that when the preacher said, “Wilt thou…” and I willed it and I said, “I will”, and he said, “I now pronounce you as husband and wife”, brother, that kiss meant something. Why? We had satisfied the laws of the land. Now you can kiss the Son, but unless you have come and committed your life to Jesus Christ, as I gave my life to Beverly Slaughter and she became Beverly Hyles, all the religion and kissing you have done is not worth a dime. It is faith in Jesus Christ.
I thank God for that day when I looked up at Him and said, “O God, I in faith receive Christ”, and I kissed the Son and I have been blessed in these years, for the Bible says, ‘Blessed are those that put their trust in Him’.
Have you trusted Him? If you died this morning, would you go to Heaven? Do you know you have put your faith in Him? Have you kissed the Son? Are you trusting Christ in Calvary? Have you trusted something short of Calvary? If you have, come to the cross this morning, see Him die, see peace and righteousness embracing and kissing. Kiss the Son, and you become a child of God. Shall we pray.
PRAYER: Our Father, bless the message. Bless the truth of it. O God, today may we see that in Jesus Christ on the cross God’s righteousness has been satisfied, His justice has been vindicated and now we can kiss the Son. Bless those who are kissing short of Calvary and may they come to Calvary and kiss the Son because righteousness and peace have kissed each other.