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“The Events That Accompanied Christ’s Death ”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

In this small text from the book of Matthew, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

 

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”

  1. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  2. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Do we appreciate the importance and miraculous nature of these occurrences?  What can we learn about Christ and His work from them?

In this lesson we will be attempting to come to a partial understanding of these things realizing that we, as sinful mankind, can never come to a complete understanding of them this side of heaven.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 27:50-54 –

(50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

(51) And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

(52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

(53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

(54) Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

THE STUDY:

In Matthew chapter 27, we find three very interesting happenings occurred at the same instant that our Lord died on the cross…

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

To understand some of the lessons we can learn from these three great occurrences, it is important we include verse 54 in our study of verses 50-53…

“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

From this verse, we can see that these events brought glory and honor to Jesus to the eyes and mind of the Roman military leader (centurion).   After seeing these things, he said “Truly this was the Son of God”, referring to Christ’s claims about His relationship with His heavenly Father.

By using this title, the Centurion was recognizing that these three events had accredited Christ’s claims of origin and divinity ….

 

Christ found His origin in heaven…

Joh 6:38 – “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

 

Christ was God Himself…

Joh 10:30-31 – “I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”

 

The centurion had come to understand that this Jesus “Truly was the Son of God”, just as Christ had claimed…

Mat 16:15-17 – “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

But, for the Christian, the lessons that can be learned from these three events go much farther.  In these miracles, we can see the purpose and results of Christ’s death on the cross.

The first of these miracles was the veil of the temple being torn in two from top to bottom, for the first time ever, giving Jews unfettered access to the very presence of God (signified by the mercy seat in the holy of holies in the temple building).

  1. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” – This speaks of Christ’s death giving sinful mankind access to God. The lost mankind, due to their sin, alienates them from a holy God.  The shed blood of Christ on the cross, when a lost man comes to faith in Christ, covers their sin and gives eternal access to God.  This is symbolically proclaimed when the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom
  2. and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” An earthquake accompanies the Lord at many of His appearances to man on earth (Exo 19:18, Nahum 1:5, Isa 29:6).  Why is this? Because when the great Lord visits sinful creation all the earth trembles at His presence (Psa 97:4).  These principles help us to understand the truth behind the earthquake that took place at Christ’s death.  It was at that point in time that God’s presence is clearly seen.  As Christ completed His work on the cross, we saw both the wrath of God and the love of God being clearly brought into view.  His wrath, as it took the life of Christ and His love, as Christ died for us.
  3. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This speaks of the new life that Christ’s death has graciously supplied to sinful mankind.  When the lost person comes to a saving faith in Christ, they begin to live a new earthly life in Christ and inherit eternal spiritual life to be enjoyed in this world and the one to come.

 

CONCLUSION:

The tearing of the veil, the earthquake and the resurrection of the dead, glorify and honor Jesus, showing us that He is the true Son of God.   But we also have two of the great blessings of Christ’s work given to us… access to God and the new life we enjoy now and in eternity.

May we all bring honor to Christ, knowing that He was God Himself, who came from heaven to earth to on our behalf.  May we understand that, as He hung on the cross, He was giving His life for us, and He was graciously bearing God’s wrath against our sins.  In doing so, He was giving us permanent access to God and a new life to enjoy on earth and throughout eternity.

 

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What Troubles Christ?

SIH STSTA ICONChrist, who is described in the Bible as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and “over all, God blessed for ever”, is also described as being “angry”, “grieved”, “sorrowful”, “heavy” (ie burdened), “exceeding sorrowful even unto death” and is said to have “wept”, “cried with a loud voice”, “groaned”, and “grieved”.

What could possibly have caused the Lord Jesus Christ to feel such emotions and to respond to those emotions with such deep, distressed reactions?

In this study, we will be looking at several different events in the life of Christ that show Him to be troubled and in anguish. We will attempt to come to an understanding of what has brought this anguish into the life of our Lord and how He deals with the situation…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 26:36-46 – (36)  Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  (37)  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  (38)  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  (39)  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  (40)  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  (41)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  (42)  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  (43)  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  (44)  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  (45)  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  (46)  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Mat 27:45-50 – (45)  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  (46)  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  (47)  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  (48)  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  (49)  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  (50)  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Mar 3:1-6 – (1)  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.  (2)  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  (3)  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.  (4)  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  (5)  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  (6)  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Luk 19:41-44 – (41)  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,  (42)  Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  (43)  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  (44)  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luk 22:39-46  –  (39)  And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  (40)  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  (41)  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  (42)  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  (43)  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  (45)  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  (46)  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 11:1-46 – (1)  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (2)  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  (3)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  (4)  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  (5)  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  (6)  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (7)  Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.  (8)  His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? (9)  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.  (10)  But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.  (11)  These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  (12)  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  (13)  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  (14)  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  (15)  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.  (16)  Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.  (17)  Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.  (18)  Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:  (19)  And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  (20)  Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.  (21)  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (22)  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  (23)  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  (24)  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  (25)  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (26)  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  (27)  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  (28)  And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.  (29)  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.  (30)  Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.  (31)  The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.  (32)  Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (33)  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  (34)  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  (35)  Jesus wept.  (36)  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  (37)  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  (38)  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  (39)  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  (40)  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (41)  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  (42)  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.  (43)  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  (44)  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.  (45)  Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  (46)  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

 

Joh 12:27-28 – (27)  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.  (28)  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Joh 13:21-26 – (21)  When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.  (22)  Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. (23)  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. (24)  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  (25)  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (26)  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

 

THE STUDY:

Mar 3:1-6 – “And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.   And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.   And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.”

In this text, we find Christ experiencing both anger (to abhor with passion) and grief (extreme sorrow).

What caused these emotions within Christ?

This account tells us it was due to “the hardness of their hearts” which was made manifest in their great desire to find some type of fault with Christ, as He went about fulfilling the call given to Him by His Father in heaven. They wanted to mischaracterize God’s workings among sinful man.

In other words…. it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by a sin-hardened heart by mischaracterizing the works of God.

 

 

Joh 13:21-26 – “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.   Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?   Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

In the above Scripture we are told that Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (agitated, stirred, anguished).

What was taking place at the time?

Christ was preparing to declare that one of you shall betray me.”  He then would identify that individual, Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon”

In other words… it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by the desire to oppose the work of the Lord using deceit and conspiracy.

 

 

Joh 11:1-46 – Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby…  and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him…  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world…. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.   And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.   Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.”

In this set of verses we find that Jesus is described as “groaned in the spirit”, “troubled”, and “groaning in himself”, all of which was displayed for all of us as He “wept”.

What was the background to this experience in the life of Christ?  The EFFECTS OF SIN shown in the existence of universal physical death affecting all of fallen mankind.

 

 

Luk 19:41-44 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

In the text above, we find Christ as He “wept” over the city of Jerusalem.  Why was He experiencing such sorrow?  Because He understood the coming destruction of 70 AD that would take place annihilation the city, due to their rejection of the Messiah…  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Once again, we see the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by physical destruction and death that is experienced as the direct result of sin.

 

 

Mat 26:36-46 – “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.   Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”

Luk 22:39-46 – “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.   And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.   And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 12:27-28 – “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.   Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

In the above three passages, we find Christ described as being “sorrowful”, “very burdened”, “troubled” and “in agony”.   Especially, please notice He is said to be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”.  This was made clear to all when we are told that “sweat was as it were great drops of blood”.

What was the event that was causing this tremendous emotional occurrence in the life of Christ?  In all three of these accounts, Christ is thinking upon His upcoming death on the cross.

Here, as before we can see the EFFECT OF SIN on display in two different ways:

First, His upcoming sufferings were a necessity because of sin devastating effects upon His people whom He loved.  This is what motivated His Father to send Him to the earth and motivated His own willingness to die on the cross as payment for their sins.

Secondly, the very suffering and terrible death of Christ on the cross was the effect of sin, as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins. When He became sin for us, He suffered the agony of God’s wrath against sin as He hung on the cross…

Mat 27:45-50 – “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”

We see Christ suffering the most horrible of all deaths as He was separated from His Father as He bore our sins on the cross.

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Christ, willingly, suffered this most horrible effect of sin, separation from His Father on the cross.  Why did He do this?

To protect those He loved from the monstrous effects of sin that affects the lives of all fallen mankind:
1.  hardness of heart leading to  mischaracterization of God’s workings among fallen man.
2.  opposition to the work of Christ through deceit and conspiracy
3.  physical (and spiritual) death and suffering
4.  destroyed and ruined lives

In protecting them, He had to bring upon Himself horrible physical suffering, separation from the Father and terrible death upon the cross.  He did this as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins upon Himself, so that they might be reconciled to God and given eternal security in Him.

“And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth concerning this very important subject.

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Easter Week Devotion: The Sayings of Christ On The Cross

SIH STSTA ICONAs we think about the glorious resurrection of Christ, it is very important that we also recall His suffering and His death that led to His burial and later resurrection. The gospel message is a message that includes all three His death, burial, resurrection and its proofs. (1 Cor 15:1-9).


As our Lord was being crucified, He uttered 7 sayings that teach us a summary of His accomplishments while on the cross. These seven sayings, when taken in the context of His crucifixion, reveal to us a loving, sinless, sovereign God who was willing to give all for the sake of those He loved…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Luke 23:34 (KJV)

34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Luke 23:43 (KJV)

43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

John 19:26-27 (KJV)

26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

Matt 27:46 (KJV)

46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

John 19:28 (KJV)

28) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 19:30 (KJV)

30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)

46) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Matt 27:50 (KJV)

50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

THE STUDY:

The Voice Of Forgiveness…. Luke 23:34 (KJV)Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Here, we find our Lord making a plea motivated by His love for those who were mocking, physically abusing and murdering Him.

Not only was His love on display as He uttered these words, but also the purpose of His death on the cross is being revealed as well. One of the great motives that drove the Son of God to submission to the sufferings of the cross was FORGIVENESS. You see, without a substitutionary sacrifice being made on the cross, God cannot forgive the sins of His people. Christ was issuing his plea for forgiveness in view of His coming death on the cross. He was determined to finish the work that His Father had given Him to do.

The Voice Of Promise …. Luke 23:43 (KJV) – 43)And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Here, we see the Lord’s promise to one of the thieves that was being crucified with Him. His promise was that very soon both He and the thief would be together in heaven. Following the death of Christ, His spirit would ascend to heaven while His body would remain in the grave for three days and three nights. Because the thief had placed His faith in Jesus as the sinless Messiah (Luke 23:39-42) he, too, would experience heaven with Jesus.

The Voice of Responsibility – John 19:26-27 (KJV)When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

In New Testament times, following the death of the father, the oldest male son was normally given the responsibility to care and provide for his widowed mother. Following the death of Joseph, Mary’s care had become the responsibility of Christ. As Christ was hanging on the cross, with death only hours away, Christ made sure that His mother would be taken care of. He looked to His closest friend, John, to take that responsibility upon himself.

Not only was Christ faithful in His responsibility to His mother, Mary. He was also faithful to the responsibility that His Heavenly Father had placed upon Him. In John 17:1-10, we find Christ praying to the Father before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. In this prayer, Christ makes the statement… “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Christ, by making this statement, was proclaiming His determination to follow the will of His Father even to His death on the cross.

The Voice of Separation – Matt 27:46 (KJV)And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The phrase “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” – is a Hebrew phrase quoted from Psalm 22:1. This phrase in the Psalm was uttered by King David during a time of great distress in his life. As he was praying to God for aid, there appeared to be no response. This does not break David’s faith, but by the end of the Psalm, David recognizes God’s ability to intervene and deliver him IF it is God’s will for David’s life.

Likewise with Christ, as He is hanging on the cross it seemed as if God the Father was refusing to come to His aid. But just as with David, Christ is determined to follow His Father’s will for his life even to the death.

Also, it is very important to recognize when Christ uttered these words. According to the Matthew account, Christ uttered these words immediately after a three hour period of darkness (Matt 27:45). This period of darkness is thought, by many, to be the time frame when Christ had the sins of His people placed upon Him as He paid the price for these sins.

If this is the case, then as Christ proclaimed “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”, He is perhaps, speaking of the loss of communion with the Father as He bare the sins of His people upon Himself. Our sins, when placed upon Christ, would have caused a rupture of communion that Christ had experienced with the Father. The Father cannot look upon sin, nor can he have communion with those who have sin in their life.

The Voice of Humanity – John 19:28 (KJV) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

As Christ hung on the cross, He experienced the human fleshly desire of thirst. This helps us to understand that, although Christ was God, He was also truly of human flesh and would suffer as any human would suffer. I have heard of those who try to minimize the sufferings of Christ on the cross by saying that “Because Jesus was God, He did not feel the pain and distress a human being would feel.” THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. He, as a human being with a fleshly body experienced the need for water, food, rest and while on the cross most certainly felt pain and suffering just as any other human being.

The Voice of Completion – John 19:30 (KJV) – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The word for “finish” here in Greek means to “to complete. To fulfill, to execute a command” In other words, as His death was drawing near, so to was the fulfill of His Father’s will for His life. He had fulfilled God’s will perfectly by paying the sin debt for His Father’s people. Out of a heart of love for His Father and His people, He had perfectly followed His Father’s will for His life. (Philp 2:5-11)

The Voice of Security – Luke 23:46 (KJV) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Commend” in Greek means “to deposit to another’s trust”. As the Lord took His final breaths, He handed His spirit over to His Father knowing that His Father would secure His entrance into heaven.

Also, please note the Jesus was in control of His own death. He handed over His spirit to the Father, He was the one that gave up His own spirit (ghost). He had the power to lay down His life and to raise it again. (John 10:17-18)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been given the Lord’s saving grace…

We are told in Philippians 2:5-11- “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“

We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, are to strive to think as He thought. We are to share the same mindset as He displayed in His seven sayings. Our goal should be to possess a mindset that has a…

  1. Willingness to forgive and pray for the salvation of those who have wronged us.

  2. Willingness to speak to others about our Lord and share with them the gospel message.
  3. Willingness to accept the responsibility for service in the areas to which we are called of God to serve.

  4. Willingness to be honest about the sin that is in our life; the communion we are lacking because of that sin; and deal with that sin through confession and repentance.
  5. Willingness to recognize the weakness of our sinful flesh, and seek to guard against Satan working in those areas of our life.

  6. Willingness to follow the Lord to completion of our appointed ministry. Motivated by a recognition of all He has done for us…even if we are called upon to give our life for Him.
  7. Willingness to trust the Lord with our future eternity. We can do this by keeping our eyes on His promises of heaven and future rewards, using these precious promises as a motivation to continue to serve Him.

For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…

After reading of the Lord’s attitude towards those who abused and mistreated Him to the ultimate degree, you can rest assured that the Lord will accept anyone who turns from their sin and comes to Him in faith…

John 6:37-38All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

By turning from sin to submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find forgiveness, peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord use His Word to bring you to a saving knowledge of Him.

If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.

May the Lord bless you.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”