The Glory of the Cross
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
- The exclusive glory of a true Christian is Christ’s death, and it totally alters his relationship to the world.
- He told us that the communion of His supper was to remember His death until He comes (I Cor 11:24-26).
- The simplicity in Christ’s gospel is something we must always protect and promote (II Cor 11:3; Col 2:8).
- There is nothing that should comfort your soul or provoke your zeal as much as the simple gospel of Christ.
- If we were reading by candlelight in the catacombs, with some of our number being held for Roman sport in the Coliseum, and graves of others around us, you would hear and rejoice at this news with great pleasure.
- If we were reading a list of prizes to you by grant or lottery, you would rejoice. So you better rejoice now!
- I am disgusted by our flesh that can find alternative subjects, even in the Bible, to minimize this great event.
- Isaac Watts’ song, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, aptly reflects our overall goal to survey the cross.
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
- Our first parents fully condemned us to death in three phases by sinful rebellion in Eden.
- God is holy, just, jealous, and furious; He will not acquit the guilty (Exodus 34:7; Nah 1:3).
- We are born spiritually dead; we must die physical deaths; the lake of fire is the last death.
- Adam and Eve died the instant they ate, and we are dead with sin natures (Eph 2:1-3).
- Adam died physically 930 years later, and every descendant is appointed to it as well.
- Adam and all men without Christ are in the prison of the lake of fire for final judgment.
- There is no reason to presume Adam in heaven, even though many do it sentimentally.
- All men die and continue to die without change in life expectancy in 4000 years (Ps 90:10).
- If you have not been to a funeral recently of someone you love, you live in presumption.
- It does not matter whether by abortion or miscarriage, even infants die (Rom 5:12-14).
- Death is corrupting and pursuing you while you hear this sermon or read this outline.
- For more about death as the cost of sin.
- The whole creation groans in pain and travail for the residual curse of sin (Rom 8:20-22).
- Everything around you is dying from pets to flowers to stars due to the law of entropy.
- Everything around you corrodes, decays, and rusts from your car’s paint job to concrete.
- The whole creation is in a prison of death – the bondage of corruption – that ruins all.
- For earth’s curse.
- A spirit enemy called Satan exists whose mission objective is to condemn you before God.
- He lied to our first parents and got them under the promised judgment of God – death.
- He accused Job to God as only being religious and obedient for goodies by the hedge.
- He and his angels are far more powerful and knowledgeable than any man can ever be.
- When David and Peter were given over briefly to him, they quickly and horribly sinned.
- Our consuming enemies are sin, guilt, condemnation, death, devil, hell, and cursed world.
- We obviously need some external transaction that will deliver us from all these enemies.
- The soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). We were warned, but we chose sin (Rom 6:23).
- We are born dead spiritually, die physically in a few years, and then go to the second death.
- It is appointed unto men to die, but after this the judgment, which is far worse (Heb 9:27).
- The solution chosen by God for His elect people was to substitute Another to die for them.
- Our Lord’s crucifixion was not a remedial plan after Adam sinned in Eden, for God had purposed the grand scheme of redemption long before He created (Acts 15:18; Ps 115:3).
- God could have kept Satan out of the Garden as easily as He later kept Adam out of Eden.
- Redemption and the climactic Day of Judgment are according to the determinate counsel of the eternal God for His glory (Acts 2:23; 4:28; Rom 8:29-30; 9:21-24; Eph 1:3-12; Tit 1:2).
- God did not send His Son in love for some enemies because His creatures got in trouble; God created creatures to get in trouble so He could send His Son to display power and love.
- Man did not force His hand and require a remedy. The LORD had created all for Himself.
- Jesus was foreordained before the world began to die the death of deaths (I Pet 1:20), and His death was for particular people chosen and written down (Eph 1:3-12; Rev 13:8; 17:8).
- His blood is not only a precious matter of time, but of eternity (Hebrews 13:20; I Peter 1:2).
- God’s sovereign plan and choices for man is similar to His intentions for angels and devils.
- Arminians and others despise this doctrine, but merely God’s omniscience demands it.
- For Solomon’s rule of Proverbs 16:4.
- For more of God’s dominion.
- He intended to display to all rational creatures the infinite glory of divine love and wrath!
- God created for glory in salvation and damnation (Pr 16:4; Rev 4:11; Ep 3:10; Ro 9:21-24).
- The entire history of the world is just a stage on which the LORD plays out a drama of His glory and power in the wise government of creatures for His own glory and for the church.
- Scripture says before the world was created, He had chosen His elect, promised eternal life, ordained Jesus Christ, put our names in the Book of Life, given us grace, etc., etc.
- The glory of the cross is not a forced remedy but rather as a chosen means of highest praise.
- Seeing it this way is far better than a forced remedy that failed for the vast majority of men.
- For more about God’s eternal decrees.
- Three trees must be kept in view to fully appreciate the wooden cross on which Jesus died.
- The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is what damned our race to eternal torment.
- The tree of life was then off-limits with a flaming cherub turning every way to keep it.
- The tree of Calvary in the form of a cross (called a tree by the Spirit) altered both trees.
- It undid the curse of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for elect and universe.
- It secured the right to eat of the tree of life in Paradise for the elect (Rev 2:7; 22:2,14).
- Love the tree of Calvary on which Jesus hung between heaven and earth to fully redeem us.
- The cross is a tree where Jesus took our sins (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Gal 3:13; I Pet 2:24).
- Adam and Eve cursed themselves, progeny, and the universe by eating of the wrong tree.
- The Law of Moses was written with a curse in it for anyone hanging on a tree (Gal 3:13).
- Job sought a daysman, or mediator, to present and mediate his case with God (Job 9:32-35).
- There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (I Tim 2:5; Heb 9:15).
- Jesus Christ is the counselor, intercessor, or lawyer that we desperately needed (Ps 130:3).
- For more of Jesus as lawyer.
- God’s love for His elect people is best proved by sending His Son to die for them (Jn 3:16).
- The love of Christ for His people requires Spirit power to fully comprehend (Eph 3:14-19).
- God’s love for His people, which cannot be violated, is in His Son Jesus (Rom 8:38-39,32).
- No other scheme of salvation allows sincere love, for it is utterly worthless to the majority.
- God’s wisdom is exalted by means of salvation that made Him both Just and the Justifier.
- The plan of redemption of the church is for the elect angels to see God’s wisdom (Ep 3:10).
- God has shown all wisdom and prudence in the plan of salvation by the cross (Eph 1:7-9).
- Jesus dealt prudently in all the aspects of His life, our salvation, and His reign (Is 52:13).
- All events of earthly time and providence moved toward this grand event (Daniel 9:24-27).
- The time of reformation from O.T. to N.T. is centered around Him (Luke 16:16; Heb 9:10).
- It was the fullness of time when the Son of God came to earth to die (Gal 4:4-5; Eph 1:10).
- It was said, “The time is at hand,” and, “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15; Matthew 26:18).
- You are blessed abundantly to be on this side of Christ’s cross to fully appreciate its glory.
- The earth’s history of 6000 years is divided into B.C. and A.D. by the Person of the cross.
- The LORD God told Satan in Eden that Eve’s Seed would bruise his head (Gen 3:15).
- Before we leave Genesis, Jacob blessed Judah with the coming Shiloh (Genesis 49:10).
- Both Moses and Balaam prophesied of the coming of a Prophet and Star, Jesus Christ.
- David by inspiration wrote in graphic detail of our Lord’s crucifixion agony (Psalm 22).
- David by inspiration wrote in detail of our Lord’s crucifixion sufferings (Psalm 69).
- Isaiah by inspiration wrote of some of His sufferings as the sacrifice for sin (Is 50:4-9).
- Isaiah by inspiration wrote of God’s servant’s substitutionary death (Is 52:13 – 53:12).
- Caiaphas by inspiration spoke ignorantly of His substitutionary death (John 11:47-53).
- Many prophetic details were fulfilled perfectly (John 18:31-32; 19:28,31-37; Acts 3:18).
- For Messianic Psalms (see also) about Jesus Christ.
- The Jews’ method of capital punishment was stoning, but that would not fulfill prophecy.
- The Roman method was to nail a man to some sort of cross of wood and suspend him in air.
- Jesus had prophesied Himself of being lifted up like Moses’ serpent (John 3:14; 12:32-33).
- Pilate told the Jews to kill Him, but they refused to fulfill the Roman method (Jn 18:31-32).
- This Roman-Israel relationship, though a major political event, was to introduce the cross!
- A human descendant of David (by both Mary and Joseph) was raised up to die on a cross.
- He was of the tribe of Judah, and in David’s royal lineage, as had been often prophesied.
- He was born of a virgin to escape the legal connection and vital connection to sinful Adam.
- He was the Word of God made flesh, Emmanuel, God Himself, the Everlasting Father, and the Mighty God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). The zeal of the LORD of hosts would bring it about.
- He was holy, separate from sinners, and absolutely immaculate from any sin (Heb 7:26).
- He was an obedient Son to Joseph and Mary, though they at times did not understand Him.
- He was a perfect sibling, though His brothers and sisters did not believe on Him during life.
- He was subject to every feeling, temptation, and weakness of human flesh, but without sin.
- He was aware at all times that He was going to be tortured and die unjustly by wicked men.
- He was always aware of those in His company and those He met and what they would do.
- His closest friends did not understand His life purpose and hindered Him in it (Matt 16:22).
- The holy child Jesus are not Christmas terms but His humanity (Luke 2:25-35; Ac 4:27,30).
- He had the highest levels of emotional feelings e.g. compassion, pity, etc., but without sin.
- For the genealogy of Jesus .
- For more of the Person of Jesus.
- For more about the Person of Jesus.
- The life of Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross, is another study, but a few points can help.
- If you look to the wilderness when tempted by the devil, you see His virtue (Luke 4:1-13).
- He read and fulfilled Scripture graciously in his evil hometown of Nazareth (Luke 4:16-22).
- The most profane and wicked enemies in the universe worshipped Him (Luke 4:31-36).
- When men despised sinful women, Jesus was there to defend (Luke 7:36-50; John 8:1-11).
- James and John wanted to incinerate Samaritans, but He had a different spirit (Lu 9:51-56).
- Though sorely tempted in all points, like us, He never gave in to temptations (Heb 4:15).
- He never promoted Himself, but told those seeing miracles to keep them quiet (Matt 8:4).
- If you measure Him by zeal, the house of God ate Him up (John 2:12-22; Matt 23:1-38).
- If you measure Him by prayer, He was faithful with much prayer (Lu 6:12; 9:28; 22:39-46).
- In forgiveness, see Peter before and after denials (Lu 22:28-34; Mark 16:5-8; Jn 21:15-19).
- He wept for Lazarus and allowed beloved John to lie on Him at supper (John 11:35; 13:23).
- We are greatly blessed He knew He would gather those outside the Jewish fold (Jn 10:16).
- He does not require of us things we cannot bear, for He is meek and lowly (Matt 11:28-30).
- His affection is secure, for He promised to be with us forever (John 10:27-30; Heb 13:5-6).
- Knowing our affection and desire for Him, He promised to return for us (Jn 14:1-3,18-24).
- His relationship to us is like shepherd with sheep, seeking and saving (Luke 15:4-7; 19:10).
- He is condescendingly kind, for He called His disciples friends, not servants (Jn 15:13-15).
- He came not to bring judgment and death, but rather the abundant life for us (John 10:10).
- There were no skeletons in His closet, or anything close to imperfection (Luke 23:4,14-15).
- He had tender regard for sinners, a woman, Mary Magdalene, after rising (John 20:11-18).
- Luke wrote Theophilus that the crucifixion of Jesus took place at Calvary (Luke 23:33).
- In Hebrew the place was Golgotha, the place of the skull (Mark 15:22; John 19:17).
- Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem, outside the camp (Hebrews 13:11-13).
- He was both the bullock and goats of the figurative Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16).
- And He calls us as His disciples to forsake this world and go to Him outside the camp.
- The cross without a body is worthless, so God created a body for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The bodies of animals under the O.T. could not put away the sins of men (Heb 10:1-4).
- So God prepared a body for Jesus Christ in order to suffer death for us (Heb 10:5-10).
- It is important to remember that the Son of God was full deity in a human body (Col 2:9).
- There was no participation, for our Lord Jesus purged our sins by Himself (Hebrews 1:3).
- The disciples all forsook Him and ran, so there was no assistance by the apostles or popes.
- It is by the obedience of One we are made righteous and just before God (Romans 5:12-19).
- God chose a mighty One out of the people and laid help upon Him alone (Psalm 89:19).
- He cried, “It is finished,” for there was to be no participation after the cross (John 19:30).
- Our Lord Jesus went to His crucifixion death as a meek Lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7).
- Though he knocked them down with His “I am He,” He went submissively (John 18:6).
- “He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set Him free, but He died alone for you and me” (Matthew 26:53). He had angels ascending and descending.
- They blindfolded Him and smote Him, daring Him to tell whom had hit Him (Luke 22:64). He could have told them their ancestors, vile habits, or their future in hell, but He did not.
- When reviled, He did not revile again; when suffering, He did not threaten (I Pet 2:21-24).
- He prayed before His death a glorious prayer of salvation and fellowship (John 17:1-26).
- He prayed in Gethsemane with great fervency (Luke 22:44) and was heard (Heb 5:7-8).
- And He prayed on the cross several times we are told (Matt 27:46; Luke 23:34; 23:46).
- Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Zechariah 11:12-13).
- See Exodus 21:32 to understand that thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave.
- Judas returned the money, for He knew Jesus was an innocent Man (Matthew 27:1-10).
- Was it by Jeremiah or Zechariah? It was spoken by Jeremiah, written by Zechariah.
- His friend of 3.5 years with whom He had eaten bread betrayed Him to enemies for death.
- He did not shy away or run away (like His apostles), but He answered their search for Him.
- His answer caused them to fall backward, but they missed this fantastic miraculous power.
- He healed the ear of Malchus, one of the enemies, and this kind power did not move them.
- Jesus could call twelve legions of angels to destroy the world, but He did not (Matt 26:53).
- Conscious of coming suffering, He still served by washing His disciples’ feet (Jn 13:1-5).
- Though they brought many witnesses, no two witnesses could agree on any crime of His.
- Pilate testified he could find no fault in Jesus after overseeing his trial (Luke 23:4,14-15).
- During trial, His most vocal supporter swore three times that he had never known Him.
- Peter denied Jesus by lies and oath; make sure you do not by actions (Tit 1:16; Mal 1:6-14).
- Jesus would not answer questions, so Caiaphas swore Him to speak (Matt 26:63; Lev 5:1).
- Jesus prophesied to Caiaphas and others there what they would soon see (Matthew 26:64).
- Here is the greatest event of history – the immortal God dying for His incorrigible enemies!
- Why did Jehovah do this? In order to display the glory of His grace and kindness in Christ!
- His life is means for imputation of righteousness; His death the means for imputation of sin.
- Here we see sin as we should see it – what Justice would demand for us to suffer eternally!
- What a dowry He paid for you! He gave His precious life to Justice to buy your salvation.
- Jesus died a unique death for rebel enemies that cannot be compared to any other death.
- Paul introduced a comparison of the Lord’s death with dying for a good man (Rom 5:6-8).
- A soldier dying in combat for his country is very different from Jesus dying on the cross.
- Today is December 7, an infamous day in American history, but these facts are still true.
- Most that volunteer do it for reasons far below virtue, concepts of liberty, national safety, or persons; they do it for a job, for pay, for their comrades, or by youthful folly.
- Most that are drafted are there against their wills, so everything is self-preservation; these are considerably less noble than volunteers, as they did their best to avoid serving.
- This is especially true in “wars” that do not involve home danger, which would be a little different if you were fighting five miles from home against marauding invaders.
- Most soldiers do not train for noble goals, but rather competition and self-preservation.
- No soldier enters into a battle or firefight thinking or planning he will die that day, but he rather enters into conflict with every intention to help his enemies die. Hear Patton!
- Soldiers are taken quite unawares when they are wounded or killed, for they take every precaution against both, and it comes as a total surprise when the bullet or bomb strikes.
- If soldiers die for anyone, it is for comrades in their own squad or platoon, not enemies!
- Jesus knew exactly what He faced in a trial, torture, and death … and did it for enemies.
- Jesus knew His entire life exactly what was involved and for the enemies He would die.
- Only those tortured psychologically get beyond the physical to learn our Lord’s agony.
- Most or all this logic also applies to policemen, firemen, and other service professions.
- There were the physical aspects of His crucifixion that we most often read and consider.
- But there are also the nonphysical elements of His sufferings that we generally neglect.
- And there was the spiritual conflict He had extensively with the devil and his angels.
- There were divine consequences of guilt and shame for sin; He was forsaken of His Father.
- For much more on these four categories (see also).
- For much more on these four categories.
The AGONY – PHYSICAL
- He was scourged by the Romans, who were known for their cruel, efficient punishments.
- He had a crown of thorns planted on his head and then driven into his scalp with a reed.
- He had His beard plucked off His face, which is not disclosed in the gospels (Isaiah 50:6).
- His face was beaten by the hands and fists of Roman soldiers, who mocked Him about it.
- He was kept up all night without sleep by torture and fraudulent trials to condemn Him.
- He was forced to carry his own cross after being physically, emotionally abused all night.
- He had nails driven through tender hands and feet into the wooden cross to support Him.
- He was suspended on that cross with the nails used supporting His entire body’s weight.
- He was extremely thirsty from the hours of trial and torture and fluid loss of the crucifixion.
- He was fully conscious of pain by rejecting the vinegar sedative offered before the cross.
- Though these physical sufferings are horrific, other men have suffered similarly or worse.
The AGONY – PSYCHOLOGICAL
- By psychological agony, we mean the grief and pain of emotional and personal tribulation.
- He was pained in His soul with knowledge of the future (Mt 26:1-2; Lu 9:51-53; Jn 12:27).
- This sorrow increased into Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-38; Luke 22:41-44; Hebrews 5:7-8).
- He was neglected in that the disciples did not discern the hypocrisy and treachery of Judas.
- His honored disciples slept instead of responding to His requests for alertness and prayer.
- And this after the Last Supper, where he intimately told them of coming trouble and death.
- And this after Peter had aggressively promised Him to remain faithful even unto his death.
- They argued at Supper as to who would be greatest in the coming change (Luke 22:21-30)!
- One of His closest friends betrayed Him by a kiss for thirty pieces of silver, a slave’s price.
- His disciples forsook and left Him alone and defenseless with the angry mob in the Garden.
- Efforts were not made to lose lives to save His, as Secret Service agents do for presidents.
- We read of no defense on His behalf at trial, as listing His many good deeds and words.
- He was forsaken by all His followers in His hour of need. There was no rebellion for Him.
- He was ridiculed, mocked, and tortured about His identity, with clear evidence available.
- He was unappreciated for incredible amount of good He had done and taught for 3 ½ years.
- He was disowned by a dear friend, who denied Him three times with oaths and cursing.
- He was humiliated with nakedness, mock titles, a purple robe, crown of thorns, and railing.
- He was sarcastically mocked as king, even though He was King of kings and Son of God.
- He was dared by ignorant, presumptuous, and wicked men to prophesy as to who hit Him.
- He was tempted to revenge with twelve legions of angels for His rescue, but He did not.
- He was rejected by His own nation, who screamed for a Roman oppressor to torture Him.
- He was denied by the office and man of authority He had ordained to protect the innocent.
- He was sacrificed in place of Barabbas, a proven and convicted murderer and seditioner.
- He was ridiculed as an imposter, which could not possibly be known or helped by God.
- He was slandered by many false witnesses called against Him to lie, rather than His truth.
- He was despised by spit in His face, though He sent sun, rain, and fruitful seasons to them.
- He was humiliated by two enemies – Pilate and Herod – becoming friends by His evil trial.
- He was deserted by the governor, who knew Jesus was innocent and the Jews only envious.
- He was tempted to accept a sedative offered before the cross. He drank rather of God’s cup.
- He was railed on by the two thieves, whom were crucified for their evil deeds at His sides.
- He was ignored and not rescued, though there was darkness over the land for three hours.
- He was shamed and tortured to suffer and die naked before His women friends and mother.
- He was humiliated by being crucified between two common thieves, though Lord of all.
- He suffered not for those who loved Him, but rather for enemies that hated Him (Rom 5:8).
- On the cross suffering a painful death, He tenderly considered His mother (John 19:25-27).
- No man has suffered such emotional and psychological pain in such a short period of time.
- It is important to remember Jesus had a full human nature to experience such (Heb 4:15).
The AGONY – SPIRITUAL
- Most Christians miss Satan’s devilish attack against Him in an invisible, spiritual conflict.
- We are ignorant of the conflict between spirits in high places (Ep 6:12; Da 10:20; Jude 1:9).
- We do not respect Satan, if God looses him (Job 1-2; I Chr 1:1; Zec 3:1; Luke 22:3,31-32).
- Satan’s devils are the most unified and efficient hostile force in the universe (Matt 12:26).
- Animosity and conflict between Satan and Jesus was prophesied very early (Genesis 3:15).
- As soon as the Lord Jesus was born, Satan was there to devour Him (Re 12:1-5; Mat 2:16).
- Recall the subtle, arrogant, malicious efforts to tempt our Lord Jesus to sin (Matt 4:1-11).
- Satan only left Jesus “for a season” after the great temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:13).
- Jesus knew the conflict with Satan was coming and told His disciples about it (John 14:30).
- It was time for Satan to be cast out (John 12:31; 16:11). Was he happy with this change?
- Satan was at the Last Supper! Do you understand the angelic conflict implied (Jn 13:2,27)?
- The hour of the power of darkness is a foreboding description from Jesus (Luke 22:53).
- Satan is filled with malicious hatred for Jesus Christ regardless of the future (Rev 12:12).
- As elect angels cannot believe salvation for men, Satan cannot stand salvation by a Man.
- And he knew that Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy him and his works (I John 3:8).
- If we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, what did Jesus wrestle with? With principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ep 6:12).
- “Deliver my darling from the power of the dog” refers to the singular dog Satan (Ps 22:20).
- “Save Me from the lion’s mouth” refers to the roaring lion Satan (Psalm 22:21 cp I Pet 5:8).
- An angel strengthened Him in the Garden (Ma 4:11 cp Luke 22:43-44 cp 22:53 cp Jude 9).
- Devils have no pity; they did not consider him; they did not comfort him; they tortured him.
- If they could just get Him … to curse God … to beg for mercy … to quit … to be afraid … to ask for help … to use His Strength to deliver Himself … to violate a Scriptural promise … to retaliate against His persecutors … to ask them for help … to speak against the elect.
- But never forget that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ triumphed openly over Satan (Col 2:15).
- No man has ever imagined, let alone endured, such a spiritual conflict for His soul; yet we are quite ignorant of this war, because we wrestle against them in a limited sense every day.
The AGONY – DIVINE
- But the most horrific suffering of all was God’s rejection of Jesus Christ for our many sins.
- Since we are far too physically oriented and worldly minded, we may not appreciate this.
- Jesus was fully God and fully man in a combined union beyond our full grasp (Ps 131:1).
- This means that He had a full human nature including the spirit/soul part of mankind.
- Statements are made of Jesus that can only be His human nature (Mark 4:38; Luke 2:52; 23:46; John 11:35; 19:28; 20:17; Acts 20:28; I Cor 15:28; Gal 2:20; Heb 2:18; 4:15).
- There are things ascribed to a name associated with one nature only true of the other.
- For more about Christ’s sonship.
- We must here admit Paul’s description of the incarnation as a great mystery (I Tim 3:16).
- Jesus had more than a body, though a body He most certainly had (Col 2:9; Heb 2:14).
- He had a full human nature with a spirit/soul knowing duty, fear, growth, love, pain, shame, thirst, tiredness, weakness, wisdom, death, etc. This point is quite important.
- Jesus had a human spirit subject to our temptations yet without sin (Heb 2:18; 4:15).
- Jesus had a full Divine nature, Which was the Word of God and Everlasting Father.
- He had both His own human spirit and God’s Holy Spirit just as God’s elect have both.
- When God forsook Jesus, causing Him great grief, it was only fellowship that was taken.
- The incarnation was not undone for these hours, but rather the lively fellowship broken.
- The divine joy of communion with His Father was taken to leave His humanity alone.
- His divine nature upheld His human nature enough to bear our sins without failing.
- We do hold the doctrine of the impeccability of Jesus, meaning that He could not sin.
- Distinction between His two natures must be kept, as it will for eternity (I Cor 15:28).
- Remember clearly that no man has had a relationship with God as did Jesus of Nazareth.
- He had always pleased God in all things without guilt or shame (John 8:29; Matt 3:17).
- He became guilty, fearful, lonely, and condemned for the first and only time in His life.
- It pleased His Heavenly Father to bruise Him, put Him to grief (Is 53:10), forsake Him.
- He endured for a few hours the great loss of God’s departure from Him (Cp Matt 7:23).
- His anguished cries for His Father’s presence and help are terrible (Ps 22:1; Mat 27:46).
- Yet His human nature was in God’s presence that day, with the thief (Luke 23:43,46).
- He suffered these things in great quantity and quality, though for a finite period of time.
- Many martyrs died more painful deaths, but with joy and singing from God, for their fellowship with God, so far from being lessened was rather increased and strengthened.
- No man can quite imagine the spiritual pain and suffering of this part of His crucifixion.
- David wrote many Psalms of grief and pain from broken fellowship, but his was weak.
- David had never had a relationship or fellowship with God like the Son of David had.
The BAPTISM & CUP
- Jesus described what He would do by death as a terrible baptism and cup of suffering.
- He warned James and John about wanting to sit beside Him in heaven (Matt 20:20-24).
- During His life He was aware of the baptism that would overwhelm Him (Luke 12:50).
- For more about the baptism and cup of Christ.
- Paul identified the saving trait of His cross as being blood (Col 1:20; Eph 2:13; Heb 13:20).
- The life of the flesh is in the blood, so the Lamb of God’s blood causes God to pass over us.
- So important is this particular detail of His death that we have red wine for it at His Supper.
- The wicked Jews screamed for His blood to be on their families (Matt 27:25; Acts 5:28).
- Their hypocrisy kept Judas’s money from the treasury though they were guilty of the blood.
- For much more about the blood of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus had tender compassion for the thief who asked for mercy at the end (Luke 23:40-43).
- Jesus had tender regard for the ignorant Roman soldiers around the cross (Luke 23:34).
- Jesus had tender regard for his mother, even at the hour of His death (John 19:25-27).
- Jesus saw His seed – the elect He died for – as a conscious thought on the cross (Is 53:10).
- Pilate wrote a title for the cross, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
- It was written in three languages that any at the cross would know: Hebrews, Greek, Latin.
- Though the Jews tried to get it altered, Pilate would have none of their heretical whining.
- Jesus compared what He would do to what Moses did with a brass serpent (John 3:14-15).
- For those that want to develop soteriological truth, many had already died by fiery serpents.
- Only those with life could look to the serpent and retain their life; no one was resurrected.
- God assigned the objects of the cross to Jesus in eternity (Ep 1:3-12; II Tim 1:9; Rev 17:8).
- Jesus laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11,26-29; Hebrews 13:20; Matt 25:31-33).
- Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ep 5:25). Should men love all women?
- The Father’s will was for Him to save those He had given Him without a loss (Jn 6:39).
- He will profess to many that He never knew them, for He never loved them (Matt 7:23).
- The love of God and His redemptive sacrifice is sure to all His people (Rom 8:28-39).
- For more about limited atonement (see also).
- For more about a particular redemption.
- Jesus defeated the devil publicly, making an open show of him at Calvary (Col 2:15).
- The stronger man had come and defeated the strong man by His death (Luke 11:21-22).
- Jesus came for this purpose, and He perfectly destroyed our enemy (Heb 2:14; I John 3:8).
- For more about defeating Satan.
- For more about defeating Satan.
- Pilate’s wife suffered many things because of Jesus in a dream that day (Matthew 27:19).
- For three hours he hung on the cross, there was darkness over all the land (Matt 27:45).
- A great earthquake tore rocks and opened graves for many saints to rise (Matt 27:50-54).
- The temple veil, where God had dwelt, was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt 27:51).
- These events were powerful enough to cause the centurion to confess (Matthew 27:54).
- Jesus forgave the thief and promised him eternal life in Paradise (Luke 23:40-43).
- Jesus forgave the Roman soldiers parting his garments and casting lots (Luke 23:34).
- Jesus took His blood through the eternal Spirit and entered heaven for us (Heb 9:11-14).
- Jesus opened up a new and living way directly to God our Father (Hebrews 10:19-22).
- For more about Jesus as King and Priest.
- It was a substitutionary death of the just for sinners (Is 53:5-6; I Pet 2:24; II Cor 5:21).
- It was a representative death of the representative for his constituents (Rom 5:12-19).
- It was not a mere martyr’s death for faith in God or a good example of brotherly love.
- Our Lord Jesus was rich, but He became poor that we might be made rich (II Cor 8:9).
- He was born to poor parents in a stable; His mother paid the poor woman’s offering for her purification; He had no permanent dwelling place; His last Passover was in a borrowed room; and He was buried in another man’s tomb. Women had to support His ministry.
- The God and Father of our Lord Jesus took pleasure in His glorious death (Isaiah 53:10).
- And the pleasure of the Lord, salvation of His elect, prospered in His hand (Isaiah 53:10).
- He is now at the right hand of God enjoying pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11; Heb 12:2).
- The prophecy had been of coming peace in the rebuilt house at Jerusalem (Haggai 2:7).
- He was the Prince of Peace (Is 9:6), and He brought peace by His shed blood (Col 1:20).
- For more about the peace of Christ’s cross.
- The comforting message of the gospel is the pardon we have in Christ Jesus (Is 40:1-2).
- Our presidents may pardon criminals, but God cannot do this (Ex 34:7; Nahum 1:3).
- We are not barely pardoned, for God punished double for our sins in Christ Jesus.
- And we are not pardoned against justice by clearing guilty parties, but by Justice!
- We were justified – made legally righteous before God – by His blood (Romans 5:9).
- We were reconciled – restored to friendly terms with God – by His death (Rom 5:10).
- We were accepted – received as favorable objects by God – by His death (Eph 1:6).
- We were redeemed – bought back from just condemnation – by His death (I Pet 1:18).
- We were washed – our sins purged away in God’s sight – by His blood (Rev 1:5).
- We were sanctified – made formally holy before God – by His death (Hebrews 10:10).
- We were adopted – purchased as sons from hell’s orphanage – by His death (Gal 4:5).
- He became our atonement – sacrificial gift of appeasement – by His death (Rom 5:11).
- He became our propitiation – sacrificial gift of appeasement – by death (Romans 3:25).
- Some places have several aspects of His cross (Rom 5:6-11; 8:29-30; I Cor 1:30; 6:11).
- For the facets of salvation.
- As Stronger Man, Jesus went into the palace of Satan and spoiled His goods – you and me!
- God gave Jesus great spoils for obedience on the cross to share with the strong (Is 53:12).
- He is crowned with glory and honor and a name above every name (Heb 2:9; Phil 2:9-11).
- He rules the universe with all angels, authorities, and powers under Him (Eph 1:20-22).
- Spoils given to us include the Spirit and its gifts (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:33; Eph 4:8-11).
- Probate is that legal process of verifying the authenticity and integrity of a will and the proper assignment of assets to the beneficiaries, which is crucial for our eternal salvation.
- Jesus died a covenant death with benefits promised to heirs upon His death as Testator.
- This glorious aspect of His death and our salvation should be considered (Heb 9:15-28).
- We believe in unconditional salvation by means – by the means of His death. Glory to God!
- Our salvation is through the blood of the everlasting covenant in Christ (Hebrews 13:20).
- The need of the cross, which we established first above, detailed multiple great enemies.
- Those powerful enemies are sin, guilt, condemnation, death, devil, and cursed universe.
- So great was the value of Jesus’ death on the cross that even the universe will be freed.
- The new heaven and new earth are part of the spoils of victory secured by Christ’s cross.
- God forsook Jesus on the cross so we might never lose God’s presence with us (Jn 14:16).
- The perpetual gift of the Holy Spirit could not be given until after the cross (John 7:37-39).
- Resurrected and at the right hand of God is when He gave out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33).
- Spoils given to us include the Spirit and His gifts (John 7:37-39; Acts 2:33; Eph 4:8-11).
- There is fellowship with Christ’s cross when we suffer for Him (Phil 3:10; Galatians 6:17).
- Jesus offended Jews for their view of Messiah (Mat 11:6; 10:34-37; Jn 7:43; 9:16; 10:19).
- Paul argued if he added circumcision for salvation, he would not be persecuted (Gal 5:11).
- Paul exposed Jewish legalists teaching circumcision to avoid persecution (Gal 6:12-13).
- Jesus was an offence to Israel for He did not fit their fantasy (I Cor 1:22-24; I Peter 2:6-8).
- Pilate testified he could find no fault in Jesus after overseeing his trial (Luke 23:4,14-15).
- One of the thieves crucified with him testified He was not worthy of death (Luke 23:40-41).
- The centurion overseeing the crucifixion testified He was the Son of God (Mark 15:39).
- The resurrection of Jesus and those of dead saints coming into Jerusalem were a testimony!
- It is easy for Christians to talk about anything and everything else but Jesus Christ’s cross.
- But a Christian walking with God and filled with the Holy Spirit will be overwhelmed by it.
- Our great apostle Paul was constrained by it; he called them enemies that minded the world.
- A spiritually minded person will be Christ-oriented, so check (John 15:26; Rom 7:24-25).
- Some pervert His death by saying it was a general ransom and offer for all sins of all men.
- Some pervert His death by saying it was merely a martyr’s death for a good, holy example.
- Some pervert His death by saying it merely made salvation possible by church sacraments.
- Rather than rightly define and exalt the cross and its accomplishments, men invent heresies.
- The Roman Catholics leave Him on it with crucifixes, top their steeples, and make the sign.
- Others think that wearing a cross or having one on their keychain or in a house has value.
- The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper has been corrupted numerous ways to defraud Jesus.
- Roman transubstantiation presumes He is in their cracker body, blood, soul, and divinity.
- They believe their priests can call Him down to their altars for a bloodless sacrifice again.
- They put leftovers in their little god house at the left of their altar under lock and key.
- Protestant denominations show their fidelity to Rome by calling communion a sacrament.
- There are many enemies from Muslims to Hindus to Mormons that dishonor Jesus Christ.
- The Jews were surely enemies of Jesus Christ’s cross by circumcision and Jewish legalism.
- There were also Epicureans that minded earthly things to the neglect of Him (Phil 3:18-19).
- Making light of the kingdom (Christ’s death its great event) would be judged (Matt 22:1-7).
- Paul warned any neglecting or turning were profane (He 2:1-4; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
- While there is much ado made about Christmas, there is no such example or precept for it.
- The two most popular ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both point to His death.
- It is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, which occurred on the cross, we are to remember.
- The death of Christ, by His shed blood, was the precious price to redeem us (I Pet 1:18-20).
- Peter drew a precious argument against the precious metals of gold and silver versus blood.
- You are bought with a price by His death, therefore you owe Him your life (I Cor 6:20,23).
- The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand, for Jesus was successful (Isaiah 53:10).
- His resurrection confirmed His great success (Romans 1:4; 4:25; Rev 1:18; I Cor 15:17).
- His giving of gifts to men showed the Father’s reward (Isaiah 53:12; 52:13; Acts 2:33-36).
- The logic is simple – if God gave His Son for you, He will surely give all else (Rom 8:32).
- Jesus is the surety of the new covenant, guaranteeing its benefits by death (Heb 7:22; 9:15).
- Jesus, as Son of the Judge, perpetually intercedes for His elect (Rom 5:10; 8:34; Heb 7:25).
- He is fully confident in God’s faithfulness and His performance (John 17:1-3; Heb 2:13).
- He promised His perpetual presence by the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:37-39; 14:21-23; Acts 2:33).
- He promised eternal life, which is fully sure to His people (Titus 1:2; II Timothy 1:9-10).
- He promised an eternal inheritance (John 14:1-6; I Peter 1:3-9; Eph 1:11-12; II Pet 3:1-14).
- Jesus went to the cross and suffered and died in the flesh to do the will of God for you.
- He calls on you to daily take up your cross and follow Him in full obedience (Luke 9:23).
- He calls on you to mortify your flesh like He was put to death (Romans 8:13; Col 3:5-7)
- He calls on you to give your body a living sacrifice in light of God’s mercies (Rom 12:1-2).
- He calls on you to suffer denying the flesh and the charges of others sinners (I Peter 4:1-5).
- Since He could look past the cross to heaven, then you can do so also (Hebrews 12:1-4).
- Jesus went to the cross for a very real legal transaction, but He also gave us a real example.
- Peter appealed to the Lord’s suffering wrongfully to encourage employees (I Pet 2:18-24).
- Peter appealed to Jesus’ suffering persecution to encourage the persecuted (I Pet 3:14-18).
- Love like Jesus showed in dying for His enemies to adopt them should cause great requittal.
- Paul reasoned simply that he owed the rest of his life to live for his Lord (II Cor 5:14-15).
- If you do not love Jesus for dying on the cross, then Anathema Maranatha (I Cor 16:22).
- Heaven’s Throne Room is a place of glorious praise to Christ for His cross (Rev 5:1-14).
- Find three choirs praising the Lamb in Isaac Watts, Come, Let Us Join our Cheerful Songs.
- Paul would say that the gift of salvation is God’s unspeakable gift (II Corinthians 9:15).
- The mystery of godliness concerning Christ is incontrovertibly great (I Tim 3:16; 1:15).
- A great day is coming soon when the formal declaration of God’s sons will be made to all.
- The Book of Life contains the names of the elect for whom Jesus died (Rev 20:11-15).
- And those names were written there before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8).
- Jesus told His disciples to rejoice in this blessing more than other things (Luke 10:19-20).
- For more about the book of life of the Lamb.
- Jesus Christ the great Head of the Church has ordained how the cross is to be remembered.
- It is remembered by preaching the gospel of the cross by the Holy Spirit (I Cor 1:18; 2:1-5).
- It is remembered in baptism by immersion that symbolizes His death (Col 2:12; I Pet 3:21).
- It is remembered in the Lord’s Supper for His torn body and shed blood (I Cor 11:23-29).
- Three earthly witnesses are Spirit, water (baptism), and blood (communion) in I John 5:6-8.
- He ever lives to make intercession for us and will save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
- He has perfected forever those He sanctified by His one offering (Hebrews 10:10-14).
- He reconciled us to God by His death; His life guarantees our salvation (Rom 5:10; 8:34).
- He is alive forever more, and He has the keys of hell and of death (Rev 1:18). Amen!
- John exhorts us by the Spirit to believe on the name of the Son of God to prove eternal life (I John 5:6-13).
- If you believe Jesus and the cross, answer God with a good conscience in baptism (I Pet 3:21; Acts 8:26-40).
- We should glory in Christ Jesus our Lord for His great salvation (Rom 5:1-11; I Cor 1:29-31; Rev 5:9-14).
- Are you Martha or Mary? Do you waste your time in vain worry about the unimportant things of life? Or do you always choose the better part and stay right there no matter what others are complaining about or doing?
- We must at all costs avoid being consumed or distracted by anything but Jesus our Savior through the cross!
- Carnal Christians enjoy the world too much, choking out love for Christ that ought to motivate them (Matt 13:22; 24:12; Rom 12:1-2; I Cor 2:1-5; Gal 6:14; Phil 3:18-19; II Tim 3:5; 4:10; Jas 4:4; I John 2:15-17).
- Grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit by sin will stifle delight in Jesus (John 15:26; Eph 4:30; I Thes 5:19).
- Glossing over the depths of your sin and horror of eternal judgment dulls His luster to you (Rom 7:24-25).
- If you do not prayerfully read the Bible about Jesus Christ, you will forget Him, just as you do other things.
- Yes, Peter denied the Prince of glory; make sure you do not do so by your actions (Titus 1:16; Mal 1:6-14).
- How offended should He be, if you neglect His Person and His cross? Is this not a great crime (I Co 16:22)?
- Let us come to the Lord’s Table with thankful and joyful hearts and remember His death until He comes.
For Further Study:
- Blood of Christ.
- What Did Jesus Finish?
- The Two Adams.
- The Triumph of Christ.
- Baptism and Cup of Christ.
- Man of Sorrows.
- Jesus Paid It All.
- Seven Sayings of Cross.
- Isaiah 50.
- Isaiah 53.
- Psalm 22.
- Cross of Christ.
- The Cross of Jesus Christ – 1999.
- The Seed of the Woman.
- Limited Atonement (see also).
- Ready to Die.
- Facets of Salvation.
- Our Great High Priest.
- We Would See Jesus.
- You Need a Lawyer.
- He Is Altogether Lovely.
- World’s Greatest Lover.
- He Ascended Up on High.
- Jesus Is Our Surety.
- Jesus Is the Prince of Peace.
- The Stronger Man.
- Take Up Your Cross Daily.
- Messianic Psalms – An Introduction (see also).
- The Prophecy of Caiaphas.
- Love of Christ Constraineth Us.
- Before the World Began.