Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why did Jesus suffer so?

One might well ask – why did the death of the Lord Jesus Christ involve so many people including both Jews and Gentiles?? Why not a private sacrifice like Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah? My one line answer is – to demonstrate the depravity of humanity without God, and to vindicate the just judgement of God.

      Let me outline a few items.
 The betrayal and Sanhedrin judgements exposed the real condition of the Jewish nation – by stealth they took Him and instead of giving Him a fair trial, they faked a trial and condemned Him to death because He claimed to be the Son of God.
 The trial by Pilate , as the representative of the Gentiles also showed up that these ‘principalities and powers’ were more interested in pleasing men than delivering  justice. 
       As Ephesians 2 explains, the cross abolishes the law of commandments as unworkable in human hands, and also shows the distance of Gentiles having no hope and without God. Now at the foot of the cross, both Jew and Gentile can be reconciled to God by the blood of Christ.

   Why the torture, mocking, insulting?  One answer is that the Old Testament scripture had prophesied that it would happen. But why? One clue is found in the word’s of the Lord in the garden when the guards came to arrest Him (Luke 22) “This is your hour and the power of darkness” .  Somehow this seemed to be the hour when God withdrew His restraining hand and let these proud humans expose their true character.

   To some extent He became an example for us in suffering (1Peter 2) Also as our intercessor now in heaven, He is well acquainted with the suffering of His people, having Himself suffered in the flesh.

     Why a cross? – one reason is explained in Galatians 3:13 “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”. The Lord Jesus by thus dying became “a curse  for us”, thus setting us free from the curse of a broken law. Another quote from the Lord in John 12 “ I if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me”. He who humbled Himself to the deepest shame, has been exalted to the highest glory. (Philippians 2 ) and will one day see the travail of His soul  and be satisfied as the believers are gathered home.

    On the black background of human failure, shines the all glorious character of God’s spotless, sensitive, selfless Son. As a lamb led to the slaughter, He quietly blesses His persecutors with “Father forgive them”.

Well might the Centurion say “This man was the Son of God” (Matthew 27)

Let us worship Him who was ‘wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.......’ (Isaiah 53)

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