A Manual For Discipleship

 

Disciples – See Christ’s Mission Price

We have now seen the perseverance of Jesus in his mission (Matthew 26). In Matthew 27 we will focus on the price of Jesus’ mission. Remember, these last three chapters of the gospel of Matthew and account of Jesus redemptive mission, are critically important. Without the events of these final three chapters in Matthew, there would be no redemption; there would be no disciples. We have divided the last three chapters as follows: 

 

·         Disciples – See Christ’s Mission Perseverance – Matthew 26

  • Disciples – See Christ’s Mission Price – Matthew 27
  • Disciples – See Christ’s Mission Power – Matthew 28

 

In Matthew 26, we saw Jesus persevere in the face of prophecy which pointed to His own sacrificial death (26:1-2). We saw Him persevere even though there was a murder plot against Him (26:3-5). He persevered even though His own disciples had misguided priorities and no sensitivity to worship Him (26:6-13). Jesus persevered though He was betrayed by one of His very own disciples (26:14-16). He persevered through a difficult meal with a purpose and prediction that must have been very difficult for Jesus to state (26:17-35). He persevered in midnight prayer (26:36-46). He was betrayed and deserted by all His disciples (26:47-56). False charges and false witnesses illegally called together to condemn Jesus did not deter Him, He pressed on and persevered in His mission (26:51-56). Not even mocking, humiliation and beating could deter Jesus; nothing could stop Jesus from persevering in His redemptive mission (26:57-75). Jesus persevered through all of this. But the most difficult part was yet to come. Now it was time to pay the price of redemption. Now was the time to drink from the cup of God’s justice, fury and wrath.

Propitiation Reviewed

Before we continue into this chapter we should review the aspect of the cross of Christ that is propitiatory. The following points should be understood about propitiation.

First, propitiation means turning away the wrath or anger of a person (Greek – HILASKOMAI).  Propitiation is a personal word in that it addresses beings not simply making amends for actions. Inn reference to God we therefore need to understand that God takes sin personally and there is one thing and one thing only that arouses the anger of the Lord, that one thing is SIN. God is hostile toward evil. The bible does say that God is “slow to anger” (Exodus 34:6; Psalms 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3), but He does not condone sin and His anger will at some point be kindled to wrath.  Leon Morris in his book The Atonement,[1] states that in the Old Testament alone the wrath of God is mentioned 580 times. Wrath is mentioned 49 times by name and referred to on other occasions as well (e.g. John 3:36; Matthew 5:22; 18:8; Mark 9:48; Luke 12:5; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 14:10; 16:19). One such section of scripture is found in Isaiah where it states:

  • Isaiah 30:27-30 – “Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire.28 His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err.29 You shall have a song As in the night when a holy festival is kept, And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, To come into the mountain of the Lord, To the Mighty One of Israel.30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show the descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.”  [2] (See also Psalm 11:5)

God’s wrath is real and you cannot simply dismiss it without removing a large portion of the inspired word of God.

Second, the wrath of God that requires propitiation is consistent with His loving nature and not a reaction from God to being slighted in some way, it is God’s strong opposition to anything that would deter His loving plans for people. Sin is offensive to God, but it is the pain and loss that sin causes that moves God to anger. The prophet Zechariah was moved to put it this way:

  • Zechariah 8:16-17 – “These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.”  [3]

God wants justice to prevail so that people can live in peace (Hebrew – SHALOM – Strong’s #7965 – overall health, prosperity and peace) and relate in love to each other as they relate to Him in love (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). That which blocks His plan and disrupts His peace and blessing meets with His fiery indignation.

Leon Morris gives this explanation of the relationship between God’s love and wrath:

“Some find a difficulty in that they see wrath as incompatible with the fact that ‘God is love.’ They are so sure of the love of God that they say that there can be no such thing as the wrath of God. But this is faulty reasoning . . . .  The more He loves the more He will be angry with everything that mars the perfection of the beloved, that is with every sin. God’s wrath is identical with God’s love. God’s wrath is God’s love blazing out in fiery indignation against every evil in the beloved.”  [4]

Third, propitiation does not involve our doing something to appease God’s anger, for there is nothing any mere human could do to appease God’s anger. In pagan religion worshipers of a deity performed sacrifices to appease their deity. Such sacrifices were often human sacrifices such as offering their first-born children (2 Kings 3:26-27). In the Bible the sinful person him or her self, cannot do anything by themselves to appease or propitiate the wrath of God.

Fourth, the wrath of God is on sin and sinful people. This is born out in the following verses:

  • Psalm 11:5 – “The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”  [5]
  • John 3:36 -  “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”   [6]
  • Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” [7]

Fifth, God Himself in Jesus provides the propitiatory sacrifice (that sinful man could not himself provide) which satisfies His just wrath. The “cup” Jesus prayed to the Father to remove if at all possible (Matthew 26:39), is the cup of the righteous wrath of God that is poured out on all sin. On the cross God satisfied His just requirements of the Law to punish sin by Jesus serving as an acceptable substitutionary sacrifice for the sinner. And furthermore, it was God who was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself by Himself providing in Christ an acceptable, just satisfactory sacrifice (Isaiah 53). This is confirmed in the following verses:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  [8]
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 – “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”  [9]
  • Hebrews 2:17 – “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”  [10]
  • 1 John 2:1-2 – “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”  [11]
  • 1 John 4:10 – “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  [12]

Sixth, God’s grace makes a way to deal with His wrath through faith in Christ. How can a person be saved from God’s wrath? God’s grace has made a way. God has freely offered a way to be saved from this wrathful situation through faith in His Son Jesus.  When a person admits their sin and turns from it (repentance – which is a part of saving faith) and exercises the faith from God that is a gift from Him, God promises to impute (i.e put to one’s account and treat accordingly) the righteous substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.  This in fact is what the apostle Paul was inspired to write in Romans where it states:

  • Romans 3:21-26 – “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  [13]

Now notice that this “righteousness,” (or justification - being declared by God to be in right standing before God) is “apart from the law” or not attained by keeping laws or rules religiously in our own strength (3:21a)Also, such a doctrine is not new but is revealed in the Old Testament (3:21b - e.g. Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4). This righteousness is attained and available to all through faith in Jesus Christ” (3:22). This faith is a gift from God, a product of His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Every person needs this for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” we all fall short of His standard of perfection (3:23 - Matthew 5:48; John 16:8-11). This “being justified” is something God offers, “freely,” you can’t work for it, because Jesus has done all the work of redemption on the cross (3:24). Jesus satisfied God’s just requirement of the law by giving His life as a “propitiation” (3:25a). God “passed over the sins that were previously committed,” in the Old Testament based on His foreknowledge that Jesus would go to the cross and pay the penalty for humanities’ sin (3:25b). This is offered in the “present time” and all time to show God’s righteousness (3:26). God’s righteousness is demonstrated in that He is “just and the justifier” God provided this means of justification and overall salvation in Christ (3:26b – see below).

This plan of God flows from His loving nature, as Paul explains further in the following inspired words:

  • Romans 5:6-11,20b – “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. . . . But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,” [14]

Notice from these verses that our justification does not only involve the imputation of Christ’s atoning death to our account, but also His righteous LIFE, (“”much more, . . . we shall be saved by His life”). OH HOW GREAT IS GOD’S LOVE! That truly is cause for rejoicing (5:11a) for, “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (5:11b).

Seventh, the apostle Paul is an example of God’s grace that saves from His wrath. As we study through Matthew 27 what we will see is the depth of sin in humanity as human beings perpetrate the darkest, most heinous, blasphemous, and despicable crime against God in all of history. In this chapter we see the depth of humanities sin, but as deep and dark as humanities sin is, God’s grace is greater. As we look at this chapter we will see the darkness of sin in its thickest even tangible state. But as deep and dark as sin in humanity is found in this chapter, the good news is that in Christ, even such sinners can be saved and transformed; they can be reconciled to God (Romans 1:16-17). Paul was just such a one and his own words convey the power of the gospel when he states:

  • 1 Timothy 1:12-17 – “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”  [15]

I pray we exult with Paul in Christ and His grace as we continue in our study and see the price Jesus paid for our redemption.

Jesus Paid The Price of Hate

 

Matthew 27:1-2 – “When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.”  [16]

In Matthew 26 we see the conniving, premeditated, manipulative, hateful workings of the religious leaders to orchestrate by any means the destruction of Jesus (26:57-68). The opening verse of Matthew 27 tells us that the chief priest and elders began their day plotting to put Jesus to death. Jesus never sinned, did countless miracles and taught from God’s word like no one ever had or ever will. And yet these religious leaders, (those who boasted in their positions to uphold their traditions and supposedly also Law) committed premeditated murder, first degree murder of the most heinous kind. Why did they do it?

Later in this chapter a comment is made about what was know by Pilate in regards to this situation. It states:

  • Matthew 27:18 – “For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.”  [17]

The word “envy,” here is translated from the Greek term PHTHONOS (Strong’s # 5355) which conveys the meaning of, “the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others.” [18] Jealousy is a synonym for this word.

Now so great was this jealousy in the hearts of the religious leaders that they sought to eliminate Jesus from the picture so they could maintain their position of prominence and control amongst the people (26:59). Jesus knew the evil hearts of these men and even foretold their evil deed of murdering Him in parables such as the parable of the Wicked Vinedressers who kill the Son of the Owner so they can seize the inheritance  (see Matthew 21:33-46). The gospels testify to the intense hatred and rage produced in the religious leaders due to their envy of Jesus:

  • Luke 6:11 – “But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.”  [19]

Someone has said:

“Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well as destroy the object on which it is poured.” [20]

Hate in people is the result of the selfishness of sin in full bloom. The hate the religious leaders held for Jesus brought condemnation upon themselves as they vented it on Jesus.

Jesus was well aware of the hatred of the religious leaders and the world toward Him as He told His disciples:

  • John 7:7 - “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”  [21]
  • John 15:25 - “But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’”  [22]

What we need to understand is that hatred is rooted in evil and evil is under condemnation from God. In John’s gospel Jesus states:

  • John 3:19-20 - “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” [23]

Because hate is an evil under the condemnation of God, this makes up part of the price paid by Jesus on the cross so that hateful evil people could be justified and saved. Because Jesus took the penalty for hatred on the cross, those who have hated can be justified and forgiven.

Do you envy someone? Has your envy developed into hatred? Do you have hate in your heart for someone? Do you have hate in your heart for any reason? Someone may have abused you or done something terrible to you and you have responded with hate in your heart. You say, “Yeah, someone abused me and I hate them and I always will.” Hate is like an acid, it destroys the container it is held in as well as that upon which it is poured. If you have hate in your heart for any reason consider the cross of Christ, because Jesus paid the price of hate on the cross. Hate never fulfills it only empties and destroys. Give your hate to Jesus and let Him deal with it on the cross.

Jesus Paid The Price of Betrayal, the bondage of Sin and Brokenness

Matthew 27:3-10 – “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.”7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced,10 “and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”   [24]

Judas served as a disciple with Jesus for about three years. In his time with Jesus he had the opportunity to witness any sinful behavior, any hypocrisy, and fault, any inconsistency, any sin. Judas saw no sin and so knew that he had, “sinned by betraying innocent blood” (27:4).

The price of betrayal

Judas was, “His betrayer” (27:3). Betrayal of trust is one of the most despicable of sins. When a person is given trust by another, and then breaks that trust for his or her own selfish ends, it is a despicable thing. That is what Judas did to Jesus. Jesus gave Judas trust. He was entrusted with the treasury, but stole from it (John 12:5). He was called to be a disciple and given the privilege of serving as one of the inner twelve, that’s trust. All of this he betrayed, threw away. Jesus paid the price of betrayal on the cross and took the just wrath of God for such despicable sins so that those who betray and genuinely repent, could be forgiven their sin.

“In the early 1500s, only scholars could read God’s Word. The only legal Bible was in Latin, which most of the common people could not understand. Since they could not read God’s Word for themselves, they had to rely upon what others told them it said.

It was illegal to own an English Bible or even memorize Scripture in English. In fact, in 1519, seven Christians were burned at the stake in Coventry, England, for teaching their children the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments in English!”

[This situation didn’t is well with a well educated man named William Tyndale and he began to debate church authorities. One church authority shouted at Tyndale in one such debate,] “It would be better to be without God’s laws than without the Pope’s.’ Tyndale courageously replied, “I defy the Pope and all his laws! In fact, if God spares my life, I intend to make it possible for a common farmer, a plowman, to know more of the Scripture than you do!” [Tyndale set out to translate the Bible into English.]

[Tyndale’s translation work brought persecution upon him from the established church and he had to flee to various parts of Europe for safety. In 1526 Tyndale’s English New Testament, referred to as “the pirate editions,” began to be circulated in England. His Bible was smaller than conventional one’s to make the smuggling of it to the people easier. The common people devoured the Word of God that had been translated by Tyndale. The Bishop of London tried to get the Tyndale Bible out of circulation by buying them up and burning them, but the money was passed on to Tyndale who used it to print three times as many editions. Bible truth and the good news of a personal saving relationship with God in Christ was now available to more and more people. The established church persecuted those caught with Tyndale’s Bible; prisons were filled with those arrested with the Bible and two of Tyndale’s close friends were burned at the stake.]

“In the spring of 1535, a man named Henry Phillips arrived in Antwerp, where Tyndale had been hiding. IN hopes of reward, Phillips took it on h9imself to betray Tyndale. He befriended Tyndale, noting that he was, ‘simple and inexpert in the wily subtleties of this world.’ Before Tyndale knew what was happening, Phillips had set and ambush for him. 

Tyndale spent the next eighteen months in prison near Brussels, Belgium. With the help of Miles Coverdale, he was able to complete part of the Old Testament. During his stay in prison, his powerful preaching and sincerity of his life greatly influenced those around him. The jailer, the jailer’s daughter, and others of his household accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.

On October 6, 1536, Tyndale was taken from his dungeon and strangled. They his body was burned. His last words were a fervent prayer: ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!’

God honored Tyndale’s prayer. Within three years, the King of England gave instructions that a copy of the “Great Bible’ completed by Tyndale’s co-worker, Coverdale, including Tyndale’s New Testament be placed in every church in England!

Tyndale’s translation was so accurate that 75 years later, when the King James Version of the bible was published, it was based largely upon Tyndale’s work. In fact, about 90 percent of the words remain exactly as he wrote them!” [25]

Have you betrayed or been betrayed? Give it all to Jesus because He paid the price for it on the cross.

The price of the bondage of sin

Judas was “remorseful” but he wasn’t repentant (27:3). He brought back the blood money, but he never sought forgiveness from God. He confessed his sin, but to religious priests rather than to God Almighty. Judas found himself in bondage to the circumstances produced by his sin. Judas hanged himself in an attempt to escape the bondage of his sinful act, but in doing so He separated himself from God eternally (27:5). Jesus paid the price so that a person does not have to commit suicide to escape their sinful problems.

Judas may not have expected his betrayal to lead to the death sentence for Jesus, but that does not excuse his sin (27:4). Whenever you choose to follow your own fleshly plan instead of God’s plan, you tread a dangerous path. Once you decide to sin you set in motion a set of circumstances that go beyond your control. The person who chooses to sin is in bondage to sin. Jesus said this very thing when He stated:

  • John 8:34 – “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”  [26]

It’s like the folly of thinking that there are such things as “little lies.” There is no such thing as a little lie because one lie inevitably leads to another to cover up the first, and a third to cover up the second, and a fourth to cover up the third, and on and on. Sin multiplies. There is no such thing as a little sin because sin is cancerous. Sin may start out like a single small cell, but like cancer, it multiplies out of control until it is fully in control. Jesus paid the price of out of control sin and through Jesus sin can be forgiven and brought under control.

But in Jesus the sinner can be set free from the bondage of sin as the following verses testify:

  • John 8:31-33,36 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” . . . 36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  [27] (See Romans 6:19-22)

Because Jesus paid the price we can be set free from the bondage of sin. Have you opened the door to some sin in your life and now it has grown out of control? Are you in bondage to some sin? Give it to Jesus because He paid the price to set you free and bring the bondage of sin under control.

The price of brokenness

Judas took the blood money and threw it into the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the Temple sanctuary (Greek NAOS). He couldn’t stand to be reminded of his sinful betrayal of Jesus. The religious leaders shoed Judas no empathy or understanding and refused to reverse the death sentence of Jesus that Judas had been used to set in motion. Instead they took the blood money and bought a “potter’s field” and converted it into a burial ground (27:4-8).

This is interesting because a “potter’s field” was a place where pottery was disposed of  that had broken before a potter completed it. Such a field was covered in the broken potshards and pieces. This gives us a metaphorical picture of the dump heap of humanity and the price Jesus paid to redeem them. The dumping ground for broken pots is like the dumping ground for lives broken by sin and it was purchase with the blood money of Jesus. Jesus paid the price on the cross to redeem the lives broken by sin.

Have you broken someone or been broken by someone? Are you like a cracked piece of pottery? Do you feel broken and irreparable? Do you feel as though you’re falling to pieces? Jesus paid the price to mend the broken pieces. The psalmist was inspired to write:

  • Psalm 34:17-18 – “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  [28]
  • Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.”  [29]
  • Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.”  [30]

Jesus came specifically to mend brokenness as the prophet Isaiah was inspired to write of Messiah:

  • Isaiah 61:1 - “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, 1 Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”  [31]

In Matthew Isaiah is quoted regarding Jesus and states:

  • Matthew 12:20 – “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;”  [32]

If you’re bruised and breaking, a smoldering wick that feels as though it’s about to go out, go to Jesus and He will heal your brokenness and kindle of fire in you by His Spirit that you couldn’t even imagine. Go to Jesus with your brokenness, because He paid the price of it on the cross.

Recently in the news there has been reported a virtual explosion of child sex abuse cases being reported throughout the nation within religious circles. When one who has been entrusted with the responsibility of representing God, when that person uses their position to abuse and take advantage the result is severe breaking not only of the trust relationship, but the of the victim. One recent article describes such breaking and reads in part:

“The sex scandal engulfing the Catholic Church widened yesterday, with the filing of a suit by a man who says he was sexually abused at a Missouri seminary. The suit alleges that the Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell "sexually exploited" the student, then in his teens, by causing him to "engage in sexual conduct" while at the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal, Mo. between 1967 and 1971.

O'Connell resigned last week as bishop of Palm Beach after admitting he had improper relations with another teenage seminarian twenty years ago. Jeffrey R. Anderson, attorney for the ex-student who filed yesterday's suit, said O'Connell served as the teenager's "spiritual director, guidance counselor, confessor, vocational advisor and holy authority figure," while encouraging the young man to commit sexual acts of self-gratification in his presence. On at least five occasions, the acts took place in the "sacristy" of the seminary, where the wine and other items used for Mass are kept, Anderson said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The former student, referred to in the court papers as John Wm. Doe, left the seminary before becoming a priest, the lawyer said. He is now 47 and works as a marketing and communications specialist in Minnesota, Anderson said. "He has struggled with serious depression and now has made the decision to come forward for healing and vindication and to reach out to others and stop the Catholic Church from the practice" of protecting child abusers, the lawyer said. O'Connell could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In New York City, growing numbers of Catholics called on church officials to end their silence on the sex abuse issue. And in Boston, where the scandal of child abuse and cover-up by church authorities first came to light, there were demands that Cardinal Bernard Law resign. Among those calling on Law to step down are conservative Catholic writer William F. Buckley. . . .”   [33]

 

As tragic and despicable as such sinful behavior is, Jesus died to pay the price, even for this sin. And because He did, those who have broke others and those who have been broken, can be helped and healed in Christ.  

 

A quote from Jeremiah or Zechariah?

Some have seized upon Matthew’s reference to fulfilling what was spoken by Jeremiah as a mistake in the Bible (27:9). However, there is a logical explanation to this apparent discrepancy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary gives the following explanation:

‘Matthew viewed these events as the fulfillment of a prophecy of Jeremiah. But the prophecy Matthew quoted was primarily from Zechariah, not Jeremiah. There is a close resemblance between Matthew 27:9-10 and Zechariah 11:12-13. But there are also similarities between Matthew’s words and the ideas in Jeremiah 19:1, 4, 6, 11. Why then did Matthew refer only to Jeremiah? The solution to this problem is probably that Matthew had both prophets in mind but only mentioned the “major” prophet by name. (A similar situation is found in Mark 1:2-3, where Mark mentioned the Prophet Isaiah but quoted directly from both Isaiah and Malachi.) In addition, another explanation is that Jeremiah, in the Babylonian Talmud (Baba Bathra 14b), was placed first among the prophets, and his book represented all the other prophetic books.”  [34]

Jesus paid the price incurred by betrayal, the bondage of sin, and for lives broken by sin and thrown away. Give it all to Him.

Jesus Paid The Price of Injustice

Matthew 27:11-26 – “Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. 15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”  [35]

Jesus remained silent for the most part before Pilate (27:11-14). This is another of many fulfilled prophecies by Jesus (see Isaiah 53:7). Jesus could have turned all His enemies to rocks as a symbol of their stony hearts, but He didn’t, He chose to go on and pay the price.

This passage tells us that Pilate’s custom was to pardon a convicted felon as an act of kindness during the feast of the Jews. Knowing this and not believing that Jesus was deserving of death, Pilate presented the people with an option that he probably thought was greatly weighed in Jesus’ favor. Pilate presented a choice to the people of pardoning Barabbas, “a notorious prisoner,” and Jesus a, “just man.” Barabbas was a murderer (Acts 3:14-15). Pilate probably expected the people to choose Jesus over a murderer. He probably favored the release of the just rather than the troublemaker. A troublemaker is more likely to cause more trouble for Pilate than a just man. But the people chose Barabbas the criminal over Jesus the just (27:15-21).

“Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (27:22). That’s the 64 million dollar question that all humanity must respond to. What will you do with Jesus? Will you receive Him as your Savior? Will you turn away from Him, ignore Him? Will you kill Him again by trying to erase Him from your mind and consciousness philosophically? (See Romans 1:18-32). Will you give your heart to Him and follow Him as a disciple? What will you do with Jesus?

While this decision was being made Pilate’s wife sends word to Pilate that in she has had, “suffered many things today in a dream because of Him [i.e. Jesus]” (27:19). Pilate knew Jesus was innocent (27:18, 23). In light of his wife’s warning, Pilate acquiesces to the people’s decision to take Barabbas and have Jesus crucified, but Pilate makes a public show of his sentiments and their decision by washing his hands in a symbolic statement saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person” (27:24). The people in response shout, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (27:25). Understand, no amount of hand washing could cleanse Pilate from caving in to the political pressure of people who were calling for an unjust decision. And no amount of popular opinion could dismiss the gross injustice perpetrated by the religious leaders and the people against Jesus (27:25-26). Only Jesus could pay that price, and He did so on the cross so that the unjust that repent and put their faith in Him could be forgiven.

Jesus died on the cross to pay the price of the sin of injustice. One such example of injustice was the recent bombing of a protestant church in Pakistan. An Associated Press report described in part the act as follows:

Islamabad, Pakistan - March 18, 2002 – A grenade attack on a Protestant church packed with Sunday worshipers killed five people -- including an American woman and her daughter -- and injured 45 in an assault clearly aimed at Pakistan's foreign community. "There was blood, blood, blood,” said Elisabeth Mundhenk, 54, an English teacher from Hamburg, Germany, as she awaited treatment for shrapnel wounds at a hospital. "It was horrific. There was a horrible smell and we could barely breathe.”

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which at least one young man in black -- some witnesses said two -- ran through the center of the church hurling grenades. Suspicion fell on Islamic extremists. The U.S. Embassy identified the dead Americans as Barbara Green and her daughter Kristin Wormsly, 17, a senior at the International School of Islamabad.”  [36]

 

Religion is not the answer because it does not address the needed new heart that only Jesus can provide. Religion, (which focuses on what a person needs to do to be right with “God”) often leads to violence and acts of hatred. The act of injustice committed by Muslims against Christians, (not only in the above incident, but in various other Islamic countries such as the Sudan and Indonesia) is only proof that religion does not work. You could throw into this religious pile the inquisitions and Crusades produced by religious pursuits of Christ. Religion is doomed to failure because it focuses on humanities efforts to be right before God. The gospel on the other hand is good news that sinful people cannot work their way to a pleasing position before God, but God has provided the gift of salvation in Christ. Jesus died to pay the price of religious injustice. Anyone who repents of religion and injustice therefore, can find forgiveness and new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus Paid The Price of Cruelty

Matthew 27:27-31 – “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”  [37]

The Roman soldiers who took Jesus were savage and behaved more like animals than human beings. Yet Jesus bore that price and suffered to pay it so that even the cruelest sinner who repents could be saved.

Recently in Australia a drifter set fire to a hostel resulting in the death of 15 young travelers. An associated Press article reported:

A drifter received a life sentence Monday for starting a fire that killed 15 young travelers at a backpackers' hostel in Australia. Robert Paul Long, 38, was convicted Friday of murdering two backpackers who perished in flames that engulfed the Palace Backpackers Hostel on June 23, 2000. Long looked straight ahead and said nothing as the sentence was handed down Monday at Brisbane Supreme Court. He marched out of court without looking at his parents who sat behind him throughout the three-week trial. Long also was sentenced to 15 years -- to be served concurrently with the life sentence_ for arson. He must serve a minimum 20 years before being eligible for parole. Presiding judge Justice Peter Dutney described the blaze as the worst case of arson in Queensland state history. "I can't really conceive any motivation for setting alight a hostel in which 85 people were sleeping," Dutney said. "To light the fire displays a callousness and cruelty which is difficult to imagine." [38]

 

It was heinous acts such as this that put Jesus on the cross. And yet, He paid the price of such an act so that if such a cruel offender repented and turned to Him, he could be forgiven for his sin.

 

Has someone acted cruelly toward you or have you acted cruelly toward someone else? Bring it to Jesus; He paid the price for cruelty on the cross.

Jesus Paid The Price of the Cross

Matthew 27:32-34 – “Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink..”    [39]

The account says, “they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink(27:34). Notice here that when offered something to deaden the pain, Jesus refused to take it (27:34). Jesus took the full brunt of the pain of sin; He left no amount of sin unpropitiated. He satisfied and satisfies every required penalty for every sin. Whatever your sin, Jesus paid the price so you can be forgiven in Him. The cross was the perfect means for the full pain of the penalty of sin to be carried out.

The Tenfold Crux of the Cross of Christ

What is the cross all about? What is the significance of Christ’s death on the cross? What does it mean to you and to me? The Cross of Christ stands at the center of history as the greatest expression of God’s holy justice and His holy love. It is the Cross of Christ that is at the center of the gospel. Why is it so important? Below are ten important truths which give us the crux of the Cross of Christ, the substance and profound meaning of the Cross of Christ.

 

First, The Cross of Christ is indispensable to the Gospel.

 

  • 1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  [40]

These words of Paul to the Corinthians demonstrate to us just how central and indispensable the Cross of Christ is to the gospel. Paul made the Cross of Christ is central focus and he explained why as we look at the verses that precede the above verse:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  [41]

You see, in the Cross of Christ we have the embodiment of God’s wisdom and power. Wisdom is the ability to solve a problem. God solved the problem of sin powerfully in the Cross of Christ. How did He do this?

Second, The Cross of Christ is the means God uses to deliver us from sin.

 

  • Galatians 1:3-5 – “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”  [42]

The Cross of Christ is the means by which God provided a way for sinful humanity to be delivered from the evil world in which we live. Apart from God, sinful humanity is caught in the clutches of sin and in bondage to sin. Sin causes pain. Sin is like a narcotic that although the user knows it will kill them in the end, they can’t stop in their own strength the using and abusing of it. How does God deliver sinful humanity from this evil world and sin through the Cross of Christ?

 

Third, The Cross of Christ is where Jesus became a curse for us.

 

  • Galatians 3:10-14 – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  [43]

In our own strength, apart from God’s help, we are under His righteous law. Under this standard one offense, one misstep in regards to keeping God’s law is enough to put us under the cruse or penalty for the law. God is totally just and as a just Judge, He penalizes sin. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). God’s wrath is on sin (Romans 1:18). At the Cross of Christ, Jesus took our place on the cross and became a curse for us. Here we see the substitutionary nature of the Cross. What is the significance and meaning of Christ’s substitutionary cross-work?

 

 

Fourth, The Cross of Christ is where Jesus satisfied God’s Holy Justice.

 

  • Romans 3:20-26 – “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  [44]

The law of God was given not to make one righteous, but to expose utterly the sinfulness of humanity (Romans 3:20). The law of God removes all excuses from sinful humanity because it shows that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:1-18,23). But God sent His Son Jesus Christ to the Cross to be a propitiation, or an atoning sacrifice that satisfies God’s holy justice. We cannot do anything that will satisfy God’s just standard; therefore, God sent His Son and in Him satisfied His own standard of holy justice. On the Cross of Christ Jesus took the sins of the world upon Him as well as God’s holy just wrathful penalty for sins upon Him and paid the price for all sin. God did this to demonstrate beyond doubt His righteousness. A Holy God does not simply dismiss sin without dealing with it, but justly made a way to deal with sin and remove it’s penalty. All sin is forgiven, past, present and future, on the basis of Jesus’ propitiation on the Cross. And what is even more incredible is that God is the, “just and justifier” BECAUSE GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF ON THE CROSS. As Paul was inspired to write:

 

  • 2 Corinthians 5:19,21 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. . . 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  [45]

We have seen God’s justice, but what about God’s love?

 

 

 

Fifth, The Cross of Christ is God’s greatest and clearest demonstration of His Holy Love.

 

  • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  [46]

The Cross of Christ is God’s greatest demonstration of  “His own love.” God’s love held nothing back, not even His son, not even Himself. Greater love has no one than this, that God laid down His life for sinful humanity.

But what about after we have been forgiven through faith in Christ, is the Cross of Christ useful in living life?

 

Sixth, The Cross of Christ is the means to live a life of death to sinful self.

 

  • Galatians 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  [47]
  • Galatians 5:24 – “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  [48]

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and exercise God’s gift of saving faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) it’s as though our old sinful self is crucified with Him. From that point we are in a righteous position before God, sins forgiven, slate of recorded sins wiped clean forever. But where do we go from there? The above verses tell us that by faith now in Jesus we put fleshly desires in the wastebasket of the cross. The apostle Paul was inspired to explain this in the following way:

 

  • Romans 6:4-14 – “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”  [49]

Practically speaking, after we have experienced the new birth (John 3:3,5; Titus 3:5) we will experience fleshly lusts from within us to sin which are connected with the “old man,” or old sinful way of living. This is because we have yet to receive glorified bodies (Romans 8:23), and there remains a struggle with the “old man” who still rears his head to seek control of us. But in the Cross of Christ there is a means of victory. When the old man attacks with his lusts, then by faith we need to “reckon” or put to the account of, lay, place, those lusts and temptations in the casket of the cross, close the lid, and stand in your right position by faith before God in Christ by the Spirit. This is the sanctifying process of the Spirit in the believer (Ephesians 5:18).

But what about the temptations from the world outside of us?

 

Seventh, The Cross of Christ is the means to gain victory over a sinful world.

 

  • Galatians 6:14 – “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  [50]

Here we see that the same process is used when temptations come from the world. By faith we maintain our position before God and cast the temptations in the casket of the Cross and close the lid.

 

But how do those who are unsaved react to the Cross of Christ? Will they joyfully respect the Cross of Christ?

 

Eight, The Cross of Christ is a foolish concept to the unsaved, but the power of God to the saved.

 

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18 – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  [51]

The world views the Cross of Christ as foolish, a barbaric notion of an imaginary religious belief system. But to those who have experienced the power of the gospel in the Cross of Christ, there is no need to explain, but only receive by faith.

Ninth, The Cross of Christ will bring persecution from the religious and worldly (i.e. fleshly; self-centered; self-absorbed; self-serving).

 

  • Galatians 5:11 – “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.”  [52]
  • Galatians 6:12 – “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.”  [53]
  • Philippians 3:17-19 – “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.”  [54]

Those who depend on religious works (i.e. “circumcision” – Galatians 5:11), fleshly pursuits (Galatians 6:12), and “whose god is their belly” will all persecute those who live by faith in the Cross of Christ.

Tenth, The Cross of Christ eliminates prejudices and brings peace in the Spirit.

 

  • Ephesians 2:14-18 – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one [i.e. Jews and Gentiles], and has broken down the middle wall of separation,15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”  [55]

The Cross of Christ is the answer to the divisions in the world caused by the sinfulness of humanity. Sin divides and destroys; but the Cross of Christ unites and brings us into the presence of the Father by the Spirit. THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE BRIDGE THAT ALLOWS THE SINNER TO CROSS OVER THE CHASM OF SEPARATION FROM GOD CAUSED BY SIN (Isaiah 59:2), AND STEP INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS PEOPLE PERSONALLY FOR ETERNITY.

The Cross of Christ is an incredible provision by God and is offered by His grace to us. If you are alone in this sinful world, crushed under the weight and bondage of your sin, turn to the Cross of Christ and accept Him as your Savior by faith. The crux of the Cross is that we can come into the presence of God through the Cross of Christ.

Jesus Paid The Price of Pain in Crucifixion

Matthew 27:35 – “Then they crucified Him, . . .”  [56]

 

What did it mean for someone to be crucified? It meant public humiliation. It meant pain and the Romans were masters of this painful punishment. The Expositors Bible Commentary describes crucifixion in the following way:

“What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a physical description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through is tissues. . .Finally he can allow his body to die. [57]

There never will be any words to describe the painful price Jesus paid on the cross. There will only be the marks on His body for all eternity. The only manmade thing in heaven, are the scars of crucifixion in the body of Jesus.

Remember what Isaiah was inspired to write in chapter 53 of his book? He wrote:

  • Isaiah 53:4-6 – “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  [58]

Jesus took the pain of sin for humanity when He was crucified on the cross.

In the Psalms it states:

  • Psalm 25:17-18 – “The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses!18 Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.”  [59]

Are you in pain? Are you going through the pain in your body due to the planetary effects of sin generally? Are you going through pain caused by some sin in your life? Have you been the one who has caused pain to another? If so, Jesus paid the price of pain in the crucifixion and so you can bring your pain to the cross.

Jesus Paid the Price of Murder and Blasphemy

Matthew 27:35-44 – “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: 1 “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.43 “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.”   [60]

As Jesus hung on the cross crucified, those who passed by “blasphemed Him” (27:39). The word “blasphemed,” is translated from the Greek term BLASPHEMEO (Strong’s #987 - blasfhmevwµ, blas-fay-meh´-o) which has the meaning of, “to vilify; to speak impiously, blaspheme,  defame, rail on, revile, speak evil.” [61] That is what they did to Jesus, that is the price He was willing to pay. He paid the price of murder and blasphemy so that those who had murdered and blasphemed God and later repented, could be forgiven for their sin.

Are you one who has taken God’s name in vain in word and deed? Have you treated the Lord’s name and His reputation casually and negligently? If you have failed to relate to God reverently and in awe of His mighty power and name, repent and see the glory of the Lord! Jesus died to pay even the price for those who blaspheme the LORD.

Have you murdered someone? Has someone you know been murdered? If so you need to repent and turn to Jesus who paid the price for the murder as well as for the pain caused by the murder. If you have murdered someone you need to confess your act to the proper authorities as well and trust God to administer justice in a gracious way. You can be forgiven for murder, but such a sin needs to be put under the God-ordained governing authorities as well (Romans 13).

Jesus Paid The Price Of Separation

Matthew 27:45-49 – “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”[62]

When Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He was experiencing the weight of sin and just wrath on Himself, He was experiencing the separation from God that sin causes and He was paying that price for you and me so that we could be reconciled to God.

The Bible states:

  • Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”  [63]
  • Habakkuk 1:13a – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. . .” [64] (See Luke 16:19-31)

Jesus took that separation from God and paid that price so that those who repent and turn to Him by faith could be reconciled to God.

The words He spoke were quoted from Psalm 22, which is a Psalm that ends in victory. But just as those who heard His cry on the cross did not understand the significance of what was going on, so too today people do not understand the significance of the price Jesus paid on the cross.

Do you feel out of touch with God? Does He seem far away and unreachable? Jesus paid the price on the cross so that those who are afar off could come close to God in Him. Why not take the sin in your life that is causing separation from God and give it to Jesus. Ask Him to bring you close because He paid the price to do just that.

Jesus Paid the Price of Death

Matthew 27:50-61 – “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.”  [65]

The Bible states:

 

  • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  [66]

The penalty for sin is death and because Jesus died, you and I do not have to die. We will die physically, but we do not have to die spiritually.

 

Notice, Jesus didn’t die like any other man, He “yielded up His spirit” (27:50). Jesus was in control even in death. His life was not taken from Him, He gave it up.  In the gospel of John Jesus emphasizes this by stating:

 

  • John 10:17-18 -  “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.18 “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”   [67]

But Jesus did die. This may seem obvious, but there have been a number of people from various backgrounds that have denied Jesus’ death saying that He only swooned on the cross.

 

Laying the Swoon Theory to Rest

 

In 1965 a book was published entitled The Passover Plot, in which the author, Hugh Schonfield proposed an explanation about the death of Christ contending that Jesus did not die on the cross but only swooned. Shonfield stated that Jesus planned the entire crucifixion/resurrection figuring that He would indeed be nailed to the cross but banking that He would be removed before the onset of the Sabbath and that He could hold out until then. Jesus supposedly availed Himself of a narcotic while on the cross (27:48) that would put Him in a trance. Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ accomplice with another unknown Jew. Jesus was then taken down from the cross in this swoon-like state, put in the tomb of Joseph only to be removed later giving the impression that He had risen from the dead. Therefore, according to the Passover Plot, Jesus resuscitated rather than resurrected.

 

Shonfield’s book merely echoed similar theories in circulation during the first part of the nineteenth century. When Shonfield’s book first came out it was hailed as masterpiece of intellect and investigation. But upon closer inspection it was thoroughly proven false.

 

In His book entitled, Resurrection, Hank Hanegraaf explains that this theory is more an urban legend than a serious possibility. Despite this there have been a number of others who have adopted this theory according to Hanegraaf. He refers to D.H. Lawrence who in 1929 claimed Jesus had not only survived the crucifixion but had migrated to live in Egypt where He fell in love with and married the priestess Isis. Donovan Joyce in 1972 promoted the idea that Jesus had been revived by a doctor and later as an eighty-year-old warrior died at Masada. [68]

 

In addition to individuals holding to this view larger groups such as the religion of Islam and the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to forms of the swoon theory. Muslims contend that Jesus was not crucified at all and therefore never resurrected. They believe that God made someone else who was crucified simply look like Jesus. Then Jesus presented Himself as resurrected after the death of the alternate on the cross. Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that Jesus was crucified, though not on a cross but on a stake. But rather than being bodily resurrected they contend that He was “re-created an immaterial creature.” JWs say that Jesus was “dissolved into gasses” (Charles Taze Russel).  JWs then say that Jesus’ body “materialized” temporarily to the disciples until He returned to His spiritual state. [69]

 

Did Jesus really die? [70]

 

Is there proof that Jesus really died? Yes, there is an abundance of proof; enough to show that any version of a swoon theory is totally preposterous. Many a medical observation has been made of the accounts of Jesus suffering which show that He did indeed die. 

 

In Luke’s account of Jesus suffering we see that it began in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Luke 22:44 it tells us that Jesus sweat drops of blood. Modern medicine refers to such a condition as hematidrosis. This is a condition that occurs when the sweat glands are ruptured mixing sweat with blood. This itself is a very serious physical condition. This was only the beginning.

 

All gospel accounts tell us that Jesus must have been under a great deal of stress being betrayed and disowned by His disciples and then arrested, falsely accused and condemned, mocked and spat upon. He was then beaten and battered until He bled. And all this before He was taken to the Romans (Matthew 26:57-68).

 

The Romans were master torturers. In the hands of the Romans Jesus was flogged. This was a brutal Roman practice where a whip with razor-sharp bones and lead balls were struck against the back carving the flesh of the skin into a raveled and raw bloody condition. The Romans soldiers brutalized Jesus by stripping Him, mocking Him, spitting on Him, striking Him in the head with a stick, and they stuck a crown of thorns into His head (Matthew 27:26-31). All this before He was crucified.

 

Crucifixion was a means of capitol punishment that may have been invented by other civilizations, but it was mastered by the Romans. So horrific was this means of bringing death that a word was created to describe it. That word is excruciating (Literally “out of the cross”). Crucifixion involved taking thick seven-inch spikes and driving them through the hands and feet so as to attach the victim to the wooden cross. The victim was nailed to the wooden cross in a contorted manner with knees bent to the side and arms outstretched. The victim had to push up on his nailed feet to take breaths. Each time the victim moved pain coursed throughout his body where the nails held him and where, in Jesus case, He had suffered the preparatory beatings. All this before final blow.

 

To assure that Jesus was dead on the cross. The Roman soldier, (who was an expert at determining death no doubt), took his long spear and pierced the side of Jesus (John 19:31-37). Medical examiners believe that such a piercing upward drove the spear into the pericardium or heart of Jesus. The account tells us that blood and water poured out of the chest cavity of Jesus which is proof that Jesus had been fatally wounded because the sack surrounding the heart had been ruptured which no one could survive, least of all One who had been torn the way Jesus had been.

 

Now think of all of this that Jesus went through and then think of how preposterous it would be for Him to have only swooned. Even if miraculously Jesus did survive the crucifixion, what would He have looked like? Would He hobble into the presence of the disciples on bloody feet and shake their hands with His bloody hands? Would such a sight inspire the disciples and lead them to believe He had risen from the dead? No, there is just no way Jesus didn’t die on the cross. He paid the price in full to redeem us from our sin.

 

But there is more to observe here. The description of the events that followed the death of Jesus is very significant.

 

The veil

 

When Jesus died on the cross, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom,” symbolizing that now that Jesus had paid the penalty for sin, there was now an accessibility to God through Him. In the Temple proper were two compartments, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:31-35). These two compartments were separated by a thick (some say 18 inches thick!) veil. The room referred to as the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept and where atonement was made, was approximately a 20-cubit cub. The veil that separated this room was therefore approximately 20 by 20 cubits. A cubit is estimated to be about 18 inches.  Therefore the veil that was torn in two was thick piece of woven yarn-like material with embroidery on it measuring 30 by 30 feet. This was not something that could be easily torn.

 

The veil symbolized the separation from Holy God that sin had created. Before the cross only the high priest could go behind the veil and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). But when Jesus died on the cross He satisfied the just requirement of the Law so that now through faith in Him we can come into the presence of Holy God. The Scripture puts it like this:

 

  • Hebrews 4:15-16 – “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  [71]
  • Hebrews 10:18-23 – “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  [72]

Notice also that the veil was torn, “from top to bottom.” This is significant because it shows that God tore the veil opening the door to His holy presence. A veil torn from bottom to top is a veil torn by men. But a veil torn from top to bottom was torn by God. We now are at peace with God, the separation is removed. The apostle Paul explained this glorious provision offered through Jesus by saying:

 

  • Romans 5:1-2 – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  [73]

Jesus paid the price so we can have access to God. We can now have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Shook to life

 

Not only was the veil torn in two, but also an earthquake occurred that shook open the graves of the dead and the dead rose up (27:51-53). The death of Jesus was certainly an earth shaking experience and when the tombs were opened it represented the first fruits of Jesus victory over death. Notice that this occurred, “after His resurrection.” Jesus is the first fruits of victory over death (see 1 Corinthians 15:20).

 

It is likely that these words of Matthew are referring to Jesus leading those Old Testament saints who up to this time had rested in “Abraham’s bosom” as described by Luke (Luke 16). In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he refers to Jesus leading these saints to heaven with Him after the resurrection. Paul is inspired to write:

  • Ephesians 4:8-9 – “Therefore He says: 1 “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?”  [74]

 

There is a symbolic application here as well. Charles Haddon Spurgeon made the following comment on these events:

 

“These first miracles wrought in connection with the death of Christ were typical of spiritual wonders that will be continued till he comes again, - rocky hearts are rent, graves of sin are opened, those who have been dead in trespasses and sins, and buried in sepulchers of lust and evil, are quickened, and come out from among the dead, and go unto the holy city, the New Jerusalem.”

 

These incredible events shook through to the hard heart of many who experienced them, like the centurion who could only exclaim, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

 

Jesus died that we might live

 

Upon His death the women who followed Jesus came to take care of His body when it was removed from the cross (27:55-56). Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus too, went to Pilate and got permission to take the body of Jesus and put it in His own personal tomb after it was temporarily rolled in a large cloth (27:57-59).  Observe that this was a particular tomb owned by Joseph and that Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” were “sitting opposite the tomb” (27:60-61). This is important because some skeptics have stated that the women who saw Jesus alive after the resurrection were mistaken and only saw a gardner when they mistakenly went to the wrong tomb. This is very unlikely if not preposterous. It only goes to show that those who reject Christ will go to any limit to do so.

 

Just as surely as the large stone was rolled against the mouth of the tomb, Jesus died on the cross and paid the price of redemption on the cross. And because Jesus paid the price of death, the believer in Him can have victory over death. The Bible tells us:

 

  • 1 Corinthians 15:26,54-58 – “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. . . 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O Death, where is your sting? 1 O Hades, where is your victory?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  [75]
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-10 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”  [76]

Jesus paid the price of death so that this final enemy could be victoriously overcome in Him. Jesus died that we might live.

Do you feel spiritual dead and lifeless? God offers you new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4). Jesus paid the price on the cross so that those who were dead in their sin could be made alive in Him (Ephesians 2:1-10). Why not accept His offer and come alive in Him?

 

Jesus Paid The Price Of  Opposition to God

Matthew 27:62-66 – “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’64 “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”  [77]

There have always been and always will be skeptics, those who do not believe in Jesus, His miracles, His teaching, His death and resurrection. But Jesus paid the price for them too. Jesus paid the price of skepticism so that any skeptic, who sees the light of Jesus and turns from their opposition to God in Christ, can be forgiven for their sin.

The Jesus Seminar

In 1985 a group was started that called itself, The Jesus Seminar. Robert Funk created a group of so-called scholars who gathered together for the purpose of demythologizing Jesus. Hank Hanegraaf makes the following comment on this group:

“Jesus seminar founder Robert Funk is bent on convincing the world that the historical Jesus is not worthy of worship. Said, Funk, ‘Jesus himself should not be, must not be, the object of faith. That would be to repeat the idolatry of the first believers.’ [Funk further states,] . . . The only Jesus most people know is the mythic one. They don’t want the real Jesus, they want the one they can worship. The cultic Jesus.’ 

[Hanegraaf continues] The founders of the Jesus seminar make little attempt to hide their disdain for the biblical Jesus. Crossan [a member of the JS] denigrates him as ‘a peasant Jewish cynic,’ and Funk demeans him as ‘perhaps the first stand-up Jewish comic.’ . . .

[Hanegraaf observes] Multitudes uncritically accept the assertions of the Jesus Seminar, failing to recognize that they fly in the face of well-established facts. Unlike a consensus of credible scholarship, Jesus Seminar scholars are famous for making dogmatic assertions while failing to provide defensible arguments. For example, they dogmatically assert that Jesus did not say more than 80 percent of what is attributed to him by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. . . . Those who disagree with their presuppositions [i.e. anti-supernaturalism] are stereotypically regarded as intellectually retarded and reduced to residing in the Dark Ages. If the Jesus Seminar fellows are anything, they are media savvy. They have attracted huge headlines by painting evangelicals as naïve fundamentalists who uncritically buy into the biblical account of the empty tomb. Using colored beads in a ballot vote, they reject the authenticity of statements attributed to Christ by the Gospel writers. In their view, red beads, black beads, and pink beads mean ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘maybe so,’ respectively. As an intermediate category, they use gray beads to designate words that  ‘did not originate with Jesus though they may reflect his ideas.’ In their view, fewer than 20 percent of Christ’s sayings are credible.”  [78]

Jesus paid the price for opposition to God and His truth. If those of the Jesus Seminar repent, even they can be saved.

Have you been opposing God? Perhaps you’ve been opposing God for so long that you don’t even know why you oppose Him but you just do. Have you been shot down at every point of opposition to God? Even if you’re holding on to a pipedream criticism here or there, understand and know, you will eventually and inevitably bee proven wrong. Why not give up your battle and give in to God? You may have been shaking your fist at God saying, “Until you explain this to me, I will not accept you!” To that God simply replies, “Receive me and My Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see things you can’t see and are unable to see right now (1 Corinthians 2:14). Jesus paid the price of your opposition to God and if you turn to Him in Christ by faith, He will forgive you and make things clear to you. The opportunity is there for you, why not receive it?

Conclusion

A poem written by John Newton captures the price Jesus paid and the prize we gain as a result:

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp'd my wild career:
I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix'd His languid eyes on me.
As near His Cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seem'd to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:
My conscience felt and own'd the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help'd to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did!
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain!

A second look He gave, which said,
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may'st live."

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now if fill'd,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill'd!

John Newton, 1725-1807.

In Matthew 27 we see the extent to which Jesus paid the price of redemption. In this chapter we see the depths of humanities’ sin. While we cannot find every single solitary type of sin catalogued in this chapter or elsewhere, we can be certain that Jesus paid the full price of redemption on the cross and therefore, whatever your sin, you can be forgiven by God. Receive His gift of faith, repent and be made new. Disciple, God loves you, Jesus proved that, go on with Him.  Jesus paid the price in full so we could have life in full.

 



[1] Leon Morris, The Atonement, (downers Grove IL: Intervarsity Press., 1983) pgs. 151-176

[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[3]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[4] Leon Morris, Ibid. p. 174

[5]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[6]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[7]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[8]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[9]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[10]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[11]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[12]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[13]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[14]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[15]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[16]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[17]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[18]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[19]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[20] Ann Landers, Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, p. 3.

[21]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[22]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[23]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[24]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[25] D.C. Talk, Jesus Freaks, (Tulsa, OK: Ablury Pub.1999) pgs. 210-213

[26]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[27]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[28]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[29]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[30]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[31]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[32]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[33] Sex Suit Filed Against Ex-Bishop By Ron Howell STAFF WRITER March 19, 2002 Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.



[34]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[35]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[36]Grenade attack kills 5 at Protestant service in Pakistan THE ASSOCIATED PRESS March 18, 2002
 

[37]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[38] Aussie Hostel Arsonist Gets Life By Associated Press March 18, 2002, 7:38 AM EST BRISBANE, Australia 

 

[39]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[40]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[41]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[42]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[43]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[44]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[45]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[46]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[47]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[48]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[49]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[50]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[51]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[52]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[53]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[54]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[55]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[56]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[57]Adapted from C. Truman Davis, M.D. in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 8.

 

[58]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[59]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[60]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[61]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[62]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[63]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[64]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[65]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[66]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[67]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[68] Hank Hanegraaf, Resurrection, (Nashville, Tn: Word Pub., 2000) p. 5-6.

[69] Hank Hanegraaf, Resurrection, (Nashville, TN: Word Pub. 2000) pgs. 8-10

[70] Hank Hanegraaf, Resurrection, (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 2000) pgs 17-22

[71]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[72]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[73]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[74]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[75]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[76]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[77]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[78] Hank Hanegraaf, Ibid. p. 28-30