Tag Archive: Crucifixion


heart-in-bible“The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love.

The cross is not responsible for God’s love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved. God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement.

The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God’s dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross.”

― A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ

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OldRuggedCross_B&WQuestion: You claim that the payment for sins was not through the physical sufferings of Christ inflicted by man, but spiritual sufferings endured at the hands of God. Yet Isaiah 53:5 says “…and by his stripes we are healed.” The NASB has, “…and by his scourging we are healed.” Please admit your error!

 

Answer: The NASB is wrong. The Hebrew chabburah translated “stripes” occurs six other times (Gn 4:23; Ex 21:25; Ps 38:5; Prv 20:30; Is 1:6) and it and it never means Roman scourging. Do you really think (as Mel ibson’s film erroneously attempts to show that Roman soldiers’ torture of Christ paid the eternal penalty for all of the murders, rapes, wars, hatred, jealousy, and unimaginable evil committed by billions of people during the history of mankind? Sinful soldiers can’t mete out to the Holy Son of God the righteous punishment for the sins of the world!

 Peter specifically says Christ paid for our sins on the cross (1 Pt 2:24), not when scourged. It was during those 3 hours of darkness on the Cross that God laid on Christ the infinite penalty for the sins of the world—and only when He had paid for our sins in full did He cry in triumph, “It is finished!” Not because of His scourging, but as a result of what Christ accomplished on the Cross, the rocks were split, the earth quaked and the veil of the temple was ripped open (Mt 27:51). First Peter 2:24 indicates that the healing by “stripes” is not from disease (as some teach) but from sin: “Who his own self bare our sins….” That this refers to spiritual punishment is clear: “thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” (Is 53:10). Like the soul, sin itself, though expressed in physical acts, is spiritual: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness…” (Mk 7:21, 22).

Salvation is spiritual and can only be by faith. To receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life as a gift from God is the greatest spiritual good conceivable. Physical punishment executed by sinful men could never make that gift possible. Thus the physical stripes Christ received in fulfillment of prophecy could not pay the penalty for sin; only God’s spiritual punishment could do that. Healing from sin and its penalty is what the gospel is all about: “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3) —not that “Christ died for our physical ailments.” The promise, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31) clearly pertains to salvation from sin, not from disease. Christians in general are neither healthier nor live longer in this life than unbelievers —but we have eternal life.

 The Hebrew noun chabburah translated “stripes” is singular in Isaiah 53:5, indicating one blow from God one blow from God wounding Christ “for wounding Christ “for our transgressions,” bruising Him “for our iniquities”—not the many stripes of scourging that were a major focus of Mel Gibson’s attempt to show that Christ’s physical sufferings paid for the sins of all mankind. Do you really believe that what Christ physically endured in the scourging and crucifixion was equal to what sinners will endure for all eternity in the lake of fire?

 There is nothing in any of the four gospels (other than crowning Him with thorns and mocking Him as a king) to indicate that Christ’s scourging and crucifixion were any worse physically than that suffered by thousands of others. That “Pilate marveled if he were already dead” (Mk 15:44) contradicts the idea that Christ was scourged and tortured within an inch of His life. Thus the statement that “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Is 52:14) could not be due to unusual physical beating, but to such intense spiritual agony that His features were so distorted that it was awesome to behold.

 The idea that the physical suffering Christ endured at the hands of men paid for the sins of the world is neither biblical nor rational for at least four reasons:

 1) Christ didn’t come even close to suffering more physically than any other person. Some men hung in agony for days on crosses, the Assyrians flayed their enemies alive, some victims of the Inquisition were roasted for hours over a slow fire, and the Inquisitors competing to develop the most excruciating torture—sometimes even bringing victims back from the brink of death, letting them heal, and then torturing them again;

 

2) if the physical “stripes” paid the penalty for sin, Christ’s physical tormenters would have played a vital role in our redemption and would in a sense be our co-redeemers (and what if they failed to torment Him enough to save us?!);

 

3) the punishment for those who reject Christ is eternal, but those who scourged and crucified Christ were incapable of inflicting eternal punishment; and

 

4) physical suffering could never adequately cause the moral and spiritual pain which must be involved in the just punishment of sin—in fact, it would obliterate it. The error that physical scourging paid for our sins is also refuted by Scripture’s declaration that Christ “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20), not “the blood of his scourging,” which took place before He was led to Golgotha. We are “justified through his blood” (Rom 5:9), which includes His death. Had he merely bled but not died, we could not be saved. The phrase “shedding of blood” (Lv 17:11; 2 Chr 29:24, etc.) always means death, not wounding as in scourging—and this is the only means of atonement: “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb 9:22). Christ “by himself purged our sins” (Heb 1:3). While this could not be without the shedding of His blood at the hands of others, there was something which He alone had to do to purge us from our sins. That could only have been to endure eternal punishment at the hands of God which no man could exact from Him—something far worse than the “stripes” of scourging. Christ’s spiritual sufferings for sin are beyond our understanding and Scripture only hints at them:

 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me…? smitten of God, and afflicted…wounded for our transgressions…bruised for our iniquities…the chastisement of our peace was upon him…the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all…for the transgression of my people was he stricken…it pleased the Lord to bruise him…thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…the travail of his soul…poured out his soul unto death…he bare the sin of many…he hath made him to be sin for us, [he] who knew no sin…” (Ps 22:1; Is 53:4-6,8,10-12; 2 Cor 5:21), etc.

Christ’s sweating in spiritual agony “as it were great drops of blood” (Lk 22:44) and pleading with His Father in the Garden to be spared “this cup” (Mt 26:39,42) could not have been in dread of the scourging and crucifixion (as implied in the film) which thousands of others also endured. “This cup” from which He shrank could only have been that He would be “made sin for us”—that He would “bear our sins in His own body” and be punished by God to the full extent demanded by His justice for the sins of the entire world. During those three hours of darkness on the Cross, all the “waves and billows” of God’s wrath against the sins of all mankind rolled over Him (Ps 42:7; 88:7; Jon 2:3).

Isaiah declares that Yahweh “bruised [Him] for our iniquities.” It is unbiblical and irrational to suggest that the Roman soldiers were guided by God in each blow as God’s means of punishing Christ for sin. Christ said, “No man taketh it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of myself” (Jn 10:18). It is God’s law which men have broken, He pronounced the penalty and He alone can execute it in righteousness. Therefore, the payment for our sins could only have been through the punishment Christ endured at the hands of God, not men. Christ had to be more than mere man: He had to be God manifest in the flesh to endure the eternal punishment due for the sins of all mankind in the three hours of darkness.

 We are told that He “by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9). That had to include the “second death”—eternity of punishment in the lake of fire which is yet future for the lost. This could not have been at the hands of the Roman soldiers who scourged and mocked Him, but only at the hands of God.”  ~Dave Hunt

Q&A from The Berean Call Newsletter, May 2004, http://www.thebereancall.org/sites/2011.thebereancall.org/files/may04.pdf

magnifying-glassProphecy is THE Proof! 

Did you know the probability of Jesus fulfilling even eight prophecies would be 1 in 1017.

That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

If you made that many silver dollars there would be enough coins to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. To make some sense of such huge odds, say say we marked one of those dollar coins and then blindfolded a man, sending him out of Dallas by foot in any direction.  The odds of  him being able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver dollar out of 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 is 1 in 1017.  

Now consider that Jesus didn’t fulfill only 8, but a few hundred prophecies!  We truly serve an awesome God! 

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Carefully consider the prophecies centering on Jesus’ death and resurrection with a humble heart. Set aside all your preconceived notions for a moment and think about actual proof.  Christianity is based on Jesus Christ, not a church or the traditions of men.  

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The Jews at the time of Jesus’ birth were under the domination of the repressive Romans and were looking for a Messiah to deliver them from the hands of the occupying forces. They were looking for a man of war to lead them in an uprising. They totally overlooked the prophecies in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be ‘a man of sorrows, despised and rejected of men’. Many are still waiting for their Messiah to come.

Rejected by Jews and rulers

Matthew 21:42
“Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

Psalm 118:22
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?”

Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by one of his disciples

Zechariah 11:12
“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.”

Matthew 26:14-15
“Then one of the Twelve–the one called Judas Iscariot–went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.”

Psalm 55:12-13
“For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.”

Matthew 26:47-50
“And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.’

Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, why have you come?’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.”

Thirty pieces of silver used to buy the Potters field

Zechariah 11:13
“And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.”

Matthew 27:6–8
“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.’ And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”

Silent before His accusers

Isaiah 53:7
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.”

Matthew 27:12–14
“And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’ But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.”

Mocked by His accusers

Psalm 22:7-8
“All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

Matthew 27:27–29
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 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!’”

Beaten and spat upon

Micah 5:1
“Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.”

Isaiah 50:6
“I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.”

Mark 15:19
“Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.”

Matthew 27:30-31
“Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 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.”

Scourged

Isaiah 53:5
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

Matthew 27:26
“Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified.”

Piercing of His hands and feet

Psalm 22:16
“For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;”

Matthew 27:31
“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.”

Crucified with thieves

Isaiah 53:12
“Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.”

Mark 15:27–28
“With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors’.”

Prayed for His persecutors

Isaiah 53:12
“And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.”

Psalms 109:4
“In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer.”

Luke 23:34
“But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”

His side was pierced

Zechariah 12:10
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

John 19:34
“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”

Given gall and vinegar to drink

Psalm 69:21
“They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

John 19:28-29
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

Suffered no broken bones

Psalm 34:20
“He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

John 19:32-33, 36
“Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’.”

Lots cast for his garments

Psalm 22:18
“They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

John 19:23-24
“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,’ that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:

They divided My garments among them,And for My clothing they cast lots.Therefore the soldiers did these things.”

Buried in a rich man’s tomb

Isaiah 53:9
“And they made His grave with the wicked
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.”

Matthew 27:57-60
“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 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.”

Rose from the dead

Psalm 16:10
“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Isaiah 53:8, 11
“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”

Psalms 30:3
“O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.”

Psalms 49:15
“But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; for He will receive me. Selah.”

Matthew 28:2, 5-9
“And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.

But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’ So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.”

Mark 16:6-7
“And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, `He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you’.”

Acts 2:31
“He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.”

Ascended into Heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father

Psalm 68:18
“You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there.”

Psalms 110:1
“The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet’.”

1 Corinthians 15:4
“And that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Ephesians 4:8
“Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”

Acts 1:9
”Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

(All scriptures on this page are from the NKJ version.)”

(The actual prophecies section was originally from http://www.praise-and-worship.com/Jesus-death.html.

Note: I have not personally explored their entire site.  As always, read with biblical discernment.)

OldRuggedCross_B&W“The loss, the rejection, the shame, belong both to Christ and to all who in very truth are His. The cross that saves them also slays them, and anything short of this is a pseudo-faith and not true faith at all. But what are we to say when the great majority of our evangelical leaders walk not as crucified men but as those who accept the world at its own value—rejecting only its grosser elements? How can we face Him who was crucified and slain when we see His followers accepted and praised? Yet they preach the cross and protest loudly that they are true believers. Are there then two crosses? And did Paul mean one thing and they another? I fear that it is so, that there are two crosses, the old cross and the new.

“. . . But if I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of self-assured and carnal Christianity whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before the cross it bows and toward the cross it points with carefully staged histrionics—but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.”

A. W. Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: Wingspread, 1950), 53.

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