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# 00695 :  The Cross
Hello fellow christians! It is a great priviledge to have fellowship with you in sharing our impressions and appreciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I just discovered the site today and have been greatly encouraged by the godly discourse on it. Recently, I have been studying the glory of Jesus as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". Many believers are very vague in their understanding of what really happened at The Cross. Studying and pondering over the seven utterences of the dying Saviour while he was on the cross has been a wonderful experience for me and I would value the thoughts and impressions of others on this most wonderful and yet humbling subject.
Greetings from Scotland to all who love the Lord Jesus,
John Miller
Post by : johnmiller  View Profile    since : 13 Oct 2005


Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 14 Oct 2005 8:44:48 AM Close
Dear John Miller,

Since you have done some studies on this, please post some of the thoughts you have received for the benefit of the saints. That will encourage others to write what they received in addition to what you have. Of course, there will be some who want to place their own ideas also. That we have ro bear and forebear.

Scotland is the home of many mighty men of God, whom I respect and enjoy reading.

I hope to see your thoughts, soon.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 14 Oct 2005 9:48:58 AM Close
To George P. Koshy.

Dear brother in Christ,

Thank you for your kind reply. In recent months I have been gripped with the truth of the great, central importance of The Cross of Jesus and His work there, as the foundation of our faith. It stands at the crossroads of eternity, the crossroads of time, and the crossroads of the life of every man and woman! At some point everyone must come face to face with the crucified Saviour. What they do with Him determines their eternal destiny. If a man turns away in unbelief he may never have the opportunity again. God of course, may confront him again and again with The Dying Lamb of God, but ultimately one who rejects Christ as Saviour on the cross, will face Him as The Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He will be the Judge on the Great White Throne.

If we want to get a fuller understanding of what really happened at the cross, surely something to be sought after, what finer way could there be than to read, listen to and ponder over the words that Jesus uttered as He hung there as our substitute? There were seven utterances, and each one heaps glory and greatness on our Master.

I feel that I have already said too much at one sitting and perhaps as we and others converse over this wonderful and awesome subject we will "be built up in our most holy faith".

Your brother in Him

John Miller

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 14 Oct 2005 9:08:08 PM Close
Dear Brother John,

I thought of giving an impetus to your ardent desire to ponder on the sayings of Jesus Christ on the cross, which are as follows:

1. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46).

2. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).

3. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

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

5. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26-27).

6. “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28).

7. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished!” and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).”

I am touched by reading the following verses one about “Simon”, (not Simon Peter), who was believed to be Jesus’ friend, who shared the carrying of the cross for some distance as we read in Matthew 27:32 “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross”, and about Joseph of Arimathaea, who craved for the body of Jesus as we read in Mark 15:43 “Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus”.

God bless you in your desire to study this subject while I thank you for your request which reads, “I would value the thoughts and impressions of others.”

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 Oct 2005 10:17:38 AM Close
Thank you Jean for words of Jesus on the Cross and your reference to Simon. Just to study them and consider the awful circumstances in which they were spoken surely bows our hearts in worship. To consider the Cross, must we not first examine what part it has in God's purpose? Peter, in his first epistle (ch.1 v. 18-20), reveals to us that before the world was even created, God had purposed that the creature who would enjoy his presence eternally would be "redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot". This shows that the cross was no afterthought, no "plan-B", but that a God whose nature is love purposed that His love should be returned by those that His love had Redeemed. He could have created a robotic, machine-like creature, programmed to obey. Instead He created a creature capable of responding to grace, and the demonstration of God's grace in all its fulness is at the Cross. We can look at this, accept the truth of it in grateful wonder, but it is far beyond the greatest mind to understand it. As the hymn writer says, "darkness to my intellect, but sunshine to my heart."

Then Jesus says to Nicodemus (John 3.17) "God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him". Again Jesus says to Pilate in John 18 "for this I have come into the world". Many other scriptures would reinforce these two. Does this not show that our God was always working to His own great eternal plan, to secure worshippers for himself, brought to him by Jesus, and made as fit for His presence as His own blessed Son? We are the subjects of that great plan of divine love and the only way to enter into its blessing is to come by way of the cross.

The Lord's first word from the cross, "Father", shows how perfect His relationship with the Father was, and how it was the greatest thing in His life here, even in the most terrible circumstances of suffering ever witnessed by creation.

I would welcome the thoughts of others.

John Miller

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 17 Oct 2005 10:02:06 AM Close
Dear John Miller,

In starting this thread you wrote, "Studying and pondering over the seven utterences of the dying Saviour while he was on the cross has been a wonderful experience for me and I would value the thoughts and impressions of others on this most wonderful and yet humbling subject." Please continue on this subject. There may be dsitractions, but try to keep on the course that you have. You may remind the distractors about the subject of this thread and continue. As time permits others will jon you in this valuable theme (I may be one of them). I am sure that it will help many on this forum.

Expecting to hear from you more. You are expected to provide what you received from the Lord, by the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit from the word of God to others for encouragement and improved understanding.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 Oct 2005 3:03:24 PM Close
George P. Koshy/Dear brother,
I would really value the thoughts of others, as we all, having come by way of the cross, have our own appreciation of The One who died there. However, to continue the thought about the Lord's use of the title Father, surely it brings out the wondrous unique perfection of their relationship. Every day of His life, Jesus had lived in the joy and undisturbed communion that this relationship afforded Him and His Father. As a Holy Child, He had made clear that His Father's business was His first and only concern.
Many more scriptures in the gospels testify to this. The Father had opened the very heavens in acknowledgement of what Their relationship meant to Him.

"No thought of His e'er moved apart from Thine,
Each holy footstep gave thee fresh delight".

These words of the old hymn put it much more eloquently than I could. Now that relationship was being tried, tested as never before, and still it remained, untouched, undamaged by the most awful suffering ever known. Does it not bow our hearts in Worship when we consider that in order to secure us for their pleasure, The Persons of The Godhead could enter into this great transaction to pay the debt that sinners could never pay and lift the burden which would have crushed us in judgement? When we speak or write of this infinitely great subject which is beyond understanding, we must always remember that we are "on holy ground".
Another lesson in the Lord's use of the word Father is surely as an example to His followers. How often little upsets in life, perceived slights or insults by others, and times of testing, cause us to look down. The supreme example of Jesus here tells us to look up. As he did, so should we. We have the power of God's Spirit within us to lift us, and if we fall back on this great divine provision we will always be encouraged. Discouragement comes from the devil.
These are some of the impressions that this study has brought to me. You can surely add to them.

Your brother in Christ,
John Miller

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2005 12:42:50 AM Close
Out of the 7 sayings of the Lord on the cross, 3 were addressed to His Father.

1. "FATHER, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
2. "My GOD, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
3. "FATHER, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

The ORDER must be noticed. Father, God, Father.

We know it was during the 3 hours of darkness that He said, "My GOD, my God..." The Father was "so far from helping" Him. "I cry in the daytime, but THOU HEAREST NOT" (Ps 22:2).

But at His resurrection, His prayer was heard. "For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but WHEN HE CRIED unto him, HE HEARD" (Ps 22:24). He was "was HEARD in that he feared" (Heb 5:7).

I do not recall a place where Christ addressed the Father as God BEFORE His cry on the cross. (Please correct me if I am wrong here.) But AFTER the resurrection, the Lord Jesus says, "I ascend unto MY FATHER, and your Father; and to MY GOD, and your God" (John 20:17). Also, Paul uses the term, "God AND Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 11:31; Eph 1:3). Also see Eph 1:17, "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This shows us the manner of His suffering. When He called God "MY Father," He was "making himself EQUAL with God" (John 5:18; Phil 2:6). But when He calls His Father as "my God," there we understand His humanity, and His sufferings. "Though he were a SON, yet learned he OBEDIENCE by the things which he SUFFERED" (Heb 5:8).

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2005 2:20:52 AM Close
Seven Sayings of my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross:

1. The Word of Forgiveness:

Luk 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. And parting His clothing, they cast lots.

He was persecuting and suffering from the hands of man, hence, he uttered the word of forgiveness " forgive them, for they do not know what they do".

He was interceding for the transgressors.

Isa 53:12 Therefore I will divide to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul to death; and He was counted among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors.

He was providing forgiveness of the sins of the human race.

Mat 9:6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, then He said to the paralytic, Arise, take up your bed and go to your house.

He was setting example for us Love your enemy and Pray for them and fulfillment of his own words.

Mat 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2005 5:59:59 PM Close
The contributions by Moses Lemuelraj and Sambudhanoor mirror exactly a few of the many thoughts that have come before me in studying this great subject. It is extaordinary how the Spirit of God joins christians, so separated by distance in this world, by uniting them in their appreciation of the perfection and glories of their Lord and Saviour. This is His service, to take of the things that are Christ's and show them unto us.

I have been reading a book, written over 100 years ago, by a christian teacher called James Stalker. The title is "The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ". If I may I would like to quote a short passage from it, which introduces the writer's study on the words of Jesus on the cross.

"We wish, however, to see the scene enacted on Calvary in its true shape; and where shall we look? There was one mind there in which it was mirrored in perfect fideilty. If we could see the image of the crucifixion in the mind of Jesus Himself, this would reveal its true meaning. But in what way can we ascertain how it appeared to Him, as from His painful station He looked forth upon the scene? The answer is to be found in the sentences He uttered , as He hung, before His senses were stifled by the mists of death. These are like windows through which we can see what was passing through His mind. They are mere fragments, of course; yet they are charged with eternal significance. Words are always photographs, more or less true, of the mind which utters them; these were the truest words ever uttered, and He who uttered them stamped on them the image of Himself".

My friends, as we ponder together this most holy and precious subject for human mind, these words, coming from the very soul of the Saviour Himself, leave their imprint on our affections as no other words could ever do. Let us continue to go through them together prayerfully, worshipfully and God will bless us richly.

I trust this little contribution will help our discussion forward.

Your brother in Christ

John Miller

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 19 Oct 2005 7:35:20 PM Close
Dear Bro.John,

Quote from your post.

"Many believers are very vague in their understanding of what really happened at The Cross".

I would greatly appreciate if you write about what happened at "The Cross".

Thank you.

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 20 Oct 2005 4:08:38 AM Close
Thank you brother for the encouragement.

2. The Word of Salvation:

Luk 23:42-43 And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

The Provision of Salvation the moment one who trust in Lord Jesus Christ.

Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household.

The Provision of Salvation regardless of the position of the sinner.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

The Provision and destination of a saved one after his physical death.

Eph 2:5-6 (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 20 Oct 2005 12:25:42 PM Close
Dear John Miller, et.al.,

When studying the seven saying of our Lord on the cross, we could see they were what was said aloud from Psalms 22. Do that mean, our Lord was reciting that Psalms while He was on the cross?

Those seven saying could be grouped into three:
1. Addressing the Father,
2. Addressing the men around Him,
3. To fulfill the scriptures.

What can you add to this? Combining Psalms 22 with this three groups may bring more for our delight.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 Oct 2005 3:49:53 PM Close
Dear Friends, may I refer back to lemuelraj's entry on 18th. The Lord addressed the Father repeatedly in His great high priestly intercessory prayer in John 17. He also spoke to His Father as He poured out the feelings of His Holy soul in Gethsemane. These are wonderul considerations for us to feed on and lemuelraj's entry has drawn our attention to them.
The question by Jean on 19th Oct. may be a rebuke to me! Please understand, I never meant to imply any critiscm of fellow christians. I was listening to a preacher recently, speaking about what took place at the Cross. He said that we didn't have to understand it, just accept it. Now, from the point of view of simple faith in Christ this is true. Yet surely when we come into the presence of the Cross, the experience is so powerful, so awful, yet so blessed, that we want to find out everthing that God desires to reveal to us about the central, foundational truth of our faith. Many are content to rest on the provision of divine grace without enquiring what the Cross demands. The more we contemplate the mighty work that was done there, surely the more we feel the demands that the selfless love of Jesus raises in our lives.
On 18th Oct., sambudnanoor quoted Isaiah 53,"He made intercession for the transgressors". The Lord's request to His Father, "Forgive Them - ", is the coming to pass of this prophecy made about 750 years before. Isaiah wrote these words, but could not possibly have understood them. They lay there in Holy Writ, their real meaning hidden from generations of students, until centuries later, they suddenly exploded on to the world in their divine fulfillment at Calvary. Among all those who had read and wondered what these words meant, who could have imagined that they would refer to God's own Son, the Lamb of God "foreordained before the foundation of the world"?
I believe that if we can rest on the deep meaning of this incredible request by Jesus to The Father our souls will be blessed by The Holy Spirit of God.
Your brother in Christ
John Miller
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 21 Oct 2005 6:11:34 PM Close
Dear George P. Koshy,
I do not think that it would be correct to say that the Lord was reciting the Psalms on the cross. The words in Psalm 22 were written by David, as a result of experiences that God was passing him through. However, it is clear from the words he uttered, that they have primarily, for us, a prophetic bearing. We find this pattern running through all Old Testament prophecy. Men of God were given experiences in their lives, which the Spirit of God used, causing them to write or speak words which would see their fulfillment in the life, death, resurrection, and return of Christ, firstly into the air for the rapture, and then coming back to establish his millenial reign on the earth. These prophetic utterances and writings encompass the final overthrow and judgement of Satan and all his forces, and the introduction of God's eternal rest, "where creature and Creator, in His own realms delight".

When David wrote the words of Psalm 22, it had already been determined, before the foundation of the world, that these words would be uttered and find their awesome meaning in the atoning work of Jesus at Calvary.

As we contemplate the wondrous way that our Saviour God has taken to put His grace within our reach, does it not draw out the worship of our hearts?

I would like us to examine, reverently, in more depth, the Lord's prayer to the Father, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" For example, who are "they"?

Your brother in Christ,

John Miller

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 23 Oct 2005 11:45:24 AM Close
If I am not being forward or presumptious, I would like to take the study of The Cross of Jesus a step forward. The question is, on whose behalf is Jesus interceeding? Who is He asking the Father to forgive? Who did not know what they were doing?

Sambudhanoor brought the word in Isaiah 53 to our attention, "He made intercession for the transgressors."

As Jesus surveyed the scene before Him, hanging there in excruciating pain, He knew every heart there, He knew every life story, He knew every step of every pathway that had led to that man or woman finding himself or herself as a spectator at His cross! (Did you know that the word "excruciating" is derived from a Latin word "excruciatus"? It means "of the cross".)

There was a comprehensive representation of sinful man arrayed in that gallery of wickedness. Firstly, there were the Roman soldiers. Hard, callous men, unmoved by the suffering of Jesus, they sat at the foot of the cross. Theirs was the priviledge to share among themselves the worldly possessions of the criminals, that their duty had been to nail to a cross. What wealth did they fall heirs to with their latest victim? His clothes! Remember, scripture makes it clear that He was stripped naked as the final humiliation in the deadful actions of His tormentors before they drove the nails through His hands and feet. The only prizes in their game of gambling were the few simple items of peasant clothing that He wore. This then was the earthly legacy left by the King of the Jews. These soldiers represent man who does not see any need to take God into his reckoning. He cares not whether God even exists . He has no time for the spiritual. He thinks only of himself, his pleasure and the satisfaction of his base desires. That man puts Jesus on the cross!

Who else was there?

We need to look carefully at this array of unregenerate, ungodly mankind dear friends. The uncomfortable, unpalatable truth is that I find myself represented here!

Your brother in Christ

John Miller

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 24 Oct 2005 8:28:11 AM Close
Dear John Miller,

When you started this thread, you wrote that you did study about this subject. Though I asked for the results of your study, you are avoiding it. That is the reason, I posted a very general and short posting. Now you have commended on mt posting, I ask you to expand on it for the benefit of others. If not, I don't know why you started this thread.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 24 Oct 2005 3:00:17 PM Close
George P. Koshy,
Dear brother in Christ,
In your original reply you asked me to post some of the thoughts I had received in my study of this holy subject and that is what I have been endeavouring to do. I would never presume to say that I had arrived at a result. The fact is, the more that we prayerfully consider such an inexhaustible theme, the more the Holy Spirit of God will show to us. This is His mission, His service to the saints of God. I would simply like to pursue a study of the seven utterances of our dying Saviour as he hung on that cross of shame. I feel that if we can do this together, with an attitude of humility, in a genuine and godly desire to develop a greater understanding of the matter, God will bless us richly.

I do not want you, or anyone else, to think that I am simply wanting to give you the benefit of my thoughts or studies. If we enquire together, even in this rather unusual setting [on the internet], the Spirit will use our delberations to continue in His work to form the life of Christ within each child of God, thus preparing us for our eternal home.

I would like to hear your thoughts, as well as those of all who have already contributed, and others who may feel that they have something to add.

As a framework, may I suggest that we study these wonderful words of Jesus in their order of utterance:
1. Father, forgive them.....
2. Woman, behold thy son....
3. The words of Jesus to the thief.
4. My God! My God! Why.....?
5. I thirst!
6. It is finished!
7. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.

The study of these utterances and the words in them, which surely tell us in detail what was being done by Christ, for God and for us, will result in our blessing! We could never doudt that!

With love in our Lord Jeus to you and all the saints,

John Miller

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 24 Oct 2005 3:08:11 PM Close
Please forgive the spelling mistakes in my last posting, which was done without a careful enough check.

Second paragraph: "delberations" should read "deliberations".
Last line greeting: "Jeus" should read "Jesus" - (NAME ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES!)

John Miller

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 24 Oct 2005 9:05:15 PM Close
Dear John,

Quote from your post.

1. Father, forgive them.....
2. Woman, behold thy son....
3. The words of Jesus to the thief.
4. My God! My God! Why.....?
5. I thirst!
6. It is finished!
7. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.

Was that the sequence of last sayings of Jesus on the cross?

Of course, my post on 14 Oct 2005 9:08:08 PM does not contain sequence. I quoted saying from Matthew first, then Luke and John in that order.

According to the sequence mentioned by you, Jesus addressed Father first, His earthly mother next, the thief next, then He called out Father as God, then he said, "I thirst", then He said, "it is finished", and then, He commended His Spirit to the Father.

As I understand, when he was bearing the sin of mankind, he uttered Father as God, but then, you see, even when the sins of mankind were still on Him, he called out "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit".

Do you see any specific reason for calling Father as God and while he was still on the cross calling God as His Father. When do you think the remission of our sins was done?

Further, do you think the verse Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" has some relevance to the seven utterances of Jesus on the cross.

Thank you.


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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 5:59:51 AM Close
Dear John,

Let us surge forward. Here is a thought about the first of the last seven sayings of Jesus on the Cross.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Jesus Christ had often preached the doctrine of forgiving enemies, and praying for them. Jesus prays for mercy for his persecutors, and asks for forgiveness - Father, forgive them. usually the cause of enmity against Christ is the ignorance about him. There is forgiveness with God, for those who oppose, persecute him out of ignorance. Forgiving enemies and praying forgiveness for them, is an evidence of a Christ-like frame of Spirit; Father, forgive them: it forbids revenge and resentment.

God bless.

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 8:46:29 AM Close
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots" (Luke 23:34).

Many times we make this particular saying a generic one, and only recognize the MORAL aspect of this statement and the goodness of Christ in general. But looking at it specifically, we must ask, who are "THEM" in that verse? And did the Father answer the prayer of His Son in this matter? I am sure He did. He forgave for certain those "THEM" He referred to.

I believe that Christ was referring to the Jewish people, the children of Israel. They cried "Crucify him, crucify him" (Luke 23:21) before He was led to be crucified. "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they CRUCIFIED him ... THEN said Jesus, Father, forgive them" (Lu 23:33-34). When their desire was fulfilled, He said, "Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." Now that last clause is important. Read the following cross-references:

Isa 5:13, "Therefore MY PEOPLE are gone into captivity, because THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE."
Jer 4:22, "For MY PEOPLE is FOOLISH, they have NOT KNOWN ME ... they have NO KNOWLEDGE."

THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

I believe God answered the prayer of Christ, "Father, FORGIVE THEM." He forgave them and gave them a chance to repent NATIONALLY. We read about that in the book of Acts.

Acts 2:38-39 is a NATIONAL call for repentance to the JEWS. The REPENTANCE here is the repentance for the fact that they CRUCIFIED Christ (v.36). The Campbellites (church of Christ) stumble at Acts 2:38 (a call addressed to Israel) and refuse to go beyond Acts 2. The order of RECEIVING the Holy Spirit and baptism got REVERSED in Acts 10:47. And those who got saved in Acts 10:47 are GENTILES.

Again, Peter addresses "Ye men of ISRAEL" in Acts 3, and tells them, "And now, brethren, I wot that THROUGH IGNORANCE YE DID IT, as did also your rulers" (verse 17). It's the same thing again, "THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." Yet God forgave, and gave them a chance of repentance.

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 9:18:07 AM Close
cont'd from above..

Again in Acts 7, Stephen addressed the JEWS, "Men, BRETHREN, and fathers, hearken ... OUR father Abraham" (Acts 7:2). He accused them of being "betrayers and MURDERERS" (Acts 7:52), for THEY crucified Christ. "When they heard these things, they were CUT TO THE HEART, and they gnashed on him with their teeth" (verse 54). Not so in Acts 2. "Now when they heard this, they were PRICKED IN THEIR HEART, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Not all Jews got saved. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41).

When they stoned Stephen, the Lord Jesus was "STANDING on the right hand of God" indicating His ADVENT (see Mal 3:1-4). Standing is significant especially because, "The LORD said unto my Lord, SIT THOU at my right hand, UNTIL I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps 110:1).

Thus, I think that the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for His people ISRAEL as a NATION, that God may forgive them for CRUCIFYING Him. He did, and gave them a chance of repentance, but they DID NOT turn to God NATIONALLY. Only INDIVIDUALS believed. Paul said, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE" (Rom 10:2). It is true that "they KNOW NOT what they do."

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 10:11:48 AM Close
Jesus bore our sins on the cross.

DID HE BEAR OUR DISEASES?

ISAIAH 53:3,4,5 (from complete jewish bible)

People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well aquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces,
he was despised; we did not value him.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.

But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises we are healed.

In Christ,
Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 10:16:14 AM Close
Thank you Jean and Lemuelraj for your contributions and enquiries. I do not presume to have all the answers, but I will try and help our great subject forward.

I do believe that this is the order in which Jesus uttered these wonderful words. Just as in the study of the life and ministry of our Lord we need all four gospels, so it is when we approach the study of His sacrificial death on the cross.

Your observation, Jean, of the differing titles used by Jesus in the three utterances when He addressed his Father directly, is most instructive. Do we not see that in the first and last words on the cross Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father? The first shows His absolute perfection as "the lamb without blemish". In the complete fulfillment of ancient prophecy, as well as the practise of His own ministry, He addresses the One whose will had been His only concern from the moment of conception in His mother's womb. The last, uttered when the work which devotion to His Father's will had required, was finished, shows that at the moment of laying down His life, communion had been restored.

That awful, despairing cry, torn from those sinless lips, at the end of the three hours of darkness give us a glimpse of what it meant for the perfect, spotless Lamb of God to be made the very article of sin. We can only bow in wonderment, for we could never fathom the mighty work that was accomplished in these three hours of darkness.

Your reference to Romans 3.25 is good. It is surely the wonderful testimony of the holy Spirit to the satisfaction that God has, in the work of Jesus. God heard that cry, "It is finished", and accepted it's eternal truth. The Precious Blood is the witness to the work complete, and Christ's resurrection is the proof that God has accepted Christ's atoning sufferings and death, and the efficacy of the Blood.

I am afraid that time does not permit me to continue at the moment, but I/we can return to this wonderful study as soon as possible, DV.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 10:28:48 AM Close
Dear Sunila,

When I posted my last contribution, I discovered that you too had been busy!

Thank you, and we can think about your addition to the subject,

Your brother in Christ,

John.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Oct 2005 4:56:45 PM Close
Dear Moses,

You certainly gave us much to study and think about in your last posting. I would like to do that, prayerfully, before adding a further contribution to our discussion. I am sure that you will agree that our thoughts should be ordered and governed by scripture, and in this way the Holy Spirit will show us the glories of our Redeemer.

Christian Greetings!

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 5:51:11 AM Close
Dear Moses,

I would like to return to your posting of 25th Oct., if I may. I am sure that if we view the Lord's amazing prayer in its full scope what you say, as to it applying to Israel, is absolutely correct. The Lord's laments over Jerusalem (Mat.23/Luke ch.13 & ch.19)show the depth of His feelings for His earthly people.

I wonder if we could look carefully at Luke ch.23 v.33,34. Verse 33 recounts, with little detail, the act of crucifixion. The word "they" in that verse must refer to the Roman soldiers who literally nailed Jesus to the cross and planted in the ground. The second sentence in verse 34 also refers to the same soldiers. In between these two statements Jesus utters his prayer of intercession. In the "sermon on the mount" , Jesus says in Luke 6.28 "pray for those who despitefully use you". In fact, if we read verses 27-38 in that chapter, surely, in our limitations, we regard this part of the Lord's sermon as a glorious ideal, but in practise beyond us. I have to confess to this at any rate. For instance, if someone came up to me in the street and punched me on the face, what would my reaction be? These Roman soldiers inflicted dreadful violence on Jesus, such as none of us have ever experienced, and how did He react? His answer was immediate, unhesitating, and shows the perfect accord that existed between His words and His deeds. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

As we look at these verses, do you agree that in the first instance, the Lord's prayer was on behalf of these cruel men who so violated His person? Now, we can ask, why did they do it? The Lord tells us. They did not know what they were doing. How could they? They were ignorant, ungodly men, acting on instructions from a weak, corrupt politician. He, in turn had violated every principle of justice, because he feared being reported to Ceasar, although he had declared Jesus not only innocent of the false charges, but having "no fault".

Now we come to the religious and political leaders of the Jews, the sanhedrim. >

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 6:24:33 AM Close
Continued/
They were driven by foolish pride, envy and fear. Why fear? They were afraid of losing their place in Jewish society and the religious hierarchy, to a carpenter, a friend of tax gatherers and sinners, and a man "who received sinners and ate with them". Their ignorance was self inflicted, a blindness that resulted from a distorted view of their own importance.

And what of the mob that carelessly, blindly followed its leaders? Look into our own hearts! How often have we gone along with something we knew was wrong, but feared to defend the right? Finally, we observe the attitude of the "passers-by". (Mat.ch.27,v.39) The swiftly moving tide of humanity, careless of eternal realities and the mighty work that forces itself upon their unwilling consciousness, as they pass by the cross. All this uncaring, foolish throng had no idea at all who hung on that cross of shame.

Who then put Christ on the cross? I did! My sins put Him there! Paul says,"The Son of God who loved ME, and gave Himself for ME." He is telling us that if no one else had needed the atoning work of Christ on the cross, Jesus would still have had to go there for him.

Listen to the words of Charles Wesley's hymn:

And can it be that I should gain,
An interest in my Saviour's Blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, WHO HIM TO DEATH PURSUED?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou O God, shouldst die for me?

Each one of us must look at the sorry array of sinful humanity that had its part in putting Christ on the cross, and say, "I stand there." Each one of us, amazing grace, can claim God's forgiveness by repentance and faith in Jesus.

Now there is much more to examine in the subject of our deliberations, and other thoughts in your posting that provoke godly enquiry, but I feel that I have already gone on too long.

Once again, greetings in the Name of Jesus,

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 6:33:35 AM Close
Dear John,

I find your observations quite appropriate and feel that Jesus was referring to the Roman Soldiers around him persecuting him.

Thank you for wonderful exposition.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 9:09:25 AM Close
Dear Sunil,

I am sorry if you feel that your question has been ignored, because it was certainly interesting and important.

I think that scripture provides the answer. Matthew 8. v 14, asserts that the fulfillment of the prophecy to which you refer, is in the healing ministry of Christ in His earthly pathway. This is the comment of the writer, inspired by The Holy Spirit, and cannot be doubted.

There is further teaching about the Lord's power to heal in Luke 5. When He was confronted with a paralysed man, Jesus chose to forgive his sins first, on the basis of his faith and that of his friends. This provided an immediate challenge to the scribes and Pharisees who did not believe in Jesus. He knew what they were thinking and put them on the spot by asking which was easier to do, forgive the man's sins or cure his disease? Now on the face of it, the former was easy to say, because no one could really prove if the sins were forgiven or not. On the other hand a word of power healing the disease could not be faked. Natural man would therefore say that it was easier to forgive sins! Jesus answers their reasoning by showing His power and authority over disease by healing the man. Every mouth was closed and every question was answered.

We know, of course, that to be able forgive sins, Jesus had to go to the cross. There was no other way. Your question has brought us back to the subject of our discussion, THE CROSS!

Yours in our Lord Jesus,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 11:16:35 AM Close
John Miller,

Yes, You are right...
"we observe the attitude of the "passers-by". (Mat.ch.27,v.39). All this uncaring, foolish throng had no idea at all who hung on that cross of shame.Who then put Christ on the cross? I did! My sins put Him there! "

I can say it is my God's love for me. He wants me to come back to Him. So it is His plan for me. I just have to believe and accept it.
JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In Christ,
Sunila.

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2005 8:29:54 PM Close
Dear John,

If you or any one have not completed your/their posts on the first of the last seven sayings yet, you/they may ignore this post and continue to write on the firs saying, otherwise, here is a thought on the second saying as per the sequence mentioned by you.

John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

I read that Mary, the earthly mother of Lord Jesus Christ, lived for fifteen years in Judea after the death of Jesus Christ with John and then she died. Some commentators have greatly appreciated the tender care John gave to her and that it was more than the care any son would give to his mother in usual circumstances. Jesus entrusted this great responsibility to John, who took good care of her. Jesus was God and Man too while on this earth and He did not fail to fulfill the responsibilities, which a son would to do his mother.

............

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 27 Oct 2005 2:55:34 PM Close
Dear All,

Sorry I have not been able to join you today, due to other responsibilities. I hope to join in the discussion tomorrow again, God willing.

Greetings to all,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 29 Oct 2005 6:59:36 AM Close
Dear friends,

If I may, I would like to look a little more at the Lord's first saying, before moving on. Please bear with me Jean!

This prayer of Jesus, would not have been understood by those around. The truth about God's relationship with Christ and ourselves, as Father, is only revealed to His own. John 14. v.9 confirms this. It must be seen as a prayer of personal intercession which surely gives it great significance to believers. The last part of the Lord's plea, therefore, reveals the wonderful grace of divine reckoning when confronted with the sin of man. "They know not what they do". Our hearts can only bow in worship at such a perfect expression of the Saviour's divine grace, and God's desire to open up a way for the sinner to return to Him.

The origin of sin was in Satan's rebellion against God, his desire to make himself equal with God. He was in a position of unparallelled priviledge, and in the full understanding of what he was doing, lifted himself up, challenging God's authority. For such evil, The Word of God offers no forgiveness. With man it was not so. He was deceived, and apart from the sin against the Holy Spirit, all sin can be forgiven.

The Lord here, asks the Father to recognise this, and to extend forgiveness to His enemies. As our brother Moses has reminded us, Peter expands on this truth in his great preaching in Acts.5, and sends forth the message of repentance and forgiveness. Most of those who heard Peter would have been the same men who had been personally involved in the death of Jesus. This tells us that God's love is so great and the provision He has made for the removal of sin is so amazing, that even the sin of being part of the death of His beloved Son, could have been forgiven.

What is important to be clear about, is that the forgiveness of sins is individual and can only be received by personal repentance and personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

I trust these thoughts are helpful and that God can bless them to us all.

Yours in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 31 Oct 2005 2:25:38 PM Close
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I sincerely hope that Jean was not displeased that I wanted to complete our consideration of the first utterance of Jesus on the cross, before moving on. In fact, I'm sure that much more can be said about it and we should all feel free to refer back to it if the Spirit so leads us.

What Jean observed about the Lord's care for Mary, His earthly mother, is at the heart of these two moving short requests or instructions from Jesus to Mary and John, who was "the disciple whom Jesus loved". When we consider the relationship between Jesus and Mary, we must do so in the recognition that it is a very holy subject for mankind to ponder. The enemy has incessantly attacked its scriptural truth down through the centuries. He is behind the scandalous theories put forward to try and undermine the biblical account.

The fact that it was the subject of ancient prophecy in Holy Writ should silence every lie. Scriptues such as Isaiah Ch. 7, v.14 & Ch.9, v.6, and Psalm 22, v.9-10, accurately predict, and give details of the way that God's Anointed One would come amongst men. Of course we must realise that such scriptures are "veiled" to those who do not believe in Jesus.

Mary was also made aware personally of the supernatural event that was to happen in her own very body, by angelic communication. It is awesome for us to note that she is told that not only would the Holy Spirit be invoved, but "the power of The Almighty would overshadow her". We see, therefore, that all three persons of the deity were intimately involved in the miraculous birth of the Saviour.

She was also warned, prophetically, by Simeon, who took The Holy Child Jesus, at the age of eight days, into his arms in the temple and blessed Him, that "a sword would go through her own soul". This was the fulfillment of that saying!

Now, if we could prayerfully consider this background to the the Lord's words, I'm sure that the Holy Spirit will bless our consideration of them.

Yours brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 31 Oct 2005 6:48:14 PM Close
Dear John,

I was waiting for you or somebody to post more about the first of the last seven sayings of Jesus on the cross, that is why I wrote my post may be ignored if you or somebody has more to say about the first saying, which I am interested to read. I am not displeased.

God bless.

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 1 Nov 2005 2:00:52 AM Close
3. THE WORD OF AFFECTION:

Joh 19:25-26 And His mother stood by the cross of Jesus, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Then when Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, Woman, behold your son!

An example of children to honour their parents.

Exo 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long upon the land which Jehovah your God gives you.

Spiritual relationship should not ignore the responsibilities.

Eph 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

Mary herself rejoiced in her Saviour:

Luk 1:46-47 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

This indicates the need of all human beings to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ the only way of Salvation, provided by the sacrificial death of our Lord on the Cross of Calvary and the resurrection.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Joh 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 1 Nov 2005 6:32:07 AM Close
Few thoughts abour Mary:

The Bible does not give much importance to Mary.
Mary was virgin and Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, through the works of Holy Spirit. Mary was just as human being as any of us, so she too needed a Savior. The Bible did not give importance to Mary or siblings of Jesus.

Mary gave birth to children other than Jesus also. Jude was half-brother of Jesus, who identified himself as Jude, "a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James" Jude 1


"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord" Luke 1:46

The above verse shows that Mary called Jesus as "Lord". Jesus, while being crucified remembered his earthly mother and handed over the responsiblity of looking after her to John.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 1 Nov 2005 5:38:04 PM Close
Sambudhanoor and Jean have given us some interesting scriptures and thoughts to consider. There is no doubt that the Lord Jesus honoured His mother in a way that displays the perfection of His humanity. The relationship between them is not spoken of in great detail in scripture and this is in line with Jean's remarks about Mary. The service, however, that she performed, in her availability to be used in the great divine plan of the incarnation has no parallel anywhere else in the history of God's dealings with mortal being.

Mary, along with Joseph, had scrupulously followed every requirement of the law, when Jesus was born. The sacrifice they offered in Luke ch. 2, v. 24, although the least permitted, because of their lack of means, was correct and fulfilled the Mosaic law. Before His birth, the angel Gabriel had made wonderful promises and predictions about the child she would bear, including clear references to His Deity and His title and future accession to the the throne of David. She had witnessed the homage of shepherds and wise men to her baby, and when He was only about twelve years old, she had seen the teachers in the temple amazed at His wisdom. She had watched with pride and love as through his youth He had "increased in wisdom and in stature and in stature, and in favour with God and man". He must have cared and provided for her as He worked as a carpenter, a humble craftsman.

Later as He filled out His public ministry, how her heart must have thrilled as she witnessed huge crowds hanging on His every word and being miraculously fed in what appeared to be impossible circumstances. His divinely appointed destiny must have seemed to be about to come to pass as He healed the sick and even raised the dead.

Suddenly, in the course of about two days, all the hope, all the promises, all the glory, seemed to have gone for good and she found herself standing by a cruel cross on which hung the dying body of her perfect son! What despair, what depths of sorrow must have filled her soul!

>>>>>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 1 Nov 2005 6:20:20 PM Close
Cont'd.

Jesus looked at her and spoke directly and exclusively to her, "Woman, behold thy son!" How could she reply? Overwhelmed with grief, no words came. What did Jesus mean?

In the midst of His suffering He graciously acknowledged His debt to her. What perfect human feelings we see demonstrated in these words. No greater example of a son honouring his mother has ever been seen before or since, as brother Sambudhanoor has mentioned previously. The humanity of Jesus is shown in its perfection here, against a black background of the depravity of sinful humanity at its very worst, in the mob surrounding the cross.

Now Jesus looks directly at John, the disciple "whom He loved". The words came forth from His holy mouth, intense, compelling, full of authority, "Behold thy mother!" I believe in this short command, Jesus not only made provision for the care of Mary, but brought to an end His natural relationship with her for ever. He committed to John, the responsibility of taking up the relationship that He was laying down.

Mary is identified as being with the disciples in Acts 1, and must have had her part in the very early church, but no place of importance or authority is give to her after the Lord's death and resurrection. The doctrine of Rome, ascribing to her the power to hear and answer prayer or perform miracles, is error and has not the slightest basis in the Word of God. We must refuse it utterly.

On the cross this unique relationship, too holy and supernatural for human mind to encompass, came to an end, but the fact that in the midst of His sufferings the Son of God acknowledged it, and the woman who shared it with Him for thirty three and a half years, must cause us to bow before Him in worship.

May we ponder over these wonderful matters and may the Spirit of God magnify The Lord Jesus Christ in our affections.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 1 Nov 2005 7:32:41 PM Close
Luke: 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Luke : 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 2 Nov 2005 8:10:19 AM Close
Christian friends,

If it is acceptable, we might move on to the third of the Lord's utterances on the cross, although we should all feel free to refer back to the previous words at all times.

Reading the scriptural account of what happened at Golgotha, it is clear that to begin with, both malefactors joined in the abuse and mockery along with the crowd. The wonder of God's arrangements in the lives of his creature is that these two men hung on either side of Jesus as a fulfillment of ancient prophecy. Isaiah 53 says, "He was numbered with the transgressors". The truth of this statement applies to every single person in the world! These two men represent the whole of mankind, and Jesus, in amazing grace, has identified himself absolutely with our sinful state, although, of course, He was personally without sin. Do I see myself in one or both of these two men? Am I prepared to confess that their actual crimes could easily be surpassed by my capability, apart from the grace of God, to commit the worst sin known to man? Jesus did not hang on the cross out of sympathy with the transgessors. He hung there, NUMBERED with them, INTERCEDING for them, and, praise His name, willing to BECOME the very thing that was an outrage to God, SIN, so that His righteousness might be imputed by God, to every one who comes to Him in repentance and faith.

The scene is now set for the most amazing conversion to christianity in the history of the world! One malefactor is lost that none may presume! One is saved that none may despair! (Scofield)

Let us pause, and take time to study the words of the repenting thief, and the reply of the mighty, forgiving Saviour.

Your brother in Christ

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 5:26:41 AM Close
Dear John,

Matthew Henry's commenataries contain wonderful expositions. I just want to quote his observations here.

Lu 23:43
v32-43 As soon as Christ was fastened to the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him. The great thing he died to purchase and procure for us, is the forgiveness of sin. This he prays for. Jesus was crucified between two thieves; in them were shown the different effects the cross of Christ would have upon the children of men in the preaching the gospel. One malefactor was hardened to the last. No troubles of themselves will change a wicked heart. The other was softened at the last: he was snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of Divine mercy. This gives no encouragement to any to put off repentance to their death-beds, or to hope that they shall then find mercy. It is certain that true repentance is never too late; but it is as certain that late repentance is seldom true. None can be sure they shall have time to repent at death, but every man may be sure he cannot have the advantages this penitent thief had. We shall see the case to be singular, if we observe the uncommon effects of God's grace upon this man. He reproved the other for railing on Christ. He owned that he deserved what was done to him. He believed Jesus to have suffered wrongfully. Observe his faith in this prayer. Christ was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not delivered by his Father. He made this profession before the wonders were displayed which put honour on Christ's sufferings, and startled the centurion. He believed in a life to come, and desired to be happy in that life; not like the other thief, to be only saved from the cross. Observe his humility in this prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in true repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for repentance his circumstances would admit. Christ upon the cross, is gracious like Christ upon the throne.

Contd.(2)

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 5:27:21 AM Close
(2)

Though he was in the greatest struggle and agony, yet he had pity for a poor penitent. By this act of grace we are to understand that Jesus Christ died to open the kingdom of heaven to all penitent, obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was so near him. Be sure that in general men die as they live.

God bless.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 7:43:51 AM Close
John ch.3 v.14,15, says, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life." Seldom has any scripture been fulfilled with such a display of God's amazing grace as we see in this exchange of words between sinner and Saviour, each dying on their own cross!

As we noticed earlier, Mark's gospel tells us,"They who were crucified with Him, reviled Him." Matthew forcefully confirms this. In their bitterness at the terrible situation in which they found themselves, they were prepared to hurl the same insults at Jesus as the baying crowd. No one could have been nearer to Him than the two robbers, and so we can assume that their voices would have been heard by Jesus more clearly than any others. Does this not gloriously demonstrate the meaning of Paul's comment in Romans ch.5 v.20,"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!"

Jesus said nothing in reply to these insults. Without warning, one of the robbers fell silent, and when he spoke, his whole attitude had changed completely. While his partner in crime continued verbally abusing Jesus, he suddenly issued a severe reprimand. Listen to his words,"Dost thou TOO not fear God, we who are under the same condemnation...?" Consider what he is really saying. He rebukes his fellow criminal for an absence of the fear of God, but goes much further. The little word "too" is significant. Bear in mind that this man is hanging in agony, nailed to a cross, when he cries out in indignation against the wicked cries directed at Jesus. In this question he is siding with God, against his erstwhile companion, but not only against him. That little word "too" takes in the soldiers, the crowd, and even the religious and political leaders whose conspiracy had resulted in the crucifixion. This rough, violent outcast from society, had the audacity, the boldness to condemn the whole world, including himself, for putting Jesus on the cross! "WE indeed justly...!" >>>>>>>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 8:20:49 AM Close
[Jean, while I was writing my contribution, you were doing the same! I have read and enjoyed it. It confirms, and adds to my thoughts. Thank you!]

cont'd/

This is repentance of the truest, most thorough sort. No excuse! No justification! Complete self condemnation! How do I compare? If any of the by-standers was taking the trouble to listen they must have assumed he was delirious!

"This man has done nothing amiss"

Now, hark to his request to Jesus. "Lord remember me, when thou comest in thy kingdom." He was looking at a man, battered, bruised and bloodied by the vile torture and beatings that he had endured. He had heard, and taken part in the catcalls, the abuse and the mocking cries teling this man to save himself by coming down from the cross. He could see the sarcastic [but true] inscription on the wooden board above the Saviour's head. He had witnessed the utter refusal, or inability, on the part of Jesus to do anything to save Himself, although it was said that He could perform astonishing miracles. What on earth made him come out with this crazy request?

The answer is not found on the earth! The request, far from being crazy, was the wisest thing that this man had ever said in his life! It was probably the last thing he said in his life! The reason for his request is that God focussed his eyes on Jesus. He saw there his Lord. He saw there his King. Jesus had been "lifted up", and the grace of God drew this man to Him with irresistable power.

At this moment in time he was the only person in the world to whom God had revealed that Jesus would rise from the dead and some day return to the earth in triumph. The disciples had been told, but had not understood. He expected to be there to have a part in the Lord's future kingdom, so he was confident of resurrection for himself. HE BELIEVED IN JESUS! No doubts clouded the conviction of faith.

The old hymn says,
"Repentance only, God requires from man,
and faith in Christ, His well beloved Son."

>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 8:39:24 AM Close
Cont'd/

That statement by the thief, "This man has done nothing amiss", shows how he looked away from the hopeless failure of self, and fixed his gaze on Christ. He saw there the "Lamb without blemish". He saw there the Lamb that "God would provide", in the words of Abraham. He saw there the full and eternal answer to the guilt of sin. This repenting sinner could never have imagined the countless gospel preachings that would sound out down through the centuries, using his words as a short, simple, powerful text.

He saw in "the Man who had done nothing amiss", his Lord, His King and his hope for the future. Jesus was dying, he was dying but his vision was crystal clear. All he needed was the Lord's acceptance!

It came in these wonderful words which gave him a peace and a hope that he had never known before, in circumstances of the darkest, most hopeless kind that a man could ever find himself in.

"Today, thou shalt be WITH ME in paradise!"

These words sealed his hope, his peace, his new found joy, so that now, far from dreading the moment of death, he must have looked forward to it with holy anticipation. These words have brought profound comfort and assurance to millions since the day they were uttered by Jesus on the cross.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 3:36:18 PM Close
"Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise!"

These words confirm the unnamed malefactor as the first true Christian convert, and the first believer to experience what it was to die "in Christ". The tremendous impact and meaning of this promise of Jesus, to a man upon whose heart the light of Christ's glory had just dawned, who had taken such a stand against the whole hostile world and had only a few short pain-racked hours to live, has been used by the Spirit of God over and over again for the blessing of a multitude of precious souls, whose number is known to God alone. Think of what eternity will reveal, when one after another will testify to the effect that the mighty saving power of the Saviour, snatching this brand from the burning, had upon them. Think of what this man's repentance and faith meant to that same glorious Saviour as He faced the awful fire Himself; the fire of God's wrath and outrage against the sin of His creature. Think of the rejoicing in the presence of the angels as the great plan of redemption took shape before their wondering eyes.

Immediately following the account of the thief's conversion, Luke, with exquisite accuracy records,"It was about the sixth hour". On the very brink of the awful blackness of God's awful judgement of sin, the Saviour stretched out the hand of divine forgiveness and sealed the sinners pardon!

And what of the other malefactor? Alas the words that spelled his rejection of grace remained unjudged in his mouth. In Romans ch.10, v.8,9, Paul,referring back to Exodus ch.4, v.15, says, "The word is near thee, in thy mouth...." How near the Word incarnate was, how God's grace diplayed in the salvation of his companion would have put the very words of repentance in his mouth! The stuborness, the stupidity, the blindness of the human heart in the face of such impending doom, is here revealed! How many have followed him, plunging into a lost eternity in the face of God's grace, held within their very grasp, but refused.

The Words of The Dying Saviour!

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 3 Nov 2005 6:29:28 PM Close
Dear John,

I was delighted to read your writing, which is very nice.

God bless you.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2005 8:56:54 AM Close
Thank you, Jean, my sister in Christ. My earnest desire is to point to the Lord Jesus, and if the Holy Spirit lends His help to that endeavour, we can all be blessed.

"Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise". This was ALL that Jesus said to the repentant malefactor. Note the emphasis, the urgency of the opening phrase. The Lord was speaking directly to one man, and seems to me, to be driving home the truth of what he was about to disclose, with the all His authority. He is demanding the man's full attention, so as to be sure that His words are understood. (Who can say that other believers in circumstances of suffering, danger and perhaps approaching death, have not had a similar experience of hearing the voice of Jesus?) Time was short and time was precious, to believer and Saviour alike here, and NO doubt was to be left in the believer's mind as to the Saviour's meaning.

"Today!". The moment a sinner turns to Christ in repentance and faith, the benefits are instantaneous. In the affairs and service of men, benefits are accrued with length of service; not so in the things of God. All the blessings that God has for us in Christ, are ours immediately. It is true that from our side, it may take years for us to enter into these blessings experimentally, but that is not because God gives them gradually! "Jesus and all in Him is mine", says the line of Wesley's hymn, and how blessedly true that is.

Some teach the false doctrine of "purgatory". If ever there was a suitable candidate for purgatory, it was the thief on the cross. Had Christ said, "In due course ...", we might have nodded our heads and grunted, "Amen!"

The self righteous clerics who watched in derision would have been outraged had they heard and understood the words spoken by Jesus to the thief. "What about a sin offering?" they would have demanded. The sin offering was there! The sacrifice was about to be completed! The judgement was about to fall on the Lamb of God's providing!

God's provision is for TODAY!

>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 4 Nov 2005 9:42:38 AM Close
cont'd/

There is profound and fundamental divine truth in the promise of Jesus to the thief. Firstly we must recognise the authority of the Speaker. The words of Jesus are challenged or dismissed to the eternal loss of the doubter. Secondly there is the simplicity and clarity of the the Lord's statement. Academic qualifications are not required. Thirdly there is the testimony of the Father on the holy mount, "This is my beloved Son; hear him." Mark ch.9,v.7. That command is disobeyed only by a fool.

What is Jesus saying? Nothing could be easier to understand and yet some seem to be confused by the very simplicity of the words. The moment a believer finally takes his leave of this world, a world of sin whose God is Satan, he enters another world, and finds himself in the company of Jesus, God's King. Paul says, "The world to come, of which we speak." The full enjoyment of God's provision in our eternal dwelling place and state awaits the putting on of the body of glory at the rapture, but the believer's consciousness of being in the presence of Christ is guaranteed by this promise of Jesus on the cross. Paul's way of expressing how this truth had aid hold of him is expressed thus, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."

Scholars, clerics, scientists and sceptics argue furiously about the "afterlife". This is all the christian needs to know! The way for us to enjoy the certainty of it, must be the same way taken by the repentant thief - repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God bless these thoughts and the contributions of others who may be exercised to join with us in this study, and add to them.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Nov 2005 5:51:41 AM Close
Dear brethren,

Before moving on from the Lord's words to the thief, and by all means let anyone still add their appreciation of them, we might consider his future prospects. As we have noted, he is WITH CHRIST. He is resting in the unalloyed bliss of the his Redeemer's presence. Along with the redeemed multitude, at the moment the moment the Lord's assembling shout is heard, when the mighty archangel sounds his voice, and the trump of God blasts out its triumphal note around the world, with his spirit, soul and body reunited, he will rise from his unmarked grave. He will instantaneously be given a body of glory, and be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The world of suffering, sin and sorrow will not even be a memory. The glory to come will be his portion and he will join in the eternal song of glory to THE LAMB!

But what are the prospects for his erstwhile companion in crime? At a future moment of divine appointment, he will find himself before a great white throne. From the face of the one sitting there, heaven and earth will have fled away. This man will look at that face and recognise it clearly, unmistakeably, despairingly. It is the face that he once stared into on a cross only a few feet from his. Then it was bruised, bleeding, soiled with dried blood and human spittle. Now it shines with judicial glory. Above it hung an inscription meant to mock. Now, on the garment of the Judge is written, "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords". He will look round for his friend but his friend will not be there. He will be utterly alone in the presence of the One who could have been his Saviour. He will be tried, convicted, and condemned a second time, not for crimes committed on earth, but because he rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, and for that he will be sentenced by the Lord Jesus Christ as his Judge. How solemn and final is the scene.

May each one of us rejoice that along with the repentant malefactor, our names are written in The Lamb's book of life.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Nov 2005 12:52:20 PM Close
As we proceed in our study of the cross, we have noted that the Lord's exchange of words with the thief was immediately before scripture records that "It was about the sixth hour". Up until this point, the Lord's sufferings were at the hands of men. My understanding is that these were sufferings for righteousness. That is, that the Lord Jesus was suffering because He was righteous, not in men's loose usage of the word, but according to God's absolute standard. Satan, sought to tempt Christ to depart from this, and failed miserably. He then mounted a continuous, implacable campaign against the Holy One of God, to bring Him down by any means, and finally by death. The Jewish religious and political leaders were his unwitting dupes. Self-righteous men, away from God, found the display of such perfection a condemnation of their own imperfection. We know that, in our own hearts, even in the every day experiences of life. Under the manipulation of the evil one, they went to the most extreme lengths possible in following evil. They slew the Holy Lamb of God.

The mystery of God's operations in grace is, that in their hatred, they were unknowingly fulfilling His great eternal purpose. Man could not demand payment for sin. Man was the offender, the perpetrator of the outrage against his maker's holiness. God alone could require payment of that awful debt. Christ alone could pay the price.

Is it not wonderful to see, that almost at the moment of his forsaking, Jesus had graciously blessed the repenting malefactor.

Then the darkness fell. God would not permit the curious eyes of sinful men to watch the Saviour in His toning sufferings. Indeed God Himself turned His face away from His own Son!

Someone once wrote, "For Him death was death; man's utter weakness, Satan's extreme power, and God's just vengeance; all alone, and without one ray of hope, even from God."

This was what Jesus now faced alone in the darkness of the abandonment. Bow in worship before Him!

Your brother through grace,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 6 Nov 2005 3:14:53 AM Close
When we look back over the three utterances of our Lord that we have sought to consider in a spirit of humility and godly enquiry, we can see a common thread running through them. In everything that Jesus has said so far, we see his matchless love for others. His enemies, His mother and disciple, and a repenting sinner are the objects of these precious words and the love behind them. Who can compare with Jesus? There is undoubtedly a much greater wealth of teaching in them for our blessing than we have explored, and we would do well to revisit them privately again and again.

When we consider what followed, from the sixth to the ninth hour, we must realise that we are in the presence of events so holy, that they are far beyond human intellect to encompass. In the darkness, Jesus was facing alone, all the pent-up fury of a Holy God whose outrage against the offence of sin being in existance, must find an object on which to spend itself. Paul says, "He was made sin...."! This means that Jesus became the very thing that God hated most. He became the sole object, the focus of everything that God found utterly displeasing to Him, and completely unsuitable to His holy presence. God cannot look upon sin, so holy is He. He therefore must turn away from the suffering of His son.

It is not possible for us to understand what this meant to the Father, or to Christ. Remember the words of Jesus as He stood before the tomb of Lazarus, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, and I knew that thou hearest me always..." Now we are in a place, now we have come to a moment when the Father is deaf to anything His Son might say or ask!

We should take time to consider this, prayerfully, before going further, because the subject is so holy.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 6 Nov 2005 4:27:12 AM Close
Dear John,

It is so refreshing to read your exposition. What I think is that if we do not read or ponder over and over the sufferings of Jesus Christ for our sake and the purpose of His coming to this world, and dying upon the cross of Calvary, there might come one day when a situation would arise, as we read in Exodus 1:8 "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph". Just ater sixty years after the death of Joseph, the old dynasty was overthrown and there arose a king "who knew not" Joseph.

Indeed your thoughts are so refreshing and we need to keep remembering the sufferings of Jesus Christ for our sake, his love for others, which if we do not do again and again we might forget what our Savior did for our sake.

Please continue to write more.

God bless you.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 6 Nov 2005 5:53:56 AM Close
Dear Jean,

Your reference to Exodous is very good. The fact is that there are instances of christian churches that have been corrupted by the personal ambition of leaders. The answer to that is to keep near the cross. At the cross, only one man can hold centre stage. He is the leader and completer of faith. If we allow personalities to come between ourselves and Jesus it is because we have lost sight of the cross. I speak from personal experience. After outlining the Gospel of God's Grace in 1 Cor. ch.15, Paul says, "I am the least of the apostles, that am not fit to be an apostle.." Earlier in the same book he says, "I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." Going back to chapter one of that epistle, he highlights the dangers of a leadership cult, and gives the antidote - "the word of the cross".

Every gospel preacher, christian teacher or leader can only serve God to the extent of his appreciation of Christ crucified. Joseph is a great type of Christ in the Old Testament. Jesus asks in Luke 24, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" Joseph portrays this in type.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 6 Nov 2005 1:35:47 PM Close
Dear Bro. John,

Quote: "Remember the words of Jesus as He stood before the tomb of Lazarus, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, and I knew that thou hearest me always..." Now we are in a place, now we have come to a moment when the Father is deaf to anything His Son might say or ask!"

Ps 22:1-21 were words of cry, asking for help. But starting from verse 22, we have Christ's words in praise of the Father (v22. is quoted in Heb 2). You quoted, "I knew that thou hearest me always.." Reading Ps 22:24 refreshes me, in that it reads, "For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, HE HEARD." The point is, He HEARD Him ultimately, though He did not, for a certain time during 3 hours of darkness. The NT confirms our joy and says, "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and WAS HEARD in that he feared" (Heb 5:7). The Father heard the Son, in raising Him up from the dead. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses" (Acts 2:32).

Moses

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 7 Nov 2005 8:55:43 AM Close
Dear Moses,

You are correct to point out the change that takes place during the prophetic utterances of Psalm 22. From verse 22 onward, the scene, if I may put it that way, shifts from the despair and suffering of the crucifixion to the triumph of the resurrection. In John ch.20, v.17, Jesus declares the Father's name to "His brethren", in the message He sends to them by Mary Magdalene. The great eternal result of the sufferings of the cross is in "many sons being brought to glory". Surely it causes us to lift our hearts to God in praise and worship that we are brought into an eternal relationship with a heavenly Father, through the obedience of His Son who completed the great work of redemption. The enjoyment and experience of this supernatural relationship can only be enjoyed by the indwelling power of The Holy Spirit of God. He came to be with us and in us because the Son asked the Father to send Him!

As we humbly and reverently consider the reality of the forsaking, therefore, the revelation of God's eternal purpose must make it all the more wonderful to us.

The cost to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is a matter for constant wonder and worship, although to fathom its depth is entirely beyond us. We cannot begin to grasp what Jesus really went through before that awful cry rent the air. Sin in its entirety had to be removed from the presence of God. sin had to be TAKEN AWAY!

"Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

The suffering of these three hours put the relationship of God and man on an entirely new basis.

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself!"

The world to come, the new heavens and new earth, revealed in Revelation, is founded on what Jesus did alone in the darkness and woe of Calvary.

Praise His Name!

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 7 Nov 2005 3:33:34 PM Close
Dear friends,

As we ponder the atonement, I believe that we can look at the Lord's work from two different aspects. Firstly, in accord with divine purpose from before the world's creation, He came as the one who answered the question, "Whom will we send and who will go for us?" This keeps before us the truth that God is in complete control of His eternal purposes of love and blessing.

Secondly, in divine grace, the Saviour came as a real man. I say that with great reverence. As a man He felt real human emotion, anger, hurt and compassion. Reading the gospels, we find all these emotions expressed and more, sin apart. As He travelled among men on His journey, healing blessing and teaching, He must have felt keenly the devastation that sin had inflicted on men and women. That journey took him nearer to the cross each day, and He knew the terrible price and how it must be paid. As a man therefore, He carried this burden alone, unable to share it with anyone except His Father. We get glimpses of this in His prayers.

What we are allowed to see, are the holy feelings of anguish as He anticipated the sufferings that lay ahead, because of the effects of sin on the human race. One example is in John ch.11, vs.33,35, where the depth of these feelings is displayed. Elsewhere, Jesus deals with death or disease with compassion and feeling, but here there was added the fact that it came very close to Him personally. The little family affected were His close, personal friends, who had habitually showed Him their appreciation and affection.

As Jesus considered their grief and the invasion of death into their circumstances, His thoughts must have focussed on the work that lay ahead for Him, in the removal of sin's penalty. Their grief and His sufferings to come, combined to cause Him to groan in spirit, to be troubled and to weep.

I believe that His fourth utterance on the cross is the ultimate expression of these feelings of anguish as He knew God's wrath in that terrble place.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Nov 2005 7:19:28 AM Close
Dear friends, on reviewing my last entry, I would like to guard against any thought that I was equating the Lord's distress in John 11, with His suffering for sin. That was not my intention. However I believe that there were at least three occasions when we are allowed to have a glimpse into the very innermost feelings of Jesus as He felt in His soul the dreadful results of sin and what that meant for Him.

Sin had not entered the body, mind or spirit of Jesus. He only encountered sin and its effects in others. I encounter it continually within myself. I accept it, excuse it and even sanction it, within myself every day. Sin was utterly foreign to Jesus, and He could not do this. He embraced the sinner, but rejected the sin. No one but Jesus could measure the price that would have to paid in order that sin, its power and its penalty be removed from before God.

In John 12.27, we see the distress that Jesus felt as He looked forward to the cross. The background to these words was His continued rejection by the Jewish religious leaders. Some might have thought that the desire of the Greeks to meet Him would have been a matter of joy, even an encouragement to turn away from His ungrateful people to the nations. After all the scripture tells us that God commands all men everywhere to repent. Jesus knew that the work of atonement must be completed, before the Gospel of God's grace could be proclaimed universally, and His words in this verse tell us something of what that meant to Him.

Thirdly and most powerfully we have His experience in Gethsemane. This is a complete subject in itself, but it is sufficient in this study to observe that in spite of terrible personal anguish of soul, He accepts the cup of unfathomable bitterness and woe from the Father's hand.

All this gives us a little insight into what the Saviour experienced in actuality, alone in the darkness. He had anticipated it in anguish of spirit previously, but then the Father had been His refuge and support.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Nov 2005 7:58:33 AM Close
Cont'd/

No sound was heard from the Saviour's lips for about three hours, according to the record of scripture. We must remember that the awful physical agony of crucifixion continued during these hours, as well as the pain of the torture inflicted before He was nailed to the cross. He had no sleep for at least two days, probably longer, and it is likely that He had been completely denied any kind of sustenance. The graphic descriptons in the prophecies of Psalms 22 & 69 rather than exagerating His sufferings do not fully describe them. The awful physical agony continued unabated, as His soul was made an offering for sin.

Finally, that woeful cry rent the darkness. No sound of such sorrow and despair has ever crossed such holy sinless lips before or since, nor ever will. No answer came. We must go back to the Psalm for that. "Thou art holy!"

The old hymn puts it eloquently,

If sinners ever were to know
The depths of love divine,
All Calvary's weakness and its woe,
Blest Saviour must be thine.

Consider the words of Psalm 69, v.4. "I restored that which I took not away."

Our words and our understanding will ever fall short of the great work of atonement, "when Jesus to those depths of darkness went."

May we be ever more occupied with our wonderful Redeemer and His glory.

Your brother in Him

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Nov 2005 4:35:05 PM Close
Dear Friends,

All the offerings of the law find their perfect fulfillment in Christ's offering of Himself without spot to God. All these types or shadows of what was to come are fulfilled in Jesus. His perfect sinless life and atoning death, are everything that God in His holiness and righteousness required from man.

In that mighty cry of submission to God's will, we see the meaning of the offering by the high priest on the day of atonement [Leviticus 16]. Read verse 17. "There shall be no man..." Jesus did it all alone! Read verse 22. ""The goat shall bear upon it all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited..." Who can understand the place to which the Saviour went in the hours of darkness on the cross. He took away the sin of the world.

The hymn says,

"None could follow there blest Saviour,
When Thou didst for sins atone...."

We stand at the edge of the vast ocean of the mystery of God's purpose and His love. All we can do is explore the shallows. In eternity we will explore the depths.

Dear brethren, if our minds and souls are occupied with the eternal glories and greatness of Our Lord Jesus Christ we will be preserved in this world of sin and sorrow. Nowhere do these glories shine brighter than at the cross.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 8 Nov 2005 7:15:05 PM Close
Soon the anti-christ is coming saying peace to all and will act like God who knows everything.
Careful not to have that thought in mind. Pray and seek the Lord all times.

Sunila.

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 9 Nov 2005 1:11:13 AM Close
4. THE WORD OF ANGUISH (The cry of suffering).

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?

" My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?"

God the Father forsook Jesus Christ in order to redeem the mankind.

Psa 22:1 To the Chief Musician, on the deer of the dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me, and are far from my deliverance, and from the words of my groaning?

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should put forth His soul as a guilt-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand.

Lam 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which is done to me, with which Jehovah has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.

God the Father was doing the justice:

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord of Glory, the innocent was condemned, in order pay the wages of sin, the death and to provide salvation (eternal life) to the fallen human beings.

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree");

Our Lord was doing the Love towards us.

Joh 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Our God was revealing the Love towards us:

1Jo 4:8-10 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 9 Nov 2005 4:01:18 AM Close
These are good contributions from Sunila and Sambudhanoor. Sunila has drawn attention to the anti-christ, the man of sin, the beast that comes up out of the earth in Revelation 13. His mission and evil determination is to challenge and destroy the power of The Lamb. His intent is to enslave.

Contrast that with Sambudhanoor's comment that "God the Father fosook Jesus in order to redeem mankind". Sin enslaves and finally hands out its wages, death. God in Christ sets us free from the guilt, the power, and the penalty of sin, and grants eternal life.

We cannot have a clearer choice than that. On the one hand God's Lamb, prepared to pay in full the price of the sin of the world and remove it from God's presence for ever. On the other an evil system, energised by Satan himself, headed by his agents, putting men and women in slavery, with the aim of removing them from God's presence for ever.

The work done by Jesus on the cross will stand eternally as the foundation of the world to come. That terrible cry, uttered in the darkness of Christ's woe, guarantees that no child of God who has trusted in Jesus will ever be forsaken.

Yuor brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 9 Nov 2005 3:15:33 PM Close
Dear Friends,

Before we move on in our study, I would like to suggest another look at the Lord's cry. I have been looking at Matthew's account, and was struck with the fact that it was uttered at the ninth hour. This means that the Lord endured God's forsaking to the end without uttering a word. Why was this? If a child discovered that it had been abandoned by a father or mother, would it not immediately cry out?

Does the Lord's silence until the end of His terrible trial not bring out the absolute, unquestioning acceptance of the Father's will and His total commitment to God's eternal purpose? Earlier in the gospel record we are told that He set His face to go to Jerusalem. I understand this could be translated that His face was "set as a flint". This utterly uncompromising determination to carry through God's plan was tested to the utmost and the cry was a public testimony to that. All around would hear it, and shortly the centurion showed the effect it had on him at least.

Furthermore if we look at the words, do they alone tell us what the Lord said? Most sentences or utterances contain a word, which if accentuated, give particular force to the saying. If we put the emphasis on the word "Thou", does it not bring the extreme sorrow of the Lord vividly to our attention. Many times in His life had Jesus experienced rejection and being forsaken. As recently as His arrest his disciples "forsook Hom and fled". The Father had always been His refuge, but not now. In spite of all this His cry did not come until the end of the three hours, lest it might be thought that He was not prepared to carry through the great work of atonement. The cry was to God, not His Father, as both Moses and Jean pointed out earlier, showing the reality of the cutting off, of the relationship during the period of judgement.

I commend these thoughts to you for your consideration. Surely, the more we study and ponder this wonderful theme, the greater place our Lord Jesus will have in our affections.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 9 Nov 2005 10:08:26 PM Close
John,

We cannot say 'the reality of the cutting off, of the relationship'. Because if you see the relationship between father and son or God and his creation, there is no cutting off. We cannot move untill HE permit us. Those three hours were under the control of Almighty. If you think it was totally under the control of darkness, how can it be HE IS GOD.

Son or the creation may think that father or God forgot me. But if you look in father's view, no father forget his son unless he is unconsious. I am glad that my father is not unconsious. He may step away for a while or test you if you are obedient.

Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 10 Nov 2005 8:13:38 AM Close
Dear Sunila,

We must go by the Lord's own words. In His cry of despair He uses the word "forsaken". This is a very strong word indeed. The clear meaning is that the Father deliberately turned away from His beloved Son in the time of His greatest sorrow. According to the divine requirement of absolute holiness He could do nothing else.

It is essential to see that the Father did not chastise Christ as an erring son. Christ had never transgressed in word or deed or thought. He had not inherited the sin of earthly parents. He was sinless by birth and sinless by practise. In the three hours of darkness Christ as the sacrificial lamb, without blemish, was smitten by a holy God. He was the sin bearer.

There are many scriptures which teach this and we can refer to two. In Psalm 69 we read,"They persecute him whom THOU HAST SMITTEN..." In 1 Cor. ch.5, we read,"He hath made Him who knew no sin, TO BE SIN for us..."

In the first, God is seen as smiting the sin bearer. In the second the Apostle goes further. The reason is given in brutal clarity. Jesus was actually "made sin" in the sinner's stead. He BECAME that thing, sin, which was utterly offensive to God. What was the purpose? It was that "we might BECOME the righteousness of God in Him".

He was the willing victim, and through grace, all who believe in Him are as righteous in the sight of God as He is. It is true that the Almighty was in control during the three hours of darkness, but there was no acknowledgement of the Father's relationship from above, and no claim on it from the cross. During that awful period, we must bow in the realisation that the enjoyment of that relationship ceased utterly, or else we could never be blessed.

I am not clear what you mean in your last paragraph. What I would say is that the consciousness of Christ's sufferings by the Father,or His [the Father's] feelings, is completely beyond man to understand or enter into. I appreciate your questions and trust these words help.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 10 Nov 2005 12:24:47 PM Close
John,
Your quote:"Jesus was actually "made sin" in the sinner's stead. He BECAME that thing, sin, which was utterly offensive to God."

WHERE IT SAYS JESUS WAS 'MADE SIN'?

Isai 53:6 and the LORD hath LAID ON HIM the iniquity of us all.

Isai 53:11 for he shall BEAR their iniquities.

53:12 because he hath POURED OUT his soul unto death: and he was NUMBERED with the transgressors; and he BARE THE SIN of many, and MADE INTERCESSION for the transgressors.

Made sin meaning he became sin. sin is evil. That means he became evil. I don't believe that. I BELIEVE HE BORE MY SIN. I am the one who did sin. He is the son of God. He has no sin. He bore our sin on the cross.


Son felt like he is forsaken.

Psalms 69:6,1st part of verse 7 and 2nd part of verse 9 can be remembered as Jesus suffering. This psalm curse the enemies. But Jesus told us to forgive enemies.
1 cori 5;7For even Christ our passover is SACRIFICED for us:

Read Hebrew Chapter 9 and Chapter 10:1-18.

In my last paragraph i was trying to say that Father God was consious during those 3hrs of darkness even if Son said My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. Jesus was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.(isaiah 53:7)
After 3hrs God let Him open His mouth.
Matt 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

I am sure He bore our sin.

Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 10 Nov 2005 1:59:42 PM Close
Dear Sunila,

I appreciate your ernest desire to arrive at the truth. If you read 1st Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 21, it clearly states there, "For HE HATH MADE HIM, who knew no sin, TO BE SIN for us, that we might be made the righteuosness of God in Him". These are the words of scripture, not mine.

I really cannot add to that. The words are simple and uncomplicated, although their meaning is infinitely deep. The truth of this is the basis of your redemption, and mine, from the sin that would have banished US eternally from the presence of God.

If you read this scripture carefully, which I am sure you always do, I'm sure that the truth will be clear to you.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 10 Nov 2005 4:12:00 PM Close
John,

Thankyou. It is in 2 corinthians 5:21.

Complete jewish bible says "God made this SINLESS MAN be a SIN OFFERING on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God's righteousness."

(KJV)For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 11 Nov 2005 5:49:54 AM Close
First, a word of encouragement to Sunila. I am sure you agree that scripture carries its own authority, and that we can always find an answer to our questions and difficulties in the Word of God, if we are like the Berean brethren.

Thinking on the Lord's cry to God, I realised that these were the first words He spoke loudly. We have no indication, as far as I can see, that the first three were spoken in anything else than the Lord's normal voice. This shows how our Lord was in control of His emotions, undoubtedly supported by His relationship with the Father.

This fourth cry, however, must have been heard loudly in the darkness, and caused a reaction in all who were within earshot. No one would have understood its meaning, and no doubt His tormentors would have derived ungodly satisfaction when they heard it. What would the repentant malefactor have thought? What did the centurion think? We have no answer to these questions but as we move on to the FIFTH utterance, what is revealed there, is that the heart of sinful man was hard and unyielding towards the sufferings of the Saviour.

"I THIRST!"

PSALM 22
"My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my palate."

PSALM 69
"I looked for comforters and found none!"
"In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

How accurately the prophetic words of scripture foretold the Messiah's suffering and distress!

Now contrast these sombre verses with the Lord's invitation in John 7. "If any man thirst, let him come unto ME, and drink."

Let us ponder over this fifth utterance of Jeus on the cross, and look to the Holy Spirit to write its meaning in our affections.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 11 Nov 2005 7:46:21 AM Close
John 19:28, "After this, Jesus KNOWING that all things were now accomplished, that the SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, saith, I THIRST."

Heb 10:7, "... in the volume of the book it is written of me."

Luke 24:44, "ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."

He is the AUTHOR of that Book, but He fulfilled that Book as though He was bound by what is written of Him in it. "... in the volume of the book it is written of me." He uttered those two words - I thirst - on the cross, fully knowing that He was saying them to fulfill the Scripture. He indeed was thirsty, but He said it to fulfill the Scriptures.

When Jesus therefore had RECEIVED THE VINEGAR, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Vinegar is supposed to be blood thinner. Humanly speaking, we can say he took it before His death, so that ALL of His blood will be shed, when the soldier would pierce Him.

Ps 69:21, "... in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 11 Nov 2005 8:50:32 AM Close
I believe that what Moses has highlighted regarding prophecy, is crucial to our study. In Acts 2, Peter refers to the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God". As we noted previously, he also refers in his first epistle to the Lamb being "foreordained before the foundation of the world". In John 19, which Moses refers to, the fulfillment of scripture is mentioned four times.

If we were to study all the accounts of the whole period of the Lord's suffering and death, from Gethsemane through to the resurrection, I think we would be amazed at the amount of prophecy that was fulfilled in detail. All this must cause us to bow in worship, as we survey the unfolding of God's perfect plan of redemption, so that He will be able to enjoy the company of His creature man eternally.

In this expression of physical need we see the reality of the Lord's humanity once again. We also see that he accepted the frailty of the human condition. He was no superman physically. If He had not given vent to this physical need, and it must have been a dreadful thirst when we consider the deprivation of any kind of sustenance which He had endured, we might have thought that He had been granted some superhuman strength. Scripture does not allow this supposition.

This was the same Jesus, who, wearied with the way He had come, sat just as He was at the well in John 4. He asked for a drink there, and was rewarded by the woman's faith. Here the answer was a sponge soaked with the bitter taste of sour vinegar. Hark to the David in Psalm 69, "They persecute Him whom Thou hast smitten and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded".

Man had beaten, humiliated and crucified Him. God had forsaken Him and turned the fire of His wrath upon Him. Now when he begged a drop of water, all the darkness of the human heart away from God could offer Him was vinegar. All this He did for me!

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 11 Nov 2005 4:26:07 PM Close
In other threads of discussion there is evidence of the constant attempt by the enemy to spread discord and doubt among the people of God.

What is the answer? The answer is to come to Golgotha, the place of a skull. There we see what man in his learning, his self importance, his sophistication, and his utter inability to meet God's requirement amounts to! There, if we are willing, we can meet a God who runs to meet us, throws His arms around us, and blesses us beyond human understanding!

It is at the cross of Christ that God passed His judgement on the sin and failure of Adam, and accepted the the perfection of the second man, Jesus Christ, as an offering for that sin and failure!

John Miller

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 13 Nov 2005 11:24:51 AM Close
If I may, I would like to refer further to the expression of the Lord's thirst. On the cross it was His personal physical suffering in that appeal, and the answer that came was one of deliberate cruelty, in an attempt to make it worse. Still no word of reproof or anger was heard from the mouth of the Sufferer. This must have been only moments before He commended his Spirit to the Father's care, but there was no parting threat to his tormentors.

From the start of His sufferings, firstly at the hands of men, then under God's judgement, Jesus had made no complaint, no appeal for mercy. The first drink of vinegar, mingled with gall, had been refused. He would take nothing that might have been construed as a palliative to dull His senses. But now there came this one appeal, as if He was searching for some good in the human heart. Man, apart fom God's grace, stands here exposed and condemned as utterly worthless in His sight. It is the final justification in Christ's sufferings, for the desperate need of His great work of atonement.

He drained, in its woe, the cup of divine wrath, and in it's bitterness, the cup of human cruelty.

In Matthew 25, v.35, Jesus says, "I was thirsty and ye gave me drink..." He is saying to us, today, that He still thirsts! He identifies Himself now with the suffering church in this passage of scripture. Let each of us examine himself or herself, whether we are able and willing to answer, in any way, to His present thirst by doing some little service "unto one of the least of these my brethren".

May these simple thoughts be an encouragement to us all to feed on the perfection of Jesus.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 14 Nov 2005 4:12:50 AM Close
If I may, I would like to refer back to my second posting of 11/11/05. My reference to the Lord Jesus as "the second man" was based on 1 Cor.15 v.47. "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." If we defend God's Word, we can leave God to defend us, if that is necessary. My attitude must be, and I trust is, one of forgiveness.

As we moved to consider the wonderful sixth word from the cross, I felt sure that the enemy would attempt to divert our attention from this great cry of victory, and so it proved. His attempt has always been to deceive. In Eden he questioned the truth of God's word and thus deceived the woman. His tactics today are identical. If he can deceive us by suggesting that God's word is somehow to be doubted, he can divert our attention from the richness of God's blessing in Christ.

The one subject, more than any other, that is objectionable to Satan, is the cross. In this sixth word of Jesus, he must now realise that he made his most disastrous mistake. When he heard that cry, "It is finished", how he must have exulted in evil delight! Failure! Surrender! Disappointment! God's plan had come to naught!

The empty tomb must have been the worst moment that Satan ever experienced. VICTORY FOR THE REDEEMER!

The moment Christian believers, individually or collectively, join together in celebration of Christ's finished work, what helpless rage must fill that evil being. Although he is defeated, and knows it, he will do anything to take the attention of the saints away from the triumph of Jesus. He focusses the ambition of some on imaginary gifts, which they think will give them prominence. He focusses the attentions of some on attempts to heal the body rather than the need to be free of sin, and so on.

Here, Jesus announces to the universe that His work on the cross had been completed!

Let us raise our hearts in praise to our Redeemer!

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 14 Nov 2005 6:31:04 AM Close
The Lord said, "It is finished," referring to His work on the cross.

His dear servant, apostle Paul said, "I have finished my course" (2 Tim 4:7).

We read about the two witnesses in the Tribulation, "when they shall have finished their testimony" (Rev 11:7).

More than all these, we read about Boaz, the type of Christ, "the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day" (Ruth 3:18).

"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to FINISH HIS WORK" (John 4:34).

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 14 Nov 2005 6:36:53 AM Close
PS: "Looking unto Jesus the author and FINISHER of our faith" (Heb 12:2). The Lord completes all His work. One day, the millennnium will be "FINISHED" (Rev 20:5), and we will spend eternity with the Lord.
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 14 Nov 2005 3:05:27 PM Close
The scriptures that Moses has put forward for our instruction are very good.

Boaz is an outstanding type of Christ as the kinsman-redeemer. The result of his willingness to accept the responsibility for the destitite Ruth is that she is brought into a new life of great blessing. The kinsman that was nearer than Boaz, could not perform the duty required. Romans 7 tells us, "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, has condemned sin in the flesh".

The reference to John 4, v.34, draws our attention to the selfless devotion of Christ to His Father's will. As we have seen in our study, this devotion came under the most stringent and intense examination in the physical sufferings undergone by our Lord at the hands of men. Then He faced alone, being made a curse at the hands of a holy God. "Cursed is every one who hangs on the tree."

This mighty cry of triumph signals the end of that work. At twelve years, we hear the first recorded words of Christ. Speaking to His parents he says, "How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" His Father's business had dictated His every step along the road which led to Calvary.

The secret of His relationship with the Father had been His strength and motivation in every word and deed. John 17, v. 25, says, "O righteous Father, the world has not known thee; but I have known thee..."

The Father's love had been His hidden place of refuge - "the love with which thou hast loved me..."

The glory of sonship, given by the Father to the Son, had been His secret source of power as a perfect man - "the glory which thou hast given me..."

That glorious cry, marking the completion of the mighty work that the Father had entrusted to the Son of His love, has echoed down through the centuries, and is as powerful in its call to the sinner today, as it was coming from the lips of the dying Saviour at Calvary.

Feast on its triumph!

Your brother

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 15 Nov 2005 5:48:38 PM Close
Dear friends,

The sixth word from the cross, "It is finished", can I believe be looked at from two perspectives. The first is undoubtedly that of "The Father's Business". In every step of that perfect pathway, Jesus had walked in perfect devotion to His Father's will. From His first recorded words at the age of about twelve through to the acceptance of that cup of woe in Gethsemane, there had been no deviation in His commitment to the carrying through of the Father's will.

How little we actually know of that spotless life! Read the last verse of John's Gospel. If I may, I would like to share with you a memory from the past. Many years ago, in our local village meeting room, a visiting preacher made a startling observation. This man was a devoted servant of God, and an avid and meticulous student of scripture. He said that by studying the four gospels, and cross referencing all the events in the Lord's life , he had come to the conclusion that we had details of less than twenty days of that life. In the light of such a study, John's closing assertion becomes more understandable.

My point in recounting this, is to point out that only our heavenly Father can evaluate the perfection of that life of selfless service, and the absolute obedience that was its trademark. Physical weariness, as in John 4, did not lessen His resolve. Rejection and contradiction at every turn did not discourage him. He said, "My Father worketh hitherto, AND I WORK".

We can explore the gospels and never cease to wonder at the diligence of Christ's unswerving zeal, as He applied himself to the work that the Father had committed to Him.

The final, most noble act in the discharge of that task, was to take away the sin of the world at the cross. It could only be accomplished by His death. "It is finished" told God and man that His work was done.

Dear friends, the consideration of this must draw out the worship of our hearts to "the Author and Finisher of our faith" as Moses has reminded us previously.

Your brother,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 15 Nov 2005 5:57:04 PM Close
As a postscript to my last entry, I must sadly confess that I have never researched the preacher's claim, although knowing the brother well, I do not doubt it. He is now with His Lord. Perhaps someone will have the energy and diligence to look into this!

Brother George P. Koshy, your intellect, I am sure, would be equal to the task.

In Christ,

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 15 Nov 2005 6:27:10 PM Close
Dear Bro. John.

I was reading your posts. They are very encouraging.

If I may add few thoughts here are they...

Jesus has accomplished all that he came to do on this earth and said on the cross, "It is finished". Curiously enough, he did not say, "it is all over", or "it is ended", or "I am finished", but with a loud voice he said, "It is finished". not just as an assertion that the injuries inflicted on him by the soldiers are finished, but it was assertion that he accomplished the great work he had undertaken.

It strikes me to read John 17:4 "I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do". and also John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit". All the prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ were fulfilled. Jesus has finished the work entrusted to him by THE "FATHER".

God help you to write more.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 Nov 2005 3:56:38 AM Close
Jean's comments are instructive, in that they underline the fact that the Lord's life, from His mother's womb to His last moments on the cross, was meticulously ordered by the will of God. There was nothing haphazard about the life of Jesus. Look at John ch.4, v.4, "He must needs go through Samaria." Then later in the chapter, as Moses pointed out, in verse 34 He gives the reason, "My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work."

What a challenge that is to us! How haphazard and inconsistent our lives can be, as we get constantly diverted by our own wills. At least, I have to confess, this is my experience.

Not only was that life of devotion and service, which had its public ending at the cross, the accomplishment of the Father's will, but it stands as the perfect example for us as a life lived pleasing to Him.

The second perspective from which we might rightly view the sixth cry from the cross, is that of His suffering. Rejection and suffering were interwoven in the life of Jesus from the moment of His birth. Herod plotted to kill Him, fearful lest his puppet throne would be in danger. "He came to His own and His own received Him not." [John 1.11] In John ch. 2, He found himself immediately in conflict with those who desecrated the temple, and instead of agreeing with Jesus, and seeking to understand His words in verse 19, the Jews disbelieved and ridiculed Him.

This was the daily experience of Jesus, as we trace His life here. Expressions of hatred, jealousy and resentment were directed at Him from those that He had come to deliver. He was a "man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" in life as in His death.

As we look at that life and death, in its perfection of service and obedience, we see the complete acceptance of the suffering involved. There was never a complaint or expression of rebellion from His lips. His own words, "Ought not the Christ to have SUFFERED and entered into His glory?"

That cry brought His suffering to an end.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 Nov 2005 8:06:55 AM Close
Dear friends,

If I may, I would like to quote the words of Dr James Stalker, penned in 1894.

"The mystery of suffering is very insufficiently explained when it is defined as the reaction of the work on the worker. While a man's work is what he does with the force of his will, suffering is what is done to him against his will. It may be done by the will of his opponents or enemies. But this is never the whole explanation. Above this will, which may be evil, there is a will which is good and means us good by our suffering. Suffering is the will of God. It is his chief instrument for fashioning His creatures according to His own plan."

Again he writes, "The life of Christ was hemmed and crushed in on every hand. Evil men were the proximate cause of this; but He acknowledged behind them the will of God. He had to accept a career of shame instead of glory, of brief and limited activity instead of far-travelling benevolence, of premature and violent death instead of world-wide and everlasting empire. He never murmured; however bitter any sacrifice might be on other grounds, He made it sweet to Himself by reflecting that it was the will of His Father. When the worst came, and He was forced to cry, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me," He was swift to add, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." And thus step after step of the ladder His thoughts were in perfect accord with His Father's, and His will with His Father's will."

As we look at the Lord's life we see these two great features in perfection, devotion to His Father's will, and the acceptance of the suffering that involved. In His mighty cry of triumph, heaven and earth are called to witness that His work was done and His sufferings were over. All that remained for the Lamb of God was to enter into His glory!

May these thoughts be an encouragement, and may we dwell more and more on the perfect glory of our Redemmer.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 16 Nov 2005 8:30:00 AM Close
Dear brother John,

I was enjoying your postings and thought it is better to be silent. On 15 Nov 2005 you asked me for some help. Though I read many Sotch, somethimes the modern 'highlander' expressions are beyond me. I need your help to understand what you really asked me to do. Please eleborate, if I am right.

If you don't want to write in public, you may send a private message using the Moderated Forum.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 Nov 2005 11:43:55 AM Close
Dear Brother George,

Thank you for your acknowledgement of my suggestion. The question was the number of days in which details of the Lord's activities are described. [See my first posting 15/11/2005, second paragraph] Having observed your contributions to a number of topics, I have been amazed at the your capacity to study the Word in depth.

I felt that if there was one man who could verify the preacher's statement, it might be you. If you felt led to do it, and it proved correct, would it not be a remarkable truth to confirm?

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 17 Nov 2005 8:31:36 AM Close
Dear brother John,

I will confine to the subject of ‘less than 20 days of our Lord Jesus Christ’s life is detailed in the Gospels,’ in this post. Before going into the subject, let me say that we are very poor in counting. When we count, we also use various criteria. Therefore, the count may differ from person to person. In this post, I am just enumerating from memory the days that are mentioned in the Gospels from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. The order is: The incident first, followed by the number of days, followed by the cumulative days in the life of the Lord.

The day of His birth-----------------------------------1------------------------1
The day of purification of Mary---------------------1------------------------2
The day the wise men worshipped------------------1------------------------3
The day He was taken to Egypt----------------------1------------------------4
The day He was brought back------------------------1------------------------5
The days he was in the temple------------------------7-----------------------12
The day He was baptized------------------------------1-----------------------13
The days of temptation in the wilderness-----------40----------------------53
The other days in John 1-------------------------------3-----------------------59
The days in John 2--------------------------------------2-----------------------61
The day with Nicodemus-------------------------------1-----------------------62
Coming and living in Judea (John 3)------------------1----------------------63
The days in John 4---------------------------------------2-----------------------65
The days in John 5---------------------------------------1-----------------------66
The days in John 6---------------------------------------2-----------------------68

Let me stop here. This is only an approximate count and not an exact count. We have already passed the number twenty (20), even before He began His ministry. I wish to leave it here.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 Nov 2005 8:35:42 AM Close
Dear friends,

As we approach the Lord's final words on the cross, figuratively speaking we are reminded of a vessel majestically and calmly entering a safe haven, after being through the rigours of a dreadful storm.

We must reflect on the Lord's noble and kingly reaction to the suffering inflicted upon Him by His rebellious creature. Not a word of complaint or rebuke came from His lips. No utterances of self pity were heard, as would have been the usual sounds from a cross.

First there was the prayer of the most earnest intercession on behalf of those who were guilty of such violence against His holy person. Then we heard that expression of perfect filial affection, displayed in the provision for the earthly vessel, Mary, whose service had been so vital to His incarnation. The malefactors conversion stands as one of greatest, brightest miracles of divine grace ever displayed against the darkest of backgrounds. In these three interventions of Jesus, seeking the blessing of others, we see His abundant, overwhelming compassion for the unlikely subjects of His love. His sinless body was wracked by the agony of crucifixion and facing Him was the immediacy of God's judgement. How wondrous that in such circumstances, the needs of others were first in His thoughts.

Then there was that cry of despair; not a demand for release, but the innate abhorrence of finding Himself separated from His Father, and being made the very article of sin. His thirst, an expression of the human frailty which He had chosen to experience, then reminds us that it was a real man, not some physicaaly superior being, who hung there in agony. His cry of victory signalled the completion of His work and the end of a life in which suffering and rejection had been His constant companions.

Now all that remained, the high tide of suffering passed, was to enter the blissful rest of the Father's presence, and as we pause to consider His final words, surely we bow again in worship most profound.

Your brother in the Lord Jesus,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 17 Nov 2005 9:18:22 AM Close
Brother GPK. Wow. I am amazed.

sincerely,

Moses

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 Nov 2005 3:35:47 PM Close
Dear brother George,

You were obviously busy at the same time as I! I think I did not explain the matter very clearly and so will contact you on the moderated forum, as soon as my registration is activated, to correct this.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 17 Nov 2005 6:47:19 PM Close
Dear John,

Indeed we missed your point, which was, "...we had details of less than twenty days of that life. In the light of such a study, John's closing assertion becomes more understandable".

I think the visiting pastor told the truth. Let me not count all the days, but just take for example the miracles Jesus Christ did. Six miracles were enumerated in Matthew Chapter 8. It would be wrong to count them as having been performed on six days.

There are 37 Miracles Jesus performed, and he spoke in 39 parables, which is not equal to 76 days.

John 21:25 is "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen".

Second part of the verse is, "I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen"

Let us try to count again.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 18 Nov 2005 4:43:47 AM Close
Dear all,

May I suggest that if a study of the Lords life, as it is recorded in the Gospels, is thought to be a good topic for our study, it should be given a separate thread of its own.

I am sure it would yield much blessing as subject.

Your brother,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 18 Nov 2005 5:12:22 AM Close
Amen. We should do it.
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 18 Nov 2005 7:27:15 AM Close
Dear friends,

As we consider the final words of Jesus on the cross, we can note two things about them. The first is that the phrase used is a direct quotation from Psalm 31. Earlier our brother George raised the question as to whether the Lord was reciting scripture in His words. At the time I thought that the prophetic aspect of His words was all-important. However as I reflect on the question again, I feel that there must be a rich element of quotation in the verses repeated. We must remember that in His Place in the Godhead, He was co-author of the sacred words of scripture. We must also consider that the Lord, from His childhood, would have read, studied, and later taught from these same verses. As He did so, how powerful the impact of them must have been on His very soul, and how uniquely powerful and compelling must have been the sound of His voice to His listeners!

As a man in whom was displayed the only perfect fulfillment of God's law, how He must have treasured them, poured over them, and fed on them as His daily bread. Now they were being given their ultimate interpretation by the One in whosev honour the Holy Spirit had inspired them. Here they were being fulfilled in extreme circumstances, such as David, who penned them, could have never contemplated.

So yes, He WAS quoting scripture, brother George, AND fulfilling it simultaneously. Only of Jesus could this be said.

This moment, as the Lord Jesus, in prayer, moved to the yielding up of His spirit to the Father is surely one of the most sacred and awe-inspiring sights that scripture has afforded us the priviledge of studying.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 23 Nov 2005 7:52:47 AM Close
In the seventh and last utterance of Jesus on the cross, His use of scripture is worthy of our scrutiny. The verse He qotes is Psalm 31, v.5. The Lord adds "Father" at the beginning of the quotation and misses out the second part of the verse completely. The original writer of the Psalm did not know God as his personal Father. In the Old Testament, God was not revealed as such. References to the Fatherhood of God refer to him being the Father of the nation as a whole. Jesus brought within our reach the wonderful priviledge of knowing God as our personal Heavenly Father. His death was to open up the revelation of divine relationships between Creator and creature, which would transcend all that had gone before. This is, I understand, what He refers to in His remarks about John the Baptist in John 11. 11.

The addition clearly shows the prophetic nature of such Old Testament writings. We should not let their application to the writers, in their own circumstances and time, obscure their future reference to Christ. The omission of the second part of the verse, while it referred to David in his personal experience clearly does not have any application to the Saviour.

This, then, brings me to the second observation I would make about the last words of Jesus before His death. The first was that they were a quotation of scripture, and we must now also note that they are a prayer. His first recorded words on the cross were a prayer on behalf of others. As He dies, His prayer is for the committal of His own spirit into the loving hands of The Father. Does it not show the perfection of the restored relationship and its full enjoyment, that once again was His portion?

The dying words of any person may reveal a summing up of what his or her life meant. They can show fear and uncertainty or peace and assurance. Never have dying words, uttered in circumstances of such outward humiliation and suffering, conveyed such sublime restfulness of spirit, than these words of Jesus.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Nov 2005 8:53:38 AM Close
Dear Friends,

We can never put the last words of Jesus on the cross, alongside those of anyone else. They stand far above words spoken on any deathbed or circumstance of the passing from this life, by a mere mortal. Their tremendous meaning, giving proof of the completion of everything that the Lord Jesus came to do in obedience to the will of His Father, is encapsulated in His last two utterances. In the sixth, the cry of victory, and in the seventh and last, the prayer of personal committal into the loving hands of a Father whom He had served at such tremendous cost. They truly tower majestically and gloriously unique over the dying words of all others in their profundity.

There is, however, the truth that everything that Jesus did and said, whether in life, or now in His dying, stands as a perfect and magnificent example to those who believe on Him and would seek to be His followers. In His life, we see at every step, an example to be studied and followed with the help of The Holy Spirit, whose supernatural power it was that carried our Saviour through His pathway of service and suffering. Now in His dying there is surely a perfect portrayal of the triumph and assurance that every child of God would desire to be his or her portion and experience, as the Jordan rolls its waters at their feet.

To know the triumph and assurance that comes, for us, by putting our abiding and unqualified trust in Him, as we leave this world would be a fitting tribute to the Master who went before. Remember, He waits in Paradise to greet us.

The Psalmist says, "Thy words have I hidden in my heart..." How true these words were of Jesus. It was from His secret treasury of the words of scripture that He selected what were to be His last in public testimony. What a challenge to my heart! What words could I select as I come to my last moment here and look forward to meeting my Saviour and my God?

Let us ponder this question and search our hearts.

Your brother,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Nov 2005 4:45:06 PM Close
Dear friends,

If I may, I would like to continue briefly on the theme of the Lord's dying words being an example to us all. The first christian martyr, Stepen, paraphrases the Lord's intercessory prayer to the Father, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." We should note that He confines his request to forgiveness for his own treatment. He does not absolve or ask for forgiveness for his accusers' rejection of Christ. Immediately before this he cries, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." How beautiful is the evidence of the acceptance of suffering for the testimony of Jesus in this godly man. He faced a cruel death with the calm assurance of salvation and a manifestation of the spirit of His Saviour. His last words, in prayer, showed how He treasured and took supernatural courage from the words of Jesus, his Lord and Master.

Many years ago, I was tested and yet priviledged to stand by the bedside of a young man, very dear to me. Shortly before he died, he asked for two short passages of scripture to be read. Both are in Isaiah 32. The young man was only twenty-eight years old, he was leaving a young wife and two little daughters. Naturally speaking he should have been in despair and torment, but his eyes were already fixed on the One who waited for him in Paradise.

Isaiah 32, v.2 - "A man shall be like a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest; like rivers of water in a dry place, like the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land."

Isaiah 32, v.17 - ""The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever."

Sometimes we can be occupied with disputes over the meaning and application of certain obscure points of truth. We may just possibly be guilty sometimes of trying to score points in an argument with someone who perhaps does not quite see eye to eye with us. Let us pause and consider these great eternal realities.

Occupation with Christ is the sure way of bringing Satan's attacks to nothing.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2005 5:51:31 AM Close
Dear Friends in Christ,

Just as an "aside" I would mention that I enjoy Oswald Chamber's book, "My Utmost For His Highest" every morning. By coincidence, his entries for 25th,26th & 27th November are very apposite to our theme. They are based on Galatians 6.v.14, "God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I to the world." This is a very challenging, yet uplifting verse, and Chamber's comments on it are very instructive. If any have the book, I would recommend the passages.

If I may continue in our study of the Lord's final words on the cross, perhaps we could refer to the words of Jesus in John 10. v.18.

"No man taketh it (His life) 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 is a most powerful and dramatic statement. No one else has ever been able to utter these words in truth, or will ever be able to do so. We cannot really understand the statement, because although our Lord entered the the human race as a real man, He never ceased to be what He was in being what He became. This is a divine mystery. He makes it clear in this verse that man had neither the authority or the power to take His life. The Scofield bible has a very interesting note at Mat.27.50. It appears that the Greek word used for "yielded up the spirit" or "gave up the spirit" (note small "s"), is only used in these two instances. Greek scholars might care to confirm this. The scripture therefore makes it clear that Jesus ultimately permitted man to kill Him by surrendering the life in Him which could not otherwise have been taken.

While man cannot absolve himself of the guilt of Christ's death, yet He died by divine decree and purpose. Peter says in Acts 3, v.17-18, "...ye did it, as did your rulers. But those things, which God had shown by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled." Earlier he refers to Jesus as the Prince, or Author, of life. >>>>

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2005 6:42:31 AM Close
Cont'd >>

When Jesus uttered His final two cries, before yielding up his spirit, scripture is careful to tell us that He did so in a loud voice. [See Mat.27.50, Mk.15.37, Luke 23.46.] John alone omits the detail, but this in no way denies its accuracy. What we must understand from this, is surely that Jesus had emerged completely victorious from the greatest conflict between good and evil, and as the mighty Victor He now surrendered His spirit to the Father. This was His final act in accepting the eternally fore-ordained requirement of an atoning death. He was truly the Captain or Author of our salvation.

How moving it is then, in reference to this wonderful truth, to ponder over Joshua ch.3, particularly verse 11.

"Behold the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into the Jordan."

Our blessed Lord entered into death, in order that we in turn can exclaim in the words of the Apostle Paul, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?" Not only did Jesus have power to lay down His life, but He had power to take it again.

In Joshua ch.3,v.17, and ch.4,v.11, we have the wonderful sight of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant standing on dry ground until every single one of the people had passed over Jordan. The death of Christ remains the guarantee of salvation until every repenting sinner has been gathered into safety. The last sheep to be gathered into the fold comes in on the same eternal basis as the first.

Dear brethren and friends, we must go to the cross, not just when we come to Jesus for the first time, but daily, hourly, every step of our journey. It is there that we see the requirement of God's righteousness answered, and it is there that we see His love in all its wondrous glory revealed. The centrality of THE CROSS is the most vital, preserving, renewing and uplifting truth of God's message of salvation and deliverence from the guilt,power and penalty of sin.

Think on these things,

John

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Reply by : j.c.   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2005 11:16:46 AM Close

Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and to take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24b).

Dietrich Bonhoneffer had written:

"When Christ bids a man come, He bids him come and die."

And as for those who are "cut off and out," who will join Him in that place, who have been made eunuchs for Christ, who have welcomed the axe laid to the root, it is "the power of God unto salvation."

We really need to see and to understand this!

And to come to it! And to cleave to it! Until the end of the age!

Having made that decision, we invite the daily death, the daily reiteration of this mystery in ways that are uniquely appropriate to our lives, our call and our walk.

It does not mean that we are forlorn, gloomy or despondent. There is a rejoicing even in death.

The only way we can say that there is a resurrection is by the consistent demonstration of that power in our lives, and that resurrection life will never manifest itself other than out of the one nescessary condition, namely death.

The whole reenactment, the whole drama, and the whole principal is future, but also, at the same time, present.

The whole genuis of it is before us daily.

In fact, if that Cross is not operative daily, if we are not willing to suffer its deaths, for example, when our fleash rises up and we find a way to skirt around an issue, then we make ourselves, to that degree, candidates for deception.

J.C.

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Reply by : jean   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2005 3:31:38 PM Close
J.C.

Bro. John Miller is writing on the seven last sayings of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and your interruption with a different thought pollutes the sublime thoughts he is bringing to us. Please desist from interrupting the continuity of the wonderful exposition Bro. John is bringing forth.

Thanks.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Nov 2005 5:54:23 PM Close
Dear Friends,

We have now come to the solemn moment in our study of the cross where Jesus has really died. Let no one dispute it! Fools would deny it. God asserts it. Now we witness the ultimate depravity of reigious pride. The presence of these dying men, cursed by a death on the cross, must be removed. Preparation for the sabbath must not be disturbed by such uncleaness! Break their legs by smashing them with an axe or a sword! Bring the life of these miserable criminals to an end! Ah, the divine plan did not allow for the desecration of that holy vessel in which God's will had been so perfectly expressed. In the instructions for the celebration of the passover it had been made clear, "..neither shall ye break a bone of it." In Psalm 34.20 David prophesies, "He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken."

In death the Lamb that God had provided (Gen. 22.8) was not to be the object of man's obscene vandalism. One final act of man's violence however remained in the fulfilment of the divine plan. A Roman soldier's spear thrust upwards with casual brutality into the dead body of Jesus, released the blood and the water which signalled the success of God's mysterious plan of redemption. The blood flowed from a dead Christ, and the true passover sacrifice was complete. God looked upon that precious blood and its value in His sight secures my release! The water flowed, the divine promise of new life in Christ for everyone who believes.

Paul, in Romans 5 tells us that "we are justified by His blood". In John 7.37 Jesus had foretold the result of His own death and glorification, "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink". Then He goes further and says, "He that believes on me, as the scripture has said (Isaiah 12.3 & John 4.14), out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water". The wonderful results of Christ's death are manifested by the Holy Spirit in living, powerful, unstopable energy through every generation.

Glory to the Lamb that was slain!

Your brother in our Lord Jesus,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 29 Nov 2005 9:33:55 AM Close
Dear Friends,

The death of Jesus did not bring the amazing happenings at the cross to an end. As we noticed, the soldier pierced the side of Jesus after His death, and the blood and water flowed forth. That soldier would have been under the command of the centurion whose duty it was to oversee the executions of the three men. A centurion was usually a man who had risen from the ranks, distinguished by his bravery and toughness. He would have seen action in battle and witnessed the death of many of Rome's soldiers, enemies and criminals. Violent death would have long since ceased to have an effect on him.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the profound effect that the words of Jesus, and His death, had upon this battle hardened warrior. Matthew records that there was a violent but selective earthquake at the moment of Christ's death. This too appears to have contributed to the emotions that gripped the centurion. It is very instructive to read the accounts of the centurion's conversion. In some ways it is even more remarkable than that of the thief. The centurion was not facing death, nor was he, as a Roman, likely to have any innate fear of the one true God. Yet as we look at the record provided by the three gospel writers we find that he "feared greatly", "glorified God", declared that Jesus "was a righteous man", and confessed that "He was the Son of God"!

There are several scriptures which emphasise the importance of someone confessing this, and the most significant may be Acts 8.38. There, another unlikely subject of divine grace, the Ethiopian eunuch, makes the same definite confession and is immediately blessed. How wonderfully the Lord's words are again fulfilled as God's grace lays hold of this callous Roman officer.

"If I be lifted up, I will draw all me unto me"

The grace of God in convicting and redeeming power is seen at the cross as nowhere else! It is the preaching of The Cross that is the power of God unto us who are saved. Stay near the Cross!

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : wilson609   View Profile   Since : 29 Nov 2005 10:33:38 AM Close
dear bro john
thank u for sharing with us the insight god has granted to u regarding the cross.because he died we have life and because he rose again we have hope.pl continue to dwell on this subject
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Reply by : anne   View Profile   Since : 29 Nov 2005 6:05:27 PM Close
Dear Brothers and sisters who have added comments to this discussion about our Lord Jesus on the Cross at Calvary, many thanks for making it such interesting reading. i do hope I havent missed an answer to this but what are your thoughts as to the three hours of darkness that the Lord hung on the Cross.
Anne
I look forward to your thoughts
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Reply by : anne   View Profile   Since : 29 Nov 2005 6:08:10 PM Close
B.T.W I to origionaly come from Scotland, now living in England.
I notied you referring to Scotland John
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 30 Nov 2005 3:04:12 AM Close
Thank you, Wilson, for your kind comments. My only desire is that our study might exalt the name of Jesus. Thank you too Anne, for your short postings. Yes, I have to confess to being Scottish! If you look at the postings from about the 6th November until the 15th November you will find thoughts on the the three hours of darkness, when Jesus was made sin for us.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 30 Nov 2005 7:26:36 AM Close
Anne's first posting of 29th Nov., made me reflect on the vital importance of the need for men and women to grasp the reason that Jesus went to the cross. In the general profession of Chritianity today, this truth is watered down in a sentimental fog of bland, misleading platitudes. Over and over again the message is put out that Jesus died because He loved us, FULL STOP! Yes, of course Jesus died because He loved us; but WHY DID HE HAVE TO DIE? It does not necessarily follow that because I love someone, I have to die for them. Jeus died because man, in the sight of God, was condemned by his own sin. God, in His righteousness, required an answer to the challenge that sin raised against His holiness. Man could not pay the price. Jesus died to pay the price that God required. In obedience to His Father's will, He paid it by His atoning death, and provided the proof of that payment by the shedding of His blood. His resurrection was the proof that God had accepted the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross on our behalf.

Sin is an uncomfortable, unacceptable word in man's vocabulary. Only a repenting sinner, touched by the grace of God, accepts its reality. Only such a one can understand the reason, and the need, for Christ's death of atonement on the cross. At the cross, God dealt with the outrage of sin by pouring out His wrath and just punishment upon the person of His own beloved Son. To water down the truth of this is an insult to God and the blood of Jesus. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit "convicts the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement".[John ch.16, v.8]

Where do we see these three things under the spotlight of God's word? AT THE CROSS! We should never subscribe to the error that Jesus came to rescue man because there was some good in him that God wanted to preserve. Sin, and the first man, ruined by its guilt, was removed for ever from God's presence by the work of the Redeemer at the cross.

God builds everything on this indisputable truth.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : anne   View Profile   Since : 30 Nov 2005 8:42:46 AM Close
Thank you I find this forum harder to keep up with especialy as ive been away for quite some time ... why dont you use the new one which is set out better?
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 2 Dec 2005 4:54:23 PM Close
Dear friends and brthren,

In Mark ch.15,v.39, we read that the centurion stood facing Jesus. We know that the repentant thief was hanging on a cross, probably only a few feet away from the Saviour. All his hope, and prospect of eternal blessing, was now focussed on Jesus. The attention of these two men therefore, as Jesus surrendered His spirit to the keeping of His Father, was clearly captivated by the Man on the centre cross, and the unique circumstances in which they found themselves involved.

I remember, as a young man, listening to a gospel address in which the speaker referred to the two cherubim over the mercy seat in Exodus ch. 25. He likened them to the centurion and the malefactor. The word left a great impression on me, but whether or not the comparison is valid, we must marvel at the arrangements of divine wisdom. These two men were within touching distance of Jesus at His moment of death, yet like the cherubim, could only gaze on the mystery of the spectacle without having any involvement in it.

Under their gaze was the true mercy seat, the eternal offering to God, and the precious blood of that offering, on the mercy seat. They witnessed, in very different circumstances, yet strangely united in their acknowledgement of the glory of God's Son, God's Lamb and God's future King, the final act in the divine plan of redemption. In eternity they will surely be distinguished trophies of grace, and of how the Almighty God wrought out His eternal plan of the salvation of the creature He made in His own likeness.

We need to ponder over and study, the details that the Spirit of God has graciously given us, of the sufferings and death of Jesus on the cross. Every verse, every meticulous detail, carries with it an abundance of spritual blessing for our souls, and the results of this blessing will be revealed in the worship of the ransomed throng that will surround the throne of God eternally.

May God enrich us in this sublime study of the riches of His grace.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 3 Dec 2005 1:31:58 PM Close
John Miller,

Quote:I remember, as a young man, listening to a gospel address in which the speaker referred to the two cherubim over the mercy seat in Exodus ch. 25. He likened them to the centurion and the malefactor.
------------------------

How did he do that?

I see Cherubim in Ezekiel 10:18-22, Ezekiel 1:4 and on.

In Christ,

Sunila.

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 3 Dec 2005 8:12:56 PM Close
TO FEW OF READERS,

IF YOU LIKE TO TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT I WRITE IN THIS NET TALK TO ME IN PERSON.

don'T call somebody else and gossip it. I know somebody did.

GIVE ME YOUR E-MAIL OR GET MY TELEPHONE # from the person you called.

DON't abuse the net.

MY NAME IS sunila.

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Reply by : j.c.   View Profile   Since : 3 Dec 2005 9:47:14 PM Close

John Miller --- in Matthew 27:46 we read that Jesus said "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?

Is the cry of the Cross unfathomable to us?

Who among us come near the threhold of understanding the cry of Jesus?

Do we see Jesus as being a martyr?

What is the height and depth of Our salvation?

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 4 Dec 2005 2:03:52 PM Close
Dear friends,

If I may, I would like to refer to Sunila's enquiry and come back to J.C. a little later. This is only due to pressure of time and should not be seen as being in any way belittling or dismissive of the latter.

The cherubim in Ezekiel have a different significance, and since I would like to focuss our thoughts on the Cross, I must ask Sunila to graciously bear with me if I confine myself to this study.

In God's instructions to Moses, following the covenant that He made with him in Exodus 19.5, He gave him instructions to make the Ark of the covenant. This Ark speaks powerfully of the presence of God in the midst of His people. Within the Ark was the mercy seat and it was here that God promised to meet and speak with His people, through the service of the high priest.

God has come among us in Jesus. He is the guarantee of God's presence among us and with us. In this regard, He is our Ark. We meet God and speak to God, and have the assurance that He will speak to us, at the Cross of Jesus. Jesus is our Mercy Seat. When the priest approached the mercy seat, he put the blood of the offering before the mercy seat, which meant that as he made the offering he actually stood on the blood of the sacrifice. As we approach God for any reason, we must stand on the value and merit of the blood of Jesus. At this great eternal Mercy Seat the Priest who approaches God on our behalf is Jesus Himself. He is our great High Priest. As the priest put the blood of the offering upon the mercy seat, so the blood of Jesus guarantees our acceptance with God.[Read Heb.ch 9] In the original Ark, we have a detailed description of these two figures of cherubim, positioned over the mercy seat as though they were there to guard it.

At the cross, we have these two men, strategically positioned, in God's incomparable arrangements, closely scrutinising the Lamb of God as He offered Himself without spot to God. The mystery of God's ways in grace are for us to marvel at and worship.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 4 Dec 2005 2:52:44 PM Close
Dear Sunila:

You wrote; “IF YOU LIKE TO TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT I WRITE IN THIS NET TALK TO ME IN PERSON.
don'T call somebody else and gossip it. I know somebody did.

GIVE ME YOUR E-MAIL OR GET MY TELEPHONE # from the person you called.

DON't abuse the net.”

By broadcasting whatever happened or whatever you think happened might not be the solution for this. By doing the broadcasting you become party to the ‘gossip’ you are accusing others of.
The correct response would be, according to Matt 18, to contact the person directly and solve the issue and not through public medium. With much hesitation let me tell you that you are guilty of the same or even greater sin by publicly accusing a group of people who just don’t even have a clue of what you are talking about!

By introducing this you have interrupted the continuity of teaching in this thread and let me suggest you to delete it.

Regards,

Tom J

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Reply by : j.c.   View Profile   Since : 4 Dec 2005 3:21:18 PM Close

John --- this will let you know that there is no need for you to be overly concerned that you will be little me or be dismissive.

For I have now come to expect that on this bulletion board. So much so that I don't even know why I even post. Moreover, it may soon be that I will cease to continue to do so.

Moreover, I do understand your need to vent your learning. And I appreicate your appreication for the Cross. I believe that the more we learn to mediate on and to honor but more than only that to also appropriate the blood of Jesus in Our lives, the fuller and more abundant Our lives will be. It would be hard for me to conceive that any one could have more appreciation of the Cross than I?

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 4 Dec 2005 5:36:21 PM Close
John Miller,
Thank you for your explanation.


Tomj,
Thank you for telling me to contact them directly. But "WHO CALLED WHOM" is the top secret. This net is the only way to contact them. I am not accusing anybody or committing sin. They are bothering somebody talking about me. I am sorry guys whoever called. It should not be a top secret.

J.C.
Quote:What is the height and depth of Our salvation?

IT IS NOT MEASURABLE.


with prayer,

SUNILA.

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Reply by : j.c.   View Profile   Since : 4 Dec 2005 9:00:02 PM Close

Sunila -- I agree. For the height and depth of Our salvation are only measured by God Almighty on His throne and Jesus Christ in the heart of hell. The depth of this cry of Jesus on the cross in Matthew 27:46 is deeper than any man can go because it is a cry from the heart of God.
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Reply by : wilson609   View Profile   Since : 5 Dec 2005 4:07:08 AM Close
dear j c
i am wondering what u meant by the following quote of yours." It would be hard for me to conceive that any one could have more appreciation of the Cross than I?".will u pl explain not on this thread but on the one you have started so that this beautiful study of the cross by our bro john is not interrupted.i feel it would enrich and edify our collective study of the subject started by our bro john,if the participants say a word or two connected with the subject than bring issues not connected with the subject at all.
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 5 Dec 2005 8:20:12 AM Close
Dear friends,

I am happy to address the questions put by J.C. although it is not my desire to be thought of as a teacher. I look upon myself as a student, constantly searching the word of God for understanding and knowledge. Along with that, my desire is that the instruction that comes from the Spirit of God forms in me a greater manifestation of the life of Christ.

For myself I have to confess that my appreciation of the the glory of Christ and His work on the cross is very limited. I needed this study more than anyone else, and I can humbly say that it has probably helped and enriched me more than any others who have contributed to it or been gracious enough to follow it.

J.C. asked whether the Lord's fourth word from the cross was unfathomable to us. The answer must be that in its full extent, the agony expressed could be measured and valued by God alone. The mind of man could never fathom the grief and sorrow experienced by the suffering Saviour, forsaken of God, and made sin for us. However as we look upon the crucified Saviour we can accept the great and wondrous truth of His atoning death, and through faith know the full blessing of justification before a Holy God. To measure Christ's sufferings will ever be outside our understanding, but God puts their resultant blessing within the grasp of the simplest believer.

Jesus was not a martyr. He did not die in support of a cause or even the truth. He came to die. His purpose in coming into manhood was to take away the sin of the world. This could only be accomplished by His sacrificial death on the cross, in accordance with God's eternal plan. Many scriptures make this clear.

In a later posting J.C. states that Jesus "entered into the heart of Hell". There is no scriptural basis for this statement. It is not true according to scripture. When Jesus was on the cross He was conscious of God's forsaking. When He died His spirit went immediately into the tender keeping of the Father. This is serious error.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 7 Dec 2005 9:00:50 AM Close
Dear Friends,

As we return to our sacred study we see that all that remained to be done, was to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. The brutal hands of sinful men had nailed it there. The hands of a "good and righteous man" tenderly and carefully retrieved it from man's instrument of death. For every moment requiring a service of extraordinary importance, God has His man ready. Joseph went directly to Pilate with his request. Mark tells us that he went in boldly, and asked for the body. God provided him with a helper.

Three times Nicodemus is mentioned in John's gospel. The first time he creeps surreptitiously to Jesus under cover of darkness. Next He plucks up the courage to question the attempt of the rulers in John 7, to arrest Jesus, and was doubtless instrumental in bringing their evil intent to nothing. Now, when the smart course of action would have surely been to keep well away from the dead Jesus, he comes boldly with a huge weight of ointment (John 20.5), and publicly takes his stand at the cross.

Many undoubtedly witnessed the death of Jesus, but two are cited, the thief and the centurion. Many must have watched as His body was taken down, but two can testify to its burial.

Both these men would be wealthy and respected by the people. In life Jesus had been associated with the poor, the needy, the despised. In life He had nowhere to lay his head. In life He had been subjected to ignominy, violence and humiliation. God ordained that He should "be with the rich in His death". What divine wisdom we see in this. Had some unknown, despised individuals been given the task of attending to the Saviour's body, lies would have been immediately invented and believed. These two men could testify with great authority and credibility that Jesus had really died and was really buried in a solid tomb "in the heart of the earth". Two witnesses are a divine requirement and here that requirement is fulfilled.

The great and wondrous events of the cross thus came to an end.

Your brother

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Dec 2005 3:53:53 PM Close
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Far be the thought that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God.
All the vain things that charm me most
I'd sacrifice them to His blood.

There from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flowed mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

How often we have sung these words! How testing they are, when we stop and consider their challenge! To stand before the cross, and survey the mighty work that was done there on our behalf by the Holy Lamb of God, is the most humbling, yet liberating experience a human being can have. Only there can we learn "how God can save, yet righteous be".

Dear brethren, only if we stand by the cross, treasure the word of the cross, and above all keep our eyes fixed on The Man who hung on the cross, will we be preserved in a world that is on a downward spiral to judgement. This world is passing. Our eyes should be fixed earnestly on another man in another world. Our trust in His death on the cross is the only passport to that world.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 14 Dec 2005 9:35:28 AM Close
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest"
1 Peter2:24. "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree."

Article entitled, "The Collision Of God And Sin"

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God's judgement on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of Hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.
The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". The whole meaning of the incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in flesh from the Son becoming sin. The incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.
The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.
The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened - but the crash is on the heart of God."

Some precious thoughts reproduced for our encouragement and blessing.

Greetings to all who are in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 Dec 2005 6:58:36 AM Close
Dear Friends and Brethren,

At this time of year, many millions around the world celebrate the birth of The Saviour. We should be thankful that His name is mentioned, even though amidst much of the celebrations there is little reality. At this time of the year it is easier to bear witness to the name of Jesus, as few who celebrate Christmas would openly admit that they have no knowledge of Christ at all.

As followers of Jesus we should reflect that the life which began in the manger ended on the Cross. People GIVE presents at this time of the year. Let us remember that God GAVE His Son to die for us. Abraham said to Isaac, "God will provide a Lamb." Let us also marvel at the fact that Jesus GAVE Himself. Jesus "by the Eternal Spirit offered Himself spotless to God." The result of these wondrous activities of the Trinity is the availability to all, of the Gift of God - Eternal Life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

May God's richest blessing be the experience and enjoyment of you all.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 Dec 2005 4:43:00 PM Close
Dear Friends And Brethren,

I have been studying Romans 6:27 for the last day or two. It really encapsulates the gospel message in a very powerful way.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord."

How depressing the first statement is! How full of blessing is God's answer to the desperate plight of man, revealed in the second half of the verse! We all earn our wages. When will any one of us collect these wages? Only God knows the answer. We have nothing to do with the gift of God. It cannot be earned. It is not a reward for our merits. It is not held out to us as an incentive to do better. It is the sovereign act of a God who is Love. It can only be accepted by faith, which itself is the gift of God!

Where else is this better demonstrated than in in the conversion of the thief on the cross. He acknowledged that he was receiving the inevitable wages of sin, and in the next breath claimed the gift of eternal life that he saw in the person of Jesus. He is transported from misery, pain and suffering to the sublime reality of being in paradise with the Son of God.

The Spirit of God lifts our spirits and draws out our praise and worship to the God of love who brought all His blessings within our reach through the work of Jesus, His Beloved Son, on the Cross.

Think on these things.

Greetings to all who are in Christ.

Your brother,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 Jan 2006 6:11:39 AM Close
Dear brethren,

I have revived this thread because of brother Winchuk's posting entitled "The Pain". It is very profitable for us all, and particularly young christians, to constantly remind ourselves of the great eternal basis of God's righteous ability to forgive us and our priviledge and responsibility to receive that forgiveness.

The service of the Spirit of God is to fix our gaze upon Jesus. When He is unhindered in His service, He nourishes and develops the life of Christ in us, and brings out the features of Jesus in our lives. May we allow Him to complete this good work in us!

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 Jan 2006 6:15:32 AM Close
P.S. May I add briefly to the previous posting by saying that I trust all will respect the holiness and sanctity of this subject by confining themselves to postings which magnify the Saviour.
J.M.
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Reply by : winchuck   View Profile   Since : 20 Jan 2006 7:47:28 AM Close
Dear all,

After suffering all the pain and the shame, a word of Glory came forth.... the last word "It is finished". It was the shout of Victory.

Victory for all of us. Praise be to HIM.

in HIM
Winchuck

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 Jan 2006 8:17:53 AM Close
Dear Brother Winchuk,

May I suggest you go up the page to the postings of 14th - 16th November. There the Lord's sixth cry from the Cross, "It is finished", is discussed. Please read these postings and if you feel free, add your thoughts.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 4 Feb 2006 6:18:22 AM Close
Dear brethren,

Recent events surrounding Muslim outrage at the depiction of Mohammed in cartoons by some sections of the European press, have highlighted the fundamental difference between Christianity and other "faiths". I don't condone these cartoons.

The superiority of Christianity is this; our faith rests on the Person of Jesus, the Son of God. He was indeed a Prophet, but in His Person He was and is God. God revealed Himself to us and speaks to us "by His Son" (Heb.1:2) We have a personal relationship with the eternal God on the basis of the suffering and death of His Son Jesus on the Cross. Our trust in the suffering for sin and the death of Jesus on the Cross, His shed blood, and His resurrection are our only credentials for a relationship with God. By extension, suffering and the acceptance of ridicule, critiscism and persecution is what a Christian must expect and look for from the world. No true Christian would react with violence or threats to insults to his Saviour or his faith. These are to be expected because they show the continuing conflict between the darkness of man's sinful unbelief and the glory of God's revelation of His truth in the Person of Jesus. When Peter sought to defend Jesus by drawing a sword, and with a wild swing cut off the ear of one of His attackers, the rebuke and reaction of Jesus was immediate. If any circumstance could have justified the use of defensive force, surely this was it. The words of Jesus simply do not allow it. True Christian faith therefore must never be defended by force or violence, but by the Word of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and by prayer. Towering over all is the eternal work of Christ on the Cross, showing that the way to glory is by suffering. (Acts 24:26)

A violent reaction to perceived insults, and threats of retaliation and murderous acts, are proof that a belief or philosophy does not have its source in a God whose nature is love, and who expressed that love in the death of his own Son on the Cross.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : winchuck   View Profile   Since : 12 Feb 2006 2:41:02 AM Close
Dear all,

Just like to know what was the weight of the Cross Jesus carried(if we have any records of that) and what was the distance from the Trial room to the place where jesus was hanged and how much distance Jesus carried the cross on his Shoulder?

in HIM
Winsy

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 12 Feb 2006 3:19:54 AM Close
Dear Brother Winsy,

We have no way of knowing the answers to your questions, from the scriptures. We know that the weight of the cross was too great for Jesus to carry the whole way to Golgotha and that Simon of Cyrene, who was most probably a black man, was compelled to do this. Because we do not know the exact location of the Cross, we do not know the distance either.

What is much more important is the fact that we cannot measure the burden that Jesus bore when He was ON the Cross. He took upon Himself the dreadful burden of the sin of the world, and that included my sins. Every sin I have comitted or will comit, was laid upon Him. Only God can measure that burden. All I can do is fall bfore Him and give Him the worship of my heart.

Your brother in Him,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 12 Feb 2006 6:36:00 AM Close
This may not be 100% relevant, but I just remembered this verse when I read the above two posts:

2 Corinthians 5:16, "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 12 Feb 2006 11:24:47 AM Close
Dear Brother Moses,

What thoughts did you have about 2 Cor.5:16?

Your brother,

John

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 12 Feb 2006 1:53:51 PM Close
Dear Bro. John Miller,

When there was a question asked on how much the cross would have weighed, etc., I remembered how sometimes we inquire into certain physical aspects concerning the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, which God did not reveal to us. For example, He concelaed the life of Christ during His early childhood (except the incident when he was 12), and the period between the times when He was 12, and 30.

Paul says, "though we have known Christ AFTER THE FLESH, yet now HENCEFORTH know we him no more." So I think he is talking about the fact that we now know the RISEN Lord, in His glory and honour, as an exalted One, and not in His shame and humilty and petty details about His physical life, though it was a perfect life.

It was just a spontaneous thought, and not well meditated, and I thought I will write that verse. Apprecite your views on what Paul was taling about in 2 Cor 5:16.

Sincerely in Christ,

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 13 Feb 2006 8:29:37 AM Close
Dear Brother Moses,

I think that this verse is very important, and deserves much consideration. The point of the second letter to the Corinthians was to a large extent Paul's affirmation of his own apostolic authority. This gives our verse quite a significant edge. My interpretation of Paul's reason for making the statement in this way, is that the tendency among certain Christian believers was to belittle him, perhaps because he had not known Jesus in the days of His flesh, as the "twelve" had done. The verse therefore underlines the fact that this was no disadvantage to Paul, and by extension to ourselves.

Our link, our relationship with the Lord Jesus, as was Paul's, is on the other side of death. As you say, it is with a risen Lord. The Divine view of the believer, according to Romans 6, is that we are "dead to sin, but alive to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord". Everything therefore that we have of Christ in His earthly pathway is most precious and uniquely valuable, but our relationship with Him, individualy as believers, and collectively as His church, is beyond the reach and power of death. Death is forever behind Him, and because our standing before God is in Him, we have died and risen with Him.

He was offered to His earthly people as an earthly king, but was rejected. Now He is available as a heavenly Lord and King to Jew and Gentile alike. The basis and foundation of all this is the Cross, and the power to enter into the reality of it in our experience is The Holy Spirit.

Please contribute your own thoughts brother.

Yours in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 Feb 2006 4:18:54 AM Close
Dear Brethren,

I have been reflecting recently that it is remarkable how certain churches and assemblies seem to prosper, while others appear to wither both in terms of spiritual vitality and numbers.

I would like the thoughts of others as to the cause of this. My own feeling, as I look around, is that where the preaching of the Cross is central to the testimony in a church or assembly, God's blessing follows. Another observation is that numbers, while desirable, are not an automatic sign of God's blessing.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 17 Feb 2006 8:15:54 AM Close
Dear brother John,

It will be beneficial to start a new thread for this. This is only my thought.

Shalom malekim!!!

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 7 Apr 2006 10:52:45 PM Close
Dear Brethren,

Reading much of what is being posted in different threads at the moment, I cannot help being struck with the existence of an overwhelming natural urge to justify personal opinions in many of the discussions. Also present is the determination to protect personal reputations while attacking those of others. We need to constantly examine our thoughts and motives, and ask ourselves if we are portraying the spirit of Christ or the spirit of the world.

The Cross was at Golgotha, the place of a skull. The emptiness and futility of man's wisdom and pride stand condemned for all eternity in the presence of the great work of atonement that our Lord Jesus accomplished in the hours of darkness.

Let us strive to use all our discussions to build one another up in our most holy faith, and let the glorious objective of all exchanges be to focus the attention of one another on the person and perfection of Jesus. Soon we will see Him face to face.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 8 Apr 2006 1:15:42 AM Close
John Miller,

Jesus came from heaven to earth to show the way. From the earth to the cross, to pay our debts. Then from the cross to the grave and then from the grave to the sky. He is risen and ressurected. He is not on the cross now. Look at Him. The lamb of God. He is in high places. At the right hand side of God. We have to praise His name.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 15 Apr 2006 3:33:27 PM Close
Dear Brethren and Readers,

At this time of the year, particularly in the western world, much attention amd celebrations are made of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. We should welcome these in so far as they draw attention to the Saviour and the great work of redemption that He accomplished at Calvary. On the other hand we should be mindful that the believer in Jesus should find his place by the Cross every day. What transpired there nearly two thousand years ago is the mighty work that sets us forever free from sin, its dominion and penalty. In our hearts we should celebrate that work and our Saviour's triumph day by day.

Let us rejoice that the Name that is above every name is mentioned in the hearing of needy souls so prominently in various church services over this weekend, but let us stand aside from the commercialism and fleshly excitement which dishonours the name of Jesus. There was nothing beautiful or glamorous at Golgotha. It was a place of awful woe and suffering, where the wickedness of man and the power of Satan combined against the Holy Lamb of God. Much more than that, it was the place where God's wrath was unleashed on His own beloved Son.

The stone rolled away from the mouth of the empty tomb, in defiance of the greatest earthly power of the day, is the sign that announced, and still announces, to a sin-weary world that there is Hope for men and women. Let us pray for all men everywhere that many might find the grace to repent in this, the accepted time.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 16 May 2006 6:26:18 AM Close
My thoughts:
-----------
Numbers 21:4-5 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.5And the people spake against God, and against Moses.

Numbe 21:6-9 6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

They were bitten by the sin. When they remembered their sin, they repented and turned to God and they looked at the sin lifted on the pole. They were healed.

Leviticus 5:6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.

Like a lamb or goat became the sin offering for Israelites, Jesus became the Lamb of God that bare the sin of the world. Jesus became a sin offering. Jesus was crushed because of our sins.

Isaiah 53:7 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

It is for my sins that He suffered. It was for me that He was counted among sinners. He bore the sins of the whole world. Our sin was on Jesus who was lifted on the cross. When we look at the crucified Christ, we remember our sins and love of God to give us His only son on the cross for our sins.

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 16 May 2006 6:29:03 AM Close
Part--2 . My thoughts
------------------------


John 3:14 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

Sunila.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 May 2006 9:24:12 AM Close
Dear Sunila Joseph,

The brazen serpent as a type of Christ lifted up on the cross, speaks to us most powerfully of what He did for God and for man. It is very affecting to consider that the Lord Jesus was speaking of His own death to Nicodemus, as the basis for man to enter into an unbreakable relationship with God. The Lord uses the title "Son of Man", thus signifying that the glorious fruit of His death was not limited to Israel. He does not say the Messiah had to be lifted up. This title, Son of Man, which the Lord uses about eighty times in the gospels, signifies the universal, unlimited bearing of His atoning sufferings and death. Rejected by Jew and Gentile alike, made the very article of sin by God, so that He bore the unmitigated wrath and judgement due to the whole human race, we see Him lifted up, on the one hand to accept that wrath, but on the other to draw the sinner to Him for the complete removal of the stain of sin. He was the Son of Man because He was and is available to all.

In John ch.3, the Lord immediately therefore proceeds to make that wonderful statement which completely encapsulates the Gospel message, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Christ, as Saviour, is available to all. The worst sinner on the face of the earth can look to Jesus and be saved. Murderers, rapists, child-molesters, drug users and dealers, sexual perverts of every kind, the list is endless, all have the same solution to their need plainly stated here. I know, for myself, that I tend to become limited, even smug, in my thoughts, and overlook the fact that every sin that has ever been commited finds an answer in my sinful nature, apart from the amazing grace of God.

[cont'd]

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 16 May 2006 10:07:07 AM Close
[cont'd]

I have been very impressed recently that we need to understand that the wonderful reason for the outshining of God's love, revealed in Jesus, and involving His death on the cross is for one amazing reason. God is determined to have man in His presence eternally, in a relationship whose standard is His own love. That was His desire when He sought the company of Adam and Eve, walking in the garden. Sin appeared to have destroyed the possibility of that ever happening. Christ, in His death, has removed the dreadful barrier of sin, and new birth, which brings us into Eternal Life, is the relationship between God and man restored. Because it depends on the work of Christ, not the efforts of man, it can never be destroyed again for all those who receive Christ and become children of God [John 1:12].

This, dear brethren is our inheritance, our birthright, to be enjoyed now and eternally. The practical test, in everyday life, is whether our relationship with God, our personal communion with Christ, is so real that it gives character to every other relationship in our lives. Consider the challenge in 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." The lawyer in Luke 10:27 correctly sums up the law, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine understanding; and thy neighbour as thyself." Only a man or woman born again of the Holy Spirit of God can answer to this. The law only serves to expose the inability of man after the flesh to do so.

We must therefore constantly be before God that what we possess by His grace is translated into substance in our walk before Him.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 16 May 2006 9:14:58 PM Close
John Miller,

He is "Yeshua the Messiah", "Lord Jesus Christ", "the only son of God- Immanuel", "the saviour" for all.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 May 2006 7:35:50 AM Close
Dear Sunila Joseph,

The Lord Jesus has many titles in scripture, beginning with "The Word" in John 1:1. This takes us further back than any other passage of the word of God. It takes the reader back before the beginning of time. Genesis 1:1 takes us back to the beginning of time and the creation. Jesus has the exclusive right to many more titles according to scripture.

What I was humbly seeking to bring before you in my last post was the force of His title "Son of Man", which He uses of himself more than any other. This makes it very important and significant in its meaning for us. Perhaps I could suggest that you might like to study this privately.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 17 May 2006 1:01:05 PM Close
Dear Brethren,

In John 3:14 the Lord Jesus foretells His own death by being lifted up on a Cross to die, and describes himself, not as the Messiah, not as Son of God, not as Immanuel, not as Saviour, not even as the Lamb of God, but as Son of Man. It is a title that emphasises His humanity.

The Spirit of God, using the exquisite accuracy and divine mystery of God's Word, draws our attention, by the words selected, to the various glories of Jesus in different portions of sripture.

We do well to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider this, rather than jumbling up in our thoughts a mixture of scriptural terms. If we adopt the latter course we may miss the point that the the Spirit of God, in the Word, would convey to us in certain passages. I do not say this to condemn anyone, rather to encourage all, including myself to study scripture with care and focus, for our blessing.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 18 May 2006 5:55:11 AM Close
Dear John Miller,

I see 'the son of man' as my saviour died on the cross for my sins. I call him my Jehovah. I give more importance on what HE did on the cross and what i see with HIM, not His name. I see that i am a sinner. If He didn't obey His Fathers will, i would have been left in this earth with satan. It is He who saved me from God's wrath. And He is at the right hand side of God.

Hebrews 7:24-25 24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 8:1 1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Hebrews 9:15 15And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.


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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 18 May 2006 7:15:14 AM Close
Dear Sunila Joseph,

I fully accept your right to reject my thoughts on the titles of our Lord Jesus, with particular reference to His own repeated description of Himself as "Son of Man", and will certainly not pursue the point. Ask yourself this however - did the Lord Jesus select such a title by chance, or just because it occurred to Him on the spur of the moment, or can there possibly be some significance in the words He chose to describe Himself? If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative, is it wise to reject the suggestion that to study His meaning in using this title might possibly be for your blessing?

I will leave these questions with you, but will refrain from commenting on the matter further lest I cause you offence. For my own part I seek to open my mind to what the Word of God might say to me by the Holy Spirit's leading.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sunilajoseph@aol.com   View Profile   Since : 19 May 2006 5:54:59 PM Close
John Miller,

I didn't agree to disagree. I see 'son of man' meaning born from a human. ie born from mary's womb. I don't give importence to that He born from mary. But i give importance to the point that (1) he was born in a manger (feeding trough)like a poor man.(2) He had a physical body as a human. He was not fantom.(3) He did physically what we all do. Ate,drank, dressed and slept like us. Like a human. That was needed because He was on earth. It is, 'He came to the world LIKE a son of man'. ANY Son of man didn't became God. I can't point that ' this son of man' died for my sins. He was alredy one of the trinity. That was His(son of God's) way of coming and living in earth. Thats all it means. Jesus- son of God died on the cross for my sins. That is what i believe. He did all His miracles, preaching, death on the cross for our sins, healed the sick, washed His desiple's feet etc because He was from God. He did't wash those people sick with various diseases like so many people do today in the name of the Lord saying we are doing this like Jesus did. He was son of God. We don't have to feel sorry or pity on Him that He was born in a human womb. That is the only way for Him to come to the earth to save us. I didn't see HIM doing any humanity work. I saw God working and living among us. That is all I meant.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 20 May 2006 5:06:46 AM Close
Dear Sunila Joseph,

I have started a new thread entitled "The Son of Man". I would very respectfully suggest that if you could be a little patient and contain yourself for a short spell you may find that it develops for our common blessing.

Your statement that you do not attach importance to the fact that the Lord Jesus was born to the vigin Mary is very troubling. This is an important and foundational truth of the christian messge which is under sustained attack in the world. The Christ of the Cross was no ordinary man, born of human sinful parents.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 23 Aug 2006 9:25:52 AM Close
Dear Brethren in Christ,

Let me share a remark made in a preaching that I listened to this week. "At the Cross we see the wrath of God meeting the love of God".

What the preacher was bringing to the attention of his listeners was that at the Cross, in the atoning death of His Son, God's love answered the demands of His righteousness. His wrath was exhausted, directed at the sinless Victim, allowing His love shine out, offering full, free redemption to everyone who receives the Lord Jesus.

Then he went on to point out that in the resurrection of Christ, we have the eternal, divine validation of the work of atonement, and the value of His atoning blood. I have been greatly exercised recently at how little the great truth of resurrection figures in current christian theology and even evangelism. With this in mind, I would like to start a thread on the moderated forum to explore this great vital and fundamental truth.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 6 Oct 2006 7:31:32 AM Close
"We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness..." 1 Cor.1:23

How true this is. Most will know of the BBC, which is the state funded radio and television provider in the UK, and whose broadcasts reach much of the civilised world. This week there has been controversy because a newsreader and television personality appeared in a live broadcast wearing a small gold cross on a chain round her neck.

What her reason for doing so has never been established, and to many believers the wearing of a cross as an item of jewellery would be inappropriate to say the least. I do not seek to defend the habit. However her employers are alleged, and this has not been denied, to have reprimanded her because wearing a cross may offend Muslims!

This is an instance of the growing trend in Britain for the authorities and those in positions of power and influence to denigrate and undermine the Christian faith and any outward indication of Christian belief. Increasingly, in this once Christian country, where men and women have suffered and died for their faith in years gone by, we have constant references by politicians and public figures to "the great religion of Islam".

Brethren, you need to pray for the United Kingdom, that God in His mighty power will raise up men to preach the Word of the Cross, and be used to wake the people of this land from slumber.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 6 Oct 2006 9:36:17 AM Close
Dear Readers,

On the heels of what Bro. John Miller wrote, let me add the following. Some of you might have already heard of it. But please bear with me and see what is going on around us.

Quote --From American Family Association

"NBC, Madonna Mock The Crucifixion of Christ While Censoring Veggie Tales Program to air in November, Christians need to get involved
Following the lead of Rosie O’Donnell and ABC saying radical Christians are equal to Muslims who fly planes into buildings, cut off the heads of humans and kill children with suicide bombs, NBC has decided to join in the bashing of Christians by airing a Madonna special in November.

A specific date has not been released.
In the show, Madonna, wearing a fake crown of thorns, descends on a suspended mirrored, disco ball-type cross. When some Christian leaders complained about the mockery, NBC ignored their concerns. A video and pictures of this mockery can be viewed online at www.afa.net.

Making mockery of the crucifixion of Christ has been a trademark of Madonna for many years. In 1989 she had a video for the hit song “Like A Prayer.” The video featured burning crosses, statues crying blood and Madonna, representing Jesus, freeing a saint from his sexual repression by seducing him. This is the same Madonna who once said, “Crucifixes are sexy because there’s a naked man on them.”

Kevin Reilly, an executive at NBC, said Madonna considered the scene mocking the crucifixion of Christ the highlight of her upcoming show. “We (NBC) viewed it and didn’t see it as being inappropriate.” Madonna considers mocking the crucifixion of Jesus the highlight of her show and NBC agrees.

Contd

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 6 Oct 2006 9:44:58 AM Close
ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS CONTINUES

NBC also censored Bible verses and expressions of Christian love from the children's cartoon Veggie Tales being shown Saturday mornings on NBC.

NBC says comments such as "God made you special and He loves you very much" were offensive and censored them from the show.

In response to the outrage over the allegations that NBC was ordering the removal of any references to God and the Bible from the animated series, the network first issued a flat denial. As reported in Broadcasting & Cable, NBC had to "clip off the beginning and ending tags, which are Bible verses, but they were also arguably the easiest cut to make."

The creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer, said NBC's excuse for censoring the Bible verses was not true. Vischer said, "Well, that's kinda funny, because as the guy required to do all the editing, I know that statement is false...The show wasn't too long, it was too Christian. The show was already cut down to the proper length, so timing had nothing to do with it."

TAKE ACTION

•Visit www.afa.net on the internet and send an email to NBC asking the network to stop their anti-Christian bias. Our goal is one million emails. www.afa.net will keep you informed and give you the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of the companies which sponsor Madonna’s program if it airs.

•Ask your pastor to run this Pass Along Sheet in your church bulletin and/or newsletter.
•Call your local NBC affiliate and ask them not to run the Madonna special and to stop censoring Veggie Tales." End of quotes.

If you are interested you could send an email to NBC. AFA site would guide you to do it. Although I recognize we are not called to be 'reformers' of this society, we are called to be the 'salt of the earth'. It might not hurt us to exercise our freedom through internet and communicate to them what we feel about this.

Tom J


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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 7 Oct 2006 3:20:19 PM Close
Dear brethren,

Tomj's entry confirms the urgent need for Christians to bear testimony to those who seek to undermine our Christian faith. We should take every opportunity in our own sphere of influence to do this.

The Word of the Cross presents a victorious challenge to the lies of the Devil.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : bts73   View Profile   Since : 8 Oct 2006 9:11:53 AM Close
Dear John,

These are some of the greatest thoughts that I have come across in this entire forum. Nothing more precious than to learn about our precious Savior.

Please continue more of these thoughts.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Oct 2006 10:19:30 AM Close
Dear brother/sister [?] bt73,

Thank you for your comments. The centrality of the Cross in the Christian faith is a truth that is very precious to every true believer. In the wider profession, while lip service is paid to it, the awful unleashing of God's wrath against sin which was the cause of His beloved Son's sufferings and death at Golgotha is an uncomfortable, and to some unnacceptable, reality. Many focus exclusively on the love of Christ, wonderful indeed, but ignore the fact that at the Cross we also see God's just anger, Satan's extreme power and the hatred of unregenerate man.

In the centre of all this we see the supreme perfection of the spotless Lamb of God, truly without blemish, taking away the sin of the world.

The message of every preacher, and the central theme of every preaching should be, must be, the great work of redemption accomplished by Jesus on the cross, and His triumph in breaking the power and penalty of death in His resurrection. We should pray unceasingly for a revival in every land where the gospel is preached. Surely the time is short before our Lord returns for His own.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 21 Nov 2006 4:15:10 AM Close
Dear brethren,

If I may I would like to share with you today's entry in "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers.

"The Death of Jesus Christ is the performance in history of the very Mind of God.There is no room for looking on Jesus just as a martyr; His death was not something that happened to Him that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason that He came."

Later he writes, "If God does forgive sin it is because of the death of Christ. God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted to be Saviour because of His death."

And again, "Never allow the thought that Jesus Christ stands with us against God out of pity and compassion; that he became a curse for us out of sympathy with us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by the Divine Decree.......Jesus hates wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred."

Copied by John Miller

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 30 Dec 2006 4:57:00 AM Close
Dear brethren,

I was reading some ministry this morning and came across the verse of a hymn which I will share with you.

Ye sinners seek His grace,
Whose wrath ye cannot bear.
Fly to the shelter of His cross,
And find salvation there.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 9 Apr 2007 8:01:55 AM Close
Dear brethren,

This is not my own composition. The author is not known to me.

His fingers formed the bough that grew the thorns
With which they crowned His brow.

The nails that pierced His hands
Were mined in secret places He designed.

He grew the forest whence there sprung the tree
On which His body hung.

He died upon a cross of wood,
Yet made the hill on which it stood.

The sun that hid from Him its face
By His own hand was hung in space.

The sky that darkened o'er His head
By Him above the world was spread.

That spear that shed His precious blood
Was tempered in the fires of God.

The grave in which His form was laid
Was hewn in rocks His hands had made.

"Geater love hath no man than this...."

John


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Reply by : winchuck   View Profile   Since : 11 Apr 2007 12:01:51 AM Close
Greetings,

This is one of the most heart touching lines I have ever read. Thanks for the post Bro. John.

in HIM
Winsy

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 26 Oct 2007 8:22:49 AM Close
Dear brethren,

When I was checking the words of the verses I printed in brother Jimple's "Heaven" thread, I came across this lovely hymn in an old hymn-book of my father's. It is written by the late R.D.Edwards.

O the love of God is boundless,
Perfect, causeless, full and free!
Doubts have vanished, fears are groundless,
Now I know that love to me;
Love, the source of all my blessing,
Love that set itself on me;
Love that gave the spotless victim,
Love told out at Calvary.
Twas love displayed by Jesus,
When alone at Calvary.

O the cross of Christ is wondrous!
There I learn God's heart to me;
Midst the silent deepening darkness,
"God is light" I also see.
Holy claims of justice finding
Full expression in that scene,
Light and love alike are telling
What yon woe and suff'rings mean.
My guilt was born by Jesus
When in darkness on the tree.

O the sight in heaven is glorious!
Man in righteousness is there;
Once the Victim, now victorious,
Jesus lives in glory fair!
Him, who met the claims of glory
And the need of ruined man
On the cross - O wondrous story !-
God has set at His right hand.
How rightly crowned is Jesus,
He who once atonement made!

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 8 Feb 2008 4:24:15 AM Close
Dear brethren,

I hesitated to revive this thread because I started it, but I do feel that the constant study of the cross of Christ would be helpful to all and particularly to those who are younger.

The great work of atonement on the cross by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a subject that should never be far from our thoughts. A clear understanding of this foundational truth is a bulwark against the attacks of Satan, both from without and within.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : sajimaniyatt   View Profile   Since : 13 Feb 2008 9:29:36 PM Close
Dear Br. John,

Even though this is a long thread, I have gone thorough it which gives us greater insight into our Jesus's Cross. May I add few thoughts in this regard?

Christ's suffering has two aspects. One is physical aspect that is his bodily sufferings and the other is his separation from Father. We heard about the film "Passion of Christ" in which the maker depicts the bodily suffering to some extend, and many people may understand the Christ suffering limited to his bodily sufferings only. If we study Cross well Jesus' main suffering was not limited to physical pain/suffering but a great extend to his separation from Father. Man's sin makes him separate from God and when Jesus bore sin of the whole human beings past, present and future sins, He went to the deepest separation from Father and hence he cried …My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ". The worldly man cannot understand the greater extend of his suffering and its purpose.

Saji

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 15 Feb 2008 8:31:35 AM Close
Dear Saji,

No film can explain what happened at the cross. This does not mean that in the ways of God the very representation of the event by actors may not be used to bring about blessing, but I would shrink personally from viewing it.

You touched on a vital truth in your post. We covered it in this discussion but it is well worth emphasising, for it is not understood at all in the world and sadly, little understood or appreciated in the professing church.

We can understand the physical sufferings of our glorious Saviour to a certain extent, because many ordinary men have suffered beating, torture and crucifixion. We must however always bear in mind that even in His physical pain the Lord's suffering was unique. He had suffered weakness and fatigue in His earthly life but up until His arrest, trial and death had never known physical injury. His body was intrinsically untouched by the consequencies of sin in His own flesh. In the holiness of His perfect humanity the awful pain, humiliation and rejection, totally without any justification whatsoever, by those to whom He had shown the love and compassion of God, must have pierced His very soul. I believe that because of this the Lord's physical sufferings far surpassed those of a mere mortal.

His sufferings at the hand of His Father are completely beyond our faintest comprehension. To be totally abandoned in these hours of darkness by the One from whom He had never had the slightest divergence of thought or purpose from eternity itself, and then to be made the very thing that God hated above all else, sin in its abominable affront to His holy presence, is not within the compass of human understanding. We can only bow in deepest reverence and offer the worship of our hearts.

We must visit the cross daily. Only there do we find the true nature of man's heart, the naked evil of Satan's dark intent, but also the love of God shining so unutterably brilliantly against the darkest background.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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