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Beginner’s Discipleship Class 23 : Death Of Christ

The two doctrines that are most opposed by the unsaved are the Bible doctrines of the Incarnation (God ‘manifest in the flesh’ coming to help sinners) and Expiation (substitutionary blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ dying in place of the sinner).

Sin involves the death penalty. Someone must bear it, either the sinner or a suitable substitute. There is no possibility of bribery in Heaven’s court.

The atonement is the heart of Christianity. Atonement settles the sin question.

The Doctrine of His Death

  1. Foretold by God
    “Cut off” here is a prophecy of death:

    Isaiah 53:8: “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
    Daniel 9:26: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
    Zechariah 13:7: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”

    This is a death prophesied in the Old Testament down to the last detail years before the Lord Jesus Christ showed up.
    He had his hands and feet pierced.

    Psalm 22:16: “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

    There would be lots cast for His garments.

    Psalm 22:18: “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”

    He would cry on the cross.

    Psalm 22:1: “(To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
    Isaiah 53

  2. His death was appointed by God.

    Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
    Isaiah 53:10: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”
    Acts 2:23: “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

  3. The Meaning of His Death
    – Atonement
    Payment made to bring two disputing parties together.
    It was used 77 times in the Bible and means ‘a covering for sin’.
    It is an Old Testament word that only occurs once in the New Testament in Romans 5:11- “Propitiation”.
    This carries the thought of the Lord being satisfied with the offering.

    1 John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    – Substitution
    The innocent takes the punishment of the guilty.

    John 10:11:I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

    – Redemption
    The sinner is in bondage and is brought to God with a certain purchase price.

    1 Peter 1:18-19:Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

    – Reconciliation
    God and man were enemies but have now been made friends.

    Romans 5:10: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

    – Ransom
    The price paid for the release of a prisoner (the one kidnapped by sin).

    Matthew 20:28:Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
    John 19:18: “Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

  4. The Mode of His Death
    He died by crucifixion.

    Matthew 27:35: “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.”
    Mark 15:24: “And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.”

    Luke 23:33: “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”

    It was prefigured by a serpent lifted up.

    Numbers 21:8: “And 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.”
    John 3:14:And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”

    It was an ignominious death; a shameful and degrading death.
    Jesus was undoubtedly crucified naked.

    Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    It was an accursed death.

    Galatians 3:13: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

    His death was voluntary.
    Jesus Christ volunteered to die for men. He was not forced to do it.

    John 10:18:No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

  5. The Reason for His Death
    Why did the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless one, die?
    His death is called a ‘contradiction of sinners against himself’ in Hebrews 12:3.
    One could understand how a guilty person would have to die as a result of sin. But here is a sinless man who lays down His life to satisfy the justice of a holy God in Heaven and makes that payment in full.
    The attributes of God must be in harmony to make salvation possible.
    God’s loving nature could not forgive sin until His legal nature was satisfied.
    God ‘had a problem’: How to be a holy, just, and righteous God that He is and at the same time forgive and be merciful to a sinful wretch who rebels against Him.
    At Calvary, a perfect solution was found for all the attributes of God.
  6. The Result of His Death
    Salvation to all mankind that accepts Him as a substitute.

    1 Timothy 4:10: “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Physical Sufferings

  1. Whipped

    Mark 15:15: “And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”

  2. His head was crushed with a crown of thorns.

    Mark 15:17-19: “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.”

  3. He was dehydrated, yet He drank vinegar.

    John 19:28-29: “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”

  4. Water gushed out from His sides.
    He bled so much that every last drop of His blood came out.

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

  5. Purple robe and torn back

    Matthew 27:28: “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.”
    Matthew 27:31: “And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”

  6. Beaten

    Isaiah 52:14: “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”

  7. Beard plucked out

    Isaiah 50:6: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

  8. Heavy Cross

    John 19:17: “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:”

  9. His hands were pierced with spikes.

    Psalm 22:16: “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

Mental Sufferings

  1. He died in the presence of sinners.

    Psalm 22:13: “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.”
    Psalm 22:16-17: “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.”

  2. He was betrayed, abandoned, and denied by His close friends.

    Mark 14:10: “And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.”
    Matthew 26:56:But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”

    John 18:25-27: “And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.”

  3. Tremendous shame and embarrassment

    Isaiah 50:6: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”
    Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Matthew 27:28-30: “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.”
    Isaiah 53:7: “He 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.”

  4. Blasphemy

    Luke 22:65: “And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.”

  5. Forsaken by His Father

    Psalm 22:1: “(To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”

  6. Bore the sins of every man

    Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
    1 Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Objections to the Substitutionary Death of Christ

  1. Cannot a man pay for his own sin?
    Yes, but the full penalty is eternal death because God lives forever, and eternity will not be long enough to pay the complete debt.
  2. Cannot a man atone for his own sin?
    Well, one could if he burns forever in hell, that would be the payment.
    Only death can satisfy the demands of God and the soul never succeeds in dying in hell.

    Hebrews 9:22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

    Someone has defined hell as dying forever, yet never being able to die.
    If a man sins against a being that lives forever, his payment is going to be forever.

  3. The doctrine of atonement was invented by Paul.
    No, it was preached by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself while He was still on earth.

    Matthew 16:21: “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”

    Jesus was the corn about to die.

    John 12:24:Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

  4. Won’t this doctrine make men feel hopeless and sin even more?
    No, the cross symbolizes God’s great hatred for sin.

    Romans 6:1-2: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

  5. Is this not unfair to make the innocent suffer for man’s sins against His will?
    It would be unfair if Jesus was forced to suffer for man’s sins against His will. However, Jesus volunteered to die for them. It was His own desire to choose to do so.
  6. Couldn’t God just forgive the sinner without the death on Calvary?
    Sin has been committed against God. He couldn’t forgive automatically for His law must be satisfied. He is not a liar.

    Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
    Ezekiel 18:4: “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

    Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    The law was the schoolmaster that leads men to Christ (Romans 7:14, Galatians 3:24).
    Repentance does not remove the need for punishment for sin. Sin has been committed and must be dealt with according to God’s own precepts.
    The justice and honor of God are at stake and must be preserved. His holiness demands the death penalty for sin.
    Every man and woman who is counting on their righteousness to save them has pitted their righteousness against the righteousness of God.

  7. Is it not impossible to transfer guilt from one to an innocent one?
    Human courts punish only the guilty ones, but they could punish a substitute if such were desired for the substitute voluntarily assumes the guilt of the other.
    For example, haven’t some men gone downtown and paid a traffic ticket for their wives?

    Isaiah 53:4-5: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
    1 Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

  8. If each sin requires eternal death, how could Christ suffer innumerable deaths in the few short hours at Calvary?
    He was God ‘manifest in the flesh’ and with God, there is no time. If He was God ‘manifest in the flesh’, time and eternity were the same things.
    God dwells in eternity and when Christ made that payment for sin on Calvary’s cross, that payment extended from before Genesis 1:1 until after Revelation 22.
    It was not only the amount of suffering that counts but also the justice of God that took place at Calvary. The fact that a holy sinless one suffered made the difference.
    The one who suffered was not a mere man. He was the God-man.

    1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

    This verse suggests a death so horrible that God pulled down the curtain of darkness at Calvary to cover that marred man, that bruised, beaten, and battered form.

    Isaiah 52:14: “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”
    Luke 23:44: “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

     

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