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Do you find it difficult to listen to the excruciating events of the first three hours Jesus hung on the cross? Listen to this lesson to hear the epic true story as Jesus’ hands and feet were in horrific pain as the nails pierced the skin. Understand that it was not this physical suffering that paid the penalty for our sins. Learn about the two others who were crucified at the same time and see that they were probably rebels like Barabbas. Hear the first saying of Jesus from the Cross which emphasized His forgiveness for those who did not truly understand what they were doing. Learn that the sign they put over Him identified what the charges were against Him. Realize that Jesus was able to rest in God’s provision as a demonstration that we should have a like mental attitude when we are suffering.
The Wrath of Man
Matthew 27:35–44; Mark 15:24–32; Luke 23:33–43; John 19:18–27
Matthew Lesson #185
January 28, 2018
“Our Father, we’re thankful that we have Your Word to reveal to us truth, that these words that You have revealed to us shall not fall to the ground unnoticed and not applied.
“Father, we’re thankful for all that You have revealed to us, for they enable us to understand Your thinking, what we refer to as divine viewpoint. It is the mind of Christ that has been revealed to us in Your Word, that we might spend our time studying it, learning about it, meditating and reflecting upon it, mulling over it, and letting God the Holy Spirit reveal to us how we need to apply these things to our lives.
“Father, we’re thankful that we have Your Word and that we can come to understand more fully that which our Lord endured as He went to the Cross, bearing in His own body on the tree our sins, that we might—through His death and belief in Him and belief alone in Him and His work on the Cross—have eternal life.
“We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
We are continuing our study of what transpired between the trials of Jesus and His burial. There are over 30 different stages that are revealed in Scripture. Not all of them are revealed in each of the Gospels; some Gospels record some events, some others.
What I have done is, going through the various parallels or harmonies that are presented, looking at each of these different events, and then trying to understand what is going on. Why have these things been revealed to us? What is their significance?
If you were living in the first century and you read about these trials, you read about the floggings, you read about the crucifixions, you would not need much instruction on what those things meant.
That’s why there’s not a lot of detail given in the Scripture. It amazes me, as we read through the Scripture, how economic the Holy Spirit is in the way He uses words and describes these events.
I would think that if this were made up—as many people contend who have rejected Christianity—if this were the product of human imagination, that we would find much different accounts. We see this when we look at similar things in the Scripture that are also spoken about through secular sources, and how they have exaggerated and embellished and introduced almost fantastical types of things.
Yet when we come to the Scripture, one of the things I believe that gives testimony to its accuracy, is that you don’t find this sort of embellishment. You don’t find fantastic or bizarre, mythological types of miracles that are explained. It’s just very simple as we study the Scripture.
Today we’re going to move from the procession of Jesus to the Cross, which is what we looked at last time, and I’ll review it briefly. Then we’re going to look at what happens during those first three hours on the Cross from 9 AM until noon, under the category of the wrath of men, as Jesus experiences not only the crucifixion itself, but also the mockings of the crowds that are there and others. We probably won’t get to the mockings until next week.
In the trials the Roman soldiers scourged Jesus, they beat Him with a Roman flagrum.
Here is a diagram indicating how this was usually carried out by the Romans—as they would tie the victim to a post, where he is a virtually uncapable of escaping or turning or avoiding it.
The Roman flagrum pictured here had various things woven into the strips of leather, whether it was rocks or metal or glass, designed to rip open the flesh, expose the muscles, and to produce a lot of bleeding that would lead to the weakening of the victim. Often, a victim would die before they ever got to the cross.
Jesus was further mocked and ridiculed: a purple robe was put on Him and a crown of thorns. All of this would lead, in a sinful human, to increased stress. What I keep pointing out is our Lord is relaxed. He is able to face this because of His complete and total trust in the Lord.
The crowds are hostile to him, crying out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
And indeed, the leaders are calling for His crucifixion because He claimed to be the Son of God.
The irony of that verse is that they are crucifying Him for who He really and truly is, and their very words attest to the reality that Jesus claimed to be God. He claimed to be the Son of God.
If you are familiar with liberal theology and the theology of the critics of Christianity, they claim Jesus made no such claim, and yet even His enemies crucified Him for the very reason that He made that particular claim.
Last time we looked at the beginning, at the procession to the cross. There’s a slightly different picture here because John Hite was gracious enough to go in and Photoshop out the stapes, that is the long vertical part of the cross, so that Jesus is only carrying the patibulum across His shoulders. I appreciate John going to that effort for us.
The first stage: they led Jesus out to crucify Him.
On the map, these trials of Jesus are located down here on the west side of the Old City of Jerusalem, where the Praetorium was located.
I’m going to refer to some things later on, but you’ve heard me mention a man who has been very helpful to me on several trips to Israel, Joel Kramer. Since we were last there in 2014, a couple of people on some of Joel’s trips have posted some videos of some of his talks.
He has one on the Praetorium; he has another one on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. If you’d like to see more, learn more, then you can go to YouTube and just search his name, and you can watch those. They are quite interesting.
He has one on the Praetorium, where He goes down to the current wall, which wasn’t the original wall, but it’s built on the original wall. He goes to a site just to the south of the Jaffa Gate and gives the arguments for why the Praetorium was located there.
He also has another video on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, if you haven’t been there. I’ve been there, and I’m not quite sure where he’s standing in some places, and I’ve been there quite a few times.
It’s interesting to understand where these things are, and that they are grounded in history. In fact, they’re grounded in historical evidence and much is being discovered these days in terms of archaeological validation of what the Scripture says.
Golgotha is located outside what was Josephus’ second wall, and it is located very close to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. This area which was an abandoned quarry was an area where they had hollowed out many graves, so it was a graveyard.
But it’s also located near the road coming in from the west into Jerusalem, so that many travelers would observe the criminals who were being crucified.
This is another view of the same thing. There are basically three views on the significance of Golgotha:
- It looked like a skull.
I showed a picture last time of how the Garden Tomb has a rocky area there, and it looks like a skull. That’s where Charles Gordon identified it in the 19th century, but there’s been a lot of erosion, even in the last hundred years, so one wonders what that may have looked like 1,800 years before he saw it. It probably did not look like a skull. I also pointed out that the graves in that area were from a much earlier period in the first Temple.
- A second view on the naming of Golgotha is that maybe there were skulls on the ground.
I usually read that that’s mentioned, and that’s easily debunked because under Jewish law, you would not have had bones—skeletal remains—of human beings exposed. That would make the ground unclean, so that is easily debunked as well.
A lot of people tend to think that it was named that way because of the way it looked; I don’t think that. I have had this view for a long time and had actually developed the same illustration when I read Arnold Fruchtenbaum on this, and he had the same views. Great minds think alike, so we could come to the same conclusion, that it was called the Place of the Skull because this was where executions took place.
Let’s think: in American history we have illustration of this. In the Old West cities like Dodge City and Tombstone and other places had graveyards that were called Boot Hill. I’ve been to the Boot Hill both in Dodge City and in Tombstone, and it doesn’t look like a boot.
You don’t see boots lying on the ground, but they were named that because many of the men who were buried there died with their boots on, so that became what they were called. You have those areas all around the West.
I think Golgotha is named that because of the fact that this is where executions took place, where criminals died, and it was also right there at a cemetery where people were buried, and so there were these skulls on the ground.
On His way to the Cross, Jesus was too weak to carry the patibulum. I tried to look at the pronunciation of this word. Now the English pronunciation is pa-TIB-u-lum. Then this morning I found a website that actually pronounced the Latin terms, and it was PA-ti-BU-lum and STI-pes. That was giving the Latin translation. Of course, no one alive knows how they actually pronounced the Latin.
Only the patibulum, the cross beam, was carried to the cross. They conscripted Simon of Cyrene to carry that.
- Jesus stops and He talks graciously to these mourners, warns them of the judgment that will come in AD 70, that they should not be weeping for Him but for themselves and for their children, who would go through that judgment.
- They arrived at Golgotha, the place of the skull, and it is also called Calvary, which is just the Latin translation, the Place of the Skull, and this is where Jesus was crucified.
It is marked today by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I pointed this out last time, there is a competing site. There’s only one. For over for 1,800 years, there was no other view of where the crucifixion took place. I went to the evidence last time, and it wasn’t until Charles Gordon came along in the 1880s and suggested a different site. But he had wrong information because the wall that they thought was the wall around Jerusalem at that time actually wasn’t built until after Jesus.
I pointed out that this is about … from here to here is approximately 60 yards [points to circle on upper left and then to circle on lower right]. This is a rock outcropping [circle on lower right] that is enclosed in glass. You can go up a set of stairs, and as you see here, there’s a Greek Calvary and then a Latin Calvary.
Once again, the Western Roman church, called the Latin Church here, has one view and the Eastern Orthodox [Church] has another view. As you go up there, it’s just very ornate, and there’s a lot of smells and bells.
A lot of Protestants are turned off by this, but I was reading in a work by Shimon Gibson—who is a noted, published archaeologist in Israel—who back in the 70s had the opportunity with a colleague to go when they were renovating this area that’s on top of the stairs.
They had taken away all the covering and protective glass and were doing some cleaning and renovations, so they got a chance to do various measurements and to analyze the stone and everything. Their conclusion was, from getting in there, that the idea that Jesus is crucified on top of this rock is unrealistic because it’s very narrow, and it would not be possible.
It really gives a lie to the hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross” … “On a hill far away.” It wasn’t on a hill. Everybody gets this idea that Jesus is crucified, and you see all these pictures with the little hill and the three crosses, and that’s just not the way it was.
He would’ve been crucified on ground level, so that the people walking by on the road would have been able to look right at those men who were being crucified and see the horrors of the crucifixion.
Gibson and others—and Joel Kramer makes a case for this in his video—identify this as the location [area marked with X] that would have been to the side of the rock outcropping; that it and this apse marks the area.
There is evidence for that. I’m not sure that we know precisely where the area would have been, but that is their argument. I think that’s a much superior reasoning than that it was on top of this rock outcropping.
- Jesus was given wine with gall.
This was an anesthetic to deaden the pain. He tasted it, according to Matthew and rejected it. He did not want to be anesthetized in any way as He endured the Cross.
I began with the First Three Hours: The Wrath of Man, Matthew 15:24–32; Matthew 27:35–44; Luke 23:33–43; and John 19:18–27.
I ended the class last week talking about the crucifixion of Jesus.
Matthew 27:35 tells us simply, “Then they crucified Him.”
Mark 15:25 adds that “… it was the third hour …”—9 AM in the morning when—“… they crucified Him.”
He’s using Roman time, where the day started at sunrise, so this is the third hour and—“… they crucified Him.”
I may be wrong on the Roman time, but it starts at 6 AM, and so they are crucifying Him at 9 o’clock in the morning.
That’s important because on this day, which is the first day of Passover, is the time of the morning sacrifice for Passover. At the same time that they are sacrificing the chagigah, which is the Passover, the special Passover sacrifice, Jesus is being sacrificed on the Cross on Golgotha.
Someone asked me last week, if Jesus, when He was on the Cross, could see the Temple where they were sacrificing the lamb. That’s not likely because He was being crucified at ground level just outside the Western Wall of Jerusalem at that time. He would not have had a visual of the Temple from where He was.
I pointed out last time these four stages of crucifixion:
- The criminal would carry the patibulum to the execution site.
- The criminal would be tied or nailed to the patibulum.
- The beam would be raised by forked poles to the top of the stipes, the vertical post.
There were different kinds of crosses that were used by the Romans. This is the TAU version, which I believe is accurate. The vertical post is called the stipes. The cross beam, the patibulum, was raised by means of a post that had a forked end. The Roman soldiers would lift that crossbeam along with the victim up.
There was a place where they had a wedge called a sedile, which is nailed to the vertical stipes. This was where they could get a little perch for their feet and push themselves up a little bit.
There were four types of crosses that were used by the Romans at that time:
The first type was just called a crux simplex, and it was just a vertical post where the hands were tied or nailed over the head of the victim, and then the feet were tied or nailed to that vertical post.
The second type was called the crux decussata, so named because it resembled the Roman Numeral X, and the Roman or Latin for X was decussis; that is the source. This was the type of cross Peter was crucified on, but he was crucified upside down.
These two were typically used in Italy. They were not used outside of Italy in other areas of the Roman Empire.
The third type is called the crux commissa. It is also referred to as the “Tau” cross, the Greek letter “T,” and this is the most likely form of the cross that was used in in the Middle East. Some people have said, “Well, there’s no place there for the sign to be posted.”
You see in this picture there’s plenty of room because as the victim hung from the nails, his head would not be blocking it. His head would be lowered as he hung there, and they could even nail this a little bit higher.
The cross most people think of was called in Latin, the crux immissa, which means “the inserted cross.”
When they nailed the victim to the cross, they would nail his feet a certain way. The picture that many of us have seen is where the feet are sort of flat against the cross and overlapped, and then a nail driven through the feet.
However, in 1968, as a grave was being excavated in Jerusalem, they opened an ossuary and in that ossuary, they found an ankle bone that had a nail driven through it, and there was part of the wood cross still attached to that nail.
Apparently, when they drove the nail in, the nail went into a knot in the wood, and it was difficult to extract, so when they did extract it, they brought some of the wood with it.
Here is a picture of that ankle bone with the nail through it. A facsimile of it is on display at the Israel Museum that we visit when we go to Israel. It was actually buried by rabbinical law in Jerusalem, so they couldn’t actually keep the human bone without burying it, giving honor to the body.
The way in which this was portrayed is in this model here, where the foot hung down and the nail is driven through the ankle bone. In this picture in the lower right, the feet were placed on each side of the stipes, and then the nail was driven through the ankle bone on each side. It’s very different from what you may imagine, and it was not painless.
All of this suffering leading up to the Cross is not salvific. I want you think about that, because in Reform, that is Calvinist, teaching, they talk about passive suffering of Jesus and the active suffering of Jesus, and they believe that all of the suffering in Jesus’ life is salvific.
However, the Scripture teaches that it is only that time period from 12 noon to 3 PM that the Father turns His back on the Son judicially, when Jesus cries out as we read in Psalm 22:1, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
That is when the judgment is poured out on Christ. That is when He pays the penalty for our sin—during those three hours, as we will see, between 12 noon and 3 PM.
Regarding the hands and their being nailed to the cross, I have this visual. I wasn’t sure which one would look clearer to you.
I think this one is better; you can see this one a little better. You have the nail, spike, pictured on the left. Here is a picture, a diagram of the wrist. And here is the top of the spike that is driven into the wrist just below the hand.
We need to realize that in both Greek and Hebrew the word for hand—in Hebrew, it is yad, and in Greek, it is CHIER—that these terms include everything from the hand to the forearm. It is not a term that is specific to just the hand or the palm.
If you put the nail through the palm, because all of these finger bones radiate out from the base, it would easily rip through the skin and the tissue there and would not support the weight of a man. So by putting it at the base of the wrist—at the base of the hand—that would support the wrist.
Here is another cutaway that shows you how this would have intersected with the wrist, and it would’ve pierced the median nerve. Also you have the ulnar nerve and artery going through here, and it would’ve been quite painful.
Following this, lifting Jesus up, they would have had:
- A tablet specifying the crime would be nailed to the top of the cross or hung around the victim’s neck.
Scripture says in Jesus’ case it was nailed to the top of the cross that would indicate the crime. We will look at that in one of our stages this morning.
Psalm 22:14–17 depicts this; Jesus is portrayed as saying this in the words of David, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.”
“My strength is dried up like a potsherd and My tongue clings to my jaws …”—just extreme thirst—“You have brought me to the dust of death.” That takes us back to the curse of sin in Genesis 3, “… from dust you came; to dust you will return.”
“For dogs have surrounded Me …”—“dogs” is often a pejorative term for Gentiles; when the Roman soldiers have surrounded Jesus on the cross—“For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me”—that is those who had had rejected Him and condemned Him to death—“They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones”—because of the flagellation that had taken place—“They …”—that is the bones—“… look and stare at Me.”
That is Stage 6.
Stage 7, “They crucified Jesus with two others …”—two criminals—“… one on each side with Jesus in the center” as John 19:18 states it specifically.
Matthew 27:38 says, “Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.”
John 19:18 says, “Where they crucified Him, and two others with Him …”—doesn’t identify what their crimes were in John—“… one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”
In Matthew and Mark, the term LESTES is used of these criminals. It’s translated “robbers.” Actually, the term was used later by Josephus to refer to rebels, to insurrectionists, to those who were in rebellion against Rome. So, they’re not being crucified for theft—that would’ve violated Jewish law to crucify them for a crime such as theft. They are being crucified because—they may have had some thievery, but they were using the money, stealing it—to finance their revolt against Rome.
The other term that is used by Luke is KAKOURGOS. KAKOS is evil, and ERGOS is from the word for work, and it simply means an evildoer; it is a more general term. But Matthew and Mark give us a specific that these were probably criminals like Barabbas, probably captured with Barabbas. They were probably his co-rebels, and they are being crucified with Jesus.
This is a fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors.” That’s the phrase in that Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53:12. It goes on to say—“And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Stage 8, the first saying from the Cross.
There was a saying on the way to the Cross, where Jesus in grace and compassion warned the daughters of Jerusalem not to mourn for Him, but to mourn for themselves and for their children, who would go through the judgment of AD 70.
I point this out because what we see here in the midst of all of this torture, in the midst of everything that is transpiring, what we see from the statements of Jesus on the Cross—and there are seven statements on the Cross—that grace and forgiveness are being emphasized; grace on the way to the Cross.
Here, Jesus’ first statement recorded in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”
There’s some question about what Jesus meant by this. Obviously, He is stating clearly for the Father to forgive someone—that is, to cancel out this particular sin—which is what forgiveness means. But to whom is Jesus referring? That’s where the debate lies. When He says, “forgive them,” to whom does the word “them” refer?
Some say He is talking about the Roman soldiers that are surrounding the cross; there would’ve been four of them. Or maybe He is talking about the people who have been involved, generally the people of Israel.
Others debate whether or not He would’ve included Antipas, Pilate, Caiaphas, and the other religious leaders. The issue is, what does He mean when He says, “for they do not know what they do?”
They say, “Well, they clearly understood what they were doing. They rejected Him as Messiah. They rejected His claims to be the Son of God. They knew that they were crucifying Him for being the Son of God.”
But this is not talking about, were they aware of this kind of information? I believe that when Jesus says, “they do not know what they do,” that He is talking in a broader sense, that they did not truly understand the significance of what they are doing.
They may have crucified Him for being the Son of God, but they didn’t believe that He was. They didn’t believe that He was the Messiah. They crucified Him, but they were completely ignorant of what they were actually doing. So, in the ultimate sense, they did not know what they were doing.
This makes more sense, because in Acts 7:60 in a similar circumstance, when Stephen was being stoned, he echoed what the Lord said, and as he was about to die, he said, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin …” He is talking about the religious leaders who were stoning him to death.
Jesus is demonstrating that His death on the Cross has a worldwide application. He is dying for all, He is dying for every sin, and He is dying and paying the penalty for every human being. That doesn’t automatically save them, because a person has to believe in Jesus as their Savior in order to gain salvation.
But the penalty was paid for all and Jesus is talking to the Father about forgiving them. This is parallel to the passage we’ve studied many times in Colossians 2:12–14, which states that the certificate of debt against us was nailed to the Cross.
That is where that first category of forgiveness took place, which is the removal of sin, so that sin is no longer the issue. The issue is whether or not a person trusts in Christ. When a person trusts in Christ, they are regenerated, they become spiritually alive, and receive the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and they are declared just.
The sin penalty is paid for, so that that is no longer the issue, but they are still spiritually dead. We are all born into this world spiritually dead: we do not have spiritual life, and we do not have righteousness. Even though the penalty has been paid, we have not been regenerated, and we have not been given perfect righteousness.
Christ’s death on the Cross paid the penalty for sin, so that God could forgive sin, BUT in order to have those other two things taken care of, we have to trust in Christ. This is why in John 3:18 we read that the one who has not believed in Him is condemned already. Why? Because he is spiritually dead, and he lacks perfect righteousness.
In the eighth stage, Jesus forgives them for sin and asked the Father to forgive them for this sin.
In Stage 9, they put a sign over His head, which expresses the indictment and the charge against them.
Matthew 27:37, “And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
There are those that will come along and say, “Well, it’s different in every gospel, so this is a contradiction.” Well, they don’t contradict each other; it’s just that they don’t necessarily give the whole statement.
Matthew is writing to demonstrate that Jesus is the King of the Jews, so he focuses on the core statement of the accusation: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Luke says, “This is the King of the Jews.” He doesn’t identify His name. That’s redundant in his view.
Mark just states, “The King of the Jews.”
John states the full statement, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
There’s no contradiction. It’s just that some give a fuller account of what is on the plaque, rather than giving the short version.
They set over His head these charges. John gives us a fuller account of what happens. He says that Pilate wrote this out and had this accusation put on the cross, and he was doing it, probably, to poke fun at and to irritate the religious leaders. Not because he believed that, but because he knew that if he put that up there, it would really aggravate the religious leaders.
John 19:20, “Then many of the Jews read this title …” —this plaque was called tabula in Latin—and they were quite upset.
John 19:20 tells us it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, so everybody would be able to read it and understand what it said.
In John 19:21 we hear their reaction. They went back to Pilate and said, “Don’t write King of the Jews …” but Pilate said, “Well, that’s what He said. That’s what you’ve condemned Him for.” So that’s what he was going to put there, and he wasn’t going to change it.
Stage 10, which is fulfillment of prophecy, that the Roman soldiers divided His garments between them and cast lots. This is described in Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, and John 19:23–24.
Matthew 27:35, “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet …”—quoting from Psalm 22:18—‘They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.’ ”
This is also stated in John 19:23–24, that they took His garments and they divided them. There were four soldiers there, and typically, what they would do is take the clothing of the victim, the criminal, and they would divide it between them. There would be the upper garment, the undergarment, some kind of head covering, the shoes or sandals, and the robe or the outer coat, which with Jesus was a large single piece of cloth, and it was very well made, indicating that it was probably a gift from somebody who was wealthy.
Typically, the soldiers would cut it into four pieces and split that, but in this case it was of such value, they decided that it would be a shame to divide it, so they cast lots for it and divided it so that one would win it.
This is as far as we will go this morning. We will start with the mockings of Jesus next time, reviewing the ones that we have already studied, and then continuing as we walk through what transpired on the Cross.
We are reminded how Jesus is ridiculed, how He is belittled, how He is mocked, He’s beaten—all of this—and He is “like a lamb before His shearers is dumb, yet He opened not His mouth,” giving evidence that He is in control.
He is there for a purpose. This was why He entered into the world to die on the Cross for our sins as our substitute. By the way He is crucified, He is giving evidence that He is who He claimed to be, and the prophecies from the Old Testament are fulfilled specifically and precisely in Him, giving even more evidence that He is the eternal Second Person of the Trinity who entered into human history for the purpose of dying for our sins.
“Father, we’re thankful for this opportunity to study through these events leading up to the time that Jesus died for our sins: understanding all of the pain, the suffering, everything that transpired, and how He is trusting in You throughout this time; how He is able to maintain a relaxed mental attitude in His humanity.
“He is not doing this in the power of His deity, but He is doing this in His humanity. He is demonstrating that His mindset, His mental attitude, His focus is totally upon You, and He is resting in Your provision and Your power to sustain Him in this horrible physical torment.
“Father, we pray that if there’s anyone who is listening this morning, who is hearing the gospel maybe for the first time, maybe for the 20th time, that you would make it clear to them that Jesus Christ as the Divine Sacrifice given by You to man to die as our substitute, being a true human in His humanity.
“He is paying the price for us. He is dying as our substitute: a perfect man, sinless, without any flaw, He is dying for us, paying our penalty. As you will impute to Him all of the sins of the world, the sins of those who crucified Him, the sins of that generation, the sins of all mankind are imputed to Christ and He pays that penalty.
So that by faith alone—nothing else, not faith plus works, not faith plus emotion—just simply believing, trusting, understanding what Jesus did and relying upon it, that is belief. That by believing in Him, we have eternal life. We pray that you would make that clear to unbelievers.
“And for believers, that we would gain a greater appreciation of all that was done for us in our salvation. For this just gives us a small portrait of what transpired on the Cross.
“We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”