The Scandal of the Cross

Posted: April 10, 2012 by revivalbiblestudy315 in Bible Study
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* Notes taken from SS lesson prepared for Resurrection Sunday.

I’ve been looking at the Cross of Christ the last few weeks in preparation for this weekend. I’ve found out that the depth and complexity of the Cross will take a lifetime to comprehend and even then I don’t believe I will understand it fully. I want to talk this morning on 2 points that are often overlooked or at best glanced over. We know about the physical agony of the Cross, but what was going on behind the scenes, as redemptive history is at its apex. Let’s begin with the greatest spiritual battle ever fought.

  • Gethsemane- Hebrew Gat Shmanim meaning “oil press”
  • Mark 14:32-34
  • It records in Luke 22:44 that He began to sweat blood. 
  • “And being in anguish he prayed more earnestly and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”           
  • Medical significance: Hemohidrosis or Hematidrosis- seen in patients who have experienced extreme stress or shock to their systems. The capillaries around the sweat pores become fragile and leak blood into the sweat.
  • He pleads with the Father 3 times to take away “the Cup”. What was in “the Cup”?
  • It is often said that the cup represented the Roman Cross and the physical torture that awaited Him. That Christ foresaw the cat of nine tails coming down across his back, the crown of thorns, or the primitive nails driven through his hands and feet. Although the torment heaped upon Him  by the hands of men were all apart of God redemptive plan, it had to be something more. Yes it had to be a bloody sacrifice, and He had to be made a spectacle before man.
  • It is recorded in Church history in books such as Foxes Book of Martyrs, that early Christians seeing the privelage of being tortured and killed for Christ would sing hymns and praises as they went to their deaths. Crucified upside-down, covered in tar and lit on fire to light the streets of Roman. Ignatius the bishop of Antioch in 108AD was quoted as saying (page 2 of Foxes Book of Martyrs sheet.)
    “Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!” and as he was about to be thrown to lions to be eaten he said, ” I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.”
  • To understand the Cup you must look into Scripture. What does Scripture say about the Cup? Jeremiah 25:15-16; Psalm 75:8

Second He was Forsaken by God. Let’s look at Jesus words on the Cross.

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

the only time in Scripture that Jesus doesn’t refer to God as His Father.

the NT was written in Greek, so it is significant here that Mark records His words in the original Hebrew tongue. It directs us to look back at Psalm 22. note the contrast between how God never failed to answer His people when they called out to Him, and they were a sinful people, yet His only Son, the only perfect one, the only one who has kept every law, every commandment, and God will not hear Him.

how can this be? Proverbs 17:15 “he who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”

Isaiah 53:6, “and the LORD had laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

On the Cross Jesus becomes the serpent lifted up in the wilderness, and the sin bearing scapegoat left to die alone.

The first refers to Numbers 21:8

the cure was shaped in the likeness of that which wounded. Christ had become “in the likeness of sinful flesh” and was “made to be sin on our behalf.”

But let us not make the mistake and think that the perfect nature of Christ changed. Jesus was always the spotless, perfect Lamb of God. In the same way that we are not righteous and were imputed the righteousness of Christ, Christ being blameless was imputed our sin. (in a legal or forensic sense) 2 Corinthians 5:21

The second refers to Leviticus 16:7-10

2 sacrificial goats. one was slain and its blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat behind the veil of the Holy of Holies. it symbolized the blood atonement, paying for our sins. the second goat was presented before the LORD as a scapegoat, the High Priest laid, “both of his hands upon the head of the animal and confessed over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins.” The scapegoat was then sent away into the wilderness bearing on itself all the iniquities of the people.

  • Galatians 3:13– Jesus became the curse for us. All of the curses from Deut. fell upon him.         
    (DT 27-28)

“cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”

Christ became what we were in order to redeem us from what we deserved.

He became a worm and no man, the serpent lifted up in the wilderness, the scapegoat driven outside the camp, and the One upon whom the curse of God did fall.

God turned His face from His Son while on the Cross not because He lacked the fortitude to witness His sufferings but because He bore our sins.

Isaiah 59:1-2

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

*For more great information listen to Paul Washer’s “The Crushing of Christ”, it can be found on SermonAudio.com. I got alot of cross references and perspective from this sermon.

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