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Volume 8 - Page 136 of 141 Index | Zoom | |
Things that Differ.
The Sufferings of Christ.
We have considered together the broad basis of the death of Christ, as broad as the
death brought in by Adam; we have seen the narrower scope of the blood of Christ,
which is connected with the new covenant and with faith; we have, moreover, seen that
the cross of Christ has much to do with the flesh and the world as they pertain to the
believer, and to the glory and the crown that awaits the faithful follower. We now
consider the references and the message of the sufferings of Christ.
The first reference comes at a most important division in the Gospel of Matthew:--
"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" (Matt. 16: 21).
This verse and statement opens the second section of the Gospel of Matthew. In
chapter 4: 17 we read, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand". That presentation of the King, and the kingdom had been
rejected, and the glory could only be reached through a path of suffering.
It will be seen that the suffering is said to be at the hands of the elders, chief priests,
and scribes, and is distinguished from the death in which those sufferings culminated.
Both in chapters 4: and 16: there are references to the temptation by Satan, in each
case seeking to turn the Lord aside from His appointed path. In Matt. 17: 12, the Lord,
referring to the treatment that John the Baptist had received at the hand of the scribes
said, "Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them". In Mark 8: 31 there is an
illuminating addition to the words of Matt. 16: 21, "The Son of man must suffer many
things, and be REJECTED of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes"; the
suffering at the hand of these leaders was to include among other things rejection, and in
that lay much of the bitterness.
The same addition is found in Mark 9: 12, "The Son of man must suffer many
things, and be SET AT NAUGHT". Luke 17: 25 also includes a rejection wider than
that of the religious leaders, for the Lord there says that "first must He suffer many
things, and be rejected of THIS GENERATION". Luke 22: 15 speaks of the Lord's
desire to eat the Passover before He suffered, and immediately looks forward to its
fulfillment in the kingdom of God. In Luke 24: 25 suffering is linked with glory, and
verse 46 speaks of it as necessary to the fulfilling of Scripture. These passages complete
the references to the sufferings of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.
The Acts contains two references to the sufferings of the Lord, the one by Peter at the
gate of the Temple, the other by Paul at Thessalonica; both go to prove that the suffering
of the Lord was prophesied in the O.T., and, taken together with the witness of Matt. 16: