Grace Bible Church
A Weekly Review
Week ending 060114

This past week we began to note that after studying in some detail the six unfair and unjust Trials of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are now ready to note how our Lord handled the next event which has to do with the temptations He faced while on the Cross.

 

In this particular subject we have been focusing on what our Lord was thinking about while upon the Cross. First off all, we need to note once again the seven sayings on the Cross and then also the doctrine of the substitutionary spiritual death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. Lets begin by documenting the seven sayings of our Lord on the cross.

The first one is found in LUK 23:34, But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

The second one LUK 23:43, And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

The third one JOH 19:26-27, When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

JOH 19:27, Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own {household.}

The fourth one MAT 27:46, And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

The fifth one, JOH 19:28, After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.”

The sixth one, JOH 19:29-30, A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon {a branch of} hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.

JOH 19:30, When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

The seventh and final one, LUK 23:46, And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last.

The first cry from the Cross has been our subject found in LUK 23:34.

In LUK 23:32 it says, And two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

LUK 23:33-34, And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

At this moment, our Lord was enduring the first pains of crucifixion; the executioners had just driven the nails through His hands and feet.

What an example our Lord presents to us. In the midst of unjust and unfair treatment, He still remained in fellowship and prayer with God the Father as long as His heart was beating.

He would not let any form of undeserved suffering drive Him away from the throne of grace.

Actually, it drove Him closer. He said “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

The first major point which we see on the Cross in the character of His intercession which was manifested and revealed by His forgiveness and graciousness. Those for whom our Lord prayed did not deserve His prayer. They had done nothing which was worthy of being prayed for.

In fact, on the contrary, they were undeserving individuals who had conspired to put Him to death. They had lied about Him, accused Him falsely and crucified Him. They were utterly undeserving of a single good word from the Saviors heart.

They didnt ask Him to pray for them. In fact, they even marked Him while He was praying for them. He prayed and cared about those who had rejected His word, and therefore think how much more He prays for those who love Him.

Paul put it like this ROM 5:8-10, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

ROM 8:32, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

The point is that He knows our precise condition at this moment, and the exact state of our heart with regard to the suffering and the temptation that we may be facing. Even more than that, He foresees the trials and the temptations which are awaiting us. And in His intercession He prays for us.

LUK 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded {permission} to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

He knows us better than we know ourselves. He understands every secret form of grief and sorrow. In fact, we dont have to be so concerned with how we word our prayers, He will put the wording right. Which is why ROM 8:26 says, And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

When He said in LUK 23:34, they do not know what they are doing.”, this was a wilful ignorance. Meaning they could have known that He was the Lord of glory.(JOH 7:17, JER 29:13).

They could have known if they wanted to because there was enough proof that He was the Messiah. But the point is that on the Cross, He still cared for those who were rejecting Him.

You have to have your life right with others if youre going to have your life right with God.

This is one of the principles behind MAT 5:23-24, “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 

MAT 5:24  Leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Notice that if you have anything against your fellow believer, leave your gift or your offering at the altar, and go and be reconciled first. Why? Because if you do not forgive others, you cannot be filled with the Spirit and therefore everything that you do will be rejected by the Lord no matter how good it may appear overtly. So, if we dont forgive others, we will not be able to have fellowship with God. In other words, if you make others suffer and pay for what theyve done to you, you will be the one who ultimately suffers and pays.

Another reason why we are benefited by forgiving others is so that our prayers will be heard.

In Mat 6, if we ask for forgiveness we also must give it!

MAT 6:14-15,  “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

More believers get out of fellowship through resentment and never have their prayers answered.

MAR 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions.

Now, think again about this statement; Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” This is actually for all mankind for in ROM 3:23, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, the one by whom the world was made had come into it, but the world knew Him not. In JOH 1:11, He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. The Lord of glory had tabernacled among men, but he was not wanted. JOH 1:14, And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

In ISA 53:3, He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

LUK 2:7, And she gave birth to her first‑born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Shortly after his birth Herod sought to slay Him, and this intimated the hostility His person evoked and forecast the Cross as the climax of mans enmity. For in MAT 2:16 Herod murdered all the male children who were in Bethlehem, from two years old and under,

Again and again, His enemies attempted His destruction.

As the deceitful trial of our Lord had been gone through, and though His judges found no fault in him, nevertheless, they had yielded to the insistent uproar of those who hated Him as they cried out over and over again and again “Crucify Him”. He did not say I am tired of all the lies that are being made against Me. He did not say I am tired of fact that the more He did for others, the more He was judged by them.

The deceived individuals who had followed Him and His doctrines would be the very same ones who would listen to gossip about Him and cry out “release to us Barrabas and crucify Him, Jesus instead. The very same people who lied about our Lord were the very same ones He prayed for.

They said He was of the devil, that He was an alcoholic. That He hung out with prostitutes. They said He blasphemed, was insane, demon possessed, and many other vicious lies. They who said these things were the religious people. Ever since Cain killed Abel, religion has been trying to kill the grace oriented believer. This is why the Lord said to the religious leaders in JOH 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

So, our Lord didn’t react, He responded, and there a difference between reacting and responding.

Often time people dont notice the difference between responding to something and reacting to something. The difference between responding versus reacting means a bad situation can becoming worse or a bad situation can become better. Or the opposite can happen.

The choice in behavior can make a good situation bad or a good situation even better. The importance of recognizing the two choices in your life is significant. The act of responding requires one to look at the circumstance, identify the problem or situation, hear what is happening and reflect. That reflection can be for a moment, five seconds, one hour, two days or longer. The time frame doesnt matter. What matters is that you stopped and put an effort to think and delayed immediate judgment. Once a person can identify that in responding they actually have a choice in the manner, he or she will start to realize that they are able to make better decisions. The key is that pause.

If the situation requires an immediate action, then just take a deep breath first.

This alone can help one gain a semblance of control and make one choose an alternative statement or action that can make a big difference in an outcome of a situation.

Reacting on other hand is the absence of this time gap. It is an immediate behavioral response and it is usually based upon emotions and not intellect.

Reacting to events, reacting to comments from other people or reacting to sudden situations in an immediate way, can create unpredictable outcomes. When intellect or logic is bypassed for emotional vengeance, then there is a greater chance that irrationality will take over. Usually when you react you are unprepared and overwhelmed in feeling (i.e. anger, frustration, lust etc.) that your intention becomes strictly one-sided. As a person has an immediate reaction it is unlikely that the person has even considered the other persons point of view or understanding.

Immediately reacting can also mean that the person is not thinking about future consequences.

The person is only identifying with his or her immediate emotions and using the emotions as a point of reference. Now, there are obviously certain times and places for reacting. Humans have this innate biological mechanism for a reason. If you were being attacked for instance, you would want to immediately react for survival. In the extreme sense a person who only uses reaction over responding can become emotionally overwhelmed thus producing hysterical or illogical behavior.

The effect of going through life in a reactive mode ultimately becomes draining, difficult and can even bring about isolation. In addition, constant reacting to life puts you in the `victim role, a role that makes life a struggle and unfulfilling. Making an effort to respond on other hand helps you establish control. Responding takes a conscious effort and builds mind control. Responding looks at others actions and consequences and provides a more holistic approach to behavior. Responding, not reacting will get you closer to what you want and ultimately who you desire to imitate, the first Adam who is of the flesh, or the Last Adam, Who is from above, our Lord Jesus Christ.

1CO 15:45-49, So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam {became} a life‑giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The natural is reacting. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are hose who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly

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