the Passion Comes the Compassion
was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth;
as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before
its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth….Yet it
pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when
thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…"Isaiah
53: 7, 10
prophecy of the passion of Christ was written by the prophet Isaiah
more than 700 years before it transpired in 33 AD. Today almost
2000 years later millions of people are confronted with the brutality
and cruelty under which our Savior suffered and died through the
medium of cinematography.
minds inquire, why did God allow his only begotten Son to suffer
so? In what way could it have pleased Him to bruise him?
we are not left in the dark but are able to find satisfying answers
to these important questions in the Bible. There God reveals to
us that even before He created the earth He devised a plan that
would allow for a human family created with the freedom to choose
between doing what is right or doing what is wrong. God foresaw
that this was far superior to creating humans as mere robots,
programmed to do only what is right. God also understood that
his human creation, like an infant, would require experience as
well as instruction in order to appreciate right compared to wrong.
God’s Word provides the instructions which allow us to live
in harmony with him and with one another, and the experiences
of this life are demonstrating to us the disastrous effects of
choosing to live outside of God’s instruction.
was God’s course of action put into effect? In 1 Peter 1:19
and 20 we read: "...But with precious blood, as of a lamb
unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For he was foreknown
before the foundation of the world…"(NAS). And again
in Revelation 13:8 we read of Jesus as, "the Lamb slain from
the foundation of the world." Here we learn that the Lord
had thought through the entire process of creation before He even
started. He knew that Adam and Eve, though perfect, would sin,
would choose wrong. This is because they lacked the experience
to grasp the consequences that dying and death would have upon
themselves and upon their children thereafter. Hence, God clearly
foresaw the need of a redeemer, one who would be able to save
the human family from sin and death.
us carefully observe that God’s penalty for disobedience
was death, not eternal torment at the hands of demons. Consider
Genesis 2:17: "for in the day that thou eatest thereof, dying
thou shalt die (KJV margin)." And again in Genesis 3:19:
"In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread, till thou
return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust
thou art and unto dust thou shalt return." So then, if life
is the state of existence, then the opposite of life is death
or the state of non-existence. With this proper understanding
we see that death is not the difficult thing, it’s the process
of dying that has been so painful.
to the Lamb of God, we read that he was unblemished and without
spot. This means that Jesus was created as a perfect human man
without sin just as the Apostle states in Hebrews 7:26; "For
such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated
from sinners….." God’s justice declared that
Father Adam must die. And God’s love declared that a Ransom
or exchange would be provided for Adam and all his offspring.
The Ransom was Jesus, the perfect human man, as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:
21 and 22: "For since by man [came] death, by man [came]
also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so
also in Christ shall all be made alive." In Romans 5:12 and
18 we read; "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the
world, and death by sin; and so death passed unto all men, for
that all have sinned…. Therefore as by the offence of one
judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness
of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
Yes, Jesus is our Ransom, even as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1
Timothy 2:6: "Who gave himself a ransom for all; to be testified
in due time."
that we have seen the need of his death, what about his suffering?
We read in Hebrews 5:8 and 9: "Though he was a Son, yet learned
he obedience by the things which he suffered; and having been
made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey him." This suffering that makes perfect is
not referring to Jesus’ humanity being made perfect. We
read that he was sinless. The process of perfecting relates to
his character. One aspect is that it deepened or expanded his
sympathies for others who suffered for righteousness' sake. During
this long period of the permission of evil, God's servants both
before and after Jesus have regularly suffered persecution at
the hands of deluded people, because the darkness hates the light
(John 3:19). It is only reasonable to expect that when the true
light comes into the world, he would be hated and despised all
the more. Further, Jesus knew that his disciples would suffer
persecution specifically for his sake, it seems only proper that
he would set the example for us to follow.
second aspect of his suffering is that it demonstrated his willing
obedience to do his heavenly Father’s will regardless of
personal cost. Thus as he prayed in the Garden, "not as I
will, but as thou wilt" (Mathew 26: 29). It is one thing
to say that we are willing to do something, endure something;
it is quite another thing to demonstrate it. As steel is made
stronger, tempered by the fire, so the captain of our salvation
was made perfect through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10). Likewise we
are not to think it strange when fiery trials come upon us, because
these trials are meant to prove our love and perfect our character
(1 Peter 4:12).
upon our Lord’s sacrifice deeply touches our hearts. Though
we were born in this sinful world through no choice of our own
our Redeemer chose to leave the safety, happiness and grandeur
of his heavenly home to be born as a human being; made a little
lower than angels (Hebrews 2:9). And as the Apostle further reveals
in Philippians 2:8; "and being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross."
man’s Ransom price was Jesus’ passion at his first
advent. As he cried from the cross, "It is finished!"
(John 19:30) He spoke of the completion of his mission, the sacrifice
of his perfect humanity. He will never take back that human life.
He exchanged it for the forfeited life of Father Adam and the
race in his loins. His life was the price required to free man
from the prison of sin and death.
died almost 2,000 years ago, so when will man be released from
the great prison house of death? The time is yet future in God’s
grand design when all in their graves will come forth! Jesus told
us this in John 5:28 and 29; "Marvel not at this: for the
hour is coming, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear
his voice and come forth; those that did the good deeds, to a
resurrection of life; those that committed the evil deeds to a
resurrection of judgment.(NAS)." This will take place during
the kingdom of God for which Jesus taught us to pray: "Thy
Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as in heaven (Mathew 6:10)."
This is the period of time known as the second advent, when our
Lord returns from heaven, no longer human, but as an exalted spiritual
being. As the Apostle Paul indicated in1 Corinthians 15: 45 and
47; "and so it is written, The first man Adam was made a
living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit…
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord
our Savior demonstrated his passion at his first advent, he returns
to demonstrate his compassion. Then the fruitage of the redeemer's
suffering and death will be realized by both the heavenly Father
and our Lord Jesus. At that time, Jesus and his church are to
live and judge mankind during the thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
This thousand year Day of Judgment will witness both the reawakening
of all mankind from the sleep of death, and the restitution of
all things. This thought is expressed in 1Thessalonians 4:14;
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
These "times of restitution" are mentioned in Acts 3:20
and 21; "and he may send the Christ who hath been appointed
for you, [even] Jesus: whom the heaven must receive until the
times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken of by
the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
All things shall be restored to what it had been in the Garden
of Eden when Adam and Eve were perfect beings, living in perfect
harmony with their Creator.
this kingdom of compassion, all mankind will be able to learn
God’s ways for righteous living. They will also be able
to appreciate God’s gift of Jesus as our Ransom price. This
knowledge along with their previous experience with sin, dying
and death will enable them to choose right over wrong. In this
great day of light and truth the blinding influence of the Adversary
will be removed, then there will be no more confusion of religions
or philosophies (2 Corinthians 4:4).
prophet Isaiah who wrote of the passion of Christ, also wrote
of the second advent and the Kingdom of God. Listen to his poetic
description in Isaiah 35:8-10; "And a highway shall be there,
and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean
shall not pass over it; but is shall be for [the redeemed]: the
wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err [therein]. No lion shall
be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon; they shall
not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there]: and the
ransomed of Jehovah shall return, and come with singing unto Zion;
and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain
gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
we ask, what is God waiting for? He is waiting for the completion
of the Church, the Bride of Christ, those disciples who have now
entered upon a “Narrow way”, not the “Highway”
of the Kingdom. Jesus told us this in Matthew 7:14: “Because
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto
life, and few there be that find it”. By faith we are
now blessed to have a relationship with God. He is instructing
us and giving us experiences now that will prepare us for the
privilege of working with Jesus during his Kingdom of a thousand
years. At that time it will be our privilege to help our
fellow man overcome sin and make the proper choices that will
lead to happiness and life.
we must consider one question that lingers upon the minds of many,
that is, why was the brutality of the crucifixion necessary?
Apostle Paul gives us a clue in 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
tree.” The Apostle Paul wrote this, and he being Jewish
could well write that Jesus redeemed us (the Jew) from the curse
(condemnation) of the law (the Law Covenant given through Moses
to Israel). Where was this curse written that Paul quotes? It
is from Deuteronomy 21:22 and 23: “And if a man have
committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and thou
hang him on a tree: his body shall not remain all night upon the
tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that
is hanged is accursed of God)…” Now this was a part
of the Law that God gave. It is not an authorization of crucifixion,
for the condemned person was to be dead already before he was
hanged on a tree. (See Joshua 8:29 and 10:26) This then was to
be an outward sign of God’s disapproval.
Satan, working through the blinded Jewish religious leaders, conspired
to put Jesus to death, they wanted him portrayed to the public
as one “accursed of God”. Therefore, the Roman
method of crucifixion, hanging one upon a tree, would seem to
accomplish this. But God overruled it for good. By dying
in this manner, Jesus, though innocent, could suffer the curse
of the Law. This would deliver the Jewish people out from under
the additional condemnation of not living up to the requirements
of the Law Covenant that God had given them. Peter connects
the symbolism of the tree to the cross when in Acts 5:30 he states: “The
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on
a tree.” And again in Acts 10:39: "….whom
they slew and hanged on a tree.”
know the story of the Passion of Christ but now you know the rest
of the story – you know of God’s compassion that will