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“He was wounded - pierced through for our transgressions,

He was bruised - crushed for our iniquities.”   

(Isaiah 53:5)

 

WHY DID JESUS CHRIST ENDURE SUCH HOSTILITY AND SUFFERING?

 

“In view of the joy set before Him,

Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame. ...

Consider Him -

think much about this One who endured such bitter hostility.”

(Hebrews 12:2-3) 
 

 

DICTIONARY

THE word “passion” is currently used in a number of ways. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word:

PASSION: from the Latin words, passio, passionis, to bear; to suffer; allied to pathos, suffering.  A compelling, intense feeling or emotion; love; ardent affection; amorous desire; lust; violent agitation of mind; violent anger; zeal; ardour; an avid desire; as in, a passion for fame; a display of deep feeling; as in, a passion of tears; a pursuit to which one is devoted; the subject of an engrossing pursuit. Formerly, it was used as a general term for emotion.

The Passion: the last sufferings and death of Jesus Christ - the Messiah.

That is the meaning of the title of this booklet; and of course, it’s the meaning of the title of Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of The Christ.”

YAHWEH. YHWH is the transliteration of the Hebrew letters of the sacred Name of the Almighty God.  

The Name is used 6855 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is currently pronounced as Yahweh or Yahwah. During the past few centuries it was inaccurately rendered as Jehovah or Yehowah.  The meaning of Yahweh is “The Eternal One.”

Y’SHUA is the original Hebrew Name of Jesus. Pronounced Yeshu-a. It is often written as Yeshua, and sometimes Yahshua. Y’shua means, “Yahweh is Salvation.”

THE MESSIAH (or, The Christ) means “The Anointed One.”  It comes from the Hebrew word HaMashiach.

Y’shua is the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. All Christians recognise Y’shua (Jesus) as the Messiah.

 
THE  PASSION  OF  THE  CHRIST

“THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST” is the title of a film produced by Mel Gibson. It is about the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Gibson’s intent has been to present The Passion as it really was – a most horrific sacrifice which involved such suffering as few people have been able to imagine.

The film opens in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper.  Jesus resists Satan’s temptations.  Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is arrested and taken back to within the city walls of Jerusalem where the leaders of the Pharisees confront Him with accusations of blasphemy, and His trial results in a condemnation to death.

Jesus is then brought before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, who listens to the accusations leveled at Him by the Jews. Realizing it is a political conflict, Pilate defers to King Herod in the matter.  Herod returns Jesus to Pilate who gives the crowd a choice between Jesus and the criminal Barabbas.  The crowd chooses to have Barabbas set free, and Jesus crucified.

Jesus is handed over to the Roman soldiers and scourged. An evil-looking whip tears repeatedly into the body of Jesus, thrashing Him to a bleeding mess.

He is brought back before Pilate, who presents Him to the crowd as if to say, “Is this not enough?” It is not.  Pilate washes his hands of the entire dilemma, ordering his men to do as the crowd wishes.

Jesus is presented with the cross and is compelled to carry it through the streets of Jerusalem, all the way up to Golgotha. He is shown stumbling and falling many times, and being mercilessly beaten as He painfully staggers towards Calvary, the place of His crucifixion.

One newspaper review says; “The agony of the crucifixion is portrayed graphically and excruciatingly. The crucifixion is a 25-minute ordeal or torment – for the audience almost as much as for Jesus – as drunken Roman soldiers struggle to hammer the nails through Jesus’ hands and feet, and as His wretched, flayed body writhes in pain on the cross.” (The actual scourging, crucifixion and sufferings on the cross were stretched over at least nine hours.)

“On the cross Jesus undergoes his ‘last temptation’ - the fear that He has been abandoned by His Father.  He overcomes His fear, looks at Mary, His Mother, and makes the pronouncement which only she can fully understand, ‘It is accomplished.’  He then says: ‘Into Your hands I commend My spirit,’ and dies.” 

A powerful earthquake then shakes Jerusalem.

The film ends with Christ’s resurrection as the rock in front of the cave entrance rolls back. The resurrected Messiah walks away leaving the body-wraps in the tomb where His body had lain.

Some critics will say the film is too violent. But the truth is that the events of those twelve hours were extremely violent, and we can be sure Gibson has not depicted half of what actually happened. In fact, Gibson says he cut some of the most brutal scenes from the final edition.

 

THE  IMPACT

Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll says: “Cynthia and I saw an advance screening. Personally, I will never be the same.  Bring a friend who would never darken the doors of a church  ... they may never be the same again.”

In the US, and in Australia, Christian groups booked whole cinemas to see the movie. Christians want a deeper experience – to feel the full impact of the great Sacrifice that is at the heart of their faith.  On the big screen, the viewer experiences a virtual reality - a first hand experience of the shocking events that took place nearly 2,000 years ago.

Many Christians have been praying that the film will have a profound impact on people everywhere, as they graphically see just how much Jesus suffered – and understand the reasons why He endured such suffering.

 

A  REVIEW  OF  THE  FILM

Jody Dean, of Dallas TV Anchor, is a believer who wrote this after seeing The Passion of The Christ :

I’ve been a part of movies, radio, television, stage and other productions - so I know how things are done. I know about soundtracks and special effects and make-up and screenplays. I think I’ve seen just about every kind of movie or TV show ever made - from extremely inspirational to extremely gory. I also have a vivid imagination, and have the ability to picture things as they must have happened - or to anticipate things as they will be portrayed.

I’ve also seen an enormous amount of footage from Gibson’s film, so I thought I knew what was coming. But there is nothing in my existence - nothing I could have read, seen, heard, thought, or known - that could have prepared me for what I saw on screen last night.

This is not a movie that anyone will “like.” I don’t think it’s a movie anyone will “love.” It certainly doesn’t “entertain.” There isn’t even the sense that one has just watched a movie. What it is, is an experience on a level of primary emotion that is scarcely comprehensible. Every shred of human preconception or predisposition is utterly stripped away. No one will eat popcorn during this film. Some may not eat for days after they’ve seen it.

I can see why some people are worried about how the film portrays the Jews. They should be worried. No, it’s not anti-Semitic. What it is, is entirely shattering.

There are no “winners.” No one comes off looking “good” - except Jesus. Even His own mother hesitates. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day merely do what any of us would have done - and still do. They protected their perceived “place,” their sense of safety and security, and the satisfaction of their own “rightness.”

But everyone falters. Caiaphas judges. Peter denies. Judas betrays. Simon the Cyrene balks. Mark runs away. Pilate equivocates. The crowd mocks. The soldiers laugh. Longinus still stabs with his pilus. The centurion still carries out his orders. And as Jesus fixes them all with a glance, they still turn away.

The Jews, the Romans, Jesus’ friends - they all fall. Everyone, except the Principal Figure. Heaven sheds a single, mighty tear - and as blood and water pour from His side.

The film grabs you in the first five seconds, and never lets go. The brutality, humiliation, and gore is almost inconceivable - and still probably doesn’t go far enough.

The scourging alone seems to never end, and you cringe at the sound and splatter of every blow - no matter how steely your nerves. Even those who have known combat or prison will have trouble, no matter their experience - because this Man was not conscripted.

He went willingly, laying down His entirety for all. It is one thing for a soldier to die for his countrymen. It’s something else entirely to think of even a common man dying for those who hate and wish to kill him.

But this is no common man. This is the King of the Universe. The idea that anyone could or would have gone through such punishment is unthinkable - but this Man was completely innocent, completely holy - and paying the price for others. He screams as He is laid upon the cross, “Father, they don’t know ...”

What Gibson has done is to use all of his considerable skill to portray the most dramatic moment of the most dramatic events since the dawn of time. There is no escape. You are confronted by the horror of what was done - what had to be done - and why. Throughout the entire film, I found myself apologizing.

What you’ve heard about how audiences have reacted is true. There was no sound after the film’s conclusion. No noise at all. No one got up. No one moved. The only sound one could hear was sobbing. In all my years of public life, I have never heard anything like that.

The Resurrection scene is the shortest in the entire movie - and yet it packs a punch that can’t be quantified. It is perfect. There is no way to negotiate the meaning out of it. It simply asks, “Now, what will you do?”

One thing I have to tell you about.  It comes from the end of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness - where the Bible says Satan left him “until a more opportune time.”

I imagine Satan never quit tempting Christ, but this film captures beyond words the most opportune time. At every step of the way, Satan is there at Jesus’ side - imploring Him to quit, reasoning with Him to give up, and seducing Him to surrender. For the first time, one gets a heart-stopping idea of the sense of madness that must have enveloped Jesus - a sense of the evil that was at His very elbow.

The physical punishment is relentless - but it’s the sense of psychological torture that is most overwhelming. He should have quit. He should have opened His mouth. He should have called 10,000 angels. No one would have blamed Him. But He couldn’t do that. He wouldn’t do that. He didn’t do that. He doesn’t do that. It was not and is not His character. He was obedient, all the way to the cross - and you feel the real meaning of that phrase in a place the human heart usually doesn’t dare to go. You understand that we are called to that same level of obedience. With Jesus’ humanity so irresistibly on display, you understand that we have no excuse. There is no place to hide.

The truth is this: Is it just a “movie”? In a way, yes. But it goes far beyond that, in a fashion I’ve never felt - in any forum. We may think we “know.” We know nothing. We’ve gone 2,000 years - used to the idea of a pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the ending, because we’ve heard it so many times. God forgive us. This film tears that all away. It is as close as any of us will ever get to knowing, until we fully know.

Paul understood. “Be urgent, in and out of season.” Luke wrote that Jesus reveals Himself in the breaking of the bread. Exactly. “The Passion of The Christ” shows that Bread being broken.  -  END OF DEAN’S REVIEW

 

THE  REASONS  WHY JESUS  ENDURED 

SUCH  HOSTILITY  AND  SUFFERING

“Consider this One who endured bitter hostility against Himself from sinners.”  (Hebrews 12:2-3)

 

By DON STANTON

Gibson’s goal was to present the sufferings of the Messiah. My purpose in writing this booklet is to present fifteen scriptural reasons for the Messiah’s suffering, which understandably, Gibson could not fully bring out in his graphic film.

The first reason why Y’shua endured such hostility and suffering, is because  …


1

IT  WAS  THE  PREDETERMINED  PLAN  OF  GOD

This may be hard to accept. Instantly, we ask, “Why would a loving Father allow His most dearly beloved Son to undergo such horrendous trauma and agony?”

In the Scriptures, the Father has given the answer.

Shortly after the events of that greatest day of history, the disciples of the Messiah were proclaiming  - “This was all according to the plan of God.”

The apostle Simon Peter, an eye-witness of the events, declared:

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Y’shua of Nazareth, a Man accredited by God among you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as yourselves also know - this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of wicked men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up, freeing Him from the agony of death, for it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”   (Acts 2:22-24)

The apostle Paul, whom God used to write 13 books of the Bible, was proclaiming the same message. It was reported by Dr Luke, a companion of Paul in many of his missionary journeys:

“And as his custom was, Paul went in to the Jews, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Y’shua whom I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah’.”  (Acts 17:2-3)

The declarations of Peter and Paul make it clear the Passion was according to the will and plan of God. Jesus, Himself, knowing the Scriptures and prophecies more thoroughly than any prophet or teacher on earth, knew all that was ahead of Him.  And yet He did not shrink back from His determination to do the will of God.  He did struggle, however, with the awful reality that when He was nailed to the cross, He would be bearing the trillions of sins of the world. He knew it would mean the most intense suffering and agony in His spirit, as well as in His body, as He paid the penalty for the sins of mankind.

That struggle was most evident in Gethsemane where the Master prayed fervently with such agony that His sweat became like drops of blood falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:44)

“He withdrew from the disciples about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees, He began to pray, ‘Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done’.”  (Luke 22:41-42)

 

2

THE  MESSIAH  WAS  APPOINTED TO  DIE  AS 

AN  OFFERING  FOR  THE  SINS  OF  MANY

Isaiah’s prophetic profile describes the innocence, the suffering, the death and the ultimate reward of God’s anointed Servant - the Messiah.

Look and see! My servant will act wisely,

He will be exalted and lifted up, and will be very high.

Just as many were astonished at You,

(His appearance was marred more than any man,

and His form more than the sons of men),

so He will astonish many nations.

Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for that

which had not been recounted to them, they will see;

and that which they had not heard, they will understand.

 

“Who has believed the report of what we have heard?

And to whom has the Arm of YHWH been revealed?

For He grew up before Him like a tender plant,

and like a root out of dry ground.

He has no stately form or majesty;

and when we observe Him, there is nothing in His appearance

that we should desire Him.

 

He is despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces.

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has taken up our griefs,

and carried our sorrows;

yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded  - pierced through –

for our transgressions,

He was bruised – crushed - for our iniquities;

he punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,

and by His stripes we are healed.

 

All of us like sheep have gone astray.

Each of us has turned to his own way,

but YHWH has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

yet He did not open His mouth;

like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

so He did not open His mouth.

From arrest and judgment He was taken away;

and as for His generation, who considered

that He was cut off out of the land of the living?

 

For the transgression of My people He was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

yet with the rich in His death,

though He had done no violence,

nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

But it was the will of YHWH to crush Him, and to put Him to grief;

and though YHWH makes His life a guilt offering,

He will see His offspring, and prolong His days,

and the will of YHWH will prosper in His hand.

As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He will see it and be satisfied.

 

By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant, will justify many,

as He will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,

and He will divide the spoils with the strong;

because He poured out His life unto death,

and was numbered with the transgressors.

For He Himself bore the sin of many,

and interceded for the transgressors.”      

 (Isaiah 52:13-15, 53:1-12)

 

3

OLD  TESTAMENT  PROPHECIES  FORETOLD  THE  PASSION

The apostle Paul declared to King Agrippa:

“Having obtained help from God, I stand to this day witnessing both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Messiah was to suffer, and that He, the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”  (Acts 26:22-23)

What were some of those prophecies of Moses and the Prophets?

In the first book of Moses, God’s statement is recorded which said, “the Seed of the Woman (Eve)” would “bruise the head of the serpent.” In other words, the Messiah would defeat Satan.  (Genesis 3:15)

All the Mosaic (Old Testament) sacrificial system, and all the Tabernacle typology pointed to the Lamb of God, the Messiah, who would defeat the serpent, and fulfil the redemptive plan of God by His sacrifice at Calvary.

The writings of David and the prophets included the following specific Messianic prophecies concerning the Passion and the events surrounding it:

THE MESSIAH WOULD BE BETRAYED BY A FRIEND

“Even my friend and ally, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”  (Psalm 41:9) 

      Fulfilled by Judas Iscariot, in John 13:18-19,21. Matthew 10:4.

THE MESSIAH WOULD BE SOLD FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

“I said to them, ‘If you think it good, give me my wages; but if not, don’t give!’  So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.”

 (Zechariah 11:12)

      Also fulfilled by Judas in Matthew 26:14-16

THE MESSIAH WOULD BE FORSAKEN BY HIS FOLLOWERS

“O sword, awake against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My companion,” declares YHWH of Hosts. “Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. But I will turn back My hand upon the little ones.” (Zechariah 13:7)

      Fulfilled in Mark 14:27, 50

HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY WOULD STAND A FAR OFF WATCHING

“My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; and my neighbours stand afar off.” (Psalm 38:11) 

      Fulfilled in Luke 23:49

HE WOULD BE ACCUSED BY FALSE WITNESSES

“Violent and ruthless witnesses rise up; they question me on things I know nothing about.”       (Psalm 35:11)

      Fulfilled in  Matthew 26:59-60.

HE WOULD BE SILENT BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.”  (Isaiah 53:7)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:12.

HE WOULD BE DESPISED AND REJECTED BY HIS PEOPLE

“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”  (Isaiah 53:3)

      Fulfilled in Luke 23:13-18, 21-25.

HE WOULD BE HATED WITHOUT A CAUSE

“Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head. They are mighty who would destroy me - my lying enemies! What I did not steal, I am forced to restore.”   (Psalm 69:4)

      Fulfilled in John 15:25.

PEOPLE WOULD SHAKE THEIR HEADS AT HIM

“And I, I have become a reproach to them; when they see me, they shake their heads.”   (Psalm 109:25)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:39.

HE WOULD BE PIERCED

“But He was wounded - pierced through - for our transgressions.”         (Isaiah 53:5)

      Fulfilled by the Romans in John 19:34.

HE WOULD BE BRUISED

“He was bruised for our iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:5)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 26:67-68.

HE WOULD BE SCOURGED

“The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:5)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:26.

HIS HANDS WOULD BE WOUNDED

“And someone will say to him, ‘What are these wounds in your hands?’ Then he shall say, ‘These are the wounds I received in the house of those who love me’.”     (Zechariah 13:6)

      Fulfilled in John 20:20.

HE WOULD BE SMITTEN AND SPAT UPON

“I gave my back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting.”           (Isaiah 50:6)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 26:67.

HE WOULD BE MOCKED

“All who see Me, mock Me; they grimace and shake the head, saying, ‘Cast yourself on YHWH! Let Him deliver Him! Let Him rescue Him, since He has delighted in Him’.”   (Psalm 22:7-8)

      Fulfilled by the Jews in Matthew 27:38-44.

HE WOULD BE PUT TO DEATH ALONGSIDE CRIMINALS

“He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”    (Isaiah 53:12)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:38.

HIS HANDS AND FEET WOULD BE PIERCED

“They pierced My hands and My feet.”   (Psalm 22:16)

      Fulfilled in Luke 23:33, John 20:25.

HIS BONES WOULD BE OUT OF JOINT

“I am poured out like water, all My bones are out of joint; My heart has become like wax; it has melted within Me.”  (Psalm 22:14)

      Fulfilled in the crucifixion. Luke 23:33.

In this cruel form of Roman execution, a criminal was first nailed to a stake. The stake was then dropped into a shaft in the ground so that it stood upright. Because of the nailing of the hands and feet, and the dropping of the cross into the shaft, the body of Y’shua, as with all crucified victims, was wrenched, and His joints were dislocated.

BUT NONE OF HIS BONES WOULD BE BROKEN

“He keeps all His bones; not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:20)

      Fulfilled in John 19:31-33.

HE WOULD PRAY FOR HIS PERSECUTORS

“He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”   (Isaiah 53:12)

      Fulfilled in Luke 23:34.

LOTS WOULD BE CAST FOR HIS GARMENTS

“They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”     (Psalm 22:18)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:35, and John 19:23-24.

HE WOULD SUFFER SEVERE THIRST AND

BE OFFERED GALL AND VINEGAR TO DRINK

“They also give me gall for my food, and for my thirst they give me vinegar to drink.”  (Psalm 69:21)

      Fulfilled in John 19:28 and Matthew 27:34.

HE WOULD UTTER A FORSAKEN CRY

“Eli, Eli, (My God, My God), why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from saving Me, and from the words of My groaning?”            (Psalm 22:1)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 7:46. The Messiah called out these exacts words from the cross.

HE WOULD COMMIT HIMSELF TO YAHWEH (God)

“Into Your hand I commit My spirit. You have redeemed me, O YHWH, God of truth.”  (Psalm 31:5)

      Fulfilled in Luke 23:46

HIS HEART WOULD BE RAPTURED

“I am poured out like water, all My bones are out of joint; My heart has become like wax; it has melted within Me.”  (Psalm 22:14)

      Fulfilled in John 19:34.

HIS SIDE WOULD BE PIERCED

“They will look on Me, the One they have pierced.”  (Zechariah 12:10)

      Fulfilled in John 19:34.

THE SINS OF MEN WOULD BE LAID ON HIM

“All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way, but YHWH has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6)

      Fulfilled at Calvary. (Hebrews 9:28. 2 Cor. 5:21)

HE WOULD BE PLACED IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB

“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, yet with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence,   nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”   (Isaiah 53:9)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 27:57-60.

MESSIAH WOULD BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD,

and ASCEND TO HEAVEN

“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol (the grave or place of the dead), neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”                  (Psalm 16:10)

“You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that Yahweh, God may dwell there.”  (Psalm 68:18)

“YHWH says to my Master, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet’.”  (Psalm 110:1)

“You have made Him a little less than the angels of God, and have crowned Him with glory and honour!”  (Psalm 8:5)

      Fulfilled in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, 1 Corinthians 15:3-7,20.

       Acts 1:9. Hebrews 1:3. 2:9-10.

 

4

Y’SHUA  FORETOLD HIS  SUFFERING  AND  DEATH

On a number of occasions, the Messiah told His disciples of His coming Passion:

“From that time on Y’shua began to show His disciples clearly, that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes - the teachers of the Law, and that He must be killed, and on the third day be raised to life.”    (Matthew 16:21)

“He answered, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA-MONSTER [Jonah 1:17]; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”   (Matthew 12:39-40)

“And while they were staying in Galilee, Y’shua said to them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.’ And they were extremely sorrowful.”   (Matthew 17:22-23)

“Look, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes (the teachers of the law), and they will condemn Him to death, and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge and to crucify, and on the third day He will rise again.”           (Matthew 20:18-19)

 

5

IT  WAS  A  MATTER  OF  OBEDIENCE

Knowing all that was entailed in His coming passion, Y‘shua set His Face like flint to go to Jerusalem.  To the Messiah, the Passion was essential - it was a matter requiring absolute obedience to God.

The Master was fulfilling another Messianic prophecy:

“I gave my back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Sovereign Master, YHWH, helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced. So I have set My Face like flint, and I know that I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:6-7)

“When the time for Him to be taken up - His ascension - was approaching, He resolutely set His Face to go to Jerusalem.”  (Luke 9:51)

This scripture indicates that the Messiah was looking beyond the crucifixion, to His ascension.  Like a woman who looks beyond the pain to the birth of her child, the Messiah was looking beyond His passion to the joy that was set before Him - to the joy of returning to the Father in Heaven, now, for the first time, in a glorified body, and as the Head of a “new creation” - the redeemed family.

The Master’s humiliation, obedience, death and exaltation is described in these terms by Paul:

“The Messiah, Y’shua, who, although existing in the form of God - being in very nature God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself (of all rightful dignity), taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself (still further) by becoming obedient to the extreme of death, even death of an execution stake - a cross.

“Therefore (because He stooped so low), God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Y’shua every knee should bow - in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue confess that Y’shua the Messiah is Lord (the Heavenly Master), to the glory of Yahweh, God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:5-11)

 

All the way to Calvary, He went for me,

He went for me, He went for me,

All the way to Calvary, He went for me,

And now He sets me free.

 

 

6

CALVARY  WAS  NECESSARY  FOR 

THE  MESSIAH  TO  SECURE  MAN’S  SALVATION,  AND

  TO  BECOME  THE  FIRSTFRUITS  OF  THE  RESURRECTION

After the resurrection angelic messengers spoke to a group of women at the Master’s tomb. They said:

“He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee, the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”   (Luke 24:6-7)

The same day Y’shua appeared to some disciples and reminded them that His death had been necessary:

“And He said to them, ‘O foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things before entering into His glory?’

“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures … and He said to them, ‘It is written that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead on the third day, and that repentance leading to forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His Name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem’.”  (Luke 24:6-7,  26-27,  46-47)

Why was that suffering necessary?  Firstly to fulfil the plan of God. Secondly to fulfil the Scriptures. Thirdly, to make a way of salvation for men.  And fourthly, to become the prototype for the resurrection of believers.

This plan of salvation – redemption and resurrection – is a main theme running throughout the Scripture:

“The Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures ... He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

The Messiah has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep - (believers who have died). For since death came into the world through a man (Adam), the resurrection of the dead has come also through a Man (Messiah).

“For just as all through union with Adam die, so all who are in union with the Messiah will be made alive; but each one in his own order. The Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of His coming.”  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20-23)

Another reason why Y’shua the Messiah endured the Passion:

 

7

TO  BECOME  A  MEDIATOR BETWEEN  GOD  AND  MEN

“For there is one God, (YAHWEH), and one Mediator between God and men - the Man, Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.”   (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Calvary was the meeting place – the place where mercy and justice met.

As the Ruler of the Universe, and the Upholder of truth and righteousness, God could not overlook, or simply forgive, transgression; He must exact the death penalty for sin.  But as the Creator, and a Heavenly Father who is totally love, God found a way to exact the penalty, and at the same time, provide forgiveness, cleansing,  deliverance,  reconciliation  and  eternal redemption for all who are willing to receive it.

The provision was in the form of a Mediator – a perfect, sinless Man would pay the penalty for the sin of the whole world. This meant that the holy God could now forgive men their sins.

“God was personally present in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

 

8

JESUS  DIED  TO  SAVE  SINNERS

“For … the Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and He was buried (in the tomb), and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”   (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

The apostle Paul preached sin, repentance, and the Saviour of sinners ...

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”     (Romans 3:23)

It is a trustworthy statement, and worthy of full acceptance, that Messiah Y’shua came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”       (1 Timothy 1:15)

The penalty of sin is the ultimate doom – eternal death, which means, eternal separation from God - in Hell. 

“For the wages of sin is death.”   (Romans 6:23)

Now, it is sure, no-one can deliver himself from the cesspool of sin; and no-one can save himself from the dreadful penalty of sin.

Mankind was condemned, and needed a Saviour. There were many religious and political leaders; there were mighty men of valour; there were great philosophers and intellects, but tragically there was not one person found in all the earth who could deliver the human race from the wages of its sin. 

That’s why the Almighty came to earth in the form of man - the Man Christ Jesus - to seek and to  save the lost -  men and women, boys and girls.

The Scriptures teach that through one man, Adam, sin came into the world.  But through one sinless, perfect Man, sinners would be redeemed.

“So then, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation to all men, so also the result of one righteous act was justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, many will be made righteous.”  (Romans 5:18-19)

God required a perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin.  Y’shua, the Lamb of God, was that sacrifice.

“For when we were still weak, the Messiah at the right time died for the ungodly. Now very rarely will someone die even for a righteous man, though possibly for a good man someone might even have the courage to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us.”   (Romans 5:6-8)

God saves us, not because of anything we do, but because of His mercy and grace. All He requires is that we turn to Him in faith – believing what He says, and trusting Him to save us from our sins.

“For by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“The free gift of God is eternal life in the Messiah, Y’shua our Master.”

(Romans 6:23)

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Messiah is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, and who also intercedes for us.”   (Romans 8:32-34)

Salvation, or “being saved,” can be explained more fully by a number of key scriptural words. And again, the Messiah suffered and died to make all these things a reality in our lives.

 

First there is ...

1.  FORGIVENESS

Our own good works and efforts will never undo our sins, or atone for them. But ...

“In union with Him – the Messiah - we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, in accordance with the riches of His grace.”   (Ephesians 1:7)

Divine forgiveness is not simply a matter of, “Ok, you’re forgiven! Don’t do it again.” No! When God forgives, He acquits the sinner of the condemnation of his sin; and sets him free from the weight of accusations,  failures and despair.  It is like a condemned prisoner on death row with no hope of escaping the gallows, suddenly receiving an acquittal. Imagine that!

“Remember that at one time you … were without hope and without God in the world. But now in the Messiah, Y’shua, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah; for He Himself is our peace.”   (Ephesians 2:11-14)

“He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven you all your transgressions. He has cancelled the written judgment that condemned us - the legal decrees that were hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”  (Colossians 2:13-14)

These words are addressed to those who have received the Salvation of God.  And Y’shua is our Salvation!

My dear friend, if all this is not yet real in your experience, I want you to know, it can be!  There is forgiveness and salvation readily available for you, and for every person in the world. For ...

“WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF the LORD WILL BE SAVED.”    (Romans 10:13)

2.  CLEANSING

Because of the Messiah’s work during those last six hours, He not only made a way to justly forgive sinners; He made a way to continually cleanse all those who receive His provision. They are not only forgiven – they are cleansed.

“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Y’shua the Messiah, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”         (1 John 1:7-9)

“The blood of Y’shua” refers to the work - the sacrifice of the Messiah on the cross, which provides the legal basis for God’s gracious, redemptive and cleansing work in our lives.

God not only forgives us for the mess we have made. He cleanses us from that mess.  He makes us new, and gives us “clean garments – white and pure.”  He gives us new life!

3.  DELIVERANCE

Y’shua endured such suffering, not only to forgive us, but also to deliver us from the bonds of despair. We were entrapped by the evil world system, but the Messiah sets us free from that terrible bondage.

“Our Beloved Master, Y’shua the Messiah, who gave Himself up to atone for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil world order, according to the will and purpose of YHWH our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever.”   (Galatians 1:3-5)

4.  REDEMPTION

Another word that describes the saving work of the Messiah is redemption; it means, “to buy back; to emancipate, to set free”:

For He (Yahweh the Almighty) delivered us from the power and dominion of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”      (Colossians 1:13-14)

The “dominion of darkness” is the realm of evil - a realm controlled by the evil one.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam tragically sold the whole future human race into the bondage of sin. Satan, taking advantage of Adam’s disobedience, gained the “right” to hold people captive, and to tie them into his system of evil.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”   (Romans 5:12)

The good news is that the Messiah came to redeem us from that evil fate. Redemption, however, was not simply a matter of physically breaking into a lockup and setting captives free. It required a legal action.

At Calvary, the Messiah broke Satan’s “right” to hold man captive. Because He has personally paid the death penalty on behalf of the sinners of the world (and that’s all of us!), the Messiah was able to redeem us - to buy us back - from our condition of slavery to sin and Satan.

“Y’shua the Messiah gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness (all wickedness), and purify for Himself a people who are uniquely His own.”  (Titus 2:13-14)

Y’shua did not pay a sum of money, or any such thing, to Satan to deliver the captives.  The payment (His blood – which speaks of His death) was to the Justice of God, so that the sinners can be acquitted and brought back to the Holy God. 

Once that payment was made – and it was, at the cross of Calvary – Satan no longer had a “right” to hold anyone captive against their own will.  It’s like a prison officer who has no right to hold a prisoner behind bars if the person has been acquitted.

The tragedy is that many prisoners – sinners – do not know that freedom is available for them. And another tragedy is that some captives prefer to stay behind bars, rather than to walk out into a new life.

5.  RECONCILATION

This is another aspect of salvation, and it is one of the reasons why Y’shua endured such suffering. 

The Heavenly Father created mankind to live in fellowship with Himself – to share His principles, His life, His eternal purpose, and His glorious Home.

That great purpose of God, however, was endangered by the advent of evil in the human race. Because of his willful disobedience, man was now denied the free access to God that Adam enjoyed before he sinned. The human race became estranged, and separated from God.

To reconcile men to the Father, the Son of God, came at the right time, to deal with sin.

“For all the fullness of Yahweh the Eternal One was pleased to dwell in His beloved Son, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven; through Him, I say, having made peace through the blood He shed on His cross.”   (Colossians 1:19-20)

Notice, this scripture does not teach the reconciliation of people in Hell to God! Nor does it teach that everyone is automatically reconciled to Him. Reconciliation involves two willing parties.

God is willing and longing to be reconciled to every person on this earth, because of His great love for all.  But He is morally and legally able to reconcile only with those who have been justified by the blood of the Lamb of God. Reconciliation is possible only through the redemptive sacrifice of the Messiah at Calvary.

“God … reconciled us to Himself through Y’shua the Messiah, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was personally present in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them; and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

“Therefore we are now ambassadors for the Messiah - the Anointed One - as though God were entreating through us; we implore you on behalf of the Messiah; be reconciled to God; for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”            (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

“Now, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Y’shua). 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.”   (Romans 5:9-10)

 

 


9

THE  NEW  COVENANT

Y’shua endured the hostility and suffering of the Passion in order to inaugurate a new and superior covenant.

You have come to Y’shua the Mediator of a New Covenant.”  (Hebrews 12:24)

Y’shua, has received a ministry which is much more superior and excellent, just as the covenant of which He is Mediator is superior to the old one, and which has been founded on better promises.”   (Hebrews 8:6)

The Messiah came to fulfil the Law and the Prophets, and to abolish the Old Covenant by establishing the New. 

The sacrificial system of the Old Covenant was a temporary provision for Israel’s atonement. It was good and holy in that it was a “tutor to bring Israel to the Messiah” (Galatians 3:24); and also in that it looked forward to the Messiah’s perfect sacrifice – a sacrifice once and for all  -  which would render the old system obsolete. 

“Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the custody of a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Messiah, Y’shua.”  (Galatians 3:25-26)

If Y’shua had not “poured out His soul unto death” to fulfil the Law, the whole world would have absolutely “no hope, and would be without God,” (Ephesians 2:12) - even though they might make animal sacrifices, day in and day out.

But through His work at Calvary, the Messiah has established a New Covenant which makes salvation available to all, and opens up the vast purposes of God - “in bringing many sons to glory.” (Hebrews 2:10)

 “For this reason - His sacrifice - He is the Mediator of a new covenant. Because a death has taken place which redeems people from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.”  (Hebrews 9:15)

This means that if Y’shua had not died as the Lamb of God, even the people who faithfully carried out the Old Covenant would not have received eternal life. 

  Messiah’s sacrificial death validated the temporary sacrificial system, and at the same time, rendered it obsolete. The fact is that the Old Testament believers are saved even as we are, because Y’shua endured such hostility and such a death!

Another reason why Jesus also endured and suffered and died …

 

10

Y’SHUA  DIED  TO  SANCTIFY  HIS  PEOPLE

“Y’shua suffered outside the city gate in order that He might sanctify the people through His own blood.”   (Hebrews 13:12)

The book of Hebrews shows how the Messiah – as the Lamb of God – fulfilled the Law.  For example, just as the carcass of the animal “sin offerings” were burned outside the camp, Y’shua also was crucified and died outside the city of Jerusalem. 

“To sanctify” means to “set apart.” God sets His people apart for righteousness and holiness. He sets them apart for a process that involves training, discipline and correction - a process that leads to spiritual maturity, and that prepares believers for service for God, both now and in the future life.

The Master endured the Passion, not only to save us from the penalty of sin, but that He might set us apart as His cleansed and holy people.

“By that will of God we have been sanctified - set apart and made holy, through the offering once for all of the body of Y’shua the Messiah, the Anointed One.”     (Hebrew 10:10)

“He (God) chose us in Him (the Messiah) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love.”   (Ephesians 1:4)

And now, look at yet another reason why Jesus endured the suffering and gave His life …

 

11

TO  MAKE  ACCESS  FOR  HIS  PEOPLE TO  COME 

TO  THE  THRONE  OF  GOD

The book of Hebrews teaches that Y’shua, our Passover – our Sacrifice - is also our Great High Priest; and that His priesthood is of a far greater order than the Aaronic priesthood of the Old Covenant. (Hebrews 8:6)

As our Sacrifice, the Messiah died for us.  But as our Great High Priest, He made a way for believers to approach the Throne of Grace – the Holy of Holies - in Heaven.

“Brethren, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Y’shua - by a new and living way which He consecrated and opened for us - a way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh - His torn body, and since we have such a great high priest ministering over the household of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled with His blood and cleansed from a guilty conscience, even as our bodies have been washed with pure water.”  (Hebrews 10:19-22)

“The blood of Y’shua,” of course, indicates that the Messiah’s life has been poured out in sacrifice. The “sprinkling with His blood” refers to the application of the Saviour’s work on the cross, to believers’ lives.

To have our “hearts sprinkled” means receiving cleansing in our lives.  And this we receive by confessing our sins to God.

“If we walk in the light as He (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Y’shua the Messiah, His Son, cleanses us from all sin ... If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:7,9)

Now consider this reason why Jesus endured such suffering …

 

12

TO  SECURE  ETERNAL  REDEMPTION  -  ETERNAL  LIFE 

FOR  HIS  PEOPLE

The Messiah endured such hostility and suffering to secure an eternal reward - an inestimable blessing for millions and millions of people – for as many as will call on the Name of the Lord. 

This eternal reward is the fulfilment of the Heavenly Father’s eternal purpose – to create a vast family of redeemed people who have received His grace, and share His love and life.  This is eternal redemption, and eternal life.

“But when the Messiah appeared as High Priest of the better things to come, He entered into the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with human hands, that is to say, not of this material creation. He entered once and for all into the Holy of Holies in Heaven. And He entered, not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves, but by virtue of His own blood, having secured eternal redemption for us.  (Hebrews 9:11-12)

“The free gift of God is eternal life in the Messiah, Y’shua our Master.”     (Romans 6:23)

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Y’shua the Messiah whom You have sent.”  (John 17:3)

 

13

THE  PERFECTING  OF  ‘THE  AUTHOR  OF  SALVATION’

The Lord Jesus endured such hostility and suffering at the hands of men, also, so that He might be perfected in His human experience.

Because of the evil and corruption in the world, all of us are bound to suffer pain and sorrow in various ways.

The Messiah’s Passion was primarily linked to His redemptive program, but there is another aspect.  In becoming the Captain of our Salvation, Y’shua took humanity upon Himself and experienced suffering in order to be perfected in His human experience. This means that as our Captain, He has experienced our human pain and experience. 

“We see Y’shua, who was made for a little while lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death - for the grace of God, working for the salvation of sinners, required that He should taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was most appropriate that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”   (Hebrews 2:9-10)

Since He Himself has suffered in being tempted and tested, He is well able to come to the aid of those who are being tempted.”  (Hebrews 2:18)

 

14

THE  EXAMPLE  OF  THE  MESSIAH

Another reason why the Master endured hostility and suffering, was to set an example for His people. 

Y’shua had told His disciples, “in the world you will have tribulation - persecution.” (John 16:33). He was warning them that following the Messiah in an evil world does not guarantee a “bed of roses.”

The apostle Peter said:

“You have been called for this purpose, since the Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH.” [Isaiah 53:9]  (1 Peter 2:21-22)

“He who claims that he lives and remains in Him (the Messiah), should himself walk in the same manner as He walked.”   (1 John 2:6)

“We know love by this, that He, Y’shua, laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”   (1 John 3:16)

Now a final, but very important reason, why the Messiah endured such hostility and died …

 

15

Y’SHUA  DIED  TO  DESTROY  THE  WORKS  OF  THE  DEVIL

“The Son of God was revealed for this purpose - that He might undo and destroy the works of the devil.”   (1 John 3:8)

One of Satan’s main works has been to bring mankind into captivity, robbing people of their power to choose the way of Yahweh. The apostle Paul explains:

“The Master’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to all; able to teach, patient when wronged, gently and humbly correcting those who oppose, so that possibly God will grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”   (2 Timothy 2:24-28)

Destroying the works of Satan did not involve the use of overwhelming power against the evil one. Rather, this was a legal battle, for man, long ago, had sold himself into slavery. And because of that, Satan counted it his “right” to control man for ever. 

Now Satan knows full well that God’s justice has decreed, “the wages of sin is death”; and that justice demands the penalty be enforced. So Satan puts all his weight into keeping the sin machine rolling - to keep people hopelessly bogged down in the quagmire of sin, so that he may watch them squirming in hell.

(But Satan himself will be burning in hell for ever!)

Now just think! If the Lord Jesus had not endured the hostility, suffering, and His sacrificial death, then all of mankind would have been sealed hopelessly into such a dreadful fate. But the Messiah embraced the cross of Calvary and paid the penalty of man’s sin, not only so we could be set free from Satan’s bondage and evil designs, but that we might have eternal joy.

The hostility, torture, crucifixion and death were all part of the Messiah’s onslaught on the kingdom of Satan.  The debt of sin was paid, so that now Satan has no “right” to hold anyone captive.

A question that remains is, “Why, then, are not all men saved and set free?”

It’s another legal technicality. God created man with freewill, and with the responsibility to choose the Way of life - not physical life only, but spiritual and eternal life. 

God does indeed strive with men, to bring them into freedom; but He will not compel men to come to the Light. If they are determined to live in darkness and bondage, God will not deny them their “right” to choose their own destiny.

“And this is the indictment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”   (John 3:19-20)

Everyone, I say, has a choice!

“Thus says Yahweh the LORD, ‘See, I set before you the way of life and the way of death’.”  (Jeremiah 21:8)

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. You who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”   (Isaiah 55:1)

“Turn and look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”   (Isaiah 45:22)

In a Messianic prophecy, the LORD, Yahweh, says to His Son:

“It is too small a thing that You should merely be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light of the nations that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”   (Isaiah 49:6)

The apostles, Paul and Barnabas, quoting this Isaiah prophecy, said:

“The Master commanded us; ‘I have set you to be a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth’.”  (Acts 13:47)

And the Messiah is saying to all His people today, as He did to His early disciples:

“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all Creation.” (Mark 16:15)

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   (Matthew 18:18-20)

“Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ - the Anointed One, as though God were entreating through us. We implore you on behalf of the Messiah; be reconciled to God; for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, (He became our Substitute), that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”   (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

 
  CONSIDER  THIS  MAN !

“Consider Him - think much about this One who endured such bitter hostility against Himself from sinners.”   (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Y’shua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has changed the course of history! He has changed the course of millions of lives. He is full of love, humility, and joy, but He is also powerful - so mighty! He is so kind, so caring, so Godly. And His love is so true and so pure - it is beyond what you can imagine.

Y’shua is not like Santa Claus - a myth and imagination. This Man is for real! He lived on earth nearly 2,000 years ago, but He still lives today. He lives in Heaven, and He lives in the hearts of millions of people all around the world - people who have discovered the Reality - the Truth of “the Man, Christ Jesus!”

He was a historical figure. He never wrote a book with His own hand, and yet more books and songs have been written about Him than all other world celebrities combined. He was a teacher who clearly taught the truth about the Almighty God. His teachings were simple, and yet, the world’s greatest intellects are still trying to fathom the depths of that teaching.

He was so caring, that He would go hundreds of miles out of the way to meet and help a needy person. But many did not care for Him because His life demanded a response. His teach­ings demanded a change of heart, and a change of behaviour. And His life and teachings still demand a response today.

He was born in very humble circumstances - in a cattle shed, in Bethlehem, Israel. He lived in virtual poverty. He owned almost nothing, and yet to those who saw Him, it seemed that He owned the whole universe.

 

THE  MOST  CONTROVERSIAL  PERSON  IN  HISTORY

Some say He was a misguided revolutionary, a dreamer who imagined that He was the Messiah. Some have even suggested that He was a clever, unscrupulous schemer who plotted to fulfil ancient prophecies, to prove that He was the Son of God. There has never been a more controversial person in history, than this Man.

Some think that He was just one of the more successful men who made wild claims at being divine - just like one of the multitudes of “gods,” or “would-be gods” - one of the big-time preachers and “miracle-workers” who are roaming around the world and attracting big crowds at the present time.

Many world leaders, including some who cannot be truly called His disciples, have recognized Jesus, Y’shua, as a genuine spiritual leader who imparted wise and moral sayings.

The Father of India, Mahatma Gandhi, had the utmost respect for Jesus, and believed we should practise His teachings.

It is true, the life of Jesus has changed the course of the world, and the lives of millions of people. His life has influenced the nations tremendously. And that’s not simply religion, or superstition!

It’s true, other religious leaders have greatly influenced nations. We don’t need to argue about that. But what we can say is that a dreamer, a misguided revolutionary, a schemer, a cheat and liar cannot change the world, and change hearts - for good!

Some would ask me. “How is Your Master more than our Masters? In which way is your Y’shua greater than our gurus?”

My Master, I reply, is not merely a guru, a teacher, a prophet, a spiritual guide, or a miracle worker. My Master is not merely a powerful religionist, a founder or a revealer of a way to God. My Master is not a holy man who became a “god.”

My Master is GOD Himself:  He is the Almighty GOD - the Creator; the Source and the Power who brought all things into existence, and who, at this very moment, upholds the whole Universe.

His knowledge is far more superior to a thousand million computers; and His power is far greater than billions of nuclear reactors.

 “How could a single man be the great Creator?” you may ask.

Yes, it is hard to understand, but here are some of the facts the Bible presents:

*   Y’shua is the Son of God, who existed eternally with the Everlasting Father.

*   He is the One who has come from the Father to fulfil the Plan of God.

*   In the life of Y’shua, on earth, we see God taking the form of man, for the specific purpose of becoming the Mediator between God and man, and the Saviour of mankind.

“God was personally present in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself.”  (2 Corinthians 5:19)

“For the Almighty God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten (His only and unique) Son, so that whoever believes - trusts in Him should not perish, but have ever­lasting life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world; but so that the world might be saved through Him.”  (John 3:16-17)

Y’shua made some great claims - claims far too great to be made by an ordinary man. For example:

“I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)

“I am the Son of God.”  (John 19:36)

“He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  (John 14:9)

“The Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.”     (John 14:10)

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no-one comes to the Father, except through Me.”  (John 14:6)

“My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”  (John 10:27-28)

“For this is the will of Him who sent Me. that every one who sees the Son, and believes in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:40)

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”  (John 11:25)

These are very strong statements. Of course, anyone can make such statements, but the result of false and outrageous statements is that they come to nothing!

*   It is not only the statements that Y’shua made; it’s the miracles that He did that gives authenticity to His words. What miracles?

*   He healed all types of diseases including leprosy; and He gave sight to the blind, on the spot.

*   He cast out demons from possessed people simply by speaking a few words.

*   He instantly stopped a raging storm by simply commanding the storm to cease.

*    He multiplied food a thousand-fold simply by breaking the food and giving it to people.

*    He raised people from the dead. One man had been dead four days, but Y’shua brought him to life.

If we examine His words, we see the wisdom of God. If we analyze His attitudes and reactions, we see the character of God. And if we examine the details of His death, we must be deeply moved - not only because of the sufferings He endured, but because of the reasons why He endured.

When listening to the words Jesus uttered in those terrible circumstances, we must ask, “What type of Man is this?”-  for He was crucified like a criminal, and execution by crucifixion was, in fact, reserved for the worst criminals in the Roman Empire.

When a criminal was crucified, he was nailed to a wooden post or cross which was then dropped into a shaft in the ground, so that the cross would stand upright.

The victim was thus suspended above the ground, attached to the beam or tree trunk by nails through his hands or wrists and feet. He would normally be left there until he died.  Sometimes that would be hours; sometimes days. The suffering was extremely excruciating.

Y’shua was crucified and died like that, and it was not be­cause of what He did; it was because of who He was - the Messiah, the Truth, God’s perfect Sacrifice!

The rulers of Israel would not accept Y’shua as the Anointed One. They were de­termined to get rid of Him because His Godliness chal­lenged their corruption, and His Presence challenged their positions.

The main reason why Y’shua died like that was because He had come to the world to save the people from their sins. And to save people from sins, He needed to pay the penalty of their sins.

 

HE  DIED  THAT  WE  MIGHT  LIVE!

In simple terms it was a case of substitution; all people are sinners and are condemned to death because of Adam’s sin, and because of their unbelief. But because of His great love for us, Y’shua was willing to take our punishment and to die instead of us, so that we - so that all who believe in Him and receive His sacrifice - might have life.

If you ask the Saviour how much He loves you. He will stretch His arms out wide, show you the scars on His hands, and say, “I love you this much. I was willing to stretch out arms, and have My hands nailed to that cross - for you.  I did it - for you!

 

SALVATION  IS  AVAILABLE,  AND  IS  FREE  FOR  EVERYONE

“There is no distinction between Jew and Greek (non-Jew); for the same Master is Master of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF Y’SHUA the LORD WILL BE SAVED.”  (Romans 10:12-13)

My dear reader, the Word of God is clear and straightforward:

“He who believes on the Son has life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.”  (John 3:36)

If you do not yet know the salvation of God; if you have not yet had your sins forgiven; if you have not yet received the Lord Jesus, Y’shua, as your personal Saviour, will you talk to Him, and tell Him so.

The Decision Prayer on the next page will help you express your faith in Y’shua the Messiah - the One who loves you so much, and who paid such a great price for your salvation.  And He will reconcile you to the Heavenly Father. 

This prayer will help you to receive the gift of Eternal Life that God is offering to you.  May the LORD help you to settle the matter of your salvation today.

First read through the prayer slowly, and then pray the prayer sincerely, trusting the Heavenly Father to hear you, to forgive your sins, and to come into your life to save you today.

 
  DEcISION  PRAYER

Almighty God, I come to You just as I am, a sinner, needing Your mercy and salvation.

I believe what I have read in this booklet - that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross to save me from my sins. I believe that He paid my penalty, so that I might live. I believe that He rose from the dead, and is the living Saviour.

On the basis of His sacrifice at Calvary, Heavenly Father, I ask for Your forgiveness and gift of eternal life. Please receive me just as I am; forgive my sin, and make me a new person.

Lord Jesus, Y’shua, come into my life. I receive You as my Saviour and my Master this day. Teach me Your ways, and cause me to walk in fellowship with You throughout all of my life.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank You, Y’shua, for Your Salvation, for for­giveness and freedom, and for Your Presence with me from this day on. Thank You. Master. Thank You Father.  Amen.

 

            Signed  ....................................     date  ............

 

Dear reader, if this has been your decision today, would you let us know at one of the MRC addresses, so that we can pray for you, and send you a booklet to help you in your new spiritual life?

And may the LORD bless you and keep you in your new spiritual life.  Sincerely, in fellowship with the Messiah, 

     Don Stanton

 
 

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