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Lord Jesus' Suffering---2021 Good Friday Message

That Friday 2000 years ago was the darkest hour in the human history. The only sinless and pure person, of whom even His judge, governor Pilate, said three times, “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 18:38, 19:4,6)-- Jesus was whipped, ridiculed, mocked, and ultimately crucified on the cross.


But what is the hardest to understand, is that Jesus chose to die, chose to be crucified on the cross, and that this was all planned from the beginning of creation.


When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, God promised them a Savior, “The descendant of the woman”.


“He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”(Gen 3:15)


Every person is a descendant of man, except for one, Jesus Christ.


“…Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”(Matt 1:16)


“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law.”(Gal 4:4)


“when the time had fully come,”God sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ to be born of virgin Mary according to His plan and carefully deployed history(because He will save His people from their sins.”)(Matt 1:21)


What happened 2000 years ago was not a mishap, nor an accident, but happened according to God’s divine will.


“This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.”(Acts 2:23)


On this Good Friday, let us remember how Jesus suffered, died, buried, and resurrected to save the world. Let us put us in two scenes:


One of Eden, wherein Adam and Eve were tempted and committed the Original Sin and therefore cursed;


One of Golgotha, where Jesus Christ hung on a cross for the salvation of the world.


I: Temptation


When God created all things, including Adam and Eve. He gave them only one command: “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”(Gen 2:17)


But the Devil tempted Eve, saying, “You will not certainly die.”


“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”(Gen 3:6)


The Devil has always used the same tactics of temptation:


The desires of the flesh-"If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."(Matt 4:3)


The desires of the eye- “Again, the devil …showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."”(Matt 4:8-9)


The pride of this life- “"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"”(Matt 4:6)


Every time He was tempted, Jesus used the Scriptures to resist Satan. In the garden of Eden, Adam failed the test, thus bringing all of humanity down into the depths of sin and death. However, in the desert, Jesus was able to emerge victorious, bringing humanity out of that pit, because He, in another garden, Gethsemane, chose to obey God’s will.


“"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”(Luke 22:42-44)


One of the consequences of Adam’s sin: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” fell on Jesus: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.


II: Judgment


God is righteous, therefore sinners are not able to stand before him. Adam’s sin brought God’s judgment, which is listed in Genesis 3:14-19.


  1. The serpent’s judgement

“So the LORD God said to the serpent, … Cursed are you …! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”(Gen 3:14)


2. Satan’s judgement

“He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”(Gen 3:15)


3. The Woman’s judgment

“To the woman he said, "…with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."”(Gen 3:16)


4. The Man’s Judgment

“To Adam He said, …"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.”(Gen 3:17-19)


5. Humanity’s Judgment

“Through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.”(Gen 3:17-19)


6. All of Creation’s Judgement

“It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”(Gen 3:18)And therefore, “The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”(Rom 8:22)


But, every punishment has fallen on the shoulders of Jesus, the Son of God. After he was arrested, Jesus endured 6 illegal and unjust trials, corresponding to the 6 judgments in Genesis 3.


  1. Trial before Annas(John 18:19-23)

“Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. … Then Annas sent Him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.” (John 18:19;24)


2. Trial before Caiaphas the high priest(Mat 26:57-68; John 18:24; Mark 14:53-65)


“Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered. Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists.”(Matt 26:65-67)


3. Trial before the Sanhedrin(Luk 22:67-71)


“At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them…. They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am."”(Luke 22:66-70)


4. The first trial before Pilate(John 18:28-38)


“Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. … "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. "What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against Him."”(John 18:28-38)


5. Trial before Herod(Luk 23:6-12)


When Herod saw Jesus, …he plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing Him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Him. Dressing Him in an elegant robe, they sent Him back to Pilate.”(Luke 23:8-11)


6. Jesus' second trial before Pilate(Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16; Matthews 27:15-26; Mark 14:6-15)


“Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe, and went up to Him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, …I find no basis for a charge against Him." But they shouted, "Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!" Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified.”(John 19:1-4;15-16)


The Lord, who judges the whole earth in righteousness, was judged by a group of wicked sinners; and Jesus, the Son of God, who is holy and blameless, was condemned by wicked sinners. Is this not a great irony? However, the Lord Jesus never defended Himself from the beginning, but He bore in silence all the slanders, false accusations, humiliations, and charges that were placed upon Him.


III.Curses


“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”(Gen 3:17-19)


All the curses incurred by Adam's sin in Genesis 3 were placed on Jesus Christ.

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."”(Gal 3:13)


Please review all the elements that appear in Genesis 3.


1. Temptation

Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden and failed in their rebellion; Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness and triumphed in obedience.


2. Tree

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and sinned and fell; the Lord Jesus was hung on the wood to bear the consequences of sin.


3. Nakedness

Adam and Eve saw themselves naked after the fall and sin; Jesus was hung naked on the cross to bear the shame of sinners.


4. Judgment

Adam and Eve incurred the sixfold righteous judgment of God for their sins; the Lord Jesus was unlawfully and unjustly tried six times through the night.


5. Sweat

Adam and Eve sinned and caused mankind to sweat to make a living; the Lord Jesus' sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground in the Garden of Gethsemane.


6. Toil

Adam and Eve's sin led to a lifetime of toil before they could eat; Jesus was humble and poor, displaced and without a place to sleep.


7. Thorns

Adam and Eve's sin caused thorns and thistles to grow on the ground; the Lord Jesus was teased and tormented by the soldiers with a crown of thorns.


8. Curses

Adam and Eve's sin led to the curse of all mankind and the earth; the Lord Jesus was hung on a log to bear the curse of mankind.


9. Offspring

After Adam and Eve sinned God promised them a Savior, the offspring of a woman; the Lord Jesus was born of a virgin as the only offspring of woman.


10. Sacrifice

Adam and Eve sinned and God made clothes for them out of animal skins; the Lord Jesus became the Passover lamb, the atoning sacrifice for all mankind.


Let us meditate on the devastation that the Lord Jesus suffered on that Friday, two thousand years ago!


Pilate condemned Jesus against his conscience and handed Him over to the soldiers for crucifixion. He was scourged by the Roman soldiers with leather whips with bone spikes and barbs for a long time. He was stained and bruised and bloody all over. Then he was forced to carry His cross with difficulty towards Calvary. Due to the night-long torture, no food, no sleep, severe dehydration, brutal whipping, and massive blood loss, Jesus simply did not have the strength to carry the heavy cross. So the Roman soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus. When they reached the top of Calvary, the Roman soldiers brutally stripped Jesus of His clothes, which were stuck to His body from the bleeding scourges, and how painful it would be to tear them. The Lord Jesus was crucified naked, and His whole body weight was borne by three iron nails. When the cross was thrown into the hole, severe pain would be produced by the violent shock. Jesus was surrounded by the laughter, mockery, and insults of the crowd, and the heartbroken weeping of his mother Mary...


“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. … "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing."”(John 19:23-24)


Jesus cried out on the cross out of agony: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”(Matt 27:46)


IV.Death


“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”(Gen 3:19)

This is the miserable state of all mankind without exception! However, this curse of death was also borne by Jesus Himself. All four Gospels record the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.


“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, …"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" … And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.”(Matt 27:45-50)


“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." When He had said this, He breathed His last.”(Luke 23:44-46)


“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit…. one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”(John 19:30;34)


“The wage of sin is death.” Lord Jesus died on the cross to pay for the wage. Men are completely powerless when dealing with death. But Lord Jesus is the everliving God, who became flesh and tasted death for us so that we the real sinners do not have to die any more.


“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”(Heb 2:14-15)


The root of all the sufferings of mankind is:


“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.”(Gen 3:17-19)


The answer to all the problem of humanity is:


“"For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)


Finally let's conclude today's message with a prophesy from Isiah, meditate the amazing grace of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and shed blood to die for us.


“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”(Isa 53:3-5)



3/26/2021

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