If we are merely seeking a crown of glory, hoping to skirt by Christ's suffering, we must ask ourselves whether we really accept the Passover cup.
The sequence of events that took place on Passover, from Jesus' arrest through His death, was orchestrated so we could appreciate what God did for us.
During the final hours of His life, Jesus made seven last statements to mankind, illustrating His nature and what He considered to be important for us.
As we follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, we will suffer as God prepares us for roles of great glory as members of His Family.
We have all seen "WWJD?" on bracelets, T-shirts, and the like. Perhaps a better question to ask is, "What Did Jesus Do?" because He left us the perfect example of godly living in the four gospels!
Martin Collins, asking whether suffering and sorrow come upon those whom God the Father or Jesus Christ loves, identifies four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ's death and all cited by the Apostle John. They include (1) the d. . .
What was Jesus thinking about during His last hours as a human? It seems highly unlikely that our pure and sinless Savior spent much time thinking about our sins. The gospel accounts reveal what Jesus knew about His suffering, death, and resurrection, as w. . .
"While [Jesus] was being tortured, hated, and crucified, was He 'thinking' of all the dirty sins for which He was dying?" asked a correspondent. The Bible shows that Jesus' thoughts were elsewhere—and more constructively—engaged.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern to live our lives- mortifying our flesh and putting out sin. From this pattern, we realize that living righteously does n. . .
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
We hear the phrase so often that it has become a cliché: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" It is typically asked in times of catastrophe, such as when natural disasters strike or the apparently undeserving suffer violence. ...
Martin Collins suggests that we live in a society that paradoxically feels no shame for its dishonesty and deceit, but feels profoundly ashamed of God and His way of life. It is axiomatic that those who follow God's ways will suffer ridicule or persecution. . .
Crucifixion is man's most cruel form of punishment. Why did Jesus need to die this way? What does it teach us? And was Jesus stabbed before or after He died?
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that we do not have immortality as a birthright (the lie which Satan told Eve), but that God is the sole source, making our relationship with God and God's judgment the most important focus of our life. One common denominator in . . .
Hard trials are not punishments from God for unrighteousness but tests of faith in which He is intimately involved to prepare us for the world to come.
John Ritenbaugh stresses that sacrifice (as an act and as a way of life) is absolutely necessary for the working out of God's plan. In taking undue attention off the self, sacrifice creates peace, prosperity, cooperation, and most of all, character. As cal. . .
In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is the only- begotten Son, creator and heir of all things, the express image of God's person, and has purged our sins.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that the ordinary cares of life- making a living and being concerned with our security- have the tendency to deflect us from our real purpose- seeking God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) Becoming overburdened with devotion to wealth or . . .
Military strategists have long realized the key to success in the training of new recruits is to identify the danger they will encounter—in short, to know their enemy. Recruits to God's spiritual army also need to know their enemy and to make appropr. . .
The most formidable foe in our spiritual battle is the flesh. We must mortify, slay, and crucify the flesh, enduring suffering as Jesus Christ exemplified.
As we saw in Part One, Hebrews 5:7-10 describes a facet of Christ's suffering: "... who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications ..."
The fact that God Himself grieves over human sinfulness and the separation it causes—which we learned in Part Two—begs the question of why God created an order where even He and the Word are not immune to suffering. ...
Ted Bowling reflects that, although at this time of the year television has produced several depictions of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, they have all fallen short of presenting the full dimensions of the event—namely the onerous price He . . .
As God has designed the physical healing process, God has also designed spiritual healing, requiring that faith, suffering, and healing be part of the same process.
When we study the great sacrifice of our Savior in preparation for the Passover, we often are too busy hitting the "big points" to see the tremendous spiritual instruction in the little ones. This article draws our attention to Jesus' cup, the gall, and th. . .
Among his many other accomplishments, King David was a significant prophet. Psalm 22, for example, is a clearly recognizable prophecy of Christ's suffering.
Jesus anticipated what was coming on the nation, prepared for it as well as He could, and persevered through it along with the rest of His fellow citizens.
Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.
Since the church no longer keeps the Passover with the slaughter of a lamb, we miss important and poignant details that could enhance our observance.
Rehearsing the significance of the Last Great Day, John Reid encourages us to feel encouraged and inspired as we return to our homes and jobs, realizing that our involvement in the Kingdom of God will in no way be passive, but extremely active, serving, ca. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
John Ritenbaugh contends that our pilgrimage began with our calling and ends with our destination in the Kingdom of God as members of His Royal Priesthood. It seems to have been God's choice to call foolish, base, and despised individuals to confound the w. . .
Genesis is a book of beginnings, and in that theme, it also contains the first prophecy. Part of it is God's curse on the serpent in Genesis 3:14-15.
Mark Schindler, focusing on the events occurring between Christ's resurrection and ascension, offers some speculation as to specific details occurring within this period of time, shedding light on the second part of the Atonement sacrifice. During these ho. . .
Affliction seems to be an integral part of Christianity. However, when it is viewed in the context of eternity, it is relatively light.
There are three components to Christ's composite sacrifice for our salvation: His death through the shedding of His blood, His body, and His resurrection.
Martin Collins, realizing that most people, both outside and inside the church, crave assurance , avers that we can have assurance that we are God's heirs and offspring if we are led by the spirit, remaining on the sanctified path of fellowship, growing co. . .
Keeping the leaven out is very important in its own right. However, our primary focus should not be on the leavened bread but on the unleavened bread.
John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (R. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have l. . .
John Ritenbaugh observes that Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their first love or devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal. Through lack of prayer, Bible study, and meditation, they had i. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. P. . .
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
Martin Collins, reflecting that Satan's perverted desire to ascend to the apex of the universe was totally opposite to Jesus Christ's desire to empty Himself of His divinity, becoming a human being and assuming the role of a bondservant, concludes that the. . .
John Ritenbaugh stresses that without continuous maintenance and attention, it is difficult to maintain a spiritual mind in a carnal physical body. We, like Christ, were made a little while lower than angels to be made perfect through suffering. He has bla. . .
Martin Collins, focusing on Paul's third trial before a secular ruler, following the inconclusive decisions before Felix and Festus, points out that King Agrippa was of a more decisive character. He sought to implement Paul's appeal to Caesar without delay. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh reminds us that war has personally touched only a fraction of Americans. Not since the aftermath of the 'Civil' War has any part of the nation suffered the ravages of war and the bitterness of defeat. The offspring of Jacob, for the most. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, asking why Christians should ruminate about sorrow and grief instead of focusing on happy thoughts, reminds us that death and suffering are staple features of the human condition and that we need to learn how to handle grief and loss, t. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, after reviewing the parallels of the five books of the Psalms with the five summary psalms at the conclusion, the five seasons, the five books of the Megillot, and the five books of the Torah (or Pentateuch), affirms that recurring patt. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
When we partake of the cup of wine at Passover, we usually think of Christ's blood shed for sins. However, the cup and its contents have another meaning for us.
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