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 is, "What *did* Jesus do?" because He left us the perfect example.
Four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Christ's death and cited by the Apostle John.
What was Jesus thinking about during His last hours as a human? The gospel accounts reveal what Jesus knew about His suffering, death, and resurrection.
What was in Jesus' mind during His final hours as a human being? The Bible shows that Jesus' thoughts were not on Himself or the sins He was bearing.
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
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.
Our response to God's call has not removed all of our suffering. However, responding to God changes the reason for suffering and what it can accomplish.
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?
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, but God will provide more than enough strength to endure. We are never …
Our goal is to know Christ on a personal basis, knowing the power of His resurrection. This knowledge should be a practical understanding of His power.
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
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.
In taking undue attention off the self, sacrifice (as an act and as a way of life) creates peace, prosperity, cooperation, and most of all, character.
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 surfeiting will cause us to lose our mobility or ability to stand, …
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 appropriate preparations for battle. Daniel 7:25 reveals the modus operandi of …
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.
Being God's Son was not enough to automatically qualify Him to be our High Priest. He was made complete and fully ready to be High Priest through sufferings.
As soon as The Father and Son created man with the ability to choose right or wrong, They exposed Themselves to the certainty that humanity would rebel.
Films try to depict the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, but have all fallen short of presenting the full dimensions of the event—the price of our sin.
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 the Roman spear that appear in the gospels' crucifixion narratives.
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.
Among his many other accomplishments, King David was a significant prophet. Psalm 22, for example, is a clearly recognizable prophecy of Christ's 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.
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 wise and mighty. Fortunately, God did not abandon our forbears in their …
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.
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) through suffering. Likewise, God the Father has determined that His called-out …
The absence of the 100 pounds of aloes, the folded 'turban,' and the rolled away stone indicate that a thorough cleansing and purification had occurred.
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 continually in grace and knowledge. When we receive God's calling, God's …
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.
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 lived our lives in modern Israel rather than a Gentile culture, we have …
Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal.
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 (Romans 8:28). Tragic things, calamities, trials, anxiety, evil, and curses …
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. Paul, looking far beyond his prison experience, would be contented no …
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
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, caring for, and teaching the billions that will be resurrected within the …
Jesus was subjected to the same experiences as the rest of us, having the appearance, experiences, the capability of receiving injury and suffering temptation.
Jesus blazed a trail, giving a pattern for qualifying (through suffering and resisting sin) for our responsibility as priests, reconnecting man and God.
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. Speaking to the King, the Apostle stated his pre-conversion experience …
As we approach the coming self-examination prior to Passover, we can apply six significant lessons taught to ancient Israel through the book of Lamentations.
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, thereby becoming a witness for those who do not yet know the truth. Isaiah …
Book One of the Psalms, parallel with the spring season, focuses on the Messianic prophecies, revealing God's plan to redeem Israel by crushing Satan.
Like the Ephesians, the weary veterans in Hebrews were becoming apathetic through outside pressures, losing their former zeal and devotion to Christ.