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.
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.
Four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Christ's death and cited by the Apostle John.
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
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 well as His relationship with the Father.
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?
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.
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 …
Martin Collins, affirming that the thing that sets Christians apart from others is that they believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that He is alive and actively interceding for us right now, admonished us to know, follow, and strive to conform to Christ's image. Our goal is to know Christ on a personal and intimate basis, …
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
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 called out royal priests (I Peter 2:5) we need to carry the principle of …
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 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.
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 …
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, …
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 ..."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Among his many other accomplishments, King David was a significant prophet. Psalm 22, for example, is a clearly recognizable prophecy of Christ's suffering.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Most people have a dread of something. Even Jesus experienced dread the night He was betrayed, manifested in acute hematohydrosis (sweating drops of blood).
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 hours, Jesus Christ qualified to be our High Priest because He experienced …
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 patterns and themes can be seen throughout the psalms and throughout the …
God 'took pleasure' in Christ's being bruised, not in the pain and suffering that His Son endured, but in the ultimate goal of adding to His Family.
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.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.