1. FOR what purpose did Christ come into the world?
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Tim 1:15.
2. What constrained God to give His Son to die for man?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. See 1 John 4:9, 10; Rom 5:8.
3. What did the prophet say Christ would be called to endure?
“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken.” Isa 53:7, 8.
4. Did Christ know beforehand the treatment He was to receive?
“Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death.” Luke 18:31-33.
5. How heavy was the burden which rested on His soul on the night of His betrayal?
“And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.” Matt 26:37, 38.
6. What prayer of Christ shows that the redemption of a lost world trembled in the balance in that terrible hour?
“And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: never the less not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Matt 26:39.
7. How great was the agony of His soul?
“And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44.
8. After He had prayed this remarkable prayer three times, what occurred?
“And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47, 48.
9. To what place was Christ taken?
“Then took they Him, and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.” Luke 22:54.
10. While at the high priest’s house, how did Peter deny Him?
“Another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him: for he is a Galilean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayeSt. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” Luke 22:59-61.
11. To what insults was Christ subjected at the house of the high priest?
“And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him. And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face, and asked Him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote Thee?” Luke 22:63, 64.
12. Where was Christ next taken?
“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led Him into their council.” Luke 22:66.
13. What admission did they secure from Him as the basis of condemning Him?
“Then said they all, Art Thou then the Son of God? And He said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth.” Luke 22:70, 71.
14. What was the next step in their plan to secure lawful authority to carry out their unlawful purpose?
“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate.” Luke 23:1.
15. When Pilate desired Christ released, how did they remonstrate?
“And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” Luke 23:5.
NOTE.—This has ever been a favourite accusation of the enemies of truth against the work of true reformers. The Romans at this very time had a law forbidding the teaching of any new religion “whereby the minds of men may be disturbed.”
16. When Pilate heard that Christ was from Galilee, what did he do?
“And as soon as he knew that He belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.” Luke 23:7.
17. Who appeared to accuse Christ before Herod?
“And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.” Luke 23:10.
18. To what indignities did Herod subject the Saviour?
“And Herod with his men of war set Him at naught, and mocked Him, and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him again to Pilate.” Luke 23:11.
19. What did Pilate propose to do when Christ was again brought before him?
“I have found no cause of death in Him: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go.” Luke 23:22.
20. Instead of consenting to His release, what did Christ’s accusers now demand?
“And they were instant [earnest] with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.” Luke 23:23.
21. Although Pilate had declared his belief in Christ’s innocence, yet what cruel punishment did he inflict upon Him?
“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him.” John 19:1.
22. What shameful treatment did Christ receive from the soldiers?
“And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head.” Matt 27:29, 30.
23. After bringing Him to the place of crucifixion, what drink was offered Christ to stupefy Him?
“They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink.” Matt 27:34.
24. In what prayer for those who crucified Him did Christ manifest the true spirit of the gospel,—love for sinners?
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
25. With what words did the chief priests and others mock Jesus while on the cross?
“Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” Matt 27:41, 42.
NOTE.—In their blindness they could not see that Christ could not save others and save Himself at the same time.
26. As He cried out in agony on the cross, and said, “I thirst,” what was given Him?
“And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.” Matt 27:48. See John 19:28, 29.
27. What closed this terrible scene?
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30.
28. By what miracle, and phenomenon in nature did God indicate the character of the deed which was being committed?
“And it was about the sixth hour [noon],—and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” Luke 23:44, 45.
29. What divine purpose was wrought out in the sufferings of Christ?
“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Heb 2:10.
30. For whom did Christ suffer all these things?
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isa 53:5.
31. How much was included in the gift of Christ for the salvation of man?
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Rom 8:32.
’Tis midnight; and on Olives’ brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone:
’Tis midnight; in the garden, now,
The suffering Saviour prays alone.
’Tis midnight; and from all removed,
The Saviour wrestles lone with fears;
E’en that disciple whom He loved
Has not His Master’s grief and tears.
’Tis midnight; and for others’ guilt
The Man of Sorrows weeps in blood;
Yet He who hath in anguish knelt,
Is not forsaken by His God.
’Tis midnight; and from ether plains
Is borne the song that angels know;
Unheard by mortals are the strains
That sweetly soothe the Saviour’s woe.
WILLIAM B. TAPPAN.
1. When was Jesus chosen to be the world’s Redeemer?
“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” 1 Peter 1:20.
2. To what lengths did God know His Son would need to go in order to save man?
“The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev 13:8.
3. How certain was Jesus of the predestined course of His life?
“This that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end.” Luke 22:37.
“Christ’s death was not simply a fitting conclusion to a life of self-sacrifice and obedience to the uttermost, but He was born to die, and His death effected something vital for our salvation, which His earthly incarnation, had it ended in some other way, could not have secured for us.”—Dr. Chavasse in “The Atonement in History and in Life,” edited by Canon L. W. Grenstead.
4. In what words did Jesus testify to His willingness to suffer for men?
“Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” John 10:17, 18.
5. What did the death of Christ thus reveal?
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8.
“There was a cross in the heart of God before there was one planted on the green hill outside Jerusalem. And now that the cross of wood has been taken down, the one in the heart of God abides, and it will remain as long as there is one sinful soul for whom to suffer.”—Dr. Dinsmore in “The Atonement in History and in Life,” edited by Canon L. W. Grenstead.
6. Beside manifesting the extent of the love of God and of Christ for man, what further purpose did the cross serve?
It indicated the immutability of the law of God. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Rom 3:25.
“Repentance was not enough. His [man’s] sin had to be adequately dealt with. It demanded expiation; and expiation means open confession and full reparation. In this stern and inexorable law lies the necessity of an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world.”—Dr. David Smith.
7. What penalty had man incurred through sin?
“The wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom 5:12.
8. Could God abolish the penalty of the law?
“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17.
9. What, therefore, was necessary for the salvation of man?
A sinless man, not involved in the penalty, and possessed of life, inherent and underived, must vicariously accept it on behalf of the race.
10. Who only could fulfil the requirements of such a vicarious sacrifice?
“God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” Gal 4:4, 5. “Who did no sin.” 1 Peter 2:22.
“Though God is the Author of the atonement, and without Him fallen humanity would have been unable to offer it, yet it was made by man, acting in the true conditions of man’s nature.”— Mason in “The Faith of the Gospel,” page 209.
11. How does Paul state the doctrine of vicarious atonement?
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor 5:21.
12. What divine dilemma did Jesus thus resolve?
“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Rom 3:26.
13. As a result of Christ’s paying the penalty of transgression what privileges are offered to man?
a. Deliverance from Satan. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.” Col 1:13.
b. Revocation of our sentence to death. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Rom 5:18.
c. Forgiveness of sin. “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 13:38.
d. Reconciliation to God. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. … To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Cor 5:18, 19.
e. New status of sonship. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Rom 8:16, 17.
f. Sanctification. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb 10:10.
g. Eternal life. “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36.
14. How complete is the restoration made possible through the sacrifice of Christ?
“He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb 7:25.
15. In what way do the wicked regard the preaching of the cross?
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” 1 Cor 1:18.
16. On the other hand, what does the cross mean to the repentant sinner?
“But unto us which are saved it is the Power of God.” 1 Cor 1:18.
“Never you be ashamed of the blood of Christ. I know it is not the popular religion of the day, but … the whole Bible from cover to cover is incarminated, reddened with the blood of Christ. You are blood-bought Christians. … The uniform we Christians wear is scarlet. If you are ashamed of your uniform, man, for goodness sake leave the service. Oh, never be ashamed of Christ.”—Father Stanton of St. Albans, Holburn.
17. How will our salvation be consummated?
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Heb 9:28.
18. What reward will Jesus receive in that day for all His sacrifice on our behalf?
a. Satisfaction. “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.” Isa 53:11.
b. Universal adoration. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Phil 2:9, 10.