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What the Bible says about Jesus Christ's Agony
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 22:14-15

Christ was ground in body and spirit. In this case, He was bruised so badly He was barely recognizable as a man (Isaiah 52:14) and was so sapped of strength that He could not bear His cross of crucifixion alone. Another was compelled to bear it for Him because Jesus was already figuratively ground and ready to be put on the altar.

The lesson for us is that service to our fellow man is self-surrender and self-sacrifice. The nearer our service approaches His degree of self-sacrificing service the more we will resemble what happened to Him. We, too, will find ourselves bruised.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Three): The Meal Offering

Psalm 69:1-3

David was inspired to prophesy of more details of Jesus' agony at this separation from His Father. Note the words, "while I wait for my God." Even though their separation was only to last for a little more than three days (the actual period depending on the instant that the Father found it necessary to turn away from His beloved Son), and even though Jesus was only alive and conscious for less than a day of this time, any separation at all was almost unbearable for them both. This was certainly the prime case when, with the Lord, one day—His last human day—felt like a thousand years (II Peter 3:8), and to His Father, the three and a half days of separation felt like three and a half thousand years. It is likely that Jesus' human patience was never tried more than during these hours when He had to wait for His reunification with His Father. How wonderful it would be if we—Jesus' brothers and sisters—would have even a fraction of His desire to be with the Father constantly and to have the Father constantly with us! How profitable it would be if we would cease shutting Him out of most of our thoughts, our words, our deeds . . . our lives!

David's prophetic verses picture the human Jesus as losing His footing and sinking in the filthy, putrid mud of the world's sins. We do not like to think of our perfect Lord in this low condition: weary with crying, throat dried out, eyesight failing Him. It must have taken every ounce of Jesus' strength to continue His human sojourn through to the very end. But He bore this agony, knowing that He must wait for the final acts of His human saga to play out before He could be reunited with His loving Father.

Staff
Jesus' Final Human Thoughts (Part Two)

Isaiah 53:3

These two scriptures (verses 3 and 8) prompt some additional questions and points to ponder: To whose generation was Isaiah referring when he asked, "Who will declare His generation?" How extensive was "this generation" in Luke 17:25? Were these terms, "this generation" and "His generation" limited to the time and place of Jesus' human lifetime only, or do they, as the other verses quoted above imply, extend to the whole world over the six thousand years allotted to man's self-rule? Just six thousand years? Yet, even in the Millennium, will there not be those who despise and reject Jesus Christ and His rule (Ezekiel 38; Revelation 20:7-8)? Isaiah 53 tells us first that Jesus is despised—He still is today! He also tells us that Jesus was despised. Has not Jesus in fact been rejected by all of mankind?

Staff
Jesus' Final Human Thoughts (Part One)

Matthew 16:21-23

Poor Peter was looking though a glass very darkly and suffering from the common human malady of selective hearing and understanding. All he seemed to hear and understand were those horrifying words about the suffering, the rejection, and the killing. Did he not hear Jesus telling them that His resurrection from the dead—one of the greatest turning points in all eternity—was soon to occur?

Peter had the powerful Satan whispering words of fear into his mind: fear for Jesus, fear of persecution, fear of his own death. Would any of us have fared any better than Peter? Satan, up to his old tricks, knew that one of history's most pivotal days was approaching and what the glorious outcome of Jesus' suffering and death would be. He wanted to make a concerted, eleventh-hour effort to prevent it from happening. How? By using human fear and reason—by frightening and tempting Peter into trying to talk his beloved friend Jesus out of even mentioning these two events: the greatest sacrifice and the greatest miracle in human history.

Jesus was no coward, of course, but He certainly did not look forward to the impending physical torture that He knew He must endure. He had the ability—if just through Scripture alone—to foresee it all in detail. Paul suggests that, even before His incarnation, Christ frequently pondered what He would have to experience: "He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once in the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26).

Staff
Death of a Lamb

Matthew 27:34

These "drink offerings" of sour wine and gall perfectly fulfilled David's prophecy of Psalm 69:21: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

But what was this "sour wine"? Easton's Bible Dictionary describes this drink in its article, "Gall":

The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) "mingled with gall," or, according to Mark 15:23, "mingled with myrrh"; both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne [pain reliever] to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John 18:11).

Other commentators opine that the gall—being a poison as well as a desensitizing drug—was meant to speed the death of the victim before the grisly effects of the crucifixion did. But surely it was not offered as, Easton suggests, for the comfort of the condemned! Rather, it was given for the soldiers' own ease and perhaps for the benefit of the pitiless Jewish leaders who wanted the three victims dead and disposed of before the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31-33).

Luke's account implies that the soldiers' offers of sour wine to Jesus were part of their mockery of Him: "The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine" (Luke 23:36). It is not logical that these soldiers would mock Jesus, beat Him, spit on Him, jam a crown of thorns on His head, flog Him terribly, and then give a pain-relieving drink to Him as a "merciful custom"! Later, to speed their deaths, the soldiers would break the legs of the two men who were crucified on either side of Jesus and would cruelly stab Him with a spear. They would have broken Jesus' legs too, but they were prevented from doing so for the prophecies to be accurately fulfilled. Not much evidence of mercy here!

Staff
Of Sponges and Spears

Matthew 27:46

Could it be that this provides insight into the only thing He feared - the loss of contact and communication with His Father - and that He did not know what He would do then?

We need to consider this deeply and appreciatively because this is the great gift made available to us by Christ's sacrifice. Fellowship with God, being at peace with Him, and having access to Him are admittance to the very fountain of living waters. We can safely say that, once our sins are covered by Christ's blood, access to God is the source of all spiritual strength and growth because the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us (Romans 5:1-5).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Six): The Sin Offering

Matthew 27:46

Jesus quoted His own words, which He had inspired His servant David to put into writing a thousand years before this day, when He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1). By repeating it as He hung on the stake, He declared this prophecy to be fulfilled at that very moment; the absolute peak of the agony that He and His Father had planned and foreknew had arrived. Even in His delirium, the utterances of the Logos were solidly based upon His own Word!

Staff
Jesus' Final Human Thoughts (Part Two)

John 19:28-29

The pain grew so great that when Jesus said He thirsted, the Roman soldiers at the foot of His cross offered Him a brew of "vinegar" or sour wine mixed with myrrh as a sedative. Jesus refused it, knowing He had to suffer pain as part of the picture of what sin does in our lives: It causes a lot of gruesome pain!

Staff
Why Did Jesus Have to Die by Crucifixion?


 




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