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  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3


Sufferings of Christ


For what purpose did Christ come into the world?


“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. “ 1 Timothy 1:15.


What constrained God to give His Son to die for man?


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. (See 1 John 4:9,10; Romans 5:8.)


What did the prophet say Christ would be called to endure?


“He was oppressed and affected, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak for his descendants? He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.” Isaiah 53: 7,8.    


Did Christ know beforehand the treatment He was to receive?


Jesus took the twelve aside and told them. We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” Luke 18:31-33.


Agony in the Garden


How heavy was the burden that rested on His soul on the night of His betrayal?


He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26: 37, 38.  


What prayer of Christ shows that the redemption of a lost world trembled in the balance in that terrible hour?


Going a little farther, he fell on his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Verse 39.


How great was the agony of His soul?


“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44.

After He had prayed this remarkable prayer three times, what occurred?


While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him. “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?Verse 47, 48.


Before Priests and Council


To what place was Christ taken?


“Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.” Verse 54.


While at the high priest’s house, how did Peter deny Him?


Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words the Lord had spoken to him. “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Verse 59-61.


To what insults was Christ subjected at the house of the high priest?


The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” Verse 63, 64.


Where was Christ next taken?


“At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.” Verse 66. 


What admission did they secure from Him as the basis of condemning Him?


They all asked, “Are you the Son of God?” He replied, You are right in saying I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony” We have heard it from his own lips.” Verses 70, 71. 


To Pilate and Herod


What was the next step in their plan to secure lawful authority to carry out their unlawful purpose?


“And the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.” Luke 23:1.


When Pilate desired Christ released, how did they remonstrate?


“But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” Luke 23:5.   


Note – This has ever been a favorite accusation of the enemies of truth against the work of the true reformers. The Romans at this very time had a law forbidding the teaching of a new religion “whereby the minds of men may be disturbed.”  


When Pilate heard that Christ was from Galilee, what did he do?


“When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.” Verse 7.


Who appeared to accuse Christ before Herod?


“The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.” Verse 10.


To what indignities did Herod subject the Savior?


“Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.” Verse 11.


What did Pilate propose to do when Christ was again brought before him?


“For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” Verse 22.


Instead of consenting to His release, what did Christ’s accusers now demand?


“But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.” Verse 23.  


Although Pilate had declared his belief in Christ’s innocence, yet what cruel punishment did he inflict upon Him?


“And then they twisted together a crown of thorns and sat it upon his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.” Matthew 27: 29, 30. 


To Calvary


After he had been brought to the place of crucifixion, what drink was offered Christ?


‘There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.” Verse 34. 


In what prayer for those who crucified Him did Christ manifest the true spirit of the gospel – love for sinners?


Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 3:34.


With what words did the chief priests and others mock Jesus while on the cross?


“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him” Matthew 27: 41,42. .


Note – In their blindness they could not see that Christ could not save others and save Himself at the same time.


As He cried out in agony on the cross, and said, “I thirst,” what was given Him?


“Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.” Verse 48. (See John 19: 28, 29.


What closed this terrible scene?


“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30.


By what other miracle and phenomenon in nature did God indicate the character of the deed that was being committed?


“It was now about the sixth hour [noon], and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.”

Luke 23: 44, 45.  


The Divine Purpose


What divine purpose was wrought out in the sufferings of Christ?


“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”

Hebrews 2:10.


For whom did Christ suffer all these things at the hand of the enemy?


But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53.5.


How much was included in the gift of Christ for salvation of man, who had given himself over to disobedience?


“He did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32.


‘Tis midnight; and on Olives’ brow

The star is dimmed that lately shone:

‘Tis midnight; in the garden, now,

The suffering Savior prays alone.


“Tis midnight; and from all removed,

The Savior wrestles lone with fears;

E’en that disciple whom he loved

Heeds 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 either plains

Is borne the song that angels know;

Unheard by mortals are the strains

That sweetly soothe the Savior’s woe.

                           - William B. Tappan.


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