This paper comes as a result of a Power Point presentation we received. Click HERE to see the presentation, which is a good example of the type of information we answer here.
We have been exposed to many descriptions of the Lord’s terrible suffering in His final hours. My Catholic grandmother once described His ordeal of the Roman torment, torture, and final death on the cross. She was dramatic about it, deliberately appealing to my emotions. “Poor, poor Jesus! Oh, how they beat Him, and whipped and mocked Him…” she wailed.
I am reminded of what Ezekiel wrote by the revelation of the Lord:
“And He brought me to the opening of the gate of Jehovah’s house, toward the north. And behold, women were sitting there, weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14 MKJV).
Incidentally, very few people know that December 25th is the birthday of the antiChrist, Tammuz, and not of Christ. The intent of Christmas is to make a great deal of the pagan god Tammuz’ rebirth at the winter solstice, which was a fraudulent and blasphemous machination of men. (Tammuz is the imposter of Christ.) Christmas is just another appealing and powerful example of the savoring of the things of men, of the flesh; it is not of God at all.
Very few people know that God never called for the celebration of His Son’s physical birth. Consider how few were informed or invited to attend when Jesus was born at Bethlehem. If His birth was so important as man has made it out to be throughout the centuries, God might have made it no less a spectacle than that of Barack Obama’s inauguration as 44th President of the United States on January 20th, 2009 (I expect that date will be of major significance for many in the future).
Just as Jesus’ physical birth was not the issue in and of itself, neither was His death, at least not without His resurrection from the dead at the appointed time (after 3 days, as He prophesied). So why all the focus on His suffering?
As Ezekiel records, people were called to weep over Tammuz’ death (who was slain by a boar, by the way – some god he was). I am strongly persuaded, if not having received revelation of God, that the idea of dwelling on the physical suffering of Jesus Christ is a manifestation, if not a replay or continuation, of the worship of Tammuz.
While we can be immensely thankful for His sacrifice, we do not dwell on the death of Christ so much as experience His resurrection from the dead. That is the point! While the details and statistics of His execution may be made available by scientific analysis and/or historical record, let it suffice to know that the Lord never called on us to feel sorry for Him or to even try to identify with His horrific sufferings. Indeed, He commanded us not to do so:
“But turning to them, Jesus said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which did not suckle. And they shall begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us! And to the hills, Cover us! For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:28-31 MKJV)
The wisdom of God does not appeal to our emotions or our ability to appreciate His physical suffering. These are things of the flesh; Christ died to neutralize the nature and power of these things! We are called to believe that the Father gave His only Begotten Son for us and to personally identify with His resurrection from the dead. Thus does God signify He is the Giver of Life and Lord of all, and He demonstrates His great love for mankind:
“Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10 MKJV).
Notice that many, if not most, if not all, of the descriptions of Jesus’ death and the so-called scientific statistics mention not a word about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let it be known that no matter how much Jesus suffered (and many people have suffered much pain and torture), had He not raised Himself from the dead, His sufferings would have been in vain, no matter how much we might appreciate or identify with them:
1 Corinthians 15:12-22 MKJV
(12) But if Christ is proclaimed, that He was raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
(13) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised.
(14) And if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is worthless, and your faith is also worthless.
(15) And we are also found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified of God that He raised Christ; Whom He did not raise if the dead are not raised.
(16) For if the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised.
(17) And if Christ is not raised, your faith is foolish; you are yet in your sins.
(18) Then also those that fell asleep in Christ were lost.
(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
(20) But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept.
(21) For since death is through man, the resurrection of the dead also is through a Man.
(22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.
To pine after the things of the flesh is a satanic diversion from the real issue:
Matthew 16:22-25 MKJV
(22) Then Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be to You.
(23) But He turned and said to Peter, Go, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you do not savor the things that are of God, but those that are of men.
(24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
(25) For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it.
Why cry about the cross when your life is entirely dependent on His finished work by the cross? Why shed tears of pity for the Savior or think your salvation depends on your sympathy for Him to save you? That is antiChrist, it is diabolical, it is pagan, it is flesh, it is counterproductive, it is wrong! Had He not suffered for our sakes, we would have plenty to shed tears about. It is not about our pity for Him, but about His pity for us!
It is as foolish to cry over His spilled blood (His suffering) as it is to cry over an unspilled pitcher of milk. And to cry over His spilled blood is much different from crying over spilled milk. While the milk is wasted, His blood is not. Indeed, by His blood He has reconciled all things unto Himself.
It is as foolish to dwell on the details of the Lamb of God’s death as it is to think about how the Passover lamb’s throat was cut and how its blood was struck on the lintel and doorposts of the house.
Now we can be thankful and let all know the Good News. Why make it out to be sorrowful or bad news? Why dwell on the negative in all its gory detail? Here is what the apostle Paul had to say about trying to appreciate or identify with Christ’s sufferings in the flesh:
“So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so. So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 MKJV).
It is not about how He went down to the grave, but about how He came up out of the grave. It is not about His sufferings, but about His victory through His sufferings, and His overcoming the world by them. That is good – very good, immensely good news!
Near the end, the presentation says, “See if Satan can stop this one.” Yet it is Satan sending it. People have no idea how wicked, deceptive, and counterproductive their goodness and good works are, as with this presentation describing His death. While scattering, they presume to be gathering. But then, that is Satan’s work, isn’t it? Isn’t it wonderful to have the knowledge and full conviction that Jesus Christ has overcome the works of the Devil?
“He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil” (1 John 3:8 MKJV).
To His disciples and all who are His, He says:
“I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 MKJV).