SO GREAT SALVATION THROUGH HIS GREAT SUFFERING
Christ had a great suffering to be our Substitute, Saviour, sin-Bearer and final Sacrifice for everyone. John the Baptist had said, by the Spirit of God, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”. To achieve that, Christ became the sacrificial, suffering, slain and smitten Lamb. Through His great suffering, we earned His great salvation.
Point One: THE MYSTERY OF HIS SAYINGS ON THE CROSS
Mark recorded the first thing Christ said on the cross. Then Matthew, Luke and John added other details to reveal to us the seven sayings of Christ on the cross. They are:
i. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Mark 15:34; Psalm 22:1a,6-8,14-18; Isaiah 53:6,8; 1 Peter 3:18
All that happened to Christ had been predicted and prophesied in the Scriptures. David’s writing more than a thousand years before was about the Messiah. That is why Psalm 22 is referred to as the Messianic Psalm. Thus, Christ was forsaken because our load of sin, shame and punishment was laid on Him.
ii. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Luke 23:34; Acts 5:30,31; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16; 2 Peter 3:9
Christ has made intercession and brought forgiveness for all sinners. Those sinners who crucified Him did not know the decision of the almighty God from the foundation of the world concerning Christ’s death. Although they thought they were getting rid of Him, they never knew that was His path to be our Saviour, sovereign Lord and King. But He prayed for them.
Forgiveness comes as a gift from Christ. As people come to Him, He makes them to repent genuinely. However, the prayer of Jesus does not give automatic forgiveness. There must be repentance before forgiveness of sin. Those responsible for His crucifixion were not forgiven because they continued to perpetrate their evil and were “contrary to all men”, the Father and to Christ. Therefore, the wrath of God “is come upon them to the uttermost”.
iii. “Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”
Luke 23:41-43; Hebrews 7:25,26; 13:8; Romans 10:9,10,13
The thief on the cross did not have the privilege of being baptized with water but he believed in the Lord. He never had the opportunity of taking the Lord’s Supper or to do restitution because he was dying on the cross. He confessed he was suffering for his wrong deeds. However, the sacrifice and shedding of the blood of Christ brought total salvation to him. His body was taken down and eventually buried, but his spirit and soul went immediately to heaven. This means when a believer dies, immediately, he is taken from earth to heaven.
iv. “Woman, behold thy son! Behold thy mother!”
John 19:26,27; 1 Timothy 5:4; Matthew 25:40; Ephesians 6:2,3
Christ was going to heaven, leaving His mother on earth. But He did not leave the mother just like that. He handed her to John who “took her unto his own home”. We must not forget our parents. We should take care of and honour them because that is the first commandment with promise.
v. “I thirst.”
John 19:28,29; Psalm 69:21; John 4:13,14; Matthew 5:6; John 7:37-39
Christ made this statement because He was to fulfil the Scripture. He was thirsty on our behalf. He suffered the pains of thirst and drained out of blood and water to provide righteousness for us. The Lord expects us to thirst and become saved, sanctified and godly. He also wants us to thirst for the power of the Holy Ghost and He gives us the refreshing of the Spirit in all fullness from heaven.
vi. “It is finished.”
John 19:30; Daniel 9:24; John 17:4; Hebrews 12:1,2
Our redemption, salvation, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, healing and deliverance are perfected and finished, including our victory and dominion. There is nothing else to do. Therefore, those who need salvation and deliverance should not delay because it is provided already and heaven has affirmed its availability.
vii. “Father, into Thy Hands I commend my spirit.”
Luke 23:46; Psalm 31:5; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 4:19
This is the final word Christ said on the cross. It is an example for us to commit our souls into His hands to keep. Paul and other apostles did the same.
Point Two: THE MARVEL IN THE SANCTUARY AFTER HIS CRY
“And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”No hand of any man was involved in this. It was the supernatural act of God. In this part, we shall consider three things:
i. The misinterpretation of sinners around the cross
Mark 15:35,36; John 8:43,44; 12:27-34; Psalm 69:21; Acts 13:26,27,38,39
“The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.” They misunderstood and misinterpreted the sayings of Christ on the cross.
ii. The means of our salvation in Christ (His death)
Mark 15:37; Romans 5:6-11; 10:9,10,13; Hebrews 2:9-15; 1 Peter 3:18
Christ’s death is for our salvation. His shed blood bringsforgiveness; it makes us justified and saved from the wrath to come. Sinners should therefore confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead. His death is the means of our entire salvation and deliverance from Satan and the consequences of sin. It is available today for everyone.
iii. The ministry of His submission to all Christians
Mark 15:38; Hebrews 9:3,8,9,14; 10:19-22; 2 Corinthians 3:14-18; Titus 2:14
The veil in the tabernacle separated the holiest of all from the rest of the temple. It was not open to all the people in Israel. But now, because of the death of Christ, the veil that divided the holiest of all from the rest of the tabernacle has been “rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” We can now come through the outer court (salvation), to the holy place of the tabernacle (sanctification), to the holy of holies (baptism in the Holy Ghost).
Point Three: THE MESSIAH WAS OUR SUBSTITUTE ON THE CROSS
The centurion affirmed that what Christ had said about Himself was true.
i. Truly this was the Son of God
Mark 15:39-41; Matthew 27:45,51,54; Acts 8:33,35-38; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 3:8,9
The people around the cross feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God”. We are not to fear now; rather, we should believe, appreciate and embrace it that truly, Christ is the Son of God. As you believe that He is the Son of God, you will obtain salvation and keep living “by the faith of the Son of God”.
ii. Truly this is the Saviour sent from God
Acts 3:22-26; Hebrews 7:22-26; Acts 5:30,31; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Titus 2:11-14
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”Christ is our Saviour and He is able to save to the uttermost. He will save you if you receive Him as your Saviour because He has paid the price for your salvation.
iii. Truly this was the Sacrifice acceptable to God
Hebrews 9:26-28; 1 Corinthians 5:7,8; Hebrews 10:12-14; 13:20,21; Ephesians 5:2,25-27; Romans 10:13
Christ has “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”; and everything that Calvary has provided is available and can be ours if we “call upon the name of the Lord”.