Jesus Christ Only - A dedication to our King of Kings!















 

 


We at "jesuschristonly.com" are trying to assemble resources to help you understand and come to appreciate the unique person of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

We commend him to you as the answer to your life’s deepest needs and questions.

Please be sure to have a look at the "Who is Jesus" presentation.

 
 

Jesus is the Son of God True or False?
(Truly this was the Son of God!)

By John MacArthur Jr


The Centurion

Scripture records a number of supernatural phenomena that occurred while Jesus hung on the cross. Those events were God's own supernatural commentary on the cross. They gave proof that the execution taking place that day just outside Jerusalem's city walls was an event of cosmic importance.
The routes to the city that day were jammed with pilgrims coming and going as they prepared to celebrate Passover. Few if any of them realized what a monumental event was occurring at Calvary. God's true Paschal Lamb was dying on that very Passover to provide forgiveness for all the sins of all the redeemed of all time. That was the very focal point of redemptive history yet as far as Jerusalem was concerned on that day, relatively few were
taking notice. But then suddenly all nature seemed to stop and pay attention.

THE SUN DARKENED

The first of the miraculous signs that accompanied Jesus' death was the darkening of the
sky. Matthew writes, "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land" (Matthew 27:45).
Matthew was counting hours by the Jewish system, so the sixth hour would have been noon. At the precise moment when the noon sky should have been brightest in the sky, darkness fell over all the land, and remained for three hours. This was probably not a total blackness, but rather a severe darkening of the normal daylight intensity of the sun. "Over all the land" is an expression that might refer to the land of Israel, or it could refer to the whole world. I'm inclined to think that the sun itself was dimmed, so that the darkness would have been universal, and not limited to the local area surrounding Jerusalem.

As a matter of fact, according to some of the Church Fathers, the supernatural darkness
that accompanied the crucifixion was noticed throughout the world at the time.
Tertullian mentioned this event in his Apologeticum a defense of Christianity written to pagan skeptics:
"At the moment of Christ's death, the light departed from the sun, and the land was darkened at noonday, which wonder is related in your own annals and is preserved in your archives to this day."

The darkness could not have been caused by a solar eclipse, because Passover always fell
on a full moon, and a solar eclipse (caused when the moon gets between earth and sun,
blocking the sun's light) would be out of the question during the full moon. But God is certainly able to dim the sun's light without recourse to any planetary phenomenon like an
eclipse.
During Moses' time, darkness had fallen on Egypt because a plague of locusts was
so thick that the flying insects had blocked the sun (Exodus 10:14-15).

In Joshua's time the opposite had occurred, and the sun seemed to stand still over Israel for a whole 24-hour period (Joshua 10:12-14).

In Hezekiah's day, the shadows turned backward ten degrees, as the earth's rotation seemed to reverse for about 40 minutes (2 Kings 20:9-11).

The darkening of the sun is commonly mentioned in Scripture as an apocalyptic sign (Isaiah 50:3; Joel 2:31; Revelation 9:2).
Amos wrote of the last days of the earth, "'And it shall come to pass in that day,' says the Lord GOD, 'That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight'" (Amos 8:9). Throughout Scripture, darkness is connected with judgment, and supernatural darkness of this type signifies cataclysmic doom (cf. Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:20; Zephaniah 1:14-15). So the darkening of the sun at noon like this was certain to evoke widespread fear that catastrophic judgment was about to fall.

Scripture does not say why the darkness at Jesus' crucifixion; it only reports it as a fact.

Various interpreters have tried to explain the darkness in several ways. Some have suggested
God sent the darkness as a veil to cover the sufferings and nakedness of His Son, making it
an act of mercy toward Christ. Others have suggested the dimming of the sun signified
God's displeasure with those who put Christ to death. There may be truth in both of those
ideas, but neither seems to get to the heart of what the darkness signified. Since this kind of
supernatural darkness is always associated with divine judgment Scripture, it seems
reasonable that this darkness was also meant to convey a message of judgment.
Coming as it did during the time when Christ's suffering was most intense in the three hours before He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) this darkness may well have signified the Father's judgment against the guilt Christ bore in His person on our behalf.

In any case, the darkness is certainly an appropriate reminder that the cross was a place of judgment.

In those awful hours of darkness, Christ was bearing the judgment meant for His people.
He was standing in their place as the wrath of God was being poured upon Him for their transgressions.

That may be why the biblical narrative links the culmination of the darkness with Christ's outcry to the Father:


"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" (v. 46).

Matthew records what the taunting crowd said in response to Jesus' outcry:
"Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, 'This Man is calling for Elijah!'" (v. 47).

Eli is Hebrew for God. (Mark uses the Aramaic cognate, Eloi.) Lama sabachthani is
Aramaic, meaning, "Why have You forsaken Me?" Since Aramaic was the common
language of the region, it seems unlikely that all the spectators at the cross were truly
ignorant about the meaning of His words. It appears that their remark ("This Man is calling
for Elijah!") was a deliberate misrepresentation of His words another cruel and sadistic
sneer at Christ.
Their behavior further makes clear their mocking intent: "Immediately one of them ran
and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to
drink. The rest said, 'Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him'" (vv. 47-49).
The one who ran to fetch the vinegar obviously did so for melodramatic effect, to complete
his mockery by pretending to be generous and compassionate to Jesus, but really only
seeking another means to taunt. Vinegar would have been a disappointing refreshment to
someone in such a state of dehydration though it would have helped some.

In fact, shortly after this, when Christ did utter the words, "I thirst" (John 19:28), the vinegar was all He was offered. By then it was close at hand (v. 29) because of this individual's devilish taunt. But at this point, others who were standing close by forbid the prankster from giving Christ even mock assistance, saying, "Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him."
Despite the ominous darkness, they were reveling in Christ's sufferings, and they did not want anyone to offer Him relief even if the assistance rendered were merely a fiendish insult.

Matthew indicates that such cruel taunting continued to the very end. It was at some
point in the midst of that continued taunting that Christ said, "I thirst," and was then given a
sponge full of vinegar.
Shortly afterward, "Jesus cried out again with a loud voice" saying "Tetelestai!"
Then commending His spirit to God, He "yielded up His spirit" (Matthew 27:50).

THE VEIL TORN

At the very moment of Christ's death, a series of remarkable miracles occurred.
Matthew writes,

"Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (v. 51).

The veil was a heavy curtain that blocked the entrance to the Holy of Holies in the
Jerusalem Temple, the place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, symbolizing the
sacred presence of God. Josephus described the veil as an ornately decorated curtain, made
of blue woven fabric.
Only one person ever traversed the veil, and that was the High Priest. He ventured into
the Holy of Holies just once a year, on the Day of Atonement, when he was permitted to
enter only to bring the blood of a sacrifice. The veil was of vital symbolic importance,
signifying "that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest" (Hebrews 9:8)

In other words, it was a constant reminder that sin renders humanity unfit for the presence of
God. The fact that the sin offering was offered annually and countless other sacrifices
repeated daily was meant to show graphically that sin could not truly and permanently be
atoned for or erased by mere animal sacrifices.


"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).
"But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more
perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all,
having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:11-12).


The tearing of the curtain at the moment of Jesus' death dramatically symbolized that His sacrifice was a sufficient atonement for sins forever, and the way into the Holy of Holies was now open. In effect, the entire Levitical system of rituals, animal sacrifices even the priesthood itself were done away in the moment of His death. The redeemed now had free and direct access to the throne of grace without the need for priest or ritual (cf. Hebrews 4:16).
The tearing of the curtain from top to bottom signified that it was God Himself who
removed the barrier.


He was in effect saying,
"My Son has removed this veil and eliminated the need for it, through a single, perfect, once-for-all sacrifice that cleanses the redeemed from their sins forever. The way into my Holy presence is now open to every believer and the access is free and unobstructed."


At the moment the tearing of the veil occurred, the Temple was packed with worshipers
who were there for the killing of their Passover lambs. By God's design, it was in the very
hour that those thousands of lambs were being slain that the true Passover Lamb died.

He was the real Lamb whom all the others merely symbolized. In fact, He perfectly fulfilled all the symbolism of the worship in the Temple.

From that day on, all the Temple ceremonies lost their significance, because what they were meant to foreshadow had now arrived. Within forty years, the Temple itself would be completely destroyed when Titus sacked Jerusalem. But the true end of the Old Testament sacrificial system occurred not with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, but here at the moment of Jesus' death, when God sovereignly declared Christ's death a sufficient sacrifice for sins forever, by supernaturally splitting the Temple veil from top to bottom.

THE EARTH SHAKEN

Another miracle also occurred at the exact moment of Christ's death. "And the earth
quaked, and the rocks were split" (Matthew 27:51). An earthquake powerful enough to split
rocks would be a significant temblor. (The crowd in the temple probably assumed the
earthquake was the cause of the tearing of the veil.)
Such a powerful quake would be a frightening experience for everyone in the region of Judea. Although earthquakes were a fairly common phenomenon, an earthquake with enough force to split rocks would have instantly brought the entire city of Jerusalem to a halt for several minutes. Earthquakes in Scripture are often usedlike darkness to signify a graphic display of divine judgment. In particular, earthquakes signify God's wrath.
When Moses met with God at Sinai to receive the tablets of the law, "the whole mountain quaked greatly" (Exodus 19:18).
David wrote, "Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry" (Psalm 18:7). "The earth shook; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel" (Psalm 68:8).

The prophet Nahum wrote,

The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The LORD has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,
And dries up all the rivers.
Bashan and Carmel wither,
And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
The mountains quake before Him,
The hills melt,
And the earth heaves at His presence,
Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
(Nahum 1:3-5).

The book of Revelation indicates that the final judgment of the earth will commence with a
global earthquake more powerful than any ever experienced before (Hebrews 12:26-27;
Revelation 6:14-15).
So it is clear that a supernatural earthquake like this one could only signify the wrath of
God. At the cross, the wrath of God against sin was poured out on God's own Son. The
accompanying earthquake, coming at the culminating moment of Christ's atoning work, was
a kind of divine punctuation mark, perhaps signifying God's anger at the fact that sin had
cost His Son so much.

THE DEAD RAISED

At that very same moment when Christ died, yet another miracle occurred:

"The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many" (Matthew 27:52-53).

Many of the tombs in and around Jerusalem to this day are hollow stone sepulchres,
resting at ground level or just above. The earthquake was evidently powerful enough to split
sepulchres like these. That was not the miracle; that might have occurred in any earthquake.
The great miracle is that those who emerged from the broken sepulchres were raised from the dead.
Of all the gospel writers, only Matthew mentions this event. Some have cited this as a reason to discount Matthew's veracity, suggesting that if such an event occurred, it would have certainly been noteworthy enough to catch the attention of all Jerusalem. But there's no
reason to think this miracle was designed to catch a lot of people's attention. It seems to have
been a remarkably quiet miracle, despite its spectacular nature.

Although "many . . . saints who had fallen asleep" were raised, not all were. These were
select representatives of the multitude of saints buried in and around Jerusalem. The number
who were raised is not specified, but the term "many" in this case could refer to as few as a
dozen even fewer.

(That would still be "many," given the fact that what Matthew is describing is people who were released from stone sarcophagi and came alive!)

Still, despite the spectacular nature of the miracle itself, this seems to have been a fairly low-key event.
Notice, in fact, that those who rose from the dead did not appear in Jerusalem until after Jesus' resurrection.

(The proper phrasing and punctuation of the verse is probably best reflected in the NIV translation: "They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.")

Where these resurrected saints were in the days after they were loosed from the grave and before they appeared in Jerusalem is not specified. But the fact that they waited until after Christ's resurrection to appear to anyone reminds us that He is the firstfruits of those risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20).
These risen saints most likely came forth from the dead in glorified bodies already fit for
heaven (rather than being restored to life in unglorified mortal bodies, as Lazarus had been).

They "appeared to many" (v. 53). Again, how many is not specified, but evidently there were
enough eyewitnesses to verify the miracle. When Matthew wrote his gospel, some of the
eyewitnesses would have no doubt still been alive. Matthew doesn't say what became of the
risen saints, but they undoubtedly ascended to glory not long after Jesus' resurrection.
Their appearance proved that Christ had conquered death, not merely for Himself, but for
all the saints.

One day "all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth" (John 5:28-29). This miraculous event prefigured that final great resurrection.

Perhaps the most dramatic miracle that occurred at the moment of Jesus' death was the conversion of the centurion charged with overseeing the crucifixion. As Christ's atoning work was brought to completion, its dramatic saving power was already at work in the lives of those who were physically closest to Him.

THE CENTURION SAVED

Matthew 27:54 says,
"So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, 'Truly this was the Son of God!'"

A Roman centurion was the commander of a hundred-man division (or a "century") the
basic building-block of a Roman legion. There were about 25 legions in the entire Roman
army worldwide. Each legion comprised 6,000 men, divided into ten cohorts of 600 men
each. Each cohort had 3 maniples, and each maniple was divided into 2 centuries. Each
century was commanded by a centurion. The centurions were usually career officers,
hardened men of war.
Because this particular officer was with those guarding Jesus, it appears he is the very
one who had been given charge of overseeing and carrying out the crucifixion of Christ and
probably the crucifixions of the two thieves as well. He and his men were close eyewitnesses to everything that had happened since Jesus was taken to the Praetorium. They had personally kept Him under guard from that point on.

(It is even possible that the centurion and some of the men with him were also the same soldiers who arrested Jesus the night before. If so, they had been eyewitnesses from the very beginning of the entire ordeal.)

They had seen how Jesus held His silence while His enemies hurled accusations at Him.
These same soldiers had strapped him to a post for the scourging, and watched while He
suffered even that horrific beating with quiet grace and majesty.
They themselves had mercilessly taunted Him, dressing Him in a faded soldier's tunic, pretending it was a royal robe.
They had battered His head with a reed they gave Him as a mock scepter.
These very same soldiers had also woven a crown of cruel thorns and mashed it into the skin of His scalp.
They had spat on Him and taunted Him and mistreated Him in every conceivable fashion and they had seen

Him endure all those tortures without cursing or threatening any of His tormentors.

In all likelihood, the soldiers heard with their own ears when Pilate repeatedly declared Jesus' innocence. They knew very well that He was guilty of no crime that made Him a threat to Rome's interests. They must have been utterly amazed from the very beginning about how different He was from the typical criminal who was crucified. At first, they probably were inclined to write Him off as a madman. But by now they could see that He was not insane. He fit no category they had ever seen in the hundreds of crucifixions they had probably superintended.

Until now, the uniqueness of Christ had made no apparent impact whatsoever on these
soldiers.
They were hardened men, and Jesus' passivity made no difference in the way they
treated Him. His obvious innocence had not gained any sympathy from them. They had
showed him no mercy. They were professional soldiers, trained to follow orders. And so
they had dutifully nailed Jesus' hands and feet to the cross. They had set the cross upright
and dropped it into the hole dug for it. They had cast lots for Jesus' garments. And then they
had sat down to watch Him die.


But Christ's death was unlike any crucifixion they had ever witnessed.

They heard Him pray for His killers. They saw the noble way He suffered. They heard when He cried out to His Father. They experienced three full hours of supernatural darkness.
And when that darkness was followed by an earthquake at the very moment of Christ's death, the soldiers could no longer ignore the fact that Christ was indeed the Son of God. Mark suggests that there was something about the way Jesus cried out that struck the centurion as supernatural perhaps the powerful volume of His cry, coming from someone in
so weakened a condition.

Mark writes, "When the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, 'Truly this Man was the Son ofGod!'" (Mark 15:39).

Matthew indicates that it was also the earthquake, coming at the exact moment of Jesus' final outcry, that finally convinced the centurion and his soldiers that Jesus was the Son of God:

"When [they] saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly" (Matthew 27:54).

Notice that Matthew indicates all the soldiers had the same reaction. When the earthquake occurred they "feared greatly" Cusing a Greek word combination that speaks of extreme alarm. It's exactly the same expression Matthew used to recount how the three disciples reacted on the Mount of Transfiguration when Christ's glory was unveiled (17:6). This kind of fear was a typical reaction of people who suddenly realized the truth about who Jesus is (cf. Mark 4:41; 5:33).
When the soldiers around the cross heard Jesus' exclamation, saw Him die, and then
immediately felt the earthquake, it suddenly became all too clear to them that they had
crucified the Son of God. They were stricken with terror. It wasn't merely the earthquake
that they were afraid of. Rather they were terrified by the sudden realization that Jesus was
innocent and not merely innocent, but He was also precisely who He claimed to be.
They had killed the Son of God.
The centurion remembered the indictment of the Sanhedrin
("He made Himself the Son of God"CJohn 19:7), and having witnessed Jesus' death up close from beginning to end, he rendered his own verdict on the matter:

"Truly this was the Son of God!"

The words were evidently a true expression of faith.
Luke says, "He glorified God,saying, 'Certainly this was a righteous Man!'" (Luke 23:47, emphasis added). So the centurion and his soldiers with him were evidently the very first converts to Christ after His crucifixion, coming to faith at precisely the moment He expired.

THE DRAMA ENDED

John records that as the hour grew late, the Sanhedrin wanted the bodies off the crosses,
so that they would not remain there overnight and defile the Sabbath. "Therefore, because it
was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for
that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that
they might be taken away" (John 19:31).
The Sabbath was a "high" Sabbath because it was the day after Passover, and therefore
that particular Sabbath belonged to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Sanhedrin's
pretentious reverence for the sacredness of the high Sabbath is ironic in light of how they
were treating the Lord of the Sabbath Himself (cf. Mark 2:28). But it reveals again how they
were wholly concerned merely for the appearance, and not the reality, of things. Old
Testament law (Deuteronomy 21:23) strictly commanded that the body of anyone hanged on
a tree be removed and buried out of sight, not left hanging all night. It is almost certain that
most victims of Roman crucifixion were nonetheless left hanging on crosses for days. But
this being Passover, it was an especially high Sabbath, so the Sanhedrin wanted the Jewish
law observed. That is why they petitioned Pilate not to permit the bodies to remain on the
crosses overnight. In order to keep their sanctimonious veneer intact, they now wanted Jesus
to die, and die quickly.
As we noted in the previous chapter, the breaking of the legs would make it certain that
death would occur almost immediately, because once the legs could no longer push up to
support the body's weight, the diaphragm would be severely constricted, and air could not be
expelled. The victim would die of asphyxiation within minutes.
The cruel practice also guaranteed that the victim died with as much pain as possible.
Soldiers from Pilate therefore came to the crucifixion site with the express purpose of
breaking the victims' legs.
John writes, Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately
blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true;
and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were
done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken"
(vv.
32-36).
The legs of both criminals were broken. Within minutes, the forgiven thief was in Paradise
with the Lord, who had preceded him to glory.
But the soldiers, finding Jesus already dead, decided not to break His bones. Instead, they
pierced his side with a spear, to verify that He was indeed dead. The blood and water that
flowed out showed that He was indeed dead. The watery fluid was probably excess serumthat had collected in the pericardium (the membrane that encloses the heart). The blood was
an indicator that the spear pierced the heart or aorta as well as the pericardium. The fact that
blood and water came out separately from the same wound seems to indicate that death had
occurred some period of time before the wound was inflicted, so that Christ's bloodCeven in
the area of the heart had already begun the process of coagulation.
Mark 15:44 says that after Jesus' death, Joseph of Arimathea came to ask Pilate for the
body of Jesus, and "Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the
centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time." The relatively early hour at
which Christ died surprised all those who were familiar with death by crucifixion. He died
several hours before the typical crucifixion victim would have been expected to die.
(Remember that crucifixion was designed to maximize the victim's pain while prolonging
the process of dying.)
But Christ died at such an early hour in order to demonstrate what He had once told the
Jewish leaders: "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. This commandment have I received of my Father"
(John 10:17-18). He was sovereign, even over the timing of His own death.
Even the soldiers' failure to break his legs was a further fulfillment of Old Testament
prophecy: "He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken" (Psalm 34:20). And thus
from the beginning to the end of the crucifixion, Christ had remained sovereignly in charge.
The Father's will had been fulfilled to the letter, and dozens of Old Testament prophecies
were fulfilled to the letter, in order to make the point.
Christ was dead, but death had not conquered Him. On the first day of the week, He
would burst forth triumphantly from the grave and show Himself alive to hundreds of
eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). He thus not only atoned for sin,

He demonstrated His Mastery over death in the process.

The resurrection of Christ was a divine stamp of approval on the atonement He purchased through His dying. Paul wrote that Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4).

The resurrection therefore gave immediate, dramatic, and tangible proof of the efficacy of
Christ's atoning death. The converse is true as well: it is the cross, and what Jesus
accomplished there, that gives the resurrection its significance.

A thorough account of all the events and eyewitnesses surrounding Christ's resurrection
would fill another entire volume, so it is not possible to examine the biblical narratives of
the resurrection here.
(Perhaps one day, if the Lord permits, I will have the opportunity to publish such a volume.) But it's worth noting that the resurrection is one of history's most carefully scrutinized and best-attested facts. The enemies of the gospel from the apostles' day until now have tried desperately to impeach the eyewitness testimony to Jesus' resurrection. They have not been able to do so, nor will they. Still, it is vital to see that the early church's preaching focused as much on the death of Christ as on His resurrection.

Paul wrote, "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23);

"I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (2:2); and, "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

Why did Paul place so much emphasis on the death of Christ, rather than always
stressing the triumph of the resurrection above even his death? Because, again, without the
atoning work Christ did on the cross, His resurrection would be merely a wonder to stand
back and admire. But it would have no personal ramifications for us.

However, "if we died with Christ," that is, if He died in our place and in our stead then "we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Romans 6:8). Because of the death he died, suffering the penalty of sin on our behalf, we become partakers with Him in His resurrection as well. That is virtually the whole point of Romans 6.

So don't ever pass over the meaning of the death of Christ on your way to celebrate the
resurrection. It is the cross that gives meaning to the resurrection life.
Only insofar as we are united with Him in the likeness of His death, can we be certain of being raised with Him in the likeness of His resurrection (cf. Romans 6:5).

That is why "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" remains the very heart and soul of the gospel message. And in the words of the apostle Paul, every believer's deepest yearning should be this:

"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship
of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11).

Dr. John MacArthur
Excerpted and adapted from The Murder of Jesus (Nashville: Word, 2000), 227-243. Used by permission.


Dr. John MacArthur – is author of numerous best-selling books that have touched millions of lives. He is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and president of The Master’s College and Seminary. He is also president of Grace to You, the ministry that produces the internationally syndicated radio program Grace to You and a host of print, audio, and Internet resources. He also authored the notes in the Gold Medallion Award–winning The MacArthur Study Bible. John and his wife, Patricia, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren.
For more information, contact Grace to You at 800-55-GRACE or www.gty.org.

Go back to the sermons Go back to the Sermons

Home | Sermons | Articles | Illustrations
Contact Us | About Us

What We Believe
| Become a Prayer Partner!


 


© Jesus Christ Only 2003