The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ’s Suffering and Death on the Cross
WHAT LIES AT THE ROOT OF THE BRUTAL ATTACK ON THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS CHRIST’S SUFFERING ON THE CROSS?
Liberal theologians, or shall we call them what they really are, false teachers [who studied at the Seminary or Synagogue of Satan of the Pretoria University), say there is nothing unique about Jesus Christ’s suffering and death on the cross. Indeed, had we limited his suffering only to the physical aspect, we would have ended up with Mel Gibson’s blood and gore spectacle “The Passion of the Christ” and nothing more. Then we could probably have argued that others (common criminals) who were executed on Roman crosses suffered as much as what He did. It is precisely here where false teachers and their followers are unable to comprehend his spiritual suffering which no other human being could endure. The reason why they are unable to comprehend the unsurpassed uniqueness of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death on the cross is the following.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [understand] them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14).
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The natural (unsaved) man will always argue as follows; (Taken from an article Cobus van Wyngaard wrote on his blog “my contemplations” on 5 May 2009).
I don’t know when this question struck me the first time, but attending an Alpha course again tonight it struck me again: How unique was the suffering of Jesus really?
I’ve heard it countless times, how Christians talk about how bad the suffering of Christ was. About the extreme pain, how the extreme pain Jesus experienced was something that no one could even imagine. Add to that the fact that he was innocent, which supposedly makes the pain even worse!
But the more I think about it, the more this sound like utter nonsense. I mean, many others was crucified, many of them similarly innocent (understand the Roman government of the time and the role of crucifixions in keeping people in line to understand my comment). Thousands over the ages have been tortured and killed innocently, and I believe the human species only got better at torture as time goes by.
It’s as if Christians have this extreme fear of finding out that Jesus was just another human like me and you. Just a plain crucifixion would have been extremely bad, just as bad as it would have been for any other human. You know that it was an early Christian heresy to downplay the humanity of Christ? But by amplifying the uniqueness of his suffering, ain’t we downplaying his humanity? As if the normal suffering that a human would undergo isn’t enough, it had to be worse than anything you could imagine.
The natural (unsaved) man’s mind is constantly occupied with physical realities which he can verify and prove empirically. His entire life is dependent on his four senses – sight, smell, touch, sound and taste (Romans 8:7). Faith in God and his inerrant Word, which is a spiritual aspect of a born-again man’s psyche, plays no part in his life’s journey. The end of his nose is how far his mind will take him and any effort to think beyond his nostrils motivates him to go against God’s written Word and to deny it’s veracity. The Bible, as we’ve seen above, calls it foolishness (stupidity, bullheadedness, silliness).
THE PROPER REMEDY FOR FOOLISHNESS IS TO ASK THE PROPER QUESTIONS
Is there a remedy for foolishness and bullheadedness? Stephan Joubert who loves to base his life’s journey on the newest research or studies unbelievers have been doing rather than the Bible, once wrote,
The other day I read an interesting quote. A guy said most children enter school as question marks and they leave school with all the answers. I’ve told this before, but the other day I read a study that stated that the average child under the age of ten asks 125 questions a day. The average adult asks 6 questions a day. So the difference between the average adult and the average child is 119 questions a day. If you read the aphorisms of Jesus, you will only find 15 imperatives. You will find Jesus asking at least 67 good questions to people. He would always answer questions with questions. This is what child-likeness means.
Let it be said that if Cobus van Wyngaard asked the right questions he would probably never have written the insipid nonsense he wrote on his blog on 5 May 2009.
- Could the blood shed by all the humans put together who suffered and died at the hands of Roman soldiers pay the ransom for every single human being’s sins, including their own?
- Could all the humans put together who suffered and died on Roman crosses cry out to God, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”) when most of them had no salvific relationship with God? How can God forsake someone when they themselves had forsaken Him and lived without Him all their lives? When they died by crucifixion they were already forsaken by God, unless they repented like the one criminal who was crucified next to Jesus.
- Could any of the humans who supposedly suffered as much as Jesus did on the cross, say to the person crucified next to him, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise”? If this had been possible every human being who had suffered and died by crucifixion would have had the very same power as God Almighty to forgive sins unto salvation?
- Could every human being who died on a cross and supposedly suffered as much as Jesus did, have said, “We have come to cast fire upon the earth, and how we wish that it were already kindled! We have a baptism with which to be baptized, and how greatly and sorely we are urged on (impelled, constrained) until it is accomplished!”?
- Could any of the humans who allegedly suffered as much as He did on the cross pray so intensely that their perspiration changed into drops of blood? His perspiring of blood drops was not the result of any fear He had of suffering on a cross. It was because He knew the agony of being separated from his Father the moment He cast on Him all the sins of every human being who had ever lived, was far greater and more severe than any physical pain. No other human being could sustain this kind of spiritual suffering, no matter how severe their physical torture on the cross was.
- Could any of the humans who allegedly suffered as much as Jesus Christ on the cross have said, “But we were pierced for our and others’ transgressions; we were crushed for our and others’ iniquities; upon us was the chastisement that brought peace to the world, and with our wounds we are all healed.”?
- Could all the humans who died and suffered on crosses also say, “it pleased the LORD to bruise us; he hath put us to grief: when our souls have made an offering for sin, we shall see our spiritual offspring, he shall prolong our days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand”?
- Have all the humans who supposedly died and suffered on the cross as much as Christ did been raised from the dead as He was. Are every single one of those criminals who suffered as much as He did on the cross ascend into haven and are they now seated at the right hand of God?
All the above mentioned are unique to Jesus Christ.
Claiming to be wise [through their bullheaded contemplations], they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. (Romans 1:22, AMP)