FOR what purpose did Christ come into the world?
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all •acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." 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 only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting 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 He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep be- fore her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation?
for He was cut oft out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken." Isaiah 53:7, 8.
Did Christ know beforehand the treatment He was to receive?
"Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Be- hold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death." Luke 18:31-33.
AGONY IN THE GARDEN
How heavy was the burden which rested on His soul on the night of His betrayal?
"And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and 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?
"And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 0 My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Verse 39.
How great was the agony of His soul?
"And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:44.
After He had prayed this remarkable prayer three times, what occurred?
"And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" Verses 47, 48.
BEFORE PRIESTS AND COUNCIL
To what place was Christ taken?
"Then took they Him, and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar ofi." Verse 54.
While at the high priest's house, how did Peter deny Him?
"Another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter." Verses 59-61.
To what insults was Christ subjected at the house of the high priest?
"And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him. And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face, and asked Him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote Thee ?" Verses 63, 64.
Where was Christ next taken?
"And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led Him into their coun- cil." Verse 66.
What admission did they secure from Him as the basis of condemning Him?
"Then said they all, Art Thou then the Son of God ? And He said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth." 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 multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate." Luke 23:1.
When Pilate desired Christ released, how did they remonstrate?
"And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the peo- ple, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place." Verse 5.
NOTE.—This has ever been a favorite accusation of the enemies of truth against the work of true reformers. The Romans at this very time had a law forbidding the teaching of any new religion "whereby the minds of men may be disturbed." When Pilate heard that Christ was from Galilee, what did he do? "And as soon as he knew that He belonged unto Herod's juris- diction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time." Verse 7.
Who appeared to accuse Christ before Herod?
"And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him." Verse 10.
To what indignities did Herod subject the Saviour?
"And Herod with his men of war set Him at nought, and mocked Him, and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him again to Pilate." Verse 11.
What did Pilate propose to do when Christ was again brought before him?
"I have found no cause of death in Him: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go." Verse 22.
Instead of consenting to His release, what did Christ's accusers now demand?
"And they were instant [earnest] with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed." Verse 23.
Although Pilate had declared his belief in Christ's innocence, yet what cruel punishment did he inflict upon Him?
"Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him." John 19:1.
What shameful treatment did Christ receive from the soldiers?
"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head." Matthew 27:29, 30.
After bringing Him to the place of crucifixion, what drink was offered Christ to stupefy Him?
"They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink." Verse 34.
In what prayer for those who crucified Him did Christ mani- fest the true spirit of the gospel—love for sinners?
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34.
With what words did the chief priests and others mock Jesus while on the cross?
"Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of. Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe 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? "And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink." Verse 48. (See John 19:28, 29.)
What closed this terrible scene?
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:30.
By what miracle, and phenomenon in nature did God indicate the character of the deed which was being committed?
"And it was about the sixth hour [noon], and there was a dark- ness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was dark- ened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Luke 23: 44, 45.
THE DIVINE PURPOSE
What divine purpose was wrought out in the sufferings of Christ?
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10.
For whom did Christ suffer all these things?
"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace iv . as upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5.
How much was included in the gift of Christ for the salvation of man?
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely 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 Saviour prays alone.
'Tis midnight; and from all removed,
The Saviour 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 ether plains
Is borne the song that angels know;
Unheard by mortals are the strains
That sweetly soothe the Saviour's woe.
—WILLIAM B. TAPPAN.
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