Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, September 17, 2012

If it is Possible, Let This Cup Pass… Who Killed Jesus?

If it is Possible, Let This Cup Pass…
Who Killed Jesus?

Dear Father,
     All judgment is in Your Hands. You are the righteous and just Judge. You leave nothing unaccounted for in the end. Help me to write in a clear way, because as Your children, our anointing should allow us all to understand this without doubt.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

            The night before Jesus was crucified He fell on His Face and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matt 26:39 Because we have found our salvation through Him and His Spirit lives in us, it is greatly important that we understand what Jesus was asking in His request. This writing stems from the “A False Doctrine to be Aware of” paragraph in Unity # 3. I feel that a better explanation is required. Here the purpose is to confirm our understanding of the Gospel by explaining who killed Jesus. To summarize what is next, the Words of God convey to us that in God’s sovereign plan, He allowed the workings of Satanic forces and wicked men to bring about the physical crucifixion of Christ. However, the cup that Jesus spoke of refers neither to this physical pain and physical death, nor the torment of Satanic accusation and oppression, but rather to the outpouring of God’s judgment. In order to remove our guilt, the judgment of God had to be carried out. The judgment of God, the cup of God’s wrath, is Spiritual death, or complete separation from God. To satisfy His own justice, God has placed our sins onto Jesus, who became sin for us, and God has poured out the cup of His wrath on His own Son. Surely, in our wicked state apart from the Spirit’s intervention we would have desired His death. The cup of wrath in God’s Hands could only be as terrible as the spiritual death that we all deserved. If Christ had not experienced this judgment, then spiritual death would be our destiny. But He surely has drunk down the cup down to its dregs. And if it were not for our wickedness and His perfect love, He would not have had to drink the cup.

Did Humans Kill Jesus?

            In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians he explains that the unbelieving Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets (2 Thess 2:15). Peter tells the Jewish people that Jesus was delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, nailed to the cross by the hands of godless men and that they had put Him to death (Acts 2:23). Similarly in Jesus’s parable of the wicked vine-growers, He says, “38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Matt 21” Jesus speaks to the Jews saying “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” Paul mentions that the none of the rulers of this age have understood God’s wisdom, for it they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (I Cor 2:8). So from these Scriptures it is exceedingly clear that human beings were involved in the physical death of Jesus. God has allowed His Son to be handed over to sinful men to be put to death physically on the cross. We know that before we came to know the Gospel and apart from the Spirit’s intervention, our wickedness was so great that we would also have desired for Christ’s physical death. We likely cannot comprehend this wickedness in our former sinful selves, but we must believe that this was a picture of the extent of our wickedness. The wickedness of the old man is so great that he would have killed the pure and spotless Lamb of God. This God-Man who walked in humility, who healed the sick, raised the dead, casted out the terrible spirits, and who spoke the Words of Spirit and Life to us…we wanted to rid the earth of Him. The motives and desires in our hearts were in such perfect opposition to everything that Jesus was and did. We could not stand to be in His Light because it exposed our evil deeds (John 3:20). We intensely desired to destroy the Light. Men just like us who contained such wickedness of heart brought about the physical death of Christ. But as we will discuss more now, this physical death was not the cup that Jesus referred to in His prayer. He suffered great physical pain during the physical experience of His crucifixion, but this suffering was miniscule compared to the suffering of the cup.

Did Satan Kill Jesus?

            It is clear that Satan is the striker of the heel of Jesus (Gen 3:15). After Jesus was born Satan worked in Herod to try to kill the young Son of God. Thus, Jeremiah’s prophecy: A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more. (Matt 2:18) was fulfilled with the execution of the young boys. Satan entered into Judas to bring about the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (John 13:37). Had Satan known the resurrection power of Christ, would he have worked to bring about His death? It is likely that Satan did not expect the resurrection power which raised Christ from the dead. He did not belief that Jesus IS the resurrection and the Life. He did not know that Jesus would soon crush his head and crush him under the feet of the people of God (Rom 16:20). So, we understand that the lies and workings of Satan and his demonic alliances were involved in the sinful acts of sinful men that brought about the physical crucifixion of Jesus. But the scheming of Satan to crucify Jesus was not the cup that Jesus referred to in His prayer either.

Was the Cup the Oppression of Satanic Forces?

            Jesus told His disciples, “30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me [no condemnation in]; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.” (John 14:30). Satan who is called the accuser stands day and night to accuse men for the sins of their flesh (Rev 12:10). But because Jesus is sinless, Satan had no bait of sin to latch onto with his commonplace accusations though he tempted Jesus. However when Jesus was on the cross, He became sin in our place. Our heavenly Father has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf (2 Cor 5:21). Because Jesus became the gruesome sin that we possessed, He is symbolized by the fearsome fiery bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness to be the source of healing for all who looked to it (Num 21:9). He bore our sins in His own body on the cross (2 Peter 2:24). The ugliness of our sin, grief, and sorrows were carried by Jesus on the cross. So, when Jesus was on the cross, was His major suffering the accusations of the devil since perhaps now the devil had free reign to accuse Jesus for all of our sin that He was bearing? Perhaps Satan viciously accused Jesus while He was on the cross bearing our sin, but this was not the cup that Jesus referred to in His prayer. The full outpouring of the devil’s accusations did not come close to delivering the torment of this cup.

Was Jesus forced into the Crucifixion by Satan Working through Sinful Men?

No, because Jesus said, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” (John 10:18). Our Savior has laid down His own Life of His own free accord. At any point during the crucifixion He could have left the work unfinished and escaped the incomprehensible torment. But out of the power of His own love and the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right Hand of God in heaven (Heb 12:2).

What was the Cup?

            The cup that Jesus referred to is the cup of the Father’s wrath. In God’s perfect justice, there was only one due judgment for workers of iniquity. They were to experience the fullness of His fierce anger and to be separated from Him completely and eternally. This cup of the wine of wrath is not in our hands and it is not in the devil’s hands. The cup of wrath is in the Hands of the Just Judge (Jer 25:25). For a cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs. Ps 75:8 This cup was our due lot for our wickedness and still is for those who eternally reject this great salvation. It cannot be drunk to its dregs in a finite amount of time, that is, its torment is eternal for the wicked. This torment was exceeding in its intensity, far greater in its inflicting power than any physical pain or death or any burden of accusation or oppression from Satanic forces. King David prophecies the experience of Christ as He suffered under this wrath: He was a worm and not a man, He was poured out like wax, all His bones were out of joint, His heart was like wax and melted within Him, His strength was dried up like a potsherd, His tongue cleaved to His jaws, He was laid in the dust of death… MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? FAR FROM MY DELIVERANCE ARE THE WORDS OF MY GROANING. OH MY GOD, I CRY BY DAY, BUT YOU DO NOT ANSWER; AND BY NIGHT, BUT I HAVE NO REST. (Ps 22). This cup was the true judgment of God. This cup is the Spiritual death that alone is the payment for our sin. If the Father had not crushed His Son under His own wrath, then this cup of wrath would still remain over our heads. For our sin is so terrible (remember that in it we wanted nothing but the death of Christ) that it deserves only the fierce justice of the righteous Judge. It is a good justice. It is a right justice. It is true justice. HIS JUSTICE IS PERFECT. The cup of wrath is the infinite perfectly righteous payment towards sinners. Oh dear saint, our Savior and Lord has drank it to the dregs for us!

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten [i.e. struck down] of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him. Is 53:4-6

Did We Necessitate the Outpouring of the Cup on Jesus?

            Yes, it was our sin that demanded a payment. Because of the Father’s great love, He did not spare His own Son but graciously gave Him up for us all (Rom 8:32). The drinking of this cup of wrath by Jesus allowed for our salvation. He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of [for] our justification. Rom 4:25  God demonstrated His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). And strikingly, the Father was pleased to crush Him for our sakes. God knew that as Christ was rendered as a guilt offering, He would see His offspring (us, His children), He would prolong His days and all His people would be granted eternal Life in knowing Him, the risen Christ!

But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. Is 53:10

Oh Spirit, this writing cannot portray even a glimpse of the glory of Your Gospel. Please work in us to grant us the full comprehension of the Trinity’s love shown at the cross in the time ahead of us.

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