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Son Of Man

by David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

DavidJohnson It is great to be together again, to be able to look into the Word of God. The title for the lesson comes from the gospel of Matthew chapter 20 verses 17 through 19. Let’s listen to the Word of God: Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem he took the 12 disciples aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life.’
Here we have in this passage of Scripture Christ’s third repetition of his prediction of his suffering, death and resurrection according to the gospel of Matthew. On each occasion his disciples did not acknowledge, did not accept Christ’s clear explicit prediction of his coming suffering. It was simply not the mindset of the first century Jews expecting a Messiah king as lion to conquer not a lamb to lay down his life. They expected a throne, not an altar.

Today many still do not accept or understand why the need for Jesus Christ to have gone to the cross to suffer and die, nor do they believe in Christ’s body being raised from the dead. Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile today, unbelief and misunderstanding abound. But know this. Christ was not accidentally crucified. Christ was not crucified because he was legitimately guilty of any crime. Christ was not crucified because he was a threat to the Romans. Jesus Christ suffered, died and was raised from the dead as revealed in Acts chapter two and verse 23 by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, therefore, it was God’s plan from before the foundation of the world, knowing mankind would need a redeemer because of our sin towards a perfectly holy, holy, holy God. Our sins sent the Savior to the cross.
So what is it that is unique about Jesus Christ that makes him God’s anointed redeemer and Savior of mankind? Well, a prominent reason is found in Matthew chapter 20 and verse 13. It states He is the Son of Man. This is Jesus’ most common title for himself used 81 times in the gospels alone. The Son of Man was an Old Testament messianic title. For example it was used in the book of Daniel chapter seven and verse 13 which emphasizes Christ’s incarnation. He became a man, one of us, a human except for sin. That is unique. The Son of man also points to his humiliation. He emptied himself of some of his heavenly privileges temporarily. That is unique. Jesus Christ is also the Son of God. He is divine. That is really unique. Jesus Christ the Son of Man in his humanity, but he is also as the Son of Man, our representative, the representative of man. The first man, Adam, failed. He sinned. The last Adam, Christ, as it is referred to in 1 Corinthians 15 and verse 45 is a life giving spirit. He lived as a man a perfectly sinless life and, therefore, qualified to offer himself as a sin offering, as the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That is unique. How can one man atone for the entire human race? Well, since he is so unique and also the Son of God, his one life is infinitely more valuable than even the entire human race. The creator atoned for mere creatures, that is, all of us, once and for all. Jesus Christ, as the Son of David, is his Jewish title to the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ, as the Son of Man, is his international title to all the nations, to all races, to all peoples, including you and me.

In Matthew chapter 20 and verse 18 it also says that he would be betrayed. Christ knew in advance the treachery of treason by one of his own chosen, hand picked apostles. This surely hurt the heart of Jesus. Thousands, tens of thousands of sufferings mentally attacked Christ before they came to pass. You and I know of betrayal, of deception, of dishonesty, of disloyalty, even desertion. It hurts us. Christ allowed himself to be hurt because he loves us so. In verse 18 of Matthew 20 it also says that hey will condemn him to death. Sinners condemned the sinless one, the one who came to save sinners, the one and only savior, creator, condemned by his own creatures. Evil doers pass judgment on the judge who is to come, condemned to death even as the giver, the author of life, the eternal one condemned to death.

This story surely is not by man. Only God could have formulated and fulfilled this in himself as the Son of God. Possibly at some point in our lives we would be condemned for something we did not do. Jesus Christ was condemned for all the wrong we have done. In Matthew chapter 20 verse 19 it says that he would be mocked, flogged and crucified. Imagine mocking, making fun, scoffing, taunting, tormenting the maker of mankind, the Son of God, the Son of Man who allowed himself to be insulted because of our sin. He was flogged. Not by the Jews’ 40 minus one lashes, but whipped, scourged, beaten with lethal leather, with embedded bone or metal, by hardened, professional Roman soldiers until Christ’s back was a bloody bunch of torn flesh.

According to William D. Edwards, MD, in the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA, in the March, 1986 edition he wrote these words and I quote. “The usual instrument was a short whip of several single or graded leather thongs of variable lengths in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied. The back, the buttocks and legs were flogged either by two soldiers or one who alternated positions. Scourging was intended to weaken the victim to the state just short of collapse or even death. Deep stripe-like lacerations were usually associated with considerable blood loss. Jesus was probably left in a pre- shock state. Hematidrosis rendered his skin particularly tender,” end of quote. That is why Christ was unable to carry his cross beam all the way to Golgotha, the place called the skull or Calvary. He was literally beaten nearly to death as ordered by Pontius Pilate, trying to appease the Jews. Why all of this? Because of your and my sin, and we believe it because it tells us in the Scripture that he was crucified.
Dr. Edwards wrote, quote, “Romans did not invent crucifixion. It was probably invented by the Persians. But the Romans perfected it as an ultimate form of torturous death designed to produce a slow, agonizing death with maximum pain and suffering. No Roman citizen could be crucified except deserters. Crucifixion was reserved for the most vile, capital offense criminals, for foreigners and slaves. It was a most disgraceful, cruel execution. Archaeological remains of a crucified body found in an ossuary near Jerusalem and dated from the first century AD indicates that the nails were tapered iron spikes approximately five to seven inches long with a square shaft three-eights of an inch across. These were commonly driven through the wrists to hold the weight of the body. In the Greek language the wrist can be also referred to as part of the hand. Feet were also nailed. Insects would burrow into the open wounds and eyes and ears and nose of the dying. The helpless victim would be on the cross as the birds of prey would tear at these sights. The major patheophysiological effect of crucifixion, beyond excruciating pain was a marked interference with normal respiration, particularly exhalation. The weight of the body pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders would tend to fix the intercoastal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Breathing would have been very shallow. Add to this muscle cramps, fatigue, searing pain of damaged nerves, asphyxiation, shock, exhaustion, dehydration and eventually congestive heart failure.” Why all of this monumental misery? Again, because of our sin and because Christ, because the godhead, loves us so.

But that is not the end. Jesus Christ never mentioned his death without adding that he would be raised to life. According to the Old Testament, it is predicted in advance, and says in Psalm 16 and verse 10, you will not abandon me to the grave—speaking of David—but also of his greatest descendant, that is Jesus, the Messiah, that was to come. Nor will you let your holy one see decay, speaking here of Messiah even Jesus Christ.

Jesus was in the tomb only parts of three days and in the New Testament, in Acts chapter two and verse 24 God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. And this we believe by faith. The fact that the Church is alive and on every continent and in every culture and language group today also proves and points to a living Savior, not just a dead rabbi. Christians, generation after generation down through the centuries continue to be transformed through the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit because of this Son of Man in his humanity and uniquely also Son of God in his divinity.

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus Christ, but he died again. Jesus Christ was uniquely raised from the dead never to die again. Christ died and was raised to conquer sin, conquer Satan, even death itself. Jesus Christ died so that those who put their obedient faith in him might live eternally with him. But we must receive him by saving faith, understanding that we are sinners, understanding that we need to repent. We need to change our minds, change our way of thinking and ask God to forgive us of all of our sin as we put our sin upon Jesus, repenting of our sins and believing that Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God, believing that he is a Savior, our personal Savior and Lord and willing to confess him before men, confess him as Lord, believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths and being baptized into him, immersed in water in obedience because of our repentance, because of our faith. We obey the gospel and then we persevere in Christ Jesus because he is, in fact, our Lord. He died for us that we would live for him.

Have you received him by saving faith? You must in order to be saved. And only Jesus saves. There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved, only Jesus.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4