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                        "WHY DID JESUS SUFFER?"


1. The gospel message is that Jesus died and shed his blood for our
   a. According to the Jewish Scriptures - 1Co 15:3; Isa 53:4-6
   b. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins - He
      9:22; Ep 1:7

2. Yet it is not unusual to wonder:  why couldn't Jesus have simply died
   a quick death...?
   a. Animal sacrifices were killed with a quick slice of the knife
   b. Why did Jesus have to endure the scourging, mocking, and

[Why, then, did Jesus suffer?  Before we consider the Biblical response
to our question, let's first note that His suffering actually included
much more than commonly thought...]


      1. For thirty-three years He suffered temptation, the daily
         struggles against sin we endure - He 4:15; 2:18
      2. He experienced rejection by His own hometown - Lk 4:16,28-30
      3. There were blasphemous accusations when He was doing good - Lk
      4. There was derision by the Pharisees - Lk 16:14
      5. There were deceitful questions seeking to ensnare Him - Lk
      6. There was defection by many disciples - Jn 6:60-61,66
      7. He endured ridicule by members of his own family - Jn 7:3-5
      8. He had to put up with ignorance among the multitudes - Jn 7:
      9. There was the anticipation that likely produced anxiety
         a. He knew what was coming, told His disciples on three
            occasions - e.g., Lk 18:31-33
         b. The disciples' lack of comprehension prevented them from
            being any source of comfort - Lk 18:34
     10. At the Passover meal
         a. There were petty quarrels among His disciples - Lk 22:24
         b. There were announcements of betrayal, abandonment, denial
            - Mt 26:21,31,34
      -- The indignity of such things was magnified by knowing who He
         was, yet He humbly "made Himself of no reputation, taking the
         form of a bondservant" - Php 2:7

      1. In the Garden of Gethsemane
         a. There was the great agony as He prayed - Lk 22:44
         b. There was His disciples' laziness who could not watch with
            Him - Mk 14:37-41
         c. There followed the betrayal with a kiss by Judas - Mk 14:
         d. Then He was forsaken by all His disciples - Mk 14:50
         e. He was arrested and bound - Jn 18:13
      2. Before Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest
         a. Here Jesus was denied by Peter - Jn 18:17,25-27
         b. Jesus was struck with a blow  - Jn 18:22
         c. He was sent away bound - Jn 18:24
      3. Before Caiaphas, in an illegal night assembly of the council
         a. Jesus was falsely accused - Mt 26:59-61
         b. The physical abuse intensified - Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65
            1) They spit on His face
            2) He was blindfolded
            3) Some of the council beat Him
            4) The officers struck Him with their palms
            5) They mocked Him to prophesy who struck Him
         c. With many words they blasphemed Him - Lk 22:65
      4. Before the council, in the morning
         a. After consulting, they bound Jesus - Mk 15:1
         b. He was led away, delivered to Pilate - Mk 15:1
      5. Before Pilate the Roman governor
         a. Unaccompanied by His accusers who wouldn't enter the
            Praetorium - Jn 18:28-29
         b. False charges were made against Him - Lk 23:2
      6. Before Herod the puppet king
         a. The chief priests and scribes vehemently accused Him - Lk
         b. Abused by Herod with his men of war
            1) Treated with contempt and mocked - Lk 23:11
            2) Arrayed in a gorgeous robe and sent back to Pilate - Lk
      7. Before Pilate the second time
         a. Barabbas, a murderer, robber, and rebel is released in His
            stead - Lk 23:13-25
         b. Demanded that He be crucified, Jesus is delivered to be
            scourged - Mk 15:15
      8. Abused by the Roman soldiers
         a. Surrounded by the whole garrison - Mk 15:16
         b. They stripped Him and put on a scarlet robe - Mt 27:28
         c. They put on a crown of thorns on his head, a reed in His
            right hand - Mt 27:29
         d. They bow the knee and mock Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
            - Mt 27:29
         e. They spat on Him, struck Him on the head with the reed - Mt
         f. They mocked Him further, then stripped Him of the robe and
            put His own clothes back on Him - Mt 27:31
         g. They led Him away to be crucified - Mt 27:31
      9. The journey to Golgotha
         a. At first, He bore His own cross - Jn 19:17
         b. A great crowd followed, including women who mourned and
            lamented Him; yet He mourned for them - Lk 23:27-31
     10. At the crucifixion
         a. He refused sour wine mixed with gall (an anesthetic) - Mt
         b. They crucified Him, as He cried out for God to forgive them
            - Lk 23:33-34
         c. The soldiers divided His garments, casting lots for them
            - Lk 23:34
         d. People stood looking on, some blasphemed - Mk 15:29-30
         e. The chief priests with the scribes mocked and sneered - Mk
            15:31-32; Lk 23:35
         f. The soldiers mocked - Lk 23:36-37
         g. The two thieves reviled Him, one persisted in blasphemy - Mk
            15:32; Lk 23:39
         h. For six hours He hung on the cross - Mk 15:25,33
         i. Finally He cried "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"
            - Mk 15:34
            1) Perhaps indicating the burden of bearing the sins of the
               world - cf. 2Co 5:21
            2) Perhaps indicating the greatest suffering He endured was
               the spiritual agony
         j. Then He died, possibly of a ruptured heart - Lk 23:46; cf.
            Jn 19:34
      -- As prophesied, Jesus was stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded,
         bruised, chastised, endured stripes, oppressed, led to the
         slaughter, cut off from the land of the living - cf. Isa 53:4-8

[Again we ask "Why?"  Why did it please the Lord to bruise Him, to put
Jesus to grief (Isa 53:10)?  Why could His death for our sins have not
been more merciful?  Why did Jesus suffer...?]


      1. Thus Peter explained in his epistle - 1Pe 3:18
      2. God seeks to reconcile us back to Him - Isa 53:6; 2Co 5:18-21
      3. Motivated by love, God sent His Son to be the propitiation for
         our sins - 1Jn 4:9-10
      4. The suffering reveals the terribleness of sin
         a. The universality of sin - Ro 3:23
         b. The consequence of sin - Ro 6:23
      5. The suffering reveals the greatness of God's love
         a. The love of the Father - Jn 3:16; Ro 5:8
         b. The love of the Son - Jn 15:13; 1Jn 3:16
      -- Yes, He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our

      1. A good high priest must be compassionate - He 5:1-2
      2. His suffering prepared Jesus to be the perfect high priest - He
         a. To aid those who are tempted - He 2:17-18
         b. To sympathize with our weaknesses - He 4:14-16
         c. To appreciate the challenge of obedience in the flesh - He
      3. Thus He lives ever ready to intercede for us - He 7:25
         a. To provide mercy and grace in time of need - Ro 8:34
         b. To provide strength to conquer in time of trial - Ro 8:35-39
      -- His suffering makes Jesus the perfect high priest and
         intercessor on our behalf

      1. Of suffering for the sake of righteousness - 1Pe 2:20-24
         a. When we are mistreated for doing good
         b. How we should trust in God to judge rightly
      2. Of persevering in our battle against sin - 1Pe 4:1-4
         a. As we seek to live for the will of God, not the lusts of the
         b. As we endure the ridicule of those in the world
      3. Of loving one another, and loving our enemies - Jn 13:34-35; Ep
         5:1-2; Mt 5:44-45
         a. Loving one another as He loved us
         b. Blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate
            us, praying for those who persecute us
      -- His suffering illustrates how far we must go for the sake of
         love and righteousness


1. Perhaps we can now appreciate more fully why our Savior suffered...
   a. To pay the terrible price of sin
   b. To be our perfect Advocate (1Jn 2:1) in our struggle against sin
   c. To motivate us to reach a higher plane in striving for love and

2. May contemplation on the suffering of Jesus ever serve as the
   inspiration for those...
   a. Who have yet to obey the gospel - cf. Ac 2:36-38; 22:16
   b. Who have obeyed the gospel, but have fallen back into sin - Ac
      8:22; 1Jn 1:9
   c. Who desire to live for Christ in an unfriendly world - 1Pe 4:

   For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
   leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
                                                           - 1Pe 2:21

   Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit
   their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
                                                           - 1Pe 4:19
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