Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 45 – The essence of God – Love of Christ’s passion. Luk 22-23; Joh 18-19; Mat 26; Mar 15.
length: 78:06 - taught on Feb, 24 2013
Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 45 - The essence of God - Love of Christ’s passion. Luk 22-23; Joh 18-19; Mat 26; Mar 15.
Opening prayer and announcements:
H. Love: Personal = affection and attraction to righteousness. Impersonal = unconditional, unchangeable, self-sacrificial preference in regard to the benefit of the creature.
There are three categories of divine love: God’s personal love in self esteem, God’s personal love of +R in others, and God’s impersonal love toward all creatures.
Category three is God’s impersonal love toward creatures. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject.
God has perfect virtue and so He can love with infinite impersonal love.
Impersonal = unconditional, unchangeable, self-sacrificial preference in regard to the benefit of the creature, even if He is hated.
The ultimate manifestation of divine impersonal love is the cross, just as it was the ultimate manifestation of +R and +J. God’s integrity shines forth to the world at the cross of Christ.
We will have to cover this in John 18 and 19 in detail, but in order to manifest the power of impersonal love I will give an outline of the events that happened from the upper room discourse to being raised up on Calvary.
On the way to Gethsemane or just before leaving the house Jesus was made aware that satan desired to sift Peter like wheat. Jesus made supplication for him that his faith may not fail. He tells Peter this and reminds him to strengthen everyone after he has recovered.
LUK 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;
Sifting is done to separate the chaff (bad) from the wheat (good), so satan’s not looking to beat him up as much as he is looking to test his life to reveal the bad in him.
LUK 22:32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.
The Lord, even now is thinking more about Peter than He is Himself. This is the true aspect of love.
As they draw near to Gethsemane, passing through the dark and quiet Kidron valley they enter the gate.
Jesus leaves eight and takes three with Him to pray. He prays the prayer of John 17.
As the pressure of the looming cross bears down on Him and darkens His soul, He asks the Father three times if the cup containing the sins of the world may pass Him, yet not His will, but in love He serves the Father.
Soon after Judas shows up with his band of temple priests, Pharisees, guards, and some Roman soldiers.
He kisses Jesus repeatedly so as to mark Him in betrayal. Jesus walks forward to the band and asks whom they seek. He replies, “I am He,” and every one of them falls to the ground indicating the power of His person and word, of which He could have used to call 12 garrisons of angels to serve at His side, but which He denied Himself out of love for you.
JOH 18:3 Judas then, having received the Roman cohort, and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
JOH 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth, and said to them, "Whom do you seek?"
JOH 18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He said to them, "I am He." [ego eimi] And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
JOH 18:6 When therefore He said to them, "I am He," they drew back, and fell to the ground.
JOH 18:7 Again therefore He asked them, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus the Nazarene."
After the Lord repeated Himself, this time to awaken them from their attendant stupor, they laid hold of Him and Peter, sword in hand, cut off the ear of Malcus, the servant of the high priest. Jesus restrained the violence and healed Malcus’ ear.
The band bound Jesus and all the disciples fled so as to avoid capture and so Christ was left alone to face the hill that Abraham once walked with his son. Yet He was not alone, for as Isaac had walked with his father, so Christ would walk with His. However that hill is about 7 hours away and much must happen between here and there.
Led bound back into the city through the same gate He exited, Jesus is led to the house of Annas, the former high priest and father in law of the current high priest. Annas ran the illegal activity of organized crime in the city and the surrounding area where robbers needed his protection. Since he had no position at this time he had no right to try the Lord, but since he’s the real boss Christ was led to him first in order for him to give the thumbs down or up. Annas would seal His fate. Just a few days before Jesus cost Annas’ organization a lot of money by chasing the money changers out of the temple.
Annas interviews Christ about His teachings to which Christ replies that He has taught openly in the temple so why not question those who have heard. The response to this was a servant giving Christ a blow across the face. That’s all Annas had to hear. He knew this Jesus would be nothing but trouble to him. Annas gives Him a thumbs down.
JOH 18:19 The high priest [former] therefore questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching.
JOH 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.
JOH 18:21 "Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; behold, these know what I said."
JOH 18:22 And when He had said this, one of the officers standing by gave Jesus a blow, saying, "Is that the way You answer the high priest?"
JOH 18:23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?"
JOH 18:24 Annas therefore sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Soon after Jesus was led bound to the palace of the high priest Caiaphas for a second illegal trial since it is held at night and not in the Sanhedrin council. The high priest is supposed to be the ultimate servant of God. It’s late, about 2-3 am and so the priests have to be awoken, but there are not many people about. Most of the people in the court of the palace are temple guards, servants and house personnel. The palace is in the southwest corner of the city, very close to where they ate the last Passover.
Two that are following at a distance are John and Peter. John knew the high priest so he was able to enter the gate of the court yard. Peter waiting outside, unsure whether to go in or stay out was let in by John. With the gates closed, Peter has no way out. The girl at the gate, a servant-girl of the palace, asks him, then the maid, and then a relative a Malcus, also a slave of the high priest who was around the fire - were not you with Jesus the Nazarene? While Peter is saying no, the Lord is inside saying yes to the question of, is He the Son of God?
Matt 26:59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death;
Matt 26:60 and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward,
Matt 26:61 and said, "This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.'"
Matt 26:62 And the high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"
Matt 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God."
Matt 26:64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself [idiom = “emphatically yes!”]; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Matt 26:65 Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;
Matt 26:66 what do you think? "They answered and said," He is deserving of death!"
Matt 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,
Matt 26:68 and said, "Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?"
Jesus is spit on and beaten savagely and mocked.
The third trial was held the next morning since it was recognized that the last trial was illegal according the Law that Jesus Christ gave to Moses being at night and in Caiaphas’ palace. So they dragged him to the Sanhedrin council and asked Him the same question, “Are you the Christ.” Again He answers in the affirmative and receives another beating and thorough spitting.
LUK 22:66 And when it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying,
LUK 22:67 "If You are the Christ, tell us." But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;
LUK 22:68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer.
LUK 22:69 "But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
LUK 22:70 And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am."
LUK 22:71 And they said, "What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."
The fourth trial takes Jesus to Pontius Pilate. They would not enter the Praetorium so as not to defile themselves. I think what they’ve done to Christ just about nullifies that. They have no real accusation so they simply say, “If He wasn’t guilty, we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.” And then they claim that He subverts the nation, will not pay taxes to Caesar, and He sets Himself up as a King in opposition to Caesar.
LUK 23:1 Then the whole body of them arose and brought Him before Pilate.
LUK 23:2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King."
LUK 23:3 And Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him and said, "It is as you say."
LUK 23:4 And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes [by this time word has gotten around and the crowds have flocked to this event], "I find no guilt in this man."
LUK 23:5 But they kept on insisting, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, even as far as this place."
LUK 23:6 But when Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
LUK 23:7 And when he learned that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
All lies and all designed to get Roman justice to pronounce the death penalty. They use the law when it helps them and abuse the law when it helps them. Christ doesn’t open His mouth about any of this. His hour has come and it’s time for Him to save you. Pilate finds no fault in Him and sends Him Herod, King of Galilee, who is in Jerusalem for the feast.
The fifth trial is before Herod, a buffoon who wanted Jesus to do some tricks for him. He questioned Christ at length while the religious Jews vehemently accused Him, but the Lord replied nothing. They mocked Him fully and Herod’s soldiers tortured Him and then they threw a gorgeous robe around Him and mocked Him again. This was His fourth vicious beating.
LUK 23:8 Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.
LUK 23:9 And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing.
LUK 23:10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently.
LUK 23:11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.
LUK 23:12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been at enmity with each other.
He didn’t lose His temper once, He didn’t fall down, He didn’t have one thought of anger or complaint. Why? He was thinking of you. He is sent back to Pilate.
The sixth and final trial before men is back at the Praetorium. Pilate thinks up a way to get out of condemning someone he considers to be innocent and offers to release a prisoner according to custom; Barabbas, a hardened criminal, revolutionary, and murderer or Jesus - the only perfect man to ever live and Savior. The crowd screams for the release of Barabbas and not the most wonderful person who ever lived. Jesus must stand there, beaten to a pulp, exhausted, He hasn’t slept in well over 24 hours and hear His own people chose a murderer over Him.
JOH 18:38 And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.
JOH 18:39 "But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?"
Pilate still looking for a way out has Jesus scourged with the dreaded Roman cat-o-nine tails designed with weights and pieces of bone. The weights would dent the skin so that the bone could cut deeper into the flesh.
Christ didn’t cry out, which most likely inflamed the anger of His torturers to which they would have gone at Him even harder. They put a purple robe on Him and a crown of thorns and kept saying, “Hail, King of the Jews,” while they repeatedly punched Him and hit Him in the head with a reed.
JOH 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him.
JOH 19:2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe;
JOH 19:3 and they began to come up to Him, and say, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and to give Him blows in the face.
JOH 19:4 And Pilate came out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him."
JOH 19:5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold, the Man!"
This is now five brutal beatings, two multiple spittings, a scourging that left hardly no skin on his back and sides and anterior thighs, His second mocking, one call of His people for a murder rather than Him, and a crown of thorns. He’s not close to being done. Why keep going? His hour has come and He will not stop until He gets to Calvary so that you can be saved.
The whole while satan is tempting Him to get angry, bitter, agitated, to quit, to believe that the people aren’t worth it.
Pilate believed that the people would see this and have a bit of compassion and ask for His release. Pilate presents Him again, impossibly, looking much worse than He did before, embarrassingly wearing a robe and a crown of thorns and Pilate famously says “ecce homo!” Behold the man!
The Jews should have known this, but certainly Jesus knows it. He has known for years that it applied only to Him from His studies of the prophets:
"Then say to him, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts," Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord.
Pilate unknowingly speaks prophecy. As soon as the words of the prophet Zechariah, the words the Lord told to Him centuries ago fills Christ’s ears He must then hear the people scream in His ears over and over again:
JOH 19:6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify, crucify!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him."
But Pilate was saying to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!"
JOH 19:7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God."
More unfairness for the Law states in DEU 13:1-5 that the death penalty is for the miracle worker who invites the people to worship other gods or in LEV 24:16 for blasphemy against the name of the Lord. There was no law against a person claiming to be the Son of God.
JOH 19:8 When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid;
JOH 19:9 and he entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.
JOH 19:10 Pilate therefore said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"
JOH 19:11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."
JOH 19:12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar."
JOH 19:13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
JOH 19:14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!"
JOH 19:15 They therefore cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
JOH 19:16 So he then delivered Him to them to be crucified.
“Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate replied again that he found no fault in Him and that they should take Him and crucify Him themselves. Yet they persisted, so Pilate washed his hands as a symbol of innocence and claimed he was innocent of Jesus’ blood. And the crowd yelled back, “Let His blood be upon us and our children.” The justice of God saw to that in seventy AD, and it would have happened sooner if the Lord didn’t say His first words from the cross. And God through Christ would even cover these sins as well. The crowd then shouted that Jesus made Himself out to be the Son of God and should be put to death. This put fear in Pilate’s heart and He again asked Jesus who He was, but Jesus was silent. Pilate continued to attempt to release Him but Pilate was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The crowd yelled out that he was no friend of Caesar because this Jesus made Himself out to be a king. Pilate responded, “Shall I crucify your king?” to which they said, “We have no other king than Caesar.” That was the last thing that Jesus heard from His own people whom He loved.
Starting from the Praetorium Jesus makes the long walk to one of the hills of Moriah, about ½ mile away, where Abraham once walked in far better shape. It is likely that He carried the cross-beam only, weighing between 100 - 125 lbs. They placed His clothes back on Him after stripping off His humiliating robe and crown of thorns. The only account we have of events that occurred on the way was that He received help from Simon of Cyrene and that some women were weeping before Him. Even now in infinite love He said:
LUK 23:28 But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
LUK 23:29 "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.'
LUK 23:30 "Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'
LUK 23:31 "For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?"
He is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in which a million of them will be trapped in the city and forced into cannibalism to survive.
After having gone through all of this it is finally the time to get on the cross. It is 9am on a spring morning. The Passover lamb is finally on the hill that was destined for Him from eternity past; hanging between heaven and earth, the eternal Mediator and Substitute for fallen creatures. The Justice of God demands payment for sin, while the love of God makes the payment Himself. This is the love of God for His creatures.
At Calvary He is stripped naked, nailed to the cross and then lifted up. The Romans are experts at pain, torture and death. Crucifixion was invented by the Persians around 400 BC and the Romans perfected it. It is arguably the most painful death invented by man. It is from this word that we get our word excruciating. The spikes (7-9 inches long) pierce the median nerve in the wrists and ankles causing no broken bones (fulfilling scripture), the wrists and feet go completely numb, and shooting pains run like jack-hammers into the shoulders and hips. With knees flexed at 45 degrees He cannot bear His weight for very long. The thighs cramp and give out so that the weight has to be borne by the wrists which means that the shoulders soon dislocate and then the elbows and wrists adding several inches to the length of His arms. This adds considerable force to the rib cage causing a perpetual state of inhalation. He has to pull up with His wrists against the spikes and push up with His ankles against the spikes in order to exhale and then relax to inhale. Over and over, up and down to breath as His shredded back grates against the rugged wood of the center beam. The difficulty breathing causes CO2 levels to increase in the blood while O2 levels decrease. This causes the heart to beat faster in order to increase the delivery of oxygen. This also causes severe dehydration, but Jesus will not ask for a drink until after it is all done, and even then He only asks so that He may fulfil His perfect word. It is nothing less than moment by moment agony.
And yet through all this, three hours will pass in this physical agony in which He has the power and love to say three things before His descent into the deepest darkness, the most infinite loneliness, and most disgusting contact with every sin ever committed, completely envelopes Him.
"Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."
"Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
He will repeat one thing during the payment for sin from noon to 3pm.
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [PSA 22:1]
And then He will say three things in order to fulfil prophecy and to incredibly, communicate to us that the work was complete so that we need not add anything - “I have saved you!”
"I am thirsty." [PSA 69:21]
"It is finished!"
"Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last.
Into Thy hand I commit my spirit;
Thou hast ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.
7 statements - the number of divine perfection.
That is impersonal unconditional love!