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of his sufferings and death, exclaimed: "Be it far from Thee, Lord! this shall not be unto Thee!" "But He turned and said unto Peter: Get thee behind Me, Satan! thou art an offence unto Me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Matt. xvi. 21, &c. On another occasion He said; "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come." John xvi. 7. This saying was incomprehensible to his disciples. For how could they suppose it was expedient for them that He should go away? And especially if they connected this information with that which had been given, of the manner in which He should go, that He must suffer many things, and be killed-how could they feel an interest in his death, or even in his separation from them? He had power to control the elements, to heal diseases, raise the dead, cast out devils, and powerfully administer comfort and consolation. They had felt the sweet influences of his Presence, seen his miracles, tasted of his love; and all their hopes were centred in Him. Nor could a case occur to their minds, in which benefits had been ascribed to the death of any of the prophets. But notwithstanding all this, the language of the Divine Master was ; Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away." Here then was occasion for the exercise of faith, rather than of reason. And again He said; "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." “This” it appears "He said, signifying what death He should die;" John xii. 32, 33. and that, through his death, the Grace which brings salvation, and draws the soul to God, should be dispensed unto all men,
When the hour of His trial arrived, and while suf"For this cause came
fering the agonies of it, He said; I unto this hour." John xii. 27. When the Jews were about to apprehend Him, Peter attempted to prevent the accomplishment of those events which the prophets and the Divine Master had foretold: but he was commanded to desist, with this further evidence of the Divine will; "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" Matt. xxvi. 53, 54. "The cup which my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" John xviii. 11.
It was not possible for the Jews to defeat the purposes of his coming, by putting Him to death before his ministry was accomplished. The evangelist bears a testimony to this effect when he says; "No man laid hands on Him, because his hour was not yet come." John vii. 30. and viii. 20. But when He was about to expire on the cross, He said; "It is finished." John xix. 30.
And when He had risen from the dead, and appeared to two of his disciples, "He said unto them; O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them, in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself." Luke xxiv. 25-27.
Again, when He afterwards showed Himself to the eleven, "He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law
of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things." Luke xxiv. 44-48.
The apostle Paul uses the following language: "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great; saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." Acts xxvi. 22, 23. And when he reached Thessalonica, "where was a synagogue of the Jews,...as his manner was, he went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures; opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen from the dead: and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ." Acts xvii. 1, 2, 3.
It was very probably an argument with the Jews against the Christians that Jesus had suffered; because the idea which had generally prevailed among them was, that Christ should possess extraordinary outward power and glory, and should abide for ever. And therefore to "preach Christ crucified," was "to the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness." 1 Cor. i. 23. Hence the apostle thus reasoned with them-thus witnessed to small and great, that Christ must needs have
suffered; that it behoved Him to suffer; and that this Jesus whom he preached, was Christ.
The Epistles abound with testimonies of the same kind: a few of these will be sufficient for the present. The apostle, in speaking of the objects of His coming, says; "That He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." Heb. ii. 9.
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Rom. v. 6, 8, 10.
Here the apostle ascribes Salvation to the Life of Christ; but he represents our being placed in a capacity to receive salvation, as the effect of his Death. In the last passage it is expressed in very clear terms. We cannot construe what is there said of his Death, so as to be understood of his Spirit. He is not reconciled to us by doing violence to this Spirit. To crucify afresh the Son of God, and put Him to open shame, must, and for ever will, separate between God and the soul. We therefore believe, as Robert Barclay expresses himself, "that the Grace which brings salvation, is the purchase of Him who tasted death for every man."
Our Lord Himself conveys the same idea in that memorable discourse to his disciples before He suffered; in which He told them, "it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." John xvi. 7.
The apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans,
xiv. 9, says; "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be the Lord both of the dead and living." And in 1 Cor. xv. 3; "For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures."
In the above passage from the Romans, he places died, rose, and revived, in the same construction; and by applying the words, "to this end," which indicate motive, he shows that all these were in the Divine purposes.
If it should be supposed, that Jesus Christ could not be a proper example to us, without being placed exactly in our situation;-I would remark, that this hypothesis will go further than its advocates would probably confess they intend. It would not only deny his Divinity, in the proper sense of that word, but it would ascribe to Him no more strength, knowledge, or grace, than we possess. It would suppose that He might have sinned, and become "a castaway." But this is not all. It would lead to the position, that He actually did sin" for we have all sinned:" and not only so, but that he must have realized in his own person or experience, all the difficulties and trials that any human being has ever endured, in order to be an example to such. This too would carry Him through all conditions in human life, and all practices which have prevailed amongst men!
There is no man possessing any religious feeling, or even the common exercise of reason, who would not revolt from such a train of conclusions. And yet they all inevitably follow from the admission of the first pro