Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.  The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. ~ John 12: 32-50 

The reason Jesus was crucified was his claim to be the Son of God. Jesus was not crucified because of his miracles, he was not crucified because of his healings. He was not crucified because he claimed to be a prophet or a righteous man. Jesus was crucified because he claimed God was his Father.

Everyone who had a hand in condemning Jesus to death, rejected him as the Son of God, and were afterwards called to repent, specifically for their condemnation of him. Everyone who believed Jesus is the Son of God, even though they were in despair at his death, rejoiced and were changed by the news of his resurrection. The resurrection not only vindicated Jesus, but it also vindicated everyone who had believed in him and had set their hope in him.

According to Jesus, the works which he had done from the Father were a greater witness than even the testimony of John the Baptist. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me… John 5:36

In John 10:25, Jesus told the Jews who wanted to stone him, the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. He then said, If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. ~ John 10:38-39

Privately, Jesus said to his disciples, Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works‘ sake. ~ John 14:10 -11

In everything he said and did, Jesus proved he was the Son of God, including his death. All the works which Jesus did, he did in the name of his Father (John 10:25) and just prior to laying down his life, he prayed; Father, glorify thy name. In response to this prayer the Father answered: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again ~ John 12:28. By this, the Father was speaking of the works he had already done through his Son, and the work he was about to accomplish through his death and resurrection.

The works which Jesus did in his Father’s name testified of him that he is the Messiah sent by God and when he said from the cross, it is finished, he was literally speaking of the works which the Father had given to him to accomplish, for the cross was the climax of the work which the Father sent him to do (see John 19:28-30).

When Jesus spoke of his death and his relationship with the Father in view of his death, he never used the language of being punished, condemned, or rejected by God. He only spoke of it in terms of glorifying God and God being glorified in him.

And after the sop Satan entered into him (Judas Iscariot). Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. ~ John 13:27-32

God being glorified in the Son is the language of the Father’s involvement in the cross from the mouth of Jesus!

The message of the gospel is that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God in whom and through whom God is glorified.  He is the holy One, and the just One. He is the one that God has chosen. Those who condemned Jesus did so because they hated him and hated God who sent him. Jesus was betrayed into their hands by Judas Iscariot after Satan entered Judas (see John 13). God was not conspiring with Judas (for it had been better for Judas to have never been born than to betray Jesus). God was not conspiring with the unbelieving leaders of Israel because Jesus said to them, now is your hour and the power of darkness ~ Lk 22:53.

The language of God’s involvement in the death of Jesus was God being glorified in his Son. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (2 Co 5:18). And by the grace of God, Jesus tasted death for every person. (Heb 2:9). The Father gave his Son the power to endure the sufferings of the cross at the hands of sinful men, to bring an end to the first covenant so that a new covenant could be established by his blood. All who believe that God raised him from death, believe the testimony that Jesus is the Son of God and are justified from all things. 


The night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, he stood trial before Caiaphas the high priest and witnesses were sought so that they could put Jesus to death, yet they found none. Finally, they found two false witnesses who said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. ~ Matthew 26:61

However, Jesus never said such a thing. Instead, Jesus had said, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. ~ John 2:19

At this false accusation, the high priest arose, and said to Jesus, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace, and the high priest then said to Him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. ~ v 63

Under the Law of Moses, the High Priest had the authority to demand a person to speak up if they knew something to be the truth. In response to this authoritative demand, Jesus says, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. ~ v 64

Everyone in the room understood that this was Messianic language, and that Jesus had just declared, under oath, that he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Israel. In response to Jesus’ declaration that he indeed is the Messiah, the high priest then tore his priestly garment – an offense which was punishable by death under the Law. In the presence of Jesus, the King of Israel, Caiaphas had nullified his own priesthood.

At this point there was only one true high priest standing in the room, and they did not know him. They did not know that Jesus was both the lamb of God, and the high priest who was about to oversee his own sacrifice.


The Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament was written somewhere between 175 -180 years before the time of Christ. The Septuagint is believed to have been the translation that the New Testament writers often cite when quoting from the Old Testament. We also have evidence that the early church fathers cited the Septuagint.

Consider for example Isaiah 53: 6-11. Here is how it is translated in the KJV (King James Version) of the Bible:

(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. ~ Isaiah 53:6-11 KJV

Now, here is Isaiah 53: 6-11 from the Septuagint:

(6) All we as sheep have gone astray; every one has gone astray in his way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins. (7) And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. (8) In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken away from the earth: because of the iniquities of my people he was led to death. (9) And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he practised no iniquity, nor craft with his mouth. (10) The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke. If ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed: (11) the Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to form him with understanding; to justify the just one who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins. ~ Isaiah 53:6-11 the Septuagint

In contrast to the KJV, the Septuagint translation appears to speak of the resurrection of Jesus and not only his sufferings. Now, consider the following statements from Clement of Rome, and Justin Martyr, both who are considered church fathers.

Clement of Rome who lived during the first century (35 – 99 AD). He lived during the time of the apostles and the first century church.

And the Lord is pleased to purify him by stripes. If ye make an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed. And the Lord is pleased to relieve Him of the affliction of His soul, to show Him light, and to form Him with understanding – Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the  Corinthians, Chapter XVI.—Christ as an Example of Humility.

As you can see, Clement of Rome is citing Isaiah 53:10-11 very closely to how it is  written in the Septuagint. Justin Martyr, another church father, who lived from 100 -166 AD said the following:

And I will give the wicked for His burial, and the rich for His death; because He did no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. And the Lord is pleased to cleanse Him from the stripe. – Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter LI — The Majesty of Christ.

And the Lord wills to purify Him from affliction. – Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter XIII

Justin Martyr also cites from Isaiah 53 very closely to how it is recorded in the Septuagint.

Consider the following again:

the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…~ KJV
the Lord gave him up for our sins… ~ Septuagint

it pleased the Lord to bruise him
… he hath put him to grief. ~KJV
The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke. ~ Septuagint

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. ~ KJV
the Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul
, to shew him light, and to form him with understanding; to justify the just one who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins. ~ Septuagint

If you think the KJV has it properly translated, you may view God punishing Jesus at the cross. If you accept the Septuagint (the Bible during Jesus’s time on earth and which the New Testament writers cite from) you won’t see God punishing Jesus. Instead, you will see God healing the wounds that were inflicted on him by sinful men. You will therefore see more of the resurrection in Isaiah 53 than you have ever seen.

Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, and those scriptures were fulfilled as recorded in the gospels.


Does God freely forgive sins, or must he first satisfy his wrath?

This may sound like a strange question, but it is actually one of the ideas that is sometimes promoted within the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA), but it is biblical, or can we find examples of God forgiving sins apart from appeasing or satisfying his wrath.

Well, we need to look no further than Jesus, who was and is God in the flesh. Jesus forgave sins during his earthly ministry before he died on the cross and this was one of the things that infuriated his religious adversaries among the Jews. Consider the following from Luke 5:

And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. ~ Luke 5:17-25

Jesus had the power to forgive sins. Did he need for God to satisfy his wrath before forgiving this man? Absolutely not, and neither does God the Father. Now let’s look at another time Jesus forgave someone.

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:36-50

These two examples ought to be enough for us to understand that forgiveness from God does not require that he first satisfy his wrath or judgment. God can forgive anyone he wants to. To claim that God must first satisfy his wrath before forgiving sin is quite an arrogant assumption. 


When I was young in the Lord, I needed hope. I feared God and knew he was a Holy God, but I feared losing out with God because of some struggles in my life. I think a lot of people can relate.

Without going into the details of my struggles, allow me to tell you about the answer I found. It began to happen when I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to focus my attention on the blood of Jesus.

I began to study all the scriptures I could find that pertained to the blood of Jesus and God’s redemption for us through the blood of Christ. Redemption and the finished work of Christ became my passion in my search to know the power of the Blood of Jesus. I wanted strong faith in the blood of Jesus. As I prayed and sought God to specifically  learn about the power of the blood of Jesus, I found that I was growing in my understanding of God’s love for me.

I couldn’t explain why, but the more I leaned into growing in my faith in Christ’s blood, the more I grew in my faith in God’s love. When I say God’s love, I mean his love, his grace, and his mercy.

There were times when revelations of God’s love, mercy, and grace were so strong that it brought a sense of cleansing and purity to my soul. Yet, I could not adequately put into words the things I was understanding with my heart. These moments of deep heartfelt intimacy brought a depth of understanding of God’s love that I just couldn’t articulate. But I sure wanted to share it, and did share it the best I knew how, and God blessed it.

Eventually, I came across some of the writings of Andrew Murray, who wrote a lot about the blood of Jesus, the Spirit of God,  abiding in Christ, and many of the spiritual truths that we should all desire as followers of Christ. As I read after Andrew Murray, my heart connected with him because his writings put words to those powerful revelations of God’s love that I had received and was continuing to receive through my searching to know about the power of the blood of Christ.

When Jesus died on the cross, God poured out his love, mercy, and grace on sinners through the person of Jesus Christ. And I’d like to share with you some of the scriptures that speak to this truth.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:14-16

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~ 1 John 3:16

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. ~ 1 John 4:9-11

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. ~ Romans 5:6-11

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:32-39

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin ( a sin offering, not literal sin) for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.. ~ Ephesians 1:3-7

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God… ~ Ephesians 2:1-8

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. ~ Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it… ~ Ephesians 5:25

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. ~ 1 Timothy 1:9-16

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:3-7


In the New Testament we read that Jesus was raised from the dead by God the Father (Romans 10:9), by the glory of the Father (Romans 6:4), by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11), and by the authority Jesus was given from the Father to take up his own life again after he laid it down (John 10:18).

In Acts 2, Peter preached that God raised up Jesus having loosed him from the pains (throes) of death because it was not possible that he should be held by it. According to Paul, the resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal point on which our faith stands or falls. 

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:14-17

Within scripture, the resurrection of Jesus holds a place of prominence that is often not understood, even by the most devoted Christians. More time and attention is often given to seek understanding of the atonement of Christ on the cross than the resurrection. We absolutely ought to seek to understand the atoning death of Christ on the cross. We also need to understand the resurrection with the same fervency. Speaking of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, Paul writes:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. ~ Philippians 3:8-11

The work of God in Christ’s death and in Christ’s resurrection is unified, and we must understand this if we are going to truly begin to understand the power of the resurrection. Now what do I mean by unified? Many hold to theological ideas about the cross which are actually contrary to the revelation of God’s power and glory displayed in the resurrection.

Many have embraced ideas which have God turning his back on his Son and treating him as a sinner under his wrath on the cross. Because of this, God’s reason for raising Christ from the dead is missed and not truly understood. Consequently we miss out on life changing truth regarding the resurrection and the revelation of Jesus, the Son of God.

If we remember the following three things, it will help us to properly understand the cross and resurrection in harmony with one another as revealed in the scriptures.

FIRST, the death of Christ from God and Christ’s perspective was a display of love and humility which was in Christ Jesus our Lord. His death was a selfless act of love in which Jesus willingly laid down his life to make atonement for our sins. This love is the very love that God has for us.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus. And Jesus also loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice for a sweet fragrance to God. Because of Christ’s love for us, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.

SECONDLY, the death that Jesus endured was carried out by the hands of sinful men who opposed both God and Christ. When Jesus began to reveal to his disciples the manner of death he was going to suffer, he rehearsed it much to them, preparing them for what was coming. Never once did Jesus ever describe his death as condemnation from God. Instead, Jesus described his death as condemnation from sinful men, and the resurrection would be God’s response to their verdict.

  • Matthew 16:21; 17:9, 22-23; 20:17-19; 26:1-2, 24, 31, 45; 26:51-56
  • Mark 8:31; 9:9-11, 31-32, 10:32-34; 14:27, 43-50; 15:27-28
  • Luke 9:21-22, 44-45; 17:24-25; 18:31-34; 22:37; 24:1-8, 13-27, 44-48
  • John 18:31-32; 19:24, 28

How often have we failed to consider Jesus as the ultimate authority on his death? Too often we string scriptures together to formulate a theological view of the cross which is entirely contrary to the narrative given to us in scripture. Many of the theological ideals about the cross which have been crafted by man would be proven untrue if we would simply consider how Judas, the traitor fits within the narrative of the cross. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, not God! It was Judas who betrayed Jesus into the hands of sinful men who wanted to kill Jesus because they hated both Jesus and the Father. 

When Jesus was alone with his disciples just prior to his trial and crucifixion, he addressed the hatred of the religious Jews and their leaders who were against him. Consider what he said:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. ~ John 15:18-25 

The rejection which Jesus endured from men and which ultimately resulted in their putting him to death, was not only a rejection of Jesus, but a rejection of the Father as well. Jesus interprets the scripture, they hated me without a cause, as hatred aimed at both he and his Father, God.

This is consistent with the words prayed by the church in Acts 4.

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. ~ Acts 4:24-28 

Notice that those who opposed Jesus and put him to death were gathered together against the Lord and his Christ. This is a reference to God and Jesus. Now consider the words of the prophet Isaiah.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. ~ Isaiah 53:4-5

The phrase “we esteemed him smitten of God and afflicted” is contextually a reference to the perception and not the reality, for it was sinful men and not God who unjustly condemned Jesus and who wounded him. The scars which marred his back from the lashings he endured, the nails which pierced his hands and feet, the crown of thorns which was placed on his head, and the shame he endured throughout his trial and crucifixion all came from sinful men who fulfilled what God had declared they would do to him. 

For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead… ~ Acts 13:27-30

Take note that it was sinful men who fulfilled all that the scriptures had foretold about the sufferings of Christ on the cross, and take note that in response to this, God raised him from the dead. The phrase – But God raised him from the dead – in Acts 13 (above) sums up what the apostles preached over and over again throughout the book of Acts. And this brings me to my 3rd point.

THIRDLY: The resurrection of Jesus was God’s response to what sinful men had done to his beloved Son! Throughout Acts, the apostles and others like Stephen, always preached the crucifixion of Jesus as unjust condemnation of God’s Son and the resurrection as God’s vindication of Jesus.

This is the narrative: Jesus is God’s son and he willingly laid down his life as an innocent lamb for our sins. In doing so, he was put to death by evil men who were cruel and unjust in their treatment of him. Stephen actually accused the leaders of Israel of murdering God’s Son.

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: ~ Acts 7:51-52 

By refusing to acknowledge what God had done in raising his Son from the dead, these leaders to whom Stephen was speaking were continuing to resist the Holy Spirit. God had overturned their unjust condemnation of his holy Son when he raised him from the dead and exalted him at his own right hand.

Christ’s purity and innocence before God, his committing of his soul into the Father’s hands, and his laying down his life for our redemption, pleased God.

According to Peter, Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:.. ~ 1 Peter 2: 21-23

Jesus died, committing himself to God, who vindicated him by raising him from the dead.

Remember in Acts 4, the church prayed the words taken for Psalm 2: Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. ~ Acts 4:25-26

In Psalm 2, the Psalmist says the following in response to those words: 

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them (those who were gathered against him and his Christ) in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Notice to whom God’s wrath and displeasure is aimed. It is aimed at those who dishonor him by dishonoring his Son. It is aimed at those like the ones to whom Stephen preached, telling them that they always resist the Holy Spirit. Rather than repenting and confessing that the One they murdered is indeed the Just One, the Son of God whom God exalted, they hardened their hearts and stoned Stephen. The message of the cross when preached correctly leads to either repentance, or a more hardening of the heart. We see over and over again throughout the book of Acts.

The Psalmist continues:

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee (give to His Son) the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. ~ Psalm 2: 4-12

This is God’s response in his vindication of Jesus – Kiss the Son, lest he (God) be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him (in the Son).

Jesus, God’s Son, is the stone which the builders (the spiritual leaders in Israel) rejected, but whom God has chosen.  If we never grasp the resurrection as God’s vindication of his Son, we will never truly begin to grasp the place of prominence it has within the pages of scripture. In closing, consider the words of Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. ~ 1 Timothy 3:16

Those words, justified in the Spirit, can easily be passed over or misinterpreted. Paul is actually saying that Jesus, who is God in the flesh was declared righteous. The word justified comes from the greek word, δικαιόω, which means to show to be righteous, declare righteous. In usage form it means: I make righteous, defend the cause of, plead for the righteousness (innocence) of, acquit, justify; hence: I regard as righteous.

This is what God did when he raised Jesus from the dead. He declared him as the righteous One!

“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” ~ Acts 17:30-32 NLT

Jesus was raised from the dead, because God declared him to be righteous! And this is what the resurrection declaration is all about. Jesus is Lord!!!


When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in the gospel of Luke, he said concerning Jesus, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” ~ Luke 1:32

Though some interpret the reign of Christ from the throne of David as a future millennial throne previously occupied by the anti-Christ, the Bible teaches that Jesus is enthroned now at the right hand of God.

According to the authors of the New Testament, the exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of God is the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would raise up his Son, the Messiah, to reign upon the throne of David.

In Acts 2, Peter interprets the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of God as the fulfillment of the scriptures that the Messiah would reign from the throne of David.

Notice carefully how Peter articulates this:

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. ~ Acts 2:30-36

In the texts above, Peter is quoting David from Psalm 110 when he says, “the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.”

FIRST, notice the words “the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand…”

Peter quotes this in reference to David, as a prophet, knowing that God would raise up the Messiah to sit on his throne. So as a prophet, foreseeing the enthronement of the Messiah, David said, “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit on my right hand.” As a prophet, David foresaw by the Spirit of God that the promise of the Messiah reigning on his throne would not be an earthly enthronement, but a heavenly enthronement, at the right hand of God.

In the gospels, Jesus said: “David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet”‘ (Mark 12:36, See also Matthew 22:41-45).

SECONDLY, notice the next part of the text that Peter quotes from David: “till I make your enemies your footstool.”

These very same words are employed by the author of Hebrews in describing the enthronement of Jesus at the right hand of God (Hebrews 1:13; 10:13) and in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 the apostle Paul applies them to the exalted Jesus as well.

Also Psalm 110 is the Psalm which testifies that the Messiah would be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (v.4). The author of Hebrews expounds on this and tells us that Jesus, the exalted King at the right hand of God, is also our great high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

The historical Melchizedek (Genesis 14) prefigured Christ as a King and Priest, and not a priest only. Under the Law of Moses one could not be a King and a priest.  The priests came only from the tribe of Levi and the Kings were descendants of David from the tribe of Judah.

The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus, being from the tribe of Judah (the tribe of King David), is qualified to be a priest. He is qualified because His priestly ministry is not earthy (Hebrews 8:4), but heavenly, at the right hand of God where he is now enthroned. ~ See Hebrews 8:1-3

THIRDLY, Notice that David specifically identifies the Messiah as his Lord: “The Lord said to my Lord…”

In Acts 2 Peter says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and Christ” (v.36).

Peter doesn’t tell the people of Israel that Jesus will be Lord when he one day returns. Peter declares that Jesus is Lord and Messiah now, at the right hand of God. The gospel which was preached to house of Israel by the apostles, was not a gospel of a futuristic enthronement of the Messiah, but rather, the declaration of His exaltation now!

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

When he had by himself purged our sins, (He) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High…  ~ See Hebrews 1:3

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Hebrews 1:8 

I (Paul) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. ~ Ephesians 1:17-23

Notice that Paul says in Ephesians 1 (above), Christ is already enthroned in Heaven above everything in this world and in the world to come, having all things under His feet.

Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God is not a temporary enthronement as he awaits a lesser throne in Jerusalem, Israel. Rather, Jesus entered into his glory after his resurrection (Luke 24:26; John 17:5, 24; Acts 2:33; 3:13) and was enthroned at the right hand of God, where the New Jerusalem is – the true Holy City of God (Hebrews 12:22-24). From there, Christ will reign forever!

When Christ returns he is not taking a lesser throne, for he has been made Higher than the Heavens, in his exaltation (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus reigns forever, being highly exalted at the right hand of God, and in that Majestic power, authority, and glory; He will come again!


For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ~ Colossians 2: 1-8

Last night was the last night of the Asbury revival services, and it was the only night that I watched any of the services. I only saw a portion of the service, but what I saw was simply beautiful. I heard Christ preached, Christ called on, and Christ worshiped. Watching those precious college students crying out with pure hearts for Jesus was lovely, and it took me back down memory lane as I thought of the sweet times of fellowship I had with the Lord as a young man. I didn’t know the Bible like I know it now, but I was hungry and I wanted Jesus.

Over the past 3 – 4 years, I have become more and more increasingly discouraged by what I see within American Christianity. It seems more and more Christians are political, judgmental, and puffed up with pride.

What I find particularly disturbing is those who found fault with the Asbury revival because it didn’t fit into their theological box, missed the most important theological truth there is: Jesus, himself.

They’d rather sit in judgment with their philosophy about the importance of theology rather than seeing young people yearning for the Living God, but I’m with the students of Asbury. I’d rather have Jesus.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he warns them to not allow anyone to spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Many who boast in their theology tend to condemn others who don’t think like them, yet they have nothing more than a lifeless philosophy about God. There is no room for the real, living Christ in their theology. Yet, the living Christ ought to be the central theme of all our theology.

Those who boast in their theology, often get puffed up about the knowledge they think they have, and if you don’t serve God according to their knowledge and understanding, then you’re false. Yet, Paul tells the Colossians that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ!

If you have Christ, you have the key to all the truth about God!

I really don’t care if 18, 19, and 20 year old students have their theology together or not. If their hearts are crying out for God, so much so that they don’t want to leave his presence, and they just want more of Jesus, I really couldn’t care less about how theological together they are. Jesus is the Savior, not theology! Jesus is Lord, not theology! Jesus is the Son of God, not theology! Go after Christ with all your heart, and good theology will find you.

Jesus who died, and rose again, now lives forever in the presence of the Father to bring us near to God. If you make Jesus your whole heart’s desire, the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.

When I look back on my late teens and early 20’s there were a lot of things I had wrong in my theology, but my heart was hungry for God and I wanted Jesus. And this is what every person who sits in judgment of the Asbury revival has missed. Those young people just want Jesus, and Jesus is the biggest threat to the judgmental, puffed up Christian.

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul instructs us not to use our knowledge to injure other believers. Paul warns that knowledge without love will puff you up in pride. When we see others who are passionate, and hungry for God, we have a responsibility to encourage their growth in the Lord, and not disparage it.

When Apollos (Acts 18) was unlearned about Christ, but passionate for the things of God, Aquila and Priscilla took the time to nurture him and show him the way of God more perfectly. That’s what those who are seasoned in the faith are called to do. Let’s rejoice in what God has done in the hearts of the students of Asbury as wells as others elsewhere who were touched by God through Asbury.


Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. ~ 1 Peter 3:1-7

In the text above, notice that Peter tells the husbands to live with their wives according to knowledge, and to honor their wives as the weaker vessel. Husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding, loving, and supportive manner, not in dominance, because a husband and wife are heirs together of the grace of life.

Though Sara was submissive to Abraham as Peter points out, Abraham and Sara were on a journey together. And when Abraham thought he could work out God’s plan in his own strength, it was Sara (his bride) who knew best, thus God told Abraham to listen to his wife.

And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. ~ Genesis 21:12

Sara was the wife in submission, but Abraham needed to listen to her and follow her advice. This is how the marriage relationship works. Submission is not about being the doormat, it’s about honoring God by the love, loyalty, and support the wife gives to her husband. Sara supported Abraham’s obedience to follow God, but there came a time when she knew better than Abraham regarding God’s plan, and thus God said, hearken unto her voice.

When a man and a woman are united in holy matrimony, they become one in the eyes of the Lord, and women are not commanded to submit to their husbands so that the husband can rule over them as some suggest. Women are to submit to their husbands out of love and loyalty. In like manner, the husband has a grave responsibility before God to honor his wife, or else his prayers will be hindered. The man’s responsibility to treat his wife honorably is a serious thing with God.


Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. ~ Ephesians 5:22-23

Paul never teaches the concept that women are to submit to men in general. It is always the husband that the woman is to submit to. However, there is a context to which this topic needs to be properly understood. Paul never teaches that a wife should submit to the abuse or unfaithfulness of a husband, and neither does any other New Testament writer.

Biblical submission is not a misogynistic thing. Rather, its purpose is to beautify the power of the gospel as we will see moving forward. In the biblical context (context is the key), a wife’s submission to her husband is to model the church’s submission to Christ. For that to happen, the husband has to model Christ’s love for the church in how he treats his wife. If this element is missing, there is no biblical context for women to be in submission.

The responsibility of the husband/wife relationship modeling the union of Christ and the church, falls on the man. If the husband fails to love his wife as Christ loves the church, while insisting that his wife be in biblical submission, he becomes a hypocrite and an abuser of God’s truth for his own selfish reasons.

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. ~ Ephesians 5:24-32

Again, biblical submission is not about misogynistic behavior. It’s about the love of Christ that a man should have for his wife – a love that nourishes and cherishes his wife. Nowhere in scripture are women called to submit to sexual, physical, or verbal abuse. Yet, there are some within Christendom who promote such nonsense. If the truth of biblical submission were correctly understood by more men, we would have more men who become more Christlike from their marriage relationships.

In my next article on this topic we will examine Peter’s instructions for men and women in marriage, which is very similar to Paul’s instructions above.