When I teach on the subject of the cross of Christ, I like to begin by addressing this question: What did Jesus actually say about his own death? I find it unsettling that many Bible teachers and even theologians tend to pass over this very important question and inadvertently treat the words of Jesus as an unimportant part of the equation. Of all the people from whom we could learn about the cross, why wouldn’t we want to first hear what Jesus had to say?

I also like to follow up with this question: How did the apostles, those who were personally trained by Jesus, describe His death? Once, while teaching a Bible School Seminar, I presented this to the students. I must say, it was tough sledding for the first hour because of the things the students had been taught. During the break between sessions, there was quite a buzz as some of the students were discussing the thought provoking challenge that I had set before them.  

After the break, I began to take them systematically through the scriptures to show them what Jesus actually said and later to what His apostles actually preached. The students began to catch on and at one point one of them blurted out, “How (or where) did you learn all of this?” They were experiencing a real epiphany as the scriptures began to open to them.

The Bible tells us that there was an exact time when Jesus began to teach his disciples about his crucifixion and resurrection. According to the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly affirmed that he would suffer unjustly from the hands of sinners and that he would rise again on the third day.

In all of the accounts that we have in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, never once does Jesus ever refer to his death on the cross as rejection or condemnation from God to satisfy God’s wrath. He always declared what the scriptures had already prophesied: the Messiah would be rejected and condemned by men.

Again and again, Jesus stated that God would raise Him from the dead contrary to what sinful men would do to him. This view of the cross and resurrection is taught all throughout the New Testament.

Understandably, the apostles of our Lord did not comprehend the meaning of His death before He was crucified, but after His resurrection, Jesus opened their understanding so that they could comprehend the scriptures. Their eyewitness accounts, along with the scriptural insight given to them by Jesus, were empowered on the Day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. As a result, they preached the death and resurrection of Jesus as they understood it from their Master and the One sent by him.

If you would like to learn more, follow the link below.

THE STONE THE BUILDERS REJECTED: https://rootedandgroundedinchrist.com/the-stone-the-builders-rejected/


  1. Thankyou very much for this article and your other ones.
    How does Isaiah 53:4 fit in?
    Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. KJV
    Thanks Lex


    • The prophet Isaiah said, He is despised and rejected by men. He was not despised and rejected by God. Then Isaiah says, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him…”

      Isaiah continues, “He was despised…”

      Who despised him? Sinful men, not God.

      And “we esteemed him not…”

      Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: “Yet…”

      Yet what?

      Yet we esteemed him (as) stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted – but…

      But what?

      But he was he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

      Jesus died such a horrific death, so much so that the perception could only be that he had been stricken and smitten by God, but it was for our transgressions and our iniquities that he suffered the shame of the cross. Paul writes the following in Acts 13:

      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 then 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

      The predetermined counsel of God as revealed in the prophets was that Jesus die for our sins by enduring our reproaches against God and this was fulfilled by what happened at the cross when Jesus suffered at the hands of sinful men.

      Notice the language in Acts 4:

      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.

      Notice that they were gathered against both the Lord (God in Heaven) and his Christ (Jesus, God’s Son).

      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 4:25-28

      Romans 15:3 says, “Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”

      Jesus was God in the flesh dying for his people. The reproaches of the people towards God (for they were gathered against the Lord AND his Christ) were levied against Jesus, and in that crucible Jesus made intercession for sinful men with forgiveness.

      Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ~ Luke 23:34

      The author of Hebrews tells us to keep “looking to Jesus who endured such opposition from men, despising the shame, and is and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” ~ Hebrews 12:2.

      The shame Jesus endured was humiliation which came from sinful men who opposed God. The son of God was publicly shamed, humiliated, mocked, and ridiculed by those who despised both he and his Father. Though we esteemed him as smitten and afflicted by God, the reality is it was for our transgressions and iniquities that he subjected himself to such a shameful and horrific death.

      On the 3rd day God vindicated his Son by raising him from the dead. God turned the the verdict of sinful of men up on its head and exalted his Son at his own right hand and commands all people to repent and believe in Jesus, the just one whom he appointed to ruler of his Kingdom.

      For this reason, the apostles in the book of Acts, preached the resurrection as the work of God overturning the sentence of those who condemned Jesus.


      • Thankyou very much for your reply.
        How does Aaron placing his hands on the goat and confessing the sins of Israel and transferring them to the goat fit into the scheme of things?
        Lev 16:20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:

        21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

        22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
        Thankyou Lex


      • The scapegoat was not sacrificed on the altar Day of Atonement thus is cannot be a portrait of the sacrifice of Jesus. The sin offering was sacrificed, and it was the blood of the sin offering that made atonement. The scapegoat is likely a symbolic portrait of our sins being cast into the depths of the sea, or as far as the east is from the west. A portit that sin had been eradicated.

        Remember when interpreting the types and shadows, we must stay consistent with the teachings of the New Testament. According to the New Testament, Jesus expounded in ALL the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:27, 44) and when we examine the preaching of those who were schooled by Jesus, along with the words of Jesus there is no reference, not even a hint, that God turned against Jesus, or condemned Jesus in any way.


  2. I do appreciate what you have written, but what about
    KJV Isa 53:10
    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.



  3. I have been reading your articles on Israel and they are very thought provoking.
    I am wondering how you view Zechariah chapters 12, 13 and 14?
    Zechariah 14:16-21 speaks of all nations being required to keep the feast of tabernacles including animal sacrifices v21.
    You correctly say that the old covenant has been annulled but these chapters seem to be talking of things in the future e.g. 14:4-5 hasn’t happened yet.
    Thankyou again


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