Monday, September 5, 2016

The Gospel of God in Prophecy

Studies in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
The Gospel of God in Prophecy

According to Romans 1:2, “the gospel of God” that is fulfilled in the birth, death, burial, and resurrection/glorification of Jesus the Christ is the subject of a great deal of Old Testament prophecy. 

“1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)” (Romans 1:1-2).

The “gospel of God” is nothing new to the Scriptures.  It is not something unique to the New Testament even though the New Testament Scriptures are more doctrinally definitive and detailed in their presentation of the Gospel message. 

“6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation” (Psalm 40:6-10).

The Epistle to the Hebrews quotes this text and establishes that God was speaking of the fulfillment of these verses in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first {Mosaic Covenant}, that he may establish the second {the New Covenant in Christ’s Blood}. 10 By the which will we are sanctified {i.e., ‘made holy’, perfect tense, passive voice, which is why the words ‘for all’ are added in italics for clarification after the word ‘once’} through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected {perfect tense, active voice} for ever them that are {positionally once for all verse 10} sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission {putting away of the penalty} of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:7-18).
On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to two disciples (Luke 24:13-30).  In this text, Jesus informs these two men, through the explanation of the Old Testament Scriptures (“Moses”) that they should have known all about Him and what He would do in His death, burial, and resurrection thereby defining the Gospel of the Old Testament.  Uniquely, one of these two men on their way to Emmaus was Cleopas, the husband of the virgin Mary’s sister (John 19:25). 

“13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs {about 7.5 miles}. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden {the implication is that their unbelief in the resurrection would not allow them to recognize that Jesus stood before them} that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive {they had eyewitness testimony to the resurrection, but still walked and talked in unbelief}. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them {‘this do in remembrance of me’}. 31 And their eyes {of understanding} were opened, and they knew {epiginosko; an intimate, detailed knowledge} him; and he vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:13-31).

The first Gospel proclamation (the Protevangelium) is found in Genesis 3:15 right after God’s curse upon “the serpent” (Genesis 3:14).  This proclamation comes just prior to God’s condemnation of all humanity in Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:16-19).  The first Gospel message is a bright beacon of hope in the midst of this curse of darkness. 

“14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:14-19).

Although the first Gospel proclamation that is found in Genesis 3:15, seems vague at first, it is actually quite detailed.  In the statement, “I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (fallen humanity),” God Himself enters into the restoration and redemption of fallen mankind with the prophetic promise of the Seed.  The “enmity” God puts between Satan and mankind is the promised sacrificial Lamb of God in Christ Jesus.  This fact is expanded upon in the Abrahamic Covenant. 

“1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Abraham is part of both national Israel as their patriarch and part of spiritual Israel through faith in the coming Promised One.  Therefore, we have two descendancies from Abraham making up two elect groups; national Israel by birth and spiritual Israel “by grace through faith.” Spiritual Israel is all individuals “born again” into “the regeneration.”  These are the facts about which Christ said Nicodemus should have known.  These facts were clear Old Testament teaching from the Abrahamic Covenant. 

“3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things” (John 3:3-9)?

According to John 3:6, there is “flesh” Israel and there is “spirit” Israel.  A physical birth (“born of water,” vs. 5) makes a Jew part of elect national (“flesh”) Israel with its earthly and temporal promises.  A spiritual birth (“born . . . of the Spirit,” vs. 5) makes a person part of elect spiritual Israel with its heavenly and eternal promises “in Christ” and in “the regeneration.”  The fact that this is exactly what Paul is saying is supported by what he says in a number of other statements in his other epistles.  Paul’s statement in Galatians 6:6-18 is a thorough and clear explanation of his statement in Romans 9:8, “That is, They which are the children of the flesh {physical seed}, these are not the children {spiritual seed} of God: but the children of the promise {faith} are counted for the {spiritual} seed”

Another point would be missed in all of this if we skip past what takes place in Genesis 15:7-18.  It is important to look closely at this portion of Scripture in order to understand God’s covenant promise to Abraham.

“7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.  11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:7-18).

Normally, in the making of a covenant between two people, an animal would be killed and divided in half.  The parties involved would stand before the divided parts of the animals and state their individual parts in the covenant promises.  Then, they would pass together between the divided parts of the animal(s) signifying their acceptance of their own death should they break their covenant promises to one another. 

Notice that this is not what took place in Genesis 15:7-18.  God brought a deep sleep upon Abram.  God alone states the conditions of the covenant and God alone passes between the divided parts.  The covenant of God with Abraham was not based upon Abraham’s faith or conditioned on Abraham’s performance, but solely on the basis of God’s purpose. 
Although the Abrahamic Covenant has elements of earthly and temporal promise to national Israel, the heart of the Abrahamic Covenant lies in God’s eternal promises connected to “the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28) in Christ “by grace. . . through faith (Ephesians 2:8). 

“16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant {Abrahamic}, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law {Mosaic}, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Galatians 3:15-18).

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

In the statement of Genesis 3:15, God enters Himself into the human predicament and declares war on Satan on behalf of helpless and defenseless mankind now living under the curse of death.  The Son of God would become the “enmity.”  What a wonderful and merciful God!  Redemption is God’s war against Satan’s deception and His instrument of warfare is His own incarnation, vicarious death, and resurrection from the dead. 

Man becomes a partner with God in this struggle for the redemption of souls only when he is individually saved and joins himself with God in bringing the message of salvation and redemption to a lost and dying world.  The work of redemption is totally of God.  Fallen mankind is incapable of doing anything to redeem himself.
The “enmity” (or the promised Messiah) has crushed Satan’s head.  The KJV has “bruise.”  The Hebrew word shuwph (shoof) means crush in this context.  It refers to the dominion of death that Satan holds over humanity due to the curse. 

Satan stole humanity’s dominion through deception.  This dominion of death is the headship that Christ would crush on the Cross of Calvary by paying the wages of sin for all mankind and by being victorious over death in His resurrection.  This is the focal point of I Corinthians 15:1-58 and the heart of the Gospel.  “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

“54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54-57). 

Christ said that the Old Testament Scriptures were sufficient in Gospel truth for a person to be able to understand and trust in Him for salvation.

“31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John {the Baptist as a prophet of God}, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 36 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. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent {John the Baptist as a prophet of God}, him ye believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in {obeying them} them ye think ye have eternal life: and they {the scriptures that speak of the gift of eternal life} are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:31-40).

The only Scriptures written at this time were the Old Testament books.  However, Apostate Judaism (to which Christ is addressing in this text) taught that obeying the commandments and the law would assure people of the kingdom of God.  Christ emphatically taught against this false doctrine.  Therefore, preaching the Gospel involves teaching against both Ritualism and Moralism.  These errors must be corrected (repented of) before a person can truly trust in Christ.

“13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering {seekers} to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:13-15).

The Pharisees were the epitome of religious hypocrisy.  They used the pretense of lengthy prayers to give the appearance that they were above a desire for filthy lucre.  They would mediate an hour before prayer, pray for an hour, and mediate another hour after prayer.  This they would do thrice daily, or nine hours each day.  Wealthy widows would give goods and money to these hypocrites so as to be included in their prayers.  The point of Christ’s statement in Matthew 23:13-15 is that hypocrisy breeds more hypocrisy.  This kind of hypocrisy really gives nothing that actually impacts lives while taking away the resources from those that actually minister the truth that recovers lives from sin. 

The Law was never intended to be a means to save anyone.  The purpose of the Mosaic Covenant (the Law) was to expose humanity to the guilt of our fallen condition and our need of a Savior. 

“19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every  mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).

Many of the Old Testament Scriptures give Messianic prophecies.  Some of them give great detail.  The following are a few of those prophecies and their New Testament fulfillment.

The prophecy of the virgin birth

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

The fulfillment of the prophecy of the virgin birth

“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. . . 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18 and 20-25).

There is a prophecy that His presence would be preceded by another great prophet preparing the way for Him.

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).

The fulfillment

“1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:1-6).

The prophecy that the Messiah would do great miracles.

“5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6).

The fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would do great miracles.

“28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:28-35).

The prophecy that the Messiah would be rejected by the spiritual leaders of Israel.

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner” (Psalm 118:22).

The fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be rejected by the spiritual leaders of Israel.

“6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed” (I Peter 2:6-8).

The prophecy that the Messiah would be betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver.

“12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD” (Zechariah 11:12-13).

The fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver.

“3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5).

The prophecy that the Messiah would be rejected by His own people, mocked, beaten, and crucified is found in Isaiah 53:1-12.

“1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 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. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But 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. 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. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

“1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalm 22:1-18).

The fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be rejected by His own people, mocked, beaten, and crucified is found in Matthew 27:26-50.

“26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45 Now from the sixth hour {probably high noon} there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour {probably 3 PM}. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50 Jesus, when he had cried again {‘it is finished’; John 19:30}, John with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Matthew 27:26-50).

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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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