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The Suffering of Jesus The Christ

Peter had written something in his epistles about the very nature of Christ’s mission here on earth.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

We need to be impressed with the fact that He suffered. He did not come to this world as a superhero. He surrendered the glories and privileges of being God (Phil. 2:7,8). Some seem to have the idea that Christ becoming man just involved taking on our physical appearance. But listen to what Heb. 2:17 says about that:

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

He became like us, not just in appearance, but in all things. This would include human infirmities. He became hungry. He became thirsty. He became weary.

We should also be aware that He refused to use His power as the Son of God to escape any infirmity. After forty days of fasting, He rejected totally the temptation to turn stones to bread. To have done so would have been to forsake His mission: to suffer and die on the same terms we do.

He became like us in limitation of knowledge. When Jesus was a little infant, He did not know all things. In fact, I submit that He knew no more than other infants. It's my opinion that the account of the twelve year old Jesus (Luke 2:40-52) carries greater significance than is often imagined. That only then was He made to realize as a human that He had to be about His Father's business. But even then, He did not know all things. He continued to grow in knowledge (Luke 2:40,52).

Jesus became like us in His dependence on others. As a child, He had to depend on His parents for food, shelter, and clothing. There was a mutual dependence among the disciples for material things.

He also became like us in His temptations (Hebrews 4:15). He was subjected to the same daily frustrations and temptations we are all subject to. As a young person, He was tempted. As a man, He was tempted. As One in business, before His teaching ministry, He was tempted. Probably the greatest temptation was that of forsaking His mission.

Jesus was vulnerable to every emotion and appetite, and every need and pain that we are subject to. When the Bible says He suffered, it means just that!

1 Peter 3:18a For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, This doesn't mean that He just suffered on one occasion. It means His suffering was once for all, never to be repeated. The sacrifices in the temple had to be repeated daily, but Christ made the perfect sacrifice that never has to be repeated (Heb. 7:27; 9:28; 10:10). The cross of Christ is something that happened once, and never has to happen again.

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