Lesson 19 | Sabbath, 7 May 2022
“Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of His Father’s displeasure which made His cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of His Father’s wrath. The Father’s glory and sustaining presence had left Him, and despair pressed its crushing weight of darkness upon Him and forced from His pale and quivering lips the anguished cry: ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 209.
MOCKERY AND ABUSE
1. What did those who were present at Jesus’ fearful crucifixion do to express their contempt for the world’s Redeemer and His suffering?
Psalm 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.
Matthew 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads.
“The cross of Calvary appeals in power, affording a reason why we should love Christ now, and why we should consider Him first, and best, and last, in everything. We should take our fitting place in humble penitence at the foot of the cross. We may learn the lessons of meekness and lowliness of mind as we go up to Mount Calvary, and, looking upon the cross, see our Saviour in agony, the Son of God dying, the Just for the unjust. Behold Him who could summon legions of angels to His assistance with one word, a subject of jest and merriment, of reviling and hatred. He gives Himself a sacrifice for sin. When reviled, He threatened not; when falsely accused, He opened not His mouth. He prays on the cross for His murderers. He is dying for them. He is paying an infinite price for every one of them. He would not lose one whom He has purchased at so great cost. He gives Himself to be smitten and scourged without a murmur. And this uncomplaining victim is the Son of God.” –That I May Know Him, p. 65.
2. Besides the suffering of body and mind, what was prophesied concerning His bones?
Exodus 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
“The sacrificial lamb represents ‘the Lamb of God,’ in whom is our only hope of salvation…. The merits of Christ’s blood must be applied to the soul…. We must appropriate to ourselves the virtue of the atoning sacrifice. “The hyssop used in sprinkling the blood was the symbol of purification, being thus employed in the cleansing of the leper and of those defiled by contact with the dead. In the psalmist’s prayer also its significance is seen:
‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Psalm 51:7.
“The lamb was to be prepared whole, not a bone of it being broken: so not a bone was to be broken of the Lamb of God, who was to die for us. John 19:36. Thus was also represented the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 277
3. After hours of suffering and anguish, what did Jesus say?
Psalm 69:21, last part … And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
“Jesus thirsted in His agony, and they gave Him vinegar and gall to drink; but when He tasted it, He refused it. The angels had viewed the agony of their loved Commander until they could behold no longer, and they veiled their faces from the sight.” –Early Writings, p. 177.
“The mission of Christ’s earthly life was now nearly accomplished. His tongue was parched, and He said, ‘I thirst.’ They saturated a sponge with vinegar and gall and offered it Him to drink; and when He had tasted it, he refused it. And now the Lord of life and glory was dying, a ransom for the race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” –The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, pp. 161, 162.
4. What was offered to Him to quench His thirst? What would it have cost someone to offer Him a cup of fresh water?
Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Matthew 27:34 They gave him vine- gar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
“In another prophecy the Saviour declared, ‘Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.’ Psalm 69:20, 21. To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 746.
DARKNESS AT NOON
5. What occurred suddenly as Jesus hung on the cross and the people mocked Him?
Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
“The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Jesus cried with a loud voice, which struck terror to the hearts of His murderers, ‘It is finished.’ Then the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, the earth shook, and the rocks rent. Great darkness was upon the face of the earth. The last hope of the disciples seemed swept away as Jesus died. Many of His followers witnessed the scene of His sufferings and death, and their cup of sorrow was full.” –Early Writings, pp. 177, 178.
6. In what state were the Saviour’s enemies, even though they believed that they were full of light and had won the victory? With dense darkness everywhere for three hours beginning at noon, what should the Jews have considered?
Isaiah 59:9, 10 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. 10We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
Luke 23:44, 45 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
“Faith and hope trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ because God had removed the assurance He had heretofore given His beloved Son of His approbation and acceptance. The Redeemer of the world then relied upon the evidences which had hitherto strengthened Him, that His Father accepted His labors and was pleased with His work. In His dying agony, as He yields up His precious life, He has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been His joy to obey. He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand nor on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom.” –Lift Him Up, p. 42.
PRAYER FOR HIS ENEMIES
7. Despite everything that was happening and His own suffering, what did Jesus pray on behalf of His accusers and executioners?
Psalm 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
“While the nails were being driven through His hands, and the sweat drops of agony were forced from His pores, from the pale, quivering lips of the innocent Sufferer a prayer of pardoning love was breathed for His murderers: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ All heaven was gazing with profound interest upon the scene. The glorious Redeemer of a lost world was suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law. He was about to ransom His people with His own blood. He was paying the just claims of God’s holy law. This was the means through which an end was to be finally made of sin and Satan, and his host to be vanquished.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp, 208, 209.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“Jesus had united with the Father in making the world. Amid the agonizing sufferings of the Son of God, blind and deluded men alone remain unfeeling. The chief priests and elders revile God’s dear Son while in His expiring agonies. Yet inanimate nature groans in sympathy with her bleeding, dying Author. The earth trembles. The sun refuses to behold the scene. The heavens gather blackness. Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering until they can look no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight. Christ is dying! He is in despair! His Father’s approving smile is removed, and angels are not permitted to lighten the gloom of the terrible hour. They can only behold in amazement their loved Commander, the Majesty of heaven, suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 209.