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Page 73

As explained in Chapter Eleven, Jesus' suffering is a fountain of comfort for His children. As their High Priest, He was tempted in all points as they are, yet He is without sin. There is such rich comfort in knowing that in our deepest temptations and trials, Christ was already there. He was tried yet deeper and therefore fully understands our trial.

    When imprisoned in Aberdeen, Samuel Rutherford wrote to a friend, "The Lord is with me; I care not what man can do. No person is better provided for than I am. My chains are even gilded with gold. No pen, no words - nothing can express the beauty of Christ."

    When in prison in Vincennes, Madame Guyon wrote, "The joy of my heart gives a brightness to the objects around me. The stones in my prison look in my eyes like rubies."

    Who went through great suffering and paid the price, so that Samuel Rutherford's chains could seem to be "gilded with gold" and Madame Guyon's prison stones could "look like rubies"?

JESUS' DEATH

As a perfectly innocent Person, Jesus was condemned to death. This pronouncement by Pontius Pilate was very important for the following reasons:

    1. His being pronounced guilty by an earthly judge secures the right for His people to be pronounced innocent by the heavenly Judge.

    2. The same judge that condemned Christ to death repeatedly testified of Jesus' innocence. God's Church needs both: Jesus must be declared both innocent and guilty - innocent to establish His sinlessness and guilty to confirm His substitutionary work as Sinbearer.

    3. His condemnation magnified God's grace to both Jews and Gentiles, as both were involved in the injustice of sentencing Him to death.

What rich strength and comfort is missed by unbelievers in times of trial and suffering? Why was it possible for Paul and Silas to sing in the dungeon, for Daniel to remain calm in the lions' den, and for Stephen to die praying for his enemies?







Why was it necessary for Jesus to be declared both innocent and guilty?


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