The question we should ask regarding Jesus’ dereliction by God is “How did Jesus react in response?” Did he “curse God and die”? Or did he continue in faithfulness obediently to the finish line? Because OUR DESTINY WAS AT STAKE IN HIS MOMENTOUS CHOICE OF CONDUCT AT THAT POINT, AS AT ALL PREVIOUS POINTS IN HIS ENTIRE PRIVATE LIFE AND PUBLIC CAREER (AFTER HIS IMMERSION). FOR NOT UNTIL AND UNLESS HE ENDURED IN BENIGNITY—JUST TOWARD HUMANITY AND DEVOUT TOWARD DEITY–SINLESS TO THE BITTER END, COULD HE WIN, CONQUER, TRIUMPH! THIS WAS JESUS’ “FINAL“–HIS FINAL EXAMINATION. HIS FAILURE OF THIS LAST TEST WOULD HAVE SEALED OUR DOOM FOREVER! THIS WAS WITHOUT DOUBT HIS HARDEST TRIAL OF ALL. COULD HE STILL TRUST THAT HIS GOD WOULD SAVE HIM EVEN AFTER GETTING HIMSELF HUNG ON A TREE, THUS ACTIVATING A CURSE AGAINST HIMSELF? WHAT TERROR MIGHT THIS HAVE AROUSED IN HIS BREAST? YET HE ENDURED…STEADFAST! [8/03/06]
The repeated refrain, “…that the Scriptures must be fulfilled,” provides the “necessary” clue to the “necessity” of Messiah’s cross and resurrection. For “the Scriptures” are the token of the covenants with Abraham, Israel, and David. God had made promises, had bound Himself by oaths! By these means He was necessarily, perforce drawn into the historical process as an actor WITH A SCRIPT THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED.
The deeper issue, of course, immediately asserts itself by the question, “Why did He voluntarily bind Himself to these particular promises?” The answer to that will reveal agelong secrets concerning our salvation that must be kept hidden from Satan. [8/03/06; 6/02/08]
If you choose to follow me in this premial teaching about the Atonement, you too may well have to bear the reproach of “having a bias toward the false” and “harboring secret sympathies with error” because you too boldly believe, confess, teach, and practice the unadulterated truth. Weigh the evidence, count the cost, and only then pick up your cross and follow. [8/03/06]
To attempt to correct the errors of incorrigible theologians is to run the risk of getting smeared with labels of their opposite extreme. We must be willing to run this risk in order to clarify the truth. It makes our task more difficult and sometimes grievous to the point of dismay or even despair. But we must slog on, using straight and calibrated tools, using moderate, if severe, language. We must become like Jesus did in trials—faithful, obedient, just, not returning reviling for reviling, but, rather, blessing. [8/03/06]