Monday, April 13, 2009

...the shame, suffering and satisfaction of the cross

an encore presentation

Before we move too quickly away from Resurrection Weekend, I wanted to post one more article about the great work of redemption our Lord has fully accomplished. No commentary; just the ancient words of Scripture speaking clearly about our Savior, Jesus Christ on the cross.

As the Apostle Paul has so powerfully proclaimed in Galatians 6:14
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
May we never tire of writing, sharing, speaking, proclaiming, heralding, witnessing, and blogging about Him - the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen?

The Suffering Servant of the Cross

"He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. as a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities."
Isaiah 53:3-11

Reconciled by the Cross

"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"
2 Corinthians 5:18-21

"...that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." Ephesians 2:16-18

Redeemed Through the Cross

"I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." John 17:4-5

"So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit."
John 19:30

" He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.... But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.... For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast....." Ephesians 2:1-9

"And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:13-15

"...having made peace through the blood of His cross." Colossians 1:20

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

The Love of the Cross

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. " Galatians 2:20

"God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14

The Foolishness of the Cross

"...the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body...." Philippians 3:18-21

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Daily Bearing the Cross

"He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory..." Luke 9:23-26

" And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost..." Luke 14:27-28

"... he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:38-39

"And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel...." Colossians 1:21-23

"Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, 'One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.'” Mark 10:21

"Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect." 1 Corinthians 1:17

The Offense of the Cross

"...if I still preach circumcision [conforming to accepted cultural standards], why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased." Galatians 5:11

"As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to becircumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ." Galatians 6:12

The Glory the Cross

"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Lyrics (J.W. Alexander's version, 1830)

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.


pure aire said...

How beautiful! Thank you for posting this, Mr. Camp. What a fitting reminder on this Good Friday.

As I read through these verses, I was reminded of the wonderful sermons on the Suffering Servant you gave at the SBFYC conference last year. They were very precious reminders to me of what the gospel truly means. The Lord saved my sister on the last night of that conference after hearing your sermon. What a blessing.

May God bless you for your faithfulness to His word!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Katherine Estes

Breuss Wane said...

Nice post. It could be summed up like this: the cross is a radical thing. :-)

Marcia said...

Thanks for this Good Friday message...I knew I'd find what I was looking for here.

ann_in_grace said...

I think that exactly because this Message of the Cross is so powerful, so essential and so central to the world, it is being denied by the world.
As You sing: the enemies of the cross attack it from age to age.

The Cross is our only hope.

Have a blessed Resurrection Day!

Alice said...

I write a (very) small blog that mostly just my friends read--it's a mixture of writings about my family and my faith. I've lost a couple of non-Christian friends through statements I've made on the blog (such as, Jesus Christ is the only Way).

I was convicted lately that really my audience is made up of One, and One alone, so I decided this Holy Week to unashamedly write several posts about Jesus' death and resurrection and what they mean to me, and then leave the results to Him. I could see from the sitemeter that at least one of my non-Christian friends had read each of them.

We really do have the responsibility, as Peter says, "to give an answer for the hope that is in us." Especially during this glorious time of year--He is risen indeed!

SJ Camp said...

Amen! And that responsibility we should not cower under or veil the message.

Thank you for your comment today.
Col. 1:9-14

Michele Rayburn said...

Rarely do I recommend a specific sermon that every Christian should listen to. But I would like to recommend that you all listen to Don Whitney. He spoke at our church this Easter Sunday, and words cannot express what an impact this sermon had on me.

Maybe I'll make a few summary comments about it later, especially if it seems that no one has had the opportunity to listen to it. But for now I'll just post the link:

The sermon is entitled:

What's This All About?

I hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Day celebrating our risen Lord.

In His Love,

mike rucker said...

nice post. and image.

the verse that's been nagging me lately is 1 cor 1:23 - "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..."

it's nagging me because i believe we (21st century people, mainly americans) have very little hope of getting past the foolishness. i wrote a short piece on my blog about it; in a nutshell, we have no familiarity with animal sacrifices of any kind, so the picture of Jesus as a "perfect sacrifice" is incomprehensible to us. and i don't mean in an unregenerate manner, either. the concept itself - God requiring a blood sacrifice - is incredibly foreign to us, since we've never even participated in an animal sacrifice. have we "evolved" in our culture to the point we see the barbaric - and impotent - nature of animal sacrifices? but in doing that, are we the odd man out in terms on history - since everybody else did it? in short, could sacrificing animals to appease God really be "normal"? and us abnormal?

"musicianary" - i like it...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa

Anonymous said...

The following is from A.W. Tozer's book, The Root of the Righteous,p. 63-64. It is titled: 'The Cross is a Radical Thing'
"The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment. A shallow and worldly leadership would modify the cross to please the entertainment-mad saintlings who will have their fun even within the very sanctuary; but to do so is to court spiritual disaster and risk the anger of the Lamb turned Lion.
We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do--flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make Christianity something other than it is. Then we shall have left only the empty language of salvation; the power will depart with our departure from the true cross.
If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us. To do this is to submit the whole pattern of our lives to be destroyed and built again in the power of an endless life. And we shall find that it is more than poetry , more than sweet hymnody and elevated feeling. The cross will cut into our lives where it hurts worst, sparing neither us nor our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works.
The changed attitude toward the cross that we see in modern orthodoxy proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand. Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church."

S.J. Walker said...

Hey Steve, and everyone else.

Could you be praying for a close friend of mine? I won't clog up the meta, but he just got operated on for testicular cancer and is waiting for results on a biopsy of another mass in his lower abdomen. You can get more info at A Lion Has Roared!


SJ Camp said...

sj walker
Thank you for sharing this prayer request with me and yes, I will be praying for your friend. Please let us know the final results as well.

The Lord is Sovereign and in control even of this trial.

Grace and peace to you,
Col. 1:9-14

The Spokesman said...

Jesus paid it all! To Him be glory and honor and dominion forever! Oh the love of "penal substitutionary atonement" - "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us..." (1 John 3:16).

Grace and peace,

SJ Camp said...

Oh the love of "penal substitutionary atonement" - "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us..." (1 John 3:16).

Amen my brother!
Thank you..

cyd said...


I am so grateful to continually see articles that consistently focus on and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ here at this blog.
It has been tremendous to read through these weighty posts on the Cross, especially during this magnificent week-end.

Furthermore, I appreciate seeing so many pastors come here to be encouraged in the Word and share their thoughts with you as well. It is a huge blessing for all of us.

Thank you for your faithfulness to His Word, and special thanks for thinking, teaching and posting biblically, not culturally!


The Spokesman said...

The Spokesman said...
Oh the love of "penal substitutionary atonement"...

Mike said, “i think this is exactly what i'm talking about. this statement and the tozer excerpt above are fine once our minds are inside the evangelical paradigm.”

Actually you were talking about, “the verse that's been nagging me lately is 1 cor 1:23 - "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..." and, “it's nagging me because i believe we (21st century people, mainly americans) have very little hope of getting past the foolishness…. in a nutshell, we have no familiarity with animal sacrifices of any kind, so the picture of Jesus as a "perfect sacrifice" is incomprehensible to us. and i don't mean in an unregenerate manner, either.”

Your assumptions are both illogical and unbiblical.

First of all illogical because according to your reasoning the only way to understand the atonement is to have first hand experience with animal sacrifices. If your reasoning were correct then preaching Jesus crucified would not have been a stumbling block to Jews – after all, they had the sacrificial system.

Your reasoning is unbiblical because you imply that the spiritual man has no right to speak using spiritual words but the Bible says, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 emphasis mine).

Unbiblical also because you say that the picture of Jesus as a “perfect sacrifice” is incomprehensible to us – and I don’t mean in an unregenerate manner either.” Wow! I hope you don’t really believe that! Is there no illumination by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)? Is there no “opening of the heart by the Lord to understand and respond (Acts 16:14)? Is there no opening of the mind to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45)?

Shall any man boast before God who is in Christ Jesus only through the doings of God (1 Corinthians 29-30)? No! But he will boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31).

Grace and peace,

mike rucker said...

Asks Them. Open?
Asks Them. Nope.

The Spokesman said...
Your assumptions are both illogical and unbiblical. First of all illogical because according to your reasoning the only way to understand the atonement is to have first hand experience with animal sacrifices.

i don't think i said it so bluntly. it's just outside our realm of experience. and that was the original point i raised - that Britney Spears and Ashley Dupre have no way or need or motivation to understand "atonement".

so how do you preach (sell) it to the 21st century schizoid man?

Your reasoning is unbiblical because you imply that the spiritual man has no right to speak using spiritual words but the Bible says...

did i type that? i think you're putting text in my display...

i don't mind being called unbiblical for a season. but i am not going to roll over and play dead with these logic games ... i'm not looking for debating points. these are honest questions about how - or if - Christianity reveals itself in 2008.

it makes more sense when it comes back around on itself, Man killing God giving life to Man. like somebody said earlier in a moment of revelation...

mike rucker said...

thanks for taking the time to put all those thoughts down in ... keystrokes, i guess.

well said.

cyd said...

Am I missing something here?

Resurrection week-end is the most profound celebration in the Christian calendar. Why would we, as Christians, want to blog about anything else but our Lord and Savior during this holy occasion? It is one of two times a year that multitudes of people actually show some interest in the things of God. This should be a non-issue; it is terribly sad and speaks volumes to the effects of culture on the church that we are debating and excusing a highly noticeable lack of proclaiming the Cross to the e-world on Resurrection Sunday.

Thanks again Steve, for posting so much on the Cross; it is a great encouragement to the body of Christ.


Joel said...

Steve, my experience has been that some things are simply too big to blog about. When Good Friday and Easter came, I couldn't write even the beginning of what was in my heart, and had to fall back on bare imagery and quotes. I wonder if that may have affected other bloggers as well.

The cross and the empty tomb are at the center of our faith, and despite the reams that have been written about them they're still overwhelming to contemplate. Thanks for your words on the subject.

Darrin said...

That may be my favorite hymn, and one rarely gets to see all 11 stanzas. Thanks! Of course the scriptures you post are always appreciated.

I am truly thankful that you consistently uphold Christ and His glory first and foremost; and not some random figment called "Jesus" drawn from your own imagination, but the biblical, historic, real, living, holy, sovereign Son of God.

All glory to Him for what He has done and continues to do in our lives.

Keith Throop said...


I really like your blog, and this latest post reminds me of a couple of the reasons: 1) you are consistently Christ-centered, and 2) you are consistently Scriptural.

I also thought I might point out a couple of songs that have made a big difference in my life because they were so Scriptural, one by you and one by your late friend, Keith Green.

The Lord saved me when I was serving in the U.S. Navy. I had grown up believing in works righteousness, but there were a couple of sincere Christians aboard my ship that kept witnessing to me about the truth of the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone. One of these men also lent me a cassette tape of Keith Green's music. One night while I was sitting up late and alone in a private spot on the ship, I was reading Scripture and crying out to God with Keith on in the background. Suddenly I heard the words of the song "Grace by Which I Stand." In particular, these words:

"And how I wish it had been explained, that as you're growing you must remember,
That nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand, in Jesus."

Suddenly it dawned on me that God had been sending person after person into my life for years who were explaining to me that salvation was by God's grace and apart from our works, but that I hadn't been listening. This led to even more intense soul-searching and an openness to start listening. Well, needless to say, God spoke through His Word and opened my heart to the truth and saved me. Praise His Name!

The other song that really made a difference in my life was your "He Covers Me." In the early days of my pilgrimage on board a U.S. Navy ship, I experienced a great deal of loneliness and isolation, since there were about five or six guys who would claim to be Christians and three who really were (including me). But we all worked in different jobs and hardly saw each other. I also battled the remnants of the works mentality that had plagued me since my childhood. Well, this is where your song came in. I not only listened to "He Covers Me," I also sang it to myself frequently to help get me through the day. It helped keep me focused on the fact that it is through Jesus' work on my behalf that I am accepted by god and not by anything I have done.

Of course, along the way God began to help me understand the Scriptures better and to begin to memorize passages that taught about His grace and the sufficiency of Christ to cover all my sins, but He used the song for a while when it was all I knew.

Anyway, I just thought I would say how much I have appreciated your blog and let you know that God has used you in the life of yet another person you have never met.

I join you in giving Him all the glory, brother!

Your fellow-laborer in the Gospel,


spud tooley said...

think it might be a little dishonest putting that post on the front like it happened yesterday? or is my IE just acting up again?

and those comments hardly read in any kind of order.

i was thinking: 'greater love hath no man than this - that he lay down his life for his friends.'

jesus knew he was going to suffer, and die.

and be resurrected two days later.

someone who throws himself on a grenade with the only life they've got, and no certainty of any other...

i was at a sunrise service on easter praying, i believe - help my unbelief...

mike rucker

SJ Camp said...

Darrin and KeithThank you both for your most gracious and encouraging words. Any good to others that comes from this blog or some of the songs is only by Lord Jesus.

MikeAs one who frequents this blog u know that if i am reposting an article, I will let the readers know. This one got by me; my bad.

As per your comment, I think you meant to say "three days" and not "two days".

Grace to you,

spud tooley said...

yeah - maybe i was a little ... uh ... cross in my comments. sorry.

on the three vs two:

friday -+1-> saturday -+2-> sunday.

i tend to lean to the 'and on the third day arise' texts.

but there is a lot of good evidence and analysis, based on the way Holy Week goes, when the 'day of preparation' is, and when the actual feast occurs that says the crucifixion actually occured on thursday and not friday, as we currently celebrate it (although 'celebrate' seems to be the wrong word for a crucifixion, even in light of the ideas in this post).

ah, those darn catholics again - stealing holidays to somehow convert the pagans by fiat. will those over-reaching popes ever be happy?

mike rucker

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