CHRIST The Only Way           


When we become discouraged and down and start feeling sorry for ourselves, we tend to put blame on God for our troubles. If God really loved me, He wouldn’t have allowed this to happen to me. Most times we have brought the troubles on ourselves by allowing some kind of sin to enter our lives, and this has stolen our happiness.

Let’s look at some of the things Jesus did do for us, or in our behalf. Jesus spent three- and-one-half years teaching and doing miracles with the inner circle of disciples that were his closest friends. He trusted in them, he shared living conditions with them and ate with them, and one of the twelve betrayed him.

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Have you ever had a close friend or maybe family member betray your confidence or, for their personal gain, betray you in a way that caused you personal harm? Remember the pain of knowing they would do this to you when you haven’t done anything to deserve this. Jesus went through these feelings for you. Jesus was very concerned about what he knew was coming in the next few hours. He called upon his closest friends to stand by him in his hour of need.

Matthew 26:38-39 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Have you ever had to face something that you dreaded coming and looked to friends for support while you were in torment, worrying about the coming problems? You looked for support from the ones you can trust. Go through this with me, you would ask.

Matthew 26:40-41 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

They are your friends, so you forgive them, and ask that they stay with you through this time.

Matthew 26:43-44 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

No matter how many times Jesus asked for support in his time of anxiety, his closest friends let him down. Jesus was in such agony because he was to do something for mankind, and mankind wouldn’t even stay and watch with him an hour. The temptation must have been great for Jesus to just give up and run. Because of his love for you, he stayed to face the terror he knew was coming, even though his body wanted out. He sweat great drops of blood in the agony and temptation to stop.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Jesus knew it was time for the ordeal to begin. So he told the disciples, relax now because the time is at hand. Judas, one of the twelve, came to point out the Savior, his friend, for betrayal.

Matthew 26:47-48 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

Can you imagine the feelings Jesus felt as his friend kissed him to betray him? At any time Jesus could have stopped this, but for you and me he endured it. Peter tried to help with the first thing that came to his mind.

Matthew 26:51-53 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Jesus replaced the man’s ear with an act of love.

Luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Would you have been able to heal the ear of a man that was arresting you? Jesus was able to show that kind of love.

Have you ever been arrested? Especially for something you are totally innocent of? The feelings of torment going through Jesus mind must have been more than we could have taken.

Luke 22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.

Luke 22:63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

The men that held Jesus mocked and made fun of Jesus. Could you have gone through the humiliation of being made fun of in front of a bunch of people and not fight back with everything in your power to strike them with? The men smote him. In the Greek, the word "smote" means scourge. This was a whip with nine strings on a handle that each had a small piece of bone or glass or some object that would tear small pieces of your flesh out of your body as it was slapped across your back. It was called the cat-o’-nine- tails. Usually the scourging process was 39 times, which was perfected by the Roman government to be a form of punishment to inflict the most pain without killing the victim.

The 40th lick would kill the victim. Jesus went through the scourging for you.

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Even though Jesus was in terrible pain for something he was not guilty of, He still knew when Peter denied him. Have you ever felt the stab of conscience that hit Peter?

Peter 22:62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?

Have you ever been hit in the face by a fist or the palm of a hand? This time "smote" carries the meaning of a hit with a hand. They put a blindfold on Jesus and hit him and made sport of it.

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

They pulled out his beard by the roots then spit on him.

Would you have gone through this for any price? Jesus did it for you.

Have you ever been to trial for anything that you are innocent of? Jesus did.

Luke 22:66-67 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe.

Jesus was brought to trial and then brought a second time. We are not tried twice for the same crime, but Jesus was.

Luke 23:1-2 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

There was all kinds of false witnessing against Jesus, and Jesus did not fight back. Could you have gone through this? Jesus was sent before a third authority to be tried. He was again made fun of and sent back to Pilate.

Luke 23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

As Jesus stood before Pilate, he saw his countrymen, the people he came to save, turn on him and demand he be crucified. Have you ever been falsely accused of something and had to endure it even though you were innocent? Jesus did for you. Jesus had gone through the scourging with the cat-o’-nine-tails, as it is called. His back must have been hurting him beyond imagination. He was then forced to carry the cross a distance to Golgotha to where he would die.

Luke 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

Jesus was nailed to the cross with nails through his hands and feet, as was the way the Roman government executed their criminals.

Luke 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

As Jesus hung on the cross, dying, he forgave the people that did it to him.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Could you have found forgiveness in your heart to forgive anyone that treated you like this? Jesus did.

Hung out in the open, stripped of everything, even his clothes. He was naked, bleeding, and thirsty, and they gave him vinegar with gall in it to drink. How many more things could the Savior endure? They wove a crown of thorns and place it on his head.

Matthew 27:29-30 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

A crown of thorns lay on his head, and they hit him on the head with a stick, driving the thorns into the scalp.

Beaten, humiliated, betrayed, tortured, enduring a terrible thirst, nailed to a cross, and hung out to die. Then God dumps every sin you and I have ever committed on Jesus’ head and turns his back on his Son for the only time in eternity. No wonder Jesus screams,
"My God, My God, why hath thou forsaken me."

What did Jesus do for you?  He did it all.

When the problems of this world seem to get you down, just remember what Jesus went through for us for love.

God Bless,

Doyle Reno

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