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Christ as Suffering Saviour

Christ as Suffering Saviour

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Published by glennpease
By HENRY SLOANE COFFIN




Mark 8 : 31. "The Son of man must suffer."
By HENRY SLOANE COFFIN




Mark 8 : 31. "The Son of man must suffer."

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 15, 2013
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06/21/2014

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CHRIST AS SUFFERIG SAVIOUR 
By HERY SLOAE COFFI
Mark 8 : 31. "The Son of man must suffer."How came Jesus to be so confident?Was it that from childhood He had beenaware of a clash between His ideals andthose of everyone He met, making Him feelmisunderstood at home, lonely among Hiscompanions, isolated in the midst of thegroup of men who came closest to Him, andout of sympathy with the hopes and plansof the most earnest in Israel; so that in allthe thoughts and aspirations of His day Hehad not where to lay His head? Was itthrough His familiarity with the fate of God's messengers before Him — a destinybrought home to Him most keenly in themurder of His friend, John the Baptist ?Certainly their martyrdoms were often in18SCHRIST AS SUFFERIG SAVIOUR His mind — " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, whichkilleth the prophets and stoneth them thatare sent unto her!" Was it from His pene-tration into the profoundest principles of theuniverse, and His discovery that sufferingenters into the divine law of the wholecreation, where all life is born of pain anddeath — golden harvest fields of grains of 
 
wheat which die in lonely darkness, andman of woman in travail ? Was it a deeperinsight than that of His contemporaries intocertain messages of the Hebrew Scriptureswhich convinced Him that God's Messiahmust be a sufferer for His people "woundedfor their transgressions and bruised for theiriniquities ?" The early Church believedthat the Master had Himself led them toexplain His death by such passages as thefifty-third chapter of Isaiah. They reportHim as saying "The Son of man goeth, evenas it is written of Him. " Was it that back of nature, which He scrutinized with suchclear-seeing eyes, and back of the messages186•#1CHRIST AS SUFFERIG SAVIOUR of the Scriptures, which He interpretedwith such incomparable spiritual discern-ment, He found suffering involved in thecharacter of God Himself; and realized thatto share God's purpose meant to share Hispain ? It is striking that He, who usuallyemphasized the likeness of God and man,felt that the Cross disclosed their essentialunlikeness. He heard in Peter's rebukefor His proposed programme of sufferingand death man's point of view as op-posed to God's: "Thou mindest not the
 
things that be of God, but the things of men." He who said, "What things soeverthe Father doeth, these the Son also doethin like manner," knew that, when He cameto seek and to save, He must repeat theexperience of His Saviour Father, who wasafflicted in all His people's affliction, andwhose redeeming love and pity met with astubborn self-will which grieved His holyspirit. Perhaps through one of these, orthrough all of them together, He became187CHRIST AS SUFFERIG SAVIOUR certain that the Son of man to save mustsuffer.And how? First, in sympathy. Jesuswas Himself spared many of the ills andwoes that pain His brethren. So far as therecords go, He never knew a day of sickness.He touched the leper without the slightestfear of contagion. Matthew applies to Himthe saying, "Himself took our infirmitiesand bare our diseases," but He did so onlyin His compassion for the sufferers. orare we shown Him sorrowing in intenseloneliness at the death of those He loved.If one evangelist pictures Him as sheddingtears for His friend Lazarus, it is with theconsciousness that in a very few minutesHe can awake him from his sleep. Henever laid wife or child of His own in agrave.

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