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bible4life
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Locport, Illinois

 an article by paul washer a word to the young

http://www.grantedministries.org/articles/A_Word_to_the_Young.pdf


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John Beechy

 2009/8/18 1:34Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
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 Re: an article by paul washer a word to the young

Thanks for posting this. I'm not 'young', but I'm going to post this onto some young people that it might help and encourage.


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Dave

 2009/8/18 4:06Profile
notmyown
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Joined: 2007/10/1
Posts: 83


 Re:

Likewise - good stuff and I'll certainly be passing it on.

 2009/8/20 8:45Profile
Swo131
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Joined: 2009/8/9
Posts: 2


 Re:

I loved the writing. I listen to alot of brother Paul's stuff. I'll be sharing parts of this with my Young Adult crowd.

 2009/8/20 10:00Profile
bible4life
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Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1559
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

Their is one thing i have learned from brother paul is that the holy spirit is working very strongly in his life and revealing things i have never heard out of christians mouths before. I have been so blessed by his material. If i find more articles on him i will post them. I found it on granted ministries website.


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John Beechy

 2009/8/21 0:10Profile
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 Re:

1
One of my greatest burdens is that the Cross of Christ is rarely
explained. It is not enough to say that “He died” - for all men
die. It is not enough to say that “He died a noble death” - for
martyrs do the same. We must understand that we have not
fully proclaimed the death of Christ with saving power until
we have cleared away the confusion that surrounds it and
expounded its true meaning to our hearers - He died bearing
the transgressions of His people and suffering the divine penalty
for their sins: He was forsaken of God and crushed under
the wrath of God in their place.
Forsaken of God
One of the most disturbing, even haunting, passages in the
Scriptures is Mark’s record of the great cry of the Messiah as
He hung upon a Roman Cross. In a loud voice He cried out:
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”1
In light of what we know about the impeccable nature of
the Son of God and His perfect fellowship with the Father,
it is difficult to comprehend Christ’s words, yet in them, the
meaning of the Cross is laid bare, and we find the reason for
which Christ died. The fact that His words are also recorded
in the original Hebrew tongue tells us something of their great
importance. The author did not want us to misunderstand or
to miss a thing!
In these words, Jesus is not only crying out to God, but as
the consummate teacher, He is also directing His onlookers
and all future readers to one of the most important Messianic
prophecies of the Old Testament - Psalm 22. Though the entire
Psalm abounds with detailed prophecies of the Cross, we
will concern ourselves with only the first six verses:
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from
my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I
cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have
no rest. Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the
praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and
You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered;
in You they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a
worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the
people.”
In Christ’s day, the Hebrew Scriptures were not laid out in
numbered chapters and verses as they are today. Therefore,
when a rabbi sought to direct his hearers to a certain Psalm or
portion of Scripture, he would do so by reciting the first lines
of the text. In this cry from the Cross, Jesus directs us to Psalm
22 and reveals to us something of the character and purpose
of His sufferings.
In the first and second verses, we hear the Messiah’s complaint
- He considers Himself forsaken of God. Mark uses
the Greek word egkataleípo, which means to forsake, abandon,
or desert.2 The Psalmist uses the Hebrew word azab, which
means to leave, loose, or forsake.3 In both cases, the intention
is clear. The Messiah Himself is aware that God has forsaken
Him and turned a deaf ear to His cry. This is not a symbolic
or poetic forsakenness. It is real! If ever a creature felt the
forsakenness of God, it was the Son of God on the cross of
Calvary!
In the fourth and fifth verses of this Psalm, the anguish suffered
by the Messiah becomes more acute as He recalls the
covenant faithfulness of God towards His people. He declares:
“In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You delivered
them. To You they cried out and were delivered; in You they
trusted and were not disappointed.”
The apparent contradiction is clear. There had never been
one instance in the history of God’s covenant people that a
righteous man cried out to God and was not delivered. However,
now the sinless Messiah hangs on a tree utterly forsaken.
What could be the reason for God’s withdrawal? Why did He
turn away from His only begotten Son?
Woven into the Messiah’s complaint is found the answer to
these disturbing questions. In verse three, He makes the unwavering
declaration that God is holy, and then in verse six,
He admits the unspeakable - He had become a worm and
was no longer a man. Why would the Messiah direct such demeaning
and derogatory language toward Himself? Did He
see Himself as a worm because He had become “a reproach
of men and despised by the people”4 or was there a greater
and more awful reason for His self-deprecation? After all, He
did not cry out, “My God, my God, why have the people forsaken
me,” but rather He endeavored to know why God had
done so! The answer can be found in one bitter truth alone
- the Lord had caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him, and
like a worm, He was forsaken and crushed in our stead.5
This dark metaphor of the dying Messiah is not alone in
The Cross of Christ
By Paul Washer
The Cross of Christ By Paul Washer
2
Scripture. There are others that take us even deeper into the
heart of the Cross and lay open for us what “He must suffer”6
in order to win the redemption of His people. If we shutter
at the words of the Psalmist, we will be further taken back
to hear of the thrice-holy7 Son of God becoming the serpent
lifted up in the wilderness, and then, the sin bearing scapegoat
left to die alone.
The first metaphor is found in the book of Numbers. Because
of Israel’s near constant rebellion against the Lord and their
rejection of His gracious provisions, God sent “fiery serpents”
among the people and many died.8 However, as a result of
the people’s repentance and Moses’ intercession, God once
again made provision for their salvation. He commanded
Moses to “make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard.” He
then promised that “everyone who is bitten, when he looks
at it, he will live.”
At first, it seems contrary to reason that “the cure was shaped
in the likeness of that which wounded.”9 However, it provides
a powerful picture of the cross. The Israelites were dying
from the venom of the fiery serpents. Men die from the
venom of their own sin. Moses was commanded to place the
cause of death high upon a pole. God placed the cause of our
death upon His own Son as He hung high upon a cross. He
had come “in the likeness of sinful flesh,”10 and was “made to
be sin on our behalf.”11 The Israelite who believed God and
looked upon the brazen serpent would live. The man who
believes God’s testimony concerning His Son and looks upon
Him with faith will be saved.12 As it is written, “Look unto
me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God,
and there is none else.”13
The second metaphor is found in the priestly book of Leviticus.
Since it was impossible for one single offering to fully
typify or illustrate the Messiah’s atoning death, an offering involving
two sacrificial goats was put before the people.14 The
first goat was slain as a sin offering before the Lord, and its
blood was sprinkled on and in front of the Mercy Seat behind
the veil in the Holy of Holies.15 It typified Christ who shed
His blood on the Cross to make atonement for the sins of His
people. The second goat was presented before the Lord as
the scapegoat.16 Upon the head of this animal, the High Priest
laid “both of his hands and confessed over it all the iniquities
of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all
their sins.”17 The scapegoat was then sent away into the wilderness
bearing on itself all the iniquities of the people into a
solitary land.18 There, it would wander alone, forsaken of God
and cut off from His people. It typified Christ who “bore our
sins in His body on the cross,”19 and suffered and died alone
“outside the camp.”20 What was only symbolic in the Law
became an excruciating reality for the Messiah.
Is it not astounding that a worm, a venomous serpent, and
goat should be put forth as types of Christ? To identify the
Son of God with such “loathsome” things would be blasphemous
had it not come from Old Testament saints “moved by
the Holy Spirit,”21 and then confirmed by the authors of the
New Testament who go even further in their dark depictions.
Under the inspiration of the same Spirit, they are bold enough
to say that He who knew no sin, was “made sin,”22 and He,
who was the beloved of the Father, “became a curse”23 before
Him. We have heard these truths before, but have we ever
considered them enough to be broken by them?
On the Cross, the One declared “holy, holy, holy” by the
Seraphim choir,24 was “made” to be sin. The journey into the
meaning of this phrase seems almost too dangerous to take.
We balk even at the first step. What does it mean that He,
in whom “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”
was “made sin?” We must not explain the truth away in an
attempt to protect the reputation of the Son of God, and yet,
we must be careful not to speak terrible things against His
impeccable and immutable25 character.
According to the Scriptures, Christ was “made sin” in the
same way that the believer “becomes the righteousness of
God” in Him.26 In his second letter to the church in Corinth,
the Apostle Paul writes:
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”27
The believer is not the “righteousness of God” because of
some perfecting or purifying work upon his character that
makes him like God and without sin, but rather as a result of
imputation by which he is considered righteous before God
through the work of Christ on his behalf. In the same way,
Christ was not made sin by having His character marred or
soiled, thus actually becoming depraved, but as a result of imputation
by which He was considered guilty before the judgment
seat of God on our behalf. This truth however, must not
cause us to think any less of Paul’s declaration that Christ was
“made sin.” Although it was an imputed guilt, it was real guilt,
bringing unspeakable anguish to His soul. He took our guilt
as His own, stood in our place, and died forsaken of God.
That Christ was “made sin,” is a truth as terrible as it is incomprehensible,
and yet, just when we think that no darker words
can be uttered against Him, the Apostle Paul lights a lamp
and takes us further down into the abyss of Christ’s humiliation
and forsakenness. We enter the deepest cavern to find
the Son of God hanging from the Cross and bearing His most
infamous title - the Accursed of God!
The Scriptures declare that all humankind lay under the
curse. As it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide
by all the things written in the Book of the Law, to perform
The Cross of Christ By Paul Washer
3
them.”28 From heaven’s perspective, those who break God’s
Law are vile and worthy of all loathing. They are a wretched
lot, justly exposed to divine vengeance, and rightly devoted
to eternal destruction. It is not an exaggeration to say that the
last thing that the accursed sinner should and will hear when
he takes his first step into hell is all of creation standing to
its feet and applauding God because He has rid the earth of
him. Such is the vileness of those who break God’s law, and
such is the disdain of the holy towards the unholy. Yet, the
Gospel teaches us that, “Christ redeemed us from the curse
of the Law, having become a curse for us -- for it is written,
‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”29 Christ became
what we were in order to redeem us from what we deserved.
He became a worm and no man, the serpent lifted up in the
wilderness, the scapegoat driven outside the camp, the bearer
of sin, and the One upon whom the curse of God did fall. It
is for this reason the Father turned away from Him and all
heaven hid its face.
It is a great travesty that the true meaning of the Christ’s “cry
from the cross” has often been lost in romantic cliché. It is not
uncommon to hear a preacher declare that the Father turned
away from His Son because He could no longer bear to witness
the suffering inflicted upon Him by the hands of wicked
men. Such interpretations are a complete distortion of the text
and of what actually transpired on the Cross. The Father did
not turn away from His Son because He lacked the fortitude
to witness His sufferings, but because “He made Him who
knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him.”30 He laid our sins upon
Him and turned away, for His eyes are too pure to approve
evil and cannot look upon wickedness with favor.31
It is not without reason that many Gospel tracts picture an
infinite abyss between a holy God and sinful man. With such
an illustration, the Scriptures fully agree. As the Prophet Isaiah
cried out:
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save,
nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities
have made a separation between you and your God, and your
sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear”
(Isaiah 59:1-2)
It is because of this that all men would have lived and died
separated from the favorable presence of God and under divine
wrath unless the Son of God had stood in their place,
bore their sin, and died “forsaken of God” on their behalf. For
the breach to be closed and fellowship restored, “Was it not
necessary for the Christ to suffer these things?”32
Christ Dies under the Wrath of God
To obtain the salvation of His people, Christ not only suffered
the terrifying abandonment of God, but He drank down the
bitter cup of God’s wrath and died a bloody death in the
place of His people. Only then could divine justice be satisfied,
the wrath of God be appeased, and reconciliation be
made possible.
In the garden, Christ prayed three times for “the cup” to be
removed from Him, but each time His will gave into that
of His Father.33 We must ask ourselves, what was in the cup
that caused Him to pray so fervently? What did it contain
that caused Him such anguish that His sweat was mingled
with blood? It is often said that the cup represented the cruel
Roman cross and the physical torture that awaited Him; that
Christ foresaw the cat of nine tails coming down across His
back, the crown of thorns piercing His brow, and the primitive
nails driven through His hands and feet. Yet those who
see these things as the source of His anguish do not understand
the Cross, nor what happened there. Although the tortures
heaped upon Him by the hands of men were all part
of God’s redemptive plan, there was something much more
ominous that evoked the Messiah’s cry for deliverance.
In the first centuries of the primitive church, thousands of
Christians died on crosses. It is said that Nero crucified them
upside down, covered them with tar, and set them aflame to
provide street lights for the city of Rome. Throughout the
ages since then, a countless stream of Christians have been
led off to the most unspeakable tortures, and yet it is the testimony
of friend and foe alike that many of them went to their
death with great boldness. Are we to believe that the followers
of the Messiah met such cruel physical death with joy unspeakable,
while the Captain of their Salvation34 cowered in a
garden, feigning the same torture? Did the Christ of God fear
whips and thorns, crosses and spears, or did the cup represent
a terror infinitely beyond the greatest cruelty of men?
To understand the ominous contents of the cup, we must refer
to the Scriptures. There are two passages in particular that we
must consider - one from the Psalms and the other from the
Prophets:
“For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams;
It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; surely all the wicked
of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.”35
“For thus the LORD, the God of Israel says to me, ‘Take
this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all
the nations to whom I send you to drink it. They will drink
and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send
among them.’”36
As a result of the unceasing rebellion of the wicked, the justice
of God had decreed judgment against them. He would rightly
The Cross of Christ By Paul Washer
4
pour forth His indignation upon the nations. He would put
the cup of the wine of His wrath to their mouth and force
them to drink it down to the dregs.37 The mere thought of
such a fate awaiting the world is absolutely terrifying, yet this
would have been the fate of all, except that the mercy of God
sought for the salvation of a people, and the wisdom of God
devised a plan of redemption even before the foundation of
the world. The Son of God would become a man and walk
upon the earth in perfect obedience to the Law of God. He
would be like us in all things,38 and tempted in all ways like us
but without sin.39 He would live a perfectly righteous life for
the glory of God and in the stead of His people. Then in the
appointed time, He would be crucified by the hands of wicked
men, and on that Cross, He would bear His people’s guilt,
and suffer the wrath of God against them. The perfect Son of
God and a true Son of Adam together in one glorious person
would take the bitter cup of wrath from the very hand of God
and drink it down to the dregs. He would drink until “it was
finished”40 and the justice of God was fully satisfied. The divine
wrath that should have been ours would be exhausted
upon the Son, and by Him, it would be extinguished.
Imagine an immense dam that is filled to the brim and straining
against the weight behind it. All at once, the protective
wall is pulled away and the massive destructive power of the
deluge is unleashed. As certain destruction races toward a
small village in the nearby valley, the ground suddenly opens
up before it and drinks down that which would have carried
it away. In similar fashion, the judgment of God was rightly
racing toward every man. Escape could not be found on the
highest hill or in the deepest abyss. The fleetest of foot could
not outrun it, nor could the strongest swimmer endure its torrents.
The dam was breached and nothing could repair its
ruin. But when every human hope was exhausted, at the appointed
time, the Son of God interposed. He stood between
divine justice and His people. He drank down the wrath that
they themselves had kindled and the punishment they deserved.
When He died, not one drop of the former deluge
remained. He drank it all!
Imagine two giant millstones, one turning on top of the other.
Imagine that caught between the two is a single grain of
wheat that is pulled under the massive weight. First, its hull
is crushed beyond recognition, and then its inwards parts are
poured out and ground into dust. There is no hope of retrieval
or reconstruction. All is lost and beyond repair. Thus, in a
similar fashion, “it pleased the Lord” to crush His only Son
and put Him to grief unspeakable.41 Thus, it pleased the Son
to submit to such suffering in order that God might be glorified
and a people might be redeemed. It is not that God found
some gleeful pleasure in the suffering of His beloved Son, but
through His death, the will of God was accomplished. No
other means had the power to put away sin, satisfy divine
justice, and appease the wrath of God against us. Unless that
divine grain of wheat had fallen to the ground and died, it
would have abided alone without a people or a bride.42 The
pleasure was not found in the suffering, but in all that such
suffering would accomplish: God would be revealed in a
glory yet unknown to men or angels, and a people would be
brought into unhindered fellowship with their God.
In one of the most epic stories in the Old Testament, the patriarch
Abraham is commanded to carry his son Isaac to Mount
Moriah, and there, to offer him as a sacrifice to God.
“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and
go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering
on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”43
What a burden was laid upon Abraham! We cannot even
begin to imagine the sadness that filled the old man’s heart
and tortured him every step of his journey. The Scriptures
are careful to tell us that he was commanded to offer “his son,
his only son, whom he loved.” The specificity seems designed
to catch our attention and make us think that there is more
meaning hidden in these words than we can yet tell.
On the third day, the two reached the appointed place, and
the father himself bound his beloved son with his own hand.
Finally, in submission to what must be done, he laid his hand
upon his son’s brow and “took the knife to slay him.”44 At that
very moment, the mercy and grace of God interposed, and
the old man’s hand was stayed. God called out to him from
heaven and said:
“Abraham, Abraham! ...Do not stretch out your hand against
the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear
God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son,
from Me.”45
At the voice of the Lord, Abraham raised his eyes, and found
a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. He took the ram
and offered him up in the place of his son.46 He then named
that place YHWH-jireh or “The Lord will provide.” It is a
faithful saying that remains until this day, “In the mount of
the Lord it will be provided.”47 As the curtains draw to a
close on this epic moment in history, not only Abraham, but
also everyone who has ever read this account breathes a sigh
of relief that the boy is spared. We think to ourselves what a
beautiful end to the story, but it was not the end, it was a mere
intermission!
Two thousand years later, the curtain opens again. The background
is dark and ominous. At center stage is the Son of
God on Mount Calvary. He is bound by obedience to the will
of His Father. He hangs there bearing the sin of His people.
The Cross of Christ By Paul Washer
5
He is accursed - betrayed by His creation48 and forsaken of
God. Then, the silence is broken with the horrifying thunder
of God’s wrath. The Father takes the knife, draws back His
arm, and slays “His Son, His only Son, whom He loves.” And
the words of Isaiah the prophet are fulfilled:
“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... But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting
Him to grief.”49
The curtain is drawn to a close on a slain Son and a crucified
Messiah. Unlike Isaac there was no ram to die in His place.
He was the Lamb who would die for the sins of the world.50
He is God’s provision for the redemption of His people. He is
the fulfillment of which Isaac and the ram were only shadows.
In Him, Mount Calvary is renamed “YHWH-jireh” or “The
Lord will provide.” And it is a faithful saying that remains
until this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”51
Calvary was the mount and salvation was provided. Thus, the
discerning believer cries out, “God, God, I know you love me
since you have not withheld your Son, your only Son, whom
You love, from me.”52
It is an injustice to Calvary that the true pain of the Cross
is often overlooked by a more romantic, but less powerful
theme. It is often thought and even preached that the Father
looked down from heaven and witnessed the suffering that
was heaped upon His Son by the hands of men, and that He
counted such affliction as payment for our sins. This is heresy
of the worst kind. Christ satisfied divine justice not merely
by enduring the affliction of men, but by enduring and dying
under the wrath of God. It takes more than crosses, nails,
crowns of thorns, and lances, to pay for sin. The believer is
saved, not merely because of what men did to Christ on the
Cross, but because of what God did to Him - He crushed
Him under the full force of His wrath against us. Rarely is this
truth made clear enough in the abundance of all our Gospel
preaching!
For more resources, sermon downloads, heartcry missionary society


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John Beechy

 2009/8/21 0:17Profile
bible4life
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Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1559
Locport, Illinois

 Re:

paul washer on the cross of christ article


_________________
John Beechy

 2009/8/21 0:19Profile





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