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Crossroads Community Church, Waukesha, Wisconsin

The Suffering of the Christ

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Sermon preached by Dr. Elwyn Zimmerman

The Suffering of the Christ

Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:2b-7, 9-12

I. The Suffering of the servant foretold

"...a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (Isa. 53:3b)

A. Familiarity by acquaintance

Isa. 53:4

Mt 8:16-17

Mt. 14:14

Lk. 7:12-13

B. Familiarity by personal experience

1. Throughout His lifetime

Mt. 8:20 - "nowhere to lay his head

Heb. 4:15 - "tempted like we are"

2. At His crucifixion (Jn. 12:23, 27)

a. Physical suffering

---"wounded" (Isa. 53:5b)

--- "pierced" (v. 5a)

---killed (v. 8b)

b. Emotional and Spiritual suffering (v. 11a)

---"despised" (v. 3a)

---"rejected" [by man and God] (v. 3a)

---bearing our sin (vv. 6b, 11b, 12b)

II. The cause of His suffering and death

A. On the human level, a miscarriage of justice

1. The envy of the Sanhedrin

2. The betrayal by Judas

3. The self-serving complicityu of Pontius Pilate

B. On a cosmic level, a divine plan of salvation

1. Initiated by God ["Jahweh"] (vv. 10a, 6b)

2. Submissively accepted by the God the Son (vv. 7, 12b)

III.The purpose of the suffering

A. The propitiation of God's wrath

---"guilt offering" (v. 10)

---substitutionary suffering and death (v. 5)

B. Justification of the sinner (vv. 6b, 11b)

[We will pause at this point in the message to contemplate His suffering and death for us as we partake of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper.]

IV. Our response to His Suffering

A. Rejection by mankind as a whole (v. 3a)

B. Hiding our faces from him (v. 3b)

1. By failing to contemplate and appreciate His suffering for us (Lk. 22:19)

2. By failing to look upon our suffering fellow humans with compassion (Mt. 25:44-45)

copyright 2004 Elwyn Zimmerman