For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Is It Biblical To Say Jesus Was Damned By God On The Cross?

1. The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'" 

God, Galatians 3:13

2. Martin Luther: "So then, gaze at the heavenly picture of Christ, who descended into hell [I Pet. 3:19] for your sake and was forsaken by God as one eternally damned when he spoke the words on the cross, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!' — 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' [Matt. 27:46]. In that picture your hell is defeated and your uncertain election is made sure."

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, Vol. 42, Eds. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), 105.

3. Martin Luther: "[On the cross Christ] prepared himself as a threefold picture for us, to be held before the eyes of our faith against the three evil pictures with which the evil spirit and our nature would assail us to rob us of this faith. He is the living and immortal image against death, which he suffered, yet by his resurrection from the dead he vanquished death in his life. He is the image of the grace of God against sin, which he assumed, and yet overcame by his perfect obedience. He is the heavenly image, the one who was forsaken by God as damned, yet he conquered hell through his omnipotent love, thereby proving that he is the dearest Son, who gives this to us all if we but believe."

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, Vol. 42, Eds. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), 95–115.

4. Martin Luther: "For even Christ suffered damnation and dereliction to a greater degree than all the saints. And his sufferings were not, as some imagine, easy for him. For he really and truly offered himself for us to eternal damnation to God the Father. And in his human nature, he behaved in no other way than as a man eternally damned to hell. Because he loved God in this way, God at once raised him from death and hell and thus devoured hell."

Martin Luther, Lectures On Romans, Trans. and Ed. Wilhelm Pauck, (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1961, 2006), 263, Online: https://nazlimoloudi.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-library-of-christian-classics-1961-luther-lectures-on-romans.pdf, Accessed 01 December 2019.

5. John Calvin: Calvin's Catechism: "69. How is it possible that Jesus Christ, who is the salvation of the world, should have been under such damnation? He was not to remain under it. For though He experienced the horror we have spoken of, He was by no means oppressed by it. On the contrary, He battled with the power of hell, to break and destroy it."  

The School Of Faith: The Catechisms Of The Reformed Church, Ed., Trans. Thomas F. Torrance, (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1959), 16.

6. John Calvin: "Not only the body of Christ was given as the price of our redemption, but there was another, greater, and more excellent ransom, for He suffered in his soul the dreadful torments of a damned and lost man."

John Calvin, Institutes, II.xvi.10.

7. John Calvin: "For inasmuch as we see that the Son of God . . . was pronounced accursed by God's own mouth."

John Calvin, Sermons On Galatians, (Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995), 295-296.

8. John Calvin: ". . . the son of God was fain [pleased] to suffer our curse, and to endure that death which is so slanderous before men, yea and to be cursed of God's own mouth . . . ."

John Calvin, Sermons On Galatians, (Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995), 713.

9. John Calvin: "How does the inheritance of heaven belong to us, except in that He was made a curse for our sakes, and He was cursed not only before men, but from the mouth of God His Father?"

John Calvin, The Gospel According To Isaiah: Seven Sermons on Isaiah 53 Concerning The Passion And Death Of Christ, Trans. Leroy Nixon (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), 16.

10. John Wyclif: " . . . because the friars had put heresy upon Christ in the matter of the sacrament, and the earth trembled as it did when Christ was damned to bodily death."

John Wyclif, Select Engl. Works, III. 503. As cited in Philip Schaff, History Of The Christian Church, Vol. 6, The Middle Ages, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc6.iii.vi.iii.html#fnf_iii.vi.iii-p32.2, Accesssed 30 November 2019.

11. Jeremiah Burroughs: "The afflictions that Christ endured, though they were not every way the same with the damned in hell, yet certainly there was the wrath of God as really and truly upon Christ, as truly as upon the damned in hell . . . ." 

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Evil Of Evils, The Exceeding Sinfulness Of Sin, (London: Peter Cole, 1654), 9.

12. John Owen: "They who would invent evasions for this express complaint of our Saviour, that he was deserted and forsaken, as that he spake it in reference to his church, or of his own, being left to the power and malice of the Jews, do indeed little less than blaspheme him; and say he was not forsaken of God, when himself complains that he was. Forsaken, I say, not by the disjunction of his personal union; but as to the communication of effects of love and favour, which is the desertion that the damned lie under in hell."  

John Owen, The Works Of John Owen, Vol. 9, Edited by Thomas Russell, (London: Paternoster, 1826), 122.

13. Herman Witsius: "Calvin, and some of the ancients, say that he was damned . . . Some of the Romish doctors have, with great acrimony of style, aggravated what was said by Calvin in the tenth section of his Catechism, concerning the satisfactory pains and punishment of Christ, viz. that he was in a state of damnation. But it is answered by our Divines, that Tertullian used the same phrase, Book III. against Marcion, chap. xi. 'The nativity will not be more shameful than death, nor infamy than the cross, nor damnation than the flesh.' Cyprian on the passion of Christ, 'He was damned, that he might deliver the damned.' And Gregory the great, Moral. Book III. chap. xi. 'He who is equal to the Father in point of divinity, came, on our account, to scourging in respect of the flesh; which scourging he would not have received, had he not in redemption taken upon him the form of a damned man.'"

Herman Witsius, Conciliatory Or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain: Under the Unhappy Names of Antinomians and Neonomians, Trans. Thomas Bell, (Glasgow: W. Lang, 1807), 38, 45.

14. Francis Turretin: "With similar calumny that great man of God is accused of saying that Christ 'was damned' because he says 'he was constituted in such a damnation; that he complained of being deserted by God (Catechismus Ecclesiae Genevensis [1545], CR 34.28-32). But: (1) who does not see that 'damnation' is put here for 'condemnation,' according to the most customary style of French language at that time? (2) If Christ is called 'a curse,' why cannot damnation be ascribed to him? (3) The fathers and some of our opponents have so spoken: Cyprian, 'He as damned that he might free the damned; he suffered that he might heal the sick; he feared to make us secure' ('De Passione Christi' [attributed to Cyprian] in Arnold Carnotensis, Opera, p. 49 in Cyprian, Opera [ed. John Oxoniensem, 1682]); Gregory Nazianzus, 'He united that which was condemned that he might free the whole from condemnation' (Fourth Theological Oration, Second on the Son,' 21 [NPNF2, 7:317; PG 36.131]); Athanasius, 'There was need for the very Judge, who made the decree, to fulfill himself the sentence in the form of the condemned; (de Incarn.+); Gregory the Great, 'He assumed the form of a condemned man; and 'condemns him for sinners who is without sin' (Morals on the Book of Job 3.14* [1844], 1:148-49; PL 75.612-13). The Vulgate uses the word damnatio as does the Louvain Version of the year 1533. Cusanus uses the same word (Exercit. lib. xi+)."

Francis Turretin, Institutes Of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, Trans. George Musgrave Giger, Ed. James T. Dennison, Jr., (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1994), 356.

15. Wilhelmus à Brakel: "Christ did indeed suffer eternal damnation, for eternal damnation, death, and pain consist in total separation from God, in the total manifestation of divine wrath, and all of this for such a duration until the punishment upon sin was perfectly and satisfactorily born."

Wilhelmus à Brakel. The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 1, Trans. Bartel Elshout, Ed. Joel Beeke, (Rotterdam, The Netherlands: D. Bolle, 1999), 591. Online: http://s3.amazonaws.com/apmmedia/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/06135501/The-Christians-Reasonable-Service-Volume-1-by-Wilhelmas-aBrakel.pdf, Accessed 29 February 2019.

16. John Duncan: "Ay, ay, d'ye know what it was - dying on the cross, forsaken by his Father? D'ye know what it was? What? What? It was damnation, and damnation taken lovingly . . . It was damnation, and he took it lovingly."

John M. Brentnall, Ed., 'Just a talker': Sayings of John ('Rabbi') Duncan, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997), 26.

17. Charles Spurgeon: "The whole of the punishment of his people was distilled into one cup; no mortal lip might give it so much as a solitary sip. When he put it to his own lips, it was so bitter, he well nigh spurned it - 'Let this cup pass from me.' But his love for his people was so strong, that he took the cup in both his hands, and 'At one tremendous draught of love He drank damnation dry' for all his people. He drank it all, he endured all, he suffered all; so that now for ever there are no flames of hell for them, no racks of torment; they have no eternal woes; Christ hath suffered all they ought to have suffered, and they must, they shall go free."

Charles Spurgeon, "Justification by Grace," April 5, 1857, https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/justification-by-grace#flipbook/, Accessed 03 December 2019.

18. A. W. Pink: "Unsaved reader, reject not the Saviour, for if you die in your sins your eternal cry will be, 'I thirst!' This is the moan of the damned. In the Lake of Fire the lost suffer amid the flames of God's wrath for ever and ever. If Christ cried 'I thirst' when He suffered the wrath of God for but three hours, what is the state of those who have to endure it for all eternity!"

A. W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, https://chapellibrary.org:8443/pdf/books/ssot.pdf, page 30, Accessed 03 December 2019.

19. R. C. Sproul: "It was as if there was a cry from heaven - excuse my language, but I can be no more accurate than to say - it was as if Jesus heard the words 'God Damn You.' Because that's what it meant to be cursed, to be damned, to be under the anathema of the Father. As I said, I don't understand that, but I know that it's true."

R. C. Sproul, "And God Cursed Him," April 19, 2019, https://www.ligonier.org/blog/god-cursed-him/, Accessed 03 December 2019.

20. R. C. Sproul: "God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back on the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while He hung on the cross. Here was the Son’s “descent into hell.” Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us."

R. C. Sproul, "Treasuring Redemption’s Price," September 13, 2009, https://www.ligonier.org/blog/treasuring-redemptions-price/, Accessed 30 November 2019.

21. J. I. Packer: ". . . the dimensions of Divine love are not half understood till one realises that God need not have chosen to save nor given his Son to die; nor need Christ have taken upon him vicarious damnation to redeem men, nor need He invite sinners indiscriminately to Himself as He does; but that all God’s gracious dealings spring entirely from His own free purpose." 

J. I. Packer, Introduction, The Death Of Death In The Death Of Christ, by John Owen (Carlisle,PA: The Banner Of Truth Trust, 1983), 19.

22. John Piper: "When Jesus cried, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' it was the scream of the damned — damned in our place (Isaiah 53:5–6; Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:14). If we will repent and trust him, no Esau, no lesbian, no president, no pastor, no person will be condemned." 

John Piper, "Lesbian Sex, HIV, Esau, And Christ," March 18, 2014, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lesbian-sex-hiv-esau-and-christ, Accessed 29 November 2019.

23. John Piper: "Hell exists, sin exists (wouldn't be any hell without sin), heaven exists, cross exists, everything exists to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned. Everything! That's the point of the universe! . . . what we will mainly do forever in heaven is magnify the worth of the scream of the damned. That's the point of the book of Revelation . . . What was the and always will be the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross."

John Piper, "The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and New Earth," Resolved Conference 2008, https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/841, Accessed 29 November 2019.

24. John Piper: "First, this was a real forsakenness. That is why. 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' means he really did. He really did. He is bearing our sin. He bore our judgment. The judgment was to have God the Father pour out his wrath, and instead of pouring it out on us, he pours it out on him. That necessarily involves a kind of abandonment. That is what wrath means. He gave him up to suffer the weight of all the sins of all of his people and the judgment for those sins. We cannot begin to fathom all that this would mean between the Father and the Son. To be forsaken by God is the cry of the damned, and he was damned for us. So he used these words because there was a real forsakenness."

John Piper, "'My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?' Didn’t Jesus Already Know?" March 1, 2016, https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me-didnt-jesus-already-know, Accessed 29 November 2019.

25. Philip Graham Ryken: "To the Jews, this was absolute blasphemy: a cursed Messiah on a cursed cross.  No wonder the cross was such a stumbling block to them!  To put it in the most shocking and yet perhaps the most accurate way, the apostolic message was about a God-damned Messiah."

Philip Graham Ryken, Galatians (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2005), 115.

26. Al Baker: "Christ took hell, God's just judgment for you. He suffered damnation lovingly, patiently, compassionately for you."

Al Baker, "Anger," September 12, 2008, https://banneroftruth.org/us/resources/articles/2008/anger/, Accessed 01 December 2019.

27. Paul Carter: "On the cross Jesus bore our sins and was punished for them as if they were his own. He experienced the death and forsakenness that we ought to have experienced as sinners. The Apostles' Creed says that Jesus 'descended to hell'. Good Christians may debate as to whether this should be understood spatially but all true Christians must affirm that Jesus descended unto hell really, truly, and substantially. Jesus Christ suffered the damnation that I deserved for my sin and rebellion. He was forsaken as a rebel that I might be received as a son – thanks be to God!"

Paul Carter, "'Tis Mystery All! (What I Know And Don't Know about The Atonement)," September 5, 2019, https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/columns/ad-fontes/tis-mystery-know-dont-know-atonement/, Accessed 01 December 2019.

28. Tim Challies (agreeing with R. C. Sproul): "The scream of the damned. Jesus Christ gave a cry from the midst of unspeakable agony. He gave the very cry of the damned."

Tim Challies, "The Most Grotesque Ugliness Imaginable," https://www.challies.com/articles/the-most-grotesque-ugliness-imaginable/, Accessed 01 December 2019.

29. Jason Meyer: "This King has been forsaken by God . . . Jesus cries out in a loud voice, 'My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?!' Which has been called the scream of the damned."

Jason Meyer, "Christ Alone," Chapel Message at SBTS, https://equip.sbts.edu/chapel/christ-alone/, Accessed 01 December 2019.

30. Brent McGuire: "God's wrath is real. But it was also really borne by Jesus Christ. 'God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God' (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus was judged. Jesus was damned. For us."

Brent McGuire, "What Christ's Last Prayer Reveals About His Death," April 19, 2019, https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/1234, Accessed 03 December 2019

31. Matt Moore: "Though our sins once possessed power to condemn us to a hopeless future, Jesus removed this damning power when he was damned in our place."

Matt Moore, "A Gospel For Failures," September 9, 2019, https://mattmoore.online/2019/09/09/a-gospel-for-failures/, Accessed 03 December 2019.

32. And John Flavel wrote that Christ's sufferings were even worse than the damned experience in hell: "Fourthly, As it was all the wrath of God that lay upon Christ, so it was wrath aggravated, in divers respects beyond that which the damned themselves do suffer. That is strange you will say; can there be any sufferings worse than those the damned suffer, upon whom the wrath of an infinite God is immediately transacted, who holds them up with the arm of his power, while the arm of his justice lies on eternally? Can any sorrows be greater than these? Yes; Christ's sufferings were beyond theirs in divers particulars.

First, None of the damned were ever so near and dear to God as Christ was: they were estranged from the womb, but Christ lay in his bosom. When he smote Christ, he smote "the man that was his fellow," Zech. 13:7. But in smiting them, he smites his enemies. When he had to do, in a way of satisfaction, with Christ, he is said not to spare his own son, Rom. 8:32. Never was the fury of God poured out upon such a person before.

Secondly, None of the damned had ever so large a capacity to take in a full sense of the wrath of God as Christ had. The larger any one's capacity is to understand and weigh his troubles fully, the more grievous and heavy is his burden. If a man cast vessels of greater and lesser quantity into the sea, though all will be full, yet the greater the vessel is, the more water it contains. Now Christ had a capacity beyond all mere creatures to take in the wrath of his Father; and what deep and large apprehensions he had of it may be judged by his bloody sweat in the garden, which was the effect of his mere apprehensions of the wrath of God. Christ was a large vessel indeed; as he is capable of more glory, so of more sense and misery than any other person in the world.

Thirdly, The damned suffer not so innocently as Christ suffered; they suffer the just demerit and recompense of their sin: They have deserved all that wrath of God which they feel, and must feel forever: It is but that recompense which was meet; but Christ was altogether innocent: He had done no iniquity, neither was guile found in his mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. When Christ suffered, he suffered not for what he had done; but his sufferings were the sufferings of a surety, paying the debts of others. "The Messiah was cut off, but not for himself," Dan. 9:26. Thus you see what his external sufferings in his body, and his internal sufferings in his soul were."

John Flavel, The Seven Utterances Of Christ On The Cross, http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/flavel/The%20Seven%20Utterances%20of%20Christ%20-%20John%20Flavel.pdf, 65-66, Accessed 30 November 2019.

33. Thomas Goodwin made a similar argument to Flavel - what Jesus endured on the cross was even worse than what the damned in hell experience because Jesus endured all of God's wrath in a finite amount of time, perfectly satisfying God's justice - which the damned never do: "Yea, and by reason of the incapacity of the damned in hell to take in the full measure of God's wrath due to them for their sins, therefore their punishment, though it be eternal, yet never satisfies, because they can never take in all, as Christ could and did, and so theirs is truly less than what Christ underwent. And therefore Christ's punishment ought not in justice to be eternal, as theirs is, because he could take it all in a small space, and more fully satisfy God's wrath in a few hours, than they could unto all eternity."

Thomas Goodwin, Christ Our Mediator, (Sovereign Grace Publishers, Grand Rapids: 1971), 285.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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