The Prophecy of the Messiah’s Suffering

The suffering of the Messiah is described: abandoned by God, born to die, the wrath of God upon Him, friends abandon Him.

Old Testament Prediction:

Psalms 88:14-18  “LORD, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth; I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off. They came around me all day long like water; They engulfed me altogether. Loved one and friend You have put far from me, And my acquaintances into darkness.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Abandoned by God:

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

Born to Die:

Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths (burial cloths).

Hebrews 10:5, 10 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me… By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

The wrath of God poured out upon Him:

Romans 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

Friends will abandon Him:

Luke 23:49 “But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”

Matthew 26:58 “But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard.”

Luke 22:54 “Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance

Application:

Psalms 88:14-18 speaks of the Messiah being ready to die from my youth. It was the purpose of Jesus’ birth that He should die for the sins of the world. He suffered the terrors of God’s fierce wrath for all of us, as He took upon Himself the punishment and death that we deserved.

A difficult principle for the world to understand is the wrath of God. How can a God of love be reconciled with a God of wrath? The two seem to be incompatible. What we learn from the Bible is that God’s love is closely connected to His Righteousness. Because God is always good, He can do nothing else but what is right and just.

We should understand that our Great God of Love is also a Great God of Justice.

The Lord could not possibly be Righteous if He did not punish sin. It is morally wrong to allow the guilty to go unpunished. At the Cross, the Lord showed to us the ultimate example of Love and Justice together at the same time: We were guilty; God judged our sin by punishing His own Son. In doing this, He maintained His righteousness by carrying out a just punishment for our sins while at the same time, showing us His Great Love.

A large part of the plan of God in allowing Jesus to suffer for the sins of all men was that God would have a righteous basis to forgive our sin. The law of God stated: “the soul who sins shall die.”

Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.”

In order for God to be seen as Just, He must do what He has said and punish sin with the death of the guilty. God did not overlook man’s sin; He punished it just as He promised. This was accomplished by a provision in the law of God that allowed an innocent mediator to stand in the place of the guilty and take the punishment demanded by the law. We see this established in the Lamb that was offered at Passover and the animals that were brought to the priests in the Old Testament sacrifices. These were shadows of what was to come when God would send His Son to die as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The law of God allowed for the substitutionary death of someone whose life was perfect and had sufficient value to stand in the place of the guilty. Only the perfect, eternal, and Holy life of Jesus was of sufficient worth to pay for the sins of the entire world.

In order for Jesus to be qualified to die for us, He had to become one of us. He then had to live on the earth as a man and be perfect, without sin. Jesys met all of the requirements for the substitutionary death of the guilty; and therefore, He was allowed to offer His life for all of us.

By successfully completing the plan of salvation for all people, Jesus fully vindicated God and showed all creation that God is Loving, Merciful, and Just.

Those who criticize the wrath of God that is poured out on those who continue in their sin, do not understand the dual realities of Love and Justice. God could not possibly be loving if He did not punish evil. Sin is a moral defect that is present in all people. It is, however, not natural. We were not created by God as sinners; we became this way because of Adam’s disobedience which he passed down to us and caused our tendency towards wrong moral actions. The Bible calls this moral defect—sin.

It was for this tendency towards wrongful behavior and the fact that every person has sinned against God’s law, that God sent His only Son to die for us. In this, we see that God is just to punish our sins, while at the same time—very loving—in that He would punish His Son instead of us.

For this reason, Prophecy 127 speaks of the suffering that the Messiah would experience when He took the punishment that we deserved for our sins.

  • Abandoned by God: Mark 15:34.
  • Born to Die: Luke 2:7, Hebrews 10:5,10.
  • The wrath of God poured out upon Him: Romans 5:9.
  • Friends will abandon Him: Luke 23:49, Matthew 26:58, Luke 22:54.

Who God is and what He does is a mystery to those who do not know Him. It is not possible to know God apart from the Bible. This compilation of 66 books, written by 40 authors over a period of more than 1,500 years, is intended as a user’s manual for God. To try and understand the Lord of the universe by human understanding is impossible. How could a transient being, such as man, understand a transcendent being such as God? We are from earth; He is from heaven. We began our existence when He created us; He has no beginning and is eternal.

The mistake that many people make in seeking to explain who God is, or to deny that He exists, is that He has made certain the fact that no one could know Him or how He operates the universe by intellect. To proclaim that God does not exist is utter foolishness. The fact that the universe exists, and you and I are walking around on a tiny planet in a remote area of the universe, is conclusive proof that God exists. No one has ever been able to prove categorically that the universe came into existence on its own.

The latest theory that is being put forth by theoretical physicists is that the universe began on its own from nothing. The fact is that nothing that we have observed so far in the universe has happened without a cause. Whatever we can perceive or discover has a beginning. Nothing exists without someone causing that particular thing to come into existence. Do you believe that your car just suddenly appeared out of nothing, or do you understand that a being with intelligence made the components of your car and then assembled them so that they became a useful machine? The Universe is infinitely more complex than you car; it does not exist apart from a creator, assembler, and sustainer.

The fact that we see a mechanism of immense complexity, called the universe, demands that some intelligence made the components of the universe and then assembled them into a useful machine.

Sir Isaac Newton’s work on the physics of time and space are considered the foundation for all scientific knowledge today. On July 5, 1687, Newton published three books that have been referred to as the “Principia,” a Latin term that describes his “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.”1.

Newton wrote in his Principia, that the order and design that we observe in time and space are inseparable from the existence of God. In Newton’s view of the evidence presented by the universe through science, mathematics, and astronomy, this “most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”2. 

“The true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful being. His duration reaches from eternity to eternity; His presence from infinity to infinity.…He governs all things and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity and infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures forever, and is everywhere present; and, by existing always and everywhere, he constitutes duration and space.  This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.…He is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially; for virtue cannot subsist without substance. In him are all things contained and moved.”3.

Isaac Newton viewed the evidence for God’s existence as being self-evident by the presence of the universe itself. In his observance of all the scientific and mathematical absolutes of the Cosmos, “the Creator cannot be denied in the presence of such a magnificent creation.” Newton found it preposterous that any intelligent person could believe that the universe came into being, without an unlimited intelligence being its first cause. He came to these conclusions based on the evidence of science, mathematics, and astronomy.4.

Newton observed and concluded that as comets and planets move in concentric orbits from many different positions, it is impossible that this could have happened by accident. A transcendent being of immense power caused these things to be. Some intelligence acted upon the course of these planets to cause them all to move in a concentric orbit in the same way.5.

Albert Einstein demonstrated that gravity occurs as a result of the bending of space-time, which in the final conclusion of his theories confirms Newton’s judgment that orbits follow geodesic trajectories. In other words, both of these great men of science concluded that the universe has a design and a purpose.

Newton determined that without intervention from the Creator of the universe, the stars would collide with each other on a more frequent basis. By apparent design, God has limited the amount of motion that occurs in the universe from decay due to viscosity and friction.6. In many of Newton’s writings, he implies that the force of Gravity was influenced by something immaterial—an intelligence.

“It is inconceivable that inanimate brute matter should, without the mediation of something else which is not material, operate upon and effect matter without mutual contact.”7.

It was the conclusions of Sir Isaac Newton that God was the force that kept the planets in orbit, for they could not sustain such motion by themselves.

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. …This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called ‘Lord God’ παντοκρατωρ [pantokratōr], or ‘Universal Ruler.’ … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, [and] absolutely perfect.”8.

When we examine the writing of Isaac Newton, we find that he also believed in a supernatural design which is observable in the area of Biblical Prophecy. He believed that it is impossible that more than 300 prophecies that describe one person, who is said to be the Messiah, could ever be fulfilled by any one person.

“Newton understood the words of God in prophecy as a reflection of the design in God’s creation.”9.

In order for there to be a God, He would have to be before and above all other things; otherwise, He would just be “a god” in a long series of Gods. This is not the idea of God that is presented to us in the Bible. The God of the Bible is unique and singular. What makes Him God is:

  1. He is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
  2. He knows all things.
  3. All things were made by Him.
  4. All things belong to Him.
  5. All beings are subject to Him.
  6. All true laws originate from Him.
  7. All Judgement belongs to Him.

The universe, the earth, and all human beings are evidence for God. The fact that these three exist in such an advanced form and are so beautifully and elegantly designed proves that there is a Master Designer as their source.

This 127th prophecy speaks of God as determining a plan for His Son to be rejected, despised, hated, and ignored. Although He would come to the earth to die for every person, the world would hate Him and put Him to death. I have never understood this plan, but how grateful I am that it is true. For if the Father had not given us His Son, we would have no hope of eternal life.

Because He is the only God and all judgement belongs to Him, the fact that He is perfect, demands that all His judgements are also perfect. Therefore, when the Bible speaks of the wrath of God, even His wrath is perfect.

As human beings, we think of wrath as being wrong. A person who is full of wrath is most often viewed as being incorrect in his behavior. We seem to have developed the idea that anger is always wrong. Actually, anger or wrath are emotions that God is endowed with, and He has given this emotion to us as a part of our being, for a good purpose. Anger is not sinful or wrong; it is what often happens as a result of anger that is incorrect. If we become angry because an injustice has occurred, this is righteous anger. Unfortunately, most of the time our anger is caused by our own selfish demands or expectations, this is unrighteous anger. When people do not get what they want or expect, they become angry and sometimes commit acts of violence or death. When people hurt us, take advantage of us, take something from us that we value, or cause us pain or discomfort, we often become angry and take action that is sinful.

An example of righteous anger is the depiction of Jesus in the temple, driving out the money changers. These men had set up tables in the area of the temple that was set aside for the Gentiles of the world to come and worship God (see Prophecy 116). When Jesus came to the Temple He found that the court of the Gentiles had been filled with tables that were used to exchange foreign currency with Jewish currency. Jesus’ anger was correct and justified in removing these men who were preventing others from being able to worship the true and living God.

If you should see a person being hurt or taken advantage of and you found yourself becoming angry, this would be the correct usage of anger. If you should then overreact and kill this person who was committing the abuse, you would likely be guilty of wrongful action. It takes a great deal of wisdom and restraint when it comes to understanding correctly how to make use of our anger in an appropriate way.

These things being said, whenever God is said to be angry or filled with wrath, He is always justified in His actions because He can never do anything that is wrong. Because He is God and because He is always good, it is impossible for Him to do anything evil. Consider this: If God were not perfect in every way, He would not be God. Imperfection, even in anger or judgement, would mean that He still needs to learn something. There is nothing that God needs to learn because He knows all things, and He always does those things that are perfect.

When God pours out His wrath on His Son for the sins of the world, or on those who reject His offer of salvation, He is  justified in doing so. We might question why, or feel that perhaps He has overreacted, we would be wrong in our assumption. God is perfect; we are flawed. All of His judgements are always right. Our understanding of His ways, His character, and nature are extremely limited. In order to correctly understand God, we must first understand that He can do no wrong and that everything He does is always good. If we do not believe this, then our view of God’s actions and behavior will be incorrect.

If God exists in the universe, then He must be singular; and He must be perfect.

If a perfect, all powerful, all wise being created the universe, then His creation would have to be flawless. It is not possible that such a Being could create anything that was less than perfect. If an imperfection should occur in this creation, it would have to come from one of the beings that God created with the ability to make choices that are morally right or wrong.

Imperfection became possible at the moment that the Lord decided to give man the right to determine his own destiny. No one knows exactly why Adam chose, of his own free will, to disobey God. The Lord knew ahead of time what the consequences of granting Adam this power would be. Adam had the ability to name all of the animals that existed on the earth at the time God created them, so he was certainly very intelligent. Perhaps, Adam did not really understand the reality of death because he had never seen anything die. Whatever temptation that Adam felt, the desire to heed this temptation was stronger than his desire to obey the Lord.

Adam’s choice

What we discover that is most amazing about Adam’s sin is that God knew it would happen before He created him. The Lord understood that Adam’s disobedience would cause all of his descendants to also become sinners and have no possibility of fellowship with God. The Lord always acts based on what He knows about the future. Since He knew that Adam would fail, what possible benefit could there be for God to create Adam with the ability to chose, when the terrible results of that choice were known to God beforehand?

In other words: Why would God do something, knowing that it was doomed to fail?

This is an interesting riddle that has incredible implications. The only reason that makes any sense is that God could see what the entire course of all these events would lead to. The Son of God would die for the world. He would be abused, beaten, betrayed, and buried. On the third day, He would rise, never to die again. He would ascend back to heaven, and return to earth in about 2,000 years. First, to take His church back to heaven, then seven years later return a second time with His church to rule the earth and the universe for eternity. This must be the result intended by the Lord that caused Him to create man in the first place.

Paul wrote that the reason that Jesus endured the agony and the shame of the cross was for the Glory that was ahead.

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

God saw far into the distant future of the world, when all evil and rebellion would finally be put down. He saw those who would receive Jesus as redeemed in heaven with Him. He saw satan and all those who worship him, cast into the Lake of Fire forever. He saw a new heaven, a new earth and a kingdom in which complete righteousness dwells.

It was for this future Glory that Jesus endured the events spoken of by this 127th prophecy from Psalms 88:14-18. It was because the Lord had already seen us perfect, and whole, living forever without the presence of sin and its effects upon human life, that He gave Adam the power of choice. It was for this purpose that Jesus came and died and fulfilled all 365 of the prophecies contained in this book.

The preceding is an excerpt from the new book by Robert Clifton Robinson, “365 Prophecies,” now available at Amazon.

___________________________________________

1.Among versions of the Principia online

2.Principia, Book III; cited in; Newton’s Philosophy of Nature: Selections from his writings, p. 42, ed. H.S. Thayer, Hafner Library of Classics, NY, 1953.

3.Flynn, David (2008-09-08). Temple At The Center Of Time: Newton’s Bible Codex Finally Deciphered and the Year 2012 (Kindle Locations 331-336). Defender Publishing LLC. Kindle Edition

4.Webb, R.K. ed. Knud Haakonssen. “The emergence of Rational Dissent.” Enlightenment and Religion: Rational Dissent in eighteenth-century Britain. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 1996. p19.

5.Newton, 1706 Opticks (2nd Edition), quoted in H. G. Alexander 1956 (ed): The Leibniz-Clarke correspondence, University of Manchester Press

6.H.W. Alexander 1956, p. xvii

7.Newton to Bentley, 25 Feb 1693

8.Principia, Book III; cited in; Newton’s Philosophy of Nature: Selections from his writings, p. 42, ed. H.S. Thayer, Hafner Library of Classics, NY, 1953.

9.David Flynn, “Temple at the Center of Time”, Location 384, Kindle Version

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 11:26 am and is filed under 365 Prophecies, Is Jesus God?, Is Jesus the Messiah?, Rob Robinson. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.