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STUDY 3 “The Sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter l vl l).
Bible passages to be read: Isaiah 53, Mark 15 v28, Luke 22 v37, Luke 24 v13-35 (note verse 26), Psalm 69 v20-21.
I once heard that great preacher Dr.G.Campbell Morgan give a series of talks on Genesis 1, ‘The beginning’, Isaiah 53, ‘The central chapter of Scripture’, and Revelation 22, ‘The consummation’. He very rightly insisted that Isaiah 53 was the focal point around which the Bible revolves, because it is the chapter of the Cross. It is a chapter which we should read over and over again until we are almost able to repeat it by heart. You would find real help from doing this. It speaks so clearly of the amazing act of God, whereby He gave His Son for our sins, an act which our key verse describes as “the sufferings of Christ”.
Isaiah 53 v1-3 describe the man Jesus in all His loneliness and suffering as He lived amongst men.
l. Can you think of any incidents, or statements in the Gospels, which you would feel to be the fulfilment of the prophecy of these verses?
Isaiah 53 v4-6 speak of the sufferings of the Cross.
2. Can you see in these verses any reason for the need of a Saviour to die for us? It is a good thing to write out verse 5, and to place your own name instead of the words “our” and “we”. This should be done, not as part of these studies, but alone with Him. What did God do for us according to these verses?
Isaiah 53 v7-9. Compare these verses with the accounts of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus given in the Gospels.
3. Make a note of all the statements, which would seem to be a fulfilment of these verses.
4. Read Isaiah 53 v10-12 carefully; and write down all you can find in them, which tells of the effect of the cross in the life and experience of the Christian.
Isaiah 53 v12. The phrase is used here, “He was numbered with the transgressors”.
5. Read the two references given at the head of this study where these words are quoted. Can you find in the story of the crucifixion an incident, which clearly illustrates the fact stated in this verse?
Luke 24 v13-35. In this passage the Risen Lord Himself unfolds to two of His disciples something of the real meaning of the Cross both by teaching and action.
6. Fit this passage into the study you have already made.
Psalm 69 v20-21 are verses, which also speak of the Cross, not simply from the standpoint of physical suffering, but descriptive of the awful moment when the Saviour endured the wrath of God in our stead.
7. Can you see amongst the ‘sayings from the Cross’, one which seems particularly to describe this moment of reproach.