Matt. 16:21

Tom Harding

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day–Matt. 16:21.

We hear much preaching in the realm of false religion that puts the whole emphasis upon the sinner, what he must do to be justified before God, always making salvation conditioned upon the performance of the sinner. However, when the Lord Jesus Christ plainly stated the way of salvation, He put the emphasis upon His performance not ours (Psa. 57:2; John 4:34; 2Tim. 1:9). Notice in the text the Lord states three things He must do to purchase, guarantee and secure the salvation of God's elect (2Thes.2:13).

1). He must suffer at Jerusalem.

It is true that our blessed Lord suffered at the hands of godless men, "elders and chief priests and scribes." But the work wicked men performed is not the reason of our salvation. The Lord Jesus suffers not only at the hands of sinners, but also and most importantly at the hands and under the wrath of our holy God (Acts 4:26-28). As our Substitute, bearing our sin in His own body (1Peter 2:24; 3:18), His soul made an offering for sin (Isa. 53:10), the Lord Jesus Christ suffers the penalty for sin (2Cor. 5:21). God's wrath is His holiness stirred into activity against sin (Hab. 1:13).

2). He must be killed.

Because God is Holy and His justice uncompromising where sin is found, the guilty must die (Ezk.18:4; Rom.6:23). The penalty of God's broken law demands death (Rom.5:12). Salvation and deliverance from the penalty of sin demands the absolute necessity for Jesus Christ to die in our room and stead as our blessed Surety, Sin Offering and Substitute for our sin (Lam. 1:12; Rom 8:32-35). The Lamb must be slain upon the altar of God's holiness to secure our salvation (Zech.13:7; Jn. 1:29; Isa. 53:8; Matt. 1:21).

3). He must be raised again.

Our Lord's resurrection from the dead declares all that He said as God's prophet to be true (Deut.18:18; John 12:49-50), all that He performed as God's Christ to be satisfying and accepted (John 17:2-5; Rom. 1:1-4). Our Lord Jesus Christ being raised from the dead declares His victory over sin by putting it away (Heb.1:3; 10:14-17; Psalm 103:12), over death by conquering the grave (1Cor.15:57; Rev.1:18), over Satan by crushing his kingdom of darkness ( Gen.3:15; Heb.2:14; 1John 3:8). His resurrection guarantees the absolute certainty of all of God's elect to be raised up and glorified with Him (John 6:37-39; 1Cor. 15;17-24).

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.


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