and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
October 27, 2019
1) The Sufferings of Christ Prior to His Death (Irvin Himmel)
2) News & Notes
The Sufferings of Christ Prior to His Death
In the stillness and ebony of night, following the keeping of the
Passover with His disciples and a period of lengthy discussions,
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At a place called Gethsemane, He
told the tired and weary apostles, “Sit ye here, while I go yonder
and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with Him to go a little
farther into the garden. He “began to be sore amazed, and to be very
heavy” (Mk. 14:33). His soul was “exceeding sorrowful” (Matt.
26:38). He went forward a short distance and fell on His face in
The prayer of our Lord in Gethsemane reflected His human feelings as
He faced the reality of death. “Father, if thou be willing, remove
this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Human nature shrinks “from the dissolution of the bond that binds to
soul” (Edersheim). Jesus had taken upon Him the nature of man. He
was nearing the time when He must bear the iniquity of us all. The
prospect of death brought the deepest kind of agony to His soul. The
physically exhausted disciples had now fallen asleep. “And being in
agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great
drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk. 22:44).
I confess that my mind cannot fully fathom the horror and agonizing
grief which our Master suffered in Gethsemane. It was a foretaste of
Calvary. He who was made a little lower than the angels for the
suffering of death, and was found in fashion as a man, “offered up
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that
was able to save him from death” (Heb. 5:7).
Night, with ebon pinion,
Brooded o'er the vale;
All around was silent,
Save the night-wind's wail,
When Christ, the Man of Sorrows,
In tears and sweat and blood,
Prostrate in the garden,
Raised His voice to God.
- L.H. Jameson
A mob stormed into the garden with swords and staves, lanterns and
torches. Judas positively identified Jesus, and they laid hands on
Him and took Him away. After a brief appearance before Annas, Jesus
was taken to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Before the High Priest
John records an incident which may have occurred before Annas or
before Caiaphas. The account in John 18:19-24 is not clear as to
which "high priest" is under consideration. Commentators are pretty
equally divided on the point. I lean to the view that this took
place before Caiaphas in a private interview. The high priest asked
Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Since Jesus had taught
openly in the synagogue and in the temple, not concealing His
doctrine, He responded, "Why askest thou me? ask them which heard
me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said."
One of the officers of the high priest "struck Jesus with the palm
of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?" Perhaps
this officer was not accustomed to hearing a prisoner speak in such
a forthright manner, standing for his own rights. Jesus replied, "If
I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why
smitest thou me?" The slap in the face was intended to insinuate
that Jesus had not shown respect for the high priest. The truth is
that the blow was illegal. Jesus was merely demanding that witnesses
be brought if the court had a case against Him. Hendriksen thinks
the officer tried to exploit the situation for his own selfish
advantage - that he may have been dreaming about a promotion! It is
worthy of note that he was not ordered to strike the prisoner. His
action was daring and despicable.
Later, two false witnesses were brought to testify against Jesus.
Being put under oath and commanded to state plainly whether or not
He was the Christ, the Son of God, He answered, "Thou hast said:
nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man
sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of
The high priest rent his clothes and charged Jesus with blasphemy.
"Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote
him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou
Christ, Who is he that smote thee?" (Matt. 26:67, 68). In addition
to these indignities, they covered His face (Mk. 14:65). Luke
explains what happened in these words: "And the men that held Jesus
mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they
struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it
that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they
against him" (Lk. 22:63-65).
Imagine how you would feel if you were held in custody and the men
who held you began spitting on you, beating you in a sadistic
manner, and they blindfold you and strike heavy blows, taunting,
mocking, jeering! These insults and abuses were both unjust and
contrary to civilized conduct. The brutality and vulgarity of the
scene bring into sharp focus the animal instincts that had moved the
guards and servants of Caiaphas to show the utmost contempt toward
After appearing before Annas, before Caiaphas, then before the
Sanhedrin, Jesus was sent to Pilate, Judea's Roman governor. In the
course of the questioning, Pilate learned that Jesus was from
Galilee, and since that was Herod's territory, he sent Him over to
Herod had wanted for a long time to meet Jesus. Having heard
many things about Him, the king hoped to see Jesus work a miracle.
He questioned the Galilean prisoner in many words, and the chief
priests and scribes were there vehemently accusing Him, but Jesus
"answered him nothing."
"And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him,
and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate"
(Lk. 23:8-11). To "set at nought" means "to count as nothing, to
treat with utter contempt, as zero" (Robertson). The flinging of a
brilliant robe around His body was a part of the mockery and
No small segment of the pre-crucifixion suffering of the Savior was
the manner in which He was shuttled from one court to another.
Visualize Him being led shackled through the streets of Jerusalem,
and He was arrayed in a gorgeous robe. Every step was one of burning
Pilate had to do something to appease the Jews. He hit on the idea
of chastising Jesus and releasing Him. That did not suit the
accusers. When he offered to release either Jesus or Barabbas, a
noted criminal, they urged the release of the latter, and cried out
concerning the former, "Let him be crucified." Pilate yielded to
their wicked demands.
Three of the writers report that Jesus was scourged (Matt. 27:26;
Mk. 15:15; John 19:1). This was "a flogging with leather whips
weighted with bone or metal laid on so hard that weaker men
sometimes died from it" (Culver). ". . . The scourge of leather
thongs was loaded with lead, or armed with spikes and bones, which
lacerated back, and chest, and face, till the victim sometimes fell
down before the judge a bleeding mass of torn flesh" (Edersheim).
At the Hands of Ruthless Romans
The soldiers plaited a crown of thorns and placed it on His
head (John 19:2). This was done after they had stripped Him and
arrayed Him in a scarlet robe (Matt. 27:28, 29). Somewhere the
soldiers found some prickly plants to use in making this crown to
press upon His head. "Rivulets of blood must have started to run
down his face, neck, and other parts of his body" (Hendriksen).
Covered with blood, torn with stripes, and tortured with sharp
thorns piercing the head, the body of Jesus must have throbbed with
pain. This was coupled with mental cruelty. They put a reed in His
right hand. A king needs a scepter. Now that they have robed,
crowned, and sceptered the "king of the Jews," they bow before Him
in mockery, and they cry in cutting derision, "Hail, king of the
As though all of this is not enough, they spat on Him, and they took
the reed and smote Him on the head with it (Matt. 27:30; Mk. 15:19).
And, "they smote him with their hands" (John 19:3). Probably the
soldiers took turns bowing in mockery, removing the reed from His
hand to hit Him on the head and drive the thorns deeper into His
torn flesh, spitting on Him, slapping Him, and deriding His
But the worst ordeal was yet to come. They led Him away to crucify
Him . . .
— Via Guardian of Truth, XXV: 1, pp. 9-10, January 1,
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My
life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away
from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative…” (John
News & Notes
Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of Mary
Vandevander (Melotine Davis' mother) who passed away October
21, after spending several days at the Hospice Satilla Hospice House
in Waycross. She was 95 and survived by 4 generations of family
members, which extends to her two great, great grandchildren (with
the older, Olivia McCarthy, being 14). Though sad when loved
ones pass away, it can be a comfort when knowing that they are
Christians who are safe in God's eternal keeping and in a place more
glorious and blissful than we can even imagine! (cf. 1
Shirley Davis is at the Memorial Hospital in Savannah, due to
a slight stroke on Friday. There is no paralysis, but she has been
weakened in her left arm and with a numbness on the left side of her
Myrna Jordan is still having much discomfort from the
shingles, though the rash is gone.
Also for our prayer list: Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner,
Jim Lively, Joyce Rittenhouse, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Rick
Cuthbertson, Barbara Thompson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and
version of this bulletin:
Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the
gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures,
but back to March 1990)