1 Corinthians 1:22-24
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:…
I. WAS MOST BITTER AND PAINFUL.
II. WAS MOST VILE AND SHAMEFUL. Never by the Romans legally inflicted upon freemen, but only upon slaves. There is in man's nature an abhorrency of disgraceful abuse no less strong than are the little antipathies to pain. Whence it is not marvellous that as a transcendently good man, Christ was affected by those occurrences so mightily, according to that ejaculation in the Greek liturgies — "By Thy unknown sufferings, O Christ, have mercy on us."
III. HAD IN IT SOME PARTICULAR ADVANTAGES CONDUCING TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR LORD'S PRINCIPAL DESIGN.
1. Its being very notorious and lasting a competent time. For if He had been privately made away, or suddenly despatched, no such great notice would have been taken of it, nor would it have been so fully proved to the confirmation of our faith and conviction of infidelity; nor would His excellent deportment under such affliction have so illustriously shone forth; wherefore Divine providence did so manage, that as the course of His life, so also the manner of His death should be most conspicuous and remarkable.
2. By this kind of suffering the nature of that kingdom which He intended to erect was evidently signified — a kingdom purely spiritual, consisting in she government of men's hearts. No other kingdom could He be presumed to design, who submitted to this way of suffering.
3. By such a death God's special providence was discovered, and His glory illustrated in the propagation of the gospel. Thereby "the excellency" of Divine power and wisdom was much glorified: by so impotent and improbable means, accomplishing so great effects.
4. This kind of suffering to the devout fathers did seem in many ways significant, or full of instructive and admonitive emblems.
(1) His posture on the Cross might represent unto us that large and comprehensive charity which He bare in His heart toward us, stretching forth His arms of kindness, pity, and mercy, with them, as it were, to embrace the world.
(2) His ascent to the Cross might set forth His discharging that high office of universal High Priest for all ages and all people, the Cross being an altar.
IV. CORRESPONDED TO THE PROPHECIES AND TYPES FORESHADOWING IT.
V. AS APPLICABLE TO OUR PRACTICE. No contemplation is more efficacious towards the sanctification of our hearts and lives than this; for what good affection may not the meditation on it kindle? what virtue may it not breed and cherish in us?
(7) Deterrence from wilful commission of sin.
(8) Joy in contemplation.
(9) Charity toward our neighbour.
(10) Disregard of this world.
(11) The willing inspection and the cheerful sustenance of the Cross.Since there he such excellent uses and fruits of the Cross borne by our blessed Saviour, we can have no reason to be offended at it or ashamed of it.
(I. Barrow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: