You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs…
I. THE KIND OR NATURE OF HIS DEATH.
1. It was a violent death in itself, though voluntary on His part (Isaiah 53:8; John 10:17). And indeed He must either die a violent death or not at all, partly because there was no sin in Him to open a door to natural death, partly because His death had not been a sacrifice satisfactory to God for us. That which died of itself was never offered up to God, but that which was slain when it was in its full strength and health.
2. A most painful death. Indeed in this death were many deaths contrived in one. The Cross was a rack as well as a gibbet.
3. A shameful death. One appointed for the vilest of men.
4. A cursed death (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:23).
5. A very slow and lingering death.
6. A helpless death.
II. THE REASONS WHY CHRIST DIED THIS, rather than any other kind of death.
1. Because Christ must bear the curse, and a curse by law was affixed to no other kind of death as it was to this.
2. To fulfil the types. All the sacrifices were lifted up from the earth upon the altar. But especially the brazen serpent prefigured this death (Numbers 21:9; John 3:14).
3. Because it was predicted of Him (Psalm 22:16, 17; Zechariah 12:10). Inferences: Did Christ die the death of the Cross? Then —
1. There is forgiveness with God, and plenteous redemption for the greatest of sinners, that by faith apply the blood of the Cross to their poor guilty souls (Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7). Two things this will make demonstrable.
(1) That there is sufficient efficacy in the blood of the Cross to expiate and wash away the greatest sins (1 Peter 1:18; Acts 20:28). On the account of its invaluable preciousness, it becomes satisfying and reconciling blood to God (Colossians 1:20), and having enough in it to satisfy God. it must needs have enough in it to satisfy conscience (Hebrews 10:22).
(2) As there is sufficient efficacy in this blood to expiate the greatest guilt, so it is as manifest that the virtue of it is intended by God for the use of believing sinners (Acts 13:39).
2. Though there be much of pain there is nothing, of curse in the death of the saints. Death poured out all its poison and lost its sting in Christ's side when He became a curse for us.
3. How cheerfully should we submit to, and bear any cross for Jesus Christ. What feathers are ours compared with His!
(1) We shall carry it but a little way.
(2) Christ bears the heaviest end of it.
(3) Innumerable blessings and mercies grow upon it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: