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A Price So High

(Reader understand: It is at times very difficult to take the spoken word from a ministry tape and put that word to paper, attempting to receive the same results. Obviously, you are left without the emotion, the explanations, the complexities and even the tears. But this is our prayer; that you will take the time to read the scriptures contained herein and let the Holy Spirit minister to you, for far too many people go to church today to be entertained, rather than to study to show themselves approved.)

The message you are about to read brought thousands to salvation and to repentance in Christ, many being elders and pastors, for there is a great discrepancy in the church today, in that so many are interested in eschatology, in the sequences of events of the last days, but in fact, they have never learned the fundamentals of the faith. Thus, they aren't going anywhere anyway. Having said that, let us now go on to the ministry of the Word.

I give you the following scriptures first and ask you to read each one slowly, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to you.

Ephesians 2:13. Notice, we are brought close by the blood of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Notice, we were bought for a price, therefore we are commanded to glorify God with our body. What we want to talk about is that price.

1 Peter 3:18. The Word of God says that Jesus suffered for all of our sins. The just for the unjust.

Isaiah 52:13-15. I would like to point out verse 14. The word of God, which does not exaggerate in any way, states that the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ was ripped up and torn apart, more so than anyone who had ever lived. All of these we will come back to with a full explanation.

Psalm 22:1. "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?" Remember that. Read and understand verses 2, 3, 6, 19-22, 25, 28 & 31, for these all refer to the price that was paid on Calvary.

Isaiah 50:5-7. Notice that Jesus voluntarily did this and notice what was done.

Psalm 69:6-28. Notice the cry of Jesus, "Let me not bring shame upon thee." In verse 12 He says He has become the song of the drunkards. Have you watched the so-called comedians on Leno's or Letterman's shows? They delight in making all manner of sacrilegious jokes about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Notice in verse 20 the cry that has broken His heart is a cry of reproach. We will come back to this but the one that breaks my heart is the verse that says He looked for compassion and found none, and "they gave me gall and vinegar." Verses 25 & 28 are terrifying verses for when Jesus says, "let their names be blotted out," they shall surely be blotted out.

For this message, let each one who is reading this, in his own mind, attend a trial. I would like you, through the Holy Spirit, to see by the scriptures what actually took place.

The time is approximately 2000 years ago. It is night. We are in a city called Jerusalem. This land is ruled by the Roman Empire. Its inhabitants are Jews, or Israelites. The Israelites are known to be a strange people at best, with their laws, rules, and adherence to the statutes of their God. This very night they will conduct a trial concerning their God and what can and cannot be done according to their laws and regulations.

Our first stop will be a huge, beautiful building. We know we are in a rich man's home. There are many supposedly important people there. They are angry, divided, upset. There seems to be a lot of screaming, yelling and accusations. The judges in this trial are the most prominent religious leaders of the day, well schooled in matters of their law. The accusers and the jury this night will be these very same judges, for they will debate the guilt or innocence of the man who now stands before them. Keep in mind we are not interested in the names or faces of the judges who make the accusations or give the testimony, for they are not important. Let our attention instead be drawn to the 'criminal.' He is accused of the greatest of all crimes - blasphemy - for He claims to be the Messiah, the Christ, the Chosen One. His name is Jesus.

He is supposed to be judged by the Torah, the Old Testament. The Torah has spoken about the Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, but He, in fact, will not be judged by the Torah. This will be the most illegal trial that has ever been held in this land and every single right of the accused shall be violated before the night is over with.

This shall surely come to be known as the darkest, yet at the same time the greatest night mankind has ever experienced. As a result of what will take place within the next few hours, the blood of the Son of God shall be shed for the remission of the sins of every man, woman and child that will ever live.

This 'criminal,' as I have stated, will supposedly be judged by the Torah. If you would, read again Isaiah 52:13 to the end of the chapter and Psalm 22, (the verses I previously stated,) and Isaiah 50:6. Then read Psalm 69:6-28 again.

Now, let us return to the trial. Remember, these people are angry and hurling accusations right and left. The 'criminal,' the man in the box, this man Jesus, has dared call Himself the Messiah, the Son of God, the Promised One. He will not defend Himself in this trial, nor will He speak at all because of what is written. He has already answered all of these questions in Matthew 11:4, for He has said, "the blind have received their sight, the lame now walk, the deaf now hear, those who had leprosy have been healed, even the dead have been raised, and the good news - the acceptable year of the Lord - has been preached to the poor. Blessed is he who does not fall away on account of Me."

The religious leaders who are trying this 'criminal' tonight have the right to try one of their own, but only those accused of minor crimes. They do not have the right to sentence anyone to death. For this they must go to the Romans who rule the land. This, too, is written in Psalm 2. Please take the time to read it all. This 'criminal,' Jesus, was turned in by a member of His own group who claimed to love Him and who betrayed Him with a kiss. His name was Judas Iscariot. This also was already written and is a fulfillment of the scriptures.

In all of this, Jesus says nothing, for He knows the worst is yet to come.

Throughout this trial there are many false accusations which cannot be proven, and yet they have taken this prisoner, Jesus, and each one in the group has spit on Him, slapped and punched Him with closed fists from His face to His waist. They have pulled out parts of His beard by the roots. Picture, if you will, this man whose eyes are now blackened, blood pouring profusely from where they have torn out His beard, His face dripping with spit, and yet, Jesus has made no move to stop them or to defend Himself.

In all this, He has not said a word, for He knows the worst is yet to come.

The judges now determine this man is guilty of the charge of blasphemy. The charges now made, accepted and written down, they bind Him and take Him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman leader who does have the power to hand down a sentence of death. Pilate receives the prisoner. Jesus is again mocked, punched with closed fists, spit on, kicked and ordered to be sent to Herod, the chief ruler of the land.

But Jesus has refused to answer any questions for He knows the worst is yet to come.

At Herod's palace Jesus' eyes are now not only black, they are swelled shut. He has been slapped so much and so hard on the ears, He can no longer hear. More of His beard is torn out by the roots, the flesh being ripped off with it. The hair on His head is yanked out in clumps, tearing away the scalp as it is ripped out. Please, imagine if you can what this man Jesus now looks like with clumps of hair ripped out by the roots, blood pouring profusely from His head, His nose, ears, eyes and mouth. From the places where His beard was torn out, there is also profuse bleeding. He is literally covered with spit from the top of His head to His feet. This is the beginning of the darkest hour the earth would ever see, the only time when the angels were ever found to be weeping. Even the very tears of God Himself would be shed. Pilate, not wanting to crucify Jesus but afraid of His own political career, gives the order to hand Him over to the Jews to be crucified.

In all of this Jesus has remained silent, for He knows the worst is yet to come.

Picture this: a large cement pillar, very wide, and Jesus is taken to it. His arms are tied up high and around the pillar, and a huge Roman soldier comes in carrying a cat-o-nine tails. This is his job. He is an expert at it and knows how to extract the greatest amount of pain possible. The cat-o-nine tails has leather straps with pieces of broken pottery and metal and sharp stones tied every few inches. It is a vicious tool for inflicting pain. The Roman guard now swings this torture device with all of the strength he has. Just as he feels the pottery, metal and rock sinking into the flesh of his victim, he pulls the whip back as hard as he can, ripping all the flesh off. He does it again and again and again. He did it from the top of the head to the bottom of the legs. Doctors tell me at this point the flesh would have been torn completely off the body of Jesus. Most of the outer layer of muscle would also have been torn off.

Picture if you would, a man bent over, his eyes black, his hair and beard pulled out in clumps, his face swollen from being punched and blood pouring from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Doctors also say His flesh would now have resembled raw hamburger. Please, allow the Holy Spirit to put a picture in your mind of what Jesus looked like.

Jesus should have passed out - everybody did by this time. But He did not for the Father has put His hand out and said, "My Son, you cannot pass out for you must bear this torture." Again, medical doctors say no human being can endure such pain and it should have killed Him. Instead, it serves only to make the Roman guard angrier and he swings the whip even harder, obliterating whatever hair, flesh or distinguishing features there are left.

Yet through all this Jesus has remained silent, for He knows the worst is yet to come.

There would have been no flesh left on the body of Jesus, nor would there have been any place where the blood was not pouring out. Picture what He would have looked like.

At this point they make a crown of Judean thorns. If you have never seen them, they are 3 to 4 inches long. They did not set this crown on the head of Jesus, rather, they forced it down until the thorns dug deep into His skull. Again, this should have killed Him, but again, the Father puts His hand out and says, "No, My Son, you cannot die, you must bear this."

Now they bring in the cross. Not the one you see in the churches, all smooth and sanded down, but rough, unfinished wood. They throw it up on His back and order Him to carry it. Splinters of this rough wood, anywhere from a half inch to 3 or 4 inches long are driven into His back and legs. Not into the flesh, for by now there is none, but into what now resembles raw hamburger. Jesus tries to walk and carry the cross, but He falls several times. He does not walk on asphalt, but on sand and loose stones and gravel. This is ground into His raw knees and hands and legs each time He falls.

At Golgotha, Jesus is thrown down on the cross. His hands are tied and large square nails are driven into His wrists, (not His hands,) and His feet. The cross is then dropped into an upright position and the full weight of this man falls on the nails. In all of this, the only sound Jesus makes is His screams of agony.

In all else He is silent for He knows the worst is yet to come.

Jesus now hangs between heaven and earth. He hangs naked, (the diaper you see on Him in all the pictures was put there so as not to offend our sensibilities, not His.) He hung naked for all to see so the shame of our sexual immorality might be atoned for. The scripture now says if you and I were standing there we would not have known that the thing on the cross was human for He was unrecognizable as a human being. Remember what He looks like, in truth, at this point.

The next thing that happens is beyond our human comprehension. Scripture says the Father takes all of the hurt that would ever be upon the earth from Adam and Eve to the last person that would ever live - the hurt of a loved one dying, the hurt of incest and rape, the hurt of adultery, the hurt of divorce - every hurt that every human being would ever suffer. Once again, doctors say if you had all the hurt you had ever suffered in your life laid on you all at once, (just your own hurt,) it would kill you. But the Father took all of this hurt of everyone at once and laid it upon the heart of Jesus. He put out His hand and again said, "My Son, you cannot die. You must bear this."

And Jesus knows that even with this, the worst is yet to come.

The next thing God the Father does is totally beyond our ability to understand, for He takes all of the sickness that would ever be upon the earth; all the polio, all the cancer, all the AIDS, all the diseases, all the toothaches, ear infections, broken bones, cuts and bruises, all the pain that anyone who ever lived would ever know on this earth, gathers it together and puts it all upon Jesus at once.

And Jesus now knows the worst is to come next.

For the last thing that God the Father does is something that is so far beyond our comprehension we could not possibly understand it. He now takes all of the sin that was ever or ever will be committed by anyone - from the first murder between Cain and Abel to the last act of adultery, all of the drunkenness, all of the drugs, all of rape and incest, all of the sexual immorality, all of the prejudice, all of the husband and wife beating, all of the child abuse, and any other vile, reprehensible thing mankind would do, (He sees me 2,000 years down the road, shaking my fist at Him and saying I hate Him,) and He lays them all on Jesus. Jesus looks down, not at the handful of Roman guards who were there at the cross, but down through the years to us, and as He sees all of the sins we would ever commit. He cries out, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

At this point, the pain overwhelms Jesus for He now notices the most horrible of all things. The Father has turned His face away from Him, for He cannot look upon all of the sin that has been placed upon Jesus. And Jesus cries out, "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?" And now Jesus gives up His Spirit and dies. The temple curtain is torn in two and darkness lies upon the earth for about three hours. Jesus now comes forth from the temple that He may live in the hearts of men. The price has been paid in full.

All that is left is for us to say, "Yes, Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive me. Come and live with me and be Lord of my life." And then to know we are saved, cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness, and that we will spend eternity with Christ for what He did for us. For while were yet sinners, He loved us and died for us.

You have no right to carry that hurt, that condemnation of sins that have been forgiven, or that sickness that Jesus has already paid for. Come to Jesus, understanding what took place, the price that was paid. It is finished. Acknowledge it and let Him take it from you.

May the understanding of the Father, (for He sent His only begotten Son,) the love of the Son, (for He voluntarily gave His life for us while we were yet sinners,) and guidance of the Holy Spirit, (for He will bring you into all of the deep things of Jesus,) increase every day in your life and in your ministry, and in your walk with the Living and Almighty God.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this article.

Everyone must die sometime.
" is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." Hebrews 9:27

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