Author Topic: Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2017--Jesus in the Writings of Peter  (Read 1489 times)

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Richard Myers

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 Lesson 8 May 13-19




Jesus in the Writings of Peter






Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon




Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Col 1:13, 14; Isa. 53:1-12; John 11:25; Ps. 18:50; 2 Pet. 1:1.

Memory Text: “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24


What a powerful statement of the gospel of grace. There is power in grace, it is more than a word. Here Peter tells us we can be "dead to sins." What a new thought! How can one live unto righteousness? Is this saying we are more than "covered" by His righteousness, we can actually live righteously? Yes, this is the power of grace. It will transform the character when received into the heart. What is grace? It is the unmerited good shown to us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8 ). It is revealed in our memory verse: "...by whose stripes ye were healed." Yes, if we will look upon Jesus hanging on the cross, with His body scarred by being twice scourged, we would fall on our face in shame for our sins which caused this unjust punishment for the Innocent One.

Jesus tells us "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32.


As we have studied 1 Peter, it should be clear by now that regardless of the context, and whatever the specific issues he’s addressing, Peter’s focus was on Jesus. Jesus permeates all that he writes; it’s the golden thread woven through the letter.

From the first line, where Peter says that he is an “apostle” (“one sent”) of Jesus Christ, until the last, when he writes, “Peace [be] with you all that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Pet. 5:14), Jesus is his key theme. And in this epistle he talks about Jesus’ dying as our sacrifice. He talks about the great suffering that Jesus went through and uses Jesus’ example in that suffering as a model for us. He talks about the resurrection of Jesus and what it means to us. In addition, he talks about Jesus not only as the Messiah, the Christos, the “anointed one,” but about Jesus as the Divine Messiah. That is, we see in 1 Peter more evidence of the divine nature of Jesus. He was God Himself, who came into human flesh and who lived and died so that we can have the hope and promise of eternal life.

This week we will go back through 1 Peter and look more closely at what it reveals about Jesus.

As we study the writings of Peter, let us study to know Jesus. He was "lifted up" and He is drawing all men unto Himself. All would be saved if they did no resist His drawing. Let us come to Jesus just as we are, today, and He will save us from ourselves. It is a promise!

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." John 3:14. That we all might "look and live."


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 20.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday May 14
Jesus, Our Sacrifice

An overarching theme of the Bible, maybe even the overarching theme, is that of God’s work in saving fallen humanity. From the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis to the fall of Babylon in Revelation, Scripture in one way or another reveals the work of God in seeking to save “that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And this theme is revealed in Peter’s letters, as well.

Read 1 Peter 1:18, 19 and Colossians 1:13, 14.

1:18   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; 
 1:19   But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 

 1:13   Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: 
 1:14   In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:


What does it mean to be redeemed, and what does blood have to do with redemption?

When is a sinner redeemed? It is an important question because Satan has been at work to confuse and deceive as to what it means to be converted and have salvation. Has the price been paid for our sins? If so when? Because the price of redemption has been paid, why is not the world saved? Is there something I must do before I am saved even though the price for my salvation has already been paid? If so, what must I do to inherit eternal life. Where do we first find the promise of redemption?


First Peter 1:18, 19 describes the significance of the death of Jesus this way: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” There are two key images in these words: redemption and animal sacrifice.

Redemption is used in the Bible in several ways. For example, the firstborn donkey (which could not be sacrificed) and the firstborn son (Exod. 34:19, 20) were redeemed by the sacrifice of a substitute lamb. Money could be used to buy back (redeem) items that had been sold because of poverty (Lev. 25:25, 26). Most important, a slave could be redeemed (Lev. 25:47-49). First Peter informs readers that the cost of buying them back (redeeming) from their “futile ways inherited from your fathers” (1 Pet. 1:18, RSV) was nothing less than the “precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish” (1 Pet. 1:19). The lamb image, of course, evokes the concept of animal sacrifice.

Peter thus likens Christ’s death to that of a sacrificial animal in the Hebrew Bible. A sinner brought a sheep without blemish to the sanctuary. The sinner then laid his hands on the animal (Lev. 4:32, 33). The animal was slaughtered, and some of its blood was smeared on the altar; the rest was poured at the base (Lev. 4:34). The death of the sacrificial animal provided “atonement” for the one who offered the sacrifice (Lev. 4:35). Peter is saying that Jesus died in our place and that His death redeemed us from our former lives and the doom that would otherwise be ours.


"The death of the sacrificial animal provided “atonement” for the one who offered the sacrifice (Lev. 4:35)." Not really. If we leave it there, some will be confused, for the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs cannot atone for anything. The Pharisees had taught that it merited favor and thus salvation. But, only the blood of Christ can atone for our sins, and only when we accept Him as ruler in our lives. "For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.    Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure." Hebrews 10:4-6. Of course the author of our lesson knows this, but some new to the faith could misunderstand, and many not of our faith are ignorant of how a Jew was saved. They do not understand a Jew was and is save in the very same way we are, but the blood of Christ.


What does the fact that our hope of salvation exists only in a substitute punished in our place teach us about our utter dependence upon God?

Yes, it does reveal our need of a Savior to pay for past sins, but it does not clearly spell out that we are completely dependent upon Christ every moment of every day to do any good thing which is required for salvation. The wages of one known sin declares the sinner lost. Therefore, we need grace continually in order to rightly represent our Lord and our profession of faith.

When we lose sight of Jesus, we are like Peter when he fell into the water. It impossible to walk on water when we lose sight of our Savior. Likewise, it is impossible to keep from sinning when we are not abiding in Christ and He in us through the Holy Spirit. When we love Jesus supremely, then we may claim the promise that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday May 15
The Passion of Christ

Christians often talk about “the passion of Christ.” The word passion comes from a Greek verb that means “to suffer,” and the phrase “the passion of Christ” usually refers to what Jesus suffered in the final period of His life, beginning with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Peter, too, dwells on the theme of Christ’s suffering in those last days.

Read 1 Peter 2:21-25 and Isaiah 53:1-12.

2:21   For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 
 2:22   Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 
 2:23   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: 
 2:24   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 
 2:25   For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 


 53:1   Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 
 53:2   For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. 
 53:3   He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
 53:4   Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
 53:5   But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 
 53:6   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 
 53:7   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 
 53:8   He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 
 53:9   And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth. 
 53:10   Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 
 53:11   He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 
 53:12   Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 


What do they tell us about what Jesus suffered on our behalf?

Isaiah is such a beautiful chapter. It is sad that Jews will not prayerfully study it. They have no answer for it when they reject Christ as Messiah. I like what it tells us about the power of His suffering. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Verses 4 and 5.

There is particular significance to the suffering of Jesus. He bore “our sins in His own body on the tree [a reference to the cross; compare with Acts 5:30], that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Pet. 2:24, NKJV). Sin brings death (Rom. 5:12). As sinners, we deserve to die. Yet, the perfect Jesus-who had no guile on His lips (1 Pet. 2:22)-died in our place. In that exchange, we have the plan of salvation.

Yes, and no. Jesus did His part, but there is no salvation unless we do our part. In this verse we find our part just as we found it in Isaiah 53.  But, it was left out of the  verse partially quoted. Let's read the whole verse: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

How are we healed? How is a sinner brought to repentance? How is the character transformed from sinner to saint? It is by His stripes we are healed. What does this mean? It is not that He paid the price for our sins. No. This is much more. It is by beholding His suffering that we are changed into His image (character). Not my words, but the promise given in 2 Cor. 3:18. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."


Read Isaiah 53:1-12 again. What do the texts say that Jesus suffered as He worked out the plan of salvation in our behalf? What does this tell us about the character of God?
“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753.

What should our response be to what Christ had endured for us? How are we to follow His example, as 1 Peter 2:21 says?

We are to pick up our cross and follow Him. Yes, so many do not understand it is for our good and His glory that we suffer. His grace is sufficient. What is our response to Isaiah 53? How can we not fall on our face and worship Him who suffered so much for us while we were yet sinners!

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday May 16
The Resurrection of Jesus


Read 1 Peter 1:3, 4, 21; 3:21, John 11:25, Philippians 3:10, 11; Revelation 20:6.

 1:3   Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
 1:4   To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
 1:21   Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 

11:25   Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

 3:10   That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 
 3:11   If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 

 20:6   Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 

What great hope are they pointing to, and what does it mean to us?

Many understand that all who are converted will obtain eternal life. But, how many believe they are holy? "Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection."  Not holy flesh, but a holy heart purified from sin and selfishness. What a truth! What a promise!


As we have already seen, 1 Peter is addressed to those who are suffering because of their belief in Jesus. It is particularly appropriate, then, that right at the beginning of his letter Peter directs his readers’ attention to the hope that awaits them. As he says, the hope of a Christian is a living hope, precisely because it is a hope that rests on the resurrection of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:3). Because of Jesus’ resurrection, Christians can look forward to an inheritance in heaven that will not perish or fade (1 Pet. 1:4). In other words, no matter how bad things become, think about what awaits us when it is all over.

Yes, the suffering will be worth it. But, why not look at the benefit today? Many do not understand the suffering is for our good here and now, not just for a place in heaven. And, it was the sufferings of Jesus that prepared Him for the cross. Today we are to glory in our trials because they will strengthen us, develop character, and will enable us to witness the power of grace to transform sinners into saints. This is why Peter tells us to think it not strange when fiery trials come. And Paul tells us to glory in our trials: "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 
 5:4   And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
 5:5   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans  5:3-5.


Indeed, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a guarantee that we also can be raised (1 Cor. 15:20, 21). As Paul puts it, “and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). But because Jesus has been raised from the dead, He has shown that He has the power to conquer death itself. Thus, the Christian hope finds its basis in the historical event of Christ’s resurrection. His resurrection is the foundation of ours at the end of time.

Where would we be without that hope and promise? Everything that Christ did for us culminates in the promise of the resurrection. Without that, what hope do we have, especially because we know that contrary to popular Christian belief, the dead are in an unconscious sleep in the grave?

“To the Christian, death is but a sleep, a moment of silence and darkness. The life is hid with Christ in God, and ‘when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.’ John 8:51, 52; Col. 3:4. . . . [A]t His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 787.

If we really believe this, then we would not fear death.


Think about the apparent finality of death. It’s so harsh, so unforgiving, and so real. Why, then, is the promise of the resurrection so important to our faith and to everything we believe in and hope for?

God never wanted anyone to die. Sin is an evil thing. It will not be allowed in heaven. God give us grace to cease sinning that we might be fit for heaven. So very many who profess to love and serve God, will not be in heaven because they did not fully surrender to Him. Deceptions surround us, just as they did Israel of Old. Satan is very clever and has prepared lies for you and me. Let us look to Jesus and His Word that we be not deceived. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday May 17
Jesus as the Messiah


As we saw earlier, one of the crucial turning points in Jesus’ earthly ministry was when, in response to a question about who He was, Peter answered: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matt. 16:16. The word Christ (christos in Greek) means the “anointed,” the “Messiah”; in Hebrew it is mashiyach. It came from a root word that means “to anoint,” and it was used in various contexts in the Old Testament. (It was even used in one place to point to a pagan king, Cyrus [see Isa. 45:1].) Thus, when Peter called Jesus the Christ, he was using a word that expresses an ideal derived from the Hebrew Scriptures.

Read the following texts from the Old Testament that use the word Messiah or anointed. What does the context teach us about what it means? How might Peter have understood what it meant when he called Jesus the Messiah?

Ps. 2:2

Ps. 18:50

Dan. 9:25

1 Sam. 24:6

Isa. 45:1

Though Peter had been inspired by the Lord to declare Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 16:16, 17), there’s no question that he didn’t fully understand what this meant. He didn’t understand who exactly the Messiah was, what He was to accomplish, and, perhaps most important, how He would accomplish it.

That is true. Satan had worked through the leadership of the church to deceive Israel in regards to the Lamb. Poor Peter did not know Jesus to be His Savior from sin. He did not know Jesus, the Lamb, had to die. But, more than being the Messiah, he knew Jesus to be "the Son of the living God.”


In that lack of understanding, Peter was not alone. There were many different ideas in Israel about the Messiah. In and of themselves, the uses of the word Messiah or anointed in the above texts don’t present a full picture, however much they might foreshadow what the Messiah would ultimately be and do.

Satan is very clever. And, he has not been sleeping for the last 2,000 years. How has he deceived so many in the church today? What is the result of these deceptions?


John 7:42 reveals some of what was expected of the Messiah: He would be descended from David, from the town of Bethlehem (Isa. 11:1-16, Mic. 5:2). That part they got right. In the popular imagination, however, a Messiah from the line of David would do what David did: defeat the enemies of the Jews. What no one expected was a Messiah who would be crucified by the Romans.

After killing so many lambs for almost 2,000 years! How could they not know Jesus was to be crucified? And, it was not by the will of the Romans, but by the leadership of the church!


Of course, by the time he wrote his epistles, Peter more clearly understood Jesus as the Messiah (He is called Jesus Christ 15 times in 1 and 2 Peter) and all that He would accomplish for humanity.

Amen. But, when Jesus hung on the cross, even the mother of Jesus lost her faith that He was the Son of God. Such a deception! How can we avert the deceptions surrounding us? Who has the heart today? Who are we living for? Is self dead or alive?


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Thursday May 18
Jesus, the Divine Messiah

Peter knew not only that Jesus was the Messiah but that He was the Lord, as well. That is, by the time of these epistles, Peter knew that the Messiah was God Himself. Though the title “Lord” can have a secular meaning, the term also can be a clear reference to divinity. In 1 Peter 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:8, 14, 16, Peter is referring to Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, as the Lord, as God Himself.

Like other writers in the New Testament, Peter describes the relationship between Jesus and God with the words Father and Son. For example, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3; compare 2 Pet. 1:17). Jesus is described as the beloved Son (2 Pet. 1:17), and some of Jesus’ authority as Lord, and His heavenly status, comes from this special relationship that He has with God the Father.

Read 2 Peter 1:1, John 1:1, and John 20:28.

 1:1   Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 

 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 20:28   And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 


What do they tell us about the divinity of Jesus?

Second Peter 1:1 says “God and our Savior Jesus Christ”. In the Greek original, the same definite article (that is, “the”) is used for both God and Savior. Grammatically this means that both “God” and “Savior” are used of Jesus. Second Peter 1:1, then, stands as one of the very clear indications in the New Testament of the full divinity of Jesus.

As the early Christians struggled to understand Jesus, they gradually put the evidence of the New Testament together. In the writings of Peter, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct (for example, Father/Son:

1 Pet. 1:3, 2 Pet. 1:17; Holy Spirit: 1 Pet. 1:12, 2 Pet. 1:21), as indeed they are in the rest of the New Testament. Yet, at the same time, Jesus is portrayed as fully divine, as is the Holy Spirit. Over time, and after much discussion, the church developed the doctrine of the Trinity to explain as well as possible the divine mystery of the Godhead. Seventh-day Adventists include the doctrine of the Trinity as one of their 28 fundamental beliefs. Thus, we see in Peter a clear depiction of Jesus as not only the Messiah but as God Himself.

Trinity is a nice word to use, but it is not in use in the Bible, nor the Spirit of Prophecy. It is a Roman Catholic term full of mysticism. It would be better to use the word "godhead". It removes confusion as to what we mean when we say "godhead" instead of "trinity".


When you think about the life and death of Jesus and then realize that He was God, what does this tell you about the kind of God we serve and why we should love and trust Him? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.

Isaiah 53 explains it nicely. By beholding His "stripes", the stripes we deserve, we are healed. The whole Bible is a revelation of the character of our God. The Desire of Ages makes His character such that anyone who spends a thoughtful hour a day studying from the book will be transformed (converted) daily. It is a promise. It reveals His glory. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Friday May 19

Further Thought: “It seems logical to begin with ‘Messiah,’ since the Christian church owes its name to the Greek equivalent Christos, the ‘Anointed One.’ The Hebrew word relates to the deliverer figure whom the Jews awaited and who would be God’s agent in the inauguration of a new age for God’s people. Both the Hebrew and the Greek terms are derived from roots meaning ‘to anoint.’ Evidently, by calling Him ‘Christ,’ the New Testament writers regarded Jesus as specially set aside for a particular task.

“The title Christos occurs more than 500 times in the NT. Although there was more than one concept of Messiahship among Jesus’ contemporaries, it is generally recognized that by the first century Jews had come to look on the Messiah as someone in a special relationship with God. He would usher in the end of the age, when the kingdom of God would be established. He was the one through whom God would break through into history for the deliverance of His people. Jesus accepted the title ‘Messiah,’ but did not encourage its use; for the term carried political overtones that made its use difficult. Though reluctant to avail Himself of it in public to describe His mission, Jesus rebuked neither Peter (Matt. 16:16, 17) nor the Samaritan woman (John 4:25, 26) for using it. He knew Himself to be the Messiah, as seen in Mark’s report of Jesus’ words about giving one of His disciples a cup of water ‘because you bear the name of Christ’ (Mark 9:41).”-The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 12, p. 165.

Discussion Questions:

    Read Isaiah 53:1-12.

53:1   Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 
 53:2   For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. 
 53:3   He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
 53:4   Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
 53:5   But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 
 53:6   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 
 53:7   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 
 53:8   He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 
 53:9   And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth. 
 53:10   Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 
 53:11   He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 
 53:12   Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 
 

According to those texts, what has Jesus done for us? Write down the specifics of what He has done in our behalf. In what ways can we clearly see in these texts the idea of Jesus as our substitute? Why do we need Him as our Substitute?

This is a good question we need to better understand.  Is Jesus just like us? Some say so. But, can you carry the sins of the world? Can you go through what Jesus endured? No, we are not "just like Jesus." He is God and we are not. But, we can become partakers of His divine nature and cease from sinning a known sin. There is no excuse for sin. God has provided a remedy in His Son.

The wages of one sin is death, no matter what poor erring man may teach. We cannot escape eternal death no matter how repentant we are. Only the suffering and death of Christ allows repentant man to be saved. And, if it were not for the suffering and death of Christ, how could we be transformed? It is by grace we are transformed. Creating man was easy for God, but to re-create man is impossible for God alone, or for man alone. We must cooperate with God in order to be re-created in His image. Transforming sinners into saints required the suffering and death of Christ. And, it requires that we make a full surrender of all to the One who gave all for us.


    Throughout history, some have used the biblical promise of an afterlife to help keep people oppressed. Well, yes, your life is hard here and now, but just focus on what God has promised for us when Jesus returns. Because this truth taught in the Word of God has been abused, many reject the Christian notion of an afterlife; instead, they see it merely as a ploy by some people to oppress others. How would you respond to that charge?

Satan has certainly oppressed humanity. His lies have kept sinners in bondage and led them to perdition. False religion is Satan's great ploy to keep man separated from his Maker. Today, millions of professing Christians remain in bondage to sin, thinking they are saved. Such a deception! Others, like the Jewish nation of old, are attempting to make themselves worthy of salvation, which is impossible. Apart from Christ we cannot be transformed in character. Thus many are in abject bondage to the false teachings of man.

    In class, go over your answer to Thursday’s question about Christ’s divinity and what it tells us about the character of God. Why is His divinity and what it does reveal about God such good news?

How do you see the character of God? Do you understand "the great controversy" between Christ and Satan? Do you understand the issue is "justice" and "mercy"? Do you know that Satan has said God is unfair in requiring perfect obedience to the law of God?  Or that he has charged God with being unfair if He forgives sin? These are important foundational truths in the Christian religion. Discuss in class how you view the character of God and how has attempted to malign it.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.