The Teaching of Jesus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Teaching of Jesus.
have fallen upon us.  There must be, as Dr. Denney rightly argues, some rational relation between our necessities and what Christ has done before we can speak of His act as a proof of His love.  If, to borrow the same writer’s illustration, a man lose his own life in saving me from drowning, this is love to the uttermost; but if, when I was in no peril, he had thrown himself into the water and got drowned “to prove his love for me,” the deed and its explanation would be alike unintelligible.  We must take care when we speak of the death of Christ that we do not make it equally meaningless.  How Christ Himself thought of it as related to the necessities of sinful men, the next and last division of this chapter will, I hope, make plain.

IV

"The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many;” “This is My blood of the covenant which is shed for many unto remission of sins." These are the two great texts which reveal to us the mind of Christ concerning the significance of His death.  There has been much discussion of their meaning into which it is impossible here to enter.  But whatever questions modern scholarship may raise, there can be little doubt as to the sense in which Christ’s words were understood by the first disciples.  “His own self,” said Peter, “bare our sins in His body upon the tree.”  “Herein is love,” said John, “not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  He “loved me,” said Paul, “and gave Himself for me.”  It is open, doubtless, to question the legitimacy of these apostolic deductions, and to fall back upon Matthew Arnold’s Aberglaube; but who, it has been well said, “are most likely to have correctly apprehended the significance which Jesus attached to His death, men like John and Peter and Paul, or an equal number of scholars in our time, however discerning and candid, who undertake to reconstruct the thoughts of Jesus, and to disentangle them from the supposed subjective reflections of His disciples?  Where is the subjectivity likely to be the greatest—­in the interpretations of the eye and ear witness, or in the reconstructions of the moderns?"[22]

Christ gave His life “a ransom for many.”  The truth cannot be put too simply:  “God forgives our sins because Christ died for them;” “in that death of Christ our condemnation came upon Him, that for us there might be condemnation no more;” “the forfeiting of His free life has freed our forfeited lives."[23]

    “Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
     In my place condemned He stood;
     Sealed my pardon with His blood;
        Alleluia! what a Saviour!”

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The Teaching of Jesus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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