Monday, April 02, 2018

Schilder Trilogy:Vol 1 "Christ in His Suffering" by Klaas Schilder (Author)

I bought the 1978 Klock and Klock reprint of this 1937 English translation. It is called a Lenten trilogy. I read the third volume this Lent and will now slowly, daily, read all three volumes and blog the highlights which strike me as forceful insights.

1. Satan at the Pulpit of the Passion considers Mat 16:23a -  But he turned and said to Peter, tGet behind meSatanYou are uahindrance6 to me.
 Just as Satan came and tempted in the wilderness after the high point of the baptism, so Satan tempts just at the high point of Peter's recognition of Jesus as the divine Christ. In both the temptation is to deflect Jesus from the way of the cross as our salvation.

2. Satan on the mountain of transfiguration
After his confession that Jesus was the Christ Peter wanted to stop him going the way of the cross. It may well be surprising that Jesus took Peter up onto the mount of transfiguration for he had behaved like Satan and he was going to be Satan again. Of course first of all the idea of making booths for these supernatural figures is it rather silly because they certainly don't need them and then there is his wanting to keep them and Jesus there. Jesus had mean heard that he was approved by God to go on the way of the cross. Here Jesus is transfigured and he receives God's approval and once again he resists the temptation of Satan which comes again through Peter. It teaches us that we need to listen to what God says about Jesus and not have our own false ideas.

3.The ministering angel among Satanic wolves.

 Mary, Jesus said  used this ointment for the day of his burial. He is the prophet speaking concerning his death in the prophecy of Isaiah which said he would make his grave  with the rich This was a rich man's ointment.
Jesus is here anointed as prophet, priest and king. His pronouncement concerning his priority over the poor is kingly. He comes first. But once again satanic opposition is their. The disciples grumble and Judas plots.

4. The last priest pointing to the last sacrificial lamb

Ciaphas was the last high priest in charge before judgement on the Jews in A.D. 70 or rather before God showed the end of the sacrificial system. The spirit of God came on him in prophecy.

5 Christ evaluated

Judas betrays for four months' wages.Exodus tells us this was the price of a slave. Zech 11 tells us this was the price of a good shepherd and it was thrown into the potter's field. So here Zechariah's prophecy was fulfilled. The good shepherd was sold and the false shepherds of Israel, priests and Sanhedrin were to be judged, not immediately but in AD70.

6. Christ's passion announced from heaven

In the transfiguration Christ must have been tempted to linger, to keep his glory and not go the way of the cross. The glory here was only borrowed glory from Moses and Elijah not the glory to come when he completed his work. Here the revelation as ever in incomplete. The glory of the two prophets is less than in heaven. They merely talk; very subdued compared with their former ministries. The father himself does not speak.

7. Christ's necessary "circumlocution"

The Lord showed his right as a king to requisition a donkey and foal. He entered Jerusalem advertising his kingship but the file crowd did not understand the nature of his kingship.

8. Christ welcomed and travestied.

Though the crowds welcomed him as king they failed to understand he was the messianic servant king. They want a political saviour. They were acclaiming him for the recent raising of Lazarus.

9.Christ relating games to universal prophecy.

The people wanted a king on their terms. But Jesus impetus and authority came not from below, from the people, but from God in fulfilment of prophecy. The people were merely impressed by His mighty miracles. The children in the temple burst out with praise incurring the disapproval of the leaders of Israel. But Jesus sees them in fulfilling Ps 8 where the son om man, made lower than the angels, is by God exalted.

10 Christ going to the room of the passover

As with the donkey we see Christ's power as king to requisition and the providence of God in fulfilling Christ's word. Borrowing a room for passover shows his poverty with nowhere to lay his head. It is likely this was the home of widow Mary mother of Mark. Jesus is the true lamb, the last passover sacrifice fulfilling the promise of salvation from death.

11. Christ constraining Satan

Judas was not the greatest of simmers. He did not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. His sin was not merely treachery but self advancement, his views of what messiah should be. Not submitting to God's will. Judas was the only disciple from Judea. Christ treated him as the gracious host would any guest. Giving him the bread was the opportunity for Judas to repent but he went Satan's way.

12. Christ not suppressing Satan.

Judas was never regenerate but his sinfulness was suppressed when with Christ. We may be regenerate yet our sinfulness is never fully repressed. Jesus telling Judas to act quickly appealed to his human responsibility. It was in his hands. He was no predestined automaton.

13. The mediator washing the feet of disown.

The context is the disciples squabbling over who was the greatest. Christ shows his love and mediator as priest who cleanses. Christ the mediator prophet tells his followers to show live like his.

14. Christ at the communion table

The first blessing was over, the second charges to the supper. It goes from looking forward to a sacrifice to looking back to one. From a lamb to the Lamb. The new sacrifice is open not hidden. The king is shown broken.

15. Christ wrestling before God against Satan.

The love of the mediator is seen when, at the supper and thoughts must be of his impending sacrifice, he shows the love that intercedes for his failing sheep. When God is active at the supper Satan responds tp Jesus intercession with an attack on his disciples. This is an attack at this particular time rather like Satan assaulting Job. Christ did not pray for the sifting to stop. God would achieve his purpose through Satan's attack even on Christ. So the mediator prays for strengthened faith. 'Each day Satan still pleads in opposition to Christ; he still tries to. name that uncertain in Heaven which is really fixed and assured. But his present efforts are as futile as the former attempts - he is trying impossible.
 The comfort is not such, however, that, because of Christ's intersession by word and deed,, we can rest upon it as we rest our heads upon a pillow. Moments of tension, crises -  th.ese remain in the world. Crises we know require sifting.
 When the winds of Satan blow against the ark, threatening to crush it sides, God's winds, we know also blow and quickly impell the vessel beyond the treachery of cliff and mountain. His love lifts the ark above danger -  we know that, and it is certain -  but it is blowing hard just the same!
 In our day the breakers of Satan's jealousy and hate blow against the church, the tiny vessel which is the church; and again we know that God will cause his winds to blow it beyond the crags and rocks. But again -; the fact is that it is blowing hard;there is a bad storm! Intercession and intervention point unerringly to the judgement, to a crisis.
 As for Simon! And as for us? What must Simon; do what shall we do?
 Simon does not know just yet. He needs a Mediator who prays for him, first and afterwards opens his eyes to see the nature of this spiritual conflict. Not until later will Simon understand.
 And we lord are no better. Afterwards not until afterwards shall we understand.
 However, since we know, since we are sure that Christ must still present his cross in heaven daily, as he intercedes for us, therefore each day is oppressive for us. We may very well count our days, for He who intercedes for us ascribes great importance to them .Intercession is inconceivable without a process as segregation. It introduces the principal of segregation into the world.... All our thinking finally rests in the prayer of Jesus.'

16. The author sings his own Psalms

After Passover the Hallel was sung, Ps 113 to 118. Consider Ps 116 and see how messianic it is. God hears the author's voice now.

17. Christ's sorrows have their own peculiar origin.

Note how Christ's emotion changes from his pastoral care in the upper room to personal distress in the garden. Many have faced death with equanimity. Why such distress? The intensity of suffering in a sinless person when tempted must be greater than sinners know. A sinner experiences death of the body only. Christ's death was body, soul and spirits he suffered divine wrath and alienation from his father. His suffering was more intense for he had the option of avoiding it. Our suffering is a slight momentary affliction. His was as if an eternal weight of judgement. The dread of the approaching arrest contributes in part to the sudden change to suffering but the major element must be that this is the start of his being deserted by the Father.

18. Christ's sorrows have their own peculiar cause.

Here Christ starts to drink the cup inaugurating the Day of the Lord.  Why did perfect love not cast out fear? This was unique far to undergo abandonment by the Father, to be deprived of his comfort. That is why an angel came to strengthen him. Facing estrangement for his father, yet he prays to him.

19. Christ's sorrows have their law of revelation

Jesus separates himself from the disciples by no more than sixty feet. They were in earshot of his prayer. he begins the suffering of isolation. This distance yet closeness pictures the separation of God in Christ and his closeness too.

20. Christ's sorrows have their own law of severity

Christ is comforted by an angel yet this is a humiliation. The Son needs a servant. The prodigal needed no help to return but Christ's sorrow is so great a helper was needed. Here is fulfilled the prediction of angels ascending and descending on the Son of man but Gethsemane is not the place of blessing like Bethel but of intensified suffering. The angel temporarily strengthens Him so that he may continue in his humiliation.

21. Christ's sorrows have their own law of sacrifice.

It is a phenomenon known to physicians that extreme suffering may cause the sweating of blood. As Dr Luke is the writer he would know that of which he writes. This first fusion of blood was due to internal spiritual suffering. On the cross external forces drew blood. On the cross Has body is sacrificed, here His soul. The life of the soul is sacrificed and poured out.

22. Christ's sorrows have their own peculiar end.

He submits to the father's will and with irony tells his disciples to remain in peaceful sleep for he suffers alone.

23. Harmony profaned: the perfect round is broken

It is emphasised that one of his own is the betrayer. A kiss was the normal way to greet a rabbi. Son of Man is his Messianic self description. The loss of Judas is acutely a sorrow for he was one the father had given Him. The significant number to twelve was broken. It is the product of the number of God, three, and the world, four. The gospel is to go into all the world by the testimony of the apostles who are the new Israel. Jacob, father of Israel had his twelve sons. Christ, head of the new Israel had twelve disciples to become apostles but one is now lost.

24. Christ's last wonder in the state of humiliation.

Messiah shows he brings jubilee when he heals the high priest's slave's ear. Caiaphas had not followed the Essenes in rejecting slavery. Malchus was a slave of Caiaphas who here is in league with the Romans to kill Messiah. Gentile rulers with Jewish subjects and even slaves conspire to kill Christ. This is a fulfilment of the mark of Cain. The murderer is protected. But this second man does what Abel could not, he brings healing to Cain. This was Christ's last miracle.

25. Christ in bonds

That this is the hour of darkness refers to the time that God's permissive will  enables Satan's hour of power. This is the hour when God holds back the angels but the devil's demons roam free. Christ actively turns the other cheek as he had taught in the Sermon on the Mount.. He obeys God who chose not to protect His Son. No angels sent, no sword to be wielded. Christ is now bound with ropes as handcuffs. Previously he always escaped threats to his life. Noe he submits for our salvation. It is the will of Satan to bind him but also God's will. he cannot be freed. he does not want to be free.

26. Christ in Isolation

He was alone for the disciples fled. The shepherd was struck and the sheep scattered as Zachariah had foretold. Yet as he prayed in John 17 he had not lost those the Father had given Him. They scattered now but were restored. Christ though was deserted by and and God. He suffered alone. Loneliness hurts. But perhaps the appearance of this unarmed young man would be a comfort? We do not know who he was. He may be Mark for only Mark records the incident and may like other gospel writers want to confess that he fled. His presence gave Jesus hope but it was dashed. Perhaps Mark's family owned the Passover room and he followed after the supper when the disciples left for the garden.

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