He Came to Die – A Gospel Cordial from J.C. Ryle

As I’ve been studying and preaching through Mark I’ve notice time and again Jesus’ priority and providence for the time of his death. He told many to keep his miracles and teachings silent until the appointed time. I’ve seen Jesus with his eyes fixed like flint on Jerusalem because it was there he was to die, be buried, and raised again. When I find myself in the last third of Mark’s gospel there is no doubt why he came. There is no doubt about who Jesus is and what his mission is. He is God. He is the Messiah. He is coming to atone for the sins of his people. Mark prefaces several narratives by saying that he and the disciples were on there way to Jerusalem. He wants us to know why Jesus came. Mark is telling his readers the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (1:1). J.C. Ryle commenting on the triumphal entry penned these words:

“Let us observe, in the first place, how public our Lord purposely made the last act of his life. He came to Jerusalem to die, and He desired that all Jerusalem should know it. When He taught the deep things of the Spirit, He often spoke to none but His apostles. When He delivered His parables, He often addressed none but a multitude of poor and ignorant Galileans. When He worked His miracles, He was generally at Capernaum, or in the land of Zebulon and Naphtali. But when the time came that He should die, He made a public entry into Jerusalem. He drew the attention of rulers and priests and elders and scribes and Greeks and Romans to Himself. He knew that the most wonderful event that ever happened in this world was about to take place. The eternal son of God was about to suffer in the stead of sinful men,–the great Passover Lamb about to be slain,–the great Atonement for a world’s sin about to be made. He therefore ordered it so that His death was eminently a public death. He over-ruled things in such a way that the eyes of all Jerusalem were fixed upon Him, and when He died, He died before many witnesses.” – from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark

Many folks have questions about Jesus, questions about the incarnation, questions about the atonement, and I believe an honest reading of the gospels will answer these questions. Pick up a Bible, read the gospels, and you’ll see the Christ, you’ll see the Eternal Son, you’ll see the Passover Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world, you’ll see Jesus. 

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