Home > Hermeneutics > Example 4 of the ‘Law of Progress’

Example 4 of the ‘Law of Progress’

The predictive announcements which the Savior made to His disciples of His forthcoming sufferings observe this principle, being cumulative in their respective revelations.

From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed” (Matthew 16:21).

That supplied a general outline—in keeping with the law of first mention.

And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill Him” (17:22, 23).

Here the additional fact of His being betrayed was mentioned.

And the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him” (20:18, 19):

here He enlarged upon the horrible indignities which He would suffer.

Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of Me this night” (26:31).

There the perfidy of His own disciples was foretold. How like the Savior it was to break the sad news to them gradually! What consideration for their feelings!

It is to be noted that in those announcements, as in all the other references which He made to His passion, the Lord spoke only of the human side thereof, being entirely silent upon the Godward aspect. In perfect accord with this law of progress, we have to proceed beyond the Gospels (which give a historical account of the external facts) to the Epistles, where the Spirit (sent to guide the apostles into “all truth”) makes known the spiritual design and internal meaning of the Cross. There we are informed that the death of Christ was both a propitiatory and an expiatory one: a satisfaction unto Divine justice, a sacrifice which put away the sins of God’s people. So too in the Epistles themselves we find that, while in the earlier ones the individual effects and blessings of redemption are more in view, in the later ones the individual is no longer prominent, rather is he seen as a part of a greater whole—a member of the body of Christ. True, in the earlier ones the individual is not ignored. But the proportion of the two aspects has changed: what is primary in the former becomes secondary in the latter. That is the natural order in the development of Truth.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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