6. Suffering on the cross was the final trial the Lord underwent as the greatest prophet. It was a means of glorifying his human nature, that is, of uniting that nature to his Father’s divine nature. It was not redemption. (Continued)

The Lord was willing to undergo spiritual tests, including even the suffering on the cross, because he was the ultimate prophet. The prophets stood for the church’s teachings from the Word. As a result they represented the nature of the church in various ways—even by doing unjust, harsh, and wicked things that God commanded them to do. In the Lord’s case, however, he was the Word itself. During his suffering on the cross he was the ultimate prophet, representing the way the Jewish church had desecrated the Word.

An additional reason why the Lord was willing to suffer on the cross was that by doing so he would come to be acknowledged in the heavens as the Savior of both worlds. Every aspect of his suffering meant something related to the desecration of the Word. When people in the church understand these aspects in physical terms, angels understand them in spiritual terms.

The following passages make it clear that the Lord was the ultimate prophet: “The Lord said, ‘A prophet is nowhere less honored than in his own country and in his own house’” (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24). “Jesus said, ‘It is not right for a prophet to die away from Jerusalem’” (Luke 13:33). “Fear took hold of them all. They were praising God and saying that a great prophet had risen among them” (Luke 7:16). They called Jesus “that prophet from Nazareth” (Matthew 21:11; John 7:40, 41). It says in Deuteronomy that a prophet would be raised up from among his brothers and sisters, and they would obey his words (Deuteronomy 18:15–19).

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 129

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