Passion and Theodicy: Suffering in the Hebrew Bible and Gospels


Most modern commentators explain Yeshua death in terms of vicarious sacrificial atonement; that God was angry with humans for sinning and that Yeshua stepped in and took the death penalty that we all deserved. This theory, however, is not an accurate representation of the YHWH of the Old Testament (OT) nor of the Hebrew Bible’s sacrificial system. I have been asked many times how Yeshua could be a sacrifice if God never accepted human sacrifices, how he could be a sacrifice if God never allowed the torture of the sacrificial animal, and if he was a sacrifice, why did he die on a cross rather than the altar. While there are some isolated areas of the New Testament (NT) which make some reference to this aspect of Yeshua’s death[1], the Gospels do not present the narrative of Yeshua’s passion and resurrection in terms of sacrificial cultus. My proposal is that through an analysis of the theme of righteous suffering and vindication recurrent throughout the Hebrew Bible, we will discover that it is this context which most closely aligns with the way the Gospel writers portrayed this event. Furthermore, through understanding the usage of this theme, we will see that Yeshua’s suffering and resurrection provide the answer and proof to the major question of theodicy in the Bible: why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?


Suffering in the Hebrew Bible

Suffering is something that we all experience and struggle to navigate. Whether it is from emotional rejection, loss of property, loss of a loved one, or even physical pain from an external or internal source, it is a part of our world that we cannot escape at present. The Bible tells of a time in the distant past, when God created a garden in Paradise, where there was no suffering or death. But mankind’s failure to obey the Creator’s resulted in ejection from that paradise into a world where God will “greatly multiply your suffering in childbirth (Gen 3:16)” and “cursed is the ground because of you, in suffering you will eat of it for all the days of your life (Gen 3:17b).” What follows is a story filled with suffering; from the death of Abel to the beheading of the martyrs in Revelation. This pattern of suffering continues until the new heavens and new earth when God will wipe away every tear and “will no longer be any death, no longer any mourning, or crying, or pain (Rev 21:4).”

Questions about suffering frequently take the form of personal and corporate laments in the Scripture. Belcher has identified four primary types of laments over suffering: 1) Suffering caused by sin, wickedness, and foolishness, 2) Suffering caused by the actions of enemies, 3) Unfulfilled expectations of life, and 4) Frustration with God.[2] Suffering because of your misdeeds is quite understandable, but often suffering results from the wickedness of others brings forth inevitable questions about God’s apparent inequitable administration of justice. These types of questions can be found throughout the Hebrew Bible such as with Abraham (Gen 18:25), Moses (Exod 32:11-12), Jeremiah (Jer 12:1-4), the psalmist (Pss 10:1), and many other passages. These questions continue into our modern era as a subject that many scholars attempt to tackle called theodicy.[3] One of the biggest issues with analyzing human suffering is that often people turn to variations of the retribution doctrine; that the person must have some past sin or perhaps their parents committed some sin which is now causing their troubles.[4] This conundrum is one of the issues that the book of Job seeks to address when Job’s friend insists that the innocent never suffer; certainly, Job must have committed some sin deserving his fate (Job 4). The reader, however, is already privy to the truth of the matter, that Job is indeed innocent and that his suffering is purposed to give God honor for having such a loyal follower. The belief that suffering is the result of God’s punishment for sin is apparently rampant in Second Temple Judaism as found in John 9:2 when Yeshua’s disciples ask him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”[5] Yeshua’s response is in similitude with the message of Job that his blindness was not due to a sin, but so that God’s power can be displayed through him (vs. 3). Isaiah 53 also prophesied that his peers would view the Suffering Servant as being punished by God (vs. 4) while the reality is that his suffering is because of our transgressions and iniquities.[6] This type of suffering, suffering without Divine retributive cause, we shall term righteous suffering.

As should be expected, there is a large vocabulary of words in the OT and NT that are used for the diverse aspects of suffering. These words express the suffering of personal loss, economic poverty, physical distress, imprisonment, shaming, hunger, thirst, homelessness and other forms of oppression.[7] One of the most important words associated with suffering is the outcry (צְעָקָה). As can be attested in many examples throughout the Hebrew Bible, it is the crying out of the suffering which often precedes God’s action on behalf of the oppressed. Isaiah decries Israel’s failure to be a fruitful vineyard that was supposed to produce justice and righteousness (מִשְׁפָּט and צְעָקָה) with a play on these words, changing one letter to produce bloodshed and an outcry (מִשְׂפָּח and צְעָקָה). This theme is echoed in the NT with the parable of the wicked vinedressers (Matt 21:33-46). Boecker points out that this outcry was actually “a legal institution by means of which, in a situation of need, a wrong can be righted…when a person found himself in a situation of acute need, he could raise an outcry and thereby oblige anyone within hearing to come to his immediate assistance.[8]” The very first act of human violence is followed by the statement that the victim’s blood cries out to YHWH and that He responds and acts to right that wrong (Gen 4:10). The psalms of lament have an underlying assumption that God will hear the outcry of the sufferers and will act on their behalf when no human is willing to come to their assistance.

Vindication of the Righteous Sufferer in the OT

Throughout the Hebrew Bible, there is an underlying tension between the grand narratives where the righteous sufferer hero is vindicated and even elevated and the countless masses who go to their graves without the wrongs that the unjust elite has inflicted ever being righted. This injustice is never solved when we get to the end of the OT, but I will propose later that the NT does provide the answer to this question. However, it is first important that we analyze the pattern of righteous suffering and vindication outlined in the Hebrew Bible, so we can recognize how the NT uses this pattern to provide the answer to the latter question.

Nickelsburg identifies a certain genre within Jewish literature of stories of persecution and vindication and connects its usage to the Markan Passion Narrative. The components he has identified are introduction, provocation, conspiracy, decision (obedience to God vs. giving into social pressure), trust in God, obedience, accusation, trial, condemnation, protest, prayer, assistance, ordeal, reaction, rescue, vindication, exultation, investiture, acclamation, reactions, and punishment for the antagonist.[9] He identifies the stories of Joseph in Egypt, Esther & Mordecai, Daniel 3, Daniel 6, Ahikar (Susanna), and  2 Maccabees 7 as fitting into this genre. Nickelsburg notes that while each story differentiates, they all contain the major elements and importantly, in each case the righteous sufferer is vindicated through a specific provocation or accusation, and in terms of the ordeal when present.[10] He notes, as we will discuss later, that Mark’s Passion narrative also includes all of these elements and therefore should be understood within this genre.

Laniak proposes a very similar pattern to Nickelsburg’s for suffering/vindication narratives, albeit one more simplified and with a slightly different focus; honor and shame. He names this pattern challenge and honor which features a crisis of suffering and shame “without cause.” The protagonist is given some initial favor and then is the innocent victim of some injustice through insult or attack on his life. After the divine intervention, the protagonist is not only vindicated but elevated to be the representative leader of the community.[11] This results in a pattern of honor granted, honor challenged, honor vindicated, and finally honor enhanced. Laniak identifies this pattern in the story of Job, Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Nehemiah, Susanna, and Esther/Mordechai. While Laniak does not identify it, we will discover this pattern in the Gospel Passion narratives as well.

The first narrative in the Hebrew Bible of the vindication of the righteous sufferer possibly has some of the most significant echoes into the story of Yeshua’s crucifixion. Joseph’s story (Gen 37, 39-41) begins with honor granted by his father giving him a special garment which, combined with Joseph’s dreams, causes provocation and conspiracy by his brothers. They subsequently plot to kill him but instead throw him into a pit and then sell him into slavery. Joseph receives some small measure of vindication when YHWH is with him in Potiphar’s house, but then again faces provocation by Potiphar’s wife followed by a challenge to his honor when she accuses him of attempting to lie with her. Joseph again suffers by going to jail, but an ordeal arises of interpreting dreams. His interpretation of the dreams of the two prisoners suffering the same fate as he foretells that one will die and the other will live. The righteous suffering along with two criminals is echoed into Luke’s narrative where there are two criminals crucified with Yeshua, one cursed Yeshua and dies but the other pronounced Yeshua’s innocence and rewarded with the proclamation that he will be with Yeshua in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43). Joseph is eventually brought before Pharaoh to undergo another dream interpretation ordeal which results not only in his vindication but also results in his exaltation to the honorable position of second only to Pharaoh![12] Near the end of the narrative, Joseph makes a very important statement that what his brothers intended as evil against him, God purposed for good to preserve many lives (Gen 50:20). This theme is echoed in the book of Acts where Peter tell the authorities that “Yeshua, whom you crucified, but God raised from the dead” so that “we all may be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

Moses also is initially granted honor by being the adopted as a prince of Egypt but is faced with an ordeal of standing up for a persecuted Israelite. After choosing to protect the suffering Israelite, he too suffers from losing his position and having to flee Egypt. Later, he is vindicated during the Passover lamb ordeal and then exalted to the position of leader over Israel. The nation of Israel is also initially granted honor through the covenant with the Patriarchs but then falls into slavery in Egypt. When the suffering Israelites cry out to YHWH (Exod 3:7-9), He hears them and responds by freeing them and promising to exalt them above all other nations if they will obey Him (Deut 28:1). Significantly, this provides us with the background for understanding the significance of Passover. This feast is a symbol of freeing oppressed people from their suffering, and the lamb was the sacrifice which placed a distinction between the sufferers who were to be vindicated and the oppressors who were to be judged (Exod 12:27). Job is initially blessed, undergoes an ordeal of suffering, and emerges with more children and more wealth than he had initially. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were initially administrators over provinces in Babylon (Daniel 3), underwent an ordeal of suffering in the fiery furnace, and after being vindicated by surviving, the king caused them to prosper (Dan 3:30). In Daniel chapter 6, Daniel was appointed as commissioner over the entire kingdom, but then he is plotted against and accused, undergoes an ordeal of potential suffering in the lion’s den, and is vindicated by his survival. He enjoyed success during the reign of King Darius and significantly, brought honor to his God (Dan 6:25-27). Both Mordecai and Esther undergo similar patterns of initial honor, challenge to honor with potential suffering, and final vindication and elevation with Esther winning elevation not for herself, but for all her people.

The mysterious Servant of YHWH in Isaiah’s final servant song (Isa 52:13-53:12) also is foretold to undergo the pattern that Laniak identifies. He has initial honor as the Servant of YHWH but underwent an ordeal where he is “a man of suffering and acquainted with grief” (53:3), he carries our sorrows (53:4), he is pierced and crushed because of the sins of the people (53:5), and by a perversion of justice he is put to death (53:8). The Servant is vindicated from wrongdoing (53:9), possibly through resurrection (“He will prolong his days,” 53:10), and is exalted (53:12, 52:13). Like the Joseph narrative, this passage indicates that the Servant’s death will be at the hands of people who intend evil (53:8) but will be used by God to bring about salvation for people (53:11-12). One interesting aspect of this passage is that despite many commentaries speaking of atonement in Isa 53, the word כִפֶּר does not occur in the passage. Rather, the passage references the אָשָׁם offering. Averbeck notes that the אָשָׁם offering was the offering in the leper purification ritual that could not be reduced for a poor individual (Lev 14) and that Isa 53 makes several other subtle references to leprosy with the usage of the terms “stricken” (נֶגַע, 53:4) and “sprinkling” (נָזָה, 52:15) and being “cut off from the land of the living” like a leper who is expelled from camp.[13] The leper is akin to the living dead (Num 12:12) and suffers not only the symptoms of the disease but also the shame of expulsion from the camp. The leper echoes the condition of Adam who, after committing grievous sin, goes on living under the curse of death and is expelled from the Garden. Thus, Isa 53 continues this echo of suffering the condition of human mortality and expulsion from God’s presence while promising vindication and exaltation.

The most prolific genre in the Psalms is the lament. The lament is a complaint of a sufferer that is directed towards God that He has not been active for His people, that He is not listening to their prayer, or that He appears to have forgotten His word of promise.[14] Most frequently it is the righteous who are enduring suffering and mockery by “irreligious enemies who claim that God does not care about the trials of the righteous.”[15] While some psalms speak of God’s vindication of the sufferer, others conclude without a promise of hope, reflecting the reality of many throughout the ages who have gone to their graves without ever receiving respite from their sufferings. It is from the Psalms which the NT authors most frequently quote and a recent study showed that 140 passages in the NT quote or clearly allude to 68 of the 150 Psalms.[16] The psalm with the most pervasive influence on the crucifixion narrative is Psalm 22. After lamenting over suffering shame and torture (vs. 1-18), the psalmist changes to a praise to God who heard the cry for help (vs. 24) and saved the psalmist. This vindication will ultimately result in all the nations of the earth worshipping YHWH (vs. 27), an exaltation of YHWH that will also be experienced by those who are His faithful servants.

Suffering in the New Testament

The NT writers expound greatly on the theme of suffering and Yeshua rejects the idea that those who suffer must be deserving of such suffering due to some sin (Luke 13:1-5, John 9:1-3). Rather than the doctrine of just retribution by God for a sinful life, suffering may be a sign that you are faithful to God.[17] This principle is best exemplified in the Beatitudes where Yeshua teaches that those who suffer for the sake of righteousness will receive the kingdom of Heaven (Matt 5:1-12). This “blessing” serves to elevate those who have suffered rejection by the wicked people of this world. Throughout his ministry, Yeshua focuses on healing those who suffer from chronic illnesses which would have been accompanied by a social stigma that increased the amount of suffering, such as with the healing of the lepers (Luke 17:11-19). While there were certainly many things that Yeshua did in his lifetime on earth, it is these acts of healing which are heavily emphasized in the gospel narratives. This emphasis on healing prompts later NT writers to call believers not to resign themselves to or accept suffering, but rather to alleviate pain and distress as they can while also accepting that they must suffer for Messiah.[18]

The biggest appropriation of suffering in the NT is that of Yeshua. While much of modern Christian preaching and scholarship tends to focus on the sacrificial atonement aspect of the work of Messiah, this is not how Yeshua himself identifies his mission nor how the gospel narratives explain the events. I would suggest that such a difference in focus exists because of a lack of appreciation for the ways that the Gospels echo, allude to, and quote the Hebrew Bible with regards to suffering and vindication. When Yeshua speaks of his impending death in a parable (Matt 21:42), he does not link himself to a sacrificial animal, but rather to the Psalms where a stone suffers rejection but is vindicated and exalted to the position of chief cornerstone (Ps 118:22). Likewise, in Acts, Peter does not claim that Yeshua was sacrificed but rather that he was unjustly put to death by the people, vindicated by God through resurrection, and exalted to chief cornerstone (Acts 4:10-11, quoting Ps 118:22). After his resurrection, Yeshua chastises two of his followers for not believing what the prophets had spoken by saying “was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?”[19] Again, rather than referring to the sacrificial cultus, Yeshua links his death to the pattern of suffering, vindication, and exaltation that is found throughout the Hebrew Bible. This is not to deny that the NT speaks of Yeshua’s death in sacrificial terms, as it clearly does in Hebrews, but rather to point out that it is not the primary lens for understanding his death, especially in the Gospel narratives to which we will now turn.

Yeshua’s Passion and Vindication

The Gospel writers were not concerned with writing a purely historical account of Yeshua for the sake of historical record; rather each used their own perspective on the events to expound on a theological perspective. Thus, we should appreciate each Gospel’s individual perspective and use of OT rather than trying to harmonize them into an accurate historical account. The major thing that they all have in common is the rejection by the religious leaders, the false accusations, and injustice of the trial, the intense physical and psychological suffering that Yeshua endured, his vindication through resurrection, and exaltation to the right hand of God. They primarily portray these events through quotations and allusions from the Psalms, although there are some allusions to Isaiah’s Suffering Servant as well. Moreover, they all link this event to the Passover, which is a festival celebrating God’s vindication and exaltation of the nation of Israel after their suffering under the bondage of slavery in Egypt. While the original exodus was from the suffering under slavery, Yeshua explains his impending death as being issuing in the new covenant for the release/forgiveness of sins, alluding to Jeremiah 31 which uses Passover imagery to prophesy a future new exodus in which the people will be released from the suffering due to sin.

John’s Gospel makes specific mention that the Scripture was fulfilled in that none of Yeshua’s bones were broken (John 19:36). This has often been assumed to be a quote of Exodus 12:46/Numbers 9:12 and thus linking Yeshua with the Passover lamb, however analysis of the text compared to the LXX reveals that John’s quotation most closely matches Psalm 34:20 (33:21 LXX) as they both contain συντριβήσεται rather than συντρίψετε or συντρίψουσιν found in Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 respectively. This is further evidenced by the fact that it is the third Scriptural proof text provided by John that Yeshua’s death fulfills Scripture and the two preceding quotes are also from the Psalms.[20] Daube points out a very important link between Psalm 34:20 and the Passover; that this verse is included in an ancient Jewish prayer for the dead and Ezekiel’s vision of the revival of dry bones was a prophetic lesson taught on the mid-festival Sabbath of Passover indicates that the unbroken bones of the Passover lamb were widely regarded as symbolizing the individual’s hope for resurrection![21] The apocryphal book of Jubilees provides another important clue on how Psalm 34:20 is linked to the Passover, “And it is not fitting that they should boil it in water. And they shall not eat it raw but roasted in the fire, cooked with care, its head with its inner organs and with its feet. They shall roast it in fire without breaking any of its bones within it because no bone of the children of Israel will be broken.”[22] Thus, the evidence indicates that there existed a presupposed identification of the Passover lamb with the righteous sufferer[23] which lends to the idea that John is presenting Yeshua’s Passion in the context of the vindication of the righteous sufferer, the overarching context of the Exodus story, not in terms of sacrificial atonement.

As mentioned above, all the Gospels’ passion narratives feature the pervasive use of Psalm 22 which is a psalm which moves from lamentation of suffering persecution to praising God for vindication. Köstenberger goes as far as to suggest that John’s account of the crucifixion may be viewed in many ways as a Midrash on Ps. 22:15-18.[24] Two of the Gospels record Yeshua’s final words as crying out quoting Psalm 22:1a (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34). Yeshua’s garments are divided by casting of lots (Matt 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:24, cf. Ps 22:18), he is despised and mocked (Matt 27:43, Mark 15:29, Luke 23:35, cf. Ps 22:7-8), his hands and feet are pierced (Matt 27:35; John 20:25, cf. Ps 22:16), and his wounded side pours out blood and water (John 19:34, cf. Ps 22:14[25]). While there are no clear allusions to the second half of Psalm 22, Pao and Schnabel suggest that there is no need because the readers would have clearly recognized the convergence of allusions on this one Psalm and recognized what would follow, the vindication of the righteous sufferer.[26] The fact that the intended reader already knows the outcome of resurrection also leads to this view. This is an important aspect that is often overlooked when discussing the reason why Yeshua cries out “my God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Some many scholars have assumed that this was a cry of dereliction, that at Yeshua’s moment of most intense suffering that God abandoned Yeshua to die alone.[27] This theology has a long history in the church interpretation,[28] but I would propose that is because of the disconnect between the Gentile church and its OT roots and is based on Marcionite theology. YHWH is not portrayed as a deity who abandons the righteous during their time of need in the Hebrew Bible, nor is He portrayed as an angry god who must satisfy His thirst for vengeance through the murder of the innocent. Rather, He is merciful to a thousand generations (Deut 7:9) and is quite capable of forgiveness without sacrifice as is apparent in many passages in the OT. The question we must ask ourselves is, “is Psalms 22:1 objective or subjective?” Did God actually abandon David or is it that David felt abandoned by God when he was being oppressed? I would suggest that the latter is the case; many of us have wondered where God is when we are suffering some injustice. Throughout history, many righteous sufferers have gone to their graves without receiving an answer of where God is. I would propose that Yeshua’s outcry then is not from actual abandonment, but because he felt abandonment at that moment and is in solidarity with everyone throughout history has felt the same. The recording of such a statement thus becomes a pointer to all who ever experience such a feeling; we can look to Yeshua on the cross, suffering even though he is clearly innocent, and see that there is in fact hope of vindication even if God chooses not to rescue us (cf. Dan 3:18). Yeshua becomes the proof of God’s covenant loyalty that He alone is just and that in the same manner which He justified Yeshua through resurrection, so also He will also justify others who suffer and die for the sake of righteousness (Rom 3:26). This echoes strongly of the Joseph narrative where Joseph certainly must have been questioning God’s abandonment but ultimately realizes that God was in fact with him the entire time, directing the action to bring about the salvation of his entire family and indeed the whole world from a terrible famine (Gen 50:20).



We have seen that there is a recurring theme throughout the Hebrew Bible of people who suffer without just cause. These sufferers are either vindicated and exalted as in the case of Joseph, or they go to their graves without ever being vindicated as in the case of the many nameless who were oppressed by the elite. This recognizable pattern brings forth a discussion of theodicy which is carried forward into the NT era and was often explained that the sufferer must have committed some sin deserving of such punishment or that perhaps their parents committed the sin. The Gospel writers address this question of theodicy in a unique way by portraying Yeshua in terms of the righteous sufferer who does die without God intervening to stop such injustice. It is after dying a death in faithfulness to God that YHWH intervenes to bring vindication through resurrection! This pattern thus provides the answer to theodicy with suffering: maintain faith in God even unto death because He is faithful to vindicate you even from the power of death. By appreciating the Gospel author’s usage of OT quotes and allusions, we can see that it is much more accurate to view the Passion of Messiah in terms of suffering and vindication, rather than in terms of sacrificial atonement, which gives us a better understanding of how the NT fits into the bigger picture of the whole Bible. It is a continuation of the story of the human plight of suffering at the hands of the wicked with an explosive, world-shattering twist; that YHWH is faithful and just and that He will vindicate those who have the faithfulness of Messiah, even in death!




Averbeck, Richard. “Christian Interpretations of Isaiah 53,” ed. Darrell Bock and Mitch Glaser, The Gospel According to Isaiah 53. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012.

Balentine, Samuel E. “Suffering and Evil,” ed. Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006–2009.

Belcher Jr., R. P. “Suffering,” ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2008.

Blomberg, Craig. “Matthew,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, 2007.

Boecker, Hans. Law and the Administration of Justice in the Old Testament and Ancient East. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1980.

Charlesworth, James. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament: Expansions of the “Old Testament” and Legends, Wisdom, and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works, vol. 2. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1985.

Daube, David. The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1956.

Grogan, Geoffrey. Prayer, Praise & Prophecy: A Theology of the Psalms. Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2001.

Hartog, Paul. “Suffering,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016.

Köstenberger, Andreas. “John,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, 2007.

Laniak, Tim. Shame and Honor in the Book of Esther. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1998.

Nickelsburg, George. “The Genre and Function of the Markan Passion Narrative.” The Harvard Theological Review 73 (1/2), 1980, 153-184.

Pao, David and Eckhard Schnabel, “Luke,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, 2007.

Simundson, Daniel J. “Suffering,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Wenham, Gordon J. Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

[1] Most notably the book of Hebrews, but there are scattered references in some of the epistles as well. However, it is beyond the scope of this paper to address why these other sources make use of sacrificial language.

[2] Belcher, “Suffering,” 775-776.

[3] Balentine, “Suffering and Evil,” 390.

[4] Simundson, “Suffering,” 222.

[5] NASB.

[6] Isa 53:5. While most modern translations translate this verse as “for our transgressions” and “for our iniquities”, this is a theologically biased translation which is not true to the MT or LXX. The MT uses a מִן prefix which is best translated “from” or “because of”. Likewise, the LXX uses διά which is best translated “on account of” or “because of”, see Lexham English Septuagint translation.

[7] Balentine, “Suffering and Evil,” 390.

[8] Boecker, Law and the Administration of Justice, 50.

[9] Nickelsburg, “Genre and Function of the Markan Passion Narrative,” 157-162.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Laniak, Shame and Honor in the Book of Esther, 9.

[12] Gen 41:38-49. Note the similarities between Joseph being placed in authority over all the land, second only to Pharaoh, Yeshua prophesying that he will be at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69), and Paul’s description of Yeshua reigning until he hands all authority over to the Father (1 Cor 15:24-28), implying that like Joseph, he is in a position of command second only to the Father.

[13] Averbeck,”Christian Interpretations of Isaiah 53,” 53-59.

[14] Grogan, Prayer, Praise & Prophecy, 75.

[15] Wenham, Psalms as Torah, 185.

[16] Ibid, 181-182.

[17] Simundson, “Suffering,” 224.

[18] Hartog, “Suffering,” The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

[19] Luke 24:26, NASB.

[20] John 19:24 quoting Psalm 22:18 and John 19:28-29 quoting Psalm 69:21

[21] Daube, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism, 309.

[22] Jubilees 49:13, translation by Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 141. Emphasis my own.

[23] Köstenberger, “John,” 503.

[24] ibid, 502.

[25] While not a quote, this is a possible allusion as blood is expected to pour out, but water is the surprising element that is poured out.

[26] Pao and Schnabel, “Luke,” 397.

[27] For example, see Blomberg, “Matthew,” 99–100.

[28] ibid.

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