Justification for Speculation

Christopher Ness writes:

“The Jews might have broken Christ’s bones, in respect of their own free-will in such actions, yet was it not possible they should do so; for ‘A bone of Him shall not be broken’ (John 19:36). It was possible, in a sense, that Christ should be delivered from His passion by legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), ‘But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?’ (Matthew 26:54). It was possible, in respect of the thing, that God might have pardoned sinners without a Christ; but impossible, inasmuch as God had decreed Christ to be the ransom” (Christopher Ness, Antidote to Arminianism).

WHY was it “not possible” that a “bone of Him shall not be broken”? Christopher Ness would not have God to “violate” the precious “free-will” of the soldiers, right? So Ness’ reason for the “not possible” is NOT because God actively controls the soldiers’ actions, but because the soldiers’ actions, by “sheer dumb luck,” “just happened” to not violate His prophetical decree. Since the Jews “might have broken Christ’s bones, in respect of their own free-will,” then on Ness’ scheme it was just by accident that it “was not possible they should do so.”

Christopher Ness then cites Matthew 26:53-54 to justify his speculative nonsense. Here are the verses with additional context:

“And, behold, one of those with Jesus, stretching out the hand, drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest and took off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword shall perish by a sword. Or do you think that I am not able now to call on My Father, and He will place beside Me more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way? In that hour, Jesus said to the crowds, Have you come out to take Me with swords and clubs, as against a plunderer? I sat with you daily teaching in the temple, and you did not lay hands on Me. But all this is happening that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled. Then all the disciples ran away, forsaking Him” (Matthew 26:51-56).

Ness interprets Christ’s words to mean that it “was possible, in a sense that Christ should be delivered from His passion by legions of angels.” But Christ contradicts Ness by saying that “it must happen this way.” It MUST happen this way and thus it was NOT possible for it to happen any other way. Deliverance by angels from the cross was NOT possible. Why? FOR God will be glorified in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Christ’s saying that deliverance by legions of angels (as opposed to a puny sword) is within the realm of God’s power is NOT the same thing as saying that it was in “some sense possible” that God would by His own power cancel His own eternal purpose in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).

Ness also wrote this:

“It was possible, in respect of the thing, that God might have pardoned sinners without a Christ; but impossible, inasmuch as God had decreed Christ to be the ransom” (Christopher Ness, Antidote to Arminianism).

Again, Ness cites Matthew 26:53-54 to justify his assertion that God might pardon sinners at the expense of His law and justice being satisfied. Isaiah 45:21 states that God is a just God and a Savior. Apparently Ness thinks it is in “some sense possible” for God to be both a just God and a Savior apart from the work of Jesus Christ. Christ’s saying that deliverance by legions of angels is within God’s power is NOT the same as saying that His deliverance by angels is possible, much less does it mean that it is “in some sense possible” or within God’s power to deny His own justice and righteousness (cf. Romans 3:24-26).

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