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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 351-400 (Seven - The Cries)

F.E. Marsh :: 398. The Bridge of Sighs

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THE Bridge of Sighs is the bridge which connects the Palace of the Doge with the State prisons ot Venice. Over this bridge the State prisoners were conveyed from the judgment-hall to the place of execution.

  • “I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,
  • A palace and a prison on each hand.”

May we not say that the earthly life of the Lord Jesus was a Bridge of Sighs, over which He passed, from the palace of the Father, to the death of the cross? Verily it was. Three times in the New Testament we read of the Lord Jesus sighing or groaning.

  1. Christ sighed as He looked up to heaven in healing the deaf and dumb man (Mark 7:34). He was grieved in heart, and groaned in spirit as He saw how sin had caused men to be deprived of their faculties. The term “sighed” is rendered “groan” in Romans 8:23, and 2 Cor. 5:2, 4; “grief” in Hebrews 13:17; and “grudge” (margin “groan”) in James 5:9. The meaning of the word “stenazo” is to sigh in sympathy, or to groan in distress. How this reminds us of the sympathy of Christ with suffering humanity.
  2. Christ sighed deeply when the Pharisees in unbelief came and asked Him for a sign (Mark 8:12). The expression that is used is even more forcible than the previous one, for it is the word “stenazo” with the prefix “ana,” which, together, means to fetch up a deep drawn sigh. Christ was greatly moved at the unbelief of the Jews. It made Him to be in bitterness of soul.
  3. Christ groaned intensely when He saw Mary weeping after the death of Lazarus, and as He listened to the questioning of the Jews respecting His power (John 11:33, 38). The margin of the Revised Version says, “He was moved with indignation in Himself.” The classical use of the expression is applied to the snort of a warhorse. Christ may have been moved with indignation when He saw the unbelief of the Jews, and as He listened to their questions; or He may have been deeply moved and agitated when He saw the ravages of sin, and longed to accomplish that death on the ground of which God should ultimately banish death (Rev. 20:14), and kill sorrow.

The groans of Christ in His life were but the forerunners of His deeply-moving cry, when He cried out in heart anguish on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Verily the sighs of Christ were many on our account. We hear Him saying, “My sighs are many, and My heart is faint” (Lam. 1:22).

397. The Book of the Revelation ← Prior Section
399. The Cities of Refuge Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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