The Lord Jesus Christ – Bethlehem to Jerusalem (Journey the Word 9)

Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem, what a joyous experience. Here are the takes on this story. Only Matthew and John’s takes are included to avoid redundancy, repetition, and length.

Matthew

Matthew, the tax collector, was the writer of this gospel book. The date it was finished was around the 60s A.D. The beginning of Matthew starts with a genealogy of Jesus all the way back to David and Abraham. This shows that Jesus has a kingly and covenant heritage through David and a covenant heritage through Abraham. The Davidic Covenant ensures the promise of a king to sit upon his throne forever, according to 2 Samuel 7:8-13. The Abrahamic Covenant ensured all families of the earth to be blessed, according to Genesis 12:3.

Now, Jesus’ birth was prophesied unto Joseph by the angel of the Lord, which appeared to Joseph in a dream. Jesus was then born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the reigning days of King Herod. The angel of the Lord again appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him and flee to Egypt, to escape the killing of Jesus by King Herod. Once Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him to Israel. Jesus now lived in Nazareth.

Next, Matthew writes of John the Baptist, who told the people to prepare the way for the Lord, making the path straight for Jesus to come. Jesus then came unto John to be baptized. John appealed to Jesus, insisting the Jesus should baptize him instead. However, Jesus insisted back and John proceeded with the baptism of Jesus. During the baptism, God and the Holy Spirit were also with Jesus.

Satan then meets Jesus in the wilderness. This is for Jesus to be tempted, after Jesus just completed fasting 40 days and nights. Jesus successfully defeated the temptations of the devil by using Scripture. Through this, we discover and know that Jesus came to be a savior first, and then a king.

Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, where He first taught for people to “repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (4:17). Jesus then called four disciples: two of which were Peter and Andrew, who He instructed to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Next, Jesus came upon James and John, whom He also told to follow Him. Now, all four of them began following Him. Jesus began teaching in synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and healing the sick and diseased.

Next, Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount. Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught God’s principles for righteousness. Jesus began with the Beatitudes, to show people how they’re blessed. He also taught on being salt and light of the earth. Then, He moved forward through the Sermon on the Mount to teach on anger and reconciliation, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, love for enemies, giving to the poor and needy, prayer, fasting, laying up treasures in Heaven, being free from worry, judgments, hypocrisy, the Golden Rule, false prophets, and God’s Will.

When Jesus finished teaching at the Sermon on the Mount, He healed many people including a leper, the centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and a paralytic. Jesus next added Matthew, the tax collector, as His disciple. Jesus had called twelve disciples total, giving them power to cast out unclean spirits and healing the sick and diseased. Jesus thoroughly instructed the disciples, which involved preaching the kingdom of God and that they would suffer and be persecuted for His sake.

Upon more teaching and healing, Jesus also casted out more demons. Next, Jesus began teaching on the kingdom of Heaven and told parables (stories) about it. Matthew records fifteen parables, twelve of which began with “the kingdom of Heaven is like…” Jesus spoke of the kingdom of Heaven being like the sower, the tares, the mustard seed, the leaven (in the dough), the hidden treasure, an expensive pearl, and a dragnet.

After that, Jesus had to deal with being rejected in His own country, Nazareth, and then His friend, John the Baptist, was beheaded. Next, Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Then, after teaching some more, Jesus fed four thousand more people with seven loaves and a few fish. Through these miracles, persecution increased from the Pharisees and others. Jesus began the building of the Church through Peter (and the other disciples). Jesus then predicted His own death, noting He’d be raised again on the third day.

Next, Jesus healed and taught more parables. Then, Palm Sunday came around. During this time, people celebrated Jesus as king/messiah, waving Palm Branches and other forms of celebration for Him. Soon after, Jesus went into the temple and overturned the merchant’s tables, because they were doing business in the temple. Jesus ordered the merchants to leave. The Pharisees and other persecutors saw this and took note of it. Because of this, the Pharisees started testing Jesus to find flaws in His teachings. However, Jesus knew what they were up to and didn’t fall to their tests.

Jesus then taught more parables and other things, including the Great Commandment to love God and neighbors. Next, Jesus prophesied about His Second Coming. He also prophesied for His people to be ready, which was taught through the parables: of the faithful servant, of the ten virgins, and of the talents.

After this, Matthew writes about the plot to kill Jesus, which involved the chief priests, scribes, and elders unto the high priest Caiaphas. They wanted to take Jesus through subtlety, and arrest Him. Judas then went to one of the chief priests, and made a deal with him to betray Jesus.

Next, the Last Supper began, which was part of the feast of unleavened bread. Jesus gathered with His disciples, and administered His body and His blood for the remission of sins. Jesus knew of Judas’ plan for betrayal, and Peter’s expected denial of Him. Later, Jesus was betrayed and arrested, came before Caiaphas to be judged, and was denied by Peter. After Jesus came before Pilate and was voted to be crucified, Jesus was delivered over for crucifixion.

During the stages of the crucifixion, Jesus was mocked, beaten, and whipped. Then, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha in the middle of two thieves. After a while of hanging on the cross, Jesus cried out before the Lord and gave up His spirit (and died). He was placed inside a tomb of His own, where He resurrected from three days later. Many had come and found the tomb empty.

Soon after, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples (for Judas betrayed Jesus and was no longer a disciple as a result), where He commissioned them to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This would end Matthew’s writings about Jesus.

John

John’s gospel, different from the other three, is about Jesus, the Son of God. John wrote this book between 80-95 A.D. According to John 20:31, he wrote it with the intention to prove Jesus was the Christ, the promised messiah for the Jews, and the Son of God. Also, that Jesus wants to lead believers into a life of divine friendship with Him. John also places an emphasis of the sonship of Jesus with the Father.

The book begins with an introduction to Jesus and to the book itself. First, we recognize that Jesus had no beginning, but that He was in the beginning already with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the Word, which means he came to declare and tell about God. Also, that “all things were made by Him, and in Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (1:3-4). Then, in 1:14, we find that He was made flesh and dwelt among us (as the Son of Man). Law and truth came by Moses, but Jesus brought grace and truth (1:17). What’s amazing is, those who received Him can become sons of God, if they believe in Him (1:12).

John began about Jesus’ ministry by talking about John the Baptist first. He notes the prophet Esaias called out to everyone (during John’s baptizing scene) that Jesus is coming, and to make His way straight. Then, the next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and announced Him – before baptizing Him. John the Baptist, even birthed in flesh before Jesus, said that Jesus was before Him – acknowledging that Jesus pre-existed before His fleshly birth.

The next day, Jesus came upon Andrew and Peter, and they wanted to know where He dwells. So, Jesus told them to “come and see.” So, they began following Him. The day after that, Philip and Nathanael began following Jesus as well. Jesus was then called to a wedding in Cana of Galilee, where He would then turn water into wine. This was the first of His miracles noted by John. Soon, during the Jews’ Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the temple. There, He set foot in the temple, where He found people selling merchandise of sorts. Jesus formed a whip and then drove them all out of the temple and overthrew their table they were selling on.

Jesus taught many, including Nicodemus about new birth and the kingdom of God. Soon, He taught about God loving the world so much, that He was given, and for those who believed in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Also, that He didn’t come to condemn men, but to save them rather. Those who don’t believe are condemned already. Those who do evil hate the light and those who do truth come to the light. Jesus then taught a woman of Samaria about the water that leads to everlasting life. Also, that the true worshippers should worship God in spirit and in truth.

Next, after teaching a bit, Jesus then went to convert a group of Samaritans (and speak of His own rejection as a prophet), and forward to Cana to heal a nobleman’s son (who was dying). Jesus then traveled to Jerusalem, where He healed an impotent man who was afflicted for thirty-eight years. Soon, Jesus proclaimed before people that He was equal with God, and that He shares the same purpose for doing things. Later, when Jesus went to the land near the sea of Tiberius, where He fed five-thousand people with five barley loaves and two small fishes. Jesus made claim the following day that He was the bread of life, which the Jews rejected. Jesus stated that the Father draws people to Him, and that they don’t have life in them unless they eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus (which foreshadows the communion).

Next, John notes that many of His disciples left His side. Jesus knew also, after Peter confessed Him as the Son of God, that Judas would betray Him. Soon, Jesus went up to the temple during the feast of the tabernacles, where He taught about the doctrine of God, Moses’ law of circumcision, about being sent from the Father, and that the Spirit is living water. Then, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives early in the morning, where He saw the scribes and Pharisees, whom He had trouble with in the past in regards to persecutions of His teaching and miracles. He also saw a woman with them who had sinned in adultery. Jesus was writing on the ground with His finger, when the scribes and Pharisees came over and were telling Him that the woman should be stoned because of violating Moses’ law. They kept bugging Jesus, until He stood up for the woman and said, “he that is without sin among you, let Him first cast a stone at her.” They left Jesus and the woman alone. Jesus told the woman she was not condemned, and that she should “go and sin no more.”

Jesus then taught about many things, such as Himself being the light of the world, unbelief, and about being the children of Abraham. Apart from this teaching, healing a blind man, and dealing with the troubling Pharisees – Jesus spoke about being the door of the sheep, that He is the good shepherd: also giver and taker of life. Soon, the Jews wanted to take and arrest Him, but Jesus escaped.

Now, Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, was found sick, and Jesus was told about it. Jesus waited two days, and then came to visit Lazarus – only to find Him dead. Later, Jesus came to where Lazarus was laid, and raised him from the dead, which made the Pharisees very angry. The chief priests and Pharisees gathered before the high priest, Caiaphas, where they plotted to have Jesus killed. Later, after being anointed by Mary, Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey, where people celebrated Him with palm branches. Jesus then had some trouble with the Jews and Gentiles concerning their service and belief patterns.

Now, during the feast of the Passover (the last supper in the other gospels), after the supper was done, Jesus humbled Himself and washed the disciples’ feet. He then taught about the great commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” He also prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed. Next, Jesus taught about Himself being the way, the truth, and the life to which no one comes to the Father but by Him. Those who ask in His name, He shall give to them. He also promised that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, and shall be with them to comfort them. After that, Jesus taught that He was the true vine and His people were the branches. Also, that through abiding in Him, He shall abide in His people also. He then spoke of the great commandment again, before teaching on persecution.

After teaching some more and being in deep intercession with God, Jesus was then betrayed by Judas and arrested. Jesus was brought to trial before Caiaphas, before being denied by Peter three times. Jesus then came before Pilate, who didn’t find Him guilty. After trying to reason with the people, the people voted Jesus to be crucified over Barabbas the robber. People chose Barabbas, that is, over Jesus to be called innocent or free from crucifixion. After this incident, Pilate took Jesus for scourging, and then brought Him back before the people – assuring them that He was guilty. When Pilate saw he had no choice, he handed Jesus over for crucifixion – where Jesus was mocked and beaten. The time came soon after for Jesus to be crucified, where He later gave up His spirit and died. He was placed inside a tomb, to where He would arise in a few days.

Mary Magdalene was the first to see that Jesus was gone from the tomb. She went and got Peter, who came with another disciple or group of people – and saw that Jesus was gone. Later, Jesus appeared to Mary, and then to His disciples. Thomas was doubtful, so Jesus allowed him to feel with his finger on His hands, and his hand to His sides – to which Thomas believed.

Soon, Jesus showed before the disciples again, where He ate with them and met with Peter about feeding His sheep & continuing to follow Him. John, to end the book, claimed that Jesus did many other things, but that the world couldn’t contain the books that should be written.

Do not be conformed, says the Lord, to the world

What the world saysWhat Jesus says to do instead
Those competent and “have it all together” are valued.Those desperate and needy are accepted (Matthew 5:3); Come all to Jesus those who are weak and burdened, and you will receive rest (Matthew 11:28).
Suffering for any reason should be avoided.Suffering for righteousness is expected, and believers will be rewarded (Matthew 5:10-12).
Treat others the way they treat you.Show enemies forgiveness and love (safely please)(Matthew 5:38-48).
Do good things to get people to notice you and be praised for it.Do good things quietly, not worrying if people are impressed, because you know your reward will be in Heaven (Matthew 6:1-6).
Stockpile as much wealth as possible.We store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Spending time obsessing over food and clothing, and other such matters.Concerned with spiritual and eternal matters (Matthew 6:33).
Point out the flaws of others and critique no matter how much it hurts.You focus on your own troubles and shortcomings (Matthew 7:1-5).
Go with the crowd of the world.We are called to follow the narrow road that leads to life and eternal life (Matthew 7:14).

Life of Christ timeline

  • The Angel spoke to Mary that she will bear a son through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). The Angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:18-25).

  • 4 BC – Birth of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).

  • Shepherds visit Jesus who was lying in the manger (Luke 2:8-20).

  • Eventually, when Jesus happens at the Temple, He is recognized as the Messiah (Luke 2:21-38).

  • Magi from the East visit Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).

  • Joseph and Mary took Jesus and fled to escape from Herod. They went to Egypt. Eventually, they returned to Nazareth once Herod died (Matthew 2:13-23).

  • Jesus’ Baptism: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).

  • Jesus resists satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

  • First miracle of Christ Jesus: Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-12).

  • Jesus’ first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-25).

  • Jesus talks with Nicodemus about Salvation (John 3:1-21).

  • Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42).

  • Jesus heals the official’s son (John 4:46-54), heals and forgives a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26), heals a man at the pool of Bethesda during the second Passover recorded in Scripture (John 5:1-47), and heals a centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10).

  • Jesus called Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).

  • Jesus dined with “sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32).

  • The Sermon on the Mount: Jesus teaches with authority (Matthew 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13; 16:16-17).

  • Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

  • Pharisees accused Jesus of being in league with satan, and Jesus countered them (Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-28).

  • Jesus calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25).

  • Jesus cast demons from a man to send into a team of pigs (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

  • Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter and healed a woman that touched his cloak (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56).

  • Jesus fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15). The third recorded Passover in Scripture is noted.

  • Jesus is seen walking on water (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:16-21).

  • Jesus taught His Bread of Life sermon (John 6:22-71).

  • Jesus healed a Canaanite woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

  • Jesus fed 4,000 more people (Matthew 15:29-39; Mark 8:1-10).

  • Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26).

  • Peter called Jesus the Messiah – The Christ – The Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21).

  • The Transfiguration: Where Jesus is seen in Glory (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36).

  • Jesus spared the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11).

  • Jesus sent out the 70 disciples (Luke 10:1-24).

  • Jesus visited the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).

  • Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17) and healed a man born blind (John 9:1-41).

  • Opponents of Jesus try to stone Him for blasphemy (John 10:22-42).

  • Jesus mourned over Jerusalem (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 13:31-35).

  • Jesus dined with Pharisees and then healed a man who had dropsy (Luke 14:1-24).

  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44), and then the Sanhedrin plotted to kill Jesus (John 11:45-57).

  • The rich young ruler talked with Jesus (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30).

  • Jesus healed Bartimaeus and another blind man (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43).

  • Jesus visited Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-27).

  • Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8).

  • SUNDAY – The Triumphal Entry: Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19).

  • MONDAY – Second cleansing of the Temple done by Jesus (Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-46).

  • TUESDAY – Pharisees dispute with Jesus in the courts of the Temple (Matthew 22:15-45; Mark 12:13-27; 12:35-40; Luke 20:20-47). Jesus commended the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4). The Olivet Discourse: Jesus taught on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-38).

  • WEDNESDAY – Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5; 26:14-16; Mark 14:1-2; 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6).

  • THURSDAY – Passover: Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), The Last Supper: Jesus and the disciples share their final meal together (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-30; John 13:18-30). Soon, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:1-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:31-38).

  • MIDNIGHT – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46). Soon, Jesus is arrested as Judas betrayed Him (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-12).

  • FRIDAY – Jesus stood trial before Annas, Caiaphas, and then the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54; John 18:13-14; 18:19-24). Peter denies Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18; 18:25-27).

  • DAYBREAK – The Sanhedrin condemned Jesus (Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22;63-71). Jesus then stood trial before Herod and Pilate (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:2-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16).

  • The soldiers beat Jesus, mocked Him with the Crown of Thorns, and Simon helped carry Jesus’ cross (Matthew 27:27-32; Mark 15:16-21; Luke 23:26-32; John 19:1-3; 19:17).

  • 9:00 AM – The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross (Matthew 27:33-44; Mark 15:22-32; Luke 23:33-38; John 19:18-24).

  • 3:00 PM – Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-37).

  • SUNSET – Jesus’ Body is placed in the tomb (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).

  • SATURDAY – Roman guard is posted at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).

  • SUNDAY – Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Women find the tomb empty where Jesus was laid, and Peter and John come to find it empty as well (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10).

  • Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, other women, two men on the road to Emmaus, and to His Disciples two times (Matthew 28:8-10; Mark 16:9-14; Luke 24:13-49; John 20:11-31).

  • Jesus dined with his disciples after a miraculous group of fish are caught (John 21:1-14). Jesus restored Peter to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:1-25).

  • The Great Commission: Jesus called His Disciples to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

  • ASCENSION: Jesus ascends to Heaven 40 days after His Resurrection (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-11).

What Christians Live For: The Redemption from Jesus Christ (Journeys 58-60)

The Time had come for Jesus Christ, in which He was to die on the cross. However, Jesus knew it was for redemption’s sake He was to do this. For this is a special occasion, one in which His humanity sorely rejected, but His Spirit fully rejoiced. This momentous occasion was to bring the full redemption of the sins of God’s People, and was to win the victory over Hades and death.

SCRIPTURES: Mark 15:20-16:11; Matthew 27:31-28:15; Luke 23:26-24:12; John 19:16-20:18

Via Dolorosa from Pilate’s Praetorium to the cross

In a nutshell: Friday before 9 am, Jesus is mocked, clothed with His own garments, and then led away to be crucified. Simon of Cyrene, a passerby, is compelled to go with them to bear the cross of Jesus. A crowd follows and the women bewail and lament Him; Jesus gives warning. The crucifixion at Golgotha, by the Romans soldiers, between two thieves, about 9 am. Golgotha is the Aramaic word for “skull,” and Calvary is the Latin expression. Jesus is offered a drugged up wine, but rejects it, because He wanted to endure the crucifixion entirely for the sins of humanity.

The Proceeds of Jesus’ Death

Golgotha was the place of Jesus’ crucifixion where He was led, to which was before 9 AM probably. They took the robe off Him and put the raiment on Him. The man named Simon of Cyrene was someone they asked to carry His cross for Him. He was given vinegary wine to drink and gall to eat, to which He did not want. Jesus turned to them and said to the daughters of Jerusalem not to weep for Him, but to weep for themselves and their children. He Prophesied to them that one day they would suffer.

(The Romans would later attack Jerusalem, to which, women that are now sad about not having children would be safer than the others, for they would not have to see their children being crushed in the onslaught from the Romans. The brutal punishment on the innocent Jesus shows that the Romans would be far more brutal on the sinners/guilty.)

The first three hours on the Cross: From 9 am until noon on Friday. It is not easy to tell the precise order of events during this period of three hours since the Gospels do not present them in the same detail or order.

The four soldiers who carried Jesus decided to throw dice for Jesus’ personal possessions. They hung Jesus upon the cross, and then placarded a sign above His Head that announced the charge that He was condemned so that passersby knew what He was guilty of. Many people, including members of the Sanhedrin, insulted Jesus. Jesus was crucified next to two other criminals. Everyone mocked Jesus for His claiming to save others but He could not save Himself. However, if Jesus saved Himself, He could not save sinners. One of the criminals realized His Divinity, and repented, thereby receiving the saving power of Christ that very day.

While on the cross, He prayed for enemies in Luke 23:34, “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” He made a promise to the repentant robber next to Him in Luke 23:43, “…Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He also made a charge to His Mother and to His Beloved Disciples, John in John 19:26-27, “…[To Mary:] Woman, behold thy son!… [To John:] Behold thy mother!” John was instructed by Jesus to take in His Mother to his own home.

Three hours of darkness: The time is from noon to 3 pm.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, followed Him to the cross, and had comfort from John and three other women: Salome (Mary’s sister) the mother of the Disciples James and John, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Mary Magdalene. They came closer to the cross.

During the last three hours, a strange darkness overspread the land, as the wrath of God fell upon Jesus. The veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. Jesus had a cry of desolation, and wanted His final words to be heard by enough people around. He asked for something to moisten His Mouth; therefore, He was given a little vinegar from a sponge, and then He cried out “It is finished.” He has completed the Work that God sent Him to do!

While on the cross, Jesus spoke a few more sayings. First was His cry of desolation in Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46, “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He soon cried in physical anguish in John 19:28, “I thirst.” After that, He cried in victory, “It is finished.” Then was the cry of resignation before giving up the ghost in Luke 23:46, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

At 3 pm, Jesus died.

Jesus has died, and it is important to note that the veil was rent from top to bottom and an earthquake occurred at the moment of Jesus’ death. This demonstrated that the Jewish religious system has ended and that there is an opening of the door to God’s Presence. The earthquake even caused graves to break open, and certain believers of the old era to be raised to life, which showed the dramatic Triumph over death that Jesus won!

The centurion in charge was filled with wonder at what he saw, for he was convinced that Jesus was truly as He said, and others even changed their attitudes toward Jesus. Many who came as spectators returned with sorrow and fear, and wondered what all of the signs had meant. The phenomena that occurred was atypical of normal death scenarios. Possibly there was an omen that certain things would happen upon the death of an important person, and therefore, many had likely recognized this.

The Burial of Jesus

Friday Afternoon before 6 pm, soldiers pierce Jesus’ side with a spear. Joseph of Arimathea obtains permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Joseph buries Jesus’ body in his own new tomb. Nicodemus adds spices for his burial clothes.

Per the request of the Jewish leaders, Pilate had the tomb guarded with Roman soldiers to ensure no one could remove or mess with Jesus’ Body. The tomb was sealed with a huge stone that blocked the entrance so that no one could enter, even if they tried by force and got by the Roman guards. They secured it so well, because they knew this was a Powerful Man!

The Resurrection & 40 Days

Beginning on the day of Resurrection, there is a 40 day period, the last period of Jesus’ Life on Earth. We detail part of this now, and in one final blog post for the Journey with Christ series. Jesus appears in Judea and Galilee. Of this period, we see that He remained at or near Jerusalem for a week. Then, He probably left at once for Galilee. In the month that followed, we cannot fix the exact time of the events that occurred in Galilee, but just at the end of the forty days, we find Him again in Jerusalem.

Three women appear to see Jesus at the tomb: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome.

Bible notes: Matthew only records two of the women from the cross of that group, Mary the mother of James and Mary Magdalene. However, Mark records Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome in the group.

The three women at the cross were also the three women that were in a group together, as they had went to gather spices for anointing Jesus. They bought the spices and were ready to journey back to Jesus.

And then the earthquake erupts…

The great earthquake resounds scaring the watchers at the tomb, as the Angel of the Lord descended to roll away the stone. His countenance was described as lightning and His raiment as white as snow. The watchers of the tomb looked like dead men, because they were so astonished.

The women arrive at the Tomb followed by His Disciples

The time is about sunrise Sunday Morning. The women arrive at the tomb. There were the three: Mary Magdalene, Mary Mother of James, and Salome. Other women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed these women.

The three women found that an Angel had removed the stone. Mary Magdalene hurried to tell Peter and John. Meanwhile, Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and the other women arrived at the tomb, entered the tomb, and saw the Angels who assured them Jesus had risen. They ran from the tomb in fear and joy to inform Jesus’ Disciples. Jesus had already risen at early dawn on the first day of the week.

He was buried shortly before sunset on Friday, and at sunset, the Sabbath began. So He lay in the tomb a small part of Friday, all of Saturday, and 10-11 hours of Sunday. This corresponds with the seven times repeated statement that He would, or did, rise “on the third day,” which could not possibly mean after 72 hours. The phrase two or three times given, “After three days,” naturally denoted for Jews, as for Greeks and Romans, a whole central day and any part of a first and third, thus agreeing with, “on the third day.”

Even the “three days and three nights” of Matthew 12:40 need not, according to known Jewish usage, mean more than we have described. It is a well-known custom of the Jews to count a part of a day as a whole day of twenty-four hours. Besides, the phrase “on the third day,” is obliged to mean that the Resurrection took place on that day, for if it occurred after the third, it would be on the fourth day and not the third.

The women quickly went to the Disciples proclaiming the news, to which, Peter and John were the most anxious to see for themselves (as they knew the women were not telling idle tales). They all ran back to the tomb to see that Jesus had been indeed raised. They all believed that Christ had risen after going into the tomb.

Mary Magdalene returned to the sepulchre and stood, “without at the tomb weeping.” She stooped to look in the tomb and saw the two Angels. Then, turning around, she thinks she sees the gardener, but it is Jesus. He gives her a message, and she takes the tidings to the Disciples. There are five appearances given as occurring on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection and give other appearances occur subsequently during the forty days.

The five appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection:
  1. To Mary Magdalene
  2. To the women returning from the tomb with the angelic message
  3. To Peter
  4. To the Emmaus Disciples
  5. To the absent Disciples

Mary Magdalene is seen weeping at the sepulchre and stooped to see the two angels. She was told by the angels that Jesus has risen, to which she turns around and sees Jesus standing there. He asks her why she weeps and whom she seeks. She supposes Him to be the gardener and wondered where Jesus was. As Jesus spoke to her telling her about the ascension being nigh, she knew it was Him. He told her that there was no need for her to cling to Him in this way, for He will be ascending soon and will not be upon them physically anymore. She should go and tell the Disciples what He told her.

Jesus has appeared to the other women of that group (Mary the mother of James and Salome), as they were on their way to tell the Disciples of the discovery. He encourages them to carry on with telling them that He is coming to Galilee and they should go there too to see Him.

The Roman watchers went into the city to speak to the Chief Priest and recount all that had happened. Upon this, a meeting with the Sanhedrin convened, and the soldiers were bribed and persuaded to give the story that, while they were asleep, the Disciples came and stole the Body of Jesus. Therefore, they took the money and did as they were told. This is the same thing that is reported to this day among the Jews.

Here are the truths that could have been found out that would have proved these soldiers wrong for their claims the Disciples took the Body of Jesus:

  • The fact that there was a death penalty for guards that fell asleep while on duty… were these men sentenced to death then?
  • They surely could not have stayed asleep during the moving of the stone and Body, as there would have had to be quite some noise on moving it (it likely could not have been moved so quietly).
  • If they were asleep, how could they have known who had taken the Body of Jesus?

Thoughts about the Death, Burial, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ

It’s not good for us to forsake God’s Will just for the sake of others or for our own comfort. It is important to be attentive to God’s Will at all times, and follow through with it no matter what. If we forsake His Will for the sake of others, we let others convince us not to obey Him. If we forsake His Will for our own comfort, we are intentionally disobeying Him. Jesus proved His obedience by ignoring the mockers and His own comfort. He was perfectly obedient unto God’s Will!

Not only did Jesus transcend His own comfort, but He also transcended death by declaring victory. We must learn from this that we must overcome our fears, anxieties, and comforts so that we may do His Will and finish the race that is set before us!

Let us seek to glorify God through our true repentance and helping others repent of their sins. We must live sober, righteous, and Godly lives, because we have the right to because of the death of Christ! We see His Love for us, so that we may repent and be prepared for the Kingdom.

Let us prepare our hearts daily for Christ to Minister and encamp within us that He may overfill us with His Love so that we may spread His Love around rapidly to people. May we adorn ourselves with the love of God (just like the spices to His clothing) so that people may know of His Love!

Many people guard their hearts and put walls up so that the Lord may not enter therein with His Love. We must remove the barriers of our hearts so that He may encamp within with His Overflowing Love!

Love for Him always draws us closer to Him, because He desires that we draw to Him, for He is ready to continue expressing His Love. Let us fall down and worship Him for His Great Love for us! He has come to give us Redemption. Let us give thanks! Glory unto God! See that His Work is finished, see His Love for us, go and tell people all around of His Work, for He did it to redeem us of our sins and give us Eternal Life. Don’t wait around… go and tell people everywhere! Glory in the Heavens, He is Risen! Hallelujah!

Jesus is arrested and is tried by officials (Journeys 56-57)

We are reaching a critical juncture in the Life of Christ. Because Jesus was betrayed by Judas, officials are aware of His whereabouts, and are seeking to take Him in for questioning.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 14:43-15:19; Matthew 26:47-27:30; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16

First: Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken – Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before being taken to Annas, the ex-High Priest… It is Friday, long before dawn, the day of Suffering; and this has become, for the Christian, the Day of the cross. It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken.

Jesus’ arrest

Judas knew of the garden, for He went there often with His Disciples, to which, Judas led the guards to seize in arresting Jesus. This is the betrayal by Judas (with a kiss), to which, Jesus needed no one to defend Him. The men that came with Judas fell to the ground upon meeting Him, but Jesus surrendered unto them, especially hoping that His friends were not harmed. The Disciples tried to fight; however, Jesus told them that if they practiced violence, they would also suffer violence. If Jesus wanted help, He would draw it supernaturally; however, this was not necessary as He was fulfilling Prophecy. The soldiers grabbed a person that followed Jesus, but he escaped. The Disciples fled once a fight broke out.

The Jewish trial comprised three stages:

  1. The preliminary examination by Annas
  2. The informal trial by the Sanhedrin, probably before dawn
  3. The formal trial after dawn

Jesus was taken and bound, being led to Annas first, and then to Caiaphas. Annas was the previous High Priest, and could give Him a preliminary examination, before His trial. Jesus noted that He spoke no evil, for they would have to give proof. Otherwise, why smite? Jesus noted that His teachings were known by many and they did not have any evil. Therefore, Jesus was taken to Caiaphas the High Priest next.

Jesus before Caiaphas

A gambit: It was illegal for the Sanhedrin to meet at night; however, they considered this an emergency.

Jesus was brought before Caiaphas, where he had called the Sanhedrin together to condemn Jesus immediately. They teased Him, telling Him to prophesy who struck Him in the face (as He was blindfolded during this encounter). Nonetheless, the leaders desired for Jesus to say something of blasphemous intent, so they could condemn Him to death. They were satisfied as Jesus said He was the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Son of man—to which, He was about to receive the Glorious Kingdom of God. They suddenly abused Jesus violently and condemned Him to death.

Peter denies Jesus Christ

Discussion of interpretation: At the Court of the High Priest’s residence, Friday, before dawn during the series of the trials, we are seeing the unfolding of Peter’s denial. There is something interesting here… Each of the four Gospels record three denials. But the details differ considerably, as must always be the case where in each narrative a few facts are selected out of many sayings and doings. John gives only the first of the three stages, Luke only the last, Matthew and Mark the second stage fully, and the third is mentioned briefly.

Peter recognized

If Peter’s denials ran through all three (Luke says in verse 59 that there was an hour between his second and third denial), then not one of the four Gospels could give each of the denials precisely at the time of its occurrence, and so each Gospel merely throws them together. We attempt here yet another way: We bring them together in one section. There is no difficulty about the substantial fact of the denials, and we must be content with our inability to arrange all the circumstances into a complete program.

The story: Peter was in the courtyard while Jesus was being tested. A servant girl recognized Him as a Disciple, and asked if he had any association, to which he denied. A bit later, another person recognized him and told the people standing near, and again, he denies Christ; however, this time with an oath. About an hour later, some of the bystanders had approached Peter again, wondering if he was sure he wasn’t a follower… Peter denied emphatically. Soon, the cock would crow, signifying that Jesus was correct of what Peter would do. It reminded Peter of his folly, to which, Jesus saw Peter, and Peter was filled with grief and began weeping bitterly.

Jesus is then condemned by the Sanhedrin at the Residence of Caiaphas

It was a long night for Jesus, which included the Passover, the Lord’s Supper, the washing of the Disciples’ feet, the long discussion in the upper room, the walk to Gethsemane and the agonizing prayer time in the garden, the arrest, and then the questioning that contributed to the rough handling of Him at the high priest’s house.

Jesus before Caiaphas again

Now that it was a new day, judgment could be passed to Jesus by legal sentence, to which He was made to stand before the Sanhedrin for a brief repeat of the investigation the previous night. The leaders could make a formal charge against Him to present to the Roman authorities, so they had to come up with something to convince the governor what He had done and why He needed execution.

Judas ends it for himself: Judas, the betrayer, “repented himself” and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and Elders. Judas went out and hanged himself. He returned the thirty pieces of silver, and this was the money used to purchase Potter’s field where Judas was buried.

Jesus appears before Pilate

The process of the Roman Trial:

  1. The first appearance before the Roman Procurator Pilate
  2. The appearance before Herod Antipas, the native ruler of Galilee appointed by the Romans
  3. The final appearance before Pilate

The time here is Friday, early morning. Jesus is taken to Pilate the first time.

The Jewish leaders were attempting a formal charge against Jesus so they could convince the Roman governor of His deserving of execution. Bringing Jesus before Governor Pilate, they had to go to Jerusalem into his Praetorium. The Jewish leaders took Him to Pilate early in the morning to have Him dealt with before festivities started (again, as reviewed earlier to avoid a riot since Jesus was so remarkably influential).

Pilate isn’t sure, so Herod should see Him

The Jews charged Jesus with blasphemy, as He called Himself the Son of God; however, when they took Jesus to Pilate, they twisted the situation and the charge that not only did He claim to be God, but also to be above Caesar. Suggesting Him to be a political rebel, they tried to lead Him as a messianic uprising as if He would overthrow the Roman’s rule to set up an independent Jewish province. Pilate then attempts to dismiss the case, probably waiving Him as just an annoyance; however, the Jewish leader pressed upon their charges further.

Jesus then explains to Pilate the true picture that His Kingdom was not concerned with political power; therefore, He was not trying to create an uprising. Rather, it was a spiritual kingdom that was based upon truth. Pilate did not understand Jesus; however, he did understand enough to be convinced that Jesus was definitely not a political rebel, and thus, suspected that the Jews handed Him over for judgment because of jealousy of the remarkable following that Jesus created. He decided that Jesus should see Herod.

Now before Herod

Pilate soon learned that Jesus was from Galilee and that since he did not control relations in Galilee, he sent Jesus to the Galilean governor, Herod Antipas, who happened to be in town for the festivities as well. As Jesus came before Herod, He refused to speak to Herod (He was just silent the whole time), and did not attempt to defend Himself against the false accusations of the Jewish authorities; therefore, after mocking Him ridiculously and adorning Him with a gorgeous robe, Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Apparently, through this, Herod and Pilate became friends after having hostility for so long.

Again before Pilate

Herod returns Jesus to Pilate. The time is now Friday toward sunrise. John uses Roman time with the hour starting at 12 midnight and 12 noon, as is done today. However, the Synoptics use Hebrew reckoning, beginning with sunrise (6 am to 7 am being the first hour, etc.). This is apparent from the care with which the Gospels specify particular hours in relation to the crucifixion. Jesus was put on the cross at 9 am (“third hour,” Mark 15:25). Darkness was over the land from noon until 3 pm (“sixth till ninth hour,” Matthew 27:45-46; Mark 15:33-34; Luke 23:44). Thus, the “sixth hour” mentioned in John 19:14 could not be Hebrew time (noon) but rather 6 am, “when morning was come,” according to Matthew 27:1-2.

The choice was: Free Barabbas or Acquit Jesus

They said to free Barabbas

Pilate slowly and reluctantly, and in fear, surrendered to the demand of the Sanhedrin for the crucifixion of Christ. He could not escape full legal and moral responsibility for his cowardly surrender to the Sanhedrin to keep his own office. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees unite in the demand for the Blood of Jesus. It is impossible to make a mere political issue out of it and to lay all the blame on the Sadducees, who feared a revolution. The Pharisees began the attack against Jesus on theological and ecclesiastical grounds. The Sadducees later joined the conspiracy against Christ. Judas was a mere tool of the Sanhedrin, who had his own resentments and grievances to avenge.

Mockery begins…

The time is Friday, between 6 and 9 am. The Roman soldiers mock Jesus, just as the Sanhedrin had done during the trial at the residence of the High Priest, Caiaphas.

Some soldiers were preparing for the crucifixion, and some in Pilate’s Praetorium were mocking Jesus as “King” and putting old soldiers’ clothes on Him. They adorned Him with a royal (scarlet colored) robe and a crown of thorns. They even hit Him over the head with a stick that was His “sceptre.” After that, they spat in His face and punched Him.

Then they shout at Him:

“HAIL! KING OF THE JEWS!”

Jesus is now prepared for His Crucifixion process, and we will be covering that in the next blog.

They prepare Him for crucifixion

What can we learn during this process?

We must keep in mind to not be as the Disciples who fled, but be the people who continually follow Christ, even through troubles. We should be faithful in following Christ, because turning back is a sin (similar to those that put their hand to the plough, but look back are not fit for the Kingdom of heaven/God). Many evil people shut their eyes to the truth, and will not listen to reason, because of the wickedness in their hearts. Let us confess Christ’s Name, even in reproach, because He will confess us before the Father! No matter what we are to endure, as long as we do it for the Glory of God, nothing can stop us, for He will be with us to strengthen us the whole way through.

Wicked men must answer to the consequences of their evil deeds; therefore, it is always best to repent of your sins before you reap the consequences. This reminds us to bring more sinners to Christ so that hell does not have its way with them in death. His People must realize and begin thinking about Kingdom things rather than worldly things, so that we may be prepared and look forward to His Coming Kingdom!

Therefore, in the face of our accusers, as Jesus was in the face of accusers, we must stand firm and allow the Lord to lead us on what to say, what not to say, and how to work out a situation for His Will. Jesus knew He could speak to Pilate, but speaking to Herod was not going to be a good idea, as even though Jesus did not speak to him, he still mocked Jesus. The Lord knows when people will understand and when they will not, and He will lead us on what to say, for we have the Comforter and the Teacher to guide us. Christ did God’s Will so that He may obtain the joy, Glory, and completing of the purchase for us Eternal Life. We must do the same that we do God’s Will so that we may do it for the joy of the reward we will receive for Eternity!

Jesus teaches about family and then foretells His Own Death & Resurrection (Journey 46)

Jesus is beginning a round of teachings associated with family life, and then we will see Him instruct the Disciples about His Death & Resurrection. This is a multi-account story-line, and can be read in the few Synoptic Gospels. We are reading in Mark 10:1-45; Matthew 19-20:28; Luke 18:15-34. You will only find the teachings about Divorce and Marriage in the Matthew and Mark Scriptures just noted; just in case you decide to read one or all of the accounts for this blog post.

Jesus left Galilee at the beginning of this journey, crossed the Jordan into Perea, probably in the company of many Jews from Galilee (who regularly went this way to Jerusalem), and will now soon cross the river and reach Jericho.

Jesus teaches on Divorce and Marriage

The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus in more errors, and asked Him about divorce. There are different viewpoints among the Jews that caused arguments. Jesus referred them back to His original standard, which was that a man and woman live together, independent of their parents, in a permanent union.

Moses placed out laws to limit divorce, and introduce order to the disorderly community; therefore, he permitted divorce not because of approving it, but because people created problems through their disobedience. Under usual circumstances, divorce is to be highly avoided; however, in the case of adultery, an exception can be made.

The Disciples thought that if a man was bound to his wife in that way, it would be better not to marry; however, Jesus replied that marriage was normal for adult life, but not a necessity for everyone. Some people may choose not to marry, probably because of troubles in their life or that they would like to serve God without hindrances caused by family responsibilities.

Jesus shortly speaks about the little children

Many people had thought that they could gain entrance into the Kingdom of God by their own efforts; however, Jesus referred to the children gathered around Him to illustrate that this was not so (that they could be let in by their own efforts). People had to realize that they were to be as helpless and dependent as children were, and that there is no room for those who are haughty of themselves, or those who think they could gain Eternal Life through good works and wisdom.

“The Perils of Riches” and “The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard”

A wealthy young man came to Jesus and asked what special things could grant him eternal life, such as good deeds. Jesus replied that there was no need to ask Him, because God told him in the Ten Commandments what he should do. The man boasted he kept most of the commandments; however, Jesus said that he failed in the last of them that says “Do not covet.”

While people around him were suffering, and were in hunger or poverty, he was busy building wealth. His desire for comfort and prosperity kept him from giving himself unto God, which prevented his receiving Eternal Life. If he truly wanted Eternal Life, he would have to get rid of things in the way.

Wealth causes people to become independent of others, which is why the rich find it difficult to acknowledge that they are not independent of God. Such people’s wealth makes them no better than  anyone else in God’s Sight, and because of this, few rich people enter the Kingdom of God. No one at all could enter His Kingdom without His Help. By grace, He accepts those who humble themselves before Him.

Those that sacrifice for Jesus will find that they receive a great reward in eternity that is so much greater than anything lost in the present world. They might have to sacrifice wealth, status, family, friends, or other things; however, in the Age coming, they will reign with Christ.

Jesus then told of the story of workers in the vineyard. He was not setting rules for wages or employment, but He was illustrating God’s Grace, as He takes pity on the needy world and generously gives Salvation to all who accept His offer. For example, at the beginning of the day, a landowner hired people to work at his vineyard for agreed wages, to which at several times during the day he hired additional workers, and then paid them at the end of the day.

Those that had worked all day found that the landowner paid the same amount to latecomers as he paid to the ones that began early, to which they complained. The landowner reminded them that he paid them the amount they agreed to, and if he paid the others the same, that was his concern, not theirs. The issue was not injustice in the landowner, but because of jealousy of the other workers.

He notes the blessings of the Kingdom are the same for all who enter, whether Jews who worshiped God for many years, or Gentiles who just were saved from heathenism, or Scribes that studied God’s Law for many years, or tax collectors who just repented, or those who served God for a lifetime, or those converted in old age, etc. Those that didn’t think they were worthy would be included, but those who think they should be included because they thought they were so righteous will be excluded.

What does Jesus want you to know? Those that are wealthy have a harder time recognizing the value of the Kingdom of God, but if they humble themselves before God and be helpful to others, they will be included.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

As Jesus went toward Jerusalem, He foretold His death and Resurrection again, but His Disciples misunderstood again. They were still thinking of the Earthly Kingdom. James and John came to Jesus to request high positions in His Kingdom. Instead of answering them, He uses the words, “cup” and “baptism” to show them symbols of His suffering and death. He showed them that He had to suffer and died before He could enjoy the Triumph and Glory of His Kingdom.

Still misunderstanding Him, they stated they were prepared to suffer with Him, but Jesus said they would suffer for His Sake indeed (just not with Him necessarily physically). He said their position in the Kingdom was dependent on the Father alone, for He showed no favoritism. James and John probably thought of Peter, but all the other Disciples were angry when they discovered what they were asking.

Nonetheless, people in the world compete with one another for power, but in the Kingdom of God, true greatness comes from humble, willing service, to which the perfect example is Jesus Himself who was about to lay down His Life so that people in bondage to sin could be freed.