We have made it.
You have been faithful.
A year through the Gospels.
We could begin again and new insights and revelations would pour forth.
Such is the Word.
I encourage you to remain in the Gospels regularly. Read the “red”.
For today, we see that the disciples were far from perfect when Jesus ascended.
Peter is the example.
Jesus was restoring Peter.
Jesus was showing Peter that he would lead, that he would tend and shepherd.
Peter reacted in the way that we so often do…”what about him!?”
Peter wanted to know about John.
Jesus’ response was “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
Of course, man took this statement and applied it improperly to John thinking that he would not die.
Jesus was making a larger point.
Worry not about what God is doing in another.
Be not jealous of another.
John testified of these things.
John wrote of these things.
Jesus did many other things, the details of which could not be contained in all the books of the world.
As for us…
Are we following?
Are we obedient?
Are we testifying?
The Lord restores Peter.
Peter had denied the Lord three times.
The Lord asks Peter three times “do you love me?”
A study of the words used for “love” is useful, yet beyond the scope of our time together.
Basically, Jesus was asking “do you love me above all else”?
Peter was replying, “yes, Lord, I’m your buddy”.
Note the instructions the Lord gave Peter.
Jesus had already told Peter (Luke 22) that he would deny Him and that when he was restored he was to strengthen his brothers..
Jesus tells him:
- tend My lambs
- shepherd My sheep
- tend My sheep
- follow Me
This is what the Lord calls us unto.
Jesus also gave Peter insight into the future.
Peter knew how he would die.
We rarely consider the phrase “by what kind of death he would glorify God.”
By what kind of death will you glorify God?
Will you be faithful?
Will you be steadfast, immovable in the Lord?
“Signs So That You May Believe”
Knowing the purpose of a particular writing in the Word helps us understand the Word of the Lord.
In this passage, John tell us forthrightly his purpose.
Jesus did many, many signs in the presence of His disciples.
Many more than were given in the account of John.
John tells us that the signs he mentioned were written so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing we might have life in His name.
That is the purpose of the gospel of John.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ.
Believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Believing will bring Life in His Name.
Do we truly believe?
Do we have His Life?
“Opened Minds, Endued With Power”
We are drawing to the end our our year-long synoptic trip through the gospels.
The next couple of days we will examine the closing Words.
We have foundational truths verified by the Lord.
- the things written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms were fulfilled
- we often do not think of the truths in the Psalms as related to Jesus. They are many.
- He spoke these Words to the disciples while He was with them.
Then Jesus does an amazing thing.
He opens their minds to understand the Scriptures.
I suspect by what He said next…
“It is written…”
- Christ would suffer
- Christ would rise again from the dead the third day
- Repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning with Jerusalem
These are “keys” to understanding the Scriptures.
Jesus then instructed...
- They were witnesses
- He was sending them forth
- But first, they were to stay in the city until they were clothes with power from on high
They had received the Holy Spirit internally…Jesus had breathed upon them earlier.
They were now to await the external “clothing” of power from on high.
These are the things that the Body of Christ needs today:
- Word of the Lord from Jesus, Law of Moses, Prophets, Psalms
- Minds opened by the Lord to understand the Word
- Power from on high
Jesus lifted His hands to bless them.
While doing so, He parted from them and was carried into heaven.
They worshipped Him.
They returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
They were continually in the temple praising God.
We should do likewise.
If we are endued with Power from on high…
If our minds have been opened to the Truth of the Word by the Lord…
Then we will rejoice in the “temple” without ceasing.
This is the Great Commission that most of us are most familiar.
Again, the Eleven did what Jesus instructed and met Him on a mountain in Galilee.
They saw Him.
They worshiped Him.
We find the “doubting” amazing, yet do we not do the same.
We claim to believe, yet we doubt portions of the Word. We say it was for another time, another place, another people. Yet, it is obvious that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever.
We claim to believe, yet we doubt the guidance of the Spirit. We reject Him.
If we believe that the “Great Commission” was given to the Eleven and to us…as most of the Church does...then we have been given the same thing.
All authority was given to Jesus in heaven and earth.
Who granted this authority?
Who had it?
Jesus says “Go”...we know this...but often the next word is omitted, missed, etc.
Yes, in the Authority of the Lord...Go!
Go - make disciples. It is an active work, a process.
Go - baptize them in them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Go - teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded us
Go - knowing that Jesus is with us...even to the end of the age
All in the Power and Authority of the Lord.
Not in the flesh of man.
Not in the authority of man.
Not in the credentials and power of man.
Only in the Authority of the Lord.
Let us cease seeking the authority and strategies of man.
Let us move in the Authority of the Lord.
“Mark: The Longer Ending”
We have discussed this passage earlier...see previous posts.
Mark gives a strong synopsis of what had occurred.
- Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the ladies...they reported to the disciples. They refused to believe.
- Jesus appeared to the two on the way...they reported. The disciples did not believe.
- Jesus appeared to the Eleven and reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart.
Jesus then tells them what to do (what we call “The Great Commission&rdquo
- Go into all the world
- Preach the gospel to all creation
- Those who believe will be saved
- Those who disbelieve will be condemned
- Sign will accompany…
- casting out of demons
- speaking with new tongues
- picking up of serpents
- drinking deadly poisons
- lay hands on sick, they will recover
- all in the name of the Lord
- In the name of the Lord…
- there is protection
- there is provision
- there is power
- there is Presence
Jesus is then received up to heaven where He sat at the right hand of God.
They went out and preached…
- east to west
- Lord worked through them
- signs followed them...note, they did not follow/seek the signs. The signs followed them.
- the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.
We are to do likewise.
We must believe...not just bit and pieces. Believe all.
Well...this is interesting…
First, blessed Christmas...the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus.
True, nowhere in the Word are we commanded to celebrate the birth, etc.
But, the Word does give us much detail as to what happened and the response of various folk.
You will note that the reading today, #362, is blank.
It is called “the shorter ending of Mark”.
In other words, it is deleted.
This has been mentioned before.
Many within the professing Body of Christ do not believe that Mark 16:9-20 “belong” in the Word.
Care must be taken with such.
We do best to seek the Lord and His counsel, rather than the counsel and emotions of man.
I believe we should not remove the verses.
You will find them handled in various ways in different translations - some delete, some bracket the verses, some have extended footnotes.
I personally believe they “belong” in the Word and the Word will give us insight to the matter.
More tomorrow when we look at the “longer” ending.
For today, rejoice in the birth of the Lord.
Rejoice in His Presence in the true believer.
Aggressively await His return.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Jesus had told the disciples what to do - go make disciples.
Peter decided to go fishing.
Nothing wrong with fishing - as advocation or vocation.
Was Peter returning to his former business? I suspect so.
Did Peter think that he was failure due to his denial of the Lord? Probably.
So, they went fishing.
They caught nothing.
In the flesh we catch nothing of import to the kingdom.
After a night of fruitless - fishless - fish’n, Jesus stood on the beach calling to them.
He tells them to cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat - a catch was to be had.
This made no sense.
This was frustrating to the disciples.
But they did it anyway.
A large catch manifested.
John - the disciple whom Jesus loved - recognized Jesus first.
Peter threw on his outer garment and threw himself into the see.
Echoes of fig leaves before the Lord.
Jesus had fixed breakfast - bagel and lox!
Jesus wanted some of the 153 fish they had caught.
They counted them? Yes, businessmen.
Is there significance to the number? Yes.
We do not know exactly what...I suspect it has to do with our faithfulness in proclaiming the gospel and the resulting harvest.
This was the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples.
None questioned Who He was.
The Eleven did as Jesus instructed.
They met Him in Galilee on a mountain.
They saw Him.
They worshipped Him.
But...amazingly…some were doubtful.
What did they doubt?
That He was alive? He was standing before them.
That He was really Jesus? He proved Himself.
Were they having a hard time believing all this was happening? That I understand.
Jesus gave them what we call “the great commission”.
Note what Jesus stated and commanded:
- All authority had been given to Jesus...in heaven and earth...from Father
- Therefore...because of this authority that He has and gives to us...Go and make disciples of all nations!
- Baptized them in them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit
- Teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded
- Know this, Jesus is with us to the end of the age.
Were these instructions only for the Eleven?
Are they for us?
It is generally accepted that it is for the Body of Christ.
We should do so.
We should also pay attention to the other things that Jesus told His disciples.
We too often pick and choose...
“Unbelief/Hardness of Heart”
The Eleven Disciples were reclining at table having a meal.
Imagine the discussion.
Imagine the insinuations and the forgiveness that was required.
Jesus suddenly appeared.
He reproached/rebuked/upbraided (whichever word one uses it is a strong thing) them for their lack of belief and hardness of heart. They had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.
This is a major concern within the Body of Christ today.
Hardness of heart.
Jesus then tells them what to do.
- Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
- All creation...that should help some to understand issues of the day
- Jesus says the one who believes and has been baptized shall be saved.
- This should also help us understand some other things.
- The one who disbelieves...interesting word...it means to believe not. They shall be condemned
Jesus states that signs will accompany those who believe…
- cast out demons, in Jesus’ name
- speak with new tongues
- pick up serpents
- if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them
- they will lay hands on the sick, the sick shall recover.
Many believers today experience unbelief and hardness of heart when approached with verses 17-18.
These verses are not permission to go out and drink poison and handle snakes to prove one’s faith.
I believe the Word gives us insight.
Remember when Paul was shipwrecked and bit by a viper?
He should have been dead in minutes.
The natives thought he was a guilty sinner and the bite was judgment.
Later, after he had not died, they thought he was God.
Paul shared the gospel with them.
This is an example of a serpent causing not harm.
We will never know the number of times that God has protected us from that which we have ingested.
Most believers today want reject verses 9-20 from the Word.
This is error.
These things are for today:
- casting out demons in Jesus’ name
- speaking in new tongues
- protection from serpents
- protection from poisons
- laying on of hand and recovery of the sick.
“Seeing Is Believing”
Thomas was not present when the Lord appeared to the disciples (see yesterday).
The disciples were excitingly tell him what happened.
He refused to believe unless he saw Jesus’ living body himself.
The other disciples had been the same way.
The women at the tomb had told them - they believed not.
The two from Emmaus had told them - they believed not.
They believed when they saw Jesus.
So would Thomas.
Eight days later Jesus appears to them again.
They were hiding, locked away.
Jesus spoke Peace upon them.
Then, Jesus spoke the very words that Thomas had said, imploring Thomas to examine.
The Lord then tells us…
“Blessed are those who do not see, and believe.”
The Word tells us to examine ourselves to see if we be of the faith.
Have you believed? Truly believed?
Not the belief of the demons, who believe (they know beyond doubt) and yet shudder.
Belief that transforms and conforms us into the likeness of Christ.
Believe, repent, confess, believe.
A spirit? A ghost?
I suspect that we would react likewise.
The disciples were in the midst of hearing the latest account of an encounter with a living-raised-from-the-dead Jesus when suddenly, Jesus appears.
Jesus spoke peace upon them.
Note the change.
They had been troubled.
They had doubt in their hearts.
Now the Word says they still could not believe it, not because of doubt and fear, but due to joy and amazement.
The same phrase can carry vastly different meanings…
“I cannot believe it!” - doubt and fear
“I cannot believe it!” - joy and amazement
Jesus offered His body as evidence that He is alive.
They were amazed and overjoyed.
We still are.
Jesus sends them forth.
One final thing that people often overlook...I do not believe I have ever heard a sermon, Sunday School lesson, etc. on this.
Jesus breathed on them and told them to “receive the Holy Spirit”.
It is often stated that the church was birthed on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came, but we have the Lord breathing the Spirit upon them here.
Meditate upon that.
There are some profound ramifications for the Body of Christ today.
They had the Spirit.
Jesus would soon tell them to tarry until they are “endued with power from on high”.
“Burning Hearts on the Road”
Mark gives a brief synopsis of the encounter.
Luke gives the details.
An amazing account.
Here are some thoughts to take away today:
- Jesus can be traveling with us and we might not have “the eyes to see”
- the two were speaking of the things that had occurred...the things of the Kingdom
- Mighty in deed
- Mighty in Word
- in the sight of God and all people
- delivered by the chief priests to death/crucified
- they were hoping that He was the Redeemer of Israel
- some women could not find His body, visions of angels saying He was alive
Jesus stated…”O foolish men and slow of hearts to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!...It was necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
Jesus then presented the greatest sermon ever spoke.
Beginning with Moses (The Law - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy) and with all the Prophets, He explained the Scriptures related to Himself.
The two encouraged Him to stay with them.
Upon His blessing and breaking bread He was revealed, then disappeared.
They exclaimed, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
They immediately returned to Jerusalem (7 miles?) and told the eleven.
They did not believe.
Do you believe?
Does your heart burn at the Word of the Lord?
Is your heart grieved at the lack of the Word in the life of many believers?
“Guards and the Tale”
The Religionists had a problem.
They had placed their guards over the tomb.
Yet, the body of Jesus was gone.
The tomb was open, exposed as empty.
The guards had reported what had happened - the earthquake, the stone rolling away, the empty tomb, the angels.
The Religionists cared not.
They had to keep the “narrative” alive.
Therefore, the chief priests and elders consulted together and agreed to bribe the guards.
The story/lie would be that which the chief priests had already planted before Pilate - Jesus’ disciples had stolen the body to support a resurrection tale.
The guards would be paid.
They would be protected from any response of the governor - shows us the power the Religionists had over Pilate.
The guards took the money and told the story.
They likely had little choice.
The story is widely spread...in the day that Matthew recounted it...and today.
Yet, the lie could not overcome the Truth.
“Women See Jesus”
Jesus appears to the women.
I can’t imagine!
They fell at His feet, taking hold of His feet and worshipped Him.
Jesus tells them to fear not, go tell the brethren to meet Him in Galilee.
We learn some things…
- Mary Magdalene had been delivered of seven demons. We think such does not occur today. We are wrong.
- the disciples refused to believe the report of Mary Magdalene.
John gives an intimate account of the encounter between Mary and Jesus.
- Mary was weeping, supposing Him to be the gardener
- She wanted to know where the body was
- Upon recognizing Jesus, she clung to Him
- Jesus told her to stop clinging, for He had not ascended to the Father… humm?
- wonder what all that means?
Again, the disciples did not believe...though two ran to the tomb.
Do you believe? Really believe?
Jesus is dead and buried.
After the Sabbath...the weekly Sabbath...as it began to dawn, women approached the grave.
A severe earthquake had occurred.
Not just a basic earthquake.
A severe one.
Apparently an angel of the Lord caused it.
- descended from heaven
- rolled away the stone covering the tomb entrance
- sat upon the stone
- appearance was like lightning, bright white clothing
The guards saw...shook with fear...then passed out...became like dead men.
The angel spoke to the women…
- do not be afraid
- He is not here
- He is risen
- Go, tell His disciples
- He is going ahead of you as He said to Galilee
- There you will see Him
They left quickly with fear and great joy.
Luke tell us that there were two angels.
This is not a biblical inconsistency.
There were two.
One spoke, as Matthew said
The women went and told the disciples.
The disciples did not believe them..thought it nonsense...even though Jesus had told them this would happen.
Can you imagine the emotion?
Peter and John run to see.
They find the tomb empty, yet they still did not understand.
Eventually they all went to their own homes.
Mary, wept, wondering what happened to her Lord.
Where was He laid...taken to?
Soon they would understand.
They had been told repeatedly.
Now they would see.
“Guard the Tomb”
The Day after the Day of Preparation.
The Religionists were concerned about getting Jesus off the cross because the next day was the high holy day of Nisan 15, the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread.
How “righteous” of them.
Yet, here they are on that very day appearing before Pilate.
They had not wanted to go before the political rulers the day before due to the fact that they thought it would make them unclean.
Still, here they are before Pilate on that day.
Fear was the motivator.
They feared the Truth of the Word of the Lord - that He would rise after three days.
The Religionists sought to be proactive in spinning the reality of the situation...much like leaders of today do.
Their actions reveal they knew what Jesus said.
- Arise three days later
They called it “deception”.
It is the Truth of the Gospel.
Pilate seemed irritated.
From his previous statements we can glean that he was sickened by the turn of events.
He told them to use their own guards.
The deception was now safe.
So they thought...
“Jesus is Buried”
Joseph of Arimathea’s act was a bold one.
He was a prominent member of the Council.
He had not agreed with their decisions.
He was good and righteous.
He was a secret disciple of Jesus...he feared the Jews.
Note he “gathered up courage”.
He publicly came forward to request the body of Jesus.
He was awaiting the Kingdom of God.
He was confirmed to be a disciple of Jesus.
Most of the Twelve had fled.
Yet, here is a disciple that feared not the political leaders.
Perhaps his money provided “protection”.
We do not know.
We do know that he loving provided for the body of Jesus.
Even at the time of Jesus’ death, believers were coming forth.
“Prophesy Fulfilled, Religious Revealed”
The Religious will keep the show going.
Jesus was dead.
The thieves were not.
But, the Religious did not know, so they requested that the legs of the crucified be broken. This would hasten the impending deaths.
They needed them dead so that they could get them off the crosses...time for a religious feast.
John 19:31 gives us timing detail that the Body of Christ has ignored for centuries.
Jesus died on the “day of preparation”...Nisan 14...the day the Law required the Passover meal to be prepared.
The next day was the Sabbath.
Not the weekly Sabbath.
It was the Sabbath...a “high day”...of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15.
Due to lack of understanding of this timing we have much confusion as to the events of the week of Jesus’ death.
Jesus died on Wednesday...not on “good Friday”.
At sundown, it became Thursday.
Thursday - evening/morning
Friday - evening/morning
Saturday - evening morning
At sundown Saturday it becomes Sunday.
Jesus was resurrected at sometime prior to sunrise on Sunday when the women discovered Him gone.
Jesus was in the belly of the earth three days and three nights - as He said He would.
King James Version (KJV)
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
All this fulfilled the prophetic Word of the Lord and the spoken Word of Jesus on earth.
- He was pierced for our transgressions…Isaiah
- Not a bone of Him shall be broken...Psalm 34
- They shall look on Him Who they pierced...Zechariah 12
Rejoice in that which was done for you.
Reject the heart of the Religionists.
Note the number of people who would testify.
Note their gender, background, etc.
- women ministered to him, they were at the cross
- women from Galilee, some from Jerusalem
- all His acquaintances...some at a distant
- the disciple that Jesus loved (John) was there.
These would testify/verify that Jesus died...not just a beating or swooning.
These would soon testify that He lives.
What is your testimony?
“Death of Jesus”
Jesus was on the cross from 9 a.m until His death at 3 p.m.
So many things in these passages...meditate upon them. Research them.
Jesus cried out asking Father why He had forsaken Him.
Did Jesus not know? Yes, He knew.
It was a cry of pain, agony.
Not limited to the physical realm.
All the sin of the ages was upon Him.
Worse still, Father and Son were “separate” in a manner not done before.
The people continue to mock…
- by offering sour drink
- by waiting to see if Elijah would save Him
Jesus yielded up His spirit.
No one “took if from Him”.
He submitted to the will of Father.
The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom.
Can you imagine the reaction of the priests that were attending to the duties?
This revealed the Law for what it was...a foreshadowing.
The Holy of Holies was revealed to be empty - the Ark of the Covenant had been gone for centuries.
The tombs were opened.
This was a limited event.
The tombs of the saints who had fallen sleep.
They were resurrected after Jesus was resurrected.
They entered Jerusalem.
They appeared to many.
Again, can you imagine?
Why do we rarely hear a sermon/message/teaching about this?
Centurion and those keeping guard over Jesus declared “truly this was the Son of God!”
The crowds began to return, beating their breasts.
An innocent man had died.
Jesus was accounted with criminals.
He was hung between two criminals...two thieves.
The thieves berated Jesus with insults.
They used the same words of those of the world who were passing by and the Religionists who were holding watch.
The Religionists were spouting forth false promises…”...come off the cross and we will believe.”
Everyone was hurling abuse.
One thief cried out to Jesus. “Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
The other thief rebuked him.
- do you not fear God (apparently the thieves feared God!)
- they were under the same condemnation by man
- they were guilty, they were justly being executed (for robbery!?)
- Jesus was not guilty
This thief then asked Jesus to remember him in His kingdom!
What does this mean?
It is a declaration of belief in Jesus...Who He is.
Jesus stated that “today you shall be with Me in Paradise”.
What is Paradise?
Is “today” a literal 24-hour period referencing today...or a time period?
Regardless, upon death, the thief was “with Jesus”.
“Jesus Mocked - While on the Cross”
Jesus was hung with criminals.
The world considered Him to be a common criminal.
The Jewish religious leadership considered Him a heretic.
As was prophesied, He was counted among the lawless ones.
Those passing by mocked Him, shaking their heads saying “You could destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are God’s Son, come down from the cross!”
The chief priests, experts in the law and elders joined in the haranguing.
“He saved others, but He cannot save Himself.” “He is the king of Israel! If He comes down now from the cross, we will believe in Him!”
“He trust in God - let God, if He wants to, deliver Him now because He said, ‘I am God’s Son’!”
What evil of tongue.
What hatred of heart.
What fear of man.
Yet, I suspect that some of these would soon believe.
The Word tells us that “not a small number of priests” believed after Jesus was resurrected.
The world will sneer and mock.
The Religionists will hurl hatred in the “name of God”.
Be not surprised when the same happens to us that happened to Jesus.
He told us it would.
Some of the gospels are nearly “unfeeling” in there account, though such is not the case.
They provide rapid-fire facts.
- They arrived at a Golgotha=The Place of the Skull. The place of crucifixion
- They attempted to sedate Jesus. He would have none.
- They crucified Him...nailed Him to the cross
- They went about the business of dividing His clothing by casting lots, fulfilling prophecy.
- They sat, keeping watch over Him until He died
- They gave one last literal sign of mocking, though it be the truth - “This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews”
It was 9 a.m.
He was crucified with criminals, one on each side.
And yet, did you see what Jesus said?
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”
Most of the disciples had long since fled.
But, at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus’ mother Mary, His aunt, Mary Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and the disciple who Jesus loved - John.
Jesus told John to take care of His mother, Mary.
John did from that hour.
All this was done for the forgiveness of sins.
Has the Lord called you?
Have you repented and confessed?
Have you experienced the new life that awaits?
“Pressed Into Service, Future”
Jesus is now led away to be crucified.
The mocking, faux scarlet robe was removed, replaced by His own garments.
It is safe to assume that it was not a subtle changing of wardrobe.
Jesus carried the cross...but eventually foundered.
Simon of Cyrene was “pressed into service to bear His cross”.
A large crowd followed.
Women weeped and mourned.
But note what Jesus said…
- stop weeping for me
- weep for yourselves and your children
- evil, difficult days are coming
- when the barren will be considered blessed
- they will say to the mountains “fall on us”…”cover us”… we know when this will occur...it is mentioned in Revelation 6
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
In the midst of horrific persecution, Jesus kept His eyes upon the calling of Father.
He encouraged those weeping to look to the Lord, not to circumstances.
The crucifixion of Jesus was bad.
Worse is to come.
Are you ready?
The pain for Jesus increases.
Those that He created…
Those that He knew from the foundation of the world…
Those that He loved without measure…
They mocked Him.
They strip Him, then put a scarlet robe on Him.
They put a twisted crown of thorns on His head.
They put a reed in His hand...a picture of a scepter.
They knelt before Him in faux worship and mocked Him.
Little did they know.
They mocked, beat, spat upon their Creator.
He allowed it for them.
I wonder how many of these we will see in glory?
I suspect that when it was all said and done that some believed unto salvation.
This is one of the things for which Jesus was born.
Pilate reached the end of what he would do.
He therefore, took water, washed his hands in front of the crowds and declared that he was innocent of Jesus’ blood.
He was not innocent.
He could have set Him free.
Did you catch the curse that the crowd spoke upon themselves?
“His blood shall be on us and on our children!”
So let it be spoken.
So let it be done.
Such has been and continues to be so.
(Many perverse teachings have arisen from this passage. Be discerning. But, no doubt they spoke a curse upon themselves.)
Pilate had Jesus scourged - plausible deniability for Pilate before the politicians and religionists. He hoped to satisfy the crowd. Gotta please the masses!
The same happens today.
Governmental and religious rulers only seek to please the masses...so as to keep their positions.
Much harm has been done to the organism of the Body of Christ by such.
Refuse to participate.
As he entered the Praetorium and sat upon the judgment seat at The Pavement, Pilate was in a precarious political position due to his prevarications between truth and lie.
He knew Jesus was innocent.
He knew that Jesus had been delivered to him due to envy.
And yet, he allowed himself to be manipulated by the Jewish leadership and crowd.
He would not stand in the innocence of Jesus.
Pilate had Jesus scourged, beaten and mocked…
- twisted crown of thorns
- purple “royal” robe
- slapped in face
- spit upon
- “Hail, King of the Jews” mocking
Many soldiers have always acted in like manner, even today.
Pilate then brought Jesus out to the crowd...beaten, humiliated as a mocked King.
Pilate was hoping this was enough.
Perhaps the crowd would relent.
But, they demanded death.
Pilate then demands they take Him themselves.
Pilate found Jesus innocent, yet did not do that which only he could do.
Pilate was afraid.
He questioned Jesus again.
Jesus would not answer.
Pilate blustered of his “power”.
Pilate only had the authority granted to him from above.
PIlate sought again to release Him.
The Jews made the ultimate threat - “You are no friend of Caesar”.
Pilate handed Him over to be crucified.
Note the time.
It was the day of preparation for the Passover - Nisan 14.
Therefore, Jesus could not have been participating in the Passover meal proper the evening before when He ate with His disciples.
Note the time.
It was about the sixth hour by now...sixth hour Roman time...6 a.m.
The Jews then made the final declaration.
A declaration that many within the professing church make today.
“We have not king but Caesar”.
Many worship the governmental structure of man rather than God...often in the name of God.
Do not do so.
“Jesus or Barabbas?”
One would think that the decision would be simple.
Who to choose?
Pilate had a problem.
He knew that Jesus had been brought before him due to the envy of the Jewish leadership.
His wife warned him about Jesus. She had a dream.
Pilate wanted to release Jesus.
Pilate thought he could “massage” the situation by providing polar choices for the feast prison release.
He was wrong.
Barabbas was a “notorious prisoner”, an “insurrectionists”.
He was a political prisoner.
Think “freedom fighter”.
The chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to choose Barabass over Jesus.
Such was their hatred for the Son of Man.
There was no reasoning with the crowd or their leadership.
There response to questioning?
Most of us readily condemn those who did not choose Jesus...but there is more to the story.
Even today, many within the professing Body of Christ “choose Barabbas”.
They believe that the Kingdom of God is to be expedited and manifest through the strategies and structures of man - especially governmental and organizational religion. Such is not truth.
They think that political approaches are worthy of the Kingdom.
They choose “Barabbas” when Jesus is the solution.
Who do you choose?
“Innocent - According to Pilate”
Pilate revealed to the chief priests, rulers and people that they were fools as to their accusation of Jesus.
They had called Him an instigator of rebellion.
Both Pilate and Herod found Him innocent of the charges.
The Jews were furious.
Pilate agreed to punish Jesus.
For the false accusations?
For appeasement of the Jews.
Pilate would then release Jesus.
At least, that was Pilate’s suggested solution…
Jesus...suffered for us...
Pilate learned that Jesus was a “Galilean” and that He was of “Herod’s jurisdiction”.
Herod was in town.
Pilate sent Jesus to Herod.
Slick political move.
Might ingratiate himself to Herod.
Might “pass the buck”.
Herod was excited.
He had wanted to see Jesus for a long time.
He had wanted Jesus to perform a sign for him.
Nothing like a good religious side-show.
So many church attenders today are “Herod” in spirit.
They are excited about being excited.
They want Jesus to “do stuff”.
Herod questioned Jesus...at length.
The chief priests and scribes were standing before Herod accusing Jesus vehemently.
Jesus would not speak.
Jesus would not perform a miracle.
Because Father had not told Him to do so.
Herod reacted by having Jesus contemptuously mocked, dressed in a fancy robe, then sent back to Pilate.
Herod and Pilate became friends that day.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Are you friend of God?
Or, are you friend of the world?
Do you only speak when Father does?
Or, do you speak of the flesh?
Give heed to how Jesus lived.