THE DEATH OF OUR LORD


bible-21  THE DEATH OF OUR LORD.

Our lord’s life, death and resurrection for the 3 ½ years he had been revealed, as the messiah was very eventful.

He did and said many things which are not all recorded in the bible but we have enough to show the sort of person Jesus really was. He was very loving towards his father and his God and he directed us all to honour his father. He also had a great deal of empathy for us on the earth and was moved to great sadness on occasions. Like the time he went to visit his friends Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. (John chapter 11)

The 4 gospel accounts we have today contain different snippets of events but it is good to remember that John’s account was an “eyewitness” account of events. He records this in chapter 21v24-25. This John was also the apostle whom it is said Jesus loved very much.

John chapter 18v10 shows how Peter cut one of the guard’s ears and Jesus healed him but have you ever wondered why Peter would have had a sword with him and why he was not chastised by Jesus for having one while in the Garden with him, did Jesus know about this sword?

Again the account in Luke chapter 22v35-39 gives us the answer. It says “when I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything? They said nothing.. But now, let him who has a purse take it and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. And they said look lord here are two swords and he said it is enough”. So this account shows how Peter had a sword with him on that night. It was with Jesus knowledge.

It is of interest to know that some religious groups today feel one should be a conscientious objector where wars or fighting is concerned, who use the account in Matthew chapter 26v51-52 “for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” to show Jesus viewpoint on swords and weapons, but we have the account in Luke where Jesus instructed his apostles to carry a sword with them and condoned Peter having one with him that night in the garden. If this was not so, Jesus would certainly have chastised Peter for having a sword with him. Also, Peter used the sword but he did not die from the sword, but was crucified the same as Jesus so we have a slight difference of opinions here. We also know the Israelite’s went to war with other nations with God’s backing many times. But logic tells us, Jesus would certainly have seen Peter carrying the sword that night. 

This is how the different gospels can compliment each other and with Luke it states in chapter 1v1-5 that Luke had gathered together all the information from those who had been eyewitnesses and he was writing an orderly account for Theophilus so that he would be fully informed. Also Luke made the account of the “actions” of the apostles after Jesus death and resurrection. Acts chapter 1v1-12.

Our lord was willing to come to the earth to change our future even though he knew what he would have to face, a very humiliating and painful death by his own people, the very ones he came to help. But he was willing to come to change the angelic ruling parties over the earth and replace them with his kingdom of righteousness instead.

God’s people had been under the gentile nations since 605 BC when they were handed over to the Babylonians for their unfaithfulness. Now they were under the Romans who occupied their city of Jerusalem, and instead of being happy the messiah had arrived to free them, after being confronted with their new king of Judah, Jesus, they preferred to stay under the nations instead by declaring, “we have no king but Caesar”. (John 19v15) They were a very ungrateful people it’s no wonder the gentiles were invited to share in the worship of our lord Jesus and today, two thousand years later, you will find Christians around the earth still putting faith in him as their saviour and the Jews? They are still under the laws of Moses today instead of being a free people, they have chosen to remain under the gentile nations instead of being a free.

While on the earth Jesus taught by Parables which are stories with meanings. Twice he went to Jerusalem and found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, also money changers at their business, and making a whip of cords he drove them all with the sheep and oxen out of the temple, and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. And he said “take these things away you shall not make my father’s house a house of trade”. John chapter 2v13-18, John shows this was at the beginning of his ministry then later he did the same things again according to Luke chapter 19v28-47 after Jesus had entered into the city on a colt and was greeted by the crowds saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest”. This took place when he knew his end was near but just before this he visited his friends where Mary anointed him with costly nard.

Six days before the Passover Jesus was with his disciples at the home of his friends Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus, the one whom he resurrected from the dead, and while they were there Mary poured a pound of pure costly ointment of Nard and anointed the feet of Jesus. This was to prepare him for his death. (John chapter 12v1-9)

John chapter 12v12-20 shows Jesus going to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover and when the crowds heard he was going they all wanted to see him and Lazarus, whom he resurrected.

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The crowds took palm branches and went out to meet him, crying, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord, even the King of Israel”.

“Fear not, daughter of Zion, your king is coming sitting on an ass’s colt” (v15) (This had been prophesied in Zech 9v9) Jesus went into the temple and found all the money changers there and selling goods inside too, he was very angry and turned over the tables changing money and said to them, “this is a house of prayer but you make it a den of robbers”. (Matthew chapter 21v12,13)

Then the time of the Passover drew near and Jesus performed a similar act to that of  Mary washing our lord’s feet now at this last meal he will share with his apostles he too washed the feet of his disciples. Chapter 13v1-33 shows the events of this last meal Jesus shared with his friends. Note, it was Satan that entered into Judas to betray him. (John 13v27, Luke 22v3)images (12)

It was now the “day of preparation” the day before the Passover, where the lambs were chosen and slaughtered ready for the feast of the Passover. Jesus had been chosen as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the world for the forgiveness of sins. John 1v29 tells us “Behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” and John also confirms this was the day before the Passover in chapter 18v28 where those accusing Jesus waited outside because they did not want to be unclean for the coming Passover.  

Jesus went about the whole of the area of Judea publicly and openly preaching and teaching and now, after this last supper with his friends, his disciples, he went across the Kidron valley where he often went to the garden. Where Judas who had betrayed him took a band of soldiers and officers who had torches and weapons to arrest him.

They seized Jesus and bound him and took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. All under the shadow of darkness and away from the city where they would not be seen for fear of the people.images (13)images (15)Jesus was handed over to Pilate for sentencing but he could find nothing wrong with him and wanted to release him but the Jews rose up and declared “if you release this man you are not Caesar’s friend” (John 19v12) when Pilate heard these words he had no choice than to sentence Jesus. Again Pilate tried to free Jesus by telling them, “behold your king” but they all replied, “we have no king but Caesar”.images (21)Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him and the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe, they came up to him saying, “Hail, king of the Jews” and struck him with their hands. (John 19v1-4)images (16) Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe and again Pilot showed him to the Jews who wanted him dead, and he told them he could find no fault in him and they should crucify him themselves. But they wanted him crucified by Pilot.  

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Then they took Jesus out after sentencing him, bearing his own cross to the place called the place of the skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him with two others. Pilate wrote a sign and placed it over him, “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews”, and although the Jews complained, it was left. It was also written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. (John chapter 19v17-23)

Although the artists impression of Jesus bearing his own cross seems right, we are drawn to the fact that Jesus would have been clothed because the guards cast lots to have his robe which was without seems.

And again, after he had been crucified John shows in chapter 19v31, this took place on the day before the Passover. Also Mark’s account in 15v42, shows he was crucified on the third hour and remained on the cross until the ninth hour when he died so for those six hours he was suspended and humiliated and in pain. (Mark 15v25-35) Also Luke tells us in chapter 23v44-46, ““it was now about the sixth hour and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour while the sun’s light failed and the curtain of the temple was torn in two”. Thus signifying the temple in Jerusalem was no longer the spiritual house of God just as Jesus had said earlier, “destroy this temple and raise it up in three days”.

Do we really appreciate everything our lord did for us in coming to the earth in order to change our future?

John chapter 19v25-28, shows the depth of Jesus love. While he was in excruciating pain his thoughts were still for those whom he loved, his mother and the disciple he loved, John. It shows Mary standing near the cross with John and he tells John “behold your mother” and looking at his mother he said “woman behold your son”. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home to care for her.

Why would you think Jesus would have done this? We know the sons of Mary, Jesus half-brothers, did not put faith in him as the messiah so they would not have provided spiritual help for her, whereas John would become her spiritual son to care for her spiritual needs. So even though Jesus was dying his thoughts and feeling were still on other people and not for himself.

          Are we not proud to have such a wonderful king over us?

We have seen artists impressions of Jesus bearing his own cross which look rather large and cumbersome but was this really so? It takes logic to really understand the situation from the bible’s viewpoint.

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There are many clues and this artists impression seems the most likely. The cross refers to a “cross-piece” of wood just like the picture shows above and to crucify someone means fixing someone to that piece of wood by nailing their out-stretched arms and hands. Jesus gave us a detailed account of this when he told Peter how he will die in the same way.

Recorded in John chapter 21v18-20 Jesus says, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not want to go” and according to history, Peter was crucified too. 2nd Peter 1v14 shows he understood Jesus words to him earlier.

If we go through these words step by step we can get a better understanding of them. “You will stretch out your hands and another will gird you”, the definition to gird someone is to bind them. Once the person stretches out their arms someone will tie them to the cross to steady them ready for nailing through the hands, the body would have to be firm in order to do this, possibly laying down. images (20)After all if you knew someone was going to hammer a nail through your hands you would not be able to keep still, so your arms would need to be tied down onto the crossbeam.

After the actual nailing takes place, the person is “lifted up” and as he had already been fixed to the tree with bounded arms and nailed down, he would have been raised up and placed on an upright support, which would support the weight of the body from falling down. (Acts 5v30 and 10v39 (lifted up upon a tree) With Jesus we know although he had been nailed to the cross-piece, the tree,  he was still alive for up to six hours.

Having a support to place, or suspend, the tree,or cross, would also explain why the legs of the two on either side of Jesus had their legs broken to hasten their death as the Sabbath was near. It seems logical that their feet were near the ground and they could raise themselves up to get relief from their chest feeling cramped. Again, artists impressions of Jesus on the cross shows him to be suspended high above the ground, but, we have Jesus speaking to his mother and John and by this time he would have been very weak and would need to be quite close to them to speak to them. 

This being lifted up also signified something more in his case which we shall cover later.

The nailing of the hands to the cross-piece lets the person die slowly by losing the lifeblood onto the ground. His heart would continue pumping the lifeblood through the body until the blood-loss was such, there would not be enough blood to pump.

Jesus was slaughtered and his blood poured out upon the ground just as the Lamb of God. Isa 53v12, Lev 17v11, Heb 9v14,22 and 1st John 1v7. Being “lifted up” upon the main support, is also very significant too as John 8v28 shows. This “lifting up” signifies far more, Jesus likens it to a “saving power”.

In John 3v14 it says “as Moses lifted up the copper serpent in the wilderness so must the son of man be lifted up that whoever believes in him might have eternal life”. We can read this account in Numbers 21v9 and 2nd Kings 18v4 where the Israelites were moaning about Moses so much their God sent them poisonous serpents to bite them and many died but when they again repented, Moses was instructed to make a copper serpent and to “lift it upon a tree” so that when they were bitten they had to look at the copper serpent put faith in God and they would live.images (18)

This was an act of faith. Later the copper serpent was used as a symbol of worship so it was later destroyed. Jesus likening himself to this copper serpent being lifted up shows it would remind people of what he did for us and by remembering him and the way he gave his shed blood for our sins, we will have eternal life. So being “lifted up” in this way today (as a copper serpent) we are reminded of his life and what he did for us.

Although the cross which has symbolised our lord’s death is a reminder today for us, we do not want to end up like unfaithful Israel and worship the cross instead of what it symbolises. Jesus being lifted up so that we can see him and put faith in him is placed high in all the churches today. download (6)

This is what Jesus meant by likening himself to that copper serpent that after his death he will be lifted up and people will look upon that cross even after two thousand years after his death we are still reminded of what he has done for us by seeing that cross raised up high in all our churches today.

We also need to remember that the copper serpent was only needed as a saving power while the people were in the wilderness and once they entered into the promised land it was not needed any more. So too, the cross today which is used to draw all people to put faith in Jesus will not be needed or used after our lord returns and we are in the “promised land” under his kingdom.

It is interesting too, that three of the gospel writers say someone (Simon of Cyre’ne) was brought to carry the cross-piece for Jesus whereas John says Jesus carried it himself. John was an eyewitness after all.

It is also of interest Ps 22v14 mentions Jesus feet being pierced too and Luke is the only writer to mention Jesus feet. All the others, even Jesus himself, only refers to his HANDS and his SIDE which was pierced. Luke 24v39, John 20v24-30, and as the custom was to wear open sandals it would have been easy to see his feet even so, Jesus does not mention them so again we are uncertain about this right now. What we do know is that his hands and side were pierced, and again, if his feet were pierced also HOW were they pierced? To what would they have been fixed to? He had been lifted up and suspended on a tree.

Also, Matthew 27v35-37 says:~ “when they had crucified him ~ and over his head they put the charge against him ~~ “this is Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews”. Matthew indicates the notice was placed OVER his head like a placard around his neck. John on the other hand says:~ and put it on the cross. Either way the sign would hang over his head like a necklace or medallion with the charge of his crime.

                 “Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews”.(John 19v19)

 After his death Joseph of Arimathe’a who was a disciple of Jesus but secretly for fear of the Jews asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. He took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with spices as is the burial custom of the Jews.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early and saw that the stone had been taken away, images (25)after running to tell Peter and John she said, they have taken the lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him.

Just as the bible shows, on the third day Jesus will be resurrected by his father, so that he will be able to return to his father after achieving his goal down on the earth.

It is of interest to note the stone had been removed because we know Jesus was to be resurrected as a spirit and not flesh and blood, so why remove the stone? Quite simply because the angels would need to remove the body of flesh and blood and hide it so that it could not be worshipped and they would have to remove the stone in order to do this.

Jesus resurrection is also in fulfillment of what he said to the Jews when they asked him for a sign of authority as to why he had turned the money-changers and dealers out of the temple. This was the sign they asked for, his resurrection on the third day. He told them “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”. The Jews were slow to understand what Jesus meant but he meant the temple in Jerusalem was no longer the seat of faith for God’s people but it has been replaced by our lord as the temple in this body whom is the chief corner stone and the temple will be built up upon Jesus our lord. With the apostles as the twelve foundations stones. The temple of God will be built up upon the body of our lord and his apostles. So, a new temple was raised up in three days. (John 2v18-23)

After his resurrection Jesus appeared many times to different ones to prove he had been raised back to the spirit world. The acts of the apostles show he visited his apostles and told them not to leave Jerusalem until after they receive the holy spirit which is to be poured out upon them. He also told them “you will be witnesses of me to the ends of the earth.” (chapter 1v3-8)

It was also at this time the apostles wanted to know if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom back to them again. Thus confirming the kingdom was removed from Israel in 605BC.

With Jesus no longer with them it was time for them to have guidance through the “Councillor” that Jesus promised them. John chapter 14v25-30 shows,” But the Councillor, the holy spirit whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. So they will have a spiritual tutor to help them from now on after they receive the Holy Spirit.

This came while they were gathered in the upper room and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles and they were all baptised with holy spirit and able to speak in different languages ready to preach to the different nations. They were so noisy that some people passing outside thought they were drunk. (chapter 2v1-19) But Peter standing with the eleven lifted up his voice and said, for these men are not drunk as you suppose” it says and in the last days it shall be God declares, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh”.

To conclude. These are the details given by John.The crucifixion is described this way in John 21v18-20. You will stretch out your hands, and someone else will “gird” you. The definition to GIRD is “put belt round, or encircle. Once the hands has been outstretched he would have been “girded” or tied with a belt or rope to secure the arms to the cross piece of wood ready for the nails to be hammered into the hands.

He would have been placed on the ground so that the nails could be hammered into place, the actual act of lifting him up off the ground, would be raising him up on the tree or cross, then the tree or cross would have been held in an upright position supporting the weight of his body. Peter fully understood this.   Some scriptures can help us understand it too. Peter was crucified according to history. John 21v18-20, John 8v28, 2nd Peter 2v14-19, 2nd Peter1v14.

Yes! Peter knew when his time was near when he said “Since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our lord Jesus showed me” 2nd Peter 1v14. He was fully aware of this fact that he was going to be crucified the same as our lord was.

To conclude then, when you see the cross of our lord placed high in all the places of worship today remember what he has done for us, by choosing to come down to the earth in order to change our future by ridding the earth’s heavens from all the angelic gentile rulers who make up “this system of things” which we have had from the time our forefather Adam was turned out of the garden.

We need a new heavens, a new ruling kingdom over us in order to produce a new earth, and only God’s kingdom will do this.

That is why Jesus taught: ~

      LET YOUR KINGDOM COME!       LET YOUR WILL BE DONE!

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