Thursday, April 2, 2015

Crucifixion (Easter Story 5) (Isaiah 43:4-6, Matt. 27:26, 51-54, 32-39, Mark 15:16-20, Luke 23:39-43, John 19:25-37, Heb. 9:11-12, Acts 17:24, Psalms 34:22)

"Wounded for our transgressions,
the last Passover lamb"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

"4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:4-6

This is the hard part to read and to write.  Who crucified Jesus?  The Romans?  The Jews?  Not just them, it was all of us.  Mankind crucified Jesus.  I did.  He was God's plan for the Passover sacrifice in 33AD.  The final lamb to be slain.  He was without blemish; He never sinned.   If I added up all the things man has done wrong since creation, I would've decided to trash the first batch and start over until I got a world that was perfect. Even after the flood that was sent to bring a new start and a new world, Noah got drunk.  I honestly can't explain why He loves us so much.  Although I do understand how I love others.

If we were born like robots, programmed to love God and never mess up, would God consider that true love?  Probably not.  It would be like a self-help book that says to repeat the words, "I am wonderful" every morning and night.  You think you're wonderful, but no one else does, kind of lonely.  He gave us a free will instead- the choice to either love Him or not.  Like a Father, He longs for us to sincerely love Him- so much He sacrificed Himself for us. 
" His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Matt 27:26
26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
After Pilate released Barabbas, he had Jesus scourged.  Scourging was done with a whip.  It had several leather thongs weighted with pieces of lead or sharp metal.  The victim was stripped to the waist, then bound, in a bent-over position, to a post, and beaten on the bare back with the scourge until the flesh was torn open. 1

"The chastisement for our peace was upon Him..." Isaiah 53:5

Mark 15:16-20
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thornsput it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Himput His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him
Purple was the color of royalty, the crown symbolized a king.  They mocked Him.  To hit the crown of thorns on His head, with a reed, must have been excruciating.  That along with the scourging, must have left Him barely able to stand.  He lost a lot of blood.  The cruelty He experienced was clearly satanic.  He had been proven innocent.  This was God's sacrifice for man.

Jesus was unable to carry the cross.  He didn't want to drink wine to numb the pain.  He had work to do from the cross.
Matt 27:32-38
32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink

35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
"They divided My garments among them,   And for My clothing they cast lots."  Psalms 22:18
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

The Roman soldiers had no idea who Jesus really was.  It was just  another criminal to crucify for them.  
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Himone on the right and another on the left

Luke 23:39-43
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying,  "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 

40 But the other, answeringrebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
This is the attitude I have seen the most in street ministry.  Most people have a fear of God.  But this robber chose to believe Jesus, and found forgiveness of his sins.  He confessed his sins, and received salvation.

43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." 

If He chose to jump down from the cross healthy it would have been a miracle.  But He would've only saved one generation.  He died so He could save all of mankind.  The final sacrifice; He died so we could live today.  
Matthew 27:39 And those who passed by blasphemed Himwagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who destroy the temple and build it in three dayssave YourselfIf You are the Son of Godcome down from the cross." 
And He did save Himself, and us. If we are willing.

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.  43 He trusted in Godlet Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 

As the Son of man, Jesus loved His Mother, they had experienced much together.  As the Son of God, He wanted her to be safe and well cared for.  So He chose John to be her son- and Mary to be John's Mother.  After His death, they could talk about Jesus and remember all they had seen and experienced.  Jesus would no longer walk on earth as a man, soon He would return to God's throne.
John 19:25-37
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"  27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home

28 After thisJesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"  29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testifiedand his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truthso that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, 
"Not one of His bones shall be broken." (Psalms 34:20)  37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." (Zechariah 12:10)
And then what happened...

I would've loved to see the reaction of the scribes and chief priests, when the events after Jesus' death happened.  The only recorded reaction in the Bible I found, was that of the Centurion.  The veil of the temple has been estimated to be 60 feet high and 4 inches thick.  It was the curtain that divided man from the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant rested, the place God's presence dwelt.  It is the place where animal sacrifices were made.  Only the High Priest was allowed to enter one time a year.  When Jesus died, the veil was torn and God's presence left the temple.  His blood became the sacrifice for all of man's sin: Jew and Gentile.  The earth quaked and rocks were split!  How could you not notice?  Again, I would've loved to see Caiaphas' (the High Priest) face when the dead started rising : )  
Matt 27:51-54
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesussaw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
Indeed, He is : )

Other verses that help explain what happened:
Hebrews 9:11-12
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Jesus no longer dwells in a building built with human hands.  For those who allow Him, He dwells in the hearts of men and women.

Acts 17:24
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

Psalms 34:22
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. 

And now!  We have direct access to Him any day, any time.  We don't have to wait for a year and a High Priest to offer our sacrifices anymore!  I am so glad He didn't give up on us.  In Heaven, we will finally be able to understand His great and wonderful love, without doubt, or question.

Dear Heavenly Father, 
I am looking forward to Your return, for peaceLike the disciples who saw Jesus crucified and thought there was no hope; we feel that way too at times.  Guess that's what faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).  You are God nothing is impossible for You.  Please be with those who mourn.  The world is much bigger than me.  I pray You will comfort those in need.  Bless our leaders with good things, stamina, and words to say.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

1Halley's Bible Handbook

Here's a song by Big Daddy Weave, Redeemed (link).

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