NOTE: Cyrene was settled by the Greeks in 650 B.C. At the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Cyrene was the capital of the Roman district of Cyrenaica. Cyrenaica was located on the northern coast of the African continent in what is modern-day Libya.
(Mark 15:21) Simon the Cyrenian was the father of Alexander. Obviously no self-respecting Jew would name his son Alexander after the famous Greek conqueror Alexander the Great, a Gentile (non-Jew) because Antiochus, a Greek general in Alexander's army, had outlawed the Jewish religion and defiled the temple in Jerusalem almost 200 years B. C. which led to the Maccabean revolt in which countless thousands of Jews perished.
(Mark 15:20-21 & Luke 23:26) Thus it is obvious Simon the Cyrenian was a Gentile visitor to Jerusalem who helped Jesus carry His cross and he represents (a living prophesy) the coming church made up of Jews who have left the Abrahamic Covenant and Gentiles both of whom have accepted Jesus' Grace Covenant. BECAUSE: (Luke 9:23) "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me." END OF NOTE.
(John 13:12-17) The last supper is finished, Jesus has washed the disciple's feet and sat back down to teach again. It was not the ritual Jewish cleansing before a meal, it was a lesson in humility and Jesus quietly spoke:
"Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought (defined: Strong's w #3784: to owe, figuratively to be under obligation to) to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that ye should (defined: Strong's w #4160: to make, to be the authors of) do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
They quietly prepare themselves and then silently walk to the Mount of Olives and go on into the Garden of Gethsemane (physical winepress) where Jesus prays three times that this coming cup pass away from Him. Jesus understands it is God’s will that He drink of this cup, which is His death, because it is more important.
(Luke 22:44) During the prayers Jesus is in agony and has prayed so earnestly His sweat pours like great drops of blood from a wound. He is a man, God’s Son for sure, but still a man who does not want to leave His friends and He does not want to face the awful humiliation, pain and death that are almost upon Him. He is a man, a wonderfully alive, breathing, seeing, thinking, vibrant man who has not experienced death. He has not experienced the degradation, guilt and shame of sin (2Cor. 5:21) but soon He will become sin.
Jesus dreads the pain that will soon engulf His skin, nerves, muscle, brain and bone. The Son of God has prayed three times, His Holy Spirit powered soul has overcome His physical weakness; Jesus will not waver nor give in to the dread that drenches His sinless flesh. He knows He must fulfill His mission because His blood is the only thing perfect enough, precious enough, and pure enough to cleanse man of his sins. Jesus has been through the emotional winepress of dread, anguish and prayer there in the Garden of Gethsemane (winepress) and He is complete in His readiness.
(Matt. 26:47-56) Then, sometime in the darkness of night, lit only by their flickering torches the soldiers, who are the Jewish temple guard from the chief priests, come to the Mount of Olives, Judas identifies Jesus (Matt. 26:48-49) with the serpent's tender kiss of betrayal (John 18:12) and the captain and officers of the Jews which are the temple guard (Jews) take Jesus and bind Him. (Matt. 27:3-8) Judas goes on off to meet his lonely, hellish, betrayer's end.
(Matt. 26:57-68) Then the Jewish guard takes Jesus to the high priest’s palace where He is questioned in secret; (V.67 keywords: spit:, buffeted: defined: Strongs w#2852: strike with the fist AND smote: defined Strongs w #4474: to smite with a rod or staff, to smite in the face with the palm of the hand, to box the ear) as only hatred can do the guards spit in Jesus’ face and beat Him unmercifully in the cold, lonely, shameful night. The chief priests, elders and the council, (the Sanhedrin Council comprised of Pharisees who are all Jews), seek false witnesses against Jesus, the Son of God, so they can kill Him.
(Mark 14:60-64 keyword: blasphemy) They accuse Jesus of blasphemy, (Isa. 50:6 & Luke 22:63-64) pull the hair from His cheeks and spit in His face, they buffet (strike and club with the hand) Him in the face until (Isa. 52:14) the prophecy is fulfilled that His face is marred more than any man and (Heb. 12:2) even though He despises the shame of the way He is treated Jesus endures the pain of it.
Please see this because it is your value to Jesus: They gathered in a circle around Jesus and it began. They jeered and profaned and shoved gentle Jesus there at the beginning but it quickly escalated into the cracking of slaps and then meaty thuds when they smashed their fists into the Sinless One as the mob mentality took control.
The night is hideous with their grunting of effort and snarls of hatred. Jesus the compassionate healer is rocked and stunned from the jarring fists smashing into His face and head and His neck threatens to break with the savage rotation of His head from the force of their punches.
One guard holds his hard-knuckled bloody fist up, flares his eyes wide at his companions in mock astonishment and jeers; "He hit me in the fist with his face and bled all over me!" Jesus gasps with the tortured effort to breathe as they drive savage fists into His torso. They shove Him stumbling this way and that and hold Him up so he won't fall. (Isa. 50:6) Finally, one grabs Jesus' beard, swings Him in a staggering circle and the tiny yet unforgettable ripping sound of His hair tearing out keens through the melee.
Finally they stop, they smirk at each other and one whispers a plan, (Luke 22:63-64) they blindfold Jesus and one smashes a huge, hard knuckled fist into Jesus' bruised, horribly swollen, bloody face. The planner then whispers a mocking whisper; "Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?" Another grits out in a guttural voice and (Mark 11:15-18) reminds them how Jesus had called their beloved temple a den of thieves.
(Isa. 50:6; Mark 10:34; & 14:65) In awful fury they begin to spit foul gobs of spit into the face of the Prince of Heaven. It is the supreme gesture of anger, hatred and contempt. Jesus does not stand there smiling a placid smile of forgiveness. He is being tortured!
Some of them hold Him up while the others hit and pound at Him. Jesus flinches, shudders and staggers this way and that, grimacing with pain, as they push Him from one to the other while striking Him. One doubles Jesus over with a savage punch, another grabs Jesus and straightens Him up carefully positioning the bruised, cut, bloody, swollen face then slaps Jesus in a staggering circle; and it goes on and on and on.
The thumping blows, jars, and shocks seem somehow muted and Love is stunned, staggering and wounded, in a whirling sea of hatred. Jesus can call more than twelve legions of angels to rescue Him, one legion equals six thousand, but (Isa. 53:5) He is willing to be bruised for our iniquities; yours, mine, His tormentors and all the rest of humanity (John 3:16) because He loves us (YOU and ME) that much. REALITY! Here, at my computer, tears are streaming down my face and I can hardly see the keys and the knowledge is roaring through my brain; "I'M NOT WORTH IT, NO WAY!!! BUT PURE LOVE THINKS I AM." AND THAT TEARS ME, MY SOUL, APART!
(Luke 2:1 & 3:1) Israel is a subjugated people by the Romans and subject to Roman Law. (Luke 22:66-71) The dawning drives the night from the sky and it is Friday morning. Jesus is brought before the Jewish council to be questioned and it doesn't take them long to find a reason to deliver Jesus to the Romans to be killed and (Matt. 27:1-14) the Jews deliver Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and demand that Jesus be crucified because the chief priests and elders had said (Matt. 25:31-34) Jesus had claimed He was King of the Jews.
Of course pain rages through Jesus and He sags and sways; of course his dear face is bleeding, swollen, burst open cuts and discolored from their fists. Pontius Pilate questions Jesus, the whispering, rasping, tortured voice answers and Pilate finds no fault in Him. (Matt. 27:19-24 & John 18:28-38) Pilate, filled with fear, quaffles back and forth between (Matt. 27:19) His wife, (Luke 23:6-11) Herod, (John 18:29, 38, & 19:4) the Jewish mob, (John 18:28 & 33 and 19:1, 9, & 13) and Jesus.
He finally ignores his wife, (John 19:12-13) worries more about losing his position as Roman governor than defying the Jews, (John 19:1) and gives the order to have Jesus scourged and the Roman soldiers take over from the Jewish temple guard soldiers.
History teaches the Romans named their whip the scourge (Matt. 20:18-19) and being whipped with it was called being scourged or present tense, to scourge. It is a stout wooden handle with multi-lashes, usually nine, 18-24 inches long with bits of steel and tiny shards of bone platted into them. The scourging consists of thirty nine strokes upon the naked body of their victim.
(Isa. 52:15) Jesus is already beaten nearly beyond recognition by the Jewish Temple Guard and the Roman soldiers. Jesus is tied to a post by the Romans and scourged (Isa. 53:5) until He is cut to ribbons and wounded for our transgressions; theirs, yours, mine and all (John 3:16, 11:25-26 & 1John 4:13-14) who will believe in Jesus and accept Him as Saviour.
The scourge is a cruel symbol of Roman power and with it the Romans can punish, torture and humiliate a person's body as the platted thongs rip, slash, devastate and cut the naked human body to shreds. You must see your price, and mine. Our forever had come down to this.
The awful whip throngs wrap around Jesus' ribcage, chest, back, arms and shoulders and, as the expert whip man follows through to drag the lashes then snaps the whip back, the lashes drag the cruel bits of steel and shards of bone through Jesus' skin and muscle as Jesus writhes in unbearable agony.
Eventually they expose the bloody ribcage bones and they were like whips of molten fire as they rip through the screaming nerves in all those tender, tender places. A horrid, pitiful, silent gasp through Jesus' bloody, swollen lips; (Heb. 12:2-3 keyword: endured) Thinking; "I love them. I must endure for them".
And even that thought starts to fade in the swirling, red hot hell of unimaginable pain as the scourging continues. Blood spurts and droplets spray into the air and Jesus is covered in gore as the steady metronome of ripping whip strokes continue. The Son of God's torn to shreds skin and slashed muscles involuntarily writhe and spasm.
He involuntarily twists and squirms from the pain shrieking through His nervous system. It feels as if His head must explode from the burning slash of the lashes until He feels as if His whole body is on fire and (1Peter 2:24) by His stripes we, YOU AND ME, are healed. Of course His tormentors laugh crudely, make rude remarks and utter harsh curses as the Son of God, so alone, suffers there.
The scourging of the Son of God is finally, finally finished. A hideous circle of Jesus' blood stains the laid flagstone floor around the stone binding post there in the center of the scourging plaza. Standing in the splattered, smeared blood of Jesus the cold-eyed, muscular Roman soldiers with their calloused, rough, uncaring hands untie the binding ropes. The bold, burly, cruel faced soldiers jerk the slender, sagging, unresisting, brutalized body of the Darling of Heaven around and drag Him stumbling and staggering away.
One horrified unbeliever mutters; "All that blood on the flagstones around the whipping post looks like a butcher's slaughterhouse." A believer thinks; "My God, my God, it looks like the bloody altar where the sacrifices for sin are slaughtered but no sacrificial animal has ever been treated with such hideous, torturing, inhuman cruelty"
(Matt. 27:28) After Jesus is scourged the cruel, battle hardened soldiers mock Him by putting upon Him a scarlet robe (John 19:2) lined with purple. Mocking, they plait a winding crown of cruel thorns, jam it on Jesus' head, the razor sharp thorns cut and gouge the bruised, battered, aching flesh of His head all the way to His skull like daggers going into His brain; they bow on their knees, grin, mirthfully gouge each other with their elbows and mock worship Jesus as the King of the Jews.
(Rom. 14:11-12 keyword: bow) At an appointed day in the future all unbelievers, Jew and Gentile, will understand that ON this awful day of Jesus' hideous suffering (Heb. 9:6 thru 10:31) a sacrifice for sin was offered one time forever (John 5:22 keyword: judgment) when they bow cringing, shaking, crying, screaming, begging in terror before the Lord of Glory (Rom. 12:19 keyword: vengeance) ON their own awful day of hideous retribution!
They spit on Jesus, the ultimate gesture of contempt, degradation and humiliation. Yes! Yes, fresh blood cascades from the thorn wounds and pours in crimson streams down the bruised, mottled, swollen face of the Son of the living God! Of course involuntary shudders shake and ripple over our Lord’s tortured body!
The Jews and Romans are unaware the robe is a physical prophecy that tells it all because the scarlet OUTSIDE denotes bleeding and the royal purple INSIDE denotes a king AND: Jesus is a King on the inside who is bleeding on the outside for His people, FOR US, so (1John 1:7) we can be cleansed of our sins in the scarlet, freshening flow of His blood if we accept the salvation He offers.
(John 19:4-5) Pilate motions 2 soldiers to jerk and drag Jesus before the Jews again and He stands sagging, swaying and bloody, fist whipped and scourged nearly to death and so terribly alone there. (John 19:6 &15) The mob’s faces are red and bloated with hatred, their eyes glare balefully, their neck veins bulge and their mouths are twisted, and open, and ugly with unholy passionate hatred as they scream, curse and demand three times that Pilate crucify Jesus; (John 19:15) they declare Caesar is their king.
Yes, yes, of course the notable prisoner Barabbas prances and frolics in his new found freedom the Son of God has won for him! (Luke 23:19) Barabbas had made sedition (rebellion) and is a murderer (John 18:40) and a robber just like Satan, the devil, whom he represents.
Barabbas represents something much more terrible, pitiful and horrible too. (Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V.15 keywords: whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire) He represents the untold millions of people who will prance and frolic through their lifetime and refuse the tender salvation that is being won for them on this dreadful day by the Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!
(Matt. 27:20-26 esp. V.22, 23 & 25) Three times, the number of completion, and their rejection of the promised seed, their Redeemer, the Son of God, is complete. (Matt. 27:24) Pilate takes water, washes his hands in front of the Jews, states he is innocent of the blood of Jesus. That too is horribly representative of the false religions whose founders and members have washed their own hands from the blood of Jesus and follow their own religions they have created and perpetuated for themselves.
(Matt. 27:25) The Jews scream in bestial fury “His blood be on us and on our children.” And Jesus’ blood has been on the Jews and their children, it really has, because for the last two thousand years the devil they asked for has used death camps, ghettos, pogroms, people and nations to rape, rob, persecute, hound, hate, torture and murder Jews by the millions across the whole world.
(Luke 2:35) Mary is horrified, sickened, and nearing shock. Her breath comes in small gasps and her heart is churning in great slow thumps and is near bursting. Her thoughts flutter here and there like trapped birds in a cage. Her tortured soul is valiantly struggling to refuse to believe what her horrified eyes have seen and are seeing. THIS CANNOT BE!
(Luke 2:7) In a subconscious effort to stave off insanity a memory bursts through her tortured brain of how satisfied she was to hold her firstborn son to her bosom while He nuzzled and nursed that first night of her Darling's life, ahhh, how He loved to snuggle to her warmth, then she had wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and finally laid Him in the manger there in the stable. (Luke 2:19) She remembers how she had pondered and wondered (Luke 2:6-21) about the shepherds and angels, the prophesy and singing, the circumcision and naming; JESUS.
(Luke 2:42-51 esp. V.46-47) Mary's tender Mother's heart memories flitted to the time they had almost lost her Darling Child when He was twelve years old and had found him astonishing the doctors (defined: Strongs #1320: master, instructor, teacher of the Jewish religion) with His understanding. That first night after they returned home from Jerusalem she and Jesus were the last ones at their table after supper was finished.
Twelve year old Jesus had picked up a piece of bread, turned it in His slim, graceful fingers and then He broke the bread. (Ex. 16:15 keywords: This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat) As if becoming aware of her scrutiny Jesus turned His face toward her and met her adoring gaze. Jesus expressionlessly stared at her almost like she was not there and His eyes had been dark with some ancient, secret knowledge that He could not share with His Mother.
(Luke 2:16) Mary's fleeting thoughts suddenly turn to Joseph her husband and his quiet strength. (Matt. 1:18-25) How patient, understanding, determined, kindly and strong he had been there in the beginning when he could have destroyed her reputation or even have had her killed by stoning. Dear Joseph had never said much but he had always been there for her, her tower of strength; but Joseph was not here now.
Another memory fluttered through her mind; five year old Jesus had been standing naked in the rain as five year old boys will. Jesus had been looking up at the sky and He was smiling. Then He looked at her and His reedy five year old voice piped something about; (John 4:10); "the living water from God."
(Luke 2:22-35) Mary suddenly recalled the day of presentation just after her forty days of purification. Simeon had been filled with the Holy Spirit when he took her Baby from her and prophesied that Jesus was "A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Israel." Simeon had blessed them and then said that strange statement; "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also."
(Matt. 27:24-26) Mary is cruelly jerked back to reality and her tender Mother's heart is shattered when Pilate washes his hands and pronounces the death sentence on her eldest son Jesus.
What courage! What beautiful courage! (Deut. 22:22-24 & John 8:4-5) Mary could have stopped the death sentence with just a few words; "He's not God's Son. He's the product of a premarital affair between Joseph and me. OR: He's a product of a premarital affair between me and some other man and Joseph was merciful to me and married me because he loved me.
BUT SHE COULDN'T DO IT. The Holy Spirit had brought to her remembrance (Luke 2:32 & 35) "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." AND: "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
The Holy Spirit brought something else too; Mary's soul was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit steel resolve of God's will. Her body was strung with a nearly unbearable tension. She pressed her lips together with terrible purpose and held her words. Her fingers were so clenched her hands ached. Tears poured from Mary's eyes in a flood while her tender Mother's heart shattered into a million bright shards of unimaginable pain. The prophesied sword has pierced her soul.
(Matt. 27:31) Then the tough, battle hardened, burly Roman soldiers with their rough uncaring hands strip the scarlet/purple robe off Jesus and they jerk and blood smear His own raiment back upon Him. (John 19:17) They roughly shove the cross on His raw, wounded, bloody flesh torn back, shoulders and ribs and make Him carry it a few weak, staggering, stumbling, dragging, slow, painful steps.
(Mark 15:20-21) Then they compel Simon the Cyrenian, the father of Alexander, to help Jesus carry His cross to a knoll near Jerusalem that is part of Mount Moriah (John 19:17) called Golgotha in Hebrew and (Luke 23:33) Calvary in Greek; both names mean (a place of the skull).
A place of the skull: Mount Moriah: (Matt. 1:1 keywords: Jesus Christ, David, Abraham) (1Sam. 17:37-54 esp. V. 54) It was the exact spot God had inspired David to bury Goliath's head to show Satan (Matt. 1:1) his son (physical lineage), the heavenly David, Jesus Christ, would (Gen 3:15 God's prophesy) bruise Satan's head on this very same spot, (Gen. 22:1-18 esp. V.8 keyword: lamb) where their father (physical lineage) Abraham had prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac (V.16-18) thus locking in God's everlasting covenant with Abraham because Abraham had obeyed God's voice, but God had provided the lamb!
There the horror continues when (Mark 15:25) at the third hour (Matt. 27:35-36) they jerk Jesus' raiment off, slam Jesus' naked, unresisting, tortured body down on the cross and the uncaring Roman soldiers hammer the heavy iron nails, (Col. 2:13-14) which are our sins, YOURS AND MINE, shrieking through His hands and feet into the wood. Jesus' battered, swollen face contorts into a grimace of agony with every dull, thumping hammer blow.
The soldiers, working with terrible, muscular efficiency, pick up the cross and drop it into place. A gasping, groaning spasm of horrid, unspeakable pain grimaces across Jesus’ tortured, sweaty, hideously swollen, bruised, scraped, bloody, lacerated features when His full weight hits the nails that hold Him to the cross.
(Luke 23:34) Just before the sixth hour, even though His eyes are burning and blinking from the blood and sweat; in spite of the spasms of pain that quiver and jerk His battered, tormented body; even with the fetid, rotted mouth of death sucking His life out of Him; His mighty heart of love is still filled with compassion and Jesus raggedly whispers through gritted teeth; “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
(Luke 23:32-33) There were two other malefactors (criminals) were crucified with Jesus, one on the right and one on the left. Three crosses with Jesus on the cross in the middle. Oh, think about that, how they portray the three R's of every man. Rebellion is on one side; Redemption is in the middle and Repentance is on the other side. (Matt. 12:30) "He that is not with me is against me;" Any person who has not Repented and been Redeemed is in Rebellion (2Cor. 4:3-4 keyword: blinded) because Satan, the devil, has blinded them!
Even there, in their pain of being crucified, no man could be neutral; no man could ignore Jesus the miracle worker from Galilee (Redemption) because (Luke 23:39-43) one malefactor railed on the Son of God (Rebellion) and the other malefactor asked for mercy (Repentance). And even there, in those awful circumstances; because (1John 4:8) God is love (Eph. 2:4) and rich in mercy Jesus saw the need in the malefactor’s eyes.
Jesus’ great heart opened, (James 5:11) the immeasurable depths of His love, pity and tender mercy poured out and He gasped a pain fractured; “Verily (truly) I say unto thee, today shalt thou (you will) be with me in paradise.” The Repentant malefactor had received Redemption before he died and the other malefactor died in his Rebellion.
(Psa. 22:18 & Luke 23:34) Heedless of the mumbling coming from the three crosses the soldiers cast lots (gamble) for His clothes under His cross. Then, as had been prophesied, (Psa. 22:17) the calloused soldiers loll back with careless ease and sit there watching with their cold soldiers' eyes that had seen much death; watching Jesus, the Son of God, hang by the nails while they wait for Him to die.
(Matt. 27: 37-43) While the soldiers sit and stare; (Psa. 22:6-8) as had been prophesied (Matt. 27:42) the strolling Chief priests, elders and scribes look at Jesus with cruel, smirking expressions, wag their heads with scorn and revile Jesus with hateful, mocking words; “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”
They told the truth but for the wrong reason! Jesus could not save Himself because if He had no man could have ever had a way to be saved (Rev. 21:1 thru 22:5 esp. 21:1 & 3) and go live forever in the new heaven and new earth with God! (John 3:14-16) Jesus loved us that much! Jesus knew He was the only chance this writer would ever have to be saved. Only one of us could be saved, Him or me! Oh my Lord and my God, He couldn't save Himself because He loved me that much! What about you?
THINK OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE HORRIBLE IRONY THAT: The Jews are almost ready to go kill the sacrificial lambs to celebrate the physical Passover that freed them from physical bondage in Egypt.
Yet they are (John 1:36 & 39; Acts 8:32; Phil. 2:6-11; 1Pet. 1:18-21; and Rev. 5:1-9) killing the sacrificial Lamb of God, the spiritual Passover, whose blood, when accepted correctly in its cleansing power, will spiritually free any Jew (Isa. 42:6 and Acts 9:15 & 14:27 then Col. 1:25-27) and any Gentile on an individual basis from the spiritual bondage of their sins and God will pass over that person in the final judgment (Heb. 8:8-13) through this new covenant that is being ushered in.
NOTE: Remember??? The Torah is the first five books of the Bible and it is what established the Jewish religion. (Rom. 11:7-25 esp. V.7 keyword: blinded and V.8 keyword: spirit then 1Cor. 4:4 keyword: blinded then 11:13-15 keywords Satan & angel- an angel is a spirit) Over and over and over Israel as a nation had gone into sin (Matt. 15:1-9 esp. V.3 keywords: your tradition= the Talmud- the collection of writings by Jewish elders based on their opinions of what the Torah meant) and had even made their man-made Talmud Jewish Law into an idol.
(Books of OT Kings and Prophets) and (Rom. 11:8 keywords: God hath given them the spirit of slumber) Obviously God had given Israel over to Satan because of their sins. Satan had blinded them and put them to sleep in the comfort of their traditions. All those countless millions of animals slaughtered on the Jewish altars of sacrifice down through thousands of years had prophesied of this very moment and the Jews don't realize what they are doing! END OF NOTE.
(Heb. 10:29-31, Rom. 3:5 & 12:19 and 2Thess. 1:8 keyword: vengeance) Don't you know the God of Glory, Jesus' Father, is writhing in smothering agony on His throne? You are made in God's image; how would you feel if it was your child there? (Psa. 86:15; Rom. 2:3-6; & 2Pet. 3:9-15 keyword: longsuffering to us-ward: longsuffering: defined: Strongs w #3114: to suffer long, be patient, endure) Don't you understand that God is longsuffering concerning YOU and ME and ALL? (Matt. 26:53 keywords: more than twelve legions) Can you see the angels gathered there in Heaven?
A legion is six thousand. Rank upon rank, platoon after platoon, company, battalion and regiment as far as the eye can see, more than seventy two thousand, they stand; their angel hearts bursting at the suffering and humiliation being heaped upon the Son of God, (1John 4:8 & 16) Love Personified. (Dan. 10:6-13) Their eyes are like lamps of fire (Matt. 28:3) and their faces are like lightening as they nervously finger the hilts of their swords and stare at God suffering on His throne there with them in Heaven.
More than twelve legions of them, angel tears streaming like silver fire, standing motionless, rank upon rank of them straining for God to give them the command to rescue the Rose of Sharon, the Lilly of the Valley, the Dayspring from on high. Thinking; “Give us the command and we will bring the Darling of Heaven home.”
Passover in Israel is during the spring. (Luke 23:45) The sun is bright and the day is becoming hot. (2Cor. 5:21) Jesus has become the embodiment of our sins, (1Pet. 3:18) is being judged for our sins and is suffering God’s punishment for our sins. Just think of it: Jesus had never committed sin, (1Pet. 2:21-24) had never known sin and (2Cor. 5:21) HE HAS BECOME SIN!
All the evil, the rot and filthiness, guilt and despair, sorrow and shame, pain and humiliation, ugliness and degradation of sin is like vile, hot, disgusting pus burning throughout His battered, bloody, pain wracked physical body and His spiritual soul is recoiling and writhing (Heb. 12:2) in a sickening jumble of shame, pain and sickness from the unfamiliar horrid dirtiness of sin. "Must endure, must!"
(Heb. 4:15 & Luke 2:51) Jesus had developed as a man and is a man (John 1:1 & 1Tim. 3:16) but He is also God in the flesh. He is a union of God and man presenting a unified nature, consciousness and will.
(Matt. 27:45-46) The soldiers watch in open mouthed apprehension when a frightening supernatural darkness darkens the day at the sixth hour and suddenly at this sixth hour Jesus can no longer feel His Father’s tender, loving presence because the God consciousness has forsaken Him and Jesus is alone, except for the filth He has become.
This awful darkness denotes the fact God hates sin and (Hab. 1:12-13) cannot look on iniquity. Our loving Lord, the Prince of Glory, suffers, (Isa. 53:3) alone and rejected, in the suffocating, supernatural darkness for three more hours; three - the number of completion.
Even the aborigines, the aborigines all over the world, even across the big waters, huddle big eyed in the frightening, somehow threatening darkness. (Eph. 6:12) Some horrid, unspeakable evil was afoot and maybe it stalked them in the living darkness. They grip their stone weapons nervously and look about with worried fear. "What were the gods doing?" Even on the dark side of the world the normal darkness of night has become darker, infernal and somehow hellish.
Even the people in the tribes who had mastered bronze and iron drew together, clutching their weapons, looking fearfully about while the women hold their sobbing children; something supernatural and fearful is here and chills race over them! With trembling fingers tribes all over the world strike fires, comforting fires, hoping to drive the frightening, awful, supernatural, darkness away.
The darkness has somehow grown darker and it was then Jesus dimly realizes His retinas are dying because He can hardly see. (Matt. 27:46) Jesus the man cries out with a loud voice, rasping with dry mouthed agony, saying; as had been prophesied (Ps. 22:1); 1st “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Luke 23:46) Then Jesus entrusts His spirit (His life) to God and eternity when He says; 2nd “Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
(John 19:30) And finally as cold, cold death stings like endless lightening stabbing through His nerves, blood, muscle, bone, and brain 3rd “It is finished” which means the work that would bring salvation and redemption to you and me is complete. (Matt. 27:50) Then Jesus shudders the last time and slumps against the nails in the eerie shapelessness of violent death.
(Matt. 27:51) In a brief spasm of violent supernatural fury; with terrifying ripping and grinding and booming noise the veil of the temple is rent in twain, the earth quakes and rocks split. (John 19:34) For a few seconds after the shattering event the well trained soldiers look fearfully about while gradually collecting their wits.
The high priest and priesthood would fall on their knees with bitter tears flowing and screams tearing their throats when they surveyed the damage to the veil in their temple but they would never imagine in their wildest dreams it is an objective prophesy that a new way had been made into the holiest of holies (Heb. 10:1-20 esp. V.10 & 14) by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God one time.
The Centurion gives the order to break the legs of the malefactors but one soldier, more bold than his fellows, cautiously approaches Jesus and peers into His swollen, disfigured, dead face a few fleeting moments. His knotty, muscled arms suddenly surge out and back in a flickering many times practiced spear thrust into the Lord’s side and up into His heart.
Blood and water gush out, the soldier turns quickly as he shoulders his spear and swaggers rapidly away; in his arrogance (Num. 9:12) he does not realize he has fulfilled an ancient prophesy.
Jesus' physical birth so He can live physically is with a gush of blood and water from His Mother (John 19:34) and the Church's spiritual birth (John 6:51) so Christians can live forever is with the gush of blood and water from Jesus' heart as the spear is thrust into His side "passing between Jesus' flesh by cutting" with the shedding of His blood that consecrates (Luke 22:20) the new covenant just as the millions of sacrificial animals bleeding on the Old Testament Jewish altars had physically prophesied.
The veil (virginity) of Jesus’ Mother’s virginal flesh is rent at Jesus' birth so Jesus can be physically born into man’s impermanent physical family (Mark 15:38) and the veil of the temple, never before torn, is rent at Jesus’ death (please, please read these-> Heb. 10:19-22, Rom. 10:8-13 then Rom. 8:6-17) so man can approach God by himself anyplace in the world (John 3:5-6 & 1Pet. 1:23) and be spiritually born into God’s eternal family.
The Jews, except for a faithful few, had missed it the first time when the promised seed was born, they missed it the second time when their Deliverer was installed in office, and they missed it this third time when they unknowingly killed the Passover Lamb from God, Jesus their Redeemer; three, the number of completion.
Jesus’ death is a total and devastating defeat for the disciples and believers in the mob that had witnessed the mock trial, torture and the long, nightmarish, staggering walk the Lord had made on what the Romans called Via Dolorosa (Latin: the road of sorrow) that led from Pilate’s judgment hall to Calvary. (Isa. 53:7) They had wondered and wondered why Jesus had done nothing and said nothing to defend Himself.
They had ached, wept and strained with each slow painful step after slow painful step when the Master walked to the (John 19:17) Hill of the Skull (Gol'go-tha), (Luke 23:33) Calvary in Latin, surrounded by the armored, heavily armed Roman Soldiers. Most of the mob had fled, many of them screaming, back to the city during and immediately after the cataclysmic supernatural events after Jesus’ died. Only a few believers are left on the lonely hill.
One of the disciples (Luke 22:8-20) thought about yesterday when they had eaten the Passover to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. He remembered that Jesus had said (Luke 22:20) there would be a new testament (covenant). "Was there some connection here he did not yet understand?"
Another of the silent, dejected few, an older believer, had a sudden flash of remembrance of parts of a long forgotten scripture from (Isa. 52:14 to 53:12) “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: But he was wounded for our transgressions; and he was numbered with the transgressors.”
Isaiah! Tears fill the old Jew’s eyes again and stream down his cheeks and he whispers; “Jesus has to be the one, everything fits.” One of the midwives, ancient now, remembers the virgin birth of Jesus and quietly looks at those attending the broken, grieving Mother Mary as she leaves the bitter hill. Some are whispering about Jesus’ miracles; “He defeated death for Lazarus -” The voice trailed off as they see two figures trudging up the hill; one carries a short ladder and the other is bent under a heavy bundle.
And in his place the rebellious one, the opposite of God who loves, the one who hates, Satan, smacks his lips in anticipation. With huge satisfaction he is also thinking; “There will always be men who will obey me, always! (1Cor. 2:8 & 1Tim. 3:16) We’ve caught God in the flesh and we are killing Him. Not this time, no way, You won’t have your earthly kingdom. Not this time You won’t!”
(John 19:38-42) When the two men get closer the believers see it is Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus. They have begged permission to take Jesus' body down. They put their loads down, briefly pray, get out two blocks of wood, place them on each side of the Lord’s feet and start carefully extracting the long spike that held the tortured feet to the cross.
It is obvious the two weeping men don’t want to damage the swollen purplish feet further; enough abuse has already been done to this precious body. Joseph climbs the ladder and starts on the left hand while Nicodemus holds Jesus’ lower legs.
When Joseph frees the hand the weight of Jesus’ body shifts and Nicodemus struggles and staggers furiously to take the weight so the right hand won’t rip loose. Joseph holds the Lord’s left arm and tries to help while the ladder shifts perilously. Two male believers quickly rush to their aid. Presently Joseph starts on Jesus’ right hand and in a few minutes the men lower the already stiffening corpse onto the spread linen shroud.
For a few seconds, as men will, they stand looking sadly at the dead body of all their hopes and dreams. (John 19:37 & Rev. 1:7) They don’t realize yet that their sins, just like mine and yours, pierced Jesus. (John 19:37) They pray again, quickly pack Nicodemus’ bundle of spices around Jesus’ body, tenderly wrap it in the spread linen shroud, lift Him up and hurry away toward Joseph’s new tomb. (Luke 23:54) They must hurry and bury Jesus; it is Passover and they dare not defile that!
(Mark 15:42-43) Jesus is buried in a hurry, the first day, late that Friday afternoon or evening so the Jewish Sabbath Day on Saturday, the second day, will not be broken and the Jewish Passover celebration will not be defiled. (Luke 24:1) The next day, the third day, is Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week.
None of them understand the significance when the veil of the temple in Jerusalem is torn in two (Heb. 9:1-28 esp. V.12, 24, & 28) because behind that veil is the Holiest of all Holy places. (Exodus 30:10) It is a restricted place where only the *High Priest of Israel, after prayer, preparation and ritual cleansing, goes once each year to offer blood sacrifice for Israel’s sins.
(Heb. 10:9-22) But this Passover time Jesus is the greatest, purest and final sacrifice that can ever be offered for sin, His sacrifice is offered only one time, forever, for the remission of sins; and a new covenant, the spiritual grace covenant, is introduced between God and the church.
(Matt. 11:28 & John 12:32) Any Jew, any Gentile, any time, any place, can approach God through prayer on a one to one basis, have his sins cleansed by the blood of Jesus and obtain salvation through God’s grace; because: (Eph. 2:7-9) “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.”
(John 14:23) God and Jesus will come into that person’s soul (John 14:16, 17, & 26 and Rom. 8:9) as the Holy Spirit; that person will know beyond any doubt their past sins that were the reason Jesus had to die (that's right, we killed Jesus; you and me!) are forgiven forever, (John 3:3-5) they are spiritually saved, they are spiritually born again and ready to be a part of the blood bought grace covenant Church.
(1John 2:1) With this new grace covenant a person no longer has to be a racial Jew, no longer needs a man to offer up sacrifice for his sins on a regular basis, no longer needs some man to tell him his sins are forgiven because Jesus is each individual Christian’s advocate with God because under this new spiritual grace covenant, in which Jesus is the sin offering, (Heb. 4:14-16) Jesus has become each individual Christian’s personal *High Priest by a new and living way (John 14:16-18) through the gift of the Holy Spirit of God.
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