(Gen. 17:7, 13 & 19 keyword: everlasting) The key to understanding covenant is in the definition of the word everlasting because it means 2 entities, a physical Israel and a spiritual Church. God said; "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed in their generations for an everlasting (defined as: #1 eternal, always, perpetual and #2 concealed, to veil) covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.
(Gen. 22:13-14) "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: (the Lord will provide) as it is said to this day, In the mount (Moriah) of the Lord it shall be seen."<--Abraham and Isaac had already finished their burnt offering of the ram so something similar was going to happen in the same place sometime in the future. Is this a prophesy? (Psa. 22:1-31 & Isa. 52:14 thru 53:12 then Luke 23:32-46) It sure is!
Jewish Law of Moses and the High Priest
The simplest way to subjugate a king led, one religion nation is to take over their government and religion. Rome was an expert. They appointed a counterfeit king (Herod, who was an Edomite, a counterfeit Jew, Gen. 36:1-19, a progeny of Esau) and a counterfeit high priest in Israel. (Ex. 29:4) From the time of Aaron the high priest office had been held by 1 man at a time for life. Rome appointed Annas from 6-15 CE, the Roman procurator, Valerus Gratus removed him and appointed Caiaphas from 18-36 CE.
(Acts 4:6) It is obvious the Jews still considered Annas their high priest but Caiaphas was in power as high priest and later they both persecuted the foundling church. Both counterfeit priests were carnal politicians from a rich, powerful family who held religious power over the Jews second only to the Roman prelate. (Ezek. 1:1-3) Ezekiel was among the Israelite captives in the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) when the current political and spiritual situation had been foretold (prophesy).
(Ezek. 8:1 thru 7:27) God gave Ezekiel the prophesy Ezekiel would repeat to Israel concerning their rebellion, sins, idolatry and abominations. (Ezek. 8:1-18 esp. V.6) God gave more prophesy concerning the sins of Israel and His vengeance AND (V.6) God said He would go far off from His sanctuary (the Jewish temple- sanctuary for the Jews) because of their abominations. (Ezek. 9:1 thru 11:25 esp. 9:3, 10:16-18 & 11:23-24) (9:1-3 keyword: house) The glory of the God of Israel left the Holiest place of all and went to the threshold (sill at the bottom of a doorway) of the temple and it was now just a house.
(10:16-18) The cherubims lifted up from the earth over the middle of Jerusalem and the glory of the Lord departed the threshold and stood over them. (11:23-24) The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain on the east side of Jerusalem (V.24) the vision was gone (Rev. 15:5) and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony was also gone. The Rome appointed counterfeit priests, Annas and Caiaphas, were leading a spiritually counterfeit worship in a spiritually empty temple.
(Matt. 3:1-17 esp. V.15) Jesus told John, to baptize Him to fulfill all righteousness (Lev. 16:4) because that act (the washing of Jesus) completed the law of preparation (Heb. 4:14) for when the great High Priest would be installed in His office (Part 24).
(Lev. 4:13-20 & Heb. 9:7) Only the high priest could offer up the sacrifice for all of Israel. (John 7:23) Jesus said the Law of Moses is not to be broken. (John 10:35) The scripture cannot be broken. (Matt. 5:17) Jesus came to fulfill the law. (Ex. 39:1 through Lev. 2:10 then Heb. 9:1-12) The office of the priesthood was set up under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament and only the high priest of the Jews could go into the Holiest of all places in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem once every year to offer up the sin offering for all the Jews.
At that particular time, by unbreakable law, only the counterfeit high priest, Rome appointed Caiaphas, could enter into the holiest place and offer up the supreme sacrifice for that particular year. (Matt. 3:13-17) But Jesus had already physically taken the office of Jewish physical High Priest when He was baptized by John. (John 10:17-18 esp. V.18 keywords: I lay it down myself & Heb. 7:22-28 esp. V.27 offered up himself) In God's eyes, by scripture and by the Law of Moses, Jesus the genuine High Priest, offered up himself for the sins of the whole world!
(John 11:47-53) Think of that! Caiaphas, the political appointee, thought he was the one man in the whole world who could, according to the Jewish Law of Moses, offer up the sacrifice for the sins of Israel. (Matt. 5:17) Jesus said He had not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law. But Caiaphas also missed the point the very existence of Israel had pointed to for centuries! Caiaphas wanted to kill Jesus (V.48) so Rome would not think Israel was rebelling against Rome and cause Rome to destroy physical Israel as a nation.
Caiaphas actually (V.51-52) prophesied to that fact and he had no idea what he was saying. (V.48) Caiaphas was concerned about the continued existence of physical Israel, his own position of power and the Jews who were living in nations throughout the known world and he completely missed the momentous, marvelous fact a new covenant concealed within God's covenant through Abraham with their nation, THE CONCEALED GRACE COVENANT, was about to be ushered in by the death of Jesus.
(John 18:13 through 19:12) Caiaphas fought long and hard to have the Romans kill Jesus and finally inspired the Jews to blackmail Pilate into killing Jesus by threatening to “tell” Caesar Pilate had been a party to Jesus’ “supposed rebellion”. (John 19:13-22) Pilate bowed to political pressure and crucified Jesus. But God knows Pilate and the Romans were only the “spiritual knife” with which Caiaphas, the counterfeit high priest, killed the sacrifice, Jesus, the day before the official Jewish day of offering the sacrifice for all of Israel. (Heb. 8:13 keyword: old) That was when the old covenant (Heb. 8:13 keywords: better covenant) was spiritually superseded (before) by the grace covenant!
(John 13:12-17) The last supper is finished and Jesus has washed the disciples' feet and sat back down to teach again. It was not the ritual cleansing before a meal, it was a lesson in humility and Jesus quietly said; "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 (must) to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, 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 spiritual winepress of anxiety, dread, depression, anguish and prayer there in the Garden of Gethsemane (physical winepress) and He is complete in His readiness.
(Matt. 26:47-56 keywords: from the chief priests and elders of the people) 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 tender serpent's 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) as only hatred can do the guards spit in Jesus’ face and slap 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, 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, awful grunts, gags and blood spues as they punch the breath from Him time after time and His neck threatens to break with the savage rotation of His head from the force of their fists.
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 gags 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. Finally, one grabs Jesus' hair, 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 pound on endlessly 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.
(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.
(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, 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, trots 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 19:9, & 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. 52:14) 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.
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 bloody shreds. You must see your price, and mine. Our forever had come down to this.
The awful whip throngs wrap around Jesus' neck, ribcage, chest, arms, shoulders and legs. 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 and eventually they expose the ribcage bones and they are like strings of molten fire laid on Him as they rip through the screaming nerves in all those tender, tender places. Horrid, pitiful, deep gasps drawn from His guts, groans and thoughts; (Heb. 12:2-3 keyword: endured) "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, spasm and He involuntarily twists and squirms from the pain shrieking through His nervous system until it feels as if His head must explode from the burning slash of the lashes 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 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 that have kept Jesus from falling.
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 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 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 they will understand they had sarcastically spoken an unknown prophesy on this awful day of Jesus' hideous suffering (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, blackened, cut, 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. (John 19:6 &14) The mob’s faces are red and bloated with hatred, their eyes glare balefully, their neck veins bulge and their mouths are twisted, 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 (John 8:44) sedition (rebellion) and is a murderer and (John 18:40) a robber just like Satan, the devil, whose works he represents. Barabbas represents something much more terrible, pitiful and horrible too. 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!
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 and 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. 27:21 & 25) The Jews scream in bestial, ravening 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. (Ezek. 2:1 thru 11:16) Just as God had said.
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) Mary's tender Mother's heart memories flitted to the time they had almost lost her Darling Child when He was twelve years old. 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. 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.
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! 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 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 painfully jerk and smear His own raiment back upon Him. (John 19:17) They roughly shove the cross on His raw, torn nerves shrieking, bloody hamburger back and shoulders to make Him carry His cross in weak, staggering, stumbling, dragging, slow, painful steps.
(Mark 15:20-21 & Luke 23:26) The Roman soldiers quickly grow impatient and compel Simon the Cyrenian to help Jesus bear his cross. NOTE: Cyrenica was a Roman district located on the northern coast of Africa in what is modern day Libya. Simon was obviously a Gentile and the event was a living prophesy of the church (Luke 9:23) "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." Exact details are given in the Jesus commentary.
Both Calvary and Golgotha mean a place of the skull: (Matt. 1:1 keywords: Jesus Christ, David, Abraham) (1 Sam. 17:37-54 esp. V.54) It was the exact spot David buried Goliath's head to show Satan (Matt. 1:1) his son (physical lineage), the heavenly David, Jesus Christ, would (Gen. 3:15) bruise Satan's head on this very 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!
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, battered, wounded 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) Even though His swollen nearly shut eyes are burning 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 beautiful 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.”
Even there, in their pain of being crucified, no man could be neutral; no man could ignore the miracle worker from Galilee because (Luke 23:39-43) one malefactor (criminal) railed on the Son of God and the other malefactor asked for mercy. And even there, in those awful circumstances; because (1John 4:8) God is love and (Eph. 2:4) 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 pain fractured words; “Verily (truly) I say unto thee, today shalt thou (you will) be with me in paradise.”
(Ps. 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, (Ps. 22:17) the calloused soldiers who had seen much death loll back with careless ease and sit there watching with their cold, merciless soldier's eyes as Jesus, the Son of God, hangs by the nails and wait for Him to die.
(Matt. 27: 37-43) While the soldiers sit and stare, (Psa. 22:6-8) as had been prophesied, the strolling Chief priests, elders and scribes look at Jesus with cruel, smirking expressions, wag their heads with scorn and revile suffering Jesus with hateful, mocking words; “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” They told the truth! *******Jesus knew He was the only chance this writer would ever have to be saved. It was the last stand, 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 enough to die for me so I could get saved! God had provided the Lamb to take my place! ******* What about you?
THINK OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE HORRIBLE IRONY: (Ex. 12:21-23) The Jews are almost ready to go kill the sacrificial lambs to celebrate the physical Passover that freed them from physical bondage in Egypt (John 1:36; Acts 8:32; 1Pet. 1:19; and Rev. 5:6) and they are killing the sacrificial Lamb of God, the spiritual Passover, whose blood, when accepted correctly in its cleansing power, will spiritually free any Jew 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.
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!
(Heb. 10:29-31, Rom. 3:5 & 12:19 and 2Thess. 1:8 keyword in all: 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) Do you understand God is longsuffering concerning YOU? (Matt. 26:53) 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) Their eyes are like lamps of fire and (Matt. 28:3) 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 go 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. 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 about 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 body and His soul is recoiling and writhing in a sickening jumble of shame, pain and sickness from the unfamiliar, horrid dirtiness of sin.
Jesus had developed as a man and is a man (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 (Hab. 1:13) God cannot look on iniquity (SIN). Our loving Lord, the Prince of Glory, suffers, (Isa. 53:3) alone, despised and rejected, a man of sorrows in the suffocating darkness for three more hours; three - the number of completion.
Even the aborigines all over the world, even across the big waters, they huddle big eyed in the frightening, somehow threatening 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 desperately hold their sobbing children. Something supernatural and fearful, 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 but it would not go!
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 shivers 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 hanging limply from 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 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; Jesus' legs are not broken and in his arrogance (Num. 9:12) he does not realize he has fulfilled an ancient prophesy.
Jesus’ physical birth so He can live temporarily is with a gush of blood and water from His Mother (John 19:34) and the Church's spiritual birth (John 6:51) so we can live permanently 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 the new covenant just as the millions of sacrificed animals bleeding on the old covenant 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 and (Mark 15:38) the veil of the temple, never before torn, is rent at Jesus’ death (Heb. 10:19-22) so man can approach God by himself and be (John 3:5-6 & 1Pet. 1:23) spiritually born into God’s eternal family through the blood of Jesus.
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 while the Master staggered and strained, in His hunched over walk 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 on His cross. 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). "Is there some connection here I do 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 miraculous 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! (1Tim. 3:16) We’ve caught God in the flesh and we have killed 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 Ar-i-ma-thaea 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 yet realize their sins, just like mine and yours, pierced Jesus. All they know is that Jesus is dead. (Luke 23:54) 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. (John 19:14) They must hurry and bury Jesus; it is Passover and they dare not defile that!
(Luke 23:53) 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!) 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 2:1-2) 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.