Death, Burial and Resurrection Overview

Without going into an extensive Bible study, allow me to give an overview of the events of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

  • After supper together (the Last Supper) Jesus and the disciples went to a garden they had used often, for prayer. Judas, simultaneously, went off the finalize plans to betray Jesus to the Jewish leaders.
  • After praying off by Himself in the agony of the moment, Jesus committed Himself to God’s will and woke the sleeping disciples.
  • Judas showed up with a small mob of people carrying weapons and gave the fatal sign to Jesus’ enemies – a kiss.
  • Jesus was carried off for a mock trial. He had to actually help the Jewish leaders to convict Him. He was sentenced to die for blasphemy.
  • The Jews didn’t have the authority to carry out His death, so they were forced to take Jesus to Pilot the governor, needing to persuade him to condemn Jesus. Pilot wanted to free Jesus, recognizing His innocence, but feared the crowd who were crying, “Crucify him!”, and send Jesus off to receive a Roman scourging.
  • Jesus was tied to a post, His back exposed, and beaten 39 times with a whip – but not just any whip! This one had pieces of bone and such that tore at the flesh, ripping away chunks of skin, probably even exposing bones and organs. Isaiah’s prophecy tells us that after this beating it was hard to tell that Jesus was a man – a human.
  • Jesus was forced to carry His cross toward the place of crucifixion. He did so till it was more than He could bear. The soldiers then picked a man out of the crowd to carry His cross to Golgotha.
  • On a hill overlooking Jerusalem Jesus was crucified. It was nicknamed “the place of the skull”. Crucifixion was the Roman means of the death penalty. He would have been laid out on the cross, then huge nails would have been driven through His wrists and into the rough-hewn wood. A nail would have been driven into His crossed ankles. After He was secured in this manner, the cross would have been raised up vertically and dropped into a hole dug for that purpose. The condemned would hang like this until, after hours of agony, they died.
  • The Bible says that the sun grew dark as Jesus was raised up on that cross. And it remained dark for three hours, from noon till 3 PM.
  • Jesus made seven important statements from the cross, but probably the most important as far we’re concerned was, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” At this juncture Jesus had all the sin of mankind placed on Him. “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities.” Jesus paid our debt for us at the price of His life.
  • Because the Passover holiday was at hand the Jewish leaders pressed to get Jesus dead and buried quickly. The soldiers were about to brake His legs, making death come quicker, but Jesus commended His spirit to God His Father and cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished!” as He “gave up the ghost” (died).
  • A local rich man asked for the privilege of burying Jesus in his own tomb. With the help of Nicodemus he took the body off the cross, performed some hasty burial preparations, and placed it in his tomb. In order to keep the body of Jesus from being stolen, a huge stone was rolled over the mouth of the tomb and soldiers were placed on guard.
  • So, here is Jesus’ body in the tomb, but where is Jesus? Jesus’ spirit and soul left His body as He cried out in a loud voice and gave up the ghost. Scripture indicates to me that Jesus would have been carried off to hell and torment because of the sin of all mankind placed on Him. He had to trust the Father to rescue Him from there by sending the Holy Spirit to raise Him from death.
  • Jesus also took a quick trip to heaven to present His blood sacrifice in the Holy of Holies in heaven. Adam’s sin had even affected heaven, but Jesus’ sacrifice made all right again.
  • Then, early on a Sunday morning, Jesus returned into His body, still scarred by whip marks and nail prints, and began presenting Himself to those who had believed in Him.

There’s much, much more to say about the resurrection, but time and space press me to move on. So I’ll close with the lyrics to an old Easter hymn:

Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes.

He arose the Victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ arose!


Redeeming the Time

Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:15, 16See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise. 16 redeeming the time, because the days are  evil.

One of the great things about the bible is that it is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written. The original authors could not have known what 2015 would be like, but the Holy Spirit could. It is without doubt a supernatural book. It has been admired just for its beauty and symmetry, but its value goes way beyond that. We’ve all read other books that we would consider to be well written, but this is the only book that is truly life changing.

Here in Ephesians Paul, by the Holy Spirit, is coaching these early Christians about their daily lives. If it was important to “walk circumspectly” in their day, how much more today? The events occurring around us require it. What does it mean to walk circumspectly, you ask? Well, it has everything to do with how we conduct ourselves every day. Paul’s advice is “circumspectly,” meaning accurately and diligently.

Allow me to illustrate. In the movie The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones faced some dangerous challenges. One required that he play “hopscotch,” through an ancient hallway that had Latin letters etched into individual stones. Indy’s task was to jump from stone to stone, spelling out JEHOVAH in Latin. Every time he was inaccurate, the floor began to fall out under him. After a few narrow escapes, our hero made it through, but the challenge certainly required him to act circumspectly – accurately and diligently.

How does that translate to our everyday life in 2015? Know this: we must be accurate and diligent as to “where we place our feet.” The floor may not fall out beneath our feet, but inaccuracy and sluggishness can be costly. It won’t be God’s judgment. Going through life haphazardly has always been costly. Sin, after all, is “missing the mark.” If we’re honest with ourselves, each of us would have to admit that living loosely has cost us in our pasts. We are too far along now to coast.

Paul’s next admonition is “redeeming the time.” This three word phrase is packed with meaning. “Time” is that important Greek word KAIROS, meaning opportunity or season. The thought of ‘season’ sticks out to me. Remember our Summer Challenge? One of the reasons for this seasonal focus was to ward off a summer slump. No floating with the current of this world; time to paddle upstream!

Put that thought together with “redeeming” and we have an admonition to last till Jesus returns. I especially like the way Vine’s Greek/English Dictionary expresses it: “buying up the opportunity”  i.e., making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed.

There is no value in commiserating over missed opportunities in our pasts. It’s what we do today that counts. If August 2015 is to be a remarkable season in your life, it will have to begin TODAY.

In my life I’m so glad I took opportunities that were presented to me. Our church offered a born again experience and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I took ’em up on it. My pastor challenged me to try Bible School after high school. I gave it a shot. God spoke to Dianne and me about Rhema, and off we went to Oklahoma. Rhema provided an opportunity to go start a church in upstate New York, and we bought in. Yes, like you I’ve missed a few along the way. But to quote another of the apostle’s axioms, let’s forget the past and press on to the prize.