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The Crucifixion and Resurrection

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject: The Crucifixion and Resurrection Reply with quote

Garden of Gethsemane

After crossing the Kidron Valley, they entered into the Garden of Gethsemane, which is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus came there for rest and prayer when He was in Jerusalem. The hour was very late, probably after midnight, and the disciples were very tired and sleepy, but Jesus’ emotions were becoming more intense. The week had been difficult, and the pressure from His pending execution on the cross was intensifying. In the darkness of the night, Satan took advantage of His weaken physical condition and attacked Him.

Jesus tells eight of the disciples to remain close to the gate and pray that they not fall into temptation. Matthew and Mark tell us that Jesus took Peter, James and John farther into the garden and began to be sorrowful and troubled. Jesus said unto them, “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.’ He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will’” (Mark 14:34-36).

The physician, Luke, adds these details, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:43-44).

This is completely out of character for Jesus. Why had this man, who had been so strong and courageous all his life, become so distressed about his pending death?

We are now simultaneously seeing both the human and divine aspects of Jesus. The cup, from which Jesus must drink, refers to the things that must take place before his death. We are quick to assume that His agony was coming from His anticipation of the physical suffering of that inhuman, torturous method of execution. Yet, for Jesus, there was another reason outweighing the physical suffering. He must drink the contents of the cup – the sins of all who are alive, of all who have lived in the past, and of all who will live in the future. He was to become sin for us, and his perfect righteousness would be replaced with our righteousness, filthy rags, before the Holy God (Isa. 64:6).

Jesus, who has never sinned, and who had been in perfect unity, and harmony with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit from the beginning, is about to be separated from them for the first time. Sin is an act of independence and rebellion against God and Jesus was about to become sin. Sin is repugnant to His Holy character, and in the weakness of the flesh, He was terrified.

Dr. Luke said that Jesus pleaded with the Father on the most personable and loving terms. He used the name “Abba Father”. This would be like saying: “Daddy, please let this cup pass from me”. But the cup could not pass. However, God the Father sent an Angel to strengthen Him, just as He had done when Satan was tempting Him in the wilderness.

Jesus asked His disciple to remain behind and pray. Three times, during His agony, He returned to them and found them asleep. As the hour for this arrest approached, He returned and awakened them. ”And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:2-6).

Some have estimated that there may have been as many as five or six hundred people who came to the garden to arrest Jesus. In the darkness, they did not recognize him. When Jesus confronted them they fell to the ground. Did they fall because of fear of this man who had taught with authority, and had demonstrated so much power or was it because of their surprise that He had come forth to meet them, or were they just knocked down by His glory. We are not told why they fell, but it was obvious that Jesus was clearly in control of the situation. He was laying His life down. No one was taking it from Him.

Mark, Matthew, and Luke tell us that Judas came forward and with a kiss confirmed His identity. With a kiss, a badge of love, he betrayed his Master. Peter drew a sword and was ready to fight, but Jesus rebuked him. The time had come for Jesus to lay His life down. “Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year” (John 18:12-13).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Old Rugged Cross

Three men, who were guilty of robbery and, perhaps, other crimes, were scheduled to die on this hillside high above the city, and near the road to Damascus. It was a very public place where the Romans made examples of those who broke their laws. Yet, one of those men will not die; Barabbas was set free. Jesus not only took his place, but also became his substitute.

All three men were given wine mingled with myrrh to drink. The drug would serve as a sedative, and dull the mind and the pain. Jesus refused to drink the mixture because he wanted to stay in control. He would suffer the excruciating pain with dignity and honor. He would keep a clear mind as He suffered for you and me. The prophet Isaiah wrote, about 700 years before, these prophetic words, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isa. 53:7).

About nine in the morning, they stripped Him of His clothes, and nailed Him to the cross. He was placed between two criminals, and was raised up so that all could see and mock Him. He hung there on public display in agony, naked, humiliated and embarrassed. Let us not forget that Jesus was as human as we are – He was both God and man. What a price He is paying for our sins!

Most of us picture Jesus on the cross with a cloth around Him. However; Scripture does not support this. All four Gospel writers say that the soldiers parted His garments among them – casting lots for one of the garments. It was the intent of the Romans to completely humiliate those being crucified so that they might be an example to others. After they had placed Him on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34b).

It was the custom of the Romans to write the charges against a person, and to place a list of those charges over the prison door. When the sentence was carried out, they wrote, “paid in full” over the charges. Let’s look at John’s comments on the charges listed against Jesus. “Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.” Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.’”(John 19:19-22).

Now let us continue with Luke’s narrative, “And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.’ The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself’” (Luke 23:35-37)!

After listening to the response of the crowd, one of the men hanging next to Jesus began to take part in the jeering. Let us listen to the conversation. “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:39-43).

Many people believe that Jesus was punished in hell for three days after His death, but Jesus is saying that today He would be in Paradise. Where was Paradise? Jesus explained this in the story of Lazarus, and the rich man as recorded in Luke chapter 16. Both men died; Lazarus went to a place called Abraham’s Bosom (Paradise), and the rich man went to a place of torment. There was a great gulf that separated the two areas. Jesus said that Abraham’s Bosom was a place of comfort and companionship. It was a temporary place where the righteous, who died before Jesus shed His blood for the sins of the world, rested from their labors, and awaited ultimate release; after their sins had been washed away by Jesus’ shed blood. After Jesus was resurrected, He took those who were in Abraham’s Bosom to Heaven. We will discuss this later.

On this day, one of the criminals was going with Jesus to Abraham’s Bosom. Both malefactors probably committed the same crimes, and both were found guilty. What is the difference? The man going to Paradise with Jesus accepted the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for his sins. The other man did not accept the gift, and went to the place of torment where the rich man had gone.

We will now return to John’s Gospel where we continue with the sequence of events. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:25-27, NKJV). John was the disciple to whom Jesus was speaking. Before Jesus lost his ability to communicate, He committed the care of His earthly mother to John. Tradition has it, that John took her home with him and cared for her the rest of her life.

As the noon hour approached, the hot sun, and the suffering of His contorted body began to sap all of His strength. He began to sag under His weight as His muscles convulsed from the excruciating pain. As the body sagged with the arms uplifted, the lungs began to fill with fluid, and slowly He began to suffocate. He would drift into unconsciousness, and the waves of agonizing pain would revive Him.

The Psalmist writing a thousand years earlier, in the first person, recorded Jesus’ passion. “They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots” (Psalms 22:13-18).

A veil of Darkness

At noon God the Father turned out the lights. The Bible says that a great darkness came over all the area from noon until three in the afternoon. The hour had come for the Father to do business with the Son. This is private business, and the sneering crowd will not be allowed to watch, as the cross becomes an altar before the Father. The Lamb of God is to become the sacrifice.

We recall that Pilate placed a sign over the cross with the inscription, “Jesus The Nazarene, The King of the Jews”. God prepared another sign that listed the real reason for Jesus’ death. The apostle Paul writing to the Colossians said that God the Father took all the ordinances against us, and nailed them to the cross (Col. 2:13). All our sins were nailed to the cross.

The Father took the cup, the bitter cup, which Jesus agonized over in the Garden of Gethsemane, and turned it up for Jesus to drink. In that cup were the dregs of the cesspools of man’s heart; rebellion against The Sovereign and Holy God, idolatry, sorcery, pride, murder, abuse, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, envying, lying, cheating, hatred, strife, jealousy, greed, wrath, and all the other evils of the world. “the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6b), and has imputed all our sins to His account. He was, “Smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4b).

Every cell in Jesus’ body became sin as He was charged with breaking every law in God’s book. He had become the worst sinner who ever lived, and was at that moment the archcriminal of the universe. As he became sin for us, He became an abomination before the Holy character of the Father, and the Father turned His back upon His Beloved Son. What terror Jesus must have felt as the Father and Son were separated – the Father abandoning Him and the Holy Spirit withdrawing from Him. Rejected by man, and abandoned by God, He was alone and lonely. He had been cast into darkness – both physically and spiritually. Perhaps the physical darkness symbolizes His spiritual separation from God. But the worst is yet to come, for now He must suffer the curse of the Holy Father.

God the Father, a loving compassionate God full of grace and mercy, is also a just God. His justice demands punishment for sin; therefore, He has no choice, but to turn the full blast of His fury and wrath upon His only begotten Son. Scripture does not tell us the form of this fury and wrath; we cannot imagine the horror of this experience. Perhaps a study of Revelation would give us more insight. We must keep in mind that the focus of that terrible fury and wrath should have been upon us.

The prophet Isaiah said: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4). “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa. 53:10-11).

Perhaps, there is another phase of the suffering of Jesus that most of us have overlooked. As Jesus hung in the darkness, rejected, abandoned, and alone; Satan and his demons moved in. For the first time, Satan had a claim on Jesus, and he lost little time in making that claim. No longer did Jesus have the power to resist him. I am convinced that Satan took the mind of Jesus to the pit of hell, and, there, He suffered unimaginable terror at the hands of all the powers of darkness. The very heavenly creatures, who rebelled, and tried to preempt the throne of God, surrounded Jesus. In the war of good and evil, Jesus had been captured by the enemy, and was subjected to all the anguish of their cruel torture.

We will recall in Genesis’s chapter three that God said to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen 3:15). Satan (the serpent) was bruising the heel of Jesus, but his window of opportunity was very short as Jesus soon regained victory over him. When Jesus died the wages of sin were fully paid, Satan was defeated, and Jesus was released from his bondage. Yet, Satan has remained free to torture mankind since Jesus’ death on the cross.

Matthew and Mark tell us that about three o’clock in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying: “‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me’” (Matt 27:46b, NKJV)? The Psalmist says it this way. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning. O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them, they cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people” (Ps. 22:1-6).

Now we come to the final moments before he died, and we look to John’s narrative for His final words. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ 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. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:28-30).

It is finished, paid in full! Jesus had paid the wages for sin, and God had reconciled all mankind to Himself. No doubt all the angels of heaven must have been celebrating, singing, and praising the Beloved Son. Matthew tells us that God the Father, in a mighty display of power, shook the city with an earthquake. The veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, and some of the graves were opened. The rending of the temple veil symbolized that fellowship had been restored between God and man. No longer was there a need for the Holy of Holies in the temple, which had separated God from man.

L. T. Pearson, in his book “Where is Calvary”, gives us some fascinating facts about this earthquake. He says, “experts say that the force of that quake did a most unusual thing. Instead of only causing cracks along the weakness of the rock, following the natural seams, a fierce crack had taken place from the top to the bottom.” The open graves are also interesting, and we will discuss them later.

There is little doubt that God got the attention of some of those watching the crucifixion. “So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God’” (Matt 27:54)!

Nicodemus also may have watched what was going on. We recall that Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, approached Jesus at night with questions about the Kingdom of God. Jesus confounded him by telling him that He must be born again. Jesus also told him that the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses had lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and that whoever believed in Him would have everlasting life (John 3:14). Most people believe that Nicodemus’ experience at the foot of the cross changed his life forever.

Some believe that a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, was also standing nearby. Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus because He feared the Jews. After his experience at the foot of the cross, he went public with his witness.

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Last edited by wayne on Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Resurrection

Early, on the first day of the week, a second earthquake shook the area around the garden tomb. Matthew tells us that an angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone from the tomb. “His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow” (Matt 28:3). When the guards from the High Priest office saw the angel, they fainted on the spot. Matthew said they became “as dead men”.

Mark gives us more details about the early morning hour. “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large” (Mark 16:1-4).

Based upon John’s narrative, Mary Magdalene left the other women, and ran to tell the disciples. Let us continue with Mark’s narrative as the women enter the tomb. “And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.’ So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (Mark 16:5-8).

John tells us that Mary Magdalene ran to Peter and John with the news about the missing body. “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in” (John 20:2-5).

John waited for Peter to arrive before entering the tomb. “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes” (John 20:6-10).

In the meantime, the guards were revived, and fled the scene. Matthew gives us the details. “Some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, ‘Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.’ So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matt 28:11b-15).

First Fruits

In Acts 1:3, we are told that Jesus, “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

A careful study of Scripture shows that Jesus presented himself at least ten times to the disciples and others during the following forty days. We will follow the sequence as given in Robertson’s “Harmony of the Gospels” as we look at each recorded appearance.

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. She remained at the tomb weeping after Peter and John returned home. Again, we follow John’s narrative for details. “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus” (John 20:11-14).

It is amazing how our mind plays tricks on us. Since Mary Magdalene was so certain that the body had been stolen, she was not expecting to see him and, therefore, did not recognize Him. His appearance had also changed. Let us continue. “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘ Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’’ Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her” (John 20:15-18).

Over the years, this statement has been very confusing and controversial among many great Biblical scholars. Why did Jesus not want her to touch Him? We will see later that Jesus invited other people to touch him.

Some scholars take the position that Jesus had some unfinished work to do with the Father. This day was the Feast of First Fruits, which always occurs on the first day of the week following Passover, and the Feast of the Unleaven Bread. The Jews were to bring a sheaf of the first fruits of the barley harvest unto the priest, and the priest would wave it before the Lord. The offering of a burnt offering and a meal offering followed the waving of the sheaf. The Feast of the First Fruits was followed fifty days later, after the harvest was completed, with the Feast of Pentecost.

The apostle Paul, in First Corinthians, gives us the order of the resurrections, and states that Christ was the first fruits. “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor. 15:20). The Feast looked forward in type to the resurrection of Jesus, and has now been fulfilled.

Remember that Jesus said He had not yet ascended to the Father. We have already stated that Jesus was in Paradise for three days while His body was in the tomb. It seems that now He is going immediately to heaven to complete some unfinished business, probably relating to the Feast of the First Fruits. Some scholars believe that Jesus took His shed blood to heaven, and placed it on the altar as a permanent memorial of His sacrifice.

We also recall that during the earthquake, immediately following Jesus’ death, some of the graves were opened. Matthew gives us more details. “The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt 27:52-53). Please note that they did not come out until after Jesus had risen. What happened to those saints? Some believe they lived awhile longer and then died again.

Some Biblical Scholars have viewed these resurrected saints as the sheaf of first fruits, which Jesus took into heaven, and presented to the Father. God has been very careful in fulfilling every detail of prophecy – including prophecy foretold through shadows and types.

Many believe Paul makes reference to these events in a very controversial statement in the fourth chapter of Ephesians. “Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men’” (Eph. 4:8). Some scholars believe that the statement about gifts refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and to Jesus transferring the saints out of Paradise into Heaven. We don’t know when this transfer happened, but based upon Jesus’ statement that: “He was going to prepare a place for the disciples”, perhaps, all saints were taken to heaven when Jesus returned to heaven after appearing on earth during the period of forty days. It seems that He may have spent time both in heaven and on earth during those forty days.

A short time after Jesus met Mary Magdalene; He met the other women who had come to the tomb. “And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’ So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me’ (Matt 28:9-10). Did Jesus make a fast trip to heaven between these two personal appearances? Jesus now allows the women to touch him.

I have always been amazed at how slowly the disciples reacted to Jesus’ instruction to return to Galilee. Next, we meet Jesus as he approaches some of the disciples who were walking on the road to the village of Emmaus. He walked beside them for quite some time, and they did not recognize him. Let us pick up the conversation. “And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’ Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What things?’ So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him’” (Luke 24:17-20).

It seems that they had no idea to whom they were speaking. Let us continue with the conversation. “’But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.’ Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself“ (Luke 24:21-27).

We must keep in mind that the disciples were spiritually blind, and that they had accepted Jesus on blind faith. They expected Jesus to set up the Earthly Kingdom, and since he did not, they were very confused. Now let us continue with the narrative. “Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us’” (Luke 24:28-31)?

Almost immediately, the disciples returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples. Upon their return they learned that Jesus had also appeared to Simon Peter.

Luke and John both give us details of His next appearance, but let us explore John’s narrative as more details are given. “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’“ (John 20:19-22).

Luke also tells us that Jesus requested a piece of a broiled fish, and they gave it to Him, and He ate it. Jesus now has a very unique new body. He can arrive, and disappear at will, He can walk through solid walls, yet, He can eat food. This is the same kind of body that all believers will receive at the time of the bodily resurrection. It is not a spirit body!

Jesus breathed upon the disciples, and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. However, there is no indication that they received the Holy Spirit at that time. It seems that He meant that they would receive the Holy Spirit at a later time. This group of believers became the first church. At this time the church was dead because they had not yet received the Holy Spirit; however, 50 days later, at Pentecost, they became spiritually alive when the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven upon them. But in the meantime, they remained spiritually blind, and without power. Please notice the parallel between the creation of the church body, and the creation of man’s body; in both cases God breathed life into a dead body.

Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared unto them. When He returned, they told him the news, but He did not believe. “The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:25-29).

The disciples left Jerusalem and went into Galilee. There Jesus appeared to them early one morning and prepared breakfast (John 21). The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to James His half-brother and to over five hundred at one time. (1 Cor. 15:6-8).

Later He appeared to the twelve at the Mount of Olives just before He ascended into heaven. ” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11).

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Last edited by wayne on Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All quoted scripture in the above is from the "New Kings James Version" unless noted.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just read the Garden of Gethsemane and will come again to finish reading it all...

I just wanted to comment on a different point of view that I read in it. That he was fearful of taking on the sins of humanity had never occurred to me. I have read this in the Bible many times, but never drew that conclusion! That is a powerful statement and makes his sacrifice just that much more precious.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Wayne,

The first fruits verse was in my SS class a couple of weeks ago. The first fruits represent a sample and a surety.

The sample is that Jesus had a resurrected body. One like we will have when we are resurrected.

And He is the surety. As He was raised, so will we be.

Happy Easter/Resurrection Day.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.
I'm Tellin' It Like It Is! ~
Reflections from Jim
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