Jesus is crucified
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Mark 15:21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, “The place of a skull.” 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it.
24 Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take. 25 It was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 The superscription of his accusation was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27 With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was counted with transgressors.”
29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him also insulted him.
33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”
36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.”
37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 38 The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 39When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.
This type of punishment was called crucifixion. Jesus was nailed onto a wooden cross on a little hill known as Calvary. His arms were outstretched on either side of His body and thick nails were driven through His palms. His feet were nailed onto the down bar. He endured awful pain and thirst.
Many spectators mocked Him because He was so powerless. Worst of all, He no longer felt God, His heavenly Father was with him. It made Him cry out “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”
His Father saw the awful multitude of sins of humankind that rested on his Son. It was hideous to Him, so He turned His face away. But he did not take his strength from his Son.
Jesus had the power to come off the cross and could send His angels to kill every person on earth in one blow, but His love for us kept Him there until He had received the full punishment and covered our shame for our sins. Before Jesus died, he cried out, “It is finished.”
This means He had completed all that his Father had sent Him to do. He had paid the full debt for man’s sins. It would never again be necessary to offer a sheep or ox or whatever animal for a person’s sin.
At that moment something important happened inside God’s temple in Jerusalem. One small part of the temple was screened off by a thick curtain. Behind that curtain was “The Ark of the Covenant.” That was a wooden box. Two golden images of angels with outspread wings were mounted above it. Inside of it were the two stones on which were written the ten commandments that Moses received from God on the mountain. This box was very holy.
Only the High Priest could enter behind the curtain once a year to sprinkle blood on the ark for the sins of the nation. When Jesus cried out “It is finished, the curtain was torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand. It was God that did it to show that people may now, when repenting of sin, enter without fear or shame into the presence of God because Jesus had been punished fully for their sin. There is also now no need for us to speak to God through a priest.
At the cross where the body of Jesus still hang, there was a tremendous earthquake. The chief of the soldiers who had been part of the people who mocked Jesus, then realized that Jesus was truly the Son of God.
Jesus is buried
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Mark 15:42 When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for God’s Kingdom, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.
God the Father was still planning the course of events very carefully. His Son was going to rise from the grave and He wanted the whole world to know about it so that they could believe in Him and be saved. Therefore, He did not leave it to the soldiers to bury His body in the ground, covering it by soil. No, He put a thought into the heart of a rich man called Joseph, who secretly believed in Jesus, to retrieve His body and lay it in the rock grave he had prepared for himself. It had a stone at the entrance which could be rolled away. Some of Jesus’ other followers were also present when he did so.
Jesus rises from the grave
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.
5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. 6 He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.’”
8 They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved. 12 After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 They went away and told it to the rest. They didn’t believe them, either.
14 Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn’t believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
During the three years that Jesus had been ministering amongst the Jewish people, He had performed incredible miracles, even raising people from the dead. His disciples that had walked with Him, as well as several women that had accompanied the group, really loved Jesus, but found it extremely hard to believe that He would rise from the dead as He had promised. The women therefore took all sorts of ointments to go and balm His dead body.
Arriving at the grave they were shocked to find that the tombstone was rolled away. On entering, they were dumbfounded when an angel appeared, informing them that Jesus had risen and commanded them to convey his message to Jesus’ disciples.
The first person Jesus appeared to, was a woman named Mary Magdalene. She was in tears at the grave when Jesus spoke to her and thought He was the gardener, until He called her by name, and she recognized His voice.
Jesus then appeared to several others and towards evening also to his group of disciples. He chided them because they were so unwilling to believe that He arose from the dead. Later He commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all people. Those who would believe their message and be baptized, would be saved, but those who would not believe, would be condemned.
If God the Father could create heaven and earth, why do people find it so hard to believe that He could resurrect His Son from the dead? The reason Jesus gave was that we have hardened hearts, which simply means that we prefer trusting ourselves and other human beings around us rather than trusting the God we cannot see.
Let me give two examples. A person will trust a doctor he does not know to put him to sleep, cut open his chest, remove and repair his heart and put it back in, thus saving his life, but the same person will not trust the unseen Jesus to give him eternal life.
Or a person will sit down in an airliner and trust a pilot he had never to lift him many kilometers above the earth and deliver at an airport where he had never been to, rather than trusting the unseen Holy Spirit to come into his life, take over control, give him God’s directions and ability to obey, and steering his life on a new course and a higher level to the gates of heaven.
Jesus did not excuse this behaviour; He condemned it.
Jesus’ ascension and promise to return
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
19 So then the Lord, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
Acts 1:1 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, 2 until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God’s Kingdom. 4 Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. 5 For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 Therefore when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
9 When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing, 11 who also said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky, will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
After Jesus had risen, fourty days went by before He finally left the earth and returned to heaven.
This was the second part of His ministry on earth. During the first part He ministered from the limitations of a human body but during this latter period He was free to move around as a spirit being, appearing all over the country. Distances and closed doors no longer stopped Him, nor could anybody, nor the devil afflict Him.
Thousands of people had seen Him personally when He was ministering in a human body, but found it hard to believe that that He was God Who came down to be with them. Now He visited hundreds of them, once appearing to more than 500 men simultaneously, convincing them that He was the same Person, the very Son of God.
He also gave them directions as to the future. They had to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, just as He had been baptized before He went out to do God’s work. The Holy Spirit would impart spiritual power to them to be witnesses for Jesus all over the earth.
Then he was taken up to heaven in a cloud. As they watched Him ascending, perhaps longing to go with Him, there stood two men in white robes (angels) that the Father had sent to comfort them. They promised that Jesus would return to earth in a cloud again, just the way He was leaving.
This good news satisfied them, and they returned to a certain upper room in Jerusalem where they prayed together day after day for the outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit.