So much time has passed and many have lost the true connection of the title of this article. I have, also, a google account and wrote a post about the last meal in the upper room. Not only was it about a meal, but also the begining of a New Covenant between God and mankind. He broke the bread signifying His body which was to tortured and broken, and drank the wine to have us keep in remembrance of His death, which was to come that weekend before Passover. He instructed us to break the bread, and to drink the wine, which signifies His precious blood that washes us clean from sin: ‘ DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME ‘. Latter that evening, while praying in an olive grove, He was betrayed by a kiss by one of His own disciples. It was then that Judas, His disciple who betrayed Jesus, kissed our Lord, and Creator, on the cheek as the Temple Guard arrested Jesus for crimes unknown.
During the rest of that evening the Prince of Darkness was celebrating within his kingdom. He had a stronghold on God, his adversary. The Father’s very own Son took upon Himself flesh with full commision of such an act. Unknown to Satan was the fact that this Divine intervention to save mankind was agreed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit from before the foundations of the world was. As far as the devil was concerned was that the flesh of Jesus would forever be imprisoned in the earth; never to be alive again. In his mind he thought he was getting over God’s plan. You see, he knew Jesus, intimately. He was one of the most beautiful of angels created by our Lord.
The darkness of night turned to day. In the minds of the followers of Jesus there wasn’t a ray of light to found anywhere in their lives. The very people who praised Jesus entering into Jerusalem the week before were now singing a death chant; crucify Him, crucify Him! Keep in mind, Pilate, the Roman curator of the province of Judea, was a pawn in the hands of the Jewish Temple priests in Jerusalem. Pilate wished and tried to free Jesus from the religious zealots, without sacrificing himself. A business man must meet the question whether he will conform to some established method of wrong- doing in the line of his business, or abandon his prospects of success in life. The position of Pilate was, after all, no more trying than is the position of almost every man who faces Christ and Christ’s cause to-day; and now, as always, only he who is ready to lose his life, and to lose a great deal more than life, for the sake of Christ, can fairly be called a true and faithful servant of Christ.
It is Friday before Passover and a sentence of death has now been proclaimed over the life of Jesus. Pilate’s sentence of scourging was totally different than that of his sentence of the penalty of death over the life of what he told the mob, ‘ Behold your King ‘. The exasperation of Pilate towards the obstinate determination of the Jews to have the blood of Jesus, brought out that scornfully bitter, and angry declaration. Pilate spoke a truth that he had not understood, nor should we concern ourselves with his meaning. But, from the throne of God, ‘ Let Him be crucified ‘ is the decree of the Almighty, the ‘ determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God “. This shedding of the precious blood of Christ, as the “ lamb without blemish and without spot “, was ” fore-ordained before the foundation of the world “. We cannot by any means save ourselves. The Holy Spirit foreshadowed the death of the Son of God. All that the Holy Spirit told us pointed to the sacrifice of this Lamb of God now laid upon the cross.
Here is the mediation between God and men. for this He was both God and Man. Jesus must bring them together, or they will be separated forever. This was perfectly done, and what He did only has to be received in penitence and trust, and salvation is assured. “ IT IS FINISHED “! He was God; He was Man: He was a person in whom the Divine and human natures were united. All the prophesies laid out for us by the Holy Spirit of God have now all been accomplished. The righteousness of the law had been fulfilled, and the great legal sacrifices were complete. Everything the Father had given Him to do was finished. This was significant because this was a shout that came from a triumphant Almighty conqueror. Jesus declared that every promise uttered in the Garden of Eden to the last uttered word of Malachi was fulfilled in Him on the alter of the ‘ CROSS ‘. There is nothing more God can ask of mankind; perfect obedience to what all the Father had asked had been satisfied. Christ, the Creator, who finished creation, has perfected redemption.
Sin was nailed to that tree only because sin nailed Christ to the tree. Divine justice has been served. This all serves to show mankind that he is helpless, worthless, and a sinner. Christ demolishes all self righteousness. We see, now, there is no more work required, nor contributions to be made any longer. His payment for the purchase of mankind was more than enough, and is grounds for immediate peace and joy. God requires no satisfaction from us, or will He ever, ‘ IT IS FINISHED ‘. Christ, our Creator has paid the ransom for his captive children. On that cross did our Saviour give hope to the hopeless, pardon to the guilty, and acceptance to the lost. Christ was a man of war; He met His foes on the battlefield, confronted all His enemies, and on the cross He destroyed death of it’s sting, triumphed over Satan, the grave, and hell. Beware of all that might dim the light and glory of Christ’s finished work, and to mislead, misguide, and misdirect souls on their way to the judgement seat.
In the place He was crucified there was a garden. It seems terrible that flowers should bloom when the Lord who made and rules the universe was dying the death of a slave. Nature still raises itself in praise to the One it honors. What symbolism that garden exhibited around, and near that cross in relation to man and God. That garden blooms still, and will bloom on till the day of the end of creation and paradise is restored. The sepulchre is in a garden. In all human gardens of domestic and social joy, there is death. It is a new tomb, and one of a rich man. The number of mourners was small, but their grief was intense.
As was the custom the body was ‘ prepared ‘ for burial. Christ’s death was hurried, and costly. More was spent upon Jesus at His burial than at any time before. The women, Mary, His mother, the Magdalene, and others, as was the custom, anointed His body with oil, and fragrant spices to keep the aroma of the decaying body being detected. There was the use of Frankincense, as was customary and surprisingly, Myrrh. As with all Jewish burials the procedures were the same, whereas in this case, it was a bit hurried, but thorough. In centuries past when in Egypt the Jews, when slaves, learned of mummification from the Egyptians. Not just wrapping the body haphazardly, but in a fashion particular to mummifying a body. In such cases a product called Myrrh, which is a gummy substance, was used to seal the linens which wrapped the body of Jesus. It would harden as if it were forming a cocoon like of an insect. To remove would be a task until it were left to dry. Christ entered the tomb to rob it of it’s gloom.
In like manner, Mary Magdalene, proceeded to the tomb of Jesus on the first day of the week, with other women, not to rob the tomb, but to make sure that the tomb was not robbed. When arriving at the tomb these women had to have fear approaching the tomb of the One they dearly loved seeing that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. How comforting, then to them the words of the angel’ ” FEAR NOT “. Face it, they were naturally timid, and had nothing in themselves to enable them to face a supernatural appearance, or any of the terrors of such a scene as we have here. Like these women, those seeking after Christ are blessed. They are seeking after ‘ HIMSELF ‘. Characterized by visible grief, secret hope, and timid faith their devotion is to One rejected by the world.
” HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID “. Here is an opened, and empty tomb. As we linger at the Redeemer’s opened , and empty tomb there are a few holy lessons to be learned.
1) Come and see where the Lord lay, and learn a lesson of penitence for sin.
2) Come and see where the Lord lay, and learn a lesson of love to Him.
3) Come and see where the Lord lay, and realize your union with Him and nearness to Him.
4) Come and be in alliance with those who honor Christ.
BEHOLD HE IS ALIVE FOR EVERMORE. ” AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY “.