Fred R. Coulter—March 13, 2010

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We know that Jesus was God before He came in the flesh as a human being. We saw in number one that Jesus took to Himself human nature, the same nature that we have and was able to overcome and remain perfect. And therefore, became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

All of those sins, as we saw previously, go back to Adam and Eve when they sinned, so we have a sinful nature. So Christ came in the flesh and in order then to condemn sin in the flesh, we need to understand something about Jesus and why it was important that He was able to do this

  • He was the one Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament.
  • He was the one Who created Adam and Eve.
  • He is the one Who gave the judgment when they sinned.

So taking upon Himself that judgment, because He was responsible for it, then to redeem them He took the judgment upon Himself. Now let's see some of this here in Colossians, the first chapter, and let's see how Paul writes of this.

Colossians 1:16: "Because by Him [Christ] were all things created... [This agrees with Heb. 1] ...the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him." Now this also dovetails right into John 1, but nothing came into being except that the Word had created it.

"And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist.... [So everyone's life is depending upon Christ, whether they know Him or not. Everyone is depended upon God, whether they know Him or not or realize it, because He created us, He made the world, every breath we breathe is because He gives us the power to do so. Isn't it interesting, we start breathing from the instant we are born until we give up our last breath, whenever that is, at the end of life. And all the way through that, God is the One Who put in our bodies to be able to do so. Likewise with seeing, with hearing, with all the aspects of life; it all came from God. So everything subsists by Him.] ...And He is the Head of the body, the Church... [So Christ is the one Who is in charge of the Church. Those who are teaching are to be assisting and helping and teaching and perfecting the saints.] ...Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He Himself might hold the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell... [Now here's what He did]: ...and, having made peace through the blood of His cross... [That is, peace with God so that those that God calls can be reconciled to God and have their sins forgiven.] Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven" (vs 17-20). Let's see how He did that. How did He shed and His blood and how was it and why was it that He went through everything that He did?

Now a lot of people, atheists, say, 'Well, I don't believe in God because of all these killings and natural disasters, and earthquakes, and floods and tornadoes, and hurricanes, armies that come and kill and loot and slaughter.' And that's been the way it has been all the way down through history. So how's God going to compensate for all of that? How is God going to cure all of that? Since He created everything, why did He allow this to happen? Or better yet, re-phrase it: Why did He give human beings such a nature that it caused it to happen? And why did God allow Satan the devil to then rule over men, when it's God's purpose to save all human beings? So it's kind of—how do you reconcile this? It starts with what God did in becoming a human being.

There were many prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah. Some of them show that He will live forever. Others show that He would be a human being. Now how do you reconcile those? We don't reconcile it yet. Isaiah 9:6, here's a prophecy of the one Who would become Jesus. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder... [Now that's what's wrong with the governments today. They're ruled over by the basest of men.] ...and His name shall be called Wonderful... [Let's notice how these blend into the names of God.] ...Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this" (vs 6-7).

Not all of this has been fulfilled yet. Paul explained it in a different way in 1-Timothy 3. Let's turn there. He explained some of this as to what happened. How could Christ do this, He's a human, and why did He become human, as we saw, so that He could reconcile all things. He expressed it this way so we would understand that it was God Himself Who did these things. 1-Timothy 3:16: "And undeniably, great is the mystery of Godliness... [or the secret of Godliness. That is also how human beings can become Godly and eventually enter into the Family of God. How God became a human being, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. That is a mystery!] (So he explains it this way): ...God was manifested in the flesh... [in the person of Jesus Christ] ...was justified in the Spirit... [That is, because He opened the way of reconciliation for man.] ...was seen by angels, was proclaimed among the Gentiles, was believed on in the world, was received up in glory."

What did He have to suffer first?—which then answers the question as to why He came in the flesh. He came in the flesh so that He would receive upon Himself all that human beings brought upon themselves, because they left God, and because He gave the judgment of human nature to be passed on to all the descendants of Adam and Eve.

Isaiah 53 is quite a chapter. It's also very interesting that the way it has been written, that the Jews in His time should have understood Who He was. This tells us what God did, and it tells us why God did it, and then how that applies to our lives. Isaiah 53:1: "Who has believed our report?... [Because it's kind of a hard thing to believe—isn't it? Especially for people who know nothing of the Bible. Very difficult to believe!] ...And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?.... [Then it starts talking about Christ. We saw the one where, 'unto us a child was born, unto us a son is given.' Now then it talks about His growing up.] ...For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground" (vs 1-2).

Now let's come back here to Isaiah 50 and let's look at something here that is interesting, and let's answer the question how He grew up before God the Father. Who taught Jesus Christ? Did God leave it to lying teachers and rabbis and other people? A lot of people think, 'Oh, He grew up just as an ordinary Jew.' As being God manifested in the flesh, why would He grow up as an ordinary Jew and learn all the traditions of the fathers, which were not of God? So how was Jesus taught? The answer is right here.

Isaiah 50:4: "'The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned... [When He went up to the temple at age twelve and all the experts up there were questioning Him and He was answering and questioning them and they were astonished at His learning.] know to help the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as one being taught…. [This is telling us that God the Father woke up Jesus every morning and was teaching Him. That's why in the Scriptures, Jesus said, 'I do what I see the Father has done and I do as the Father has taught Me, and I do as the Father has commanded Me.' Because He was educated by the Father.] …The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor turned away backwards" (vs 4-5).

Now we'll come back here in just a minute to see how we know that that is Christ, but that's how Jesus was educated. When He was at the Feast of Tabernacles in John 4, everyone was wondering how did He know all of these things, having never been schooled? Now that term means that He never went to any of the Jewish schools. Now think about this for a minute: As much as the rabbis and the Jews hated Jesus, what do you suppose they would have done to the human teacher who would have taught Him if He was taught by humans? They wanted to kill Christ. They would have taken care of him first. 'You did this!' So that's why it was done that way. So that's how He grew up. God the Father taught Him every morning. Did They start shortly after He was born? We're not told.

Verse 2: "…He has no form nor comeliness that we should look upon Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him." So He came just as an ordinary human being. He wasn't some great super human being, six-foot seven, good looking, that kind of thing.

But notice what His life was and how many times this has happened to other people. So as we read this about Christ, we read about how He took upon Himself all the sins of the world and in a personal way. Verse 3: "He is despised and rejected of men... [There have been people feel that way, wonder where is God? why does everybody hate me? how come no one loves me? why am I here alone? Yes!] ...a Man of sorrows... [And how many people have had sorrows upon sorrows upon sorrows.] ...and acquainted with grief... [Even though all these things happened, the people who looked at Him, it says of Him:] ...and we hid as it were our faces from Him... [That is, when He was being crucified.] ...He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows..." (vs 3-4). That's what He did. He took upon Him

  • all the pain, all the suffering
  • all the agony
  • all the grief

of all human beings combined together upon Himself, because He was the Creator of mankind. So taking it upon Himself, in effect He took upon all that mankind has gone through Himself.

"Surely He has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions... [Not His, He had none.] ...He was crushed for our iniquities... [We will see how He was crushed, beaten within a second of life.] ...the chastisement of our peace was upon Him... [In other words, in order to have peace with God He had to take our chastisement upon Himself.] ...and with His stripes we ourselves are healed" (vs 4-5). Now Peter wrote of that 'by His stripes we are healed.' God will intervene to help us, to heal us, to raise us up. Yes, we have to take care of ourselves, we have to take care of our bodies, and things like that. That is true.

Verse 6: "All we like sheep have gone astray... [That agrees with what the New Testament says, 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'] ...we have turned each one to his own way... [Now notice:] ...and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all…. [So that's why He went through what He did, the way He did.] …He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away... [There were three courts of examination that He went through:

  • Sanhedrin
  • Herod
  • Pilate

...and with His generation who did consider that He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken?.... [Who knew it? Even the disciples didn't know it. When Jesus tried to tell them what He was going to go through, they couldn't believe it. Remember what Peter said? 'No, Lord, far be that from You. That won't happen to You. No, I'll be here and save you, Lord.' What did Jesus say? 'Get you behind me, Satan, for you savor the things of men and not the things of God.' So it had to be.] ...And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth" (vs 6-9). The perfect for the imperfect! The righteous for the unrighteous!

"Yet the LORD willed to crush Him... [we'll see how closely that really happened] ...and He has put Him to grief; You shall make His life an offering for sin. He shall see His seed... [interesting statement there. That's a prophecy of the resurrection to see the children of God brought into the Kingdom of God through what He did in this crucifixion.] ...He shall prolong His days... [That means the resurrection.] ...and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper in His hand" (v 10).

So all of this was the will and purpose of God. As we saw last time, it was planned from the foundation of the world. Now let's understand something else here: The one Who became Jesus Christ is the one Who gave Isaiah these prophecies about what would happen to Him. So He knew.

Verse 11: "He shall see of the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities." Now you talk about justice. God gave to Adam and Eve the judgment that they would have a sinful nature; the judgment that they would now since they rejected God, be under the domination of Satan if they continued in the way that they were going. And all the world has gone that way. You read the account before the Flood, 'the imagination of man is wicked all the time and the earth was full of violence' and God had to destroy it. All of that judgment comes back on him, too.

So where, in any religion that you might search out on earth, would you find a God so loving, so kind and so just, as we read, that at the appointed time Christ died, while we were still enemies of God? Where would you find a plan that we find in the Bible as revealed by the Passover and Holy Days, how God is going to work out His plan and save all mankind, give them an opportunity for salvation, which they may never have had in their original life? What about babies who were killed? What about stillborn? What about those who die in battle? What about those who never heard the name of Christ?

I think about those who live up a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle. Whenever I think it's cold, I think, 'The way they live there, a hundred miles above the Arctic Circle.' They know nothing of God. They never heard of Christ. They don't understand anything. Yet they're made in the image of God. Are they just chattel to be thrown away and their existence is worthless and never to have an opportunity for salvation? That's why we have the Last Great Day, because God's going to take care of that. When you really get into the Bible, and go through the Holy Days, you find that it answers every question that human beings have had:

  • Who is God?
  • Why is God?
  • What is He doing?

And for it to be applied to us personally, it starts out with the sacrifice of Christ and the forgiveness of our sins, just like we read right here.

Verse 12: "Therefore, I will divide to Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul to death; and He was counted among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors." Quite a thing! There it is right there!

Let's see how He was crushed. Let's look at some Scriptures which describe the crucifixion, right here. Isaiah 52:14: "Many were astonished at Him—for His body was so disfigured—even His form beyond that of the sons of men…. [So when the soldiers got a hold of Him to scourge and beat Him, it was as vicious and violent as could be. Now notice what the result of this is going to be.] …So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths because of Him; for they will see that which was not told to them; yea, what they had not heard, shall they consider" (vs 14-15). And that is when the Gospel is open to their minds. It's going to be an astonishing thing.

Now back to Isaiah 50 again, talking about what Jesus went through. Before I wrote this book, The Day Jesus the Christ Died, remember when Mel Gibson had the movie, The Passion of the Christ? How many saw that? We went to see it. It was good, but it was all the Catholic version of it and it missed the important part that it was the Passover day on which He died, and the prophecies of how it came about, it missed that. But I think that they showed very well the scourging. I think was as close to the real thing as you could get. That's why I did the book. (We send it out free to all who ask.)

Isaiah 50:6: "I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair... [So they were just pulling His beard right out by the roots.] ...I did not hide My face from shame and spitting, for the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I have not been disgraced. On account of this I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" (vs 6-7). Now we don't know what we're going to have to go through, but one thing for sure, we need to do as Christ did. When trouble overwhelms us, we need to stand in the faith and we need to set our faces like flint that nothing is going to move us.

Verse 8: "He is near who justifies Me; who will contend with Me? Let us stand together; who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he who shall condemn Me? Lo, they all shall grow old like a garment; the moth shall eat them" (vs 8-9). So they're all going to perish, everything that they did there.

Let's see here in Psalm 22. Here's quite a Psalm. It tells about in the prophecy in the Psalms here, it tells us the very thoughts that Jesus had while He was on the cross. Now we'll see some of these a little bit later. Every time I read this I can't help but think, what did David think when he wrote this down? Obviously, David didn't go through any of these. This is a Psalm of King David. We will see some of the very words, some of the very experiences that Jesus went through while He was there dying on the cross.

Psalm 22:1: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me..." He [Christ] had to be completely alone. In order to carry this perfect judgment of God against Himself, so that He could rescue His creation, He had to do it by Himself. That's why it says in Heb. 1 that 'after He had purged our sins by Himself, He sat down on the right hand of God.' When you read in the Gospels that there was darkness that covered the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour. So Jesus had to go through this by Himself. Remember, when He was talking with some of the disciples and they wanted to stop the arrest and the events going on, He said, 'Even now, if I ask the Father for twelve legions of angels, He would send them.' But He had to do it on His own, all alone.

 "...and 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 answer; and in the night season, and am not silent.... [So what we're going to do, we'll see some verses apply to the prophecy of the words of Christ when He was on the cross, and some words apply to David's own experience.] ...Yet, You are Holy, O You enthroned upon 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.... [And this was written 300 years before when Isaiah wrote.] ...All who see Me mock Me; they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying, 'He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him!'.... [That's what the chief priests were doing. They said, 'Well, if you're the Christ, come on down off the cross here and we'll believe you.'] ...For You are He who took Me out of the womb, causing Me to trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth; You are My God from My mother's womb" (vs 1-10). Which then also ties in with how Jesus was taught—right? Yes!

Yes, they mocked at him, saying, 'You trusted on the Lord, let Him deliver Him, let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him.' Verse 11: "Be not far from Me; for trouble is near, for there is none to help…. [No one's going to run up there and take Him off the cross. No one is going to run up there and save His life.] (Now here's a spiritual thing): …Many bulls have encircled around Me... [These are demons that He could see around the cross. Because Satan was the one who was behind killing Christ—is that not true? Did not Satan possess Judas and Judas betrayed Him? Yes, indeed! After He was taken then Judas went out and hung himself. Obviously, Satan left him and so here we have a description of Satan and the demons just circling around the cross. Now no one else could see it. They thought, 'We've got Him, we've got Him. He's going to die. This is going to end it.' But it didn't. He was raised after three days and three nights.] ...strong bulls of Bashan have surrounded Me. They opened wide their mouths at Me, like a ravening and roaring lion...." (vs 11-13). Now what does it say of Satan in the New Testament? 'He's a roaring lion going after and seeking who he may devour'—right? Yes!

Now here's how He felt, because He was scourged, He was beaten, He was crushed, and His flesh was ripped open and there He is on the cross. "I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax... [He could just feel it.] is melted in the midst of My bowels.... [All of His strength draining out of Him.] ...My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; dogs have surrounded Me..." (vs 14-15). Yes, all of the chief priests and all of the elders there watching. Those who loved Jesus and some of the women were standing off on the side, far off looking at it. The only disciple that stayed and watched the whole thing was the Apostle John. All the others ran away. Even Peter, he didn't know what to do. So that's why the resurrection three days later.

"...they have pierced My hands and My feet... [Now that could not apply directly to David. No one crucified David. This has to be of Christ Himself.] ...and You have brought Me into the dust of death…. ['dust you are and unto dust you shall return,' as all human flesh.] …I can count all My bones..." (vs 15-17). He looked down and He saw the flesh was ripped out. He could see His ribs. I don't know how much of the muscle they ripped off His leg, but He could probably see some of the bones on His legs as well, all to save His creation; all to pay for their sin. Every evil and horrible thing that men have done to men, to kill, to maim, to destroy, He took upon Himself to pay for that.

So when it says that 'God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life,' that's quite a thing! You look at what's going on in the world, and you ask yourself, would you die for all of those—let's just use the unconverted Muslims—killing, hateful Muslims who kill with absolutely no provocation at all? Even their own, not just the enemy, they kill each other. Yet Christ died for them. Their day of salvation is coming. It's not now in this age, but it's coming. That's why He went through all of this.

And here's quite a prophecy, v 18: "They divide My garments among them and cast lots upon My vesture…. [Now I don't suppose those Roman soldiers were sitting there saying, and one of them said, 'I've got an idea. We're here to fulfill prophecy.' It says, 'Let's divide the garment and we'll cast lots for His vesture. That's a nice piece of cloth; we don't want to lose that.' They didn't know, they had no idea, none whatsoever.] …But You, O LORD, be not far from me; O My strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver My soul from the sword... [It was a spear that went up into His side, probably diagonal from the right side right up into His innards, and right up and pierced His heart to make sure that every drop of blood would be shed.] ...Deliver My soul from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth; yea, and from the wild ox's horns. You have answered Me" (vs 18-21).

Then He talks about what He's going to do. "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You.'…. [That's a prophecy clear way out to the first resurrection from this time. So you go back when this was given, what, about a thousand B.C. So you add on another two thousand. Three thousand years ago. Quite an amazing thing!] …You who fear the LORD, praise Him; all of you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and stand in awe of Him all of you, the seed of Israel" (vs 22-7 23).

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In the Harmony of the Gospels, we have all four Gospels coordinated and all lined out together so you can see the different ones that we have. Let's come to Mark 14 before we get to the Gospel of John, There were many, many prophecies fulfilled concerning the crucifixion of Christ. In the book, The Harmony of the Gospels, there are 28 major ones that we have entitled, Twenty-Eight Prophecies Fulfilled in One Day. Let's read some of the things that are here; let's see what happened.

Mark 14:27—this is after the Passover meal, after the institution of the Christian Passover with the broken bread and the wine, and so they were going out toward the Mount of Olives. "Then Jesus said to them, 'All of you shall be offended in Me in this night; for it is written, "I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."…. [Now the next verse, they didn't understand.] …But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.'.... [Notice what Peter did]: ...Then Peter said to Him, 'Even if all shall be offended, yet I shall not.'.... [No one is going to be righteous on his own strength. That's the lesson. Only true righteousness comes from God and His Spirit.] ...'Truly I say to you, today, in this very night before the cock crows twice, you shall deny Me three times'" (vs 28-30). And he did!

"But he spoke more adamantly, 'If it were necessary for me to die with You, I would not deny You in any way.' And they all spoke in the same manner also.... [So what happened? Exactly as He said.] ...Then they came to a place that was called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, 'Sit here while I pray,' And He took Peter and James and John with Him; and He began to be deeply troubled and heavy-hearted. And He said to them, 'My soul is filled with anguish, even to death; remain here and watch.' Then He went forward a little, dropped to the ground and prayed, that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him" (vs 31-35).

"And He said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible with You. Remove this cup from Me! Yet not what I will, but what You will.'.... [This prayer was absolutely necessary so that Jesus would not exert any of His own will. He knew what was coming. And of course knowing as He told the disciples, 'Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I'm baptized with?' And that baptism was the baptism of the crucifixion. So that's why He prayed the prayer.] ...Then He came and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, 'Simon, are you sleeping? Were you not able to watch one hour? Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak'" (vs 36-38). And that's the whole story of human nature. We all intend to do good, but we can't make it happen.

"And again He went away and prayed, saying the same thing. And when He returned, He again found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time, and said to them, 'Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise! Let us be going. Look, the one who is betraying Me is approaching.' And immediately, while He was speaking, Judas, being one of the twelve, came up with a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the one who was betraying Him had given them a sign, saying, 'Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one. Arrest Him and take Him securely away.' And as soon as he came up to Him, he said, 'Master, Master,' and kissed Him earnestly" (vs 39-45).

Isn't that something? He even had betrayal from within. How many people have experienced that? Betrayal from within! How many people's lives have been crushed and ruined because a friend betrayed them? This is why He went through this.

"Then they laid their hands on Him and arrested Him. But a certain one of those standing near drew out a sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have you come out to take Me with swords and clubs, as against a thief? I was with you daily, teaching in the temple, and you did not arrest Me; but this is done so that the Scriptures may be fulfilled.'…. [So He knew exactly what was going to happen.] …Then they all forsook Him and fled" (vs 46-50).

Then here's the account of Mark. Mark is the young lad who when they grabbed him, he was just wrapped up in one long robe and it came off and he ran away naked, v 54: "Now Peter followed at a distance, all the way to the court of the high priest; and he was sitting inside with the officers and warming himself at the fire. And the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find testimony against Jesus, to put Him to death; but they did not find any. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. And some rose up and bore false witness again Him, saying, 'We heard Him say, "I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands"'" (vs 54-58).

They couldn't find out how to bring a testimony against him. Everyone who's a prisoner in prison, doing jail-time, being convicted, and you didn't do the crime, Christ took that penalty upon Himself, too. There are a lot of them that have suffered that. Have they got there at the hands of lying prosecutor, a cheating judge, a poor defense attorney, not giving all the evidence? This is all part of the human experience. What we're doing in going through this in everything that He went through, was what other human beings through their lifetimes, different ones at different times, have experienced.

Verse 60: "Then the high priest stood up in the center and questioned Jesus, saying, 'Have You nothing to say in answer to what these are testifying against You?' But He remained silent and answered nothing.... [Just like Isa. 53 said—right?] ...Again the high priest questioned Him, and said to Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, 'I AM....'" (vs 60-62). Now notice in the Faithful Version, I translated it with capital letters, because that's the name of God. And in the Greek it's a double I AM. There are two words for I AM: 'Ego' and 'Eme'—which means I AM. When they are used together, it is an emphatic I AM. So that's why I translated it that way.

Now here's what really got to them, because they understood this Scripture from the book of Daniel. "'...And you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest ripped his own garments and said, 'What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your verdict?' And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. Then some began to spit on Him, and to cover His face and strike Him with their fists, saying to Him, 'Prophesy!' And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands. Now Peter was in the court below; and one of the maids of the high priest came.... [Right at a time—we don't know how much of this that Peter saw, but we know from the account in the book of Luke, after the cock crowed and he denied Him the third time, Jesus looked him right in the eye, right across the courtyard. So Peter was there.] ...And saw Peter warming himself; and after looking at him, she said, 'Now you were with Jesus the Nazarene.' But he denied it, saying, 'I do not know Him or even understand what you are saying'.... [So God can fulfill a prophecy in spite of your best intentions—right? Yes!] ...And he went out onto the porch, and a cock crowed" (vs 62-68).

"Then the maid saw him again and began to say to those who were standing by, 'This is one of them.' And again he denied it. And after a little while, those who were standing by again said to Peter, 'Truly you are one of them, for you are indeed a Galilean, and your speech confirms it.' Then he began to curse and to swear, saying, 'I do not know this man of Whom you are speaking.' And the cock crowed the second time.... [Even this was forgiven, because it says there in the account in Luke, Jesus said to Peter, 'And when you are converted—because he wasn't converted yet—strengthen the brethren.' And this must have been not only a humbling experience to go through, but a humility that he would remember the rest of his life. That on that very critical night, his vanity got carried away with him and he said, 'Lord, this will never happen to you.' And Jesus said, 'You're going to deny Me three times.] ...Then Peter remembered the words that Jesus had spoken to him: 'Before the cock crows twice, you shall deny Me three times.' And when he thought about this, he wept" (vs 69-72).

So then they took Him to Pilate. We won't go through all of that. He didn't answer anything, but let's pick it up here in Mark 15:6: "Now at the Feast he customarily released to them one prisoner, whomever they asked. And there was one called Barabbas... [Now I want you to look at the spelling of it. Bar—put a finger over bar—look at the rest of it and it is 'abbas'—means father, bar means son of, the evil counterpart.] ...who was bound in chains with those who had made insurrection and who had committed murder during the insurrection. Then the multitude began to shout aloud, urging Pilate to do as he had always done for them" (vs 6-8). Isn't it true, people want to have their criminals released to them—right? Yes! Look at what they want with their celebrities and everything that they do.

Verse 9: "And Pilate answered them, saying, 'Do you desire to have me release the King of the Jews to you?' For he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask... [Have we seen any organized protests lately, with hired hands? Same thing here. People suffer at that. All of these things you put in the context of what other people have suffered in their lives, and Jesus took it all, took it every bit, so that there would be no human being at any time to say, 'Lord, you don't understand. Lord, you didn't realize what it was like.'] ...stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas to them instead. And again Pilate answered, saying to them, 'What then would you have me do with Him Whom you call King of the Jews?' And again they shouted, 'Crucify Him!'...." (vs 9-13).

Now it's also very interesting. Let's put in a little historical footnote here as we're going along. The Jews were taken over by the Romans as the occupying force because they couldn't get along among themselves, and were fighting among themselves. So Jason the high priest asked the Romans to come in 63B.C., to give them a government, because they were incapable of governing themselves. When they did that, they gave up the right of the death penalty. And how did the Jews always execute the death penalty? With stoning! But it was prophesied that He would be crucified, piercing hands and feet. Now you don't pierce hands and feet. Now, you don't pierce hands and feet with stones. So here, this happened pretty close to about 93 years before the event, so that Jesus would be crucified and not stoned. So this is why, in another account, they said in Matthew's account when Pilate said, 'I want to release Him to you.' He said, 'We have a law that He ought to die.' Then Pilate went back in and said to Jesus, 'Who are You?' So read the account in Matthew, that fills in some more details.

Verse 13: "And again they shouted, 'Crucify Him!' Then Pilate said to them, 'What evil then did He commit?'.... [Because he said there in the account in Matt., 'I find no evil in the man. He hasn't done anything worthy of death.' Now how many people have been executed who were innocent? Again, applying human experience to what Jesus did, because of His love that He had for His creation, and He had to pay the penalty.] ...So Pilate, willing to do whatever would satisfy the crowd... [Sound like politicians? Yes! Let's give them what they want.] ...released Barabbas to them. And after he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him up to be crucified. Then the soldiers led Him away into the court, which is named the Praetorium, and they called together the whole band" (vs 13-16).

Now after He had been sentenced to it, now then they're going to put the final thing upon Him. Here's how they started. "And they put a purple robe on Him; and after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to salute Him, and kept on saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!'.... [Just like a whole bunch of taunting people coming around someone who's totally innocent and taunting them and taunting them. That's what was happening here.] ...'Hail, King of the Jews!' Then they struck His head with a rod, and spit on Him; and kneeling down, they bowed in worship to Him. And when they had finished mocking Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him; and they led Him out to crucify Him" (vs 17-20).

After He had been scourged and beaten like that, there was hardly any strength left in Him. This next scene you see in movies where the one who plays Jesus is struggling with a huge, giant cross. That's not how crosses were in that age. Crucifixion was the way of the death penalty of the Romans. They had crucifixion trees, where they would take a tree and they would cut the branches off, and they would strip it all down. Then they would put like two giant iron arms that they would affix into the trees. These giant arms, then, would take a crossbeam and it would settle down in that. So when it says He carried His cross, it was the crossbeam. You'll see in other places that it says He was crucified on a tree. So both are right. It's a cross and it's a tree. In Josephus' account, what they were doing in 70A.D., he said that there were crosses wanting for bodies and bodies wanting for crosses. They were crucifying every Jew they could find, everyone who was alive, they would throw them up on this whole avenue of crucifixes. It was a slaughter like none else in the history of the world, all because they rejected Christ.

Verse 21: "Then they compelled one who was passing by coming from a field, Simon the Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross. And they brought Him to the place named Golgotha; which is, being interpreted, 'The Place of a Skull'" (vs 21-22). Now all of this has been prophesied, every one of these. You can read in the Harmony of the Gospels, you can read in The Day Jesus the Christ Died, 28 prophecies fulfilled in one day. Now all of those are like 28 witnesses. That's important to understand, because God says of witnesses, you convict no one except with two or three witnesses. You never convict anyone on the witness of one person, so 28 is overwhelming—right? Yes!

Verse 23: "And they were attempting to give Him wine to drink, mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments... [just like we read] ...casting lots for them to see who would take what. Now it was the third hour when they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written, 'The King of the Jews.'…. [Now to fulfill the prophecy that He was counted among evildoers]: …And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on His right hand and one at His left. Then the scripture was fulfilled which says, 'And He was numbered among lawbreakers'.... [Let's notice the fulfilling of the prophecy from Psa. 22] ...And those who were passing by railed at Him, shaking their heads, and saying, 'Aha, You Who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, Save Yourself and come down from the cross.' And in like manner the chief priests... [who should have known Who He was, had the prophecies, had the Scriptures.] ...also were mocking with one another and with the scribes, saying, 'He saved others, but He does not have the power to save Himself'" (vs 23-31). Because He had a greater salvation coming which was the resurrection from the dead.

"'The Christ, the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross so that we may see and believe.' And even those who were crucified with Him reproached Him. Now at the sixth hour, darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour; And 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?'" (vs 32-34). So He had to do this all alone! Have you ever been all alone and helpless and there is nothing that you can do, and you feel God has gone way off and deserted you? Jesus had to go through the same thing.

"And after hearing it, some of those who were standing by said, 'Look, He is calling for Elijah.' Then one ran and filled a sponge with vinegar, and after putting it on a stick gave it to Him to drink, saying, 'Let Him be. Let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down.' And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus expired.... [And then a great event happened when He died.] ...And the veil of the temple was split in two from top to bottom" (vs 35-38).

Now most people don't understand what this veil was. The temple was 72-feet high and it was thirty feet wide. They had a great veil right over the face of the temple that was woven together with sections of linen. There were 72 sections. They were all woven together and it was about three to four inches thick. It takes a great deal of strength to rip that. Right up at the top was a huge stone, which is called lintel. It was attached to that. So when the earthquake happened, that split in two and fell down and ripped that from top to bottom. That was done to signal that the Old Testament temple system had come to an end. Still had 40-years to go before it was destroyed.

But now the way to God was opened directly through Christ, no longer through the temple, no longer behind the veil, no longer just through a physical priest. But now with the resurrected Christ at the right hand of God, you have a High Priest:

  • Who loves you
  • Who cares for you
  • Who laid His life down for you
  • Who can empathize with every sin that you have
  • Who will hear your prayers
  • Who will forgive you your sins for what He did to have your sins forgiven

Now notice how fantastic this was. Let's understand this, too. Look at it this way. Take your left hand, here's the temple mount. Now take your right hand and raise it up a little higher and here's the Mount of Olives. The place where Jesus was crucified was on the Mount of Olives near the special altar called the Miphkad Altar where they burned the sin offerings to finish them off. Right from this point, you had a direct line view right into the temple area. The centurion could look right down and see the ripping of the veil and hear it.

You've heard earthquakes—haven't you? There was noise, there was an earthquake, that came down and he looked down where that was going, and notice what he said, v 39: "Then the centurion who stood facing Him, witnessing the words that He cried out as He was dying, said, 'Truly this man was the Son of God.'" Yet the very religious leaders rejected Him. Isn't it true? Don't the 'religious' leaders today reject the Word of God, accept another Jesus, believe another gospel, and pretend that it comes out of the Bible? Yes, indeed!

Now let's see something else that's important here for us to understand. Let's see Jesus' attitude as He looked forward to this day. Let's come here to 1-John 4. Now this tells us an awful lot, because, you see, as Paul wrote, some would even dare die for a good man. We know of soldiers who died to save their buddies. But for someone to die for all the evil and wretchedness of all mankind in the world, that's what Jesus died for, to bring salvation. That happened on the Passover day. That's why the Passover becomes the central focus of everything that God does. Yes, the Sabbath begins how we start, then we're confronted with the Passover. That was the special day of sacrifice that God had chosen—the appointed time. It wasn't on Good Friday. He wasn't resurrected on a Sunday. None of that is true. Those are the fairy tales of a false Christ preached by those who have stolen the name of Jesus Christ and palmed themselves off as ministers of Christ and they are counterfeit.

1-John 4:9: "In this way the love of God was manifested toward us... [Everything that we have covered.] ...that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love... [That's what it is in the Greek: the love. You can't have any higher love coming from God than that.] ...not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (vs 9-10). Quite an amazing thing! And we're going to see Jesus' attitude here in just a little bit.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us.... [That's the whole purpose of it.] ...By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him... [That's the whole purpose of the death of Christ and to forgive us our sins and to receive the Holy Spirit. It's not enough just to have your sins forgiven, you must be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. Then He's dwelling in us and we in Him.] ...we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us; because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us. And we have seen for ourselves... [John is writing this verifying that the apostles saw this.] ...and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world" (vs 11-14).

Now let's see Jesus' attitude in doing so. Let's come to John 10. This is very interesting, because as we will see, Jesus let all the false messiahs come first through the pagan religions. John 10:1: "'Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter the sheepfold through the door... [and the door is Christ] ...but climbs up some other way, that one is a thief and a robber.'" Unless they do it the way that God says, they're an imposter.

Verse 2: "'But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice... [Now this is interesting. Today we hear the voice of Christ through the words of God.] ...and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.... [That's how we come to know and understand the Truth. God is one Who makes it possible. It's not because we have any great intelligence of ourselves, or we're any different than any other human beings, we're not. Always remember: God calls the weak and the despised, and that's what we are.] ...When he brings the sheep out, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger... [Why? Because they prove all things and know the words of God. That's why.] ...for they will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers'" (vs 2-5).

"Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they did not understand what He was saying to them. Therefore, Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers... [You can go back and list all the pagan gods of all the pagan religions, all the false messiahs that have come down through history. 'All who came before Me are thieves and robbers.' That's why He came at a point in history that also attaches to the end-time. Before the Flood, it didn't attach to the end-time. Even after that time, all the way through until the time that Jesus came, history becomes rather sketchy, but beginning with the Roman Empire we have almost concrete day-by-day and year-by-year synchronization of the calendar so we know the events. So that's why He came when He did.] ...but the sheep did not hear them'" (vs 6-8).

"'I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy.... [Sound like some religions you know? Yes, indeed!] ...I have come so that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.... [Not just physically in this life, but in the kingdom of God in great abundance, great splendor and glory. Now notice His attitude so that this would be accomplished, knowing what He would have to face.] ...I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep'" (vs 9-11).

"'But the one who is a hireling, and who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep, and flees. And the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them. Now the hireling flees because he is a hireling and has no concern for the sheep.... [Now remember, Jesus said, 'I love you as the Father has loved Me.' Now notice what He explains here, because this shows the attitude that Jesus had]: ...I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine. Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep'" (vs 12-15). He laid His life down willingly. He knew what was coming. He prophesied every word to give to the prophets to write down to have it as a witness and a testimony as to Who He was. 'I lay down My life for the sheep.'

"'And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.... [And we could add in there, because 'I'm Creator of mankind and I do this to save them.'] ...I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father'" (vs 16-18).

So this is how God condemned sin in the flesh. He took it upon Himself and died for the sins of the whole world. And that's what the Passover is all about. That's what the New Covenant is all about. When we understand this, and renew it every year the way that God wants us to, and we stay faithful to God, then understanding of the Scriptures will begin to unfold and open up in ways that we never imagined could be until we arrive at whatever point that may be.

So as we prepare for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, let's keep this in mind.

Scriptural References:

  • Colossians 1:16-20
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • 1-Timothy 3:16
  • Isaiah 53:1-2
  • Isaiah 50:4-5
  • Isaiah 53:2-12
  • Isaiah 52:14-15
  • Isaiah 50:6-9
  • Psalm 22:1-23
  • Mark 14:27-50, 54-58, 60-72
  • Mark 15:6-39
  • 1-John 4:9-14
  • John 10:1-18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 1
  • John 1
  • John 4

Also referenced: Books:

  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Josephus

Transcribed: 3-24-10
Formatted: bo—3-25-10