The resurrection event that shifted the world and eternity in one mighty move—on both sides of the Judaic-Messianic bridge: Jesus of Nazereth.
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This resurrection event—factual, real, historic—was heaven thunderbolting our earthly dimension. Victorious over death’s grip . . . physically and spiritually. For your soul and everyone who ever lived.
Unlike the other resurrected people mentioned in the Bible, Jesus didn’t have to die a second time. He’d conquered death.
JESUS (YESHUA), JEWISH MESSIAH
It was prophesied. He was to be crucified. You may even know the Isaiah 53 prophecy. He would be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities . . . upon him was the punishment that brought us peace . . . by his wounds, his scourging, we are healed.
The glorious and unimaginable plan of God. His Messiah, holy and blameless, yet oppressed and afflicted.
Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name) was a Tzadik, a righteous person. Fulfiller of the Law and Messianic prophecies. Teacher. Healer. Miracle worker. God’s Truth manifested on earth . . . the Light of heaven piercing humanity’s darkness.
In sync with what Isaiah 35:5-6 said about the Messiah, Jesus made the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak . . . and he cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, delivered people from demonic possession—and raised the dead.
Indeed, as the disciple John (who was with Jesus from the beginning) says in the last line of his gospel account: Jesus also did many other things. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that the whole world couldn’t contain the books that would be written. —John 21:25
Many Pharisees, even some members of the Sanhedrin, and multitudes of Jewish lay people and others witnessed these fulfillments, recognizing and believing that Jesus was (and is) the Jewish Messiah, the Son of God.
But others didn’t. Especially after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead—Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. That was a tipping point for some of the Jewish authorities who flowed in religiosity and pride, burdening the people with added laws.
Jesus called them out on it—many times. He said they appeared righteous on the outside but were full of hypocrisy and wickedness on the inside. Like whitewashed tombs—appearing clean but dead within.
“The scribes and Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses;
therefore all that they tell you, do and observe,
but do not do according to their deeds;
for they say things and do not do them.
They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders,
but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.
But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men;
for they broaden their tefillin (phylacteries)
and lengthen their tzitziyot (garment tassels).
They love the place of honor at banquets
and the chief seats in the synagogues,
they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces
and to be called rabbi by others.”
PUZZLE PIECES MOVE INTO PLACE
Needless to say, the chief priests, elders, and Pharisees against Jesus were beyond ticked. On many fronts. What he said, what he did, the miracles, his righteousness, the truth flying in their face, the multitudes flocking to him on any given day.
They couldn’t control the movement of God. Or the throngs of people. Or the hot public debates among the crowds and Pharisees about whether or not Jesus was the Messiah.
The clashes forced Rome’s attention, who demanded obedience, not revolt, from their conquered population. And that pushed the Sanhedrin even further. After all, the last thing they wanted was for anyone to rock their prestigious, religious perch.
So they forged a plan. One that, unbeknown to them, dovetailed into Messianic prophecy.
Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened a council and were saying,
“What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.
If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him,
and the Romans will come and take away both our place
and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year,
said to them, “You know nothing at all,
nor do you take into account that
it is expedient for you that one man die for the people,
and that the whole nation not perish.”
Now he did not say this on his own initiative,
but being high priest that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not for the nation only,
but in order that He might also gather together into one
the children of God who are scattered abroad.
So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
Jesus was taken in the night to stand before the High Priest Caiphus and the Sanhedrin—and was struck by a soldier, later blindfolded and mocked, spat on. By morning, he was marched to Pontius Pilate, handed over to Herod, and later brought back to Pilate, where he was flogged.
The Roman flagrum:
short whip with several heavy leather thongs—
with two small balls of lead attached near each end.
The “heavy whip is brought down with full force” repeatedly
across the shoulders, back, and legs.
The whip cuts through the skin,
then deep into subcutaneous tissues,
eventually spurting arterial bleeding.
The skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons . . .
an unrecognizable mass of bleeding tissue.
[Roman whipping information from the Dr. C. Truman Davis article
“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ”]
Per John 19:2-3 and Matthew 27:28-32: The governor’s soldiers stripped Jesus of his clothes, put a purple robe on him, twisted thorn branches into a crown and placed it on his head—causing tremendous bleeding—and put a stick in his right hand, kneeling before him mockingly saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!”
They spit on him and used the stick to beat him about his head. When they were done, they took off the robe (which would have been painful, tearing against his many wounds), put his own clothes back on him, and led him away, in his extremely fragile state, through Jerusalem to a place called Gulgotha [the Skull], outside of the city.
Roman soldiers drove iron nails through Jesus’ wrists and feet. Pilate ordered a sign be posted on the cross in three languages, Hebrew, Latin, Greek: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
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 assembly 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.
prophetically written by King David about the Messiah’s death
It was Friday, a day of preparation for the Shabbat [Sabbath]—a special one because it was Passover week. The Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies remaining on the crucifixion stake passed sundown—Jesus’ body and those of the two criminals crucified on other side of him.
So they asked Pilate to hasten the deaths of the three men by breaking their legs. The soldiers first broke the legs of the men on either side of Jesus, but when they went to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead.
One soldier took his sword and pierced Jesus’ side. Immediately, blood and water poured out. He died without one of his bones broken, fulfilling Psalm 34.
Joseph of Arimathea—a Jew, a man of means, a respected member of the council, and a follower of Jesus—asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate granted him permission.
Joseph and another Jew, Nicodemus—a Pharisee, member of the Sanhedrin, and follower of Jesus (John 3)—took the body, wrapped it in linen sheets with the myrrh-and-aloes spices, in accordance with Judean burial practice, and placed the body in a new tomb (previously purchased by Joseph of Arimathea for himself), located in a nearby garden.
Afterward, a huge stone locked the entrance—and Pilate placed soldiers to guard the tomb, worried about the stories of Jesus’ promised resurrection.
Early on the first day of the week—Sunday—when it was still dark, Miriam from Magdala along with Miriam (the mother of James), and Salome went to the tomb in hopes of someone to roll the stone away so they could anoint the body with spices. [Mark 16]
But the stone was already rolled away.
Miriam Magdala ran to tell the disciples Peter and John, who immediately went to the tomb and saw that it was empty. Not understanding, they returned home, perplexed. Miriam stood outside the tomb crying, then bent down to peer in the tomb.
Two angels sat where the body of Jesus had been—one at the head and one at the feet. Reminds me of the two angels facing one another on top of the Arc of the Covenant.
“Why are you crying?” the angels asked Miriam.
“They took my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him,” she cried.
Just then, she turned and saw Jesus standing there.
In the evening of the same day—the first day of the week—the disciples were gathered behind a locked door, fearful of the Judeans.
Jesus appeared, stood in the middle, and said, “Peace be upon you!”
He showed them his hands and his pierced side.
Throughout the next forty days, he appeared to many people, per convincing proofs, and spoke of things regarding the Kingdom of God. He appeared to . . .
(1) several women immediately afterward (Miriam Magdala, Miriam, Salome, Joanna)
(2) Simon Peter
(3) his disciples at various times (e.g. in an upper room and at the Sea of Galilee and on a mountain in the Galil)
(4) two disciples on the Emmaus Road
(5) his half-brother, James
(6) over 500 people at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:6)
While he was blessing the disciples, Jesus ascended into heaven, returning back to the Father. His followers evidenced him being taken up into a cloud (Acts 1).
His ascension was witnessed by his disciples: Simon (Kefa/Peter), Andrew, John, Ya’akov ben Zavdi (James, son of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael, Bar-Talmai), T’oma (Thomas), Mattityahu (Matthew), Ya’akov bar-Halfai (James, son of Alphaeus), Simon the Zealot, and Taddai (Thaddeus, also known as Judas—not Iscariot, but the son of James).
Right afterward, two men clad in white robes said to his followers:
“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 back just as you saw Him go into heaven.”
And there’s so much more to that story . . . coming in a future series.
BACK TO YOU
The Messianic prophecies in the Bible (108 minimal, some classify 300 or more) point in just one direction—Jesus (Yeshua).
From my next post in this series quoting Lamb and Lion Ministries and their calculations per mathematician Peter Stoner: “The chances of fulfilling just 16 [of 108 Messianic prophecies] is 1 in 1045. When you get to a total of 48 [prophecies fulfilled], the odds increase to 1 in 10157. Accidental fulfillment of these prophecies is simply beyond the realm of possibility [emphasis added].”
Multitudes of people, from Jewish leaders and lay people to Gentiles, recognized Jesus as the Jewish Messiah sent from God. But others considered the miracles and said he must be John the Baptist (who had been beheaded per Herod’s orders) or one of the prior prophets, Elijah or Jeremiah.
Jesus asks you this question—the same one he asked his disciple Peter: But who do you say I am?
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GOOD NEWS photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.com
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