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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READING TIME: 8 MINUTES.
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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 conquered death.
JESUS (YESHUA): JEWISH MESSIAH
It was prophesied. He was to suffer. You may even know the Isaiah 53 Messianic prophecy—given 700 years before it was fulfilled. The same prophecy rabbinic sages knew . . .
The arm of the Lord (his salvation power, Messiah) would be wounded (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.
It is the glorious and unimaginable plan of God. His Messiah, holy and blameless, yet oppressed and afflicted.
And us, Jew and Gentile—both fractured like those shattered tablets of Moses, yet made whole in our Messiah, the one sent by God.
That fractured state—our sin—was the reason the crucifixion was needed.
Because no one does what is right . . . our best works are viewed as “filthy menstrual rags” before our Holy God: Genesis 8:21b, I Kings 8:46, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Isaiah 59:1-2, Psalm 14:23, Psalm 53: 2-4 (3-5), and many others.
So ultimately, it was God’s love that put the Messiah on the cross.
Not the Jewish authorities.
Not Roman rule.
Not the angry mob.
Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name) makes it clear in John 10:17-18:
For this reason the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life
that I may take it up again.
No one takes it from me,
but I lay it down of my own accord.
I have authority to lay it down,
and I have authority to take it up again.
This charge I have received from my Father.
Jesus/Yeshua became the way for us—the only way—to bridge a restoration, an eternal relationship with the eternal God.
He 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.
Born a Jew, Jesus/Yeshua lived as a Jew—and was crucified as King of the Jews.
But he resurrected as King of Kings, Lord of all.
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.
John, an early disciple of Jesus/Yeshua 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 other Jewish authorities didn’t . . .
The proverbial pot brewed to a feisty, rolling boil. The top three reasons why the Jewish authorities were nearing the brink . . .
Reason #1: Truth Spoken. Many of the Jewish authorities of the day flowed in pride and religiosity and burdened the people with added laws and demands. Jesus, the voice of God, called them out on it—many times.
At one point he referenced Isaiah, saying he’d prophesied right about them:
And the Lord said:
“Because this people has come near;
with their mouth and with their lips they honor Me,
but their heart they draw far away from Me,
and their fear [reverence] of Me
has become precepts of people
[doctrines of human origin].”
—Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:8-9
Jesus also called them “blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14) and
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 the 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.”
Reason #2: Rome. The throngs of people in the street following Jesus . . . the hot debates erupting among the crowds about whether or not Jesus was the Messiah . . . the Pharisees butting up against Jesus and his followers . . . were all catching the unwanted attention of Rome who demanded obedience from their conquered population—not commotion or unrest.
The last thing the Sanhedrin wanted was their distinguished perch rocked.
Reason #3: Miracles. The movement of God couldn’t be stopped. Everywhere Jesus walked, he said what the Lord told him to say, did what he saw the Father doing, and prayed what the Father prayed.
Healings and miracles resulted. But the tipping point happened when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead—because Lazarus had been in the tomb four days.
In fact, the chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus just as much as they wanted to kill Jesus since even more Jews were now believing Jesus was the Messiah.
So they forged a plan. One that 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.
It was a holy journey of love . . . paved with treachery. Jesus was taken in the night to stand before the High Priest Caiphus and the Sanhedrin.
He was struck by a soldier, later blindfolded and mocked, spat on. By morning, he was marched to Pontius Pilate, handed over to Herod, and afterward brought back to Pilate, where he was flogged.
The Roman flagrum:
a 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. Then they removed the robe—an excruciating moment as it tore against his deep wounds—and redressed him in his clothes before leading him through Jerusalem in his extremely fragile state.
Their destination: a place called Gulgotha [the Skull], outside 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 Messiah’s 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 finding 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 and peered into the tomb.
Two angels sat where the body of Jesus had been—one at the head and one at the feet.
Familiar, right? Like 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) James, his half brother
(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.
But for now, let’s talk about you.
BACK TO YOU
The Messianic prophecies in the Bible (108 minimal, some classify 300 or more) point in just one direction—Jesus (Yeshua).
The chance of fulfilling just 16 [of the minimal 108 Messianic prophecies] is 1 in 1045. Accidentally fulfilling the prophecies is “beyond the realm of possibility,” per Lamb and Lion Ministries’ website.
Multitudes of people in the first century CE, 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 much earlier per Herod’s orders) or one of the ancient prophets, Elijah or Jeremiah.
And now there’s you . . .
Jesus asks you the same
that he asked his disciples
But who do you say I am?
* * *
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Resurrection series initially created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016
Here’s more in English/Hebrew about Isaiah 53 at One for Israel Ministry
CREDIT: Blue/Red Chairs photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.com
CREDIT: Storm-light clouds photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash.com
CREDIT: Good News photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.com
CREDIT: Arrow photo by Franck V. on Unsplash.com