Friday, April 14, 2017

HOLY WEEK - FRIDAY: "WHAT REALLY HAPPENED ON THE CROSS"

The final hours of the Lord Jesus Christ, during His brief thirty three (33) years on earth were some of the most horrible any human being could ever face, far less the sinless Son of God! There were six, yes 6, illegal trials conducted against God Himself in the flesh, by sinful men in the ultimate act of false arrest, malfeasance, corruption and more. Due to the distasteful nature of these acts, speedy "justice" was the order of the night.

The reason the religious and political leaders of Jerusalem moved so fast to frame, condemn and execute Jesus in such a short period of time was multi-fold. They had already come to the conclusion after Palm Sunday that many of their own people or "the world", as they said, "had gone after Him". They recognized the popularity of the loveable, kind and powerful Prophet Jesus and dared not risk prolonging their persecution of Him. What they had to do, in addition to the betrayal by Jesus, was do their dirty deeds quickly and in secret.

This was also their only opportunity to take down this Man, Who had threatened their world order. Jesus had basically gone after their rackets, which they had going INSIDE the Temple compounds. Every high temple official associated with two  main families, dealt super dishonestly with the unsuspecting millions their fellow citizens who were just obeying God by showing up in Jerusalem for the Passover! They would make both the New York and Chicago mobs green with envy, because this same religious hierarchy owned the franchises which gouged temple worshipers at the money changer tables AND were skimming money off the top. Each one of them, from the former High Priest Annas to the current one, Caiaphas, had their hands in the cookie jar. They were the Jerusalem deep state and the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate was their accomplice.

It is with this in mind, we come to the actual result of the Six Illegal Trials and the decision to both release Barabbas and replace him on the Cross with Jesus. The Old Testament describes to the finest detail, the results of the beatings of the Lord to His final Words on the Cross. We know His Seven Statements from the Cross from the Gospels. What most Christians are not aware of, is that Holy Spirit Himself had two men of God, write those same words, for the most part, down in the Scriptures!  Without further comment, the Prophesy concerning the Suffering Savior is now presented in brief. We do this so that the world may know that while evil men thought they were getting one over on folks by secretly framing and killing the Messiah, what they actually did was fulfill Prophesy!  


God Himself prophesied what was going to happen to Jesus after the flogging.
a. He was unrecognizable:
ISAIAH 52:13-15 (written 700 plus years before it happened!)
13   Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14   Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;
15   So shall He sprinkle  many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.

God Himself told us why He sent God the Son, to be the Passover Lamb for all the sins, of all mankind, for all time
b. He was the Sacrifice:
ISAIAH 53:1-9a (written 700 plus years before it occurred in Jerusalem)
1   Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2   For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3   He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4   Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5   But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
6   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7   He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,  so He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,  and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked - but with the rich at His death.

c.  What He actually did and said on the Cross:
PSALM 22:1-2 and PSALM 22: 6-18 - all written by King David over 1000 years earlier, the EXACT WORDS OF CHRIST FROM THE CROSS:
Psalm 22:1-2
1   My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?
2   O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;  and in the night season, and am not silent.

Psalm 22:6-18:
6   But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7   All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,  He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; l us help Him past. deliver Him, since He delights in House !”
9   But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10  I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.
11  Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12  Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.

13  They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. AND I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.
15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16  For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
17  I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.

The vivid descriptions of the physical trauma which the Lord went through is stunning. Psalm 22 represents a view of the events recorded in the Gospels, down to the mocking by the pharisees etc. in accurate detail....all written 1000 years before it occurred! What a mighty God we serve.

As we read these relevant portions of Psalm 22 and the Isaiah 52-53 chapters, may we be fully aware of what our Lord had to endure, so that you and I may have eternal life. This should be a prime cause of celebration, to the Praise and Glory of His Name. amen. 
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