Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures…They are they which testify of Me. ”John 5:39
By: John R. (Bob) Moses
Initial publication: Mar. 15, 1983
Revised: March 1992, February 2000, April, 2011
Offered to website:
The Death, Burial, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ
This topic of study is going to be the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. I want you to prayerfully study the lessons which shall be brought before us. Please go find your bibles, blow off the dust, and follow along very closely, because I feel certain that we are going to cover some newly cultivated soil. I am convinced we shall uncover and expose, to the closest examination, items which you will find most difficult to digest. Here follows, a brief outline of the subjects we will consider in this lesson.
First, we wish to consider Jesus’s own predictions of his death, burial and resurrection. Second, how many trials are necessary to condemn a man? Third, Jesus was found innocent six times, yet had to endure the cross. Fourth, Good Friday to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. Fifth, He had to be put to death before the Sabbath, but which Sabbath? Sixth, where did his spirit go while His body lay in the tomb and what did He do? Seventh, when He appeared with His disciples after His resurrection, Thomas was not present; what is the significance? Is there a lesson for us?
One could fill a volume with the prophecies from the Old Testament regarding the Messiah, His death, burial, and resurrection, and as a matter of fact, the Holy Bible has done so. There are numerous types, pictures, and predictions, however due to our limited space we shall focus upon those uttered by Jesus himself. Jesus began to teach His disciples that He would be slain and then rise again, after the third day, early in His ministry. "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." Matt. 16:21, further ref. Matt. 17: 22-23; 20: 17-19; Mark 8:31; 10: 33-34, Luke 9:22. But, the disciples "understood not". Mark 9: 30-32; Luke 18:34.
Sometime later, when Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, the Jews wanted to know by what authority He did so. He replied; "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19. Christ was telling them that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, and that this was His authority. Yet, they thought He was talking about the building itself. (ref; John 2:18-21). Later, in his ministry, the scribes and Pharisees asked Him for a sign, again to prove who He was. He responded that "There shall no sign be given, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt. 12:38-41 Thus we learn that Jesus was born to die. To die in our stead; to take away the sin of the world by placing it upon Himself, and not only that, but He would conquer both sin and death by rising from the grave on the third day. (Please reference my article on “A Study of the Book of Jonah”.}which foreshadowed the resurrection of Jesus.
The Divine decree of our Saviour's mission upon earth is further evidenced by an examination of the trials leading up to his death on the cross. Yes, I said trial(s)! It is noteworthy to consider that in our society one can only stand trial once, for any given offense, at which time the accused is either found innocent or guilty and that concludes the matter. This same procedure has been the rule throughout the history of the world. However, this most basic of human rights was set aside and totally ignored concerning the very Son of God.
Jesus was "tried" or at very minimum hearings held to determine his fate on no less than six different occasions. Three of them by the Jews, all of which were based upon false witness and He was found guilty. Then He was subjected to three trials by the Gentiles in which He was found innocent each time.
Let's review them in order beginning with the Jewish “trials”. First, He was taken before, Annas, the Spiritual High Priest and father-in-law of Caiaphas, the Political High Priest. Let's note the biblical record of this first trial... "And they led him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that, it was expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18: 13 & 14, and vs 24... Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. (It is noteworthy that Caiaphas “as the Jewish High Priest” actually became a prophet on this occasion by making the prediction, “That one man should die for the people” when he, himself, did not comprehend the significance of his own words. The second trial, is recorded in Matthew 26 beginning at verse 57: “And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. Vs 59, Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; (60) but found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, (61) and said, “This fellow (meaning Jesus) said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.” (62) And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness (say) against thee? (63) But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (64) Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.(65) Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. (66) What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” The third trial is before all the chief priest and elders which comprise the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin is much like our Congress or Supreme Court it is the governing body of the Jewish hierarchy. It is recorded in Matthew 27: 1 & 2 “When the morning was come all the chief priest and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor”. Notice that in each of these three, Jewish trials, Jesus was determined to be guilty. He was found guilty, of what? Guilty of claiming to be the Christ, the Son of God, which indeed He was, but they refused to believe.
Let us now examine the three Gentile trials of Jesus. These are all recorded in the book of Luke. Why the book of Luke? Because Luke was a Gentile. Not only was Luke a Gentile, he was also the only recorded physician among the followers of Jesus and therefore the only one of the four gospel writers to record the virgin birth. Should you once again question, why? It is because the virgin birth is highly more significant to a physician who has studied the laws of medicine and the human anatomy than to a lay person without such knowledge. The very fact that it was Luke who recorded His birth provides the credibility of the event. God is infinitely accurate in his dealings with mankind. In the same vein, note that of the three Jewish trials number two and three were recorded by Matthew, who was a Jew. The first trial was recorded in the book of John. The book of John is addressed to the Spiritual man and portrays Jesus as the Son of God from the spiritual point of view. Thus this first trial of Jesus is recorded in John because Annas was the "spiritual" leader of the Sanhedrin. If anyone on the face of the earth should have recognized who Jesus was, it should have been the spiritual or religious leader of the nation of Israel, but alas we find "He came unto His own (the Jews) and His own received him not." Jn.1:11
As mentioned above, let us now view the Gentile trial’s of Jesus, as stated, in Luke chapter 23: 1—4 “ And the whole multitude of them (Jews) arose, and led him unto Pilate. (2) And they began to accuse him, saying, we found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding, to give tribute to Caesar (here another lie; what Jesus hadactually said was; “Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto to God what belongs to God: Matt. 22: 21); saying that he himself is Christ a King. (3) And Pilate asked him, saying Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. (4) Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. The second trial is before Herod: vs 7 “And as soon as he (Pilate) knew that he (Jesus) belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. (8) And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. (9) Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. (10) And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. (11) And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. The return of Jesus to Pilate marked the third trial. Remember Pilate had already found Jesus innocent earlier in the day (vs 4) and (trial #1),now Pilate declares not only the verdict of Herod (trial #2) but also of himself for the 2nd time (trial #3); (vs 13) And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, (14) Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: (15) No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. Let's skip to verse 21; But they cried; saying, Crucify him, crucify him. (22) And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath hedone? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. (23) And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. (24) And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required”.
Thus we see that no less than six hearings or trials were held to establish the innocence or guilt of Jesus. The issues at odds were, His claim to be the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. There are numerous teachings here. We'll examine but a few. The numbers are significant. Note six trials. Six is the number of man, thus all mankind is represented here, two classes of three. Two is the number of either union or division, in this case to denote a striking division, that of Jew vs Gentile. The Spiritual leaders of the world, at that time, were the Jews. The earthly leaders, the Roman Empire. What we have before us is the spiritual (Jewish domain) vying against the physical (Roman Government). Rome was without question the ruling physical power upon the face of the earth, however spiritually, had no power whatsoever. Israel, was the chosen people of God and as thus, full spiritual responsibility lay directly upon her shoulders. Thus the spiritual, or Jewish sentiment, won out over the earthly reign of Rome and Pilate yielded. Such is the heavenly posture; the spiritual must and shall always, prevail over the physical or earthly. But note further, that there is a certain poetic justice which God extracts from the hand of man. At the return of Christ, it is the Jew who shall be persecuted during the Tribulation period, because of the sin of that nation, whereas the Gentile or Christians collectively, shall be found innocent. The Gentile, as represented today by the Church, has no power outside of Christ. And as it was the Jewish people who wanted Christ crucified, and since it was Christ himself who was on trial, even Rome (a Gentile regime) in all its power and splendor could not intercede, prevent, or in anyway stop, the crucifixion of Jesus. God works both ends, spiritual and earthly, to fulfill his design.
There is yet another very significant irony before us which we would be remiss not to mention. Let’s go back to the Jewish gospel, the gospel of Matthew. We want to revisit the third and final trial of Jesus before Pilate the govenor. Allow me to set the scene. Pilate had set down on the judgment seat (the Gentile place of authority) and presented to the chief priest and elders both Barabbas and Jesus to be released. Let’s begin the narrative at Chapter 27 verse 20. “…the chief priest and elders (of the Jew’s) persuaded the multitude that they should ask (for) Barabbas (to be released), and destroy Jesus. (21) The govenor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. (22) Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. (23) And the govenor said Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. (24) When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see ye to it. (25) Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Focus your attention on the fact that Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus. Then rivet on the statement, “Then answered all the people…What People? The Jews, the chief priest and elders and the multitude of verse 20, these people said, “His blood be on us and on our children”. Remember this is the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. This gospel written to the Jew, by a Jew and for the Jew. What do we glaringly see before us? All the people (Jews) said, “His blood be onus and on our children”. And thus has God allowed it to be so. For over the past two thousand years the Jew has been hated, destroyed, hunted down like an animal. Their cities Jerusalem and others, destroyed in AD 70 by Titus the Roman General. Being chased out of their land, their women, children, flocks, all killed and destroyed. The horrors of the holocaust; where millions upon millions of Jews were destroyed. They have been enslaved, trampled upon, their blood has stained the earth, from North to South and East to West. And it is not over yet. Read and study the Revelation and you will find the blood of the Jew flowing like a river through the apocalypse of the last days. They cried, “His blood be on us and on our children”. Thus God responded, so let it be written, so let it be done!! If this be your desire, this you shall receive. A requiter from God Himself.
Let us move on and take up another subject. Return with me for just a moment to the statement made by Christ himself that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. This of course had reference to his death, and burial. Then at the end of the three days and three nights he would arise and come forth out of the tomb. Tradition has it that Jesus was killed on "Good Friday" and that He arose on Sunday morning. A youngster in elementary school would tell you that you cannot squeeze 72 hours in that short a time period. The reason people go astray on this subject is because they take the fact that Jesus was crucified just before the eve of the Sabbath to mean the regular weekly Sabbath of the Jew, which was Saturday. This is not the case at all. Granted Jesus was crucified just before the eve of the Sabbath, but the Sabbath in question was not the weekly Sabbath of Saturday, but rather the "Passover" Sabbath, which that year fell on a Thursday. The Jews begin their day at six p.m. thus the evening always came first, “darkness before dawn”. From 6 pm. till 6 am, is night and 6am till 6pm is the day. Thus Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb just before 6pm on Wednesday the 14th day of Nisan (our April), which was the “Passover” Sabbath of that year. So you have from 6pm on Wed. the 14th to 6pm on Thurs. the 15th, is the 1st day. Then 6pm on Thurs. the 15th, to 6 pm on Fri. the 16th is the 2nd day. And from 6pm on Fri. the 16th, to 6pm on Sat. the 17th as the 3rd day. Wherefore, Christ arose just after 6pm on Saturday the 17th, allowing a full 72 hours or three days and three nights; during which time, Jesus spent in the heart of the earth, thereby fulfilling the scriptures. See how easily we go astray when we allow man to arrange our thoughts rather than study for ourselves.
The next question which comes to mind is, where did the spirit of Christ go after He was killed and laid in the tomb. The unregenerate would have us believe that He went nowhere, He was dead and He simply laid in the tomb. But those of us who claim Him as Lord and Savior know better. If mere humans can kill my God, then He ceases to be God; and Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Remember the very words, Jesus spoke to the repentant thief on the cross; "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43.” There you have it, plain as can be stated. Christ went to Paradise! The next question is; where was paradise? The first rule in learning to interpret the Holy Scriptures is whenever possible simply allow the Divinely inspired Word to speak for itself. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt. 12:40. So, we see that paradise is located in the heart of the earth. What else is located in the heart of the earth? Hell, of course!
You see in those days, Hell was divided into two compartments. The good side known as paradise, or Abraham's bosom, and the other side known as sheol, or hades. Hell was divided into two parts. The scriptures are capable of speaking for themselves...
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously everyday: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." Luke 16:19-26.
Thus we see that hell was divided into two compartments by a great gulf which was fixed in between them. When Christ died he went to the paradise, or Abraham's bosom, and preached to the Old Testament saints; Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc.
When He arose on Saturday evening after 6pm, He brought these saints up out of Abraham's bosom with him. If you find that hard to believe, again we will appeal to the scriptures themselves: "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His (Jesus) resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matt. 28: 52-53. This, is known as the "first-fruits" resurrection. The next one is referred to as the first resurrection and the last one will be the second resurrection; (we may take up this subject in a future lesson).
After His resurrection, Christ appeared to many, yet, I wish to focus on His appearance to his disciples on one special occasion, because it provides a very special blessing for us today. I'm sure most of you have heard the phrase; A doubting Thomas! The term is used to identify one who will not accept anything at face value. You must prove it to him before he will believe it. Well, this term came from the Bible and the occasion was when Christ appeared after His resurrection, to His disciples in the upper room. He appeared to them, greeted them, talked to them, and bestowed the Holy Ghost upon them, but Thomas, one of the twelve, was not present. And when the others told Thomas that they had seen and talked with the Lord, he refused to believe them.
We will once again, let the scriptures speak; "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them. Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." John 20:24&25. Note, Thomas said he would not believe until he saw the Lord for himself. Let’s follow the narrative: "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him. My Lord and My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou has seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20: 26-29.
Observe the special blessing given to us! Christ said Thomas believed because he saw, but went on to declare: "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." This, my friend, is directed to you and me. We believe solely by faith, for we have not seen Christ nor His miracles. And because we believe with no evidence or proof, we shall receive a very special blessing. Anyone will believe who has seen for themselves, or once something has been proven. But "Faith" enters when you believe only by what you have heard. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 10:17. Thus, God has seen fit to give us a very special blessing in that we are to be blessed because we have not seen, and yet have believed! Believed what?? His Word! And Who, or what is his Word? Jesus: of course. “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4 It stands to be repeated; Jesus Christ; of course!!
Let us now focus our attention on the one and only real “trial” of Jesus. Keep in mind that what we have had before us, to this point, are the six trials of Jesus by mankind. Six is the number of man. We have had three trials by the Jews and three by the Gentiles, a division of two reflecting the division between the so called spiritual of the day (the Jews) verses the earthly Gentiles, or governing body of Rome. But as we all know, there is a Higher Authority. Therefore the most significant trial is the one before God, Himself! We have discussed the six trials of men.
This seventh trial, if you will, or more officially, the very first trial, in the order of things; came much before the trials of mere men, back there in the garden.. This particular manifestation of divine providence came before the soldiers ever entered the scene, of the Garden of Gethsemane, to apprehend Jesus. Take note that seven is the number of heavenly / spiritual completion. This entire episode would not be complete without the factor of God the Father being a noteworthy participant. The portrait we are examining would be unfulfilled without the influence of the Divine One; for it was of Him, for Him and by Him that this tragedy must unfold to the salvation of mankind. In the Holy corridors of heaven, in a room we cannot conceive, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit met. There it was decided that God the Father, would be the Patriarch, God the Son would be the Sacrifice, and God the Holy Spirit would write the Scriptures; all for the salvation of the world and man, even before the beginning!!
Many have questioned why Jesus was so passive regarding the human trials leading up to His crucifixion. Why did He succumb to the posture of being, “Led as a lamb to the slaughter”? We all know that with just one word, from His lips, all the Armies of heaven would have descended to earth, to rescue their King, the Son of God! Nevertheless, out of those few words He spoke leading to the cross, not one word was sought to relieve Him from His upcoming and knowing, personal suffering. Was this just a man or was it indeed the tripartite Son of God fulfilling His role as the Sacrificial Lamb? This decision, made before the foundation of the world, was agreed to, and subscribed to by the Holy Trinity. Thus, Jesus agreed to be the Sacrificial Lamb, back there in the corridors of eternity, before the beginning of time. Here we have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in full agreement of their respective roles as it relates to earth and mankind. Therefore His entire life was consumed in fulfilling the Scriptures. (Matt: 5; 17 & 18), Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Evidencing indeed; that every dot and every tittle of the Holy Scriptures must, shall be and was fulfilled in Him. And while He was totally innocent of any and all sin, He suffered the cross and took sin upon Himself, to the salvation of men, and that, through Grace; God could have a relationship with mankind, the very creatures He created. Why? Simply because He wanted to!! Herewith, we see the Sovereignty of God.
Let us return for just a moment to the Garden and eavesdrop on the most significant and true trial of Jesus! How apt the hymn, “I come to the Garden alone.” This is where we find our Savior participating in the first and only trial that mattered. His trial before God, His heavenlyFather! Matt. 26:36, “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. Vs 38: Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even untodeath; tarry ye here, and watch with me. vs 39: And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” . In these words, did He not know what was set before Him”?
Then we go to the book of Mark chapter 14: vs 32; “And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. (33) And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy: (34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death; tarry ye here and watch. (35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee, take away this cup from me:nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt”. Remember, He became flesh to intercede for our sins. Did this in itself, make fearless, His personal and human fright? Not at all, He was the man of sorrows; He was human just like you and me.
And finally Luke chapter 22: vs (39) And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. (40) And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray, that ye enter not into temptation. (41) And we was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (44) And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Can you possibly comprehend such a fear, in such an occasion! I know that I cannot!
One last word from the gospel of John regarding the “garden” episode, chapter 18: vs 11; Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (12) Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him. (13) And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. (14) Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. It is amazing to note that Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest of the day, declared “that it was expedient that one man should die for the people” And there before him stood “The Christ”, yet they recognized Him not!!
You see we have now come full circle, back to the trials of Jesus before the Jews. Let us truly “Search the Scriptures” and take note of some very poignant observations that took place during this most noteworthy trial of Jesus, with God the Father, in the Garden.
Initially we must acknowledge the fact that this was the only real trial that Jesus was concerned with. Nowhere throughout the rest of the narrative do we see Jesus pleading for help or seeking any type of reprieve. His destiny was directly connected to His heavenly, spiritual Father. Mankind, humanity, and jurisprudence occupied no part of the drama which was unfolding between God and His Son. This was a spiritual and a heavenly matter. Note the accounts in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In all three we see Jesus in his earthly roles. In Matthew we see Jesus the Jew, saying; “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. (yet as the sacrificial Lamb, he continues…) nevertheless not as I will, but as thy wilt.” Then in Mark, we see Jesus the Servant, stating much the same thing only as a servant would say to his master, “Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me; nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Then in Luke we see the manly side of Jesus and the physician aspect of this gospel writer; “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done, And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” The great drops of blood can well be explained. Severe tension, apprehension, high blood pressure could indeed result in one sweating blood. Only Luke, the physician, makes this contribution to the stress, fear and heart-felt anguish our Lord suffered during this personal trial with His Father.
Now observe the triumph, the coming to terms with this issue between God the Father and God the Son. The unfathomable obedience of the Son to the Father. We see it recorded in the Gospel of John, where we are privileged to observe Jesus as the Son of God, the Spiritual Leader of our faith, His acceptance of His mission as the Savior of the world. He states to Peter: “Jn. 18: 11: “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
This is the trial that counted. The seventh or Godly number, yet the first! It was this trial which bought Christians their salvation! Without this trial, this death, this burial and this resurrection , this preeminence of Jesus would not have been possible. Without His obedience to God the Father, Jesus would have been just another rebel. Why was Jesus passive before the trials of the Jews and the Gentiles? It was because the issue was settled “In the Garden”! The only real trial was; would Jesus fulfill the will of God? Adam had a similar trial and failed all of mankind. Also, let it be noted, it was in “the Garden; the Garden of Eden”, in which Adam failed. Here in this “Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane”, we find God’s demands were met and made manifest. One must wonder, could it have been the same “Garden”? Only when we get to heaven will we know for sure! To use a current phrase, if Jesus had not stepped up to the plate, we would be forever lost! Praise God for His grace and thank God for Jesus His Son who won the victory of the cross, all due to that one lonely night when sweat fell from His brow like blood. And He could truly say, “I come to the Garden alone….Alone without human comfort or companionship; but with none other than God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and all the angelic host at His beacon and call. Nevertheless, He chose to fulfill the Father’s will and endure the Cross. My, My, what a Saviour we have in Jesus!!!
May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Search the Scriptures…they are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
Thus proclaimeth; The Blessed Recorder of the Scriptures; The Holy Spirit!