Approximately two thousand years ago in Galilee which was under Roman rule there preached an exceptional man who after his death changed the world by incredible proportions. In His name many nations waged wars, performed healing and cast out demons from oppressed people whilst proclaiming Him as a Son of a God.
This man was anything but conventional. For the Jews he was a long awaited coming Messiah. After the downfall of the House of David a thousand years earlier, Jesus entered the scene. And Lo this new Messiah was not the King as they foresaw him to be who would bring all the Jews to arms to fight the Romans but instead he was a man of virtue and compassion powered by a divine authority. He preached love, performing the miracles as the Prince of Peace who came down from Heaven to deliver humankind from sin. Unfortunately for Him it didn’t go entirely according to plan. Or it did?
Jesus actually predicted his death and resurrection as seen in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke:
And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9:21-22)
Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again. But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.” (Luke 18:31-34)
Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” (Mark 10:32-34)
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” (Matthew 20:17-19)
Instead of being understood, outraged high-priest Caiaphas saw Jesus as an agitator who was rocking the boat of their faith and tradition. Therefore the priesthood had Him finally arrested, put to trail and then handed Him over to the protector of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate. The Romans, who were professionals in the killing business took this matter extremely seriously and decided to have it all finished with just before the beginning of the Jewish Passover Festival.
They tortured him then had Him dragged through the streets of Jerusalem to a place called Golgotha, where in all humiliation and terrible agony this poor guy was nailed to the Cross. Thus just like a criminal, He was crucified just before surrendering His spirit to God, when He acted from mercy and forgave them all. A big weight came down upon Caiaphas’ shoulders as Jesus was no more, whilst Pilate brought order back to Jerusalem. But only for a short time. God‘s earthshaking wrath came down upon them as dark clouds overshadowed the City of God and their hearts were overwhelmed with fear and despair. “Not so fast,” said the Lord whilst pulling His best miracle of them all.
And Lo three days after the event Christ took them all by surprise; He miraculously disappeared from the tomb. Embarrassed, Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate, fearing for the unrest that might take place, called the high state alert which raised Hell in Jerusalem. “So long suckers,” said the Lord outplaying them both as a resurrected man roaming around like a ghost. After performing a series of appearances to His disciples, Jesus Christ after 40 days ascended into the Kingdom of Heaven.
To be Continued.