The sphere of Tiphareth
(Beauty) is one of the key spheres in the Qabalah. All of the other spheres in
the Qabalah are directly linked to it. This sphere represents a sacrificed
king/god and is associated with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the centerpiece
that both the Qabalah and our own salvations center around.
When you look at the Qabalah you notice that the path connecting Geburah and Chesed and the paths along the middle pillar form a cross. The sphere of Tiphareth representing a sacrificed god hanging on a cross could not relate to anyone other than Jesus Christ. Without the addition of Jesus Christ into the Qabalah, the Qabalah would be lacking meaning in the central sphere that connects all of the others together.
The sacrifice that Christ made is of central importance to all of the other spheres in the Qabalah. Looking at the cross that is formed in the midst of the Qabalah you can see that Christ was sent by the Father in Heaven (Kether) and it is through His sacrifice (on that the path), that those on the Earth (Malkuth) may receive salvation.
Colossians 1:19-20 For it was the good pleasure [of the Father] that in him should all the fullness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, [I say], whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Ephesians 2:18 for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
God sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world, and it is only through the sacrifice that Christ made that we have access to the Father in Heaven. If you look at the other two spheres involved in creating this cross Geburah and Chesed (Judgment and Mercy) you can see that both of these two spheres are also directly related to Christís death on the cross. First we will look at how the sphere of Chesed is related to the sacrifice of Christ.
Romans 5:8-10 But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
It is only because of the death of Christ that we are able to receive mercy. Christ paid the price for our sins with His life Ė enabling us to be reconciled to God and offering us the gift of eternal life; this is the Mercy of Christ. On the other side of the horizontal portion of the Qabalist Cross we find the sphere of Geburah (Judgment). Because of Christís death, God gave Jesus all power in Heaven and on Earth. Jesus is both the one that offers Mercy in Chesed and Judgment in Geburah.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Romans 14:9-10 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Revelations 19:13-16 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because of His sacrifice for us. Jesus is referred to as the Word of God. He was glorified to this position by the sacrifice of his own blood, and now He will lead the Armies of Heaven and be the minister of the Wrath of God. The sphere of Tipherath representing Christís sacrifice is central to all of the spheres in the Qabalah and holds the three Pillars together. The Pillar of Severity represents Godís judgment in which Christ sits at the judgment seat. The Pillar of Mercy represents the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins to those who call on Christís name. The aforementioned pillars are the two extremes and the Middle Pillar is the balance between them.
All three pillars are related and necessary. You cannot have mercy if no one is held accountable. Christianís are to accept the sacrifice of Christ (Tiphareth) in order to receive His mercy (Chesed) or else face judgment (Geburah). All the pillars are important; you cannot have a full understanding of God without learning about His mercy and severity. The Fear of the Lord (Gerburah) is necessary for us to receive mercy.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
We have examined how the spheres that make up the Qabalist Cross are related to the death of Christ, but how are the other paths and spheres related? We will examine the paths and spheres immediately adjacent to Tiphareth and see how they each are directly link to the death of Christ on the cross.
John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
In John 16:32 Jesus tells his disciples that they will leave him all by himself, yet God will be with Him. Matthew 27:46 are some of the last words that Christ spoke while He was hanging on the cross. He referred to Psalm 22. The Bible does not make it clear whether God was still with Jesus at this point or not, but at this point Jesus felt alone.
He bore the sins of the world all by himself (Hermit Card, connecting Tiphareth and Chesed), and because of this we are able to receive mercy (Chesed). The path connecting Tiphareth and Netzach is associated with Death, and Netzach represents Victory so together they represent Christís Victory over Death. Christ overcame death and gave us the opportunity to have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith. And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Jesus conquered death, and it is through His sacrifice that we can also overcome sin and death and be given eternal life. The path connecting Hod and Tiphareth is represented by the Devil Card. Hod represents the Glory that Christ achieved through His sacrifice. His glory in this case also rests on the Pillar of Severity, because it is through Christís glory that the Devil and the sins of the world were beaten, and judgment will take place through Him. Through Christís sacrifice the Devil was cast out and the Devilís works were destroyed. The bondage of sin that the Devil held over the world was done away with, and man now has the ability to receive forgiveness of their sins, and to receive the gift of eternal life.
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
John 12:31-33 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Galatians 4:3-5 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
The path connecting Tiphareth and Geburah is associated with the Justice card. Christ is prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible to be the Messiah, a branch from the line of Abraham and David, which will bring justice, salvation, and judgment to the earth.
Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Zechariah 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Romans 3:23-26 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Jesus is the messiah mentioned in the above prophesies. Jesus is from the line of David (Matthew 1:2-16). He will execute judgment and justice on the earth (Revelations 19:13-16). He will redeem and save the world (John 3:16-17). He is the Lord of our Righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). He shall build the temple of the Lord in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and physically (Revelations 3:12). He shall bear the glory and sit and rule upon his throne (Mark 16:19, Revelations 5:12). He is a priest upon his throne (Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 4:14), and a council of peace (Luke 1:79). Jesus Christ fulfilled the above prophecies, and is the justifier of those that believe in Him. We will examine the genealogy of Jesus and more prophecies that he fulfilled later on in this study.
The path connecting Tiphareth and Binah is associated with the Lovers card and represents Adam and Eve and the Original Sin. This path is connected to Christís sacrifice (Tiphareth), because Christ is the one that redeemed the world from their original sin. Christís sacrifice is deeply related to the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.
Romans 5:12-19 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Jesusí sacrifice is directly related to overcoming the Original Sin of Adam and Eve. Because of Original Sin, man was cursed to die and return to the dust (Genesis 3:19), but Christ sacrificed himself to provide a way for man to overcome his sin and live eternally.
The path connecting Tiphareth and Chokmah is associated with the Emperor Tarot card. Chokmah has to do with wisdom. If you think of God as the God of Creation in Binah, then Christís place would be in Chokmah Ė sitting at the righthand side of this father. Christ is now seated at the right hand of his father. He is an emperor. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus was full of wisdom even as a child (Luke 2:40).
Revelations 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Acts 5:30-31 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Revelations 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
As you can see the sacrifice that Jesus made is of key importance to the Qabalah. It is directly related to all of the other spheres and holds the three pillars together. Without Jesus the Qabalah is incomplete. There is no sacrificed king/god in the Old Testament of the Bible. You cannot relate Beauty (Tiphareth) to the devil, death, judgment, mercy, creation, the hermit, and victory. The sacrifice of Christ completes the Qabalah, and is the common link that joins all of the other spheres and paths in the Qabalah together in perfect harmony.
The Qabalah is manís wisdom, but that does not mean that it is completely void of inspiration from God. Jewish mystics were the ones that first put the Qabalah together. They did not believe in Jesus Christ or the New Testament of the Bible. The Christians who wrote the New Testament of the Bible did not know about the Qabalah, and did not write the things they wrote in order to have the Qabalah make more sense. The magicians of the hermitic orders added the associated tarot cards to the paths of the Qabalah, but they were interested in using the Qabalah for magical purposes.
When you combine the efforts of these three independent groups into one system all of the different pieces in the Qabalah come together in beautiful harmony. Without the addition of Jesus Christ into the Qabalah the Qabalah is severely lacking. By adding Christ to the Qabalah the different spheres and paths connect together beautifully, that is the beauty of Tiphareth.
Now that we have studied how the sphere of Tiphareth relates to the other spheres in the Qabalah, we can begin our study on the sacrifice that Christ made, and some different areas of his life. We will begin with His birth and genealogy.
Luke 1:26-35 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Jesusí mother Mary and told her that she has found favor with God, and that she would give birth to a son who she shall call Jesus. He shall be the Son of God and will reign on Davidís throne forever. The Virgin Mary fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah Ė that a virgin shall give birth to the Messiah from the line of David (Isaiah 7:14, 11:1-5).
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Acts 13:22-23 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
Mary was a servant of God and found favor with God, similar to how David was a man after Godís own heart and found favor with Him. Mary was highly favored by God and was chosen to give birth to Godís only begotten son, for this reason all generations will call her blessed (Luke 1:48). Mary was a faithful servant of the Lord, which God chose to bare and raise His son.
There is no doubt that Mary was a chaste woman. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say that she was without sin, and it certainly doesnít say that Christians should pray to her or ask her to pray for them Ė as Catholics do while reciting the Holy Rosary. All generations will call her blessed because she was blessed above all other women and given the tremendous honor of baring and raising Godís only begotten son.
Mary was Jesusí mother and later one of His disciples. She did not remain a virgin for her entire life and ascend into heaven to hear our prayers (as some people claim). Mary began having sexual relations with her husband after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25), and had other children, which would have been Jesusí stepbrothers (Matthew 13:55).
Jesus is Godís only begotten son (1 John 4:9), and was conceived via the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18). Jesus is in the line of David because His mother Mary was a descendent of King David (Luke 3:23-38). However, since Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the true Son of God, and is fit to assume His fathers throne. During the Second Coming of Christ, Jesus will reign over the New Jerusalem (Revelations 3:12), and in doing so will be enthroned in Heaven and will reign over the throne of David for eternity simultaneously.
Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph, but was the physical son of Mary. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of King David. Luke 3:23-38 contains the genealogy of Mary and Matthew 1:1-16 contains the genealogy of Joseph. The genealogies are traced back beyond Abraham, all the way back to Adam and Eve. The split in the genealogies between Mary and Joseph occurs in Luke 3:31 and Matthew 1:6.
Joseph is descended from King Davidís son Solomon, and Mary is descended from King Davidís son Nathan. Twenty-eight generations passed after this split (Matthew 1:17). Both parents are in the line of David, but through Mary Jesus has blood relations to it. Through Joseph (being Jesusí stepfather) Jesus is in the dynasty of King David, and remains in the line of Kings, just as Solomon was declared King after David.
Galatians 4:4-6 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
It is fitting that Jesus was born of a woman. Jesus was sent to the world to redeem the world of sin (Titus 2:14, John 3:16-17), which existed ever since the Original Sin (Genesis 3:7). The first Adam sinned and brought death to the earth, but Jesus as the last Adam overcame death and offers us the gift of eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 15:45).
Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:6) and because of this women were cursed with pain during childbirth (Genesis 3:16). It is fitting that through a woman giving birth a savior is born to redeem the world of sin (Matthew 1:23). Because Adam ate of the forbidden fruit all men were cursed to die (Genesis 3:19). It is also fitting that Jesus would destroy sin and the work of the devil by dying for our sins (1 John 3:8).
We are adopted sons of God (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5), even though we are human. In contrast, Jesus was the stepson of Joseph, even though He was of God. We have covered how Mary was told she would conceive via the Holy Spirit as a virgin and give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35) from Maryís view. Now we will look at it from Josephís side.
Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Joseph and Mary were engaged and had not had physical relations (Matthew 1:18). It is obvious that Joseph cared about Mary, because when he found out that she was pregnant he wanted to put her away privately (meaning call off the engagement). He did not want to make her a public example. According to Mosaic Law if a woman that is betrothed is found not to be a virgin she was to be publicly stoned to death (Deuteronomy 22:23-25). While Joseph was asleep, an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained to him the situation.
When Joseph woke up he did as the angel said and took Mary as his wife and abstained from physical relations with her until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25). Jesus grew up in subjection to his parents, increased in wisdom, and found favor with both God and man (Luke 2:51). Jesus grew into a man, being faced with all of the same temptations that we are; only He did not sin. Jesus was foreordained to fulfill his purpose in Godís plan, before the world was created (John 1:1-2), and lived his life to set an example for us to follow (1 Peter 2:21, John 13:15).
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
1 Peter 2:21-22 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
Jesus lived on earth as a man, being tempted by all of the same things that we are tempted by; only He was able to remain sinless. He even faced death. In our study on Temperance (the path connecting Yesod and Tiphareth) we looked at the lives of Peter and Abraham. When they were faced with the possibility of death Peter pretended not to know Christ and Abraham sold his wife to Pharaoh. Christ faced death head on with courage and gallantry (John 18:5). He gave His life so that we may have our sins forgiven and may enter into His holy kingdom.
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 John 2:2-3 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
Jesus was born of a woman and lived as a man. He was tempted in all things, yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). He died on the cross to take away the sins of the world. Jesus was in his thirties when he was crucified. I have often wondered why Jesus had to come to the earth at all, and why didnít God just show himself to the earth and say, ďI am God, I am real, here I am.Ē Why are we required to have faith? Why did Christ need to suffer on earth?
After thinking long and hard about the above questions, I came up with answers to each of them. It is because God loves us. He wants to raise us as His children, but to do this we must have faith and prove that we can be trusted. We must prove that we want to do the things that He teaches us even when no one is looking.
In the time of Adam and Eve, God did appear to them and showed Himself to the people on the earth. Adam and Eve both saw God with their own eyes. They knew He existed and knew exactly what was expected of them, but they still defied the commandments of God and ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; when they thought God was not looking.
If God were to appear to the earth now, He would not be able to raise us as His children. There would not be a way to test our faith. If God showed Himself to the world no one could deny Him or resist Him, and He would rule the earth in the same way a dictator would. That is not what God wants. God does not want us to be obedient slaves (Romans 8:15). God wants us to call Him father (Galatians 4:6). He does not want us to listen to Him, because He can overpower us. He wants us to listen to Him because we love Him, trust Him, and respect Him (John 14:21).
If God were standing in front of us our entire lives we would not have a choice in the things we do. God influences our lives and monitors them from behind the scenes so that we are able to make our own choices, we are able to display our faith, and grow from the challenges that we face. God is always with us to catch us when we fall.
Could a child grow and learn the lessons of life if the child always had a parent there with them holding their hand? No, for a child to grow into an adult its parents need to provide the child with guidance when they are young and let the child make its own decisions and learn from its own mistakes, when the child is ready. Because we are required to have faith, we are also given the power of choice, which is necessary for us to learn and grow.
The entire Bible is filled with examples of people, who either lack faith in Godís promises, or straight out disobeyed His commandments, and there is always consequences and discipline in those situations. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God the earth was cursed with sin (Genesis 3:17). Abraham lacked faith in Godís promises and because of this the descendants of his sons Isaac and Ishmael have been at war with each other for thousands of years (Galatians 4:29).
There are always consequences for our sins. We need to learn from them and be disciplined by our mistakes so that we do not repeat them, and so that we can grow into better children of God. The Bible is also full of examples of how God is faithful to His word (Genesis 12:3, Genesis 12:17). We can trust in God, we are the oneís that canít be trusted, and must grow in our faith through discipline. We must be baptized with fire (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Why did Jesus have to be born of a woman on earth, live into his thirties without sinning, and suffer and die on the cross? Jesus did this to set an example for us (1 Peter 2:21). He lived a sinless life to prove to us that it could be done. He faced the same challenges that we face, so that we would know that we could overcome them also. We will be disciplined in our lives; we will face trials, and be baptized with fire.
God sent Jesus to the earth to suffer and die for our sins to prove that He loves us, and so that we know that God is not asking anymore of us then He is willing to give of Himself. In Genesis 22:9-12, God tested Abraham to see if Abraham would sacrifice his son Isaac for Him. When God saw that Abraham was willing to do this, God prevented Abraham from doing so. Abraham proved that he loved God because he was willing to sacrifice His own son for Him. It is because of Godís love for us that He sacrificed His son Jesus for us (John 3:16-17).
We are disciplined because God loves us (Hebrews 12:6). Christ suffered on the earth so that we might have an example of discipline. We do not have a God that is sitting in paradise and demanding us to do the impossible. We have a God that understands what we are going through (Hebrews 4:15). We have a God that stands by our sides while we go through trials (1 Corinthians 10:13). The only time that we find ourselves in trouble is when we are straying from the path; God then corrects us, so that we can continue going in the right direction, and we must have faith that everything works out for the good of those that love God (Romans 8:28).
In a moment we will examine the final days of Christís life, but before we do we will look at the Passover, which is the feast Christ went to Jerusalem to eat the night He was betrayed.
Exodus 12:3-14 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
This was the final plague inflicted on Egypt in the time of Moses. This is the plague that finally convinced Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people go, and freed them of their bondage. The plague consisted of the death of the firstborn son of every human and animal living in Egypt. The Hebrewís sons were spared from this plague if they sacrificed a lamb without blemish and ate of its flesh that night. They were also required to mark their houses with the blood of the lamb so that death would Passover their houses.
The Feast of Passover is the meal that Jesus was eating on the night He was betrayed, but there are other similarities to Jesusí death that are linked to the feast of Passover. The Hebrews sacrificed a lamb without blemish. The lamb represents Jesus who was without blemish, because He was without sin (1 Peter 1:19). Jesus is also referred to as the Lamb of God (John 1:29, Revelation 5:6, 22:3).
The Hebrew people were saved from death by the blood of the lamb, and because of this plague Pharaoh freed them from their bondage. The blood of Christ saves us from death and frees us from the bondage of sin (Matthew 26:28). To protect themselves from the plague the Hebrews had to eat the flesh of the sacrificed lamb. Christians are to take communion were they symbolically eat the flesh of Christ (John 6:53).
The plague required the death of the firstborn son. Christís death was the death of the firstborn son of God. These similarities are not a coincidence, but rather the salvation of the Hebrews from slavery was a foreshadowing of the salvation to come to the world through the Messiah.
In the time of Moses Pharaoh ordered all male Hebrew children to be killed (Exodus 1:16). Pharaoh was trying to prevent the Hebrew people from growing stronger than him. When Moses was born his parents hid him so that he would not be killed by the Egyptians (Exodus 2:2). When Jesusí was born his parents hid Him in Egypt so that He would not be killed by King Herod.
Matthew 2:13-14 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
When Jesus was born three wise men came to worship Him, but they mistakenly went to King Herod and told him that the King of the Jews had been born (Matthew 2:2). King Herod then ordered all the children two years old and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas to be killed (Matthew 2:16). The night Jesus was betrayed He and the twelve disciples ate the Passover meal together in Jerusalem. Jesus knew what was about to take place Ė this was the very purpose of His birth (Matthew 20:28).
Matthew 20:22-23 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
In the above verses Jesus responds to a mother who asked Him to have her sons sit at His right and left hand. In Jesusí response He mentions the baptism that He is about to under go. This is His baptism with fire. The final trials He will face to complete His work on the earth. The cup and baptism that Jesus mentions are related to the cup that Jesus was about to drink and the baptism He was about to undergo, but they are not the same. We will cover the Cup later in this study.
Luke 12:49-50 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Jesus came to bring judgment on the earth; to judge sin and overcome death. In the above verses you can begin to see the trials that Jesus was facing. He knew what He had to do, and what was going to happen to Him. He was beginning to get distressed and wished that the trials he was about to face were already complete.
Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
John 31:1-3 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; he was come from God, and went to God;
Matthew 23:20-21 Now when the evening was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Jesus knew what was taking place. He knew that Judas was about to betray Him, and Jesus knew that He would be return to God shortly. Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified of that to His disciples.
John 13:21-25 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Jesus was distressed about the baptism that He was about to go through, but He faced it with courage. He even told Judas to depart knowing that Judas was going to betray Him. During the Last Supper Jesus established the New Covenant in His blood, and set up the new ordinance of communion.
Luke 22:15-20 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. and he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
Matthew 26:26-28 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
1 Corinthians 11:24-26 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Jesus desired to eat this final Passover with His disciples. They broke unleavened bread (which represents Jesusí body), and drank fruit of the vine from the cup (representing Jesusí blood), which is shed for the remission of our sins. We are to do these things in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19), and in doing so proclaim the Lordís death until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:26). This communion that was established fulfilled the requirements of an earlier teaching of Christ.
John 6:51-58 I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
We are required to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus. If we do not then we have no life in us (John 6:53). If we eat His flesh and drink His blood then we will have eternal life (John 6:54), and Christ will dwell in us and we in Him (John 6:56). To eat His flesh and drink His blood we are to take communion, and eat unleavened bread and drink fruit of the vine with our brethren. This is how we become partakers of His cup (Matthew 20:23).
We are asked to do very few acts of faith other than following His commandments. We are to be baptized into His death, and take communion in remembrance of Him so that we are partakers of His cup. We are to be baptized once (Ephesians 4:5), take communion, and follow His commandments. The Bible does not say how often we are to take communion, only that we must do it. After eating the Passover meal Judas went to betray Jesus, and Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:36-37 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 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.
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Luke 22:44 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.
John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
After the Last Supper, Jesus took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to wait for Judas to betray Him. At this point Jesus was getting very stressed out, and goes to His father in prayer. Jesus prays the first time and asks that if possible let this cup pass from Him, but only if it is the fathers will. He prays a second time and says that if it is Godís will He will drink the cup.
The cup in these passages is referring to the baptism of fire that Jesus is about to endure. Jesus was being betrayed into the hands of sinners, and knows that He will have nothing left on earth, except to be abused and murdered. Jesus is praying and awaiting the mob to come and get Him. Jesus allowed Judas to leave the supper; knowing that Judas was on his way to betray Him. Jesus then took the disciples to a place that He knew Judas would find Him at (John 18:1-2).
Luke 22:47-48 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
John 18:3-8 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
When Jesus was faced with death he faced it head on. He walked toward the mob and asked them who they were looking for. When they said His name He said, ďI am he.Ē He said it with such confidence and authority that the mob backed up and fell to the ground. Jesus told them a second time who he was, and told them that if they are looking for Him then to let His disciples go.
John 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priestís servant, and cut off his right ear. The servantís name was Malchus. 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? Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
Peter still not understanding what exactly what was taking place drew his sword to defend Christ. Jesus told him to put His sword up, and that it was if duty to drink the cup that His father had prepared for Him.
Luke 22:63-71 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.
Jesus was mocked and beaten for the rest of the night and until the next morning. The next morning the scribes and Pharisees held their own trial of Him and decided to have Jesus put to death.
Luke 23:1-2 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
Matthew 27:1-2 When the morning was come, all the chief priests 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.
John 18:29-32 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
The chief priests and elders decided to have Christ put to death, so they delivered Him to Pontius Pilate. They did not have any evidence against Christ so they bore false witness against Him to Pilate, saying that Jesus was a rival King forbidding the people to pay taxes to Caesar, which was untrue (Matthew 22:21). The chief priests were unable to have Jesus executed because they were under Roman rule. The Romans had to decide that Christ was deserving of death.
Matthew 27:3-8 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
When Judas realized that he had betrayed Christ to his death he regretted it and tried to return the money. The chief priest refused to take the money so Judas threw the money down and went off and committed suicide. Judas repented and hung himself, but there was no making up for his sin. The Bible says that it would have been better for Judas if he were never born (Mark 14:21).
John 18:33-38 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
Pilate questioned Jesus to try to understand why the Jews had delivered Jesus to him. Jesus made the good confession in front of Pilate (1 Timothy 6:13) and stated that He was the King of the Jews. Pilate went to the Jews and told them that he finds no fault in Jesus in an attempt to release Him.
Luke 23:5-7 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. 6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
After the first time that Pilate attempted to release Christ the Jews became even more fierce in their accusations against Jesus. When Pilate learned that Jesus was a Galilaean he tried to wash his hands of the whole situation by sending Jesus to Herod. Jesus refused to answer any of Herodís questions (Luke 23:9). In Herodís custody Christ was treated with contempt and was mocked. Herod then returned Jesus to Pilate without passing any judgment in the case (Luke 23:11).
Matthew 27:17-20 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Luke 23:13-22 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 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: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast. And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
Pilate went before the people and told them Jesus has not committed any crime worthy of death. Pilate knew that the Jews were seeking Christís death out of envy. Pilateís wife also sent him a message warning him to have nothing to do with that just man. The angry mob shouted to have Christ crucified. Pilate attempted to reason with the crowd three times, and then told them that he will have Christ punished and then would release him.
John 19:1-9 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Pilate had Jesus beaten. The soldiers put a crown of thorns on his head and a purple robe on him, and they mocked him, spit on him, and beat him on the crown of thorns with a reed (Matthew 27:29-30). Pilate brought Jesus before the crowd again and said to the crowd sarcastically, ďI bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.Ē When the crowd saw Jesus they immediately started yelling to have Jesus crucified.
I donít believe that Pilate brought Christ out dressed as a King to insight the crowd further. Pilate had already attempted to reason with the crowd three times, and told them that he would punish Jesus and then release him. Pilate may have brought Christ out dressed as a king in hopes that through public humiliation that he might satisfy the crowd.
Pilate said that he was going to chastise Jesus and release him. At the time that Jesus was brought in front of the people, Jesus had already been beaten the entire night before, and had recently had a crown of thorns hammered into his head. Jesus would have been a swollen and bloody mess. Pilate may have thought that by showing the crowd the chastisement that Jesus had undergone Ė and the public humiliation they put Him through Ė would have appeased the crowd.
It didnít. When the crowd started yelling for Christ crucifixion, Pilate told them they would have to do it themselves, because he has found no fault in him (John 19:6). When the crowd stated that Jesus made himself to be the Son of God, Pilate became more afraid, and took Jesus into the judgment hall again. Pilate could have been afraid for a number of reasons; the crowd was getting out of control, Pilate believed Jesus to be innocent and marveled at the way Christ handled himself (Matthew 27:14), his own wife was warned about Jesus in a dream, and now he learns the Jesus might be the Son of God.
John 19:10-13 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
Pilate questioned Jesus, and apparently believed Jesusí answer, because Pilate sought to release Jesus again. This time the Jews cried out and began attacking Pilateís loyalty to Caesar. When Pilate heard this he sat down in the judgment seat.
John 19:14-15 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
The crowd persisted to demand Christís crucifixion. Pilate got the chief priests to say that Caesar is their only king. Pilate might have started thinking that he could spin things into his favor, and by allowing Christ to be crucified he may seem to have the loyalty of the people he is governing. Pilate was not able to control the crowd. Pilate wanted to release Christ, but was unable to stand up to the people.
Matthew 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 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. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Pilate did not get anywhere with the crowd and the crowd was in an uproar. Pilate publicly washed his hands and said that he was innocent of Jesusí blood, and then delivered Jesus to be crucified.
John 19:16-21 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Jesus carried His cross to the place of the skull (Golgotha), where they crucified Jesus with two others. Pilate wrote a title on the cross that said, ďJESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.Ē The chief priest tried getting Pilate to change what he had written, but Pilate said no. Pilate might have left the title the way it was to spite the Jews since he knew Jesus was innocent and that the Jews wanted him crucified out of envy (Matthew 27:18). The chief priest and the scribes mocked him while he was on the cross (Matthew 27:41-42). Even one of the people crucified with him mocked him.
Luke 23:39-41 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The other person being crucified rebuked the one that mocked Jesus and asked Jesus to remember him when He comes to His kingdom. Jesus said that they would be together in paradise later that day.
John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
John (described in the above verses as the disciple that Jesus loved), as well as Jesusí mother and her sister, and Mary Magdalene were faithful and remained with Jesus at the end. All of these people are people that Jesus deeply loved and they loved Jesus deeply also. Jesusí mother had to watch as her son died. Jesus said for Mary Jesusí mother and John to take care of each other.
Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:35-39 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Matthew 27:50-55 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Luke 23:44-47 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The above sets of verses contain the final moments of Jesus Christís life. Matthew and Mark both state that Jesus said, ďMy God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?Ē Next in Matthew and Marks telling of the story a sponge containing vinegar is given to Christ, He drinks from it and cries out in a loud voice (they donít specify what He says) and then He gives up His ghost.
According to Luke after Jesus had cried in a loud voice (he doesnít specify what is said), He then says, ďFather, into thy hands I commend my spiritĒ, and then gives up his ghost. In Johnís telling, after Jesus knew that all things had been accomplished according to scripture Jesus said, ďI thirst.Ē After Jesus had drunken the vinegar, he says, ďIt is finishedĒ, and gives up his ghost. All four of these different renderings can be combined to fill in the undescribed cries mentioned in each of the renderings.
Jesus was crucified; he was mocked by those around him and even by one of the people who was being crucified with Him. Jesus told John and His mother to look out for each other. From the sixth to the ninth hour the sun did not shine. Jesus says, ďMy God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!Ē Jesus knows he has fulfilled all of the scriptures, and says, ďI thirst.Ē Once Jesus had taken a drink of vinegar he says, ďIt is finished; Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.Ē Jesus then gave up his ghost and died. There was an earthquake and some people rose from the dead and were seen in the city, and the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (meaning that God tore it) connecting the Holy of Holies with the rest of the temple. The centurion that witnessed these things said, ďTruly this man was the Son of God.Ē
Later that day the Jews asked Pilate to break the legs of those being crucified so that they would not still be hanging on the Sabbath (John 19:31). Breaking the crucified personís legs would kill the person. When a person is crucified they are unable to breathe due to them hanging on the cross. In order to breathe the crucified person had to lift themselves up by pressing on the spike nailed through their feet and through their wrists.
In this way the person is tortured to death, and every breath they take, is taken in agony. The soldiers breaking the crucified personís legs would make it increasingly harder for the person to breathe, and they would die shortly after. The soldiers broke the legs of the other two people crucified with Christ, but when they came to Christ they found that He was already dead, so they didnít break His legs (John 19:32-33). To make sure that Christ was dead a soldier stabbed Him with a spear (John 19:34).
Mark 15:43-46 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
Joseph of Arimathaea went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Christ. Christ was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, and a stone was rolled in front of the entrance.
Matthew 27:62-65 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The chief priests and Pharisees remembered that Christ said that He would be raised from the dead on the third day (Matthew 17:23). They asked Pilate to post guards on the tomb, Pilate gave them some guards, which sealed and secured to tomb.
Matthew 28:1-8 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
There was an earthquake and an angel descended out of heaven and rolled away the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb. The guards were frozen with fear and did not move. The angel showed Mary Magdalene that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, and told her to go and tell the other disciples that Jesus would appear to them in Galilee. Mary ran to tell the disciples.
Matthew 28:11-15 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
The soldiers that were guarding the tomb reported to the Pharisees what had taken place. The Pharisees counseled together and bribed the soldiers to lie for them. They promised that they would keep the soldiers out of trouble if Pilate hears of it, and paid them a large some of money. If the soldiers were all really asleep at the same time they wouldnít have any idea what happened to the body or who took it. The point of setting up a watch is that someone would always be awake.
The lie the soldiers went along with didnít make sense, but they went along with it for the money. If the soldiers didnít take the money offered by the Pharisees they could have gotten in trouble for failing to do their jobs. How could they explain that an angel rolled away the stone right in front of them and they were too scared to do anything about it? Either way the soldiers had to admit that they failed in their duty. They chose to take the money and say that they were derelict in their duties instead of saying they were too afraid to move.
John 20:19-22 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Luke 24:37-42 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The disciples were in a room with all of the doors locked, because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus appeared to them in the room that was completely secured. Jesus showed the disciples His hands and His side, showing them where He was nailed to the cross and were the centurion had stabbed Him with a spear after His death (John 19:34). Jesus was not a ghost, but had a physical body that the disciples could touch (Luke 24:39). Jesus was resurrected in His physical body, and even ate in front of His disciples (Luke 24:43).
Jesus told His disciples that in the same way that God sent Him into the world, He was going to send the disciples out, and then He breathed onto them the Holy Spirit (John 20:21-22). All power in Heaven and on Earth has been given unto Him (Matthew 28:18), and He commanded His disciples to teach all of the nations, to baptize them, and teach them to observe all the things He has commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20). Those are the steps of salvation. You hear the word. You believe and are baptized, and then you learn to observe all of the things you have been commanded. It is for this purpose that Jesus came to the Earth (1 John 3:8).
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Jesus had to be lifted up on the cross the same way that Moses lifted up the serpent in the Old Testament. The Bronze Serpent was a foreshadowing of the salvation that Christ would bring to the world.
Numbers 21:5-9 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The Bronze Serpent on a staff Ė that Moses created Ė is a foreshadowing of the salvation in Christ that was to come. The Bronze Serpent was created because of the peopleís sins. It was created as a way for the people to overcome the penalty of their sins. Without the Bronze Serpent the people were dying because of their sins. Faith was also necessary in conjunction with the Bronze Serpent.
The people had to believe God that by looking at the Bronze Serpent they would live, and they had to actually look at it. The Serpent is a symbol of sin having been judged (Genesis 3:14). The serpent being lifted up is a foreshadowing of Christ taking on the sins of the world. Christ was lifted up as a way for sinners to overcome the penalty of their sins (death). Christ, like the Bronze Serpent, requires faith and action. The Bronze Serpent required the people to believe God and look at the Serpent, Christ requires you the have faith (believe the message of Christ), and follow His commandments. You are to be baptized, take communion, and obey all the things He commanded you.
The Bronze Serpent symbolizes sin having been judged. It is fitting that Christ took on the form of sin at His crucifixion that He might put and end to death and sin. This ties the Serpent, which tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to the salvation of Jesus Christ. Through the sin of Adam, death and sin reigned on earth. Adam represents the disobedient man. Jesus represents the obedient last Adam, which overcomes sin and death.
Through the sin of Eve women where cursed with pain during childbirth. By a woman giving birth (the Virgin Mary) a savior was born into the world. The serpent was cursed in its appearance, that it will crawl on its belly. The serpentís appearance is the form it took after it was judged by sin. The serpent being lifted up was a means for the children of Israel to by faith in Godís promise overcome the penalty of their sins.
Jesus taking on the sins of the world like the serpent in Numbers 21 offers a means of overcoming sin and death through faith in the promises of God. Those who remember and look to the cross of Christ may receive salvation. In the Garden of Eden there was also a sacrifice to clothe Adam and Eve, since they now knew they were naked (Genesis 3:21). Christ is also that sacrifice. In the life of Christ all of the elements of Original Sin are found and each play a role with Christ in the salvation of the world.
The Bronze Serpent that Moses lifted up was done sometime between 1450-1410 BC. The next example of a single serpent on a pole is found two-hundred years or so later. A man named Asclepius who was probably a skilled physician in Greece around 1200 B.C. would eventually be worshipped as Asclepius, the god of healing in Greek Mythology. Most of the characters in Greek Mythology existed as humans, and through the exaggeration of legends ended up being worshipped as gods. The Staff of Asclepius consisted of a single serpent entwined on a staff. This symbol is widely used in the medical profession to this day.
The Staff of Hermes also called Caduceus is associated with the god Troth of the Egyptians, Hermes in Greek Mythology, and Mercury the Messenger God of the Romans.
In Greek Mythology, Hermes was a messenger god of thieves and of commerce. Greek mythology was not flourishing until close to 700 B.C., and Roman Mythology came even later. Hermes Trismegistus is said to have written a series of scripts on alchemy called Hermetica, which is said to have been the inspiration of the hermetic orders that followed.
The Hermetica scripts were written around 300 A.D. This association with alchemy is what led to the staff of Hermes or Caduceus to be associated with the medical community in the seventeenth century A.D. Hermes was the God of thieves and commerce, and is mistakenly associated with the medical community. By the medical community using Caduceus as its symbol, it would be like saying that the doctors are a bunch of crooks out to make money. Caduceus might make a decent symbol for pharmaceutical companies, due to its association with alchemy, but the Staff of Asclepius is more suited to the medical community Ė as it is actually associated with healing. The Staff of Hermes consist of two intertwining serpents on a staff with wings at the top.
The Bronze Serpent that Moses created existed for about 700 years, and then was destroyed because the children of Israel started worshipping it like an idol.
2 Kings18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
1 Cornithens 10:9 Neither let us tempt the Lord, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents.
The above scriptures represent the time the Bronze Serpent was destroyed, and a reference from the New Testament referring to the serpents in Numbers 21:5-9. Now we will quickly look at some of the prophecies of Isaiah that Christ fulfilled.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Jesse is King Davidís father. We have already covered that Christ is a descendant of King David through both of His parents earlier in this study.
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
When Jesus came out of the water immediately after His baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove (Luke 3:22).
Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
We will all face the judgment seat of Christ where we will be judged fairly by the things that we have done on the earth (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
At Jesusí Second Coming He will smite the nations with the sharp sword of His mouth, and will rule them with a rod of iron; he will also tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Revelations 19:15). There are many more prophecies from the Old Testament that Christ has fulfilled, but this chapter has only been focusing on the Sacrifice that Christ made, and its role in our salvation.