“These things were written so that you might believe”
How would you feel if you had a son and he went into hostile territory to seek out and save people who would never thank him for what he had done? What would you do if these individuals falsely accused your son of crimes he did not commit and had him arrested, beaten, and executed?¹ What emotions would you feel if your son cried out to you to forgive the men who were torturing your son, and he asked you to not hold these crimes against them?² What would you do to these men, when they treated the love that your son gave to them, as garbage to be thrown out and disregarded?³
Crucifixion is described as one of the most horrific ways to put a man to death. Reserved for only the worst of criminals, what had Jesus done that warranted such vicious treatment?
As we read the accounts of His life in the four gospels, we see a man who is full of love and compassion. Every sick person who came to Jesus—He healed. Every hurting man or woman, Jesus loved and encouraged. Every lost sinner who came to Him in sorrow for their sins, Jesus forgave and bestowed a new life.
Jesus stood against injustice, religious hypocrisy, and pretentiousness by those who claim to know God. When the woman at the well sought to turn the discussion to religion, Jesus turned her back to a relationship with God.
Everything that Jesus did, was good, righteous, and Holy.
The testimony of those who had been with Him every day of His three and one-half year ministry, described Him as perfect and without sin (Prophecy 21). None of the people from Nazareth came to Jerusalem when Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Messiah and opposed Him on grounds that He was a sinful man. Every person who listened to Jesus and watched the way that He treated people was struck by His grace.
This was no ordinary man, this was no sinner, this was not a man who deserved to die by crucifixion.
During the course of crucifixion, on rare occasions, it was necessary to break the shin bones of the condemned person hanging on the cross—in order to hasten his death. For the crucified, breathing was a nearly impossible task, accomplished only by pressing down with both feet, onto the wooden platform that was secured to the cross. By attempting to stand and relieve the pressure exerted on the lungs—due to the outstretched arms that were nailed to the upper cross member, the nail that was driven through the flesh and bones of both feet, would cause the tissue to be torn and bleed profusely. The act of raising the body up to accomplish a breath was further complicated by the raw tissue of the back, which had been torn to ribbons during scourging. Upon every breath of air, as the back would slide up the splintered wood of the cross, excruciating pain would shoot through the body.
The pain that was necessary to complete the simple process of breathing became a continuing self torture. The condemned would have to choose between the intense pain of raising himself up to breath, or dying from a lack of oxygen.
When a crucifixion took place on the day before the Sabbath or a special feast day, Jewish law required that the body of the condemned must not be left hanging on cross (tree) overnight.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day…”
When the Roman soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus in order to hasten His death, they found that He was already dead. These men unknowingly became instruments in fulfilling the three prophecies of the Old Testament which specifically state that the bones of the Passover Lamb could not be broken.
It seems that this specific aspect of the Messiah’s death is of particular importance to the Lord, as it is reported in three different prophecies. Upon examination of the circumstances surrounding this event, we can see why. Continue reading “A Prophecy Impossible to Fulfill”→
The Messiah will be beaten in His face and have His beard pulled out by His revilers.
“I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard…” —Isaiah 50:6b
New Testament Fulfillment:
“Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands. ” —Matthew 26:67
Although there is no specific reference in the New Testament to anyone pulling Jesus’ beard out with their hands as Isaiah described, it is for certain that this took place. In actuality, the fact that it is omitted from the New Testament is further proof that the New Testament account of Jesus and His crucifixion are not only true but also accurate.
If someone were intending to falsify the account of Jesus’ life to make it match the clear Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah 50:6, it is for certain that they would include a description of Jesus having His beard pulled out. Scholars agree that Isaiah’s description is intended for the Messiah. It would have been very easy to add a description for Jesus having His beard torn from His face, if the writers of the gospels were seeking to convince any reader that Jesus was the Messiah. By their absence of this description, it appears as if it was simply an oversight that occurred in the midst of recording the other events described in the New Testament. Such omissions of facts are often the case in actual eyewitness accounts.Continue reading “Isaiah's Description of Messiah's Suffering: Beard Ripped Out”→
Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
The purpose of the scourge was to exact a confession from the accused, before being put to death. Not that a confession would change the final disposition of the condemned, but for the purpose of setting an example for the crowd who were witnessing the judgment of a convicted criminal. Literally, all punishment that was committed against a breaker of the law, was for the purpose of preventing others from committing the same crime themselves.
The punishment of the guilty was intended to be the ultimate deterrent. A vividly bloodied criminal who was publicly put to death before crowds of people, might prevent others from going down the same path. Those who would see the sentence of death being carried out, might think again before committing the crime they were considering. It is certain that every person who watched a man die by crucifixion would leave the scene with a graphic reminder of what the consequences of disobeying the law would mean to them personally, should they commit the same act.Continue reading “How Much Jesus Suffered For Us”→
Luke 23:44-45 Now it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened…
Imagine the entire earth growing completely dark at noon and remaining in darkness for three hours. Of course in some parts of the earth, it would already be dark. This prophecy is applicable to those places on earth that would normally experience daylight, suddenly being covered in deep darkness. At the suffering and death of Jesus, the earth would be covered by the same darkness that was poured into Jesus as He became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
During the final moments of a person’s life, there is little that he can do to control the events that will take place. Some might say that Jesus was controlling the events surrounding Him as He planned His own death by crucifixion. Is it possible that in order to be thought of as the Messiah that Jesus had carefully planned each step of His death so that they would appear to be a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies?
How could a person control the exact words that someone would say about him while he was hanging on a cross? Of course, the supposition that Jesus had anything to do with how the events of His death transpired is pure foolishness. It is obvious that once Jesus was arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified, He would have no further control over anything that would happen from that moment on.
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is amongst the most substantially documented events in the history of the world. There is more evidence for Jesus death in Israel, during the time depicted by the New Testament, than perhaps any other person of antiquity.
Professor Peter Schäfer, in his book: “Jesus in the Talmud”, records that Talmud Sanhedrin 43a contains the following text regarding Jesus of Nazareth:.
“On (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover, Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, “Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry. Whoever knows anything in defense may come and state it.” But since they did not find anything in his defense they hanged him on (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover. Ulla said: ‘Do you suppose that Jesus the Nazarene was one for whom a defense could be made? He was a mesit (someone who instigated Israel to idolatry), concerning whom the Merciful [God] says: Show him no compassion and do not shield him (Deut. 13:9). With Jesus the Nazarene it was different. For he was close to the government.”[2a]