The Death and Life of Jesus

“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
– Isaiah 53:5

Pay attention, all families of the nations, and observe! An extraordinary murder has taken place in the center of Jerusalem, in the city devoted to God’s law, in the city of the Hebrews, in the city of the prophets, in the city thought of as just. And who has been murdered? And who is the murderer? I am ashamed to give the answer, but give it I must. For if this murder had taken place at night, or if he had been slain in a desert place, it would be well to keep silent; but it was in the middle of the main street, even in the center of the city, while all were looking on, that the unjust murder of this just person took place.

And thus he was lifted up upon the tree, and an inscription was affixed identifying the one who had been murdered. Who was he? It is painful to tell, but it is more dreadful not to tell. Therefore, hear and tremble because of him for whom the earth trembled.

The one who hung the earth in space, is himself hanged; the one who fixed the heavens in place, is himself impaled; the one who firmly fixed all things, is himself firmly fixed to the tree. The Lord is insulted, God has been murdered, the King of Israel has been destroyed by the right hand of Israel.

O frightful murder! O unheard of injustice! The Lord is disfigured and he is not deemed worthy of a cloak for his naked body, so that he might not be seen exposed. For this reason the stars turned and fled, and the day grew quite dark, in order to hide the naked person hanging on the tree, darkening not the body of the Lord, but the eyes of men.

Yes, even though the people did not tremble, the earth trembled instead; although the people were not afraid, the heavens grew frightened; although the people did not tear their garments, the angels tore theirs; although the people did not lament, the Lord thundered from heaven, and the most high uttered his voice.

But the Lord arose from the dead and mounted up to the heights of heaven. When the Lord had clothed himself with humanity, and had suffered for the sake of the sufferer, and had been bound for the sake of the imprisoned, and had been judged for the sake of the condemned, and buried for the sake of the one who was buried,

He rose up from the dead, and cried aloud with this voice, “Who is he who contends with me? Let him stand in opposition to me. I set the condemned man free; I gave the dead man life; I raised up the one who had been entombed.”

“Who is my opponent? I,” he says, “am the Christ. I am the one who destroyed death, and triumphed over the enemy, and trampled Hades under foot, and bound the strong one, and carried off man to the heights of heaven, I,” he says, “am the Christ.”

“Therefore, come, all families of men, you who have been befouled with sins, and receive forgiveness for your sins. I am your forgiveness, I am the passover of your salvation, I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you, I am your ransom, I am your light, I am your saviour, I am your resurrection, I am your king, I am leading you up to the heights of heaven, I will show you the eternal Father, I will raise you up by my right hand.”

This is the one who made the heavens and the earth, and who in the beginning created man, who was proclaimed through the law and prophets, who became human via the virgin, who was hanged upon a tree, who was buried in the earth, who was resurrected from the dead, and who ascended to the heights of heaven, who sits at the right hand of the Father, who has authority to judge and to save everything, through whom the Father created everything from the beginning of the world to the end of the age.

This is the alpha and the omega. This is the beginning and the end–an indescribable beginning and an incomprehensible end. This is the Christ. This is the king. This is Jesus. This is the general. This is the Lord. This is the one who rose up from the dead. This is the one who sits at the right hand of the Father. He bears the Father and is borne by the Father, to whom be the glory and the power forever. Amen.

– Melito of Sardis

Passion Week Events

Palm Sunday

– Christ enters Jerusalem: Mat 21:1-11; Mar 11:1-10; Luk 19:28-44; Jhn 12:12-19

Monday

– The second cleansing of the temple: Mat 21:12-17; Mar 11:15-18; Luk 19:45-48

Tuesday

– The barren fig tree: Mat 21:18-22; Mar 11:11-14, 19-23

– The questioning of the chief priests: Mat 21:23-27; Mar 11:27-33; Luk 20:1-8

– Parable of the two sons: Mat 21:28-32

– Parable of the wicked husbandmen: Mat 21:33-46; Mar 12:1-12; Luk 20:9-18

– The tribute money: Mat 22:15-22; Mar 12:13-17; Luk 20:20-26

– The Sadducees confuted: Mat 22:23-33; Mar 12:18-27; Luk 20:27-40

– The great commandment: Mat 22:34-40; Mar 12:28-34

– David’s Son and David’s Lord: Mat 22:41-46; Mar 12:35-37; Luk 20:41-44

– The hypocrisy and ambition of the Pharisees: Mat 23:1-39; Mar 12:38-40; Luk 20:45-47

– The widow’s mite: Mar 12:41-44; Luk 21:1-4

– Christ’s second coming foretold: Mat 24:1-51; Mar 13:1-37; Luk 21:5-36

– Parable of the ten virgins: Mat 25:1-13

– The last judgment: Mat 25:31-46

– Greeks visit Jesus. Voice from heaven: Jhn 12:20-36

– The judgment of unbelief: Jhn 12:37-50

– Last passover. Conspiracy of Jews: Mat 26:1-5; Mar 14:1,2; Luk 22:1,2

– Judas Iscariot: Mat 26:14-16; Mar 14:10, 11; Luk 22:3-6

Thursday

– Paschal supper: Mat 26:17-30; Mar 14:12-26; Luk 22:7-23; Jhn 13:1-35

– Contention of the apostles: Luk 22:24-30

– Peter’s fall foretold: Mat 26:31-35; Mar 14:27-31; Luk 22:31-39; Jhn 13:36-38

– Last discourse. The departure. The Comforter: Jhn 14:1-31

– The vine and the branches. Abiding in love: Jhn 15:1-27

– Work of the Comforter in the disciples: Jhn 16:1-33

– The prayer of Christ for them: Jhn 17:1-26

– Gethsemane: Mat 26:36-46; Mar 14:32-42; Luk 22:40-46; Jhn 18:1

Good Friday

– The betrayal: Mat 26:47-56; Mar 14:43-52; Luk 22:47-53; Jhn 18:2-11

– Christ before Annas and Caiaphas. Peter’s denial: Mat 26:57, 58, 69-75; Mar 14:53, 54, 66-72; Luk 22:54-65; Jhn 18:12-27

– Christ before the sanhedrin: Mat 26:59-68; Mar 14:55-65; Luk 22:66-71

– Christ before Pilate: Mat 27:1, 2, 11-14; Mar 15:1-5; Luk 23:1-6; Jhn 18:12-28

– The traitor’s death: Mat 27:3-10

– Christ before Herod: Luk 23:7-12

– Accusation and condemnation: Mat 27:15-26; Mar 15:6-15; Luk 23:13-25; Jhn 18:29; 19:16

– Treatment by the soldiers: Mat 27:27-31; Mar 15:16-20; Luk 23:36,37; Jhn 19:1-3

– The crucifixion: Mat 27:32-38; Mar 15:21-28; Luk 23:26-34; Jhn 19:17-24

– The mother of Jesus at the cross: Jhn 19:25-27

– Mockings and railings: Mat 27:39-44; Mar 15:29-32; Luk 23:35-39

– The penitent malefactor: Luk 23:40-43

– The death of Christ: Mat 27:50; Mar 15:37; Luk 23:46; 19:28-30

– Darkness and other portents: Mat 27:45-53; Mar 15:33-38; Luk 23:44,45

– The bystanders: Mat 27:54-56; Mar 15:39-41; Luk 23:47-49

– The side pierced: Jhn 19:31-37

– The burial: Mat 27:57-61; Mar 15:42-47; Luk 23:50-56; Jhn 19:38-42

– The guard of the sepulchre: Mat 27:62-66; 28:11-15

Resurrection Sunday

– The resurrection: Mat 28:1-10; Mar 16:1-11; Luk 24:1-12; Jhn 20:1-18

He Is Risen!

Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. – Matthew 28:5-6

Christ, when He rose up from the dead, cried aloud with this voice, “Who is he who contends with me? Let him stand in opposition to me. I set the condemned man free; I gave the dead man life; I raised up the one who had been entombed.”

“Who is my opponent? I,” he says, “am the Christ. I am the one who destroyed death, and triumphed over the enemy, and trampled Hades under foot, and bound the strong one, and carried off man to the heights of heaven, I,” he says, “am the Christ.”

“Therefore, come, all families of men, you who have been befouled with sins, and receive forgiveness for your sins. I am your forgiveness, I am the passover of your salvation, I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you, I am your ransom, I am your light, I am your Savior, I am your resurrection, I am your king, I am leading you up to the heights of heaven, I will show you the eternal Father, I will raise you up by my right hand.”

This is the one who made the heavens and the earth, and who in the beginning created man, who was proclaimed through the law and prophets, who became human via the virgin, who was hanged upon a tree, who was buried in the earth, who was resurrected from the dead, and who ascended to the heights of heaven, who sits at the right hand of the Father, who has authority to judge and to save everything, through whom the Father created everything from the beginning of the world to the end of the age.

This is the alpha and the omega. This is the beginning and the end–an indescribable beginning and an incomprehensible end. This is the Christ. This is the king. This is Jesus. This is the general. This is the Lord. This is the one who rose up from the dead. This is the one who sits at the right hand of the Father. He bears the Father and is borne by the Father, to whom be the glory and the power forever. Amen.

– Melito of Sardis

When The Sun Fled Away

“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split…”
– Matthew 27:45-46;50-51

The earth shook, and its foundations trembled; the sun fled away, and the elements turned back, and the day was changed into night: for they could not endure the sight of their Lord hanging on a tree. The whole creation was amazed, marveling and saying, “What new mystery, then, is this?

The Judge is judged, and holds his peace; the Invisible One is seen, and is not ashamed; the Incomprehensible is laid hold upon, and is not indignant; the Illimitable is circumscribed, and does not resist; the Impossible suffers, and does not avenge; the Immortal dies, and answers not a word; the Celestial is laid in the grave, and endures! What new mystery is this?

The whole creation, I say, was astonished; but, when our Lord arose from the place of the dead, and trampled death under foot, and bound the strong one, and set man free, then did the whole creation see clearly that for man’s sake the Judge was condemned, and the Invisible was seen, and the Illimitable was circumscribed, and the Impassible suffered, and the Immortal died, and the Celestial was laid in the gave.

For our Lord, when He was born man, was condemned in order that He might Show mercy, was bound in order that He might loose, was seized in order that He might release, suffered in order that He might feel compassion, died in order that He might give life, was laid in the grave that He might raise from the dead.

– Melito of Sardis

This Is King Of The Jews

“Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS.
– Mark 15:25-26

This is He who was pilot to Noah, He who was guide to Abraham, He who was bound with Isaac, He who was in exile with Jacob, He who was sold with Joseph, He who was captain of the host with Moses, He who was the divider of the inheritance with Jesus the son of Nun, He who in David and the prophets announced His own sufferings, He who put on a bodily form in the Virgin, He who was born in Bethlehem, He who was wrapped in swaddling-clothes in the manger, He who was seen by the shepherds, He who was glorified by the angels, He who was worshipped by the Magi, He who was pointed out by John.

He who gathered together the apostles, He who preached the kingdom, He who cured the lame, He who gave light to the blind, He who raised the dead, He who appeared in the temple, He who was not believed on by the people, He who was betrayed by Judas, He who was apprehended by the priests, He who was condemned by Pilate, He who was pierced in the flesh, He who was hanged on the tree, He who was buried in the earth, He who rose from the place of the dead.

He who appeared to the apostles, He who was carried up to heaven, He who is seated at the right hand of the Father, He who is the repose of those that are departed, the recoverer of those that are lost, the light of those that are in darkness, the deliverer of those that are captive, the guide of those that go astray, the asylum of the afflicted, the bridegroom of the Church, the charioteer of the cherubim, the captain of the angels, God who is from God, the Son who is from the Father, Jesus Christ the King for evermore. Amen

– Melito of Sardis

Justice Satisfied

When I see the blood, l mill pass over you. (Exodus 12:13)

My own sight of the precious blood is for my comfort; but it is the Lord’s sight of it which secures my safety. Even when I am unable to behold it, the Lord looks at it and passes over me because of it. If I am not so much at ease as I ought to be, because my faith is dim, yet I am equally safe because the Lord’s eye is not dim, and He sees the blood of the great Sacrifice with steady gaze. What joy is this!

The Lord sees the deep inner meaning, the infinite fullness of all that is meant by the death of His dear Son. He sees it with restful memory of justice satisfied and all His matchless attributes glorified. He beheld creation in its progress and said, “It is very good”; but what does He say of redemption in its completeness?

What does He say of the obedience even unto death of His well-beloved Son? None can tell His delight in Jesus, His rest in the sweet savor which Jesus presented when He offered Himself without spot unto God.

Now we rest in calm security. We have God’s sacrifice and God’s Word to create in us a sense of perfect security. He will, He must, pass over us, because He spared not our glorious Substitute. Justice joins hands with love to provide everlasting salvation for all the blood-besprinkled.

– C.H. Spurgeon

His Agony and Our Access

Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples . . . . ’Stay here and watch with Me’ – Matthew 26:36, 38

We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique—they are the gateway into life for us.

It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of God—Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan’s assault was that our Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man.

If Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11-15 ). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier wilderness temptation—”. . . the devil . . . departed from Him until an opportune time” ( Luke 4:13 ). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan’s final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane.

The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation.

The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God.

– Oswald Chambers

It Is Finished

“I have finished the work which You have given Me to do ” – John 17:4

The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened “to” Him – something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.

Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ.

God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor . . .” ( Hebrews 2:9 ). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ— “It is finished!” ( John 19:30 ). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.

Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree.

Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred.

– Oswald Chambers

The Collision of God and Sin

“. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree . . . ” – 1 Peter 2:24

The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell.

There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross—He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God.

The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus—He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” ( Revelation 13:8 ). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh . . .” from “. . . He made Him . . . to be sin for us . . .” ( 1 Timothy 3:16 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ).

The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both. The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience.

The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there. The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much.

The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.

– Oswald Chambers

His Resurrection Destiny

“Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” – Luke 24:26

Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself. Christ’s resurrection destiny—His foreordained purpose—was to bring “many sons to glory” ( Hebrews 2:10 ).

The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We never have exactly the same relationship to God that the Son of God has, but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life—a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life.

One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can “walk in newness of life” ( Romans 6:4)). Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” ( Philippians 3:10 ). Jesus prayed, “. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” ( John 17:2 .

The term Holy Spirit is actually another name for the experience of eternal life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the deity of God who continues to apply the power of the atonement by the Cross of Christ to our lives. Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.

– Oswald Chambers