Tag Archives: crucifixion

Darkness

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”  Genesis 1:2

“That there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”  Exodus 10:21-22

Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.”  Isaiah 60:2

“Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”  Jeremiah 13:16

“All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the LORD God.”  Ezekiel 32:8

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.”  Joel 2:31

“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?”  Amos 5:20

“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”   Zephaniah 1:15

“Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 25:30

“They that were crucified with Him reviled Him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”  Mark 15:32-33

Be ready…

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…

JESUS will come.

Matthew 24:44;  1 Corinthians 15:52

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Straining at Gnats, Swallowing Camels

As Jesus spoke to His disciples and the multitude gathered in His last public discourse held in the Temple of Jerusalem before His crucifixion, He spoke of those who strain at gnats and swallow camels. He spoke of those who minor on the major, and major on the minor. He spoke of those who clean the outside of the cup while neglecting the filthiness inside the cup. He spoke of the scribes and Pharisees of the day, pronouncing woe upon them for their hypocrisy and iniquity.

In Matthew 23 Jesus’ words of guilt and punishment are recorded upon those in His presence who had laid heavy burdens upon the people but would not lift one finger to help them. He declared, “All their works they do for to be seen of men,” (vs4-5). In denouncing them, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (v13), Jesus proceeded to make clear the very nature of their sin.

Jesus rebuked them for promoting false doctrine contrary to the Scriptures (v13); devouring widows’ property and possessions by fraud (v14); making a pretence of long prayers (v14); compassing land and sea to make one false convert to their traditions (v15); giving more credence to an oath sworn on the gold of the Temple or a gift on the altar than by the God of Heaven Whose presence dwelt in the Temple (vs16-22); paying tithes with herbs of little value while omitting “the weightier matters of the Law, judgment, mercy, and faith” (v23).

As Jesus refers to the scribes and Pharisees as “blind guides” throughout the chapter for leading His people astray, He gives word pictures to their actions. He describes how they wipe clean the outside of the plate and cup, observing all the washings and cleansings of their tradition, while neglecting what matters most on the inside (vs25-26). He then turns their attention to the cemetery and the “whited sepulchres” found there, which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones. He tells them of how they build and decorate the tombs of the prophets and righteous who were slain by their forefathers, all the while proclaiming “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” Knowing that it would be by their very hands they would call for His crucifixion, He tells them, “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers,” (vs27-32).

For such actions by the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus called them “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers,” for their pretending to be pious and devoted to God, but all the while being wicked on the inside with evil intentions. Jesus then asked them, “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (v33). If the scribes and Pharisees continued on their wicked path, their future punishment in eternity would be inescapable.

A Desire to Hear

As Jesus began to preach in the synagogues of Galilee following His Temptation by the Devil in the wilderness, “the people pressed upon Him to hear the Word of God” as He stood along the banks of Lake Gennesaret. It was then He climbed into Simon Peter’s boat, asked Peter to “thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship,” (Luke 5:1-3). The people desired to hear God’s Word.

King Herod wanted the opportunity to hear Jesus, for he had “heard of all that was done by Him.” Having put John the Baptist to death at the request of his wife, “Herod said, John have I beheaded: but Who is this of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see Him,” (Luke 9:7-9).

Following Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He could be found daily teaching in the Temple. The chief priests, scribes, “and the chief of the people” were plotting and planning how they might destroy Him, jealous of the attention He was receiving from those who formally looked to them for spiritual and political leadership. They “could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him,” (Luke 19:28-48).

Luke records during the week of Jesus’ crucifixion, “in the day time He was teaching in the Temple; and at night He went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.” It was there Jesus delivered the Olivet discourse to His disciples concerning His second coming and the end of the world (Matthew 24). Luke continues to write of this time, “And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the Temple, for to hear Him,” (Luke 21:37-38).

The Apostle John writes of the time just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion of “certain Greeks,” not Jews, who came to Philip, “and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” Philip, along with Andrew, presented the Greeks’ request to Jesus, “And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified,” (John 12:20-23). Although Jesus’ earthly ministry was drawing to a close with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension back to Heaven, just as those who pressed upon Him, desired to see Him, were attentive to hear Him, rose up early in the morning to hear Him, may we today have the same desire as those who lived during Jesus’ time. May we fill our hearts and minds hearing His Word written within the pages of Scripture.

“This is My Beloved Son: hear Him.”

Luke 9:35

The Ten Who Ran

As the events of Christ’s crucifixion unfold in Scripture we are left to wonder what happened to the ten disciples who ran from the Garden of Gethsemane upon His arrest. Peter followed afar off for some time but then he too vanished until Resurrection morning. Max Lucado in his book, “No Wonder They Call Him The Savior,” gives his thoughts as to how they all in their grief and shame eventually found their way back to the Upper Room. He writes,

“From all sections of the city they appeared. Too convicted to go home, yet too confused to go on. Each with a desperate hope that it had all been a nightmare or a cruel joke…

“It certainly was an awkward position in which to be. Caught on that uneven ground between failure and forgiveness. Suspended somewhere between “I can’t believe I did it” and “I’ll never do it again.” Too ashamed to ask for forgiveness, yet too loyal to give up. Too guilty to be counted in, but too faithful to be counted out.

“I guess we’ve all been there. I dare say that all of us have witnessed our sandcastle promises swept away by the pounding waves of panic and insecurity. I imagine that all of us have seen our words of promise and obedience ripped into ribbons by the chainsaw of fear and fright. And I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t done the very thing he swore he would never do. We’ve all walked the streets of Jerusalem.”

In Mark16:7 we read of the angel of the Lord speaking to the women who had come early to the tomb and found Jesus gone, “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.” The ten who had run, especially including the one who had denied Him thrice whom the angel named specifically, were being summoned by the Savior. Remember how Peter could not wait for the boat to reach the shore of Galilee, jumping in to swim the distance that separated him from Jesus preparing breakfast on the beach? Peter knew forgiveness awaited him and the other disciples the moment he saw Jesus.

No wonder they called Him Savior!