Post #17 – As Reported From The Book Of Luke
Today’s post concludes the seventeen week report on the book of Luke. How appropriate to end this account on the day before Good Friday as Christians around the globe contemplate the love Jesus offers as He hangs on The Cross. His sacrificial ending on earth offers us life never ending in heaven.
BREAKING — Amid the Passover celebrations in Jerusalem, it has been confirmed the well known local teacher, Jesus, fellowshipped with His chosen group of Twelve for the traditional Passover meal. It was during this meal that the Son of Man initiated the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper
The disciples witnessed Jesus give thanks and offer a cup of wine while saying, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Immediately after, the Son of Man took bread, gave thanks, and broke it. He gave it to His disciples saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Unbeknownst to the Twelve, they are participating in the Holy Sacrament, also known as Communion. A ceremony Jesus also asks us to do “…in remembrance of me [Jesus].”
Exclusive during this dinner, Jesus revealed one of the Twelve would soon betray Him. He also reveals Peter will deny Him three times.
Jesus Arrested At Mount Of Olives.
Under night sky, Jesus and His disciples stood in the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of Mount of Olives. Suffering anguish with knowledge of His upcoming destiny Jesus prayed, alone, while His disciples could not fight sleep. His suffering was such that He sweat drops of blood (the first of seven times He sheds His blood for sinners).
Immediately following that event, an angry crowd arrived lead by Judas. Known to locals as one of the chosen Twelve, it is Judas who betrays Jesus. The former did so by attempting to kiss the latter’s cheek as identity affirmation. Quick to respond to the unruly group, Peter grabbed a sword and sliced off a servant’s ear. Jesus, however, healed the ear and allowed the mob to arrest Him.
After the arrest while in the courtyard of the high priest, outspoken Peter denies Jesus first to a servant girl, then a man, and later another fellow. Upon realizing his disclaimers, Peter was seen weeping bitterly. Jesus, at this time, was being mocked and beaten.
At daybreak Jesus was before the council of the elders of the people, the chief priests and teachers of the law. Their prime question was, “Are you then the Son of God?”
Jesus was heard to reply, “You say that I am.” Jewish leaders called out Jesus’ I Am as blasphemy. Biblical truth knows their thought process is false.
Biased, the assembly rose and took Jesus to the Roman governor of Judea, Pilate. False charges of Jesus opposing payment to Caesar were made. Pilate asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Again Jesus replied, “You have said so,”. Unable to establish significant charges, Pilate sends Jesus to Herod, governor over the regions of Galilee and Perea, since Jesus is a Galilean.
Documentation reveals Herod also is unable to claim authentic charges against the Son of God, thus dispatching Him back to Pilate. This was done only after mocking Jesus by placing Him in an elegant robe.
Historical records indicate Pilate currently struggles with answering to Caesar over possible Jewish riots. If Pilate wholly refuses to crucify the Jew named Jesus, he understands a foreseen riot could take place. Slammed with this reality, Pilate offers the angry mob a choice of two prisoners to release. Persistent with Jewish tradition, one prisoner may be set free during Passover. When Pilate offered the choice of Jesus or a true rebel criminal named Barabbas, the crowd overwhelmingly chose Barabbas to be free as they shouted for Jesus to be crucified.
Facts show a man named Simon from Cyrene was seized from the crowd to carry Jesus’ crucifixion cross. The Cyrene was trailed by Jesus’ women believers, mourning and wailing.
Two criminals were also crucified with Jesus, one on His left and one on His right. Referring to the people who were putting Jesus to death, in His own words the Son of God said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Rejected by His fellow Jews, Jesus’ clothes were divided up, rulers sneered, others teased Him suggesting He save Himself. Also, a sign was placed above His head reading: This is the King of the Jews.
One of the criminals crucified with Jesus does not believe and insulted Him. But the other crucified criminal believes. That man now resides with Jesus in Paradise.
Meteorologists acknowledge from noon till three in the afternoon, darkness came over the whole land. The Temple curtain was torn in two and Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Those standing near the centurion report him saying surly Jesus was a righteous man.
In a display of love for the Savior, a member of the Council named Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, asking permission to take Jesus’ body and place it in an empty tomb. ( Joseph never consented to the council’s hostile actions against Jesus.) Permission was given, allowing Joseph to take down the body of our crucified Savior, wrapping it in linen cloth and placing it in the tomb. The Sabbath was about to begin.
Significant to the story, the women who followed behind Jesus and the cross followed Joseph to the tomb. Sources proclaim afterwards, they went home and prepared spices and perfumes for the body. However, like all Jews, they rested on Saturday the Sabbath.
Details follow revealing early Sunday morning those same women went to Jesus’ tomb and found the stone rolled away. Upon entering, they found the body of Jesus missing. Notably, two men in clothes gleaming like lightening addressed them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
Then they remembered the words of Jesus. Experts say when the woman ran and told the apostles, the apostles did not believe their story. In fact Peter proceeded to run to the tomb, only to find the lines strips lying alone.
Christ The Lord Has Risen!
That same day, seven miles from Jerusalem on a road headed to Emmaus, two men encountered Jesus. After listening to them explain the events that occurred in Jerusalem, Jesus traveled to the village with them. Upon breaking bread with the men, Jesus revealed Himself to them, then disappeared from their sight. The experience led them to immediately return to Jerusalem and tell the Eleven and those with them that the Lord has risen!
Victory also appeared amid the assembled group, as Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Those within the group witnessed Jesus eat a piece of broiled fish. Jesus then said:
“This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Believers also note when the Eleven last saw Jesus in the vicinity of Bethany, He blessed them, then was taken up into heaven.