CHRIST CRUCIFIED, DEAD AND BURIED. CHRIST THE RISEN ONE!
We are in the middle of Easter when this comes out. Easter is in my opinion the most important holiday. At the same time we must remember that without Christmas, there wouldn’t be any Easter. The most important man in history was born then. I do not want to minimize Pentecost either since we would have been very helpless without the support of The Holy Spirit. I would still say that Easter is my holiday. Easter is a holiday with many days off work in Norway. We talk about Easter many weeks before and call the weeks for the time of Lent. Not too many fast in my country, but this is celebrated bigger in other countries. One can keep away from all food, but most people fast from certain food or keep away from television or other entertainment. I have not been asked by God to fast before Easter, but for a shorter period of time when either I or someone else needed a breakthrough. I seriously believe that those who are supposed to fast over a long period of time get strength and power to do so. The most important thing is obeying Him.
What do we celebrate on Palm Sunday? We remember the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Many Jews thought that He was a king and as such He should have entered with pomp and circumstance. Jesus looked upon Himself as a servant and He was coming riding on a donkey. We can read about this in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of donkey.” He could not avoid being praised and honored and a great multitude followed Him and covered the road with their clothes and took branches from the trees and waved at Him. The people shouted: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” Those watching asked who He was and they answered: “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Mat.21) Jesus was humble, but had also a great authority. When He was in Jerusalem, He entered the temple, but He got very angry when He saw the selling and buying going on and the money changers. He turned the tables upside down and drove the people involved in this out of the temple. He said: My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Right afterwards He healed the blind and the lame coming to the temple. He showed mercy to those in need and a holy wrath towards those dishonoring the temple.
The next day we celebrate is Maundy Thursday. We commemorate the day when Jesus instituted the Communion. Jesus and His disciples sat and ate the Passover meal together when Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Then He took the cup after supper saying: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” He continued to say that one of them should betray Him. You can read about this in Luke 22. There are many ways of interpreting the communion. The four gospels emphasizes differently. I personally do not believe that I actually drink His blood and His body, but I look upon it as a symbol of His body and blood and I take it as a holy covenant. We can read more about this in 1.Cor.11:26. There it says that we proclaim His death till He comes back. Jesus says in John 17:23 that He is in us and we are in Him. This is not easy to understand, but He is not far away. The Bible says that we should take communion often and I think that most of us do it rarely.
When they sat and ate together, the disciples started asking who was the greatest among them. Jesus answered that the one who served the most, was the greatest. Jesus started to share with them the things that were going to happen the next days, but they didn’t understand. Peter got very eager and said that he would never leave Him nor betray Him. Jesus stopped his pride by saying that Peter would betray Him three times before the rooster crows in the morning and Jesus was right.
Jesus took them with Him to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus started getting worried about the things He knew were to come and He asked to watch and pray with Him. The disciples fell asleep time and time again. Jesus prayed to His Father and he said: “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me, unless I drink it, Your will be done.” He was willing to suffer even if He prayed so drops of blood fell from Him. His disciples didn’t stay with Him in this battle.
They were still in Gethsemane when a multitude with swords and clubs came from the chief priests betraying Him. Peter wanted to defend Jesus and cut off one ear from one of the servants of the high priest, but Jesus put the ear back and healed the man. Jesus was taken prisoner and brought to the house of the high priest named Calaphas. It was there that Peter denied that he knew the Master. Jesus was both mocked and beaten while He was there. They didn’t believe that He was the Son of God and took Him to Pilate. He couldn’t find any fault in Him and Jesus didn’t answer his questions nor did He defend Himself. Pilate sent Him to Herod since Jesus belonged to his jurisdiction. There Jesus was treated with contempt and mockery. The chief priests and the scribes there accused Jesus vehemently. Jesus was again sent back to Pilate. He really didn’t want to crucify Him. He had to release one prisoner at this feast and He wanted to release Jesus, but the crowd shouted: “Release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.” Barabbas was a rebel and a murderer. The crowd also shouted: “His blood be on us and on our children.” Pilate was a coward and he allowed the crowd and the high priests to determine his decision. We read about these happenings in the four gospels and they emphasize the events a little differently. We are now in the happenings of Good Friday.
Jesus was dragged to a place called Golgotha, the Place of a Skull. Jesus was crucified there together with two criminals, one of each side. He was crucified at the third hour. They had written “The King of the Jews” over Him. One of the criminals mocked Him. The other one prayed for his soul and Jesus said to him: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” When Jesus was hanging on the cross saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He asked for mercy for His tortures and for those crucifying Him. These words have helped me many times when I had difficulties forgiving someone.
When they came to the sixth hour, darkness came over all the earth and lasted until the ninth hour and the veil in the temple was torn in two. Jesus said: “Father, Into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He also said: “It is finished!” He then gave up His spirit. His body was buried and a big stone covered the opening of the grave. I really do not think that we can grasp the fullness of what was going on during these hours, but He hang there in order for us to avoid the eternal punishment of sin. Read Is. 53:4+5.
The great day of victory must for us Christians be the Day of Resurrection, Easter Sunday. The Bible tells us that three women went to the grave as soon as the Sabbath was over. When they got there, they saw that the stone was taken away and when they entered the grave, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side. He said to them: Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here.” Jesus revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene. When she told the others who were mourning, they didn’t believe her. Jesus also revealed Himself for the eleven disciples, but they wouldn’t believe that He was alive right away either. We know that He was together with His disciples for a short time before He was descending to heaven to be with His Father. Jesus conquered death and He will never die again. He did say on the cross: It is finished!
JESUS LIVES AND WE WILL LIVE WITH HIM IN ALL ETERNITY!