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The Greatest Life Ever Lived

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040104PM WOTB-10 From the Cradle to the Cross-3

WTB-10

From the Cradle

To the Carpenter’s Shop

To the Cross

 

 

Title Slide

This evening I would like to take you on a Faith Journey. That is a journey that strengthens and encourages faith in God’s Word and in God’s Plan for each of us.

 

Slide: Luke 2.39

Tonight’s journey starts in Nazareth.

Luke 2:39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.

 

Slide: The Early Years of Jesus Christ-3

Matthew Mark Luke John
  1. Circumstances of Jesus’ birth explained to Joseph
1:18–25
  1. Birth of Jesus
2:1–7
  1. Witness of the shepherds
2:8–20
  1. Circumcision of Jesus
2:21
  1. Jesus presented in the temple
2:22–38
  1. Return to Nazareth
2:39
  1. Visit of the Magi
2:1–12
  1. Flight into Egypt
2:13–18
  1. New home in Nazareth
2:19–23
    10. Growth and early life of Jesus 2:40
    11. Jesus’ first Passover in Jerusalem 2:41–50
    12. Jesus’ adolescence and early  manhood 2:51–52

 

Slide: Map

Slide: Well –Loom

 

Slide: The Early Years of Jesus Christ-3

Matthew Mark Luke John
1. Circumstances of Jesus’ birth explained to Joseph 1:18–25
2. Birth of Jesus 2:1–7
3. Witness of the shepherds 2:8–20
4. Circumcision of Jesus 2:21
5. Jesus presented in the temple 2:22–38
6. Return to Nazareth 2:39
7. Visit of the Magi 2:1–12
8. Flight into Egypt 2:13–18
9. New home in Nazareth 2:19–23
10. Growth and early life of Jesus 2:40
11. Jesus’ first Passover in Jerusalem 2:41–50
12. Jesus’ adolescence and early  manhood 2:51–52

 

 

Slide: Matthew 2.1-6

Matthew 2:1-6 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

 

Slide: Wisemen v.2

2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

Slide: Herod’s Palace v.3-6

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Herod’s Palace was one of the most beautiful structures in Jerusalem. It was located on the highest part of the Western Hill and covered nearly five acres. It had two wings, each with accommodations for hundreds of guests. Each wing had banquet halls, gardens, and porticoes. Throughout the rest of the palace were gardens, fountains, and groves of trees. This was Herod’s main palace. After his death, it became the seat of the Roman government. It was protected by the citadel, with its massive towers.

Slide: Map/HLH Palace

Slide: Missler/Between

 

Slide: Matthew 2.7-12

Matthew 2:7-8 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

 

Slide: Map Jer/Naz

Matthew 2:9-10 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

 

Slide: Missler/Magi

 

Slide: Naz House–Magi

Matthew 2:11-12 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

 

Slide: TEYOJC #8

 

Slide: Matthew 2.13-18

 

Slide: Map Egypt

 

Slide: Donkey

 

Slide: TEYOJC #9-11

 

Slide: Matthew 2.19-23; Luke 2.40-50

 

Slide: Map with Via Maris

Although[1] only a small town in a tiny province Nazareth was far from being remote. Traffic from the ends of the earth passed close to its borders.

  • A boy had only to climb the hill at the back of the town to see the Road of the Sea which came up from Egypt and went out to Damascus, along which the great trading caravans with their strings of laden camels moved constantly.
  • He would see also the Road of the East running from the Mediterranean to Parthia and beyond, along which trading adventurers passed to remote lands, and the Roman legions clanked their way to service on the eastern frontiers of the Empire.
  • He had only to look westward and the blue waters of the Mediterranean lay shimmering before him, dotted with ships sailing to Egypt, to Greece and to Rome.

 

Slide: Nazareth Synagogue

The[2] day came when he officially ‘grew up’. In Palestine, a boy became a man on his twelfth birthday.

    1. From that time onwards he was personally responsible for keeping the la.
    2. He was eligible to be a witness in a law-court;
    3. He could take part in the reading of the Scripture Lesson and the discussion in the synagogue.

 

Slide: Bar Mitvah at Wall

A ceremony initiating the boy into becoming Bar Mitzvah, a son of the law, was held in the synagogue. It continues among the Jews to this day, and part of the prayer which the boy prays is as follows:

O my God and God of my fathers, on this solemn and sacred day, which marks my passage from boyhood to manhood, I humbly raise my eyes unto thee, and declare with sincerity and truth, that henceforth I will keep thy commandments, and undertake and bear the responsibility of my actions towards thee. In my earliest infancy I was brought within thy sacred covenant with Israel: and today I again enter, as an active responsible member, into this elect congregation, in the midst of which I will never cease to proclaim thy holy name in the face of all nations.

 

Slide: Map Nazareth to Jerusalem

Doubtless Jesus used the prayer on the day he became a Bar Mitzvah in the Synagogue in Nazareth. Having become officially an adult, Jesus had to fulfill certain religious duties.

  • Every adult male Jew was obliged to attend three annual festivals at Jerusalem: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.
  • Greatest of all was the Passover, for which the most careful preparation had to be made. For six weeks, as the time for it approached, it was the subject of sermons in the synagogue and lessons in school. Like other Jewish boys, Jesus prepared to attend his first Passover. Jerusalem was a hundred miles from Nazareth, and the caravan from the village, slow moving for the sake of mothers and children, took about a week on the journey.

 

Slide: Herod’s Temple

What a thrill it was when the Temple came in sight! Josephus describes its dazzling appearance:

‘The outward face of the Temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely either to surprise men’ s minds or their eyes; for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight and, at the first rising of the sun reflected back a very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn away their eyes, just as they would at the sun’s own rays. The Temple appeared to strangers when they were at a distance like the mountain covered with snow, for those parts of it which were not gilt were exceedingly white.’

 

Slide: The Gentile Court 

The Gentile Court[3] was the large open area around the sacred courts of the Temple. Anyone could enter this area. This court was also intended to be a place of prayer for Gentiles. Locate the colonnade around the outer edge of the court. On three sides, the colonnade was more than 45 feet wide and 40 feet high. It had a flat roof that rested on the outer wall on one edge and on two rows of massive columns on the other. This colonnade gave the mount great splendor and also provided a place for teaching and assembly.

 

Slide: Hills of Jerusalem

As they marched on their way, and especially as they were climbing Mount Zion to the sacred city, the pilgrims sang what the English Bible calls ‘The Songs of Ascents’, Psalms 120-134. ‘1 was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord !’.

 

Slide: Olive Tree Crosses

What[4] would Jesus see when he came into Jerusalem for the first time?

As he came to the city gates he would see both sides of the road lined with scaffolds for those who were to be executed. Next, the Temple. He would be instructed beforehand as to its layout, but it was built in a series of courts. The outermost was the Court of the Gentiles, into which anyone might come but beyond which no Gentile must pass. Next was the Court of the Women, into which all Jews could enter but beyond which no woman must go. Then came the Court of the Israelites, beyond which no layman must venture. Finally there was the Court of the Priests, with the great altar and, at the far end, the Holy place and the Holy of Holies, which no one might enter except the High Priest, and he only once a year on the Day of Atonement. The Court of the Gentiles presented an extraordinary spectacle. In it the merchants who sold pigeons and lambs for the sacrifices had their shops, and the money-changers had their tables. The place was like a busy market rather than part of the Temple. The main part of the Passover Meal was the lamb. It commemorated the deliverance from Egypt, when a last terrible plague broke Pharaoh’s resistance and he allowed the Israelites to depart. An angel of death was to pass through the land and slay the first-born son in every Egyptian household. To keep their own homes unscathed the Israelites were instructed to mark the lint-el of their door posts with the blood of a lamb, and the avenging angel would pass over the houses so marked. The Passover Feast was eaten in the evening in the homes of the people, but before that, the lamb, which was the main part of the feast, had first to be offered in the Temple. The blood of the animal was sacred to God, for the Jews identified the blood with the life. The lamb had therefore to be slaughtered by a priest and its blood poured on to the altar. Something of what the Temple courts must have been like can be gauged from the fact that a census of lambs slain at the Passover of year 65, when Cestius Gallus was governor, established a figure of 256,500 animals sacrificed in that one year alone. It baffles the imagination to think what the altar must have been like after the blood of more than a quarter of a million lambs had been poured on it. The number of lambs gives us an idea of the number of people in Jerusalem at Passover time. A Passover house gathering had to consist of a minimum of ten people to each lamb. This means that well over 2,565,000 were packed into Jerusalem at Passover time.

It was Jesus who was holding in his arms the lamb which the group from Nazareth wished sacrificed. He handed over the lamb with a look of intense sorrow in his eyes. In his heart he seemed to be sharing the tragedy of the lamb, while a Levite’s voice was repeating Isaiah’s famous words: He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he openeth not his mouth. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. When the lamb was handed back to be the Passover Meal, its body was slit down the middle and kept open by two pieces of wood -in the form of a cross. The lamb slain, the cross of wood, the words from Isaiah -hints of his destiny were beginning to enter the mind of the boy Jesus. So the ancient ritual unfolded. It was partly memory of the past: O Lord, thou hast given us this day of the Passover that we may re-live our exodus. Glory to thee, 0 Lord, who blessest Israel and the feasts thereof. It was partly hope for the future: This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. He who hungers, let him come and eat with us. This night we are in bondage; tomorrow we shall be free. In this way they remembered the day when God had delivered them from bondage in Egypt, and hoped for the day when God would deliver them from bondage to Rome.

 

 

There were no[5] pictures of the Deity, of course, but ornamental designs graced the room. The menorah (lampstand) was drawn everywhere. There were flowers, vine leaves with grapes, a pot of manna, Aaron’s rod and various relevant representations of inanimate spiritual objects of ancient Judaism. Every synagogue had a separate gallery for women. This is true of all orthodox synagogues today, and at the Western Wall in Jerusalem a barrier divides the genders. The purpose of the synagogue was to be both a local meeting house and a place of worship. The synagogue served the neighborhood as the temple n Mount Moriah in Jerusalem served the nation. We might roughly compare this situation to the local church and the universal Church. The Sadducees controlled the Temple and the Pharisees the synagogues. The synagogue functioned throughout the week; the municipal government and local worship were active on Sabbaths feast days, fast days and Mondays and Thursdays (trade days). Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays are still Bar Mitzvah days at the Wall in Jerusalem. The trade days accommodated the farmers who brought their goods to the markets on Mondays and Thursdays and so could meet with representatives of the local government and the religious among their customers. Municipal court was held in the synagogue and the Sanhedrin, the controlling body, would meet, fascinating the populace with their intellectual disputes, scriptural ideas, commentaries about God and His will, etc.

 

Israel was actually[6] a very good place from which to send the Gospel out to “all nations”. Geographically small, Israel is in the center of the world’s land mass. As a strategic crossroads it joins Europe, Asia and Africa, bringing together all races, nationalities and the empires of all mankind. We filmed our television program on the Great Commission in the magnificent Roman theater excavated at the ancient city of Beth-Shan. This enormous stadium, built during the Roman occupation of Israel, in only one of the fascinating ruins of this fertile Galilean city, which had been settled some 6,000 years ago. The tribe of Manasseh was given the town by the lord when Joshua assigned each tribe its portion of the Promised Land. But the tribe had problems defeating the local militia, finally learning to coexist with them. Later on, King Saul’s body was hung from the walls of Beth-Shan when he was killed in battle after consulting the witch of Endor. And still later came the rush of empires back and forth; the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, continuing to the present day, with major West Bank confrontations practically a part of living in the town. Beth-Shan was an appropriate representation of “the world” to the Galilean mind.

 

 

A synagogue[7] Education  – Only boys attended synagogue schools.  According to the Mishnah (the written record of the oral traditions of Jesus’ time and afterward), students followed a specific educational plan.  Since the learning of the community was passed orally, memorization of tradition and God’s Word were essential.  A typical education for a boy went as follows:

  1. At age five or six began memorizing and studying the written Torah.
  2. At age twelve studied the more complicated oral interpretations of the Torah.
  3. Became a religious adult at age thirteen.
  4. At age fifteen, a gifted student might continue his studies with a local rabbi in beth midrash (meaning “house of study”  or secondary school), where he learned to apply the Torah and oral tradition to specific situations.
  5. The most gifted students would travel with famous itinerant rabbis, learning to understand and apply Torah and oral tradition in daily situations and seeking to “become like their rabbis.”
  6. Learned a trade at age twenty.
  7. Demonstrated his full ability at age thirty.  By the time a student reached adulthood, he knew most Scriptures by heart and could tell whether someone quoted them correctly.  Thus Jesus, in keeping with His culture, could say, “It is written…” and know that His audience would recognize an accurate quotation.

 

Jesus grew up in Nazareth[8], a rural village of about two to three hundred inhabitants in lower Galilee.  Although we may picture Nazareth as a sheltered, out-of-the way retreat from the world, it was actually located near some of the most sophisticated culture of the day.

  • A main branch of the Via Mares – the international trade route of the world – passed nearby.
  • And a mere three miles to the north, Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great, built the capital of his kingdom – a booming metropolis named Sepphoris.  Designed as Herod Antipas’s administrative capital, this huge city covered as many as five hundred acres and housed as many as twenty-five to thirty thousand people.  It boasted all the trappings of a modern, wealthy city of the Roman Empire.  It was located on a hill, so it was visible for miles around.  Rich villas with mosaic floors lined its modern streets.  Herod’s palace was magnificent.  A colonnaded street led to the forum.  An elaborate water system with a cistern a thousand feet long supplied the city.  Its cultural amenities included a gymnasium and a theater that could seat more than four thousand people.
  • Not far away, in Nazareth, Jesus participated in a very different lifestyle.  After receiving His basic education and traveling to Jerusalem for His first Passover, Jesus began to learn a trade from His father, who was a tekton (Matthew 13:55).  The Greek word tekton is translated as “carpenter,” but it actually means “a craftsman who builds.”  Although we typically picture Jesus as a carpenter who worked with wood, the building materials of Israel were primarily rocks and cut stones.  Therefore, Jesus probably worked more with rocks and stones than with wood.  As a stonemason, Jesus may even have helped His father construct buildings in Sepphoris.  Throughout His ministry, Jesus ministered to the hurts and needs of poor peasants, but He also interacted with and ministered to wealthy (often Hellenistic) people.  For example, He shared meals and had discussions with influential religious leaders, Joanna, the wife of Cuza (the minister of finance for Herod Antipas), used her own funds to support the ministry of Jesus and His disciples.  And people accused Jesus of befriending tax collectors, who were administrative officials in the upper echelon of first-century society in Israel.  Although He spoke out against the oppressive use of wealth, Jesus appreciated wealthy people who had become wealthy honestly and used their wealth as a tool to advance the kingdom of God.
  • Jesus knew the day-to-day experiences, concerns, and joys of peasants, influential leaders, lepers, devout Jews, blind men, and many others, which enabled Him to minister effectively to them.  Instead of isolating Himself from people, He interacted with them.  Consequently, He knew the images, tools, and concepts He could use to effectively communicate God’s truth to His diverse audience.
  • Many of the word pictures Jesus used came from the agricultural world of His time, particularly Galilee.  For example, He used images from farming, fishing, and shepherding activities in His teaching.  He used images from the world of religion – both Jewish and pagan.
  • But Jesus also used word pictures drawn from aristocratic society – the world of culture, wealth, tax collectors, politics, royalty, and the theater.  He was familiar enough with the sophisticated Hellenistic culture to use slices from it as illustrations.  Thus He could communicate clearly to those in His audience who knew that world.  Because Jesus could speak the language of His culture, He was a master teacher.  He taught clearly and powerfully, inspiring cultural change through interaction with culture rather than isolation from it.

 

 

The meaning[9] of the word Nazareth  (or Nazarene) is most likely derived from the Hebrew word netzer, which means “shoot” or “branch” and is frequently used to refer to the royal line of David.  In the following Scripture references note the expressions the prophets used to describe the Messiah: Prophecy Expression Related to the Messiah:

 

Prophecy Expression Related to the Messiah
Isaiah 11:1-2 A “shoot” will come from the stump of Jesse (the line of David)
Isaiah 53:2 He grew up like a tender “shoot”
Jeremiah 23:5 A righteous “Branch” would come from David
Jeremiah 33:15 God would make a righteous “Branch” sprout from David’s line
Zechariah 3:8 God would bring His servant, the “Branch”
Zechariah 6:12 The man whose name is the “Branch”

 

The description “Jesus the Nazarene,” meaning “Jesus the Branch,” clearly linked Jesus to the prophecies stating that the Messiah would be the “Branch” that would grow out of Jesse’s stump. What did Jesus say about Himself to confirm this identity? He is the “Root and the Offspring of David. Revelation 22:16.

 

 

 

 

A proper Chronology would probably be: The Early Years of Jesus Christ-8/12

Matthew Mark Luke John
  1. Circumstances of Jesus’ birth explained to Joseph
1:18–25
  1. Birth of Jesus
2:1–7
  1. Witness of the shepherds
2:8–20
  1. Circumcision of Jesus
2:21
  1. Jesus presented in the temple
2:22–38
  1. Return to Nazareth
2:39
  1. Visit of the Magi
2:1–12
  1. Flight into Egypt
2:13–18
  1. New home in Nazareth
2:19–23
  1. Growth and early life of Jesus
2:40
  1. Jesus’ first Passover in Jerusalem
2:41–50
  1. Jesus’ adolescence and early manhood
2:51–52

 

 

 

  • He would be taken as an Infant to Egypt: Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
  • His birth would be followed by aMassacre of children: Jeremiah 31:15 Thus says the Lord: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”
  • Boyhood in Nazareth: Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Jesus went from Bethlehem, to Egypt, as they returned when they heard Archaelaeus was in Judea they went on to their roots in Nazareth (Branch) Heb. nezer, the people there thought that was where Messiah would come from, but no one else thought that!

 

Nazareth Today 1-2

The next stop is at THE CARPENTER’S SHOP. Nazareth unfolds another whole series of truths about Christ’s coming.

  • TRAINING: The place He was raised was near the synagogue of Mary’s father. Just three miles from Nazareth was Heli (or Eli) father of Mary who trained young Jesus fully in the Old Testament Scriptures. So great was Christ’s training that the people called Him a Rabbi. Though the Jerusalem establishment did not recognize His training, the people around Him in Nazareth

 

 

The Temple

  • WORSHIPING: From Nazareth Jesus walked with His family probably three of more times each year to Jerusalem (55 miles south of Nazareth). All men were to present themselves before the Lord three times each year, and Joseph made sure that his growing family, soon to number at least seven children (Mark 6.3), made it up to Jerusalem. There they celebrated all the pictures of Christ’s Coming with the faithful remnant of Israel’s worshipers.

 

 

 

 

  1. Godly dads like Joseph work hard to provide for their families. Matthew  2: 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” (NIV)
  2. Godly dads like Joseph give their children lessons in living. Mark 6:3 “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” And they were offended at Him. (NKJV).
  3. Godly dads like Joseph follow God’s Word for raising children Luke 2:27-33 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to [bring] revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” 33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. (NKJV)
  4. Godly dads like Joseph lead their family in worship. Luke 2:41  His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. (NKJV) He was a worshiper, he took them to the feast Joseph was a leader in godliness. He was a Maintainer: Pr. 22.28 keep family boundaries

 

  • LEARNING: It was from the city of Zipori, Herod Antipas’s capital that Jesus learned the language of the culture of His day. In fact Jesus reflects the culture of His day in His sermons recorded in the Gospels. The words of the theater (hupocrites) are used 17x in the entire New Testament, and only by Jesus. Herod’s minister of finance had a wife named Joanna who later financed Jesus, and used her wealth for God’s work. So Sepphoris is the town Jesus helped to build. Because of the great theater there, Jesus at least knew of the Greek culture. This theater seats 4500 people. Even the Greek work for actor (hupokrites) speaks of the culture, and Jesus used that word 17x, no one else uses it in the Bible!
  1. Matthew 6:1-5 Jesus said don’t use the trumpet. That was exactly how the lead “actors” were announced to the stage.
  2. Matthew 6:16-8 Hypocrites like actors blackened their faces for tragedies don’t you show off.
  3. Luke 19:11-15 certain man of noble birth went away to get a kingdom, delegation, returned and killed, this was Jesus drawing on current events and history to communicate to His culture. That was what Archaealaus had done after Herod the Great’s death.
  • VISITING: While living in Nazareth Jesus and His family also probably went to see His various relatives. We know from Scripture that Mary was related to Elisabeth and Zacharias who probably lived just outside of Jerusalem in Ein Kerem. They would have been seen at feast times. We also know that Mary’s sister was named Salome and she had two sons James and John who lived and worked on the Sea of Galilee.

 

The final stop on our journey this evening is THE CROSS. Jesus was headed to the Cross from the cradle of Bethlehem. The Scriptures are too numerous to list but to powerful to pass by. For a few moments consider just threes few key verses from God’s Word.

 

John 3.16

Abraham

 

  • CALVARY WAS AT THE EXACT SPOT: In Genesis 22 as we saw Isaac carrying the wood on his back – so Jesus carried His own Cross. As Abraham offered his only son, so God the Father offered His only Son. Even the location was the same, the elevation was the highest, and the picture is amazingly clear this side of Calvary.
  • CALVARY WAS AT THE EXACT MOMENT: When Jesus was nailed to the Cross at 9AM the priests were tying the Passover lamb to the altar in the Temple. Six hours later, at precisely 3 PM as the call of the shofar from the top of the Holy Place was spreading across the gathered worshipers as the Passover lamb was slain—in an execution place outside the walls a few hundred yards away, the Lamb of God cried out – “It is Finished”.
  • CALVARY WAS THE EXACT EVENT: In Daniel 9.24 we are told that Messiah would “be cut off” as a substitute, and not for Himself. So Jesus was “lifted up” as Moses foresaw 1,500 years earlier in Numbers 21 with the brazen serpent. David saw 1,000 years before Calvary that Christ would be “pierced” in His hands and feet, His garments were “divided” and His clothing was won by “casting lots” as Psalm 22 records. He was “bruised” as Isaiah saw 700 years before in chapter 53 “for our iniquities”.

 

Allow you minds to retrace the events of[10] Passover the day Christ was crucified. Levites have just opened the doors of the Temple so that the crowds can enter to offer their sacrificial lambs.

 

At 9 AM – this was the specified time and at that exact moment three events took place.

 

  1. While Israel’s high priest was tying the Passover lamb for the Nation to the Temple’s altar awaiting its sacrifice, and
  2. Each head of household takes a knife and prepares to slaughter the lamb that must be sacrificed for his family –
  3. AT THAT VERY MOMENT, outside the city walls of Jerusalem, Jesus was being nailed to a cross to hang, and bleed. For six hours both the lamb at the altar and Jesus the Lamb of God awaited death.

 

At 12 Noon as the thousands of individual lambs continue to be brought into the Temple, the sky darkens, and the crowds inside the Temple grow silent and pensive.

 

  • While the stones of the Temple courtyard run red with the blood thousands of lambs and goats, the Lamb of God spills His life’s blood outside the city.
  • While the father in each household slaughters a lamb for the sake of his family, God the Father slaughters His holy Lamb for the sake of all who would accept Christ’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

 

At 3 PM or exactly the ninth hour, the high priest ascended the altar in the temple and sacrificed the lamb for the Nation.

 

  • At that moment, barely able to lift His blood-spattered face toward heaven, Christ’s words thundered out over the city of Jerusalem in triumph, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
  • At that moment on Calvary’s stark mountain, God the Father, the final High Priest of all creation, placed His holy hand on the head of His only begotten Son, allowing the sin of the world to descend upon Jesus.

 

What wondrous love!

 

What amazing grace! Never forget it.

 

Passover reminds us that the precious blood of the Worthy Lamb of God — purchased our redemption.

 

Sing with me a song of worship to Christ our Passover Lamb:

 

 

Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy,

Thou art worthy, O Lord,

To receive glory, glory and honor,

Glory and honor and pow’r.

 

For Thou hast created, hast all things created;

Thou hast created all things.

And for Thy pleasure they are created;

For Thou art worthy, O Lord.

 

 

Matt. Mark Luke John
Jesus’ first Passover in Jerusalem 2:41–50
Jesus’ adolescence and early manhood 2:51–52
His ministry launched 1:1 3:1–2
His person, proclamation, and baptism 3:1–6 1:2–6 3:3–6
His messages to the Pharisees, Sadducees, multitudes, tax-gatherers, and soldiers 3:7–10 3:7–14
His description of the Christ 3:11–12 1:7–8 3:15–18
Jesus’ baptism by John 3:13–17 1:9–11 3:21–23a
Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness 4:1–11 1:12–13 4:1–13
John’s self-indentification to the priests and Levites 1:19–28
John’s identification of Jesus as the Son of God 1:29–34
Jesus’ first followers 1:35–51
First miracle, water becomes wine 2:1–11
Visit at Capernaum with His disciples 2:12
First cleansing of the temple at the Passover 2:13–22
An early response to Jesus’ miracle 2:23–25
Nicodemus’ interview with Jesus 3:1–21
John superseded by Jesus 3:22–36
Jesus’ departure from Judea 4:12 1:14a 3:19–20; 4:14a 4:1–4
Discussion with a Samaritan woman 4:5–26
Challenge of a spiritual harvest 4:27–38
Evangelization of Sychar 4:39–42
Arrival in Galilee 4:43–4:5[11]

 

[1]  William Barclay, Jesus of Nazareth. Cleveland, Ohio: Collins World, 1977, p.11.

[2] William Barclay, Jesus of Nazareth. Cleveland, Ohio: Collins World, 1977, p.61.

[3]  Ray Vander Laan, That The World May Know: Set 4 Leaders Guide for Faith Lessons 19-27, Colorado Springs, CO:  Focus On The Family, 1997.

[4]  William Barclay, Jesus of Nazareth. Cleveland, Ohio: Collins World, 1977, p.62-63.

[5]  Zola Levitt, Return To Galilee. Dallas,Texas: Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc., 1988, p. 34.

[6]  Zola Levitt, Return To Galilee. Dallas,Texas: Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc., 1988, p. 81.

[7]  Ray Vander Laan, Faith Lessons On The Life & Ministry Of The Messiah.  Leader’s Guide, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999, p. 210.

[8]  Ray Vander Laan, Faith Lessons On The Life & Ministry Of The Messiah.  Leader’s Guide, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999, p. 220-221.

[9]  Ray Vander Laan, Faith Lessons On The Life & Ministry Of The Messiah.  Leader’s Guide, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999, p. 232-234.

[10]  John Hagee, His Glory Revealed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999, pp. 9-11.

[11]John F. MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible, (Dallas: Word Publishing) 1997.

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