THE LIFE OF JESUS-WHAT THE PROPHETS SAID.
It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift that God would give you. They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ's Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.1 Peter 1.10-12.
A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called,"Wonderful Counsellor,""Mighty God,""Eternal Father,""Prince of Peace."His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David's successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do this. Isaiah 9.6-7
The angel said to her,"Don't be afraid ,Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God .The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!"Mary said to the angel,"I am a virgin. How, then can this be?"The angel answered,"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and God's power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God. Luke 1.30-35
The Lord says,"Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times...When he comes ,he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself. Micah 5.2 and 4.
At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own town..Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judaea, the birthplace of King David. He went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were at Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger-there was no room for them to stay in the inn..There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them,"Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Saviour was born-Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you :you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."Luke 2.1-12.
The time of his adult coming...
Seven times seventy years is the time God has set for freeing your people and your holy city from sin and evil. Sin will be forgiven and eternal justice established, so that the vision and the prophecy will come true, and the holy temple will be rededicated. Note this and understand it: From the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem [around 450BC]until God's chosen leader comes, seven times seven years shall pass [Rebuilding of Jerusalem 49 years].Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences ,and will stand for seven times sixty two years, but this will be a time of troubles [Struggle with Greeks and Romans 434 years].And at the end of that time God's chosen leader will be killed unjustly. The city and the Temple will be destroyed by the invading army of a powerful ruler. The end will come like a flood, bringing the war and destruction which God has prepared [The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD].Daniel 9.24-26.
The humble circumstances of Israel's King...
It was the will of the Lord that his servant should grow like a plant taking root in dry ground. He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of him. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing that would draw us to him. Isaiah 53.1-2
When Jesus finished telling these parables, he left that place and went back to his home town .He taught in the synagogue, and those who heard him were amazed,"Where did he get such wisdom?"they asked."And what about his miracles? Isn't he the carpenter's son? Isn't Mary his mother, and aren't James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren't all his sisters living here? Where did he get all this? And so they rejected him. Jesus said the them,"A prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town and by his own family."Matthew 13-53-57
HIS LIFE OF LOVE.
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of everything that he did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. Acts 10.36-39
His introduction to Israel by a forerunner...
A voice cries out,"Prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord! Clear the way in the desert for our God! Fill every valley; level every mountain.. The hills will become a plain, and the rough country will be made smooth .Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind will see it. The Lord himself has promised this."Jerusalem, go up on a high mountain and proclaim the good news! Call out with a loud voice, Zion; announce the good news! Speak out and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah that their God is coming! Isaiah 40.3-5 and 9
The Lord Almighty answers,"I will send my messenger to proclaim the way for me. Then the Lord you are looking for will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger you long to see will come and proclaim my covenant."Malachi 3.1
It was the fifteenth year of the rule of the Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip was ruler of the territory of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias was ruler of Abilene, and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests. At that time the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. So John went throughout the whole territory of the river Jordan, preaching,"Turn away from your sins and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins."Luke 3.1-3
People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah .So John said to all of them,"I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways. Luke 3.15-18
His anointing with the Holy Spirit...
The Lord says, Here is my servant, whom I strengthen-the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased. I have filled him with my spirit ,and he will bring justice to every nation..Isaiah 42
A new king will arise from among David's descendants. The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom, and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord's will and honour him, and find pleasure in obeying him. Isaiah 11
At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. But John tried to make him change his mind."I ought to be baptized by you,"John said,"and yet you have come to me!"But Jesus answered him,"Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires."So John agreed. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him. Then a voice said from heaven,"This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased."Matthew 3.13-17
Then Jesus returned to Galilee, and the power of the Holy Spirit was with him. The news about him spread throughout all that territory. He taught in the synagogues and was praised by everyone. Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people."Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down..All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him ,as he said to them,"This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read."Luke 4.14-21
He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. He will not break off a bent reed or put out a flickering lamp. He will bring lasting justice to all. He will not lose hope or courage; he will establish justice in the earth..Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching."..."I, the Lord, have called you and given you power to see that justice is dome on earth. Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations. You will open the eyes of the blind and set free those who sit in dark prisons. Isaiah 42.2-4,6-7.
After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God."the right time has come,"he said,"and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!"Mark 1.14-15
Jesus went round visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness. As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.. So he said to his disciples,"The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest."Matthew 9.35-38
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd was following. Two blind men who were sitting by the road heard that Jesus was passing by, so they began to shout,"Son of David! Take pity on us!"The crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly,"Son of David! Take pity on us!"Jesus stopped and called them."What do you want me to do for you?"he asked them."Sir,"they answered,"we want you to give us our sight!"Jesus had pity on them and touched their eyes; at once they were able to see, and they followed him. Matthew 20.29-34
At daybreak Jesus left the town and went off to a lonely place. The people started looking for him, and when they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving. But he said to them,"I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do."So he preached in the synagogues throughout the country. Luke 4.42-44
HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
Then they put him to death by nailing him to a cross. But God raised him from death three days later and caused him to appear, not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had already chosen, that is ,to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from death. Acts 10.39-41
He is rejected by Israel. The Jews did not understand that their Messiah had to come as the Suffering Servant before He could return as Conquering King,, and failed to recognise His Deity.
We despised him and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him-we ignored him as if he were nothing. Isaiah 53.3
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever. The bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live."This started an angry argument among them."How can this man give up his flesh to eat?"they asked...Many of his followers heard this and said,"This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?"...Because of this, many of Jesus' followers turned back and would not go with him any more. So he asked the twelve disciples,"And you-would you also like to leave?"Simon Peter answered him,"Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God."John 6.51-69
Then the man left and told the Jewish authorities that it was Jesus who had healed him. So they began to persecute Jesus, because he had done this healing on a Sabbath..Jesus answered them,"My Father is always working, and I too must work."This saying made the Jewish authorities all the more determined to kill him; not only had he broken the Sabbath law, but he had said that God was his own Father and in this way had made himself equal with God. John 5.15-18
Even though he had performed all these miracles in their presence, they did not believe in him, so that what the prophet Isaiah had said might come true:"Lord, who believed the message we told? To whom did the Lord reveal his power?" John 12.37-38
Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and said to them,"Listen"We are going up to Jerusalem where everything the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will come true. He will be handed over to the Gentiles, who will mock him, insult him, and spit on him. They will whip him and kill him ,but three days later he will rise to life."But the disciples did not understand any of these things; the meaning of the words was hidden from them, and they did not know what Jesus was talking about. Luke 18.31-34
His triumphal entry to Jerusalem...
Rejoice, rejoice, people of Zion! Shout for joy you people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you! He comes triumphant and victorious, but humble and riding on a donkey-on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Your king will make peace among the nations; he will rule from sea to sea, from the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth."Zechariah 9.9-10
As he came near Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives ,he sent two disciples ahead with these instructions:"Go to the village there ahead of you; as you go in, you will find a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If someone asks you why you are untying it, tell him that the Master needs it."They went on their way and found everything just as Jesus had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them,"Why are you untying it?""The Master needs it,"they answered, and they took the colt to Jesus. Then they threw their cloaks over the animal and helped Jesus get on. As he rode on, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near Jerusalem, at the place where the road went down the Mount of Olives, the large crowd of his disciples began to thank God and praise him in loud voices for all the great things that they had seen:"God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!"Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus,"Teacher,"they said,"command your disciples to be quiet!"Jesus answered,"I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting."Luke 19.29-40
He came closer to the city, and when he saw it, he wept over it, saying,"If you only knew today what is needed for peace"But now you cannot see it! The time will come when your enemies will surround you with barricades, blockade you, and close in on you from every side. They will completely destroy you and the people within your walls; not a single stone will they leave in its place, because you did not recognise the time when God came to save you!"Luke 19.41-44
He is betrayed...
I said to them,"If you are willing, give me my wages. But if not, keep them."So they paid me thirty pieces of silver as my wages. The lord said to me,"Put them in the temple treasury."So I took the thirty pieces of silver-the magnificent sum they thought I was worth-and put them in the temple treasury. Zechariah 11.12-13
The Lord Almighty says,"Wake up, sword, and attack the shepherd who works for me! Kill him, and the sheep will be scattered! Zechariah 13.7
Then one of the twelve disciples-the one named Judas Iscariot-went to the chief priests and asked,"What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?"They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him. From then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them. Matthew 26.14-16
Then Jesus said to them,"This very night all of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says,'God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you."Matthew 26.31-32
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them,"Sit here while I go over there and pray."He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him, and he said to them,"The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me."He went a little farther on, threw himself face downwards on the ground, and prayed,"My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want!"Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and he said to Peter,"How is it that you three were not able to keep watch with me even for one hour? Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."Once more Jesus went away and prayed,"My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done."He returned once more and found the disciples asleep; they could not keep their eyes open. Again Jesus left them, went away, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then he returned to the disciples and said,"Are you still sleeping and resting? Look! The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinful men. Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me! Matthew 26.36-46
Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs and sent by the chief priests and the elders...Then they came up, arrested Jesus, and held him tight. One of those who were with Jesus drew his sword and struck at the high priest's slave, cutting off his ear."Put you sword back in its place," Jesus said to him."All who take the sword will die by the sword. Don't you know that I could call on my Father for help, and at once he would send me more than twelve armies of angels? But in that case, how could the Scriptures come true which say that this is what must happen? Then Jesus spoke to the crowd,"Did you have to come with swords and clubs to capture me, as though I were an outlaw? Every day I sat down and taught in the Temple, and you did not arrest me. But all this has happened in order to make what the prophets wrote in the Scriptures come true."Then all the disciples left him and ran away. Matthew 26.47-56
He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word. He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die, and no one cared about his fate. Isaiah 53.7-8
I bared my back to those who beat me. I did not stop them when they insulted me, when they pulled out the hairs of my beard and spat in my face. but their insults cannot hurt me because the Sovereign Lord gives me help. I brace myself to endure them. I know that I will not be disgraced, for God is near, and he will prove me innocent. Isaiah 50.6-8
before the high priest...
Then Jesus was taken to the high priest's house, where all the chief priests, the elders, and the teachers of the Law were gathering. Peter followed from a distance and went into the courtyard of the high priest's house. There he sat down with the guards, keeping himself warm by the fire. The chief priests and the whole council tried to find some evidence against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they could not find any. Many witnesses told lies against Jesus, but their stories did not agree. Then some men stood up and told this lie against Jesus:"We heard him say,'I will tear down this Temple which men have made, and after three days I will build one that is not made by men.'Not even they, however, could make their stories agree. The High Priest stood up in front of them all and questioned Jesus,"Have you no answer to the accusation they bring against you?"But Jesus kept quiet and would not say a word. Again the High Priest questioned him,"Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?""I am,"answered Jesus,"and you will all see the Son of Man seated on the right of the Almighty and coming with the clouds of heaven!"The High Priest tore his robes and said,"We don't need any more witnesses! You heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?"They all voted against him: he was guilty and should be put to death. Mark 14.53-64
Early in the morning the chief priests met hurriedly with the elders, the teachers of the Law, and the whole Council, and made their plans. They put Jesus in chains, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Mark 15.1
And before Pilate...
Early in the morning Jesus was taken from Caiaphas' house to the governor's palace. The Jewish authorities did not go inside the palace, for they wanted to keep themselves ritually clean, in order to be able to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went outside to them and asked,"What do you accuse this man of?"Their answer was,"We would not have brought him to you if he had not committed a crime."Pilate said to them,"Then you yourselves take him and try him according to your own law."They replied,"We are not allowed to put anyone to death."[This happened in order to make the words of Jesus come true, the words he used when he indicated the kind of death he would die.]John 18.28-32
they began to accuse him:"We caught this man misleading our people, telling them not to pay taxes to the Emperor and claiming that he himself is the Messiah, a king. Luke 23.2
Pilate went back into the Palace and called Jesus,"Are you the king of the Jews?"he asked him. Jesus answered,"Does this question come from you or have others told you about me?"Pilate replied,"Do you think I am a Jew? It was your own people and the chief priests who handed you over to me. What have you done?"Jesus said,"My kingdom does not belong to this world; if my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. No, my kingdom does not belong here!"So Pilate asked him,"Are you a king then?"Jesus answered,"You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to me."John 18.33-37
But he said nothing in response to the accusations of the chief priests and elders. So Pilate said to him,"Don't you hear all these things they accuse you of?"But Jesus refused to answer a single word, with the result that the Governor was greatly surprised. Matthew 27.12-14
Pilate is unwilling to condemn him...
At every Passover festival Pilate was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the people asked for. At that time a man named Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder in the riot. When the crowd gathered and began to ask Pilate for the usual favour, he asked them,"Do you want me to set free for you the King of the Jews?"He knew very well that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask, instead, for Pilate to set free Barabbas for them. Pilate spoke again to the crowd,"What ,then, do you want me to do with the one whom you call the king of the Jews?"Mark 15.6-12
When the chief priests and the temple guards saw him, they shouted,"Crucify him, crucify him!"Pilate said to them,"You take him, then, and crucify him. I find no reason to condemn him."The crowd answered back,"We have a law that says he ought to die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid. He went back into the palace and asked Jesus,"Where do you come from?"But Jesus did not answer. Pilate said to him,"You will not speak to me? Remember ,I have the authority to set you free and also to have you crucified."Jesus answered,"You have authority over me only because it was given to you by God. So the man who handed me over to you is guilty of a worse sin."When Pilate heard this, he tried to find a way to set Jesus free. But the crowd shouted back,"If you set this man free, that means you are not the Emperor's friend! Anyone who claims to be a king is a rebel against the Emperor!"John 19.6-12
But gives in to the crowd...
Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers took Jesus inside to the courtyard of the governor's palace and called together the rest of the company. They put a purple robe on Jesus, made a crown out of thorny branches, and put it on his head. Then they began to salute him:"Long live the King of the Jews!"They beat him over the head with a stick, spat on him, fell on their knees, and bowed down to him. When they had finished mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Mark 15.15-20
The Lord says,"My servant will succeed in his task; he will be highly honoured. Many people were shocked when they saw him; he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human. But now many nations will marvel at him, and kings will be speechless with amazement. They will see and understand something they had never known."Isaiah 52.13-15
But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God. Isaiah 53.4
A gang of evil men is round me; like a pack of dogs they close in on me; they tear at my hands and feet. All my bones can be seen..My enemies look at me and stare. Psalm 22.16-17
So they took charge of Jesus. He went out, carrying his cross, and came to"The place of the Skull,"as it was called.[In Hebrew it is called "Golgotha."]There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side ,with Jesus between them. John 19.17-18
He is mocked...
But I am no longer a man; I am a worm, despised and scorned by everyone! All who see me jeer at me; they stick out their tongues and shake their heads."You relied on the Lord,"they say."Why doesn't he save you? If the Lord likes you, why doesn't he help you?"Psalm 22.6-8
People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus:"You who were going to tear down the Temple and build it up again in three days! Save yourself if you are God's Son! Come on down from the cross!"In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and the elders jeered at him:"He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Isn't he the king of Israel? If he comes down off the cross now, we will believe in him! He trusts in God and claims to be God's Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!"Matthew 27.39-43
His clothes are gambled for...
They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves. Psalm 22.18
After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it. The soldiers said to one another,"Let's not tear it; let's throw dice to see who will get it."This happened in order to make the scripture come true: They divided my clothes among themselves and gambled for my robe."And this is what the soldiers did. John 19.23-24
He dies like a criminal...
He was placed in a grave with evil men, he was buried with the rich, even though he had never committed a crime or ever told a lie"...And so I will give him a place of honour, a place among great and powerful men. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. Isaiah 53.9 and11
Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. when they came to the place called "The Skull,"they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said,"Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing."Luke 23.32-34
His agony as he suffered the penalty of our sin...
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help, but still it does not come. Psalm 22.1
At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, which lasted for three hours. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout,"Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"which means,"My God, my God, why did you abandon me?"Mark 15.33-34
His death was to atone for our sins...
But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved...He was put to death for the sins of our people. Isaiah 53.5-6 and8
The Lord says,"It was my will that he should suffer; his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so he will see his descendants; he will live a long life, and through him my purpose will succeed. After a life of suffering,,he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them. Isaiah 53.10-11
like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people."Matthew 20.28
Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said,"I am thirsty."A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said,"It is finished!"Then he bowed his head and died. John 19.28-30
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,"Father! In your hands I place my spirit!"He said this and died. Luke 23.46
The curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw how Jesus had died."This man was really the Son of God!"he said. Mark 15.38-39
His burial by a rich man...
He was placed in a grave with evil men, he was buried with the rich, even though he had never committed a crime or ever told a lie."Isaiah 53.9
When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus. He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Matthew 27.57-58
Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph, taking with him about thirty kilograms of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. John 19.39
Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph. So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb. Matthew 27.58-61
The Lord says,"It was my will that he should suffer; his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so he will see his descendants; he will live a long life, and through him my purpose will succeed. Isaiah 53.10
I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their assembly:"Praise him, you servants of the Lord"Honour him, you descendants of Jacob! Worship him, you people of Israel! He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering; he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help."In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done; in the presence of those who worship you I will offer the sacrifices I promised. The poor will eat as much as they want; those who come to the Lord will praise him. May they prosper for ever! All nations will remember the Lord. From every part of the world they will turn to him; all races will worship him. The Lord is king, and he rules the nations. All proud men will bow down to him; all mortal men will bow down before him. Future generations will serve him; men will speak of the Lord to the coming generation. People not yet born will be told:"The Lord saved his people."Psalm 22.22-24,27-28,and 30-31
Jesus answered,"Tear down this Temple, and in three days I will build it again.""Are you going to build it again in three days?"they asked him,"It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple!"But the temple Jesus was speaking about was his body. So when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had said. John 2.19-22
Then some teachers of the Law and some Pharisees spoke up."Teacher,"they said,"we want to see you perform a miracle.""How evil and godless are the people of this day!"Jesus exclaimed."You ask me for a miracle? No! The only miracle you will be given is the miracle of the prophet Jonah. In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths of the earth. Matthew 12.38-40
Jesus and his disciples were now on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples, who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to him."Listen,"he told them,"we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him; but three days later he will rise to life."Mark 10.32-34
Then he said to them,"These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true."Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them,"This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the Power from above comes down upon you."Luke 24.44-49
HIS ASCENSION AND PROMISE OF RETURN AS KING:
And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10.42
The Lord said to my Lord, the king,"Sit here at my right until I put your enemies under your feet."Psalm 110.1
In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, and their people will say,"Let us go up to the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel's God. He will teach us what he wants us to do; we will walk in the paths he has chosen. For the Lord's teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion he speaks to his people."Isaiah 2.2-3
Before I was born, the Lord appointed me; he made me his servant to bring back his people, to bring back the scattered people of Israel .The Lord gives me honour; he is the source of my strength. The Lord said to me,"I have a greater task for you, my servant. Not only will you restore to greatness the people of Israel who have survived, but I will also make you a light to the nations-so that all the world may be saved."Isaiah 49.5-6
When the apostles met together with Jesus they asked him,"Lord, will you at this time give the kingdom back to Israel?"Jesus said to them,"The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."After saying this, he was taken up to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them and said,"Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven."Acts 1.6-11
When the day of Pentecost came; all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched every person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious men who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. they were all excited, because each of them heard the believers speaking in his own language. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed,"These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other,"What does this mean?"Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd:"Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you. In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him. But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner. God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact. He has been raised to the right hand side of God ,his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he has promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us. For it was not David that went up to heaven; rather he said,'The Lord said to my Lord; sit here at my right until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet.'"All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!"When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles,"What shall we do, brothers?"Peter said to them,"Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that you sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift ,the Holy Spirit. For God's promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away-all whom the Lord our God calls to himself."Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day. They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers. Acts 2.1-42
THE FUTURE-JESUS IS COMING BACK:
Until Jesus returns, suffering and injustice will continue in the world. Only his coming will put an end to it all. But before he comes ,the whole world must hear the Gospel message, and this is the work he has commanded his followers to finish.
And this Good News about the kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all mankind; and then the end will come. Matthew 24.4
But before the end comes ,the Gospel must be preached to all peoples. Mark 13.10
For God has fixed a day in which he will judge the whole world with justice by means of a man he has chosen. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising that man from death!"Acts 17.31
May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow more and more and become as great as our love for you. In this way he will strengthen you, and you will be perfect and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all who belong to him.1 Thessalonians 3.12-13
Yes, my children, remain in union with him, so that when he appears we may be full of courage and need not hide in shame from him on the Day he comes.1 John 2.28
The world at the time of his coming-An unprepared world. Even though many people will become followers of Jesus through hearing the Good News, many more will not.
For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night .When people say,"Everything is quiet and safe,"then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labour, and people will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. It is at night that people sleep; It is at night that they get drunk. But we belong to the day ,and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger ,but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.1 Thessalonians 5.2-11
No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too. John 15.20
But will the Son of Man find faith on the earth when he comes? Luke 18.8
Israel, God's clock. The Bible foretells the return of the Jews to Israel and its rise again as a nation.
Some of the disciples were talking about the Temple, how beautiful it looked with the fine stones and the gifts offered to God. Jesus said,"All this you see-the time will come when not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one will be thrown down."..."When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that she will soon be destroyed. Then those who are in Judaea must run away to the hills; those who are in the city must leave, and those who are out in the country must not go into the city. For these will be 'The Days of Punishment' to make all that the Scriptures say come true. How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! Terrible distress will come upon this land, and God's punishment will fall on this people. Some will be killed with the sword, and others will be taken as prisoners to all countries; and the heathen will trample over Jerusalem until their time is up. Luke 21.5-5 and 20-24
When that day comes, the Lord will once again use his power and bring back home those of his people who are left in Assyria and Egypt, in the lands of Pathros ,Sudan, Elam, Babylonia, and Hamath, and in the coast lands and on the islands of the sea. The Lord will raise a signal flag to show that nations that he is gathering together again the scattered people of Israel and Judah and bringing them back from the four corners of the earth..Isaiah 11.11-12
These things are foretold...
But when that time comes, I will make Jerusalem like a heavy stone-any nation that tries to lift it will be hurt. All the nations of the world will join forces to attack her. Zechariah 12.3
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times have I wanted to put my arms round all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me! And so your temple will be abandoned and empty. From now on, I tell you, you will never see me again until you say,'God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.'"Matthew 23.37-39
I will fill the descendants of David and the other people of Jerusalem with the spirit of mercy and the spirit of prayer. They will look at the one whom they stabbed to death, and they will mourn for him like those who mourn for an only child. They will mourn bitterly, like those who have lost their first-born son. Zechariah 12.10
The day when the Lord will sit in judgement is near. Then Jerusalem will be looted, and the loot will be divided up before your eyes. The Lord will bring all the nations together to make war on Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the people will go into exile, but the rest of them will not be taken away from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. At that time he will stand on the Mount of Olives, to the east of Jerusalem. Then the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west by a large valley. Half the mountain will move northwards and half of it southwards. You will escape through this valley that divides the mountain in two. You will flee as your ancestors did when the earthquake struck in the time of King Uzziah of Judah. The Lord my God will come, bringing all the angels with him. When that time comes, there will no longer be cold or frost, nor any darkness. There will always be daylight, even at night-time. When this will happen is known only to the Lord. When that day comes, fresh water will flow from Jerusalem, half of it to the Dead Sea and the other half to the Mediterranean. It will flow all the year round ,in the dry season as well as the wet. Then the Lord will be king over all the earth; everyone will worship him as God and know him by the same name. Zechariah 14.2-9
There is a fault running from east to west across the Mount of Olives ,discovered 100 years ago .Under it is a large water table.
When he comes...
"There will be strange things happening to the sun, the moon, and the stars. On earth whole countries will be in despair, afraid of the roar of the sea and the raging tides. People will faint from fear as they wait for what is coming over the whole earth, for the powers in space will be driven from their courses. Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your salvation is near."Luke 21.25-28
The Son of Man will come like the lightening which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west. Matthew 24.27
He will come for his people...
What we are teaching you now is the Lord's teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died. There will be the shout of command, the archangel's voice, the sound of God's trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first; then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 1Thesssalonians 4.15-17
He will come to judge...
For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels, and then he will repay everyone according to his deeds. Matthew 16.27
For God will reward every person according to what he has done. Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honour and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury...And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all. Romans 2.6-8 and16
Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and he wore many crowns on his head. He had a name written on him, but no one except himself knows what it is. The robe he wore was covered with blood. His name is"The Word of God."The armies of heaven followed him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword, with which he will defeat the nations. He will rule over them with a rod of iron, and he will trample out the wine in the winepress of the furious anger of the Almighty God. On his robe and on his thigh was written the name:"King of kings and Lord of lords."Revelation 19.11-16
He will come to rule...
The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like man and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death-his death on the cross. For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. And so, in honour of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.8-11
The Lord says,"The time is coming when I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will rule wisely and do what is right and just throughout the land. When he is king, the people of Judah will be safe, and the people of Israel will live in peace. He will be called,'The Lord Our Salvation.'Jeremiah 23.5-6
When that time comes, Jerusalem will be called 'The Throne of the Lord,'and all nations will gather there to worship me. They will no longer do what their stubborn and evil hearts tell them. Jeremiah 3.17
Your king will make peace among the nations; he will rule from sea to sea, from the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth."Zechariah 9.10
But the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord's glory as the seas are full of water. Habakkuk 2.14
Until the end of time...
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a heavy chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent-that is, the Devil, or Satan-and chained him up for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the abyss, locked it, and sealed it, so that he could not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were over. After that he must be let loose for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given the power to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been executed because they had proclaimed the truth that Jesus revealed and the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image, nor had they received the mark of the beast on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years.[The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.]This is the first raising of the dead. Happy and greatly blessed are those who are included in this first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them; they shall be priests of God and Christ, and they will rule with him for a thousand years. After the thousand years are over, Satan will be let loose from his prison, and he will go out to deceive the nations scattered over the whole world, that is, Gog and Magog. Satan will bring them all together for battle, as many as the grains of sand on the sea-shore. They spread out over the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people and the city that he loves. But fire came down from heaven and destroyed them. Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever .Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sits on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence and were seen no more. And I saw the dead, great and small alike, standing before the throne. Books were opened, and then another book was opened, the book of the living. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. Then the sea gave up its dead. Death and the world of the dead also gave up the dead they held. And all were judged according to what they had done. Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire.[This lake of fire is the second death.]Whoever did not have his name written in the book of the living was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20.1-15
Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the kingdom to God the Father. For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet. The last enemy to be defeated will be death. For the Scripture says,"God put all things under his feet."It is clear, of course, that the words "all things"do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ. But when all things have been placed under Christ's rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.1 Corinthians 15.24-28
The final heavenly state...
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride for her husband. I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne:"Now God's home is with mankind! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared."Then the one who sits on the throne said,"And now I make all things new!"He also said to me,"Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted."And he said,"It is done! I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life, without paying for it. Whoever wins the victory will receive this from me; I will be his God, and he will be my son. But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars-the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."Revelation 21.1-8
The angel also showed me the river of the water of life ,sparkling like crystal, and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing down the middle of the city's street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bears fruit twelve times a year, once each month; and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. Nothing that is under God's curse will be found in the city. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. There shall be no more night, and they will not need lamps or sunlight, because the Lord God will be their light, and they will rule as kings for ever and ever. Revelation 22.1-5
There are many rooms in my Fathers house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself ,so that you will be where I am. John 14.2-3
God in his love has done everything necessary to deliver us from eternal punishment .His justice requires that he punish sin, but his love has provided salvation for all who will accept it. We are not told what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus ,because that is God's business, not ours, but we are very clearly told that for those who have, their eternal destiny depends on whether they accept or ignore Jesus.
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge ,but to be its saviour. Whoever believes in the Son is not judged; but whoever does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in God's only Son. This is how the judgement works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. Anyone who does evil things hates he light and will not come to the light, because he does not want his evil deeds to be shown up. But whoever does what is true comes to the light in order that the light may show that what he did was in obedience to God. John 3.16-21
I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. If anyone hears my message and does not obey it, I will not judge him. I came, not to judge the world, but to save it. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my message has one who will judge him. The words I have spoken will be his judge on the last day! John 12.46-48
EVIDENCE THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD,THAT IS, A DIVINE BEING.
The Christian faith rests secure upon an unshakeable rock-the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. As well as the Old Testament prophecies of his deity [Godhood] we have the combined evidence of his claims, his character, and that greatest sign of all-his resurrection [coming alive again] from the dead.
ALONE AMONG THE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS OF THE WORLD, JESUS CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD, AND MADE HIMSELF EQUAL TO GOD.
He said, God is my Father.
They said to Jesus...Abraham died, and the prophets died, yet you say that whoever obeys your teaching will never die. Our father Abraham died; you do not claim to be greater than Abraham, do you? And the prophets also died. Who do you think you are? Jesus answered, If I were to honour myself, that honour would be worth nothing. The one who honours me is my Father-the very one you say is your God...Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see the time of my coming; he saw it and was glad. They said to him, You are not even fifty years old-and you have seen Abraham? I am telling you the truth, Jesus replied. Before Abraham was born, I AM [I AM is Godís name]. Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple. John 8.52-59
How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah [the One the prophets foretold was coming]? Jesus answered, I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The things I do by my Fatherís authority speak on my behalf...The Father and I are one. Then the people again picked up stones to throw at him. Jesus said to them, I have done many good deeds in your presence which the Father gave me to do; for which one of these do you want to stone me? They replied, We do not want to stone you because of any good deeds, bit because of your blasphemy! You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God! Jesus answered...as for me, the Father chose me and sent me into the world. How, then, can you say that I blaspheme because I said that I am the Son of God? Do not believe me, then, if I am not doing the things my Father wants me to do. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, you should at least believe my deeds, in order that you may know once and for all that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father. Once more they tried to seize Jesus, but he slipped out of their hands. John 10.24-39
The High Priest questioned him, Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God? I am, answered Jesus, and you will all see the Son of Man seated on the right of the Almighty and coming with the clouds of heaven! Mark 14.61-62
His teaching centred on himself.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness. John 8.12
I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me. John 14.6
If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, take up his cross every day, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it, but whoever loses [spends] his life for my sake will save it. Will a person gain anything if he wins the whole world but is himself lost or defeated? Of course not! If a person is ashamed of me and of my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9.23-26
When I am lifted up from the earth [crucified], I will draw everyone to me. John 12.32
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Mark 13.31
He claimed what belongs to God- to give life, to accept worship, to forgive sin and to judge the world.
I am the bread of life, Jesus told them. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6.35
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11.25-26
Jesus looked up to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. For you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent. John 17.1-3
Just as the Father is himself the source of life, in the same way he has made his Son to be the source of life. John 5.26
Jesus said to Simon, Push the boat out further to the deep water, and you and your partners let down your nets for a catch. Master, Simon answered, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will let down the nets. They let them down, and caught such a large number of fish that the nets were about to break...When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, Go away from me Lord! I am a sinful man!...Jesus said to Simon, Donít be afraid; from now on you will be catching men. Luke 5.4-10
Jesus said to Thomas, Put you finger here, and look at my hands; then stretch out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe! Thomas answered him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me! John 20.27-29
Jesus said to the paralysed man, My son, your sins are forgiven. Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there thought to themselves, How does he dare to talk like this? This is blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins! At once Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, Why do you think such things? Is it easier to say to this paralysed man, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up, pick up your mat, and walk? I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralysed man, I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home! While they all watched, the man got up, picked up his mat, and hurried away. They were all completely amazed and praised God, saying, We have never seen anything like this! Mark 2.5-12
Nor does the Father himself judge anyone. He has given his Son the full right to judge, so that all will honour the Son in the same way that they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him...And he has given the Son the right to judge, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be surprised at this; the time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice and come out of their graves: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned. John 5.22-29
For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will repay everyone according to his deeds. Matthew 16.27
His miracles, done out of compassion for others and to convince them about himself, are as would be expected from God.
A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. If you want to, he said, you can make me clean. Jesus was filled with pity, and stretched out his hand and touched him. I do want to, he answered. Be clean! At once the disease left the man, and he was clean. Mark 1.40-42
What I do, that is, the deeds my Father gave me to do, these speak on my behalf and show that the Father has sent me. John 5.36
Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people who were with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. Where have you buried him? He asked them. Come and see, Lord, they answered. Jesus wept. Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. Take the stone away! Jesus ordered. Martha, the dead manís sister answered, There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days! Jesus said to her, Didnít I tell you that you would see Godís glory if you believed? They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me. After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave clothes, and with a cloth round his face. Untie him, Jesus told them, and let him go. John 11.33-44
ALONE AMONG THE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS OF THE WORLD, JESUS WAS MORALLY PERFECT.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people. Matthew 20.28
The Father loves me because I am willing to give up my life, in order that I may receive it back again. No one takes away my life from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded me to do. John 10.17-18
Jesus answered, What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. A person who speaks on his own authority is trying to gain glory for himself. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest and there is nothing false in him. John 7.16-18
I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me...What my Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them to life on the last day. John 6.38-40
He who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him. John 8.29
Which one of you can prove that I am guilty of sin? John 8.46
Jesus committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous judge. 1 Peter 2.22-23
You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins [to pay for our sins] and that there is no sin in him. 1 John 3.5
Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Hebrews 4.15
Jesus was sinless because he was selfless. Unselfishness is love. God is love.
ALONE AMONG THE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS OF THE WORLD, JESUS OVERCAME DEATH.
1. Jesus was dead.
It was nine oíclock in the morning when they crucified him. Mark 15.25
At noon the whole country was covered in darkness, which lasted for three hours. At three oíclock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? Which means, My God, my God, why did you abandon me? Mark 15.33-34
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Father! In your hands I place my spirit! He said this and died. Luke 23.46
He looked dead.
The army officer saw what had happened, and he praised God, saying, certainly he was a good man! When the people who had gathered there tp watch the spectacle saw what happened, they all went back home, beating their breasts in sorrow. All those who knew Jesus personally, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance to watch. Luke 23.47-49
A soldier made sure.
Then the Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially holy. So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesusí side, and at once blood and water poured out. John 19.31-34
Those who buried him had no doubt.
It was towards evening when Joseph of Arimathea arrived. He was a respected member of the Council, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It was Preparation day [that is, the day before the Sabbath], so Joseph went boldly into the presence of Pilate and asked him for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. He called the army officer and asked him if Jesus had been dead a long time. After hearing the officerís report, Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a linen sheet, took the body down, wrapped it in the sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where the body of Jesus was placed. Mark 15.42-47
2. His tomb was found empty. The grave clothes were lying there empty.
The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee went with Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesusí body was placed in it. Then they went back home and prepared the spices and perfumes for the body. On the Sabbath day they rested, as the Law commanded. Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb carrying the spices they had prepared. Luke 23.55-24.1
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we donít know where they have put him! Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen wrappings, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there and the cloth which had been round Jesusí head. It was not lying with the linen wrappings but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. [They still did not understand the Old Testament scripture which said that he must rise from death.] Then the disciples went back home. John 20.1-10
His enemies did not know where the body was.
The next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate and said, Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, I will be raised to life three days later. Give orders, then, for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day, so that his disciples will not be able to go and steal the body, and then tell the people that he was raised from death. This last lie would be even worse than the first one. Take a guard, Pilate told them; go and make the tomb as secure as you can. So they made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch...Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men...some of the guards guarding the tomb went back to the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders and made their plan; they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers and said, You are to say that his disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. And is the Governor should hear of this, we will convince him that you are innocent, and that you will have nothing to worry about. The guards took the money and did what they were told to do. Matthew 27.62-28.15
The disciples did not know where the body was.
On that same day two of Jesusí followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about eleven kilometres from Jerusalem, and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; they saw him, but somehow did not recognise him. Jesus said to them, What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along? They stood still, with sad faces. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesnít know the things that have been happening here these last few days? What things? He asked. The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth, they answered. This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free [from the Romans]! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him. Luke 24.13-24
We know that no one took the body because...
3.He was seen again alive.
For forty days after his death Jesus appeared to his apostles many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God. Acts 1.3
Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb and saw two angels dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. Woman, why are you crying? They asked her. She answered, they have taken my Lord away, and i do not know where they have put him! Then she turned round and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. Woman, why are you crying? Jesus asked her. Who is it that you are looking for? She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him. Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned towards him and said in Hebrew, Rabboni! [this means Teacher]. Do not hold on to me, Jesus told her, because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God. So Mary magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the lord and related to them what he had told her. John 20.11-18
Then Jesus said to them, How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory? And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further; but they held him back, saying, Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark. So he went in to stay with them. He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, Wasnít it like a fire burning in us when he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us? They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others and saying, The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon! The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognised the Lord when he broke the bread. Luke 24.25-35
There is no question of hallucination...
While the two were telling them this, suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, Peace be with you. They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesnít have flesh and bones, as you can see I have. He said this and showed them his hands and his feet. They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, Have you anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence. Luke 24.36-43
Jesus returned to his mutilated human body and instantly it was changed into his deathless spiritual body, never to age or die again. It was real [he could prove it by eating] but different [he could disappear]. Because of this he was not immediately recognised, but was known by his talk and manner [his ways]. His followers will someday have a body like his.
In his disciplesí presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life. John 20.30-31
What convinced the apostles and Paul beyond any shadow of doubt was the empty tomb followed by seeing Jesus alive. History traces the Church to around 30AD and its earliest documents, contemporary [written within living memory of Jesus] and unembroidered [unexaggerated], say it started from its Founder rising from the dead. There is no question about the truthfulness of the disciplesí accounts because they stood up to severe persecution. They were demoralised by Jesusí death and then were joyous, risking death to say that he was alive again.
God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact...we cannot stop speaking of what we ourselves have seen and heard. Acts 2.32 and 4.20
They called the apostles in, had them whipped, and ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus; and then they set them free. As the apostles left the Council, they were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Jesus. And every day in the Temple and in peopleís homes they continued to teach and preach the Good News about Jesus the messiah. Acts 5.40-42
They kept on stoning Stephen as he called out to the Lord, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! He knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, Lord! Do not remember this sin against them! He said this and died. And Saul approved of his murder. That very day the church in Jerusalem began to suffer cruel persecution. All the believers, except the apostles, were scattered throughout the provinces of Judaea and Samaria. Some devout men buried Stephen, mourning for him with loud cries. But Saul tried to destroy the church; going from house to house, he dragged out the believers, both men and women, and threw them into Jail. The believers who were scattered went everywhere, preaching the message. Acts 7.59-8.4
We had been there for several days when a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judaea. He came to us, took Paulís belt, tied up his own feet and hands with it, and said, This is what the Holy Spirit says: The owner of this belt will be tied up in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles. When we heard this, we and the others there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. But he answered, What are you doing, crying like this and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but even to die there for the sake of the Lord Jesus. Acts 21.10-13
How Jesus appeared to Saul, who afterwards was called Paul:
I persecuted to the death the people who followed this Way. I arrested men and women and threw them into prison. The High Priest and the whole Council can prove that I am telling the truth. I received from them letters written to fellow Jews in Damascus, so I went there to arrest these people and bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished. As I was travelling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly round me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me? Who are you, Lord? I asked. I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute, he said to me. The men with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that God has determined for you to do...I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant. You are to tell others what you have seen of me today and what I will show you in the future. I will rescue you from the people of Israel and from the Gentiles to whom I will send you. You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among Godís chosen people. Acts 22.4-10 and 26.16-18
The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David: as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. Paul in Romans 1.2-5
REASONS WHY WE CAN TRUST THE BIBLE ACCOUNT.
The Gospel accounts do not stand alone. They receive heavy support from both the writers of the New Testament letters and from the Old Testament prophets, who wrote about the life of Jesus while his coming was still in the future.
Only letters or gospels from apostles [who were eyewitnesses of the ministry and resurrection of Jesus] were accepted or from those closely associated with them.
What we have seen and heard we announce to you also.1 John 1.3
We have not depended on made up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 2 peter 1.16
So then, our brothers, stand firm and hold onto those truths which we taught you, both in our preaching and in our letter... With my own hand I write this: GREETINGS FROM PAUL. This is the way I sin every letter; this is how I write. 2 Thessalonians 2.15 and 3.17
Jesus promised that all the apostlesí teaching would be directed by the holy Spirit.
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. John 14.26
Paulís letters appeared first. They can be accurately dated by comparing the details in them with the accounts of Paulís travels in Acts and by references to Paulís letters in the writings of the apostlesí immediate successors. Some had been written by 60AD [Paulís first imprisonment at Rome] and the rest by 65AD [Paulís second imprisonment and death]. Written while many still lived who could remember what Jesus said and did, they give an outline of the Gospel which agrees with the accounts given in the Gospels. Also in agreement is the Gospel outline found in Acts and in the other New Testament letters written by Peter, James, John, Jude and the writer to the Hebrews.
I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures [the writings of the Old Testament Prophets]; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. Then he appeared to James, and afterwards to all the apostles. Last of all he appeared also to me [Paul]. 1 Corinthians 15.3-8
The Gospels themselves appeared from about 60AD onwards. Mark, who is mentioned in Acts and in the letters, wrote down Peterís preaching. We also have two of Peterís letters. Matthew wrote a list of Jesusí sayings which he later expanded with further material and with material from mark. Luke who was Paulís companion, did careful research collecting material into which he inserted Matthewís sayings and Markís account. He also wrote Acts and is mentioned in the letters. John wrote last to provide additional information. We also have his three letters and the revelation given to him. We get a considerable knowledge of Jesus from the selections given, which Jesus said the Holy Spirit would make sure to happen. The Gospels were immediately accepted as accurate accounts of the apostlesí teaching at a time when many people could still remember Jesus.
Many people have done their best to write a report of the things that have taken place among us. They wrote what we have been told by those who saw these things from the beginning and who proclaimed the message. And so, your Excellency, because I have carefully studied all these matters from their beginning, I thought it would be good to write an orderly account for you. I do this so that you will know the full truth about everything which you have been taught. Luke 1.1-4
The writings were copied and circulated. The New Testament writers read each othersí writings and the letters were read in several places. By 100AD two collections of the books had appeared, the Gospel and the Apostle [Gospels and Acts-letters].
The Scripture says, A worker should be given his pay. 1 Timothy 5.18 quoting Luke 10.7
As you wait for that Day [the return of Jesus], do your best to be pure and faultless in Godís sight and to be at peace with him. Look on our Lordís patience [his delay in coming] as the opportunity he is giving you to be saved, just as our dear brother Paul wrote to you, using the wisdom that God gave him. This is what he says in all his letters when he writes on the subject. 2 Peter 3.14-16 referring to Paulís letters.
After you have read this letter, make sure that it is read also in the church at Laodicea. Colossians 4.16
Write down what you see, and send the book to the churches in these seven cities; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Revelation 1.11
The Early Church Fathers [immediate successors to the apostles] writing from 100AD onwards quote extensively from the New Testament with comments about contacts with the apostles and about the authors of the Gospels. We have copies of many of their writings. There are also scanty references in Roman and Jewish writings of this time from which a brief outline of Jesus can be gathered.
Then we have early manuscripts [handwritten copies] of the New testament. They can be dated by the form of the handwriting and by the material written upon. We have fragments from as early as 150AD e.g. the John Rylands fragment of Johnís Gospel. We have the Chester Beattie and Bodmer manuscripts written between 200 and 300AD containing most of the New Testament. There are the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus from 350AD containing most of the whole Bible, and several others from the following century. We also have portions from 400AD onwards of the Syriac and Latin translations that were made from the Greek around 150AD. By comparing these and many others we are able to ascertain the original New Testament text extremely exactly.
Archaeology gives further confirmation. The Gospels and Acts show a very exact knowledge of details about people and places of the first century AD which strongly proves that they were based on eyewitness accounts.
The New Testament is written in the form of Greek spoken in the first century. Also in many places the Greek of the Gospels, including Jesusí words and the apostlesí speeches in Acts, is a word for word translation from Aramaic, the language of Jesus and his disciples.
The Old Testament books were written by prophets-people who gave a message from God.
Men were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God. 2 Peter 1.21
The true prophet spoke about obeying God and accurately foretold the future. Thus identified, the books of the prophets were added to the previous books, building up the Old Testament until the last prophet Malachi in 400BC.
I was studying the sacred books and thinking about...what the Lord had told the prophet Jeremiah. Daniel 9.2
We can date the writing of Bible books by their references to current events, persons and places and by references to the books by later writers, e.g. in later Bible books. From this we can see the amazingly accurate fulfilment of the Bibleís many detailed prophecies of the future. Those about the coming of Jesus were all fulfilled in his lifetime. Many of those about Israel and the surrounding nations have been fulfilled exactly, often many centuries after they were written. Others still await fulfilment as do those about the return of Jesus. No book except the Bible foretells the future with consistent accuracy.
I alone am God and there is no one else like me. From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. Isaiah 46.9-10
All the prophets spoke about Jesus, saying that everyone who believes in him will have his sins forgiven through the power of his name. Acts 10.43
Archaeology has shown the extreme accuracy of historical and geographical references all the way through the Old Testament. Very many references to current events, persons, towns, nations, customs and words then in use have been confirmed by archaeological finds, which strongly proves that the events described in the Old Testament have been accurately recorded.
The Old Testamentís claim to be the Word of God is endorsed by Jesus himself:
Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Matthew 5.17
From the time of Ezra in the Bible [450BC] the Old Testament has been very carefully copied by the Jews. We have Jewish manuscripts of the Old Testament from 900-1000AD which agree extremely closely with the Dead Sea Scrolls [Jewish manuscripts from the first century BC] and with Samaritan manuscripts from about 1000AD whose text has been handed down separately by the Samaritans from 400BC. There is also the Greek translation made around 250BC handed down by Jews and then by Christians, of which we possess manuscripts from 350AD, which also agrees with the Jewish text. The great similarity found on comparing these manuscripts proves that our present text is a high quality copy of the original.
The above evidence is adequate to show that the Bible gives us an accurate picture of Jesus.