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Posts Tagged ‘passover’

Day 52: Who Murdered Jesus?

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 22, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Several years ago, Mel Gibson came out with the movie The Passion of the Christ. A lot of controversy swirled because one could draw a conclusion from the movie that the Jews killed Jesus.

While there is no question from Scripture that the rejection of the Jews was the basis for Jesus murder and that the leaders of the Jews wanted Jesus killed, I propose that they were only a party to the crime.  The actual murder still lives today.

The Romans

The Roman leaders were acting in behalf of the Jewish leadership because the Jews could not, under Roman law, sentence a man to death. Pilate, Herod and company simply placed their stamp of approval on the murder of an innocent man and condemned him to death.

So who killed Jesus?

The Roman guards were the ones who beat and whipped him.  They were the ones who pulled out his beard and crowned his head with thorns. They were the brutes who made him carry his own instrument of death to the top of a dirty hill where they stripped him of his clothes, casting lots for his underwear and  nailing his hands and feet to cross beams of wood to be raised up in order to let the sun beat on his naked, battered and bruised body for six long torturous hours.

The Roman guards watched him breath his last and saw the darkness and earthquakes.  They made sure of his death by thrusting a spear in his side.  So obviously, they are guilty.

But wait…

Didn’t Jesus say from the cross, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing”?

So maybe they aren’t the only ones guilty.

So who murdered Jesus?

Judas

Let’s blame Judas.  If he didn’t betray Jesus to the Jews, maybe Jesus would still be walking the earth today.  That back-stabbing man ate dinner with Jesus just before he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver… the cost of a slave, and to add insult to injury, he pointed him out to the Jewish leaders with a kiss of friendship.

But wait…

Didn’t Jesus approve Judas’ task by telling him before hand, “What you are going to do, do quickly”.  That really muddies the waters.

So who murdered the perfect man?

His Father

What about God?  I mean, didn’t God send his son to earth to die? How many fathers would do that to their child? Didn’t he love Jesus? Didn’t he care? Couldn’t he have stopped the whole thing? Didn’t Jesus pray for another way and God not answer that prayer?

But wait…

Didn’t Jesus tell us that “I am in the Father and the Father is in me”. Didn’t he tell us that God so LOVED THE WORLD that he gave his son.  Maybe God’s love for the world was so great that he did what he had to do to make a way for the world to return to him. Maybe Jesus meant what he said in that same prayer when he concluded his plea with “nevertheless – not my will, but your will be done.”

So who was it really?

You and Me

What about us? You know… “the world” that God loves so much.

It started with a man named Adam and a command from God that said, “Don’t eat of this one tree, for in the day you eat of it, you will die”.

Adam defied God’s instruction, and Adam’s first sin planted a seed in each and every person ever born in this world that God loved so much.

Every person is doomed to die apart from God because of sin that rules and reigns in the hearts of men.

Sin lived in the Jews that wanted Jesus dead, the Romans that carried out their wishes, and it lives in you and me today.

It is the sin in us that murdered Jesus.  If we had not sinned, Jesus would not have died.  An innocent lamb sent to the slaughter so that by his death, anyone who believes on him won’t have to die apart from God, but can have eternal life with God.

We are all guilty.  We committed the murder of the ages, a crime beyond any every conceived. We all participated in the death of God, and yet… It is by that very death that we are forgiven for the very murder we committed.

It is the only crime that makes things right again in the heart of those that committed it, but only to those that believe on the saving work Jesus death brings to mankind.

Though we are all murderers, the wrath of God was poured out upon his only son so that we could all live in peace and freedom with God.

So yes, we are all guilty, but you can be free of that guilt by accepting what Jesus went through on your behalf. Believe in Jesus, receive the gift of salvation, ask for forgiveness, confess Jesus Christ as the master of your life and you too can be free of the crime of the ages.

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Day 51: Bad Supper

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 20, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

I wouldn’t really call the meal Jesus ate with His disciples the “Last Supper”, because He is going to eat with His bride again at the marriage supper of the Lamb. However, I would say that the supper could have gone better.

It would seem that the only two people that knew it would be Jesus’ last meal on earth was Jesus and Judas.  No one else at the meal was catching Jesus’ hints or straight talk like when he said, “The one I hand this bread to is the one who is going to betray me.”

When the disciple heard Jesus say this and saw Judas leave, they thought he was going out to buy more food. Not exactly detectives in the making.

But one point that can be discerned from the meal is the way Jesus treated Judas.

We can discern from the location of the bowls of charoset, the mixture in which Jesus dipped the bread and handed to Judas, that Judas had to be reclining next to Jesus.  We know that John was on the right side because he was actually leaning against Jesus, so that puts Judas on his left.

These two locations were of great significance to the host.  These are the sought after spots. Remember John and James’ mother asking Jesus, “When you enter your kingdom, allow one of my sons to sit on your right and the other on your left.”

It would seem that at the meal, at least one was sitting in that spot – John.

But you get a sense from Jesus that even though he knows that Judas will betray him, Jesus keeps reaching out. He gave him hints, called him out in front of everyone. He gave Judas every opportunity to stop what was in his heart, but in the end, Judas would not be saved.

Jesus still reaches out to millions upon millions every day.  He holds before them the piece of bread, his body, dipped in the charoset, which represented the mortar the Hebrew slaves used to build in Egypt and the suffering they endured.

Jesus says to them, “I suffered and died for you, do not deny me; let me save you.”

But alas, while a few receive the gift with gladness, millions upon millions would not be saved.

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