One Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Combined As One Incredible Story

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“These things were written so that you might believe”

How would you feel if you had a son and he went into hostile territory to seek out and save people who would never thank him for what he had done?⁠ What would you do if these individuals falsely accused your son of crimes he did not commit and had him arrested, beaten, and executed?¹ What emotions would you feel if your son cried out to you to forgive the men who were torturing your son, and he asked you to not hold these crimes against them?⁠² What would you do to these men, when they treated the love that your son gave to them, as garbage to be thrown out and disregarded?⁠³

We forget that there was a Father who was watching His Son die, as Jesus hung on the cross. God planned this event, before the creation of the universe. The Son wanted to save us and He was willing to take upon Himself, all of our sins. Continue reading “One Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Combined As One Incredible Story”

What Did Jesus Do That He Deserved To Die?

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Crucifixion is described as one of the most horrific ways to put a man to death. Reserved for only the worst of criminals, what had Jesus done that warranted such vicious treatment?

As we read the accounts of His life in the four gospels, we see a man who is full of love and compassion. Every sick person who came to Jesus—He healed. Every hurting man or woman, Jesus loved and encouraged. Every lost sinner who came to Him in sorrow for their sins, Jesus forgave and bestowed a new life.

Jesus stood against injustice, religious hypocrisy, and pretentiousness by those who claim to know God. When the woman at the well sought to turn the discussion to religion, Jesus turned her back to a relationship with God.

Everything that Jesus did, was good, righteous, and Holy.

The testimony of those who had been with Him every day of His three and one-half year ministry, described Him as perfect and without sin (Prophecy 21). None of the people from Nazareth came to Jerusalem when Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Messiah and opposed Him on grounds that He was a sinful man. Every person who listened to Jesus and watched the way that He treated people was struck by His grace.

This was no ordinary man, this was no sinner, this was not a man who deserved to die by crucifixion.

Continue reading “What Did Jesus Do That He Deserved To Die?”

Salvation Without Baptism, Altar Call, or Church Membership

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According to many Theologians, Churches, and individual Christians, a person cannot be saved apart from Baptism, or membership in their particular church. The final authority on all matters of doctrine resides with the Bible, not what men say, nor the tradition of the church. According to Jesus, the requirements for salvation are extremely simple and even the worst sinner may find forgiveness and eternal life–even during the final moments of their life.

As a person goes through each one of the individual parts of the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, we are struck with the details that are included in these many faceted predictions.

In the prophecies of Isaiah chapter 53, we see the specific detail that the Messiah will be condemned and put to death along with other criminals. Although this may be seen as a very common occurrence in the carrying out of a sentence for crimes committed, in the case of a prophecy written over 700 years in advance of its fulfillment, this detail is a stunning inclusion.

Isaiah 53:12c Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23:32-33 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

When we examine the New Testament, we discover that there were two thieves who were also condemned to die by crucifixion along with Jesus. They are placed on either side of the Lord. At first, it seems that both condemned men ridicule Jesus for also being crucified along with them. After one of these men witnesses the grace and the love with which Jesus endures His suffering, praying for those who placed Him on the Cross, this dying criminal has a change of heart. He cries out to Jesus: Lord, Remember me when you come into Your kingdom. A subtle statement of salvation from a man doomed to die, during the final moments of his life. Though his confession is short and simple, yet it is sufficient to move Jesus to pronounce him: forgiven and worthy of eternal life.

Continue reading “Salvation Without Baptism, Altar Call, or Church Membership”

A Prophecy Impossible to Fulfill

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During the course of crucifixion, on rare occasions, it was necessary to break the shin bones of the condemned person hanging on the cross—in order to hasten his death. For the crucified, breathing was a nearly impossible task, accomplished only by pressing down with both feet, onto the wooden platform that was secured to the cross. By attempting to stand and relieve the pressure exerted on the lungs—due to the outstretched arms that were nailed to the upper cross member, the nail that was driven through the flesh and bones of both feet, would cause the tissue to be torn and bleed profusely. The act of raising the body up to accomplish a breath was further complicated by the raw tissue of the back, which had been torn to ribbons during scourging. Upon every breath of air, as the back would slide up the splintered wood of the cross, excruciating pain would shoot through the body.

The pain that was necessary to complete the simple process of breathing became a continuing self torture. The condemned would have to choose between the intense pain of raising himself up to breath, or dying from a lack of oxygen.

When a crucifixion took place on the day before the Sabbath or a special feast day, Jewish law required that the body of the condemned must not be left hanging on cross (tree) overnight.

Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day…”

When the Roman soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus in order to hasten His death, they found that He was already dead. These men unknowingly became instruments in fulfilling the three prophecies of the Old Testament which specifically state that the bones of the Passover Lamb could not be broken.

It seems that this specific aspect of the Messiah’s death is of particular importance to the Lord, as it is reported in three different prophecies. Upon examination of the circumstances surrounding this event, we can see why. Continue reading “A Prophecy Impossible to Fulfill”

Isaiah's Description of Messiah's Suffering: Beard Ripped Out

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The Messiah will be beaten in His face and have His beard pulled out by His revilers.

 “I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard…” —Isaiah 50:6b

New Testament Fulfillment:

 “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands. ” —Matthew 26:67

Although there is no specific reference in the New Testament to anyone pulling Jesus’ beard out with their hands as Isaiah described, it is for certain that this took place. In actuality, the fact that it is omitted from the New Testament is further proof that the New Testament account of Jesus and His crucifixion are not only true but also accurate.

If someone were intending to falsify the account of Jesus’ life to make it match the clear Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah 50:6, it is for certain that they would include a description of Jesus having His beard pulled out. Scholars agree that Isaiah’s description is intended for the Messiah. It would have been very easy to add a description for Jesus having His beard torn from His face, if the writers of the gospels were seeking to convince any reader that Jesus was the Messiah. By their absence of this description, it appears as if it was simply an oversight that occurred in the midst of recording the other events described in the New Testament. Such omissions of facts are often the case in actual eyewitness accounts. Continue reading “Isaiah's Description of Messiah's Suffering: Beard Ripped Out”

How Much Jesus Suffered For Us

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Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

The purpose of the scourge was to exact a confession from the accused, before being put to death. Not that a confession would change the final disposition of the condemned, but for the purpose of setting an example for the crowd who were witnessing the judgment of a convicted criminal. Literally, all punishment that was committed against a breaker of the law, was for the purpose of preventing others from committing the same crime themselves.

The punishment of the guilty was intended to be the ultimate deterrent. A vividly bloodied criminal who was publicly put to death before crowds of people, might prevent others from going down the same path. Those who would see the sentence of death being carried out, might think again before committing the crime they were considering. It is certain that every person who watched a man die by crucifixion would leave the scene with a graphic reminder of what the consequences of disobeying the law would mean to them personally, should they commit the same act. Continue reading “How Much Jesus Suffered For Us”

What Caused the Earth to Grow Dark at Noon–During Jesus Crucifixion?

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Luke 23:44-45 Now it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened

Imagine the entire earth growing completely dark at noon and remaining in darkness for three hours. Of course in some parts of the earth, it would already be dark. This prophecy is applicable to those places on earth that would normally experience daylight, suddenly being covered in deep darkness. At the suffering and death of Jesus, the earth would be covered by the same darkness that was poured into Jesus as He became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

As Jesus is made sin for us, the earth lays in darkness while He suffers and dies. It is as if the whole planet has been put on notice that—had Jesus not come to lay down His life and remove all our sins, this planet would have remained in darkness forever. Continue reading “What Caused the Earth to Grow Dark at Noon–During Jesus Crucifixion?”

The Crucifixion of Jesus

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The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is amongst the most substantially documented events in the history of the world. There is more evidence for Jesus death in Israel, during the time depicted by the New Testament, than perhaps any other person of antiquity.

Professor Peter Schäfer, in his book: “Jesus in the Talmud”, records that Talmud Sanhedrin 43a contains the following text regarding Jesus of Nazareth:.[1]

“On (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover, Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, “Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry. Whoever knows anything in defense may come and state it.” But since they did not find anything in his defense they hanged him on (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover. Ulla said: ‘Do you suppose that Jesus the Nazarene was one for whom a defense could be made? He was a mesit (someone who instigated Israel to idolatry), concerning whom the Merciful [God] says: Show him no compassion and do not shield him (Deut. 13:9). With Jesus the Nazarene it was different. For he was close to the government.”[2a]

Continue reading “The Crucifixion of Jesus”