Death of a King, Part 2

“Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. Now it was Caiaphas who gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” John 18:12-14.

See below for Caiaphas’ prophecy.

“Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.’ And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.’ Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.” John 11:47-52.

“Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” John 18:24.

Here are a few of the numerous illegalities in the trial of the Lord. They were not to meet before the morning sacrifice. Two or more witnesses were needed and their testimony needed to agree in every detail.

They were not permitted to meet on Fridays or before feast days on capital punishment issues.

In the case of capital punishment the Sanhedrin was required to meet again 24 hours later to re-vote on the matter.

“Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.” John 18:28.

How odd? Even if they had grabbed some innocent person off the street and done this to him they would have defiled themselves before God.

But they did this to the One who had proven Himself the sinless Son of God, God Himself, how much more defiled were they, just how deep can you dig a hole for yourself?

“When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.” Luke 23:6-7.

“Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for before that they had been at enmity with each other.” Luke 23:11-12.

“Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ For he knew that because of envy they had delivered Him. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.’” Matthew 27:17-19.

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:17-19.

“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, ‘This Man is calling for Elijah!’ Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink. The rest said, ‘Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.’ Jesus, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” Matthew 27:45-54.

The death of the Lord was just as extraordinary as His life, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. there was darkness and at three He yielded up His spirit; this is something that men have no control over, many shoot themselves, jump off bridges, poison themselves and still live; often terribly crippled from the experience.

But Jesus had said something different about His own death.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18.

The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom at 3 p.m. This was the time of the evening offering of incense by the priest, so he would have been standing quite close to the veil when it happened; this had to have been an unnerving event!

The veil itself separated the holy place from the holiest of holies; it was a handbreadth in width, which is about nine inches thick, forty cubits high, about 60 feet, and twenty cubits wide, thirty feet. The weight of this thing must have been staggering and it has been said that it would take two teams of horses to tear it in half.

If you study the veil you will find that this tearing is symbolic of many things; but one important thing to note is that the tear was from top to bottom, which represents God’s making the way for man to come to Him, not from bottom to top as man would work his way up to God.

Rocks were split and the graves of many saints were opened, saints, meaning believers not unbelievers, were resurrected.

However if you read carefully you will see that the saints were not resurrected until after Christ arose, at which time they were seen by many in Jerusalem.

There is some confusion as to what form these folks took, but I think that they were believers recently deceased who knew folks within the city.

Rather than having new bodies, their old ones were renewed like Lazarus’ was when the Lord raised him after being dead four days (John 11:1-44).

These people may have stayed in the city until the Lord ascended to heaven forty days later. Or, possibly, they went on to live their lives out in healthy bodies as Lazarus did. What a wonderful gift to their surviving loved ones!

Whatever happened, we know that dead people testified as to the resurrection of Christ by appearing bodily to the living.

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” Matthew 28:1-8.

The Sabbath is actually the seventh day of the week, Saturday, making the first day of the week Sunday; this is why the tradition of meeting on Sunday to worship began.

As you can see, the resurrection of Christ was just as traumatic for some as His death. The stone which the angel rolled away was not just sealed; it weighed one or two tons. It has been said that the stone was not rolled away to let the risen Savior out, it was moved to let the disciples in.

Both Christians and the and the world must never forget that we do not serve a dead king but rather a living Savior and He will return one day as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” Revelation 19:16b.

“God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4.

Death of a King, Part 2 taken from posted on 9-16-15, updated on 8-10-19.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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