Jesus lived a perfect life in thought, word and deed.
The gospel records show the wonders of His life.
His life however, culminated in a betrayal by one of His closest friends, and all the others of His friends ran away and abandoned Him. One of them cursed and swore that he had never known Jesus!
The religious leaders of the day stirred up hatred among the people and brought false witnesses against Him. They put Him on trial at night and repeated it in the day time, in a flagrant misuse of authority.
Even though Pilot could find nothing wrong with Jesus, he still allowed Him to be “examined” – beaten and whipped, even though innocent of any wrong doing.
Finally, they took him out of the city, stripped Him and nailed Him to a wooden cross, before raising it up and dropping it into the ground. There He died in agony, refusing anything such as myrrh to deaden the pain.
He was crucified between two villains and was there only because the authorities had released a notorious terrorist in His place.
Never a word of denial, anger, hatred, or bitterness came from His mouth. The only words were of forgiveness to His torturers and prayers for His executioners.
The Roman centurion in change of the spectacle exclaimed that “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” (Luke 23:47). No doubt he had witnessed many similar scenes as those unfolding before his eyes, but nothing had compared to this!
Remarkably they did not have to break the legs of Jesus because He was already dead.
John 19:33, 34 tells us that “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out!”
However, His moment of death was marked by a great cry, “It is finished!” as recorded for us in John 19:30, following which “He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit”.
Jesus had fulfilled what He said He would do.
He said “I am the good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
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 if down, and I have power to take if again. This commandment I have received from My Father. John 10:14-18”.
Jesus conquered our ultimate and greatest enemy, death itself! Death did not defeat Him, He defeated death. He laid down His own life, no one took it from Him!
He demonstrated this before His bewildered disciples, by rising from the dead three days later. He appeared to them, individually, as well as in both small and large groups, over a total period of forty days.
We can read amazing accounts of conversations He had with individuals like Mary, Peter, who He had to re-commission after his failure, Thomas, who missed out on the first occasion Jesus came into their locked room! There were others also!
Paul writes later; “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once….. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6”.
Jesus used the forty days no doubt to prepare His disciples that He was going to go away again, not for a few days or even weeks, but for ever. He had told them of these things in the days immediately before His crucifixion, but they had failed to understand, or even, remember them.
He had said the that “it was expedient – necessary – to your advantage – that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper – Comforter – the Holy Spirit, will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7”.
So, the death and resurrection of Christ was required so that the Holy Spirit could be given.
And for that we need Part 33!