Disciples Perspective Of The Crucified Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth has caused more turmoil in the hearts, minds and souls of men and women than anyone in history. Was he the son of God? Did he really do what the bible says he did? Were blind people given sight? What about the insane men that were supposed to have been put in their right minds? The bible says Jesus associated with tax collectors, prostitutes and fishermen. Was he really nailed to a cross and left until dead? Was Jesus really dead when Joseph of Arimathea put his body in tomb? Did God raise him from the dead on the third day? The following story is from my imaginings of what might have happened on that Easter morning more than two thousand years ago. My resource is the Christian Bible. The people are named in the bible and the time line is as it is represented in the gospels. For more information about these events by Lee Stroble is excellent source for historical and scientific information. A Case for Easter
Now The Passover And The Feast
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him ...While Jesus was in Bethany...in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head....
Jesus said "She poured perfume on my body ...to prepare for my burial".
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priest to betray Jesus to them.They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money.
(From the Gospel of Mark the fourteenth chapter)
The most barbaric murder imaginable. Crucifixion! Nailed to a cross with nails carefully woven through the bones of his wrists and feet. Arms stretched out, the Roman soldiers carefully nailed the spikes to extract excruciating pain. Then the man was lifted up and the cross dropped into a hole. Thud. One cross,and another, then another. Three men hung on crosses the day, before passover, on a hill called Golgotha. The prophets wrote that sacrifice for sin was to be made outside the city. The son of God took on the sins of the world. He bore the disgrace of being hung outside his beloved Jerusalem. He dearly loved people yet they hung him on a cross like a common criminal.
Yet as God, could they have hung him on a cross if he hadn't wanted it that way. Jesus freely went to the cross, to die for the sins of the world. It wasn't a man or a woman who put him there it was his choice to make a way for sinners to be reconciled to God.
A Holy God can not tolerate sin of any kind.
The loving God made a way to cover that sin, so that all, who will, may come to him if they choose.
Most of the disciples had fled. Mary and John are with me at the feet of Jesus as the earth quaked. We were terrified the earth shook so hard. The mid day sky turned black it was as dark as night.
Later we discovered that Inside the temple the curtain separating the most holy of hollies was ripped apart. The curtain was torn from the top to the bottom and the ark and all the furnishing were exposed. No one but the high priest was allowed to see in there and that only once a year.
"Oh God where are you?" What should I do? My whole world is falling apart. Help....
Hiding Behind Locked Doors
The door is locked. We sit in silence. Afraid they will come for us. How could this have happened? He did miracles. We saw him heal people.The blind saw and the deaf heard. What about the little girl who had died. Jesus brought her back to life.
"When we were with him, Jesus asked, "Peter who do you say I am?" Peter said,"God's Messiah". Jesus answered "Very good, God has told you these things".
He told us not to tell this to anyone. "We spent 3 years with Jesus and now he's dead. What do we do now"? Some of the women silently weep. The men are trying to hide their tears as well. "What are we going to do now"? Peter denied knowing Jesus. He didn't know how he would forgive himself. He had boasted," I will go to the death with you", and here he sits behind locked doors afraid. Will soldiers will come and kill us? Others remembered how Jesus told us we would scatter. It happened just as he said. Now here we sit ashamed, we couldn't even stand with our friend, our Lord. It is hopeless, all is lost.
Early Sunday Morning
"Mary, its time". "What"? "Oh, Joanna just a moment. I yawn and stand saying,"Is Mary Magdalene ready" "Yes,she has the spices ready. Come it is almost daylight." "Mary I'm afraid". What if what he said is a lie? It wasn't supposed to happen this way, was it"? "Mary, didn't he say 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again' ". "Stop Joanna, it will be alright. I say with more conviction than I feel. ".
Walking To The Tomb
Joanna said to me,"How are we going to roll the stone away from the tomb?" I assure her,"We will find a way. There are soldiers there to keep us from stealing the body. Maybe they will roll the stone away". "Magdalene don't cry, dear one, it will be OK". "Mary, how strong your faith." My thoughts scream I am not strong. I don't know what will happen. After being with Jesus all this time there just has to be more. He never lied to us. There just has to be more.
We walked the rest of the way in silence.
At The Tomb
"Oh! No It can't be", we all cried. The stone was rolled away. The soldiers were gone Where is Jesus' body? While we stood wondering, suddenly two men in clothes that glistened like lightning stood in front of us. We fell down with our faces to the ground. When will the terror ever end?..
The men said to us,
"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee;"The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."
We did remember correctly. We have to tell Peter and the rest of the apostles that Jesus was no longer in the tomb.
Back To The Upper Room
We lifted our skirts and ran.
In to the upper room the apostles didn't believe us. We were very excited. The four of us were all talking at once. Still, they didn't believe us.
Peter and John thirsty for any kind of hope went to go see the tomb anyway.
Back To The Tomb
John and Peter ran to the tomb. Was it true? Had Jesus risen from the dead. John got there first. He was just standing looking into the tomb. When Peter got there he ran straight in. There were the grave clothes folded in on themselves as if the body had just disappeared.
"Peter"? John had come in. "Peter, it was as Jesus said. He has risen." Hopeful , but perplexed they left the tomb.
Then Jesus Appeared
Mary Magdalene went back back to the tomb. Sitting there crying, a man she thought was the gardener, asked, "Who are you looking for?" She said, "They have taken my Lord away, and I don't know where they have put him." She didn't recognize Jesus until he said her name. "Mary". She wanted to touch him, but he said he had to return to his Father. "Go and tell the others, 'I am returning to God my Father." She came running back, I have seen Jesus. He is alive". I am so tired but the chores of every day living have to be done. We must eat.
Two of our brothers were going to Emmaus. A stranger fell in step with them. They were talking about what had happened to Jesus. The stranger questioned them about the crucifixion. He didn't seem to know anything of the happenings in Jerusalem. He started talking about the Torah on the walk. It was seven miles. He was telling them about Moses and all the Prophets explaining all about messiah. There hearts were greatly comforted.
Almost evening when they reached home;they invited the stranger to stay and eat with them. He did. They didn't recognize the stranger until he broke the bread. Then their eyes were open and they recognized Jesus. Then he was gone. As tired as they were they ran all the way back to Jerusalem to tell us they had seen Jesus.
We were still locked in the upper room when Jesus appeared to us. He said, "Peace be with you". He showed us his hands and feet. We saw the holes where nails had been. He had something to eat. Oh, we felt so much hope after we saw him.
Thomas wasn't with us that night. He didn't believe we had seen Jesus. He never believes anything, we call him, "Thomas the Doubter". Jesus appeared a week later just so Thomas could believe. All Thomas could keep saying was, "My God and my Lord".
Peter was going crazy just staying in that room, so his brother along with the others went fishing. They hadn't caught a thing all night. A man called out from the beach,"Throw your nets out on the other side of the boat". What difference would that make? They did as he said. To their astonishment the nets filled up. Peter looked back at the shore and recognized Jesus. He jumped out of the boat and swam to him. He was delirious with joy. It was so good to see him. Jesus said "Peter". He said Peter name with such love. He forgave Peter for denying him, for lying. All was forgiven, Peter was so relieved. Then he told Peter what to do. He told said to follow him. What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Jesus made himself known to hundreds of people until 50 days after his resurrection. Then we went up to the mountain top with him. He promised to send a helper. His Holy Spirit. The spirit would live in us, guide us and lead us to Jesus in heaven some day. Then he promised to return just as he left. He was lifted up into the sky and disappeared into the clouds.
I never again doubted what Jesus said was true.
When I see clouds I search for signs of Jesus' return.
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