“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so He can give glory back to you.” John 17:1b
Jesus prayed these words to His Heavenly Father just before the beginning of the events that took Him to calvary. It always was and it always will be about glorifying God. We were created to praise and glorify Him. Jesus came to redeem us back to God – for the GLORY OF GOD.
As the contingent of Romans soldiers, led by Judas, marched on the olive grove, armed and ready to forcefully take this rebel away, Jesus met them head on and asked them who they were looking for. Such was the presence of Jesus Christ that they all fell to the ground! No need to take this Man in chains, He met them, and went with them willingly. ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ John 15:13
Hauled first before Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest, Jesus was questioned, slapped, and bound. Peter denied Him there. From Annas, He was sent on to Caiaphas, the high priest. From there he was taken to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Pilate could find no fault with Jesus. He tried to get out of dealing with Him by sending Him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time, but Herod couldn’t handle it so Jesus found Himself back with Pilate. Pilate had him flogged with a metal tipped whip. The soldiers put a scarlet robe on Jesus, made a crown of thorns, put it on His head, beat it into His brow, mocked Him, spit on Him, blasphemed Him.
Jesus was condemned to die. A thief was allowed to go free instead of Jesus. A crude, heavy, wooden cross was placed on Jesus torn and bleeding back and He was expected to carry it through town and up the hill to Golgotha, where they crucified the enemies of Rome.
Jesus’ Mother, His aunt, and Mary Magdalene, and most likely several others watched, tears streaming, scarcely believing what was happening right before their eyes.
Jesus was nailed to the cross, the cross was lifted upright and dropped into the hole prepared for it. A thief hung on either side of Him. The Pharisees mocked him, one thief scoffed at Him, He was offered vinegar when He said He was thirsty. Between heaven and earth suspended, arms outstretched, giving up His Life freely, Jesus cried ‘IT IS FINISHED’ and died.
For me. For you. For the whole world.
The most Precious Gift. Freely given. If you will only receive it.
Jesus died at noon and at the moment He died a thick darkness fell and stayed for 3 hours. There was a great earthquake, rocks fell, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple ripped from top to bottom – torn by an unseen hand. The Roman centurian who oversaw the crucifixion declared Jesus must indeed have been the Son of God.
Joseph of Arimathea bravely asked Pilate for permission to remove and bury the body of Jesus. As the body was laid in a tomb, several women followed, taking note of just where He was laid.
The tomb was sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. All was silent. Waiting…
Then. In a Moment. The most glorious of moments. A light so bright the guards shook with fear and fell into a dead faint. An angel. The heavy stone rolled away from the door of the tomb. The women, coming with spices to anoint the body. And being told that the body was no longer there! And not only was it no longer there, but HE IS RISEN! OH HALLELUJAH! O GLORIOUS DAY! GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS DAY!!!
He ROSE AGAIN! He conquered death, hell, and the grave. For the glory of God. So we can live, truly live, praising and glorifying Him every day of our lives and for all eternity! Oh Hallelujah, Hallelujah! Up From The Grave Indeed!!