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If Jesus ate his Passover meal with his disciples last night, then….

04/03/2015

Last night, while you were watching TV or getting ready for bed, Jesus was praying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

As you pulled back the covers and got ready to climb into bed, Jesus faced a large crowded armed with clubs and swords. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?  Every day I was teaching in the temple, but you did not arrest me.”

As you brushed your teeth that one last time, Jesus was taken to a secret meeting of the chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law.

As you climbed into bed the questioning of Jesus began.

They questioned, “I have heard you say, ‘I will destroy this temple made by man, and in three days will build another, not made by man.'”  But their testimony against him did not agree.

“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” Jesus said, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

“Why do we need any more witnesses?” the high priest asked.  “You have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?”

They all condemned him as worthy of death.  They spit on him.  They blindfolded him and struck him with their fists.  The guards took him and beat him.

As you turned over in bed and slept on, Jesus was taken before Pilate, the Roman Curator.

“What charges are you bringing against this man?”  “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone.” the Jew objected.

He was questioned, but Pilate found no fault in him, especially none worthy of death.  So he sent him to Herod, the puppet king of the Jews, telling him to deal with Jesus.

As your clock moved nearer to the alarm moment, King Herod was trying to get Jesus to perform some of those magical miracles he had heard so much about.  When Jesus remained still and silent, Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus.  They dressed him in an elegant robe, and sent him back to Pilate.

As your alarm went off and you woke up to face a new day, Jesus was still being questioned and beat.

Shortly after you got up he was sent by Pilate to be flogged.

While you were in the bathroom, letting the warm shower water flow over your back, Jesus was whipped 40 times with whip made of leather strips with rocks attached to the ends of each strip.  He back was cut open and bleeding by the time they were done.  The soldiers added a crown of thorns and sent him back to Pilate.

As you had your morning coffee and a bite to eat, Pilate, still trying to find a way not to sentence Jesus to death, offers to release one of two prisoners, Barabbas, a murderer, or Jesus.  The people, fully in mob thought mentality, screamed “Give us Barabbas.”

The crowds continued to scream out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!, and were getting out of control.

And so, as you got dressed, Pilate sentenced an innocent man to die, with these word, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  It is your responsibility!” Barabbas was released and Jesus was handed over to be crucified.

As you walked out the door, Jesus, who had been standing all night, being questioned and led from one place to another, beaten and bleeding, was strapped to the wood beam on which he would soon find his hands nailed.

As you drove to your destination this morning, Jesus struggled to walk to his. He collapsed two times and someone was pulled from the crowd to carry the wood beam for him.

And then at 9 AM this morning, while the priests, back at the temple, prepared the Passover lamb for slaughter, our Lord, Jesus, had his hands and feet nailed to a cross, which was then hoisted up into position.

There he hangs at this moment, an innocent man, Emmanuel “God with us”, dying a tortuous death, so that we might live with him eternally freed from our sin.  He became the Lamb, slaughtered for our sins, and the priests of his day missed it entirely.

As you move though the day, think about how in the early afternoon the sky grew dark, and at 3 PM, when Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” the temple curtain (which separated the holiest place of the temple from the people) was torn in two from top to bottom.

The curtain was torn from top to bottom.  No longer would only the high priest be able to stand before our holy God, one time a year and seek forgiveness from all our sins.  No more.  Now, our Lamb has opened the way for all of us to go to God with our confessions, our concerns, our difficulties, our needs, and our praises and our worship.

The curtain was torn from top to bottom.  There is no longer a middle man, a priest, standing between us and Jesus, between us and our God.

We have so much to be thankful for.  As we wait for Easter morning, let us take time to think about what Jesus did for us, and quietly seek him in prayer.

There will be time for rejoicing, but today is a day to think about how we had a part in those nails that were driven into his hands.

 

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