The Blue Mountain Shepherd

~Then he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)~

What Did Jesus Do?

To put it bluntly, He died for you. I know, though, that this answer without explanation will be about as important to you as it was to me before. So, I will elaborate. I will tell you here about the experience of His punishment, death, and then rebirth.

Jesus, the world’s only sinless Man, was God’s Son. We know this because He resisted Satan’s temptation – something we can not do. He withstood every test the devil gave Him. Even Satan admits that Jesus is God’s Son; this is best shown in Matthew chapter 4, verses 1-11.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness

to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty

days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when

the tempter came to Him, he said, "If you are the Son of

God, command that these stones become bread."

But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall

not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds

from the mouth of God.’" Then the devil took Him up into the

holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and

said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself

down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels

charge over you,’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear

you up lest you dash your foot against as stone.’" Jesus

said to him, "It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord

your God.’" Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly

high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the

world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these

things I will give You if You will fall down and worship

me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For

it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him

only you shall serve.’" Then the devil left Him, and behold,

angels came and ministered to Him.

Jesus was betrayed by one of His best friends, a disciple of His named Judas Iscariot. Judas made arrangements prior to the arrest of Jesus with the authorities, saying "whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." (Matthew chapter 26 verse 48). Judas turned Jesus over to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver, and ended up feeling so remorseful that he hung himself (you can read this in Matthew chapter 27, verses 3 to 5 - 'Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”  And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”  Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.' ).

Jesus was questioned upon His arrest by Pontius Pilate and the chief priests and elders. Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews, to which Jesus answered "It is as you say." To the priests and elders, He said nothing. That one answer was the only answer He ever gave, and He was questioned at length. The priests and elders convinced everyone that Jesus needed to be destroyed. The crowd that was hoping for a glimpse of the captured Jesus demanded His crucifixion, and the governor (Pilate) washed his hands of the whole affair. He could have released Jesus, but he didn't. Instead, he whipped Him and turned the beaten Jesus over to the now enraged crowd.

Have you ever been whipped? I haven’t. I wouldn’t want to be – I remember being slapped by my sister in a fight and that stung me enough. Imagine a whip being lashed across your back, repeatedly. This, in itself, is a HUGE punishment – but this is where Jesus’ sacrifice began.

Jesus was then stripped of His clothes so that He could be humiliated. He was given a bright red robe, and a sharp crown of thorns to be placed on His head. The thorns must have been awful, digging into the tender flesh of the scalp. After this, He was mocked. The army offered Him sarcastic homage, like the reverence you would give a king only with much harsher and insincere tones. In His pain and bleeding, they taunted him and spat on Him – but they didn’t stop there. They hit His already tender head, put His own clothes back on Him, and led Him away, carrying His own death device – the cross.

Jesus, by this point, was greatly weakened. He had already that day been questioned at length. He had been beaten. He had been pushed around. He had been humiliated and mocked. Couldn’t this have been enough for one man to go through? Apparently not. However, Jesus was simply too tired by this point to continue carrying His cross – someone else (a man named Simon) was found to carry it for Him – and the crowds continued their mocking. Why wouldn’t they – they knew no better than to do that to criminals, and the priests had done a good job stirring up their anger.

When they reached the place where Jesus was to be crucified, He asked for a drink. They gave Him a sour drink akin to vinegar. Of course, He didn’t continue to drink that awful drink. After that, He was nailed like a board to the cross that He carried Himself. They would have had to use nails big enough to support His body, and these nails had to be driven in through sinew, skin, bone, and nerves. These nails had to go through both His hands and His feet. Now, I stepped on a thin little nail once, and it HURT. I can not even begin to imagine how awful and intense the pain must have been from driving the nails through His hands and feet to the cross. And yet, His suffering continued.

His clothes were auctioned off, and the crowd watched Him – naked and bleeding, whipped, poked, beaten and nailed – hanging from His cross. They taunted Him, asking Him things like "why don’t you let Yourself down if you are the Son of God?" Even other criminals hanging on crosses beside Him taunted Him. He hung for 9 hours in that tortured state. But…He wasn’t done EVEN THEN. He, of course, succumbed to these wounds. At last, people began to realize Whom they had killed. His body was given to a man named Joseph, and was buried in a tomb with the assistance of some of Jesus’ fellow followers. His tomb was secured with a really big rock to keep people from stealing His body - a rock of such size that no one could move it.

Yes, His death was a BIG deal. It was cruel. It was awful. And yet, Jesus wasn’t done - He rose from the dead!! You will probably be thinking right now…."what? You must be kidding. How is that possible at ALL?" Or, you could be laughing at me for believing this. Or, you could simply want me to continue. At any rate, when the townspeople returned to the tomb, they found that big stone moved and Jesus not in His tomb! He was found on a mountain, alive, and the people worshipped! Of course they did! That would be nothing short of amazing!

If you’d like to read this account for yourself, it can be found in the New Testament of any Bible, in the Book of Matthew (the first book of the New Testament), Chapters 27 and 28.

 

Jesus said something very important when he was risen. He said "all authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth." Why is this important? It is vital because it shows us the end result of the sacrifice of Jesus. He became a part of what is needed in order for us, sinful man, to reach Heaven after we die. We need to understand that Jesus, a sinless man and God’s Son, died in order to become the sacrifice required to atone for sin – He became the "blood sacrifice" that we needed, just like we talked about before. He came back to life so that we would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was really the Son of God. In knowing this, we can then know that everything else He has said is true. He is the way to the Father – ANYONE who truly puts their faith in Jesus Christ can live with Him forever in Heaven.

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