Jesus sat in the midst of a multitude, some persons were deeply engrossed in His words, others, mesmerized by His works. Apart from being human, nothing else about Him seemed human. He taught with such wisdom that the most learned in the nation marveled at His words and wondered what the source of His wisdom was (Matthew 13:54).
At the age of twelve, He is recorded to have discussed deep things of the Mosaic law with lawyers and teachers in Israel who were baffled by the questions and words from the seeming little boy. That little boy was not what He seemed to be. He grew up into the man- Jesus, upon whom the angels of God ascended and descended.
The Light had come into the world.
Jesus cured all sicknesses and diseases. The dead came back to life at His Word. He spoke to trees and they responded, even the raging seas knew His Voice. He fed thousands to satisfaction with food barely enough for three men. In addition to healing all forms of sicknesses and diseases, He cast out demons that had plagued the lives of their human captives.
Multitudes told the stories of their experiences with this man called Jesus who went about doing good and releasing all who were oppressed by the devil. There was more to Jesus than met the eye (Acts 10:38).
Another Form of Life
The multitudes knew that it took a higher life form to tame another life form. That was exactly what they taught of Jesus. They knew that demons could take men captive and make their lives miserable. However, demons trembled in the presence of Jesus. They begged and even said something about knowing who He really was.
Jesus worked by another Life Form no one else had ever known. Nothing seemed inanimate to Him. He related with the natural elements as though they had senses, and they responded, doing His bidding. There was one option in the minds of many of the multitudes: “Jesus was the Messiah”.
However, they seemed to have missed a point about the Messiah. It was this point that made the demons tremble. It was this that shook the lives of the Apostles and turned everything about them upside down. It was this that the religious and political assailants could not handle. It was this that made the angles sing on the day of His birth:
“Jesus was Divine, Son of YAHWEH, Emmanuel. He claimed so and He worked so.”
The things Jesus said about Himself were intriguing and at times controversial. He said He had power to forgive sins and when He did, the sick were healed. He called YAHWEH His own Father, a statement which was grade A blasphemy. Not only that, He said He had power to make anyone of His choice a Son of YAHWEH too.
He spoke about a rebirth and even a leading religious teacher was confused. He said He was Lord over laws that men felt were lords over them. One of those days, He just defied the laws of gravity, density and upthrust by walking on water. In addition, He later predicted the future of His Life and added a perplexing statement that no one, not even His Apostles could believe:
Jesus said He would die and come back to life after three days.
His disciples were deeply afraid when they heard this. They had known Him as the Life Giver. What would the world be when the Life Giver had been snuffed out by death? They were about to learn by experience something the Master had told them several times from long ago:
“Jesus was not just the Life Giver: Jesus Himself was ‘THE LIFE’.”
This claim was so strong that it was another blasphemy for a man to claim to be Divine Life personified. Anyone judged guilty of such would end up with capital punishment: death. In fact, death by crucifixion was the surest way to go. That was how the worst criminals were made to leave this earth.
But it seemed another point had been missed along the way. At each point, there was something about the person of Jesus that had been misunderstood, even by His Apostles at times.
For the religious and political assailants who were also baffled by the wisdom and works of Jesus, they felt they were dealing with another man who had made them religiously and politically insecure. They were willing to go any extent to take Him out of the way.
However, that was exactly what Jesus was looking forward to: His death.
He emphasized this to His Apostles but they couldn’t understand. Jesus knew better. He was about to enter that ultimate battle man had lost for millennia. The battle that had taken man captive to death, that cruel master that seemed to make a mess of everything.
For once, the highest Life Form in the universe was about to contend with the cruelest master of the dark, death.
The Passion Unfolds
Jesus groaned in that garden on the night of His betrayal. Divine Life in flesh, but the flesh was weak and antagonistic of the Spirit’s Will.
He rose from His knees. He knew what would happen. Sequences of events that could leave a men dead before he reached the cross. One of His own Apostles led the assailants secretly to Him, the betrayal by a friend. The remaining Apostles ran for their lives, for fear of joint prosecution with Jesus.
While on trial by the High priest, Jesus heard a familiar voice. It was the voice of a disciple, Peter, who had denied ever knowing Jesus. False witnesses were brought who misrepresented His words, but Jesus would not say anything in His defense.
He was moved from religious leader to political leader, back and forth. The brave among His Apostles followed at a distance wondering what the fate of their Master would be. They watched Him get severely beaten with cords that took off pieces of human flesh as they were pulled from the skin. They watched as a crown of thorns was placed on His head, His face, red and warm with His own blood that rolled down the cheeks and fell to the ground.
They watched Him carry the wood to which He would be nailed. He fell to the ground, drained of strength to carry on. They watched Him get nailed to the cross, hands and feet. They saw the agony in His eyes. The pain made His body tremble and His physical strength began to fail.
He proclaimed the words “it is finished” and His head hung down. His body became pale. His eyes closed.
There was no movement on that cross. All was still.
The Life Giver was dead.
In Grief For The Man
A spear went through His side, blood and water gushed out. He was taken down for burial. The hope of many had been dashed to pieces. The Apostles were perplexed and full of fear. The friend who betrayed Him went and hung himself.
Memories of His power, His words, His works flooded back. Could all of those had ended?. That man of power had been killed. Faith and Hope had no place to rest their heads. Grief filled the air. And so it was for three days.
But death could not hold Him. Jesus arose just as He had promised. He defeated death, knocked it out unconscious and powerless and took up His Life again. The sinless Son of God rose from the dead. Divine Life had won the battle. Underneath His feet lay Fear, Sin, Death and Satan.
The Life appeared again. His Truth revealed. His Way open to all.
He appeared to His remaining Apostles and several other followers. For forty more days, He spent personal time with them and then, the Apostles realized that they had not really known the Life Giver.
The Life Giver was the Divine Life Himself. He was the incorruptible and ageless Life of YAHWEH. He came and dwelt among men and they beheld His Glory.
Jesus saith unto him—I, am the way, and the truth, and the life: No one, cometh unto the Father, but through me. (John 14:6; Rotherham’s).
Jesus said unto her—I, am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, even though he die, shall live again! And, no one who liveth again and believeth on me, shall in anywise die, unto times age-abiding. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26; Rotherham’s).
And, this, is the witness:—that, life age-abiding, hath God given unto us, and, this life, is, in his Son: He that hath the Son, hath, the life,—he that hath not the Son of God, hath not, the life. These things, have I written unto you—in order that ye may know that ye have, Life Age-abiding—unto you who believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13; Rotherham’s).
“THIS SAME JESUS LIVES IN YOU DEAR SAINT”