Christian Religious Studies (CRS) Lesson Note SS3 First Term – Edudelight.com
CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES SS3 1ST TERM
- The birth of Jesus
- The baptism of Jesus
- The temptation of Jesus
- The mission of the disciple
- The trial of Jesus
- The crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus
- The resurrection of Jesus.
Baptism can be defined as a practice of the Christian church which includes dipping a devotee completely into water which is immersion or the pouring of water by the priest, on the face of the person who is being baptized. The meaning of this is that one’s sins are being washed away and the person has now become a member of the church of Jesus Christ.
The Baptism of Jesus
The story of Jesus ‘baptism is reported by all three synoptic gospel writers which can be found in (Mathew 3:13-17), (mark 1:9-11) and (luke3:21-22).
The general outline of the story is quite the same but there are some differences between them. Only Mathew says that the baptism was not willing to baptize Jesus, saying that Jesus should rather, baptize him. According to Luke, Jesus was praying after His baptism, before the Holy Spirit came on Him
Mathew’s account of Jesus’ Baptism: When Jesus was about thirty years of age; He came form Nazareth to Galilee in order to be baptized by John inside the Jordan. John wanted to prevent Jesus when he said: ‘’I need to be baptized by you and do you come to me’’. But Jesus answered that john should baptize Him in order to fulfill all righteousness. John therefore baptized Him, and immediately He came out of the water, the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove alighting on Him. Then a voice came from heaven saying: ‘’this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased’’
The significance of the Baptism of Jesus
- Jesus did not have any sin but He underwent baptism in order to fulfill all righteousness.
- Jesus allowed Himself to be baptized so that He could set a good example for others to follow.
- Baptism is important because it qualifies one for righteousness and for membership of the church of Jesus Christ.
- Baptism is one of the sacraments of the church commanded to be practiced by Jesus Christ.
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
To tempt someone is to persuade that person to do something which is wrong. It may be persuade someone to go against the wishes of his or her parents or that of the school. No one is above being tempted, infact, we are all being tempted everyday to do what is wrong. Temptation is that we should always expect. To be tempted is not bad in itself, what is bad is to yield to that temptation and as a result we break the good relationship that exists between God and us. When Jesus was on Earth, He was tamped all through, but He refused to yield to such temptation. He was helped by the Holy Spirit in His life. Therefore, anyone who has the knowledge of God’s word and the presence of the Holy Spirit will always overcome the temptation to sin.
SYNOPTIC ACCOUNTS OF THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is recorded in all the three synoptic Gospel. They can be found in Mathew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:1-13. According to Mathew, after Jesus’ baptism, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights and He became hungry afterwards. Then Satan, the tempter got an opportunity to tempt Him; he said, “if you are the son of God, command these stones to become bread”. Jesus replied him by quoting the scriptures, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.
In the second temptation, Jesus was taken by the devil to the holy city of Jerusalem, and set on the pinnacle of the temple, then the devil asked Him to throw Himself down if He knew indeed that He was the son of God. The devil quoted the scriptures to assure Jesus of safety by saying: “He will give His angels charge of you; and on their hands, they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone”. Jesus replied him also by quoting scriptures that: you shall not tempt the Lord your God”.
In the third temptation, the devil took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of this world and their glory and promised to give them to Jesus, only if He would fall down and worship him. Jesus also quoted the scripture to overcome this, saying: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve”.
After this last temptation, the devil left Him immediately and the Angels came and ministered to Jesus. According to Mark, after Jesus’ baptism, He was taken by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by Satan. Mark reported that during the period, Jesus lived with wild beasts.
According to Luke, Jesus returned from Jordan and was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil. Both Mathew and Luke presented a similar account of the story of the temptation of Jesus. The only differences from Luke’s are: being taking to the high mountain which was recorded as the third temptation in Matthew, is second in Luke; then, being taken to the pinnacle of the temple, which is recorded as the second temptation in Matthew, is third in Luke. Luke added the after the temptation, the devil departed from Jesus until an opportune time which means the devil could still return.
The Significance of the Temptation of Jesus
- The first temptation was meant to portray Jesus as an economic Messiah which only caters for the physical needs of the people and ignoring their spiritual needs.
- The second temptation was meant to present Jesus as a miracle-working Messiah who would manifest supernatural powers like jumping from the great height of the temple. To have done this would have caused Jesus to be misunderstood by the people. Jesus would have been in people’s imagination not in their conscience.
- The third temptation was meant to make Jesus appear as a political Messiah who could lead the Jews to war against the Romans to regain their political independence.
- For Jesus to have been tempted means no one is above temptation.
CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP
A disciple can be referred to as somebody who is following, learning or attaching himself to a particular teacher or master. He is with his master in order to learn and propagate his teachings to the world, especially after the death of his master or teacher. Every great teacher of the past who is well known, such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Buddha, e.t.c, had disciples. Jesus, as a great teacher, also had disciples just like other great teachers.
Before a disciple could take over from his master, he has to undergo certain training called Discipleship. For someone to be successful in this training, he must be self sacrificial, totally committed, dedicated and loyal to the master or teacher in all things. Jesus taught His disciples concerning the demands of discipleship.
A disciple after training is expected to be a good ambassador to the master. This is the wish of Jesus to all Christians.
Call to Discipleship
The writers of the synoptic gospels are in agreement that peter and Andrew, his brother, and two other brothers in the person of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were the first four disciples called by Jesus. The books of Mathew 4:18-25 and Mark 1:15-20 have the same order for the call of the disciples, but Luke 5:1-11 has a different order. Levi was the fifth to be called.
Levi, also called Mathew, was a tax collector, (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17) and Luke 5:27-32. After Jesus had called these five disciples, many people began to follow Him about. Out of these people, Jesus chose only seven more people to add to the original five to make twelve disciples. These twelve disciples were established by Jesus as the foundation members of His church.
According to Mathew’s account, as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He met Peter and Andrew, who were brothers, casting their nets into the sea, for they were fishermen, when Jesus saw them, He moved closer to them and said to them:
“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. They obeyed and followed Jesus immediately as they moved on a little further, Jesus saw two other brothers, James and John with their father, Zebedee, inside their fishing boat, mending their nets, for they were also fishermen.
Jesus also called them. They immediately left their father, and followed Jesus.
After Jesus had healed a paralytic man, Jesus saw a man called Matthew, sitting at the tax office, for he was a tax collector by occupation. Jesus then said to him:
“Follow me” and Mathew rose up and followed Him immediately. They later arrived in Mathew’s house where he held a feast of Jesus, the disciples, tax collectors and sinners.
The Pharisees were surprised when they saw Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners; they said to the disciples, “Why does your master eat with tax-collector and sinners? “When Jesus heard it, He said to them:
“Those who are well have no need of Physician but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I came out not to call the righteous but the sinners.”
According to Luke’s account, Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret addressing many people listening to the word of God. Then he saw two vacant boats by the lake, the fishermen had gone out of them to check their nets. Jesus entered into the boat that belonged to Simon (Peter) and asked him to put out a little from the land. When he had done this, Jesus sat down and taught the people who had gathered there to listen to the word of God from inside the boat. At the end of His sermon, Jesus asked Simon to put out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch.
But Simon answered Him in reply that they had fished all through the night and did not catch any fish, but in obedience to Jesus’ word, he would let down the nets. When he did, they caught many big fishes and as their nets were breaking as a result of the weights of the catch, they called to their partners who were in another boat to come and help them. The two boats were filled with fish they caught and they started sinking.
When Simon (Peter) saw what had happened, he fell down at the knee of Jesus and said: “depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. Peter said this because he was greatly surprised at the miracle he had seen. All other people who were with him were equally surprised. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were equally there. Jesus then said to Simon (Peter): “Do not be afraid, henceforth you will be catching men”. When they, Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John had brought their nets to the land, they left everything and followed Jesus.
The Significance of the Call of the Disciples
- Jesus called the disciples to keep Him company to fellowship with Him and to learn from Him about how to go about their assignment because without this, they cannot be well-discipled. We also should follow Jesus.
- The call of the disciples shows us as an example of how the Christina should respond to God’s call to serve Him. Peter, Andrew, James, John and Levi (Mathew), responded quickly to their call to discipleship. We should also do likewise to respond fast when we are called to serve God in various capacities in the Church.
- Christians must quickly respond to God’s call to serve the nation whenever their services are required in any capacity.
The Demands of Discipleship
The gospel of Mathew (8:18-22) and that of Luke (9:57-62) are the only two gospels that give the account of would-be disciples whom Jesus encountered. They were three in number. On each occasion, Jesus made demands. These demands point to what is required of true discipleship. In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus spoke clearly on the demands of discipleship. A scribe came to Jesus and requested to be allowed to follow Him about. But Jesus replied him by saying: “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head”.
From Jesus’ reply, we can deduce that those who want to follow Him should not expect a comfortable life. In discipleship, self denial is involved. Jesus might have known that this man was expecting a life of pleasure without realizing the dangers, risks and personal sacrifice attached to discipleship.
Jesus told the second would-be disciple to follow Him but the man asked Jesus to allow him first to go home and bury his father. Jesus then said to him:
“leave the dead to bury their dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.
We can see from Jesus’ reply that those who do not receive the Gospel are dead spiritually. It also means that discipleship demands that a disciple must consider God first in all things.
This man was willing to follow Jesus and become His disciple but he wanted to first and say by-by to those at home. Jesus told him: “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”.
Jesus is saying that following Him demands total commitment. He continued His teaching on the demands of discipleship in Luke 14:25-33. Jesus, speaking to a large crowd, said: “if any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, he cannot be my disciple”.
Here, Jesus is saying that discipleship demands personal sacrifice. The interest of the family and that of self must be secondary to God whatever the case may be. God must be treated first, followed by the interest of the family before self interest.
Discipleship demands that one should carry his cross and keep on following Jesus. In the period of Jesus, those who carried a cross were those accused of a crime and were sentenced to death. They carried their cross by themselves to the place of execution. It required suffering, persecution, shame, disgrace and even death. When we are carrying our cross as disciples, we should expect these.
Jesus said in the parable of the tower builder, that anyone who wanted to build a tower should sit down first and count the cost involved in the project. He should find out whether he had enough materials to complete the project. If he could not complete the project after the foundation has been laid, people would mock him.
Jesus also said which king going to was against another who would not consider first whether he could with ten thousand troops face an enemy of twenty thousand. If otherwise, while the enemy is on the way for attack, he would send an ambassador to make peace. In conclusion Jesus said: “Therefore, whoever of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple”. We should therefore examine ourselves to see whether we have spiritual and moral qualities to be disciples of Jesus. This is what Jesus expects from us.
The Significance of Jesus Teaching on the Demands of Discipleship
- The demands for discipleship, according to the teaching of Jesus, require personal sacrifice which includes both spiritual and physical commitment. Christians are expected to make personal sacrifices for the gospel‘s sake.
- As the disciples of Jesus Christ, Christians can make sacrifice in various ways by giving financial assistance toward the growth of the work of God and through evangelism to reach the lost.
- We can also sacrifice our time by regularly making ourselves available in fellowship and participating in any organization where we can function effectively. We have such organizations around us, as for example, the Student Christian Movement, Scripture Union, Red Cross Society, etc.
MISSION OF THE DISCIPLES
The Mission of the Twelve
To go on a mission simply means a task or job that someone is given to do. It is also a body of persons sent to conduct negotiations or establish relations with a foreign country.
Christians Mission is an organized effort for the propagation of the Christian faith. Mission often involves sending individuals and groups, called ‘missionaries’, to foreign countries and to places in their homeland for the purpose of proselytism (conversion to Christianity, or from one Christian tradition to another). This involves evangelism (preaching a set of beliefs for the purpose of conversion), and humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged.
There are a few different kinds of mission trips. Short-term, long-term, relational and ones meant simply for helping people in need. Some might choose to dedicate their whole lives to missions as well. Missionaries have the authority to preach the Christian faith, and provide humanitarian work.
Disciples are sent out on a mission by their teacher after a period of training. Jesus also taught his disciples and sent them out on a mission to teach them the practical aspect of their training. The mission of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ was written in all the three synoptic Gospels. The book of Luke recorded the mission of the seventy disciples.
The Mission of the Twelve
(Matthew 10:1-15; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-16)
The three synoptic gospels recorded the Mission of the twelve disciples. The general outline of the story as written by all the three synoptic writers are the sam, but there are minor differences in their details. Mark and Luke gave more details. Mathew restricts the mission of the twelve to the Jews, but Mark and Luke did not restrict it to the Jews. Mark and Luke did not mention Sodom and Gomorrah but Matthew did. Unlike Mark and Luke, Matthew listed the disciples in connection with their mission. Matthew gave the full list of the things the disciples should not take along with them while Mark permitted a staff and sandals. Matthew alone said that if the house the disciples saluted was unworthy, their salutation of peace should return to them.
Mark and Luke finally said that the disciples went out on the mission and preached the Gospel and healed the sick. Mark said the disciples were sent out two by two which Matthew and Luke did not record.
According to Matthew’s account, Jesus called his twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sicknesses. He sent them out with the instructions not to go among the Gentiles, or enter any town of the Samaritans, but to go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As they go, they should preach the message saying “The Kingdom of heaven is near.”
They should heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those that had leprosy, drive out demons. They received without pay and also gave without pay. They should take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in their belts, nor bag for the journey, nor extra tunic, nor sandals, nor a staff. Jesus said the worker is worth his keep.
Whatever town or village they entered, they should search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until they leave. As they enter the house, they should first salute the house with peace. If the house is deserving, let their peace rest on it; if it is not, let their peace return to them. If anyone will not welcome them or listen to their words, they should shake off the dust from their feet when they leave that home or town. It would be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of Judgment than for that town.
The Significance of the Mission of the Twelve
- Jesus trained his disciples before he sent them out on mission to practice what they had learnt. It is necessary for those called of God to receive training before they start their ministry.
- Jesus gave his disciples authority over unclean spirits and to heal the sick. The disciples made use of it and it worked for them. For those who are called by God to succeed in ministry, they must be endowed with the gifts and the power of God.
- Jesus warned the disciples that the power was given to them free and they should freely make use of it. We should learn that God’s services are to be rendered fre of charge.
The Mission of the Seventy (Luke 10:1-24)
Only the Gospel according to Luke recorded a separate account of the mission of the seventy disciples. According to Luke, Jesus appointed Seventy other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where h e was about to go. He told them: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Jesus then instructed the seventy disciples saying, “Go: I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a pure or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. When you enter a house, first say ‘peace to this house’. If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcome, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you. But, when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Jesus spoke against some cities where his miracles were performed because they refused to believe in Him. The cities were Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernum. Jesus finally said to them: “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
The seventy disciples went on the mission and were successful. They returned with joy and said to Jesus: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name”. Jesus replied them by saying: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven”.
At that time, Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit and said: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was you good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the son is except the father, and no one know who the father is except the son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him”.
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said privately to them: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and Kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
The Significance of the Mission of the Seventy
- The disciples in the mission of the seventy cast out the evil spirit through the name of Jesus. Faithful Christians are doing the same today. They are performing miracles, signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, in Churches, Crusades, revivals, Christian retreats and meetings.
- The disciples were obedient to Jesus’ instruction and they were able to cast out demons. When we obey instructions of God as written in the Bible, it shall be well with us. We must also learn to obey constituted authorities like religious leaders, parents and teachers in order to achieve success.
- The mission of the twelve disciples represents the mission to the Jews, while the mission of the seventy represents the mission to the Gentiles (foreigner). God wants us to reach out to all the people in the world.
THE TRIAL, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsamane after they had observed the last supper and while they were there, Judas, one of his disciples, led a group of people to arrest Jesus. Jesus, after His arrest was taken to the house of the high Priest, called Caiaphas. The members of the Jewish Council, called Sanhedrin, had already gathered there. When Jesus was tried, he was found guilty of blasphemy for calling himself the son of God. Such a person should die, according to Jewish law. But the Jewish lacked the power to sentence anyone to death, because the Romans had conquered them and also taken power from them. Then the council took Jesus to Pontius Pilate, who was a representative of the Roman government in Jerusalem, to be tried by him.
Jesus was finally found guilty after the trials and was sentence to death. Though he did not commit any offence to justify that.
The Trials of Jesus
Christ Before the High Priest: (Mathew 26:36-75, Mark 14:53-75, Luke 22:66-71)
The Gospel of Matthew recorded that Jesus was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the High priest, where the Jewish Council had been waiting for his trial. Peter was following Jesus at a distance and later sat down with the guards. The Chief Priest and the members of the Council sought false witnesses against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they could not find any though many people came forward. Later, two false witnesses came forward and said: “This fellow said: “I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.”
Jesus was asked by the High priest to answer to the allegation. But, Jesus did not answer. The High Priest then said to him: “I adjure by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the son of God’. Jesus replied: “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter, you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven”.
When Jesus said this, the High Priest tore off his clothes, and said:
“He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need a witness? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your Judgment?”
They answered that Jesus was guilty. The people then spat on His face and struck Him while some them slapped him, and said;
“Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”
The maid saw peter sitting outside in the courtyard and accused him that he was with Jesus of Galilee. But, Peter denied the accusation. Another maid also accused him the same way, but peter denied knowing Jesus with an oath. After sometimes, a bystander also accused him of being one of the followers of Jesus because his accent had betrayed him as a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word of Jesus that:
“Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times”. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
The Significance of the trial before the High Priest
- The Jewish Council arranged some people to bear false witness against Jesus in order to destroy him. We should desist from accusing people falsely. It is against the commandment of God that says, we should not bear false witness against our neighbor.
- After Jesus was falsely accused, he did not defend himself but kept quiet. By so doing, Jesus surrendered himself to the will of God. As Christians, we should also learn to always submit to the will of God.
- Jesus declared his identity before the council. We should not be ashamed to declare who we are before the people. You should declare what God says you are, no matter what the case may be.
Christ Before Pilate and the Roman Authorities
(Math 27:11-37, Mark 23:1-25; Luke 23:1-5)
According to Matthew, in the morning, Jesus was bound and brought before Pilate, then the Roman Governor, Pilate asked Jesus whether he was the king of the Jews. Jesus replied him by saying. “You have said so” The Chief Pries and elders also accused him, but he did not answer them and Pilate was surprised.
It was the custom for the governor to release a prisoner requested by the people during the Passover celebrations. Pilate then asked the people who they would want him to release to them between Barabbas, a notorious robber and Jesus Christ. Pilate knew that Jesus was delivered as a result of jealousy, that was why he made this offer, and beside Pilate’s wife had warned him while he was on the judgment throne, that he should “have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.” The Jewish authorities compelled the people to demand for the release of Barabbas, and the crucifixion of Jesus.
Pilate asked them again who they wanted him to release between Barabbas and Jesus. The people asked for the release of Barabbas. When he asked them what should happen to Jesus, they all said he should die. When pilate wanted to know the offence he committed, they shouted the more the he should be crucified. When he realized that he could not prevail upon the people to get Jesus released and that instead riot was about to start, Pilate took water and washed his hands in the presence of the people, saying that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus and asked them to see to his crucifixion. Then the people shouted saying: “His blood be on us and our children”.
Pilate then released Barabbas and scourged Jesus, then delivered him to be crucified. The soldiers took, Jesus to the Praetorium and gathered the battalion before him. They removed his clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. They put a plaited crown of thorns on his head. They also put a reed in his right hand and began to mock him by kneeling before him the spat on him and took the reed from Him and struck him on his head and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away for crucifixion.
The Significance of the Trial before Pilate
- Jesus was innocent yet he was sentenced to be crucified by Pilate out of the fear of Jews. This is a lesson to us that we should ensure that justice is done without the fear of anybody.
- The trial showed clearly that Jesus was delivered out of envy. Even Pilate knew it. We as Christina should learn not to envy anybody’s success; we should rather rejoice.
- Jesus did not commit any sin, but suffered for the sin of the entire world. We should accept Him into our lives and also believe in Him.
Christ Before Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
Only the Gospel according to Luke recorded the trial of Jesus before Herod Antipas who was the ruler of Galilee.
Luke said while Jesus was being tried by Pilate, he discovered that Jesus came from Galilee. He therefore sent him for trial under Herod Antipas, who was in Jerusalem at that time. Herod was glad when he saw Jesus, because he had been desiring to see him for a long time. He had heard many things about Jesus and was also hopping to see some miracles performed by Him. When Jesus appeared before him, he interrogated him, but he did not respond to any of his questions. As Jesus was being interrogated, the Chief Priests and Scribes leveled various accusations against Him. Herod did not find any fault with Jesus. Herod and his soldiers mocked Him and mistreated him. They dressed him in a gorgeous garment and sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends again; for before this event they were enemies.
The Significance of the Trial before Herod
- Pilate was fair in sending Jesus to Herod for trial, because the charge against Jesus was that he had been stirring up the people against the Roman government from Galilee to Jerusalem. Therefore, we should learn to be fair in judgment.
- Herod wanted Jesus to perform some miracles for him but Jesus refused. This is because Jesus was not looking for favour from Herod. Christians should be aware not to use God’s power and gifts for their selfish end.
THE TRIAL, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
The crucifixion Death and Burial of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:32-56) The Gospel of Matthew recorded that after Pilate had condemned Jesus, He was led out to be crucified. He was carrying His cross and the soldiers were leading him to Golgotha to be crucified. When he was on His way, a man called Simon of Cyrene was called upon to help Jesus carry his cross. In Golgotha, Jesus was given wine mixed with gall, to drink. When he tasted it, he refused to drink it. Then they crucified Jesus and the soldiers casts lots to divide His garments among themselves. When all these had been done, the soldiers were watching him. They wrote an inscription that indicated His charge over His head which read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews”. Two robbers were also crucified with Him, one on the right and the other on the left.
Those who were passing through the place where Jesus was crucified began to revile Him, and to wag their head saying: “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself. If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
Likewise, the chief Priests the scribes and the elders also mocked Him saying. “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him; for He said, “I am the son of God”.
One of the thieves, who was crucified with Him also mocked Him.
Now, from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. About the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, lama Sabachthani?”. Meaning: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
When some of the people that were standing there heard that, they said Jesus was calling Elijah. Then one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, put it on a reed and gave Him to drink. The rest of the people said: “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come and save Him”.
When Jesus had cried again with a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit.
After the death of Jesus, the curtain of the temple tore into two, from top to bottom; and there was an earthquake and the rocks were split; graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose and came out of the graves after His resurrection and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. When the centurion and the soldiers watching over Jesus saw the earthquake, and those things that had happened, they feared God greatly, saying: “Truly this was the son of God”
The women were also there, beholding what was happening afar off. These were the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and John, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
The Significance of the Death of Jesus on the Cross
- Jesus died on the cross of cavalry for the sin of the whole world. He himself did not commit a single sin yet he sacrificed himself that we might be saved from the impending wrath of God that is coming on sinners. There is no need for another sacrifice because Jesus has done it once and for all. We should accept Jesus into our lives in order to live a life that is pleasing to God.
- When Jesus died, the curtain of the temple tore into two from the top to bottom, which shows, that those who accept the sacrificial work of Christ now have direct access to God. They are now children of God. What is expected of them is to live sacrificial lives of holiness and righteousness.
The Burial of Jesus (Matthew 27:57-66)
Matthew wrote that in the evening of the day that Jesus died, a man called Joseph of Arimathea, who was among the disciples of Jesus went to Pilate and asked for His body. Pilate gave an order that the body of Jesus should be given to him. Joseph took the body of Jesus from the cross and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. Joseph rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, were sitting over the Sepulcher. On the following day which was the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together and said to Pilate: “Sir, we remember that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, he is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse that the first”.
Pilate said to them: “You have a watch: go your way, make it as secure as you can”. So they went and watched over the tomb, and sealed the stone.
The Significance of the Burial of Jesus
- Joseph of Arimathea personally took care of the burial of Jesus. He wrapped the body of Jesus in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb. This is a way of contributing to the work of God. We should learn to contribute our resources and time to the furtherance of the work of God. By so doing, God will bless us in return.
- The women disciples of Jesus demonstrated their love for Jesus by witnessing his burial. They were still at the tomb of Jesus even when every other person had left. This shows that we as Christians should demonstrate genuine love to others. We are to visit the bereaved and comfort them in the period of their sorrow.
THE TRIAL, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
The Synoptic Accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11)
The three Gospels wrote about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of them wrote that when the female disciples of Jesus went with spices to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body, they discovered the he had risen from the dead. Matthew added that there was a great earthquake at the tomb when the women got there and the stone by entrance of the tomb was rolled away by an Angel who also told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead. But Mark and Luke did not mention anything like an earthquake. Mark said a young man in white robes told the women of the resurrection of Jesus. Luke said that two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them and informed them that Jesus had risen from the dead. Luke also said that the disciples of Jesus did not believe when the women told them that Jesus had risen.
Mathew said, after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone covering the entrance to the tomb and sat upon it. His appearance was like lighting, and his clothes were as white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The Angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was laid. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee; there you will see him. Now I have told you.”
When the women heard the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, they hurried away from the tomb with great joy and ran to tell his disciples.
The Importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of the Christian faith. If Jesus did not resurrect as he said, there would have been nothing like Christianity today.
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings the hope of salvation. Anyone who accepts Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, receives new life as a result of Jesus’ resurrection.
- The resurrection of Jesus brings victory over death for believers (Christians). The death of a Christian is just a translation to God’s kingdom. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so will God raise the true Christians on the day of resurrection.