[The following article is an edited transcription of our audio teaching, The Last Week of Christ’s Life by John Schoenheit.]
Hello and God bless you!
I am John Schoenheit, and I will be teaching on The Last Week of Christ’s Life. Please turn with me in your Bible to 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7.
1 Corinthians 5:7
Get rid of the old yeast, that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Christ’s sacrifice was essential. Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, mankind has needed a redeemer—needed a sacrifice. We have needed a sacrifice with sinless blood but yet one from the flock. That sacrifice was the Man, Jesus Christ.
It is very important to realize the importance to God of the last week of Jesus Christ’s life and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It has been, is, and will be unavailable for anyone to save himself. We cannot save ourselves by our good works. We need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life, in order to have life in the age to come. Jesus Christ is that sacrifice, and he was prophesied all the way from Genesis 3:15 when God said that a seed of the woman would have his heel crushed but would crush the head of the serpent.
If we do not understand the importance of the sacrifice and the need for the sacrifice, then we will fall short in our thankfulness to God for what He has done for us. If I think that some how or another through my good works that I am going to make myself good enough to be acceptable to God, then what God has done for me will have less meaning.
Oswald Chambers, from his daily devotional book My Utmost For His Highest, writes about the need for the sacrifice of Christ. I am going to read from November 20 and November 21.
“Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God. God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blaspheme. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favor is through Christ and in no other way. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Calvary. It is possible to take the forgiveness of sin and our sanctification with simplicity of faith and to forget at what enormous cost to God that it was all made ours. Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. It cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a Holy God. When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in vice, constrained by the love of God.”
He goes on to say on November 21:
“Never build your preaching or forgiveness on the fact that God is our Father and that He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ’s revelation of God. It makes the cross unnecessary and the redemption ‘much ado about nothing.’ If God does forgive sin, it is because of the death of Christ.”
That is exactly correct. God loves everybody, but He is not going to save everybody. Love does not save. Sin required a payment, and that payment was in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lamb, the Passover, the one from among the flock, the Man who died instead of us so that we could have everlasting life, so that we could have life in the age to come.
If you have heard our teaching on The Kingdom of God: Paradise Regained, the picture of how we are going to be in the Paradise to come is so wonderful that I cannot imagine that every single human being alive would not want to be there. Yet, how do we get there? How do we attain life in the age to come? We get there through the sacrifice—the death of Jesus Christ. Because of that, the days leading up to the death of Jesus Christ are very important. The last week of Christ’s life, and the chronology of the last week of Christ’s life is very important. It is so important, in fact, that in the Gospel of John forty percent of the book concerns the last 6 days of Christ’s life here on earth—please, check this out for yourself. Forty percent of the book of John is just those last 6 days. Surely, it behooves us to pick up on what God is telling us by this and to spend some time in the last week of Christ’s life and in the concept of Christ our Passover.
Now that I have said that, I will say that in this teaching I am going to give a lot of chronological material. I am going to give a lot of detailed information. You might want to make a chart to help you line up this information. If you make up a chart on this information, then make it just like a calendar—vertical columns, a Thursday column, Friday column, Saturday column, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. After you make your vertical columns for the days, take and split the page down the middle in half horizontally because our days start at midnight, but the Judean day started at sunset. This is very important to remember as we get into the Bible itself in a few minutes because to us, you are moving along on Thursday, and Thursday does not become Friday until midnight. In the Judean calendar, the next day started at sunset, so Nisan eight would become Nisan nine, not at midnight but at sunset; thus, you make your calendar days Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc. and split it horizontally left to right. Your top half would be the daytime and the bottom half would be your nighttime and the start of the new Judean day. That is a very simple way to make a calendar, so that you can more easily keep track of some of the chronological information.
I would also like to say that some of the chronological information that I am going to present is detailed and often actually appears contradictory, and for that reason various Bible scholars have come up with different interpretations and different ideas of the last week of Christ’s life. I would encourage you not to get involved in all those contradictions, unless you particularly feel like you want to, but rather to see the heart of Christ in these days that God lines out. The heart of Christ is going to be very visible and very apparent, and we will watch for that.
Turn to Exodus chapter 12 because the Passover Lamb of Exodus chapter 12 was the type of which Jesus Christ was the true antitype. The Passover Lamb in Exodus was the type, and Jesus Christ THE Passover Lamb was the reality. Let us see what we can learn about the Passover Lamb and the Passover sacrifice from Exodus chapter 12 that will then help us when we get into the chronology of the New Testament and the last six days of Christ’s life here on earth.
(1) The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt.
(2) “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
What you should be aware of here is that the first month of the Judean year had started with Tishri. God moves the first month by just telling Moses, “This month is going to be the first month of your year.” That would be the equivalent today of God speaking to you and saying, “January is not going to be the first month any more – September will.” He would just move the calendar forward by six months. That is exactly what happened here.
(3) Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.
(4) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.
(5) The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,
Of course, we know that Christ was without spot or blemish.
and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.
This is not a well-known fact, but the Passover animal could be a sheep or goat. Later, tradition will fix it as a sheep.
Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
I am reading from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. We read at twilight. The Hebrew text reads, “between the evenings.” In Hebrew, two evenings occurred; just like today in America, we have an evening. It is usually just when the sun is setting. It is a very nice time to go out on your porch or be in a park. It is evening; the cooler winds are starting to blow. The earlier evening in Hebrew reckoning was when the sun just began to fall. You could noticeably see the sun beginning to fall, so if you look up, and it is high noon or around high noon, then that is too early. If you look up, and you say, “Yeah, I can see that the sun is noticeably beginning to fall,” that was the early evening. To kill the Passover Lamb between the evenings, tradition fixes the slaughter of the Passover Lamb at about three in the afternoon.
Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
We know that the blood was placed on the doorframes so that the destroying angel would pass by and not kill the first born of the children in that house. The angel was to pass over, and that is the type of Jesus Christ. Without the blood of Christ, we are consigned to die, but the blood of Jesus Christ saves us from eternal death. He is the true Passover Lamb.
(8) That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
(9) Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs, and inner parts.
Head, legs, and inner parts, some things need to be identified about this. It is not supposed to be a wonderful, enjoyable, and good tasting meal. It is eaten with bitter herbs; it is eaten with bread made without yeast, and yeast, of course, as you that cook know, is a sweetener that raises the bread and gives it loft and gives it a sweeter flavor. As far as cooking the animal, any animal that has been cooked with its guts intact will ruin the taste of the meat.
The Passover sacrifice was to leave an impression upon the people; it was an impressionable meal. Surely, that is the way that we should feel about the death of Christ. When we study the last six days of Christ’s life and when we study his beatings and when we look at what he went through, it should impress us that it was not a fun time and that a cost was there. It is almost ironic is it not, that in Romans chapter 5, salvation is called a free gift. Free to whom—it is free to us! It cost God the death of His son, and it cost Jesus Christ, also. We should be aware of that and thankful for that. That is one of the reasons for studying this last week of Christ’s life, so that we better see what that cost was. It has two effects. One, thankfulness for what he went through will come welling up from within you. Two, it gives you the determination to say within yourself, “That is the example that I need to follow.” Both of those things, the thankfulness and the determination to be like Christ, need to well up from within you as you study these verses that deal with the last week of Christ’s life.
This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.
For hundred’s of years they did eat it in haste; sometime after the exile, historians are not exactly sure, the nature of the Passover meal in Israelite or Hebrew ritual changed. By the time of Christ, the Passover meal was not eaten this way. By the time of Christ, the Passover meal had become a meal where they took their time eating, and other rituals were tacked onto it. The part about “eating it in haste” had been left behind.
This is Jesus Christ our Passover. Note that by the way the lamb was roasted, not a bone was broken; it was skinned, but no bones were broken in the skinning process. We know that this fulfilled the prophecy that when Jesus Christ was killed not a bone of his would be broken.
With that I would like to set the chronology of the last week of Christ’s life. I want to start with the day that Jesus Christ died. I am not going to make it any more difficult than it really is. Setting out the chronology of the last week of Christ’s life is fairly simple. Tradition sets the death of Jesus Christ on Friday afternoon. It does this because in Mark chapter 15, verse 42 and in John chapter 19 verse 31 the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died the day before a Sabbath. The day before the weekly Sabbath was Friday, and so tradition set that Jesus Christ would die on Friday.
What is missing in the traditional thinking is that Jesus Christ did die before a Sabbath, but the Sabbath that he died before was a special Sabbath. Let us look first of all for Christ’s own words in Matthew chapter 12.
(38) Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”
(39) He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
(40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Christ’s own words tell us that he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Now we know as the true Passover Lamb and from the chronologies given in the Gospels that Christ died around three o’clock in the afternoon, but he was not immediately buried. First of all, Joseph of Arimathea had to notice that he had died. Jesus had said that “it is finished” and he gave up the ghost. Joseph of Arimathea then went to Pontius Pilate and begged the body of Christ. That had involved walking across town to the palace of Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate was completely astounded that someone would be dead from crucifixion so quickly and did not believe that Jesus Christ was dead yet, so Pontius Pilate sent a soldier to walk all the way across town to the crucifixion site to check to see if Jesus Christ was actually dead. Christ was actually dead, so the soldier walks all the way back across town again to report to Pontius Pilate that in fact Christ was dead. At that point, Pontius Pilate gave Joseph of Arimathea leave to take the body. Joseph then had to walk across town again to the site of the crucifixion and go through what ever it took to take down the body and carry it off to the tomb that he had prepared. [For further study, please read The Burial of Jesus Christ.]
It is very clear that when Joseph of Arimathea put Jesus Christ in the heart of the earth that it was very close to sun down. When the women came to see the body of Christ and to anoint it, it was still dark.
Early the first day of the week,…
The first day of the week is Sunday.
while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
Notice that it is Sunday morning here and it is still dark, yet the stone has been removed; the body of Jesus Christ is gone. He has already risen. The question would be from a traditional stand point, “If you have Christ buried just before sunset on Friday and he is up on Sunday morning already and it is actually still dark, then how in the world can you get three days and three nights in the time period?” You cannot get three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. In fact, you need to back up from Saturday afternoon because when you look at 1 Corinthians 15, verse 4 it says that Jesus Christ got up in the daytime.
1 Corinthians 15:3a
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins…
I love this verse! First importance that Christ died for our sins. That is correct. Like Oswald said, “You do not get saved because God loved you, and you surely do not get saved because of your works.” We are saved because of the sacrifice of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:3b-4
(3) Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
(4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. What Scripture? Oh, how about that he would be in the grave for three days and three nights. He was raised the third day; we know that while it is still dark Sunday morning, he was already gone.
We also know that he was actually put in the ground just before sunset. When you mark out three days and three nights you get just before sunset again. Now you can have a picture of when Jesus Christ died and when he was raised. He was raised just before sunset on Saturday afternoon. Because it was the Sabbath, the women were not out at that time. When they came, it was still dark Sunday morning. At that point, Jesus Christ was already gone. Start at Saturday afternoon and back up until Friday afternoon for one day, back up to Thursday afternoon for two days, and back up to Wednesday afternoon for three days. Now, you have Jesus Christ crucified on Wednesday and buried just before sunset on Wednesday night. Other Scriptures are there that you can work concerning this.
Jesus Christ is crucified on a Wednesday and gets up on a Saturday just before sunset, then he will do some of the things that Scripture says that he did between Saturday and Sunday morning; for example, we learned that he heralded to the spirits that were in prison. Sunday, when the women came, he was already up.
I want to take one more step and see if we can set another piece of chronological information. This one is a little more controversial in traditional Christian religions. Turn to John chapter 19 because we know from the Scriptures, particularly Mark, that Jesus Christ was crucified at nine o’clock in the morning. I have not read any commentator that does not think that Jesus Christ was crucified at nine in the morning. All of the commentators and scholars will agree that Jesus Christ was crucified at nine in the morning. If you want to verify that it is the third hour of the day, you can see it in Mark chapter 15, verses 21 – 25.
Jesus Christ was crucified at nine in the morning. He hung on the cross until noon when darkness was on the land, and then at three o’clock in the afternoon, remember that he was the Passover Lamb, he said, “It is finished,” and then he gave up the ghost.
It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
It says about the sixth hour; now, that is 12 o’clock noon.
(14) “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
(15) But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
(16) Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
When it says that Pilate handed him over to be crucified, to what did Pilate hand Jesus? If you look at some of the other Gospels, like for example Mark, Christ did not just get handed over to the soldiers, and they walked him immediately out and crucified him. Remember, that when Christ walked out to be crucified, he was so weak that he could not carry part of his cross.
The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace
The soldiers did not immediately lead Jesus Christ out to crucify him. They led him to the palace.
(that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.
Now, this is going to take some time.
(17) They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.
(18) And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”
Remember the calendar that I discussed with you earlier about the days Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? Another good thing can also be done. It is time consuming, but I think that it is really worth it considering the importance of the last week of Christ’s life. When you are studying a subject, such as Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, go down to the local photocopy place and make a copy of the different records in the different Gospels, and then lay them side-by-side so that you can clearly see and your eye can glance easily from record to record. For example, in the Garden of Gethsemane record, you learn that only in Matthew and Mark is it mentioned that Jesus Christ prayed three times. Only in Luke that it mentions that an angel came to strengthen him. You can then begin to see how the details of a record will weave together.
If we read the Gospel of John, it is like Pilate got through with Jesus Christ and said, “Well here he is,” and handed him to the soldiers and they crucified him. However, we learn from Mark and from Matthew that the soldiers did not take Christ from Pilate and take him out and crucify him. The soldiers took Christ from Pilate and then took him to the Praetorium, which is where the soldiers stayed. They then beat on him. Now, we have a real chronological problem because the Gospel of John says that Christ is still with Pilate at the sixth hour—that is 12-noon. Wait a minute, how can Jesus Christ be crucified at nine in the morning, but be with Pilate at 12-noon. Even at 12-noon Pilate does not hand him over to be crucified, Pilate sends him to the soldiers who walk Jesus off to the Praetorium, and then they call the entire cohort of soldiers together.
You see ladies and gentlemen, I am going to propose that an extra day is here. The day that Jesus Christ was crucified was at 12-noon, just like this verse says Christ is before Pilate. At that point, Pilate hands Christ over to be crucified, and they work him over throughout the afternoon and night before they crucify him early the next morning.
Obviously this is not a common interpretation. I would like to read from R.C.H. Linski’s Commentary – the interpretation of St. John’s Gospel. This is what he writes about this Gospel of John:
“According to Mark 15:25, Jesus was crucified at the third hour, which is the hour of 9:00am. With this, Matthew and Luke agree. They speak of Jesus as having hung upon the cross for some time when the miraculous darkness occurred at noon. All the synopsis, (synopsis is a scholarly term for Matthew, Mark, and Luke whose Gospels agree on so many points.) as no one disputes, reckon the hour in the Jewish fashion, namely 12 for the period of day light starting with the dawn and ending with sunset. If John reckons in the same way, he would say that Pilate did not sentence Jesus until about noon.”
Many scholars have pointed out the fact that John does reckon hours in the same way. I would refer you to the international critical commentary of John’s Gospel done by Bernard for some work on that.
Linski continues saying:
“Besides this ordinary way of reckoning, other ways existed. Neither of these alternatives of changing the hours can possibly be correct. Both conflict hopelessly, not only with the hours mentioned in the synopsis, but equally with the whole course of events as recorded with all four evangelists.”
Now what does he mean by all the events? Jesus Christ has a day trial. Jesus Christ is arrested at night, and he is taken to Annas first, and then he is taken to Caiaphas—we will read this when we get into the Scripture later. In the morning, the high priest gets the entire Sanhedrin together to try Jesus Christ. That would obviously take some time. After the Sanhedrin tries Jesus Christ, they take Christ to Pilate who tries to get Christ released. When Pilate cannot get Christ released, he finally finds out that he is from Galilee, so Pilates says, “Oh, he is from Galilee; well I will send him off to Herod.” Pilate then ships Jesus Christ off to Herod. Herod of course is delighted to see Christ and asks him a whole lot of questions and spends some time with him. However, when he cannot get anything accomplished with Jesus, he sends him back to Pilate. Pilate takes Jesus and again tries to release him. That is when Pilate’s wife says, “Do not have anything to do with this just man.” Pilate tries to talk the Jews into accepting Jesus as a prisoner, but they say, “No, we want Barabbas,” and then Pilate hands Jesus over to the soldiers who take him to the Praetorium.
When Linski says that the hours mentioned in the synoptics has too much stuff, the Sanhedrin trial, the Pilate trial, Herod trial, Pilate trial, and then being beaten by the entire cohort in the Praetorium, that is too much stuff to fill the space of time before nine in the morning when Jesus Christ would be crucified. Linski says:
“It is impossible to concentrate all that preceded the sentencing by Pilate into the time before 6:00am, and again impossible to find time for what happened after the sentencing if this is placed at 12-noon.” What does Linski finally say? “No solution has yet been found.”
The solution that I propose is that we are dealing with the wrong day. Christ was before Pilate at noon but was taken to the Praetorium and beaten by the soldiers through the afternoon and night. If that particular timing does not seem right to you, then again conflicts are there within the Scripture, so I am not going to hang my salvation, my eternal life on this interpretation. However, I think that it is important that we work hard in the Scripture to make sure that the Scripture fits.
I want to remind you of Proverbs 25:2 which says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search it out.” Surely it is our job to take the time to search out the things of the chronology of the life of Christ. Admittedly, occasionally they can be difficult, but I think that solutions are available to find.
Let us go right into to the chronology of Christ.
(1) Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany where Lazarus lived whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
(2) Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
(3) Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
(4) But one of his disciples Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
(5) “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
(6) He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
This is a great section of Scripture, and we should begin to read and learn some things from this. We learn that it was six days before Passover; Jesus arrived at Bethany where Lazarus lived. If Passover is on a Wednesday, then you back-up from there. Wednesday would be day six, Tuesday would be day five, Monday would be day four, Sunday would be day three, Saturday would be day two, and Friday would be day one. Jesus arrives six days before, which would be on Thursday afternoon. By the way, this is a way of counting where you do not count the day that you are on, but you count including the day that you are going towards. Although I would say six days before, the sixth day is actually that day, and that mode of counting is well attested to in the Gospels. If we have Jesus Christ crucified on a Wednesday for our chart, then Christ arrives in Bethany on Thursday. He walks into Bethany the previous Thursday; this is the 8th of Nisan—Wednesday being the 14th of Nisan; the day of Passover. I did not say it but in John chapter 19, the day of crucifixion is before a special Sabbath, which is Nisan 15. Six days before the Passover, Jesus Christ arrives. It would be very common that the supper would bleed over to after sunset into the next day. They are at dinner and if it bled over to the evening, then it would change from the 7th of Nisan to the 8th of Nisan. Mary is there, and she anoints Christ’s feet with oil. Judas complains, but he complains not because he loves the poor. He complains because he has the bag, and he helps himself to what is in it.
By the way, this helps us explain an apparent contradiction in God’s Word because the Bible in Acts says that Judas bought a field with the reward of iniquity, yet we know that the money that Judas got for selling Christ out he threw down in the Temple and walked away from it. How could he buy a field with the reward of iniquity if the money that he got for selling Christ was thrown down at the Temple, and the Scribes and Pharisees gathered it up and kept it? The answer is in this verse. Judas was constantly stealing stuff from the ministry of Christ for his own needs and desires.
(7) “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.
(8) You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Jesus Christ speaks out here against Judas. Look at how Jesus not only protects Mary’s heart, but that also Jesus Christ, I feel, knew Judas’ heart here; in that Judas was not concerned for the poor. Jesus speaks to protect Mary’s heart. This is the first anointing.
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
We are really going to pay close attention here to words such as: the next day. I will say that when you track the chronology, it is important that in laying the records side by side you see and fit the places where the days change. If you will watch where the days change, then a lot of the confusion will become clearer.
Christ is at supper; he arrives at Bethany six days before Passover. He arrives on a Thursday, goes to supper, Mary anoints his feet with oil and the next day verse 12 says that he goes into Jerusalem.
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”
We can read about this triumphal entry in a number of Gospels. We can read about this triumphal entry here in John; we can read about it in Luke; we can read about it in Mark; we can read about it in Matthew. I want to read about it in Mark.
(1) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
(2) saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
(3) If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
(4) They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,
(5) some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”
(6) They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
(7) When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.
(8) Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
(9) Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
(10) “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
What I would like to point out here is that when you start to read this record in Mark, you can tell that it is the same record as the record in John chapter 12:12-19. Please notice that in John it told us, “the next day.” In Mark, it does not tell us this. What you are going to find if you want to place the flow of events or the chronological order, then you will see that usually in just one Gospel a specific time word may be present that may not be in others. I assert that God could have stuck time words all over the place but did not do this because He wanted those who really wanted to know to know. It would have been easy for God in Mark chapter 11:1 to simply say, “And the next day,” or even something easy as, “on the 9th of Nisan.” No specific use of time words is used here in Mark or in Matthew. The only use of time words is found in John, which tells you that a next day occurred.
Jesus Christ then goes into the Temple. This is to fulfill a prophecy from Zachariah about entering into Jerusalem on a colt the foal of an ass. Jesus Christ is fulfilling the prophecies that are about him.
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. [Read this closely.] He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. The next day…
From here, we see a shift from the day when he went into Jerusalem, what we call the triumphal entry to the next day. This is an important thing of which you should be aware. It is an important time word to track. If we lay out the chronology, we have six days before the Passover. Jesus Christ comes to Bethany. He is at a supper where Mary anoints his feet. The next day, he enters into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass; his triumphal entry, but he gets there late enough that he does not cleanse the temple but just looks around. Now, he will go back into the temple the next day.
In Mark 11:12 it says, “the next day.” It is talking about from what next day? The next day from his triumphal entry, which was the day before and was the first part of Mark chapter 11 or Luke 19:29-44 or John 12:12-19 or Matthew 21:1-11 is that same record.
Matthew 21 mentions two animals and is possibly another entry but more likely just an expansion of the same triumphal entry that we read about in Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12.
(12) The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
(13) Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
(14) Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
His disciples watched him walk up to the tree and heard him speak to the tree, but they went onward.
(15) On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,
(16) and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
A lot can be taught on this verse and a lot of very powerful teachings can be developed from all of this. I do not have the time to go into it now, but a very powerful teaching can be developed from Jesus Christ cleansing the temple.
(16) and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
(17) And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
(18) The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him,
As I have said, this is a great example of how important it is to read the record in all four Gospels. When Christ cleansed the temple like it says in verse 17 that he taught the people, he also healed.
(12) Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
(13) “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’”
Notice in verse 14 what happened right after that.
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
Boy, that is really tender. That is really wonderful. Do you think that Jesus Christ knows that it is the last week of his life? You bet he does. Look how Jesus Christ is outward focused. He is other people focused. He knows that it is the last week of his life; yet he is not sitting in a room somewhere depressed. He is so focused on fulfilling his mission as the Passover Lamb, helping others, being the Messiah, being there for other people who needed him. This is so much to be our example. I cannot imagine the pressure that he was under these last days, and yet look how he cleans out the temple. He is not so set back by his confrontation with the priests and the leaders there that he cannot go right into ministering and helping others. He heals the people that day that came to him. Again, if you are doing the photocopying and cutting and pasting, you just put the records of him cleansing the temple side by side. Interestingly enough, the time phrase “the next day” only occurs in Mark.
He cleanses the temple in Mark, Matthew, and in Luke. In John, no record is there of Jesus cleansing the temple. In Mark, you can track the time to the next day.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
This is the next day. The disciples noticed the dead tree. This would be the 11th of Nisan. This would be our Sunday. They are going back into the temple.
Jesus goes in Thursday; he arrives in Bethany. Friday is his triumphal entry where he enters the temple on a colt the foal of an ass, but the Bible specifically tells us that he looked around the temple. He did not do anything. On Saturday he curses the fig tree on his way to the temple, and he cleanses the temple.
Now, it is the next day. He is going back into the temple again. The scribes and Pharisees are looking for a way to kill him.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered…
It was like yesterday Peter was thinking, “Hey, Jesus is talking to that tree. I wonder what he was saying to it.” Now the tree is dead and Peter remembers.
Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Christ takes this time to talk to them about faith and the need for faith. By the way, I am sure the lesson was not lost that the fig tree was one of the national symbols for Israel. In the withering away of the fig tree, I am sure that the lesson was not lost that the Messiah is about to be rejected and Israel will wither.
Matthew chapter 21 goes here for those putting together the records of the cleansing of the temple.
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree…
Remember that this is after the day that he cleansed the temple. Look at Matthew 21:12, so this is the same day that the disciples noticed the dead tree.
(18) Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
(19) Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
(20) When the disciples saw this they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
Now, this is completely different from the other fig tree, which he cursed and walked onward, then the disciples had to call in remembrance, “Hey, that was the one that you cursed!” This one is them saying, “Hey, how did this thing wither so quickly!”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain…
And he teaches them again about faith, which if you know the disciples, they needed to be taught over and over about a number of things. This Sunday morning, the 11th of Nisan, Christ teaches them about faith twice, both related to a withered fig tree, which was the national symbol of Israel.
Jesus Christ, then, moves into the temple courts, and he teaches. For example, look at Matthew chapter 21 starting in verse 23, and you will see that Jesus entered the temple courts all the way through to chapter 23 are inside the temple. If you study this day, Sunday the 11th of Nisan, and study the teachings that are done on this day, tremendous teachings are found here. You will see this in Matthew chapter 21-chapter 23, Mark chapter 11-chapter 12, and Luke chapter 20.
Even when Jesus leaves the temple, he goes east a little ways to the Mount of Olives and then continues teaching.
(1) Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.
(2) “Do you see all these things?” he asked.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ lays out this great chronology of the end times. This teaching can be found in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13:1 and the following. You can lay this out in the various Gospels. Again, I do not have the time to go through these teachings and lay them out for you line by line with this particular teaching that I am doing here. However, you should want to do that because the fact that Jesus Christ put these teachings together and taught them when he taught them and the fact that the Word of God records them being taught when they are taught is very important.
(1) When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
(2) “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Jesus makes all these statements and then he goes to Bethany. Remember, some of this chronological material can be a little confusing unless you chart it out and have it in front of you.
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
This Mark 14:1 and Matthew 26:1 has caused some problems chronologically. First of all, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were not even the same day. They were a day apart; thus, to say that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened were only two days away has caused some chronological confusion. If you think of this in terms of this being supper…
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon…
This would be referring to the 12th of Nisan, and if the Passover Lamb being killed and the crucifixion is the 14th of Nisan, then that makes good sense. The 14th would be two days away.
(1) and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
(2) “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
(3) While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
This is Sunday night’s supper. This is not to be confused with Thursday night’s supper when a jar of pure nard was used to anoint Jesus’ feet. This is Sunday supper, and a jar of pure nard is poured on his head.
(4) Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?
(5) It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
Boy, compassionless people, it is like the attitude of Judas; it spread, so that now there are a number of people who are upset by this.
(6) “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
(7) The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.
Jesus Christ speaks up for this woman. Look at verse ten. This was too much for Judas.
Mark 14:10 and 11
(10) Then Judas Iscariot, one of Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
(11) They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
This is Judas seeking how to hand over Jesus Christ. At this point, we move into Jesus wanting to prepare a place that the Passover meal could be eaten.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him…
A lot has been written about Mark 14:12 and its corollary verses, Matthew 26:17 and Luke 22:7 because of the chronological problems that they cause. If you want to read more on this see the International Critical Commentary, particularly the one on Matthew. It starts on page 269. You can tell even if you just work the Scripture by going to John chapter 13, verse 1 that this scripture is talking about this exact same supper. It says, “It was just before the Passover Feast.”
It is just before the Passover Feast and Christ is telling his disciples, “let us go out, let us find a place, let us be prepared to eat the Passover meal.” They are going to go out and eat the Passover meal. However, they will not eat the Passover meal because Jesus Christ was the Passover Lamb. He was slain exactly at the same time that the type of the Passover lamb was being slain in Jerusalem. The sacrifice that mattered that year was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the real Passover Lamb.
The meal that is known as the Last Supper was a meal as John 13 says that was before the Passover. So much is there in the account of the Last Supper that I would ask you to go and read those accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Much more is there in the accounts of the Last Supper than I can possibly go into at this point. It is absolutely fabulous information.
What is also very telling is what appears in the various Gospels; for example, the communion service itself, the bread and the cup, is only in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The gospel of John mentions nothing about the communion service at all. Similarly, the foot washing, where Jesus Christ is going to wash the disciples’ feet, and Peter protests, is only found in John, and not in Matthew, Mark, or Luke at all. [For further study read What does the Bible say about “Holy Communion”?]
Look at the gospel of John, chapter 14. It is so important to place these teachings in your mind where they actually occur chronologically because my experience has been that there is greater impact if you know when they occur. In John 14:12, we are at the Last Supper where it is the last time that Jesus is going to be with his disciples before he is killed.
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.
The disciples have been walking around behind Jesus Christ, following him and watching him. Now, Christ is going to be killed; he is going to be resurrected and ascend up to heaven. Somebody has to be left to do the ministry. He is here in the Last Supper telling his disciples, “If you have faith in me, now you are going to do what I have been doing.” Surely, this is the call for every Christian to step in and do the works of Jesus Christ.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you…
All this occurs right here in the last night of Christ’s life. Also, John chapter 15 is the great chapter of the vine and the branches and how we need to remain in Christ and obey his words. In the later part of John chapter 15, you have the warning to the disciples that men will hate you and that the world will hate you for my sake. Be prepared for this. Do not be afraid to be hated if what you are doing is the Word and will of God because we are obeying our Lord Jesus Christ.
In chapter 16, you have his great teaching about the holy spirit and what is going to happen with the spirit. That whole thing through chapter 16 is fabulous!
Interestingly enough, the gospel of John does not have anything about Jesus’ trip to Gethsemane and his arrest. We know from Matthew, Mark, and Luke that he gets up and goes to the Garden of Gethsemane. It is in Matthew and Mark that we learn that Jesus Christ prayed three times. That is not in Luke.
(40) On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
(41) He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
(42) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus Christ knew the prophecy of Isaiah 52. This is an interesting case because I would not have broken the chapter from Isaiah 52 to Isaiah 53 where it is. I think making the chapter break at Isaiah 53 is misleading. The context of Isaiah 53 goes back to Isaiah 52 verse 13.
(13) See my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
(14) Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—
Hey, that hurt! You do not get to be more disfigured than any man, more marred—marred beyond human likeness; you do not get to be that way without incurring physical pain. That hurts! Jesus Christ knew that was about him. In the garden he prayed, “Lord, I do not want that to be me.” That is very human! However, Jesus adds, “If that is your will, then your will and not mine be done.” Christ knew what he was heading towards.
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
That is the wonderful grace of God to send an angel down to strengthen Jesus at this time. It is interesting because as we are called into the ministry of Christ and doing the works that he did and being like him, we need to think about being there for others to strengthen them. Where were the disciples at this time because Jesus had told them what he wanted from them? Jesus’ will for the disciples was in what he said, “Watch and pray.” What did they do? They went right to sleep. Granted they went to sleep because they were heavy with sorrow, but still, he had said, “I need you to watch and pray.” God sends an angel to strengthen him. I think about how many times that we need to think about being there for others.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Jesus was laboring so hard in prayer that he had broken out into a sweat.
(45) When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
(46) “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
In the next section of Luke, he is arrested. I encourage you to read the record of the arrest in the various Gospels and see the details as the entire picture comes together. When Jesus Christ is arrested, he is taken first to Annas.
(12) Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him
(13) and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.
(14) Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.
What you should know historically is that Annas was the Jewish high priest. However, the Romans deposed Annas and set Caiaphas up as high priest. The Jewish law had said, and you can read this in the Old Testament, that a person was a priest until he died. The Jews then considered Annas to be the high priest even though from a Roman standpoint Caiaphas was the acting high priest that year. That is why the people brought Jesus to Annas first.
(15) Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard,
(16) but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
(17) “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”
This is his first denial and it happened at the house of Annas. E.W. Bullinger and others have worked out the six denials of Peter. Prophecies were there, and one of them said, “Before the cock crow, thou shall deny me thrice,” another says, “Before the cock crow thrice, thou shall deny me twice.” I have worked on this for some time, and I am satisfied that I believe that six denials by Peter are there. It would have worked something like this that Christ would have said, “Before the cock crow thou shall deny me thrice.” Peter would have kept on saying no it is not going to work that way, no that is not the way it is going to be. Christ would have then said, “Before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny me thrice.” In fact, even if you look at the Gospel records and try to harmonize them, we have one denial here with Annas; other Gospels clearly say of three denials in front of Caiaphas, so you already have four denials; thus if you will get the appendix and the Companion Bible on the six denials, you can see it, or you can get your Bible and get 3×5 cards to line out the various denials. Do this like a reporter using who, what, where, when, why, and how. You will see that Peter makes six different denials.
(19) Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
(20) “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.
(21) Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
It sounds a little arrogant does it not? Not, at all. This is a capital trial. The Jews are going to try and accuse Christ and then have him killed. In a capital trial, no self-incrimination was allowed. Literally it was illegal for Jesus Christ to incriminate himself, so they questioned him about his teaching, and he said, “Look, ask others; bring in the witnesses.” Jesus Christ is simply asking that the Law be done.
By the way, many books and articles have been written on the trial of Jesus Christ and its illegalities. It was illegal to have a capital trial at night. A capital trial required two separate hearings, and they had to be a day apart. In the case of Jesus Christ, it did not happen that way. Truckloads of Jewish laws were broken in order to run this trial of Jesus Christ’s through. That can be studied, that is why Christ is saying to bring in the witnesses.
(22) When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
(23) “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
Which is exactly correct. “Hey, if I was not speaking legally, then tell me what was illegal; what was wrong with what I was saying?” Nothing was wrong with what Christ was saying.
Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
Jesus was arrested in the garden at night. He was taken to Annas’ house, and Jesus was questioned and beaten around for a while, and then he was sent bound to Caiaphas. As you continue reading in John chapter 18, verse 25, Simon Peter is warming himself, are you not one of his disciples; he denies again. A rooster crows in verse 27. In verse 28, the Jews lead Jesus from Caiaphas to the place of the Roman Governor.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest,
Now notice in the gospel of John, remember there are four Gospels and chronological information is in each one, that the first place that Jesus was taken was Annas’ house. Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas. The gospel of Matthew leaves out Jesus Christ being taken to Annas and beaten around awhile and illegally questioned there. It picks up the record simply with Jesus being here in Caiaphas’ house.
(57) where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.
(58) But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
(59) The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
(60) But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward
(61) and declared. “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
(62) Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”
(63) But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
(64) “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
Ladies and Gentlemen, all of us have to make up our mind whether we believe that he spoke the truth or not. The high priest said, “Are you the Christ, the Son of God,” and Jesus Christ answered “yes.” Each and every human being alive needs to make a decision as to whether they believe that Jesus spoke the truth or whether he lied. If Jesus Christ is the Messiah of God, the Son of God, the Lamb from among the flock, the Passover Lamb, he did die on a cross, he was raised the third day, he did ascend into heaven, he is the perfect sacrifice for my sin and yours. If we conclude in fact that he was speaking the truth here, then surely we need to go to the Scriptures, Romans chapter 10:9-10 for salvation—that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and you believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection will effect our salvation as we confess that he was raised from the dead and make him Lord in our life.
(65) Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
(66) What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.
We have more on Peter’s denials, but I want to show you what I consider to be just absolutely an amazing thing.
(59) About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
(60) Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered…
Interesting, Jesus Christ said, “Before the cock crowed twice you will deny me thrice.” Peter had forgotten, as he was warming himself by the fire. He was in the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter was so self-concerned; so inward turned; so afraid that the cock crows were like when you hear something in your ear but it does not register. Peter was so self-concerned that the cock crowing did not register for him, but Jesus Christ who had just been beaten through most of the night was so outward focused, so other concerned that he was listening, and when he heard the cock crow and knew it meant the end of the denials, he catches Peter’s eye and then Peter remembers. The outward focus of Jesus Christ is beyond words. I do not have words to express what I feel when I see how important other people were to Jesus Christ. How important it was for him to help, to bless, to help people be more godly or to do what he could to bring them near to God and himself. When Peter himself did not remember here, Jesus Christ with all the pain that he was in and all that he knew that he would face is still outward motivated and looks at Peter and catches his eye.
Well, then what happens? Jesus Christ is taken.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
This is daybreak and Jesus is taken before a day trial before the Sanhedrin. In Matthew 27, he is taken from here, the day trial, to Pilate.
Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.
Pilate does not want to mess with Jesus Christ at all.
(7) When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
(8) When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased…
The record about Herod is only in Luke. Matthew, Mark, and John leave it out. Herod is greatly pleased. He questioned Jesus, and when he gets nothing, his soldiers mock Jesus and punch him around, and then Herod sends Christ back to Pilate.
…they sent him back to Pilate.
Now Pilate is going to go through this whole deal about Barabbas and give us Barabbas and do you want Barabbas with the Jews saying that they want Barabbas and do not want Jesus. Pilate goes back and forth with the Jews about that. This is where John chapter 19, verse 14 says that Christ is still before Pilate at noon. This makes good sense because if you have a day trial with the Sanhedrin, it has to be daybreak. First of all, the Bible says that it was daybreak. It will take a while to get the entire Sanhedrin together and have this thing tried through, and then they take him to Pilate. Pilate tries Jesus for a while and tries to not have to deal with Christ but sends him to Herod. Herod goes through the same thing and sends Jesus back to Pilate. Now Pilate is still trying Christ and trying to get him released. It takes up until noon. You can see the need for that kind of time. The people cry no that they want Barabbas.
Matthew 27:13 you have the release of Barabbas. What happens to Jesus Christ? Pilate washes his hands of Jesus Christ and sends him off to be crucified. How does he send Jesus off to be crucified? Does he take Jesus and say, “Here soldiers, take him and crucify him”? No, that is not what happened.
The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.
Now they beat on Jesus Christ. This is the type of progression that I see that when Jesus was in the garden and he said, “Father if it is possible take this cup from me.” According to Matthew 15:25, it was the third hour of the next morning when they crucified Jesus. It is nine in the morning when they crucified him. According to verse 33, darkness is over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour, which is three o’clock in the afternoon, Christ cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” [Jesus is not saying that God actually has forsaken him. That is the first verse of Psalm 22 and you can read an excellent article on this by clicking here.]
For in Jesus’ last words, Christ is pointing out to prophecies about himself saying, “Look at the prophets. Look at the Psalms and see that I am he. I am the Messiah, the Passover Lamb that will die for your sin.” Even his last words in John chapter 19:28-30 says, “It is finished.” These are the last words of Psalm 22.
Jesus Christ, then, gave up his life. He gave up his life for you and me. It was Saturday afternoon when God raised him from the dead. When the women came to the tomb, which you can read about in Mark 16:6, the angel said, “He is not here; He is risen!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, he is risen. As he said out of his own mouth, “I am the Christ, the Son of God.” He is our Passover Lamb. He is our way to life in the age to come, everlasting life. As we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe God raised him from the dead, we have the eternal life that he made available through his sacrifice, a great cost to him and a free gift to us.