This has been the hardest blog so far. So many things have happened to stop me from doing it. What I have found with these blog’s is, when I do them I get new insights into the subject and when I finish its like the understanding on that subject is cemented into me. I have struggled to find time to start this study. But what I have found out so far has been very interesting. It is a huge study. Probably worth its own series.
There are many Old Testament scriptures that mention Jesus and what He did on the cross. I am going to concentrate on Isaiah 53. I will also look at the New Testament for the account of what He went through.
First I want to go back to the beginning and see why Jesus did what He did.
What was life meant to be?
As we know God creates everything. Sticks man on the earth and make’s him a wife. They are happy walking around sharing their lives with their Father. God had given them food to eat and told them to fill the earth and subdue it and take dominion over the animals. Genesis 1. God provided everything for the couple. They had relationship with Him. They where not sick. They did not worry. They where not afraid. Everything was peaceful. There is nothing to say that they where not happy with life. In genesis 1 it says that God saw all He hade made and it was good. Sounds great to me.
What Happens Next?
Satan comes into play. There are many questions in this part of our story. For now I just want to look at what happened. Satan goes to Eve and convinces her to eat the fruit. She in turn goes to Adam and does the same to him. They are now aware of their nakedness and are afraid. What does God do?
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where are you? And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told you that you were naked? (UKJV)
God calls after Adam. God is looking for Adam. Like He does with us. Adam replies in fear. The next bit I found very interesting as I think I have talked about it in one of my other blog’s. Who told you? Adam was aware of his nakedness but why was He afraid? Because he thought God would kill him. But why does it say who told you? May be after the sin, satan then carried on telling them that they would get it and that the Father would wipe them out for being so bad. Like they do with us when we sin today. Satan did tell Eve to start with that she would not die. (I say they because I am talking about the fallen angels or demons as well as satan.)
The thing to see here is God doesn’t kill them but looks after them. If you look at my wrath series I have already covered some of this.
God then tells them what will happen next as far as their lives are concerned. They then leave the garden. One thing that interests me is Jesus doesn’t mention the garden. Why? Did God kick them out or did they leave because of guilt? What about the tree of life? Jesus says He is the way the truth and the life. John 14:6. Jesus says if you eat of Him you will live. Was Jesus setting the record straight? Is this why the Jews got so upset with Him when He said He was the bread? Things to think about.
God doesn’t seam to have a problem with sin. If you continue to read on about Cain and Abel again no problem with sin. I know there are scriptures that say He does but Jesus who is the embodiment of God, when He comes to earth whom does He spend most of His time with? Something to think about. With in the so-called curse we see God mention Jesus. Where is it I hear you cry? Lets have a look:
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. (UKJV)
The last bit of this verse could be about Jesus. Jesus having His heal bruised and satan’s head being bruised. Also it mentions Eves seed not Adams. Could this be in reference to Mary?
What does this mean?
Some how we have come to believe that satan was handed all power and dominion because of this one act of sin. Some how satan is able to afflict humans with sickness and make them suffer. This is mentioned in the curse. Adam toiling and Eve suffering in childbirth. I don’t think for one moment that that is from God. I have looked and I have not be able to find anywhere in the Old Testament that says satan was given anything. In the gospels satan says to Jesus that all these kingdoms have been given to him. Luke 4:6. Had it been given or had he taken it. Remember he is a liar and a thief, a murderer from the beginning. John 8:4, 10:10. Satan was included like the others. God didn’t say Oh by the way Mr serpent here is all the kingdoms of the earth. Could it be through satans lies he manipulates man to do his bidding?
As we have seen man is afraid of God. God had to make it possible for us to come back to Him. It is in our heads that we fight the battles. God is always waiting for us and even is coming after us. All we need to do is turn.
What did Jesus do?
God now has a problem. Man is afraid of Him and is listening more to satan than God. Sin is clearly an issue for man. Sickness and suffering is also. Lastly what to do with satan? Jesus comes to earth and lives amongst us. He then gives His life so we could know Him and His Father. He showed that He and His Father where love and loved us. He also fulfils the law. All obstacles are removed. By our terms not His. Where did He begin?
In The Garden.
This is where Jesus had to make the choice. We know that it was already decided before the world was created that Jesus would do this but this was harder. Jesus would have had all the human feelings and emotions to deal with. His whole body would have been telling Him to get out of there but He didn’t. We read in Luke 22:44 that He sweated blood because of the stress. Three times He asked His Father to take the cup and three times He submits to His Fathers will. Matthew 26:39-44. He was completely in control. It was His choice whether He gave His life or not. John 10:17-18. He had the power to wipe them out. We see some of His power in John 18:6.
John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (UKJV).
Also when Peter cuts off the servants ear. Jesus could have reacted with violence but he didn’t. He even tells them what He could do.
Matthew 26:51-54 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and stroke off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (UKJV)
It was in the garden that the first battle was won. Jesus knew what He had to do and He did it. He was in complete control.
The Beating and Barabbas.
The accounts of this are different in the 4 gospels. One thing I thought strange is the Beating is not in Luke. I am going to look at John’s version. Jesus goes before the priests first. They then take Him to Pilate. Pilate talks to Jesus and doesn’t find anything to warrant punishment. But the Jews want blood. Pilate trying to free Jesus mentions the custom of freeing a prisoner because of the Passover. The crowd ask for Barabbas who was a criminal. Pilate then has Jesus scourged. I believe that Pilate thought if the crowd saw Jesus all bloody and beaten that they might have mercy on Him and let Him go. But it didn’t turn out that way. Before I continue I want to look at two things.
1st. Barabbas was the first person that Jesus gave His life for. Jesus took Barabbas’s place.
The people decided to free Barabbas instead of Jesus. Jesus took his place. The gospels give different accounts of his crimes. John 18:40 a robber. Matthew 27:16. Notorious. Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19 murder. I think its safe to say he was headed for his own cross. Even before the cross Jesus the innocent takes a sinners place.
2nd. In the second conversation with Pilate, Jesus again shows His control when He says this:
John 19:10 Then says Pilate unto him, Speak you not unto me? know you not that I have power to crucify you, and have power to release you? Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above. (UKJV)
Jesus knew to the end that He could do things His way if He wanted. But out of love He carried onto the end.
Why was Jesus Beaten?
I had always wondered why Jesus was beaten. I understood the spitting in the face and striking Him but why bring Him to the edge of death? When I went to bible school they went into detail about what was involved. For some idea you only have to watch the Passion to see what happened. I think that was a nice version compared to what really happened. So Why?
I looked in the Old Testament for some answers. I knew that Jesus took all our sins on the cross but why the beating. I knew about the Isaiah 53 scripture by His wounds we are healed. But was there anything else. That’s when I found this:
Psalms 89:30-32 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. (UKJV)
This is clear. If you sin God will punish you with stripes. It was God then that beat up and nearly killed Jesus. NO.
In the last year of my studies and walk with God what I have found is that God is love. He would never hurt or beat anyone. Let alone His own Son. When you study the Old Testament what you find is they believed that satan was a enforcer of Gods will and righteousness. But as time went on they began to realise that satan was Gods enemy not His employee. Jesus when He came was trying to show them that. God is love, He is light, and He is truth. He cannot be or do bad in any way. That includes telling someone else to do it for Him.
What does that mean for this scripture? What does this scripture tell us? If we don’t do what God wants then we will be beaten. Priests or prophets to keep people under control could use this. Because the people would fear punishment even to death if they sin.
Isaiah 53 sums it up for us.
53:4 Surely he has borne our sicknesses, and carried our pains: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (UKJV)
The Septuagint version is worth a look. I am not sure if I can show it for copyright reasons. The smitten of God isn’t in it.
What I have found is that satan and man are the cause of punishment and wrath in the bible not God. It was man who beat Jesus not God. It was also man who killed Him. Jesus took on the violence of man and satan so we could have a relationship with Him and His Father. Jesus was beaten to heal us but also to take the beating for our sin.
Continues in part 3….