He gave it all
When we think about Jesus, especially at Easter, some have a vision of a man hanging on a cross with blood dripping from his side. Some may think he was arrested, tried and crucified, which is absolutely true! However, there is so much more to the story that unfolds over the hours prior to his death.
Just after the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives. He took three disciples with him into the olive grove. Of course, Jesus is distraught. After all, this would be the last time he would be with them before his arrest. Jesus steps away from the three to ask his Father to “… take this cup from me,” or as we would say, “Is there any other way?”
Jesus knows what horrific circumstances will evolve over the next several hours. As Jesus waits for his betrayer to come, a crowd enters the olive grove. There he is, Judas, the betrayer, to meet him with a kiss.
Jesus, arrested and bound, was first taken to Annas’ home. Annas did not know what to do with him, so he sent him to his son-in-law, Caiaphas, the High Priest. Caiaphas found false witnesses to testify; their evidence would be all lies. Caiaphas continues to question Jesus, asking him to defend himself. Jesus remained silent. Caiaphas asked if he was the Messiah. “I am,” Jesus replied. Caiaphas shouts, “Blasphemy, why do we need more evidence?” The crowd shouted, “He is worthy of death.” Blindfolded, brutally beaten, spit on and mocked, they continued the assault, saying to him, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” Jesus remained compliant.
However, Caiaphas did not have the authority to put him to death. He sent Jesus, beaten, bloody and exhausted, to the Roman governor, Pilate. By now, it’s early morning. Jesus is questioned by the governor. The crowd who followed continues to hurl lies. Pilate listens but finds no basis to charge Jesus. The angry crowd told Pilate Jesus had caused trouble all the way from Galilee.
It just so happened, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, was in Jerusalem. Jesus, beaten, bloody and exhausted, was sent to Herod. Herod was excited to see Jesus do some sort of miracle; however, Jesus would do no such thing. Herod and his soldiers joined the taunting by mocking and dressed him in a robe. Finding no reason to put him to death, Herod sent him back to Pilate.
Succumbing to the pressure of the crowd, Pilate released Jesus to be mercilessly whipped. The whip had several straps with pieces of bone or metal on the ends to rip flesh away from the bone with every strike.
Making Jesus carry the cross, the soldiers led him to a place called Golgotha to be crucified. Exhausted from relentless beatings, Jesus was led bound and bloody from place to place. The soldiers would not cease the abuse. They nailed him to a cross for public display.
At noon darkness came over the land. The Temple curtain tore from top to bottom and the earth shook. At 3:00 in the afternoon Jesus would take his last breath.
This Easter, let’s be reminded of the journey of torture, ridicule and exhaustion he endured for all of us to live free from the condemnation of sin.
Today is a perfect time to follow Jesus, the risen Savior!