The most significant event in Christianity is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was born to die according to multiple prophecies. Let us see how it happened.
Chronicle of events
- The betrayal
Matthew 26:24 -25 “For I, the Son of Man, must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer. Far better for him if he had never been born!” Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Teacher, I’m not the one, am I?”
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And Jesus told him, “You have said it yourself.”
Earlier on Judas had made the arrangement to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16 “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.  And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”
It’s not all who eats and smiles with you that is for you.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, He submitted to the will of the Father to go to the Cross and die for the sins of the world.
Judas came there to betray Him with a kiss and He was arrested.
Matthew 26:47-50, “And even as he said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a mob that was armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent out by the leading priests and other leaders of the people. Judas had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I go over and give him the kiss of greeting.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Teacher!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
Peter pulled his sword and cut off the ear of one of the soldiers but Jesus fixed it back.
At this point, His disciples deserted Him and fled.
There are battles you stand and fight alone. Don’t get angry with those who refuse to help you at such times. Most of the time, you walk through the valley of the shadow of death alone.
- Unfair trial
Matthew 26:57 “Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered.” Matthew 26:59-60, “Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found.” who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
They then took Him before Pilate.
Matthew 27:11, “Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the King of the Jews?” the governor asked him. Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say.”
Pilate was a corrupt official who took bribes to pervert justice but he could not find any valid charge against Jesus but released Him to be crucified. The people demanded a robber to be released to them. The divine exchange had started!
Matthew 27:15-26, “Now it was the governor’s custom to release one prisoner to the crowd each year during the Passover celebration–anyone they wanted.  This year there was a notorious criminal in prison, a man named Barabbas.  As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you–Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”  (He knew very well that the Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.) Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone, because I had a terrible nightmare about him last night.” Meanwhile, the leading priests and other leaders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So when the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” the crowd shouted back their reply: “Barabbas!” ”But if I release Barabbas,” Pilate asked them, “what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” And they all shouted, “Crucify him!” ”Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the crowd only roared the louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours!” And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death–we and our children!” So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him.
- The Torture
Matthew 27:26-31, “Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!  And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.  And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”
They handed Him over to the Roman soldiers to torture Him and crucify Him. They beat Him, humiliated Him and tore His back with hooked whips. They forced a crown of thorns on His head and covered His distorted face with blood. If you have seen the movie, it’s one of the hardest things to watch. It draws tears from my eyes every time I watch or read about it. It’s the cruellest treatment that could be meted by man to man! He took it all in order to save man from eternal destruction. Give your life to Jesus, accept Him as your personal Lord and Saviour if you have not already done so. Do it now, tomorrow might be too late. The Lord bless you and your household, in Jesus name.
Next week we shall look at the crucifixion, death and burial.
Bishop Dr. Charles Olowojoba is the General Overseer of Dayspring Bible Church Worldwide with HQ in Abuja, Nigeria & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int’l. Website: www.dayspringcmi.org e-mail: email@example.com Help line: 08035150515