Two thousand years ago, in the Middle East, Mary, a young virgin woman, 14 to 18 years old, received a message from God. An angel of God came to Mary and told her that she is pregnant. God had sent His Holy Spirit into the womb of Mary, and she conceived a baby boy. Mary had no choice but to tell her fiance, Joseph. Joseph was a good man, and even though he had every right to break off the engagement, because it appeared that Mary had been unfaithful, he did not. Instead, he married her, and they began the task of raising the child who was the Son of God.
Jesus grew into a man while working as a laborer. Around the age of 30, Jesus began his ministry. He traveled around his region, performing miracles, healing the sick, teaching people about God, while always conforming to will of God. Jesus accepted everyone who did the will of God. He challenged his brothers and sisters to look at life differently. He taught that we are not reconciled to God by our obedience to the Law (Leviticus & Deuteronomy) , but we initiate and grow a personal relationship with our Father, just like he did, through love.
As I showed before, the foremost commandment given by God, through Jesus, to His children is to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Not only does this mean absolute deference to the will of God, but in order to fully love God, we must also fully trust Him.
The night he was to be captured by the authorities for preaching against the establishment, Jesus stayed in the Garden of Gethsemane with some of his disciples. His soul was very troubled, as though he were grieving the death of someone close to him, so in prayer Jesus took his worries to his Father. Jesus knew what was going to happen to him. He knew that Judas would betray him to the authorities and that they would capture him, scourge him, and crucify him. Jesus knew all this was coming.
God is good. God is perfect. God loves us. He is not going to do anything to jeopardize our relationship with Him. That’s the difference between Him and us: we can rationally expect God to fulfill His promises to keep His Children in is arms at all times. He never promises that we will not go through troubles, in fact, Jesus says we will. Trouble in this life is inevitable. But, Jesus tells us to not worry. He asks, “Can we add a single hour to our lives by worrying about what will come, tomorrow? Tomorrow will take care of itself, today has enough troubles of its own” (Matthew 6:25-34).
Led by Judas, the disciple that betrayed Jesus, the authorities found Jesus in the garden. Peter was ready to physically fight against the oppressors to defend his Teacher, but Jesus called him off. The Gospel was the more important to Jesus than his own life, so he willingly allowed his accusers to arrest him. He knew and trusted God’s promises to bring him into the same glory shared by the Father, so he continued living the will of God. Jesus was brought to trail, found guilty of nothing, yet he was sentenced to be scourged and die by crucifixion.
We can not possibly imagine the horror Jesus went through as he was scourged. What went through his mind when as he was dying? Truly, there is no way for us to fully relate to someone who was totally sinless, being convicted and sentenced to death. We are all sinners, and we deserve whatever consequences arise due to our sin, even if that consequence is death. But Jesus did not deserve even an angry scowl, let alone the agony of crucifixion.
The true horror of crucifixion.
And when Jesus had died, the Roman soldiers pierced his side to ensure he was dead. Joseph of Arimathea removed Jesus’s body from the cross, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb he had carved out of rock. A stone too large and heavy for average people to move was rolled in front of the tomb. Soldiers were posted outside to ensure no one stole his body.
After the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene, a close friend of Jesus, and others went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for final entombment. When they arrived, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus’ body was gone. They ran away to tell Peter and the rest of the disciples, and they came to the tomb to see that it was empty. He was no longer dead; God has resurrected His Son.
Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples. Jesus then gave them the commission to go out to the world and preach salvation through repentance and baptism. Then God called Jesus home. The sky opened up, and Jesus ascended into Heaven, where he remains, to this day, sitting at God’s right hand side, the most special place of honor.
He only lived about 30 years, but Jesus the Nazarene changed the world, forever. He brought the message of God’s Love to the world and provided a way for people to have a personal relationship with their Father. We as a world had become corrupt, selfish, hard of heart. God recognized this, and in sending His Son, God gave the world a new chance at life without the fear of separation and death. Jesus delivered the promise of eternal life through love and righteousness. God is good, and Jesus shows us, explicitly through his very life, that there is nothing the world can do to us that we can not overcome. God loves us all, and He is always with us.