Two weeks ago I shared about How Jesus wanted us to understand our connection to Him

Our connection is yet to come in our future with living with Him

Our connection is knowing we will never be alone

Our connection is He pours life through us always through the promise of the Holy Spirit

These connections bring us hope

His connection is hope….

Hope that our future is secure with Him

Hope that he is always with us

Hope that he is always in us pouring through us to change our world

This week I want us to look at how he deals with the world, even knowing what was going to happen He wants to reach them,  how his heart was broken even while he was in pain and rejected …

John 18:1-5

After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. 2 Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. 3 The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.

4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.

“I AM he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I AM he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!

During a high holiday like Passover, the Romans would send more soldiers into Jerusalem to prepare to control the mob if necessary. Judas had at his command a contingent of soldiers which was somewhere between 200 and 600 just to look for one man.

Jesus wanted them to know who they were dealing with….so instead of hiding, running away, or anything he went directly to them and said “I am, He”

This is not a simple statement it is the 8th “I am” we are aware of the regular seven I am statements in John

I am the bread of life John 6

I am the light of the world John 8

I am the gate of the sheepfold John 10

I am the good shepherd John 10

I am the resurrection and the Life John 11

I am the way, the truth, and the life John 14

I am the true vine John 15

I consider this one number 8, as he is proclaiming with each statement that he is God The “I am” of Exodus 3:14

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

The name of God in Hebrew which we transliterate Yahweh means “I AM” and as Jesus made that statement 200+ soldiers fell backward, hardened men of war were knocked down by the love of God and a man that had no fear….remember Jesus is 100% God and 100% man so he had to overcome what you and I have to face always.

He was showing those who thought they possessed power that they had none against Him and that anything that was done from this point on was a decision Jesus was making….even in his arrest he wanted to show the soldiers whose life was dedicated to Caesar and to war that there was one who was greater.

Let’s jump to the governor of Judea- Pilate

John 19:6-12

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”

11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

Pilate the most powerful man in this region is frightened because He knows something is wrong here…Jesus is in bonds here supposedly at the mercy of the court but who is really in bondage. 

Pilate brings this prisoner, outcast, into his private headquarters to talk with him. Can’t you hear the panic and frustration in his voice….then Jesus speaks, I believe giving Pilate love, compassion, and grace basically saying Pilate it is OK this sin is not on your head, you know it is wrong or you would not have called me back here but this is the way it must be….those priest know the word, they know the prophecies and they choose to reject my words, the Father’s word so their guilt is on them…he wasn’t saying the guilt is on the whole Jewish race but those who knew better and because of power, money, or their own pride wanted him dead….tradition tell us Jesus crucifixion had a great impact on Pilate, he came to Christ after serving as governor…..even in the turmoil Jesus was interested in reaching everyone with freedom.

Once again, he is in complete control Pilate had just had him beaten so bleeding, unrecognizable he is standing in complete confidence, even loving Pilate and wanting him to come to the truth.

Can we jump to some of his words from the cross…

Loving, staying focused on the call regardless of the pain

Jesus surrendered himself to be crucified, no man took his life, he knew if he laid down his life then you and I could have life…he endured the ridicule, the mocking, the beating, the rejection, the belittling and was about to be nailed to a cross naked with thieves on either side, so you and I know he identifies with us yet love still poured from him from the cross.

Luke 23:39-43

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Isn’t it incredible…according to scripture Jesus was beaten so severely as to be unrecognizable, medical research tells us muscle was ripped from bone and his beard plucked out, covered in blood the thieves had heard of him, knew he was accused falsely and one trusted in this physically destroyed man….every breath cost Jesus excruciating pain because of the nails and his back being ripped apart. Yet he listened to the words, in his pain loved and said today you will be with all those who have gone on before and you will see me there.

His love was so great, his physical pain, all the rejection, the mockery did not stop him from loving others….he is our example of how to keep loving regardless of how we feel and the condition we are in.

Taking care of what we need even when we don’t know what we need

Even when things don’t seem important to the world but they are important to us Jesus cares

John 19:25-27

but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus had other brothers and sister (Matthew 13:55,56; Matthew 12:46; Luke 8:19; Mark 3:31, John 7:1-10; Acts 1:14; Galatians 1:19) But at this point Jesus’ brothers were not believers. Jesus wanting to ensure the safety and care of his mother, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually asks the disciple whom he loved to care for his mother.

Mary wasn’t there feeling bad for herself, her heart was broken for her son….Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her heart (Luke 2: 35) She was there feeling that pain. Yet Jesus’ love was reaching out to touch her…..even if you are not looking to be loved, to be touched, to be healed because you are so busy loving others, God will meet you there….he always sees and knows what you are feeling even if you don’t and he knows how to meet you there.

Task complete, Victory won

Luke 23:44-47

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

John 19:30

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus had felt the weight of all your sin and my sin when he cried out my God, my God why have your forsaken me….having taken on that weight, burden, all of our sin….the wall between man and God, the curtain in the temple was ripped from top to bottom

Because Jesus was fully man as well as fully God he had to choose to let go of life, to experience what we experience….he is identifying with those last moments of life each of us will face and conquering that for us as well…He was quoting from Psalm 31:3-5

Jesus is saying in “It is finished” that the debt owed by man to his Creator on account of Adam’s sin is finally and forever dealt with. Jesus, with “it is finished,” is saying not only does He take away man’s sin, but now He removes it as far as the east is to the west, for is finished, done, signed, and sealed because of the blood of Jesus. When Jesus said, “It is finished”

I hope this adds to your understanding of the greater purpose of Jesus suffering on the cross….this is a planned and orchestrated victory and triumph….next week we will dive a little deeper into the resurrection and immediately following to understand the fullness of this victory

Jesus fulfilled all prophecy concerning the ministry of the Christ….it is finished signified that completion as well

Some of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled (From for app only

(1) Some time before 500 BC, the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel’s long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). He further predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off,” killed, and that this event would take place prior to a second destruction of Jerusalem. Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. The decree regarding the restoration of Jerusalem was issued by Persia’s King Artaxerxes to the Hebrew priest Ezra in 458 BC, 483 years later the ministry of Jesus Christ began in Galilee. (Remember that due to calendar changes, the date for the start of Christ’s ministry is set by most historians at about AD 26. Also note that from 1 BC to AD 1 is just one year.) Jesus’ crucifixion occurred only a few years later, and about four decades later, in AD 70 came the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)*

(2) In approximately 700 BC, the prophet Micah named the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Christ is one of the most widely known and widely celebrated facts in history.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)

(3) In the fifth century BC, a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem’s poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a “potter’s field,” used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1011.)

(4) Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel’s King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah’s death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1013.)

(5) The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1015.)

(6) Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 109.)

(7) The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem’s nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as “the last days,” that is, the time period of Israel’s second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1018.)

(8) The prophet Moses foretold (with some additions by Jeremiah and Jesus) that the ancient Jewish nation would be conquered twice and that the people would be carried off as slaves each time, first by the Babylonians (for a period of 70 years), and then by a fourth world kingdom (which we know as Rome). The second conqueror, Moses said, would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, selling them or giving them away as slaves to all parts of the world. Both of these predictions were fulfilled to the letter, the first in 607 BC and the second in AD 70. God’s spokesmen said, further, that the Jews would remain scattered throughout the entire world for many generations, but without becoming assimilated by the peoples or of other nations, and that the Jews would one day return to the land of Palestine to re-establish for a second time their nation (Deuteronomy 29; Isaiah 11:11-13; Jeremiah 25:11; Hosea 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24).

This prophetic statement sweeps across 3,500 years of history to its complete fulfillment—in our lifetime.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1020.)

(9) Jeremiah predicted that despite its fertility and despite the accessibility of its water supply, the land of Edom (today a part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15-20; Ezekiel 25:12-14). His description accurately tells the history of that now bleak region.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)

(10) Joshua prophesied that Jericho would be rebuilt by one man. He also said that the man’s eldest son would die when the reconstruction began and that his youngest son would die when the work reached completion (Joshua 6:26). About five centuries later this prophecy found its fulfillment in the life and family of a man named Hiel (1 Kings 16:33-34).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 107).

(11) The day of Elijah’s supernatural departure from Earth was predicted unanimously—and accurately, according to the eye-witness account—by a group of fifty prophets (2 Kings 2:3-11).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 109).

(12) Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat and a tiny band of men would defeat an enormous, well-equipped, well-trained army without even having to fight. Just as predicted, the King and his troops stood looking on as their foes were supernaturally destroyed to the last man (2 Chronicles 20).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 108).

(13) One prophet of God (unnamed, but probably Shemiah) said that a future king of Judah, named Josiah, would take the bones of all the occultic priests (priests of the “high places”) of Israel’s King Jeroboam and burn them on Jeroboam’s altar (1 Kings 13:2 and 2 Kings 23:15-18). This event occurred approximately 300 years after it was foretold.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1013).

Since these thirteen prophecies cover mostly separate and independent events, the probability of chance occurrence for all thirteen is about 1 in 10138 (138 equals the sum of all the exponents of 10 in the probability estimates above). For the sake of putting the figure into perspective, this probability can be compared to the statistical chance that the second law of thermodynamics will be reversed in a given situation (for example, that a gasoline engine will refrigerate itself during its combustion cycle or that heat will flow from a cold body to a hot body)—that chance = 1 in 1080. Stating it simply, based on these thirteen prophecies alone, the Bible record may be said to be vastly more reliable than the second law of thermodynamics. Each reader should feel free to make his own reasonable estimates of probability for the chance fulfillment of the prophecies cited here. In any case, the probabilities deduced still will be absurdly remote.

Given that the Bible proves so reliable a document, there is every reason to expect that the remaining 500 prophecies, those slated for the “time of the end,” also will be fulfilled to the last letterWho can afford to ignore these coming events, much less miss out on the immeasurable blessings offered to anyone and everyone who submits to the control of the Bible’s author, Jesus Christ? Would a reasonable person take lightly God’s warning of judgment for those who reject what they know to be true about Jesus Christ and the Bible, or who reject Jesus’ claim on their lives?

*The estimates of probability included herein come from a group of secular research scientists. As an example of their method of estimation, consider their calculations for this first prophecy cited:

  • Since the Messiah’s ministry could conceivably begin in any one of about 5000 years, there is, then, one chance in about 5,000 that his ministry could begin in AD 26.
  • Since the Messiah is God in human form, the possibility of his being killed  is considerably low, say less than one chance in 10.
  • Relative to the second destruction of Jerusalem, this execution has roughly an even chance of occurring before or after that event, that is, one chance in 2.

Hence, the probability of chance fulfillment for this prophecy is 1 in 5,000 x 10 x 2, which is 1 in 100,000, or 1 in 105.