THE JERUSALEM MINISTRY
THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
Luke 19:28 – 40
- Jesus sent two of His disciples.
- They were to go into the village where on entering they would find a colt tied on which on which no one had sat.
- They were to bring it back to Jesus.
- If anyone asked them why they were untying it they were to answer “ The Lord has need of it”
- They went and found it as He had told them.
- As they untied it the owner asked why they were untying it and they answered “The Lord has need of it.”
- They brought it to Jesus and laid garments on it and set Jesus on it.
- As Jesus rode along they spread their garments on the road.
- As they approached Mt. of Olives the whole crowd began to rejoice and praised God with a loud voice saying “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to the Highest”
- Some Pharisees in the multitude asked Jesus to rebuke the disciples for rejoicing thus.
- Jesus answered “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Teachings from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem
- Jesus fulfilled Zechariah’s prophesy in the Benedictus hymn as a victorious Messiah.
- The use of a colt meant that he was a humble messiah.
- Jesus Christ’s acknowledgement of the praises addressed to Him as the king means that His identity as the messiah could no longer be kept secret.
- The triumphant entry was considered by the Pharisees as a threat to the Roman government; and their position as the religious leaders.
- The triumphant entry also meant that Jesus Christ was now ready to accomplish His mission/establishing God’s kingdom from Jerusalem.
- His entry showed that Jesus Christ was about to establish a kingdom of peace and not a political one.
Lessons Christians learn from the incident
- Christians should prepare and be ready to receive Jesus in their lives like the crowds of people who escorted Jesus to Jerusalem.
- Christians should be channels of peace in their communities.
- Christians should be humble and be of service to others like Jesus Christ.
- Christians should expect opposition as they evangelize and should never lose hope.
- Christians should thank and praise God for His intervention in their lives as the multitude that followed Jesus Christ into Jerusalem did.
- Christians should be bold as they witness like the crowd that followed Jesus Christ did by declaring Him king.
THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
Luke 19:41 – 48
- On the entering Jerusalem, Jesus wept over it. He saw it rejecting Him as the Messiah and bringing judgement/punishment on herself.
- He wept over her failure to recognize their role in God’s plan of salvation.
- Jerusalem was truly destroyed in 70AD by the Roman army.
- After weeping over the city, He entered the temple and protested against the buying and selling that was taking place in there. People had subverted the use of the place.
- He drove away the sellers because they had made the place a hideout for thieves hiding the real purpose of the temple which was ‘the house of prayer.’
- The temple was being misused through:
(i) Cheating in business.
(ii) Prophets practiced hypocrisy
(iii) Practicing social and racial discrimination in the court yard.
– Jesus drove away the traders symbolically by replacing the chief priest. This incident illustrates that the people weren’t ready for ‘the coming of the Messiah’.It showed Jerusalem’s lack of preparedness for the day of God’s visitation in the passion of Jesus Christ.
Lessons learnt by Christians
- The house of God should be respected and be used appropriately.
- Exploitation of a congregation should not be allowed in God’s house
- Christians should pay more attention to inward righteousness than the external observance of rituals.
- Evil practices should be condemned in the church and the society at large.
- Christians should be ready to face opposition from those who are against our actions and words.
- Christians should practice the virtue of honesty in their dealings.
- Christians should not discriminate against one another on the basis of denomination, ethnic groups etc.
- Christians should prepare themselves for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
How Christians show honour and respect to places of worship
- Through Church offerings.
- Contributing to the establishment and maintenance of church structures.
- Keeping the places clean.
- Respecting those responsible for maintenance i.e. church leaders.
- Attending worship services.
- Condemning evil practices that take place in the church.
JESUS’ CONFLICTS WITH THE JEWISH LEADERS
Luke 20:1 – 47 – 21:1 – 4
During his Jerusalem ministry, Jesus Christ centered His teachings at the temple. He got into conflict with the Jewish religious leaders on.
- Question about jesus Christ’s authority
Luke 20:1 – 8
- The Jewish religious leaders questioned Jesus Christ on the origin of his authority.
- The question intended to:
- Find a charge of blasphemy against him, if He answered that it came from God.
- To discredit him before the crowd if He said it came from man.
- Jesus Christ challenged Jewish religious leaders to state by whose authority John the Baptist preached.
(ii) Parable of the tenants
Luke 20:9 – 18
- Jesus Christ used the parable of the tenants to accuse the religious Jewish leaders for rejecting God’s prophet and planning to kill God’s son (Jesus Christ).
- God’s punishment and judgement would befall them for their rejection.
- Jesus Christ anticipated his death would be at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders. Consequently the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given the disciples.
(iii) Payment of taxes to Caesar
Luke 20:19 – 26
- Jesus was asked the question on whether it was right paying taxes to the Roman government.
- If Jesus Christ approved of the payment of the taxes, He would fall into problems with the people who hated paying taxes to the Romans.
- If Jesus Christ disapproved of tax payment, He would be accused of treason.
- He asked His questioners to reproduce a silver coin and state whose name and image was on it.
- When they said the emperor’s, Jesus Christ answered them to render to Caesar things that are Caesar’s and to God things that are God’s.
- Jesus Christ meant that by having the silver coin in their possession, it meant that they had already accepted the Roman government.
- They had a duty to pay tax because they were benefiting from the same government.
- They had a duty to be loyal to God and also had a duty to be loyal to the state.
(iv) Question on resurrection.
Luke 20:27 – 40
- The Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection. They came to Jesus Christ with a hypothetical case intended to make resurrection look foolish and unrealistic.
- They wanted to know whose wife the woman would be during the resurrection when she had married seven brothers who died without bearing children.
Jesus Christ confirmed that there is resurrection but explained:
(a) There is no marriage in life after death.
(b) Resurrection is an assurance that there is life after death.
(c) The resurrected life is different from the earthly life.
(d) The righteous will resurrect and live eternally.
(e) Those who would resurrect would be like angels and their bodies would be transformed into spiritual bodies.
(f) Those who will resurrect will become children of God.
- Jesus Christ challenged the saducees that they didn’t understand about resurrected life yet it was implied in the writings of Moses whom they had quoted.
(v) The question about the Messiah
Luke 20:41 – 44
- The Messiah has both human and divine nature
- The Messiah is an exhalted being as it would be evidenced in the events following Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
(vi) The hypocrisy of the scribes
Luke 20:45 – 47
- Jesus Christ warned his disciples to beware of the hypocrisy and exploitative nature of the teachers of the law; such as:
(i) Took pride in wearing outward special religious garments (robes).
(ii) Liked being greeted with respect in market places.
(iii) Seeking places of honour in the synagogue(s) and banquets/ feasts.
(iv) Making long prayers intended to make people notice them, as righteous.
(v) Taking advantage of widows and robbing them of their property.
- Jesus Christ warned his disciples to safeguard against the danger/risks of such pride.
- Jesus Christ’s direct attack of the teachers of the law provoked conflict between them and him.
(vii) The widow’s offering
Luke 20:1 – 4
- Jesus Christ condemned the offerings of the rich Jewish religious leaders but was in praise of that offered by the widow.
- The widow made self-sacrifice by giving all she had while the Pharisees were giving to show off what they had.
- Jesus Christ defended the dignity of the poor and showed that their contributions are highly accepted and honoured.
JESUS’ TEACHING ABOUT ESCHATOLOGY
LUKE 21:5 – 38
- Eschatology is the study of the end times. These are events/activities that will happen leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- The real coming of the Son of man is called the Parousia.
- Eschatology comprises of forms of apocalyptic teachings of Jesus Christ while at Jerusalem/during the Jerusalem ministry.
- Jesus Christ’s teaching was to provide hope.
- He foretold that signs would mark the end times.The signs would be;
(i) Destruction of the temple.
(ii) People would come claiming to be Jesus Christ.
(iii) Wars between nations.
(iv) Natural calamities/disasters, famine, drought, plagues.
(v) Strange celestial beings would come from the sky.
(vi) Jesus Christ’s disciple would be arrested, persecuted and imprisoned.
(vii) Disciples will be betrayed to the authorities, by close relatives and friends and will even be put to death.
(viii) Disciples would be hated on Jesus Christ’s account.
(ix) There will be eclipse of the sun and moon.
(x) Strong waves disrupting the sea.
(xi) Fainting of people from shock as they observe the terrible signs.
(xii) The son of man would appear in glory after these signs to take His faithful ones.
- Jesus used the parable of the fig tree to show that his coming would be reality and so they were not to lose hope.
- Jesus Christ warned his disciples to be watchful and be prepared at all times because he would return unexpectedly.
Relevance of Jesus Christ’s teaching in eschatology to Christians today
- Christians should look forward with hope to Jesus Christ’s second coming.Nobody knows the time or the hour not even Jesus Christ Himself.
- Christians should not listen to false prophets who may lead them astray.
- Christians should continue to pray so as to receive encouragement and protection from/ against evil.
- Christians should live righteous lives while waiting for the second coming of Jesus.
- Christians should stand firm in their faith so that they can’t be swayed and led astray by the false prophets.
Elements from Jesus’ teaching on Eschatology which needs emphasis among Christians today
- Jesus’ coming is always imminent and signs are happening. Christians should therefore not keep rejecting or ignoring every development that heralds the end of the world.
- The end is not yet and Christians should be careful not to be fanatical.
- Disasters should not be interpreted as the end of the world.
- The quality of life should be kept in mind when preparing for Parousia.
- The end includes the end of one’s physical life.
- Those who love Jesus will look forward to the end, because it is a joyful end of God’s glory.
- The terror and dread should not be exagerated since there is an element of joy.
How Christians should prepare themselves for the Kingdom of God
- By repenting their sins.
- By doing the will of God or obeying the word of God.
- By participating in the sacramentel life of the church e.g. being baptised.
- By praying and fasting.
- By evangelizing or preaching the Gospel to win others for the Kingdom.
- Living according to the demands of one’s vocation.
- Living an exemplary life e.g. being forgiving and loving.
- Trusting in God or having faith in God.
- Thanking and praising God for what they are and what they have.
- Doing works of charity or mercy e.g. helping the poor.
- Christians should be ready to endure suffering i.e. taking the cross and following Jesus.
THE PASSION, DEATH AND RESSURECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
The last supper Luke
Luke 22:1 –38
(i) The plot against Jesus Christ (Luke 22:1 – 6).
- The Chief priests and scribes (teachers of law) were trying to find a way of putting Jesus Christ to death secretly.
- Judas Iscariot, through Satan’s influence, went to the chief priest, elders and officers of the temple guards and told them he could betray him to them.
- They offered to pay him some money.
- Judas accepted their offer and started looking for a good opportunity to hand him to them without the people knowing about it.
- The chief priests and the scribes had been waiting to arrest Jesus Christ. They were however afraid because of his popularity gained among the people.
Reasons which made Judas Iscariot betray Jesus
- Greed for money/ material possession.
- It was God’s will for the fulfillment of the sciptures to be realised.
- Judas was unable to overcome/ conquer the power of the evil/ he was tempted by satan/Diabolos.
- He was looking for fame/ recognition.
- He was unhappy with Jesus’ activities.
- He was an informer of the religious leaders.
- He was expecting a political Messiah yet Jesus was a spiritual Messiah.
Preparation and celebration of the Last Supper
- Jesus Christ sent Peter and John to prepare for the last supper.
- He instructed the two disciples to go into the city /Jerusalem.
- He told them they would meet a man in the city carrying a jar of water.
- Jesus Christ told them that they should follow the man into the house he would enter.
- Once in the house, the disciples were to ask the house holder to show them the quest room.
- Jesus told the disciples that the house holder/ owner would show them a large furnished upper room.
- He instructed the disciples to prepare the room.
- The disciples prepared the meal.
- Jesus and the 12 disciples sat down in the prepared room.
Celebration of the Last Supper
Luke 22:15 – 3
- Jesus sat with His disciples at one table.
- He told them that He had desired to have the meal with them.
- He took the cup, gave thanks and asked the disciples to share.
- He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave to them.
- He explained to them the meaning of the bread and wine (bread His body, wine His blood) that would seal the New covenant.
- He commanded the 12 to hold to the ritual in remembrance of him.
- He informed them that he would be betrayed by one of them.
- He taught the disciples qualities of a good leader, good leadership i.e. humility and service to others.
- He told Simon he would be tested by Satan/He informed him that He had already prayed for him.
- He asked Simon to strengthen others in their faith.
- Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed.
- He recommended the disciples to acquire swords in preparation/have their own provisions/ requirements/belongings.
How Jesus Christ gave the Passover a new meaning
- The bread represented his body which would be broken for their sake to save them from sin (disciples).
- The wine represented the blood of Jesus which would be shed for salvation’s sake.
- The cup represented God’s new covenant with his people
- Jesus here is the new sacrificial lamb replacing the old Passover lambs that were sacrificed on the night of the exodus.
The sacrificial offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ was done once and for all.
Significance of the Lords Supper to Christians today
- It can be severally referred to:
The Holy Communion,
The Holy Eucharist,
The Lord’s Table,
The Holy Mass.
Reasons why Christians take part in the Lord’s Supper
- Through it they remember the death of Jesus as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
- The ceremony is a form of thanksgiving for God’s love/ redemption plan.
- It is a time that Christians reaffirm/ renew their faith in God/ bind themselves in the new covenant.
- It gives Christians an opportunity to repent/ ask for forgiveness of sin.
- It unites the believers/ they fellowship/ share with one another.
- The partakers experience the presence of Christ through the sharing of the bread and wine which represent His body and blood respectively.
- It is a sign of obedience to Christ who commanded to do it now in His memory.
- Through it Christians anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- It is a foretaste of heavenly banquet/ heavenly feast which Jesus promised His disciples.
PRAYER ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
Luke 22:39 – 53
The following events took place on the Mount of Olives before the arrest of Jesus;
- Jesus told the disciples to pray.
- Jesus moved a distance away from the disciples.
- Jesus knelt down and prayed.
- An angel from heaven strengthened Him.
- The disciples fell asleep.
- There came a crowd led by Judas one of the twelve disciples.
- Judas wanted to kiss Jesus.
- One of the disciples cut off a slave’s ear.
- Jesus healed the man’s ear.
- Jesus asked the religious leaders why they had come to arrest Him as if He was a criminal.
Judas betrayed Jesus by:
- Accepting to come up with a plan on how to get him.
- Accepting a bribe to betray him.
- Looking for an opportune moment to hand him over to the chief priest in the absence of the crowd.
- Leaving the company of other disciples.
- Leading the chief priest and temple guards to arrest Jesus.
- Identifying Jesus with a kiss.
This incident demonstrates the following qualities of Jesus;
- Was a peaceful Messiah.
- Was merciful.
- His work was opposed.
- Had wisdom.
- He was a miracle performer.
Lessons Christians learn from the incident Jesus went to pray with His disciples on Mount Olives
- They should be prayerful.
- They should put God’s will first/ desire God’s will to be done in their lives.
- Prayer helps one to overcome temptations/ difficult situations.
- They should depend on God for strength/ support.
- They should encourage others in their weaknesses.
- They should be ready to suffer for God’s sake.
- They should be watcful/ alert for the enemy strikes when they least expect it.
- They need to have close friends/ associates that one can lean on.
The denial of Jesus by Peter
Luke 22:54 – 62
- After Jesus was arrested that night and taken to the chief priest’s house, Peter followed Him from a distance; a sign of caution and fear.
- He joined a group of people who were warming themselves at the court yard. A maid and two other people identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciples.
- Peter denied Jesus three times in fulfillment of Jesus prophesy.
- After the cock crowed, Jesus looked at Peter who wept bitterly showing his guilt and remorse; a sign of repentance.
Peter denied Jesus for the following reasons
- Peter was afraid of being arrested/ killed.
- He was overcome by the devil/ Satan.
- His denial had been predicted by Jesus.
- Peter was confused by the turn of events.
- He was disappointed by the fact that Jesus did not fight back.
- He lacked faith in Jesus.
- He had no support/ solidarity with other disciples.
Lessons Christians learn from Peter’s denial:
- Christians should be remorseful and repent when they sin.
- Christians should depend on God for strength for them to make proper decisions.
- Christians should stand firm in their faith no matter the circumstance.
Luke 22:66 – 71
- After the arrest, the men guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.
- Jesus was first tried before the Jewish leader.
1st Trial before the Sanhedrin: Luke 22:66 – 71
- The Sanhedrin was the supreme Jewish ruling court.
- Compromised of 70 members representing different religious groups i.e.
- Was chaired by the High priest. It basically met at day time to deliberate on cases.
- Before the Sanhedrin, religious accusations were brought against Jesus Christ, that is;
(a) Jesus had called Himself the Christ.
(b) He claimed to be the son of God.
(c) He equated Himself to God / blasphemy.
They asked him two questions
(a) Whether he was the Christ and Jesus replied ‘If I tell you, you will not believe and if i ask you, you will not answer.’
(b) Whether he was the son of God and he answered them, ‘You say I am.’
- Jesus was convicted of blasphemy and referred to Pilate; The Roman Ruler.
2nd Trial before Pilate: Luke 23:1 – 5
- Pilate was the Roman governor in charge of Judea.
- Before Pilate, only political accusations were raised as follows:
(a) Jesus had incited people to revolt against the Roman authorities starting from Galilee to Jerusalem.
(b) Jesus opposed payment of taxes to Caesar.
(c) Jesus had claimed to be king (treason).
- Pilate asked Jesus whether he was Christ the king of Jews. Jesus replied, ‘you have said so.’
- Pilate found Jesus innocent. He therefore sent him to Herod (governor of Galilee) who was Jesus Christ’s governor in Galilee. Herod was in Jerusalem at the time.
3rd Trial before Herod: Luke 23:7 – 11
- Herod was curious to see Jesus and the miracles he had heard Jesus performed. So he only made fun of him and referred him back to Pilate.
4th Jesus before Pilate
- Pilate wanted to release Jesus. However, the crowd loudly demanded for Jesus death.
- He confessed to the religious leaders that he hadn’t found Jesus guilty of any crime. Neither did Herod. He preferred to have Jesus beaten and released. The crowd instead demanded the release of Barnabas. He finally sentenced Jesus to death.
A summary of accusations made against Jesus during His trial (Luke 22:66-23:1-23).
- Jesus called Himself the Christ.
- He claimed to be the son of God.
- He was inciting people with His teaching.
- He was opposing the payment of taxes to Caeser.
- He had made Himself King of the Jews against the Roman authority.
- Jesus had stirred up the people to revolt.
- He was equating Himself to God i.e engaging in blasphemy.
Ways in which Christians can respond to false accusations
- Praying for them/ pray for oneself.
- Take courage.
- Should not revenge/ retaliate against the accuser.
- Seek Biblical guidance/ seek divine intervention.
- Should not give up/ not discouraged.
- Love the accuser/ immitate Jesus.
- Do good to them.
- Stand by the truth.
- Avoid confrontation either verbal or physical.
- Forgive those who accuse them falsely.
THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS
Luke 23:26 – 43
- This was a form of execution meant for the worst criminals.
- Jesus carried his cross but on the way the soldiers found Simon of Cyrene whom they forced to carry the cross with Jesus.
- Multitudes accompanied him, including women who were wailing.
- Jesus told them to go and instead cry for themselves and their children. The place of the crucifixion was called the place of the skull situated on a hill outside Jerusalem.
- Here he was crucified between two criminals who were thieves.
- Jesus prayed for his executioners saying ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they do.’
- The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots. He was mocked by rulers who asked him to save himself and others probably the two criminals since he was the king of the Jews.
- One of the criminals crucified with him asked him to save himself.
- The other criminal rebuked his colleague and asked Jesus to remember him when He died. Jesus promised the repentant thief that he would be with him in paradise that day.
- A notice was put on the wood above Jesus which had the words ‘This is the king of the Jews’
Lessons learnt about Jesus Christ from the repentant thief.
- Jesus was sinless/ innocent.
- Jesus is the Messiah/ Lord/Son of God/Savior.
- Forgives sin/ offers salvation to the repentant.
- Gives eternal life/ the life and the resurrection.
- Rewards those who have faith/those who trust in him.
- Jesus is worth our praises/honour.
Steps taken by the Jewish leaders to make sure that Jesus was put to death
- They paid Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus.
- They brought false accusations against Jesus/ they accused Jesus of blasphemy which was punishable by death.
- They hurriedly tried him at night before people knew what was happening.
- They framed a treason charge against Jesus when He appeared before Pilate/ accused Him of sedition/ political charege/ they accused Him of refusing to pay tax.
- They blackmailed Pilate into accepting their demands to have Jesus crucified.
- They organized a mob to shout for the death of Jesus/ shouted for the release of Barabbas.
- They crucified Him dead when they got permission from Pilate/ they nailed Him on the cross when permission was granted by Pilate.
A summary of events that took place between the trial and crucifixion of Jesus (Luke 22:66-23-43)
- Interrogation before the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) where Jesus was asked whether He was the messiah to which He said the son of man will triumph and He was found guilty of blasphemy.
- They took Jesus before Pilate and accused Him of perverting the nation, forbidding people from giving tribute to Caeser and calling Himself king; Pilate asked Him whether He was the king of the Jews to which He confirmed but Pilate took no crime in Jesus.They insisted that Jesus was inciting people throughout Judea/ Galilee.
- Pilate sent Jesus to Herod since He belonged to his jurisdiction and Herod was happy to see Jesus. He questioned Him but with no answer. The Chief Priests accussed Him vehemently. Herod and the soldiers mocked Him, dressing Him in gorgeous clothes and sending Him back to Pilate.
- Pilate called all the Chief Priests, rulers and people and told them that he had not found Jesus guilty. He wanted to chastise Him and release Him.They cried out that Jesus should be crucified and Barrabas released. Their voices/ loud cries prevailed. Pilate released Barrabas as Jesus was condemned.
- Jesus was led to the cross and on the way they seized Simon of Cyrene and laid the cross on him to carry.
- Jesus turned to the multitude and asked them not to weep for Him but for themselves/ their children because of the bad days ahead.
- Jesus was crucified with two thieves, one on the left and another on the right.
- Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
- They cast lots to divide His garments as the people stood by, while the rulers scoffed at Him, telling Him to save Himself if He is the Messiah.
- The soldiers mocked Him, offering him vinegar saying, “You are the king of the Jews, save yourself and inscribed over Him “This is the king of the Jews.”
- One of the criminals asked Jesus to save Himself and also them, but the other one rebuked him saying they were being punished justly for their deeds, but Jesus was innocent. He told Jesus to remember him in His kingdom and Jesus promised to be with him that day in paradise.
Ways in which Christians should respond to false accusations
- Should pray for them/ pray for oneself.
- Should take courage.
- Should not revenge or retaliate against the accuser.
- Seek biblical guidance or should seek divine intervention.
- Should not give up nor be discouraged.
- Should love the accuser in immitating Jesus.
- Should do good to them.
- Should stand by the truth.
- Should avoid confrontation either verbal or physical.
- Should forgive those who accuse them falsely.
THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
Luke 23:44 – 49
- As He died He prayed, ‘father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’ Having said this, He breathed His last.
- Extraordinary things happened between the 6th and the 9th hour:
(a) Darkness enveloped the whole land for three hours.
(b) The temple’s curtain tore into two implying:
(i) All people would now approach God directly through Jesus.
(ii) A new universal religion for everyone was established bringing an end to Judaism.
(iii) The Old Testament sacrificial system is no longer necessary.
Reactions of the people to the death of Jesus
(i) The multitudes returned home beating their breasts as a sign of grief vs.48
(ii) The centurion (A Roman Army Officer) accepted that Jesus was a righteous man vs.47
(iii) The women watched from a distance vs.49
THE BURIAL OF JESUS
Luke 23:50 – 56
- Joseph of Arimathea requested Pilate for permission to burry the body of Jesus.
- He was a wealthy and honoured member of the Sanhedrin.
- According to the Jewish custom the remains of an executed criminal remained unburied or were but in a dishonoured place.
- Joseph was courageous enough to ask for the body for burial. He was a secret disciple of Jesus and absent from the Sanhedrin meeting that tried Jesus. He wrapped Jesus Christ’s body in linen clothes and laid it in a new tomb. A large stone was then rolled across the entrance. The Galilean women had followed closely and identified where the body was laid.
- Then they returned and prepared spices and ointment. On the Sabbath, they rested according to the commandment.
Witnesses to the resurrected/ risen Christ
(i) Testimony of the holy women i.e. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others. (Luke 1:1-12)
- Very early the following morning the women brought their spices to the tomb where Jesus Christ had been buried.
- The stone to the entrance had been rolled away. Two men dressed in dazzling apparel appeared to the women and asked why they were looking for the living among the dead.
- They reminded the women that Jesus had predicted what would happen but they neither understood nor accepted.
- The women went back and reported to the eleven disciples what had happened. They could not believe.
Reasons why the deciples found it difficult to believe that Jesus had resurrected
- The message was first taken to them by women who were regarded lowly in the society; hence seemed an idle talk.
- They had witnessed the helplessness of Jesus at the time of crucifixion, hence had lost hope in Him.
- They had witnessed the burial/ could not imagine how the stone could be rolled away from the tomb.
- They felt ashamed for having denied/ betrayed Him, hence wished that it was not true.
- They had not understood the teaching of Jesus which indicated He would resurrect on the third day.
- It was a new experience they had never seen/ heard of people coming back to life after death on their own.
- They lacked faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
- They had expected a political messiah who was to die in dignity/ not to resurrect.
(ii) Appearance to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 – 35)
- This was Cleopas and another disciple who is not named. The two were walking from Jerusalem heading back to Emmaus discussing the events that had taken place.
- To them, the death of Jesus was the end of a prophet on whom they had a lot of faith whom they expected to be the Messiah i.e. someone who would have set them free from enslavement.
- They could not understand Jesus Christ suffering and death and resurrection.
- Jesus joined them but they never recognized him. Jesus went into a house where he shared a meal with them, took bread, broke it and gave thanks. They then recognized him.
- They went back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples about the resurrection but they found that they had already been informed by Peter.
(iii) His appearance to his disciples (Luke 24:36 – 43)
- Jesus appeared standing among his disciples in a bodily form. The disciples were scared thinking he was a spirit.
- They touched him to confirm that he was the same Jesus who had been nailed on the cross. He ate a piece of broiled fish.
Reasons why Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection
- He wanted to strengthen their faith.
- So as to comfort them.
- In order to empower them to serve.
- He wanted to reassure them that He was the messiah.
- So as to commission them to be his witnesses.
- He wanted to tell the about the coming of of the Holy Spirit/ wait for the Holy Spirit.
- So as to bless them.
- In order to confirm to them that the Old Testament prophesies had been fulfilled.
- He wanted to confirm to them that He was alive/ had power over death.
- He wanted to represent to them the correct interpretation of the sufferring of the Messiah.
(iv) He appeared to Simon peter (Luke 24:34)
This is clear evidence that Jesus truly resurrected.
(v) Jesus showed the disciples His hands and feet and told them to handle Him for He was not a spirit.
(vi) Jesus was given a piece of broiled fish and He took it and ate it before the disciples.