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Page 17: The Life of Christ Following the Harmony of the Gospels

An ongoing series on the life of Christ, following the Harmony of the Gospels found in the Thompson Chain Bible.  We are beginning at Jesus' baptism (paragraph 47) and will continue until His ascension. The gospel harmonies attempt to place each event of the life of Christ in order and give the relevant scripture as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Index   Page, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

222: Jesus before Herod- Luke 23:6-12

Luke 23:6  When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
7  And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
8  And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
9  Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
10  And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
11  And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
12  And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves

Pilate found no fault in Jesus, but that doesn’t win him any kudos in my book. He had the power to stop the whole proceeding, but quickly found a loophole by which he hoped to escape responsibility for the death of Jesus.  He would send Him to Herod who had authority over Galilee. Evidently there had been some jurisdictional disputes between the two. Now would be a good time to mend that political fence.  

Herod had suffered a guilty conscience ever since allowing John the Baptist to be killed. He had been wanting to see Jesus. Perhaps he would do a miracle for Him. Evidently Jesus wasn’t up to performing miracles for Herod’s amusement.  

Herod questioned Jesus extensively. Even though the chief priests and scribes  brought railing accusation, Jesus said nothing in His defense.  

Herod was happy that Pilate had recognized his jurisdiction, but he would rather not have the responsibility for the death of Jesus either. He sent Jesus back to Pilate. Before doing so, he curried favor with the frenzied crowd by by joining his  cohorts in mocking and abusing Jesus. They adorned Him in a fine purple robe and sent Him back to Pilate. These two scoundrels forgot their past difficulties and became friends. What timing!

Back to 222: Jesus before Herod
Down to 224: The Appeal of Pilate’s Wife

223: Pilate’s attempt to Release Jesus
Mt. 27:15-26; Mk. 15:6-15; Lu 23:13-24; Jn. 18:39-40

Jn 18:39  But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40  Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

At Passover, there was an established custom that the Roman governor (Pilate) would release on prisoner of the Jew’s choice. Pilate gave the Jews a choice between Jesus, in whom he stated he could find no fault, and Barrabbas a robber. The crowd demanded that Jesus be crucified while shouting, “Give us Barrabbas.”

Back to 223: Pilate’s attempt to Release Jesus
Down to 225: Pilate Washes His Hands

224: The Appeal of Pilate’s Wife - Mt. 27:19

Matthew 27:19  When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him  

Back to 224: The Appeal of Pilate’s Wife
Down to 226: Pilate Gives the Death Sentence

225: Pilate Washes His Hands - Mt. 27:24-25

Matthew 27:24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Pilate’s wife had suffered all night in torment because she could see that her husband was about to condemn a “just man.” She  begged her husband to have no further part in the proceedings, but to no avail. Pilate the politician, symbolically washed his hands and declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus. The crowd cried out, “Let His blood be on us and our children.”

Back to 225: Pilate Washes His Hands
Down to 227: Jesus Mocked

226: Pilate Gives the Death Sentence
Mt. 27:26-30; Mk. 15:15; Lu. 23:24; Jn. 19:1-16

Pilate tried to get Jesus to defend Himself, but Jesus would not. Pilate stated to Him,” I have the power to crucify you or set you free. Why not speak up?”

Jesus told him, “You really don’t have any power except that which God has allowed you.”  Pilate asked the Jews if he could give them Jesus as King of the Jews. The crowd cried out

Pilate released Barrabbas, and although he found no fault in Jesus, he still allowed Him to be scourged and beaten. The soldiers placed a scarlet robe on Jesus and a crown of thorns on His head. They placed a scepter of thorns in His right hand and while bowing they mockingly cried “Hail, King of the Jews.”

The crowd reminded him that to recognize Jesus as King would be an insult to Caesar, even crying out “We have no king but Caesar.’ Considering that the Caesars considered themselves to be gods, it appears that  Jews were actually committing idolatry.  

Back to 226: Pilate Gives the Death Sentence
Down to 228: Suicide of Judas

227: Jesus Mocked - Mt. 27:30; Mk. 15:16-20; Jn. 19:1-3

Matthew 27:30  And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31  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.
32  And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

The soldiers led a naked Jesus away to be crucified. On th way they continued to mock, spit on and beat Him, while compelling Him to carry the cross on which He would be crucified. Jesus fell beneath the load. A passer by named Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for Him. I hope that Simon appreciated this honor that was bestowed upon him. I’m reminded of the words of an old song, “must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free.” The song concludes, “No, there’s a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me.” Something to consider.”

Back to227: Jesus Mocked
Down to 229-241: The Events of the Crucifixion

228: Suicide of Judas - Mt. 27:3-10; Acts 1:18-19

Judas finally woke up and was sorry, but it was too late. He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver, but the council refused to take it because it was the price of blood. They purchased a field to bury strangers. Judas couldn’t find repentance. He committed suicide and was the first to be buried in the potter’s field. What irony!  

Conclusion and Application:  

This is the season when the suffering of our Lord is recalled even by the reshowing of movies that depict the events in graphic detail. That's fine, but for the Christian these events must be totally embedded in our consciousness. We must remember that Jesus suffered and died in our stead that we might escape the penalty of our sins.  

We live in an age when Christians feel a sense of entitlement, feeling that  Jesus will give us anything we ask. He will, if it advances the goals of His kingdom. He was crucified for the kingdom, not for my selfish desires. I won't lay the price of earthly success on His back.  

I am reminded of the Apostle Paul, who had many earthly attainment. He counted them as nothing if he could only win Christ. He had already seen Him and heard His voice from heaven. He was even caught up to heaven and the Lord talked to him there. Yet he said, "I have not apprehended." He cried out, "Oh that I might know Him in the power of His resurrection!"  He then stated just how that goal could be realized. It was by being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:4-14).  

Back to 228: Suicide of Judas
Down to 242 - 251: The Events on Resurrection Day

229-241: The Events of the Crucifixion
Matthew. 27:31-66; Mark. 15:20-47; Luke. 23:53; John. 19:16-42

No matter how vividly one tries to portray the events of the crucifixion, it seems impossible to comprehend the depths of out Lord’s suffering.  

After the consent of Pilate that allowed Jesus to be crucified, Jesus was cruelly mocked by the Roman soldiers just as he had been by by the Sanhedrin and Herod’s guard. The mocking   by the  Roman soldiers continued and was joined in by  passers-by, as He hung on the cross. I would imagine that some of the insults hurled at Him were very vulgar and debased.  

As Jesus was being lead away, many women began to wail because of the indignities He was suffering. Jesus told them that they should rather weep for themselves. The days were not too far in the future when the inhabitants of Jerusalem would cry for the mountains to fall on them. This was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and slew one and a half million Jews in just a few days.  

Mark 15:23  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.  

Jesus refused to drink a sedative that was offered to Him which consisted of vinegar mixed with myrrh. He chose instead to experience the agonies of death without relief. By being fully alert, He also felt a deep sense of rejection by His Father, as He became a sinful curse in our stead.  

Mark. 27:35  And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36  And sitting down they watched him there;
37  And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38  Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Jesus was crucified between two thieves who both railed against Him. As He was being crucified He cried out, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” The four soldiers assigned to Him divided His garments into four parts. Because His robe was seamless, they decided to  gambled for it rather than to cut it apart. J.W. Shepherd in The Christ of the Gospels states that while Jesus was being nailed to the cross, the religious leaders were observing Passover at the temple. When they showed up at the crucifixion site they protested that Pilate had placed an inscription over Jesus which read, "JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS." He  was probably just getting back at them because they had out maneuvered him by demanding that Jesus be crucified. At any rate, he refused to change the inscription, by stating, "What I have written, I have written."  

 Luke 23:35  And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.  

Jesus endured cruel mockings while hanging on the cross. “He saved others, let Him save Himself.” “If you be the King of Israel, come down from the cross and we will believe you.” “Surely God would deliver His own Son?”  

Luke 23:39  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Both thieves had been railing against Jesus but one of them had a change of heart.  He reminded the other that they both were receiving their just deserts. Jesus however had done nothing wrong. He then cried out, "Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus promised the thieve that he would be with Him in paradise, that very day.   

John 19:25  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

The apostle John had stayed near Jesus throughout the ordeal of the crucifixion. He stood near the cross with several women including Mary the mother of Jesus. Jesus’ own brothers did not believe on Him at this point. The dying Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to John, who then took her to his own home.  

Luke 23:44 ¶  And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45  And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

At noontime darkness descending over the area as Jesus the light of the world was about to die on the cross. What irony. The darkness lasted until 3:00 P.M. At this time Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He then stated that He was thirsty. He was offered some vinegar which He now accepted. This refreshed Jesus just enough that He was able to cry with a loud voice, “It is finished.” With this said, He died.  

 Luke 23:45  And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.  

When Jesus died, the veil of the temple which was before the Holy of Holies was torn from the top to the bottom. The veil was very thick, so clearly this was an act of God which signified that the old order of the law was now ended. Grace was now appearing. Thank God.  

Also, there was an earthquake and some of the saints arose from the grave and appeared to many in Jerusalem.  

 Luke 23:47  Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.  

One of the hardened centurions had been watching Jesus and observing all that transpired. He was moved to cry out, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”  

It was the day of preparation for the Sabbath and it was unlawful for anyone to hang on a cross on the Sabbath. Some soldiers, I assume of the temple guard, asked permission of Pilate to brake the legs of those on the crosses so that they would quickly die. This they did for the two thieves, but because Jesus was already dead, they did not break His legs. They did however, thrust His side through with a spear. From it came forth both blood and water(John 19:34; I John 5:6-8). John was an eyewitness of this event . The scripture was fulfilled that stated that not a bone of his shall be broken (Psalms 34:30). Also, the piercing was foretold in scripture with the promise that at some future time those who pierced Him would look upon him (Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7).  
v Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a rich counselor went to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus. He placed the  the body in his own new unused tomb. He was joined in this effort by Nicodemus, the one who had come to Jesus by night to inquire of salvation. Nicodemus brought with him a hundred pound mixture of myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped the body and the myrrh and aloes in linen and lovingly placed it in the tomb.  This followed the burial customs of the Jews of that day.  

Matthew 27:65  Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66  So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

The chief priests and Pharisees remembered that Jesus had promised to rise again in three days. They feared that His disciples would steal the body and perpetrate a hoax by claiming that Christ has risen. They asked Pilate to seal the tomb and set a watch over it. Pilate granted their request and told them to make the tomb as secure as possible.  

Links Applicable to this Devotional:

The Cross of Jesus

The Message of the Cross by Pastor Bill Lobbs    

Conclusion and Application:  

There are many things that I don't really comprehend. I don't know why God decided that sin could only be remitted by the shedding of blood.  But the fact is that is what God ordained, so it is up to me to accept it or reject it. I accept it wholeheartedly. God laid down the principal that He would pass over us when He saw the blood.. As the apostle Paul stated, I will glory in nothing except the cross. As the song says, "I should have been crucified, but Jesus God's Son took my place."  Thank you Jesus!  

Men mocked Him then and will still be mocking until the day that He returns. They that pierced Him will wail, but it will be to late. The Lord Jesus will descend from heaven exercising vengeance upon them who don't know God and haven't believed the gospel (II Thessalonian's 1:8).  

The thief on the cross was accepted by Jesus upon his repentance. That has not changed. Jesus said that if any man came to Him He would not cast him out (John 6:37).  However, I believe that the penitent sinner is commanded by scripture to follow through with water baptism in the name of the Jesus and the infilling of the promised Holy Spirit as set forth in the second chapter of Acts ( Acts 2:36-42).  

Just as the sun refused to shine at Calvary, it will also refuse to shine in the end times (Acts 2:20).  

They sealed and guarded the tomb as best they could, but watch out, Sunday's coming.

242 - 251: The Events on Resurrection Day

Complementary Audio clip: The Resurrection of Christ  
MP3  RealAudio/Dialup

Par. 242 - 251:The Events on Resurrection Day
Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-48; John 20:1-31

Matthew 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Pilate had granted the request of the enemies of Jesus to seal the tomb and to set extra guards so that the tomb could not be entered.  All this was to no avail against the power of the supernatural. The earth began to shake and the angel of the Lord, whose countenance was like lightening and whose raiment was pure white gave the stone a little push and it rolled away.  The guards were terrified with fright and did nothing to try and prevent the angel from fulfilling his assignment. That was probably in their best interest. I wonder if any of these guards were later Christian converts?  

Jesus made five appearances on this Resurrection Sunday and five more in Galilee before His ascension.  The events and order of appearances are hard to harmonize between the four gospel writers. This is not that they are contradictory, but that they do not all give a complete account.  I believe that  the gospel of John gives the clearest picture of the four.  

John 20:1 ¶  The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2  Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Mary Magdalene and the other women came early on Sunday morning to anoint the body of the Lord. They were probably ignorant of the tomb being sealed.  It appears that Mary ran ahead of the group and saw that the stone was rolled back, she assumed that the body of the Lord had been taken away.  She ran back and reported this to Peter and John. Peter and John had a foot race to the tomb with the younger John being the winner. Upon entry they saw that the tomb was empty but that the grave clothes were folded and laid out in an orderly fashion. This ruled out grave robbers.  John states that although he was ignorant of the scripture concerning the Lord’s resurrection, he believed at that point.  They both then departed to their homes.  

Mary evidently returned to the tomb and upon entering she saw two angels. One of them spoke to her and said, “He is not here, He is risen just like He said. Go tell His disciples and Peter. He’ll meet you in Galilee.”  Mary turned and saw a figure whom she thought was the gardener. She inquired as to where the Lord’s body had been taken. Evidently, the words of the angel were slow to sink in.  Jesus called her by name and all doubt and fear was removed from her mind. As she and the others ran back to tell the disciples, Jesus met them on the way, and they worshiped Him there. Mary then reported to the disciples that she had indeed seen the Lord.  
v Mark 16:12  After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13  And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

Luke gives us an amplified account of Jesus appearing to two downhearted disciples who were walking on the road to Emmaus.  Jesus listened to them and then opened the scriptures to them of things concerning Himself. They invited Him in to eat and their eyes were opened as He began to break bread. They beat a hasty retreat for an eight mile trek to Jerusalem to report to the disciples.  They reported to the eleven that the Lord is risen and has appeared to Peter. I find it odd that Peter is in the group and as yet has said nothing to the others.  Paul also mentions the appearance of Jesus to Peter, but I can’t find any other reference to it in scripture.  

As they were speaking, Jesus entered the room, through the locked door, no less.  The group was terrified, but Jesus showed them His hands and feet. They were overjoyed and didn’t know just what to believe. Jesus asked for something to eat. As He was eating, He gave instruction as to just what it all meant.  

Luke 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  And ye are witnesses of these things.
49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Thomas was absent at this appearance. Later when he was told of it he stated that He would not believe unless he could put his hands into the wounds on the Lord’s hands and feet. Eight days later Thomas got his opportunity. He could only exclaim, “My Lord and My God!”  

  Conclusion and Application:  

The resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. As Paul said, If Christ be not risen Our preaching and our faith is in vain, we are still in our sins.  

Josh McDowell pointed out in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, that if all the eyewitnesses of the resurrection were to testify, a jury could reach no other conclusion than that it was indeed fact. Originally  Mr. McDowell had started out to disprove the resurrection. When he examined the record and the fact that the apostles who were radically changed after this event, all went to their deaths proclaiming the gospel. In a few short years, they turned the world upside down.  

The resurrection being proven validates all the other claim of Jesus such as His Deity and His second coming.  

It is also of interest that the gospels make mention that Mary Magdalene and the other women were the first to see Jesus, while the apostle Paul makes no mention of her in I Corinthians 15 where he lists the appearances of the Lord  

You can hear a complementary audio clip of this study at:  

The Resurrection of Christ  MP3

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