Jesus on His Way up to Jerusalem and the Cross:
He Knew What Awaited Him!
Jesus on His Way Up to Jerusalem and the Cross:
He Knew What Awaited Him!
By Jan Lilleby
I have written some articles lately, which in various ways have been about Jesus and His crucifixion.
This was prophesied by Daniel among others, like I referred to in my article on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 and so forth.
We had a closer look upon what year Jesus died and rose from the dead – which were 28 AD when Passover was the 28th of April, which was same day as the Jewish 14th of Nisan. This fell on a Wednesday, which I proved was the only day of the week possible for the crucifixion to have happened like described to us in the four Gospels. When the women arrived at the grave at early dawn of Sunday morning, the first day of the week. The grave was already empty, so it was probable that He rose from the dead in the evening of Saturday the 1st of May…right before it would turned into Sunday. Every sundown marks the shift for the next day in Jewry, as we know.
The Road map of the route Jesus travelled to get to Jerusalem in 28 AD for the Passover, see image above. He started in Capernaum, and avoided entering into Samaria as He went eastward across Jordan and southward through Perea. Near to Jericho He took lodging with Zacchaeus the chief tax collector, He continued along the pilgrim road up to Mount of Olives, then to Bethphage and so to Bethany, staying with Martha and Mary in the house, sisters of Lazarus.
When we study this particular story of Jesus, as He set out for Jerusalem, we will be able to learn from Scripture that the whole story – Jesus going up to Jerusalem – was a decisive initiative in which the ‘end station’ was the cross at 14th of Nisan, the Passover. He was the Lamb to be sacrificed for the sin of the world. He knew that after the suffering and death, He would rise from death, and ultimately go back to heaven.
In Mat. 17 and Luke 9 we have the incident on the mountain when Elijah and Moses met with Jesus, and it was witnessed by Peter, James and John. Luke 9:30, 31 says, (Amplified Bible) -
“And behold, two men were conversing with Him – Moses and Elijah. - - Who appeared in splendor and majesty and brightness and were speaking of His exit (from life), which He was about to bring to realization at Jerusalem.”
Because of these two known prophets that came to Jesus from heaven and told Him the details of what would happen, Jesus then knew what would take place.
He started His travel up to Jerusalem, followed by His disciples, plus a group of people which seemed to grow for each day.
In Mat. 20:18, as well as in Luke, Jesus tells His disciples that He should be arrested, flogged and crucified, and after that He would rise from the dead on the third day. But, say the Gospels, they understood none of these things, for it was hidden from them.
On His way, Jesus performed great miracles of healing.
He had laid the route to go through Jericho, and Mat. 20:29-34 say He healed two blind men,
“And behold, two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, Lord, have pity and mercy on us, (You) Son of David! - - The crowds reproved them and told them to keep still; but they cried out all the more, Lord, have pity and mercy on us (You) Son of David! - - And Jesus stopped and called them, and asked, What do you want Me to do for you? - - They answered Him, Lord we want our eyes to be opened! - - And Jesus, in pity, touched their eyes; and instantly they received their sight and followed Him”
Mat. 21 testify that Jesus had divine foreknowledge of certain things. Here it was the known incident with the donkey and her colt (v. 2-3). He had some of His disciples to go and untie them, bringing them to Him.
Mat. 21:7-11 tells of Jesus riding into Jerusalem right before Passover in 28 AD – and thus fulfilling Zec. 9:9 which read,
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is (uncompromisingly) just and having salvation (triumphant and victorious), patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
It is possible that this happened on Sunday 25th of April, which was same as 11th of Nisan that year. Therefore in some nations that day is named Palm Sunday.
HOWEVER: It may have been on a Monday, one cannot say this for certain! The entire city was on its feet, to see Jesus coming. People took off their coats and laid on the donkey for Him, and upon the road before Him, and cut off branches from palm trees and laid before Him, shouting (and perhaps even singing – from Psalm 118:26) Hosanna, Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna. The precise words that Jesus told them, - that they should not see Him again before they met Him with those words from Psalm 118, which is the Passover Psalm. So this is the greeting that Israel will meet the Lord with, as He descends from heaven at His Second Advent.
Again, the same kind of divine foreknowledge made Jesus send two of His disciples ahead, to find a suitable large room for the Last Supper, Luke 22:10-14,
“….a man carrying an earthen jug or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters.
JESUS PROVOKING THE PHARISEES IN THE TEMPLE
Mat. 21:12, 13 read,
“And Jesus went into the temple and drove out all who bought and sold in the sacred place, and He turned over the four-footed tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold doves. - - He said to them, the Scripture says, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.”
One should think that the Pharisees and those merchants there would explode of rage. But no: They were infuriated, yes, but not because the businesses were interrupted – rather it was the fact that Jesus went on doing great miracles and wonders right there in the midst of their own turf, their domain!
Mat. 21:14, 15 read,
“And the blind and the lame came to Him in the porches and courts of the temple, and He cured them. - - But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did and the boys and the girls and the youths and the maidens crying out in the porches and courts of the temple, Hosanna, to the Son of David! They were indignant.”
The following verses of Mat. 21 shows Jesus in harsh arguments with them, and ending it with His parable of a man who had two sons, and the parable of the man who owned a vineyard. Jesus used the parable to condemn the Pharisees for their unbelief – telling them that the Kingdom of God shall be taken from them.
Verse 46 show us the cowardly Pharisees, afraid to go up against Jesus in public,
“And although they were trying to arrest Him, they feared the throngs because they regarded Him as a prophet.”
THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE CRUCIFIXION
As I wanted to check out certain important facts, such as what days in what year regarding Jesus, I came across a website which I liked – truthsearch.org – which has a solid well informing research on this. When Jesus did what? Where Jesus did what? So I brought some of their research into my article. But not to make the calendar a main issue. I am just using some of this to give a broader picture of things.
Above I already mentioned that Jesus probably (it is not hundred percent sure) rode into Jerusalem under the enthusiastic cheers of the people along the road on Sunday 25th of April, which in Jewry was 11th of Nisan. It was three days before His crucifixion. But we must still keep open to the idea that it might have been a Monday, sorry. This seems to fit in better with the Gospels story of this event. Can it be the early Catholic Church which produced the ‘Palm Sunday’ idea? I am not sure. Perhaps.
The ‘Posse’ had passed through Jericho the day before.
Mat. 21:17 let us learn that Jesus went out to Bethany and lodged there. And the next morning at dawn He left Bethany and went in to Jerusalem again. He had been with Simon and his family, a man Jesus had healed from leprosy earlier. It was during this stay with Simon, that a woman had anointed Jesus, pouring expensive nard perfume oil over Him. Some of the guests were insulted by this, but Jesus defended her saying (Mark 14:3-8),
“…let her alone; why are you troubling her? She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me. - - v.8: She has done what she could; she came beforehand to anoint My body for the burial.”
Mark let us know that the woman used up this oil, at a value of a laboring man’s wages for one year, 300 Denarii. Well, this woman certainly showed that she had understood that Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God, she was a firm believer, - as opposed to the disciples, who did not understand this for it was hidden from them.
The next day was Thuesday 27th of April, 13th of Nisan, and that morning it was that He cursed the Figtree which had no fruit on it, and it just withered on the spot! This date is a hundred percent certain for it fits in with all four Gospels when we compare the stories. The Last Supper was held at Thuesday evening. From this day we can follow the chronology of the rest of the Passover story.
Later that day, which was His second visit inside its walls, the Pharisees (chief priest and elders) jumped at Him again, trying to make ridicule and to hopefully hear Him say something they could arrest Him for. This time they wanted to hear Him say with what authority He said and did what He did – and Jesus answered back wisely by a “Hot Potato” issue, John the Baptist: Was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? They were forced, by their own cowardly manners to say they did not know. If they did not admit John to be a man of God, they knew that the people would come after them in anger and cause them harm. So, Jesus then sent them away with saying: Neither will I tell you by what power of authority I do these things.
Luke 22 gives us the Last Supper. Jesus established The New Covenant for Israel, - one which Paul explains in Hebrews 8 and 9 chapters.
Heb. 9:15 is clear on the fact that the New Covenant was ONLY FOR ISRAEL. One had to first been under the Old Covenant (The Law of Moses) to be able to come under the new one,
“Christ is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an entirely new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance – since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the (old) first agreement.”
This New Covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus, should redeem Israel’s believers from the sins they committed when they had been under the Law, written with its commandments and ordinances.
But we, the Body of Christ, the Church dispensation in the Free Grace Gospel revealed to Paul, we are only obliged to obey and believe on Paul’s faith doctrine, and no Covenant or Law,
Eph. 2:14, 15,
“For He is (Himself) our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both (Jew and Gentile) one (body), and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us. - - By abolishing in His (own crucified) flesh the enmity (caused by) the Law with its decrees and ordinances (which He annulled); that He from the two might create in Himself one new man, so making peace.”
We, the believers in Christ, we are not each one of us individually a ‘New Man’ – no, it is the entire Body of Christ who is that ‘New Man’ Paul wrote of. We are together a new creation. I wanted to play this ‘card’ into this equation of Jesus heading for the cross. Because, Paul started at the cross – by looking back at it as the 30-some years history it was when God in 62 AD revealed this new Grace Gospel to him as he was in Rome (Acts 28:25-31). But before Paul had this Mystery revealed to him, all things in The New Testament were only about God offering Israel the New Covenant and the coming of Jesus as soon as Israel had repented. But they never did, they fell from God as a nation instead.
We continue in learning of Jesus on His way to the cross…and Mat. 26:20 tells of the Last Supper,
“When it was evening, He was reclining at table with the twelve disciples.”
The verse does not say that the sun had gone down yet, but it was in the evening. So we are on a Thuesday – which at sundown would turn into Wednesday 14th of Nisan, or our 28th of April 28 AD.
That following night – after their meal was laid behind, and Jesus had declared to them His New Covenant in His blood – Jesus deliberately in full openness went out and into the Gethsemane garden so He easily could be arrested by the temple guards, and not in full daylight for everyone to see. He knew the Pharisees were cowards and wanted Him taken in secrecy. They even provided false witnesses so they could execute Him.
Judas betrayed Him by the sign of a kiss. We know this sad and dark story. Judas regretted this a few days later and committed suicide, after first having thrown the 30 silver coins into the court of the Pharisees.
John 19:14-16 show Jesus in the presence of Pontus Pilate, and the people present in the Gabbatha court,
“Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover (14th Nisan) – and it was about the sixth hour (our noon). He said to the Jews, See (here is) your King! - - But they shouted, Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, Crucify your King? The chief priest answered, We have no king but Caesar! - - Then he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.”
NOTICE: Mark 15:42 explains that the 14th of Nisan was Preparation day, since it was followed by a Sabbath (which always was an extra Sabbath each Passover – and that extra Sabbath was on 15th of Nisan, our Thursday, which fell on 29th of April 28 AD.
John 18:40 show us that the multitude had cried out to Pilate to set free the rebel Barabbas. The Romans gave them free a man each Passover as a goodwill gesture to the Jewish people. As he asked them which of the two, Jesus or Barabbas, he should let go, they chose the latter.
John 19 says Jesus was crucified (given over to them for crucifixion) right after the interrogation by Pilate. Mark 15:25 says the third hour of the day (nine o’clock) as when He was crucified. But I personally believe it must have been after noon – as said in John 19. This because Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate to have the body of Jesus, to put Him in his own grave cave near Jerusalem, and that was in the evening. It seems more logical (Mat. 27:57-60). In Mark 15:44 we can read that Pilate, in the presence of Joseph – and it was already evening – he checked with a centurion on watch whether Jesus really was dead already…in other words, in spite of the late hour Pilate would make sure He was dead, and could be laid in grave!
The day after 14th of Nisan is an extra Sabbath, according to the Law of Moses. It was also the first day of the feast of the Unleavened Bread, it says.
Hereby we have had a look at the time-perspective leading up to the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, and those things which happened on the way to that climax. It seems that Jesus in full and open purpose gave Himself over to be sacrificed to bring salvation to us – lost as we were.
Eph. 2:8, 9,
“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved, through your faith. And this is not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God. - - Not because of works, lest any man should boast.”