BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 5:43-48 – “You have heard that this was said: ‘Love your friend,d but hate your enemy.’ 44But I say this to you: Love your enemies! Pray for those who are cruel to you, 45so that you will become sons of your Father, who is in heaven. God’s sun shinese upon good people and bad people. It rains upon the people who do right and upon those who do wrong. 46If you love only those people who love you, then you are not any better than anyone else. Even tax collectors do the same thing! 47If you greet only your brothers, what are you doing that is better than others? Even people without God do the same thing! 48You must be mature, as your Father in heaven is mature.”
- Matthew 25:40-45 – “I will answer them, ‘I am telling you the truth: Since you treated some of my so-called “unimportant” brothers this way, you did it to me!’ 41“Then I will say to the people on the left side, ‘Go away from me into eternal fire. You are condemned! The fire has been prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger and you didn’t take me into your homes. I had no clothes and you didn’t give me any. I was sick; I was in jail, but you didn’t take care of me.’ 44“Then they will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you? When were you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, without clothes, sick, or in jail and we didn’t help you?’ 45“Then I will answer them, ‘I am telling you the truth: Since you didn’t treat one of these so-called “unimportant” people with kindness, you didn’t do it to me, either.’
- Watchtowers were erected in fields and vineyards out in the country. In the spring guards watched out all night for thieves, mischief by a landowner’s enemies, or for wild animals. In the autumn guards watched out all night for thieves of the ripened crop or for wild animals. The guards had to be strong and brave enough to chase the enemy away.
- Matthew 2:33 – When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed. Everyone else in Jerusalem was too.
- John 19:19-22 – Pilate made a sign and put it on Jesus’ cross. It read: “JESUS FROM NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20Many Jewish people read this sign. This place where Jesus was crucified was near the city of Jerusalem. The sign was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21The most important Jewish priests kept saying to Pilate, “Don’t write: ‘The King of the Jews’! Instead, you should write: ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.” ’ ” 22Pilate answered, “What I have written stays written!”
- Cyrene was a major city of Libya on the other side of Egypt in northern Africa near the Sahara Desert, and straight across the Mediterranean Sea south of Greece. Begun as a Greek colony in 630 BC, it was the home of Callimachus the poet; Carneacles, founder of the New Academy at Athens; and Eratosthenes the mathematician. Ptolemy I transported Jews to Libya and by the time of Jesus, there was a large Jewish representation there. Some of the later Jewish Christians became missionaries to Syria, establishing a congregation at Antioch.
- Mark 15:21
- The upright vertical beam was always left at the place of execution. It was only the crossbeam that was carried by the prisoner. Even then, it was near the size of a railroad tie and very heavy.
- Luke 23:27-31
- At crucifixions, the condemned was forced to carry both the instrument of his torturous death, the crossbeam, but also a sign publicly declaring his crime.
- Mark 15:22
- The word “brought” comes from the Greek word “phere” meaning to carry (like a bowl).
- Romans 16:13
- Rufus and Alexander are mentioned here as being Simon’s sons. Rufus turns up 25 years later in Rome. The Apostle Paul said of him in ROMANS 16:13, “Greet Rufus,b the one chosen in the Lord Jesus. Also, greet his mother; she treats me as her son.” Simon’s whole family must have become Christians.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Psalm 119:17-20 – Be good to me, Your servant, so that I may live. Then I will obey Your Word. 18Open my eyes to see the wonderful things coming from Your teachings.c 19I am a pilgrimd on earth. Don’t hide Your commands from me.20I long to study Your decisions all the time.
- Isaiah 52:15 [PREDICTED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – So, he startledff many people.Kings will shut their mouths in admiration of him.gg They will see the things that they had not been told about My Servant, the Messiah.hh And, they will understandii the things that they had never heard before.”jj
- Isaiah 53:8 [PREDICTED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – Men took him away violently and unfairly.ii He died without children to continue his family line.jj He was put to death.kk He was struck down for the sins of hisll people.
- Aristotle lived around 300 BC. The earliest manuscript we have of his writings was penned 1400 years later and we have 49 copies done at various times since them. Still, no one doubts that Aristotle’s writings are valid. The earliest complete manuscript we have of the New Testament was penned 250 years after Jesus, and many fragments covering the entire New Testament were penned the same century as Jesus. We have 40,000 ancient copies.
- Psalm 69:15 – Don’t let the floodwaters drown me. Don’t let the deep swallow me.Don’t let the grave close its mouth over me.
- Psalm 118:6 – I will not be afraid, because Yahweh is with me. Peopled cannot do anything to me.e
- Psalm 69:29 – I am sad and in pain. Let Your salvation, O God, protect me.
OTHER JESUS QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE
- WARS OF THE JEWS [AD 70], BK 5, CH 11 – BK 6, CH 9 – [Citizens of Jerusalem]…were then crucified before the wall of the city…every day five hundred….the hands of many of those that were caught should be cut off….upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying by famine….cast them [bodies] down from the walls into the valleys….snatching up her son who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, “O thou miserable infant…be thou my food”….then roasted him, and ate the one half…[soldiers] came in presently…show them what food she had….”This is mine own son…come eat of this food….Do not you pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother”….After which those men went out trembling….those already dead were esteemed happy….thus was the holy house [Temple] burnt down….throw themselves into the fire, and were burnt together with the holy house….in the outer court of the Temple, whither the women and children…fled, in number about six thousand….Nor did any one of these escape with his life….Now the number of those that…perished during the whole siege [of Jerusalem], eleven hundred
WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED ON THE TRADITIONAL FRIDAY? First, remember that “Sabbath” does not mean seventh or Saturday. It is a Hebrew word for “rest”. There were a number of Jewish sabbaths (in addition to the seventh-day sabbath). For example, the Feast of Trumpets is called a “sabbath” (Leviticus 23:24-25), and yet it was always observed on the first day of the seventh month. But each year the first day of the seventh month falls on a different day of the week.
The following is taken from The Daily Bible with commentary by Christian attorney F. LaGard Smith and published by Harvest House. This is given here with his permission:
“As for the reckoning of time, the Jewish day begins at sunset on the previous evening. This means, for example, that our Wednesday night is actually Thursday, and our Thursday night is actually Friday.
“Passover is observed on the 13th day of the month of Nisan [regardless of what day of the week it falls on], corresponding to March-April….By God’s direction (Leviticus 23), a lamb is to be slaughtered late on the 14th day (Passover) and the Passover meal eaten that evening, which would be the beginning of the 15th day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Passover]. The entire 15th day is then to be observed as a “special Sabbath” or high holy day, regardless of the day of the week on which it might fall in any given year.
“With that background, the picture begins to come clear. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record the disciples’ preparation for the Passover on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. That would place their preparations, then, at the beginning of the 14th day, which of course, begins on the evening of the 13th day.
Therefore, it appears the disciples assume they are preparing the upper room primarily for the special paschal meal which they expect to share with Jesus the following evening, and they apparently do not contemplate that the regular meal on the first night will in fact be their “last supper” with Jesus….
“Jesus seems to explain why it is important for him to eat with them on the night before the actual Passover meal. As will be seen, Jesus’ words are: ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’…
“John’s account eliminates any doubt that this supper occurred prior to the actual Passover meal. When Jesus tells Judas during the supper to do what he is about to do, some of the other disciples ‘thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast.’
“Furthermore, the Jews who have obtained Jesus’ arrest will not enter Pilate’s palace for fear they will be ceremonially unclean, and therefore unable to eat the Passover.
“Most convincing is the fact that the day of Jesus’ crucifixion is plainly stated to be “the day of Preparation of Passover Week”—the day on which the paschal lamb is slain for the Passover meal taken during the evening of that day.
“The most meaningful result of moving away from the traditional time frame is seeing how Jesus’ crucifixion becomes the perfect ‘type’ of the Passover Lamb. Under Hebrew law, the paschal lamb is chosen on the tenth day and then kept up until the 14th day when it is sacrificed for the sins of the people.
“If Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is counted as the tenth day, Thursday would be the 14th day, and thus the day on which Jesus, as the perfect Lamb of God, does not celebrate the Passover with some other ordinary sacrificial lamb, but rather becomes himself the Lamb who is slain—precisely at the appropriate hour.”
F. LaGard Smith
(used by permission)