WHY DID JESUS DIE FOR OUR SINS?

Before we get started on this study, I want to make several clear points. I may anger some of you, but please, hear me out first, before you judge what I say.

I am not my grandfather, nor my great-grandfather. I may be their descendant, but I did not commit the acts they did, either good or bad. Nor I cannot be held responsible for their sins they may have committed against others.

As God Himself told the prophet Ezekiel;

EZEKIEL 18:1-24

1 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,

2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

3 [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have [occasion] any more to use this proverb in Israel.

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

6 [And] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,

7 And hath not oppressed any, [but] hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

8 He [that] hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, [that] hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,

9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he [is] just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

10 If he beget a son [that is] a robber, a shedder of blood, and [that] doeth the like to [any] one of these [things],

11 And that doeth not any of those [duties], but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife,

12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

14 Now, lo, [if] he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,

15 [That] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,

16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, [but] hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

17 [That] hath taken off his hand from the poor, [that] hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

18 [As for] his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did [that] which [is] not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, [and] hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

God is stating here that each person will suffer for their own sins, and not the sins of their ancestors. This does not however, include generational curses placed on a family line. For more on this subject, please see the study on curses in this site.

We are seeing a lot of hatred being directed against races or religious affiliation by other ethnic groups or religious devotees because of the actions of their forebears, people who actually had nothing to do with the sins of their fathers, and in many cases have renounced the actions of their forebears.

Where am I going with this? There are numerous cases where this could apply, but I want to focus on two areas in particular, the first being the long-standing enmity between Jews and Christians.

I have read and heard many horror stories where the Jewish people have been persecuted as "Christ killers", because the New Testament Scriptures record that the scribes, elders and the Sanhedrin of Judea condemned Jesus to death, and broke their own laws to railroad Him to the cross.

Let me ask those who believe in this concept several questions.

Are you without sin? If not, and we all know that Scripture records that all men are sinners, then how you can condemn others for putting Jesus on the cross? He died for the sins of the world. And that includes your sins as well.

It was prophesied that Jesus would die the death of the cross, and our sins hung Him there just as if we had been there! So we are no different than they, except they did the physical actions that resulted in His atoning death.

And as Scripture records;

LUKE 23:32-34

32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

If Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him as they did so in ignorance, who are we to condemn the Jewish race for the fulfillment of prophecy set down by God? Just as Judas Iscariot was an instrument created for a purpose, so were those who condemned Jesus to death. SOMEONE had to do it to fulfill God's prophecy!

Do you want to be held responsible for the sins of your ancestors?

God is a just God, who will reward everyone according to what they have done while in the flesh. And if you hold others responsible for the sins of their ancestors, God will also hold youresponsible for the sins of your ancestors.

Also, how can we hold the Jews of today responsible for putting Jesus on the cross, when they weren't even there at the time?

I have also heard from Christians that the Jews are no longer God's chosen people, that after Jesus was crucified, God turned His attention away from the Jews, and made the Gentile Christians His chosen people.

Wrong answer.

Jeremiah 31:31-37

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:

36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

Notice several things in this passage.

First, God says the time will come when the Old Covenant (Old Testament) Law will no longer be the covenant between He and his people, but He will institute a new covenant with His people.

He did this when He established the New Covenant, what is commonly called the New Testament.

The Old Covenant Law required a priesthood that was separate from the people, animal sacrifices to atone for sins, ordinances that were to be rigidly followed, etc. God dwelt apart from the people, and sin still separated Man from God, as signified by the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant rested in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple.

And because of that separation, priests of the line of Aaron were required to offer sacrifices before the Lord, and to intercede for the people before the Lord for the atonement for sins.

The New Covenant is a law of grace, in which God dwells within us, as with the fulfillment of the Old Covenant (the Old Testament) in Jesus Christ there was no longer a need for an earthly Temple, or sacrifices as was required by the Law. Man was now clean through Jesus' atoning death, and God's Spirit dwells within those who believe and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Secondly, God says that only if the ordinances which He set at Creation fail, then, and only then, would He abandon Israel as a nation, and as His people. In other words, He has not, and will notever abandon Israel!

Christians need to look very closely at what the apostle Paul says of those who become arrogant against the Jews, paying special attention to verses 16-25;

ROMANS 11:1-27

1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin.

2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to [the image of] Baal.

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

12 Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them.

15 For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches.

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

God adopted the Jews as His chosen people forever, and with the advent of the New Covenant, adopted the Gentiles into the same family.

But Paul warns Christians about despising the Jews, for as he said if God didn't spare the natural branches (Jews) who sinned against Him, neither will He spare the wild branches (Gentiles) who sin against Him also.

And as God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, God has fulfilled that promise through the adoption of the Gentiles, even as He adopted Abraham and his descendants through Isaac. Therefore we are all of the same family before God.

But the promises were to the Jews first, so God had to fulfill His promises to the Jews, and fulfill His Old Covenant before he could include the Gentiles as His sons and daughters through adoption in the New Covenant.

Even Noah was aware of this as when in blessing his sons, he said;

GENESIS 9:27

26 And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Scholars and anthropologists generally agree that Japheth's descendants settled in Europe and became the Caucasian (white) people, while Shem went south and became the Semitic (Middle Eastern Oriental) peoples. That's why those who hate the Jews are called "anti-Semitic", because they hate people of Semitic stock.

Now, note carefully what Noah said in verse 27! God shall enlarge Japheth (which He did, making him mightier than the descendants of Shem), but the descendants of Japheth would dwell in the tents of Shem!

That means that Japheth's descendants (Gentiles) would dwell in the same tents as Shem, the father of the Semitic (Jewish) people, as Noah knew that salvation would come to the Gentiles from the Jews, the descendants of Shem!

And with God's adoption of the Gentiles into Abraham's family through the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, the Jews and believing Gentiles are brethren just as much as Shem and Japheth were brethren, fulfilling Noah's ancient prophecy!

We Gentiles share in the richness of the salvation offered to the Jews by God's grace, just as Paul said that we were grafted into the cultivated olive tree. And we need to remember that our heritage comes from the Jews, to whom were first given the covenants! Thus we are supported by the root of the olive tree, as Paul speaks.

Therefore as God had mercy on we Gentiles and gave us salvation through His Son, should we not in turn have mercy on the Jews also as beloved brethren, teaching them of the same salvation offered to us?

I mentioned previously that there were two areas of the issue that I wanted to focus on. Here's the second issue.

Christians of today cannot be held responsible for the sins of theirfathers either.

I have read stories of the persecutions of the Jews by those who called themselves "Christians". The Nazis and the Crusaders sent by the Roman Catholic Church against Jerusalem are good examples of this.

As such, many of the Jews hate all "Christians" because of the historical actions of these merciless, ignorant, brutal, bestial, greedy, power-hungry, corrupt, pompous, murderous, race-hating, Godless people.

Unfortunately there are still those who follow in the footsteps of their fathers. But there are far more that do not, and it would be unfair of Jews to judge all Christians alike because of the actions of others, as it would be unfair to judge all Jews alike by the actions of the Judean Sanhedrin and Judas Iscariot who for 30 pieces of silver, the going price for a slave at the time, betrayed Jesus Christ to the Sanhedrin for His trial and condemnation.

I want to start off on a level playing field here.

There is unfortunately much prejudice in both Christians and Jews alike, much of which has been passed down by parents to their children for generations.

And tragically, many of the children in turn have not considered that the children of those who persecuted their race have not walked in the sins of their fathers and in many cases have renounced the actions of their forebears.

We need to heed the question of Nicodemus, one of the few members of the Sanhedrin who was not willing to put Jesus to death. When the officers of the Pharisees were sent to take Him by force, they returned empty handed. And Scripture records;

JOHN 7:45-51

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge [any] man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53 And every man went unto his own house.

Note the attitudes here. The Pharisees, the teachers of the Law at that time didn't care what Jesus said, they wanted Him eliminated. And they pompously and arrogantly said that the common people who believed in Him were accursed, because they didn't know the Law.

First, the Pharisees unwittingly condemned themselves, for if they truly knew the Law, they would have recognized that Jesus was the promised Messiah, if not because of His teachings, by the very miracles he performed, miracles which even the Jewish Talmud admits to, although they attribute His miracles to sorcery. But the fact remains, the Jews of His time couldn't deny the miracles He performed.

Secondly, they apparently hadn't taught the people well enough, for by saying that the people didn't know the Law, the Pharisees were saying that they were derelict in their duties in teaching the people, as the common people couldn't read the Law for themselves as most of them could not read or write.

Thirdly, they assumed that Jesus was born in Galilee, when he was actually born in Bethlehem of Judea, from where it was prophesied that the Messiah would come.

Scriptures states;

MICAH 5:2

2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.

The reason why Micah stated that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem Ephratah, was that at the time there were TWO towns named Bethlehem, Bethlehem in Galilee, and Bethlehem Ephratah in Judea, where King David was born 1,000 years earlier.

Jesus was born of the line of King David, from whose lineage it had been prophesied that the Messiah would come, therefore when Caesar Augustus decreed that all world be taxed, each family had to go to their hometown to register. And Jesus was born there, so His registry would have recorded that He was born in Bethlehem Ephratah, as prophesied by Micah over 400 years earlier.

My point is that the Jewish people need to read the New Covenant Scriptures and determine what Christians believe before they judge their actions, rather than rely on word passed down from others.

Many Jews who have read the New Covenant have been astounded, for it did not contain a blistering denunciation of the Jewish people as they had been taught. They found it to be written by Jews for the Jews and Gentiles alike, and that it supported the prophecies of the Old Covenant, showing their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

The Jewish people also need to understand that the word "Christian" has to be one of the most abused words in the English language.

The Nazis called themselves "Christians" as did the Crusaders, and others who savagely persecuted the Jewish people. And yet they never followed the laws and commandments set down by the One they claimed to follow.

Instead, they fulfilled in full measure Jesus' prophecy of:

JOHN 16:2-3

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Sadly enough, this prophecy has been savagely fulfilled down through history by people who claim to worship and follow God, but instead follow their own corrupt wills and desires in His name, ignoring Jesus' commandment of:

MATTHEW 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Note: Publicans were Jewish tax-collectors hired by the Romans to collect tribute taxes for Caesar. They were among the most hated people in Israel, for they were allowed to collect whatever above the tax they wished for their own profit, and many had become quite rich by this corrupt practice.

Therefore as you can see, the Christians are taught by Jesus to love others, not to kill and persecute them in His name.

Anyone reading the New Covenant can immediately see the difference between true Christians, and those who do their own will in His name.

Ok, now that we have leveled the playing field, let's get to the heart of this study, namely why Jesus Christ had to die for the sins of mankind.

First of all, I want to take a different approach. Granted, it was prophesied that Jesus would suffer and die for our redemption, but not many people understand why He had to have a physical body, and die like a mortal man. Some feel that with Jesus' death, God was condoning human sacrifice, but I plan on explaining this concept also in this study. But first some background information for those who may be new to the faith, or for those who may never have heard this before.

We know that we are sinners because of Adam's disobedience to God's commandment to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden as recorded in the Biblical Book of Genesis.

God had told Adam he could eat of anything else in the Garden, as Scripture records;

GENESIS 2:15-17

15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

On the surface, it appears that God was unjust in His admonition to Adam. Why keep him from attaining knowledge of the difference between good and evil? Because He knew that with the knowledge comes responsibility for that knowledge! Hold on to that thought for a moment.

Adam already had a mind of incredible power, in the fact that Scripture records that God brought all of the types of animals He created to Adam, to see what he would call them. He not only named all of the animals that God brought to him, he remembered their names! We would have trouble naming and remembering 100 different species, let alone every type of creature on Earth!

But remember, Adam was perfect when he was created. He was able to see God, and converse directly with Him. There was no sin in the world, therefore Creation was perfect also. And Adam was also in a perfect state of innocence before God. And here is where the crux of the issue concerning sin arises.

Satan had already fallen into sin by this time, and had been cast out of his place and position in Heaven. He looked at this new creation God had made, and was consumed with jealousy, because he realized that God had created Man to be greater than he, Satan. And Scripture records that Satan's downfall had been his pride. He had considered himself to be so perfect that he felt he should be equal with God.

Scripture records God as saying of Lucifer (Light bearer) before his name was changed to Satan (Adversary, Accuser);

ISAIAH 14:12-17

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?

The above passages are called "The Five I Wills", where Satan in his arrogance seeks to be equal with God, if not to become God himself. A created being was considering himself to be equal with his Creator.

God several times when speaking of Satan speaks of him being the king of a nation, as being the true power behind the throne. We can tell the difference because of the wording that God uses, as you will see below. Here God again is talking to Satan, not the physical king of the city-state of Tyre, in what is now known as Lebanon.

EZEKIEL 28:11-19

11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.

God is describing Satan as he was when he was first created, when he was still called Lucifer. Apparently he was covered with gold and gems, radiated light and was a glory to behold. But he became wrapped up in pride at his appearance, and fell into sin.

Note carefully, that God speaks of Satan as a musical creature before he sinned. He still has that capability, but sin has corrupted it as much as it corrupted him. He is still a master of music, and most the music we hear was created by him, especially the corrupted music we hear coming from radios today, music promoting violence, murder, anarchy, infidelity, drug abuse, etc.

God has also promised to destroy him when his time comes, and men will see him before he is destroyed.

And remember, Satan sinned and was judged by God before God created Man in the Garden of Eden.

But he apparently sinned after God created all things, for God in rebuking Job whom Satan had afflicted without cause said;

JOB 38:1-7

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

The "sons of God" in this case are the angels of God whom He created. Note that God says that all of the sons of God shouted for joy. This includes Satan, or Lucifer as he was then called, before he sinned. So Satan watched God create the universe as we know it, and watched as God created Man.

So Satan was perfect still at Creation, but when he tempted Eve, he was already a fallen angel.

This also says a lot about Satan, for while he watched God create all things, he does not have the power to create himself. Therefore this again proves that he is not equal with God, nor ever can be.

Now that I have established some background information, it is time to go to the very beginning of time, to the Garden of Eden so we can see how all of this began.

GENESIS 3:1-7

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

First of all, I am surprised that Adam was also taken in by the fact that the serpent could speak. He had already named the animals including the serpent, and should have known that the serpent couldn't normally talk. This also shows that Satan apparently knew how to possess living creatures for his use.

BUT, Satan had played on their innocence. They suspected nothing. And being innocent, they didn't think anything was wrong with the serpent speaking, neither were they aware of the trap being set for them.

Satan had also twisted God's words concerning the Tree of Knowledge, and used the only weak link he could find for his deception, namely Eve. She hadn't been created when Adam named the serpent, so to her, the fact that the serpent spoke to her was another wonder of Creation.

And Satan had actually told them the truth......just not ALL of the truth. He didn't think they would die instantly, but he DID know that if they sinned, they would die eventually. God had already promised that they would die if they disobeyed, but he'd never said when they would die.

And Satan had also made it appear as if God was unrighteous, and was keeping something from them by ordering them not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. He also told them the truth about their eyes being opened, and that they, like God would know the difference between good and evil.

But what he DIDN'T tell them, was that they would now be held responsible for that knowledge. And the first thing they learned when they ate of the fruit was that they had sinned. They indeed understood the difference between good and evil. And they realized they would have to face God with what they had done.

Their innocence was gone.

And as Scripture records, first they tried to hide, then they started pointing fingers. Sin had already begun it's deadly work. As Genesis says;

Genesis 3:7-24

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

God knew very well what had happened. But He wanted both Adam and Eve to acknowledge what they had done. And God knew the terrible consequences and suffering which that single act of disobedience would bring to countless generations after them.

He knew also that by obeying Satan Adam had handed stewardship of the Earth given to him by God to Satan, making Satan the god of this world. And He knew that they had sold all of us to Satan, sin and death as well through their disobedience.

God also knew that Satan had deceived both Adam and Eve, so rather than curse Man, God cursed the Earth and everything in it for Man's sake, and sentenced the two and all of their descendants to physical death for their disobedience as He had warned them.

God had already created Hell and the Lake of Fire for Satan and his angels, and Man was doomed to follow into Satan's eternal punishment because of his disobedience to God's simple commandment.

This had been Satan's plan from the beginning, for if he could get Man to sin as he did and God merely overlooked Man's sin then he, Satan, could demand that God overlook his sins also, and he could then demand reinstatement to his former estate. If not, then Man would have to receive the same sentence that he, Satan, did.

So, the sentence of Hell and the Lake of Fire was passed onto Man also, because Adam had chosen to listen to Satan rather than God, and would follow in Satan's punishment as God's pre-ordained justice required.

Man's spirit would live for eternity, for God had made Man in His image with an eternal spirit. But where man's spirit spent eternity had yet to be dealt with.

Therefore to save Man from eternal destruction, God provided that sin would attack and ravage the flesh, but the spirit would live on apart from the flesh after sin had brought death to the flesh.

And God in the greatest act of love and mercy known promised that One would appear, born of a woman, who would crush the head of Satan, redeeming Mankind but would suffer death Himself as a result.

Basically God was promising to take His own punishment demanded by His justice upon Himself, so that Mankind could be redeemed from sin and eternal punishment. Therefore Satan would still receive his just punishment, but Man had a chance of redemption and salvation. Satan hadn't counted on God's action.

And as a perfect life was taken by sin (Adam), a perfect life would have to be given in atonement for sin (Jesus).

The fall of Man in the Garden of Eden showed that sin can only attack the flesh, but it is the spirit that pays the ultimate consequences for sin. For example, if you have no body, there is no opportunity for lust. Neither is there a need for material possessions, therefore greed and covetousness no longer have an effect on you. Therefore only after death are we finally free from sin, as the Scriptures state.

ROMANS 6:7

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

God therefore provided Israel whom He had chosen to be His people with the Old Testament Law in which He codified what He considered to be sin in His eyes, and what people had to do to be righteous in His sight. For there is no sin, without a Law to determine what sin is. As Paul states in Romans;

ROMANS 7:7-8

7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead.

What Paul is saying, is that God cannot judge sin without first identifying what actions are sinful in His sight. Before the Law was set down, God judged the hearts of men by their consciences, as there was no Law at the time.

The same goes today. We received an instinctive knowledge of good and evil from Adam's sin, and we are responsible for that knowledge. In other words, we instinctively know what is wrong and what is right, even if we choose to deny it.

But at the judgment, those who have never heard of God will be judged under different rules. As Paul states of those who have never heard of the Law, or God;

ROMANS 2:14-16

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Paul is saying that we indeed have an instinctive knowledge of what is right and what is wrong in God's sight. But we choose to disobey because of sin. And those who do not have the Law, nor know God, will be judged by their consciences which will either accuse or excuse them.

But once the Law was established, Israel would be judged by the Law. And with the Law, sin became active. Think of it like this. Your doctor tells you that you need to fast for 12 hours before having your blood drawn for a medical test. What immediately happens? You immediately crave food, even though you may have just had a meal. Or when you start a diet, what happens? You immediately crave everything you cannot have on the diet.

The same is with sin. As soon as we are told we cannot do something, sin immediately tempts us to want it. We are told not to covet, and yet the fashion world would be in serious trouble if we stopped buying their designer clothes so we can be "cool" or "fashionable" like everyone else. We covet what they have, so we can be like them.

The Law also provided for animal sacrifices to cover the sins of Israel, as the sacrifices and shed blood would be constant reminders that an innocent life needed to be taken for redemption from sin.

Note that in Genesis 3:21, God made clothes of animal skins for Adam and his wife. Innocent blood was shed for their sin, just as the blood of animals was required by the Old Testament Law for the covering of sins.

However, animals were not perfect offerings for atonement, therefore the sacrifices had to be repeated continually each time a person sinned which was a reminder also that while the sacrifices were required by God, they weren't good enough to redeem for sin.

And this is where Jesus comes into the picture.

The imperfect animal sacrifices could never take away the sins and were never meant to, but it deferred them until the perfect sacrifice would be made, a sacrifice which would atone for sins once and for all eternity.

But until the perfect sacrifice could be made, the animal sacrifices put the Jews under obedience to God, and like Abraham before them, their obedience through faith was counted as righteousness in His sight.

As Scripture records;

ROMANS 4:1-5

1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

In other words, we can never, ever atone for our own sins through works. Because of the sin within us, we are imperfect, and all of our works are imperfect as a result.

Until the perfect sacrifice could be made, the Jews who died in obedience to the Law went to Sheol (also called "the pit" in the Scriptures), the place of the dead to await their future redemption. And apparently Sheol was in the same location as Hell, but separate from Hell itself. As Scripture records;

LUKE 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

NOTE: Jesus never said this was a story! I think He was speaking of a true event!

This also reinforces the fact that until the perfect sacrifice was made, those who died either went to Hell, or to "Abraham's bosom" to await redemption, for while they were righteous through their obedience, their sins still had not been paid for. They were still sinners in God's eyes.

This is proven by Jesus' words;

John 3:13

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

In other words, until the time of Jesus, no one was yet righteous enough to enter Heaven except God Himself, as men were not yet made perfect.

There were 613 commandments set down by God in the Old Testament Law, and to be righteous in His eyes, all of them had to be followed without any mistakes whatsoever during an individual's entire lifetime.

As Moses charged the people of Israel;

DEUTERONOMY 27:26

26 Cursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

God knew that no man could ever follow all 613 laws all of the days of his life. Why did He set them down if it was impossible to follow all of them?

Two reasons.

First, it made all of Israel guilty of sin. And by setting all Israel under the same standard of sin, God could have mercy on all of them, and us as well. As Paul says;

Galatians 3:21-24

21 [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

What Paul is saying is that the Law could never take away sin, nor redeem a person for sin. It wasn't meant to. But it put the Israelites under obedience until the promised One would come who would replace the imperfect Law of works with a perfect Covenant of faith through Jesus Christ.

Which brings my second point.

Man could never follow all 613 laws that God had set down. But God Himself could. And by fulfilling His own Law, it also gave Him the right to replace the Law with a better Covenant.

And therefore works cannot save either Jew or Gentile, or make us righteous in God's sight, as we can never perform a perfect deed before Him because of our sin nature that we inherited from Adam! For if the works required by the Law could not bring salvation, how can works apart from the Law bring salvation?

But He did the works for us, fulfilling the Law so that we might be justified in His sight through our faith and acceptance of what He has done for us through Jesus Christ His Son.

The apostle Paul recognized this fact when he said;

ROMANS 4:4-8

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7 [Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Remember, Abraham was counted as righteous before the Law was given because he had faith in God. And if God counted his faith as righteousness apart from his works, therefore righteousness comes by faith, not by works. Therefore again, righteousness could never have come from the Law, for the Law was a Law of works, and didn't require faith to perform the works.

Moses reiterated all of the blessings that God would bring upon those who diligently tried to follow His laws, when he said;

DEUTERONOMY 28:1-14

1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

3 Blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the field.

4 Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

5 Blessed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.

6 Blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out.

7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.

10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do [them]:

14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Moses also expressed the curses that would follow disobedience to God's laws, when he said;

DEUTERONOMY 28:15-68

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

16 Cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the field.

17 Cursed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.

18 Cursed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

19 Cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out.

20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

23 And thy heaven that [is] over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee [shall be] iron.

24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray [them] away.

27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee].

30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

31 Thine ox [shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass [shall be] violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep [shall be] given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them].

32 Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be] given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail [with longing] for them all the day long: and [there shall be] no might in thine hand.

33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

35 The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather [but] little in; for the locust shall consume it.

39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress [them], but shalt neither drink [of] the wine, nor gather [the grapes]; for the worms shall eat them.

40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint [thyself] with the oil; for thine olive shall cast [his fruit].

41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

43 The stranger that [is] within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all [things];

48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all [things]: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which [also] shall not leave thee [either] corn, wine, or oil, [or] the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.

53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

54 [So that] the man [that is] tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all [things] secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;

59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, [even] great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which [is] not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

63 And it shall come to pass, [that] as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, [even] wood and stone.

65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy [you].

Remember, Satan was there in the Garden of Eden when God spoke of the One who would come to destroy him. He had already failed to destroy the line of ancestry through whom Jesus would come by having Cain kill Abel. He knew he had to continue to try to stop the birth of the promised Savior if at all possible, and the only way to do this before the birth of Jesus would be to destroy the tribe of Judah from whom it was prophesied that the Messiah would come.

So when Moses spoke to the Israelites of the curses of the Law, Satan knew he had to corrupt Israel in order to try to cause God to wipe out Israel as a nation, or at least destroy the line of Judah so that the Messiah could not come as promised.

And as Scripture sadly records, many times Israel blatantly disobeyed God's Laws, in spite of the prophets and wise men He sent to them. And God in some cases pleaded with them for hundreds of years before he finally had to take action and fulfill His curses as spoken by Moses.

And yet in each case, in His mercy He spared a remnant of the nation who would turn back to Him. And Satan would try again and again.

Moses toward the end of his life prophesied of the coming Messiah to Israel when he said;

DEUTERONOMY 18:15-19

15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well [spoken that] which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.

Moses was referring to the Messiah to come in this prophecy. But by the time of the appearance of Jesus, the Jews had confused this promise to the point of where they considered the Messiah to be a different man than the promised "Prophet".

Therefore when John the Baptist began his public ministry, the Jews asked him if he were the Messiah, the prophet Elijah, or the promised "prophet";

JOHN 1:19-23

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

This was a major indicator for the Jews that the Messiah was about to appear in Israel, for there were two prophecies filled with John's proclamation;

ISAIAH 40:3-5

3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see [it] together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

MALACHI 4:4-6

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments.

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

There had been no word from the Lord, and no prophet for 430 years after Malachi's words. Therefore John's words were an electrifying event in Israel, and warned them that the promised Messiah was soon to come.

Many think that John the Baptist was a resurrected Elijah, and this is not the case. A careful reading of the prophecy given by an angel to John's father Zacharias before John's birth tells a different story.

LUKE 1:5-19

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Note that the angel said that John would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, not that he would be Elijah himself, for Elijah had been dead for well over 1,200 years by the time that Jesus was born.

Why God chose to send Jesus to the people of Israel when he did is not known, but we need to believe that His timing is perfect, and that there was a reason for the date that He sent Jesus to Earth. And contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not born in the year "0", as there was no "zero" year.

But we do have a good idea of when He was born from Scripture!

The prophet Daniel had been taken to Babylon as a young man by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar when God brought the Babylonians against Jerusalem because of the sins of it's people. God had prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be destroyed and that the inhabitants of Judah would be carried away as captives, and would spend the next 70 years in Babylon because of their sins against Him.

And as Scripture records and history agrees, in 586 B.C. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian army, the Temple was burned to the ground, and the people deported as captives to Babylon, just as God had promised.

Toward the end of his life, Daniel realized that the 70 years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah were coming to an end, and he began praying to God to fulfill His promise of the restoration of Jerusalem at the end of the prophesied captivity.

DANIEL 9:20-27

20 And whiles I [was] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

21 Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

22 And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel was told by the angel Gabriel that 70 "weeks" (periods of seven years) were determined after which the Messiah would come as promised. 70 "weeks" would equal 490 years. And from the time that the commandment came to rebuild Jerusalem until the appearing of the Messiah would be 483 years (69 "weeks").

The 70th week? That will be fulfilled when the Antichrist makes a 7 year peace treaty with modern Israel, an event yet to come. For more on this issue, please see the End Times studies in this web site.

In 539 B.C. Persian emperor Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, capturing the city virtually intact. And in 538 B.C. Cyrus decreed that all Jews within his empire (including those living in conquered Babylon) be allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

It is interesting to note that Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple in 586 B.C. and the new Temple that Cyrus decreed be built was finished in 516 B.C.......exactly 70 years after the people of Judah were carried captive to Babylon, in fulfillment of God's prophecy through the prophet Jeremiah.

Now, the decree to rebuild Jerusalem proper came in the 7th year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (son of Xerxes (Ahasuerus) the husband of Queen Esther of the Old Testament), which decree came in 457 B.C., when he ordered the scribe Ezra to return to Jerusalem, and rebuild it.

As Scripture records;

EZRA 7:1-13

1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,

2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,

3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,

4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,

5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:

6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he [was] a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.

7 And there went up [some] of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which [was] in the seventh year of the king.

9 For upon the first [day] of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first [day] of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do [it], and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

11 Now this [is] the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, [even] a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time.

13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

When Ezra returned to Jerusalem, he found out that the people who had returned earlier to rebuild the temple had intermarried with the nations around them in ignorance of God's commandments to not marry among the nations in which they dwelt.

Ezra was appalled and tore his clothes in mourning for what the children of Judah had done. They had just spent 70 years as captives in Babylon because of their disobedience and within 50 years of their return they had disobeyed His commandments yet again.

Scripture then records;

EZRA 9:5-9

5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,

6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

7 Since the days of our fathers [have] we [been] in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, [and] our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as [it is] this day.

8 And now for a little space grace hath been [shewed] from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

9 For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

Verse 9 shows that Ezra had been given authority to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This is very important here, as the prophecy for the coming of the Messiah had read;

Daniel 9:25-26

25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The command to rebuild Jerusalem came in 457 B.C. at the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra to go to Jerusalem. 69 "weeks" equates to 483 years. Therefore 457 B.C. - 483 years equates to 27 A.D.(Remember, there is no "zero" year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D.)

Now hold that thought for a moment.

As is well known, Idumean king Herod the Great (37 B.C. - 4 B.C.) was ruling Judea when the wise men came to worship the King of the Jews that had been born.

MATTHEW 2:1-23

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard [these things], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, [in] the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found [him], bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Herod the Great died in 4 B.C., so Jesus had to be born before Herod's death. The fact that Herod had the babies of Bethlehem who were two years old and under slaughtered shows that Jesus was approximately two years old when the wise men came to Jerusalem.

There were two "triple conjunctions" of the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter in 7 B.C., one in March, and one in September, 6 months apart. This would have created quite a celestial display, and could very well have been the famed "Star of Bethlehem".

It is also fascinating to note that John the Baptist, Jesus' physical cousin, was born 6 months before He was. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so. The wise men would certainly have been aware of both celestial phenomena, but apparently it was the second conjunction that they revered.

This being the case, if Jesus was indeed born in September of 7 B.C. as evidence indicates, and He died when He was 33 years old; considering that there is no "zero year", and he died before His 34th birthday which would have fallen in September of 27 A.D. He was arrested on the night that Passover began, (remembering that the Jewish day started at sunset) and died in the afternoon of the Passover holiday, in the spring (April) of 27 A.D.

So, in fulfillment of the prophecy given to Daniel, Jesus Christ died on the cross (was cut off, not for Himself, but for our sins) in 27 A.D. exactly 69 "weeks", or 483 years after the decree from Persian king Artaxerxes to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. (453 B.C. - 487 years (69 "weeks") = 27 A.D. (Remember, there is no "0" year)

Scripture has much to say about the sufferings of the Messiah for our sins as prophesied back in Genesis, right after Man's fall. One famous passage is quoted below.

ISAIAH 53:1-12

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Many of you who know the history of Jesus' crucifixion will note some unmistakable parallels between this prophecy made nearly 600 years before Jesus' birth, and actual historical events in His life.

For example, He died between two thieves, and yet was buried in a rich man's tomb just as prophesied in verse 9 and 12.

He was silent before his accusers, just as prophesied in verse 7.

And just as prophesied in Genesis, He destroyed Satan's hold over man through sin, by taking the sins upon Himself at the cross as prophesied, in verses 6, 10, 11, and 12.

It was also prophesied in verse 5 that He would be beaten and bruised for our sins, and that was fulfilled when He was beaten by the Sanhedrin and the Roman soldiers before His crucifixion. As Scripture records;

MATTHEW 26:59-68

59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

61 And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what [is it which] these witness against thee?

63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote [him] with the palms of their hands,

68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

MATTHEW 27:15-31

15 Now at [that] feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

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.

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? [They] all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

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.

26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered [him] to be crucified.

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band [of soldiers].

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

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].

Many people think of "scourging" as being whipped with a cane, or a whip. But the Romans were far better at creating instruments of cruelty and barbarism than that.

A scourge was a whip, similar to a cat-o-nine tails. The straps had bits of lead shaped like small dumbbells tied to the ends, which when they struck the victim would cause intense bruising of the skin and muscles, and deep internal hemorrhaging. Hardened Roman soldiers would pale in terror if threatened by scourging, and it was used as a particularly brutal form of discipline in the Roman army. Most victims died from hemorrhaging, shock, and internal injuries after being scourged.

The victim was stripped naked and was then whipped from neck to ankles, the number of strokes being determined by the judgment passed on the victim, or by the officer in charge of the scourging. Usually the straps were long enough to wrap around the victim striking the front of the body while being whipped from behind.

Jewish law set down by God determined that 40 lashes was the maximum number that could be given to one considered worthy of such punishment. However, canes were usually used by the Jews, rather than the brutal Roman scourge.

DEUTERONOMY 25:1-3

1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that [the judges] may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

2 And it shall be, if the wicked man [be] worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.

3 Forty stripes he may give him, [and] not exceed: lest, [if] he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

The Romans had no such laws, especially in capital punishments. Crucifixion victims were almost always severely beaten before they went to the cross, so as to inflict the maximum amount of pain, trauma and punishment before execution.

The Roman soldiers under Pilate also abused Jesus after His scourging, as recorded in verses Matthew 27:27-31 above. Truly he was bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes (scourging) we are healed. And He did all of this because He loved us, and was willing to take the full fury of God's punishment for sin upon Himself, that we might attain to His righteousness in the eyes of His Father, and be delivered from the sentence of eternal destruction and torment in Hell, and later, the Lake of Fire.

Medical forensic specialists who have studied the punishment of Jesus are astounded that He even made it to the cross. By all respects, He should have died under the scourging before He even got to Calvary. But God had determined that Jesus die on the cross, therefore He had to live long enough to suffer on the cross before He could die as prophesied.

The shameful abuse by the Sanhedrin in violation of their own laws, and the hideous scourging and abuse by the Roman soldiers also fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 600 years previously, when he said of the Messiah;

ISAIAH 50:5-7

5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

This prophecy states that those who abused Him literally ripped the beard from His face in their hatred of Him. And this was along with all of the other punishments and tortures they performed on Him.

And in a final act of shame to the victims, they were crucified naked before all who passed by.

JOHN 19:23-24

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also [his] coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

The only thing that Jesus owned on this Earth were His clothes, and even those were taken from Him at the cross.

And that was only the physical aspect of the issue. We haven't yet covered the spiritual aspects. (There will soon be a study on the medical aspects of the crucifixion as soon as I can get the information together.)

As we have already seen, sin can only attack the flesh, and while sin may ravage the flesh, it is the spirit that pays the true price of sin,namely suffering the sentence of Hell and afterward the Lake of Fire.

Therefore to destroy sin, God had to take on a physical body as a receptacle for the sins of the world to be poured into. And once that body died, the sins contained within it would die also. And as sin took an innocent life (Adam) even so an innocent sinless life (Jesus) had to be given to destroy sin.

Scripture records a strange event during the crucifixion, with no explanation as to it's cause.

MATTHEW 27:45

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

MARK 15:33

33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

LUKE 23:44-45

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.

Luke, ever the careful historian, gives the best description of what happened, for he says that the sun was darkened. Some have tried to explain it as an eclipse, but Passover only happens during a full moon, and an eclipse could only happen during a new moon.

However, there is a fascinating prophecy given in the Old Testament book of Amos that could very well refer to this event.

AMOS 8:9

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

Note: the 6th hour was considered noon in Judea during Jesus' time.

When Jesus hung on the cross, all of the sins of the world that would ever be committed were heaped upon him. I seriously believe that this is a case where a spiritual event had a physical manifestation.

In other words, the magnitude of sin was so great that it literally darkened the sun for three hours until Jesus died, destroying the sins for all time at His death.

And it wasn't the crucifixion that killed Him. He had to will Himself to die when all was finished. As He Himself said;

JOHN 10:17-18

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

And as Scripture records concerning His death;

JOHN 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth.

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

LUKE 23:46

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.

Only when Jesus knew that all things required of Him by His Father were complete, was He allowed to die. Then as Scripture states, He gave up His life, willing for it to happen.

Events didn't stop at Jesus' death on the cross. The sins had been destroyed, but they still had to be paid for. And there was only one way to do that.

PSALMS 16:8-11

8 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.

David prophesied 1,000 years before Jesus death that He would go to Hell for the price of our sins, but that God would not leave His soul there, neither would God allow His body to decay after death.

David died, and his body decayed after death, so he was not referring to himself. As Peter stated before a crowd of Jews after the Resurrection;

ACTS 2:22-36

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Another reason why Jesus had to go die, was so that He in spirit could go to the place of the dead and take them to Heaven with Him. He also had to face Satan and take back the mastery of Earth given to him by Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Remember the story of the rich man, and Lazarus? I have listed the story again below, for reference.

LUKE 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Jesus after paying for our sins in Hell, left Hell (the only one to ever do so) to face and defeat Satan and his demons. Then, and only then, were the dead who died in obedience to the Law allowed to enter Heaven, as their sins had finally been paid for. Jesus had paid the full price demanded by God's justice for their sins. They were now worthy to enter Heaven, for through Jesus' atoning death they were now perfect in the eyes of God the Father.

Paul refers to this fact when in speaking to the Gentile believers in Ephesus he says;

Ephesians 4:7-13

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

When Paul speaks of leading "captivity captive", he was referring to Jesus taking those who were in "Abraham's bosom" with Him to Heaven. He also referred to the gifts of the Spirit when he spoke of "and gave gifts to men".

So, now when a person dies, they go directly to either Heaven to await Jesus' return to Earth in glory at which time they will be resurrected in their glorified bodies, or to Hell to be tormented while they await the Great Judgment of the damned, after which time they will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever.

Jesus also had to die for another reason, one that not many people think about.

When God gave the Old Testament to the Jews, it was sealed with the blood of animals, thereby putting the Law into effect.

God had also provided that no one could keep all 613 commandments of the Law all the days of their life, thereby putting all men under the same sentence of sin, so there would be no degrees of sin, and that no one could be righteous through their own works.

As we discussed, only God could fulfill the requirements of the Law in Jesus Christ, and by fulfilling His own Law, had the right to take away the Old Testament Law and create a New Testament.

Just as a Last Will and Testament does not have any effect until the death of the one who created it, even so the New Testament could not be put into effect until the death of the One who created it, which happened when Jesus died on the cross.

The Old testament Law was sanctified with the blood of animals which could never take away sin, but God sanctified the New Testament through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which has taken away sin forever for those who believe in Him.

The author of Hebrews understood this fact when he said;

Hebrews 9:11-28

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

18 Whereupon neither the first [testament] was dedicated without blood.

19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

20 Saying, This [is] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

23 [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Note several things here.

Jesus' sacrifice was done once for all time, never again to be repeated.

The Catholic church re-enacts the sacrifice of Jesus every time they offer communion, as they "offer up the divine Victim to God" in the ceremony, and their followers are taught that the wafer and the wine are the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. Yet verse 28 above states that he was offered once for sins.

And as with the priests who still tried to follow the Law after Jesus death by continuing to offer sacrifices that could never take away sins, even so do the priests of the Catholic Church and others who symbolically re-enact the sacrifice during Communion offer up sacrifices which can never take away sins.

For as the author of Hebrews states;

HEBREWS 10:11-14

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

In other words, once you have accepted Jesus Christ, and have asked Him to be your Savior, your sins are cleansed forever in His sight.

However, this does not mean that you can continue to sin because you have been cleansed. Some believe in the poisonous "once saved, always saved" doctrine, and go about as if they were never saved in the first place.

Be warned, for the Scriptures state;

Hebrews 10:26-31

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Of this the apostle Peter also states;

2 Peter 2:21-22

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

You cannot willfully sin all week, then go to "confession" in the Roman Catholic Church or other such churches to be forgiven of your sins, for I have already proven from Scripture that Catholic priests have no authority to forgive the sins of others in God's place. In fact, there shouldn't be a priesthood at all. For further information on this subject, please see the study on the issue concerning priests and forgiveness.

This brings us to the Communion Covenant, one of the most sacred rites in Christianity.

Jesus instituted the Communion Covenant as the symbol of His atoning death on the cross. Previously, the Passover sacrifice had been the blood covenant between God and His people, in which the innocent shed blood of a lamb put on the doorposts had protected Israel from the destroying angel that killed the firstborn throughout Egypt on the night that Israel was set free from slavery.

Moses warned Pharaoh;

EXODUS 11:4-10

4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that [is] behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.

9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.

10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

EXODUS 12:3-51

3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth [day] of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of [their] fathers, a lamb for an house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats:

6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it.

9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast [with] fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

11 And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

16 And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

17 And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

18 In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.

22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite [you].

24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

27 That ye shall say, It [is] the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for [there was] not a house where [there was] not one dead.

31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, [and] get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We [be] all dead [men].

34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:

36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children.

38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years.

41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

42 It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This [is] the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

51 And it came to pass the selfsame day, [that] the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

God commanded the Passover feast to be kept forever in Israel, as a symbol and a reminder of their miraculous rescue from 430 years of slavery in Egypt.

The Passover covenant had direct parallels with Jesus' death on the cross. I will list some of them below.

Passover Covenant Communion Covenant

1. The lamb had to be male. Jesus was the Son of God.

2. The lamb was to be without blemish Jesus was sinless

3. The lamb was to be killed at dusk Jesus died just before dusk

4. The blood was to be placed on the doorposts The nails through Jesus' wrists and the

and the lintel (upper bar) of the doorway crown of thorns caused blood to stain the

ends of the crossbeam and the top of the

vertical beam in the same positions as the blood on the doorposts.

The lamb was to be roasted with fire Jesus suffered in Hell for our sins

The blood protected Israel from God's Jesus' blood saves us from the wrath

punishment of the wicked in Egypt. of judgment and eternal death as required by God's justice.

The lamb was not to be brought out of the house Jesus' mission was to the house of Israel only, in the days of His flesh on Earth.

Not a bone was to be broken None of Jesus' bones were broken during the crucifixion. The two thieves had their legs broken to hasten death.



That the New Testament was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law was prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah, when the Lord told him;

JEREMIAH 31:31-37

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:

36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

Note several things here.

First, God says He will institute a new Covenant, unlike the Old Testament Law which He gave Israel after they fled Egypt.

He said His laws would be written in their hearts, not like the stone tablets given to Moses.

These precepts were fulfilled in Jesus, for when he died on the cross, the New Testament, or New Covenant came into being, sanctified by His sinless blood, just as the Old Testament Law was sanctified by the blood of sinless animals. Also, with the Holy Spirit given to us, God indeed writes His laws in our hearts, for he dwells within each believer, thus also doing away with the need for a physical Temple.

I included verses 35-37 in this study, for there is an increasing poisonous belief in the Christian churches that God has cast away the Jews and has turned strictly to the Gentiles, making the Gentiles His chosen people in place of the Jews because the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah.

God never abandoned His people, neither will He ever abandon them. Neither will they ever cease to be His chosen people, for if He chooses another nation or people to be His chosen race, He would violate His own Word as written above.

Ok, back to the Communion Covenant.

MATTHEW 26:26-29

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

LUKE 22:1-23

1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?

10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.

11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.

13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide [it] among yourselves:

18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me [is] with me on the table.

22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.



I CORINTHIANS 11:23-31

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Jesus fulfilled the Passover Law, in the fact that His body and blood were given for the atonement of sins, just as the Passover lamb, and the animal sacrifices covered the sins of the people, deferring them until the perfect sacrifice could be made which would take them away forever.

Jesus gave the disciples the elements of the Passover, the lamb and the bread, symbolizing His being the Lamb of God, and the Bread of Life. He also gave them the cup of wine, representing His blood which would soon be shed for the sins of the world.

Know and understand. Just as Jesus did not give the disciples His literal flesh and blood to eat, neither do we partake of the literal flesh and blood of Jesus during the Communion service as some churches teach! It is only a symbol!

Our spirits partake of the substance of Jesus through the Communion covenant, and in Him we have eternal life. Just as the unleavened bread could not give eternal life, neither can the bread of Communion give eternal life. Just as the blood of animals could not take away sins, neither can the grape juice (or wine in some churches) take away sins.

And we cannot partake of the literal blood of Jesus anyway, for to do so is a violation of God's commandments of;

Genesis 9:1-4

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth [upon] the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

4 But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

LEVITICUS 3:17

17 [It shall be] a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

LEVITICUS 7:26-27

26 Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, [whether it be] of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.

27 Whatsoever soul [it be] that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

God would never violate His own Word at any time. Therefore those who teach that the Communion elements transform into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ are guilty of teaching errors, thereby bringing Paul's warning upon themselves and their congregations, when he says;

I Corinthians 11:27-31

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Conclusion:

Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world because Satan had deceived Adam into sinning, therefore bringing sin, death and judgment upon Adam and the whole human race. But God in His mercy provided a way for Man to be redeemed from sin and death, while still carrying out His judgment.

He caused that the flesh should suffer the ravages of sin and death, but Man's spirit, made in His image, should live after death. He also promised to send One who would forever break the power of sin, One who would redeem sinful man to God.

Satan tried down through history to destroy the promise of God by having the nation of Israel sin, causing God to bring the terrible curses spoken by Moses upon Israel so as to destroy them. But God spared a remnant of the nation each time, thereby fulfilling His promise of sending One to come who would crush the serpent's head, while suffering death Himself in the process.

In the fullness of time, God sent His own Son Jesus Christ who had given the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia (the present location of Mount Sinai is wrong), to fulfill the Law, and replace it with a New Testament, sealed with His own blood.

In fulfillment of the prophecy given to Daniel, Jesus Christ died exactly 483 years after the decree sent out by Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, dying in the Spring of 27 A.D.

And by His death, He took the sins of the whole world into his flesh, and when He died, the sins died with Him, an event that literally darkened the sun for three hours. And at His death, the veil of the Temple representing the separation of Man from God by sin, was torn from top to bottom, signifying that the barrier of sin between Man and God was now removed. There was no longer a need for an earthly priest to intercede to God for the sins of Man, as Man could now go to God directly through Jesus Christ.

He went to Hell for us, suffering the punishment for our sins, and defeated Satan in the spiritual realm.

And with his resurrection, he took those who had been in Paradise (Sheol) to Heaven with him, as they were now worthy to enter Heaven, as their sins had finally been paid for, and they were now perfect in God's sight.

The sacrifice He made will never be repeated, for He made one sacrifice for all time, and the Communion covenant we celebrate in remembrance of His death is only a symbol, as teaching that the wine (or juice) is Jesus literal blood is a direct violation of God's commandments to never eat blood.

There is no longer a need for an earthly priest to intercede between Man and God, for with the tearing of the Temple veil, God was showing that Man was now righteous enough through Jesus Christ to approach Him directly.

Besides, as Paul states;

I TIMOTHY 2:5-6

5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Therefore any man who claims to be the only mediator between God and man puts himself in the place of Jesus Christ. God ended the priesthood with the death of Jesus, and caused the Temple to be destroyed because the Jews continued to offer sacrifices which could never take away sin. And with the destruction of the Temple, the need for the priesthood was taken away and will never again be instituted by Him.

The Law created the priesthood, and there is no provision for a separate priesthood in the New Testament as we are all priests before God through Jesus Christ.

As Scripture records;

REVELATION 1:1-6

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is the High Priest of the New Testament, and we are all priests before God under His authority. As Scripture states of Jesus;

HEBREWS 2:17

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

If you note carefully in verse 17 above, Jesus considers us to be His brethren, as we are heirs to the kingdom of God through adoption. God has adopted us to be His sons and daughters, with Jesus Christ as the elder brother to us all.

There is not enough praise or worship that we could ever and give Him for what He has done for us. The best we can do, is follow His commandments, read His Word faithfully, and bring the good news to others that they might be saved also.

Satan has been defeated, but he tries to give the impression that he is still powerful enough to overthrow God. Granted, he IS powerful, but we have the authority and power of Jesus Christ behind us, and we can defeat him through that power.

Jesus will be returning soon, as the signs He gave us to watch for are happening to the letter. We are the generation that will see His coming, and we need to be ready for Him when He comes. For those interested in knowing more about the End Times, please see the End Times studies in this site.

And may all honor, glory, majesty, praise and blessings be given to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, the firstborn of the Resurrection, the Lamb who was killed that we might live with Him throughout eternity!

Questions? Comments? E-mail: watchmen_777@yahoo.com

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