Death of Jesus Christ  II
Fred R. Coulter—March 16, 1985

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Why is it important? Let's just review and understand one of the main reasons it is important is that the life of God in the flesh—the One Jesus Christ—Creator of everything—is far more important than any other human life, or any other spirit being's life.

Let's see some other things concerning the sacrifice of Christ and why it is once for all. The book of Hebrews tells us the difference and the comparison between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Hebrews, chapter nine, tells us some very important things that we need to understand. Paul is talking about the first covenant: there were ordinances, there were sacrifices, there were washings or oblations, and comparing that with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:10: "These services consist only of meat and drink offerings, and various washings and physical ordinances, imposed until the time of the new spiritual order…. [Then he compares that with Christ's activity as High Priest]: …But Christ Himself has become High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands (that is, not of this present physical creation)" (vs 10-11). Not just the building, but this gets into the whole thing of the spiritual building of Christ, the body of Christ, and what Christ is doing and why it is a greater and a more perfect tabernacle. Well, the whole New Covenant is far greater.

Verse 12: "Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by the means of His own blood, He entered once for all into the Holiest, having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us…. [Then it gives a comparison between the blood of Christ and the blood of bulls and goats]: …For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who aredefiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh" (vs 12-13). That's what happened with the first covenant. They had their sins forgiven at the temple and just a carnal, physical letter of the law basis.

That compared to what Christ's sacrifices does, v 14: "To a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God… [It's very important that we understand. We'll see some other things about Christ and His sacrifice and how He carried in His body the sins of the whole world. With that, His sacrifice is without spot, not with sin, and this covers all the sins of all humankind.] …shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." This is what it is intended to do to motivate us. When we understand what Christ has done for us, and when we understand the significance of His sacrifice, this needs to motivate us to have God cleanse our conscience. It will! It will clean your conscience to where then the same thing will happen to you that God does to us. You will have a time when, with the cleansing of your conscience, there will be no more remembrance of the sins in the past.

I know one of the things we've always mentioned before is that we are to examine our lives and repent of our sins—which is true and we need to be doing on a daily basis—but we don't need to go back and dig up everything that we have done in the past and relive it, and then pull all of that guilt forward into our conscience. We're to let the sacrifice of Christ purge our conscience from dead works, which are sin, to serve the living God.

Verse 15: "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the New Covenant: in order that through His death, which took place for the release of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." That's what we are aiming for, this eternal inheritance, eternal life, so the stakes are a lot higher.

Verse 24: "For Christ has not entered into the Holy places made by human hands, which are mere copies of the true; rather, He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us… [That's what Christ is actively doing now in the presence of God—as an advocate, a propitiation—for us.] …not that he should offer Himself many times, even as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies year by year with the blood of others; for then it would have been necessary for Him to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now, once and for all, in the consummation of the ages… [Obviously the world didn't end then, but the final phase of God's plan for all mankind in the world] …He has been manifested for the purpose of removing sin through His sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment; so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many… [ALL] …will appear the second time without sin unto salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him" (vs 24-28).

Hebrews 10:10: "By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…. [That shows that it is complete.] …Now every high priest stands ministering day by day, offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which are never able toremove sins… [Spiritually can never take away sin.] …but He, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (vs 10-12). That's why the sacrifice of Christ is so very important, it takes care of everything once for all!

Verse 13: "Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified" (vs 3-14). That means us!

Let's see what Jesus Christ had to go through to offer this sacrifice once for all, and why it was so important that it was done this way. Let's go back to Hebrews, the fifth chapter, and let's see some of the things that it has to say concerning Jesus Christ, concerning being a High Priest.

Hebrews 5:7—talking about Jesus Christ and His being a High Priest for us, and His life in the flesh: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears…" We are going to see what Jesus went through; we're going to see His temptation. When we go through and read that, let's remember that He carried the equivalent of all the pulls of the flesh of all humankind within Him. That way it will help us understand what Jesus went through. You read this and you may think: Why did Jesus have to offer up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears? After all, He was the Son of God, it was easy for Him.' NO! It wasn't easy for Him!

"…to Him Who was able to save Him from death…" (v 7). Because Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world He could not sin once in His own lifetime. That put a tremendous responsibility on Him! A tremendous burden upon Him! We have the saying that a person walks around as if they have 'the cares of the whole world on them.' Think of what it was like as Jesus Christ with all the sins of the world on Him. That's why He had to cry out with strong crying, prayers, supplication and tears.

Notice it was "…able to save Him from death…" (v 7). What does this tell us? That if Jesus had sinned, then He would have to die for His own sin—the wages of sin is death! He had to be saved from death by God the Father. Not that Jesus was a sinner and needed salvation as we do, but Jesus was the 'pioneer' and He had to carry all of our sins. Therefore, He needed to be saved from the death that He would have to die for us. Remember, it says that He was 'not worthy of death.' Even Pilate said, 'He's not worthy of death.' But He took it upon Himself for us!

"…and was heard because He feared God" (v 7). Why did Jesus have to fear? The fear would be that He needed to stay close to God and use the Holy Spirit, because if He didn't and He sinned, all of God's plan would have been gone—period! What you're confronted with is that if Jesus sinned a sin of His own for Himself, then His sacrifice could not apply to us. I would just have to assume that if Jesus did sin His own sin, then there would be no such thing as we know as the second resurrection for human beings, because He would have known better. That would have been it. That's why He cried out to God, and that's why He feared.

Verse 8: "Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered." That doesn't mean that Christ was ever disobedient, but in living His life, He learned obedience and how necessary that was, and through the things that He suffered. We're going to see some of the things that He suffered.

Verse 9: "And having been perfected… [Obviously, He was perfect when He was conceived. He was perfect at every stage in His life. But at every stage in His life He had to be made perfect through that stage. A perfect 10-year-old is not a perfect 20-year-old, is not a perfect 30-year-old. He was made perfect through that experience.] …He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him."

It's very important that we understand that. We understand that we have to obey Him. We understand that He was perfected. Obviously, He would have to grow in that love and understanding, and everything, by just the experience of it. That's what that phrase means, being made perfect.

Hebrews 4:14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses… [In other words, He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities (weaknesses). Why? Because He bore them all on His body when He was in the flesh.] …but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin" (vs 14-15).

How strong do you think those temptations were against Jesus Christ? We're dealing in some very high stakes! We're dealing in some very powerful things that went on in Christ's life.

Verse 16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Christ knows! He's been through it all, and more!

Let's look at the account of the temptation of Jesus Christ. I think this will mean a whole lot more to us as we go through and read it and keep in mind that Jesus was carrying within His body the law of sin and death equivalent to the sins of the whole world.

Luke 4:1: "And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit…" Why did He have to be full of the Holy Spirit?

  • So that He could have the power and control that comes from God!
  • So that He could overcome the law of sin and death!
  • So that He could overcome the temptations!

Maybe that will help us understand a little bit more what Jesus said, that if we overcome as He overcame we can sit down in His throne as He overcame and sat down at the Father's throne. This episode here will help us.

"…returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil…. [That means that during that 40 days He was being tempted on each one of these 40 days. Its not, as you might have in mind, that He was tempted at the end of the 40 days and had a one-day episode with Satan the devil. That would not make the stakes very high. Here it is that 'He was tempted of the devil 40 days.'] …And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered." (vs 1-2).

Physically he was progressively weaker and weaker. I would think that He did drink water. It didn't say that He did not drink water, because a human body cannot go in that desert kind of area without water for more than a day or so. I would assume that He drank water, and I would assume that He had to have all of the weaknesses of the flesh. If He had other than just the help of the Holy Spirit like a supernatural intravenous feeding from God's Spirit, that would lessen the temptation. I don't think the temptation was lessened at all, because the whole plan of God was at stake here.

"And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered." What is happening here in v 2 is a summary of what happened during the full 40 days. Verses 3-13 gives some of the details of the temptation that went on for 40 days.

Verse 3: "Then the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread.'" This is appealing to human nature that we see so much displayed in people and on television about if you are who you say you are, then prove who you say you are by doing something. Most people will say, 'Yeah, I'll prove it.' Not in this case. Jesus did not! He knew what the whole situation was.

Verse 4: "But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written… [He's quoting the Scripture. The way that you fight Satan the devil is in the faith. Remember, it says in James and 1-Pet. 5 that we are to 'resist the devil, being steadfast in the faith.' If you're steadfast in the faith then you're going to live by every Word of God.] …"Man… [Jesus represented all humankind—didn't He?] …shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God."'" It says in the account in Matthew: by every word that proceeds out to the mouth of God shall man live.

That was a tremendous temptation. Who would Jesus serve? What would He do just to perpetuate the physical life? I tell you what, even if you just had water for 40 days, no food, at the end of 40 days you'd be pretty hungry—or any time during that 40 days you'd be very hungry. Would Jesus do like Esau did with his birthright? Would He trade it for a bowl of pottage? Or in this case for bread or food? No, He wouldn't!

Verse 5: "Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time." Here's the temptation of power and rulership. This is really quite a tremendous section here when you just weigh every word as you go through and just think about it. Here's Jesus being shown "…all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time."

  • Did Jesus know that He was going to be King in the Kingdom of God? Yes, He did!
  • Did He know that He was going to rule over all the world? Yes, He did!
  • Did He know that He was going to also rule over all of the universe? Sure He did!

Here's the devil coming now in a moment of physical weakness saying, 'Here it all is. Why, Jesus, do You have to go through all of this? I can give it to you now.' Why should you suffer? Why should you go through all of this? You can just see how that would be part of it.

Verse 6: "And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I desire. Therefore, if You will worship me in my presence, all things shall be Yours'" (vs 6-7). And Jesus did not dispute what he said. That's quite a bit of power. Compared to human terms, it is. {Put in your notes: Isa. 40:17-18—how does God look at all the nations of the world? As a drop in a bucket!} Satan comes along and says, 'Hey, I'll give you all of this.' Just think how that appeals to human nature. How many people have wanted to rule the world? How many people would do anything for power? Even today we have TV programs based on power, struggle, lust and corruption. You have many movies based on this, and the whole challenge is how a person wants to just get power over everybody.

Jesus was tempted that way. Remember, all the temptations coming to Him had the equivalent pull of all of the temptation of all human beings. It did involve the destiny of all human beings. He carried within His body the sins of the whole world. This was a powerful temptation!

Verse 8: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan… [that's how to take care of any temptations like that] …for it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."'" In Jesus quoting that, He is quoting the Scripture. He is not saying that Satan will worship God. Obviously, Satan does not worship God! Satan wants himself to be worshipped.

Verse 7—Satan says: "Therefore, if You will worship me in my presence, all things shall be Yours'" Just bow a little, it won't take much. It'll be simple; it'll be all over, just solve all this problem. Take the easy way.

Verse 8—Jesus said, "…'for it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."'" So, Jesus passed the test that Adam and Eve failed to pass. Isn't that right? Yes, He did! He did not worship Satan.

Verse 9: "Then he led Him to Jerusalem and set Him upon the edge of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God… [Satan appealed that way, and that's the way Satan always does, accuses God of lying by using the phrase if. That's like saying, 'God is lying, are you really the Son of God?'] …cast Yourself down from here; for it is written, "He shall give His angels charge concerning You to keep You… [Psa. 91:11—you will see that Satan is quoting the Scriptures accurately. That's also something to consider: Satan can quote the Scriptures accurately, but it is the application that is wrong.] …and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone."' But Jesus answered and said to him, 'It is clearly stated, "You… [not Satan, but that is 'you' as mankind. Since Jesus represented mankind He's referring to what human beings should do.] …shall not tempt the Lord your God."' Now, when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a time [season]" (vs 9-13).

Let's analyze that just a little bit more in the Interlinear Greek New Testament, v 13: "And having finished every temptation the devil departed from Him for a time." Obviously, we are only given four temptations:

  • the food
  • the rulership
  • the worship
  • tempting God

'To cast Yourself down.' Do you think in 40 days that's all he went through? "And having finished every temptation…" That is a summary of what took place. There were many, many, many temptations! What does the Greek word 'panta' for every mean? All encompassing!

Were those the only temptations that men and women find themselves tempted in? No! Obviously, He had to be tempted in everything: lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, how He would feel toward another person, would He take it into His hands to take their life? Tempted to whether He would turn His back on God or whether He would always tell the truth. All of those things, only just weigh upon this temptation the whole destiny of mankind. This was an absolutely tremendous important time in the life of Jesus Christ.

Why did Jesus have to go through this? As we saw, because Adam and Eve did not succeed in overcoming the temptations of Satan! Jesus had to succeed in that. Also, who was the One Who created Lucifer who became Satan? Jesus Christ before He became human! So, here we have a battle that is more than just with Jesus and the devil. The stakes were a lot higher. It was Satan the devil who rebelled against his Creator. It was Jesus Christ Who was carrying the sins of the whole world in His body. It was that Jesus, in the flesh as a lesser being, had to conquer Satan the devil. Remember when we read that Jesus was made a 'little lower than the angels.'

Could God overcome Satan with God being God? Yes, He could! No problem! Why? Because God is more powerful than an angel! God overcoming an angel does not prove that God is more powerful. God is more powerful by nature. But God could prove and He could disqualify Satan the devil—who was a spirit being—if, as a human being made 'lower than the angels' He was able to overcome Satan the devil. That would completely dislodge Satan.

So, the sacrifice of Christ has to do with more than just human beings. It has to do with the disqualification of Satan the devil and the disqualification of all of the demons and the restoration of all things. What happened in God's plan when Satan rebelled was not just the involvement of what was going to happen with human beings, but is the involvement of the whole universe. Therefore, everything had to be reconciled in the One Jesus Christ when he was at His weakest. This is why it says when He "…finished every temptation the devil departed from Him for a time"—that is for a season.

This is also something that we need to add into it, that Jesus endured this series of temptations over a period of 40 days, while He was at His weakest, which is also indicative of the weakness of human beings and the weakness of human nature. It says, 'like sheep we have all gone astray.' It takes nothing for sheep to follow. All you need to do is have a lead sheep and a bell on it and they'll just follow. That is a very important thing for us to understand concerning this section here.

I want to dwell a little bit on Satan leaving Him for a season [or a time]. Let's just carry this a little bit further. This was at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. This had to be at the beginning of the ministry so that His ministry could be built upon this foundation of having overcome Satan the devil. We're going to see that Satan was not convinced that he had lost the battle. Satan is the one who perpetrated the crucifixion. So, there's a whole lot more at stake.

When we take of that bread and drink of that wine for the Passover, this has so much more meaning when we understand about the life of Christ in this particular aspect of the sacrifice.

John 12 will tell us some more about the sacrifice of Christ and the conflict between Satan the devil and Jesus Christ. This is after Jesus had come into Jerusalem; after the triumphant entry where they put the branches down called 'Hosanna in the Highest.'

John 12:24—where Jesus said: "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone… [That's true, you can have wheat stored in a little can in your cupboard and it will stay there. When it's put into the ground and watered the plant disintegrates. Out of that one stalk and you get two stalks and a head of many grains from that one seed.] (He's drawing the analogy here): …but if it dies, it bears much fruit." It's talking about what will happen as a result of His own death. You can see the stakes are high.

Not only was he saying this just as a matter of saying it, v 25: "The one who loves his life shall lose it…" How many times did Jesus have an opportunity to save His own life at the temptation of Satan during that 40 days? Could Jesus have loved His life and lost it? He was not only talking about a principle that applies to all human beings, but He was also talking about His life in relationship to His salvation, and the salvation of the world.

"…and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life" (v 25). And that's what Jesus had to do with human life. He had to understand how absolutely wicked and vile and terrible it was.

Verse 26: "If anyone will serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant be also. And if anyone serves Me, him shall the Father honor. Now My soul is troubled…" (vs 26-27). Shows you some of the things that Jesus went through. We could to do a survey of the Gospels and see the difficult times that Jesus had. I think we would be surprised what we have covered about Jesus' life and then go back and restudy the Gospels, I think we will see a greater magnification of the things that He suffered.

"…and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this very purpose I have come to this hour" (v 27). He knew exactly what the stakes were. Let's see how high they were. Let's see the characters involved, more than just the human beings; we could say that it was Pilate, that it was the high priest, that it is typical of all human beings. All of those are true. I'm not saying that to put that down. All of those are secondary in relationship to the struggle between Satan the devil and Jesus Christ.

Verse 28: "'Father, glorify Your name.' Then a voice came from heaven, saying, 'I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.' Then the people standing there, who heard it, said, 'It thundered.' Others said, 'An angel spoke to Him.' Jesus answered and said, 'This voice did not come because of Me, but because of you. Now is the judgment of this world…. [Who is the 'god of this world'? Who had all the world to rule? Satan the devil!] …Now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (vs 28-31).

There's a good example of the thing being accomplished spiritually before, in fact, it has been done. In Jesus' crucifixion and death we're going to see that had more to do than just with human beings. That had to do with overcoming Satan the devil. Jesus overcoming Satan the devil completely disqualified him [Satan]. God has allowed Satan to remain until the second return of Christ, however. That's really quite a statement! "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out."

There are some people that think 'the prince of this world' is Jesus Christ. I've gone through to find if that possibly could be so and I couldn't find it at all. The 'prince of this world' has to do with Satan the devil.

Jesus makes a contrast here about Himself, v 32: "And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.' But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die. The people answered Him, 'We have heard out of the law that the Christ lives forever, and why do You say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?'" (vs 32-34). So, even the people didn't believe Him.

Verse 31 has to do with God calling things that are not as though they are. He talks about us in Rom. 8 about being glorified. We're not glorified. We're still flesh and blood. He is talking about what is going to happen as a result of the judgment on this world. The 'prince of this world' who is Satan the devil shall be cast out—that refers to a future sentence.

Let's go a little further and see Satan's involvement in this and how that was to be accomplished. Let's see some of the things concerning the Passover instructions with the bread and the wine. Then we will catch back up to Satan's involvement in the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. We're going to see that that was the level at which the battle was really taking place. This gets back to how I first mentioned the death of Christ terminated the Old Covenant on God's part. The death of Christ began the New Covenant sealed with His blood.

Matthew 26:27: "And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'All of you drink of it; for this is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many… [All who accept the sacrifice of Christ. When God calls us we have to decide: Are we going to answer the call? We have to decide, when we see our sins as they are: Are we going to repent? If we do, then the sacrifice of Christ is applied to us.] (Jesus said this is shed): …for many… [that means an innumerable amount of people obviously who accept the sacrifice of Christ] …for the remission of sins'" (vs 27-28).

We find the same thing over in Mark 14:22: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And He said to them, 'This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many'" (vs 22-24). We have seen that it was blood for the remission of sin. Here it is the blood of the New Covenant.

Let's see the account in Luke 22:19: "And He took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body, which is given for you…. [When we understand the significance of what Jesus was carrying in His body in relationship to sin, when He says 'this is given for you' that's a tremendous sacrifice that was given.] …This do in the remembrance of Me.' In like manner also, He took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you'" (vs 19-20). Though His literal blood was spilled on the ground, though it was at the cross, that was accepted symbolically sprinkled in the Holy of Holies in heaven above before the presence of God the Father.

Now, let's see Satan's involvement in this; let's go over to John 13, and here's another account of that last Passover.

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John 13:18: "'I am not speaking of you all; for I know whom I have chosen, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me." I am telling you at this time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may believe that I AM. Truly, truly I tell you, the one who receives whomever I send is receiving Me; and the one who receives Me is receiving Him Who sent Me.' As He was saying these things, Jesus was troubled in spirit…" (vs 18-21).

Notice how much more it stands out when Jesus was troubled in spirit, or that He was suffering. Remember it said that He 'cried with strong tears and supplications to Him Who was able to save Him.' It really means in the Greek that He was deeply depressed and morose! Why?

  • He knew what was going to happen!
  • He knew what Satan was going to do!
  • He knew that the stakes were more than just Himself or just His disciples or humanity at large.

It had to do with all of God's plan, which entails the whole universe. Therefore, He "…was troubled in spirit, and testified, saying, 'Truly, truly I tell you, one of you shall betray Me.'" (v 21). Then they wanted to find out who it was.

Verse 26: "Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I shall give a sop after I have dipped it.' And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon's son. And after the sop, Satan entered into him…." (vs 26-27). Now it's a spiritual battle. It is not just a physical thing. It's not just a person who is angry. Then if you want to do another study, you can go back and see from the very beginning they wanted to stone Jesus, they wanted to kill Jesus, they wanted to get rid of Him. But that could not happen until the moment right here that we just read. Satan entered into and possessed Judas Iscariot. Now it is Satan against Christ. All that Satan represents against Christ and all that He represents.

Now maybe we can understand a little more when Jesus said when He was on the cross, 'Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.' Literally, they did not know what they were doing. Neither did Judas Iscariot. After Satan left Judas Iscariot, what did Judas do? He went out and committed suicide, because he was remorseful at what he had done! Now we enter into the spiritual battle.

You know what happened, Judas went out and made a league with the priests. Apparently had already talked to them before. Now he went out and in the person of Satan the devil, possessing Judas Iscariot, made the deal and took the 30 pieces of silver and betrayed Jesus. We go back and the spiritual battle that we went through with the temptation and the 40 days, it was a spiritual battle. Again, we have a spiritual battle. Here's the whole focal point: God bringing reconciliation to the world, but where was the battle between God and Satan? Only God in the flesh vs Satan who then possessed Judas, and after Jesus was betrayed, Satan left Judas. Then Satan went around and stirred up everybody else.

They went through and they left the place where they took the Passover and they went out to the Garden of Gethsemane. In that let's go back to Matthew 26:38—talking to His disciples: "Then He said to them, 'My soul is deeply grieved, even to death….'" When we carry the background that we have covered into these words, notice the tremendous weight that was on Jesus Christ. Notice the tremendous significance of what He is saying here.

"'…Stay here and watch with Me.' And after going forward a little, He fell on His face… [prostrated Himself flat on the ground] …praying, and saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me…'" (vs 38-39). I imagine that a lot of you have wondered why He said that. He said it because the stakes were so high and the battle was so intense. He knew that it was between Satan the devil and Himself. He knew that it had to do with the full destiny of everything that God has.

"…if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me… [there was a desire from His own humanism because Jesus Christ had to have humanism to Him in order to be the perfect sacrifice.] …nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.' Then He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, 'What! Were you not able to watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.' The second time He went again and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if this cup cannot pass from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.'" (vs 39-42).) Notice, He changed it just a little bit. He said: "…if this cup cannot pass from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

Verse 43: "Now when He came to them, He found them asleep again, because their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, He went again and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, 'Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour has drawn near, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.'" (vs 43-45).

Let's go to the account in Luke 22, and maybe this will help us understand why Jesus was in such agony, and Mark records this tremendous agony that Jesus was in. I know as a minister that almost every year at the Passover time I go through and I cover this part of the Scriptures. But I would have to say this Passover I have more comprehension and more understanding of what it's saying, and more of a feeling as to why Jesus was in this kind of agony.

Luke 22:41: "And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw; and falling to His knees, He prayed, saying, 'Father, if You are willing to take away this cup from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done'" (vs 41-42). When you first read that, you wonder why would Jesus say that? Why wouldn't He want to say, 'Well, Father, here we are, the end's just about here. Hooray! This is great! Let's hurry and end this!' No! It was so much agony because of the suffering He went through, and carrying the sins of the whole world and carrying the battle between Him and Satan the devil.

Verse 43: "Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony… [Something that we cannot even visualize and how He was in total agony.] …He prayed more earnestly… [He knew the time had come.] …And His sweat became as great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (vs 43-44).

Now you know why He sweat blood, because it was not just between Him and Judas, but it was between Satan and God in the flesh. And everything that God had planned hinged right here now! He had to go through the rest of that night and the rest of that day to make that sacrifice perfect and complete.

John 18:1: "After saying these things, Jesus went out with His disciples to a place beyond the winter stream of Kidron, where there was a garden into which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who was betraying Him, also knew of the place because Jesus had often gathered there with His disciples. Then Judas, after receiving a band and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with torches and lamps and weapons. Jesus, therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him…" (vs 1-4). That's quite a statement—isn't it? Knowing all things that should come upon Him. He knew it!

"…went forward and said to them, 'Whom are you seeking?' They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarean.' Jesus said to them, 'I AM.' And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. But when He said to them, 'I AM,'… [a name of God] …they went backward and fell to the ground" (vs 4-6). Every time I read that I can't help think: I wonder what those soldiers thought when they were standing there and all of a sudden they were on their backs on the ground. Here their lanterns and torches fell down—Clang! Clang!—on the ground.

Let's go to Luke 22:52 and see what Jesus called this hour. This was not the hour of mankind. This was another hour, the hour of darkness: "And Jesus said to those who had come out against Him, the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders, 'Have you come out, as against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not stretch out your hands against Me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness'" (vs 52-53). We know that that is Satan the devil. Here is the fight that was going on between Jesus Christ and Satan the devil.

I won't go through everything showing all of the things concerning the trial and the contrived charges and everything that took place. But let's go to Colossians, the second chapter, and lets see what it says of Jesus Christ and the crucifixion in relationship to this hour and power of darkness.

Colossians 2:14: "He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross…. [v 15 is a very important verse; we can read over it and not get out of it what it is really saying]: …After stripping the principalities…" (vs 14-15).

  • Who is the chief principality? Satan the devil!
  • Who were those people who came out to arrest Jesus?
  • Who are those who convicted Him, but the principle leaders of the people, and the principle leader of the Gentiles and the two persons of Pilate and Herod?

 "…and the powers, He made a public spectacle of them… [How did He do it openly? By going as a Lamb to His slaughter!] …and has triumphed over them in it" (v 15). In the whole experience of the crucifixion

  • He triumphed over everything of evil!
  • All of human nature!
  • All of Satan the devil and the demons!
  • All of the adversaries against Him!

Let's go back to Colossians 1 and let's follow this through with Jesus Christ. I think it's going to just make a whole lot more sense, and have a whole lot more meaning to us.

Colossians 1:12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light, Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" (vs 12-13). No one could have been delivered from the power of Satan the devil unless Jesus Christ had triumphed over them. Now we can come out from underneath that power.

"…and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love… [Now it's through Jesus Christ.] …in Whom we have redemption through His own blood… [See how important these words become? It's almost just like turning on a neon sign compared to just looking at the printed word.] …even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by Him were all things created, the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible…" (vs 13-16). That battle was against the invisible powers that rule this world.

"…whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist. And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell; and, having made peace… [When it talks about grace and peace to you, it's talking about this peace that we have with God the Father.] …through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven." (vs 16-20).

So, the sacrifice of Christ reconciled to God the Father all of the evil that had taken place through Satan's rebellion and the demon's rebellion. That was now made right through the sacrifice of Christ, because He overcame them while He was in human form. That's how they are reconciled. They'll have to bear their own sin because they haven't repented. It's like if we would take a house and if it were blown to smithereens, even though you didn't catch the people who blew it to smithereens, you still had to rebuild the house.

It's the same way with the things that are in heaven that Satan the devil has disturbed and upset. Those things had to be made right through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Not that they're going to receive salvation. There are some people who say that Satan is going to receive salvation and so are the demons. NO! They have gone too far! There is no salvation for them! The Bible is very clear concerning that! But nevertheless, it still had to be made right. And the sacrifice of Christ made it right. When it says: "…by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven" that's really the full weight and meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Let's go to Romans, the eighth chapter, and let's see what the sacrifice of Christ did in relationship to sin in the flesh. Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…" Maybe we can understand that even a little bit more. There's no condemnation to us. We're not out seeking to do things in the world. We're not out seeking to do things in this Satan deceived and led world, but we still have our sins, weaknesses and difficulties to overcome. There's no condemnation to us because we have those.

"…who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh" (vs 1-3). Here is the whole purpose of Jesus' sacrifice in relationship to sin, not just the sin of human beings—which it covers—but also the sins of the angels and Satan. Those sins had to be condemned by the experience of Christ.

"…God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin… [a sacrifice for sin] …condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3). What sin was condemned in the flesh? ALL human sin! ALL angelic sin! The reason Jesus was made lower than the angels was so that in this lower state, in this weakened state, He could condemn the sin of the angels and Satan. Why is that important to do? So that when we are resurrected and changed from flesh to spirit, we will know that sin at that level is completely and entirely wrong! This opens up the whole understanding as to why the sacrifice of Christ is so much more important for us to know and to understand.

Philippians 3:10, Paul was saying: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…" That's quite a statement that we have the fellowship of His sufferings. When we take the Passover, we have the understanding of the personal significance. I think that too many times we take the Passover and we apply it to ourselves—which we need to—but we don't have the understanding and comprehension of the greatness of the sacrifice of Christ.

"…being conformed to His death" (v 10). We need to understand the significance of baptism; how absolutely profound that is in relationship to Jesus Christ. We were made conformable to His death! God made it easy for us to go down into the watery grave. We couldn't do what Christ did. We were made conformable to His death!

Verse 11: "If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead; not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving, so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained…" (vs 11-13). There's no point, as long as we're in the flesh that we can say we have it made. We don't! We have to endure to the end!

"…but this one thing I do—forgetting the things that are behind…" (v 13). Remember the sacrifice of Christ is to purge our conscience from dead works. We can't go back and undo it! We can't go back and make up for it! Just like a piece of wire that's all messed up, you can't go back and make it like a new piece of wire—absolute impossibility! So, you put all of that under the blood of Christ; you walk in the grace of God.

"…and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind…. [those who are spiritually mature] …And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you" (vs 13-15). Why? So that you can repent of it—that's why! Why? So that you can draw closer to God! That's why it's important that we be directed to Christ; that we be directed to God, and that we have

  • faith in God
  • trust in God
  • confidence in His grace

This makes us stronger with God—it really does! Then God is able to pour out more of His Spirit, He's able to help us overcome, and the things and mistakes that we do, we forget them. We put them behind! We let them be and go on!

Verse 20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens… [the source of our behavior is from heaven] …from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21).

Let's end with the Scripture that we always come to during the Passover, or close to it, 1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened…." (vs 6-7). This is showing getting rid of sin. To put away the leaven out of our houses—and I've seen this time and time again, almost every year, 'I think that putting the leaven out of the home is not necessary because it's a spiritual sin that we're concerned with.' I say, yes, it's a spiritual sin that we're concerned with, but with the Passover do we still not take the unleavened bread and the wine? 'Yes, we do.' Then why should we take the unleavened bread and wine, because we know it signifies spiritual things!

Leaven reminds us of how common sin is! That's why when we put leaven out of our homes sometimes we're very surprised where it is. It's the same thing! Whenever the few physical things that God asks to do—that people stop doing—they forget the significance of it and they go on their own way. I've seen it to be almost 100% true, those who come to the conclusion to just worry themselves about the spiritual sin and do not put the leaven out of their homes, within a year or two they have left God! That's almost universally true! It's not much of a thing for us to get rid of the leaven for the seven days. Is that asking too much? No! It's not asking too much after what Christ has done for us! What is that in relationship to what Christ has done for us? We should do and be obedient to what God has said.

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us." That's very meaningful when we understand everything that Jesus Christ went through, when we understand the significance of what His sacrifice was. Christ has sacrificed for us! Not only for us, but for the whole world (1-John 2:2).

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth."

With the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the Passover coming, let's be thinking on these things, praying about these things, and let's approach the Passover with a much more tremendous feeling and understanding of the sacrifice of Christ and what He has done for the whole world. But let's not get all morbid and so down that it's depressing, or that we look back on our sins and say, 'Oh, what's the use, here it's another Passover and I still have sin in me.' NO! Let's take it from the point of view that Jesus went through and how that He has lifted that whole burden from us, and to use it as a vehicle to draw closer to God and truly understand about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 9:10-15, 24-28
  • Hebrews 10:10-14
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Luke 4:1-13
  • John 12:24-34
  • Matthew 26:27-28
  • Mark 14:22-24
  • Luke 22:19-20
  • John 13:18-21, 26-27
  • Matthew 26:38-45
  • Luke 22:41-44
  • John 18:1-6
  • Luke 22:52-53
  • Colossians 2:14-15
  • Colossians 1:12-20
  • Romans 8:1-3
  • Philippians 3:10-15, 20-21
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Peter 5
  • Isaiah 40:17-18
  • Psalm 91:11
  • Romans 8
  • 1 John 2:2

Transcribed: 10-30-11