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Death of Christ and Silent or Black Saturday #1 Abandonment and burial

We have come to the point where the people in Jerusalem had seen that the man of flesh and blood, Jeshua ben Josef, also known as the son of man and son of God, came to his death at the wood of execution.

When Jesus walked around preaching about his heavenly Father and times to come, many wondered who he was and what gave him the authority to speak about the prophets and God. Several people found it weird that this Nazarene could do such strange things, like making blind see again, and paralysed people walk again. Jesus never claimed that it was by his power that he did such wondrous works.  It annoyed many that he claimed he was doing those miracles by the power of God. How could a man claim to do something by God’s Power or even claim that he could unveil things because “his father in heaven” allowed it?
His claims to come from God and to do works God gave him to do, made many angry and gave reason for them to kill him.

“Everything has been given me by my Father. No one perfectly knows the Son but the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father perfectly but the Son; and whom ever the Son wishes to unveil Him.” (Mt 11:27 mhm)

“Upon approaching Jesus he said to them, “All authority in heaven and upon earth was given to me.” (Mt 28:18 mhm)

“17  However, Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working to the present, and I continue to work.”18 Therefore, because of this, the Jews were seeking for a way to kill Jesus because they thought he not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also he was saying The God was his own Father, making himself equal to The God. 19 Therefore, Jesus answered them:

“I tell you this truth: The Son is unable to do anything from himself unless he sees something the Father is doing. For whatever that One may do, it is possible the Son also may do likewise.20 For the Father has affection for the Son and He is showing the Son what He is doing. And He will show the Son even greater works so that you may struck with awe.21 For just as the Father raises the dead and makes them alive, so also the Son makes alive those he wishes.22 Because the Father judges no one, but all the judgment He has given to the Son,23 so that everyone may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The person not honoring the Son is not honoring the Father who sent him.24 I tell you this truth: The person who listens to my word and continues to believe in the One who sent me possesses endless Life. And so that person does not come into condemnation, but has crossed over from the Death unto the Life.

25 “I tell you this truth: The hour is coming, and is now present, when the dead will listen to the voice of the Son of The God, and those who have responded will live.26 For just as the Father has Life within Himself, so also He gave to the Son to have Life within himself.27 Also, the Father has given to the Son to perform judgment because he is the Son of Humankind.28 Do not wonder about this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear the Son’s voice29 and those having done good things will come out unto a resurrection of Life. Those who have habitually done corrupt things unto a resurrection of condemnation.30 I am not able to do anything from myself. Just as I hear I judge, and my judgment is just because I am not seeking my own will, but the will of the One who sent me.

31  “If I ever testify about myself my testimony is true.32 There is someone else who testifies about me and I know that his testimony about me is true.33 You Jews sent representatives to approach John, and he has testified regarding the truth.34 However I do not accept human testimony, but these things I tell you are so that all of you might be saved.35 John was the burning and illuminating lamp, and all of you wished to rejoice facing toward the light in him for an hour.36 But, I possess a testimony greater than John, for the works the Father has given to me so that I might complete them–these works that I am doing–testify that the Father has sent me forth. (Joh 5:17-36 mhm)

“27 Peace I leave you. I give you apostles my own peace. I am not giving it to you as the world of humankind gives it. Do not let your hearts be troubled nor cowardly.28  You apostles heard that I said to you, ‘I am departing and I am returning to you apostles.’ If you loved me you would certainly rejoice, because I am going toward the Father, because the Father is greater than me.29 And now I have told you apostles before it happens, so that whenever it does happen you should believe.30 I shall not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world of humankind is coming, and yet he has nothing on me.31 But, so that the world of humankind may realize that I continue to love the Father, and just as He gave me a commandment, just so I am doing. Rouse yourselves, and let us continue from here.” (Joh 14:27-31 mhm)

Jesus was taken and judged to be killed. He was brought to Golgotha to be impaled as a murderer or a dangerous criminal. When he was hanging there at the torture stake, people mocked with him and asked him, when he would have connections with God, to come from the stake and to save himself.

“and calling out, “The person who said ‘tear the Temple down and in three days’ –save yourself! If you are a son of The God come down from the stake.”” (Mt 27:40 mhm)

“Now it was nine in the morning when they impaled Jesus.” (Mr 15:25 mhm)

“Now let Christ the King of Israel come down now from the stake so that we may all believe!”” (Mr 15:32 mhm)

“Observe carefully the Arch- Leader and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus–who endured execution because of the Joy that lay before him–disdained the humiliation of the stake. He has sat down on the right hand of the Throne of The God.” (Heb 12:2 mhm)

Several people saw in Jesus a con-man or imposter. Also today there are lots of people who do not want to believe who Jesus really was or is. There are also a lot of people who minimalise the deed Jesus did, giving his won life to do the Will of God instead of doing his own will. They say Jesus is God, but in such case, Jesus would always have done the will of himself, though in the olive garden he prayed to God with the words:

““Father, if you wish remove this cup from me. However, let Your will occur and not my own will.”” (Lu 22:42 mhm)

Jesus one moment at the stake thought to have been abandoned by his heavenly Father. It also looked like some of his close friends had abandoned him, like Peter not daring to say he was with Christ. It looked like nobody wanted to come to his defence when he was on trial. At the stake, Jesus called to his heavenly Father, making it clear he is not that person like so many so-called Christians claim.

“About three in the afternoon Jesus screamed in a loud voice, “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?” (or, “‘My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?’”)” (Mt 27:46 mhm)

“And at three in the afternoon Jesus screamed in a loud voice: “Eloi eloi lama sabakhthani?” (which means when translated: “‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”)” (Mr 15:34 mhm)

God cannot die, so if Jesus would have been God, he clearly would been an imposter, faking that he died at that wooden pole on Golgotha. Not being God, Jesus got wounded by the nails through his hands and feet and by the spear in his body.

When Jesus for a second time called on his Father, he gave up the spirit, which means that he died.

“Now after Jesus again cried out with a loud voice he gave up the pneuma.” (Mt 27:50 mhm)

“Now Jesus screamed in a loud voice and breathed his last.” (Mr 15:37 mhm)

“Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice: “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit!” And having said this, Jesus expired.” (Lu 23:46 mhm)

We can read in the gospel of John that when Jesus had received the sour wine, he considered his work here on earth finished.

“Therefore, when he had received the vinegar, Jesus said, “It has been accomplished!” And then his head fell and his last breath escaped.” (Joh 19:30 mhm)

Jesus was placed on this earth in a special way for a certain task and now his task had come to an end. When going around Galilee he had tried to show people that he is the way to God (and not to himself, what he would have done if he would be God).

“Jesus said to Thomas: “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can approach the Father, if not through me.” (Joh 14:6 mhm)

He who wanted to show his Father, Jehovah God, was now dead, not belonging to living anymore, and got put in a grave.

“He placed the body in a new memorium which he had quarried out of the rock. He then rolled a great stone at the opening to the memorium and departed.” (Mt 27:60 mhm)

“These went their way and secured the grave, sealing the stone with the custodial guards.” (Mt 27:66 mhm)

Jesus was put in a grave in a garden near the place where he was impaled. Normaly This tomb Joseph from Arimathea as a rich man had provided and prepared that sepulchre for himself, as was not uncommon among the Jews. In this tomb Luke and John inform us that no man had been laid.  It was a clean, uncontaminated unused or immaculate tomb. In the providence of God, it was foreseen that Jesus would be put between the rich.

“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isa 53:9 NIV)

None of the people who knew Christ and had seen him from close by, could find any wickedness in him. He always had spoken with a soft voice, except when he was cross with the sellers in the temple and when he threw them out of that holy place.
His disciples also were convinced that Jesus had not committed any sin, and that no deceit could be found on his lips, him always telling the truth and defending the poor and those who could not speak.

“Messiah never committed a sin, nor was deceit ever found in his mouth.” (1Pe 2:22 mhm)

The fulfilment of the prophecy that Jesus would make his grave with the rich in his death is the more remarkable, because during his life he associated with the poor, and was himself poor.

That the tombs or sepulchres in Judea were commonly caves, hewn out in the rock in groves, and mountains was a common way of constructing places to bury the dead. Those burial chambers were cut horizontally in the rock beyond the walls of the cities in which they dwelt, or were excavations made in the sides of hills, or sometimes in solid rocks and were sometimes of great extent. The bodies were laid in niches in the walls or on flat slabs. After the first had been laid in the grave, a large heavy stone was rolled in front of the entrance.

Joseph with the help of some of Jesus’ followers laid the dead Jesus in his new family grave, i.e., not yet used. Because Jesus had been condemned as a criminal the law forbade the owner of a grave to use it again, and therefore we know Joseph sacrificed his own tomb to give Jesus an honourable grave.

Had Jesus been buried in the common burial-ground of the malefactors, his resurrection could not have been so distinctly remarked, as the chief priests would never have thought of sealing the stone there, or setting a watch; but now that the body is got into the hands of a friend, they judged it necessary to make use of these precautions, in order, as they said, to prevent imposture; and from this very circumstance the resurrection of Christ had its fullest evidence, and was put beyond the power of successful contradiction.

“62 Now on the morrow, which is the day after the Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together unto Pilate, 63 saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was yet alive, After three days I rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest haply his disciples come and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: and the last error will be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a guard: go, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, the guard being with them.” (Mt 27:62-66 ASV)

The sealing of the stone and putting official guards in front of it, was intended to secure the place as much as possible, so that nobody could take the body away to declare afterwards that he would have been risen or taken up to heaven.

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Previous articles

Matthew 27 – The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – Bible Students Intro

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #1 Matthew 27:1-2 – Priests Hand Jesus Over to Pilate

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #2 Matthew 27:3-10 – Judas Hangs Himself

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #3 Matthew 27:11-14 – “Are You King of the Jews?”

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #4 Matthew 27:15-23 – Barabbas or Jesus?

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #5 Matthew 27:24-26 – “His Blood Come Upon Us!”

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #6 Matthew 27:27-31 – Jesus Afflicted by Troops

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #7 Matthew 27:32-37 – Executed at Golgotha

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #8 Matthew 27:38-44 – The Mob’s Abuse

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #9 Matthew 27:45-50 – Jesus Expires During a Darkness

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #10 Matthew 27:51-54 – Temple Curtain Torn in Earthquake

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #11 Matthew 27:55-56 – The Women Who Witness the Execution

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #12 Matthew 27:57-61 – Jesus’ Body Given to Joseph of Arimathea

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #13 Matthew 27:62-66 – Guards Seal the Tomb Against an Imposter

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Additional reading

  1. When you believe Jesus is God, do you think he died?
  2. The day Jesus died

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Related articles

  1. Why is Jesus called the “Son of God” in the Bible?
  2. What Christians Live For: The Redemption from Jesus Christ (Journeys 58-60)
  3. Mark 15: 42-47
  4. Mt 27.57-61 The Burial of Jesus
  5. The Deafening Silence of Black Saturday
  6. Black Saturday – Christ’s work continues
  7. Holy Saturday (Artful Devotion)
  8. Sepulchre of Life

Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #1 Matthew 27:1-2 – Priests Hand Jesus Over to Pilate

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN:
“THE FINAL HOURS: TRIAL, EXECUTION AND BURIAL”

[“Execute him!”]

Matthew 27:1-2 – Priests Hand Jesus Over to Pilate

|| Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66; 23:1

MT27:1 Now at daybreak the religious hierarchy[1] and elders of the [Jewish] people counseled together[2] against Jesus so he might be put to death. MT27:2 Having bound Jesus they led him off and turned him over to the governor Pilate.[3]

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[1] Religious hierarchy: Or, “chief priests.” See notes on ARCHIEREIS elsewhere.

[2] Counseled together: Or, RIEU: in full council to decide; NEB: met in conference. Another star-chamber court. The only charge has been blasphemy.

[3] Pilate: Pilate is named 55 times in the Christian Bible. He was governor of Judea by Caesar’s appointment (Luke 3:1). Though Josephus mentions him, Pilate was unknown historically until a find in 1961 which confirmed the Gospel accounts [Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 55-59 (iii, 1); XVIII, 60-62 (iii, 2); The Jewish War, II, 175-177 (ix, 4)]. The first century Jewish philosopher Philo mentions him (The Embassy to Gaius, XXXVIII, 299-305).

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Preceding

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #13 Matthew 26:59-68 – False Witnesses and the Charge of Blasphemy

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #14 Matthew 26:69-75 – Peter’s Denial

Matthew 27 – The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – Bible Students Intro

When Belonging to the escaped ones gathering in Jesus name

This coming Wednesday it is going to be a very strange particular night to remember.

Normally 14 Nisan is the day that followers of the Nazarene master teacher remember the night that Jesus came together with his close disciples to commemorate the liberation of the People of God. As a devout Jew, Jesus kept to the demand of his God to commemorate that the Elohim requested that month to be the beginning of months for them (the first month of their year). Jesus had not forgotten to tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of that month they had each to select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ households, one animal per household and how they had to keep it until the fourteenth day of that month.

Passover – The sprinkling of the doorposts with the blood of a lamb.

Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel having to slaughter the animals at twilight. For they had to take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them.

Jesus remembered how they are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs…

Here is how you must eat it: you must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover.

This Wednesday it is that day of remembrance.

It is the night that we normally would come together to remember how the messenger of God passed through the land of Egypt on that night and struck every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. It is the night that we remember how everybody in the land had to know that there is only that One God, Jehovah, the God above all gods and leaders (be them a Pharaoh, King, President or minister) of a country.  It is That Invisible God Who will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt, but also over all other gods of the world and over all people on this globe.

Wednesday night is the night that we remember that the blood on the houses where those people in Egypt were staying was to be a distinguishing mark for them but also for us.

“1  The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door-frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” (Ex 12:1-13 NIV)

For God and His people it was clear that meal should be imprinted in the memories of the following generations, and every night of this commemoration the elders had to tell about what happened and why it happened and how God liberated and guided His people. Therefore, real lovers of God should continue the tradition to tell others about what God has done for His people.

The tradition wants that all believers in God and in His son, Jesus Christ, also come together on 14 Nisan to have a Memorial Meal.

In 2020 the world got an unseen enemy raging over the globe, and as such most people have found themselves under the rules of lockdown, not able to come together with other believers to have a memorable evening or great night in unity. They shall have to stay at home in isolation and just have the meal on their own with a restricted family gathering (in many cases not even having the children able to visit their parents).

The Passover meal of Jesus

Like Jesus earnestly desired to eat this Passover with his apostle we also should still do that this Wednesday on April the 8th 2020, the 14th of Nisan. Not only shall we then have to remember God, seeing the blood will then “pass over” the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13), while smiting the Egyptians with the tenth plague, the killing of the first-born sons. After God used a man named Moses to deliver them from their slavery, around 1,500 B. C., we also remember God used a man named Jeshua (Jesus Christ) to deliver the whole mankind from their slavery of sin and to liberate them from the curse of death.

It was before he was to suffer, he received a cup to share it among his close friends. In the same manner, he had blessed the cup, he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples telling them that this represented his body which is given for them, but also for us. that symbolic act he presented to them on that night in the upper room in Jerusalem, he wanted to be done regularly in remembrance of him. That way we also should remember that installation of the New Covenant in the blood of this sent one from God, the Kristos or Christ, which is poured out for us all.

“14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said,

“Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Lu 22:14-20 NIV)

On 14 Nisan we do remember how God provided a sign of a lamb for the exodus from Egypt and how he about 2 000 years ago gave the lamb Jesus as the fulfilment of the Passover. Jeshua or Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, sacrificed to set us free from bondage to sin. (John 1:29; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) The blood of Jesus covers and protects us, and his body was broken to free us from eternal death (1 Corinthians 5:7).

These days it is very important to remember how Christ Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, to liberate us from all ailments of this world and to safeguard our spiritual life. Yes, we can be killed by a virus or by men, but no illness neither any man can take away the life given by the ransom offering of Jesus Christ. That knowledge should take away all fear that we might have by all the bad news that reaches us in these days of CoViD-19.

Traditionally the Bible Books have already lots of teachings concerning infectious diseases, cleanliness, and hygiene, which were well ahead of our time. They were ultimately inspired by God to benefit and protect humans from illnesses and promote healthy lifestyles. Infection control is an inherent part of Jewish teachings concerning hygiene, but Christians can learn a lot from them. The guidelines that are practised today by major health organizations are almost entirely inline and inspired by the teachings of the Bible and also of the Koran.

One reason why the Memorial was instituted also for non-Jews or goyim, had to do with one purpose served by Jesus’ death. He died as an upholder of his heavenly Father’s sovereignty. Christ thus proved that the idea the first people got in their head was a totally wrong idea and that the false charge that humans serve God only out of selfish motives, is just a lie. (Job 2:1-5) Jesus’ death in faithfulness proved this contention false and made Jehovah’s heart rejoice.​ Proverbs 27:11.

We should show the outer world that we keep ourselves safe by social distancing and by isolating ourselves, but that we do not serve God our of fear but out of thankfulness and willingness to please Him and not to please the world. The majority of the world namely wants to keep to human traditions and to heathen festivals. But real lovers of God prefer keeping to the God-given annual festivals, like Passover.

This year the Passover festival may fall at the same time of the Good Week of the Catholics and their Easterday may also be one of these days (Easter Sunday for Roman Catholics: Sunday, April 12; for Othodox Catholics: Sunday, 19 Apr 2020), though we can bet most of them shall not have such a religious meal as we have.
Let us make sure we keep to the command of God, and though we may not invite anyone from farther away, let it be a modest evening full of Bible reading and reflection on what God has done and of how He is good for mankind.

This Wednesday, even when we are not with many, let us remember that God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Indeed,

“ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 6:23 NIV)

Observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal reminds us of the great love shown by both Jehovah and his Son in connection with Jesus’ sacrificial death. How we should appreciate that love!

Having escaped from the chains of death should not have us to think we are free from everything bad this world can offer. Make sure you do not tempt it. Always be careful to keep social distancing and keeping all hygienic regulations.

To have contact with others we shall have to rely on modern gadgets like Hangouts, Face Time, Skype, Messenger, Houseparty a.o., that way preaching and telling also other about why this night is so important.

As we commemorate this important evening in seclusion, let us sense that we will indeed be united with brothers and sisters all over the world in prayer and spirit in union with Christ Jesus.

Bread and wine symbols for the covenants of God and His liberation from slavery of man, salvation from the curse of death.

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Preceding

Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones

14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception

14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus

14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast

14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain

Most important weekend of the year 2016

Preparing for the most important weekend of the year 2018

The Most important weekend of the year 2018

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Additional reading

  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Purification and perfection
  3. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  4. High Holidays not only for Israel
  5. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  6. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  7. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  8. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  9. Observance of a day to Remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Jesus memorial
  12. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  13. Soon it shall be Erev Pesach and Passover 2019
  14. The unseen enemy
  15. Dark times looking like death is around the corner – but Light given to us
  16. In a time when we must remain in our place
  17. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  18. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  19. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  20. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  21. A Passover for unity in God’s community
  22. To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God
  23. The Application of the New Covenant
  24. Redemption #5 The perfect sacrifice
  25. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  26. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  27. Call to help others
  28. Catholics facing a totally different Holy Week

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Further related

  1. Holy Week: a week set apart, in a time set apart.
    Today we begin Holy Week. This is the final part of a longer period leading up to Easter, called Lent. We do this every year, as part of the annual cycle. It is a familiar and comforting ritual for many people of Christian faith.
    This year, however, will be different. In the middle of a viral pandemic, with restrictions prohibiting gathering for worship, Christian people will be walking through Holy Week in their own homes, not in gatherings at church. This is a week set apart, for people of faith, in a time set apart, for all of society.
  2. Pandemics, Plagues and Passover
    It wouldn’t be right to have a blog called Life and Faith Today and ignore what is happening in the world right now! Today is April 4th 2020, and this day finds many centres of population around the world on lock-down, with everybody confined to their homes, while battles rage on the front-line; a front-line that moves relentlessly across the world. COVID-19 is a viral pandemic that has been fuelled by our modern lives and is now destroying them.
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    We pray for your protection for the old and vulnerable
    for pregnant mothers and those undergoing other treatments at this time.
    Almighty God, reach down and soften the hearts of the affluent,
    the greedy and opportunistic, bring humility, caring and giving back into their lives.
    We pray for positive change, that we all learn the lesson of caring for our environment,
    and to respect Your wonderful planet while it’s under our stewardship.
    Help us to learn again to care for each other
    and that together in Your name we are stronger.
    Almighty God, we come to you in deep humility.
    Hear our prayer at this time of our distress.
    Through Jesus Christ our Lord
    Amen
  3. Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Warns of ‘a Lot of Death’ While Revisiting Easter Services
    Veering from grim warnings to baseless assurances in a single news conference, President Trump on Saturday predicted a surging death toll in what may be “the toughest week” of the coronavirus pandemic before also dispensing unproven medical advice. He suggested again that Americans might be able to congregate for Easter Sunday services.
    “There will be a lot of death,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, where he and other American officials depicted some parts of the United States as climbing toward the peaks of their crises, while warning that new hot spots were emerging in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington, D.C.At one point Mr. Trump, who initially set Easter Sunday as a target date for reopening the country before backing off, said that the holiday would be a particularly “sad” day for Americans prohibited from gathering in large numbers. He said he would again like to consider relaxing social distancing rules for Easter services and that he had told advisers, “maybe we could allow special for churches” gatherings that were possibly outside with “great separation.”
  4. Easter Bread Recipe
    On April 19th, Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter and this year it’s different.
    Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak and things are not the same. While Easter celebrations are not about clothes or Easter eggs, people gathering to share the joy and true meaning of the holiday is. And this year it’s different! People are asked to remain isolated and social distancing is advised to prevent infection.
    Nevertheless, one thing remains, the faith of better days to come and hope that the coming holidays will bring more joy and peace to everyone.
  5. Virus alters Holy Week celebration worldwide
    For Pope Francis at the Vatican, and for Christians worldwide from churches large and small, this will be an Easter like none other: The joyous message of Christ’s resurrection will be delivered to empty pews.
    Worries about the coronavirus outbreak have triggered widespread cancellations of Holy Week processions and in-person services. Many pastors will preach on TV or online, tailoring sermons to account for the pandemic. Many extended families will reunite via Face Time and Zoom rather than around a communal table laden with an Easter feast on April 12.
    Pope Francis, the first pontiff from Latin America, will be celebrating Mass for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Easter in a near-empty St. Peter’s Basilica, instead of in the huge square outside filled with Catholic faithful.
  6. Holy Week & Coronavirus thoughts.
    coming around to special-ness of having Easter with my church family. looking forward to it since we hadn’t enjoyed it with our church in 3 years. then COVID-19 happened. and we haven’t had a church service in person in over a month. and we won’t be able to celebrate Easter together. best day, the best thing anyone could ever do for me and i can’t celebrate it on its traditional day with my brothers and sisters in Christ. i’ve went to the same church my entire life. 19 years. most of those people are like family. i love them so much. they are my family.
  7. Celebrating King Jesus while Sheltering-in-Place
    here we are, celebrating King Jesus on this special Palm Sunday, while locked down in our homes, helping to “flatten the curve” of the spread of this COVID-19 virus.
    Of course, we are not alone. It seems half the world is observing the “shelter-in-place” orders of the “authorities” over them. Paul told Pastor Timothy that such submission “is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3).

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

In our previous post you could read how Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives and talked to his disciples who had asked him to tell them when this destruction of the temple, about he talked earlier, would take place, and what would be the sign of his coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?

Jesus answered their question, telling about days or moments and things as the prophets had foretold it, and to make sure that no one would mislead them, but at the same time warns us to be careful not to be deceived and not having us lead into error. (Matthew 24:4) We may not forget that many will so come in Jesus his name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to the sent one from God], saying,

‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. : after the distress of those days, (Matthew 24:5)

Jesus told his disciples that they would continually hear of wars and rumours of wars, and that is also what happened throughout the ages. Several students of the Bible were not at all frightened, because they knew and we know that those things must take place (Matthew 24:6)

Throughout the ages we have seen that nation rose against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Throughout the ages there have always been wars and lots of problems, like droughts, famines, heave destructing storms, earthquakes in various places. Jesus told his disciples generations would encounter such things, but them would all be merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]. (Matthew 24:7-8)

Jesus told us in advance about many signs which shall occur at certain times. It would be to his followers and readers of the Scriptures to come to know those signs and not to be left in the dark. What should bring us out of the dark is what Jesus further told:

“29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” (Mt 24:29-30 NIV)

Even when the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not provide its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken it should not be a time of distress for us, whilst it might be for many in this world.

For Students of the Bible it shall be that time to be recognised as the sign of the Son of Man [coming in his glory] for which many of us waited such a long time. For centuries fellow members looked forward for signs to appear in the sky, when they would come to see all the tribes of the earth and especially Israel to come to mourn [regretting their rebellion and rejection of the Messiah] (Matthew 24:30)

We still wait and look forward to that day when we will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliance and splendour] (Matthew 24:30). Waiting already such a long time we should not be weary, the return of the Christ is imminent.

When looking at what is going on in the world we may be sure that one day, not so far in the future, the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light, people coming to see the stars falling from the sky [heaven] (Matthew 24:29).

When Jesus was talking about all this he had already told them that he was going to have to go to Jerusalem to have his final days there, because him being betrayed, falsely accused, tried, beaten, and eventually put to death. He had spoken about his reason for his (first) coming to earth. He told about his primary mission being to serve as the sacrificial offering for the sins of mankind. Having told them that he would be killed he also assured them that this would not be the end of him, because he would be restored to life and there would come a day when he would return to earth a second time.
But there was much that would have to take place before that return. And the date of his second appearance was and would be a mystery for many years. He told the disciples,

“No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt 24:36 NIV)

Yes, even Jesus himself did not know the day. He as a son of man, not being like God, an all-knowing god, was in darkness about the moment God would allow him to come back to earth to fulfil his task.

The short time Jesus had his public life, he warned people to return to God and to prepare themselves to be worthy for entering the Kingdom of God, because everybody had to know there would come a day of death, or end of living, and a judgement day, when it would be all too late to change anything. All choices for the way of living have to be made whilst living, so before the moment of death arrives.
Jesus has warned those around him several times,

“ So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Mt 24:44 NIV)

The point Jesus seemed to be making had to do with preparedness. He wanted not only his disciples to live with a sense of eager expectation, anticipating that his return could happen at any moment. Jesus wanted to warn everybody and tried with his many parables to show what the Torah implicated and how there would come a time we would have to come before the Elohim to justify us.

People had to come out of the darkness of the world before another sort of darkness would frighten them even more than all the previous events. This led Jesus to tell a few parables to drive home his point. As such people could hear him tell a story about the wedding banquet or ten virgins who were anticipating the arrival of the bridegroom. In the story, all ten virgins share a common expectation of the bridegroom’s arrival. They are eagerly anticipating his coming, but five of them are prepared, while five are not. In the story, the bridegroom has not shown up as expected. But, as part of the welcoming party, they were to have been ready, because, as Jesus had said, the groom was

“coming at an hour you do not expect.”

With the parable of the fig tree Jesus is attempting to open the eyes of his disciples and wants to help them (and us) develop a long-term perspective regarding his Kingdom. From the books of the Messianic writings (1st and 2nd part of the New Testament) we can clearly see that the apostles were focused on the here-and-now, and having trouble understanding that the talk of their master teacher his coming death in Jerusalem was anything but bad news or something to be avoided at all costs.

This entire 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew contains the surprising and difficult-to-comprehend words of Jesus as he reveals the bigger picture regarding God’s plan of redemption. Jesus’ death on the wooden stake would be just the beginning of the much larger, comprehensive Plan of God. It would also include his resurrection, God calling him out of the hell where he was for three days, as well as his return to his Father’s side. Jesus to be taken up in heaven to sit at the right hand of God. But, even more importantly, it would require his eventual return to earth as the conquering King.

Jesus trusted his God, the God of Abraham, and knew very well his position and his task here on earth. But he also had confidence that what was written in the scrolls all would become a reality. Jesus knew that there would be a long delay before his return would take place, and therefore he wanted to assure his followers that they should not worry too much but should always prepare themselves, always being ready for when the moment would be there.
Jesus wanted his disciples and followers to live with a sense of eager anticipation. If they expected it to happen and kept their eyes open, looking for the signs of its approach, they would be able to endure the struggles that were coming their way.

Jesus used the visual lesson of a fig tree in order to help the disciples understand that there would be visible, recognizable signs associated with His coming. The budding of a fig tree is a natural indication that summer is near. It is unmistakable and irrefutable. In the same way, Jesus stated that the signs of his return will be undeniable. He even assures his disciples that

“ I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Mt 24:34 NIV)

From the Scriptures we do know that Jesus always wanted to do what God wanted. He even put his own will aside to do the will of God. From the Scripturues we also do know that Jesus was without fault, i.e. did not sin and as such always told the truth.

In this chapter he was not saying that the events associated with the end times would take place during the lifetimes of his disciples. But while they were alive, they would already begin to see the early signs of his return. The budding of a fig tree provides a premonition or portent of something to come. The buds do not mean summer has arrived, but that it is coming. In the same way, the disciples would live to see signs that would point to Jesus’ coming.

In a sence they would be alive when he returned, because after his death he appeared to them. But the signs he warned them about would not be then, but much later. Jesus gave those warnings so that those who would come after the disciples could see clear indications that it was going to happen.

Each generation of believers has been given signs that Jesus his coming is imminent and inevitable. These signs act as assurances of God’s faithfulness and are meant to encourage us to continue to wait eagerly and hopefully.

The earth would continue to go through all kinds of struggles, including earthquakes, famines, floods, disasters, and even wars. The apostle Paul reminded the believers in Corinth:

“ those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1Co 7:31 NIV)

The apostle John wrote,

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.” (1Jo 2:17 NIV)

This gives already something to have hope for. Because even when we die, there shall be the prospect for that time coming, when Jesus would call the living and the death to raise and to come before his judgement seat. When having lived according to God’s Law the lover of God should not have to worry, because all promises of God shall come true.

In this world of darkness, not many intereted in the Only One True God, Who is One, for many, the second coming of Jesus will be a surprise. Because the majority not being interested in God, His commands nor His Words, the second coming of Christ will catch the majority of people living on earth at the time completely off-guard and unprepared.
Jesus used the days of Noah as an apt point of comparison. In a way, Noah’s building of the ark was a clear sign that something was coming. And Peter seems to indicate that Noah warned his neighbours of God’s coming judgment and the availability of salvation made possible by the ark.

“ if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;” (2Pe 2:5 NIV)

From the Scriptures history telling we know that the people in Noah’s day ignored the signs and refused the message of Noah. Instead, they busied themselves, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:38). Like in the days of Noah, today we also see how people continue their way of life like they want to enjoy life. They go on with their lives, oblivious to the warning signs and ignorant of what is about to happen. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that the same thing as in Noah’s time was going to happen when he finally shall return. It would catch the world unprepared and completely off-guard.

Let us make sure we are prepared!

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

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Find also to read

  1. Today’s thought “They flattered … they lied” (February 14)
  2. Today’s thought “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (April 17)
  3. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?
  4. Looking into the Future
  5. Looking forward for what is to come
  6. The resurrected Lord
  7. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  8. Jesus Christ will return to earth
  9. You know neither the day nor the hour
  10. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment
  11. The New Testament and Judgement
  12. Prophecies over coming days
  13. Memorizing wonderfully 24 the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father
  14. Memorizing wonderfully 35 When the son returns it shall be As it came to pass in the days of Noah
  15. Signs of the Last Days
  16. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  17. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #3 Coming events revealed in the prophetic writings
  18. Today’s thought “Sun, moon and stars” (January 22)
  19. Today’s thought “And they feared greatly” (February 6)
  20. Today’s Thought ” … the earth will be shaken” (May 23)
  21. To be prepared and very well oiled
  22. Preparing for his coming
  23. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  24. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  25. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  26. What I Hope For Is What You Hope For
  27. As you see the Day approaching
  28. The Rapture Wars
  29. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  30. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  31. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 12 Corrupted earth
  32. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 13 Noah’s ark and the flood
  33. Today’s thought “A Damaged and Wicked World” (January 03)
  34. Today’s thought “God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark” (January 04)

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:15-28 – Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

|| Mark 13:14-23; Luke 21:20-24

MT24:15 “Therefore, when you see The Disgusting Thing[1] of The Desolation[2] [Daniel 9:27] {LK21:20 (encamped armies encircling Jerusalem)[3] [Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:15-17, 44, 45]} (as spoken by Daniel the prophet) standing in a Holy Place[4] [Daniel 8:11-14; 9:26] (let the reader be mindful)[5] {LK21:20 know, then, her desolation has drawn near.[6] [Daniel 8:13; 9:26, 27; 11:31; 12:11]} MT24:16 Then, let those in Judea[7] flee into the mountains[8] {LK21:21 and those within her depart. And those in the regions let them not enter into her LK21:22 because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things written[9]} MT24:17 The one on the housetop,[10] let him not come down to enter his house. MT24:18 And the one in the field, let him not return to grab his outer garment. MT24:19 But, woe to the pregnant[11] in those days {LK21:23 for there will be great necessity upon earth and wrath to this People.[12] LK21:24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword and they will be led captive[13] into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations[14] [Daniel 8:10, 13; 12:7] until the fulfillment of the appointed times of the nations.[15] [Daniel 12:7]} MT24:20 But keep praying your flight be not in winter[16] nor on the Sabbath.[17] MT24:21 For then those days will be a great oppression[18] of a sort not to have occurred from the beginning of the world[19] {MK13:19 which God created} until now but will never occur again.[20] [Daniel 12:1] MT24:22 And if [YHWH][21] {MK13:20} did not shorten those days[22] it is unlikely any flesh[23] would be saved. But for the Elect[24] {MK13:20 He chose} those days will be shortened. MT24:23 {MK13:21} And then if anyone says to you: ‘Look! Christ is here!’[25] Or, ‘There!’ you should not believe it.[26] MT24:24 {MK13:22} For many pseudo-anointed[27] and false prophets[28] will rise. They will give great signs and wonders[29] so as to mislead, if possible, The Elect.[30] MT24:25 {MK13:23} Look! I have foretold everything![31] MT24:26 Therefore, if ever they say to you: ‘Look! He is in the desert!’[32] you should not follow them. Or, ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers!’[33] you should not believe them. MT24:27 For as the lightning[34] comes out of the east and shines to the west so will be the Arrival of the Son of Humankind.[35] [Daniel 7:14, 22] MT24:28 Where the carcass is there the eagles will gather.[36]

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[1] The Disgusting Thing: The translation from the Aramaic by Lamsa has this as disgusting “sign.” If this is the case, it makes it clear Jesus gave two “signs”: a) one with regard to Jerusalem; and, b) one with regard to the Arrival or Parousia. In a way it shows Jesus has reversed the order of the disciples’ question which had the PAROUSIA first and then SYNTELEIAS or consummation, fulfillment, conclusion. Jesus addresses “The End” of Jerusalem first and then goes on to the Parousia.

[2] Disgusting thing of The Desolation: This phrase is from the Jewish Greek Bible the Septuagint (LXX) at Daniel 9:27 (See also Daniel 12:11). DNTT, Vol 1, page 74ff: “Matthew 24:15 is taken from the LXX of Daniel 12:11 and appears with slight variations in Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31… E. Nestle demonstrated that the phrase originated as a typical Jewish term of contempt for a heathen deity.… To Jesus the term would probably connote idolatry of some sort. It is observed that Luke paraphrases his words by the expression ‘Jerusalem surrounded by armies’ (Luke 21:20). It is possible that this is closer to the intention of Jesus than is commonly recognized, for the Roman armies were notorious for the idolatrous images affixed to their ensigns.” The Nazarene makes one of his many paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible and here shows that Daniel had foretold the ultimate desolation of Jerusalem’s Temple. So it would seem Daniel 9:27 may be the closest, though all three occurrences of the key phrase may bear on the same thing: the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple.

[3] Encamped armies encircling Jerusalem: This phrase is from Luke and is added here as the explanation of what the Disgusting Thing was to prove to be: the Roman armies in their assault against Jerusalem beginning in the year 66. For details on this event read Josephus’ Wars of the Jews. The Romans minted special coins beginning with Year One and on into the Fifth Year culminating in the spring of 73. Luke 19:43, 44 recorded the Nazarene’s earlier prediction drawing on other words of Daniel: ‘For days will arrive upon you when your enemies will throw up a palisade encircling you. They will distress you on every side. They will dash your children to the ground; and they will not let a stone remain upon a stone.’ Many of these words and phrases are so similar to those in Daniel 8:9-12; Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 11:15-17, 44, 45; Daniel 12:7, 11 so as not to be ignored and it is for these reasons we believe Jesus cautioned the reader of Daniel.

[4] Holy Place: Read Josephus for details on the Jews’ war with Rome. The Romans actually minted coins for the years of the Jewish campaign and then built the Arch of Titus in Rome to commemorate their final overthrow of the Jewish revolt. This relief pictures the Jewish prisoners and the Great Menorah being carried off as booty. The Temple, called the “holy place” or “sanctuary,” also features in Daniel’s prophecy: Daniel 8:11, 13, 14; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:31. This is the very subject before Jesus and the disciples in Matthew ch 24, Mark ch 13, and Luke ch 21.

[5] Let the reader be mindful: Does the Nazarene assume his disciples will be reading the Book of Daniel for details? He asks them to be “mindful,” or to ‘take note of this.’ (PME)

[6] Her desolation has drawn near: Thus the SYNTELEIAS of the disciples’ question about “the end.” The word “desolation” features in Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:26, 27; Daniel 11:31; 12:11. Jesus had chosen it carefully.

[7] Those in Judea: Not just those within the city of Jerusalem but also within the whole region. In Daniel this region or area of Palestine is called “the land of Decoration (or, Beauty).” (Daniel 8:9; Daniel 11:16, 41) Josephus records the exact campaign of the Romans beginning in the north.

[8] Flee into the mountains: There is some evidence certain Christians did flee to the mountains of Perea.

[9] To fulfill all the things written: Particularly in Daniel chapters 8, 9, 11, 12. In the Book of Daniel there is a unique phrase often bandied about, ‘the time of the end,’ or ‘end-times.’ (Daniel 8:17, 19; Daniel 11:13, 35, 40; Daniel 12:4) These seem to always apply to the “end” of Jerusalem. Neither Jesus, nor his disciples, ever used such a phrase as “time of the end.”

[10] The one on the housetop: Interestingly, the Nazarene has “one” on the housetop and another “one” at work, not at some Christian meeting or involved in missionary preaching. This would have been a good time to say so if that was his meaning. The flight is extremely urgent. Now, it would seem the Nazarene could have anticipated, not the “day and hour,” but the length of the “days of distress” for the prophetic evidence was right there in Daniel 8:13, 14, 17, 19; Daniel 12:7 that the whole period of war would cover 2,300 days, with a particular period of three and a half years. As it turns out it is exactly 2,300 days from the autumn of the year 66 to the spring of 73 and the fall of Masada. It is three and a half years from the fall of 66 to the spring of 70. Jesus avoids this, other than a subtle reference in Luke 21:24, perhaps because of human nature to put things off to the last moment. He encourages all to flee without hesitation at the first “sign” of encircling armies.

[11] Pregnant: This is not a period of time longer than nine months or covering many years as Jesus’ warning to women shows. It may include those years during which a mother nurses. He has lovingly not ignored them in their plight. The disaster which befell Jerusalem was a horror on women and their children as recorded by Josephus (Luke 19:44; 23:27-30).

[12] This People: The Jews. Remember the Christians, or Messianists, were generally viewed as a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, by the Jews and the Romans. During the wave of persecution by Nero Jews and Christians suffered. Paul and Peter were executed within the period of 66 to 70 AD. Thus viewed, the “chosen ones” may include all Jews but with the emphasis on those Christian saints. The Great Oppression involves the Jews and spreads outside of Judea (Acts 18:2; 24:5).

[13] They will fall by the edge of the sword and they will be led captive: The words “sword” and “captive” are from Daniel 11:32 in the prophetic context of the Temple and The Abomination. Also, note these two words at that future time of oppression in Revelation 13:10. In 70 AD more than one million died in the destruction of Jerusalem alone. Almost 100,000 were led off captive which the Arch of Titus in Rome commemorates.

[14] Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations: It is possible Jesus is referring to the whole period of oppression beginning in 66 through 70 AD. If Jerusalem is destroyed along with her Temple then she cannot be trampled on. It is during the three and a half years of 66 to 70 that Jerusalem is trampled. Note this word “trample” in Daniel as it is associated with Jerusalem (Daniel 8:10, 13; Daniel 12:7). Also note that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 might well fit that period from 66 to 73 and the conquest of Masada, a word possibly meaning “fortress.” (Daniel 11:31)

[15] The appointed times of the nations: What length of time would this be? By comparing Daniel 12:7 (likely the source of Jesus’ words) and Revelation 11:2 it would seem this period, “the appointed times of the nations,” is three and a half years long and covers that space from 66 to 70 AD.

[16] Winter: A space of three or four months.

[17] Sabbath: Does Jesus still have his Jewish disciples and the Jewish peoples in mind?

[18] Great oppression: In the Greek translation of Matthew this is THLIPSIS MEGALE and is borrowed from the LXX at Daniel 12:1 with hints from Daniel 7:25’s bela (Strong’s #1080) which is rendered “oppress” by some. The words THLIPSIS MEGALE is repeated in Revelation 7:14 for reasons we will see later.

[19] Of a sort not to have occurred from the beginning of the world: This tribulation is without parallel in human creation. Does Jesus not still have Jerusalem in mind? So this is to be the worst disaster in Jerusalem’s history. Note how the Jewish Tanakh (JPS) renders Daniel 12:1, ‘It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since the nation came into being.’ This would refer directly to the nation of Israel.

[20] Will never occur again: Does Jesus the Jew mean Jerusalem will never again experience such a disaster as that by the Romans between 66-70 AD? We shall see later in our consideration of Apocalypse.

[21] YHWH: Or, [the] Lord. The Greek KYRIOS in Mark 13:20 is without the article suggesting God’s Name may have originally appeared here [Compare the Diaglott].

[22] Shorten those days: The period of oppression against Jerusalem.

[23] Flesh: Jewish flesh according to the context.

[24] The Elect: Or, “the chosen ones.” The Greek is EKLEKTOUS. This may well apply to the Jews as a People including the Christian saints. It is during this widespread oppression, with its center in Jerusalem, that Peter and Paul were executed. They did not survive “the great oppression.” They were not “saved” out of it. Note how the term “elect” or “chosen ones” can be applied to Israel (Psalm 105:6, 26, 43; 106:5, 23; Isaiah 65:9, 15, 22, 23; Luke 18:7) and to the Christian disciples (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9).

[25] Christ is here: With these events and the destruction of Jerusalem it would be the appropriate time for someone to claim to be the Messiah or for others to predict the Return of Christ. Throughout history there have been those who claimed Christ had actually returned. “Christ is here!” they cried, though their interpretations of this varied greatly.

[26] You should not believe it: The Nazarene makes it clear his Arrival or Parousia does not take place with the destruction of Jerusalem as the disciples might have anticipated.

[27] Pseudo-anointed: Or, “false christs (messiahs).” Jesus foretold his “field” would be sown with “weeds” (zizania) or counterfeit “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 13:38) “Apostasy” was foretold by Paul (Acts 20:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-7; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2; 2 Timothy 3:5-9). Peter foretold “false prophets.” (2 Peter ch 2) Jude and John stated this process was already in deep ferment (Jude 4, 11-19; 1 John 2:19, 26; 4:3). Any who claimed to be “The Anointed” and yet made false prophecies claiming, “The Time is at Hand!” (Luke 21:8 Byington) were a danger to the true Elect.

[28] False prophets: Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22 on how to know when a prophecy is not from God. Certainly, one of the main themes of these prophets is to go counter to the Lord Jesus who they claim to represent: ‘The Time is at Hand!’ They mislead by complicated and obscure time chronologies which they have worked out. Most of these have used Daniel, particularly chapters 4 and 8.

[29] Great signs and wonders: The more “signs” a prophet points to, the more one ought to be cautious. Paul says something similar at 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 when he discusses “the Man of lawlessness.” Some in modern times hail their powers to heal, or cast out demons, or point to grand buildings, or international publishing, or great radio and television satellite communication networks. Paul stresses it is “the truth” one ought to hold dear (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

[30] To mislead, if possible, The Elect: Jesus may cover the centuries in this warning for throughout the ages the false prophets have misled millions who have failed to do exactly what Jesus directed: ‘Do not believe them.’

[31] I have foretold everything: At John 14:29 the Nazarene taught, ‘I have told you before it occurs so when it does occur you will believe.’

[32] He is in the desert: There are to be no isolated appearances of the Christ in deserted locations, or wilderness areas where some false prophets might try to gather their followers, where others in general cannot view him.

[33] He is in the inner chambers: There are to be no private appearances of Christ to individuals in their bedrooms or elsewhere. Any who claim to have had the Christ appear in their private rooms would be false prophets. This may include private and personal visions or dreams. Three of the four Christian religions actually founded in America during the 1,800’s make such claims.

[34] As the lightning: Lightning is something visible and discernible with the naked eye from horizon to horizon by all under its illumination. Lightning can be seen even with the eyes closed. Compare Luke 17:24 where the ‘revealing of the Son of Man’ is compared to lightning.

[35] Arrival of the Son of Humankind: For the first time the Nazarene uses the disciples’ word PAROUSIA as Matthew translates the Hebrew. Jesus is to use PAROUSIA three times (Matthew 24:27, 37, 39) according to the Greek translator of Matthew’s Hebrew. The word PAROUSIA only occurs here in the Gospels. It should be kept in mind that Jesus most likely spoke in Hebrew (Acts 26:14) and the disciple Matthew recorded his original Gospel in that language (Irenaeus, a Christian teacher of the Second Century wrote: “Matthew published a written gospel for the Hebrews in their own tongue.” The History of the Church by Eusebius, page 210). So, it was a later translator, possibly Matthew himself, who put the Greek word PAROUSIA in the mouths of Jesus and his disciples.

What Hebrew word might the Nazarene have used? Since PAROUSIA is always connected with the “Son of Man” it is likely Jesus borrowed a word from Daniel 7:13 or 22: athah (Strong’s #857, #858) which means “arrive,” the same meaning of PAROUSIA. See notes on Matthew 24:3 for more details. PAROUSIA means the arrival or visit of a king or important person. The English word “coming” has become a common noun referring to such a royal visit. Paul uses PAROUSIA in the context of the Second Coming only once outside of his Thessalonian letters (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8).

Mark and Luke do not use PAROUSIA but choose other synonyms: ERKHETAI, ERKHOMENOS, ELTHON which mean “come” or “arrive.” Matthew does this himself (Matthew 24:30, 42, 44, 45, 25:19). ERKHOMENOS happens to be the word used in the Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), at Daniel 7:13 with ELTHEN being used at Daniel 7:22. Is this enough to establish that PAROUSIA (presence) is roughly the same as ERKHOMENOS (coming) or ELTHON (arrive)?

[36] Where the carcass is there the eagles will gather: This sudden cryptic is not the first time the disciples heard it. See something similar at Luke 17:37 when the disciples respond to certain ones being “taken along.” The disciples ask, ‘Where, Lord?’ The Nazarene responds in words similar to Matthew 24:28. If the “eagles” are those “taken along” (a word similar to that in John 14:3 and Luke 17:34) and these are raptured or gathered, then the “body” is the returning Christ (Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:1 with Matthew 24:30). Luke uses SOMA (body) whereas Matthew uses TO PTOMA (fallen body, carcass, corpse) which happens to also occur at Revelation 11:8, 9, 12 in a context suggesting the Rapture following words paraphrased from Luke 21:24 (Revelation 11:2).

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Preceding

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

++

Additional reading

  1. Prophecies over coming days
  2. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  3. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #3 Coming events revealed in the prophetic writings
  5. Thought on the first day of the new civil year 2020
  6. Today’s thought “My times are in your hand” (January 14)
  7. 1st thought for today “The world may be wicked” (January 16)
  8. Today’s thought “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (April 17)
  9. Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03)
  10. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment

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