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RFL120_Easter and Jesus

RFL120_Easter and Jesus

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Published by: Quotes&Anecdotes on Dec 21, 2009
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05/28/2014

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R120 GP
REFLECTIONS
Easter and Jesus
Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is themost important holy day of the Christian religion. On that day nearly 2000 years ago,God showed His love to man in a unique and very im-portant way.Jesus was born in the ancient Roman prov-ince of Judea, a land now known as Palestineand Israel, to Jewish parents. He taught peopleabout God, healed the sick, and helped people who were lonely, sad, and downtrodden. InHis life He fulfilled prophecies about the
 Mes-siah
(meaning “Savior”) that had been spo-ken of by Jewish prophets, and which wererecorded in what is now The Old Testamentof 
The Bible 
.Many people recognized Jesus as the Savior whocould forgive their sins, and they followed Him.But others were jealous of Him. The Jewish teach-ers of the law and a group of priests calledPharisees complained to the chief priests of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. “What will we do?” they asked. “Look at all the miraclesthis Man is performing. If we let Him go onthis way, everyone will believe in Him and we will lose our power over the people.”So these enemies of Jesus made plans tokill Him. Jesus knew of these plans, and oneday He told His twelve closest followers, who are known as His
disciples 
, “I must goto Jerusalem and suffer much. I will be put todeath, but three days later, I will be raised tolife.” At the appointed time, a day before the Jew-ish festival of Passover, Jesus set out for Jerusa-lem with His disciples. He sent two of them onahead and asked them to find a donkey for Him toride as He entered Jerusalem. When the people saw Him coming, they threw cloaks and palm branches on the ground and shouted, “PraiseGod! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
 
R120 GP
REFLECTIONS
On the main day of the festival, as Jesussat with His disciples at supper, He re-minded His friends that He would soonleave them. He asked them to drink wineand eat bread together in remembranceof Him, until the day that He would eatand drink together with them again inHeaven. When Christians gather together,they often perform this ceremony, called
communion
.Then Jesus went with His disciples to a garden outside the city to pray before the ordealHe knew was coming. Knowing that mankind was separated from God because of their sin,He willingly went through the pain of deathand separation from God in order to take ourpunishment for us. It was hard for Him, butHe did it so that we could all know God andbe close to Him, without our wrongdoing get-ting in the way. A simple analogy is that weare like children who have been bad and de-serve punishment rather than the privilege of going to Heaven. But Jesus is like our olderbrother who, through His death, took our pun-ishment for us. By accepting His pardon, we canbe forgiven, have the loving and happy lives He wants us to have, and be with Him in Heavenin the afterlife.So before dawn the next morning, the chief priests, who by this time had finished their plansto kill Jesus, sent their guards tothe garden where Jesus was pray-ing and took Him captive. They brought Him to the Roman gover-nor Pontius Pilate, and there demanded that Jesus beexecuted. However, Pilate was reluctant. At thePassover festival each year, Pilate freed one pris-oner. Pilate wanted to free Jesus, but under pres-sure from the religious rulers, he gave the people who were gathered in the courtyard next to hispalace a choice between Jesus and a murderernamed Barabbas. Jesus’ accusers persuaded thepeople to ask for Barabbas and have Jesus cruci-fied.“What shall I do with Jesus?” Pilate asked.
 
R120 GP
REFLECTIONS
“Crucify Him!” the crowd shouted back.“But what crime has He committed?” asked Pilate.They shouted even louder, “Crucify Him!”So Pilate did as they asked, but symbolically  washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” After a group of Roman soldiers had beatenJesus, they dressed Him in a purple robe and puta crown of thorns on His head. Then the soldiers led Jesus out to crucify Him, which meantnailing Him to a wooden cross to hang there until He died. They made Jesus carry Hishuge cross until He fell under the weight of it. A man named Simon the Cyrenian helped Jesuscarry His cross.They led Him to the top of a small hill calledGolgotha, and crucified Him there. The sol-diers then threw dice to decide who would getHis clothes. Pilate had a notice fixed to thecross saying, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of theJews.” Two robbers were also crucified at thesame time, one on either side of Him. Jesusprayed for the Romans who had crucified Him.“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”Some of the people watching jeered at Jesus, saying, “If you truly are the Son of God,come down from the cross and save yourself.” Some of His followers were also there, watching and weeping. Among them was Mary, Jesus’ mother. At noon, the country was covered in a strange darkness that lasted for three hours. About three o’clock, Jesus cried out, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God was hav-ing Jesus experience the lonely death of sinners who feelthey don’t have God’s help.Jesus said He was thirsty, and someone put asponge soaked in vinegar to His lips. Then Hesaid, “It is finished.” Jesus was dying to take thepunishment for all the sins of mankind. Hecried to God, “Into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Then He died. To make sure He wasdead, the soldiers pierced His side with a spear,and blood and water ran out.Right then the thick curtain in the Jewish temple was ripped from top to bottom, theearth shook, and rocks split apart. The soldiers at Jesus’ crucifixion were terrified andsaid, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”

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