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As I read the story again I notice a few more things

As I read the story again; I notice a few more things and I am reminded of so much of what Jesus did was around relationship.
In the book of John; while Jesus was on the cross he was not only thinking of himself and the horrific death he was experiencing, he thought of others.
John 20: vs 25 it says;
[Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing beside the disciple he loved, (meaning John) he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” and he said to this disciple, (meaning John) “Here is your mother.”
And from then on this disciple took her into his home.]
Jesus being a son wished for her to be taken care of. His mission finished and the death soon to take place.
I also find it to be very interesting and wonderful that later on after he rose from the tomb he saw Mary Magdalene again.
[John 20:11 [Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.
She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”)
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them.
‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them. “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.]
I find it very special and comforting to know he addressed her by her name; in such a way and in such a tone ONLY HE would do.
He KNEW her name. HE knew He could address the woundedness of her heart. Just by saying, “Mary”.
So comforting and so relational. As I read the story again.

The leading priest and Pharisees were remembering

The leading priest and Pharisees were remembering a few things as Jesus was placed in the tomb. In Matthew 27 it tells the story.
Jesus had said at one point in time, “after three days I will rise from the dead.” So they went to see Pilate.
They had requested that a large seal be placed on the tomb until the third day preventing the disciples from removing the body. (should that be part of the plan)
Pilate agreed and allowed guards to stand by the very large stone they sealed it with.
Mary and Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb. There was a great earth quake an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone and sat on it.
His face radiated light and his clothing was white as snow. The guards fell into a dead faint from fear.
[Then the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid.!” (haven’t we heard this before?)
“I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead, just as he said he would happen.
Come, see where his body was lying. And now go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.
Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb.
They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
As they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
The same story is told in the book of Luke chapter 24:1-12
[vs 11 but the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings: then he went home again, wondering what had happened.]
(remember Peter had denied him three times, so he was very eager to see him and perhaps say ‘he was sorry.’)
The leading priest and Pharisees thought they could stop the stone from moving, but God had another plan.

The day was dark and the nights were sad

The day was dark and the nights were sad for the disciples and others who had watched the scene unfold.
They had seen Jesus taken away from the garden where he had prayed.
They had realized the rooster crowed and Peter denied Jesus just as Jesus said he would.
Judas was deep into his own despair after turning Jesus over to the soldiers. (Later he would hang himself.)
So much had taken place leading up to the day of the cross.
Jesus went through much torture and pain; knowing how much it was going to affect everything.
Mary stood by and watched her first born son die not fully understanding how the story would end for them.
The whole idea of crucifixion is wicked and horrific and it was awful for the disciples to see it happen.
The mob had roared; yelling crucify him. There was nothing the disciples could do within the panic of the moments.
In the book of Matthew it lays out the details; scene after scene. Matthew 27: reading through the 28th chapter.
I found it interesting and I am not sure I ever read it before, where Pilate’s wife sent him a message as he was dealing with Jesus, saying, “Leave that innocent man alone.
I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.” Matthew 27:19
Pilate gave him over and washed his hands of the responsibility before the crowd.
Jesus was crucified on the cross.
We know the day darkened around the noon hour. It says it fell across the whole land. (Have you ever seen the darkened skies? kind of eerie)
He let go of his spirit and it was over. The veil in the sanctuary tore from top to bottom, the earth shook, and rocks split apart.
It was complete chaos and the soldiers standing nearby said it was truly ‘the Son of God.’
(remember they had seen and experienced many crucifixions before, THIS one was different)
The disciples knew it was over. They had great fear and remorse as they all had left him in his greatest need, just as HE said they would.
Self preservation sometimes makes us do things we never thought we would do.
I would imagine they had to realize their lives were to go back to where they started, before he called them to follow him.
The grief they had experienced alongside their great disappointment that HE would be with them I would also imagine to be too much.
The day was dark and the nights were sad, as the stone was placed in front of the tomb.

The last moments shared together

The last moments shared together; Jesus was feeling not only the loss of friends he so deeply loved; but I believe the weight of the cross before him was a great burden.
During the last supper he predicted who would fail him and deny him.
Of course the disciples were in disbelief that any of them would deny him.
Matthew 26:30 [On the way, (to the mount of olives) Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’] Of course they all denied that truth and especially Peter saying he would never desert him.
But Jesus put him straight and said, “tonight you will deny me three times before the rooster crows that you even knew me.”
Jesus KNEW what was coming.
In the garden of Gethsemane his heart was heavy and he knew so much was going to take place.
He told them, [“MY soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”]
[He prayed “Father! if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”]
He returned and found the disciples sleeping.
[He asked, “couldn’t you watch with me one hour?”]
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, [“My Father! if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.]
He went back to the disciples and found them sleeping for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
[So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look-the time has come.
The Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, My betrayer is here!”]
(Jesus was speaking about Judas who was once a disciple.)
Just as in the birth of Jesus when the players lined up to allow the scripture to be fulfilled.
This was the very same way, all the players had a role in this very important scene.
The time had come, and the moments were now.

The entire city of Jerusalem

[The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:10-11]
Some thought they knew who he was; but they really had no idea.
Only Jesus knew on that day what was the truth and what was to come in the next few days.
He continued to teach and it angered the leaders for they had no real idea who he was.
Matthew 21:23 [When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (Can you even imagine talking to the Son of God in that tone?)
He asked them a question in verses 24-27 and they could not answer it. They didn’t know.
So he said, “I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
For He knew they wouldn’t understand.]
[He continued to teach in parables and other forms so that they would be challenged and confused. The leading priest and Pharisees became angered, and they wanted to arrest him but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered him to be a prophet.] Matthew 21:45-46
Jesus understood the evil motives and intentions of those who were questioning him.
Jesus continued to criticize the religious leaders and they continued to be provoked stirring them to take action.
After all his teachings in Matthew 26 he tells the disciples.
26:2 [“As you know, Passover begins in two days and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”]
At that time the leading priest and elders were meeting and plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.
But not during the Passover celebration, “they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
In the meantime Jesus and the disciples shared the last supper together.

The days before Easter there was great anticipation

The days before Easter there was great anticipation.
Psalm Sunday was the beginning and Jesus was the only one who really knew the meaning and power behind the day; as it paved the way for what was to come.
He rode on the donkey before his birth, when Mary carried him to the stable.
In doing that she fulfilled scripture; and as the journey lined up she did all that was going to be done so that HE could be born in the stable.
The years went by and he grew. Then the time came for him to do what HE was HERE to do.
In the book of Mark it tells us how he approached Jerusalem.
Mark 1: [Jesus sent two of them ahead, “Go into that village over there,” he told them, “as soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden.
Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘what are you doing?’ just say,’ The Lord needs it and will return it soon.”
The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “what are you doing, untying that colt?”
They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it and he sat on it.
(so much like his mother Mary when she rode the donkey to give birth to him)
Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was the center of the procession, and the people all around were shouting, “Praise God!” Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”]
It was a time of great anticipation and joy for the town people; yet I believe in his heart JESUS knew what was about to take place.
He was just days away from this powerful moment in time.
The players had to be all lined up as if in a play, one after the other set up the stage for the final moments.