Let’s start with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Matthew 26:36-46 NKJV Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” (37) And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. (38) Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (40) Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? (41) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (42) Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (43) And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. (44) So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (45) Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. (46) Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
What was really going on here? What troubled Jesus to this degree? Was it simply giving up His physical life?
- The body Jesus possessed was a perfect human body just as Adam’s was in the Garden of Eden.
- There was no death present in His body although He was 100% human.
- Jesus’ body did not become mortal until He hung on the Cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus knew that He was getting ready to have to bow His knee to death itself and allow death to become His master.
Hebrews 2:14 NKJV Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
John 10:15-18 NKJV As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. (17) “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. (18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Power to take it up (authority) again.
- Jesus agonized because He must partake of the dreaded nature of the Adversary
- His body would become mortal
- Satan would become His master
- He was to be reckoned among the transgressors
- He was to bear the sins and diseases of the human race
- He was to be forsaken by His Father
Luke 22:43 NKJV Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
Angels did not minister to Him on the Cross. What did the angel do? Perhaps encouraged Him with the entire plan. Why? Because He came out of that situation emboldened to finish the task at hand.
He boldly and courageously faced His captors.
John 18:1-6 NKJV When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. (2) And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. (3) Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. (4) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” (5) They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. (6) Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
We see that the same thing happened at the tomb.
Matthew 28:1-4 NKJV Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. (2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. (3) His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. (4) And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
John 18:7-11 NKJV (7) Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” (8) Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” (9) that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” (10) Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. (11) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
Luke 22:51 NKJV But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. (iomai – restored, made whole)
So they take Jesus to trial:
- They did not know Him.
- They witnessed His miracles.
- His compassion and love for them was recognized by all.
- He turned water into wine, causes a tree to die by a single sentence, dominated the law of nature, healed the sick, raised the dead with words. His people witnessed all of this. He walked the waves and calmed the storms. Surely they must have know that He was the Son of God.
- What were they going to do with Him?
- He had been circumcised in the Covenant.
- He was part of the Blood Covenant. He came to His own, yet they that were His own would have nothing to do with Him.
- He came to redeem them and they cast Him out.
- He was the Jehovah of the Red Sea, and of Jericho.
- He cause the sun and the moon to stand still in the days of Joshua.
- He was their Jehovah. They were His Blood Covenant people.
- He loved them. They despised Him and demanded His arrest and crucifixion.
- The person they had on trial was the One that had cut the covenant with Abraham.
- Then they crucified Him.
Where did Jesus go when He died?
Luke 16:19-31 NKJV “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. (20) But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, (21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (25) But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ (27) “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, (28) for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ (29) Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ (30) And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ (31) But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ “
Prior to Jesus resurrection, Old Testament believers that died did not go to heaven, then went to a place called “Paradise.”
Jesus did not stop there when He died, He went to the place of torment.
Acts 2:22-24 NKJV “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– (23) Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; (24) whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
Acts 2:24 NIV But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Remember the conversation Jesus had with one of the thieves on the Cross:
Luke 23:42-43 NIV Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (43) Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
There were two areas that the dead went to prior to the Resurrection:
- Hades can have a different meaning depending on the context:
(Paradise) – holding place for the OT saints
(Hell) – place of torment (Matthew 16:18 – “Gates of Hell”)
OT – Sheol
- Gehenna or Tartarus – place of torment and punishment
Jesus passed through Hades on His way to the place of torment.
Acts 2:27 NKJV FOR YOU WILL NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HADES, NOR WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.
We know that Jesus passed back through there upon His Resurrection:
Ephesians 4:7-10 NKJV But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (8) Therefore He says: “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (9) (Now this, “HE ASCENDED”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
We know He preached the Gospel to those in Hades and got them Born Again and then transferred from there to Paradise in Heaven.
Matthew 27:50-54 NKJV And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (51) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, (52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (54) So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Jesus had an assignment He had to fulfill.
John 20:11-18 NKJV But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. (12) And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. (13) Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (14) Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. (15) Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” (16) Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). (17) Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” (18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
John 20:24-29 NKJV Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. (25) The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (26) And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” (27) Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (28) And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (29) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Adam’s sin reached all the way into Heaven.
Exodus 25:40 NKJV And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
Heaven was affected by Adam’s sin.
Hebrews 9:19-26 NKJV For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, (20) saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD HAS COMMANDED YOU.” (21) Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. (22) And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (23) Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (24) For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; (25) not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another– (26) He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.