As we read the story of Passion week, we often bump into scenes that don’t quite make sense. A few pieces of historical data can shed a lot of light on this story.
The people who called for Jesus’ crucifixion were not the same crowd as those who hailed him as Messiah. Those who taunted him were corrupt priests and Roman soldiers. Jesus was as popular with the masses at his death as he was at his triumphal entry.
Part III: Prophecies Fulfilled [Start at Part I] During the week of the Passion God was fully in control, allowing evil men to put to death his righteous Son. Even the details that we may not have known are actually part of what was prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, and they show […]
Five days after the Day of Atonement comes the most joyous feast of the year—the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. Sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew word sukkah, meaning “booth” or “hut.” During Jesus’ day, huge celebrations were held in the temple, lasting for seven days. The Feast of Sukkot is also called the […]
If you’ve ever been part of a traditional Passover, you’ve sung a song called Dayenu (die-AY-nu). You may think of it as an upbeat children’s song, but its actually an ancient liturgy that brims over with profound wisdom. The earliest known copy dates from before 900 AD, and some scholars think it’s far older than […]
As often as you’ve read the prophecy of Jesus’ suffering in Isaiah 53, you’ll be shocked at the implications of one widely overlooked line.
I recently wrote an article called “What Really Happened at Pentecost?” It was about where the scene in Act 2 occurs, when the believers were first filled with the Spirit. I explain that the likely setting is in the Temple, rather than in an upper room. At 9 AM in the morning, their attendance was […]
Last weekend Christians celebrated Pentecost, recalling the account in Acts 2 where the disciples heard a wind and saw tongues of fire that appeared above each others’ heads. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and suddenly able to praise God in other languages. Peter then shared the Gospel with 3000 people who were baptized […]
The “Night of Watching” (Leil Shimurim – ley-EEL shi-mur-EEM) is the name of the night after the Passover feast, when God redeemed Israel by slaying the firstborn sons of Egypt (Exodus 12:42). In Jewish tradition, it is said that “just as God redeemed his people on this night, so he will one day redeem them […]
As Passover and Holy Week approach, we are reminded once again to celebrate God’s amazing acts of redemption on our behalf. First he redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt, and Christ redeemed us from death through his atoning sacrifice for our sins. What are the implication of these holy days for the rest of the […]
Prior to celebrating our Passover Seder, I had always thought the crowds unimaginably fickle, cheering Jesus one day and then shouting for his head the next. But Jesus’ supporters never changed their minds. The entire plot unfolded in the wee hours, after the late-evening Passover feast had ended, while most people were sound asleep.