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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Dr. R. C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier The Work of Christ: What the Events of Jesus' Life Mean for You - Kindle edition by R. C. Sproul. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon. com.
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His initial declaration was both frightening and hopeful.

The Work of Christ: What the Events of Jesus’ Life Mean for You

It told people not to cling to the past, that God would overthrow old institutions and ways of life for a wonderful new future. This future would be especially welcomed by the poor, the powerless, and the peacemakers. Jesus attracted twelve disciples to follow him. They were mainly fishermen and common workers. Of the twelve it seems that Peter, James, and John were closest to Jesus. Peter's home in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee, became a headquarters from which Jesus and the disciples moved out into the countryside. Sometimes he talked to large crowds, with the twelve to teach only them, or he might go off by himself for long periods of prayer.

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The records concerning Jesus report many miracles an event that goes against the laws of nature and has suggested divine influence. For centuries most people in civilizations influenced by the Bible not only believed literally in the miracles but took them as proof that Jesus had supernatural something that is not normal, possibly with a spiritual influence power.

Then, in an age of reason and distrust, men often doubted the miracles and exposed the reports as dishonest. However, usually the Gospels report the healings as signs of the power of God and His coming kingdom. Jesus taught people in small groups or large gatherings; his lessons are reported in friendly conversations or in arguments with those who challenged him.

At times he made a particularly vivid comment in the midst of a dramatic incident. The starting point of Jesus' message, as already noted, was the announcement of the coming of the kingdom of God. Since this kingdom was neither a geographical area nor a system of government, a better translation may be "God's reign" God being in existence everywhere. The rest of Jesus' teaching followed from this message about the reign of God.

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At times he taught in stories or parables that described the kingdom or the behavior of people who acknowledged God's reign. At times he pronounced moral commandments detailing the demands upon men of a loving and righteous God. At times Jesus taught his disciples to pray: To some people Jesus was a teacher, or rabbi. The healing ministry did not necessarily change that impression of him because other rabbis were known as healers. But Jesus was a teacher of peculiar power, and he was sometimes thought to be a prophet a person who tells of things that have been made known to him or her by a divine power.

On the day now known as Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem, while his disciples and the crowds hailed him as the Son of David, who came in the name of the Lord. The next day Jesus went to the Temple and drove out the money-changers and those who sold pigeons for sacrifices, accusing them of turning "a house of prayer" into a "den of robbers.

During the following days he entered into disagreements with the priests and teachers of religion. Their anger led them to plot to get rid of him, but they hesitated to do anything in the daytime, since many people were gathered for the feast of Passover a Jewish religious holiday. The beginnings of this period include The Centurion's Servant 8: In the Mission Discourse , Jesus instructs the twelve apostles who are named in Matthew After hearing of the Baptist's death, Jesus withdraws by boat privately to a solitary place near Bethsaida , where he addresses the crowds who had followed him on foot from the towns, and feeds them all by " five loaves and two fish " supplied by a boy.

Major teachings in this period include the Discourse on Defilement in Matthew Following this episode Jesus withdraws into the "parts of Tyre and Sidon " near the Mediterranean Sea where the Canaanite woman's daughter episode takes place in Matthew Your request is granted. In the Gospel of Mark, after passing through Sidon Jesus enters the region of the Decapolis , a group of ten cities south east of Galilee, where the Healing the deaf mute miracle is reported in Mark 7: The Confession of Peter refers to an episode in the New Testament in which in Jesus asks a question to his disciples: The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Peter's Confession begins as a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which Jesus begins to ask about the current opinions about himself among "the multitudes", asking: Jesus then asks his disciples about their own opinion: But who do you say that I am?

Only Simon Peter answers him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. In blessing Peter, Jesus not only accepts the titles Christ and Son of God which Peter attributes to him, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an episode in the New Testament narrative in which Jesus is transfigured or metamorphosed and becomes radiant upon a mountain. On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.

Jesus is then called " Son " by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father , as in the Baptism of Jesus. The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. After the death of John the baptist and the Transfiguration, Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem, having predicted his own death there. This period of ministry includes the Discourse on the Church in which Jesus anticipates a future community of followers, and explains the role of his apostles in leading it. The general theme of the discourse is the anticipation of a future community of followers, and the role of his apostles in leading it.

The discourse emphasizes the importance of humility and self-sacrifice as the high virtues within the anticipated community. It teaches that in the Kingdom of God, it is childlike humility that matters, not social prominence and clout. The description of the last week of the life of Jesus often called the Passion week occupies about one third of the narrative in the canonical gospels. The last week in Jerusalem is the conclusion of the journey which Jesus had started in Galilee through Perea and Judea. At the beginning of the week as Jesus enters Jerusalem, he is greeted by the cheering crowds, adding to that tension.

The week begins with the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. During the week of his "final ministry in Jerusalem", Jesus visits the Temple, and has a conflict with the money changers about their use of the Temple for commercial purposes. This is followed by a debate with the priests and the elder in which his authority is questioned.

Life of Jesus in the New Testament - Wikipedia

One of his disciples, Judas Iscariot , decides to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Towards the end of the week, Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples, during which he institutes the Eucharist , and prepares them for his departure in the Farewell Discourse. After the supper, Jesus is betrayed with a kiss while he is in agony in the garden , and is arrested. After his arrest, Jesus is abandoned by most of his disciples, and Peter denies him three times, as Jesus had predicted during the Last Supper.

Jesus is accompanied by Peter, John and James the Greater , whom he asks to "remain here and keep watch with me. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it. Returning to the disciples after prayer, he finds them asleep and in Matthew While in the Garden, Judas appears, accompanied by a crowd that includes the Jewish priests and elders and people with weapons. Judas gives Jesus a kiss to identify him to the crowd who then arrests Jesus.

In the narrative of the four canonical gospels after the betrayal and arrest of Jesus, he is taken to the Sanhedrin , a Jewish judicial body. Pilate then orders Jesus' crucifixion. After the Sanhedrin trial Jesus is taken to Pilate's court in the praetorium. Herod Antipas the same man who had previously ordered the death of John the Baptist had wanted to see Jesus for a long time, because he had been hoping to observe one of the miracles of Jesus. Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, put a gorgeous robe on him, as the King of the Jews, and sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate become friends with each other that day: After Jesus' return from Herod's court, Pilate publicly declares that he finds Jesus to be innocent of the charges, but the crowd insists on capital punishment.

The universal rule of the Roman Empire limited capital punishment strictly to the tribunal of the Roman governor [] and Pilate decided to publicly wash his hands as not being privy to Jesus' death. Pilate thus presents himself as an advocate pleading Jesus' case rather than as a judge in an official hearing, yet he orders the crucifixion of Jesus. Then she describes the use of scourges "composed of small chains, or straps covered with iron hooks, which penetrated to the bone and tore off large pieces of flesh at every blow" p.

Emmerich's visions paint a very negative portrait of the Jews, and give them a much greater role in the suffering of Jesus than is found in the Bible. The Seven Last Words formed the basis of a famous composition by Haydn. Composed in , it was first performed on Good Friday in Cadiz, Spain. Each of the work's seven sections is based on one of Jesus' final utterances. Haydn described the piece as These Sonatas are composed on, and appropriate to, the Words that Christ our Saviour spoke on the Cross Each Sonata, or rather each setting of the text, is expressed only by instrumental music, but in such a way that it creates the most profound impression on even the most inexperienced listener.

Dr Rowan Williams , Archbishop of Canterbury, reflects on the completion of Jesus' purpose in his death.

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The Stations of the Cross are numbered stages in the events of the Passion, from the condemnation of Jesus to the placing of his body in the tomb. The Stations of the Cross are often found in churches as a series of statues or other works of art placed along the walls or on pillars. Christians can use the Stations of the Cross as the basis for a structured meditation on the last hours of Christ's life.

The Via Crucis Way of the Cross takes the faithful on a journey through the final stages of the Passion, as explained in this Roman Catholic guidance note:. In the Via Crucis, various strands of Christian piety coalesce: The Five Precious or Sacred Wounds are the wounds in the hands, feet and side of Christ that were inflicted at the Crucifixion. These wounds have been the subject of spiritual devotion, mostly among Roman Catholics, for many centuries. A number of churches are dedicated to the Five Precious Wounds, and many prayers have been written on the theme.

Some altars are decorated with five crosses - one in the centre and one at each corner - to represent the Five Precious Wounds. In mediaeval times it was calculated that Jesus received a total of 5, injuries during the Passion. The actual date of the Crucifixion is not known, but the evidence narrows it down to dates with the following properties:. Other dates that have been suggested include 7th April 30, 3rd April 33 and 30th April 28 AD, but some recent articles have argued that 18 March 29 AD is the most likely date. From quite early the Passion was chanted in a dramatic way, with the reader representing the different voices in the story: Very often the words of Christ were chanted while the rest was spoken.

The texts were originally chanted by a single person, but from around the 13th century different voices took the different parts. As music became more sophisticated various forms of Passion were developed, ranging from straight narratives with music through to oratorios anchored to a greater or lesser extent in the text of scripture. The earliest play so far is one found at the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy.

Two 13th century German passion plays are known, and Passion plays were more popular during that century and the one that followed. Passion plays often give a detailed portrayal of Christ's physical suffering and many of them include explicit dramatisations of the beating and execution of Christ. There were at least two reasons for this: Secondly, making the action as realistic as possible demonstrated to the audience that the death of Christ was a real historical event.

The most famous Passion play is the one that has been staged at Oberammergau in Upper Bavaria in Germany since The villagers of Oberammergau had promised God that if he saved them from a plague epidemic they would commemorate it by staging a dramatic representation of Christ's suffering, death and resurrection every ten years. The Oberammergau Passion play is particularly notable for involving the participation of the most of the villagers, with over people in the cast.

The Passion is one of the most common subjects in art. Paintings of the Crucifixion were much in demand for church use. Among the most famous paintings is the Isenheim altarpiece by Mathias Grunewald. The painting of the Crucifixion is gruelling in both its detailed treatment of the physical anguish of Jesus, and the visual language used. The Crucifix as a sculpted cross with the figure of Jesus dates from the 10th century the Gero Cross of Cologne Cathedral.

In many churches a Crucifix stands on the choir screen, in the arch between the nave and the chancel. These are often known as 'roods' and the screen as a 'rood screen'. Rood comes from the Saxon word for a crucifix. In this radio programme, Paul Morrison, a naturalist, explores the symbolism of flowers and plants in the crucifixion story. He goes in search of the plant the soldiers may have used to make Jesus' crown of thorns. Many of the details in accounts of the Passion derive from other texts, such as the 14th century German text Christi Leiden in Einer Vision Geschaut which covers the event in horrific detail.

Such treatments of the Passion were common in mediaeval texts. Those who wrote texts like this didn't want to sensationalise the story but to emphasise that Jesus Christ was as fully human as he was divine by showing that the Son of God had suffered the most extreme torture that could be inflicted on a human being. The texts also provided vivid word pictures that would help those so inclined to meditate on the suffering of Christ and, in mind and spirit, to enter into the experience to the extent of imagining themselves actually there.

Bernard of Clairvaux died taught that meditation on the Passion was the way to achieve spiritual perfection.

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Why, O my soul, were you not there to be pierced by a sword of bitter sorrow when you could not bear the piercing of the side of your Saviour with a lance? Why could you not bear to see the nails violate the hands and feet of your creator? Would that I with happy Joseph might have taken down my Lord from the cross, wrapped him in spiced grave-clothes, and laid him in the tomb. The second is that I may feel in my heart, as much as possible, that excessive love with which you, O Son of God, were inflamed in willingly enduring such suffering for us sinners.

Professor Terry Eagleton, cultural theorist, literary critic and Catholic, talks about suffering in the light of the Passion story. He argues that an emphasis on self-denial misses the point of Christianity. The Passion story has often been used to justify Christian anti-Semitism with cruel, tragic and shaming results. Mary Gordon points out that the Passion is To be a Christian is to face the responsibility for one's own most treasured sacred texts being used to justify the deaths of innocents.

The Works of Jesus Christ & How to Do Them

And the gospel versions of the story clearly suggest that even if the Jews did not actually kill Jesus, some Jewish officials played a significant part in getting the Roman governor to sentence Jesus to death. Some people claim that the Bible states that the Jews cursed themselves as Christ-killers. They base this on a passage in St.