Crucify Him!

Matthew 27:16,17 in some versions, and some ancient manuscripts, gives a longer name for Barabbas which heightens the dramatic contrast: “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” Some biblical scholars, such as Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, suggest that the name Yeshua before Bar Abba was just a scribal error. He noticed that in Matthew 27:17, in the clause, ‘Who do you want me to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus’ the last two letters of ‘to you’ in Greek form the standard abbreviation used for ‘Yeshua’. The name ‘Yeshua’ was one of the words consistently abbreviated by writing only the first and last letter(s). Samuel reasoned that a scribe, in anticipation of the name Jesus, could have accidently read the final letters of υμιν (‘to you’) twice. Hence the name ‘Jesus Barabbas‘ in only some, rather than all, ancient manuscripts.

Others think it more likely that the name Yeshua was removed from before Barabbas in some manuscripts out of concern that it would cause confusion.
The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is Yeshuˈa, which is derived from the Hebrew verb, yasha, that means “to deliver, save, or rescue,” and is short for Yehōshuˈa (Joshua). It was a popular name during the time of Messiah, so it is possible that both men had the same name and were thus differentiated by their designation as Bar-Abba (son of father), and HaMashiach (the anointed). If that was the case, then the crowd was choosing between the Yeshua who raised the dead and a Yeshua who murdered people and stole from them. They chose the latter.

 The chief priests and officers of the Sanhedrin were determined that Yeshua be punished in accordance with the shame filled, torturous Roman manner of punishment for slaves and rebels – crucifixion. Why? Because they wanted Him to be discredited in the eyes of the people in general, and even in the eyes of His followers. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 states: “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God.” For the Jewish religious leaders, to have Yeshua crucified was to demonstrate that He was not a man of God but One who was cursed of God, He hangs on the tree – this horrible instrument of torture. They failed to realise that He was taking our curse upon Himself in order to gift us His blessedness.

Scourged” was a Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing embedded pieces of bone and metal that made a bloody pulp of a man’s body. It was a brutal punishment that was standard practice before a crucifixion. The person to be scourged was stripped of his clothing, tied to a post or pillar, and beaten until his flesh hung in shreds. Unlike Jewish practice, there was no maximum number of strokes: the whipping could go on as long as the soldier administering it wished. Men frequently collapsed and died as the result of a scourging.

These Roman soldiers took out all their frustrations against the Jewish people on this One called their king. The physical torments of scourging were followed by sarcastic mocking and deriding combined with more physical abuse. The garment placed upon Jesus after his brutal scourging was likely one that had been worn and cast off as useless, “a scarlet robe…faded to resemble purple” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary). The ancients (especially the Romans) used the term purple when speaking of various shades of red (McGarvey, 1875, p. 361; Barnes, 1997). Yeshua‘s tattered flash and blood would have stuck to this robe, and then been torn away when they stripped it off to put His own clothes back on Him. Cruel sinners doing all they could to punish and torment the pure Son of God. It was a bloodied, weakened Man who staggered back out for Pilate to present to the people as they were given one last chance to choose where their faith would lie.

Pilate had no qualms about killing anyone, guilty or innocent. But what he did care about, what affected his political fortunes, power and prestige, was ensuring the peace and stability of the region under his charge. He had bitter experience of how dedicated these Jews could be to their faith and the last thing he wanted was a riot for killing their Messiah, or for failing to kill Him. The intelligence he received would have given him some idea of how large the crowds were that followed this Man, and also of Yeshua’s total lack of attack on Roman authority or institutions in His sermons, which was in line with Pilate’s current experience in questioning the Man. All His rhetorical attacks seemed to be against these religious leaders who had now brought Him to be tried. If Pilate could get them to take responsibility for His death there would be nothing for the Jews to riot against him about.

And then there was his wife’s dream, Romans were generally superstitious polytheists. The objective of Roman worship was to gain the blessing of the gods and thereby gain prosperity for themselves, their families and communities. Anything that angered the gods could threaten such prosperity. Another good reason to goad the Jews into taking full responsibility for getting rid of this Man who threatened Roman order by His very existence and who made religious claims reserved for Caesar (like being the Son of God).

To have the chief priests cry out in loud affirmation: “We have no king but Caesar” was a mighty victory indeed. It discredited any and every suggestion of a Jewish Messiah King and denounced all Jewish longings to be free from Roman rule.

Before Yeshua HaMashiach was handed over to be crucified, Pilate gave the crowds the opportunity to have one prisoner released in celebration of Passover and offered them this “King of the Jews“. Although Rome found it highly offensive for anyone they had not appointed to be called “king“, this Man had not, and would not, partake in any violent uprising against them, so Pilate thought Him the best option to release. Those of Yeshua‘s followers who knew He’d been taken were still in fearful shock and didn’t know what to do, whereas the chief priests had planned this out and gathered their supporters to incite the mob gathered outside Pilate’s Praetorium. They called for the release of Barabbas and crucifixion of Christ.

Barabbas and the two men who were crucified with Christ were likely all involved in the same insurrection (attack, or series of attacks, on Roman interests). The scriptures do not tell us why it was Barabbas that the crowd called for, rather than either of the men who ended up being crucified with Yeshua, but we may have a hint in his name. In Hebrew and Aramaic Barabbas is Bar (son of) abba (father), which figuratively can mean son of the teacher. So, he may have been the son of a rabbi, possibly one of the men on the Sanhedrin who had condemned Yeshua. Matthew described him as ‘a notorious prisoner’ (Matthew 27:16), and Mark as ‘someone who had committed murder in the insurrection’ (Mark 15:7). Whoever he was, the crowd was clamoring for his release, and the crucifixion of the Son of God.

The hurtful betrayal, the condemnation of the only innocent Man, involved so much sin from so many, and yet it fulfilled the perfect will of God. In His sovereignty God uses all things together for good, even the greatest evil imaginable cannot escape the web of God’s goodness. Our sin can never surprise or out-maneuver God, He knows it all from before the beginning. Yet our sin can have devastating consequences for us, as it did for Judas and as it would for the population of Jerusalem. Matthew hints at the tragedy of God’s judgment that is to come through drawing attention to Jeremiah’s prophesy about the potter and at the same time loosely quoting from Zechariah’s reference to the miserly thirty pieces of silver that they had valued Him at and that was thrown at the house of the Lord. He thus assures his readers that God foretold of this travesty, and that His judgments are on their way.

The Romans intended crucifixion to be:
1) unspeakably cruel;
2) mercilessly lingering; and
3) inescapably public (public shaming and warning to others);
Thus, crucifixion was always on a low hill outside the main city gate (because a gate is a bottleneck – any person going into/out of the city must pass that way).

From the palace it was a short walk of about 400 metres to Golgotha.  For any who had been scourged almost to death before their crucifixion it was a long, arduous walk carrying the heavy crossbeam patibulum on the shredded remains of their shoulders. Yeshua‘s battered body may have made it to the city gate before failing under the weight of the patibulum. Simon from Cyrene, an ancient Greek colony near present day Shahhat, Libya in North Africa was heading from the countryside into Jerusalem, likely for Passover, when he was grabbed by the Roman soldiers and compelled to carry Yeshua’s patibulum. It seems that this encounter with Yeshua changed Simon forever, and he led his family to Christ. Mark writes that he was the father of Alexander and Rufus – obviously two men who were well known in the church. In Romans Paul writes: “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother” (Rom 16:13 CSB). Paul may be referring to Simon’s son by the same name, lending further credence to the belief that this family became well known and respected members of the church in Rome.

By now the word had spread and many women came out to grieve what was being done to the only holy man they knew. If only their tears could melt the hearts of these cruel Roman soldiers. Despite His agony, Yeshua turned His attention to these women, encouraging them to stop crying for Him because this was the Father’s will, and warning them of what was to come.

Mark tells us that it was the third hour when Yeshua was crucified. The Jews divided the daylight hours into twelve. So, the third hour was three hours after sunrise, so around 9am. The whole trial process before the Sanhedrin and then Pilate had begun at sunrise and taken around 3 hours.

In the Bible, the word gall most often refers to a bitter-tasting substance made of a plant such as wormwood or myrrh. Mark specifies that the bitterness in the wine was due to the presence of myrrh. Myrrh means ‘bitter’ in Arabic. It is a resiny brownish sap that comes out of cuts from the bark of trees that are members of the Commiphora species. This species of tree typically grows in Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. In ancient medicine, myrrh was believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Wine mixed with myrrh created a potion that dulled the sense of pain. The Talmud states: “The women of highest rank in Jerusalem, out of free impulse, and at their own cost, gave the condemned man this draught.” This, too, was a fulfilment of prophesy from Psalm 62, with the second half of that verse to be fulfilled later that day. Yeshua refused this drink designed to lessen His suffering and dull His senses.

The accused were nailed to the patibulum while lying down, so after having refused the analgesic wine, Yeshua was stripped naked and thrown to the ground, reopening His wounds, grinding in dirt, and causing further bleeding. They nailed His “hands” to the patibulum. The Greek meaning of “hands” includes the wrist. It is more likely that the nails went through Yeshua’s wrists, between the two major bones of the forearm. Evidence of nails being used by the Romans for crucifixion is also provided by Josephus, who writes that at the Siege of Jerusalem (70 C.E.), “the soldiers out of rage and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest.” The ‘nails’ were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 inch (13 to 18 cm) long, with a square shaft 3/8 inch (1 cm) across. The huge nail damages or severs the major nerve to the hand (the median nerve) upon impact, causing continuous agonizing pain up both of Yeshua’s arms. Then the patibulum with its sign (titulus) declaring His name and crime “YESHUA HA-NATZRATI, THE KING OF THE JEWS” was lifted up onto the upright stauros (σταυρός) and secured there. Next, thick iron spikes were pounded through His feet, attaching them to the stauros. Every part of Yeshua’s body, from head to feet, suffered torturous, agonizing assault as He hung on that cross for our sin.

John is the first to alert us to this whole scene being a fulfilment of Psalm 22 when he writes:
This was so the Scripture would be fulfilled,
“They divided My garments among them,
and for My clothing they cast lots.”

Yes, even the finer details of this horror had been foretold by God through David’s Psalm. All things are in His hands.

Yeshua’s powerful first words from the agony of the cross were: Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. When we understand what He was going through for us, and because of us, when He uttered that plea on our behalf there is no excuse left for refusing to forgive anyone for anything. Such radical forgiveness is part of what it means to take up our cross and follow Yeshua.

Do not expect a positive response to your generous forgiveness. Yeshua’s tormentors just increased their verbal abuse directed towards Him.

For Yeshua, the abandonment and rejection from His own people was total.  He was despised and rejected by men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Isaiah 53:3 ESV. Yet, His cry for their forgiveness was not dependent on them repenting or apologizing or proving faithful. It was not “forgive them for they are sorry” but “forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing“, so it was not impacted by the abuse they were now hurling at Him.

According to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BDAG), λῃστής (translated here as “evildoers“) has two meanings. The first is “robber, highwayman, bandit” and the second is “revolutionary, insurrectionist, guerrilla, terrorist.” The Greek work kleptes refers to a common thief; but in Matthew and Mark’s account of the thieves crucified, the Greek word lestes is used, which has the root meaning “to plunder.” Though we don’t have information on the nature of their crimes, the use of this term indicates they were probably a part of a rebel group. While the ESV has chosen to translate it as “robber,” the context clearly suggests a very serious crime is in mind. If Barabbas was a robber, he must have been a violent one – and John does not need to use an adjective to express that. Mark 15:7 backs up that John means insurrectionist by λῃστής, as he describes Barabbas as a rebel who committed murder in an insurrection. Given the fact that Barabbas was in custody for his part in an insurrection, it seems likely that the two λῃστής crucified with Jesus were also insurrectionists. If not, they were at least violent robbers – the meaning of λῃστής does not allow for ordinary thieves. The best conclusion, then, is that Yeshua was crucified alongside two rebels (so NIV)/revolutionaries (so NLT). They both had blood on their hands from violently attacking others, whereas Yeshua’s hands had only touched others to bring healing. One of them recognized this.

Here was the first fruits of Yeshua’s forgiveness. A man whose heart was transformed. He had nothing to commend himself and nothing to offer, being under the same death sentence, but he believed and it was sufficient. “Remember me” is an earnest plea for mercy in the royal court when Yeshua assumes His kingly status and power. It was a declaration of saving faith that Yeshua really is the King of God’s kingdom.

Yeshua’s response brings hope and comfort to so many who have nothing to offer and no way of making up for the wrong they have done. His promise is sure and true. “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” This very day, Nissan 14th, before the sun sets, this new believer will be with Him in paradise. No penance was needed for all his sins, Yeshua was paying the full price for that. Go directly from the shame, pain and sorrows of this life into the joys of paradise with Christ. To be with Him forever!

Here we have some intimate details missed by the other Gospel accounts. Mary’s overcoming love for her Son and Yeshua’s care for His mother. The other disciples may have scattered, and stayed away out of fear of being caught and likewise crucified, as the Romans were wont to do to all members of any group they considered to be a threat to the public order of the Empire. But Mary, her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene would not be kept away by anything. This is the second glimmer of hope we see in the sea of great darkness covering this event. Yeshua was not totally alone, the women were there. One of His male disciples was also there. The one who knew the High Priest, the one this author refers to as “the disciple whom He loved“. Most scholars think the author is referring to himself. John is the Gospel writer who focused on Yeshua‘s time in Judea and temple attendance for the Jewish festivals. It appears that he is the only male disciple at the cross with the women. None of Yeshua’s brothers are there. So, fulfilling His duty as eldest Son, Yeshua hands His mother over to the care of this disciple whom He loves, this one who stayed close despite the dangers, the one who was available, the one who was supporting her now at her point of greatest need.

Yeshua had been suffering on the cross for about three hours. It was now the sixth hour since the sun came up – the middle of the day. It was the brightest, lightest time of the day and suddenly all light was gone – darkness covered the land. It was Passover time, all the Jews had been focusing on the story of their exodus from Egypt. God had sent ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let the Jews go. The ninth plague was darkness on all the land for three days. Now they were faced with darkness on all the land for three hours. The next plague, the one that set them free, was the death of the firstborn son, a plague the Jews were only saved from by the blood of the spotless, innocent Passover lamb on the wooden lintel and door posts of their houses. Upon that middle cross, on this 14th day of the first month, His blood sprinkled on the crossbeam and upright post. After the plague of darkness, He would die as the substitute sacrifice for all mankind – the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

At the ninth hour (3pm) Yeshua gathered all His strength to cry out the first verse of Psalm 22: Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and the darkness started lifting. For the learned Jews who had memorized the TaNaKh in Hebrew (or Aramaic) this cry would have directed them to the whole of Psalm 22, which they had seen playing out before their eyes. But the bystanders close to the cross at this time were not Hebrew speakers so totally misunderstood and thought Yeshua was crying out for Elijah to rescue Him.

Psalm 69, which spoke of the zeal for God’s house consuming Him that was saw with the cleansing of the Temple, also spoke of the response to Messiah’s thirst on the cross – He was given (in the Greek) oxos.  Thayer’s Lexicon defines oxos as follows: The mixture of sour wine or vinegar and water which the Roman soldiers were accustomed to drink.

Yeshua had something more to say, but His mouth and throat were so parched by the ordeal of crucifixion that He did not have the physical strength to say it; thus this request for moisture for His lips, “I thirst“. It was sufficient, and Yeshua managed to squeeze out His last two declarations.

The Greek word translated as “been accomplished” in John 19:28 is tetelestai, the same word Yeshua cried out after He had received the oxos. He said “I thirst” because He knew that all things had already been accomplished with the three hours of darkness and it was now time to bring His suffering to an end.

We don’t know if Yeshua’s last words on the cross were in His native Hebrew (שָׁלֵם / shalem), or in the more universal language of Greek (τετέλεσται / tetelestai) so that the Roman soldiers could also understand what was being said.

The Hebrew word that τετέλεσται (it is finished) best translates is שָׁלֵם. In the context of John 19:30 שָׁלֵם has the meaning, “It is complete, finished, ended”. In the Torah, שָׁלֵם also has the meanings:
# made whole or good,
# restored the thing lost Joel 2:25, or stolen Exodus 21:37,
# debt paid 2 Kings 4:7Psalm 37:21 Proverbs 22:27 Job 41:3

The Greek τετέλεσται / tetelestai comes from the verb teleo, which means “to bring to an end, to complete, to accomplish.” It signifies the successful end to a significant course of action – “I did exactly what I set out to do.” Tetelestai is in the perfect tense in Greek, which speaks of an action which has been completed in the past with results continuing into the present, “this happened and it is still in effect today. The results of the cross are eternal, there never is or will be any other way for us to be reconciled to God.

It is finished” also refers to completing the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies, symbols, and foreshadowings of the coming Messiah. From Genesis to Malachi, there are over 300 prophecies detailing the coming of the Anointed One, that were fulfilled by Yeshua. From the “seed” who would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15), to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, to the prediction of the “messenger” of the Lord (John the Baptist) who would “prepare the way” for the Messiah, all prophecies of Yeshua’s life, ministry, and death were fulfilled and finished at the cross.

The Cross is the sole basis for God’s total provision for us. Everything He did, does, and will do for us and in us, He does through the Cross and the shed blood of His only Son. There is no path back to Him that does not go through the Cross. Paul wrote: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14 NIV); “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Corinthians 5:21); and “God presented Him as the atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and to justify the one who has faith in Jesus. “(Romans 3:25-26 BSB)

When the veil in the Temple was torn, the emptiness of the Holy of Holies was revealed. There was no ark of the covenant in this temple, it had been lost after the first temple was destroyed.

Yeshua’s last words from the cross, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit were once again quoted from the Psalms. This time it was Psalm 31 that the Son of David was drawing attention to. It is a sharp rebuke to His enemies, a comfort to those persecuted for righteousness, and a declaration of absolute trust in His Father.

As the first group of Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple, Yeshua breathed His last and the thick 60feet (20m) long curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the Temple was torn from top to bottom. The tearing of the temple veil signified the removal of what had separated us from God’s presence and need for earthly mediators between God and man. Christ’s ministry as our High Priest was being inaugurated.  But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11–12 ESV)

Although there were different practices in different Jewish groups, for the majority of the population in New Testament times the Passover lamb was slaughtered between 3-6pm on the 14th day of the first Hebrew month (Nisan). At the same time Israel began slaughtering their Passover lambs on Nisan 14, Yeshua, the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) breathed His last on a cross. Thus was fulfilled the prophetic symbolism of the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).

The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) was, through the offering of His own precious blood, appointed our forever High Priest. Our atoning sacrifice became our High Priest. He was both the pure, unblemished sacrifice and the One who offered this sacrifice to God. The curtain was torn, the barrier between us and the holy presence of God removed, the Holy of Holies is now with us wherever we are in the world, accessed through the blood of Yeshua.

God’s ways and timing are perfect in every way, His will is accomplished no matter what man plans. Concerning the Passover lamb God had declared: It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. (Exodus 12:46) & They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. (Numbers 9:12). He had also prophesied through David: The afflictions of the righteous are many, but the Lord rescues him from them all.  He protects all his bones, not one of them is broken. (Psalm 34:19-20). The Jewish religious leaders didn’t want anyone hanging on a cross during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so asked Pilate that their legs be broken to hasten death so they could be removed. While they were negotiating this, Yeshua committed His spirit into the Father’s hands, bowed His head and gave up His spirit. The soldiers broke the legs of the two others crucified with Messiah but seeing that He was already dead they had no need to break His legs. As God had foretold, not one of His bones was broken.

Another prophetic scripture was to be fulfilled before Yeshua was laid to rest: Then I will pour out on the house of David and on the people of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look on Me, the One they have pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Zechariah 12:10 BSB. Just to make sure, one soldier thrust his spear into Yeshua’s side, likely under His ribs, piercing Him and causing blood and water to gush out. Crucifixion typically resulted in death through one of two ways. The first way was hypovolemic shock, loss of blood volume through severe dehydration or blood loss from the flogging that preceded the crucifixion. This caused the heart to beat rapidly, desperately trying to pump enough blood around the body, and this causes fluid to gather in the pericardium (a fluid-filled sac that encases the heart and the roots of the great vessels). The second way was asphyxiation as the victim tired of pulling themself up on pierced wrists and feet to breathe. Asphyxiation can also result in the buildup of fluid around the heart. The gush of water and blood confirmed that Yeshua’s pericardial sack had both filled with fluid indicating death and been pierced along with at least one of the great vessels therein, so no blood would be left for His heart to pump. It was a dramatic piercing, as the scriptures had foretold.

Not only had our Lord’s death been physically torturous, but crucifixion was also specifically designed to be the ultimate insult to personal dignity, the last word in humiliating and dehumanizing treatment. Degradation was the whole point. It was the worst of shaming.

They will look at Him...” Herein lies salvation. To look at Him who was pierced for us. To look at Him who died for us. To look at Him who took our sin upon Himself. To look at Him our atoning sacrifice. To look at Him who is able to save us completely. Not look to another, neither priest nor prophet. Not look at ourselves, neither in admiration nor disgust. Look at Yeshua, the author and perfector of our faith, and receive from Him what we are incapable of earning for ourself.

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39. Farr, Stan. The Passover Lamb. Rabbi Yeshua. [Online] 2016. [Cited: October 21st, 2023.]
40. MDiv, Rick Lanser. THE HEBREW CALENDAR OF THE SECOND TEMPLE ERA. The Shiloh Excavations. [Online] March 17th, 2023.
41. PBS. Religion. The Roman Empire in the First Century. [Online] [Cited: January 31st, 2024.]
42. Jongkind, Dirk. Was Barabbas called Jesus Barabbas? Tyndale House. [Online] April 14th, 2022.
43. Bolinger, Hope. Who was Barabbas and Why Did the People Choose Him over Jesus? Bible Study Tools. [Online] April 27th, 2023.
44. Contributors. Was Barabbas’ given name Jesus? Hermeneutics Stack Exchange. [Online] [Cited: February 1st, 2024.]
45. —. What crime was committed by the “thieves” crucified with Jesus? Christianity Stack Exchange. [Online] [Cited: February 2nd, 2024.]
46. —. What does λῃστής [= lēstēs] mean in Mark 11:17? Biblical Hermeneutics. [Online] [Cited: February 2nd, 2024.]
47. JamesOrr. BARABBAS. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. [Online] [Cited: February 2nd, 2024.]
48. Editor. Who was Barabbas in the bible? Bible Info. [Online] [Cited: February 2nd, 2024.]
49. Bolt, Peter. How did Judas die? A case study In Gospel discrepancies. Moore Theological College. [Online] October 10th, 2013.
50. Fletcher, Elizabeth. Torturing the condemned Jesus. Jesus Story. [Online] [Cited: February 3rd, 2024.]
51. Lyons, Eric. Was the Robe Placed on Jesus Scarlet or Purple? Apologetics Press. [Online] [Cited: February 3rd, 2024.]
52. Windle, Bryan. Behold The Man: Where Did Pilate Sentence Jesus? Bible Archaeology Report. [Online] April 14th, 2022.
53. McIntosh, Matthew A. Crucifixion as Punishment in Ancient Rome. Brewminate. [Online] January 30th, 2020.
54. Contributors. The Greek word “Stauros” does it mean Cross or Stake? Biblical Hermeneutics. [Online] [Cited: February 4th, 2024.]
55. Gould, S. Baring. Wine Mingled with Myrrh. — the Stupefying Potion. Bible Hub. [Online] [Cited: February 5th, 2024.]
56. Harris, Murray J. Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise: What Did Jesus Mean? Word by Word. Lexam Press. [Online] November 8th, 2021.
57. Ryan, Joel. Why Does Jesus Give His Mother to John While on the Cross? Bible Study Tools. [Online] April 5th, 2023.
58. S. Michael Houdmann (EDITOR). What did Jesus mean when He said, “It is finished”? Got Questions. [Online] [Cited: February 8th, 2024.]
59. Pritchard, Dr Ray. The Meaning of Tetelestai – “It is Finished”. Christianity. [Online] October 11th, 2023.
60. Admin. What does the Greek word “tetelestai” mean? [Online] [Cited: February 8th, 2024.]
61. Webb, Perry. Tetelestai – What did Jesus really say in John 19:30 assuming he spoke Aramaic or Hebrew? Biblical Hermeneutics. [Online] May 18th, 2020.
62. Jr, Gary Manning. “Paid in Full”? The Meaning of τετέλεσται (Tetelestai) in Jesus’ Final Words. The Good Book Blog. [Online] April 20th, 2022.
63. Rutledge, Fleming. The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. Eerdmans. 2015. ISBN: 9780802847324

In the comments section below share your thoughts on what you have read and answer some of the following questions…

* Jesus warned that many would come in His name and deceive many. How do we avoid doing what the Jews outside Pilate’s place did and choosing the wrong Jesus?
* What was the significance of Jesus dying on a cross (tree)?
* In your culture what obligations do people have to their parents?
* How was north Africa connected to the cross of Christ, and what impact did it have on this man?
* How do we view our sin in light of what Christ suffered for it?
* What did Jesus accomplish through His death / what was finished on the cross?

Signs of What is to Come – 13th Nissan Evening

Please read Matthew 23:36 – 24:31, Mark 13:1-27
& Luke 21:5 – 28

The new Jewish day began in the evening, as Yeshua and His talmidim departed from the temple after a long day of teaching.

As Yeshua left the Temple and was going away, His talmidim came and called His attention to its buildings.  
But He answered them, “You see all these? Yes! I tell you, they will be totally destroyed — not a single stone will be left standing!”
Matthew 24:1-2 CJB

As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!”
Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!”
Mark 13:1-2 TLV

And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, He said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Luke 21:5-6 ESV

Leaving the Temple, Yeshua passed with His Apostles down the eastern steps toward the valley of the Kidron. As they were passing on, one of His disciples
invited Yeshua’s attention to the marvellous structure they were leaving, to the enormous size of its marble blocks and the grandeur of its buildings. Josephus tells us that while some of the stones were forty-five feet, most were thirty-seven and a half feet long, twelve feet high, and eighteen broad.  They looked so strong and permanent, these beautiful stone buildings of the city of Jerusalem.

As both Isaiah and Jeremiah had, with grieving, prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians, now Yeshua prophesied the total destruction that the Romans would bring upon it just under 40 years after His death. Josephus tells us (Bell. Jud. vii. 1. 1) that when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70 the whole inclosing walls and precincts of the Temple were “so thoroughly levelled and dug up that no one visiting the city would believe it had ever been inhabited.

 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  Look, your house is left to you desolate!  For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:37-39 TLV

Luke 19:41-42 records Yeshua weeping over Jerusalem during His Triumphal Entry on the donkey. The Greek word “wept” is klaio. It referred to crying and deep sobbing. It is the strongest Greek word for weeping in the New Testament. As Yeshua wept He said in verse 42, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” Jesus wept because the city did not understand the “things which make for peace.” That is, they did not recognize their Messiah. Now, as He left Jerusalem for the last time before His crucifixion, again He grieved over what was to come upon them.

 Then the ruling kohanim and elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the kohen gadol named Caiaphas.  They plotted together in order that they might seize Yeshua by stealth and kill Him.  “But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.” Matthew 26:3-5 TLV

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
Mark 14:1-2 ESV
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was drawing near. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people. Luke 22:1-2 LSB

Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, in the court of the High Priest, Caiaphas had gathered the chief priests and scribes to plot killing Yeshua.  Ever since the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian captivity the Jewish people had been waiting for God to come and fill the Temple with His glory as He had when Solomon dedicated the first Temple (2 Chronicles 7). In Tractate Yoma of the Babylonian Talmud, the Gemara lists significant items in the First Temple that were not in the Second Temple: The Ark of the Covenant, and the Ark cover upon it, and the cherubs that were on the cover; fire; and the Divine Presence; and the Divine Spirit; and the urim v’tummim (the stones in the high priest’s breastplate). (Yoma 21b). Whereas the first Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant that housed the Ten Commandments that Moses had brought down from Sinai, the second Holy of Holies stood empty. No Ark of the Covenant and no presence of God. Jeremiah had prophesied that the “land shall be a desolation” and that the Jews would “serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jeremiah 25:1-11; 29:1-10 and 2 Chronicles 36:17-21), yet when Daniel sort God concerning this he was given a vision concerning seventy sevens (Daniel 9) – four hundred and ninety years before Israel would be restored to her status in God’s plan and enter into the promises that belong to them with the coming of Messiah. This had aroused the expectation that with Messiah Israel’s God would come back in person, in power, and in glory to dwell in the Temple in radiant splendor.   Yeshua had indeed come into the Temple at the appointed time, displaying God’s glory in healing the people and declaring His word, but the religious leaders had rejected Him and now sort to kill the King of Glory many had been waiting for. They concluded this could not be done over Passover for fear the crowds of pilgrims would riot in protest, yet Passover was the very time Yeshua decreed it would take place.

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray!  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end.  For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains.
Matthew 24:3-8 TLV

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?”
Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end.  For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains.
Mark 13:3-8 TLV

And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”  
And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.  And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 

Luke 21:7-11 ESV

Before leaving Jerusalem, Yeshua had warned them of what would happen to that city and its magnificent Temple – which came to pass in 70AD. Now, with this much smaller group, He moves on to speak of His second coming and the end of the age. Firstly, He counsels them not to judge in hast that it has come, for many false Messiahs will come and lead many away first, and many tribulations of wars, earthquakes, famines and pestilences will befall mankind before the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

The warning against false Messiah‘s leading many astray, and this associated with wars and rumors of wars, came into stark relief when Simon bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Roman Empire in 132–135 AD, the Bar Kokhba revolt (Hebrew: מֶרֶד בַּר כּוֹכְבָא ) and was hailed as Messiah-king by the influential Rabbi Akiva, who referred to him using Numbers 24:17: “There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite through the corners of Moab,” and Haggai 2:21-22 : “I will shake the heavens and the earth and I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms….” With initial success against the Romans, he founded a short-lived Jewish state and had many more following him and believing him to be the Messiah. This was the sort of Messiah they had wanted (and some expected) Yeshua to be. This rebellion was among the events that differentiated Early Christianity from Judaism as Yeshua’s followers refused to accept Simon bar Kokhba as Messiah or to follow him into battle as they heeded these warnings Yeshua had given them. Rome’s response was to return with a huge army, drawn from many parts of the Empire, and totally decimate the Jews. Rome massacred the Judean populace, expelled any remaining Jews from Jerusalem and restructured Judea as Syria Palestina. The Talmud would later refer to Bar Kokhba as “Ben Koziva” (בֶּן כּוֹזִיבָא, lit. ’Son of Deception‘), a derogatory term asserting that he was a false Messiah.

The Day of the Lord // יֹום יְהוָה, Yom Yahweh
The phrase “day of the Lord” usually identifies events that take place at the end of history when God judges the nations. Thus, the Day of the Lord is a day filled with dichotomies – the terror of God’s judgment and the glory of Messiah’s reign.   It will be a day of reckoning, when all things will be brought into account. It will be a day of restoration, when Yeshua will restore order and establish His authority in the earth.  It will be a day of rejoicing, when we celebrate our King’s glory and victory, making this a glorious day.

The first mention of the Day of the Lord occurs in the book of Isaiah. “For the Day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.” (Isaiah 2:12) “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah 13:9-11) In other words, there will be a great and dramatic judgment, manifest in the physical world, which will interfere with the light of the sun, moon, and stars. God will put down the proud and deal with the sinners. It is a time of judgment, preceded by Elijah the prophet: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” (Malachi 4:5)

The same thought is found in Zephaniah 1:14-16: “The great day of the Lord is near – near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath – a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness – a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers..” In Amos 5:18, the prophet cries out, “Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light.” In Joel 1:15, the prophet writes, “Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.” He continues: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31) “For the day of the LIRD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. (Obadiah 1:15)
In Zephaniah 3:14-15, there is a picture of Israel’s blessing in that day, following the time of judgment: “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.” Zephaniah 1:7 describes it as a banquet: Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated His guests.

“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:9-14 TLV

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.  And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Mark 13:9-13 ESV

“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will result in an opportunity for your testimony. So set in your hearts not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your perseverance you will gain your lives. Luke 21:12-19 LSB

Even as the day of the Lord will be a time of both horror and glory, so too the season leading up to it. They (and we) will be persecuted, hated, beaten and even put to death, and yet even through that we will have opportunity to testify about Yeshua in every nation and to all peoples. In echoes of His pronouncement of our faith being able to uproot a mountain into the sea, Yeshua assures us the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom our opponents won’t be able to resist or refute. We are called to persevere and endure until the end.

 “So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.  The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat.  Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat.  For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.  And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. Matthew 24:15-22 TLV

“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!  Pray that it may not happen in winter.  For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.  And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. Mark 13:14-20 ESV

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the countryside must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath against this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:20-24 LSB

Yeshua directs his listeners to Daniel’s prophesies of an abomination of desolation. The word “abomination” in the Greek means something that is disgusting and is oftentimes associated with that which is defiling and/or idolatrous. In the Hebrew, the meaning is the same and is associated with pagan idols. The word “desolation” means to be in a condition that is uninhabitable and devastated. In all biblical uses, the term can be understood as the “abomination causing the desolation.” The first reference to something like this is in Daniel 8, where the phrase “rebellion that causes desolation” is used. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers says of this: Comp. Daniel 9:27. Probably these words mean the same as the “abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31Daniel 12:11; see 1 Maccabees 1:59).

 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.  It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them.  It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.  Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”
He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”  Daniel 8:8-14 NIV

Daniel 8 predicted the coming Greek Empire and, more specifically, the ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes who on 15th Kislev (in December) 167 BC, built a pagan altar over the altar of burnt offering in the Temple and placed a pagan idol (some state it was Zeus, others say Jupiter) upon it – the ‘abomination of desecration’.  Ten days later, on the 25th Kislev, swine’s flesh was offered on this altar to the pagan idol. Antiochus IV also outlawed any possession, reading of or obedience to Torah and resorted to every conceivable torture to force the Jews to renounce their religion, their laws and their God, seeking to replace Judaism with a universal religion of Greek polytheism.    Greek Conquest and Hellenization (332 – 166 BC) – Renewal Blog.

Daniel 11 also uses the term “abomination that makes desolate” or “abomination of desolation” to describe the alter to the pagan idol that was set up in the Jerusalem Temple and gives more details about the different Greek leaders who would rule over Israel until Antiochus IV Epiphanes was defeated.

“At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before.  For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.  Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate
He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.  And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder.  When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.
“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. 
Daniel 11:29-36 ESV

Then, just as Daniel had foretold, devout Jews overcame and on Kislev 25, 165 BC, three years to the day after the first abominable sacrifice had been offered, the temple was cleansed, a new altar was rededicated and the daily sacrifices to Yahweh were once again offered in the Jerusalem temple. From the time Antiochus IV had plundered the temple in 170 BC until Judas Maccabeus recaptured Jerusalem and led the people in shattering the pagan idol and cleansing the temple on 25th Kislev 164 BC was six years and 110 days (2,300 evenings and mornings without their proper sacrifices). The Maccabean Revolt & Hasmonean Period (166 – 40 BC) – Renewal Blog. It is worth remembering that at the time Daniel wrote this prophesy there was no temple in Jerusalem, it had been destroyed by the Babylonians, so the temple would have to be rebuilt before any of this could come to pass.

When the angel Gabriel is explaining the vision of the Ram and Goat to Daniel there appears to be a shift in focus from the Greek Empire to the time of the end, which may have relevance for Yeshua‘s reference to these prophesies during His Olivet discourse:

“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.  He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people.  He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. Daniel 8:23-25 NIV

Daniel 9 includes a Messianic prophesy that helped ignite Jewish expectations of when Messiah would come, as expressed in the old man Simeon’s conviction thathe should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. (Luke 2:22-38) A Child Is Born – Renewal Blog.

 Seventy weeks (490 years) are decreed about your people and your holy city— to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an Anointed One (
Messiah), the ruler, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times.

After those sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.

The people of the coming ruler will destroy the city and the sanctuary.

The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.” Daniel 9:24-27 CSB

The decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in the seventh year of his reign, around 458 BC. Jerusalem, and indeed the temple, was built in difficult times – Herod did much building of both but his reign was brutal and all under Roman rule. If we count 490 years (seventy ‘weeks’) from the decree of Artaxerxes, we come to AD 33 (there was no year zero).  Actually, the prophecy has the Messiah coming to Jerusalem to make atonement for sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness during the 70th week (Daniel 9:25 – ie, after the seven and sixty-two weeks had finished).  This means that the Messiah was to go to Jerusalem to provide atonement for sins somewhere between AD 26 and 33. Second Temple Period under Roman Rule until Messiah (63 BC – 1BC) – Renewal Blog.

After His death, according to the Daniel 9 prophesy, “The people of the coming ruler will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This is as Yeshua had been prophesying to His disciples about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (which occurred in 70 A.D.). Yeshua’s warning, and accompanying instructions to flee the city, was to save all His followers in Jerusalem from death when the Roman army destroyed it in the spring of 70AD, just after the new ruler, Vespasian, took control of the Roman Empire. The early believers took Yeshua’s words literally, having already suffered the persecutions He had forewarned them of, and acted on His instructions to flee the city.

The early Christian scholar Eusebius wrote of this time: “The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.”

Epiphanes also attested to the Christian escape, according to Bible scholar Adam Clarke. The latter wrote: “It is very remarkable that not a single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though there were many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city; and, had he persevered in the siege, he would soon have rendered himself master of it; but, when he unexpectedly and unaccountably raised the siege, the Christians took that opportunity to escape. … “[As] Vespasian was approaching with his army, all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem and fled to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan; and so they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country: not one of them perished.

So, we can see Daniel spoke of an abomination of desolation (or abomination that makes desolate) standing in the Holy Place in relation to the Greek conquest and alter to a pagan idol being set up in the Jerusalem Temple, then in relation to Roman conquest and the total destruction of the Temple under their banner, and then in Daniel 11:36 – 12:13 a third abomination of desolation is described, this time “at the end of days“.

He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.  Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.  And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.  Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.  But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:9-13 ESV

The first and third of these abominations of desolation were to be set up in the Jewish Temple – a Temple that had been destroyed and no longer existed when Daniel wrote these prophesies, was rebuilt and then destroyed by the second abomination of desolation, and apparently will be rebuilt once more before the “time of the end” and the third abomination of desolation. Another sign Yeshua gave us as to when the “time of the end” would come is: “This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14).

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen.  See, I have told you beforehand.

“Suppose a prophet or a dreamer of dreams rises up among you and gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder he spoke to you comes true, while saying, ‘Let’s follow other gods’ – that you have not known, and – ‘Let’s serve them!’   You must not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams – for Adonai your God is testing you, to find out whether you love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  Adonai your God you will follow and Him you will fear. His mitzvot you will keep, to His voice you will listen, Him you will serve and to Him you will cling.  That prophet or dreamer of dreams must be put to death! For he has spoken falsehood against Adonai your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to entice you from the way Adonai your God commanded you to walk. So you will purge the evil from your midst. Deuteronomy 13:2-6 TLV

“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.
“But immediately after the trouble of those days,
‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light
and the stars will fall from heaven
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

Wail, for the day of Adonai is near! it will come as destruction from Shaddai. … Behold, the day of Adonai comes, cruel, full of wrath and fierce fury, to make the earth a desolation, and destroy its sinners from it.  For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light. The rising sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.  I will punish the world for evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and abase the insolence of tyrants. Isaiah 13:6, 9-11 TLV

Draw near, O nations, to hear, and listen, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all it contains, the world, and all its offspring! For Adonai is enraged at all the nations, and furious at all their armies. He will utterly destroy them. He will give them over to slaughter. So their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their corpses will rise, and the hills will be drenched with their blood. Then all the host of heaven will dissolve, and the skies will be rolled up like a scroll – so all their array will wither away, like a leaf drooping from a vine, like a fig shriveling from a fig tree.
Isaiah 34: 1-4 TLV

Before them land quakes, heaven trembles, sun and moon become dark,
stars withdraw their brightness. Adonai utters His voice before His army. For His camp is very vast – for mighty is it that carries out His word. For great is the day of Adonai – very terrifying! Who can endure it?
Joel 2:10-11 TLV

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will come about that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Joel 2:28-32 NASB

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.  

“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, honor, and a kingdom, so that all the peoples, nations, and populations of all languages might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Matthew 24:23-31 TLV

“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.  But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

Mark 13:21-27 ESV

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Luke 21:26-28 LSB

Yeshua warned us of a time to come when “there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now” (Matthew 24:21), after which “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25) and then “they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). None of this was new, Yeshua had put together what had been foretold by the Jewish prophets. Despite all the horrendous, devastating things the people have gone through, and the Jewish people in particular, yet even worse than all that is going to take place before Yeshua comes in a cloud with great power and glory.

Reference List

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In the comments section below share your thoughts on what you have read and answer some of the following questions…

* When Jesus stated that every stone in the Temple would be torn down it looked impossible that such massive stones would ever be moved – but within a generation it came to pass. Has Jesus told you anything that looked impossible?
* Describe how you think Jesus felt when He wept over Jerusalem with deep sobbing as He warned of what would become of them after they rejected Him and had their Messiah crucified.
* Describe the “Day of the Lord“.
* Describe the “abomination of desolation“.
* What are the signs that the day of the Lord is near?
* How are we to prepare for the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds?