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Villains and Heroes of the Crucifixion

All praise be unto to God for sending Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Thanks be to Jesus for being the willing victim and dying for us on the cross. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit for raising Jesus from the dead. Amen and amen.

Villains of the Crucifixion

Judas Iscariot:

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16)

And as they were eating,he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I,Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:21-25)

Caiaphas the high priest along with various scribes and elders:

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”(Matthew 26:3-5)

Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.  What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:57-66)

Herod Antipas:

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.  And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:6-12)

Pontius Pilate the governor:

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor… Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:1-2 and 11-14)

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:20-26)

Never forget the misdeeds of the main crook who is none other the hellish serpent the Devil.

Satan (also called the Devil):

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Jesus (John 13:2)

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. (Luke 22:3-6)

Heroes of the Crucifixion

Simon of Cyrene:

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27:31-32)

Mary the mother of Jesus:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. (John 13:2)

Mary Magdalene and the mother’s of the Apostles:

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. (Matthew 27:55-56)

The mourning crowd:

And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27)

The repentant criminal(thief):

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him,“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

Joseph of Arimathea:

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. (Luke 23:50-53)

The list of heroes of the crucifixion is never complete without the mention of the following:

Jesus Christ the Savior of the world:

[Jesus said;] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:14-18)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

God the father of Jesus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24)

The Holy Spirit:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

Villains and Heroes of the Crucifixion

All praise be unto to God for sending Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Thanks be to Jesus for being the willing victim and dying for us on the cross. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit for raising Jesus from the dead. Amen and amen.

Villains of the Crucifixion

Judas Iscariot:

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16)

And as they were eating,he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I,Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:21-25)

Caiaphas the high priest along with various scribes and elders:

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”(Matthew 26:3-5)

Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.  What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:57-66)

Herod Antipas:

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.  And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:6-12)

Pontius Pilate the governor:

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor… Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:1-2 and 11-14)

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:20-26)

Never forget the misdeeds of the main crook who is none other the hellish serpent the Devil.

Satan (also called the Devil):

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Jesus (John 13:2)

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. (Luke 22:3-6)

Heroes of the Crucifixion

Simon of Cyrene:

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27:31-32)

Mary the mother of Jesus:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. (John 13:2)

Mary Magdalene and the mother’s of the Apostles:

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. (Matthew 27:55-56)

The mourning crowd:

And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27)

The repentant criminal(thief):

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him,“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

Joseph of Arimathea:

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. (Luke 23:50-53)

The list of heroes of the crucifixion is never complete without the mention of the following:

Jesus Christ the Savior of the world:

[Jesus said;] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:14-18)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

God the father of Jesus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24)

The Holy Spirit:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

Desire, discipline and dedication in your walk with Christ

In your walk with Christ your desire, discipline and dedication towards the Lord can work wonders for you. You must desire to do the will of God. And to effectively do the will of God you must discipline yourself through the Word of God. And you must continue to be dedicated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to continue in the right desire and discipline that you need to follow Christ.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control,lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

The best desire for any person is to do the will of God. The will of God is that you believe in Christ. The will of God is that you be holy as the Lord your God is holy. The will of God is that you love God and love your neighbor. Now it looks all so simple, yet so many people are not able to desire the will of God either because they are engrossed into worldly passions or are blinded by the devil. Many people pass away into an infernal and painful eternity as they never once, not even once desired to walk in the will of God.

Might be they never had the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them or may be they heard it but it never took a place in their hearts. However, a believer in Christ who has heard the Gospel has many good things placed before him such as healing, restoration, prosperity, prophecy, wisdom etc. And among the best of these things is the will of God himself. So desire the will of God in your life.

Desire towards the truth is a good to thing to have. Often that is the starting point to receiving Jesus Christ in one’s life. However it doesn’t end over there. A person must live a disciplined life. A misdirected desire might end up in the wrong direction. The principles of discipline in the Bible keep us pointed towards Christ.

To give you an example, just because you profess to love Christ doesn’t mean that you now start fasting, praying for long hours to earn your salvation. (Fasting and praying do not save, only by faith are you saved). Here’s what the Bible says about earning salvation:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Trying to earn your salvation might seem a good desire but in reality it just a lie from the Devil. Jesus called Satan as the father of lies. The Devil is unable to overcome the truth of the Bible. However, to keep people deceived he will invent a lot of lies which go contrary to the Holy Scriptures. No wonder, you must discipline yourself in the Word of God. It will be hard to let go of things, bad things and bad habits that contradict the will of God but once you do it all you will realize that it was worth it. That’s good desire and discipline in action!

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:11-13)

Now the thing that seals the deal with desire and discipline is dedication. Don’t get me wrong but only having desire and discipline will only get you so far. Like for a few months or a couple of years. Dedication takes it further. We are talking about a lifetime. Your belief in Christ was never meant to have an expiry date. None so ever!

Sometimes, I hear testimonies from Christians who came back to Christ after living a life of hedonism and debauchery. They say how they loved Christ and went to church in their childhood but slowly as they ventured into adulthood their zeal for the Lord faded. So much so that there was no trace of it. They loved the false and deceitful pleasures of the world.

Then came that one storm of life that took away all their happiness and set them on a downward spiral of broken relations, being imprisoned and a grave loss of health and money. Eventually someone came by, to preach the Gospel to them and these people truly repented and got saved. Then just to test them a question would be asked, ‘Now will you go back to that sin?’ And there would be a response which is mostly sharp and loud, ‘No, I won’t ever leave Jesus. Why do you even ask that?’. I’m not surprised at their response, for such people have been given a bitter foretaste of hell which hurt their soul within. Only by the grace of God have they tasted the sweet waters of salvation again. That is why they get so emphatic when someone tries to question them about going back into the same set of sins that brought them to serious destruction. This is a just a small glimpse of what dedication feels like.

A person who chooses to live a life of dedication to Christ will not entertain the thought of leaving the great and glorious Saviour Jesus who is the Lamb of God. He will rebuke and shun away all such thoughts that direct him away from Christ. He will realize truly well that the only thing that matters in this life and the next is about continuing to believe in Jesus Christ. For to him, the pain of discipline is nothing in front of the loving mercy of Jesus. A man or a woman who wants to live a life of dedication to the will of God, does continue to maintain both desire and discipline. This is not out of compulsion nor fear of what other believers will say. Rather this is out of great respect and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

A love for God without respecting him is out of sync with the teachings of the Bible teaching and the will of God. Claiming to love him without respecting him in your heart is plain hypocrisy. Do not imitate Judas Iscariot who claimed to be the Lord’s disciple and yet betrayed him because he loved money more than Christ. Do not imitate Caiaphas who was a high priest of God and yet wanted the Son of God dead because he loved man made traditions more than God. These are hypocrites who will receive their due judgement at Judgement day. These men no longer live and so have lost their chance to repent. However, you have a choice and a life to live. In this regard, you are far better off than them for you; you still have your options open. So then, O believer in Christ, live a life dedicated to the will of God. If you are already doing this, then I encourage you to do so even more. Focus and mediate of the following words of Jesus our Lord:

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:19-20)

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