Apr 1, 2015
The Hebrew Scriptures record more than fifty prophecies concerning the passion and death of the expected Messiah. The theme of the Suffering Servant, despised, rejected, and abandoned, anticipates his sufferings. Amazingly, a few veiled references to the resurrection are found among them. The parallels between the Old and New Testaments offer the singular and compelling case that Jesus, and no other historical figure, fulfilled these prophecies. The most explicit of them are found in Isaiah’s chapters 50-53. The remaining are scattered throughout the Old Testament.
Jesus’ passion and death should be considered on two levels, the human and the divine. A common and familiar source of human suffering is malice. It was malice that crushed him. It was malice that led to his crucifixion.
Overview of Holy Week
Taken collectively and viewed in human terms, the last hours of Jesus were crowded with high drama. Judas had already sold him out, and his enemies were seeking a way to expedite his death.
Where were his defenders? Peter got cold feet. After boasting of his unwavering support for his Master, he betrayed Jesus not once but three times, swearing in the process. The other disciples fled. Every man for himself. The early hours of that Good Friday inched inexorably toward the Hour. Only the Beloved Disciple and a few women remained with the Lord. His Mother stood by to the end.