Destination 1: From
Glory to Galilee
Gabriel came from God to Galilee to a virgin
named Mary. Bethlehem in Judea is the place He would be born -- yet
Nazareth in Galilee was the place He was conceived. One thing we
need to realize is that Jesus has always been and will always be. He
came from the right hand of the throne of heaven to come down to the
earth as the only possible means of redemption and reconciliation of
mankind. He left the glory of heaven and came to a fallen earth. His
arrival came in the most vulnerable way, as a baby, born to a virgin
teenager named Mary. He grew up in a world being tempted in all
things as we are, yet never did He sin. Therefore, He became the
ultimate sacrifice for all mankind.
Destination 2: From Galilee to Gethsemane
Thursday night, Jesus and His disciples came to the Garden -- a
place they would often visit. Yet, this time was different. This
time He had to make the most difficult decision of His life. The
choice He made here was a matter of life and death for Him, but even
more importantly for all mankind -- past, present and future. The
word Gethsemane in the Greek means "oil press -- a place for
squeezing oil out of olives." This was definitely a time of
squeezing ... as He wrestled with what was about to happen.
Jesus told His disciples to sit while He went a little further
and prayed. He took Peter, James and John with Him. The Bible says
that He was "deeply distressed and troubled. ... His soul was
overwhelmed to the point of death. He asked Peter, James and John to
pray while He went a little further and prayed to the Father. The
more He prayed ... the more intense it got because He knew that His
time had come. In His prayers He pleaded with the Father to let this
cup pass from Him.
Over in Israel the groom and the father of the bride will
exchange a cup of wine. The opportunity is there for the bride to
drink it, which means she accepts the man, or to not drink it, which
means she rejects the man. If she drinks the cup, she is making a
lifelong commitment to this man.
Jesus is asking the cup pass from Him. As He is wrestling in
prayer, we see how intense it got with Dr. Luke's account. The Bible
says, "And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly and His sweat
was like drops of blood falling to the ground." The word "anguish"
in the Greek means "to be in a state of great mental and emotional
grief an anxiety." Jesus here experiences what the medical world
calls hematidrosis -- which is the actual mingling of blood and
sweat together as in the cases of extreme anguish. In the end of
wrestling, as well as in the midst of it, He prays, "Not my will,
but your will be done." In other words ... He is willing to drink
There is something important again that we must understand as we
take a look at what happened when they came to arrest Him. Take a
look at John 18:4-11. It says, "knowing all that was going to happen
to Him." He asked them who they wanted. They said, "Jesus of
Nazareth," and He said, "I am He." When He said this the Bible tells
us that they fell to the ground under the power of God. He had power
to destroy them all. Peter cut off Malchus' ear, and Jesus stopped
him -- healing the ear and saying, "Shall I not drink the cup my
Father has given me?" Jesus was saying, I am committed to this thing
until the very end. He knew why He came and what He was going to
have to do in order to get it done. What kept Him going ... you and
me -- His love for us.
Destination 3: From Gethsemane to Gabbatha (John 19:1-16)
After being arrested in Gethsemane, they brought Jesus to the
high priest and then to Pilate early Friday morning. They took Jesus
and they flogged Him. The whip they used was made of strips of
leather that had pieces of bone. They would strip you down and whip
you 39 times ... 13 on each side and 13 on the back. Many times
people were killed during flogging. Each time they whipped the
individual, the bones would rip the flesh off the body. That is why
it says in Isaiah 53:14, "His appearance was so disfigured beyond
that of any man and His form was marred beyond human likeness."
This is also the place where they placed the crown of thorns on
His head and a purple robe on Him. As they would push the crown of
thorns on His head -- the thorns cut into His head and the blood
flowed. They hit Him on the head again and again with a rod and
struck Him in the face. They mocked Him and spit upon Him. He said
nothing except verses 10-11. Then is says in verse 13, they brought
Him to the Stone Pavement -- Gabbatha. This is the place of judgment
and the place that He was handed over to be crucified.
Destination 4: From Gabbatha to Golgotha
At around 9 Friday morning they brought Jesus to the Place of the
Skull, called Golgotha, and they crucified Him. They made Him carry
His own cross until He could not carry it anymore. They put the nail
through His one wrist and then the other. Then they put the nail
through His two feet. Realize, that He is beaten beyond description,
naked and crucified between two thieves. They offered Him wine mixed
with gall, which is a painkiller, and He refused.
In an effort to better comprehend what Jesus went through on your
behalf and mine, let me share from a medical standpoint what it is
like to be crucified.
Medical description of crucifixion:
The cross is placed on the ground and
the exhausted man is quickly thrown backward with his shoulders
against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the
front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail
through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the
other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the
arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is
then lifted into place.
The left foot is pressed backward
against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a
nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed.
The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight
on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along
the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain -- the nails in
the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes
himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full
weight on the nail through his feet. Again, he feels the searing
agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of
[to top of second column]
As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep
through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing
pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward
to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He
fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath.
Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the
bloodstream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is
able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving
Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of
twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation,
searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves
up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a
deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly
fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost
over -- the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level --
the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish
blood into the tissues -- the tortured lungs are making a frantic
effort to gasp in small gulps of air.
He can feel the chill of death creeping
through his tissues. ... Finally he allows his body to die. All this
the Bible sums up in the words ... "And they crucified Him."
Now, let's take a moment and hear the words Jesus spoke from the
cross. There was darkness from the sixth hour until the ninth hour
-- noon until 3 p.m.
them for they know not what they do."
He forgave the ones who put Him on the cross. He forgave the
ones who were mocking Him and who were insulting Him. He forgave
every single one of them. He also forgave all our sins right
"Today, you will
be with me in Paradise."
Here we see that Jesus is crucified between two thieves. Both
mock Him, and then one changes and ask Jesus to remember him.
... Jesus promised him that he would be with Him in Paradise
that very day.
"Behold your son."
"Behold your mother."
He makes sure His mother is taken care of as He speaks to John
to take care of her.
"My God, my God,
why have You forsaken me?"
At this moment -- Father God turns His face from His son because
at this moment all the sin of mankind -- past, present and
future -- has been put on Him who knew no sin. Here we see His
complete identification with sinners as He took our sins. Quote
from Psalm 22:1: At this time -- the veil of the temple was torn
in two from top to bottom. Earthquakes opened tombs of those who
had died as the righteous were raised.
His mouth dry and His body dehydrated, again showing how human
He was in this moment, He thirst.
"It is finished."
The Greek tense indicates that the word of redemption has been
completed once for all. Sin no longer has to have a hold. Death
no longer has victory. You do not have to stay the way you are
-- you can experience God's very best now and eternal life as
"Into Your hands,
I commit my Spirit."
A prayer from Psalm 31:5 taught to Jewish children. A prayer of
confidence. He commits Himself to the Father.
Destination 5: From Golgotha to the Grave
They carried His beaten, battered dead body and put it in the
tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. He and Nicodemus -- a man who earlier
visited Jesus at night -- wrapped His body and put it in the tomb. A
giant stone was rolled in front of the tomb.
A violent earthquake (Matthew 28:1-7) on Sunday morning. An angel
came and rolled the stone away. The guards were so afraid the Bible
says they became like dead men. The angel told Mary Magdalene and
the other Mary -- HE IS RISEN! Jesus appeared to His followers at
least 10 times over a period of 40 days.
Destination 6: From the Grave to Galilee
Jesus had spoken these words (Matthew 26:32): "But after I
have risen, I will go before you to Galilee."
Then again we see He speaks to the women, in Matthew 28:7: "Go
quickly and tell His disciples ... He goeth before you into Galilee
-- there you will see Him."
Finally, we see that He gives His disciples what we refer to as
the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
Here we see our life mission -- to reach the world and make
disciples of all nations.
Destination 7: From Galilee to Glory
Jesus ascends from the Mount of Olives into the sky. His
disciples stand there staring into the sky -- awestruck and perhaps
waiting to see Him come back. Angels have to come and tell them to
go and fulfill their mission. Also, they give the promise that Jesus
will come back someday just like He left.
The truth is Jesus is coming back and it could be any moment. Are
you ready for His return? Have you experienced the power of having
your sins forgiven? Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ a reality in
your life? God loves you so much and wants to give you a second
chance, a fresh start, a new beginning. He wants you to experience
His best, which is the very best of all! He is reaching out to you
today so you can experience the true meaning of Easter. The decision
is yours and yours alone. I urge you to surrender your life to Him
afresh and really begin to live.
[From Pastor Larry A. Crawford]