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Who Killed Jesus, and Why?

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You may be a skilled student who is used to reading, analyzing, and digesting written material. Or you may read and study very little. Most likely you are somewhere in between. Regardless, reading the Bible is like no other reading you've ever done before. Therefore, you need to follow a few basic rules in order for your Bible study to provide the nourishment you need to survive as a baby Christian.

ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP YOU

The Holy Spirit is really the ghost of Jesus Christ who has come back to "haunt" us after His death and resurrection. When Jesus was talking to His disciples the night before He died, He very carefully explained that the Holy Spirit would come back to be with them after He was gone. This conversation is recorded in the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters of the Gospel of John. Over and over Jesus emphasized that His Holy Spirit would open their minds so they could understand truth. This is a clear indication that the Bible cannot be comprehended if you do not actively seek the help of the Holy Spirit during study. Of course, you could read the words and have a superficial understanding of what they mean but you would miss the spiritual implications of what you are reading. A very simple prayer before starting to read your Bible could go something like this: "Dear Jesus, allow your Holy Spirit to open my mind to the real truth you have for me here in these pages."

ACCEPT THE BIBLE'S SUPREME AUTHORITY OVER YOUR LIFE

Think about it this way. God is your manufacturer and the Bible is your operator's manual. So, when the Bible says something is wrong, it says so with the authority of the manufacturer. You must accept that there is a significant difference between being average and being normal. Being average is doing what most of the people are doing most of the time. Being normal is living according to your Manufacturer's instructions as recorded in His operator's manual, the Bible, regardless of what other people are doing. Therefore, a certain action or practice isn't wrong because the Bible says it's wrong. The Bible says it's wrong because it is wrong.

LEARN THE PLAN OF SALVATION

The primary purpose of the Bible is to tell us about God's plan of salvation for escaping sin's death penalty. As a result, the Bible may not answer all your questions and you may find what appear to be gaps in the narrative. Or, you may think you see inconsistencies or discrepancies. Not true. When it comes to the plan of salvation, the Bible is clear and consistent from Genesis to Revelation. Here is a brief outline of the Biblical plan of salvation. Learn it and memorize the scripture references:

  1. In the beginning, God created the human race in His own image because He wanted persons with whom He could fellowship. Gen. 1:26-27.

  2. God gave our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, a law which prohibited their eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The penalty for disobeying that law was death. Gen. 2:17.

  3. Adam and Eve broke God's law. Gen. 3:6.

  4. God had mercy and set up a temporary system of animal sacrifices so humans wouldn't have to die for their sins. Gen. 3:21; 4:4-5; 22:9-13; Ex. 12:13; Lev. l:4. For hundreds of years, throughout the Old Testament era, humans used the animal sacrifice temporary plan of salvation to get forgiveness for their sins.

  5. Then God sent His Divine Son, Jesus Christ, to die as the ultimate, supreme, sin sacrifice for the whole world. Luke 1:41; John 1:29.

  6. Now there is no other way to escape the death penalty for sin except to actively and personally accept the sin sacrifice of the Lamb of God. John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

  7. Now Jesus Christ is in heaven where He sits at the right hand of God with the lofty title of The Lamb. Rev. 5:6-14.

Even though the Bible's primary purpose is to present God's plan of salvation to the human race, it is never wrong when it speaks about other issues. The Bible has never been in proven conflict with scientific or historic facts. Each scientific discovery and archaeological excavation is in perfect harmony with what the Bible has said for 3500 years.

STUDY THE CONTEXT OF ALL QUOTATIONS AND EVENTS

The context means such things as: Who said it? Why was it said? To whom was it said? What happened before and after? What were the customs and mores of the people at that time? Many strange doctrines come into being because Bible students ignore the context.

LOOK FOR A DOCTRINAL PATTERN

Try to avoid making decisions about doctrine on the basis of a single incident. The accepted doctrines of the Bible are like a silver thread in a woven tapestry. They appear over and over again across the breadth of recorded scripture. In addition, you should make a distinction between what is reported as a historic fact and what is presented as instruction for those who read. For example, the Apostle Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake but didn't die instantly as the natives thought he would. That is a historic fact but it is not a commandment to handle snakes in worship.

LEARN THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE BIBLE

Here is a simplified sequence of events with approximate dates based on Frank Klassen's BIBLE CHRONOLOGY, Regal, Nashville, 1975.

DATES IN THIS SECTION ARE BC : BEFORE CHRIST

GENESIS

3975
Adam and Eve are created and placed in the Garden of Eden.

2439
God destroys the human race by flood, except Noah and his family

1892
Abraham enters the Promised Land as the leader of God's chosen people. God selects this one special family so they can preserve the knowledge of the one, true God until it is time for Jesus Christ to be born as the sin sacrifice for the whole world. (After Pentecost, everyone will have equal access to God through Jesus Christ.)

1807
Jacob is born, the father of the 12 tribal leaders of the Children of Israel. (Jacob's name was changed to Israel.) Later, they are known as the Israelites in the Old Testament and Jews (for Judea or Judah) in the New Testament.

1667
Jacob and his entire family migrate to Egypt because of a famine in Canaan. Although sold into slavery earlier by his jealous brothers, Joseph turns up as Egypt's Secretary of Agriculture. They all stay there over 200 years.

 

EXODUS

1543
After Jacob, Joseph, and the Egyptian leaders who knew them die, the Israelites are placed into slavery at hard labor. Then Moses is born, the man God will use to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery and back to Canaan which is their Promised Land.

1462
The Passover lamb is killed and the Israelites follow Moses out of Egypt.

JOSHUA

1422
Joshua succeeds Moses as leader of the Israelites and takes them back into Canaan after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The 40 years of wandering was God's punishment for their lack of faith in His power when they first reached Canaan after leaving Egypt.

JUDGES

1372 - 1061
Israel is ruled by a series of judges, ending with Samuel.

FIRST AND SECOND SAMUEL

1065
The Israelites ask God for a king so they can be like the nations around them. Saul is anointed the first King of Israel.

1030
Saul becomes an evil king and David is anointed as the new king, while Saul still reigns.

1029
David kills Goliath, the giant, and captures the adoration of Israel.

1018
David becomes king of all Israel in Jerusalem.

FIRST AND SECOND KINGS

985
Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, becomes King of Israel after David dies.

945
Solomon dies and the kingdom is divided because of his sin of worshipping the gods of his numerous foreign wives. Rehoboam, Solomon's son, is King of Judah which consists of the two tribes [Judah and Benjamin] to be known as the Southern Kingdom. Jeroboam is King of Israel which consists of the remaining ten tribes to be known as the Northern Kingdom.

945 - 721
Israel, the Northern Kingdom, is ruled by a succession of wicked kings and is finally destroyed and scattered by Assyria in 721 BC. They become absorbed into the populations of the countries to which they were exiled and are now know as the Ten Lost Tribes.

721 - 586
Judah, the Southern Kingdom, continues to exist but sins frequently and is taken into captivity by Babylon in 586. However, the Israelites maintain their tribal identity while in exile and everyone we know as a Jew today has descended from these two tribes. Jesus Christ is of the tribe of Judah.

EZRA AND NEHEMIAH

538 - 458
The Jerusalem wall and temple are rebuilt, the Israelites return to their homeland, and worship is restored there.

MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, JOHN

5
Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem of Judea.

FROM HERE ON, DATES ARE AD FOR ANNO DOMINO, YEAR OF OUR LORD

25
Jesus begins His earthly ministry.

29
Jesus is crucified, rises again, and ascends into heaven.

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

29
The Holy Spirit is given on the Day of Pentecost.

35
Saul, to be known as Paul, is converted on the road to Damascus.

49 - 57
Paul makes three missionary expeditions to evangelize the gentiles and the Gospel is preached in many places.

REVELATION

????
The end of this age; the 1,000 years of peace; the final damnation of Satan, his demons, and all sinners in the Lake of Fire; eternity in Heaven for all persons whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

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