The Gospel reminds us to have our lamps ready, to be like men waiting for the Lord’s return so that when He arrives He will find us wide awake and will seat us at His table.

 

 

 Prophecy fits only one disaster in Jewish history after the nation returned from captivity in Babylon, and that disaster was the war which engulfed the Jews in A.D. 66–73, about forty years after the death of Jesus. The disaster unfolded in four stages exactly as prophesied.

1. Invasion. In the decades after Jesus' death, relations between the Jews and their Roman overlords steadily worsened until the Jews revolted in A.D. 66 (23). The Romans, at first overpowered, chose the expedient course of withdrawing their forces from Palestine (24). Soon, however, the Roman general Vespasian began a campaign of reconquest in the north (25). His advance was slowed by stiff opposition, seasonal delays, and political instability back in Rome, but finally, after he had made himself emperor, a Roman army under the leadership of his son Titus reached Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (26).

 

2. Flood. The end of Jerusalem indeed came with a flood. After a siege of about three months, the Romans were able to storm the Temple and the lower city (27). Both were destroyed rapidly by a great conflagration (28). As Psalm 69 foresaw, a great host of Jews—ten thousand in all—lost their lives in the Roman assault upon the Temple (29). A month later, the upper city, which was the last bastion of the rebels, fell in a single day (30). The victory was swift because war, famine, and wanton bloodshed had already killed many of the inhabitants. Few among the survivors had the will or the strength to fight. The legions pouring in through breaches in the walls met little effective opposition.

 

3. Destruction. The Romans then proceeded to raze the city. They tore down every building except three towers and the western wall, which Titus left as monuments to his victory (31). No trace of the Temple complex remained. According to Josephus, the toll of Jewish casualties in the holocaust exceeded one million (32). Many of the ninety-seven thousand that were taken alive later died in Roman arenas (33).

 

4. Desolation. The war was not over when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. They had to deal with several remaining pockets of resistance. One was at Masada, a mountaintop fortress held by a band of zealots (34). Even the mighty legions of Rome could not subdue the fortress by any ordinary means of assault. The narrow passes to the top were easily defended by a handful of men (35). Therefore, having no shortage of manpower, the Romans built a huge earthen ramp up one side of the mountain (36). When the ramp was completed and the Romans had set fire to the makeshift defenses at the perimeter of the fortress, the defenders could see that they were doomed (37). Resolving that it was better to die at their own hands than at the hands of the Romans, they implemented a plan that soon left all 960 dead (38). First, men killed women and children. Then ten men slew their fellows, and one of the ten slew the other nine. The last committed suicide. When the Romans penetrated the fortress, they were amazed to find no one alive except two women and five children, who had managed to escape the slaughter by hiding in a cavern underground.

 

Supporting Scriptures

Malachi 3 1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness
 

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

 

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

 

Exodus 32:10   “ And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.  Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make thee a great nation”.   

 

Genesis 3:15      “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

 

Isaiah 53:1           “Who hath believed our report          

John 3:15-21       “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…”

 

 

  • Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) Beginning of Holy Week - Remembrance of the entrance of the Messiah into Jerusalem.

  • Thursday (Maundy or Holy Thursday) - The day commemorates the Last Supper of Christ and his 12 Apostles

  • Good Friday - The Church mourns for Christ’s death, reverences the Cross, and marvels at His life for his obedience till death.

  • Holy Saturday (Also known as Black Saturday.) - A day of silence and prayer which commemorates the dead Christ in the tomb

  •  Easter - Takes place during the night, either on the eve of Easter or early in the morning on Easter Sunday.

 

 

Jesus' Last Week of Events Leading to His Death

Monday    Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:22, Luke 19:45

  • Leaves Bethany

  • Curses the fig tree on the way into the city

  • Weeps over Jerusalem

  • Cleanses the temple for the second time in His ministry

  • Late in the day, looks into the Temple, then leaves the city

  • Spends the night in Bethany

 

Tuesday      Matthew 21:20, Mark 11:20, Luke 20:36, John 12:20

  • Leaves Bethany

  • Finds the fig tree withered; teaches on faith

  • Possesses the temple and its precincts; confounds and pronounces woes upon His enemies

  • Leaves city; Olivet Discourse on way back to Bethany

  • Judas bargains with Sanhedrin to betray Jesus

  • Spends the night in Bethany

 

Wednesday 

  • Silent Day

  • No record in the Gospels, but much activity as Jesus prepares for Last Supper and as Judas and Sanhedrin prepare for Jesus' arrest

  • Remains in Bethany throughout the day, stays the night there

 

Thursday   Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:1, Luke 22:        

  • Peter and John sent to make preparation for Passover meal

  • After sunset, eats a meal with the twelve; washes disciples; Judas departs

  • Lord's Supper instituted

  • To Garden of Gethsemane; Jesus' agony

  • Betrayal by Judas; arrest by Sanhedrin

  • To house of High Priest as Sanhedrin is convened; Peter betrays Jesus

 

Friday   The Trials of Jesus Christ

  • The 1st trial, before Annas [nightime hours]; Annas is looking for an accusation, biding time till Sanhedrin is gathered at High Priestly villa

  • The 2nd[and primary] trial before Sanhedrin, Jesus is condemned, misused

  • The 3rd trial, immediately at dawn [meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a third time; Jesus looks upon him]; the condemnation repeated, then Jesus is taken to Romans

  • The 4th trial before Pilate [till "beginning at Galilee"]

  • The 5th trial before Herod [looks for miracle]

  • The 6th trial before Pilate

  • Jesus is scourged; the city cries, "Crucify Him or we will tell Rome!"

  • Jesus is finally turned over to be crucified

  • Jesus mocked (Roman soldiers); a crown of thorns

  • Judas hangs himself

  • Jesus bears His cross to gate on the north of the city and is crucified around 9 am and dies at 3 pm (Mark 15:25-34).

 

 

 

Bishop Lockhart is the Senior Pastor at The Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc.

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