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When Darkness Reigns

2 April, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“But this is your hour – when darkness reigns.”  Luke 22:53b

Evil permeates the darkness, spreading vicious and depraved shadows of death in the night air. The hours ahead reveal the debased mind of man being led by and corrupted by pure evil. Yet, these are the very ones for whom Yeshua is laying down His life.  The greatest battle of life and time has begun between the spiritual forces of good and evil.  The one who wins this battle wins the war!!! The victory is the saving of the souls of men who choose Yeshua’s way of light and life.
Earlier, Yeshua prayed for Himself to His Father God, then continued to pray for His disciples for protection from the evil one, then lastly, Yeshua prayed for you and me and all who, in the future, would believe and follow His message of salvation.  John 17
When Yeshua had finished praying, He left with His talmidim and crossed the stream that flows in winter through the Vadi Kidron Valley.  On the other side was an olive grove, called the Mount of Olives.  
 
32 They went to a place called Gat Sh’manim; and Yeshua said to his talmidim, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Kefa, Ya`akov and Yochanan. Great distress and anguish came over him; 34 and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake.” Mark 14
39 Going on a little farther, He fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!” 40 He returned to the talmidim and found them sleeping. He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with Me for even an hour? 41 Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test – the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.” 42 A second time He went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what You want be done.” 43 Again He returned and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy. 44 Leaving them again, He went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words.  Matthew 26
41 He went about a stone’s throw away from them, kneeled down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not My will but Yours be done.” 43 There appeared to Him an angel from heaven giving Him strength, 44 and in great anguish He prayed more intensely, so that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22
41 The third time, he came and said to them, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest. . . .There, that’s enough! The time has come! Look! The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners! 42 Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!” Mark 14
2 Now Y’hudah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place; because Yeshua had often met there with His talmidim. 3 So Y’hudah went there, taking with him a detachment of Roman soldiers and some Temple guards provided by the head cohanim and the P’rushim; they carried weapons, swords and clubs, lanterns and torches.  John 18
48 The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want — grab Him!” 49 He went straight up to Yeshua, said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 Yeshua said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they moved forward, laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him. 51 At that, one of the men with Yeshua reached for his sword, drew it out and struck at the servant of the cohen hagadol, cutting off his ear.  But Yeshua answered, “No more of this!”  And He touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52 Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back where it belongs, for everyone who uses the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you know that I can ask my Father, and He will instantly provide more than twelve legions of angels to help Me? 54 But if I did that, how could the passages in the Tanakh be fulfilled that say it has to happen this way?” Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled. Matthew 26
52 Then Yeshua said to the head cohanim, the officers of the Temple guard and the elders who had come to seize Him, “So you came out just as you would to the leader of a rebellion, with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was there with you in the Temple court, yet you didn’t arrest Me. But this is your hour — the hour when darkness reigns.” Luke 22
12 So the detachment of Roman soldiers and their captain, together with the Temple Guard of the Judeans, arrested Yeshua, tied Him up, 13 and took Him first to `Anan, the father-in-law of Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that fateful year. 14 (It was Kayafa who had advised the Judeans that it would be good for one man to die on behalf of the people.)  John 18
15 Shim`on Kefa and another talmid followed Yeshua. The second talmid was known to the cohen hagadol, and he went with Yeshua into the courtyard of the cohen hagadol; 16 but Kefa stood outside by the gate. So the other talmid, the one known to the cohen hagadol, went back out and spoke to the woman on duty at the gate, then brought Kefa inside. 17 The woman at the gate said to Kefa, “Aren’t you another of that man’s talmidim?” He said, “No, I’m not.”  John 18
58 A little later, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too”; but Kefa said, “Man, I am not!” 59 About an hour later, another man asserted emphatically, “There can be no doubt that this fellow was with Him, because he too is from the Galil!” 60 But Kefa said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” And instantly, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Kefa; and Kefa remembered what the Lord had said, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went outside and cried bitterly. Luke 22
19 Meanwhile the cohen hagadol questioned Yeshua about His talmidim and about what He taught. 20 Yeshua answered, “I have spoken quite openly to everyone; I have always taught in a synagogue or in the Temple where all
Jews meet together, and I have said nothing in secret; 21 so why are you questioning Me? Question the ones who heard what I said to them; look, they know what I said.” 22 At these words, one of the guards standing by slapped
Yeshua in the face and said, “This is how you talk to the cohen hagadol?” 23 Yeshua answered him, “If I said something wrong, state publicly what was wrong; but if I was right, why are you hitting me?” 24 So `Anan sent him, still tied up, to Kayafa the cohen hagadol.  John 18
57 Those who had seized Yeshua led Him off to Kayafa the cohen hagadol, where the Torah-teachers and elders were assembled. 58 Kefa followed Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the cohen hagadol; then he went inside and sat down with the guards to see what the outcome would be. 59 The head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin looked for some false evidence against Yeshua, so that they might put Him to death. 60 But they didn’t find any, even though many liars came forward to give testimony. At last, however, two people came forward and said, 61 “This man said, `I can tear down God’s Temple and build it again in three days.'” 62 The cohen hagadol stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation these men are making?” 63 Yeshua remained silent. The cohen hagadol said to him, “I put you under oath! By the living God, tell us if You are the Mashiach, the Son of God!” 64 Yeshua said to him, “The words are your own. But I tell you that one day you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 At this, the cohen hagadol tore his robes. “Blasphemy!” he said. “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard Him blaspheme! 66 What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spit in His face and pounded him with their fists; and those who were beating him 68 said, “Now, you `Messiah,’ `prophesy’ to us: who hit you that time?”  Matthew 26
1 Early in the morning, all the head cohanim and elders met to plan how to bring about Yeshua’s death. 2 Then they put Him in chains, led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself…  (His body fell headlong, swelled up and burst open, and all his entrails spilled out. Acts 1) …
6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners. 8 This is how it came to be called the Field of Blood, a name it still bears.
9 Then what Yirmeyahu the prophet spoke was fulfilled, “And they took the thirty silver coins, which was the price the people of Isra’el had agreed to pay for Him, 10 and used them to buy the potter’s field, just as the Lord directed me.” Matthew 27
28 They led Yeshua from Kayafa to the governor’s headquarters. By now it was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters building because they didn’t want to become ritually defiled and thus unable to eat the Pesach meal. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What charge are you bringing against this man?” 30 They answered, “If He hadn’t done something wrong, we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your own law.” The Judeans replied, “We don’t have the legal power to put anyone to death.” 32 This was so that what Yeshua had said, about how He was going to die, might be fulfilled. 
 
33 So Pilate went back into the headquarters, called Yeshua and said to Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 Yeshua answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have other people told you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and head cohanim have handed You over to me; what have you done?” 36 Yeshua answered, “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things. If it did, my men would have fought to keep me from being arrested by the Judeans. But my kingship does not come from here.” 37 “So then,” Pilate said to Him, “You are a king, after all.” Yeshua answered, “You say I am a king. The reason I have been born, the reason I have come into the world, is to bear witness to the truth. Every one who belongs to the truth listens to me.” 38 Pilate asked Him, “What is truth?” Having said this, Pilate went outside again to the Judeans and told them, “I don’t find any case against Him.  John 18
5 But they persisted. “He is inciting the people with His teaching throughout all Y’hudah — He started in the Galil, and now He’s here!” 6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was from the Galil; 7 and when he learned that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him over to Herod, who at that time happened to be in Yerushalayim too. 8 Herod was delighted to see Yeshua, because he had heard about Him and for a long time had been wanting to meet Him; indeed, he hoped to see Him perform some miracle. 9 He questioned Him at great length, 10 but Yeshua made no reply. However, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers stood there, vehemently pressing their case against Him. 11 Herod and his soldiers treated Yeshua with contempt and made fun of Him. Then, dressing Him in an elegant robe, they sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; previously they had been enemies. 
13 Pilate summoned the head cohanim, the leaders and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man before me on a charge of subverting the people. I examined Him in your presence and did not find the man guilty of the crime you are accusing Him of. 15 And neither did Herod, because he sent him back to us. Clearly, He has not done anything that merits the death penalty. 16 Therefore, what I will do is have Him scourged and release Him.” Luke 23
For most of us in today’s modern society, the term scourge has no relevant meaning or point of reference.  Scourge means to beat, to flog, to punish severely with a leather whip imbedded with sharp pieces of bone and metal.
The perfect example of Yeshua’s scourging is prophesied in Isaiah 52:14…
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at Him— His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and His form marred beyond human likeness—
15 It was the governor’s custom during a festival to set free one prisoner, whom ever the crowd asked for. 16 There was at that time a notorious prisoner being held, named Bar-Abba. 17 So when a crowd had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to set free for you? Bar Abba? or Yeshua, called `the Messiah’?” 18 For he understood that it was out of jealousy that they had handed Him over.
19 While he was sitting in court, his wife sent him a message, “Leave that innocent man alone. Today in a dream I suffered terribly because of Him.” 20 But the head cohanim persuaded the crowd to ask for Bar-Abba’s release and to have Yeshua executed on the cross. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to set free for you?” asked the governor. “Bar-Abba!” they answered. 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Yeshua, called `the Messiah’?” They all said, “Put him to death on the stake! Crucify Him! Crucify Him! 23 When he asked, “Why? What crime has He committed?” they shouted all the louder, “Put Him to death on the stake!” Crucify Him! 24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “My hands are clean of this man’s blood; it’s your responsibility.” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then Pilate released to them Bar-Abba; but Pilate had Yeshua scourged, and handed Him over to be crucified. 27 The governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the headquarters building, and the whole battalion gathered around Him. 
28 They stripped off his clothes and put on him a scarlet robe, 29 wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. Then they kneeled down in front of him and made fun of him: “Hail to the King of the Jews!” 30 They spit on Him and used the stick to beat Him about the head. 31 When they had finished ridiculing Him, they took off the robe, put his own clothes back on Him and led Him away to be nailed to the cross to crucify Him. Matthew 27
Yeshua’s last 12 hours began with His betrayal by Judas Iscariot as he left the Passover meal to collect his 30 pieces of silver from the head cohanim and lead their armed guards to Yeshua on the Mt of Olives. Yeshua had revealed the complete meaning of Passover.
22 While they were eating, Yeshua took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His talmidim, saying, “Take It; this is My body.” 23 Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is My blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” He said to them 25 “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God.” Mark 14   “This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  Luke 22:19b
 
On this night, the new Passover Lamb, the once-for-all sacrifice of God’s only Son, fulfilled the shadow of the old Passover.
Even when the darkness of evil reigns – the Light of Truth is not extinguished!  Amen and Amen!
Peter (Kefa) saw the light of truth through the eyes of Yeshua when he denied knowing his Lord.  Peter went out and wept bitterly.  He truly repented.
Pilate’s wife saw the light of truth revealed in a dream and sent a note to Pilate while he was sitting on the judge’s seat saying “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” Matthew 27:19
Pilate saw the light of truth while questioning Yeshua.
13 Pilate summoned the head cohanim, the leaders and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man before me on a charge of subverting the people. I examined Him in your presence and did not find the man guilty of the crime you are accusing Him of. 15 And neither did Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has not done anything that merits the death penalty.  Luke 23
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer and one of the talmidim, saw the light of truth, but too late. 3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed Him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself. Matthew 27
The greatest testimony of the light of truth is from the source of all truth, for Yeshua and His Father are one; therefore they cannot lie.
33 So Pilate went back into the headquarters, called Yeshua and said to Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Yeshua answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have other people told you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and head cohanim have handed you over to me; what have you done?” 36 Yeshua answered, “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things. If it did, my men would have fought to keep me from being arrested by the Judeans. But my kingship does not come from here.” 37 “So then,” Pilate said to him, “You are a king, after all.” Yeshua answered, “You say I am a king. The reason I have been born, the reason I have come into the world, is to bear witness to the truth. Every one who belongs to the truth listens to me.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” Having said this, Pilate went outside again to the Judeans and told them, “I don’t find any case against him.  John 18
Yeshua’s last hours were filled with betrayal, arrest, verbal abuse, being bound, blindfolded, beaten, ridiculed, mocked, spat upon, judged, scourged, crowned with thorns and then condemned to die. 
If I had been in the crowd that morning, would I have shouted “Crucify Him!!”  “Crucify Him!!” ?
If you had been in the crowd that morning, would you have shouted “Crucify Him!!”  “Crucify Him!!” ?
If each of us has not chosen Yeshua to be our personal Savior and Lord of our life, then it is sad to say, the answer would be yes: Crucify Him!!
 
Prayerfully watch this powerful video of the David Meece song as performed by Avalon:
 

 

 
… We were the reason that He gave His life
We were the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live…
 
 
Pictures and movie arrangement from the 2004 Mel Gibson movie
The Passion of the Christ.
 
 

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