Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Book of Matthew 

with Commentary


The Betrayal


Part 10


The “work” of Christ was done.  It was now time for the Sacrifice.  The altar had been built, the wood had been laid upon it and now the Lamb of God was about to be offered up. 


Judas, one of the twelve, one accepted by Jesus to walk with Him, sleep with Him, learn from Him and serve Him, refused to let the love of Jesus into his heart.  He had other plans, more important plans; plans to advance the kingdom of God in his own way.  He was not going to let Jesus get in the way of his plans.  No, he was by far the better businessman and planner.  He could see that this little ministry was not going anywhere without his input.  If Jesus was not going to step up and take His place in the church, as Judas thought He should, then Judas would force His hand.


While Jesus was giving His last remarks to the remaining faithful few, Judas was betraying the Sacrifice.  The church bought the Lamb of God for 30 pieces of silver.  It would be great for church publicity.  They were preparing for a great sacrificial offering to their god.  Nothing was going to keep them from getting rid of this “troubler of Israel” once and for all.  Nothing was to stand in the way of their church.  After all, they represented God.  That little, independent troublemaker certainly did not belong to God.  If He did, He would have conceded to the authority of God’s 7th-day Sabbath church. 


Jesus delivered the Israelites from Egypt in order to make them “His church” in the world.  They were to represent Him in everything.  But they betrayed Him, and God had to destroy them through the power of the Babylonians.  He forgave them and again renewed the covenant of love with them that they might be His representatives, His ambassadors, in the world by being obedient to His Ten Commandments.  But again, they took possession of His church and kicked Him out.  The church betrayed its trust, again.  They broke the covenant, again.


And while the church schemed and plotted, bought and sold the Lamb of God, Jesus went to have a heart to heart talk with His Father.  Jesus would not betray His Father.  He would not betray the true “Church of God”.  That true church of God was not a physical church on earth, but a spiritual church that was to be lived and obeyed in each individual heart.  Jesus had that church in His heart and He was going to honor it, even unto death.


Matthew 26:36 - Matthew 28:20


Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled, and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”


Jesus knew what was soon to take place.  He knew of the betrayal of Judas.  He had seen and experienced the betrayal of His church.  His heart was breaking.  It was killing Him.  There was only One person in all the universe who could understand Him.  He needed to talk to Him and gather strength from Him for the final hours of the battle.  Lucifer was using every means possible to get Jesus to quit, to surrender, join the church and sin.  If Jesus won, Lucifer knew that his existence would one day come to an end.  But if he could get Jesus to sin or leave this planet for him, then he could also live forever and have his own dominion to do with as he pleased.


Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup.”


When Adam and Eve sinned, it was the duty and responsibility of the Father to eradicate rebellion and betrayal from His kingdom.  This was to preserve order, harmony and peace among the inhabitants of the Church of God.  But Jesus stepped in between the Father and a doomed earth to offer His life as a substitute for the sinful world.  His death would not save one sinner, but His death would open the door for every sinner who would obey the Law of the Kingdom of God.  Those who obeyed that Law would have their sinful wages of death paid for by the death of Jesus.  But those who refused to accept the Law of the Kingdom of God would have to pay their own sinful wages of death themselves.  (Hebrews 10:26).


It wasn’t the Father who was making Jesus drink from the cup.  It was the love of Jesus who volunteered to drink from that cup.  His love drove Him to the cup and made Him drink it.  The Father’s heart was torn between His Son and humanity.  But He gave His Only Son that we poor sinners might have eternal life.  What love!  My heart breaks as I write this.  I cannot fathom that type of love.  I have never seen it in my life.  Everyone close to me in my life has betrayed me and left me.  Only Jesus has stood by me and watched over me with His love. 


“But do what you want, and not what I want.” 


Jesus, even now, would not surrender to His “human” feelings and wants.  He would finish the course, He would stay true to His mission, even if it meant total separation from His Father for eternity.  No “saved by grace” here, this was work!


He came back and found his disciples sleeping. So he said to Peter, “Can’t any of you stay awake with me for just one hour?  Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.” 


We are so weak.  How few are willing to die rather than to commit a known sin.  How few are willing to deny themselves in order to serve God.  Their “service” to God is only when it is easy, convenient and does not entail sacrifice, like going to church.  Church will never get you into heaven.  That is why church is so deadly.  There is no sacrifice in church.  It has become a place to sleep, not a place of sacrifice. While Jesus is, at this present time, praying for us in the presence of His Father, why, like the disciples, are we wasting our time going to church?


Again Jesus went to pray and said, “My Father, if there is no other way, and I must suffer, I will still do what you want.” 


Have you gone to the Father and prayed that prayer?  Are you living so that no matter what, you would refuse to sin, even if it cost you your job, your wife, your children, your church and everything you had?  We talk about it, pat ourselves on the back, and our big bellies, in boasts about it, and yet we go right on sinning.  Our ego, our pride, our beliefs and our way of living do not reflect our claim to love Jesus more than ourselves.  But as long as we go to church, we look at ourselves as being “obedient” to Jesus.  What a betrayal of the name: “Christian”.  Jesus never asked you to go to church.  He asked you to live as He lived: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping.  The Jews were going to church while refusing to obey Jesus.  Is that you?  If that is you, you are breaking the 3rd commandment.


Jesus came back and found them sleeping again. They simply could not keep their eyes open. He left them and prayed the same prayer once more. 


What is Jesus finding you doing?  Are you sleeping your eternal life away going to church?  Are you out working for Jesus, taking people by the hand and leading them to Jesus?  Are you taking the material from this ministry, which Jesus has dictated and directed, and giving it to others?  Or is that too much of a sacrifice?


Finally, Jesus returned to his disciples and said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners.  Get up! Let’s go. The one who will betray me is already here.” 


While we are sleeping peacefully in our churches, and in our lives, the betrayer is out working very hard to keep people from waking up and understanding the times we are living in.  It is our church leaders, pastors and organizations that have betrayed Jesus and us.  How?  They refuse to accept the teachings of Jesus in order to teach and prepare us for the coming trials.  The betrayers are hard at work.


Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of the twelve disciples, and a large mob armed with swords and clubs was with him. They had been sent by the chief priests and the nation’s leaders. 


Jesus came in peace to heal, educate and love.  The church came with hate, clubs and swords to destroy.   I write what the Spirit of God gives me to bring the education, love and peace of Jesus.  But most of the letters I get back are about swords, clubs, war and arguments.  Everyone wants to prove how important they and their church are and how “filled with the Spirit of God” they are by arguing with me and telling me what they know.  But how few want to listen to what Jesus is saying through this little ministry.  They can hit me all they want.  They can cut me in pieces all they want.  They can betray me and hate me, but I will only love them with the teachings of Jesus.


Judas had told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss.”  Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Hello, teacher.” Then Judas kissed him. 


The servants of God are being betrayed with a kiss.  I do get letters and have had people come who have “walked right up” to me and claim to love me and care about me.  But in the end, they were only looking for what they could get from me.  They were not interested in helping me do the work God has called me to.  Throughout history it has been the same.  Moses had his betrayers.  Each servant of God has had those who betrayed them and fought against them.  The interesting part is, most of the betrayers thought they were working for God.  The majority of God’s servants have been betrayed by the church that claimed to be serving God and keeping His Sabbath.  But to humble themselves and to simply ask, “How can we help you do what God has called you to do?” is not what they want.  They want the power, glory and fame they think comes with “working for God”.  No my friends, Jesus is the only one to receive power, glory and fame.  We are unworthy servants simply doing as we are commanded.  There will always be unity among the servants of Christ.  Why?  Because they all teach and live as Jesus taught and lived.


Jesus replied, “My friend, why are you here?” The men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 


There were many to whom I have asked that question, “Why are you here?”  They come to test, to prove, to try and get me to see “eye to eye” with them or persuade me to believe in their way of thinking, living or church.  But all I can do is share what God has told me to say, no matter what the outcome.


One of Jesus’ followers pulled out a sword. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.  But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting. 


A true Christian puts away his sword and shuts his mouth.  We live by the Spirit and power of God, not of man.  We give our lives; never do we take life.  God will protect us according to His will.  If He could not keep His own Son from the cross, should we expect better?


Don’t you know that I could ask my Father, and right away he would send me more than twelve armies of angels?  But then, how could the words of the Scriptures come true, which say that this must happen?” 


We as Christians are to bring to life the words of Scripture in our lives.  We are to live them, obey them and teach them.  Our lives are to be walking billboards of the Law of God.  The words of Scriptures must come true in every Christian.  Can the world see the Ten Commandments in you?


Jesus said to the mob, “Why do you come with swords and clubs to arrest me like a criminal? Day after day I sat and taught in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me.  But all this happened, so that what the prophets wrote would come true.” All of Jesus’ disciples left him and ran away. 


Our churches are nothing but mobs.  They are full of swords and clubs going out to do battle with each other and the servants of God.  Their lives are full of commotion and have no peace because they have made church their god.  What church members call “peace” is simply turmoil that has been accepted as peace.  They have lived so long in a world of turmoil, they think they have peace.  They have shut out the voice of the Spirit of God who wants to convict them of their sins.  So now they live “peacefully” in their sins.  How sad.  I did not realize this until I found the peace of living in Jesus.  What a difference it made in my life.  Church did not bring peace.  I thought I had peace.  However, I had simply adapted to the chaos in my life.  Living as Jesus commands brings peace.


After Jesus had been arrested, he was led off to the house of Caiaphas the high priest. The nation’s leaders and the teachers of the Law of Moses were meeting there. 


In the Bible, and throughout history, it is always the servants of God who are being led off to the leaders of the church to be hated, persecuted, flogged and killed.  Why is that?  Why is the “church” more important than listening to the words of God from those whom God has sent?


But Peter followed along at a distance and came to the courtyard of the high priest’s palace. He went in and sat down with the guards to see what was going to happen. 


How many of us have been “following along at a distance” and sitting with the pagans, the guards and the church members “to see what was going to happen”?  Paul tells us that “bad company corrupts good character”.  Why are you sitting in church?  Peter was sitting in church with all those church members and it corrupted his character.  Church has a way of doing that. 


The chief priests and the whole council wanted to put Jesus to death. So they tried to find some people who would tell lies about him in court. 


Eventually they found “good” church people who were willing to come and tell lies.


Two men came forward and said, “This man claimed that he would tear down God’s temple and build it again in three days.” 


Let’s see, here is the church, who claimed to be teaching and keeping the Ten Commandments, breaking the sixth commandment in wanting to murder Jesus.  They were breaking the ninth commandment in trying to find someone to tell lies about Jesus.  In fact, they were breaking every commandment in their hate of Jesus.  And all Jesus did was live the Ten Commandments.  So it is in the life of this ministry.  I simply live and teach the Ten Commandments and how the churches hate me.  Even those who claim to be keeping them and the Sabbath.  How sad.  And as you can see, it was all about their church.  If Jesus had simply acknowledged their church as being important for salvation, there would have been no problems.  If He had simply submitted to the church, no problem.  Same today.  But I cannot.  There is to be only one God, one law, and that is Jesus Christ and His Ten Commandments.  Anything that comes between me and Jesus and His Ten Commandments is “Anti” Christ. 


The high priest stood up and asked Jesus, “Why don’t you say something in your own defense? Don’t you hear the charges they are making against you?” 


They really didn’t want Jesus to say anything.  His words had a way of making fools out of them.  What they really wanted was for Him to say something that they could use against Him.  In our churches today it is no different.  They really don’t want to hear the truth, no, they are looking for straws to pick at and argue over.


But Jesus did not answer. So the high priest said, “With the living God looking on, you must tell the truth. Tell us, are you the Messiah, the Son of God?” “That is what you say!” Jesus answered. “But I tell all of you, ‘Soon you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of God All-Powerful and coming on the clouds of heaven.’’’ 


Since they called on Him to answer in the name of His Father, He had no choice but to comply.  They knew He was the Messiah, the Son of God.  But since He did not come as they taught and wanted, He was not to be their Messiah and “Son of God”.   Again, Jesus in His love tried to warn them by telling them the truth.  But church had had enough of truth.  They wanted power, worship, wealth and fame.  Truth was only used and twisted as needed to achieve those goals.  2 Peter 3:16.


The high priest then tore his robe and said, “This man claims to be God! We don’t need any more witnesses! You have heard what he said.  What do you think?” They answered, “He is guilty and deserves to die!” 


Oh, he should not have torn his robe!  In the Old Testament, for the high priest to tear his robe was to pronounce death upon himself.  But what did the high priest know of the Old Testament?  All he knew was church.  He wanted to make a show, to put on an act of piety, to look like he was offended at such truth.  The churches today do the very same thing.  They break all kinds of God’s laws in putting on a show and acts of piety to make themselves look good in the eyes of their members.


Then they spit in his face and hit him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “You think you are the Messiah! So tell us who hit you!” 

And to think, they did all of this in the name of their “loving” church and their “loving” god.  How righteous of them!  How totally loving!  It was even against their law to hold a court session at night.  Everything had to be in the “light of day” and transparent.  But what did they care about rules, truth and protocol?  They just wanted blood.  How like our churches today.  But because it is “our” church, “our” god and our “love”, it is okay to hate, kill and hurt.


While Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus from Galilee.”  But in front of everyone Peter said, “That isn’t so! I don’t know what you are talking about!”  When Peter had gone out to the gate, another servant girl saw him and said to some people there, “This man was with Jesus from Nazareth.”  Again Peter denied it, and this time he swore, “I don’t even know that man!”  A little while later some people standing there walked over to Peter and said, “We know that you are one of them. We can tell it because you talk like someone from Galilee.”  Peter began to curse and swear, “I don’t know that man!” Right then a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered that Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went out and cried hard. 


I know I have been way too much like Peter.  How often in my life have I stood by while the righteous were being mistreated by the church and I did nothing.  But again, I was raised in a church.  I have seen way too many churches do the same.  One church sat me down and for over half an hour they pointed fingers at me, hated me and would have killed me if they could.  All because I taught them to live in obedience to Jesus.  No, their Sabbath church was the only thing that counted.  Are you denying the Lord Jesus while others are being persecuted, mistreated and abused because they are teaching the truth?  How many times have you “denied” your Lord?  How many times have you betrayed Him?  Isn’t it time to cry hard, repent, get out of your church, go to Jesus and change your life?


Early the next morning all the chief priests and the nation’s leaders met and decided that Jesus should be put to death.  They tied him up and led him away to Pilate the governor. 


Did they have to tie up Jesus?  Of course not.  He would have obeyed them and gone wherever they asked Him to.  But in order to put on a show for the people, so they would get the idea that Jesus was the bad guy and the church was the good guy, they tied Him up.  Symbolism is very important for churches.  Since churches are not obedient to God, they have to put on a show, put up crosses and symbols.  The church could not kill Jesus under the Roman law, they had to take Him to Pilate and get his permission.  And to think, they hated the Romans!  But wickedness will always join forces with wickedness in order to accomplish more wickedness.


Judas had betrayed Jesus, but when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death, he was sorry for what he had done. He returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and leaders and said, “I have sinned by betraying a man who has never done anything wrong.” “So what? That’s your problem,” they replied.  Judas threw the money into the temple and then went out and hanged himself. 


The betrayer was betrayed.  He thought that Jesus would never allow Himself to die.  He thought Jesus would work a miracle and rise up to take the throne of David.  When he saw his plan “betrayed” by the plan of God, he could not live with himself.  Neither will the betrayers who stand by while their churches hate, abuse and hurt God’s messengers.  They will realize too late that they have been on the wrong side and will call for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them.


The chief priests picked up the money and said, “This money was paid to have a man killed. We can’t put it in the temple treasury.”  Then they had a meeting and decided to buy a field that belonged to someone who made clay pots. They wanted to use it as a graveyard for foreigners.  That’s why people still call that place “Field of Blood.”  So the words of the prophet Jeremiah came true, “They took the thirty silver coins, the price of a person among the people of Israel.  They paid it for a potter’s field, as the Lord had commanded me.” 


The priests were very aware that the money was blood money.  They didn’t care as long as it suited their purpose.  Their church was for power, glory and fame, not for God.  They used the name of God as it suited their own purposes, but never would they bow to God.  It was all a show.  How like our churches today.  The money that is pouring in to them is blood money.  It soothes our consciences so we can keep on sinning, yet think that we are okay with God because we support “the church”.  How Catholic.  How sinful.  How deadly.


The money used to buy the field did belong to Judas.  It was his money.  The church refused to take it back, therefore, it still belonged to Judas.  That is why in other places you read where “Judas bought the field”.  It wasn’t Judas himself, but his money that bought the field. 


Jesus was brought before Pilate the governor, who asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”


Pilate was not dumb.  He was not blind to what was going on in his kingdom.  He knew of Jesus.  He knew of the pride, arrogance and envy of the church leaders against this man who was attracting crowds from all over the country to Himself and away from the church.  However, Pilate knew that Jesus was no threat to him and his power.  Not once did Jesus try to raise a revolt against his secular authority.  However, he could see that Jesus was raising a revolt against the church and knew it would end badly for Jesus.


“Those are your words!” Jesus answered.  And when the chief priests and leaders brought their charges against him, he did not say a thing.  Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear what crimes they say you have done?”  But Jesus did not say anything, and the governor was greatly amazed. 


Jesus spent thirty-three and a half years defending His Father and His Father’s kingdom.  He had nothing more to say in “defense”.  He had said it all.  Now, all characters must be exposed for what they truly were.  Either they were for truth, righteousness and justice, or for wickedness, selfishness, ego, pride, power, wealth and church.  That amazed the governor.  He did not want to condemn Jesus.  But to let Him go would be to bring down the wrath of the church upon himself.  As we know today, that is not a good idea. 


During Passover the governor always freed a prisoner chosen by the people.  At that time a well-known terrorist named Jesus Barabbas was in jail.  So when the crowd came together, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to set free? Do you want Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”  Pilate knew that the leaders had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous. 


That should have been a very simple choice, right?  We chose the innocent man, the righteous man, right?  But the church wanted nothing to do with truth, innocence or righteousness.  They wanted power, money and church authority.  Obey the church or die, was the message they wanted all to see.  Our churches today are doing the very same thing.  They are choosing “Barabbas”, the terrorist of sin, over Jesus.  You must get out of your church before it is too late.


While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man. I have had nightmares because of him.” 


God gives everyone an opportunity to do what is right.  This ministry is being sent by God in order to find out if you will listen and do what is right.   Will you do what is right or join the mob?   Will you do what the church wants or what God wants?


But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed.  Pilate asked the crowd again, “Which of these two men do you want me to set free?” “Barabbas!” they replied.  Pilate asked them, “What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?” They all yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”  Pilate answered, “But what crime has he done?” “Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder. 


How many, like Pilate, are weak willed, crowd pleasers and afraid to stand up for what is right for fear of losing their church status.  What they don’t understand is, they are going to lose it anyway.  But if they stand up for what is right, God will make it right for them.  Like the churches and the governments of the world today, people are choosing “Barabbas”, the insurrectionist, the murderer, the sinner and the “anti” Christ.  “Anti” means “in place of”.  Barabbas took “the place of” Christ in being released.  Churches today are choosing man-made wisdom and philosophy “in place of” the teachings of Jesus to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life.  That is why all churches are “anti” Christ. 


Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of them and said, “I won’t have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!”  Everyone answered, “We and our own families will take the blame for his death!” 


And so it was.  Their wish was granted.  Throughout history the blame has fallen on them and their families.  And so it will be with those who continue to make church their god and refuse to stand up and “release” Jesus into their lives.  Our churches continue to call out for “Barabbas” in place of Jesus.  Instead of standing up for the teachings of Jesus to stop sinning, to be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life, we chose Barabbas, the insurrectionist, because we love our sins.  Our churches invite “Barabbas” to come and put on a real show, make money for our church and tell us what we want to hear.  We choose our churches and pay them well to tell us what we want to hear.  We crucify Jesus in the way we treat those Jesus has sent and is sending to teach us truth, righteousness and the way to eternal life.  By rejecting His truth, we reject Jesus.  We want to do it our church way, not His way.


Pilate set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.  The governor’s soldiers led Jesus into the fortress and brought together the rest of the troops.  They stripped off Jesus’ clothes and put a scarlet robe on him.  They made a crown out of thorn branches and placed it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. The soldiers knelt down and pretended to worship him. They made fun of him and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!”  Then they spit on him. They took the stick from him and beat him on the head with it.  When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. 


Church people do the same to Jesus.  They mock Him, make fun of Him, beat Him with their words and spit on Him with their attitudes and contempt.  They will have to face Him someday in the judgment.  Then it will be too late, and they will realize that they traded eternal life for their church, ego, pride and selfishness.


On the way they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.  They came to a place named Golgotha, which means “Place of a Skull.”  There they gave Jesus some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain. But when Jesus tasted what it was, he refused to drink it.  The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes.  Then they sat down to guard him.  Above his head they put a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 


With one blink of an eyelid Jesus could have wiped them all out and gone back to heaven.  He was God.  But He refused to use His God-powers.  He must be our example in all things.  We are to place our lives in the hands of God and trust Him, even unto death.  In order to keep His mind clear so He could keep to the mission, He refused any alcohol or drug that would prevent His mind from staying focused on the task before Him. 


The church crucified its King.  They had betrayed their God, their King, their Messiah and their Saviour.  They took possession of what was God’s and put God on the cross.  So it is today.  All churches have done the same.  Why?  Because it is the nature of “church”.  That is why there is no place in all of Scripture that tells us to build a church or go to church.  God knew that once man begins to congregate, he begins to separate himself from God and set up his own way.  Each person is to be responsible to God and God alone.  Nothing is to come between the soul of man and His Maker.  The devil invented “church” to come between man and his God.  That is why churches are called, ‘Anti-Christ” in the Bible.  Who are you with?


The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left. 


Jesus was right where He wanted to be, between sinners.  Not only the sinners on His right and left, but He was lifted up to represent all sinners of earth before His Father in Heaven.  Even in His crucifixion, Luke tells us that He was working for the salvation of others.  He was a missionary and brought one of the criminals to salvation.  There was a whole church standing around Jesus, and not one was working for God.  So it is today.  All churches are working for themselves and the devil, totally separated from God and everlasting life.  The sad fact was, these were “good” Sabbath keeping, tithe paying, church-going people.  Same today.  Instead of working for Jesus, they are busy working for the church putting Christ on the cross.


People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days! If you are God’s Son, save yourself and come down from the cross!”  The chief priests, the leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the king of Israel, he should come down from the cross! Then we will believe him.  He trusted God, so let God save him, if he wants to. He even said he was God’s Son.”  The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus. 


How easy it is to join the mob.  How easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of the world or the church and forget our duties and responsibilities to God and each other.  It seems to be human nature to need to put others down in order to lift ourselves up.  Hurting others is more important in our churches than lifting up Jesus and His truth.  Only the truth of Jesus can heal the soul and change the life.  If Jesus had saved Himself, we all would be lost.  We could only be saved if Jesus refused to save Himself.  So it is with us.  If we are thinking about our churches, our selfishness and personal gain, we have no eternal life.  Only by sacrificing yourselves in obedience to the Ten Commandments can we “save” those around us and ourselves.


At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. 


The Father could no longer look upon the cruel scene.  He hid His face from the church and its satanic activities.  God is in the process of doing the same today to all churches.  They have rejected Him and His law.  He is leaving them in total darkness.  If we do not get out, we will be destroyed along with them.  Claiming your church has the Ten Commandments and being obedient to them are two very different religions.


Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” 


With the Father hiding His face, Jesus thought His Father had forsaken Him.  Jesus was willing to die eternally for our eternal life.  At this point, Jesus could not see past the tomb.  To Jesus, the sins of the whole world that were being placed upon Him were so great, He thought they would eternally separate Him from His Father.  He was willing to accept that fate for us.  What love!  While churches are willing to separate people from God, Jesus was dying to bring church people back to God.


Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”  One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus.  Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” 


All pity, all love, all kindness, righteousness, truth and justice had been wiped from the hearts of the church people.  They had spent years moving the church away from God and taking possession of it with their pride, ego and arrogance. 


Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.  At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.


The separation was complete.  The visible ripping of the temple curtain from top to bottom by the hand of an angel signified the final separation of the church from God.  No longer were the people needing to go to the temple to see a representation of God.  Now they could look at the sacrifice of God Himself.  The church had finally committed the unpardonable sin.  There was nothing more God could do for the church.  They chose the church over Jesus.  When Christ died, the Lamb of God took away the sins of those who were willing to have their sins removed.  But those who continued going to church were in rebellion and would be destroyed.  The death of Jesus cannot save one person who refuses to comply with the conditions of eternal life.  Salvation is a choice.  Those who chose it must live as Jesus taught and lived: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping. 


The earth shook, and rocks split apart.  Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. 


The death of Christ can only raise to life “God’s people”.  If you are not living as Jesus commands, you have no eternal life.  Only those who prove themselves worthy of heaven will be allowed in.  Jesus proved Himself worthy.  He set the example and commands all to follow Him.  But if you put church or anything else in place of Jesus and refuse to live in obedience to the commands of Jesus to be perfect, to stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments for our eternal life, you will have no eternal life.  Church cannot save you.


Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.  The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!” 


How interesting.  The pagan soldiers were the ones who confessed Jesus as “God’s Son”.  The church refused.  So it is today.  God has sent this ministry to inmates because the church has rejected God.  In order for you to “come to life” when Jesus comes the second time, you must confess Jesus as “God’s Son” and live as He commands: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping.  Like the disciples of Christ’s day who were teaching people to come out of their church and be obedient to the Ten Commandments, so too is this ministry. 


Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance.  Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were some of these women. 


Only a few supported Jesus and tried to help Him.  The majority were with the church.  I suppose that is why Jesus stated that very few would be saved.  Not many are willing to stand alone for truth and God.  Most want the world and their church.


That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea went and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.  All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb. 


Do you weep for Jesus?  Are you defending Jesus?  Or are you fighting for and defending your church?  Are you leaving the “body” of Jesus, His truth, lying on the ground while you sit in church?   Or will you get out of your church, pick up His truth and begin teaching it?


On the next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate.  They said, “Sir, we remember what that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed that in three days he would come back from death.  So please order the tomb to be carefully guarded for three days. If you don’t, his disciples may come and steal his body. They will tell the people that he has been raised to life, and this last lie will be worse than the first one.”  Pilate said to them, “All right, take some of your soldiers and guard the tomb as well as you know how.”  So they sealed it tight and placed soldiers there to guard it. 


It is also interesting that the church, which claimed to be keeping the Law of God, was breaking the Sabbath over the body of Christ.  Instead of obedience to God in keeping the Sabbath holy, they went to Pilate and then to church.  How the church loves conspiracy theories.  The church wastes so much time, energy and funding working on conspiracy theories, they have no time for the truth.  They called the Truth of God a “liar” while they propagated their lies as truth.  Our churches today are doing the very same things. 


The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 


Jesus never came to abolish the Law of God.  Those who followed Jesus kept the Sabbath while the church leadership was breaking it.  The followers of Jesus were taught to keep all of God’s commandments perfectly.  The church taught its followers to go to church on the Sabbath, tell lies and kill for the church.


Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it.  The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 


While the church is attempting to keep Jesus in the tomb, and His truth locked away, God is sending angels to roll away the church stones that are hiding the truth of Jesus.  Jesus is alive.  He is risen.  The truth He speaks will no longer be buried under church stones and sealed with their committees and legislation.  To be perfect, to stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments for our eternal life will be proclaimed as bright as lightning when it flashes. 


The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.

 

The churches are shaking and falling down for fear of the truth.  They are becoming as dead men in their dead, ritualistic services.  There is no life in their monotonous, Catholic traditions.  Jesus is alive and will bring His truth to life in you if you will let Him.  He wants to give you His life.  However, if you are believing the lies the churches are teaching, you may get lots of money now, but in the end, you will die.  Get out of your church and proclaim His living truth that we can live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.


The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross.  He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying.” 


Why are we looking for Jesus in our dead, tomb-like churches?  He is alive!  He is no longer bound by the churches and their lies.  Let us go to Jesus and tell the world His living truth.  Let us tell the world that they can get out of their sinful dead lives and rise up in a new, perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life.


“Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you.” The women were frightened and yet very happy, as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They went near him, held on to his feet, and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” 


When will we get up out of our churches and go follow Jesus?  When will we begin proclaiming with a loud voice that Jesus isn’t dead and buried in our churches but is alive and out working for you.  If you will get out and go proclaim a risen Savior, you will find Jesus beside you.  Teach His truths that we can be perfect, that we can stop the sin in our lives and that we can keep the Ten Commandments for our eternal life.  Jesus has proved that it is possible.  Let us take Him at His word and begin living it and sharing it.


While the women were on their way, some soldiers who had been guarding the tomb went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened.  So the chief priests met with the leaders and decided to bribe the soldiers with a lot of money.  They said to the soldiers, “Tell everyone that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep.  If the governor hears about this, we will talk to him. You won’t have anything to worry about.” The soldiers took the money and did what they were told. The people of Judea still tell each other this story. 


Our churches have become like the soldiers.  For money they are teaching lies such as “saved by grace” and the “unconditional love of God”.  They are not interested in a risen Savior or His truth.  They are not interested in what God has to say.  They want to protect their power, money and institutions.  Instead of teaching people they can stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments for their eternal life, they put on pagan Christmas and Easter pageants for money.  Church is all about money, power and control.  How Catholic.  Jesus is all about truth and a new life.


Jesus’ eleven disciples went to a mountain in Galilee, where Jesus had told them to meet him. They saw him and worshiped him, but some of them doubted. Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! 


When will you go and worship Jesus?  When will you get up out of your lying church and go to the mountaintop to be with Jesus and Jesus only?  When will you recognize that it isn’t a church that has been given all power and authority, but Jesus Christ, the risen Savior.  He has been given all power and authority because He lived the Ten Commandments and taught all the truth. 


Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. 


Jesus did not command them to go and build churches or set up another church organization.  He told them to go and make disciples of all nations.  Those “disciples” were not to be “disciples” of the disciples or of a church.  They were to be made “disciples” of Jesus and Jesus only.  Baptizing them was a symbol expressing their commitment to believe everything that Jesus taught them.  Jesus commanded them to “teach them to obey everything I have told you”.  That is how He will be with us even until the end of the world, if we are obedient to everything He has taught us.  And what did Jesus teach us?  To be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life.  Have you betrayed Jesus by claiming to be a Christian but refusing to be obedient?  Are you being obedient to the commission Jesus has given you?  Or are you sitting in church with the Pharisees?