Death and resurrection of Jesus


God ordained in His providence that the Messiah should be born among the people of Israel. To prepare these people for their role as God's chosen people, God gave them the 10 Commandments through Moses. The people were to abide by these. In the course of the following centuries, however, the priests and scribes added more and more commandments and prohibitions to these 10 commandments, so that at the time of Jesus there were around 600 commandments and prohibitions. In the opinion of the scribes, all people should have kept to these in order to be able to live a life pleasing to God.  Jesus had contrasted this overabundance of regulations with the main commandment of God - the commandment to love one's neighbour - and had shown that this commandment stands above all other commandments and prohibitions, and for the most part annuls them. In this way, however, Jesus made powerful enemies among the priests and scribes of that time, who saw their position among the people endangered by Jesus. They therefore decided to kill Jesus.


Jesus knew that the religious leaders were trying to kill him. He could have taken refuge, but he did not want to. He knew that he had to bear witness to the Father's love through his whole life, even to the point of death.  He wanted to be obedient to the Father, who let him - the Son of the Most High - become man as an unsurpassable sign of his love. By not evading the threat of death at the hands of his enemies, Jesus showed that the Father, in his love, has unconditionally given people the gift of freedom. This is a freedom that God respects so much that he even allowed the crucifixion of his Son.


At that time, the Romans were in Israel as an occupying power, they had jurisdiction. The Jews, on the other hand, were forbidden to condemn people to death. The Jewish high priests therefore accused Jesus before the Romans, claiming that Jesus was acting as King of the Jews, thereby challenging Roman state power. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate then condemned Jesus to death on the cross, having had him flogged beforehand. The soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus and mocked and ridiculed him as "King of the Jews".

His disciples had almost all fled from Jesus' condemnation and crucifixion. They were afraid that as his disciples they too would be persecuted and perhaps even killed.


After Jesus' death, a secret follower of Jesus asked the Roman governor to be allowed to take Jesus down from the cross, which he was allowed to do. He laid Jesus in a tomb that he had originally had built for himself and sealed this tomb.


God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. He then appeared not only to his disciples, but to countless people. These encounters with the risen Christ were such profound experiences for  these people that they let go of their fear and anxiety and gave public testimony to the resurrection of Jesus for the rest of their lives. Giving this testimony was tantamount to torture and death for very many of them, because the powers that had persecuted Jesus and had him killed were now also persecuting and killing Jesus' disciples.


Jesus was taken up to heaven by God his Father. He will come again in glory and judge us according to how we have lived.

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