Jesus’ Anointing, Baptism, Temptation, Burial, & Resurrection

Concerning the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ by John. To understand what was taking place, you need to understand that the name Christ means “the anointed one.” In the Old Testament, the name Christ is Messiah. This Christ was promised by the prophets of old. A perfect illustration of this promise is found in Isaiah 61:1-2. After His baptism, our Lord quoted this passage in reference to Himself – Luke 3:21-22; Luke 4:18-21. As His public ministry began, He was anointed with the Spirit with the approval of His heavenly Father. This event marked Him (to John and all others who follow in the same faith as he) as the Man of God’s choice Who would redeem His people. Now, God being three Persons yet One is a great mystery of the faith, one which I admittedly can not explain.

But His baptism in water and His anointing with the Spirit are significant events that coincide with the picture we see of this event in prophecy by the anointing with water and oil of the priests before they began their official service at the sanctuary.

See Exodus 29:4, 7 for an example. Jesus Christ, of course, is a Priest of a different order (Hebrews 7:1-19) which speaks to us of a better hope and a better covenant than that of Moses and the Aaronic priesthood. You can read more about this in the book of Hebrews if you are interested.

The following statement has been made regarding the temptation of Christ: “The temptation of Christ would have a greater significance if He could have sinned. Also, the temptations by the Devil were a waste of time and it would be more meaningful if Jesus had tried all sin and then chose not to sin.” In response to this I would say the following: This would make Jesus ineligible to die for you and me. Furthermore, if Christ could sin, salvation could never be secured for eternity, for the possibility would always be present that Christ Himself would sin at some future point, thus losing for all of us His great redemptive capability. With His fall, we would all fall too, because all that we possess is found in union with Him. The temptations of Satan were necessary not because of Who Jesus is but because of who Satan and we are. Christ took our place in all areas of life and death in order to deliver us from the evil one.

Therefore, it was necessary for Him to be tempted by the devil yet without sin. In Him we can now know release from sin. Had He not been tempted, we would never know that He could successfully come to our aid – Hebrews 2:9-18; 4:14-16.

As far as Christ being in the grave three days and nights after His death, notice that He died on the Passover. The following day is a Sabbath as it is the first day in the feast of Unleavened Bread – Leviticus 23:6-7.

Perhaps the solution lies in the fact that the Passover that year was on a Thursday. He would then have been crucified at 9:00 a.m. and put in the tomb sometime after 3:00 p.m. but before 6:00 p.m. He would then have been in the grave Thursday (one day – this counts as one day because in the Jewish economy a partial day counts as a full day). He would be in the grave the entire day Friday (one night, one day – remember the Jewish day begins at sunset – Genesis 1. Then, Saturday would be another Sabbath (see Leviticus 23:3), and He would have been in the grave on that entire day (one night, one day). Next would come Sunday on which morning He was already risen (one night). This would put Him in the grave three days and three nights. I must confess that I am no scholar, but in my readings of His Word I have come up with this time scheme.

Finally, in regard to the seemingly conflicting accounts after the resurrection of our Lord, I do not believe that there is a simple solution. To me, the angels are not the difficult part, since any writer could have simply noted the fact with less particular features or from a different vantage point. However, the sequence of the women leaves some confusion in my mind. {Now, after an evening and a morning of reading and meditating on these passages, I will attempt to give you a reasonable answer.}

Perhaps Mary Magdalene went to the tomb twice. If so, the following explanation could be accurate to all accounts. To begin, a number of women went to the tomb with spices – John 20:1-2.

Upon arrival, an angel spoke to them while yet outside the tomb. He told them not to be afraid. He told them that Jesus was risen, that they should come see and then go tell, and that His disciples would see Him in Galilee – Matthew 28:1-8. They then went into the grave and saw two angels that gave a twofold witness to the fact of His resurrection – Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11 [Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; and 2 Corinthians 13:1]. They, too, told the women to tell the disciples that Jesus would meet with them in Galilee. The women left and told the disciples, but the response was one of unbelief on the part of the disciples. However, Peter and John go to the tomb and find the tomb empty as the women had said – Luke 24:12; John 20:2-10.

Yet, still Peter did not believe. John, on the contrary, appears to believe. Mary Magdalene had trailed them, and she remained weeping at the tomb, perplexed as to the events she had witnessed. At this time, Jesus appears to her – Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18. Jesus refused to let her cling to Him because His place was with the Father to Whom all His followers now had access through His great work and Person. Mary now believes, but her report to the disciples still falls on unbelieving ears. Finally, Jesus appears to the other women (perhaps with Mary present). He, too, tells them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee where He would meet with them – Matthew 28:9-10. Jesus does, then, reveal Himself to the disciples also. The rest is history.

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Jesus’ Anointing, Baptism, Temptation, Burial, & Resurrection

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