The Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, passed away today at the age of 33. Known to many as “Rabbi,” Jesus held no position in God’s holy temple. Instead, Jesus commonly referred to himself as a man of the people or, “Son of Man.”
He was commonly seen in large crowds of the sick and destitute. Many believed he could heal diseases. There are even reports of his raising a man from Bethany from the grave, although this story is not confirmed.
He spoke with great authority regarding the things of Yahweh, yet many times in direct opposition to the teachings of the temple authorities. Yet, he was loved by many. The public’s devotion to him was evident as late as this past Sunday when he entered Jerusalem to great fanfare. Many believed him to be our Messiah, the one who would save us from the Romans. But sadly now, we know this is not the case.
According to eyewitnesses, Jesus was arrested around midnight last night after celebrating the Passover feast with many of his followers. And, in an unprecedented procedure, he was tried by the temple authorities in the early morning hours while most of Jerusalem slept.
Most citizens were stunned to hear of Pilate’s decision to crucify him around 5:00 a.m. this morning. He was flogged tortured and then led to Golgotha all while carrying his own cross.
The Nazarene was crucified at approximately 9:00 a.m., just as most of the city was awakening and hearing of his (what some call unlawful) trial. Although he was normally surrounded by throngs of followers, he was attended to by only his mother and 2 or 3 others at the time of his death. The whereabouts of his devout followers is unknown at this time. Most seem to have disappeared shortly after his arrest.
Jesus is survived by his mother, several brothers and sisters, and a multitude of loving followers. And while he was rich in relationships, apparently he leaves no assets. He was buried shortly before sundown in a borrowed tomb.
Not much is known about this traveling rabbi, except that he was considered an enemy of the state by some and a beloved miracle worker by others. In his final moments he was quoted as saying, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” Many believe these were the utterings of a mad man, and yet some claim him to be the true Son of God. With the events of the past 12 hours, it is certain we will never know.
For a more detailed account of his trial and crucifixion, consider these reliable sources:
The Gospel of John (fisherman): chapters 18 & 19
The Gospel of Matthew (tax collector): chapters 26 & 27