Philippians 2:6-11 This is like a hymn repeated by Christians in the first century to explain that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man. If you look at the Gospels narratives it is crystal clear how Jesus was prepared for the coming crucifixion. In the passage alone it is like a summary that indeed He was prepared for the cross but destined for the throne, as Pastor Paul Weaver said. As a Man he humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
No one is really sure of the exact place and burial of Jesus Christ. Some say it is in the church of the Holy Sepulchre where people kiss the icons and some relics of the past. Some say it is most probably in the Garden Tomb. Others have other views that it is in the tombs near the Silwan neighbourhood. Annie and I went to the Garden Tomb for Good Friday service and will go again for the Resurrection service tomorrow. This Garden has been carefully preserved as a Christian Protestant site because many believe that it could probably be the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea in which Jesus was buried after His crucifixion. Below you will see the traditional Tomb. Outside Damascus Gate to the left you can see a rough cliff and to the right the northern walls of the Old walled City. This area was a part of an ancient stone quarry. According to local oral traditions the quarry was used by Jewish authorities as a place of execution by stoning. The Romans also used it as a crucifixion site.
Crucifixions were usually carried out by busy roads as a visual deterrent to other potential insurrectionists. This would have been just such a place adjacent to main roads for Damascus and Jericho. The Bible says they took Jesus out of the city bearing His own cross to a place of a skull (Golgotha in Aramaic, Calvary in Latin). Here He was crucified, with two robbers, in front of a jeering crowd, while people passing by hurled insults at Him
We cannot be certain where the crucifixion took place but the actual site is of less importance than the spiritual significance of what really took place. Jesus went willingly to His death on the cross. It was all part of God’s loving plan to bring us forgiveness. “He Himself born our sins in His own body on the cross” and that “Christ died for our sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God”. 1 Peter 2:24 and 3:18.
The Holy Sepulchre was established by Constantine in the 4th Century. This has been questioned in the last 200 years whether it was the actual site. it seems, most probably, the Garden Tomb fits the details described in the gospel accounts and helps many to imagine the wonderful events of the first Easter morning. “Do not be afraid,’ said the angel to the women, ‘for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen.’” (Matthew 28:5-6)
While historians, archaeologists and theologians debate the place where this happened, there is no dispute that “Jesus Christ was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.”(Romans 1:4)
Our Saviour Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)
Therefore we can sing that wonderful chorus:
Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
Indeed Jesus was prepared for the cross but destined for the throne.
It is because of His grace. Salvation is by grace and grace alone, through faith alone.