Dying with Christ
by James Jacob Prasch
This is the time of year between what Christians on their calendar call Easter and Pentecost. Now, actually the New Testament does not follow the Christian calendar. The Christian calendar is solar; the Church Fathers changed it in the 4th Century to something knows as the Quartodeciman schism. Jesus did not rise from the dead on Easter Sunday, neither did he die on Good Friday. He died at Erev Chag, Passover, Chag haPesach, and he rose from the dead on what we call Yom Rishon of Chag HaMatzot, the Sunday, the first day of the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. According to 1st Corinthians that is when it happened. According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and 1st Corinthians, Jesus did not die on Good Friday, neither did he raise on Easter Sunday.
Then we have Pentecost Sunday. Well, again, this comes from the Christian calendar. The Jews followed a lunar calendar. The day of Pentecost is the Hebrew Feast of Weeks, Chag Shavuot. That is when it really happened, but one goes by the sun and one goes by the moon. Nonetheless, we are broadly speaking about the same time of year, just about coming to Pentecost and it was the time when Jesus would ascend and then send the Holy Spirit. He would appear to people. But let us begin. Before we go to the Gospels, turn with me please back to the Old Testament, to the Hebrew prophet Hosea:
Hosea 6:1-3 "Come, let us return to the LORD. [Now the Hebrew word for return to the Lord is repent, teshuvah. Repentance in Hebrew means to turn from sin towards God. Repentance does not mean you are sorry, repentance is being so sorry you turn from doing it. There must be a going back. “Let us return to the Lord,” teshuvah. In Greek it would be metanoia. Martin Luther realized when a Humanist scholar called Les Evuar showed him the original Greek meaning that to repent, metanoia in Greek, teshuvah in Hebrew, did not mean to go to confession, to the Catholic sacrament of penance. To repent meant to turn from sin towards God and he realized that the idea that salvation was by sacraments was a complete nonsense. That was one of the things that sparked the reformation.] “Let us return to the Lord, For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day That we may live before Him. "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."
What we have here is a prophecy, a prophecy of the death of Jesus, a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus and a prophecy of the day of Pentecost, except Hosea does something unique. He says what happened to Jesus will happen in some way to us. Let us look at verse 1 again of Chapter 6.
He has wounded us, but he will bandage us,” or repair the damage. This is the same term in Isaiah 53, “He was wounded for our transgressions.” The Hebrew idea is pagah cut in two and it is where we get the word intercession in Hebrew, lehasgia, when you intercede for somebody, it does not mean you pray for them, it means you are wounded on their behalf. When Jesus was on the cross he was not just praying for us, he was taking our sin. He was wounded; he was cut into on our behalf. When you pray for somebody you pray for them, when you intercede for somebody you take their burden, you are wounded on their behalf. It is two completely different words in Hebrew and two completely different words in Greek, the Greek word is enteuxis. Paul says “prayers and intercessions.” We can all pray for somebody, but to intercede for somebody means the Holy Spirit puts the burden for them on you and you are wounded on behalf of another.
Now it says here what happened to Jesus, he took our sin, he was wounded on our behalf but then he is healed. “He will revive us after two days and raise us up on the third day that we will live before him.” Well, Jesus raises on the third day, but it says what happens to him, happens to us. What does this mean, “He will raise us up on the third day.” Some people have speculatively pointed to the verse in Peter quoting from the Old Testament “A day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.” They say “Well, this could mean that Jesus is coming sometime between the second and third millennium. While we cannot speculate about dates for his return, obviously, but they may have a point, it may be between the second and third millennium. What is obvious, is we raise on the third day just as Jesus did.
"So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."
All four gospels tell us that Jesus rose at dawn when it was still dark. This is the Hebrew Feast of First Fruits, you read it in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 15:20: “Christ, the first fruits is risen from the dead.” This is the Hebrew feast of First Fruits. When it was still dark, the high priest would go into the Kidron Valley, which lies between the Mount of Olives, Har HaZeitim and the Temple Mount on the east side of Jerusalem, and when it was still dark he would go down into the Kidron and he would wait for the first pin of light coming up on back of the Mount of Olives to the east. When he saw the first pin of light, he would ceremonially harvest the first stalk of grain coming out of the earth. He called that the first fruit and he would bring it into the temple. Well, we know the very hour of the very day the high priest was bringing the first fruit into the temple, 1st Corinthians 15 tells us Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection, the very hour, the very day. He was the Passover lamb; he was the first fruit. Jewish people unless they are born again, do not know the meaning of their own religion, it is about the Messiah. So Jesus is wounded but heals. He raises on the third day, but we are told that happens to us as well. Look with me please to Galatians:
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
I remember listening to Richard Wurmbrand, a Jewish believer from
His death is our death; therefore, his resurrection is our
resurrection. We cannot know him in his
resurrection until we know him in his cross.
We cannot know him in his eternal life until we know him in his
death. His death is our death;
therefore, his life becomes our life.
But then Hosea tells us something else, he will come as the dawn. Remember, all four gospels say he rose at
dawn. “Arise and shine for your light
has come, the glory of the risen Lord is brighter than the sun” writes Isaiah,
the dawn is a picture of the rising of the Messiah. In other words, in biblical typology,
biblical symbolism, the rising of the sun is a metaphor for the rising of the Son. It happens at dawn but then we are told “the
rain comes,” the rain comes, the spring rain.
Right after the first fruits, the rain increases in
Two rainy seasons and there is a prophecy here of the Spirit being
outpoured. When the water is outpoured,
it goes into the earth and it forms something in
Isaiah 44:3 'For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, And My blessing on your descendants.’
The outpouring of the rain forming the living water is a picture of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So Hosea gives us a prophecy of three things: The death of the Messiah, his resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit. But he says what happens to Jesus will happen to us, we are supposed to die with him, we are supposed to co-raise with him, that is what Baptism means, under the water, co-death, coming out, co- resurrection and the same Spirit of Jesus is poured out on us on the day of Pentecost. With this is view, with this background, let us move ahead now to the Gospel of Saint Luke, chapter 23:
In the Bible there is a theological term people use, scholars use it for when one person is a picture of a bigger group of people, when one person represents a larger group of people; this term is called a “corporate solidarity.” It is where one person represents a larger group of people and in the gospels you have many corporate solidarities, many people who represent bigger groups, but in the Passion of Jesus, they show up one after another. Let us begin looking at Luke 23 where they bring Jesus before Herod, in verse 12, and then Herod sends them back to Pilate. Notice how politicians love to pass the buck! Herod knew he was innocent. Now all Jesus had to do was put on a show and they would not have crucified him. Now I am a Pentecostal, I believe in gifts of the Spirit by definition, I believe in signs and wonders, what we call hasim anis la chots. The idea that the gifts of the Spirit ended with the apostles is completely unbiblical and untenable, it is a false teaching. However, I also know what the Bible says about these things. “These signs follow…” Jesus never allowed signs, wonders, miracles, healing, gifts of the Spirit, he never allowed these things to be the focus of his ministry or his message. These signs follow… When you see people making signs and wonders the focus, that is something that Jesus warned about. “A wicked and an adulterous generation seeks a sign.” When you see people flocking into stadiums for this (blows), crowding into arenas to see someone blowing on them, that is a wicked and an adulterous generation seeking a sign. There are those who try to tell us that signs and wonders are the key to seeing people saved. Well, in John 10, Jesus said “For which one of these signs do you stone me?” “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” then comes the signs and wonders. These signs follow. Believe me, the antichrist and false prophet are going to put on a show. They are going to put on one show and I am frightened. If people cannot see through Kenny and Benny, if people cannot see through obvious deception, what is going to happen when the real deception comes? If you cannot see through obvious heretics, what is going to happen when real deception comes?
Nonetheless, let us continue: Pilate
and Herod, they like to pass the buck.
Jesus warned that in the Last Days you would be brought before
magistrates and kings. Notice he puts
the courts before the politicians. What
you see happening in the world today is exactly that, in
Luke 23:13-21 And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. "No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. "I will therefore punish Him and release Him." Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner. But they cried out all together, saying, "Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!" (He was one who had been thrown into prison for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) And Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, "Crucify, crucify Him!"
It goes on for the third time.
Pilate was trying to get Jesus off so he finds somebody who actually was guilty
of rebellion, somebody who actually was guilty of sedition. Barabbas is not a Hebrew name, it is an
Aramaic name, a similar language to Hebrew, Bar Abbas, son of the father. If it was Hebrew it would be Ben Abba, but
here it is Bar Abbas, son of the father and he is a rebel. He was what Josephus called “One of the sechim, what the
New Testament calls one of the zealots.
These were terrorists. They were
people who actually carried on crimes against their own community in the name
of religion and rebellion. Think of them
as Al Qaeda, they are basically terrorists carrying it out in the name of their
interpretation of a religion. They are
like the IRA in
“So I am going to get somebody who is an obvious bad guy, even his own people don’t like him and I will say ‘Who should I release to you, Bar Abbas, this terrorist, Bin Laden or shall I release to you Rabbi Yeshua Bar Yosef MiNazarit, Jesus. Who do you want, this terrorist, or do you want me to release to you this Rabbi who taught love, peace and forgiveness? This Rabbi who made the blind see, the deaf hear, who made the cripples walk, who raised the little girl from the dead, this man of love, truth and peace, whose message is forgiveness. Do you want him or do you want the terrorist, do you want the real rebel?”
And they said “Give us the terrorist, give us Bar Abbas, Barabbas. Barabbas is a corporate solidarity, he is a picture of you and me, we are rebels. We rebelled against our creator. An innocent man went to the cross so we could become Bar Abbas, a son of the Father. We are a son of the Father because the Father put our sin on Jesus, Barabbas is a picture of us. We were actually guilty of the things Jesus was falsely accused of. He is a picture of us. Every Christian is a Barabbas, we are all rebels who have become sons of the Father because an innocent man took our place.
But then the story continues and we get the next corporate solidarity.
Luke 23:26 And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.
Notice he had to walk after Jesus carrying the cross. He walked in back of Jesus. What does Jesus say? “Pick up your cross and follow me. My burden is light” he says. Once again, he didn’t say “I am going to die for your sin.” He said “I am going to die for your sin, get up and die with me.” He didn’t say “I am going to go to the cross.” He said “I am going to the cross, pick up your cross and follow me.” He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before him because he has wounded us, that he may bandage us. Every one of us is a Simon of Cyrene. Every one of us is called to pick up the cross and follow Jesus.
When I first came to know him when I was in University, I was addicted to cocaine, that is what I was. That cocaine addict was crucified, I am no longer a cocaine addict, that person was crucified with Christ. My desire for cocaine was nailed to the cross, or I should say the person who desired it was nailed to the cross, a new creation. Be careful of Christians getting involved in 12-step programs. Those things are deceptions based on Universalist concepts of God and based on psychology. We are supposed to reckon the old creation dead. What they do is dig up the corpse of the old man or the old woman. “Pick up the cross and follow me.” Recon him dead. Our fellowship is not based on our past sin, it is based on a new creation. Everyone of us who is born again is a Barabbas, a son of the Father because Jesus died in our place. Every Christian who is a disciple is a Simon of Cyrene, we pick up the cross and follow Him. Just like the traditional hymn, “Cling to the old rugged cross, exchange it one day for a crown.” But then there is another corporate solidarity who comes into play this particular day.
Luke 23:39-43 And one of the
criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You
not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!"
But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even
fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? "And we indeed justly, for we are
receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing
wrong." And he was saying,
"Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" And He said to
him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in
Now that tells us a lot of things.
One thing it tells us is this.
When you have a corpse, you bury it, that is for sure. An unbaptized Christian, there is something
wrong with them. Sprinkling an infant is
not baptism. You would not take a baby
out of a crib and put it into a coffin if it was not dead. Do not sprinkle an infant. On the other hand, baptism is important, you
bury a corpse. If somebody does not want
to get baptized, are they really dead, are they a new creation? However, salvation comes not by baptism,
salvation comes by faith in Jesus. This
guy was never baptized but he went to heaven.
He was justified by faith in Jesus.
We get baptized because we have been saved, not to get saved. You bury a corpse because it is dead, not to
kill it. Be careful of those who teach
baptismal regeneration, that salvation comes by a ritual of a sacrament. It does not.
That is not only the Roman Church or the High Anglican Church, or even
some Lutherans, things like the
Corporate solidarities, we are all a Barabbas, if you are saved, we are all a Simon of Cyrene, and we are all good thieves. He dies fulfilling the prophecy of Hosea, but then he raises, and they debate this back and forth, where do you get the 3 days and 3 nights, did he die on a Wednesday, did he die on a Thursday, how could it be a Friday? Well, I will tell you something, Paul says “To the Jews belong the oracles of God.” To understand a Jewish book, you have to understand it is a Jewish book.
Turn with me please, very briefly, to the book of Amos chapter 8:
Amos 8:9 "And it will come about in that day," declares the Lord God, "That I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight.
Do you see that prophecy? Back in Luke 22, what happens when Jesus dies? It says:
Luke 23:44 And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,
Amos gives a prophecy that the sun will go down at noon, and when Jesus dies, it happens. Now, this has a future eschatological meaning prophetically for the Last Days as well, I won’t go into that. It has another meaning for the future but that is not our purpose today. Jews, for religious purposes, count days based on the Creation narrative in Genesis, or the hoshek, light to dark. Jews fast from sundown to sundown, they observe the Sabbath from sundown to sundown. A day is based not on hours but based on the sun going down, based on only that. It doesn’t matter if there is one hour of daylight or 10 hours of daylight, it is a day, only based on the creation. But when Jesus dies the sun would go down at noon. This could not have been an eclipse because it was the 14th of Nissan, Passover, the opposite phase of the lunar cycle for it to be an eclipse. There could not be an eclipse, the sun had to go down.
There are certain times in the Bible where God intervenes with time. Now in the New Testament we have two words for time in Greek, chronos, we get the word chronology, an order of events, and kairos, which is a clock, like the clock. In eternity, there is no kairos. Eternity is not a clock that keeps going, it is no clock at all. Events happen outside of time, yet there is an order of events. In the book of Revelation, it is in eternity but you see there is an order of events, but they happen outside of time. Time depends on, what Paul calls, the second heaven. Remember in 2nd Corinthians, Paul said he was taken to the third heaven? The first heaven is the atmosphere of the earth, the second heaven is outer space and the third heaven is eternity. Time, kairos, depends of planetary motion; it depends on the motion of the planets. Technically speaking, there is one kind of clock that does not work by planetary motion, an atomic clock works by particle emission, it calculates particle emission but even that has to express its calculations in terms of nanoseconds, so the only way you can measure a particle emission is still with the motion of planets.
The second heaven determines time, the motion of planets. You know in Revelation and Zechariah, the heavens are rolled up like a scroll. Space disappears and the first heaven meets the third, eternity comes to earth because the sky is gone, outer space is gone. God intervenes with time certain times in the Bible. Remember with Joshua when he stopped the sun? God interfered with time. In the book of Revelation chapter 16, God interferes with time, a day goes from 24 hours to 16. When King Hezekiah was going to die, you had a King of the Jews in his thirties and the sun went back, remember? He was given 15 years of life, his life was cut short by 15 years and the sun had to go back? God intervened with time but that had to be made up for. Now in the time of Jesus the average person lived to about between 45 and 50 if they were healthy. Jesus was in his thirties. So because you had a King of the Jews who was given 15 years because the time went back, that had to be counter balanced, another king lost 15 years of his life because the sun went forward. What happened with Hezekiah is counterbalanced with what happened with Jesus. A king of the Jews, look at the book of Kings, Hezekiah would have been in his thirties at the time and Jesus was in his thirties. God intervenes with time. The sun goes down. Now, he dies on a Friday, the sun goes down, he’s brought off the cross, the sun goes back up, the sun goes back down on Friday night, you’ve got double sunset. Saturday he is in the grave, Saturday night the sun goes down, Sunday he raises. As a Jew would count time, you’ve got your three days and three nights. There is no problem saying it was a Friday because of the prophecy of Amos.
So he raises from the dead, until he begins showing up, talking to people. Now the way he looked in his resurrection teaches about the way we are going to look in our resurrection, be the same person, the same body but it will not look the same, people will not recognize it at first, even I am going to be good looking, and there will be less of me to love! But let us see what happens. Turn with me please to chapter 24, the road to Emmaus.
Luke 24:13-34 And behold, two of
them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, [we probably know
where it is; there are two possible locations to the west of
One of the reasons things like the Charismatic Movement,
“And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He would go farther. [Like he was not going to go on with them.] And they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over." And He went in to stay with them. And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.”
[Jews, to this day, Orthodox Jews
will have multiple Passovers, the main one will be Erev Hag, but there will be
multiple ones. Well, the apostles could
not have been here; when the Jews ate the Passover in Jesus day they reclined
at a table called a triclinium. Forget
about Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper, it looked nothing like that. There were no chairs, they table was very
low, like futons and they were on cushions, reclining. The Last Supper is not an accurate
representation. It is a wonderful
painting, but it is not an accurate representation of what it would have looked
like. But, the apostles could not have
been here because Jesus told the apostles, I’m not going to eat the Passover
with you again until we do it in the kingdom.
The Lord’s Supper is an appetizer of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. When we take the Lord’s Supper we proclaim
his death until he comes, just like the Jews, they look back to the Exodus from
“He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?"
For the third time, it points to Bible. When we meet as the Lord’s people, first we come to the Lord in the scripture. When we pray, we talk to the Lord; when we read his Word he talks back to us, then we break bread and have the Lord’s supper. The Lord’s supper is central to our fellowship, our worship. It continues:
"Were not our hearts burning within us [three times he points to the
scripture] while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the
Scriptures to us?" And they arose
that very hour and returned to
Let us go back just briefly to the Reformers: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, people like this,
they were Roman Catholic priests who got saved.
They were from the intelligencia of the Roman Catholic clergy, they were
Humanist scholars. And they realized
that the Roman Catholic Mass and the Eucharist was an abomination; it was
idolatry, it was cannibalism, so therefore, because they wanted to get away
from the idolatry and cannibalism of
You see, he was walking with them, travelling with them, sojourning with
them but they did not recognize him.
Anybody can be a Christian in church.
When we are singing the hymns, I am not going to say something or do something
when I am around other Christians that I should not. But, when I am stuck in a traffic jam in
Oh, He is crucified, I have no doubt about that; He is crucified, but how much of Jacob Prasch is crucified with him. He is risen, I have no doubt He is risen. I am absolutely convinced of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no question in my mind, he is indeed risen. What I question is, how much is Jacob Prasch living and walking in the power of his resurrection, have I risen with him? He is speaking to me but am I hearing what He is saying? He is trying to explain the scriptures but do I understand it? I am on the road to Emmaus, but he acts as if he would go further. He’s just going to keep going! They had to invite him.
To understand this, look with me to Revelation 3. If you are like me, you use this verse in witnessing and evangelism and it is fine we do, it is a perfectly valid application, but in its exegetical context it is not primarily talking to unsaved people, even though we use it that way or at least I do. He is talking to churches, he is talking to Christians and people in the churches and he says this:
Revelation 3:20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.
On the road to Emmaus, they had to invite him in, these were believers,
these were disciples! They were walking
with Him but did not recognize his presence because they were not understanding
the scriptures. He was talking to them
but it did not register. He was there
but they did not see it. They had to
really invite him in. “If anyone invites
me in, I’ll sup with him and him with me.
I’ll dine with him, him with me, I’ll manifest myself to you in the
breaking of the bread and then you’ll get it, then it will click.” But he is a gracious Lord, he does not come
uninvited. They had to ask him in. It is a strange thing that Jesus says to the