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A Literal Translation of the New Testament






 

 

THE "CROSS" THAT JESUS CHRIST

 

"LIFTED" AND "CARRIED"

 

 

 

By Hal Dekker

 

1999.08.03

Last page update: 2017.09.06

 

 

This work is partially based upon the work of Dr. E. W. Bullinger, which can be found in his Companion Bible in appendix 162, 'The Cross And Crucifixion'.  Dr. Bullinger focuses on the evidence for there not being a "cross" upon which Jesus was crucified, but mentions several ancient and historical sources for the argument that Jesus was crucified upon an upright stake or pale as the apostles of Jesus wrote of it in the Biblical texts.  My research here includes some of Dr. Bullinger's references out of those biblical texts, and a quote of his resources and findings, and includes additional evidence out of those biblical texts which shows that Jesus didn't touch the stake until he was nailed to it, because Simon of Cyrene carried it to the "place of the skull", Golgatha. 

 

I believe my work takes this subject further through laying out the apparent contradictions about who carried the cross.  Through patient observation of the evidence within the biblical texts I believe anyone can see that the record in John 19:17, which many believe states that Jesus carried a wooden "cross" to Golgotha, could be understood as a figure of speech metaphor, compared to exactly what is "lifted" and "carried" in Isaiah's prophecy in Isa. 53:3-5.  Other scriptural passages related to this event help anyone understand the scriptural truth the ancient believers knew and understood before showbiz "Christianity" and private interpretation from omniscient "church leadership" swamped the truth in later centuries.

 

What did the foremost ancient prophecy say the promised redeemer would "lift" and "carry"?

 

What did the prophet Isaiah write?

 

Isa. 53:3 (NASB) He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hid their face He was despised, and we did not esteemed him.

 

Isa. 53:4 (NASB) Surely our griefs (holî) He himself bore (nāśā), And our sorrows (mak'ōb) He carried (sābal); yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken (nāga), Smitten (nākâ) of God, and afflicted (ānâ).

 

Isa. 53:5 (NASB) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon him, And by his scourging we are healed.

 

The verbs in these verses, and especially in verse 4, describe a vivid scene of the work of the promised coming redeemer.  As anyone can see through comparing the words in the NASB English translation to the actual words in the Hebrew text, the NASB translation is quite paraphrased using "creative synonyms".  I wonder why the translators felt they needed to repair or fix the actual wording of the profit Isaiah to make the NASB say something much more diluted and obfuscated?  Isn't the prophet Isaiah, or the subject matter, important enough to respectfully quote?  Were their alterations to the English translation an attempt to improve what the God wanted said through his mouthpiece Isaiah, or were they the result of trying to destroy the actual meaning of the passage?

 

griefs (holî) - In both the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible the abundant scriptural evidence shows us that a common cultural practice in both cultures was to often refer to physical, bodily illnesses and diseases as disabilities, (Heb. holî, Gk. astheneia).  Begging the NASB translators' pardons, and quoting the prophet Isaiah in 53:4, Isaiah actually wrote "disabilities", which is a word having a broad meaning.  Holî can refer to a broad range of illnesses and sicknesses of many kinds.  I believe there is no illness or sickness from which the God cannot heal a person.   God's holy Spirit working in Isaiah directed him to use this specific word holî which breadth of meaning would encompass any and every kind of physical illness or disease known to mortalkind!

 

Isaiah's prophecy states that the promised coming redeemer would deliver people from any and every kind of disabilities (holî) known to mortalkind, which is exactly what the apostle Matthew (Mat. 9:9, 10:3) records for us that Jesus Christ did in his earthly ministry (Mat. 4:23, 9:35).  Luke, who may have been an apostle as well, a traveling companion of apostle Paul, recorded this also (Luke 9:6, 11; Acts 4:22, 10:38).  Why didn't the NASB translators simply quote the prophet Isaiah and translate holî as disabilities?  These translations all get it wrong more or less (ASV, Darby, GW, ICB, KJV, NASB, NJB).  These got it right (HCSB, NIV, YLT).

 

bore (nāśā) - Its root meaning is to lift something up or off of something, such as lifting a burden of some kind, which burden is identified in those associated contexts.  In all of its about 654 usages in the Hebrew texts of the Bible, nāśā draws the reader's attention to compare the strength of the thing or person doing the lifting, to the weight of the thing being lifted.  The prophet Isaiah wrote that the promised coming redeemer would be able to lift any and all illnesses and disease off of all mortalkind, which eligibility requirement we know now is our belief in our hearts upon Jesus' precious name.  The acronym of the US National Aeronautics And Space Administration, NASA, coincidentally implies its goal with the meaning of this ancient Hebrew word, "Lift off"!  Translating nāśā as "bore" puts the focus of meaning upon carrying the weight.  Whereas translating nāśā as "lifted" puts the focus of meaning upon deliverance, the promised redeemer delivering us from our weights and burdens to transfer them from us to himself, whatever they may be, which meaning of deliverance agrees with lift, which is the essence of the meaning of nāśā.

 

sorrows (mak'ōb) - Its root meaning is mental anguish or agony.  It's used a minority of times for physical agony, which of course produces mental agony as an inescapable outcome.

 

carried (sābal) - Its contextual usages describe a slave or work animal carrying a load on its shoulder or back.  the prophet Isaiah says that the promised coming redeemer would work as a slave or an animal to carry the mental anguish or agony of all mortalkind on himself. Of what mental anguish or agony is Isaiah speaking? 

 

The prophet Isaiah's' use of the words holî and nāśā refer to the physical illnesses and diseases of all mortalkind, while the words mak'ōb and sābal refer to the mental anguish or agony, the mental illnesses and diseases of all mortalkind.  The God speaking to us through the prophet Isaiah as His mouthpiece and agent, desires us to know that He has prepared a promised coming redeemer who shall deliver all mortalkind from any and all of its both physical and mental illnesses and diseases!  In an illusion to a coming new covenant, the God our heavenly Father promises total deliverance, inside and out, as the work of His promised coming redeemer!  The ministerial work of the new one body of Christ, working now here on earth after Christ Jesus' ascension, and while awaiting his physical bodily return, can be seen in the writings of Jesus' apostles in those passages where they, absolutely not writing absent-mindedly, chose to use the word doulos to describe the mental attitude and physical work of Jesus' disciples.

 

stricken (nāga) - The root meaning of the word is to touch.  This usage of nāga by Isaiah appears to be a colloquial usage similar to those used in Judges 20:34, 41, to be "touched by evil" and in other passages (1 Chron. 16:22; Job 1:11, 19, 2:5, 5:19; Ps 105:15; Zech. 2:8).  In this sense Isaiah's prophecy means that the believers, all those who were healed by Jesus and/or believed in whom he was, who witnessed Jesus' punishment and crucifixion by the hands of the Romans and the Judean religious leaders, believed that Jesus was being "touched" by evil.  This interpretation is corroborated by Jesus Christ (John 8:44), and apostles Peter (Acts 2:22-23, 36) and Paul (1 Cor. 2:1-8; 2 Cor. 11:13-15).  In a similar sense the unbelievers, many of the people, and especially the Judean religious leaders - the ones who were actually 'touched by evil", or simply "touched" as is often said today in our modern western culture, they being possessed with demon spirits, claimed that Jesus was possessed with demon spirits (John 7:20, 8:48, 52, 10:20)!  That's a popular method of the devil, always claiming and accusing others of doing the very things for which he himself is the sponsor!

 

smitten (nākâ) - A word having a broad meaning, meaning to hit or to strike with a fist, sword, club, etc..  Apostles Matthew and Mark recorded for us that members of the sanhedrin and the chief sacrificial priests struck Jesus with their fists for speaking the truth, which they called "blasphemy" (Mat. 26:67, 27:30; Mark 14:65, 15:19; Luke 22:63-64; John 19:3). 

 

afflicted (ānâ) - The root meaning of the word generally means to oppress or to be oppressed, in any number of ways, and to any number of degrees.  It's used about 84 times in the Hebrew texts of the Bible.  A very eye-opening study of how the devil oppresses anyone could be made from looking up many of these usages. 

 

According to the prophet Isaiah, the promised coming redeemer lifted and carried our physical weaknesses and our mental agonies.  Here's what I believe is a much better translation of Isa. 53:4:

 

Isa. 53:4 (LIT/BHS) Assuredly (ākēn) he (hû) has lifted (nāśā) our weaknesses (holî), and (wĕ) he has carried (sābal) our agonies (mak'ōb)!

 

And (wĕ) we (anahnû) counted (hāshab) him having been touched (nāga), being caused to be struck (nākâ) by gods (elōhîm), and (wĕ) oppressed (ānâ).

 

In John 19:17 we have the only passage in the holy scriptures which may appear to state that Jesus Christ carried an actual physical wooden instrument of death.  But was apostle John speaking metaphorically like the prophet Isaiah, or literally?

 

John 19:17 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) he carrying (bastazōn) the (ton) stake (stauron) for himself (heautō), he came out (exēlthen) into (eis) the (ton) [place] being said (legomenon) [to be] a place (topon) of a cranium (kraniou), which (ho) is said (legetai) Hebraïstically (Hebraïsti), ‘Golgotha’ (Golgotha),

 

John 19:18 (LIT/UBS4) where (hopou) they staked (estaurōsan) him (auton);

 

and (kai) with (met’) him (autou) two (duo) others (allous) here (enteuthen) and (kai) here (enteuthen).  

 

But (de) [in the] middle (meson) [was] the (ton) Jesus (Iēsoun).

 

Please notice the Greek text of apostle John's writing says "stake", not "cross".  If you don't like apostle John's use of the word stauron, meaning a stake, he being an eye witness to Jesus' sufferings, execution and death on the "stake", not to mention his most loved disciple for about three years, being taught personally by Jesus to tell the truth and not lie, then mentally substitute another word in place of it in your mind, as you read.  You could just substitute different English words you like better in place of the ones your reading, as you read, and actually create your own erroneous and fictitious Bible translation on the fly!  Oh wait!  That's already been done by Bible translators, in virtually every English "translation" in existence!  Never mind.

 

Was the instrument of Jesus' death simply a wooden stake?

 

The answer is yes, according to Jesus' apostles.  Let's examining the scriptural evidence in the Greek texts written by Jesus' apostles to see if they say that it was a stake (stauros) which was the instrument of Jesus' death.  Whenever evidence is gathered for a court case, attorneys for the plaintiff and defense call and examine all the witnesses, and pour over all the evidence, to be sure they have all the facts surrounding the events, to corroborate and win their cases.  In the holy scriptures there are several direct and indirect witnesses to Jesus' crucifixion who give us their depositions through holy scripture.  So logically, if we consider each record as a deposition, and then piece them all together, including what other reasonably authoritative evidence we can find, then we should have the best advantage in determining exactly what happened in the events leading up to and including the staking of Jesus Christ.  

 

First of all apostle Peter cautions us about making up soap operas in our minds as we imagine, or dream, or assume what God's prophets and apostles meant by what they wrote, instead of actually, and very carefully, reading exactly what they wrote.  Apostle Peter believed it was important to assure as that what they wrote was exactly what God's Spirit working in them gave them to write.  I believe his caution to us here can be extended into a dissuasion of translators from creating theological soap operas and paraphrasing them into their English "translations" in place of what the ancient writers actually wrote while under direction of God's Spirit.

 

2 Pet. 1:19 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) we hold (echomen) the (ton) prophetic (prophētikon) Word (logon) [as] an established one (bebaioteron);

 

for which (hō) you do (poieite) beautifully (kalōs) paying attention to (prosechontes) [it] as (hōs) a lamp (luchnō) shining (phainonti) in (en) an obscure (auchmērō) place (topō);

 

 [paying attention to it] until (heōs) of which (hou) day (hēmera) it may reflect through (diaugasē), and (kai) [the] light-bearing one (phōsphoros) may rise up (anateilē) in (en) the (tais) hearts (kardiais) of you (humōn);

 

2 Pet. 1:20 (LIT/UBS4) we knowing (ginōskontes) this (touto) first (prōton), that (hoti) every (pasa) prophecy (prophēteia) of a writing (graphēs) is absolutely not caused to come to pass (ou ginetai) over one’s own letting loose (idias epiluseōs);

 

2 Pet. 1:21 (LIT/UBS4) because (gar) absolutely not (ou) of a mortal’s (anthrōpou) desire (thelēmati) was prophecy (prophēteia) brought (ēnechthē) in time past (pote)

 

BUT (alla), mortals (anthrōpoi) spoke (elalēsan) being brought (pheromenoi) under (hupo) [authority] of holy (hagiou) Spirit (pneumatos) from (apo) God (theou)!

 

Apostle Peter says that the prophets, and he and all the apostles, wrote and are writing on account of being brought under the influence of God's holy Spirit working in and through them. 

 

Apostle John wrote "stake (stauros)", not "cross (crux)".

 

Now Let's examine closely out of the Greek texts of the holy scriptures, not out of "translations", the two Greek words used by the ancient writers of the new covenant texts for "cross" and "tree", which relate to the instrument of Jesus Christ's' staking: 

 

Stauros, Strong's # 4716, is used 28 times in the texts.  Its etymological, historical, and traditional meaning at the time the new covenant writings were recorded, was simply an upright pale or stake

 

Xulon, Strong's # 3586, is used 17 times in the texts, and its common usage at that time referred to a tree, and to a variety of wooden implements made from various parts of trees.

 

There is an abundant selection of concordances, analytical lexicons, and Greek language reference works, and books on figures of speech, cultural manners and customs from which to select, which when acquired give a Bible study student a powerful ability to examine the ancient texts of the Bible to see exactly what the ancient writers actually wrote and meant.

 

Xulon

 

Let's look at xulon first.  The following passages help us to define the meaning of the word xulon because of how the word is used in various contexts.  The context in which a word is used is vitally important in helping to define that words' meaning, and thusly mutually beneficial for helping to define the meanings of the other words also within that context.  But contexts can be rendered useless if its' words have been replaced with theologically-based/biased "creative synonyms" and paraphrases which are used to sculpt a verses' meaning into becoming something other than what an ancient author actually wrote and meant.  Examining xulon and stauros, as well as the contexts in which they are used, will help us understand exactly what was the implement of death to which the soldiers fastened Jesus Christ.

 

Apostle Luke wrote:

 

Acts 5:29 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) having been caused to make a decision (apokritheis), the (ho) Peter (Petros) and (kai) the (hoi) apostles (apostoloi) enunciated (eipon), “Is it required (dei) to be ruled by persuasion (peitharchein) more (mallon) to God (theō) or (ē) [more] to mortals (anthrōpois)?

 

Acts 5:30 (LIT/UBS4) The (ho) God (theos) of the (tōn) fathers (paterōn) of us (hēmōn) aroused (ēgeiren) Jesus (Iēsoun), of whom (hon) you (humeis) caused yourselves to thoroughly handle (diecheirisasthe), you having hung (kremasantes) [him] upon (epi) a tree (xulon)!

 

Acts 5:31 (LIT/UBS4) This one (touton) the (ho) God (theos) set above5312 (hupsōsen) to the (tē) right (dexia) of Him (autou), a beginning one (archēgon), and (kai) a savior (sōtēra), to give (dounai) repentance (metanoian) to the (tō) Israel (israēl) and (kai) a letting go (aphesin) of sins (hamartiōn).

 

Apostle Matthew wrote:

 

Mat. 26:47 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) of him (autou) yet (eti) speaking (lalountos), behold (idou), Judas (Ioudas), one (heis) of the (tōn) twelve (dōdeka), came (ēlthe), and (kai) with (met) him (autou) much (polus) crowd (ochlos) with (meta) knives (machairōn) and (kai) staves (xulōn), from (apo) the (tōn) chief sacrificial priests (archiereōn) and (kai) elders (presbuterōn) of the (tou) people (loau)!

 

Again apostle Luke wrote:

 

Acts 13:29 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) as (hōs) [the ones homing down in Jerusalem and the chief ones, v27, RE] completed (etelesan) all (panta) the things (ta) having been written (gegrammena) about (peri) him (autou), [Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, vJohn 19:38-40, RE] having seized [him, ER] down (kathelontes) from (apo) the (tou) tree (xulou), they put (ethēkan) [him, ER] into (eis) a memorial (mnēmeion).

 

Acts 13:30 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) God (theos) aroused (ēgeiren) him (auton) out of (ek) dead ones (nekrōn)!

 

Apostle Paul wrote:

 

Gal. 3:13 (LIT/UBS4) Christ (Christos) bought us out1805 (exēgorasen hēmas) out (ek) of the (tēs) curse (kataras) of the (tou) law (nomou), he having caused himself to become (genomenos) a curse (katara) over (huper) [the sake] of us (hemon);

 

because (hoti) it has been written (gegraptai), "Accursed (epikataratos) [is] everyone (pas), the one (ho) causing himself to hang (kremamenos) upon (epi) a tree (xulou);"

 

Apostle Peter wrote:

 

1 Pet. 2:24 (LIT/UBS4) who (hos) himself (autos) brought up (anēnenken) the (tas) sins (hamartias) of us (hēmōn) in (en) the (tō) body (sōmati) of him (autou) upon (epi) the (to) tree (xulon);

 

in order that (hina) we having caused ourselves to become away from (apogenomenoi) the (tais) sins (hamartiais) [of us], we may live (zēsōmen) to the (tē) righteousness (dikaiosunē) [of him];

 

of which (hou), for the (tō) bruising (mōlōpi) of him (autou), you were healed (iathēte)!

 

As you can see from these examples, the main idea in the meaning of xulon is that it refers to wooden implements of various shapes and sizes and to trees. 

 

 

STAUROS

 

Dr. E.W. Bullinger, perhaps the greatest workman and scholar of the holy scriptures in our time, states the following:

 

"In the Greek N. T. two words are used for "the cross", on which the Lord was put to death. 1. The word stauros, which denotes an upright pale or stake, to which the criminals were nailed for execution.  2. The word xulon, which generally denotes a piece of dead wood, a timber, for fuel or for any other purpose.  It is not like dendron, which is used of a living, or green tree, as in Matt. 21:8, Rev. 7:1,3; 8:7, 9:4, &c.  As this latter wood xulon is used for the former stauros, it shows us that the meaning of each is exactly the same.  The verb stauroo means to drive stakes. Our English word "cross" is the translation of the Latin crux; but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word "stick" means a "crutch".  

 

Homer uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake, or a single piece of timber.  And this is the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics.  It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone.  Hence the use of the word xulon (No. 2, above) in connection with the manner of our Lord's death, and rendered "tree" in Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29, Gal. 3:13, 1 Peter 2:24.  This is preserved in our old English word rood or rod. See the Encycl. Brit., 11th (Camb.) ed., vol. 7, p. 505 d."

 

I disagree a tiny bit with Dr. Bullinger's definition of xulon, that it always refers to dead wood or timber; because xulon is used in the book of Revelation to refer to the tree of life (Rev. 22:2), which tree is certainly not dead!

 

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says:

 

xulon - "wood, a piece of wood, anything made of wood"

 

"stauros.... denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors ware nailed for execution.  Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pale, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross.  The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used of the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt.  By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith.  In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ."

 

The evidence for the "cross" concept can't be found anywhere in the texts of holy scripture, but, evidence can be found all over in ancient texts, like Homer's, for the word stauros meaning a stake as a single piece of wood!  I could devote more time here to the history and pagan origins of the cross, but I think you get an idea now of its history and origin, and how it was introduced into Christianity from paganism in the fourth century, subsequent to Constantine's influence.  The "cross" concept can be found abundantly throughout ancient and modern paganism of most every kind.  

 

Both of these words, xulon and stauros are used in the Textus Receptus to describe the implement of Jesus Christ's death.  But, there is no evidence whatsoever coming to us from antiquity through the scriptures or otherwise, that a tree and/or the wood from a tree was fashioned into a "cross" configuration by the Roman soldiers.  

 

I've heard mortals say that, "...there is good evidence that Jesus died on a cross, and not just a stake in the ground as the Greek word stauros in the holy scriptures indicates."   But, they never say what that evidence is.  What is their evidence?  Is it a book someone wrote a long time ago?  Is it a two thousand year old document of some kind?  What exactly is that evidence to which they refer, and where is it?  Those who hold to the "cross" theory never tell anyone what is their evidence.  Why?  Maybe it’s because they have no evidence apart from traditional oral doctrine.  All they really have is an oral tradition of teaching about a cross,  which supposedly began in the 4th century with Constantine when he and others supposedly saw a cross in the sky.  

 

If Constantine wants to believe that he saw a cross in the sky, and then jump to the conclusion that it must have been the shape of the tree upon which Jesus Christ must have been crucified, that's his prerogative to believe it.  I don't believe it because I have much more evidence that says something else!  There is more than ample scriptural evidence given to us by holy Spirit which says Jesus Christ died on a stake.  I have many two thousand year old documents included in what is commonly called the Bible, written before Constantine was born, that say Jesus Christ was crucified upon a tree trunk that had been stripped of its branches and stuck into a hole in the ground!  The two key Greek words in the holy scriptures which context provides more than ample evidence, are these two words xulon - wood/timber, and stauros - a stake.

 

The "cross" concept cannot be found anywhere in scripture.  That is a fact.  There are no "handy" words in either the Hebrew or Greek texts which mean wood fashioned into a cross configuration.  Yes, I am telling you that there is nothing in the scriptures about a cross.  If you find something, please let me know.  The English translated word says "cross", but the words in the source Greek texts say xulon - tree or timber, or stauros - stake, a single pole or tree trunk with the limbs stripped off from it.

 

For this subject especially, it is very important to point out what Jesus did not "lift" and "carry" to his crucifixion, so the clarity of the real burden he "lifted" and "carried" to his death can become more clear.

 

 

THE WITNESSES

 

WITNESS 1 - PROPHET ISAIAH

 

Our first witness is Isaiah, who by revelation from God as a holy prophet, received divine word of knowledge and word of wisdom concerning mortalkind's coming redeemer Jesus Christ.

 

Isaiah 52:14 Just as were astonished over you many- so the disfigurement from man his appearance, and his form from sons of man... (translation by J. P. Green)

 

Isaiah 52:14  In the same manner (houtōs) as at (hon) first (proton) - many (polloi) [were] out of place (ekstēsontai) upon (epi) you (se), [so] the (to) inglorious (adoxēsei) appearance (eidos) of you (sou) from (apo) the (tōn) mortal's (anthrōpōn) [appearance], and (kai) the (hē) glory (doxa) of you (sou) from (apo) mortal's (anthrōpōn) sons (huiōn) (Translation from the Septuagint)

 

God through Isaiah draws our attention to how badly the soldiers beat Jesus physically.  Aside from what this verse clearly states, it implies that a bone in the skeletal structure supporting Jesus' flesh, could have easily been broken throughout the beatings from the soldiers.  Isaiah says, "his visage (his appearance, specifically his face) was so marred (beat in, physically traumatized) more than any other man, and his form (the rest of his physical body) more than the sons of men."  These "more than's" do correctly translate into English the impact of what is said in the original Hebrew language, that Jesus' face and body were so severely traumatized from beatings from the soldiers, that he withstood more than any other mortal.  Just from the evidence of this one verse alone, one may ask themselves if Jesus had enough remaining strength to lift up and carry the weight of his own tool of death.

 

The Romans were loaded with racial prejudice, just like mortals are today. They thought the Judeans were dogs.  And in the East, a dog is considered the lowest form of life, but not too low to eat!  To the Roman soldiers, the beating and staking of Jesus was mere entertainment, something to break their boredom.  The soldiers cast lots among themselves for his garments (Mat. 27:35).  This was prophesied in Psalm 22:18Psalm 22:15 prophesied that Jesus' strength would be "dried up like a potsherd".  Jesus Christ gave ALL he had to give, to bring God's plan for our redemption into reality for you and I.

 

Here's Jay P. Green's exciting literal translation of Isa. 53:

 

Isa. 53:1  Who hath believed our report?  And the arm of YeHoVaH to whom is revealed?

 

Isa. 53:2  For he comes up as a shoot before him, and as a root out of dry ground. Not [is] a form to him, and not [is] majesty that we should see him, and not an appearance that we should desire him.

 

Isa. 53:3  Despised and abandoned of men, a man of pains, and known of sicknesses. And as hiding of faces from him being despised, and we did not value him.

 

Isa. 53:4  Surely our sicknesses he lifted up (nasa), and our pains he carried (cabal) them, but we esteemed him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted.

 

Isa. 53:5  But he [became] pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace [was] on him, and with his wounds we ourselves are healed.

 

Isa. 53:6  All we like sheep go astray, each man to his way we have turned. And YeHoVaH has made meet in him the iniquity of us all.

 

Isa. 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, but he did not open his mouth. As a lamb to the slaughter, he was led, and as a ewe before her shearers is dumb, so not he opens his mouth.

 

Isa. 53:8  From prison and from justice he was taken; and his generation who shall consider? For he was cut off from the land of the living; from the trespass of my people the stroke was to him.

 

Isa. 53:9  And he put with the wicked his grave, and with a rich [man] in his death: though not violence he had done, and not deceit [was] in his mouth.

 

Isa. 53:10  But YeHoVaH pleased to crush him, to make him sick. If he shall put a guilt offering [for] his soul, he shall see seed, he shall prolong days and the pleasure of YeHoVaH in his hand shall prosper.

 

Isa. 53:11  Of the travail of his soul he shall see. He shall be satisfied. By his knowledge my righteous servant justify for many, and their iniquities he shall carry (cabal).

 

Isa. 53:12  Therefore I will divide to him with the great, and with the strong he shall divide spoil, because he poured out to death his soul, and with transgressors [he] was counted.  And the sin of many he lifted up (nasa), and for transgressors made intercession.

 

This is the statement and testimony from the prophet Isaiah, our first witness, concerning the revelation God gave him to say and record concerning the crucifixion and death of the coming redeemer.  No "cross" is mentioned as the burden Jesus lifted up and carried upon himself, but rather figures of speech are used to state what he lifted up (nasa) and carried (cabal).  One important figure of speech used here, Metonymy (of the cause), is used by stating what he lifted up and carried, instead of the results it produced, i.e., his sufferings and death.  He lifted up our sins and sicknesses and carried our iniquities and pains, which caused him sufferings and death, and so the end result is that he lifted up and carried our sufferings and death for us!

 

It appears conspicuous how God uses two related words metaphorically in this passage, cabal and nasa, both commonly used to objectively describe handling physical and tangible burdens, but used here for handling intangible and subjective burdens of personal responsibility.   Isaiah, a holy mortal speaking by way of holy Spirit, uses the two words metaphorically in figures of speech to describe and compare how Jesus lifted up and carried the weight of being our redeemer, to how he may have lifted up and carried a supposed wooden cross. 

 

For Jesus, the weight of personal responsibility to lift up and carry the sufferings and death for all mortalkind, is by far so much heavier than any supposed wooden "cross", that to not recognize how much more valuable is his sacrifice to us, than the value of the implement of his death, a supposed wooden cross, is ludicrous.  I personally guard my mind against elevating any supposed wooden cross, or any worldly physical object to the level of an icon or idol of worship, and reserve all my reverence and piety for my heavenly Father, the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit working through Isaiah, using these two words twice, in a repeated metaphorical figure of speech to describe Jesus subjective burden of lifting up and carrying our sufferings and death, slam dunks the point home that we are to meditate in our minds on the reality of the benefits to us of his finished work, and not upon the physical implement of his death.

 

Nasa - Lift Up

 

In verses 4 and 12, the Hebrew word for the words borne and bore respectively, is nasa (Strong's # 05375) which means to physically lift up a load or burden.  It appears in the old covenant scrolls 654 times.  In this word's first usage in scripture, Gen. 4:13, it is used metaphorically and subjectively when Cain says, "my punishment is greater than I can bear (nasa, i.e. lift up)."  In its next usage, Gen. 7:17 referencing the flood in the days of Noah, it's used in the phrase "and the waters increased and bare up (nasa) the Ark, and it was lift up above the earth."  Here, bare up is used objectively.  The water bare up the Ark.  In the Isa. 53 passage which we were just reading, it is used metaphorically and subjectively again referring to the coming redeemer Jesus Christ, who would lift up the responsibility for the sicknesses and iniquities of God's people.  One important point of the Isaiah 53 prophecy is that it foretells that the coming redeemer doesn't objectively lift up (nasa) anything.

 

Cabal - Carry

 

In verses 4 and 11 the Hebrew word for the words "carried" and "bear" respectively, is cabal (Strong's # 5445) which means to physically and objectively (unless used in a figure of speech) "carry" a load or burden.  Whatever the burden is, it is already "lifted up" into "carrying" position, and now is ready to be "carried".  It appears in the old covenant scrolls 9 times.  In this word's first usage in Gen. 49:15, Jacob prophesies over his sons to tell them what shall befall them in their last days, and concerning Issachar, that he is as "a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear (cabal)…"  The second usage is in Psalm 144:14, "…that our oxen may be strong to labor (cabal)…".  You should determine for yourself through your own study if holy Spirit's usages are either objective or subjective, but please do not ignore those distinctions.

 

Please note how God used these two words lifted up (nasa) and carried (cabal) He used them metaphorically throughout the Isa. 53:1-10 passage, implying that the burden that the coming redeemer would lift up and carry would not be a physical objective one, but a subjective burden of voluntary, personal responsibility.  Please note also that in the logical passage, each of the Hebrew words are repeated twice, a technique God often uses in His word to draw particular attention to the subject of a passage.  The words which are repeated twice are thus flagged, and are intended to drill down our attention to the specific aspects of the truth set forth, as the most important points not to be missed!

 

The duplication of specific words sets and establishes the most important points of all the important points, and in this passage, the two truths concerning exactly what the coming redeemer would lift up (nasa), and exactly what he would carry (cabal).  This is an old covenant prophecy concerning events immediately leading up to and including the crucifixion of the coming redeemer, and the personal burden of responsibility he took upon himself.  A physical wooden cross or stake is not mentioned in this prophecy in Isaiah, as one of the items he lifted up and carried.

 

Witness 1, Isaiah - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) Isaiah mentions no physical wooden implement that the coming redeemer was to objectively carry, or upon which he would be killed, but states that the promised redeemer subjectively lifted up (nasa) our sins and sicknesses (verses 12 and 4), and subjectively carried (cabal) our pains and iniquities (verses 11 and 4).

 

 

WITNESS 2 - MATTHEW

 

Our second witness to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is Matthew.  Matthew was one of the twelve apostles, and originally a tax collector (Mat. 9:9), and sitting at the tax office when Jesus bids him to follow.

 

Mat. 27:31 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) when (hote) they had put him into a child's role (enepaixan autō) they dropped him out (exedusan auton) of the (tēn) king’s cloak (chlamuda), and (kai) they dropped him into (enedusan auton) the (ta) outer garments (himatia) of him (autou).

And (kai) they led him away (apēgagon auton) into (eis) the (to) [place] to be staked (staurōsai).

 

Mat. 27:32 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) causing themselves to come out (exerchomenoi) they found (heuron) a mortal (anthrōpon), a Cyrenian (kurēnaion), Simon (simōna) by name (onomati)

 

This one (touton) they compelled into service (ēngareusan), in order that (hina) he may lift (arē) the (ton) stake (stauron) of him (autou).

 

The Greek word arē from airo, is equivalent to the Hebrew nasa, meaning to lift.  Simon the Cyrenian was compelled to lift the stake upon which Jesus would be killed.

"But causing themselves to come out" – Come out from where?

In verse 27 Matthew says that they, the whole band of the soldiers of the governor, and Jesus Christ, were in the praetorium, an open air enclosure, which Mark defines as a courtyard (aulēs, Mark 15:16), where the soldiers were beating and mocking Jesus. 

 

Then in verse 31 the scripture says "they led him away".  They led Jesus away from where?  The courtyard, the praetorium, where the soldiers were mocking him and beating him.  Isn't this what Matthew says?  Absolutely! 

Now in verse 32, the very next verse, Matthew says, "But causing themselves to come out…".  They came out from where?  They, the soldiers and Jesus, came out from the praetorium, where they were beating and mocking Jesus according to verse 27 - 31

 

Now, between verse 31 and 32 let's not, in our soap opera-like imagination, suddenly transport Jesus all the way across town, he dragging his stake, because he's still back at the Praetorium and beginning to come out of it with the soldiers, according to Matthew.  Has Matthew said anything about Jesus carrying his own stake?  No!  But that’s not our cue to start imagining anything into the record, assuming Matthew missed something.  But what does Matthew say about the one whom the soldiers found to carry Jesus’ stake?

 

Mat. 27:32 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) causing themselves to come out (exerchomenoi) they found (heuron) a mortal (anthrōpon), a Cyrenian (kurēnaion), Simon (simōna) by name (onomati).  

 

This one (touton) they compelled into service (ēngareusan), in order that (hina) he may lift (arē) the (ton) stake (stauron) of him (autou).

 

Matthew says they (the soldiers), as they were coming out, found Simon, who they compelled into service to lift the stake of Jesus.  I see nothing here about Jesus dragging his own stake through the streets and alleys toward the place of the Skull.  Matthew says Simon did it!  But, “Christianity” loves showbiz, and Hollywood stories, much more than Truth! 

 

This verse in God's Word, and other verses I'll show you next, say clearly that as the soldiers and Jesus were all coming out of the Praetorium, and right at that time, not sooner, not later, the soldiers compelled one named Simon to lift the stake.  Now if anyone says this record isn't true, but the popular fairy tale is true, then who’s lying, church leadership or Matthew?

 

When “Christianity” chooses Hollywood-like fairy tales over the truth of God’s Word then it abandons its own new covenant responsibilities, which abandonment effectively releases God from His own reciprocal new covenant responsibilities.  And then church leadership says that God doesn’t do signs, miracles and wonders anymore like He did through Jesus in the gospels records, and through Jesus’ apostles as recorded in Luke's book of Acts!

 

Remember that little bunny rabbit that lays eggs every year, which honors the pagan worship of Easter, i.e., the pagan goddess of fertility Ishtar?  Oh, your “Christian” religious leaders haven’t told you about that, that once a year they lead you into worshipping a pagan goddess of fertility?  Do you still wish to ignore that, worshipping other gods, breaking the first commandment, after reading and studying about how God always turned His back on the children of Israel when they worshipped pagan idols and gods?  Guess what, God has not changed!  Do you remember that verse where God says He doesn’t change?  Maybe you had better look it up and think about it if you want prayers answered!  Or not, It’s up to you.  But your religious leaders say, "Oh come on, go ahead!  A little idolatry can't hurt!"  Doesn't that sound like the devil talking to Eve in the Garden!

 

 In Mat. 13:54-58 Matthew says that Jesus (i.e., God working in and through Christ Jesus) absolutely did not do many inherently powered works there in the fatherland of him, the Nazareth area, because of their unbelief.  God hasn't changed!   Doesn't choosing fairy tales over truth, and pagan worship of other gods constitute unbelief in the veracity of God's Word?

 

This is crucial testimony necessary to discovering exactly what took place, and in the order it occurred, and I want to be sure that we don't move the boundary lines of holy scripture to include supposition not explicitly given in holy scripture, or exclude those facts which are explicitly given in holy scripture.  I believe that supposition is the result of our own mind's training to create entertainment value for itself through reading into narratives sequences of characters and/or events which don't exist in the text.  For brothers in Christ, the desire to know the Truth that was given to us when mortals of God spoke as they were carried along under inspiration of holy Spirit, is the goal, because believing it pleases the Father (Heb. 11:6).

 

    • Verse 32 doesn't say that Jesus came out carrying his stake!  

    • Verse 32 doesn't say that Jesus came out then picked up his stake!  

    • Verse 32 doesn't say that they came out and then the soldiers laid the stake on Jesus!  

 

To think or say any of these things would be adding our own imagination, rather than allowing the records to speak for themselves. 

 

Witness 2, Matthew - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) As they were coming out of the Praetorium, not further down the road, not half way across town, and that 

 

2) Simon a Cyrenian was compelled to lift the stake, not Jesus or anyone else. 

 

3) the record simply doesn't tell us where the stake was, on Jesus, or on the ground, or wherever, when Simon was compelled to lift it, 

 

4) the text says a stake (stauron), not a cross.

 

5) This record does not mention or even suggest that Jesus ever touched the stake in any way.

 

 

WITNESS 3 - MARK

 

Our third witness, is Mark.  Mark was his adopted Latin name, but his Hebrew name was John.  John Mark was not one of the twelve apostles, but was for a time, according to Papias, a younger traveling companion of Paul, and then later a recorder, a traveling companion and a follower of Peter, and as such an excellent second hand witness of those things told him by Peter, who was an eye witness to Jesus Christ's staking.

 

Mark 15:16 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (hoi) soldiers (stratiōtai) led him away (apēgagon auton) inside (esō) of the (tēs) courtyard (aulēs), which (ho) is (estin) a praetorium (praitōrion).

 

And (kai) they call together (sunkalousin) the (tēn) whole (holēn) cohort (speiran).

 

W. E. Vine defines the courtyard (aulēs), the Praetorium (praitōrion) where Jesus was humiliated and pulverized:

 

"...primarily an uncovered space around a house, enclosed by a wall, where the stables were, hence was used to describe (a) the courtyard of a house; in the O. T. it is used of the courts of the Tabernacle and Temple; in this sense it is found in the N. T. in Rev. 11:2; (b) the courts in the dwellings of well-to-do folk, which usually had two, one exterior, between the door and the street…"  

 

Dr. E. W. Bullinger defines it as; "a yard or court; any enclosed space in the open air."

 

This added word aulēs in the text of Mark in verse 16, helps draw our attention to the place where the soldiers were mocking, humiliating and beating Jesus, that it was an open air courtyard with access to the street.  Without reading into the scriptures to generate "entertainment value", we can see more clearly that when the soldiers were done mocking and beating Jesus, they led him out of this open air courtyard where they immediately found Simon a Cyrenian to lift Jesus' stake.  As in Matthew, this passage says nothing about Jesus having any physical contact with the stauron whatsoever.  Mark clearly states that Simon a Cyrenian, coming from a field, they compelled him to lift Jesus' stake.

 

Mark 15:20 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) when (hote) they had put him into a child's role (enepaixan autō), they dropped him out (exedusan auton) [of] the (tēn) purple (porphuran), and (kai) they dropped him into (enedusan auton) the (ta) outer garments (himatia), the ones of his own (ta idia).

 

And (kai) they led him out (exagousin auton) in order that (hina) they may stake (staurōsōsin) him (auton).

 

"they led him out" - Out from where?  Verse 16 says a Praetorium.

 

Mark 15:21 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) they compel into service (angareuousi) someone (tina) leading alongside (paragonta), Simon (Simōna), a Cyrenian (kurēnaion), being caused to come (erchomenon) from (ap’) a field (agrou), the (ton) father (patera) of Alexander (Alexandrou) and (kai) Rufus (Rouphou), in order that (hina) he may lift (arē) the (ton) stake (stauron) of him (autou).

 

Jesus and the soldiers were coming out of the Praetorium, which is where and when Simon the Cyrenian was compelled to lift the stake.  

 

Witness 3, Mark - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) As they were coming out of the Praetorium, not further down the road, not half way across town, and that 

 

2) more precisely the courtyard (aulēs) of the Praetorium,

 

3) Simon a Cyrenian was compelled to lift Jesus' stake,

 

4) the record simply doesn't tell us where the stake was, on Jesus, or on the ground, or wherever, when Simon was compelled to lift it,

 

5) it was a stake (stauron), not a "cross".

 

6) In this record, as in the record of our 2nd witness, there is no mention or even suggestion that Jesus ever touched the stake in any way.

 

 

WITNESS 4 - LUKE

 

Our fourth witness is Luke.  Luke was a well educated physician who spoke Greek, and was a fellow traveler of the Apostle Paul.  Luke is a humble and disciplined writer who keeps himself well in the background to put Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior in the foreground, as our Redeemer should be.

 

Luke 23:26 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) as (hōs) they led him away (apēgagon auton), they having caused themselves to take hold upon (epilabomenoi) someone (tina), Simon (Simōna) a Cyrenian (Kurēnaion), he being caused to come (erchomenou) from (ap’) a field (agrou), they put upon (epethēkan) him (autō) the (ton) stake (stauron) to bring (pherein) behind (opisthen) the (tou) Jesus (Iēsou).

 

"as they led him away" - From where, the Praetorium?  That's correct.  That's what God's Word says, and that's what He wants us to believe, which will please Him (Heb. 11:6).  This verse adds still more detailed information to what Matthew and Mark gave us.  This verse says that "they" (the soldiers who brought Jesus away) "laid hold upon... Simon" .  This means that the soldiers physically grabbed Simon and ordered him to lift the stake.  Matthew and Mark simply say the soldiers "compelled" Simon.  Luke provides more detail and clarity by telling us how the soldiers compelled Simon, which was through the use of physical force.

 

"they put upon him the stake" - Luke says the soldiers laid hold upon upon Simon, and put the stake upon him.  Matthew and Mark say that the soldiers told Simon to lift the stake.  Some may claim that this is a contradiction in the scriptures, but I seriously doubt it. This is a situation where we don't know for sure what happened, but it's certainly possible that Simon may have had difficulty lifting the stake, or simply refused to become a part of assisting in another's staking. 

 

But we can't come to a verifiable pat conclusion because the text doesn't indicate why the soldiers had to lift the stake and put it upon Simon. But the outcome was that the soldiers "put upon him [Simon] the stake". When and where did they put the stake upon Simon?  Matthew and Mark both indicate this occurred as they came out of the Praetorium.  

 

Additional detail Luke provides to us is that Simon came after, or behind Jesus, carrying the stake, and Jesus was brought away ahead of Simon.  Luke provides detail information about a large multitude of spectators and mourners also, following Jesus as the soldiers brought him away, to whom at one point he turned to them all and spoke to them.  Luke even tells us what Jesus said to them.  Luke tells us also that two criminals (kakourgoi, evil doers) were brought out with Jesus to be executed.  The Hollywood movies never show Jesus being brought through the streets and alleys with two other condemned criminals, to be staked!  So let's get those erroneous pictures out of our heads as well.  

 

Because Matthew and Mark didn't tell us about the other two criminals, and these other details, does it mean that one or some of our witnesses are lying, and the scriptures contradict themselves?  Absolutely Not!  It simply means that we need to look at all the evidence provided by all the witnesses, to gather and piece together all the facts concerning exactly what happened.  This is part of what is meant by the term "rightly cutting" the scriptures, in 2 Tim. 2:15.

 

The records are clear in Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, and Luke that there is no mention of Jesus Christ so much as touching the stake.  But what Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree on is that Simon of Cyrene carried the physical wooden stake behind Jesus.  What Jesus bore was exactly what Isaiah says he bore.  He "lifted up" the sicknesses (Isa. 53:4) and sin (Isa. 53:12), and "carried" our pains (Isa. 53:4) and iniquities (Isa. 53:11). 

 

Matthew quotes what was said by Isaiah the prophet in Isa. 53:4:

 

Mat. 8:16 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) evening (opsias) having caused itself to come (genomenēs), they brought toward (prosēnegkan) him (autō) many (pollous) being demon-possessed (daimonizomenous)

 

And (kai) [the] Word (logō) threw out (exebale) the (ta) spirits (pneumata).

 

And (kai) he gave therapy (etherapeusen) for all (pantas) of the ones (tous) being held (echontas) maliciously (kakōs);

 

Mat. 8:17 (LIT/UBS4) it so being that (hopōs) the (to) [prophecy, AE] having been stated (rhēthen) through (dia) the (tou) prophet (prophētou) Isaiah (esaiou) may be fulfilled (plērōthē), saying (legontos), “He (autos) received (elaben) the (tas) disabilities (astheneias) of us (hēmōn), and (kai) he carried (ebastasen) the (tas) sicknesses (nosous) [of us].”

 

In my opinion, the point this verse makes relating to what Isaiah said, is that Jesus Christ our deliverer "lifted" and "carried" for us the causes for our weaknesses and sicknesses. Matthew directly links the physical and mental healing prophesied in Isa. 53 to Jesus' casting out the demon spirits in mortals here in Mat. 8:16-17, as fulfillment of that prophecy. Isaiah's prophecy foretold the purpose and mission for the promised redeemer of mortalkind, Jesus Christ. 

 

These verses here in Mat. 8:16-17 together with their reference to Isa. 53 are not simply a vague but doubtful "faith-cure theory", but the clear and concise statement of the Truth and fact of God the heavenly Father's purpose for sending Jesus, and his ongoing work of healing.  Jesus came to heal, among other things, according to the Isa 53 prophecy, and elsewhere.  And an important healing process, according to Matthew, directly involves release from demon spirit possession.  Jesus demonstrates that when the cause for weakness and sickness is removed, healing occurs.  Jesus removes the causes for believer's weaknesses and sicknesses, and in so doing, heals those who believe. 

 

Jesus' ongoing work of healing is part of the REAL stake Jesus Christ "carried", not a wooden one.  In Isa. 53, the metaphoric stauron Jesus lifted up and carried for us brings to us the Father's heart's desire for His children, our healing, in every sense of the word, spiritual, mental, physical, financial, etc.! 

 

Given what God's Word has presented to us so far, which stake, the stake that Simon carried, or the stake that Jesus lifted up and carried, appears to you to be the one that the Father wishes us to focus upon?  

 

The Father's heart's desire for His children is the results produced, i.e., our healing, by Jesus' lifting and carrying the burden of being our deliverer, delivering us from the penalty and consequences of our own sin nature!  There's nothing glorious about the physical wooden stake upon which Jesus died.  So let's quit being fixated upon it.  What's glorious is Jesus' love for the Father and us to go through a staking for us!  Jesus carried the burden of death for us so we could obtain a resurrection!  Let's get fixated upon that subject as we should, according to the holy scriptures we have just read.  Let's get fixated upon the results produced for us on account of Jesus death for us, not the instrument of his death.  Let's get fixated upon healing from demon spirit possession, and the reception of the new birth above, the baptism in the gift of holy Spirit from God our Father, which makes us more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37)! 

 

What the holy scriptures are trying to impress upon our minds is our deliverance from a death penalty, and the aspects of our deliverance and wholeness because of the subjective stake Jesus lifted up and carried, not the physical stake!  It's the greatness of God's Word which He sent to heal us (Psalm 107:20) which is great, which is what we should be fixating upon, not the physical wooden stake upon which Jesus died.  Don't tie a cross around your neck as an object of veneration, which is a symbol of agony and death (Gal. 3:13)!  Tie a symbol of God's Word around your neck, which Word is filled with the words of Spirit and life (John 5:24, 6:63)!  Believers should jump and shout for joy from fixating upon God's Word about our healing of every kind, and deliverance from death unto life, which responsibility Christ Jesus had to make those things come to pass for us was the subjective cross to which Isa. 53 refers.  Jesus Christ, as God's agent, and as the last sacrificial lamb, bore the responsibility for our wholeness/salvation.  That responsibility is the subjective cross to which Isa. 53 refers.  In Mat. 10:38, 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23 and 14:27 Jesus refers to this same metaphorical and subjective "cross", which we also should "lift up" and "carry", about which one of our responsibilities is to love God and our fellow man as we love ourselves.

 

Matthew, originally a tax collector, must have become very knowledgeable of the O. T. scriptures, enough to remember what Isaiah prophesied, and then quote what he said, and then connect specific prophecies of Isaiah with the fulfillment of them through what Jesus Christ said and did.  This is another example of the level of the bar of expertise of the knowledge of God's Word, for all believers to follow.  Jesus Christ had to have studied the scriptures intensely (Luke 2:52), to have been able to keep the law in every point to remain without sin, to be eligible to be our Passover lamb, a lamb without "spot or blemish".  Jesus Christ had to study the scriptures, to learn about himself as the promised Messiah.  He learned all the prophesies concerning himself, and must have understood them perfectly.

 

Witness 4, Luke - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) As they led him away... Away from where?  The Praetorium;

 

2) more precisely the courtyard (aules) of the Praetorium,

 

3) having laid hold upon Simon, a Cyrenian, not Jesus or anyone else,

 

4) they put upon him the stake (stauron), not a "cross",

 

5) to carry after (behind) Jesus.

 

6) In this record, as in the records of our 2nd and 3rd witnesses, there is no mention or even suggestion that Jesus ever touched the stake until he was nailed to it. 

 

 

WITNESS 5 - JESUS CHRIST

 

Let's take the statement at this time of Jesus Christ himself, our fifth witness, and not only an eye witness of the events having first hand experience of all those things which occurred, but the wisest man that ever lived, being greater than Solomon in wisdom, and also the only begotten son of the God.  These credentials make him not only an expert witness, but the most important witness and source of facts in this case, from which we can arrive at a sound conclusion.

 

Luke 9:22 (LIT/UBS4) having enunciated (eipōn), “It is required (dei) that (hoti) the (ton) son (huion) of the (tou) mortal (anthrōpou) [is] to suffer (pathein) many things (polla), and (kai) to receive disapproval (apodokimasthēnai) from (apo) the (tōn) elders (presbuterōn), and (kai) chief sacrificial priests (archiereōn), and (kai) writers (grammateōn), and (kai) to be killed (apoktanthēnai), and (kai) the (tē) third (tritē) day (hēmera) to be aroused (egerthēnai).”

 

Luke 9:23 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) he was saying (elegen) to (pros) all (pantas), "If (ei) anyone (tis) desires (thelei) to cause himself to come (erchesthai) behind (opisō) me (mou), let him deny himself (arnēsasthō) of himself (heauton), and (kai) lift (aratō) the (ton) stake (stauron) of him (autou) down (kath’) [each] day (hēmeran), and (kai) follow (akoloutheitō) me (moi).

 

"behind me" - This means that Jesus leads, and we follow him!  The sheep follow the shepherd.  The sheep hear the communication from their shepherd, and then they respond to it appropriately.  The communication we are to listen to from our shepherd is The Word of God, especially Jesus' teachings.  If we first follow his communication appropriately, and are obedient to it, then, we may get Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, and Discerning of Spirits revelation from him also!  Our response to the communication of our shepherd will be based upon our believing upon his ability to lead us.  

 

"let him deny himself" - If anyone chooses to follow Jesus then let him devote himself to doing God's will, not his own.  Let God's will be done.  Those of us who are inherently powered with the gift of holy Spirit are to carry the weaknesses of those who are not so inherently powered, because we are not here to please ourselves (Rom. 15:1). 

 

"and lift the stake of him down daily and follow me" - Here Jesus gives us an example of a metaphorical stake that we should all "lift" and "carry" behind him.  Was Jesus saying that they should lift and carry a literal physical objective wooden stake?  Of course not.  He's speaking in a figure of speech saying that our stake that we should take up would be the responsibility of following after him, and conducting ourselves in this world toward God and our fellow man according to the example he himself has given us, and in agreement with the commandments he's given us.  That's our stake to lift.  I believe the stake that Jesus is asking us to lift is almost identical to his own, as mentioned in Isa. 53 and Mat. 8:16-17, with the exception that we are to be living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1).  A dead sacrifice is no longer needed (Heb. 7:27, 1 Peter 3:18)!  

 

Luke 14:25 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) many (polloi) crowds (ochloi) were causing themselves to go together with (suneporeuonto) him (autō)

 

And (kai) he having been turned (strapheis), he enunciated (eipen) to (pros) them (autous),

 

Luke 14:26 (LIT/UBS4) “If (ei) anyone (tis) causes himself to come (erchetai) to (pros) me (me) and (kai) absolutely does not (ou) despise (misei) the (ton) father (patera) of himself (heautou), and (kai) the (ten) mother (mētera), and (kai) the (ten) female (gunaika), and (kai) the (ta) ones born (tekna), and (kai) the (tous) brothers (adelphous), and (kai) the (tas) sisters (adelphas), and (te) yet still (eti) the (tēn) soul (psuchen) of himself (heauton) also (kai), he can absolutely not inherently power himself (ou dunatai) to be (einai) a disciple (mathētēs) of me (mou)!

 

Luke 14:27 (LIT/UBS4) Anyone who (hostis) absolutely does not carry (ou bastazei) the (ton) stake (stauron) of him (autou) and (kai) cause himself to come (erchetai) behind (opisō) me (mou), he can absolutely not inherently power himself (ou dunatai) to be (einai) a disciple (mathētēs) of me (mou)!

 

"anyone who absolutely does not carry the stake of him and cause himself to come behind me" - The time period in which Jesus said this is before the events of his staking.  Could Jesus have said this knowing that at the time of his staking someone else would carry his implement of death behind him (Mat. 27:31-32)?  I believe Jesus had a fairly good understanding of Isaiah's prophecy about the coming deliverer (Isa. 53).  Remember, in the Isa. 53 record there is conspicuously no mention of a physical wooden "cross" or stake, no mention at all of the instrument of Jesus' death.  But yet in that prophesy holy Spirit enunciates twice for emphasis that the coming deliverer would lift things for us and carry things for us; he lifted up our sin and lifted up our sicknesses (verses 12 and 4), and he would carry our iniquities and carry our pains (verses 11 and 4).  

 

Isaiah spoke of the coming deliverer's "stake" which he would lift and carry (Isa. 53), absolutely not as an objective burden, but as a subjective burden of responsibility.  Jesus commands his disciples to metaphorically carry that same kind of burden also, which burden is putting the things of God first in priority ahead of all personal cares and priorities to help others who are weaker.  Jesus was sent not to serve his own will, but that of his Father God.  The new birth above, the baptism in the gift of holy Spirit from Christ Jesus, is part of a believer's inheritance from God the heavenly Father; it is the necessary power from on high which empowers a believer to lift and carry his own "stake" of delivering others from their sicknesses and pains, as Jesus did.  Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has sent me, I send also, you (John 20:21)!"

 

The teaching that Jesus Christ lifted and carried a wooden, physical cross to The Skull, not only lies about what actually was the implement of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, and who literally lifted and carried the stake, it subverts and diverts attention away from the truth in God's Word about what was the true stake that Jesus Christ "lifted" and "carried", and what that true stake is that his disciples should lift and carry if they desire to come behind him.  Just as Simon the Cyrenian on that infamous day carried Jesus' objective stake for him, behind him, believing disciples are to lift and carry a subjective stake for him now!  He carried the heavier burden for us, pouring out his blood and dying, so we can live to carry the lighter burden for him.  He said, about the burden his disciples will carry for him, "...my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Mat. 11:28-30)." 

 

In the records of the events of Jesus crucifixion, Simon the Cyrenian must be a type to a disciple of Christ Jesus because he carried Jesus' stake behind him!  And, he must be a type to a disciple of Christ Jesus after the day of Pentecost, because of the word dunatai meaning can inherently power himself.  It's the same word used for the power (dunamis) of the gift of holy Spirit that all the apostles, disciples, and about 3 thousand other believing brothers and sisters received on the day of Pentecost!  Before the day of Pentecost Jesus' twelve were all behind closed doors for fear of the Judeans.  Then after they received the gift of holy Spirit from Christ Jesus on the day of Pentecost, they became bold and fearless and spoke God's Word like they had never spoke it before, with the inherent power (dunamis) of holy Spirit carrying them along!

 

I believe that it is a very serious insult to God the heavenly Father, and especially to our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, for mortals to invent fables and fairy tales around an objective "cross", as if God's Word is in itself somehow not complete but inadequate.  God through Apostle Peter has warned us about listening to and believing mortal-made cunningly devised fables instead of filling our heads with the knowledge and understanding of that Word of God delivered to by His overseers (2 Peter 1:16)!

 

The concept, Truth, and understanding of the true stake that Jesus Christ lifted is by far much more important for us to ponder and build in our minds than the traditional hypothesis of him carrying a wooden cross.  So why fixate and get stuck on a physical wooden implement of death?  Certainly a one hundred dollar bill is more valuable than a nickel, right?  Let's get our minds off the objective physical wooden implement of death which isn't worth a nickel, and get focused upon the subjective ideas of our healing from sickness and pains, which Jesus' lifted and carried for us through his shed blood and physical death.  The thoughts about who and what we are now in Christ, because of our new birth above in the gift of holy Spirit, are the thoughts which are most valuable to us.  This is where Christ's mind was as he went through the staking for us, and where our minds belong also. 

 

Let's renew our minds (Rom. 12:2).  Let's focus on where the value is.  Why not develop a fixation on the true stake that Jesus Christ lifted up and carried, as mentioned in Isa. 53 and Mat. 8:16-17, and elsewhere?  Do you need and want healing?  Let us get focused and meditate upon what Jesus truly lifted up and carried, what he declares we should get focused upon if we desire to be a disciple of him!  Let us get fully knowledgeable of it.  Let us get repentant for it and thankful for it, for what Jesus lifted up and carried for us!  

 

Witness 5, Jesus - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

 1) "If anyone desires to come behind me" - Indicates that Jesus knew he would not carry his own implement of death when it came time for his staking, but that someone else would carry it for him, behind him,

 

2) "let him deny himself" - Whatever plans Simon the Cyrenian had for himself on that fateful day when he came out of that field, most certainly didn't include picking up and carrying a stake for someone else, all the way to the place of the skull, to assist in their staking!  Let us believing disciples be ready to drop our plans and pick up our stakes to hold forth grace and assist in the blessing of our neighbor.

 

3) "and lift the stake (stauron) of him down daily (i.e., down through the days, day after day)" - Jesus didn't pick up or carry the stake, not once, but, he died on it once!  Now we are to pick it up and carry it daily for him!  The fact that Jesus himself does not mention a wooden stake, is to draw our attention to the true stake which we are to pick up and carry for him, behind him.

 

4) "and follow me." - Jesus says we are to follow him, meaning to imitate him in every aspect of his life, as much as and as appropriately as we can.  We are to think, say and do what he wishes us to think, say and do, according to the communications to us through holy scriptures, to follow behind him as his disciples, lifting up and carrying our stake for him daily.

 

5) "and despise yet still the soul of himself also" - Disciples are to put their obedience and allegiance toward Jesus above anyone else and everything in their life.  This includes what any mortal or mortal-made religion may say, including oral "Christian" tradition, if it contradicts what Jesus and our Heavenly Father have said.

 

 

WITNESS 6 - APOSTLE JOHN

 

Our sixth witness is the Apostle John, a Galilean.  He and his brother James were the sons of Zebedee, a fisherman by trade.  It was John who was entrusted with the care of Jesus' mother at the time of his death (John 19:26-27), who ran with Peter to the tomb on the morning after the resurrection, and who was present when the risen Jesus Christ revealed himself to seven of his disciples by the sea of Tiberias.

 

John 19:16 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun), then (tote) he passed him aside (paredōken auton) to them (autois), in order that (hina) he may be staked (staurōthē)

 

Therefore (oun) they took along (parelabon) the (ton) Jesus (Iēsoun).

 

John 19:17 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) he carrying (bastazōn) the (ton) stake (stauron) for himself (heautō), he came out (exēlthen) into (eis) the (ton) [place] being said (legomenon) [to be] a place (topon) of a cranium (kraniou), which (ho) is said (legetai) Hebraïstically (Hebraïsti), ‘Golgotha’ (Golgotha),

 

John 19:18 (LIT/UBS4) where (hopou) they staked (estaurōsan) him (auton);

 

and (kai) with (met’) him (autou) two (duo) others (allous) here (enteuthen) and (kai) here (enteuthen).  

 

But (de) [in the] middle (meson) [was] the (ton) Jesus (Iēsoun).

 

Verse 17 appears to be the one and only verse in the entire Word of God where it may mean that Jesus went to his staking "carrying" his own physical wooden stake.  Further more, verse 17 says that, "he carrying the stake to himself came out [from presumably the Praetorium] into the [place] being said, 'Place of Cranium'".  Here in John 19:17 holy Spirit, if not using a figure of speech, could be saying that Jesus carried his stake from the Praetorium all the way to the place where he was staked, the Place of Cranium.  But our 2nd, 3rd and 4th witnesses, Matthew, Mark and Luke (Mat. 27:31-32, Mark 15:20-21, Luke 23:26) all agree that when Jesus and the soldiers were coming out of the Praetorium the soldiers compelled Simon of Cyrene to lift the stake.  But when he apparently refused, Luke 23:26 says the soldiers laid upon him (Simon) the stake to carry for Jesus.  If we are to take all verses literally, then the records apparently contradict one another, with John's record not in agreement with Matthew, Mark and Luke's as to who carried the "stake".  

 

Anyone who would give up now trying to determine for himself exactly what is the truth about who actually carried the stake, in my opinion, would appear to God the heavenly Father as a very poor workman of God's Word (2 Tim. 2:15).  Most all the "Christians" I know, or have ever met, 99%+ of them have no idea what is a Concordance, or what are Figures of Speech and cultural idioms, and/or have no idea of what Types are, and/or have any idea of the value of studying ancient Middle Eastern customs and culture to help them understand God's Word.  They're simply not interested, and/or too lazy, or whatever.  God knows their hearts.  They'll go and buy books on gardening, home maintenance, roofing, electrical repairs, landscaping and whatever else, but they will not so much as lift their pinky finger to buy study aids to pursue their knowledge and understanding of God's Words of Life!  So what do they value most? 

 

What does this suggest to you?  In the Greek texts of the new covenant writings, the word commonly translated as disciple is mathētēs, which means a learner.  How can anyone be a disciple of Jesus Christ, a learner, if they do not have a desire to learn?  I believe the devil, using Hollywood movies, has pretty much trained all "Christians" on what to believe about Jesus carrying his "stake".

 

But, if we truly are disciples of Jesus Christ, and we're not going to turn away now from digging the truth out of God's Word, let's go on to verify who carried the objective stake and who carried the subjective stake.  So far, here are the possible options of what I can believe holy Spirit may be teaching me of God's Word: 

 

1) Simon alone lifted and carried the physical stake from the Praetorium to the place of Jesus' staking, or

 

2) Jesus alone lifted and carried the physical stake to the place of his staking, or

 

3) Jesus lifted and carried the front end of the physical stake and Simon lifted and carried the back end of the physical stake, and together they carried the stake to the place of Jesus' staking. 

 

Option number 3 is certainly plausible, given the estimated weight of the size and shape of all the crosses shown to us in Hollywood movies, how big and thick and massive they were.  But those physical dimensions are simply out of some movie-maker's imagination.  We have no photographs or drawings dating from the period, which have come down to us to verify exactly what the stakes looked like.  Given the Roman's superior race attitude, and their utter gutter low regard for anyone of any other ethnic groups, I think it highly unlikely that they would take much time to manufacture geometrically perfect crosses upon which to kill "dogs". 

 

Given the height of human beings, and the word stauros used in the texts, and the documented evidence of the meanings of words used during that period of time, a stauros may simply be a small diameter tree trunk with its limbs cut off.  This may be possible for one man to drag for some distance, given he had his full physical strength.  From the Isaiah prophecy (Isa. 52:14) and other records in God's Word of how Jesus was tortured, whipped and beaten, I would guess he may not have had enough strength left to maybe even walk on his own.

 

Anyone who has done any biblical research and translation work at all, and is familiar with the grammatical usages of figures of speech, and has analyzed John's writings, knows that John utilizes more figures of speech and symbolism in his writings than any other new covenant writer, by more than a significant margin.  In my opinion, it's remarkably coincidental that John's writing style is very similar to that of the old covenant writer Isaiah.  So then, Given all the testimony that we've heard so far, could holy Spirit through John be speaking in a figure of speech as was Isaiah, referring to Jesus lifting up our sins and sicknesses, and carrying our iniquities and pains all the way to the 'Place of Cranium'?.  Couldn't John, like Isaiah, be referring to Jesus' subjective stake rather than an objective stake?  

 

Could apostle John be ignorant of what Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote in their writings about Jesus' staking?  The majority of scholars generally accept the following as the most likely dates the four gospels were written. 

 

Matthew   60 - 95 AD

Luke         61 - 63 AD

Mark         64 - 68 AD

John         85 - 100 AD

 

This allowed apostle John plenty of time to have learned and studied the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke, in which he would have surely noticed that they all claimed Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' stake behind him from the Praetorium to the place of his staking.  Apostle John would no doubt have been very knowledgeable of all the old covenant writings and prophecies, including Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 52 and 53.  Therefore apostle John would have known if anything he would write in his account would contradict what his other brothers in Christ had already written.  So then we must ask ourselves, was apostle John ignorant or ambivalent concerning the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke, as though he was completely disconnected from the community of Jesus' followers?  Hardly, since the abundance of evidence we have in the new covenant writings depicts the followers of Jesus Christ as a very close-knit community which had all things in common with one another (Acts 2:44).  And that the various assemblies of believers spread out through the regions stayed in contact with one another. 

 

Apostle John himself was an eye witness of Jesus and all the things he said and did, which placed apostle John at the very Bull's eye of the hub of spiritual activity among the assemblies in Asia Minor, working out of Ephesus until the end of his days.  Apostle John, since writing under guidance and inspiration of holy Spirit, would not deliberately contradict the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but could only add additional light and understanding to the events which had occurred during his time.  Through this, we must conclude John wrote in a figure of speech when he wrote,

 

Apostle wrote:

 

John 19:17 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) he carrying (bastazōn) the (ton) stake (stauron) for himself (heautō), he came out (exēlthen) into (eis) the (ton) [place] being said (legomenon) [to be] a place (topon) of a cranium (kraniou), which (ho) is said (legetai) Hebraïstically (Hebraïsti), ‘Golgotha’ (Golgotha),

 

I can see the figure of speech evidence between Isa. 53:1-12 and John 19:17 right here in the holy scriptures with my own eyes, so I don't need to guess about an apparent scriptural contradiction.  I think in light of the holy scripture evidence, to not go with it would certainly be insulting holy Spirit and our witnesses, presuming one or all of them are lying.  For anyone who can recognize figures of speech, and has read the four gospels, the writings of apostle John clearly have by far many more usages of figures of speech than the other new covenant writings.  In my opinion, the writings of Apostle John are holy Spirit's lessons in divine figures of speech, which contain a deep unique wealth of spiritual understanding to unlock and verify deeper understanding of old covenant prophecy concerning Jesus Christ.

 

Even if we left out the circumstances that all these witnesses were holy men of the God, and that Jesus was the son of the God, and that all the witnesses spoke as they were moved by holy Spirit, and we considered all six witnesses as just common mortals off the streets, would not any court in the land give weight of sincerity to the five that agree in part or in whole with one another, and suspect something wrong or suspicious with the testimony of only one, apostle John’s witness, which apparently (as some claim) disagrees with that of the other five? 

 

Wasn’t apostle John writing about himself as being Jesus’ favorite disciple (John 13:23, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20)?  Wasn’t apostle John taught by Jesus himself?  When Jesus taught about others “lifting” and “carrying” their metaphorical “stakes” (Mat. 10:38, 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23 and 14:27) don’t you think apostle John heard Jesus using the word stake in a metaphorical sense, and got the metaphorical message Jesus intended to convey? If you wish to hold out for the Hollywood version that Jesus carried a physical wooden stake to the place of the skull, then that makes apostle John out to be somewhat ignorant and/or stupid, don’t you think?  Who’s likely the one who’s ignorant and/or stupid, apostle John or Hollywood?

 

Witness 6, Apostle John - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) "and he carrying the stake to himself came out into the [place] being said 'Place of Cranium'" - Our 6th witness, apostle John, is the only witness to possibly contradict the testimony given to us from Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Our first prophetic witness, Isaiah, clearly and phenomenally described the "stake" the coming deliverer would lift and carry was a subjective burden of responsibility for being mortalkind's deliverer, through his own death.  Jesus himself, our fifth witness, speaks of his own "stake" figuratively as well, calling on those disciples of him who desire to come behind him, lift their own "stake" daily, as Jesus lifted up his "stake".

 

Because of the weight of evidence of all the preceding passages of scripture which abundantly utilize the metaphorical figure for what Jesus 'lifted" and "carried", I believe that the Apostle John's usage of "carrying the stake to himself…" in John 19:17 had to be a figure of speech referring to a subjective "stake" of responsibility, and is intended not to contradict the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but to correspond closely to them and to the figurative language of Isa. 53:1-12.  Apostle John understood and wrote perfectly about what Jesus Christ "lifted" and "carried", emphasizing for us the conceptual Truth of Jesus' "stake", which Truth Jesus disciples are to know, understand and believe to equip themselves to lift and carry their own "stake" down daily.

 

 

WITNESS 7 - APOSTLE PAUL

 

Our seventh witness is Apostle Paul, who "moved" also by holy Spirit, corroborates what Jesus "lifted" and "carried", and the burden we are to carry (bastazo).  Part of the "stake" that apostle Paul was called to "lift" and "carry" is the name of "Jesus".

 

Acts 9:15 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) lord (kurios) enunciated (eipen) to (pros) him (auton), “Cause yourself to go (poreuou), because (hoti) this one (houtos) is (estin) a called out one (eklogēs), a vessel (skeuos) for me (moi) of the (tou) [God], to carry (bastasai) the (to) name (onoma) of me (mou) in sight (enōpion) of both (te) ethnic groups (ethnōn) and (kai) of kings (basileōn), and (te) of sons (huiōn) of Israel (Israēl);

 

Through revelation to Ananias, Christ Jesus says that he personally has selected Saul (Apostle Paul) to carry (bastasai) his name to other nations, and to kings, and to the sons of Israel.  As we now know from the holy scriptures, apostle Paul carried a very large stake behind Jesus.  Apostle Paul mentions in his letters, the metaphorical stake we also must lift up and carry who follow behind Jesus;

 

Rom. 15:1 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) we (hēmeis), the (hoi) inherently powered ones (dunatoi), we owe (opheilomen) to carry (bastazein) the (ta) disabilities (asthenēmata) of the ones (tōn) inherently unpowerful (adunatōn), and (kai) not (mē) to be agreeable (areskein) to ourselves (heautois)!

 

Gal. 6:2 (LIT/UBS4) Carry (bastazete) the (ta) weights (barē) of one another (allēlōn), and (kai) thusly (houtōs) you shall fill up (anaplērōsete) the (ton) law (nomon) of the (tou) Christ (Christou).

 

According to the accuracy of the Greek texts and not Hollywood, Jesus Christ never carried the physical wooden stake to Golgatha, Simon of Cyrene did.  Jesus Christ never touched the wooden stake until he was nailed to it.  The "cross" Jesus Christ metaphorically lifted and carried to Golgatha was the sicknesses and sins, and the pains and iniquities of mortalkind.  These were subjective burdens of personal responsibility.  The "cross" that Jesus lifted and carried was to love, redeem, and heal us, because that is the Father's will for our lives, and Jesus always did his Father's will (John 4:34, 5:30, 6:38).

 

Witness 7, Apostle Paul - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) “a vessel of calling out to me of the [name], to carry the name of me" - Part of the stake that Apostle Paul carried behind Jesus daily, was his name, 'Jesus', including the preaching and teaching of that powerful name and all it means to mortalkind.

 

2) we, the brothers of Jesus Christ, believers, owe to carry the weaknesses of the one inherently unpowered, and please not ourselves.  We are not here to please ourselves!

 

3) Carry the weights of one another, and thusly fulfill the law of the Christ.  The burdens Jesus Christ carried, not the physical stake, are the same kind of burdens we, who call ourselves believers, disciples, are to carry for others, behind Jesus, as his disciples.

 

 

SUMMARY & CLOSING STATEMENTS

 

This concludes the presentation of the evidence we've brought together to clarify exactly what was the real "cross" that Jesus Christ lifted up and carried.  I believe that any follower of the Lord Jesus Christ who loves the Father and His son, and who loves God's Word over mortal-made cunningly devised "Christian" religious fables, will be able to see clearly holy Spirit's message in God's Word about what was the true stake Jesus Christ lifted up and carried, and what is the stake his disciples are to lift up and carry daily behind him.

 

Witness 1, Isaiah - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) Our 1st witness, the prophet Isaiah, mentions no objective wooden implement that the coming redeemer was to lift up and carry, or upon which he would be killed.  But he states through figures of speech that the promise coming messiah subjectively lifted (nasa) our sins and sicknesses (verses 12 and 4), and carried (cabal) our pains and iniquities (verses 11 and 4). 

 

This is a deliberate grammatical structure used by holy Spirit to take the focus off any objective burden Jesus may have carried on his way to the place of "The Skull", and put the focus upon the true subjective burdens Jesus lifted up and carried, the true objects of the completion of his messianic work.  In God's Word, at the prophetic outset of the announcement of Jesus Christ's purpose for coming, holy Spirit makes it abundantly clear that what mortalkind is to focus upon concerning Jesus Christ's role in our lives is his subjective burdens, lifting up our sins and sicknesses, and carrying our iniquities and pains all the way, according to apostle John, to the place called 'The Skull'?.

 

Witnesses 2, 3, and 4, Matthew, Mark and Luke - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) Our 2nd, 3rd and 4th witnesses, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree and state, as holy Spirit gave them to state, who brought the objective instrument of Jesus Christ's death, who is Simon, a Cyrenian. 

 

2) From piecing together the testimony of these three witness we can determine from WHERE did Simon start carrying the objective instrument of Jesus Christ's death, which was a location just outside of the Praetorium; Matthew says "But going out..." of the Praetorium (Mat. 27:32); Mark says "and led him out..." of the Praetorium (Mark 15:20); and Luke says, "And as they led him away..." from the Praetorium (Luke 23:26).  The context of these verses makes it abundantly clear that it was as they were coming out of and leading Jesus away from the Praetorium, that Simon came along.  As in the record of our first witness, Isaiah, these three witnesses make no mention whatsoever of Jesus so much as even touching the instrument of his death.

 

3) Concerning what was the instrument of Jesus Christ's death, they all agree and state that it was a stake (stauron), not a cross (Mat. 27:31, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26)!  It is very important here that we remember that the meaning which should be applied to any source text Greek word, is the common meaning which the word had in the culture where it was used, at the time in that culture when it was used.  In that culture at that time of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, the word stauron commonly referred to a stake or a pale.  The verb stauroo meant, and still means to drive stakes

 

Neither of these three witnesses mention the subjective burden that Jesus Christ lifted up and carried.  Our sixth witness, Apostle John, agrees with our first witness Isaiah, as to what Jesus Christ lifted up and carried all the way to the place called "The Skull".  Apostle John refers to Jesus' true burden in a figure of speech, referring to it as a stake (stauron), as do both Isaiah, and our fifth witness Jesus Christ himself.

 

Witness 5, Jesus - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

All these points Jesus Christ makes underscore the emphasis holy Spirit puts on our knowing and understanding what is the subjective stake he lifted up and carried, and which his disciples are to lift up and carry, daily.

 

1) "If anyone desires to come behind me" - Indicates that Jesus knew he would not carry his own objective instrument of death when it came time for his crucifixion, but that someone else (Simon) would come behind him and carry it for him.

 

2) "let him deny himself" - Whatever plans Simon the Cyrenian had for himself on that fateful day when he came out of that field, most certainly didn't include picking up and carrying a stake for someone else, all the way to the place of the skull, to assist in their crucifixion!

 

3) "and take up the stake of him down daily (i.e., down through the days, day after day)" - Jesus didn't pick up or carry the stake, not once, but, he died on it once!  Now we are to pick it up and carry it daily for him!  The fact that Jesus does not mention a wooden stake, is to draw attention to the true stake which we are to pick up and carry for him, behind him.

  

4) "and follow me." - Jesus says we are to follow him, meaning to imitate him in every aspect of his life, as much as and as appropriately as we can.  We are to think, say and do what he wishes us to think, say and do, according to the communications to us through holy scriptures, to follow behind him as his disciples, lifting up and carrying our stake for him daily.

 

5) "and despise yet still the soul of himself also" - A disciple is to put his obedience and allegiance toward Jesus above anyone and anything in his life, including himself.  This includes what anyone mortal may say trying to control you for their own purposes, including injunctions of oral "Christian" tradition if they cannot be found in God's Word.  Nothing is to be more important to a believing disciple than doing God's Word, as a believing disciple determines for himself through his own fellowship with God the heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.

 

Witness 6, Apostle John - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) "But he bearing the stake of him went out unto a place called 'Of A Skull' - Our 6th witness, John, is the first witness to possibly disagree with the testimony given to us from the first five witnesses about WHO carried the objective stake.  But we already know that Simon carried the stake a place called 'Of A Skull', or “The Skull”, or “Place of a Cranium”, so when Apostle John says that, "and he carrying the stake to himself came out into the [place] being said 'Place of Cranium'", we can safely conclude that he speaks in a figure of speech as does Isaiah and Jesus himself, about carrying a subjective stake, being the burdens of lifting up our sin and lifting up our sicknesses (verses 12 and 4), and carrying our iniquities and carrying our pains, which is in agreement with Isaiah.

 

Witness 7, Apostle Paul - New, Established or Corroborated facts:

 

1) "a vessel of calling out to me of the [name], to carry the name of me" - Part of the stake that Apostle Paul carried behind Jesus daily, was his name, 'Jesus', including the preaching and teaching of that powerful name and all about it.  Again Jesus uses the figure of speech Metaphor to refer to Apostle Paul carrying a subjective burden, his name.

 

2) we, the brothers of Jesus Christ, believers, we who are inherently strong owe carry the weaknesses of the one inherently unpowered, and please not ourselves.  We are not here to please ourselves!  Likewise we are not to please ourselves by changing the Word of the God into oral traditional "Christian" fables, by adding to it, changing it, or deleting from teachings parts of the whole Truth given in the holy scriptures.

 

3) Carry the weights of one another, and thusly fulfill the law of the Christ.  The "Law of Christ" we just read, in part, as the testimony of our fifth witness Jesus himself.  Apostle Paul also, as Jesus, uses the figure of speech Metaphor to refer to us carrying a subjective stake behind Jesus, to carry the weaknesses of the not inherently strong.  The weights Jesus Christ carried, not the "cross", are the same kind of weights we are to carry for one another, behind Jesus.

 

Once you as a disciple of Christ Jesus starts working God's Word for yourself, you’re going to quickly discover that a lot of the traditional oral teaching of what is called "Christianity", doesn't agree with the holy scriptures, or exist in them.  If you start working God's Word for yourself, you will begin to be able to gauge how much of the traditional oral teachings are mortal-made lies, just like the traditional oral teachings of the Sadducees, Pharisees and writers in Jesus' day were lies.  There's nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9)!  Jesus said to them:

 

Mat. 15:1 (LIT/UBS4) Then (tote) [ones] from (apo) Jerusalem (Hierosolumōn), writers (grammateis) and (kai) Pharisees (Pharisaioi), cause themselves to come toward (proserchontai) the (tō) Jesus (Iēsou), saying (legontes),

 

Mat. 15:2 (LIT/UBS4) “Through (dia) [the sake] of what (ti) [do] the (hoi) disciples (mathētai) of you (sou) step aside (parabainousin) of the (tēn) tradition (paradosin) of the (tōn) elders (presbuterōn)?

 

Because (gar) they absolutely do not wash (ou niptontai) the (tas) hands (cheiras) of them (autōn) when perhaps (hotan) they may eat (esthiōsin) a loaf of bread (arton)!?”

 

Mat. 15:3 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) [Jesus] having been caused to make a decision (apokritheis), he enunciated (eipen) to them (autois), “Through (dia) [the sake] of what (ti) [do] you (humeis) also (kai) step aside (parabainete) of the (tēn) injunction (entolēn) of the (tou) God (theou), through (dia) the (tēn) tradition (paradosin) of you (humōn)?

 

What do you think?  Do you think it may be possible for Christianity today to have oral traditions which cannot be found in God's Word?  Jesus confronted and condemned the writers and the Pharisees for practicing their mortal-made religious junk, making the people think it was part of the Word of God, instead of theological junk they invented, and then forced them do it else they would be publicly embarrassed and humiliated.  

 

This kind of error by the religious leaders definitely did not please Jesus, or the Father.  Believing which version of the "cross" Jesus Christ bore, do you think pleases the Father:; the oral traditional teaching of Jesus dragging a physical cross through the streets and alleys, for which there is no scriptural evidence, or what we have plainly and clearly seen with our own two eyes out of the holy scriptures, that Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' physical stake behind Jesus, while Jesus lifted and carried all of mortalkind's sickness and pains?

 

We ought to please the Father in order to receive that which He has given us eternally through Christ, rather than please mortals for their conditional approval for a season (1 Pet. 4:17)!  Focusing our mind and thinking about the true stake that Jesus lifted and carried, which his disciples are to lift and carry as we follow along behind him, will bring us to realize more and more the benefits of what the Father has done for us through His son Jesus Christ, and how Jesus Christ desires his disciples to walk spiritually, carrying their stake as well!

 

 

Brother Hal Dekker