COVER FEATURE From the Depths of Despair
to the Heights of Exultation Written by Marvin J. Rosenthal
With the death of Jesus, the hopes,
dreams, longings, and aspirations
of the Apostles came to a screeching
halt. They had forsaken everything and
followed Him for three years. They walked
with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him,
slept with Him, and were taught by Him.
They were convinced He was going to lead
them in revolt against the despised Romans.
The Romans were oppressive. They ridiculed
the religion of the Jews. They taxed the Jewish
people excessively. They ruled ruthlessly.
Practically, every red-blooded Israelite hated
the Romans with a passion.
ISRAEL’S TRUE KING Jesus, as the Son of David, was born King
of the Jews – He had a legal right to rule over
Israel. The Jewish Scriptures told of a
Deliverer who would appear to break the
yoke of Gentile oppression (Ezekiel 34:27). It
was not without reason, therefore, that the
disciples viewed Jesus as their coming King.
Peter inquired: “Behold, we have forsaken all,
and followed thee; what shall we have therefore
[when You enter into Your kingdom]?”
(Matthew 19:27). And the mother of James
and John, zealous for her sons, requested,
“Grant that these my two sons may sit, the
one on thy right hand, and the other on the
left, in thy kingdom” (Matthew 20:21). And
two blind beggars, hearing of Jesus’ presence
as He was leaving Jericho, cried out, “Have
mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David [implying,
King]” (Matthew 20:30).
As “kingdom fever” was mounting on the
part of the disciples, they made their way to
the top of the Mount of Olives. It was springtime
and approaching the 14th day of the
Hebrew month of Nisan and the Passover.
Historians suggest that as many as a million
Jewish people had returned to Jerusalem that
year from all over the known world to observe
the sacred holiday. Here, then, was the
needed manpower to lead in a rebellion
against the despised Romans....