JOHN 20:1-7 FROM FEAR TO FAITH (MARY SAID TO THEM, “THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE LORD OUT OF THE TOMB, AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE LAID HIM)

29Mar

 John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.On this first day of the week Mary goes to the tomb and seeing the stone has been moved decides that they have stolen the body of Jesus. She goes and gets Peter and John and they come running. When they get there John glances in, Peter looks a little harder and is puzzled because he sees the grave wrappings lying there in their proper place. This is a day that seems to be the worst ever in that not only has Jesus died, but they have stolen His body too. It is actually the best day to ever have happened, because this is the day that Jesus rose from the grave, proved He was God, and showed that He had done everything necessary to pay for the sins of the whole world. This is the Good News, the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day according to the Scriptures (1Corinthians 15:3-4).

In a 24‑hour period leading up to and including His death on the cross there were 28 specific Old Testament prophecies fulfilled to the letter, and in addition to that, there were many types fulfilled. Now as we see Jesus Christ conquer death, we are going to see some additional fulfillment of prophecy doubly verifying to us that He is in fact God.

The fact that John continued his account and shared the excitement of the Resurrection miracle is proof that Jesus Christ is not like any other man. He is, indeed, the Son of God."

This is The best news ever told. Most important news in human history. ‘He is not here. He has risen’ see Matthew 28:6. His death, burial, and resurrection will affect the destiny of us all! Gospel: power of God for salvation. The Gospel challenges the intellect, challenges emotions and challenges the will.

"For John, as for all the early Christians, the resurrection of Jesus was the indisputable fact upon which their faith was based; and their faith in large part depended on the testimony and transformed behavior of those who had actually seen the resurrected Jesus. Their Master was not in God's eyes a condemned criminal; the resurrection proved that he was vindicated by God, and therefore nothing less than the Messiah, the Son of God he claimed to be .

Romans 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

1Co 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

Ro 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

We are at the climactic point in John's Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and in fact we're looking at the Sunday morning event, the first day of the week. I know there's been some talk throughout history about the three days that Jesus was dead. Did He die on Friday? Did He die on Wednesday? What is your take on how we understand the chronology of the events? 

Roman versus Jewish calendar, Sabbath begins at twilight on what we would call Friday. And so the crucifixion takes place sometime Friday afternoon and so that would be day one. So we have the one day and then the second day is Saturday and then the third day is technically Sunday. The first day of the week is when He is resurrected.

So when He says "Tear down this Temple and in three days -- I'll raise it up again," that doesn't necessarily mean 72 hours.

I just think it's the way they view a calendar. We think of 72 hours, but to them a day was the course of what happened during that time frame, so Friday, Saturday and then the first day of the week, Sunday; three days.

Before we concentrate on John’s account of the burial and resurrection of our Lord, allow me to call your attention to the contribution of the Synoptic Gospels. Matthew’s Gospel has some especially important information, which enhances our study in John. Matthew informs us of the request the Jewish religious leaders made of Pilate after the death and burial of Jesus. They remembered that Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead after three days:

Matthew 12:39-40- 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” ( also Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; John 2:19).

Even though the disciples had forgotten our Lord’s words about His resurrection, the Jewish religious leaders had not:

Matthew 27:62-66 -62 The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

In my mind’s eye, I can see the smug look of satisfaction on the faces of those who had brought about the death of our Lord. What could be more perfect? The body of Jesus was in a chamber hewn out of rock, with a very large stone sealing the entrance to the tomb. Once the stone was “sealed,” no one would dare to try to steal the body of Jesus, to make it look as if He had been raised from the dead in fulfillment of His own prophecies. And to be doubly sure, guards were posted at the tomb so that no one could gain access to the body of Jesus. These guards would terrify anyone who dared to attempt to gain entrance to the tomb.

Matthew’s account shows how useless these efforts were to “contain” the Son of God:

(Matthew 28:2-4) 2 And there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled back the stone, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him.

Did the Jewish religious leaders hope to strike terror into the hearts of our Lord’s disciples to prevent them from attempting to steal the body of Jesus from that tomb? It was not the disciples they were opposing; it was God. The guards were no match for the angels, and a sealed stone was no match for an earthquake. In an instant, every barrier to that tomb was removed. And to think that the women had wasted their time worrying about how they would remove that stone (see Mark 16:3)! It was the Roman guards who were “all shook up” by the earthquake. They were petrified with fear at the sight of the angel of the Lord.

I don’t think you need to be reminded of this, but that stone was not removed so that Jesus could get out of the tomb (see John 20:19). The stone was removed to make it completely clear to those outside that Jesus was not inside—that He had been raised from the dead, just as He had said.

"In each of the following [resurrection appearances] we will discover a pattern with the following features: (1) The beneficiaries of the appearance are engulfed in a human emotion (Mary, grief; the disciples, fear; and Thomas, doubt). (2) The risen Christ appears to them in the midst of their condition. (3) As a result, their condition is transformed (Mary, mission; the disciples, gladness; Thomas, faith)."

"With Mary, the emphasis is on love; with the ten, the emphasis is on hope; and with Thomas, the emphasis is on faith."

1. Mary’s Distress, Love, and Devotion

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Mt 28:1; Mr. 16:1; Lu 24:1

"The first day of the week" was Sunday. It is interesting that all the Gospel writers referred to the day of Jesus' resurrection this way rather than as the third day after His death.

Now the first day of the week is Sunday and so Sunday morning this group of women, John records Mary Magdalene only, but there's a group and she'll use a plural pronoun here that will tip there's a group there, but the Synoptics talk about a group of women. She probably beat them there. All Synoptics indicate she was the first one on the scene. So Mary of Magdala appears.

Although John’s Gospel does not state the purpose of Mary’s visit, Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56 mention that several women (cf. v. 2) came early to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. Apparently they did not know of Joseph and Nicodemus’ anointing or thought it needed to be supplemented.[i]

Perhaps John mentioned Mary Magdalene and none of the other women because of the testimony that she gave after she had seen Jesus (v. 18).

Her devotion to Jesus Christ was probably born out of the fact that she was delivered of seven demons and that she had been a very oppressed individual. From whom much is forgiven, there is much love in this story. She has a great love for Jesus Christ and so the Gospels, all of them, say, "Look she was the first one to go to the tomb early in the morning."

Lu 7:47 "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."

This tomb had been closed with a large rock door (Mark 16:3-4) and had been sealed by the authority of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:65-66). The women were amazed to see an open and apparently empty tomb. [ii]

So we see her love. In Mark sixteen, the women are worried about who's going to move the stone. Of course if you know a little bit of the harmonization, an angel has descended, an earthquake occurred, Matthew twenty-eight, and it says the angel lifted up or moved the stone and sat on it.

From the other gospel accounts we have one in the tomb as well who talks to them. So we have some issues of timing and chronology that John does not detail. We have no guard; the guard is gone. The stone is removed, an angel has shown up to tell them and he says, "Go tell His disciples and Peter."

 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." Joh 13:23; 19:26; 21:7,20,24

Mary was to experience a far greater blessing than she could have imagined at this dark moment in her life, no doubt the darkest she had ever known. She had been delivered from bondage to Satan. She had been privileged to follow her Lord and to help support Him and His ministry. She had placed all her faith and hope in Him, and yet He had been put to death as a criminal. That was bad enough, but now she thought that she would not even be able to honor His memory by properly anointing His body for burial. It couldn’t get any worse—or so she thought. But the truth was that it could not get much better. How slow we are to see God’s richest blessings in the things which appear to be great adversity!

Mary first assumed that grave robbers had stolen Jesus' body. Evidently robbing graves was not uncommon around Jerusalem (cf. Matt. 28:13-15).

But it's very typical of what a hewn tomb would look like. You go inside and you see this sort of shelf that they've carved and you see this area and when their hewing the rock, it would make sense that you would want to remove as little room material as you have to, right, because it's stone you're dealing with. So leave ledges in place to lay the bodies on. That would be a very typical First Century stone hewn tomb that Jesus might have been buried in.
Well they don't understand the story yet. They don't understand what's happened. They haven't figured it out. In fact they think the body has been stolen. That's the implication from all the texts.

 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. Lu 24:12

4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.

 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Joh 19:40

“stooping” The tombs of this period had a low entrance about 3 to 4 feet high. One would have to bend down (cf. v. 11) to enter the cave/dugout.[iii]

I want to point out a number of things here. We have Peter and his personality running in the tomb. Some presume John is younger so he wins the foot race. In any event, there's three words that John the Gospel writer uses for the word, in English, “saw“; to see something, past tense. I want to show you these words because they're all different in the original language and John does this for a wonderful point.

So first of all they run into the tomb and John gets there early and the tomb or the hole was probably low to the ground, so he stoops in and takes a quick glance. The word is blepo. It's like a little quick peek. He glanced. And then maybe he leans back and stands aright waiting for Peter to catch up. If grave robbers had removed the body, they would have undoubtedly taken the expensive cloth with which Joseph and Nicodemus had prepared it for burial. John may have assumed that Jesus' body was still there since the light was bad at that hour. Perhaps John did not enter the tomb because he did not want to violate its sanctity or incur ritual defilement.

2. Peter’s Perplexity

 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,

Peter, as was his personality, huffing and puffing runs right in the tomb and he's looking around.

Notice in verse five you have the word "sees" meaning he took a quick glancing look, but in verse six the word is theoreo, which in English is to theorize or to make a theory. So where John takes a quick glance, Peter goes in and we kind of see him scratching his head. He is absorbing the information. He is developing a theory based on what he sees. So John takes a quick look; Peter takes a longer studious look.

When Peter arrived at the tomb, he barged right in, probably because he wanted to know exactly how things stood regardless of the consequences. He also beheld (Gr. theopei, beheld intently) the linen burial clothes (Gr. ta othonia) but also the cloth that had covered Jesus' face (Gr. soudarion, cf. 11:44). Evidently John could not see this from his vantage point. It's distance from the other clothes and the care with which someone had positioned it were unusual. Jesus was obviously not there, but someone had been there.

Lying there means - Undisturbed and in their proper place

 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Joh 11:44  Head piece resembles a ball of cloth that was wrapped around something that was no longer there

The orderly arrangement of everything in the tomb marks the absence of haste and circumstances in the awakening and rising from the dead.

When he arrived, he seems to have entered the tomb without giving it a thought. Peter came out scratching his head, so to speak. It was a mystery to him, one that he couldn’t reason out. The body of Jesus was definitely gone, but the scene inside the tomb was not what one would expect if the grave had been robbed. And where were the guards? Who had moved the stone? What was going on? Peter simply didn’t know

According to Luke 24:12 Peter went away “wondering” still.

Lu 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

What we do know from the text are two things. The body is not there and the wrappings are. If you were a grave robber kneeling down into some stone hewn crypt to bring out a body, would you go to the trouble to unwrap the sticky gooey substance and leave the wrappings in and neat pile and take a naked corpse out? That by the way has been scourged and hemorrhaged and bleeding and stuck with a spear in the side, don't forget.

If you are a grave robber, it's a lot neater to pick up the package, isn't it? So what John wants you and me to see is that the body's not there but the wrappings are. So we sort of scratch our head along with Peter and with John. Look at verse eight: It was not the scene of a grave robbery, for no robbers could have gotten the body out of the grave clothes without tearing the cloth and disarranging things. Jesus had returned to life in power and glory and had passed through the grave clothes and the tomb itself!

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

I HAVE HEARD OF YOU GOD, BUT NOW I SEE YOU

25Mar

Job 42:5 says “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You;

By the time we get to this verse Job has been through the worst imaginable ordeal anyone could go through.  He has lost all he owned, his children, has been living in a horrible time of sickness and has been accused by his friends saying that everything that happened is because of his sin. Can you imagine losing everything you own and being so sick you feel like you are going to die?  It is during this time that God shows Job who He really is and how much He cares for Job that is why Job says I have heard of you but now I see you.  In the midst of everything that is currently going on God wants to get your attention and bring you to Him for salvation or into a closer relationship with Him like He did with Job.  Either way, the worst thing that can happen to you here on earth will be like a picnic in the park compared with Hell. But for believers this is the worst it will ever be. 

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:38-42 SO THERE THEY LAID JESUS, BECAUSE OF THE JEWS’ PREPARATION DAY, FOR THE TOMB WAS NEARBY

22Mar

John 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

 Here we see the secret disciples come forward when all the others have forsaken Jesus and are hiding. These guys come at the perfect time so the last of the prophecies can be fulfilled Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death. These two men give Jesus a burial fit for a King using 100 pounds of very expensive spices, because He is King Jesus and one day will come back to rule and reign. They are running out of time to get Jesus in the grave before the Sabbath starts and also so the 3 days and 3 nights can be fulfilled, so they use the closest available tomb which happens to be Joseph of Arimathea’s. It is done, it is finished, all that is left is for Jesus to come out of the grave and show that He is truly God as if all the miracles He has done is not enough. Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

 

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.

Mt 27:57; Mr. 15:42; Lu 23:50; Joh 9:22; 12:42

All four evangelists mentioned Joseph of Arimathea but only with Jesus' burial. The Synoptics tell us that he was a God-fearing rich member of the Sanhedrin who was a follower of Jesus and who had not voted to condemn Jesus. Only John identified him as a secret disciple who feared the Jews, namely, the unbelieving Jewish leaders. Jesus had warned His disciples about trying to hide their allegiance to Him (12:42-43). Finally Joseph "broke his cover" by courageously requesting Jesus' body from Pilate.

Jesus'  corpse  would  have  ended  up  in  the  grave  of  a  common criminal but for Joseph's intervention. Pilate probably granted his request for Jesus' body because he realized that Joseph wanted to give Jesus' an honorable burial. That would have humiliated the Jews further.

Joseph's courageous act doubtless alienated him from many of his fellow Sanhedrin members. We do not know what the ultimate consequences of his action were for him. Evidently it was Jesus' death that made him face up to his responsibility to take his stand for Jesus.

I think that he worked up the courage to request an audience with Pilate and then made his request, but not with the arrogance and smugness with which the Jewish religious leaders had dealt with him. His was a humble request, but a reasonable one. Unlike the crucifixion of our Lord, it does not appear to be something that Pilate begrudgingly granted. Indeed, if he felt guilty over condemning an innocent man, he may have felt good that Jesus (this “righteous man,” as Pilate’s own wife had referred to Him—Matthew 27:19) was given an honorable burial. And if the other religious leaders happened not to like it, so much the better.

Gave him leave. According to Roman law. Ulpian, a Roman jurist of the third century, says: “The bodies of those who are capitally punished cannot be denied to their relatives. At this day, however, the bodies of those who are executed are buried only in case permission is asked and granted; and sometimes permission is not given, especially in the cases of those who are punished for high treason. The bodies of the executed are to be given for burial to anyone who asks for them.” Greedy governors sometimes sold this privilege. Cicero, in one of his orations against Verres, has a terribly graphic passage describing such extortions. After dwelling upon the tortures inflicted upon the condemned, he says: “Yet death is the end. It shall not be. Can cruelty go further? [i]

39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Joh 3:1-2; 7:50 This was usually the amount used for a King and He is King Jesus

Can you imagine the cost for that much spices?

The contrast is marked between Nicodemus’ first and his second coming.[ii]

40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

While the Synoptics speak very favorably of Joseph, John is not quite as complimentary in his description of this man. John does not mention that Joseph was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin or that he opposed their efforts to kill Jesus. John describes Joseph only as a disciple who kept his allegiance to Jesus a secret, for fear of the Jews.

It looks as though John wants us to view Joseph as a pretty unlikely candidate to bring about what the Scriptures require, so far as our Lord’s burial is concerned. Added to this is the fact that Nicodemus is just as unlikely. Who can pull off what is required here, and in such a short period of time? From what I know of Nicodemus, and from what little I know of Joseph of Arimathea, these two men would not be at the top of my “most likely to be helpful” list.

So far as their loyalty to our Lord in the past is concerned, these two men are not impressive. But so far as their ability to accomplish the task (of burying Jesus in a kingly fashion), they are well qualified. This is not the time for a family member or a close follower of Jesus to request His body for burial. But Joseph of Arimathea is a member of the Sanhedrin and a very wealthy man. He offers Pilate the opportunity to rid himself of the responsibility for burying the body of Jesus.

Joseph of Arimathea is not alone in his efforts to obtain the body of Jesus and to give Him a proper burial. He is working with Nicodemus, another very prominent member of the Sanhedrin. These two men must have begun their association as colleagues on the Council of the Sanhedrin. When Nicodemus objected to the way the Council was proposing to deal with Jesus, Joseph must have taken notice. They may have talked privately and discovered that they were of like mind regarding Jesus. They may have attempted to support each other as they objected to the course the Sanhedrin seemed bent on taking. While Jesus was being crucified, they seem to have mutually agreed upon a plan to obtain His body in order to give Him a proper burial.

One cannot discern from the Gospels just when Joseph and Nicodemus agreed to work together, or when they commenced their efforts to prepare for the burial of Jesus. It may be that Joseph agreed to ask Pilate for permission to remove and bury the Lord’s body. At the same time, Nicodemus could have begun to acquire the necessary spices and material to prepare the body of Jesus for burial. Working together, these two men are able to accomplish something that none of our Lord’s family or His eleven disciples could achieve—they are able to gain access to Pilate and to gain possession of the body of Jesus.

41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.

John is the only evangelist who recorded that there was a garden and an unused new tomb near the place of Jesus' crucifixion. The tomb was probably an artificial cave in the limestone, many examples of which are observable in Palestine. Matthew noted that the garden and its tomb belonged to Joseph (Matt. 27:60). John's mention of the garden prepares for his reference later to a gardener (20:15). His reference to the tomb being new and unused prepares for the Resurrection in which no other corpse was in the tomb (20:8, 12).

"The fall of the first Adam took place in a garden; and it was in a garden that the second Adam redeemed mankind from the consequences of Adam's transgression

Look at Isaiah fifty-three verse nine.  His grave was assigned with wicked man, Yet He was a rich man in His death,
because he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

We might even say that Jesus was given a burial “fit for a king.”

In his account of the burial of Jesus, John gives us some very important details. He not only mentions Joseph of Arimathea, he tells us about Nicodemus. It is only from John’s Gospel that we even know of Nicodemus. No other Gospel mentions this fellow. Nicodemus is the same man who “came to Jesus by night,” as we read in John 3:1-2, and as he reminds us in 19:39. It is John’s mention of Nicodemus in chapter 7 of his Gospel that now catches my attention. You will remember that Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (7:1-10ff.). The Pharisees and chief priests decided it was time to arrest Jesus, so they sent the temple police to bring Jesus to them (7:32). When these men returned empty-handed, the Pharisees were incensed. The officers explained that they had never heard anyone speak as Jesus did (7:45-49).

Nicodemus then sought to speak a word (cautiously, it would seem) on Jesus’ behalf. He did not openly defend Jesus and His teachings, but he did question his fellow Pharisees about the legality of the method by which they proposed to deal with Him.

John 7:50-52- 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before and who was one of the rulers, said, 51 “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless it first hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee!”

In today’s legal terminology, Nicodemus is objecting that Jesus is not being given “due process of the law.” Jewish law required that charges against Jesus first be substantiated and, after this, that Jesus be given the chance to speak in His own defense. This had not been done, Nicodemus pointed out, and no one seemed to be heading in the direction of making things right. His peers were not at all gentle in the way they responded to his objections. Here was a highly respected teacher of the law, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, and yet he was dealt with as though he were an incoming freshman. “You are not a Galilean, too, are you?” This was no compliment. It was like saying, “How could you be so ignorant?” And then, adding insult to injury, they challenged Nicodemus to look into this subject more carefully, implying that his grasp of the issues was shallow and superficial.

I must admit that I had nearly written Nicodemus off in chapter 3, but after reading about Nicodemus in chapter 7, I had totally given up on this man. I assumed that he just sort of wilted under the criticism of his peers, never to be heard from again. I now must rethink my hasty conclusion. I believe that Nicodemus rose to the challenge. I think that he did investigate more thoroughly and found that the Scriptures did point to Jesus as the Messiah. Furthermore, I think that as Nicodemus became more convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, he spoke out more openly, and at least one other person on the Council agreed with him—Joseph of Arimathea. I am willing to go even farther. I wonder if it was not because of the objections of Nicodemus (and perhaps Joseph as well) that the Sanhedrin felt compelled to modify the way they sought to deal with Jesus, so that they at least appeared to be following Jewish law. Is this why Jesus was first brought before Annas, and then Caiaphas, and then finally brought before the whole Council? Is this why the assistance of Rome was requested? If this is the case, then Nicodemus contributed greatly to the process which led to our Lord’s crucifixion rather than to death by stoning, as the Jews seemed to prefer. It would also seem that the Sanhedrin voted to hand Jesus over to Pilate, but not without hearing objections from both Joseph and Nicodemus (if, indeed, they were both present). This act of requesting the body of Jesus and giving Him a proper burial may have been a public protest on the part of these two members of the Sanhedrin. All of this would mean that Joseph and Nicodemus were not as passive in their disagreement with their peers on the Sanhedrin as assumed.

It is John’s Gospel alone that informs us of these two men’s lavish use of spices in their preparation of Jesus’ body for burial (19:39-40). From the accounts of the Synoptic Gospels, we might have assumed that our Lord’s body was not even properly prepared for burial. We read there only that the body of Jesus was “wrapped in a clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27:59; see also Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). We read also in the Synoptics of the intent of the women to return to the tomb and to prepare the Lord’s body with spices (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-56; 24:1). It was almost as though the women were unaware of the fact that 100 pounds of spices had been used by Joseph and Nicodemus. Or, perhaps they just felt they could not trust these men to do it right, and they would have to come back later to improve on the work of these two men.

The thing that strikes me in John’s account is that no mention is made of the fact that the tomb in which Jesus was laid was the one that Joseph had custom-built for himself (Matthew 27:60). From a reading of John’s account, one would assume they were carrying the Lord’s body away from the cross and through a garden (only John mentions the garden). It was getting late, and they had no time to lose. There was an available tomb nearby, in the garden, and they made use of it. It appears the reason for using this tomb was not because it belonged to Joseph, but because it was close, and it seemed expedient to use it because they had run out of time.

This makes sense to me. The question which the reader must ask is, “How was it possible for Jesus to be given a rich man’s burial, when none of His eleven disciples were present, and when the time was so short?” Putting together all of the data from the four Gospels, I would conclude that something like this occurred. Joseph and Nicodemus had opposed the Sanhedrin’s plan to kill Jesus. At some time during the crucifixion process, they determined to acquire the body of Jesus to give Him a proper burial. Joseph went to Pilate and obtained the body while Nicodemus acquired the necessary spices and cloth. They both went to the cross, took down the Lord’s body, and wrapped it in a clean linen sheet. They were carrying the body through the garden, noting the lateness of the hour, and wondering what they should do. Joseph may have looked up and seen the freshly-hewn tomb which he had acquired for his own burial (and perhaps for the use of his family as well). Realizing they were out of time, Joseph told Nicodemus that they would stop right here and bury the body of Jesus in his own tomb. There was no time to do anything else.

I am assuming here that Joseph had intended from the beginning to give Jesus a proper burial, but that he had not necessarily planned to bury Jesus in his own tomb. As nightfall approached, Joseph realized that he was in trouble, time-wise. He looked about, and his eyes fixed on his own personal burial place. There was really no other choice, given the time, and so this is the place where they chose to lay the body of Jesus. John tells the story in such a way that the reader sees, once again, the sovereign hand of God, orchestrating these events so that they fulfill the prophecies of old. Jesus was put to death with criminals, but in the final analysis, He was buried with the rich. The One who seemed destined to be buried on “boot hill” is now buried on “snob hill.” And in so doing, prophecy is once again fulfilled.

Note, incidentally, that John does not tell us every time that a prophecy is fulfilled. Three times in his account of our Lord’s death he indicates that the details of Jesus’ death fulfilled prophecy. But here he does not tell us that the Scriptures were fulfilled, even though they were. I believe John expects his readers to figure some things out for themselves. A good teacher does not give the student the answer to every question. A good teacher teaches the student how to find the answers to his questions. John is a good teacher.

42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. Isa 53:9; Joh 19:31

Preparation Day - the day immediately before the Sabbath and other Jewish festivals. Preparation Day always fell on Friday among the Jewish people, because all religious festivals began on the Sabbath, or Saturday (Matt. 27:62; John 19:14, 31).

With a week of holidays ahead, the Preparation Day for the Passover was especially busy. The details for preparing the Passover supper had to be completed by afternoon. Preparations included baking the unleavened bread, gathering festive garments to wear for the occasion, and taking a ceremonial bath.

But above all, the Passover lamb had to be slain. Slaughtering began an hour or more earlier than for the usual daily evening sacrifice. At the Temple, the priests slaughtered thousands of lambs brought in by the people. Their blood was poured at the foot of the altar. Then the lambs were roasted whole in preparation for the Passover meal in each home that evening.[iii]

The chronological reckoning between John’s gospel and the Synoptics presents a challenge, especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (13:2). While the Synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday evening (Nisan 14) and Jesus being crucified on Friday, John’s gospel states that the Jews did not enter into the Praetorium “lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover” (18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening, but the Jews had not. In fact, John (19:14) states that Jesus’ trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (19:14). The question is, “Why did the disciples eat the Passover meal on Thursday?”

The answer lies in a difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. But Jews in the southern part, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees, those groups followed the southern scheme.

That variation doubtlessly caused confusion at times, but it also had some practical benefits. During Passover time, for instance, it allowed for the feast to be celebrated legitimately on two adjoining days, thereby permitting the temple sacrifices to be made over a total period of four hours rather than two. That separation of days may also have had the effect of reducing both regional and religious clashes between the two groups.

On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and the disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees, considered Passover day to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. By that variation, predetermined by God’s sovereign provision, Jesus could thereby legitimately celebrate the last Passover meal with His disciples and yet still be sacrificed on Passover day.

Once again one can see how God sovereignly and marvelously provides for the precise fulfillment of His redemptive plan. The MacArthur Study Bible. 1997 (J. MacArthur, Jr., Ed.) (electronic ed.).

DOCETISM : a belief opposed as heresy in early Christianity that Christ only seemed to have a human body and to suffer and die on the cross

  1. God is not interested in outward religion

Mt 15:8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

 Mr. 7:6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

  1. You must decide whether to choose the favor of God or of men

Joh 12:43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Joh 7:13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews

  1. Is Jesus the real Messiah

You have to decide, there are 300 plus prophecies fulfilled.  The evidence is overwhelming.

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:38). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[ii] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:39). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[iii] Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. 1995 (R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison & Thomas Nelson Publishers, Ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL HAVE YOU REDEDICATED ALL YOU ARE AND ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO HIM?

18Mar

In our last devotional we talked about how Moses instructed Israel to build a monument with God’s law written on it and it was a picture of them remembering how good God had been to them in spite of their sin and how His love and faithfulness would continue in the future. They were swearing their allegiance to Him to live for Him from now on.  Have you stopped recently and thanked Him today for the mercy He has shown to you in your sin and the strength and grace He has given in the tough times of life. Psalm 136:2 says “Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.” Have you most importantly rededicated all you are and all that you have to Him, especially the areas of your life where you have strayed?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:28-37 SO WHEN JESUS HAD RECEIVED THE SOUR WINE, HE SAID, “IT IS FINISHED!”

15Mar

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 31 ¶ Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

 Here we see the final prophecy being fulfilled as Jesus knows all else has been fulfilled, He says I thirst. He has completed everything else He was supposed to do and then He fulfills one last Scripture by saying He thirsts and they give Him the sour wine. He says it is finished and gives up His spirit. It is finished is an accounting term that means your debt has been paid in full. Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross. He suffered 3 hours spiritually when it was dark and He was taking our hell for us as our substitute during that time period. That is why the old song can say Jesus paid it all. There is nothing left for you and I to do but to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved Acts 16:31. Have you done that? If not, you need to because no one will make it to Heaven unless they trust in what Jesus did on that cross and add nothing to it to be saved. It was the day before the Sabbath and the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross so that they might not defile themselves. These people cared more about their rituals than about killing Jesus. Lastly we see that the soldiers came and fulfilled two more prophecies by piercing Jesus side and not breaking his legs. We see the water and the blood comes out and it proves without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is dead. To find out about the symbolism behind the water and the blood you will have to listen to the message..

 I am amazed at the words of verse 28. Jesus knew that everything was completed. He was no helpless victim, powerless, and therefore subject to the whims of those who had arrested Him. Jesus was aware of every Scripture that spoke of His atoning death as the promised Messiah. In the last few weeks especially, Jesus has been orchestrating events so that His death would perfectly fulfill all these prophecies. In the final moments of His life, Jesus takes note of the fact that every prophetic detail has been arranged for so that He now may proceed to complete His mission, in a way that fulfills the remaining prophecies concerning His death.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"

Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished.

Now how did He know that? Why, He knew it because He had omniscience. He knew everything. Jesus Christ was on a divine schedule with an omniscient eye moving step at a time and fulfilling every detail of prophecy. He knew exactly where He was; and He was saying to Himself, Well, I know that all things are now accomplished, except for one Scripture, Then He says at the end of verse 28, "...I thirst," Jesus, in total awareness of every fact in the universe, knew that in God's plan everything was done except one Scripture was left unfulfilled. Psalm 69:21 was that Scripture. Psalm 69:21 said of Christ in His death, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.." He knew that that had not yet been fulfilled. At the beginning of the cross they had tried to give Him vinegar. Really, gall, which is a sedative; but He wouldn't take it so He could suffer without any kind of deadness but suffer the total pain, But now He knows that Scripture needs to be fulfilled, so He says, " I thirst." Jesus refused this because He insisted on drinking the “cup of God’s wrath” to the full (John 18:11). Now the soldiers didn't have to respond, they did because they were under divine motivation; God was moving to fulfill the prophecy.

29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. Mt 27:48

The hyssop reference may simply be a detail in the testimony of an eyewitness to Jesus' crucifixion. However, 1 Cor. 5:7) it's interesting that hyssop, a long reed with kind of a little more bushy end is what they used on this occasion because hyssop is very famous to all Jews, It takes them immediately back to Exodus 12:22. You remember that the angel of death was going to pass over Israel, and God said to the people of Israel, You take hyssop and take the blood and sprinkle on the doorposts and the lintel. Any time hyssop appears to the Jewish mind it's reminiscent of the great sacrifice of the Passover lamb, How fitting that hyssop should be the tool at this sacrifice of that final and greatest Passover Lamb. So they give Him to drink, and with that Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy. He was in full knowledge of every detail; He was in full control of everything He did and everything the soldiers did

The “wine” Jesus now accepts is a cheap wine. It did not deaden any of His pain. Our Lord’s thirst and His partaking of this “wine” seems to have served a two-fold purpose. First, it fulfilled Scripture:

My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death (Psalm 22:15, NKJV).

I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God Psalm 69:3,

There’s a spiritual thirst.  And I believe this, of course, is what Christ is screaming out and shouting out; that He’s thirsting spiritually. 

Second, it would seem as though the vinegar-like wine served to help clear the throat of our Lord, so that He could end His life triumphantly, with a shout. So far as John informs us, the “shout” is not, “It is completed,” but rather as Luke informs us, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). These two statements must have come in close proximity to each other, however. The words that John records were no doubt spoken first, and then were followed by the words that Luke records. John simply tells us that Jesus “said,” “It is completed.” Jesus declares that His work is completed, and then He gives up His Spirit.

30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Joh 17:4

"Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning 'paid in full.

Paul would write in Second Corinthians 5:21, “He became sin for us.  He was made to be sin for us to finish that work.  Nothing more needs to be done.”

It really has been completed, hasn’t it? Everything for which John has been preparing us in this Gospel has now been accomplished by our Lord. John 1 declares that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who called the world into being. He is the One sent to earth by the Father, in order to reveal Him to men. He is the One who “came unto His own place and to His own people,” and yet those who were “His own”—the Jews—rejected Him. He was “lifted up” so that He could draw all men unto Himself (3:13-18). He came to do His Father’s will (4:34) and has now completed it. He came to declare His Father’s Word, and He has proclaimed it (8:26-28, 38; 12:49-50; 14:10). He came to glorify the Father, and on the cross, He has done that (12:23, 28, 41; 13:32; 17:1, 4). It truly is finished; His task has been completed.

And because all of His prerequisite work has been completed, our Lord can now die. His life is not taken away from Him; He voluntarily gives it up, just as He had indicated earlier:

John 10:14-18 - 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is the commandment I received from my Father”

The phrase “bowed His head” is also a marvelous phrase.  It’s found in Matthew 8:20 and in Luke 9:58.  The phrase “bow His head,” you go back in your mind when they asked Jesus where He’s staying.  And He says what?  “The foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”  Same phrase.  The one place Jesus found to finally lay His head was on Calvary and He does it willfully, He does it obediently.  He does it in control.

The phrase “gave up” I’ve mentioned to you a number of times as we’ve gone through John for a deliberate reason.  The word “delivered, handed over” and the word used for Judas when he betrayed Him, when he delivered Him up.  “Delivered, handed over and/or betrayed”:  paradidomiSame word Jesus says here.  He delivers up His spirit.  What looks like a betrayal, what looks like handed over to the police, handed over to the Roman guard, handed over to the Jewish authorities.  What looks like He’s being delivered up, He Himself delivers up His spirit.  And I believe John uses this to illustrate, again, Christ is in control.  Nobody else is pulling the strings on this deal, Christ is the one who delivers up His spirit. 

Notice there is darkness, separation, and intense thirst, these all will be found in hell.

Simon Greenleaf years ago wrote a collection called The Testimony of the Evangelists. He was an attorney and, a student challenged him.  He was sort of notorious for vilifying Christians and how stupid they were; and some student challenged him, “Why don’t you use the same case law analysis that you teach to prove or disprove the resurrection?”

And this was sort of a novel idea and evidently Greenleaf took some time off from teaching, spent two years of his life tracking this thing down; and at the end of it, again, he wrote the book Testimony of the Evangelists saying that if the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was put on trial today there would be more than enough evidence to convict it.  In other words, to prove, that it actually happened and it brought Simon Greenleaf from an antagonistic person toward to Gospel to belief in Jesus Christ.  And there’s a Simon Greenleaf School of Law.

  1. We have a faith built on the inspired Word of God, notice the prophecies.
  2. It is a finished faith;.
    1. A cry of victory

This set of verses is unique to the fourth Gospel

31 ¶ Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

De 21:23; Mr. 15:42; Joh 19:42 These Jews considered sundown the beginning of a new day. In this case the new day was a Sabbath. This Sabbath was an extra special day because it fell during Passover week. The Jews wanted to get the bodies down off their crosses so they would not defile the land. The Mosaic Law instructed the Jews to allow no one to remain hanging on a cross overnight because this would defile the land. Such a person was under God's curse (cf. Deut. 21:22-23; Josh. 8:29). To allow someone to remain overnight on a Sabbath would be especially offensive.

De 21:2 "If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 "his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.

Time was running out for The Jews. They had been forced to go through the formalities of a trial and to obtain Pilate’s cooperation in the crucifixion of Jesus. They were still under great time constraints because this was the day of preparation; they must be done with this crucifixion by evening so they could begin to observe the Sabbath by evening. Normally, death by crucifixion would take much longer, and this was no problem to Rome. While the Romans liked to leave the bodies of those crucified exposed for some time, to serve as a warning to all, the Jews could not allow these bodies to remain exposed after nightfall. The men would have to die more quickly than normal so that their bodies could be taken down.

Rome had a solution for this situation.  A heavy hammer was used to crush the bones of the victims’ legs. This would make it impossible for those being crucified to push up with their legs in order to facilitate the breathing process. Once their leg bones were broken, the victims died within a short time. The soldiers therefore set out to break the legs of all three. For some reason, they started on the outside, waiting to deal with Jesus last. (Is it possible that having seen and heard the events of that day—such as the three hours of darkness—they were now reluctant to do further bodily harm to Jesus?) When they came to Him, it was apparent that He was already dead. There was no need to break His legs.

32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 1Jo 5:6,8

One of the soldiers must have wanted to make absolutely sure that Jesus was dead, so he thrust his spear into our Lord’s side. Immediately, both blood and water gushed out, a fact to which John gives special significance

Ex 17:6 "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

And much is made of this whole issue of blood and water.  Some think it has to do with the sacraments; others see a mystical reference to it.  All sorts of things. I do think the one thing John wants us to know for sure is that Jesus Christ really died.

I think, that John evidently intends to describe the incident as something entirely unexpected and marvelous, and that this explanation better suits the solemn asseveration of ver. 35. That the fact had a symbolic meaning to the Evangelist is evident from 1 John 5:6.[i] 6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

1Jo 5:8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

There may also be a symbolic meaning: the blood speaks of our justification, the water of our sanctification and cleansing. The blood takes care of the guilt of sin; the water deals with the stain of sin.[ii]

The blood and water illustrate two aspects of salvation: blood to atone for the guilt of sin, and water(symbolic of the word) to wash away the stain of sin. The blood speaks of justification and the water of sanctification. The two must always go together, for those who have trusted the blood of Christ to save them should live clean lives before a watching world.[iii]

Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Tit 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

In the baptism of Christ He identified with sinners, didn't He?  He identified with sinners.  You see, baptism was baptism of repentance.  It was baptism of repentance.  He didn't have anything to repent of.  But there in that most unique way He told John, "You have to baptize Me."  John said no, the reverse is true.  And He said, "No, you have to baptize Me.  I need to fulfill all righteousness."  And there He was in His baptism identifying with sinners and defining the reason He came.  And the Father gave witness, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."  Jesus arrives from Galilee where He's been with His disciples and desires to be baptized by him, by John. Even though there is no sin for Jesus to repent of, and there's no need for Jesus to be washed on the inside, God requires this of all His people and I will do all that God requires.  I will do it in order to fulfill all righteousness.  Whatever it is that God requires of His people, I will do."  He was fully human and He obeyed God's Law in full.  That was the perfection of His life, which by the way, as we know was imputed to our account.  And so He says, "I must fulfill all righteousness. the gospel of John, I always think it's an interesting note, chapter 1 verse 32, "And John the Father says to him, "The one on whom the Spirit descends, this is the one who is coming to baptize with fire."

 And the second divine testimony was given at His blood, as it were, or at His death, that at the end of His ministry...at the end.  That too defined His ministry because as He had identified with sinners in going into the waters of a baptism of repentance, He fully identified with sinners at the cross by taking their punishment.  Those are tremendously defining events, two monumental experiences bracketing His ministry of redemption.  And so the Father says, "I gave testimony at His baptism, testimony at His death."

Second half of verse 6, quite interesting, just in case you missed it, "This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and with the blood."  Well what a strange thing to say.  Why, did You think we were going to deny the second one?  Did You think we were going to say that You only gave testimony at His baptism, that only at His baptism did You identify with Him?  Only at His baptism was He Your Son?  Only at His baptism did You say, 'This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,' and that You didn't affirm Him, You didn't give testimony to Him, You didn't witness to Him at His death?  Did You think we were going to say that?  And is that why You said, "With the water, not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood?"  Exactly right...that's exactly what I knew you'd say. By the end of the first century when John wrote this, sometime after 90 A.D., a serious heresy had already developed which said that Jesus was God's Son at His baptism, but not at the cross.  That the Christ's Spirit descended on Him at His baptism and left Him before the cross so that Jesus came by water, the Christ's Spirit came by water, not by blood.  That is that His baptism was a revelation that He was the anointed of God but the Christ who was baptized was very different than the Jesus who was killed.  The Christ's Spirit who came upon that man at His baptism departed before the cross and the Jesus who was crucified was nothing but a mere man.

35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. Purpose is John 20:20-21

1Jo 1:1 ¶ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—

2Pe 1:16 ¶ For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

Same in 1 John 5 The purpose of God's witness, God's witness through the water & the blood, , the purpose of all of God's witness that essentially is the New Testament, is that you might have eternal life and this life is in His Son.  Go down to verse 20, right toward the end of this epistle, "We know the Son of God has come."  How do we know that?  Because of the testimony of God now recorded on the pages of the inspired Scripture.  "And has given us understanding in order that we might know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life...and eternal life."  It's always about eternal life.

36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken."

Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12; Ps 34:20

Once again, John wishes us to see that the things which took place at Calvary were the very things God had prophesied.  Jesus, by giving up His life earlier than expected, was spared from having His legs broken. John sees in this a fulfillment of prophecy. Though the Old Testament text that is fulfilled is not indicated, very likely it comes from Exodus 12 or Psalm 34:20, or both:

Exodus 12:43-46, 43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44 But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones”

Nu 9:12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.

Psalm 34:20, He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken (NKJV).

37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." Ps 22:16-17; Zec 12:10; Re 1:7

What a profound prophesy.  They’re going to see the Christ crucified, the One they’ve pierced, the only begotten, the One and only and they’re going to mourn.  And then John, when he writes the Revelation writes in Revelation 1:7:
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, . . . every eye will see Him,

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn”.

The piercing of the side of our Lord was prophetically necessary, since Zechariah 12:10 refers to the Messiah. And so what John describes is what Zechariah foretold. Everything was truly going according to God’s plan. Not one prophecy failed to be fulfilled.

I am sure that the events which occurred at the cross had a great impact on those who witnessed the death of our Lord. The centurion was convinced from what he saw that Jesus was the Son of God. Some of those who heard Peter preach at Pentecost may well have witnessed our Lord’s death at Calvary. Luke 23:48 tells us that the multitudes, when they beheld this sight, went away beating their breasts. It was a horrible day for those who thought it might be entertaining. I wonder how many of these folks were later saved.

If you are a Christian, you should be stirred in your soul every time you read of our Lord’s death. We should never tire of remembering Him and His death, as our Lord commanded (see Luke 22:19; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23ff.). We should take every temptation to sin seriously, knowing what our sin cost Him at Calvary. We should never cease to preach Christ crucified, for this is what the gospel is all about.

Thirty years later, on this very spot, judgment was pronounced against some of the best citizens of Jerusalem. Of the 3,600 victims of the governor’s fury, not a few were scourged and crucified! Judas died in a loathsome suicide, the house of Annas was destroyed some years later, Caiaphas was removed a year after the crucifixion, and Pilate was soon after banished to Gaul and there died in suicide. When Jerusalem fell, her wretched citizens were crucified around her walls until, in the historian’s grim language, ‘space was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies.’ The horrors of the siege of Jerusalem are unparalleled in history.

In the Synoptic Gospels, we read a great deal concerning the mockery of the crowds, of the Jewish religious leaders, of the Roman soldiers, and even of the two thieves. But John passes these matters by. Why? I think there is a good reason, one that makes a lot of sense once you stop to think about it—John wants our Lord Jesus to be central and preeminent in his account of the death of the Savior at Calvary. Jesus is center stage in John, as He ought to be. Calvary is about a cross, the cross of Jesus Christ. It is He alone, through His cross, who saves sinners. Let us never lose this focus. We need to see that the punishment that He took is the punishment that we deserved. Totally.  Every time a sacrifice occurred in the Old Testament, even up until Christ’s time, I think there’s great importance in putting your hand on that animal and slaying him.  That should be you.  It should be your blood.  You should pay for this.  And He did it for us.  Therein is, I think, the compelling part of the human conscience.  Someone else took my penalty.

Lu 23:49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:34). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:31). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (265). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL SETTING ASIDE TIMES TO REMEMBER HOW GOOD GOD HAS BEEN TO YOU

11Mar

Moses instructed Israel to build a monument with God’s law written on it when they entered Canaan (Deut. 27:1-8). This is a picture of them remembering how good God had been to them in spite of how they had acted and His love and faithfulness that would still be there in the future. They were swearing their allegiance to Him to live for Him from now on. Do you have any times in your life that you have set aside to remember how good God has been to you? All of us no matter who we are have done things that God doesn't approve of and also there are times in our life when God has sustained us in the toughest of circumstances. Let us remember that and thank Him today Amen!!

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:24-27 JESUS, KNOWING THAT ALL THINGS WERE NOW ACCOMPLISHED, THAT THE SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, SAID, “I THIRST!”

8Mar

John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

 We see more Scripture being fulfilled through Jesus and all that He does and has done to Him while on the cross. These cold callous soldiers are gambling for His garments as He is on the cross suffering the most cruel death ever devised up to that time.  All they can see is we are getting some material goods out of this deal.  Meanwhile Jesus is paying for the sins of the whole world. There are 4 soldiers who are cruel and they are contrasted by 4 loving women who have been there for Jesus and still are as He dies. The last thing Jesus does as He is dying is to give us the example to take care of the widows. He tells His mother to treat John as her son and for John to take care of His mother as if she was his own.

 It is John’s Gospel which most emphatically underscores the fulfillment of prophecy in the events surrounding our Lord’s death. Three times in our text John specifically informs his readers that prophecy has been fulfilled (verses 24, 36 and 37).

24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. Fulfills Ps 22:18 They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots” (NKJV). they divide His clothing even before He's dead.

What John does stress throughout the Gospel, and it heightens as we go through the Passion narrative and Crucifixion, is the fulfillment of Scripture, verse twenty-four: to fulfill the Scripture.

Now fulfilling scripture is an important part of John assembling the evidence that Jesus Christ is who He said He is; He's going to die as He said He would die. Remember John says, "Glory comes from suffering."  So for Christ to find glory, He must go through the suffering of the cross.

 Look at it another way. Jesus Christ isn't dead yet and they're dividing His clothes. From a human standpoint, the poor guy is still alive and struggling and they're arguing over His clothes. They're doing what comes naturally to soldiers who do this thing. It's customary for them.

 But from the other side of it, Jesus Christ's life is hanging in the balance by His own will until Scripture is fulfilled. He's in control of the whole situation and He knows that they're going to do this thing and He knows that they're inadvertently just doing the details of throwing lots to figure out who gets what and they are fulfilling the Scripture. John doesn't miss the detail. I'm not denying the tragedy and the pain of it physically, but the physical suffering of Jesus Christ was nothing compared to the deeper fact of the cross."

When you go back and look at the Gospels, even the Synoptics, what do they say? "There they crucified Him." They don't go into details about the horizontal bar and the hanging between earth and heaven and the excruciating pain. We get some details. We're going to get more details in the text in the future, but not to the extent with which we are captivated by the crucified victim Christ on the death mechanism called the cross.

 So, if that's true then how do you and I when we come to the crucifixion, do we step aside our presuppositions and our sort of story ideas about this and look at the sufferings of Christ? Spiritually? That He was separated from God the Father; that He willingly, volitionally obeyed the Father to the point of death, even death on a cross; that the God of all eternity hurls all the abuse of His wrath on His only Son, and feeling that wrath, Christ calls out, "Why have You forsaken Me?"

The physical things of the earth and the curtain and all that we know and love in the storyline are all important pictures, no doubt, but lest we miss the spiritual separation of Jesus Christ from His Father. He died on that cross not just endure the physical punishment, but he died for you. He died for me.

They appear to be oblivious to the suffering of the three men hanging on their crosses. According to Luke (23:36), the soldiers joined in with the others who mocked Jesus, virtually daring Him to come down from the cross to save Himself. John characterizes these four soldiers using this one scene. As Jesus hung there, beaten and bleeding, the soldiers were down on their knees. They weren’t praying; they were casting lots. They were, so to speak, rolling the dice to see which one of them would get the one-piece tunic. I can almost see one of the men shaking the dice in the palm of his hand, saying, “Com’ on, snake eyes …Yes! It’s mine!”

It almost sounds as if these soldiers were bored. Perhaps they had carried out this duty so many times they were just mechanically doing their job. There was nothing new or unexpected here, not yet, that is.[i] From experience, these soldiers must have felt they knew almost exactly what would happen over the next few hours. Their ears very likely tuned out every moan and cry. They may have learned not to even look at their victims. If there is going to be any excitement for them at all, it will be in the casting of lots to see who wins the garments the dying men will leave behind. I cannot think of any way John could have better captured the cold-heartedness of these four men than by seizing upon this moment in time as they huddle together on the ground, casting lots for our Lord’s garments. They see nothing to gain from Jesus but some item of clothing.

As He hung there on that cross, shedding His precious blood for guilty sinners, all they could think about was our Lord’s tunic. When Jesus was “rolling away the burden of our sins” (as the hymn celebrates), they were rolling the dice.

Yet, let us not be too quick to judge these soldiers. They are no different, in heart, than many today. They ignore the atoning work of Jesus and look to Him only to meet their material needs—not the need for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life—but for their physical needs. Even we who name the name of Christ as Savior and Lord all too often only look to Him to care for our material needs. Our prayers sound more like shopping lists than serious petitions for our spiritual needs and those of others.

That Jesus died naked was part of the shame which He bore for our sins. At the same time He is the last Adam who provides clothes of righteousness for sinners." Romans 5:12-21

Now many of your Bibles have a paragraph, sort of a hard break return if you will, at verse twenty-five “a.” Some of them run it together and do not break the text there. I would opt to break the text there with sort of a paragraph return for a number of reasons.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Mt 27:55; Mr. 15:40; Lu 23:49; 24:18

It is interesting that John did not identify his own mother by name or as the mother of Zebedee's sons. His mother’s sister, Salome, the mother of James and John[ii] He evidently wanted to play down his mother's identity as well as his own since he did not mention himself directly in this Gospel either. By referring to his mother as the sister of Jesus' mother, John prepared for Jesus' action in verses 26-27. John was Jesus' cousin on his mother's side. As such, he was a logical person to assume responsibility for Mary's welfare. Evidently Jesus' physical half- brothers did not become believers until after His resurrection.

Do not confuse Mary Magdalene with the “sinful woman” described in Luke 7:36ff. Jesus had delivered Mary Magdalene from demons (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2), and she used her resources to assist Jesus in His ministry. Salome had asked Jesus for thrones for her two sons James and John who wrote this book (Matt. 20:20–29), and He had denied her request. You wonder what she was thinking about as she stood there and beheld Jesus dying on the cross. The scene must have rebuked her selfishness.

Clopas has been identified with Cleopas, probably Joseph’s sister to whom the risen Lord appeared on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:18) and with Alphaeus, the father of James the Less. Mary is the name of all who are named; Mary means bitterness.

Start a new thought. We have four soldiers in the previous section; now we'll have four women and John is setting up a beautiful contrast in the narrative about, "Look at what these four men did. Now look at what these four women do to the body of Jesus Christ."

In stark contrast to the four male dice-rolling soldiers are the four dedicated women John identifies by name. The soldiers seem to have no appreciation for who Jesus is. They may never have seen Him before. They have no compassion on Him, even though He is suffering beyond words. These four women linger as close to the cross as they can get. They are among those women who followed Jesus, supporting Him from their own means (Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:1-3). They did not look upon His death as a means of gaining some of His possessions (as was the case with the soldiers), but as the greatest loss they had ever suffered. Was it one of these women who gave Jesus the seamless garment for which the soldiers gambled?

26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Joh 2:4; 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20,24

John is the only one of the apostles with courage enough to take his stand with the women by the Cross.

John never names his name but calls himself "the one whom Jesus loved," I can just hear him saying that. I kind of can imagine his whole heart just about to burst and he’d say, you know me, I'm the one that Jesus loves. I mean, that's a kind of exciting thought, isn't it? I mean, he didn't say, I'm the one that loves Jesus; no, he gets more excited about His love for him than his own love for the Lord,

Woman means grandmother or old woman, it is a form of respect such as Ma’am here in the south.

It was as Jesus was hanging there, half-naked, on that cross that He made arrangements for the care of His mother:

27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Ps 69:21; Joh 1:11; 16:32

He gave Mary a new son. You see, from the moment of His death He would cease to be the earthly Son of Mary so He replaced Himself in Mary's life with John.

There are some beautiful thoughts in this. As He dies, Jesus, the King of love, selflessly cares for those who stand at His feet. It is almost incomprehensible because here is Jesus occupied with the most stupendous task in the history of the universe, here is Jesus Christ under a burden which no one could possibly have sustained or endured, here is Jesus Christ enduring in a matter of several hours what it will take all individuals through all eternity in all of Hell to endure; and in the midst of it all, He thinks not one thought of Himself but cares only for His Mother and His beloved disciple.

William Barclay says, ‘There is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the Cross, in the moment when the salvation of the world hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of His mother in the days when He was taken away. Jesus never forgot the duties that lay to His hand.’ Earlier in this Gospel we are told that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him (7:5), and we may fairly infer that they were out of sympathy with Mary. So it was important that there should be somebody who would look after her when Jesus was no longer there.”

the Fourth Gospel focuses on the exclusiveness of the Son, the finality of his cross-work, the promise of the Paraclete as the definitive aid to the believers after Jesus has been glorified, and correspondingly de-emphasizes Mary by giving her almost no part to play in the narrative, and by reporting a rebuke, however gentle, that Jesus administered to her (2:4). With such themes lying on the surface of the text, it is most natural to see in vv. 26-27 an expression of Jesus’ love and care for his mother, a thoughtful provision for her needs at the hour of supreme devastation. … To argue, then, that this scene is symbolic of a continuing role for Mary as the church comes under her care is without adequate contextual control. It is so anachronistic an interpretation that [it] is difficult to imagine how it could have gained such sway apart from the developments of centuries of later traditions.  Jesus' act also placed Mary under John's authority,

The common Protestant interpretation of this incident is that Jesus, knowing He was about to die and to return to the Father, made arrangements for the long-term care of His mother.  This “long-term” element does raise some questions. We are told in Scripture that it is the responsibility of the immediate family to look after their own:

1Timothy 5:3-4 - 3 Honor widows who are truly in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God, Why, then, would Jesus assign the responsibility of caring for His mother to John, who is not one of her sons? The answer most would give is that none of her other sons were believers (see John 7:5). This is true, of course, but not for long. We know that within days or weeks, James, Jesus’ half-brother, will come to faith and eventually become a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). Why would Jesus assign the long-term care of Mary to John, knowing that James, her son, will soon come to faith?

I would suggest that our problems are solved if we see Jesus providing here for Mary’s short-term care. Surely we would agree that Jesus knew James was one of the elect. If James is one of our Lord’s “sheep,” then Jesus would know it and would not act in a way that was contrary to this knowledge. I would suggest to you that Jesus was providing for the care of His mother for the next few days or weeks. We know that John immediately began to care for Mary, because he tells us so in verse 27 (“from that very time”—literally, “from that hour”). There are those who believe that John (or his family) may have actually owned a home in Jerusalem. This could explain why John (“the other disciple”) was known to the high priest and to the servant girl at the gate (18:16). Mary, like the disciples, could have been in danger and would certainly need to be looked after for a while. John would have been the one most able and willing to carry out this task.

The next few days were going to be pure agony. We do not know for certain that Mary’s other sons were present in Jerusalem (though we would expect so—see John 7:1-9), but if they were, can you imagine what kind of comfort these unbelieving sons would have been to their believing mother?  I can almost hear James trying to comfort Mary after the death of Jesus: “Mom, you know I told Jesus to give up His insane talk about being the Messiah. He must have been out of His mind. And now, all of this foolishness was for nothing, except to shame us.” I believe that Jesus assigned John to care for Mary because he was the one closest to the heart of our Lord, and because he was the first disciple to believe (see John 20:8). He also seems to have had the means to do so. Who better to look after Mary in the next dark and difficult days than John?

 Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Something changed all this, as we can see from the statement of the centurion (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39). The three hours of darkness must have had an impact on them all, not to mention the unusual way in which Jesus died, followed by the violent earthquake of Matthew 27:51ff.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHAT DO YOU THINK IT TAKES TO GO TO HEAVEN?

4Mar

  The Jews of Paul’s day boasted in their physical circumcision, claiming it was evidence they belonged to God. Many today think something they have done, or not done is what makes them right with God. What do you think it takes to go to Heaven?  Good works, church membership, baptism, communion, Keeping the 10 commandments, I have done more good than bad? Jesus said in Matthew 7 that it has always been a matter of the heart, not the outward things that show what is really inside us.  Paul said if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Have you done that?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:17-23 NOW PILATE WROTE A TITLE AND PUT IT ON THE CROSS. AND THE WRITING WAS: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS

1Mar

John 19:17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews."'" 22 Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written." 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.

 In a 24‑hour period leading up to and including His death on the cross there were 28 specific Old Testament prophecies fulfilled to the letter, and in addition to that, there were many types fulfilled. When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled over 300 prophecies and the probability that one Person could do this is impossible, unless you are God as Jesus is. Jesus is placed in the center as He is the focus of attention. It is amazing how many three’s there are in the Bible. There are three being crucified and three titles for Jesus over His head which are actually the crime He was being killed for. The three titles are written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin to show that all of us are guilty of sin and thus all of us put Jesus on that cross, meaning we all need a Savior. The Jews get upset about the title 'The King of the Jews', but Pilate is really telling us who Jesus really is.  Have you trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  If not, why not today?  Rom 10:9-13 - Ro 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

 

Romans 8:32 says this, "God who spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all." Who delivered Jesus up? Not only the governor of Judea, but the governor of the universe. You say, "Does that mean Pilate and God are working together?" That's exactly what it means. And in no way does the vileness, unbelief, cowardice or sin of Pilate alter the plan of God. God's plans are on schedule, be they operating through sinful men or holy men. God is the author of history.

it says they led Him away. That means He willingly without resistance followed. That's what it means. There was no panic, there was no struggle. They led, He followed. Our friends, that fulfills a very specific and very minute prophecy. In Isaiah chapter 53:7 the prophet said hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born, when he didn't even know in his brain what crucifixion was, or if it existed, the prophet said, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter." You see, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah said when He goes to His death He will not be driven, He will not be dragged, He will be led. Jesus fulfilled that exactly. And like a sheep, you can't drive sheep, you can drive cattle, you cannot drive sheep, you lead sheep and thus was He led.

Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. Do you see the order right there? It says that when He dies, He'll go from prison to judgment to death. That was not normal. Normally He went from prison to judgment to prison for two days, to death. Isaiah prophesied He would go directly from His judgment to His execution, something the Romans never did but they did it this time because God said that's how it is to be done. And so, Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.

John was also the only Gospel writer to record Jesus' care for His mother (vv. 25-27) and His sixth cry before His death (v. 30).

John omitted the detail that Simon carried Jesus' cross (Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke

23:26),  which  might  have  detracted  from John's  presentation  of  Jesus  as  the  divine Savior. He also made no reference to Jesus' sufferings on the way to Calvary that Luke, who had a special interest in Jesus' humanity, stressed

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

Nu 15:36; Mt 23:31, 33; Mr. 15:21-22; Lu 23:26, 33; Heb 13:12

All the Gospel writers identified the place of Jesus' crucifixion as "the place of the skull." All but Luke gave its Aramaic title, namely, skull the transliteration of which is Golgotha. Why the place bore this name remains a mystery.

John’s statement that Jesus “went out, carrying His own cross” (verse 17) does not contradict the account of the Synoptics, which inform us that Simon of Cyrene carried our Lord’s cross to Calvary. Jesus must have taken up His cross in Jerusalem and carried it as far as outside the city. Then, at some stage of the journey to Golgotha, it must have become evident that Jesus could no longer bear the weight of His cross. He appears to have been beaten more than the two others who were crucified. It may also have been a matter of time. Time was now short, and there was pressure to get on quickly with the crucifixion. If someone were to carry our Lord’s cross for Him, they would get to Golgotha more quickly. Simon of Cyrene was on his way to Jerusalem from out in the country and was drafted to carry our Lord’s cross for Him.

In one verse (17), John takes us from the judgment seat of Pilate to the “Place of the Skull.” John does not belabor the process of crucifixion, though we know it was the most cruel form of execution devised by man.  The two robbers (whom Luke calls “criminals”) are crucified with our Lord, one on His left, and the other to His right. It seems significant that Jesus was placed in the center. Surely He was the focus of this event, as everyone seemed to know, and as those who passed by could figure out for themselves.

In Genesis chapter 22 there is a man who is a type of Christ, an Old testament type. His name was Isaac. Isaac was a type of Christ, he was a picture of Christ for Isaac was to be given as a sacrifice, just as Christ was. The beautiful thing in the story of Isaac is that you have two types of Christs, both Isaac and the ram are both types of Christ. Now notice this, Genesis 22:6, remember Isaac is a picture of Christ. "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son." Did you know that Isaac bore his own wood to his own execution? And Jesus did too or the type would have been destroyed, Jesus fulfilled it to the very letter. This is divine inspiration, my friends. This is how verbal and typical prophecy predicted to the very tiniest point the death of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 29 verse 14, "But the flesh of the bullock and his skin and his dung shall thou burn with fire outside the camp, it is a sin offering." In other words, a sin offering had to be taken outside the camp of Israel.

In the very next book, the book of Leviticus in chapter 4 and verse 12, the same thing is indicated. "Even the whole bullock shall be carried forth outside the camp unto a clean place where the ashes are poured out and burned on the wood with fire, where the ashes are poured out shall it be burned, or he be burned." Then in chapter 16 of Leviticus verse 27, it says, "And the bullock for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place shall one carry forth outside of the camp and there be burned."

In other words, the sin offerings in the Old Testament were taken outside the camp. Who then was the ultimate sin offering? Jesus Christ. Where then in order to fulfill that typical prophecy did Jesus have to die? Outside the camp. There was no way that He could ever be stoned or executed within the city walls for God had designed Him to be the perfect fulfillment of every Old Testament sin offering and they were all taken outside the camp. And thus does the writer of the book of Hebrews say in chapter 13:11, "For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin are burned outside the camp," then he said this, "wherefore Jesus also that He might sanctify the people with His own blood suffered outside the gate."

Do you know why they executed Him outside the city? Jesus had to fulfill prophecy.

In John 3:14 Jesus said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." You see? "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life." Jesus said, "I have to be lifted up.

Crucifixion has even been predicted in an exacting sense for in Psalm chapter 22, the psalmist portraying the coming death of Messiah, describes what it is like to be crucified. And he didn't have any idea of crucifixion at this point. "I am poured out like water," verse 14, "My bones are out of joint." Certainly what happens in crucifixion. "My heart is like wax, it's melted within Me." He says, "My tongue cleaves to My jaws," He's dry." And then at the end of verse 16 it says this, direct prophecy, "They pierced My hands and My feet."

The horror of His visage in His face would be nothing to look at. And that also fulfills Scripture, for Isaiah said, "There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He has no form or comeliness." And Isaiah in 53:2 when he said that was talking about His death. Isaiah predicted that He would be in an ugly presentation in death and indeed He was. Again fulfilling Scripture.

18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Isa 42:1; 49:3; 53:4-5; Joh 17:3; Ro 5:15-19; 2Pe 1:3; 1Jo 2:1

This mode of capital punishment was reserved for the lowest kind of criminals, particularly those who promoted revolution. Today, we think of the cross as a symbol of glory and victory; but in Pilate’s day, the cross stood for the basest kind of rejection, shame, and suffering.[i] It was Jesus who made the difference.

All the Gospel writers mentioned the men crucified with Jesus (Matt. 27:38, 44; Mark 15:27, 32; Luke 23:32-33, 39-43). They were evidently robbers (Gr. lestai) and terrorists, such as Barabbas (cf. 18:40). John may have mentioned them to remind his readers of the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12.

Is 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Their mention also prepares the reader to understand John's description of the breaking of their legs but not Jesus' legs (vv. 32-33).

Pilot had failed in releasing Jesus Christ and so he hands Christ over to be crucified. The phrase "hand over" continues John's play on the word "delivered, betrayed and hand over." We're continuing the same word he uses to show that it's a betrayal. If you know enough of the story, you know that Jesus carries His own cross. John underscores that with the word "His own" but the Gospel writers tell us also that Simon of Cyrene helps Him. So put together and harmonize it that Christ carries it for part of the time and Simon of Cyrene comes along and carries it another of the duration. Due to the scourging He's faced on His back, undoubtedly the wounds are gaping and it would be difficult for Him to manage that so Simon is enlisted to help

The word "Place of the Skull" is a word in Greek, cranion. It sounds like our English word cranium and that's exactly where it comes from. The Hebrew is Golgotha and ancient legend says that Adam was buried in that place. It preaches great, but it's just a legend. The Latin word for the Greek word is calvaria.  So when the Latin vulgate translated the Greek word cranion, they came up with calvaria and that's where we get the English word Calvary.

Crucifixions took different forms. We typically think of a lowercase "t" shaped cross, but a tree in a form of a "Y" or an "X" could also be used to crucify a victim. The horizontal bar that Christ carried, the Latins called it a patibullum and that would be the one beam He would carry. He probably did not carry the traditional cross like we even reenact here; the dragging of this whole apparatus. He just carried this horizontal beam. The beam then would be laid on the ground, the victim made to lay down on the ground and then either tied or secured with nails.

 There was also a block or a small saddle-like device on the vertical post that would already be in place at the Place of the Skull and so the victim was secured to this and then hoisted up on the vertical beam. The nails would not go through the Palm, but the wrist. Many of us would be familiar with carpal tunnel syndrome. Well that's about the area where you put the nail through. If you put in through the palm it would just tear through the hand and so this area would be far more substantial for the victim and it would hold him up there.

Archaeologists have also discovered what they call the crucified man from Giv'at ha-Mivtar, a twenty something-year-old male and they found pieces of a crucified individual. The notable thing is the heel, probably both heels put together and the nails driven through both heels. There's lots of ways you can crucify a victim but at least with this one there is archaeological evidence that proves that this is the way this particular person was crucified. Crucifixion was brutal. Cicero called it "the cruelest and foulest of punishments. We should perhaps notice also the words of the Jewish writer Josephus who spoke of it as ‘the most wretched of deaths." The victim is stripped naked, beaten, scourged and could hang suspended in agony between life and death for days.

 Going back to the garden, that the result of the curse was that thorns were going to be produced. Now we have the image of those thorns and Christ paying for that curse when they are jammed up on His head. We also have a naked issue here. Remember, when Adam sinned, he and the woman hid themselves. "Well why did you hide?" "Well we heard You coming. We were naked. We were ashamed so we hid." "Who told you you were naked?"

 So once they have the knowledge of good and evil from sin, they are ashamed of themselves so they hide. Well, Christ now in full shame will take that shame and die on the cross for your sin and for mine. So the crown part of the curse, the naked shame part of the curse and Christ is fulfilling those and taking them on Himself.

 The mechanism of the crucifixion, if you were tied or nailed, the problem of crucifixion was breathing; not just the torture of the way you're on the cross. The body would often be at an angle and hunched over and bent.  So to breathe, they would have to pull themselves up with either wrist and push with the feet to take a breath and then the weight of the body would of course exhale the air. This is how the person asphyxiated. If they were just tied, this could go on for days. They could die of the exposure, the dehydration, the exhaustion, and eventually would asphyxiate or would suffocate in a way, not being able to breathe.

If you are nailed, then you have the wound issue and the aggravation of pulling yourself up and down on those wounds would be unexplainable, apart from experiencing such a pain. You also had the added exposure that’s going to go along with that, so when Christ dies rather quickly that's sort of a surprise to the attending. The pain that He would endure would be excruciating and the most brutal of ways to kill a person.

In verse eighteen John mentions that two others are crucified with Him, one on either side. John does not record the dialogue that these men have with one another and with Christ, but the Synoptics do. And so we read it and we say "Why didn't John record it? That's such a great interchange."

 John has different purposes. He leaves out certain things and he includes things that the Synoptics don't. John's stress is so that you may believe. John's stress is so that the Scripture will be fulfilled. John is marshaling forth in his Gospel proof that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. John is using everything he can to prove his point that He really lived, He really died, He was really buried and He really came back from the grave so that people will believe. And when we look at verses thirty-two to thirty-six we’ll see how the criminals and the breaking of the legs play into that fulfillment of Scripture as well.

19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Mt 27:37; Mr. 15:26; Lu 23:38

20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

This sign would serve as a placard either mounted on the top of the cross or sometimes around the neck of the victim. This particular one is written in three languages. This crime identified to onlookers why He was being killed and it also would serve, would it not, as a warning. So it would serve as a warning and it would also serve to identify the crime of the individual.

Hebrew is the language of religion, Greek of philosophy, and Latin of law; and all three combined to crucify the Son of God. But what He did on the cross, He did for the whole world! In this Gospel, John emphasizes the worldwide dimensions of the work of Christ. Without realizing it, Pilate wrote a “Gospel tract” when he prepared this title; for one of the thieves discovered that Jesus was King, and he asked entrance into His kingdom.[ii]

Remember, it's Passover week. Thousands have converged upon Jerusalem. It would not be exaggerating to say that thousands of people walked by and saw the Christ and those two criminals. He was probably not, as artists often render Him, way up high in the sky. He was probably just a foot or two above ground because all you're trying to do is get the victim's feet elevated so he can't be on the ground on that vertical post and you want to show people the exasperation; the cruel treatment that a criminal gets. The most effective way to do that is up close and personal, not way high where people can't see it. That's how the Romans would have done it, it's a warning to each segment of the population.

21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews."'"

This is a deliberate insult. Pilate has been humiliated by them now he is going to humiliate them. It's clearly abuse on Pilate's part. Remember, they brought the Christ for Pilate to rubberstamp and say "Sure, crucify Him."

 But Pilate was trying to follow the Roman process for civil government. They didn't like it so in that exchange they go back and forth and finally he says,  "Fine, it's your problem." Of course they can’t carry out the crucifixion so as a last insult he sticks them in the eye with his finger and says, "King of the Jews. I'm firm. I'm not going to change that. "

 Now in this warning it continues to serve a number of things. Think about it, Pilate has condemned Jesus Christ from the governmental aspect; Caiaphas has condemned Jesus Christ from the religious aspect.

Is it not interesting that both Caiaphas and Pilate find themselves unwittingly bearing witness to the fact that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, the King of Israel?

Caiaphas gave the unconscious prophecy, remember? "It's expedient for one to die for the nation."

 Well now we have Pilate giving an unconscious prediction that He is the King of the Jews. So on the one hand while it serves as a warning to would-be criminals to the Roman empire, it also proclaims the truth. He is Jesus from Nazareth. He is the King of the Jews. And this Gentile, would-be king, Pilate, who has condemned this Jewish king Jesus, will have that role reversed one day in one of the five to seven judgments of our New Testament when the ungodly nations who do not follow Christ will be judged. I think Pilate will be among them, Pilate and Caiaphas both having their unintentional prophecies; unintentional declarations. The chief priests and the Jews are angered at what Pilate has written

22 Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

It is interesting to note the variety among the Gospels as to the exact wording of the charge placed over Jesus’ head on the cross.

  1. Matt. 27:37 - “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews”
  2. Mark 15:26 - “The King of the Jews”
  3. Luke 23:38 - “This is the King of the Jews”
  4. John 19:19 - “Jesus, the Nazarene, the King of the Jews”

Each one is different, but basically the same. This is true of most of the variety of historical detail among the Gospels. Each writer recorded his memories in slightly different ways, but they are still the same eye witness account.

The Gospels all give a slightly different inscription. Perhaps what Pilate really wrote was the sum of all these variations, and the Gospel writers each just quoted a part of the whole. Another possibility is that the Gospel writers may not have been translating the same language since Pilate ordered the charge written in three different languages. However, his trilingual notice was God's sovereign way of declaring to the whole world who His Son really was, the Jewish king whose rule is universal.

By identifying Jesus as the Jews' king and then crucifying Him, Pilate was boasting Rome's superiority over the Jews and flaunting its authority.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. Mt 27:35; Mr. 15:24; Lu 23:34

It was customary, it was typical for the attending soldiers to divide the spoils of the victim and so we have a headpiece, we have a belt, we have an outer garment and we have sandals being the four pieces that would be easily be distributed. But then we have this one piece tunic and there's no modern equivalent to the underwear type apparatus.

In other countries the men will wear sort of a long shirt underneath their outer garments. It might have a button up nice collar, but that's really the undergarment; what they put over their more decorative clothing and their suits. So it's something like that.

At least the most valuable piece of Him is that it is one piece; it's seamless. It's a very nice fabric; it's a nice piece of cloth. You wouldn't want to ruin its value by cutting it into four pieces so they agreed, "Let's roll some die and get a lot here and figure out who gets it."

 There are lots of symbolic and religious metaphors of what the importance of this seamless garment might be. The one that I have a little reference to is in John thirteen. You remember Jesus Christ strips Himself to the waist to wash His disciples’ feet, remember? Now He's stripped completely beyond His undergarment, not just to wash their feet, but to die for their sins and if anything, I think John in his wonderful narrative shows in chapter thirteen He did a "small" thing and then He washed their feet. And He says, "You don't know what I do to you. Now I'm completely stripped to die for your sins.  The shame of humanity now seen on Me and My nakedness as I die in your place with this one-piece garment." He lays aside His glory to go through the suffering; to go to the cross.

"The cloak was without seam woven from the top throughout." What's the point of putting that in there? Who cares? What's the difference?" Do you realize that in the Old Testament the garment of the high priest made of linen had to be without seam? Did you know that? That was a symbol of his total purity, there could be no seam in the garment of the high priest. Guess who is the final and faithful high priest? Jesus Christ fulfills to the very letter the symbol of the high priest, even by the note of John that He wore the garments of His priesthood.

Re 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Hanging upon that cross naked as He bore our punishment for sin. After man first sinned, nakedness became shameful (see Genesis 9:20-27; 2 Samuel 10:1-5; Isaiah 20:4). Can you imagine the humiliation our Lord endured as He hung upon that cross, with hundreds of people looking on? It is no wonder that David wrote of our Lord: “For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me” (Psalm 22:16-17, NKJV,). Our Lord bore the curse of nakedness for us, so that we might be clothed in His righteousness. Isa 61:10 ¶ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

It is John’s Gospel which most emphatically underscores the fulfillment of prophecy in the events surrounding our Lord’s death. Three times in our text John specifically informs his readers that prophecy has been fulfilled (verses 24, 36 and 37).

 Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

[i] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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