Jun. 18. The Disciples Are Told of the Resurrection

Mk. 16:10, 11; Lk. 24:9-11; Jn. 20:18

When Mary and the other women told the apostles about seeing the risen Jesus, they did not believe her. “Their words seemed to them like idle tales.”

Even after being with Christ for two and three years, the apostles were not expecting His resurrection. They had not been the threat to steal His body that the Jewish leaders had feared when they asked for a guard for His tomb.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 17. The Risen Jesus Appears

Mt. 28:9, 10; Mk. 16:9; Jn. 20:11-17

Suddenly, Jesus appeared and became His own Messenger. He asked Mary Magdalene why she was weeping and for Whom was she seeking.

Failing to recognize Him and thinking that He was the gardener, she thought that He had taken Jesus’ body to another location. She said, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Mary offered to move Jesus’ body because she and the other women were on a mission to do what they could for Him and embalming Him was the final thing that they could do.

When Jesus called her name, Mary immediately knew Him. She went to tell the disciples that she had seen the Lord and to relate the things that He had said to her.

After seeing Mary, Jesus met the other women on the road and greeted them. He said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 16. The Empty Tomb!

Mt. 28:1-8; Mk. 16:1-8; Lk. 24:1-8, 12; Jn. 20:1-10

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other women came to Jesus’ tomb to finish embalming His body. It was very early in the morning and still dark even though the sun was rising.

As they approached the tomb, the women were wondering who would roll the stone away from the tomb for them. A great earthquake solved this problem. An angel from the Lord had descended from heaven and had rolled the stone back from the door and was sitting on it.

While the Roman guards were frozen like dead men, the women trembled with fear. In all of the confusion, Mary Magdalene left the others and went to get Peter and John and she neither saw the angels nor went inside the tomb.

The angel told the other women to not be afraid because Jesus had risen as He had said that He would. He then invited them to go inside to see where Jesus had lain.

As the women entered the tomb, they saw another angel sitting on the right side and again, they were startled. This angel also told them not to be afraid because Jesus of Nazareth had risen. “See the place where they laid Him.”

The angels told the women to, “Go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

As the women left, they were in a state of shock, wonder, amazement and great joy at the things they had just seen and heard.

Peter and John ran back to the tomb with Mary coming along behind them. By the time they had reached the tomb, everyone had left. John, being younger outran Peter, but he did not go inside until after Peter had entered.

It was noteworthy that the linen cloths were lying by themselves and the handkerchief that had been around the head of Jesus was folded by itself. No grave robber would have been that careful and neat.

After seeing these things, Peter and John went back to their own homes, not fully understanding the Scripture that had said that Jesus must rise again from the dead.

Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb after everyone else had left. In a state of confusion and turmoil, she bent down and looked into the “empty tomb.” It wasn’t empty.

Two angels were sitting inside, one at the head and the other at the foot where Jesus had lain. They asked Mary why she was weeping and she said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 15. Jesus Is Buried

Jun. 15. Jesus Is Buried Mt. 27:57-66; Mk. 15:42-47; Lk. 23:50-56; Jn. 19:38-42

In an ironic turn of events, the apostles of Jesus were nowhere around, but two members of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus cared for His dead body. Both of these men had been secret followers of Christ for fear of the other Jews.

Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. After checking with the centurion and learning that Jesus was dead, Pilate gave Joseph permission to take His body.

Nicodemus brought a mixture of about a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes. Myrrh was a type of resin and aloes was pulverized wood. This mixture was wrapped in the folds of linen cloth to partially embalm the body.

Jesus’ body was laid in a new tomb that Joseph had hewn out of the rock in a nearby garden. The tomb was secured by a stone, which was rolled against the door.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses had come from Galilee to be with Jesus. They observed His burial and left to prepare spices to finish anointing (embalming) the body early on the first day of the week. Since the Sabbath was approaching, they did not finish their work, but they rested according to the commandment in the Law of Moses.

The chief priests and Pharisees made a final request of Pilate. “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

Pilate granted their request and told them to “make it as secure as you know how.” A guard was placed and the stone was sealed to prevent tampering from the outside.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 14. Jesus Is Crucified

Mt. 27:35-56; Mk. 15:24-41; Lk. 23:34-49; Jn. 19:19-37

Two malefactors (robbers) were also crucified with Jesus, one on His right and the other on His left.

Jesus was crucified at the third hour (9:00 AM) on Friday, before the Passover Sabbath.

In order to legalize Jesus’ execution, Pilate had a sign printed in three languages, Greek, Latin and Hebrew stating, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

The chief priests were not pleased with the sign. They wanted it to read, “He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’”

Pilate refused to change the sign. He said, “What I have written, I have written,”

One of the perks for the four soldiers, who crucified Jesus, was to receive the clothing of the condemned. They divided everything except His Tunic. Since it could not be divided, they cast lots for it. This action also fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.

Those who witnessed His crucifixion scorned and mocked Jesus unmercifully. They called to Him to come down and save Himself if He were the Son of God. Some said that He saved others, but He could not save Himself. One of the thieves even said, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

Jesus spoke seven times from the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” He had taught during His ministry, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

After having joined in with the mockery earlier, one of the thieves realized that Jesus was the Messiah and repented of his earlier reviling. He asked if He would remember him in His kingdom. Jesus answered, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

(There are those, who suggest that since the thief was saved without baptism, it is not necessary for our salvation. Observe: Jesus lived during the Law of Moses. He had the power to do what He wanted at that time; the terms of the New Testament were not sealed until fifty-two days later on Pentecost.)

There were several women, including His mother present at the crucifixion of Jesus. At this point, He addressed her and the apostle John, “Woman, behold your son! Behold your mother!” From that time, He gave her care over to John and he took her into his own home.

At the sixth hour (Noon), darkness covered the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 PM). This was the lowest point emotionally, that our Lord suffered during His entire earthly life. After three hours of darkness, Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”) Some of those present thought He was calling for Elijah. It is impossible to grasp what it meant for Jesus, the Son of God to feel that His Father had left Him ALONE! Remember that all of His physical and mental sufferings were for US!

After a long grueling day and having lost (shed) much blood, Jesus was dehydrated. He said, “I thirst.” One man ran and got some sour wine on a sponge and gave it to Him, while others said, Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come and save Him.”

Jesus had spent thirty-three years on earth. During the last three years, He had ministered and had taught the basics of His kingdom to those who would be responsible for setting it up on the earth. He stated, “It is finished.” His mission on earth had been completed. As He shed His blood, He gave His physical life that mankind might have an eternal spiritual life.

When Jesus breathed His last, He cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He committed His spirit to God voluntarily. It was not taken from Him.

The veil of the temple was a heavy curtain that separated the holy place from the most holy place. Only the high priest was ever permitted to enter the most holy place and that was only once a year to offer a sacrifice for the people.

When Jesus died, this veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. He became High Priest by giving Himself once for all time, so there would be no need for an annual animal sacrifice for sins. With the veil being destroyed, God’s people would have constant access to the High Priest, Jesus Christ and could go through Him to God and ask at any time for the forgiveness of their sins.

Great fear came upon the centurion and the soldiers guarding Jesus when they saw the effects and felt the earthquake when He died. They said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

The crowd, having been misled by their leaders beat their breasts in anger and sorrow at what had happened and returned to their places.

Jesus’ mother and the other women who followed Him were looking on from a distance as He died.

Jewish law required that bodies not be left over night because a dead body was accursed and they did not want the next day to have that curse on it. Since the next day was the Passover Sabbath, it was especially important that the bodies be removed.

The Jews asked that the legs of those being crucified be broken in order to speed death so they could be taken down before the Sabbath.

When the soldiers found that Jesus was already dead, they did not break His legs. This fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy.

Another Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled when a soldier pierced Jesus’ side to make sure that He was dead.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 13. On the Way to Calvary

Mt. 27:31-34; Mk. 15:20-23; Lk. 23:26-33; Jn. 19:17, 18

When the soldiers had finished mocking Jesus, they removed the purple robe and replaced His own clothing on Him and led Him away to be crucified. As they began their walk, He was carrying the cross, but He was too weak to continue to carry the load.

According to Roman law, Jews could be forced to serve them without pay. Simon, a resident of Cyrene was ordered to carry Jesus’ cross. Cyrene was a city in northern Africa and was the home of many Jews who were in Jerusalem for the Passover.

A great multitude of people followed Jesus to the crucifixion, including women who mourned and lamented Him.

The place where they took Jesus to be crucified was called Golgotha in the Aramaic tongue and Calvary in the Latin language. Both terms meant Place of the Skull. It was located near Jerusalem and many believe it was a skull-shaped knoll just outside of the city. Since it was a place of crucifixions, unburied skulls were possibly found there.

As they approached Calvary, Jesus was given sour wine mixed with gall or myrrh. This may have been given to Him to deaden some of the pain. He refused to take it. If this were pain killer, Jesus probably refused it because it was the Father’s will that He should suffer so that we should not suffer eternally in hell.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 12. Remorse and Suicide of Judas

Mt. 27:3-10

Judas was probably in the crowd that witnessed the trial of Jesus. After he saw what had happened, he realized what he had done and was remorseful.

As Judas reflected upon the gravity of his sin, he took the betrayal money back to the chief priests and elders and declared the innocence of Jesus. They said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”

After throwing the money down in the temple, Judas went out and hanged himself. There were some things he should have done to show a genuine repentance. He should have gone to Jesus, even on the cross, and confessed and asked for forgiveness. Judas should have gone to the apostles and made things right with them. He could have even gone out alone and preached the divinity of Jesus. Suicide ended all hopes of correcting the sin that he had committed.

Even though deemed permissible to take money out of the treasury for the shedding of blood, Jewish tradition prevented the priests from returning it to the treasury because it was “blood money.” Instead, they purchased the potter’s field to bury strangers.

It was called the potter’s field because it had been dug up for the clay to make pottery.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 11. Jesus Faces a Roman Trial

Mt. 27:11-30; Mk. 15:2-19; Lk. 23:2-25; Jn. 18:28-19:16

Upon delivering Jesus to Pontius Pilate at the Praetorium, Pilate asked about the crime this Man had done.

The Praetorium was the palace of a provincial governor. It contained the living quarters and judgment seat of Pilate.

Since it was the Passover, the Jews did not go inside the Praetorium because upon entering a Gentile’s home, they would have become ceremonially unclean for seven days.

At first, the Jews evaded Pilate’s question by saying, “If He were not an evil doer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”

They were attempting to get Pilate to accept that Jesus was worthy of death and to execute Him without a trial. This would have assured that He would have been put to death for blasphemy. Pilate told the Jews to take Jesus and try Him under their own law.

The Jews then brought up the charge of insurrection—that Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews. In order to press this charge, they accused Him of perverting the nation (vague), forbidding paying taxes to Caesar (completely false) and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King (True, but only in a spiritual sense).

Pilate called for Jesus to be brought inside the Praetorium for private questioning. He began by asking, “Are you King of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “It is as you say.”

Pilate was perplexed and asked Jesus, “What have You done?”

After Jesus had explained that His kingdom was not of this world or His servants would have fought to protect Him, Pilate asked again if He were a king.

Jesus replied that He was and that He came into the world to bear witness of the truth. Pilate asked, “What is truth?”

Without waiting for an answer, Pilate concluded that Jesus was no threat to the Roman government and went back outside to the Jews. He stated, “I find no fault in this Man.”

The chief priests began again to accuse Jesus of many things, but He did not answer any of their charges. His passiveness amazed Pilate and he tried to get Him to defend Himself.

Pilate was in a difficult position. As a judge, he wanted to release Jesus, but as a politician, he wanted to please the people and keep the peace.

The Jews said, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

When Pilate learned that Jesus was a Galilean, he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction. Herod was in Jerusalem to gain favor with the Jews by showing respect for their Passover.

Since he and Herod were not at peace with one another, Pilate thought that sending Jesus to him would improve their relationship.

Herod was exceedingly glad to meet Jesus, for he had wanted to see Him for a long time. He had heard many things about Him and he had hoped to see Him perform a miracle.

Jesus did not answer the many questions that Herod asked Him.

The chief priests and scribes continued to press hard with their charges.

Being displeased with the reaction of Jesus, Herod and his soldiers began to mistreat and to mock Him. He then returned Him to Pilate.

Even though Herod was disappointed in his meeting with Jesus, he and Pilate became good friends after that.

Pilate desperately sought a solution to the dilemma he faced concerning Jesus and the Jews. He knew that Jesus was innocent of the charges against Him, but he wanted to please the Jews.

It was customary for the governor to release a prisoner each year at the Passover. He proposed a choice between Jesus and Barabbas, an insurrectionist, robber and murderer.

The Romans were greatly influenced by signs and dreams. Pilate’s wife urged him to have nothing to do with that just Man for she had suffered many things that day in a dream because of Him.

People, who did not know of the events of the night before, began to assemble and the chief priests and elders persuaded them to call for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked, “What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?” What will we “do with Jesus, who is called Christ?”

They replied, “Let Him be crucified!”

Pilate attempted three times to get them to allow him to release Jesus, but they repeatedly shouted out, “Crucify Him.”

At this point, Pilate decided to scourge Jesus and maybe that would satisfy the Jews. Scourging was a severe beating with whips that would sometimes tear the flesh from a person’s back.

After scourging Jesus, they placed a crown of thorns on His head and put on Him a purple robe of royalty in mockery of the King of the Jews. Pilate thought if he presented Jesus to the Jews in that wretched beaten condition, they would take pity and allow Him to be released.

The Jews said that Jesus should die because He made Himself to be the Son of God. Upon hearing that, Pilate took Jesus back inside the Praetorium and asked Him, “Where are You from?”

Jesus remained calm and did not say anything. His calm demeanor indicated to Pilate that He just might be the Son of God.

The Jews further stated to Pilate, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

When Pilate asked if he should crucify their King, the Jews said, “We have no king but Caesar.”

Pilate attempted to justify his actions and to clear himself of the blood of the Son of God by washing his hands and declaring, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

The Jews replied, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Pilate could have done the right thing, but instead, he released Barabbas and delivered Jesus to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

The “crime” that caused Jesus to be crucified was blasphemy—calling Himself the Son of God, but to make it legal for the Romans, He was actually executed as “King of the Jews.”

Today, the Jews still deny crucifying Jesus. They say that the Romans did so. This is true. However, they had it done, so they are as guilty of the murder of the Son of God as if they had actually physically done the deed themselves.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 10. Peter Denies Christ

Mt. 26:69-75; Mk. 14:66-72; Lk. 22:54-62; Jn. 18:15-18, 25-27

While Jesus was being tried before the Jews, Peter was having his own problems. He, being the impetuous person that he was could not leave completely, but followed at a distance and came to the courtyard of the high priest.

John also came along and since the high priest and his household knew him, he asked permission for Peter to go inside with them. As Peter sat by the fire warming himself, the girl who had let him in asked him if he were one of the disciples.

Peter replied, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.”

As Peter went out on the porch, a rooster crowed. After he was accused a second time of being one of them, he denied it again.

About an hour later, those who stood by said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”

Peter began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”

The rooster crowed again and the Lord turned and looked at Peter. He remembered that Jesus had said, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

Peter then went out and wept bitterly. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 9. The Jews Try Jesus

Mt. 26:57-68, 27:1, 2; Mk. 14:53-65, 15:1; Lk. 22:54, 63-23:1; Jn. 18:12-14, 19-24, 28

The soldiers bound Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God and took Him to Annas, the high priest for “trial.” Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year.

A high priest was appointed by the Roman government each year to serve a one-year term. High priests held this title for life and since Annas was probably the head of the Sadducees, he was the one the Jews looked to first.

Only a few weeks earlier, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. The Sanhedrin had feared that because of His popularity, the Romans would take away their seats in government and even their nation. Caiaphas had determined then that it was necessary that one man (Jesus) should die and not the whole nation. It was clear that He would not get a fair trial by someone who had already determined that He should die.

After brief questioning by Annas, Jesus was led to Caiaphas, where the scribes and elders were assembled.

Several false witnesses were brought in to testify against Jesus, but their testimony was not consistent and Caiaphas did not get the information that he wanted. Later, other false witnesses testified that they had heard Jesus say, “I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.” Jesus had really said, “Destroy this temple (His body), and in three days I will raise it up.”

Caiaphas asked Jesus directly, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Jesus replied, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Caiaphas pretended to be shocked and stated that Jesus had committed blasphemy. He had his evidence so he could sentence Him to death because the penalty for blasphemy at that time was death.

As Jesus stood before them blindfolded, the people began to spit on, slap and mock Him. They called out, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

The Jews could condemn a person to death, but they could not execute him without permission from the Roman government. Since the Romans did not count blasphemy as a crime, it was necessary to present a charge that would get their attention.

They decided to twist Jesus’ assertion that He was the Christ to make it seem as though He were going to rebel against the Roman government. By then, it was daylight Friday morning and the Jews led Jesus to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 8. Jesus Is Betrayed, Arrested and Forsaken

Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-11

As He spoke to Peter, James and John the third time, Jesus could see Judas and a multitude of soldiers, high priests, captains of the temple and the elders coming to take Him. They were heavily armed with swords, clubs and lanterns.

Even though Jesus was well known, it was possible that in the confusion and darkness, the soldiers might seize the wrong person. In order to prevent this, Judas had given the signal, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One: seize Him.”

As Judas and the mob approached, Jesus went forward and asked, “Whom are you seeking?”

When they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus replied, “I am He.”

Upon hearing Jesus’ answer, the soldiers in their fear drew back and fell to the ground. The Son of God was awesome in the face of great peril and they were not expecting Him to be that brave.

Jesus repeated His question and after the soldiers answered, He again identified Himself and asked that His disciples be allowed to go their way.

Judas had been shown to be worthless even as a betrayer because Jesus had already identified Himself twice to the mob. As he approached to carry out his deal, Jesus exposed him as a betrayer by asking him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

After the betrayal kiss, the soldiers came and seized Jesus. At this time, Peter’s loyalty and courage did come into place as he drew his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest. This was not necessary. If God had wanted to, He could have sent an army of angels to rescue Jesus. He healed the servant’s ear and said to Peter, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

The Jews had opportunities to take Jesus while He taught in the Temple. Instead, they waited until night and in secrecy and with a multitude of heavily armed people, they took Him like a robber. By this, they admitted that He was no ordinary man. In taking Him in this manner, they fulfilled Old Testament Scriptures.

At that point, the apostles all forsook Jesus and fled, just as He had said that they would be scattered that night.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 7. Jesus and His Disciples Go to the Garden of Gethsemane

Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1

At a late hour on Thursday night, Jesus and His disciples went to Gethsemane. Earlier, they had met in an upper room where they had observed the Feast of the Passover and He had instituted the Lord’s Supper. He had spent a long time that night with the apostles preparing them for the events which were to take place soon.

Gethsemane was a garden about one-half mile from Jerusalem and was a place where Jesus often went when He was in the area. It was at the foot of the Mount of Olives and had at one time been a place of oil presses.

Jesus was heavily distressed and instructed the apostles to sit while He went a little farther to pray. He took Peter, James and John with Him and left them at another place to watch while He went and prayed.

As Jesus prayed, the human side of Him being distressed prayed for that cup of suffering to be taken away from Him. Even then, He left it up to God that His will be done.

Earlier that evening, Peter had boasted of his loyalty and courage, but when Jesus returned, He found His three most trusted apostles asleep. As He scolded the men, He warned Peter to be on guard. He said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus returned to pray the same prayer twice more and each time, He returned and found the three apostles asleep.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 6. The Lord’s Prayer for His Believers

Jn. 17:1-26

When Jesus had finished speaking to the apostles, He turned to God in prayer. He began by praying for Himself that God would glorify Him by bringing Him through the events that He was facing and by returning Him to the status that He had before the creation of the world, so He could give eternal life to mankind.

Jesus reported to God that He had finished the work that had been given Him to do on the earth. He had revealed God’s name and taught God’s word to the apostles whom He had received from Him.

Since He was not going to be with the apostles, Jesus prayed for their care and protection from the world and that they would remain united as one, just as God and Jesus are one. He prayed that they would be protected from the evil one (Satan) and be sanctified (set apart) from the world by God’s truth.

Jesus had been set apart by God to be His messenger to the world. The apostles were set apart by Jesus to be His messengers to the same world.

After Jesus had prayed for Himself and the apostles, He turned His attention to the needs of those who would hear His word in the future. He prayed that they would be one, as the Father and Jesus are one in each other and that they would be with Him and behold His glory (be saved in heaven).

Jesus prayed for the unity of His believers and that through this unity, the world would know that God had sent Him and that God loved them as He had loved Jesus.

What happened? There are hundreds of different groups claiming to be Christians, but not united. The people of the world look at all of the divisions and contradictions in the religious world and say, “If that is Christianity, I don’t want any part of it.” Our responsibility is to obey the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

#chronological-bible-study

Jun. 5. Jesus’ Farewell Message to His Disciples

Jn. 14:1-16:33

After Judas had left, Jesus had a last conversation with His disciples. He had just informed them that Judas would betray Him; He was going to leave them; Peter would deny Him and they all would stumble because of Him that night.

The apostles were troubled and sad and Jesus took this opportunity to calm their nerves and to comfort them. They should put their faith in God and Jesus. He was going to prepare a place for them and then come back to get them.

Thomas did not understand where Jesus was going or how to get there. He was looking for a path for his feet—not for his heart or soul. Jesus pointed out that He was the way to the Father and to know Him was to know the Father.

Philip, looking for a visual revelation of God, asked Jesus to show them the Father. He explained that if they had seen Him, they had seen the Father for He is in the Father and the Father is in Him.

Jesus promised that whatever they would ask in His Name, He would grant.

Since Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He promised to send them a Helper (Holy Spirit) to teach and remind them of the things that they had learned during the time that He was with them. We receive help from the Holy Spirit by studying the Scriptures that He inspired men to write and record in the Bible.

Jesus continued by telling the apostles that He was leaving His peace with them. This was a complete inner peace—the same that He had. He did not promise that this peace would overcome persecution, but that it would give them an inner calm during persecution, which would help them to endure.

The reason Jesus told the disciples about the things that would soon take place was to strengthen their faith when the events actually did occur.

Jesus referred to Himself as the true vine, the source of nourishment for the branches. The branches (disciples) had been cleansed by the word that He had taught them. Future disciples would receive that same nourishment by hearing, believing and obeying that same word.

God will cut off the dead branches and those that fail to bear fruit and burn them. This shows the importance of disciples continuing to abide in Christ for nourishment and for allowing Him to abide in them. Many in the religious world today say that Jesus is the vine and the different churches are the branches. He said that He was the vine and that disciples (Christians) are the branches.

In His farewell remarks, Jesus spoke of the importance of love and of His love for the disciples. The greatest expression of one’s love is that he lay down his life for his friends. It was through His love that He gave His life for His friends and also for His enemies.

One can know that he loves Jesus if he keeps His commandments. Obedience should be because of love and a desire to please a friend instead of obeying out of a sense of duty. He further admonished the disciples to love one another.

Jesus warned the apostles about things to come, so they would not be caught off guard, but would be able to endure. The world (all who rejected Jesus and His teachings) would hate them. This would be good, since the world loves its own and this would mean that they were not a part of the world.

The Psalmist prophesied, “They hated Me without a cause.” Jesus stated that the Jews were fulfilling this prophecy by their rejection of Him and His teaching. By rejecting Him, they were also rejecting the Father, God.

Again, Jesus reminded the apostles that He would send the Helper (Holy Spirit) to help them testify of the things of Him.

The persecutions that the apostles were to endure would be because of the ignorance of the Jews. They would mistakenly think that they knew God and that He was pleased with their actions.

Jesus reminded the disciples again that He was going away to God. He explained to them that He must go because the Holy Spirit could not come until after He had left them.

The Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He would use the apostles as His mouthpiece and guide them to convince the world that the fatal sin is to fail to believe in Christ.

A belief in Christ would lead to obedience, forgiveness and eternal life. The least sin, not forgiven leads to death, while the greatest sin, if forgiven is as if it had never occurred.

Jesus lived a righteous life and man must try to attain that same righteousness in order to be with the Father. He was commissioned or ordained to be man’s Judge when He was later resurrected from the dead. In the resurrection, Christ bruised the head of the serpent.

There were other things that the apostles needed to know, but they were not ready for them at that time. They were promised that when the Holy Spirit came, He would guide them into all truth.

Jesus said, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

The apostles were puzzled at the statement Jesus had just made to them. He was referring to His death, which was near, and they would sorrow because they would not see Him. The enemies of Jesus would rejoice because He would be dead.

His resurrection was also near and they would see Him again and be joyful. This would go even farther than the brief time that He was with them after the resurrection. There would also be a spiritual communion with Jesus after He had returned to heaven.

Jesus further explained the coming events by comparing them to a woman in labor and the joy of giving birth. He would endure extreme physical and emotional pain and the disciples would experience sorrow during His death.

The resurrection would bring a new beginning and as they began to understand, they would be joyful as the new mother is joyful at the birth of her child.

Jesus renewed His promise that whatever they asked in His name, the Father would give them. He would then be their intercessory with the Father.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had spoken many things to the apostles in figurative language. At this point, they understood plainly that He had come from heaven and that He would return to heaven.

The apostles made a three-part confession of their faith by telling Jesus, “Now we are sure that You know all things; and have no need that anyone should question You; by this we believe that You came forth from God.”

Jesus told the apostles that even with their faith in Him, they would be scattered, each to his own, but He would not be alone. The Father would be with Him. He then declared victory. “In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

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Jun. 4. Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

Mt. 26:31-35; Mk. 14:27-31; Lk. 22:31-38; Jn. 13:31-38

Jesus also pointed out that the disciples would stumble because of Him that night. Peter argued that if all stumbled, he would not stumble. Jesus replied that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster had crowed twice.

Peter continued to protest. “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” The other disciples agreed with Peter.

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