Today’s Reading: Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-9, Luke 24:1-35, John 20:1-19, Luke 24:36-44, John 20:21-29, John 21, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:45-53, Acts 1:6-26.
Highlights: “He is not here; he has risen” are the words the angel spoke to the women as they came to the tomb early on the first day of the week. Something no one really expected had happened and now their whole outlook and future is going to change dramatically.
The resurrection of Jesus is an essential truth of the Christian faith. Acts 1 tells us that Jesus was on earth for 40 days between the resurrection and ascension back into heaven, and that He was giving “many convincing proofs that he was alive” (verse 3). Several encounters that took place over the 40 day period are recorded.
Before leaving Jesus commands the apostles to take the good news into the whole world. First they are to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit who will empower and guide them in their work.
Texts: Mark 15:23-58, Luke 23:32-56, John 19:19-30, Matthew 27:39-66, Mark 15:39-45, Luke 23:47-49, John 19:31-42
Highlights: None of Jesus disciples could comprehend that Jesus would really die but in today’s reading He is in fact crucified and confirmed to be dead. His body is removed from the cross and buried. Several amazing phenomenon take place when Jesus dies. There is darkness for 3 hours. There is also an earthquake. The veil inside the temple that divides the holy and most holy place is torn in two. Finally, bodies of saints who had died are raised and they appear to many in the city.
What do you think the centurion observed that caused him to confess that truly this was the Son of God? (Matthew 27:54).
Today’s Reading: Matthew 27:11-30, Luke 23:1-31, John 18:28-40, Mark 15:6-22, John 19:1-17
Highlights: The Jews bring Jesus to Pilate for the Roman phase of the trial. The members of the Jewish Sanhedrin were in agreement on wanting to get rid of Jesus, but persuading the Roman governor would be more of a challenge. Pilate clearly does not want to crucify Jesus. He attempts to shift the responsibility to Herod but Herod gets no where with Jesus. Finally the Jews are so insistent that Pilate feels he has no other choice. He washes His hands of the matter and releases Jesus to them to be crucified.
In Luke 23 as Jesus walks toward Golgotha he says to the women weeping, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children” (28). Why does He tell them to weep for themselves? What does this teach us about Jesus?
Today’s Text: Mark 14:32-34, 43-64, John 18:1-27, Luke 22:41-71, Matthew 26:43-56, 69-74, Matthew 27:1-10
Highlights: Today we read about Jesus prayer in the Garden, His being betrayed and arrested, and Peter’s denials. Jesus is condemned in a hasty, unlawful trial before the Jewish council. The reading closes with the account of Judas’ remorse and suicide.
The formal charge against Jesus was blasphemy on the basis of His own confession: “The high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am….Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, what further need do we have of witnesses? “You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death” (Mark 14:61-64).
Jesus’ struggle in the garden is a testimony to the travail of the cross. Consider again His prayer in Luke 22:42. What exactly is He asking? Was His request an indication of weakness? How does it show His faith?
Today’s text: John 15-17
Highlights: John 15-17 are the words of Jesus as he walks from the upper room to the garden of Gethsemane. The preciousness of these words goes without saying. It is His final chance to say something to the 11 apostles before He dies. Some of the topics are the vine and branches (Jesus as the source of our spiritual life), the sending of the Holy Spirit, and the worlds hatred for Jesus and His followers. Chapter 17 Jesus prays for Himself, for His apostles, and for all who will believe in Him through their word, specifically He wants all believers to be one, so that the world might believe.
Question: The end of chapter 15 and beginning of chapter 16 speak about the world’s hatred of Jesus and His followers. What does he say at the end of chapter 16 about tribulation? Are followers of Jesus exempt? What consolation do we have?
Today’s Text: Luke 22:14-30, John 13:1-21, Matthew 26:22-25, John 13:22-38, Luke 22:31-34, John 14:1-31, Luke 22:35-38, Matthew 26:30-35
Highlights: Today’s reading is the events which took place in the upper room. Matthew and Luke mainly tell about Jesus instituting the Lord’s supper, identifying Judas as the betrayer, and foretelling Peter’s denials (will happen in just a few hours). John adds the washing the disciples feet, teaching about love, mansions in heaven, His going away, the coming of the Holy Spirit, etc. They then leave the upper room and begin the walk to Gethsemane.
Comparing the accounts we see the washing of the disciples feet was likely prompted by the disciples arguing (again!) about which one of them was the greatest.
Jesus washed their feet (even Judas’ feet) and then said “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15). Should we wash one another’s feet?
Today’s Reading: Matthew 26:1-5, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 21:37-38, John 12:37-60, Luke 22:7-13
Highlights: We are in the middle of the Passover week and the Jewish leaders are plotting to kill Jesus. Judas goes to the chief priests and agrees betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. John 12 discusses the general feelings people had about Jesus. Some were blind to the truth about Jesus, in spite of the miracles. Others believed in Him but we afraid to confess their faith.
Luke 22:7 said it was the day when the Passover must be killed and in verse 8 Jesus told Peter and John “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover”. We learned about the Passover back on January 25. Now Jesus is observing that same memorial as instructed by Moses with his apostles. Discuss your thoughts about how Jesus is observing, but also going to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament passover feast. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:7.
Texts: Mark 13:1-37; Matt 24: 1-51 and 25: 14-36; Luke 21: 8-36
Highlights – Leaving the temple, Jesus states that a time is coming when not one stone will be left upon another. The disciples ask Him about when these things will happen. Today we have Jesus response to their question. We have Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s account of Jesus answer. Some of this clearly applies to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad, some perhaps applies to His final coming or at least we could say some of the principles regarding judgment apply to either coming. Matthew 25 contains 3 parable that seem to refer to Jesus’ final coming.
What was one good thing that Jesus said would come out of the tribulations that were coming? (See Luke 21:12-13). How can remembering this motivate us to keep doing right even when it is difficult?
Today’s Text: Matthew 21:20-32, Mark 11:20-33, Mark 12:1-9, 28-44; Luke 20:9-26, Matthew 21:42-46, Matthew 22:1-33, 41-46; Matthew 23
Highlights: This takes place early in Passover week (Monday and Tuesday?) and we see Jesus teaching in the temple during the day. The Pharisees and Sadducees continue trying to trap Him with questions but He answers them all. Matthew 23 is totally devoted to Jesus’ warnings against the Jewish religious leaders. Many of the parables in this reading are directed at the Jewish leaders. All the while they are looking for a way to arrest Jesus and have him killed.
Question: The Sadducees (Matthew 22) think they can disprove the idea of life after death with their story of the woman who married 7 brothers (one after another when each died, according to the law). Why did Jesus say they were wrong?
Suppose there was such a situation. What do you think the next life would be like for the woman and her 7 husbands? (Or a woman who was widowed and married again, to give a more realistic example.) Whose wife will she be?
Today’s Text: John 12:12-19, Matthew 21:1-16, Mark 11:1-19, Luke 19:29-48, John 12:20-36
Highlights: Today we begin the final week of the life of Jesus. First there is the “triumphant entry” as Jesus enters the city riding on a donkey accompanied by the praises to the people. He cleanses the temple, performs healings, and curses a fruitless fig tree (symbolic of the nation?). John 12 contains a teaching in which Jesus describes His coming death. The scribes and Pharisees and leaders of the Jews are present at each event and are constantly criticizing all he does and looking to put him to death.
As Jesus draws near Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) He begins to weep. What specifically is He so sorrowful about?