From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/9:

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/9:

Today a complaint arises about widows in the church being neglected. So the disciples select seven men to oversee the care of the widows, allowing the twelve disciples to stay focused on prayer and ministry of the word of God. Stephen, a man of faith and full of the Holy Spirit, and who did great wonders and signs among the people, is selected as one of the seven. Philip is also selected, and we will hear more about him tomorrow.

There arose men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen who argued with Stephen. “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Then they secretly induced men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’” So Stephen is brought before the Jewish council where his face shines like an angel. When Stephen is asked to defend himself, he explains who Jesus is the same way Jesus revealed Himself to the men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) — he tells the story of the Bible. Stephen begins with the forefathers: 

Patriarch Era:

  • God called Abraham and promised land and descendants to him. The promises were passed down to Isaac and Jacob, who begot the twelve patriarchs.
  • Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave into Egypt. The Lord elevated Joseph in Egypt as a ruler who saved the nations from famine. 
  • Jacob and his family of seventy-five moved to Egypt.
  • Jacob’s family grew so much that they became a threat to Pharaoh. So Pharaoh oppressed them and killed their babies.

Exodus Era:

  • God saved Moses and raised him up to deliver His people. – “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’” 
  • The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years where God gave them the law which they did not obey.

Conquest Era:

  • Joshua brought them into the promised land.

Kingdom Era:

  • God found favor with King David, but Solomon, David’s son, built the house for the Lord.

Then Stephen turns his attention to the council – “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

When they hear the story of Jesus, their hearts burn too, like the hearts of the men on the road to Emmaus. However, instead of burning in love and hope, their hearts burn in anger because people either love Jesus or hate Him; and depending on how your heart burns for Jesus you will either receive eternal salvation or condemnation – “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

“Now Saul was consenting to his death.” 

Tomorrow, the Mission Era begins as persecution scatters the believer, and Saul has a change of heart when he personally encounters Jesus. Keep reading.  (Acts 6:1-8:1a)

14 Eras: 

Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️

Kingdom Era (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✔️

Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) ✔️

Return Era (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) ✔️

Silent Era (Inter-Testament period) ✔️

Gospel Era (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) ✔️

Church Era (Acts, the Epistles, Hebrews) ✔️

Mission Era (Acts, the Epistles, Hebrews) up next!

Era to follow:

End Times/New Beginnings

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/6:

The same day as Jesus’ resurrection, two men are walking to a village called Emmaus when Jesus appears to them and asks them why they are sad. The men’s eyes are restrained, so they don’t recognize Jesus. Therefore, they tell Jesus all that has happened the last couple of days regarding His crucifixion and the report of His resurrection by the women.

“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” So we see how Jesus gives hope to the hopeless! He reveals who He is and what he came to do by sharing His story, the story of the Bible!  

Later the men say, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” This is what happens when people hear the story of Jesus, who came on a rescue mission to save the hopeless — hearts are set on fire. So the men, with burning hearts, go and tell the other disciples, who were hiding in fear of the Jews, that Jesus is alive. While they are sharing the Good News, Jesus appears and says, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Since doubting Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared, he says he will not believe unless he sees and touches Jesus’ wounds for himself. Eight days later, Jesus gives Thomas what he thinks he needs in order to believe. Then Jesus says, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus is saying, blessed are the ones who hear an eye witness of the risen Christ and believe. That is why John writes, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Jesus appears again to a few disciples that have been unsuccessfully fishing all night. Jesus tells them to cast the net again, and when they do the net becomes so full of fish that they can’t even drag it into their boat. Then John recognizes it is Jesus and says, “It is the Lord!” When Peter realizes it is Jesus, he jumps out of the boat and swims to shore to be reunited with his friend and his Savior whom he previously denied three times. However, Jesus still loves Peter despite any past or future failures. So Jesus restores Peter and commissions him to care for His people. Then Jesus tells Peter what it is going to cost to love Him and care for His people – “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”

Peter will never again deny Jesus as Lord and Savior. He will spend the rest of His life sharing the story of Jesus with the world, even until they crucify him upside down since Peter will deem himself unworthy of dying the same death as Jesus Christ. 

But you have to love Peter. Because after the news of his certain persecution, Peter responds regarding John, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus tells Peter not to worry about John and the plans He has for him. He says to Peter, “As for you, follow me.” Jesus has specific plans for John, like He has specific plans for Peter, and like He has specific plans for all those who follow Him. Paul will later explain this in a letter the Ephesians – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

However, there is one thing all Christ followers are called to do, and that is to make disciples. Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Then He instructs His disciples to wait in Jerusalem to receive the “Promise of My Father upon you”, which is the Holy Spirit. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the disciples will be emboldened to go and make disciples of all the nations, fulfilling the commandment given by Jesus.

Tomorrow, the Gospel Era ends, leading us into the Church and Missions Eras. Keep reading. (Luke 24:13-43, Mark 16:12-13, John 20:19-23, Mark 16:14, John 20:24-21:25, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/5:

That evening, the day before the Sabbath, a prominent man named Joseph asks Pilate for Jesus’ body. Joseph and Nicodemus, the Pharisee who visited Jesus at night (John 3:1-22), prepare Jesus’ body for burial and place Him in an empty tomb. “And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.” The chief priests and Pharisees place guards out front of the tomb to secure the stone at the entrance of the tomb and to stand watch so no one will steal Jesus’ body and claim that He has risen. 

“Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.” There they find the stone rolled away, the guards frozen like dead men, and the tomb empty. Then an angel asks the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

“And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest… And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.” But Peter and John race to the tomb with John winning the race, as he makes sure to note, and all they find are linen cloths and the handkerchief that was on Jesus’ head folded together in a place by itself. Then they believe that Christ has risen and return home.

Mary stays outside the tomb weeping and Jesus appears to her, calling her by name and says, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” So Mary, commissioned by Jesus to deliver the news of His resurrection to the disciples, goes and tells them that she has seen the resurrected Christ and shares all the words He has spoken.

Meanwhile, the chief priests bribe some soldiers into lying, saying that His disciples took Jesus’ body during the night. “So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”  

Tomorrow Jesus appears to the disciples. Keep reading. (Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11, John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/4:

Jesus, being so badly wounded during the scourging, is unable to carry the cross for His crucifixion. So the Roman officers grab a man named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa who is visiting Jerusalem for the Passover, and force him to pick up Jesus’ cross and carry it as the crowds watch. Jesus tells the women weeping not to weep for Him but for themselves, knowing the fate that was to come upon Jerusalem and ultimately all who reject Him. When they arrive at Golgotha the soldiers give Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he tastes it, he refuses to drink it fulfilling Scripture that was prophesied a thousand years before (Psalms 69:21). explains why Jesus refused the wine mixed with gall – “Jesus refused this gall-laced concoction after He tasted it and realized what it was (Mark 15:23; John 19:29). In a supernatural display of courage, the Son of Man rejected anything that would numb the suffering He endured for our salvation. Sin against a holy God required extreme punishment, and, in order to completely fulfill His position as our substitute, Jesus wanted nothing that took away from that punishment. On the cross, Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). To accept wine with gall would lessen sin’s punishment, and Jesus had come to bear the full brunt of God’s wrath against sin, not to take an easier way out (Isaiah 53:10).”

Jesus is hung on a cross between two thieves and a sign is placed over His head that says, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Then the officers divide His garments and cast lots for them, fulfilling Scripture (Psalm 22:18). And while Jesus is hanging on the cross, insult after insult is hurled at Him, but Jesus responds, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

One of the thieves being crucified taunts Jesus by saying, “‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” And just like that one of the criminals receives eternal salvation by grace through faith just moments before his death. 

Before Jesus dies, He ensures that His mother, probably widowed, will be cared for by His beloved disciple, John. “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” As the eldest son, Jesus entrusts his mother to John because His brothers were not believers at this time nor were they present at His crucifixion.

”Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ 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. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

”Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God!’” The Lord tearing the veil of the temple signifies that man now has direct access to the throne of God through the works of Jesus Christ as the final sacrificial Lamb. Jesus bore the full weight of our sins on that cross, providing a way for man to be restored into a right relationship with His Father, where we are deemed righteous based on faith in His Son. 

”And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

“Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 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. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’ (Psalm 34:20, Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12). And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced’” (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 1:7).

Tomorrow, Jesus rises from the dead. Keep reading. (Mark 15:21-24, Matthew 27:32-34, Luke 23:26-31, John 19:17-18, Mark 15:25-32, Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:32-43, John 19:19-27, Mark 15:33-41, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:44-49, John 19:28-37)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/3:

While Jesus is standing before Pilate, His fourth trial, He is accused of many things such as perverting the nation, forbidding payment of taxes, and saying that He is Christ, a King. However, Jesus remains silent except to confirm that He is King of the Jews. “So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no fault in this Man.’ But they were the more fierce, saying, ‘He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.’”

“When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.” Jesus, standing trial for a fifth time in front of Herod, does not respond to the many false accusations that are hurled at Him. “Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.” 

Now Jesus is on trial for a sixth and final time. “Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.” These hypocritical Jews have no problem lying, scheming, rejecting the Messiah, and plotting the murder of an innocent Man. However, they don’t want to defile themselves by entering the headquarters of Pilate.

Pilate tells the Jews to judge Jesus according to their law, but the Jews respond, “‘It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,’ that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.” Jesus has already said that He was going to be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14). 

So Pilate questions Jesus again, asking if He is the King of the Jews. Jesus responds, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here… You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

After talking with Jesus, Pilate goes out to the Jews and says he, like Herod, finds no fault in Jesus. “‘But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ Then they all cried again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber… Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion.” So the crowds are demanding the release of a guilty criminal in place of the innocent Christ.

“Pilate answered them, saying, ‘Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.”

“While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.’ But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas!’ Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’”

“When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’ Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”

Tomorrow Jesus, the final sacrificial Lamb, is led to the slaughter — to His crucifixion. But the story doesn’t end there, so keep reading. (Mark 15:2-5, Matthew 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-12, John 18:28-40, Mark 15:6-15, Matthew 27:15-26, Luke 23:13-25, John 19:1-16, Mark 15:16-20, Matthew 27:27-31, Luke 22:63-65)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/2:

Today Jesus faces His second trial as He is brought before Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and elders are assembled. They try to get false testimony against Jesus but find none, for the false witnesses’ testimonies did not agree. 

“And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, ‘Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?’ But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ Jesus said, ‘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.’ 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. Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, ‘Prophesy!’ And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.”

Meanwhile, Peter, out in the courtyard, continues to deny belonging to Christ. While he was denying Him a third time, a rooster crowed. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

The next morning Jesus faces His third hearing before the Sanhedrin where they ask Jesus if He is the Son of God. Jesus responds,”You rightly say that I am.” The religious leaders are still plotting to put Jesus to death, and since they don’t have the authority to kill Him, “they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.” 

Judas, overwhelmed with guilt for betraying Jesus, brings the silver back to the priests and elders saying, “‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’.. Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.’ And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.’” (There are several possibilities on why Matthew said Jeremiah instead of Zechariah (11:12-13): translation issue, Jeremiah spoke the prophecy but Zechariah recorded it, or Matthew is referring to the scrolls of Jeremiah which include the Book of Zechariah. – from Blue Letter Bible). 

Tomorrow Jesus endures His fourth trial before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor over Judea. Keep reading. (Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 11/1:

“Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.’”

“And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Instead of keeping watch and praying while Jesus was so distressed that He was sweating blood, the disciples went to sleep. When Jesus finds them sleeping, He tells them to “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” However, the disciples, unaware of the fact that this will be the last time they are with Jesus before His crucifixion, fall back to sleep. So Jesus comes to the disciples a third time to wake them, “And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’”

Then Peter, now fully awake, jumps into action and cuts off the right ear of the high priest’s servant. Peter still doesn’t understand that Jesus must die in order for him and anyone else who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior to be redeemed and restored to the Lord. So Jesus tells Peter, “‘Permit even this.’ And He touched the ear of the servant and healed him.” Then Jesus tells them that He could pray to His father, the Lord, and He would provide Him with more than twelve legions of angels to help Him. However, Jesus is obedient and He willingly goes with them in order to fulfill Scripture and God’s plan for salvation.

Remember, after the fall in the garden, God promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior who would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). As a picture of this promise, God killed an innocent animal and covered Adam and Eve with its skin, illustrating that it is the shedding of the blood of the innocent that atones for the sins of the guilty (Genesis 3:21). Jesus Christ has come as that final Sacrificial Lamb, to shed His innocent blood on behalf of us, guilty sinners, serving the first blow to Satan by defeating death. The final crushing of the serpent will come upon Jesus’ return, when He will ultimately cast him into a lake of fire for eternity. 

So Jesus is taken off to the first of a six part trial, three in a religious court and three before a Roman court. The trials show the level of hatred for Jesus by the religious leaders as they break many of their own laws in an attempt to destroy Him – “And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.” 

“And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside.” Many believe that the other disciple was John. However, when Peter is brought in, the servant girl who kept the door asks if Peter is one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter responds, “I am not.” This is the first of three times Peter will deny Jesus.

We end the reading with the Annas questioning Jesus about His disciples and His teachings. Jesus responds, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” Then Jesus is struck by an officer for speaking truth, and He is bound and sent to Caiaphas, the high priest. 

Tomorrow the unlawful trials continue and Peter continues to deny Jesus. Keep reading. (John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/31:

Jesus tells His disciples that the world will hate them just as it hated Him and that there will be persecution. As Christ followers, we should not expect less. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

By grace through faith we are saved — brought from death to life. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). This is why Jesus tells His disciples it is better for them if He goes to be with the Father so He can pour the Spirit out on them. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

“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.” Jesus is going to be crucified, but then He will rise from the dead three days later defeating death. After forty more days on earth, Jesus will ascend to be with His Father in heaven. However, He will not leave His disciples alone, for He will send them the Helper, the Holy Spirit, ten days after His ascension to heaven. 

Jesus says to the disciples that the sorrow they feel now at the news of His departure will be replaced with joy upon seeing the resurrected Christ, and this joy will be sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Although they will experience various trials and persecution, they can rejoice knowing that Jesus has defeated death and ultimately the world who hates Christ followers. Jesus assures His followers, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

Jesus prays for unity for His current disciples, protection from the evil one, and sanctification by His truth, which is His word. Jesus also prays for all His future disciples who will hear His testimony and believe — “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

We see the heart of Jesus in this prayer. Although He is praying for His disciples, He is still looking out at the lost and dying in need of a Savior. In a broken world, our unity in Christ is designed to draw others to Jesus, so they may become heirs of the kingdom of God.

Tomorrow Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and put on trial. Keep reading. (John 15:18-17:26)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/30:

Since Judas has left the table to go and betray Jesus, Jesus begins looking toward the cross. Jesus does not see the cross as one might think; He looks to the cross and says “glorify” five times – “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.” Jesus knows the cross, although humiliating, disgraceful, and beyond painful, is the only way to provide salvation to the world. Jesus tells His disciples where He is going His disciples cannot come, and He urges them to love one another – “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee’” (Matthew 26:31, Zechariah 13:7).

Peter says he will never stumble, even if all others do, and that he will lay down his life for Jesus. However, Jesus responds, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.” Jesus knows Peter better than Peter knows Peter. He knows that when the situation becomes dire, Peter is going to stumble and deny Him. However, Jesus still loves him in spite of his upcoming betrayal. And Jesus won’t leave Peter in his failure. After Peter sees the resurrected Christ and is filled by the power of the Holy Spirit, he will never again deny Christ. Peter will proclaim that Jesus is Lord and the only way for salvation until the time he is crucified upside down on a cross, not deeming himself worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.

Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled for there are many mansions in His Father’s house. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” It’s hard for our finite minds to understand the Triune God which is God in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God. In an article written by Don Stewart from Blue Letter Bible, he explains how the three Persons of the trinity work together as One – “The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Holy Spirit sets apart. Yet they perform these roles in full cooperation with the other members. In each operation, all three members are present. Although the Father is preeminently the Creator, the Son and Spirit were also involved. The Son is the Redeemer, yet God the Father and the Spirit are described as sending the Son to redeem. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier, yet the Father and Son also cooperate in this work… The general teaching on the subject is that the Father is the head of Deity; the Son is the one who reveals Deity, while the Holy Spirit carries out the work of Deity… While the members of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, they have different roles or functions within the Godhead. This is known as the economic Trinity. Each performs their role with full cooperation of the other members.”

Jesus teaches about the Holy Spirit, which will be poured upon His disciples ten days after His ascension to heaven – “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you… But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The Holy Spirit working within the disciples will allow them to be rooted in Jesus Christ in order to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Jesus says to His disciples – “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” 

Jesus tells them these things so that His joy may remain in them, and that their joy may be full. Then He commands them to love one another as He has loved them, by laying down their lives for each other. Jesus reminds His disciples that He didn’t choose them just so they can sit at home full of joy; He chose them so they will go out in this world loving people well and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ so that others can experience the joy that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ – “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” 

More from Jesus tomorrow. Keep reading. (John 13:31-38, Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, John 14:1-15:17)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 10/29:

“After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.’”

Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, tells the chief priests that he will betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The Jewish leaders obviously don’t value the life of Jesus for this is the price paid to a master for a slave gored by an ox (Exodus 21:32). However, this payment amount was prophesied by Zechariah in the Return Era when the Lord commanded him to pretend to be a shepherd caring for a flock that was doomed for slaughter. The Lord was giving the people a picture of His past judgment on them for their disobedience. In the illustration, Zechariah was paid the insulting amount of thirty pieces of silver – “And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter” (Zechariah 11:13). Later, Scripture will be fulfilled when Judas feels the weight of his actions and throws the money into the temple. Then the Jewish leaders will use the money to buy a field from a potter.

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” Jesus then begins washing the feet of His disciples and tells them, “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. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’”

At the table, Jesus calls out Judas as the betrayer fulfilling Scripture – “He who eats with Me has lifted up his head against Me” (John 13:18, Psalm 41:9). “Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’ … Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.”

The disciples at the table are confused by what Jesus said – “But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor.” 

The disciples can’t see the heart of Judas. Outwardly Judas appears to be the same as they, as followers of Christ. However, as we see here, not everyone claiming to be a disciple of Jesus actually has a true love for Him over self. Many will claim to know Him, but few will actually inherit the kingdom of God. And Jesus knows the ones who belong to Him by their hearts, by their trust in Him as Lord and Savior.

Keep reading. (Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30)