In this passage on the Road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to Cleopas and another follower (vs 13-18). The two men were downcast (vs 17), had lost their hope in Christ as the Messiah and redeemer (vs 21), and were slow to believe the women's testimony and the prophecies (vs 22-24). However, Jesus brought them to the realization that "the Messiah [had] to suffer these things and then enter His glory" (vs 26) and then explained the Scriptures to them (vs 27). These two then became excited and joyful witnesses of the resurrection, now with a clear understanding of the Truth (vs 33-35).
Monday, November 18, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Jesus was buried in a tomb on Friday by Joseph of Arimathea (vs 50-56), another fulfillment of prophecy - Isaiah 53:9. But, on Sunday, when the women came to anoint the body with spices, they found the stone rolled away from the tomb and no body. Instead, angels told them that "He has Risen!" (vs 24:1-8). The women went to tell the disciples, and Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself (vs 9-12).
The resurrection is a foundational pillar of the Christian faith, and this passage provides much evidence to support the truth of this miraculous event.
Monday, November 04, 2013
In the midst of pain and suffering facing DEATH through the cruelty of crucifixion, Jesus still showed his love and compassion for others:
- Warning the women of difficult times that are to come (vs 27-31)
- Asking for forgiveness for His tormenters (vs 34)
- Saving the criminal who believed in Him (vs 40-43)
There were various reactions in the passage from the women (vs 27,49), the soldiers (vs 26, 36-37), the two criminals (vs 39-43), the crowds (vs 27, 35, 48), the religious leaders (vs 35), Pilate (vs 38), the centurian (vs 47), and His followers (vs 49). We may wonder which of these we would have associated with had we been there ourselves.
Despite the darkness, Christ fulfilled prophecy, endured the sufferings for our sakes, loved us, took on Himself the penalty for our sins, and gave us direct access to the Father through His death as symbolized through the torn veil (vs 45).
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Jesus was then taken to the Roman Governor Pilate for trial, because only Romans had authority in DEATH sentences (vs 1). The Jewish assembly brought false charges and continually insisted on the accusations, even when Pilate and Herod found no basis for the charges against Jesus (vs 2-16). Though Jesus was innocent, He suffered unjust insults, mocking, and scourging. Then the chief priests, rulers, and people asked for the release of the rebel and murderer Barabbas during the customary release of the prisoner during Passover instead; and shouted for the crucifixion of Christ. Pilate succumbed to the demands of the religious leaders and the people and "surrendered Jesus to their will." Darkness continued to reign.
Monday, October 21, 2013
As Jesus said, "darkness is reigning", for we see:
- Peter, one of Jesus' closest disciples, fail the sifting from Satan by denying Christ three times as predicted (vs 54-61). While Peter wept bitterly here, we know that he is reinstated by Christ after the resurrection (ref. John 21) and goes on to become a great leader in the Early Church, having turned back to Christ after his fall
- Guards mock and beat Jesus (vs 63-64)
- The religious leaders in the Sanhedrin, blinded to the truth about Jesus, condemn Him of blasphemy even through He truly was the Messiah and Son of God (vs 66-71)
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Jesus warned Simon Peter of the testing that would come; but also encouraged him that He has prayed that his faith would not fail and afterwards, he will use what he has learned to strengthen others (vs 31-34). Jesus also warned the disciples to be prepared for the coming challenges after He fulfilled prophecy on the cross (vs 35-38).
Then in agony, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane at the Mt of Olives, as the disciples slept when they should've also been praying (vs 39-46). There, Judas led an armed group of chief priests, temple guards, and elders to Jesus and betrayed Him with a kiss (vs 47-53). Referencing the events now leading to the cross, Jesus said to the religious leaders, "This is your hour—when darkness reigns."
Monday, October 07, 2013
It is Passover, and Jesus will be the once-for-all final Passover lamb. Satan entered Judas Iscariot, who consented to betray Jesus for money (vs 1-6).
During the Last Supper, Jesus took the bread and the cup and told His apostles to "do this in remembrance of Me", that when we eat of it and drink of it, we will remember that His body was given and His blood was shed for us (vs 7-20).
Jesus revealed that one of them would betray Him. Yet, the disciples' discussion about who was the betrayer was followed with a dispute over who was the greatest. And Jesus emphasized that they should be servant leaders, just as He has been their example (vs 21-27). Though, they will be rewarded for standing by Him in His trials (vs 28-30).
Monday, September 30, 2013
As Jesus spoke to His disciples about the coming destruction of the temple (vs 5-6), which was historically fulfilled near-term in 70AD, He also answered their question about the sign of the End Times (vs 7). Following are some of the signs (vs 8-11,20,25-26):
- False "Messiahs"
- Wars and Uprisings
- Earthquakes, Famines, Pestilences, and fearful events/signs from Heaven
- Jerusalem surrounded by enemies and Abomination of Desolation
- Signs in Sun, Moon, and Stars
- Nations in anguish
- Sea tossing
- Heavenly Bodies shaken
The End Times will be "time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written", a dreadful time of death and captivity and trampling (vs 21-24). And then, Jesus will come "in a cloud with power and great glory" (vs 27)
He also warned them of coming persecution and betrayal; but also assured them that He would give them "words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict" and encouraged them that they would not perish and should stand firm (vs 12-19). When the End Times occur, they can stand with joy for their "redemption is drawing near" (vs 28).
With a parable of the fig tree, He assures them that the signs will indicate that "the kingdom of God is near" and prophecy will be fulfilled (vs 29-32). He warns them to not be weighed down by the world and to always be ready (vs 34-36).
Jesus continued teaching, showing his compassion for the people, even though His end on earth was near (vs 37-38).
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
As the verbal "battles" between the religious leaders and Jesus continued, the Sadducees posed a scenario and question on Levirite marriage, which in their minds expose the absurdity of resurrection (vs 27-33). However, Jesus answered in such a way that showed that they are not only incorrect in their views on the resurrection, but also on angels and how things will be in eternity (vs 34-38). In this round, He was once again able to silence His opponents (vs 39-40).
Jesus, then, posed a question about the Messiah; which showed that though He was a descendent of the line of David when He came to earth as a Man; but, that He was also Lord and God (vs 41-44). Jesus also gave a warning to His disciples against the hyprocrisy of false teachers (vs 45-47).
Then, Jesus commended a poor widow who demonstrated sacrificial giving (vs 21:1-4)
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Despite knowing that His DEATH on the cross was within a few days, Jesus still taught in the temple proclaiming the gospel, thus showing His heart for the lost (vs 1). In several rounds of verbal "battles" with the religious leaders, Jesus makes a point on His divine authority without having to answer directly (vs 2-8); through a parable, clearly shows that the religious leaders will be killing the Son of God, the Cornerstone (vs 9-19); and wisely shows that we are to "give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s" (vs 20-26)