Resurrection Sunday – Don’t Say Easter!

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Mark 16:1-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Resurrection

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8 They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The MacArthur Study Bible and The Reformation Study Bible provide excellent notes on the Bible, as shown below. Along with the Ryrie Study Bible, Scofield Study Bible, Jeremiah Study Bible, Holman Christian Study Bible and The Complete Jewish Bible, any serious student of God’s Holy Word is provided with a credible library of God’s Holy Word. Consider using the following translations: NASB, ESV, NIV, HCSB, NKJV for critical study of scripture.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes:

16:1 Sabbath was past. The Sabbath officially ended at sundown on Saturday, after which the women were able to purchase spices. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. See note on Matt. 27:56. Luke mentions that Joanna and other women were also there (Luke 24:10; cf.15:41). spices. The women bought more spices in addition to those prepared earlier (cf. Luke 23:56; John 19:39, 40). anoint.Unlike the Egyptians, the Jewish people did not embalm their dead. Anointing was an act of love, to offset the stench of a decaying body. That the women came to anoint Jesus’ body on the third day after His burial showed that they, like the disciples, were not expecting Him to rise from the dead (cf. 8:31; 9:31;10:34).
16:2 when the sun had risen. John 20:1 says that Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. She may have gone on ahead of the other women, or the whole party may have set out together while it was still dark and arrived at the tomb after sunrise.
16:3 Who will roll away the stone. Only Mark records this discussion on the way to the tomb. The women realized they had no men with them to move the heavy stone (v. 4) away from the entrance to the tomb. Since they had last visited the tomb on Friday evening, they did not know it had been sealed and a guard posted, which took place on Saturday (Matt. 27:62–66).
16:4 the stone had been rolled away. This was not to let Jesus out, but to let the witnesses in. The earthquake when the angel rolled away the stone (Matt. 28:2) may have affected only the area around the tomb, since the women apparently did not feel it.
16:5 entering the tomb. The outer chamber, separated from the burial chamber by a small doorway. young man clothed in a long white robe. The angel, having rolled away the stone (Matt. 28:2), had then entered the burial chamber. Luke records that there were two angels in the tomb; Matthew and Mark focus on the one who spoke.
16:6 Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. Better, “the Nazarene” (see note on Matt. 2:23). The inspired account leaves no doubt about who had been in the tomb. The idea of some unbelievers that the women went to the wrong tomb is ludicrous.He is risen! Christ’s resurrection is one of the central truths of the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:4) and the only plausible explanation for the empty tomb. Even the Jewish leaders did not deny the reality of the empty tomb, but concocted the story that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body (Matt. 28:11–15). The idea that the fearful (John 20:19), doubting (vv. 11, 13; Luke 24:10,11) disciples somehow overpowered the Roman guard detachment and stole Jesus’ body is absurd. That they did it while the guards were asleep is even more preposterous. Surely, in moving the heavy stone from the mouth of the tomb, the disciples would have awakened at least one of the soldiers. And in any case, how could the guards have known what happened while they were asleep? Many other theories have been sinfully invented over the centuries to explain away the empty tomb, all of them equally futile.
16:7 and Peter. Peter was not singled out as the leader of the disciples, but to be reassured that, despite his denials of Christ, he was still one of them. He is going before you into Galilee…as He said. See note on 14:28. The disciples’ lack of faith made them slow to act on these words; they did not leave for Galilee (Matt. 28:7, 16) until after Jesus repeatedly appeared to them in Jerusalem (cf. Luke 24:13–32; John 20:19–31).
16:8 afraid. They were overwhelmed by the frightening appearance of the angel and the awesome mystery of the Resurrection.

Reformation Study Bible Notes:

16:1 Sabbath was past. At sunset (6:00 p.m.) on Saturday evening, a time appropriate for buying spices but not for visiting tombs.
anoint. Anointing was a way of showing affection (14:8 note), as in the West today one sends flowers.
16:3 Who will roll away the stone. They had seen the “very large” (v. 4) stone put in its place.
16:5 entering the tomb. They entered the vestibule of the burial chamber, at the far end of which was the individual niche (a bench or shelf) where Jesus’ body had been laid. young man. Matt. 28:2 says the women met an angel at the tomb.
16:6 He has risen. If the Gospel of Mark reaches its climax in the confession that Jesus is the Son of God (15:39 note), a second climax is reached with the declaration of His resurrection, which attests that His preaching concerning the coming of the kingdom in power is true. See notes 1:15 and 9:1; “The Resurrection of Jesus” at Luke 24:2.
16:7 and Peter. These two words make all the difference in the enormous role that Peter would play in the subsequent history of redemption. By them Mark indicates, as he brings his Gospel to an end (16:9–20 note), that Jesus’ work of preparation of the Twelve will not be lost.

Matthew 28:1-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Is Risen!

1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
11 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes:

28:1 as the first day of the week began to dawn. Sabbath officially ended with sundown on Saturday. At that time the women could purchase and prepare spices (Luke 24:1). The event described here occurred the next morning, at dawn on Sunday, the first day of the week. other Mary. The mother of James the Less.
28:2 a great earthquake. The second earthquake associated with Christ’s death (27:51). This one may have been confined to the immediate area around the grave, when “an angel” supernaturally “rolled back the stone from the door”—not to let Jesus out, for if He could rise from the dead, He would need no help escaping an earthly tomb, but to let the women and the apostles in (v. 6).
28:4 became like dead men. This suggests that they were not merely paralyzed with fear, but completely unconscious, totally traumatized by what they had seen. The word translated “shook” has the same root as the word for “earthquake” in v. 2. The sudden appearance of this angel, at the same time the women arrived, was their first clue that anything extraordinary was happening.
28:6 Come, see the place where the Lord lay. See note on Luke 24:4 for the order of these events as gleaned from all 4 gospels.
28:7 there you will see Him. See vv. 10, 16; 26:32; John 21:1–14. This does not mean they would not see Him until then. He was seen by the apostles several times before they saw Him in Galilee (Luke 24:15, 34, 36; John 20:19, 26). But His supreme post-resurrection appearance was in Galilee, where “He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Cor. 15:6).
28:9 Jesus met them. For a summary of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances, see note on Luke 24:34.
28:10 My brethren. I.e., the disciples.
28:11 reported to the chief priests. The Jewish leaders’ determination to cover up what had occurred reveals the obstinacy of unbelief in the face of evidence (Luke 16:31).
28:12 a large sum of money. Lit. “silver” (cf. 26:15). The bribery was necessary because the soldiers’ story, if true, could cost them their lives—since they were charged with guard duty under Pilate’s personal orders (27:65). The Jewish leaders also promised to cover for the soldiers if the false story they spread leaked back to Pilate (v. 14).
28:13 while we slept. The story was obviously bogus, and not a very good cover-up. They could not possibly know what had happened while they were asleep.

Reformation Study Bible Note:

28:11–15 This incident shows that clear evidence may have no effect on those who are committed to unbelief. That the story of the disciples stealing Jesus’ body was still circulated in the days of Justin Martyr (c. 160) indicates something of the desperation felt by Jewish leaders in explaining the empty tomb.

Luke 24:1-49 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Resurrection

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.

The Road to Emmaus

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

Other Appearances

36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them,“Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
MacArthur Study Bible Notes:
24:1 bringing the spices. See note on 23:55. The women were not expecting to find Jesus risen from the dead; their only plan was to finish anointing His body for burial. See note on Mark 16:1.
24:2 the stone rolled away. Matthew 28:2–4 records that an earthquake occurred and an angel rolled the stone away. The Roman guards fainted with fear. Mark, Luke, and John make no mention of the guards, so it appears they fled when they awoke to find the empty tomb. The women must have arrived shortly after.
24:4 two men. These were angels. Only Luke mentioned them both (see note on Mark 16:5). Mark was concerned only with the one who spoke for the duo. Such minor differences in the gospel accounts are all reconcilable. Here’s a summary of the events of the resurrection, assembled from all 4 evangelists’ accounts: Finding the stone rolled away, the women entered the tomb, but found it empty (v. 3). While they were still in the tomb, the angels suddenly appeared (v. 4; Mark 16:5). The angel who spoke reminded them of Jesus’ promises (vv. 6–8), then sent them to find Peter and the disciples to report that Jesus was risen (Matt. 28:7, 8; Mark 16:7, 8). The women did as they were told (vv. 9–11). The disciples were skeptical at first (v. 11), but ran to where the tomb was, John arriving first (John 20:4), but Peter actually entering the tomb first (John 20:6). They saw the linen wrappings intact but empty, proof that Jesus was risen (v. 12; John 20:6–8). They left immediately (v. 12; John 20:10). Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, and was standing outside weeping when Christ suddenly appeared to her (John 20:11–18). That was His first appearance (Mark 16:9). Sometime soon after that, He met the other women on the road and appeared to them as well (Matt. 28:9, 10). Later that day He appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (vv. 13–32), and to Peter (v. 34). For a chronological listing of all His post-resurrection appearances, see note on v. 34.
24:9 all the rest. I.e., other disciples, mostly from Galilee, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover.
24:10 Mary Magdalene. See note on 8:2. She was the first to see Jesus alive (Mark 16:9; John 20:11–18). See note on v. 4.Joanna. Her husband was Herod’s steward. See note on 8:3.Mary the mother of James. See note on Matt. 27:56. the other women. They are never explicitly identified (cf. 23:49, 55).
24:13 two of them. These evidently were not any of the 11 disciples. According to v. 18, one was named Cleopas. Emmaus. Mentioned nowhere else in Scripture. Its exact location is not known, but tradition says it is a town known as Kubeibeh, 7 mi. NW of Jerusalem.
24:16 their eyes were restrained. I.e., they were kept by God from recognizing Him.
24:18 Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem. The crucifixion of Jesus was already such a well-known event around Jerusalem that they were shocked that He seemed not to know about it.
24:21 But we were hoping. They had been looking for an immediate earthly kingdom. With Jesus crucified, they were probably struggling with doubt about whether He was the Messiah who would reign. But they still regarded Him as a true prophet (v. 19). the third day. There may have been a glimmer of hope in these words. They had heard rumors of His resurrection already (vv. 22–24). Perhaps Cleopas recalled the Lord’s promises of 9:22; 18:33. More likely, however, it seems this was his way of expressing surprise that this Stranger did not yet know the news everyone else in Jerusalem had been discussing for the past 3 days.
24:24 certain of those who were with us. I.e., Peter and John (see note on v. 12). but Him they did not see. This was true. Evidently Cleopas and his companion had not heard about the appearance to Mary Magdalene (see note on v. 4).
24:26 Ought not. I.e., “Was it not necessary?” OT prophecies spoke often of a suffering servant of God (see note on v. 27).
24:27 Moses and all the Prophets. Verse 44 gives the 3-fold division; this expression is merely a shortened way to say the same thing. in all the Scriptures. In the inscrutable wisdom of divine providence, the substance of Christ’s exposition of the OT messianic prophecies was not recorded. But the gist of what He expounded would have undoubtedly included an explanation of the OT sacrificial system, which was full of types and symbols that spoke of His sufferings and death. He also would have pointed them to the major prophetic passages which spoke of the crucifixion, such as Ps. 16:9–11; 22; 69; Is. 52:14—53:12; Zech. 12:10; 13:7. And He would have pointed out the true meaning of passages like Gen. 3:15; Num. 21:6–9; Ps. 16:10; Jer. 23:5, 6;Dan. 9:26—and a host of other key messianic prophecies, particularly those that spoke of His death and resurrection.
24:30 took bread. A simple expression, meaning to share a meal (v. 35).
24:31 their eyes were opened. I.e., by God. They had been sovereignly kept from recognizing Him until this point (cf. v. 16). His resurrection body was glorified, and altered from its previous appearance (see John’s description in Rev. 1:13–16), and this surely explains why even Mary did not recognize Him at first (cf.John 20:14–16). But in this case, God actively intervened to keep them from recognizing Him until it was time for Him to depart. He vanished from their sight. His resurrection body, though real and tangible (John 20:27)—and even capable of ingesting earthly food (vv. 42, 43)—nonetheless possessed certain properties that indicate it was glorified, altered in a mysterious way (cf. 1 Cor. 15:35–54; Phil. 3:21). Christ could appear and disappear bodily, as seen in this text. His body could pass through solid objects—such as the grave clothes (see note on v. 12), or the walls and doors of a closed room (John 20:19, 26). He could apparently travel great distances in a moment, for by the time these disciples returned to Jerusalem, Christ had already appeared to Peter (v. 34). The fact that He ascended into heaven bodily demonstrated that His resurrection body was already fit for heaven. Yet it was His body, the same one that was missing from the tomb, even retaining identifying features such as the nail-wounds (John 20:25–27). He was no ghost or phantom.
24:34 appeared to Simon. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:5–8. Scripture describes at least 10 distinct appearances of Christ between the resurrection and ascension. He appeared to: 1) Mary Magdalene at the tomb (Mark 16:9; John 20:11–18); 2) to the women on the road (Matt. 28:9, 10); 3) to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (vv. 13–32); 4) to Peter (v. 34); 5) to 10 of the 11 disciples, Thomas being absent (vv. 36–43; Mark 16:14; John 20:19–25); 6) to the 11 disciples (with Thomas present) 8 days later (John 20:26–31); 7) to 7 disciples by the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1–25); 8) to more than 500 disciples, probably on a mountain in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; see note on Matt. 28:16); 9) to James (1 Cor. 15:7); and 10) to the apostles when He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:3–11). After His ascension, He appeared to Paul (1 Cor. 15:8). The next time He appears it will be in glory (Matt. 24:30).
24:36 Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them. The doors were closed and locked (John 20:19). See note on v. 31.
24:39 Behold My hands and My feet. He was showing them the nail wounds to prove it was really Him. Cf. John 20:27.
24:45 opened their understanding. He undoubtedly taught them from the OT, as He had on the road to Emmaus (see note on v. 27). But the gist of the expression also seems to convey a supernatural opening of their minds to receive the truths He unfolded. Whereas their understanding was once dull (9:45), they finally saw clearly (cf. Ps. 119:18; Is. 29:18, 19; 2 Cor. 3:14–16).
24:46–53 This section contains several ideas that are echoed in the opening of Acts, including Christ’s suffering and resurrection (v. 46; Acts 1:3); the message of repentance and remission of sins (v. 47; Acts 2:38); the disciples as His witnesses (v. 48; Acts 1:8); the Promise of the Father (v. 49; Acts 1:4); tarrying in Jerusalem (v. 49; Acts 1:4) and the beginning of gospel outreach there (v. 47; Acts 1:8); power from on high (v. 49; Acts 1:8); Christ’s ascension (v. 51; Acts 1:9–11); the disciples’ return to Jerusalem (v. 52; Acts 1:12); and their meeting in the temple (v. 53; Acts 2:46).

Reformation Study Bible Notes:

24:1 the first day of the week. This began at sunset on Saturday. The women would have had the hours of darkness to complete their preparations before setting out for the tomb at daybreak.
24:2, 3 A stone tomb would be closed by rolling a stone in front of the opening (Mark 15:46 note). Matthew notes that a seal was placed on the stone (Matt. 27:66).

John 20:1-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Empty Tomb

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there,7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!”She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Jesus among His Disciples

19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again,“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

MacArthur Study Bible Notes:

20:1–31 This chapter records the appearances of Jesus to His own followers: 1) the appearance to Mary Magdalene (vv. 1–18); 2) the appearance to the 10 disciples (vv. 19–23); and 3) the appearance to Thomas (vv. 24–29). Jesus did not appear to unbelievers (see 14:19; 16:16, 22) because the evidence of His resurrection would not have convinced them as the miracles had not (Luke 16:31). The god of this world had blinded them and prevented their belief (2 Cor. 4:4). Jesus, therefore, appears exclusively to His own in order to confirm their faith in the living Christ. Such appearances were so profound that they transformed the disciples from cowardly men hiding in fear to bold witnesses for Jesus (e.g., Peter; see 18:27; cf. Acts 2:14–39). Once again John’s purpose in recording these resurrection appearances was to demonstrate that Jesus’ physical and bodily resurrection was the crowning proof that He truly is the Messiah and Son of God who laid down His life for His own (10:17, 18;15:13; cf. Rom. 1:4).
20:1 first day of the week. A reference to Sunday. From then on, believers set aside Sunday to meet and remember the marvelous resurrection of the Lord (see Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). It became known as the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10). See notes on Luke 24:4, 34. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark. Perhaps the reason why Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene was to demonstrate grace by His personal, loving faithfulness to someone who formerly had a sordid past; but clearly also because she loved Him so dearly and deeply, that she appeared before anyone else at the tomb. Her purpose in coming was to finish the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial by bringing more spices to anoint the corpse (Luke 24:1).
20:2 other disciple, whom Jesus loved. This is the author John. They have taken. Though Jesus had predicted His resurrection numerous times, it was more than she could believe at that point. It would take His showing Himself alive to them by many “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) for them to believe.
20:5–7 saw the linen cloths lying there. A contrast existed between the resurrection of Lazarus (11:44) and that of Jesus. While Lazarus came forth from the grave wearing his grave clothes, Jesus’ body, though physical and material, was glorified and was now able to pass through the grave clothes much in the same way that He later appeared in the locked room (see vv. 19, 20; cf. Phil. 3:21). linen cloths…handkerchief. The state of those items indicates no struggle, no hurried unwrapping of the body by grave robbers, who wouldn’t unwrap the body anyway, since transporting it elsewhere would be easier and more pleasant if it was left in its wrapped and spiced condition. All appearances indicated that no one had taken the body, but that it had moved through the cloth and left it behind in the tomb.
20:8 the other disciple. John saw the grave clothes and was convinced by them that He had risen.
20:9 did not know the Scripture. Neither Peter nor John understood that Scripture said Jesus would rise (Ps. 16:10). This is evident by the reports of Luke (24:25–27, 32, 44–47). Jesus had foretold His resurrection (2:19; Matt. 16:21; Mark 8:31; 9:31;Luke 9:22), but they would not accept it (Matt. 16:22; Luke 9:44,45). By the time John wrote this gospel, the church had developed an understanding of the OT prediction of Messiah’s resurrection (cf. “as yet”).
20:11–13 weeping. Mary’s sense of grief and loss may have driven her back to the tomb. She apparently had not crossed paths with Peter or John and thus did not know of Jesus’ resurrection (see v. 9).
20:12 two angels. Luke (24:4) describes both. Matthew (28:2, 3) and Mark (16:5) report only one. John’s reason for the mention of angels is to demonstrate that no grave robbers took the body. This was an operation of the power of God.
20:14 did not know that it was Jesus. The reason for Mary’s failure to recognize Jesus is uncertain. She may not have recognized Him because her tears blurred her eyes (v. 11). Possibly also, the vivid memories of Jesus’ bruised and broken body were still etched in her mind, and Jesus’ resurrection appearance was so dramatically different that she failed to recognize Him. Perhaps, however, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, she was supernaturally prevented from recognizing Him until He chose for her to do so (see Luke 24:16).
20:16 “Mary!” Whatever the reason for her failure to recognize Jesus, the moment He spoke the single word, “Mary,” she immediately recognized Him. This is reminiscent of Jesus’ words “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (10:27; cf. 10:3, 4).
20:17 Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended. Mary was expressing a desire to hold on to His physical presence for fear that she would once again lose Him. Jesus’ reference to His ascension signifies that He would only be temporarily with them and though she desperately wanted Him to stay, He could not. Jesus was with them only for 40 more days and then He ascended (Acts 1:3–11). After He went to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit (“The Helper”) so that they would not feel abandoned (see note on 14:18, 19). My brethren. Disciples have been called “servants” or “friends” (15:15), but not “brothers,” until here. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross in place of the sinner, this new relationship to Christ was made possible (Rom. 8:14–17;Gal. 3:26, 27; Eph. 1:5; Heb. 2:10–13).
20:19 the same day. See note on v. 1. the doors were shut.The Gr. word indicates the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Since the authorities had executed their leader, they reasonably expected that Jesus’ fate could be their own. Peace be with you. See notes on 14:27; 16:33. Jesus’ greeting complements His “It is finished,” for His work on the cross accomplished peace between God and His people (Rom. 5:1;Eph. 2:14–17).
20:20 Jesus proved that He who appeared to them was the same One who was crucified (cf. Luke 24:39).
20:21 This commission builds on 17:18. See Matt. 28:19, 20.
20:22 Since the disciples did not actually receive the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost, some 40 days in the future (Acts 1:8;2:1–3), this statement must be understood as a pledge on Christ’s part that the Holy Spirit would be coming.
20:23 See notes on Matt. 16:19; 18:18. This verse does not give authority to Christians to forgive sins. Jesus was saying that the believer can boldly declare the certainty of a sinner’s forgiveness by the Father because of the work of His Son if that sinner has repented and believed the gospel. The believer with certainty can also tell those who do not respond to the message of God’s forgiveness through faith in Christ that their sins, as a result, are not forgiven.

John 20:30-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Why This Gospel Was Written

30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Saturday of Holy Week/Passion Week – The Lord’s Sabbath – Don’t Say Easter!

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The following verses show the respect that the Jewish women of Luke 23:55-56 had for honoring the Lord’s Sabbath. Notice in Exodus 31:12-14 that the Sabbath is a sign between God and the Jews, for the Jews to keep. Notice that in Genesis 2:1-3, prior to the giving of the Law to the Jews, that God declared the seventh day to be Holy, to be sanctified, to be set apart. Jews have been given the command by God to “keep the Sabbath.” We, who are not Jews should honor the Sabbath Day, the Lord’s Sabbath, because God made it Holy, sanctified it, made it special, set it apart from all other days of the week. No other day of the week can become someone’s Sabbath; only the seventh day is the Lord’s Sabbath. Consider how you may honor the Lord’s Sabbath.

Exodus 31:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Sabbath Law

12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

Genesis 2:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

1 So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.

Luke 23:55 New American Standard Bible (NASB) – Friday, prior to the onset of the Sabbath.

55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.

Luke 23:56 New American Standard Bible (NASB) – The Sabbath (Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown)

56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Leviticus 23:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

3 “Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; it is a Sabbath to the Lord wherever you live.

Note: Luke 23:55, 56 There was not time on Friday to do all that Jesus’ followers would have liked for His burial. The women took note of where the body was laid, evidently to know where to come when the Sabbath was over to complete the burial. Joseph and Nicodemus placed a considerable quantity of myrrh and aloes with the body as they laid it in the tomb (John 19:38, 39),but the women wanted to make their own contribution.(Reformation Study Bible)

Note: Luke 23:55 observed…how His body was laid. According to John 19:39, Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of spices and aloes (probably obtained while Joseph was negotiating with Pilate for Jesus’ body), and he and Joseph wrapped the body with linen and the spices. These women, from Galilee, were probably unfamiliar with Joseph and Nicodemus, who were Judeans. After all, both men were associated with the Jewish leaders who orchestrated the conspiracy against Jesus (v. 50; John 3:1). So the women were determined to prepare Jesus’ body for burial themselves. So they returned (i.e., went to their homes) to prepare their own spices and perfumes (v. 56). They had to have Jesus’ body placed in the tomb before sunset, when the Sabbath began, so they were not able to finish preparing the body. Mark 16:1 says they purchased more spices “when the Sabbath was past,” i.e., after sundown Saturday. Then they returned Sunday morning with the spices (24:1), expecting to finish the task that had been interrupted by the Sabbath. (MacArthur Study Bible Note)

Consider the prophetic words of Isaiah that were written in the year 712 B.C, as they relate to the suffering of Jesus. (MacArthur Study Bible)

Isaiah 50:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB) I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

50:6 My back…My cheeks…My face. The Servant remained obedient though provoked to rebel by excessively vile treatment. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by remaining submissive to the Father’s will (Matt. 26:67; 27:26, 30; Mark 14:65; 15:19; Luke 22:63; John 18:22). (MacArthur Study Bible).

Isaiah 52:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB) Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.

52:14 His visage was marred. The Servant must undergo inhuman cruelty to the point that He no longer looks like a human being. His appearance is so awful that people look at Him in astonishment (53:2, 3; Ps. 22:6; Matt. 26:67; 27:30; John 19:3).

Isaiah 53:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

53:5 wounded for our transgressions…bruised for our iniquities. This verse is filled with the language of substitution. The Servant suffered not for His own sin, since He was sinless (cf. Heb. 4:15; 7:26), but as the substitute for sinners. The emphasis here is on Christ being the substitute recipient of God’s wrath on sinners (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:3, 4; Heb. 10:9, 10).chastisement for our peace. He suffered the chastisement of God in order to procure our peace with God. by His stripes we are healed. The stripe (the Heb. noun is singular) that caused His death has brought salvation to those for whose sins He died. Peter confirms this in 1 Pet. 2:24.

Consider the fulfilled words of Isaiah’s prophecy as they were experienced by Jesus (MacArthur Study Bible)

Matthew 26:67 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,

Matthew 27:26-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

27:30 they spat on Him. See Is. 50:6. struck Him on the head.A reed long enough to make a mock scepter would be firm enough to be extremely painful, about like a broom handle. John 19:3 says they hit Him with their fists as well.

Mark 14:65 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

65 Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.

14:65 spit on Him…beat Him. For the Jews, to “spit” in another’s face was the grossest, most hateful form of personal insult (cf. Num. 12:14; Deut. 25:9). Their brutal cruelty reached a climax and revealed the great depravity of their hearts when they “beat Him,” or hit Him with clenched fists. “Prophesy!” They jeeringly and disrespectfully ordered Jesus to use the prophetic powers He claimed to have—even in the frivolous manner of telling them who struck Him (Matt. 26:68).

Mark 15:19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.
15:19 a reed. An imitation of a royal scepter.

Luke 22:63 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him,

John 18:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”

John 19:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3 and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.

Let’s Consider Truth

John 8:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Let’s Get Real With The Truth Of The Shed Blood Of Jesus

1 John 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

We have all too often, and callously, said, “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from Sin.” But, please let me ask you something about this time of year, that all too many people call “Easter.” As you read the verses of scripture that tell about “the blood” being shed from Jesus, His face, back, arms, side, legs; how can anybody put “Easter bunnies and egg hunts” anywhere in the story of the torture of Jesus? The only place that Easter is found in scripture (KJV only) is in Acts 12:4, and relates to a pagan time that had nothing to do with the Jews or the early church. Let’s examine Acts 12:1-5

Acts 12:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Peter’s Arrest and Deliverance

12 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.

12:3 during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The weekly feast following Passover (see notes on Ex. 23:14–19; Matt. 26:17). Notice the compared verses of Acts 12:4. You will notice that only the KJV uses the word “Easter” to relate to a “time of year” that Peter was imprisoned and was to be released to a hostile mob, that was inspired by unbelieving Jews, to be humiliated, beaten, or killed. Does anybody see “Easter eggs or bunnies” in that verse? This event related to the time of Passover. There was no “Easter” that was observed by the Jews or the early church. The KJV uses “Easter,” to identify the time of Acts 12, when in fact Easter was a European ritual of many years after the events of Acts 12. So, please understand the facts of the scourging, crucifixion, and blood being spattered all over the body of Jesus, and that “Easter” has nothing to do with Jesus. “Please don’t say Easter!” It is correct to say “Resurrection Sunday!”

http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/ancient-pagan-origins-easter-001571

Most historians, including Biblical scholars, agree that Easter was originally a pagan festival. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honour sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century Anglo–Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.” However, even among those who maintain that Easter has pagan roots, there is some disagreement over which pagan tradition the festival emerged from. Here we will explore some of those perspectives.

Acts 12:4 Parallel Verses

New International Version
After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

New Living Translation
Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.

English Standard Version
And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.

Berean Study Bible
He arrested him and put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

Berean Literal Bible
whom also, having seized, he put in prison, having delivered him to four sets of four soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

New American Standard Bible
When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.

King James Bible
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After the arrest, he put him in prison and assigned four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

Consider the following links that relate to the suffering of Jesus.

http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-suffering.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-look-like.html

Friday of Holy Week/Passion Week – Good Friday And The Crucifixion

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Luke 22:54-23:55 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus’ Arrest

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, 64 and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?”65 And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

66 When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.”71 Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Jesus before Pilate

23 Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.” 3 So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.”

6 When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.

Jesus before Herod

8 Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.9 And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.

Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”17 [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18 But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Simon Bears the Cross

26 When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

The Crucifixion

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus,crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Jesus Is Buried

50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.

John 19:14-42 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Preparation Day

14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

The Crucifixion

16 So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.

17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”20 Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” 25 Therefore the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Care of the Body of Jesus

31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Commentary. Reference: Ryrie Study Bible.

In Luke thru 22:54-Luke 23:55, notice verse 54. This occurrence was before sundown on Friday, just before the Sabbath began. The Preparation Day, Day of Preparation, was on Friday and ended at sundown on Friday: it was a time of preparing for the Sabbath…sort of like when we used Saturday to get ready for church on Sunday. In verse 55, we see the women who had followed the body of Jesus to the burial tomb. Because the Sabbath was nearing, they did nothing more than observe the location where the body of Jesus was laid. Tomorrow we will look at verse 56, with the actions of the women that occur after the Sabbath had ended.

In John 19:14 and 19:31 we see the relation between the Preparation Day and the Sabbath. Read verses 14 – 42 to see that the death and burial of Jesus occurred on Friday afternoon/evening before the beginning of the Sabbath. Consider the following passages of scripture that relate to the Messiah, the Christ.

Isaiah 53 King James Version (KJV) (Prophecy of 712 B.C.)

The Suffering Servant

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 1:29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

2 Corinthians 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Imputation Of Righteousness

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Revelation 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lamb Takes the Scroll

(Note: We, who have been born again, are present in this scene.)

1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Worthy Is the Lamb

8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

Thursday Of Passion Week/Holy Week – Maundy Thursday

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The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in “Maundy Thursday” refers to the command that Jesus gave to the disciples at the Passover meal, that they should love and serve one another.

Matthew 26:17-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Last Passover

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 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.”

30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Mark 14:12-26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Last Passover

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples *said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”13 And He *sent two of His disciples and *said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

17 When it was evening He *came with the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.” 19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 20 And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. 21 For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Luke 22:7-53 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Passover Preparation

7 Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” 9 They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” 10 And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Passover Meal

14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21 But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22 For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.

Who Is Greatest

24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. 27 For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28 “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again,strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” 34 And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now,whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.”38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

The Garden of Gethsemane

39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Jesus Betrayed by Judas

47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him,“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? 53 While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”

John 13:1-30 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Washing the Disciples’ Feet

1 Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his time had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Jesus. 3 Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself. 5 He poured water into the wash basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.

6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”7 Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 (For Jesus knew the one who was going to betray him. For this reason he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”)

12 So when Jesus had washed their feet and put his outer clothing back on, he took his place at the table again and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and do so correctly, for that is what I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example—you should do just as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the solemn truth, the slave is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

The Announcement of Jesus’ Betrayal

18 “What I am saying does not refer to all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who eats my bread has turned against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I am he. 20 I tell you the solemn truth, whoever accepts the one I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

21 When he had said these things, Jesus was greatly distressed in spirit, and testified, “I tell you the solemn truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples began to look at one another, worried and perplexed to know which of them he was talking about. 23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table to the right of Jesus in a place of honor. 24 So Simon Peter gestured to this disciple to ask Jesus who it was he was referring to. 25 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved leaned back against Jesus’ chest and asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus replied, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the dish.” Then he dipped the piece of bread in the dish and gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son. 27 And after Judas took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 (Now none of those present at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him to buy whatever they needed for the feast, or to give something to the poor.) 30 Judas took the piece of bread and went out immediately. (Now it was night.)

NOTE: It was during Passover that Jesus was crucified. Jesus and His disciples were Jews. They participated in a Passover meal. Passover for this year is not until sundown on Friday, April 22, and continues until sundown on Saturday, April 30, and is known as “Passover” and “the Feast of Unleavened Bread.” Notice that during the evening of the Passover meal that Judas was present, and that he participated in the meal and had his feet washed by Jesus.

Leviticus 23:4-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4 ‘These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

The following links explain Passover, and how Jews celebrate “that appointed time of the Lord.

The Passover Seder Explained

http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/What-Is-A-Passover-Seder.htm
http://www.chabad.org/tools/feedback_cdo/aid/3266916/jewish/The-Seder-Explained.htm

Feast Of Purim

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Esther 3:13 New International Version

13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.

The Jewish Feast Of Purim begins on March 23 at sundown (Wednesday) and lasts until March 24 at sundown (Thursday). The feast commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia (present day Iran) from Haman’s plot to kill and annihilate all Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day. This occurred in the days of Queen Esther of Persia in 445 B.C. Esther was a Jewess whose Hebrew name was Hadassah, Esther 2:7, and was given the Persian name of Esther. Read Esther 4:1-17 and consider God’s hand in the protection of the Persian Jews during the reign of Queen Esther. See Esther 14:4, Deuteronomy 7:6, and Psalm 122:6 for a view of God’s special love for the people of Israel. Consider the importance of the uncle of Esther, whose name was Mordecai (Esther Chapter 3). It is also important to know that it was because of the dispersion of the Jews from Judah, from 597 BC through 586 BC, that Jews became inhabitants of Persia during the time of Esther (2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36). Another matter of significance is that the Name Of God is not found anywhere in the Book of Esther, but His presence there can not be denied. The key verse of the Book of Esther is Esther 4:14.

Esther 4:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Deuteronomy 7:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Psalm 122:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.

Esther 3:1-15 New International Version

Haman’s Plot to Destroy the Jews

1 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

7 In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur (that is, the lot) was cast in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on the twelfth month, the month of Adar.

8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

15 The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.

Consider the following information that is provided by Chabad.org, which is a Jewish site. Click onto the link to see images.

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article_cdo/aid/645309/jewish/What-Is-Purim.htm

The jolly festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

The Story in a Nutshell

The Persian Empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, QueenVashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he arranged a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge her nationality.

Meanwhile, the Jew-hating Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and he convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar, a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.

Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At a subsequent feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued, granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated. In the capital city of Shushan, they took one more day to finish the job.

Read the complete story of Purim.

Why Is It Called Purim?

Purim means “lots” in ancient Persian. The holiday was thus named since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme. You can pronounce this name many ways. In Eastern tradition, it is called poo-REEM. Among Westerners, it is often called PUH-rim. Some Central-European communities even call it PEE-rim. (WARNING: Calling this holiday PYOO-rim—as English speakers are sometimes wont to do—is a surefire newbie cover-blower.)

Purim Observances

Reading of the Megillah (book of Esther), which recounts the story of the Purim miracle. This is done once on the eve of Purim and then again on the following day.
Giving money gifts to at least two poor people.
Sending gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person.
A festive Purim feast, which often includes wine or other intoxicating beverages.
Learn more about the four Purim mitzvahs here.

Purim Customs

There is a spirit of revelry and fun on Purim that is unparalleled on the Jewish calendar. If there were ever a day to “let loose” and just be Jewish, this is it!Read why here.

It is also customary for children (and adults, if they desire) to dress up in costumes. Read why here.

A traditional Purim food is hamantaschen (or oznay Haman), three-cornered pastries bursting with poppy seeds or another sweet filling. Read why here.

On the day before Purim (or on the Thursday before, when Purim is on Sunday), it is customary to fast, commemorating Esther’s fasting and praying to G‑d that He save His people. Read more here.

When to Celebrate

One of the unique aspects of Purim is the diverse timing for its celebration.

● Common Custom: Jews all over the world celebrate Purim on Adar 14, the day when our ancestors rested from the war against their enemies.

● Walled Cities: Since the Jews of Shushan rested one day later, their Purim was deferred to the 15th. This was extended to include any city that was surrounded by walls in the days of Joshua, notably Jerusalem.

● Small Towns: In ancient times, villagers only banded together with fellow Jews in the larger towns on Mondays and Thursdays, which were market days. Thus, the sages decreed that they should read the Megillah on the market day preceding 14 Adar. This custom is no longer practiced.

Read more about the days of Purim here.

Note that on Jewish leap years, there are actually two months called Adar, Adar I and Adar II. Purim is celebrated in the second Adar, but 14 Adar I is still a happy day, referred to as Purim Katan (Small Purim).

The Significance of Purim

In addition to the miracle of Jewish survival despite the efforts of our enemies, Purim celebrates G‑d’s intimate involvement in every aspect of this world. Even though there were no overt miracles recorded in the Megillah—indeed, His name is not even mentioned once—G‑d was actively “pulling the strings” to care for His nation.

Additionally, Haman’s edict catalyzed a spiritual revival among the Jews. In a sense, this was even more significant than the Covenant at Sinai—an overwhelming spiritual experience that compelled the Jews to accept the Torah—since it occurred of their own volition, even as they were scattered among the Persian people and immersed in their culture. It was in the merit of this spiritual reawakening that G‑d orchestrated their salvation.

Wednesday Of Passion Week/ Holy Week

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Luke 22:1-6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Judas’ Decision to Betray Jesus

1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the experts in the law were trying to find some way to execute Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.

3 Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve. 4 He went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers of the temple guard how he might betray Jesus, handing him over to them. 5 They were delighted and arranged to give him money. 6 So Judas agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus when no crowd was present.

MacArthur Study notes:

22:1 which is called Passover. Passover was a single day, followed immediately by the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:5, 6). The whole season could be referred to by either name (see vs 7).

22:2 chief priests and the scribes…for they feared the people. They were therefore plotting secretly, hoping to eliminate Him after the Passover season, when Jerusalem would not be filled with so many people (see vs 6. Mt 26:2-5; MK 14:1-2. But these events occurred according to God’s timetable, not theirs.

22:3 Satan entered. i.e., Judas was possessed by Satan himself. Satan evidently gained direct control over Judas on two occasions—once just before Judas arranged his betrayal with the chief priests, and again during the (Passover Seder/Meal…my comment) (John 13:27) immediately before the betrayal was actually carried out.

22:4 captains. i.e., the temple guard, a security force consisting of Levites.

22:5 agreed to give him money. Matthew 26:15 says 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Ex. 21:32).

Acts 4:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Philippians 2:5-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Tuesday Of Passion Week/Holy Week

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Luke 20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus’ Authority Questioned

20 On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, 2 and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3 Jesus answered and said to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me: 4 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” 5 They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Parable of the Vine-growers

9 And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13 The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”17 But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Tribute to Caesar

19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. 21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 23 But He detected their trickery and said to them, 24 “Show Me adenarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.

Is There a Resurrection?

27 Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), 28 and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should marry the wife and raise up children to his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless;30 and the second 31 and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally the woman died also. 33 In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.” 39 Some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything. 41 Then He said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 43 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 44 Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord,’ and how is He his son?”

45 And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples,46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Gift

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins.3 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; 4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

5 And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, 6 “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.”

7 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8 And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. 9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”

Things to Come

10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Return of Christ

25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29 Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees;30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. 38 And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.

Note: Tuesday’s written scripture was lengthy. Therefore, only one translation was chosen for this post, which used the model that was shown in the Ryrie Study Bible. The Ryrie Bible breaks down each day of Holy Week, and identifies each day by name. Let me encourage you to purchase the following study bibles: Ryrie, MacArthur, Scofield, Holman and Jeremiah. It is good to own the following translations: King James Version; New King James Version; New American Standard; English Standard Version; New International Version; Holman Christian Standard. For correctness, I like the New American Standard. For ease of reading, I like the English Standard Version.