Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 11/08/2002

November 31

Read John 19 -- 21

In Today’s Reading:

Christ's crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and appearance to His disciples; Peter's allegiance reaffirmed.

Judas led the mob and the Roman soldiers to arrest Jesus. This was instigated by the religious authorities who paid him to do this. They entered the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus had so often prayed and where He had now been agonizing in prayer. They led Him away to Annas first. . . . (the) father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year (John 18:13).

According to the Word of God, the high priest was to be a direct descendant of Aaron and retain his office until death (Exodus 40:15; Numbers 35:25). However, the Roman government politically appointed a new high priest every year. Therefore, in the eyes of the Jews, Annas was still the real high priest through Aaronic succession and Caiaphas was only the "official" high priest according to Rome.

Jesus fulfilled the prophetic type of the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) as He was led to both the Jewish and then the Gentile-appointed high priests. Gethsemane still lies at the foot of the Mount of Olives, on the eastern side of Jerusalem just across the Kidron Valley from the Temple. From there to the city, the crowd would pass through the Sheep Gate (Nehemiah 3:1,32; 12:39; John 5:2). It was called the Sheep Gate because each animal that was offered in sacrifice at the Temple was led through this same gate (Leviticus 17:5), the one that Jesus, the Lamb of God, would pass through.

With Caiaphas were assembled the Scribes, the elders, the chief priests and all the council (Matthew 26:57,59). In His response to the question by the high priest regarding His deity, Jesus said to Caiaphas: Hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven (26:64). Understanding that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, Caiaphas ripped his robe of authority and shouted out: What further need have we of witnesses? . . . you have heard His blasphemy (26:65). And when they had bound Him, they . . . delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor (27:2).

Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent of any criminal offense and said: I find no fault in Him (John 18:38). Knowing this, he should have released Jesus; but instead, he sent Jesus, a Galilaean, to Herod who governed Galilee (Luke 23:5-18), and who returned Jesus to Pilate, who again said to the crowd, I find no fault in Him (John 19:4). But the religious leaders with loud voices cried out: Crucify Him. . . . We have a Law, and by our Law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. . . . If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar (19:6-12).

Pilate feared that, if he were to release Jesus, the religious Sanhedrin might report him to the emperor, and he would risk losing his governorship and possibly his life. Pilate had to choose between Jesus "the Son of God" and the angry crowd. He decided to please the religious authorities. When a person compromises what is right for fear of losing prestige or anything else, he has taken the first step on the road to eternal hell. Jesus said: No servant can serve two masters (Luke 16:13).

Thought for Today: Every Christian has a personal "world" to which he is responsible for showing and telling of God's saving power.

Word Studies:

19:1 scourged = whipped with cords; 19:30 It is finished = the act of redemption was paid in full; 20:23 remit = forgive.

Cross References:

For John 19:24: See Psa. 22:18. John 19:36: See Ex. 12:46; Psa. 34:20. John 19:37: See Zech. 12:10.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Dennis Moore (KS) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa · Major languages: French and Arabic · Limited religious freedom · 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith that God will bless your family (Genesis 17:18-20).

Memory Verse for the Week: John 10:5

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