<h3>Podcast Week 8 | John 15-16</h3>
DAY 1: John 17:1-26
Stories: Jesus’ Final Prayers
1) This passage includes the final words of Jesus in front of His disciples before His resurrection. These prayers are the intense final words of Jesus before the greatest and most cataclysmic transition in human history.
2) To understand the full ramifications of this time, I highly recommend buying a copy of Rick Larson’s Bethlehem Star video at bethlehemstar.net. In it he explains that this exact moment, the crucifixion, was set in motion at the creation of the stars and the planets.
3) Jesus prays for the glory He had before “the world began” to be placed on Him. Jesus was there at creation and He is the one redeeming creation at this moment
4) Jesus prays for His disciples’ message. Jesus came and chose to hand over the “keys of the kingdom” to fallible humans to partner with Him in the spreading of the Word of God and the grace of God.
DAY 2: John 18:1-24
Stories: Judas’ betrayal, Jesus’ trial
1) Why did Judas come with a mob?
2) “I Am” he. This statement carries so much meaning and weight. John has told us many times that Jesus was there at the creation of the world. The same one who created all the matter and energy in the cosmos with His breath here speaks His rightful name of God. In an example of extreme kindness, the One whose breath contained the power of creating all that exists, those who heard His name simply fell down. Anything short of annihilation here was a tremendous kindness
3) John somehow knew Caiaphas, so he is the only disciple who went into the courts where Jesus was questioned. Peter, stayed outside and denied Jesus the first of his three times without even thinking about it.
4) I’m not sure that Peter’s denials were just out of fear. Keep in mind that Peter just had his world shaken. He thought it was Jesus’ time to reign and he was ready to kill for Him. Instead, Jesus rebuked Peter for using His sword and healed the man’s ear he had cut off (although John doesn’t tell us that). Peter was probably angry and felt betrayed.
5) Can you imagine being the person who struck Jesus because he felt like He had dishonored the high priest?
Paradoxes: Judas thought that Jesus would be in the garden, so that’s where he took the soldiers. Jesus knew that would be Judas’ first place to look for Him, so why did He go there? Why not go somewhere else? We’ve seen that Jesus, when He wants to disappear, has done so effortlessly? Why be so obvious now?
DAY 3: John 18:25-40
Stories: Peter’s denials & Jesus’ trial
1) Peter didn’t have it easy this particular night. It seemed like everyone recognized him even though it was dark. He even had the misfortune to run into someone he had seen earlier in the evening when he cut off a man’s ear. What is especially amazing about this encounter is that as soon as Peter denied Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed. Other accounts also tell us that as soon as this happened, Jesus was walking by and looked right at Peter.
2) One of the interesting aspects about Jesus’ trial is that it is somewhat illegal. Trials by night were not necessarily okay under Jewish law, but this was a particularly quick rush job as they wanted Jesus condemned and dead before Passover.
3) Pilate was a Roman bureaucrat in charge of keeping the peace in Judea. Historically, we know that he hated Jews. His willingness to release Jesus is not him approving of Him, but his complete disregard for the Jewish leadership.
4) When the Romans took over Judea, they allowed the Jewish leadership to maintain a certain level of autonomy with regards to religious rites and laws, but they did not allow them to execute anyone, even though they seemed very quick to stone people on a whim.
5) In one of the saddest moments in the passion story, the people Jesus came to save asked for Him to be killed and a criminal released in His place. This is remarkably similar to the way the atonement sacrifice would go. A lamb would be sacrificed for atoning of sins while a scapegoat was released into the wilderness after the elders had placed their hands on it and ceremonially placed all their sins on it to disappear forever. Barabbas became like that scapegoat while Jesus was the sacrificial lamb.
DAY 4: John 19:1-27
Stories: Jesus’ crucifixion
1) Not counting it enough to torture and execute a man, the Roman soldiers decided to make sport of Jesus as He was being led to death. When we read that a Roman had someone flogged, most likely it was with something akin to what they called a “cat of nine tails.” It was a whip with shards of glass and pottery embedded into the many ends of the whip designed to remove large chunks of flesh as the person was whipped.
2) Pilate seems to have figured that if he flogged and mocked Jesus in front of them that the Jews would have pity on Him and ask Pilate to release Him. Pilate had no idea how much they hated Jesus.
3) When Pilate heard that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, he became very afraid of Jesus. In other accounts we know that his wife had a dream the night before about him and that Pilate should have nothing to do with Him.
4) Interestingly enough, the Jewish leadership, who hated their Roman rulers, conveniently claimed Caesar as their king when it meant getting Jesus put to death.
5) Jesus commands John to take care of His mother, Mary, after His death. We know from church history that Mary followed John around wherever he lived from this time forward. We know that she ended up in Ephesus and most likely died there. This begs the question of what happened to Mary’s other children. Where were they? Had they died?What about James, the brother of Jesus?
Paradoxes: Crucifixion is a means of torture and execution that exemplifies the height of human depravity. The process was meant to be the most painful, excruciating prolonging of a death sentence possibly ever created. God came to earth to save us and chose to die in the most gruesome and terrible means man has ever invented. Pure righteousness bore our sins on the cross – our greatest wickedness was placed on Him while He suffered the greatest wickedness man has ever displayed publicly.
DAY 5: John 19:28-42
Stories: The death and burial of Jesus
1) They gave Jesus a vinegar based drink when He said He was thirsty. This just seems cruel on top of the cruelty He had already been shown, but why did Jesus want something to drink just before He died? It was as if this was the last wish He had using His original human body – to taste one last thing. After this, He would have a resurrected body, the kind we will all have one day. I think this goes to understanding that when God made us, He said “it was good.” He made our taste buds, our senses, our emotions – everything about us. Jesus seems to have wanted one last taste with His original earthly body – the one He had said so long ago was “good.”
2) Jesus’ legs weren’t broken to fulfill scripture that He would be the pure and spotless lamb – blameless and unbroken. John must have come to know the Roman guard who testified to this because he takes special care to point out that the man’s testimony is true. Perhaps he became a believer in the book of Acts?
3) Joseph and Nicodemus are the only two men to handle Jesus’ dead body. For less than 72 hours in all of eternity, Jesus’ body lay dead and lifeless, and these two men had the privilege to handle and care for it. What a magnificent privilege!
4) Part of the significance of a new tomb was that there was no mistake of who was in the tomb and who came out under His own power. We know from other gospel accounts that many dead people arose from the dead and left their tombs during the hours of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus was not to be confused with one of these many people.