John, Day 58.

Roll away the stone

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray that You will bring a fresh word of encouragement to us today, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 19:23-42, Good Friday.

VV23-24, 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. 24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: ‘’They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.’’

Pilate coronated Jesus as King of the Jews. In His second coming, Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lord. Rev 19:16, ‘’And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.’’ The soldiers divided his garment and cast lots for it to fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 22: 18, ‘’They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.’’

VV25-27, 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Eye witnesses of the crucifixion were Mary, the mother of Jesus, Salome, the sister of Jesus’ mother and the mother of James and John, Mary, the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and apostle John.

VV28-30, 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

When Jesus said He thirst, the soldiers gave Him sour wine dipped on a hysop branch. Jesus said, It is finished and died. It is finished is “tetelastai” in Greek, which means paid in full. Jesus paid our debt of sin in full. Jesus finished the work of His Father on the cross.

VV 31-37, 31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and 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 may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

Jesus died on Good Friday at 3 pm. According to Jewish law, a dead body had to be buried on the same day, see Deut. 21:22-23. A soldier pierced Jesus’ side and blood and water flowed out. John was an eye witness of the crucifixion. He testified that his testimony is true and we who are now reading this 2000 years later can take his word for it. ‘’They did not break His bone’,’ fulfilled Psalm 34:20. ‘’they shall look on Him whom they pierced’’ fulfilled Zechariah 12:10.

V V 38- 42, 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 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 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret believers of Jesus even though they were Pharisees. After Jesus’ death, they openly declared their faith in Jesus and performed the last burial rite for Him. They took His body down from the cross, wrapped it up in linens strips and covered it with myrrh and aloes. Nicodemus donated 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes. Joseph of Arimathea donated a new tomb and they laid Him in the garden tomb.

Prayer :

Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus Christ tasted death for everyone. Thank You that He is both the Great High Priest and the Lamb of God, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Empty tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden tomb
Garden Tomb

John, Day 57.

Day 57.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, please open our minds, hearts, ears, and eyes to understand, feel, see, and hear You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 19: 1- 22, Golgotha.

VV1-4, ‘’The Soldiers Mock Jesus So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”

The soldiers mocked and flogged Jesus. They put a crown of thorns and a purple robe on Him. Thorn represents curse. Jesus took on the curse of man. Pontius Pilate pronounced the first verdict on Jesus as not guilty.

VV5-9, 5 ’Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.’’

“Behold the Man” is ‘’Ecce Homo” in Latin. Pilate pronounced the second verdict on Jesus as not guilty. The Jews charged Jesus with a death penalty for blasphemy. As Jews could not impose capital punishment by stoning, they sent Jesus to Pilate to face trial under the Roman laws.

VV10-13, 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have the power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate, therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.’

Pilate told Jesus he had the power to crucify or release Him. Jesus corrected him by saying that only He Himself had this power. John 10:18, ‘’No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again”. The Jews threatened Pilate not to release Jesus or Caesar would be unhappy. Pilate was afraid when he heard the name of Caeser. He put Jesus on the judgment seat called the Pavement or Gabbatta.

VV 14-16, 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But 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!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

Preparation Day of the Passover was Good Froday. The 6th hour by Roman time was 6 am. The Jews should out, ‘’we have no King but Caesar’’. Even though Jesus was innocent, Pilate sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.

VV 17-22, 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Hebrews for Calvary is Golgotha, which means “the place of a skull”. They crucified Jesus in Golgotha between two criminals to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors”. Pilate nailed a signage to the cross in Hebrews, Latin, and Greek, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. The Jews protested but Pilate wouldn’t budge on his decision.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for taking us back to Calvary through the eyes of apostle John who witnessed this event 2000 years ago. On Calvary, You sacrificed the Lamb of God as the perfect sin offering for the sin of mankind, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Gordon’s Calvary- Golgotha
The Dungeon
Dungeon
Dungeon
Dungeon
Touched to see the Dungeon where Jesus was kept during His trial on the night before His crucifixion. The place is small and dark and barely have room to move about. Because of the crowd, we had to queue to visit the dungeon.

John, Day 56

Day 56.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, please take away all other voices so that we can only hear the voice of Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 18: 1- 40, trial under Annas, Caiphas, and Pilate.

VV 1-4, 1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side, there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

Jesus and the eleven disciples crossed the Brook Kidron and entered the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means olive press, a place of crushing the olive fruits to extract the oil. After Gethsemane, Jesus will be crushed and His blood will be shed to atone for the sin of mankind.

VV 5-9, 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Greek for “I AM’ is “eigo eimi” and Hebrew for “I AM” is YHVH. God covental name is YHWH. The voice in burning bush in Exodus 3:16 is the voice of Jesus, before His incarnatiion. He revealed His name to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” or YHWH. In theology this is called a Christophany. On hearing “I AM”, the soldiers and Jewish rulers who came to arrest Him fell backward to the ground. Verse 9 is a fulfillment of John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled”.

VV 10-14, 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

‘Peter sliced off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus. Peter and John were there but the other nine had fled. According to Luke, Jesus attached back the ear of Malchus, His last healing miracle. Luke 22:51, “But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him”. The soldiers and the Jewish rulers arrested Jesus and brought Him to Annas, the high priest’s father in law.

VV 15-18, 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.

Peter and John followed behind Jesus. A unnamed servant girl identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple but Peter denied it. Other servants and officers also identified Peter but he again denied it.

VV 19-24, 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

The first trial was under Annas, the high priest’s father in law. He questioned Jesus but Jesus refused to cooperate, one of the officials slapped Jesus. The second trial was under Caiaphas, the high priest.

VV 25-27, 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again, and immediately a rooster crowed.’’

When Peter was warming himself at the fire, another of the high priest’s servants identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple. Peter denied Jesus the third time and immediately a rooster crowed.

VV 28-29, 28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

The third trial was under Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea, in the Praetorium. Not wanting to defile themselves, the priests did not enter the Praetorium.

VV 30-32, 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Romans laws forbid Jews to carry out capital punishment by stoning. They sent Jesus to be tried under Roman laws whose capital punishment was by crucifixion. This fulfilled scripture that Jesus would die by crucifixion and not by stoning. Psalm 22:16, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet.”

VV 33-37, 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”.

Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He was a spiritual king and not a military king. “the reason I was born and came into this world”, speaks of His incarnation and pre-existence.

VV 38- 40, 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

It was customary for the Pilate to release one Jewish prisoner on Passover. Pontius Pilate asked the Jews whether he should release Barabbas, a Jewish freedom fighter, or Jesus Christ. According the the first-century theologian Origen, Batabbas’ name was Jesus Barabbas, which means Jesus, son of a father. The Jews chose Jesus Barabbas, the son of a father, instead of Jesus Christ, the Son of The Father. Even today, people still chose to believe in the “son of a father” instead of Jesus Christ, the “Son of The Father”. Who do you believe?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sin. We ask that You reign in our lives as King of our hearts, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius
Golan Height, Bethsaia Julius

John, Day 55.

Golan Height, (Bethsaida Julius)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before You with a teachable heart and surrendered spirit. We offer our bodies to You as living sacrifices, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 17: 1- 26, high priestly prayer.

VV 1-5, 1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus prayed for Himself. “The hour has come’’ for Jesus to be glorified. Jesus, the only true God, was sent by His Father into the world through His incarnation. Jesus left the glory that He shared with His Father in heaven. He prayed for glorification. Phil 2:9, ‘’Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name’’.

VV 6-19, 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

Jesus prayed for His disciples. His Father gave His disciples to Him. Jesus gave His Father’s words to His disciples.

V 10-12, 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

Jesus will be leaving the world but His disciples will still be in the world. Jesus prayed for His disciple’s protection and unity. Jesus protected His disciples but Judas Iscariot was lost to fulfill the prophecy of scripture.

VV 13-16, 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Jesus prayed for His Father to protect His disciples from satan. Jesus did not pray for His disciples to be removed from the world. He prayed for peace, joy, protection and sanctification.

VV 17-19, 17 Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Sanctification is to be made holy and separated for God. Jesus prayed for His Father to sanctify His disciples by the truth of the WORD.

VV 20-23, 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Jesus prayed for Christians who believed Jesus through the testimonies of His disciples. Jesus prayed for Christians to be united in faith and love, so that the world will know Jesus and His Father through them.

V 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Jesus prayed for Christians to be able to see the glory of His pre-existence in heaven.

VV 25-26, 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Although, the world does not know His Father, Christians know His Father through His divine revelation. Jesus reveal God’s love and characteristics to Christians. John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you that 2000 years ago, Jesus came to earth to be our Saviour and thank You for protecting us from the evil one, in Jesus’s name, Amen.

A view from Golan Height, (Bethsaida Julius)
A view from Golan Height, (Bethsaida Julius)
Golan Height, (Bethsaida Julius)
Golan Height, (Bethsaida Julius)