“Traditional Christianity Saved by Grace”
Hell got bigger. Grace got Greater, and the world is heading for Hell in a Handbasket. You really don’t want to go there. Unless you seriously don’t do something about it, You are Going to Hell. Hell was not made for you and you weren’t made for Hell, but it isn’t oblivion you are facing when you die, but Hell. You are going in the wrong direction and admit it or not, Hell is waiting for you. Jesus Said, Call on Me and You Shall Be Saved. We call it Salvation because it is. It is not going where you deserve to be, and that is Hell. Jesus said, Call on me. Read these so you can be assured God wants you in heaven.“Call on the Name of the Lord, and You Shall Be Saved”. Reject them, pure and simple, You Go to hell. It’s your call, it just might be your Last Call. –Michael James Stone
SUNDAYS are CLASSICS
Every Sunday we post Classics of Chrisitanity which allows the reader to find
“the pearls of faith in the fields of Christendom”
The last week of Jesus’ life was crammed with events, as we follow him from his glorious entry into Jerusalem on Sunday until his death on Friday. In the days in between, he preached, taught, presided over the Passover supper, stood trial, and was condemned to death. This week we call Holy Week.Palm Sunday Luke 19: 28 – 46
Matthew 21: 1 – 17
Mark 11: 1 – 11
John 12: 12 – 50
John 2: 13 – 15 On Palm Sunday we study two sets of lessons.
The first set is about Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a colt, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9: 9. The people greeted him as though he were an earthly king; they were sure he would end the Roman occupation and Jerusalem would again be a Jewish city.
They shouted, “Hosanna,” which means “save us,” and comes from Psalm 118: 26.
The color of Palm Sunday is red.The time in the Gospel writers’ accounts may be compressed. Their story is about being overwhelmed by the presence of Jesus, not an historical account of places or dates.
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Jesus Teaches and Preaches
Luke 22: 1 – 2
Jesus’ Enemies Conspire Against Him
Matthew 26: 1 – 5
Mark 14: 1 – 2
John 11: 47 – 53
Pontius Pilate and his soldiers went from Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast inland to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. They were afraid that so many Jews gathered together from all of Palestinewould start riots against the Roman government.The Jewish Sanhedrin, the council of elders, played on Pilate’s fears, because they were afraid that Jesus would start a religious revolution against them. They thought that if the people would follow his new ways of teaching and healing, they would no longer be in charge of the Temple. A Woman Washes Jesus’ Feet and Dries Them with her Hair Luke 7: 36 – 50
Matthew 26: 6 – 13
Mark 14: 3 – 9
John 12: 1 – 22
This story is told several times, taking place in different locations. John places it firmly in Holy Week, with Mary, the sister of Martha and of Lazarus, as the woman. Mark includes the story in Holy Week, two days before the Feast of the Passover, but Mark says it took place at the home of Simon, the leper, and he does not name the woman.Lazarus and his sisters were very close to Jesus. He and his disciples stayed with them often in Bethany, and because raising Lazarus from the dead was the great miracle of Jesus that the people of Jerusalem knew about, the high priests and elders wanted to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. Judas Betrays Jesus
Luke 22: 3 – 6
Matthew 26: 14 – 16
Mark 14: 10 – 11
John 18: 2 – 5
Luke 22: 7 – 13
Matthew 26: 17 – 19
Mark 14: 12 – 16
John 13: 1 – 20
Passover lasts for eight days, and the preparation for it is like the preparation for Christmas – it isn’t all done in one day.
All leaven (yeast, baking powder, baking soda) must be removed from the house, and the house must be cleaned thoroughly to make sure no bread or cookie crumbs remain. Special foods are eaten for the entire eight days (no leaven is allowed back into the house), beginning with the Seder supper on the first night of Passover.
In Jesus’ day, each family would sacrifice a lamb at the Temple, bringing part of the lamb home for their Seder supper.
Jesus Identifies His Betrayer
Luke 22: 14, 21 – 23
Matthew 26: 2 – 25
Mark 14: 17 – 21
John 13: 21 – 30
Luke 22: 14 – 20
Matthew 26: 26 – 29
Mark 14: 22 – 25
There is some disagreement between the Gospel writers on when this meal took place. For Luke, it is a true Passover meal, with the blessing of the wine before the bread. For the others it may be a pre-Passover meal with the two Jewish blessings, one for the bread and one for the wine.
Jesus Knows Peter Will Pretend He Doesn’t Know Him
Luke 22: 21 – 38
Matthew 26: 31 – 35
Mark 14: 27 – 31
John 13: 36 – 38
Luke 22: 31 – 33
Matthew 26: 36 – 46
Mark 14: 32 – 42
John 18: 1
Jesus knew what was in store for him that night (Thursday) and on Friday as well. So he took his disciples to a quiet place to pray, the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. The disciples fell asleep while he prayed, Luke says, “because of grief”. In their own way, they, too, were preparing for the terrible times to come.
The Temple Police Arrest Jesus
Luke 22: 47 – 53
Matthew 26: 47 – 56
Mark 14: 43 – 52
John 18: 2 – 12, 20
Three distinct groups of guards or soldiers play a part in this story. Both Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas had their own troops, and troops (probably Pilate’s) were garrisoned in Jerusalem, even though Pilate’s official residence was in Caesarea, on the Mediterranean coast (Jerusalem is inland.)
Luke 22: 54 – 62
Matthew 25: 69 – 75
Mark 14: 66 – 72
John 18: 15 – 18, 25 – 27
Even though Peter said he would follow Jesus to his death, before the rooster crowed at sunrise on Friday morning, Peter said three times that he did not know Jesus or any of his friends. And even though it was obvious from his accent that he was a Galilleean, he said he did not come from Galilee.
Jesus Is Teased, Slapped, and Beaten
Luke 22: 63 – 65
Matthew 26: 67 – 68
Mark 14: 65
Jesus Stands before the Council
Luke 22: 66 – 71
Matthew 26: 57 – 68
Mark 14: 61 – 64
John 18: 12 – 14, 19 -24
The Sanhedrin, or council of elders, charged Jesus with blasphemy, which means to talk to or about God with disrespect. Considering the Jewish belief in the One God, it was disrespectful of Jesus to say that he was God’s son, or to call him “Abba,” which means Daddy.
The Romans believed their Emperor was a god living on earth, so they understood the Jewish belief, and in Palestine, respected it some of the time.
Christians, of course, believe that Jesus was exactly right, that he was the Son of the Living God, and that he was resurrected as the second person of the Triune God as they state in the Apostles’ Creed.Jesus Answers Pilate
Luke 23: 1 – 5
Matthew 27: 1 – 2, 11 – 14
Mark 15: 1 – 5
John 18: 28 – 38
Pontius Pilate was a Roman citizen, sent by the emperor of Rome to be the procurator or governor of Palestine. He had his own army and presided over his own courts of law.
Pilate was the man who called Jesus, King of the Jews.
Jesus Stands Silent before Herod
Luke 23: 6 – 12
Pilate sent Jesus to Herod because Herod was the tetrarch (or ruler of one-fourth of Palestine) of Galilee, the area in the north of Palestine where Nazareth is, where Jesus grew up. Herod held less power and territory than Pilate, so it would be easy for Pilate to blame him if things went badly.
Herod Antipas was the son of King Herod the Great whom the three Wise Men visited when they were searching for the Baby Jesus. Herod Antipas had previously told his soldiers to cut off John the Baptist’s head.
Pilate Releases an Innocent Man
Luke 23: 17 – 25
Matthew 27: 15 – 26
Mark 15: 6 – 15
John 18: 38 – 40
John 19: 4 – 16
Pilate believed Jesus was innocent, but because he was afraid that the crowds might riot, he allowed the Jewish court of elders to make the decision to execute Jesus. The crucifixion, however, was done by Pilate’s soldiers, because the Temple guards who reported to Caiaphas did not have the power to put anyone to death by crucifixion.
The Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus
Matthew 27: 27 – 31
Mark 15: 16 – 20
John 19: 1 – 3
The Roman soldiers took Jesus to their quarters and made fun of him in a “king for a day” ritual that they may have performed on Roman holidays. The soldiers crowned him with thorns and put a purple cloak on him. Choosing a make-believe king and tormenting him may have been a way of letting go of their anger at cruel rulers.
Jesus Walks to His Death on Golgotha
Luke 23: 26 – 43
Matthew 27: 32 – 44
Mark 15: 21 – 32
John 19: 17 – 24
The Romans had several methods of executing criminals. Crucifixion, in which people slowly suffocated from the burden of their own weight on their chests, was both the most painful and the most humiliating.
Other Roman methods of execution included garroting (strangling with a special cord or wire) or beheading (cutting off the criminal’s head with a sword). Both these methods were considered more dignified than crucifixion, as well as being much quicker and much less painful.
The two criminals (or bandits) who were executed with Jesus are nameless. They may have been highway robbers: simple theft may not have been a serious enough crime to demand crucifixion as the means of death. Only in the passage in Luke do the two men enter into conversation with Jesus.
The Sky Turns Black and the Curtain Is Torn
Luke 23: 44 – 56
Matthew 27: 45 – 61
Mark 15: 33 – 47
John 19: 25 – 42
Jesus spoke from the cross to his family and followers. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” is the first line of Psalm 22, a beautiful hymn of praise to God. His mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene were present, as well as some other women followers.
The Temple Guards Watch Jesus’ Tomb