Morning Bible Study
We are now about two weeks away from the last day to jump on to our trip to
Israel in November. Final payments will
be due on July 8.
Yes it’s a lot of money ($3398/person), but it truly is the trip of a
We will be visiting over 50 sites in Israel. You will see the Bible come
While some tours will place an emphasis on visiting old churches in Israel,
we will place our emphasis on visiting actual archaeological sites.
If you are concerned for your safety, yes there are concerns, but the
nation of Israel knows more about handling terrorists than anyone.
Because our group will be small (about 20 folks), we will be able to get
more done and have more interaction with our sites.
We are offering an optional two day extension to Petra as well..
We’ve arrived at the pinnacle of Jesus’ ministry.
Luke told us what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
He would do this by dying for our sins.
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, to
the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
On the following Thursday night, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His
disciples before taking them back to spend the night at the Garden of
Judas showed up with a group of Jewish leaders and soldiers.
Jesus was arrested and went through a series of trials as the Jewish
leaders argued to have Jesus put to death.
Pilate has tried to get out of sentencing Jesus to death, but eventually
gave in to the pressure of the crowd and the Jewish leaders.
Jesus was scourged
Jesus was crucified.
23:47-49 Reaction to His death
:47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying,
“Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
:47 the centurion
The centurion was the man in charge at the execution site.
Centurions were known for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of
Roman centurions are mentioned several times in the scriptures. They were
always outstanding men.
:47 Certainly this was a righteous Man!
(Mark 15:39 NKJV) So when the
centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed
His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
:47 when the centurion saw what had happened
The centurion was blown away by what he saw when he observed Jesus dying on
Sometimes we don’t quite understand the importance of how we live our
People are watching.
Your words are important.
It’s important that people know what it is you believe.
Your life is also important.
It’s your actions, the way you live, even the way you die, that give your
5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father in heaven.
It’s your life, your good works, that bring glory to God.
People ought to be able to see the life of Jesus at work in your life.
Yet every once in a while I see some of my church
“friends” on Facebook posting things that I frankly would have a hard time
imagining Jesus posting.
I have a hard time when people are posting sexually
I have a hard time when people post their glee at their
upcoming drinking party.
I have a hard time when people post about how much they
hate certain people.
Whether you post to Facebook or not, what are your friends
thinking when they see you are no different from the unbelievers?
I love it when people post about loving their spouse, or
the blessing their kids are.
I love it when people post answers to prayer.
I love it when people post things they’ve learned from the
My friends, we are living in the age of lukewarm Christianity, at a time
when the world is getting further and further from God.
There ought to be an increasingly clear contrast between the Christian and the
They should see our lives and wonder why we are so different.
As long as we are truly different.
:48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had
been done, beat their breasts and returned.
:49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee,
stood at a distance, watching these things.
:49 all His acquaintances … stood at a distance
Earlier in the week, Jesus hadn’t come to Jerusalem by Himself.
He had a group of people that had followed Him all the way from Galilee,
including His disciples.
When Jesus was crucified, the only followers present were four women and
the apostle John present. (John 19:25-26)
As the afternoon has progressed, even these took a step back and watched
from a distance.
Jesus had told them the night before:
(Mark 14:27 NKJV) Then Jesus
said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for
it is written: ‘I will
strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.’
When He died, He died alone.
There can be many reasons why we at times feel so alone.
Sometimes it’s our own harsh actions and mean attitudes that can drive
people away from us.
Video: Lord of the Rings – Sneaky
Is it a wonder that Gollum lived alone for so long?
Sometimes loneliness is no more than a state of mind. We may actually have people all around us who
love us, yet somehow we still feel lonely.
Sometimes we have become truly abandoned.
That’s what’s happening to Jesus.
No matter what your reason for feeling alone, I hope you will hear
this. Jesus understands more than you
NLT) —15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced
all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us
come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
You can go to Jesus to help you with the loneliness you
I wonder if sometimes we are expecting people to fill the emptiness inside
of us that only God can fill.
You can see this even in marriage.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of expecting our spouse to fill the
Now I appreciate the concept of a husband saying something like this to his
wife (“you complete me”), but the danger is going too far with that idea, and
expecting your spouse to fill that emptiness inside you that only God can fill.
Single people: You will go much
further in life and in any future relationships if you learn this now.
King David wrote,
(Psalm 27:10 NLT) Even if my
father and mother abandon me, the Lord
will hold me close.
Only God can fill your emptiness.
23:50-56 Jesus is buried
:50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a
good and just man.
:51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from
Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of
:50 a man named Joseph
We are now introduced to Joseph of Arimathaea.
Arimathaea is believed to be another name for Ramathaim Zophim, or “Ramah”,
the birthplace of the prophet Samuel (1Sam. 1:1)
Video: Map – Jerusalem and Ramah
Ramah is about six miles directly north of the city of Jerusalem.
Joseph was a “council member”, or, a member of the Sanhedrin, yet he had
not voted to have Jesus crucified like the rest of the Sanhedrin.
We think it’s possible that he and Nicodemus were not even invited to the
trial of Jesus.
Luke tells us that Joseph was “waiting for the kingdom of God”, but John
tells us that Joseph was actually a disciple of Jesus, but a “secret” one
because of his fear of the Jews. (John 19:38).
Matthew tells us that Joseph was also a wealthy man. (Mat. 27:57)
:52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
:53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that
was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.
:53 laid it in a tomb
Matthew tells us that Joseph put Jesus in his own tomb (Mat. 27:60)
This would fulfill another prophecy.
(Isaiah 53:9 NKJV) And they
made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death…
He died with criminals, but was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
:53 hewn out of the rock
Hamster and Frog
A mangy looking guy who goes into a restaurant and orders food. The waiter
says, “No way. I don’t think you can pay for it.” The guy says, “You’re right.
I don’t have any money, but if I show you something you haven’t seen before,
will you give me the food?” “Deal!” replies the waiter. The guy reaches into
his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster. He puts the hamster on the counter and
it runs to the end, across the room, up the piano, jumps on the keyboard, and
starts playing Gershwin songs. And the hamster is really good. The waiter says,
“You’re right. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That hamster is truly
good on the piano.” The guy downs the hamburger he ordered and asks the waiter
for another. “Money or another miracle,” says the waiter. The guy reaches into
his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the counter, and the
frog starts to sing. He has a marvelous voice and great pitch. A fine singer. A
stranger from the other end of the counter runs over to the guy and offers him
$300 for the frog. The guy says, “It’s a deal.” He takes the three hundred and
gives the stranger the frog. The stranger runs out of the restaurant. The
waiter says to the guy, “Are you crazy? You sold a singing frog for $300? It
must have been worth millions.” “Not so,” says the guy, “the hamster is also a
When it comes to explaining the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, some
people have cooked up some interesting explanations, as if it was all done with
Before looking at some of those things, there’s a couple more things to
John records that the experienced Roman executioners had certified that
Jesus was indeed dead. (John 19:31-37)
Matthew recorded that after Jesus was buried, that a “large stone” was
rolled over the door of the tomb.
Engineers have estimated that a stone like that would have
weighted 1-2 tons.
A stone doorway would keep animals from disturbing your
dead loved one’s body.
Matthew also records that the Jewish leaders demanded that Pilate put a
Roman seal on the tomb, and station a Roman guard unit in front of the tomb to
keep anyone from stealing the body (Mat. 27:62-66)
These precautions would keep anyone from even thinking of
trying to steal the body.
And then there’s the fact that the tomb was carved out of solid rock.
Now … back to those wild ideas people have about the resurrection.
Some suggest that perhaps there was an escape hatch out the back, and that the
disciples might have stolen the body.
Yet we’ve seen that the tomb was carved out of solid
Some suggest that Jesus wasn’t really dead, but that He revived in the
coolness of the tomb, and simply walked away.
Yet the Roman executioners said he was dead.
Jesus had not only been crucified, but savagely scourged
as well. And now he moves the one ton
stone and overpowers the Roman guard?
I think not.
There were no “tricks” here. No
Jesus was dead. He was buried.
Next week we’ll see that He truly rose from the dead.
:54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
:54 the Preparation … the Sabbath
Friday is the day when observant Jews prepare to celebrate their Sabbath.
For example – no cooking is allowed on the Sabbath, so you prepare your
meals the day before.
The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday, around 6:00pm.
The Jews want the bodies buried by 6pm.
The disciples won’t have much time to do their burial preparations.
:55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and
they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
:55 they observed the tomb
One more dumb idea about Jesus’ resurrection.
Some have suggested that the real problem was that everyone went to the
wrong tomb on the following Sunday morning.
Yet Joseph knew where the tomb was.
It was his tomb.
The women knew where the tomb was.
The guards knew where the tomb was.
And even if everyone went to the wrong tomb, why didn’t the Jewish leaders
just go to the right tomb and produce the body after the apostles started
claiming that Jesus was risen?
:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they
rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
:56 prepared spices and fragrant oils
When Jesus was initially buried, Joseph was helped by Nicodemus, and
together they had Jesus wrapped in cloth with a hundred pounds of spices. (John
The purpose of the spices was not to embalm the body, but to cover up the
stink as the body decayed.
In burial traditions of that time, the body was left for about a year to
decay until all that’s left was the bones.
The bones would then be collected and stored in a “bone box” or an
It was common for the first couple of days for the body to be visited
regularly and for more spices and perfumes to be added to the body.
That’s what the women will be doing early on Sunday morning. They were planning on adding more spices to
Jesus’ body. (Mark 16:1)
:53 laid it in a tomb
When Paul gave a summary of the gospel to the Corinthians, he wrote,
15:3–4 NKJV) —3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He
was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all clearly state that Jesus was buried.
The good news that we can be saved from the penalty of our sins and live
forever in heaven is based on three things.
He died for us. He was buried. He rose again.
The burial speaks of the finality of death.
We use the phrase “dead and buried” to speak of the finality of death.
I think we all wish that death wasn’t so “final”.
I keep seeing a theme on TV shows, that when a character dies, don’t be
surprised if the producers find a way of bringing them back to life.
It’s Not Over
Perhaps you’ve been facing the death of a dream.
Something you’ve been hoping for a long time is now dead and buried.
Perhaps you’re facing the death of a relationship.
Maybe you have health concerns and you are facing death itself.
It’s not over.
I’m not trying to say that your dream or relationship is going to go back
to where it was. I’m not saying death
won’t happen. But you never know what God has in mind.
The fact that Jesus was dead and buried in a tomb on Friday afternoon, but
was alive and well on Sunday morning shows us that with God, nothing’s
Maybe you have reached the point where you are so sick of the sin in your
life, and you want to know the way out.
Maybe you are beginning to realize that you simply don’t know God, and you
need Him in your life.
Jesus died on a cross so you could be forgiven and you could know God.
Will you open your life to Him today?