BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 5: Deuteronomy 30

Summary of passage:  If God’s people turn back to Him, He will bless them and gather them together and prosper them and curse their enemies.  God only desires love and obedience.

Questions:

10a)  “Take his commands to heart” that is obey Him and love Him.

b)  Circumcise them.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is always just one step away, one prayer away, one repentance away.  He is waiting to pick us up when we fall and He never tires of this no matter how many times we sin.  It is a great comfort because I sin all the time so knowing God loves me anyways gives me the faith to keep pursuing Him.

11a)  A choice of life or death

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Life.  Through believe in Jesus Christ, you will have eternal life.

12)  If you read all of Galatians 3, you will see the whole answer here.  Paul’s argument is this:  Abraham who lived before the law was given merely believed in God and was considered righteous.  Then the law was given (and Paul says the reason the law was given was to lead the people to Christ.  Verse 19 has the answer:  The purpose of the law was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus) had come.)  The law’s purpose was to show people that it is impossible to gain God’s acceptance and be with Him on our own–that we need a Savior to do it for us.  But once Jesus stepped foot on this planet, God required faith in Jesus who took our transgressions upon himself.

Therefore, the law was to show us our inadequacies and just how much we truly need God and a Savior.

The people needed the Law because Jesus hadn’t come yet.  They needed a way to be with God and the Old Covenant was it.  The problem:  as we’ve seen this year, the people were never cleansed enough to be with God.  The system of blood sacrifice was not enough.  The people needed to see that and to live that out.  It was to prepare people for the Truth and make them desperate for a Savior.

Conclusions:  LOVED the last question.  Perfect!  Sums up our whole study.

End Notes:  The modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of God’s promise here to regather His people that have been scattered for centuries all over the world.  Scholars say this promise was not fulfilled after their Babylonian exile because the Israelites were still being ruled over.  Now, the modern state of Israel is larger, stronger, and richer than any other time in history.  Israel needs our prayers.

However, Israel today is a secular society despite its Jewish heritage.  Only the ancient Israelites had a true theocracy.  Hence, this prophecy is only partially filled.  Furthermore, most Jews do not accept Jesus, which in essence is a rejection of God.  But God is faithful and He will keep His promise in these verses.

Ezekiel 37 says that first the Jews will gather together and then God will put His spirit in them.  God is not done with His people yet.

Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites had to obey the law, offer sacrifices, and believe in its power to atone and to understand another would come.  Under the New Covenant, we only have to believe in Jesus as the Savior; we don’t have to do anything.  How full of grace is our God!

We see God pleading with His people through Moses to choose Him.  We can see God pleading with His people through Jesus to believe in him.  We see God telling His people to love Him, listen to Him, and hold on to Him.  He is our life.

God makes it simple:  understand (mouth), believe (heart), and obey His word.  Paul says the same thing when he quotes this passage in Romans 10:6-10:  Confess Jesus is your Lord and believe in your heart he is the Savior.  And you will be saved.  Period.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 4: Deuteronomy 29

Summary of passage:  Moses again tells the people to follow the covenant and the people will prosper.  He warns against turning away from God as disaster will follow.  If they worship idols, God will abandon the covenant and curse them.

Questions:

7)  That God is their God and they are His people.

8 )  Not to turn away from God and worship idols.

9a)  The secret things are secret; we don’t know what they are.  It’s the knowledge, wisdom, judgments, and paths of God that we He had not revealed to us.

b)  God’s law

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin is inevitable.  Even the best of us sin (Moses).  But God forgives that sin.  That God is faithful.  He is the provider.  He is there always.

Conclusions:  I don’t know about you all, but I’m tired of Moses’s repetition and warnings.  Ok, fine, we get it.  Obey or face God’s wrath.  We all know the Israelites didn’t obey and were punished by God despite Moses’ 10,000 warnings.  At least Moses can say, “I told you so.”  It makes these passages very dull reading.

End Notes:  This is the confirming of the the Covenant with the new generation that Moses had performed back in Exodus 24:7-8 with the old generation.

As we’ve seen, seeing miracles hasn’t changed the hearts of the people.  They need a miracle of the heart.

There is no peace for the sinner for God will turn His back on them.

God’s judgment on His people if they sin will be an example to all nations of what happens with disobedience and an example to all generations as well.

God reveals only what we need to know.  Therefore, we must embrace this knowledge and live it in our lives.  That is His desire for us.  It’s like a parent.  We do things for our kids for reasons they cannot understand at different ages in their lives.  The same with God.  We trust God like we trust our parents.  We love God like we love our parents.  We have faith that they have our best interests in their hearts for us.  Just like God does.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 3: Deuteronomy 28

Summary of passage:  If the Israelites obey all of the Lord’s commands, they will be blessed in everything:  food, livestock, children, defeat of enemies, and everything they lay a hand on.  They will be His holy people.  If the Israelites disobey, they will be cursed in everything they touch, defeated by their enemies, and scattered throughout all the nations (the Diaspora).

Questions:

5)  Obey God and you will be blessed.  Disobey God and face the consequences.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  “Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation.”

b)  After Joshua died, Samaria, Israel, Assyria, Babylon, and the Roman empire.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably all areas of my life.

Conclusions:  Granted, there was nothing new here we haven’t read already.  Moses is repeating himself.  Still, this is the first time I can remember in a long time where my answers are one-liners.  I was stumped on 6c.  Too broad.  All I know is I’m a sinner and can improve in every aspect of my walk with Him.

End Notes: The Israelites must decide if they will be cursed or blessed.  Nothing is hidden here.  If you obey and are blessed, you receive everything.  If you disobey and are cursed, you receive nothing.

The consequences of disobedience are almost overwhelming here.  This is purposeful.  Moses was trying to scare the people to obey because disobedience would not be a pretty picture.

The book of Lamentations is the grief suffered after Jerusalem is destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.  Lamentations 4 describes the hunger and starvation that resulted in women eating their own children.  How tragic.

The total destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 72 AD was horrendous.  Starvation from the siege.  Jewish people were sold into slavery.  There was in-fighting.  Even Christians persecuted the Jews especially in the Middle Ages, mistakenly applying this passage to themselves as being God’s instrument  who should curse the Jews.  The Diaspora.

Yet, God is not done with Israel.  No other nation on earth has lasted as long.  The greats are gone:  Egypt, Rome, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Assyria, etc.  Only Israel still stands.  They shall always be His chosen people.  As such, we need to pray for them.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 27, Day 2: Deuteronomy 27

Introductory Notes:  Each day is a chapter so much more manageable than last week.  Still, give yourself some time to complete each lesson.

Summary of passage:  Moses commands the people to write the law onto stones and set them upon Mount Ebal once they cross into the Promised Land.  Build an altar on Mount Ebal and offer sacrifices to God.  Moses said the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people.  The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.

The curses are:  anyone who carves a graven image or idol, one who dishonors his mother or father, one who moses his neighbor’s boundary stone, one who leads the blind man astray, one who withholds justice, one who commits adultery, one who has sex with animals, one who sleeps with his mother-in-law, sister, or daughter, one who kills, one who accepts a bribe, and one who doe not uphold the law by carrying them out.

Questions:

3a)  Set up some large stones coated with plaster and write on them the law.  He also commanded them to set up an altar to offer sacrifices to God.

b)  To rejoice in the presence of God, to thank Him for bringing them to the land, and to remember the laws.

4a)  Moses them commanded the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No specific times come to mind but just reading the Bible daily imbues life lessons and warnings that I carry around in my heart that I hope arise when needed.

Conclusions:  Reading easy, but I wish we’d just get on with it and enter the Promised Land!  Again, repetition and warnings to obey God’s commands faithfully.  This seems to be the most important thing God wants from the people.  Obey Him.

End Notes:  Joshua carried out Moses’s instructions for these blessings and curses in Joshua 8:30-35.  Mount Ebal had special significance for the Israelites who believed that Abraham first worshipped God near here after receiving the original promise of the land (Genesis 15).

By commanding no iron tools be used, God was ensuring all the glory went to Him and none to the stone-carver.

Deuteronomy is a contract between the king and His subjects.

The command to curse and bless the people was also fulfilled by Joshua in Joshua 8:32-35.

Amen means “so be it.”  Hence, when someone was cursed, this was uttered.

Note that the altar is built upon Mount Ebal, which is the mountain from which curses are pronounced.  Why not build an altar on Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessings?  Because even in our sin, there is God, waiting for us to repent with a sacrifice and come to Him.  Awesome!

Note now we cannot be cursed–Jesus took all of our curses upon himself.  God does not punish nor curse us under the New Covenant.  What grace!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 5: Matthew 27:11-31; Luke 23:1-12

Summary of passages:  Matthew 27:11-31:  Pilate now questions Jesus and lays out the charges against him.  Jesus only answers one questions, acknowledging he is the king of the Jews.  Following custom, Pilate allows the crowd to release one prisoner at Passover.  Pilate’s wife warns him to not to have anything to do with Jesus because she had a bad dream about him.  But the Sanhedrin convinces the crowd to release Barabbas instead of Jesus.  Pilate asks why because Jesus is innocent but the crowd is insistent.  So Pilate washes his hands of the crime and the people take responsibility.  He then flogs Jesus.

Pilate’s soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe upon him and a crown of thorns on his head.  They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him.  They spit on him and hit him over the head with the staff.  Then they removed the robe and put his won clothes back on him.  Then they led him away to be crucified.

Luke 23:1-12:  The Sanhedrin marches Jesus off to Pilate, saying he is subverting the nation by opposing paying taxes to Caesar and claiming to be the Messiah.  Jesus admits to being the king of the Jews.  Pilate admits there are no crimes against him.  The crowd insisted.  Pilate learns he is a Galilean so Pilate hands him over to Herod to deal with.  Herod was eager to question Jesus since he had heard so much about him and was hoping to see a miracle but Jesus refused to answer.

Finally, Herod ridicules and mocks Jesus.  They dress him in a robe and send him back to Pilate. Pilate and Herod become friends.

Questions:

11a)  Herod wanted Jesus to perform a miracle.  Jesus said nothing to Herod.

b)  Herod killed John the Baptist.

c)  He was curious.  He believed Jesus performed miracles and he wanted to know more.  That’s why he kept John the Baptist alive as well.  He was intrigued by their teachings of God and Jesus.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you come to Jesus just seeking a miracle for the sake of seeing a miracle, you won’t get it.  If you come to Jesus asking for a miracle when you don’t believe or accept him, you won’t get it either.  Jesus won’t answer you if your heart is wrong.

12a)  Pilate says so:  Luke 23:4:  “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

He repeats his conclusions in Luke 23:13:  “I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.  Neither has Herod…He has done nothing to deserve death.  Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”

Luke 23:20:  “Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them [the people] again.”

Luke 23:22:  “For the third time, he [Pilate] spoke to the them [the people] ‘I have found no grounds for the death penalty.'”

Matthew 27:23:  Pilate says to the crowd who calls for his crucifixion “Why?  What crime has he committed?”

Matthew 27:24:  Pilate washes his hands in front of the crowd and says “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  It is your responsibility.”

Pilate’s wife believed him innocent as well.  Matthew 27:19:  “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man.”

John 18:38:  Pilate says “I find on basis for a charge against him.”

John 19:4:  Pilate says again “I find no basis for a charge against him.

John 19:12:  “From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting.”

Mark 15:14:  Pilate asks the crowd who wants Jesus crucified, “Why?  What crime has he committed?”

b) Out of envy Matthew 27:18 & Mark 15:10

c)  Because if Jesus was a king, he would be opposing Caesar and that was a crime justifying death.  Mark says specifically that Pilate only hands over Jesus for execution to please the crowd (Mark 15:15).

In my opinion from reading all the passages, I would say Pilate executed Jesus to please the crowds.  During Passover, there were thousands of Jews in Jerusalem–more than the number of Roman soldiers.  The crowd could have easily turned into a rebellion and overpowered the soldiers.

He was probably also tired of trying to reason with crowd mentality where reason does not exist.  So he gave in in order to prevent violence.  I actually did a post on how Jesus was killed by crowd mentality a while back.  You can read that HERE

The fact of the matter is no one person killed Jesus.  We did.  With our sins.  He had to die to save us.  We are all responsible.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The amazing love God has for us to send his son to die for us sinners so He can be with us.  Jesus was innocent.  We are the guilty ones.  Yet now we can live.  Amazing!

Conclusions:  Not for sure why BSF did not have us finish reading the whole Luke passage of Jesus with Pilate especially in light of question 12a where we see Pilate 3 times beg for Jesus’ life but the people were insistent.  Ironic how a lot of people believe it was Pilate and the Romans that killed Jesus when in reality it was the Jews and the very people Jesus came to save.

Jesus actually appeared before Pilate 2 times.  BSF here had us read the first time Jesus appeared before Pilate in Luke.  Keep reading Luke and you will read the second time he appears before Pilate which is what Matthew records.  Matthew records the 2nd time only and not the first.  Hence why BSF has us comparing the first with the second is baffling to me instead of the second with the second.  Read all of Luke and you’ll get the full picture.

Not for sue why BSF did not have us read Mark’s version either of these events especially in light of question 12c where Mark’s reasoning is different than John’s.  I would recommend reading it (Mark 15:1-20).

I can imagine this is only a tiny bit of what happened on that day that is recorded.  I’d love to have more details, wouldn’t you?

We killed Jesus.  With our sins.  I think if we truly absorbed that fact into our souls we’d all be better people.

To this day, our sins sadden God.  He wants so much for us.  So much He’d kill his only Son.  We should all meditate on that fact, absorb its meaning, and be more like Jesus.  For God’s sake if not for our own.

End Notes:  Let’s remember how Pilate first sees Jesus:  beaten and bloodied (Matthew 26:67)–nothing like a king that the Jews are accusing him of being.  Pilate probably thought the Sanhedrin was wasting his time and had hoped to be done with this quickly.

Instead the governor was amazed that Jesus would stood in defied silence.  Whereas most people facing death would defend themselves and do anything to save their lives, Jesus stood.  God was Jesus’ defense.

I can only imagine the presence Jesus had.  I’m sure when he walked into a room, all eyes would land upon him.  There had to be something about him, something majestic and holy, that would draw you to him.  Would have been a sight to see!

Telling the power of the Sanhedrin when they convince the people to release Barabbas who is a revolutionist murderer who tried to overthrow Rome (Mark 15:7).  That was the power of the religious rulers of that day (and the power of false prophets then and now).  Why we should all be thankful that we live in a democracy (those of us that do).  So that innocent people aren’t executed without cause.

Can you imagine Pilate’s wife’s dream?  It must have been powerful for her to send a message to her husband.  This was God’s mercy in play, trying to spare Pilate eternal hell.  He rejected it as so many do.

The fact that the Jews themselves would chose crucifixion (a Roman invention the Jews absolutely hated) speaks to the evilness of man.

The name Barabbas means “the son of the father” in Hebrew (Good Bible references on Barabbas HERE.  Note “abba” in his name.).  The people were fooled and chose the wrong Son.  Like so many do today.  And they will when they embrace the anti-Christ in the future.  Jesus took the cross for Barabbas.  And us.

In the end, Pilate was a coward who denied Jesus justice.  He kowtowed to the rabble and thus went down in infamy.  He washed his hands but not his soul.  He alone held the power to save Jesus as the representative of Rome and he turned away.  How God’s heart must have broke at that moment.

Ironic how the crowd asked for Jesus’ blood–which is what we all must ask for to be saved.  They were saving themselves and didn’t even know it.  Only God can work in such ways.

This same crowd had hailed Jesus only a few days before and cried “Hosanna!” (Save) is now crying “Crucify!” (Die).  If only they had known….

Notes on Scourging:  In Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus this is described in depth (as well as crucifixion).  The NIV calls this flogging but this was beyond normal flogging.  The Romans scourged every one except women and Roman citizens who were sentenced to die on the cross. This entailed a whip with multiple strips of leather that had bone shards or metal at the end. These cut into the skin and muscle and caused massive blood loss, weakening the prisoner and causing death in some cases.  The goal was to extract a confession.  When the confession was gained, the blows would lessen and stop.  Jesus, having nothing to confess, remained silent. Hence, his beating never lessened.

Picture of Scouraging HERE

Picture of Crucifixion HERE

Description and Pictures of Praetorium HERE

Life of Pilate HERE and HERE

On Lesson 27, Day 2 we were asked how Jesus was humiliated.  I answered just by his disciples forsaking him.  Here, is where the real humiliation took place (Matthew 27:27-31).  The whole company of soldiers watched as Jesus was stripped naked.  This is a culture where everyone wore a lot of clothes.  Skin was hardly shown.  Most wore robes to the ground and had sleeves.  Most were in layers.  To expose body parts was considered indecent.  So stripping Jesus when he would have been used to being fully clothed all the time would have been devastating.

Scarlet was the color reserved for royalty and the elite.  In Rome, only the emperor could wear purple because it was the most expensive color cloth at the time.  Scarlet as well was a deep red, again, an expensive color to make.  This was meant to mock Jesus as well.

Most rulers wore crowns.  The crown of thorns would have bloodied Jesus immediately.

Most rulers carried ornate, intricately-carved scepters as a symbol of their power.  Here, Jesus is handed a reed, a stiff grass similar to bamboo.  Then the soldiers beat him with the reed.  They stripped him again and led him away.  Does man get any crueler than this?  To literally spit in God’s face, humiliate Him, and beat Him.  Should bring us all to our knees…

Side Note:  How did Matthew hear of this scene anyways when it was only observed by the Roman soldiers?  Had to have been from one of the soldiers himself.  Makes one wonder if Matthew did interviews for his book like they do today or if a Roman soldier, having witnessed this, came to Christ.  Another question for heaven!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 4: Matthew 26:69-27:10; Luke 22:59-62; John 18:12-27

Summary of passages:  Matthew 26:69-27:10:  Peter was sitting outside Jesus’ trial when a servant girl came up and asked him if he were with Jesus of Galilee.  He denied it.  He went to the gateway where another girl told others Peter was with Jesus of Nazareth.  He denied it again with an oath this time.  The people came up to him after a bit and said that he must be with Jesus because of his accent.  Peter cursed himself and swore for a third time he did not know Jesus.  A rooster crowed and Peter then realized what he had done and Jesus had been right.  He then wept bitterly at his own sin.

In the morning, the Sanhedrin meets to officially proclaim Jesus guilty of blasphemy and sentence him to death.  They hand him over to Pilate who must agree as anyone executed must be approved by the Romans.

Judas was seized with remorse when he saw Jesus was going to be killed.  He returned the 30 silver coins and admitted he betrayed innocent blood.  They didn’t care and Judas threw the coins into the temple.  Then he hung himself.  The chief priests could not use the money since it was blood money so they bought a potter’s field with the money for burial of foreigners.  That is why it is called the Field of Blood.  This fulfilled prophecy by Jeremiah.

Luke 22:59-62:  Luke describes the scene as Peter is sitting nearby Jesus and denies him in his presence.  Peter denies Jesus 3 times and on the third time the rooster crows.  Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter.  Peter then remembered Jesus’ words.  Peter then fled and wept.

John 18:12-27:  Jesus was taken to Annas first.  Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.  The other disciple was known to the high priest and was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus but Peter had to wait outside.  The other disciple gained permission for Peter to enter.  Peter denies the Lord when asked and all are huddled around a fire as it was cold.

Jesus was enduring questioning at the time and told them to ask those who heard him these questions.  Jesus was struck for his suggestion and sent to Caiaphas next.  Peter then denied Jesus 2 more times and the crow crowed.

Questions:

8a)  Peter was asked by a servant girl if he were with Jesus.  Peter denied this. (Matthew 26: 69-70).

Another girl saw Peter and told others that he was with Jesus.  Peter denied this with an oath (Matthew 26:71-72).

People went up to Peter and said he had to be one of those with Jesus because of his accent.  Peter’s denial escalated.  He called down curses on himself and swore he did not know Jesus (Matthew 26:73-74).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To me, Peter’s denial increases and so does his passion.  Man is like this today.  You get so caught up in the lies and the deception that they perpetuate themselves until it reaches a breaking point like it did with Peter when the crow rang and Peter was hit with Jesus’ prophecy.  It starts out with a small lie or denial but to cover that lie you have to lie again and even bigger and then to cover that lie you lie some more until you may actually believe your lies.

Then you usually fall and the fall is so big you weep.  We must all stay true to God and ourselves to avoid what happened to Peter.

9a)  Peter sinned mainly due to ignorance and out of fear.  Judas sinned for greed and personal aggrandizement.  Note how Peter cried:  this is a sign of repentance.  Note how Judas threw his coins and stomped off like a two-year old being denied a treat at the store.  This is anger at the reaction from the Sanhedrin, not anger at his own actions or a desire to amend.

Peter learned from his sins and grew to do the Lord’s will.  Peter accepted his sins and God’s forgiveness for them.  Judas was too overcome with guilt that he took the easy way out and killed himself.  He didn’t go to God afterwards.  He couldn’t forgive himself like God can.

b)  By taking Jesus’ work and extending it.  By founding the church along with others and God and growing the spread of Christianity.

c)  Definition of repentance according to Webster’s Dictionary is “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to feel regret or contrition for”.  The definition of sorry from Webster’s Dictionary is “feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence; mournful, sad”.  Judas felt sad about what he did but he didn’t turn from his sins and dedicate his life to Christ afterwards.  To repent is to want to do better and be better and change your ways.  To be sorry is just a temporary feeling of regret but no changes are made in behavior or attitude.

d)  We are all responsible for our sins.  We are all granted Free Will.  No one makes us choose to sin or turn from God.  That is our choice given to us by God.  We must choose Him and His ways.  If we don’t, that is our fault.

10)  The biggest contrast is not the questioning itself for in both cases the questioning escalated but in the handling of the questioning.  Jesus exhibited grace, calm, and love at all times.  He let man’s accusations fall off.  He spoke only when necessary and did not fire back.  Peter became more and more agitated and it showed up to the point he had denied Jesus three times before it dawned on him what had happened.  Peter let fear for his own life supercede his love for Christ.  He doubted God’s protection.  Self became more important.  A warning to us all.

Conclusions:  Loved this lesson!  Such a warning to us about staying true to God.  Staying true to ourselves.  Letting God take our fears and anxieties.  Answering out of love and compassion and not self-righteousness or anger.  And in the end trusting in God’s plan as Jesus did–even if it’s not what we’d choose.

Did not like question 9d.  Reflects what’s wrong with American society today:  it’s never my fault, it’s someone else’s.  Of course Judas is responsible for his sin.  To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.  But people today are always looking for an out.  Some medical condition or what-have-you that makes you sin and is a crutch to lean on.

I did like the flippancy in the Sanhedrin’s response to Judas.  Judas was seeking some kind of consolation for his mistake but was denied.  Too often today people are coddled when they sin instead of reprimanded.  Our society would be better off if more of us took the Sanhedrin’s approach to sin:  “That’s your responsibility.”  Not that we shouldn’t help others overcome.  But that we must ensure proper acceptance and repentance before healing can take place.

I loved Luke’s nugget of how Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter after his third denial.  Can you imagine?  You deny Jesus in his presence???  I cannot imagine the shame and grief Peter experienced.  Although I think I’d be a better person if I knew Jesus were in the room with me at all times.

End Notes:  If you are cursing yourself, I would say you are so agitated and so out of control that you don’t know what you are doing.  Yet Peter was granted two gifts from God here:  the love, forgiveness, and encouragement in Jesus’ face as he met Peter’s and the memory of Jesus’ words, which shocked him into repentance.  We know how to be better.  Sometimes we have to remember how to be so.

Like I said, this was the real trial in the daylight and Pilate, the Roman governor, was the only one who had the authority to execute men.  Pilate’s normal residence was on the coast of Caesarea but he was required to be in Jerusalem for Passover to show  his support for the Jewish people.  Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Jesus, has much more detail on this.  Pilate (as we’ll see) was not an easy sell:  he did believe Jesus innocent and recognized the trumped up charges but he bowed to the will of the people (Matthew 27:17-19).

The biggest irony that gets me is Jesus is condemned by the people whom he came to save and had only shown mercy and love to.  Who amongst us would do that?

Judas was sorry for the result of his sin, not sorry for the actual sin itself.  He didn’t want Jesus to die; but, he would have sold him out again if given the chance.

By throwing the money at the priests, Judas was saying they were guilty as well.  The priests would not touch the money now even though it was theirs to begin with (hypocrisy, anyone?).

A burial ground was considered unclean.  Hence, it suited the priests to use the money for that purpose.

Some scholars say the fact Judas hung himself is a contradiction of Acts 1:18-19 where Judas fell headlong and his body burst open.  If Judas hung himself, his body would not be defiled so it wouldn’t have been touched.  Hence, it might have been thrown into the field and left to rot and spill open.

There is also controversy about the quote at the end of the passage attributed to Jeremiah because it appears in the book of Zechariah 11:12-13 instead.  Some say this was just a clerical error when copying of the Bible took place.  Some say Zechariah was the one who recorded Jeremiah’s words.  Some think both the books of Jeremiah and Zechariah were recorded at the same time and thus appeared in one book, so Matthew was referring to the same book when he wrote his.

To me, this is a detail I can wait to discover.  God said it all so which prophet said it or recorded it is no big deal in my book.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 3: Matthew 26:57-68; 27:1-2; John 18:12-14, 19-24

Summary of passages: Matthew 26:57-68; 27:1-2: Jesus was taken before Caiaphas, the high priest and other teachers of the law and elders. Peter followed Jesus to see the outcome. They were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could kill him but they did not find any despite the false witnesses. Two said Jesus had claimed he could destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days. Jesus refused to answer these charges.

Caiaphas asked him if he was the Christ, the Son of God. To this, Jesus did reply and said he would be sitting at the right hand of God and coming on clouds of heaven. Caiaphas tore his clothes and accused Jesus of blasphemy. The Sanhedrin agreed and they spit in his face and slapped him. Then they led him to Pilate.

John 18:12-14; 19-24: Jesus was arrested and brought first to Anna, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest, who was the one who wanted someone to die for the people.

Jesus, weary of being questioned, told Annas that he has always spoken openly and to ask those who heard him these tedious questions. Jesus was struck in the face for his flippant remarks and asked why for he told nothing untrue. Annas sent him to Caiaphas.

Questions:

5a) Annas

b)  Annas was Caiaphas’ father-in-law and an ex-high priest.

6a) Phase 1: The chief priests and Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus (Matthew 26:59-60) but they could not find any.

Phase 2: Two witnesses testified that Jesus had said he could destroy the temple and then have it rebuilt in 3 days. Here Jesus refused to reply. (Matthew 26:61-62)  The Sanhedrin were trying to get Jesus on a charge of trying to destroy the temple–a crime that would result in death.  However, John points out Jesus is speaking about the body (John 2:21) and by Jesus refusing to answer this, the Sanhedrin cannot prove anything.

Phase 3: Jesus was asked if he was the Son of God. He answered in the affirmative and was declared guilty of blasphemy here (even though Jesus was innocent since he is the Son of God), sentenced to death, and smacked around.  (Matthew 26:64-67)

b)  All of the chief priests and elders (the Sanhedrin) met officially to confirm the verdict from last night.  They came to the consensus to put Jesus to death and they bound him and brought him to Pilate. [Read Luke 22:66-71 for details on this trial].

7a) He quoted Daniel 7, saying in the future they would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.

b)  Jesus admits he is the Son of God but also says he will be the final judge when he sits at God’s right hand.  The roles will be reversed and he in the end will judge them for all of eternity.

c)  Blasphemy according to Webster’s Dictionary is “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God; the act of claiming attributes of a deity; irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.”  Thus, what Jesus was was true:  he is the Son of God and can therefore justly claim attributes of God and in no way be showing contempt for God.

Conclusions:  It’s like Jesus, knowing his destiny was set in motion and he was heading for death, was eager to get it over with.  He answered no questions and told them to ask others instead.  He wearied of watching the sins of man as they tried (and failed miserably) to justify killing him.

End Notes:  Annas was a previous high priest so the text can be confusing in John.  It is Annas who questions Jesus as well before Caiaphas and Annas is also still called the high priest.  Just like we call former governors of states still governors and Presidents still President, etc.  He kept his title for life.

Hence, Jesus was questioned several times that night.  By Annas.  By Caiaphas who gathered some Sanhedrin at his house.  And in Luke 22:66-71 the Sanhedrin officially assemble.

Everything about this trial broke Jewish law:  a nighttime trial, a trial during Passover, false witnesses who escaped punishment, presumption of innocence, waiting a day after a guilty verdict, etc.  This shows how desperate the high priests were to get rid of Jesus.

They ask Jesus about his threat to destroy the temple.  Jesus is silent.  John tells us Jesus was referring to his body (John 2:21).

Jesus’ silence and refusal to defend himself (although he could very well have with calling all the people he healed and others to testify to his miracles) frustrates Caiaphas to the point he called on Jesus to answer in the name of God.  Jesus did, simply, but followed by a warning:  I will be judging you in the future.

Finally, the get Jesus to admit he is the Son of God, which is blasphemy (the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God) if it had been false.

They spit in Jesus’ face and slapped him.  Imagine God’s reaction in heaven.  It had to take some might to not send angels down and wipe the Sanhedrin off the face of the earth.  As parents, I’m sure we all can relate.

Man is born God’s enemy (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:21).  So we shouldn’t be shocked that they’d treat Jesus this way because probably in their hearts they knew Jesus was God’s Son.

Jesus protects his disciples to the end, not answering questions about them when asked.  Peter follows Jesus, determined to show he won’t be the one to deny him.  Still naive, huh Peter?