BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 5: John 28-30

Summary of passage:  Jesus was given a drink of wine before he pronounced, “It is finished” and died.

Questions:

11)  His last thought and words of this world is for us, saying his work is finished for us to be with God.  Awesome!

12a)  His asking for the drink and acceptance of it show it is done.  He was at peace and he willingly gave up his spirit when all was done.  What we don’t see is God laying upon Jesus’ shoulders our guilt and sins and wrath and Jesus accepting it for us in our place and paying the penalty or consequences of it–death.  When this is satisfied, Jesus speaks.

b)  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  This is the curtain separating God from His people that only the High Priest was allowed to enter.  Now we are all allowed to be with God since the blood of Jesus has cleansed us of our sins.  We can enter into a personal relationship with God with no barriers, physical or spiritual before us.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It means Jesus’ work to die for our sins so we are forgiven, justifying us before God, being righteous, so we can be with God, is finished.  It means eternal life and life with the Holy Spirit.  It has given me peace and confidence to go forth and do God’s work despite opposition and the world’s ways.  God has and will bless me.

Conclusions:  Good lesson on the meaning of Jesus’ death.

End Notes:  Being thirsty is a real torture and Jesus needed to wet his throat in order to make his last pronouncement.  This is not a drugged wine.  It’s the wine of those standing around waiting for the crucified to die.  It’s the common drink all drank in Ancient Times.  Hence, we all thirst for God in our deepest and darkest moments.

This is one word in the ancient Greek (tetelestai), announcing our debt paid and our peace made with God, His wrath against man satisfied.  This is a triumphant, victory cry.  The power of Satan, sin, and death is overcome.

One word changes everything–the most important word ever spoken in all of history for mankind. It’s like “Yes” to a marriage proposal.  “Good-bye” to someone.  “Guilty” in a court of law.  Nothing can compare.

Bowing his head is Jesus at peace.

Jesus willingly gave up his spirit.  No one took it from him.

Jesus’ last week of life takes up 1/3 of the Gospels.  All are writing with hindsight and understand his death. Can you imagine how it would read otherwise?  At this point, understanding if far, far away.  The Son of God die?  Impossible!  Jesus will live again.  The Holy Spirit will come.  All will be clear.  For now, only John stands by his side.  And women.  Women who loved him despite any danger to their lives.

Jesus experienced anything we can ever experience:  trivial irritations in life, hard work, poverty, pain, fear, rejection, humiliation, defeat, despair, and death.  How can we not fall in love with him?

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 4: John 25-27

Summary of passage:  At the cross was Mary, Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John.  Jesus tells his mother John is her son and tells John his mother is his now. John cares for Jesus’ mother from here on out.

Questions:

8 )  John’s focus is on the more personal and how Jesus’ death affects those closest to him.  He shows how even at death Jesus is thinking of others as he commissions John to care for his mother.  John is focusing on individuals.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus honored his Father and obeyed his Father to the cross, accepting the physical pain of death out of love for us.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would grow closer to God and my life would be more joyful and fulfilling.

Conclusions:  Would have liked to focus more on the women at Jesus’ feet and the disciple rather than on myself.  And on how Jesus gave his mother into John’s care.  How awesome!

End Notes:  Mary must have been suffering almost as much as Jesus to see her son dying before her eyes.  She had to have been weeping and calling out to God herself.  All these women were there to support Mary.

This was the author John’s humble way to refer to himself in the story, as he does four times in his Gospel (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 21:20). John told us that he was at Jesus’ crucifixion and saw these things with his own eyes (John 19:35).

Jesus never once thought of himself.  It was always about us.

Jesus did not call Mary mother probably to spare her more pain.  He also didn’t need to be specific.  Both Mary and John knew what Jesus was asking of them.

We know Mary had other children with Joseph who could have cared for her into old age (Matthew 12:46-47, 13:55-56, John 2:12 and 7:3-10).  Instead, Jesus chose John for the job.  What an honor!  Scholars speculate reasons for this:  Jesus knew John would outlive his siblings.  His siblings were not yet believers and Jesus wanted her with a believer.  He did this to honor John who was the only disciple to stand at the cross of Jesus.  He did this to show you can care for others outside of blood bonds.  Who knows?  It could be all of these reasons.

Great summary of who was at the cross with biblical references to try and reconcile the different accounts in the Gospels HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 3: John 19:23-24

Summary of passage:  The soldiers divided up Jesus’ clothes, fulfilling prophecy.

Questions:

6)  He was humiliated by being crucified naked.

7a)  Jesus took all of our sins to make us righteous so that once again we can stand before God as Adam and Eve did, sinless, with no shame or fear.

b)  Personal question.  My answer:  We are completely forgiven, able to stand before God once again, justified and righteous and rich in God.  I am overwhelmed.

Conclusions:  Jesus’ death and our faith in him as the Savior justifies us.  Jesus being stripped is merely a symbol of us taking on a new life in Christ when we accept what he did for us.

End Notes:  Like cops today, Roman soldiers hung around after Jesus was crucified to keep the peace and ensure Jesus died.  Normally, people were crucified naked.  In Jewish custom, those stoned were afforded a loin cloth.  These soldiers either stripped Jesus while he was on the cross or took his clothes when he was stripped ahead of time.  This shows us Jesus let go of everything so he could be poor and us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Jesus’ main tunic was well made and the soldiers did not want to tear it.  They would probably sell it later and divide the proceeds.  This shows Jesus as a high priest.  Exodus 28:31-32 has the High Priest wearing a seamless garment.  This fulfilled Psalm 22:18.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 2: John 19:18-22

Summary of passage:  Jesus was crucified between 2 criminals.  A sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews” hung above Jesus.  It was written in Latin, Greek and Aramaic.

Questions:

3)  “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews”.  Because he wasn’t the King of the Jews according to the religious leaders and it felt like Pilate was mocking the Jews.

4)  Psalm 72:1, 8, 11, 17:  Jesus bring justice, righteousness, rule over earth, all will bow down to him, and his name will endure forever.

Matthew 2:1-2, 6:  Jesus was born king of the Jews to shepherd Israel.

John 4:42:  Jesus is the savior of the world.

John 6:51:  Jesus gives eternal life with his death.

John 11:51-52:  Jesus died for all to bring them together and make them one.

Revelation 5:9:  Jesus saved all with his blood.

Jesus is King over all and it was written in all the possible languages anyone who witnesses his death would know so all would know he had come to save all of them.  Jesus’ death is meant to save all.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus took away our sins with his death, forgiving us, and giving us eternal life with God.  There is nothing else in this world more important.  It gives me meaning and purpose to do His will.

Conclusions:  Jesus died for all our sins.  Painfully and sacrificially. He has always been and will always be our king.

End Notes:  Crucifixion:  The Persians invented crucifixion, but one could say that the Romans perfected it and made it an institution. It was practiced by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Macedonians, and the Egyptians as well.  It was the form of execution reserved for the worst criminals and the lowest classes. It was so dreaded in the pre-Chrisitian era that the cares and troubles of life were often compared to a cross.  Crucifixion was designed to make the victim die publically, slowly, with great pain and humiliation. This was the form of death God ordained for Jesus to die, and the death that He submitted to in the will of God.

Crucifixion was so awful and degrading that polite Romans wouldn’t talk about it in public. The Roman statesman Cicero said of crucifixion: “It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen; to scourge him is an act of wickedness; to execute him is almost murder: What shall I say of crucifying him? An act so abominable it is impossible to find any word adequately to express.” The Roman historian Tacitus called crucifixion “A torture fit only for slaves.”

In Ancient Times everyone knew how tortuous crucifixion was.  John and the other Gospel writers did not have to spell it out for us so they didn’t.  Plus, they wanted to convey the facts and not get bogged down in the emotions of the moment.  Plus, Jesus suffered both spiritually and physically so describing the physicality of crucifixion would take away from the much more important spiritual aspect.  Roman citizens were exempt from crucifixion.

According to Dr. William Edwards in the Journal of the American Medical Association, death from crucifixion could come from many sources: acute shock from blood loss, being too exhausted to breathe any longer, dehydration, stress-induced heart attack, or congestive heart failure leading to a cardiac rupture.  When a person is suspended by two hands, the blood sinks rapidly into the lower extremities.  Blood pressure drops and heart rate speeds up.  If the victim did not die quickly enough, the legs were broken, and the victim was soon unable to breathe and died of suffocation.  However, this usually took 2-3 days to die.  The body was usually left as a deterrent to criminals.  It would decompose and be eaten by animals.

Constantine outlawed the practice in 337 AD out of veneration for Christ.  However, the Japanese adopted it in the 1500’s and it is still legal in some countries today as a method of capital punishment.  The word excruciating comes from the Latin word for crucify.

Jesus was crucified alongside other sinners.  One was saved, the other lost.  So it goes throughout all of time.

A placard  was according to Roman custom. The crime was written out and the title hung around the victim’s neck as he carried his cross to the place of death.  The title was then placed at the top of the cross so all would know the reason for the crucifixion and be warned what happens to criminals.  The execution took place outside of city walls and probably along a popular road so the max amount of people would see it.

Jesus’ crime was who he was.  He didn’t do anything.

Aramaic was for the common folk and Jews.  Latin was for the learned.  Greek was for the Greeks.  The three languages in use at the time and place of Jesus’ death.  This would serve as a model that all are intended for Jesus’ message, death, and salvation.

The religious leaders objected because they didn’t believe Jesus was the king of the Jews and if he was, it was insulting to the Jewish people.  Pilate stood by his pronouncement and once the sentence had been pronounced, it was against Roman law to change it.  John recording this shows Jesus kingship is final and unalterable.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 5: Revelation 21:1-8

Summary of passage: After the final judgment, John sees a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem come from heaven. God will dwell with men here and be their God. The old order has passed, vanquishing death, pain, tears, and mourning. God declares all to be new and He who believes shall inherit the new earth while the unbelieving rot in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Questions:

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God will live with believers, be His people, and He will be their God.  There will be no more tears, death, or pain.  It is an awesome thought that one day we’ll all be in God’s presence.  It makes the heartaches of this world not hurt quite so much.

11)  God created the world, Jesus sacrificed His life for our sins, and God will dwell with man for eternity.  Obviously with no world we wouldn’t exist.  With no Jesus we’d be hopeless.  With no eternity life would be meaningless.  It teaches us God’s greatness, compassion, mercy, and love for all of mankind.

12a)  Only those who don’t choose Him suffer a second death instead of all of us.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  None truly.  I let God handle it and I let Him guide me around unbelievers.  I worry about nothing in this world (Philippians 4:6).

Note:  We just had this question in 5d, Day 2 & 3.

Conclusions:  Lackluster and disappointing.  Nothing new here.

End Notes:  See YESTERDAY’S post.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 4: Revelation 21:1-8

Summary of passage:  After the final judgment, John sees a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem come from heaven.  God will dwell with men here and be their God.  The old order has passed, vanquishing death, pain, tears, and mourning.  God declares all to be new and He who believes shall inherit the new earth while the unbelieving rot in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Questions:

7)  The world today because it is full of sin.

8 )  In the Garden of Eden, God walked alongside Adam and Eve until the Fall.  Once the Fall happened a separation between man and God took place and God dwelled in heaven.  He would appear to man however such as Moses in Exodus in a cloud or a burning bush or on Mount Sinai to guide them.  He also spoke to prophets such as Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc in dreams.

Until the tabernacle was toppled by the Romans in 70 AD, God dwelled in the holy of holies, close to man and accessible by the priests (Levites).  God sent His son Jesus to be Immanuel and walk alongside of us again.  Jesus sacrificed his life to usher in the Holy Spirit, which indwells all believers today and serves as our guide until Jesus returns.  After the Second Coming, a new Jerusalem will take place and this world will fall away and we will once again walk alongside God.

9a)  Personal Question that has nothing to do with this passage.  My answer:  It’s affected everything.  I pray for guidance in decisions.  I pray for peace of mind and His will to be done.  I try to walk with Jesus and do what Jesus would do in all aspects of my life.

b)  Personal Question we’ve answered many times before.  My answer:  He is everything.  Without Him I have nothing.  Hence, He is my hope, joy, and reason for worship.

Conclusions:  Would have liked more questions on the new Jerusalem.  Weak to say the least.

End Notes:  “Then I saw” begins the last major section of the book of Revelation, ushering in the new earth and the hope we all have.
The idea of a new earth was spoken of by many prophets:  Isaiah 65:17-19, 66:22; Psalm 102:25-27; 2 Peter 3:10-13.
Paul says death will the last thing destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:25-26), which we see in Revelation 20. In 1 Corinthians 15:24 the end will come after Christ destroys every rule, authority, and power.
The first heaven here is not the one where God dwells.  The Bible uses “heaven” in three senses:  “first heaven” as the sky, “second heaven” as the stars in the night, and the third heaven where God dwells.

The Greek word new here (kaine) means fresh or better.  Scholars debate whether there will be a completely new planet or not.  Most say yes based on Luke 21:33 and Isaiah 65:17.
This new heaven is after the Millennial strongly indicated by the absence of the sea (Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9, 11; Ezekiel 47:10, 15, 17, 18, 20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8).
The Jews of the day see the sea as a place of evil (Revelation 13:1, 20:13; Isaiah 57:20; Psalm 89:9) and scholars debate whether this is figurative or literal with no seas.  Some point out (Daniel 7; Revelation 13; Revelation 14) which show seas as representatives of people and therefore a removal of boundaries amongst mankind.
This new Jerusalem is the one of our hope and eternal dwelling place (Hebrews 12:22; Galatians 4:26; Philippians 3:20) prepared by God for believers and saints (Hebrews 11:16; John 14:2, 1 Corinthians 2:9).
The bride beautifully dressed is the perfect image for John of what the new Jerusalem will be like.  We saw this imagery of the bride in Revelation 19:7-8 where we see the bride as the holy people of God and the bright clothing representing the pure and righteous deeds of the saints (Ephesians 5:25-27).  More will be described about the bride of Christ in verse 9 through the rest of chapter 21.

This holy city embodies elements of Jerusalem, the temple, and the garden of Eden.
Some translations say “tabernacle” instead of “dwelling”, which gives us a better idea here.  Remember God dwelled in the tabernacle until it was destroyed in 70 AD.  Here, John is saying God will dwell among us with no curtain separating us.
God’s ultimate plan for mankind will come to fruition again as “they will be his people and God will be with them and be their God.”  Jesus rids the world of sin and delivers the new Jerusalem to God as a dwelling for Him and mankind (Colossians 1:15-18)
Here we see God speaking directly from His throne.  Note the present tense (known as prophetic certainty):  God is making all things new right now.  It has begun!  Paul conveys this idea when he says we are all being made new  (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:17).
God’s plan was sin so that we could be redeemed through the blood of Jesus. Redeemed man is much greater than innocent man and we gain so much more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam.
There are no tears in heaven.  This is speaking of the tears here on earth.  Isaiah uses the same imagery to show God’s comfort (Isaiah 22:4; 25:8).
John was told to write.  He was so astounded by seeing this vision he had forgotten!
It is done!  (Ephesians 1:10).  It is finished!  Again Christ identifies himself as the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), the first and the last, the beginning and the end of all things.  The crown of life has arrived! (Revelation 2:10-11).
Man being thirsty emphasizes his need for God’s drink (Isaiah 55:1-2).  Jesus said these words in John 7:37-39.
The cowards are most likely those who refuse Jesus and instead love their life more.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 2 & Day 3: Revelation 20:11-15

Summary of passage:  Jesus sits on the great white throne in judgment of all according to what they had done on earth.  Those whose names are found in the book of life (believers) are saved.  The rest are thrown into the lake of fire for the second death for all of eternity.

Questions:

3)  Jesus and he is God so he has every right.  Also, God gives him the right.  A more complete answer is the Triune God.  See also (John 5:22-27)

4)  “Earth and sky fled from his presence” as there was no place for them anymore.

5a)  Books that hold the deeds unsaved people have done while on earth which God/Jesus will use to justify His judgment.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Believers.  Yes.  Because I have accepted Jesus as my Savior.

Context Note:  In Psalm, the they is “foes” from Psalm 69:18 or “enemies” from Psalm 69:19 so David’s foes or enemies who are unrighteous.

c)  Second death is judgment and eternal damnation for unbelievers, which results in a permanent banishment from God’s presence. (Isaiah 65:17; Psalm 88:5).  First death is when we all die physically.  Revelation 21:8 identifies them as “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars”.  This also includes the Antichrist, the False Prophet, Satan, the fallen angels, Death, and Hades.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve been asked this so many times it’s ridiculous.  Yes and tell them about Jesus. (Lesson 19 Day 3, Lesson 15 Day 4, Lesson 13 Day 5, Lesson 7 Day 2)

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is just and I don’t need to worry for He has it all.  I am saved. Others need to be saved.

Context Note:  Not sure why we read the Romans passage if the question asks us about the Revelation passage.  It really doesn’t add anything to the context.

Conclusions:  I have nothing positive to say, so I won’t say anything.  Do this passage in one day.  It’s easy enough.  Most of these questions can be answered without looking up the reference passages if you so choose.

End Notes:  Great is “great”, white is purity and holiness, throne is sovereignty.  No one can escape the judgment (why there is no where for the sky and earth to go).  Hebrews 1:10-12 & 2 Peter 3:10 tell us this world will perish and pass away as this world is no longer needed when Jesus comes.

Will believers be at this Great White Throne?  Almost all scholars say no because believers sins are already judged by Jesus’s death at the cross.  This is for the unbelievers.  Believers are judged but right after the first physical death.  This is told to us in 2 Corinthians 5:10 (judgment seat of Christ).

Paul elaborates on this in  1 Corinthians 3:12-15 where our works and motives will be judged.  There will be no punishment, however, only rewards.  This scene is punishment, a sentencing, consequences handed out, not a trial.  This is for the condemned, unbelievers.  There will be no words, no “telling God anything”.  There will only be the righteousness and goodness of God and the unbelievers rejection of Him.  When believers die, they go into the immediate presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).

There are degrees of punishment meted out here based on the sins unbelievers committed on earth.  Other passages that speak to judgment based on works is:  Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17, and many more.

The “sea gave up the dead” is referenced unburied bodies.  Again, emphasis on no escape from God’s judgment.

“Death and Hades” are the final vestiges of sin.  Sin is now completely done away with forever and both are no longer needed.

The Bible uses 3 main words to describe the idea of “hell” or the lake of fire:

1)  Hebrew Sheol means “the grave”

2)  Hades which is a Greek word and where the Ancient Greeks believed all dead went. Remember parts of the Bible were originally written in Ancient Greek.  It means “world beyond.”  In Revelation 9:1 we see the Greek abyssos or Abyss or Bottomless pit.  It is a prison for demons (Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).  Paul uses it in Romans 10:6.  It is where the souls of the unsaved go until Judgment Day and is temporary which is why it will be cast into the lake of fire as well.

To make Hades even more complicated:   Once consisting of two compartments as the abode of all departed souls whether saved or unsaved (Luke 16:19-31), when Christ died and His spirit descended into Hades (Ephesians 4:9) proclaiming victory to the evil spirits incarcerated there (1 Peter 3:19), He resurrected with the souls of those who died in faith (Ephesians 4:8; Matthew 27:52-53).

3)  Gehanna, another Greek word, used by Jesus in Mark 9:43-44.  In Hebrew it means “valley of Hinnom” and is where we get our English word “hell” from.  It is a place where child sacrifices to Molech took place.  This is the hell we think of and currently it is unoccupied until the great white throne room and final judgment.  Other uses:  2 Chronicles 28:1-3; Jeremiah 32:35.

Eternal separation from God is the ultimate punishment.  Can you imagine even now living in a world without God?  Imagine a world where Jesus reigns but you are in hell!  Horrible doesn’t even describe it. Saying “tormented day and night for ever and ever”  (Revelation 20:10) is the best description and even that is hard to imagine!