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Trip 961:  The Jewish Trial:  Christ appears before Caiaphas—Part 2

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Mark 14:53-72    __Luke 22:54-71    __John 18:25-27

Focal verse(s):  Luke 22:70:  “They all asked, ‘Are you the Son of God?’  He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’”

The Jewish leaders had taken Jesus to the high priest’s house in the middle of the night because they were in a hurry and wanted to complete the execution before the Sabbath and continue with the Passover Celebration.  There was a large courtyard there and many servants and soldiers were warming themselves around a fire.  When Peter denied Jesus the third time and the rooster crowed, Jesus turned and looked at Peter at that moment and instantly Peter remembered the prediction Jesus had made that he would deny Him 3 times before the rooster crowed.  As the rooster crowed, the look from Jesus sent Peter out into the night to weep bitterly.  The soldiers who had been assigned to guard the sacred temple in Jerusalem were also the ones who had arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and they began to mock Jesus and beat Him.  They blindfolded Jesus, and began to hit him in the face, taunting Him and asking Him to identify who did it.  Jesus endured this humiliating event with loving patience.  When the first light of morning came, Jesus was taken by the Jewish elders to their council, known as the Sanhedrin. When the members of the Sanhedrin asked Christ if He was the Messiah, Jesus told them that it was useless to discuss the matter with them because they were blinded to the truth.  Fulfilling Psalm 110:1, Jesus told them that He would one day sit on the right hand of God, which prompted them to ask Him if He was the Son of God.  Jesus answered them with, “You rightly say that I am” (Mark 14:62).  This was the type of answer they were looking for and they immediately accused Jesus of the blasphemy of claiming equality with God.  The Sanhedrin now had a problem because the penalty for blasphemy was death, yet they were under Roman power and did not have authority to put people to death.  In order to execute Jesus, they would have to take Him to the Roman governor Pilate and think up some political charges, because the Romans would not execute a prisoner just for religious reasons.  As Peter had earlier stood around the fire and went through the ordeal of denying Christ 3 times, the Holy Spirit used this experience to bring him to repentance and change him from a half-hearted follower into a real disciple that  the Holy Spirit would later use to influence the entire world.  Remember, we’re all sinners saved by God’s redeeming grace.  All of us have denied Christ through our daily actions, yet the Holy Spirit can work greatly in our lives just like Peter if we’ll be yielded to Christ!

 

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Trip 960:  The Jewish Trial:  Christ Appears before Annas; …before Caiaphas

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 18:12-24    __Matthew 26:57-75

Focal verse(s):  Matthew 26:74-75:  “Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’   Immediately a rooster crowed.  Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.'”

After Jesus’ arrest, the mob took him to Annas, the former high priest, with the intent to prove Christ guilty of blasphemy and heresy.  This was a religious trial, and any verdict concerning the death penalty had to be approved through the Roman courts.  Peter and John had sneaked into the temple courtyard and were warming themselves by a fire.  A servant girl asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ disciples but he denied it.  At that point the high priest then asked Jesus about His doctrine and Christ answered that He had taught and spoke openly in the synagogues and the temple and everyone knew what He believed.  A soldier struck Jesus and told Him to answer. Jesus said that they could not accuse Him of speaking evil, yet they had hit Him.  At this, Jesus was sent to appear before the high priest Caiaphas.  At Caiaphas’ home the Jewish council was assembled and did not give Jesus the usual prescribed time to prepare any defense.  Also, the court was not supposed to meet at night, but these men were so desperate to get Jesus that they did so anyway.  Peter had followed them to Caiaphas’ house and was a spectator in the distance.  Two false witnesses were finally produced and both testified that Jesus had said if the temple was destroyed He would raise it up again, implying that Jesus had threatened to destroy the temple.  They also said that He had been predicting His own death and resurrection.  Jesus kept quiet through all of the accusations, fulfilling Isaiah 53:7:  “As a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth“.  Caiaphas finally asked Christ point blank if He were the Christ and Jesus answered, “It is as you said”, then told him “Hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven”.  At this, Caiaphas tore his clothes and they all condemned Him to the death penalty.  People began to spit on Jesus and hit at Him, mocking Him.  In the distance, a servant girl saw Peter and told him that she had seen him with Jesus, but Peter denied it.  A little later several of the crowd told Peter that they knew he was one of the disciples because of his accent, and Peter cursed and said, “I do not know the Man!”  Instantly the rooster crowed and Peter remembered that Jesus said he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed.   He went out and wept bitterly.  Unless we stay close to God it is easy for any of us to daily deny Christ in our witness for Him.  We don’t usually come out and say “1 don’t know the Man!”, but we can deny Him in so many little ways, like not witnessing when the opportunity presents itself, not helping a stranger in need, being a poor church attendee, and not showing love for our brothers.

 

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Trip 959:  Betrayal and Arrest

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 18:2-11    __Matthew 26:47-56    __Mark 14:43-52    __Luke 22:47-53

Focal verse(s):  Matthew 26:56:  “‘But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.’   Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled.”

Judas Iscariot knew that Christ spent many hours praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and that would be the most likely place to find Him.  Judas had to personally accompany the soldiers and church officers in order to identify Jesus, because it was in the middle of the night.  Jesus made it an easy task by coming out to meet them.  Judas the betrayer greeted Jesus with a kiss on the cheek because he had told the chief priests he would identify Jesus in this manner.  Christ asked, “Whom are you seeking?”, and the crowd answered, “Jesus of Nazareth”, and Jesus answered, “I am He”.  At that point Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, but Jesus rebuked him and told him to put his sword away because those who “take the sword will perish by the sword”.  Jesus did not need Peter’s sword to defend Himself, because if He had wanted He could have called thousands of angels to His rescue!  Jesus rebuked the crowd for carrying weapons because they had never seen Him carry one, so why would they need weapons to arrest Him?  Our Lord knew they were doing these things so that Scripture would be fulfilled.  At that point, the soldiers seized Jesus and the disciples, filled with fear, fled for cover of the darkness.  As one of the disciples ran off, a soldier, attempting to grab him, caught hold of his clothes and tore them off, leaving the disciple fleeing naked.  It is believed that this was Mark, because only in his gospel is this incident mentioned.  This was the beginning of a dark hour in the lives of Jesus’ followers as well as for Jesus.  Christ was now in the hands of the sinful religious leaders, getting ready to face an illegally held “kangaroo court”, and the disciples had forsaken Christ by running away and hiding like cowards.  All believers have encountered such moments of cowardice, such as those times that we should have witnessed for Christ and did not, or failed to stand up for what we know is right in front of others…so we can all identify with these disciples!  The night was dark and so was the outlook of the disciples because their leader in whom they had put all their trust was now arrested.  Could things get any worse?  When we come to those times in our lives there is only one thing to do, and I believe the disciples prayed harder at this time than at any other time in their lives!

 

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Trip 958:  Events at Gethsemane

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 18:1    __Luke 22:39    __Matthew 26:30-46    __Mark 14:26-46

Focal verse(s):  Matthew 26:34:  “‘I tell you the truth’, Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.'”

After Jesus finished praying for the disciples, they sang a hymn, left the upper room in Jerusalem and went east toward the Mount of Olives, crossing the Brook Kidron and entering the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus told the disciples they would all disassociate themselves from Him that very night because it had been prophesied by Zechariah in Scripture.  Peter answered and said that he would never deny Christ, but Jesus told him before the rooster crowed he would deny Him 3 times!  Peter and all the disciples still said they would never do such a thing.  Jesus told 8 of the 11 disciples to sit down and wait and then took Peter, James, and John with Him deeper into the garden.  Jesus became very sad and told them that His soul was “sorrowful, even to death”, thinking of the fact that He was about to become the sin offering for the entire world.  At that point he left the 3 and went deeper into the garden and prayed to God that if there were any other way for sinners to be saved for God to reveal it to Him.  When Jesus returned, he found the disciples sleeping because their spirits were willing but their flesh was weak.  Jesus woke them up and told them to pray so they would not enter into temptation, then went back by Himself to pray again.  This time He prayed if the cross had to be, then He would be totally submissive.  He returned and again found the disciples sleeping, so he went back and prayed some more, returning the third time to still find them asleep!  He woke them and told them that they needed to get up and go because the hour had come for Him to be “betrayed into the hands of sinners”.  They could now hear the footsteps of the soldiers coming for Jesus, yet Christ was boldly going to face them!   Both times we’ve visited Israel, my wife Sally and I have had the privilege of praying underneath an olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane, an unforgettable experience as you realize Jesus was there in that very place praying before he went to the cross!  Take some time right now to praise and thank Christ for not falling asleep at His job so we could have eternal life!  Thank Him for being submissive to the will of God, taking all of our nasty sins upon himself so you could be free from guilt and eternity in hell!   As you picture the awesome scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, ask God to forgive you for sleeping when you should have been spiritually awake and on the lookout for the devil!

 

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Trip 957: Jesus Prays at the Garden of Gethsemane

Dr. Rix Tillman

Theme: “Stumbling Heavenward”

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 17

Focal verse(s):  John 17:1:  “After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.”

Jesus turned His eyes toward Heaven and uttered what is commonly referred to as the ”High-Priestly Prayer of Jesus”, because He interceded for His people.  It was time for Him to be put to death and be glorified, in turn glorifying God the Father.  Because of His victory on the cross over sin, God would give Jesus the authority to give eternal life to all those who trust Christ as Savior.  As Jesus prayed, He was looking past the cross to His finished work.  Soon Jesus would leave his earthly body where He was not recognized by most people as God and return to His heavenly home where everyone would see Him as the King of Kings!  Jesus was preparing Himself for the journey to heaven via the road to the cross, and He was also praying that Christians be united just as He and the Father are one.  Jesus said that all the disciples were saved except Judas Iscariot, whom He called “The son of perdition”.  Jesus prayed to God that when a person becomes a believer that he should remain on the earth in order to witness rather than be immediately taken to heaven.  Jesus prayed that believers be set apart from the world and protected from Satan’s power.  He prayed for all generations of believers still unborn, that they be unified in their desire to reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ.  Jesus looked ahead to when He would come again and believers would receive their glorified bodies.  Jesus had prayed for believers of all ages on the eve of His crucifixion!  Remember the main reason you were left on the earth when you received Christ rather than be taken immediately to heaven: To win others to Jesus!  Above all other things you do in your service for God, telling others about how to be saved is the chief task of the Christian.  Satan knows this and that is why he spends so much time diverting believers into other areas of church work such as committees, programs, and other worthwhile tasks.  As worthwhile as these duties are, they cannot substitute for the main priority of the believer.  Check out your priorities and see if winning souls is number one on your list.  If it is not, then you need to rearrange your priorities immediately!

 

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Trip 956:  Ministry of the Holy Spirit

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 16:5-33

Focal verse(s):  John 16:33:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.   In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world. ”

It seems that the disciples were more concerned over their own troubles than with the fact that Jesus was going to die!  Jesus told them that He would send the Comforter (Holy Spirit) after He returned to heaven.  The Holy Spirit would convict people of their sin and need of the Savior, without which they would die and go to eternal damnation.  Christ’s work of guiding people into the way of truth would be carried on by the Holy Spirit by giving them a hunger for the Word of God.  The main task of the Holy Spirit is to bring glory to Christ.  The Holy Spirit is like the band director in a parade who marches along the side, letting the drum major (Jesus) take all the credit for leading the band.   Jesus told the disciples “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me”, speaking of his death and resurrection and possibly also referring to His Second Coming, but they did not understand.  Jesus told the disciples that they would have sorrow, but it would only be for a short time and then they would be filled with joy.  This happened when Christ was resurrected, and again when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.  When Christ comes again, all believers throughout history will be filled with joy!  Jesus told the disciples “In that day” (referring to the period after Pentecost) they would go directly to God the Father through prayer to make requests.  “That day” referred to the period we are presently in, which is between Pentecost and the Rapture.  As believers we have the privilege of praying “in Jesus’ name” with total confidence that our prayers will be answered if we pray in God’s will, which is what praying ”in Jesus’ name” means!  Jesus said that in a short time the disciples would be “scattered” and would leave Him alone, speaking of their denial and cowardice in the face of His arrest and trial.  Jesus told them to be happy because He had overcome the world, referring to His victory over Satan and sin on the cross!

 

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Trip 955:  Jesus the True Vine; Supremacy of Love; Coming of Persecution

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __John 15:1 through John 16:4

Focal verse(s):  John 15:5:  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Throughout the Old Testament the nation of Israel is pictured as a vine, but because Israel had been unfaithful, Christ says that He is the True Vine and God is the Vinedresser.  The branch that produces fruit is the growing Christian, and God the vinedresser prunes or corrects us as we need it.   “Abiding” in the branch means to stay faithful to Jesus through prayer, study of the Word, worship, fellowship, and witness.  Just as a branch can do nothing apart from the vine, so the believer cannot accomplish anything apart from Jesus Christ.  If we abide in Christ we will lineup with God’s will and thus our prayers will be answered.  Those who do not abide in Christ (unbelievers) will be cast into hell when they die.  The way we abide in Christ is to keep His commandments so our ‘joy may be full”.   We must love one another as Christ loved us.  Christ’s love was so great that He was willing to die for us…the same kind of love we should have for each other.  Jesus said believers should not be surprised if the world hates us, because the world hated even the Lord.   He also said that He would send the Spirit from God to help believers carry on His testimony.   Disciples of Jesus would be excommunicated from the synagogues and the Christians would be greatly persecuted.  Jesus told them that when these things happened, they must remember His warnings and be strong in the face of the adversity in order to carry on the work of Christ.  Dear friend, how is your spiritual “tree” doing as far as bearing fruit?   Is your ministry for Christ prospering?   Are you seeing people come to Christ as a result of your personal witness for Christ in your community?  Jesus commanded all of His disciples to bear fruit and that is what we must do.   If you need the “fertilizer” of revival in your life, pray about it today, then go see the spiritual leader of your church and find out how to better use your spiritual gifts for the Lord.

 

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