John 20

John 20: The Risen Christ

Early in the morning, when it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the Sepulchre where Jesus was laid to rest. When she arrived she found that the tomb had been opened and immediately ran to Peter to tell him what had happened. Peter and the other Apostles ran to see for their own eyes. It is interesting that it specifically mentions; “…the other disciple did outrun Peter…” (John 20:4) I don’t know why this was important; perhaps the other Apostle had a stronger desire to know for himself? Maybe Peter was out of shape?

The Apostles leave and Mary stays behind weeping, she takes a look in the tomb and finds two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been laid to rest and they ask her; “…Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:13) and she responds; “…Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:13) Mary turns back around and sees a man [Jesus] (who she assumed was the gardener), Jesus asks her the same question and she asks the gardener to help her find the body of Jesus. But in that same instant; Jesus called out to her; “…Mary…” (John 20:16) and she immediately recognized His voice and she said; “…Rabboni [which means Master]…” (John 20:16) Mary must have been really excited and most likely reached out to Him as she called Him, because Jesus responded; “…Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) We learn from this scripture that Jesus Christ is separate from the Father, or else why would He ascend unto Himself? Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and God the Father is His Father and OUR Father. What does that make Jesus to us? He is our brother! But we need to look at Him with respect, because He is our eldest brother, and He has become like our Father being a god.

Mary Magdalene went to the other Apostles and told them about her interaction with Jesus. That same night the Apostles were gathered behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus had found a way to get in without anyone noticing and stood in the midst of them and said; “…Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19) Jesus invites all gathered to feel and see His hands and feet to see where the nails had left prints from the Crucifixion. Jesus also gives them the Holy Ghost. Thomas was the only one not present at the time. The next time the Apostles saw Thomas they told Him that had seen Jesus and felt His prints. Thomas was a difficult one to persuade and said; “…Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Eight days pass and they gather again, this time Thomas is present and Jesus comes to him and says; “…Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27) After hearing these words, Thomas said to Jesus; “…My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) It took seeing Jesus for Thomas to believe, however Jesus does not attack him for this, but instead gives everyone else a great reminder; “…Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) Anyone who follows Jesus, follows with Faith, for only the Prophets and Apostles of old and new have seen God or Jesus Christ.

We learn that Jesus performed; “…many other signs… in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31) I like how this chapter ends by saying that Jesus performed many more miracles and signs in their presence, but that they are not written in this book. Many things are not included in the scriptures, but some would be revealed later and some are revealed through modern day prophets. For this reason we cannot go with the Bible alone, we need Power, Authority, we need GOD’s Church on earth. The Bible is great and any God fearing Christian should love and cherish the Bible, but to remember that it isn’t conclusive. For God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… He will continue to call prophets and instruct His children. The good news is that He didn’t just leave us with the Bible, He has also given us the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Mark 16

Mark 16: Christ is Risen!

                After the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought sweet spices to anoint Jesus. When they arrive at the tomb where Jesus was buried they find that the large stone had been rolled back and upon entering they were frightened by a young man sitting on the right side wearing a long white garment. The young man tells them to not be afraid, but to run and tell the Apostles that Jesus has risen.

Jesus appears first unto Mary Magdalene and then later to the eleven as they sat eating. The eleven were in disbelief, but Jesus commanded them; “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved… these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” (Mark 13:15-17)

                After He has finished talking to the Apostles, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven, to sit on the right hand of God.

Matthew 28

Matthew 28:

Jesus Christ is Risen

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At the end of the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the Sepulchre , where Jesus lay. As they were there, a great earthquake shook the earth and an angel appeared before them and said; “…Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said… go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead…” (Matthew 28:5-7)

The women leave, running with great joy to go and tell the disciples. On their way to tell the disciples, Jesus intersects them, and they fall to His feet. Jesus tells them; “…Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” (Matthew 28:10)

When the chief priests and elders found out what had happened, they go to the soldiers and pay them to lie. They tell them to say that the disciples of Jesus came and stole His body, while the soldiers slept. This obviously is not true, but deception and lies have been around forever, and are always the result of Satan’s work.

When the disciples meet Jesus, some are a little skeptical. But Jesus tells them; “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19) Jesus tells them that He will be with them until the end, but it is important that they spread His gospel.

Matthew 27

Matthew 27:

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ 

In the early morning hours the chief priests and elders took counsel against Jesus, and decided to put him to death. They bound Him and took Him away to go before Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of the land. Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, finds out what had happened and came before the chief priests. Judas was filled with guilt and desired to return the 30 pieces of silver that had been given to him to betray Jesus. He tells the chief priests; “…I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us?” (Matthew 27:27:4) Judas through the silver down in the temple and went home to hang himself. When the chief priests asked what they should do with the money, they took counsel and buried them in the potter’s field. This fulfilled what Jeremiah had prophesied about; “…And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field…” (Matthew 27:9) The field was from then on called the “Field of Blood”.

Jesus stands before the governor (Pontius Pilate), where Jesus is asked; “…Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.” (Matthew 27:11) Pilate then asks Him if He knows about how many people are witnessing against Him. But Jesus does not respond, and Pontius marveled at this. While Pilate was questioning Jesus, he had in his custody a prisoner named Barabbas. In Hebrew, bar means ‘son of’ and abba means ‘father’ meaning that Barabbas was the ‘son of the father’. Pilate then goes before the people and asks them; “…Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:17) The chief priests and the elders, persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. So Pilate asks; “…What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Christ? They all said unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?” (Matthew 27:22-23) But the crowd continued to cry louder and louder for the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate washed his hands before them said to the crowd; “…I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” (Matthew 27:24)

Barabbas was released to them and soldiers took Jesus and “scourged him”, meaning they whipped Him with a leather strap that had sharp glass, pottery or rocks tied into the leather. Then the soldier put a scarlet robe over His back, a crown woven of thorns on His head. The soldiers then got down on one knee and mocked Him, saying; “…Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit on him… and smote him on the head.” (Matthew 27:29-30) After they had finished mocking and beating Him, they led Jesus away to crucify Him.

The soldiers were leading Him to a place called Golgotha, which means the ‘place of a skull’, while on their journey there; Jesus was no longer able to bear the weight of His own cross. Because of this a man of Cyrene, by the name of Simon was compelled to carry the cross for Jesus. The soldiers gave Jesus Vinegar to drink, but He refused. Upon arrival to Golgotha the soldiers stripped Jesus and cast lots for his raiment. Setup above the cross, where Jesus was crucified, read; “…THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Matthew 27:37) And one the left and right of Jesus were two thieves, who were also being crucified. This just shows how little the despicable people around Him, thought of His being. While Jesus was suffering on the cross, many passed by and mocked Him.

“…Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40) – This is very interesting, because 3 days later, Jesus did build the temple again, His own body.

“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” (Matthew 27:42) – Even though the chief priests had seen His great miracles, seeing was not enough for them. Instead, every action or move that Jesus made would require proof. This is the very reason why seeing is not always believing. The priests had already seen, but wanted more. Thus proving that they would never be satisfied, even with the evidence placed before them.

In the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice towards the heavens; “…Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Many that were there, thought Jesus was crying out for Elias. And foolishly said, “…let us see whether Elias will come and save him.” (Matthew 27:49) But at that same moment Jesus “…cried again with a loud voice, [and] yielded up the ghost.” (Matthew 27:50) Immediately following the death of Jesus, the veil of the temple was rent in twain [it was torn] and the entire earth did shake. Graves of the saints were opened, and the dead did walk. Those who were around, began to fear greatly, saying; “…Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54) Many women and men, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses and Joseph went before Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus.

Pilate agrees to give the body and they take the body to a sepulchre, where they rolled a large stone in front of the door. Pilate remembered that it was said Jesus would arise the third day. So to be careful he commands soldiers to watch the sepulchre, to ensure that His disciples don’t take the body and then claim Jesus was resurrected.