The Right Decision

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/6/2021 8:00am

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Tomb

57-61 Late in the afternoon, a wealthy man from Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, arrived. His name was Joseph. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate granted his request. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Then he went off. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary stayed, sitting in plain view of the tomb.

-Matthew 27:57-61 The Message

Jesus Is Buried

Verse 57: Now, when it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea came, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

Verse 58: This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.

Verse 57-58 studies: Joseph is a secret follower of Jesus; he is from Arimathea. He was a religious leader, honored member of the Council (Mark 15:43). In past times, Joseph was afraid to speak up against the religious leaders who went against Jesus. He is bold now, courageous in asking to take Jesus’ body from the cross and bury it. The disciples who publicly followed Jesus fled. But this Jewish leader, Joseph, who followed Jesus in secret, came forward and did what was right.

Verse 59: And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

Verse 60: and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Verse 61: And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

Verse 60 study: The tomb where Jesus was laid was most likely a man-made cave. It was cut out of the many limestone hills in the area. The cave was made large enough to walk in.

Father, let us not betray you like the disciples did. If anything, let us be disciplined to be faithful to you because the world needs you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

The Four Miracles

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/5/2021 8:00am

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

51-53 At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split into pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised. (After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)

54 The captain of the guard and those with him, when they saw the earthquake and everything else, were scared to death. They said, “This has to be the Son of God!”

55-56 There were also quite a few women watching from a distance, women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to serve him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the Zebedee brothers.

-Matthew 27:51-56 The Message

Verse 51: And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Verse 51 study: There are three main parts to the temple:

  1. The courts
  2. The Holy Place
  3. The Holy of Holies

The priests are the only ones that can enter the holy place. Meanwhile, the high priests are the only ones that can enter the holy of holies; once a year, the priests can atone for the nation’s sins (Leviticus 16:1-35). The veil that separated the holy place and the holy of holies was torn in two when Christ died. This action symbolized the barrier between God and humanity was removed. Everybody is free to approach God because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:1-14; 10:19-22).

Verse 52: Also, the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

Verse 53: and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

Verse 54: Now, as for the centurion and those with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the other things that were happening, they became petrified and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Verse 55: And many women were there watching from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while caring for Him.

Verse 56: Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Verses 52-53 studies: Four miraculous things happened when Christ died.

  1. Darkness happened.
  2. Tearing of the veil in the temple.
  3. An earthquake happened.
  4. Dead people started rising from their tombs.

There is no way that Jesus’ death went unnoticed. Everybody knew something significant had happened.

Often, we don’t give Jesus the credit he deserves, let alone the worship and praise he should be getting. Everything Jesus did is for you, and his obedience is an example of why these miracles happened. Father, let us be reminded of obedience during a difficult time in our world today. Not many people choose to follow Jesus and his plans for us. People choose to follow themselves and their own plans. Let us be there as followers to set the stage. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Spiritual Separation

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/4/2021 8:00am

Monday, October 4, 2021

45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Finally, around mid-afternoon, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47-49 Some bystanders who heard him said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so he could drink. The others joked, “Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see if Elijah comes and saves him.”

50 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.

-Matthew 27:45-50 The Message

Verse 45: From the sixth-hour darkness, fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.

Verse 45 study: God has his way of making it dark. Nobody knew how darkness occurred; that’s how amazing God is. Nevertheless, nature did testify to the gravity of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ friends and enemies fell silent in the encircling gloom. The darkness on Friday afternoon was physical and spiritual.

Verse 46: And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabaktanei?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Verse 46 study: At the beginning of Psalm 22, Jesus was quoting the line, not questioning God. It’s a profound expression of the anguish he felt when he took on the world’s sins, which caused him to be separated from God, his father. Jesus dreaded this and prayed to God in the garden to take the cup from him (26:39). The agony on the physical side was horrible; it made it worse the period of spiritual separation from God. So he suffered two deaths so we would never have to experience eternal separation from God.

Verse 47: And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, said, “This man is calling for Elijah.”

Verse 48: And immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.

Verse 49: But the rest of them said, “Let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.”

Verse 50: And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.

Verse 47 study: Bystanders misinterpreted Jesus’ words. People believed he called out for Elijah. But Elijah went to heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:11), they thought he would return again to rescue them from good trouble (Malachi 4:5). Each family’s annual Passover feast set an extra place for Elijah in expectation of his return.

Father, the world is experiencing separation from you. That’s the most significant trouble in the world. Let us pray to stay away from sin and keep the spiritual connection with you. Jesus knew how much he suffered from separating from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Stick to the Plan

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/03/2021 8:00am

Sunday, October 3, 2021

35-40 After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they killed time by throwing dice for his clothes. Then, above his head, they had posted the criminal charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews. They also crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!”

41-44 The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—he can’t save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then! He was so sure of God—well, let him rescue his ‘Son’ now—if he wants him! He did claim to be God’s Son, didn’t he?” Even the two criminals crucified next to him joined in the mockery.

-Matthew 27:35-44 The Message

Verse 35: And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among themselves by casting lots.

Verse 35 study: The soldiers took the clothing of those they crucified. The soldiers took Jesus’ clothing and divided it up for themselves. They fulfilled the prophecy made by David. Psalm 22 parallels Jesus’ crucifixion.

Verse 36: And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there.

Verse 37: And above His head, they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Verse 38: At that time, two rebels *were being crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.

Verse 39: And those passing by were speaking abusively to Him, shaking their heads,

Verse 40: and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

Verse 40 study: Chapter 26:61 reminds us that accusation was used against Jesus in his trial by Council. Ironically, Jesus was working on his own prophecy. Since Jesus is the Son of God, who obeys his father, he didn’t come down from the cross.

Verse 41: In the same way, the chief priests, scribes, and elders were mocking Him and saying,

Verse 42: “He saved others; He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.

Verse 43: He has trusted in God; let God rescue Him now if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”

Verse 44: And the rebels who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him in the same way.

Verse 44 study: Luke 23:39-43; Jesus promised the repentance of a robber would join him in Paradise.

As we continue to read about Jesus’ crucifixion, let it remind us to be active in our faith. What Jesus went through is hard to grasp, and it is an event to process. God had a plan, and he stuck to it by listening. Let it be a reminder to us to do the same with our faith and listening. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Your Faith is Being Mocked

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/02/2021 8:00am

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Crucifixion

27-31 The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. First, they stripped him and dressed him in a red robe. Next, they plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. Next, they put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. Finally, when they had fun, they took off the robe and put their own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.

32-34 Along the way, they came on a man from Cyrene named Simon and made him carry Jesus’ cross. Then, arriving at Golgotha, the place they call “Skull Hill,” they offered him a mild painkiller (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when he tasted it, he wouldn’t drink it.

-Matthew 27:27-34 The Message

Jesus Is Mocked

Verse 27: Then, the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the Roman cohort to Him.

Verse 27 study: A cohort of soldiers divided the Roman legion, continuing about 200 men.

Verse 28: And they stripped Him and put a red cloak on Him.

Verse 29: And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Verse 29 study: People love to taunt Christians in their faith. Let it be an encouragement that Jesus was mocked as well. Taunting may hurt you, but that shouldn’t let you change your faith (5:11-12).

Verse 30: They spit on Him, took the reed, and beat Him on the head.

Verse 31: And after they had mocked Him, they took the cloak off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

Verse 32: As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they compelled to carry His cross.

Verse 32 study: Condemned prisoners had to carry their own crosses to execution sites. Jesus was weak from the beatings he received and couldn’t hold the cross as he couldn’t do it. Simon, a bystander, was forced to carry Jesus’ cross. Simon was from Cyrene, in northern Africa. He could have been one of the thousands of Jews visiting Jerusalem for the Passover.

The Crucifixion

Verse 33: And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,

Verse 34: they gave Him wine mixed with bile to drink, and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink it.

Verse 33 study: Golgotha (“skull”) got the name by its appearance. Golgotha is believed to be used as a commonplace for executions. The executions that were held there would serve as a deterrent to criminals.

Verse 34 study: Wine mixed with gall is a narcotic that helps with pain. It was offered to Jesus, and he refused it after tasting it. Jesus suffered the maximum pain with a clear mind.

Pain and suffering are all I can think of. The beatings he took, the sacrifices he made for us for all of our sins, we should be grateful that we don’t have to suffer that type of pain because Jesus did it for us. Father, let this be a reminder the next we complain about something small. Jesus took a painful punishment for us. Let us be humbled. In Jesus’ name. Amen! 

Peer Pressure

Friday, October 1, 2021

21 The governor asked, “Which of the two do you want me to pardon?”

They said, “Barabbas!”

22 “Then what do I do with Jesus, the so-called Christ?”

They all shouted, “Nail him to a cross!”

23 He objected, “But for what crime?”

But they yelled all the louder, “Nail him to a cross!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was imminent, he took a basin of water and washed his hands in full sight of the crowd, saying, “I’m washing my hands of responsibility for this man’s death. From now on, it’s in your hands. You’re judge and jury.”

25 The crowd answered, “We’ll take the blame, we and our children after us.”

26 Then, he pardoned Barabbas. But he had Jesus whipped and then handed over for crucifixion.

Matthew 27:21-26 The Message

Verse 21: And the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”

Verse 21 study: The crowd loved Jesus on Sunday because they believed he would inaugurate his kingdom. Then, they turned right around and hated him on Friday because it looked like his power was broken. When it was a time to speak up when Jesus was in trouble, people were afraid to speak up. The crowd’s choice was Barabbas, a murder and revolutionary over Jesus, the Son of God. Even today, people are picking Barabbas over Jesus. People prefer the tangible force of human power over the salvation offered by the Son of God.

Verse 22: Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” So they all *said, “Crucify Him!”

Verse 23: But he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” Yet they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

Verse 24: Now, when Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; you yourselves shall see.”

Verse 25: And all the people replied, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”

Verse 26: He released Barabbas for them, but after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Verse 24 study: Pilate believed that the religious leaders were jealous of Jesus, so Pilate hesitated at first. Then, the Jews threatened to report Pilate to Caesar (John 19:12). That scared Pilate because the historical records showed that the Jews threatened to lodge a formal complaint against Pilate for stubborn flouting of traditions. That complaint would have had Pilate recalled by Rome. His job was in jeopardy. One of Pilate’s main duties was keeping the peace and doing what it took to maintain stability. At the time, the Roman government couldn’t afford to put many troops in all the regions under their control. But the decision was a no-decision because Pilate made the decision to let the crowd crucify Jesus. Even though his hands were washed from the decision, the guilt was there. Just because you washed your hands from a situation doesn’t mean guilt will still hang around. You will have a false sense of peace. You take responsibility for your decisions, don’t make excuses.

Father, I think of kids responding to peer pressure, just like Pilate did with the crowd. I pray that parents educate their children to do what is right and not respond to the peer pressure of other kids. In Jesus’ name. Amen!