Day 45 (April 10), John 18:1-40

John 18:1-40

Context:  Jesus and his disciples leave the upper room where they celebrated the Passover supper and travel to the Garden of Gethsemane which they had frequented before.  This time Judas arrives with the soldiers of the Jewish officials and Jesus is arrested.  In the process, Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant, but Jesus heals him (recorded in Mark).  Study the two maps … the first will show the movements of the disciples from the Upper Room to the Garden.  The second highlights the movement and progression of Jesus’ trials and Peter’s denials.  In private conversation with Pilate, Jesus eventually acknowledges he is a king, but his kingdom is not of this world.  ‘For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’  Pilate’s response is quite fascinating.  Though he does not want to sentence Jesus, he gives the Jews a chance to release him or Barabbas. 


Observations:   What emotions did Jesus have when Judas arrived with the soldiers and orchestrated the arrest?  What does Jesus’ rebuke of Peter’s action and the subsequent healing of the servant tell us about Jesus?  Why do you think there were so many trials? None of them were ‘legal’ according to Jewish law.  Why was Pontius Pilate so loathe to convict and sentence Jesus?  How does Jesus’ response to Pilate about testifying to the truth relate to us today?  Does Pilate’s response, ‘What is truth,’ reflect a common thread with our culture today? 

Application:  Take some time if at all possible between Noon – 3 p.m. to reflect on the Cross and the Crucifixion.  Read some of the passages related to it.  If truth is in Jesus, how should that help us navigate through our culture’s shifting sands of morality and perspectives?  Worship Jesus today by reflecting on his ‘dark night of the soul’ and subsequent arrest.  Imagine how lonely and abandoned he would have felt … thank him for going through that for you and us.

Prayer:  Lord, never let me take the Cross for granted.  Help me put it on the forefront of my mind today and internalize why it is called ‘Good Friday.’

Posted by Dave Blum with

Day 44 (April 9), John 17:1-26

John 17:1-26

Context:   This is the climax of the Upper Room gathering for the Passover Seder.  Tonight @ Evergreen (via Zoom) we’ll actually celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, too, from 8-9 p.m. How powerful!!  Remembering the death and sacrifice of Jesus on the same night of the week that he did, just before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.  So what WERE his last words in the upper room?  A passionate and highly personal prayer to the heavenly Father, often called the High Priestly prayer of Jesus since he uniquely expresses his role as mediator between God and man during this intercession.  In his final prayer, Jesus gives an account of his earthly mission to the Father who sent him. He prays, first for himself (vv. 1–5), then for his disciples (vv. 6–19), and finally for later believers (vv. 20–26). This is the most holy prayer ever recorded in Scripture!!

Observations:   Jesus lifts His eyes to heaven; what a ‘human’ posture to take even though He was divine!  What is eternal life according to Jesus?  In the prayer Jesus does not ask the Father to take his children ‘out of this world,’ but rather to ‘sanctify them by Thy Word.'  Sanctify means to be set apart and dedicated to God and His mission for us, which includes being sent into the world.  So, we are not ‘of’ this world, but we are ‘in’ this world to be the salt, light, grace and truth of Jesus.

Application:  If you could ask God for anything, what would it be?  Ask Him and listen to His response!  Pick one of the themes that Jesus prayed in John 17 … and pray!!  Let the Scriptures ‘set you apart’ for God’s purposes today.  Let His Spirit ‘send you into the world’ to influence others even during the pandemic.  Think of one way you can connect to someone in the church today.  Do it!  Someone outside the church today.  Do it!

Prayer:  Help us all to be one, just as you and the Father are One.  Help this to bring you GLORY!  We also pray the Evergreen Easter service would draw many to Jesus and give them genuine hope in a painfully obviously fallen world.

Posted by Dave Blum with

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