Jesus' Life and Teaching: Jesus Returns to Heaven

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

In his final act on earth as the resurrected, victorious Savior, Jesus tells his disciples to wait together in Jerusalem until God gives them the Spirit’s power.

Then they are to take the good news everywhere and make disciples of all people. This is crucial because Jesus is coming again.

Read about this in Matthew 28:16–20; Luke 24:50–53; Acts 1:3–11.



This blog post has been adapted from my new book Self-Guided Tour of the Bible. You can read more about it here


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Jesus' Life and Teaching: Jesus Is Tried, Denied, and Crucified

, by Christopher D. Hudson

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 


For Jesus, this begins a long night of illegal trials.

The high priest, the chief priests, and Israel’s elders and teachers of the law—who normally don’t agree on much of anything—unite wholeheartedly in their opposition to Jesus. Even though the witnesses testifying against Jesus give inconsistent and conflicting testimony, the leaders decide Jesus is guilty of blasphemy and deserves to die.

Meanwhile, Peter faces his own ordeal. Despite his earlier pledge of absolute commitment to the Lord (even expressing a willingness to die for him), Peter denies three times having any involvement with Jesus or even knowing him.

Since the religious leaders lack legal authority to carry out an execution, they seek approval from the Roman government. The Roman governor of that region, Pontius Pilate, rejects their case for executing Jesus. When they persist, Pilate sends Jesus to King Herod Antipas. Herod welcomes the opportunity to interview Jesus—and maybe see a miracle. When Jesus won’t answer questions, Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus and send him back to Pilate. Pilate wants to free Jesus, but when a mob forms and threatens to riot, the Roman governor reluctantly sentences Christ to death.

The soldiers take Jesus away, strip him, mock him, beat and flog him. When they grow weary of ridiculing him, they crucify him between two common criminals. Some six gruesome hours later, Jesus is dead.

Read about this in Matthew 26:57–27:56; Mark 14:53–15:41; Luke 22:54–23:49; John 18:12–19:37.


This blog post has been adapted from my new book Self-Guided Tour of the Bible. You can learn more about it here.

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Jesus' Life and Teaching: Jesus Challenges the Status Quo

, by Christopher D. Hudson


“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”


Time and again during his three-year ministry, Jesus confronts the prevailing religious system. At times his critiques of first-century Judaism’s empty ritualism are mere verbal barbs. On other occasions, there are heated discussions. The callous and hypocritical actions of some scribes and Pharisees anger Jesus. He sternly pronounces “woes” on these leaders, calling them hypocrites, fools, and blind guides. He even enters the part of the temple they’ve turned into a moneymaking market, overturns their tables, and drives them out! We see the leaders’ curiosity turn to concern and then morph into a calculated plan to kill Jesus.

This blog post has been adapted from by book Self-Guided Tour of the Bible. You can learn more about it here.


 

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