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Notes on Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19 "It is Finished," CFM lesson for June 17 - 23

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Jesus Before Pilate, Matthew 27:1-2, 11-26, Mark 15:1-15, Luke 23:1-25, see also John 18:28-19:16
Pilate seems a weak-willed individual, worried less about justice than about appeasing the chief priests and keeping the mob happy.  Gerald Smith points out Pilate's tough position as a foreign ruler during the feast:  "Pilate ruled an unruly people. In normal times they were difficult to control with his small Roman contingency. This occurred in the middle of Passover, when perhaps a million or more people were in Jerusalem. His troops were already overwhelmed trying to keep the peace."  If Barabbas is any indication, there were those trying to foment insurrection and the huge swelling of population at Passover might have worried Pilate.  He saw no fault in Jesus, but he feared the crowds and didn't want a riot.  Matthew tells us Pilate's wife had a dream that made her suffer much because of Christ and she sent word to Pilate to "have nothing to do with that ju…

Notes on Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18 "Not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt" CFM lesson for June 10-16

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I'm a bit late to the game this week since my family just got back from a ten-day trip to the Northwest.  Instead of writing for my blog, we did such epic things as see the gum wall in Seattle.  These are my notes from last week's study, and I hope to catch up by the end of the week on this week's scriptures.

Plot to Kill Jesus, Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 22:1-2 The desire to wait until after the feast is interesting.  In the Student Manual, it points out that, "They knew that many people admired Jesus Christ, and they were concerned that if they tried to take Jesus when there were so many pilgrims in Jerusalem for the holidays, there would be riots." I wonder if they would have waited to take Jesus if it were not for Judas and the easy opportunity he represented to take Christ in the night? Christ's Anointing, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, (see also Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8)
The accounts don't quite agree between the synoptics and John.  In John, …

Notes on John 13-17, "Continue Ye in My Love," CFM lesson for June 3-9

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This week's reading covers four dense chapters in John.  These chapters include the washing of the feet, Christ foretelling His betrayal by Judas and the denial by Peter, three chapters of Christ's last discourse to his disciples, and finally, the Intercessory Prayer in John 17. Christ Washes the Disciples' Feet, John 13:1-18
John's gospel differs from the other three in the timing of the last supper.  Instead of it being the Passover meal, John says it happened before the Passover.  His timing seems designed to dramatically illustrate that Christ was killed as the Passover lamb. Eric Huntsman says of this discrepancy, "The synoptic Gospels seem to suggest that the Last Supper was a Passover meal, whereas John is clear that the Passover began at sundown of the day when Christ was crucified. John’s account seems to bear the most historical verisimilitude: a criminal would certainly not be crucified during the Passover feast itself. Additionally, the Johannine image…