Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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November 11 - Evening

"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own"
- Second Corinthians 8:1-3

The Grace of Giving

Paul uses the term "grace" to refer to ability to give financial support to other people, in this case to poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Paul has spoken of God's grace being given to people for eternal salvation (Rm. 3:24; Rm.5:2; Ep.2:8) and God's grace being given to believers in the form of a spiritual gift (2 Cor. 6:1-2; Rm. 12:3,6; 1 Pt. 4:10). Now, Paul says he wants the Corinthians "to know about the grace God has given the Macedonian churches" to generously give money even in "their extreme poverty."
The Christian Jews in Judea where suffering financially due to a famine and persecution. These Jews in Judea would have faced social persecution for their faith that could result in loss of employment, excommunication from the synagogues and being ostracized by the family unit which could have included disinheritance. This combined with the fact that earlier in the book of Acts (Acts 4:32-37) these same believers in Jerusalem sold their possessions in order to share material possessions with other believers which may have caused financial disruption:
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had." - Acts 4:32

This practice may have led to some problems similar to what was seen later in Thessalonica where some believers stopped working and planned on living off of the other believers causing the disruption Paul warns about:
"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling...For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies...Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat...Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed." - 2 Thes. 3:6-14

So, by the time Paul writes to the Corinthians in 56 AD, he and Barnabus had already taken a collection of money to Jerusalem for the church that had become drastically poor very quickly between 30 AD and Paul's first visit to Jerusalem as a believer in 37 AD. In 46 AD Paul and Barnabus brought an offering to the poor believers in Jerusalem according to Acts 11:27-29:
"During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch....The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul." - Acts 11:27, 29

As mentioned to the Corinthians in Second Corinthians 8, Paul was organizing a collection of money that would be taken again to these believers Jewish believers in Jerusalem. Paul had first mentioned this collection to the Corinthians in First Corinthians 16:1-3:
"Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem."

So, besides the Macedonian churches, the Galatian churches were also giving money towards this collection of money for the poor Jewish believers. When Paul arrived in Corinth a few weeks later, he wrote to the Romans in his letter to them about this collection of money (Rm. 15:24-31) and his plans to take it to Jerusalem before coming to visit the church in Rome:
"Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. For
Macedonia (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea) and Achaia (Corinth) were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it...I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. ...Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there." - Romans 15:25-31
Suniemi (Gr) - Understand (Eng) - the Greek word suniemi originally meant in the writings of Homer's day around 750 BC "to bring together." It was used by philosophers and scholars to explain how people learn and gain understanding. They said people would suniemi pieces of information and facts like they assemble a puzzle to gain understanding. In the Bible believers are those who can suniemi (Romans 15:21), but many people do not believe because they cannot put the pieces together. (Romans 3:11)
Do I consider the poor in my community?
Am I participating in the grace of giving by relieving the oppression of poverty?
I will give support to help the poor and the persecuted.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Confess sin


Spirit of giving
University students

An excavation site in Beth Shemesh in June of 2012 with the Sorek Valley in the background. This is the valley that was filled with vineyards when Samson would walk through this valley into the land of the Philistines (today the Gaza Strip). A coin depicting Samson that was dated at 1050 BC was found here in July of 2012. (Details)
Agrippa's II palace at Banias
(photo of remains of tower base)

Someone to Quote

"The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions." - A. W. Tozer

Something to Ponder

The word agnostic was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1860.

Here’s a Fact

The ruins of ancient Babylon have been excavated. They cover 2,000-3,000 acres 56 miles south of Baghdad.
The Ishtar Gate constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar in 575 BC has been excavated and reconstructed. Also, Nebuchadnezzar's palace and the site of Daniel's account of Belshazzar's final feast (Daniel 5) has been identified. The remains sound like Jeremiah 25:12, 51 and Isaiah 13:19-20.


"The Lord detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless."
Proverbs 11:20

Coach’s Corner

In the end the little things we do for people are as important as the big things.

Daniel 5
New International Version (NIV)
The Writing on the Wall
King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.
The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”
Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled.
10 The queen, hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”
13 So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. 15 The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it. 16 Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”
17 Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.
18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.
22 “But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.
25 “This is the inscription that was written:

mene, mene, tekel, parsin

26 “Here is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.

Jeremiah 25:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.
Jeremiah 51
New International Version (NIV)
51 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer     against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.

I will send foreigners to Babylon     to winnow her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side     in the day of her disaster.

Let not the archer string his bow,     nor let him put on his armor. Do not spare her young men;     completely destroy her army.

They will fall down slain in Babylon,     fatally wounded in her streets.

For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken     by their God, the Lord Almighty, though their land is full of guilt     before the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from Babylon!     Run for your lives!     Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;     he will repay her what she deserves.

Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;     she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine;     therefore they have now gone mad.

Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.     Wail over her! Get balm for her pain;     perhaps she can be healed.

“‘We would have healed Babylon,     but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to our own land,     for her judgment reaches to the skies,     it rises as high as the heavens.’
“‘The Lord has vindicated us;     come, let us tell in Zion     what the Lord our God has done.’
“Sharpen the arrows,     take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,     because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The Lord will take vengeance,     vengeance for his temple.
Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!     Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen,     prepare an ambush! The Lord will carry out his purpose,     his decree against the people of Babylon.
You who live by many waters     and are rich in treasures, your end has come,     the time for you to be destroyed.
The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:     I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,     and they will shout in triumph over you.
“He made the earth by his power;     he founded the world by his wisdom     and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;     he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain     and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
“Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;     every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud;     they have no breath in them.
They are worthless, the objects of mockery;     when their judgment comes, they will perish.
He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,     for he is the Maker of all things, including the people of his inheritance—     the Lord Almighty is his name.
“You are my war club,     my weapon for battle— with you I shatter nations,     with you I destroy kingdoms,
with you I shatter horse and rider,     with you I shatter chariot and driver,
with you I shatter man and woman,     with you I shatter old man and youth,     with you I shatter young man and young woman,
with you I shatter shepherd and flock,     with you I shatter farmer and oxen,     with you I shatter governors and officials.
24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.
“I am against you, you destroying mountain,     you who destroy the whole earth,” declares the Lord. “I will stretch out my hand against you,     roll you off the cliffs,     and make you a burned-out mountain.
No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,     nor any stone for a foundation,     for you will be desolate forever,” declares the Lord.
“Lift up a banner in the land!     Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her;     summon against her these kingdoms:     Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her;     send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
Prepare the nations for battle against her—     the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials,     and all the countries they rule.
The land trembles and writhes,     for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand— to lay waste the land of Babylon     so that no one will live there.
Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;     they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted;     they have become weaklings. Her dwellings are set on fire;     the bars of her gates are broken.
One courier follows another     and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon     that his entire city is captured,
the river crossings seized,     the marshes set on fire,     and the soldiers terrified.”
33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor     at the time it is trampled;     the time to harvest her will soon come.”
“Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,     he has thrown us into confusion,     he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us     and filled his stomach with our delicacies,     and then has spewed us out.
May the violence done to our flesh be on Babylon,”     say the inhabitants of Zion. “May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”     says Jerusalem.
36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“See, I will defend your cause     and avenge you; I will dry up her sea     and make her springs dry.
Babylon will be a heap of ruins,     a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn,     a place where no one lives.
Her people all roar like young lions,     they growl like lion cubs.
But while they are aroused,     I will set out a feast for them     and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter—     then sleep forever and not awake,” declares the Lord.
“I will bring them down     like lambs to the slaughter,     like rams and goats.
“How Sheshak will be captured,     the boast of the whole earth seized! How desolate Babylon will be     among the nations!
The sea will rise over Babylon;     its roaring waves will cover her.
Her towns will be desolate,     a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives,     through which no one travels.
I will punish Bel in Babylon     and make him spew out what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him.     And the wall of Babylon will fall.
“Come out of her, my people!     Run for your lives!     Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
Do not lose heart or be afraid     when rumors are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next,     rumors of violence in the land     and of ruler against ruler.
For the time will surely come     when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced     and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
Then heaven and earth and all that is in them     will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north     destroyers will attack her,” declares the Lord.
“Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,     just as the slain in all the earth     have fallen because of Babylon.
You who have escaped the sword,     leave and do not linger! Remember the Lord in a distant land,     and call to mind Jerusalem.”
“We are disgraced,     for we have been insulted     and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered     the holy places of the Lord’s house.”
“But days are coming,” declares the Lord,     “when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land     the wounded will groan.
Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens     and fortifies her lofty stronghold,     I will send destroyers against her,” declares the Lord.
“The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,     the sound of great destruction     from the land of the Babylonians.
The Lord will destroy Babylon;     he will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;     the roar of their voices will resound.
A destroyer will come against Babylon;     her warriors will be captured,     and their bows will be broken. For the Lord is a God of retribution;     he will repay in full.
I will make her officials and wise men drunk,     her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake,”     declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled     and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,     the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”
59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”
Isaiah 13:19-20
New International Version (NIV)
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,     the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God     like Sodom and Gomorrah.
She will never be inhabited     or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents,     there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
Romans 3:24
New International Version (NIV)
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 5:2
New International Version (NIV)
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:8
New International Version (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
2 Corinthians 6:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,     and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Romans 12:3
New International Version (NIV)
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
1 Peter 4:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Acts 4:32-37
New International Version (NIV)
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-14
New International Version (NIV)
Warning Against Idleness
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed.
Acts 11:27-30
New International Version (NIV)
27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Romans 15:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,     and those who have not heard will understand.”
Romans 3:11
New International Version (NIV)
    there is no one who understands;     there is no one who seeks God.
Romans 4
New International Version (NIV)
Abraham Justified by Faith
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those     whose transgressions are forgiven,     whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the one     whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Matthew 27
New International Version (NIV)
Judas Hangs Himself
27 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Jesus Before Pilate
11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
The Burial of Jesus
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

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