March 13, 2021, DAY 70: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: Matthew 26-28

March 13, 2021

MATTHEW 26-28
DAY 70: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Today, our journey concludes our study of the Gospel of Matthew, by taking us through Jesus’ last days on this earth. It is a story of betrayal, false allegations, sorrow, triumph, and revelation. Today’s journey is an overview of Holy week, which will begin with Passover on March 27, 2021.

Take a few minutes to ask God to reveal to you His understanding of Matthew 26-28. Now read Matthew 26-28. Let’s journey!

The Gospel of Matthew appears to have been written with Jews as the intended recipients. It contains many references to Old Testament prophecies, linking them to Jesus and demonstrating that Jesus was the awaited, prophesied Messiah. During the time of today’s reading, Rome was under a time of change, adjusting to the rule of an Emperor instead of being ruled by the Senate. Julius Caesar had been killed in 44 BC, plunging Rome into civil wars, civil unrest, and civil lawlessness. Julius’ nephew, Gaius Octavian, who later became Caesar Augustus, consolidated his power and became the first Emperor of Rome in 27 BC, and remained in power until his death in AD 14. Upon the death of Augustus, Tiberius became Emperor. King Herod, ruling Judah as a client king for Rome, was near the end of his life at the time Jesus was born. Herod died between 4 and 1 BC, after which, his sons divided the region.

Matthew 26-28: The beginning of Jesus’ last days of ministry on this earth and another step toward the fulfillment of God’s covenant with His people, Israel, through His servant Abraham. Jesus told His disciples of the things to come. The chief priests and elders determined that Jesus must die. Jesus is anointed. Judas agrees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The Last Supper where Jesus institutes the sacrament of holy communion and points out Judas as His betrayer. Jesus, with His disciples goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Three times Jesus asks God to release Him of this burden; but God’s will, not Jesus’, be done. Jesus truly comprehended the pain He would suffer for all sin to be forgiven, even the sin of the unrepentant. Judas betrays Jesus. Jesus is arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin. Jesus is found guilty of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin. Peter denies knowing Jesus. This is all transpiring in one night. Can you imagine the confusion? Can you imagine the chaos? Can you imagine the intensity? Can you imagine those moments?

The chief priests determine that Jesus must be executed and hand Jesus over to Pilate, requesting that Jesus be executed. Judas recants his story and attempts to return the money. The chief priests tell him it is too late, it is on him. Judas realizing what he had done hangs himself. Pilate carries out the request of the Jewish leaders and crucifies Jesus. Jesus dies hanging on the cross after suffering humiliation and abuse at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Joseph of Arimathea secures Jesus body and buries Jesus in accordance with Jewish practice. Guards are placed at the tomb where Jesus is buried to insure that His disciples do not steal His body. Jesus defeats death. He is risen and showed Himself to the women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and then to the disciples. The guards were paid to lie by the Jewish leaders who asked them to say that Jesus’ body was stolen. (Matthew 26:1-28:20)

Read chapters 26 through 28 and consider the following: What prophesies were fulfilled in todays reading? Why is it important to recognize the prophesies fulfilled? There is much to learn from today’s reading. What has the Lord used to speak to you?

Godspeace!

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