We continue our reading of the Gospel of John. Join us Wednesday at 5 pm on Zoom or read on your own. Wednesday, March 10 we looked at the Farewell Discourse, chapters 12 -17. March 17 we will look at the Arrest, Trial and Crucifixion of the King (John 18 – 19). Our final week is March 24, The Resurrection, John 20-21. Holy Week starts March 28.
SUMMARY OF JOHN 18 – 19
Arrest – John’s Gospel makes clear that the greatest miracle of Jesus is in giving his life for others. In contrast to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus does not agonize over his coming sacrifice. He does not pray for “this cup to pass from me” Matthew 26:39 NRSV. Instead, he is firmly in control. He was the Divine one who, with strength and dignity approaches his destiny. John tells us that a cohort of armed Roman soldiers came to arrest the unarmed Jesus — A cohort was approximately 600 soldiers. When they asked for Jesus the Nazarene, Jesus responds, “I Am” and they shrank back and fell.
The Trial of Jesus in John focuses on the trial before Pilate. The kingdom of Jesus is contrasted with the tenuous control that Pilate has over Judea. Pilate would do anything to hold onto power. He commands at the whim of Caesar. He is reluctant to condemn Jesus, he finds no fault in him. He even offers a choice between Jesus and Barabbas. But the crowd has been turned on Jesus and choses to free Barabbas. In the end Pilate has no power. He gives into the crowd rather than risk word of revolt being heard by the emperor.
The Crucifixion Jesus is in control even here. He carries his own cross. The sign over his cross proclaims the Truth, he is the King of the Jews. Even in pain, he cares for his mother by linking her to the beloved disciples. He says: “I am thirsty” to fulfill scripture. The hyssop is used to offer him something to drink (remembers the hyssop used by the Israelites to mark their doors so the angel of death would pass over.) We read of heroes who give their lives for others, so death passes over the innocent. We honor first responders and medical staff who have given so much in this time of COVID. Jesus is a true king and hero of faith, who as Paul says shows his love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
In the end, Jesus proclaims his mission is “finished” completed. People would say “it is finished” in this way after completing a painting or poem. Jesus has given his all for us. God’s masterpiece is complete. The deep love of God has been revealed. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea honor the fallen as they bury his body.
Questions You can contemplate on your own or better yet, join our discussion on Zoom on Wednesday nights @ 5 p. now through March.
- Who are the people in your life who have truly given themselves for you or for those you know?
- Have you had moments in your life when you have completed a project and could say: “It is finished?”
- John’s gospel emphasizes the Kingship of Jesus. The Matthew, Mark and Luke focus on the humanity of Jesus, which resonates more with you right now?
- How do they work together to deepen our understanding of Jesus?
- Note the power of Jesus saying: “I am”. The cohort falls. What power do you feel in knowing who Jesus is?
- Do you sense power in knowing who you are?
- Is Jesus a king for you? How has that helped you?
- Where do you see the Kingdom of God breaking through in our world?
- King of the Jews was written over the cross. What would you have written?
- What in these chapters stood out to you, in reading them this time?
We will discuss these chapters 18-19 Wednesday, March 17 at 5 p.m.
March 24 – chapters 20 and 21. God Bless you!
Pastor John Bunge
Merciful God, thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. Let us always be mindful of your great love for us. Let us walk in the light of Christ with love and faith all the days of our lives. Amen. Wednesday 5 pm Study of John – assignment for March 17, chapters 18– 19. March 24, chapters 20 and 21. The Zoom link each week for the study is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81752203011?pwd=dXU0VUVNSXVEYjRuZGcvMWlvOEFKQT09 — Meeting ID: 817 5220 3011 — Passcode: 030439
WORSHIP – Sundays at 10 am on our campus and via Zoom. We are meeting outdoors. We plan on entering the sanctuary on Palm Sunday March 28 then remain there for Holy Week and Easter and the Easter season.
The Zoom link each week on Sunday will be https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89118792862?pwd=WUF6aHB3dmFHOXp5SWZ4ZnRDVUtJdz09 You can also go into Zoom each week and enter Meeting ID: 891 1879 2862 with the Passcode: Faith. We also record the service.
Sunday, March 14 – Sermon Poisons and Remedies – daylight savings time!!
Wednesdays, Through March 24 at 5 p.m. Wednesday night Bible Study via Zoom
Church Office Hours
Our new days in the office will be Tuesday and Wednesday through March 24.
Reminder — people who have Thrivent, remember to designate your 2020 Choice dollars before the end of March. $1050 has been received thus far.
Sunday, March 28 – Palm Sunday We are planning to return to the sanctuary.
Friday, April 2 – Good Friday Service 7 p
Sunday, April 4 – Easter Sunday
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Thank you for your prayers for Jerry Mills, he is recovering well from surgery and is now at home.
- Jeanne Koenig was back at work this week and feeling much better.
- Michael Shea’s daughter, Rebecca has a new chapter in her life journey opening to her. She was with us again this Sunday! Thanks for your prayers.
- A new tumor was found with Glenda Kirker’s cancer.
- The disabled friend of the Halls, Mike, is very sick from COVID and has been hospitalized for weeks.
- Carol Fultz’ sister, Barbara Colangelo, is leaving rehab. Her husband Ed is having some squamous removed. Their granddaughter-in-law Vanessa is undergoing tests related to her high-risk diabetes.
- Continue prayers for erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Glenn Egertson and a crew from camp will be here in the next month to complete the covered walkway to the fellowship hall.
- Landscaping improvements will be continuing out front; next comes some planting in the middle of the river and a cross for Easter.
- Our next pantry day is this Saturday, March 27. We could use pasta sauce as we have a lot of pasta.
- Eleanor Diaz has completed NINE quilts.
- Jason Mills, son of Jerry and Bonnie, is assisting the church in a legal matter regarding our copier contract.
You are special people! We are a special congregation of FAI