I am sad that I cannot adequately convey through email all the excitement and emotions associated with the things I am learning as we study together. I don’t think there are enough emoticons to express the passion that I feel and want to express to you. The Bible simply is amazing. Each day, I look forward to studying it it. And each day, I feel like I see and know Jesus better.
I think part of the reason I have been so exhausted though is that we decided as a family to get up earlier each day to study the Bible together before Mark goes to work. We always have tried to do daily Bible study as a family throughout our 19 years together, but some days we did it a night, some days slipped….. etc. We have read and studied with our girls since their infancy. In fact, I just found a video my dad took of one our our Bible studies while he was visiting us many years ago. Cosette was around 7 and Tess around 4. I am so grateful my dad caught that moment on video for us. There sweet little voices were belting out psalms and hymns and sharing scripture they had memorized. It was so encouraging to see and hear.
But this year we decided to start Bible study before anything else in our day – first thing so that if anything had to slide, it wouldn’t be our Bible study. So, since January 1, we have studied together each morning usually at least an hour. Sometimes we get so into it, we end up going for two…… But I am not naturally a morning person, so getting up early wipes me out because I still stay up very late, usually until 1 am trying to get done all that needs to get done. But it has been good and not something we want to give up doing. If this is not something you have tried doing before, I highly recommend it. Not only do your children develop a good habit while they are young, but filling up on the Word early in the morning equips us to face the trials of the day.
My last day on Chapter 18 focuses on the question: Who is on trial?
The obvious answer, of course, is Jesus.
But upon closer examination seems everyone else, but Jesus is on trial.
As we studied the interactions of Jesus with Annas, the temple guard and Pilate, it became apparent that even in this high stress situation, just hours before His death, Jesus turns the conversations around and questions each individual himself. This is totally consistent to what we have seen in Jesus in the previous chapters where He uses all interactions to get to the heart of each individual.
When in front of Annas, Jesus answers Annas’ question by saying, “why do you ask me?” I wonder how Jesus said these words, because they earned him a smack from the temple guard.
Then, when he is struck by the temple guard Jesus asks Him, “why do you strike me?”
Pilate is the one that wrenches at my heart. Study out all the things that Pilate says and see what conclusion you come to. Here is the man who could change the fate of Jesus, but Jesus is not intimidated. In fact, Jesus turns everything upside down by delving into the heart of Pilate.
Even in His final hours on earth, Jesus is probing the hearts of men – making them think, saying the things that need to be said and most importantly, showing them their sin and pointing out to them that they are responsible for their actions.
If you haven’t done so, write out all the things Pilate says about Jesus. Then look for the place in chapter 18 where Jesus is silent and gives no answer when questioned. What is the significance of this silence? How does Pilate respond after the silence?
Sometimes silence is the loudest communicator. (Like, for example, when Jesus did not go to Mary, Martha and Lazarus when called). It is in those times of silence that we must often wrestle….. What does this silence say? And how does it effect Pilate?
-March 11, 2016-