Debate over Jesus’ claims

The chief priests and the Pharisees challenged the Temple police when they returned without Jesus, asking “Why didn’t you bring him?”

The police answered “Nobody ever talked like this man!”

The Pharisees countered “Has he fooled you too? Has anybody among us or the Jewish rulers believed in him? But this crowd, which is ignorant of the Law, is cursed!”

Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had previously spoken with Jesus secretly, said “The Law doesn’t condemn a man before it knows what he’s doing, or before he has a chance to testify, does it?”

“Are you also from Galilee?” they questioned. “Check for yourself and learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.”

Everyone went home, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

JN 7:45-53 and JN 8:1

The burial

Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea in Judea, came to Golgotha in the evening. He was an important member of the Sanhedrin who had not agreed with what they had decided to do about Jesus. He was also a righteous man and secretly one of Jesus’ followers. He looked forward to the coming of the kingdom of God.

He boldly approached Pilate to claim Jesus’ body. Pilate agreed to his request once he learned from the centurion that Jesus had already died. He was surprised that he had died so quickly.

Joseph removed Jesus’ body from the cross and wrapped it with fine linen he had bought. Nicodemus (the Pharisee who had earlier come at night to secretly talk with Jesus) was also there and he brought a large mixture of myrrh and aloe. They used it along with the linen to prepare Jesus’ body in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

Joseph placed the body in an unused tomb that was cut into the rock in a nearby garden. They did this because they did not have time to take care of the body because the Sabbath was quickly approaching. Joseph rolled a large stone over the entrance and then left.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph were seated nearby, watching where the body was placed. They returned to where they were staying and prepared spices and perfumes for the body. Then they rested, because it was the Sabbath.

MT 27:57-61, MK 15:42-47, LK 23:50-56, JN 19:38-42

Jesus speaks with Nicodemus

Nicodemus was a Jewish leader and member of the Pharisees. He came to Jesus secretly at night and said “Teacher, we know that God has sent you as a teacher, because only those who God is with can do the signs you have performed.”

Jesus told him, “Truly I say to you, unless you have been reborn, you can never enter into the kingdom of God.”

“How can anyone be born again?” Nicodemus exclaimed. “How can an old person enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time?”

“This is the truth – Unless you are born by the way of water and of the Holy Spirit, you will never enter the kingdom of God. Whoever is born by the way of the flesh is just flesh, but if you are born by the way of the Spirit, you are so much more. Don’t be amazed when I tell you that you must be born a second time. You can hear the wind blow but you don’t know where it came from or where it will go. The same is true of everyone who is born by the way of the Spirit.”

“How is this possible?” asked Nicodemus.

“You, a respected teacher of the Law of Moses, and you don’t understand this? Truly, I’m telling you what God reveals to me, but you don’t accept it. If you don’t believe me when I tell you about the earthly things that happen, then how will you believe me when I tell you about heavenly things? The only one who has been raised up into heaven is the same one who came down from heaven, and that is the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses raised up an image of a serpent to heal people in the wilderness, the Son of Man must be raised up, so that everyone who believes in him will be saved from death.

God loves the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son here to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved because of him. Anyone who believes in him is saved, but those who don’t believe are lost, because they don’t believe in the only Son of God.

Those who are lost have made themselves that way, because the Light has come into the world and they loved the darkness more because they did evil things. Everyone who does evil things hates to have them exposed to the Light. But everyone who lives truthfully comes to the Light so that God’s glory may be revealed.”

JN 3:1-21