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Dick Hester

Pilate releases Jesus to be crucified

My column this week is from the book of John, chapter 19, about Jesus’ crucifixion. Pilate handed Jesus over to the Jews to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Verse 17 – Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Jesus carried His own cross. A cross might be shaped like a T, an X or an I, as well as like the traditional form. A condemned man would normally carry a beam of it to the place of execution. Somewhere along the way Simon of …

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Jesus is sentenced to be crucified

My column for this week is from John 19, “Jesus sentenced to be crucified.” Verse 1 – Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. Pilate hoped a flogging would satisfy the Jews and enable him to release Jesus. The Romans used a whip made of several strips of leather, for their floggings, into which were embedded (near the ends) pieces of bone and lead. The Jews limited the number of stripes to a maximum of 40 (in practice to 39 in case of a miscount), but no such limitation was recognized by the Romans, and victims of Roman floggings …

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Jesus is questioned by Pilate

My column this week is from John 18, “Jesus Appears Before Pilate.” Verse 28 – Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. The Jews led Jesus to the palace of the Roman governor. John says little about the Jewish phase of Jesus’ trial but much about the Roman trial (see Mark 14:53—15:15). It is possible that John was in the Praetorium, the governor’s official residence, for …

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Peter’s second and third denials

My column this week is from John 18:19-27, where “The High Priest Questions Jesus” and “Peter’s Second and Third Denials.” Verse 19 – Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. These were not legal questions asked by the high priest since witnesses were supposed to be brought in first to establish guilt. The accused was not required to prove His innocence. Perhaps Annas regarded this as a preliminary inquiry, not a trial. Verses 20, 21 – “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where …

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Jesus prays for all believers

My column this week is from John 17:20-26, “Jesus Prays for All Believers.” Verse 20 – “My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message.” As you may recall, last week Jesus prayed for His disciples. Jesus says: I pray also for those who will believe in Me.” He had just spoken of the mission and the sanctification of His followers (John 17:18-19). Jesus was confident that they would spread the gospel, and He prayed for those who would believe as a result. All future believers are included in …

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