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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 44: Jesus’s Death and Resurrection

This entry is part 44 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 44: Jesus’s Death and Resurrection

Weekly memory verse:

Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

Weekly hymn:

“Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ, to be a sign of the believer’s communion with Christ and his church through his broken body and shed blood.

Day 216: Judas Betrays Jesus

Reading: Matthew 26:30–56, Psalm 46-48


Matthew 26, Verse 30. Hymn. This was likely Psalm 118, the last of the Egyptian Hallel (praise) psalms, which were traditionally sung as part of the Passover celebration.

Verse 39. This cup. A cup is often a symbol of God’s wrath against sin. Will. This is not a conflict between the persons of God; rather it is an example of Christ in his humanity voluntarily submitting to the will of the Father, certainly a mystery related to the Trinity.

Verse 51. One of those. John identifies this as Peter and the servant as Malchus (John 18:10). Luke indicates that Jesus healed Malchus’s ear (Luke 22:51).

Verse 53. Twelve legions. A legion was 6,000 soldiers, so this would be more than 72,000 angels.


Jesus willingly gave himself to suffer for the sins of his people, and yet he knew that the experience of God’s divine justice upon him would be terrible. Yet he submitted himself to this in order to bring his Father glory and for the sake of sinners. All of this had been foretold in Old Testament prophecy, and so even the traitorous actions of Judas were intended by God to accomplish the redemption of many.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Jesus ask that the cup pass from him?
  2. How did Jesus demonstrate submission to his Father?
  3. Why was Peter’s action wrong?

Day 217: Jesus Tried by the Religious Leaders

Reading: John 18:12–27, Mark 14:53–65, Matthew 27:1–10


John 18, Verse 12. Bound him. The houses of Annas and Caiaphas may have shared a common courtyard since this is where Peter appears to be while Jesus is taken back and forth between the two houses. Annas had been high priest from ad 6–15, and his son-in-law Caiaphas held the office from ad 18–36. This trial, which occurred sometime between midnight and 3:00 am, was illegal based on Jewish law.

Mark 14, Verse 62. I am. This was an unambiguous claim that Jesus was God himself.

Matthew 29, Verse 9. Jeremiah. This is actually a quote from Zechariah 11:12–13; however, since in the Hebrew Old Testament, Jeremiah came first in the section of Prophets, the whole section was sometimes referred to by his name.


The religious leaders carefully plotted the arrest and trial of Jesus in the dead of night, since they knew he was popular among the people. This trial was illegal by Jewish standards, but God used the sinister actions of his enemies to accomplish his good purposes. Jesus, innocent of all the false charges, remained silent, although when asked if he was Messiah, Jesus answered with an unambiguous claim to be God himself.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did the religious leaders put Jesus to trial at night?
  2. What is the difference between Peter’s denial and Judas’s betrayal?
  3. Why did Caiaphas tear his garments?

Day 218: Jesus Tried by the Political Leaders

Reading: Luke 23:1–25, Isaiah 53


Luke 23, Verse 2. Tribute to Caesar. This was a deliberate lie; Jesus had explicitly defended the necessity to pay taxes to Caesar (Luke 20:20–25).

Verse 7. Herod’s jurisdiction. This was Herod Antipas, who ruled Galilee and Perea and who had killed John the Baptist.

Verse 18. Barabbas. John indicates that the Jews had a custom to free a criminal during Passover (John 18:39); Pilate wished to free Jesus, who he believed to be innocent, but the crowd chose Barabbas, a thief (John 18:40) and murderer (Luke 23:18–19), instead.

Verse 21. Crucify him. Crucifixion was a disgraceful form of Roman torture and execution.


Unlike the religious leaders, Pilate genuinely desired to determine whether Jesus was innocent or guilty. Having determined him to be innocent, Pilate attempted to both pass the matter off to Herod and free Jesus in a way that would appease the people. However, under the public pressure, he gave in and delivered Jesus to be crucified.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Jesus silent during much of his trial?
  2. Why did the people demand Jesus’s crucifixion?
  3. In what ways did the events of Jesus’s trial and crucifixion fulfil Isaiah’s prophecy?

Day 219: The Death of Jesus

Reading: Matthew 27:27–60; Psalm 22


Matthew 27, Verse 27. Battalion. Usually around 600 men.

Verse 32. Cyrene. A city in North Africa.

Verse 33. Golgotha. Luke uses the name “Calvary,” from the Latin word for “skull.” This may have been a skull-shaped hill or simply known as a place of death.

Verse 45. Sixth hour. This was noon. The crucifixion had begun at 9:00 am (Mark 15:25), and verse 46 indicates that Jesus’s death occurred at the ninth hour, 3:00 pm.

Verse 46. Forsaken me. In quoting Psalm 22, Jesus was not claiming that God had actually forsaken him; rather, he was using the psalm to express deep lament.

Verse 52. Bodies of the saints. Matthew is the only gospel that records this, and nothing more is said of them. They apparently appeared to many (v. 53) and then likely ascended to heaven.


Jesus willingly gave himself to be crucified, knowing that in this action he would accomplish the redemption of his people. That fact that he did indeed accomplish this was displayed no more perfectly than when the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, indicating that the barrier between God’s presence and his people was not eliminated.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways did Psalm 22 foretell aspects of Christ’s crucifixion?
  2. How do we know that Jesus died voluntarily?
  3. What did the tearing of the veil indicate about Christ’s death?

Day 220: The Resurrection of Jesus

Reading: Matthew 27:62–28:15


Matthew 27, Verse 4. Like dead men. This probably indicates that they were struck unconscious because of what they had seen.

Verse 7, Galilee. Jesus’s disciples saw him several times before they saw him in Galilee, but it would be there that he would appear to “over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Cor 15:6).


Jesus rose from the dead, just as he promised he would. His resurrection is a key element of the gospel, as it proved his victory over sin and death and the fact that his sacrifice had been accepted by God. The fact that he was seen by many is also an important component of the gospel message.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did the religious leaders want to seal and guard the tomb?
  2. Why was it important that Jesus be seen after his resurrection?

Why was Jesus’s resurrection important?

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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.