i believe in miracles

do you? why not add your miracles too?

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How Did a Lily-Livered Man like you Rise to Prefect? John 18:38b – 19:16 (how I would say it)

Pilate went back out to the crowd of Jews and said, “I don’t see any reason to press charges here. But there is that Passover custom where I release a prisoner. Do you want me to release your ‘king of the Jews’?”

“No!” They shouted. “Don’t release him. Release Barabbas!” Barabbas was a rebel who had been arrested for taking part in an uprising against Rome.

So Pilate took Jesus and had him beaten. The soldiers who beat him also wove together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They hung a purple robe around him and mocked him, saying, “All hail the king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Then Pilate went back out to the crowd and said, “Look, I don’t find any reason to press charges, so I’m turning him back over to you.” Jesus came out at that moment dressed in the crown of thorns and purple robe, and Pilate announced, “Here you go, all yours.”

But the Jewish leaders started shouting, “Execute him! Hang him on a cross!”

Pilate answered back, “You hang him on a cross. I already told you I don’t have any reason to press charges.”

The Jewish leaders pressed him: “There is a reason! He’s broken our law by claiming to be the Son of God. And that’s punishable by death.”

This news shook Pilate up and he went back inside the palace. He questioned Jesus again: “Where are you from?” Jesus didn’t answer. “Are you refusing to speak to me? Don’t you realize it’s in my power to free you or to execute you?”

Jesus answered, “Any power you have over me has been granted you from a higher authority. It’s those guys outside who turned me in who bear the greater guilt.”

From that point on, Pilate really wanted to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “He’s claiming to be king and that makes him an enemy to Caesar. If you let him go, then you’re an enemy to Caesar too.”

Finally Pilate brought Jesus out to the crowd and then he sat down on the judge’s seat, which was called the Stone Pavement (Gabbatha in Aramaic). It was about noon of the Preparation Day of the Passover. “Here’s your king,” Pilate announced.

The Jews shouted back, “We don’t want him! You take him! Hang him on cross!

“You want me to execute your king by hanging him on a cross?” Pilate asked.

“Caesar is our only king,” the priests called back.

Finally Pilate gave the OK to have him executed by hanging on a cross.


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Conversations with Pilate: John 18:28-38a (how I would say it)

After Caiaphas was finished with him, the Jewish officials took Jesus to the palace of the Roman governor. It was early morning of the Passover day. Entering the palace, which they considered to be pagan, would preclude them from being able to eat the Passover meal, so they didn’t want to go in. Instead, the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, came out to them and asked, “What are the charges against this man?”

They replied, “Well, he’s a criminal, of course! Would we bring him to you if he weren’t a criminal?”

Pilate responded, “Why don’t you judge him under your judicial system?”

“Because we can’t inflict the death penalty on anyone,” they explained. (Recall that Jesus predicted he would be executed.)

Pilate went back inside the palace and had Jesus brought to him. He asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your idea,” Jesus asked, “or did someone tell you about me?”

“What, am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What’s your crime?”

Jesus said, “I don’t have any kingdom on earth. If I ruled some earthly kingdom, wouldn’t someone be fighting to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders? No. My kingdom is from another place.”

“Oh, so you are a king!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “Those were your words. Listen, my purpose in life is to prove the truth. And advocates of the truth hear what I have to say.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

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Peter the Poser: John 18:12b-27 (how I would say it)

rooster lo

They tied Jesus’ hands and took him first to former high priest, Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the one who had said earlier that it made more sense for one man to die to spare a whole nation.

Simon Peter and I trailed along.  Because I was personally acquainted with the high priest, I got to go into the courtyard where they had taken Jesus, but Simon Peter had to wait outside. I so went back and spoke to the girl on duty at the door and she let Peter in.

But then she asked him, “Hey, aren’t one of this man’s followers?”

He replied, “Who me? No…no.”

It was cold, so the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to stay warm. Peter stood there with them, warming himself too.

Meanwhile, the high priest interrogated Jesus about what he taught and about his followers.

Jesus replied, “I have been accessible to everyone. I taught all the time in the synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews meet. I haven’t done anything clandestine. Why are you interrogating me? Why don’t you ask anyone who ever heard me speak? I’m sure they could tell you what I said.”

One of the officials standing next to Jesus slapped him in the face and railed, “Is that any way to answer the high priest?”

“What? Did I say something incorrect?” Jesus replied, “What was it? And if I didn’t, then why did you hit me?”

Then Annas told them to slap the cuffs on him and send him to Caiaphas, the current high priest.

While all of this was going on, Simon Peter was still warming himself by the fire when someone asked, “Hey, aren’t one of his disciples?”

He denied it, saying, “Heck, no!”

But a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off piped up and said, “But you were with him in the garden—I saw you, didn’t I?”

Again, Peter denied he knew Jesus personally, and at just that moment, a rooster began to crow.

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You’re Under Arrest: John 18:1-12a (how I would say it)

full moon 2

When he had finished praying, Jesus and his followers crossed the Kidron Valley and entered a garden there. They frequented this place, so Judas (the traitor) knew where to find them. Judas rolled in with a detachment of soldiers along with some of the top dogs among the priests and Pharisees. They had torches, lanterns and weapons in hand.

Fully aware of what was going down, Jesus met them and asked, “Who are looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. Judas was right there with them.

“That’s me,” Jesus said.

At this, they retreated and hunkered down.

He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you, that’s me. If it’s me you want, let all the rest of these guys go.” This is how the ancient text that said, “I didn’t lose any of my men,” was fulfilled.

Then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, drew it and cut off the ear of a man named Malchus, a servant of the high priest.

Jesus commanded, “Put that thing away! Should I resist my destiny?”

The detachment of soldiers, its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus.