The First Lesson: Acts (5:27-32)
[When the captain and the temple police had brought the apostles out of the temple,] they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
- Continuation of life in the early church.
- Peter and the apostles were let out of jail by and angel.
- “You killed, but God raised up.”
- Later they were convinced to let them go – created by man – will die off; created by God – do not attempt.
- They are then beaten and released
The Response: Psalm 150
Praise God in his holy temple; *
praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts; *
praise him for his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; *
praise him with lyre and harp.
4 Praise him with timbrel and dance; *
praise him with strings and pipe.
5 Praise him with resounding cymbals; *
praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath *
praise the Lord.
- This book is the very last one of the complete Psalter.
- These verses sum up the all of the hymns and praises – the great one!
- There were ten imperatives: “Praise God!”
- It answers four questions: 1) Who is to be praised? 2) Why praise? 3) How to be praised? 4) By whom?
The New Testament: Revelation (1:4-8)
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
- Complex composition: Verse 1 is an apocalypse and Verse 3 is a prophesy.
- Composed during the time of the persecution by the Roman Empire.
- These verses are not trying to tell about our future!
- Daniel was written during the time of the persecution by the Syrians.
- Continue to be faithful to God and God will achieve victory.
- We do not know who John is – the events probably took place in Ephesus.
- Similar verbiage can be found in Exodus chapter 19.
- Zeus “was, is, and will be” from earlier writings.
The Gospel: John (20:19-31)
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
- We use this same gospel every year.
- We do not know the exact number of Jesus’ followers as referenced here.
- For John, the spirit of Jesus comes on Easter.
- John is the only Gospel where it is mentioned that Jesus was nailed to a cross and has his side pierced.
- The blessed are you who believe but did not see was also known from an earlier Jewish rabbi verse.