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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The book of Matthew

I had my Bible final today and studied so hard for it! I got a 98 plus 18 or so extra credit points!

Bible has been one of my favorite classes. Everyone has to take a Bible class each semester. Before school started we all thought it would be a blow off class because we've grown up in church. That is not how it has been, and I'm glad! The title of my class was The Life of Christ. We studied mostly the book of Matthew. My friend and I were talking today about this. We've heard the story of Jesus our whole lives. We've read passages in Matthew. We've had Bible studies about it. But we've never spend months studying one topic. I have learned SO much. We started at the beginning and ended with the crucifixion and resurrection. It all is so much clearer. Before this class, I knew the basics of Jesus' life. I've never payed much attention to the details or why specific things are recorded in the Bible.

These are all things from my notes and class discussions. My teacher did a great job with pointing out things to us!

One of the first things we talked about was the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew 1:1 starts with listing Jesus' family line starting back at Abraham. I don't know about you, but every single time there is a genealogy in any book of the Bible, I just skip over it. It's not the most entertaining thing ever. But now I understand why it's there. First of all it allowed Jews to keep the heritage alive. It was also for legal purposes and rights. The main reason that Matthew uses it is to show that Jesus has a legal claim to the throne. He shows that Jesus is qualified to be the son of God because of his heritage and that He is the hope of Israel. Matthew is doing something significant by showing the kingly linage.

We looked at the government at the time of Jesus and how Jesus came at just the right time for God's plan to be fulfilled.

The last thing we studied was the last week of Jesus' life. Well the week before he was crucified and resurrected. Also known as the Passion Week.

Again, I have known this story my whole life. But we studied in depth. We learned about what happened on each day leading up to that Friday. Fun fact: In Matthew, Jesus' earthly mission took 20 chapters. The Passion Week took 8. Here's a few things that took place that week.

  • Sunday- Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey. Crowds threw down their garments and palm leaves and shouted, "Hosanna". The garments signify their submission to Jesus as King, the palm leaves signify Jewish nationalism and victory. 
  • Monday-Jesus curses the fig tree. Jesus clears the temple because of moneychangers and vendors. 
  • Tuesday-The religious leaders question Jesus' authority. Jesus teaches in the temple and is later anointed. 
  • Wednesday- There are no records of this day, but many believe that Judas might have made the plans to betray Jesus that day.
  • Thursday- Passover meal with the disciples. The Last Supper. Jesus tells the disciples who will betray Him. Jesus prays at Gethsemane and is arrested sometime that night when Judas betrays Him with a kiss. Either late Thursday night, or early Friday morning Peter denies Jesus 3 times while Jesus is being questioned by Caiphas who is the High Priest.
  • Friday- Jesus has two trials. One before Herod Antipas and one before Pilate. Around 9am Jesus is nailed to the cross. Around 3pm Jesus dies. So that no one will break the law of the Sabbath, they bury Jesus before sundown on Friday. I think that's ironic. They don't want to break the Sabbath, but they kill Jesus. 
  • Saturday- Jesus' body lies in the tomb.
  • Sunday-Jesus' tomb is found empty. He has risen from the dead!
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain of the Temple to the Holy of Holies tore from top to bottom. The only person who could go in that room was the High Priest. BUT he could only go in there once a year on the day of Atonement. The veil represented the separation of God and man because of sin. Anyone entering the room was in the presence of God. Anyone besides the High Priest (who could only go in the room once a year) would die if they went into the room because God is too pure to be in the presence of sin. So when the veil was torn, God's presence was now assessable to all. "“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body …let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

Also when Jesus died, the earth shook and the rocks split. We learned that the rocks were about half the size of our classroom which was huge. No one could just move rocks that big. Also, the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised. 

After these things happened, how could anyone not believe that He was the son of God? In class we talked about how we wish there were more details about the holy people being raised to life..how long did they live after that?? 

On Sunday, just like he said Jesus rose from the dead! He beat death! In 1 Corinthians, we see what the resurrection means for us today. Our faith stands on the risen Jesus. It shows that we have forgiveness. It gives us hope, and it shows that death is conquered! 

“'Where, O death, is your victory?
   Where, O death, is your sting?'
 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

If you have a chance, go read 1 Corinthians 15. 

These are just a few of the things that we studied! I can't wait for my Bible class next semester! I have the same teacher which will be great! 

2 comments:

  1. Victoria this is great! I really I could take a unit like this with my degree!!

    ReplyDelete