Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

Currently featured in the Saddleback Church "Anchored Life Challenge." To join the challenge and read through the New Testament in 8 weeks, join at

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 
Immerse Messiah 23

Stacie Wood: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for Week 5, Day 23. As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. Go into that village over there, he told them. As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden.

Stacie Wood: Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, What are you doing? Just say, The Lord needs it and will return it soon. The two disciples

Rick Warren: left and found the colt

Stacie Wood: standing in the street. Tied outside the front door. As they were untying it,

Rick Warren: some bystanders demanded, What are you doing untying that colt?

Stacie Wood: They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it.

Stacie Wood: Then they brought the colt to Jesus. And threw their garments over it, and he sat on it. Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and [00:01:00] others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, Praise God!

Stacie Wood: Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven! So Jesus came to Jerusalem. and went into the temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left, because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Stacie Wood: The next morning, as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf

Rick Warren: a little way off,

Stacie Wood: so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves. Because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, May no one ever eat your fruit again.

Stacie Wood: And the disciples heard [00:02:00] him say it. When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. And he stopped everyone from using the temple as a marketplace.

Stacie Wood: He said to them, The scriptures declare, I My temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a den of thieves. When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him, because the people were so amazed at his teaching.

Stacie Wood: That evening, Jesus and the disciples left the city. The next morning, as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed It had withered from the roots up. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the [00:03:00] tree on the previous day and exclaimed, Look, Rabbi, the fig tree you cursed has withered and died.

Stacie Wood: Then Jesus said to the disciples, Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything. And if you believe that you've received it.

Stacie Wood: It will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Again, they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to Him.

Stacie Wood: They demanded, By what authority are you doing all these things? [00:04:00] Who gave you the right to do them? I'll tell you by what authority I do these things. If you answer one question, Jesus replied, Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me. They talked it over among themselves.

Stacie Wood: If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe John. But do we dare say it was merely human? For they were afraid of what the people would do, because everyone believed that John was a prophet. So they finally replied, We don't know. And Jesus responded, Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things.

Stacie Wood: Then Jesus began teaching them with stories. A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, And built a lookout tower. [00:05:00] Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.

Stacie Wood: But the farmers grabbed the servant. Beat him up and sent him back empty handed. The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head. The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed until there was only one left, his son, whom he loved dearly.

Stacie Wood: The owner finally sent him, thinking, Surely they will respect my son. But the tenant farmers said to one another, Here comes the heir to this estate. Let's kill him and get the estate for ourselves. So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard. What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?[00:06:00]

Stacie Wood: Jesus asked. I'll tell you. He will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others. Didn't you ever read this in the scriptures? The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful to see. The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them.

Stacie Wood: They were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away. Later The leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. Teacher, they said, we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don't play favorites.

Stacie Wood: You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us, is it right to pay taxes to [00:07:00] Caesar or not? Should we pay them or shouldn't we? Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I'll tell you. When they handed it to him, he asked, Whose picture and title are stamped on it?

Stacie Wood: Caesar's, they replied. Well then, Jesus said, Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God. His reply completely amazed them. Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees, religious leaders who say, there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question, Teacher, Moses gave us a law, that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother's name.

Stacie Wood: Well, suppose there were seven brothers. [00:08:00] The oldest one married and then died without children. So the second brother married the widow, but he also died without children. Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, and still there were no children. Last of all, the woman also died.

Stacie Wood: So tell us,

Rick Warren: whose wife

Stacie Wood: will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her. Jesus replied, Your mistake is that you don't know the scriptures,

Rick Warren: and you don't

Stacie Wood: know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect, they will be like the angels in heaven.

Stacie Wood: But now, as to whether the dead will be raised, haven't you ever read about this in the writings of Moses? In the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died,

Rick Warren: God said to Moses,

Stacie Wood: I [00:09:00] am the God of Abraham, the God

Rick Warren: of Isaac, and the God of

Stacie Wood: Jacob. So he is the God of the living, not the dead.

Stacie Wood: You have made a serious error. One of the teachers of religious law was standing there, listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well. So he asked, Of all the commandments, which is the most important? Jesus replied, The most important commandment is this. Listen, O Israel, the Lord our God is the one and only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.

Stacie Wood: The second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these. The teacher of religious law replied, Well said, teacher. You have spoken the truth by [00:10:00] saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love Him with all my heart, and all my understanding, and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself.

Stacie Wood: This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law. Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And after that, No one dared to ask him any more questions. Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple, he asked, Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the Son of David?

Stacie Wood: For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand, until I humble your enemies beneath your feet. Since [00:11:00] David himself called the Messiah, My Lord, how can the Messiah be his son? The large crowd listened to him with great delight.

Rick Warren: Jesus also taught. Beware of these teachers of religious

Stacie Wood: law, for they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues, and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property, and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public, because of this.

Stacie Wood: They will be more severely punished. Jesus sat down near the collection box in the temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to [00:12:00] him and said, I tell you the truth. This poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions, for they gave a tiny part of their surplus.

Stacie Wood: But she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on. As Jesus was leaving the temple that day, one of his disciples said, Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings. Look at the impressive stones in the walls. Jesus replied, Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished.

Stacie Wood: Not one stone will be left on top of another. Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Him privately and asked Him, Tell us. When will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled? Jesus replied, [00:13:00] Don't let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Messiah.

Stacie Wood: They will deceive many, and you will hear of wars, and threats of wars. But don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately.

Rick Warren: Nation will go to war against nation, and

Stacie Wood: kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

Stacie Wood: When these things begin to happen, watch out. You will be handed over to the local councils, and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings. Because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. For the good news must first be preached to all nations.

Stacie Wood: But when you are arrested and stand trial, don't worry in [00:14:00] advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time. For it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. A brother will betray his brother to death. A father will betray his own child. And children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.

Stacie Wood: And everyone will hate you. Because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration, standing where he should not be. Reader, pay attention. Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack.

Stacie Wood: A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in [00:15:00] winter. For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again.

Stacie Wood: In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of His chosen ones, He has shortened those days. Then, if anyone tells you, look, here is the Messiah, or there He is, don't believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones.

Stacie Wood: Watch out. I have warned you about this ahead of time. At that time, after the anguish of those days, The sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming [00:16:00] on the clouds with great power and glory.

Stacie Wood: And He will send out His angels to gather His chosen ones from all over the world, from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that His return is very near, right at the door.

Stacie Wood: I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son Himself. Only the father knows, and since you don't know when that time will come, be on guard, stay [00:17:00] alert.

Rick Warren: The coming of the Son of

Stacie Wood: Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch, for you don't know when the master of the household will return.

Stacie Wood: In the evening? At midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak, don't let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone. Watch for him. It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law We're still looking for an opportunity to capture

Rick Warren: Jesus secretly

Stacie Wood: and kill him.

Stacie Wood: But not during the Passover celebration, they agreed, or the people may riot. [00:18:00] Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.

Stacie Wood: Some of those at the table were indignant. Why waste such expensive perfume, they asked. It

Rick Warren: could have been sold for a year's wages, and the money given to the poor. So they scolded her harshly. But

Stacie Wood: Jesus

Rick Warren: replied, Leave her alone. Why criticize

Stacie Wood: her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have

Rick Warren: the poor among you, and you can help them

Stacie Wood: whenever you want to,

Rick Warren: but you will not always have me.

Rick Warren: She has done what she could

Stacie Wood: and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. I

Rick Warren: tell you the truth, wherever the good news is preached throughout the world, [00:19:00] this woman's deed will be remembered

Stacie Wood: and discussed.

Rick Warren: Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests

Stacie Wood: to arrange to betray Jesus to them.

Stacie Wood: They were delighted when

Rick Warren: they heard why he had

Stacie Wood: come, and they promised to give him money. So, he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover

Rick Warren: lamb is sacrificed, Jesus disciples asked him,

Stacie Wood: Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal for

Rick Warren: you?

Rick Warren: So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions. As you go into the city,

Stacie Wood: a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he

Rick Warren: enters, say to the owner, The teacher asks, Where

Stacie Wood: is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my

Rick Warren: disciples?

Stacie Wood: He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up.[00:20:00]

Rick Warren: That is where you should prepare our meal. So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said,

Stacie Wood: and they prepared the Passover meal there. In the evening, Jesus arrived with the twelve. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.

Stacie Wood: Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, Am I the one? He replied, It is one of you twelve. Who is eating from this bowl with me? For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays Him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born.

Stacie Wood: As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces

Rick Warren: and gave it to the disciples, saying, Take it. For this is

Stacie Wood: my [00:21:00] body. And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, This is my

Rick Warren: blood,

Stacie Wood: which confirms the covenant between God and his people.

Stacie Wood: It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Rick Warren: Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Stacie Wood: On the way, Jesus told them,

Rick Warren: All of you will desert me, for the Scriptures say, God will

Stacie Wood: strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.

Stacie Wood: But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there. Peter said to him,

Rick Warren: Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.

Stacie Wood: Jesus replied, I tell you the truth,

Rick Warren: Peter. This very night, before the

Stacie Wood: rooster crows twice, [00:22:00] you will deny

Rick Warren: three times that you even know

Stacie Wood: me. No, Peter declared emphatically.

Rick Warren: Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you. And all the others vowed the same. They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane. And Jesus said,

Stacie Wood: Sit here while I go and pray. He took Peter,

Rick Warren: James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.

Rick Warren: Stay here and keep watch with me. He went on a little

Stacie Wood: farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible,

Rick Warren: the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. Abba,

Stacie Wood: Father, he cried out, everything is possible for you. Please take this

Rick Warren: cup of suffering away from me,

Stacie Wood: yet I want your will to be done, [00:23:00] not mine.

Stacie Wood: Then he returned and found the

Rick Warren: disciples asleep. He said to Peter, Simon,

Stacie Wood: are you asleep? Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?

Rick Warren: Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.

Rick Warren: When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open, and they didn't know what to say. When he returned to them the third time, he said, Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no, the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Let's be going.

Rick Warren: Look, my betrayer is here. And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, One of the twelve disciples arrived

Stacie Wood: with a [00:24:00] crowd of men,

Rick Warren: armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal. You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.

Rick Warren: Then you can take him away under guard. As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. Rabbi, he exclaimed. And gave him the kiss. Then the others

Stacie Wood: grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest's slave, slashing

Rick Warren: off his ear. Jesus asked them, Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me?

Rick Warren: Why didn't you arrest me in the temple? I was there among you teaching every day,

Stacie Wood: but these things are happening to fulfill

Rick Warren: what the Scriptures say about me. Then, all his disciples [00:25:00] deserted him and

Stacie Wood: ran away.

Rick Warren: One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen

Stacie Wood: shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his

Rick Warren: shirt and ran away naked.

Rick Warren: They took Jesus to the high priest's home, where the leading

Stacie Wood: priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest's courtyard. There he sat with the

Rick Warren: guards, warming himself by the fire. Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus.

Rick Warren: So they could put him to death, but they couldn't find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted

Stacie Wood: each other.

Rick Warren: Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony. We heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with human hands, and in three days I [00:26:00] will build another, made without human hands.

Rick Warren: But even then, they didn't get their story straight. Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself? But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?

Rick Warren: Jesus said, I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror

Stacie Wood: and said, Why do we need

Rick Warren: other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict? Guilty, they all cried.

Rick Warren: He deserves to die. Then some of them began to spit at him, and they [00:27:00] blindfolded him and beat him

Stacie Wood: with their fists.

Rick Warren: Prophesy to us, they jeered.

Stacie Wood: And the guards slapped

Rick Warren: him as they took him away. Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who

Stacie Wood: worked for the high priest came by

Rick Warren: and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire.

Rick Warren: She looked at him closely and said, You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth. But Peter denied it. I don't know what you're talking about, he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, This man is definitely one of them, but Peter denied it again.

Rick Warren: A little later, some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean. Peter swore, A curse on me if I'm lying. I don't know this [00:28:00] man you're talking about. and immediately. The rooster

Stacie Wood: crowed

Rick Warren: the second

Stacie Wood: time.

Rick Warren: Suddenly, Jesus words flashed through Peter's mind.

Rick Warren: Before the rooster crows twice. You will deny three times that you even know me, and he broke down and wept. Very early in the morning, the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law, the entire high council, met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

Rick Warren: Pilate asked Jesus, Are you the king of the Jews? Jesus replied, You have said it. Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, Aren't you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you? But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate's surprise.[00:29:00]

Rick Warren: Now, it was the governor's custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner, any one the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner, as usual.

Rick Warren: Would you like me to release to you this king of the Jews? Pilate asked, for he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy. But at this point, the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?

Rick Warren: They shouted back, crucify him. Why? Pilate demanded. What crime has he committed? But the mob roared even louder,

Stacie Wood: crucify him. So, to pacify the [00:30:00] crowd,

Rick Warren: Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Stacie Wood: The soldiers took Jesus into

Rick Warren: the courtyard of the governor's headquarters, called the praetorium, and called out the entire regiment.

Rick Warren: They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. Then they saluted him and taunted, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their

Stacie Wood: knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking

Rick Warren: him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again.

Rick Warren: Then they led him away to be crucified. A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus cross. Simon was [00:31:00] the father of Alexander and Rufus. And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of the Skull.

Rick Warren: They offered him wine, drugged with myrrh. But he refused it. Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. A sign announced the charge against him. It read, The King of the Jews.

Rick Warren: Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. Look at you now, they yelled at him. You said you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross.

Rick Warren: The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. He [00:32:00] saved others, they scoffed, but he can't save himself. Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him. Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock.

Rick Warren: Then at three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi. Lema sabachthanai, which means, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink.

Rick Warren: Wait, he said, let's see whether Elijah comes to take him down. Then Jesus uttered another loud

Stacie Wood: cry, and breathed his last. [00:33:00] And the

Rick Warren: curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the

Stacie Wood: Roman

Rick Warren: officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, This man truly was the Son of God.

Rick Warren: Some women were there, watching from a distance, including

Stacie Wood: Mary Magdalene,

Rick Warren: Mary, the mother of James the Younger and of Joseph, and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for Him while He was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with Him to Jerusalem were also there. This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath.

Rick Warren: As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body. Joseph was an honored member of the High Council. And he was waiting for the kingdom of God to come. [00:34:00] Pilate couldn't believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet.

Rick Warren: The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled

Stacie Wood: a stone in front of the entrance.

Stacie Wood: Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joseph, saw where Jesus body was laid.

Rick Warren: Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased

Stacie Wood: burial spices,

Rick Warren: so they could anoint Jesus body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, They went to the tomb.

Rick Warren: On the way, they were asking each other,

Stacie Wood: Who

Rick Warren: will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb? But as they [00:35:00] arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side.

Stacie Wood: The women were shocked. But the angel said, Don't be alarmed, you are looking for Jesus

Rick Warren: of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here. He is risen from the dead. Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples. Including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there,

Stacie Wood: just as he told you

Rick Warren: before he died.

Rick Warren: The women fled from the tomb, trembling

Stacie Wood: and bewildered. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were too frightened. Note, the most ancient manuscripts of Mark conclude with chapter 16,

Rick Warren: [00:36:00] verse 8. Later manuscripts add one or both of the following endings, shorter ending of Mark.

Stacie Wood: Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions.

Stacie Wood: Afterward, Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life.

Rick Warren: Amen. Longer ending of Mark After

Stacie Wood: Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning,

Rick Warren: the first

Stacie Wood: person who saw him was Mary

Rick Warren: Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons.

Rick Warren: She went to the disciples,

Stacie Wood: who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them

Rick Warren: that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn't believe her. Afterward,

Stacie Wood: he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem [00:37:00] into the

Rick Warren: country.

Stacie Wood: They rushed back to tell the others.

Stacie Wood: But no one believed them.

Rick Warren: Still later,

Stacie Wood: he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together.

Rick Warren: He

Stacie Wood: rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him

Rick Warren: after he had been raised from the dead. And then he told them. Go into all the world and

Stacie Wood: preach the good news to everyone.

Stacie Wood: Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved,

Rick Warren: but anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe. They will cast out

Stacie Wood: demons

Rick Warren: in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink

Stacie Wood: anything poisonous, it won't hurt them.

Stacie Wood: They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed. When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, He was [00:38:00] taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached. And the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said.

Stacie Wood: By

Rick Warren: many miraculous signs.

Stacie Wood: This concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.