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 36

Stacie Wood: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for Week 8, Day 36.

Rick Warren: Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that His hour had come to leave this world and return to His Father. He had loved His disciples during His ministry on earth. And now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.

Rick Warren: Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything, and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, Wrapped a towel around his waist and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

Rick Warren: When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus replied, you don't understand [00:01:00] now what I am doing, but someday you will. No, Peter protested. You will never ever wash my feet. Jesus replied, Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me. Simon Peter exclaimed, Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet.

Rick Warren: Jesus replied, A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash. Except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you. For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, not all of you are clean. After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down, and asked, do you understand what I was doing?

Rick Warren: You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, because that's what I am. And since I, your Lord and [00:02:00] teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master, nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.

Rick Warren: Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. I am not saying these things to all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the scripture that says, The one who eats my food has turned against me. I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens, you will believe that I am the Messiah.

Rick Warren: I tell you the truth. Anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, I tell you the truth, one of you [00:03:00] will betray me. The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.

Rick Warren: Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, who's he talking about? So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, Who is it? Jesus responded, It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl. And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus told him, Hurry and do what you're going to do. None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once. Going out into the night. As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus [00:04:00] said, The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into His glory, and God will be glorified because of Him.

Rick Warren: And since God receives glory because of the Son, He will give His own glory to the Son, and He will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer, and as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can't come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment.

Rick Warren: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. Simon Peter asked, Lord, where are you going? And Jesus replied, You can't go with me now, but you will follow me later. Why can't I come now, Lord? He asked. I'm ready to die for you.[00:05:00]

Rick Warren: Jesus answered, Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me. Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. And trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

Rick Warren: When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am, and you know the way to where I am going. No, we don't know, Lord, Thomas said. We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus told him I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Rick Warren: If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. [00:06:00] From now on, you do know him and have seen him. Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied. Jesus replied, Have I been with you all this time, Philip? And yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

Rick Warren: So why are you asking me to show Him to you? Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own. But my Father who lives in me does His work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

Rick Warren: I tell you the truth. Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, [00:07:00] so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, obey my commandments.

Rick Warren: And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him, but you know Him. Because He lives with you now, and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans.

Rick Warren: I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. [00:08:00] And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.

Rick Warren: Judas, not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name, said to him, Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us? And not to the world at large. Jesus replied, all who love me will do what I say. My father will love them and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn't love me will not obey me.

Rick Warren: And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you, but when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative, that is, the Holy Spirit, He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

Rick Warren: I am leaving you with a gift, peace of [00:09:00] mind and heart, and the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you. I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I'm going to the Father, who is greater than I am.

Rick Warren: I have told you these things before they happen, so that when they do happen, you will believe. I don't have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.

Rick Warren: Let's be going. I am the true grapevine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit, so they will produce even more. You have already been [00:10:00] pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me. And I will remain in you, for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

Rick Warren: Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted.

Rick Warren: When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father. I have loved you. Even as the Father has loved [00:11:00] me, remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.

Rick Warren: Yes, your joy will overflow. This is my commandment. Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

Rick Warren: You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for using my name. This is my command. Love each other. [00:12:00] If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it.

Rick Warren: But you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world. So it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me.

Rick Warren: For they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my father. If I hadn't done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they [00:13:00] still hate me and my father.

Rick Warren: This fulfills what is written in their scriptures, They hated me without cause, but I will send you the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me, because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry. I have told you these things, so that you won't abandon your faith, for you will be expelled from the synagogues.

Rick Warren: And the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I'm telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn't tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

Rick Warren: But now, I am going away to the one who sent me. And not one of you is asking where I'm [00:14:00] going. Instead, you grieve because of what I've told you. But, in fact, it is best for you that I go away. Because if I don't, the Advocate won't come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness.

Rick Warren: And of the coming judgment. The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come, because the ruler of this world has already been judged. There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now.

Rick Warren: When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own, but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever He receives from me. [00:15:00] All that belongs to the Father is mine. This is why I said, the Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.

Rick Warren: In a little while, you won't see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again. Some of the disciples asked each other, what does he mean when he says, In a little while, you won't see me, but then you will see me, and I am going to the Father. And what does he mean by a little while? We don't understand.

Rick Warren: Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it. So he said, Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said, In a little while, you won't see me, but a little while after that, you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me. But the world will rejoice.

Rick Warren: You will grieve, but [00:16:00] your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy, because she has brought a new baby into the world. So, you have sorrow now, but I will see you again. Then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

Rick Warren: At that time, you won't need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and He will grant your request because you use my name. You haven't done this before. Ask using my name, and you will receive. And you will have abundant joy. I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech.

Rick Warren: But soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. Then you will ask in my name. I'm [00:17:00] not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf. For the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. Yes, I came from the Father into the world.

Rick Warren: And now I will leave the world. And return to the Father. Then his disciples said, At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. Now we understand that you know everything and there is no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God. Jesus asked, Do you finally believe? But the time is coming.

Rick Warren: Indeed, it's here now. When you will be scattered. Each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, [00:18:00] because I have overcome the world.

Rick Warren: After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life, to know you, the only true God.

Rick Warren: And Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth, I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

Rick Warren: Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed [00:19:00] on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it, and know that I came from you. And they believe you sent me. My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.

Rick Warren: Now I am departing from the world. They are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name. Now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the scriptures foretold.

Rick Warren: Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world, [00:20:00] so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word, and the world hates them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world.

Rick Warren: But to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth. Teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them, so they can be made holy by your truth.

Rick Warren: I am praying not only for these disciples, but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one. As you are in me, Father, and I am in you, and may they be in us, so [00:21:00] that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

Rick Warren: I am in them. And you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began.

Rick Warren: Oh, righteous Father, the world doesn't know you, but I do. And these disciples know you sent me. Amen. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them. After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples, [00:22:00] and entered a grove of olive trees.

Rick Warren: Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and temple guards, To accompany him, now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them.

Rick Warren: Who are you looking for? he asked. Jesus the Nazarene, they replied. I am he, Jesus said. Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. As Jesus said, I am he, they all drew back and fell to the ground. Once more, he asked them, who are you looking for? And again, they replied. Jesus, the Nazarene, [00:23:00] I told you that I am He, Jesus said.

Rick Warren: And since I am the one you want, let these others go. He did this to fulfill his own statement. I did not lose a single one of those you have given me. Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's slave. But Jesus said to Peter, Put your sword sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?

Rick Warren: So the soldiers, their commanding officer, And the temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. First, they took him to Annas, since he was the father in law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, it's better that one man should die for the people.

Rick Warren: Simon Peter followed Jesus. As did another of the disciples. [00:24:00] That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest, spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.

Rick Warren: The woman asked Peter, you're not one of that man's disciples, are you? No, he said, I am not. Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself. Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them.

Rick Warren: Jesus replied, Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues in the temple, where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me, they know what I said. Then one of the temple [00:25:00] guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face.

Rick Warren: Is that the way to answer the high priest? He demanded. Jesus replied, If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I'm speaking the truth, why are you beating me? Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas. The High Priest. Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, You're not one of his disciples, are you?

Rick Warren: He denied it, saying, No, I am not, but one of the household slaves of the High Priest. A relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off asked, Didn't I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus? Again, Peter denied it, and immediately, a rooster crowed. Jesus trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning.

Rick Warren: Then he was taken to the headquarters of the [00:26:00] Roman governor. His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, What is your charge against this man? We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal, they retorted.

Rick Warren: Then take him away and judge him by your own law. Pilate told them only the Romans are permitted to execute someone, the Jewish leaders replied. This fulfilled Jesus prediction about the way he would die. Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. Are you the king of the Jews?

Rick Warren: He asked him. Jesus replied, Is this your own question or did others tell you about me? Am I a Jew? Pilate retorted. Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done? Jesus answered, [00:27:00] My kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders.

Rick Warren: But my kingdom is not of this world. Pilate said, So you are a king. Jesus responded, You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true. What is truth? Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, He is not guilty of any crime, but you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover.

Rick Warren: Would you like me to release this king of the Jews? But they shouted back, No, not this man. We want Barabbas. Barabbas was a revolutionary. Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead [00:28:00] tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. Hail, King of the Jews, they mocked as they slapped him across the face.

Rick Warren: Pilate went outside again and said to the people, I'm going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty. Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, Look, here's the man. When they saw him, the leading priests and temple guards began shouting, Crucify him!

Rick Warren: Crucify him! Take him yourselves and crucify him! Pilate said, I find him not guilty. The Jewish leaders replied, By our law, he ought to die, because he called himself the Son of God. When Pilate heard this, He was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and [00:29:00] asked him, Where are you from?

Rick Warren: But Jesus gave no answer. Why don't you talk to me? Pilate demanded. Don't you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you? Then Jesus said, You would have no power over me at all, unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin. Then Pilate tried to release him.

Rick Warren: But the Jewish leaders shouted, If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar. When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat, on the platform that is called the stone pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

Rick Warren: It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, Look, here is your king. [00:30:00] Away with him, they yelled. Away with him! Crucify him! What? Crucify your king? Pilate asked. We have no king but Caesar! The leading priest shouted back. Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

Rick Warren: So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, Jesus of Nazareth.

Rick Warren: The King of the Jews. The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, Change it from [00:31:00] the King of the Jews to He said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate replied, No, what I have written, I have written.

Rick Warren: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, Rather than tearing it apart, let's throw dice for it. This fulfilled the scripture that says, They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.

Rick Warren: So that is what they did. Standing near the cross were Jesus mother and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, Dear woman, here is your son. And he said to this disciple, Here is your mother. And from then on, [00:32:00] this disciple took her into his home.

Rick Warren: Jesus knew that his mission was now finished. And to fulfill scripture, he said, I am thirsty. A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, It is finished. Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Rick Warren: It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn't want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath, and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week. So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.

Rick Warren: So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs. One [00:33:00] of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account.

Rick Warren: He speaks the truth, so that you also may continue to believe. These things happened in fulfillment of the scriptures that say, not one of his bones will be broken, and they will look on the one they pierced. Afterward, Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus, because he feared the Jewish leaders, asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus body.

Rick Warren: When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy five pounds of perfumed ointment, made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus body with the spices in long sheets of linen [00:34:00] cloth.

Rick Warren: The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover, and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

Rick Warren: She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him. Peter and the other disciples started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

Rick Warren: He stooped and looked in, and saw the linen wrappings lying there. But he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings [00:35:00] lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in.

Rick Warren: And he saw and believed, for until then they still hadn't understood the scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home. Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.

Rick Warren: Why are you crying, the angels asked her, because they have taken away my Lord, she replied, and I don't know where they have put him. She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. Dear woman, why [00:36:00] are you crying, Jesus asked her. Who are you looking for? She thought he was the gardener.

Rick Warren: Sir, she said, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him and I will go and get him. Mary, Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, Rabboni, which is Hebrew for teacher, don't cling to me. Jesus said, For I haven't yet ascended to the Father, but go find my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

Rick Warren: Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, I have seen the Lord. Then she gave them his message. That Sunday evening, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them. Peace be with you, He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His [00:37:00] side.

Rick Warren: They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. Again, he said, Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. Then he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. One of the twelve disciples, Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, was not with the others when Jesus came.

Rick Warren: They told him, We have seen the Lord. But he replied, I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side. Eight days later, the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them.

Rick Warren: Peace be with you, he said. [00:38:00] Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here. And look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe. My Lord and my God, Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.

Rick Warren: The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him, you will have life by the power of His name. Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.

Rick Warren: This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there, Simon Peter, [00:39:00] Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, I'm going fishing. We'll come, too, they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

Rick Warren: At dawn, Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn't see who he was. He called out, Fellows, have you caught any fish? No, they replied. Then he said, Throw out your net on the right hand side of the boat, and you'll get some. So they did. And they couldn't haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Rick Warren: Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, It's the Lord! When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic, for he had stripped for work, jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only [00:40:00] about a hundred yards from shore.

Rick Warren: When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them. Fish cooking over a charcoal fire and some bread bring some of the fish you've just caught. Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn't torn. Now, come and have some breakfast, Jesus said.

Rick Warren: None of the disciples dared to ask him, who are you? They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples, since he had been raised from the dead. After breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?

Rick Warren: Yes, Lord, Peter replied. You know I love you, then feed my lambs, Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the [00:41:00] question, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Yes, Lord, Peter said. You know I love you. Then take care of my sheep, Jesus said. A third time he asked him, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time.

Rick Warren: He said, Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you, Jesus said. Then feed my sheep. I tell you the truth. When you were young, you were able to do as you liked. You dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go, but when you were old, you will stretch out your hands. And others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go.

Rick Warren: Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, [00:42:00] follow me. Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved, the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, Lord, who will betray you? Peter asked Jesus, what about him, Lord? Jesus replied, if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?

Rick Warren: As for you, follow me. So the rumors spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn't die. But that isn't what Jesus said at all. He only said, if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here.

Rick Warren: And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.[00:43:00]

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