Enter Through the Narrow Gate: Emerging Opportunities

Last week, in one of our updates, I mentioned that we would be taking some time over the course of the next week to look at the conflict that has come to a head within the denomination that Hopkins Community Church is affiliated with, the Reformed Church in America.  This is not a new discussion by any stretch of the imagination.  However, for many, this may be the first time that you are hearing about this. 
 
While some churches have put this in the forefront of things to talk about, HCC has chosen to keep it on the periphery as our affiliation with a denomination is ultimately subservient to our loyalty to Christ.  So, as things have continued to transpire, the leadership has been watching and waiting for the right time to have this conversation as a congregation.  We feel that the right time is now.
 
Two days ago, I released a short video laying out the history of our current struggles and how we got here.  Yesterday was information on our current reality and the immediate decisions in front of the General Synod (our national gathering as a denomination) in October.  The final video, today, will then involve some information on what we have done, can do, and some potential opportunities that may be in our future as a church.
 
Before you watch each of these videos, though, I want to ask you to take some time to read the following Scripture passage and prayerfully reflect on it in light of the current events of our day and the current cultural context that we are faced with.  Below that you will find a link to the video as well as some additional resources that I reference in them.
 
On Sunday, we are going to hear from this passage and others in a message about Biblical authority and our foundation in Scripture.  After the worship service, there will be some informal time for questions and answers regarding these videos and the denominational issues that we face.  We will likely be having some district meetings following this as well with dates to be determined.

Matthew 7:13-20

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
 
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The Wide Gate: The RCA’s Current Situation

Last week, in one of our updates, I mentioned that we would be taking some time over the course of the next week to look at the conflict that has come to a head within the denomination that Hopkins Community Church is affiliated with, the Reformed Church in America.  This is not a new discussion by any stretch of the imagination.  However, for many, this may be the first time that you are hearing about this. 
 
While some churches have put this in the forefront of things to talk about, HCC has chosen to keep it on the periphery as our affiliation with a denomination is ultimately subservient to our loyalty to Christ.  So, as things have continued to transpire, the leadership has been watching and waiting for the right time to have this conversation as a congregation.  We feel that the right time is now.
 
Yesterday I released a short video laying out the history of our current struggles and how we got here.  Today will be information on our current reality and the immediate decisions in front of the General Synod (our national gathering as a denomination) in October.  The final video, tomorrow, will then involve some information on what we have done, can do, and some potential opportunities that may be in our future as a church.
 
Before you watch each of these videos, though, I want to ask you to take some time to read the following Scripture passage and prayerfully reflect on it in light of the current events of our day and the current cultural context that we are faced with.  Below that you will find a link to the video as well as some additional resources that I reference in them.
 
On Sunday, we are going to hear from this passage and others in a message about Biblical authority and our foundation in Scripture.  After the worship service, there will be some informal time for questions and answers regarding these videos and the denominational issues that we face.  We will likely be having some district meetings following this as well with dates to be determined.

Matthew 7:13-20

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
 
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The Long, Broad Road: A Brief History of the RCA’s Current Situation

Last week, in one of our updates, I mentioned that we would be taking some time over the course of the next week to look at the conflict that has come to a head within the denomination that Hopkins Community Church is affiliated with, the Reformed Church in America.  This is not a new discussion by any stretch of the imagination.  However, for many, this may be the first time that you are hearing about this. 
 
While some churches have put this in the forefront of things to talk about, HCC has chosen to keep it on the periphery as our affiliation with a denomination is ultimately subservient to our loyalty to Christ.  So, as things have continued to transpire, the leadership has been watching and waiting for the right time to have this conversation as a congregation.  We feel that the right time is now.
 
So, for the next three days, I will be releasing a short video laying out various aspects of the current denominational strife.  We will start by talking about the history of our current struggles and how we got here.  Following that will be information on our current reality and the immediate decisions in front of the General Synod (our national gathering as a denomination) in October.  The final video will then involve some information on what we have done, can do, and some potential opportunities that may be in our future as a church.
 
Before you watch each of these videos, though, I want to ask you to take some time to read the following Scripture passage and prayerfully reflect on it in light of the current events of our day and the current cultural context that we are faced with.  Below that you will find a link to the video as well as some additional resources that I reference in them.
 
On Sunday, we are going to hear from this passage and others in a message about Biblical authority and our foundation in Scripture.  After the worship service, there will be some informal time for questions and answers regarding these videos and the denominational issues that we face.  We will likely be having some district meetings following this as well with dates to be determined.
 
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Matthew 7:13-20

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
 
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Celebrations & Information: 7/8/2021

Good Morning HCC!

 
Coming to you with information regarding the ministry life of Hopkins Community Church including Sunday Church Information, Discipleship opportunities, community engagement opportunities, Church App Information, and prayer updates!
 
BUT FIRST A COUPLE OF OPPORTUNITIES TO CELEBRATE GOD’S WORK HERE AT HCC!
 
The High School Youth Group has returned safely from a great mission trip in Alaska!  We look forward to hearing more from them on Sunday, July 25!
 
The 4th of July was a great success for HCC’s community engagement push!  Thank you to everyone who helped with set up, tear down, donations, and participation!  We were able to share the Gospel message with nearly 400 people in the morning and celebrate with the community during the parade in the afternoon!
 
HCC’s first VISION CONNECTION EVENT was a great success!  Our GOAL is to make contact with every household in the Village of Hopkins (approx: 250) and get to know them, asking two specific questions:
  • How can we serve you?
  • How can we pray for you?
As of July 1, we have made 141 attempts and made contact with 78 households!  We have surpassed our JUNE GOAL of 25% completion!  Thanks to all of those who came out!  Another event will be scheduled for later in July!
 
Finally, a message from Caleb Nykamp and his family regarding our call to him to join us as our Youth and Families Pastor:
Dear Brothers & Sisters of Hopkins Community Church,
 
We are so excited as a family to join your congregation as Caleb accepts the call to be the Youth and Family Pastor at HCC! We both loved meeting many of you through the Sunday morning meet and greet as well as the picnic with consistory members, and we can’t wait to meet you all and get to know you on a deeper level in the coming weeks and months. This whole process has been such an answer to our prayers as a family, and we ask for your continued prayers for not only our family – but for HCC too as we all journey through this time of transition together. We look forward to seeing you all soon! 
 
Caleb, Rita, and Renee Nykamp
 
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SUNDAY CHURCH INFORMATION:
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
It is going to be a beautiful morning to worship outside!  We will be opening God’s Word to 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8 as we continue in our sermon series on Effective Evangelism in a message titled: “The ART of Serving Together”. Pastor Jon will be preaching.
 
We have 3 LIVESTREAM options for those unable to attend in person:
On the CHURCH CENTER APP
 
AFTER CHURCH we will be having a COOKOUT!  The Menu will be Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, and Potato Chips.  Water and Lemonade will also be available.  Hang around and enjoy some great food!  Bring your favorite yard games to set up and play too!
 
For those remaining in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Download the “Church Center” app and get connected to HCC!  You can check out the updated information regarding this here:
 
Download it on Google Play or in the App Store

Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online through the Church Center App.  You can check them out at: https://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/giving/

We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.  Your giving furthers the mission of God and His Vision for HCC!

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Discipleship Opportunities:
There is No Expectancy Tonight as Pastor Jim is on Vacation.
 
People of the Book will be taking a break this week Sunday for both the cookout and due to Pastor Jim’s vacation. 
 
ROOTED small groups will be launching and re-launching in the fall.  There will be options for both the first series and the follow-up second series of ROOTED.  More information will be forthcoming.
 
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Community Engagement:
HCC is hosting an AED/CPR Refresher course on July 14 at 6:00 PM.
 
Our next Blood Drive will be on September 7, 2021.  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!  
Please sign up at www.redcrossblood.org.  Sign-ups for this are important as walk-ins are never guaranteed a spot.
 
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Prayer Updates:
We offer our deepest sympathy to the Lodenstein family following the passing of Howard.
 
Sandy Morris is recovering from Gall Bladder surgery.  Pray for her full recovery.
 
Mike Stearns continues to heal after his eye surgery.
 
We extend our sympathies to the Grant and Antvelink families in the passing of Margaret
 
Tom and Nancy Scobey has asked for prayers for their brother-in-law, Al Kornoelje, and his wife, Karen.
 
Hollie Roblyer’s father, Leon Huff, continues to recover from a series of heart attacks and surgery.  The doctors found a mass in his abdomen and are running tests to figure out what it is and how to treat it. 
 
Cindy Kukor’s niece, Ashley Momber, has gone through the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) process. Please pray for this couple, Curtis and Ashley, as they continue on this journey to become parents. 
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, continues his radiation treatments for cancer but has received a great report that all but one tiny spot has disappeared!  We praise God for the healing work He has done in John!
 
Pastor Arlan Tenclay continues to battle cancer.
 
Eric Porter’s Aunt, Sherry Zandstra continues to recover.
 
Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, continues to battle stage 4 breast cancer.
 
Dale Talsma, Grandfather of Allison Halstead, is fighting bladder cancer & has dementia.  Please pray for healing for him and for wisdom for the family as they walk with him through this difficult time.
 
Ginger Talsma, Aunt of Allison Halstead, is struggling with Addison’s disease.
 
Mitch Punches continues to recover from his car accident..
 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
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Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

Faith Reurink (Worship Intern)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Alicia Kent (Nursery, 0 – 2 yrs)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship, 3 yrs – Kindergarten)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



Lent Day 46: Matthew 27:11-66

Read: Matthew 27:11-66

Jesus Before Pilate

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Matthew records the events of Jesus’ death as well.  How does this record differ from what you have read throughout the week?  What might those differences be emphasizing and/or teaching us?

Pray:

That the Holy Spirit would move and that lives would be changed during our Easter worship service!
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 45: Luke 23:26-56

Read: Luke 23:26-56

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Luke seems to record that Jesus’ wasn’t taken by death, but rather that he submitted to it, dying only after He gave up His spirit.  Read Philippians 2:5-11.  What do we learn from this and how should it impact our lives?

Pray:

For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 44: Luke 23:1-25

Read: Luke 23:1-25

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] 

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
All of the Gospels show Jesus was declared innocent based on human laws.  Why do you think this is so important and what does it tell us about Jesus’ crucifixion?

Pray:

Maundy Thursday.  Join us for worship at 6:00 PM.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 43: Luke 22:39-71

Read: Luke 22:39-71

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Jesus Arrested

47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

Peter Disowns Jesus

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

The Guards Mock Jesus

63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.

Jesus Before Pilate and Herod

66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”

He replied, “You say that I am.”

71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Jesus’ prayer of both desire for God to take away what is about to happen and His full willingness to submit to God’s plan regardless of the cost teaches us how to pray.  Consider what, in your life, may call for this type of prayer.

Pray:

That God would protect the unity of Hopkins Community Church.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 42: Luke 22:24-38

Read: Luke 22:24-38

A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That’s enough!” he replied.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
In what ways do we strive to be the best?  How would Jesus look at these pursuits?  What can we learn from Jesus’ teaching here about what makes someone truly “great” in God’s Kingdom?

Pray:

For the lost in the Hopkins community to come and know Christ as Savior and Lord.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Maundy Thursday & Monday Updates

Hello HCC!

 
We have some updates for you about things going on this week and some of the announcements that we shared yesterday:
 
First and foremost: Maundy Thursday Worship will be held at 6:00 PM.  Pastor Jon apologizes for missing this crucial detail.  This service will be live-streamed as well in our usual place.
 
We have posted the video of the updates Pastor Jon gave in church yesterday.  You can view that segment here:
 
The Youth & Families Pastor position is posted on our website.  You can find it using the following link:
 
The Church Center App can be downloaded from either the google play store (Andriod) or the app store (apple).  Search for Hopkins Community Church and it will prompt you to log in.  Please note: we are in the initial phases of this project and so not everything is functional as of yet.  If you are newer to our community, your information may not be updated yet either.  We are working on it though!
You can also check out the online version of this here:
 
Just a reminder too that our Lent blog posts continue to be posted at https://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/pastors-blog/
 
Have a blessed Holy Week!
 


Lent Day 41: Luke 22:1-23

Read: Luke 22:1-23

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

22 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

The Last Supper

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.

10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him and yet He called Judas as a disciple anyway.  Why do you think that is?  What does that teach us about those people in our lives who betray us?

Pray:

That God would use Hopkins Community Church in a unique way to reach the greater Hopkins community.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 39: John 21

Read: John 21

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
The interaction between Jesus and Peter at the end of John’s book is very important for Peter’s role in the church movement.  What can we learn from it in our own lives as we look to Jesus in the midst of our struggle with sin?

Pray:

That you would always have the drive to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 38: John 20

Read: John 20

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Why do you think the narrative of Jesus appearing to Thomas is so critical here?  What things can we learn from their interaction?
What do you think about the purpose of John’s Gospel?  How can this drive our purpose as Christ-followers?

Pray:

For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


HCC Informer: 3/25/2021

Good Morning HCC!

 
Coming to you with A LOT of information regarding the ministry life of Hopkins Community Church including LENT readings, Palm Sunday “Easter Breakfast”, community engagement opportunities, worship team info, prayer requests, and service information!
 
Easter Breakfast Information:
On Sunday, both before and after church, we will be hosting an “Easter Breakfast”!  We are excited to do yet one more thing that moves us back towards whatever “normal” is.  Please be aware that, as we have always sought to support our local health codes, the Allegan County Health Department has asked that, while in line for food, everyone must wear a mask to help prevent any cross-contamination of the food.  You are welcome to remove it once you have received your food and are heading for your seat.  Thank you for understanding our need to do this to maintain our church food service license.
We will create some time prior to and after the worship service for the transition to the COVID-precautions space that this area has been as well.
Please help us to have an accurate number and appropriate amount of food for this event by “signing up” using the link below:
 
Reminder:  Tonight from 5:30 – 7:00 PM we invite anyone who has any interest in the Sound Board to come and check out a “Sound Board Basics” experience during our worship team practice.  Jason will show people some basic information about running sound and you will get to experience a bit of what goes into it with no strings attached.  If you are interested, we’ll start working with you more specifically to learn how to run sounds here at HCC!
 
Here is the link for all of the Lent Readings (they post each morning at 6 AM):
In Small Groups, the ROOTED curriculum guides people through a number of discussions about God, prayer, faith, spiritual gifts, and much more.  One of the conversations has to do with how God views finances.  Pastor Jon has put together a teach for these groups and has shared it on the HCC Youtube site as well as our giving page.  We encourage you to check it out: https://youtu.be/gz1diK2n0Fc
 

Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at: https://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/giving/

We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 
Discipleship Opportunities:
Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM using the following link:
…or by using the following meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 823 8607 1626
Password: HCRC1237
 
People of the Book meets after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 
Community Engagement:
Our next Blood Drive will be on May 11, 2021.  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!  We are looking for some volunteer help for these events; you can sign up here:
 
Hopkins Community Clean-up will be happening on Saturday, May 15, from 8 AM to 1 PM!  You can sign up to be a part of this here:
 
Prayer Updates:
Brian Ballard’s mother, Phyllis, is in Hospice care. Please be with Brian and his family as they cope with this.  May God give the family and Phyllis peace and comfort as they go through this time.
 
Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, is battling stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her liver.  She has just finished her first round (12 weeks) of Chemo and begins her second round (12 weeks) on March 30.  Please hold her up in prayer that God would continue to do a great work of healing in her life.
 
Allie Blauwkamp, a friend and co-worker of Kathy Athearn, is struggling with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  Please pray for her, her family, and friends as she continues to deal with the increasing symptoms ALS brings.
 
Dale Talsma, Grandfather of Allison Halstead, is fighting bladder cancer & has dementia.  Please pray for healing for him and for wisdom for the family as they walk with him through this difficult time.
 
Ginger Talsma, Aunt of Allison Halstead, is struggling with Addison’s disease.
 
Pastor Mark Heijerman from Martin Reformed Church returned home last weekend and is receiving care and therapy as he continues to recover from COVID.  We praise God for the great work of healing in his life and pray for growing strength for Pastor Mark.
 
Mike Stearns continues to heal after his eye surgery.  The doctors will continue to monitor him over the next 2 months as his eye continues to heal.
 
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, is home but is still dealing with a lot of pain.  Pray for healing, patience, and strength as he goes through therapy.
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, continues his radiation treatments for cancer.
 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
This Sunday, Pastor Jim will be preaching from Luke 9:53-62 as we continue to lay the groundwork for HCC’s new Vision:” Boldly Bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through expectant prayer, effective evangelism, and radical obedience to the Holy Spirit.  The message is entitled “Following Jesus”.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



Lent Day 37: John 19

Read: John 19

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareththe king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”

So this is what the soldiers did.

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Listen:

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
How does this account of Jesus’ death and burial differ from others that you have read?  What new things are drawn out here and how does that enhance your understanding of His sacrifice for us?

Pray:

For Spiritual revival in the schools of the Hopkins community.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!