Psalm 118:14-29 The Voice (VOICE)
14 He is my strength, and He is the reason I sing;
15 In the tents of the righteous soldiers of God,
Early Christians found in the words of this psalm a wonderful way of describing the significance of Jesus. He was the rejected stone whom God made the cornerstone of a brand-new temple (verses 22–24).
19 Open wide to me the gates of justice
20 This is the gate of the Eternal;
21 I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble.
26 He who comes in the name of the Eternal will be blessed;[b]
Acts 5:27-32 The Voice (VOICE)
27 Once again the men stood before the council. The high priest began the questioning.
High Priest: 28 Didn’t we give you strict orders to stop teaching in this name? But here you are, spreading your teaching throughout Jerusalem. And you are determined to blame us for this man’s death.
Peter and the Apostles: 29 If we have to choose between obedience to God and obedience to any human authority, then we must obey God. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death. You killed Jesus by hanging Him on a tree, 31 but God has lifted Him high, to God’s own right hand, as the Prince, as the Liberator. God intends to bring Israel to a radical rethinking of our lives and to a complete forgiveness of our sins. 32 We are witnesses to these things. There is another witness, too—the Holy Spirit—whom God has given to all who choose to obey Him.
Revelation 1:4-8 The Voice (VOICE)
4 I, John, to the seven churches in Asia:
May you experience God’s favor and rest in the peace that comes from the One who is, the One who was, and the One who is coming; from the seven Spirits, the Perfect Spirit, constantly before God’s throne; 5 and from Jesus the Anointed, the Witness who is true and faithful, the first to emerge from death’s cold womb, the chosen Ruler over all the kings and rulers of the earth.
To the One who loves us and liberated us from the grip of our evil deeds through His very own blood 6 and who established us to be His kingdom and priests for God, His Father. May glory and power be His throughout all the ages. Amen.
7 Look! He is coming with the clouds, in glory.
Yes, may all this be done according to His plan. Amen.
Lord God: 8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, [the very beginning and the very end,][a] the One who is, the One who was, and the One who is coming: the All Powerful.
John 20:19-31 The Voice (VOICE)
19 On that same evening (Resurrection Sunday), the followers gathered together behind locked doors in fear that some of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were still searching for them. Out of nowhere, Jesus appeared in the center of the room.
Jesus: May each one of you be at peace.
20 As He was speaking, He revealed the wounds in His hands and side. The disciples began to celebrate as it sank in that they were really seeing the Lord.
Jesus: 21 I give you the gift of peace. In the same way the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.
22 Now He drew close enough to each of them that they could feel His breath. He breathed on them:
Jesus: Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God. 23 You now have the mantle of God’s forgiveness. As you go, you are able to share the life-giving power to forgive sins, or to withhold forgiveness.
24 All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas. 25 He heard the accounts of each brother’s interaction with the Lord.
The Other Disciples: We have seen the Lord!
Thomas: Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won’t believe what you are saying.
26 Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.
Jesus: May each one of you be at peace.
27 He drew close to Thomas.
Jesus: Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.
Thomas (filled with emotion): 28 You are the one True God and Lord of my life.
Jesus: 29 Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.
30 Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. 31 These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share.
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