Today’s reading in the gospel of Matthew deals with the events the two days before Jesus was crucified. In addition we read the last chapter of Leviticus.
February 21: Matthew 26, Leviticus 27 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 26 is enormous. It begins with the plot against Jesus, continuing with his anointing at Bethany, then Judas agreeing to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, continuing with the Lord’s supper being initiated, Jesus predicting who is going to betray him, moving on to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed “Not my will, but yours be done,”after which he predicted Peter’s denial. Jesus prayed three times and then came the betrayal and arrest of Jesus and he wss taken to the Sanhedrin to be interrogated. The chapter ends with Peter’s denial.
Leviticus 27 deals with redeeming people and property and what is to be dedicated to God.
Today’s three chapters makes for fantastic reading, even if it is only read as literature. There is deep spiritual meaning in the Bible, and the New Testament chapter should be mandatory reading for all, to help us understand our history and literature.
January 19: John 18, Genesis 40, Genesis 41 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
John 18 deals with the last 24 hours of Jesus life, the prayer in the garden of Gethsemane and the subsequent arrest of Jesus, the trial before Annas, Peter’s first denial, Jesus trial before Caiaphas, Peter’s second and third denial, the cock crowing, Jesus paraded before Pilate, seeing a way out, Pilate sent him to Herod, who sent him back to Pilate, Pilate offered to release Jesus or Barabbas, the people demanded that Barabbas be released.
Genesis 40 deals with dreams. Joseph’s two fellow cellmates in prison each had a dream, Joseph interpreted the dreams that the cup-bearer will be released and restored to his former position, while the baker will be hanged on a tree.
In Genesis 41 Pharaoh himself had a dream, and Joseph was released from prison to interpret the dream. It dealt with seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph interpreted the dream so well that Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all affairs of Egypt. The seven years of plenty came and good harvests filled the storehouses. Then came the seven years of famine.
Today there are three chapters to read.
March 14: Mark 14, Deuteronomy 7, Deuteronomy 8 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 14 starts out in Bethany, where Jesus is anointed. The next day Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper and predicts Peter’s denial. The eleven remaining disciples and Jesus go to the Mount of Olives where there is a garden called Gethsemane. While there Jesus Prays. Judas Iscariot reappears and betrays Jesus. The accompanying soldiers Arrest Jesus, and he is brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter is waiting outside and denies Jesus three times. The cock crows twice.
Deuteronomy 7 promises that the Israelites are A Chosen People. God will drive out the people before them. When entering the land they must destroy completely all idols and false gods.
Deuteronomy 8. Remember the LORD your God but if not, you too will be destroyed.
Mark 14, Jesus anointed at Bethany, the Lord’s Supper, Peter’s Denial Predicted, Gethsemane, Jesus Arrested, Before the Sanhedrin, Peter’s denial.
The gospel of Luke adds to this account: Luke 22:49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
Jesus had already eaten the Passover with the apostles. Most Jews had switched to the next day to eat the Passover since the evening sacrifice had been switched from just after sunset on the 14th of Nisan to after the ninth hour on the 14th of Nisan, or 21 hours later. (Remember, a Jewish day starts at sunset.)
Luke 23: 6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.