Bible Reading Plan (Day 86)

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DAY EIGHTY-SIX — Exodus 39, John 18

Ex 39

Even after the elaborate work done on the Tabernacle itself. The elaborate rituals and rites of purification and animal sacrifice, there is still more to be done before the people of Israel can approach YHWH.

The priestly garment itself is costly.

On the crown is engraved, “HOLY TO YHWH.” This places a high burden upon the priest to act rightly. If he does not, he has blasphemed the name of the Lord.

The text makes a very clear point at the end. The people did EXACTLY as the Lord had instructed and commanded. This coming off the colossal failure of the golden calf.

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Jn 18

When they come with torches and pitchforks, Jesus meets them. He does not sit whimpering helplessly, but as the one who will give up his life, since it cannot be taken from him, he takes the initiative. He asks who they seek and they respond, “Jesus of Nazareth.” The words Jesus uses to respond are the same he used back in John 8:58, “Εγω ειμι.” Which means, “I AM!”

At this the people fall back and bow. Jesus asks again. They respond the same way they did before. He responds again, “I told you I AM.”

He left no room for interpretation as to who he was. CLAIM: “Jesus never said he was God.”  RESPONSE: “You’ve never read the gospel of John. NEXT!” (HT: Dan Phillips).

In the heat of the moment Peter fights, just as he promised! He’s ready to die for his King! Peter swings wildly wounding the servant of the High Priest. Jesus then rebukes Peter and heals the servant. (The healing is not recorded here.) Jesus’ goal is set and clear. He will not waver.

They take Jesus to be judged. (Dramatic irony. As they judge him, they bring judgment upon themselves.)

One disciple manages to get inside to see what is going on. Peter, on the other hand, is stuck outside. There he warms himself by a fire. He is standing with the servants of the ones trying to kill his King. He is not fighting them, but enjoying the comfort they give him. A young girl says, “Hey! You are one of the disciples!” He says, “No.”

Meanwhile, at the same time, the high priest grills Jesus to try and find a way to condemn him. Jesus simply replies that his whole ministry has been public. There is no reason for him to speak, there are plenty of witnesses. After saying this one of the officers hits Jesus and scolds him for talking back to the high priest. (Dramatic irony alert!) Jesus tells me man, “If I lied, say what part of why I just spoke was lie. If I told the truth… why hit me?” Jesus is then dragged to Caiaphas.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Peter is warming himself still. Someone says, “Yeah! You’re a disciple.” Peter: “I am not!” Now… one guy is there, who no doubt saw it clearly. Someone who was there. One of Malchus’ kin. “I saw you in the garden, didn’t I?” No sooner had the denial left Peter’s lips, than the rooster crowed and the prophecy was fulfilled.

The next morning Jesus is dragged before the Governor, Pilate. He asks flat out if Jesus is the King of the Jews. Jesus’ asks if Pilate knows this himself or if he was told this by others. Pilate flies back with disregard for the Jewish people and blames them for bringing Jesus to him and bothering him. He asks what he has done to make them so mad. Jesus basically says that, yes, he is a king. But his kingdom is not of this world and that is why there wasn’t an army of troops preventing his arrest, his beating, and even this.

Let me be frank: Jesus led the most purpose driven life possible. His purpose was the cross. His path was one of suffering, of death, and of seeming defeat to any worldly eyes that dare look upon the beaten and naked man hanging on the vulgarity called a cross. Our purpose can be no less. May every breath gasped for in our deepest sufferings, may every tear that falls from the eye of weeping saint, may ever drop of blood spilled to the ground for the sake of the gospel scream out the true purpose of the people of God: that the Lamb who was slain receive the full reward.

Pilate walks out and addresses the people. “I find no fault! I find no fault at all! Who should I set free in honor of this holy day? Your king?”

The people cry out: “NO! BARABBAS!”

Barabbas. Whose name means “son of the father” and is a terrorist. This man they would have be released and the Son of the Father and Savior go to die.

Even the gravest sin and darkest evil, The Lord uses for good.

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Questions to Ponder:

*None today. I’m off gallivanting around Zion.

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