Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday, June 22: Jeremiah 46-47; Matthew 28 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 46-47; Matthew 28

I've chosen 'stand' as my word of the year and when I read it in each passage as I have been reading my attention is drawn to it. Today's passage includes this:

say, Stand ready and be prepared,
    for the sword shall devour around you.’
15 Why are your mighty ones face down?
    They do not stand[a]
    because the Lord thrust them down.
16 He made many stumble, and they fell,
    and they said one to another,
‘Arise, and let us go back to our own people
    and to the land of our birth,
    because of the sword of the oppressor.’

Matthew Henry says this:

46:13-28 Those who encroached on others, shall now be themselves encroached on. Egypt is now like a very fair heifer, not accustomed to the yoke of subjection; but destruction comes out of the north: the Chaldeans shall come. Comfort and peace are spoken to the Israel of God, designed to encourage them when the judgments of God were abroad among the nations. He will be with them, and only correct them in measure; and will not punish them with everlasting destruction from his presence.

What a hope we have even when we cannot stand on our own.

The new Testament passage brings the good news! I cannot imagine what it would have been like for those women to stumble on such an amazing discovery. Unlike Jeremiah, who preached without being heard or believed for 42 years, the women were heard and believed because the disciples came right away to the tomb. 

Once in Sunday School, I heard someone talk about the significance of it being women who were the first ones to hear about the resurrection. I googled it and here's what I found:

One of the numerous considerations that favour the historical reliability of the account of the empty tomb is the fact that the initial testimony of the empty tomb is said to have come from a small group of women. However chauvinistic it might be, the fact is that in first century Palestine as in the wider Middle East, the testimony of a woman was regarded as inferior to that of a man. If an author had simply invented the discovery of the empty tomb and been trying to make it seem as persuasive as possible, women would certainly not have been his first choice of initial witness. Even in a court of law, women were regarded as being – compared to men – unqualified as witnesses. Presenting the testimony of women as the epistemological basis of the belief of others would perhaps have even served as an embarrassment to the early church. Hence, the authors of the Gospel would not have been motivated to paint fictional accounts with women as first witnesses. That they portrayed the events this way therefore counts in favour of the reliability of the account of the empty tomb. (more here)
Finally, we are reminded that almost everything can be bought...if the price is right...
11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

Judas was bought. These guards were bought. Selling out ultimately cost Judas his life when he was overcome with remorse for what he did. Selling out perpetuated a lie that continues today. Let me stand firm against the temptation to be bought. Instead let me:

"...make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you...”

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Jeremiah 48-49; Philippians 1


Nathan Reimer said...

Even though Jesus spoke ahead of time about His death and resurrection, to actually be there and go through the sadness of His crucifction and then the happiness and victory of His resurrection, must have been awesome. Maybe His followers didn't understand what He was talking about in the stories He told leading up to His death and resurrection, like when He talked about the temple being destroyed and rebuilt in three days, but it must have all made sense after. What an awesome victory!

TammyIsBlessed said...

The roller coaster of emotions the disciples went through over those 3 days would have been intense - but the incredible joy when they realized the truth of the resurrection would surpass them all!

Conrad said...

At church yesterday we heard about people who had gone to camp or attended a church function, and while they were there, they had such a fire going on inside of them that they wanted to tell everyone about God. What an experience it would have been for the disciples to meet with Jesus in Galilee after His resurrection!

And how encouraging, not just for the disciples but for us too, that He is with us always, until the very end!