Daily Bible Reading: July 7th- 13th
Date Added: 7/11/2008 1:07:06 AM
Daily Bible Reading: July 7th - 13th
Date: July 7
Reading: Mark 15:1-24
Chapter 15 of the Book of Mark is the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. Today, you read about half of the chapter. Your reading brought you right up to the point where Jesus is placed on the cross. This is a sad story because it is the story of the cruel treatment, punishment and death of the only one who never deserved to receive anything but love and kindness. All of us have sinned and are guilty of something. All of us deserve a punishment, even the punishment of death before God for what we have done, said and thought. Only Jesus was perfectly holy in all aspects of His life and, therefore, deserved none of what He received in this chapter.
Yet, this is also a wonderful story, because this is the exact reason Jesus came to earth. He came to earth to live the perfect life and to be punished for our sins, yours and mine. If Jesus had not come and done this, then we would have to face all the guilt of our sins – a guilt that would bring God’s deadly wrath on us.
We will talk more about this tomorrow and each time we read this chapter in the future. Today, let’s take a little time to look at the first five verses. In these verses, Jesus is brought before Pilate. Pilate is the local Roman ruler. Here you have the legitimate King of the Universe (Jesus) before a little known ruler of a small part of the earth. What a strange comparison and what an odd situation that a small earthly ruler would be given the power to pass judgment over the God of the Universe. But this was God’s plan.
Notice that Jesus stands strong before Pilate and only answers to Pilate. He will not defend Himself against the false accusations of th chief priests. Pilate is amazed at Jesus’ strength and character in the face of the accusations and potential of death. Jesus did all things perfectly, even under the greatest persecution. Thank Jesus for His willingness to sacrifice His life for your sins.
Date: July 8
Reading: Mark 15:25-47
Today’s reading takes us through the remaining time Jesus was on the cross and on to His burial in a tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. As you read about Jesus on the cross, you will notice that it speaks about the 3rd hour and the 6th hour and the 9th hour. This is the way the time was kept in those days. They counted from the time the sun rose, or approximately 6:00 in the morning. This means that it was about 9:00 in the morning when Jesus was nailed to the cross.
I want you to get an idea of how painful this process of dieing by hanging on a cross was. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours before He died. The first 3 hours the Bible records that He was mocked and ridiculed by some people in the crowd. They tempted Him calling out to Jesus and telling Him to save Himself. For Jesus to come down off the cross and save Himself would have been an easy thing for Him to do. To stay on the cross and be painfully crucified and to be shamefully ridiculed was the difficult thing to do. Even the two thieves that were crucified with Him mocked Jesus.
After three hours on the cross, a darkness fell over the whole land. You need to realize that this was at noon. This was the time that the sun would be shining the brightest; yet, the whole land became dark. That must have been a very mysterious and eerie thing to occur. It remained dark until the ninth hour or 3:00 in the afternoon. For 6 hours He hung naked before the world. It was then that Jesus cried out to God and then He died.
Jesus did say more things from the cross than what is recorded here in Mark and you will read those other sayings after you have completed reading the other two Gospels in the New Testament. Both Matthew and Mark, the two Gospel stories that you have read up to this point, record this one saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabbachthani?” This utterance in Arabic literally means, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus, God the Son, had always been in a perfect, loving relationship with God the Father. They were in such perfect relationship that it is said that they are one, or in unity. And, this is a true statement in many ways that are hard for us to understand. They are one in their essence or make up, but they are one in their will and love for each other. It is a love that is so perfect, we will never experience it humanly among the people we love here on earth. Yet, Jesus was put on the cross to bear our sins and to be viewed by His loving Father God as the guilty sinful man, even though He was perfect. God cannot bear to look upon sin, so at this moment of the crucifixion, God the Father turned away from Jesus, His only Son. If was at this time that Jesus experienced the greatest punishment from God, the punishment of alienation, or separation.
Thank Jesus for His willingness to receive the full anger, wrath, and punishment from God for your sins.
Date: July 9
Reading: Mark 16:1-20
Today you finished the second of the New Testament Gospels telling the life of Jesus Christ. Appropriately it speaks of the resurrection and appearing of Jesus after He raised from the dead. It speaks of His commission to His disciples to preach the Gospel throughout the world. Then, it tells of His ascension to heaven and the response of His followers to do just as He commanded. “They went forth and preached everywhere.”
It was the women; namely, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, who ventured out early on Sunday morning to go to the tomb. They were not rushing out there to see if Jesus had risen from the dead. No, they were coming out to anoint His body with spices. Jesus was crucified on Friday and He was placed in the tomb quickly after His death because the weekly Sabbath was approaching. There was not time for the typical burial preparation to take place, which would have included putting spices on the body.
God, of course, knew this would be the case. Do you remember the woman that came and poured expensive ointment on Jesus’ head? You read about that in Mark chapter 14. Jesus said then, “She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.” Jesus’ followers could not believe that He was going to die. Now, they cannot believe that He is going to rise up from the dead.
These women came to the tomb expecting to find the tomb opening closed with the heavy stone and the body of Jesus inside. They were wondering who might role the stone back for them as it was way to heavy for them to move. But, when they arrived the stone was rolled back and a man dressed in white was sitting where Jesus’ body was supposed to be. This angel announced the greatest news that any one could hear
“Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here…”
YES! Jesus is risen! The tomb is empty!! He is alive!!
Since Jesus is risen then we too will be risen from the dead as well. If you have trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, then you will be raised to eternal life in heaven to live with Jesus forever. Ask God for the faith to believe in Jesus, to believe in His perfect life and sacrificial death for your sins. Ask God for the faith to believe that He rose from the dead and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. Thank Jesus for the gift of salvation.
Date: July 10
Reading: Numbers 1:1-27
Today we begin the fourth Book of Moses called “Numbers.” It seems appropriately titled as the very first thing we read about is a numbering of the people. In particular, God wants Moses to number every male person that is 20 years of age or older. These are the ones that have to very important responsibilities in the Israelite society. First, these are the one’s who are to pay the poll-tax or head tax. This was the annual tax paid for the governing of Israel. God has given Israel the law that will govern the nation. We have read about that law in Exodus and Leviticus. Now it is time to organize the nation. Part of that organizing involves taking a census, or a counting, of all who will be paying the annual tax.
Another part of organizing the nation is getting a handle on the military. The military, or defense of Israel, also falls on the shoulders of those men who are 20 years of age and older. This was the second reason that Moses and Aaron needed to number the people of Israel.
The Israelites have been camped around Mt. Sinai for some time as they received God’s Law. Now they will begin preparing to move toward the Promised Land. The taking of the Promised Land will involve military fighting. Thus, the need was there to organize and prepare for that part of their journey.
Date: July 11
Reading: Numbers 1:28-54
Moses complete the counting of the men of Israel. The total comes to 603,550. Remember that this number is only the men who are of 20 years of age or older and able to go to war. You can see why most commentators place the population of all the people that came out of Egypt at over 2 million. The number of the children of Israel was almost twice as many as the State of Idaho where I live. Each of the tribes were the population of a reasonably large city. A tribe of 50,000 men from 20 years of age upward could easily mean a total of 150,000 to 200,000 for that tribe.
It is amazing that such a mass of people would be able to follow Moses and stay together and organized. Sometimes, as we read through the story of the Exodus and wonderings of Israel we lose track of the big picture. We somehow get a picture in our mind of a small band of people wandering through the desert. Hopefully this first chapter of Numbers had helped you see how miraculous this event really was.
Date: July 12
Reading: Numbers 2:1-34
In this chapter, God directs Moses to take another major step in organizing the people. He instructs Moses to have the Israelites camp around the tabernacle according to their tribes. The tribes are grouped in three’s and each side of the tabernacle has a group of three tribes camped on that side. This all provides an orderliness for the Israelites.
Imagine what it would be like to find someone among the 2,000,000 people. With the tribes organized as God has instructed Moses to do here, communication would be greatly enhanced.
All of this seems so practical, and it is. We, however, too often approach things in a disorderly manner. God is not that way. This chapter should cause us to reflect upon the character and nature of God. God is a God of order and not a God of confusion. God, through His instructions to Moses, brought order to the nation of Israel.
Date: July 13
Reading: Numbers 3:1-24
Chapter 3 turns our attention to the Levites. This was the tribe that was not numbered with all the other tribes in the previous chapter. The Levites were those who performed the priestly duties and took care of the tabernacle. Those of the family of Aaron were the priests who entered the holy place during worship and the other Levites cared for the tabernacle and did other duties.
The chapter begins by reminding us of Aarons sons and the sad event that led to the death of his two oldest children. Then it tells us of the special calling on the Levites as they are the replacement for the firstborn of each family. Thus, the Levites are set apart unto the Lord for the special purpose carrying out the duties of worship.
Toward the end of your reading we learned that the Levites also were to camp around the tabernacle, but they were to be up close to it. Today you read about the Gershonites who camped on the west side of the tabernacle. The Gershonites were in charge of the whole tabernacle tent structure with its hangings and curtains. Again we see God’s wisdom in assigning duties to the various groups.