OYB April 25
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Apr 24
Today's Bible History: I noticed in my Jewish Old Testament called "Tanakh," that the Bible is broken down significantly different than our Greek versions. Where our Bibles have the OT arranged in law, history, poetry, and prophecy, the Jewish Bible has Torah, Prophets, and the Writings.
After some further investigation, I discovered that the true Messianic Jewish breakdown of the Bible is completely different. It consists of 49 books (7X7), with 22 (Old Testament) books, 22 (New Testament) books, and 5 books in between (Gospels and Acts). Apparently, the section with 5 books in the middle (life, death, and resurrection of Messiah) is the fulcrum upon which the other 44 books hinge. Not only that, but the 49 books supposedly point to one thing: The Year of Jubilee! (50th year). And this is a perfect picture of the Millennial Kingdom—the year when all the bondservants go free, debts are cancelled, land is restored, food is provided by the Lord, and a year of massive celebration! Man, I love the pictures in the Bible (especially the ones I learn !
Now here is another interesting factor. The number for God is "7." Seven represents perfection and completion. Six is the number for man, and man was created on the 6th day. The correct Jewish arrangement of the Bible is divisible by seven. The Gentile Bible, arranged by Jerome who was a Catholic priest and who is responsible for translating the Latin Vulgate (the definitive version used by the Roman Catholic Church), is 66 books. Certain Messianic scholars say that you cannot fully understand the unfolding message of the Bible in it's current Gentile arrangement. The full meaning comes when you read it the way it was written.
A great resource on this topic is "Restoring the Original Bible ," by Ernest Martin (5 stars on Amazon).
Want to see an inspiring video about the "Fingerprints of God ?"
22:36 "...take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! Jesus told them to bring a sword that night. Remember, this is the same night that Peter cut of the guard's ear (see vs. 50)? I really have no idea why Jesus told them to bring swords (it might have been a set up for Peter), but I do love Mark Batterson's insight into this event (in Wild Goose Chase, pg. 108-109):
Peter's impulsiveness led to a lot of moments of vulnerability. One of them happened just a few hours before his denial. When the religious mob came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulled out a sword and cut off the ear of a man named Malchus. Peter gets a bum rap for his reaction, but you've got to give him credit. I don't see any of the other disciples coming to Jesus' defense!
Now let me state the obvious: you don't cut off someone's ear and get away with it, especially if that someone is the servant of the high priest. Peter was in a world of legal trouble. Worst-case scenario, Peter would get charged with attempted murder. Best-case scenario, Peter would get charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon. But either way, Peter was going to serve some jail time.
We tend to ignore this subplot in the story, but it is one of the clearest pictures of grace in the gospels. Jesus miraculously reversed the irreversible by reattaching the man's amputated ear. But He did more than heal someone who had come to crucify Him; He also destroyed the evidence against Peter.
Stop and think about it. Malchus files suit against Peter, and a stenographer captures the cross-examination.
Malchus says, "Peter cut off my ear."
"Which ear?" the judge asks.
Malchus says, "My right one."
The judge walks over to the witness stand and examines the ear. "It looks fine to me." And the case gets thrown out of court for lack of evidence!
Through His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus destroyed the evidence against us. But He did more than that. Not only does our sin get paid for out of His account, but all of His righteousness gets credited to our account. It's like Jesus says, "You give Me all of your sin. I"ll give you all of My righteousness. And we'll call it even."
22:42 Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. A couple of noteworthy items here. First of all, remember that Jesus took God's cup of wrath for us, and replaced it with His (Jesus') cup of mercy for us. NLT adds "suffering" to the cup, but it is not suffering, it is God's wrath. Also, notice that it was after Jesus yielded His will to His Father that He was strengthened. This is a principle to us. Strength comes after surrender.
22:48 "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (NASB) Note the difference from NLT.
22:53 But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns. This is a fascinating verse. It appears that Jesus handed over His power to darkness for this event. It appears that He subjected Himself temporarily to evil. But thankfully, with His resurrection, darkness will never reign again!
94:12 Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions. God doesn't discipline everyone the same. He's harder in this life on His chosen.