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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB February 9

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are 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 Feb 08
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Exodus

29:38-39 "These are the sacrifices you are to offer regularly on the altar. Each day, offer two lambs that are a year old, one in the morning and the other in the evening. God wanted the Israelites to understand that their sin had a price. Every day when they had to sacrifice an animal and spill it's blood, they had to remember their sins and remember that someone had to pay with their life. The animal sacrifices did not pay the price, but only reminded them of their sin and made them realize their sin was costly. I don't think they understood yet that the animals were not the sacrifice, but only a shadow (symbolic) offering. See Hebrews 10: 1-4 selected, "The old system in the law of Moses was only a shadow of the things to come, not the reality of the good things Christ has done for us. ...Those yearly sacrifices reminded them of their sins year after year. ...For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."

29:44-45 "Yes, I will consecrate the Tabernacle and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God." This is a beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ. Through His death, Jesus came to rescue us from the power of Egypt (sin) and to "tabernacle" or dwell with His people, and He will do so again for good at the end of this age. He will consecrate us, His priests, and He will live among us as our God!

Matthew

As you read about your Passover Lamb the next couple of days, I hope it has new meaning for you.

26:18-19 "As you go into the city," he told them, "you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. I've often wondered if this guy was an angel. Also, here is something to think about. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all say that Jesus celebrated the "Passover meal" with His disciples, but John says in 18:28 that the disciples hadn't yet eaten the Passover the next morning during His trial. Also, Jesus was killed on Passover the next day as the Passover Lamb. There are many conflicting views of this discrepancy, but I personally believe that He just had a special last supper with them, one that appears to be a communion (bread and wine), celebrating the New Covenant. I don't think Jesus would have celebrated a Passover meal the day before Passover. It would have detracted from His purpose. When He said He was goign to "keep the Passover" with His disciples, I believe He was speaking prophetically.

26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take this and eat it, for this is my body." When we eat the daily manna, reading His Word, we are also "eating" or ingesting Christ's presence. He is the living Word (see John 1).

26: 37-38 ...and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Your very worst days on this earth will never outdo His. In fact, He has walked through all your days ahead of you. Thankfully, He will stay and keep watch with us, even though we would have abandoned Him.

26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." This is part of your daily cross. I have also written more on this topic on my homepage.

26:42-43 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done." When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open. Remember the cup we studied before? This was God's cup of wrath that Jesus drank for us. The disciples obviously didn't understand why this night was so important.

Proverbs

8:17-21 "I [wisdom] love all who love me. Those who search for me will surely find me. Unending riches, honor, wealth, and justice are mine to distribute. My gifts are better than the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice. Those who love me inherit wealth, for I fill their treasuries. Doesn't this make delayed gratification seem a little more desirable? Living as a wise person (Godly wisdom), not trying to acquire wealth here will reap great rewards!

Questions for reflection:

  • What is a cross you are bearing in your life right now? Something you want to do your own way but you feel "the tug" that there is another way God wants you to go? (I shared my hot tub story from this week. I was really tempted to go for it).

  • How many times does Jesus ask me to stay awake and keep watch with Him because He has something important going on, and I don't have a clue? How many times have I disregarded His call, or even fell asleep (or stayed asleep when He tried to awaken me in the night) without much thought? What holy moment did I miss out on with Him?