Highlights In Today's Reading:
Disciples question when the end will come (21:6-7); signs preceding the end (21:8-36). Judas' cruel betrayal (22:1-6,47-53). The Passover meal (22:7-30). Peter's denial (22:31-36; 22:54-62). Agonizing prayer of Jesus; an angel ministers to Him (22:39-46).
The annual Passover meal reminded the Israelites that it was the blood of a slain, innocent lamb that made it possible for them to be forever free from Egyptian slavery. However, the Israelites also had to observe a fast day called the "Day of Atonement" (Lev. 16:15-34).
On this day, the high priest presented two goats depicting the two aspects of the sin-cleansing process. One goat was slain and its blood sprinkled as required, foreshadowing the redemptive death of Jesus.
Following the sacrifice, the high priest placed both his hands upon the head of the live goat, called the "scapegoat," confessing all the iniquities of the children of Israel. This act symbolically transferred all their sins for the past year to the scapegoat. Then the goat was led away into the wilderness (16:21) illustrating how all their sins were removed.
The need of Israelites for an annual Day of Atonement, even after all the daily offerings, the Passover, and the many sin offerings, showed that all their sacrifices could not fully atone for sin, which is so abominable, devastating, and spiritually deadly. But by one offering He (Jesus) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Heb. 10:11-14).
On the night of Passover, Jesus took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:8,19-20).
Jesus knew that the Holy God must forsake Him, the Sin-bearer (II Cor. 5:21). This "cup" is the reason our Lord did not sleep on the last night of His earthly ministry.
Instead, He went . . . to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him (Luke 22:39). Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death . . . And prayed . . . O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me (Matt. 26:38-39).
However, in submission to the will of His Heavenly Father, Jesus also prayed: Not My will, but Thine, be done (Luke 22:42; Matt. 26:39,42). That is why on the cross, Jesus cried with a loud voice . . . My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:46).
Thought for Today:
Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near (Is. 55:6).
21:4 penury =poverty; 21:13 shall turn to you for a testimony =will turn out to be an opportunity to tell the Good News; 21:15 to gainsay =to refute, to refuse; 21:34 surfeiting =overindulgence; 22:39 wont =in the habit of.
For Luke 21:27: See Dan. 7:13. Luke 22:37: See Is. 53:12. Luke 22:69: See Ps. 110:1.
Pray for Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Bruce Braley (IA), Gov. Felix Perez Camacho (Guam), Rep. Peter Hoekstra (MI), and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ) • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Ps. 73:25).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:20