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Exodus 35:10-36:38 ~ Matthew 27:32-66
Psalm 34:1-10 ~ Proverbs 9:7-8
Old Testament - Zondervan's commentary today notes that Exodus 35:4 through 39:43 are for the most part repeated from chapters 25 through 28; 30:1-5; and 31:1-11, sometimes verbatim, but with the verbs primarily in the past rather than the future tense and with the topics arranged in different order. This type of repetition was a common feature of ancient Near Eastern literature and was intended to fix the details of a narrative in the readers mind. I really like in today's readings in chapter 35 that people freely brought their offerings for the tabernacle (much of which was likely given to them by the Egyptians as the Exodus from Egypt began, as you'll recall from Exodus 12:33-36), as we see in verses 20 through 22 - "So all the people left Moses and went to their tents to prepare their gifts. If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the LORD their offerings of materials for the Tabernacle and its furnishings and for the holy garments. Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. Some brought to the LORD their offerings of gold--medallions, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind to the LORD."
Bible.org's commentary on Exodus Chapter 35 titled "Concerning Contributions" is at this link. Bible.org's commentary on Exodus Chapter 36 titled "The Tabernacle, The Dwelling Place of God" is at this link.
New Testament - Today in Matthew 27 verse 32 we read: "As they were on the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross."
Verses 37 & 38: "A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus' head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of his...."
Today in Matthew chapter 27 verse 54 we read, just after Jesus’ death on the cross: “The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!" Reflect on these words of the Roman officers and soldiers for a moment. Do you believe these words of the soldiers are true? If these words are true, what does this mean for our lives today? Are we really living our lives in such a way that reflects that these words are true? Or, is it possible, that sometimes we just say these words of the Roman soldiers, and then just go about our lives as business as usual? If Jesus truly is the Son of God, how then should we be living our lives this very day?
Verse 51 is significant - "50Then Jesus shouted out again, and he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." The curtain separating the Most Holy Place was torn in two at Jesus' death, symbolizing that the barrier between God and humanity was removed. Now all people are free to approach God because of Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. Hebrews chapter 10 verses 19 & 20 puts it this way: "And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us."
Verses 57 through 60: "As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who was one of Jesus' followers, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock...."
Psalms - Psalm 34 verse 9 in the NIV reads: "Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing." What does fearing God mean to you? Do you think that fearing God is a good or bad thing? Why? Do you think it is possible to both love God and fear God at the same time? What do you think of when you hear the word "saints"? Do you believe that you are a saint? Do you want to be a saint? Are you acting like a saint? Do you believe that those who fear God lack nothing? Why would this be? Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 34 titled "The Fear of the Lord" at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 9 verses 7 & 8 are fascinating to me: "Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get a smart retort. Anyone who rebukes the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother rebuking mockers; they will only hate you. But the wise, when rebuked, will love you all the more." I do believe this Proverb is true. If anyone needs a definition of rebuke it is: "an act or expression of criticism and censure." (and for that matter censure means - "harsh criticism or disapproval") So, this Proverb teaches us that rebukes of a mocker or the wicked will bring a critical reply or even injury. But that rebukes of the wise can bring love! Powerful to consider!
Comments from You and Questions of the Day: Based on this Proverb above, do you ever rebuke anyone? Part of me thinks that sometimes we can become so scared of what anyone else will think that we say absolutely nothing - even when perhaps we should rebuke someone. When do you feel it is appropriate to rebuke someone? Is it based on a relationship? Is it based on if they ask your opinion on a matter? Will you ever rebuke someone even if not asked an opinion on the matter? Are you careful to not rebuke mockers or the wicked, but only to rebuke the wise? How do you discern who is wise and able to receive a rebuke? Conversely, have you ever been rebuked by someone else? Have you ultimately loved that person for the rebuke? Even if the rebuke stung at the time, were you ultimately appreciative of receiving the rebuke? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!