Bible Reading and Commentary January 19-24, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
January 19-24, 2015

Monday, January 19, Matthew 25
Are you ready for the final day of the world? Jesus uses 3 parables in chapter 25 to teach us how to be found by Him in a state of spiritual preparedness. We are to have our lamps of faith burning brightly. Our gifts and talents are to be used to glorify Him, not ourselves. We are to be found producing fruits of faith. Why will we receive eternal life? It’s because our faith was rooted and grounded in Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and Eternal Life. (Eph. 2:8,9 and John 14:6)

Tuesday, January 20, Matthew 26:1-30
vv. 26-29 — Just before Jesus’ suffering and death in which He won for us eternal life, He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Through it, He gave His disciples not a representation of, but His TRUE body and blood. This was to strengthen their faith for the difficult days that lay ahead. As the Passover (v. 18) pointed ahead to Calvary’s cross, so the Lord’s Supper points us ahead to our being reunited with the Lord someday in heaven and feasting with Him there (v. 29).

Wednesday, January 21, Matthew 26:31-75
Vv. 34, 75 — Jesus not only foretold how all His disciples would disown Him, but also the exact way Peter would shamefully do it. When those words of Jesus were fulfilled just as Jesus foretold, it points out to us the omniscience of Jesus. It’s that He knows everything and that He is the Son of God (Ps. 139:1-4). Jesus’ explicit warning to Peter and its fulfillment certainly helped bring Peter to his senses and to sincere repentance. Jesus’ words will also bring us that same comfort, peace, forgiveness and hope as we daily turn to them in Holy Scriptures.
v. 39 — In ancient times, a cup of poison was given to a person condemned by the government. The cup for Jesus represented the terrible suffering and death He had to face as our sin-bearer.

Thursday, January 22, Matthew 27:1-31
Vv. 3-5 — There were many irresponsible acts committed that led to Jesus’ bitter suffering and death. Irresponsible acts can lead to despair, such as with Judas (Acts 1:25). Pilate and the Roman soldiers were also guilty of sinful, irresponsible acts. However, there was hope for them as there is for all of us. It’s found not in ourselves or in psychotherapy. That hope is found alone in Jesus. When we come to Jesus sorry for our sins and put our trust in His reason for coming into this world and that was to set us free from all of our sins, then we are healed. Isaiah wrote, “By His wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53:5) The Apostle John also wrote, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (I John 1:7)

Friday, January 23, Matthew 27:32-66
v. 46 — In order to win eternal salvation for us, Jesus had to keep the Law perfectly and pay for all of our sins. At His crucifixion, Jesus was hounded by temptations that would have made the strongest break (vv. 29-44). Jesus, however, didn’t bend. When He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me,” He was facing the terror of hell and the horrendous punishment for our sins. (Ps. 22) God gave us the thumbs up sign for victory when He tore the curtain in the temple in two (v. 51). The glorious meaning of that for us, the writer of Hebrews explains in chapter 9:12-15. Through faith in Jesus Christ’s perfect atonement, we can now approach God unafraid. We have peace with God and the open door to heaven through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Vv. 52-53 — Those who rose from the grave were believers testifying to Jesus’ victory over sin, death and hell.

Saturday, January 24, Matthew 28
Vv. 6, 19 — Why did God announce Christ’s resurrection with a violent earthquake? (v. 2) With earthquakes come upheaval and tearing asunder. The strongest materials give way. What an earthquake does physically, Christ did for us spiritually. Through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, God was announcing to us that death’s grip on us has been torn asunder. As the earthquake tears the earth asunder, so God will do the same on Judgment Day as He opens our graves and takes us home to heaven. Through Christ’s resurrection, we can confess with St. Paul, “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:55-57) What Jesus accomplished for us on that first Good Friday and Easter Sunday is the church’s great commission. It’s to tell the world that through Christ’s redemption and resurrection we have God’s wondrous peace, forgiveness and everlasting life. (vv. 19-20)

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