January 29, 2015

Exodus 21 - “These are the laws that you are to place before them:  

When you buy a Hebrew slave...
If someone hits another and death results...
if someone kidnaps  a person...
If someone curses father or mother... 
If a quarrel breaks out and the injured one doesn’t die but is confined to bed...

Three times a year you are to hold a festival for me...
Hold the spring festival of Unraised Bread....
Hold the summer festival of Harvest when you bring in the firstfruits... 
Hold the autumn Festival of Ingathering at the end of the season when you bring in the year’s crops.  

Now get yourselves ready.  I’m sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I’ve prepared...

So don’t worship or serve the gods of other nations...but you--you serve your God and he’ll bless your food and your water.  I’ll get rid of sickness among you; there won’t be any miscarriages nor barren women in your land.  I’ll make sure you live full and complete lives.  

I’ll send my Terror and Despair on ahead of you...

I will make your borders stretch from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Wilderness to the Euphrates River...  

 

John 18 - Jesus having prayed his prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden...

Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often.  So Judas led the way to the garden and the Roman soldier and the police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed...

Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them.  He said, Who are you after?”  They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”  He said, “That’s me.”  The soldiers recoiled totally taken aback.  

Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.  Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”  They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”  “I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me.  I’m the one.  So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer.  “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.” )  

Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword. struck the Chief priest’s servant named Malchus, cutting off his right ear.  Jesus ordered Peter, “Put back your sword.”...

The soldiers then took Jesus first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas.  Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year.  It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.  

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.  That other disciple was know to the Chief Priest and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard... Then this disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.  The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”  He said, “No I’m not.”  Then Peter stood with those gathered by a fire trying to warm himself.

Annas interrogated Jesus.  Jesus said, “...everything has been out in the open.  I’ve said nothing in secret.  So why are you treating me like a conspirator?  Question those who have been listening to me.  They know well what I have said.  My teachings have all been aboveboard.”  When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across his face...Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.  

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire when the others asked him if he was one of the disciples.  He denied it, “Not me.”  One of the Chief Priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”  Again, Peter denied it.  Just then the rooster crowed.

They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.  It was early morning ...Pilate came out to them and spoke, “What charges do you bring against this man?...You take him.  Judge him by your law”...The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.”  

Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus.  He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”  Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own or did others tell you this about me?...My kingdom doesn’t consist of what you see around you.  If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews.  But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.  

Then Pilate said, “So are you a king or not?” Jesus answered, “You tell me.  Because I am a King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth.  Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”  Pilate said, “What is truth?”...

Then Pilate went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man.  It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover.  Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”  The Jews shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!”  Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.