Scripture for Sunday, November 12 (11/12)

The scripture for today, November 12 (11/12), is Leviticus 11:12 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.”

This is just one of the over 600 laws in the Law of Moses. They were intricate laws governing both their worship and their everyday life. This one chapter in Leviticus says in part they could not eat camels or coneys or rabbits or pigs. They could not eat eagles, vultures, kites, ravens, owls, gulls, hawks, osprey, storks, herons, hoopoes or bats. But they could eat locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. And this is just part of chapter 11!

Why did God give so many intricate laws to the Jews? To give them a chance to keep them all perfectly so they could be perfect. In the meantime, God did not give any laws to the Gentiles; He let them try whatever means they could on their own to become perfect. But during the same time period, both the Jews and Gentiles proved to themselves that it was impossible to keep their religions perfectly and thus be perfect themselves.

Now Jesus was ready to come. He lived the Jewish law perfectly, then nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Now we live under a law of grace, and his commandments revolve around loving God and loving each other.

Aren’t we fortunate Jesus nailed the Law of Moses to the cross and we live in the Christian era?

 

Scripture for Friday, October 27 (10/27)

The scripture for today, October 27 (10/27), is Mark 10:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God: All things are possible with God.’ “

Can we be perfect? God let mankind try for many centuries to be perfect.

To one group of people he gave over 600 laws and said, “If you keep these, you will be perfect.” But, as hard as the Jews tried, no one could keep the Law of Moses perfectly.

To the rest of the world, he basically said, “Try to figure out for yourselves how to be perfect.” So, they tried all kinds of religions, but with all of them, they could not be perfect.

Finally, mankind was ready for Jesus. He came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. He became the perfect Lamb of God, and sacrificed his life for us, for Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” He collected the wage for us.

So now, according to Romans 6:3-4, just as Jesus died on the cross, we too can die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then, just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we too can be buried in a watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus was raised up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved.

Then God considers us perfect too. God cannot associate with sinners in his heaven. He can only have perfect people in his heavenly home. Impossible for us to live there with him someday? Yes. But, God sent Jesus to fix that problem. With God, nothing is impossible.

 

 

 

Scripture for Wednesday, October 4 (10/4)

The scripture for today, October 4 (10/4), is Romans 10:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Medium-New“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Jesus replaced the old Law of Moses Testament, it came to an end (Hebrews 8:13; 9:1f; 9:15-18). Thank God. There were over 600 commandments in the Law of Moses, not just the “Ten Commandments.” They were tedious. Try reading Leviticus and see if you can keep every commandment in it.

Jesus was the only one who ever kept the Law perfectly (Hebrews 4:15). Once that occurred, he could be the Perfect Lamb of God without blemish, and he could be sacrificed on the altar of the world (the cross) in our place ~ take the punishment for our sins. He had said the Law of Moses would last until it was fulfilled.  On the cross, one of the last things he said was, “It is fulfilled.”

And with his death came the introduction of a New Law covered in the New Testament. Read the New Testament in its entirety. It is not tedious. It is beautiful. Let us not try to dip back into the Old Law and bring back showy worship practices done back them. He put it to death and gave us a new and wonderful and simple law of grace and love.

 

Scripture for Saturday, September 30 (9/30)

The scripture for today, September 30, is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 5:7 says something very startling to most people. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

Jesus did not look forward to going to the cross, even though many thousands of others had died that way. Why was it different for him? Because he had to take on all our sins as though he had committed them himself ~ every lie we’ve told, every time we cheated, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything ~ all our sins! The sins of the whole world! How could he bear it?

Not only that, but he had to experience both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means being separated from, being forsaken by God. What a terror to experience!

And so, a few weeks before his crucifixion, as he prayed on the mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared to him and they spoke about his death. They surely gave him the courage to do what had to be done to save you and me who deserve hell.

The crowning glory of this conversation with Moses and Elijah is that God reassured him by announcing, “THIS IS MY SON! WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN! LISTEN TO HIM!”

Jesus was to fulfill the Law and Prophets all the way to the cross. He had promised people, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He was determined to keep that promise.

Indeed, on the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  By the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had fulfilled the Old Law introduced by Moses by living it perfectly ~ something no man had ever been able to do. And by the time he returned to heaven, he had fulfilled every prophecy about his birth, life, and death, the first such prophet being represented by Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through to try to save us from hell. Do we do yard work or go shopping or a picnic or a club gathering on his day ~ Sunday?  Let us instead fall at his wounded feet and worship him.