It’s been said that those who forget or don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. Do you remember? Have you learned from the past? Have you forgotten and doing it over again? Do you need to go through the pain and the suffering yourself or can you learn from the experiences of others? Do you need to experience things on your own to get it? Are you willing to learn from the experiences of others? Are you willing to use history as a teacher and then live out today in a way that won’t repeat the past? How do you live? How will you learn? What will it mean for your present and future? How good is your memory? How long can you remember what you said, what you promised, what you are to do? How long can you remember what others have said and done? How long can you remember the miracles God has done in and through your life? Do you remember what He has done? for you? in you? through you?
Today’s reading triggered all these questions in my mind. What happened…What was said…What was promised…What was forgotten…
Cutting the Covenant at Sinai
1Then to Moses He said, “Come up to Adonai, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2Moses alone is to approach Adonai, but the others may not draw near, nor are the people to go up with him.” 3So Moses came and told the people all the words of Adonai as well as all the ordinances. All the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Adonai has spoken, we will do.” 4So Moses wrote down all the words of Adonai, then rose up early in the morning, and built an altar below the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He then sent out young men of Bnei-Yisrael, who sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings of oxen to Adonai. 6Then Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins and the other half he poured out against the altar. 7He took the Scroll of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. Again they said, “All that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey.” 8Then Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Adonai has cut with you, in agreement with all these words.” 9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. 11Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank. 12Then Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the Torah and the mitzvot, which I have written so that you may instruct them.” 13So Moses rose up along with his attendant Joshua, and Moses went up onto the mountain of God. 14To the elders he said, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. See, Aaron and Hur are with you—whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of Adonai settled upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17The appearance of the glory of Adonai was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of Bnei-Yisrael. 18So Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up onto the mountain. Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.
–from Exodus 24
Could you last a week? Could you last a month? Could you last 40 days? How long are you able to remember? Does it matter how big of a miracle it was? Do it matter how incredible it was? Does it matter how much of an impact it had on your life? How long would you be able to remember?
Tabernacle: Ark, Table, Menorah
1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering. 3These are the contributions which you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4blue, purple and scarlet cloth; fine linen and goat hair; 5ram skins dyed red, sealskins, acacia wood; 6oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastplate. 8“Have them make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. 9You are to make it all precisely according to everything that I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all the furnishings within—just so you must make it. 10“Now they are to make an Ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits in length, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11You are to overlay it with pure gold, inside and out, and make a crown of gold around it. 12You are to cast four rings of gold for it, and place them in its four feet. Two rings will be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13Also make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14You are to put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, in order to carry the Ark. 15The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it. 16You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark. 17“Then you are to make an atonement cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, one cubit and a half wide. 18Also make two cheruvim of gold, from hammered work, at the two ends of the atonement cover. 19Make one cheruv at one end and one cheruv at the other end. Of one piece with the atonement cover you are to make the cheruvim at its two ends. 20The cheruvim are to spread out their wings above, shielding the atonement cover with their wings, each facing its companion. The faces of the cheruvim are to be turned toward the atonement cover. 21You are to put the atonement cover on top of the Ark, and inside the Ark you will put the Testimony that I will give you. 22“I will meet with you there. I will speak with you from above the atonement cover—from between the two cheruvim that are on the Ark of the Testimony—about all that I will command you, for Bnei-Yisrael. 23“You will make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24You are to overlay it with pure gold, and make a crown of gold around it. 25Make a border a single handwidth wide around it and a golden crown for the border all around. 26Also make four gold rings for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. 27The rings are to be close to the borders, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 29You are also to make the dishes, pans, jars and bowls to pour drink offerings, from pure gold. 30Always set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me. 31“You are to make a menorah of pure gold, by hammered work. Its base, stem, cups, bulbs and flowers are to be one piece. 32There are to be six branches coming out of the sides, three branches of the menorah out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 33There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms in one branch, each with a bulb and flower, then three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, each with a bulb and flower, and so forth for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 34Within the menorah will be four cups made like almond blossoms, with bulbs and flowers. 35There is to be a bulb under two branches of the first piece, a bulb under two branches of the second piece, and a bulb under two branches of the third piece, for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 36Their bulbs and their branches are to be one piece—all of it a single hammered work of pure gold. 37“You are also to make the seven lamps for it, and set the lamps up to shed light over the space before it. 38“The tongs and the censers are to be of pure gold. 39It is to be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these pieces. 40See that you make them according to their pattern being shown to you on the mountain.
–from Exodus 25
So let’s remember! Let’s be people who walk in love! Let’s not allow hate or bitterness to take root in our hearts! Let’s not allow worry or doubt take root and cause fear! Let’s put our hope and trust in God and remember everything He has done for us, in us, and through us!
Haters Won’t Prevail
1A Song of Ascents. “How many times they have been hostile to me, even from my youth” —let Israel now say—2“How greatly they have been hostile to me, even from my youth. Yet they have not prevailed against me. 3Plowmen plowed on my back—they made their furrows long!” 4Adonai is righteous—He has cut the ropes of the wicked. 5May all who hate Zion be driven back in disgrace. 6Let them be like grass on the roofs, which withers before it springs up—7with it a reaper cannot fill his hand, nor can a binder of sheaves fill his lap. 8So the passersby may never say: “The blessing of Adonai be upon you—we bless you in the Name of Adonai.”
–from Ps 129
Will you be an ambassador for love? Will you be an ambassador for peace? Will you?
Will you submit to God and study His ways? Will you pursue Him and His directions? Will you follow Him and His instructions? Will you imitate Him so that you will glorify and exalt Him by the way you live your life?
1Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have zeal for God—but not based on knowledge. 3For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming: 9For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. 13For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.” 14How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? 15And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!” 16But not all heeded the Good News. For Isaiah says, “Adonai, who has believed our report?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. 18But I say, have they never heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” 19But I say, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, with a nation empty of understanding I will vex you.” 20And Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I became visible to those who did not ask for Me.” 21But about Israel He says, “All day long I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
–from Romans 10
So will you let your light shine? Will you allow others to see Jesus in and through you? Will you point them to the one that can make a difference in their lives? Do you point them to the one who gave it all for our sake? Do you share His love with those He sends into your life? Do you share His hope with those around you? Will you glorify Him by the way you live out today? What if He took the punishment for all that you had done? (He did – even to the point of death on a cross) What if you betrayed Him? (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god) Will you receive the mercy and grace He provides? He won’t force Himself on you, so will you freely receive His gift of salvation? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? He overcame the world, so that we can have hope! (In this world you will have troubles, but take hope for Jesus has overcome the world!)
1When daybreak came, the ruling kohanim and elders of the people conspired against Yeshua to put Him to death. 2And they tied Him up, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. 3Then Judah, His betrayer, saw that Yeshua had been condemned. Feeling remorse, he brought the thirty silver pieces back to the ruling kohanim and elders, 4saying, “I’ve sinned, betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What’s that to us? You see to it yourself!” 5After tossing the silver into the Temple sanctuary, he left. Then he went off and hanged himself. 6But the ruling kohanim took the silver pieces and said, “It is not permitted to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So after they conferred, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a cemetery for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the “Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of Him on whom a price had been set by Bnei-Yisrael; 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as Adonai arranged for me.”
“Kill the King!”
11Now Yeshua stood before the governor. The governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “You say so,” Yeshua said. 12And while He was accused by the ruling kohanim and elders, He did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against you?” 14Yeshua did not answer, not even one word, so the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now during the feast, the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner, anyone they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17So when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over out of envy. 19While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous Man, for today I’ve suffered many things in a dream because of Him.” 20Now the ruling kohanim and elders persuaded the crowds that they should ask for Bar-Abba and destroy Yeshua. 21But the governor responded, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Bar-Abba!” 22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Yeshua, who is called Messiah?” “Execute Him!” all of them say. 23But Pilate said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be executed!” 24When Pilate saw he was accomplishing nothing, but instead a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this blood,” he said. “You see to it yourselves!” 25All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released to them Bar-Abba. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
Nailed to a Stake
27Then the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe around Him. 29And after braiding a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. And falling on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and they took the staff and beat Him over and over on the head. 31When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him away to crucify Him. 32As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene, Simon by name. They forced him into service, to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (that is to say, Place of a Skull), 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall to drink; but after tasting, He was unwilling to drink it. 35And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36And they sat down and kept guard over Him there. 37Over His head they put the charge against Him, which read: “THIS IS YESHUA, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 38Then two outlaws were executed with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are Ben-Elohim, come down from the stake!” 41Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars and elders, were also mocking Him. 42“He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the stake, and we’ll believe in Him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim.’” 44Even the outlaws who were executed with Him were ridiculing Him in the same way.
Yeshua Lays Down His Life
45Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 47When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” 48Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. 49But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” 50And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. 52And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. 53And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and what was happening, they became terribly frightened and said, “This really was the Son of God!”
The Tomb Is Sealed
55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Yeshua from the Galilee, serving Him. 56Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also become a disciple of Yeshua. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60And he laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone up to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Now Miriam from Magdala was there, and the other Miriam, sitting opposite the tomb.
Guarding the Tomb
62Now on the next day, which is after the preparation, the ruling kohanim and Pharisees were gathered before Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember how that deceiver said while He was still alive, ‘After three days I’m to be raised.’ 64Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, so His disciples do not come and steal Him away. They will tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first!” 65“You have a guard,” Pilate said to them. “Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone along with the soldiers of the guard.
–from Matthew 27