April 13, Reading 1 – Leviticus 21

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This chapter has some similarities to the passages in the New Testament that teach about elders and deacons – Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-12. Priests had to mirror Christ in holiness and separateness from sin. Like the sacrifices they had to be without blemish! Samuel and Kings reveal how blemished the priests were – the cleansing from sin that is eternal had to come from another priestly source!

SJA Notes

“He shall not go in to any dead bodies nor make himself unclean, even for his father or for his mother.”

We know from the law that the stench of death made those who came into contact with dead bodies unclean.

The High Priest was to do nothing that would make him unclean, and that very definitely included dead bodies.

As our true and lasting great High Priest, Jesus showed the power of His indestructible life with respect to death and dead bodies.

In Mark 5 we read, of the little girl who died,

“Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi’, which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.'”

Was Jesus made unclean by making contact with a dead body?

No! His life-giving power was not sullied or dirtied by death, in fact, it was Jesus’ power that unsullied the death of the little girl!

We see that Jesus was the only high priest who could interact with the and dirty and make it clean.

Hebrews 7 tells us,

“… Who [Jesus] has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.”

Death is no more, de-fanged, powerless in the face of the indestructible life of the Messiah.

This is our King, our Saviour – Praise His Name!

* Great God Above,

Please cleanse us today from the muck and dirt of the world, the sin that surrounds us as we walk this road.

Please forgive us today Lord God.

Thank You for Jesus, our great high priest, who won the victory over death.

Thank You for Your grace and mercy to us, that through Jesus we can be clean!

Amen.

April 13, Reading 2 – Psalm 124, 125, 126, 127

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

“If the Lord had not been on our side …” The opening words of Psalm 124 follow reflection on the past. We find God’s doings, His footprints on the sand of the past. Such reflection is a catalyst to present faith.

SJA Notes

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;”

IN VAIN we rise up early and sleep late. IN VAIN we build our houses, our societies, our relationships. IN VAIN we weave our protection and watch guards … UNLESS.

Unless what?

Unless the LORD BUILDS, unless the LORD WATCHES.

Do we go to work in vain?

Not if the LORD is on our side!

Do we build our relationships in vain, befriending those who don’t follow Jesus, and what of our family who don’t believe?

Not if the LORD is with us! Not if He is guiding us, His word being written on our hearts, His Spirit at work.

Jesus gives a hard word in Luke chapter 12 of the other side of the coin, the vanity of living a life in opposition to God, in the parable of the rich man who has lots of barns,

“Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

IN VAIN do we build outside of God.

Whether it is globe-spanning empires or just trying to create a place for our own selves while walking through this life.

God’s word is clear – We live in vain if we live outside of Him.

But in Jesus is the best life, one of purpose and direction. One of great hope and a assured inheritance waiting for us.

Let us be encouraged to point those around us to Jesus – Because outside of Him life is vanity, BUT WITH HIM life is to the full!

* Great God Above,

We bring You praise – For in You true life is found, thank You Lord!

Thank You that we can experience life when we are found in Jesus, when He is our king, when we have our sins dealt with through His once-for-all sacrifice.

Thank You Lord!

Amen.

April 13, Reading 3 – Mark 8:27-9:13

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

The amazing thing is that Peter’s confession triggers Jesus’ revelation of His coming rejection, death and glorious resurrection. Then comes the meeting with Moses and Elijah. (Moses does get into Canaan through Jesus!) Mark 8:34-38 are most searching words!

SJA Notes

“For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

This is a big weighty statement, a truth from the lips of Jesus that should resonate in us.

It’s possible to pay for a lot of things, as well as cheat to get things, or bully or trick.

It’s possible to get things because other people like us, because we do things for them, because we offer ourselves in other-centeredness.

But neither path has a single iota of meaning when it comes to the eternal state of our souls.

Only Jesus has the purchase power, the energy and life to gain for us our souls.

And what can we give ONCE SAVED?

As Paul says in Romans 12, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

* Gracious Father,

Thank You that You save our souls.

Please mark us a faithful servants who are offering ourselves up as living sacrifices.

Amen.