Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 12), (Ezekiel 25), (Luke 22)

Today’s 22nd chapter of Luke tells us of the arrest of Jesus, it is quite detailed and we pondered the probability that some in the crowd that came to arrest him and brought him to the High Priest’s house later believed and joined the early believers on the Day of Pentecost or soon after. Luke and the other gospel writers would have had their testimony corroborated and maybe amplified by such.  We note how John ends his Gospel account by stating, “Now there were many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
Jesus was totally conscious of the Old Testament books that God caused to be written and preserved.  Apart from his exchange of thoughts with those in the Temple at the age of 12, the initial evidence of his great consciousness of them was in his temptations in the wilderness – in refuting those temptations.  How conscious have we become of them?  Do we use them in the same way?
In the final hours before his arrest he tells his disciples, I tell you this scripture must be fulfilled in me … for what is written about me must have its fulfilment.” [v.37] And so, tragically, it happened but also wonderfully; for its fulfilment was in his sacrifice for our sins, made effective when we decide(d) to belong to Jesus, becoming his brother or his sister.  There are a great many other Old Testament prophecies, such as those we will soon come to in Ezekiel about the latter day climax of events in the Middle East.  We must put these alongside the last days predictions Jesus made which we read and commented on yesterday.
In Ezekiel 25 today there is a prophecy that has been fulfilled.  “Thus says the LORD: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice … I will execute great vengeance upon them …”  [v.16-17] These people have disappeared from history, there is no mention of them in the New Testament. Maybe we might conjecture that the Palestinians are the modern equivalent, they occupy the same territory!  What fate awaits them? So – “scripture must be fulfilled” – we are living in awesome days. Let us accept the challenge of Jesus to “search the Scriptures” [John 5 v.39] but not be like those to whom he said this! He told them, you “refuse to come to me that you may have life.” [v.40]

 

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