Monday, March 29, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, March 29, 2021 — Monday of Holy Week

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, March 29, 2021 — Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11
The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Habakkuk 1:13 says of God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil.” This means that the Lord will not allow sin in His presence. So on the Cross, Jesus Christ took the iniquities of the whole world upon Himself—even though He never committed a single sin—so that we would not have to bear the penalty of our transgressions, which is death and separation from God for eternity (Rom. 6:23). He gave His life so that we could receive His righteousness and therefore have a relationship with Him forever (8:1–4; 1 Pet. 2:24).

Today’s Readings:
A Reading from the Old Testament
Isaiah 42:1-9
The Servant Brings Forth Justice


1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
     my chosen one in whom I delight;
  I will put my Spirit on him,
     and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
     or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
     and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
  In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4    he will not falter or be discouraged
  till he establishes justice on earth.
     In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

5 This is what God the Lord says—
  the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
     who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
     who gives breath to its people,
     and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
     I will take hold of your hand.
  I will keep you and will make you
     to be a covenant for the people
     and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
     to free captives from prison
     and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
     I will not yield my glory to another
     or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
     and new things I declare;
  before they spring into being
     I announce them to you.”


Commentary
Verses 1-4 — This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, Matthew 12:17. Let our souls rely on him, and rejoice in him; then, for his sake, the Father will be well-pleased with us. The Holy Spirit not only came, but rested upon him, and without measure. He patiently bore the contradiction of sinners. His kingdom is spiritual; he was not to appear with earthly honors. He is tender of those oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed; those who are as smoking flax, as the wick of a lamp newly lighted, which is ready to go out again. He will not despise them, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear. By a long course of miracles and his resurrection, he fully showed the truth of his holy religion. By the power of his gospel and grace he fixes principles in the minds of men, which tend to make them wise and just. The most distant nations wait for his law, wait for his gospel, and shall welcome it. If we would make our calling and election sure, and have the Father delight over us for good, we must behold, hear, believe in, and obey Christ.

Verses 5-9 — The work of redemption brings back man to the obedience he owes to God as his Maker. Christ is the light of the world. And by his grace he opens the understandings Satan has blinded, and sets at liberty from the bondage of sin. The Lord has supported his church. And now he makes new promises, which shall as certainly be fulfilled as the old ones were. When the Gentiles are brought into the church, he is glorified in them and by them. Let us give to God those things which are his, taking heed that we do not serve the creature more than the Creator.


A Reading from the Book of Psalms
Psalm 36:5-11
Refuge Under the Shadow of Your Wings


5 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
     your justice like the great deep.
     You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
     People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
     you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
     in your light we see light.

10 Continue your love to those who know you,
      your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
      nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.


Commentary
Men may shut up their compassion, yet, with God we shall find mercy. This is great comfort to all believers, plainly to be seen, and not to be taken away. God does all wisely and well; but what he does we know not now, it is time enough to know hereafter. God's loving-kindness is precious to the saints. They put themselves under his protection, and then are safe and easy. Gracious souls, though still desiring more of God, never desire more than God. The gifts of Providence so far satisfy them, that they are content with such things as they have. The benefit of holy ordinances is sweet to a sanctified soul, and strengthening to the spiritual and Divine life. But full satisfaction is reserved for the future state. Their joys shall be constant. God not only works in them a gracious desire for these pleasures, but by his Spirit fills their souls with joy and peace in believing. He quickens whom he will; and whoever will, may come, and take from him of the waters of life freely. May we know, and love, and uprightly serve the Lord; then no proud enemy, on earth or from hell, shall separate us from his love. Faith calleth things that are not, as though they were. It carries us forward to the end of time; it shows us the Lord, on his throne of judgment; the empire of sin fallen to rise no more.


A Reading from the Epistles
Hebrews 9:11-15
The Blood of Christ Redeems for Eternal Life


9:11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Commentary
All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.


A Reading from the Gospels
John 12:1-11
Mary of Bethany Anoints Jesus


12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

Commentary

Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretense. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.



The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible. The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, March 29, 2021 — Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

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