Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, March 31, 2021 — Wednesday of Holy Week

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 — Wednesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32
The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of the prophecies about the Messiah, like this one that was written hundreds of years before He was crucified. On the Cross, He willingly became our substitute. Jesus, “who knew no sin…[became] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). He was pierced and crushed because of our sin, and by His sacrifice we are healed.

Today’s Readings:
A Reading from the Old Testament
Isaiah 50:4-9a
The Servant is Vindicated by God


4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
     to know the word that sustains the weary.
  He wakens me morning by morning,
     wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
     I have not been rebellious,
     I have not turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
     my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
  I did not hide my face
     from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
     I will not be disgraced.
  Therefore have I set my face like flint,
     and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
     Who then will bring charges against me?
     Let us face each other!
  Who is my accuser?
     Let him confront me!
9a It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.

Commentary
As Jesus was God and man in one person, we find him sometimes speaking, or spoken of, as the Lord God; at other times, as man and the servant of Jehovah. He was to declare the truths which comfort the broken, contrite heart, those weary of sin, harassed with afflictions. And as the Holy Spirit was upon him, that he might speak as never man spake; so the same Divine influence daily wakened him to pray, to preach the gospel, and to receive and deliver the whole will of the Father. The Father justified the Son when he accepted the satisfaction he made for the sin of man. Christ speaks in the name of all believers. Who dares to be an enemy to those unto whom he is a Friend? or who will contend with those whom he is an Advocate? Thus St. Paul applies it, Romans 8:33.


A Reading from the Book of Psalms
Psalm 70
Be Pleased O God to Deliver Me


1 Hasten, O God, to save me;
     come quickly, Lord, to help me.

2 May those who want to take my life
     be put to shame and confusion;
  may all who desire my ruin
     be turned back in disgrace.
3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
     turn back because of their shame.
4 But may all who seek you
     rejoice and be glad in you;
  may those who long for your saving help always say,
     “The Lord is great!”

5 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
     come quickly to me, O God.
  You are my help and my deliverer;
     Lord, do not delay.


Commentary
This psalm is almost the same as the last five verses of Psalm 40. While here we behold Jesus Christ set forth in poverty and distress, we also see him denouncing just and fearful punishment on his Jewish, heathen, and anti-christian enemies; and pleading for the joy and happiness of his friends, to his Father's honor. Let us apply these things to our own troubled circumstances, and in a believing manner bring them, and the sinful causes thereof, to our remembrance. Urgent trials should always awake fervent prayers.


A Reading from the Epistles
Hebrews 12:1-3
Look to Jesus Who Endured the Cross


12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Commentary
The persevering obedience of faith in Christ, was the race set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the crown of glory, or have everlasting misery for their portion; and it is set before us. By the sin that does so easily beset us, understand that sin to which we are most prone, or to which we are most exposed, from habit, age, or circumstances. This is a most important exhortation; for while a man's darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By steadfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him.


A Reading from the Gospels
John 13:21-32
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal


13:21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

Commentary
Christ had been glorified in many miracles he wrought, yet he speaks of his being glorified now in his sufferings, as if that were more than all his other glories in his humbled state. Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to God by the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenly happiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow him hereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work. Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new commandment. They were to love each other for Christ's sake, and according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one soul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors. Men in general notice any of Christ's words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.



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 Wednesday, March 31, 2021 — Wednesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

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