Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, April 20, 2022 — Easter Wednesday

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Easter Wednesday
Psalm 118:1-2, 2 Samuel 6:1-15; Luke 24:1-12
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death will overtake all of us unless we are still alive when Jesus comes back. Yet God breaks the power of death over us and brings us into the fullness of life (John 17:3; 1 Cor. 15:53–57; Heb. 2:14, 15). He receives us in Jesus’ name into our eternal home in heaven (John 14:1–6).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
On This Day God Has Acted

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
     his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
     “His love endures forever.”

14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
      he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
      resound in the tents of the righteous:
   “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16    The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
      the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
      and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
      but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
      I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
      through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
      you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
      has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
      and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
      let us rejoice today and be glad.


Commentary
The coming of Christ in his kingdom.

Those who saw Christ's day at so great a distance, saw cause to praise God for the prospect. The prophecy, verses 22,23, may refer to David's preferment; but principally to Christ. 1. His humiliation; he is the Stone which the builders refused: they would go on in their building without him. This proved the ruin of those who thus made light of him. Rejecters of Christ are rejected of God. 2. His exaltation; he is the chief Cornerstone in the foundation. He is the chief Top-stone, in whom the building is completed, who must, in all things, have the pre-eminence. Christ's name is Wonderful; and the redemption he wrought out is the most amazing of all God's wondrous works. We will rejoice and be glad in the Lord's day; not only that such a day is appointed, but in the occasion of it, Christ's becoming the Head. Sabbath days ought to be rejoicing days, then they are to us as the days of heaven. Let this Savior be my Savior, my Ruler. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Let me have victory over the lusts that war against my soul; and let Divine grace subdue my heart. The duty which the Lord has made, brings light with it, true light. The duty this privilege calls for, is here set forth; the sacrifices we are to offer to God in gratitude for redeeming love, are ourselves; not to be slain upon the altar, but living sacrifices, to be bound to the altar; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, in which our hearts must be engaged. The psalmist praises God, and calls upon all about him to give thanks to God for the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord. In him the covenant of grace is made sure and everlasting.


From the Historical Books
2 Samuel 6:1-15
David Dances Before the Ark

6:1 David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

8 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.

9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

Commentary
The ark removed from Kirjath-jearim (vv. 1-5); Uzzah smitten for touching the ark, Obed-edom blessed (vv. 6-11); David brings the ark to Zion (vv. 12-15).

Verses 1-5: God is present with the souls of his people, when they want the outward tokens of his presence; but now David is settled in the throne, the honor of the ark begins to revive. Let us learn hence, to think and to speak highly of God; and to think and speak honorably of holy ordinances, which are to us as the ark was unto Israel, the tokens of God's presence (Matt. 28:20). Christ is our Ark; in and by him God manifests his favor, and accepts our prayers and praises. The ark especially typified Christ and his mediation, in which the name of Jehovah and all his glories are displayed. The priests should have carried the ark upon their shoulders. Philistines may carry the ark in a cart without suffering for it; but if Israelites do so, it is at their peril, because this was not what God appointed.

Verses 6-11: Uzzah was struck dead for touching the ark. God saw presumption and irreverence in Uzzah's heart. Familiarity, even with that which is most awful, is apt to breed contempt. If it were so great a crime for one to lay hold on the ark of the covenant who had no right to do so, what is it for those to lay claim to the privileges of the covenant that come not up to the terms of it? Obed-edom opened his doors without fear, knowing the ark was a savor of death unto death to those only who treated it wrong. The same hand that punished Uzzah's proud presumption, rewarded Obed-edom's humble boldness. Let none think the worse of the gospel for the judgments on those that reject it, but consider the blessings it brings to all who receive it. Let masters of families be encouraged to keep up religion in their families. It is good to live in a family that entertains the ark, for all about it will fare the better.

Verses 12-15: It became evident, that happy was the man who had the ark near him. Christ is indeed a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offense, to those that are disobedient; but to those that believe, he is a Corner-stone, elect, precious (1 Pet. 2:6-8). Let us be religious. Is the ark a blessing to others' houses? We may have it, and the blessing of it, without fetching it away from our neighbors. David, at first setting out, offered sacrifices to God. We are likely to speed in our enterprises, when we begin with God, and give diligence to seek peace with him. And we are so unworthy, and our services are so defiled, that all our joy in God must be connected with repentance and faith in the Redeemer's atoning blood. David attended with high expressions of joy. We ought to serve God with our whole body and soul, and with every endowment and power we possess. On this occasion David laid aside his royal robes, and put on a plain linen dress. David prayed with and for the people, and as a prophet, solemnly blessed them in the name of the Lord.


From the Gospels
Luke 24:1-12
Women Proclaim the Resurrection

24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Commentary
The resurrection of Christ.

See the affection and respect the women showed to Christ, after he was dead and buried. Observe their surprise when they found the stone rolled away, and the grave empty. Christians often perplex themselves about that with which they should comfort and encourage themselves. They look rather to find their Master in his grave-clothes, than angels in their shining garments. The angels assure them that he is risen from the dead; is risen by his own power. These angels from heaven bring not any new gospel, but remind the women of Christ's words, and teach them how to apply them. We may wonder that these disciples, who believed Jesus to be the Son of God and the true Messiah, who had been so often told that he must die, and rise again, and then enter into his glory, who had seen him more than once raise the dead, yet should be so backward to believe his raising himself. But all our mistakes in religion spring from ignorance or forgetfulness of the words Christ has spoken. Peter now ran to the sepulcher, who so lately ran from his Master. He was amazed. There are many things puzzling and perplexing to us, which would be plain and profitable, if we rightly understood the words of Christ.



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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 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 Morning Prayer for Wednesday, April 20, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, April 20, 2022


Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24, NIV


Our great God, still hidden and yet so evident and near, we thank you that you are at work in us before we think of asking. We thank you that you hold us by the hand and lead us before we are aware of it. Stay with us in this way and awaken our hearts at the right moment, that we are not surprised by the painful things we experience but can be prepared at all times to watch and pray, trusting that we are not forsaken in the constant strife on this earth. Grant us hope, O God, that the time is coming when all people will hear the proclamation, “See, a new heaven and a new earth, because you have learned to see God’s honor in everything.” Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, April 20, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, April 20, 2022


1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death will overtake all of us unless we are still alive when Jesus comes back. Yet God breaks the power of death over us and brings us into the fullness of life (John 17:3; 1 Cor. 15:53–57; Heb. 2:14, 15). He receives us in Jesus’ name into our eternal home in heaven (John 14:1–6).

Read the Full Chapter



Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Our Daily Bread — Love Is Worth the Risk

 

Love Is Worth the Risk

If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

READ John 21:15–19



After a friend ended our decade-long friendship without explanation, I began slipping back into my old habit of keeping people at arms’ length. While processing my grief, I pulled a tattered copy of The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis off my shelf. Lewis makes a powerful observation about love requiring vulnerability. He states there’s “no safe investment” when a person risks loving. He suggests that loving “anything [will lead to] your heart being wrung and possibly broken.” Reading those words changed how I read the account of the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection (John 21:1–14), after Peter had betrayed Him not once but three times (18:15–27).

Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” (21:15).

After experiencing the sting of betrayal and rejection, Jesus spoke to Peter with courage not fear, strength not weakness, selflessness not desperation. He displayed mercy not wrath by confirming His willingness to love.

Scripture reveals that “Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ ” (v. 17). But when Jesus asked Peter to prove his love by loving others (vv. 15–17) and following Him (v. 19), He invited all His disciples to risk loving unconditionally. Each of us will have to answer when Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” Our answer will impact how we love others.

By Xochitl Dixon
REFLECT & PRAY


Why would a loving God ask His beloved children to risk being hurt for the sake of loving others like Jesus did? How can an intimate relationship with God help you feel safe enough to risk loving?

Loving God, please break down every wall that keeps me from being vulnerable so I can love You and others with Spirit-empowered courage, compassion, and consistency.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The two verbs translated “love” in the Greek New Testament are phileō (“to be a friend of” [person or object] or to “have tender affection for”) and agapaō (“love founded in admiration, veneration, esteem”).

Both words are used in John 21:15–16. Jesus uses agapaō while Peter uses phileō. In verse 17, however, both Jesus and Peter use phileō. Some scholars find significance in the use of these two different words in John 21 while others don’t. Commentator Craig Keener notes: “The two Greek words for ‘love’ here are used interchangeably elsewhere in John.”

Peter had denied Christ three times (see John 18:15–18, 25–27). How gracious of Jesus to prompt him to affirm his love three times. Was Peter’s love authentic? Yes, authentic enough for him to live a life and die a death by which he would glorify God (see 21:18–19).

Arthur Jackson