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The Bible In A Year: Day 65

Numbers 18
Job 39
Psalm 62
Mark 15:21-47

Numbers 18

The beginning of the 18th chapter of Numbers reiterates the duties of Aaron and his sons as priests before the Lord, and it goes on to spell out the duties of the Levites as well. Then it goes on to say how and what the Levites will receive when they come into the land of Canaan eventually. All the tribes will receive an allotment of land to live and work on, but the Levites will be spread around the country in various cities and towns. They’ll have no allotted land for their tribe, but instead will receive all the sacrifices given at the tabernacle and temple that aren’t intended to be burned. They’ll also be the recipients of the tithe that everyone must pay, and are not exempt from tithing themselves.

A worker is owed his pay, and this is the pay they’ll receive for their service to God and his people. They are not meant to become rich from their services, but they will need money to live on.

Job 39

God continues the questioning of Job, this time focusing on animals in the wild, and how they’re all creations of God. He asks all the questions to show in the grand scheme of things, God is awesome and mighty, yet cares for all these animals that he names off. If he cares so much for the good of the wild donkey and hawk, how much more does he care for a creature made in his image?

Mark 15:21-47

They take Jesus away to crucify him and make Simon the Cyrene carry his cross, probably because of the beating and blood loss his body wouldn’t be capable of carrying the heavy wooden cross up to Golgotha. Mark mentions that he was offered wine mixed with myrrh but refused it, this concoction was a painkiller narcotic that would dull the pain of the cross for some condemned men that a soldier may take pity on, but Jesus chose to feel and experience every moment of his passion, and not dull the pain in any way. This was a free choice on his behalf, just like choosing to submit to the Father’s will in the garden the night before.

When they crucify him, Mark makes sure to note that they divided his clothes and cast lots. This is a reference to the psalm that Jesus will quote the opening line from as one of his last words spoken before his death. See The Seven Last Words of Christ

16 Yes, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me;they have pierced my hands and feet-
17 I can count all my bones-they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Psalms 22:16-18 RSV-CE

Jesus cries out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders mistakenly think he’s calling for Elijah, but some of them must have gotten the message. That message being that Jesus was quoting a psalm of David, and this psalm was about an innocent man who is killed in a manner just like this Galilean rabbi is being killed, but the ending has him being justified before God. We know that the chief priests and scribes completely missed this message, but maybe it’s what convinced some of the others on the Sanhedrin that they’d got it wrong here. We know that at least one of them became a follower, and in a few weeks at least 3000 more residents of the city will too.

A Roman centurion standing and watching these things happen, gives a confession of faith that is ironic considering Jesus’ own people are at that moment mocking him. He says “surely this is the son of God.”

One of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of Arimathea, takes courage and goes to Pilate to request the body for burial. His request is granted and Jesus is buried in the tomb.

Tomorrow’s Readings:
Job 40-42
Psalm 63

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