Note here the irony of the release of Barabbas: Jesus is falsely accused of leading a rebellion against Rome; Barabbas did lead a rebellion against Rome. The guilty one goes free; the innocent man dies. Pilate’s preference for not executing an innocent man is just that – a preference, not a conviction. So when the Jewish authorities convince Pilate not that Jesus is guilty but that it is in his personal interest to execute Jesus, he agrees to do so.
Who is Jesus for Pilate?
An innocent madman. Pilate thinks, “This fellow? The King of the Jews? What idiocy! He’s not in his right mind. Clearly he’s innocent and should be released, but, hey, to do so might cause a riot – and I can’t afford any more riots. I’d be putting my entire career at risk! My position is much more important than any Jewish madman. So let him die. It’s a pity – but he must die.”
Posts Tagged ‘Bible daily’
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Ironic exchange, Mark, Scripture, Trial of Jesus, We are all like Barabbas
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, daily Bible, Psalms, Scripture, Treasury of David, What makes you tremble?
What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
Men fear the mountains, but the mountains tremble before the Lord. Sheep and lambs move lightly in the meadows; but the hills, which we are wont to call eternal, were as readily made to move as the most active creatures. Rams in their strength, and lambs in their play, are not more stirred than were the solid hills when Jehovah marched by. Nothing is immovable but God himself: the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but the covenant of his grace abideth fast for ever and ever. Even thus do mountains of sin and hills of trouble move when the Lord comes forth to lead his people to their eternal Canaan. Let us never fear, but rather let our faith say unto this mountain, “Be thou removed hence and cast into the sea, “and it shall be done.
Tags: 2 Samuel, Absalom-A Sad but Instructive History, “O my son Absalom my son!", Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Scripture, What can we learn from this sad history?
A Sad but Instructive History
ABSALOM was the eldest son of David, whose mother was the daughter of a king. His name signifies “the father of peace” or “the peace of a father.” It was not given him by prophecy, but only expressed the hopes entertained of him. …..
The news of his death was borne to David, who was exceedingly affected thereby. In a moment a thousand tender recollections rushed upon his mind. He thought of the promise of the boy, the beauty of the man and his ignominious and fatal end. It was too much for him; it quite overcame him. The joy of victory was lost in the grief of so sad an end to a favorite son. This brief story is full of instruction:
1. The worst men often have good names; some of them the best of names. Instead of being the peace of his father, Absalom was the plague of his father; instead of being the father of peace, he was the father of strife and tumult. Many were called Jews who were inwardly heathen. If you have a good name, do you deserve it?
2. Personal beauty is itself a good, but easily abused. It was one means of Absalom’s ruin; it made him vain. Sarah’s beauty led both herself and her husband into trouble. Bathsheba’s beauty was the occasion of Uriah’s death and David’s crimes. Beauty is a good thing easily abused.
3. Absalom’s murder of his brother was doubtless as capable of plausible defense as most of the duels, assassinations and murders of our times, and yet it was a wicked and a bloody affair. David greatly erred in not treating it as a murder, to be deservedly punished.
4. When parents and grandparents protect their offspring in crime, they are showing no real kindness to the guilty and are laying up stores of wretchedness for themselves. The murderer countenanced by his father became his rival and sought his life.
5. But David was a magistrate also. He was bound to be “a terror to evil-doers.” He was not at liberty to “bear the sword in vain.” Magistrates are as much bound to punish murder capitally as they are to rule in mercy.
6. Absalom is one of thousands of instances of the danger of high places. His elevation made his head giddy; had he been in a humbler walk in life, it might have been different. The higher he rose, the more giddy he became, until, tottering on the brink of ruin, his feet slipped and he sunk to rise no more. Lowly places in life are commonly the safest.
7. To all right moral feeling, ambition is a deadly foe, and yet some make it the mainspring of all their actions. To it constant appeals are made, rivalships are encouraged, competitions are commended. “Do you seek great things unto yourself? seek them not!” Woe to him who makes himself his god and sacrifices thereto!
8. The world is no wiser than it was three thousand years ago. The wicked are as proud, guileful, covetous and ambitious as they ever were. The arts of politicians are all old and hackneyed; the world is cursed with them. An upright, able statesman is a real blessing; a trading politician is a curse and a vexation. Profane history never reforms men.
9. Human friendships not based in Christian love are vain. Joab and Absalom’s friendship was hollow. “Human friendships, much like Venice glasses, easily broken, or like Jonah’s gourd, short-lived.” “When I see withered leaves drop from the trees in autumn, just such, it seems to me, is the friendship of the world; while the sap of maintenance lasts, friends swarm in abundance.” But let the frosts of adversity come, and see how they will fall off. He is a fool who puts his happiness in the power of the wicked.
10. There is nothing more dangerous than to despise parental tenderness, unless it be to despise the God of our fathers. It is only fools who throw away a father’s estate, but it is only madmen who renounce a father’s God.
11. “The memory of the wicked shall rot.” From his death to this time no one has discovered any sweet-smelling savor from the sepulcher or history of Absalom. So shall it be with all the enemies of truth and peace and God; we see it so continually. Who cares for Caesar or Voltaire or Paine?
12. Good counselors are no security against fatal errors. Unless the Lord is on our side, we shall, like Absalom, reject the wisest counsel. The Lord takes the wise in their own craftiness. He knows the thoughts of the wise that they are vain. Left to himself, man is a stark fool. If God be against us, who can be for us?
13. As in old time, so now, the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. The Lord directs all the javelins of death. His strength nerves the weak; his power emboldens the timid. It is by God’s help that the worm Jacob shall thrash the mountains and make the hills as chaff. If God be for us, who can be against us?
14. Great is the sin of disobedience to parents. “Honor your father and mother.” “He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” That is a species of wickedness that “common sinners dare not meddle with.” It brings fearful guilt and fearful woes.
15. Nor is it less clearly a sin to rebel against a just and good government, such as David’s was. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” To all officers give their dues in tribute, custom, fear or honor.
16. Parents, take heed how you bring up your children. “As a man must ask his wife whether he is to be a rich man or a beggar, so a child must ask his parents whether he is to be a wise man or a fool.”
“A parent’s heart may prove a snare;
The child she loves so well
Her hand may lead, with gentlest care,
Down the smooth road to hell.”
Beware how you teach and guide and act and speak in regard to your child, lest by God’s judgment he die in his sins, and you, like David, cry when it is too late: “O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Dr. John Piper, Galatians, God does not commend contrary ways of salvation, God does not contradict his covenant, Scripture
To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. —Galatians 3:15–18
Paul’s response in Galatians 3:15–18 is this: There are among men (v. 15) and between God and man unalterable pacts. God made one with Abraham and his offspring. The pact was that the inheritance of salvation would come, not to all Abraham’s descendants, but to the seed, which is ultimately the Christ, and all who are in him. No Christ, no inheritance! Given the nature of God and his pact, no later stipulation could annul it or void the promise of this pact. Therefore (v. 17), in the law (given 430 years later) God is not putting the inheritance on a new basis. He is not saying: “Once I taught you to trust me; now I teach you to work for me; once I taught you to rely on grace, now I teach you to earn merit; once I taught you to magnify me through childlikeness, now I teach you to magnify yourselves through legalism.” NO! God does not contradict his covenant in this way. He does not commend contrary ways of salvation. If God had set the inheritance on a new basis and taught people to earn their salvation, he would have opposed the promise and nullified grace and promoted pride and cancelled the stumbling block of the cross. The law is holy and just and good; it does not teach us to engage in the Galatian heresy, legalism; it teaches the obedience which comes from faith and applies the Abrahamic covenant to a new stage of redemptive history.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, daily Bible, Psalms, Scripture, Treasury of David
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!
By mentioning the name, the Psalmist would teach us to bless each of the attributes of the Most High, which are as it were the letters of his name; not quarrelling with his justice or his severity, nor servilely dreading his power, but accepting him as we find him revealed in the inspired word and by his own acts, and loving him and praising him as such. We must not give the Lord a new name nor invent a new nature, for that would be the setting up of a false god.
Tags: 2 Samuel, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Do you wish life had an "undo" key?, God's sovereignty, Life does not have a "delete" key, Scripture
Typewriters have become obsolete, like slide rules and rotary telephones. I think that’s a good thing. Typing was one of my worst classes in high school. Fine motor skills are not my strength. And unfortunately for me there was no way to fake competence in typing class. We had to turn in perfect papers. Had we been allowed to make errors, I could type 60-70 words per minute, but I could only achieve half that with accuracy.
Now, as you know, the modern counterpart of the old typewriter is the word processor. With a word processor, you need not print a hard copy until you’re ready to. The document exists only in computer memory, and there is a delete key, an undo command, a spelling checker, and all kinds of things to fix your mistakes before you ever print it out. It seems to me that’s a much better way to do things.
Similarly, old games used to consist of real manipulatives: chess pieces, Scrabble letter tiles, and so on. You knew whether you had done well or not because the evidence was in front of you. Modern games, of course, are electronic, and if anything bad happens, you just hit the “start over” button, and all the deaths you’ve died are wiped out.
It turns out, though, that real life is much more like the old typewriter than the modern word processor.Real life has consequences that cannot be altered with a delete key.
We’ve come now in our series of studies to the long-term outcomes of David’s rebellion. David imagined himself to be a sort of god, ordering life and death of his subordinates-until the awful day when Nathan came and faced him with his sin. David’s heart finally broke before the Lord, and the interior suffering to which he had been subjected was finally relieved as he admitted publicly, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Now what follows is the account of David’s loss of control. Where once he seemed to be in command of everything, at the center of his own universe, now he can’t stop things from unraveling.
In the last message, we heard Nathan’s prediction to David: “Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house….” And he further predicted the rending of David’s own family. It would become a circle of violence, pride, defiant betrayal, and finally public humiliation.
Now, there is a redemptive aspect to all this. It is good that David loses his authority over everything. He becomes a man who is yielded to God rather than one who challenges God, and the good work that happens inside David is his restoration to a loving relationship with God.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Mark, May, May 20 Mark 14:66-72, Scripture
May 20 Mark 14:66-72
And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
(Mark 14:66-72 ESV)
Tags: A spiritual continental divide, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Dr. John Piper, Galatians, Scripture, the continental divide between divine blessing and divine curse.
Satan is continuously at work tempting us to think and feel that because we use God-talk, and come to church, and pray at meal times, and avoid gross sins, we are, therefore, under God’s blessing. But the book of Galatians concerns a group of people (called Judaizers) who do all those things and are under God’s curse. None of us should sit easily under the scrutiny of this book. Divine blessing and divine curse are the issue. And the continental divide between the two is not between church people and non-church people, nor is it between those who call Jesus “Lord” and those who don’t. It is between those, on the one hand, who have been crucified with Christ and now in poverty live in continuing reliance on the living Christ, and those, on the other hand, who have never really died to self-reliance and whose religious activity, though “moral” and intense, is all an exercise in self-reformation. The one group glories only in the cross of Christ by which they died to all but God. But the other group extols the powers and potentials of the self and diminishes the grace of God (2:21) and the cross of Christ (5:11). The one group of church members enjoys the blessing of God promised to Abraham and his descendants; the other group of church members is under a divine curse.
Therefore, the way to listen to this message from Galatians 3:10–14 is in a spirit of sober self-examination. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are (standing) in faith. Test yourselves. For you should know yourselves—that Christ Jesus is in you, unless indeed you fail to meet the test.” Whenever the Word of God is faithfully preached, you are given a standard by which to test yourselves. It may affirm the reality of Christ’s work in your life and send you rejoicing with new power. Or it may prick your conscience and send you to prayer and repentance. But God forbid that you should pigeonhole a message from Galatians as applicable only to unbelievers or only to your degree of blessing in heaven. It is written for the church and the issue is the continental divide between divine blessing and divine curse.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Mark, Scripture, Trial of Jesus, Who ARE you?..."I AM", Who is really on trial?
And the high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent, and made no answer.
Frustrated, the High priest tries to get Jesus to incriminate himself. Jesus gives no answer, in accordance with Isaiah’s prophesy:
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
There is not need for Jesus to defend Himself against false charges. His purpose here is to proclaim the truth of Who He is, not to convince the court of His innocence. For this reason, He breaks His silence when asked the next question:
- Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, 62 “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” 63 And tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 ”You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
Here we have the central point of the passage.
- When they accuse Jesus of saying He will tear down the temple, He says nothing.
- When they accuse Him of inciting a riot, leading a rebellion, He is quiet.
- But when questioned about His identity, He answers: this is His witness. Now is His time. He declares Himself.
Jesus’ response is emphatic: “I AM,” with allusions to the name of God spoken to Moses at Mt Sinai. But He doesn’t stop there: He quotes Psalm 110 and Daniel 7, claiming for Himself power and authority. Look here at the wider context of those verses:
Psalm 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
Daniel 7:13-14 ”I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
In these few words, Jesus proclaims that He is not the one on trial – they are on trial. The High Priest is not His judge – rather, He is the judge of the High Priest and all others in the room. God will destroy His enemies, and all glory, dominion, and power belong to Him. All people – including these who hate Him – will bow before Him.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, Christ as gain, daily Bible, Psalms, Rachel Barkey, Scripture, Spurgeon: no dread that evil tidings will come and no alarm when they do come., Treasury of David
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7
I would like this verse to be true of me, trusting in God, even when life hurts. Plans may change, but God’s purpose remains. I was reminded of this when I read of Rachel, a young mom who went home to her Lord on July 2, 2009 at 37 years of age. At her website, “Death is not dying…a faith that saves,” she wrote a letter , “Plans that change and ones that don’t”
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings. He shall have no dread that evil tidings will come, and he shall not be alarmed when they do come. Rumours and reports he despises; prophecies of evil, vented by fanatical mouths, he ridicules; actual and verified information of loss and distress he bears with equanimity, resigning everything into the hands of God. His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. He is neither fickle nor cowardly; when he is undecided as to his course he is still fixed in heart: he may change his plan, but not the purpose of his soul. His heart being fixed in solid reliance upon God, a change in his circumstances but slightly affects him; faith has made him firm and steadfast, and therefore if the worst should come to the worst, he would remain quiet and patient, waiting for the salvation of God.
Rachel Barkey was an example of someone who steadfastly relied on God, and whose trust in God brought God great glory. On March 4, 2009, Rachel had an opportunity to share about her hope in the midst of terminal cancer. What began as a small talk to her church women’s group became an event attended by over 600 women and was an experience that left many with a desire to discover more about Rachel’s journey and faith. Check out her video testimony here: