Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, March 31, 2013 – Easter

Prayer Psalm: 148

Prayer Point. All of creation gets into the act of praising God with this psalm.   Look around you today, notice the beauty of all that God has made. Stars, planets, whales, oceans, mountains, lions, squirrels and eagles all exist to reflect the creative glory of God our Lord and Creator.  Join with God’s creation today in praising him.

John 1:1-18

Background. John begins his gospel or biography of Jesus by retelling the story of creation which is recorded in Genesis chapter 1. From Genesis we learn that God spoke the universe into existence. We understand through John that the words God spoke was an actual person, “the Word,” whom we know as Jesus. Jesus will be compared to light (verses 6-9). There are two groups of people mentioned in verses 10 and 11. The world refers to humanity in general, while “his own” refers to Israel, God’s chosen people.

John introduces us to a second character, John, who is John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and not the author of this book which can make things a bit confusing.

Pay close attention to …

  • The Word’s (Jesus’) role in the creation of the world.
  • How Jesus the light is received by a world that is plunged in darkness. How Jesus is received by his own people.
  • What is promised to all those who receive Jesus.
  • What the Word does in verse 14 and how it changes the way we know God.
  • John the Baptist’s relationship with Jesus the Word. How he understands himself, how he understands Jesus.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Romans 8:1-11

Background. Paul has just discovered in chapter 7 that his battle with sin is so deep, that he is unable to save himself. Trying hard to follow God’s Law has left him in despair.  The Law, ironically, made Paul want to sin more. He was a prisoner of his sin and unable to free himself. If you don’t believe this, try this experiment.  Tell yourself not to lust for a day and watch what happens.  I’d imagine that your attempts would end the way Paul’s did.

Romans 7:24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death!”

The answer to this desperate question comes in chapter 8. Two heroes will be introduced: Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus will be compared to a sin offering in today’s readings. The Law of Moses demanded that unblemished animals be sacrificed for the sins of the people.  The animal symbolically died  for the sinner. The Scripture is clear that the blood of bulls and goats could not forgive sins.  This, instead, was a picture of what Jesus, our true sacrifice, would do for us.

Pay close attention to …

  • Who can free us from the law of sin and death and how.
  • What Jesus the Son did which the Law could not.
  • The contrast between life according to the sinful nature (flesh) and life according to the Spirit.
  • Who frees us from the control of the sinful nature.
  • What the Holy Spirit did for Christ that he will also do for us.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Exodus 12:1-14

Background. The first leg of Moses’ mission culminates tonight.  His mission, at this point, is to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt and then to lead them to the Promised Land.  For a while now God (through Moses) has afflicted the land of Egypt (later referred to as “Rahab”) with what turned out to be ten plagues, the last of which, took the lives of the firstborn of Egypt.  This actually prompted Pharaoh to insist that these Hebrews depart from his land lest more damage be incurred.

This is the night when the angel of death will go throughout Egypt to claim the firstborn.  The land of Goshen (where the Hebrews lived) was to be spared, but unlike the previous plagues, the Hebrews actually had to do something to avert this one.  According to Moses each household was to sacrifice a spotless male lamb (or goat) of a year old and to take its blood and smear it on the door posts and lintel of the house.  This was so that when the angel of death saw the blood he would “pass over” that house.

Pay close attention to …

  • What month this event takes place (v. 2 )
  • Which animal was to be chosen from among so many (v. 5 )
  • Those families which are too small to consume a lamb (or goat) (v. 4 )
  • When the lambs are to be slaughtered (v. 6b )
  • How they must be clothed (v. 11 )
  • What will happen on this night (v. 12 )
  • The blood (v. 13 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

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