Mark 14:1-2; Matthew 26:1-5; Luke 22:1-2; Mark 14:10-11; Matthew 26:14-16; Luke 22:3-6; Mark 14:12-16; Matthew 26:17-19; Luke 22:7-13; John 13:1-17; Mark 14:17-26; Matthew 26:20-30; Luke 22:14-30; John 13:18-30
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Matthew: In Matthew chapter 26 today we read the beautiful story of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Mark 14 identifies Mary), who anoints Jesus, and as he tells us in verse 12: "She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial." An interesting insight from the NIV Study Bible's commentary - In Jesus' day it was a normal Jewish custom to anoint a dead body with aromatic oils in preparing for burial. Jesus seems to be anticipating suffering a "criminal's" death, for only in that circumstance was there no anointing of the dead body...
Today in Matthew 26 verse 14 we read: "Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, "How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?" And they gave him thirty pieces of silver." The NIV Study Bible says that 30 pieces of silver was equivalent to about 120 denarii. Laborers at that time typically received 1 denarius for 1 day's work. So, Judas was basically paid about 4 months worth of work for the betrayal of Jesus. Sad... Bible.org has a powerful essay on "The Biography of the Betrayer" at this link. Below is a fresco from the early 14th century by the Italian Renaissance Florentine painter Giotto titled "Pact of Judas." In this fresco the two priests on the right discuss Judas's treachery, while the third plots with Judas, who is in the clutches of the devil...
Verses 26 through 28 today certainly will remind us of why Communion / the Lord's Supper is so important to us as believers in Jesus. This all took place the night before Jesus was crucified. The bread represents Jesus' body, given for us. The wine represents Jesus' blood, poured-out for many through Jesus' atoning death.
Worship God: Matthew 26:26-28 reminded me of the song by the Christian band Kutless called "Sea of Faces". This song reminds me of The Lord's Supper every time I hear it - "I see the city lights all around me - Everyone's obscure. Ten million people each with their problems - Why should anyone care? And in Your eyes I can see - that I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world. Lost in a Sea of Faces. Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine. Because you traded Your life for mine...."
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Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" Matthew 26:26-28 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will examine yourself and confess your sins to Jesus before partaking in the Lord's Supper. Pray that you will fully receive Jesus when partaking in the Lord's Supper.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!