Two months. In seven years, I don't think I've gone two months without writing here on my blog. And there's lots to tell ~ which is part of why I haven't written. Too much activity to sit for a while and put the words down. Lots of urgent things taking first place over the important things at times, but many important things being accomplished, too, which just means that writing them down has not been as important as doing them. But I miss writing them down.
One important thing that the Lord has supplied grace to do almost every day, though, is take in His Word. I began reading the Bible from cover to cover a while back. I've never done that before, and it has been an incredible experience ~ to read each book in succession gleaning an understanding of the big picture as I go. I tell my Bible study gals almost every week to read. their. Bibles. and I promise them (because God has promised them) that He will meet them there every day ~ guaranteed. In my Genesis to Revelation pursuit, it didn't matter if I was reading Numbers, or Jeremiah, or Malachi, or Haggai ~ the Lord met me in each book, each chapter, each verse, and gave me new insight, increased knowledge and understanding, but most importantly, He allowed me to worship Him more due to a deepening realization of His holiness and sovereignty. That is an answered prayer.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished the Old Testament and landed on Matthew ~ which seemed perfect, because I always tend to go to the gospels for reading during Lent. I've also been underlining as I go through the Bible this time. I even started with a NEW Bible in this new beginning-to-end-endeavor ~ which is not as easy as you might think, since I happen to love the NASB version. Sadly, it seems to be a dying version due to the popularity of the ESV, so finding one that was brown leather and not a Charles Stanley version was no easy task!
So, today, on Good Friday, instead of telling you about my incredible trip to the Dominican Republic, my winter-sanity trip to Texas, my super-fun group of Challenge II students and seminars, my weekly boot camp Bible study, the Shakespeare play the kids were just in, Kayla's first spring track season, or my Easter Sunday lunch menu for a houseful of anticipated guest, I'll just leave you with what I underlined in the last few chapters of Matthew. May the highlights of the final few days of Jesus' life draw you in to worship Him as they did me.
Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion
The chief priests...elders...
Plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth
A woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume
She did it to prepare Me for burial
Wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be spoken of in memory of her
Judas Iscariot...What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you
One of you will betray Me...Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed
Take, eat; this is My body
This is My blood of the covenant poured out for many for forgiveness of sins
Singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives
You will all fall away because of Me this night
I will never fall away
You will deny Me three times
Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You
My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death
My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me
Not as I will, but as You will
Found them sleeping
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
If this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done
Judas...accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs
Laid hands on Jesus and seized Him
One..struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear
Do you not think that I cannot appeal to My Father and He will at once put at My disposal twelve legions of angels?
How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?
Then all the disciples left Him and fled
Peter was following Him at a distance
This man stated " I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days."
Tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God
You have said it yourself
He has blasphemed!
He deserves death!
They spat in His face and beat Him with their fists
Others slapped Him
Now Peter...and a servant girl...but he denied it
Another servant girl......"This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."
I do not know the man
I do not know the man!
Before a rooster crows
And he went out and wept bitterly
They bound Him and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor
Judas...felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver
I have sinned by betraying innocent blood
Hanged himself...Potter's Field...Jeremiah
Are You the King of the Jews?
It is as you say
He did not answer him with regard to a single charge
The governor was quite amazed
A notorious prisoner, called Barabbas
Barabbus, or Jesus who is called Christ?
His wife sent him a message...Have nothing to do with the righteous man
Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?
Why, what evil has He done?
I am innocent of this man's blood
His blood shall be on us and our children!
They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him...crown of thorns
They spat on Him...began to beat Him on the head...and led Him away to crucify Him
Golgotha...Place of the Skull
Crucified Him...divided up His garments
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS
Those passing by were hurling abuse
My God, My God. Why have you forsaken Me?
Cried out...yielded up His spirit
Veil of the temple was torn in two
Earth shook...rocks were split...tombs were opened
Truly, this was the son of God!
A rich man from Arimathea...asked for the body of Jesus
Rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb
Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary
Chief priests...Pharisees...remember..."After three days I am to rise again."
Made the grave secure...guard...set a seal on the stone
An angel of the Lord descended from heaven
Rolled away the stone and sat upon it
The guards shook for fear of him
To the women..."He is not here, for He has risen just as He said."
Go quickly and tell the disciples
Jesus met them and greeted them
Chief priests...elders...gave a large sum of money to the soldiers
You are to say, "His disciples came by night and stole Him away..."
This story was widely spread among the Jews
When they saw Him, they worshiped Him