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Daily Devotion for April 15, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Jesus, who was a devout Jew, celebrated the Passover at the Last Supper; there is no reason a Christian cannot celebrate Passover, although it is eclipsed in importance for us by Good Friday.
I hope you will give this haunting song a chance, as the introduction is noisy.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done.
All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Jesus is Arrested; Peter Denies Him
John 18:12-18 (CEB)
Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the guards from the Jews took Jesus into custody. They bound him and led him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better for one person to die for the people.)
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Because this other disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priestís courtyard. However, Peter stood outside near the gate. Then the other disciple (the one known to the high priest) came out and spoke to the woman stationed at the gate, and she brought Peter in. The servant woman stationed at the gate asked Peter, ďArenít you one of this manís disciples?Ē
ďIím not,Ē he replied.
The servants and the guards had made a fire because it was cold. They were standing around it, warming themselves. Peter joined them there, standing by the fire and warming himself.
Notes on the Scripture
As we saw a week or two ago, Caiaphas is the current high priest of the Hebrews; he was the longest-reigning high priest of the era. Annas, whom Caiaphas supplanted, was his father-in-law and more associated with the Sadducees. There is no modern counterpart for these high priests in Western government; although they were a religious organization for mainstream Judaism, there was a secular head of government, but they still wielded a lot of political power. One might compare them to the Pope in medieval Europe.
Whatever the political struggles for supremacy there might have been between Annas and Caiaphas, or between the Sadducees (the older, more ceremonially-oriented faction) and the Pharisees (who were more theologically and legally oriented), they closed ranks when it came to a heretical movement like the Christ sect.
The Scripture today is interesting primarily in the detail it provides about the passion of Christ. There is almost no history of Christ outside the Bible; scholars have found only the briefest mention of him in Roman documents. He was considered barely a passing footnote to them, at the time. But the detail recorded by this account of Christ's arrest gives us some confidence in the accuracy of the records in the Bible.