February 10

Matthew 26:1-16


The religious leaders were the ones who plotted to have Jesus crucified by the Romans. They would let the foreign government do their dirty work. However, when Pilate washed his hands and asked the Jews who to set free, it was the Jews who put Jesus on the cross. Jesus was put to death by His own countrymen. I have a Jewish friend who was concerned that people hate the Jews for killing Jesus. I answered, “No, it was all part of God’s plan, He was the human sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world.” His response was basically, “Well, I’m glad you don’t hold it against us.” I wish it had been, “How can I receive this salvation?,” but he was committed to Judaism. 


In verses 6-13 (Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8), we read about the anointing of Jesus at Bethany by Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Let’s look at a few points:

  • Her brother had recently been raised from the dead, and she was grateful.
  • They were in Bethany, her home town, at Simon the leper’s house. Some say Simon was Lazarus, “Simon Lazarus,” and that he died from leprosy. Jesus raised him from the dead and healed him. 
  • She knew Jesus was going to die and raise again. 
  • She knew she was preparing Him for burial.
  • She took an expensive bottle of perfume, valuing Jesus’ sacrifice. In Mark 14:8 it says, “She has done what she could.” 
  • The flask was sealed. She broke it to spill it out. In the old testament there was such a think as a drink offering, an offering that would be poured out. Mary was not only pouring out her best perfume; she was opening and pouring out her heart. 
  • She began by pouring it on His head, flowing down His entire body. Then she wiped His feet with her hair. 
  • She recognized and valued Jesus being present in that moment.
  • She worshipped Him in the act. 
  • Everywhere the Gospel is preached, this story is told for her part in the story. 
  • This story is not to be confused with the prostitute in Luke 7:36-50, which is also a beautiful story of worship by a forgiven woman. 


In verses 14-16, Judas goes to the chief priests to betray Jesus in exchange for money. He knew they wanted to stop Jesus’ ministry, and they knew they wanted to kill Jesus. It wasn’t Jesus’ fault for bringing Judas on the team. Each person has a will. Don’t blame your leaders for choices their teams make. Let’s choose to do the right thing, and let’s choose to support our leaders instead of blaming them for things that are out of their control. 


Leviticus 10-12


God had chosen Moses and these high priests to a position of coming near Him under the old covenant, while people were still dead in sin. The fallen state of human beings and the sin that separated us from God was a serious issue. To come into God’s manifested presence as a priest was something that was not done unless it was done in complete reverence to God. 


God had given detailed, specific instruction on how to offer sacrifice. In chapter 9, we just read where God’s fire had just come from heaven to consume the sacrifice; it was a fearful and awesome happening. 


In chapter 10, we read about profane fire offered by Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. Nadab and Abihu did not give respect to the glory and holiness of God; their actions were irreverent. Their flippant and disrespect brought judgment upon themselves. Some teach that their offerings may have been for idols. Some ancient Jewish interpretations say the men were also intoxicated. Fire from the Lord consumed them. 


Aaron, a father who just lost two sons, must have been distraught. Moses went to the Lord about his nephew’s deaths, and God answered Moses. Moses knew the glory of God, as did Aaron. They knew God was holy and that nothing unholy could be in His presence. God answered Moses, saying, “By those who come near Me” speaking of the priesthood, “I must be regarded as holy.” God was saying that unholy people can’t just come into His presence. His holiness will drive out unholiness like turning on a light switch will immediately dispel any light in the room. Holiness and unholiness cannot co-exist without atonement and sacrifice of life, or blood. 


In addition, God said, “And before all the people I must be glorified. The priests were mediators between God and human beings. If they showed disrespect, they would lead others to disrespect. God said, “I must be glorified.” Then is says Aaron held his peace. He knew his sons were part of a select representation of the children of Israel, chosen as a few to view the Lord’s glory.


As leaders under the new covenant, even though there has been a removing of sin, there still needs to be respect for God’s holiness and glory. Consider Ananias and Sapphira, instantly dropping dead after lying to Peter (Acts 5:1-11). 


In verse 8, The Lord speaks directly to Aaron, not Moses, and He gives Aaron direct instruction for conduct for priests. 


In chapter 11, notice know God speaks to both Moses and Aaron. God gives instruction on what foods are permitted and forbidden and which animals are clean or unclean. He then tells them in verse 45 that they are to be holy, for HE is holy. 


In chapter 12, the Lord shares the ritual of childbirth. 


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