June 13

Ezra 3-5

In our reading today we have the laying of the foundation of the new Temple, and even though it was 70 years since the destruction of the temple that Solomon constructed there were in the crowd of those on this day that remembered the other temple and they began weeping loudly while the others were shouting with joy. The sound of the weeping and rejoicing was so loud it was heard far off. But it was indiscernible to tell if it was weeping in sorrow or rejoicing (Ezra 3:10-13). A companion passage in Haggai shows that the LORD spoke to the group and encouraged them that although this foundation seems to be nothing in comparison to the older temple, the glory of this temple would surpass the other (Haggai 2:1-9).  In a similar way the glory of the New Covenant would be greater than the glory of the Old Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).

   

John 20

In our Bible reading today we have an interesting contrast. We have the resurrected Jesus telling Mary not to touch him because he had not yet ascended to his Father (John 20:17), and then days later Jesus tells Thomas to touch the holes in his hands and put his hand into the wound in his side (John 20:27). Yet Jesus did not ascend into heaven for approximately another 30 days, so what gives? Is this an error in the Bible? No, absolutely not. The ascending that Jesus was telling Mary about was when he placed his blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:11-14; 9:22-24), which when he accomplished immediately after his resurrection He then returned to earth for another forty days (Acts 1:3).  

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