FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

January 20, 2017

Hebrews 8: 6-13

 

But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.

 

God finds fault with them when he says:

 

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,

    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel

    and with the house of Judah;

not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,

    on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;

for they did not continue in my covenant,

    and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel

    after those days, says the Lord:

I will put my laws in their minds,

    and write them on their hearts,

and I will be their God,

    and they shall be my people.

And they shall not teach one another

    or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’

for they shall all know me,

    from the least of them to the greatest.

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,

    and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

 

 

Psalm 85: 9-13

 

Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,

    that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;

    righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,

    and righteousness will look down from the sky.

The Lord will give what is good,

    and our land will yield its increase.

Righteousness will go before him,

    and will make a path for his steps.

 

 

Mark 3:13-19

 

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

 

Meditation

 

It’s curious that when Jesus came and established the new covenant that among His closest companions He picked a man who would betray Him. You would think that if you were taking over a project that desperately needed salvaging and had the opportunity to start with a clean slate, that you would appoint people for the task that you knew you could trust. But Jesus, being God and therefore omniscient, carefully selected His twelve disciples in full knowledge that Judas would send Him to the cross.

 

But the reality of the new covenant was that in order for a system of atonement of sin to be instigated, Christ needed to be sacrificed. We see His intentionality in the appointing of the disciples as a foreshadowing of His death and resurrection. By giving them authority to proclaim the message and cast out demons, He illustrates His divinity as one to speak on behalf of God and execute sovereign power over all evil forces. His sovereignty over evil is just a glimpse into how He will conquer death once and for all. But also by appointing Judas, we see Jesus willingly embrace His own death. Only by His free will choice could we be saved from our iniquities, so from the very beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus' journey was toward the cross.

 

Imagine being one of the disciples picked by Jesus to follow Him closely. Imagine being given authority to preach and deliver others out of oppression. We are all given this commission by Jesus and each of us has fallen short and betrayed Him in one way or another. The psalm proclaims the beauty of what it looks like to walk in the new covenant! Through Christ’s love we experience salvation, steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace. This is the covenant that Jesus invites us all into. Today, meditate on what it means that Christ calls you as a sinner to be His companion. Search your heart for unrepentant sins that need to be washed away, and ask Jesus to receive the salvation, love, and righteousness He promises.

 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me and willingly giving your life so that I might be saved! I know Lord that I have sinned against you many times and I know that you love me just the same! Help me Lord to be free from he sins that keep me from you so that I may walk in the new covenant that you have established. I love you Lord my strength! 

 

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