Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background
First Reading: Proverbs Chapter 21 and 22
1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
1 A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
14 The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
19 That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Second Reading: Mark Chapter 15
1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.
3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.
4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.
14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.
17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
COVENANTS OF THE BIBLE
Part 4 of 6
We have already discussed covenants (promises) that God made to the Fathers: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These were unconditional promises. God will not destroy the earth with water again. Through Abraham all the families of the earth will be blessed. Abraham will possess the promised land for ever.
The Covenant that God made with the Children of Israel in the wilderness was conditional. They would receive blessings and stay in the land as long as they obeyed. If they disobeyed they would lose the blessings. Deuteronomy details the conditions and outcome of this covenant. Much of the history details the failure of the Israelites to meet the conditions of this covenant. But God also promised a new covenant for Israel:
"The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:8-12 as quoted from Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)