Day 289 October 16
6 Then Ezra got up from the area in front of God’s house and went to the room of Jehohanan, Eliashib’s son, where he spent[b] the night. He didn’t eat food or drink water, for he was mourning because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles.
7 An order was then circulated throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the returned exiles should gather in Jerusalem. 8 All those who failed to appear within three days, as mandated by the officials and elders, would have all their property taken away. They would be separated from the congregation of the exiles. 9 So within three days, all the people of Judah and Benjamin gathered in Jerusalem. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month.[c] All of the people sat in the area in front of God’s house, trembling because of this order and because of the heavy rain.
10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women and adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 But now, make a confession to the Lord God of your ancestors and do his will. Separate yourselves from the neighboring peoples[d] and from the foreign wives.”
12 The whole assembly shouted in reply, “Yes. We must do as you have said. 13 But there are many people, and it’s the rainy season; we can’t continue to stand outside. Nor can this task be completed in a day or two because many of us have sinned in this matter. 14 Let our leaders represent the entire assembly. Let all in our towns who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, along with the elders and judges of every town, until God’s great anger at us on account of this matter be averted.” 15 Only Jonathan, Asahel’s son, and Jahzeiah, Tikvah’s son, opposed this; Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levites supported them.
36-37 Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
38 “God has given us a King!” they exulted. “Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!” 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40 He replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!”
41 But as they came closer to Jerusalem and he saw the city ahead, he began to cry. 42 “Eternal peace was within your reach and you turned it down,” he wept, “and now it is too late. 43 Your enemies will pile up earth against your walls and encircle you and close in on you, 44 and crush you to the ground, and your children within you; your enemies will not leave one stone upon another—for you have rejected the opportunity God offered you.”
45 Then he entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants from their stalls, 46 saying to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple is a place of prayer; but you have turned it into a den of thieves.’”
47 After that he taught daily in the Temple, but the chief priests and other religious leaders and the business community were trying to find some way to get rid of him. 48 But they could think of nothing, for he was a hero to the people—they hung on every word he said.
Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Prayer: open our hearts to your ways and means this day. Amen.