Day 298 October 25
11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying: “Before they know or see anything, we can be in their midst and start to kill them. We’ll stop the work!”
12 Now the Jews who were living near them came and said to us again and again, “You must return to us!”
13 So I took up a position in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall in an open area. Then I stationed the people by families, and they had their swords, spears, and bows. 14 After reviewing this, I stood up and said to the officials, the officers, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them! Remember that the Lord is great and awesome! Fight for your families, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses!”
15 Then our enemies heard that we had found out and that God had spoiled their plans. So we all returned to doing our own work on the wall. 16 But from that day on, only half of my workers continued in the construction, while the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and body armor. Meanwhile, the leaders positioned themselves[g] behind the whole house of Judah, 17 who were building the wall. The carriers did their work with a load in one hand and a weapon in the other. 18 The builders built with swords fastened in their belts, and the trumpeter stayed by my side.
19 Then I said to the officials, the officers, and the rest of the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are far apart from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the trumpet sound, come and gather where we are. Our God will fight for us!” 21 So we continued the work, with half of them holding spears from dawn until dusk.
22 I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant spend the night in Jerusalem so that we can guard during the night and work during the day.” 23 Neither I nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor my bodyguards took off our clothes, even when they sent for water.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the legal experts were looking for a way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. 4 He went out and discussed with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard how he could hand Jesus over to them. 5 They were delighted and arranged payment for him. 6 He agreed and began looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them—a time when the crowds would be absent.
7 The Day of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John with this task: “Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.” 9 They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
10 Jesus replied, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters. 11 Say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guestroom where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 12 He will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They went and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
So then the first covenant had regulations for the priests’ service and the holy place on earth. 2 They pitched the first tent called the holy place. It contained the lampstand, the table, and the loaves of bread presented to God. 3 There was a tent behind the second curtain called the holy of holies. 4 It had the gold altar for incense and the chest containing the covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. In the chest there was a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the chest there were magnificent winged creatures casting their shadow over the seat of the chest, where sin is taken care of. Right now we can’t talk about these things in detail. 6 When these things have been prepared in this way, priests enter the first tent all the time as they perform their service. 7 But only the high priest enters the second tent once a year. He never does this without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins the people committed in ignorance. 8 With this, the Holy Spirit is showing that the way into the holy place hadn’t been revealed yet while the first tent was standing. 9 This is a symbol for the present time. It shows that the gifts and sacrifices that are being offered can’t perfect the conscience of the one who is serving. 10 These are superficial regulations that are only about food, drink, and various ritual ways to wash with water. They are regulations that have been imposed until the time of the new order.
Prayer: you, O Lord, are our hope and inspiration this day, strengthen our hearts and hands to follow your ways. Amen.