Day 301 October 28
Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no gaps left in it (although I hadn’t yet hung the doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let’s meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.”
But they wanted to harm me, 3 so I sent messengers to tell them, “I’m doing important work, so I can’t come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?” 4 They sent me a message like this four times, and every time I gave them a similar reply. 5 But the fifth time, Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same way, except that now he carried an open letter. 6 It stated:
It is reported among the nations and confirmed by Geshem that you and the Jews intend to rebel. This is why you are rebuilding the wall. According to these reports, you intend to become their king. 7 You have also appointed prophets to make this announcement about you in Jerusalem: There is a king in Judah! Now, the king will hear of these reports, so come; let’s talk together. 8 So I sent him this reply: “Nothing that you say has happened. You are simply inventing this.”
9 All of them were trying to make us afraid, saying, “They will be discouraged, and the work won’t get finished.” But now, God, strengthen me! 10 Later I went to see Shemaiah, Delaiah’s son and Mehetabel’s grandson, who was confined to his house, and he said:
“Let’s meet together in God’s house,
inside the temple itself.
Let’s shut the doors of the temple,
for they are coming to kill you;
they are coming to kill you tonight!”
35 Jesus said to them, “When I sent you out without a wallet, bag, or sandals, you didn’t lack anything, did you?” They said, “Nothing.”
36 Then he said to them, “But now, whoever has a wallet must take it, and likewise a bag. And those who don’t own a sword must sell their clothes and buy one. 37 I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in relation to me: And he was counted among criminals. Indeed, what’s written about me is nearing completion.”
38 They said to him, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “Enough of that!”
39 Jesus left and made his way to the Mount of Olives, as was his custom, and the disciples followed him. 40 When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t give in to temptation.” 41 He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed. 42 He said, “Father, if it’s your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, not my will but your will must be done.” 43 Then a heavenly angel appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 He was in anguish and prayed even more earnestly. His sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. 45 When he got up from praying, he went to the disciples. He found them asleep, overcome by grief. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation.”
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’
(in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”
8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Prayer: be still my soul, the Lord is on your side: Jesus Christ once for all. Amen.