Day 358 December 24
5 King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is this person, and where is he? Who would dare do such a thing?”
6 Esther replied, “A man who hates, an enemy—this wicked Haman!” Haman was overcome with terror in the presence of the king and queen. 7 Furious, the king got up and left the banquet for the palace garden. But Haman stood up to beg Queen Esther for his life. He saw clearly that the king’s mood meant a bad end for him.
8 The king returned from the palace garden to the banquet room just as Haman was kneeling on the couch where Esther was reclining. “Will you even molest the queen while I am in the house?” the king said. The words had barely left the king’s mouth before covering Haman’s face with dread.
9 Harbona, one of the eunuchs serving the king, said, “Sir, look! There’s the stake that Haman made for Mordecai, the man who spoke up and did something good for the king. It’s standing at Haman’s house—seventy-five feet high.”
“Impale him on it!” the king ordered. 10 So they impaled Haman on the very pole that he had set up for Mordecai, and the king’s anger went away.
47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came. With him was a large crowd carrying swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “Arrest the man I kiss.” 49 Just then he came to Jesus and said, “Hello, Rabbi.” Then he kissed him.
50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
51 One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest’s slave, he cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I’m not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away? 54 But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” 55 Then Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like a thief? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, but you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that what the prophets said in the scriptures might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Jesus and ran away.
57 Those who arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest. The legal experts and the elders had gathered there. 58 Peter followed him from a distance until he came to the high priest’s courtyard. He entered that area and sat outside with the officers to see how it would turn out.
59 The chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 They didn’t find anything they could use from the many false witnesses who were willing to come forward. But finally they found two 61 who said, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 Then the high priest stood and said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?”
63 But Jesus was silent. The high priest said, “By the living God, I demand that you tell us whether you are the Christ, God’s Son.”
64 “You said it,” Jesus replied. “But I say to you that from now on you’ll see the Human One sitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds.”
Comment: Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to God’s people on earth!
Prayer: Joy to the World! The Lord is come, let earth shout out the anthems of praise! Amen.