Day 360 December 26
7 King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I’ve given Esther everything Haman owned. And Haman himself my servants have impaled on the pole because he planned to attack the Jews. 8 So you yourselves write to the Jews whatever you like in the name of the king and seal the letters with the king’s royal ring. Anything written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s royal ring can’t be called back.” 9 So that was when the royal scribes were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month (that is, the month of Sivan).
They wrote exactly what Mordecai ordered to the Jews, rulers, governors, and officials of the provinces from India to Cush—one hundred twenty-seven in all. They wrote in the alphabet of each province and in the language of each people. 10 They wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed the order with the king’s royal ring. He sent letters with riders mounted on royal horses bred from mares known to run fast. 11 The order allowed Jews in each town to join together and defend their lives. The Jews were free to wipe out, kill, and destroy every army of any people and province that attacked them, along with their women and children. They could also take and keep anything their attackers owned.
11 Jesus was brought before the governor. The governor said, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” 12 But he didn’t answer when the chief priests and elders accused him.
13 Then Pilate said, “Don’t you hear the testimony they bring against you?” 14 But he didn’t answer, not even a single word. So the governor was greatly amazed.
15 It was customary during the festival for the governor to release to the crowd one prisoner, whomever they might choose. 16 At that time there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 17 When the crowd had come together, Pilate asked them, “Whom would you like me to release to you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 He knew that the leaders of the people had handed him over because of jealousy.
19 While he was serving as judge, his wife sent this message to him, “Leave that righteous man alone. I’ve suffered much today in a dream because of him.”
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. 2 He called out with a mighty voice,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
It has become a dwelling place of demons,
a haunt of every foul spirit,
a haunt of every foul bird,
a haunt of every foul and hateful beast.
3 For all the nations have drunk
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,
and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power[c] of her luxury.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you do not take part in her sins,
and so that you do not share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Render to her as she herself has rendered,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed.
7 As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
so give her a like measure of torment and grief.
Since in her heart she says,
‘I rule as a queen;
I am no widow,
and I will never see grief,’
8 therefore her plagues will come in a single day—
pestilence and mourning and famine—
and she will be burned with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
Prayer: your answer to the sins of the world, dear Lord, was to remove them on the cross O come, all ye faithful, let us adore Him! Amen.