Day 362 December 28
It was on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar)[a] that the king’s order and his law were to be enforced. On the very day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to overpower them, the tables were turned against them. The Jews overpowered their enemies instead. 2 The Jews joined together in their towns in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to defend themselves against those who tried to harm them. No one was able to stand in their way because everyone was afraid of the Jews. 3 All the leaders of the provinces, rulers, governors, and those in charge of the king’s business helped the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4 Because Mordecai was very important in the palace, news about him was sweeping through the provinces. Indeed, Mordecai was becoming more and more important every day. 5 The Jews put down all their enemies with sword blows, killing, and destruction. They did whatever they wanted with those who hated them. 6 In the fortified part of Susa, the Jews killed five hundred people. 7 They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10 These were the ten sons of Haman, Hammedatha’s son, the enemy of the Jews. But the Jews didn’t lay a hand on anything their enemies owned. 11 That same day, a report concerning the number killed in the fortified part of Susa reached the king.
12 So the king said to Queen Esther in the fortified part of Susa, “The Jews have killed five hundred people as well as the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the royal provinces? What do you wish now? I’ll give it to you. What is your desire? I’ll do it this time too.”
38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
55 Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 2 He seized the dragon, the old snake, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the abyss, then locked and sealed it over him. This was to keep him from continuing to deceive the nations until the thousand years were over. After this he must be released for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and people took their seats on them, and judgment was given in their favor. They were the ones who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and God’s word, and those who hadn’t worshipped the beast or its image, who hadn’t received the mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and ruled with Christ for one thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead didn’t come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. 6 Favored and holy are those who have a share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will rule with him for one thousand years.
Prayer: Good Christians all rejoice, with heart and soul and voice, may we all say “Truly this is God’s Son!!!” Amen.