8/1 Reading (Exodus 25-27; Luke 22)

Exodus 25:  Time for the tabernacle and the first mention of the ark of the covenant. The description of how the ark is to be made as well as the furniture in the tabernacle is interesting. There is so much gold. I mean a bunch of gold. Yet, this seems opposite of what Jesus said. Jesus didn’t seem to want gold. I am curious as to why God wanted things in gold and Jesus didn’t. I just find this very interesting. I read that gold is supposed to represent the most holy, but does gold have a different meaning? Does it represent something else? Here is what the notes have to say:

…temples and shrines in the ancient world were considered earthly residences for deities (see 25.8) and were off-limits for most humans. They were costly, well-furnished structures, befitting their divine occupants. Although a modest tent shrine, perhaps reflected in the designation “tent of meeting” (see 27.21n.), would have been possible, the elaborate and costly structure of Exodus likely draws in part from knowledge of the Jerusalem Temple. (page 117)

I mean pretty much everything is overlayed with gold. The ark was covered by gold as was the table, lampstand, and incense altar. It’s not that I’m bothered by this, I just find the fact that it is so different from what Jesus advocated to be very interesting.   

Exodus 26: This chapter is about the actual construction of the tabernacle. The instructions are very specific and complex. A thought that just occurred to me was I’m guessing the Israelites already had most of this material. I know they could get the wood from there, but what about the fabric? I’m assuming they already had it. Of course, they knew how to make fabric, so I’m thinking it wouldn’t have been too hard for them to make what they needed. I’m just grasping here. On to the next chapter.

Exodus 27: This chapter is about the construction of the courtyard and altar. Just more intricate details here. Pretty interesting stuff. Not much else to say here. It’s just cool.

Luke 22: This chapter begins with reference to Passover. I like that I just read about Passover in in earlier chapters of Exodus. It makes it more relevant here. And then “Satan entered Judas called Iscariot” (Luke 22.3). The chief priests were continuing to conspire to kill Jesus because of fear and in comes Satan. Judas agrees to betray Jesus for money. Peter and John are tasked with preparing the Passover meal, which ended up being the Last Supper. Honestly, I never put this together. I honestly didn’t realize that the Last Supper happened during Passover. Here we get the common phrasing from communion. I just need to write this passage down here:

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; ¹⁸ for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” ¹⁹ Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” ²⁰ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Luke 22: 17-20)

One of the things that threw me off on this part was the reference to the cup prior to the bread. Then I read the following in the notes:

Some Jewish meals included prayers over the cup of wine, and several such prayers might be offered during the meal (see v. 20). Luke’s order of events may be related to this practice, or to a variation among early Christians in the way they remembered and observed the “Lord’s supper.” Luke’s inclusion of a cup before the bread, as well as the usual cup a er the bread, is unique. (p. 1871)

I didn’t know that. I like that Luke added that detail in. He was clearly trying to help relate what he was writing to the reader.

Now we get to Jesus’ prediction of the betrayal. This would’ve bothered me if I were around that table. Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him three times. They leave the house and go to the Mount of Olives. After some prayer, Judas comes with a crowd. The high priest’s guards take Jesus away and start to beat him. During this time Peter does deny him three times. The men continue to beat Jesus and he refuses to answer their questions. Mainly he does not directly answer when they ask if he is the messiah.

I read some interesting things in the text and the notes. First, I like that we see an angel approach Jesus to give him strength for what’s to come. This humanizes him for us. Second, Luke includes some details that the other gospels don’t: the presence of the chief priests at his arrest and Jesus turning his face to look at Peter after the denial.

It’s interesting to read this part of the text that I know from several sources.

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