The Bible in a Year Challenge – Week 8 (Feb 14-20)

0940_Cranach_nR 001On Feb 16, we commemorate the birth of reformer Philip Melanchthon (1497).  A collaborator of Martin Luther, Melanchthon was a keen thinker who wrote the first protestant systematic theology.  He was known for his piety and his even headedness.  For more information about this under-celebrated reformer, check out the Christian History Institute’s website.

Notes for the Week

Atonement: This week’s readings put before us the idea of atonement. The breaking of God’s moral law deepens the spiritual separation between God and humanity. God provided atonement as a means of healing that separation. Atonement is a matter of reparation for wrongdoing and restoration of relationship. Sadly, we as humans are continually breaking God’s moral law, so we are in a continual need of atonement.

Leviticus 16 shows us that in addition to the regular sacrifices for atonement, God provided a great Day of Atonement, in which the high priest would offer a sacrifice on behalf of all the people of Israel.

Our New Testament readings from the book of Matthew show us Christ’s offering of himself as a great sacrifice of atonement for all his people across all time. In Matthew 27:51, the great curtain in the temple was torn in two, signifying that Jesus had fulfilled once and for all the work of Atonement that all the Levitical sacrifices pointed to. Thus, we see in a very clear way this week how the Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the New.

Feasts: Leviticus also lists a number of special feasts that Israel was to observe. These feasts were times of celebration and worship and adoration of the Lord. They remind us that all of time is God’s time. However these feasts point us to Christ as well – in part in the celebration of Christ’s victory on resurrection Sunday (which we commemorate as Easter), but also in the anticipation of the great end times celebration of the union of Christ and the church (Revelation 19:6-9).

Readings for the Week:

Sunday February 14

Old Testament: Leviticus 15-16

New Testament: Matthew 27:1-26

Monday February 15

Old Testament: Leviticus 17-18

New Testament: Matthew 27:27-50

Tuesday February 16

Old Testament: Leviticus 19-20

New Testament: Matthew 27:51-66

Wednesday February 17

Old Testament: Leviticus 21-22

New Testament: Matthew 28

Thursday February 18

Old Testament: Leviticus 23-24

New Testament: Mark1:1-22

Friday February 19

Old Testament: Leviticus 25

New Testament: Mark 1:23-45

Saturday February 20

Old Testament: Leviticus 26-27

New Testament: Mark 2

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