Bible Readings and Devotion for January 21, 22, and 23, 2021
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible.
Devotion for January 21, 22, and 23, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
I have heard a statement such as this hundreds of times in my life. When discussing the ministry of Jesus and a connection with time, a person will say something such as, “In months after Jesus died,” or, “About 20 years after Jesus died.” These statements always bother me. I will tell you why these do.
It may seem a small issue, maybe a pet peeve of sorts. For me, these statements miss a major and central point to everything that we do as followers of Jesus. When we just say, “When Jesus died,” we are skipping over the event which make everything which Jesus did matter. We are missing that Jesus was raised from the dead. We are missing the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are missing that he is still alive. I prefer to make note of this event in time by stating something such as, “When Jesus died and was raised again,” or, “(so many days/weeks/years) after the resurrection of Jesus.”
When we note only, “When Jesus died on the cross,” we are potentially leaving him in the tomb. We could be going through life with the assumption that he is still dead. We could be reinforcing the misunderstanding about what happened after Jesus died and rose again. Sometimes I get the impression from people, even some professing Christians, that they live and believe in a way that pretty much assumes Jesus is still dead.
Central to our faith is that the Jesus who died on the cross and was placed in the tomb is now alive again, never to die again. On that third day he was raised to life again. Then on the 40th day following that, Jesus ascended out of our sight. He did not die again when he ascended. We understand that he is alive and present for us in the throne room of God as well as through the various spiritual connections we have with him in life.
Our reading from Hebrews works from the faith assumption that Jesus continues to live for all eternity. We read in Hebrews 7:15-17, “(referring to Jesus) It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.””
The risen Jesus is the one with the indestructible life. Jesus is the one who is priest forever. It is not just some warm feeling or vague memory. Jesus is truly alive, and we can know him, serve him, delight in him, and follow him both now and forever.
Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, you turn us from the old life of sin. Grant that we who are reborn to new life in him may live in righteousness and holiness all our days, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen