Reading through the Bible together

Saturday, May 10, 2014

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Nothing is quite as annoying as wearily going to bed at night and wondering where the day went so quickly.  The waking hours might have been full of activity, but there is little to show for it when the sun sets.

Some time ago I decided to follow the advice of the Adventist prayer warrior Roger Morneau and read every day the story of Jesus’ crucifixion in Matt. 27:24-54.  After a while, I began to puzzle over Matt. 27:36, which, describing the soldiers at the crucifixion, says, “Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.”  I wondered why the soldiers were so lazy that they kept guard sitting down rather than standing up like guards are supposed to do.  The scene reminded me of a sports event, with soldiers sitting like spectators watching a show.

But then it came to me.  The soldiers were tired.  They had been with Jesus from early morning in the judgment hall, had taken off His clothes, put a royal robe on Him, beaten Him, cursed Him, spit in His face; and finally took Him to Calvary, nailed Him to the cross, and stood the cross up for all to see.  So, yes, the soldiers were exhausted and longed for some rest after all those hours of work.  They probably wondered whether all this was worth it.

We are in danger of breaking God’s law as if it were a full time job.  I have fallen into that trap where my every thought and inclination was toward what is wrong.  In Jeremiah’s day, God’s people embraced sin as a full-time profession, and they wearied themselves worshipping idols and pursuing selfish goals.

The Lord says, “Everyone will deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity’ (verse 5 NKJV).

Prayer: “Dear God, time is a gift from You.  It is precious.  Help me to use my time wisely today in doing good, not evil.  And may I go to sleep tonight in the knowledge that I have spent the day for You. Amen.”

Andrew McChesney
Journalist in Russia