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March 10: Leviticus 17-18 | Psalm 119:41-80 | Luke 1

Reading 1 - Lev 17:11

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life" (Lev 17:11).

Naturally speaking, blood is the agent of cleansing -- it removes carbon dioxide and toxins and waste products from every body cell, and transports them to the lungs and kidneys, where they are excreted or expelled. [Likewise, believers are "washed in the blood of the Lamb": Rev 7:14; 1Jo 1:7; Heb 9:11-14.]

Also, blood is the agent of overcoming disease -- its white cells attack and neutralize and consume invading bacteria and viruses and "alien" bodies. All immunizations and vaccinations make use of this amazing capacity of the human body to heal itself. [By Christ's blood we can overcome all difficulties and trials: Rev 12:11; Joh 16:33. He is the one who has overcome all things, and when we are inoculated with his "blood" we are provided with the necessary "antibodies" to fight off the "disease" of sin: Heb 2:14-18; 4:15.]

Reading 2 - Psa 119

It has been suggested that Psalm 119 forms the basis of the Lord's prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, and each of the 22 sections may be summarized with this in mind:


The blessedness of those who do God's will (1-8).


The means provided to that end (9-16).


The rewards for so doing (17-24).


The difficulties that must be overcome (25-32).


The need to seek God's help (33-40).


The sustaining effect of the joy of salvation (41-48).


The sustaining comfort of the Truth associated with the Name (49-56).


The power of prayer and meditation (57-64).


The inevitability, but also the benefit, of suffering (65-72).


The need for faith in God's goodness (73-80).


The certainty of ultimate deliverance (81-88).


The certainty that the Kingdom will come (89-96).


The confidence that stems from true wisdom (97-104).


The guidance that God will provide (105-112).


The safety that He will grant those who exalt Him (113-120).


The benefits of servitude to Him (121-128).


The blessings of the Name (129-136).


The zeal for action generated thereby (137-144).


The anxious longing that God might be manifested (145-152).


The favor He will reveal towards His own (153-160).


The praise that is due unto Him (161-168).


The certainty of ultimate salvation (169-176).

Reading 3 - Luk 1:20

The angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah: "And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time" (Luk 1:20).

Zechariah's affliction of dumbness was more than the rebuke for a momentary lapse. It was a marvelous symbol of the end of an age. Zechariah could not pronounce the required blessing upon the waiting multitude, and from that day forward the priesthood of which he was a member could no longer mediate true blessings upon the nation. The end was in sight, a greater priest of a greater order was soon to appear, and the whole Mosaic system -- having waxed old -- was now almost ready to vanish away.

Even Zechariah's son, as he grew to manhood, would disdain the duties of a priest and go out into the wilderness, as though to watch and wait for the Lord, who would come not out of the temple, but TO the Temple (Mal 3:1). "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached" (Luk 16:16). The law was holy and just and good; it had been given by angels to Moses, but its purpose was now fulfilled. Grace and truth would come by another (John 1:17). Zechariah's son would go out into the desert of Judea to meet him.