March 13: Leviticus 21 | Psalm 120-124 | Luke 4
Reading 1 - Lev 21
"Having set down the practical applications of holiness for the people, the Law now gives consideration to the priests. They are to manifest a separateness more exclusive and complete than the people, for they are Yahweh's representatives to the world. The ordinary priests are to be without blemish as far as is physically possible, whilst the High Priest is required to manifest an exclusiveness even more extreme than the priests. Instructions are given concerning the conduct, appearance, food and offerings of such. In view of their high office they were expected to be ceremonially "clean" (Isa 52:11), and to shadow forth the righteousness at which all Israelites were to aim. The High Priest typified the status and person of the Lord Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek; the ordinary priests represented his brethren. Of the former it is written that he 'offered himself without spot unto God' (Heb 9:14), for he 'did no sin' (1Pe 2:22). Of the latter it is taught that they are called to be 'holy and without blame' before God in love' (Eph 1:4), 'perfect and complete in all the will of God' (Col 4:12), 'perfect and entire and lacking nothing' (Jam 1:4). This is shadowed forth in the instructions now given" (HP Mansfield, "Christadelphian Expositor").
Reading 2 - Leviticus 22:6,7
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels' " (Psa 122:6,7).
Peace is not simply the absence of warfare and turmoil (though, plainly, Jerusalem needs that too!), but more especially a complete and perfect spiritual well-being. The city of Jerusalem, which Jesus addressed with the sad words of Luke 19:42, did not know such peace: "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace -- but now it is hidden from your eyes." And to this very day, the means of achieving peace is hidden from the eyes of the people of Jerusalem.
But the city which he WILL address upon his return will know such matters! It will know a growing in grace and knowledge for all who turn to Jerusalem and the protection offered by the King who dwells there. Psalm 48 depicts the renewed city and temple:
"The joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, the city of the great king. God is known in her palaces for a refuge... Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following" (vv 2,3,12,13).
For the God of this place -- Jerusalem, and particularly its Temple Mount -- will then have brought to our suffering world a spiritual peace and prosperity such as we have never known, and He (through His Son, and the glorified saints) will then dwell in THIScity!
Reading 3 - Luk 4:8
"Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only' " (Luk 4:8).
"Power is a dangerous and coveted thing. Most men seek after it in some form or other: money, standing, influence and the various other aspects of preference in which men delight. Power is a test of character and few come through unharmed. One man only has found the perfect answer. Upon him came the Spirit of God without measure and for forty days and nights he wrestled, Jacob-like, to keep the face of God before him lest he should become tarnished by power. He discovered in his striving the peace which comes by resisting the temptation to serve self: service of others is the true use of power" (Harry Tennant, "The Man David" 92,93).