Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Reading 1 - 2Ch 20:20-22
"Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.' After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: 'Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.' As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated" (2Ch 20:20-22).
"When the Spartans marched into battle, they advanced with cheerful songs, willing to fight; but when the Persians entered the conflict, you could hear, as the regiments came on, the crack of the whip, by which the officers drove the cowards to the fray. What wonder that the Spartans were like lions in the midst of sheep! Were we enthusiastic soldiers of the Cross, through God's help, nothing would be able to stand against us" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 2 - Dan 2
In king Nebuchadnezzar's vision a stone cut out of a mountain without human hands (ie, a divinely-appointed "stone"!) comes flying through the air and crashes into the feet of the image, completely pulverizing them; the image crashes to the ground, and every bit of it is similarly ground to powder; then a mighty wind blows the whole out of sight, while the stone grows and grows until it becomes a mighty mountain filling all the earth (Dan 2:34,35,44,45).
The "stone" is clearly Jesus: the Son of God is the precious stone, the stone which the builders rejected, the stone of stumbling, but also the stone which God will make the chief cornerstone in His eternal temple (Psa 118:22; Isa 8:14,15; 28:16; Mat 21:44; Mar 12:10,11; Luk 20:17; 1Pe 2:4-8).
This "great mountain" which grows from a little stone will be a Kingdom set up by God Himself, which will last forever (Dan 2:44). When the "feet" and "toes" of the Image overrun Israel and trample down Jerusalem once again (as did the Babylonians and the Romans before them), then they will themselves be smashed swiftly by the coming of Christ in power and glory.
May that Day come soon!
Reading 3 - John 20:17
"Jesus said [to Mary], 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" ' (v 17).
"Do not keep clinging to me." Jesus had other duties to perform: Christ the High Priest prepared to present to God the tokens (wounds?) of his sacrifice in the true "Most Holy" -- heaven itself! This suggests an ascension at that very time -- to God's very presence -- to show the tokens of the perfect sacrifice: the wounds in his hands and side. This would be the antitype of the Day of Atonement, with its entrance into the Most Holy Place: Lev 16.
DO NOT HOLD ON TO ME: She was already holding his feet (cp Mat 28:9). The words here signify "do not cling to; do not fasten upon me": implying a continuance therein (Ellicott, Vincent, Thayer). Same word used 1Co 7:1; 2Co 6:17; 1Jo 5:19. And so Mary (the second "Eve") is separated from the side of Jesus (the last "Adam")!
I HAVE NOT YET RETURNED TO THE FATHER: Obviously, something Christ would do very soon, not just 40 days later.
GO... TO MY BROTHERS: The sanctifier and the sanctified are all of one (God), and therefore brethren (Heb 2:11-15; Psa 22:22; cp also Psa 122:8; Rom 8:29).
MY FATHER AND YOUR FATHER... MY GOD AND YOUR GOD: Notice a great distinction between Jesus' Father and God, and theirs!