Leviticus 1, John 20, Proverbs 17, Philippians 4

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 30, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Leviticus 1

Leviticus 1:3, 10, (ESV) 3 “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. … 10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish … 14 “If his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons.

Leviticus opens with laws for burnt offerings. The LORD told Moses to instruct the people that offerings were to be of their herd or flock. The first set of instructions were for the bull offering, the second for sheep or goats and the third was an offering of birds. An interesting detail to note is that there is no explicit requirement that a bird offering had to be a male without blemish. According to the CSB Study Bible Notes, birds were “Easily domesticated, numerous, and affordable for the poor, these two species of birds were common offerings (Lev. 5:7; Lev. 12:8; Lev. 14:21–22; cp. Gen. 15:9). Mary offered birds at Jesus’s birth for her purification (Luke 2:22–24).

John 20

John 20:5–7 (ESV) 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.

Again, it is worth saying how amazing it is that God has ordained my readings to be in Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection this weekend. As I read of Peter and John running to the tomb to confirm that the stone had been taken away, I was reminded of a detail regarding Jesus’ burial linen cloths in Gregg Allison’s book, “Historical Theology”, specifically around the the theory that Jesus did not rise bodily but that his body was stolen. Quoting John Chrysostom, Allison speaks about how the myrrh poured on Jesus makes this theory untenable:

What does it mean that the grave linens were stuck on with the myrrh? For Peter saw these lying [in the tomb]. For if the disciples were interested in stealing, they would not have stolen the body naked, not only because of dishonoring it, but also in order not to delay and lose time in stripping it, and not to give them who were interested an opportunity to awake and seize them. Especially when it was myrrh, a drug that adheres tightly to the body and cleaves to the clothes; thus, it was not easy to take the clothes off the body and would require much time. From this again, the tale of the theft is improbable.

Proverbs 17

Proverbs 17:12 (ESV) 12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.

It is telling that meeting a she-bear robbed of her cubs is better than meeting a fool in his folly. Imagine facing the sheer ferocity of a fully grown female bear whose young have been taken from her and that this is still less destructive than the influence of the foolish. Knowing of the dangers of being in such company, avoidance is the best option.

Philippians 4

Philippians 4:12–12 (ESV) 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Paul spoke from experience when he said that he knew how to be brought low and how to abound. He was born a Roman citizen and schooled as a Pharisee under the Jerusalem religious leader, Gamaliel. While the details of Paul’s background are somewhat spartan and gleaned only from what we know of him in Scripture, his upbringing and education seem to suggest a favorable status. However, following his encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, he considered whatever he had to be rubbish compared to gaining Christ and being found in Him (p.p. Phil. 3:8-9).

Carson on John 20

Thomas gets a lot of bad press—“Doubting Thomas,” we call him. Yet the reason he doubts that Jesus has risen from the dead may have more to do with the fact that he was not present when Jesus first appeared to the apostolic band (John 20:19–25). It is entirely obvious that any of the others would have fared any better if they had been absent on the critical day?

Carson makes a good point that if any of the other apostles had been missing when Jesus first appeared to them, they may have shared Thomas’ doubt regarding the resurrection of Jesus. This cannot be said with full certainty, but does illuminate the human tendency to disbelieve a claim apart from direct witness.