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Numbers 15:1–41 (LEB)

Various Sacrifices and Offerings

15 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them, ‘When you come into the land of your dwellings that I am about to give to you, you will make an offering by fire for Yahweh from the cattle or from the flock, a burnt offering or a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, or as a freewill offering or at your feasts, to make a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh. And the one who presents an offering for Yahweh, he will present a grain offering of finely milled flour; a tenth will be mixed with a fourth of the liquid measure of oil; and you will add a fourth of wine for the libation upon the burnt offering, or to the sacrifice for each ram-lamb. Or for the ram you will make a grain offering of two-tenths of finely milled flour mixed into a third of a liquid measure of oil. You will present a third of the liquid measure of wine for the libation, a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh. When you prepare a bull as a burnt offering or a sacrifice to fulfill a vow or a fellowship offering for Yahweh, you will present with the bull a grain offering of three-tenths of finely milled flour mixed with half a liquid measure of oil, 10 and you will present half a liquid measure of wine as a libation, as an offering made by fire, a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh.

11 “ ‘This is how it should be done for each bull, or for the each ram, or for the small four-footed mammal, or ram-lambs, or goats. 12 According to the number that you prepare, so should you do to each according to their number. 13 Every native must do these things to present an offering made by fire, a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh. 14 If an alien dwells among you, or whoever is in your midst throughout your generations, and prepares an offering made by fire, a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh, he should do as you do. 15 For the assembly, there will be one decree for you and for the alien who dwells among you; it is an eternal decree for all your generations. You as well as the alien will be before Yahweh. 16 There will be one law and one stipulation for you and for the alien dwelling among you.’ ”

17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them, ‘When you come into the land to which I am about to bring you, 19 whenever you eat from the food of the land, you will lift up a contribution to Yahweh. 20 You must lift up a contribution of the first batch of your ring-shaped dough bread; you must lift it up as a contribution of the threshing floor. 21 You will give to Yahweh a contribution from the first of your dough throughout your generations.

22 “ ‘But if you go astray and you do not follow all these commandments that Yahweh commanded to Moses, 23 all that Yahweh commanded you by the hand of Moses from the day that Yahweh commanded and beyond, throughout your generations, 24 and if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the community, then the entire community must prepare one young bull as a burnt offering, as a fragrance of appeasement for Yahweh, and its grain offering and its libation, according to the stipulation, and one male goat as a sin offering. 25 The priest will make atonement for all of the community of the Israelites, and they will be forgiven because it was unintentional; they will bring their offering, an offering made by fire for Yahweh, their sin offering before Yahweh for their unintentional sin. 26 All of the community of the Israelites will be forgiven, as well as the alien that dwells in their midst, because the whole community was involved in the unintentional wrong.

27 “ ‘If one person sins unintentionally, that person will present a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. 28 And the priest will make atonement for the person who sinned unintentionally before Yahweh, to make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. 29 For the native among the Israelites and the alien that dwells in their midst, there will be one law for anyone who commits an unintentional wrong. 30 But the one who acts presumptuously from among the native or alien blasphemes against Yahweh, and that person must be cut off from the midst of the people. 31 Because he despised the word of Yahweh and broke his command, that person will be surely cut off and bear the guilt.’ ”

Violation of the Sabbath

32 When the Israelites were in the desert, they found a man who was gathering wood on the day of the Sabbath. 33 The ones who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to all the community. 34 And they put him under watch because it was not made clear what should be done to him. 35 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Surely the man must be put to death by stoning him; all the community must stone him with stones from outside the camp.” 36 So the entire community brought him out to a place outside the camp, and they stoned him to death just as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Garment Fringes

37 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 38 “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make for themselves tassels on the hems of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the tassel of the hem. 39 You will have a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commands of Yahweh and do them, and not follow after the unfaithfulness of your own heart and eyes, 40 so that you will remember and do all my commandments, and you will be holy for your God. 41 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am Yahweh your God.”

John 20:1–31 (LEB)

Jesus Is Raised

20 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it​ was still dark, and saw the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have put him!” Then Peter and the other disciple went out and were going to the tomb. And the two were running together, and the other disciple ran ahead, faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first. And bending over to look, he saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, though he did not go in. Then Simon Peter also came following him, and he went into the tomb and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the facecloth that was on his head—not lying with the strips of linen cloth, but folded up separately in one place. So then the other disciple who had come to the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed. (For they did not yet know the scripture that it was necessary for him to rise from the dead.)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.​ 11 But Mary stood outside at the tomb, weeping. Then, while she was weeping, she bent over to look into the tomb, 12 and she saw two angels in white, seated one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have put him!” 14 When she​ had said these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and she did not know that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought that it was the gardener, and​ said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned around and​ said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene came and​ announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 Now when it​ was evening on that day—the first day of the week—and the doors had been shut where the disciples were because of fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace to you.” 20 And when he​ had said this, he showed his​ hands and his​ side to them. Then the disciples rejoiced when they​ saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” 22 And when he​ had said this, he breathed on them​ and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins​ of any, they are retained.”

Thomas Doubts But Later Believes

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe!”

26 And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Although​ the doors had been shut, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace to you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Place your finger here and see my hands, and place your hand and put it​ into my side. And do not be unbelieving, but believing!” 28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, have you believed? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Why This Book Was Written

30 Now Jesus also performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not recorded in this book, 31 but these things are recorded in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by​ believing you may have life in his name.

Psalm 16:1–11 (LEB)

Protect me, O God,

for I take refuge in you.

Oh my soul you have said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord.

I have no good apart from you.”

With regard to the saints who are in the land,

they are the noble ones in whom is all my desire.

Those who hurry after another god increase their sorrows.

I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

nor take up their names on my lips.

Yahweh is the portion which is my share and my cup.

You hold my lot.

The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.

Yes, my inheritance is delightful for me.

I will bless Yahweh who advises me;

yes, at night my innermost being instructs me.

I have set Yahweh before me always.

Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices.

Yes, my body will dwell in safety,

10 for you will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

you will not give your faithful one to see the grave.

11 You will make known to me the path of life.

In your presence is fullness of joy.

At your right hand are pleasures forever.

March 14

“You are my Lord,” the psalmist acknowledges. “I have no good apart from you” (Psa 16:2).

We know that God is everything we need, but somehow the details still get in the way. We want to alleviate our troubles through other means—that vacation, the position that will bring recognition, or the spouse who will complete us. The psalmist says that anyone who places their desire in anything other than God will only increase in sorrow (Psa 16:4).

It seems radical and difficult to live out the psalmist’s simple confession. The ancient practice of idol worship is alive and well in our modern-day culture and in our own hearts. (Just look at the magazine rack or tv shows if you think I’m wrong: what is worshiped there?) We are just like the Israelites—unfaithful and prone to “hurry after another god” (Psa 16:4).

For the psalmist, however, “Yahweh is the portion which is my share and my cup” (Psa 16:5). He is all the psalmist ever needs: “I have set Yahweh before me always. Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken” (Psa 16:8). God brings the psalmist hope, and He can do the same for us. We just need to turn to Him.

Today, pray the words of Psalm 16: “You are my Lord. I have no good apart from you.” How can we remind ourselves that He is all we will ever need?

Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.