Psalm 118:14-24 The Voice (VOICE)
14 He is my strength, and He is the reason I sing;
15 In the tents of the righteous soldiers of God,
Early Christians found in the words of this psalm a wonderful way of describing the significance of Jesus. He was the rejected stone whom God made the cornerstone of a brand-new temple (verses 22–24).
19 Open wide to me the gates of justice
20 This is the gate of the Eternal;
21 I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble.
2 Samuel 6:1-16 The Voice (VOICE)
6 Once again David gathered the elite soldiers of Israel, some 30,000, 2 and they went down to Baale-judah to bring back the covenant chest of the True God, called by the Name: the Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, who sits enthroned above the winged creatures who protect the chest.
3-4 They carried the covenant chest of the True God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab on the hill where it had rested, and Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio directed the new cart, with Ahio walking in front of the chest. 5 David and all the Israelites were joyous before the Eternal; and they were accompanied by wooden lyres and harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
6 When they came alongside the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the covenant chest. 7 The Eternal burned with anger against Uzzah, and the True God struck Uzzah dead on the spot for daring to touch the covenant chest.
The covenant chest represents something amazing—it is filled with God’s presence and is supposed to be kept in the most separate, most holy of places. David knows that having the covenant chest near him as he rules is important. Therefore he begins the journey toward Jerusalem. The journey is interrupted with Uzzah’s death. David leaves the covenant chest short of its final resting place, but he eventually completes the journey by bringing it into the city of Jerusalem to its final home—and bringing God’s blessing with it. Although it is dangerous, it is also the most tangible symbol of God’s past victories on Israel’s behalf and represents God’s presence.
8 David was angry that the Eternal One had broken through to strike Uzzah, so the place was named Perez-uzzah, meaning “Breech against Uzzah,” to remember that act. 9 David was also frightened of the Eternal that day.
David: How can I be responsible for the covenant chest of the Eternal One?
10 So he decided he did not want to take the chest of the Eternal into the city of David, and he left it there in the care of Obed-edom, a man from the Philistine city Gath. 11 The covenant chest of the Eternal One remained there for three months; and in that time, the Eternal One blessed the household and farms of Obed-edom the Gittite.
12 When news was taken to King David that the Eternal had blessed Obed-edom and all his household because of the covenant chest of God, the king went down and brought the chest from Obed-edom’s house up to the city of David, again accompanying it with rejoicing and ceremony. 13 When the people carrying the chest of the Eternal had gone six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf; 14 and he danced before the Eternal One with all his might, clad in a priestly vest.
15-16 So David and the house of Israel carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One up to the city of David with shouts and the sounding of the trumpet. When Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Eternal without thought for how he looked, she hated him.
Luke 24:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)
24 Early on Sunday morning, even before the sun had fully risen, these women made their way back to the tomb with the spices and ointments they had prepared. 2 When they arrived, they found the stone was rolled away from the tomb entrance, 3 and when they looked inside, the body of the Lord Jesus was nowhere to be seen. 4 They didn’t know what to think. As they stood there in confusion, two men suddenly appeared standing beside them. These men seemed to glow with light. 5 The women were so terrified that they fell to the ground facedown.
This phrase, “Son of Man,” is very important in Luke’s story and may have many layers of meaning. It may mean “epitome of humanity” or “prime example of what a human can be.” But it also evokes a specific passage of Scripture that is very important to Jewish people, Daniel 7:13-27. There the phrase “Son of Man” refers to a king who receives an eternal and universal kingdom, and it also represents “the saints of the Most High”—the people of God. In light of Jesus’ central message about the kingdom of God, it is likely that the phrase suggests Jesus is the long-awaited Anointed One who launches a new era in human history and who creates a community of people who represent the eternal and universal kingdom of God. In this way, “Son of” suggests “new generation of,” and “Man” suggests “humanity.” Jesus is Himself the new generation of humanity (a second Adam, a new beginning), and the community He creates shares this identity (a new creation, a new humanity in Jesus). The two messengers here use this pregnant phrase in a way that shocks everyone: The way this long-awaited Anointed One receives His kingdom is not through conventional military victory where enemies are defeated and killed. No, this King receives His kingdom by suffering, dying, and rising again Himself. Amazing news—good news!
Two Men: Why are you seeking the living One in the place of the dead? 6 He is not here. He has risen from the dead. Don’t you remember what He told you way back in Galilee? 7 He told you that the Son of Man must be handed over to wicked men, He must be crucified, and then on the third day He must rise.
8 The women did remember Jesus’ words about this, 9 so they returned from the tomb and found the eleven and recounted for them—and others with them—everything they had experienced. 10-11 The Lord’s emissaries[a] heard their stories as fiction, a lie; they didn’t believe a word of it. (By the way, this group of women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, along with a number of others.) 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he reached the opening, he bent down, looked inside, and saw the linen burial cloths lying there. But the body was gone. He walked away, full of wonder about what had happened.
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