Leviticus 21-22Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Instructions for Priests
21 The Lord gave Moses these instructions for Aaron’s sons, the priests:
Touching a dead body will make you unclean. So don’t go near a dead relative, 2 except your mother, father, son, daughter, brother, 3 or an unmarried sister, who has no husband to take care of her. 4 Don’t make yourself unclean by attending the funeral of someone related to you by marriage.[a] 5 Don’t shave any part of your head or trim your beard or cut yourself to show that you are mourning. 6 I am the Lord your God, and I have chosen you alone to offer sacrifices of food to me on the altar. That’s why you must keep yourselves holy. 7 Don’t marry a divorced woman or a woman who has served as a temple prostitute. You are holy, 8 because I am holy. And so, you must be treated with proper respect, since you offer food sacrifices to me, the God of holiness.
9 If any of you priests has a daughter who disgraces you by serving as a temple prostitute, she must be burned to death.
10 If you are the high priest, you must not mess up your hair or tear your clothes in order to mourn for the dead. 11 Don’t make yourself unclean by going near a dead body, not even that of your own father or mother. 12 If you leave the sacred place to attend a funeral, both you and the sacred place become unclean, because you are the high priest.
13 If you are the high priest, you must marry only a virgin 14 from your own tribe. Don’t marry a divorced woman or any other woman who has already had sex, including a temple prostitute. 15 In this way, your descendants will be qualified to serve me. Remember—I am the Lord, and I have chosen you.
16 The Lord told Moses 17-18 to say to Aaron:
No descendant of yours can ever serve as my priest if he is blind or lame, if his face is disfigured, if one leg is shorter than the other, 19 if either a foot or a hand is crippled, 20 if he is a hunchback or a dwarf, if an eye or his skin is diseased, or if his testicles have been damaged. 21 These men may not serve as my priests and burn sacrifices to me. 22 They may eat the food offerings presented to me, 23 but they may not enter the sacred place or serve me at the altar. Remember—I am the Lord, the one who makes a priest holy.
24 Moses told all of this to Aaron, his sons, and the people of Israel.
The Offerings Are Holy
22 The Lord told Moses 2 to say to Aaron and his sons:
I am the Lord God, and I demand that you honor my holy name by showing proper respect for the offerings brought to me by the people of Israel. 3 If any of you are unclean when you accept an offering for me, I will no longer let you serve as a priest. 4 None of you may take part in the sacred meals while you have a skin disease or an infected penis, or after you have been near a dead body or have had a flow of semen, 5 or if you have touched an unclean creature of any sort, including an unclean person. 6-7 Once you are unclean, you must take a bath, but you still cannot eat any of the sacred food until evening. 8 I command you not to eat anything that is killed by a wild animal or dies a natural death. This would make you unclean. 9 Obey me, or you will die on duty for disgracing the place of worship. Remember—I am the Lord, the one who makes a priest holy.
10 Only you priests and your families may eat the food offerings; these are too sacred for any of your servants. 11 However, any slave that you own, including those born into your household, may eat this food. 12 If your daughter marries someone who isn’t a priest, she can no longer have any of this food. 13 But if she returns to your home, either widowed or divorced, and has no children, she may join in the meal. Only members of a priestly family can eat this food, 14 and anyone else who accidentally does so, must pay for the food plus a fine of twenty percent.
15 I warn you not to treat lightly the offerings that are brought by the people of Israel. 16 Don’t let them become guilty of eating this sacred food. Remember—I am the Lord, the one who makes these offerings holy.
17 The Lord told Moses 18 to tell Aaron and his sons and everyone else the rules for offering sacrifices. He said:
The animals that are to be completely burned on the altar 19-20 must have nothing wrong with them, or else I won’t accept them. Bulls or rams or goats[b] are the animals to be used for these sacrifices.
21 When you offer a sacrifice to ask my blessing,[c] there must be nothing wrong with the animal. This is true, whether the sacrifice is part of a promise or something you do voluntarily. 22 Don’t offer an animal that is blind or injured or that has an infection or a skin disease. 23 If one of your cattle or lambs has a leg that is longer or shorter than the others, you may offer it voluntarily, but not as part of a promise. 24 As long as you live in this land, don’t offer an animal with injured testicles. 25 And don’t bring me animals you bought from a foreigner. I won’t accept them, because they are no better than one that has something wrong with it.
26 The Lord told Moses to say:
27 Newborn cattle, sheep, or goats must remain with their mothers for seven days, but on the eighth day, you may send them up in smoke to me, and I will accept the offering. 28 Don’t sacrifice a newborn animal and its mother on the same day.
29 When you offer a sacrifice to give thanks[d] to me, you must do it in a way that is acceptable. 30 Eat all of the meat that same day and don’t save any for the next day. I am the Lord your God!
31 Obey my laws and teachings—I am the Lord. 32-33 I demand respect from the people of Israel, so don’t disgrace my holy name. Remember—I am the one who chose you to be priests and rescued all of you from Egypt, so that I would be your Lord.
Matthew 28Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jesus Is Alive
28 The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.
5 The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. 6 He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. 7 Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you.”
8 The women were frightened and yet very happy, as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They went near him, held on to his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”
Report of the Guard
11 While the women were on their way, some soldiers who had been guarding the tomb went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 So the chief priests met with the leaders and decided to bribe the soldiers with a lot of money. 13 They said to the soldiers, “Tell everyone that Jesus' disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. 14 If the governor[a] hears about this, we will talk to him. You won’t have anything to worry about.” 15 The soldiers took the money and did what they were told. The Jewish people still tell each other this story.
What Jesus' Followers Must Do
16 Jesus' eleven disciples went to a mountain in Galilee, where Jesus had told them to meet him. 17 They saw him and worshiped him, but some of them doubted.
18 Jesus came to them and said:
I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! 19 Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.
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