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Leviticus 15-16The Message (MSG)

Bodily Discharges

15 1-3 God spoke to Moses and Aaron: “Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them, When a man has a discharge from his genitals, the discharge is unclean. Whether it comes from a seepage or an obstruction he is unclean. He is unclean all the days his body has a seepage or an obstruction.

4-7 “Every bed on which he lies is ritually unclean, everything on which he sits is unclean. If someone touches his bed or sits on anything he’s sat on, or touches the man with the discharge, he has to wash his clothes and bathe in water; he remains unclean until evening.

8-11 “If the man with the discharge spits on someone who is clean, that person has to wash his clothes and bathe in water; he remains unclean until evening. Every saddle on which the man with the discharge rides is unclean. Whoever touches anything that has been under him becomes unclean until evening. Anyone who carries such an object must wash his clothes and bathe with water; he remains unclean until evening. If the one with the discharge touches someone without first rinsing his hands with water, the one touched must wash his clothes and bathe with water; he remains unclean until evening.

12 “If a pottery container is touched by someone with a discharge, you must break it; a wooden article is to be rinsed in water.

13-15 “When a person with a discharge is cleansed from it, he is to count off seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe in running water. Then he is clean. On the eighth day he is to take two doves or two pigeons and come before God at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and give them to the priest. The priest then offers one as an Absolution-Offering and one as a Whole-Burnt-Offering and makes atonement for him in the presence of God because of his discharge.

16-18 “When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his entire body in water; he remains unclean until evening. Every piece of clothing and everything made of leather which gets semen on it must be washed with water; it remains unclean until evening. When a man sleeps with a woman and has an emission of semen, both are to wash in water; they remain unclean until evening.

19-23 “When a woman has a discharge of blood, the impurity of her menstrual period lasts seven days. Anyone who touches her is unclean until evening. Everything on which she lies or sits during her period is unclean. Anyone who touches her bed or anything on which she sits must wash his clothes and bathe in water; he remains unclean until evening.

24 “If a man sleeps with her and her menstrual blood gets on him, he is unclean for seven days and every bed on which he lies becomes unclean.

25-27 “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, but not at the time of her monthly period, or has a discharge that continues beyond the time of her period, she is unclean the same as during the time of her period. Every bed on which she lies during the time of the discharge and everything on which she sits becomes unclean the same as in her monthly period. Anyone who touches these things becomes unclean and must wash his clothes and bathe in water; he remains unclean until evening.

28-30 “When she is cleansed from her discharge, she is to count off seven days; then she is clean. On the eighth day she is to take two doves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. The priest will offer one for an Absolution-Offering and the other for a Whole-Burnt-Offering. The priest will make atonement for her in the presence of God because of the discharge that made her unclean.

31 “You are responsible for keeping the People of Israel separate from that which makes them ritually unclean, lest they die in their unclean condition by defiling my Dwelling which is among them.

32-33 “These are the procedures to follow for a man with a discharge or an emission of semen that makes him unclean, and for a woman in her menstrual period—any man or woman with a discharge and also for a man who sleeps with a woman who is unclean.”

The Day of Atonement

16 1-2 After the death of Aaron’s two sons—they died when they came before God with strange fire—God spoke to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter into the Holy of Holies, barging inside the curtain that’s before the Atonement-Cover on the Chest whenever he feels like it, lest he die, because I am present in the Cloud over the Atonement-Cover.

3-5 “This is the procedure for Aaron when he enters the Holy Place: He will bring a young bull for an Absolution-Offering and a ram for a Whole-Burnt-Offering; he will put on the holy linen tunic and the linen underwear, tie the linen sash around him, and put on the linen turban. These are the sacred vestments so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. Then from the Israelite community he will bring two male goats for an Absolution-Offering and a Whole-Burnt-Offering.

6-10 “Aaron will offer the bull for his own Absolution-Offering in order to make atonement for himself and his household. Then he will set the two goats before God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and cast lots over the two goats, one lot for God and the other lot for Azazel. He will offer the goat on which the lot to God falls as an Absolution-Offering. The goat on which the lot for Azazel falls will be sent out into the wilderness to Azazel to make atonement.

11-14 “Aaron will present his bull for an Absolution-Offering to make atonement for himself and his household. He will slaughter his bull for the Absolution-Offering. He will take a censer full of burning coals from the Altar before God and two handfuls of finely ground aromatic incense and bring them inside the curtain and put the incense on the fire before God; the smoke of the incense will cover the Atonement-Cover which is over The Testimony so that he doesn’t die. He will take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the Atonement-Cover, then sprinkle the blood before the Atonement-Cover seven times.

15-17 “Next he will slaughter the goat designated as the Absolution-Offering for the people and bring the blood inside the curtain. He will repeat what he does with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on and before the Atonement-Cover. In this way he will make atonement for the Holy of Holies because of the uncleannesses of the Israelites, their acts of rebellion, and all their other sins. He will do the same thing for the Tent of Meeting which dwells among the people in the midst of their uncleanness. There is to be no one in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Holy of Holies until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole community of Israel.

18-19 “Then he will come out to the Altar that is before God and make atonement for it. He will take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and smear it all around the four horns of the Altar. With his finger he will sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times to purify and consecrate it from the uncleannesses of the Israelites.

20-22 “When Aaron finishes making atonement for the Holy of Holies, the Tent of Meeting, and the Altar, he will bring up the live goat, lay both hands on the live goat’s head, and confess all the iniquities of the People of Israel, all their acts of rebellion, all their sins. He will put all the sins on the goat’s head and send it off into the wilderness, led out by a man standing by and ready. The goat will carry all their iniquities to an empty wasteland; the man will let him loose out there in the wilderness.

23-25 “Finally, Aaron will come into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen clothes in which he dressed to enter the Holy of Holies and leave them there. He will bathe in water in a Holy Place, put on his priestly vestments, offer the Whole-Burnt-Offering for himself and the Whole-Burnt-Offering for the people, making atonement for himself and the people, and burn the fat of the Absolution-Offering on the Altar.

26-28 “The man who takes the goat out to Azazel in the wilderness then will wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. After that he will be permitted to come back into the camp. The bull for the Absolution-Offering and the goat for the Absolution-Offering, whose blood has been taken into the Holy of Holies to make atonement, are to be taken outside the camp and burned—their hides, their meat, and their entrails. The man assigned to burn them up will then wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Then he is free to come back into the camp.

29-31 “This is standard practice for you, a perpetual ordinance. On the tenth day of the seventh month, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you are to enter into a solemn fast and refrain from all work, because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. In the presence of God you will be made clean of all your sins. It is a Sabbath of all Sabbaths. You must fast. It is a perpetual ordinance.

32 “The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father is to make the atonement:

He puts on the sacred linen garments;

33 He purges the Holy of Holies by making atonement;

He purges the Tent of Meeting and the Altar by making atonement;

He makes atonement for the priests and all the congregation.

34 “This is a perpetual ordinance for you: Once a year atonement is to be made for all the sins of the People of Israel.”

And Aaron did it, just as God commanded Moses.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Matthew 27:1-26The Message (MSG)

Thirty Silver Coins

27 1-2 In the first light of dawn, all the high priests and religious leaders met and put the finishing touches on their plot to kill Jesus. Then they tied him up and paraded him to Pilate, the governor.

3-4 Judas, the one who betrayed him, realized that Jesus was doomed. Overcome with remorse, he gave back the thirty silver coins to the high priests, saying, “I’ve sinned. I’ve betrayed an innocent man.”

They said, “What do we care? That’s your problem!”

Judas threw the silver coins into the Temple and left. Then he went out and hung himself.

6-10 The high priests picked up the silver pieces, but then didn’t know what to do with them. “It wouldn’t be right to give this—a payment for murder!—as an offering in the Temple.” They decided to get rid of it by buying the “Potter’s Field” and use it as a burial place for the homeless. That’s how the field got called “Murder Meadow,” a name that has stuck to this day. Then Jeremiah’s words became history:

They took the thirty silver pieces,
The price of the one priced by some sons of Israel,
And they purchased the potter’s field.

And so they unwittingly followed the divine instructions to the letter.

Pilate

11 Jesus was placed before the governor, who questioned him: “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”

Jesus said, “If you say so.”

12-14 But when the accusations rained down hot and heavy from the high priests and religious leaders, he said nothing. Pilate asked him, “Do you hear that long list of accusations? Aren’t you going to say something?” Jesus kept silence—not a word from his mouth. The governor was impressed, really impressed.

15-18 It was an old custom during the Feast for the governor to pardon a single prisoner named by the crowd. At the time, they had the infamous Jesus Barabbas in prison. With the crowd before him, Pilate said, “Which prisoner do you want me to pardon: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus the so-called Christ?” He knew it was through sheer spite that they had turned Jesus over to him.

19 While court was still in session, Pilate’s wife sent him a message: “Don’t get mixed up in judging this noble man. I’ve just been through a long and troubled night because of a dream about him.”

20 Meanwhile, the high priests and religious leaders had talked the crowd into asking for the pardon of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus.

21 The governor asked, “Which of the two do you want me to pardon?”

They said, “Barabbas!”

22 “Then what do I do with Jesus, the so-called Christ?”

They all shouted, “Nail him to a cross!”

23 He objected, “But for what crime?”

But they yelled all the louder, “Nail him to a cross!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was imminent, he took a basin of water and washed his hands in full sight of the crowd, saying, “I’m washing my hands of responsibility for this man’s death. From now on, it’s in your hands. You’re judge and jury.”

25 The crowd answered, “We’ll take the blame, we and our children after us.”

26 Then he pardoned Barabbas. But he had Jesus whipped, and then handed over for crucifixion.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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