Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1

Exodus 30-31

Exodus 30

The Alter of Incense

1 “You shall make an altar of acacia wood on which to burn incense. 2 The alter shall be square; eighteen inches in length and width, and shall stand 36 inches high. Its horns shall be made from the same piece. 3 You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding around it. 4 You shall make two golden rings on each side, on its two ribs, under its molding. They shall be places for the poles that will bear it. 5 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.

6 You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the covenant, before the mercy seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you. 7 Aaron shall burn incense of sweet spices on it every morning. When he tends the lamps, he shall burn it. 8 When Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You shall offer no unauthorized incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor grain offering; and do not pour a drink offering on it.

10 Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement. Once a year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

The Atonement Money

11 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites, according to those who are counted among them, then each man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord when you count them so that no plague will be among them when you count them. 13 Everyone who crosses over to those who are counted shall give half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel weighs twenty gerahs). This half a shekel is for an offering to the Lord.

14 Everyone who crosses over to those who are counted, from twenty years old and up, shall give the offering to the Lord.

15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel when they give the offering of the Lord, to make atonement for your lives. 16 You shall take the atonement money from the Israelites and shall appoint it for the service of the Tent of Meeting, that it may be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, to make atonement for your lives.”

The Bronze Basin

17 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “You shall make a basin of bronze, with its stand also of bronze, in which to wash. You shall put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in it. 20 When they go into the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they do not die, or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet so that they do not die. This shall be a statute forever for Aaron and for his descendants throughout their generations.”

The Anointing Oil

22 Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, 12½ pounds; and half as much fragrant cinnamon, six and a quarter pounds; and of fragrant cane, 6¼ pounds; 24 and of cassia 12½ pounds, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; and a gallon of olive oil. 25 You shall make it into a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded from the art of a perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.

26 You shall use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the covenant, 27 the table and all its articles, the lamp stand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its base. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons and sanctify them, that they may minister as my priests.

31 You shall speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh and do not make any like it, according to its composition. It is holy. It shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a layman, he shall be cut off from his people.’ ”

The Incense

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices, gum resin, onycha, and galbanum; fragrant spices with pure frankincense–an equal weight of each. 35 You shall make incense of it, a perfume from the art of a perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 You shall beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the covenant in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be to you most holy. 37 As to the incense which you shall make, you shall not make its formula for yourselves. It shall be holy to you and treated as holy to the Lord. 38 Anyone who makes anything like that, to smell of its fragrance, he shall be cut off from his people.”

Exodus 31

Bezaleel and Oholiab the Craftsmen

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, understanding, knowledge and in all kinds of workmanship, 4 to create artistic designs, to work in gold and in silver and in bronze, 5 and in cutting of stones for setting, and carving wood for every kind of craftsmanship.

6 I myself have appointed with him, Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan. I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the skilled craftsmen, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat that is on it, all the furniture of the Tent, 8 the table and its vessels, the pure lamp stand with all its vessels, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the basin and its base, 10 the finely worked garments—the holy garments for Aaron the priest, the garments of his sons to minister as priests— 11 the anointing oil, and the incense of fragrant spices for the holy place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”

The Sign of the Sabbath

12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the Israelites, saying, ‘Most certainly you shall keep my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death, for whoever does any work on that day, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

16 Therefore the Israelites shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.’ ”

Moses Receives the Tablets

18 When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses the two tablets of the covenant; stone tablets, written by the finger of God.

Matthew 26:47-75

Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest

47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve came, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now the one who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, “Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him.” 49 Immediately he came to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came, grabbed Jesus, and took him. 51 One of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I could not ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to seize me, like I were a robber? I sat daily in the temple teaching and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has happened that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Then all the disciples ran away and left him.

Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

57 Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58 But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the outcome.

59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

62 The high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no answer to what these men are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I charge you under oath by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Now you have heard his blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”

They answered, “He is worthy of death!”

67 Then they spat in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him,68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who hit you?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a servant girl came to him, saying, “You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!” 70 But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”

71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.”

73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man!”

Immediately the rooster crowed. 75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

Then he went out and wept bitterly.

Psalm 32

By David. A contemplative psalm.

The Providence of God

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me.
My strength was sapped in the heat of summer.


5 I acknowledged my sin to you.
I did not hide my iniquity.
I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.


6 For this, let everyone who is godly pray to you in a time when you may be found.
Surely when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach to him.
7 You are my hiding place.
You will protect me from trouble.
You will surround me with songs of deliverance.


8 I will instruct you and teach you the way to go.
I will counsel you with my eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding,
who are controlled by bit and bridle, or else they will not come near to you.
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but loving kindness shall surround him who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous!
Shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

Proverbs 8:27-32


27 When he established the heavens, I was there.
When he set a compass over the surface of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above,
when the springs of the deep became strong,
29 when he established the boundary of the sea,
that the waters should not violate his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was the craftsman by his side.
I was a delight day by day,
always rejoicing before him,
31 rejoicing in his whole world.
My delight was with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
for blessed are those who keep my ways.

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