But Jesus made no further answer, and Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:4

Numbers 16-17

Numbers 16

Korah’s Rebellion

1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took some men. 2 They rose up before Moses, with certain Israelite men, 250 leaders from the community, representatives of the congregation, men of distinction. 3 They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far, for the whole congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them! Why do exalt yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?”

4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face. 5 He said to Korah and to all his company, “In the morning, the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to him. The one whom he chooses, he will cause to come near to him. 6 Do this: Have Korah and all his followers take censers, 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow. It shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses, he is the one that is holy. You have gone too far, you sons of Levi!”

8 Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi! 9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do the service of the Lord’s tabernacle, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near to him, and all your brothers, the sons of Levi with you? Do you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord, and Aaron, what is he that you murmur against him?”

12 Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up! 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but you must also make yourself a ruler over us? 14 Moreover you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”

15 Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.”

16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers go before the Lord tomorrow; you, they, and Aaron. 17 Each man take his censer and put incense in it, and each man bring his censer before the Lord, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each with his censer.”

18 And each man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on it and stood at the door of the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Korah assembled the entire congregation opposite them to the door of the Tent of Meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole congregation.

20 The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!”

22 They fell on their faces and said, “O Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with the entire congregation?”

Moses Separates the People

23 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram!’ ”

25 Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins!”

27 So they went away from the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side. Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents with their wives, their sons, and their little children.

28 Moses said, “You shall hereby know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them from my own mind.

29 If these men die a death common to all men, or if they experience what all men experience, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord does a new thing, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belong to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you shall know that these men have provoked the Lord.”

The Earth Swallows Up Korah

31 As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split asunder. 32 The earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all of Korah’s men, and all their goods. 33 So they, and all that belonged to them went down alive into the pit. The earth closed upon them, and they perished from the community. 34 All Israel that were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” 35 Fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who offered incense.

The Censers Reserved for Holy Use

36 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the fire, and scatter the burning coals away from the camp, for the censers are holy. 38 The censers of those who sinned against their own lives, let them be hammered into plates for a covering of the altar, for they offered them before the Lord. Therefore they are holy. They shall be a sign to the Israelites.”

39 Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which those who were burned had offered, and from them, they made a covering for the altar, 40 to be a memorial to the Israelites so that no stranger who is not an offspring of Aaron would come near to burn incense before the Lord, that it would not come to pass as Korah and as his band of followers, as the Lord spoke to him through Moses.

Murmuring and Plague

41 But the next day, the whole community of Israelites complained against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord!”

42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they looked toward the Tent of Meeting, and the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting. 44 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!” They fell on their faces.

46 Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, put fire from the altar in it, lay incense on it, carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord! The plague has begun.”

47 Aaron did as Moses said and ran into the middle of the assembly. The plague had already begun among the people. He put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was confined. 49 Now those who died by the plague were 14,700, in addition to those who died about the matter of Korah. 50 Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and the plague was confined.

Numbers 17

Aaron’s Staff Buds

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and take staffs for them, one for each ancestral house, of all their leaders according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff. 3 You shall write Aaron’s name on Levi’s staff. There shall be one staff for each head of their ancestral houses. 4 You shall lay them up in the Tent of Meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you. 5 It shall happen that the staff of the man whom I shall choose shall bud, and I will cause the complaining of the Israelites against you to cease.

6 Moses spoke to the Israelites, and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each clan leader, a total of twelve staffs. Aaron’s staff was among their staffs. 7 Moses laid up the staffs before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony.

8 The next day, Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and Aaron’s staff for the house of Levi had sprouted, budded, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. 9 Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked, and each man took his staff.

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a token against the children of rebellion, that you may make an end of their complaining against me, that they not die.” 11 Moses did so. As the Lord commanded him, so he did.

12 The Israelites spoke to Moses, saying, “We are perishing! We are undone! We are all undone! 13 Everyone who keeps approaching the Lord’s tabernacle dies! Will we all perish?”

Mark 15

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

]1 Immediately in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, took him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

He answered, “So you say.”

3 The chief priests accused him of many things, but he answered nothing. 4 Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!”

5 But Jesus made no further answer, and Pilate was amazed.

The Crowd Chooses Barabbas

6 Now at the feast Pilate used to release one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 One of the prisoners was Barabbas, bound with his fellow insurgents, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he had always done for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that it was because of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, that he might release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate again asked them, “What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?”

13 They cried out again, “Crucify him!”

14 Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?”
But they cried out even more, “Crucify him!”

15 Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and handed over Jesus, having flogged him, to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers led him away into the hall, that is called the Praetorium, and they called together the whole battalion of soldiers.

17 They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. 18 They began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed and spat on him and bowing their knees, worshiped him.

20 When they had mocked him, they took the purple robe off him and put his own clothes on him and led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

21 They forced a man named Simon, a Cyrenian (the father of Alexander and Rufus), who passed by coming out of the country, to bear his cross. 22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is interpreted, “The place of a skull.” 23 They gave him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he did not take it.

24 And when they had crucified him, they distributed his garments, casting lots for them, to determine who should take what. 25 It was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the accusation against him was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

27 And with him they crucified two thieves, one on his right hand and the other on his left. 28 And the Scripture was fulfilled, which says, with the lawless, he was counted.”

29 Those who passed by railed against him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself and come down from the cross!”

31 Likewise, the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking among themselves, saying, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”

Those who were being crucified with him also reproached him.

The Death of Jesus

33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “He is calling Elijah.”

36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”

37 Jesus, having uttered a loud cry, breathed his last. 38 The veil of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he had breathed his last in this way, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When Jesus was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him. Many other women had come up with him to Jerusalem.

The Burial of Jesus

42 When evening had now come, because it was Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who was also waiting for the Kingdom of God, came and went boldly up to Pilate, asking for the body of Jesus.

44 Pilate was amazed that he was already dead, and summoning the centurion, questioned him as to whether he had already died. 45 When he was informed of this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

46 He bought fine linen cloth and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen and laid him in a tomb which had been chiseled out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, were watching where he was laid.

Psalm 54

Vindicate Me in Your Might

For the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A contemplation by David, when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding himself among us?”

1 Save me, O God, by your name.
Defend me by your strength.
2 Hear my prayer, O God.
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers have risen up against me.
And oppressors seek after my life.
They have not set God before them.


4 God is my helper.
The Lord is among those who sustain me.
5 He will repay the evil to my enemies.
In your faithfulness, destroy them.
6 I will freely sacrifice to you.
I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me out of all trouble.
My eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

Proverbs 11:5-6

5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way,
but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them,
but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

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