Bible reading for Jan 26: Genesis 27; Matthew 26.
Genesis 27. Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac, and Jacob receives the blessing intended for Esau. As wrong as that action was, Isaac did not reverse his blessing. Perhaps he remembered that this is what the Lord had said earlier. It was God's will that the birthright and covenant blessing belong to Jacob. From this day forth there is an even deeper divide between the two sons. Jacob, however, will now enter God's school of training under his uncle Laban, a consummate con artist. Jacob, the trickster, will himself be tricked, and will learn some very hard lessons.
"Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her." (Matt 26:13)
Jesus is arrested (Matthew 26). At the house of Simon the leper, a woman anoints Jesus' head with very expensive ointment. The disciples view this as a waste, but this act of lavish love is accepted by the Lord Jesus, who says this was in preparation for his burial (just a day or so away). Remarkable, Jesus said this event would be included in the gospel account and heard around the world. And it has. Humanly speaking, it is beyond belief that a mere Jewish rabbi in backwater Judah could say that what happened at that dinner would be told for countless generations and to all nations. Jesus is not only the Lord of redemption, but also the Lord of revelation, who guarantees that we have an accurate record of his redemption.
The blood of the covenant. The night before his arrest, Jesus observes the Passover meal with his disciples and turns it into what we call "the Lord's supper." In the OT, covenants were sealed in blood, specifically, the blood of sacrificial animals. All of these sacrifices point ahead to the sacrificial death of Christ, God's son. It is his blood which allows death to "pass over" us, as well (Exodus 12). It is this blood that sanctifies us as God's covenant people (Ex 24:8). This meal, done in remembrance, is a covenant sign of our relationship with the Lord through faith. In the Bible to "remember" means to call to mind and turn your attention to something, and to think deeply about its meaning. In this remembrance we touch, hold, and taste bread, and we view and drink the fruit of the vine, which are physical things that God uses to strengthen our faith in him.
Many sad and tragic things happen that day. Jesus said to his disciples, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." (26:38) In the garden, despite the failure of the disciples to stay awake and pray with him, Jesus says to the Father three times, "...not as I will, but as you will" (26:39). At his arrest, he confidently says, "...all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." (26:56) His life will not be taken from him, but he will will lay it down -- freely, intentionally -- in fulfillment of God's will.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.