John 12:1-26; 2 Chronicles 14; 2 Chronicles 15; Psalm 77

John 12:1-26

The Anointing at Bethany

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for Him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil-pure and expensive nard-anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray Him), said, 5 "Why wasn't this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?" 6 He didn't say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it. 7 Jesus answered, "Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me."

The Decision to Kill Lazarus

9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead. 10 Therefore the chief priests decided to also kill Lazarus, 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: " Hosanna ! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord -the King of Israel!" 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Fear no more, Daughter Zion; look! your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt. 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Meanwhile the crowd, which had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18 This is also why the crowd met Him, because they heard He had done this sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, "You see? You've accomplished nothing. Look-the world has gone after Him!"

Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion

20 Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied to them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 "I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

2 Chronicles 14

1 Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. During his reign the land experienced peace for 10 years.

Judah's King Asa

2 Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the pagan altars and the high places. He shattered their sacred pillars and chopped down their Asherah poles. 4 He told [the people of] Judah to seek the Lord God of their ancestors and to carry out the instruction and the command. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom experienced peace under him. 6 Because the land experienced peace, Asa built fortified cities in Judah. No one made war with him in those days because the Lord gave him rest. 7 So he said to [the people of] Judah, "Let's build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, with doors and bars. The land is still ours because we sought the Lord our God. We sought Him and He gave us rest on every side." So they built and succeeded.

The Ethiopian Invasion

8 Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin bearing regular shields and drawing the bow. All these were brave warriors. 9 Then Zerah the Cushite came against them with an army of one million men and 300 chariots. They came as far as Mareshah. 10 So Asa marched out against him and lined up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God: "Lord, there is no one besides You to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, Lord our God, for we depend on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. Lord, You are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder You." 12 So the Lord routed the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled. 13 Then Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar. The Cushites fell until they had no survivors, for they were crushed before the Lord and before His army. So the people of Judah carried off a great supply of loot. 14 Then they attacked all the cities around Gerar because the terror of the Lord was on them. They also plundered all the cities, since there was a great deal of plunder in them. 15 They also attacked the tents of the herdsmen and captured many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 15

Revival Under Asa

1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you. 3 For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law, 4 but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. 6 Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress. 7 But as for you, be strong; don't be discouraged, for your work has a reward." 8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of [Azariah son of] Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He renovated the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the Lord's [temple]. 9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those from [the tribes of] Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them, for they had defected to him from Israel in great numbers when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep from all the plunder they had brought. 12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their ancestors with all their mind and all their heart. 13 Whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel would be put to death, young or old, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord in a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets, and with rams' horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their mind. They had sought Him with all their heart, and He was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side. 16 King Asa also removed Maacah, his grandmother, from being queen mother because she had made an obscene image of Asherah. Asa chopped down her obscene image, then crushed it and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 The high places were not taken away from Israel; nevertheless, Asa was wholehearted his entire life. 18 He brought his father's consecrated gifts and his own consecrated gifts into God's temple: silver, gold, and utensils. 19 There was no war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign.

Psalm 77

Confidence in a Time of Crisis

For the choir director: according to Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.

1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and He will hear me. 2 In my day of trouble I sought the Lord. My hands were lifted up all night long; I refused to be comforted. 3 I think of God; I groan; I meditate; my spirit becomes weak. Selah 4 You have kept me from closing my eyes; I am troubled and cannot speak. 5 I consider days of old, years long past. 6 At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders. 7 "Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? 8 Has His faithful love ceased forever? Is [His] promise at an end for all generations? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?" Selah 10 So I say, "It is my sorrow that the right hand of the Most High has changed." 11 I will remember the Lord's works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders. 12 I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions. 13 God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; You revealed Your strength among the peoples. 15 With power You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 The waters saw You, God. The waters saw You; they trembled. Even the depths shook. 17 The clouds poured down water. The storm clouds thundered; Your arrows flashed back and forth. 18 The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; lightning lit up the world. The earth shook and quaked. 19 Your way went through the sea, and Your path through the great waters, but Your footprints were unseen. 20 You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
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