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Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Ezekiel 37:21-28
Jeremiah 31:10-13
John 11:45-56

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"I will make them one nation upon the land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one Prince for them all." —Ezekiel 37:22

Ezekiel prophesied that Israel and Judah would be united after hundreds of years of division. This miracle of unity would be done by David's Descendant, Who would be the one Prince and the one Shepherd of the reunited nation (Ez 37:24). Ezekiel prophesied unity through divinely ordained leadership.

Caiaphas, the high priest when Jesus died, also prophesied. He said: "It is better for you to have one Man die [for the people] than to have the whole nation destroyed" (Jn 11:50). Caiaphas "prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation — and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:51-52). Unity would be effected by a Leader — not by a leader in governing, organizing, building, or even fighting, but by a Leader in dying. Jesus led the way in dying and made two into one through the blood of His cross (Eph 2:16; Col 1:20).

If we want unity in our world, among denominations, within the Church, in marriage and family, and in Christian community, we, with Jesus, must lead the way in dying. We must continually "carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus" (2 Cor 4:10). We must lead the daily Way of the Cross (Lk 9:23).

All Christians "are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus' sake" (2 Cor 4:11). However, those who volunteer to be the first to die and sacrifice make us one as the Father and Jesus are one (see Jn 17:21). Lead in dying.

Prayer:  Father, for love of You, in this Holy Week, may I take over the lead in the contest of suffering (see Heb 10:32).

Promise:  "I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them." —Ez 37:26

Praise:  Jesus healed Kim of breast cancer.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Calling Christian Leaders on audio AV 60-3 or video V-60.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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