Aloha Friday Message – May 1, 2020 – Check Your Notes

2018AFC050120 – Check Your Notes

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    1 Peter 2:24-2524 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Do you see anything in today’s Key Verse that looks or sounds familiar? Is there a phrase that catches your attention and tickles at your memory? If you read this or heard this Sunday morning (the Fourth Sunday of Easter is this Sunday, and it’s usually referred to as GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY), would you know why it sounds familiar? And most importantly, when (not if) you take up your Bible and find this passage, will you look at the notes and cross references there? If you use the link up there next to the key, will you take a moment longer to read the notes? No? OK, then I’ll share the notes with you so that you can see what a tremendously rich passage of Scripture this is.

Let’s start by defining “notes” and “cross-references.” In the image below, you can see this passage in my Bible – it’s the Little Rock NABRE Study Bible – right about where that arrow is pointing. It’s a little blurry, but you can sort of make it out. Below that is an excerpt from the photo. In the first image, you can see some notations in tan-colored boxes in each of the margins. These are cross-references. If you look at the text, you’ll see tiny little Italic letters following some of the words – for example at the top left page, where it says Christian Examples, in the second line of verse 11 (11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.), there is a superscript  j after the word “soul.” In the cross-reference column to the left it shows j, and then Gal 5:24. That refers you to Galatians 5:24 which reads 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Cross-references give us connections to passages that deal with the same subject matter.

In the following excerpt from the photo above, we see the Notes. Notes provide explanations of the text and often include additional cross references.  For example in the magnifying lens you can see “2:22-25 After the quotation of Isaiah 53:9b … ” This comment – Note – explains the context and meaning of verse 22 by showing how it quotes the context and meaning of the second half of Isaiah 53:9 (please follow the link to Isaiah 53:9 and concentrate on the second half of the verse). OK. That should do it. I’m sure many of you have used these in your Bibles before, but I am encouraging (actually exhorting you) to do that more often.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start dissecting our Key Verse entry: “He himself bore our sins” – we have cross-references (I’ve reformatted the poetic-style layout so these take up less space. PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINKS TO SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY ARE!)

Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. This passage also connects with Hebrews 9:28 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

The common theme in these verses is the suffering experienced in the person of Christ, the Suffering Servant. (See 1542AFC101615 – The LORD was pleased – my own cross-reference)

Let’s move on to the next phrase – “in his body on the cross,” . The cross-reference here is for Acts 5:30 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead — whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. (If you’ll follow the links I give you in these cross-references, you’ll see they also contain notes and cross-references) Next we read so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness. The Apostle Paul addressed this in Romans 6:20 20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. The last phrase in verse 24 would be called 1 Peter 2:24cby his wounds you have been healed. This is again a reference to the “Song of the Suffering Servant” in Isaiah 53, specifically Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,  crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. You may remember this from Handel’s Messiah – Part 25. (↔ Music Link) In fact, Parts 23-26 are taken directly from Isaiah 53:3-6. There is a popular “modern” translation of the Bible that is heavily cross-referenced and annotated. It is called the New International Version (NIV). [1] I’m going to supply you with one (1) link from that version so that you can see how interconnected our Bible truly is. Take a look at the notes and cross-reference list regarding and by his bruises we are healed : Use this link. (NIV) I hope by now you are seeing that using the notes and cross-reference lists truly expands our exposure to the Bible and all the wonderful continuity we find there!

Continuing on to 1 Peter 2:25, we have a direct quote – For you were going astray like sheep – from Isaiah 53:6 a favorite memory verse from years gone by – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. This is followed by but now you have returned to the shepherd which is another direct reference, this time from Jesus’ words in John 10:11 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Finally, we end this Key Verse passage with and [the] guardian of your souls. This word guardian in modern English connotes someone who looks after another in a legal manner – “his legal guardian.” There’s a bit of a surprise here when we look at the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) and the Greek word actually used for “guardian:” 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. The word is Ἐπίσκοπον (Episkopon) { ep-is’-kop-ohn} – an overseer, someone put in charge to watch the work of others; a person with the responsibilities of a caregiver. If your Church has an Order of Bishops, this may help you better understand what they do and why they do it. There is another cross-reference that goes with this, and it is Job 10:12 You gave life and gracious love to me; your providential care has preserved my spirit. (International Standard Version) Providential care is watchful care by divine foresight. It is always available at the most opportune time.

Now, all of this comes from two short verses that are part of a lovely letter attributed to the Apostle Peter, and every note and cross-reference has associated with it even more notes and cross-references. When we utilize these, we get a deeper understanding of Scripture, and the better we understand Scripture, the more able we are to hear and understand what God – Our El Shaddai Olam – wants us to know about him and about ourselves. In my Christian life every passage in the Bible – even the boring ones that are lists of lists – all come down to ONE passage that nearly everyone knows – at least by title: John 3:16. WHENEVER I quote that, I know that it is TRUE (← Check it out!) and I also know there is more about it if you read it IN CONTEXT (which is another reason I give you so many links to look at in every post). So I’m going to give you a link and a challenge to go with it. If you will follow this link to John 3:16-20, and then look for cross-references there, I challenge you to FOLLOW at least TWO (2) of them. Better still, if you will go get your own Bible and find that passage, use the notes and cross-references in your own Bible to explore the Word.

Earlier I mentioned that this Sunday is called Good Shepherd Sunday. For more information about that see 1419AFC050914 – Good Shepherd Sunday, 1013AFC032610 The Lost Sheep. Paraphrasing our Key Verse – now we have returned to the shepherd and guardian of our souls. He is in The Word and now, I pray, The Word is in your heart.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!
Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

[1] THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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