Tag Archives: Jesus

In Zechariah, Jesus is the Firstborn Son over whom they will Grieve and Mourn

8 Dec

pierced hands
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zech. 12:10
This is a prophecy that was fulfilled in small measure at the time of the early church when thousands of Jews, many of whom had called for Jesus’ crucifixion, later repented and recognized they were guilty of murdering the Messiah. But a greater fulfillment awaits. God promises to pour out a Spirit of grace and supplication on them. Because of His grace (unmerited favour) they will cry out to Him (supplication). God refers to Himself as the One pierced. This refers to the deity of Jesus. He was pierced on the cross, both in His hands and feet, and the spear in His side.

This was foretold centuries earlier in Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm.
“For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.” Psalm 22:16-18
It’s important to remember that when this Psalm was written, the practice of crucifixion was completely unknown.
The result of their recognition of guilt for the death of the son of God will be to grieve and mourn. This confirms that this piercing resulted in death. The grief will be of the worst kind; mourning as for an only son, and grieving as for a firstborn. And Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, and He is the firstborn, both literally, and in status. He is also called the firstborn from the dead, relating to His resurrection.
This is a promise of salvation to a remnant of Jews. In the book of Revelation there is a similar recognition of who Jesus is, but it comes too late.
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7

In Zechariah, Jesus is the One sold for 30 pieces of silver

8 Dec

blood money
“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.” Zech. 11:12,13
By God’s direction the prophet demanded wages. He was basically asking, “What am I worth to you?” Zechariah probably didn’t understand the meaning or significance of what happened next. He received 30 pieces of silver.
Likewise, Judas approached the Jewish leaders and asked what they were willing to pay him to betray Jesus to them. He was also asking, “What is He worth to you?” You’d think they’d be willing to pay anything to be rid of Him, that they’d say, “Name your price.” But they gave what had been foreordained, unknowingly fulfilling Scripture.
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” Matt. 26:14-16
So this Scripture was fulfilled when Judas betrayed Jesus for the “princely sum” of 30 pieces of silver. This was the price to be paid for a slave who died. (Ex. 21:32) It showed how little they thought of Jesus. In disdain for the paltry sum, God directed it to be thrown into the temple and used for the potter.
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it! Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matt. 27:3-5
But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.” Matt. 27:6-10
When he was remorseful, he returned it to the temple. They recognized it as blood money and could not use it in “good conscience” so instead it was used to purchase the Potter’s field to bury strangers in.
God always promises to fulfill His word. Zechariah didn’t know why he was told to ask for wages, or to throw it into the temple for the potter. Judas didn’t know the significance of the amount he was paid to betray Jesus. The Jewish leaders didn’t realize they were fulfilling Scripture when they offered this sum, or when Judas threw it onto the temple floor, or when they found a “noble” use for the blood money. Yet it was just another Scripture fulfilled in the life of Jesus that should have made the Jews, both then and now, realize Jesus was the Messiah.

In Zechariah, Jesus is the Angel of the LORD interceding for His people in court

28 Nov

Joshua high priest
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him.’ And to him He said, ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.’
‘And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”
So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by.”
Zech. 3:1-5
In many places in Scripture we see someone called the Angel of the LORD, who is identified also as the LORD (Gen. 22). We studied this idea of theophanies or appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ previously (in Genesis).
In this instance we have a vision of a courtroom scene. Satan is at the right side in the role of prosecuting attorney, which is appropriate since he is also called the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). The Angel of the LORD is the Judge and Joshua the High Priest clothed in filthy garments.
Joshua appears as one polluted, but he is purified. We are filthy in God’s sight until we are washed and sanctified.
God sees our filthiness but He doesn’t send us away or overlook it. He does something about it. He clothes us in the righteousness of another, Jesus Christ. White robes signify the righteousness of the saints.
The LORD rebukes Satan, claiming Joshua as a brand plucked from the fire. He then orders his servants to remove Joshua’s filthy garments (which represent his sin), and then He clothes him with rich robes and a clean turban. These represent the righteousness of another imputed to him.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21
“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” Rev. 19:14
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Rev. 19:8
He pronounces him justified. Jesus is our Advocate before the Father, so when Satan accuses us before God, and points out our filth, which we have, Jesus claims us as clothed in His righteousness and hidden in Him.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

Jesus Typified in the Life of Joshua

16 Nov

moses ordains joshua.jpg
Joshua’s name corresponds to the Hebrew name, Yeshua, or the Greek name, Jesus. It means Yahweh is salvation. This name is symbolic of the fact that although he is the leader of the Israelite nation during the conquest of Canaan, the LORD is the Conqueror. In Deuteronomy 31, they are promised, “The LORD your God Himself crosses over before you,” and then adds, “Joshua himself crosses over before you.”
He is representative of the LORD who saves His people and brings them into their rest in the Promised Land, as Moses represented the Law. Just as the Law cannot inherit the promises, so Moses was unable to enter the Promised Land.
Moses’ failure to speak to the Rock the second time they were to get water was a picture for us, of how Christ was smitten (struck by the rod of God) in death, and since He is not to be crucified again (Heb. 9:26) speaking to the Rock signified prayer. How wrong it is for the Roman Catholics to re-sacrifice Christ every time they do the mass. It is FINISHED! All that’s needed now is prayer to our Rock.
Moses’ rebellion to the clear command of God would have made us miss this symbolic type if not for God’s response. We had to see how seriously God took this violation, in order to understand why Moses could not enter the Promised Land.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
“…but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.” Rom. 9:31,32
“…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Gal. 2:16

Jesus as the Cursed One on a Tree

15 Nov

Crucifixion
Occasionally we see an obscure directive that doesn’t seem to be something we can’t relate to. This is one of those ordinances. Under the Torah, a man proven guilty of a capital offense and put to death by stoning was displayed in public. It did not refer to strangulation or crucifixion, which were not allowed under the Torah nor practiced in Israel at the time. The reference was strictly to public exposure of the one executed. It was a grim object lesson and warning to the community that such a crime was a disgrace and not to be repeated. It also demonstrated the curse of God on the individual.
“If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.” Deut. 21:22,23
But they were not to leave it exposed overnight. They were to bury the person the same day. Leaving it longer would bring defilement on the community. Here are two examples.
“And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this day.” Joshua 8:29
“And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging on the trees until evening. So it was at the time of the going down of the sun that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid large stones against the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.” Joshua 10:26,27
Like the rest of the Old Testament, we understand its significance when the light of the New Testament shines on it. Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah as a suffering servant.
“He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.” Isa. 53:9,10
In this chapter it says Messiah would die a cursed death with the wicked (plural in this passage). But the words, “at his death”, meaning after death, referred to a burial with the rich (singular in this passage). He would be slain as a criminal but buried as a wealthy man.
During Jesus’ time, the prophetic requirements were somewhat difficult to fulfill. Under Roman domination the Jews didn’t have the right to execute capital punishment. And the Sanhedrin as a rule was opposed to execution. Jewish criminals were executed by Rome, usually by crucifixion. But the likelihood of proper burial following such a death was very slim. Criminals were usually left unburied, disgraced by interment in an unclean place, or carted off to be cremated in the valley of Gehenna.
Nevertheless, Jesus’ death fulfilled both Isaiah’s prophecy and the requirements of the Torah. He was hanged on a tree, receiving the curse of the Torah. And he was executed between two criminals, and buried in a rich man’s tomb.
“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Pet.2:24
“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.” John 19:17,18
“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.” Matt. 27:57-60
“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.” John 19:38-41
Joseph showed great courage in approaching Pilate for the body. As a friend and disciple, he desired to give Jesus a proper burial; as a Pharisee, he was obedient to the Torah’s injunction to remove the body before sundown. Nicodemus collaborated with Joseph by supplying one hundred pounds of burial spices, while Joseph purchased the linen shroud and donated his own garden tomb. Love guided them to do this for Jesus. Burial is to be with dignity because of the value of the body and belief in the resurrection. They ensured that in spite of Jesus’ illegal and cursed death, His burial was timely, according to the Torah, and richly performed. They would not have realized they were fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy.
Jesus suffered the shame of public exposure on a tree, as Peter refers to it, but His body was given burial before evening, fulfilling the Torah’s requirement. Paul makes the connection with Jesus taking our punishment, becoming cursed by God on our behalf.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree).” Gal.3:13
He was cursed so we could receive the favour of God.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21

Jesus is a Prophet like Moses

14 Nov

Moses
Comparison of Moses and Jesus
1. Both appeared after a silent period of about 400 years.
Abraham was told, “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they will come out with great possessions.” Genesis 15:13,14
The intertestamental period (the silent years, when there was no prophetic voice) was also approximately 400 years.
2. Jesus is a Prophet like Moses, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,” Deuteronomy 18:15
“For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.” Acts 3:22
“This (Jesus) is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’” Acts 7:37
Jesus was recognized as such when he gave them bread in the wilderness. “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.’” John 6:14
3. Moses interceded for the children of Israel, even offering to take their punishment. “Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.” Exodus 32:11-13, and
“Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Exodus 32:30-32
Jesus interceded for His people. “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’” Luke 22:31,32,
“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” John 17:9
Jesus really did take the punishment for His people. “…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18
4. Moses delivered his people from slavery in Egypt. “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people who you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.’” Ex. 32:7
Jesus redeemed His people from slavery to sin. “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” Romans 6:17
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22
5. Moses’ life was threatened by a powerful leader, both as a newborn, because of Pharaoh’s edict against all male Hebrew babies, and later when Pharaoh heard he had killed an Egyptian. “When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses.” Ex. 2:15
Jesus’ life was threatened by a powerful leader. As a young child, when Herod searched for Him and then ordered the slaughter of the innocents. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” Matt. 2:16 Later, His life was taken by order of a powerful leader. “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” Mark 15:15

6. Moses was told to return to Egypt, as it was now safe to do so. “Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.’” Ex. 4:19
Jesus’ family was told they could return to Israel because those who sought His life were dead. “Now when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the LORD appeared in a dream to Joseph, in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Matt. 2:19, 20
7. Moses gave them bread in the wilderness. Exodus 16, “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert: as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” John 6:31
Jesus gave bread in the wilderness/ He was the true bread that came down from heaven from the Father. John 6:5-14 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33 “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35 “This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:58
8. Moses mediated a covenant in blood. “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.’” Ex. 24:8
Jesus mediated a new covenant in blood. “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matt. 26:28
9. Moses was the lawgiver.
“These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.” Lev. 26:46

“Now this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.” Deut. 4:4

“Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying: “Keep all the commandments which I command you today.” Deut. 27:1

“Moses commanded a law for us, a heritage of the congregation of Jacob.” Deut. 33:4
Jesus was the Lawgiver. As LORD, Jesus could make new law that superseded Moses. He would mention a law of Moses, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery,” Matt. 5:27 and then he’d make it a matter not just of actions, but thoughts, setting a higher standard, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:28
10. Both spoke to the people on God’s behalf, and spoke to God on behalf of the people. Ex. 19:7,8 John 8:26,27 John 17
11. The law was given on the third day, in the morning. Ex. 19:16
Jesus rose on the third day, in the morning. Matt. 28:1
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
The book of Hebrews shows that Jesus is superior to Moses because He created him. Moses was a faithful servant in the house, but Jesus is the Son who owns the house and built it.
“…Jesus Christ…who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” Heb. 3:2-6

Jesus is our Exodus

6 Nov

moses_parting_red_sea_resistance2010
The account of the Exodus of the Israelite slaves out of Egypt is not just an epic story of how our great God brought His people out of slavery with a mighty hand, although it is that.
In many ways, we see echoes of the Exodus in the New Testament, as Jesus again and again demonstrates He is a better Israel.
Israel came out of Egypt.
“Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’” Ex. 6:6-8
Jesus comes out of Egypt. “When he (Joseph) arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’” Matt. 2:14, 15
This refers to Israel as God’s son, His firstborn.
“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’” Ex. 4:22, 23
It also refers to Jesus as His beloved Son. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Matt. 3:17 “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Luke 9:35 Jesus is also called the firstborn. “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.” Col. 1:18 Not only was Jesus God’s Son, He was a true and better Israel, who obeyed and didn’t test God with unfaithfulness and disobedience.
The children of Israel were baptized when they passed through the Red Sea. “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:1-4
Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” Matt. 3:13
God gave the children of Israel manna to eat in the wilderness. “So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, ‘This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.’” Ex. 6:15
Jesus spoke of Himself in this way, as “the bread that came down from Heaven”, to draw His hearers ‘minds back to the wandering in the wilderness; to the manna God fed to His people. Manna was ‘angel’s food’. There has never been anything like it since. He even rebuked those who asked for a sign, like Moses gave manna. This was the day after He had just fed the five thousand in the wilderness. He said, “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:49-51
He was demonstrating His superiority both to Moses, and to the manna, itself. It was merely a picture, He was the real thing. It could sustain for only a day, He feeds us and we never hunger again. Manna was bread that rained down from Heaven on the Israelites during their sojourning in the wilderness. They ate it until they reached the border of Canaan.
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years. “And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.” Numbers 14:33, 34
“Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness.” Heb. 3:17
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for forty days and nights. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” Matt. 4:1,2
God gave the Israelites water from the rock. “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Ex. 17:6
When Jesus, the Rock was smitten (on the cross), water and blood came out. “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” John 19:34 The blood was for covering and the water was for cleansing.
Finally, overall, this is the story of the exodus, or going out, of Israel.
“And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” Ex. 7:5
Jesus death on the cross was His exodus. At the transfiguration, we are told, “And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9:30,31 Some versions refer to it as His decease (NKJV), His departure (ESV), His death (TLB), His leaving the world (WYC), His going out (YLT) , His exodus (NLT), or the way He must take and the end He must fulfill in Jerusalem (Phillips). Coupled with the phrase of accomplishing His decease, it gives the impression of a great work. Usually death is not referred to as an accomplishment.

Finally, Jesus is our exodus, or way out of our slavery to sin. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22
So through all these images, we see Exodus Replayed in the life of Jesus.

In Genesis, Jesus is the Word Who Creates

3 Nov
sky earth galaxy universe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3
Because Christ is eternal, we don’t have to wait long to be introduced to Him. Although the first promise of the gospel is in Genesis 3:15, He is already present in the first chapter of the Bible. God creates through His Word.
‘The Word’ is one of the names John uses for Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-3
“…and His name is called the Word of God.” Rev.19:13
Jesus is also present in the heavenly council when God decides to make something unique in creation.
“Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness…” Gen. 1:26
Have you ever wondered who God was talking to? Not the angels, since we are not made in their image. This is not just the majestic language of the royal ‘we’ because in the next verse it reverts back to a singular pronoun.
“So God made man in His image: in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” Genesis 1:27
We also see in other parts of Scripture that Christ is the Creator; His life did not begin in Bethlehem. We also see the way Jesus talks about Himself. He says “for this reason I came into the world”. You and I would talk about when we were born. His language suggests He came from another world. His enemies pick up on this. Notice Pilate, when he was told Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, came back in and asked Jesus, not, “Who are you?”, but “Where do you come from?”
Also, Jesus said, “…before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus referred to His pre-existence and used the divine name, I AM when His opponents challenged His assertion that Abraham had seen His day and was glad.
“You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” John 8:57
In order to prove His pre-existence, He could have answered, “Before Abraham was, I was.” But instead He made the startling assertion, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Grudem says He combined two assertions whose sequence seemed to make no sense; “Before something in the past happened, (Abraham was), something in the present happened (I AM).” The Jews understood His meaning right away; first from the divine name, ‘I am’, and then because He claimed to precede Abraham and to have seen him; so much so that they picked up stones to stone Him.
The fact that Christ is the Creator was proved when He was on earth. While all of His miracles established His deity, I find His control over nature to be astounding.
When He calmed the storm that had the disciples quaking in fear, by His word, “Peace, be still,” that was when the disciples really began to fear. (Mark 4:35-40)
“And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and sea obey Him?’” Mark 4:41
Another example was when Jesus walked on the water. To many, this is the very definition of impossible. But they don’t know my Jesus! See Mark 6:48-51
This same God Who created the world by speaking also speaks into our hearts, effectually calling us to Himself.

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:4
We first hear His voice and wake from spiritual death. At the Resurrection, His voice will wake us from physical death.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28,29

As God, His voice wakes the dead.” For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” John 5:22

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus that You are our Creator. Thank You that Your voice brought this world into existence. Thank You that we heard Your voice calling us to salvation, and that Your voice will call us from our graves.

Questions: Do you see the trinity in the Old Testament? Do you realize Jesus is the Creator?

Response: Study the creation/evolution issues at a reputable site like answersingenesis.org

Jesus as the Passover Lamb

26 Mar

Passover-doorpost

Since our first parents sinned, God told them that the result of sin was death. Yet He had mercy on them and instead of immediately requiring their own death, He provided them with a way to temporarily cover their sin. God allowed the life-blood of an animal to atone or take away sin, so they could be restored to fellowship with God.

Animal sacrifice was instituted in the garden, even before the Passover and the subsequent sacrificial system in the tabernacle. The animal represented an undeserving recipient of a deserved punishment. Substitutionary atonement; one punished in place of another. It represented faith in God’s word if it was done as He instructed, and trust in His provision. The sacrifice was valuable; one gave only the best. The perfect, unblemished animal foreshadowed Jesus, the perfect sacrifice who atones for sin once and for all. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29b

Because these sacrifices only temporarily covered the sins of the people, they needed to be offered on a regular basis. When the offering was brought, the person would put their hands on the head of the animal while it was killed (Lev. 1:4). This symbolically put their sins onto the animal, and the person identified with it, and then it died in their place.

The requirements for the Passover lamb; male of the first year, one per household, a lamb without blemish, kill it and catch its blood, smear it on door posts and lintels, eat the flesh which was roasted whole on a fire, eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, while wearing travelling clothes, all of it must be eaten that night, anything left till morning must be burnt with fire. The bones were not to be broken. The angel of death would come, and God promised, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Ex. 12:13

How is Jesus represented by the Passover Lamb?

He is without blemish (sinless).

“For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Heb. 7:26,27

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin,” Heb. 4:15

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”2 Cor. 5:21

“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Pet. 1:18,19

The lamb was to be fully consumed. Ex. 12:8-10

He really died. We feed on Him by faith. (John 6:54)

Ex. 12:46, Num. 9:12 The lamb’s bones were not to be broken.
His bones weren’t broken. John 19:33,36 To show He fulfilled Scripture, it points back to the instructions about the Passover lamb, but now applies it specifically to Jesus.

John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

They were to remain inside the house all night to be safe. “And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” Ex.12:22b We are safe if we are “in Christ.” “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Rom. 8:1

He was perfect, unblemished, male, no broken bones, a substitute who bore the wrath of God, we are covered by His blood, protected from the punishment of death, we feed on him, we partake because we are circumcised in heart=regenerated/born again. He preserves the lives of all who trust Him.
“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.” Jer. 4:4

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,” Col. 2:111
It was to be eaten with bitter herbs to remind them of their bitter slavery in Egypt/our bitter slavery to sin.
Jesus redeemed His people from slavery to sin. “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” Romans 6:17
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22
Also eaten with unleavened bread. Leaven represented sin.

We have been set free (redeemed) from our slavery to sin. Therefore we must remove sin from our lives.

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor. 5;7,8

Those who applied the blood of the lamb were safe from judgment and death. Ex. 12:7,13
We are under the safety and protection of His blood.
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Pet. 1:18,19

He was killed as our Substitute, therefore we need not fear death and judgment.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Pet. 3:18

Jesus as the Scapegoat in Leviticus

30 Mar

Scapegoat
What exactly happened there, on that Roman cross two millennia ago?

In 2 Corinthians 6:2, Paul says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Paul here summarizes the gospel message for us, bringing in the idea of imputation.

Imputation simply means that something is accounted to someone else. In this case, our sins are laid on Christ.

But there’s more. We get something too. Not only do our sins become covered by the blood of Christ, but we are seen as righteous in God’s sight. We are justified, another theological term, which means to be declared righteous in the Supreme Court of the Universe.

In the Old Testament, in Leviticus 16, we see an example of this idea. Two goats were presented at the front of the tabernacle; the High Priest would lay his hands on the head of the goat, and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the children of Israel, putting their sins (ceremonially) on the head of the goat. In this case, the sins of the people were imputed to the goat. One goat was killed, and its blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat.

The other goat, the scapegoat, which is where we get that word, was left alive, and led out into the wilderness, never to be seen again.

It’s a beautiful picture. But as a type, it’s imperfect. Ideally you’d have only one goat. But you can’t kill a goat and then still have a live one to send out.

However, in Christ, you have One who is killed as an atoning sacrifice, and yet as a living Saviour He removes our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Just a point of geography, but you know that if you go north, eventually you’ll be going south again. But if you go east, you keep going east, or if you go west, you keep going west and you will never go east in that direction. It’s a beautiful way to show that we will never meet up with our sins again once they have been laid on our scapegoat, Jesus.

At the cross, an exchange takes place; our sins on Christ, His righteousness on us. It’s like being poor and indebted, to the point that you can never repay it even if you lived fifteen lifetimes, and then a rich benefactor places billions of dollars into your account. He imputes it to your account. This not only pays off your debt and provides for your care, but you are rich beyond your dreams.

Similarly we are indebted to God, and we owe a debt we can never pay, and suddenly, we find we are not only forgiven, but we have now become joint-heirs with Christ, who owns all things. We are promised His presence with us in this life, and eternity with Him in Heaven. Chrysostom said, “O Sweet Exchange!”

So now that we see what happened on the cross, you may say, “How can a few hours on a cross, even as horrible a death as that, possibly atone for a lifetime of sin?”

It has to do with the value or worth of the One who was crucified. Because He is infinite, He paid an infinite price. He was separated from His Father. That is the greatest agony He suffered on the cross.

“To see sin as it really is, contemplate what it cost to remove it. If we had fallen into a deep pit, we could tell how deep we had fallen by the length of rope let down to save us. In the same way, we can only understand the depths of depravity into which sin has brought us by the lengths to which God must go to redeem us.” Robert Morey

If forever in hell, seems too harsh a punishment for only a lifetime of sin, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach; you don’t know your own heart, or the value of the One you’ve offended. A threat against a person has a certain penalty, but a threat or assault against the Prime Minister has greater consequences because of the position of the one who has been so mistreated.

By extension, we could argue that an eternity in Heaven is too great a reward for only a lifetime of service. How can the J.W.’s believe in annihilation but still hold they will be rewarded for eternity? The most they should get is a week in the Caribbean!
You can’t have both. But that would assume we obtain Heaven by works. We do not. It’s not of works. It’s grace. Amazing Grace!

Here is a beautiful quote by R.C. Sproul in his book, Reason to Believe, on Grace:

“Nothing requires that God be gracious, not even His love. If grace is ever required, it is no longer grace. Grace cannot be required. If we merit it then it is no longer grace; if God is obliged to give it then it is no longer grace. When we think that God must be gracious, we confuse grace with justice. Once I rebel against God, He owes me nothing… If God deals with us ultimately on the basis of justice alone, we will perish.”

Prayer: “Thank you, God for Jesus, Who was the perfect scapegoat, Who could atone for our sins by dying as a Sacrifice, and also bear our sins away, never to be brought up against us again. Thank You for saving us by grace instead of dealing with us on the basis of justice.”

Jesus as the Judge of All the Earth in Revelation

20 Oct

Read Revelation 20:11-15

Maybe I have an overly sensitive conscience, but I feel nervous around police and judges. Once, when I was called for potential jury duty, I took the stand to be asked a simple question. My heart was racing. I was sooooo  nervous! If I tremble before a human judge even though I’m innocent, what would it be like to stand before the Judge of all the earth, guilty?

The images of the end of the age are awesome, with horrible judgments poured out on the earth, and a vision of God on His throne so terrible, it says the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place for them. (Rev. 20:11) People will be so terrified, they will prefer to hide in caves and ask the mountains to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. “For the day of His wrath has come, and who can stand?” Rev.6:14-17

One doesn’t usually associate wrath with a lamb. Lambs are docile, sweet and helpless. But this Lamb, who “as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isa.53:7, was also, “Christ, our Passover, slain for us.” 1 Cor.5:7 The Lamb of God came to earth the first time to handle the sin problem. Now He is coming to Judge the earth.

In Matt. 25:31-46, Jesus tells a parable about the Sheep and the Goats. It is set at the Last Judgment. Jesus is on the throne. We know this because the One on the throne refers to His Father. Also, we know that all judgment has been committed to the Son. John 5:22, Rom.2:16, Eph. 5:10, john 5:22

The sheep and goats are separated, with the sheep on the right and the goats at His left hand. Jesus here rewards His people for doing things out of love for Him. They are so unaware of their actions being commendable, that they are surprised to hear that He likens their good works to His brethren as good works toward Him, personally.

Also notice, He rewards His people first, in order to vindicate them before the unbelieving world. It’s amazing to me that He would equip us for good works, Eph.2:10, and then reward us for them. 1 Cor. 3:14,15 Good reason to cast our crowns before Him. Rev.4:10

Then He assigns the unbelievers to eternal torment using almost the same words He uses to praise the sheep. They also protest, claiming innocence that it was Jesus they failed to care for when they failed to care for “the least of these”. They were looking to get off on a technicality, but God knows their hearts.

The images in the last few chapters of Revelation are sobering. Read Rev. 20:11-15 again. You see the awesomeness of the One on the Great white throne, the reanimation of the dead from the sea and the graves, all standing now before the Judge. Books will be opened, and people will be judged “from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Rev. 20:12

The most important book seems to be the Book of Life. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15

I know everyone has a different story to tell about how they were saved. Some see the beauty of the gospel, some see the reasonableness of it, some see the awesome sacrifice of Christ. I feared judgment. I recognized, even as a child, that I was guilty, and that God would be just in condemning me to hell. When I heard the good news, that He had also provided a way to escape the judgment, I ran for it.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s one approach to preaching the gospel. “…some save with fear…” Jude 1:23 The good news isn’t good news unless we first hear the bad news. How can we have assurance of our salvation and confidence that we can stand before the throne of this Awesome One without fear? The answer definitely doesn’t rest in us. I can’t “keep” myself in the faith, any more than I got myself into it. Salvation is God’s work from start to finish. He is the “Author and Finisher of our faith.”  Heb. 12:2 He chose me, so He keeps me. (Rom. 8:29). They are links of the salvation chain, we are secure because of Christ.

There are many theological terms we read in our Bibles, without really understanding them: justification, sanctification and propitiation come to mind. Most believers get the general idea of those words, but couldn’t give a clear definition.

We’ll focus on justification for a moment. I’ve heard that it means God looks on you “just-as-if-you-had-never-sinned”. While it might be a helpful way to remember, I think it’s a weak definition. Justification is actually a legal term. Since we’re dealing with the Supreme Court of the Universe, it’s helpful to speak legal-ease. Justification, as it is used in the Bible, primarily means to be declared righteous. That is exclusively the idea that the Apostle Paul means. James uses the term, but he uses it in reference to how our works validate our faith in the eyes of men, not how we stand or fall before God.

Justification differs from sanctification, which is the process by which God progressively makes us holy. The first thing we need is to have the death sentence removed from over our heads. When we believe in Jesus Christ; repenting of our sin and resting in the finished work of Christ as our Substitute, God declares us “NOT GUILTY”. We are free! “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Gen.  15:6 and Rom.5:1,2, Rom.8:1

As the Judge of the earth, He has the right to do that; to let a guilty person go free. But as a holy and just God, He could not do that without going contrary to His nature, which He cannot do. “He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 If only there was a way……….There is a way! His name is Jesus. Because Jesus was our Substitute, who paid in full for our sin, God can legitimately justify us.

So when we flee to Jesus for safety, we are hidden in Him, and in that sense, God now looks on us “just-as-if-we-had-never-sinned”. When God the Father sees us hidden in Christ, He sees only the perfect righteousness of His son. Col.3:3 A great exchange has taken place. Our sins on Christ, Christ’s righteousness imputed, or made over, to our account. O sweet exchange!

Justification by faith alone is a beautiful, life-changing, uplifting, soul-assuring doctrine. Never tire of praising God for justifying you. Because you are justified, you will not be condemned on that awful day. The worst words anyone will ever hear will be, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.” Matt.7:23

Yet, “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ…” Rom.8:1

“It is in the substitutionary death of Christ that sin is overcome and wrath is averted, so that God can look upon man with pleasure, and man can look upon God without fear. Sin is expiated and God’s wrath is propitiated.” John Stott

Prayer– “Lord, how awesome You are. You are our Creator and our Saviour. The truth of a future judgement would be terrifying, if we weren’t secure in Christ. ‘Thank you’ is so inadequate to express our feelings about saving us from hell and promising us Heaven. +Help us to share the gospel so that others won’t have to face the wrath of the Lamb.”

Questions– When we stand before Jesus, will He be our Saviour or our Judge? If you are unsure, spend some time in prayer, asking God to save you, or if you are saved, to give you assurance of your salvation, so you don’t need to fear death and judgement. –Was fear of judgement a factor in your conversion?

Response– How familiar are you with theological terms? Look up the meaning of the following terms: justification, sanctification, adoption, redemption, propitiation.

Christ as the Mediator in Job

8 Sep

Read Job Chapter 9

“For He is not a man, as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both.” Job 9:32, 33.

Disputes can quickly turn ugly.  It can happen in labour talks, on the baseball diamond, or in a marriage.  When you have two parties, each with legitimate “beefs”, or at an impasse because neither side will compromise, you need outside help.

The form this outside help takes is important.  You don’t want someone who is vulnerable to accepting a bribe, one who can be threatened or coerced, or one who starts out with a bias toward one side or the other.

He must be trustworthy, fair and blameless.  Moreover, he must have a clear understanding of both sides in order to bring them together in reconciliation.  How difficult to find such a peacemaker!

In this passage, Job laments his situation.  He has some serious questions for God; namely, ‘Why am I suffering?’  Yet he knows he is dealing with the God of the universe, and one does not just saunter into His presence and demand answers.

Job knows he needs an advocate.  An umpire.  A mediator.  Someone who will put one hand on him, and one on God, and find a peaceful solution.  Oh Job, if you only knew that such a One would come!

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 2:5

As sinners, we are in such a predicament, as well.  We are rebels against the King of the universe.  R.C. Sproul says we have committed “cosmic treason”. We are guilty before the Judge of all the earth.  There is nothing we can do to fix our situation.  Moreover, we have no right to even approach this Holy God to appeal for mercy.

Enter: the God-Man, Jesus.  He is the Eternal Son of God, and yet He took on flesh.  As a man, He could understand our predicament; as God He could do something about it.  While it’s nice that someone understands our trouble, unless they can do something about it, we’re still in peril.

If I was drowning and someone jumped into the water beside me, started flailing their arms and swallowing  water, it wouldn’t mean much to me for them to say, “I know just how you feel!”  I don’t need sympathy alone, I need help!  I need a hero to save me!

That’s why Jesus is the best Mediator.  As a man, He understands how sin has ruined us, although He Himself was sinless.  He knew pain, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, rejection and oppression.  But as God, He could also do something to relieve our situation.

That situation was our broken relationship with God.  We stood condemned.  He took the punishment, satisfying the wrath of a holy God.  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, we can now approach this Holy God, and appeal for mercy based on the finished work of Christ.

Christ is the mediator that Job could only dream about.  We who live after the Cross can see how our sympathetic High Priest is also our Deliverer.

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Heb. 4:15

“…and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thess. 1:10

As a mediator between two opponents, he brings about reconciliation.

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:18   

He doesn’t just say, “Why can’t we all just get along?” or “Let’s let bygones be bygones,” or “Boys will be boys.”  He provides a real solution, not just platitudes.  He truly solves our sin problem.  A Holy God will not just overlook our offences.  At the cross, Mercy and Peace have kissed each other.

“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Prayer– “Lord you know how obstinate and unforgiving I can be. You know I’m not the first to apologize after an argument. Break down my pride. Make me willing to humble myself in order to bring about reconciliation in my relationships. Thank you most of all for reconciling me to God through the sacrifice of Yourself.”

Questions– How do you deal with disputes? Are you an instigator, an agitator, or a peacemaker? Do you realize that before you were saved, you were an enemy of God?

“Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement. He is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor—that is the only way out of a hole. This process of surrender—this movement full speed astern—is repentance.”  C.S. Lewis

I’m glad at the way it came out, but at the conversion moment, what I heard was God saying, ‘Put down your gun and we’ll talk’.” C.S. Lewis

Response– Do you need to make peace with someone? Do it before the day is over.

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