We all know the various prophecies that tell of Jesus’ birth in the Old Testament. These predictions come to fulfillment in the New Testament. There are many questions of how Mary could conceive a child without a man; the conception being through the Holy Spirit. When we try to imagine God putting on flesh like the very creation He, himself fashioned – well that becomes mind blowing. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we beheld His glory as the Only Begotten Son, full of grace and Truth.” [John 1:14] In the beginning was the Word, The Word was in the beginning with God, and the Word was God. The incarnation is the revelation to Mankind of the presence of God in visible form. Jesus told His disciples “if you have seen Me, then you have seen the Father; I and the Father are One.” [John 14]
When I think of the story line of scripture, from Genesis with God making man from the dust of the earth and breathing into him the “breath of life, and man becoming a living soul, I am overwhelmed. When I think of the Fall in the garden of Eden and the devastation as a resulted, that even Creation cries out for restoration and reconciliation – it again is overwhelming. The Law of Moses given to try and reveal to harden mankind the failure and inability to be holy and to restore ourselves to the Only God – our creator, the situation seems hopeless.
Thinking through the past four and half years of blogging, the scripture reinforces the fact that only God can restore mankind back to Jehovah. No matter how holy or righteous we are in our behavior and attitudes, we will always fall short. Even today in churches across North America the clarion call is for “disciple making” instead of sharing the Gospel through evangelism. Men must be saved, not instructed on how to live better lives.
Jesus came because the Father in Heaven so loved us. Jesus came because it was the Trinity’s plan to do so. At the end of the Law there was not the restoration of mankind. Sin had not been dealt with, and mankind had become institutionalized by religious performance. The Pharisees and Sadducees in particular revealed the hypocrisy of performance oriented religion that makes us feel good about ourselves; yet does nothing to reconcile us to God.
Jesus came to show us the Father; He came to make the invisible, visible – Col 1. Jesus is the second Adam, for the first Adam, although created holy and innocent, rebelled and believed the lie of Satan, that man could live without God. Jesus, as the second Adam, revealed what mankind “could have been” had they lived in obedience to the Father.
Jesus was subjected to temptation and sin like as we all are, yet without sin. He [Jesus] came to be the vicarious atonement for all sin, the enmity that separated man from God would once and for all be dealt with, and the Accuser of the brethren – Father of lies would be dealt an eternal blow. Jesus came to deal with our sin, defeat Satan, and rose again for our justification – all by faith that the Father would be faithful to His own word. In the Birth of Jesus, a new era or day came. No longer would men be shackled by The Law requirements. Faith in Christ as the Anointed, Messiah to do for man, what man could never do for himself – to give life instead of death, to give hope in a hopeless situation. This Jesus born of a Virgin, lying in a cradle would change history forever, regardless of who sat on the thrones of kingdoms of earth. This Jesus would serve and be sacrificed as a Lamb before God, and God would be pleased – opening the pathway for all who would call upon Jesus as Savior and Lord to begin “New Life” being a “new Creation” having the Breath of Life breathed back into them. Oh, what a story of redemption!
Thank God for His amazing Love, Grace, Mercy and Hope – all because Yahweh acted on our behalf. The Plan of God is not complete, for this Jesus will return in like manner one day. Acts 1. Until then let us rejoice and live out that which is now living in us – Christ in You the Hope of Glory [Col 1:27]
April 11, 2020 – The Jewish Sabbath, a day of rest according to the Mosaic Law
I was thinking of the various day names surrounding Easter:
But there is a day that rarely anyone talks about – Silent Saturday. We have plenty of commentary on the other days, but what happened on Saturday? Only in Matthew 27:62-66 do we have anything said about Saturday. The greatest fear the religious leaders had was that Jesus’ body would be stolen and give credence to what He said about raising up “This Temple”. So a seal was put on the stone to let them know if the grave had been tampered with, that and a guard was placed to keep watch.
Seals and Soldiers – Okay, so the Tomb is secure, the guard in place and the rest of the Disciples are huddled up in the Upper Room waiting for the Sabbath to be over. The Sabbath is suppose to be a time of rest and worshipping God. Instead I think inside the Upper Room the disciples were asking all the questions they could think of – but we find that the answers didn’t come until Jesus arose from the grave. [Then the disciples remember what He said, after the resurrection – Luke 24:9.] I can’t imagine all that went through theirs minds and hearts during that long day. I’m sure they were in shock at what happened; guilt ridden for how they ran from the scene; pondering the suicide of Judas; anger and remorse of how the crowds and religious leaders used mob tactics to have Jesus killed on the cross.
But there are some other things that went on during that day. The scene of the religious leaders securing the grave as I mentioned. But what about where Jesus was? We know that Psalms 16:10; I will not leave your soul in Sheol [place of the dead]. This begs the question – what happens when someone dies? Where do they go? We have the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31, a place called Hades. The Rich man in one part and Lazarus in another part in “Abraham’s bosom. There is a great divide between the two, one cannot go from place to place. Wherever a person finds themselves, that is their lot until the Judgment. [Revelation 20:11-15]. To help us answer the question of where Jesus went, we also have to ask where the Old Testament saints went when the died. Obviously, they didn’t go to Heaven, access was not available yet. So they waited – Waited in a place called Hades. John 14:6 tells us that no-one can come to the Father except through Jesus. We know that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection; Ephesians 4:8 tells us that Jesus when He ascended having first descended, led captive those who were captive. It is my understanding that Jesus liberated those who had been waiting for their eternal Salvation. SO as Jesus ascended to the Father, He led the Old Testament Saints into the presence of the Father. Their HOPE was in the Coming Messiah; ours today is also in the COMING, but His 2nd Coming! The great gulf had been spanned through the precious Blood of the Lamb of God. Also today we know that – “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord [1 Corinthians 5:8]. Today when a person dies, he/she can go into the presence of Yahweh because the “wall of separation has been tore down.” [Eph. 2:14-15]
So, imagine while the rest of mankind was waiting and hiding; those who by faith had trusted in God, their waiting was over! Imagine if you can what it must have been like for them to see Jesus the Messiah enter into their presence – I can hear Him say “Let’s Go Home.” As saints are in Heaven even now waiting for US – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18!
I think God likes Gardens – Of course there is the tragic rebellion incident in the Garden of Eden; also the place where the first sacrifice for sin was slain; and that was done by God. We also find that the Garden of Gethsemane; God provided another sacrifice – the Last Sacrifice for sin. There have been preachers and commentaries that think A “Jesus had to present His blood in Heaven, to the Father as a Passover/Sin sacrifice.” I’m not so inclined to follow that thought. All I know is that the shed blood of Jesus Christ was the price that was necessary as the Lamb of God to satisfy the “death penalty of sin, and cleanse/forgive all who trust in Jesus as the Son of God and sacrifice for sin. The Blood of Jesus was the ONLY way mankind could come to the Heavenly Father; reconciled back to HIM – the offense of SIN which began in Eden had finally been revoked by Faith in Jesus.
Silent Saturday – not very much, for while mankind was SILENT; God was in Christ, but He was anything but silent. We must wait, as the Old Testament saints waited. But our Wait is with anticipation that a trumpet will sound and Jesus will say for a second time – “Let’s Go Home!”
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Filed under Misc. commentary
Tagged as expiation, hades, Last Sacrifice, Old Testament saints, reconcilation, Resurrection, seals and soldiers, Sheol, Silent Saturday