Posted in sacrifice, temple

What piece of furniture won’t you find in the Temple?

By Elizabeth Prata*

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19)

Here is an illustration of the inside of the Temple of God when it was at its best. It has a lot of furniture in it. Tables for showbread, lavers for washing, tables for the sacrifices, the ark, etc. There is something missing. Look for it. If you don’t notice what it missing, then scan below for the answer- (Illustration source)

11.1 Kings.indd

Figure it out yet? The verse was the clue. The piece of furniture missing from the inside of the Temple was a CHAIR. A stool, a couch. Anything to sit on. There was nowhere to sit. Priests were always at work because sin always had to be atoned for. It was endless.

When Jesus accomplished His work on the cross, He ascended to the heavenly temple and He SAT. IT IS FINISHED!!!! Sin is finally atoned for via the one Holy Sacrifice and God accepted it, signifying His acceptance by raising Jesus from the dead.

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10).

Jesus is the sacrifice. He is sitting because He magnificently and perfectly finished the work. Praise His name!

*This essay first appeared on The End Time in August 2012

Posted in isaac, Lamb, old testament, prophecy, sacrifice

Sacrifice of Isaac prefigures Christ: the grace of Old Testament symbols and acts

Genesis 22 has the story of the great test of faith of Abraham. God called to Abraham one day, and Abraham answered “Here I am!” God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, his only son, who Abraham loves. Abraham was to do this on Mt Moriah, a place God initially told Abraham would be a place I will tell you. Not even initially knowing where, Abraham hastened to obey, and the two hiked to the fateful spot.

Theologians have examined this scene and compared it to Christ’s sacrifice so I am certainly not plowing new ground. I have no deeper insights. But in this day and age, with fears and tribulations, and griefs and apostasy, it is always refreshing to keep our eyes on Christ. It is always edifying to see how in the word, the LORD God has it all under control and His plan is unfolding from that day to this in magnificent fashion, and will continue to do so.

Italian Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s depiction of the sacrifice of Isaac.

Comparison of Old Testament texts with New Testament texts. Isaac pre-figures Christ.

click to enlarge

Preparing for Christ’s death

The cross is the epitome of redemptive truth, foreshadowed in the acceptable sacrifice of Abel, foreshadowed in the ark of safety that saved Noah, foreshadowed in the sacrifice provided on Mount Moriah–a ram in the place of Isaac, prefigured in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, where Moses said, “The Lord is my strength, and my song, and He has become my salvation.” We see the cross foreshadowed in the smitten rock in the wilderness that brought forth water to quench the thirsty people. We see the cross foreshadowed in the Levitical ceremonies, sacrifices and offerings. We see it foreshadowed in the serpent lifted up in the desert for healing. We see it even in Boaz, the kinsman redeemer. We see the cross detailed in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. We see the pierced and wounded Savior in Zechariah, chapter 12–all the way through Scripture. J. MacArthur

Scripture is amazing and wonderful. Read your Bible today.

Posted in Lamb, prophecy, sacrifice

Did Jesus perform sacrifices at the Temple?

I was asked a good question by a friend. I like questions. They send me searching into the Bible and I spend happy moments or hours delving into the mysteries of God in the Bible to unearth a Spirit-filled answer. The question was, did Jesus offer animal sacrifices at the Temple, even though HE was going to be the sacrifice? And was sinless?

After some thought and biblical research, this was my answer. As for Jesus offering animal sacrifices, I am not personally aware of any scene in the Bible that depicts this, but I am pretty sure that He did. How can I be pretty sure?

First, Jesus lived the Law perfectly–

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt 5:17)

Though the Bible does not offer extensive information about the early or childhood life of Jesus, there are a few glimpses of Jesus and His keeping of the Law. We know his parents Joseph and Mary kept the Law, and they taught Jesus to do the same. The pair came to the temple on the 8th day after Jesus birth to fulfill the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21-22).

Skip forward to a few years, we know the family went up to Jerusalem to fulfill the Law concerning the festivals. (Luke 2:41-42). And Jesus was submissive to his parents in all things [according to the Commandment honor thy parents]. (Luke 2:51)

Jesus was baptized, certainly He did not need to go through a ritual that represented repentance and cleansing from sin! But He did.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21).

This means that God treated Jesus AS a sinner, even though He was not.

So therefore we can extrapolate that He likely also performed sacrifices when He came to the proper age. If He didn’t do sacrifices, He would not have fulfilled the Law as Matthew recorded Jesus statement. Animal sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and Jesus performing the sacrifices was still a picture of that, until the cross and the torn veil in the Temple.

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).

Posted in agape, brian palmer, ebola, jesus, missionaries, sacrifice

Christian missionary doctors fighting Ebola irritate Brian Palmer and other liberals

I read an interesting opinion piece in the liberal online magazine Slate, by atheist Brian Palmer, who also writes for the National Resources Defense Council. He noticed that many of the people working in West Africa with the Ebola patients are Christians. Worse, they are Christian missionaries, Christian missionary nurses, and Christian missionary doctors. He is at once amazed that people would volunteer for such a task, and at no pay (which blows his mind!) yet at the same time he is irritated.

Caduceus, Wiki CC

Why? They talk of Jesus too much.

His attitude was, ‘if they want to be do-gooders, at least shut up about Jesus and keep the medical science free from all that … religion‘. He also notices that governments and corporations are not rushing in there to help, and that’s just too irksome to deal with. The Christians are showing up the organizations that are supposed to help.

You can read his original piece here. His title is telling, don’t you think?

In Medicine We Trust
Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?

This piece at NewsBusters responding to Palmer’s opinion about the Ebola missionaries is interesting. NewsBusters nailed Palmer’s tone. They put Palmer’s quotes in bold.

Mingling of Religion and Health Care’ in Ebola Crisis Stirs ‘Visceral Discomfort’ at Slate

Brian Palmer revealed what many secularists feel about Christian missionaries in Africa in a Thursday piece on Slate, especially the role on the front lines of the ongoing fight against Ebola. Palmer acknowledged how “missionary doctors and nurses…have undertaken long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans,” but added that “for secular Americans…it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation….It’s great that these people are doing God’s work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?

The writer later hyped that “some missionaries are incapable of separating their religious work from their medical work. Whether implicitly or explicitly, some missionaries pressure their patients, at moments of maximum vulnerability and desperation, to convert.” He admitted, “That troubles me. I suspect that many others have the same visceral discomfort with the mingling of religion and health care.

Mr Palmer’s attitude is nothing new. It is as old as the hills. In 250 AD in northern Turkey, there was a terrible pandemic. Bodies piled up. Terrified healthy people fled. Some cities were decimated. Afterward, they found battlefields littered with dead soldiers but without wounds. They had simply dropped dead from the pandemic.

Camp Fuston, KS, Spanish Influenza

Christian pastors Dionysius and Cyprian, along with many deacons and laypeople, stayed behind to help. It’s not that they were immune, they weren’t. It’s that the Christians had the hope of Jesus in them, knowing He had come to earth to reconcile men to Himself. His loving sacrificial act spurred the Christians to do likewise of the pagans dying in droves. They laid down their lives for them. Dionysius later wrote about the nursing efforts of the Christians

“Most of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains. Many, in nursing and curing others, transferred their death to themselves and died in their stead … The best of our brothers lost their lives in this manner, a number of presbyters, deacons, and laymen winning high commendation so that death in this form, the result of great piety and strong faith, seems in every way the equal of martyrdom.”

Dionysus noted next how the Christians even prepared the pagans for burial. He also described how the pagans reacted:

The heathen [pagans] behaved in the very opposite way. At the first onset of the disease, they pushed the sufferers away and fled from their dearest, throwing them into the roads before they were dead and treated unburied corpses as dirt, hoping thereby to avert the spread and contagion of the fatal disease; but do what they might, they found it difficult to escape.”

Screen shot, Monty Python & Holy Grail, “Bring Out Your Dead” scene

Human nature is no different then as it is now. When the Ebola deaths spiked this summer, The Liberian Observer reported,

Guarded by heavily armed platoons of officers from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Police Support Unit (PSU) several weeks ago, two mini trucks conveyed the corpses of Ebola victims to be buried in Johnsonville. This dumping of about 45 bodies on the bank of the Kpan-wein River under the heavy guard of police and soldiers immediately created a stampede, with people running in all directions, for fear of being contaminated or afflicted with the Ebola disease.

One hundred years after the plague Dionysius wrote about had abated, Roman Emperor Julian (the last Emperor) tried to get the pagan priests to perform such heroic acts of charity and care. They wouldn’t. It is perplexing to the unsanctified mind that people would lay down their lives for a stranger, would give and provide for them. It further perplexes them, as it does Mr Palmer now, that the government won’t step up neither will the pagan religions, but the Christians always do. Julian wrote,

“The impious Galileans support not only their poor, but ours as well, everyone can see that our people lack aid from us.”


The bible tells us:
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Gill’s Commentary explains,

His sense is this; that the light of the Gospel, which he had communicated to them, the spiritual knowledge of the mysteries of grace, which he had favoured them with, were to be openly declared, and made manifest before men. Light was not given merely for their own private use, but for the public good of mankind; and therefore, as they were placed as lights in the world, they were to hold forth, in the most open and conspicuous manner, the word of light and life:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, (Ephesians 2:10)

In 1 Peter 2:12 we read,

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

We are called to live a good life before the pagans. This glorifies Jesus. In some cases, we are called to live a good death. This glorifies Jesus.


Further Reading

Why Do So Many Liberals Despise Christianity?
Liberals increasingly want to enforce a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. And they see alternative visions of the good as increasingly intolerable.

Oh Yuck, Christian Doctors

Posted in chick-fil-a, sacrifice, serve, snowstorm

Chick-fil-a feeds people during Atlanta snowstorm

The Onion, a digital news satire organization, published the following spoof news article a few weeks ago.

January 3, 2014:
Local Church Full Of Brainwashed Idiots Feeds Town’s Poor Every Week
MACON, GA—Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in town who have fallen on hard times and are unable to afford to put food on the table, so we try to help out as best we can,” said 48-year-old Kerri Bellamy, one of the mindless sheep who adheres to a backward ideology and is incapable of thinking for herself, while spooning out homemade shepherd’s pie to a line of poor and homeless individuals. “It feels great to share our blessings with the less fortunate. Plus, it’s fun to work alongside all the members of our [corrupt institution of propaganda and lies] who come out each week.” As of press time, the brainless, unthinking lemmings had donated winter clothing they no longer wore to several needy families and still hadn’t opened their eyes to reality

During the SnowLanta crisis this week, The Onion’s headline came true, sort of. The Universal Free Press published the following real news article this week:

Guess What Chick-Fil-A is Forcing on People Now!
As we can all recall, Chick-Fil-A was the center of controversy as they were accused of “forcing their religious views” on others when president Dan Cathy made his political leanings known regarding gay marriage. You’ll never guess what the once demonized business is now forcing on others now – FOOD. Yep, that’s right, food. According to Fox News, a local Chick-Fil-A came to the rescue as a rare snowstorm in the South left citizens stranded on icy interstates and highways, including Highway 280 in Birmingham, Alabama. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the restaurant employees and owner, Mark Meadows, a good number of stranded motorists were able to find food and shelter from the storm.

Birmingham, Ala. Chick-Fil-A owner Mark Meadows (Courtesy Lauren Dango)

Stranded drivers were surprised by the free sandwiches and grateful for the hot meal. Why didn’t Chick-Fil-A choose to make some extra money during the storm? They had a captive crowd of customers, unable to go to another restaurant, so why did they choose to give the food away? Audrey explained, “This company is based on taking care of people and loving people before you’re worried about money or profit. We were just trying to follow the model that we’ve all worked under for so long and the model that we’ve come to love. There was really nothing else we could have done but try to help people any way we could.”

The world will never understand the Light that is in a Christian, but that is why it is so important to keep sharing it, no matter what the reaction. Serving humanity in the name of Jesus and through the Spirit will affect untold many, even if we don’t see it. It is a revolutionary act.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God

Creative Commons, “Feet” by stacyjeanxo

and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5)

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:12-17).

To trudge through the snow and hand out bags of food, to open a place of business and exchange no commerce but only offer for free, to sacrifice…these things are revolutionary. Love your enemy, slaves are brethren, Samaritans are good. These things are revolutionary because they are of Christ.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Christ has set the example, as Gill’s Exposition says,

For I have given you an example,…. Christ is an example to his people, in many things; not in his miraculous performances and mediatorial work, but in the exercise of grace, of meekness,
humility, love, patience, …

Lord, give to me a servant’s heart.

Flickr cc, by Kevin Dooley
Posted in kimani gray, passover, sacrifice, sky angel

Passover sacrifice at Temple Mount denied, sky angel, Kimani Gray, love

A news article about seriousness.

The following article from Israel National News surprised me. They have done sacrifices at the Temple Mount during Passover before.

Temple-Times Passover Sacrifice Nixed by Government
“Israel’s Veterinary Services will not authorize the planned public ritual sacrifice of a goat in honor of Passover this year, Veterinary Services representative Zohar Dvorkin said Thursday. Jewish groups dedicated to the Temple Mount and Temple renewal are planning the sacrifice as a reminder of what Passover looked like in Temple times. The ritual slaughter is to take place in Jerusalem, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood opposite the Temple Mount. The organizations planning the sacrifice were unpleasantly surprised at the Veterinary Services’ response. The Veterinary Services has authorized previous sacrifices in honor of Passover, including one held in Jerusalem last year.”

But coming on the heels of the wrangling over the Temple Mount and the recent violence there with a firebombing, maybe it is not so surprising. The activity in and around God’s holy ground is getting more severe. Expect more articles of this kind in the near future. The fighting is not over the actual mosque or temple, it is satan trying to prevent God from occupying His designated spot. For a short while in the near future, satan will be allowed to place himself there, to allow sin to run its full course. We are fast approaching that time now. It all will come down to a narrow, laser-point focus on Jerusalem.

“who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

“The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.” (Daniel 11:36).

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:27).


Now we go from seriousness to silliness. This is of the “I saw the face of Jesus in my corn flakes” variety of craziness.

Angel-Shaped Cloud Appears In Florida Sky After New Pope Is Announced
“Some say it’s nothing. Others believe it’s a message from heaven on a big day for the Roman Catholic Church. Just hours after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio made his first appearance as Pope Francis at the Vatican, Florida resident Jodi Guthrie snapped a photo of a stunning cloud shaped like an angel hovering in the sky over Royal Palm Beach.”

Facebook/Ginger Teixeira Richmond

There’s no denying that it is a very pretty cloud and an unusual shape. But it’s in…Florida, and has nothing to do with the Pope from Argentina who lives in Italy. If anything, it is a false wonder designed to delude people, not a sign from God. I would tend to think lightning striking the Vatican twice on the day of the pope’s resignation is more from God than this cloud in Florida is.

On the other hand, it’s very good that people are looking around their world and wondering of the religious things happening have anything to do with the natural things happening. That is a good connection to make. However, the imbroglio at the Vatican has nothing to do with God and everything to do with satan, so it is a missed connection. We can pray that as people lift their heads and look up, they make the proper connection. The right things to think in these days are that Jesus is coming soon to judge the living and the dead. He is active and involved with the world in His general revelation (Romans 1) and will soon be appearing in His special revelation (Ezekiel 39). If it causes a person to wonder how they may fare before a holy God then good. If it causes a person to think this is praise for a new pope, then it is bad.

While we are on the topic, we can ask the question, “Do angels have wings?


There is a situation occurring now in Brooklyn NY that you may not be aware of. A 16-year-old teen named Kimani Gray was shot by Brooklyn police. He was shot 7 times, which infuriated the black community. He pointed a loaded gun at police and threatened to shoot, which infuriated the peace officer community. There’s been three nights of rioting, and more police have been deployed to the neighborhood. 45 people were arrested after protests last night and the UK Daily Mail’s headline is a little more inflammatory but quite vivid: “It sounds like a war zone’: Chaos in Brooklyn as 100 teenagers ‘riot’ on the streets following vigil of 16-year-old who was shot dead by NYPD plainclothes cops”. The situation has become a powder keg, reports The New York Times. There have been mobs marauding the streets, vigils, speeches, and now apparently martial law. Or what they call “A State of Exception.”

Iran’s PressTV reports,
“The NYPD turned the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn into a ‘State of Exception’ on Thursday, arresting over 45 people including the sister of slain 16-year-old Kimani Gray.”

Tensions in civil life between those in authority and those who perceive themselves to be oppressed rise exponentially when there is economic hardship. Put another way, people are angry and more often they unhesitatingly take it out on other people. Whether the police acted badly and took it out on “an innocent boy” simply adjusting his waistband, or the boy was angry and took it out on “brave and ethical police” protecting the public good and have commendations to back up their long and distinguished careers, is an age-old discussion and not new. However, the reaction to the issue is. The go-to solution used to be discussion, meetings between parties, and civil resolutions through procedures such as inquests or Internal Affairs. Now, people just riot. It’s an indication of taking the law into their own hands, and ignoring the thin veneer of civil authority that used to hold the lost sinners at bay, but now as the Restrainer slowly lifts His hand, is more quick to surface.

Here is a peek at our world today:

Today’s photos, March 14, 2013

Above, a Bahraini anti-government protester is engulfed in flames when a shot fired by riot police hit the bomb in his hand that he was preparing to throw during clashes in Sanabis, Bahrain. Hasan Jamali/AP. It has been two years since Arab Spring and Saudi-led forces quelled unrest in Gulf island. Protests mark the date

Above, thousands of students, teachers, and concerned citizens protested in Madrid against cuts in education, and rising tuition fees imposed by the Minister of Education. The demonstration ended in front of Ministry of Education building.

Anti-nuclear rallies took place across Japan,
on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster,
urging Japan’s new government to abandon nuclear power.


Above, March 9, 2013–  Pakistani demonstrators torch Christians’ belongings during a protest over blasphemy in a Christian neighborhood in Lahore. More than 3,000 Muslim protesters turned violent over derogatory remarks allegedly made by Sawan Masih, 28 against the prophet Muhammad in a Christian neighboorhood in Badami Bagh area.  Arif Ali / AFP/Getty Images

Amid all this violence and protests as to the way things are, want to see what love is? It is still on earth, sometimes hidden among the cracks of a crumbling society, like a flower emerging from the concrete crack in the sidewalk, but it is still here. Watch this very moving 4-minute clip- and enjoy your day in Jesus. Days with Him are always good.

Posted in sacrifice, temple

What piece of furniture won’t you find in the Temple?

“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19)

Here is an illustration of the inside of the Temple of God when it was at its best. It has a lot of furniture in it. Tables for showbread, lavers for washing, tables for the sacrifices, the ark, etc. There is something missing. Look for it. If you don’t notice what it missing, then scan below for the answer-

Figure it out yet? The verse was the clue. The piece of furniture missing from the inside of the Temple was a CHAIR. A stool, a couch. Anything to sit on. There was nowhere to sit. Priests were always at work because sin always had to be atoned for. It was endless.

When Jesus accomplished His work on the cross, He ascended to the heavenly temple and He SAT. IT IS FINISHED!!!! Sin is finally atoned for via the one Holy Sacrifice and God accepted it, signifying His acceptance by raising Jesus from the dead.

“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10).

Jesus is the sacrifice. He is sitting because He magnificently and perfectly finished the work. Your work is to repent. Will you?

Posted in glory, jesus, sacrifice

The glory that is Jesus

Jesus prayed for us, “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:1-5).

While on earth, Jesus sought the mind of Christ every moment and lived a perfect, sinless life. He did this out of love for His Father, obedience to Him, and to be prepared as the sacrifice for sin. When He was glorified, He would send the Holy Spirit to us so that we could be act  in a manner bringing glory to Jesus, who by then was in heaven. When we reach heaven and the rapture happens we will be glorified too, with a sinless body and the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:53-54; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

Jesus continued, “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.” (John 17:9).

He has given us His words, straight from heaven, lived out in perfect truth from a sinless life, and verified as truth through His resurrection. His word, now our bible, is absolutely true from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.

It always starts and ends with Jesus, who is the Word.

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” (John 17:14-18).

If you are going through trouble due to the world hating you because Jesus is in you, take heart! He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4). Jesus is praying to God as our High Priest even though His trial, death, and resurrection was still in the near future. He was headed to the garden of Gethsemane, and His entire body would be wracked with tension so great that drops of His precious, heavenly blood would fall on the dirty ground as He prepared himself for the torture. He pleaded with the Father for us! He is still interceding. (Romans 8:34).

Look what He gave us! His mind, His life, His sacrifice, His body, His blood, Himself.

Jesus prays, Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695

“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” (John 17:22.)

I find this entire chapter so moving. Submit your mind to the Spirit so that we can be ever closer as one to Jesus, and that even more glory can be given to Him! Perform honorable actions in the world so He may be glorified by others seeing His light in us. Honor Him on this Lord’s day, and every day. He is worthy to be praised!

Posted in cross, sacrifice

Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?

It was a big deal for Jesus to descend from holy glory to walk among sinners, lepers, the unwashed and the hateful. It was a huge thing that He died for us (but was raised up again on the third day). But there is something else that He did that actually gets me crying if I think about it for too long.

Jesus was with the Father from the beginning. He was with God when the plan of redemption was set and the names chosen which would be in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Eph 1:4). From eternity past, Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit experienced sweet intra-Trinitarian communion with each other. (Genesis 1:1-2, John 1:2). They gave, submitted, loved, in and among each other in circular and in eternal glory with each other, delighting in themselves in their self-sufficiency.

In Jesus’s sacrificial and willing departure from purity to dwell with fallen man, He endured pain, stripes for our healing and allowed His blood to be shed to save souls. He willingly gave up His life and the Father would pick it up again.

What He endured next was nothing compared to that. Nothing.

For the first time ever, He was separate from the father. (Psalm 22:1) As He hung on the cross and His body was filled with sin (2 Peter 2:24) the Father looked away. Yes, Jesus left glory. Yes, Jesus died. Yes He endured horrific bodily pain. But He endured a spiritual weight and horror that none of us can even imagine.

If you remember your feelings of hopelessness prior to salvation, the spiritual darkness and weight of sin’s bondage, you may glimpse a nanosecond of that moment on the cross (Matthew 27:45-46). If you are a mature Christian now and cringe at the thought of being removed from the Holy Spirit’s presence for even one second, can you even imagine Jesus’s despair when He was separated from the Father? No.

But in His enduring this horrific, wrenching forsaking, He showed His love for us. I listen to a song in which one of the lyrics is “It was my sin that held Him there.” No, it wasn’t. He died for my sins, yes. But it was His will that held Him there. He willingly lay down His life:

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:18).

He loved us while we were yet sinners. But He loved the Father more. He obeyed, submitted, and so was filled with sin and forsaken on the cross. That moment went down in eternity as the loneliest man in the loneliest moment in the universe, forever.

He is a great and mighty and loving Savior!!

Please pray today. Commune with Him as it is your privilege to do. He endured that separation from the Father so that He could be in fellowship with you. So please be in fellowship with Him.