Gethsemane . . .

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your Will to be done, not Mine.” Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood ~ Luke 22:41-44

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 34, Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

I have been meditating upon this for some time and I want to throw out to you a few thoughts.

Firstly, that Jesus while He was here on this earth was fully human and fully divine. In His humanity He experienced everything we do. Everything that afflicts our mortal bodies. The temptations in the wilderness, which He overcame with the Word of God. All the grief and loss and sickness that He saw around Him and was gracious enough to help and heal.

Secondly, in His humanity He would have experienced fear, and since He died for all our sicknesses and diseases and afflictions as well as our sins, fear would have been in that list.

So, in the garden, I believe He was experiencing such an horrendous fear of what was before Him, that His blood began to be shed at that point, even before His arrest. After all, that is why He came, to bear all our sins and sicknesses and all the rest of our afflictions. I think the fear was so great because He was about to take the whole world upon Himself that it became the world’s fears as well, and after His arrest and when He was tortured and mocked and scourged He was suffering all our illnesses and on the cross He bore our sins.

It’s very difficult for me to write what is in my head about this, because it so profoundly moves me.

Jesus’ whole life on this earth was our redemption. From the moment He got up and proclaimed:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Isaiah 61:1-2

This statement covers it all ~ fears, illnesses, and sin. Jesus bore it all for us while we were yet sinners. He loved us to death. I don’t know whether it’s scientifically possible for someone to experience such grief and fear that they sweat drops of blood, but I am very certain that Jesus did, not only because that is what the Word tells us, but because that is who He was. Our redeemer, our saviour, our freedom fighter and our healer.

He overcame temptation in the wilderness, and lived to fight many more days here on earth to accomplish that which He was sent to do.

He overcame fear in the garden of Gethsemane and went to the cross anyway, and gained freedom for us from that fear.

He had to have experienced all of humanity to be able to free us from tyranny and know and understand all the struggles we have as human beings here on this earth.

He shed drops of blood as He prayed about His fear and therefore understands your fears today. Whatever they may be, sit down somewhere quiet and give them all over to the one who understands and cares for you. Because He’s been through it too.

Jesus Grass

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you ~ 1 Peter 5:7

 

 

 

Ah, Autumn at Last! . . .

The thoughts I’ve had in my mind lately have been in regard to autumn. I love Autumn. It is crisp and clear and cool. And filled with the beginnings of new life. For after all the leaves have died and fallen, the spring then brings forth new life.

Just as the leaves die and wither before the tree can produce new life, so we must do the same.

Even Jesus had to die, albeit on our behalf, before new life could begin to bloom for us.

There’s a song with the words ‘Love grew where the blood fell . . .’ and it sings of the flowers of love springing up where Jesus’ blood hit the ground as He was dying on the cross. It impacted me greatly.

His death brought forth for us, new life.

Before any seed can germinate it has to die in the ground and as it is watered and the sun shines on the soil it then springs forth new life. The writer of that song I believe had quite a revelation of the importance of death to new life.

Jesus died for our sins so that we could inherit eternal life!

He rose from the dead to prove the existence of eternal life!

The death of the body however, is just that. It then decays, but if we choose to follow Jesus, our spirit lives on forever with Him in heaven!

So what I’m trying to say, is that we need to die to self, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and we will inherit  eternal life.

Invite Him into our heart.

Confess our sin.

Accept His forgiveness.

Allow the sunshine of His salvation to shine on us.

Water ourselves with reading His word.

And watch new life emerge.

1 peter 5 7 (3)

But first, sit back, relax, and just rest, as the autumn tree does, just swaying in the breeze or standing in the fog, and let go of those things in life that are unimportant to the great scheme of things as far as the universe and God are concerned.

There’s not one thing that can be taken into the next life, so let go.

We may sometimes feel we are in a fog, but it doesn’t last long before the sun breaks through.

And when it does it is usually a bright, clean, clear and crisp day!

Clarity. I love that word.

That’s what walking with God does for us ~

Gives us clarity.

 

Passover and Easter . . .

I have over the past few months been studying more about the Feasts of Israel.

So, we gentiles are about to celebrate Easter. If we have been raised  in a family devoted to the Christian faith, then we know that Easter is about the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary. We are aware of His death and resurrection. Unlike most of the world, it’s not just about chocolate overload and bunny rabbits.

Passover and Easter are so inextricably interwoven. Passover being the celebration of the Hebrews deliverance from Egyptian tyranny. Easter being the celebration of the world’s deliverance from eternal death.

Victor Buksbazen, in his book The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel, says this:
“In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Passover and Easter generally coincide, usually March or early April. The central point in Jewish history is their deliverance from Egypt. The central point in the Christian faith is Calvary.

Jesus and His disciples, in the upper room, were celebrating Passover, and it was at this time  that it obtained its deepest significance.”

Passover and Easter

Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the sacrificial lamb of the Passover. He shed His blood, all of it, just as the Passover lamb had to be prepared. My understanding of the significance of the Hebrews not being able to be subjected to blood in the Old Testament, because it was so unclean, is that in our bloodlines sin is carried from generation to generation, and Jesus had not as yet borne that sin at Calvary. Have you ever wondered why the woman in the Gospels, with the issue of blood, only came up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His cloak? I think it was because she had no place even being  close to everyone because of her uncleanness, but she was so desperate for healing that she thought that if she just touched the hem of His garment (not Him, for that would have been against the law of Moses) then she could be healed. And she was!

The bread and wine on the table at Passover are very significant. The bread (afikomen) is shared by all, but some of it is hidden away and brought out again at the end of the meal. This is also a symbol of the broken body of Jesus at His death, and His resurrection.

And Jesus took this bread, blessed it and broke it, and said:
Take, eat; this is My Body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of Me.

The wine is a symbol of the blood of the lamb that was wiped over every door post of the Hebrews, so that they were saved from the angel of death. It is also very symbolic of the blood that Jesus shed for us that saves us from eternal death.

And Jesus drank of this wine after blessing it, and said:
This cup is the New Testament in My blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

“Jesus Himself, was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God” ~ V. Buksbazen.

The preparation for the Passover lamb was thorough. It had to be slain and prepared outside of the camp. All its blood had to be drained. Not one bone was to be broken. All of it had to be consumed.

Jesus celebrated Passover, then He walked out of that warm comfortable room and became the ultimate Passover for our sins.

He was crucified outside the city. His entire blood supply was shed. Not one bone was broken. Unreal considering where they put those nails. He gave His all.

God the Father had to turn away from His Son as He laid all the sin of the world on Him. Jesus cried out for His Father, and then as He declared that all was finally accomplished, He hung His head and died.

For you. For me.

There has never been and never will be any greater sacrifice.

SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE
Exodus 12 / Psalm 22 / Psalm 34:20 / The Hallel sung at the end of the Passover meal: Psalms 113-118 / Matthew 9: 19-22 / Matthew 26:17-30 / Luke 22: 7-28 / John 19 and 20 / 1 Corinthians 11: 23-33

Redemption . . .

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, it was a test. This type of sacrifice was a common practice amongst the people (who worshipped idols) where Abraham had lived before God directed him to leave and seek the promised land, so he obviously did not see anything odd in doing this.

Abraham is known as the Father of Faith, so his assurance from God that he would become the father of a great nation was at the forefront of his mind as he climbed the mountain with his beloved son confident that God would not go back on His word.

And He didn’t.

Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for love of Yahweh, at the same time knowing, by faith, that God was about to do something extraordinary, God was willing to sacrifice His Son for the redemption of mankind.

Fast forward to the first Passover.
“Judaism and Christianity are as inseparable as seed and flower or tree and fruit. In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is the central point in Jewish history and worship, even as Calvary is the central point in the Christian faith, for on Calvary the work of redemption was accomplished for every believer.

Passover, the story of deliverance, is the harbinger of a greater redemption yet to come, the vehicle of the undying Messianic hope. It was in the upper room (where Jesus and His disciples  celebrated the Passover) that it at last obtained its real meaning and deepest significance”

(Excerpts from “The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel”, by Victor Buksbazen)

jn316 final

Blood sprinkled on the doorposts on the night of the first Passover to save them from the angel of death ~ Jesus’ blood shed for our deliverance from eternal death.

The Passover lamb slaughtered outside camp/city confines ~ Jesus crucified as the Lamb of God at a place called Golgotha, outside of the city of Jerusalem.

All the blood drained from the Passover lamb ~ All Jesus’ blood was shed, for when the soldier pierced His side only water flowed.

Not one bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken ~ Not one bone in Jesus’ body was broken.

There are so many things related to each event, referred to as Types in the Old Testament of things to come.

Finally another word from Mr Buksbazen ~

“Jesus Himself was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God.”

You can read the account of the Passover in Exodus chapter 12 and the account of Jesus’ death in the Gospels of Matthew chapters 26,27,28  or Mark chapters 14,15,16 or Luke chapters 22,23,24 or John chapters 13-21.

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

GLORY TO GOD 2

A couple of years ago my two grandsons Levi and Archie (who were at the time 8 and 5) were building a cubby in the lounge room with their mates Felicity and Silas.

At its entrance they placed one of my paintings that Levi had chosen as his own (pictured above) and then wrote three pages of rules that must be met before entering the lounge room.

When their mum, Heidi, walked in to bring them dinner Felicity and Levi hurried out of the cubby and Felicity demanded of her, “Did you give glory to God before you entered this room?” To which mum said, “Uhhh…I think so…” And Levi  replied, “Was it in the highest? ‘Cause it can’t just be any glory ya know!”

In the gospels Jesus tells us that we must come to Him as little children. Just as a child has faith in the promises of his/her parents and does not doubt that they will do what they say, so we are to come to God in the same way.

Levi is so right. It is not just any glory that we bring to God. ‘Glory to God in the highest!’ (Luke 2:14) was sung out by the angels at Jesus’ birth. In verse 13 it says that a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God. It was a rip roaring party of the ages that sang of the coming, finally, of the Saviour that God had promised for hundreds of years. As the heavenly host were praising God for this wonderful event, they had no qualms as to what baby Jesus was called to do as He grew and developed into a man.

They would not have been celebrating the awful death He was to die but the eternal life that he was to obtain for the world. From Adam and Eve to the very last soul that will be born here on this earth before He (Jesus) returns in all His Glory.

God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, just as Abraham was willing to do, because God had already promised him that he would be the father of many nations, and that could not come to pass if his heir was killed. Abraham knew his God so well that he was confident that God would raise his son again even if the sacrifice had gone ahead. This act of faith is what is called a foreshadowing of what was to come.

God needed to test Abraham’s faith to see if there was a man willing to give his only son for Him (God) Because of Abraham’s response, God was willing to sacrifice His Only Son to redeem mankind. And, although He died on a cross, He was raised to life again by God, just as Abraham had known He would have done to his son, Isaac.

In several places throughout the gospels Jesus tells His disciples to have faith in God and they can move mountains. In other words, the mountain of sin in our lives can be forgiven, the mountain of debt can be worn down, the mountain of sickness, disease, infirmity can be demolished and therefore healed.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The whole story of Salvation is tied up in His Glory.

It is a Glorious Heaven that was momentarily tainted by Satan’s rebellion and therefore the need to exile him forever to a place that disallows return.

It is a Glorious Heaven that celebrated His coming to redeem the world’s loss because of that rebellion and mankind’s fall.

It is a Glorious Heaven that we will live in forever with Jesus when we accept the sacrifice He made for us and His Glorious Resurrection.

Heaven is Light and Life and Purity and Love and Holiness and Glory beyond our wildest imagination.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Levi is so right . . . It’s not just any Glory. God’s Glory encompasses the entire universe, God’s amazing Love, Mercy and Grace, with a depth so profound it is inexpressible.

Far beyond what we could ever ask or think or imagine, is what God has for us (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Joy immeasurable, forever.

When we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation ~ Romans 10:9,10

And verse 11 says that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

I’m certainly not!

Without Jesus in my life, I could never have made it this far.

There is a link at the top of this page if you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth ~ Psalm 97:5

Jesus is the Lord, therefore when we have faith in God and believe like He says that we can move the mountains in our lives, in the name of Jesus our Lord, then why not see those mountains melting away like wax!

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All praise and glory to God!