Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
The Passover Seder and traditional Haggadah (the order or readings of Passover) is rich in meaning and message for the believer and unbeliever. It truly does, “SHOW THE LORD’S DEATH, UNTIL HE COMES.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) The word “SHOW” here is the Greek word “kataggello” means “Preach the Message.”
When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and the Passover, which was the original Last Supper, we “PREACH AND PROCLAIM CHRIST,” until he comes again. Consider some of the hidden meanings behind the traditions of the Passover Haggadah and Seder.
Searching for Leaven
Leaven in Scripture is almost always a symbol of sin or as the Rabbis say “the evil inclination”. Putting away of Leaven is a picture of sanctification. The Hebrew word for Leaven means bitter or sour. So it is with sin in one’s life. Paul said, “But let a man examine himself first, and then let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.” – “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” – (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Lighting of the Candle
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) and again, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:4-5), and again, John 1:11 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11)
The Cup of Sanctification and Blessing (1st Cup)
Symbolic of the honor of being a chosen people of God. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)
Washing of Hands
So Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. (John 13: 4-12)
The Cup of Redemption (3rd Cup)
Then Jesus took the cup of wine, which would have been the third cup of the Seder – the cup of redemption. He said that it was the new covenant in His blood “poured out for you.”
Three matzahs are put together (representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The matzah itself is designed to represent Jesus, since it is striped and pierced, which was prophesized by Isaiah, David, and Zechariah.
The middle matzah is broken, wrapped in a white cloth, and hidden, representing the death and burial of Jesus.
* * * * * * * The Passover Lamb * * * * * * *
Choosing the Lamb
Jesus came into the city ofJerusalemfive days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people ofIsrael. Five days before the lamb was to be sacrificed, it was chosen. Therefore, Jesus enteredJerusalemon lamb selection day as the lamb of God. The people did not understand the significance of this, since they greeted Him with palm branches and hailed Him as King, shouting “Hosanna,” which means “save us.”
The New Testament says that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb. The Passover lamb was to be a “male without defect,” which is the same description given to Jesus. In addition, when the lamb was roasted and eaten, none of its bones were to be broken
The Shofar Blown – The Lamb is Slain
The day Jesus was crucified was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest would blow the shophar (ram’s horn) at 3:00 p.m. – the moment the lamb was sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins on behalf of the people ofIsrael. At 3:00,when Jesus was being crucified, He said, “It is finished”- at the moment that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and the shophar was blown from theTemple.
The Veil of the Temple
At the same time, the veil of theTemple(a three-inch thick, several story high cloth that demarked the Holy of Holies) tore from top to bottom – representing a removal of the separation between God and man.
Sang a Hymn
This included Psalm chapters 115-118 and was called traditionally the Great Hallel. Therefore Psalm 118:24 actually refers to the day of Christ’s crucifixion “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” But by application we can use it today, and every day. Psalm 118:22-24 says, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Next Year in Jerusalem
The Seder customary ends by every one saying: “Next Year inJerusalem!” — Believers should say, “Maybe next year in the New Jerusalem (heaven). Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
I've been thinking on GALATIANS:
I've been camped out in Galatians this week as we discussed "The Hunger Games." I read it through in one sitting, marked out verses to memorize and meditate on, listened to a couple of sermons on Galatians, and got inspired wanting to preach my next series on GALATIANS and Christian Freedom -- (Anyone want to come to my youtube church of the open pulpit?)
Anyway, that got me thinking about "holiness" and God's standards of conduct for me personally, and all of us in general. So I did some pulling up of Scriptural phrases that came to mind and realized how often God calls us to a higher standard than the world around us. God calls us to be holy because he is holy. That is not a legalistic holiness that comes from rules and regulations but a holiness of heart that says, "Lord, I want to be like you!" It makes you go, "hmm..." So, today I just want us all to reflect of God's mirror for holiness, his Son, Jesus Christ. First I will give my favorite verses from Galatians, then just some random verses on holiness, not to condemn us, but to call us to be like Jesus. The first and last words of any discussion should be God's Word. Here are some of my favorite verses from Galatians:
Galatians on Liberty & Freedom
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Galatians 6:12, 14
12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Ephesians on Holiness
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in thekingdomofChristand of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Peter on Holiness
1 Peter 4:3-5
3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1 Peter 2:16
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
2 Peter 2:19-22
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
James on Holiness
21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the (overflow of) evil that is so prevalent (depravity and desire to injure) and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
The Corinthian Letters on Holiness
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit thekingdomofGod? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit thekingdomofGod. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12 "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 8:13
Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
1 Corinthians 10:22-31
22. Do all to the glory of God. 23 ‘All things are lawful’, but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful’, but not all things build up. 24 Do not seek your own advantage, but that of others... 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between thetempleofGodand idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Miscellaneous Holiness Passages
1 Timothy 4:1-2
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Isaiah 61:3 -- “to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…”
Ashes are things of the past that didn’t work out. They are our ruined dreams. They are the things we once cherished that got burned up.
Ashes turn to lye when it gets wet. Lye is a powerful alkali that can be created using rain water and wood ashes. Lye created from wood ash is potassium hydroxide. Lye is very dangerous and extreme caution should be used when making or handling lye. Lye should never come in contact with aluminum as it will react with the metal. Lye can cause chemical burns if it comes in contact with your skin, and blindness if it gets in your eyes. In fact, when you get lye on your skin, it will begin reacting with the fatty acids on your skin and begin making soap. If you get lye on your skin you’d better get it off in a hurry. Use vinegar to neutralize the solution.
How often we are prone to sit in the ashes of our own misery and soak up self pity. Our tears turn our ashes into toxic lye that is corrosive to the beautiful crown God has bestowed to us in Christ. It is time to exchange those ashes for a crown of beauty. A flood of thanksgiving is the best way to wash away and neutralize the “lyes of Satan.” (pun intended). “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) The truth of God’s word always sets us free. So let’s all soak in bountiful verbal thanksgiving for 10 minutes every day and we will find the ashes turning acid to medicine. “A merry heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)