THE CROSS, THE CHRIST AND HIS CRUCIFIXION.

Day 4

THE GREAT FALSE TRIAL [THE SHAM]

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THE BLOOD WALK  #2

Scriptures: Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him. Matthew 26:67

They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there. So shall he cleanse many nations. Isaiah 52:14

I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. Isaiah 50:6

Observations: The next time we see blood drawn is at the false trial where Jesus was punched and slapped around the face. An old Testament prophecy says ‘I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard’. Though the New Testament gospels don’t mention plucking out Jesus’ beard, nevertheless this Old Testament prophecy reveals His scourging, so we can imagine the Pharisees plucking out chunks of His beard, they were very cruel men. Some scholars refute the beard theory, but many good scholars believe the old Testament prophecy stands. Whichever way, the fact is Jesus was beaten hard about the face to the point of disfigurement beyond recognition. Before I got saved I was a vicious thug. Many times I had beaten someone up real bad and visa versa, and not once was there no blood shed. And so here we see Jesus’s face being bloodied.

But what is the significance of the face? Faces are essential to expressing emotion, the soul whether consciously or unconsciously. A frown denotes disapproval; a smile usually means someone is pleased. Being able to read emotion in another’s face is “the fundamental basis for empathy and the ability to interpret a person’s reactions and predict the probability of ensuing behaviors”. Faces are also representative of parents and family. Mankind originally was made in the image of God, Jesus is the express image of God. and though we have to be careful here because God is Spirit, nevertheless, to look upon Jesus was to see the Father. My own thoughts and meditations on this is that satan through these evil men was beating up the face of God! The devil hates God and mankind. For millennia Lucifer looked upon the face of God the Almighty and when he rebelled would long to punch God’s face! Well now he gets his moment! The face then [I believe] represents who we are inside expressed on the outside, our personality, character, dignity, humanity, uniqueness, our soul and I am sure we could add many more.

Application: I believe this teaches us that Jesus shed His blood to redeem our dignity, our humanity, our distinctiveness, our uniqueness and parenthood from Adam to now and our original parenthood of God as well as many other areas of our humanity. His face was disfigured and bloodied so that our faces [the redeemed] may reflect God’s light from one degree of glory to another. That our faces may display the light and glory of Christ.

Prayer: Great and Mighty Creator God. I thank you for all that you did for me through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. I thank you that you redeemed my humanity and restored my dignity. Thank you that your face was beaten and bruised so that mine would one day fully reflect the image and glory of God just as the moon reflects the glory of the sun, so help me to reflect the glory of your Son. Amen.

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THE CROSS, THE CHRIST, AND HIS CRUCIFIXION day 3

Day 3

GETHSEMANE [THE SORROWING]

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THE BLOOD WALK  #1

Scripture: For he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. The Living Bible (TLB)

Observations: Hematidrosis, also called blood sweat, is a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood. The term is from Greek haima and αἷμα, meaning blood and sweat. I call this study the way of suffering or ‘the blood way’ which started in Gethsemane! 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 22:44 The medical term for this is: Hematidrosis! It is a rare condition in which a human being sweats blood. Leonardo Da Vinci described a soldier who sweated blood before battle. Jesus Christ experienced hematidrosis while praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion as mentioned in the Bible by Physician Luke as “and being in anguish he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

We cannot imagine what Jesus went through in those dark hours where He prayed ‘Father if this cup of suffering can be removed then please do it, but nevertheless not my will but yours be done’. This is what Alexander Metherell, M.D., PH.D. has to say about Jesus in Gethsemane: ‘Jesus prayed all night and now during that process He was anticipating the coming events of the next day. Since He already knew the amount of suffering He was going to have to endure, He was quite naturally experiencing a great deal of psychological distress. So much so that blood mingled with His sweat. It is not a common condition, but it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress. He goes on: What happens is that severe anxiety causes the release of chemicals that break down the capillaries in the sweat glands. As a result, there’s a small amount of bleeding into these glands, and sweat comes out tinged with blood. We’re not talking about a lot of blood; it’s a small amount but nevertheless noticeable. This would affect the epidermis and make it very fragile so that when Jesus was scourged by the Roman guards His skin would be very very sensitive. [Excerpt from A CASE FOR EASTER. Lee Strobell]

Application:  It is noticeable that Jesus’s blood flowed in a time of anxiety, torment of soul, whilst in psychological distress. We know that the blood of Jesus heals and cleanses us and has power over all the work of the devil! So Jesus had to shed His blood whilst in anguish of mind and soul so that through His blood we too could experience freedom and liberty from distress and anxiety of soul if we so choose to let Him cleanse us and heal us. His blood is powerful enough to overcome mental, psychological and demonized minds. We only have to look at the demon possessed man of Gadara! One of the biggest illnesses today and one which puts a massive strain on the NHS is mental problems! Anxiety, stress, worry and depression to name a few. But Jesus shed His blood for our anguished and worried minds. Listen to these words of Paul:

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,  then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. The Passion Translation (TPT) [a]

Footnotes: Philippians 4:7 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

There in the garden of tears My heavy load he chose to bear His heart with sorrow was torn ‘Yet not My will but Yours,’ He said  [The Servant King. Graham Kendrick].

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you that Jesus had to endure anguish and psychological distress so that I may be free from it if I so choose to believe and apply the blood prayerfully to my life. So I choose to believe and thank you that we defeat the devil through the blood of Jesus Christ and the testimony of our declaring it. Amen.

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THE CROSS, THE CHRIST, AND HIS CRUCIFIXION day 2

Day 2

SEEDS

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Before we start looking intently at the crucifixion it is good to ask “why did Jesus have to go through this?” Now I could share with you a massive theological treatises on sacrifice, redemption, justification, propitiation and tons of stuff like that! However, I find that stuff really hard to plow through at times, so let’s take this to its most simplistic and most basic level, the one in fact that Jesus Himself taught us.

Scripture: John 12:23-26  (ERV) Jesus said to them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to receive his glory. It is a fact that a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die before it can grow and produce much more wheat. If it never dies, it will never be more than a single seed. Whoever loves the life they have now will lose it. But whoever is willing to give up their life in this world will keep it. They will have eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me. My servants must be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to anyone who serves me.

Observations: In its most simplistic explanation, “if Jesus had not have died, then He would’ve ended up as a solitary King without any subjects! The Father would have no adopted children and the Holy Spirit no vessels to fill. As a single seed Jesus had to be sown in to the ground [death] to be able to rise into new life [resurrection] and produce many seeds [“us”] His loyal subjects! We’re the redeemed children of the Father adopted in Christ and vessels for the Spirit of God to fill.

The only way anyone can get a harvest in ones garden or field is by sowing seed. The seed dies and is raised up as a new life out of the now dead shell! Therefore, it stands to reason that the only way to get spiritual fruitfulness also is by sowing seed into one’s heart! Seed is an amazing miracle of God. Just use your imagination, take a runner bean for example, within that single bean there is potentially an 8-10 foot vine which could bear possibly lets say, 10 bean pods, each pod containing say 5 seeds in this first season! If you sow the one seed, it will produce 10 pods each containing 5 seeds, so by the end of the first season you will have gained 50 seeds. That’s pretty good returns for your small investment, now, say you don’t eat those beans but save them and sow them the next year! Now at the end of season two if all seeds germinate and produce the expected yield, you will now have 2,500 seeds from one seed in just two seasons, now sow all those seeds! I’ll let you do the math to see your returns by season three.

Now can you see why Jesus had to die and be raised to newness of life. Isaiah saw it and wrote this: Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; He has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, He shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:10-11 RSV.

Application: Now, if that’s the case for natural seed and God’s word is seed just as Christ was a seed, then it stands to reason that if we sow God’s word it will bear fruit! And if we are God’s seed and we allow Him to sow us into the world which is His field, then WE also will bear much fruit for the Master as we are sown into this world! Think of all the potential in God’s word and our lives sanctified for Christ and the abundance of fruit it potentially can bear if only we sow it into good soil! There is so much potential in the word of God, it is alive, active and potent, BUT IT HAS TO BE SOWN! And there is so much potential in us [seeds/children of God], that if we just allow the Father to shake us out of our packets of complacency, then there will indeed be a great harvest for the Kingdom because WE HAVE TO BE SOWN. That is a natural law and a supernatural/spiritual law too!

Prayer: Father God in heaven. You sowed your Son the Lord Jesus in to this world and through His death and resurrection; you have produced a multitude of fruitfulness in saved souls. Jesus sowed your word into the soil of people’s hearts and lives to produce fruit for your glory and Kingdom, now I pray, help me to sow your word richly into my own life and the lives of others so that Jesus may see fruit for the travail of His soul and be satisfied and help me to be willing to be sown into the field of this world so that you may receive fruit, more fruit and abundant fruit from my life be it 30, 60 or even 100 fold returns. Amen and Amen

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THE CROSS, THE CHRIST, AND HIS CRUCIFIXION.

Day 1 INTRODUCTION

 

THE CROSS, THE CHRIST, AND HIS CRUCIFIXION.

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Ok, Easter [resurrection Sunday] is only a few days away and I want to take a good LONG look at the road to the cross and the resurrection! From Gethsemane to Golgotha, to the Grave and to the Glory. From the cup of sorrows to the cross of suffering and to His amazing resurrection and glorification. Very often the crucifixion is portrayed as quite tame! I propose to blow that fallacy out of the water. It was a bloodbath, a slaughterhouse of blood, guts and gore, except in a slaughterhouse the animal is stunned and [almost] dead, Jesus wasn’t! He was conscious of every cut, gash, rip and tear of His flesh. He felt every blow! It took Him hours not minutes to die. If it is too much for you to bear then please don’t read any more of these posts! This study exposes the seriousness of sin to God and the price of our salvation.

However, I would suggest that you don’t turn your back on the truth and reality of what our Lord, Master and Saviour did for us on that bloody road! He deserves better than that. We will then look beyond that to Christ’s burial and resurrection. This road is going to be very hard for some to walk down, nevertheless, Jesus walked it for us and the least we can do is walk it in remembrance of Him, after all, we take communion regularly in remembrance of Him, perhaps after reading this we will change the way we view the bread and wine? Yes, they are only symbols, BUT when we take them, do we really realize what Jesus truly suffered for our salvation and redemption?

What I write is Biblical and historical fact whether some folk believe it or not, I believe it, millions believe it; so as far as I am concerned, that settles it. And so what is written really happened to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. I am asking you to walk down this dusty and blood spattered road with me because many Christians don’t realize what Jesus the Messiah has achieved [literally endured] to redeem us back to God and as I have been studying this for some years now I feel it is time to let others see into this powerful truth who may not have the time or inclination to research it themselves. I have researched this material quite extensively and though much of it is what great scholars and theologians have spent their lifetime studying, yet I have discovered that many Christians don’t read or research for themselves in these days of super techno where many things are thought out for us and so we have become very lazy indeed [mentally]! And so, I am hoping you will look at my simplified studies on this subject.

I will keep each section short, concise and as straightforward and uncomplicated as I possibly can! For easier assimilation, I will use my “easy to understand and remember” method of study which I call S.O.A.P. Scripture. Observations. Application. Prayer. The first letters of each word spells S.O.A.P. and soap is cleansing and the truth of God’s word is cleansing which means we are cleansed by the washing of the word! I will first look at the Scripture verses then Observe the subject matter in context of the days in which it was written! I will then bring a ‘life Application’ to help us apply it now in present real-time! I will then Pray a Prayer asking Father to help us apply these teachings to our lives!

Prayer: Heavenly Father God. My prayer is that those who read this will join me [as you did Christ’s day with the two brothers on the road to Emmaus] and on this journey together, we may grow in awe and reverent fear of our wonderful Saviour Jesus Christ and become more mature in Him as we seek to become more and more like Him. Amen

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SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED.

7.1.2018 [DAY 7]

Comfort zone

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Scriptures:  “You are the salt of the earth”. Matthew 15:13a

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The purpose of salt these days is to savour food. Some still use it to preserve food by salting, and especially brining with fish, but with modern-day preserving agents, refrigeration and freezers it’s not so widely used. Here are some interesting facts about salt:

Salting is the preservation of food with dry edible salt. It is related to pickling in general and more specifically to brining (preparing food with brine, that is, salty water) and is one form of curing. It is one of the oldest methods of preserving food, and two historically significant salt-cured foods are salted fish (usually dried and salted cod or salted herring) and salt-cured meat (such as bacon). Vegetables such as runner beans and cabbage are also often preserved in this manner. Salting is used because most bacteriafungi and other potentially pathogenic organisms cannot survive in a highly salty environment, due to the hypertonic nature of salt. Any living cell in such an environment will become dehydrated through osmosis and die or become temporarily inactivated. The food hence preserved stays healthy and fresh for days avoiding bacterial decay.

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Application: Jesus says that we [the Church] are the salt of the earth! When we use salt today it is usually in salt cellars or salt mills [for coarse grain salt] There are two ways to get the salt out of the cellar or mill: by [1] SHAKING or [2] GRINDING. Both ways agitate the salt to get out and do the job it was designed to do: “TO SAVOUR FOOD OR PRESERVE FROM IT CORRUPTION”. In other words to have a tasteful and preserving influence over food! 

Now, translate that into us [the Church] being the salt of the earth, [that is] ‘that the Church should bring a good savour, flavour and preserving influence on to the earth, or our nation, community or neighborhood!’ The question is are we being and doing what we were designed and destined to do? Am I bringing a savour and preserving effect upon my nation, community and neighborhood? You see, the problem is, we like the comfort zones of the salt cellars and mills, ‘that is the Church!’ So, there are times when God has to SHAKE us or grindingly AGITATE us to get us out of the Church comfort zone which is already full of salt and out into the earth which has little or no salt! We’ll dig a bit more into that next time.

Prayer:   Image result for to be salt for the world prayer pics

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SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED.

5.1.2018 [DAY 5]

Comfort zone

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Scriptures: At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.  Hebrews 12:26-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

We have been seeing how God sometimes has to shake our lives and stir our comfort zones to get us moving and busy. We saw this with the eagle analogy and how the mother has to sometimes withhold food, stir up the downy comfort of the nest and even start breaking up the nest also and more dramatically shove them off the nest to force them to do what God designed the to do! God designed eagles to soar and not sit comfortably at home in the nest or for Christians to fill a pew with nothing else to do. Listen to these words of Paul:

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The word in the Greek for masterpiece is ‘poema’ or poem or work of art. Poems are meant to be read and works of art to be displayed. Our lives have been planned or better still PREDESTINED to do good works that display God’s greatness.

Application: God has preplanned a purpose, a destiny for your life! Have you discovered yours yet? The secular, practical and spiritual works he preordained for your life so that your life would honour Him and bring Him glory? If not why not and what are you going to do about it? I have and still am discovering my own. So join me in a prayer and ask our heavenly Father to help us Discover, Develop and Deploy our callings and gifting’s:

Prayer:

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SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED.

3.1.2018 [DAY 3]

Comfort zone

Image result for comfort zone pics ScripturesAs an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions. Deuteronomy 32:11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.

 Like an eagle that shakes its nest, that flies over its young, He spread His wings and caught them. He carried them on His wings. New Life Translation.

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Here are some more observations of Eagles from ornithology and the Bible:

STIRRING THE NEST

Eventually, parent eagles return to the nest less frequently and with less food. When parents do return they may thrash about removing the comforts lining the nest. Bewildered, frustrated, and confused the eaglet moves, branches out of the nest, and begins to test out her wings out of desperation. Frustration, hunger, and discomfort are her parents’ intention.

The parents wisely know that without this disruptive environment their young will not grow, learn, and develop the essential skills for survival. Though the eaglet does not understand this at the time, the lack of food and removal of comfort is an act of tender care and love, a gift of provision by her parents who know that without the ability to fly, she cannot survive and thrive. Unknown to the eaglet, the parents are giving her the gift of flight . . . the gift of life.

Faith for the Christian is like flight for an eagle: essential to survive and thrive. Often times we feel like an eaglet: striving, flapping, flustered. Yet as we flap, forage, and fluster, our strength is given. Much like the eaglet bewildered by her parents, we may be bewildered by our Father God’s actions (or lack thereof). We may even feel our Father has forgotten us, abandoned us, or withheld good from us, sidelined us and benched us.

Yet, as the Lord did for the Israelite’s in the desert, so he encircles us, he cares for us, he keeps us as the apple of his eye. Though it may feel painful, and confusing, in stirring our nest, shaking our world and breaking up our comfort zone, our heavenly Father is actually giving us the gift of life . . . the gift of faith . . . the gift of flight.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Application: Ponder for a moment! Is there any area of your life where you feel unsettled, confused, misused or underused? Do you feel like your life’s being shaken but until now you’ve been unstirred, unmoved, comfortable? However, you are getting itchy feet, you long to fly and soar, you’re hungry for more of God and you are getting more and more dissatisfied with your comfort zone? Well, JOIN THE CLUB!! So too am I! Therefore I am doing this study as much for myself as yourselves! So, join me in prayer and make my prayer your own!

Prayer: Heavenly and loving Father God. I feel so unsettled and dissatisfied in certain area of my life. If it is you that’s stirring my nest, my comfort zone because it’s time to move on, time to fly the nest and soar much higher, then please keep shaking me and stirring me till I take off, fly and do what I’m destined to do. Thank you Lord  Amen.

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