Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Not Easter (2)

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. (Exodus 12:3-6)

Along with Sunday being the "Triumphal Entry" it was also "Lamb Selection Day". John 1:29 says "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! " And when Jesus comes riding on the donkey, he doesn't come through the main gate like they would expect HIM to. He enters through the "Sheep Gate" which is used only for one thing and that is to bring your animals in for slaughter (and they don't come back out). This gate is located on the north side of the city (See Image Below). Jesus says in John 10:7 "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. " Jesus declared himself to be the sacrificial lamb that day. Whenever a shepherd would watch his sheep, he would stand at the gate of the pen to keep his flock in there and to keep predators out. I will share more with you in the next few days the correlation between what happened in old testament days and new testament days

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Not Easter (1)

The Triumphal Entry

Mt 21:1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Forgive me folks, I know on our calendar and in our culture it is "Easter" and you will probably hate me for this but I am going to destroy Easter and open your mind to something else that's been around for 2000 years.

While we know it as being "Palm Sunday"and everybody is waving their palm branches and singing "Hosanna Heysanna Sanna Sanna Ho Sanna Hey Sanna Ho Sanna Hey J C, J C won't you smile at me? Sanna Ho Sanna Hey Superstar (ok, ok I'm only kidding about the singing), in Jesus day it was know as "Lamb Selection Day"(more about this later) or Passover, not cute little rabbits or fuzzy little ducks and it certainly had nothing to do with colored eggs. Passover commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as recorded in the Book of Exodus. On Passover, Jews also celebrate the birth of the Jewish nation after being freed by God from captivity. Today, the Jewish people not only remember an historic event on Passover, but also celebrate in a broad sense, their freedom as Jews. This is actually an eight day feast which is commanded by God and I will be writing more about this over the course of the week. So keep drinking that Ovaltine folks and stay tuned to this channel for more on Passover.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

They were a bunch of pigs!

In Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5: 1-20, Luke 8:26-39 we read about the man who is possessed by demons or unclean spirits. The town is called Kursi in the country of the Gerasenes and is located just east of the Sea of Galilee and is directly opposite Capernaum where Jesus and the Disciples sailed from. We know by reading those verses that there was a herd of pigs there. And what do pigs like to eat? Garbage! Now have you ever seen a pig eating your garbage or somebody else's garbage? We also know they were by a steep bank so it is quite possible they were at the town dump. Another question to ask is why was the man there in the first place? The reason is because it is the town dump and that is where everybody gets rid of their unwanted stuff and in this case that includes crazy people. So Jesus shows up where the normal and the sane do not and in this instance, it is a place that is dirty and stinky. Now unlike people, the demons recognized Jesus for who HE is and already know they have to leave the man they are possessing and they know there are only two ways this can go. #1. They can be cast out and destroyed or they can choose option #2. and take over the herd of pigs. There is speculation that there could have been a 3rd option and that would have been to heal the demons themselves as they could have been fallen angels. However, not only is that not in those verses, it is not something I have ever read either. So they beg Jesus to let them invade the pigs setting the man free for the first time in a long time. So now the herd which is about 2000 in number supposedly turn and runs down the embankment and into the Lake being killed instantly. Now the disciples being who they were dropped their jaws at the sight of this (I would most likely do the same) because they are seeing more and more that Jesus has power over the demons. But I should point out that it also shows what the devil does and that is that he destroys. The demons were torturing the poor man they had invaded and they can cause all manners of destruction. Where we know that not only does Jesus save people, he can heal & restore also. Something to think about is that Jesus never allows a demon to leave one person and enter another. Demons were always cast out and the only times they were allowed to enter flesh is when they went into the pigs.

Now the next big questions is, why did the townspeople ask Jesus to leave? Imagine for a moment you had all your money invested in Cattle and they were all killed, therefore making your investment null and void. Wouldn't you be mad? Well speculation is that's what this was. The townspeople had their money invested in the pigs and lost it all when they drowned in the lake.

As always thanks to John Ferret for the photo and George O. Wood of The Assembly of God Church for the inspiration for this article.