The Ministry of Reconciliation Part 3.

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The Cross.

This is a big part of the study. I am going to spilt it into two parts. The physical and the spiritual. I call the second part the spiritual because I couldn’t think of any other word to describe it.

The physical.

If you are someone who doesn’t like gory details then you might want to skip this part. The reason I put it in is to show how Jesus would have been feeling in His body when He died for us.

He has just been scourged which is normally 39 lashes. Whips and rods would have been used. He carried His cross for some of the way. He also had the crown of thorns on His head, which wouldn’t have been nice. He then arrives at Golgotha. John 19:17. I don’t think I have to go into to much detail on how they put Him on the cross. They nailed Him in the hands and feet. How they did that or where, is debated heavily but I am not interested in that. He is hanging there. He is feeling weak from the blood loss. It’s hard for Him to breathe, as He can’t support His weight very well. Having to decide between the pain in His hands or His feet so He can breathe. Adrenaline is probably helping but I would imagine He is still in a lot of pain. He injures this for 6 hours. The different gospels tell us the things He says. What I realised was He probably didn’t have the breath to say much at all. Slowly suffocating it would have been hard to speak. At the end of the 6 hours He says, “it is finished” and dies. For more details you could look it up or watch the passion. Watching it is harder than reading about it I have found. But it does give you a picture of what Jesus was willing to do for us.

Because of the Passover celebrations the Jews ask the Romans to break the legs of the criminals so they will die quicker. I always thought it was the Romans who did it. But it was the Jews. They get to Jesus and see He is dead already but to make sure they piece His side with a spear. When they do blood and water comes out. This shows them that Jesus is dead.

I have looked to see if there was any prophetic reason for this. 1 john 5:7 says there are three witness’s on the earth. Blood and water being two of them. Being pieced was mentioned in Zechariah 12:10. I haven’t come to any real conclusions on this. It is mentioned in the Old Testament so there’s another scripture fulfilled.

There are two other things, which happens when Jesus dies. The Veil of the temple was torn and the dead saints where raised and went into the city. These are recorded in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45. There are other things like the casting of lots etc but I wanted to look at these two as there is a spiritual side to them as well.

The Veil.

The Veil was in the temple. It was in the Holy of Hollies. It was meant to hide God from sinful man. Only the priests after giving blood could enter. Exodus 26 gives a lot of detail about the Veil. The ark was put behind the Veil. It was where the presence of God was meant to be and the Veil hid Him from the world.

When Jesus died the Veil was torn from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51. I will look into the spiritual side of this in the next section.

The Dead saints.

Matthew is the only gospel that talks about this.

Matthew 27:52-54. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (UKJV)

This happened just after Jesus died and the Veil was torn. Jesus in John talks about speaking with the dead. Could this be linked to those scriptures? Clearly the living and the dead felt the power of Jesus’ death. I will look at the spiritual side of this in the next section.

Jesus is taken down and laid in a tomb. Three days later He rises again.

The spiritual. 

I think to understand this better I will break it down into parts. It is important to know what Jesus did on the cross. More from a spiritual point of view than a physical.

What happened? Why was it so important? Lets have a look.

Sin Cleansed not paid for. 

I always thought that Jesus paid for our sins. That’s what I was taught in church. There was a ransom to be paid. The thing is whom did Jesus pay. Was it God? Was it satan? Was it us? In my studies of the Septuagint and other versions what I found was it was none of them.

Jesus was cleansed of sin. He didn’t pay anyone. Isaiah 53 from the Septuagint tells us this. It says in verse 10 that the lord was pleased to cleanse Him from His blow. It also says in verse 11,12 that Jesus bore our sins. Sin was put into Jesus so that God could cleanse Him from our sin as far as the east is from the west. Psalms 103:12. So that sin was no more. We also know that He took a beating for our sin. It took an eternal being in human form to be able to do this. Jesus was pure and clean but was made sin so we could be made righteous. Romans 5:17-19. Ultimately so that we could know the Father and His Son and receive His spirit.

The only scripture I could find where it says that Jesus was a ransom for us was these:

Matthew 20:28, Mark10:45, What does this word mean?

Blue letter bible website says:

Ransom lytron G3089.

Ransom, price for redeeming, paid for slaves, captives, to liberate many from misery and penalty of their sins.

When we sin we become a slave to it if we do it for long enough. Drinking, gambling, sex…. The list goes on. What happens when we sin? Some of us feel guilty, ashamed maybe even worthless. What about how it affects our relationship with God. We wouldn’t feel worthy to be in His presence. We probably would find it hard to talk to Him. We might even be afraid of Him. A lot like Adam in the garden.

Who tells us that we are all these things? The enemy. You might think its your inner voice bashing you over the head with “your not worthy”. Some of that might be true. I think it’s the enemy. They don’t want you having a relationship with God so they first convince you to do the sin then convict you of it after and so the circle continues.

What has this to do with paying a ransom? Jesus and His Father with Holy Spirit wanted to make a way where sin was not a problem. They made it possible that the enemy couldn’t use sin against us to separate us from them. Its not that Jesus paid anyone. It’s that God cleansed the sin. John the Baptist tells us in the beginning of John that Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. John 1:29. There is now no sin. What? So I can go and do what I like and there are no consequences. No you cant. From Gods point of view there is no consequences but from yours there will be. If you drink alcohol all the time you will lose friends and in the end die. As Paul would say the wages of sin are death. Romans 6:23. There are earthy consequences to sin but as far as God is concerned you have been cleansed. You can come to Him whenever you like. Do we need to repent then? I am not sure. I think Gods love is so huge that it can cover all sin. Proverbs 10:12. Maybe it’s that it makes us feel better. I don’t think we need to do it but if it helps with our relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit then do it.

Death where is your sting.

Paul tells us that the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23. If sin is no more then where does that leave death? Is death a lie, which satan uses to destroy us?

I wanted to have a look at death and what Jesus did when He died and raised again. What effect did Jesus have when He died on the cross?

I had a look in the Old Testament first to see if it had any thing to say. This is what I found.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it. (UKJV)

Hosea 13:14 I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy death. (DRA)

He will swallow up death. That’s good. I think Isaiah is talking about Jesus here. It also mentions victory. That would suggest that a battle was won. We know that Jesus made an open show of the enemy. Colossians 2:15. Paul tells us about death having no sting. 1 Corinthians 15:55. This must mean that Jesus has beaten death and overcome it. Jesus tells Peter that the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18. I wonder what the word Hades means in this scripture? Lets have a look.

The blue letter bible websites says:

Hades- G86

Hell, Grave, Death, the place (state) of departed souls.

This is the same word used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:55. From what this says it’s the place not the act. What I mean is the resting place not the physical thing that happens to our bodies when we die.

Hosea says that we will be delivered out of the hand of death. I choose the DRA translation because it’s the closet to the Septuagint. The DRA means Douay-Rheims. Death in this verse is the place not the act. In my Hell blog I talked about the place in the Old Testament. It is a place of sleep from what I understand of the scriptures. I think also it’s a place where man was separated from God. I think that Jesus made it possible for us to be with Him and His Father by over coming death. Paul tells us that all died in Adam but all are made alive in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:22. Does this mean that when anyone dies they are made alive? I have seen a lot of near death experience videos on you tube. Most of them talk about a bright light or tunnel and about seeing Jesus or God. Most of them are not Christians. Does this mean that all are saved? We will look into that later.

The Old Testament says that we will be delivered from the place of Hades/death. That God will deliver us. What about Jesus? What was His thoughts on the subject?

I have already mentioned what Jesus said in Matthew. I thought I would see what Jesus says about it in John. It is very interesting what He says. John 5:24, 8:51,52, 11:25,26.

Jesus tells us that if we keep His commandments and hear His words we have passed from death into life. Jesus commandment is to love one another and love God and Him. Jesus gives the impression that if you believe in Him we will not taste death. In john 5:24 and 8:51,52 He hints at this. Lets have a look at John 8:51,52.

John 8:51,52 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you says, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. (UKJV)

The Jews couldn’t believe what He was saying. They even said what He said in a different way to make sure they understood what Jesus meant. Jesus says see. They say taste. Lets have a look.

Blue letter bible says:

See- Theoreo-G2334

See, behold, perceive, consider, look on, look at, experience.

Taste- Geuomai-G1089

Taste, eat, to try, partake of, to feel, experience.

The two words are similar. What is Jesus response to their question? If you read on the Jews are trying to find out whom He thinks He is. That is when Jesus says, “Before Abraham was I AM” John 8:58. He was calling Himself God. Which in a way answered their question. But they where so angry with Him for saying this that they tried to stone Him.

What about the translation of the word death here?

Blue letter Bible website says:

Death. Thanatos-G2288

Death, deadly, the death of the body, the separation of the soul and the body.

Jesus was saying that if you follow His commandments and believe you will never taste death. This points to the physical act. Is there more?

Jesus hints at this again when He talks to Martha about her brother.

John 11:22-26. But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it you. Jesus says unto her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha says unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this? (UKJV)

Lets look at the words for dead and die.

Blue letter bible website says:

Die. Apothnesko-G599

Die, be dead, be at the point of death, lie a dying, be slain, of the natural death of man, to perish by means of something.

Martha knows that Jesus can do something but isn’t sure what. She, like us mentions the last day. The day when all shall rise. She is thinking of a time in the future. The same question I have now. Jesus answers her by saying that He is the life and that her brother will be raised this very day. I don’t think like the Jews that she understands this. Jesus says, “Whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die”.  This is similar to what He said to the Jews earlier when He said see and they said taste. I believe that Jesus is saying that if we follow His commandments and believe His words we will not taste death.

I decided to have a look in the Old Testament for any mention of this. That’s when I found this.

Isaiah 65:21,22 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. (UKJV)

The days of a tree? That can be a long time. Long enjoy their works. Could this be pointing to living a long and abundant life. It could be. Then again some people will say Jesus is talking about after He returns to restore all things. Or that it’s when we go to heaven and live eternally with Him and the Father. Could it be that we are meant to live longer but are blinded by the enemy? This does require more study and I think Holy Spirit is trying to show me something. I will leave it here for you to think about.

We have seen that Jesus has overcome death and delivered us from it. Does that mean for now or the future? Does it mean that all will be saved and see Jesus when they die? These are questions that I am still asking. What I can say is Jesus has defeated death and sin. They no longer have power over us. He has the victory. What this means for us now I hope to find out.

Continues in Part 4….

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truth for all of us

I am searching for the truth and this is what I have found.

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