The Bible gives us a short synopsis of Rahab’s life just enough for us to know whom that woman was. In the book of Joshua we find the accounts about her as a prostitute and one who saved the Israelite spies. In doing so, she exercised faith and belief in the God of Israel. Rahab acknowledged to the spies what they all had heard concerning God’s supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Although, she lived among pagans, she confessed her faith in the true God- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by saying, “ The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Jos.2: 9-11). Her faith expanded to action to protect the spies, as a gesture of fear and respect for Israel’s God. She was chosen for that time with God’s purpose not only to save Israel, but to display His plan far off into the future. Sometimes, in our feeble mind, we get lost in our understanding of how God fulfills His plans. In the case of Rahab we wonder why a prostitute. Remember YAHSHUA’S reaction toward the Pharisees when they brought a sinful woman to Him, condemning her? He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger; when YAHSHUA raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She answered, No one, Lord! And YAHSHUA said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more (John 8: 8,10-11). No one is without sin, no matter the size of it. Rahab’s heart was right with God and when the opportunity presented itself, she chose to obey the Lord.
The Lord’s deliverance of Israel before judgement fell on Egypt is a type of the rapture. In it we see the consistency of our God saving His people before judging nations. Israel had been in Egypt for 400- 430 years. From the time of famine in the land and their deliverance by their brother, Joseph, Israel never went back to Canaan. According to the words the Lord God spoke to Jacob, Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will there make of you a great nation; I will go down with you to Egypt and I will also surely bring you up again.. (Gen. 46:3-4). In obedience, Jacob moved to Egypt with his family of seventy total. That’s when the 430 years stated for Israel’s permanency in Egypt. Thirty years of freedom and 400 hundred years of slavery. That was to be fulfilled according to what God had told Abraham when covenanting with him (Gen.15:13). God said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years (Gen. 15:13).
Amidst the rumor that YAHSHUA was baptizing more disciples than John was, He decided to go back to Galilee from Judea. The Bible says that it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria, a distance approximately of forty- two miles from Jerusalem. There was an important task for our Lord to do in going to Galilee through Samaria embedded in the word “necessary.” The fact that Jews and Samaritans did not get along did not reflect the Lord’s way of thinking. He was a Jew, yes, but independent from all that was against His nature. To start with, He came from backgrounds that included Jews and Gentiles. The difference existent between Jews and Samaritans did not represent the purpose for which YAHSHUA had come to accomplish. The time had come when He had to visit the neighbor province of Samaria. The Samaritans were Jews who intermingled with foreigners and had embraced their cultures and their gods. So they were considered half-breeds and dogs.
(Luke 24:13- 34)
It was evening on that third day after YAHSHUA had been crucified and buried. Sadness echoed in the voices of His disciples the emptiness of His presence. They remained in hiding, afraid of the Jewish authorities, afraid of persecution after the death of their Messiah, as prophesized, Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered (Zach. 13: 7b). In His priestly prayer, YAHSHUA prayed for the protection of His disciples from the evil one. He protected and guarded those given to Him while with them. The disciples well knew but lacked understanding why had the Son of YAHWEH come to earth. They so expected Him to deliver Israel physically from the Romans and were terribly disappointed with the outcome, although, time, after time, YAHSHUA warned them of His death followed by His resurrection after three days. They heard, but they did not listen. Their emotional disappointment would have been mild, had they understood the true meaning of YAHSHUA’S warnings.
Who is there among you who will give ear to this? That was a question the Prophet Isaiah made that echoed throughout the ages. What message was he talking about? The message concerning Messiah YAHSHUA Who was to come to carry men’s burden of sins through His sufferings unto death. His message carried a weight of responsibility upon all of us who heard it. The only way that the message would be profitable was through hearing and listening to believe. The prophetic message was all about love- the love of God. When YAHSHUA volunteered to be the replacement for bulls and other animals used for sacrifice, He did for love of the human race, which was lost and at the mercy of eternal punishment. The blood of bulls could never offer salvation or redemption for men whose condition was being condemned to hell. Isaiah so prophesied: He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; no appreciation was shown for His worth, for Who He was. He, by His love for all humankind, carried our griefs; He carried our sorrows and pains. Although His action was of pure love, men thought Him to be stricken by God and continuously, made fun of Him, and beat Him the more. He received the wounds in His body because of man’s transgression. Transgression means to overstep the law, to go beyond its limits. The act of transgressing shows pride and un-submissiveness and chaos. Take for example the traffic laws. When one runs the red light accidents and even death occur. For that type of sin, YAHSHUA was wounded. He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities. He was bruised deeply in His Spirit for our guilt and iniquities. Guilt, when not dealt with, can bring remorse and ultimately suicide to the person who has not been able to forgive him/herself, neither accept God’s forgiveness, as it was in the case of Judas. Iniquity is the sin of unrighteousness, and wickedness which passes from generation to generation. Isaiah saw YAHSHUA being bruised in His Spirit in dealing with our guilt and iniquity. This sin nature is the one that will take one to hell. It is sin at its worst. It is the premeditated and continuous sin. It lodges itself in the genes of men, robbing him of power to overcome it. Only by the blood of YAHSHUA, one can be liberated from its power. To bruise is to crush one’s emotion and spirit. It goes beyond skin deep to the most inner being. YAHSHUA so suffered for that type of sin.
On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. (Lev. 23:5) Passover is the most important celebrated or remembered holiday for the Christian Church. It has its beginning when Israel was freed from Egypt’s bondage. The deep meaning behind it lived for thousands of years without the Jewish people realizing its embedded prophetic message. It was to the nation of Israel a time to abstain from leaven bread, a time to sacrifice animals destined for sacrifice to atone for the nation’s sin. They were to keep the lamb or kid until the fourteenth day of the month and kill them on the evening of that day. (Exodus 12:6) The (animal’s) blood (the Lord said) shall be for a token or sign to you upon [the doorposts of] the houses where you are, [that] when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt (Exodus 12: 13). And this day shall be to you for a memorial. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, keep it as an ordinance forever (Exodus 12:14). Passover was to Israel a memorial, a celebration to the Lord.
(Luke 4:20; Isaiah 61)
YAHSHUA, after having gone through baptism and forty days fasting in the wilderness where He was tested exceedingly by the devil, went to Galilee, full of the Holy Spirit to lead a course of teachings in their synagogues. Nazareth, the place where He grew up, was also included. He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day and stood to read. And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed, to proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. (Isaiah 61:1,2) Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing at Him. And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture had been fulfilled while you are present and hearing (Luke 4).