From the time that God created man, He has not ceased to seek that special person who will build walls and stand in the gap on behalf of a country or people so that He would not destroy them; a man who will stand in the gap for righteousness and justice. The Word of the Lord that came to the prophet Ezekiel while he and the nation of Israel were captives in Babylon were words of judgment against the sins of that nation. Israel laid bare before her Lord and her sins were exposed before Him. God’s love and patience over Israel and all other nations are evident in the length of time He waits before He sends judgment. Meanwhile He seeks intercessors who will stand in the gap in His presence for the land and for its people. He told Ezekiel that He had sought a man among Israel who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Him for the land, that he should not destroy it, but He found none. Therefore, He said, Have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid upon their own heads, says the Lord God(Ezekiel 22: 30-31).
In Yahshua was life, and the Life was the Light of men (verse 4). When Paul was on his way to persecute the believers, Yahshua came to him in a Light that flashed from heaven. That Light penetrated Paul’s inmost being and changed the direction of his life from persecutor to persecuted. At that moment he asked Him, “Who are You Lord”? I AM Yahshua, Whom you are persecuting, (He answered) (Acts 9:1-6).
YAHSHUA’S light penetrated not only into Paul’s physical eyes; it also penetrated into his soul – mind, will and emotion, where the source of his hatred against the believers, dwelled. The words spoken by Yahshua illuminated on all the darkness residing in Paul’s life; it removed the spiritual veil which had darkened his understanding of the truth for many years. Paul’s eyes were now opened to realize his spiritual condition. He no longer thought of him as a righteous man, but a wretched sinner. Yes, Paul experienced the effect of that Light and in the impact of its brilliance and splendor the seed of life was planted in him. At that Paul then asks the second question, “Lord, what do You desire me to do?” Powerless, blind and spiritually broken, Paul submitted himself to follow YAHSHUA with the same zeal he had for Judaism, if not greater, to become the greatest preacher of all times. Based on this experience later he told Timothy, YAHSHUA lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see (I Timothy 6:16).
(Isaiah 53; Hebrews 10: 7,10)
Then YAHSHUA said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God, what is written of Me in the volume of the Book; and in accordance with this will we have been made holy through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10: 7, 10).
While He was carrying our grief and sorrow, while He was being wounded for our trespasses and transgressions, while He was being bruised for our guilt and iniquities, while He was taking our punishment and giving us His peace, we stood ignorant and considered Him to be under God’s judgment, rejecting Him to the point of hiding our faces from His appearance, which was marred beyond human form (Isaiah 52: 14). Why do think that was? The reason why, was that we could not stand to see our own sinful condition being put on Him. He didn’t fight back and we thought Him to be weak and marveled at His silence. He was taken away by oppression and falsehood and was led away to the slaughter with criminals, as if He were one of them. He was denied justice and a fair trial. We then, nailed His hands and feet to a tree for six hours when our guilt and iniquities were lighted on Him. With the intensity of His suffering, He cried, Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me)? (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22)
Bruised, grieved and sickened, God made Him an offering for the sin of the world. Nailed to a tree, His face and body disfigured and poured out like water (in His blood), all His bones out of joint, His heart softened in anguish, no strength left in Him, thirst from dehydration, His tongue cleaved to His jaws, yet He endured the insults of men. “Come down from the tree, if You are the Son of God!” with many other insults they tormented Him. But again, they could never understand that the horror they had seen in YAHSHUA’S face body were indeed the reflection of their own sins He was taking upon Himself. They failed to accept that He was the perfect gift to them- the ultimate gift God was giving to the world– the gift of forgiveness.
Faith, the vital and most important armor of defense, is often overlooked in our times of trouble. We look for the tangible to provide the solution for our physical and emotional problems, because we seem to think that in the touching and seeing, our faith is developed, as it is often said, “Seeing is believing”. Thomas, one of the disciples of YAHSHUA, seemed to have believed that way. When the disciples told and kept telling him of the resurrection of our Lord YAHSHUA, these were his words: “Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it]. Why was Thomas so contrary and so emphatic in his unbelief? What was there to gain? He expressively detailed the conditions he would believe: “Unless I see the marks of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the nail prints, and on His side, I will never believe”. The adverb never implies permanent condition of disbelief. The Lord rebuked him saying, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe? Blessed are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed on Me (John 20:27, 29).
But Thomas is not alone. We too turn faith into a dilemma in our challenging circumstances. When we fall ill, the first thought to come to mind is to see a doctor. Nothing wrong in that, humanely speaking ; but what does the Word say about that? Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders. And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name; and the prayer of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess to one another therefore your faults, and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (James 5:14-16). The Bible does not say, in sickness call in a doctor, but call in the church elders; it does not say, to give drugs, but it says, to pray over the sick, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. The results will be that the prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will restore him. The first thing to do to experience restoration is to confess our sin to one another. In offending my brother or sister, I have offended God also and I have suffered the consequences. By admitting my sins to the one I offended, I have taken the first step to my healing, because that has opened heavens and called the attention of God to bless me with restoration and deliverance from that which has caused my illness. God will always do what He has promised in our obedience to His word.
Because the blood of bulls and goats is powerless to take sins away, hence when He [Christ} entered into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me…Then I said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God what is written of Me in the volume of the Book (Heb. 10: 4-5,7). This is the most celebrated birth. The Son of God did not come according to the will of man, but of God. The place where God chose for His Son to be born was most significant and meaningful, although many are ignorant of this fact. The Son of God came to fulfill His Father’s will of salvation for humankind. He came representing a lamb for the purpose of being offered as a sacrifice to take the sins of the world. As such, He was given a manger for a crib in His birth. Not a regular manger, but a special one, where only the perfect chosen lambs laid their heads. These were raised for the temple sacrifice as an atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. No one knew why there was no room for God’s Son to have a proper place to be born and a crib to lay His head. However, God does not need the things of the world to accomplish His intents and purposes. He has chosen the people from whom He was to bring His Son to the world and the exact place where He wanted to manifest His glory. His glory shone brighter in that humble place, where shepherds and lambs witnessed His glory and rejoiced, while the world slept through it, knowing nothing that was happening.
Eu sou o tempo
Que passa, que passa
Eu venho, mas não volto
Deixando no coração
O remorso, ah se o tempo voltasse!
It comes with determination, perseverance and endurance. All these are needed, in this earthly life, for it is a life of constant battles. Sorting things out that matter on our journey, is essentially important to achieve blamelessness and purity in the sight of God. The Patriarch Abraham leads us in his determination, perseverance and endurance, when he kept the faith in God’s promises, even though it took twenty-seven years for the first one to be fulfilled in his old life time. A life’s journey of faith is a slow and difficult journey, needed of much patience. Many are the giants, the mountains, the fires and many other obstacles we will face. The destination, however is beyond that which we can imagine. It is so wonderful, that all the pains we suffer here are not to be compared to the glorious experience at the end of our journey to that beautiful place, called heaven! The apostle Paul, on his journey of faith never gave up in all his sufferings, because he knew where he was going; he knew that he was not a citizen of this world, but of heaven, as are all who have trusted the Lord for their salvation. He went hungry, he went thirsty and cold, slandered and defamed, he was made rubbish and filth of the world and taken for dead. Paul looked beyond all and stayed the course of his destination. At the end of his life, he could well say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (II Tim. 4:7).