(Matthews 26:23; I Corinthians 11)
Christmas season is the time when everyone is running to and fro, here and there, after gifts for one here and the other there, but not realizing the meaninglessness of it all when they say it is YAHSHUA’S birthday. The Word of God tells us that YAHSHUA had no beginning and no end. We read this in the book of John chapter one verses 1-4: In the beginning there was the Word (YAHSHUA), the Word was with God and the Word was God Himself! He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him(YAHSHUA), and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. He existed before time; He was never held in the boundary of time, neither to its limits, for time exists only by Him. To fulfill the Father’s will, a body was prepared for Him, but that did not measure the time frame of His existence, neither His beginning. It just implies the human’s time frame for men to mark the date of His coming to earth.
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
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.
21-41; Amos 7:8)
Lord spoke to the Prophet Amos saying, I will not pass by and spare them
anymore. He was finished warning the nation of Israel, due to their hardness of
heart. In their exit from Egypt, Israel experienced God’s protection in every
way they needed. They escaped all the plagues applied to Egypt, and even the
last one, which was the death of all the firstborn sons. By the blood of the
sacrificial lamb, upon the doorpost of their houses, their sons were spared from
death. That was a token or a sign that when God saw the blood He would “Pass over”
the nation of Israel and no plague would destroy them. God’s mercy is available
in the opportunities that come to us. Its door has been opened for a long time
for all to enter because our God is longsuffering. He desires that all be
saved. There is no limit to His mercy while its door is opened. God’s mercy is
such that can never be compared to human’s mercy in the fullest extent of it. Webster dictionary describes mercy as: refraining
from punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one’s power; kindness in excess
of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion;
the power to forgive, clemency, etc.
The hour had come for our Savior
YAHSHUA to be sacrificed on that Passover Day. Nothing more important was in
His mind than that of fulfilling the purpose for which He had come to earth for
thirty-three years. His ministry was coming to an end. It was going to be
completed at His death and resurrection during the week He was arrested, or
gave Himself up. After a time spent with His disciples instructing and comforting
them, He proceeded to the Gethsemane Garden, the place where He would express
the beginning of the anguish He was to experience for many hours before His
ultimate death. In the midst of all the preparations for the coming Passover,
people were indifferent to that particular One, not knowing that the true
Passover Lamb- the One carrying the true meaning of that feast, was going to
once and for all close that chapter of slaughtering animals for the forgiveness
of men’s sins. When the time came, He headed for Jerusalem amidst the disciples
not understanding the reason for Him wanting to go there. For a long time the
Jewish authorities wanted to kill him; they tried several times, but He escaped
every time for that hour had not yet come.
Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph (Ex. 1:8). There is a lot to consider in this few words, for they take us to the beginning when Joseph was sold to an officer of Pharaoh as a slave. However, God was with him and through all his life in Egypt, he prospered to become second to the King. Finding favor with him, Joseph moved his family from Canaan to Egypt, where they stayed 430 years. The Israelites, after so many years in that land, prospered and never returned to Canaan. That seemed to be the story of Israel throughout history after they were taken captives to another land. Not until pressure of persecution to the point of their death, do they return home, but not all. Let’s remember Hitler’s day. How many were killed? How many are still in that land today, including the whole of Europe? What will take them to realize the way home? History has being repeating itself over and over in the lives of Israel; today they call it anti-Semitism. After the slaughter of many of their ancestors in Hitler’s day Israel has said, “Never again.” But it will not be so, until they go home.
last seven sentences uttered by our Lord before His death were with purpose and
meaning. As He was carrying the sins,
diseases, guilt of mankind while in the cross, and being cursed for us, He
expressed forgiveness, salvation, and love for the world. These were in
relationship to men. He expressed anguish of separation from His Father, His
physical need, the completion of His ordeal, and finally commended His Spirit
to the Father. These last four were in relationship to Himself.