Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Child’s Story of the First Passover. Christ, Our Passover.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

A Story of the First Passover

This story gives a child’s view of what it might have been like for families on that first Passover leading to the freeing of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 3-13).

A Story of the First Passover

An artist’s concept of an Israelite putting the blood of a lamb on his doorposts before the first Passover (graphic © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers, visualbiblealive.com).

PDF to print for family reading

“The boy’s heart pounded as he helped his father secure the struggling lamb. He shivered a little as the sun’s rays dimmed and the coolness of the spring evening settled softly over Goshen. They had slaughtered animals before to provide meat for a special occasion. But this time was different.

This lamb would play a part in the last great plague the LORD was going to send on Egypt. Will Pharaoh finally give in? the boy wondered anxiously. Or will he refuse as he has done so many times before?”

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/bible-stories/a-story-of-the-first-passover/

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More Bible Stories for children:

Bible Stories: The Purpose Behind the Stories

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Christ’s Body

Matthew 26:26

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

“The breaking of the unleavened bread at the New Testament Passover service is symbolic of Christ’s suffering in our place for our sins. It reminds us of our deserved punishment that fell on Jesus as His body was beaten and broken.

Eating the bread is also symbolic of our allowing Jesus Christ to live His life in us, and our need to live by every word of God (John 6:35; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 4:4). Just as physical food is essential to maintain physical life, living by the spiritual “bread” is essential for a healthy spiritual life.”

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Update:

A few things kinda got me down this week.  I am so tired of trying to keep up this house and fix the damaged guest house too.  I really wanted to be able to concentrate on getting this house sold.  The hedge looks like a weed patch, and the grass (weeds) is long and staggly.   Without the income from the guest house, my little pension only covers the the cost of the Property Taxes on both places, the Property Owners Assn fees, internet/phone/TV and the insurance on both places and the van.  So anything else I have to earn by selling stuff, and that is a lot of work. 

Especially as someone bought something that was brand new in blister pack, opened it and then found out it wasn’t what they thought it was, and wants a refund even though the ad was very specific and informative, so my funds are held up until it is resolved.  I don’t think it’s my fault that they didn’t research what they were buying.  Then there is a stolen dog that I am worrying about, hoping that he is not being used as a “bait dog” for dog-fighting.  I tried not to think about these things while I was cooking several dishes on Wednesday, and Thursday for the Passover meal on Friday evening.

Another helper has been working on the wiring, putting in switches and running wire to ceiling fans etc. but he didn’t show up today.  As we haven’t even started on the plumbing there still isn’t any water in the guest house yet, but I still have to pay the basic $40 a month for water.  Another expense.  Jay has been staying home with his mother taking care of her as she just got out of the hospital again. 

“Life is short, one should wake up everyday and ask themself if they’d rather be doing something else. And if so, do it.”    Well, I am getting to that point, I’d like to out from under the expense and responsibility of these two houses and be somewhere else.

The Sabbath service was so neat.  We had a young couple from another Saturday Sabbath church in Willis visit us because of the Passover.  Our pastor had married them 10 years ago, plus they are friends of our Song Leader, and I knew them from the other church, so they weren’t strangers. One thing that we were all so happy about is that we have been praying for his brother every week for a year as he has been dying several times from colon cancer, and yesterday we found out that he had one more surgery and is now fine and recovered.  Hallelujah!

The Bible readings were Psalm 67, Lev. 16:1-18:30,Eze. 22:1-19, and Heb. 9:1 22. The Teaching was about The Passover and the meaning of the leavening, ie. sin.  1 Cor.5:6 says that a little leavening will leaven the whole lump, and the elder explained how a little sin can lead to other larger ones.  Like when King David saw Bathsheba bathing, he should not have let it turn into all the sins that it did, including murder.  That is told at 2 Sam. 11th chapter.

For the potluck there were a lot of left-overs from the Passover meal the night before, so that we wouldn’t have to cook on the Sabbath. The lamb which had been relieved of all the bones the night before, was warmed up, and some of the liquid which had been separated from the meat was made into gravy for the left over baked potates.  They were cut up and made into Oven Roasted Potatoes with olive oil and seasonings.  There was some more Herbed Freekeh and other salads, Lentils with Veggies, and other veggies, gefilte fish loaf and chicken.  Several ladies had brought homemade unleavened bread, some flavoured with garlic or covered in cinnamon sugar.  Then there was plenty of matzos, jellys, fruits and honey.  We even had some lamb and liquid to freeze for another Sabbath.  After we had eaten and cleaned up the kitchen, we sat around talking for ages, and really enjoyed our time together.

I put the lamb bones in my pressure cooker and made the lamb bone broth today.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

“This Is My Blood …” Why Jesus Had to Die. Passover Supper.

 

“This Is My Blood … for the Remission of Sins”

Matthew 26:27-28

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

“It was Jesus’ intent that each year as Christians drink this small glass of red wine that it would serve as a vivid reminder that His blood—His life—was poured out for us. This helps to impress on us the reality of the enormous price that was necessary to pay to forgive our sins—the death of the Son of God!

Christians remember the New Covenant that we made with God at baptism every year as we take the Passover. The New Covenant allows God to write His laws on our hearts, and it provides forgiveness of our sins and a promise of eternal life (Hebrews 8:8-12; 9:15).”

Study more about sin and Christ’s shed blood for our forgiveness in our Fundamental Beliefs “6. Sin and God’s Law” and “7. The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” See also our article “Seven Last Sayings of Jesus.”

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Why Jesus Had to Die

“Why did the only Being who has ever lived a perfect human life have to experience such a horrible death? An often-overlooked festival of God helps us understand the deep significance of Christ’s crucifixion for our lives.

Why Jesus Had to Die

[From the March/April 2014 issue of Discern.]

Thousands of Jesus Christ’s countrymen had crowded into Jerusalem for the Passover festival—one of the most important events of the year. Jesus had warned His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to be killed; but not understanding or believing, they chided Him for saying something like that!

Yet it was all happening just as He—and the Old Testament prophets—had predicted. The only truly innocent Man in history, Jesus the Christ, was falsely arrested, unjustly tried and sentenced to a horrific scourging and death.

His blood, like that of the Passover lambs that symbolized His sacrifice, would be shed during this momentous festival.”

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/passover/why-jesus-had-to-die/

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Last night was the Passover Supper at the church.  Some of us arrived early to help the Pastor’s wife get everything ready.  

There was lamb, baked potatoes, freekeh herbed salad, gefilte fish loaf, broccoli casserole, hard-boiled eggs, an apple/walnut/honey dish, parsley, unleavened bread, wine, grape juice and other traditional things.  The Elder repeated the story about the Exodus and how that applies to us and Jesus’ sacrifice today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wash One Another’s Feet. The Bread of Life.

 

Thursday, 21st. April 2016,  Start of Passover.

Jesus and the New Testament Passover. For the kids to learn.

Jesus and the New Testament Passover coloring page Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet

“Every year baptized members of the Church of God meet together to observe the Passover in a particular way. Here is why and the Bible story behind it.

At first Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet.

PDF to print for family reading with coloring page

Jesus and His family had always kept the Passover, as well as all of God’s annual festivals. But the last Passover Jesus kept was quite different.

First, He shocked His disciples by performing an act of humble service. Then He introduced symbols to remind them of the meaning behind His coming sacrifice.

Three new things

Here are three new things that He did:  He washed their feet. Jesus and the disciples gathered together in a special room at the beginning of the 14th of Abib at twilight. Jesus knew that He would soon be killed, and He said to them, “I have really wanted to eat this Passover with you before I die. I won’t eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.””

Questions

Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:

  1. Why did Jesus wash the disciples’ feet?
  2. What do the unleavened bread and wine mean at the New Testament Passover service?

More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/bible-stories/jesus-and-the-new-testament-passover/

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http://ucg.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d04480cefc2e7c4492fe4a04&id=813b2859b0&e=72c729d811

Upcoming Holy Days

Passover
April 22, 2016 - Observed evening before
Feast of Unleavened Bread
April 23-29, 2016
You Also Ought to Wash One Another’s Feet

John 13:14

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

“Washing feet was a sign of kind hospitality, generally assigned to the lowest slave. It was dirty work considering the dusty roads of the Holy Land. Yet our Creator and Savior was willing to lower Himself yet again as a powerful lesson we are to copy.

Washing feet as part of the New Testament Passover reminds us to always look for ways to serve, whether menial or major. The Christian life is a life of service, with a foot-washing attitude.”

Study more about Passover in our article “Passover and Forgiveness” and our booklet From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.

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The Bread of Life

“Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread hold a powerful and meaningful metaphor for Jesus Christ's life in us.

The real reason for a Christian to keep the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread is to learn that we can’t really put out sin without the help of Jesus Christ, the true bread of life.

“I thought that sounded like an idea for a college hazing prank,” said the older gentleman. He had just heard me give a sermon explaining why and how to keep the biblical festival of the Days of Unleavened Bread. “Put out the leavened bread,” I had said. “Look in all the places of your home where crumbs and particles of bread and crackers may have fallen during the year. Make sure you get out every last crumb, and don’t forget to empty your vacuum cleaner.”

Looking back on that sermon I think I spent too much time telling people how to physically clean their home and not enough time on the deeper spiritual meaning behind the commanded ritual of putting out leaven—leaven being a symbol of spiritual sin. Now, years later, when I give sermons explaining to people how to keep this festival I teach them to remove leavened products, like bread, cakes and crackers and leavening agents like yeast and baking soda, from their homes. But I do not dwell at length on this.

I have learned it is far more important—in fact the real spiritual lesson behind putting out the physical leaven—is to focus on putting out spiritual sin from my life. The real reason for a Christian to keep this festival is to learn that we can’t really put out sin without the help of Jesus Christ, the true bread of life.

The Days of Unleavened Bread give us a seven-day period to focus on our need to work against sin with the help of Christ’s life within us.

God’s teaching is to eat unleavened bread during this festival. Why? The answer lies in understanding two passages of Scripture from the New Testament. In the first, the apostle Paul is writing to a Gentile church in Corinth which never had the knowledge of this festival prior to responding to hearing the gospel. In his first letter to the church Paul tells them to keep this festival with a deeper spiritual understanding.

They had a false pride because of sin, and he told them to remove the sinner from their fellowship so they could face spiritual reality. “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).”

More at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/the-bread-of-life

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As far as I know, all the leavening is now out of the church’s dining hall and my house.
Tonight, we will meet at the church and have the foot washing just as Jesus (Yeshua) did all those years ago.

The Passover starts at dusk today.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Christ Our Passover Was Sacrificed for Us. Q & A About The Passover. Bulletproof Washington. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

“Christ Our Passover Was Sacrificed for Us”

“By observing the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, Christians do exactly as Christ Himself did.

In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul wrote that “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” Do you understand the profound meaning this statement holds for Christians?

image

Christ, as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” would pay the penalty for humanity’s sins “by the sacrifice of Himself” (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26).

Jerusalem shone golden in the afternoon sun as 12 men and their Leader made their way from the Mount of Olives to a house in the city. Earlier in the day, Jesus of Nazareth had instructed two of His disciples, Peter and John, to go into Jerusalem and prepare the Passover (Luke 22:7-13). Jesus said they would encounter a man carrying water, who would show them his guest room where they could keep the Passover, a ceremony that involved eating a sacrificed lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs in remembrance of God’s redemption of the Israelites in Egypt.

After finding the man, Peter and John prepared the food and drink for Jesus and the 12 to observe what would culminate in the first New Covenant Passover service.

Here’s a question we might ask ourselves in this Passover season: Do we truly appreciate Christ’s ultimate sacrifice?

Jesus probably said little as they entered the room and surveyed the preparations. To Peter and John, no doubt Jesus appeared introspective, but, beyond this, their Teacher seemed composed and calm. They all began to relax at the table and eat, following the lead of their Master.

It was then that Jesus began to speak to His disciples, explaining that He had waited for this special time so He could eat this Passover with them. “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God,” He told them (Luke 22:15-16).”

More at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/christ-our-passover-was-sacrificed-for-us

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Questions and Answers About the Passover

“Most of Christianity doesn’t keep the Passover, believing it to be an observance only for Jews. Is this true? This post covers this and other questions about this ancient festival.

The Passover is found throughout the Bible—both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Is it possible that Christianity is ignoring an observance that is actually very much Christian?

Questions and Answers About the PassoverIf you look at your calendar for April, you will probably see “Passover” marked. Most people think of the Passover as simply a Jewish national holiday commemorating Israel’s departure from Egypt as found in the book of Exodus. Around this season, network television usually airs The Ten Commandments, the epic 1956 film recounting the Exodus starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.

This may be the extent of your knowledge about the Passover. It is largely ignored in Christianity, which observes other spring holidays (such as Easter, Lent and Good Friday).

But did you know that the Passover is found throughout the Bible—both in the Old Testament and New Testament? Is it possible that Christianity is ignoring an observance that is actually very much Christian?

This post will answer some common questions about the Passover……

Question 2: Is there any connection between the Passover and Jesus Christ?

Yes, the Bible makes a strong link between the Passover and Jesus Christ. Putting the scriptures together, we see that the events of the first Passover foreshadowed Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Notice the following parallels:……

Question 3: Does the New Testament say early Christians kept the Passover?

Yes, the New Testament is very clear that early Christians observed the Passover.

It is also important to remember that Jesus observed the Passover on the evening before His crucifixion and that His sacrifice occurred on the daylight portion of the Feast of Passover ( Matthew 26:18-19 ). But perhaps no scripture proves the link better than 1 Corinthians 5:7: “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Jesus commanded His disciples to “do this in remembrance of Me” ( Luke 22:19 ). He also instituted a foot-washing ceremony to teach His people the importance of humility and service (John 13:3-15).

The Bible shows us that the Church continued keeping the Passover in obedience to Christ ( 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 ; 11:23-26 ). Today, Christians around the world observe the New Testament Passover in March or April (on the 14th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar) to remember and commemorate Jesus Christ’s death and its significance to our lives. This year it will be observed after sunset on April 21. (Biblical time reckoning is from sunset to sunset, so sunset on April 21 is the beginning of the day of Passover.)”

Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/blog/questions-and-answers-about-the-passover/

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Bulletproof Washington

“An Amazing Fact: On July 9, 1755, during the French and Indian War, a force of 1,500 British soldiers was ambushed in the open by a small force of French and American Indian fighters shooting from the woods. The British soldiers—trained for European war—made easy targets standing shoulder to shoulder in their bright red uniforms. And their officers were even more exposed on horseback, high above the men on the ground, making perfect targets. The slaughter continued for two hours as nearly 70 percent of the British soldiers were cut down.

One by one, the chief’s marksmen shot the British officers from their horses until only one remained. Amazingly, round after round was aimed at this one man. Twice the young lieutenant’s horse was shot out from under him. Twice he grabbed another horse. Ten, fifteen, twenty rounds were fired by the sharpshooters. Still, the officer remained unhurt. The native warriors stared in disbelief. Their rifles seldom missed. The chief realized that a mighty power must be shielding this man and commanded, “Stop firing! This one is under the special protection of the Great Spirit.”

Eventually the lieutenant colonel gathered the remaining British troops and led them to safety. That evening, as the last of the wounded were being cared for, the officer noticed an odd tear in his coat. It was a bullet hole! He rolled up his sleeve and looked at his arm directly under the hole. There was no mark on his skin. Amazed, he took off his coat and found three more holes where bullets had passed through his coat but stopped before they reached his body. Nine days after the battle, the young lieutenant colonel wrote his brother: “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side!”

The 23-year-old officer went on to become the commander in chief of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States. During the years that followed in his long career, this man, George Washington, was never once wounded in battle. Washington also escaped flying bullets on four other occasions and survived contracting diphtheria, malaria, smallpox, and tuberculosis.”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Psalms 91:7

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Update:  One worker didn’t show up again, but another one did.  He is redoing the electrical boxes that Jay put in, getting the polarity right, and installing a couple of switches and lights.

My son, Kevin came to visit and he said he was starting a cold, so I gave him some Vitamin C.   I had been in front of a fan as Jay can’t stand to be anywhere without a breeze on him.  I call it a draft, as I don’t like fans blowing on me, and by Saturday I had come down with an allergy or cold.  I didn’t hug anyone at church as is our custom, and kept everyone at arm’s length.  The fostermom who lives around the corner She had taken my foster cats for Adoption Day, and saw what shape I was in.

The church is getting fired up and ready for Passover which will start on Thursday night.  One of the congregation ladies who lives near me brought over some organic pepper, garlic and onion to put in the organic farro and freekeh that she had bought.  Both ancient nutritious grains, and she wanted me to cook some of the freekeh for the Passover Supper.  She has some thing very amiss with her pitruitary gland because doctors gave her the wrong meds and now she can only eat organic (no pesticides) food, or she gets terrible migraines for days.   I cooked some of the farro, and wasn’t impressed, it seems very chewy. Then I made a freekeh and chickpea salad for last Saturday’s pot luck, just to see how it would be received and it was all gone in no time.  So I will make that again for Passover, but this time I will have some organic parsley and mint on hand as that is in the recipe which I omitted the first time.  The freekeh is a more tender grain than the farro.  I also took a graham cracker pie with bananas, cinnamon chocloate chips and craisins in a cranberry pudding.

The readings were Lev.14:1-16:33, 2 Kings 7:3-20 and Matt. 9:20-26, and the teaching was about Discipleship.  After we had all enjoyed the potluck, anything with leavening in it was taken out of the dining hall.  Most of it was given away to needy folks.  All the leavening will be removed from my house, too for the week of The Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Well, tomorrow I will lose some blood for the doctor, as it is Vampire Day.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Passover. Redeemer of Israel. God’s Seven Festivals.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Passover

“Do not let anyone judge you with regard to a religious festival ... these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”   ~ Colossians 2:16-17

Jesus Christ died at Passover. Perhaps if Jesus’ sacrifice were remembered by Christians at the Jewish Passover every year the church might have had more success in reaching Jews with the good news of their Messiah. In addition, the church would have been edified by understanding the roots of their faith and the riches of the grace of God in His purposes for Israel.

About 300 years after Jesus, Christianity changed from being the faith of an oppressed minority into the religion of a triumphant empire. The Roman emperor Constantine became a Christian and the church moved to a place of partnership and power in the political order.

Soon after this a teaching developed that God had replaced Israel with the church. The Jews were no longer a chosen people, it seemed.

New festivals were decreed. Christmas was established, as a supposed date for the birth of Christ. However, in the mountains of the Bethlehem area it is too cold in late-December to have flocks under the stars by night, as the New Testament relates, so this was certainly not the time of Jesus’ birth. The European mid-winter date for Christmas was selected to draw pagans away from their festivals. Symbols, such as Christmas trees and, later, Santa Claus, have pagan origins.

In like manner, Passover was rejected as a memorial date for the death and resurrection of Christ, precisely because it was Jewish. A new calendar around the worship of Aostre or Ishtar – hence Easter – was ordained. Modern-day elements, such as bunnies and eggs, are fertility symbols, again of pagan origin.

It is small wonder that the Bible says, about ritualistic observances:

“You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my time on you.”  [Galatians 4:10-11]

For these reasons the sooner Christians do away with observing the pagan rituals of Christmas and Easter the better. The birth of Jesus Christ, and especially His death and resurrection, should be celebrated daily in the heart of every believing Christian.

Turning the annual Jewish Passover into a substitute for Easter is not an option, but understanding how Jesus fulfilled the types and shadows in the Passover is instructive for the life of faith in Jesus Christ.”       From: http://www.differentspirit.org/articles/passover.php

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Redeemer of Israel

For the Jew first then for the gentile.
~ Romans 1:16

“Jesus was a Jew. The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus, starting with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then follows the line of the tribe of Judah through to King David.

Jesus’ mother was a Jewess. Her name was Miriam. The original Greek text of the New Testament called her Mariam. Her name was translated into English as Mary. The Bible does not say that she was divine but it does say that she was a virgin and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua, which means ‘salvation’. His name was translated into the Greek of the time as Iesous and that later translated into English as Jesus.

Jesus is the promised Messiah. The promise of a Messiah, or Mashiach in Hebrew, an anointed Saviour from God, was made first to the Jews and is recorded in the Torah. The Greek word for Messiah is Christos which was translated into English as the Christ. It was not the family name of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a title.

The Redeemer promised by God is Yeshua haMashiach – Jesus the Messiah, or Jesus the Christ. He was a Jew – circumcised on the eighth day, of the tribe of Judah. He observed the Law of Moses perfectly throughout His life.

Jesus died at the Jewish feast of Passover – a perfect Lamb – sacrificed to purchase our redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

His disciples were Jews. Among them were Shimon, called Petros in Greek, and known to us as Simon Peter. Also Yakov, translated Iakobos in Greek and then, strangely, to James in English. Also, Yochanan, or Ioannes in Greek, now known, in English, as John.

One of the apostles, or emissaries of the Messiah, was Shaul of Tarsus, a Pharisee trained under Gamaliel. His name, in Greek, was Paulos. The Bible calls him Saul, and also as Paul, in English. He was a Jew.

Jesus died at the Jewish feast of Passover – not at Easter – a perfect Lamb, a sacrifice of atonement, fulfilling the types and shadows in the Law of Moses. He died to purchase our redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The first to believe in Him were Jews. For several years the church comprised only Jews. When gentiles came to place their faith in the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish church was astonished. Many were reluctant to accept that God would have a place for non-Jews in the world to come.”       More at: http://www.differentspirit.org/toisrael.php

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The Greatest Story Ever

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Update.

A couple of trips into Conroe and two into Willis delayed working on the guest house, but the new worker Steve got quite a bit of wiring done.  A few weeks ago another worker and I had unscrewed some of the attic floor and fished a 12 gauge wire down into an unused breaker in the breaker box, and run it through the wall into the living room which is naked down to it’s studs because of the termites.  We have had to remove a lot of the sheetrock and paneling.  This makes it a lot easier to run wires, though.  Then that wire was pulled through into the new wall between the new kitchen and bathroom and dedicated circuit was made for the north side of the new kitchen.  Steve tidied up some of the wiring that Jay had done, too.  He installed ceiling fans with light kits in the living room and new bedroom, and put a light in the new kitchen, but that isn’t wired to a switch yet.  We had to uncrew a bit more of the attic floor to get to it, and I’ll have to buy more wire before it can be finished.

Planning the bathroom became a priority, just to know where outlets and plumbing would be needed.  It seemed most spacious to put the bath tub across the far end, but there is a wide narrow window there, and when I found out what it would take to waterproof it, it wasn’t practical.  It was intended to put 48” wide, 21” deep vanity that I have in there, but with moving the tub to the side, the walk space was too narrow, so I’ll have to use the 18” wide one that I have.  It is 30” wide, and also has a 30” wide 12” deep lower cabinet that goes next to it, so it will be better in the long run.   I am going to custom make the vanity top, so the dimensions don’t matter right now.  So it is all slowly coming along.

Jay finally got over his self medicating, and seems back to ‘his’ normal.  But he didn’t go to church with me.  I made an onion and cheese quiche, and some French Bread, and took some frozen NY breadsticks which I slathered in butter and garlic after baking.

The Bible readings were Lev. 12:1-13:59, 2 Kings 4:42-5:19 and Matt.8:1-4.  Most of those scriptures are about what to do for lepers.  The Teaching was about the First of the Religious Year (this last new moon) and Prophecies Fulfilled.  The first prophecy about the Messiah is in Gen. 3:15 and they continue throughout the Old Testament. The first Passover was to shed the blood of a perfect lamb, and the celebration of the Passover these days is a memorial to the crucifiction and resurrection of another perfect Lamb. 

We all enjoyed the potluck in the dining room, and the menu for the Passover was planned, which we will be celebrating on the evenings of the 21st and 22nd, then the Sabbath on the 23rd.  The Feast of the Unleavened Bread will be from the 23rd to the 29th.  Jay usually helps me pull out my fridge to vacuum behind and under it to make sure there are no crumbs, and all things containing leaven will be removed from my house.  This is where the tradition of Spring cleaning came from.  There should be no leavening in our homes or the church during those days.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Bible Or The Bunny? Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?

 

For “Scripture Sunday”, late again!

Beware of the Bunny!

“What’s with all the Easter bunnies and Easter eggs? Do they obscure the meaning of Christ’s resurrection—or worse?

image

This morning I saw a bunny hopping across the road—missing an oncoming car by inches! I was actually cheering for the bunny. I guess you could say I like bunnies as much as the next guy.

So why the headline, “Beware the Bunny”? Because I saw other bunnies on my run this morning that gave me pause to think. With Easter this last weekend, several houses are adorned with decorations of rabbits and eggs. One had a rabbit—and a cross.

What would an alien think about this holiday by just looking at the decorations or walking through an Easter display at a supermarket? Would the alien wonder,   Is this some kind of fertility rite?

What are all the little kids to make of it? The Easter Bunny, the Easter egg hunt and all the Easter candy would probably not teach them much about Jesus Christ or His resurrection. And as kids who have watched Veggie Tales cartoons know, it’s not good to set up large statues of rabbits or bow down to bunnies.

The alien wasn’t far wrong

Where did the Easter Bunny come from? Checking an encyclopedia or doing a web search, you will find information like this (from a Christian website):

“The origin of the Easter Bunny has roots that go back to pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxon himageistory. The holiday was originally a pagan celebration that worshipped the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility and springtime and her earthly symbol was the rabbit.

“Thus the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons worshipped the rabbit believing it to be Eastre’s earthly incarnation.

“When the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity, the pagan holiday, which occurred around the same time as the Christian memorial of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, was combined with the Christian celebration and given the name Easter.

black-bunny-rabbit-277x300.jpg (277×300)“Originally, there were some very pagan practices that went along with the Easter celebration.”

When ancient Israel entered the Promised Land, God warned them not to seek after the teachings and traditions of the nations that once inhabited the land. He said, “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-32).

Later, Christ told His disciples: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:6-8).

That’s why Christ’s followers avoid religious celebrations that have pagan origins, no matter what the intent or long-standing tradition. (For more on this, see “Origin of Easter.”)

And it turns out not just the trappings, but the timing of Good Friday and Easter is wrong. For the details, including an easy-to-read and helpful chart, see “Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?” Hint, try counting three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (Matthew 12:39-40). I don’t think Jesus got this wrong.

Christians who don’t celebrate Easter

50d2ff34f12d91abd6d83a190faa7b39.jpg (480×389)Christians who look to the Bible as their ultimate authority find that the New Testament Church didn’t celebrate Easter but continued to celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Consider Paul’s clear statement to the mainly gentile congregation in Corinth: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

If Paul told the Greek Christians to celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread decades after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, why shouldn’t we do it today?

The Bible or the bunny? I say, choose the Bible.”  From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/blog/beware-of-the-bunny/

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Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?

“Most churches commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. But how does this fit with the sign Christ gave?

The sign of Jonah was that Christ would be three days and three nights in the grave.

“Good Friday afternoon to Easter Sunday sunrise does not add up to three days and three nights. This chart shows the chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection that matches the biblical festivals and confirms the sign of Jonah.

As proof that He was the Messiah, Jesus Christ promised in advance exactly how much time He would spend in the grave. He called it “the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

The sign of Jonah

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had seen Him work miracles but still didn’t believe He was the Messiah (Matthew 12:23, 38). In fact, the Pharisees plotted “how they might destroy Him” (verse 14) and accused Him of working for Satan (verse 24)!

So when they asked for another sign, Jesus said:

“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (verses 39-40).

Jesus referred to the great miracle from the book of Jonah. God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights before God told the fish to spit him out, alive, on the shore. And Christ let everyone know that He would be in the grave for the exact same length of time. He said the sign of Jonah would be the only sign He would give them. This important prophecy was very specific.

How do you get three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning?

Bible-2.jpg (873×1187)Yet today most churches ignore this sign or try to explain that it didn’t really mean three full days and three full nights. Why? Because of a common misunderstanding about the holy times during that week many call Holy Week.

First, try to do the math. Almost all Christian churches teach Jesus Christ died and was buried late Good Friday afternoon, then was raised early Easter Sunday morning. That’s Friday night, Saturday day and Saturday night: two nights and one day. Even if you wanted to stretch things to call the few minutes of daylight on Friday a day, that’s only two days and two nights. Remember, Jesus was already risen before sunrise on Sunday (John 20:1).

Why would Jesus make a point of saying three days and three nights if He didn’t mean it? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is there a simple explanation everyone would understand if they celebrated the festivals of the Bible as Jesus and His disciples did?Why would Jesus make a point of saying three days and three nights if He didn’t mean it? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is there a simple explanation everyone would understand if they celebrated the festivals of the Bible as Jesus and His disciples did?

Jesus clearly stated that He and His disciples were celebrating the Passover when He washed their feet and added the New Testament ceremony of the bread and the wine. He said: “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).

Jesus and His disciples followed the command found in Leviticus 23 describing the “feasts of the Lord.” “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover” (verses 4-5). Biblical days started in the evening, so after that Passover ceremony, but still on the Passover day, Jesus was arrested, beaten and crucified. He died around 3 p.m. (“the ninth hour” of daylight in the Jewish system of time keeping; Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46) and was buried before sunset. In fact, the Jewish leaders were urgent that Jesus’ body not remain on the cross the next day.

“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31).

Most people today would see the word Sabbath and assume this means Saturday, since the regular weekly Sabbath day taught in the Bible is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. But most miss the fact that John called it a “high day.” What did he mean? Let’s quickly go back to Leviticus 23. What comes right after the Passover (the 14th)?

“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it” (Leviticus 23:6-7).

This First Day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath day—a high day. And it can come on different days of the week.

So the logical explanation is that Christ was exactly right about the three days and three nights. People today are just confused about when He died and was resurrected. It couldn’t have been on a Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.

The accompanying chart shows the math that works—the chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection that matches the biblical festivals and confirms the sign of Jonah—the only sign Jesus said He would give!”  From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/holy-days-vs-holidays/sign-of-jonah/

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Update:

We haven’t been able to get much done to the remodeling and repairs in the guest house as Jay has had a toothache or rather a ‘root-ache’, and has been ‘over-medicating’ himself.  I took him to the dentist today, and he had it out.   Another worker came and wired up the bathroom exhaust fan and light on a double switch, so that’s working now.  The lino (sheet vinyl) isn’t laid in the new bathroom yet, but we are gradually getting the wiring done in there and the new kitchen.   No plumbing so far, as the bathroom layout isn’t set in stone yet.  Even the kitchen was tweaked a bit.  I did pick up some more plywood and board insulation in my van, so we can install that soon.  The board insulation is just extra over the regular insulation as it gets drafty on top of this hill.

Jay didn’t go to church with me, but I made three dishes for the potluck.  Butter-roasted new potaoes,  cabbage, onions, peppers and tomatoes done in coconut oil with sesame seeds.  And third, organic cucumbers, onion and olive salad.  When I get my salad shooter out, I go wild! 

The Bible readings were Lev. 9:1-11:47, 2 Sam. 6:1-7:13 and Heb. 4:14-5:6.  The Teaching was about Daniel’s Prophecies. We all had a great time and even more in the dining hall afterwards, even though it started out cold and was a windy day.