28.5 BSF Matthew Week 28, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

5 days earlier, when Jesus entered and was chastised for the crowds calling out His glory He said, if they stayed quiet the rocks would cry out.  When he died, they did.

The curtain was torn, top to bottom, from heaven to earth.  Direct access to God was again restored.  No longer do we need to go through an intermediary to sacrifice animals.  Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient.

But do we treat it that way?  No.  We continue to act like we need to “do our part.”  We “earn our way” into heaven.  This is such an insult to Jesus.  When we believe that our good works have some part in our salvation, we diminish the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice.  If we have a part, His part was not good enough.

This past week, the former New York Mayor Bloomberg, was quoted as saying, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,”  It is not my place to judge, but by my reading of scriptures that attitude would be such a blatant insult to Jesus. 

The price is paid in full.  The only wise response is to accept the gift and live a life in appreciation of His sacrifice and love.

Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Mary, Martha, all understood this.  That is why they were willing to give up their ability to participate in the required festival of Passover to care for the body of Jesus Christ.  It was not a sacrifice to give up a tradition that was now only a foreshadowing of the real sacrifice of the Son of God.

P.S.  some may wonder about my answer that Shirley was present at the crucifixion.  I am basing this on the statement of the Centurion when he turned and said, “Shirley, he was the Son of God.”  <grin>

My Answers:

9.
a.
High priest, once per year

b.
blood, the way into the holy place had not yet been disclosed, gifts and sacrifices were not sufficient

c.
The path to God became open, Man could again approach God in communion with the Holy Spirit

10.
a.
Revelation – Nature spoke to Jesus’ majesty, the very rocks cried out

b.
Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joseph, Mother of Zebedee’s sons, apostles, disciples, Shirley

11.
a.
Ability to participate in passover, His own tomb, place on the council, wrath of fellow jews

b.
Prophecy fulfillment, remnant who loved Him – did not speak up before, but now did

c.
wanted guard posted for Him rising on the 3rd day.  They understood it better than apostles

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28.4 BSF Matthew Week 28, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

There are only three possibilities.

1. Psalm was rewritten to match Jesus’ time at the cross
2. Jesus’ time on the cross was changed to match prophecy
3. These things actually happened and the prophecy fulfilled

Let’s investigate:

1. Psalm 22 was written somewhere between 700 and 1000 years prior.  It was published and existed in numerous places.
2. The gospels were published during a time that many eye witnesses were still alive.  If the account did not match the facts there would have been widespread uproar and there would not have been such growth of the early church.
3. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

The fact that Jesus life and death follows point by point the prophecy is not just coincidence, it is a foreshadowing, a real prophecy.  The odds of someone fulfilling every prophecy, other than by divine structure, is unfathomable.  Not only that, but we see that Jesus must have known everything that was going to happen.  Not only by divine revelation, but also because it was in writing.

But what about the resurrection?  Psalm 22 ends before the climax of the story.  But, the numbering of the Psalms came later.  If you read Psalm 22-24 in order you see the death, the walk through the valley of the shadow of death and then, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.”

My Answers:

7.
1.my God… words Jesus spoke on the cross
1-6. scorned by everyone, despised by the people, cry out but you do not answer
7-9. all who see mock me, hurl insults, let the Lord rescue him
12-13. bulls surround, roaring lions open their mouths against me
14. I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint, heart melted wax
15. mouth dried up like a potsherd
16. dogs/villains pierce my hands and feet
17. all my bones are on display, people stare and gloat over me
18. divide my clothes and cast lots for my garment
19-21. but you, Lord, are not far, you are my strength, come quickly to help me

8.
a.
line by line direct prophecy

b.
Not only lived, but lived exactly the life foretold, there has not been and cannot be another

28.3 BSF Matthew Week 28, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

How do you approach difficult situations?  I asked myself this as we studied our lesson this week.  I tend to shy away, to hide, to pull back.  Given a painful procedure, I am first in line for anesthesia or anything else to numb the pain.

But our Lord’s approach was different.  He knew exactly what would happen, but did not shy away.  He entered it naked, boldly, without anything to numb the pain.  He had come to this planet to suffer and die.  This was his mission, his purpose for taking on human flesh.

Adam and Eve had hid and clothed themselves out of shame when they committed original sin.  Jesus now, for all humanity of all time, shed that hiding and clothing to take the full shame for our sin.  None of it did He deserve, since He was without sin, but all of it he did and took on to fully pay the price for us.

Through Moses, God’s chosen people were instructed to take hyssop branches and paint the blood of the perfect lamb across the door.  With God’s only son, the perfect lamb of God, hanging on the cross, we took hyssop branches and dipped them in bitterness and painted it across the lips of our Messiah.  We had nothing to offer and what we did offer was of no value and actually caused pain.

My Answers:

5.
Fulfillment of prophecy.  He did not choose to be drugged, he kept his senses and chose when to release his life.  He took the bitter drink of the cup.  The wine turned to vinegar.  He had prophesied at the last supper would not again until entered the kingdom – that was this point.

6.
a.
soldiers cast lots for them (not torn)

b.
Adam & Even clothed themselves out of shame.  Jesus returned to original state of being to remove original sin.  He took on our shame that we tried to hide.  He had no need to clothes because he would soon be clothed in robes of righteousness

 

28.2 BSF Matthew Week 28, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

From Cyrene to Jerusalem by land was 783 miles.  Walking ~4 miles per hour for 8 hours a day, it would have taken 32 days to make the journey to arrive in the holy city for passover.  On the day of passover a crowd lines the steets and Simon of Cyrene is in the crowd.  We don’t know if he is actively participating in the mocking words of the crowd to Jesus, but suddenly he is being pulled from the crowd and ordered by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry the cross.

The moment he comes in contact with the blood on the cross he would be deemed to be ceremonially unclean and no longer able to participate in passover.  There is no time to perform the ceremonies to become clean.

Being unable to participate in passover carried a huge burden.  In a culture and religion where adherence to the the law and participation in the feasts was paramount to salvation, his inability to participate would be carried with him through the entire following year and possibly forever.  There was no “make-up” date for passover.

Regardless of where his heart was at that moment, we catch insight into where his heart went.  We know from Mark 15 that his sons were active members in the the church of Christians following Christ’s resurrection.  We know from Romans 16 that his wife was like a mother to the apostle Paul.

Simon learned first hand that adherence to laws and feasts does not work.  Despite best intentions things go wrong.  We are not perfect.  But Jesus was perfect and His perfect sacrifice redeemed us fully now and forever.  We see later in our story that Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and the jewish women who followed Jesus also gave up their ability to participate in passover.  But by willing letting go of their place in the crowd, they stepped into a personal relationship with Jesus, one that lasts into eternity.

Where are you standing in the crowd?  Where do you need to step out and be willing to let go of “looking proper” or “doing good things” to actually serve Jesus?

My Answers:

3.
a.
Lev 4: Our sin offeringLev 4: The offering which we lay hands on to transfer our guilt and sin
Deut: Someone who took on our capital offense, was put to death on a pole – God’s curse
2 Cor: One who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become righteous
Heb: Suffered outside the gate, like a burnt offering, sin offering, made holy through His blood
1 Peter: Redemption through precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish or defect
1 Peter: bore our sins so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness, healed by his wounds

b.
took on our capital offense, put to death on a pole and received God’s curse – taken down to not desecrate the land

4.
a.
Unclear in scripture.  He would have traveled for almost a month to Jerusalem for passover only to become unclean on that very day.  Anger, fear turning to compassion, wonder and appreciation.  2 sons became missionaries and wife was “like a mother” to Paul.

b.
More than just an angry, frustrated, Judean Jew.  He had been touched and moved to faith through the experience he had of being pulled out of the crowd.

c.
Christ’s passion for us did not just involve a quick death.  Death was preceded by pain and degradation that led to fully taking on the weight of our sin even unto death