Declare among the nations, Proclaim, and set up a standard

Jeremiah 50:34(A prophetic announcement) (Jeremiah 50:2)
“Declare among the nations, Proclaim, and set up a standard; Proclaim—do not conceal it— Say, ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach is broken in pieces; Her idols are humiliated, Her images are broken in pieces.’ (NKJV)
This is what the Lord says: “Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. (NLT)

The following Scriptures are quoted from NKJV Bible.
Jeremiah 50:20
20 In those days and in that time,” says the Lord,
“The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none;
And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found;
For I will pardon those whom I preserve.

Jeremiah 50:34
34 Their Redeemer is strong;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their case,
That He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Romans 11:5
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:25-27
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[a] as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”[b]

Footnotes:
Romans 11:26 Or delivered
Romans 11:27 Isaiah 59:20, 21

Romans 11:34 (NKJV)
34
“For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”[a]

Footnotes:
Romans 11:34 Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18

1 Corinthians 2:16, 9
16 “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”[e] But we have the mind of Christ.

9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[c]
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Footnotes:
(c) 1 Corinthians 2:9 Isaiah 64:4
(e) 1 Corinthians 2:16 Isaiah 40:13

Hebrews 11:11-15 The Heavenly Sanctuary
11:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,[a] with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 11:22-28 Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

second word for 2017: FULFILLED

[ Dedication to Theophilus ] In as much as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us,

[ The Scriptures Opened ] Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Matthew 1:22

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

[ Jesus Identifies His Betrayer ] “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’

that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

OJB

In order that the maleh chukat haTorah (the full statute requirement of the Torah, see VAYIKRA 18:5) might be fulfilled in us whose halakhah is in the Derech [HaChayyim] (the Way of Life) according to the Ruach Hakodesh and not in accordance with the basar.
[ End of The Babylonian Captivity ] Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Joshua 21:43

[ The Promise Fulfilled ] So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

12TH WEEK 5TH DAY: WHAT HAD THE LAMB DONE ON THE WOODEN CROSS

trees and snow at shoreWHAT HAD THE LAMB OF GOD-JESUS DONE ON THE WOODEN CROSS? He shed His redemption blood. He had broken the curse. He had taken away the power of death. He had set free. 
(ALL SCRIPTURES ARE QUOTED IN New King James Version (NKJV) (Boldness and italics added)
Hebrews 2:14-15  14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 2:13 2 Samuel 22:3; Isaiah 8:17
  2. Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:18
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

 

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemptionIn Context

Hebrews 9:14

how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? In Context

Hebrews 9:18

Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without bloodIn Context |

Hebrews 9:22

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. In Context

Hebrews 10:4

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. In Context

[ Hold Fast Your Confession ] Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, In Context

Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? In Context

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. In Context

to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. In Context

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. In Context

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. In Context

[ Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell ] Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, In Context

RESPONSE HYMN: JUST AS I AM
1

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

2

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

3

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

4

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

5

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

6

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Lyrics:

Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
Music:

12 week 4th day: What did the Lamb do

ordinary day at oceanMaundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is a Christian observance in the United States. It is the day before Good Friday and takes place during Holy Week. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s last supper and the initiation of Holy Communion (the Eucharist), observed in many Christian churches. Calendar day: Thursday, March 24, 2016; Thursday, April 13, 2017. 

What Do People Do? Many Holy Thursday services are held in the evenings and offer Communion (or Eucharist) to the congregation. Some priests or ministers wash parishioners’ feet in memory of the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Some Christians donate money to the poor.  Some people also prepare a meal that includes roast lamb, bitter herbs and wine around this time of the year. The term “Maundy” derives from the Latin word for “commandment”. In UK the tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the thirteenth century. The Sovereign also used to give food and clothing, and even washed the recipients’ feet. The last monarch to do so was James II.

WHAT DID JESUS DO ON AN ORDINARY DAY WHEN HE WAS ON EARTH?

We read the New Testament from the One Year Bible to see what Jesus did. My notes are in boldness and italics.

Luke 5:12-28 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Cleanses a Leper. Jesus cleansed the unclean. He showed compassion on an outcast of the society. He did it on any day. Not just one special day of the year. 

12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”

15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic. Jesus forgave sins. He healed the physical and the soul illness. He did not reject one person because of any special sin. He knew what was inside the man even though others could not see. They saw a man totally paralyzed physically. But Jesus saw his heart that was crippled and bound by sins. Jesus healed him in and out. 

17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.[a] 18 Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. 19 And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.

20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed,“I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Matthew the Tax Collector was called to follow Jesus on an ordinary day. He was just minding his business collecting tax and accumulating his worldly wealth. But Jesus stopped and talked to him and commanded him to become a disciple of Jesus. Jesus knew this man would give up everything and follow Jesus. True enough Matthew obeyed and followed. He became a true disciple of Jesus on an ordinary day when Jesus called and he heard. 

27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.”28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 5:17 NU-Text reads present with Him to heal.

One Year Bible Reading: Psalms 42:1-5; Numbers 33:40-35:34; Luke 5:12-28; Proverbs 11:23

12th week 3rd day: where is the lamb

Lamb of God sufferingO Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.O Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, grants us thy peace. This is the prayer we used to sing from very young in a large denomination church during a mass. At this time when i am much older I look back and marvel at the unquestioning faith and the awe we experienced every time we sang this. We know that the Lamb of God is Jesus. He has come and been slain for our sins. Where is He now? And will we see Him again? Today we read the answers.

Genesis 22:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

1 Peter 1:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Revelation 5:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 5:13 M-Text adds Amen.

12th week 2nd day: The Lamb of God

the LambJohn the Baptist has witnessed this of Jesus,“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus has fulfilled the Scriptures foretold by the prophets on this Lamb of God: “He has been slaughtered as of a lamb without blemish and without spot for the sins of many.” Jesus has shed His blood: for the remission (forgiveness) of our sins, and the establishment of the New Covenant in His blood. 

Today’s Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness and italics added to highlight some verses)

Matthew 26:56 

56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

The following account took place on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover, this greatest and most important of the Jewish feasts, which ever brought a great host of pilgrims to Jerusalem, was kept in the first month of the Jewish year (Nisan), from the 15th of the month, the day of full moon, to the 21st. Roughly, this corresponded to the end of our March.  

Jesus instituted the Holy Communion and told the disciples, “For this is My blood of the new[a] covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

Acts 8:32 

32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

1 Peter 1:18-20

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Isaiah 53:4-8

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

12th week 1st day: The Passover

passoverPassover. Atonement. Redemption. Salvation. 

John 1:29 [Full Chapter] [ The Lamb of God ] The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Numbers 28:16-19 New Living Translation (NLT) Offerings for the Passover

16 On the fourteenth day of the first month,[a] you must celebrate the Lord’s Passover. 17 On the following day—the fifteenth day of the month—a joyous, seven-day festival will begin, but no bread made with yeast may be eaten. 18 The first day of the festival will be an official day for holy assembly, and no ordinary work may be done on that day. 19 As a special gift you must present a burnt offering to theLord

  1. 28:16 This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late March, April, or early May.

Exodus 12:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV) The Passover Instituted

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

One Year Bible reading for 12th week 1st day: Psalms 41:1-3; Numbers 28:16-29:40; Luke 3:23-38; Proverbs 11:18-19

Week 11 Day 5: This child is destined

John 8-12
John 8:12 Jesus the Light of the world

Today’s message: God is light. This child is destined as the Light of the world. He is destined. And His destination has come to pass. Bible reading is taken from Luke 2:25-35 (NLT). 

Note that there are two groups of people in this world: those who are attracted to the light and those who prefer darkness.

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Other related verses about Jesus the Light are from : Isaiah 4:6; Acts 10:45; 13:47; 28:28; John 9:1-41 (whole chapter); John 1:5,9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:35,46; John 1:4-14.

John 3:19-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 3:21 Or can see God at work in what he is doing.

John 8:12 New Living Translation (NLT)


Jesus, the Light of the World

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

week 11 day 5 Bible reading: Psalms 40:1-5; Numbers 24:1-25:18; Luke 2:1-35; Proverbs 11:14

11th week 3rd day: No curse Only blessing

comingandgoing2We read from the following passage an incident between a prophet and a king, both aliens. God has revealed one message: No one can curse those God has blessed. God has thus advised the prophet. This is indeed Good News: No one can curse a Christian. Only blessing for those who believe in Jesus.

Note that Balaam was not an ordinary prophet. The Moab king described him, “I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.” But he could not go against God’s will. His power was limited to doing God’s will.

Key verse: “But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”” (Numbers 22:12)

The following Scripture is taken from the Holy Bible New Living Translation (NLT) (boldness added)

Numbers 22:1-19

Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites. ..So Balak, king of Moab, sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land…[i] His message said:

“Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me. Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.”

12 But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”

13 The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you.” 14 So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, ..15 Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials… 16 They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him:17 I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!”

18 But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. 19 But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”

Galatians 3:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus has taken the curse by being hung on the cross for us. He has secured the blessing of Abraham for us who believe. 

12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”[a]

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[b] 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[c] Holy Spirit through faith.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:12 Lev 18:5.
  2. 3:13 Deut 21:23 (Greek version).
  3. 3:14 Some manuscripts read the blessing of the.

Today’s Bible reading: Psalms 39:1-6; Luke 1:26-56; Proverbs 11:9-11; Numbers 21:1-22:20

10th week 7th day: He was there

coming and goingIn less than two weeks’ time will be the time of the calendar year when Jesus would be hung on the cross (historically). Today’s New Testament reading is ahead of 2016’s Calendar for the commemorative crucifixion date. In our Calendar, next Sunday will be Palm Sunday celebrated by many Christian churches. Many Christian churches hold special services on Palm Sunday where congregation members receive blessed palm leaves, which symbolize victory and joy. After Palm Sunday, when it comes to the subsequent week of watching, suffering, and victorious celebration of our Lord Jesus’ passion, Christians have three more holy days: Maunday Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Today’s reading from Mark chapter 15 is the chapter before the last chapter of Mark. I post the whole chapter here. I pray each of us who reads this receives form our Lord His own message for each of us as a believer and follower of Jesus. My own prompting in my spirit is “Watch the number of people participated and recorded in this chapter. See how each responded.” Yes, there are plenty of people from all walks of lives who have heard about Jesus and even witnessed what He has done, the preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God, the miraculous healing, the signs and wonders. I highlighted these people by bolding the letters in the verses. His religious enemies, the political and military head, military officer and soldiers, ordinary people (the crowd, the mob, the passerby), His disciples and followers. Women (specially mentioned and recorded here).

(I enclose at the end of this post the lyrics of a hymn “Were you there” which deeply touched y heart many years ago when I first heard it sung. )

Mark 15 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

15 Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council[a]—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.

“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. 10 (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 11 But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. 12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment.17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. 18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene,[b] was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) 22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”).23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.

24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice[c] to decide who would get each piece. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 Two revolutionaries[d] were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.[e]

29 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. 30 Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

The Death of Jesus

33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 34 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”[f]

35 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 36 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”

37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

39 When the Roman officer[g] who stood facing him[h] saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph[i]), and Salome. 41 They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The Burial of Jesus

42 This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation,[j] the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) 44 Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. 45 The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. 46 Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1 Greek the Sanhedrin; also in 15:43.
  2. 15:21 Cyrene was a city in northern Africa.
  3. 15:24 Greek cast lots. See Ps 22:18.
  4. 15:27a Or Two criminals.
  5. 15:27b Some manuscripts add verse 28, And the Scripture was fulfilled that said, “He was counted among those who were rebels.” See Isa 53:12; also compareLuke 22:37.
  6. 15:34 Ps 22:1.
  7. 15:39a Greek the centurion; similarly in 15:44, 45.
  8. 15:39b Some manuscripts add heard his cry and.
  9. 15:40 Greek Joses; also in 15:47. See Matt 27:56.
  10. 15:42 Greek It was the day of preparation.

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Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

Today’s Holy Bible reading: Psalms 37:30-40; numbers 15:17-16:40; Mark 15:1-47; Proverbs 11:5-6

Bethlehem’s prophecy

bethlehem-christmasWhat does the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem mean?

The Lord will Be Israel’s Shepherd: The prophecy and its fulfillment

The Lord is concerned with His flock-Israel’s (His people’s) welfare. He wants the scattered and lost be found, rescued and brought back to His sheep-fold. He wants them to be well fed with nourishing food (good rich pasture) and clean and safe drink (clear water), the weak strengthened, the sick healed, the injured bound and restored back to wholeness, live in stability and safety in a homeland of their own, without fear of being defeated and plundered in war and being made food for the wild beasts even in the wilderness and forests, rewarded with good yields from their labor on their land, being ruled with care, justice, and protection from the nations and wild beasts (physical nations and spiritual enemies). Because their shepherd (physical and spiritual leadership) fails to do the above, God says He will do them Himself. He will place over them One Shepherd. The Shepherd who will accomplish all that God wants for His sheep. The Shepherd will come from the house of David. This prophecy of Prophet Ezekiel has come true in the arrival of Jesus the Messiah. The Lord has promised and given a covenant of peace through Jesus (the Prince of Peace) to His people.

Here are the Bible prophecies and fulfillment from Micah 5, Matthew 2, Luke 2 and Ezekiel 34

Micah 5:2 [Full Chapter] “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Matthew 2:1 [ The Magi Visit the Messiah ] After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
John 7:42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Matthew 2:4-6 NIV When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Ezekiel 34 (NIV) (Quoted in full so you would not miss anything in this important prophesy: The Lord addresses not only Israel. The church too.)
The Lord Will Be Israel’s Shepherd

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.
25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Footnotes:
a. Ezekiel 34:26 Or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be named in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be seen as blessed

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Notes on the actual birth date of Jesus: For information, you may visit the following links to an article written by a Messianic Jew on the actual birth date of Jesus based on Biblical calculations. “Messiahmas? On the Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth

“Most Gentile Christians wouldn’t bother to speculate about the time when Yeshua (Jesus) was born. They celebrate it on December 25th even though they may suspect that there is no Biblical basis for choosing that date. However, there are many Messianic Believers who, from a Jewish perspective, are convinced that the time of year when Yeshua was really born was at the Succot (the Feast of Tabernacles). Taking into account certain Jewish customs and traditions, and applying them to the biblical birth narrative, it’s not difficult to calculate and arrive at this season, known as “the season of our Joy.”……” ( http://www.ldolphin.org/xmas.html )

Prophet spoke: God wondered that there was no intercessor

isiah prophecy messiahThis is the good news today.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1)

Prophet Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of king Uzziah and  king of Judah (Isaiah 1:1). He began his ministry in the 740s BC, until Manasseh, and prophesied for as long as 64 years. What the prophet had spoken then is still relevant today. Many of his prophecies have come true in history. The rest of the prophecies will also come true. This message speaks not just to the Israel biologically linked to Abraham. This message speaks to all. A positive promise is spoken at the end. Heed the promise which will surely come to pass.

Here is what the Lord spoke through prophet Isaiah in chapter 59 (Quoted in parts) today.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.

No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.

Therefore justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
10 We grope for the wall like the blind,
And we grope as if we had no eyes;
We stumble at noonday as at twilight;
We are as dead men in desolate places.

15 So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Redeemer of Zion

Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.

16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
Says the Lord.

21 As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”