THE LAMB “Pouring of the blood”

“Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord; I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread (trample) my courts?

Bring no more vain oblations (futile sacrifices); incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away (endure) with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me, I am weary to bear them.

And when ye spread forth your hands (pray), I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear, your hands are full of blood (bloodshed).

Wash you, make you clean; put away evil from your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Learn to do well; seek judgment (justice),relieve the oppressor (reprove, reprimand those who oppress others), judge (DEFEND, vindicate) the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

COME NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:10-18 

Since the dawn of time humans have had a twisted ideal of what God requires, some have believed falsely that He requires stern severity in our lives and in our relationships with others and this was often due to the hardness of their own hearts, using misinterpreted scriptures as a basis to justify their own evil actions. 

Especially when it comes to mistreating children, ethnic groups not our own, women, and the most vulnerable of the world. And just as he pointed out in this passage, expressly mentioning the rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah the bloodshed, just as the blood of the aborted babies have spiritually stained this earth and the sickening irony is that in my state, here in America, the governor decided to do away with the death people but still scream out to be a slaughter state when it comes to murdering the unborn.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not pro death penalty either, I just can’t stomach the hypocritical “mercy” of the leaders we have here in “Sodom”, life is life and all life is created of God and is sacred.

In this passage, God is referring to what Jesus would echo when he said this, quoting prophecy of Isaiah, THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HOUNRETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS ARE FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO TEHY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” Matthew 15:8,9   

Those who profess Christ in word or hide behind the label of Christianity and yet their actions prove otherwise.

The absence of mercy and gentleness, grace, and compassion is proof positive that they are not whom they claim to be just as when the Sanhedrim chose to accuse Jesus of blasphemy and the crowd cried fro his death, they professed to know God to worship God and yet they screamed for the crucifixion of his only Son.

As God sent his word, he sent prophet after prophet, their cries, such as this one from Hosea 6:6: ”

For I have desired mercy (faithfulness), and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” ringing through the earth and yet falling on deaf ears, because those ears chose their own deafness, for it was much more to their pleasure to refuse to hear the truth as they could continue in their own self righteous vain worship of a God who they did not even know.

If they refuse to know him in truth, but continue in their version of service and worship, choosing their own interpretations of what commandments or teachings they want to follow of they falsely believe that they will not be held accountable to him. 

Jesus came to this earth to end this once and for all, his ultimate purpose to cleanse us from sin and reconcile us back to the father, but he also came to teach us the truth, the truth of what it was and is to be a child of the King, what it means to truly love others, and he gave us example of how we are to live, and most importantly LOVE

and the depths of his love for us a love that was willing to be the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind and by becoming that sacrifice his precious blood covering us making us clean in him.

“Now before the feast of passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simons’s son to betray him.

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things unto his hands, and that he was from God, and went (was going) to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poured water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (Are you washing my feet)?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  

Simon Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet, Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part of me.” John 13:1-8

Peter was really apprehensive, the thought of his Lord, subserviently washing his feet was just all kinds of wrong to him, and aren’t we like that sometimes, thinking that we don’t need a savior to clean us up that we’ll clean ourselves us up, in our time when we are “ready” and when we can “live it” then we will accept Jesus’ offer of salvation.

I wonder how many people are in hell today or how many people are chained in misery, choosing to wear those chains of bondage because they buy the lies of Satan or their own misguided thoughts of righteousness, like Peter, stating “Thou shalt NEVER was my feet”, we can never wash our own sins away, there is nothing we could ever do in our human power to scrub away the filth this world covers us in. There is nothing in any other religion, teachings, or pagan deities or the lack thereof, that would ever wash us. Only Jesus, only the blood if the perfect, sinless, spotless Lamb of God and the covering of his blood.

Just as the blood of a spotless lamb applied to the doorposts of the homes of the Hebrews when God visited Egypt with death and that first blessed Passover, that blood signifying to the death angel that those inside were the children of Jehovah God and they were not to be harmed as he went about extinguishing the lives of the firstborn as the judgments against Pharaoh’s enslavement of God’s chosen and his refusal of God’s demand for their release were carried out. And as Jesus kept that earthly passover with his disciples, he instructed them in that from this point forward it would be His blood that would offer cleansing and protection.

“And they went and found as he had said unto them; and made ready the passover.

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; For I say unto you, I will not eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves; For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do ye in remembrance of me. 

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the cup of the new testament (covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:13-20

Now lets talk about his broken body and his blood that poured out for us all.

Isaiah 52:14 prophecy would read as this: “As many were astonied at thee; his visage (appearance) so marred more than any man, and his form (body) more than the sons of man.”

He was so beaten and his appearance so distorted, had you known him well, you still would not have recognized him, His face and body so savagely beaten unlike anything that would have been seen at any arrest or crucifixions.

And THIS, THIS is the account of his body being broken and his blood poured out, for you, for me, for us.

And as the cup that Jesus told them to take and divide among themselves, this is the truth of Gospel that we should be dividing, giving one to another and sharing, not the politics and drama of this world, but the eternal truth of what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross. Nothing else in this world matters and pales in comparison to greatest display of mercy the world will ever know. I remember encounter with the brutal truth of the cross, it was the night before Easter and I was tiny, probably about 7 or so and I was watching TV, and evidently, I realized later, it was “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, my Mom and Dad were in the kitchen and I had been watching this show it was so wonderful, He was so kind, and then it got to the part when they arrested him and I watched in horror as they , beat him, made fun of him, , shoved a crown of thorns on his head, striped the blood from his back with whips and t then they nailed him to the cross, and Mom had always told me when people died or whatever on a show we were watching for me not to get upset that it was just  a movie and they weren’t really hurt or dead, so I had to know because this movie was different and I had heard about God and Jesus, so I ran crying into the kitchen and I cried ‘Mommy, is this real?” and she followed me back into the living room to see what i was watching, and she looked at Jesus on the cross, and with tears in her eyes, she said, “Yeah, Honey, they really did that to him.” so I cried and cried and kept watching in hopelessness but as the movie went on, at the end of those those three days a wonderous thing happened, He rose!

For sake of “time” in reading this we’ll pick this up after Judas had betrayed Jesus and he had been arrested and the crowd had screamed for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus, and please keep in mind as the Bible uses the word scourged, scourged means that tied him to a whipping post and beat him with cat o nine whips, which is a whip made of multiple leather strips with metal or sometime bone attached to the end of each strip, so with every hit it cut and pulled pieces of actual flesh from his body and remember “By HIS stripes we are healed”, he suffered that for us.

Then released he Barabas unto them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the WHOLE band of soldiers.

And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, Saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they led him away to crucify him.

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his cross.

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, this is to say, a place of a skull.

They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

And they crucified him, and parted his garments(divided his clothes), casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, THEY PARTED MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND UPON MY VESTURE THEY DID CAST LOTS.

And sitting down they watched him there. And set up over his head his accusation written, JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

And they that passed by reviled (blasphemed) him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest in again in three days, save thyself, if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Likewise the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save, if he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him.

He trusted in God ; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God.

The thieves also which were with him, cast the same in his teeth (made the same comments)

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli lamasabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? 

Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elisas.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

Jesus, when he had cried with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost (died).” Matthew 27:26-50

You can read more details through studying the accounts of this in the four Gospels, including the salvation of one of the thieves, I encourage that, but as you read, you can see what he suffered and how these people did not fear God in the slightest, not only in crucifing Jesus but in their blasphemous words as he was dying.

We’ll check out the glorious resurrection next time and until then bless you, and if you have not accepted the gift Jesus has offered, what better time than now to accept him and accept the sacrifice of his blood that poured down.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Among the dead”

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (very confused about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments;

And the were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:  remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee? 

Saying,  The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8

Can you imagine?

All they had witnessed, all the horror they had just experienced, imagine one you so dearly love, that you have followed and in His case worshiped, watching Him day after day as He healed those who were sick, freed minds and souls from the demonic forces of satan, even witnessing Him command death itself to release those that He had chosen to live to the glory of His Father.

Sitting at His feet as He taught seemingly new and even socially strange thoughts of mercy and compassion. Thoughts so foreign in stark comparison to the laws of harsh retaliation and punishment that had been for so long the law of the day.

He taught the pure and yet simple truths of life and of the love that God has for us and the love that he desires us to have one for another. And giving us all these things with the commandments He had written and sent by Moses, we still, just did not get it.

So He came and lived it for us, teaching us, showing us, and dying for us because no human could ever live up to that level of “perfection”. Only the Son of God, the Holy One, The perfect spotless Lamb, who for us all, and for the love of us all came to this earth and taught us these things, things we could never know in ourselves and love so great and unconditional that we can’t even attain to His level.

And can you imagine, being someone like the man who had been possessed by Legion, can you imagine your mind so disturbed and your soul so taken over that a literal graveyard becomes your home and the demons desiring to destroy the image of God in which He created you, prompts you to constantly cut your flesh with sharp stones and being so fierce, that even those who would want to try to minister help is prevented because the demons are so strong that even the strongest chains cannot hold you and are broken effortlessly.

And can you imagine, the moment when Jesus came and sent those demons out and as the Bible said of this man, you are left, “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.” 

Can you imagine being the blind man whose eyes Jesus anointed with clay He himself had formed and instead of others rejoicing with him that his sight had been restored, he and his parents were met with accusations, inquisitions, and finally expulsion from the temple. That is how the devil works and often what should be cause for rejoicing is instead used to wage war.

But Jesus in His mercy and grace did not leave this man to even be subjected to second guessing the words of the enemies and came to him yet again, John 9:35-36: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out (threw him out of the supposed house of God); and when he found him ,he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him.”

Jesus, as always beautiful and kind beyond comparison, always seeking those that are His and never leaving us when we need him, finding us in those places that the enemy has driven us, comforting us and securing us in the knowledge that were are His and that we are those who will never be plucked form His hands.

Imagine being the one who sins had washed away as her tears washed His feet all the while The voice of Simon screaming through her mind trying to keep her away from the one place she so desperately needed to be.

And imagine the relief of not being reprimanded and ran away but instead being accepted and even defended by the Lord Himself.

Then imagine the sorrow and disbelief when that Protector was beaten, tortured, and died nailed to a cross made from a tree. For all seen purpose and intent now left completely alone, the one whose gentleness and love brought peace and purpose to a delicate state of mind and that purpose for all it seemed had now been lost.

Imagine His mother Mary, who was in effect a jewel in the crown of a King imagine Her sorrow.

For all of these and all the disciples, imagine all the hundreds and I would dare say thousands of thousands He had touched, healed, and blessed.

Imagine how they could not imagine that this one, who had created heaven and earth, could be truly gone.

All the preparation in the world, just like those prepared spices, even our spiritual preparations, could ever prepare for that loss.

Ever feel like that in your life? I know I sure have.

We all at one time or another go through those “blind spots” when it does seem that all we have striven for, worked for, suddenly means nothing.

And seeds we have planted seem to have sprung up only for a second as a tender new plant and then just as quickly droop and wither away and no matter what we do or how hard we try the little plant can not be revived. 

We too, sometimes get so bombarded by the overwhelming feelings of loss and discouragement that we “prepare” those spices, we prepare to accept the “death”, which can translate to defeat, of something that may in fact be quite alive. 

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what Jesus has taught us and need to remember something else that  He said,  John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” 

Of course He was referring to His own death, and nothing would ever be the same for those who shared His earthly life with Him and in truth, the life that they had known had died with Him, and for the disciples there would be no ever going back to those days of walking dusty roads, singing hymns, and watching the Master work and now they would have to develop that faith He had given them and BELIEVE through His name and His power to do those greater works that He promised they would do.

And that is our thought for this Resurrection season, Jesus was not there and He would never be in that tomb again!

He had risen!

And in our own lives we have to sometimes allow thoughts, hopes, and dreams to “die”, no longer continue to seek those places that no longer exist.

But instead look for new growth, new leaves springing up in places we may have never noticed before because we will never truly see the living as long as our “eyes’ are focused on what is dead.

Blessings to you and your this Resurrection season! And above all, Blessings, and  honor, and praise, and glory to the Lord Jesus! Thank Him for loving us and coming into this world, dying for us and most of all RAISING FROM THE DEAD for us.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019 Original post 04/2019 REVISTED 03/10/2021

Ninth Hour

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council and bound Jesus and carried him away and delivered him to Pilate.

And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 

And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest  thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

But Jesus yet answered him nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound (was also chained with) them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire (ask) him to do as ever he had done (do as always) unto them,

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy (Pilate KNEW that the priests were just trying to get Jesus killed).

But the chief priest moved (stirred up) the people, that they should rather release Barabbas unto them.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people (wanting to gratify the crowd) released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, (flogged with a roman scourge) to be crucified.” Mark 15:1-15

A portion of the immense prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah, which was and is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The spotless Holy Lamb of God can be found in the Book of Isaiah..

“WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm (the power) of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant (He was very gentle and kind),and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when ye shall see, there is no beauty that we should desire him (He came to earth quite ordinary in appearance). 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we redeemed him not.  

SURELY he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (struck down) of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:1-4 

Now lets talk about the scourge, the Jews had a “law” that prisoners would receive forty stripes save one, which means instead of receiving forty lashes it would be thirty-nine (which really is not mercy) but it was not the Jews beating Jesus.

It was the Romans that were beating Jesus, the Romans did not do this to their own citizens, and he was in no way covered under any supposed “mercy” clause and this was all the forces of hell unleashed upon Him.

Remember He told the Disciples before His arrest this from John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince (ruler) of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

He said this in reference to what was going to happen, which can be backed up with His statement when they came to arrest Him. Luke 22:53: “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Again, God has ALL power, power over the enemy BUT Jesus willingly laid down his life for us which is WHY darkness was ALLOWED this power so that He could take OUR place and suffer the punishment that belonged to us and through His death reconcile us back to Him.

Back to the beating, He was viciously beaten, striped by a whip that has multiple strings of leather often with bone or metal knotted at the ends, which cuts on contact and then pulls skin and flesh with it at its release and there was NO mercy shown in this beating.

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded (pierced through) for OUR transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes (blows that cut into flesh) we are healed.”

On to Calvary, Mark 15:16-18: “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium (a separate tent); and they call together the WHOLE band (cohort). 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted (twisted)  a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews.”

These thorns were no tiny little briers which would still have been very painful, these were sharp, piercing barbs that torn intro his skin and sank into his flesh around his temples, and we all know how delicate and tender the brow area is and when they shoved this thing onto His head it  and caused excruciating pain and blood dripped from every pierce.

Here is His own description as He pleaded with the sleeping Church, His Bride to awake and open that door for Him. Song of Solomon 5:2: “I sleep, but my heart waketh:  it IS the VOICE of my Beloved that knocketh, saying

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one)FOR MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DEW, AND MY LOCKS WITH THE DROPS OF THE NIGHT.”

He suffered that crown of thorns so that we could have His peace for our troubled minds and if you want a little more about that wake up.

Onward- Mark 15-32: “And they smote (struck) him on the head with a reed, and did spit on him, and bowing their knees worshipped him  (in MOCK worship). 

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and out his OWN clothes on him, and LED HIM OUT to crucify him. 

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, (he was just passing through) the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear (carry) his cross. { by this point they had beaten Jesus SO severely that He was physically unable to carry it any farther} 

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of the skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

And when they had crucified him, they parted  his garments (divided his clothes), casting lots upon them, what every man should take (gambled for them)

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

And the scripture WAS fulfilled, which saith, AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS. 

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Likewise, also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others: himself he cannot save.

Let the King of Israel now descend from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Here Jesus was, beaten to the point of being almost unrecognizable, privately humiliated and tortured by the soldiers, spit on, his beard ripped out, those who passed by making fun of him, pointing at Him, the priests STILL attempting to demand proof of who He IS, chiding Him to “come down”, and even those with him mocking Him, (which one did repent me and was saved) 

It all just as written in Isaiah 52:14:  “As MANY were astonised at thee:(could not believe His condition) HIS VISAGE (appearance) WAS SO MARRED (disfigured) MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN; (beaten far worse than any other); 

His beaten, tortured, bloody body taken and His hands stretched out and driven through by spikes, His feet placed one atop the other again driven completely through, telling you there is to tell about the size of these spikes. How bad does it hurt to just “stump” our toe, or “crack” our ankle or hand pain from just overdoing chores, imagine what He suffered, we can’t imagine it.

Mark 15:33: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the WHOLE land until the ninth hour.” 

The entire land overshadowed in complete blackness because the very one who created light, the one who IS light, who created the Sun, the moon, and all the stars, the one who spoke all of earth and existence into creation was now crucified by the very ones that he had created. 

The sins of ALL mankind on Him and the hour of darkness He had spoken of  thought they had won.

And He hung there, He could have destroyed every single thing on this earth, with one WORD, as He IS also THE WORD, He could have started over with a new creation rather than to save those whom had already been created, even those whose time had not yet come to dwell on earth, those who were souls, still with Him as we were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:11: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as NAILS fastened by the masters of assemblies, WHICH ARE GIVEN FROM ONE SHEPHERD.” 

That ONE Shepherd, The Word and The WORD of the WORD concerning all these things.

John 12:31-33: “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince (ruler) of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified) WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” This he said, signifying what death he should (would) die.” 

We’ll make our way through those three hours with Matthew 27:45-54: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Some of them that stood by there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The REST said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (split in two) from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split); 

And the graves were opened: and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (were dead) arose.

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went out into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they FEARED greatly, saying, TRULY, THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD.”

Thankfully we know this was NOT the ending of the story of Christ. We know that on that third day He rose!

He rose in victory everlasting and He rose to give us victory and life eternal and life everlasting in the everlasting arms.

And we also know the darkness that covers this earth now, and great is that darkness and it will only get darker.

Don’t be as those who mocked, waiting for a “sign” and when the earth quaked and rocks shook, they feared, we know that an earthquake is one day coming, a quake so great that earth itself will rock in space and we know that in that great and faithful day Christ will return to this earth and we know that those who are dead will resurrect and those who are alive and REMAIN in HIS WORD will take our heavenly flight. 

And don’t let this Holy Season pass without stopping for a moment and thanking Him and rejoicing in Him for the gift He gave us when He gave Himself!

God Bless you! Blessed Good Friday and I hope that you have a joyous Easter and the renewing grace that Christ gave.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019        **Original Post date 04/2019**** REVISTED 031/13/2011

Ninth Hour

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council and bound Jesus and carried him away and delivered him to Pilate.

And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 

And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest  thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

But Jesus yet answered him nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound (was also chained with) them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire (ask) him to do as ever he had done (do as always) unto them,

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy (Pilate KNEW that the priests were just trying to get Jesus killed).

But the chief priest moved (stirred up) the people, that they should rather release Barabbas unto them.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people (wanting to gratify the crowd) released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, (flogged with a roman scourge) to be crucified.” Mark 15:1-15

A portion of the immense prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah, which was and is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The spotless Holy Lamb of God can be found in the Book of Isaiah..

“WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm (the power) of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant (He was very gentle and kind),and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when ye shall see, there is no beauty that we should desire him (He came to earth quite ordinary in appearance). 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we redeemed him not.  

SURELY he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (struck down) of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:1-4 

Now lets talk about the scourge, the Jews had a “law” that prisoners would receive forty stripes save one, which means instead of receiving forty lashes it would be thirty-nine (which really is not mercy) but it was not the Jews beating Jesus.

It was the Romans that were beating Jesus, the Romans did not do this to their own citizens, and he was in no way covered under any supposed “mercy” clause and this was all the forces of hell unleashed upon Him.

Remember He told the Disciples before His arrest this from John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince (ruler) of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

He said this in reference to what was going to happen, which can be backed up with His statement when they came to arrest Him. Luke 22:53: “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Again, God has ALL power, power over the enemy BUT Jesus willingly laid down his life for us which is WHY darkness was ALLOWED this power so that He could take OUR place and suffer the punishment that belonged to us and through His death reconcile us back to Him.

Back to the beating, He was viciously beaten, striped by a whip that has multiple strings of leather often with bone or metal knotted at the ends, which cuts on contact and then pulls skin and flesh with it at its release and there was NO mercy shown in this beating.

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded (pierced through) for OUR transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes (blows that cut into flesh) we are healed.”

On to Calvary, Mark 15:16-18: “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium (a separate tent); and they call together the WHOLE band (cohort). 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted (twisted)  a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews.”

These thorns were no tiny little briers which would still have been very painful, these were sharp, piercing barbs that torn intro his skin and sank into his flesh around his temples, and we all know how delicate and tender the brow area is and when they shoved this thing onto His head it  and caused excruciating pain and blood dripped from every pierce.

Here is His own description as He pleaded with the sleeping Church, His Bride to awake and open that door for Him. Song of Solomon 5:2: “I sleep, but my heart waketh:  it IS the VOICE of my Beloved that knocketh, saying

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one)FOR MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DEW, AND MY LOCKS WITH THE DROPS OF THE NIGHT.”

He suffered that crown of thorns so that we could have His peace for our troubled minds and if you want a little more about that wake up.

Onward- Mark 15-32: “And they smote (struck) him on the head with a reed, and did spit on him, and bowing their knees worshipped him  (in MOCK worship). 

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and out his OWN clothes on him, and LED HIM OUT to crucify him. 

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, (he was just passing through) the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear (carry) his cross. { by this point they had beaten Jesus SO severely that He was physically unable to carry it any farther} 

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of the skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

And when they had crucified him, they parted  his garments (divided his clothes), casting lots upon them, what every man should take (gambled for them)

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

And the scripture WAS fulfilled, which saith, AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS. 

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Likewise, also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others: himself he cannot save.

Let the King of Israel now descend from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Here Jesus was, beaten to the point of being almost unrecognizable, privately humiliated and tortured by the soldiers, spit on, his beard ripped out, those who passed by making fun of him, pointing at Him, the priests STILL attempting to demand proof of who He IS, chiding Him to “come down”, and even those with him mocking Him, (which one did repent me and was saved) 

It all just as written in Isaiah 52:14:  “As MANY were astonised at thee:(could not believe His condition) HIS VISAGE (appearance) WAS SO MARRED (disfigured) MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN; (beaten far worse than any other); 

His beaten, tortured, bloody body taken and His hands stretched out and driven through by spikes, His feet placed one atop the other again driven completely through, telling you there is to tell about the size of these spikes. How bad does it hurt to just “stump” our toe, or “crack” our ankle or hand pain from just overdoing chores, imagine what He suffered, we can’t imagine it.

Mark 15:33: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the WHOLE land until the ninth hour.” 

The entire land overshadowed in complete blackness because the very one who created light, the one who IS light, who created the Sun, the moon, and all the stars, the one who spoke all of earth and existence into creation was now crucified by the very ones that he had created. 

The sins of ALL mankind on Him and the hour of darkness He had spoken of  thought they had won.

And He hung there, He could have destroyed every single thing on this earth, with one WORD, as He IS also THE WORD, He could have started over with a new creation rather than to save those whom had already been created, even those whose time had not yet come to dwell on earth, those who were souls, still with Him as we were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:11: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as NAILS fastened by the masters of assemblies, WHICH ARE GIVEN FROM ONE SHEPHERD.” 

That ONE Shepherd, The Word and The WORD of the WORD concerning all these things.

John 12:31-33: “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince (ruler) of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified) WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” This he said, signifying what death he should (would) die.” 

We’ll make our way through those three hours with Matthew 27:45-54: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Some of them that stood by there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The REST said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (split in two) from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split); 

And the graves were opened: and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (were dead) arose.

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went out into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they FEARED greatly, saying, TRULY, THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD.”

Thankfully we know this was NOT the ending of the story of Christ. We know that on that third day He rose!

He rose in victory everlasting and He rose to give us victory and life eternal and life everlasting in the everlasting arms.

And we also know the darkness that covers this earth now, and great is that darkness and it will only get darker.

Don’t be as those who mocked, waiting for a “sign” and when the earth quaked and rocks shook, they feared, we know that an earthquake is one day coming, a quake so great that earth itself will rock in space and we know that in that great and faithful day Christ will return to this earth and we know that those who are dead will resurrect and those who are alive and REMAIN in HIS WORD will take our heavenly flight. 

And don’t let this Holy Season pass without stopping for a moment and thanking Him and rejoicing in Him for the gift He gave us when He gave Himself!

God Bless you! Blessed Good Friday and I hope that you have a joyous Easter and the renewing grace that Christ gave.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019        **Original Post date 04/2019**** REVISTED 031/13/2011

“Among the dead”

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (very confused about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments;

And the were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:  remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee? 

Saying,  The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8

Can you imagine?

All they had witnessed, all the horror they had just experienced, imagine one you so dearly love, that you have followed and in His case worshiped, watching Him day after day as He healed those who were sick, freed minds and souls from the demonic forces of satan, even witnessing Him command death itself to release those that He had chosen to live to the glory of His Father.

Sitting at His feet as He taught seemingly new and even socially strange thoughts of mercy and compassion. Thoughts so foreign in stark comparison to the laws of harsh retaliation and punishment that had been for so long the law of the day.

He taught the pure and yet simple truths of life and of the love that God has for us and the love that he desires us to have one for another. And giving us all these things with the commandments He had written and sent by Moses, we still, just did not get it.

So He came and lived it for us, teaching us, showing us, and dying for us because no human could ever live up to that level of “perfection”. Only the Son of God, the Holy One, The perfect spotless Lamb, who for us all, and for the love of us all came to this earth and taught us these things, things we could never know in ourselves and love so great and unconditional that we can’t even attain to His level.

And can you imagine, being someone like the man who had been possessed by Legion, can you imagine your mind so disturbed and your soul so taken over that a literal graveyard becomes your home and the demons desiring to destroy the image of God in which He created you, prompts you to constantly cut your flesh with sharp stones and being so fierce, that even those who would want to try to minister help is prevented because the demons are so strong that even the strongest chains cannot hold you and are broken effortlessly.

And can you imagine, the moment when Jesus came and sent those demons out and as the Bible said of this man, you are left, “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.” 

Can you imagine being the blind man whose eyes Jesus anointed with clay He himself had formed and instead of others rejoicing with him that his sight had been restored, he and his parents were met with accusations, inquisitions, and finally expulsion from the temple. That is how the devil works and often what should be cause for rejoicing is instead used to wage war.

But Jesus in His mercy and grace did not leave this man to even be subjected to second guessing the words of the enemies and came to him yet again, John 9:35-36: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out (threw him out of the supposed house of God); and when he found him ,he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him.”

Jesus, as always beautiful and kind beyond comparison, always seeking those that are His and never leaving us when we need him, finding us in those places that the enemy has driven us, comforting us and securing us in the knowledge that were are His and that we are those who will never be plucked form His hands.

Imagine being the one who sins had washed away as her tears washed His feet all the while The voice of Simon screaming through her mind trying to keep her away from the one place she so desperately needed to be.

And imagine the relief of not being reprimanded and ran away but instead being accepted and even defended by the Lord Himself.

Then imagine the sorrow and disbelief when that Protector was beaten, tortured, and died nailed to a cross made from a tree. For all seen purpose and intent now left completely alone, the one whose gentleness and love brought peace and purpose to a delicate state of mind and that purpose for all it seemed had now been lost.

Imagine His mother Mary, who was in effect a jewel in the crown of a King imagine Her sorrow.

For all of these and all the disciples, imagine all the hundreds and I would dare say thousands of thousands He had touched, healed, and blessed.

Imagine how they could not imagine that this one, who had created heaven and earth, could be truly gone.

All the preparation in the world, just like those prepared spices, even our spiritual preparations, could ever prepare for that loss.

Ever feel like that in your life? I know I sure have.

We all at one time or another go through those “blind spots” when it does seem that all we have striven for, worked for, suddenly means nothing.

And seeds we have planted seem to have sprung up only for a second as a tender new plant and then just as quickly droop and wither away and no matter what we do or how hard we try the little plant can not be revived. 

We too, sometimes get so bombarded by the overwhelming feelings of loss and discouragement that we “prepare” those spices, we prepare to accept the “death”, which can translate to defeat, of something that may in fact be quite alive. 

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what Jesus has taught us and need to remember something else that  He said,  John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” 

Of course He was referring to His own death, and nothing would ever be the same for those who shared His earthly life with Him and in truth, the life that they had known had died with Him, and for the disciples there would be no ever going back to those days of walking dusty roads, singing hymns, and watching the Master work and now they would have to develop that faith He had given them and BELIEVE through His name and His power to do those greater works that He promised they would do.

And that is our thought for this Resurrection season, Jesus was not there and He would never be in that tomb again!

He had risen!

And in our own lives we have to sometimes allow thoughts, hopes, and dreams to “die”, no longer continue to seek those places that no longer exist.

But instead look for new growth, new leaves springing up in places we may have never noticed before because we will never truly see the living as long as our “eyes’ are focused on what is dead.

Blessings to you and your this Resurrection season! And above all, Blessings, and  honor, and praise, and glory to the Lord Jesus! Thank Him for loving us and coming into this world, dying for us and most of all RAISING FROM THE DEAD for us.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019 Original post 04/2019 REVISTED 03/10/2021