“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