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

 

Finding Paris

“The wilderness and the solitary (desert, lonely, desolate) place shall be glad for them, and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert SHALL rejoice and BLOSSOM AS THE ROSE.” Isaiah 35:1

Finding Paris, strange I know but trust me this is not going to be a world travel post but hopefully a travel to the inner space of ourselves and all those emotions and hopes, and dreams that old man time tends to run roughshod over and with the passage of time we forget that we even had those dreams.

The notion of “romantic” Paris is probably as old as dirt but the mention of the name usually brings to mind, roses, beauty, the Eiffel tower, whose reach toward the sky can be quite a reflection of reaching higher and the sheer romance of all it all will stir the feminine heart in a way unlike any other place on earth.

When as little girls do we first have those feelings that we are DIFFERENT, is in when we sneak into the perfumes, jewelry, and all the “womanly” treasures often found on the dressers of our mothers?

And for me there was nothing quite like the beautiful stationery that my big sister used when writing mushy love letters to her boyfriend who was in the army.

I’d watch her put the gold seal on the envelope and could not wait until I was big enough to have fancy gold seals and write mushy love letters!

And there was nothing quite like sitting playing with my doll watching her and Mom try new lipsticks and hairdo’s together because I SO was going to wear make up and do my hair just like them one day.

And I know you have your memories of when all things feminine, and beautiful stirred in you.

No matter what kind of a childhood you have had, even if it was not influenced by your own mother, there was still a lady, a grandmother, someone that you looked up as a what being female was all about.

There is always still some thread in time that influenced you and stirred thoughts in your heart and your soul that led to the journey of “finding Paris”, that beautiful place of womanhood that we are all eventually led to.

With me I really had to hold on, after my sister married and my mom started worked the majority of my time was spent with my brothers and that could be a whole other post series!

Hard to stay focused on future femininity with daily wrestling, name calling, and “gas” contests going on constantly between them, but thank goodness for afternoon television visits with Ginger Grant 😉 

So WHAT were your hopes, dreams, and destination as you planned as a child? Bear them in mind.

Usually, we do find “Paris”, when we are around fifteen or sixteen, we blossom, discover our own style, we grow inside and become more self-aware, and often more assertive in being allowed who we want to be.

There is a freedom in knowing who we are as women but life changes so fast, especially when we are young.

As as the clock starts to tick the newness wearing off, things never quite measuring up to what our expectations had been, and real life sets in.

Soon the moon over the tower loses luster and doesn’t shine quite so brightly and the captivating scents of jasmine and lilac fade, and petals start to fall from those beautiful roses.

Life does that, bad relationships do that, like countless women who married young, married FOREVER, expecting the road ahead to be filled with happiness, family and Prince Charming only to find that Prince Charming was in reality, the Prince of Persia, (a Biblical reference to Lucifer) that lied, cheated, and battered them and always managed to convince them that they were to blame.

And choosing to leave, others have been faced with being single mothers, taking on the role of both parents, doing the back breaking work of often working two jobs to provide and the double duty task of feeding, clothing, laundry, housework, not one moment for themselves or to worry about what they may need or even want because their children come first.

Others, for a multitude of reasonings, become entangled in bad lifestyle choices and professions that leave you in place alright, but it certainly isn’t paris.

And those who have had good lives but have suffered loss of family, friends, and worse of their children, have actually lost parts of themselves and have a hard time trying to move forward because their hearts long for the happy days of the past, the days when the still had those who have gone on.

The dreams of long ago have but vanished and just making it through the day, week, or month becomes the focus.

No joy, no hope, and no more believing for a “magical” age or time when things will change because as we become jaded, we lose hope, we lose faith, and we lose the ability to see past circumstances to see that “paris” is still really there, it still exists, we just have to find our way back to it and we have to find a way to rekindle the desire to even want to go there.

Last time we talked about aging and the fact that TIME is NOTHING to God, AGE is nothing to God.

He has ALL power in heaven and earth, and time bends to his will.

The scripture above so perfectly reflects what goes on in so many of us, the wilderness, the places we find ourselves in but can’t find our way out.

The lonely deserts, lonely, barren times in life when it seems that nothing you have planted will ever grow and all your best efforts are met with scorching thirst.

But it is in journeying to this place that you will find refreshment, you will find joy, and your hard, dry places will blossom with a beauty you have never known, God created us to have all those wonderful feelings and He wants you to feel loved, beautiful, and precious, and priceless in Him and only He can renew, restore, and rejuvenate all the areas inside and out in each of us that need refreshed.

That really is what it all about, you are still you, you are still the same person you were when He created you, NOTHING can ever change your core being. If you find yourself in a desert you need to stop and take stock, don’t look at the desert, don’t beat yourself up or question how you ended up there.

Ecclesiastes 7:10: “Say NOT thou, What IS THE CAUSE that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.”

Which means that we are not to question that the past was better than our present and in doing so we are not asking the right question.

REMEMBER where you were going, what you wanted to accomplish, REVIVE your hopes, REMEMBER your dreams and ask God to show you what He wants you to see in that place.

It’s like the alabaster breaking, which will we soon get to, we have to want change, we have to be to the point that it is all or nothing and in that place your rose will again bloom and it will bloom abundantly and you will be made completely new.

Jesus NEVER touched or touches a life without that life being made COMPLETELY new, new thoughts, new joy, new peace, and a renewed hope that THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING and your life is a book not yet written. 

Of course, He knows the plans, but for us it is ALL BLANK PAGES AND A CLEAN SLATE and with that you can dream again, you can hope again, and you can feel beautiful, feminine, and BE exactly WHO HE CREATED YOU TO BE!

Don’t be so sure life is “over” when it has even yet begun!

So go, go find Paris! If you thought the first time was good, the second time is going to blow your mind! 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Have A Blessed Week! Εξυπιζω NBJ 2017