What an awfully sad day it had been for the friends of Jesus! They had stood watching sorrowfully, as Jesus hung on the cross dying. They didn't fully understand why it had to happen.
They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they remembered how He had healed the sick and made blind people see. They remembered how He had fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish. They even remembered how He had caused dead people to come back to life. He was such a good, kind man; why did He have to die?
Just before the sun was beginning to sink into the west, Joseph, one of Jesus' friends, noticed that Jesus was no longer breathing. He hurriedly went to ask Pilate if he could have the body of Jesus so he could bury Him. When Pilate agreed, Joseph and Nicodemus (another friend) carefully wrapped Jesus' body in clean cloths. Then they took Him to a tomb to bury Him.
The next day, the Pharisees started thinking about Jesus. They were the people that had wanted to kill Jesus. They remembered how He had taught them, saying that He would rise again after three days. They were worried that it might be true! They also thought that Jesus' disciples would remember and might try to steal the body from the tomb just so they could say that Jesus rose again. They went to Pilate, suggesting that the tomb be closed up with a huge stone and that guards be placed all around the tomb.
Just before daylight the next day, the most amazing thing happened! There was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE! An ANGEL from the Lord came down from heaven, moved the gigantic stone away from the door of the tomb and sat on it. The guards began to shake with fear! They fell down to the ground as if they were dead!
Mary and some other women had decided to get up very early in the morning and go to visit the tomb where Jesus was placed. While walking down the road, they were discussing how they were going to get inside the tomb. They had brought along some spices and perfume that they wanted to place on Jesus' body. They knew the huge stone had been placed in the doorway and they had no idea how they were going to move it.
What a SURPRISE they found when they reached the tomb! The stone had already been moved! And ... there was an ANGEL sitting on the stone! The women were quite afraid, but the angel spoke gently to them: "Don't be afraid. I know that you have come to see Jesus. He is not here; for he is risen just as he said. Come inside and see the place where he lay."
The women went inside the tomb and found it empty, just as the angel had told them.
The angel spoke to the women one more time: "Go quickly and tell the other disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead; and he is going into Galilee where you will see him."
The women did just as the angel had told them. They ran quickly from the tomb, with fear and great joy, to tell the good news to the other disciples. But ... when the women found Peter and their other friends and tried to tell them the good news ... no one believed them!
When the women persisted, Peter decided that he needed to find out for himself.
He ran all the way to the tomb.
He went inside.
He saw the cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus, but the body was not there.
He wondered if it could possibly be true. Did Jesus really raise from the dead? Was Jesus really alive?
Two of Jesus' other friends were going on a journey to a village called Emmaus. As they walked and talked, they discussed all the things that had happened over the past few days. A man came along and joined the group. He walked along with them and wanted to join their discussion. Cleopas began telling the man about how Jesus was crucified on the cross. They talked about how the women found the empty tomb.
As they continued their journey, they invited the man to come in with them and have dinner. When they sat down to eat their meal, the man picked up a loaf of bread and broke it in pieces. Then he prayed for the meal and gave the bread to the men. At that very moment they realized that the man was JESUS! They had been talking to Jesus the whole time and didn't even know it!
Then ... ANOTHER strange thing happened. As soon as they realized who it really was that sat at the table with them ... Jesus disappeared! They talked about the wonderful time they had talking with Jesus down the road, and they just couldn't help talking about his strange disappearance. They got up from their meal and returned to Jerusalem where they told all the other disciples the good news that Jesus REALLY DID raise from the dead and had talked with them.
As they were talking, Jesus again appeared to them. They were afraid and thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus told them not to be afraid. He showed them His hands and feet where He had been nailed to the cross, so they would believe that it was really Him.
When they saw the nail holes in His hands and feet, they finally believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, just like He said He would. They were soooo happy and joyful to have their friend with them again. They were soooo excited that they had to tell EVERYBODY the good news that JESUS IS ALIVE!
Answer: The writer to the Hebrews talks about the arrangement of the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The tabernacle was the portable sanctuary used by the Israelites from the time of their wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt to the building of the temple in Jerusalem (see Exodus 25–27). Within the tabernacle was the ark of the covenant which included the mercy seat (Hebrews 9:3-5 NKJV).
The ark of the covenant, the chest containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, was the most sacred object of the tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem, where it was placed in an inner area called the Holy of Holies. Also within the ark were the golden pot of manna, such as was provided by God in the wilderness wanderings (Exodus 16:4) and Aaron’s almond rod (Numbers 17:1-13). On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat on which rested the cloud or visible symbol of the divine presence. Here God was supposed to be seated, and from this place He was supposed to dispense mercy to man when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there.
In a manner of speaking, the mercy seat concealed the people of God from the ever-condemning judgment of the Law. Each year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of animals sacrificed for the atonement of the sins of God's people. This blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat. The point conveyed by this imagery is that it is only through the offering of blood that the condemnation of the Law could be taken away and violations of God’s laws covered.
The Greek word for “mercy seat” in Hebrews 9:5 is hilasterion, which means “that which makes expiation” or “propitiation.” It carries the idea of the removal of sin. In Ezekiel 43:14, the brazen altar of sacrifice is also called hilasterion (the propitiatory or mercy seat) because of its association with the shedding of blood for sin.
What is the significance of this? In the New Testament, Christ Himself is designated as our “propitiation.” Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans: “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Romans 3:24-25 NKJV). What Paul is teaching here is that Jesus is the covering for sin, as shown by these Old Testament prophetic images. By means of His death, and our response to Christ through our faith in Him, all our sins are covered. Also, whenever believers sin, we may turn to Christ who continues to be the propitiation or covering for our sins (1 John 2:1, 4:10). This ties together the Old and New Testament concepts regarding the covering of sin as exemplified by the mercy-seat of God.
*Now follow me to "Power Glory and Majesty is His Name" thread.....
The Bible is about Jesus Christ. If we study carefully we can find Him on every page – not just in the New Testament, but also in the Old Testament. “Here I am,” our Lord said, “it is written about me in the scroll” (Hebrews 10:7).
One place we find Jesus in the Old Testament is in “type”. A type is an example or illustration that points to a person or an event. Finding Jesus hidden in type is a most exciting and rewarding study. As it says in Proverbs 25:2: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
So let’s study Noah’s Ark as a type of Christ and see what we discover.
1) The Ark was provided by God, through grace
“God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark…’” Genesis 6:13-14
Before the flood came God provided Noah a way in which he could escape. Why? Because “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)
God doesn’t change. He’s still righteous so He must judge sin yet He’s still merciful and “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekiel 33:11) Through His grace He has provided a way to escape before judgment comes. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) So our salvation was not a spur of the moment decision. Before you were created God knew what it would cost Him to have you spend eternity with Him and He thought you were worth the price.
2) The Ark’s design was revealed in advance
“And this is how you shall make it…” Genesis 6:14-15
God gave Noah very specific instructions as to how the ark was to be built. In the same way, in the Old Testament God gives very specific details about Jesus’ life and mission. We refer to these details as Messianic Prophecies.
For example, the Old Testament tells us that Jesus would be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7), that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), He would be an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10), and that He would be raised from the grave (Psalm 16:10).
3) The Ark had a window above
“You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above…” – Genesis 6:16
Noah and his family were not to look down or around for their salvation, they were to look up towards heaven. In the same way the believer is to keep his eyes focus on Jesus and not on the world around him or hell below him. Jesus is always taking our eyes off the temporary and refocusing them on the eternal. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
4) The Ark had rooms
“make rooms in the ark…” – Genesis 6:16
Just as the ark had rooms, Jesus told us that in His Father’s house “are many mansions” or literally, that the Father’s house has many “dwelling places”. (John 14:2)
When we come to Christ we receive more than just forgiveness for our sins, we become a part of God’s family. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
5) The Ark had only one door
“…and set the door of the ark in its side.” – Genesis 6:16
There were two groups of people during the time of the flood – those who survived and those who didn’t. The ark was the only way means of salvation. Those who survived walk into the ark through the one door.
In the same way there are two types of people in God’s eyes – those who will be judged and those who are forgiven. Jesus is the only means of salvation and the only door into heaven. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” (John 10:9) And again, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
6) The Ark was a refuge from the storm
“…I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark–you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Genesis 6:17-19
The ark was a place of refuge from the storm. Jesus is our refuge from God’s wrath. “Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:9-10)
7) MAN WAS INVITED IN
“Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark…” – Genesis 7:1
Noah was invited into the ark to rest from the storm. Jesus gives us an invitation to rest from life’s storms. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
8) They were secure in the Ark
“So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.” Genesis 7:16
The Lord shut Noah in the ark and He kept him secure. In the same way we are not saved by works, but by grace. We have trusted in Christ for our salvation and as a result we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) And again in John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
(using the link instead of copy/paste because you can hover over the Scriptures it's based on, and read them)
I have struggled with an addiction to pornography all of my adult life. Once I think I've conquered the battle, it rears it's ugly head. We live in a day where it is just a click or two away on the computer, and the temptation can be overwhelming.
The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. Maybe I can be of help to another brother or sister in Christ that is fighting the same issues.
One thing I will say, is that it has caused me to be a very UNjudgemental believer because of where I've been, and what I've seen. Indulging in this obsession of mine, also causes a domino effect of other sins, and definitely hinders my walk with the Lord.
One part of the article talks about "sanctification", and it is a VERY great relief for me to know that God ain't done with me yet. (!!!)
I have fallen to the wayside, time and time again, yet every single time, God has picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on the right path, often saving me from myself
we're all just works in progress and how thankful I am that GREAT are His mercies! ray:
[QUOTE="squirt, post: 4504085]I have fallen to the wayside, time and time again, yet every single time, God has picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on the right path, often saving me from myself
we're all just works in progress and how thankful I am that GREAT are His mercies! ray:[/QUOTE]
I have gone years at a time without even peeking at it, .. but just had some major 'slippage' the last month or so. One reason I don't go into most of the PG-13 threads here, is because soft porn is a stumbling block for me. It's not because I am a "goody-2-shoes", by any means :sigh:
Yesterday morning I read this passage in Our Daily Bread, and thought that it was very appropriate to add here:
Lookin' Good !
After trying on my new sunglasses in the car one day, my daughter handed them back and said, "These are not sunglasses, Mom. They're just fashion lenses. Let me quess," she teased, "you bought them because you look cute in them."
Okay, I have to admit---my daughter knows me. I hadn't given a passing thought to UV rays or even whether those glasses would actually block the sun. I just really liked the way they looked on me.
Most of us like to look good. We want to appear that we "have it all together"---with no struggles or fears or temptations or heartaches.
Trying to maintain a facade of perfection on our spiritual journey doesn't help us or our fellow travelers. But sharing our lives with others in the body of Christ benefits us as well as others. When we are a bit more transparent, we may find people who are struggling in a similar situation. And as we enjoy a growing fellowship with God and become more aware of our own brokenness and inadequacy, God is able to use us more fully to help others.
Let's allow God to strip away any pretense and "let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24) - by Cindy Hess Kasper.
Wearing a mask that shows everything's fine
Says that life's struggles are not God's design:
But when we're open, transparent, and true,
People will trust God to meet their needs too.
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth: His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the crowning glory of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth`s inhabitants. All the armies that ever marched and all the Navies that were ever assembled and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the rulers that ever reigned - combined - have not affected the life of man upon this earth so profoundly as that One Solitary Life.
the irony of the term "Good Friday" is not lost on me, especially after watching "Killing Jesus", sobbing as they striped His back, tore His flesh, pierced His hands and feet, and strung Him up like a common criminal
people say it so casually, that "He suffered and died for my sins", but I doubt many realize how much He suffered, if He was not who He claimed to be, why would He endure such pain and humiliation? what was there to gain by giving His life if He was not the Son of God? He could have denounced it at any time, or He could have performed miracles before the eyes of the doubters and hushed the doubters, so WHY?!
He did it because His love for us is so great, that He was willing to take on our iniquities, to bear our burdens and claim us as His
and His disciples died violent deaths, not one ever recanted, or said they made it up
they had nothing to gain either ... except for a certain place beside the man they followed in a kingdom not of this earth
as I sat there and watched His torment, my only thought was how unworthy I am, how dirty I am compared to Him
and because of His grace, none of that matters, because of His blood, I am washed clean
you lose nothing by believing, and you gain more love than you have ever known
God Bless you all and Happy Good Friday ... it is finished :rose: