Redemption Cup & the Cup of Trembling

, ,

Related posts: Thread of Redemption: Easter/Passover 2022 Easter/ Passover: Where is the Promise of His Coming? He Lives! Easter 2020 White as Snow: Easter & Passover Reflections 2021

Easter/ Passover: Where is the Promise of His Coming?

, ,

Related posts: Thread of Redemption: Easter/Passover 2022 White as Snow: Easter & Passover Reflections 2021 The Promise of Christmas He Lives! Easter 2020 Christmas: Zion’s Promise

Thread of Redemption: Easter/Passover 2022

,

In all these things we are triumphantly victorious due to the one who loved us…nothing can separate us from the love of God that is ours in union with the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Have you ever experienced a loose thread in a favorite sweater that you were afraid to pull lest it create a hole or run in the fabric? Life is a little like a favorite garment as we experience challenges and disappointments that represent loose threads! We are unsure of how to fix them to enable us to move on and enjoy our life even when it may seem to wear thin. The threads in the fabric of life are often fragile, but there is a symbolic thread that provides hope for our redemption.

The Goat with Red Thread

The ancient Hebrew people had a tradition on their new year in which they placed a red thread or string around the neck of a goat to signify the sins of the nation. As they sacrificed one goat, they would release the other with the red string into the wilderness to carry away their sins. That goat with the red thread represented redemption for the sins of a nation. (Leviticus 16:21-22) This tradition was but a type of the prophesied Messiah who would come to serve in both capacities of the slain goat and the loosed goat. Indeed, the Messiah became the sacrificial lamb once for all! (Hebrews 9:12)

Passover Lamb

Another Biblical type for the Messiah’s sacrifice took place during the days of Moses on Passover, the night God sent a great plague over Egypt that would take the lives of the first born. The Hebrew people placed the blood of a sacrificed lamb on their lintels, so the Angel of Death passed over their homes. They ate the sacrificial lamb and thanked the Lord for their deliverance from the plague and their bondage. (Exodus 12) Passover is celebrated as a remembrance in Jewish homes around the world with a traditional meal of lamb and a cup of wine signifying redemption. Jesus celebrated a Passover meal with His disciples the night before His crucifixion.

The Messiah Arrives

There are many types and shadows of the redemptive message throughout the Old Testament. At the right time in history, after the Hebrew people waited 4000 years for the arrival of Messiah, God sent His son, Jesus, by virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) who fulfilled over 300 prophesies of Messiah. Now 2000 years after His death and resurrection (Isaiah 53) Christians celebrate His saving grace on Easter. With His resurrection we know without a shadow of a doubt that He was and is the Messiah. (Matthew 16:21)

Messiah’s Return in the End Times

Jesus also prophesied after His resurrection and appearance to over 500 disciples, that He would return in the same way He was taken in His ascent to heaven. When Jesus returns, He will fulfill the remainder of the Messianic prophecies of the coming King of Kings, just as the placard on His cross proclaimed Him.

When the disciples asked Jesus when the end times will come, He responded in detail about
the signs for which we must watch: For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains… But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come… So you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you are not expecting.
Matthew 24

Since many in the past have declared their own times as the end, some are not looking for His return. But Jesus and the disciples encourage us to watch and be ready, because we know not the precise time! Indeed, many prophecies have been fulfilled that point to the soon return of Jesus.

With the world in turmoil the signs Jesus indicated are visible to those who are aware. In fact, it seems like loose threads are everywhere in the garment of life! People around the world feel overwhelmed with fear and foreboding as though were they to pull even one loose thread their lives would completely unravel. Yet Jesus who holds all things together by His Word, (Hebrews 1:3) also encouraged us to not be dismayed but anticipate with hope and assurance that He shall indeed return for His bride, the church. (John 14:27)

Trust in the Redeemer

We know in whom we have believed and are persuaded that nothing can prevent His love from redeeming us on earth and for eternity. (Romans 8:37-39) Put your trust in the One who can save Jew and Gentile, man and woman, black and white, for there is no distinction in His eyes. We are all made in His image – mind, spirit, and soul – and by receiving His grace, proclaiming His Kingship, and living our lives for Him we are destined to bring Him glory. This Holy week whether you observe Passover or Easter, fix your eyes upon our salvation, Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, and sing Hallelujah! (An Easter Hallelujah Cassandra Star & her sister Callahan)

With blessings,
Sheryl Dawson
April 13, 2022

White as Snow: Easter & Passover Reflections 2021

,

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

After a year of turmoil from the pandemic, lockdowns and masking, economic and business disruptions and closures, unemployment and remote school, racial demonstrations and riots, election irregularities and political partisanship, big tech and media censorship in science and politics, and federal policy change chaos affecting virtually all levels of society, not to omit natural disasters, it is hard to imagine just what we may face next! Thankfully Jesus promised, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 During Passover and Easter week it is encouraging to realize that we need not fear earthly trials and tribulations.

Passover Lamb – Celebrate Salvation

While the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, God miraculously provided a way to freedom from Pharaoh. As the Angel of death passed over Egypt in the final plague, the Israelites were protected in their homes by the blood of a lamb on the lintel and doorposts. The Jewish Passover foreshadowed Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of all people: “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” I Corinthians 5:7 The Exodus from Egyptian bondage following Passover was likewise a foreshadowing of mankind’s ultimate salvation or “exodus” from sin, the leaven that separates us from God. Isn’t it amazing “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Shalom of God – Bless Others

When we focus on the chaos surrounding us, listening to the voices of those who seek to control us through fear and intimidation, succumbing to the enslavement of their false worldview, and buckling to their derisive censorship that would silence truth, we abandon our God-given identity in Christ. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” I John 3:1 Knowing we are His and abiding in Him, we instead can focus on the peace that only comes from God: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 His peace is far greater than the peace of this world. As the Prince of Peace, Jesus’ perfect peace envelops and empowers mind, body, and soul. His all-encompassing Spirit of grace, love, joy, and hope brings abundant life: “For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:17 This peace is the fulfillment of the Hebrew Shalom spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah 800 years before Jesus was born:

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your Shalom would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us Shalom was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their Shalom.” Isaiah 54:13

After the resurrection as Christ was about to ascend to heaven, He prayed the priestly blessing over the disciples: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord bless you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward you and give you Shalom.” Numbers 6:24-26 We too can receive and recite over others this powerful blessing!

I am the Vine – Bear the Fruit of the Spirit

Throughout the gospels, the disciples reference that Jesus is the vine and we the branches: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 13:1-2 As we remain in Him allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us, our fruit shall be abundant enabling the will of the Father to be accomplished on earth as in Heaven. Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who like water coursing through the vine and branches, we are enabled to be His hands and feet around the world. Indeed, Christ’s last command was to “go into all the world, preaching the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 The gospel of Jesus transforms lives, brings souls into relationship with Him, and sprouts new branches to bear fruit: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

I am truth – Go into All the World

One of my favorite Christian authors is CS Lewis. His last story published in 1959 shortly before his death was an epilogue to Screwtape’s Letters in which Screwtape, the devil, proposes a toast at a dinner honoring the graduation of new devils whose purpose is to tempt humans to sin. Screwtape elaborates about the ease of the task in the modern world in which society has adopted mindsets supporting one’s sin nature, or in other words normalizing sin! His expose’ predicts precisely what has happened in our society in the last 6 decades! By squeezing individuality and excellence out of the public educational system we promote commonality and mediocrity. By allowing governmental institutions to control all aspects of society and citizens, incentives to excel, innovate, and produce are removed thereby undermining freedom of choice. Lewis makes the point that what was once the strategy of tyrants to suppress their subjects or commoners in the Middle Ages, is now that of democratic governments!

Screwtape laments that democracies have taken the fun out of the tempters’ job by promoting their own destruction: “It is our function to encourage the behavior, manners, whole attitude of mind, which democracies naturally like and enjoy, because these are the very things which, if unchecked, will destroy democracy.” Yes, “Satan prowls about like a roaring lion looking for whom he can devour,” (I Peter 5:8) but so too do godless leaders and policies that subvert righteousness and faith.

In the first century, the Roman Empire dominated the world and subjugated Israel. Yet Jesus did not come to overturn the ruling government, but rather to overcome sin, crushing the head of the serpent Satan, the father of lies and deception. Our salvation is not in governments nor leaders but in Jesus. He set captives free by taking upon Himself the sins of all humans for all generations. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6 When we seek solutions to our problems outside Biblical truth, we subvert His plan of salvation.

CS Lewis’ satirical story reminds us that truth does not change with time or with governments or social trends. Jesus asked us to “Take up your cross daily and follow Him.” (Luke 9:23) Therefore, we must be willing to suffer for the gospel, to stand on the rock of Biblical values and to speak the truth in love. These are actions fulfill the great commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd and commanded Peter to feed His sheep. It is through His church that Christ as head continues His ministry of sacrificial service not only to the body of believers but through them to the whole world multiplying His flock.

I am the Resurrection — Be an Overcomer

On Resurrection Day we celebrate that while Christ died a horrible death on the cross of salvation, He rose again to conquer sin and Satan. He declared to the Pharisees that in three days He would rebuild the temple, prophesying His resurrection. When He raised Lazarus from the dead Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over death. And when after the resurrection He showed Himself in several visitations to over 500 disciples, Jesus proved His claim to deity. Jesus is the Son of God and Son of Man! “Looking unto Jesus… who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. Despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 By His sacrifice we have eternal life and are made white as snow. With acceptance of His gift of salvation, we too are overcomers not only in eternity but in this life. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, we overcome all challenges this fallen earthly life brings. This Easter/Passover embrace His grace, receive salvation, and overcome the world!

With blessings,
Sheryl Dawson
April 1, 2021

He Lives! Easter 2020

,

Related posts: The Crown of Thorns and Coronavirus Thread of Redemption: Easter/Passover 2022 White as Snow: Easter & Passover Reflections 2021 Zion National Park, 2020 Living 7 Decades: The Milestone Story Christmas Adoption