freddabbot

Posts Tagged ‘crucifiction

 

Introduction          

Romans chapter 12 verses 1& 2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For this Year 2011 the leadership of the Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness church has chosen to go forward with using the theme ‘Living the life of Sacrifice’ which theme is built on that of the previous year ‘living the disciplined life’. God’s people, from the beginning of time have been required and at various times down through the years, not only to make sacrifices of one kind or another but believe it or not to be sacrificed; Romans chapter 8 verse 36: As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. So when we are called upon to be sacrificial in our lifestyle, this theme fits in perfectly with our faith as handed down through the years to us.

Many of us, in a detached sort of way, have no problem with this concept of sacrifice provided it be of limited discomfort, within our control and does not significantly impact on our day to day life. However the reality of saints living daily in a hostile, ungodly and to make matters worse religious environment is such that the sacrifice that we would be required to make, to make a difference is often a higher cost than we would chose to pay so compromise is a more preferred choice.

Holding a biblical position on issues that require us to take an unpopular stand instead of drifting with the tide can cause us to end up on the wrong side of popular opinion. While we know that the world and the worldly will resent our stand, the pray is that by the grace of God they will respect us enough not to burn us at the stake or feed us to the lions as was done in the past to thousands of saints.

The Church, as we all should know, began with the most prominent, priceless and potent sacrifice in the history of the human race when Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, was condemned by the Jewish religious crowd and crucified by the Roman rulers on the cross at a place called Calvary; one man laying down his life for the whole world.

Relevance & Efficacy

Sacrifice therefore, has to be taken in the proper perspective in order to understand its relevance and appreciate its efficacy. One of the best ways to do this, I have found, is to view it from the vantage point of bible history.

Bible history states that God made man in his likeness and after his image from the dust of the ground on the sixth day of the week of creation. When, however it was time to get him a help meet, he did not go back to the dust of the ground but instead he went into the body of the man and removed one rib. Because of the giving up, the sacrifice if you please, of this rib we have the crowning off of this glorious day of creation, the coming into being of this most irresistible creature; the woman Eve causing Adam to declare “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This also allowing God to proclaim that this day’s work was not only good but very good.

This most attractive bride of Adam soon encountered the diabolical attention of the subtle Serpent who was able to trick her into picking and eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that would bring sure death.

Enter the deceiver

The convicting argument that the serpent was able to put forward to Eve, the bride of Adam, when he the flatly suggest that God was less than sincere when he had promised sure death as a result of eating the fruit of this tree in the middle of the garden was at the heart of the deceit that led to this most pivotal event in the history of the human race for she believed him rather than God.

Adam then expecting the worse after she picked the fruit and ate it chose to take on the role of saviour of his dying bride whom he must have loved with an unspeakable love when he casually, deliberately without any temptation ate of the forbidden fruit of sure death and sacrificed the comfort of a perfect and secure environment for that is what The Garden of Eden was at the time. He also sacrificed his lordship of the earth because he was made by God to subdue it and have dominion over the birds of the air and fish of the sea, contrary to popular opinion he also fatally ruined the image and likeness of God in which he was created. Added to that he forfeited his sinless nature for up until that point in time he was a sinless creation, and fourthly he sacrificed the fellowship that he had enjoyed with God. Why? To be with his beloved bride Eve in her time of need.

Jesus the last Adam our merciful, loving Saviour also willingly sacrificed these same four things in order to be the Saviour of the world and to redeem his bride The Church. He left heaven, a perfect environment, made himself of no reputation by taking on human flesh though he was equal with God, became sin for us though he himself could not sin and gave up fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit when he was carrying our sin. “My God, My God, why hath thou forsaken me?” Hallelujah! What a saviour!

When God came into the garden in the cool of the day and call Adam he found him and eve cowering in fear, scantily attired in clothing made from fig leaves and in desperate need of the solution to this grave problem in which they found themselves. God’s Justice demanded death for this man because he had promised him death if he ate of the tree in the midst of the garden but his mercy and love demanded a solution. Our all wise God had the solution before the foundation of the world.

Death did come in the form of the innocent animals whose blood was shed as a substitutionary sacrifice and God took the skin and made clothing for Adam and Eve to hide their nakedness showing them mercy before evicting them from the garden and placing a no entry sign in the form of cherubim with a fiery, flaming sword at the entrance.

Various sacrifices

Early in the history of man we also realised that some sacrifices are acceptable and some are repugnant to God. The two first sons born unto Adam and Eve were not born in the image of God but in the sinful image of their father Adam and were soon aware of their corrupt condition. At a given point in time they were made aware of their need as priests to remedy this situation therefore both decided to go before God presenting sacrifices for sin.

Abel who was a keeper of sheep sacrificed a lamb, probably the best male lamb that he had in the flock and God respected this offering so much that he accepted it and Abel was declared righteous on the basis of this act of faith. So we see this pattern of God borne out in the consistency of the scriptures that continue through the centuries in support of the much railed against bible principal: without the shedding of blood there’s no remission.

Cain who was a tiller of the ground put together the most beautiful array of products from his garden that he could, convinced no doubt that the sheer magnificence of this display supported by the combination of colours and irresistible smells would be so impressive that God would have no choice but to accept it. God, however, rejected it forthwith and boy Cain was mad enough to be tied. He just could not see things God’s way. Well neither does practically all of Adam’s fallen race as we look all around us at the confusion of manmade religious practices or gaze back over the annals of time.

Abraham living sacrifice

We see Abraham called upon to leave Ur of the Chaldees the land of his birth, his home, his family and all that he had known all his life and go to a land that was promised to him by God where he would become the father of many nations. Then after waiting anxiously for many years for Sarah his wife to bear him the promised heir which she finally bore when she was 90 years old he was then told by God to sacrifice this same son the only begotten of Sarah his beloved wife on Mount Moriah.

Because human and other sacrifices was a common practice among the people of the day to the various acknowledged deities such as Moloch, Baal, Remphem, Ashtoreth and many others. This request was therefore nothing unheard of or out of the ordinary. On the way to this most awful assignment this young man would have grown aware from his father’s demeanour that something out of the ordinary was amiss for he said to him “behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham, mighty prophet that he was answered and said,” My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” That must have given a spark of comfort to Isaac walking up that incline with that load of wood on his back very much like another young man who would make a similar journey in obedience to his father many years later. Thankfully for Isaac although God did not provide the promised lamb immediately he did provide a ram caught in the thicket for the burnt offering which must have been received with great joy and I do believe a considerable degree of relief.

The Blood

Another interesting narrative on the history, relevance, details and personal responsibility of sacrifice is that of mosses in his encounters with the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt. All of the gods of the great empire of the Egyptians had been exposed as incompetent frauds and put in their place by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as he rained plague after plague upon the land and people of Egypt for the sake of his people and yet pharaoh’s heart was so hardened that he would not grant them their freedom as was demanded. The stakes are now about to go up as we observe God’s righteous judgement and gracious deliverance of his people.

(a) On the tenth day of Nissan which is about to become the first month of the year for Israel, every household was to take a male lamb. Here we see God solidifying the significance of the male lamb. (b) Of the first year (c) without spot and blemish taken from among the sheep or the goats (d) he was to be kept up, separated and closely observes until the 14th day to make sure that he fulfilled all of the given requirements. (e) On the 14th day of the month the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel were to kill him in the evening (incidentally that same exact date and time was also when Jesus Christ the perfect spotless lamb of God died on the cross of Calvary many centuries later) and they were to (f) drain the blood in a basin take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in this blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they were to eat it. (g) They were to eat the flesh in that night roasted with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs. (h)They were not to eat of him raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roasted with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. (i) Nothing of him was to remain until the morning; (j) and that which remained of him until the morning was to be burned with fire. (k) He was to be eaten with the loins girded up, shoes on feet, staff in hand; and also with a degree of urgency because this was the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover. (l) No stranger was to eat of it unless he was first circumcised. (m) In one house he was to be eaten; and the flesh was not to be carried forth out of the house but if the house hold was too little for the lamb he could be shared with the household of the next door neighbour if they were not too large. (n) Not one bone of him was to be broken. (o) No one was to go out at the door of his house until the morning.

All these requirements had to be put in place so that the children of Israel could with confidence wait with bated breath until midnight knowing that the Death Angel when he passed over the land of Egypt would spare their first born when he saw the blood of the lamb applied.

Human sacrifice

Achan the son of Carmi of the tribe of Judah was a soldier under General Joshua in the battle of Jericho and during the plunder of the fallen city he took a number of things which was not lawful for him to possess unknown to anyone and hid them under his tent. In Israel’s next campaign which was against the city of Ai God caused their enemies to prevail and put them to flight because of this. Achan was discovered after a process of elimination to be the cause of Israel’s humiliation at the hands of the enemy and he and his whole family were stoned in order to make things right again.

Paying vows

Judges chapter 11 verses 30 & 31: And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

Jephthah was a mighty general in the days when the judges ruled Israel and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. The nation of Ammon had invaded the land and so he gathered his army together and went off against them. This vow that he made to God was definitely not a casual statement but one he may have thought was of major significance to the outcome of the battle. Unfortunately for Jephthah, his daughter when she heard of his victory was so overjoyed, that she came out in great celebration to meet him on his return home from the battle oblivious to the terrible vow made by her father. I know not who or what he expected would come forth out of his house but it was with great grief when the person was his daughter. He however, being a man of honor, kept his vow which would have been an extremely heart rending ordeal for all concerned as he went ahead and offered his virgin daughter as a burnt offering unto the Lord.

Obedience better than sacrifice

We have King Saul being rebuke by Samuel for not fully carrying out God’s command to utterly destroy Amalek with these immortal words, ‘to obey is better than sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams’. In his campaign against this idolatrous nation of Amalek he was commanded by god through his prophet Samuel to utterly destroy everything in the city. Instead he spared Agag their king and the choicest of their livestock. His excuse for sparing the livestock was that they were to be use as sacrifice. God did not want the sacrifice of rams and sheep but obedience and faithfulness and that was made painfully clear to King Saul after that.

Peace Offerings

King David is confronted by the Angel of the Lord with a drawn sword, his sin was he numbered the people of the Lord and causes a plague to fall upon the children of Israel. As the people begin dropping like flies seventy thousand men lay dead. The angel comes to the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite where he and his four sons are there threshing wheat and Ornan sees him and hid himself. The prophet Gad was told by the angel of the Lord to tell David to set up an altar on the threshing floor of Ornan. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.

And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And King David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

Conclusion

As we look at all these instances of sacrifices made down through the years we see the righteous God presenting sinful man with a vantage point that he may find ways to relate to his justice, holiness, wrath at sin, mercy, power, amazing love and many other attributes through his son our Lord Jesus Christ the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, our burnt offering, wave offering, meat offering, drink offerings, in short he is the ultimate sacrifice. Every type of sacrifice that we can find in the word of God was a mere foreshadow of what our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did for us at Calvary and for those three days and three nights he descended into the heart of the earth and led captivity captive. The gates of hell could not prevail against him because he had and still has the keys of death and hell and have given us his saints the keys to the kingdom. Mathew chapter 16verses 18 & 19: And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (the rock). And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Each saint as a priest is now required to present to God our bodies as a living sacrifice as he has presented himself in the form of his son for us, conscious always of the fact that we have been given the key to the kingdom by the king of the kingdom and what we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and what we loose on earth will be loose in heaven.

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  • freddabbot: would these text more ancient than the received Greek text from which the king James version of the bible been translated be the Alexandrina text and
  • Jim Dandy: You wrote such a long piece, I've selected only one small paragraph, which is reproduced below: QUOTE: The 1611 authorized version of the bible is

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