Lamb Selection Day…..

 Palm Sunday 2

Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion!  Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem!
    Look—your King is coming; He is righteous and able to save.  He comes seated humbly on a donkey, on a colt, a foal of a donkey~ Zechariah 9:9

I spent the afternoon studying Palm Sunday.  I wanted to look at this day through Jewish eyes…. in light of Old Testament Scriptures.  To see what the people who saw Him ride into Jerusalem would’ve seen and known.  There are so many rich nuggets to be found in this momentous occasion.  My study began with a specific question.  Why did God choose this particular day for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem?  Was it just a random day or did it have specific meaning to the Jews of that day?

The day Jesus entered Jerusalem was called “lamb selection day”.  I love that!  Families selected their lambs in the late afternoon. Offering Himself as the Lamb, Jesus also rode into the city in the late afternoon that day (Mark 11:11).

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.   – Exodus 12:36

How is it that I have never heard of Lamb Selection Day? Or that it was the same day as what we call Palm Sunday?  The writers of the New Testament certainly understood the significance. But of course they grew up abundantly schooled in the Torah and the Old Testament Scriptures, I did not.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.” Hebrews 7:27 says, “He sacrificed for sins, once for all, when he offered himself”, and Hebrews 9:28, ”Christ was sacrificed to take away the sins of many people.” John the Baptist said, ”Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Peter, in 1 Peter 1:19 says, ”You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish or spot.” In the book of Revelation twenty or more times it refers to Christ as the Lamb. Revelation 5:6 says, “Then I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne…”. Revelation 12:11 – ”They overcame by the blood of the Lamb…”

From Genesis (Genesis 22:8 – “God Himself will provide a lamb”), to Revelation (Revelation 5:12 – “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain”), Christ is revealed as our Passover Lamb! And, just to make sure we didn’t miss it, God sent His Son into Jerusalem on the same day that the Jewish people had been selecting their lambs for the past 1500 years!

Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem four days before Passover is not a coincidence. The lambs chosen for sacrifice by each family on the 10th of Nisan (the day we call Palm Sunday) must be visible for 4 days before the Passover Feast in order for everyone to observe the selected lamb’s perfection. During those days of inspection of the lambs, the perfect Lamb of God was present daily at the Temple, where everyone could see Him….. allowing Himself to be inspected by the people.

Jewish historians cite that the lambs during that time all came from Bethlehem and were brought into Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate. At that time, only the sheep from Bethlehem, that had been raised especially for this purpose, were allowed to be used for selection.  Jesus entered Jerusalem along with all the Passover lambs through that same Sheep gate.  Can’t you just see it?  What a beautiful picture of redemption…. His hour had finally come! Oh what a beautiful Savior… what a beautiful spotless Passover Lamb.

The road into Jerusalem was extremely crowded that day.  Hundreds of thousands (or according to Josephus, millions) of pilgrims were flocking into the city to begin the celebration of the Passover season. How did the people respond to the arrival of Jesus?

At the Sheep Gate, a crowd of people threw their coats and branches down on the ground while shouting,

‘Hosanah!’

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanah in the highest!’

“Hosanna” – hosha’na in Hebrew means, “Save now!”  They were hailing Him as King – the One Who would dwell with them in the Messianic Kingdom!  By this time they were weary from the oppression by the Romans.  It was 1,000 years since Solomon had been crowned king and rode in on a donkey to Jerusalem (1 Kings 1:32-40). AND of course – it was nearly PASSOVER – which to them was a reminder of God’s deliverance from their enemies!  Now Jesus… the Messiah, would finally set up His Kingdom delivering them out of bondage to the Romans and reigning over their beloved nation of Israel!

The cheering crowd was upsetting some of the Pharisees who began to call out to Jesus saying, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” (Luke 19:39). Jesus refused and told them that if His followers were silenced, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40).  The stones? Why did Jesus mention the stones?  What would that have meant to this crowd of people and the Pharisees?

Jesus had started his triumphal entry east of the Jordan – He crossed the Jordan River on that day. .. . Nisan 10th (Palm Sunday).  In Joshua 4:19 the children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land — on the 10th of Nisan!!!

After crossing the Jordan on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho.  This city was the first to be conquered by the children of Israel in Joshua’s day when they were fighting for a kingdom.  All of those standing there along the road wouldn’t have missed the symbolism of crossing the Jordan into the Promise Land and setting up a kingdom.  This must be what Jesus was coming to do!  Set up His Kingdom here in Israel.

Mark 10:46 tells about a crowd joined Jesus near Jericho.  Word had gotten out – HE WAS COMING!  The people were crying “Jesus, SON OF DAVID, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).

Their cry was for the restoration of the age of Solomon. This is what they had longed for… what they were expecting! For the restoration of Israel…. for the return of what it had looked like in Solomon’s day.

This is the setting for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem . . . Excitement for the deliverance of Roman oppression and the setting up of a glorious kingdom.  They’re Savior had come for them! As you look at the details of what was happening it’s easy to get caught up in their excitement and forget that in a few days these same people would suffer a great disappointment.  Their expectations were not met…. or so they thought.  It didn’t turn out the way they thought.  The One they thought was Messiah… King…. would be crucified and their lives would remain under the oppression of Rome resulting in the destruction of their beloved Temple.

But Jesus did set up His Kingdom.  His hour had come.  His purpose and destiny fulfilled.

He had reclaimed a kingdom ——— His Father’s kingdom.

He had conquered ——– sin and death –- the real oppressor (NOT Rome) (Heb. 2:14)

Ephesians 4:7 quotes Psalm 68 which is a victory hymn written by King David. “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”

In Psalm 68 we read that after a TRIUMPH, the CONQUERING KING marched through his enemy’s territory, wreaking havoc and collecting spoils – and bringing home those spoils.

Hebrews 2:14 says that through death, Jesus DESTROYED Satan who had the power of death, and released the CAPTIVES.

Jesus’ death meant VICTORY for us.

Through His death and resurrection He gave LIFE to us….. ETERNAL LIFE in Him.

His Kingdom is a Kingdom which resides in us and released through us.

But sadly they couldn’t see all of that yet.  They were crying out Hosanna!  It was a plea for salvation.   Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!” It was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus was the One able to save.  They were looking for a physical king.   They were desiring and hoping for someone to change their oppressed condition.

They were sure that the long-awaited Messiah would come in the form of a militaristic king. One who would sit on an earthly throne.  The throne of David—and reign in Jerusalem over a renewed Davidic kingdom.

Spiritually they were blind to their true condition…. they needed salvation from sin, not from Roman oppressors.  Isaiah 42 talks about the spiritually blind who are captives and sit in darkness.  They regain their sight when they are set free.  Isaiah 35 prophesies about the Messianic Kingdom (the Highway of Holiness) and one of the responses of Heaven to save is the recovery of sight to the blind.

Mark  10:51-52 tells us that there was a blind man named Bartimaeus who was one of those by the road on that Palm Sunday…. on that lamb selection day.  

What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  ~ Mark 10:51-52

He followed Jesus.  He selected his Lamb that day!  I will find it hard now to refer to it as Palm Sunday now that I know about “lamb selection day.”  That just seems so much more appropriate.  What about you?  Have you chosen The Lamb of God today?  Select Him and examine Him… He has come to set you free and set up His Kingdom in your life if you’ll let Him.

 

~ Robin

 

 

 

2016… A year of God’s manifested goodness

new year

 

Today begins 2016 which is also 5776 on the Jewish calendar (which began on September 13th).  I love New Years Day… it’s like a fresh start.  Anything is possible.  Today we took down all of our Christmas decorations… giving even our house a clean, fresh start.  Anything I didn’t like from last year, I’ve left behind me and the things I’ve learned from 2015 I get to carry with me into 2016.

This year is a Jubilee year.  In Leviticus 25, Jubilee has promises attached to it…. Liberty for the captives, restoration of family, land, and possessions, increase from your field, freedom from oppression, safety and triple blessings!  In Christ these promises belong to us every year, not just during a Jubilee year…. Jesus is our Jubilee.   Unfortunately we don’t always walk in the revelation of our inheritance In Him.  This year let’s begin to declare BIG…. let’s declare these Jubilee promises over our lives.

This year is also a Leap Year… in Hebrew a leap year is called a Pregnant year.  We’ve been given an extra day and on the Jewish calendar an extra month (Adar II) added to their regular calendar.  What are you pregnant with this year in the Spirit?  Steward well the dreams and visions God gives you for this year with hope and faith.  Be careful not to abort those dreams prematurely through doubt, unbelief, and impatience.

The letters associated with this Hebraic year 5776 are the ayin and the vav. The ayin has a numerical value of 70 and the vav has a numerical value of 6 forming the “76.”  The entire decade from 2010 to 2019 (the year’s 5770 to 5779) is dominated by the significance of the last two digits.  70 is the Hebrew word “AYIN.”  “Ayin” is a word describing an eye…or insight or seeing or perceiving with God’s perspective. This is a decade where we must constantly renew our mind to keep close to God’s way of seeing things.

Vav has a couple of different meanings.  It is a word, as well as a letter.  The word is “and” which is a uniting word… a connecting word.  The first time it is used is in Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and (vav) the earth”.  This year is to believe BIG and declare BIG.  It’s a year to believe and declare heaven on earth.  Whatever is in heaven is available NOW on earth…. Matt 6:10  “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”. There is no poverty, sickness, or disease in Heaven!

Vav is also a picture of a tent-peg.  Isaiah 52 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;  do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”  This year, do not hold back… enlarge your faith… believe bigger and declare bigger!  Go farther in the things of God this year.  What inheritance promises were hard for you to wrap your head around last year…. prosperity, divine health, grace??  Meditate on those scriptures this year… putting them in your heart and speaking them forth.  Building your spiritual muscles and laying hold of what’s yours In Christ.

Judges 4:21 is another story of a tent-peg… this time as a weapon.  It’s the story of Jael.  The enemy had come into her home because her husband Heber (meaning fellowship) hadn’t stood against the enemy but rather had an alliance with him (verse 17) in order to stay safe on either side of battle.  But Jael had no such alliance and she took a tent-peg and nailed it through the enemy’s head!  This year stand firm against the enemy… against what belongs to you In Christ… don’t allow thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor 10:5) to come into your dwelling place… stake them with the Word!  

I am expecting great things this year… in fact my husband and I have been saying this year will be our best year yet.  I believe this is a year we’ve been waiting for… a year of acceleration, promotion, fullness, favor and increase in every area.    

This morning at 2:30 am the Lord spoke 2 words to me regarding this year.  He said this would be a year of “Behold I make ALL things new”.  I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant until this morning when I read Verna Brown’s (the Pastor of Soul Harvest Worship Center in Modesto, CA) post on Facebook with the exact same words “Behold, I make all things new”….. her post went on to list several new things He is giving this year:  new dreams, new revelations, new strength, new health, new opportunities, new mindsets, new experiences, new mercies, new wine and wind of the Spirit, etc.  What is it that you need new this year?  Begin declaring it and claiming it as yours.  All things are possible to him who believes.  Maybe you need new, fresh hope in order to believe bigger.  Ask Him today to make ALL things new in your life.

The second thing He told me was this year would be a season of His manifested goodness.  I love that.  God is good and He wants to pour out His goodness on your life. Psalm 65:11 says “He crowns the year with His goodness and your paths drip with abundance”.   In Exodus 33 Moses asked God to please show him His glory.  God responded that He would cause all His goodness to pass before him.  He said He would proclaim His name to Moses… revealing His true character and nature to him.  He revealed His glory, His very essence, which includes His mercy, grace, loving-kindness (chesed – covenant loyalty), truth, forgiveness and holiness. (Ex. 34:6-7) God’s glory is His goodness. His goodness is His nature…. it’s who He is.  A manifestation of His goodness in your life is a deeper revelation of His glory… of who He is… His true nature and character.  

This year, allow Him to enlarge your tents, give you bigger dreams and visions, make ALL things new in your life, and manifest His goodness (all that He is) in and through you.  Get ready… this is the year you’ve been waiting for.  I believe at the end of 2016 we’re not going to say “I’m so glad this year is over and ready for a new one” but rather “2016 was so awesome how can 2017 possibly top it!” To quote Kenneth Copeland… “This is the Great year of whatever you need!

 

~ Robin

 

 

 

Full of Grace and Truth

grace and truth

John 1:14 “….We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus came full of grace and truth. Full of is “pleres” in Greek which means abounding in and completely occupied with. Grace is “charis” which means bowing down favorably toward us… it’s also the Old Testament equivalent of “chesed” which is God’s covenant loyalty toward us (see the last blog post Goodness and Grace).  Chesed (grace) is His love that will not let us go!  And truth is “aletheia” which is not just truth spoken but the reality of truth.. truth revealed. Summed up, Jesus came abundantly and completely occupied with bowing down favorably toward us… He came abundantly and completely occupied with showing us God’s covenant love toward us and revealing to us the reality of the Father… what He’s like… that He’s a good Father to us all the time. Completely occupied!!

He was consumed with revealing to us the true realities of the Father’s love.  The Word, the Son, who is God, became flesh to reveal a divine glory that is “full of grace and truth.” The Word of God became flesh to be gracious to us. The Word became flesh so that this graciousness to us would come in accord with God’s truthfulness. Paul put it like this in 1 Cor 4:4 “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  The glory of Christ is the image of God, our Father. Verse 18 says although no one has ever seen God, Jesus has revealed Him and made Him known to us. Our Father is full of grace and truth all the time.  Verse 16 tells us that we have received “out of this fullness” grace upon grace!  We’ve received an abundance of grace.   

Sometimes I get preoccupied with the demands of my life… motherhood, being a wife, family time, making a home, friendships, our business, etc. and don’t make the time to be completely occupied with Him…. completely occupied with His love and allowing that Love to flow through me to the world around me.  Completely occupied with the truths and realities of what my Father really looks like…. and showing others what our Father looks like.  Being a walking, talking manifestation of His extravagant grace.  Being full of grace makes me more pleasant to be around.  I’m not pointing out others faults or weaknesses but rather helping them to look to the One who can pour out His grace upon them.  Being full of grace causes me to encourage and walk along side those around me.  It makes me realize that apart from Him I can do nothing, because in Him I live and move and have my being.

I have become more occupied lately with learning about grace and the truths or realities of my Father. The more I learn, the more it replaces old mindsets… the wrong perceptions of who my Father is and what He’s like.  And the more revelation I get, the more I become a walking epistle for a hurting world to read…. because isn’t that truly what we all want… for the world to come up and grab our coat tails and ask us how they can have a life like ours… one that is victorious, peaceful, loving, and full of grace and truth.  For them to look at us and not see us but to look into our Father’s eyes and experience His truth (realities) and His grace (chesed).  And then we get the honor of directing them to the One who can give them life more abundantly.