Monday, September 5, 2011

Maintaining Focus

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 19:19

Occasionally, I like to get away from some of the heavy studies to remind myself of the basics.  The "basics" are those things upon which the entire foundation of an idea, teaching, or concept is supported. When learning the basics, one of the most used means to teach for remembrance is using repetition.  Men have used this means for many years.  How many remember continual drills of math facts over and over ad nauseam?  Those facts are called the basic facts!  One era of mathematics education in America was actually called the "Mind as a Muscle" era.  At that time, they assigned pages full of problems so that the students could exercise their brains as they worked the hundreds of problems assigned by the teacher until they were proficient with the four main math operations. This technique actually does help when you want to teach and maintain the most important foundations of a concept.

God has used it too.  There is one main thought that He wants man to grasp in scripture--redemption.  He also wants them to see the overall subject of that redemption, the person and the work of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, He purposefully repeats the means of that salvation over and over and over as an act of love so that the eternal consequences for rejecting His means is avoided. He does not wish that anyone miss the work of redemption solely in Jesus at Calvary's cross!  Therefore, He took the time to place shadows of the cross throughout the Bible.  Here are a few from the Old Testament.  Simon Peter put it best, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  2 Peter 3:9  

One of the easiest shadows to see is the pattern of the lamb's blood on the doorpost at the first Passover.  Here is what the directions for applying the blood were.  "And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it."  Exodus 12:7  Can you see the cross?

Don't you believe that God wishes a believer to carry the work of the cross in their heart everywhere they go?  Not only that, it is certain that He wants this central theme of salvation carried everywhere as well.  That is why He had Israel to take great care in carrying the tabernacle with them everywhere they went.  The cross is shadowed here as well. Can you see the cross?

Everywhere the Children of Israel went, they were to daily carry the cross.  When they rested, they were to remember the cross.  Maybe that is why the wilderness camp was laid out as a cross.   Can you see the cross?

Even their daily obedience to God as expressed in their keeping of the Ten Commandments and other Torah teachings was to be an extension of their cross bearing.  Have you ever noticed the cross in the Ten Commandments?  The first four deal with our vertical relationship with God.  They are the commands that deal with our love for Him.  Remember, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments,"  John 14:15.  The center of the commands is to honor father and mother.  It is the point where our devotion to God joins to our devotion to society.  Then come the horizontal laws.  These are the laws that show our devotion to God in our outward actions to society.  Can you see the cross?

Jesus made it even easier to see the cross with two simple commands!  Love God and love others!  "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."  Matthew 22:37-40 

In closing, consider that Jesus is the only acceptable means of salvation ordained by God.  In Jesus' day it was customary to tag your offering with the family name so that the lamb would not get lost in the hundreds of Passover lambs brought to Jerusalem. 

John and the other gospels mention that the cross had a sign placed at the top in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew stating, "Jesus of Nazereth, King of the Jews."

Latin= IESUS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM )Have you ever seen the inscription INRI?

Greek would have been: 

Hebrew would have looked like this transliterated from right to left!
HaYehudim W'Melech HaNazarei Yeshua 

Let's put this in the order of it would be said,

Yeshua (Jesus)
Ha nazarei (of Nazareth)
W'melech (the King)
Ha Yehudim (of the Jews)

Notice the first letters of each phrase:


Apparently, the Father marked His lamb too!

Being saved is as simple as seeing the work of Christ on the cross and accepting His sacrifice as your own righteousness.  Won't you trust Jesus today in the full pardon of yours sins?  Do it quickly as he is Soon2Come!

Today's Prayer Concerns in the News

1 comment:

  1. Very inspiring...I love to become aware of how the hand (and heart) of God is ever seeking to draw mankind to Himself. I especially like the part about the inscription...that is amazing. I was raised Catholic and though I no longer am considered Catholic, I was thinking about the sign of the cross...and how that relates to the Blood of the Lamb on our frame and the doorpost of our hearts. I may take that practice up again in prayer....Thanks for your thought provoking blog article. (I stopped over here from F.B. Hebrew for Christians post you put up.) Carla