And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Nine is an interesting number in scripture symbolically. Like the Word of God itself, it is a two-edged sword. On one hand it represents judgment, but on the other hand it symbolizes giftedness and fruitfulness. In the astute work, Number In Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, the author, EW Bullinger, noted of this number that it represented the end of man. "It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things as to man—the judgment of man and all his works", Bullinger wrote. Looking at the two meanings side by side reveals another important facet of grace and righteousness that God does not wish us to miss.
Of the many references in scripture of the usage of nine as a number of judgment, the divine use of it in the crucifixion story is most significant. It was at the ninth hour that the LORD cried the prophetic first verse of Psalm 22. This was the Psalm of the prophet of GOD who spoke for GOD but was forsaken by the people He was sent to. It is also the Psalm of the suffering Shepherd/Savior who gave His life for his sheep. It was in the ninth hour when Jesus succumbed to the wounds He received for our transgressions and the Son of Man died a cruel and horrible death. Furthermore, it was the ninth hour that the Father judged the priestly system that shadowed Christ. The veil was rent at the moment our Lord finished the purchase of our salvation. Such grace!
God spoke clearly when the veil of the temple was torn. In effect He was saying that the temporary sacrificial system entrusted to the hands of men was finished. Christ had laid an ax to the foot of the old system, and in 3 days He would raise up the new temple just as He said. He would take the head of this system as a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Man's efforts were judged worthless as Christ's work became the only God accepted work. In doing so, God judged all works, actions, and attitudes of man worthless at the cross as well. That is also the message of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 and the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. Paul made it clear to the Corinthians that all believers were to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Often referred to as the Bema Judgment, believers will gain reward or suffer loss according to the works that they did. Were they works of the flesh or works of the Spirit?
Our love is pathetic, and our goodness is corrupt. If we strive to please him in selfish acts of flesh, we will be found to be empty, barren, and fruitless; however, God provided a replacement for our worthless fruit. It is the 9 fruit of the Spirit. When the substitutionary system based on the blood of animals was judged and ended, God opened up free access to the throne of grace through the person of Christ. In the same way, God judged man's fruit as worthless and rotten to the core, but He provided a replacement cultivated by faith in Christ and the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit. He also judged the ministry works of man and replaced them with the 9 gifts of the Spirit. The message is clear--the work of Jesus is all that God will accept. Therefore, barrenness and fruitlessness in our lives is a clear sign that we are not appropriating the gifts and fruit of the Holy Ghost as God requires.
Speaking of 9 and judgement, in what month did God allow the hedge on America to be pulled down when the Pentagon was hit and the WTC destroyed? In what month in 2008 did the economic chaos become obvious when the stock market began to fall? Interesting! Maybe God is also sending a clear message to "Christian" America? I wonder if the ninth month of some year coming has more messages for America as well as the rest of the world? One message is certain--Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
2 Corinthians 5:10-11