Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 NASB
We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.” Samuel Adams
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” John Adams
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight'
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 
On the shore dimly seen, thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner: oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust";
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


The Declaration of Independence


The National Anthem

Happy Independence Day! 



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Why do you weep? He is not here! He is risen!

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 
So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.  The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.  So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.  So the disciples went away again to their own homes.



But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).  Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Garden Tomb: Jerusalem 1992


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Wonder of God's Word: The Prophecies of Christ’s Death

The Bible contains a plethora of prophecies over hundreds of years concerning the Messiah. These prophecies were fulfilled completely in the thirty-year precious life span of  Jesus of Nazareth; many being fulfilled in one day. These prophecies truly accomplish the purpose of the Lord for the earth and mankind. These prophecies carefully pointed to the person, words, and works of Christ.

The following Old Testament prophecies deal with events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ including His betrayal, trial, death and burial. They were uttered by many different prophets over a period of 500 years, yet they were all fulfilled within twenty-four hours on the day that He died for the sins of the world (Bible.org).



Prophecies Relating to Christ’s Crucifixion

SOLD FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

Prophecy:
And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages {Zechariah 11:12}.

Fulfillment:  
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver {Matthew 26:14-15}.

 BETRAYED BY A FRIEND

Prophecy
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. 14 We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng {Psalm 55:12-14 See also Psalm 41:9Zechariah 13:6}.

Fulfillment:  And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him {Matthew 26:49-50}.

THE MONEY CAST TO THE POTTER

Prophecy:
Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD { Zechariah 11:13}.

Fulfillment: 
And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers {Matthew 27:5-7}.

THE DISCIPLES FORSOOK HIM

Prophecy: 
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones” {Zechariah 13:7}.

Fulfillment: 
“But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled {Matthew 26:56; See also Mark 14:27}.

ACCUSED BY FALSE WITNESSES

Prophecy: 
Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know {Psalm 35:11}.

Fulfillment: 
Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward {Matthew 26:59-60}.

SMITTEN AND SPIT UPON

Prophecy: 
I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting {Isaiah 50:6}.

Fulfillment:
And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head {Matthew 27:30}.

DUMB BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS

Prophecy: 
 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth {Isaiah 53:7}.

Fulfillment: 
And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed{Matthew 27:12-14 }.


WOUNDED AND BRUISED

Prophecy: 
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed {Isaiah 53:5 }.

Fulfillment: 
Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” {Matthew 27:26, 29}.

CARRYING THE CROSS

Prophecy: 
My knees are weak from fasting; And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness {Psalm 109:24}.

Fulfillment: 
They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha {John 19:17}. 

And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus {Luke 23:26}.



HANDS AND FEET PIERCED

Prophecy: 
For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet {Psalm 22:16}.

Fulfillment: 
And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left {Luke 23:33}.

CRUCIFIED WITH THIEVES

Prophecy: 
 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors {Isaiah 53:12}.

Fulfillment: 
And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”) {Mark 15:27-28}

PRAYED FOR HIS PERSECUTORS

Prophecy: 
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors {Isaiah 53:12}.

Fulfillment: 
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves {Luke 23:34}.

PEOPLE SHOOK THEIR HEADS
Prophecy: 
I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head {Psalm 109:25}.

Fulfillment: 
And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads {Matthew 27:39}.

PEOPLE RIDICULED HIM

Prophecy: 
 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him” {Psalm 22:8}

Fulfillment:
 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him, and saying,  “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. “He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’” {Matthew 27:41-43}.

PEOPLE ASTONISHED

Prophecy: 
 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me {Psalm 22:17}

Fulfillment: 
 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One” {Luke 23:35}.

GARMENTS PARTED AND LOTS CAST

Prophecy: 
 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots {Psalm 22:18}.

Fulfillment: 
The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots” {John 19:23-24}.

BEING FORSAKEN

Prophecy: 
For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning {Psalm 22:1}.

Fulfillment: 
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” {Matthew 27:46}.

GALL AND VINEGAR

Prophecy: 
They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink {Psalm 69:21 }.

Fulfillment: 
 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth {John 19:28-29}.

COMMITTED HIS SPIRIT TO GOD

Prophecy: 
 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth {Psalm 31:5}.

Fulfillment: 
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last {Luke 23:46}.

FRIENDS STOOD AFAR OFF

Prophecy: 
 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off {Psalm 38:11}.

Fulfillment: 
And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things {Luke 23:49}.


BONES NOT BROKEN

Prophecy: 
He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken {Psalm 34:20}.

Fulfillment:
But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; . . For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken {John 19:33, 36}.

HEART BROKEN

Prophecy: 
 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me {Psalm 22:14}.

Fulfillment: 
 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water {John 19:34}.

HIS SIDE PIERCED

Prophecy: 
 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born {Zechariah 12:10}.

Fulfillment:
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced” {John 19:34-37}.

DARKNESS OVER THE LAND

Prophecy: 
 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight {Amos 8:9}.

Fulfillment: 
 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour {Matthew 27:45}.

BURIED IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB

Prophecy: 
His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth {Isaiah 53:9}.

Fulfillment: 
And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away {Matthew 27:57-60 }.