VIDEO Yom Kippur reenactment

Oct 5, 2011

A reenactment of Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) the most holy day in the Jewish year. On this day the High Priest entered the Holy place and sprinkled blood from the sacrifice on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant.

Only the High Priest could enter this room, and only blood can cover sin “…it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” Leviticus 17:11. And the High Priest could only enter this room one day a year, Yom Kippur.

Remnants

And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 2 Kings 19:30

Remnant stores are almost a thing of the past. These are shops that specialize in bits of cloth helpful to those who make their own clothes or need patchwork pieces for quilts. The word “remnant” has to do with bits, pieces, and fragments that are left over. A good seamstress can do a lot with remnants.

God can do a lot with remnants, too. In the Bible, the word “remnant” often referred to what was left of a community following a catastrophe. After the Babylonian captivity, for example, a remnant of Jewish people returned to the Promised Land. There by God’s grace, they took root downward and bore fruit upward.

In our world today, Christians often feel they represent the remnants of godliness in our communities. But by God’s grace we can take root downward and bear fruit upward. Wherever there is a remnant that serves the Lord, there is hope.

Remnant stores may be few and far between, but remnant stories are abundant among God’s people. Don’t worry if you’re in the majority or minority, if you’re popular or alone. Just take root downward and God will make you fruitful where you are.

No matter how wicked the world scene may appear, God always has a remnant that is faithful to Him. Sometimes that remnant is small, but God is always great. Warren Wiersbe, in The Wiersbe Bible Commentary

Meaning of the Cross

Matthew 27:11-26

The cross—the symbol of Christianity—has great meaning to God. First of all, through Jesus’ death, the Father proclaimed the value of every single human being: He offers forgiveness and eternal life to anyone who places faith in Jesus (Rom. 6:23). Second, it meant a great cost. Holy God separated Himself from His beloved Son while Jesus bore the weight of mankind’s sin. (See Matt. 27:46.) Third, the redemption of man was accomplished. Jesus’ shed blood purchased us from slavery to sin and reconciled us to God (1 Peter 1:18-19).

What’s more, divine justice was carried out on the cross. Scripture tells us that death is the debt owed for sin (Ezek. 18:20). However, God requires an unblemished sacrifice (Deut. 17:1). We could not adequately pay our own penalty because we would only die in our sin. For holy God to forgive us, a sufficient substitute had to be found—one who qualified to pay for our disobedience. Jesus, the only one who was without sin, willingly took our place and assumed responsibility for our debt. All our iniquity—past, present, and future—was placed on Christ, and God’s judgment upon us was carried out against Him.

The meaning of the cross was experienced firsthand by Barabbas, the notorious prisoner who was condemned to die. God’s innocent Son was substituted for him, giving the criminal freedom. Like Barabbas, we’ve had our death sentence commuted, and, though unworthy, we have been set free in Jesus. Today, the cross continues to offer life and freedom to the undeserving.

Not Convenient

“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” (Ephesians 5:4)

It seems surprising that “foolish talking” and “jesting” would be condemned as things that should “not be once named among you” (v. 3). Yet here it is, and commentators usually assume that the foolish talking and jesting so condemned really only apply to filthy talking and filthy jesting. After all, the popularity of many Christian speakers today seems to be measured by the amount of jokes and witticisms they inject into their messages.

This is a sensitive subject, and each Christian should conscientiously decide for himself what God is saying here, through Paul. In any case, it seems significant that the only reference in the Bible to “jesting” is a warning against it. It is also significant that one can never find this element in the sermons of Christ or the letters of Paul or anywhere in the Bible. The Bible writers seem to have believed that sin and salvation were such sober, serious issues that there was nothing there to joke about. We read several times of Jesus weeping, but never of Him laughing. The Scriptures often refer to “rejoicing,” but never to “having fun.”

Furthermore, Jesus warned that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36), and Paul exhorted us to “let your speech be always with grace” (Colossians 4:6). Our text says that foolish talking and jesting are “not convenient” for a Christian. Other things “not convenient” include the list of 23 sins in Romans 1:28-31, beginning with “unrighteousness” and ending with “unmerciful.”

Whether or not we can justify certain “convenient” times for jesting, there is one thing we can know is always convenient—that is, “giving of thanks.” HMM

Saintliness and Holiness

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. —Luke 9:23

If anyone should wonder what I mean by godliness, saintliness, holiness, I’ll explain. I mean a life and a heart marked by meekness and humility. The godly soul will not boast nor show off. I mean reverence. The godly man will never take part in any religious exercise that shows disrespect for the Deity. The cozy, cute terms now applied to God and Christ will never pass his lips. He will never join in singing religious songs that are light, humorous or irreverent. He will cultivate a spirit of complete sincerity and discuss God and religion only in grave and reverent tones.

Further, I mean separation from the world unto God in an all-out, irrevocable committal. The holy man will not envy the world, nor will he imitate it or seek its approval. His testimony will be, “I am crucified unto the world and the world unto me.” He will not depend upon it for his enjoyments, but will look above and within for the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

In short, any true work of God in the churches will result in an intensified spirit of worship and an elevated appreciation of the basic Christian virtues…. It will make men Christlike, will free them from a thousand carnal sins they did not even know were sins before. It will free them from earthly entanglements and focus their whole attention upon things above.

Lord, help me live a life of virtue, forsaking all else, so I can experience freedom and communion with You. Amen.

The Game of Pious Words

If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:2)

Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played.

The Church has its “fields” and its “rules” and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all.

As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace—and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last.

Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!

We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ

We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ, and with Christ, if we arc not in Christ. Beloved friend, are you trusting to Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn over on earth, you are not “suffering with Christ,” and have no hope of regaining with him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude that all a Christian’s sufferings are sufferings with Christ, for it is essential that he be called by God to suffer. If we are rash and imprudent, and run into positions for which neither providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus.