VIDEO The Story of Ruth

Jan 1, 2017

Story of Ruth in the bible. Dramatic excerpts from The Ruth bible series from Zola Levitt ministries.

A unique rendering of the romantic story of Ruth, spoken in the Hebrew language, but with English subtitles and with English narration. As such, the viewer will be able to enjoy this heart touching traditional biblical story, not only with flare of hearing the story line in the beautiful flow of the original language, but the viewer will also be able to fully understand the bibilical message, as well as gain many teaching points at the same time.

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Remember the Cross

Remember the Cross

“Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

In the church I attend, a large cross stands at the front of the sanctuary. It represents the original cross where Jesus died—the place where our sin intersected with His holiness. There God allowed His perfect Son to die for the sake of every wrong thing we have ever done, said, or thought. On the cross, Jesus finished the work that was required to save us from the death we deserve (Rom. 6:23).

The sight of a cross causes me to consider what Jesus endured for us. Before being crucified, He was flogged and spit on. The soldiers hit Him in the head with sticks and got down on their knees in mock worship. They tried to make Him carry His own cross to the place where He would die, but He was too weak from the brutal flogging. At Golgotha, they hammered nails through His flesh to keep Him on the cross when they turned it upright. Those wounds bore the weight of His body as He hung there. Six hours later, Jesus took His final breath (Mark 15:37). A centurion who witnessed Jesus’s death declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (v. 39).

Jesus, thank You for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross.

The next time you see the symbol of the cross, consider what it means to you. God’s Son suffered and died there and then rose again to make eternal life possible.

Dear Jesus, I can’t begin to thank You enough for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross. I acknowledge Your sacrifice, and I believe in the power of Your resurrection.

The cross of Christ reveals our sin at its worst and God’s love at its best.

INSIGHT:In the two cameos provided in our reading today, we witness the injustice and horrors of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Verses 19–20 reveal the terrible indignity Jesus endured before going to the cross. Roman soldiers mocked, struck, and spit on Him. Next, a supernatural darkness came over the world (vv. 33–39). Many theologians believe it was then that the eternal fellowship of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—was disrupted as God the Son was made sin for us so that we might have right standing and relationship with God. The Father turned away from Him and in anguish Christ cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But because of God’s redeeming love, we will never be forsaken. How does this give you greater confidence in facing the future?

What Really Happened at Calvary

Hebrews 10:10-14

If asked what took place on Good Friday, many people could list the events of Calvary. Some might explain that Christ was nailed to the cross, Roman soldiers gambled for His garments, and darkness covered the land. Others would mention the crown of thorns, an earthquake, and Jesus’ mother watching with what must have been heartbreak and horror.

But no matter how many visible details one could mention, far more was going on than the eye could see: At the cross, sin was judged.

In giving His very first command in the garden of Eden, God warned that disobedience carried the death penalty (Gen. 2:17). So from the start, His judgment of sin was prophesied, and later it was also pictured in the elaborate sacrificial system He established. Under this system, each transgression required an animal’s blood to be sprinkled on the altar. The severity of the penalty—payment of a life—was a graphic way for our holy God to communicate how offensive and grievous sin actually is. It was also a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who would come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Jesus Christ was, on the cross, what that lamb was on the altar—but with a significant difference: Under the old covenant, every time sin was committed, another animal had to die. Jesus, however, willingly offered Himself once for all to atone for the sin of the entire world (Heb. 7:27).

Refusing to personally accept Christ’s substitutionary atonement leaves a person with the responsibility of paying his or her own sin debt. Won’t you thank the Savior for your amazing free gift—or receive it from Him now?

Born to Die

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Especially as noted in the gospel of John, Christ identified many reasons why He had been born. Consider the following sampling of verses and references. First and foremost, Christ came to redeem those who would believe: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). But under that umbrella of redemption come many other aspects.

Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). God’s will was paramount even in judgment (John 5:30) as well as resurrection. “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). It also governed His teaching (7:16-17). In everything, Christ sought to bring glory to His Father (7:18).

Many aspects of Christ’s work are to be realized in this life, for He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). His desire in it all was that we might have an eternal relationship with God. “That they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

But the primary goal was to bring to climax His redemptive strategy. He knew that none of the other aspects of His work had any effect without atonement for sin, which was only possible if a blood sacrifice was made for that sin. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). This was the reason He came to Earth. JDM

“He hath finished transgression.”

Leviticus 4:1-12

The laws which the Lord gave to Moses in reference to sacrifices are all deeply instructive, and every detail deserves earnest study: we select for present reading the law of the sin-offering in

Leviticus 4:3

The case is put with an “if,”—if a soul shall sin, and if the priest do sin; but indeed, it is all too certain that they do sin, and it is most gracious on the Lord’s part to ordain a sacrifice to meet the case. The victim must itself be without blemish, or it cannot be an accepted substitute. How well the Lord Jesus answers to this type.

Leviticus 4:4

By an act of penitential faith we must accept the atoning sacrifice as available for us. But the victim must die, and pour out its blood, for the blood is the very life of the expiation.

Leviticus 4:5

Everywhere the blood was conspicuous, for it is the essence of atonement.

Leviticus 4:8-10

When our Lord Jesus was made sin for us, and so became forsaken of God, he was nevertheless dear unto God—hence some part of the sin offering was laid upon the altar of acceptance.

Leviticus 4:11, 12

As a thing unclean the sin-offering was put away, and even thus Jesus was made sin for us, and in token thereof he was made to suffer outside Jerusalem.

Hebrews 13:10-14

Hebrews 13:10

Of our spiritual altar formalists cannot partake.

Hebrews 13:12, 13

Calvary was outside Jerusalem.

Hebrews 13:14

Our holy faith makes us a separated people, because our Lord in whom we trust was separated, and covered with reproach for our sakes. Mere going out from society is nothing, going forth unto him is the great matter. With joy do we follow him into the place of separation, expecting soon to dwell with him for ever.

 

My faith would lay her hand

On that dear head of thine,

While like a penitent I stand,

And there confess my sin.

 

My soul looks back to see

The burdens thou didst bear,

When hanging on the cursed tree,

And hopes her guilt was there.

 

Has Anyone Ever Spit in Your Face?

Matthew 26:67

Some years ago, I visited another church in our city to hear a special speaker who had come from afar. That evening at the meeting, the local church I was visiting announced they would be starting a building program. As I sat in there, God’s Spirit spoke to my heart and instructed me to sow a sacrificial seed into their new building program. It was a time when we desperately needed money for our own building program, so anything I sowed would be sacrificial. However, the amount the Lord put in my heart was significant.

What made it even harder for me to give this gift was that this church had acted maliciously toward our church in the past. They had lied about us, scoffed at us, and even prayed for our downfall. And now the Lord was telling me to sow a large gift into this same church?

Throughout that entire service, I argued with the Lord. The issue really wasn’t the money, although we could have used the money ourselves at that moment. The issue I was wrestling with was giving a gift to this church that had treated us with contempt for so long.

Finally, the Spirit of God asked me, Are you willing to sow a seed for peace with this church? That clinched it! I pulled my checkbook out of my pocket to write what I considered to be a sizable gift for this other church. Writing that check was difficult, but once it was written, my heart simply flooded with joy because I had been obedient. There is no joy to compare with the joy that comes from being obedient!

One week later, the pastor to whom I gave the gift was at a meeting with his staff and church leaders. The pastor told his leaders, “Look at this puny little check Pastor Rick gave us! Couldn’t he have done any better than this?” When I heard how he viewed the sizable gift I’d given, I was quite shocked. But when I heard what this pastor did next, I was literally stunned. He devoted the next part of his staff meeting to discussing all the things he didn’t like about me and our church. He poked fun at us, ridiculed us, mocked us, and put us down in front of his people. Instead of being thankful for the gift we gave, he once more demonstrated utter disrespect and contempt for us.

When I heard about this event, it hurt so badly that it cut deep into my heart. How could anyone say the gift we gave was puny? It would be considered significant in any nation of the world. But what hurt the most was that the pastor had put us down and publicly made fun of us in front of his staff and leadership. I remember feeling as if I had been spit on—and as the years passed, this same pastor spit on us many more times.

For instance, when we dedicated our church building—the first church to be built in sixty years in our city—it was a moment of great rejoicing. But soon after our dedication, this man stood before a large convention of several thousand people and sneered at our new facility. For a second time, he injected a dagger into my heart! At a time when this pastor could have been rejoicing with us, he chose to make it another opportunity to spit in our faces.

How about you? Can you think of an instance in your life when you did something good for someone, but that person didn’t appreciate what you did? Was he so unappreciative that you felt as if he’d spit in your face? Were you stunned by his behavior? How did you act in response to that situation?

I think nearly everyone has felt taken advantage of and spit on at some point or another. But imagine how Jesus must have felt the night He was taken to the high priest where He was literally spit on by the guards and temple police! For three years, Jesus preached, taught, and healed the sick. But now He was being led like a sheep to the spiritual butcher of Jerusalem, the high priest Caiaphas, and to the scribes and elders who had assembled to wait for His arrival.

In the trial that took place before the high priest and his elders, the religious leaders charged Jesus with the crime of declaring Himself the Messiah. Jesus replied by telling them that they would indeed one day see Him sitting on the right hand of power and coming with clouds of glory (Matthew 26:64). Upon hearing this, the high priest ripped his clothes and screamed, “Blasphemy!” as all the scribes and elders lifted their voices in anger, demanding that Jesus die (Matthew 26:66).

Then these religious scribes and elders did the unthinkable! Matthew 26:67, 68 says, “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?”

Notice that it wasn’t just a few who spit in his face that night; the Bible says, “… they spit in his face….” The word “they” refers to all the scribes and elders who were assembled for the meeting that night. One scholar notes that there could have been one hundred or more men in this crowd! And one by one, each of these so-called spiritual leaders, clothed in their religious garments, walked up to Jesus and spit in His face!

In that culture and time, spitting in one’s face was considered to be the strongest thing you could do to show utter disgust, repugnance, dislike, or hatred for someone. When someone spattered his spit on another person’s face, that spit was meant to humiliate, demean, debase, and shame that person. To make it worse, the offender would usually spit hard and close to the person’s face, making it all the more humiliating.

By the time Caiaphas and his scribes and elders had finished taking turns spitting on Jesus, their spit was most likely dripping down from His forehead into His eyes; dribbling down His nose, His cheekbones, and His chin; and even oozing down onto His clothes. This was an extremely humiliating scene! And remember, the men who were acting so hatefully toward Jesus were religious leaders! Their hideous conduct was something Jesus definitely didn’t deserve. And what makes this entire scene even more amazing is that Malchus—the servant whom Jesus had just healed—was in all probability standing at the side of Caiaphas and watching it all happen!

These religious leaders didn’t stop with just humiliating Jesus. After spitting on Him, they each doubled up their fists and whacked Him violently in the face! Matthew 26:67 says, “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him….” The word “buffet” is the Greek word kolaphidzo, which means to strike with the fist. It is normally used to picture a person who is violently beaten.

As if it wasn’t insulting enough to spit on Jesus, approximately one hundred men viciously and cruelly struck Him with their fists. Not only was this brutal—it was sadistic! Humiliating Jesus with their spit and curses didn’t satisfy the hatred of these men; they wouldn’t be satisfied until they knew He had been physically maltreated. To ensure that this goal was accomplished, their own fists became their weapons of abuse.

It appears that these scribes and elders were so paranoid about Jesus getting more attention than themselves that they simply wanted to destroy Him. Every time they spit on Him, they were spitting on the anointing. Every time they struck Him, they were leveling a punch against the anointing. They hated Jesus and the anointing that operated through Him to such an extent that they voted to murder Him. But first they wanted to take some time to personally make sure He suffered before He died. What a strange way to render “thanks” to One who had done so much for them!

When I get disappointed at the way others respond to me or to what I have done for them, I often think of what happened to Jesus on that night when He came before these Jewish leaders. John 1:11 tells us, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Although these men who spit on and hit Jesus refused to acknowledge Him, He still went to the Cross and died for them. His love for them was unwavering—unshaken and unaffected by their wrong actions.

As you think of how people have wronged you, does it affect your desire to love them? What have these conflicts revealed about you? Is your love for those unkind people consistent, unwavering, unshaken, and unaffected? Or have the conflicts revealed you have a fickle love that you quickly turn off when people don’t respond to you the way you wished they would?

The same Holy Spirit who lived in Jesus now lives in you. Just as the Spirit of God empowered Jesus to love people consistently, regardless of what they did or didn’t do, the Holy Spirit can empower you to do the same. So why don’t you take a few minutes today to pray about the people who have let you down or disappointed you? Then forgive those people, and decide to love them the way Jesus loved those who wronged Him!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for being such a good example of love that is unshaken and unaffected by other people’s actions. You have loved me with a consistent love, even in times when I’ve acted badly and didn’t deserve it. Thank You so much for loving me in spite of the things I’ve done and the things I’ve permitted to go on in my life. Today I want to ask You to help me love others just as consistently as You have loved me. Forgive me for being on-again, off-again in my love. Help me become rock-solid and unwavering in my love for others, including those who haven’t treated me too nicely. I know that with Your help, I can love them steadfastly no matter what they do!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that what other people have done to me doesn’t affect my desire or my commitment to love them. My love for people is consistent, unwavering, unshaken, and unaffected. The same Holy Spirit who lived in Jesus now lives in me—and just as the Spirit of God empowered Jesus to love everyone consistently, now the Holy Spirit empowers me to do the samel

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like someone you tried to help later turned around and “spit in your face”?
  2. Did that conflict reveal that your love for them was consistent, unwavering, unshaken, and unaffected—or that you have a fickle love that is quickly turned off when people don’t respond to you the way you wished they would?
  3. The next time someone treats you this way, how do you think you should respond to him or her?

 

The Price Of Telling The Truth

Just how important is upholding the truth to you? What price are you willing to pay?

 

There are times when we need to lay the truth on the line. Tell it like it is. Stand up and be counted. Regardless of the cost to us personally.

 

Of course, the name of the game today is: “To get along is to go along.” “Dont rock the boat.” “Go with the flow.

 

The Scriptures however, tersely remind us that deceit is not an option for the believer:

 

The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.” (Proverbs 12:22)

 

Those who practice liestheir place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” (Hell) (Revelation 21:8b)

 

Stanley Hauerwas makes this startling observation,

 

The ministry seems captured in our time by people who are desperately afraid they might actually be caught with a conviction at some pointthat might curtail future ambition.

 

A rare breed, these people who choose to speak the truth even at great personal expense:

  • John the Baptist fearlessly admonished King Herod concerning his adulterous relationship with his sister-in-law. Consequence: Beheaded. (Mark 6:17-28)
  • Micaiah the prophet courageously warned King Ahab against his wishes to not attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab, knowing Micaiah’s commitment to telling the truth said of him, “I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me… ” Consequence: Prison sentence (aborted however, in the 11th hour by Micaiah’s fulfilled prophesy). (1 Kings 22:8-27)

QUESTION: In business and the professions where duplicity, deceit and compromise are standard fare, are you willing to be identified with that rare breed of believers who courageously live and speak the truth without concession?

 

Whatever the personal cost?

 

The world around us desperately needs such people. And Christ expects nothing less from us.

 

 

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