Sacred by Jim English, MD
Relationships and what has that to do with our lives today? If you are like me, at the end of my work day as a surgeon, I have had all of the earthly relating that I could possibly want. Is that scriptural?
It probably is since we followed Adam’s marred image not God’s. Unlike us, Adam was initially created in God’s image and as such, they enjoyed relating together while walking in the garden during the cool of the day probably after Adam’s work was accomplished. God desired this relationship to work since a previous one had been ruined by none other than Lucifer, himself. However, Satan was not only content in destroying his own relationship with the Godhead, but set about and succeeded to destroy the relationship between God and man. That took care of the afterhours chat. However, it was then that we learned how vastly more important to our Father than to Adam was this loss of relationship. Not content with the situation, it was at this moment in time that His plan of redemption for its restoration was revealed as from the foundation of the world.
At least two things determine the value God puts on a given issue, the time given to it in Scripture and its personal cost to Him. The creation account has a few chapters in Genesis, a mention or two in the law and the prophets and a few more in the books of poetry such as Job and the Psalms. For the most part, that is all that is recorded. However, the redemptive plan for mankind is on almost every page of the Bible. And as for the cost, creation required six days of work but our redemption cost God His only begotten Son.
God has dealt with mankind and the loss of that relationship with Him in many different ways through the millennia but its relevance to Him has never waned. During the wilderness wanderings, the Father was in close proximity with His chosen people by “dwelling among” them from above the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant. One and a half millennia later, His Son “dwelt with” his chosen by living with them as God and man in hypostatic union. Shortly after His ascension, His Spirit came to “dwell within” His elect forever. Dwelt among, dwelt with and dwelt within. Is this not a progression that bespeaks of how close He has wanted to be with us?
Today, we come into The Father’s presence in an instant when we bring our petitions to Him through prayer. To relate to The Son, we can read His Word because the volume of the book was written about Him. To walk with God’s Spirit, we can confess our sins/trespasses at the moment of conviction and be in rightful union with Him. What a wonderful gift that the Godhead has given each of us who long for a relationship with Him. Is that scriptural? Yes!
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. The first sentence of the Holy Writ begins in the Hebraic with 35 letters or 7 x 5. Seven represents completeness and five represents grace. It was by his grace, that God finished the work of creation in completeness. But the very next statement tells us that the earth “became” without form and void. Unwilling to leave it that way, the Spirit of God “brooded” upon the dark watery depths and the command went forth for there to be light and it was so and He called it good. Is this not what has happened with us, His created likeness? By His grace, we were created in His image completely but we became marred in our visage as well and separated from Him for eternity when Adam and Eve disobeyed their Creator and plunged all of mankind into sin, singular. Again, unwilling to leave the situation as is, the Spirit of God brooded upon our darkened souls and God said “let there be light” and it was as with the original creation. Has not this scenario been played out faithfully over the millennia as His Spirit convicts us of our separation from Him? Does not the Father command that the light of the world, Jesus of Nazareth, go forth knocking on the door of our hearts to indwell those of us who would trust Him as our Saviour and God call it good? It is my prayer as a Christ follower, that you see the Gospel story within the very beginnings of God’s Holy Word and that you join me in offering thanksgiving for His gracious blood that He poured out for us completely on the cross.
The Storms of Life
In John’s gospel, the account of Jesus walking on water is presented to guide us in regard to our present day life and future destiny. After His feeding of the five thousand plus men, women and children with five barley loaves and two fishes in chapter six, he bids his disciples to board a boat and cross the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. During the night, a storm appeared and their progress if not lives were in jeopardy. Jesus, while interceding on the mountain with His Father, saw their plight and went to be with them. Mark’s gospel says that he walked alongside and would have gone on had the fearful men in the boat not called out to Him for help. How true today when we embark in the rowboat of life headed for a distant shore only to have the storms of life impede our progress and possibly sink our ship. What comfort to know that Jesus lives to intercede for us with the Father, Hebrews 7:25. He sees our needs and walks alongside us through God’s indwelling Spirit. Even though we may not comprehend that need, it is still required of us to call out to Him and invite Him into our rowboat. When that was done by the disciples, the text states that the storm was abated and that they were at their destination. Not only were they saved from the storm, they were saved from future perdition as they realized who had just saved them. Today, why don’t we ask Jesus to come into our darkness and save us from God’s wrath on an unbelieving world? Anything else and we are floating our own boat with perilous consequences.
Genesis Genealogy Gospel
There were over 300 passages within the Old Testament that foretold of the Messiah’s first coming. There are over 500 that tell of his second one. However, other ways exist within the confines of the Holy Writ that bespeak of the personage of Jesus and His message of good news (the Gospel). Genesis chapter five contains the genealogy of ten men from Adam (man’s creation) to Noah and the flood (man’s destruction). The names of those men in the Hebraic language differ from ours. Adam means man. Seth means appointed. Enos means mortal. Cainan means sorrow. Mahalaleel means the great God. Jared means will come down. Enoch means teaching. Methuselah means his death will bring. Lamech means sorrowing. Noah means rest or comfort. When the ten meanings are combined together in sequence, we have an antediluvian message from God concerning his plan for mankind after his fall while in the garden of Eden. MAN IS APPOINTED MORTAL SORROW BUT THE GREAT GOD WILL COME DOWN TEACHING THAT HIS DEATH WILL BRING THOSE THAT ARE SORROWING REST AND COMFORT. Solomon states in Proverbs 25:2, “it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honour of kings to search out a matter.” While we search the infinite riches of God’s holy Word, let us not forget that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
The Messianic Miracles
In Judaism, the coming Messiah was to be identified, in part, by the performance of four “specific” miracles that only the Anointed One could do (John 15:24). One was to heal a person with leprosy. This showed victory over sin or separation from God since all lepers were to be set apart from the rest of the camp (Leviticus 14; Matthew 8:2-4). Another was to produce sight for someone that had been born blind. This miracle was creative in nature since the visual pathway was not fully developed within the newborn child. This showed victory over spiritual darkness (Colossians 1:16; John 1:4). The third was to cast a demon out of an individual who was unable to hear or speak. Although the casting out of demons from someone had been done on occasion by mankind, to do so required the ability to communicate with the resident demonic spirit. The Messiah did so without regard to this impediment. This showed victory over Satan and his demonic horde regardless of the obstacles (Genesis 3:15; Mark, 9:25; Hebrews 2:14). The last of these miracles was to raise a person from the grave who had been dead for more than three days because the Jews believed that the spirit of the deceased remained within close proximity for that period of time and that revival was still possible. That is why Jesus waited until after the third day before raising Lazarus from the dead to prove to those that were at the graveside that He was the Messiah (I Corinthians 15:55; John 11). This was the last of the Messianic miracles before Jesus was crucified, buried and you guessed it, raised from the dead after the third day. These miracles were signs that the true Son of God had power over spiritual darkness, the ability to forgive sin and reunite us with our Father for all eternity, power over the forces of evil and its leader, Satan, as well as victory over death and the grave (I Corinthians 15: 55,56). This and many other wonderful things did our Lord and Saviour, Jesus born of Bethlehem, do for mankind two thousand years ago.