The battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest three days in U.S. war history, saw about 100,000 men fall. The entire Vietnam war involved about 55,000 U.S. casualties. A half-million dead and injured in one day is a staggering sum, almost more violence then we can conceive an army enduring.Continue reading HOW COULD ANCIENT ISRAEL SUSTAIN 500,000 WAR CASUALTIES IN A DAY?
No one knows. Jesus’ reasons for delay are not explained here. We can only surmise that a higher purpose-higher than saving people from physical death-caused Jesus not to go with immediate haste to His friend’s side. That purpose was surely the one that Jesus had come to fulfill: saving people from spiritual death, that is, from eternal separation from His loving heavenly Father.
Though Lazarus was raised miraculously, he did die later. So did Mary and Martha, the disciples, and all of Jesus’ closet friends. Jesus did not come to spare His loved ones the experience of physical death but to show them the path to eternal life.Continue reading WHY DID JESUS LET LAZARUS DIE?
THE SYMBOLIC MEANING: Jesus Himself establish established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34; 10:38; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27). Building on the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Christ intended this to point to the necessary death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus thoroughly, even to the extent of martyrdom.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CROSS,CRUCIFIXION)
These laws sound rigid and austere in their proclamations, and we cannot say for sure how often this particular punishment was employed. What we can say for sure is that exceptions were allowed, as illustrated by Jesus. He did not demand that the woman caught in adultery be executed but instead disarmed her executioners and urged her to leave her lift of sin (John 8:3-11).Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (STONING “AS A FORM OF EXECUTION” PT2)
Terms noticeably used in tandem in the NT to contrast diametrically opposed lifestyle. The term “flesh” is often ascribed the connotation of an ungodly lifestyle of selfishness and sensual self-gratification. The term “spirit” signifies the opposite characteristics. One who walks by the Spirit lives with a conspicuous God consciousness that directs his or her dispositions, attitudes, and actions.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FLESH AND SPIRIT)
We hear the word a lot around Christian circles, sometimes referring to a prayer before a meal, sometimes to a great big idea associated with the gospel, sometimes as a girl’s name. Paul’s used the term throughout his letters to speak of God’s special favor to every person, the underserved benefit we have of God’s mercy in sending Jesus to die for our sins.Continue reading WHAT IS GRACE?
And worse yet, we hear of Israelite women who, prior to the reforms of Josiah, took it on themselves to weave in service to the pagan goddess Asherah (2 Kings 23:7).Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (WEAVE PT3)
The wilderness played an important role, affecting life in ancient Israel in several different ways. For instance, every year, at the beginning and end of summer, a hot, dry desert wind blows from the east. This wind, called sirocco, raises the temperature and can be quite destructive to vegetation. The wind was yearly reminder to Israel that the wilderness was within reach.Continue reading THE WILDERNESS
The idea of sacrifice is at the core of the Christian faith. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is one of the central truths of the gospel. However, this important element of the Christians faith finds its origin and explanation in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. It is true that Jesus’ sacrifice has made obsolete the Old Testament sacrificial system (Hebrews 10:1-18). However, the original readers of the letter to the Hebrews knew and understood the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. From that knowledge, they were able to more fully understand Jesus’ work on the cross.Continue reading SACRIFICES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT