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)
THE PASSOVER is the Old Testament feast that celebrates and remembers God’s liberation of Israel from Egypt. After Joseph saved Egypt from starvation (Genesis 41), the Israelites lived in Egypt as guests. Eventually, the Egyptians forgot about Joseph and enslaved the Israelites for hundreds of years (Exodus 1:6-14).Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT ORIGIN OF THE PASSOVER
- God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
- God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
- Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
- Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
- The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
- The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
Any priest could offer incense accompanied by some of the grain offering on the altar of incense. It is possible that priests offered incense by itself, although there are no clear indications for this practice (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 16:16-18; Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Samuel 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10-11).Continue reading THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
The issue of purity was very important for the Israelites. The Tabernacle was at the center of all of Israel’s life. God’s presence in the midst of the camp determined the life of the people. An important function of the Mosaic Law was to instruct people on how to live in the presence of a holy God. The holy and the impure cannot coexist. Thus, God provided a means to cleanse what had become impure. God chose purification rites and sacrifices to prevent the destruction of the people when they became impure. The following table shows the main causes for ritual and moral impurity and the prescription for achieving purity anew.Continue reading PURITY, IMPURITY, AND THE TABERNACLE
1.Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (HOSEA 4:1-19 “GOD’S CHARGE AGAINST ISRAEL”)
These commercial activities that upset Jesus were being conducted in an outer court of the Jewish, temple during the observance of the Passover in Jerusalem.
All male Jews were expected to attend this festival, even if they lived a long distance from Jerusalem (Exod 23:17). The money changers were probably exchanging foreign coins of these pilgrims for the appropriate coins with which to pay the temple tax (Matt 17:24).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (COMMERCIALISM IN THE TEMPLE)