Monthly Archives: March 2015

Come See the Place

Come See the Place

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  Matthew 28:6

I enjoy reading each Gospel account of the resurrection of Jesus.  The details and perspective of each Gospel book add insight to this amazing and eternity changing event.  The greatest event in world history is the resurrection of Christ.  People may debate about the greatest occurrence, the birth of Christ, or His resurrection.  One without the other would be meaningless.  Both are required and are of utmost importance for the true story of Christ to be told.  Jesus was born to die.

As the women walked to the tomb early that morning, they were prepared to see His dead body.  They brought spices to anoint His body after the traditional custom of the Hebrews.  In the quickness of the mock trials and the riot-like execution of Christ, there was no time for a “proper” burial with spices and anointing.  We are familiar with the embalming process and use it even today.  These ladies were not sure they would even be allowed to perform this process.  The Romans soldiers were supposed to be guarding the tomb so that no-one would steal the body of Christ.  Would they let them anoint His body?  They loved Jesus so much; they were willing to try to anoint His body in a proper way.

When they get to the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, the place is eerily quiet.  I wonder if they had felt the earthquake that had occurred earlier in the morning.  As they get close to the tomb, they see the stone was already rolled away.  What was going on here?  Soldiers were lying on the ground as “dead men.”  They had fainted at the events from just a few moments earlier.  An angel of Heaven rolled the stone away after the earthquake shook the ground.  As the troops felt, and saw these things happened they fell down, fainting from shock.  Jesus then walks out of the tomb.

As the women gaze in, they here these words from the angel, “He is not here, come see the place where the Lord lay.”

There are at least two investigative type questions we must ask today about the resurrection.

  1. Was the body of Jesus stolen?  John 20:6-7 tells us, “Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”

When Peter ducked into the empty tomb, he saw the linin wrapping that was wrapped around the dead body of Christ before He was buried.  Would someone stealing a body take all the clothes off the body and then carry the body away?  Would a thief un-wrap the body of a crucified person that was mutilated beyond recognition, and then touch the body with all the fluids, open wounds, and blood all about?  That does not make any sense.

Jesus rose again, left the wrapping in its place, and was clothed with fresh, clean garments.  His wounds were healed, yet His hands, feet, and side still showed the scars of the Cross.  (John 20:27)

  1. Did Jesus really die on the Cross? This is known as the swoon theory.  The idea is that Jesus did not really die, but “appeared” to be dead.  There is great evidence contrary to this notion.  In John 19:34 we discover that, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”  The pericardium sack around the heart fills with fluid when a man’s body is under intense pressure.  The grief and trauma of Jesus taking the sins of the whole world and paying the death penalty for them was a weight too intense for us to even comprehend.  All the past, present, and future sins were paid for on the Cross.  This payment is effective for you, only if you place your faith in Christ (His work on the Cross and Resurrection), repenting of sin, and asking Christ to save you.  Jesus died because of our sin.

As the blood and water gushed from His side, it was clear that He was dead.  The idea that a man “near death” could move a 2000 pound stone is ridiculous.  Have you or a loved one ever had a surgery in your midsection, belly area or chest?  People who have intense wounds or surgery to the middle part of their body are incapacitated for some time.  They are not weightlifting within 3 days or even a few weeks.  Jesus was totally dead.

Recently, I was blessed to “come see the place” where Jesus was laid in the Garden Tomb.  His body was not there.  The tomb was empty!  Even if I did not see the place with my own two eyes, I can look at the Bible and believe what the eyewitness accounts say.  I can believe God the Father who gave us the Bible.  I can believe the Holy Spirit who inspired these Truths to be written down.

Have you been able to “see the place” with eyes of faith, believing in the resurrection?  Each Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Do you know Him as your Risen Lord and Savior today?

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What Kind of King Will You Be?

What Kind of King Will You Be?

And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.  2 Kings 9:6

The meaning of life is a consideration that many throughout time have pondered.  Countless hours of thought and meditation have been invested into the deep questions of life such as:

  • “What is the purpose of my life?” or
  • “Why am I here?”

After being born again, you may ask a similar question:  “Now that I am a Christian, is there something I am called of God to do or to be?”

We can learn something about our purpose from a man named Jehu.

Jehu is a man who was a captain in the Israeli Army in the Northern Kingdom.  Judah is to the South of the land and comprises the Southern Kingdom.  The Northern Tribes and Southern Tribes are divided, having separate capitols and different kings.  Jehu is a military leader of men.

We also know that Jehu liked fast chariots.   2 Kings 9:20: informs us of Jehu’s reputation, “…the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.”  Jehu was known as a fast and daring chariot driver. 

In 2 Kings 9:1-7, we find that God tells Elisha to send a messenger to anoint Jehu to be King over The Northern Kingdom.  Ahab’s son, Jehoram is on the throne, but God tells Jehu that he is to become the next king.

The messenger goes  to a place called Ramoth Giliad to accomplish this anointing.  Ramoth Giliad “is a famous city in the mountains of Gilead; often called Ramoth-Gilead, and sometimes Ramath-Mizpeh, or the Watchtower, Jos 13:26.  It belonged to Gad, was assigned to the Levites, and became one of the cities of refuge beyond Jordan, De 4:43; Jos 20:8; 21:38.  It was famous during the reigns of the later kings of Israel, and was the occasion of several wars between these princes and the kings of Damascus, who had conquered it, and from whom the kings of Israel endeavored to regain it.  Here Ahad died, Joram was wounded, and Jehu was anointed king of Israel, 1Ki 22:1-53; 2Ki 8:28,29; 9:1-14; 2Ch 22:5,6.”  (American Tract Society Dictionary)

Jehu is anointed to be the next king.  Anointing is the Hebrew word “mashach,” and it means to rub with oil, to anoint; to consecrate; and also to paint. (Strongs)

We must understand that God anoints His children for certain callings and tasks.  He then sets us apart and equips us for fulfilling His calling.

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament paints this word “anointing” with 4 insightful colors:

  • “First, to anoint an individual or an object indicated an authorized separation for God’s service. Moses anointed Aaron “to sanctify him”
  • Secondly, though the agent might be the priest or prophet, writers speak of anointed ones as those whom the Lord anointed (e.g. 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 12:7). Such language underscores that it is God who is the authorizing agent; that the anointed is inviolable (1 Samuel 24:8ff.); and that the anointed one is to be held in special regard (cf. 1 Samuel 26:9ff.).
  • Thirdly, one may infer that divine enablement was understood as accompanying māshaḥ. Of both Saul and David it is said in connection with their anointing that “the Spirit of God came mightily upon him” (1 Samuel 10:6ff; 1 Samuel 16:13ff.).
  • Finally, in the form māshîaḥ, māshaḥ was associated with the coming promised deliverer, Jesus. Though this association with the term māshaḥ is not as prevalent in the OT as often supposed, the prospect of a righteous, Spirit-filled ruler is increasingly discernible in the OT (cf. Isaiah 9:1-7; Isaiah 11:1-5; Isaiah 61:1).”

The questions: “What is your purpose of my life?” and “Why am I here?” take on new meaning for the Christian.  We have an anointing of God like Jehu.  We have a new purpose and mission to fulfill.

Many people today are looking for value and purpose in all the wrong places.

  • Drinking alcohol and taking drugs are not a good motivation for living.
  • Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is not something to live life for.
  • Getting a new car (chariot for Jehu) is not a goal to be consumed with.
  • Setting the DVR and recording your favorite TV program is not the purpose for your life.

Consider God’s anointing of Jehu and see how much better it is to follow the call of God in your life.

God has a greater purpose for your life!  2 Kings 9:6 

Jehu could be more than a chariot driver.  Anyone can grow up and drive a car.  A car is not a good aspiration.

Jehu could be more than a captain in the army.  Thank the Lord for the Captains in the US Army today.  We are blessed for leaders of men who can lead others to victory, even when under fire.  Men and women are called to certain vocations and positions, but arriving at a position is not the same as fulfilling it.  God had more in plans for Jehu than merely filling a title or holding down a job.

Jehu could do more than simply have a family.  A person who is not saved can have a family just as much as a Christian can have a family.  Anyone who wants a family can have one today.  Some people are called to be single, and others are called to marriage.  At any rate, the Lord wanted more from Jehu.

Jehu was called of God to do something that no other person was called to do.  Jehu was called to be the next king.  Anyone can get a car, work a job, or start a family.  Only people seeing their anointing can do more.

God has a greater plan for your life!  2 Kings 9:7

Jehu had the opportunity to fulfill the Will of God.  Ahab’s family was to be executed because of Ahab’s and Jezebel’s intense sin.  God said in Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”  Judgment belongs to God.

Ahab had killed many innocent people.  1 Kings 18 reveals that prophets of Jehovah were persecuted.  There verse 4 says, “For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.”  While Obadiah was trying to help God’s men, Ahab allowed his wife Jezebel to “cut off” or kill many.

Jezebel was a wicked woman.  1 Kings 21:15 says, “And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”  An innocent man is dead because a queen wanted her cowardly husband to have a piece of land that belonged to a man who refused to sell.

Jehu was able to fulfill the plan of God replacing Ahab’s descendants on the throne of the Northern Kingdom.  You and I are able to fulfill the will of God as we yield our lives to Him each day.

Jehu was able to fulfill the Word of God.  God had promised that none of Ahab’s decedents would be king in 1 Kings 21:29, “Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.”

Please note:  We are not to kill people who hate God.  God calls us to serve Him with love and to show love to those around us.  People who harm others in the name of their faith are tragically mistaken.  We fulfill God’s Word in a different way in the civil society today.  Sometimes soldiers carry out God’s plan, even today.  Sometimes God uses other nations to judge others in battle, etc.

For us everyday citizens, we are to be consecrated to be used of God where we live.  We can seek to fulfill the Word of God in our lives today with prayer, witnessing, and church participation.  We can go beyond merely living a conventional life, we can live a life consecrated and set apart to the Lord.

God has a greater promise for your life! 2 Kings 10:30

The promises of God are better than the promises of the world, our flesh, or the devil.  If Jehu refused the anointing of God on his life, we would only know he liked fast chariots.  That is not much to be known for.  Sometimes when at funeral services it is sad to hear of the lifetime achievements of a person that only lived for temporal things.  The Lord has more for us than the here and now.  You can do better than being known for a nice car.

If Jehu refused God’s anointing, he would not have become King.  None of his children would have been kings.  He would have had a job in the army, a chariot, and a family, but he would not have gone on to find the promises of God.  God promised Jehu that his family would have a king on the throne for the next 4 generations.  That was God’s promise to Jehu.  God will not give you a kingdom today, but the Lord sees you as a king with great potential.

We must understand that God anoints His children for certain callings and tasks.  He then sets us apart and equips us for fulfilling His calling.

In Revelation 1:6 we discover how the Lord looks at Christians today:  “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  God sees you as a king!

What kind of king will you be today?  If you study Jehu’s life, he goes on to remove all the Baal worship in the Land.  He removes all of Ahab’s descendants from succession to the throne, and also executes wicked Jezebel as part of God’s judgment on Ahab and Jezebel for their extreme wickedness.

However, King Jehu does not regard God’s Word in his reign.  He does not obey the Law that the Lord had given to Moses.  Jehu allows other false gods to be worshipped and he became known as an “ungodly” king.  What a sad testimony for a man who was set apart and anointed to serve the Lord.

In light of Jehu’s life, 1 Peter 2:9-10 may take on new meaning to you: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

What kind of king will you be today?  Be a king who fulfills the Will and Word of God.  Anyone can accomplish the temporal things of life.  You have been anointed a king.  Be more.  Be a king for the Lord.