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Shadows of the Cross

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. (Luke 23:32-33)

Jesus’ dying for us at “The Skull,” is the completion of a plethora of shadows. For example, we see one such shadow of the cross when Joshua was commanded to make flint knives and circumcise all the Israelites:

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth. (Joshua 5:2-3)

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. (Joshua 5:9)

Gilgal, Golgotha, and Calvary, are names for the same place.-It’s worth noting then, that on “Calvary”, God “rolled away all reproach” from His children. We see another such shadow with Abraham, when he was commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac. You may be familiar with the story, but if you aren’t, this is the gist of it:

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place,“The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:13-14)

We aren’t told the exact mountain on which Abraham was commanded to go, however, it was on the same mountain range as Mount. Calvary. Regardless though, it is worth seeing that “the son who was loved” (look at John 3:16 if you want to see the connection between us, and Isaac) was to be killed, but in his place was sacrificed another. That being said, though the ram here is a shadow of Christ, so is Isaac. In earlier verses, we see that Abraham and Isaac’s journey took three days.-The son was under the death sentence for three days. On the third day though, the death sentence was lifted.

We see many such places in the Old Testament; places where something similar to what would happen at the cross was demonstrated. As Paul tells us, all Scripture is useful (2 Timothy 3:16), and certain passages in the Old Testament are “useful” for telling us what exactly happened at the cross.–All our reproach from our old life living in sin (our “reproach of Israel”) has been rolled away. Likewise, we who are loved by the Father (like Isaac) will always be “provided for” on God’s mountain.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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Delusions

Hello again!

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-13)

IllusionHe sends them a powerful delusion, because they didn’t believe in his son? That hardly seems fair. After all, it seems he specifically sends this delusion to make them believe a lie. A thought that God couldn’t lie? And doesn’t he want everyone to be saved? If he really did, why would he send a delusion?

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

God does want everyone to be saved, yes. And he also can’t, but can, lie; he can do anything, however, he’s not human. Thus he wont lie. As for the passage in Hebrews (Hebrews 6:18) that talks about two things God can’t lie about; that is also true. He isn’t human, he’s God, thus he can’t lie while at the same time being able to do so… My ways are higher than your ways, and all that (see Isaiah 55:9). – But now then. We haven’t addressed why God would send a delusion to delude those he wanted to save.

 It’s possible to classify the whole world into two categories: objects of mercy, and objects of wrath. As an example, the Pharaoh who kept the Israelites captive was an object of wrath. Almost everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah was an object of wrath.

22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience(A) vessels of wrath(B) prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known(C)the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he(D) has prepared beforehand for glory— (Romans 9:22-23)

God wants everyone to be saved. This doesn’t mean he forces salvation upon people. In fact, some people are objects of his wrath and have been destined for destruction. Everyone chooses their own fate in a manner of speaking: God controls everyone “free will”, but everyone still has that “free will”:

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

The point being this: all people can be saved; but not all people will be saved (at least, while they’re on Earth. Nobody really knows if we can be saved in Hell or not.).

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Forgiven

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; (Lamentations 3:30-32)

“We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven. “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; (Lamentations 3:42-43)

The author seems to be contradicting himself. In the space of 10 verses, he went from talking about God’s steadfast love, to talking about how God is a pitiless God. Is that the God we have? A God always changing from gentle to cruel (or vise versa) in an instant? Well we can see God isn’t a constantly changing and fickle God in Hebrews 13:8. – Yes the Lord will return and grant mercy, but it seems he first wishes to kill all but a few of the Israelites! So now we have a different picture of God, arguably, a slightly worse one. Is God truly so unforgiving and pitiless that he would slaughter his chosen people without cause or justification? No! All of this was happening because Israel had made its bed, and it was now time to go to sleep. They had “transgressed and rebelled” against God, and God hadn’t forgiven them. Which reminds me, I thought, according to the Bible, that God was a forgiving God?

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; (Daniel 9:9)

O LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. (Psalm 99:8)

It seems to me God has gotten stuck on the punishing bit. – This leads me to another question: we don’t offer sacrifices anymore, and some worship items and ideas more than God. So why aren’t we a bug-splat against the world? God poured his wrath out on Israel, why not do likewise to us? We sure deserve it.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
(Hebrews 8:12)

He doesn’t “do likewise to us” because he’s already forgotten our sins! There is a difference between Israel’s time and now. Back then sacrifices were required, to try to “appease” God. And the moment they started to worship an idol or something else, God’s wrath would fall upon them. But now, because Jesus actually became sin for us, God’s wrath falls on him instead of us! – The veil separating us from God has been torn from top to bottom, and God now hears our prayers.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The “Jail Treatment”

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; (Lamentations 3:6-8)

Let me get this straight, God stuck Israel – The author is referring himself to Israel here – in darkness, made his chains heavy, and then stopped listening to there prayers. Now, to a certain extent I for one can understand this, after all, the Israelites forsook him. But don’t you think our God would be a little more kind; a little more sparing then that? After all, people today “forsake” God for modern idols, so why is it all those people didn’t get thrown in jail with an extra-large size ball ‘n chain? – Well God did in fact make a way for the Israelites, just as he made a way for us not to get the “jail treatment”.

Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)

That’s all the Israelites had to do, just reform their ways, actions and obey the Lord. Simple, right? Well as anyone who has tried (and inevitably, failed) can tell you, it’s impossible for us in of our-self to do. By our self we simply, no matter how hard we try, make so much as a dent in our “self”. Hence the ball and chain for the Israelites; but even then, God “called off his wrath” and left (a small) remnant of Israel. But aside from that, what is the difference between now, and back then?

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

The difference between now and then is “the way” has changed. “The way” to God has changed from we do, to he did. That is how we “come to the Father”; Through the son!

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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