Archive for the 'Israel' Category

The Lamb

Many years ago I read a book by J. Sidlow Baxter that had a strong effect on me. The premise, as I remember it, was that there were many “themes” in the Bible that followed to the end, would strongly revolutionize your understanding of God’s plan. One of these “themes” was on the lamb. Here is what I remember.

In the Bible there are some notable passages in which the concept of the Lamb of God are highlighted. They seem to be progressive and they light our understanding as we look at them.

The Lamb

1. Abel and his lamb (Genesis 4)
2. Abraham offers a lamb (Genesis 22)
3. The Passover lamb (Exodus 12)
4. The Lamb as a sin-offering (Leviticus)
5. The suffering Lamb (Isaiah 53)
6. Jesus is the Lamb (John 1: 29-36)
7. The lamb is Messiah (Acts 8 )
8. The lamb is resurrected (1Peter 1)
9. The lamb is enthroned (Revelation 5)
10.The lamb reigns (Revelation 21 & 22)

In Genesis 4 the emphasis is on the necessity of the Lamb.
In Genesis 22 the emphasis is on God’s provision of the Lamb.
In Exodus 12 the emphasis is on the slaying of the Lamb.
In Leviticus the emphasis is on the character of the Lamb (without spot or wrinkle).
In Isaiah the emphasis is on the Lamb as a Person.
In John 1 the emphasis is on Jesus as the Lamb.
In Acts 8 the emphasis is on Jesus the Lamb as Messiah.
In 1 Peter 1 the emphasis is on the resurrection of the Lamb.
In Revelation 5 the emphasis is on the enthronement of the Lamb.
In Revelation 21-22 the emphasis is on the Kingship of the Lamb.

In Genesis 4 He is our Propitiation. (One sacrifice)
In Genesis 22 He is our Substitution. (For one person)
In Exodus 12 He is our Protection. (For one family)
In Leviticus He is our Absolution. (For one nation)
In Isaiah He is our Expiation. (For all the elect)
In John He is the Removal of sin. (For the whole world)
In Acts He is our Salvation. (For whosoever)
In 1 Peter He is our Redemption. (For all history)
In Revelation 5 He is our Government. (For all the universe)
In Revelation 21 & 22 He is our Glory. (For all eternity)

For me, the progression of these themes is thrilling and very satisfying. The picture of Jesus in the Scriptures is progressive and deep. He is the Word of God. The universality of Jesus becomes more and more personal until we have to accept or reject Him on our own as our sacrifice before the God of the whole universe. We must accept Him as the Messiah of Israel before we can accept Him as our personal salvation.

It blesses me beyond measure that in all of the pictures presented in scripture of the Lamb, the shadow of the reality of the sacrifice of Jesus are manifest. As one example, the ram caught in the thicket in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was caught in the thicket by his horns – a crown of thorns was on his head!

What’s in your wallet?

What's in your wallet?A popular credit card company ends their advertisements with that penetrating question: “What’s in your wallet?” Obviously, they’re hoping it will entice you to rush out and secure one of their cards so that you can buy a lot of stuff you don’t need and can’t afford so that they can charge you exorbitant interest on the unpaid balance.

It is however true that you can tell a great deal by looking at someone’s wallet. Try it sometime. If you looked at mine you would immediately know that I’m too cheap to go out and replace it even though it’s ragged, old and beginning to fall apart. You would discover that I buy Shell gas, am a blood donor, grocery shop at Harris-Teeter, vote in Mecklenburg County, work for The Obed Project, and am somewhat obsessive-compulsive since I sort my money by denominations & have them all facing the same way. By looking at my driver’s license you will see that I am blessed with good looks.

In a related matter, let me ask you another question: what is in your “tithe & offerings” wallet? Investors tell us that we need to have a diversified portfolio. I would echo that in regards to your giving; not only should you support the local church you attend but your giving needs to include the things that are near to the Lord’s heart. I believe that each and every one of us should have specific-targeted giving as it relates to the poor, world missions and Israel.

As you can well imagine, my point of interest here is Christians and their giving as it relates to Israel. What does the itemized giving on our tax returns under Charitable Contributions say about our heart for Israel? Do we care about the land and people that scripture calls the “apple of His eye”? Are we sacrificially giving to make a difference? Let me encourage you to get involved with ministries and churches that are actively supporting and ministering to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Hopefully the treasures you’re storing up in heaven include some shekels.

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