CHRIST OUR PASCHAL LAMB

If we needed evidence of the estrangement of Christianity from its roots we need look no further than the seminal intervention and memorial of both Judaism and the Way; the Passover.  There is no need to probe the Law vs Grace red herring, the moral abyss invented by deluded perfectionists, or the hypocrisy of commandment-keepers.   We are not expecting a resurgence of Judaism, nor do we feel obliged to give up Messianic revelation because there are roots reaching back to Israelite history.  Every so often the Passover falls on the day Christians have christened as Good Friday and this year the setting of Good Friday a month away from Passover is a stark exposure of Christian negligence and avoidance of the public truth, namely that  Christ died as the primary act in salvation history and the Gospel.  The season is still being called Easter and passed off as commemorative of Yeshua’s resurrection. Despite the fact that there is no biblical call for celebrating the Lord’s resurrection, we omit the reason for the season, the sacrifice of the Lamb, and the vast majority of Christians stumbles on in the dark about Christ our Paschal Lamb.

The prevalence of “Easter” as a name for the seminal event in Christ’s saving mission is the result of a poor translation of a single word in the 17th century King James version, and the negligence of succeeding generations. Instead of translating pascha as Passover, because the Greek term comes from the Hebrew pesach, they gave us  “Easter” in hopes of connecting the Sacred festival with the secular festival that comes around at the same time of year. Easter is really a pagan practice that is connected with early Babylonian rituals which appear also in the Old Testament in Canaanite practices.
Another pervasive example of the King James translators going astray is their destruction of personal names. J and Z replace Y and TS. Yeshua becomes Jesus, Tsiyyon becomes Zion. This is a symptom of cultural insensitivity and scholarly negligence.
What has happened since Paul said “Christ our Passover [Paschal Lamb] is sacrificed for us” and today when we see Passover, the 14th of Nissan, and Good Friday are separated by a month?   We have mistaken the immutable with irrelevance. Since Christ died Passover is no longer a Jewish feast. The Lamb of God is a universal provision. Passover, the day on which our Lord died cannot possibly be on any day beside14th Nisan.
Our estrangement from the recognized foundations of Messianic Revelation has its roots in xenophobia, political allegiances, and religious animosity. Since Abraham is our avowed common ancestor we have some explaining to do about our drifting apart into our clans (religions and denominations). We seem to have ourselves resisted the developments that have defined both Jewish and Christian history.  The transitions from bondage to liberty, from pilgrimage to inheritance, the merging of priesthood and monarchy are all accompanied by covenants and pronounced shifts in divine revelation that require our repentance. Resistance to change can become a millstone around one’s neck.
In this regard it is helpful to note that a change of mind was what the Lord proclaimed as necessary if people wanted access to the kingdom of God. The record shows that Moses, Solomon, or Jeremiah would be shocked to see how their contributions have spiraled out of shape. Peter, Timothy, or 4th century church father would be likewise shocked to see how the glorious Way has been abandoned.
The Passover should remain grounded in the understanding that some things do not change. Passover is essentially a sacrificial monument in which blood is spilled as a means of liberation and identity.   When God ordered the death of the firstborn in Egypt He made provision so that Israelites would not suffer loss. The slaughtered lamb provided the cover a satisfactory substitute for the firstborn in every Israelite home.  It is to accomplish this very thing that Christ is Paschal Lamb.

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (7) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (8).  1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Try as we might, we cannot undo the fact that there is no resurrection song or litany that has the effect of significance as do the songs of the Cross. There is no resurrection celebration in the Lord’s table.  Easter Sunday does not compare to Passover.  Christ is Saviour by means of death, not by rising from the dead, so let’s put first things first.  This year,  let’s face the holiday with a new sobriety, laying aside the shallow and commercial intoxication of a feel-good Sunday and put our thoughts and trust in Christ our Paschal Lamb.

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The Life Hidden in Christ

Life in Christ comes with death and resurrection. Death is past but yet present, because the fullness of life comes later with a permanent and splendiferous transformation. Death is past because we were raised with Christ. Hence Paul writes about us as people who were raised with Christ to help us focus on the source of our life. Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Why?

πεθάνετε γάρ,

For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).

apethanete gar kai he zoe humon kekruptai sun to christo· Col 3:3

Properly, this is not a statement about a condition; it relates something that happened. Paul is saying you died; by which he means that no-one put you to death. We decided to accept Christ’s death. We died when we embraced the promise of life. “Died” is never the last word. Paul joins our death to “and your life” Your LIFE was hidden and remains hidden, with Christ in God. The dying and the hiding stand in contrast. The first is done, the second, begun, continues.

You died your life was hidden and remains hidden.

          O                            O ________________________

It is hidden not because of secrecy or unintelligibility. Our Father is the God of the mysteries unveiled. No sir. He has nothing to hide. If a city set on a hill cannot be hidden then neither can the glory of that city be hidden. Our life is not out of sight; God sees our life as it is both in heaven and on earth. We are in heaven WITH CHRIST now, He is WITH us here on earth, as He says, “Lo, I am with you unto the end of the age”. I have died, and I was raised to be with CHRIST! It is not for secrecy that he hides us! He hides us for our security and for secure communications.

The tokens of the hidden life do not always make sense to the observer. They are unusable by the outsider, just as the beeps and squawks on a debit or credit card reader as it communicates with your bank are unintelligible, even though you know it is saying “hi bank, can you process a 14.95 debit on the account of Mrs Fillup At-the-Pump. Please confirm that you receive this message and that Mrs Fillup At-the-Pump has the money in her account”.

Everyone can  hear those beeps and squawks, but only you and the bank know exactly what is being said. Those transactions are privileged even though they take place in the public arena. This is especially true of prayer since even when our prayer is public there are intercessory unutterable groanings to which no-one is privy. This is how our life is encrypted.

In the following sentence an encryption code is applied which unlocks the meaning, in this case an algorithm that uses the preceding letter of the alphabet, hence J=I.

The transmitted message reads:

J xjmm sjtf gspn uif efbe jo uisff ebzt

The decoded message reads:

I will rise from the dead in three days.

This hidden or unknown element – the algorithm – is the kingdom manifest in the water-born and the Spirit-born person (John 3:3-8).
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The encrypted life is perceived; one hears the sound of it. The voice of the hidden life is not imperceptible. The departure station and the destination are not known. The source specifics and the goal details are not disclosed. They are kept undercover, classified, by God.

8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Everyone that is born of the Spirit BLOWS WHERE HE/SHE WISHES

YOU HEAR THE SOUND of everyone that is born of the Spirit

you do not know where the spirit-born is coming from

you do not know where the spirit-born is going

YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FATHER IS DOING WITH HIS OFFSPRING

Because of this encryption we ought not sit in judgment over God’s children.

Christ is truly our refuge, a Safe Fold, a Place of Help and Comfort, and a Rock on which to build.

Pinning Down Clean Hands

When David asked “Who shall go up to your holy hill?” his reply did not include homicide as disqualifying. His zeal for the Ark of the Covenant and his plan to build a palace for it ran into Yahweh’s objection to bloodshed, of which David was guilty. As a result he was not allowed to supervise the building of the temple for Yahweh.

How could David have missed that is unknown, and his terms for who has access to the holy hill were indeed definitive.

he who lives uprightly, he who does righteousness, he who speaks the truth in (with) his heart, who keeps his word whatever the cost, despising the one rejected by the LORD, honoring those who fear the LORD

Some indication of who is refused access comes with the identification of certain behaviours.

  1. slander
  2. doing no harm to one’s friend
  3. discrediting one’s neighbor, (Ps 15:3)
  4. lending money at interest
  5. taking a bribe against the innocent

David caps off his reply with a signature label. Unmoveable! — the one who does these things will never be moved. (Ps 15:5)

Since God rejects murderers as builders of monuments to his dignity one has to assume that the vast majority of today’s secular leaders today do not qualify. Extrajudicial killings, discriminatory residency regulations, travel bans, demolition of homes, deportations, and mistreatment of citizens are all manifestations of hate. They constitute murder.

God disqualifies the hawks in Israeli politics, the 45 republicans, the despotic leadership of Turkey, the Philippines, and state-sponsored religion everywhere. Bloody hands have no place in any nation-building process.

David could not build a palace. There is no way for 21st century murderers to be a legitimate part of building civic society.

Each day when we set out to partake of our community’s privileges and foster its goals we had better clear our heads of despite for the poor, of impatience with those who are different from us, and of hate for people who seem incorrigible. A heart tainted with hate is corroborated by unloving deeds, filthy hands. Clean hands begin with purified hearts. We get pure hearts from the Lord by grace through faith. Bad people can do good things and bad deeds show that no humans are eligible for holy hill admission apart from repentance and rebirth.

Glimpses of Early Myopia in Psalm 119

The writer is so artistically wrapped up in his poem-writing in praise of the law that he never mentions forgiveness. We cannot have law without condemnation and the necessary remedy, forgiveness.

Incredibly – this is probably not David – he does not have the counterparts to those terms that he uses for the law (precepts, statutes, judgments, laws, testimonies, commands, etc.).

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Psalms 130:3-4

Why is there no pardoned iniquity since that is what brings us to reverence?
Real happiness comes through atonement.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:1-2. Of David, A Maschil.

So let’s see.
The opposite of command: freedom
The opposite of statute: despotism
The opposite of judgment: indecision
The opposite of witness: obstruction
The opposite of word: darkness

Perhaps the one redeeming feature of this psalm is that the writer posts the way (absolutely) on the 1st verse and the only known way to be undefiled is to be forgiven. For followers of Christ that is to be born from above exclusively.
We have our eyes trained on the cross all the way back to eternity past. No shortsightedness!

NO RIGHT TO EAT

Did you know you can give up your right to eat?

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Hebrews 13:10

Food and drink and carnal ordinances do not cut it.

[The tent symbolizes the present age]. According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:9-10

The difference is graphic.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

Tabernacle is a fancy word for tent. Yes, that place that moved with the ancient Israelites and provided them with the point of access to God and atonement was a tent.
No matter how dazzling the beauty or splendour, the Tent of Meeting (and the later temple) was a far cry from the Word made flesh. Jewish attempts to rebuild a temple are probably just the kind of thing one thinks one sees at a funeral parlour viewing. Which part of “desolate” do they not understand?

  • He was full of grace and truth and brought the same to all.
  • The Tent of Meeting was limited to Israelites.
  • It had no grace for the guilty.
  • It was the place where the last murder of an innocent took place

The children of Israel called it MISHKAN because God resided there. שכן. shakan, he dwells. (Shekinah is from this word.)
The children of Israel called it MIQDASH because God’s devoted or holy things were there. קדש qadash, he devotes (he makes holy). Sanctuary and sanctify are from this word.
The tent is defunct because a better and eternal covenant is now in place. Hebrews 13:20 and Matthew 26:27-29

The long and short of our interest in the tabernacle is that no-one can serve God and the tabernacle (or what it stood for). People can seem to be hugging Yeshua but once they start talking about tent, holy place, commandments, regulations about food and drink it is a foregone conclusion that they are lost in the woods.
If you are trying to be the new Jew or if you have been convinced that there is justice and morality in the old covenant it is no surprise to God. When Moses brought the Israelites the covenant they were telling themselves that a golden calf had rescued them from Egyptian bondage. When Christ gave the Israelites the only sign of who He was – dead for 3 days then back to life – they told themselves that the disciples had stolen the body.
The new covenant does not contain the old covenant. The new covenant is not the old covenant.
Following Moses, the Old Covenant and its housing puts you in the wrong place. You have no right to talk about the Saviour as if you know him.

Perfect Possenreißer?

This writer evaluated the 45th president of the United States as a buffoon from the early days of his campaign. Two words that are dangerous beside the name or title of the 45th president of the United States are ‘great’ and ‘perfect’. Yet these are the words that he and his flunkies want to sound out incessantly. The day is certainly with us for us to slam the door on bigotry and hypocrisy whether it comes in a campaign rally, in an official government conference and in private conversations. 45 is still showing how much he is unsuited to live in communities that are open and caring, much less the White House. His whitewashed heart is showing the signs of colour: red for blood he’s eager to shed, pink for his uninvited hand up women’s skirts, green for his support for a fossil fuel economy, blue for his purple for his solidarity with Nazism and other regurgitation, yellow for his lies about Chinese money, and bright orange for his confirmed status as buffoon: but not the perfect possenreißer.

To the citizens of the United States.

The new low began when voters thought that a rich bigot could become a prince by winning votes. The new low began when people started putting evangelical junkies on the level of Christian messengers. The new low began when the media stopped confronting opinions with facts. Mothers and fathers, teachers and pastors, lawyers and judges, policemen and firefighters, are all guilty of elevating Caesar above God. We seem to have learned little from either ancient or modern history.

Both the white and the right will soon speak the truth about Israel and American solidarity. Unfortunately, there is no new high for the United States: not after two centuries of searching for a more perfect union, not after claiming to be not only the greatest on earth but also the one successful challenger to God himself, and not after electing a gloating bigot, and refusing to call him on it from the start.

For crying out loud, Israel had 70 years. So lets face it, time is up, and not even a bird should peap. This Psalmist will sing! Five thumbs to potusbigotusgloatus. Gloating bigot, his talking heads, assorted clowns, and masked men with plastic frowns: all buffoons. But worse than 45 is his vp, or the next potus. It is not getting better, folks. Straight Down. Get ready for the perfect possenreißer. The consummate buffoon is yet to come. Watch the evangelical beast media for the identity of the perfect possenreißer.

Make America Sorry Again

The media failed to call the bigot when his intemperate speech began in public.  We have heard the mantra: we’ve come a long way and we still have a long way to go.  It is an admission that little real progress is in the works.  One cannot go forward with character formation without changing our perspective.  It is a preacher’s perspective: America needs to repent.  I dare call names.  Hagee and Graham will suffice.  They’re all Balaamists posing as people empowered to decree everything except true godliness.

The U.S. establishment, now headed by confirmed bigots, oligarchs, cowards, revisionists, and anarchists.  We are not talking about anyone with a flawless record.  At least we expect Christians to be focused on love, mercy, and humility.  Instead we have heard that women’s reproductive health – a choice that women need – is the lynchpin of Christian faith.

Islam has found a way to dominate and the silly evangelicals do not have the sense to admit that Christ and Caesar are not pals.  Christianity is not designed for temporal governance. The U.S. and Israel are in the same situation.  Their cherished uniqueness and greatness do not about to grain of sand in the vast universe of divine intentions.

Will American ever say that it’s path has been less than stellar?  Will we keep believing that  gee whiz technology makes a nation great? If America is a star, can we say her light is the prosecution of public lies, the demolition of common illness, misleading advertising. he eradication of poverty, a tango with israelism – chosen status?

When capitalists and the church share a dinner table we can be sure that excreta and vomit are the main course.  It looks like the gates of hell have lost again.   Now they think another actor – this time a Black female –  will cover up the mother of abominations.

If the world needs another magnate to pose as intelligent and successful, carry on.  Make American Sorry Again.  If the world needs another actor to redeem the poor from murderous law enforcement carry on.  Make American Sorry Again.  If the world needs another godless icon to dazzle the uninformed with caring audio-video soundbytes, carry on.  Make American Sorry Again.  The greatest thing is that skeletons are tumbling out of the closets.  The greatest man is the humblest, not a mercurial bigot.  So stop hiding from the sun.  Stop hiding from the Son.  America is Sorry Again because she will be forced to stop holding innocent tribes hostage over ontested scraps eventually.

Mammon and Love Discarded

Love’s a thing and God’s the thing maker.  People are still scrambling to find an excuse to indulge their desires for worldly possessions, even though there is ample evidence that things we love are an obstacle to the kingdom.

It is the intelligent thing they say.  Go to school, marry who you love, get and keep a job, buy a home, have children, are all of this life and world even though having children (for example) is a divine command (part of the earliest commands).  More than money, education, and family is a master who has the whole world in his hands. Think not that you are being asked to choose between the world and God.  There is no comparison.  Think not that you are being asked to judge people who may seem to be putting the world ahead of God.

Beware that love like Yeshua’s does not scare you into the bondage of nothing.  His love is our love, poured into our hearts for our pouring.  That love can not be wasted on things.