It takes a long time to understand the Scriptures as recorded in the Holy Bible. Is it history or fable? Is it the word of God and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Is it inviolate truth or not? It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully with the intent to understand that we begin to glimpse its consistency and simplicity. It has been called many things, such as the "Makers users manual," "A love letter from God," "A book that prophetically foretells things to come." Theologians dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and at times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.
The apostle Paul who was highly educated and religiously situated proclaimed that scholarship, philosophy and theology are a pathway that does not lead to knowing God. Human knowlege is not Spiritual knowledge. Truth and wisdom is a Spiritually derived gift. Spiritual life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to impart to human beings the necessary understanding and revelation of the Mysteries of God. (Read 1Corinthians Ch.1&2)
**Schisms and division in the body of Christ
from denominational boundaries
**Although Christianity is the outgrowth and fulfillment of Judaic roots there is little acknowledgment of these foundations
What were the meaning of the words Jesus cried aloud from the Cross?
Was it more than an agonizing cry of a dying man?
It was, in fact, to announce to all of the earth and the heavens that he had accomplished his earthly mission.
At this watershed moment, the Lord became "The Seed" who, was planted to bring forth a mighty harvest.
What Was Finished?
What was finished? A life of alienation from God.
Jesus said, "It is finished, " There
was no real intimacy possible between
God and humanity . The life that was
given upon the cross that day opened
the door of relationship to every man,
woman and child upon the face of the
earth. The sayings of the angels in
the fields near Bethlehem had come to
pass, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace and good will (blessings)
extended toward all men of faith."
(paraphrased, Luke 2:14) If you would
like to do some interesting research
in the Bible look up any references
which refer to "justification." Justification
refers to the idea of God Almighty seeing
us believers as being made perfect
by substituting Jesus Christ's goodness
(or right standing) for our own. One
scripture to point out this application
of access to God is the first verse
of Romans chapter 5, "Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with
God, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
No person could call God "Father."
After Jesus' sacrificial death, he was seen by Mary of Magdalla just before he was to ascend to the throne, (John 20:17) Jesus spoke to Mary saying, "Don't touch me yet, for I have not yet ascended, but go to my brothers and tell them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, unto my God and their God." (paraphrased.) Do not assume in reading that the word "brothers" applied to the Lord's friends and disciples before he made a way for them to become true adopted "sons of God." Jesus spoke with such an emphasis that when Mary was to annunciate his message, it made it very clear that there was to be a brand new kind of relationship which was to known among the disciples or believers. That we could be considered family to Jesus Christ and to his Father. Christ was now our brother. God was now our Father. Now we could actually pray the prayer which Jesus taught them, saying, "Our Father, in heaven - -." Jesus is called, "- - the first born of many brethren," in Romans 8, verse 29.
The Requirement of Keeping Religious Laws,
Rituals, and Ordinances
Righteousness was associated with keeping the law in the old covenant which Moses brought to the house of Israel. The Ten Commandments were the principal framework for righteous living, but you will note with any casual reading of the Book of Leviticus that the laws were extensive, detailed, and covered exhaustively matters of practice for every day life ranging from food to social practices. There were covenant blessings resulting from keeping the Laws of Moses, but there were also curses associated with failure to keep the law even in the most minute detail. (Refer to Deuteronomy chapter 28.) Jesus, one man, fulfilled the law. It was as though we were given permission to borrow the test paper of a brilliant classmate who scored a perfect 100 on an achievement test and we were given the legal right to use his score. Where does scripture verify this statement? Read the third chapter of Galatians, especially verse 13 and 16. This chapter is foundational reading for to understand God's provision for receiving His acceptance through another's merit. It establishes the nature of God's blessings as a free gift rather than a reward for personal effort. Read it again and again and compare it to any church taught doctrines which would place us in bondage to any works oriented performance!
When Jesus declared, "It is finished." It also brought an end to the necessity of having a class of persons whose job it was to communicate with God on our behalf. The Levites were the tribe of Israel whose soul purpose it was to minister to the Lord, to prepare sacrifices, to make atonements for sin, to declare the people free and absolved from sin, to talk to God, to hear and teach His Word. If you were a Levite you were automatically a priest, not a priest plus another profession. You were supplied with provision from the "tithes" of the people. They supported the work of God by providing by the tithe of food and produce to feed the Levites supply the temple. The priests talked with God on behalf of the people of covenant. The priests were those who were trained to know the Word of God and study the texts of Holy Law.
When Jesus cried, "It is finished." it would come to pass that, " - the old things would pass away and all things became new," The old priest hood would pass away and a new priesthood would come. Jesus himself would become the high priest over a new covenant, a better covenant. It was to be an eternal, never perishing priesthood. He would sit at the right hand of the Glory of God, "ever making intercession" on the part of His children in the earth. He was appointed heir and ruler over all things. This appointed heir and king and high priest has all things at his command and all things under his feet. At the utterance of his name ever spiritual and physical knee will have to bow. (God is Great.)
The people who could not know God were joined into the vine of Israel. The people who could never enter within the veil of the Holiest Place could enter in freely, being justified and purged from an evil conscience by the blood of the Lamb. (Read Hebrews 10:2, Hebrews 10:22)
had happened? We (any and all believers)
became priests unto our God. We could
enter in to God's presence. We could
minister to Him. We could offer up sacrifices
of praise. We could hear His voice.
We could proclaim the words that He
would speak to us. We could speak on
His behalf. We could be an oracle of
God. We were given authority to use
His name, the Name Jesus which commands
the Spiritual Power and authority over
every name and condition. We could study
His Word we could hear His voice speaking
in the Scriptures, we could know the
Wisdom of God.
By Charles Pinkney