Tonight begins one of the highest holy days of all the feasts of the Bible, Rosh ha Shana (Head of the Year). According to Jewish tradition, Rosh haShana is the Day of Judgment, the day when the righteous have their names inscribed in the Book of Life and the wicked are judged for their transgressions. It is a day to commemorate the creation of the world, the creation of mankind, and the Akeida, the binding of Isaac to the altar. On this day only the ram’s horn (or the shofar) is blown in synagogues all over the world to commemorate the ram that was provided in lieu of Isaac’s life and call us to repentance.
This touching story of how Yeshua (Jesus) was anointed before His crucifixion carries a beautiful illustration that has ministered to me time and again. I have wondered why the alabaster box needed to be broken when Mary could have simply opened it and poured out the nard; (extremely expensive and precious perfume which might have been Mary's dowry). One commentator said that she refused to use that box for any other purpose after anointing Him. That would make sense if it was Mary's dowry because it would be an expression of a bridal vow to Yeshua and no one else. But whatever the motive in her heart, Mary's example speaks powerfully of the total devotion and commitment her soul had for Yeshua, her will to give the best of everything she had; and it speaks of brokenness followed by anointing and its beautiful fragrance. So I believe this act is an illustration meant to encourage every devoted soul whose offering of herself brings circumstances which "break" her. The fragrance of perfume following the breaking "fills the room".
This groundbreaking conversation took place at Caesarea Phillipi, which lies today in the modern day reserve of the Banias in the Golan Heights region of Israel. The city was established by Ptolemaic Greeks, a Hellenistic community where the worship of the god Pan was centered. Reviled by the Jews of Yeshua's time and considered by them the most idolatrous place in the entire Galilee, to this day it remains a place of nature worship and deep paganism…
The word for builder in Hebrew is "bo-neh". It is also translated repairer. When our Messiah came 2000 years ago, He came to repair lives — to do a complete restoration of all that is broken in this world. Interestingly, the Hebrew words for son, "ben" and daughter, "baht" both also come from the word "bo-neh".
When God called Gideon to lead Israel against their enemies, He wanted to show that a small army empowered by God was more effective than the largest armies. But notice how they fought – without weapons that an army would normally use. They fought with shofars and lamps! They fought with weapons that the world would consider ineffective, yet triumphed mightily over their enemies. They shouted as loud as they could, sounded the shofar, and broke the vessels that held the fire so that their lamps burst through with brightness.
I've heard so many Christians ask, "How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?" As if the Holy Spirit is some kind of power or force that we can control or weild. What we should really be asking is, "How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?"
In this prophetic passage the critical question is immediately followed by the powerfully convicting answer. Joel prophesies the Day of the Lord, and asks, "Who can endure it?" The next word "therefore", is followed by the prophet's urgent counsel: "Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning!"
The Greek word 'aphesis' means forgiveness. But in this particular verse it’s translated as both deliverance and liberty. Isn’t it interesting that deliverance and liberty are directly tied together with forgiveness?
The first man was called "Ah-dom", we know him as "Adam". The word used for "man", as in "mankind", in Genesis 1, is also the same word – "Ah-dom". "Ah-dom" is rooted in the three Hebrew letters, aleph-dalet-mem, and one of the Hebrew words for earth is "Adamah", which contains the same three letters, however it ends with the Hebrew letter "hay". "Adamah" means "red earth", or "red clay", and this word points to the natural earth elements, the "earth dust" that composed Adam’s body, and the body of every human being since. "Man" is "ah-dom", in a very real sense, "clay".
David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?
This is the touching story of how Yeshua (Jesus) was anointed before His crucifixion. But there's one thing about this passaage that stood out to me as I read it again.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Did you know that when a bone is broken and then heals, that previously […]
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Some of the wealthiest individuals in the United States are real estate developers. They make their money by buying a piece of property that is terribly run down, seemingly useless, without […]
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Early in the last century, sculptor Gutzon Borglum gazed at the cliffs of South Dakota's Black Hills. As any great artist would, He saw what no one else […]
Mark 10:18-21 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all […]
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Have you ever thought about how much power God releasing in our midst right now? Is it 20%… 50%… 100% of His great power?? I […]
James 4:6b Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Corrie Ten Boom tells this story in her book, Each New Day. "When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn't it do harm, your getting so much honor?" […]
Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. It is among popular "Christian" belief that an abundance of material and other blessings follow those whose hearts are truly after God […]
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "[These infillings] went through me, as it […]