GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 9
GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 9 ~ ~ RESURRECTION DAY ~ ~ Matthew 12:40~ ~ “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
It was a fitful night for both of them, for Mary and John, and Mary got up long before daylight. Still exhausted, but unable to sleep, she rose and made a good breakfast for her new son. This brought both joy for the moment and memories of past breakfasts. “Bittersweet,” she thought resignedly, “it always will be bittersweet from now on.”
John woke up, rubbing his eyes, and tried to sound cheerful with his “Boker Tov,”(Good morning) , but it didn’t come out that way. Mary understood perfectly, as she set his breakfast before him.
Over the food, they spoke more about Yeshua’s teachings. Mary was intrigued, strengthened and comforted as she closed her eyes and imagined her Yeshua’s voice speaking through John’s voice.
She learned things that brought more questions, as well as things that cleared up old ones…………
John told of How He chose His disciples—just plainly walking up to them and asking them to follow Him………..to be fishers of MEN!
“Fishers of men?” Mary asked, and John nodded. That was all that was said about that.
John put down his food, leaned forward, and said softly, almost as if it were a secret, “You know, Mary, I did a lot of thinking last night about the things Yeshua said that would help us understand this horrible turn of events. It seems that at the time none of us could understand what they meant. Maybe we denied it because what He said didn’t fit with what we were taught the Messiah would do.”
“Like what, John, tell me!!!”
“Let me see if I can remember the words again. I remembered them clearly last night.:….
(John 3:14-21 Amplified version)
“Just as Moses lifted up the [bronze] serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever].”
Mary interrupted: “The bronze serpent was to heal our people after they had rebelled and were bitten by snakes. I always wondered why they would look upon the very thing that killed many of them.”
“You know your cousin’s boy, John the Baptist, and how his mission was to preach repentance and make a way for Yeshua’s ministry?” Mary nodded, as she remained intent on John’s face while he continued:
“Repentance starts with looking at our sins. We must know we sin before we can repent of our sins. The snake represented their sin in the wilderness. They had to look on their sin. Yeshua took on their sin, and everyone’s sin from the beginning of time. That sin that He took upon Himself was under the judgment of the Father. Just like they had to look at the sin that brought the serpents in their midst, we need to look at our sin that brought the judgment of the Father upon our dear Yeshua because He took on our sins FOR US AND ALL MEN FOR ALL TIME! Our judgment came with Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden, the judgment of death. Yeshua died to satisfy that judgment and give eternal life to those who would accept it!!!! That’s why He said He’ll be raised up! See, Mary, He WAS raised up on that cross, right before our eyes, but while it was a sad thing for us, it was a good thing for a world full of sinners!!!”
Mary tried to take this all in, reconcile it with her Hebrew teachings about the Messiah, and that was difficult to do. So it was for John also, but he went on so they both could put the pieces together:
“ Then Yeshua said: ‘For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him.’
See, Mary, John the Baptist preached the repentance part to prepare people for Yeshua’s sacrifice to appease the judgment of the Father by taking on the sin of those who repent, and take the curse of the sin of Adam from those individuals!!!! Here’s what Yeshua said about it:
“Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him].’”
Mary began to nod. It was coming together, as she adjusted her childhood teachings about the Messiah to fit into what John (and Yeshua) was saying.
“Yyyeesss,” John continued thoughtfully as he tried to remember back, “but, sadly, some won’t accept Him, as we’ve seen all His life. On through the ages ahead, some will, and some won’t accept Him, and those who choose not to accept His sacrifice and follow Him as Lord of their Life (Jehovah), will die in their sins, as the multitude of the Israelites who would not look at the symbolic serpent on the pole, died. And this death is forever in the flames of hell. Yeshua spoke more about hell than heaven, did you know that, Mary?”
She looked up at him, and nodded. It was not surprising, knowing what she knew of Him growing up and what she is learning now. For He devoted His earthly life to showing the Way to all that He could.
“Yes, and this is how He put it:
‘This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned.’
Then Yeshua showed us the other people—the ones who would love the Light that HE WAS! Mary, Your Son was the LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” A most beautiful smile spread over her grieving face.
“But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].”
Mary’s eyes lit up… “ so that’s why He called you boys, fishers of men! You must tell people about His sacrifice, and draw them to salvation and eternal life through Him!”
After a short thought, she continued: “and that’s why He said His family is those who do the Father’s will—It wasn’t a rejection of me and my other children, it was actually an inclusion of us with the whole of mankind through Him, if we accept” She was getting ecstatic as her questions were being answered.
John opened his mouth to speak, but Mary was so excited, she was ahead of him:
“And that’s what Simeon the Prophet meant when he said that Yeshua was set for the rise and fall of many!!!”
“Oh yes, Mary! I’m seeing this too!”
Mary silently remembered the other questions that her heart was aching over:
“Yes, and another prophesy that day in the Temple so long ago, when Yeshua was 8 days old:
when Simeon told us about the sword piercing my soul, he told the reason for that sword:
‘That the hearts of many may be revealed.’ My sword, John, a mother’s sword in her heart at seeing her son suffer so,…of losing Him…..John, that sword is the result of His sacrifice to save many, and that means that their lives must be opened up————wide open, in soul searching to decide if they will accept what He has done for them!!!! Oh my Son, My Savior!
“He knows everyone’s heart, John! He knows the hearts of the pharisees, leaders, right down to the poorest of the poor, and they’re all the same to Him. He’s no respecter of persons or positions.
“All He ever wanted or wants is the salvation of sinners! And we’re ALL sinners, John!!! I understand now! I understand why, when He was 12, He already had to speak the words of the Father. It’s because He IS the Word of God! Everything was created on earth and heaven through WORDS, and He IS the Word! Even at 12, it was bulging out of Him—that love for the souls of men!
THAT’S MY SON!!! ………..NO! …………..THAT’S GOD’S SON!!!
THAT’S MY SAVIOR!!!!……….AND……….. THAT’S THE WORLD’S SAVIOR!!!!!!!!”
“AND MINE!!!!” John chimed in as they embraced and Mary added:
“I Carried his body for nine months, but He carries my soul for eternity!!!!!”
A…..N…..D as they will soon find out…………..
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