The Dynamic Christian Cycle

Dynamic means – A force that simulates change within a system. (Online dictionary)

Christians believe that God is the dynamic force.

The seasons of the year run in cycles and within that cycle Christians beklieve that God is the dynamic force and changes take place: from Winter’s death, into Spring’s resurrection of new life. Summer brings forth fragrant flowers to produce Autumn fruits.

Another cycle the days of the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

We put in place on certain days of the week things that we do regularly like going to church, a weekly Bible study, the supermarket, or visit a friend.

Christian belief cycles.

In our lives, we put in place structures that give a pattern or process that formulates our beliefs.

Many Christians believe that good deeds are required to be a Christian, and we must keep the commandments as a structure, a set of rules to be assured of our place in heaven. However, we have the example of Jesus that reveals that keeping a set of rules will not give us a place in heaven. Jesus broke the rules, he demonstrated to his disciples and to us today, that it is by faith in him we obtain a place in Heaven.

Blind Man healed   Pool of Siloam John 9: 1-41.

On the Sabbath day, Jesus, and his disciples where walking past the Pool of Siloam, when they noticed a man who was blind sat by the pool. He was hoping for someone to put him in the pool, because when God stirred the water, the people in the water were healed. He hoped to be healed of his blindness. Jesus without hesitation, spat on the ground and  mixed his spittle with the dust and made clay. With it he anointed the man’s eyes saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” So, the man felt his way to the edge of the pool and washed his face in the water and straight away as the clay fell from his eyes, he could see.

His neighbours when they saw the man could see, they were amazed. He told them what had happened at the pool, and they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” His neighbour suggested that he should tell his good news to the Pharisees. The Pharisees asked how did he receive his sight? He told them what had taken place that day at the pool. But they were not pleased, the man should not have made the clay to anoint his eyes, as all manner of work was forbidden on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees did not believe that he had been born blind, so they asked to speak to his parents to prove he had been born blind. The man’s parents confirmed his story.  Exodus 31: 12-17.

The Pharisees spoke to the man again inquiring how had he received his sight. The man in his frustration asked them, “Did they want to be his disciples? They replied that they did not know this man or where he had come from.

When Jesus found the man, He made his identity known to him, He was the Son of Man, the Messiah. The man went and told the Pharisees that it was Jesus who had healed his blindness.

Below the Disfunctional Cycle and the Dynamic Cycle.

A disfuctional cycle

The Disfunctional Cycle on the left.

The Pharisees kept the commandments as a set of rules. By following this pattern, they earned their place in heaven by keeping the law of Moses, with its rituals and sacrifices.                                            Jesus making the clay and placing it on the blind man’s eyes, broke the Sabbath day laws. Deuteronomy 5: 13, 14. Jesus was peeling away the Pharisees added rules to the laws given to Moses by God. Jesus’ actions did not make him popular with the Pharisees. They were blind by keeping a set of rules. Before and after his resurrection they did not recognise Jesus as their Messiah.

The Dynamic Cycle on the right.

Jesus believed that it was right to do good on the Sabbath Day. Luke 6: 9 Jesus proved he was right by his ministry being sustained by God on the Sabbath day. He demonstrated compassion for the outcast in society, like the blind man at the pool of Siloam. Jesus revealed his identity to the man. By his achievements he was showing the true interpretation of the Laws given to Moses by God.

Below: A Christian’s  Disfunctional Cycle and the Dynamic Cycle

A dynamic christian cycle

The Disfunctional Cycle on the left.

Many Christians believe that we are accepted by God as we declare our faith by doing good deeds. Our faith is not sustained by the gospel message being hidden out of sight. Christians today are blind by keeping the commandments as a set of rules. A Christian that wants to be identified with success rather than failure. The need to achieve to satisfy the need to be accepted and the cycle starts again.

The Dynamic Cycle on the right.

Our place in heaven does not depend on us being a good person doing good deeds, it is by faith in Jesus what Jesus accomplished in the process of his death and resurrection.

A person is accepted into God’s kingdom through their faith in Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, he broke and removed the barrier of our separation from God. The Bible tells us that we are created to have fellowship with God. Moses knew this, when he wrote in the first book of the Bible ‘Genesis’ his inspired story of Adam and Eve. They were created immortal, but succumbed to the devil’s temptation, as a result mortality entered humanities cycle Winters death separated us from knowing God to knowing about God. John the Apostle tells us that Jesus knew he had been born as one of us to restore our fellowship with God. John recorded Jesus’ prayer, “Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” God wants us to know him and have the continuity of fellowship for all eternity. For this to happen Jesus bore on the cross all, everything that stood against us blocking us to know God in a personal way. Jesus’ resurrection is like Spring, he rose from the dead, he won the victory over all that separated us from God. So, we cannot earn our place in heaven by doing good works. It is through having faith, our belief in Jesus. He is like the fragrant summer flower, from him we receive as a love gift from God our place in heaven our eternal home. Autumn’s fruit stems from our faith in God and Jesus, we receive the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. John 17: 3. 3: 16.

Christians follow Jesus’ pattern by acting in faith in our fellowship with God.

Faith is like the process of posting a letter.

The Post Office require a stamp on the envelop along with the address. We post it in the post box. The postal worker collects the letters and take them to the sorting office, from there the letters are delivered to their destination. If we expect a reply from the letter we sent. We have faith that in due course we will receive a reply, a letter through our letterbox.

Christians follow Jesus.

The Holy Spirit acts on our faith in Jesus’ recorded words that are living words. It is often as we apply Jesus’ teaching to a situation we are facing, faith, works within our heart,(Spirit) mind and will, as they come together in agreement, to convict us if it is the right or wrong decision we are making. John 14: 15-21, 17: 20-23.

It is through faith working in our heart that enables God to write his law in our heart.

God transforms our nature so that we feel how God feels about sin, it is aberrant to us. Our faith enables us to yield ourselves to God’s will. It is like the tree that bends its branches in the direction of the wind, as we reciprocate our love towards God. Jeremiah 31: 31-34. Hebrews 8: 8-12.

Faith in Jesus means we become dependent on God.

Every young child looks to the adult to take care and provide for his/her needs. Our Father God wants us to look to him for our needs. Faith believes when we pray bringing our requests to God, we access those spiritual blessing in heavenly places through God’s love for us. Ephesians 1: 3.

Our famers work with the patterns of the seasons. We are more aware now of the importance of the seasons, with the earth’s temperature rising, through our use of CO’2. Droughts and floods are increasing, sea levels are rising, the realisation that the food cycles are being damaged and lost, and how humanity depends on those cycles of the seasons to sustain life on earth.

Bible prophesies assure us that life on earth has a future.

The depth of Jesus’ love for us.

Augustine wrote on the Trinity, “Now when I, who am asking about this, love anything, there are three things present: I myself, what I love, and love itself. For I cannot love unless I love a lover; for there is no love where nothing is loved. So, there are three things: the lover, the loved and the love.” (Agape love)

The person with major sin in their life, struggle to believe that God will forgive and free them from the guilt, the condemnation that binds them. In the parable of the labourers in the Vineyard those who had worked only for an hour, received the same wage as the labourer who had worked all day. Matthew 20: 1-16.

God in His mercy applies this formular to a person whose sin is minor compared with someone who has major sin in their life. God forgives both their sin.

Under Jewish law the gravity of the sin, the greater the punishment. Under grace in the New Covenant, God forgives through Jesus’ love, in the varying depth of his love forgives both.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians to know the breadth, length, height, and depth of God’s love. The Lord can forgive the worst atrocity, such is the depth of God’s love for a person. Ephesians 3: 18.

“How deep the Father’s Love for us” Stuart Townsend

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, “And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love.” Paul knew this from his own life, he experienced God’s love reaching down to the depth of his sin, in the breadth and length of his life and through forgiveness, reaching to the heights of eternity,  knowing Jesus as his Saviour and Lord.

Paul prayed for this to be our experience, whether in our own lives or when bringing a person to faith in Jesus.


May every Christian experience  knowing they are rooted and grounded in God’s love, through the Holy Spirit reaching out through our lives to the lost. May every Christian know the breadth, length, height, and depth of Jesus’ love for us, dying for our sin and experience this in bringing a person to faith in Christ our Lord. Amen

James and the Royal Law

James was he under Law?

James, the Lord’s brother, had seen in a vision of the risen Jesus and because he had seen the risen Jesus he was regarded as an apostle. [1] After the ascension he joined the believers in the house at Jerusalem.  “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” [2]

James was a member of the Circumcision Party and advocated: circumcision and the observance of the Laws of Moses. [3] He occupied a prominent if not the chief place in the church at Jerusalem, being the president of the first council.  [4]

James’ teaching: James taught the ‘Royal Law.’ Jesus’ words in his conversation with the lawyer, “And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend, all the law and the prophets.”[5]   

James advised Jewish Christians to show good works in meekness and wisdom, that reflect the nature of the righteousness of God. To show no partiality between rich and poor as the royal law was to “Love your neighbour as yourself.” James said, “”But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

James continues to say that the law penalises whether sin is great or small. Whereas, God has given through Jesus the command to love your neighbour as yourself, this being the fulfilment of the law of liberty. James, in my view was still under the influence of the law.

Secondly, James taught that the most important lessons a Christian can learn, faith without works does not reflect Christ. If someone is hungry then we should feed them as kind words are not enough.

He gave the example of Abraham who put his faith into practice when he offered Isaac as a sacrifice, but God intervened, a ram was provided by God and was sacrificed instead of Isaac. Abraham believed in the resurrection he believed that he would have raised Isaac in order to fulfil his promise to him that through his heir a great nation would be brought into being by God. [6]

Also, Rahab the prostitute whose faith was justified by works when she hid the Israelite spies from the king of Jericho’s men. [7]

The prayer of faith will raise up a person from the depths to which they have sunk doubts, fears, divisions and sickness. Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” [8]

Paul’s teaching on the New Covenant: circumcision of the heart, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning thoughts and intentions of the heart.” [9] A person Jew or Gentile whose nature has been transformed by being a new creation in Christ. [10] Convicted of sin through feeling how God feels about sin. Jesus’ baptism: dying to sin with Christ and being raised up in the likeness of his resurrection.[11] To live by faith and to be dependant of God’s grace. For example: the disciples were sent out with the kingdom message and heal the sick. Jesus instructed them to take nothing with them, to rely on God’s grace to supply their needs. The people who received the good news from them out of love and gratitude supplying meals and a bed for the night. [12]

James wrote that a person showing partiality between rich and poor comits a sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. Whereas under grace the law wriiten in the heart a person is convicted by the heart and Spirit.

Paul taught his disciples to have prayer conversations with the Lord before stepping out in faith. Listening to the Holy Spirit guidance and not to be reliant on a person’s own strength, but to be strengthened with the might of the Holy Spirit, [13] which was essential to fulfil their commission.

Paul and Silas were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. Paul saw in a vision a man from Macedonia beckoning him to go and help them. Paul interpreted the vision to mean that they were called by God to go to Macedonia and preach the gospel to them.[14]

Some years later Paul felt led by the Spirit go to Jerusalem, he was accompanied by Luke. When they arrived at Caesarea they stayed at Philip the evangelist’s home. While they were there Agabus dropped by, Agabus’ prophecy that Paul would be bound imprisoned at Rome. Paul said that he was prepared to die for his faith in Jesus.

The day after Paul and those with him had arrived at Jerusalem, James and the elders of the Jerusalem Church greeted Paul and his companions. Paul shared with James and the elders what the Lord had been accomplishing among the Gentile Churches and everyone present glorified God.

However, James expressed his concern for the Christian Jews who had complained to the Church at Jerusalem that the Jews among the Gentiles were being taught not to circumcise their children and not to observe the laws of Moses. James told Paul to comply with the law by making a special vow, that of the Nazarite along with four other men This vow included the shaving their heads, he was asked to pay the costs of the four men.[15] James then said, “Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you but you yourself live in observance of the law.” Paul did as he was instructed, he took the vow.

We might ask ourselves why did Paul not insist on teaching the New Covenant message to both Jews and Gentiles?

Paul taught that a Christian should respect those who are in authority over us. [16]But what would Jesus have done?

I am reminded of Paul’s words, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under law I became as one under law- I though not being myself under law-in order to win the Jews. I might win those under law. To those outside the law – I became as one outside the law-not being without the law toward God but under the law of Christ- that I might win those outside the law.”[17]

But did he win the Jewish Christian Apostles to his view of the New Covenant?

Peter wrote that some of Paul’s teachings were hard to understand.[18]

Also, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he stressed the importance of keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”[19]

After Paul completed  the vow, some Asian Jews saw him and stirred up the crowd, accusing him of taking a Greek man into the Temple, which was not true. The crowd seized Paul and began to beat him. The disturbance came to the notice of Tribune and soldiers and centurions where sent and rescued Paul. They brought Paul to the barracks. Paul asked if he could address the crowd. Paul spoke in Hebrew and shared with them his testimony: from when he arrested Christians to himself becoming a Christian. The crowd erupted and shouted against Paul. They tied him up, he spoke to the centurion saying, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen, and un-condemned?”  Paul was held in the barracks.[20]

Agabus’ prophecy was fulfilled because Paul chose to do what he believed was God’s will for him.

[1] 1 Corinthians 15: 7.

[2] Acts 1: 14.

[3] Galatians 1: 19.

[4] Acts 15: 13, 19.

[5] Matthew 22: 35-40.

[6] Genesis 22: 1-18. Hebrews 11: 17-19.

[7] Joshua 2: 1-7

[8] James 5:13-16.

[9] Hebrews 4: 12.

[10] Ephesians 4:24.

[11] Ephesians 2: 5-10. Colossians 2: 8-12.

[12] Matthew 10: 1-15.

[13] Ephesians 3: 16, 17.

[14] Acts 16: 6-10.

[15] Acts 21: 17-26.  Numbers 6: 2

[16] Romans 13: 1.

[17] 1 Corinthians 9: 19-23.

[18] 2 Peter 3: 16.

[19] Ephesians 4: 1-3.

[20] Acts 22.

The Messiah’s Secret Revealed

In Jesus’ ministry, God’s plan was not clearly laid out to the Jewish leaders by God, because they had a history of letting God down throughout the Old Testament.

The Psalmist explained why God would hide his message in a parable. “Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!  I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, but tell their children in the next generation, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”[1]

The Hebrew Scriptures again and again describes a process of the Jewish people moving away from God. God then offering terms to bring them back from their disobedience. This is often followed by repentance and restoration of the Jewish people as God’s nation.

The New Testament breaks the mould. The Jewish people have moved away again, and God offers there restoration not through prophets, but the Messiah. This person who they do not recognise as their Messiah does not make ‘the terms’ he talks in parables, and they had to work it out for themselves. This is the ultimate test which the Jewish people fail and the Gentiles pass.

The Jewish people are so entrenched in the law they cannot make the transition from being under law to being under grace. The law written in stone to being written in their hearts, burnt sacrifices being replaced  with the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

God tests the faith of his people and their faith in Jesus and the New Testament.

During Jesus’ ministry he often would communicate through a parable, by telling a story that related to their surroundings. In the story there would be a hidden message that those listening would not understand.

“Jesus said, “This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”[2]

The Messiah’s Secret was hidden in the parable of the Sower: John recorded Jesus saying, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”[3] Jesus referred to himself as being the seed that would die on the cross and in his resurrection bring forth a harvest.

The mysterious element in the kingdom of God.

The wheat seed has first to die before it can produce a harvest. The seed is kept in storage and shrivels and dies.

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies.”

Jesus and his disciples after the Passover meal went into the Garden of Gethsemane, There Jesus wrestled with his will. The devil was tempting him to preserve his own life. He said, “Father if you are willing remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Earlier in conversation with his disciples Jesus had indicated that he was going to be betrayed into the hands of those who opposed him. Jesus knew that in order to fulfil scripture he was to die as a criminal. [4]

The seed, “It remains alone.”

In the darkness of the soil, the rain releases the nutriments in the soil and the heat from the sun it begins to germinate. In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested his disciples fled, his friends forsook him, he was on his own. On the cross, moments before his death he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus bearing the sin of the world was separated from God his Father. The seed died alone, buried into the darkness.

Jesus was taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, they carried him to the tomb that belonged to Joseph where they wrapped his body with linen cloth and spices.[5]

“But if it dies it bears much fruit.”

The new shoots rise to the surface. From just one wheat seed the plant produces an abundance of seeds.

On the third day God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus the first fruit of the resurrection. The church has been bearing the fruit of Jesus’ resurrection for more than 2,000 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

[1] Psalm 78: 1-8.

[2] Matt 13: 34, 35.Psalm 78: 2.

[3] John 12: 24.

[4] Luke 22: 37, 42. Isaiah 53: 12.

[5] John19:38-42.

Jesus Fulfilled Psalm 69

Charles Dickens in his book ‘Great Expectations’ writes concerning the suffering of Pip through the reproach of Estella from when they first met as children.

“I little thought,” said Estella, “that I should take leave of you in taking leave of this spot. I am very glad to do so. “Pip replied, “Glad to part again, Estella? To me, parting is a painful thing. To me, the remembrance of our last parting has been ever mournful and painful.” “But you said to me,” returned Estella, very earnestly, “‘God bless you, God forgive you!’ And if you could say that to me then, you will not hesitate to say that to me now,—now, when suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but—I hope—into a better shape. Be as considerate and good to me as you were and tell me we are friends.”

Psalm 69 RSV Bible

King David sought God to remove Absalom’s reproach from him, so that others would not be put to shame or dishonoured through him. He is waiting for God to answer his prayer.

 4”More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy him, they attack me with lies.”  

King David expresses through his Psalm his anxiety and despondency: he describes how he feels, it was like being stuck in a bog, being sucked under by the reproach coming from those who hated him.“

“What I did not steal  must I now restore?”

David did not steal King Saul’s crown. he was anointed by God to be the King while the king Saul still lived. Absalom stole from his father king David’s crown, while David still lived.

7 “For it is for God’s sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face.”  There are several instances where David was persecuted for being God’s anointed future king: King Saul in his reproach pursued David to slay him because of his popularity with the people. They sang songs about him, praising him for having won great victories over the Philistines. When David became the King, he united Judah and Israel and enjoyed the blessings from God and people.

King David’s son Absalom, deceived Israel’s leading men by tricking them to go to him to make judgements over their problems. Absalom waited by the roadside leading to the King’s gate, and engaged with people going to seek the King’s judgement over their complaints. Absalom presented himself as a man of justice who cared for the people. Absalom stole the hearts of the people and his father’s crown; he did not seek to be anointed by God to be king. The people were deceived and chose Absalom to succeed his father king  David while David still lived. 2 Samuel 15: 1-6. 13.

9 “For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and those who insult thee have fallen on me. When I humbled my soul with fasting, it has become my reproach.”  Psalm 69: 8-15. 2 Samuel 16: 5-14.

When King David found out that Absalom had plotted to steal his crown, he was hurt, he showed great restraint, he left Jerusalem with those who were loyal to him.

11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,  I became a byword to them.”

King David ascended the Mount of Olives barefoot, weeping and covering his head. 

Shimie, of the same clan as King Saul’s family, he saw King David leaving Jerusalem. He shouted cursing, reproaching King David, he threw stones at him and at his followers because he believed that David had stolen King Saul’s crown. However, David did not steal the crown from Saul, he was anointed by God to be the King while the king Saul still lived. King David felt like a stranger to his people, he did not retaliate against Shimie. 2 Samuel 16: 5-14.                                                                 

19 “Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame and my dishonour; my foes are all known to thee.”

King David bearing the shame and reproach of his son Absalom and Shimie, pleaded with God for his help to rescue him from the effects on his life.

Shame has no intelligence and does not reason within our mind; it is a feeling.

There are two kinds of shame: shame we deserve. Were a person is discredited by being found out.     Shame that we do not deserve: this shame weighs upon the spirit which leads to depression or a feeling of frustration, trudging up a hill or ploughing through mud and a state of hopelessness.

Reproach meaning holding something against another person. Feelings of indignation that leads to reproach: blame, discredit, disgrace, scold, and anger aroused by something unjust.

King David’s crown was restored.

After King David and his followers crossed over the Jordan river, the battle between King David’s friends and Absalom and his followers took place. King David gave orders that they should not kill Absalom. But Absalom met with an accident and was killed by Joab and his armour bearers. 2 Samuel  17: 22. 18: 9, 14,15.

King David wept when he heard, he bore Absalom no reproach. “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” King David was ashamed of his son’s actions against him, also his son’s reproaches fell on him. “Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame and my dishonour; my foes are all known to thee. Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.” Psalm 69: 16-20. 2 Samuel Chapters 15-18.

Verses 22-29 King David poured out his reproach on those who he believed were his enemies.

Verses 30- 36 Towards the end of the Psalm King David praised God for delivering him from his enemies. He pointed to the restoration of his throne and those in future generations who shall inherit it.

Jesus bore the sin of reproach on the cross, fulfilling the prophesies in Psalm 69: 4, 9, 10, 19 -21.

4 “More in number than the hairs of my head  are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal  must I now restore?

John records the conversation between Jesus and Pilate, ” And Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Do you say this on your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate pointed to the members of the Jewish council who had said this. Pilate’s heart had not been stolen, he absolved himself when he washed his hands declaring ‘what is truth?’ He did not want to get involved with any conspiracy against Jesus. But he had to make a decision so, he turned to the people to make his judgement for him.

Nations leaders anoint and place a crown on a man’s head before proclaiming him King.

Jesus was born a king. The wise man asked King Herod, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2: 2.

9 “For zeal for thy house has consumed me,  and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me.”                                                                                          Paul in his letter to the Romans wrote that Jesus bore on the cross the sin of reproach, “For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The reproach of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” Romans 15: 3.

Jesus bore on the cross the insults, the reproachful mocking words of those stood watching. They wanted to see if God would save him. The chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes saying, “He saved others; but he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Mark 15: 31, 32.

King David’s prayer was heard, and God rescued him. But it was not God’s plan for Christ the King, to continue his life in the land of the living. The Jewish people believed that the Messiah or the Christ (Greek) would not come and die without completing his mission which they understood to mean that he would lead them to victory in battle against the Romans who occupied their land.

Paul wrote, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Christians believe and know that Jesus is alive and Lord of all. Romans 14: 9. One experience of Jesus is worth a thousand arguments.

20“When I humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach”.    Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. The devil reproached Jesus and thought he had the victory when Jesus died on the cross. On the cross Jesus won the victory over the devil and for all who believe in him.                                                             

19 Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame and my dishonour; my foes are all known to thee.”

Some of those standing at the cross would have mocked him, when he cried out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” At this point the curtain in the temple was torn from top to the bottom. The most sacred place in the temple where the high priest took the blood of atonement once a year, to atone for every Jewish person, including the high priests; it was open to every person’s gaze. God had left the temple at Jerusalem. Mark 15: 34, 38.

20 Insults have broken my heart,  so that I am in despair.
Jesus’ heart was broken, in desperation to forgive those who did this to him, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23: 34.

21 “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” The food, the curses coming from the hearts of those who despised Jesus. His words, that were the true bread from heaven, his words giving eternal life to those who believe in him.

The Jewish people and their leaders were ignorant of God’s plan of being saved through forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus; his life laid down his life to atone for sin and its’ causes.

God resurrecting Jesus from the dead, enables every person to be forgiven of sin against each other, when he bore our reproach, on the cross. By coming to him in faith, believing what has been written and asking for forgiveness in Jesus’ name, we are released. Amen.

The Land of Israel in Conflict 2021

This week we have heard of the open wound of conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians breaking out in the ancient city of Jerusalem the capital city of the land of Israel.

Some Israelis believe the land is their Messiah. [1]

May 5th 2000, I attended a Holocaust Memorial Day at the Menorah Synagogue, Manchester. England. Rabbi Fox told us gathered there, that the Jewish people who suffered the reproaches of Hitler in the concentration camps, fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy in Chapter 53 ‘the suffering servant.’ He said that the people of the Holocaust were the burnt offerings for the atonement of their nation’s sin against God. Rabbi Fox  continued, “God established the new covenant when the state of Israel came into being in 1948, and the land of Israel was their Messiah.”

At the end of the WW2 the British along with the other allies decided that the time had come to respond to the Jewish people’s request to establish their homeland in Palestine.

WikipediaThe Land of Israel concept has been evoked by the founders of the State of Israel. It often surfaces in political debates on the status of the West Bank, which is referred to in official Israeli discourse as Judea and Samaria, from the names of the two historical Israelite and Judean kingdoms.[13] These debates frequently invoke religious principles, despite the little weight these principles typically carry in Israeli secular politics. 

The British Mandate in 1948

Wikipedia “During the Mandate, the name Eretz Yisrael (abbreviated א״י Aleph-Yod), (Land of Israel) was part of the official name for the territory, when written in Hebrew.  These official names for Palestine were minted on the Mandate coins and early stamps (pictured) in English, Hebrew “(פלשתינה (א״י” (Palestina E”Y) and Arabic “( فلسطين”). Consequently, in 20th-century political usage, the term “Land of Israel” usually denotes only those parts of the land which came under the British mandate.”

The 6 Day War in 1967 where the surrounding Arab nations gathered against Israel. The outcome of this war resulted in more of the Biblical land was returned to the land of Israel. Rabbi Fox would no doubt have seen this restoration of the land as God confirming his belief in the land being the Messiah.

The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty 1993

Wikipedia Land of Israel. “The Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace, signed on 1993, led to the establishment of an agreed border between the two nations, and subsequently the state of Israel has no territorial claims in the parts of the historic Land of Israel lying east of the Jordan river. (Judea and Samaria.)

According to Palestinian historian Nur Masalha Eretz Israel was a religious concept which was turned by Zionists into a political doctrine in order to emphasize an exclusive Jewish right of possession regardless of the Arab presence. Masalha wrote that the Zionist movement has not given up on an expansive definition of the territory, including Jordan and more, even though political pragmatism has engendered a focus on the region west of the Jordan River.”

At the time of Jesus ‘the land of Israel’ was all but complete.

Wikepedia – Land of Israel. The term ‘Land of Israel’ (γῆ Ἰσραήλ) occurs in one episode in the New Testament[2]  where, according to Shlomo Sand, it bears the unusual sense of ‘the area surrounding Jerusalem’. The section in which it appears was written as a parallel to the earlier Book of Exodus.

The reference –  Matthew 2: 20, 21 “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archela′us reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.”

At the time of Jesus, the part of the Biblical land that was still not yet under the Sanhedrin’s control was Samaria. The Jews and Samaritans in the New Testament are recorded as being enemies.

Dake’s  Annotated Reference Bible describes the Samaritan village. “These were the descendants of the pagans that settled in the land at the time of the captivities along with the few Jews who remained in the land. (2 Kings 17: 24-34.) They formed their own religion, a mixture of Judaism and paganism. They adopted the Pentateuch as the sole sacred book and erected a temple on Mt Gerizim near Shechem. 331 BC. The returning exiles rejected their help in rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple.[3] The breach between the returning Jews became permanent and so acute that the Jews would not pass-through Samaria to go into Galilee but had a circuitous (round about) route east of Jordan.”

The Jews and Samaritans were looking for the coming of the Son of Man, the Messiah.

Jesus quiet often referred to himself as the Son of Man, both Jews and Samaritans expected the Messiah to be in the form of a man. At Jesus’ trial before the Jewish council, he was asked by Caiaphas the Chief Priest, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I AM, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”[4] This was the first time that Jesus publicly acknowledged that he was the Messiah. Also, he used the title Son of Man which Caiaphas knew to be the same person, the Messiah.

God appointed meeting at Jacob’s well

The Samaritan woman would have been unprepared when Jesus spoke to her at Jacob’s well. It was so significant because Jesus told her that he was the Messiah. The Samaritans were looking for the coming of the Messiah. The woman went home and told her family and friends that she had met the Messiah. Jesus was invited to Sychar and he stayed there for two days. They believed that Jesus was the Messiah. [5]

Jesus’ mission was to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’ Jesus healed the leper from Samaria. Jesus and his disciples were passing through Galilee and Samaria on their way to Jerusalem, when going through a village they met ten lepers. They asked Jesus to pray for their healing, he replied, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As they walked away from him, they were healed. Only one out of the ten lepers came back to Jesus and thanked him, and he was a Samaritan. [6]

The parable of the Good Samaritan.

This parable is an example of Jesus wanting to restore the Samaritans into the fold of Israel.

In the parable Jesus portrait himself as the Samaritan, the introduction of the Samaritan would have raised a few eyebrows amongst his listeners. When the Samaritan saw the injured man, he threw caution to the wind and did what his conscious demanded. He took out of his bag oil and wine to bathe the injured man’s wounds.

After tending to the man, the Samaritan put him onto his donkey and made his way to the Inn.

The Samaritan asked the Innkeeper to take care of the injured man, as he had to continue his journey and whatever the costs for the man’s care, he would repay when he returned.

The Samaritan showed generosity above the call of duty. He did not expect the man when he was better to pay the Innkeeper because he had been robbed of his means to pay.

The instructions he gave to the Inn keeper ‘ I will repay your costs’  indicated that he would return and reimburse him in full.  I believe this is a prophetic word from Jesus referring to his return with the angels.  Jesus told his disciples that he was going to leave them, and he also indicated that he would return and settle accounts revealed through the parable of the talents.[7]

The ministry of the Innkeeper to the injured man reflects the ministry of the disciples, who were to continue Jesus’ ministry after his ascension until he returned. Jesus had indicated he would return within their lifetime. “When he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”[8]

Peter when he spoke to the crowd at Solomon’s Portico expected Jesus to return.

Peter spoke of the ‘times of refreshing,’ this was reference to the restoration of the land of Israel and the throne of King David at the coming of the Messiah.

”Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus. whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing  all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.[9]

The death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus was hidden from the Jewish people until Peter at and after Pentecost proclaimed that Jesus was their Messiah.

At Solomon’s Portico, Peter said that their rulers and the people had acted in ignorance, when the handed Jesus over to the Romans for sentencing. [10]

It was in the foreknowledge of God that the Messiah would be the Saviour of the world through dying for our sins on the cross. Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin. God raised Jesus from the dead, fulfilling the Hebrew prophesies.[11]

Jesus made the atonement for the sins of the people of the whole world through the Gentile Roman involvement in his death.

God included the Gentiles, like the Persian King Cyrus allowing the Jews in exile to return and rebuild their temple at Jerusalem.[12] The Gentile wise men from the east who came to worship the one born a king, the King of the Jews and the British Mandate at the end of WW2.

Is the land of Israel the Messiah?

Many Jewish people today believe that the Messiah is a human being.  

Judaism 101  The Messianic idea in Judaism.

Judaism 101 or “Jew FAQ” is an online encyclopaedia of Judaism.

The Mashiach

The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as “mashiach ben David” (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.

It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.”

National calling to recognise the Messiah.  

The Jews today continue not to believe their Messiah would come and die before completing his mission.  The Messiah’s Secret Revealed seeks to prove that it was God’s intension that the Jewish Messiah would die to save the world from sin and its’ causes [13]and in his resurrection for humanity to become children of God and all the nations of the world being blessed, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed. Jesus’ mission would have been completed if the leaders and people of Israel had discerned that Jesus was their Messiah during the lifetime of the apostles.


Heavenly Father, I pray that you would take from both Israelis and the Palestinians the reproach against each other. I bring to the cross the years of suffering and pain, the argument of who is right and who is wrong, both are part of the history of that region. I pray for peace and not the escalation of further violence as the means to end this situation. I ask this in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. In Jesus’ name Amen.

[1] Acts 2: 31, 32. Psalm 16: 10. 49: 9.

[2] Matthew 2: 20,21.

[3] Ezra 4: 19, 25. Nehemiah 1. 3

[4][4] Mark 14: 53, 61, 62.

[5] John 4: 1-42.

[6] Matthew 10: 6. Luke 17: 11-19.

[7] Matthew 25: 14-30

[8] Mark 8: 38. 9: 1.

[9] Acts 3: 19-21.

[10] Acts 2: 23.

[11] Blog‘34 Prophesies Fulfilled in One Day’ 16/6/2010

[12] Ezra 1: 3. Matthew 2: 20,21.

[13] Acts 2: 23.36.

Today, the Church is seeking a way forward to meet the changes in a different world.

The church is seeking a way forward to meet the changes in a different world. One thing that I believe the church would be wise to address the sin of ‘reproach’ that is increasing in the world. It continues through every change that has taken place over thousands of years.

I see it as part of ‘fresh’ and ‘refresh’ the Church.

The Lord has brought this to my own personal attention to remove the sin of reproach from my life, and I have brought my reproach to the cross where Jesus bore the sin of reproach and God has rolled the sin of reproach away from me. Praise the Lord!

Reproach means – a person is holding in their heart:  blame, censure, scorn, anger, resentment, and disapproval against another person or against you.

Indignation leads to reproach.

‘Reproach’ in the Bible is where we read Cain slew his brother Abel because Abel’s offering of a lamb  was favoured by God. Whereas, Cain who followed in his father’s footsteps looking after the land, his offering of fruit was not favoured by God. Cain’s indignation grew to reproaching his brother so much that he killed him. [1]

The Egyptians were indignant towards the Hebrew people, I understand it stemmed from the days of Jacob and his sons receiving aid when there was famine in Canaan. Joseph Jacob’s youngest son became Pharaoh’s Governor over Egypt and in due course invited Jacob and his sons to become residents in Egypt. [2]

The Hebrew people grew in number and the native Egyptians under a new King took the upper hand and exploited them, making them their slaves.

Moses was called by God to ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people go to worship their God in the wilderness for three days. Moses is described as a meek man, and in his meekness, he described himself as a man of uncircumcised lips; his brother Aaron gave God’s message to Pharaoh. [3]

After every request Pharaoh refused to let them go. A series of plagues came upon the Egyptians, until the tenth plague, which was the last plague in God’s attempt to persuade Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt. [4]

The Lord would pass over each home of the Egyptians and Israelites and if the Lord saw the blood of the lamb, the destroyer would pass over that house, but if there was no blood seen by the Lord, the first-born man and beast would die.

After the night when the Egyptian first-born man and beast died, Pharaoh decided to let the Israelites go and the Egyptians gave them gold and silver to leave.

But soon afterwards the Egyptians were filled with indignation towards them. From the Egyptian’s indignation it escalated to reproach. In their anger and resentment Pharaoh pursued the Israelites, with the aim to capture and return them into Egyptian slavery.

Many Israelites were afraid, when they saw Pharaoh’s army in the distance drawing nearer and when they reached the Red Sea, Moses was instructed by God, to use the rod and as he held it above the water the sea began to separate, and the Israelites walked across on the dry seabed. 600,000 people were saved from Pharaoh’s pursuing army. When Pharaoh’s army started to cross on the seabed, the water began to flow, and their chariots got stuck in the sand and the army were drowned. [5]

God had legally released the Hebrews, when Pharaoh ‘let the people go.’ God had defeated all the Egyptian gods and Pharaoh who had made himself the supreme god of Egypt. God had set Israel free through the Passover lamb’s blood being brushed on the doorposts and lintels of their homes in Egypt.[6]

The Egyptians continued to reproach Israel until Israel reached the Promised Land, Joshua was instructed by God (to fulfil God’s covenant with Abraham) to circumcise the boys born during the wilderness journey and as a result: the manna ceased, and they ate the produce of the land and God removed Egypt’s reproach from Israel. [7]

The Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you. And so, the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.” Gilgal (name meaning ‘rolling’).

Jesus disarmed his disciple’s indignation that would have led to the reproach of Mary of Bethany.

Jesus and his disciples called on Lazarus and his sister Mary and Martha at Bethany. They shared a meal together and while they were eating their meal Mary went to where Jesus was sitting and anointed his head and feet. We read that the disciples were filled with indignation. Jesus disarmed their indignation by saying, ‘Mary has done a beautiful thing to me.”

To stop their indignation turning to reproach. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” [9]

Where we are holding reproach against someone.

Every person can hold something against someone else, without realising it is a sin of reproach. To refresh the church perhaps like me, other Christians would seek to repent of their reproach against someone or bring to the cross the reproach that they have experienced from others.

Paul in his letter to Timothy wrote, “Moreover, He (Bishop) must be well thought of by outsiders or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”[10]

Paul’s letter to the Romans he wrote, “For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.”[11]

On the cross Jesus bore every sin of ‘reproach’ so a Christian on their journey with Christ can realise this sin has been dealt with on the cross and in Jesus’ resurrection set free from the reproach of someone holding something against us. It is simply rolled away, like the stone was rolled away from the entrance of the tomb.

We bring our sin of reproach in prayer to the cross where Jesus bore it, and say sorry to God, “ Father God, please forgive me my sin of reproach against________ I am truly sorry, and I repent of my sin. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Giving thanks because we believe that God in his love and mercy has forgiven our sin in Jesus’ resurrection and will release the person from our reproach. [12]

People’s reproach against us will hinder our tasks for the Lord.

The sin of reproach against us:

“Lord Jesus, we pray that this sin of reproach that this person _____ is holding against us, we bring it to the cross, where Jesus bore the sin of reproach, and in Jesus’ resurrection God has rolled away that reproach from us, like the stone that was rolled away from the entrance to the tomb. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Thank you, Lord, that we are accepted by God through faith in Jesus. Help us Lord, to walk above reproach, to love others as we would want others to love us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What does it mean to be ‘above reproach?’

‘Above reproach’ is a legal word that indicates a kind of innocence in the eyes of the law. It means that no one can legitimately rebuke you or make any charges against you that will stick. They may accuse, but your conduct will eventually acquit you by proving you blameless, ‘above reproach.’

Your life is so consistent that your reputation is credible, and you do not discredit the gospel by teaching one thing while doing another.

Daily Prayer

Praying that the Holy Spirit would help us identify any sin of reproach in our life wherever it exists and to quickly put that sin to death.

Praying that we would diligently pursue personal holiness by and through the gospel.

Praying that we would be and remain blameless in God’s eyes and in the eyes of every person. Make our conduct match our profession so our lives do not display a trace of hypocrisy.

Praying that when we sin, we would be quick to seek the forgiveness of both God and our brothers and sisters.

Praying that if we are accused of sin or evil, we would be able to be found innocent, without reproach, blameless in God’s eyes.

Paul emphasises in his letters to the church at Thessalonica to be found ‘blameless,’ without reproach at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul in his letter to the church at Thessalonica wrote, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless (without reproach) at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 23. 2: 10. 3: 13.

After posting this blog on Saturday 8th May. Sunday 9th St Andrews Morning Service on Zoom during the second song the Lord gave me a picture: seeing Jesus close to on the cross,  and rising up seeing the empty cross, filled me with great joy.

May 9 2

[1] Genesis 4: 1-16.

[2] Genesis Chapters 39-47

[3] Exodus 6: 30.

[4] Exodus 11: 1.

[5] Exodus 1: 8-14. 12: 29-36. 14: 5-31.

[6] Exodus 12: 12, 13, 21-23

[7] Joshua 5: 5-9

[8] John 3: 16. Acts 2: 23. Luke 24: 44-46. Blog ‘34 Prophesies Fulfilled in One Day’ 2014.

[9] Matthew 26: 6-13.

[10] 1 Timothy 3: 7.

[11] Romans 15: 3

[12] 1 John 1: 7,8.

Forgive and Forget

ReproachWill the fans and the owners of the twelve famous football clubs hoped to form a European Super League: AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Tottenham forgive and forget this last weeks furore over the proposed Super League.

When the fans of the major UK clubs heard of the plans to form a European Super league their hearts were enraged, and their response was heard across Europe and the owners of the clubs took notice.

The fans point of view: Graham Hyde, of the trust, said: “Fundamentally the game is shifting from being one that has fans at the heart of it to one that is primarily about money.” 

Soon afterwards, the UK Football Clubs withdrew from the proposed Super League and the planned league collapsed.                                                

Will many of the fans forgive and forget or reproach the 6 English Clubs and the billionaire owners who finance them?

Many fans I believe will ‘Forgive and forget’ and be glad their views were taken to heart by the owners of their clubs.

Others may hold reproach against the owners and pursue the owners to favour the fans in their business approach to the game.

The meaning of ‘Reproach’ – holding something against another person.

‘Reproach in the Bible is where we read Cain slew his brother Abel because Abel’s offering of a lamb  was favoured by God. Whereas, Cain who followed in his father’s footsteps looking after the land, his offering of fruit was not favoured by God. Cain’s displeasure and indignation grew to reproaching his brother so much that he killed him. Genesis 4: 1-16.

King Ahab reproached Naboth because he wanted to buy his  vineyard, but he would not sell it to him. The King’s wife Jezebel plotted to have Naboth killed to acquire his vineyard. 1 Kings 21: 1-15.

Pharaoh’s reproach over the Israelites leaving Egypt led him to pursue then through the wilderness, only to be destroyed by God’s intervention at the Red Sea. Exodus 14

The Egyptians continued to reproach Israel. There at Gilgal (name meaning ‘rolling’) God rolled away the reproach of Egypt from Israel. Joshua 5: 8, 9.

Jesus and his disciples called on Lazarus and his sister Mary and Martha at Bethany. They shared a meal together and while they were eating their meal Mary went to where Jesus was sitting and anointed his head and feet. We read that the disciples were filled with indignation. Jesus disarmed their indignation by saying, ‘Mary has done a beautiful thing to me.”

To stop their indignation turning to reproach. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Matthew 26: 6-13.

Every person can hold something against someone else, without realising it’s a sin of reproach.

Reproach is a sin. Paul in his letter to Timothy wrote, “Moreover, He (Bishop) must be well thought of by outsiders or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3: 7.

Where we are holding reproach against someone.

We bring our sin of reproach in prayer to the cross and say sorry to God, “ Father God, please forgive me my sin of reproach against________ I am truly sorry, and I repent of my sin. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Giving thanks because we believe that God in his love and mercy has forgiven our sin and will release the person from our reproach. 1 John 1: 7,8.

The sin of reproach against us:

“Lord Jesus, we pray that this sin of reproach that this person _____ is holding against us, we bring it to the cross, where Jesus bore the sin of reproach, and in Jesus’ resurrection God has rolled away that reproach from us, like the stone that was rolled away from the entrance to the tomb. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Thank you that we are accepted by God through faith in Jesus. Help us Lord, to walk above reproach, to love others as we would want others to love us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thomas wanted evidence that Jesus was risen from the dead.

The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb. Jesus entered our world through a door marked ‘No Entrance’ and left through a door marked ‘No Exit’.

Today, many people look to science to have the answers to things that seem unbelievable like the resurrection of Jesus, but science can’t explain it, no one has ever revived after being dead for three days.

Thomas, who was one of Jesus’ disciples when he heard from the disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead, he doubted, he wanted evidence, to see the risen Jesus for himself. John 20: 19-29.

We have evidence that Jesus was raised on the third day when Cleopas and another disciple told the stranger (Jesus) on the road to Emmaus that it was the third day since the crucifixion of Jesus. Cleopas reported to the stranger that the women who came back from the tomb that morning, amazed them and told everyone in the house that Jesus was risen. Cleopas continued to say that some of Jesus’ disciples went to the tomb, but they did not see the risen Jesus. Luke 24: 21.

John records that on the evening of the day of Jesus’ resurrection the doors were shut where the disciples had gathered, for fear of the Jews. They were afraid and anxious of being arrested for being his disciples.

When Jesus entered the house his first words were, “Peace be with you.” Jesus knew their anxiety and he gave them His peace.

Recently after having my vaccination and the hope of soon getting back to normal. I didn’t think I was stressed about covid, that was until I had a day of fasting and prayer, as I focused on prayer and study, I noticed how I had become so relaxed and at peace in my body. It was then I realised just how tensed up I had been.

From John and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ resurrection,   Jesus didn’t just appear, he spoke to them, he showed them the marks of where the nails and sword had pierced his flesh. He was keen to demonstrate that his resurrected body needed food, we read he ate some grilled fish.

That night Jesus anointed his disciples when he breathed on the disciples the Holy Spirit, fulfilling John the Baptist’s prophecy ‘The Messiah would baptise them with the Holy Spirit. Luke 3: 16. 24: 36-43.

We observe through the accounts of the resurrection that Jesus’ resurrected body was different, he could pass through what we know as solid structures even though his body consisted of flesh and bones, but Luke didn’t mention his resurrected body having any blood in it. I believe Luke purposely didn’t mention his blood because Jesus’ blood was poured out when he died on the cross to make atonement for our sins against God. Luke 24: 39.

Thomas questioned what the disciples had seen, he wasn’t afraid of being honest. Many people today will not believe in Jesus unless they have evidence by experiencing God. However, those who encounter the risen Jesus are few, the evidence comes after we turn to Jesus in faith. God becomes real through God’s love touching our hearts.

Thomas didn’t walk away because of his doubts, eight days later Jesus addressed his doubts. Thomas was there in the house with the disciples and followers, when Jesus appeared again before them. Jesus asked Thomas to feel the wounds that had been healed and to see the marks on his body. As Thomas touched his body, in front of those present he declared Jesus as his Lord and his God.

Jesus responded saying, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Maybe, you have doubts concerning Jesus’ resurrection, if so, then talk to God and you will be amazed when the Lord answers.

Thank you, Jesus for being true to your word, your words are Spirit and life.

Note on fasting – abstaining from eating food concentrating on prayer, the word and reflection on the words of scripture.

For some Christians on medication, it’s not advisable to go through a day without having a meal and I believe the Lord understands every persons situation. For others to miss one meal is fine etc. However long or short the fast, it is a must to drink plenty of liquids.

God’s love reaching out to heal the broken-hearted.

One person suffers and we all suffer, including God.
God in His great love for us is constantly reaching out to heal the broken-hearted and comforting those who weep and mourn.
Many have forsaken God, but God has not left us. We may blame God for the loss, the death of a loved one, but God doesn’t blame us. Jesus bore his own and our suffering on the cross, even before he reached Calvary his suffering his body weakened by the suffering that he endured. We read as he made his way through the streets of Jerusalem to beyond the city wall, he was too weak to carry his cross. Simon of Cyrene was commandeered to carry it for him. Jesus in his weakness probably struggled to breathe, only to rest when the soldiers nailed him to the cross.
Such was his love for us he bore the pain of hatred, anger, resentment of those who curse God and mock when someone says, ‘God is love.’ Yet God’s love was manifested in Jesus when he was heard to say, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” The Jewish people acted in ignorance when they sent Jesus to Pilate for sentencing. They did not believe the Messiah would come and die. “In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “But he cannot save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Mark 15: 31,32.
Jesus wept when he heard from the sisters Mary and Martha that Lazarus had died. The mourners standing at Lazarus’ tomb said, “See, how he loved him.” Mary said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” Isn’t this the plea of many of those who blame God for the death of someone they love, why weren’t you there to save my love from death?
There at Lazarus’ tomb Jesus spoke to his Father God, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear my prayers. But I have said this in the hearing of the mourners that they may believe that you have sent me.” Jesus then shouted, “Lazarus come out.” The dead man came out, they removed the burial wrappings and Lazarus was alive.
Jesus had said earlier to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me though they die yet shall they live and whoever lives and believes shall never die.” This means Lazarus had been raised from the dead to continue his life until he died, but he had received eternal life through his faith in Jesus. John 11.
When Jesus was dying, he said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit!” and then he died.
In Ecclesiastes we read, “The spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12: 7.
Eyre & Spottiswoode Study Bible notes. “Our spirit returns to God neither to sleep or to perish, but to be judged.”
The church celebrates at Easter the resurrection of Jesus, God in His love raised Jesus from the dead.
Jesus is alive, he ascended into heaven where he has prepared a place for his family of believers.
God’s love is complete in all aspects of pure, holy love, his love reaching out to heal the broken-hearted;
“Love is a safe place without any walls no barriers of fear and wars.
Love prepares to serve all human weaknesses. Love bears the pain of love rejection grieves the lover. Love ceases not to love.
Love is God our creator.”