Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Why Do You Look
For The Living
Among The Dead?"

That's a question I ask myself on a constant basis. Our lives are filled with shallow choices and illusions. So much of the time, it seems the easiest, and most alluring choice is the one which takes one down a dead end path, one not his own, one with no real life in it.

Whether it is materialism (which I heartily endorse for the fun of it, but not as a reflection of any real meaning), or lust, or greed for power, all the dead paths have the shine, sparkle, and lure of glamour and status.

But, they lead to destruction.

The path which does not lead to destruction can be summed up in two laws,

1) Love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your mind, with all your sould, and with all your strength,


2) Love your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 24
The Resurrection

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?

6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

8Then they remembered his words.

9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and

he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

A lesson to be learned from this passage is that those who spent their lives with Jesus, those who knew Him most intimately, those who studied with Him and listened to His teachings on a daily basis, did not hear, did not understand the fullness of His message.

We are fools to think that we, who live at a 2000 year remove from His Presence, can understand clearly and fully the message of the scriptures.

For one thing, almost all of us, who call ourselves followers of Christ, are completely removed from the Jewish tradition from which His teachings, and His truth, sprung forth. Yes, Truth is universal, but it does grow out of a ground, and the root grows from the land of Israel, and all us gentiles are but wild shoots grafted on to the original vine.

If we want to find the living, we must not look among the dead. It will help us all to know that He was born a Jewish boy, named Yeshua, and His mission as the Messiah was to establish God's Kingdom across the face of the Earth by serving as the Branch which would bring the message of the Hebrew scriptures to the whole world.

His mission and His name were prophesied in the book of Zechariah, hundreds of years before He was born:

Then he showed me Joshua (Joshua is an anglicization of the Jewish name Yeshua) the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel.

He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, "Remove the filthy garments from him " Again he said to him, "See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes."

Then I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by.

And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.

The Branch
'Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you--indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.

'For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

'In that day,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.'"


The Symbolic Crowns
"Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.

"Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

"Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."'

"Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the LORD to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah.

"Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the LORD " Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you And it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God.

God separated the priestly tribe from the Kings a long time ago. If you ask me, He did this because He, in His wisdom, knew that no man could be entrusted with both tasks because the breadth of the power would be to enticing.

But Yeshua the Messiah was no mere man, and when He returns, He will sit upon the throne based in Jerusalem, and He will rule the whole world as both priest and King.