Friday, April 11, 2014

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday April 13, 2014

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(JESUS sacrificed for HIS people)
(John 19:1-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6, & Zechariah 6:9-15)

In the biblical Greek, the word used for “truth” is “aletheia”, and it means “in harmony with reality”. To compromise the truth, is to not stand behind the truth at all. We either hold fast to the things of GOD, or, we allow ourselves to be deceived by satan, just as when we doubt GOD’s goodness, we automatically become attracted to satan’s offers. When we deny the truth, we are no longer in harmony with reality.
In Jeremiah 23, verses 5-6, the prophet Jeremiah delivered this message from the LORD;
“For the time is coming when I will place a righteous branch on King David’s throne. HE will be a KING WHO rules with wisdom. HE will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this is HIS name: “The LORD is our righteousness”. In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety”.
In Zechariah 6:9-15, the prophet Zechariah paints a rather vivid description of a coming MESSIAH WHO would be both a KING, and a PRIEST, and now we know that that PERSON was, and is, CHRIST JESUS our LORD. JESUS completely filled the office of priest, as it is described in the Old Testament, and as it is taught in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 7:1-14). HE fulfilled the “Aaronic Priesthood” type, as one who offers up gifts and sacrifices, and as an interceder for the LORD’s people. JESUS’ priesthood is also compared to that of Melchizedek, the historical, obscure figure to whom even Abraham paid tithes (Genesis 15:17-20).
JESUS, like Melchizedek, is a King/Priest. As King/Priest, JESUS heads the Christian Church, which makes it a holy and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5 & 9). And so, the Christian Church is a Priesthood, whereby every believer is a priest. And the fact that the Church is a priesthood, makes CHRIST, WHO is the head of the Church, our High Priest.
JESUS received priesthood by divine appointment from GOD. Like Melchizedek, HE did not derive HIS priesthood from HIS lineage, and there are no descending priests who succeeded HIM. As priests under CHRIST, Christians must offer a fivefold sacrifice;

·         Their own bodies (Romans 12:1, Philippians 2:17, 2 Timothy 4:6, James 1:27)
·         Praise to GOD (Hebrews 13:15)
·         The sacrifice of good works (Hebrews 13:15)
·         Sharing gifts of money and service to those in need (Romans 12:13, Galatians 6:6, & 10, Titus 3:14)
·         Be intercessors in prayer for others (Colossians 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:1)

In John 19 we see that the Jews delivered JESUS into the hands of Pilate, and despite his finding JESUS innocent, Pilate tried to compromise the truth of his findings (John 18:38-39 & 19:7)). He convinced himself in the end, that he had done all that he could, but actually, he knew even deeper in his heart that he had long ago, through his problems with the Jews, tossed away his option to do the right thing. Through his earlier actions against the Jews, he had already set himself up to be blackmailed by the Jewish hierarchy in Jerusalem.
The “permissive will” of GOD, allows for man to do many things, and ultimately, through JESUS’ death, we also receive GOD’s wonderful and abounding grace. However, GOD, through HIS infinite wisdom, will never allow “grace” to trump “truth”. The “TRUTH” presented itself to Pilate that day, in the person of JESUS CHRIST, and he decided to put TRUTH to death.
As for the Jews, in order to carry out the death of JESUS, they abandoned every principle that they ever had, especially on that day, when they uttered these infamous words to Pilate, as it is recorded in John 19:15, where they state, “We have no King but Caesar”. It was a final abandonment of the GOD that they had always preached, that, they served.
The Jews denial of King JESUS put the final brush strokes on a tragic painting, of a maddened mob, that had been driven by anger. Driven by their hatred for JESUS, the Jews lost all sense of proportion, and they totally forgot about the mercy, they themselves, had so often preached about in the temple. They forgot all justice, and, in the end, they denounced GOD, and JESUS as their King, and they professed Caesar as the only king they would follow.
Never before, in the history of man, has hatred’s insanity presented itself before us this vividly, and hopefully, it never will again. There can never be a “right time” to do the “wrong thing”, as Pilate and the Jews ultimately did. They took the most beautiful LIFE, that ever did live, and then, they snuffed it out, on a cross.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website


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