Jesus Last 3 Days

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday

What we believe about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection make all the difference for our future. Friday begins on Thursday at sundown.

1 Corinthians 15:3 – For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (Verse 4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,… That’s the Gospel!

The First Day

On Thursday night Jesus eats the Passover meal with His disciples and then they go to Gethsemane where Jesus prays. Then He pulls Peter, James, and John a little way from the others, and tells them to watch and pray. Jesus comes back three times to check on them and finds them asleep, but on the third time, He says His hour has come. This very well could have been around midnight.

Then Jesus is arrested. So from around midnight to around 8:30 in the morning, Jesus went through six trials; three Jewish trials and three Roman trials. He was tried by Annas, and then taken to Caiaphas and then taken to the Sanhedrin council. Then somewhere around 6:00 AM, they took Him to Pilate, and Pilate sent Him to Herod and Herod sends Him back to Pilate and tried Him again.

In the three Jewish trials, Jesus is found guilty of blasphemy. In the three Roman trials, He’s found innocent. Pilate even said, “I find no fault in Him.” Then Jesus is blindfolded, spat upon, a crown of thorns is placed on His head, a purple robe is put on Him and then He is mocked and slapped. He was beaten by Pilate’s soldiers and Herod’s soldiers and Jewish soldiers. So He is physically beaten at least three times.

Some people don’t realize what all was done to our precious Jesus before He was even crucified. This is what our Saviour went through to die for you and me!

John 19:1 – So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. (Verse 2) And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. (Verse 3) Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. (Verse 4) Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”

The scourging alone should have been enough to have killed Him. The whip had a wooden handle that had leather thongs coming out and on the ends, it had small bones and metal balls tied to it. The victim was tied to a post and flogged on their backside. This was the most feared punishment anyone could imagine. With each strike, the flesh was ripped from the body. The Romans took great pleasure in this when using it to threaten a riotous crowd if they didn’t calm down. The Romans had no limit to the number of lashes they could give a victim.

The New Testament does not tell us what Jesus looked like after He was scourged, but Isaiah does. (The Living Translation) Isaiah 52:14 – But many were amazed when they saw Him. His face was so disfigured He seemed hardly human, and from His appearance, one would scarcely know He was a man.

They took Him from the scourging and then crucified Him: John 19:31 – Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for the Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. (Verse 32) Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. (Verse 33) But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. (Verse 34) But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

John 19:36 – For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” (Also Psalm 34:20) (Verse 37) and again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” (Also Zech. 12:10; 13:6)

Isaiah 50:6 – “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.”

The Roman soldiers drove nails in His wrists and in His feet. That spike was five to seven inches long and it was nailed between two arteries in the wrist. Then they put another spike in the top of His feet, one on top of the other.

On the cross, there was no seat to sit on and no platform for His feet to push up on and take a breath. His entire weight rested on the three spikes. When a person is hanging like this, the person can inhale, but they cannot exhale. In order to exhale, they have to pull themselves up, pushing with the feet and pulling with the arms. This is why the soldiers would break their legs, so they couldn’t push up with them and they died quicker. Also, it would be too hard to pull themselves up with their arms extended out. Every time Jesus breathed, for six hours, He would have to raise His body up, all the while it was raw meat exposed on His back because of the scourging.

When the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs, they said He was dead, so they took a spear and pierced Him. Blood and water came rushing out. The cause of the physical death of Jesus was “Cardiac rupture.” His heart burst! All of this happened on that first day, Friday.

The Second Day

Jesus was buried on that first day. That’s how we get three days. He is buried on Friday before the sun goes down. He’s in the tomb, guards are posted, and a stone is placed in front of the tomb and sealed. This was a huge boulder and took many men to move it in front of that tomb. This represents “finality.” They did all this so that no one could say, “He’s alive.” Otherwise, it sounds silly to us to place guards and seal the entrance with a huge stone to keep a dead man from escaping.

The Third Day

Resurrection! An angel shows up, right at daylight and rolls away the sealed stone. One angel! And when Satan eventually gets thrown into the bottomless pit, it’s only one angel that does that too. Angels are powerful! This angel rolls away this stone and sat on it (Matthew 28:2). The angel did this in front of the guards.

Matthew 28:4 – and the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. These guards went back into the city and reported what had happened. Then Jesus comes out and appears to Mary, then appears to some other women that were coming to prepare His body. Then He says for them to go tell His disciples because He is coming to meet with them.

John 20:19 – Then, the same day at evening (Sunday evening), being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Jesus had a resurrected body. It was a heavenly resurrected body. That’s why He could come through that shut door. A person either believes that Jesus died, was buried and rose again or a person cannot be saved.

Romans 10:9 – if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You must believe in the resurrection!

If you ever start to think that God doesn’t care about your situation, then you need to be reminded of what all Jesus went through to make it possible for you to have that abundant life and spend all eternity with Him. No one living or that has lived could or ever will do for you what Jesus did and is doing!

 

Jesus’ Last Week

What did Jesus do and say during His last week on earth and how does it apply to us today? The first thing we need to know before we learn about the last week of Jesus life, we need to know when the Jewish day starts.

A Jewish day begins at sundown. We think our day begins when we wake up, but it actually doesn’t. Our day actually begins at “Midnight.” But a Jewish day begins at sundown. Why?

Genesis 1:5 – God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. 

On Friday, seven days before the Passover, Jesus goes through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem. While He is entering Jericho, He heals a blind man named Bartimaeus. Then Jesus enters Jericho and goes to a house of a very short man named Zacchaeus. On that Friday, He tells His disciples:

Matthew 20:18 – “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, (Verse 19) “and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”

This is about the third time Jesus has told His disciples this. He tells them clearly that when He gets to Jerusalem, this is what’s going to happen. Then on Saturday, He arrives at Simon the leaper’s house. This is strange because leapers didn’t have houses. They weren’t allowed to associate with people, and they had to go about shouting, “Unclean!” Could this be one of the leapers that Jesus had healed of the ten?

He has dinner there. (You have to read all four of the gospels to put the timeline together.) John 12:1 – Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. (Matthew and Mark tell us it was at Simon the leaper’s house before this.)

Then on Sunday, five days before, He makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowd lays down palm branches and that’s why we call the Sunday before Christ is risen, Palm Sunday.

John 12:12 – The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (Verse 13) took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” (Hosanna means “save us.”)

When Jesus was who they wanted Him to be, which was a king, they gave Him palms, which represented praise. When Jesus was being whom they needed Him to be, a Savior, they gave Him thorns! These same people who cried out “Hosanna” on Sunday were the same ones who cried out “Crucify Him” on Friday!

How many times when Jesus is being who we want Him to be, when blessing us in all areas, do we come to church and wave our palm branches and then within one week, when He is being who we need Him to be, which is working something out in our lives, do we give Him thorns? Do we give Him praise when things are great and then when things start to go wrong, do we then turn on Him and blame Him for the bad things that happen?

Monday, four days before the crucifixion is when Jesus goes in the temple in Jerusalem and cleanses it. This is the second time that He cleanses the temple. He cleansed the temple because they were supposed to bring a spotless sacrifice but the people got to where it was too much trouble to do that, so they would wait until they got to the temple and would buy an animal there which was not up to requirements. The people who were selling these animals were overcharging for them. They were making a profit. The first part of John tells of the first cleansing and then the last time He goes to Jerusalem He cleanses it again.

Then Jesus curses the fig tree and it withers. All this is on that Monday, four days before His crucifixion. There are a lot of commentaries that say that the fig tree represented Israel, but nowhere in the Bible did Jesus curse Israel. Here is what the fig tree represented: The Bible says that Jesus saw leaves on the fig tree, which meant it should have been bearing fruit. The figs would have been there but maybe not ripe yet, but it didn’t have any fruit at all.

It has leaves, so it’s like saying, “I’m a fruit-bearing tree, but I’m not bearing any fruit!” Jesus was saying the tree was a “Hypocrite!” Pretending to be something it was not. People who have the leaves to show others, but never bear any fruit. Fakers! This happened on Monday of that week.

On Tuesday, Jesus teaches in the temple nearly all day. Many of the parables that Jesus taught about the kingdom were taught on that Tuesday before He died. Matthew 21-26; Mark 11-14; Luke 19-22 were all taught in one day while Jesus was in the temple that Tuesday.

On Wednesday, two days before His crucifixion, Mary anoints the head and the feet of Jesus (John tells us the feet and Matthew and Mark tell us the head).

Matthew 26:2 – “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Matthew 26:12 – “For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.

On Thursday, Jesus eats the Passover meal with His disciples. It’s actually Passover on Thursday evening because the next day starts at sunset. John 14, 15, and 16 tell us what Jesus said at this meal – The Last Super. Then in John 17, Jesus prays for Himself and His disciples, and all believers. Jesus told them He was going to die but rise again. He was telling them this before it happened so that they would believe!

Have you ever heard someone say that the Jews are the ones that crucified Jesus? This is an anti-semantic statement and is false to the core! This lie was started in 1879 by a German journalist who wrote an article about how the Germans were a superior race and how Jews were inferior and that’s how it all started.

Were there anti-semantics before the Germans, yes and that was within the “Church!” On Passover for many many years, Christians would raid the Jewish villages, rape the women, and kill the men, and burn the village. These people wore big crosses on their chests. And they would say while they were doing this, “This is what you did to our Lord.” They based what they were doing on the book of John.

The Jews, Romans, or us, did not kill or as some like to say murder, Jesus. Jesus put Himself on that cross for all mankind and this is very clear in Scripture.

John 10:18 – “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I have received from My Father.”

No Christian should ever be against the Jew!

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Jesus went to the Jew first. Paul went to the Jew first. However, the gospel is for the world, all nations, tribes, and people.

Revelation 7:9 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,…

All nations, one day are going to give Him praise! So what would you do or what would you say if you knew you only had one week to live?

(Next study is Jesus last three days.)

A Highway Of Holiness

God sent His Son to make a way in the Spiritual Wilderness. The Messiah brought strength, signs and wonders, streams of flowing water, the Holy Spirit and a road through the wilderness.

Isaiah 35:8 – A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. (Verse 9) No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, (Verse 10) and the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

This is a highway of Grace!

Sometimes when we read the Bible the enemy will attack us, like when we read, “the unclean shall not pass over it.” The enemy will bring “condemnation” because we think we are not worthy to walk on this road. When a person feels condemnation, it’s not from the Lord!

The road of Holiness is not gotten to by works. We are on the road because of Jesus. We become clean because of grace. Our performance will never get us there. Jesus’ performance says and did it all! We are on this highway because of grace and grace only. We are clean because of the blood of Christ washing us cleaned when we believe in Him for salvation.

There is a good example of this in the New Testament. The Gentiles were considered as unclean by the Jews. There was a man named Cornilus who is crying out to God and God sends Peter to him. Peter takes the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter goes up on the rooftop of a house to pray and falls into a trance. A sheet comes down from heaven with all kinds of unclean animals. And this voice says to Peter, “Rise, Kill, and eat.” That’s where we begin:

Acts 10:14 – But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” (Verse 15) And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”

Then when Peter is preaching to the Gentiles, he says, (Acts 10:28) Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Now in Acts 15, when they are having counsel to decide what to do with all these Gentile believers, Peter says,  Acts 15:8 – “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, (Verse 9) “and made no distinction between us and them purifying their hearts by faith.”

The word purifying means cleansing. He cleansed them, the Gentiles, just as He cleansed the Jews that believed by faith. Jesus is the way to this highway of holiness.

This Highway is also a road of safety!

Isaiah 35:9 – No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there. 

Psalm 91:13 – You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

Jesus backs this up in the New Testament: Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions; and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall be any means hurt you.”

No ravenous beast is on the road. However, a warning is needed: Don’t wander off the road! This is not talking about saved, then lost, saved then lost. But even as Christians, we can see something that entices us and wander off this road, and when we get off the road, we are in Satan’s territory. This doesn’t mean that we don’t get tempted or attacked by the enemy.

When the Apostle Paul was under attack, he wrote this to Timothy to encourage him: 2 Timothy 4:17 – But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (Verse 18) and the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen!

This highway is also a road of joy!

(Old King James version) Isaiah 51:11 – Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Grace and salvation are everlasting, but sorrow and mourning shall flee away! People grieve, but those who have Jesus, don’t grieve as if they have no hope. The mourning can pass away and become lighter for those who are in Christ.

We can sing unto the Lord because we have been cleansed. We have been cleansed in the blood of our precious Lord, so we sing and praise Him.

So, why don’t more Christians rejoice? In Luke 15, there are three stories that Jesus tells: One is about a shepherd who lost one sheep, left the 99 to go bring it back: There’s a woman who lost a coin and found it: And there is the father who had two sons, one went away and came back. What was the first thing each one of them did when they found what was lost?

Luke 15:6 – “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

Then the woman with the coins: (Verse 9) “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!”

Now for the son who came back home: (Verse 23,) ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (Verse 24) ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

The very first thing they all did was rejoice when they found what was lost! Wait a minute; the first thing they did was they stopped looking for what was lost.

We all are born looking for that unconditional love; looking for forgiveness, and looking for acceptance. What we all need to hear in our spirit is “If you have found Jesus, you can stop looking for another!” and then “Rejoice!

Jesus Is The Way In The Wilderness!

 

 

 

Springs Of Water

Isaiah 41:18 – I will open rivers in desolate heights and fountains in the midst of valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water.

There is a natural fulfillment when we look at Israel because it’s a garden in the middle of a desert. Every single nation around it is a desert! Isaiah prophesied this and God did it for Israel. Israel is 60% desert and yet supplies water not only for their own but for the Palestinians and the Jordanians. Also, they export billions of dollars worth of vegetables a year that flourishes on that water supply.

However, there is also a spiritual fulfillment as well. Once we are saved, we don’t have to live in a dry wilderness anymore.

Isaiah 58:11 – “You shall be like a water garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Jeremiah 31:12 – “their souls shall be like a well-watered garden.”

God doesn’t have any problem providing water for His people, naturally or spiritually. Moses spoke to rock in the wilderness and water came rushing out of it. The New Testament tells us that the Rock he spoke to was Christ, and it followed them.

1 Corinthians 10:4 – For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. We don’t have to live in a dry land even though we live in a fallen world. We can live in a river of living water.

Jesus Brought The Holy Spirit

He didn’t bring just a spring, He brought the river. In this next passage of Scripture, the Bible is talking about the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jeremiah 14:16 – And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (Verse 17) And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.

On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, they would pray for rain and for the Messiah to come. They knew what Isaiah had written and Isaiah had said that when the Messiah comes, He will turn the desert into a pool.

So the day they are praying for water, rain, and the Messiah in the New Testament, Jesus does this: John 7:37 – On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (Jesus is at the temple where they are praying for the Messiah to come and rain to come.) (Verse 38) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Verse 39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Jesus came so that we could have a dynamic, powerful, river in us, flowing through us, and out of us, and His name is the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit Is Not Weird

People think the Holy Spirit is weird because people are weird, not Him. If you’ve been going to church for a while, we all have seen weird people do some weird things and they say,” The Holy Spirit led me to do it!” No, they more than likely just wanted to draw attention to themselves, weird. My question is: If these people are not looking for attention, then why do they go to the front of the congregation to do their “weird” thing? Why not do it in the back of the church instead of the front? “Because they are weird and want everybody to see them.

John 16:12 – “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (Verse 13) However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

That should settle all debate on whether the Holy Spirit speaks or not! Jesus Himself said He speaks! He will guide us into all truth because He knows all truth.

So don’t let someone tell you when you see them acting out of character of the Holy Spirit running around, jumping on chairs and acting crazy, that is the Holy Spirit guiding and leading them because it does not glorify God and that’s all them!

Think about this: We have Someone living on the inside of us who knows everything there is to know about everything! And He has committed Himself to be our teacher. Ask Him whatever you want and He will tell you and show you. If a person will not talk to the Holy Spirit, its because they don’t see Him as a person and that personal relationship with the Holy ‘Spirit then they don’t see Him as a person. The Holy Spirit should never, ever, be referred to as an It!

Let The River Flow

James 3:7 – For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. (Verse 8) But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Our hope is, “The Holy Spirit” can tame the tongue. There is a gift that requires us to yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit.

There is a “gift” of tongues and a “grace” of tongues. Everyone that is filled with the Holy Spirit can pray in tongues. The gift of tongues is public and the grace of tongues is private. Its the prayer language.

The gift of tongues can only be done when unbelievers and uninformed people are “not” present in a gathering (1 Corinthians 14). And it has to be interpreted. Read the whole chapter. Paul explains that if an unbeliever comes into the church and the people are speaking in tongues, “will they not think they are out of their mind?”

However, a “prayer language” is for every believer. The Bible says that praying in tongues will build a person up. It strengthens us, edifies us. But praying in tongues is “voluntary.”

1 Corinthians 14:14 – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. (Verse 15) What is the result then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

Praying in the Spirit, tongues, is not uncontrollable. You can control it. Why would Paul give instructions about how and when to pray in tongues if we couldn’t control it or when and how we do it? We have a choice whether to pray in tongues or not. A person is not going to be out in public one day and just bust out in tongues. It is controlled by you. We can have the gift of teaching, but we control when and where we teach, it is the same thing.

When we pray in the Spirit, it will cause our sensitivity to be more affluent. We will be able to see how a situation will end up. The river will start flowing. I don’t know how anyone can read 1 Corinthians Chapter 14, and not know that “Praying in the Spirit” is “Praying in tongues.” This is a gift from God and a way for all Christians to build themselves up!

 

Strength

At different times in a Christian’s life, they will find themselves in a wilderness, starting to wander off and maybe even lose hope that things are ever going to change.

In the book of Isaiah, he tells the story of how God’s people forfeited His protection and blessings when they forgot about Him and went their own way. Yet in the midst of God’s discipline, His desire and ultimate plan to restore his people back to Him never diminished. However, if you place your hope and trust in our beloved Messiah, He will transform our wilderness into a lush garden overflowing with abundance.

Every time Jesus referred to the “Scriptures,” He was referring to the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah is a messianic book. These Scriptures we are going to study are prophecies referring to the Messiah. Isaiah, Chapter 35, is one of these messianic chapters.

When Isaiah writes Chapter 35, he is looking forward in time to the Messiah and the cross. So when we read Isaiah, it says, “He will,” so we realize, “He did.” What Isaiah says will happen, has happened.

A Way In The Wilderness

Isaiah 35:1 – The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; (Verse 2) It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. (This is about Israel.)

Because we Gentiles have been grafted in, what was a dry and barren wasteland, is now blossoming, abundantly with joy and singing, because the Messiah has come.

Lebanon is a country now, but it wasn’t when Isaiah wrote this. Lebanon was a very fruitful place in the northern part of Cannan, the Promise Land. If you’ve ever been to Israel, it is a “Garden” in the middle of a wilderness. In other words: God prepared a luscious garden in the middle of the wilderness for His people.

We may be living in a fallen world, but we are living in a garden if you are a believer! And there are ways that we can receive strength while in this garden because the Messiah brings strength. Labonon represents “fertile trees.”

Psalm 104:16 – The trees of the LORD are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, (God planted the land of Lebanon for His people. In the same way, He has already provided for us who believe, a rich and fertile garden for us to live in once we believe. 

Carmel actually means “garden land.” It means plentiful and beautiful cultivated soil.

2 Chronicles 26:10 – Also he (Uzziah) built towers in the desert. He dug many wells, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains; he also had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved the soil.

Then Isaiah spoke about Sharon and Sharon refers to the beauty of the Bride of Christ. Song of Solomon 2:1 – I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.

Isaiah 35:3 – Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. (Verse 4) Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God;’ He will come and save you.”

The hands could represent what we do; knees could represent where we walk, and our heart could represent how we think. God strengthens our hands in what we do for Him. He also will strengthen how and where we walk as He strengthens our heart.

Hands Refer To Worship

If we want to strengthen what we do, we need to become a worshiper of God.

Nehemiah 8:6 – And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Do you remember the first time you were in a church and saw people lifting their hands in worship? I do and thought “Wow!” That’s awesome! Here are four excuses why people don’t lift their hands in church: (1) “I’ll lift my hands when I get to heaven.” But God says in Psalm 63:4 – Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. (2) “I lift my heart up.” Lamentations 3:41 – Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.  (Excuse # 3) “The Bible doesn’t tell us to lift our hands in church.” Psalm 134:2 – Lift up your hands’ in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. (4) “Well, those are Old Testament Scriptures.” 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands. 

And excuse is just an excuse to be stubborn and rebellious. I’ve stood beside people who just refused to lift their hands to God. It always made me wonder what else they were refusing to do. Look, if you can throw your hands up at a ball game, you can certainly raise your hands in praise to the One true God for all He’s done. If you want to strengthen your relationship with God, learn to worship Him!

1 Kings 8:54 – And so it was when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.

The more we think about things and dwell on something, the more worried and anxious we become. But the Bible tells us to pray about it and give it to the One that cares for us!

Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. Prayers are “rolling off” the “burden!” But here’s what most of us do: We pray for the Lord to lift the burden, get up, walk away, and as soon as we talk to someone, we start telling them about how big this burden is. Sheep were never designed to carry burdens. We are designed to carry our burdens only to the feet of Jesus!

When a heart is not given over to God, fear comes in. In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses told Joshua: Deuteronomy 31:7 – The Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of Israel, “Be strong and of good courage.” Moses was putting a Word in Joshua’s heart, don’t fear, you are going to win.

2 Timothy 2:1 – You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

So how do we literally become strong in Jesus? We get the “Word” in our heart! When we have a word from God, it doesn’t matter what comes against us. If we don’t have His word, then we become fearful.

Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart. 

The person who meditates on God’s word, everything they do will prosper. However, you have to be familiar with God’s Word in order to meditate on it.

To be strong, worship, pray, and read God’s word! and the Messiah will strengthen you!!

The Power Of Prayer

Matthew 6:13 – …”For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Prayer is personal, it’s not a formality. People’s prayers can become formal. Right before Jesus tells His disciples the Lord’s prayer, He talks about not using vain repetitions. The Lord’s prayer is a pattern that Jesus gave us to use. Prayer is personal.

If you’ve noticed, this prayer includes all three of the Godhead: “Our Father”; Thy kingdom come”; a kingdom has a King and has dominion over that kingdom who is Jesus. “And the power”; the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “You will receive “power” when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

In order for us to pray to the Father about the Son, we must pray through the Holy Spirit.

It’s About The Kingdom

Acts 1:1 – The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, (Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, is referring to the book of Luke, which he also wrote.) (Verse 2) until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, (Verse 3) to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

For forty days, Jesus taught His disciples things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Jesus said over and over, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” So for three and one-half years, that’s what He taught. Then after His resurrection, He taught for forty more days about the kingdom. So, should that be our focus when we pray? I think so. And it should also be what preachers and pastors preach.

Up until this time, the disciples still didn’t get that it was all about the kingdom. And how do we know this? Because of what they say in verse 6 in Luke: Luke 1:6 – Therefore, when they had come in together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus’ disciples wanted an earthly kingdom and that’s where their focus was. Jesus had just spent, after three and a half years, and now after His resurrection, another 40 days telling them about the kingdom of God, but they still didn’t understand. None of what He was telling them was about them or us, it’s all about the Kingdom of God!

It’s Through His Power

Luke 1:7, 8 – And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. (Verse 8) “But you shall receive when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judah and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

When the disciples received this power, they immediately changed. They became men of boldness. They had been afraid up until this time. They were afraid of the Jews and were hiding behind locked doors when Jesus found them after His resurrection.

Mark 14:50 – Then they all forsook Him and fled. (Verse 51) Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, (Verse 52) and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

But look what happened when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples in the upper room: Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

This happened in Acts Chapter 4, but in Acts Chapter 2 they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a one-time event, but being filled with the Holy Spirit is a continual event! So how do we continually stay filled with the Holy Spirit? It’s right there in Acts 4:31, “when they had prayed!” When we pray, boldness and power will come but be careful to use wisdom and be in God’s will.

It’s For HIs Glory

When Jesus was water baptized, the Holy Spirit came on Him. 2 Peter 1:17 – for He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” When the Holy Spirit came on Him, He received honor and glory from the Father.

When the Holy Spirit comes on us, He gifts us, and we have different gifts to be used for the honor and the glory of God. Now, when people use those gifts people will try to give us the honor, but that honor belongs to God only. Always keep in mind when the people told Jesus that they loved the miracles, Jesus told them, “I do nothing unless I see My Father do them first.” Jesus gave the glory and honor to His Father and so should we.

When Moses said, “Show me your glory.” God said, “I’ll show you My goodness.” God’s really, really good at being good to people. We all have the ability to give God glory. 2 Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

It’s through His power for His glory. Romans 11:36 – For of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Of Him, that’s His kingdom; through Him, that’s His power; to Him, and that’s His glory! If we will pray according to His kingdom and for His glory, then His power will operate.

When we pray to the Father about the Son, through the Spirit, our prayers are answered!!!!!

 

The Protection Of Prayer

Matthew 6:13 – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

Part of the Lord’s prayer is praying for protection. Why would we pray for God not to lead us into temptation? The Bible says, “God does not tempt anyone.” We have to look at what these words mean and take into consideration the meaning of other Scripture as well.

Point number (1) God can’t tempt us. It is totally impossible, outside of God’s nature to tempt us. God does not go outside of His character. God can’t change, because if He could change, that would mean He could get better, but He can’t, He’s perfect in every way already.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 

When we endure temptation and don’t sub come to it, we are blessed and rewarded. This word endures, means to continue to trust in resistance and opposition. We continue to trust God even though we’re being opposed and resisted. That’s how we endure.

James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (Verse 14) But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

We are drawn away by a desire we have and then the enemy jumps on it and tempts us to follow through with that desire. The enemy is the tempter, Satan watches us, and the minute we take our focus off of God, he jumps in and tempts us with what we’ve relocated our focus on.

Matthew 4:3 – Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

1 Thessalonians 3:5 – Lest by some means the tempter had tempted you.

Sometimes Satan will take a good or harmless desire and will tempt us into turning it to evil. For instance: If we don’t take time to relax and enjoy what God has given us, Satan will start to put thoughts in our head that don’t belong there. He will attack when we are tired from working all the time without resting.

Do you know that sin is the counterfeit of actual joy? When we think that we are not receiving the things from the Lord we should, we look for a counterfeit to fill that void.

God Won’t Mislead Us.

The word temptation has many different meanings. For instance: James 1:2 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (Verse 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Trials in this verse are the exact translation in Matthew 6:13, as the word “translation” is. It has a broader meaning than some understand. It means temptation or a trial or a test. So ask yourself: Would God ever lead us into a trial or a test? Yes, He would and yes He does. Because the trying of our faith causes us to grow and develop the character for us to be able to fulfill the destiny God has for us! But, He will only do it for our good. The leading us into a trial, keep in mind, the tempter is already there waiting and God knows that. But God tells us in the Lord’s prayer, “Pray for protection!”

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Who led Jesus? The Spirit did. Where did He lead Him? Into the wilderness. Why did He lead Him? To be tempted by the devil. God led His own Son into a time of trials and testing and Satan was sitting there waiting for Him.

God did this for the good of His Son. Luke 4:14 – Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. Jesus came out stronger after He went through that time of testing. However, here’s the main reason God did it, He did it for our good! God knew Jesus would succeed, and because Jesus succeeded, it would be a benefit to us.

Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. He did that for us!

Hebrews 2:18 – For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

When we pray for help in our temptations, we’re not praying to someone that doesn’t understand. Jesus was tempted in all points of temptation.

Notice where He was tempted. He was tempted in the wilderness, in a dry place. Just like the children of Israel being led into the wilderness, it was a time of testing. However, God didn’t expect them to stay there for 40 years. The journey to the Promised land was only an eleven-day trip. So, neither does God expect us to stay 40 years in that one temptation, time of testing. Ask Him to help!

Why were the Israelites lead into the wilderness in the first place? Deuteronomy 8:16 – “who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good in the end -“

If God ever leads you into a trial, it’s to do us good! For us to understand Matthew 6:13, we have to understand it with other Scripture. Any time you read something in the Bible that you don’t understand, it’s because you don’t understand it. I’m not being funny. There’s nothing wrong with the Bible, there is only something wrong with our understanding. That’s why we have to “renew” our minds and not be conformed to this world.

When we begin to look at other Scriptures, the meaning of the one we are stuck on will come to light. We have to take the Bible as a whole.

God Will Deliver Us

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Is that not an amazing statement? God makes us two promises: God will never allow us to be tempted in a trial or a test above that which we are able to handle. Second, with every temptation, He will make a way for us to escape! God will deliver us if we let Him. Paul said this: 2 Timothy 4:17 – I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (Verse 18) And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

2 Peter 2:9 – …the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations. One of the things we are to pray is protection from the evil one. It is God’s will for us to escape temptation. If we are in any kind of trial or testing, pray for a way of escape and He promises to deliver! 

If We Will Pray

This is our part because we need God to do His part. That’s what Jesus is trying to tell the disciples because they asked Him to teach them how to pray. We have an enemy that will come after us in times of trial. Psalm 119:133 – Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Look what Jesus prayed: John 17:15 – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

He didn’t pray to keep them out of the trials and testing, but to deliver them from them. So when going through trials and times of testing, know that the evil one will be there to tempt you, but the Lord Himself promises to deliver you out of them all!