This week there are “second” chances that we are looking at.
The reflections in this fourth week of Counting the Omer is focused on what I think Jesus was doing during His last forty days before the Ascension. Jesus was finishing the ground work for the Church.
Jesus opened and closed His earthly ministry with forty day periods; the first was to ready Him for ministry, the second was to ready His disciples.
John records the story of Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus teaches us a truth starting in verse three about how to enter the Kingdom of God – be born of the water and the Spirit. In this time period of the Counting of the Omer (Passover to Pentecost) Jesus ties the Old Testament shadows to the New Testament fulfillments. This maybe the second example of New Testament Passovers, the first one is in Luke when Jesus stayed behind to talk to the priest in the Temple.
In the first three chapters of John there are two different pictures of the Passover and the Counting of the Omer. The first is Jesus’ baptism and His forty day trip into the wilderness and the second is John 3:5 + 6. But we need to include chapter one and two in this second picture of Passover.
John 2:23 is one reference to a New Testament Passover. Jesus after His baptism picked some disciples (due to the testimony of John the Baptist), told Mary, His mother, that His “time had not yet come” and still preformed a miracle, and cleared the Temple of commercial activity. How do these reflect the Passover to the Jew of Jesus’ day and to us?
- We will start with the picking of some of His disciples – There is a pre-Passover fast where the firstborn males are recognized. When Jesus picked those disciples, He was doing a form of the Fast of the Firstborn.
- The miracle of the wine at the wedding is a complex, in my thinking. It could represent the miracles that led up to the first Passover. The fact that it was wine, a “yeast” made drink, is interesting because one of the “gods” that was humiliated was the Egyptian beer goddess.
- Jesus clearing the Temple is a picture of cleaning your home of yeast before Passover.It is interesting that the Jews were more concerned about the authority to upset the selling tables than the “right or wrong” of Jesus doing it. He did this again just before His last Passover.
- Jesus’ command to be born of water and Spirit reflect the “baptism” at the Red Sea and meeting God at Mount Sinai. And what would happen on the Birthday of the Church, Pentecost.
Jesus’ response to Mary in John 2: 4 about the wine finally has been settled for me. His “time” or start of His ministry was Passover! So, it was before His time!
Hypoventilation can be a serious organic problem in some people, it however is NOT respiratory arrest, when you stop breathing. Hypoventilation is when you are not breathing enough, and it causes an increase in carbon dioxide levels in your blood. Very simply put your gas exchange is out of balance.
There can be several causes:
- A medical condition, injury, or illness that impairs the nervous system.
- Drugs, both recreational and prescribed.
- Voluntary holding your breath.
So, with respect to the people who have an organic problem, I will still attempt to show spiritual hypoventilation. In spiritual hypoventilation you may have had your nervous system compromised. You could have been betrayed and hurt so you withhold what Jesus has called you to give to the world. I will compare “drugs” to wrong teaching or your misunderstanding the finished work of Jesus on the cross. If you have trained yourself to not “give out”, please stop and at least go voluntary somewhere so your light may shine for Jesus.
To compare Hypoventilation and Hyperventilation both center around carbon dioxide. It is something that we need to give back to the world. In a spiritual context both of these are correctable, but you will need to examine your actions.
Thought for the Day
Take in more of the Holy Spirit, and then give it out again.
Acts 8:5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ. (See Acts 6:5) NIV
Hyperventilation is when you are breathing in more than you are exhaling, throwing your blood gases out of balance. This can be serious, but in non-chronic cases it is treatable. The problem here is that you have more oxygen than carbon dioxide. Yes, you need oxygen to live. Yes, carbon dioxide is a “waste product” and to much is a problem. But you are designed to have a balance – the “in” has to be in harmony with the “out.”
If I may view this in a spiritual sense. Oxygen is the Holy Spirit. Carbon dioxide is what we give back to the world (it is needed for plants to grow). If Christians are only taking in the things of God, and never giving back what we receive to the world it is a problem.
You are depriving the world of something it needs, but the bigger problem is it will make you sick! Webmd.com list some of the physical problems as being lightheaded (faint), heart beat with be incorrect, short of breath, and numbness. Personally, I do not want the spiritual counterparts of any of those.
Our remedy for this is found in Matthew 10:8 – Jesus tells us here to give freely because it was freely given to you. And a bonus about giving (yourself, your knowledge and love of Jesus, time, money, etc.) is in Proverbs 11:24; the more you give, you will receive more back.
Staying healthy spiritual and not hyperventilating requires a balance between getting and giving. Philip is an example of this, he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit and he went to Samaria and gave.
∞ Jesus, thanks for being our example in “giving.” Help us to not hyperventilate so we can give out what you have given us. Amen.
Thought for the Day
To be a healthy Christian give the things you have been given.