Two Gardens – Easter 2020

This post is an extension of the Two Gardens post from 2019 and the Birth of a New Adam. (The link will take you to my wordpress.com post.)  The “seven exchanges” are from the book Praying Grace, it is from TBN and Hillsong Church – pgs. 80 to 93.  I am comparing and contrasting things in Eden with a similar event in Jesus’ gardens.  In this post, some of these extend past the borders of the garden.  In reality, this is also comparing Adam to Jesus (the second Adam).

  • Adam was born in Eden. Jesus was resurrected (born again) in His garden.
  • Adam could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They were removed from Eden so could not eat from the tree of life.  Jesus’ tree gives us the opportunity to eat from the tree of life.  We will see the tree of life again!  They grow next to the river that flows from the throne in Heaven. Revelation 22: 2 adds that they produce fruit for every month of the year.
  • Adam “ran” or hid from God.  Jesus “ran” to God and His will.

The book Praying Grace has seven devotions that are labeled the “great exchanges”.  Each “first” item is what we bring to the cross and the “second” item is what Jesus gives us to replace the problem.

  1. Sin for Righteousness – Adam let sin into our lives.  Jesus covers our sin with His righteousness and allows us to be accepted by the Father. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  2. Curses for Blessings – There were curses given in Eden.  There are curses that have been spoken or given to us, even though we may not have deserved them!  Jesus’ blood covers those, ending them in our lives.  Revelations 22:3 states that there will be no more curses. Galatians 3:13-14
  3. Rejection for Acceptance – Adam rejected God when he ate the fruit.  Rejection is rooted in sin.  When we come to Jesus and make Him Lord, we are accepted again into God’s planIsaiah 53:3
  4. Sickness for Health – “By His stripes, we are healed.”  The Father has a plan for us and healthy living is part of it. Isaiah 53:5
  5. Shame for Glory – Adam and Eve felt shame and hid in the Garden. Shame is not something we have to live with because Jesus took our shame and covered it with His blood. Hebrews 12:2
  6. Poverty for Abundance – Tough times occur, but the Father has more for us than we can imagine. 2 Corinthians 8:9
  7. Death for Life – This is spiritual death.  The Father wants us coming to Jesus and accepting Life (His way). Romans 5:12

Pic is from http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/gnpi-101-jesus-resurrection/

Day of Atonement, Passover, Epiphany

The Day of Atonement, Passover, and Epiphany may seem like three strange Feast to be linked together when talking about the birth of Jesus.  Bear with me as I explain their connection.  

I know it is a good thing that God is a “God Who hides Himself” and did not give us exact dates for everything that occurred.  “He concealed things” so we could search them out.  Luke or Matthew could have given us “better” timestamps but Holy Spirit stopped them.  But Luke did give us some very important calendar dates.

Time

Jewish timekeeping is different than Western thought, it was started by God in the Garden.  (another post on time) The Biblical day starts in the evening and goes to daylight.  This thought is consistent in the Bible as there are many examples of things going from dark to light.  The Jewish religious month is lunar-based; they would add an extra month when needed to keep them in line with the revolution of the earth.   In the Book of Leviticus, the major feasts are set in this framework of months.

Day of Atonement

This important day, for the Jews, of fasting, prayer, and repentance is explained in Leviticus 16.  In Leviticus 23: 26 its time is given as the tenth day of the seventh month.  In Luke we find Zachariah, John’s father, doing the offering of incense behind the Veil in the Second Temple.  Luke 1: 23 had him finish “his time of service” before going home.  This possibly was until the end of the month, so he was with Elizabeth in the eighth month.  She stayed secluded for five months.  (I am not trying to do days or exact times, those belong to God!)

Passover

Luke 1:26 has the “sixth month” for Mary’s visit with Gabriel.  That should be the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, which makes it the first month of the Jewish year, the month of Passover!  The Father is a God of order.  It would seem fitting to “birth” Jesus in Mary at Passover. That would put Jesus’ “coming out party” with the angels and shepherds in the December/January time frame (Julian Calendar) of the month of Tevet.  (see the calendar below)

Epiphany 

From ancient times (before the fourth century) the 6th of January has carried special importance in the Church!  Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his Testament to Freedom, pgs. 504-5 talks about Epiphany.  I read it in a compilation called God is in the Manger.  On page 90, he talks about four events associated with that date – the birth of Jesus, His baptism, the wedding of Cana, and the arrival of the Magi. Traditions are frequently built on fact.  Some of these I will not try to defend or deny, but it sure is interesting.  (Again, I am not trying to be dogmatic in writing this.)

Tevet is the Jewish tenth month.  The root of the word comes from tov or nine.  The meaning of the word is “good”.  If you look in Psalm 119: 65 – 72, the ninth section of that acrostic psalm you will find the idea of good four times in the NIV. (I did an alternative to how Psalm 119 is written.)

Matthew, in his telling of the Christmas story, injects that the Wise Men had seen the star two years earlier (Herod killed the babies two and under.).  He gives no timestamp, but if it was on Jesus’ birthday (Passover) when they found Him, it would fit. 

Okay, I will go out on a limb here, because I know the Father is a God of order!  Jesus’ return with Mary and Joseph from Egypt should have been at the same time as the Exodus (Passover).  I will inch a little further out and say that Jesus’ baptism with John coincided with the anniversary of the “baptism” of the people in the Red Sea. 

The wedding at Cana – I am clueless!  John was writing about proofs of Jesus’ divinity when he wrote on the Seven Miracles (or the Plus One I added), not about dates and times.  

For you scholars out there, I have not researched any of these thoughts on Epiphany!  It may well be that someone else has already come up with the same ideas!  I like the way they fit together, and it gives me a reason to reflect on Epiphany.  One day in Heaven I will have to ask how close I was to being correct.   

Kingdom – Fourth Block of Teaching

Since this is really an “on-going” study, I am changing my thoughts and adding a fourth block:}

WHY– 1. On Tuesday of Holy Week Jesus uses John’ baptism to silence/anger the religious. 2. This time period reflects Exodus 12: 1 – 13. Which is the time before the Passover when the lamb was prepared and in the time of no yeast. 3. This is the start of the final teaching/preparation period for Pentecost – the birth of the Church.

I am starting this block in Matthew 21 (the Triumphal Entry) and going to the Ascension.  This is an aggressive period for Jesus.  He has forceful actions and teachings that contrast His actions after His arrest.  Then, after the Resurrection, He takes on a new attitude as He prepares His followers for the future.

John the Baptist– Each of my sections have John the Baptist at or near the start of them. I know I am starting with the last section but there is nothing wrong with reading the end of the story first.  Using John’s signature teaching and act truly honors him and his place in God’s story.  I know Isaiah links John to Elijah but there is also a link to Moses because of baptism, which is linked with the passing through the Red Sea. (See Dividing the Red Sea in Passover to Pentecost Week 1.)

At the start of Matthew, John is physically present and doing his ministry, and as the story progresses he is slowly removed until it is just his primary teaching and act.  After all, John the Baptist did say he had to decrease and Jesus increase.

Sunday– Jesus fulfills Zechariah 9:9. The Kingdom principle He allows praise.  This probably runs over into Monday (Matthew 21: 15 – 16).  Luke has Pharisees complaining about the praise as Jesus enters the city.

Monday– It is not recorded, but I have an idea that Jesus returning to Jerusalem set off another round of praise.  This would have set off the Pharisees, again!  When He cleaned the Temple, stopping the selecting/buying of the lamb and other offerings, He focused on prayer.  Not a bad combination – praise to bring Jesus in and prayer once He is there! Mark/Peter has the fig tree being cursed today and then found dead on Tuesday.  Luke simply says He taught daily. John is the only one to add (12:20) that Greeks wanted to meet Him and that the Father confirmed Jesus’ message about why He had to die with a voice from Heaven.  John also includes Jesus teaching that He came as a Light and not a judge – the Father’s word will do that.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

This is the time period required in Exodus 12: 5 + 6 when the Lamb was to be taken care of before the meal. (After some consideration, Tuesday maybe be a better start to the fourth block of teaching.  The fig tree represents religious acts/systems that started with Adam and Eve.). “Tuesday” starts at Matthew 21: 18 and goes to chapter 26: 6.  Following when and how Jesus used the word kingdom will be this portion of the study, I will use one of the three times “kingdom” is mentioned in John.

Jesus putting the elders in a bind with the question about John is very fitting for the season they were in.  Baptism is connected to Passover with the parting of the Red Sea and passing through the Jordan (Joshua’s Passover).  Unless noted all of the references will be in Matthew.

  1. 21:31 – Jesus uses the Kingdom of God (here and in 43).  I feel it is an “in your face” move for the Elders.  He stresses those who repent and believe and going into the kingdom.
  2. 21:43 – Jesus is prophesying a change of membership in the Kingdom.  He emphases’ doing what the Father wants – “fruit production”.
  3. 22:1 – The new membership is again shown in verse 8.  The bad attitudes will be left out and not being “clothed” correctly will get you removed!
  4. 23:13 – This is restating 21:31 and begins the “Seven Woes” against the religious elite.
  5. 24:7 – Power struggles are a sign of Jesus’ return.
  6. 24:14 – Another sign of the Return is the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached so no nation will have an excuse about not knowing Jesus.
  7. 25:1 – The parable of the Wise Virgins and the mindset to be ready for Jesus’ return.  The foolish Virgins give the idea that just “playing church” will not get you into the Kingdom.
  8. 25:34 – The Kingdom has been prepared for the Sheep!
  9. 26:29 – The promise of a party when we get to Heaven.
  10. John 18: 36 – Jesus clarified His Kingdom for Pilate.

It is important to remember that item 1 through 8 is taught in one day (Tuesday).  As the Master Teacher He states who are going into the Kingdom, why the religious leaders are missing the kingdom, and examples for the people to follow in waiting for the Kingdom.

To the Ascension– Acts 1: 3b (NIV) He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. (See Passover to Pentecost Week 4 – See Class in Session, Passover to Pentecost Week 5 – The Great Commission, Passover to Pentecost Week 6. I wrote several posts on topics about Jesus teaching the disciples and The Ascension.  My favorite is After the Cloud.)

Jesus began His ministry of teaching and showing the Kingdom with a forty-day fast, after His baptism. The baptism is symbolic of passing through the Red Sea (Week 1).  He ends His time on earth with a forty-day time of teaching.  The Holy Week teachings are very pointed about the Kingdom but they were being taught to the people and the Disciples.  This forty-day period was just for the Disciples and I believe that Jesus went into great detail.  These teachings would frame the first church attempt in Jerusalem.

Seven Miracles of Jesus Plus One

While studying for my Kingdom series, I kept reading about Jesus “walking through” angry crowds or “concealing” Himself.  Using the parallel function in the Bible Gateway app it was easy to look at several different translations and paraphrases at one time.  I am amazed at how this habit of Jesus is handled in them.  Some could have a possible explanation, while others don’t! I will give the verse/story, the Strong’s Concordance number, and the Greek word with a simple translation. John is the writer who has the most references to Jesus “hiding” Himself.  With that said I will start with the one in Luke. (I am using the NIV.)

  • Luke 4: 30 – #1330 dierchomai – to pass through. Jesus was at Nazareth teaching the morning lesson. (This could also be Matthew 13:53. Luke seems to group things differently, so I will go with Matthew for chronology.  For my study this starts Jesus’ third block of teaching.). He makes the town’s people mad and they are going to throw Him off the “brow of the hill”.  He “passed through” an angry crowd intent on hurting/killing Him. Really!  They just let Him pass!  Okay, I am not sure what He did, but something powerful quelled/confused the mob.  I find it hard to believe they just “lost” Him on their own.
  • John 7: 10 – #2927 kruptos – secret, hidden. Jesus’ brothers are giving Him a bad time because they do not believe He is the Christ.  So, Jesus goes to the Feast of Tabernacles in secret.  This one does not need a miracle to explain how this happened.  A good hoodie would have worked.  But it is hard to imagine that no one recognized Him until He went to the Temple to teach. There was no one trying to kill or harm Him in this story.
  • John 8: 59 – #2928 krupto – to conceal.  Jesus is at the Feast in John 7.  He is teaching and answering questions.  The crowd does not like His statements about Himself and His relationship to the Father.  They are going to stone Jesus! How do you lose track of someone you are trying to kill?  I just feel that since it was not His time to die Jesus did a miracle and concealed Himself.
  • John 10: 39 – #1831- exerchomai – escape, go out. Jesus is at the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah).  He is again being questioned by a crowd and they don’t like His answers.  Doing miracles in the Father’s name was not enough proof as to who He was!  So, He escapes!  Again, this could a simple “He outruns them” but that sounds weak, or He punched His way out, no that is weak also.  He was in the Temple, with people everywhere, and was being questioned by what should have been a crowd.  How do you escape that scenario without a miracle? I have a feeling that harming Him was on their minds!
  • John 12: 36 – #2928 – to conceal. This is Monday of Holy Week. Jesus is telling the crowd how He is to die.  A voice came from Heaven to comfort Jesus and challenge the Jews.  His statement in verse 36 surely made them mad!  But He had not shared His last meal the disciples, so He was not ready to be taken, prisoner.  This could be a natural “hiding” Himself and I would not argue or try to defend a miracle here.

I know this is not one of the traditional “Seven Miracles” and there is no foreshadowing of this type of miracle (That I could think of!).  Really, I think it may be too far out there for many people’s comfort zone. Jesus was not ready to die!  He picked the time and the place – Passover and Jerusalem.  He was in control, not the crowds!  I know that my observations will not change the number of miracles, but if I get a chance to teach it I will add them to the list:-}

These are the Seven Miracles, I copied them from a previous post.  (Click the blue link to see the post.)

·  Turning water into wine in Cana (2:1-11)

·  Healing an official’s son in Capernaum (4:46-54)

·  Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (5:1-18)

·  Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14)

·  Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)

·  Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)

·  Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany (11:1-45)

Pic http://clipart.christiansunite.com/

On His Way to Jerusalem #2 and Heaven

I am borrowing the title of this post from my Easter post and I got that from Luke.  Luke also uses this idea for the third phase/block of Jesus’ ministry by saying He was getting ready to go to Heaven.  (This will not look polished because Word Press does not play nice when you import some things from Word.  This is more of a study than a “telling”.  I am trying to connect where Jesus was with the teachings and actions of others and focus on “kingdom”.)  Jesus’ movements and His teachings are very purposeful in this phase of His ministry as He is preparing the disciples for Easter/Passover and for the Book of Acts/Pentecost.  Matthew and Luke have different events in this time period, I will try to join them but that has proven hard.  One idea that might help join all the events is that the disciples (the Twelve) were not always by Jesus’ side in this time period.  Another fact is the Holy Land is not a huge area, several days of focused walking will get you from Jerusalem to Caesarea Philippi and Tyre and Sidon to the East Bank.   

From Matthew 13: 53 to 28: 20 there are eighteen times/parables that the term “kingdom” is used. (actual number of times it appears is higher, I counted groupings) I will add material from Luke and John when it seems right.  Some of this will be subjective because Luke adds many things not found in Matthew or Mark, John’s focus is just different! 

Matthew 13: 53– His hometown (Nazareth) – rejected as He taught in the synagogue – “prophet without honor” I have wondered if that is why He never went back to Bethlehem!  The mention of what happened to John the Baptist not only signals this is a different section of Jesus’ ministry but clears the stage for things to come.

Matthew 14: 13 – a solitary place – feeds the 5000 and walks on water.  The miracles reflect events of the Exodus and the march to Sinai (days to Pentecost) and Jesus’ authority over nature.

Matthew 14:34 – Gennesaret – Pharisees from Jerusalem asked about the Law (washing hands). Teaching on clean and unclean.

Matthew 15: 21 – the region of Tyre and Sidon.  This is as far west as Jesus traveled, it is also as far north as He went; Caesarea Philippi is about the same latitude north.  Jesus found “great faith” in a woman who the disciples wanted to send away.  She wanted mercy for her daughter’s healing.

Matthew 15: 29Sea of Galilee. Feeds the 4000.

Matthew 15: 39 – vicinity of Magadan, by boat– Pharisees wanted a sign from Heaven.

Matthew 16: 5 – crossed lake.  Yeast of Pharisees and Sadducees.

Matthew 16: 13 – Caesarea Philippi *Kingdom (2) * – Who I am, Peter’s confession, started explaining His suffering at Jerusalem, Peter’s rebuke, denying self 

Matthew 17: 1 – high mountain for Transfiguration.  This could be in Caesarea Philippi or “the mountain” in Galilee.  I vote for Galilee because of Jesus wanting them to go back there during the days of “counting the omer” or waiting on Pentecost.

Luke 10: 1 to 17: 11– My main interest here is that Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples to at least thirty-six towns.  Luke puts many parables/teachings in these chapters that may appear somewhere else in a different Gospels.

Matthew 17: 22 – they came together!  Matthew does not say any more than that!  This is why I put Luke 10 into the list.  Realizing that the disciples (the 12) may not have always been “right there” helped the possibilities and melding of the Gospel accounts.

This section is from the first post and overlaps a little. I will add some from Matthew for #8. 

  1. John 10: 22 has Jesus in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.  He makes the Jews mad so He “escapes”.
  2. Jesus goes to where John baptized on the east bank of the Jordan. John 10: 40.
  3. Bethany is Jesus’ next destination to raise Lazarus from the dead. John 11: 17
  4. Because of a plot to kill Him, He goes to a village called Ephraim that is in the desert.  John 11: 54 We would call it wilderness – English and Hebrew ideas on this topic are opposites of each other. 
  5. Capernaum– dealing with the Temple tax. Matthew 17: 24
  6. Samaria and Galilee border – healed ten lepers. Luke 17: 11
  7. Crosses the Jordan River to be on the east bank. Matthew 19: 1
  8. Crosses back to the west bank and goes to Jericho.
  9. Goes to Bethany/Bethphage and the Mount of Olives for the “Triumphal Entry”. Matthew 21: 1, Luke19: 28

    Jesus on the Donkey

Matthew 18 to 21 – There are seven references to the * kingdom* in this section of Matthew.  Six are by Jesus and one by “the mother of Zebedee’s sons” (James and John).  

Matthew 20: 17 – going up to Jerusalem.  He probably was on the east bank of the Jordan going to Jericho.  This period of time reflects Joshua’s entry into the Land and his Passover (#8).

Matthew 20: 29 – Leaving Jericho going to the Mount of Olives (#9) for His ride into Jerusalem.  Jesus only visited the Temple and then He left for Bethany (Mark 11:11). This is Palm Sunday, I will switch to days of the week so that it will be easier to visualize. 

Monday– To put this is context with Passover, the next four days are when the Passover lamb was separated, “inspected”, and taken care of before it became the main part of the remembrance of what God had done for the people.  I am also going to focus on where Jesus went during these days, not what He taught or said. The links will take you to another post that adds more to the story.  I will extend this section to the Ascension.  Jesus’ movements are scattered throughout the Gospels, so they are not in one place for reference.  Matthew 21: 12 – the Temple and back to Bethany.

Tuesday– Matthew 21: 18, Mark 11: 27 – to the fig tree and the Temple Court where He taught. Matthew has seven references to the *kingdom* on Tuesday; Luke has one.

Wednesday– Matthew 26: 6 – Jesus is in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper.

Thursday– Matthew 26: 17 the Upper Room, (26: 30) Mt. of Olives/Gethsemane, (26: 57) Caiaphas house.  There is one reference to the *kingdom* during Jesus’ last supper; Luke has three.

Friday– Matthew 27:1 Jesus goes to Pilate, (27:27) Praetorium, (27:33) to Golgotha and the Cross. He was then put in the Tomb.  Luke has three mentions of the Kingdom- one to the Thief and one about Joseph of Arimathea.

Saturday – Jesus went into Hell and got the Keys back and while He was there He preached and set captives free.

Sunday (Easter) Matthew 28 – the Garden Tomb, (Luke 24:13) Emmaus, (Luke 24:36) the first visit to the Upper Room.

One week later – John 20: 24 + 26 – the Upper Room for the second time for Thomas.

To Galilee – To the mountain and the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee).

Mt. of Olives/Area of Bethany – for the Ascension.

I wrote a post called – After the Cloud to envision what may have taken place next and where He went.

pics –