Bible Trilogy III – Part 1

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! [Psalm 24:7]

Today we begin the third portion of our Bible Trilogy. The first portion came from Psalm 22 and had to do with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. The second portion came from Psalm 23 and had to do with the burial of the Lord Jesus. The third portion, as can be gathered by the Bible quotation above, comes from Psalm 24 and has to do with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

We noted in the first portion that three events mark the Gospel:

  1. Jesus’ crucifixion
  2. Jesus’ burial
  3. Jesus’ resurrection

We direct you to 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 for Biblical affirmation of this truth. Those three events comprise the three portions of our Bible Trilogy. The three psalms (22, 23, and 24) prophetically present the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the cross just prior to surrendering His spirit to the Father’s care and dying, Jesus cried aloud, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Then He was placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s new tomb, with a humongous stone sealing the entrance. He remained there for three days.

On the first day of the week before sunrise, the humongous stone was rolled away. No, Jesus’ disciples didn’t do it. Neither did the Roman soldiers do it. And the Jewish authorities certainly didn’t do it. They paid the Roman soldiers to claim they did it, so the truth of Jesus’ resurrection wouldn’t get out into public circulation.

In fact the stone wasn’t even rolled away from the entrance of the tomb so Jesus could get out. It was rolled away so man could get in. Man needed to enter the tomb in order to discover that the body of the Lord Jesus was no longer there!

The person who rolled away the stone was an angel of the Lord (cf., Matthew 28:2). He descended from heaven, rolled the stone away from the entrance, and then sat on the stone! According to the account in Matthew 28, when the angel moved the stone an earthquake occurred. That, and the angel’s brilliant appearance, sent the Roman soldiers scampering like roaches when the lights come on!

God sent the angel to roll away the stone, you see, as a witness of the resurrection. So long as the stone blocked the entrance, no one would know that the body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb.

The import of this information is vital. We will explain how so in our next study. For now let’s spend time alone with Jesus.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Deuteronomy: Volume 5 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

Bible Trilogy II – Part 3

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want [Psalm 23:1].

Psalm 23 is about the Lord in His relationship with His kids. The role played by the Lord in this psalm is that of the Shepherd, and His kids are the sheep. That is the immediate application of the psalm to David in particular and man in general.

However, there is also the prophetic application. The Holy Spirit inspired David to write this psalm, just as He inspired David to write Psalms 22 and 24. For each of these psalms the Spirit’s inspiration led David—whether consciously or not, we cannot know—but the Spirit led David to reveal truths about the future Messiah.

Just as Psalm 22 revealed the Messiah’s future crucifixion, so does Psalm 23 reveal the Messiah’s time in death. During the three days when Jesus’ body was in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, Jesus was under the care and protection of the Lord His God. Jesus functioned as the sheep, while the Lord His God was His Shepherd.

“Huh?” I hear a flummoxed saint groan. “How could Jesus be one of the sheep? He’s the Shepherd! Get with the program, teacher!”

Oh, but you are overlooking one of the mysteries of Scripture, dear brother in Christ. Jesus willingly laid aside His prerogatives as God, when He took upon true humanity (cf., Philippians 2:5-8). He became one of us and lived accordingly. He walked in obedience to the Word of God under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In this way He fulfilled all righteousness on our behalf, and then He went to the cross and died on our behalf. His life wasn’t on His behalf, nor was His death. His life fulfilled all righteousness, something we could not do because we are sinners and sinners are not righteous! His death then paid the penalty for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to die to pay that penalty.

Jesus functioned as one of the sheep on our behalf. His life was for us. He lived as we are supposed to live, viz., as the Lord’s sheep. We are to follow Him, eat the food He serves us, and depend on Him for our safety from the flesh, the world, and the devil. In death He walked securely with the Lord His God as His Shepherd, even as we are to do when the time comes for each of us.

All is of grace, not of works. Jesus fulfilled all for us, and He freely gives us what He Himself worked for and earned. It costs us nothing, you see, but it cost Him dearly. Grace is free to us because He did the work, paid the price, and earned it for us.

Do the truths we learned from Psalm 23 stir your heart? Do you now love the Lord Jesus even more? Do you want to follow Him and look to Him for everything in life and death?

Lord Jesus, I love you. Thank you for your inexplicable and unfathomable love for me.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Numbers: Volume 4 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

Bible Trilogy II – Part 2

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want [Psalm 23:1].

What transpired during the three days Jesus’ body was in the tomb is not revealed to us in the Bible. Ergo, we are unable to know! Assertions about Jesus descending into hell and suchlike guess work should be kept at arm’s length by the dutiful saint. We choose to stick with “Thus saith the Lord” for our information.

As to whether or not Jesus descended into hell, we’ll leave it to the systematic theology buffs to waste away their time on this earth debating such mysteries. For our part we will stick with Isaiah in saying, “To the Law and the prophets. If they speak not according to them, their words are worthless.” (Pardon my paraphrase.)

But let’s return to Psalm 23, where a green pasture and still waters await us. Oh, and the Lord has prepared a table for us there too. The meal He provides is even better than we can imagine. The servings He gives us are reminiscent of Joseph’s serving to Benjamin in Egypt. Each of us will discover readily enough that our cup runneth over. We will enjoy ourselves much better than we would hanging out in the valley of the shadow of death, don’t you think?

Psalm 23 has been taught from many and various different aspects. I want to draw our attention to an aspect not often given the focus by preachers and teachers. I hope you are ready to traverse the psalm with me. A salubrious trek we shall find it to be.

Two main characters form the cast of Psalm 23. There is the Lord and then there is David. David is the author of the psalm, but all of God’s people can and should make it their own.

In Psalm 23 the Lord is the star. The two words “the Lord” are the actual name of God. The word “God” depicts the Creator, He who is high above man in heaven, distant and removed from the earth, impersonal and intimidating. When His name “the Lord” is used, however, it depicts Him on a personal level with man, friendly and affording us a personal relationship.

David/man is the costar of Psalm 23. In fact the costar is just along for the ride. That is the extent of his role in the psalm. He serves the same function a dumb sheep serves in the pasture with the shepherd. He follows and behaves himself, while the shepherd provides for him and protects him so he doesn’t do himself wrong or starve to death.

We can gather this much directly from the psalm by means of a simple observation. Look over the six short verses and determine:

  • how many times the Lord is mentioned
  • how many times David/man is mentioned

The Lord is mentioned 12 times. There’s only 6 verses! Think He’s the star? The pertinent twelve words are “the Lord”, “He”, “His”, “You”, and “Your” (NASB).

David/man is mentioned 16 times, but at every mention the Lord is either providing for him or protecting him. This makes the Lord the star and David/man the costar. The pertinent sixteen words are “my”, “I”, and “me”.

I have to say, Psalm 23 is hard to set aside! It is chock-full of delectable morsels, each of which fits the old commercial, “Bet you can’t eat just one!” But the hour is late, so we will have to pause now. Not to worry. We will finish the meal tomorrow.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Numbers: Volume 4 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

Bible Trilogy II – Part 1

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want [Psalm 23:1].

Today we begin the second portion of our Bible Trilogy. The first portion came from Psalm 22 and had to do with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.

We noted in the first portion that three events marked the Gospel:

  1. Jesus’ crucifixion
  2. Jesus’ burial
  3. Jesus’ resurrection

We direct you to 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 for Biblical affirmation of this truth.

The second portion of our Biblical Trilogy comes from Psalm 23 and has to do with the burial of the Lord Jesus, His time in the tomb. Since the first portion came from Psalm 22 and the second portion comes from Psalm 23, I’ll give you five guesses whence the third portion comes…

Anyway, back to the second portion. Psalm 23 makes reference to “the valley of the shadow of death”. The phrase furnishes an excellent depiction of Jesus, during the time His body was in the tomb. Jesus walked through the valley of the shadow of death and conquered death on our behalf.

Over the centuries many theories have erupted from the minds of men, which supposedly explain where Jesus was and what He was doing during the three days His body was in the tomb. One such theory, for instance, is what has taken the title “Apostles Creed”— though the true apostles of Christ never uttered it, and the Holy Spirit of a truth did not inspire it.

Don’t get me wrong. The Apostles Creed recites some quite true and good Bible concepts. But it is still man’s words, not the living and breathing Word of God. The creed can only affect man’s head, his intellect, not his heart. It can make the old sinner behave better, but it cannot effect a new creation or bring the new man to maturity.

In the Apostles Creed a reference is made to Jesus, claiming He “descended into hell”. Did He? Whay are you looking at me? I asked you first! Okay, if you insist, I will give you my answer. What does the Bible say?

That’s right. It doesn’t. The Bible reveals to us that Jesus died on the cross as the once for all sin offering on behalf of all mankind. His corpse was placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb for three days, after which time Jesus rose out of death.

When we finite creatures known as human beings theorize what happens in eternity, the best we have to offer is guess work. We really haven’t a clue as to whether what we assert is the truth or not. How can we? We can’t. The truth is from eternity and we’re not.

All we can really know about eternal truths is what the God of eternity reveals to us. Even that truth is limited, but not by God’s truth, mind you. It is limited by our limited capacity as finite creatures to grasp the unlimited revelation of the Word of God.

I see the shadows forming and the sun setting. Let’s pause for today and spend some time with Jesus. We will continue this study on the morrow.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Numbers: Volume 4 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

Bible Trilogy I – Part 2

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? [Psalm 22:1]

We concluded our last study at the foot of the cross. Darkness covered the earth from noon to 3:00 PM. The darkness was the visible reality which depicted a spiritual truth. The spiritual truth was that Father God turned away from looking upon His Son because the Son became a sin offering on behalf of mankind.

Huh? That doesn’t compute! How can God turn away from God because God has sin on Him and God cannot even look upon sin? Oh, my aching head! Everything is spinning in circles and I am becoming quite disoriented. Can someone please explain this bizarre concept to me? I am confused.

Uh, that would be no. Can’t explain it. It is a Bible mystery. We only know that it is true because the Word of God tells us as much. But it is beyond the comprehension of finite minds because it is spiritual truth, the truth of eternity. And that is something we finite creatures have no experience with, rendering us incapable of grasping it fully.

But not to worry. We believe this truth by grace through faith because the Lord teaches it to us, and we trust Him to tell us only the truth. No sooner did Jesus cry out the words of Psalm 22:1, than He released His Spirit, surrendering His life all the way to death so that sinners can live.

Indeed Father God did forsake the Son of God, but not as the Son of God. Rather, Father God forsook Jesus as the Son of man. This was essential because Jesus the Son of man became a sin offering for mankind. God is righteous, so He cannot tolerate sin. Sin is the refusal to obey the Word of God. Sin requires God’s judgment of death.

If God overlooked sin, any sin, even a so-called peccadillo, He would no longer be righteous. Such a prospect is an impossibility because God cannot deny Himself. He is righteous. He cannot be otherwise.

Ergo, when Jesus the Son of man became a sin offering on man’s behalf, God the Father turned away from Him, rejecting Him because God must reject sin. God judged sin in His own Son. He did forsake Jesus the Son of man for a time, as He judged mankind’s sins in Jesus.

We’ve already gone down this road further than perhaps is advisable. As finite creatures we cannot really grasp the extent of Jesus’ death on our behalf. We mustn’t attempt to explain it more than is revealed in Scripture. It is revealed, and it is explained; but the explanation is tempered with moderation because the truth is vast and unfathomable. Let us believe, without thinking we know it all.

Read Psalm 22. As you do so, consider the prophetic import. Meditate on the crucifixion of Jesus and how Psalm 22 depicts that historic event. Your meditation will bring the psalm alive, and you will find yourself in deep and stirring worship of our God.

Lord Jesus, we appreciate you even more, now that we’ve pondered anew your death on our behalf. Thank you for loving us that much. We love you in return because you first loved us…all the way to death on a cross. Make us like you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Genesis: Volume 1 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

Bible Trilogy I – Part 1

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? [Psalm 22:1]

Three crucial events of the Gospel are the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In defining the essence of the Gospel to the Corinthian Christians, the Apostle Paul noted those same three items (cf., 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). In this context we will embark on a Bible trilogy comprised of those three events.

Psalm 22 is a prophetic depiction of the crucifixion, of Jesus’ death on the cross for the sins of mankind. Anyone who reads the Bible, especially the Old Testament, knows that David ben Jesse suffered grievously during the course of his life.

David was hounded by King Saul without letup because the Lord through Samuel proclaimed David to be Saul’s replacement as king—and Saul didn’t want to relinquish the kingship to David. Saul was determined to keep it for himself and for his son Jonathan after him. “Down with David! Up with Saul & Family!” That was Saul’s motto.

And then there were David’s own sins which got him into hot water. He had no one to blame but himself for those ordeals. And did he pay the piper! A pound of flesh was demanded of him on more than one occasion. Yep, David suffered interminably during the course of his life.

Notwithstanding this, when David wrote Psalm 22 it was prophetic, not personal. Certainly the Holy Spirit inspired David to write it as prophecy. Yes, David suffered much in life. But no, Psalm 22 is not so much about David’s life of suffering, as it is about the suffering of the Messiah. Psalm 22 is prophetic.

From the cross Jesus the Son of God cried out to Father God, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” [Matthew 27:46] Jesus quoted verse 1 of Psalm 22, when He uttered those words. He recognized their prophetic import as applicable to His crucifixion.

Someone might choose to query, “What do those words have to do with Jesus’ crucifixion?”

It’s like this. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind, past, present, and future. It is a mystery of eternity how Jesus as God could take upon Himself the sins of mankind. I mean, Jesus is God and God cannot even look upon sin, so how could He permit them to be placed on Him?

For three hours while Jesus was on the cross, from noon to 3:00 PM, darkness covered the land. This was God’s demonstration, employing visible physical reality to teach us invisible spiritual truth. The visible reality was the three hours of darkness. The invisible truth was that, while Jesus the Son of God bore the sins of all mankind on Himself, Father God turned away and refused to look upon His Son.

I must apologize, but the day is far spent and the shadows are growing longer. Let us betake ourselves to the prayer closet a while and learn at the feet of Jesus. We’ll continue this topic on the morrow.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Genesis: Volume 1 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86