Trophies of Messiah’s Might

You may be familiar with the record of the moment Yeshua died.  To say the earth moved is an understatement.  What can we expect when the designer of the ages ( αιων or the òlam eternity) is taking his last breath? What happened at the cross is  neither mediocre nor unimpressive.  The centurion’s confession, the mocking of Christ’s saving career, the cry of being forsaken, the  rending of the temple’s veil, pale in comparison with the happenings in the cemeteries.  The monumental dimension of Christ’s conclusion of his work calls for significant practical benefits and symbolic developments.  The events of the passion become affirmations of  the end of the oppressive levitical kingdom and they remain in our consciousness as trophies of Messiah’s might.

Free those who died in faith

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,

Hebrews 11:32

The saying that the dead shall live may have had its first showing in the event in Matthew’s gospel (27:52).  Even before his own rising from the King of love deals an illustrative blow to the powers of death.  He orders the release of many of the saints.  The term “saints” has to refer those who died in faith (Hebrew 11:13) and their number is not insignificant because the writer of Hebrews confesses that time would fail him if he kept telling the story of those who died in faith.  It is a huge crowd.

The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

Mat. 27:52

It was not a secret occurrence.

and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

Matthew 27:53

Holy ones who could not be held

For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption.

Psalms 16:10

No sick and diseased healed

Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Psalms 103:4

We must remember that healing of diseases was promised to those who keep all of the statutes and judgments in the Mosaic Law.  Most of us have no idea how many there are and where to find them.  This kind of healing is a pipe dream.  Yeshua has a more relevant method of bringing health to his people.  It is called grace, by which he simply speaks the word.  Otherwise people should simply take better care of their bodies, because the human body is capable of fighting off debility.

While we do not argue from silence we must recognize that the evidence of what happened the moment Christ died was exclusively the release from the grave.  It makes us ask why the news that many tombs had been giving up their residents had not reached the disciples.  Yeshua had told the disciples that he would rise from the dead and that his resurrection was the only sign his generation would receive.   By his death he made his authority known, not in bestowing health or prosperity.  His shed blood was for sins, and the finishing of his work really needed a standout headline to that effect.  The connection between sin, death, and the law was out in the open; captivity and corruption rendered into trophies of his grace.  The uncontrovertible evidence and benefit of Yeshua’s death was not healthy people, but life from the dead.  The association of physical healing with  his stripes – like the healing from partaking of bread and wine in memorial – is nothing more than a downgrade of the eternal truth.

Healing sick folk is not a big deal at all compared to opening graves and giving the Holy Spirit to believers.

Bloody Messiah

Who would have thought that the ruler of the age to come would make himself an offering for sin? The princes of this world did not for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.  The bloody component of divine wisdom is scandalous, necessary and diagnostic.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 53:10

His soul an offering for sin

If we do not know what sin is we might have an excuse.  With the conscience accusing every one, and the law condemning everyone who looks into it, an offering for sin is the only answer.  We know what a sin offering looks like.   It is the holy and undefiled Son of God, incarnate and separate from sinners (all humans).  Sin, for which Christ suffered himself, is unbelief.  This is the universal failure of the human race.  There is no one who is exempt from God’s evaluation of humanity.

Comparing missions

I know that tombs were emptied the moment Christ died. In the Bible we find neither rumor nor speculation that the sick and diseased were affected by the Lord’s death. On the cross is where the atonement takes place, not before or after.  It is to honour the Son that this timing is precise and public.  Christ on the cross is God’s exclusive answer to the human problem, and that problem is not the kind of thing that a doctor, prophet, priest or king can treat.  Sin calls for a life – “blood”, not a beating.  The idea that the physical abuse our Lord endured is atonement for infirmity (sickness and disease) has no biblical support. To remove disease requires no offering, least of all the offering of God’s Son. The idea that Christ went to Golgotha to change the physical wellbeing of the human race is a mouldy piece of bread.

Trafficking in trademark trash

It is obvious that the mission of the original missionaries did not include forgiveness of sins.  Jesus stopped funerals, reversed the corruption of death (in one case after four days). At his death all kinds of ancient dead came back to life.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:8
  • The sick
  • The lepers
  • The dead
  • The demonized (those possessed by evil angels)
  • No price tag attached

Instead of believing the message we have turned the report into a set of fables.  Isaiah’s question still highly functional.  Who is believing the messsge of the evangelist?

Scandalous from the start

When the Hebrews slew a lamb and sprinkled its blood on their doorposts it saved their lives.  Noone questioned this use of blood.  There were no questions about the use of blood in the tabernacle day after day.  However, since a life is given to pay for sin, and the life is in the blood, there was no living link between the sinner and the animal that saved his life.  The priest sprinkled or poured the blood but that atoning blood never came into contact with the worshipper.  Blood was the last thing an Israelite wanted to handle.

26. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. 27. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

Leviticus 7:26-27