Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume VII, Issue XVI
How to Cure Conflict
unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government
shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, The mighty G-d, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." -- Isaiah 9:6
The world is a dangerous place today. As an American President faces a resolute Vladimir Putin, who is intent on reinvigorating the Soviet Empire, and Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu deals with hostilities on multiple borders, the problem of human conflict is on our minds. Indeed it seems like peace is beyond our grasp. Thousands of years of human history are filled with wars and strife.
This coming Sunday Christians remember the time when the Prince of Peace [1.] (Isaiah 9:6) rode into Jerusalem on a donkey! The people lined the way spreading their cloaks and palm branches, expecting the return of the King in an earthly manifestation of the Heavenly Kingdom. [2.] Jesus, however, had greater plans in mind.
Jesus rode into town as the lambs were being brought into the homes in preparation for Passover, the remembrance of G-d's deliverance from Pharaoh centuries before. [3.] Instead of establishing an earthly kingdom, He would be tried by both religious and civil authorities. Although there was no crime committed on His part, He would be sentenced to die a most horrible death by crucifixion.
He ate the Passover meal with His disciples, one of whom betrayed Him. The Roman ruler Pilate could find no fault in Him, yet the religious leaders stirred up a mob to demand His death. He died on a cross on a hill called Golgotha, flanked by two thieves. Hardly the way to begin a movement to transform the world, but that is what history tells us.
His death conquered sin and death. [4.] "The day Jesus was crucified was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the
Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest
would blow the shophar (ram's horn) at 3:00 p.m. - the moment the lamb was
sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins
on behalf of the people of Israel. At 3:00, when Jesus was being crucified, He said,
"It is finished" - at the moment that the Passover lamb
was sacrificed and the shophar was blown
from the Temple. The sacrifice of the lamb of God was fulfilled at the hour that
the symbolic animal sacrifice usually took place. At the same time, the veil of
the Temple (a three-inch thick, several story high cloth that demarked the Holy
of Holies) tore from top to bottom - representing a
removal of the separation between G-d and man. Fifty days later, on the
anniversary of the giving of the law (Pentecost), G-d left the earthly temple to
inhabit those who call on the name of Jesus through His Holy Spirit." -- How the Passover Reveals Jesus Christ by Rich Deem [click to read].
But the story does not end there. In Revelation 21 Christians look to a New Heaven and a New Earth where a Heavenly Jerusalem descends to join the Earth. Here is a Kingdom that needs no temple, needs no sun to light it, for G-d Himself is the force that illuminates it! [5.]
"And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from G-d out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of G-d is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their G-d." -- Revelation 21:1-3
Journey to Jesus, a mural depicting the nations coming to Jesus in the New Heaven and New Earth described in Revelation 21. Mural by Kristina Elaine Riley and Bob Kirchman
Journey to Jesus [click to view larger images].
The Journey is complete when you reach the kind face of Jesus!
"I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity." —John Wesley
Heaven is For Real Movie