November 3, 2019

November 03, 2019 Jesus, the Only Hope for Humanity

 John 2:13-23

 One of the memories of the Israelites regarding their travels to the Promised Land is the Passover. Moses goes before Pharaoh to say that God wants the children of Israel to leave Egypt to the Promised Land and to serve their God. To commemorate this event God gave the Passover holiday. 

 Similar to the Israelites who had been passed over by the Angel of death, each one of us has been called to eternal life, so we can escape eternal death. Also we may serve our God and worship Him. As Christians we need to be conscious of the eternal life ahead of us and our purpose to serve God. These two goals need to be steering our lives.

The night of the Passover was a paradigm shift of life and death as well as serving God. God took on the responsibility to redeem His people. God knew that in order for the Israelites to live in the Promised Land, they had to serve God. God gave the Passover event to remind the Israelites of who God was and what God had done to deliver the Israelites from Egypt.

God gave several different events to the Israelites to help remind them about God's promises and to draw them closer to God. God asks the Israelites to repeatedly honour these events so that the Israelites would be close to God. 

 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 12:28 ESV

When Jesus comes to Jerusalem to observe God’s instituted celebrations, He finds that they have been corrupted. Instead of ceremonies which would remind and strengthen the Jews until they reach Heaven, money and greed had replaced God's ceremony.

 Money traders came into the temples because Jews from all over the known world came to celebrate. The Jews had been told to bring something to worship God, but there were those who took advantage of this. In fact, the animal market had been brought to the temple to sell sacrifice. The merchants selling the animals would haggle prices and exchange currencies to make profit over worshiping God. Jesus could not take this trade where some wanted a bargain while others wanted to make profit.

Traditionally for seven days people needed to purify themselves. As part of the purification, God commanded the Israelites to eat unleavened food for seven days. The Israelites needed time to get back to God and remove all leavened products from their homes and bodies. What was in the temple was not purification but rather defilement. There were many people who wanted to worship God and experience God's mercy; however, there were many others who wanted to benefit themselves with earthly desires. Sadly the priests were not doing their job to protect the people from defilers. 

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
John 2:23 ESV

 After Jesus came into the temple and cleaned out the defilers, people saw the miracles which came with Jesus. Just like the miracles witnessed during the Israelites leaving Egypt, so Jesus did. Jesus is the new Passover.

Like the Israelites who yearned to go the Promised Land, we Christians have not yet come to Heaven. We need to celebrate the Sabbath, Bible Studies, Christian holidays and other God appointed times. We need to purposely put value on these times or else they become rituals.

 Jesus walked into the temple and brought hope. As we struggle to know Jesus and serve Him, Jesus will help us and never leave us. As we walk with Jesus, let us reflect on our walk with Jesus with intention. Seek to do what Jesus tells us and do it the way Jesus wants us to do.

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