Christ As Our View

FullSizeRenderThis is the view from the patio out back of our place. The mulberry tree has lost its leaves at present so that’s it looking all yellow. 

Most mornings when I get out of bed I make my breakfast and go and sit outside. I’ve always done this. Even if it’s raining, so long as it’s not cold and windy. At the very least, I need a window by which to sit and stare outside. There’s just something about being outside and starting my day with a long, slow, gaze into the openness of the outdoors.

Some mornings I will sit there literally for hours, reading, talking with God, singing, receiving and sending encouragements in the Lord with the saints here via ‘whatsapp’ on my phone. Rocky is usually sprawled across my lap which makes supping on my cup of tea a little difficult but it’s a special time and it really sets off the tone of my day.

This past week our church group decided to focus on the theme of Beholding The Lord. So this morning a sister sent through this definition;

Behold – verb. see or observe someone or something, especially of remarkable or impressive nature. Synonyms: view, watch, survey, gaze at, gaze upon, stare at, witness, regard, contemplate, inspect, catch sight of, discern, pay heed to, lay eyes on…

As I meditated on those words – contemplate, survey….view…..I was reminded of how important it is to me to have a view to look at.  Every house I’ve ever lived in as an adult, I have sought the Lord’s provision of a view. It hasn’t had to be a magnificent ocean front or mountain ranges, though He has spoiled me with these at times. Even just a couple of trees will do and some open sky.  I just have to have somewhere to sit outside where I can look off unto something.

This got me thinking. What am I looking for? Why is having a ‘view’ so important to me?

Well, it gives me a perspective that is outside of myself. When it’s dark and dingy inside the house because of either the way it is built without natural light or because of the weather, I can look outside and see openness. I’m comforted and consoled somehow, that there is something bigger and greater than my interior world inside of the house.FullSizeRender (1)

This of-course applies to my internal world. Having a perspective of something outside of, greater and more vast than me, is an enormous soothing comfort. And of-course, that something is a Someone. It is Jesus Christ.

I feel that if I were to live in a house without a view, something in me would die. I feel I couldn’t do it. 

I see that as a picture of my growing desperation and need to behold the Lord.  I need to be able to see Him every morning. I need to look and gaze into His face, His vastness, His endlessness. I need to contemplate His bigness, His openness, His enormity.  When I do that, I am comforted, strengthened, rested – simply because I see Him!  If I cannot see Him, I feel something inside me will die. I feel I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go on. Life would become dark and dingy, internal and introspective with no Light.

Since Derek and I are moving to the other side of the country in December, I am already praying for a house with a view. 

However, I have to realise that Christ is my view regardless of where I may live physically. He is the eternal vastness and wide open space that my soul longs for in the darkness of the winter seasons. He is the far reaching heights up into an eternal sky where I can soar on His heights. He is the greenery, the oxygen, the shade, the colour, the breeze, the Life of Creation all around me. He is the wideness, the depth, the enormity of God.

Wherever we live brothers and sisters, whether it’s in a humpy, in a 1 bedroom studio blocked in by tall apartment complexes and no natural sunlight coming in, or on a mountain top with views that go on forever, Christ is our View. He is our perspective. He is our vantage point. He is the One we gaze upon and survey. In Him we roam a vast land, flowing with milk and honey. Our boundaries have fallen in pleasant places in Christ and no man can adjust our view or take that away from us. Christ is our All.

So I pray you will enjoy the View that is Christ in your life today dear brother and sister. Behold Him all the day long. On the train, in the car, boxed in your office, running after your kids or while out on the tractor –  behold Him, gaze at Him, stare at Him, watch Him, contemplate Him, inspect Him, survey Him, lay your eyes upon Him. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Stone of Destiny

This is a wonderful little movie which is based on true events concerning the history of Scotland and England. So because this is based on historical events, this post is not a spoiler alert and I would thoroughly recommend watching the movie. It is available on Netflix and youtube.

Basically, in the 1200’s Scotland had a¬†large and¬†heavy stone they used in or as a coronation chair¬†for Scotland’s monarchs. There are legends surrounding the origin of the stone but whatever it’s origin, it held great political significance to the Scots and was symbolic of their being an independent country.

According to Wikipedia;

In 1296, the stone was captured by Edward I as spoils of war and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair‚ÄĒknown as King Edward’s Chair‚ÄĒon which most subsequent English sovereigns have been crowned. Edward I sought to claim his status as the “Lord Paramount” of Scotland, with the right to oversee its King.[11]

In 1950, a group of four students from Scotland stole the stone from Westminster Abbey and returned it to Scotland.¬† The movie ‘Stone of Destiny’ is based on this story.

As seen in the film, Scotland appears to have lost it’s sense of identity and has become apathetic in any political move toward standing alone as her own country. A political activist among the students finds he is unable to shake the call to capture the stone and return it to Scotland as a means of restoring the sense of identity to its people in order to rally them towards¬†coming out from under English rule.

After the capture of the stone hits the headlines, all of Scotland rejoices.  There is dancing and cheering in the streets and a sense of national pride returns. The student decide to rest the stone on the grounds of Arbroath Abbey in safe keeping of the Church of Scotland.

With all the publicity and uproar¬†in London, the students realise the stone¬†will be seized by London authorities and they will be arrested. So facing the inevitable, they wait there on the grounds with the Stone of Destiny, preparing for the imminent arrival of the London Police.¬†¬†In this scene, the main character looks to his fellow-students and with a big smile on his face, confidently says “Well, we might as well go down in flames”.¬† This is where a magnificent picture of¬†the Lord¬†is unveiled.

Christ is our¬†Stone of Destiny. He’s the Cornerstone. He is¬†described as a stumbling block to many. He is the stone that was rejected. Yet¬†He is our Foundational Stone. He is the Rock of our Salvation. He is the Stone of our identity.

This Stone of Destiny of Scotland had been stolen/taken captive and given to the man-made church¬†to be used as a footnote to their traditions and religious ceremonies –¬†just as Christ has been smothered by the religious institutions of man and become merely a footnote, a watered-down gospel, something hidden under the pomp and ceremony of religious practises.

But these students were like the remnant of God’s people. Just ordinary folk, despised, rejected, of no significance. God has a remnant, a people of Nehemiah’s, who are rebuilding the wall. God the Father is¬† returning the Stone, the Rock, the Christ, and Foundation and Cornerstone, the Capstone to His rightful place amongst His people. And God is¬†building again with living stones!¬† And oh! How¬†this nation of believers, the Church, the Bride, rejoices when¬†Christ our Rock¬†is elevated to His rightful place! This nation of believers is given back¬†her true identity, to remember and know who she truly is – holy, blameless, having been given all spiritual blessings in Christ, forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, justified – when Christ is given His rightful place the Church sees her reflection in Him and is¬†strengthened to be who she is made to be in His image.

These students rallied together, not¬†as one independent lone-ranger but all depending on one another as we in the body of Christ are dependent upon one another to display Christ to the world for who He truly is. They were prepared to be persecuted for the sake of returning the stone to it’s rightful place.

As the London Police came running across the lawn toward them, they stood there in confidence and boldness, yet meek and un-offensive. They were proud to have restored the stone to it’s rightful place and¬†were prepared to accept the ramifications – loss of freedom, loss of reputation, loss of life as they’d known it.

So we, as believers called to rebuild the wall, to return to the original Way as it is called in the gospels and the book of Acts, are called to risk all for¬†Christ’s sake, not loving our lives even unto death. And like Christ, who for the joy set before Him endured all His sufferings and even death on a cross, we too can rejoice in God’s wonderful plan and purpose of all time, to have Christ as Head, central and pre-eminent. Only then can we the church function in our true identity as Christ’s body, His Bride, God’s children, His family, God’s house.

Having then come out from under the ruler of this world and the spirit of this world, we see who we really are.  Though the foreign authorities of the air may fuss about and try to contain us, we will never lose our Identity and we are sure of our Destiny.

Christ is our Stone of Destiny!

 

 

9 Ways Every Pizza Eating Believer Can See The Lord

pizza-386717_1920

“Can you see the Lord in it, sister?” This is my favourite question of late.

There is one particular wonderful sister that we do life with in our little community of believers here, and she is forever asking this question. Whatever matters are coming up in our lives, she asks me ‚ÄúCan you see the Lord in it, sister?‚ÄĚ When she talks about matters in her own life she says ‚ÄúAnd I was really wondering how I could see the Lord in it‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Looking for the Lord in everything, was a really strange and new concept to me a few years back, and for this sister also. In fact, when I was introduced to the ‚Äėconcept‚Äô (of-course now it‚Äôs life to me, no longer a concept) I thought it was a little OTT (Over the top :-)). I thought it was something we were trying to do in our own strength and was a bit silly. (Go, you good religious thing Donna!)

Even though initially I was sceptical and it seemed to be only an intellectual exercise, when I heard other saints doing this, I truly sensed some life in it and joining in, was fun. Ironically, the more I ‘had a go’, the more I could actually see! Of-course it was the Lord Himself that was the life in the exercises¬†because I began to see Him everywhere! If we‚Äôre looking for Him, surely He is found!

Let me give you an example of what some of the discussions were like. Here‚Äôs one about pizza for example ‚Äď that is, looking for the Lord in pizza. What? Yep, in pizza! I know, right? Ok, it went something like this (and I‚Äôm going to ad some extra toppings to it!);

  1. Well, the base is like Christ as our foundation. There has to be a foundation of Christ and nothing else. And God talks about not mixing the dough with yeast, so there’s no mixture in the foundation, it’s Christ alone.
  2. The sauce represents the blood of Christ that was shed for the whole world. It covers the entire pizza and without it, nothing else would stick to the base. So the sauce is like the blood of Jesus that saves us.
  3. The cheese is really sticky and glues everything together. It’s like the Holy Spirit. He lives in each believer and joins us altogether as one with God.
  4. The toppings are all so different and spread out all over the place. They‚Äôre all different colours and different flavours. That‚Äôs like the body of Christ. We‚Äôre made up of¬†different nationalities, personalities, backgrounds and each with something different to contribute. There is diversity in the body of Christ but together we are one. Together we are the beautiful bride of Christ. If there was only one topping it would be boring and taste the same every bite. By being diverse, we see the priesthood of all believers! (C’mon!)
  5. The pizza is round so it is like the wedding ring that is in a circle, it goes on for eternity, there’s no beginning and no end to Christ! His riches are unsearchable, without end.
  6. Before a pizza is of any use it has to be cooked ‚Äď this is like the body of Christ, and also like Christ Himself. He had to suffer by going into death before being resurrected. And we were crucified with Him and now we stand with Him in His resurrected life, changed and transformed. We are a new creation in Christ, the old has gone. Only then are we acceptable before God. Also, we are refined in the furnace of suffering so that the life of Christ (the taste) comes forth!
  7. Through the process of being cooked, we are like the toppings that are no longer sitting as separate individuals but are now joined together, melted in the cheese which is like the Holy Spirit, and have become blended together. We are more like a community now than isolated individuals. We have become part of the body of Christ.
  8. When the pizza is cut into slices, they‚Äôre all 3 sided ‚Äď this represents the Godhead ‚Äď 3 in 1!
  9. All slices are pointing to the centre! This is how the church is, Christ is Central, our eyes are fixed upon Him as our centre at all times.

Go on, have a go, ad your own flavour. It might seem silly at first, but what have we got to lose and what have we to gain? If we look for Christ everywhere, even in what might seem the strangest place, we will still find Him even there (Ps 139). He is not a ‘figurative’ God, He is everywhere to be found and to look for Him is a life-begetting-life experience. The more we look for Him, the more we’ll see Him.

Christ is the image of the invisible God.

Jesus said that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

Jesus said to come unto Him as little children.

Would love to hear of your experiences….

 

Christ our Ever-Rest

slope-547567_1280

Well, I went to see the movie “Everest” last week and in 3D. Wow. I really recommend the 3D version on the big screen.

It’s the true story of a team of hikers on their trek to the summit of¬†Mount Everest. Pretty soon into the film, I began to see and hear the Lord in it and this progressed throughout the film.

For us believers, Christ is our summit. Like the summit of Mount Everest to these hikers, Christ is our ultimate, He is the glory and majesty of the mountain of God. There is nothing as glorious than to know Him, to stand with Him in the heavenly places, to be one with Him. As on that mountain, in Christ, we view the world like never before and our breath is taken away. Just as the individual hikers in this story were driven to reach the summit, we too are driven to know Him as our greatest reality.

And Christ is not only the summit but He is our Ever-Rest. Christ is the Eternal Rest of God that we enter into. He is the Sabbath of God. He is the Seventh Day. He is the completeness. In Him, it is finished. In Him, God has now ceased from His labours. Wow! What a mountain! What a summit!

The main crux of the story is about¬†a¬†team of individual climbers that come together under the supervision and expertise of an exploration group that¬†climbers pay to help them fulfil their ultimate dream of reaching the summit. The group was headed up by¬†a man named Rob. As the team met for the briefing in the¬†beginning of the story, Rob¬†pointed to a picture of the mountain. Pointing to a certain height¬†which was lower than the summit,¬†he said to them “Human beings simply aren’t meant to function at the cruising altitude of a 747. Our bodies will be literally dying”.

I instantly thought of us in our ‘trek’ into Christ our summit.¬†Of-course we don’t ascend and reach greater heights as perhaps some of us in previous religious environments may have thought.¬†We realise that Christ lives in us, He is not external to us. We as believers into Christ, are not like the Tibetan monks and those of similar persuasions who believe they are to attain to a certain level or height in their ‘spiritual’ journey. No, for us it is the ‘knowing Him more deeply’¬†that is our summit. As Paul said “That I might know Him”.

However, this knowing Him requires a sacrifice, a dying to our self-life. Our flesh has in fact, already been crucified on the cross with Christ, because God knows our flesh cannot withstand His glory. Our flesh cannot pass from this life into the next for our flesh (physical and soulical) is unregenerated but our spirit is alive in Christ. Now, having been crucified with Christ and raised with Him in His resurrected life, we are born again by the spirit and able to enter in.

Rob’s role was to brief all climbers prior to the climb, to prepare them in practical training, to go ahead of them by making sure safety elements were in place before they got there such as ropes, oxygen tanks and supplies, to encourage them and spur them on along the way, to guide where they place their feet and to keep them heading in the right direction against the risk of snow-blindness, to watch out for their physical and mental conditions on the climb, to send them back down to base camp for rest and medical attention if they were at too great a risk, and ultimately to¬†get them to the top of the summit. He was with them every step of the way.

This guy reminded me of the Holy Spirit. Our counsellor, the Spirit of God that goes before us and prepares the way. The one who comforts us, prepares us, looks out for us, spurs us on and takes us deeper into Christ. The one whose hand is always on our shoulder, and who speaks words of encouragement into our hearts. The one who equips us for the journey into knowing Him. The one who leads us and points us to Christ, our summit, encouraging us always to keep our eyes fixed on the prize.  How beautiful.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV).

As the climbers reached higher in altitude, breathing became extremely difficult as the air thinned to a point of there being almost no oxygen at all. In a way, the oxygen tanks supplied for the journey up the steep slopes of Mount Everest, resemble the Spirit of God in us. It is only by His Spirit that we are able to survive the journey, to enter into the depths of knowing Christ. It is a spiritual life, not one lived out in the capacities of the flesh, human ambition or intellect. He is the air that we breathe and without Him we cannot go on.

The hike up the mountain was and always will be a fierce one. It is a stumbling block for many, and many do not survive the journey. It is a narrow and dangerous path and few will make it to the top.

¬†“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it”. Matthew 7:14 (NIV)

Christ was often described in scriptures as the stumbling block by which many would fall, because they look for something else, something more in line with their own faulty expectations of who the Messiah would and should be.

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (NIV)

But like Mount Everest, Christ is not predictable.¬†As Rob states in the movie “the mountain has it’s own weather patterns”, so it is with Christ. His Kingdom is not of this world’s ‘weather patterns’. And so for many, it is a journey that seems to ask too much of them just as the rich young ruler unable to give up all his possessions to follow Jesus (see¬† Matthew 19:16-24).¬†Christ, like the mountain, requires us to give our all, our very lives, as He Himself gave His life for us.

As you can imagine, the hikers climbed this mountain¬†in¬†extreme conditions of snow, sleet, high speed winds, descending black clouds filled with¬†thunder and lightening, extreme below zero temperatures, incredibly¬†narrow cliff ledges and on ridiculously steep slopes¬†in high altitudes. I was not surprised that so many lost their lives.¬† At one point two of the climbers after a day’s climbing, speak to each other in their tent of the suffering and their acceptance and surrender to the fact of it, all for the glory of reaching the summit.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him¬†… I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11 (NIV).

When we read through the old testament, we read the lives of the prophets and those sent by God. In the New Testament we read the lives of the apostles and those called by God to follow Him. We see their lives are ones of great human loss and sacrifice, for the glory of knowing Him.  Of-course we read of Christ, the sacrificial lamb, the one who was slain for all mankind. We are told that no servant is greater than his master. So we come to understand that a life lived for the glory of knowing Christ, is also a life of suffering, trials and tribulations whilst on this earth. But we are also given exhortation in that our current sufferings cannot compare with the glory that awaits us.

…Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV).

As already mentioned, Rob is a shadow and type of the Holy Spirit in many ways throughout this story. He is a constant source of strength and hope. However, he is also a shadow and type of Christ. He goes the extra mile for the sake of keeping one climber safe who loses his way and this ultimately costs Rob his life. Yet, He did not die before leaving new life as his pregnant wife later gave birth to a baby girl. Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd. He goes after the one that is lost. He lays down His life for His friends. He gave His life up for all. But He did this in order that the Father would have offspring and His family would multiply and grow, increasing His expression on the earth through His body of believers.

We also see the body of Christ at work in this film. Rob does not choose to work as a lone wolf. Rob works as head of a team of many. As Christ is the Head of His Church, He has constrained Himself to His church and the Head is not separate from the body. The team of climbers was made up of experienced climbers, sherpas and amateurs. It was one team but many parts, and all functioned according to Rob’s direction.

So it is with the body of Christ.  One Head, one body.  One Spirit. One goal. One Purpose. One glory. One mountain. One Summit. Christ.

 

 

 

 

Here Comes The Sun – 6 Facts About Our Walk With Jesus

sunset-476465_1280

It seems the Lord is not yet finished showing Himself to me through our sun.

As I sat out in the sun this morning, I felt warmer than the last few days. I said “Oh, the sun’s warm today”. Then I realised that of-course the sun¬†is always warm – it never changes – it’s the same every day.

It’s only clouds, wind, icy fronts, rain etc that get in the way – but the sun stays the same, always warm and always bright.

Of-course, the other factor that makes it seem as though the sun is not as warm or bright, is our distance from it.  Different seasons, year after year, as the earth continues to rotate on its axis can make us experience days of little sunlight and little warmth as well as days where it seems hotter and closer and to shine brighter and for longer.

Perhaps this speaks to us of our relationship with Jesus.

  1. He doesn’t change
  2. Things, circumstances, changing conditions can block our view of the Lord and alter our perception of His radiance
  3. We go through seasons in our life where we feel closer to Him and see more of Him
  4. We go through seasons in our life where we feel distant from Him and can hardly see Him at all
  5. He hasn’t gone anywhere
  6. More than likely, we’ll come back around again

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17)

Any thoughts?

 

Lord of the Rings ‘Return of the King’

the-lord-of-the-rings-the-return-of-the-king-title-card

I’ve watched all the¬†episodes of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, a few times over and conclude there are¬†many obvious shadows and types of Christ and the Church seen in each episode, too many to write about! ¬†More than likely, many others have written about these and so I thought I would share just some of what I saw in the episode titled Return of the King.

In this episode, we see a ‘steward’, Denethor II, who sits himself on the throne of the kingdom of Gondor. ¬†This steward is not the true king and is quite mad. The Gandalf character who might be a type and shadow of a prophet if you like, reminds Denethor II that he is only a steward and only on the throne until the True King returns. ¬†`The steward

So naturally, I saw Denethor II¬†as a type of Satan, having set himself up as authority and ruler, seeking the throne that only belongs to Christ Jesus. Of-course, we know that Satan is by no means on the throne, but that he only seeks to be! He is called the ‘prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2). If there’s one thing that exposes the lie of¬†Satan’s supposed rule, it is the declaration of the True King, as the True Authority above all names and all realms, whose name is Jesus!

We read in Ephesians 3:10 & 11,

His (God’s)¬†intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV).

The name of the true king in the story is Aragorn. Aragorn has been on a long journey, from far away, in his quest to take his rightful place as king of Gondor. Interestingly, Aragorn is the son of a previous king, and the people are anxious for Aragorn’s return.¬†Google Images

Jesus, of-course, is our true King and we, His people, await His return.  Just like the shadow and type of Aragorn, Jesus is humble, kind, and reflects the heart of His Father to His people. He has a servant heart and those who truly know Him, love Him and are honoured to serve Him as their King.

There is an impending final battle for Aragorn to take back the kingdom that is rightfully His and it is a battle against many enemy armies. Of-course we also read of the great and final battle in the book of Revelations, that will take place before God’s Kingdom is revealed in its glory, never to be lost again.¬†Aragorn needs to gather more men to fight for him in this final battle. In the story, he awakens an army of the¬†‘dead’ to come and fight for him. Of-course, it is just a story and there’s a lot of detail about why this army exists the way it does. However, there is one scene in this part of the story that to me at least, was a reflection of Christ.

Google Imagles

Google Images

As Aragorn declares “I am not afraid of death” and heads boldly into the mountain where the dead army reside, I was reminded of Christ, and how Christ was not afraid to go into death for us, how He conquered death and is able to walk in and out of all realms! Christ faced and won the final battle for us, at the cross of Calvary where He defeated Satan and the power of sin and death.What a King! Our Lord Jesus is said to ‘fill the universe’!

And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself (Ephesians 1:23);

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe (Ephesians 4:10)

Finally, after defeating the enemies completely, the kingdom of Gondor is established under the reign of the true king Aragorn. There is a great ceremony where the Gandalf character crowns Aragorn in the presence of the people and there is a mighty cheer, and one feels there is a sense of oneness in the kingdom.

Google Images

Google Images

Proceeding down the aisle through the throngs of people, Aragorn comes face to face with his long lost beloved Arwen, to whom his heart had been true though separated for a great deal of time. Arwen was once an elf and immortal but in order to be able to marry Aragorn, a mortal man, she had voluntarily gone through a death experience in order to lose her immortality she once had as an elf. There is an assumption in the story that the two are betrothed and at this ceremony, Aragorn takes Arwen as his queen.

So, here we can see just a shadow and type of Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One of the Spirit of God and in the summing up of all things, being united with His Bride, which of-course is the Church. ¬†We can also see that we the church, as represented in the shadow and type of Arwen, must also go through death as in the waters of baptism, and a daily dying to our self-life, just as Christ our Lord went through the full baptism of death and resurrection for us. This death and resurrection is a daily principle we as christians are called to live by. Of-course, the opposite of Arwen’s change from immortality to mortality, is true of us. ¬†The scriptures say of us in 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54 that our mortality will put on immortality! We are already in fact, as we abide in Him, being changed to His likeness!

Google Images

And lastly, there are the characters of the little hobbits in the story, standing before Aragorn at his crowning ceremony as king. All the way through the story, the hobbits knew the king and his plans. They co-laboured with him, if you will. And just like them, we know our King Jesus and God has made known to us His plan and His heart, in His Son.¬†Aragorn turns to the hobbits and calls them ‘friends’. ¬†Although we can see the church in the shadow and type of all the people of the kingdom of Gondor bowing to their king, we can also see this aspect of the relationship we have with Jesus, in that He says in John 15:15;

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (NIV).

All hail King Jesus!

What else can you see of Christ in the series of the Lord of the Rings?

(All images taken from Google Images)

 

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi РPart 3 

For Part 1 & 2 of this post discussing the gifts of gold and frankincense, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already discussed how¬†the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!) talked about in the Book of Revelation. ¬†We have also discussed¬†how the gift of frankincense revealed the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross. Now let’s take a look at the gift of myrrh.

Myrrh was also taken from a tree by the same manner.

Myrrh is a red gum-like resin taken from a thorny tree that to be harvested must be wounded repeatedly until it bleeds its resin. Gosh. Can’t we just see in this, the crown of thorns placed on Jesus‚Äô head, continually wounding Him and causing blood to flow from His brow.

Myrrh is a bitter spice often mixed with wine and we know that at Golgotha, on His way to being crucified, Jesus was offered a bitter wine mixed with gall (another name for myrrh). We see here, the Lord’s suffering and affliction, represented by the bitterness of the myrrh. This mix of bitterness with the wine, as Jesus is the New Wine of the Second Covenant, can also reveal the life of the church. The church is called to join in the fellowship of His suffering. There is a bittersweet relationship of myrrh mixed with wine.

Not only is myrrh bitter but it is also used as anointing oil and for embalming. It is associated to the Balm of Gilead mentioned in Genesis 37:25 and Jeremiah 8:22 and 46:11).  Jesus is our balm for healing and anointing, as we read in these verses for the healing of God’s people, Israel, which we as the church, have now become.

So in the gift of myrrh, the wise men unwittingly symbolically announced not only the suffering of Christ by bearing the crown of thorns, the life of the church in the fellowship of His suffering but also Christ as healer, our Saviour, by His sacrifice we are saved! The myrrh was brought by the Magi to point all humanity to Christ as the healer of the nations!

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 2

For Part 1 of this post on the gift of GOLD, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already read how the gift of gold¬†brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!). ¬†Let’s take a look at the gift of Frankincense.

Frankincense was a very valuable and key ingredient used in incense. Incense was used by the priests in the temple as they prayed on behalf of the nation of Israel. It speaks of the sacrificial prayers of the saints and the burning of frankincense in the tabernacle which was to continue day and night, never ceasing. So here we see the eternal sacrifice of Jesus as our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, on behalf of all mankind. We see the sacrifice of Jesus as the pleasing aroma unto God, the ‚Äúonce and for all‚ÄĚ eternal, sacrifice.

Keeping the word ‘sacrifice’ in mind, it is amazing to know that the means by which Frankincense was obtained is an astounding announcement of the Lord Jesus‚Äô death. ‚ÄúFrankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out‚Ķ‚ÄĚ (http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html).

Here we see Jesus (the Tree of Life) on a tree, the cross, being pierced for our transgressions. His hands, feet and his side being pierced until water and blood flowed from His side. Wow. The Tree of Life being pierced, incisions into His body on the cross, allowing this sacrificial, sweet smelling fragrance of His life, to flow out.

And what was born out of His side at this time? What came from Adam’s side? A wife! The Bride! The church! We are a sweet smelling aroma unto God! The birth of the church, was announced at Jesus’ birth by the wise men in the gift of frankincense!


 

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 1

I’ve been working on this post since December!

We all know when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, that the wise men from the East, the Magi, brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  But do we realise that these gifts were prophetic in nature? The gifts actually heralded three amazing things  Р 1. Who Jesus is 2. The death of Jesus on the cross 3. The body of Christ as the church.

 

Gold was a highly valued material given to royalty. So here we see Jesus being declared as a royal King. The Magi were looking for the one whom they had been told was the King of the Jews and they appropriately brought him gold, just as King David and King Solomon were brought gifts of gold.

Gold also represented divinity as is seen in the building of the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle. When King Solomon built the temple as a dwelling place for God he used an even greater amount of gold than Moses. So here we see Jesus in the manger, being declared by the Magi as both King and Divine.

There is a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, spoken of in the Book of Revelation. It is called the Bride – which is the Bride of Christ, the body of believers unto Christ. We know that every King has a Kingdom and we are the Kingdom of Christ. This glorious gold city is where God will once again dwell with man as He originally intended. It is made entirely of gold.

So the gold spoke not only of the man Jesus as King of the Jews but also of His eternal Kingdom which is the church, His body Рus! 

Isn’t that incredible? We as believers unto Christ, were represented in the gold that the wise men presented to Jesus at His birth. Talk about already having been chosen in Him before creation!


 

 

Jesus – the River of Life

Follow the streams that lead to the River, I heard Him whisper.

When it seems you’ve lost your way

look for the streams, though small.

Follow the streams, trek through the thicket

you’ll find your way to the waterfall.

 

(And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it Р1 Corinthians 10:13).