Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hero- A Holy Love Story (Part 1)

How He Loves Us - Kim Walker _ Jesus Culture
Powered by mp3skull.com

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. He created the world with many purposes in mind, but one was - to have a relationship with His creation.

HE placed man in a perfect garden where He could dwell in his midst. However, man chose sin over God.
Instead of giving the rightful punishment for that sin, death, God made a way through a sacrifice that required the innocent blood of a lamb.

Man continued to rebel against God, but HIS purpose remained the same as the initial one- To have a relationship with His creation.

  • He chose a man named Abraham and gave him a "promise" to become "the father of many nations." At the age of 100 God fulfilled His promise through the miraculous birth of a son named Isaac
  • The promise remained with Isaac through the birth of twin sons named Esau and Jacob.
  • The promise continued with Jacob, who married 2 wives and had 12 sons and 1 daughter.  
  • The promise continued through the 12 sons (whose names were later used as the 12 Tribes of Judah).
 Due to drought and famine Jacob's family wound up in Egypt and after a few years found themselves captives in slavery, crying out to God for mercy to save them (not recognizing at the time-that HE was. This was HIM saving them.)

400 years later the Lord saw fit to anoint a man named Moses to free Abraham's descendants (now the size of a nation) from captivity by showing Himself and His Glory through many miracles (Exodus 7:14-11:10).

Once they were freed they were to follow Moses into the Promised Land (Ex. 32:13).  They were instructed to build a tabernacle- A tent of meeting. A place where man could finally be joined back with God. 
Through rigorous rituals and ceremonies, A High Priest would be anointed and would go through training and rigorous rituals to approach the Holy of Holies to present the sins of the people to be atoned before a Holy GOD at the Mercy Seat (Ex. 25:22, Ex. 26:33-34) on the Ark of the Covenant.

And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy. -Exodus 26:33

The Priest was the only one who could pass a veil that was put in place to protect the people from the Glory of a Holy GOD.

The Priest had to enter with bells around his ankles, because if he missed one of the acts of preparation he would be killed instantly by coming face to face with the Glory of God.

Out of disobedience they wondered around in the desert for 40 years before finally coming into the Promised Land.

400 Years passed where this was the only way to approach the presence of God: by offering your sins on a lamb, through a priest and praying that your sacrifice was appeasing the wrath of a Holy God.  These years were filled with: sin, God's forgiveness and grace, idolatry, more sin and after much warning Captivity.  

God's chosen people scattered or enslaved and the Ark of the Covenant- God's meeting place with His People- Stolen!

(Jeremiah was a prophet who had spent his life warning the people, crying out to them to listen that God's wrath was coming.  Lamentations was written by a broken hearted Jeremiah as he sits and mourns over the loss of  Jerusalem and the "Ark"!)

But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
    "therefore I will hope in Him."
- Lamentations 3:21-24

And for 600 years man was without  a meeting place in the "Presence of God."

But Then... 

Luke 1:26-38 (ESV)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said,
"Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

 And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"

 And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said,
"Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

...And in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered... And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,who was with child. 
 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And they called Him  
Emmanuel- God with us!!!

 Merry CHRISTmas Friends!


HIS Clay~