Puducherry in Oct 2015

A great place for a weekend get-away from Bangalore!

Holiday in Pondy = Relax, Enjoy, Family, Explore, Beach, Drive, Eat

 

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@French Quarter

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@French Quarter

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@French Quarter

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@French Quarter

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@The Alliance française

Headed towards Auroville

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Strike a Pose

20151026_101149Gaia’s Garden Guest House

Banyan Tree with its aerial roots

Banyan Tree with its aerial roots

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Hibiscus Juice with red rice Dosa @ Auroville Bakery

 

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Auroville

Matrimandir

Matrimandir

The Beaches

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A weekend in Yelagiri

Yelagiri, a small hill station near Vellore. A great annual Cousins get together! It was Peaceful and fun filled weekend with Family = Awesome!

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai

Trek to Swamimalai - At the peak

Trek to Swamimalai – At the peak

Trek to Swamimalai - At the peak

Trek to Swamimalai – At the peak

Don't miss the star fruit

Don’t miss the star fruit

Early Morning Trek in the village

Early Morning Trek in the village

Early Morning Trek in the village

Early Morning Trek in the village

Lil zipping if you are under 80kg

Lil zipping if you are under 80kg

Flowers @ the Kairos (Villas)

Flowers @ the Kairos Villas

Flowers @ the Kairos (Villas)

Flowers @ the Kairos Villas

Why Did Jesus have to Die?

Background: God’s Mercy v/s Justice

1.1 David’s Sin – A case study

1.1.2 David Confronted

1.2 Another Case study: King Manasseh Manasseh was a mass murderer and even disregarded his God

1.3 God’s Justice v/s Mercy

1.4 Case study – A remedy for Bloody Hands

1.5 Animal sacrifice v/s God’s mercy

So, if God is abundantly merciful, then what did Jesus accomplish?

2.1 The mechanics of why blood of Jesus was shed as recorded in the gospels: The Greatest Appeal from a merciful God!

2.2 Jesus and John the Baptist 

2.3 Zechariah – A Case Study

2.4 Atonement – The High Priest angle: His Life AND death brought salvation

2.4.1 As already explored, Jesus the son was a continuation and the extension of God’s Appeal (Gospel) for mankind

2.4.2 But, Jesus was unique (only begotten) as God’s son

2.4.3  Jesus was chosen for the task of High Priest

2.4.4 Jesus’ priesthood is derived from one greater than Levi

2.4.5 Jesus’s role as High Priest

2.4.6 As a priest, Jesus had to offer a sacrifice

2.4.7 Jesus’ sacrifice

3. Jesus the Saviour: Isaiah 53:6 – “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

4. Jesus a Human Sacrifice for sins: “Behold the Lamb of God” & “He is the propitiation for our sins,”

5. The Ransom paid: To God or Devil – Neither

6. Finally

Background: God’s Mercy v/s Justice

David’s Sin – A case study

When David got Uriah killed, his sin could not be atoned or forgiven through sacrifices. The law did not prescribe a sacrifice for Murder, but rather the death penalty for such sins.

Examples: Before the law:

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Genesis 9:6 ESV)

In the Law:

“Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 24:17 ESV)

Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death. And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. (Numbers 35:31-32 ESV)

David Confronted

So, clearly David is trapped! His power as King could keep people at Bay from getting executed, but his sin could not be atoned for. He had no solution from the law. God confronts David via the prophet Nathan and gave him few curses:

2Sa 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, 2Sa 12:11 And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

When David realized where this was going and his conscience was struck he made no delay to confess his wrong (worthy of the death penalty) thus:

2Sa 12:13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

So, David received forgiveness and did not die. (But he would eventually die of old age as a great and forgiven King.)

David himself wrote about this incident in Psalm 51

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalms 51:16-17 ESV)

I.e. He pleaded to God outside the sacrificial system:

Psa 51:9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Psa 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

Another Case study: King Manasseh Manasseh was a mass murderer and even disregarded his God.

He burned his son as an offering (2Ki 21:6) Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, 2Ki 21:16

Like Nathan was sent to David, God appealed to Manasseh through prophets (but that appeal only fell on deaf ears):

2Ch 33:10 The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.

Interesting, God should waste his time and threaten the life of prophets for this extremely wicked man. (Imagine the plight of prophets who had to contend with such a blood thirsty King)

Yet in the end, when words of appeal went vain, God still not willing to destroy him, used a different strategy. God used the ‘stick’ and finally got Manasseh’s attention:

2Ch 33:11-13 Therefore the LORD brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon.
And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.

Yet again, we see Manasseh’s sins were beyond any sacrifice or blood could atone for. Only his confession, repentance and change moved God to forgive and even restore him to his former position as king.

God’s Justice v/s Mercy

The law taught about God’s mercy and justice thus:

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 ESV)

Merciful + gracious + abounding in steadfast love + slow to anger + forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin + keeping steadfast love for thousands, V/s but who will by no means clear the guilty. I.e.

Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13

Case study – A remedy for Bloody Hands

People had committed grave sins and even shed blood. People are described as being CRIMSON with sin. God’s mercy as proclaimed through the Prophet Isaiah:

Isa 1:15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

Isa 1:18, 19 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, …

I.e. the remedy for sin and receiving forgiveness was based on the spirit of being ‘willing and obedient’. God is seen willing to reason and negotiate forgiveness. Offering animals to God was not the solution but a change of heart and action.

Isa 1:11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

Animal sacrifice v/s God’s mercy

Am I saying Animal sacrifice is of no use? No! Just showing that, the mercy of God is greater than the law. Where animal sacrifices could not offer any solution, God’s mercy overcame the law. Besides the law mainly focused on sins of ignorance:

but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. (Hebrews 9:7 ESV)

As Jesus once explained concerning the Sabbath:

Mar 2:27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

So also, God’s mercy can prevail anytime to offer forgiveness. David could easily see God’s great compassion when he wrote:

Psa 103:10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

God’s merciful attributes are spoken of as beyond comprehension even before the blood of Jesus was shed:

Psa 103:11,12 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

A Father may threaten his son, but he may not execute his threats because of his great mercy. Consider how David likened YHWH as a Father the very title Jesus would use repeatedly.

Psa 103:13-17 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

The sacrifices in the old testament were a teaching aid and ritual to perform. Paul explains the true meaning of sacrifices:

Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as aliving sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

So, if God is abundantly merciful, then what did Jesus accomplish?

Continuing with David, the problem was that though Nathan had said David would not die, yet, he died of Old age. To this Peter bears witness thus:

“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. (Acts 2:29-31 ESV)

So while David was forgiven, he still died. The way to the tree of life was blocked since Adam’s time and needed unlocking for David to be eternally saved. Jesus the Christ, achieved that for mankind through resurrection by his righteous way of life that he was called to live. As Paul put it:

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:17-18 ESV)

I.e. One man’s disobedience brings death and another man’s righteous act was able to reverse the process. One man dis-obeyed, while the other obeyed. If one man’s trespass caused mankind to be subject to death, so also one man’s righteousness could also reverse death and produce eternal life.

I’m not talking about original sin (Transmission of sin). God locked the way to the tree of life that was just a hand’s reach away from Adam and Eve, but now opened by Jesus. God in his displeasure with Adam had sealed up the path for eternal life, but because of Jesus opened that path.

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23 ESV)

I.e.

Christ is the FIRST fruits of those who have fallen asleep * Adam brought death v/s Jesus brought Eternal life {victory over death} * At Jesus’ return his followers will also be resurrected as he was resurrected. * Men who sleep in the dust of the earth can be re-constructed and brought back to life as Jesus was resurrected!

“… in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:52-57 ESV)

So, while God can easily forgive, he chose Jesus as the role model to open salvation for mankind, because Jesus did the good pleasure of God through his holy life while on earth.

The mechanics of why blood of Jesus was shed as recorded in the gospels: The Greatest Appeal from a merciful God!

We have already considered examples of appeal earlier, how God appealed through Nathan to David, Isaiah to the people with bloody hands and and the prophets that visited Manasseh. With the arrival of Jesus as a son, God makes his greatest appeal.

Jesus and John the Baptist

God sent Jesus to change people from their evil ways, like he had done earlier through prophets. John the Baptist, the great prophet of God at the same time was preaching:

Mat 3:1, 2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Jesus also preached a similar message:

Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

But, Jesus and John were rejected by the leaders and were murdered. I.e. their appeal to people to change cost them their lives i.e. their blood was shed. As much as God did not chop of John’s head, neither did he crucify Jesus. But, God did not intervene to stop the beheading of John or the nailing of Jesus. Jesus told a parable of the story of great appeal and mercy of God thus:

“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. (Mat 21:33-45)

This parable is an excellent summary of God’s mercy exercised over time towards his family of Israel. The consequence of God’s appeal resulted in the death of not only Jesus but other faithful and just men too. Even after Jesus’ resurrection we find Stephen stoned for his testimony. So we see a merciful God hoping to turn people away from their wicked deeds at the cost of righteous men. So, the mechanics of salvation and the result of Jesus’ blood was not that God needed the physical blood, but that was the deadly consequence of a loving appeal before the judgment to come.

Zechariah – A Case Study

Here is another example of extreme appeal – Innocent Zechariah stoned while doing the will of his God:

Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!” (2 Chronicles 24:20-22 ESV)

God’s mercy has been demonstrated through appeals in spite of unjust deaths. If one heeded to the appeal it would result in a realisation of one’s fault and that would lead to repentance and forgiveness of sins. Greater sacrifice or commitment no one can show beyond sacrificing their own life.

God demonstrated through Jesus, that he has made the greatest appeal to the Jews. Consider how great the Father’s mercy – He sacrificed his own son, in spite of the earlier rejection of his holy prophets, to save the Jews (and later non-Jews). Jesus bore witness of God’s great mercy and appeal thus:

Mat 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

Atonement – The High Priest angle: His Life AND Death brought salvation

Jesus’ Life & Death are important. Further, he was resurrected i.e. victory over death. So death alone is insufficient.

  • Atonement = Jesus’ Life + Death + Resurrection. i.e. the full gospel message!

As already explored, Jesus the son was a continuation and the extension of God’s Appeal (Gospel) for mankind:

Heb 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

But, Jesus was unique (only begotten) as God’s son:

Heb 1:3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of his being Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?

Jesus was chosen for the task of High Priest:

Heb 5:5 In the same way, Christ did not take upon himself the glory of being a high priest. No, it was God who said to him, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” Heb 5:6 As he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Heb 6:20 where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone on our behalf, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus’ priesthood is derived from one greater than Levi:

Heb 7:7 It is beyond dispute that the less important person is blessed by the more important person…

Jesus’s role as High Priest:

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Adam failed, Jesus won!

As a priest, Jesus had to offer a sacrifice

Heb 8:3,4 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law.

While Levi would deal with a copy, Jesus on the other hand dealt with the real temple. Where did Jesus make this offering? In Heaven itself!

Heb 8:5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

Born into the tribe Judah, Jesus had no access to the holy or most holy place. This did not matter, as the temple on earth was only a copy/duplicate of the real temple in heaven, which he entered. For instance the ark and the image of the cherubim were only copies of God’s throne. Jesus gained access to God’s throne itself. What did Jesus offer as a sacrifice? He offered a life dedicated to God. His death had meaning because of the life that preceded. The gospel records bear witness of his life and death. More chapters are dedicated to his life. The resurrection cannot occur without death. Jesus explained the necessity of death thus:

Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Jesus’ sacrifice

Heb 10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; Heb 10:6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Heb 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'”

Examining the original quote regarding God’s will: It had to do with delighting in the commands of the law:

Psa 40:7,8 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.

The life of Jesus included his upbringing, his teaching, his compassion, his miracles, his truthfulness, his faithfulness and his love. All these were pleasing to God. The Father bore witness thus of his life:

Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Mat 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

In the end, Jesus surrendered to a torturous death that came about because of jealously. We see Jesus submitted to God who judges faithfully:

1Pe 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

The emphasis is on ‘entrusting himself to him who judges justly’. So God vindicated Jesus by exalting him higher than everything under heaven or earth.

The prophet Zachariah also entrusted to God in faith when he exclaimed: ‘And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!”’ (Lord Jesus requested forgiveness. But in AD70 the Romans destroyed the temple and the city)

Jesus the Saviour: Isaiah 53:6 – “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Literal sins were not transferred to Jesus. Every sins man has ever committed or to be committed were not transmitted to our Lord. The language of the prophet is allegorical. Jesus was not a man of incredible Sin. Let us consider the allegory of transfer of sins as imposed on Ezekiel:

Eze 4:4 “Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. Eze 4:5 For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. Eze 4:6 And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.

Did God literally transfer sins of Israel and Judah to Ezekiel? While the prophet suffered, people could be liberated if they heeded to the symbol of punishment inflicted on Ezekiel – the language of appeal. It is important to note that God was not angry with Ezekiel but used him to warn the people. As much as Ezekiel was innocent of the sins of the people so also was the Messiah. But, Jesus would accomplish more than Ezekiel, he would open the way to eternal life. When a leper touched Jesus the leper was cleansed i.e. Jesus was not defiled by the touch of healing. Let us for a moment consider verse 4:

Isa 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

Is the above verse talking about the death on the cross? No! Does the verse imply that all the past and future sorrows were dumped on Jesus? No! Mathew points to the fulfilment of the above words in the context of the healing that Jesus provided to the distressed. Jesus fulfilled the above verses by sharing in the distresses of the people and brought about a solution i.e. healing.

That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” (Matthew 8:16-17 ESV)

So also we ought to interpret ‘the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ i.e. Jesus worked with sinners to pardon and teach them the way to the kingdom of God. God laid on the shoulders of Jesus the burden to bring a solution to the sins of people. Sins kept people away from gaining access eternal life. Jesus was resurrected because of his innocence and sinless state, as the grave could not keep him dead. Here we see JUSTICE displayed.

Act 2:24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Jesus a Human Sacrifice for sins: “Behold the Lamb of God” & “He is the propitiation for our sins,”

Heb 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Joh 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God,who takes away the sin of the world!

In the light of the above verses was Jesus a human sacrifice? Under the law, human sacrifice was explicitly forbidden. Human sacrifice offered to the false God, Molech, involved a Father burning his child as a sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice is not a parallel to that. Jesus was murdered by evil men:

Act 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

While Jesus’ murder was by the ‘definite plan and foreknowledge of God‘, yet it was executed by evil men. God allowed it to happen. John the Baptist was beheaded, but God’s spirit of allowing it to happen and the spirit of Herodius to have him executed are very different motivations. The story of such human sacrifices (John, Jesus, etc) is an ancient one. God does not intervene, starting with the blood of righteous Abel who served as an example for wicked Cain:

Act 7:52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,

While Jesus was a sacrifice, his offering was not like a literal blood poured for the appeasement of the Father nor to uphold a justice system of God. In fact, we have already seen at the beginning that God is way too merciful to need blood to be appeased. Jesus’ sacrifice had to do with the full submission to the Father’s will in-spite of all odds.

Jesus was not a propitiation in a pagan way (to appease a wrathful and blood thirsty God), but that his way of life produced an opposite effect on God compared to Adam. Jesus as ‘son of man’ reversed the displeasure (wrath) of God that was on mankind. Jesus, by his act of obedience brings eternal redemption and this process was achieved at the cost of shedding his blood.

Since the way to eternal life was opened by Jesus, belief in Jesus’ way is essential to obtain eternal life. God accepted Jesus’ life as a propitiation or an ‘accepted’ way of life. The actual act of crucifixion, while it was a significant part of the propitiation yet was not the whole story. For instance, if Jesus in the flesh had heeded to the temptation in the wilderness, then that would have had a different effect. Again, If Jesus had taken the following course of action, things would be different:

Mat 26:53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?

The goal of propitiation from God’s perspective was that: ‘His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven’ even at the cost of one’s life, but from a human perspective Jesus serves as an example and way of obtaining forgiveness and redemption, i.e.

“whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:23-25 ESV)

Interestingly, the Greek word translated as ‘propitiation’ in Romans is translated differently by different bible versions: ANT version: “Reconciliation”

YLT version: “mercy seat”

The point of this section is this: The propitiation, is God’s APPEAL (Gospel’s message) for mankind to change:

Joh 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

The Ransom paid: To God or Devil – Neither

Men were held captive to a worthless way of life that was leading to death. Jesus ransomed humans from a worthless life to a new life, from a life that leads to death to a life that leads to eternal life.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you have been ransomed from the worthless way of life handed down to you by your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 ISV)

Ransom/redeemed as different translations translate that word. Implication of the ransom:

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14 ESV)

Finally,

When Adam sinned, he was forgiven and did not die the instant he ate of the fruit. In fact he lived many centuries before he eventually died. God’s anger was displayed in that men were cursed and died. Death was the fate of all men.

Gen 3:18, 19  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.   By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Jesus removed the curse of death, by demonstrating a better Adam (role model) through his faithful and obedient life. He pleases God by his complete dedication and brings hope to mankind. His act of death was not to appease the wrath of God but rather the great of appeal of God to man through the life of Jesus the Christ. The Father’s character is manifest thus: that he will sacrifice his dear servants and even his son to get us to repent of evil and to pursue good.

Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Mat 12:18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Two Weeks in OZ: Melbourne & Tassie (March/April)

Melbourne

A great first day with friends on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne

Colourful

Colourful

Kayaking

Kayaking

Sunset

Sunset

Holiday in Tassie

Launceston

After two days in Melbourne (family and friends), we headed off to Tasmania – The Apple isle. Got off the plane for a great start @ Launceston: Cataract Gorge & Tamar valley!!

Launceston Bridge

Launceston Bridge

Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge

Did not expect a peacock here at Cataract Gorge

Did not expect this fella at Cataract Gorge

Tamar Valley (Launceston)

Tamar Valley 

Lil pretty

Lil’ pretty

Touristy thingy: A visit  to Beaconsfield mine & a catchup with Fairy penguins

A visit to Beaconsfield mine

A visit to Beaconsfield mine

Fairy Penguin Night tour  @ Low head

Fairy Penguin Night tour @ Low head

Lighthouse  @ Low head

Lighthouse @ Low head

Great treat at my wife’s Cousin’s house: Peach, Pear & Apple orchid. 100% organic and 100% Yummy!

Simply Delicious

Simply Delicious

Grab em'! Eat em'! Fresh and Juicy

Grab em’! Eat em’! Fresh and Juicy

Touring around some very pretty parts of the world: Freycinet national park (Friendly beaches, Coles bay, etc.)

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Friendly beaches

Friendly beaches

Grass tree (Black boy)

Grass tree (Black boy)

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay getting Stormy

Coles Bay getting Stormy

The Hazzards - Coles Bay

The Hazzards – Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Oz – The land of convicts – A visit to Port Arthur: A convict settlement

Stayed @ the Port Arthur Classic Cottage

Stayed @ the Port Arthur Classic Cottage

Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Port Arthur Jail

Port Arthur Jail

Port Arthur Guard Tower

Port Arthur Guard Tower

Port Arthur - Prisoner Isolated Cubicles @ The Chapel

Port Arthur – Prisoner Isolated Cubicles @ The Chapel

Touring Port Arthur

Touring Port Arthur

Touring Port Arthur - Toadstool

Touring Port Arthur – Toadstool

Port Arthur - Remarkable Cave

Port Arthur – Remarkable Cave

Port Arthur - At the Lavender shop

Port Arthur – At the Lavender shop

Port Arthur - At the Lavender shop

Port Arthur – At the Lavender shop

Bits of Tassie: Huonville, etc.

 A whole lotta pears

A whole lotta pears

Gum blossom

Gum blossom

Mistle Toe

Mistle Toe

The Apple Shed Museum

The Apple Shed Museum

The Apple Shed Museum

The Apple Shed Museum

Devil's Den - The Gift Shop

Devil’s Den – The Gift Shop

Hobbart

The awesome views from Mount Wellington

View from Mount  Wellington

View from Mount Wellington

View from Mount  Wellington

View from Mount Wellington

View from Mount  Wellington

View from Mount Wellington

View from Mount  Wellington

View from Mount Wellington

A visit to the ZooDoo Zoo

Zoodoo: Lemur

Zoodoo: MeerKat

Zoodoo: Ostrich coming for a feed

Zoodoo: Ostrich coming to get that feed – They’re ready to grab your cup!

Zoodoo: Marty

Zoodoo: Marty & Friends

Zoodoo: White Lions - Ya can feed them too

Zoodoo: White Lions – Ya can feed them too

Zoodoo: KOALIFICATIONS

Zoodoo: KOALIFICATIONS

Zoodoo: Feeding Skippy

Zoodoo: Feeding Skippy

Zoodoo: Tasmanian Devil: Bad breath?

Zoodoo: Tasmanian Devil

Zoodoo: Tasmanian Devils

Zoodoo: Tasmanian Devils

Bits of Hobart: Salamanca, Battery point, Mona

Hobart: The Salamanca Market

Hobart: The Salamanca Market

Hobart: A pretty site @ Battery Point

Hobart: A pretty site @ Battery Point

Hobart: Up river @ MONA

Hobart: Up river @ MONA

Hobart: Up river @ MONA

Hobart: Up river @ MONA

Hobart: Roses

Hobart: Roses

Back to Melbourne

By the Yarra River

By the Yarra River

Federation Square

Federation Square

Sorrento beach: Spotting Star Fishes

Sorrento beach: Spotting Star Fishes

Wilderness Men

We explore the Life and message of John the Baptist, from birth to death and how his holy, wilderness upbringing and righteousness qualified him to be the ‘voice’ that would prepare the way for the Christ. We will also gain insight into John’s message for us as we await the return of Jesus the Lord.

We will conclude by considering the question: ‘Was John the Baptist, Elijah brought back?’

‘Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.’ – Jesus

“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” – John the Baptist

“The world wasn’t worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground.” – Hebrews 11:37-38

Benaulim (Goa) in October – Just a beach holiday

Benaulim Beach

Benaulim Beach – Excellent beach for families with lil kids as the waves were gentle and beach was shallow for a long distance from shore.

 Para Sailing

Parasailing

Parasailing

Show from above while Parasailing

Shot from above while Parasailing

Para-sailing: Gently pulled by  the boat

Para-sailing: Gently pulled by the boat

 Drag Net Fishing in the morning

Drag Net dragged by the boat

Dragnet dragged by the boat 

Reminds one of Jesus’ parable and how some aspects of fishing has not changed much over 2000 years:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous (Matthew 13:47-49 ESV)

Pulling in the nets

Pulling in the nets

Fishing from a distance

Waiting for the catch

Waiting for the catch

The Catch - Not a big one

The Catch – Not a big one that morning

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