The earth shook, rocks were split and miraculously, before their eyes, those that had fallen asleep believing in Jesus were raised FROM the dead! Even more miraculously and after the resurrection of Jesus they left the tombs where their bodies had lain and entered the holy city appearing to many people. Can you EVEN imagine this?! If I were the relative or close friend of someone who had died and rose again and didn’t believe in Jesus that definitely would have sealed the deal for me. Alas, we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. Holy Spirit gives to each of us the faith to believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The decision to receive this gift is always up to us.
Prior to the earthquake and the rocks splitting the single most important thing that happened in this event was the katapetasma [veil] which hung in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This veil separated the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God lived, from the outer part of the temple in Jerusalem.
Prior to Jesus death and resurrection the veil was significant because only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies as an intermediary for Israel and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. The moment Jesus breathed His last breath the katapetasma was torn and some believe this event symbolizes the departure of God’s presence from the temple. This event also ushered in direct access to God by all those who believe in His Son Jesus.
In our verse today Paul is talking about the hardened minds of the Israelites to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But it isn’t only the nation of Israel that had hardened minds against Jesus even today there are many who believe if they do good, if they don’t lie, steal or cheat they are in good standing with God. Sadly, their minds are still covered by a veil that continues to keep them hardened toward God.
My prayer is that God will remove the katapetasma over all Israel so she will see Jesus the Messiah she has been looking for.
That He will remove the veil from all who are yet to believe revealing His beauty.
That He would simply cause the Bride to stop picking up and covering her mind with another veil. Jesus died once[.].
That we would see the beauty of the glory of the Lord reflected in us and grasp ahold of the freedom in and through Jesus in our life that spills onto the lives of others simply because Holy Spirit lives in us.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:17.
If you don’t have a Bible but would like one please email me by clicking on the contact me button at the top of the page or if you’re viewing from a mobile device click on the menu button in the upper right.
It hit me not like a ‘ton of bricks’ but as a quiet subtly. I sat down and asked Him to highlight something for me. As I was drawing close to the end of my reading I thought perhaps today there wouldn’t be a revelation. As I read the verse it jumped off the page at me. Why hadn’t I noticed this verse before?
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead!
Paul is talking to the Gentiles and basically telling them he hopes his ministry to them causes envy among his own people for the sole purpose of their salvation. That if the Jews rejection of Jesus as Messiah causes people around the world to confess, repent and choose Jesus, their acceptance of Him leads to their salvation.
What if Israel’s acceptance of Jesus, right here, right now ushers in a grand spiritual awakening-a revival of proportions yet to be seen? What if their proclamation of Jesus as Messiah opens the floodgates of heaven and the great outpouring of Holy Spirit is realized (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17)?
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. Psalm 122:6,7.
God’s word instructs us to pray for peace for Jerusalem. What if we also added prayers for the salvation of Israel? What if our prayers for their salvation is a key that unlocks divine mysteries waiting to be discovered? What if Israel is the remnant chosen for such a time as this?
What is your favorite season? I love the anticipation of the Fall season. The crisp morning air, the changing colors of leaves to yellow, orange and deep red before they lazily fall to the ground, cozy sweaters and fleece lined slippers and everything pumpkin spice!
When the ancient Israelites burned incense the smoke is said to have been symbolic of the prayers of God’s people. Have you ever thought about your prayers having a fragrance? Close your eyes and think about your prayers reaching up to God as a beautiful fragrance of your choice. How would this cause you to view your prayer life differently?
If praying has become monotonous, a chore or another check on your ‘to do’ list ask the Creator of creativity to help you to become creative in your prayer time! Ask Him to help you see that each prayer you utter is a sweet smelling request that is pleasing to Him. You can even burn your favorite incense, candle or oil in a diffuser during your prayer time.
However you choose to freshen your prayer time hold onto the truth that as you set your prayers before the Lord he hears you and each one is an amazing smell to Him.
As for me, well, I can experience Fall all year as I imagine my prayers reaching God smelling like pumpkin spice!
Can you see them? The eternal, ancient warriors of heaven and their chariots of fire?
Many times we forget about the spiritual realm around us and perhaps we’ve become desensitized. We aren’t talking much about the enemy and how his hatred toward us causes him to wage war against us. It isn’t hocus pokus and not meant to scare us. Talking about spiritual warfare is meant to place us in a strategic mode of defense so when situations arise that seem hopeless we don’t cower and hide but stand and fight!
As a believer in Jesus and a part of the Body of Christ we join the ancient chariots of fire and are THE mightiest force against the deceiver of our soul. Do you believe this?
Worship, praise and prayer become spiritual javelins, tent pegs and mallets, bows and arrows and spears.
Pick your weapons and use them daily. Attack and counter attack. Retreat and strike again and walk in victory earth as in heaven!
What’s your weapon of choice?