Sermon April 17, 2011: The redemption of Israel
God’s love is to all of us, to every single man, woman, boy and girl around the word. For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten child, so that all of us may be saved. Amen.
At the same time, I’m here to let you know that just as I stand here before you someone who is nothing special, and the only reason I’m here standing before you is purely by the grace of God. Likewise by God’s grace, God has chosen a group of people through whom the word of God in the prophetic plan of God is transformed. And these are the children of Abraham, the people of Israel, the Jewish people.
When you read the Bible you will read about the nation of Israel, you will read about Jerusalem, you will read about the tribe of Judah, you will read about the prophet Elijah, prophet Jeremiah, prophet Isaiah. These are all people of Israel through whom God’s word has been passed down to us.
And Jesus, whom we love, who is the savior of the world, is also the one promised Messiah of Israel. He was born into the family of Israel. He ministered in Jerusalem and surrounding cities of Israel. He was revealed as the Messiah of Israel. He fulfilled all the prophetic words given concerning the Messiah of Israel. And according to the word of God he is coming again. Alleluia!
And it may be very soon. We need to open up our eyes, we need to open up the eyes of our spirit. We need to seek the good Lord with all our heart and with him to show and reveal to us the time in which we live.
It’s been 2000 years since Jesus lived in Jerusalem, died in Jerusalem and rose in Jerusalem. And as he was being raised up into heaven, he said, just as I’m being lifted up, I’m coming again.
I want to take all of back to 2000 years ago to the time of the first Palm Sunday, 2000 years ago. The feast of the tab and Passover was at hand, and Jesus as we saw the picture riding on a donkey, came down the hill, the Mount of Olives, overlooking the city of Jerusalem.
Now, how many of you, I don’t know if any of you have been to Israel? Alleluia! The Lord blessed us, myself and my family to live there several years, some of the most amazing and incredible times that we had while living in Israel were the days during Palm Sunday to the Easter Sunday. We were living in a city overlooking the Sea of Galilee. My wife used to do grocery shopping in the city of Nazareth and we used to drive down to Capernaum and other surrounding cities around the Sea of Galilee.
We used to love to walk by the Sea of Galilee and as we would be walking on those little stones, I used to tell to my wife, ‘Look at the stone. This may very well be the one on which Jesus stepped on.’ And believe me, my wife has about 2000 stones that she brought back from Israel.
Now, from the area of the Galilee to the city of Jerusalem is about 3 days walk. That’s how Jesus and his disciples used to travel by foot from Galilee to Jerusalem. But thank God that we had a car and highways, so it took us about three and half hours of driving to Jerusalem. So we would used to go to Jerusalem and follow the steps of Jesus and vision in our heart what it was like 2000 years ago.
So, as we walked down this hill, the Mount of Olives, towards Jerusalem, and as Jesus came down into the city to be presented to the people of Israel, this was exactly at the same time when all of the lamb who would be to be offered for the Passover was being brought into the city of Jerusalem. And as some of you may know, one of the largest field around which the lambs were raised especially for the Passover, was in the city of Bethlehem.
So, here Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, walking down the hill towards the city of Jerusalem to be presented to the people of Israel, at the same time that the Passover lambs were raised in the city of Bethlehem were being brought into the city of Jerusalem. And this was the time when the people of Israel were under the occupation of the Romans, especially around the time of the Passover.
The message of which was from bondage to redemption. Slavery to freedom. The people of Israel were crying out to God, ‘God, help us, send us your savior. Set us free from the bondage of the Romans. Where are you God? When in your help coming?
Their hearts were torn, their lives were torn, and they were crying onto God, just as 1500 years before that, when the people of Israel were in the land of Egypt. This was the first Passover. They were under the bondage of the Egyptians. They were being persecuted. Everything that they owned was taken away from their hands. The pharaoh has given a command to the Israeli midwives that should any Israeli woman have a male baby then that baby is to be killed immediately.
Just imagine if you were here. Let’s say right here in Boston area, the mayor of Boston says, from this day forward the entire Latino community is going to become slaves. No more freedom. You will do what you are told to do. Not only that, that every boy that is born in your family must be immediately killed. And not only that, if that child should live to be a little older, then that boy must be thrown into the ocean or the river to die. And there was nobody that could help you. they were crying onto God, ‘Lord, help us. Lord, we need you. God without die we will not survive. Lord, where is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Where are all the promises of help that you’ve given us? Where are you, God?’ And they were crying onto God for help.
And then, in the time of Moses, and then in the time of Jesus, God heard the people’s cry. And through Moses God let the people of Israel out of bondage to freedom. God’s command was that “Every one of you, families, get inside your house, take a perfect lamb and take its live. Get the blood and put it over the house doorpost.”
And as you go inside that house covered by the blood, your life would be saved because the spirit of death will pass over you. pass over you and that’s where Passover comes from. It did not matter whether the Jewish people inside had any sins or rebellion against God, it didn’t matter whether that person was old or young, man or woman, rich or poor, it didn’t matter whether five minutes ago that person cursed God, as they obey God’s instruction and God inside the house covered by the blood, they were saved.
And 1500 years later as the people of God were crying onto the Lord for help, God sent Jesus, their promised Messiah, who on that Palm Sunday came down the hill to the city of Jerusalem to be presented to the people of Israel as The Passover lamb. And when his blood was shed upon the cross, on that very day of Passover when all of the sacrificial lambs are being slaughtered and blood was being shed, not only that the blood of Jesus saved those Jewish people who understood the message, but the blood of Jesus that was shed now saved all of those people around the world.
Jesus came and walked during the last seven days in perfect fulfillment of the Passover story, to show that the Passover lamb and Moses and how God used that blood of one lamb to save the entire family inside that household, was a type, was a prophetic message of how Jesus would come and his one blood, one life would save the entire family of God around the word.
But I want to share something else with you. just as the message in the life and people of Israel were the type or the representation of Jesus, Messiah that was to come, the life of Jesus especially in those finally one week is the representative of how the history of Israel is from the beginning to the end. In other words, through the people of Israel God reveal to us, gentiles, who Jesus is and what he has done for us. And at the same time, by looking at the life of Jesus God is revealing to us God’s plan for the people of Israel.
That as God’s people of Israel crying onto the Lord for help in the time 3500 years ago, in the land of Egypt and they were set free, is just a part of the story of God’s plan for the people of Israel. Just as Jesus came to die on the cross and then to see resurrection victory, God’s plan for the people of Israel reveal in the word of God, that God had called the people of Israel with a promise, and they had to go through many, many difficult days and years, and decades and centuries. And almost at the end when it looks as though the entire nation of Israel, people of Israel, would be totally destroyed, that there would be a final resurrection of the nation of Israel. And the final redemption and the resurrection of the nation of Israel is coming very soon.
And if any of you remember what I taught when I was here a year ago, that was a message but I probably don’t remember so I’m going to ask pastor Miranda that I could come back again to tell you about it. but just to let you know that the final time of redemption of the people of Israel coincides with the second coming of Jesus. In other words the whole plan of God is conversion.
What God is doing through the gentile church around the world, which Jesus commissioned to go the uttermost parts of the world and when the message is Jesus is salvation is reached to the uttermost parts of the earth, then the end will come and I shall return, is the same time for him when God promised to the people of Israel that the redemption, final redemption of the people of Israel is coming. There is a hunger for revival among us who are Christians and there are cries of revelation of God’s truth among the people of Israel.
And as the people of Israel, and as Christians cry onto God there will be conversions of the final redemption of the people in the churches, the revival as well as redemption of the people of Israel. God’s word says that the whole creation groans and suffers the pain of childbirth that is before the final childbirth of the last day, the return of Jesus, the redemption of Israel.
As many of you ladies will know, the labor pain will get more intense and more frequent, until the final moment when the child is born. In the world we are seeing turmoil that riots the hate and all kinds of evil rising up. We’re fighting the breakdown of the families; we’re fighting against the morality and Christian values being thrown away. And at the same time we’re seeing nation after nation rising up with evil leaders coming against the nation of Israel. The unrest in the Middle East, wars and rumors of war, and earthquakes and all kinds of natural disasters around the world, and when the time is near we rejoice in our spirit knowing his coming is soon. Alleluia!
Now, there is an organization called The Holocaust Center of Boston North. This is an organization consisting of many survivors of the holocaust, and this organization come together to make sure that the whole holocaust will never be forgotten again.
I mentioned to you how the nation of Israel they are going into persecution again and again, like the pain of childbirth. And that the last series of horrendous persecution that they persevered was this holocaust. Six million Jewish people were tortured and murdered, 6 millions, that’s almost one third of the entire Jewish population around the world at that time.
Now, my mother was in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. It was a horrible, horrible thing that had happened. my mother, my aunt they shared with me once in a while some of the horrible things that had happened. it is very difficult for them to open up and share. The city of Hiroshima, my mother and her family fortunately were saved, but something like 250.000 people died immediately.
Now, war is hell, yet there are people who have risen up to the position of authority who are there to destroy people. Now, just as Hiroshima was a horrible, that one bomb killed 250.000 people out of, let’s say, 100 million people, it was not one third of 100 million people, which would be 33 million.
Now, I don’t know what the total Hispanic population is around the world, but let’s say there are 500 million Hispanic people around the world. Now, one third of 500 million people would be like 180 million people. Can you imagine if in the course of 3, 4 years, that 180 millions were murdered? Not only that, but let’s say that of 500 million Latinos, 200 million of them lived in North America and Central America, that you and your family living in the United States, Mexico and some Central American nations, in the course of 3 years, let’s say, of 200 million people, 150 million of them, of you, were murdered right here in this Boston community. Perhaps 80, 90% of you would not survive. And this is after of months and years of put into most horrible condition of beatings and starvation, and gas to death and shot to dead.
And that’s what happened to the Jewish people during the holocaust. It is beyond comprehension of our mind to really even begin to envision what it was like to be there. When we visit, we’re going to be in this meeting that we mentioned to you that we’re holding on May 2, we’re getting together with a Holocaust Center to have this time commemoration service together to come together with them and to say that yes, we Christians, we are standing with you, that this must never happen again. Not just to the Jewish people but that this must never happen again to anyone of any race, of any nationality.
There will be some survivors from the holocaust that are still living, they will be there. There is one person that I’m particular familiar with his story. He lived in Hungary during the war and his grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncles; nearly all of them were killed. He and his father were together in multiple concentrations camps, from one to the next. They were starved and they were abused, and it was a horrible condition that they had to endure and they lived through this horror till the end of the war, for this man to tell us the story of what it was like.
His father lived till the final day, however, the day after the liberation he died. And during the time that he was there, there was a lady, Christian lady that lived nearby who risked her life to come and help their family.
Now, there were many other Christians who also helped Jewish people in those days. Many of them actually were caught by the Nazis and many of them were also sent to the concentration camp just to die. So, here was this lady risking her life to help and save those Jewish people. Why? Because she understood the message Jesus gave to her and to us.
On the cross of Jesus, and yes, this is lady, and later on that man, that was that young boy, was able to locate her and to thank her for what she’d done. And it was because of this message from Jesus: “greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends”.
This is what Jesus did for you and me on the cross. He died for us and he tells us to do the same. And that’s the true message of the cross. He wants you and I to thank the Lord for saving our lives and he’s calling everyone of you to stand up and encourage, in courage and strength of God that no matter what you will never ever give up Jesus in your live.
That not by power but by the Holy Spirit that by the spirit of God you will be able to stand up to do what is right. That if it ever comes to the point when you will have to risk your life to do what is right for your friends, that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will be able to do it. Alleluia! Praise the Lord. Thank you.
So it is my prayer for you and for myself and all of us, that God’s love extends to everybody around the world. But as Paul himself said, we all owe our life and the word of God to the Jewish people. And it is up to us to extend our unconditional love to the people of Israel. Thank you. Praise the Lord.
I understand that this is a very profound teaching that pastor Tacu has brought to all of us. I am pretty sure that for all of us that are here, we have different issues for which we`re calling upon God for God to help us with things that we’re living in our own skin, but at the same time with a teaching like this I believe that God is calling our attention for us to know that we are part of a greater story.
We cannot be selfish just to think that Jesus is here for us alone. No.
|Sermon by Fumio Taku delivered April 17, 2011 at Congregación León de Judá||Listen|||||View(100K)|||||View(400K)|
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