The Jew, The Bride and The Cross

Scriptures: (Romans 1:16 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

                (Isaiah 62:5 KJV) For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

             (Heb 12:1 & 2 KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This week’s message is for us all. First for my Jewish readers, both those in the faith and those outside looking in. Second for the families struggling with keeping strong relational bonds. And thirdly for all of us who at times need to be encouraged, being given hope in The God of all creation's desire and ability to intervene in our lives and save us all from despair. Addressing my first point. I use the scripture from the book of Romans for two reasons. It is the good news of Jesus Christ that gives us power for living a victorious life. God Himself has made a way where there was no way for us to enter into His presence. And it was through the Jewish nation that this way was made possible. It was by the faithful obedience of Abraham when he believed God and left his homeland to dwell among strangers. There he was an old man without any children and yet he still believed God when he told him that all the nations would be blessed through his seed. Before we look at the exact account of this relationship I want to let you know why I am pointing this out. In the verse from Romans above we so often leave out the part about the power of God being first for the Jew. For too long both Christians and Jews alike have kept a deep divide between them. Our past is full of blood and hate. That was never God's intention. God is love and He demands that we love one another or we are not of Him at all. For too long people have been committing hateful acts in the name of the king of Peace. It is time that we stand together and proclaim the truth of God's love for all mankind. Stop the prejudice. Stop the hate. Stop the name-calling and finger pointing. Stop with the resentment and start experiencing the true power of freedom. Freedom to live a full and abundant life. Freedom to dwell in harmony with all mankind. Freedom to love life and be loved in return.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is first for the Jew because it came from the Jews. God's word remains true and when He told Abraham that He would bless everyone who blessed him and curse everyone who curses him that remains for today. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are to show forth the love of God to all the world. I think people have just gotten so jealous of Jews being God's chosen that they for got that they themselves are adapted into the family of Abraham through the blood of Christ.  (Romans 8:14 & 15 KJV) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

We have a heavenly Father who has taken away the curse of our earthly fathers. We have a heavenly Father who has made us joint heirs, giving us the keys to the kingdom. We have a heavenly father who has washed us clean from all of our sins and clothed us in His own righteousness. God wants to fill each of us up with His own Holy Spirit. He desires that you experience Him to the overflowing. It is no wonder that He established the earthly family as a model of His spiritual intentions for us. When a family is running smoothly there is nothing better in this world. No amount of money or fame could begin to compare to the glory of a loving family. No drug could get you higher then a family enjoying each other, working together for each other, laughing together, crying together living in harmony as one unit together. And that Family begins with a marriage. Infact the family as a whole depends upon that marriage to stay in tact. So the healthier the marriage relationship the healthier the family.

Now anyone who has ever been married or even those who have not, but have witnessed married couples, know that a strong marriage relationship takes work. Too often we take our partners for granted. To often we take the marriage relationship for granted. To often we take God for granted. We, both husbands and wives, need to constantly be nurturing the marriage relationship. We need to be concerned about the ever-changing needs and desires of our partners. We need to let them know that we care about them and desire their happiness. The Bible is full of marital advice and counsel. Looking real quickly in the book of Ephesians we read how husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, giving His all for her. We also read how woman need to submit unto their husbands and both husband and wife should submit one to the other. It is all about giving one to the other. Making the needs and wants the your spouse more important then your own. Give and it will be given. It is when we no longer delight in our husband or wife that we no longer get our own hearts desire and we fall further and further apart. For some of us it is time to make new commitments. It is time to recommit ourselves to the one we love. You can look at this, both in the natural, as well as in the spiritual. Remember there is a direct correlation between the physical world and the spiritual one. If you are struggling in your physical relationships look at your spiritual relationship with God and draw yourself closer to Him. It is a lot like gardening. If you want your entire garden to bloom and bring forth fruit then you need to be diligent to weed it and water it and give it the proper fertilizer. The joy of life is fully experienced as we diligently put forth the effort to nurture and serve others.       

And that takes us to the Cross of Christ. It is because of what God has done for us that we can live and move and have our being. The Hebrew nation was shown the truth of redemption thousands of years ago. They carried this truth and diligently transferred it through the generations. It is sin that separates us from God. And we all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. But God has made a way through the shedding of innocent blood that there can be atonement for our sins. For two thousand years the Jewish people killed bulls and goats and turtledoves to cover their sins. Then the shadow of things was revealed as one shed His blood for all. Jesus Christ died so that we might live. Now Jesus Christ lives so that we might never die. Eternal abundant life is in Him as we nail our sin upon the cross and go forward with a clear purpose. We have a ministry. It is the ministry, which has been given unto us. It is the ministry of reconciliation. We have been reconciled to God and now this same spiritual reconciliation is given to us for our physical lives. That which is bound upon earth is bound in heaven. First for the Jew, for we all are the bride of Christ, bound together by the cross. The Jew, The Bride and The Cross. Love, Joy and Peace can all be yours today as you diligently seek the truth of God in your life.