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The Empty Tomb (John 19:41-20:18)

When Jesus said to His disciples that He would be killed by the Romans and rise again on the third day, they not only didn't understand, but when the reality played out, they were scared and ran. When Jesus's body was gone after His resurrection, even though Jesus told his disciples what was going to happen, logic and reason, anchored in what was only natural by the dictates of this world, led them to believe that Jesus's body was taken by someone or stolen. However the supernatural intervention by God in human history tells a different story; one that transcends human logic, reason, and comprehension. That said, in raising Jesus from the dead, the "grip" of what seems natural or logical was loosened, and left an imprint and impression that could only give glory to God. However, what people said about Jesus back then, still try to say the same things today about Him. And the people Jesus showed himself first to, were considered the "lowest" in society, because He could start with a fresh slate, one that didn't involve the religious hierarchy, who were hostile to Jesus and would not accept Him as their Messiah. What Jesus taught was what God commanded Him and many of the prophets before Him to speak, and one of those things was the marvel that was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. And why? Because Jesus came to conquer something greater than people's convenience, comfort, and safety, and that greater thing is what enables, empowers & inspires us today.

Living Faith Seder Ceremonial Service

In observance of Passover/Good Friday, Rock of Israel Ministries hosted a special Seder Ceremonial Service. This service observes both Passover, when God used the blood from a lamb to save those who trusted Him from the angel of death, and freed the Jews from Egypt, and incorporates Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, whose blood frees us from the power of death, the power of sin, and hell. The similarities are striking, however some unfortunately don't make the connection. So join us as we present the Seder Service in its entirety.

Your King Is Coming On A Donkey (John 12:1-19)

On Palm Sunday, many people saw Jesus as a bringer of political peace, economic freedom, and were looking to Him to be the one that released them from the dominance of the Roman Empire. They waved palm branches at him which signified peace, and victory. What they couldn't understand was that Jesus needed to free them from bigger political enemies, economic hardships, personal hardships, etc. He needed to free people from Satan, demonic influence (i.e. the principalities and powers of this dark world), the influence of evil, and inner personal sin. Jesus needed to free them from the Kingdom of Darkness. In so doing, Christ set in motion the powers that would lead Him to the cross one week later.

Soar On Wings (Isaiah 40:30-31)

In today’s dark times, believers face weariness, exhaustion, and exasperation, and need strength more than ever before. We all need some “upward draft” to make us, as scripture says, “soar as wings as eagles” so we can be strong, bold, and bright with the Love of God in these days. The way to do this is to look upon, depend on, and hope on Jesus, and He will provide the “upward draft” needed for you to keep going, keep motivated, keep strong, keep content, and in turn fill you with the stamina, endurance, and joy needed to raise you up and be happy in Him who gives you strength.

He Gives Strength To The Weary (Isaiah 40:27-29)

Like the Israelites, when they were surrounded by the Assyrians, we get surrounded by what we can't control. In other words, at times when we know we're in trouble, we know we're not getting out of this. But when you take God seriously, have faith in Him, and stay close to Him, things will happen. Isaiah assures King Hezekiah of the Lord's protection if he trusts him. Hezekiah decides to do so, and an angel wipes out 185,000 Assyrian soldiers via a "mysterious plague". God will demonstrate His power and give strength to the weary when one places their faith in Him, cause that's what He's looking for.

Lift Up Your Eyes... (Isaiah 40:25-26)

Full Title: "Lift Up Your Eyes To The Heavens" (Isaiah 40:25-26)

Isaiah keeps giving the people perspective. Isaiah exhorts his people (and us today, as we are similar to the culture of his day) to understand He who has created the earth. Isaiah uses the enormity and complexities of God's creation to show what kind of God people are not listening to. Isaiah also stresses how "people are like chaff" and when God blows on them, they blow away. So why don't people listen to God? Because whatever people are devoted to, That's what they love, and when chances to repent are given, they do not take it. So then people end up suppressing the truth in their wickedness, and God is sending warnings and judgments to remind them that they are mortal, He is eternal, and in that grace, reminding them to start thinking of acquainting themselves with Him.

He Sits... Above The Earth (Isaiah 40:21-24)

Full Title: "He Sits Enthroned Above The Earth" (Isaiah 40:21-24) 

The Bible (which is a collection of numerous historical accounts, documentations, experiences, warnings, and interactions between God and man) records human nature through the Israelites and what happened to them when they defected away from God. They became wicked, foolish, and were like silly children. Today, it's easy to point the finger at them and say "look at what they did", but we, as a human race are doing the exact same things, (though perhaps in a few different ways) and yielding similar results. The reality in light of this world, human nature, and where things are headed is that God has the answer and the antidote to what ails this world. Why? Because His principles are forever principles, and lasts forever. Isaiah compared humanity to grass, flowers (which wilt and die), dirt, and now insects (grasshoppers). God wants us to walk in His truth because He wants us with Him in eternity. Today, just like in Isaiah's day, He wants us to realize who and what we are in His sight, evaluate our sin, and see the impact today.

Dust On the Scales (Isaiah 40:15-20)

It is when we hit rock bottom, and realize that we are nothing, we realize our perspective on God and on ourselves. In light of that, Isaiah showed the Israelites the mistakes of their grandparents, and how those behaviors were provoking God to put an end to their corruption in system, religion, spirit, and soul. Back then the Israelites had turned to idol worship which is spiritual idolatry. Today, we have idols though they may not necessarily be made of wood, metal, or some other material. When your devotion to a THING supersedes your devotion to God, THAT is your idol. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, we need spiritual renewal, as it will provide us with the strength and wherewithal to get through life and whatever else it throws at us. We need to meet God on His terms, and He wants us to be strong, be able to stand, and be able to get through whatever comes against us.

The Hollow Of His Hand (Isaiah 40:12-14)

We have been learning how God has been dealing with His chosen people in Isaiah's time. We are God's chosen people today, and He deals with us in a similar way. When God deals with us, God is trying to develop our perspective on Him and on what's right and wrong in His eyes. Moreover, God is also trying to give us our perspective. In these verses, Isaiah reiterates the creation account (Genesis ch. 1) to address a people who forgot God, and whose perspective needs to be recalibrated and kept. God wants us to remember Him and keep the right perspective of Him, because in doing so, we will have the strength and internal renewal needed to live on this earth, and live in favor with God.

The Sovereign Lord Comes W/Power (Isaiah 40:9-11)

The Israelites entered an era where their faith was not real, and God noticed. God instructed them not to accept the worship of the pagan nations around them, but they did. God instructed them to remember Him, but they forgot Him. Calamity struck them by way of the Assyrians. What can we learn from that today? The Lord takes care of us as He does a shepherd. If we run away, bad stuff happens. If a shepherd had a lamb that ran away too much, he would have to break its leg to keep it staying close to him and for its own good. At what extent do people need to learn this very thing? Pastor Troy Billow explains.

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