Thursday, October 16, 2014

See God {Day 16: God our Stone}

While sitting in church recently, I plead with the Savior.  Let me see you fresh this week.  There are things I never want to become stale in my life.  His blood.  His beating.  His begging, "Oh Father, please don't make me do this!"
As I sat there listening to our pastor, the Holy Spirit allowed one word to fall fresh.  Stone.  "So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb."  Mark 15:46
When God utters something I know I am to delve into, I usually sit and write down what I know.  Then, I go to Bible Gateway and in the keyword search, type in the word or words to see what pulls up.  This time, I typed in stone/rock.  See, I am no genius, everyone including my nine year old could do this!
This could be an intense post, because there are a whole lot of references in the Bible to stone and rock!  But, I am praying to keep it simple...but at the same time, to open our eyes to some things that we may never have noticed.  That said, do two things for me before you read further.  1. Don't read until you have some time to think...give those kids a little Halloween candy!  2.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you truth! (I think if you hang with me until the end, you will be blessed!)
OK, here we go!  First, here are four verses that reference Jesus as our Stone or Rock:
1.  Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just..."
2.  1 Corinthians 10:3-4 "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."
3.  1 Peter 2:4-5 "As you come to him, the living Stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
4.  Daniel 2:31-35 "You looked, O King, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.  The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.  While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands.  It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, they silver, and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer.  The wind swept them away without leaving a trace.  But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth."  {This basically says Jesus's kingdom is the only one that lasts!}
OK, now that we have a visual of Jesus being our rock, I wanted to show some more verses that should bring us great comfort and courage!  I feel like God gave me a way to break them down...but I couldn't find any resources out there to support this whole either it is the Holy Spirit, or my crazy post four baby brain.  You pray and decide! Remember, each verse I give will reference either stone or rock.  Here we go again!
Jesus is our Source of Water
1.  Numbers 20:7-8 "Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.  You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink." {Look above at 1 Cor. 10:3-4...see how it fits?}
2.  John 2:6 "Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons."  This is the story of Jesus's first miracle...when he changes the water to wine.  Coincidence that stone is mentioned?  I don't think so!
Jesus is our Protection
1. Genesis 29:2-3 "There Jacob saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well."
{The stone protects the water from being contaminated and also keeps it from being wasted.}
2.  Exodus 33:21-22 "Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.  When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by."  {This is where Moses is allowed to see the glory of the LORD.  Notice Moses has to stand on the rock which symbolizes Jesus in order to behold that glory.  Rock of ages, cleft for me...}
3.  Daniel 6:17 "A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might not be changed."  {This is when Daniel is thrown into the lion's den.  At first glance, we see the stone as a hindrance that blocks his way out...but what if instead, it signifies Christ's protection over Daniel?  Just a thought...}
Jesus is our Strength, Helper, and Victory
1.  Exodus 17:12 "When Moses's hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset."  {This is when the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites.  I never noticed before that when Moses got tired, he sat on a stone.}
2.  1 Samuel 7:12 "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.  He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us.""  {Ebenezer means 'stone of help.'}
3.  1 Samuel 17:50 "So David triumphed over the Philistine (Goliath) with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him."  {How amazing that in verse 45, David says he is coming against the enemy in the name of the LORD...and it is a simple stone that kills the giant.}
Jesus is our Foundation
1.  Psalm 40:2  "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." {I love the message version..."He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip.}
2.  Psalm 118:22-24 "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.  This the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  {Ps. 118 was said at Passover, so these very words were probably some of the last that Christ said in regard to the last supper.}
3.  Matthew 7:24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."  {The Message says it like this:  "These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living.  They are foundational words, words to build a life on.  If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock."}
Jesus is our Sacrifice
1.  Judges 6:20-22 "The angel of the God said to Gideon, 'Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.' And Gideon did so.  With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread.  Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread.  and the angle of the LORD disappeared.  When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, 'Ah, Sovereign LORD!  I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"  {I never noticed the sacrifice was placed on the rock.}
2.  1 Samuel 6:14-15 "The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock.  The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.  The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.  On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD."  {Again, the sacrifice was placed on a rock.}
3.  John 19:13 "When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha.)" {The Stone Pavement is where Pilate handed Jesus over to the Jews to be crucified.  Maybe it is a stretch...but the place where Jesus is sentenced to be our sacrifice takes place on a stone pavement...hmmm.}
4.  We know Jesus died on Calvary or Golgatha, which means "place of the skull."  I can't find scripture reference, and I am not saying skull and stone/rock are the same.  But, I did find this on take it or leave it.
"The rockface: The Rock of Golgotha inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. During 1973–1978 restoration works and excavations inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and under the nearby Muristan, it was found that the area was originally a quarry, from which white Meleke limestone was struck;[20] surviving parts of the quarry to the north-east of the chapel of St. Helena are now accessible from within the chapel (by permission). Inside the church is a rock, about 7 m long by 3 m wide by 4.8 m high,[20] that is traditionally believed to be all that now remains visible of Golgotha; the design of the church means that the Calvary Chapel contains the upper foot or so of the rock, while the remainder is in the chapel beneath it (known as the tomb of Adam). Virgilio Corbo, a Franciscan priest and archaeologist, present at the excavations, suggested that from the city the little hill (which still exists) could have looked like a skull."
Jesus is our Identity and Security
1.  Exodus 28:10  In reference to the High Priest's Garments..."There are to be twelve stones (on the breastpiece), one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes." {I love that the High Priest was to foreshadow Jesus...Aaron was the first high read this:  "Aaron will...bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD."  So, we too, are engraved on Jesus and he is constantly interceding on our behalves.  He is our identity and security.}
2.  Revelation 2:17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."  {Oh, glory!  Up where we belong, in that true home that we can't wait to dwell,  Jesus himself will give us a new name...marked on none other than a stone.}
I like to think of the stone always pointing to Jesus and his victory.  He is our everything, and the stones throughout the Bible show us this.  He is our water so we will never thirst again.  He is our protection from the enemy.  He is our Ebenezer, or our helper.  He is our very foundation for life.  He is our sacrifice (he came to fulfill the law for us that was written on STONE!)  He is our identity and only security.  He is our everything.
He was even victorious over his own death.  Nothing could hold him down because Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  A huge stone blocking his burial site was nothing for him!  He holds all power. 
The stone that was thrust aside became a visual reminder of the Victorious Christ (The True Stone) and his victory over everything from sin to death.
Will you look to the Stone this weekend and remember?  I hope you experience Him in a fresh way and I would love to hear about it!

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