Outside The Gate.

By: Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp.
Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate.
Let’s therefore go out to him outside of the camp, bearing his reproach.
For we don’t have here an enduring city, but we seek that which is to come.” Hebrews 13:11-14

Pontius Pilate had it right when he nailed the sign to Jesus’ cross proclaiming that here was “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.  It infuriated the Pharisees and the Priests.  It made them gnash their teeth at Him and yell derogatory things in His face.  One of the things they yelled at Him was this:

“He saved others; himself he cannot save.  If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him”  Matthew 27:42

What they didn’t understand was that it was precisely because he was the King of Israel that He continued to hang upon the cross.  What they couldn’t comprehend was that He was perfectly able to come down from that cross.  Only two things held Him there, His obedience to His Father and His love for you and for me.

Even though He told His disciples many times, with great detail, that this would happen to Him, they just could not believe it was of God, and their faith was shattered when they saw Him die upon the cross.  Jesus had even prayed for Peter (and in praying for him, He was praying for them all) that:

” . . . I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.”  Luke 22:32

When we follow Jesus outside the camp we are excited, because we believe we are doing a most noble thing.  But, we soon find out that the world believes we are doing an ignoble thing!  Just as the religious Jews mocked Jesus and were blind to what He was accomplishing upon the cross, the world mocks us as being fools and weak, and needing a crutch to get through life.  They cannot comprehend that following Jesus outside the gate, leaving the security of the approval of family, friends and the world, is indeed, the bravest thing a person can do.

Jesus accomplished the forgiveness of sins for all mankind, and ended our impending punishment, by being punished in our place.  He set us free.  We become His messengers of the Good News when we choose to follow in His footsteps.  We follow Him, not just for ourselves, but for others as well.  At times, the suffering that goes along with this calling can discourage us, but we must remember how important it is to bear His reproach and keep our eyes fixed upon the prize that is to come: The new heavens and the new earth, the home of righteousness.  It takes time for us, as believers, to truly understand that this world is not our home.  We are foreigners, living in a foreign city, and waiting patiently to be brought to our new city which is to come!Jesus accomplished the forgiveness of sins for all mankind, and ended our impending punishment, by being punished in our place.  He set us free.  We become His messengers of the Good News when we choose to follow in His footsteps.  We follow Him, not just for ourselves, but for others as well.  At times, the suffering that goes along with this calling can discourage us, but we must remember how important it is to bear His reproach and keep our eyes fixed upon the prize that is to come: The new heavens and the new earth, the home of righteousness.  It takes time for us, as believers, to truly understand that this world is not our home.  We are foreigners, living in a foreign city, and waiting patiently to be brought to our new city which is to come!

Onward!  ~Ron

Unwilling.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have life.” John 5;39,40

In these scriptures Jesus is challenging the Pharisees. He’s grabbing them by the collar, pointing to their greatest strength; the dogmatic study of the Word of God; and He declares the utter failure and waste that all their effort in dissecting the scriptures has achieved. They missed the boat. Their own brilliance brought upon themselves an arrogance of intellect that caused them to be blind to the Truth, even though it stared them in the face! The Truth is not an idea, or a concept, or a philosophy, or a moral code, or a set of laws, or a doctrine. The Truth is a person and that person is Jesus Christ!

Unwilling. Why? Pride. Pride in their own carefully crafted idea of who God is derived from their own personal proclivities. Pride, that they thought they knew what others couldn’t possibly understand. Pride in their intellectual and religious superiority over the common rabble.

They were unwilling to come to Him . . .

Isn’t the Word of God enough? To have and to study the Bible should be all that is needed, correct? NO!

Permit me to share an allegory with you. Suppose you were a great admirer of a particular famous person. At one point, he wrote his autobiography, which you purchased as soon as it hit the shelves. You spent every spare moment you could find, reading it, studying it and your admiration for this man grew and grew as a result. You even began to try to pattern yourself after him. Then one day there is a knock at the door. You are reading your special book and don’t want to be interrupted, but, reluctantly, you get up and answer the door. Standing there on your front step is the very man you are reading about. He introduces himself and says that it was mentioned to him what a great admirer you were of him so he thought he’d bless you by coming over and getting to know you. You look at him and say that you’re a bit busy right now, could he come another time. The man asks you what you are doing and you tell him you’re reading his autobiography. “Wonderful!” he says. He offers to come in and sit with you and go over the book in order that your understanding could be on a personal level. “Let’s become friends.”, he says. You blink and repeat to him that you are really too busy at the moment and that you’d like to get back to your book! And, like that, you shut the door in his face.

Preposterous, you say.

Well, let me say, it happened 2000 years ago, and sadly, it is still happening today. I love the Word of God. It is everything to me. It is how I became saved, by reading it. But, I love the author even more! He, who wrote this love letter to you and me is He who is knocking today at the door of our hearts, asking: “May I come in and sup with you?”

Never let your intellectual understanding of God become a hindrance to your personal relationship with Him. Let Him in. Get to know Him one on one. He stands at the door and knocks. Will you open up for Him? In Him is Life! Knowing Him! Don’t delay . . .

His Blessings, Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

Who am I? From Neil T. Anderson, The Bondage Breaker

I am the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13)
I am the light of the world (Matt. 5:14)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life (John 15:1,5)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16)
I am a slave of righteousness (Romans 6:18)
I am enslaved

to

God (Romans 6:22)
I am a son of God; God is spiritually my Father (Rom. 8:14,15; Gal. 3:26, 4:6)
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Rom. 8:17)
I am a temple ‐‐ a dwelling place ‐‐ of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19)
I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30)
I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18, 19)
I am a son of God and one in Christ (Gal. 3:26, 28)
I am an heir of God since I am a son of God (Gal. 4:6,7)
I am a saint (Eph. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2)
I am God’s workmanship ‐‐ His handiwork ‐‐ born anew in Christ to do His work (Eph. 2:10)

Later,

Pat.

 

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