Parallel Activities During Holy Week :: By Gene Lawley

That first Holy Week, when Jesus was on trial and was illegally subjected to death on the cross, has remarkable parallels in traditional Jewish Day of Preparation activities and the activities of Jesus at the same time. What makes it remarkable is John the Baptist’s remark noted earlier, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

The first Passover, when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, had detailed instructions from God. He laid it out in Exodus 12:

  1. On the tenth day of the first month,
  2. Each household, with neighbors, if too small in number, so that each person would have their need fully met, would share a lamb;
  3. The lamb must be without blemish, a male of the first year;
  4. It may be taken from the sheep or the goats;
  5. It shall be kept until the fourteenth day of the month, thus, four days.
  6. The whole assembly shall kill their lambs at twilight;
  7. It is to be roasted, then eaten, and if any is left over till morning, it must be burned in fire.

Other instructions are given in Exodus 12, but the key parallels to events in the Holy Week are the quality of the lamb and the four days when the lamb is kept with the household. That time may have been to carefully see that the lamb had no blemishes or faults. Or, as a point of reflection on what was to come for the lamb?

That Holy Week began on Saturday evening at sundown and the following day, Sunday, the first day of the selection of the lambs, and the four days ran through Wednesday, the Day of Preparation. (Matthew 27:62-63 tells us of the timing of events then: “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise.'” (And they ask for guards at the tomb.)

How does that first Holy Week begin for “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?” (John 1:29 and 1 John 2:2)

On Palm Sunday, He was chosen by the people at His triumphant entry with great acclaim and authority of His overwhelming Person. (The opposing religious leaders asked His disciples to have Him quieten the crowd, and He said, “If they are silenced, the rocks will cry out!”)

On the next day, Monday, He cleansed the Temple of the marketers and moneychangers. On Tuesday, He was in the temple area teaching and making Himself known as the Lamb of God.

During the day of Wednesday, He was with His disciples into the evening time and the Last Supper. Then they went over to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He struggled in prayer regarding His coming ordeal and crucifixion. The disciples, now just eleven of them, were totally unaware of what was going on and that the agony of His suffering was about to be poured out.

The Jewish day began at twilight on Tuesday, running through to twilight on Wednesday. Then began the Day of Preparation at twilight on Wednesday. That Thursday began at twilight on Wednesday and continued until twilight on Thursday, as the Jewish days were counted. It was the end of the fourth day, and roasting the Passover lamb was next by putting it to death and applying its blood as directed by God to Moses.

(These details are confusing, but getting them fixed in our minds is important for understanding how and when the parallel events fell into place.)

Preparation Day for the Lamb of God began with His agony in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, followed by being arrested there. It continued with all of the abuses of the questioning in attempts to find a reason for His conviction and “trial” that lasted all night and into the next day, Thursday. Read Isaiah 53 for a detailed picture of His suffering and abuse before, during, and after the trial.

Scourging, whipping, beating, abusive and blasphemous accusations—these are told in the gospel accounts of His treatment. The parallel is like this: While the religious leaders were skinning and preparing their lambs for roasting, the Lamb of God was being effectively “skinned” and made ready to be displayed as sinful as ordinary criminals were.

It is astounding how openly evil man can be in his rejection of truth. The injustice is overwhelming as we unwind the intimate details of His illegal trial. Repeats in like-kind can be seen today as well, showing that mankind is not becoming better and better in moral integrity.

As the parallel continued in the Temple at twilight, the Passover lamb was killed at twilight as the day of Wednesday ended. While that was happening, Roman soldiers were nailing Jesus to the cross on the hill of Golgotha, then lifting Him upright to hang there until death came. He had said prophetically, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John 3:14), then “if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

There were seven statements from Jesus from the cross, not all reported in each of the four gospels. His final four were perhaps in this order:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

And this one as His ordeal ended with Luke’s account of those three hours of agony hanging there: “Now it was about the sixth hour [3:00 pm], and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour [9:00 pm]. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:44-46).

Some reminders of the foundation of God’s plan of salvation, not that of man, as the flow of Scripture brings together the parallels to One final conclusion:

Leviticus 17:11 – “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

Hebrews 10:1-3 – For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Hebrews 7:25 – “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Psalm 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

The Apostle Paul briefly sums it up in 1 Corinthians 5:7: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Jesus died once for all, thus providing the gift of salvation available for all who will accept the gift. The gift is Him, Christ, actually, and “to as many as receive Him, to them is given the authority to be called the sons of God” (John 1:12).

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Where Are the USA and the World Headed? :: By Gene Lawley

Recently I had an article posted that tied together the history of money with the age-old warfare between God and Satan. I titled the article “The Felonious Fiber of Fraudulent Factions” to show that the opposition to God was of evil origin with subtle intentions for control of mankind and world domination.

The article just skimmed the surface of that centuries-old, persistent goal toward a one-world government to be led by an elite few who would be served by “lesser equals.” That latter group could not be more than 500 million; thus, you have the “population reduction” efforts of the insistent abortion promoters who are hiding that purpose behind “women’s health and rights.” Add to that the “pandemic” that came about as laboratory experts worked on a “gain-of-function” plan for a means to destroy more of those “lesser equals.”

These are major charges to make, but the trend is apparent in an overall view of what is happening in the USA and the world. The prophecy that the Apostle Paul presented in 2 Thessalonians 2 cannot be scoffed at by anyone who fully seeks the Lord’s wisdom of our times. That prophecy of Paul’s revelation says, “The falling away must come first, then….” Of course, you may insist that these things are merely history repeating itself once again, but it is like a swarm of bees that break away with the queen bee’s leadership. The world, likewise, is following the evil leadership of the servants of Satan, for Jesus said of that one, “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy!” (John 10:10a).

In the United States, we have led the nations in economic freedom and liberty, generally living the Declaration of Independence, and evil-minded people hate this country for its pinnacle of success thus far. However, in these first two years of the Biden administration, that “bee swarm” has engulfed the nation like “gang-busters!”

Queen Bee Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, led the swarm, and her Democrats, in lockstep, followed dutifully after her dictates. When bees swarm, they take off, not knowing where they are going, and wherever the queen bee stops, that’s where they end up until a beekeeper takes over.

Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Senator Charles Schumer led that cheering squad to produce the most devastating results on the nation’s sovereignty.

That “swarm” of such followers can be identified as the obvious destruction of mankind in the moral degradation embedded in the widespread embracing of the LGBTQ+ agenda and its associated drive to turn God’s good and well-done creation of mankind in His own image. It’s called “trans-gender” choice, an impossible concept that is turning willing participants into surgical mutilations of irreversible devastation.

The knowledge of these things and their part in the total goal of world domination is not lost in God’s understanding. Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite.”

Is it now clear that the “falling away” has intensified the moment after our current president repeated his oath of office? That afternoon, he canceled America’s energy independence and opened our southern border to anyone wanting to enter. Then he began to fill his administration with LGBTQ+ people and their adherents, certain to turn true morality upside down.

In two years, Biden has increased the national debt by $7 Trillion to $32 Trillion with annual interest at $400 Billion. It can never be repaid, just as the globalists have planned. It is said to be more than our annual economic growth, and the only money supply for the nation is that which is borrowed from the Federal Reserve.

Then Putin of Russia, China, North Korea–the whole world–saw Biden as a weak president. They began their aggressive planning to topple the United States from its leadership role of freedom and liberty in the world.

Putin invaded Ukraine, and North Korea began ramping up its missile testing. China, we now are learning, has been into our secrets for years, apparently with some high-level blessing from those who are hidden enemies of this nation.

When President Obama uttered that telling statement of his true absence of loyalty to this nation at the April 30, 2016, DC Correspondents’ Dinner, it was not “conspiracy theory” but conspiracy reality that we heard. He muttered during his introductory remarks, “The end of the Republic has never looked better!”

Then, recently, it was revealed that one of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci’s emails of some time ago noted his ultimate expectation, saying, “My work will be finished when America is destroyed.” This is the man who figured highly in the COVID pandemic issues. He is the highest-paid employee in the USA and claims he has never lied to Congress, so he maintained to Senator Ted Cruz.

One might add here that with friends like those, we do not need any enemies. And adding to them are those known “rhinos” in the House and Senate who ride the fence on crucial issues that are being considered.

But the Scripture says these things must come first. Then the One who is and has been resisting the encroaching evil be removed—the believers in Christ in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells.

The Bible says it will happen at the right time for that evil one, the Antichrist, to take over the world and move toward his ultimate destruction in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).

Out of the darkness comes the light of Holy Scripture. We see that when the One who holds back the evil takeover is removed, that one who has the heritage of the ancient Romans will be ready to take charge. That is the prophecy of Daniel 9:26-27 and its context.

In the total disarray when the disappearance of multiple thousands suddenly happens, he is ready and available. In 1954, it was reported that the United Nations leaders exclaimed, “Bring us one who can lead us out of these problems, and we will accept him whether he be god or devil.” Their problems of today are clearly multiplied over those of that time.

This one, having been prepared for this role, will become a “friend” of Israel and will establish a seven-year peace treaty for the Jews in safety from their Islamic enemies and others. He will also allow them to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem and again return to the law of Moses in its functions.

He will be accepted as their Messiah, one who has no nail holes in his hands or feet. Then, halfway through the seven years, he will abruptly close their temple worship and declare himself to be God and will require all to worship him as God.

This is the “abomination of desolation” that Daniel prophesied of in that context noted above. Paul brought it forward to its time of activation, as recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:3b-4: “…the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

He will take his place as the head of the United Nations at its headquarters in New York City, and the sovereignty of the USA will be no more. No Scripture makes any clear statement of the nation called the USA, so it will be subservient to the Antichrist’s dictates.

Will there be a “great awakening” revival before then, or will the “MAGA” (Make America Great Again) faction overthrow the left’s globalist agenda? Or perhaps both? God’s plan in the Scriptures seems to point to what is related in this article. The great outreach by those 144 thousand Jewish evangelists told of in Revelation 7 is the only direct indication of great multitudes coming to Christ.

There is one prophecy that indicates a reference to this nation. It is Revelation 18, the whole chapter. Old Babylon was in the Middle East and has never returned to its former glory, nor has it had any involvement in current matters of the world. This Babylon is a great city like New York City.

When John was given this prophecy, America had not been discovered. The United Nations is located there. It is the center of world financial interest whose eyes are always on Wall Street. The central bank of the Federal Reserve is there.

The world’s merchants wail at its destruction as they watch from afar off. Verse 11 tells us this: “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys their merchandise anymore.”

The whole world is in turmoil with the sudden disappearance of millions of people. Property ownership will be in turmoil, and bank accounts will no longer have an owner; perhaps even the money in them will mean nothing as legal tender. The major topic of concern will be survival by the time of this series of judgments told in Revelation 18.

The preview of that last half of the period is told in Revelation 6:15-17 when Jesus authorizes the opening of that sixth seal:

“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'”

This is the picture of what is to come in the last days of this age, the straightforward revealing of Scripture. In this, believers have a hope that is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast….” (Hebrews 6:19). They will have been taken to be with Jesus before the seven years of judgment reserved for the Jewish people for their disobedience and rejection of Christ, their true Messiah.

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