He was Called Jesus (Part One)

Baptism of Jesus

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus means “God saves”. Jesus was not the first person in the Bible to have that name.  Joshua is spelled the same way in Hebrew.  Joshua’s story is very interesting when compared to Jesus’ life.

Joshua was a loyal aide to Moses. He was sent to reconnoiter the Promised Land with eleven other scouts. Only he and Caleb had the necessary faith in God to encourage the people to enter the Promised Land.  The other ten spies filled the Israelites with fear and doubt about God’s intentions toward them.  As a result, the people refused to enter the Promised Land. So, they were sentenced to 40 years of wandering in the desert. Only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their faith.

Moses was also barred from entering the Promised Land because of a small sin that is debated as to what it was exactly.  The underlying reason I believe is that Moses represented the Law and the Old Covenant.  Following it would not be sufficient for entering the Promised Land of heaven.  For entering the physical land the people needed Joshua; for entering the True Promised Land of Heaven we need Jesus.

When it came time for the people to enter the Promised Land, Joshua had the priests bring the Ark of the Covenant into the waters of the Jordan.  When they did this the waters stopped and were backed up as far as the town of Adam.  The people crossed over on dry land just like at the Red Sea.

Centuries later, Jesus stood in that same place with John the Baptist.  John was a direct descendant of Aaron the High Priest.  John baptized Jesus in these same waters and the heavens (the Promised Land) opened. The effect of Christ’s sacrifice had an impact all the way back to Adam, the first sinner.

In Joshua’s day, all of the Israelites had to pass through the Jordan to reach the Promised Land.  Christians enter Heaven through the waters of Baptism.

#trcot #tcot #Jesus #Joshua #Baptism

Referenced Scriptures: Luke2:21, Numbers 13-14, Joshua 3, Luke 3:21-22

The One Present You Can Open Before Christmas

Baptism of Jesus

Before Gabriel appeared to Mary, He came to Zechariah when he was serving as a priest in the Temple. Gabriel both promised and prophesied to Zechariah about the coming of John and his role in preparing the people for God. But this prophecy wasn’t just about John or even Jesus another member of the Trinity was revealed–the Holy Spirit!

Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.  And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Luke 1:13-17

When Mary came to visit Elizabeth, the first part of Gabriel’s prophecy came to pass. John was baptized in the Holy Spirit even from the womb. We know from the Gospels that the rest of Gabriel’s prophecy was fulfilled. In fact John went on to prophesy not just about repentance and Jesus but also about this mysterious member of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit.

I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Matthew 3:11

Just as his infilling with the Holy Spirit had been prophesied by Gabriel, so the disciples’ baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied.  We tend to see Jesus as the end, but for  Jesus His earthly life as a necessary stage to get to the Holy Spirit.

I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!  Luke 12:49-50

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:7,12-13

The Trinity is this dynamic interaction of creative Love. Christ did not just come into the world to save us from our sins, He came to bring us into that dynamic of Trinitarian Love–to make us family.

If all you know is Jesus then ask Him to reveal the Holy Spirit, it is why He died and returned to Heaven.  Before Gabriel even announced the coming of Jesus to Mary, he had announced the coming of the Holy Spirit to Zechariah.  Before Jesus preached a word, John had prophesied that Jesus would bring us the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is God’s will for you.

Many of us received a gift at our confirmation, that has been lying unopened in our hearts. Advent is a season for the Holy Spirit.  It is how Mary prepared for Jesus, and how John prepared the world for Christ. It is the one present you are allowed to open before Christmas.

#trcot #tcot #Holy Spirit #Gabriel #John the Baptist

 

Jesus Enters the Virginal Womb and the Freshly Cut Tomb

Crowned statue of the virgin Mary carrying a child with a diffused vegetation background

The virginal womb and the freshly cut tomb both represent a return to Eden.  St. John Chrysostom believed that the soil of Eden prefigured Mary.  It brought forth life without seed.  If you look at that second story of Creation you see the soil described as never being tilled by man, nor had any shrub been found on it.  It was virgin soil.  This soil was then covered by the waters that welled up in Eden and Adam was formed out of this mud. Living water that wells up from within or flows out from a person in the Gospels refers to the Holy Spirit. So here we have the virgin soil (Mary) being covered by the waters of Eden (the Spirit) and out of that mixture comes Adam (Jesus)!

When Jesus was buried He was placed into a freshly cut tomb.  The interior of the tomb, had not known death.  The body of the new Adam was placed into the earth like a seed.  The new Adam like the first Adam is going to be pulled out of the earth.  The descendants of this Adam are going to be restored to that state of sinless grace.

We on earth are still children of the first Adam until we are baptized.  We are covered by holy water instead of the earth to rise again to new life. Our souls are sinless and pure as we come out of that sacrament. But then we fall, so Jesus  through the sacrament of Reconciliation allows us to return to that state of grace.

During Advent, we are called to go confession.  When we do that, we provide the Lord with a specially prepared soil deep within our souls.  He, like a seed, produces much spiritual growth and abundant fruit. Our souls become a garden where the new Adam dwells. He, in turn, prepares us for our own resurrection.

#trcot, tcot, #Virgin Birth #Baptism #Creation