Archive for April 8th, 2009

Happy Passover to Our Jewish Friends

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

פֶּסַח שלום

“Blessed art thou, Lord our G-d, Master of the universe,
who sanctifies us with Your commandments, and commanded us
to kindle the light (of shabbat and of ) the holiday.”

barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
asher kideshanu bemitzvotav ve-tsivanu lehadlik
ner shel (shabbat v’shel) yom tov.

פֶּסַח שלום

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all,
for bringing forth bread from the earth.

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all, for
teaching us the commandment of eating matza.

I praise HaShem, who is Lord and Ruler over all, for
teaching us the commandment of eating bitter herbs.

פֶּסַח שלום

MSNBC Poll of 1.8 Million: Obama Earns ‘F’

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

With more than 1.8 million responses to a MSNBC poll, President Obama has earned a grade of “F” for his performance in office.

He received a failing mark in an MSNBC unscientific online survey after having spent less than three months in the White House.

In its “Give President Obama a Grade” survey, MSNBC asked nearly 2 million respondents, “If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get?”

The largest number of respondents – or 43 percent – gave Obama an “F.”

Approximately 31 percent said the president has earned an “A,” while 6.5 percent gave him a “B,” 5.3 percent answered a “C” and 14 percent said he has earned a “D.”

Meanwhile, Rasmussen Reports’ daily presidential tracking poll for April 7, 2009, shows that 37 percent of voters strongly approve of Obama’s performance. A full 29 percent now strongly disapprove of his performance.

The poll was conducted via telephone surveys of only 1,500 respondents.

Nearly 58 percent of the voters somewhat approve of the president’s performance, while 41 percent disapprove.

According to Rasmussen Reports, Michelle Obama’s favorable ratings have jumped six points to 67 percent.

Original Link.

Three Piece Star of David with Chai from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Three Piece Star of David with Chai.

3 piece Star of David with Chai

Take a moment to see all of the other interesting items they stock.

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Three Days in the Tomb

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I found this commentary on one of my backup drives and I wanted to post it here. Regrettably, I did not save a link to the author and Google searches are not pointing me to it. If anyone finds it as you are browsing the web, please let me know the link and I will add it.

Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery

Tough Questions Answered

In Matthew 12:38 Jesus is asked for a sign that He’s the promised Messiah. The religious officials had just accused Him of using the power of Satan to perform His miracles, and so He described the only sign they would see. “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,” He said, “So will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40).” By this He meant that because their hearts were hard they would only know for sure that He was their Messiah after they had killed Him, but His response resulted in a 2000 year controversy surrounding the time of His death.

What’s a Sabbath?

Actually the controversy exists largely among gentile believers. Most Jews familiar with their religion figured it out long ago. But to a gentile ignorant of the Jewish calendar, the phrase in John 19:31 identifying the day after the Crucifixion as a special Sabbath meant that Jesus had to have been crucified on a Friday, because even gentiles know that the Jewish Sabbath is Saturday. Many otherwise competent resources (such as the Study Bible I use) make that mistake. And everyone agrees that He rose again on Sunday. There isn’t any way you can put three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Hence the controversy.

So let’s get it straight. Sabbath means holy day. There is one every Saturday in Israel, but there are also several during the year that are date specific. That means they are always observed on a specific calendar date, regardless of the day. They’re like our Christmas. It always comes on the 25th of December no matter what day of the week that happens to be.

The special Sabbath John referred to is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it’s a date specific holy day; always observed on the 15th of the month they call Nisan, which corresponds to March/April on our calendar. So the first thing we learn is that the special Sabbath mentioned in John 19:31 wasn’t a Saturday.

In fact there are three special Sabbaths in the month of Nisan alone; Passover on the 14th, the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins on the 15th and runs through the 22nd, and the Feast of First Fruits on the Sunday morning following Passover. All have both a historical and prophetic purpose and like all days in the Jewish calendar they begin at sundown, following the pattern of Genesis 1. (This also confuses Gentiles since our day begins at midnight.)

The Passover Lamb

But it gets still more complex. The next issue we have to address is the sequence of events in the week we call Holy Week. Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies of the Passover Lamb. Here’s what that means. In Exodus 12 where the Passover was ordained, God told the Israelites to select a lamb on the 10th day of the month and inspect it for defects until the 14th. This means through the end of the 13th. Then at twilight they were to slaughter and roast it, eating it that same evening. Using some of its blood they were to paint their door posts red to protect them from the plague coming upon Egypt at midnight.

Following our calendar, these events would have all occurred on the night of the 13th but for the Jews the 14th began at twilight, when the sun set, and so it was already the 14th when they killed and consumed the Passover lamb.

The only day Jesus ever allowed the people to hail Him as King was on the day we call Palm Sunday. He did this to fulfill the selection process for the Passover Lamb. When the officials told Him to quiet His disciples, He said that if they became quiet, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). For this was the day ordained in history. It was the day He officially became the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. It was 483 years to the day from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet. (Daniel 9:25) A little while after the officials spoke with Him, He condemned Jerusalem to utter destruction because they did not recognize the day of His visitation (Luke 19:41-44) As we’ll see it was the 10th day of the month.

The next three days were filled with the most aggressive debate and confrontation with the officials in His entire ministry, beginning with the Temple Cleansing. He was being inspected for any doctrinal spot or blemish that would disqualify Him as the Lamb of God. They found none.

Tradition, Tradition

Some years before the birth of Jesus the Passover celebration had been changed and in the Lord’s time called for a brief ritual meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs (horseradish) to begin the 14th followed by a great and leisurely festival meal on the 15th, when the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. This tradition is still followed today.

The 14th became known as Preparation Day (Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31), because on it they made ready for the great feast day beginning at sundown. Matthew identifies the day after the Crucifixion as the day after Preparation Day (27:62) so all four Gospels agree. Jesus died on Preparation day, the 14th of their month Nisan, which is Passover. He ate the ritual meal with His disciples in the Upper Room, and then was arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death; all on Passover. He had to be, in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Passover Lamb.

So just like the Lord had commanded in Exodus 12, He was selected on the 10th, inspected on the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and executed on the 14th of Nisan.

How Do We Know This?

A little over 100 years ago a believer named Robert Anderson was head of Scotland Yard’s investigative division. He became intrigued by the three days and three nights issue and enlisted the help of the London Royal Observatory to investigate the problem since astronomers can locate the exact position of the planets and stars on any date in history. Since Passover always falls on the 14th, and since the Jewish calendar is lunar (moon) rather than solar (sun) oriented, there is always a full moon on Passover. This fulfills Genesis 1:14.

Plotting the course of the Sun and Moon they documented the day and date of every full moon. The Royal Observatory discovered that the first Palm Sunday was the 10th of Nisan. Passover, the 14th, was therefore a Thursday and Resurrection Morning was also a Sunday, the 17th. From Thursday to Sunday there are three days and three nights. Here’s how it works. It’s a little confusing to our way of thinking but read carefully and you’ll see that it makes sense.

As I’ve said, He had to die on Passover to fulfill the prophecy. Early that Thursday morning the Jewish leadership decided to kill Him. His fate was sealed. (Matt. 27:1) By law He had to be off the cross and in the ground before sundown. (He actually died about 3 PM and was laid in the tomb immediately.) So Thursday was day one. Because in Jewish reckoning the night precedes the day, at sundown it became Friday the 15th, night one, and the special Sabbath John mentioned began. At sunrise it was Friday day, day two. The next sundown brought Saturday night the 16th, night two, and the regular Sabbath began. As of sunrise it was Saturday day, day three. At sundown on Saturday it became Sunday night the 17th, night three, and before sunrise Jesus rose from the tomb. Three days and three nights. When the women arrived to anoint His body at sunrise, He was already gone.

So in the week Jesus died two Sabbaths that permitted no work were observed back to back: The Feast of Unleavened Bread on Friday the 15th, and the regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday the 16th. In Matthew 28:1 we read that at dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday the 17th) the women who were close to Jesus went to look at the tomb. Luke 24:1 tells us they were going to anoint His body for burial. The two Sabbaths had prevented them from doing so earlier. But He wasn’t there. He had risen. Being the Sunday after Passover, at the Jewish Temple it was Feast of First Fruits. At the Empty Tomb it was Resurrection Morning.

Some argue that this view doesn’t permit three full days and three full nights in the tomb but that’s not what the Scripture says. It simply says three days and three nights. If you move his death up to Wednesday like some teach to get three full days you violate the Passover Lamb prophecies. The Thursday date is the only one that will accommodate both the Passover Lamb and the three day three night prophecies. Selah 4/8/07

Original Link Unknown.

This website contains much of the same information.

Obama Appoints Open Homosexual to Faith-Based Office

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Barack Obama has appointed outspoken homosexual activist Harry Knox to the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox, who is the director of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Religion and Faith program, will serve a one-year term on the 25-member Council.

Two years ago during an appearance on MSNBC, Knox argued that scientific evidence supports the notion that certain people are born homosexuals. “What’s clear from our experience and from science is that being gay or lesbian is an immutable, unchangeable gift from God — one for which I’m very grateful,” he said. According to the HRC website, Knox is a former licensed pastor of a United Methodist Church in Georgia, and was denied ordination because of his sexual orientation.

“Harry Knox is part of an organization which is fundamentally bigoted against Christians and promotes the exclusion of Christians from various fora,” he contends. “For example, Human Rights Campaign used its influence to kick me off a diversity panel that I was supposed to be part of on dealing with faith and controversial issues, including homosexuality.”

Original Link.