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Dec 27: Job 37 | Zec 12 | Rev 14

Reading 1 - Job 37:6

"He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth' " (Job 37:6).

"The snow falls in beautiful showers almost every year, and covers the face of nature. Multitudes admire its beauties, but few understand its singular formation, important uses, and varied design. These things ought not so to be. We should make ourselves acquainted with the works of God, especially such common gifts as the rain, and wind, and snow. This would lead our thoughts from nature to nature's God; and then His wisdom, and power, and goodness as seen therein would excite our admiration. The snow, this wonderful creature of God, has been thus described -- 'Snow is a moist vapour drawn up from the earth to, or near the middle region of the air, where it is condensed, or thickened into a cloud, and falls down again like carded wool, sometimes in greater and sometimes in lesser flakes. The snow and the rain are made of the same matter, and are produced in the same place, only they differ in their outward form, as is obvious to the eye, and in their season. Rain falls in the warmer seasons, the clouds being dissolved into rain by heat; snow falls in the sharper seasons, the clouds being thickened by the cold. The place where the snow is generated is in the air, from thence it receives a command to dispatch itself to the earth, and there to abide' " (HW Beecher).

Reading 2 - Zec 12:10

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on [or 'to'] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zec 12:10).

THEY WILL LOOK ON ME... AND THEY WILL MOURN FOR HIM: "On" would be better rendered "TO" (NET; NIV mg; Constable Expository Notes). "The most common meaning of the Hebrew preposition translated 'on' is 'to', and there is no good contextual reason to depart from it here. The emphasis, then, is not on looking 'on' (or 'at') the Messiah literally -- but on looking 'to' the Messiah in faith (cf Num 21:9; Isa 45:22; John 3:14,15)" (Expositor's Bible Commentary).

And so they will look not to "him" alone, ie not just Jesus, but also to "ME", the Father! "In all [His Son's] affliction, he was afflicted" (Isa 63:9). And the two of them (Abraham and Isaac, typifying God and His Son: Rom 8:32) "went together" (Gen 22:6,8). The sufferings of the Son were also the sufferings of the Father!

This repentance will thus be an absolute realization that the One whom their forefathers crucified, Jesus of Nazareth ("him"), was and is in fact the Son of Almighty God ("Me"!). With this compare Thomas' understanding, expressed in John 20:28: for him, seeing his "Lord" (ie, Jesus) was equivalent to seeing his "God" -- for Jesus was the manifestation of the Father in the flesh of human nature.

THE ONE THEY HAVE PIERCED: "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isa 53:5).

AS ONE MOURNS FOR AN ONLY CHILD: They will mourn as one mourns over the death of one's only (or one's beloved, cp Gen 22:2; Jer 6:26; Amos 8:10) son, or his or her firstborn son.

Reading 3 - Rev 14:1

"Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads" (Rev 14:1).

Those who bear in their foreheads the name of the Lamb and of his Father have the "mark" of the Lamb. They are deliberately contrasted with the people who bear, on the right arm or the forehead, the "mark of the beast" (Rev 13:16-18). The Lamb is of course Christ. In an especially poignant scene of the Apocalypse, he is pictured as "a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" (Rev 5:6; cp Rev 5:12; 13:8). The "Lamb" Jesus is the Passover Lamb, slain for the sins of the world (Joh 1:29; 1Co 5:7), bearing ever after in his body the marks of his sacrifice (Joh 20:25-28).

The original Passover lamb was slain in Egypt, and its blood used to mark the lintels and doorposts of the houses of the believing Israelites. Succeeding generations of Israel would readily recognize such a mark (that is, resembling a doorway) as approximating the Hebrew letter He , which almost by itself spells the name of God: Yod He, or YAH. It is no great stretch of the imagination, therefore, to see that every faithful house in Egypt had the name of the Father marked over its doorway, written in the blood of the Lamb! And the name of the Father, "Yah", is -- of course -- the name of the Lamb too: "Yah-shua", or Jesus!

Now, in the Book of Revelation, there are marked out, not houses, but individual men and women, each sealed, not upon the door, but in the forehead (the "door" of the mind) with the "mark" of the Lamb. These are the individuals who have opened their minds to the message of God, who have directed their thoughts into the ways of His Laws. These are they who have been touched by the blood of Christ, who have been baptized into his name and the name of his Father. These are they who, wherever they are -- even in the grave itself -- will be protected in the Last Days from the "Angel of Death" and will be delivered from the "Egypt" of slavery and sin and death.

Listen to what the Lord and King Jesus promised to those who keep his word and do not deny his name: "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name" (Rev 3:10-12).


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