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Moriel Ministries > Teachings > Sermons
Midrash: Jesus in the Garden
(Part 2 of 2)
The problem with persecution is that it is the ones who do not need the persecution who get it first and worst. The others, however, when it does come, will fall away.
Remember that Jesus said, "Many will fall away and betray one
another." The Christians who are going to fall away and betray
you tomorrow are the ones who listen to Copeland and Hagen today. If
someone is being told the lie that "God wants you rich, you don't
have to suffer, you're a king's kid", only to find themselves
suffering, what hope have they of keeping their faith? Their faith,
sadly, was never real to begin with. I'm a Pentecostal, but the distortion
of Pentecostalism is as apostate as is the Roman Catholic Church, the
Greek Orthodox Church, or the liberal Protestants . It's all from the
devil. It's all Satan's deception.
I'll give you two examples of corporate solidarity: Bar Abbas in Aramaic means "Son of the Father." He was the equivalent of a modern terrorist. I live in England, and I go to Northern Ireland frequently, where you have the IRA and the UVF; the Protestant and Catholic terrorists. These people are basically gangsters who are perpetrating what amounts to organized crime in the name of a political religious cause. Both the Protestants and the Catholics do it. They are basically gangsters, religious hypocrites of the most atrocious description. That is fairly equivalent to what Bar Abbas was like.
'Whom shall I give you?', Pilate asks the people. 'This terrorist or Rabbi Yeshua?' Do you want this murderer, or do you want this Rabbi who brought the little girl back to life? Who made the blind see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear, who healed the lepers, who taught people about love, peace and truth?
"Give us Barabbas", they demand. Barabbas is a picture of
us all: the just for the unjust. Bar Abbas, Son of the Father. We become
sons of the Father because Jesus went to the cross in our place. All
four Gospels put the Gospel in the forum of a juridical proceeding
- Jesus was put on trial in our place. Barabbas. John Wimber, however,
said "We're going to take the Gospel out of the judicial forum." John
Wimber had a message from Hell. All four Gospels put the Gospel into
a juridical forum; you cannot know God as loving Father until you know
Him as a righteous judge.
There is another corporate solidarity: "Whom do you seek?" "Jesus." " I
am He. Let these go." Who are 'these'? Peter, James, and John,
who represent you and me. "Whom do you seek?" "Jesus." "I
am He; let these go." "Well, what about Jacob Prasch? You
know, that guy who worked his way through his way through college selling
cocaine?" "Let him go. I'm the one you're looking for; take
me." "But he was the campus radical who firebombed a police
car!" "Yeah, I know who he was, and I know what he did. I
saw him under the fig tree. Let him go." "Well, what about
the homosexual?" "Let him go. Take me; I'm the one you're
looking for." "What about the pimp? Let him go. I'm the one
you're looking for." "What about the prostitute?" "Let
her go. I'm the one you're looking for, let these go." "Let
them go? They're criminals!" "I know who they are, but you're
looking for me. Let these go, take me, let these go." "Who
are you?" "I am the I Am. This is my game. I'm the one who
walks in the garden. I made these rules. We're playing my game, by
my rules: Let these go, and take me."
"And, so they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrapping with the spices, as was the burial custom of the Jews. Now, in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden." It had to be in a garden, same as Genesis, same as Gethsemane. "In the place He was crucified, there was a garden. And, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore, on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there." Jesus was buried in a garden. The previous day, the Saturday, they were reading Ha Shir Hashirim. To this day in the synagogue on that Saturday of Ha Matzot, Passover week, you read Megilla, known to you as the Song of Solomon. Turn with me to the Song of Solomon, please, chapter 4, verse 6.
"Until the cool of the day, when the shadow flees away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense." The bridegroom was anointed for burial, to die for the bride; to bring the acceptable sacrifice. Solomon's romance with the Shulammite is a metaphor of Christ's romance with the church. He is anointed for burial, to die for His bride. That is what was being read in the Synagogue.
Now look at Chapter 5 in the Song of Solomon: "I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I've gathered my myrrh along with my balsam." To put it another way, "Come on in. Come on in to the garden." That is what is being read in the synagogue on the Saturday.
The next day, the Sunday, the first day of the week, is what we call
in Hebrew yom Rishon. That yom Rrishon, however, was a unique yom Rishon,
a unique Sunday in the Jewish calendar. It is the Hebrew feast of First
In a dream you can see past events happening again: You can see George Washington crossing the Delaware. You can see anything. You can see something is going to happen, you can dream about your coming vacation to California or whatever. You can dream about things that haven't happened yet. You can see dead people alive, or what happened in Revelation. The lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. He saw the 24 elders on the throne; he saw future events that didn't happen yet happening in the here and now. When you go to sleep you dream, physiologists know we all dream. They know from encephalograms and alpha brain waves among other things, we all dream.
Your consciousness enters a different sphere where things that would make no sense in the waking hours, they make sense, that's what happens when you die. So, the question becomes, well, does your soul go to sleep, or do you go to be with the Lord? Relative to us, you're in your grave. Relative to eternity, it's already happening. Says in Ephesians, we're already seating with Christ in the Heavenly places. You cannot apply time to eternity. That's one of the first places the Calvinists go wrong, they try to apply time to eternity. Is there eternal security? Yes. Because in eternity, it's already happening, but eternal security in the Bible does not mean once saved, always saved. To us, it's a variable. There is eternal security, but not in the way the Calvinists think there is. They muddle everything on that. Calvinism is based on humanism. It is humanism. It's crazy.
They go to sleep. Christ is the first fruits of those who are asleep.
This is the messianic fulfillment of the Hebrew Feast of First Fruits.
What would happen on this Sunday, yom Rishon, of First Fruits? That
Sunday of Passover Week? That Saturday they had read the Song of Solomon
and in the synagogues to this day they still read it. The Sunday when
it was still dark, before dawn, the high priest would have to go into
the Kidron Valley, descend into the it from the temple. He'd go into
the Kidron Valley and he would wait, while it was still dark for the
first pin of light to come up on back of the Mount of Olives. When
he saw the first pin of sunlight, he would ceremonially harvest the
first stalks of grain of the spring harvest coming up in the Kidron
Valley, ceremonially harvest them. That would be called the First Fruit.
John, Chapter 20:1. Now the first day
of the week, yom Rishon, its the Hebrew Feast of First Fruits, Mary
Magdalene, Mary Magdala--she
came from Magdol in Galilee, which would have meant it was a place
where there was a tower, came early to the tomb while it was still
dark. Same as the high priest had to go into the garden when it was
still dark, she saw the stone already taken away from the tomb, so
she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus
loved, and said to them, "They've taken away the Lord out of the
tomb. We don't know where they've laid Him." Notice, the bad news
in the garden came to a woman first. The curse came upon a woman first.
The bad news came on a woman first. So the good news had to come to
a woman first, you understand why it had to be a woman? It couldn't
be a man; it had to be a woman. The curse came on a woman first, so
the good news had to come to the woman first. The bad news came to
a woman first so the good news had to come to a woman first.
Women are more sensitive. They get it
first. Men are bit thick in the head. So the story continues. She
tries to tell the apostles. Supposing
Him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you've carried
Him away, tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away." But
Jesus said to her, "Mary." And she turned to Him in Hebrew,
which would have actually been the Hebrew dialect of Aramaic, Rabboni,
(which means my Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to
me. For I have not ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and
say to them, >I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and
your God." In John's Gospel, previously, Jesus referred to the
Father as His Father, in the possessive personal possessive. Once He
took our sin and rose from the dead, now He is our Father.
I live in England where doctor Samuel
Johnson sardonically, yet accurately, in his dictionary, defined
peace as a period of preparation and deception
between two wars. We think of peace in the Greek sense of being "Irene," like
the girl's name, an absence of conflict. That's peace as the world
gives you. God's peace is shalom. Now, ultimately, His peace will include
an absence of conflict. When Jesus returns, the nations will beat their
spears into pruning hooks. Ultimately shalom will include an absence
of conflict. But an absence of conflict is not shalom. Shalom comes
from the infinitive of the Hebrew verb, leshalem. Leshalem means to
pay. It is a synonym in biblical Hebrew for the word le malot, meaning
to fill. It's not in the modern Hebrew, but in biblical Hebrew, it's
to fill. It's a synonym, to fill. And it's to fulfill. Leshalem, the
word shalom comes from leshalem. We get shalom from leshalem, to pay,
to fill, and to fulfill. We have shalom because Jesus came to pay the
price for our sin, to fill us with His spirit, and to fulfill the law,
the torah. We have shalom because the Messiah came to leshalem, to
pay the price for our sin, to fill us with his spirit and to fulfill
the law. You can be in the biggest conflict of your life and have shalom.
Or you can be in a perfectly pristine circumstance and lack it. Yeshua
said, "My peace I give to you. Not like the world gives you." "My
peace." That's what He said.
Just like Adam and Eve, you are standing naked before a holy perfect God. And all the fig leaves in the world are not good enough. No amounts of fig leaves are going to save you from the wrath of God. You may be trusting in good works and being what society calls a good person. No matter how good you are, you are not good enough to go to Heaven. No matter how good you are, you're not good enough not to go to Hell. But no matter how bad you are, you are not so bad that God doesn't love you and doesn't want to save you.
See, I had an advantage. I didn't grow up in a Protestant culture.
I didn't even know what a Born-Again Christian was. By the time I was
sixteen, I was fooling around with heroin. I didn't know. Nobody had
to convince me I was a sinner. I already knew that. The devil gets
more people into Hell with religion than he does all the dope, all
the immorality, all the gambling, all these type sins put together.
Fig leaves. Fig leaves populate Hell. So, you're standing naked before
your maker and you may be sewing fig leaves together. You're trusting
religion. Without the shedding of blood, there's no forgiveness of
If you don't know Him, please don't leave here today without talking
to the pastor or myself. If you're not born again, we'll stay here
after the service, don't walk out that door until you hear Jesus tell
you shalom alechem.
by James Jacob Prasch