It is a very special day for me for a few reasons – I received my healing and a very special assignment.
First, this past Sunday marked one year since I prayed a simple prayer that resulted in my book, Messianic Stories: How Christian and Jewish Believers are Coming Together.
Each time I received a new story from one of the contributing authors, I could NOT contain my tears. Every single story touched my heart in one way or another.
There was a day when I questioned many things about my life and the direction I felt the Lord was leading me. I felt I was losing my life. I felt that there was an invisible magnet pulling me to do things I had never planned before. They demanded much more attention than I had anticipated.
On that day, I sat on our back patio just listening to the stillness of the morning. I turned on my laptop, opened the email to another story submitted, and read the one entitled, “No Bridge” by Bonnie Saul Wilks.
Tears ran down my bronze cheeks. I felt the Lord speaking to me through Bonnie’s story. I had received her email a day prior and the moment I opened her document, I knew this was the perfect time to read it.
In her story, Bonnie shares a special, crucial, turning-point moment in her life:
I ran to her and threw my arms around her neck. I sobbed too. After a couple of minutes, I said, “Julia, I feel like I am losing my life too. In fact, we both are losing our lives. Jesus has granted us the privilege of losing our lives. Something dies in us, so that something can live in others.”
That was a painful moment, but one I would not trade for all the memories of Julia’s childhood. It was a lesson experienced in living color about embracing the irony of God’s kingdom—about how you really find your life when you lose it.Messianic Stories, 2020, p. 29
What an irony! In death we find life.
Something has to die for something else to live. A seed has to be “killed” (planted), buried in the ground, and in due season after a process, it gives birth to tulips, peaches, oranges, roses, you name it. God commanded the Earth to produce fruit after the kind of the seed planted.
Jesus is the seed God used to give us eternal life.
He was bruised, killed, and buried in the ground and after a process of three days, He rose from the dead and gave us new life. Not only new life, but an abundant life. Not only for one person, but for the entire world – past, present, and future.
Incomprehensible to the human mind.
That’s why I find it easier NOT to argue with God’s Word. I find that humility gets me closer to God’s mercy than all my ant-sized sophisticated arguments ever could.
On Resurrection weekend, believers in Jesus all over the world take communion. Some understand its profound meaning. Some don’t.
It’s not that we don’t do communion on other days during the year, but on this day we take a special time to pause and hear messages reminding us of the gruesome sacrifice our Lord and Savior Jesus paid on the cross for the salvation of the world.
Communion is also very special to me because through it I received my healing, after 17 years of suffering from migraine headaches. Following one of my regular appointments with the neurologist I had been seeing for one year, I walked out of that office with no hope whatsoever.
I was angry. So I made a decision to stop the medication overnight. Yep. I went cold turkey! And I paid a hefty price during that week. It was hell on Earth. The headaches pounded more than ever. Each step I took was like a hammer hitting me on my head.
Then it “dawned on me” to start doing personal communion daily.
I’d stand in the center of my kitchen, grab the wine and a couple of pieces of bread praying a simple prayer that went something like this, “Thank you, Jesus, that on the cross you did the greatest exchange on earth. You exchanged my sickness for your health, my poverty for your wealth. And by your stripes, I am healed.”
Simple prayers are special to God because they come from the heart.
I prayed that repeatedly for several weeks. Then, as a family, we began doing communion on Friday evenings. I guess you can say this was our pre-intro to celebrating Shabbat without knowing it. Our girls were ages 3 and 5 at the time. I don’t recall the exact day, but within a three-week period, I received my healing.
This past weekend my husband, Ps. Nestor, preached a heck of a great sermon connecting the sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins in the Mosaic Covenant (Leviticus) with the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior in the New Covenant.
I learned that the blood is NOT for us. The blood is for God.
In the Mosaic Covenant, the blood of an animal without defect was required to satisfy the debt of sin for a person. Imagine living in those days, this was the only way to get right with God. There was no other way.
In the first seven chapters of Leviticus, it shows the different types of offerings made to God for the forgiveness of sin.
It also talks about the “altar of burnt offering.” When you and I think of an altar today, we might have a visual of the stage at a church. Well, the altar back then was quite different. It was a place of slaughter, death. It was a place where an animal was sacrificed and offered up to God as a burnt offering for the sins of the people. The Bible says that it was a “sweet aroma” unto the Lord.
Humanly speaking, the altar was no pretty sight! There was killing, and death, and blood all over.
When the priest offered up sacrifices for the sins of himself and the people, following the specific processes God had detailed, the results were: “And he shall be forgiven.”
Therefore, in the Mosaic Covenant, a person’s sin was forgiven this way:
- Provision – an animal without defect had to be selected for the sin offering
- Place – the altar in the center of the tabernacle where the sacrifice was slaughtered and burnt as an offering to God
- Process – the person committing the sin had to lay hands on the innocent animal to transfer his sin unto the animal
- Peace – the blood of an animal provided forgiveness of sin and the person could once again enjoy peace with God
Isn’t amazing that in the Mosaic Covenant the blood of an animal provided forgiveness of sin?
Therefore, we ought not see it or talk trivially of the animal sacrifices made back then.
Because the blood of those very real animals provided forgiveness of sins for very real people!
It was beyond a “foreshadow” for the person receiving forgiveness of sin. It was the means to his forgiveness. And that ought to be respected.
Our response should be one of deep gratitude that God made provision in Jesus to satisfy the debt of sin of ALL human beings to forgive, redeem, and grant us eternal life with Him.
Think of the gruesome death our Savior had to suffer. In His humanity, He asked the Father if there would be another way. His reply, “There is no other way, my Son!”
In Jesus, we have:
- Provision – He was the sinless sacrifice God chose to pay our debt of sin
- Place – the altar was Golgotha, the place of a skull, a place of execution we also know as “Calvary” – a Latin word that means “calvo”, ball headed; hence a place of skull because of the skulls left behind by those who were crucified
- Process – Jesus took upon Himself all our sins of all humanity – past, present, and future – NOT just the sin of one person
- Peace – His sacrifice provides forgiveness of sin to all who believe in Him so that we enjoy peace with God once again
Aren’t you glad that we do not have to raise an animal, care for it, and then kill it as a burnt sacrifice to receive forgiveness for our sins?
All we need to do is receive the gift of salvation. And we are forgiven.
Once we are saved, the provision to receive forgiveness for all our future sins has already been made – the blood of Jesus. Nothing else.
Thank God for the sacrifice of Yeshua, Jesus, our Messiah!
Sing with me:
Oh the blood of Jesus washes me!
Oh the blood of Jesus shed for me!
What a sacrifice, that saved my life!
Oh the blood, it is my victory!