Monthly Archives: April 2015

Easter Saturday – Death Disrobed

What happened between Jesus death and resurrection? What can we learn from the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev19:10). As the heart of the prophets is to bring us into the presence of God let’s start with John in Revelation 12:10 -

The devil accuses us before our God day and night - what does this mean?… God uses the enemy to transpose our sins to the court of heaven. Here we have no other disposition other than to kneel in humility and confess the truth about our guilt.

 And how does Father God handle our guilt?  Read with me in Romans 15:3 - the insults of those who insult us have fallen on Jesus. Jesus wore our guilt upon himself at the Cross. This transferred sin was so obnoxious that the Father could not even look upon his despoiled son on the Cross. Jesus was disgraced with our disgrace.
 
He was vicariously disfigured by our guilt that he carried to the point of crying out - ”My God, my God why have you forsaken me” (Matt 27:46) and in Isaiah 52:14 - “his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness”.
 
This is all about us. Our debt. Our being effectively crucified in Christ – Gal 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”. Do you not see the love of his Holy identification? His complete acceptance of the transference of our sin to himself. The transference of our guilt to the innocent Jesus?
 
Zechariah now takes over the story – we know the following is the prophet’s insight into Jesus time in hell because his revelation is - symbolic of things to come, when God removes the sin of the land in a single day (Zech 3:8-9)…
 
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by (Zech 3:1-5).
 
Death Disrobed
The name “Joshua” in Hebrew and “Jesus” in English are the same word. Here the prophet is sharing with us what happened to Jesus after he died on the Cross. Here is the prophet’s account of Easter Saturday…
 
The filthy robes represented the satanic accusations transferred by the court of heaven from the prosecution against us to Jesus. Jesus carries these accusations upon himself to death and hell – where the power of God raised him to life. A resurrection so powerful that even the dead were raised to life to walk free in Jerusalem -
 
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matt 27:50-53).
The curtain in the Temple between the Holy place and the most Holy place was split from top to bottom. No longer do we need a priest to come into the holy of holies on our behalf. The blood of Christ has fulfilled every need for sacrifice.
The angel in Zechariah 3 called out – “Take of his filthy clothes“. Do we understand what took place people? Do we hear and understand? Are we the good soil who hears and understands as Jesus said in Matt 13: 23?
  • Zechariah tells how our sins were stripped off Jesus in hell itself.
  • Permanently transferred via the cross – to hell.
Our sins, pastpresent and future no longer have any life in them. They are dead. They have been disposed of for ever under our feet in hell where they belong. Cry out now people – Y E S !  Thank you Jesus for such deliverance -
 
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:7-8).
 
Now Jesus – and we in him – are given resurrection garments to wear. Clothes as white as snow (Zech 3:3, Matt 28:3). No longer despoiled. Now clothed with the victory of sinless purity. These are the robes we need to wear at the wedding banquet of the lamb (Matt 22:1-14).
 
No longer did Jesus wear man’s crown of thorns on his head but the new turban (Zech 3:5) of the High Priest (Heb 8:1). Jesus now took over the role of Aaron -
 
“Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord (Exodus 28:36-38).
 
From this dear reader we can see that Jesus is the fulfilment of Israel. Jesus is a Jew and we who are gentiles are grafted into the redeemed Israel through Christ. There is no replacement theology. The true church is grafted into Israel through our Jewish High Priest and the prophet tells us that one our Jewish brothers and sisters shall also come into the same revelation of fulfilment in Christ (Zech 12:10-14).
 
Jesus’ Unchangable Defeat of Satan
At the crucifixion Satan thought he had won. He started an insurrection amongst God’s created people to crucify and kill the author of life. Do you understand this dear reader?
 
Now in his pride and arrogance we can imagine him strutting through the catacombs of hell with his enemy Christ dead!  But wait, what is this? An emerging light in the darkness of hell. How can this be?
 
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (Rev 118).
 
The hairs stand up on the back of Satan’s neck. Shivers transverse his spine. The realisation hits him like a brick. The RISEN CHRIST IS NOW IN CHARGE IN HIS TURF.
 
Satan has lost the war and can never turn it around. Over. Done-in. Defeated for Eternity. Jesus now turns to Satan with the words of the victor – GIVE ME THE KEYS!  Jesus now holds the keys of death and hell. Our future is now in Jesus hands, not the enemies. TURN TO JESUS PEOPLE !
 
On resurrection Saturday Jesus walks through the prison of hell and preaches freedom and release to the repentant. Freedom from the gloomy bondage of hell – but no freedom for the fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4, Heb 10:26-27).
 
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits (1 Peter 3:18-19).
 
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit (1 Peter 4:6).
 
So now we are ready to worship on Easter Sunday. Ready to come before our God with praise and thanksgiving, free in Christ with a magnificent future ahead of us -
 
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? (Eph 4:7-8)
 
Let us rejoice that Jesus descended into hell to unload our sins, take on the devil, preach the good news of forgiveness and draw us to himself through the redemption of his life given for us. We were the captives but now he gives us gifts of redemption, forgiveness and a new life. He raised us from the lower earthly regions. Yay !!!
 
And now he calls us to this future:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
 
As we his people walk and talk and live out this calling in the unity of John 17 we can take back this nation for Christ. There is no enemy that can stop us apart from ourselves.
 
So come on Church – arise to our calling in the 21st Century. Let’s take back the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit and give unto God this nation through the power and calling of the Great Commission….
 
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20).