BSF Study Questions John Lesson 27, Day 5: John 19:38-42

Summary of passage: Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Along with Nicodemus, the two of them prepared Jesus’ body for burial by wrapping it in strips of linen. Jesus was laid in a nearby tomb.

Questions:

12)  Jesus was not abandoned nor did his body decay.  Jesus was wrapped in linen, his body rubbed with spices, myrrh and aloes that were expensive.  He died with wicked men.  He conquered death and sin to overcome the devil.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Because Jesus was buried when he died so were we so that we may rise again.  Jesus was raised from the dead as we will be as well.  To be honest, it doesn’t impact my daily life.  I prefer to mediate on his resurrection rather than the details of his burial.

Conclusions:  I’d never asked myself before why we bury the dead.  Why not burn them?  Different cultures treat their dead differently so I decided to google.  Fascinating.  Some of what I discovered is in the End Notes.

End Notes:  God used these men to protect the body of Jesus. Jewish custom was to bury the body before sundown and the start of the Sabbath. All indications are that Joseph and Nicodemus did this work themselves instead of slaves. This must have been difficult to remove the bloody body of Jesus from a hanging cross. These 2 men who were religious leaders must have known they were fulfilling prophecy. Can you imagine being in their place? How awesome!

“One of the customs of the Jews in preparing a body for burial is the requirement to remove all foreign matter from the body and to carefully wash it. Joseph and Nicodemus examined His entire body and found broken pieces of thorn all over the head. They saw His bloody, matted hair; the terrible bruising of the face, the areas of beard pulled out, the dry and cracked lips. They turned the body over to see His shoulders and arms are riddled with splinters; each one was removed with care. The back, from the shoulders down, was a bloody open wound from the terrible scourging suffered before the crucifixion. His hands and feet were smashed and bloodied. On the front – just beneath the rib cage – there was a gaping wound made from the spear thrust that confirmed His death.” Taken from Enduring Word.com. Can you imagine?

Jesus could have risen right then. But instead he hung dead on the cross. God’s perfect plan.

The burial of Jesus is so important it’s considered one of the essential components of the gospel itself (1 Corinthians 15:3-4):

· The burial fulfilled the Scripture of Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made His grave with the wicked”; so that meant the Messiah would be buried in a grave – and He was

· The burial fulfilled the promise, the prediction of Jesus. Jesus said that He, like Jonah, would be buried away for three days (Matthew 12:40), and so it had to be fulfilled

· The burial demonstrated that Jesus was truly dead; it was proof of the glory of the coming resurrection.

· The burial was important because burial spices and preparations protected His holy body from decay; as it was said in Psalm 16:10: You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay

· The burial pushed both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to proclaim their relationship with Jesus in public

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb tested the faith and devotion of the disciples; it made them die a certain kind of death for those days they knew Jesus lay in the tomb

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb proved Jesus defeated not only sin, but also death. The burial and the empty tomb show that Jesus conquered sin and death

· The days in the tomb were important because there was important work for Jesus to do during that time in the tomb. 1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us that Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison; though there isn’t as much explanation on all this as we would like to have, it seems that as the body of Jesus lay lifeless in the tomb, His Spirit went to Hades, the abode of the dead. There He led the faithful dead to heaven, in light of His then-completed work on the cross. He also preached a message of judgment and coming condemnation to the evil spirits that were imprisoned in the depths

· The burial shows he was buried with us, in the humiliation of utter humanness. We are buried with Him – spiritually by faith, ceremonially by baptism. He identified with us; we by faith identify with Him. [Again, summarized from enduring word.com]

The myrrh and aloes were an extravagant amount of money.

Matthew 27:60 tells us that this tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea himself. A rich man like Joseph would probably have a tomb that was carved into solid rock; this tomb was in a garden near the place of crucifixion.

A typical tomb of this type had a small entrance and perhaps one or more compartments where bodies were laid out after being somewhat mummified with spices, ointments, and linen strips. Customarily, the Jews left these bodies alone for a few years until they decayed down to the bones, then the bones were placed in a small stone box known as an ossuary (picture HERE.) The ossuary remained in the tomb with the remains of other family members.

The door to the tomb was typically made of a heavy, circular shaped stone, running in a groove and settled down into a channel, so it could not be moved except by several strong men. This was done to ensure that no one would disturb the remains.

Adam fell in a Garden. And so we are redeemed in one.

Spurgeon points out that the tomb was empty so no one could say Jesus’ body had touched the bones of a prophet and so sprung to life. Every detail recorded was super important to the Jewish people at that time too all would know–Yes, He is King!

So why do we bury the dead?  Evidence shows since the beginning of time the dead have been buried mainly to show respect to the dead.  Wikipedia has a great article HERE on the history.  I think it’s inherent to mankind.  It’s like the search for God.  Something inside all of us leads us to do what we do like instinct in animals.  Abraham purchased a cave and even God laid Moses to rest (article HERE) in Deuteronomy 34:6.  Christian burial link HERE  Fascinating study if you’re interested.  It’s always good to question tradition.

Advertisements

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 27, Day 4: John 19:38-42

Summary of passage:  Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.  Along with Nicodemus, the two of them prepared Jesus’ body for burial by wrapping it in strips of linen.  Jesus was laid in a nearby tomb.

Questions:

9)  Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Council and in good standing.  He was a follower of Jesus.  Nicodemus was also a member of the Jewish ruling council, a Pharisee, who came to Jesus previously to know him better.  He spoke up for Jesus as well.  Both were risking being thrown out of the synagogue by being near Jesus.

10a)  They lost a chance to get to know God’s Son here on earth and be near him.  They lost a chance to be eternally saved (we are never told these men confessed their faith in Jesus).  They gained political power here on earth.  Reputation.  Status.  Wealth.  All by staying quiet about Jesus.

b)  They risked their positions, their lives, their wealth, their status, their family, etc.  They gained the privilege of preparing Jesus’ body.  They showed their love towards Jesus.  They gained status in God’s eyes instead of man’s.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I believe I follow Jesus fully.  Unsure of loved ones.  I’m just not that close to many in my family.

Conclusions:  Love how we see these 2 men come to full circle with Jesus.

End Notes:  God used these men to protect the body of Jesus.  Jewish custom was to bury the body before sundown and the start of the Sabbath.  All indications are that Joseph and Nicodemus did this work themselves instead of slaves.  This must have been difficult to remove the bloody body of Jesus from a hanging cross.  These 2 men who were religious leaders must have known they were fulfilling prophecy.  Can you imagine being in their place?  How awesome!

“One of the customs of the Jews in preparing a body for burial is the requirement to remove all foreign matter from the body and to carefully wash it.  Joseph and Nicodemus examined His entire body and found broken pieces of thorn all over the head. They saw His bloody, matted hair; the terrible bruising of the face, the areas of beard pulled out, the dry and cracked lips. They turned the body over to see His shoulders and arms are riddled with splinters; each one was removed with care. The back, from the shoulders down, was a bloody open wound from the terrible scourging suffered before the crucifixion. His hands and feet were smashed and bloodied. On the front – just beneath the rib cage – there was a gaping wound made from the spear thrust that confirmed His death.”  Taken from Enduring Word.com.  Can you imagine?

Jesus could have risen right then.  But instead he hung dead on the cross.  God’s perfect plan.

The burial of Jesus is so important it’s considered one of the essential components of the gospel itself (1 Corinthians 15:3-4):

· The burial fulfilled the Scripture of Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made His grave with the wicked”; so that meant the Messiah would be buried in a grave – and He was

· The burial fulfilled the promise, the prediction of Jesus. Jesus said that He, like Jonah, would be buried away for three days (Matthew 12:40), and so it had to be fulfilled

· The burial demonstrated that Jesus was truly dead; it was proof of the glory of the coming resurrection.

· The burial was important because burial spices and preparations protected His holy body from decay; as it was said in Psalm 16:10: You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay

· The burial pushed both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to proclaim their relationship with Jesus in public

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb tested the faith and devotion of the disciples; it made them die a certain kind of death for those days they knew Jesus lay in the tomb

· The burial and the days of Jesus in the tomb proved Jesus defeated not only sin, but also death. The burial and the empty tomb show that Jesus conquered sin and death

· The days in the tomb were important because there was important work for Jesus to do during that time in the tomb. 1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us that Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison; though there isn’t as much explanation on all this as we would like to have, it seems that as the body of Jesus lay lifeless in the tomb, His Spirit went to Hades, the abode of the dead. There He led the faithful dead to heaven, in light of His then-completed work on the cross. He also preached a message of judgment and coming condemnation to the evil spirits that were imprisoned in the depths

· The burial shows he was buried with us, in the humiliation of utter humanness. We are buried with Him – spiritually by faith, ceremonially by baptism. He identified with us; we by faith identify with Him.  [Again, summarized from enduring word.com]

The myrrh and aloes were an extravagant amount of money.

Matthew 27:60 tells us that this tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea himself.  A rich man like Joseph would probably have a tomb that was carved into solid rock; this tomb was in a garden near the place of crucifixion.

A typical tomb of this type had a small entrance and perhaps one or more compartments where bodies were laid out after being somewhat mummified with spices, ointments, and linen strips. Customarily, the Jews left these bodies alone for a few years until they decayed down to the bones, then the bones were placed in a small stone box known as an ossuary (picture HERE.) The ossuary remained in the tomb with the remains of other family members.

The door to the tomb was typically made of a heavy, circular shaped stone, running in a groove and settled down into a channel, so it could not be moved except by several strong men. This was done to ensure that no one would disturb the remains.

Adam fell in a Garden.  And so we are redeemed in one.

Spurgeon points out that the tomb was empty so no one could say Jesus’ body had touched the bones of a prophet and so sprung to life.  Every detail recorded was super important to the Jewish people at that time too all would know–Yes, He is King!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 27, Day 3: John 19:31-37

Summary of passage: The Sabbath was the next day and the Jews did not want bodies hanging around so they asked Pilate to take the bodies down. The soldiers went around and broke the legs of the two criminals who were still alive. Jesus had already died so they did not break his legs. Instead, a Roman soldier pierced his side, fulfilling Scripture once again.

Questions:

6)  He was pierced in the side and water and blood flowed from his insides.  This proves Jesus was a man and discounts the Gnostics who say Jesus was never a man and was only a Spirit.  Jesus has to die for us physically in order to take our physical sins away.

7)  Here one lamb (Jesus) sufficed as a sacrifice for all.  There was no cooking involved or sprinkling of blood.  Jesus’ blood spilled and covered all believers’ sins.  Jesus’ bones remained intact according to Jewish tradition of the Passover lamb.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  He was pierced for our sins.  His punishment/death brought us peace with God.  Our spiritual wounds are healed by his wounds.  When Jesus rises again all will experience God’s grace and supplication and mourning of Jesus’ death as they will be cleansed of all sin and impurity.  It deepens my worship.

Conclusions:  Good lesson as we look forward to Jesus’ resurrection and just exactly what it means.  Can’t wait!

End Notes:  The day of Preparation again gives scholars problems as to the exact date of Jesus’ death. The special Sabbath was Passover. Most scholars believe the Passover meal had been eaten on Thursday. The day of Preparation was Friday. The Sabbath would be Saturday.

As we’ve discussed LAST WEEK, the bodies of those crucified would normally hang on the crosses and rot as a sign to others not to break the law. However, the Jewish leaders, concerned about ceremonial pollution on the Passover, requested the bodies removed early. Breaking the legs (known as crucifragium in Latin) would bring asphyxiation on quickly. Men had to push themselves up with their legs in order to breathe while hanging suspended by their hands. Unable to do this, they would die.

Could you imagine? You are suffering on a cross and a guy comes up and wracks you on the legs with a club? The pain! In one sense, it’s a good thing cause you’ll pain will end sooner through death but still…

Mark 15:44-45 tells us that Pontius Pilate asked for confirmation that Jesus was dead. These were seasoned Roman soldiers who knew the look of death. The customary way to confirm death on the cross was to break the legs. However, this centurion did not. Instead, he pierced Jesus, probably meant to be a death blow, and fulfilled prophecy. This could have been out of cruelty as well.

Blood and water flowed and doctors today think this proves Jesus died of a burst heart since the water would come from the watery sack that surrounds the heart known as the pericardium and possibly the heart itself. Typically, in the Old Testament, water and blood was used to cleanse the people. Spurgeon compares this to Adam and Eve who came from his side. From Jesus’ side comes the church.

John tells us he was there to testify to what he saw. Later in one of his letters (1 John 5:6–which we studied in Lesson 21) he described Jesus as He who came by water and blood. This description has puzzled many commentators, unsure if John meant the waters of baptism or the water mentioned in John 19:34.

The not breaking of the legs prophecy of Psalm 34:20, Exodus 12:46, and Numbers 9:12 was unknowingly and accidently (on man’s part) fulfilled. Nevertheless, its exact fulfillment shows the providence and guidance of God, and leads us to believe.

This piercing prophecy of Zechariah 12:10 and 13:6 was unknowingly and accidently (on man’s part) fulfilled. Nevertheless, its exact fulfillment shows the providence and guidance of God, and leads us to believe.

Zechariah also says Jesus will be looked upon, mourned, and petitioned. This is to still to come.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 27, Day 2: John 19:31-37

Summary of passage:  The Sabbath was the next day and the Jews did not want bodies hanging around so they asked Pilate to take the bodies down.  The soldiers went around and broke the legs of the two criminals who were still alive.  Jesus had already died so they did not break his legs.  Instead, a Roman soldier pierced his side, fulfilling Scripture once again.

Questions:

3)  According to Jewish law, the bodies could not be left overnight and had to be buried that same day so the land would not be desecrated.  Breaking their legs would kill them faster so they wouldn’t die on the Sabbath where the men were not allowed to do work i.e. bury dead bodies and become unclean.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  They are willing for others to suffer or even die so that they can follow the laws.  They pick and choose which laws to follow.  They are motivated not by God but by themselves.  They don’t care who they hurt to keep up appearances.  You must have God’s heart in all you do and behind all your actions, not your own self-interests.  Do what’s right for others, not yourself.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  For coming to earth to be fully man and lead by example how to live a Godly-life.  I’m thankful for his death as well to save me.

Conclusions:  No one yet has realized the full significance of Jesus’ death.  No one will until he rises again in 3 days.  It’s as if time stops as people go through the motions, waiting for God’s plans to unfold.  Sometimes I feel I’m going through the motions to get to God’s plans but always moving towards them.

End Notes:  The day of Preparation again gives scholars problems as to the exact date of Jesus’ death.  The special Sabbath was Passover.  Most scholars believe the Passover meal had been eaten on Thursday.  The day of Preparation was Friday.  The Sabbath would be Saturday.

As we’ve discussed LAST WEEK, the bodies of those crucified would normally hang on the crosses and rot as a sign to others not to break the law.  However, the Jewish leaders, concerned about ceremonial pollution on the Passover, requested the bodies removed early.  Breaking the legs (known as crucifragium in Latin) would bring asphyxiation on quickly.  Men had to push themselves up with their legs in order to breathe while hanging suspended by their hands.  Unable to do this, they would die.

Could you imagine?  You are suffering on a cross and a guy comes up and wracks you on the legs with a club?  The pain!  In one sense, it’s a good thing cause you’ll pain will end sooner through death but still…

Mark 15:44-45 tells us that Pontius Pilate asked for confirmation that Jesus was dead.  These were seasoned Roman soldiers who knew the look of death.  The customary way to confirm death on the cross was to break the legs.  However, this centurion did not.  Instead, he pierced Jesus, probably meant to be a death blow, and fulfilled prophecy.  This could have been out of cruelty as well.

Blood and water flowed and doctors today think this proves Jesus died of a burst heart since the water would come from the watery sack that surrounds the heart known as the pericardium and possibly the heart itself.  Typically, in the Old Testament, water and blood was used to cleanse the people.  Spurgeon compares this to Adam and Eve who came from his side.  From Jesus’ side comes the church.

John tells us he was there to testify to what he saw.  Later in one of his letters (1 John 5:6–which we studied in Lesson 21) he described Jesus as He who came by water and blood. This description has puzzled many commentators, unsure if John meant the waters of baptism or the water mentioned in John 19:34.

The not breaking of the legs prophecy of Psalm 34:20, Exodus 12:46, and Numbers 9:12 was unknowingly and accidently (on man’s part) fulfilled. Nevertheless, its exact fulfillment shows the providence and guidance of God, and leads us to believe.

This piercing prophecy of Zechariah 12:10 and 13:6 was unknowingly and accidently (on man’s part) fulfilled. Nevertheless, its exact fulfillment shows the providence and guidance of God, and leads us to believe.

Zechariah also says Jesus will be looked upon, mourned, and petitioned.  This is to still to come.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 27, Day 5: Revelation 22:1-5

Summary of passage:  We see the river of life running through the middle of the New Jerusalem.  On each side of the river stands the tree of life, bearing 12 kinds of fruit.  The curse is lifted.  God and Jesus will dwell in the city.  We will see God’s face and be marked.  God will be the light and we shall reign forever.

Questions:

12)  The River of Life.  Other waters in the Bible:

In the Garden is a river that flows from Eden and nourishes the land (Genesis 2:10-14).

Exodus 17:6 & Numbers 20:11 when Moses strikes the rock and water flows out for the people to drink.

John 19:34:  Jesus is pierced and water flows to rid us of our sins.

Psalm 46:4-5:  A river gladdens the city.

Ezekiel 47:5-12:  A river flows from the house of God with miraculous properties.  It reverses the deadly saltiness of the Dead Sea and produces healing fruits on its banks.

John 4:10-14:  Whoever drinks of Jesus’s water will never thirst again.  It will spring up and offer eternal life.  John 7:38 says believers have streams of living water flowing within them.

13a)  Both disobeyed God’s order to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and were deceived by the serpent.

b)  Everything.  Life with God by their side.  Paradise.  Eternal life.  No sin.  No evil.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Everything.

Conclusions:  Weak.  Hope Lesson 28 has more than this to these 5 verses.  Question 12 was good and interesting, but you’ll have to research it to get the most out of it.  So google away!

Here we see prophesy and God’s promises fulfilled.  What a way to end the Bible!  God is so, so good as all of Scripture culminates in His glory and mercy and our salvation.

End Notes:  Prophets used a river as a symbol of richness, provision, and peace (Isaiah 48:18, Zechariah 14:8, Ezekiel 47:1-9).  Water is a basic need for life on earth.  The idea is in heaven there shall be no want.

The water is clear, again a sign of perfection and purity.  It is a gift from God.

Note how the Bible began with the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) and now we end with one.  God is awesome!

Scholars differ on whether this is one tree or a series of trees or one tree reaching over the river.  No matter.  The idea is restoration.  The tree shows man is restored to God again with full access and fellowship with Him.  Ezekiel 47:7,12 prophesies trees as well.

The tree bears fruit, which we can eat.  Again, scholars differ here but most agree we will eat in heaven but we won’t have to to survive.  Jesus enjoyed food after his resurrection (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14) and angels ate with Abraham (Genesis 18:6-8).  It could be used as a communion or for fellowship with Jesus.

Why is healing needed in heaven?  Here, the Greek word used also means “health-giving”, a much better translation than healing.

The Millennial earth will still have curses (Isaiah 65:20) just less.  Here, all are gone forever.

We will serve God, not sit around idle, and reign forever (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 3:21).

We shall see God’s face (1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 John 3:2)!  Imagine!  In ancient times criminals were banished from the presence of the king.

Revelation 3:12 is fulfilled:  Those who remain true to God shall be marked.

The Lord shall be our everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19-20)

Conclusions to Lesson 27:  Such messages of hope to believers.  We’ve read about the coming suffering and judgments but the light at the end of the tunnel is God and we get to walk toward it and in it all of our lives.  Every other minor want/problem/complaint pales in comparison to our future.  If only we could keep that in our minds in the day-to-day heartaches and trials.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 27, Day 4: Revelation 21:22-27

Summary of passage:  The Holy City will forever be pure, free from evil.  There will be no darkness as God’s glory will be our light.  There will be no temple as God and Jesus will be there to worship.

Questions:

9)  A temple because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”  The sun or moon for “the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp.”

10a)  1 Kings 8:1-21:  The temple was the place the ark of the covenant which held the stone tablets of the Law given to Moses by God dwelled–in the Most Holy Place.  God (in a cloud) filled the temple of the Lord, the place meant for the Lord to dwell forever.

John 2:19-22:  The temple is our body for Jesus/Holy Spirit dwells there.

1 Corinthians 6:19:  “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God”

b)  Exodus 13:21:  The Lord in a pillar of fire gave the people light to continue on their journey to the Promised Land.

Psalm 119:105:  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

John 8:12:  Jesus says,”I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

11a)  “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.”  Never will the gates be shut.  No night will exist.  The glory and honor of the nations will abide there.  Only those saved will dwell there with no evil ever entering the city.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s made it more real.  There will be a city and God will be there.  More hope.  He’s always here.

Conclusions:  Good questions and good study on what is a temple and what is light in the Bible.

End Notes:  In ancient times every city had a temple and most had many, many temples to their many, many gods.  Have a city without a temple would be shocking to the people of the first century.

The temple is everything and every place.  Before Jesus the temple was a prophecy.  Then Solomon built a temple for God to dwell.  Then Christ came and died, gifting believers with the Holy Spirit so we are His temple.  In the Millennium the temple will be a memorial.  Here the temple is everywhere.

Heaven will be pure worship.  We won’t need anything of what we use now.  The physical dwelling of a church is a place for sinful man to meet with God.  With sin gone, we don’t need a place anymore.  Nor do we need an intercessor (Jeremiah 3:16–17; Haggai 2:6–9; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:19–20).

Isaiah 60:19 prophesizes God is our light.

Who are the nations?  Some scholars say these are the saints saved during the Millennium because they are the only saints unaccounted for.  Some say they represent all believers.  Isaiah speaks of them as well (Isaiah 60:3,5,11-12).

Who are the kings of the earth?  Weren’t they destroyed at Armageddon?  Well, scholars are unsure but this suggests some kings of the earth do turn and make it to the eternal city.

Conclusions to Revelation 21:  The Bible ends up where it began.  A new earth.  The broken relationship between God and man heals at last and the curse from Genesis 3 is lifted.  The world is as God has always meant it to be.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 27, Day 3: Revelation 21:11-21

Summary of passage:  Jerusalem shone with the glory of God.  It had 12 walls with 12 gates with 12 guardian angels.  The names of the 12 tribes were written on the gates.  The city had 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles on them.  The city boasted of riches, its walls, foundations, gates, and streets made of precious stones and gold.

Questions:

6a)  Gold, (12 stones for 12 foundations: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst), and pearls.  Click HERE for precious stones of Bible explained.

b)  They are the same, each representing the 12 Tribes (Click HERE for study last year.  We breezed through this chapter but my End Notes has pictures and a discussion of the breastplate).

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The fact we have the 12 tribes and the 12 apostles inscribed in the walls and foundations shows us:  1) God’s plan for humanity coming to fruition  2)  The meeting of the Old and New Covenants AND the inclusion of both peoples under both covenants as we all walk with the Lord.

Nothing is left to chance with God.  All has meaning.  All is significant.  All leads back to Him.  Some people dismiss the Old Testament as nothing but antiquated laws and rules that don’t apply to them.  These people are sorely mistaken.  All of God’s Word is from Him for us.  We follow and obey all.  This shows God is in control and all links back to His plans for our Salvation and Jesus.

It’s important because God is important.  We need Him, all of Him, and we can’t get any closer than His Word, prayer, and Jesus.

8a)  Glory: How God will create a city for believers out of the most beautiful and durable materials around.  He wants us to have an amazing eternal life.  What to look forward to!

Security:  He has a plan and we don’t need a plan except it being God’s.

Perfect:  His word is perfect.  His reasons are perfect.  He is perfect.

Asked about attributes about God or Jesus (who are the same) in Lesson 2 Day 4, Lesson 14 Day 3, Lesson 24 Day 4)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s comforting when I don’t know which direction to go that God does know.  He is there for me.  He is waiting for me.  When life gets tough, it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is Him.  All are important for all are God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The opulence of the Holy City.  I never imagined it so beautiful.  Even now I can’t imagine it.  Heaven on earth.  Awesome!

Conclusions:  Liked the 12 repetition.  A ton here and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  Personal questions can be summed up like this:  Why is God important?  Answer that one and you’ll answer ALL of them from now on.

End Notes:  Some commentators believe this city will be on earth or will be suspended over earth.

The “very precious jewel” is most likely a diamond as the hardest substance on earth and one of the clearest and most beautiful.  I talked earlier about how the name diamond at this time did not exist yet (see HERE for discussion).

This is a real city as described here with walls and gates.  There can be no doubt.  These gates represent security, safety, and well-being.  No unclean may enter.  Isaiah 26:1-2 mentions this wall.  The names of the 12 tribes and apostles on the gates are as a memorial for all they did in God’s plan for humanity.

This vision also fulfills Ezekiel’s vision.  He too saw 12 gates, 12 angels, and the 12 tribes inscribed on the walls (Ezekiel 48:30-35).

Note the 12 apostles are inscribed on the foundation stones.  They brought the foundational message of Christianity–that of Jesus Christ–to the world who is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

Some scholars suggest the arrangement of the gates reflects on the layout of the tribes during the Exodus (Numbers 2).

In Ezekiel’s vision he also saw an angel with a measuring rod in his hand (Ezekiel 40:3).  Ezekiel 40:5 shows this angel going around the outside of the temple area and measuring the various aspects of the temple.  The measuring of the city (and the temple in Ezekiel’s vision) is to show the security found in this city.  We saw this symbol in Revelation 11:1-2.  These vast measurements of the city show the people of God are secure and safe.  It also serves to show the size and scope of the eternal dwelling place and it’s perfect symmetry.

12,000 represents perfection and completion.  We saw this in Revelation 7 with the 144,000 sealed, 12,000 from each tribe.  The Holy of Holies was a perfect square, 20 cubics each way (1 Kings 6:20).  It is where God dwelled with His people.  God’s people here have been made perfect as well (Hebrews 12:22-24).  The Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple was overlaid with gold as was the entire temple  (1 Kings 6:20-22).

12,000 stadia is about 1500 miles.  This is the distance from Maine to Florida.  This city is huge with plenty of room for God’s people!  It is a perfect measurement either a square or a pyramid.  The entire ground is holy.  144 cubits is about 200 miles and no one is for sure if this is the height of the wall or the width.

The emphasis on clear and glass shows God’s light will be uninhibited and shine everywhere.

In addition to the priest’s breastplates we read in Exodus 28, Isaiah mentions this as well (Isaiah 54:11–13).  Identifying the gemstones precisely is difficult since the names of changed but the idea is there:  this city is beyond our imaginings.  Since its architect is God (Hebrews 11:10) we should expect that.

It’s clear this Holy City of the New Jerusalem is magnificent, glorious, beautiful, and perfect.  All for us!