"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
(John 1:29)

Lamb Of God

Dear Friends,

Greetings. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  Jesus spoke these utterly profound words in the book of John chapter 11, verse 25.

Because God loved us so much, each one individually, He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, John 3:16.

Jesus became a scapegoat for us.

The scapegoat was a goat that was designated (Hebrew לַעֲזָאזֵֽל ) la-aza'zeyl; either "for absolute removal" (Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon) or possibly "for Azazel" (some modern versions taking the term as a name) an outcast in the desert as part of the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement, that began during the Exodus with the original Tabernacle and continued through the times of the temples in Jerusalem.

Throughout the year, the sins of the ancient Israelites were daily transferred to the regular sin offerings as outlined in the Torah in Leviticus, Ch 16. Once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement, the High Priest of Israel sacrificed a bull for a sin offering for his own sins. Subsequently he took two goats and presented them at the door of the tabernacle with a view to dealing with the corporate sins of God's people — the nation of Israel. Two goats were chosen by lot: one to be "The Lord's Goat", which was offered as a blood sacrifice, and the other to be the "Azazel" scapegoat to be sent away into the wilderness. The blood of the slain goat was taken into the Holy of Holies behind the sacred veil and sprinkled on the mercy seat, the lid of the ark of the covenant. Later in the ceremonies of the day, the High Priest confessed the sins of the Israelites to Yahweh placing them figuratively on the head of the other goat, the Azazel scapegoat, who "took them away" never to be seen again. The sin of the nation was thus "atoned for" (paid for) by the "The Lord's Goat" and "The Azazel Goat".

In Christian thought this process prefigures the sacrifice of Christ on the cross through which God has been propitiated and sins can be expiated. Jesus Christ is seen to have fulfilled both of the Biblical "types" - the Lord's goat that deals with the pollution of sin and the scapegoat that removes the "burden of sin". Christians believe that sinners who own their guilt and confess their sins, exercising faith and trust in the person and sacrifice of Jesus, are forgiven of their sins.

Since the second goat was sent away to perish, the word "scapegoat" has developed to indicate a person who is blamed and punished for the sins of others.

In modern usage a scapegoat is an individual, group, or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame. A whipping boy or "fall guy" is a form of scapegoat.” Wikipedia

The following book review by Benjamin Hartman concerning Ernest Martin's book “Secrets of Golgotha: The Lost History of Jesus' Crucifixion” helps to shed even more light on the events that took place.

Have a great forgiven week ahead.

CWM

Scholars find evidence of Jesus' crucifixion at Golgotha

By Benjamin Hartman

JERUSALEM, Israel - "There is no question in my mind... the greatest single event in all of history happened on the cross."

So were the words of Alexander MacLaren [1] describing the importance of Calvary (Jesus' crucifixion). He continued:

The cross is the centre of the world's history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot around which all the events of the ages revolve.

Indeed, for centuries, scholars and theologians have studied the last days of Jesus' life on earth. Throughout the years, an important question has puzzled many: where did Jesus' crucifixion actually take place, and was there a very special significance to this place?

In Jerusalem there are several sites which have been suggested for many years as the location of Jesus' crucifixion ("Golgotha" [Aramaic] or "Calvary" [Greek], both meaning "the place of the skull"). Two of them are best known.

Northwest of the Old City there is a small hill with features which some say resemble the eye sockets of a human skull. Near it an ancient burial cave is known today as the Garden Tomb.

Another well-known location is the present site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the oldest church still in existence. It was built by the mother of Emperor Constantine, Queen Helena, in the 4th century AD. On the same site, before that time, a temple to the goddess Venus was built on top of the remains of a second century BC monument to the king/priest John Hyrcanus of the Hashmonean dynasty [2].

While much tradition is found at these and other places, "the one thing all these sites have in common is that they are all the wrong place," says the Christian-Biblical historian, Prof Ernest L. Martin, in an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Christian Review.

Indeed, several years ago, Dr. Martin, president of the Academy of Scriptural Knowledge in Portland, Oregon, took a fresh look at the question with some startling results.

"The simplest of my findings revolves around some basic New and Old Testament scriptures, whose significance has been overlooked for centuries," said Dr Martin as he described his latest book, Secrets of Golgotha.

While working with the renowned Jerusalem archaeologist, Prof Benjamin Mazar, at the Temple Mount excavations in the 1960s, Martin studied the geographical history of Jerusalem with some of Israel's leading scholars.

"My initial interest in researching this subject was spawned from... one primary fact," said Martin. "It appears as though the centurion who was at the foot of the cross was able to observe the tearing of the temple veil [the outside curtain, called in Hebrew 'masach'], something that would have been possible only from a point east of the Temple Mount, and not from any point west of it."

"While this is not evidence in itself," said the historian, "it did inspire my curiosity."

Historical sources are conclusive that the massive 80-foot curtain was located in a spot that was visible only from atop the Mount of Olives. "It would have been a physical impossibility for anyone in Jerusalem to have seen this curtain from the south, the west, or the north--the locations of today's traditional crucifixion sites," says Martin.

Throughout Martin's investigations, he searched through hundreds of contemporary and first-century writings, ancient church literature, and the original Hebrew and Greek scriptural sources.

He found that the Bible itself indicates that the crucifixion occurred in a "holy place" --a place John describes as belonging to the temple worship ritual--which the book of Hebrews refers to as an altar called "Outside-the-camp" (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:10-14).

"This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin."

10 "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

"'Outside-the-camp' was not a description but the name of a specific place, known from biblical and contemporary sources," said well-known Jerusalem historian, Prof Ory Mazar, the author of numerous books on the history of Jerusalem.

Mazar, who worked with Martin on part of his research, explained that this place "was the location of the 'altar of the red heifer'." Although the altar was located "outside the city" on the Mount of Olives and not on the Temple Mount, it was still an extremely important part of the temple worship ritual--it was the altar of the major sin sacrifices.

"According to the Law of Moses," said Mazar in a interview with the Jerusalem Christian Review, "one could not worship on the holy grounds of the temple without first sacrificing a sin offering 'outside-the-camp'."

Adding to dozens of additional pieces of evidence, Martin found that the Bible itself identifies the place called "Golgotha" ("the Place of the Head") in 2 Samuel 15. The "Place of the Head" (mistranslated in English translations as the summit of the mountain) was the place on the Mount of Olives where King David stopped to worship as he was fleeing from Jerusalem to Jericho. The original Hebrew is clear, describing a specific site called "the Place of the Head".

"What strikes me as incredibly significant is that this would mean Jesus was crucified near the altar of the sin sacrifices--a place that had been the traditional site of the sin sacrifice of the red heifer for over ten centuries," said Martin.

"The true place of Golgotha is very critical, because it proves that Jesus Christ was indeed sacrificed, as the ultimate sin sacrifice for the world, at precisely the same place which was designated by biblical law, by tradition and by the ritual custom of the temple for the major sin sacrifices to be killed," said Martin, adding, "It happened on the Mount of Olives in the holy city of Jerusalem. "This evidence was proof positive for all His disciples to see... that His prophecy came true--He was indeed the Lamb of God!"

CWM

About the Author

BENJAMIN HARTMAN is a staff reporter for the Jerusalem Christian Review.

Footnotes

1 Alexander MacLaren (1826 - 1910) was a Baptist minister, who became a widely read author whose many books feature in the "Christian Classics Ethereal Library"--cf. http://www.ccel.org/m/maclaren/?show=worksBy

2 142-63BCE cf. http://hashmonean.com/hashmonean-dynasty/

Luke 24:50-51
And he (Jesus) led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up heaven."




Bethany

Acts 1:9-12
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.


Mt. of Olives

Bethany is on the eastern slope of the Mt. of Olives.

Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

(The two men, in Acts 1 who said "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner" were not speaking in generalizations, not just going up in a cloud and returning in a cloud, but ascending from the Mt. of Olives and returning to the Mt. of Olives. Although every eye shall see Him, such as millions watching a Space Shuttle returning, it only touched down in one place, the same is true with the return of Jesus.)

Zechariah 14:4


And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

(If Ernest Martin is correct, in that His crucifixion took place on the Mt. of Olives wouldn't it seem fitting that upon His return the Mt. of Olives is split in half showing His triumphant return?)




(Notice the earthquake fault line runs very close to the Gihon Spring. We know from history that the Gihon Spring has already been considerably altered by a previous earthquake.

When Jesus descends to the Mt. of Olives and causes an earthquake, could it not be altered once again to bring about the fulfillment of Zechariah 14:8-9)?

"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)



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