John 19:24                           Preparations for a New Era                     1/18/2009      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Old Clothes Must Go (John 19:23, Psalm 69:7, 1Pet 5:5, Gen 3:21, Heb 9:22, Psalm 109:18-19, Job 8:22, Est 4:2, John 17:3)

 

 

 

 

 

·        The Robe (John 19:24, Ex 28:31-32, 39:22-23, Isa 61:10, Luke 15:22, Pr 16:33, Ps 22:18, Eph 1:4-5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The OT Church Has a New Guardian (John 19:25-27, 1Cor 15:7, Luke 2:35, Eph 6:17, Heb 4:12, Rom 3:10, Matt 13:57, Rev 22:18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Inscription on the Cross (John 19:19-20, Matt 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, Rom 2:25, 28-29, 9:6-8)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 19:17 (2X). We were supposed to be in Matt 27:35-44, but since the content of this section in the Gospel of Matthew is much better described in the Gospel of John, I thought it better if we today focus on this passage in John. The Lord Jesus has been led to the place called Golgotha, meaning “a skull” and there they crucified Him. Then we read in John 19:17-27 about the events relating to His first three hours on the cross. In principle there are three events we have to deal with: #1, Jesus was stripped of His clothes. #2, Jesus addresses His mother and His youngest apostle. #3, The inscription of His crime was posted on His cross. We shall see how these three events actually hang together, for they all three are focused on God’s preparations for a new era. Therefore the title of this sermon is: Preparations for a New Era (2X). In fact we saw this subject matter already coming many weeks ago when the Lord Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world”. And then we saw in the sermon “Simon of Cyrene” how bad things have a blessed ending after the cross. Also we saw in the sermon “Golgotha” how the satisfaction of the wrath of God leads to more blessed conditions after the cross. And then we saw in the sermon “The Green Tree and the Dry Tree” how the Lord Jesus warned the women who followed Him and bewailed Him that there will be a drastic change, which the Jews were not able to keep up with, and they would be condemned for their unbelief. And so today we will focus on this fact, that there will be a drastic change, for on this day God will turn the OT economy of the Gospel into the NT economy of the Gospel. We read in John 19:17-27,

Joh 19:17-23  And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 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. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

A casual reading of this passage does not reveal the drama that God is about to turn OT history into NT history. The cross is the hinge on which history turns from OT to NT. This fact is so intense that the entire Bible centers on the fact of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. And God did not leave this to chance, but God mightily orchestrated these events, so that when Satan thought he had won this battle, he actually had lost the greatest battle of his entire existence. It is not without reason that God said in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” And so, let us now address the first of the three events that are listed here in this passage. John 19:23,

#1.       The Old Clothes Must Go (John 19:23, Psalm 69:7, 1Pet 5:5, Gen 3:21, Heb 9:22, Psalm 109:18-19, Job 8:22, Est 4:2, John 17:3)

Please put a sticker here in John 19:23 for future reference, for we will be returning here many times.

Joh 19:23  Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

The soldiers stripped the Lord Jesus of all His clothes. He was totally naked when He was nailed to His cross. It was a meant to be a penalty of utter shame and contempt for the one who was condemned to death. Psalm 69 is a Messianic Psalm. It means that we read here of the prayers of the Lord Jesus on the cross. We read in Psalm 69:7, “Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.” But from God’s perspective nakedness means to be totally exposed of the sins that we bear. And thus the nakedness of the Lord Jesus was a sign that He had come under the judgment of God. All the sins that He came to pay for were now open and exposed to God. However, the question we now must ask is this: Why did God give such detail in this passage of the crucifixion? This does not seem to be required to fulfill the Scriptures. Why four parts of garments, to every soldier a part? Why was His coat without seam, and why did they gamble for His coat? They did not gamble for His other garments. The Lord Jesus lost His clothes to the soldiers. After He died His body was wrapped in many strips of linen. When He rose from the tomb He left the strips of linen in the tomb. But when He appeared to the women and to His disciples He did not appear naked; He was wearing new clothes. And so, we come to the conclusion that it was God’s will that the old clothes must go. But where did they go? Let us begin to see that His coat was in a different category than His other garments. His garments were divided into four portions which the soldiers took home. Where did they take them? These Roman soldiers were sent to the entire known world of their days, and thus these garments of the Lord Jesus were in principle taken to the four quarters of the earth. What is the significance of this, and what do these garments represent? When we search the Bible, we find that garments, or clothes, represent the character of the person to whom they belong. Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of Peter, 1Pet 5:5 (2X). We can see this fact, that garments represent character, in our daily life also. When a woman dresses daringly and seductively, that is the person she wants the world to see. But more importantly, we can see this principle in the Scriptures. For example, we can see this in 1Pet 5:5, where we read,

1Pe 5:5 ¶  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

The character of a Christian is that he is clothed with humility. Spiritually speaking, God has given us humility as clothing, for God gives grace only to the humble. If we have received grace, then we also have received humility. And thus our clothing reflects our character. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 109:18 (2X). Before God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden He first clothed them with coats of skin, in Gen 3:21. Those coats of skin reflected the character of the man and his wife, in fact they reflected the character of all their posterity, for through these coats of skin we can see the sinfulness of man, which is so great that blood must be shed to clothe them. God says in Heb 9:22 that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. And since blood represents the wrath of God, by this act of clothing them with coats of skin God declares that the sins of man, which are an outflow of the character of man, can only be forgiven through the shedding of blood, Christ’s blood. When we read Psalm 109 we find that it is a Messianic Psalm; it is a prayer of the Lord Jesus concerning Judas Iscariot, who would betray Him. We read in Psalm 109:18-19,

Ps 109:18-19  As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.  Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.

Here we read of Judas Iscariot that the curse of God upon him, and his own cursings, which are an outflow of His unsaved character, are like a garment which covers him and like a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. Let me bring two other examples: We read in Job 8:22, “They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.” They that hate the saints shall be clothed with shame in the Day of Judgment. Their character will be expressed in shame as clothing before God and His holy messengers. We read in Esther 4:2, “And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.” Clothing of sackcloth expresses the character of being in a very sad state; weeping and mourning, for calamity is near. No one is allowed to enter the king’s gate in such a very sad state. Let us now apply this principle to the four parts of clothing of the Lord Jesus, sent into the four quarters of the earth. His clothes represent the character of the Lord Jesus, and all who get to know His character are actually getting to know Him. What does it mean to know Him? We read in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” And thus, to know the Lord Jesus Christ is synonymous with salvation. And so we understand that the sending forth of the clothes of the Lord Jesus into the world is a picture of the sending forth of the Gospel of salvation into all the Gentile world. And how does this relate to the fact that a new era has come? Before the cross the OT church, the nation of Israel, was not commanded to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. But after the cross this is the inescapable mandate. All the truly born again saints in the NT era are commanded to bring the true Gospel to everyone who has not heard, even to those who are in the church. That is why NT preachers must preach the Gospel every Sunday from the pulpit, for there are always some in the church who have not heard the true Gospel. This therefore is what the four parts of clothing are symbolizing. Please turn again to the Gospel of John, John 19:24 (2X). And now we turn to the second aspect of His clothes.

·        The Robe (John 19:24, Ex 28:31-32, 39:22-23, Isa 61:10, Luke 15:22, Pr 16:33, Ps 22:18, Eph 1:4)

Joh 19:24  Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.

Why did God focus our attention on His coat, and that it was without seam, and that it was woven from the top to the bottom, and not from the bottom to the top? Where in the Bible have we seen that a garment was woven without seam? We do not read it anywhere in these words, but it is implied. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 28:31 (2X). There are only three places in the Bible where God is speaking of “woven work”; in Ex 28, in Ex 39, and in John 19. In Ex 28 and in Ex 39 God speaks of a priestly garment called the Ephod. The Ephod consisted of two pieces: One piece was an armless outer vest, like a robe, extending down to the knees, or lower; and the second piece was a breastplate containing twelve gemstones. These two pieces were firmly attached to each other, never to be separated. In Ex 28:31-32 God speaks of the construction of the robe of the Ephod. We read in Ex 28

Ex 28:31-32 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.

God describes the hole in the top of the robe for the head of the priest, and of a reinforcement of that hole like the woven work of a habergeon. A habergeon is a coat of mail, worn by medieval soldiers, and which was woven without seam from metal chains. Perhaps you have seen pictures of medieval soldiers wearing coats of mail. But this describes how strong the top of the robe was reinforced, so that it could not be rent. Please turn now a few pages to your right, to Ex 39:22 (2X). Now we know that a woven work means a work woven without seam. And now we read that the robe was also of woven work. Ex 39

E 39:22-23 And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend.

It is clear that God speaks about the same garment as in Ex 28, but now the robe of the Ephod was also of woven work. In other words, this robe was not two pieces that were sown together, but it was one piece woven from the top to the bottom. The complete Ephod with breastplate was worn only by the high priest on special occasions. But the description of the robe, woven without seam, resembles the robe that the Lord Jesus wore, which was also without seam. Therefore the robe of the Lord Jesus is pointing to His function of our great High Priest. And why was it woven from the top to the bottom? It was so, because God directed the makers of this coat, so that we would not miss the symbolism that the Lord Jesus was and still is our great High Priest. What is the function of a prophet, and what is the function of a priest? A prophet brings messages from God to the people, and a priest brings petitions from the people to God. The Lord Jesus is our great High Priest, because He intercedes for us to the Father, so that our sins are continually forgiven and the course of our life is directed by His Holy Spirit. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 61:10 (2X). Since Christ is our great High Priest, the robe of Christ has another characteristic, for it reflects the righteousness of Christ. He can only be our great High Priest if He is perfectly sinless, for if He had only one sin, He would be like all the OT priests and high priests who had to sacrifice first a bullock for their own sin, and then they could sacrifice a lamb for the sins of the people. But those animal sacrifices were only types and figures of the real sacrifice that Christ had to make, only once, for the sins of all those whom He came to save. We read in Isa 61:10,

Isa 61:10 ¶  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

When Christ saved us He saved our soul. At the time that we became born from above the payment of Christ on the cross for all our sins was applied to our soul so perfectly that our soul is ready to enter into heaven. But our body is not yet saved, for our body is still inclined to sin. And thus, when we read in Isa 61:10 that Christ has covered us with the robe of His righteousness, we must understand that this righteousness only applies to our soul, not our body. Most theologians these days do not believe that we are made of two entities, a body and a soul, which in this earthly life are bound together, but when the body dies our soul and body are separated. For the saints our body goes into the grave, and our soul immediately goes to live and reign with Christ in heaven. But let us now get back to the robe of Christ, representing His righteousness. We find this robe again in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. When the prodigal returns home, his father, who is representing God, commanded his servants in Luke 15:22,

Lu 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

What is the best robe? The best robe refers to the robe of Christ’s righteousness, for all other robes are inferior to this one. And so, the soldiers realized that this robe was most valuable, and they gambled for it. What does it mean to gamble? When we gamble we ask God to make the decision. God says in Pr

Pr 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

And so, the only time we can cast the lot is when momentous decisions have to be made for the furtherance of the kingdom of God, and then God makes the decision for us. To be gambling for money is an insult to God, bordering blasphemy, for we would be asking God to make a decision in matters that fall under His contempt. The soldiers said therefore among themselves, “Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” The soldiers thought that they were making the decision, but God declares to us in Prov 16:33 that it is He who made the decision who would inherit the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Can you see that this act of the soldiers not only fulfilled the Scripture in Psalm 22:18, but also it is a beautiful picture of what salvation is? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:4 (2X). In AD 33 God made the decision which of the four soldiers would inherit the robe of Christ; the robe that was without seam reflecting the perfection of Christ, the character of Christ, the priesthood of Christ, and especially from Isa 61:10 the robe that reflected the absolute righteousness of Christ. Which soldier would be so blessed that this righteousness of Christ would envelop his soul, and all his sins would be forgiven? Well, God made that decision before the foundation of the world. We read in Eph 1:4

Eph 1:4-5  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

God has chosen us in Christ; God has placed our names in Christ before the foundation of the world. God has predestined us to become the adopted children of God through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, whereby He has purchased us out of the slave market of Satan, and made us His Bride. Therefore we are the adopted children of God, because we became the Bride of Christ. And since God predestinated us to this end, He will move heaven and earth to bring it to pass. Therefore, when the soldiers gambled for the robe, from God’s perspective they were saying, “Let God make the decision who shall inherit eternal life, for only God has the wisdom to make that decision.” And how does this picture of salvation relate to the fact that a new era has come? The new era was characterized by the fact that the soldiers were Gentiles. The Gospel was now going to the Gentiles in the four quarters of the world, and the reason for salvation is no longer tied to being descendants of Abraham, Isaac  and Jacob, but the reason for salvation is simply, “According to the good pleasure of His will.” Please turn again to the Gospel According to John, John 19:25 (2X). We read here about the three Mary’s, and:

#2.       The OT Church Has a New Guardian (John 19:25-27, 1Cor 15:7, Luke 2:35, Eph 6:17, Heb 4:12, Rom 3:10, Matt 13:57, Rev 22:18)

Joh 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother (1), and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas (2), and Mary Magdalene (3). When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Was this really a matter of affection toward His mother? Was Jesus concerned for her physical welfare? No! She was already cared for by His brothers. Or was Jesus concerned about her spiritual welfare, that He wanted her to be among believers? No! Shortly after His resurrection Jesus appeared to His brother James. We read in 1Cor 15:7, "After that He was seen of James; then of all the Apostles". We do not know when His brothers became saved, but we find two Epistles of His brothers James and Jude in the Bible. His mother would have been in good hands with His brothers, both physically as well as spiritually. Moreover, from the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross, six of those seven definitely pertain to His atonement. Why would this one be an exception? Is it possible that this one is not an exception, but it also has something to do with the atonement? When we think of the mother of Jesus standing some distance away from the cross, and seeing her firstborn Son in agony suffering and dying on the cross, we think of the prophecy of Simeon, in the Gospel of Luke 2:35, where Simeon said, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed". Every commentator refers to this prophecy as Mary's suffering at the cross. This is an interpretation that is totally out of context. I heard this interpretation 62 years ago in a High school run by the Jesuits. But they worshipped Mary. Why should this prophecy suddenly turn the attention to Mary's suffering at the cross? There is no indication that this verse refers to the cross. And what does this have to do with the words: "In order that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed"? You see, the interpretation must fit the context. How does a sword pierce a soul? What kind of sword is this? Of course, you guessed it. It is the sword of the Holy Spirit. For example we read in Eph 6:17, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". Simeon's prophecy runs parallel to what we read in Heb 4:12, where we read: "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". This is the spiritual sword that shall pierce Mary's soul also. The soul is that part of us that relates to God. Therefore this event is a point in time when Mary realizes that her Son Jesus also suffered and died for her sins, because she too was a sinner. Remember what God says in Rom 3:10, "There is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE". Does God mean what He said? Absolutely yes! When God says NO NOT ONE, that includes His mother Mary. Joh 19:26

John 19:26-27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, "Woman, behold thy son"! Then saith he to the disciple, "Behold thy mother"! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own (home).

The word "home" is a suggestion by the translators. It is not present in the original manuscript. What does it mean "He took her unto his own"? The spiritual meaning of "his own" has to be preferred and its interpretation should be more leaning towards "his own people", rather than physically caring for her in "his own home". What does the Bible teach about "His own people"? We read in Matt 13:57, "And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house". That is not very complementary, is it? The Lord Jesus was honored by many of the Jews in Samaria, except in His own country Nazareth, and among His own family. From John 7 we learn that for a long time the half brothers of Jesus did not believe in Him.  How does all this tie into the atonement, which His mother Mary and the apostle John were watching? There was one big change that occurred during the atonement, which is not addressed by the other six sayings of Jesus on the cross. When Christ died on the cross it was the moment in history when the OT ceased and the NT began. It means the ceremonial law ceased to exist when Christ died. The OT economy was replaced by the NT economy. The Jews had to abandon their privileged status of people of God, and now before God they were no different from the Gentile nations. This was such an enormous change that it took the disciples years to discover. What has this to do with Mary and John? Consider the following: Jesus is connecting John to the woman. Jesus came out of Mary, like Christ came out of the OT congregation. And thus Mary represents the OT church. John was disciple of Jesus, like John came forth from Jesus. Then John represents the NT church. When Jesus said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" spiritually He indicated that the OT church had spawned a new generation of believers, the NT church, whom they should love as one of their own. When Jesus said to John, "Behold thy mother", spiritually He indicated that the NT congregation should acknowledge that their mother church was the OT congregation of Jews, and that they should love them and take them in, and instruct them in the way of the NT economy. It means that this saying of Jesus also pertains to the atonement.

And let me also sound a word of warning to those who still maintain that Simeon's prophecy refers to this scene at the cross. There are those who cannot believe that Mary also needed salvation. They believe that Mary was conceived in her mother's womb as an "Immaculate Conception", meaning: no original sin from Adam's fall, and no subsequent sin thereafter. The Roman church has made this a mandatory article of faith. However, this is a doctrine that is not in the Bible, and we must place it in the category of "suggestions from Satan". Clearly it is a violation of Rev 22:18, which says: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book". This is how seriously we must discern truth from error. This is how we must point out heresy. Whenever a doctrine is introduced that is not in the Bible, it is a doctrine which leaves people unsaved, and leaves people still under the wrath of God.

And so, Mary represents the OT church and John represents the NT church. It means that the OT church has now a new guardian. The old guardian of the OT church were the prophets who were appointed by God to be the undershepherds of the OT congregation. But now, the NT pastors and teachers are now the guardians of the NT church. They are the undershepherds who must expound the Word of God with power, and who are accountable to their Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this sense that we must say, “The OT church has a new guardian.” But whether they will listen to this new guardian is a different question, for God says that except for a remnant chosen by grace, the nation of Israel will remain in unbelief until the end of time. Let us now look at the third point in this passage.

#3.       The Inscription on the Cross (John 19:19-20, Matt 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, Rom 2:25, 28-29, 9:6-8)

John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 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.

God considered this statement so important that He recorded it in all four of the narrative Gospels, especially the statement, “The King of the Jews.” It is found in Matt 27:37, and in Mark 15:26, and in Luke 23:38. Why did God consider this a big deal? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 2:25 (2X). First of all, we must remember that the Lord Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” It follows then very quickly that the Lord Jesus is not the King of the Jews in the OT sense of the word, for they were the ones who urged Pilate to crucify Him. He is also not the King of the Jews who would believe on Him in the millennium, for I have shown that this is an unbiblical idea. But He is the King of the Jews who did believe and were converted to Christianity, for the Lord Jesus is living in their soul, as He said He would. For example, the 3000 Jews who were added to the church on the first Pentecost were converted to believers in Jesus Christ. But the Bible says that there are NT Jews who are not of the stock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and who are also called Jews. We read in Rom 2:25,

Ro 2:25  For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

In other words, The Jews who pride themselves with the fact that they are descendants of Jacob will be very disappointed when they read that their circumcision has been made uncircumcision, for the moment they come into the world they commit sins every hour of the day. Then we read in verses 28-29,

Ro 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

And so, the honorable name “Jew” has been reserved for those who are Jews in the sight of God, and not those who are Jews in the sight of man. Please turn a few pages to your right to Rom 9:6 (2X). And so, the NT dispensation is a new era where most of the OT terminology has been changed. God changed it, for we read in Rom 9:6-8,

Ro 9:6-8  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Now, this is a clear statement that the children of the flesh are not necessarily children of God. Who are the children of the promise? God follows this up with seven examples in Rom 9 of who children of the promise are, and who are not. But notice that Rom 9:6 also mentions an Israel who is the NT Israel of God. In other words, not only the name Jew has been redefined, but also the name Israel has been redefined for the NT era. And so we see that in these first three hours on the cross God gave us signs that a new era is dawning. A new era where the robe of Christ’s righteousness is handed out to a new nation, consisting of a remnant out of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, consisting of some descendants of Jacob, but mostly consisting of the Gentile nations of the world. A new era where the nation of Israel is now pictured by the mother of Jesus and the NT era is pictured by the apostle John. A new era where the inscription on the cross points to a series of changes in God’s terminology, so that we must now reinterpret the OT in NT terminology, and then we see Christ on every page of the OT. This was what kept the early church studying the OT, for that was all that they had. But they grew by leaps and bounds, for God the Holy Spirit guided them. And we must also ask God the Holy Spirit to guide us, for we know nothing of ourselves.     AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.