Ezra Chapter 3

We have been studying the book of Ezra.  The context is the history of the children of Israel and gives us a marvelous view of our God whose promises are sure and steadfast.  He doesn’t change His Word, not then in the 5th century B.C., nor at this time in history!  In the scriptures our lives are described as being a vapor, or as the grass that flourishes and then fades away.  But that doesn’t in any way diminish the value of any individual that has ever been, or ever will be born.  Israel had flourished and faded away in captivity, yet God called Ezra and many more leaders, to rebuild not only the Temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed decades before, but first of all the Altar that had been within that Temple.  The Altar is a “place of sacrifice” and it gave assurance to the Jews that their sins were forgiven.  For some seventy years the Altar had not been used by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.  We see the Love of God as he reestablishes that relationship with His people, holds fast to His promise to return His people.

Jesus completed this once and for all, by becoming the sacrifice for us:

John 2: 18-22  “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”

Hebrews 9: 24-28  “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:  Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

It is by Grace through Faith that we are called.  The work of Jesus, the Christ of God that is able to complete the work in you.  He alone can give the assurance that your sin debt has been paid, His name is the one give above every other name, and in His blood of atonement has satisfied our Holy God.

Look to Him that is Author and Finisher of our faith.  He rose from the grave to provide the victory!

Whether it is restoration, Reformation, or revival it is all the work of God through His Son!

Pastor Stan

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