by John Thomas Lowe
The word of God also tells us that God created man in his universe for "fellowship." He wanted to have fellowship with humankind, so he created a free moral agent. God could have created a bunch of robots. God could have created mechanical men, and they would bow down to him when he pushed a button. However, God did not want that kind of man. God wanted a man to be free to choose, love, and serve him.
My friend, amid all unbelief, blasphemy, and hostility toward God around us, the most significant thing you can do as a human being publicly chooses the Lord Jesus Christ. To believe in God the Father almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, and to receive his Son Jesus Christ is the most glorious privilege you and I have. We have absolute freedom when we choose Jesus Christ as our Savior. Theistic evolution is not the answer. It attempts to follow creation until man's time, then considers Adam and Eve to be products of some evolutionary process. The theistic evolutionist considers the days in Genesis as long periods. I do not, but God marks off the creative days with these words, "and the evening and the morning were the first days," etc. God makes it clear that he was not referring to long periods but actual twenty-four-hour days.
Now the earth was formless and empty, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Gen. 1:2)
Although this view has been discredited by many in the past few years, I believe that a great catastrophe took place between verses 1 and 2. There is an abundance of evidence to support this view. To begin with, look out upon this vast creation; something has happened to it. What happened? I do not know, and nobody else does.
However, I think that something happened that was a great catastrophe. The earth is described as being without form and void. "Darkness was over the surface of the deep" indicates that God was not there.
Formless and empty means that there was a look of emptiness. Formless means the earth was in ruin. God created the earth, but he did not create it in vain. He formed it to be inhabited. God did not create the earth without form and empty. You and I live in a universe where only the earth is habitable. God created this universe as a cosmos, not chaos, and it was God who came to this wreck.
I believe Genesis is telling us that the world became formless and empty. Furthermore, God made it habitable for human beings. I believe the entire universe came under a great. What was the catastrophe? We can only suggest that there was some preAdamic creature on this earth. Moreover, it seems that all of this is connected with the fall of Lucifer, Son of the morning, who became Satan the Devil. I think all of this is involved here, but God has not given us details.
The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The word "hovering means brooding, like a mother hen broods over her little chicks. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Hovered means (brooded, moved) over the face of the waters.
The Holy Spirit began a ministry here, which we will see him doing again and again. He comes into this scene, and he re-creates. It is re-creation. This is precisely what he does for us.
You will remember that the Lord Jesus said, "…except a man be born again of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) Now, if you want to make Baptism the symbol of it, that is fine. However, water means the word of God. The Holy Spirit is the author of it. This is very important for us to see.
6. He was wealthy
Matthew 27:57 also points out that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man. This is evident in the way the Bible describes Joseph:
• He was a prominent member of the Jewish Council (Markomb cut out of the rock (John 19:41)
• The tomb was located in a garden (John 19:41)
7. He cared for Jesus
However, Joseph of Arimathea's riches did not restrict his character, personality, or devotion, as can be seen in how he and Nicodemus treated Jesus after His death. Joseph of Arimathea boldly asked for Jesus' body, took Jesus down from the cross, and lovingly and carefully wrapped His body in linen.
"Joseph of Arimathea...who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went into Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus" (Mark 15:43). This passage only mentions Joseph, and no one else, approaching Pilate and asking for Jesus' body. Imagine the courage and faith it would have taken to do this by yourself.
9. He was a planner
Joseph of Arimathea had a tomb prepared for his burial. He planned and was ready for his death. However, Matthew 27:60 says that Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus' body "...in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed." He was preparing a burial place for his death, but when he saw his Master's need, Joseph of Arimathea quickly and willingly laid Jesus in his tomb "where no one had ever lain before" (Luke 23:53).
Joseph of Arimathea is a biblical figure mentioned in all the four gospels of the New Testament as the man who buried Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. Joseph probably belonged to the Sanhedrin. He asked Pontius Pilate for permission to bring Jesus's body down, bathed it with spices, rolled it up in cloth, and buried it in a cave with the help of Nicodemus. Over the years, his story has been retold and has given rise to multiple legends. One of them states that Joseph went to England with Jesus and established Christianity there. Another version states he carried the Holy Grail to England. Joseph is considered a saint by both the Eastern and Western churches.
The Bible has a way of repeating itself. All of Scripture is worthy of deep study and meditation, and the reader should take special note of everything in it. There are no wasted words in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) each have accounts of the life of Jesus while He "wore flesh" on Earth. The four Gospels do not share all the same reports, but Joseph of Arimathea and his role related to the burial of Jesus is mentioned in each.
As you look at Joseph of Arimathea and his character, why not reflect upon your life and devotion to Jesus? Although not much is said about this man, Joseph of Arimathea's actions helped remove the shame of Jesus hanging on the cross overnight and provided burial for Jesus.
Perhaps another question to ask is, who is your true Master? What have you done for your Master's recently? Will you, like Joseph of Arimathea, use your position, money, and courage to stand for what is right?
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