Rolling the Stone

You have probably heard about the English band Rolling Stones, but have you heard about rolling the stone. Genesis 29:1-11 gives the account of Jacob rolling the stone that covered the well, where he meets his future wife, Rachel. When Jacob arrives at the land where his mother Rebekah had asked him to go – her father’s place, he looked and saw a well in the field. It was the well that watered the flocks and there were three flocks of sheep lying by it. And a great stone covered the well. When the flocks gathered, it would take a few shepherds to roll the stone off the mouth of the well to water their sheep and after the flocks were quenched of their thirst, the shepherds would put the stone again upon the well’s mouth, possibly to keep the water from evaporation or the wells from being stopped (Genesis 26:18). When Jacob saw his mother’s brother, Laban’s daughter, Rachel, at a distance, he approached the shepherds that had gathered there and asked to water the sheep and feed them, though he knew that it was not yet the time to do so. They responded that they could not, because all the flocks had not yet gathered there at the well, and that the stone on the well had not yet been rolled. Then as Rachel came toward the well, Jacob went near it, and single-handedly rolled the stone that covered the well and watered the flock of Laban, his mother’s brother, which Rachel kept as a shepherdess.

The Bible does not explicitly state Jacob’s intent in rolling the stone from the mouth of the well. We can only speculate as to whether it was a show of his strength to impress his future wife, or if it was a demonstration of his spirit of service. One thing we can extrapolate however from the sequences of events is that up to this time, we know of Jacob as the deceiver who did not really work hard to get what he wanted – usurping his brother’s birthright and blessings – but now after his encounter with the Lord God, enroute to his mother’s brother’s place, for the first time we see Jacob working hard, not to take but to give.

Points to ponder:
When we encounter the Lord God in our life’s journey, and we believe in Jesus Christ, we are changed from being deceivers (James 1:22) to becoming doers of his work and will – which is to muster his Holy Spirit (and not our own strength) to co-labor with the Lord and roll the stone covering the hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) of people, so that the God’s Holy Spirit – The Living Water – can quench their spiritual thirst. Are you and I a stone roller?

Genesis 29:1-11 (KJV)
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth.
And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place.
And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them.
10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.


Total Surrender at the Cross :: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit

Jesus’ seventh and final saying on the Cross before he gave up the ghost was “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” which was addressed to God, his Holy Father. In this saying, we see Jesus’ total surrender to God, into God’s holy hands – from which no man can pluck (John 10:29).

Points to ponder:
Jesus totally surrendered  himself at the Cross. Today, he expects the same from you and me. Can we look at him today, and totally surrender over selves into his hands. Can we say, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Belonging On the Cross :: It is Finished

Jesus’ sixth saying on the Cross was “It is finished.” which is not particularly directed to anyone specifically, but was a profound declaration of the all of creation, the new state of affairs – the world forever changed – as the devil, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and his power over man, which is death (Hebrews 2:14), was finished. The words, “It is finished” comes from the Greek word “Tetelastai” which means paid in full.

When we owe a mortgage on a property, until that property is paid off in full, we cannot claim total ownership of that property. The moment we pay the loan in full, the rights of ownership is transferred along with the title of that paid property to us.

Points to ponder:
Jesus declared that it is finished. In other words, he was saying that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but those wages have been paid in full – there is no more payment needed for those who have receive him and who believe in him. Jesus bought us with his own life and now he holds the title of ownership of our life in his hands. We belong on the cross, but because of Jesus taking our place, we now belong to him, if we believe in him. Where would you like to belong – on the Cross or in the hands of Christ? Considering the fact, that it (the work of Salvation) was finished, this should be a easy question to answer.

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Family Relationship :: Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother!

Jesus’ third saying from the Cross was directed to his mother and to his beloved disciple who was standing by her. To her, he said, “Woman, behold thy son!” and to him, he said, “Behold thy mother!” In this saying, Jesus takes two people who are unrelated and establishes a family relationship (mother – son) between them.

Points to ponder:
To all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12) and Jesus expressed that whoever does the will of God his Father, is his brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50). In other words, Jesus relates those who are unrelated into a family – the very family of God. On the Cross, Jesus established a family relationship. Today, he seeks to establish your relationship and mine with God himself. Have you tasted the joy of God’s salvation? O taste and see (behold) that the Lord God is good (Psalm 34:8) wanting you to become part of his family. Do you believe? Behold …

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

Emmanuel on the Cross :: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

Jesus’ second saying from the Cross was “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” While this is a testament to the assurance of being in the presence of Christ, when we believe, as did the penitent malefactor, who recognized Jesus, not just as a man on the Cross, but as the Lord and King who shall return to reign, it is important to not overlook two key words in this saying. The words are “with me”. The penitent thief was given one of the greatest blessings that man can ever experience, which was to be with Christ Jesus.

Points to ponder:
Jesus’ name was prophesied to be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23) and here we see that not only was God (Jesus) with man, but now because of Jesus’ redemptive act of Salvation being fulfilled on the Cross, man could be with God. In other words, Emmanuel was on the Cross and man was given the assurance of being with him – with God. If you believe in Jesus and you accept him as Lord and King, you can hear Jesus saying “Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Do you hear his voice?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss [INNOCENCE].
And he said unto Jesus, Lord [DIVINITY]remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom [KINGSHIP].

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Sovereignty of God :: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

Jesus’ first words from the Cross was “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” While many focus on the forgiveness part of this saying, it is important to recognize that the second part is equally important because it establishes the sovereignty of God. Unbeknownst to those who played a part in the crucifixion of Jesus, for whom Jesus sought forgiveness, was the fact, that it was God’s master plan for the redemption of mankind that the Son of God must shed his blood for the remission of mankind’s sin. God sovereignty comes out on top in the affairs of man, even in the crucifixion of Jesus for the Scripture was to be fulfilled as mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel, that they shall put the Anointed One to death (Daniel 9:26). While men played a mere part in God’s redemptive work, it was God who was not only the conductor but he was also in control of all that transpired that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. It was indeed God’s plan that Jesus should be made an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). While man intended to hurt Jesus and do him evil, God intended it all for good – the good of all mankind – to save all mankind (Genesis 50:20).

Points to ponder:
God is Sovereign and his word will always come true and while men may mean evil against you, God means it all for good (to save much people – made alive in Jesus Christ). In other words, the words of Jesus today ring – Father, forgive them, for you are Sovereign and all that you have planned shall come to pass, which the people do/may not know.

Luke 23:34 (KJV)
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Isaiah 53:10 (NLT)
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.

The ‘good’ in Good Friday

It is Good Friday and I wondered as to, how could a day in which the perfect sinless Son of God was murdered, with excruciating cruelty, be deemed “Good” Friday?

To answer this, we ought not to resort to the speculations of men, but instead we ought to go to the Holy Bible and seek the answer that is divine.

The first chapter of the book of Genesis starts out with the creation account in which the word “good” is mentioned at the end of each day, except that of the day when man was created, for God said it was not good for man to be alone. Man, who was created imago deo (in the image of God) to be a “relationship” being, just as the Triune God  (God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit) is One – One in relationship. But with the disobedience of man, this relationship between God and man was severed and the state of affairs was dire, for sin came in to the world and by sin, death (Romans 5:8). Man who was made as a living soul (Genesis 2:7) was now corrupted and it took the incorruptible Christ (1 Peter 1:3-5) to save man. This is the good news – that while we were yet sinners, God demonstrated his love for us, as Christ died for us (Romans 5:12).

In the last chapter of the book of Genesis, we see that Joseph, the dreamer, now prince of Egypt, responded with love and kindness to his very own brothers, who had schemed to kill him, and who had sold him as a slave. Joseph is even put in prison for false allegations made against him by his master’s wife, forgotten in the prison, till God raises him to become the second in command to the Pharaoh and rule from the palace. Joseph uses the God given wisdom to store food during the time of plenty for the time of need (famine) thereby becoming a means to the salvation of many. When Joseph confides with his brothers, who had failed to recognize him, after his rise to reign, he expresses “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20).

Points to ponder: 
God means all things for good (to those who love him and are called according to his purpose). Though man may mean evil against us, God means it for good.

Men meant evil against Jesus and crucified him, being blinded by the evil one (the devil) as Jesus expressed that they (the men, his executioners) did not know what they were doing. But what man intended as evil against Jesus, God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people (who believe in him) and give them life. Since God meant the murder of Jesus, his only begotten Son, unto good, we call this day, wherein we remember the crucifixion of Jesus, as “Good” Friday. This is the good in Good Friday.

Are you one who has believed in this good news? The good news is that God meant good for all of mankind by sending Jesus to save much people alive. Happy Good Friday!

Genesis 50:20 (KJV)
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive