EVERY WORD OF GOD IS FLAWLESS; HE IS A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM.
(Proverbs 30: 5)
The Resurrection brought a radical change into Jesus’ relationship with His disciples. After all the fear and disappointment caused by the death of their beloved Master, the disciples became totally devoted to their call as they met the Risen Lord. Jesus used the following time to finalize their preparation for the Great Commission to: – make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them…(Matthew 28: 18 – 20). After forty days, Jesus was taken up before their very eyes (Acts 1: 9) into Heaven, and leaving them with a firm promise, that surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28 : 20) and: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses… (Acts 1: 8).
On Thursday, the 21st of May 2020, the Christian Church celebrates Ascension Day and the following Sunday is Ascension Sunday. Surprisingly – or not – there is another date in the Christian calendar with reference to 40 days: Lent, – the preparation time for Easter, reminding us of Jesus’ forty days in the desert and His temptation.
As the number 40 often shows up in the Bible, I thought it would be an interesting study for “READ and MEDITATE” if I were to give you some biblical references to it, this time. There are people, who place too much significance on biblical numerology, trying to find a special meaning behind every number in the Bible, which can be dangerous. Mentioned 146 times in the Bible, the number 40 generally symbolises a period of testing, trial or probation. Let us, then, see some of these without taking them out of the main context, (John 3: 16) but rather seeing them helping our understanding of the TRUTH.
– of rain, at the time of the Flood – Genesis 7.
– of Moses on Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law – Exodus 24, 34.
– the Spies explored the Promised Land – Numbers 13.
– before David arrived to slay Goliath – 1 Samuel 17.
– of Elijah before God’s revelation on Mount Horeb – 1 Kings 19.
– of Jesus in the wilderness – Matthew 4.
– of the Risen Christ with His disciples – Acts 1: 3.
– of the Exodus from Egypt – Exodus 16, Numbers 14.
– of peace in Israel – Judges 3.
– of restoration of Israel – Ezekiel 29.
The residents and staff in Home Farm Nursing Home and the families of all those who have passed away because of Coronavirus ; all care-homes here in Skye and everywhere ; all those who work hard to heal and stop the spread of Covid-19 ; all who keep our country going ; those who struggle with pain, grief or financial difficulties ; our loved ones, our Congregation, the Church of Scotland, the Christian Church Universal, people of other faiths or none ; …and instead of the virus … the spread of the Good News that God so loved the world, that gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. AMEN.
THE LORD’S PRAYER: Our Father, who art in heaven…
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH US ALL, FOR EVER MORE. AMEN.
Sandor, your Minister.