Happy Mothers’ Day to all our faithful mothers.

KEY OF DAVID

Last Sunday as we were wrapping up our overview of the seven churches of Revelation, we came upon the phrase in chapter 3 verses 7 and 8: “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; ‘These things says he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens and no man shuts and shuts and no man opens;”

These verses reminds us that with this “key’ Christ can open what no man can shut and shut what no man can open. We mentioned last time that this is partly in relation to the “door into the presence of the Father.” It is often associated with the “door of the rapture.” Perhaps this same door through which John entered at the beginning of chapter four of Revelation, or even the door through which Elijah  passed.

However, I believe that there are layers of meanings in this phrase and some of this is suggested in a verse from Isaiah 22: 15-25:

 “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open,”

Here, there is a referred to the “key of the house of David.” This is implying a relationship of this key with Israel, or of Jesus’ relationship to His Kindred people. The same phrase of “opening what none can shut and shutting what none can open,” is also present. But there is an added thought given here. This ‘key’ is laid upon the Messiah’s shoulder. It is acting as a burden in my opinion.  A burden is to be placed upon the shoulders of Jesus and carried, which then allows for the opening and closing of that door. So, what is this burden that Jesus carries for the house of David that allows for the opening and closing of that door that seems to allow access into the presence of heaven? It appears  that there may be more to this burden, for it is not just some common burden but is in fact the key burden. At the moment most of you are probably thinking about the cross of Christ and His carrying the burden of sin for us all. You are correct with this thought, but there is much more to it than that, as if that weren’t enough! I have thought of at least eight burdens that Christ had placed upon His shoulders, laid there by the Father. This is not an exhaustive listing and you may be able to add more, but for now allow me to share these eight thoughts.

  1. Beginning with your initial thought, of course He was our sin-bearer.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you are healed.”

The Greek word used here ‘anaphero’ “to bare” means to carry or to bring up, as in to put upon the altar – to bring up to the altar. This word is from the Greek words, ‘pheno’ and ‘ana’ meaning to carry a burden into the midst. Christ carried the burden of His cross into or before the midst of witnesses, both earthly ones and heavenly ones.

In Isaiah 53:6 we also are told the following: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Here we are presented with the truth that a burden was laid upon His shoulders, and this burden is in fact, our sin.

Jesus is also the true picture of the ‘scapegoat’ of the Great Day of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that was part of the ceremony for this appointed day. Two goats were selected and the one, the scapegoat, was set off into the wilderness after having the sins of the people laid upon its back by the laying on of hands by Israel’s high priest.

So, Jesus’ burden included the burden of all the sin of His people. This One who knew no sin has became sin on our behalf as well, and, in fact, has become sin for the whole world. 

2 Cor. 5:21 states it this way, “For He has made Him to be made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

So, the burden of sin that Christ carried was more than just all of our sin for all time, but that He also became that very sin. This burden carried by the most holy and sinless One is unimaginable. The very heavy cross was a concrete object lesson for the onlooker. As He was weighed down by the dense lumber so He was weighed under by our sin.

  1. He carried the burden of the Prophet’s messages.

Luke 24:44, “And he said unto them, ‘These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.’”

We are told that there were over three hundred prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming, and well over five hundred concerning His second. All these promises of God, laid out and spoken into our reality by the Father, through the Holy Spirit, via the prophets needed perfect fulfillment in Jesus. Jesus took on the title, The Word of God. He carried this promised word as a burden that must be demonstrated perfectly, through His flesh. John 1 reminds us in verse 1 and 14a. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

All things spoken through the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms concerning Messiah were fully embraced by Jesus.

Matt. 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, ‘Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise, pass from the law until all is fulfilled.  Every iota of what was spoken through the prophets lay as a righteous burden upon Messiah’s shoulders. And not only did the words of promise spoken concerning Messiah need to be precisely fulfilled but the very timing of each event, down to the second, needed perfect fulfillment.  He had to walk out every promise in the flesh.

  1. He also carries the ‘hope of all His people Israel.’ He is the full embodiment of all of their hopes; of all of their ceremonies, of all of the Davidic Covenant; of all of the Abrahamic Covenant, of all of their future reign and blessings, and of all of their reconciliation and salvation in the Father. He was born in the flesh as a Hebrew. He carries the burden of His people. He bears their inheritance; an entire ethnic race clinging to this One Hope. Jesus chose to be identified with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. And for thousands of years He has born them upon His shoulders carrying them through their failures, and sin and unfaithfulness. He wept over His kinsman Lazarus, He wept over the city Jerusalem and He wept in the garden. A burden of an entire people willingly carried, a weight upon Him. Oh what a Saviour!
  2. He also bears the burden of Thorns. Let me demonstrate this with a section from Jonathan Cahn’s book The Book of Mysteries page 25 entitled, The Lord of Eden.

We sat down in a desert valley surrounded by mountains. Between us was a little thornbush. The teacher reached for one of its branches, twisted it off, and held it in front of his eyes.

“Thorns,” he said. “Did you ever wonder why Messiah wore a crown of thorns?”

“I’ve always found it a strange thing.”

“Think about it, a crown, a symbol of royalty, power, kingship, wealth, and glory . . . yet made not of gold or jewels, but thorns. Why? When man fell, the consequence of that fall was the curse; the ground would now bear thorns and thistles. The thorns were thus the sign of the curse, the sign of a fallen world, a creation that can no longer bear the fruit it was called to bear, but now brings forth thorns, pain, piercing, blood, tears, and destruction.”

He handed me the branch of thorns, then continued, “Now when a crown is placed on a man’s head, he becomes king. At that moment, the weight of the kingdom rests upon him. So what is the mystery of the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Messiah?”

“When the crown was placed on His head, He became . . .”

“The King of Thorns. Thorns speak of pain and tears. So the crown of thorns means He will now bear the pain and tears of man. Thorns speak of piercing. So He will be pierced. And the thorns are linked to the curse and the curse is linked to death. So the crown of thorns ordains that Messiah will die. He will bear the weight of the curse upon His head. He becomes the King of Thorns, the King of the Curse.”

“But a crown also signifies authority,” I said. “One who reigns.”

“Yes, and thus by bearing the weight of the curse, He becomes king over it. He becomes King of the Curse.”

“And King of the Cursed.”

“King of the Broken, King of the Pierced and Wounded, King of the Rejected, and King of Tears. So all who have fallen can come to Him and find redemption. For the One who wears the crown has authority over these things . . .to turn sorrow into joy, death into life, and thorns into blossoms. He who wears the crown is Lord of the Fallen . . the King of Thorns.”

* underlining added.

The burden of thorns. He bears the weight of the kingdom upon His shoulders. He bears all the pain and tears of man. He bears the weight of the curse, and as Jonathan Cahn aptly states He bears the weight of the crown of the King of Thorns.

  1. He bears the responsibility for our future.

Eph. 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he love us, even when we were dead in sins has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.” So the Father has made us alive (quickened us,) and raised us up together, (past tense,) and placed us in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus and in the ages to come, (our future,) He will demonstrate His exceeding riches THROUGH Christ Jesus. Our entire future glory is dependent upon Jesus. Again from Romans 8:28-39 in various verses we read that once we place our faith and trust in Jesus, all things will work to our good; that we are being conformed to the image of Jesus; that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and makes intercession for us. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor thing present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus bears the responsibility of seeing us through to glory. Again referring to the passage from Jonathan Cahn, Jesus wears that crown of authority, the crown of thorns, and with it He has the authority to turn sorrow into joy, death into life and thorns into blossoms. All these great weights carried for us! And He willingly takes them up daily. All for the love that He carries for us.

  1. He also bears the burden for all of creation.

As Jonathan Cahn reminded us there was a curse upon nature and all of creation as a result of our sin and fall. Jesus bears the burden of not only needing to reverse the curse, ALL OF CREATION is waiting. For Him to do so, Romans 8:19 states, “For the earnest expectation of the Creation [the whole creation,] waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope. Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay in death into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that every creature groans and suffers in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Here we read that every creature that God gave the breath of life to and pronounced “good,” will be resurrected. The whole of creation await the resurrection of the ‘sons of God,’ that’s us, and with us the whole of creation will be glorified when it shall all be released from the man-made curse of the bondage of death and decay. Christ carries all of creation as a burden. And all, the whole creation, looks longingly and hopefully toward Him.

  1. He also bears the burden of righteous judgment. It will be His word and His word alone that will pronounce the righteous judgment for all on that day. For we Christians, we will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, (bema seat.) Here we are judged according to how we conducted ourselves in our service to Him. 2 Cor. 5:10 and Rom. 14:10 give insight. Rom. 14:14 reads, “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you reduce to nothing your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” And again in 2Cor. 5:10 we read, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.”

Christ and Christ alone will be rewarding His brothers and sisters. Then, there is the judgment of the world system and the ‘earth-dwellers.’ Revelation 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.” Jesus carries the burden of righteous war and righteous judgment. His name here is Faithful and True, as He is the only one who can see into the heart to discern motive.

Ps. 96:11-13 reads, “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then let all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth: he will judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Notice how much of the creation is rejoicing here. There is rejoicing because His judgment is in righteousness and truth.  He is judging according to HIS TRUTH.  No other opinion is needed.

  1. My final thought for today is that He also must carry the burden of representing the Father perfectly!

Col. 1:14-15a, “Who, [Christ] the image of the invisible God, [Father.]

And again in Hebrews 1:1-3, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

Jesus said often that He and the Father were one.  And in the above two references we see that Jesus is the image of the Father. This was also a burden carried by the Son. To represent the holiness, brightness, faithfulness and love of the Father perfectly, every day, every hour, every moment. He represents the Father as the God of Light and the God of Love. (1 Jn. 1:4)

He comes in Revelation 19 as the only One who is Faithful and True in each and every aspect of this burden that He carries. God has placed upon His shoulders the ”burden of the Key of the house of David.” He carries us as a lamb upon His shoulders. Willingly and with love and compassion. His burden is heavy and yet He encourages us to take His yoke upon ourselves and to pick up our cross and follow Him. He bears the great majority of the weight and only passes to us what we can bear so that we may learn of Him, be likened unto Him, be conformed to His image as He conforms to the image of the Father.  

Christ has carried us from that first moment of sin. He continues to carry each one of us on a multitude of levels. He knows us intimately for He bears us upon His shoulders and close to His breast. He feels our heartbeat. We are never beyond His reach; never beyond His hearing. Our sighs are in His ears, and our tears upon His cheek. Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

May God richly bless you this week as you contemplate our Great Burden-Bearer.

PASTORAL PRAYER

Father God, Almighty God, God of all Creation, God of Heaven, God of Earth, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our God, God of Light, God of Truth, our Saviour, our Rock, our Refuge, our Sun of Righteousness, our Healer, there is none like You Lord. As we come before You and stand in Your Holy Presence we come with Holy Fear, acknowledging that You alone are God. You deserve all of our worship and all of our praise, every word we could ever say and every song we could ever sing belongs to You and no other. Only You are worthy of our worship and adoration.

How amazing Lord, that we who are but dust, we, who have nothing to give You but our love and praise, should be crowned by You with Love and Compassion. We are so unworthy Lord, so undeserving of Your attention, and yet You constantly and earnestly are looking for ways to pour out Your Love and Blessing and Grace upon us. Hallelujah! You are wonderful!

Thank You Lord, that You never give up on us. Thank You Lord that in spite of our rebellion and disobedience You keep on loving us and keep drawing us back to You. Thank You Lord that there is no sin so great that it can keep us from You. Thank You that Jesus, who is the Key of David, opens doors that we cannot shut and shuts doors that we cannot open. We, in our rebellion and sinfulness cannot come against Your good plans. Hallelujah! For You, Almighty God laid all of our sin upon Jesus on the cross, that as He was crucified, though innocent of ALL, His blood made it possible for us to be washed white as snow, our sin no longer visible, no longer staining our repentant hearts. He became sin, that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him. Hallelujah! Thank You Lord that when we humble ourselves and repent, You remember our sin no more. Thank You for Your incredible Love and Forgiveness. Help us Lord to walk in newness of Life, learning Your Word and Your Ways. We commit ourselves to humbly serve You Lord, to carry Your Words to the beloved and the lost, that each one may find Hope, Strength, Salvation, Refuge, Solace, Healing and Peace.

Father, I cannot help but think of those in our midst who are grieving today, as my heart and Bob’s,  grieve deeply over the loss of our sweet Golden Doodle, Tirzah. Her name means Delightful, and she was. She was sweet, affectionate and fun-loving. She died Thursday morning, May 7th at 8 a.m. Lord, as You know, after a long, difficult and painful night. Please come Father, You are the God of all comfort, come to Bob and I, come to Pat Roloson and her family, to the Henry family, to Betty Johnson and her family, to Wanda and her family, to Darlene and her family, and to Carolyn and her family. Lord You know the ache of each heart, and the pain of each suffered loss – pour out Your Love and peace Lord, as we pray, upon each and every one. We pray for ministering angels to come with songs of comfort and joy throughout the long hours of the day, and throughout the very long hours of the night. Thank You Father for Your Great Love! Hallelujah!

Father, we pray for Melissa’s son Matthew, help him Lord, to find Truth, to find the answers that he is looking for and the answers that he needs but is not looking for. We pray that Melissa Jackson will come to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. We pray for Eve Henry to continue to walk with Jesus and learn Your Word and Your Ways. Help her and strengthen her Lord. We pray for continued healing for Linda Burnham, Brittany, Ashton Skye,  Roger Jonathan, Lorelei, Gary, Aliece , Laurie and Frank MtPleasant. Lord You know the situation of each one, You know their trouble and their pain, and You have made provision for their healing through the wounds of our Lord Jesus. Help them Lord to find peace, well-being and wholeness in Jesus. To God be the Glory!

And Father we pray for Samantha, Gidget, Christina Hill-Harris, and Kristina Austin and her sons. Lord, You know the need of each heart and mind. You know the issues that challenge each one of them. We pray Father, for answers and for inner healing that will redeem the time and the suffering, We pray for Light that will shine into the shadows of their days, banishing every ounce of darkness. We pray for complete restoration of all that the devil has stolen from each one,  in Jesus’ name. To God be the Glory!

Father, we pray for Your Love and Protection to cover our missionaries, Amanda, Lorelei, James, Robert, Cirena and Sheila. Keep them safe, guard them and watch over them. Prepare the way for them Lord, to continue in the work You have given them in spite of COVID-19. We have Your promise Lord, from Psalm 91, that no plague or pestilence will come near our dwelling. We pray this promise over our missionaries especially, and over ourselves. Hallelujah!

Father, we pray for the leaders of our towns, our provinces and our country. Give them wisdom Lord today and in the days ahead. Our times are in Your hands. As we think about the impact of this pandemic around the world, we pray that You will provide daily bread, especially for those who have lost jobs or are struggling to find food or maintain shelters for their families. Come into the chaos Lord, we pray, and bring Peace. In Jesus’ name. To God be the Glory!

And thank You, Father, for the Word that You have given Bob to share with us today. Help us to have open hearts and minds to receive the Truth that You have for us today. Help us to be faithful Lord as You are Faithful.

We offer our praise and prayers in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

 

 

 

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