Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Valley In Between

The Saturday before Easter is a very interesting day. Jesus died on Friday and rose on Sunday. This is the day in between. The disciples are in disarray and Jesus is preaching to demons in Tartarus and the old testament saints awaiting release.

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water." - 1 Peter 3:18-20 ESV

The days in between are interesting days. The morning is coming but is not here yet. The trauma of yesterday is still fresh in our minds.

My study of burial this morning brought me to this passage...

"On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land." - Ezekiel 39:11-12 ESV

This hasn't happened yet. This is a valley between Jerusalem, a city set on seven hills (approximately 2,500 ft above sea level), and the Dead Sea (approximately 1,400 ft below sea level). Tour buses used to go down a treacherous road translated 'Old Jericho Road' to take people to the Dead Sea. It is my understanding that Palestinians presently occupy this land.

This valley is believed to be the 'Valley of the Shadow of Death' referred to in Psalm 23 because a great shadow was cast as the sun went down making it a dangerous place to be. The story of the good Samaritan may have been based on the accounts of robbery that occurred while passing through this valley.

In the future an army that comes against Israel will be buried there and it will inconvenience travelers. A mass grave between the Holy city and the Dead Sea.

This reminds me of this day between death and resurrection. Our life resembles this day at times. We have believed and God has saved us but our bodies are not raised from the dead yet. Large swaths of land next to our spiritual life is unpassable. We see through a glass darkly.

But then Sunday comes. Then life is reborn. Then hope is stirred within us.

Easter is a day to celebrate. God has won a victory for us on the cross and our travels may be inconvenienced at times but what a great victory it is. Sunday will soon be upon us.

I hope you all have a great Sunday tomorrow.


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