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Breaking Out God’s Windows?

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There’s an old, Hasidic saying, “If God lived on earth, people would break out all His windows.”

For the Jews, generations of “having their windows broken out” forced them to consider if they were the ones at fault. In the early stages of the Jewish Holocaust in Germany, people caught up in a Nazi fervor swept through towns and cities one night in 1938, breaking the windows of all the houses and businesses belonging to Jews — called “Krystalnacht”, it’s the “night” the “glass” was broken. Ultimately, Jews decided they were not at fault; even if it were God Himself moving into a Gentile community, His windows would be broken too.

Such a rejection — of the Jews or of God Himself — is terrible. Key to the awful nature of this broad scale rejection is that it’s undeserved. Throughout many lands and cultures, the Jews have been chosen (demonically) as the “scapegoat” for the troubles afflicting whatever lands in which they lived.

In the New Testament book of Hebrews, those of us who are following Jesus are warned that we also will be rejected. The reproach that has come on Jesus, will come on us.

Two passages in Hebrews force us to consider this “reproach” — one, by Moses’ example; two, by Jesus’ example.

Heb 11.26: Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

Heb 13.10-14: … Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore with Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

These verses are clear — as followers of Jesus Christ, we indeed must “bear His reproach”.

But what in the world does that mean?

Let’s be honest. If we don’t know what “reproach” He bore that we’re supposed to bear, than we can no more agree to do it then we can agree to “outgrabe” with the “momsey raths”.

Does “bearing His reproach” mean we’re to “not be ashamed” to go street witnessing, or “not be afraid” that if we say we’re a Christian at school we’ll get “persecuted”?

No. Insufficient response! “Bearing the reproach of Christ” has a very clear and specific meaning. To find the correct interpretation of any verse, we have to start with the passage itself.

First — Moses’ example:

Heb 11.24-26: “Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

Think about this — how could Moses bear “the reproach of Christ” when Moses lived over a thousand years before Jesus Christ was even born?

The picture that develops here is not that the writer of Hebrews sort-of “tossed in” Jesus’ name in the middle of talking about Moses… No, Hebrews makes it clear that the revelation given to Moses came from the “pre-Incarnate” Christ… later “en-fleshed” as the “Word became flesh”. So when Moses rejected the power and opportunity of his being “Prince of Egypt”, instead he cast his lot not so much with the people of God but with the God of the people of God!

And having “chosen” to follow the pre-incarnate Christ instead of staying with the power and authority of Pharaoh’s House and Egypt’s gods, Moses forsook them all for Christ… and ultimately fled from Egypt in shame and reproach. But the “reproach” Moses suffered from Pharaoh’s House and even from his own people, came upon him because he’d chosen to “side” with the revelation that came by “Christ”. The “reproach he “bore” was (in fact) the “reproach” of following Christ.

Heb 11.24-26: “Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

To better understand how this “reproach of Christ” affects us, let’s go over to Heb. 13, to the other passage which mentions it:


Heb 13.12-13: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp, bearing his reproach…”

So, what is “the reproach of Christ”?

Some commentators — ignoring the context — say simply that the Jews treated Jesus with contempt and shame, and that was His “reproach”. Somewhat on these lines is Robertson’s treatment:

The reproach of Christ…Jesus [was] the Messiah who had his own shame to bear (12:2; 13:12). There is today as then (Heb 13:13) a special reproach in being a follower of Jesus Christ. Moses took this [contemptuous speech] as “greater riches” than “the treasures of Egypt”

Robertson thinks the “reproach of Christ” are people speaking in a defamatory or contemptuous manner to Jesus. And if that’s what it means, then when Moses “counted the reproach of Christ greater riches…”, his “reproach” was that his family and friends were simply “speaking in a defamatory or contemptuous manner” to Moses. Which is very far from the truth.

The “reproach of Christ” is much more.

Let’s look again at a bit more of the passage’s context. Here’s Heb 13, verses 9-14 (comments interspersed):

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.

A line is drawn in verse 9 between followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews of the Old Covenant. These Jews were “legalizers” who “worshipped God” through their (bogus) compliance with the Law — represented here by a reference to Old Testament dietary regulations. The followers of Jesus Christ (by contrast) are not made holy by obeying the Law but we’re made holy by the grace of Jesus Christ.

10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Another line is drawn between followers of Jesus Christ and keepers of the Old Covenant. The Jewish legalizers have an “altar” from which they can eat — it’s the altar in Herod’s Temple. But followers of Jesus Christ have an “altar” from which Jewish legalizers have “no right to eat” — it’s the “altar” of Jesus, Crucified on the Cross.

And these two “altars” aren’t in the same place — no, not at all. Here’s why…

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.

The sacrifice that Jesus made — the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world — was represented by the once-a-year sin offering the High Priest made. The animal would be sacrificed and the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat — but instead of dividing the carcass up between priests and the people as most other sacrifices, the carcass of this sin offering for the entire nation had to be taken from the Temple to outside the city gates and burned. Outside the gates (“outside the camp”) was the city dump — Gehenna. In it burned fires that never went out, consuming all the trash of the city. And this is where they took the carcass of the sin offering.

And this “garbage dump” is where they took Jesus and crucified Him — “outside the camp”!

12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

You see here, one more line of distinction is drawn between Jesus’ followers and Jewish legalizers. Think about it…the Jews of the Old Covenant had their altar in Herod’s Temple. You’d think that Jesus (the Perfect Lamb of God) would somehow have fulfilled Old Testament symbolism and been “sacrificed” in the Temple, on the real altar.

But you see — the altar in Herod’s Temple belonged to the priests and the Pharisees. It was not God’s altar any longer! In fact, the Jews had already driven God out of His Own House. The Temple was theirs, not His. God Himself had already been driven outside the gate! Jesus had already demonstrated this when He made a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, yelling, “This is to be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The Jews had already taken the Temple and turned it into their own den.

Amazingly, Psalm 69.9 refers to the Jews having “kicked God out” in two parts. Referring to when they turned the Temple a den of thieves, the first part of the verse is the line used by John to describe Jesus’ driving the moneylenders out of the Temple: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

And the second part of the Ps. 69.9 refers to Jesus’ crucifixion: “the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me.”

What is the psalmist saying? It’s saying that people — God’s enemies — had already brought “reproach” against God and then brought that same reproach against God’s Messiah — Jesus. And Hebrews says, “Jesus… suffered outside the gate…”, bearing the reproach of the Jewish legalizers.

13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.

14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

The Jewish religious leaders put the same reproach and disgrace on Jesus that the psalmist prophesied — having already disgracefully rejected God the Father, they then disgracefully rejected Jesus.

And you better watch out — having disgracefully rejected Jesus, they’re going to disgracefully reject you.

How is it possible for “Jewish legalizers” to “reject us” with the same “rejection” they put on Jesus”

Well, Jewish legalizers won’t — but any “Christian” who is protecting their “old wineskin” is going to put shame and reproach on you and drive you “outside the camp”.

Any time God moves in a new and a fresh way, the greatest hindrance to the “new” move of God, is the last “successful” move of God! When Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and ushered in the New, those who “ate at the altar of the old”, crucified Him in the garbage dump.

What then does it mean that you and I are to “bear the reproach of Christ”?

Simply this: When we choose to walk with Jesus Christ, we will be “reproached” and “disgracefully” put “outside the camp” by Christians representing and defending their old and familiar religious ways. Not that there’s anything in particular wrong with their “old ways” — but there’s something fantastically right about leaving the “old” behind in order to go onward with Jesus into the “coming invasion of earth by the Kingdom of Heaven”!

Isa. 43.18-19:

Forget the former things! Do not dwell on the past!

LOOK! I AM doing a new thing!

Now it springs up…do you not see it?

Bless you all!

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Source by Emil Swift

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