Pop Pop Epistle #42 – About Yom Kippur


Dear Grandkids,

yom-kippurSince one fourth of the blood running through your veins is Jewish I wanted to tell you a little about today. Today is the most solemn holy day of all the holy days on the Jewish calendar. Today is Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. It commemorates the annual day that the Jewish High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple in order to offer sacrifices for sin on behalf of the Jewish people.

Interestingly, these sacrifices stopped being offered in 70 AD because the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the future Roman emperor Titus. So the question can legitimately be asked, “How are sins for the Jewish people now atoned for?”  The Older Testament is clear that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin. And yet blood is no longer shed.

Nowadays, the Jewish people believe that forgiveness of sin is obtained through repentance, prayer, and good deeds. But the fact remains that blood must be shed – not only for the Jewish people but also for everyone else in order to have our sin forgiven. So is forgiveness even possible?

Here is the very good news…

Jesus came as THE High Priest to offer Himself as a blameless and pure and undefiled sacrifice to secure redemption by the shedding of His own blood on the cross. Forgiveness of sin is available for all who look to Him and trust in the sufficiency of His sacrifice. God accepts the sacrifice of His only begotten Son as satisfactory to secure our eternal salvation and to bring about reconciliation in our relationship with the Father that sin had destroyed.

There is no longer a need for an annual Day of Atonement because atonement was made once for all when Jesus died on the cross. There is no longer a need for sacrifices to made in the Holy of Holies of the Temple. There is no longer a need for blood to be shed because blood has been shed. So how are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah  of the world to regard Yom Kippur?

Today is an awesome day (as is every day) to thank God for sending His Son to be the Savior of the world and for rescuing us from the kingdom of darkness and bringing us into the light of the Son. Today is an awesome day to remember the gospel. Today is an awesome day to pray for our Jewish kin that they will recognize Jesus as the Messiah they have been looking for. Today is an awesome day to celebrate and rejoice in our salvation.

Never forget what Jesus did for you!

And never forget that you are very very loved!

Pop Pop

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Pop Pop Epistle # 41 – About The Greatest


Dear Grandkids,

Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 9.12.41 AMOn this day in 1978, September 15, boxer Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so.

And I was there.

At the time, I was beginning my junior year at Tulane University. I was a Biomedical Engineering major and still trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do. The Superdome had only been open for 3 years and had begun hosting some major sporting events. (The previous year I had gone to the Superbowl between Dallas and Denver.)

Ali was considered to be, at least by his own admission, The Greatest boxer of all time. Humility was not his greatest characteristic. Contrast him with the man who was indeed the greatest to have ever lived – NOT by his own admission but by the testimony of millions throughout the last 2000 years… Jesus.

 Jesus said in Matthew 23:11-12, “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And it was said of Jesus by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2…

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Here is a lesson that Jesus taught and that He lived and that I hope you learn early on in your life: If you aspire to greatness, which is not a bad thing, first of all learn to look after the needs of other people. Learn how to serve others. Learn obedience to the Father. Learn humility. Then you will have no need to exalt yourself because the Father will exalt you and give you a position of influence in the Kingdom – not so that your name will be great but so that you can make His name great.

Never ever forget that you are very very loved!

Pop Pop

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