I have found myself weeping for the iniquity of the world, and the iniquity of my prodigal son…
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:9
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem by Greg Olson (Matthew 23:37)
Our heavenly Father describes the same experience that a lot of us relate with on a smaller scale in our own families…
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” Isaiah 1:2-7
We have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against us. God is confronted with this every day. Are we not communing with Him in grieving for the rebellious? Is this not a deep communion and heart cry and intercession with the God of all Creation? Can we as His children be exempt from what He is feeling in His heart?
Romans 1: 18- 32 further echos the heart cry of our Father professed in Isaiah… ”When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations , and their foolish heart was darkened…Professing themselves wise, they became fools…”
Watching as prodigal children turn in rebellion from God and their parents… and on a larger scale…seeing the acceptance of fornication and homosexuality in our society and what is worse in our churches …
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4
This lead me to a very interesting study on the word mark or Tav in Hebrew…
The word mark here in Scripture is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet Tav…(tawv); from OT:8427; a mark; by implication, a signature: KJV – desire, mark.
This mark (T) set on the foreheads of those righteous men saved them from the wrath of Yahweh. Where else do we see this same shape saving the righteous, but in Egypt where the men were to take the hyssop, dipped in the blood of the Passover lamb, and place it on the lintel and doorposts…
This quote I found very interesting ~ a comment on the letter Tau by James Read:
“The earliest explicit mention of anything which describes the shape of the instrument of Roman execution is Barnabas’ epistle where he likens it the Greek letter Tau which is very much T shaped. Also, some other early Christian reference to how Moses was foreshadowing a T shape when he kept his arms raised to his sides while Israel was doing battle with Joshua (Yehoshua, Yoshua, Isus) doing battle.
Ezekiel 9:4 depicts a vision in which the Tav plays a Passover role similar to the blood on the lintel and doorposts of a Hebrew home in Egypt. In Ezekiel’s Old Testament vision, the Lord has his angels separate the demographic wheat from the chaff by going through Jerusalem, the capital city of ancient Israel, and inscribing a mark, a Tav, upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. In Ezekiel’s vision, then, the Lord is counting Tav Israelites as worthwhile to spare, but counts the people worthy of annihilation who lack the Tav and the critical attitude it signifies. In other words, looking askance at a culture marked by dire moral decline is a kind of shibboleth for loyalty and zeal for God.”
In the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart Tav means crossed sticks and is represented by an x or T shape.
Further in Ezekiel we see a reference to two sticks one representing Judah (the Southern tribe) and another for Joseph (Ephraim) and the children of Israel(the Northern Tribes) and the prophecy that these two sticks shall become one.
Jesus was the Repairer of the breech as he hung on the cross, the two sticks becoming one… Ezekiel 37:15-19
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”
From the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi:
“We know from ancient texts that Roman crosses consisted of two pieces. The stipes was the upright piece, fixed in the ground, often permanently. In restless areas and times with constant executions there could have been whole groves of them. The horizontal piece was called the patibulum; it weighed about a hundred pounds or so, and the condemned person was usually forced to carry it to the place of execution. Hence his name, the patibulatus.
After the patibulatus carried the crosspiece of his cross out to the field of execution, he’d be attached to it with ropes or with nails—hence the term crucifixio, from crux, cross, and figo, to affix. Then he’d be hauled up so that the patibulum could be fastened to the stipes. We tend to think of the two pieces being mortised into each other to form the familiar Latin-cross shape ( † ). More probably the Roman army carpenters, with hundreds and thousands of crosses to make, didn’t bother with that kind of fancy joinery. They probably just fixed a peg in the top of the stipes and bored a hole in the patibulum; that would make it easier to assemble the cross in a single motion, and it would make the weight of the crossbeam and the crucified man hold the cross together; it would result in a shape like the Greek letter tau …T”
So the mark set upon those who were mourning and weeping over the abomination of the land was also the cross that we take up and was the instrument used for the cruxfiction of Christ our salvation. Do you realize that Jesus told the people to take up the cross before He was crucified?
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34
The Hebrew letter Tav (T) is the last letter in the Hebrew language…it finishes the Hebrew alphabet and Yahshua said as he died on the cross (T), “It is finished.”
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
The Crucifixion by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770)
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
So you see that we have a deep communion with our Father and Savior in intercession and weeping and mourning for the lost…Are we Tav Christians? Are we bearing our crosses? Are we in deep communion with the heart of the Almighty?
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
The signs of the times ~ 2 Timothy 3:1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
Our hope is in Christ who finished the work on the cross…He is the resurrected King, the Savior of the whole world for He has overcome it, the Alpha and Omega or in Hebrew the Aleph and Tav ~ the Beginning and the End ~ the Author and the Finisher… Hallelulyah!
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Heb 12:2
Diego Velázquez: Crucifixion of Christ, 1632.