October 12th, 2012 by Christine Colbert

The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to decay and death into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.     Romans 8:21

Our online dictionary includes this definition for the word “Hebrew”:

ORIGIN: from Old French Ebreu, via Latin from late Greek Hebraios, from Aramaic ‛i b ray, based on Hebrew ‛i b rî — understood to mean ‘one from the other side (of the river).’

Abraham’s descendants’ escaping from Egypt and, with divine Providence, rushing across the “parted” Red Sea certainly do come to mind. Hebrew = one from the other side — or, as this is sometimes expressed, “one who crossed over.” The Red Sea is a long, narrow, land-locked sea; in some ways it is more like a river. Further, Joshua would much later lead the Israelis into the Land by crossing the Jordan River near Jericho.

When we visited Israel a couple of years back, we learned that “Bethlehem” means in Hebrew “house of bread.” He who has been referred to as “Panis Angelicus,” Bread of Angels, the ultimate “manna,” the one who illustrated His “body, broken for you” with bread — was born in the House of Bread!

Yeshua’s kind of “bread” differs from the ordinary kind, however. When we eat ordinary bread, it becomes us, so to speak. But when we appropriate Christ, we become increasingly like Him through the new birth.

Jesus spoke of the importance of being “born again” to Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and had come to Him at night in the hope of not being seen by his own colleagues. When we think about the definition of “Hebrew” meaning essentially “one who crossed over,” the word itself seems to speak of this new birth — in addition to Israel’s exodus. Consider Abraham, Rahab, and Ruth. They left their very different former lives to become Israelis — to “cross over” to a new and unknown life; they somehow summoned the faith to move toward this new life in preference to what was familiar. They sensed something better; they crossed over.

In Isaiah we find the stirring words, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; can you not perceive it?” We find a paraphrase of the first part of this statement in Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new.”

Astrophysicists tell us that more than 200 finely-tuned characteristics of Earth reveal that the universal stage was set in advance for us — for billions of years. And that Earth is in a unique place and time parameter that enables us to observe these exquisite elements of design. A personal Creator had you and me in mind.

Scientists who have also studied Scripture recognize in it a setting forth in several texts — not only in those in Genesis 1 — of the astonishingly-unique process of setting the stage for our world for the very purpose of creating — not suns, but sons.

When He was physically present with us, Jesus often referred to Himself as “the Son of man.” He is described this way in the fiery-furnace story in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament as well. But after the resurrection His description, in the epistles for example, consistently becomes “the Son of God.”

“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ  appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this hope will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.”    (1 John 3:2,3)

The goal that Jesus put before Nicodemus is the same one He puts before you and me — to become citizens of the newer creation that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard.” The one in which weapons will have been transformed into garden tools that facilitate life. In which there will be no more killing or evil or death. No animal predation. No sickness or sorrow or night. The perfect creation — as God would design it.

“You must be born again,” Jesus told Nicodemus, the apparently wise, older man.

“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord.”    (Hebrews 12:14)

God’s love and mercy are freely extended to all. He waits as long as He can. His desire is that as many as possible will enter the Kingdom of all things new.

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March 13th, 2011 by Public Domain

Editor’s Note: The text below was written by Basilea Schlink in her book My All For Him, published 1971.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He calls Himself Bridegroom in the Scriptures. His great love desires a bride, a bridal soul. He longs fervently for her love. He looks for her to see whether she is about to come to Him, to see whether she longs and yearns for Him, to see whether she really wants Him alone.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He wants to give us His love; but He is also waiting for us to return His love. Jesus is a true Bridegroom. His love is a jealous love. He wants you, your soul, completely. He is jealous when you give your love to other people and to other things. He is jealous when pay more attention to them, when you give them more time, more of yourself, than you give Him. Then He stands beside you, grieved. Then He is hurt and wounded, because He loves you so much.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom. He does not force you to love Him. He asks: “Will you give Me your love?”, and He gets what He wants when you do this. Only one thing will satisfy Him – your love. All else is too small for Him: that you believe in Him, that you obey Him, that you come to Him for forgiveness. He is not only your Physician who heals you. He is not only your Redeemer who delivers you from your bonds. He wants to be your Bridegroom, and as Bridegroom He gives you His great, His tender, His most intimate love. Now He is waiting for you to give Him your love. He who loves wants to be loved in return.

Because Jesus is the Bridegroom, He can be wounded if you take up self-chosen crosses, choosing the way of poverty and resolving to make sacrifices simply for ascetic reasons. Certainly He wants you to follow Him on the way of the cross. But His heart is filled with grief and sorrow if it is not love that impels you. You should not take the way of the cross for your own sanctification, but rather – as He repeatedly said while He was on earth – “For My sake you should lose your life, for My sake you should forsake houses, brethren . . .” Out of love for Him, out of love alone you should choose obedience, lowliness, humility and disgrace. Only the dedication which springs from love will make Him happy. Indeed, this is the only dedication which He will accept. Nothing else. All else is insufficient. Anything else would be more likely to wound Him, because it is simply pious deceit; we seem to be going His way, but it is really for our own sake.

Jesus, the Bridegroom, is the Man of Sorrows. He suffers to this present day. He is seeking a bride who will share with Him what is in His heart. His heart is filled not only with love, but also with suffering – past and present. He is seeking a bride who will really live out the bridal state, whose heart will beat with His, who will bear things with Him, who not only suffers through her own afflictions, but also suffers His afflictions with Him, who in reality enters into the fellowship of suffering with Him. Only she is a true bride who is concerned about His concerns – about the needs of His people and His Church and the things which hinder His dominion among the peoples.

For Him the bride is the soul who suffers with Him and who is prepared to do everything to alleviate His sufferings. She seeks ways through sacrifice and prayer and does her utmost to ensure that the things which trouble Him may be changed. She labors so that He may be honored where He is not now honored, that He may be feared where He is not now feared. She strives to lead back to God the people who are not living according to His commandments and statutes, and so she comforts His heart and makes Him happy. She spends her life for Him and suffers until she has loved souls home to Him by whom they can be saved, until people set themselves under His dominion and begin to love Him. Not until her Bridegroom is comforted will she be satisfied. The bride keeps asking Him: “How can I comfort You?”, and in the quietness the Bridegroom will tell her what grieves Him. She will go with Him to comfort Him.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He is not satisfied when we simply set ourselves under His dominion and give Him slavish obedience. He wants more – He wants our heart, our very hearts blood. As the Bridegroom, He asks: “How much am I worth to you? How much can you sacrifice for Me? Can you give Me your beloved children? Can you give Me father and mother and friends? Can you give Me your home and your native land out of love if I ask for these? Will you go anywhere I call you to serve, and lead to Me the souls for which I hunger? Can you sacrifice your honor, your strength, your longing to be loved, your deepest secret wishes for Me?”

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He waits for His bride. He does not seek to force love; it must be spontaneous. He knocks softly on the door. He waits until someone opens it. He stands behind the door and looks to see whether His bride will open up and come out to Him (Song of Solomon 5:2). His eyes follow her sadly if all day long she is busy and in a hurry, if she goes about everything quickly and vigorously and yet spiritually is becoming estranged from Him, because she is completely engrossed with her work and earthly business.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. His ardent concern is to impart His likeness to His bride so that she too may radiate divine beauty and be adorned with many virtues. He works with specials care, loving care for His bride. He guides her and leads her along paths of chastisement, for this will bring her to where His is. He dreams of the full beauty that shall be hers. He loves her too much to suffer her to have any “spots” or “wrinkles”, because she is His bride. Full of pride and joy, His loving eyes beholds her as though she were perfect. Through the power of His blood He, the Almighty, can bring her to the perfection of divine beauty.

Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. So He stands as a Protector besides His bride. He is intent upon protecting her from all who may want to harm her. He strives on her behalf. To be a bride means that one is no longer alone. It means that one has an intimate partner who lives for his bride, and to do everything that he can for her. So, Jesus, the Bridegroom, lives to do everything for Him bride, to help her in every situation, in every need, in every impossibility. She is no longer alone. Jesus is true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He is waiting in heaven for the day when His bride will come to Him so that He can be united with her for ever. He seeks her in unending love.

I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In steadfast love, and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness; And you shall know the Lord. (Hosea 2:19-20).


Basilea Schlink was a German writer (1904-2001) and co-founder of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary.

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