This article was written on 10 Sep 2014, and is filed under Israel.

From Celebration to Suffering

shepherdsfieldMyrna is standing here right by the field where the heavenly host of angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Savior Messiah in nearby Bethlehem, saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14. This field is now part of a town appropriately named, “Shepherd’s Field.” Bethlehem was situated on a hill – this field is located below the town of Bethlehem.

mangercaveWe are standing here in the cave where Jesus was born and laid in a manger with animals because there was “no room in the inn.” The inn was a building that was built on top of the cave. The cave was divided into two parts. The first part of the cave, upon entry into the cave, was an overflow area used to house guests of the inn. Then, going deeper inside the cave was the second part of the cave where animals were kept. As there was no room in the main inn or the overflow part of the inn, Mary and Joseph stayed in the part of the cave with the animals where Jesus the King of Kings was born. As Jesus was born in the most humble of places, we are to humble ourselves as He did and be servants as He was.

donpitWe left Bethlehem where Jesus was born and where His birth is still being celebrated to this day – there were so many people at the manger that we could hardly walk. WHAT A CONTRAST AS WE CAME TO THE PIT/JAIL WHERE TRADITION HAS IT THAT JESUS WAS KEPT ALL NIGHT BEFORE HE WAS TAKEN TO PILATE THE NEXT MORNING – NO ONE WAS THERE – EXCEPT US, IN THE PIT WHERE JESUS SUFFERED ALONE – NO ONE BUT US TO SAY THANK YOU TO THE LORD FOR HIS IMMEASURABLE SACRIFICE. This pit is an emotional place and we could really feel Jesus’ loneliness and feelings of abandonment. Again, we were reminded of Jesus’ humility – He humbled Himself to the point of death, and we are to die to ourselves and let Him serve others through us.

David prophesied about Jesus in this pit in Psalm 88: “I am overwhelmed with troubles..You have put me in the lowest pit,…Your wrath lies heavily on me;…I am confined and cannot escape;…I call to you, Lord…”

While praying in the pit, Jesus spoke this to Don’s heart to share with everyone,
“I love you My precious children. Look how I suffered for you, starting here in this pit where I stayed all night in prison and then I was taken before Pilate, and he had Me scourged and whipped so badly that my bones and my organs were visible on My back. And then I was mocked and I was beaten, and was taken to Golgotha where I had to carry My cross and I suffered tremendously along the way, barely able to move up the hill. I did it all for you, My precious children because I love you with all of my heart! So receive My love, receive My salvation, receive the freedom from bondage that I paid such a price for because I love you. I want you to be free indeed, free from sin, free from sickness, free from lack, free from emotional bondage, free from the snares of the devil because whom I have set free is free indeed! I paid the price, I became the curse, I became a slave, I went to hell for your sakes. Receive my freedom, live in freedom, live in liberty!”


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