Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 17 de julho de 2015
CAESAR AND THE LAMB
Then I heard
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth
and on the sea,
and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne
and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
Revelation 5:13 (read 5.11-14) - NIV
The Book of Revelation reflects the cosmic vision of
antiquity. The universe was seen as being created in layers. The land was in
the middle. The levels below the earth were the realms of darkness and occupied
by the dead, the demons and all the forces of evil. Above the Earth stretched
the firmament which separated the waters below from the waters above. Below the
firmament were the sun, moon and stars. Above the waters of the firmament were
the heavens, home of the gods and the other heavenly beings. For Christians, God
reigned up there above it all along with Christ (the Lamb), surrounded by the
heavenly court of saints, angels and other heavenly creatures. The symbolism of
Revelation is based on this model.
With the invention of the telescope and other research
tools, this model has fallen apart. In the current concept there is no "above"
or "below" the earth. The earth is a sphere moving around the sun,
turning within a galaxy of billions of other solar systems. Our galaxy is only
one of billions of other galaxies. If Jesus had "gone up into heaven"
in the middle of the first century at the speed of light he would still be
within our small galaxy.
But the cosmic vision, adopted by the ancient writers,
now outdated, takes nothing from the deep meaning of the scriptures. The Bible
is not a collection of objective facts of history, geography, astronomy or
physics. It does not portray the physical world in an objective way. It describes
the human soul and its relationship with the visible and invisible worlds in
symbolic language. It deals with spiritual realities.
The author of Revelation was looking through the eyes
of faith and reporting what he saw. He could see the tragedies of his times in a
The rulers of the Roman Empire required its citizens
to recognize that Caesar was a deity worthy of worship. The refusal of
Christians to confess him as Lord was interpreted as an act of rebellion and
atheism. The punishment was often death.
The vision of the Book of Revelation stated the exact
opposite – "Jesus is Lord." Caesar was seen as the antichrist and his
supporters were false prophets. The call was to choose between two masters:
Caesar or Christ. Jesus was identified as the Lamb who conquered death and had
power to give back life to those who were martyred on his behalf. Despite
appearances to the contrary, all the forces of the universe were with the Lamb.
Caesar was swallowed by history. He is gone! But throughout
history there have appeared many successors of Caesar who ruled for a while,
and then also disappeared. The successor of Caesar today, is called "Profit". His state is a
military/industrial complex called "Globalization"
with hundreds of military bases around the world to enforce it. Its cathedrals are sumptuous "malls". Its ministers are the sales
people and its evangelists are
the advertising agencies. Salvation is acquired through buying and heaven is the possession
of prestige and property. Whoever does not bend his or her knees to materialism
is in danger of marginalization and living in the hell of poverty and
imprisonment. Wealth is considered
to be a sign of divine grace. If you
have faith you prosper!!!
The Book of Revelation points out that above all these
visible powers, there is the "Invisible" One that is worthy of our
praise. Genuine paradise is to be next to the "Lamb" who represents
values that will never end. Our temptations are more subtle but just as
dangerous as those of the early Christians. Today it is through a life of
simplicity and compassion that we can praise, honor and glorify the “Lamb”.
REVELATION 5:11-14 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels,
numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They
encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice
they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and
under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
The four living
creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.