Circles- you learned about them in preschool. They were so easy to recognize- so simple to understand. Later, when you studied geometry, you probably realized circles are a little more complicated than you thought. Likely, you were introduced to the concept of PI. As you learned PI was infinite in its value, you may have become mind boggled. PI is defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It’s approximate value is 3.14159, but keep in mind the number goes on forever- it doesn’t stop after the digits I listed. I stopped the number at five digits past the decimal. Technically, I could fill infinite blogs with the numbers if I wanted.
Are you starting the get the picture? Circles aren’t all that simple. Yet, their presence in the universe is constant, and as you will soon see….. divine.
What most people notice about a circle is that it goes on forever. It loops round and round, with no end in sight. This part is easy to relate to God/Jesus because we know that he is here yesterday, today and forever. Jesus says the kingdom of God will endure forever. We also know that Jesus’ love for us never ends. But, I want to bring some other things to your attention- things that will enable you to see that Jesus literally is the circle, and the way he uses us in his kingdom is also like a circle.
Let’s think for a moment about when Jesus came to Earth. Since we know Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are part of the Trinity, we know they are one. We also know from John 1:1, that “in the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.” Who is the WORD? Scriptures tell us the WORD is JESUS. Jesus himself declared that he came to earth and fulfilled the LAW, which is the WORD of God.
Jesus came to earth to show us what God is like. He was sent from heaven, and down to earth. For just a moment, picture a circle, The top of the circle is heaven. Then go halfway down the circle to the bottom- this is earth. So, Jesus came down from the throne of heaven, to be born in a lowly stable. He came from high places to lowly places. That’s the first half of the circle.
Jesus’ parents were from the Galilee region, as they were from the town of Nazareth. When Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem because of the census, as this is the town Joseph was from. Bethlehem is where Jesus would be born. It wasn’t flashy, fancy or prestigious. Bethlehem was a small, lowly town. After Jesus’ birth, scripture tells us Jesus returned with his parents to Nazareth- in the Galilee region.
The Galilee region was an area held in low esteem by the religious community of Jesus’ day. Jerusalem is where all the noteworthy religious leaders were teaching and preaching, not Galilee. But Jesus lived in the Galilee region for most of his life, and the majority of his ministry was in the Galilee region. Do you want to know what Galilee means? Wait for it………..CIRCLE! The word comes from the Hebrew word GALIL, which means circle.
So, we see Jesus came from high up in heaven to live and minister in the lowest places. While on Earth, Jesus ministered to people on the low end of the totem pole. He healed Gentiles who were considered unclean and low. He healed lepers, and preached to prostitutes and tax collectors. The King of the universe showed mercy to the lowest of low.
The first three Gospels of the Bible are full of the ministry Jesus performed in the Galilee region. More than twenty of Jesus’ great miracles took place in the Galilee region (the circle region). In fact, Jesus very FIRST MIRACLE took place in Cana of Galilee, when he turned water into wine. One of his very LAST miracles took place after his resurrection- at the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This is when 153 fish were caught in the Sea of Galilee. In addition, Jesus found his first disciples in the Galilee. And his famous Sermon on the Mount was given in the Galilee region.
There’s certainly a reason the King of Kings chose this specific area, which means circle in Hebrew, to live and minister in for most of his life. Let’s see if we can figure out the connection.
Earlier I told you Jesus came from heaven to earth. He went from high to low. But we also know he died on the cross. What can be lower than that? Crucifixion was usually saved for the lowest of criminals. Jesus was a King, but he hung on a lowly cross. High and low again. But, what happened after he died on the cross? HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD. Not only that, he appeared to more than 500 people after he rose from the dead. Then, he ascended into heaven! We now see he is going from low to high. If you were to picture this on a circle you would see him going from the bottom of the circle, and back up to the top. He has now completed the circle. See picture below.
I think this whole pattern is really cool because I know Jesus’ kingdom is infinite- like a circle. His love is infinite- like a circle. But, did you know he’s coming back to earth again, and he will once again, complete a circle?
Let’s look at a famous story you probably have heard since you were a child. It’s a story most people remember because it is so amazing and supernatural. I’m talking about the story of Jericho! I’ll recount the details for you.
The Israelites had wandered the desert for forty years and now it was FINALLY the time to claim their Promised Land. God gave their leader Joshua specific instructions on how the Israelites were to enter this new land and lay claim to it. The first piece of land would be a large, heavily fortified city called Jericho. It was a city with massive walls. The people who lived there were living in their own “Fort Knox”. Taking this land would not be a piece of cake……. or would it? If you have God on your side, it very well can be a piece of cake, but you’d better follow instructions! Wait, maybe I should say easy as pie since pies are circles!!!
First, the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River. (The symbolism of this is so fascinating, but if I go into it I will be writing an entire blog about it). They cross the Jordan River and then the instructions get very interesting and quite frankly, a little strange. The Israelites must march around the city of Jericho for seven days. The first six days they are to CIRCLE the city one time. The seventh day, they were to CIRCLE the city seven times. That’s a grand total of THIRTEEN CIRCLES! I’m tempted to go into the biblical meaning of 13, but you might experience symbolic overload.
While the Israelites circled, the priests carried the ark of the Lord. They also carried trumpets. On the seventh day, the priests blew the trumpets loudly in front of the ark. When they had circled the city for the seventh time, they sounded a long blast on the trumpets, and then the whole army gave a big old shout. And do you know what happened? Of course you do! THE WALL FELL DOWN !
Say what? How does that stuff happen? Why those directions? Circling around a city, blowing trumpets and then a massive wall collapses?
That’s what happened! Not only that, once the wall collapsed the Israelites went straight UP into the city. It wasn’t a pretty picture for the people of Jericho. The whole city was burned and the people were destroyed. Except for………………… Rahab the prostitute and her family. Why were she and her family spared?
If you read Joshua 2, we find out that Rahab hid the spies of Jericho. Before the Israelites came to “take Jericho” they first sent spies to check out the land. Rahab, a lowly prostitute, put her life on the line by hiding the spies on the roof of her house. Even though she was from a pagan nation, she had heard about the God of the Israelites and she believed he was the one true God. Even though she was of lowly status, she had faith in God. She was rewarded for her deed because her life was spared, along with her family. Interestingly enough, Rahab ends up marrying one of the Israelite spies. That means a Gentile (non-Jew), married a Jew. At this time in history, that would be unheard of, but it happened! This marriage would become part of the line of Jesus, as Rahab became the mother of Boaz, who became the father of Obed, who became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of King David. Jesus, of course, comes from the line of King David. So, we can say those circles in Jericho led to the union of a very important couple who would help bring about the birth of a Savior!!! Wow!!!
Let’s examine the CIRCLES in this story. There’s of course, the literal circling around the city, which led to victory. But, how about the story of the Israelites as a people? They went from a lowly place- wandering the desert for forty years- to claiming their first piece of the Promised Land- a high place. As time passes, they continue to gain their land inheritance. But, unfortunately, this doesn’t last. They ultimately lose all their land. Now they are going low again. For thousands of years they are scattered among the nations and do not have a homeland of their own. The Jewish people are literally almost wiped out during the Holocaust. They are literally at the lowest of low. But, in 1948 something prophetic happens! The nation of Israel is reborn and the nation is re-established. They only have a small fraction of the land they once had, but nonetheless, they are in their land. They are going from a low place, and on their way to a high place. But they are not at the top of the circle yet. Why? Because Israel as a nation does not recognize their Messiah, Jesus. To this very day the nation of Israel is battling terrorists and surrounding nations that want them wiped off the map. They do not want Israel to exist in her land! Interestingly enough, the city of Jericho right now is in the hands of Israel’s biblical enemies- the Palestinians. They are certainly not living in full victory at the top of the circle. The circle is not complete.
This is where Jesus comes in! In fact, the story of Jericho is a FORESHADOWING of what Jesus will do to finish the circle- this is what he will do for both Gentiles and Jews.
Jesus is going to return one day for his Bride (his followers) at the Rapture. We also know he is returning after that to rule the earth at the Millennial Kingdom- this is referred to as the Second Coming. He’s going to complete the circle two times, but at two different times. When he comes for his Bride, it will be at the sound of the trumpet. He will also give a loud shout. Sound familiar? He is coming from heaven (up high), to Earth (down low), and then taking the Bride back to heaven- He’s making a circle! At the end of the Tribulation, he is coming down from heaven again, then back to earth. He’s going to kick Satan’s butt by the way so I guess you could say the highest of high is destroying the lowest of low!!! Then, he’s going to rule the Earth for 1000 years. After that, the New Jerusalem will replace the Earth, and HEAVEN will endure forever. That’s the highest you can get. We see a circle once again!
Not only that, did you catch earlier when it said Jericho was destroyed, but Rahab the prostitute was spared? Being a prostitute, by most people’s standards, is a very low status. Being a Gentile, in those days, was associated with a low status (at least in the Israelites’ eyes. The Gentiles were not God’s chosen people). But, Rahab and her family were spared. Let’s think about Jesus. He came to earth to save all people, both Jew and Gentile. Before Jesus came, only the Israelites had access to God. With Jesus, all had access. He extended grace to everyone who accepts him as Savior. Do you know how the Israelites knew not to destroy Rahab’s home? The spies (she hid previously) told her to hang a SCARLET CORD from her window. This would be a symbol of the oath they pledged. It would be a sign to the Israelites that they should not destroy her home. Now, think about the blood of Jesus- it was scarlet red when it ran down his body on the cross. This blood- this “scarlet cord” , saved the Jews and Gentiles.
When Jesus returns at the rapture, and later the Second Coming, the world will be about to enter into a state of utter chaos, or it will be in the throes of disaster. I can certainly picture Jericho- burning, and in a state of complete devastation. But when Jesus returns, ALL WALLS WILL FALL DOWN. A rapture will occur and like Rahab, the Bride will be spared. Jesus will snatch his Bride from the Earth (those bearing the “scarlet cord”). He will hide them from the worst chaos of the Tribulation. At some point, as the Tribulation nears its end, what’s left of the nation of Israel will be in ruins. Their land will have been taken. The Antichrist will have trampled on them. They will be at the lowest point in their history! But, Jesus will step foot on the Mount of Olives and finally they will recognize him. He will set everything straight. They will go from low to high. The whole earth will go from low to high.
Do you know what Jericho means? It means city of the moon. The moon is round like a circle. Our calendar is based on the sun and the moon (the Gregorian calendar). The biblical calendar (Hebrew calendar), is based on the cycles of the moon. The Feasts of the Lord are based on the cycles of the moon- the Hebrew calendar. The last three feasts known as Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) all occur during the fall, harvest season. The Feast of Trumpets points to complete redemption, and is commemorated with the blowing of trumpets. The Day of Atonement points to Israel’s national atonement as a nation. The Feast of Tabernacles points to the Millennial reign of Jesus on Earth. These last feasts bring the Reign of Jesus full circle, and have yet to be fulfilled.
When Jesus came to earth he broke down walls. In fact it says, in Ephesians 2:14, “He himself is our peace, who has made THE TWO GROUPS ONE and HAS DESTROYED THE BARRIER, THE DIVIDING WALL OF HOSTILITY.” Did you catch that? It said he broke down the WALL !!! Who are the two groups? The Jew and Gentile!!! He came to bring the two together in him- all being part of the same circle. But, that circle hasn’t come to fullness yet. The clock is running and the circle is being drawn. Prophecy will come full circle, but it is only then when the redemption will be complete.
Shalom in Hebrew means peace and completeness. Jerusalem comes from the same root word as shalom. In Hebrew it is spelled Yerushalayim. It means city of peace- city of completeness. Do you know Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem? His victory was at the cross. He is returning to Jerusalem! He will complete everything here, fully redeeming the Earth. Have you ever seen a partially complete circle? If it’s not enclosed, it isn’t a circle- it isn’t complete. So don’t worry, HE WILL COMPLETE THE CIRCLE. THE TRUMPET WILL SOUND AND IT WILL ALL CHANGE.
It all goes back to Jesus- the Savior from Galilee, which means circle.
Think about this: When you get engaged you receive a circular engagement ring. This is your promise that the Groom will marry you. Then, on the wedding day, the circular wedding band is added. Now, the marriage is complete. With Jesus, we have a promise too, and it’s eternal like the circle. The promise is like the circular wedding engagement ring. One day, when the trumpet sounds, he will return for his Bride- this is the wedding band, and this will finalize the marriage. Speaking of circles, did you know that at a Jewish wedding, it is customary for the Bride to circle the Groom seven times? Also, during ancient Jewish weddings the Bride did not know when the Groom would come to get her for their wedding. It was a secret. She always had to be ready. When the Groom finally came, his wedding party would sound a trumpet and give a loud shout to let the Bride know he was finally there. He would steal her away from her home and off they would go to his Father’s property, to a special wedding chamber just for them. One day Jesus will steal his Bride at the sound of the last trump and he will take his Bride to his Father’s Property in heaven.
This may sound strange to men being that they are the “Bride” in a wedding, and Jesus is a male. But remember, in heaven we are all family and marriage is unity with Jesus- not a male/female thing like it is on Earth.
A great website I used as a reference for circles is: http://thelivingword.org.au/ – there are amazing teachings on the Hebrew roots of the Bible, and the Hebrew alphabet
Also, the video below is amazing- By watching it you will see how the first verse in the Bible shows that Jesus would die on the cross. You will see the Hebraic roots of the verse and how Jesus is shown in the verse. Just click on the link below.
Also, if you’ve never seen Jim Caviezel’s testimony, you should watch this video. He is the actor who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ.