One of the great evidences of the existence of God is the consistency of Biblical numbers. Each number found in all 66 books of the Bible has the same symbolic application everywhere is found whether it is a literal number or a listing of items. A number can have a positive application, a negative action, or it can even have both. A number can even be part of a combination of applications such as the number 5 in the narration of the 10 Bridesmaids of Matthew 25:1-13...
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
The number 5 ALWAYS has a grace or favor application in the Bible. In the above passage 5 were favored because they had planned ahead, a positive application, 5 were not favored because they had not planned ahead, a negative application.
The number 3 in scripture always has a a fellowship or togetherness application wherever it appears. God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter or the Guide into all truth, these 3, who we refer to as the Trinity, agree in one. (I John 5:7-8) Peter, James, and John, the top 3 most mentioned apostles.
The most remarkable fellowship application passage involving the number 3 is the crucifixion horror that brought together 3 men to share the same fate.
3 unrecognizable man-sized pieces of bleeding mutilated torn and shredded flesh much closer to death than life hung fastened on 3 crosses by nails through their feet and hands. They each were condemned to death and had each undergone the required scourging before their crucifixion. Scourging that had made them so unrecognizable that the one in the middle needed a sign,
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. (Matthew 27:36-38)
The most well known person in the nation was so mutilated he needed a sign above his head to identify him. The other two were nameless unknowns, no signs were needed.
The scourge was a number of leather strips with pieces of various sharp materials on their ends fastened to a short wooden handle. The leather strips had pieces of metal, pieces of pottery, pieces of bone. anything they could attach that would cut, rip and tear out pieces of flesh. The Roman soldiers were experts at scourging, they knew how to turn the victim into an unrecognizable bleeding, torn open flesh without killing the victim. Sometimes victims would die. Bones would be exposed, internal organs would be visible.
The victim would be stripped naked, tied securely so they would be unable to move, and then the scourgers would go to work showing no mercy. Blood and flesh would be flying as the scourges flailed repeatedly as the victim's screams would fill the air with their flesh and body fluids as the whistling weighted strips fell again and again.
The one in the middle under the sign had been taken to a military barracks after his scourging where he was mocked and abused by hundreds of soldiers before being nailed to the cross where he mocked and taunted by the crowd who gathered. Even the two he was between who were suffering the same gruesome treatment mocked and ridiculed him. Imagine how much they had to despise him treat him even more despicably!
Then the thief on the right had a change of heart and began to rebuke thief on the left, reminding him they deserved what was happening to them but Jesus was blameless.
The thief on the right then asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom and then Jesus told him he would be with him that day in Paradise.
At that moment Jesus was hanging between Heaven and Hell for the two thieves. The one on the right was going to be with Jesus in Heaven, the other was not.
Jesus is still between Heaven and Hell for each of us. He paid our sin debt by becoming sin for our sakes and being separated from God, the punishment for our sins.
After Jesus rose from the dead he told his apostles in Mark 16:15-16...
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8)
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:3-7)
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