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The King of Games

"When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus Yeshua out, and sat down at the judgment seat, at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha." John 19:13 One of the most intriguing, perplexing sites in the Holy Land is the Lithostrotos, also known as Gabbatha. Lithostrotos is Greek for stone pavement. In the 19th century, a convent was built on this site. I do not know if this is a normal site that Holy Land tours visit, I know not if controversy surrounds this site. But I do know that for me, it was a hauntingly perplexing place. Permission was granted to us to enter. The ceiling was low, as was the lighting. But there was an eerie beauty to the place. Its beauty was the floor, the pavement, its smooth stones. And if the stones were not captivating, the markings, the etchings upon the stones were equally intriguing. Not every stone had an etching. But scattered about, one could see a scorpion, the letter 'B' in a couple of places, a Star of David and a lion. These marks have been identified as the Game of Kings. Dice was also used, and the playing piece was the prisoner, who had been brought before Pilate. The playing piece was the pawn, to be used by the soldiers, in their 'Game of Kings'. If you were too busy looking at the pavement, you might miss the most identifiable object in the room. It was a stone Bema, a stone judgment seat. Jesus' public trial took place in the Lithostrotos, and it was here that He received His death sentence from Pilate. The one who knew not the Truth, condemned The Truth to die. In Hebrew, the word for truth is emunah. We get the word amen from emunah. Rev. 3:14 tells us that Yeshua Jesus is the Amen, the faithful and true witness. Pilate, asking Yeshua Jesus what was Truth, brought forth Truth's death sentence. The one, standing behind the rock, condemned The Rock to die. Yeshua Jesus is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge, says 2 Sam. 22:2-3. Pilate, standing behind the stone bema, sentenced the Rock to die. The One Who was King allowed Himself to be used as a pawn for others, to be played with in their game. Webster's dictionary defines pawn as (1) a chessman of lowest value, enabled to move forward one square at a time; (2) a person used to further the purposes of another. Yeshua Jesus was the Ultimate pawn in the Game of Kings, and in this game called life. "He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men, and being found in the appearance as a man; He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Phil . 2:7-8 "and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously." I Peter 2:23 "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." Heb. 5:8 Yet God had the last word! Yeshua's death, Yeshua's Resurrection, the empty tomb - that was God's Checkmate! God turned an upside-down game right-side up. The Pawn won the Game of kings, the Pawn, Yeshua Jesus, won the game of life, for Himself and for us who have come to believe and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful ! Heb. 10:19-23

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