Tag Archives: Jesus

What part of “and he will be raised on the third day” do I not understand?

If only Jesus would speak clearly and directly to me, then I would understand. Oh really?

Matthew 20: 17-19 ESV

And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Jesus clearly stated his agenda, and still they didn’t comprehend.

What part of “and he will be raised on the third day.” did I miss?

I hear what I am ready and able to hear. Later on I might be able to hear and remember: “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6

Advertisements

“No returns” policy / Vendor remorse

Judas, when he saw that Jesus was condemned – changed his mind – repented of betraying innocent blood, but was unable to undo the evil in which he had participated.

Was his sin that he had “betrayed innocent blood” or more like our sin: rejecting the way of the Messiah – thinking ourselves wiser than God and taking things into our hands?

Judas responds with despair.

God grant us hope, and true repentence.

 

Matthew 27:3-4 (ESV)

Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”

after that night

Matthew 27:1-2

That night, others may have slept, rested and been refreshed,

but when morning came, after:

  • betrayal
  • peter’s denial by the fire in Caiaphas’s courtyard
  • a sleepless night
  • a brutal night
  • a silent night for the defense
  • a rooster crowing
  • bitter weeping
  • spitting
  • punching
  • slapping

– after that night;

When morning came,
all the chief priests and elders took counsel against Jesus to put him to death – and bound him and led him away.

Remember Peter?

Peter-
He was “ready to go … To prison or death” with Jesus. But when things moved in a direction he hadn’t anticipated, and it looked like one of those two options was more likely than the other, he followed Jesus and his captors at a distance, anonymously – which didn’t work out very well. So frightened, he was that when faced with a servant girl, Peter was so scared that he felt he needed to lie – for fear of being hauled before the religious and civil authorities.

Fast-forward: seven weeks was it?

We have the man who had stammered out his denials in front of a handful of servants around a campfire, now in front of crowds; a preacher who doesn’t seem to care what anyone says or does to him. Bold. Fearless – or at least brave in the face of his fears.

In acts 2:36 Peter tells them: “…Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” We did not see that boldness coming.

What changed Peter?:
the crucifixion?
the empty tomb?
an amazing catch of fish (who actually counted those fish?)?
facing his failure and betrayal with Jesus

Jesus told the disciples that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon [them, and would be]… witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Then he was taken up, out of their sight, with angelic assurance that he would return in the same way he went into heaven. (Acts 1:8-11)

In Jerusalem, in the upper room, they stayed together praying, waiting, I suppose for what Jesus had called “the promise of my Father … power from on high.”(Luke24:49)

Even before the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter was beginning to change. We see him starting to take leadership.

And then Pentecost came.

Let us think about

  • the crucifixion
  • the empty tomb
  • the things that we know God is doing among us
  • our failure and betrayal – our need for forgiveness

Let us meet together with Jesus and with believers praying, waiting…

Christ also suffered – following in his steps

1Peter 2 ESV

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Following “in his steps”? What does this mean

  • Doing good, even though it might bring suffering
  • Being subject to those in authority over us
  • He committed no sin
  • No deceit was found in his mouth
  • He did not return reviling for reviling
  • He suffered without threatening
  • He continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

When I think on that list above, I understand how I need Jesus and the provision of his sacrifice. When I read the beginning of 1 Peter chapter 2, I understand even more: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Lord, increase my desire for your spiritual milk, as found in the Bible. I have tasted that you are good. I want to grow up.

Friendship with the world

James writes warning about seeking to become friends with the world.

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

God so loved the world that he gave his son.

so, what is the difference?

I think that I know…

New to Lent?

I am no expert at Lent.  If you are looking to me to direct you into “proper” Lenten observance, I suspect that you will be disappointed. I am a bit of a hack at Lent.  But I do know a little about following Jesus.

Neglecting Lent will not make Jesus love us any less.  Doing Lent cannot make Jesus love us more, but it just might help us to know Jesus and Love him more – which would be worth while.

I have been following some of Jon Swanton’s bloggings and thoughts about following Jesus.  I enjoy his writing.  He is realistic, hard-hitting, loving kind and gentle.  He wrote a book a couple of years ago called Lent for Non-Lent People: “33 things to give up for Lent” and other readings. I like the book and wish that I had written it.  If you are intrigued by Lent and want to go deeper, that book might be a good way to move forward.

His post, 33 things to give up for Lent is also a way to move forward.

Lent for Non-Lent People: “33 things to give up for Lent” and other readings  is available through various channels.  I know that there is a version available for use on various readers, i.e. Kindle, etc. if you are so inclined.

Amazon has it listed, as does The Book Depository
http://www.bookdepository.com/Lent-for-Non-Lent-People-Jon-C-Swanson/9781495412066

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1495412067/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1495412067&linkCode=as2&tag=levitchron-20

Waiting for Advent – I came, I saw, I worshiped but I doubted

I came, I saw, I worshiped but I doubted
I wonder what the Latin would be? (Veni, vidi, venerari, dubitari, vadi)?

Matthew 28:16-18
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and [spoke] to them…

They worshiped him – and doubted. It was hard for them to believe.  Here, just a short time after the Resurrection, when they saw Jesus, risen from the dead, they worshiped him, but some doubted. When they saw Jesus, some doubted.

Then Jesus came and spoke to them. Presumably, even to the doubters.  We know that He addressed at least one man’s doubts (Thomas).  It was not: ‘Okay, you doubters, stand over here while I talk to the righteous, real disciples…’ No! Jesus came and said to them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

If it was difficult to believe then, we need not be surprised when we doubt.  Doubt does not mean we cannot believe. We still need to go to Jesus, worship him, listen to him.  If Thomas had stayed away because of doubt, he would not have heard Jesus say “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (john 20:29)

It was the eleven disciples who went, no doubt at various stages of belief, faith and doubt, but they went together.  I think this is part of what it means to be the church.  We gather, we see Jesus, we worship, and we hear Jesus.  Then we go and do what he tells us to do.

Advent Post #5 – “Do not be afraid”

“Do not be afraid”

Joseph was faithful to the Law.
Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace.
Joseph was a righteous man.

Matthew 1:18, 19

By law, if Joseph found Mary displeasing, which was not likely – or if he found something indecent about her, which a very unplanned pregnancy would seem to be, he had the right to write her off and send her away.

Joseph had it in mind to divorce her quietly.
Joseph had considered this.
Joseph had also considered not doing this.

How confusing! Did he believe her? Did he consider not divorcing her? – or disgracing her publicly? – having her stoned?
In his hurt, was he sad, angry, vindictive, confused, disappointed?

Was Joseph afraid that whatever his choice, it would end up being a bad choice? He had done nothing wrong – nothing to deserve this.

Imagine Joseph’s dilemma: his fiancee was pregnant, and he certainly was not the father.

Joseph did not know what to do, and the angel, in the first sentence spoken in the New Testament, tells him: “do not be afraid”.

I wonder if, when the angel said “Do not be afraid”, Joseph, or the angel, or Mary thought of Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  I did.

Matthew 1:18 – 24

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

All direct quotations of the Bible are taken from:
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I used http://www.biblegateway.com to locate bible verses

Advent Post #4 – Fear? Not!

Fear? Not!                   Luke 1:26-38

The second thing that he said to Mary was ‘fear not’, or in more modern speech ‘do not be afraid’; the first was a puzzling greeting that told her of God’s favour and presence with her.

Fear not, you will conceive and bear a son… oh, and we’ve picked out a name for him: Jesus, and Mary, there are a few thing that you should know about your boy:
-He’s going to be great
-He will have title: The Son of the Most High
-God will give him the throne of his ancestor David
-He will be King forever [Messiah]; his kingdom will not ever end.

Curiously to me, Mary didn’t ask clarification about all the king and kingdom information, or disbelieve the message about what was going to happen.  Her question was practical – unlike Zechariah, who when told that his prayers had been heard and a baby was going to be born to his wife Elizabeth, asked the angel how he could be sure of this – doubting the message or the  messenger – A priest, he should have known better….

Mary’s question “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” doesn’t seem to question the events foretold to her.  It is more of a procedural / practical nature: I know how babies start; that hasn’t happened.

Gabriel does not get into a technical explanation – he basically explains that God will make it happen. Mary is satisfied and gives her informed assent.  And then the angel left — left!

This would be where I would freak out – ummm, become rather anxious.  Being visited by an angel can’t have been very comforting, and his message, somewhat less comforting.  But then to be all alone again with this, this – secret, that no one else on earth could possibly believe? Excruciating!

Perhaps, after a while, when she finally remembered to breathe, and when her heart beat slowed to within the normal range for a girl of her age and build, and perhaps as she looked around and saw that she was alone in the darkness (for some reason I always imagine that the angel visit occurred at night), perhaps the angel message came back to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God,” and this was a comfort to her. I hope so. Mary had the faith to believe that God would do what he had said he would do, and that he was with her.

Her faith had allowed her to respond to God’s message with “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” That was probably the easy part.  She had nine months of pregnancy ahead, and how would she be able to explain to her beloved Joseph? -and what would the neighbours think – well, we know what they would think.  And this was a time when what the neighbours think might cost a girl her life, and not just her reputation.

I imagine that there were times in those nine months, and in the years beyond, right up until the end of her life, when the message from God: “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God,” was the only comfort she had.

I am not Mary.  I have not been visited by an angel, but I do have faith and, like Mary, I believe that God will do what he said he will do, and that he is with me.  And when the people who live around me can’t understand how I can believe this stuff. I take comfort in the words of Mary’s son, Jesus “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
links:

Mary & Angel             Luke 1:26-38
Zechariah                    Luke 1:5-18
Jesus’ Promise             Matthew 28:20
Jesus & eternal life      John 3:16-21

All direct quotations of the Bible are taken from:
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

I used http://www.biblegateway.com to locate bible verses