Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Reflection

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

by Stuart Townend

Jesus' last days...Saturday morning

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

On the Sabbath the women and disciples rested according to the commandment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus' last days...Friday mid-day

From about noon until sundown...

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour while the sun's light failed. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.”

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), I thirst. A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished." Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! He bowed his head and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake, what took place and saw that in this way he breathed his last, they were filled with awe and said, “Certainly this man was innocent! Truly this was the Son of God!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph who was a disciple of Jesus but secretly for fear of the Jews. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. He took courage and went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.

Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. They bound Jesus' body in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden Joseph had a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

They rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb and saw how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

Jesus' last days...later Friday morning

From about 9 a.m to noon...

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull which in Aramaic is called Golgotha, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.” Psalm 22:18

So the soldiers did these things. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

Those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

Others stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son! Then he said to the disciple, Behold, your mother! And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus' last days...early Friday morning

From early morning until 9 a.m...

When early morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people led him away to their council, and they said, "If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God." So they all said, "Are you the Son of God, then?" And he said to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips." And they took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.

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." And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me."

And they bound him and led him away from the house of Caiaphas and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?" And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king. If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you."

Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?"

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him." But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.” When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us."

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.

Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

Pilate said, "Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him." So the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they began to salute and mock him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.

Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” The soldiers stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What could move Christ?

Storms didn't do it.
People with the worst diseases didn't cause Him to shrink back.
Demon possession? That would do for me. But Christ? Nope. food and drink for 40 days? No.
Family thinking He's crazy and needing to be put away? Christ stands strong.
Conflict? Ha.
Hatred? Get in line.
People trying to kill Him everywhere He went? Christ just moves along.

So, what could move our Lord? What would make Him want to turn away? A cup.
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:41-44

He'd just offered a cup to His disciples hours before. A new cup, a new covenant. Couldn't be that one. There's the cup of blessing Psalm 16 and the cup of salvation in Psalm 116. Christ would not be asking God to remove from Him the cup of blessing. So then, why would a cup be such a bad thing?

Read about the cup God gave His Son to drink...
Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them." So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day;

And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: You must drink!
For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the LORD of hosts.'

"'The LORD will roar from on high,
and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
he will roar mightily against his fold,
and shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.

The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
for the LORD has an indictment against the nations;
he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
and the wicked he will put to the sword,
declares the LORD.'

Jeremiah 25:15-18, 28-31

The only one who never, never knew the displeasure of God...the one who for more than 30 years devoted Himself to purity of mind, of heart, of purpose...the one who loved...finally one was born who loved the Father with all His heart, soul, mind and strength...that One...the only One who never deserved God's wrath, came to drink and drink deeply from the cup that was mine.

And the prayer worked. Christ rose, steady and steadfast...purposed to drink...sure and ready to receive from the Lord all that wasn't His.

So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?" John 18:11
And He did. He did all that needed to be done so that He could drink all the wrath that was ours...until the cup was empty.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:28-30
He drank the sour wine. My sour wine. And He's the only One who could do so, for He's the only One who earned the right to die. The precious Lamb of God was dead so that I might live.

Christ chose His cup so that we might choose ours. There are two cups and only two. We must drink from one or we will drink from the other. Take the cup of the new covenant sealed with the blood shed because Christ drank the cup of wrath. Or you will drink the cup of wrath yourself.

There are those who believe that Christ drank all the wrath of God for all people. If that were so, God would have told us about the cup of His wrath only in the Scriptures prior to Christ's death. But that's not true at all. There is more to come. Choose your cup.

If you refuse to say that Christ drank yours...if you refuse the offer of His blood for you...this is what you'll hear...
For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
Psalm 75:8
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."
Revelation 14:9-11

But if you drink from the cup of the new covenant sealed with the blood of Christ, this is what you'll hear...

Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
Behold, I have taken from your hand
the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
Isaiah 51:22
And then because of it, you'll sing a new song...
And they sang a new song, saying,

"Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood
you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"

Revelation 5:9-13

Jesus' last days...Thursday

According to all four gospels:

Then Jesus went out as usual with his disciples across the Kidron Valley to a place called Gethsemane, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. He said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray."

And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, he began to be greatly distressed, sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther, about a stone's throw, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."

(Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests, scribes, Sanhedrin and the Pharisees went there with lanterns and torches, swords and clubs.)

And again Jesus came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to answer him. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Then when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard." And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And he kissed him, but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? Friend, do what you came to do."

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: "Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one."

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than 72,000 angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day teaching in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Let the Scriptures of the prophets be fulfilled." And all the disciples left him and fled.

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?" Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting to see the end with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "I adjure you by the living God, are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "You have said so. But I tell you, I am and you will see the Son of Man, seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and they blindfolded him and struck him, saying to him, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?", mocking him as they beat him. And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She came up to him, looked closely at him, and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean. You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you mean."

And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth. You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" And again he denied it with an oath: "I do not know the man."

After about an hour, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." Then one of the servants of the high priest, relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, came up and said to Peter, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." Immediately the rooster crowed.

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Man of few words

Posting something's been on my mind, but not in my schedule lately. Doesn't mean I've been off the computer though. Much more a consumer than producer...sounds like the country as a whole, huh?

But this is worth the time to me. I am amazed by those who can say a lot in a few words. Those that know me well know why. It would only take a scanning of this blog to catch the drift. (And yes. I do know what Proverbs 10:19 says. Thanks.) That's why I admire blogs like 22 Words and also why I'll never, never be a Twitter-er or whatever you call yourselves.

That's also why I've been amazed and blessed by the work of Dr. David Murray over at the PRTS blog. Yeah. I had no idea what that was either. I found out that it's a seminary in Grand Rapids, MI...which was a surprise because I assumed from listening to the posts that I was watching some guy from his house in Scotland. Nope. Just another part of a great Scottish invasion for which I thank God. If you don't know what I mean get started with two guys who've been such a help to me this past year, Sinclair Ferguson and Alistair Begg.

Okay. See what I mean about the words? All that was just to set up this...Dr. Murray posts videos that are just a few minutes in length, usually about two, which point us in the right direction and provide so much to think on. This post from March 30 was called Children's Guide to the Tabernacle. Apparently, he was teaching on it and was challenged to put the truths that we learn about God from the building of the tabernacle into language that a child could understand.

You must watch the video. I wish I could embed it, but it's not coded and Ray's not here. (See below!) Here's my transcript of it with references...but put a little...okay, a lot...of Scottish brogue into the words as you read. And then click over and spend only 1:46 of your day being amazed at what the Lord was telling us in all those details of Exodus 25-30. Join me sometime in reading again through those passages we skim over. Take your kids through it and stand amazed with me that God would do so much to initiate a relationship with us.
Recently I was asked by a Sunday school teacher to provide a kid's guide to the tabernacle. Quite a challenging project, but in summary, here is my suggestion for summarizing the teaching of the tabernacle to young children.
  • First of all, the Tabernacle as a whole says God lives with sinners.
  • The Brass Altar says God saves sinners.
  • The Laver, the washing bath, says God cleans sinners.
  • The Show Bread says God feeds sinners. (Or actually, more deeply, God communes with sinners because the table and food were really a symbol for fellowship and communion. So the show bread says God communes with sinners.)
  • The Lamp, God enlightens sinners.
  • The Incense Altar, God hears sinners (as a type, of course, of prayer ascending).
  • The Ark of the Covenant, God covenants with sinners or God promises sinners.
  • And then we think of the Veil which covered the Most Holy Place which was eventually ripped in two in the temple at Christ's death...which says God is open to sinners now.

UPDATE: Thanks, Ray!!