There could have been ramblings about easter as it was a pagan festival, and conquering christians putting their stamp on such things. I sometimes think I approve, but what should we call it apart from Easter?
Yesterday's church service was very sombre. We were told there would be no introductions to the next hymn, we would just stand when we heard the music apart from a duet from two nervous ladies. The hymns were sung very slowly, with pauses at the end of each line, just like funeral dirges. You may not like hymns, but the first one was actually our wedding hymn - Love Divine All Loves Excelling.
The readings were also not anounced apart from the readers usual headings - the reading is taken from ...
It was all from the Gospel of John, chapter eighteen, to the end of chapter nineteen. Basically from arrest to burial.
Here's the bit I wanted to talk about. John 18:35-37.
35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have you done?"
36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My kingdom is not from here."
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."
(And of course, Pilate asks what is truth.) Notice the red letters. My Bible is a 'Red Letter' version, (New King James to be precise,) which means Jesus' words are in red. Nice and easy.
But, I want to concentrate on 'For this cause'. You've heard the saying 'the crux of the matter'. Crux being latin for Cross. Or crucifix, if you prefer.
Why did Jesus come to earth to die?
Firstly The earth was created in perfection. No sin, no death, no pain. Poisonous snakes? Didn't hurt, whatever you think the poison was there for. No meat eaters, even the dinosaurs, which, incidently, were created too.
And then Adam sinned. Not Eve. Eve was deceived, the First Adam sinned. 2 Corinthians 11:3 says the serpent deceived Eve, Romans 6:12 says (it's a bit of a mouthful) 'Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.'
Right there and then, when sin entered the world, the Messiah was promised. Genesis 3:14 and 15.
I'll just write verse 15 here.
'And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall burise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.'
What follows in the Bible is the history of mankind up to the flood, the ancestry of the Chosen People, the Jews, the Descendents of Abraham.
Jesus was Jewish. Miraculously conceived, as he could have no sin, which comes down through the male. Sorry guys. So, the Holy Spirit,k who is also God Almighth, conceived Jesus in Mary's womb. He is born the normal way, then Mary and Joseph have other children.
How many? At least six, as it says in Matthew chapter 13, verses 55 and 56, namely, brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. Not Iscariot, it was a common name. Plus his sisters, un-named, un-numbered.
Plus prophecy, Law, and Poetry, these two in the Old testament and Prophecy in both Old and New. More history and teaching.
So, God created the perfect world, we stuffed it up (and it's still stuffed...), we separated ourselves from God, like Adam; hiding from Him because he was naked and ashamed, and Then the Lord of Heaven and Earth sends His own son to die to pay the penalty we should all be paying ourselves.
Not being satisfied with Dying, Jesus of Nazareth rose from the grave on the first day of the week, that's our Easter Sunday. Rising again proved his Deity, his God-ness, you could say.
As an aside, the jury is still out on which day He died, as Jesus Himself said, the sign of Noah, three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so three days and three nights in the tomb. My bet is He actually died on the Thursday.
The gospel of John gives us a few clues. Jesus and his disciples had actually eaten the passover, but John 18:28 part B says 'But they themselves did not go into the Praetoruim, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.' Yesterday was the first time I had ever noticed this. Plus verse 39 mentions that they had a custom at the Passover, to release someone from prison. (A gesture of goodwill from the Romans on the most Holy day of the year for the Jewish.)
So, no bunnies, no eggs, well, certainly not at 3pm today at the Warehouse! Just a sober look at ourselves yesterday, and rejoicing tomorrow that...
Want more info? Two good websites, moriel (Jacob Prasch) and khouse (Chuck Missler).
Other related posts:
Where can a mother go to resign?
And you thought my life was weird...
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