Tag Archives: Easter

Hello…long time no see.

Hello my friends and fellow bloggers,

I haven’t shared anything since my mournful Saturday post, just before Easter Sunday, for several reason which I would like to share here today. It’s not that any earth-shattering event took up my time and attention. It wasn’t any personal crisis or family related problem. No, nothing great or loud. It was more like a whisper that hummed in my ear and kept me from articulating myself.

The distraction keeping me from sharing my faith with you here is the concept of blogging itself. I’m an older man, in my late fifties, and I have seen the growth of technology with all that it brings. Cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, World Wide Web, Blogging etc. etc. I embrace the ability to communicate and surf the web and use map applications and so on. I also jumped at the idea of creating a blog to share my love of Scripture and my view points in hope of encouraging others.

BUT

   But, isn’t it all a bit self-involved, self-important, self-serving? Do I really have anything to say that hasn’t been said before? What impact can I really have by sitting here in my small office telling fellow bloggers what they already know? Isn’t it a bit like preaching to the choir? Shouldn’t I be standing on a street corner handing out tracts and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those who may not have found His love for themselves?

Betty and I attended (past tense) a church where the Pastor, during a bar-b-que, commented that street evangelism and tent revivals “don’t work anymore”. Really? Seriously? The absurdity of such a comment echos in my ears today as my contemplation of my blogging value whispers in my ear.

Is this what I should be doing? What good does it do? What direction should I go?

   I haven’t yet found the answer. There is a value to encouraging each other – iron sharpening iron and all that. But I will not give up or silence the voice inside me that cries out to tell them about Jesus. With everything that is going on in the world around us – NOW more than ever – Jesus is the answer. So, I may not be sounding a trumpet here as much as in the past. I will Go and tell them about Jesus.

I would lovingly encourage you all to do the same. Jesus is coming.

Thank you all for the pats on the back and thumbs up you have given me.

I pray that God continues to richly bless you. Al and Betty

Good Friday. Really?

As Holy week continues we come to Good Friday.

    Ever wonder why it’s called “Good Friday”? I used to. Years ago, when I was young, I would look at the suffering and death of that day and wonder why call it “Good”? What could possible be consider good about the punches and whipping and torture endured in one day? The Bible tells us that Our Lord was abused far beyond any cinematic representation (except for possibly Mel Gibson The Passion).  The word tells us that they yanked out  fistfuls of Jesus’ beard and with it pieces of flesh. The whip they used wasn’t just strands of leather as we might see today. It had shards of metal (sometimes bones) braided onto it at the ends and would not just hit the surface of the skin but would dig into and rip off pieces of the flesh. Add to this list of abuses the punches of the soldiers as they mocked Him as well as the crown of thorns they placed on Him and the weight of the cross He had to carry threw the streets and we see an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering even before being nailed to a cross for hours and left to die.

Good Friday. Really?

Savior on the CrossCrucifixion was not a punishment that originated with the Jews or their judicial laws. Crucifixion was a brutal form of punishment that was common among the Romans. The Romans chose this mode of capital punishment to put fear in everyone who would stand against Rome and Roman laws. The Romans would choose a popular place in clear view, lest anyone else violate Roman law. Once the condemned prisoner was scourged he was brought naked to his cross beam, which he would carry publicly to the place of execution. Nails would then be pounded into his hands and feet and he would be raised up to an upright position, usually around 10 feet above ground. To hasten a prisoner’s death the Roman soldier would break the prisoner’s legs with an iron club. (Thanks to Bible-history.com)

Good Friday. Really?

Yes. Yes, it really was Good Friday!

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.”  John 18:37 NKJV

For this cause

“the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:9 NKJV

For this cause

 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem,and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day Matthew 16:21 NKJV

For this cause

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!John 1:29 NKJV

For this cause

He said, It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30 NKJV

For this cause it is Good Friday indeed. Without the Life Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus we would all be left in our sins struggling to be free without hope or possibility of freedom.

His humiliation, His pain, His suffering, His death.

were all meant for ME!

I sinned, I rebelled, I acted out.

but He loved me.

and died

so I

might Live!

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.

He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live”. John 11:25 NKJV

It is a Good Friday indeed and I pray that all of us everywhere take a moment to day to Thank God for the Gift of his Son Jesus and Thank Jesus for taking our place on that cross and lastly, tell someone about the beauty of this Good Friday and how Jesus took their place!

The Basin and The Towel

Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God.

So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself.

Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him. John 13:3-5 HCSB

Let me put this another way in hopes of showing the magnitude of this moment. Upon getting the news that you have been given all authority over everything and with the assurance that you will be going back to that glorious place of power that you came from. You take off your suit jacket and fill up a bucket with water and wash the dirty smelly feet of those who serve under you!

This is an unheard of concept in a “dog-eat-dog” world of business today. People vie for position each day just waiting for a missed step by the competition or an opening to outdo the other guy. Climbing the ladder of success almost implies stepping on the people under you. But Gods’ ways are not our ways (Isa.55:8) and we see each member of the Trinity placing the other above Themselves. Jesus always directed peoples attention from Himself to the Father (John 5:30, Luke 18:19). The Father praised the Son on more than one occasion (Matt 3:17 & 17:5). The Holy Spirits job description includes not speaking of Himself but bringing all things which Jesus said to our remembrance (John 16:13). It is just Gods way to redirect flattery and give praise to another before yourself. John knew this so well that he doesn’t even refer to himself, by name, in the Gospel he wrote.

Paul encourages us to humble ourselves as we care for each other – Bear one anothers’ burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Gal 6:2-3 NKJV

Lovely Impatient

Finally, when you consider that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples after eating the Last Supper with them, knowing the humiliation and pain that was just outside the door, it amplifies the event. Rather than feeling sorry for Himself or encouraging His disciples to take care of Him because He was about to be beaten, ridiculed, mocked and put to death, Jesus performed the act reserved for the lowliest of servants. Humbling Himself before giving His life for us was an act of love and an example for us all to follow.

This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 

No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. 

You are My friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:12-14 HCSB