My morning meal oh, taste and see that the lord is good! (psalm 34 8) wd gaster theme

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Met with a friend yesterday, a buddy I try to connect with regularly to talk about what he’s been reading in the Word. Yesterday we spent a few minutes on 1Corinthians 15 and the resurrection. If Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain (1Cor. 15:14). 10 gases And though there have been those who have tried to put forth a theory that Christ didn’t really die on the cross, but just swooned and later revived, from John’s testimony in His gospel, I’m pretty sure the One who hung on the cross that day did so until all were satisfied that He was dead.

Jesus said Himself, “It is finished” and bowed His head and gave up His spirit (Jn. 20:30). His executioners, well versed in how to kill a man by crucifixion, saw that He was dead and so determined no reason to break His legs to hasten the process (20:31-33). One of them, for good measure and to provide empirical proof, (kind of like cutting into a roast to make sure it’s done), pierced Jesus’ side with a spear “and at once there came out blood and water” — further proof that the man on the middle cross had breathed his last (20:34).

Jesus was dead. It was over. All that was left, or so most thought, was for Him to return to the dust. And so, that He was seen three days later by the disciples, that He was seen by hundreds over the next few weeks before His ascension, was glorious proof that truly the work was finished. Sin atoned for. Death defeated. Our faith so not in vain!

Solomon said that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” and that one of those things is “a time to be born, and a time to die” (Eccl. 3:1-2). True for every man and woman. True too for the One who divested Himself of His heavenly glory and power, and determined to fully enter into the human experience. There was a time for Jesus to be born. And, by the Father’s will, a time for Jesus to die.

Though it was the same Jesus, and though the two events were only 33 years apart, in so many ways so many things had changed so dramatically. The anticipation of that silent night giving way to the condemnation of an angry crowd early one morning. The loud song of an angelic host before lowly shepherds, giving glory to God and declaring the birth of a Savior in the city of David, silenced by shouts of “Crucify Him, crucify Him” by stiff-necked chief priests and officers before the most powerful man in Jerusalem.

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His garments and divided them into four parts, . . . This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, but 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!”

Oh the contrast between the image evoked by the multiple nativity scenes set up in my home and the picture formed in my mind’s eye as I read in John this morning. m gastrocnemius medialis The first of a peace filled virgin. Cradling her son as she meditates on angel declared prophecies and shepherd delivered messages. Treasuring up all these things, “pondering them in her heart” (Lk. 2:19). The other of a distraught mother, looking with horror on her derided, naked, and beaten son. Trying to make sense of everything He had told them as she watched Him die.

Give them blood, he thought, and that should appease them. electricity notes physics A good beating, flayed so they can see muscle. Surely that would satisfy their illogical, unjustifiable animosity. And then add some mockery for good measure. Thinks He’s a king? Then we’ll present a king–a crown of thorns driven into His brow, a purple robe draped over His beaten body. That should be enough.

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe. . . . 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!”

That Pilate didn’t want to crucify Jesus is evident. Three times he pronounces his verdict to the mob, “I find no guilt in Him” (Jn. 18:38; 19:4, 6). Not that Pilate was overly constrained by truth. After all, what is truth? Not that he believed right and wrong out-ranked self-protecting power. But hey, why crucify someone who’s innocent if you don’t have to?

I wonder if, as the world seems to get crazier, we don’t find ourselves peering a bit deeper into the manger scene this time of year to try and find some of that illusive peace on earth that was announced the night of the Savior’s birth. If, while we believe He is the Prince of Peace, we also wonder where is that peace. Certainly doesn’t seem to be around us. And, if we’re honest, often it’s hard to detect within us. gas stoichiometry worksheet There’s a lot of churn in our world — both in the outer world and, all too often, in our inner world.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. . . . And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth. And He shall be their peace.

There should be something about celebrating His first advent that renews the anticipation of His second advent. Something about the promises of a King born in Bethlehem that causes us to long for the King who’s coming again in glory. Something about the wonder of Immanuel, God with us, that ignites the longing to be absent from the body and present with Him. And perhaps in that longing and anticipation, we can find that He is, even now, our peace.

That in the hope of one day seeing the Great Shepherd stand and care for His flock, we find a sense of security. That in the promise that He is preparing a place for us so that we might be with Him, there can be a present calm even amidst the storm. b games unblocked That in the witness of an empty tomb, we can know again that because He lives He truly is the resurrection and life, “and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (Jn 11:26). That the craziness and churn of this world are but temporary while He is eternal. And thus, His peace is our peace.

There’s an irony in Jonah that has a way of making me smile. For example, Jonah self-identifies as a “a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven” (1:9). Yet, when told by the God of heaven he “fears” to go east, Jonah goes west. On the other hand, his pagan cruise mates who are open to calling out to any god who might benefit them, when they hear of Jonah’s God, they “feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows” (1:16). v gashi halil bytyqi Funny . . . not ha ha, but weird. Kind of ironic.

And then there’s Jonah’s pouting. After having exited Tarshish Cruise Lines and being redirected to Nineveh via Big Fish Excursions; and after obeying God’s command to call the wicked Ninevites to repentance; and after seeing them actually repent; Jonah’s bummed because he thought they deserved judgment. And here’s the other make-me-smile part:

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?”

What was it for the Father to see that dust ball strike His eternal Son? Did the crack of that man’s hand on the Creator’s face reverberate into heaven? Did it require the hand of God to restrain the holy angels from instinctively swooping down and exacting some justified tit-for-tat? On earth the Savior’s face started to welt. But in heaven did they begin to weep?

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you have sent Me. The glory that You have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” ~ Jesus

On the night Jesus was betrayed, not only did He speak last words to His disciples, but He prayed a great prayer to His Father for His disciples. He prayed for those the Father had given Him “out of the world.” For those who kept His word. Those who Jesus called “mine.” Those the world would hate because they were no longer of the world. Those who Jesus would sanctify, and sanctify in the truth.

How foreign, in so many ways, to our individualistic culture. A culture where one really is the loneliest number. A culture where the needs of the one are often paramount. Where the schedule of the one often takes priority. 9gag memes Causing the coming together of a bunch of ones to create tension and struggle as their solo focus competes rather than compliments. Community becoming secondary . . . or even tertiary . . . or even voluntary . . . to one’s calendar.