I recently saw a question online asking if Christians really believe Jesus came back from the dead. It was obvious that the question comes from the point of view that people don’t do that; come back to life that is. Jesus was a man, he died, and it seems unreasonable to think that he came back to life three days later. Maybe he was a wise teacher with many followers, maybe it is not crazy that we study his sermons and emulate his behavior but do we really believe he rose from the dead and appeared again alive to his disciples and others? Fasten your seatbelts.
The term cancel culture may be new to our vocabulary but the idea of silencing voices of those we do not want to hear is ancient. Jeremiah lived around 600 B.C. and was once thrown in a nearly dry well. There was no water but he sank into thick mud and could not free himself. On another occasion he wrote a letter of warning to King Jehoiakim who cut the scroll with a knife, a few lines at a time as it was read, and threw God’s word into the fire. Many of the Old Testament prophets were ignored, mocked, exiled or killed.
During the incarnation Jesus walked the earth robed in flesh. He ate food when he was hungry, drank water when he was thirsty, he experience physical and emotional pain because like us he lived in a body of flesh and blood. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.-Hebrews 4:15
He Cannot Save Himself is a poem I wrote some years ago for Good Friday. It presents an account of the crucifixion based on the Gospels in scripture. I want to go ahead and post it now, a couple of weeks before Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter, so that my readers have time to share it. If you wish to reblog, share on social media, or even print the poem in a church bulletin or elsewhere, feel free to do so just give the original author a by line. This photo is one I took myself, of a crucifix hanging in my office.
Every adult Christian probably has memories of Easter outfits and eggs hunts from when they were kids, and a list of traditions they carry on with their kids and grandkids. Easter probably involves sunrise service, some special breakfast, new suits or dresses, pictures with family, Easter egg hunts, and so forth. Church choirs perform cantatas and perhaps put on passion plays. We used to go to one in London, KY that was very well done.
And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. –John 12:23-26
Wednesday April 8th was the first day of Passover for observant Jews. The event we know as the Triumphal Entry occurred when Jesus came into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover for the last time. Ethnic Jews and those practicing Judaism gathered at Jerusalem from all around the Mediterranean world. John 12 records that “some Greeks” came looking for Jesus. The very well known statement “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” is found in verse 21. Philip told Andrew, Andrew and Philip went together and told Jesus. His response is shown above. He talks about bearing fruit, eternal life, following him and being honored by the father. He also talks about, as he had many times before, sowing seeds but in this instance uses what happens to seeds to allude to his crucifixion and burial. The grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die in order to bear fruit. Continue reading →
Hopefully the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral is not news to anyone. I don’t try to cover breaking news and share you heard it hear first stories because many times the first things you hear are wrong. Now that everyone has had a chance to hear and digest the facts, and many people have shared their opinion, I would like to reflect on a few things. Continue reading →
Explaining that his time had come in John 12:24, Jesus said that a grain of wheat could not bear fruit unless it first fell to the ground and died. The crucifixion may be the last stop in our Holy Week journey but for Jesus it was the next step in the process. He Cannot Save Himself is an old favorite of ours on Good Friday. Here are some other bits and pieces you might enjoy. Continue reading →
During certain times of the year I change the cover image of The Master’s Table Facebook page. I switch to the wise men following the star to Bethlehem during Advent and this image of three crosses for Holy Week. I don’t tinker with the banner here for a couple of reasons. One is I’m afraid of messing it up. I know, I know, but I still worry about never getting it to look exactly right again.
There is another reason. Di Vinci’s portrait of The Last Supper is where the idea for The Master’s Table as a title came from. There’s a whole explanation in the About section. That supper took place during Holy Week. It would be totally wrong to take it down this week of all weeks and replace it with something else. That picture is the goal for the Christian life. To eat and drink with the Master, sitting with other followers and listening to his teaching.