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Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Today is Palm Sunday, and in churches all over the world, talk of a parade was paramount.

Recorded in all four of the New Testament gospels, is the event of Jesus riding on a donkey, as he entered the city of Jerusalem (the City of Peace … ironic don’t you think, that a City, so very mired, today, in conflict was named a city of peace? … but, I digress).

Some in the crowd laid down their cloaks for his donkey to walk on (maybe this was the first red carpet event in history?), some in the crowd waved palm branches as he went by, and many called out, “Hosanna (meaning ‘save now’) to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

This all happened as the festival of Passover was beginning. Exodus 12 tells the story of the original Passover (Passover). The Israelites had been enslaved by Egypt, for many generations. God instructed Moses to have His people slaughter lambs, and cover their door frames with the blood. Then, in the night, the firstborn of every family would be killed, except for the households whose door frames are covered in the lambs blood, because the destroyer would ‘pass over’ those homes (this was the final of the ten plagues used to convince Pharaoh to let the people go). 

Moses did as God asked, the Israelites obeyed, and the Passover story came to be. Even in the home of Pharaoh, the firstborn of every Egyptian household was slaughtered. But the people in the homes that were covered by the blood of the lamb, were spared, and Pharaoh set the Israelites free.

Later this week, on Good Friday, in churches all over the world, talk of a parade will be, again, paramount. Again there were crowds of people. Again there was shouting. This time, there was no “Hosanna”, there was no ‘save now’, being sung out. Instead the shouts were “crucify him.” This time it was all a parody, all a mockery of the earlier parade.

Each of the gospels mentions his walk to Golgotha (the place of the skulls), where Jesus was nailed to the cross that he and Simone of Cyrene carried there. That walk, that parade, was after being wrongly tried, convicted, flogged, and had a crown of thrones pushed onto (into) his head.

This parade was the parade of the lamb of God (the Son of God) to the slaughter. And his blood, shed for all of humanity, is what sets us free.

“And when your children ask you,
‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’
then tell them,
‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD,
who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt
and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'”
Exodus 12:26-27

Watch the Lamb

 

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Were you there when they nailed him to the tree ?File_PassionMovie_NailHand-726x1024
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree ?Nailed-Feet
Were you there when they pierced him in the side ?pierced_side
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb ?37
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble

“we declare God’s wisdom,
a mystery that has been hidden
and that God destined for our glory before time began.
None of the rulers of this age understood it,
for if they had,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
1 Corinthians 2:7-8

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Good Friday

What an oxymoron!

Good Friday?

Good? Friday.

Good. Friday?

Good? Friday?

What is so … good, about Good Friday?

I will spend today contemplating a most horrific death, a most vile end of a life, a most traumatizing execution.

I will spend today, tears streaming down my face, imagining the horror of a mother watching her son tortured, and, finally, die, right in front of her.

I will spend today considering the whys and hows of a father … not just any father, but the only father with the means to stop this event, at any time (even before it began). And that he not only didn’t stop it … He purposed this very event, this very death, even before His son was conceived into human flesh.

His Son.

And then, I will spend today realizing that it wasn’t all about Him, the son.

It was, it IS, about ME, today.

It was, it IS, about YOU, today.

The Father, so loved me (so loved you), that He wanted to save us. But saving the innately guilty without cost is impossible! And the cost is always, blood. It is through the blood of His son, that we are saved, that we are redeemed.

“He is so rich in kindness and grace

that he purchased our freedom

with the blood of his Son

and forgave our sins.”

Ephesians 1:7

If I  (you) accept this gift, this sacrificial gift, that He never forces upon me (you), then today is, in every way, not just Good Friday, but the best Friday, ever given.

Good Friday? Yes

It wasn’t the nails…

… that held him to the cross …

… it was love

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“A Billion Act of Green”

This is the campaign theme for Earth Day, to be celebrated, tomorrow, around the world. I believe it has been celebrated, annually, since 1970 … that’s a l o n g time … it’s only a year younger than me! (and I’m archaic)

Tomorrow is also Good Friday, certainly one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar. It is celebrated around the world, annually, since … hum, thousands of years ago (it kinda makes me feel young again).

Two important celebrations, both on the same day … very interesting …

This post began when I was perusing my calendar, wondering what I had forgotten to do, where I had forgotten to go … yesterday! I tend to be a ‘bit’ (ha! ha! ha!) of a procrastinator (can we say, understatement?). And I noticed that Good Friday and Earth Day were both on the same, April 22, 2011 date. And I thought … how odd.

But is it odd? Is it wrong? Is it contrast? I don’t think so.

As a Christian, and especially, as one who loves the wonder of the created, I can relate to a respecting of our Earth, and it’s resources. I understand the value of conservation. I value, and enjoy green! I love green so much that I just let the moss cover my lawn (I live in a rainforest … if it hints it might be a fungus … not fun guy … it grows … everywhere!). It is green in the driest drought, it never needs to be watered, and is always soft on my tootsies! But, I digress.

There are so many experts out there … on both issues. But I think I know someone who knew far more about being ‘green’ and being ‘Christian’ … my grandmother.

Now she was no activist, nor did she contribute her hard earned quilting money to environmental groups, nor did she ‘buy green’ (for that matter she didn’t buy greens either … she grew them!). But she was one who understood what it was to conserve.

I don’t know if she ever used the word ‘sustainability’, or, for that matter, I do not know if she would have known what it meant. What she did understand, very well, was stewardship.

I think she is my greatest life model of both, and environmentalist, and a Christian. She was amazing at making something out of nothing, whether it was food, or clothing or home decor. But she did what she did, first out of necessity, but also out of moral responsibility. But her moral responsibility came, not from a love for the Earth, but for it’s Creator.

To be a good steward, for her, was to use the resources that God gave her in a responsible and God-honoring manner. She didn’t need a someone who held a placard telling her to take care of our future, she just DID IT, because, as a Christian, that was the right thing to do.

Maybe, if our Earth were ‘littered’ with people who acted out of a love for the Earth’s Creator, then the Earth, and all it’s inhabitants, would have a brighter future?

Just sayin’…

This is my Father’s world,
oh let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied
and earth and heaven be one

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