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Posts Tagged ‘#jesuspaiditall’

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 6.49.14 AMI was recently confronted with reminders of sins of the past. Sins that had hurt, sins that had ripple-like effects to far more than ever imagined at the time. That reminder took me back to a very dark time … a time when hope was shadowed by the blackness of sin.

There is a saying that has permeated my days since that reminder of sin:

A single lie discovered
is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.

And so, in a moment I was thrust backward, from the present to the past, from freedom to slavery, from a life of truth back to deception. And heaviness  was on my spirit.

And then I was reminded of stones.

Stones are a prop for numerous stories in the Bible. There is one such story when Jesus himself used stones as a mirror, a reflector.

The story is told in John (8:3-11):

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

-Jesus had people gathered around him in the temple courts … it was he who the people wanted to hear (not the teachers of the law of the Pharisees). He was leading the people in a way that was through truth, relationship … they were leading from a place of position, education and wealth.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

-I so wish that the Bible gave account of what he had written! Some say it was the names of the accusers who had also taken prostitutes, or perhaps something from the Law. Whatever it was, combined with his direction that if they were sinless, be the first to throw a stone at her, they fled.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 “No one, sir,” she said.

But Jesus didn’t stop at responding to the question about the Law, he also looked at the woman, left behind by her accusers, and asked a most redundant question … “where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

And so he gives her freedom (I don’t condemn you), and advice that is always pertinent after a sin has been discovered … leave your life of sin. Because “sorry is not enough, sometimes you actually have to change” (unknown).

We can all be like the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, reminding people of their sin, shaming others who have done wrong. I certainly have sat in the seat of the judgement of others … and I have great callouses on my back end for sitting in such a seat of arrogance. I have callouses on my hands for holding the stones so tightly.

But, Paul reminds us in Romans (3:23)

“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

His words are like a thorn in our side … or they should be! He reminds us that we judge, not as Christ judges, for we judge the sins of others while bathing in our own.

Paul previously reminds us, earlier in that passage (Romans 3:10) that,

“there is no one righteous, not even one”

Sin is the burden of our human condition. It is indiscriminate of who it will afflict, for it afflicts us all.

There is no one who can erase their own sin, there is no person who can eliminate the sin of another … except Christ.

The Matthew Henry Commentary says of this passage, and of God’s view of sin:

“It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction.”

And, in the words of the hymn, Jesus Paid it All, all to HIM I owe.

 

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IMG_3212

“Christ is risen
He is risen indeed”

The traditional greeting of Christians on Easter Sunday. It is called the “Paschal greeting” and was used in Orthodox and Catholic early churches. Sometimes it is accompanied by three kisses, on alternate cheeks.

It is said to have come from the gospel of Luke (v. 34):

“It is true!
The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”

This said after two disciples met a stranger on the road, as they walked to a village called Emmaus. This stranger, who appeared to know nothing of the events of the days prior, when Jesus, the prophet, was crucified.

 

You see, the stranger was Jesus himselfbut they were kept from recognizing him” (v. 16).

The stranger was told, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus” (v. 21-24).

They seemed to think that, because of Jesus’ death, maybe Jesus hadn’t been the redeemer/saviour that had hoped him to be, and because they did not see Jesus, who was supposedly alive, they had missed out. All this blind disappointment, in the man walking by their sides.

Then this stranger rebukes them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (v. 25-27).

So this stranger (aka Jesus himself), slaps them upside of the head with what he always uses … what the prophets said. He reminds them that, according to the prophets, their long-awaited saviour had to suffer, had to die.

Then came the fork in the road, Jesus continuing on, but the disciples stopping in Emmaus for the night.

The disciples “urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”” (v. 29). So Jesus joined them for dinner. 

It was there, at the table that the lightbulb came on for the pair.

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (v. 30-31).

“He took the bread,
gave thanks,
broke it
and began to give it to them”

Let’s rephrase that:

He sat before them,
gave thanks for the broken bread,

his body, days before, broken,
for them

It was in the reminder of Jesus’ broken body, for their broken lives, that their eyes were opened to who is was … for them. It is today, Easter Sunday, that we are all reminded that his body was broken, for our broken lives … but are our eyes opened to this, our Saviour?

” … and he disappeared from their sight” (v. 32). A bit anticlimactic … Just when he is known to them, he leaves them … again.

“They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”” (v. 32). Not so anticlimactic after all, for now that their eyes were fully opened, they realized that something in them had been stirring as they walked and talked with him on that road, to Emmaus. Something in them knew they were in the presence of their Saviour, but, as with all of us, they were blind to his presence.

“They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon” (v. 34-35).

It is true! … almost as if they were saying, Indeed, the Lord has risen!

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