Belief!

2000 years ago, give or take a few decades, a man hung on a cross for all mankind. He didn’t do it because he had to or needed to or was required to do it to show who he was. He did it because he wanted to. Simple actually. He was sent by his father to be the sacrifice that for centuries had been a goat.  An unblemished goat that was perfect in every way or at least as perfect as they could find.

This man was perfect in every way. He had in no way ever committed a sin. He never spoke a cross word to anyone nor did he ever swear. He loved with a righteous love that was so overwhelming that people flocked to him.

Why did they flock to him you might ask. He had a charismatic way about him. He was not overbearing. He didn’t speak in fancy words that no one could understand. He spoke in simple terms so that no man would be left out. He spoke in parables that he didn’t explain as to leave the people wondering what he meant. Wait that’s wrong, sorry..it’s early. He spoke in parables and then he explained the parable afterwords so that no man was left out in understanding.

He enjoyed being around people but like all of us, he needed time to himself so that he could decompress and talk to his father. When children came around he didn’t send them away, rather he encouraged them to come and play. I think he enjoyed the unbridled laughter and enjoyment.

Unfortunately the enjoyment ended and he found out how fickle people are. At the time he needed them, they turned their backs on him and threw him under the bus. He could have lashed out and cursed them. He could have screamed and yelled and called them all kind of names but he didn’t. he did the one thing that although he had told them many times would happen, he let them take him and torture him. 

He didn’t put up a fight nor did he cry out for help. He could of. He could have called down an army of angels to free him from a death so horrible, we would faint at the thought of it. He was punished so bad that he even his punishers were affected.

Who is this man I speak of. Well, it is Jesus Christ. The only Son of the Most High God, Jehovah. Jesus, the name above all names. The holy and complete sacrifice. He did what no other God of this world had the nerve to do. He put his life on the line for ALL of mankind. He did so willingly. 

This blog is about belief. What do i believe. I will tell you. 

The Apostle Creed

I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth 
And in Jesus Christ His only Son 
I believe in the virgin birth 
I believe in the Man of Sorrows bruised for iniquities 
I believe in the Lamb who was
Crucified and hung between two thieves
I believe in the resurrection on the
Third and glorious day 
And I believe in the empty tomb and the
Stone that the angel rolled away 
He descended and set the captives free 
And now He sits at God’s right hand
And prepares a place for me
This is my creed, the witness I have heard 
The faith that has endured 
This truth is assured 
Through the darkest ages past 
Though persecuted, it will last 
And I will hold steadfast to this creed
I believe He sent His Spirit to comfort and to reveal 
To lead us into the truth and light, to baptize and to seal 
I believe that He will come back the way He went away 
And receive us all unto Himself, but no man knows the day
I believe He is the Judge of all men, small and great 
The resurrected souls of men receive from Him their fate 
Some to death and some to life, some to their reward 
Some to sing eternal praise forever to our Lord
That is what I believe! Jesus Christ. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Master of my soul. the only way to the Father. The only one that is going to get you there. He has and always will be the only one for me!
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The Passion Of The Christ!

“Note! Before reading this blog, please understand that the videos used are not my property. I use them because they fit the best for the purposes of the blog. If you know of any songs that might fit better please do not hesitate to mention them.”

After watching The Passion on Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016, and after hearing the songs that were used, I decided to write my own version, with the songs I would have chosen. I would not have chosen those songs, mainly because they had nothing to do with the events that played out.

Where to start, well let’s start on Palm Sunday. The day Jesus rode into town on a donkey. The people were chanting “Hosanna, Hosanna In The Highest!” Jesus was riding into Jerusalem. He was going for the same reason that everyone else was, To prepare for the Passover feast.

The Passover Feast was observed because it was the day that the Israelite’s  were freed from Egypt because though Moses, God did so. The bread was baked without yeast because, well quite frankly, they didn’t have time. They were given only so much time so they took what they had and they escaped Egypt.

Exodus 12:21-55

When God implemented the Passover feast, he did so, so that it would never be forgotten. He wanted his people to remember where they came from. How they had suffered and how they had survived the yoke enslavement. For if you forget where you came from, you will be forever lost.

Now if we skip a few centuries we come to one of the most known prophecies of the Christ.

Isaiah 53:13-54:12

I suggest you read this to understand that this was not just about the Christ but also the pain and the suffering that he would go through. It was not an easy thing to go through.

Jump forward a few more centuries and we come to Triumphal Entry. When Jesus would ride on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden, into Jerusalem.

Matthew 21:1-3

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

Two places in the old testament speak to the triumphal entry.

Isaiah 62:11

Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”

Jesus rode a colt.The movies always display the colt as white and perfect. Perfect I believe but not so much the white. The colour doesn’t really matter all that much. It could have green with white polka dots for all I know. As he rode into the city, people were throwing down their robes and palm leaves for Jesus to ride over. They sang “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”(Matthew 21:9)

At this point some of the Pharisees cried out “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”(Luke 19:39). To which Jesus replied “I tell you, if they become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40)

Now I use this video mainly because it does talk to the scripture that I quoted from Luke. This takes place on Palm Sunday.

Jesus has entered Jerusalem adored by the crowd. He was, to them, the Messiah that God had promised for centuries. When he entered Jerusalem, he wept for the city.

Luke 19:41-44

41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you [a]when your enemies will throw up a [b]barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Matthew 23:37-39

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Jesus predicted Jerusalem’s destruction. He made no bones about it.

Jesus enters the temple and sees the way that it is used. It is no longer a temple rather a marketplace for swindlers and thieves. He saw red..a righteous anger and proceeded to turn all the tables over and set the animals free. Money scattered and people we screaming at him.

Matthew 21 : 12-13

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbersden.”

 

After Jesus cleansed the temple, the Pharisees started plotting the death of Jesus. They could not stand the idea of someone taking their prey away. The religious leaders of the day had the Jews right where they wanted them and for some rabble rouser to come in and upset the nature of things was a slap in the face to the establishment. So they devised a plan that would get rid of this Jesus once and for all and instead of doing it in in the daylight, they did so at night. They skulked around at night time and did everything they could to get it done without people knowing what was going on.

Matthew 26:1-5

When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.”

 

Before I continue, you might notice that I am using songs from Jesus Christ Superstar a lot. It seems that finding songs done by Christian artists are hard to find. The songs from JCSS are actually close to the biblical telling of Christ’s last days. Sure they have taken some literary license, but truth be told they are pretty spot on. You don’t seem to find a lot of songs about Judas’s betrayal or Peter’s denial or the religious leaders of the time plotting the death of Christ. So now back to the blog.

The religious leaders have decided to kill Jesus but now they had to find a crime.  Jesus has not committed any crime that would warrant death. They had to trump one up. They also had to find someone that would betray Jesus, someone who had a reason or could be easily convinced. Someone that had a cause or something against Jesus. In walks Judas!

But let’s set the stage. Jesus and the disciples are in Bethany.

Matthew 26:6-13

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Judas Iscariot is by all accounts the treasurer of the disciples. He held the money bag. He seemed to be the perfect one aside from the fact that Matthew was a tax collector so he knew how to keep money as well. Anyways, the apostles were all upset with the waste of the perfume. It could have been sold to help the poor.

The movie Jesus Christ Superstar paints Judas as the one that was upset and he might very well have been the one that was upset the most. Nevertheless, I feel that it was at this point that Judas had decided to betray Jesus. It was a waste of money that could have been put elsewhere. All the other disciples were upset too but not to betrayal. Was Judas already in the hands of the Evil One.

 

Judas was so upset, as were the other disciples, that this woman had wasted that perfume instead of selling it for money to help the poor. I think that Judas especially had a burden for the poor. I also feel that this was the time that Judas decided to do what he felt he needed to do. The devil had entered him and made him see that was not really there.But notice what Jesus says.

Matthew 26:10-13

10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

Jesus pointed out that no matter what we would always have the poor. He was here for a little while. The poor had been around since time since time immemorial. So it seems that although all the disciples are incensed but Judas seems more incensed. The bible says the devil  entered him and persuaded him to betray Jesus.

Luke 22:1-6

1Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

      3And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. 4And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. 5They were glad and agreed to give him money. 6So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

We have no way to know what was going through Judas’s mind at the time. We can only assume. I would think that he did it to stop the waste. To him Jesus seemed fine with it. It was just perfume but a burial preparation. So he went to the Priest and Pharisees. The bible does not go into detail about what was said. I have no doubt that Judas came up with reasons to do so that didn’t involve his betrayal. “For the good of the disciples.”

 

 

Judas has agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It was blood money but the Priests made sure to make it seem more like a fee. This all happens before the Passover Feast.

For centuries after centuries, the Jews had celebrated the day. Jesus did something that not a lot of Jews did at the time. The washing of the feet. It was not uncommon for the head of the household to wash the feet of his guests. It not only showed humility it also showed the servant in him. Jesus washed his disciples feet. Some of them declined. to which Jesus said.

John 13:4-11

So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[a] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Jesus knew that he was going to be betrayed. He washed even his betrayers feet as well. After the washing of the feet, the Passover feast is observed, but Jesus forever changed it.

Luke 22:14-20

14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

They celebrated the Passover and then Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. He did so that we might remember the sacrifice that was made for all of us.

Now remember back a bit that I said that Jesus knew his betrayer. He did. He knew who and when it would happen. In John, Jesus shows the disciples the betrayer but they don’t understand.

John 13:21-30

21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will [a]betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter *gestured to him, and *said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, *said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money-box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

Judas is gone and Jesus talks about several things. They finish the meal and then after singing a hymn, they head over to the Mount of Olives. Jesus predicts Peter’s denial. Now most are going to say that it was coincidence that it happened at the same time but Jesus was very specific to when it would happen. “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” (Mark 14:30)

Peter kept saying that he would no do it. He would not deny Jesus. He in fact said in Mark 14:31 “Even if I were to die with you, I will not deny you!”    He loved him too much. All the other disciples said the same thing. Judas had already gone to finish his betrayal of Jesus. They went on to Gethsemane.

They got to Gethsemane and Jesus took Peter, James and John a little further in, leaving the other disciples to back where they entered the garden and told them to sit there till he had prayed.. To John, James and Peter he said to them in Mark 14:34 “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.

At this point, Jesus moved up a ways further and prayed to God that the cup of poison he was to drink be taken away, Mark 14:36 “Abba! Father!. All things are possible for thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou will.” He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to them in Mark 14:37-38 “Simon are asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying, that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus goes back to pray and when he comes back they are back to sleep. He went back a third time to pray and came back to find them still asleep. He roused them and asked then why they could not stay awake and they could not answer him. He looked at them and said

Mark 14:37

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays me is at hand.”

 

Jesus is betrayed in the same garden that he pleads to God to take the cup of poison away. Judas walks up to him and kisses him on the cheek.

Mark 14 43 -45

43 Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came up [a]accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away [b]under guard.” 45 After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him.”

Jesus is not surprised. He knew that Judas would betray him.

Luke 22:47-48

“While he was still speaking, behold a multitude came and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss him and Jesus said “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

They took him away to the High priest. Caiaphas was the High Priest. He was the son-in-law of Annas. There was quite the crowd and it seemed everyone was there, including some of the apostles.

The Sanhedrin was the council of the elders of the people. That included the High Priest and all the other priests and so forth. They tried Christ but they actually did it illegally but try Him they did. They questioned him and I would assume belittled him. They brought in false witnesses to say false things.

Matthew 26:57-68

57 Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58 But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the [a]officers to see the outcome.

59 Now the chief priests and the whole [b]Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [c]temple of God and to rebuild it [d]in three days.’” 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I [e]adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are [f]the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, [g]hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his [h]robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others [i]slapped Him, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You [j]Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

Jesus was beaten up by the same people who tried him. Then they took him to Pilate.

Right after this the prediction of Peter denying Christ three times came true.

Luke 22:54-62

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Judas saw what they had done to Jesus. In the morning he went to them. He felt remorse for what he had done. He tossed the thirty pieces of silver at their feet.

Matthew 27:1-10

27 Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty [a]pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and [b]with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And [c]they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and [d]they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

Now let me be very plain. Not a lot of singers actually talk about Judas. It seems that he is taboo and that is shame. He played a very important part in the Passion Play. Jesus knew what he was going to do and even told him to do it quickly.

John 21:26-30

Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him.

Judas was so remorseful that he took his own life. Before that he repented (Matthew 27:3-5). Some would say that he took the cowards way out and I think they might have been right. Was he a coward, I don’t know, only God can say that.

 

Judas is dead and now Jesus is taken to Pilate, the Governor of Israel. He questions him but because he is a Galilean and on being told yes, Jesus is sent to face Herod. Herod questions him but Jesus remains silent. Herod gets nothing out of Jesus and sends him back to Pilate after mocking him and treating him with contempt. They put a purple robe on his back and send him back to Pilate.

Luke 23:8-12

Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some [a]sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him [b]at some length; but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.

We can only imagine the conversation that took place between Herod and Jesus. What the questions were like. Herod wanted to see miracles like Jesus was some kind of magician. He expected Jesus to perform on command. Jesus was not a trained monkey. He didn’t do things on demand. He did miracles out of love. He did them to prove who he was. Herod got frustrated. Easy to do when you are always getting your own way and no one questions you. So Herod sent him back to Pilate.

Notice one thing. When Jesus was before Caiaphas, after all the words and the posturing, Jesus was beaten and mocked. Before Annas, Jesus is given a blow. Now whether it was a slap or a punch nevertheless, before both of them, Jesus was hit at some point. When he comes before Pilate the first time, Jesus is not hit at all but during the second trial, he is whipped and beaten. Now look at Herod, there were no beating only mocking. The never \

laid a hand on him. Herod was a Jew and treated Jesus, for the most part , with some kind of respect.

So Jesus is sent back to Pontius Pilate for a second time. The Sanhedrin and the Pharisees could find nothing wrong. Herod could find nothing wrong. So back to Pilate we go. Pilate tries Christ and finds nothing wrong. so he decides to flog him and send him on his way.

Luke 23:13-25

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [[e]Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18 But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.

 

If you notice something in the video, you see a woman shaking her head. That is Pilate’s wife. Her name, even though it is not mentioned in the Bible, is Claudia. She had a dream that Pilate should not harm the man Jesus.For More information on Pilate’s wife, please click the link. Pilate’s Wife Claudia .

Matthew 27:19

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for [a]last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”

Pilate condemned Jesus to death! Did he have a choice, not really. Not only because of the jews lording over him what would happen if he didn’t but also because unbeknown to him it was all part of God’s divine plan. He could have set Jesus free because he found no guilt in Jesus.

Jesus is sent to die. He starts to carry His cross to Golgotha (the place of the skull) and falls. He has been whipped and beaten and then has a half ton cross on his back and is expected to carry it ti the skull. When He falls a man is pulled out of the crowd to carry it for him. Simon of Cyrene.

Luke 23:26 

26 When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

For More information on Cyrene, you can go here.

Cyrene

As he is going up the hill to Golgotha, there is a large crowd following him. In the crowd there are women weeping for him. He stops and speaks to them.

Luke 23:27-32

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were [f]mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said,“Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things [g]when the tree is green, what will happen [h]when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

Jesus made his way up the trail of sorrows. The street that winded it’s way up to Golgotha, the place of the skull. There Jesus would be crucified. He would lay his life down for all mankind. He did so not because it was expected of him. It was a not a requirement. God didn’t make him do it. He could have at anytime said no. He could have called down an army of angels to protect him but he did not do any of it. He simply did the will of his father. He freely gave his life.

A sacrifice made out of need is a not a sacrifice. It means nothing. It is empty and without merit. A sacrifice made of willingness means more that anything. Jesus did that very thing.

Luke 23:33-49

33 When they came to the place called [i]The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 [j]But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the [k]Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [l]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the [m]Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [n]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [o]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

44 It was now about [p]the sixth hour, and darkness [q]fell over the whole land until [r]the ninth hour, 45 [s]because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn [t]in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was[u]innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, [v]beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Here is the thing. Jesus chose the time to die. He could have probably gone of for days but again it would be for naught. He chose when to die. The romans were sent up to break the legs of the crucified and when they came to Jesus, he was already dead. The other two were still suffering. He was gone. They shoved a spear into his side and blood and water flowed. It had all pooled in his chest. He chose to die at that time.

He cried out “IT IS FINISHED!” and he died

John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

 

 

 

There are hundreds of songs about the crucifixion. So many that I could fill pages but I really don’t want to do that. Rather just a couple. Ones that I think tell the story beautifully.

Jesus is dead. He is on the cross hanging. His body is but a shell. His spirit has gone to be with the Father. But that is not what God has planned for Jesus. His job is not done yet. Joseph of Arimathea claims the body.

Luke 23: 50-56

50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 It was the [w]preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to [x]begin. 55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

In Isaiah it reads thus.

Isaiah 53:9

His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

Joseph was the the rich man that Isaiah speaks of in verse 9. He predicted that the Son of Man would lay in a rich man’s grave because he had no money to buy his own. Joseph believed that Jesus was who he said he was.

John 19:38

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but asecret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of JesusThe 

The Sabbath started at  around 6 pm so they did not have a lot of time to prepare the body for burial and much as they would have liked. They wrapped him a linen cloth and sprinkled his body with the spices then put him in the tomb.

John 12:38-42

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but asecret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a [a]mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred[b]pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Three days later Jesus rose from the dead. Mary Magdelane was the first to the tomb. She found it empty. She ran back to the disciples and told them of the stone being rolled away and Peter ran to the tomb.

John 20:1-18

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; andstooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, andthe face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple whohad first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Many other sightings of Jesus happen. You can find them in John 20:19-30 and 20:1-25. Matthew 28:1-10 and 16-20. Mark 16: 1- 20. Luke 24:1-53. John 20:1-31 and John 21:1-25. He did not only appear to Mary. Many of his disciples saw him after he had died. My favorite and where we get the term “Doubting Thomas” from.

John 20:26-29

26 [a]After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been [b]shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him,“Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Thomas doubted a lot. He did it every day. He had to be see it to believe it. He would not believe that Jesus had risen from the grave unless he had proof. We are a lot like Thomas at times. We need to see it to believe it. But Jesus said “Because you have seen me, have you believed but Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.

If you don’t know this Jesus I speak of, then you can ask me on twitter @menionazalee or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/william.ley.90 . Jesus loves you more than you will ever know. He loved you so much that he died for you. He rose from the grave to defeat death and show us that he was who he said he was.

Before I end this blog (finally) I want to leave you with the following video. It sums up this blog and the passion of Jesus quite well. I hope you enjoy it.

Not Sure Yet

Sometimes I never know what I am going to write when I start one of these things. I go back and forth trying to decide what to type. I hum and haw and write then erase and then rewrite and of course erase again. Sometimes the Lord moves me and I write what He wants me to say. But eventually I end up with a readable blog with, I hope no spleling mistakes or words left out. ( yes the spelling mistake was for effect!)

My topics are varied. If you have read my blogs then you know that. If not well then I guess you will find out eventually. I would love to do a video blog but alas my camera SUCKS!!!! But then again you never know I might try it anyways!

I titled this blog Not Sure Yet cause well I am not sure what I am writing about. I may just for fun, ramble away and get everyone confizzled! I am a writer and a singer. I play guitar and ummm the air drums quite well. I am just a guy that likes to do a little bit of everything. Like everyone else I like to tell tall tales and sometimes they are dashed with a little truth.

I am a Christian. I follow the teaching of Jesus Christ. I believe that He is the Son of the Most High God Jehovah. I am his Defiant Child who wants to do things his way but always is aware that God will be there when I stumble and remind me that I can’t always do things on my own. I blog mostly about Jesus cause well I think that this is what He wants. Am I right on what I write. I don’t know. I do know that I have scriptural basis to back up what I say.

I could write about the teachings of Buddha or Allah or Vishnu but I don’t follow their teachings. I follow Jesus’s teachings. I do not want to insult anyone by talking about things I do not know anything about. That would be as useful as having a udder on a bull. Would also look really strange.

I listen to Rock music mostly but I also delve into Classical, Country, Blues, Jazz, Soul, Disco and dare I say… Big Band! My true love in Music is Christan. Whether it be Rock or Worship or everything in between. Petra to Guardian, Phil Keaggy to Casting Crowns. My musical taste is diverse. Skillet to Thousand Foot Krutch, Red to Bride. Music is music and it was once said.. “It’s Not The Music…It’s The Message!” or “There ain’t now such thing as a bad note….just bad intentions!”

Music is the universal language that every one understands no matter what country the Musician is from. It doesn’t really matter the lyrics, it’s the music that moves you. Even more if it is filled with the Spirit. I love all kinds of music.

I said earlier that I was a writer. Never had anything published but that’s okay. I write for the joy of it besides it helps me spell better. Even when I blog, I have to watch my spelling. I have written stories about Jesus (imagine that) to a good old fashioned mystery that I have been writing and re-writing over the last 10 years or so. I use to write songs but stopped a few years ago. Once I get my guitar fixed, maybe I will.

I DJ in Second Life. One set at Ohana Rock Club and one set at Danze Fever. I use to DJ a lot in SL but I don’t anymore. Second Life has become too commercial and it basically sucked the life out of it. With the new viewer coming, from what I have gleaned, if you are on the old viewer, you are going to loose everything and have a do over. Which is all fine and good but when you have spent tens of thousands of lindens on clothes and other stuff, to loose it all really sucks!

When I DJ I play a virtual myriad of genres. Basically the same stuff that I listen to. I have not a great following in SL but then again I have never been about a great following but rather sharing the music I enjoy to everyone else and if they don’t like it, there are hundreds of clubs that they can go to.

I spend my free time in real life dealing with the day to day struggles. Looking after a quadriplegic wife can get tiring. Now I am not complaining..well I am but I allowed, I am also obnoxious at times but I digress. I love my wife with a fierce love, even though she does annoy me at times but in truth, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

I have one sister and four brothers and I love them very much! We are far apart but I feel them in my heart. My mom is dead, so is my dad. My stepfather Howard is still with us. I have one other sister but she died fifteen or sixteen years before I was born. There is a hole in my heart and I think it is there for her to fill.

I think I am done for now. You never know, I might come back with Not Sure Yet Part 2 later. I hope you enjoyed the read and that you learned a little about me!

The Fun In Dysfunctional!

What do I do when I want to rewind? I go into Second Life and DJ! I love doing it and it helps me relax and forget about the troubles of this world. I get lost in the music and everything stops! I also write and play my guitar and even from time to time I going into DC Online and beat the crap out of villains.

I enjoy all kinds of things to do. Spending time with my wife watching our favourite shows. L&O:SVU, The Flash, The Arrow so on and so forth. We watch a diverse variety of television. She is into her Hallmark : Murder and Mystery movies. She enjoys fixer upper shows and vet shows.

I spend my days at my computer for the most part. I write my blog or get out my poison pen on twitter and keep track of my family (real life or virtual) on Facebook or I get a story out that I am trying to write and write a chapter or two before I get distracted. About every twenty minutes, almost like clock work, I check on my wife Jeanne to make sure she is okay. For those who have never looked after a quadriplegic, it is not as easy as it sounds and for those who think that they know…trust me you don’t have a single clue until you have!

The constant watching for bed sores and making sure that there are no wrinkles under her so the aforementioned bed sores don’t appear. Making sure that she is hydrated and has had enough to eat. Being ready to help her with spasms and gas. It’s easy for us to pass gas but for a quad it’s different. We lift a leg and it is silent but deadly. For a quad, if they are in bed they have to be rolled and then aided in so different ways. If they are sitting up, it can happen at anytime and trust me it does.

It is tough for the quad and it is just as tough on the spouse. It almost feels like servitude. You are so concerned about them that you get lost in the shuffle. You have to deal with the pains and aches by yourself. You have to deal with getting sick and still have to do your job. It is a rough job and I already can hear the laughter. “It can’t be that hard!” Okay so let’s do this.

Imagine that you are in so much pain, you can barely walk. It’s 2 in the morning and you are warm comfy and dead asleep. You hear your wife call you. You get up just to find out that you have to clean her up. Now as I said, you can barely walk. So now you have to go and get everything you need to clean her up and you stub your toe or trip over the cat. So now you are grumbling and complaining. You wander back into the bedroom, get her all cleaned up and now you hurt even worse. But you see her face and you can’t help but kiss her and tell her that you love her…no matter how frustrated you are. You climb back into bed and you are just about to go back to sleep heaven and you have to get up because she needs to be cleaned again. So you grumble under your breath and curse silently. Clean her up and look into those eyes and realize that you would do it again and again. Meanwhile your back is so sore that it cries out in pain as you lean down to kiss her lips.

As hard as it is, it’s not about respect or loyalty or willingness, well it is but it is about something more. It’s about love. You do it cause you love her and you know that if the roles were reversed, she would do it for you.

You always put her or him first. In my case it’s her. She gets her dinner first. She is first in my life. Her needs come before mine. We go to a restaurant and when the food gets there, I cut up her food so she can eat. It doesn’t matter that mine is going cold. She gets served first. When we get home, she gets put back into bed first cause she can’t sit in her chair any longer. It doesn’t matter that I need to pee, she has to go back to bed. Then she needs her pills and she needs her this and that. Meanwhile your back teeth are floating. So you put her on hold, mainly cause well if not, the floor is going to get very wet.

Love is the motivating factor. I married her for love, I live with her for love. I look after her for love. I deal with all the headaches and pain for love. Birthdays and Christmases are missed cause she can’t get out of bed to go do it and sure I am upset about it and it bothers me but then that love comes in and whispers. She loves and needs me. When I am so sick that tossing my cookies is a very possible thing, I still get up and look after her. Get her her meds and her breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have been so sick that death would be preferable but I still got out of bed to clean her up and for no other reason that I love her.

I think about the times that she is so sick that I wonder when the Lord will call her home. There are times that I have cried myself to sleep while she has been in the hospital with this infection or that infection that I am so scared that I am going to bury another wife. I buried one, I really don’t want to bury another one yet. But that thought is always in the back of my mind. I am so glad when she can come home and even though we sleep in separate beds, the sounds of her snoring is like fine music.

I have been married to Jeanne for 17 years and as hard as it has been, I wouldn’t trade a single day of it. She has seen me so sick that I can barely move yet I have still cared for her. She wishes she could look after me like I do her.

This little blog of mine started out as what we do and it turned into a what I do. It is a labour of love. I don’t do it for the glory or the fame or even the recognition. I do it cause there is this woman, that through no fault of her own, was in a car crash in the Coburg Hills in Western Oregon in 1976. The jeep rolled corner to corner and she was the one that was left in the condition she is in. Some have said that she is weak and yet this same woman raised two children, got her MA and BA and through it all managed to stay sane and she did it all while in a chair.  I don’t know if I could have done what she has done. I think I might have decided to try to check out.

She gave me my life back when my life was so messed up that I didn’t know what to do anymore. She thinks I am perfect and trust me I am far from that. She loves me for me and all of my imperfections. I would not trade that for anything.

In my life time I have had four angels in my life. My Grand Mother who loved me Unconditionally. My Mother for all her faults and mistakes, cried when I was born and loved me the minute she laid her eyes on me even though she really didn’t want anymore kids. My sweet love Rose who loved me with such a fierce love and made me promise that if anything happened to her, that I would find another love. Finally Jeanne who took me in and loves me with a love that is as fierce as any love I have ever had.

Of all the loves that I have had in my life, none are more important that these four. Sorry Miss Kinney. There is a fifth and she is so important to me and my life. We may not always agree on things and sometimes we say things to each other that are mean and spiteful. Yet she knows that I would lay my life down for her in a heartbeat and yes I know she would do the same for me. My sister Nancy. She has been a thorn in my side since the day I was born and truth be told (I will deny if she reads this…) I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I have four beautiful brothers that have taught me so much. Some good some bad and yet I would be lost without them. We don’t often see each other much anymore..they are anywhere from 3000 to 10000 miles away but they are always in my heart.

What started out as one kind of blog has turned into another one. I guess the Lord had plans for this blog all along. Family is so important in a man’s or a woman’s life. They really are the glue that keeps us stuck. We may not always like to hear what they might have to say. We may fight from time to time (well a lot) but we love each other.

I have a wonderful family. We put the fun in dysfunctional. I have had ups and downs, good and bad. But through it all I have been able to stand my ground cause not only do I have the Lord by my side I have my family, we will not be swayed at all!

I guess I am done. My keyboard is sending me divorce notices.

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Soon!!”

What Child Is This!

What Child Is This that we celebrate every year in December? What is so special about this Child that was born at this time of year? Why is this Child so important to the season?

Christmas, a day that we open presents and spend time with family. A time to remember times gone by and a time to sit in quiet contemplation. A time to watch the falling snow or the look at the sunshine. But it is more than that.

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

The first prophesy about The Messiah. The first time that Jesus is mentioned in the Bible. The devil had done his worst and now it was time to pay the piper and they did! The devil was forced to slither across the earth and man was made to toil for his sustenance. Woman was to go through the pain of childbirth and labour for her food. Adam and Eve had it so easy and yet they just couldn’t seem to do what was needed to do to stay in the Garden.

We skip through a few hundred years and come to Isaiah. The Prophesy that the Wise men talk about. In it is the mention of the Messiah. It is not about anyone else. It is very direct.

Isaiah 9:6-7

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Jesus is the subject of these two verses. It can be about no one else. For no other person in the Bible is called any of those names. The prophecies continue about the baby boy born in a manger.

Isaiah 7:14

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah seems to me the Old Testament prophet that has the most prophecies about Jesus. This one is said to the King of Judah, Ahaz. It can be of no one else but the baby boy that was born in the manger. For no other child is born in this nature.

Immanuel means “God IS With us!”

Isaiah 11:1-2

1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Jesus is a direct descendant of Jesse. Not two or three times removed but direct. Jesus’ genealogy is traced not once but twice in the Bible. Once in Matthew and once in Luke. Both we will get to later.

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Jesus  is a direct descendant of David. One of, it not, the greatest kings in Israel’s history. Was he the messiah that the prophets spoke of. No. He was not perfect. He was adulterer, he murdered a man just so that he could have his wife. He murdered King Saul. He did so many things wrong and yet when he begged forgiveness, God gave it to him and used in a mighty way. David brought the Israelites back to the Lord.

David was born in Bethlehem and yet he was not the Messiah that was promised. The Messiah that was promised would be be perfect in every way. David was far from perfect.

Micah 5:2 

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 coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Let’s look at this verse a moment. Micah was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. Jeremiah came 30 years after Micah, recognized Micah as a prophet from Moresheth who prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah.

I have always been confused by the two names of one city and so I took the time to look them up.

Bethlehem is the modern name for the city. Ephrathah is the ancient name of the same city.

Jesus’ birth was foretold over and over again. There was no if ands or buts about it. Jesus fulfilled those prophecies when he was born. Now there are some that will argue that Jesus was not the one. Some will say that David was born in Bethlehem as well but their reason as blown out of the water because the prophecies were told after the death of David. How could these prophecies be of a dead man!

Some others will argue that there were other children born with the name Of Jesus and yup I agree but the name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Joshua. So that settles that problem.

Jesus (in traditional last names) would have been Godson (son of God).  Just like John Son of Thief would be John Thiefson. Because Joseph took Jesus as his own, Jesus full name would have been Jesus Son Of Joseph, but no matter what His last name is, He is still the Son of the most high God!

Out of Bethlehem will the Messiah come. No where else and it is fitting that the one that God chose to raise the would be of Bethlehem. Joseph, son of Jacob. He was from the house of David. God chose royal blood to raise the King of Kings. Mary’s lineage is unknown or is it.

Matthew 1:1-16 is the lineage of Jesus through Joseph. Now yes Joseph adopted Jesus as his own therefore he would be in His “fathers” line. It starts with Abraham and ends with “Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called [p]the Messiah.” The lineage goes forward.

Luke 3:23-38 is the Lineage of Jesus through Mary. It starts with Jesus and goes back to Adam.   When you read it notice something interesting. Both Mary and Joseph are related to none other than David, King of Israel! Who to have better than a mother from a line of kings. His adoptive father from from the same line of kings. God had everything planned down to the very last detail. He knew who, when, where, why, what and how the Saviour of the world was to be born!

Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Fairest of Ten Thousands. The Ruler of the universe was born and placed in a manger. The feeding trough of animals. It was not a crib or a cradle. Some believe that it was a stable while others think it was a cave. That discussion will continue on for years to come. Whether it was a stable a cave makes no matter either way. The fact of the matter is is that the Lord of Hosts was born in a simple place. He was born simple and He was buried simple!

When Christmas comes around again and you sing the Carols and put out the tree. When you decorate it and wonder at the sight. Remember the child that this day was named after. For those that laugh at us Christians that celebrate this day and we worship the child that was born, remember, the day spells His name. That same child grew up to be a man and that same man spread His arms and died for you. His name is Jesus Christ!

“Keep Looking Up, His Coming Is Soon!”

Prayer and Faith!

I am a Christian. I am not religious. I don’t live my life as a Christian on only some days of the year. I pray to my Lord when the mood hits me and sometimes it is a simple “I love You Lord.” prayer. I don’t always go through a 20 year prayer (you know the kind..they go on and on and on and on!) I don’t do what other Christians do cause well I want to love My Lord not make him into a Santa Claus.

Unlike a lot of religions in this world, I don’t bow before my Lord nor do I have to address Him like I would a leader of a country or a king. I talk to Him. I don’t lay a rug down nor do I face a wall to pray. I don’t have to. I can be sitting in a chair as I am right now and offer up my prayers to Him, laying them at His feet.

So many religions have way to many rituals. They have to do this and they have to do that. They have to sit or kneel or dance in a certain way. They have to say all the right words and in the right way. Everything has to be perfect. If it isn’t perfect then it isn’t right. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect that. They have their ways and have been doing it for centuries that way. But that is not my way.

Sometimes I go through the formality of proper prayer. The invocations and the ritualistic words. Most of the time I just just say something normal. I don’t pray to my Lord, I talk to Him. I don’t ask Him for things, I let him know what I need. It’s not material things normally. I ask for healing for myself  or friends or family.  I ask for Him to touch someone or put me in their path so that they might know that someone is praying for them.

Prayer should be offered in such a way as to not be boastful. Prayer should be humble and gentle. It’s good to ask for those things that you need but do so in a way that is not prideful. Do not go to church and stand in every one’s view and show what you have and how good you have had it. Rather be mindful of where you are. Be not like the Pharisee that got all dressed up and stood showing off what he had. Rather be like the tax collector, a sinner and cry out to the Lord! (Luke 18:9-14)

We all do it. We all pray in a boastful way and the funny thing is is that we know that is wrong but we do it anyways. It’s hard to stop when it is human nature to boast. It is even harder to be humble and ask for little or nothing. I have prayed often for things that I needed, not wanted, and received them. It might be that day or the next but they did come. The Lord does hear and does give us the things we need. It is just on His time not ours.

Jesus said “Ask anything in My name and I will give it to you.” (Matt 7:7, John 14:14). Ask and it shall be given but it may not come in the manner that you expect or the time that you expect. “Lord I need a new car.” Nothing wrong with the car you have,  sure it is not as classy as the neighbours car but you asked for a new car. You shall get it when the Lord thinks it time. “Lord I need money for gas.” You don’t have a dime on you but you search your pants that are to be washed and you find twenty bucks. To some it might be coincidence but a man of faith will say “Thank you Father.”

Faith is a big part of prayer. It is important because without faith, the prayer is just talking. Without faith the prayer falls on dumb silence. It falls onto the ground with a thud. But the same prayer, lifted up in faith and love, falls on the ears of God and He listens. Faith is the acceptance of things not seen yet hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).

As Christians, we walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We could walk like others walk but we would get lost. We would wander from the path and find ourselves in so much trouble but asking in prayer, the Lord brings us back on the path of righteousness. It is so easy to fall off the path, specially in the world we know today. We walk the path and then…ooooo something shiny catches our eye. The problem is the shiny thing gets us into trouble.

Prayer is so important in a Christians life. It is the glue that holds our lives together. We fall and we reach up in prayer to the Lord and He reaches down and picks us up. He dusts us off and kisses our forehead, tells us that He loves us and sends us on our way. We fall off the path and He does it all again. He does so in love and patience. He is so patient and so understanding. He loves us as if we were the only ones. Just like any earthly father.

Faith and prayer work hand in hand. They help us come to an understanding that we need them both. Prayer is our direct line to the Father. We don’t have to go through anyone else. No high priest or priestess. We don’t have to bow rather we can walk right up to God, climb into His lap, get comfy and talk to Him. He pulls us close and listens with love and patience. He doesn’t have to write anything down. He already knows what we need but He also knows that we need to ask.

I started off this little tirade with the words “I am a Christian.” but I am more than that. I am a treasured child of the Most High God. I am His and His alone. He holds me when I cry and rejoices when I am happy. He scolds me when I am bad but loves me still. He watches over me and guides me even when I don’t want to be guided.

I offer up my prayers to the Father and He doesn’t go “Oh it’s him again.” He listens with patience and love. He smiles as I tell Him what has been going on. He nods His head and smiles as I ask for those things that I need. Not want. As I said before, He doesn’t have to write anything down cause he already knows what I need. When I am done, I walk away knowing that He is my God!

“I’m not religious, I just love the Lord!” I am in love with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!. Am I perfect, nope. I’m forgiven. You can be too!

“Keep Looking Up…His Coming Is Soon!”

The Love Of My Life!

 rosie

On Feb 25, 1955, the love of my life was born. She was given the name Rosemarie Dawn Archer. She lived 40 years. She was in her 41st year when she died. That was the day that my heart got a hole so big in it that you could drive a tractor trailer through it and even after 20 years (this year on November 11) that hole is still there. Nothing and no one can fill it. They say that no matter what you think, you only get one true soul mate. Rose was mine.

We met at a bible study in 1979. She was shy and quiet. She was sweet and cute and she made my heart skip a beat. We went to see the movie Jesus and sat beside each other. I took her hand in mine and we sat like that the rest of the movie. We started dating and I fell in love. We went to the same church and we were almost inseparable.

We moved in together in 1980. We were happy and truth be told, she was my first. We lived in this basement apartment that I constantly hit my head on the pipes. One day when she was sick I proposed. I was on my knees peeling potatoes and she was on her third cup of hot chocolate. She came out of the living room and asked for more. I took the cup and asked her if she would marry me. She giggled and said yes and went back to the living room. A few minutes later she came back and asked me if I had proposed and I said yes and that she had said yes and she skipped back to the living room and got on the phone to tell her sisters.

August 29th, 1981 at 12 Noon the wedding took place at Knox Flox Presbyterian Church in Crossland Ontario. It was so black that we were sure that it was going to storm and make it miserable but the rain stayed away till after the wedding and a few pictures were taken before the reception. It is a day I will never forget. Some of the names are foggy but the sight of seeing her walk down the aisle brought me to tears. I was about to marry the love of my life.

We had our honeymoon at the Barrie Continental Inn and it was a wonderful time. I even carried her across the threshold.  We started on a journey that would take us from living in Toronto, to moving back to Barrie. From cheating on each other to fixing it and realizing that we couldn’t live without each other. We went through a battle to keep our apartment and won. We went through a number of landlords and finally got one we liked.

In 92 my dad died and I got the call from Rose and I cried, not for long but I did cry. He was my father and even though I was not his biggest fan, I had enough respect for him to cry. A week later I was at my church’s office and I was trying to fix their computer when I got another call from Rose that they had found something wrong with her blood.

That started a 3 and half year battle with Leukemia. Inside I wanted to scream but on the outside I had to show strength cause I knew that Rose would need me to lean on. She was strong but knew that she had me to hold onto and I was her sounding board, her slapping post. More than once she hit me not cause she was mad at me but because she needed to release some tension and some anger. I was there for that, not because I was a wimp but because that is what a husband is suppose to do.

I held her hand while she went through chemo. I was there when she had to spend time at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto for a few weeks. I would go down and stay at their family building, free of charge, and be able to see her. She was despondent one day that she wanted to die. I was very honest with her. I told her that if she wanted to die then she best get on with it and get it over with but that while she did that she should think about her family and me. How that would make us feel and that I would be alone. A week or so later, she was out of isolation and in a normal room. No more gowns and gloves.

She was to going home soon  and I couldn’t wait for her to come home. I was so tired of sleeping alone and not hearing her snore beside me. Yes it’s true, if you just hold on, the snoring becomes normal background noise that is so important to your life. We spent the night in the guest services building and had one of the rooms to ourselves. We made love for the first time in weeks and it was wonderful. We cried and laughed and enjoyed each other. 

The next morning she noticed  little white spots on her body. What we thought was Host vs Graft disease, turned out to be chicken pox. That was on a Tuesday. On Saturday November 11 1995 at 11:20ish PM I got the call from the hospital. The love of my life was gone. All that strength I had had crumbled and I was standing in the kitchen stark naked and I screamed. I cried out and I was crushed.

I was surrounded by family and friends. We had the viewing, closed casket, and we talked about her. All the time all I wanted to do was crawl in the casket with her. To be cremated with her so we could spend the rest of eternity together. As far as I was concerned, my life was over. I had no reason to live anymore.

Rose was my world. I have to admit that I loved her more than I loved Jesus. I woke up to her every morning and went to bed with her every night. We made plans and even went through adoption proceedings only to have them dashed when she was diagnosed. It killed me to tell her that we had to stop them. Maybe we should have kept going. Maybe I would have had the child I had always wanted.

That was then this is now. For twenty years I have, in one way or another, mourned the loss of my love. The woman that I gave my heart to and my virginity. She held me and smacked me. Loved me and hated me. Made love with me and we enjoyed each other. Through it all, if I had to do it all again I would in a heartbeat. I would go through it all again if it meant I could have Rose back.

She was my 4 foot ten and half inch dynamo that loved her friends and family. She loved her husband more and even through all the trouble, she was happy. One day I know that she will be in my arms once more and that we will be together for the rest of time.

 

Sadness Is Not Choosey!

You never im me they say. You don’t like me they say. Guess what…not true. Just like a phone, it goes both ways. Click a button and say hi. I don’t bite (well I do but only If I ask first). See it goes like this. You have a mouse that you can click my name and say hi. It always seems so one-sided.

Connection is great and it does go both ways. It seems that I am always the one to start the conversation. Then people think that I am ignoring them. I’m not. I sit at times and wait for someone to say something then I end up starting the conversation. Which in itself is not a bad thing, but it would be nice if it happened the other way once in a while.

I don’t vent or rant very often. I keep a lot of things close to the vest. I don’t show my unhappiness very often. I plaster on a smile and make like everything is okay. Ask anyone that really knows me and they will tell you that. I play the happy guy but most of the time I am hurting inside. I fake it just to make sure that friends don’t have to see how broken I am inside.

People say, you are a Christian, how can you be unhappy or broken. Aren’t you saved…..Yup I am and yes I am saved but I am also very human. I have my problems with life just like everyone else. I go through things just like everyone else. I get depressed and I get sick just like everyone else.

I said once that I have no friends and I don’t have very many…in Oregon. All my friends or the majority of them live in Ontario Canada. My adopted dad is one of the most wonderful men I have ever met. I love him more than he will ever know. (and he knows who he is.) I watched two wonderful little girls, that i considered my little sisters grow up into beautiful wonderful women. One is even a TV star.

Thirty four years ago I married the love of my life. Fourteen years later she was taken from me. I have carried that pain for 20 years. There is a hole in my heart that was where her love resided. It held me and caressed me and told me everything was going to be alright. It’s not there anymore and nothing can fill that spot. I love my current wife but even she can not fill that hole.

Friendships are hard to find these days. With everyone connected to the net and the phones surgically implanted on our hands. Making friends is not what it use to be. Now we have social media that has taken the place of going outside and actually talking to each other. We replaced friendships with computers. We hide behind our screens instead of face to face. Oh what I would give to see the friends I talk to. To see all the friends that I left behind in Ontario.

I am a sad man. I have my moments of happiness but not as many as I would like. My happiness is in heaven waiting for me to come to her. It is in Ontario where the people I love the most are. Where my family is. The ones that know me best. I am waiting for the day that I can see My Lord and turn in my sadness for happiness.

Folks, make sure you do more than just IM people. If they are close enough, talk to them face to face. If you can’t, IM them often. Don’t wait for them to come to you. I don’t do it often enough but I have been hurt so many times that I don’t bother anymore. Saying Hi can do so much!

 

Fool’s Gold!

“Some may call me foolish, some may call me odd
But I’d rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God!”

1 Corinthians 1:21-25

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

A man walks down the road and sees another man preaching the word of God. He calls that man a fool and the man preaching smiles. He was called a fool and takes it as a compliment. The man who called the other man a fool, looks at him. He stops and asks.

“I just called you a fool and you smile. Why?”

“You call me a fool and yet you are the fool for you speak to me and understand what I am saying. You call me a fool and yet through that foolishness, men have come to know the King of Fools. The one who died and rose again. He did so that when the time comes, you will become the same fool that you just called me.”

The man stood in dumb believe. He looked at the ground and then back up.

“How can I know this King of Fools that you speak of?”

The fool smiled and sat with the foolish man and in time..they both became fools. Fools for the same man who died for both of them.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, the Jews mocked Him and asked for signs. They asked that if He was the Saviour, that He save himself and them. They begged to be shown proof the He was who He was. They need to be shown that and yet He had said it over and over again. Thomas was one that had to have proof.

John 20:24-25

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called [a]Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas had to have proof. He had to see a sign. Yet blessed be the one that believes and yet has not seen.

The Greeks on the other hand searched for wisdom. They picked a part everything and had to see the wisdom in the passage. They couldn’t take the passage at face value, which in some cases is not a bad thing.

The gospel of Christ to the Jews is a stumbling block cause again they needed proof. To the Greeks, foolishness. It was folly to preach the teachings of a dead man. They didn’t see the wisdom in it. To God it was foolishness as well but foolishness in a different way. It was so simple and so humbling. A man that didn’t do anything wrong. That taught the Kingdom of God and taught love for mankind was killed because it didn’t make any sense. These people stood around and waited for signs and understanding. The understanding and the signs were right there. Jesus died for fools such as I. He didn’t do it cause He had to. He did it cause He wanted to. The signs that the Jews needed was right there hanging on the cross.

The wisdom of the cross is easy to receive and it really is. But then you need to understand it and to a certain point that is pretty easy as well. What is the wisdom of the Cross….that a man who did no wrong, died for you and me. Period.

I am a Fool For Christ. I am proud to be the Fool.

Someone will read this and go “only a fool would believe in a Dead Man.” The difference between me and him or her is that I have proof that Jesus is not dead and that He reigns on high with the Father. The bible tells me so.

Acts 2:33

33 Therefore having been exalted [a]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

1 Peter 3:21-22

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [a]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Luke 22:69

Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

The Cross is pure foolishness to those who choose not to believe.

Through these blogs I preach the Gospel of Christ. I present Jesus and pray as I do so that you , the reader, might, if you have not already, come to know the Jesus that I know. The Man that laid down His life so that you might live!. In centuries gone by, they didn’t have the net or the ability to reach the masses like we do today. They didn’t have television. They didn’t have the wonder of radio or the telephone. These are all relatively new inventions. They had to go out and preach the gospel. They had to do it on their feet. Now we can do it through blogging.  We reach millions through the wonder of television. The ability to spread the gospel has become so much easier.

We spread the gospel through music and movies. Live concerts and even recorded ones. Things have changed since Jesus gave that command.

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”

But the command stays the same. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone that will listen. To preach the love that He had for all mankind. To present the only One worthy of our praise. To take the name calling. To smile when someone calls us a fool and to acknowledge that the gold waiting for us is not the gold we can’t afford but fool’s gold. To stand proud and say

“This fool will put his faith in a fool’s errand. To preach the foolish cross of Christ. To stand firm in the belief that Jesus is the only one worthy of praise and glory. He is the only one that showed His love for us, that when He died for you and me, He did so with a love that is so unconditional that He did it for everyone. Not just for the Jews but the gentiles as well.

When you present Christ and they call you a fool. Smile, and say… “I would rather be a fool in the eyes of man, than be a fool in the eyes of God!”

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Soon!