Legal Property

* * * * * * * * * * * * * This blog is the intellectual property of Anne Baxter Campbell, and any quotation of part or all of it without her approval is illegal. * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Week--Sorrowing Saturday

Saturday--the Sabbath--must have been a day of horror, dismay, mourning, and shock for the followers and the mother of Jesus. All their hopes and expectations lay in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. Death, in their experience, was final.

The only exceptions had been when Jesus had commanded a child, a friend, or a mother's only son to rise. But now, the One with authority over death was himself dead.

Most of us have experienced that devastation that follows the death of one we love. The world should be ended. How can others go about their daily lives when this death so impacts your life?

That sounds selfish only to those who haven't known that devastation.

Multiply that lost feeling by an all-is-lost feeling. By the sense that everything you held as truth is now destroyed. By the feeling that even God has left the planet. I'm sure that's how they felt--the disciples, His mother, and all the rest of His devoted followers and friends. Peter must have been especially devastated--he remembered that last look Jesus shot him as the rooster crowed.

Remember the children, how they loved Him? How they shouted "Hosannah!" as He rode the donkey down the hill? Their hero had died. He would never again bless them as He held them on His knee.

And His mother. Those of you who have experienced the death of your child know the anguish that produces. She would have been no different. Her horror and sorrow would have gone perhaps deeper than anyone else's.

What would happen now that they all had lost the Perfect One?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Holy Week--The Crucifixion

This day was the saddest day in Christian history. Yes, you and I know Jesus rose again--but people on that day watched Him dying, and they didn't know. Maybe there were more tears shed by women and men alike on that day than on any other. They were anguished, disillusioned, angry, disappointed, mournful.

They had believed Jesus would set up His kingdom and boot the Romans out.

They thought this Healer would be around for at least a normal lifetime, maybe forever.

Even Judas was unhappy. He had been the one who betrayed Jesus, but then he went back to the temple rulers and gave their thirty pieces of silver back to them.

Now their Lord hung, dirty and bleeding, from the worst instrument of torture the Romans could devise. A sign was nailed to the cross saying in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

Not everyone was unhappy.

Temple rulers rejoiced--all but a few like Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus.

The Romans were probably pretty noncommittal. They saw crucifixions all the time, and this was just part of their job. All but one, maybe, who commented that this Man really was the Son of God--or at least a son of a god.

Those in the crowd who demanded Barabbas, a murder, be released rather than Jesus, were not unhappy. They had hollered to Pilate to crucify Jesus.

Which part would you have played?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week--Thursday before Easter

When Jesus woke up on that Thursday morning, it would be the last rest He would get as a human. I realize He was also God, but while He was on this earth He had the same limitations as we do--including the need for rest. If any of you have gone without sleep for an extended period, you might have a smidgen of an inkling for how tired He would feel. I doubt He slept well Wednesday night, either; would you, knowing what was coming?

The Bible says He "earnestly" desired to eat His last meal with them--the Passover feast.

A little background, if you don't know what the Passover was. The last of the ten curses God put on Egypt through Moses was that every first-born male of every household in Egypt would die. Except, of course, the Jews. And how the angel of Death would know to exclude those Jewish households was that the blood of a sacrificial lamb (the yearling lamb killed to atone for sins) would be painted on the doorpost of their homes.

The Jews would then eat in a hurry--not taking the time to let the bread raise before cooking (thus the unleavened bread), and eating the cooked lamb.

What Jesus's friends (His twelve disciples) didn't realize was that the next day Jesus would be the last sacrificial Lamb needed ever. But Jesus knew, and He wanted to spend this last day with His closest friends. There was so much He had to tell them, and He didn't want people coming to Him for healings or the priests coming to trap Him one more time or any other of a myriad of distractions. He only wanted His twelve closest friends.

Even Judas, the one who would betray Him. You see, He loved even Judas. He washed Judas feet too. He gave Judas communion--the bread and wine--too.

If He could love Judas, He can love even you and me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week--Wednesday before Easter

Whose wife?

The ruling class of Jews were constantly trying to trick Jesus into saying something where they could point the finger at Him and say He blasphemed. Especially during this, His last week. They would then have the excuse to kill Him that they longed for.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week--Tuesday before Easter

During His last week, Jesus was in the temple watching those who came to make their offerings and pay their tithes. According to tradition, there were thirteen boxes in the Court of Women with trumpet-shaped metal horns on top where people put sin offerings, temple tax, and other offerings--some for specific things and some unspecified.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Week--Monday before Easter

Jesus draws closer to His death on the cross, His disciples blissfully unaware of the coming torment and terrors. Monday might have been the day when Jesus entered the temple and sealed his fate by by clearing the Court of Gentiles. He called the temple sacrifice vendors and money changers robbers, knowing the priests took a cut of the merchants' profits. He was angry--furious!--that these people made His Father's house into a smelly barnyard filled with corruption.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Holy Week--Sunday before Easter

For me, this begins a week of mourning. It's a little like watching someone I love who is suffering from a fatal disease and is in their last days.