Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reflections on Resurrection Week

Here are ideas, quotes, and events from last week as we remembered and celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

** On the Passover Lamb: The lamb had value, but its value couldn't be applied to the Israelites until it was slain. Only those who applied the blood were passed-over.

** The gospel in a nutshell: I love you; I forgive you; Supper's ready! (referring to the future Wedding Feast of the Lamb)

** If with God all things are possible, then with God all things--even death--are reversible (or [my edit], are overcome-able).

** Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men ALIVE!

** I was teaching on Sunday from Acts 8, where Philip (the deacon) ends up on a road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza to talk to a guy from Ethiopia about the prophet Isaiah (just trying to get all my prepositions in for the day!). Since they discussed Isaiah 53, and since God providentially worked it such that this lesson fell on Resurrection Sunday, I bounced my middle schoolers over to the Old Testament and began teaching them of the 'Suffering Servant' referred to there. Here is something I learned:

Verse 2 puzzled me, so I did some research (read: called my dad). The verse says: He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. I had no idea what this meant, but in my research/phone call, Dad explained. In Jeremiah 36, one branch--the kingly, ruling branch--of David's line was cursed, never to sit on Israel's throne again (see verse 30). Ummmm...that kinda presents a problem since God promised David that his throne would be established forever (2 Samuel 7).

But you know, God's not bothered by the stuff that twists our brains in to pretzels. Here's how Jesus is able to both be a descendant of David's kingly line AND sit on the throne: Joseph, the presumed father of Jesus, was a descendant of this kingly line; Mary, the actual mother of Jesus was a descendant of another branch of David's lineage, one not cursed. Since Jesus was Joseph's presumed son, the law afforded Him all the rights and privileges of Joseph (i.e., the right to sit on David's throne), yet He was preserved from the curse because He is biologically only Mary's child, not Joseph's.

Get it? Way cool stuff, huh? I LOVE how God meets all the requirements and yet works salvation, in so many senses. Reminds me of the end of Romans 3, which teaches us how God can be both just and the justifier!

** In worship Sunday, we sang Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), In Christ Alone, and My Savior, My God, all songs posted earlier last week as favorites! (My Savior, My God was posted by Sarah.)

** As I sat in a Maundy Thursday service, I pondered how twisted this celebration would be from any other perspective. And I wrote...

The table was covered with a white cloth, a shroud for the symbols of death hidden beneath it. A roomful of people, each celebrating death, celebrating the shroud and its symbols.

A dark day indeed.

They began to replay the final scenes of his life, recounting with joy his final words. Leaders among them retold the story of the execution, notes of happiness tinging their tones. The celebration of this capital punishment so publicly proffered... They even wore the symbols of his death in their ears, on the their fingers, around their necks...

And so, groups like this meet around the world tonight, remembering the one death worth recounting, worth celebrating; sharing the common bond of the blood and the broken body, remembering...

Just thought I'd share...

(c) 2008


Beth said...

LOVE that last quote!

Sarah said...

This past resurrection sunday I had a different reaction than usual. We had a breakfast at church and it was fun...but I really felt like I just wanted to be alone...with Jesus, to ponder all he's done and is doing. By church time, I was ready to celebrate with everyone...but it took awhile.