Post by Marg Shurtliff on May 6, 2018 18:10:29 GMT -5
Disappointed there have been no comments . Perhaps you don't like watching a video. So here's the text .I really thought he did a great job .
FROM DEVASTATION TO CELEBRATION: Easter Sunday, 2018
I'm glad you’re here this morning for this conversation. I do appreciate your attention and consideration. I want you to know that what I'm about to tell you really happened and that there'll be no modification. And that I'm not alone in telling it – there is corroboration – it's not just my interpretation. But while I am careful in what I will say, I don't come with fear, nor trepidation, but with fascination. I hope that you'll find this an inspiration.
Jerusalem. That was our location. Again. We had been at the Mount of Olives and had been at Calvary and then had seen Joseph of Arimathea at the tomb. The tomb. How did we get here from there? That's what drives this rumination. Let me tell you about . . . Jesus.
You know that when Jesus came on the scene there was a lot of speculation. The term we heard used was God becoming flesh – incarnation. Mary heard about it first. Then Joseph was told. And then the shepherds had an angelic visitation. It was quite the revelation.
As news went out, some ignored it, but others thought that this would be the start of the re-creation of the Jewish nation. That's what they – that's what we – were hoping for. With great anticipation!
Let's start at the beginning. Things really began – things really started to happen – at the River Jordan. The Pharisees were quite impressed with their own reputation, but John answered back with repudiation . . . to their consternation. Quite the reverberation! Brood of vipers?
The Pharisees started talking about defamation but John kept up his denunciation. For John to talk like that took some intestinal fortification!
As I said, it really began at the River Jordan. John baptized so many people. And Jesus! He baptized Jesus! And we saw it . . . we saw a dove alighting on Jesus . . . heard a voice from heaven . . . this is My beloved Son . . . was that the call to the return to Kingdom principles? Was it the inauguration? Some were ready to crown Him King . . . yet He refused any adulation. Nor would He heed those religious leaders who demanded a powerful demonstration. I mean, if He wouldn't listen to Satan at the temptation, why would He bow to their ostentation?
We – we were drawn to Him. There was something about Him. I don't know what it was. But when He called – when He said Follow Me – we did. And we were in it for the duration. Sure there was admiration, and some people followed Him just to be able to say that they were part of His association – still hoping to see a coronation. But that wasn't our motivation.
Don't get me wrong – there were special times, unbelievable times, indescribable times. I mean, I remember Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Himself on the mountain at the transfiguration. That day there was great exaltation and elation. But for Jesus . . . it was as if it were not important at all – He refused any veneration. Though we thought it was a great day – that day of His glorification!
You'd think that it would be something special with Him being such a sensation, but walking with Him was no vacation! We were so busy! There was hardly any time for meditation or contemplation.
Which we needed, because what we were doing soon turned into a difficult situation. I'm talking about the events of the week past. We were filled with consternation because it wasn't just a minor complication.
Looking back, I admit that we had the inclination – some would say the temptation – to lead in a spiritual revolution or reformation. No, it wouldn't be by manipulation, and we weren't after world – or national – or even local – domination. We just thought that after last week – after the Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem – that this would be the culmination of what He was doing . . . not our ruination! What brought about our – His – limitation?
Maybe He should have talked to them. Maybe He should have tried negotiation. Or mediation. Instead, He charged into the temple and made a scene. A scene. That's a tame word. Ask those involved and they'd call it aggravation! But He felt He had to act – He found the goings-on to be an abomination.
I think that was the tipping point. That's what led to what happened in the garden . . . that's what led to the confrontation. The soldiers – led by Judas of all people – brought about the altercation. And what could we do about it? We couldn't just stand there. We had to protect Him if He wasn't going to protect Himself. So we pulled out our swords – we had justification because of the provocation. They were going to take Him and we were resolved that there would be no capitulation. It was because of our dedication. We were doing it for Him – that was our rationalization. In all honesty . . . we were also afraid of our own incarceration!
Yes. I'll admit it. High on our priority list was our own self-preservation. So we did what we could.
It was a pathetic improvisation. We soon realized that there was going to need to be some recalibration.
Look – it didn’t take long until our greatest emotion turned to mortification – once we got by the guilt and accusation and self-recrimination. Deep in our souls . . . agitation.
Or maybe it was just the realization of what we didn't do and for what we discovered about ourselves – oh, the humiliation!
Not that it did any good, with that came deep lamentation. And what good is our frustration?
And then came some new information. The women had gone to the grave to continue the body's preparation, and they come to us and say that the grave is empty . . . Mary says that she has actually seen Him . . . some weird visualization . . . an appellation?
Poppycock! Balderdash! I said "That is some imagination". A total fabrication. Or maybe a wild hallucination. At best, mis-identification. Hopefully these sightings were not from intoxication! We asked for more . . . I hope it didn't seem like an interrogation. What a situation!
Maybe it's just more guilt, based on our own procrastination – we should have gone to the tomb ourselves. It's a repudiation of our character that we didn't. No . . . of theirs . . . they must have gone to the wrong tomb. There's no other explanation other than their desperation. Yet still they insist. It's a total mystification.
We listened. We held back our condemnation. We were looking for truth; they offered an over simplification! Wrong grave maybe? Adamant, though, they tell of Jesus' salutation . . . they argue in desperation . . . they gave strong protestation.
Enough of this, we thought! We went to check it out ourselves! And we found . . . confirmation. The tomb was – is – empty. There's verification. There is no negation. For them its exoneration. It seems that our accusation had no foundation.
So here we are. Filled with excitation (not good vibrations) . . . because now we have also seen Him. We fall in adoration . . . and with no hesitation – and not from obligation we begin the proclamation of the resurrection: He is risen! He is risen! He is risen! It is our declaration – and the reason for this communication.
In summation . . . we've gone from devastation to celebration. Today there is great jubilation because of our salvation. Jesus is alive! We have hope! And that's no exaggeration!