Toward Easter

fig tree

We’ve  had a quick detox dealing with old films and great stars, and we’re ready now, perhaps, to turn to the thing our secular-minded society finds it all too easy to avoid – Easter.

Today, in the UK, the Queen will distribute Maundy Money where the Queen gives a gift of money to pensioners in imitation of Jesus washing to feet of his disciples – whilst it is nice to have your feet washed, the money is more helpful. The ceremony is a reminder that with wealth and position comes responsibility – a very Christian message. We see the same with the Pope washing the feet of the poor – a more direct copy of what Christ did. It’s a shame it seems to provoke some controversy with some Catholics – the gesture of humility is what is important – Jesus said that in his kingdom service was what matters, and those who would be great in it had to serve.

That evening in the upper room, Jesus prepared for what he knew would be an ordeal, and we know in the Garden he prayed that if it were possible, the cup should pass him by; but that was not possible, and he let himself follow the course mapped out for him. Others also followed a course that night. Judas went off and betrayed his master, Peter hung round the High Priest’s house and denied his master; Peter felt shame and persevered; Judas felt shame and hanged himself: there’s a moral there for us.

We can only imagine how it was that night for the followers of Jesus; their world suddenly collapsed. It had been only a few days earlier that their leader had been feted by the people of Jerusalem – and now he was arrested, and they were wanted men and women. We can’t know what they felt, but we do know that by the Saturday night they were in hiding; the events of Good Friday were terrible ones, and their hopes and dreams were all gone. It was the end of all their aspirations. Not one of them knew what Jesus had meant about the Temple being knocked down and restored after three days. They had spent so much time with Jesus and they saw so little.

One of the ways you just know you can trust Scripture is this sort of thing – it is from the NT that we get all these stories which show the Apostles in a pretty poor light, arguing over which of them would be greatest in the kingdom of Heaven, not understanding the parables, boasting they’d stand with him and then running away – you’d have to ask who, if they were making stuff up, would ever put this into their story. No, these guys came to realise, after the Resurrection, everything Jesus had meant, and their honesty compelled them to acknowledge their own shortcomings.

I don’t know about you, but I find that very cheering as I approach Easter. I could spend an awful long time recounting my sins to a priest and still probably not get it all in – so I take it to the Lord, who knows all things, and I tell him he knows what needs to be forgiven and healed. Over the next few days, we can all do that.

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About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

8 Responses to Toward Easter

  1. NEO says:

    Isn’t that the truth? No one trying to lead as most leaders do, would tell that part of the story, and for me as well, that’s one of the markers, they did.

    I love the new profile picture, as well, dearest friend. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Myself, I think of the question of just what is “Christian Service” in this Day of Gentile Apostasy? And Paul’s verse from 2 Cor. 4: 7 comes to mind: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

    Every Sunday or Lord’s Day is a little Easter!

    Sweet pic Jessica, you are a beauty! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Btw, I like this version of 2 Cor. 4: 7… “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV 2011)

      And this too from Paul: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (glorification).” (Col. 1: 27)

      Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      Thank you Fr Robert – that’s a very recent one 🙂 xx

      Like

      • Yes, its no secret I love and have many English Bible Translations from the original languages of the Hebrew and Greek. You name it, and I think I have it? I even read my Greek NT daily, as per the promise of my Anglican ordination. I love too NT Greek word studies! And two of my favorites here are E.W. Bullinger’s: A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament. I have the 1908 edition, and the Kregel reprint from 1908, of course both English. And my other favorite is The Expanded Vine’s: Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, keyed to the Strong’s, Brown’s Dictionary New International; and Arndt Gingrich’s Greek English Lexicon. This is of course by W.E. Vine, originally published in England by Oliphants, Marshall Pickering, 1940. And of course both Bullinger and Vine were Englishmen. And both died in the 20th century. I would be remiss if I did not mention also Bullinger’s fine book, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, 1104 pages (1898). This work is the great classification of Greek and Roman words and figures of Speech used in the Bible, the author sets out 217 distinct figures of speech present in the Bible. He gives for each the pronunciation and etymology of its name, and then a number of passages of Scripture in which it appears, accompanied by a full explanation. In all, nearly eight thousand passages are thus cited. Just a major work and effort!

        Finally, it has been a long study and my own personal effort and use, with the now newest NIV 2011, which I feel anyway is the best “dynamic” English Translation, which is subservient alone to the English literal Translations of both the American Standard Version, 1901, and the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition, 1995. Both the cream of the best English Bible Translation in my opinion, thinking too of the great Revised Version (English R.V. Oxford University Press, 1884, O.T. 1880, NT).

        *Let me recommend Donald Brake’s fine book: A Visual History of the English Bible, The Tumultuous Tale of the World’s Bestselling Book, (hardback 349 pages, Baker Books, 2008).This is simply a classic book and one of a kind! Of course the Holy Bible is the backbone of the English & Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian so-called religion and revelation of God! And always its own presupposition itself.

        Enjoy your your Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Eve and Easter Day, 2016!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jesus/Yeshua is Lord of Life and History! Both the Jewish Messiah, and the Gentile (Nations) King of Kings and Lord of Glory! – HE will Come most literally Again to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and there reign into the New Creation Forever! Come Lord Jesus! Amen!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I would love to take a shot at what is an “Evangelical”, such a lost definition today in both the Church and our Postmodern culture! But, here, we would have to proclaim the biblical facts of redemption in the revelation of God itself, and here we would be bound by the Holy Scripture itself! And only true believers – and themselves people of the Gospel – would understand and believe! And note, that according to Paul faith itself is “the gift of God”! (Eph. 2: 8… “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this NOT of yourselves, it is God’s gift!)

          Like

        • But it and I would also be incomplete, if I did not quote Eph. 2: 10… “For we are what HE has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Indeed here we are God’s handiwork, simply and profoundly created in Christ Jesus to do good works, prepared alone by God in advance for us to do! But again, all of God’s grace and glory!

          Liked by 1 person

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