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Archive for the tag “Jesus Christ”

Holy Week Adjusted

Today I got a haircut.  My barber, Randy, is very knowledgeable about the Bible.  We talk about politics and religion.  He is a Messianic Jew and celebrates the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.  He celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but counts the days of Holy Week differently than how I was taught.  I will try to explain.

Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem that is celebrated on Palm Sunday, my barber says, coincides with bringing the lambs who would be sacrificed down that same route.  The people who came out would have come for that parade anyway.  It was part of the preparation for Passover.  So far that coincides with the traditional beginning of Holy Week, but with a slightly new perspective.

Randy says that the Day of Preparation for Passover would have been Tuesday and so the Last Supper was Tuesday night, not Thursday.  On Tuesday night, Jesus was arrested and put on trial.  However, they could find no fault in him.

On Wednesday, Randy says, the priests would sacrifice the spotless lambs found to be without flaw.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, was without fault or flaw.  Wednesday was the day that Jesus was crucified, not Friday.  The Jews needed the crucifixion to be completed before sunset, when Passover began.  The lambs were sacrificed on a certain schedule — the same time frame as Jesus being sacrificed. Randy also said that when the High Priest completed the task of sacrificing the lambs, he would say, “It is finished.”  Jesus said the same as his last words on the cross.

This was before the start of Passover on Wednesday sunset, which as Randy explained, is then Thursday.  Really that is not very different than beginning a new day at midnight.  Rather than midnight, the new day began at sunset of the prior day.

Jesus said he would rise after three days.  Per Randy, the three days were Thursday (technically from sundown Wednesday until sundown Thursday), Friday, and Saturday at sunset.  The resurrection probably occurred in the night (i.e., after sundown) which was Sunday.  The women came to the empty tomb on Sunday morning.  Easter!

It makes sense to me.  How about to you?





Welcome to the General Public

In the original Rocky movie, when Rocky wanted to take Adrian ice skating, he was told that the ice rink was closed.  He asked, “Is it closed to everybody or just to the general public?”

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray what we call The Lord’s Prayer, which includes asking our Father who art in heaven to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” was he intending that only those twelve individuals pray that prayer or was it meant for the general public as well?

Like Rocky, I don’t always want to be part of just the general public.  Maybe I don’t want to forgive those who trespass against me.  Nevertheless, I do recommend that those in the general public ought to be forgiving.  I like to be forgiven by others and certainly I want to be forgiven by God.

Of course, Christians believe that Jesus died for the sins of everyone, to redeem everyone.  Everyone is in the general public.

Unfortunately, we do not always behave as we believe.

Have you had the experience of telling a fellow Christian that you have been hurt by that person and instead of being asked for forgiveness, such as a simple, “I am sorry,” had that person explain to you why you should not have been hurt?  Disregarding your feelings.  Or explain why you deserved to be hurt.  No remorse.  No apology.  Why?  Because the “hurter” will not accept blame and is unrepentant.   Too good.  Too superior.  Too “Christian?”

On the flip side, have you asked a Christian brother or sister to forgive you and been ignored?  Or refused.  Imagine a fellow sinner withholding forgiveness  from someone whom Christ died for.  How can any Christian be too good to forgive another?   Isn’t that disregarding what Christ has accomplished on the cross?

Apparently, such Christians are blind to the applicability of Jesus’ words to them.  Apparently, they do not see themselves as part of the general public.  Apparently, they deem themselves special.

Jesus was upset by similarly self-righteous attitudes by the Pharisees of his day.  He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you put burdens on others that you yourselves are unwilling to bear.”

Feeling superior about one’s righteousness might be comfortable for such persons, but I fear they missed the point of Jesus’ gospel.  They would be well-advised to acknowledge being part of the general public because Jesus came to save everyone.

Abraham Lincoln said, “God must especially love the common folks because he made so many of them.”

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