Posted tagged ‘Good Friday’

BY MEANS OF MEN

April 14, 2017

(At the 9th hour):        “It is consummated.”           It was.

CROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

“By means of men and their actions,  God governs the world.”*

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.*  “What Jesus Saw From the Foot of the Cross”

by  A.G. Sertillanges

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EVIL CHILDREN

April 1, 2016

 

I didn’t know what to call this posting.    But, yeah,  it’s Friday in Easter Week –

Banner Easterthur

–  so I was doing what I was supposed to be doing:  thinking back on the whole Easter thing, and specifically one week ago,  not only a Friday,  but Good Friday.

And why did it all happen?

Why did it all have to happen?

Did you see this on the news this past week?  —

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America.   Near Philadelphia.   People sitting on a commuter train,  subway thing,  when all of a sudden a small group of six year olds began shouting obscenities,  punching, kicking,  and otherwise threatening the passengers.  This picture is from the video — the words of these vicious six-year olds had to be bleeped out.

The story is here.   

It is a scene out of Lord of the Flies.     It’s a scene from the Passion of the Christ where those devlish little boys chased Judas out of the city.   It’s a scene I’ve posted before, showing tiny children being taught how to behead teddy bears;   a 5 year old holding a little machine gun;   a sweet little 4 or 5 year old girl holding a large knife yelling “Stab! Stab!  Stab!”

And we don’t realize how common scenes like this occur.      Little children fighting, slapping,  swearing at their parents in a store.   We don’t pay much attention anymore.  When I spent a year teaching 4 and 5 year olds in a well-known Kindergarten type school,  I was astonished at the sexual activity among some of them.   As well as their language. As well as their defiance towards any adults,  most especially their own parents.  “Normal”  suburban kids, without any knowledge of God.

I have in my memory so many actual news stories of dangerous children . . . .

Oddly,  this was predicted for our century in the early 1600s, when the intensity of such moral depravity was not ever suspected.    *.

quito

In around 1635,  from this building,   it was predicted that there will be a  time when the world sinks into moral depravity so widespread and deep that the very innocence of  children will be corrupted —  which indicates it’s going to go deeply into the next generation when they grow up – and don’t know how to live and don’t know what to teach their children.    The whole culture is depraved and unworkable.

(By the way,   when the passengers on that Philadelphia train pleaded with the adults who were with those out-of-control children to “do something,”   those adults became defiant and aggressive towards the victims!)

The century for when this deep moral corruption resulting from a repudiation of the True Faith was named:   it is the 20th century.

We’re living it now.  Our world is  a fulfillment of that prediction.   We don’t even understand what it means that “the innocence of children will be lost” —   what “innocence” ?   What innocence are they supposed to have?     Other centuries would be astonished that we can’t even answer that question.

The prophecy said: A time “when the world sinks into moral depravity . . .”   It will become as bad as it can get – and such times will illustrate the danger and murderous insanity of sin,  where no one is safe.   And children can be evil too.

This is an illustration why we had to have a Good Friday.    An  illustration of the stark contrast between a world living without its Creator and a world that can choose to live in obedience to its Creator –  Who is also its Savior.    Dying in  propitiatory sacrifice because of  these sins.

. . . . An act which offers the Hope that if we turn back to God, we will be given the power to overcome sin and intellectual darkness, and to reform ourselves.

 

Bar Cross in middle

*.   I write of the visitations of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito,  Ecuador.     That’s enough words to use in any Search engine if you’d like to know more about  the descriptions of our Age,  what’s going to happen,  what the remedies could be.

But I’ll write about it more later on too,  maybe in a month or two.

DISROBED, DEAD, AND GONE ‘AWAY’

March 25, 2016

Well . . .  “yes”  and “no” to the title.

The Son of God came for a purpose.  He had a mission.   “He came unto His own. . .”  (and “His own”  received Him not);  and he came to “seek and to save that which was lost.” (He did His part, but not all little lambs   want to be found)   “He laid down His life for the sheep”   (and that part worked – it was efficacious —  the Father accepted His life as propitiatory sacrifice.)

DISROBED:

But the Final Act of sacrifice occurs here,  on Good Friday,  this last 24-hour period of His life on earth,  beginning with a meal in preparation for the Passover.

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Uncovering the Bread

At the Passover table,  the unleavened bread is presented on a plate, and the bread is covered with a white linen cloth.   Here is some bread (some Finnish bread), and the cloth is not white linen —   but this is the act of “uncovering”  the bread, because soon it will be eaten – literally,  physically.

When Jesus and His disciples did this at His Last Supper,  the uncovering of the bread foreshadowed the very soon upcoming  Disrobing of the Body of Jesus in preparation for the crucifixion..

Disrobing Jesus

The Disrobing of Jesus

“I am the Bread of Life,”  Jesus taught.

And soon the bread will soon be “broken” just as the bond between body and soul will be broken within Jesus,  the appointed Christ of God.

DEAD:

Then came insults, mockery, and rejection.    “He was despised and rejected.”     “He became a worm, and no man.”     “He who knew no sin  became sin for us.”

And He became dead.

Jesus on cross

The Bread of Life is uncovered,  exposed, and vulnerable —  and “broken.”

GONE:

We can dispense with two heresies,  two erroneous opinions which keep coming up in the incredulous minds of men:

Human nature alone:  He was a man —  specially appointed, maybe;  specially empowered by God, maybe —   but just a man like any other man.     (And if that were so,   He would have his own sins and existential separation from God to die for.    He could do nothing for us.   He would be the savior of nothing and of no one,  and God would have been making false promises.)

Divine nature alone:   He did come down from the heavenly realm,  but He only appeared to be a man so that He could perform an act for us.   He only appeared to die,  because a god can’t die.   (And if that were so,  there would be no real contact with real humans.     He would not be one of us men who need salvation.)

Only with both true natures could Christ offer Himself to die on behalf of and in place of human beings,  and then have the power to visit the poor souls who have already died and to raise Himself up back to life   . . . .

GONE AWAY:

. . . .and to return to Heaven, giving the human race enough time to hear and to respond,  “whosoever”  will.

Gives us himself now

The Bread of Life Gives To Us Himself

 

There is time now for “whosoever”   to go to Him,  to commune with Him,  to unite with Him:  Jesus,   the Bread of Life;  because there is Peace now between God and “sheep.”

Because He is eternal God,  living by nature in eternity,   He is ever-present in every place in Time —  “from the rising of the sun to its going down.”   (Malachi 1:11)   Truly present for us.

He’s been broken dead.   Gone.   But  not “away” —   That’s the “no” answer to the title of this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUZZLING IT OUT

March 24, 2016

(sorry for this unusual extended absence;  funk;  Scandinavian Funk)

So,  this is a most important week,  a most Holy Week, full of detail and meaning and mystery:

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      Jesus Overlooking Jerusalem

The “mystery” is not that I have done yet another jigsaw puzzle;   the mystery is God, the Creator of all things and of all people,   prepared a special nation,  all descendants of the man named Abraham through which He, God Himself,  could take on human flesh and join True Human Nature to His Divinity.

One Person,  two natures.  That’s a mystery.

And He did it for a reason.   To come unto His own people, this special nation,  to be one among them,  and to do for them what they couldn’t do for themselves — save them from their sins and sanctify them, to make them holy for the next world.

So there is Jesus in that puzzle picture,  overlooking His city Jerusalem which He loved.

“He came unto His own,  and His own received Him not,”  we are told.

Just as His last week of life began,  He looks over the city, and with a Heart of love, weeps for the city,  knowing what will soon happen to it.    “O Jerusalem,  Jerusalem;  how often would I have gathered thee up to myself as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings….and you would not.”

I think about this scene every year that Holy Week begins.   Such love.  Such longing.  Such sorrow.

The people of Jerusalem,  in their houses down there,   the people of Judea,  and  the people of all lands “even to the ends of the earth”  belong to another.    They belong to what Jesus described as The Strong Man.

Jesus had taught that you can’t steal from a Strong Man’s house unless you first bind up the Strong Man, make him powerless,  and only then you can take away from him his possessions.

We are those possessions.   The “Strong Man”  is the enemy of God,  Satan, if you will; and the “house”  is this planet.    We can’t get up and walk away by our own power.   We can’t break out of the house.   We are  helpless, weak,  and pretty much clueless and  unwilling.

So Jesus came to “bind” that Strong Man,  and to make him powerless over us.  That’s what He’ll  be doing for the rest of this 24-hour period:   a good day,  a very good day for us.

Good Friday.

banner for Himself  3

Soon, now.

THE HANDS OF GOOD FRIDAY

April 3, 2015

hand drawing

The hands were strong, kind, and gentle.   Giving  to people whatever they needed:

(Ask and you shall receive…)

hands
Hands that healed by their touch.
hand healing 2

Hands that offered the Bread of Life:

hand breaking bread

Hands that received the nails:

Hand Jesus nailed

And then at Tenebrae,   we experience the reason for those nails with  silence,  quiet prayers,  psalms,  and mournful melodies from an ancient culture,  and deepening darkness.  

 church dark cr

And the conclusion, in a darkened church, with even the last tiny candle snuffed out, the growing sound of a large stone being slowly rolled into place . . . and the drum roll increases until a loud Thud of a big drum —   the tomb is entirely sealed now, and those sacred hands are cold and still.

THE JUDGE, UP THERE

April 3, 2015

 

It’s Good Friday.  There is much to say,  but there is too much to say, so I make only one point today.

Judge kneeling before

Who is it up there symbolized in  history by the rough coverings,  torn off of animals, covering the sinful humans who must leave Paradise?   Death and blood. . .

… Who was symbolized in  that one dark and spooky night, full of dread and horror,  in which Abraham prepared the pathway for God to approach, a pathway made of the blood and death of animals…

…Who was symbolized by the bloody doorposts and lintels of the Israelites before their hurried escape from enslavement in “Egypt…”

…Whose justice was symbolized by the death of David’s son, to atone for his sinful behavior, and to cut off that pathway into the future…

…Whose sorrow was symbolized by the dreadful mourning of His own people who will one day in the future recognize the Piercing Lances in the prophet’s vision . . .

Judge with halo

And so many more hints throughout history, clues to Who is up there on the Cross.

It is He,  the Word,  present in  the creation of the World,  the Word which caused the world to exist.   Our rejection of that Word is what caused all the blood and sorrow and  and death throughout history . . .   It is His world which we try to wrench away from Him.

And so on the Cross today is Our Judge.

Judge golden
The Cross is the judgment for all the things we would rather believe in than His Word;  and  a judgment upon all the things that we have done that are unlike His Word, and so will be condemned forever.

This is what His mother  came to understand when she was told that “a sword shall pierce thy soul also,  that the thoughts of many hearts shall be revealed.”   

sword

The thoughts of our hearts, judged, at this event that we commemorate today.

Judge as of oldHis just judgment rests upon the Cross.

 

THE LAST PASSOVER – AN UNANSWERED PRAYER

March 29, 2013

This is the scene of some of the final hours of the day of the Last Passover.

calvary 3

It’s familiar, unfortunately, because “familiarity breeds”…you know…and if not quite “contempt,”   familiarity certainly breeds spiritual blindness.   Maybe a little “boredom” too that makes us tell ourselves that we know all about this.

I like to tell my classes that there is so much more to the story, any story we are studying in the Bible, but especially this premier foundational one of the crucifixion.    Growing spiritually is like using a corkscrew –  every time you go around in a circle, you don’t end up at the beginning,  you spiral down a little deeper into the cork, into the meaning of the teaching that has come down to us.

Think more.  Read more.  Ponder and meditate more.   Allow more to come into you. . . .

And here is what I learned for this year’s Good Friday:  On this day,  it’s  almost as though God the Father loved each of us more than His own Son.

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And this is the book I’ve been reading and thinking with.  Jesus Crucified, or the Science of the Cross in the Form of Meditations.  The authors are Pierre Marie and Jean Nicolas Grou. And here is the startling thought from their meditation:

“God, having sent His Son on earth, would seem to have forgotten His Divine Sonship and given all His love to men,  and all His care to their salvation.   To save them (humans) from everlasting death He condemned His Son…to death.  

“”He willed that our Lord’s life should be spent teaching them and showing them an example of all the virtues.  He willed that, in order to save men from the bondage of sin, Our Lord should be throughout His life their Master, their Model, and their Servant.

“But not only that He should spend His whole life in the work of salvation for mankind, God went still further and condemned Jesus Christ to die, that He might gain eternal life for all men.   He willed that He should consummate His life in sacrifice on the altar of the Cross and become the expiatory victim of our sins.

“The Son of God, in His mortal agony,  asked His Father to let this Cup pass from Him,  but His prayer was not answered.”

And so we have Good Friday.    Deo gratias.