Thursday, July 19, 2012

Moving out if the tomb

July 14, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today:Saints rise, after Christ's resurrection; Matthew 27:52-53

Matthew 27:52-53 AMP

The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep in death were raised [to life];  And coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

The people were raised to life when Jesus died on the cross. Something of better or equal value had to be given in exchange for all the lives of all the sinners. How often have I read these words, marveled at what happened, and not noted the next verse.

They could not leave their tombs till Jesus received His resurrected body. They were alive but still in a place of death.

For several years I have been involved in classes at my church that deal with issues of codependency. It may be that the person themselves have an addiction, or it may be someone related to a person with addictive tendencies. They may have anger or trust issues. One thing is clear with all of them. Though they are Christians, they still live in the tombs that codependency brings.

I was that way once myself. Like me, each one of these people will have to learn to leave the tombs and walk in the resurrection that Jesus provides to them. They do this by learning what Christ provided them in the resurrection.

Many choose to stay in the tombs. When the healing gets painful, they do not want to go through it anymore. Moving out of the tomb will mean some pain. It also means that like the saints in our verse, you get to go to the city.  This is done so we can tell others how Jesus can heal.

Read for next time: Centurion glorifies God; Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rocks split

July 13, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today:Earthquake; Matthew  27:51
I have had the experience of being in a few earthquakes, or at least being told that I was in one. I never really felt anything, just was told about it on the news later.  Then one night last fall, I was watching the news after a college football game that had been an upset. I felt the floor of my concrete slab house shake. Things shook like crazy and there was a loud rumble. We found out later it was the largest earthquake that the state of Oklahoma had ever had, and it was half a state away.  While someone from California might not have thought twice about what we experienced it scared me. I can only imagine what it was like to be alive in Jerusalem the day that Jesus gave his life, the earth shook, the rocks split.

BBE: Matthew 27:51. And the curtain of the Temple was parted in two from end to end; and there was an earth-shock; and the rocks were broken;

What was it like? Did they have earthquakes in Israel in those days. I do not know, but I think they did not. Even if they did, the rocks were split open.

Just as the curtain had been torn and man now could approach God directly, the earth opening up showed that gates of hell were now broken and the people who believed in the true God could be set free

Life would never be the same again. And when I learned of what Jesus did for me, my life could never be the same again.

Read for next time: Saints rise, after Christ's resurrection; Matthew 27:52-53

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Torn Curtain

July 12, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: Temple veil torn from top to bottom; Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45

ESV: Luke 23:45. while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

We read these words and think that it was nothing important. It was a curtain that was hanging and it got torn apart by some unknown quantity. We may even think it was eaten away by moths or something like that.

That is not how it was. This was a thick curtain. I have done theater and I picture to be like the curtain that opens and closes the acts of a play. It allows no light to pass, it is heavy enough that if you were hit with it coming down you would feel it for a few days.

In this case it was that and more. Not only was it one curtain, it was two that were overlapping. It was designed to keep people away from where God’s presence in the temple. Only a priest could go in there, and only after a serious cleansing ritual.

And now, as Jesus died, the curtain is torn. Now there is nothing to keep man from God’s presence.

That is why Jesus came, and died on the cross.

Read for next time: Earthquake; Matthew  27:51