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Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Good Friday. 

Right now you have been up all night, first praying but then dragged to and through a mock trial.  You have been beaten and spit on, derided.  In a few hours, they will drag you up to Pilate, a foreigner, a pagan for yet another farce of a trial.  You will then be dragged to Herod for more of an interrogation.  But there you will be beaten and mocked some more.  Then back to Pilate where he will condemn you upon a political expediency.  Better one man die than many in an uprising.  And he lose his job if not his life.  With great power comes great anxiety.  And so he washes his hands and signs your death bill.  But first, you are flogged, scourged, flagellated.  Your skin torn off.  A crown of thorns, carefully woven by some sadist, is mashed down onto your head.  The king of sin, the king of the fall then tries to carry his own cross but is unable.  A Libyan Jew is forced to carry it for you.  Or with you.  You walk the streets of Jerusalem, staggering from pain and the weight of the all the world’s sin.  You who has never sinned, now is forced to endure the punishment of it, the separation from the Father, communion is broken.  Love is broken.  Now there is only wrath.  The wrath of the Father pours out on you, the faithful and true and undeserving son.  The only flesh born ever that did not deserve the wrath of God from birth. 
By around nine o’clock they will have nailed you to the wood and hoisted you high into the sky.  They offer you a drugged wine and you refuse.  Though when you do cry out for drink, they offer you only sour wine.  Vinegar.  Even those in the same predicament as you mock you from their own crosses where they pay for their own sins.  Save one.  Who begs you to but remember him.  Who recognizes your innocence.  Three hours you hang there.  The sky goes dark.  You cry out to God the Father as but God.  You declare it all done.  All the work of all creation finally finished.  And you commit your spirit into your Father’s hands.  The earth quakes, the veil in the temple is torn in two.  There is now no separation between us and you, the profane and the holy, we have been made clean by your finished work. 
By tonight, before darkness falls and the Sabbath begins, they who adored you in secret will finally make public their declaration by coming and asking for your body and preparing it for burial and placing it in their own tomb.  Freshly cut.  Never used.  A stone is rolled over the entrance.  It is sealed with the governor’s seal.  Guards are set and the world wanders away, your followers to hide behind locked doors in confusion and despair, your detractors behind smug self satisfaction, your executioners behind their ignorance.  Darkness falls.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hi there, I AM.


Slaves under an oppressive regime, literally worked to death.  And when God comes and introduces himself to them by name, their cultural memory of him and his last communication with them being four hundred and thirty years prior, he tells them something amazing.

Their biggest problem isn't the one they can see.  Yes, they are slaves.  Yes, the government is evil and wicked.  Yes, Yahweh is going to rescue them from their geopolitical and economic reality but what He has really come to do is rescue them from their sins.  From a curse which if they knew it at all was merely a part of their creation myth.  He has come to rescue them from eternal death.  And he even hints at how He's going to do it. 

Somewhere around two thousand years later a man comes to the same people, now subjects under a foreign empire in their own land.  This man sits down to another Passover dinner, now not much more than a religious ceremony that establishes their cultural and racial heritage, and tells them something amazing.  Their biggest problem isn't occupation forces and pagan governors, it is still not geopolitical and socio-economic.

He tells them He is God, and he's what Passover was all about.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The thoughts of an old soldier

When i was young, i thought i would win the war.
As i aged, i became afraid i'd missed the war.
Now i just hope to win this one, little skirmish before i die.

(And in other news, this site, my oldest blog, my first presence on the Wild World of Web, has over ten thousand views now.  i wish that meant something but i suspect, most, if not nearly all, are just spam bots.  But hey, milestones are milestones no matter how you get to them, i suppose.)