Thursday, April 18, 2019

EmmDev 2019-04-18 [Lent2019] Easter in Three Pictures #2

Easter in Three Pictures #2

This year I found three images that have been so evocative of the feelings I have around Holy Week. The second one is related to Good Friday.
I use highlighting pencils to mark my Bible as I read. One year I decided to highlight any references to Jesus' suffering in purple as I re-read the Holy Week account in Mark's Gospel from Palm Sunday to the resurrection. I looked for obvious and not-so-obvious descriptions of Jesus' suffering.
The obvious ones were easy: The beating and mocking at the hands of the soldiers, hearing the crowd cry "crucify", carrying His cross and then hanging on it, and more.

The not-so-obvious ones included the times Jesus was not recognised for who He really was, where He saw the Court of the Gentiles being used as a market-place, where the Pharisees tried to catch Him out like a common conman, and the disciples who scolded the woman who anointed Him with perfume, calling her act of love a waste.

There's a lot of purple in Mark 11-16 in my Bible.
I grew up in the era that didn't feel we should portray Jesus. One of the most incredible scenes in the classic version of "Ben Hur" is the one where Jesus gives Ben Hur a drink of water, and while He is not portrayed, His life-changing influence is clear.

Portraying Jesus on the cross is a stretch for me.
And so this simple picture of the kind of nails used by the Roman soldiers really evokes the brokenness that Jesus embraced on the cross for me...
Good Friday is tough.

We could say that Jesus was nailed for our sin.
We could say that the cross was the last nail in His coffin.
We could say that He nailed sin, death and Satan.
We could say that He is as tough as nails.

And we should imagine holding those nails and a hammer in our hands.
We should imagine being pierced by those nails.
We should imagine trying to deal with all of life's nails alone.
And we should say - thank You Jesus for what you did for me!

Thomas thought about the nails...
Then he saw what the nails had done to Jesus.
And he believed!

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"      (John20:24-27)

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