Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

For those who know about Jesus, everybody believes some miracle about His death and resurrection: my beliefs (and its variants) include the supernatural; the other options are all-natural; all are miraculous.

For example, some believe that the Romans and Jews lost a politically-important dead body; that the Roman guards were inept; that a swooning Jesus recovered; that the cowardly disciples quickly regained their mettle; that the disciples were later willing to die nasty deaths for a big lie; and so on. Miracle upon miracle!

What amazing faith it takes to believe the purely natural here! But in this case, I'm certainly glad to be among the "ye of little faith".

Happy Easter to you and yours as we celebrate this aspect of the Good News!

Hopefully, when we recognize our sins (which can be quite difficult), there are four stages: remorse and regret-- and then ideally, repentance and redemption.

Instead, we often try to rationalize it away; blame-shift to others; (favorably) compare ourselves to others; and distract ourselves with shiny objects.

Also, they provided a useful comparison between Peter and Judas. I don't know why I hadn't thought this before, but what if Judas had been able to wait 24 hours instead of committing suicide? He would have learned that the life-saving truth that no sin is too big to be defeated by the Cross and the Resurrection.

I also appreciated the reminder that the only two uses of "charcoal fire" in the NT: when Peter denies Jesus (Jn 18:18) and when Jesus cooks them breakfast at the redemption of Peter (Jn 21:9).

And one more detail on the John 21 passage: In the English, it's not obvious. But in the Greek, Jesus and Peter are using two different Greek words for love. Jesus asks whether Peter will "agape" (unconditional love) and Peter uses "phileo" (more of a brotherly love) instead. Maybe it's nothing, but it seems like Jesus is using agape to make a deeper point with Peter.


h/t: Jeff Hunter (through Abey Kuruvilla)

In 1 Cor 15:1-11, Paul spends more space than one might expect on Christ's resurrection. There are 4 things which are of primary importance we take from this scripture. 1. Christ died for our sins 2. He was then buried 3. After 3 days (no swooning! He was dead), He was raised to live again (as we all shall) 4. Then appeared to many, many people over a long period (40 days)

It's a bit puzzling that Paul would say these 4 things are of *primary* importance. It might appear that only 2 of these things are primary (#1 and #3). But they are critical because (#2) Buried proves "dead", (substantiating evidence as it were) and (#4) Appearance proves "raised" (to many people over a long time; their ability to validate the evidence). So these are ALL of first importance. Moreover, Paul labors this point for a long time, indicating that this is a vital point in his arguments.

The fact that Jesus appears is important because He wants all of us to see, to know Him.


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