Sunday, April 5, 2009

Picture of Christ

Well, it's Palm Sunday, and our Pastor was preaching appropriately about that Sunday in history that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the praise of the people and the waving of the palm branches. He also spoke of Old Testament prophecy revealed and gave a beautiful historical picture of the that week...up until Wednesday.

What struck me as I was sitting there listening was his reference to Jesus' age, around 33 and 1/2 years old. I'm certain I've heard that before, but today, sitting next to my 32 (will be 33 this year) year old husband, I realized how young Jesus was. I was thinking how when my own Dad was 33, I was 11. I was far more concerned with school, friends, boys, TV...the list goes be able to think that my vibrant, young father was the same age as our Saviour when He was killed for our sins. I'm glad I'm realizing this, and I'm glad I'm homeschooling my children; I now have time to share with them, what I missed. Not that I wasn't interested in God at this time in my life, but He was not the priority that I wish He had been.

Our Pastor also mentioned how young some of the disciples were, around 19 or 20 years age as he referenced for us. I know I've heard this before, too. The movies, and even plays, I've watched over the years generally cast the disciples as older guys, more like in their forties, or at least thirties. Jesus is usually cast as a very good looking man, and the same age or younger than the disciples...not older. I'm sure there is a more accurate movie out, but I'm just thinking of the ones I've watched as I've grown up.

I joined a Women's Bible Study at a local church this last year, I wasn't able to complete the study (due to my skin problems and more; well, that's another story). I did gain a valuable insight pertaining to this while I was participating. The study was one of Beth Moore's and she referenced a passage in the Bible that said that Jesus was NOT a handsome man, he was plain or maybe even homely looking (Isaiah 53:2). Now, when I think of artists rendering and again movie portrayals, Jesus is almost always depicted as a very good looking man. Now Beth wrote a poem about this passage in her journal and shared the poem on the video we watched. In her poem she said that he may not be handsome to just anyone looking, but he was beautiful to her.

So, I'm picturing Christ as this very plain looking, but vibrant, young man. He is both 100% man and 100% God. He performs miracles, has the answers to any and every question, has felt every feeling we've felt, has been tempted in every way and not succumbed to that temptation. He is teaching his young disciples to carry on when he is gone, and knowing all that will happen now and in the future. I can't even begin to imagine what the people close to Him, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, His brothers, His mother, the disciples, saw and felt being with Him, in the flesh!

I have to mention the movie The Passion of the Christ. I'd heard and seen the story of Easter from church, Bible stories, plays, and movies, but none before truly made me understand the torture that Jesus endured for us. I can now read the Bible story for myself and not just read the story, but understand. What Jesus endured by hanging on the cross was bad, but that was not all of the story. And I think so many gloss over the Passion Story, make it prettier to look at. There are many stories now in the Bible that I realize were glossed over as a child. What is truly amazing is that torture should have been for us, but Jesus, sinless and pure, took the punishment for ALL of us! Freedom from sin, forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting is ours for the asking...FREE! We are asked only to confess with our mouth the Jesus is Lord, believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead, and we will be saved (Romans 10:9). We are saved by grace (pardon, love, and reconciliation with God, which we don't deserve), through faith (the assent of our minds of God's truth revealed).

As I was writing this, a song came to mind. I had to go get my cassette case and read find out the name of the song. The song is appropriately called: Crucified. It's from the group Christafari, the album Soulfire. The copyright says 1994, but the album came out in 1995. It is the first of the Gospel Reggae group's ten albums. The song as written by Tansoback (aka Mark Mohr). I didn't know how much I liked Reggae until I got this tape!

Chorus says:
He died for me.
So I could live for Him.
He gave His life for me.
So I could give mine to Him.
He became like me.
So I could become like Him.
Chat Chorus:
And so I cry and so Lord Jesus He die and in the same way I have been crucified.
Take up cross and follow Him as He said to His children "Live in no more sin" (John 5:14)
Its by faith through which you've been saved,
and according to the mercy the Father did give.
Just like the faith of one mustard see (Matt. 17:20)
the smallest in size but it becomes the biggest weed.
It's by faith through His grace (Eph. 2:5) that put you in this place
of righteousness that you cannot erase (Rom. 11:29).
So I've Been justified & sanctified.
I am glorified with the Spirit inside.
So do not bother filling yourself with pride,
as a humble lion you must be crucified.
He was born so He could-die, died so we might-live.
We lift His name on-high pure love that we give.
Chat Chorus:
(Galatians 2:20-21) I've been crucified with Christ for eternity,
it's I that no longer live but Christ that lives in me.
The life that I live (in the body) I live by faith (in the Son of Yahweh).
He who loves me an He gave Himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God (can't you see?)
For if gained through the law righteousness could be-
then Jesus Christ He died for nothing.
Chorus & Chat chorus:
So don't big up your music, don't big up your fame (Matt. 23:12).
You must come refuse, it don't big up your name.
Don't big up your status, don't big up your wealth.
I cry don't big up anything, just die to yourself.
You must first count up the cost (Luke 14:28)
then you take up the cross (Luke 9:23)
and follow Him.
Hallelujah! Amen. Praise Him (Repeat).
I have redemption, and propitiation, election and pure substitution, adoption, and reconciliation, confession, and regeneration, expiation, and joy, enough conviction, and strength over temptation. I have discipleship and fellowship, security for surely in this life (relationship) with God.

I love the way the songs and lyrics are all referenced Biblically. I just got a brainstorm to use this music and the Bible references for homeschooling! I'll have to write about that later.

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