Are you eating and drinking eternity?

Bread2

My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever. John 6:55-58

Outrageous. Radical. Shocking. This One who calls Himself the Son of Man, who claims equality with God, who raised the dead, healed the sick, opened blind eyes, and fed thousands declares that His flesh and blood are food and drink.

The word He uses for “eat” is trōgō, to “gnaw, crunch.” We’re to gnaw upon the flesh, the nature of Jesus. The flesh that was punched by the soldiers. The flesh that was torn from his body as He endured scourging. The flesh that housed God.

‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ Leviticus 17:10-11

God commanded the Israelites not to drink the blood of animals, for the blood was to be sprinkled on the altar.  Yet, the Son of God tells the Jews to drink His blood.

The Israelites depended on the daily provision of the manna in the desert. Six days a week they gathered the bread from heaven. It gave them life – earthly life.

Gnawing on a piece of steak takes work. My jaws, teeth, tongue, thoughts, fingers, angle that bone up, down, and sideways to tear the remaining strands of steak from the bone. I think that’s what Jesus wants us to do with His flesh, His nature. Gnawing on the essence of our Savior. Gnawing on the body that was broken for us.

The blood that He escorted into the heavenly Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the altar for the forgiveness of our sins once and for all, that blood, we can lift to our lips and drink in deeply. The blood’s cleansing sweetness brings new life to us, eternal life.

Are you abiding in Jesus?

My prayer for you

Our wonderful Savior, teach us how to eat Your flesh and drink Your blood fully. We want to abide in You completely and wholly. Help us break through the limitations we have created in our understanding of You . We invite You to abide in us fully. Thank you, Jesus.

Jesus is Risen!

Garden Tomb

 

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:1-12

Passover, a celebration of God’s deliverance from the bondage of Pharoah in Egypt, twisted into the horror of trials, beatings, floggings, and the cross.

The death of Hope.

First day of the week, a tear-filled walk to the tomb.

“Who will roll away the stone?”

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen.”

The hope of Life.

Peter ran.

Peter saw.

Peter  marveled.

Jesus is Risen!

My prayer for you

Father in Heaven, thank You for Your great love. May we truly comprehend the height, the depth, the width and the breadth of our Risen Savior. How marvelous are Your ways!

What emotion is filling you this Christmas?

Nativity

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in amanger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:1-20

My prayer for you:

Father, thank You for entering the world through a poor young woman who was obedient to Your will. Thank You for emptying Yourself of Your glory and eternity for a time to become a baby. Thank You for sending the first news of Your arrival on earth to shepherds and filling them with wonder and boldness to spread the word about what had happened. Bless us with the joy and wonder that filled the shepherds that night and embolden us to proclaim Your praises and sing, Joy to the World!

What emotion fills your heart at Christmas?

Pieta, a sculpture of love, disappointment. Waiting for sculpture of joy of Risen Lord

Image

“… Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’” Luke 2:34-35

We lived in Italy about 25 years ago. Keith was in the Air Force, and we were privileged to be stationed at Aviano AB, a 1-hour train ride northeast of Venice. We lived in a 700-year-old town named Dardago.

We toured Vatican City 25 years ago, before the Pieta was vandalized, and it was not protected. I returned three times just to stand before the funeral memorial and weep.

This July, we returned to Rome. The Sistine Chapel paintings were more vivid and beautiful than we had ever seen them, since they have been restored and cleaned. But I was anxious to move through the Chapel to get to St. Peter’s Basilica to stand before the Pieta.

Before the Pieta, I wept.

The window reflection near the head of Mary made me think of the many people standing there taking photographs and then moving on to the next beautiful piece of art. Many did not understand the story. Others knew the story but did not stop to see the window of opportunity to understand more about Jesus, more about Mary, and to experience the pain of the moment.

“Pieta” in Italian means “pity.” Michelangelo was 25 when he released the Pieta from its marble. He believed that the sculpture already existed in the marble, and he just released it.

“Pity” is not the word I would have used to name this sculpture. From a mother’s eyes, I saw a woman who had experienced everything miraculous about this Son, her Savior, her Lord … from his birth, to the turning of water into wine, from raising the dead, to healing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and song to the deaf. This was the Man who was going to save Israel. Here was all her hope, all her love, all her dreams. Beaten beyond recognition. Dead.

I wonder what sculpture is waiting to be released that shows Mary’s joy when she saw her Son, her Savior, risen.

My prayer for you:

Lord, You took on the beating, the scourging, the sins, the diseases, for us. You hung on the cross to take on sin and pay the price that we should have paid. AND You rose from the dead! You conquered death, and You are at the right hand of God making intercession for us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and with Your wisdom, so that we can understand the power and joy that only You can bestow upon us as we contemplate our risen Savior.

May the Lord richly bless you as you contemplate Mary’s pity and Mary’s joy.