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The Resurrection November 13, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 28:1-10.

Summary: In this passage, a group of women – including Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James the Less – come to Jesus’ tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint His corpse.

At that point, an angel hits the ground, causing an earthquake. The angel then rolls back the stone from Jesus’ tomb and sits on it. The Roman guards are knocked unconscious out of terror, and the women are afraid.

Yet the angel asserts that the women do not need to be afraid, since the whole Trinity has been involved in Jesus’ resurrection. He then tells them to:

  • go into Jesus’ tomb
  • convey the news of Jesus’ resurrection to His disciples.

They then run towards Jerusalem, fearful – yet joyful. Along the way, they meet Jesus – who gives them the ordinary salutation of the marketplace. They fall at His feet and worship Him, and He repeats the angel’s instructions to them.

Thoughts: The resurrection of Jesus is (arguably) the most important event in human history, and many questions have been raised concerning it. My queries regarding this passage include:

  • did the guards actually see Jesus depart from His tomb, and if so, how did they respond?
  • did anyone besides the guards and the group of women sense the angel-induced earthquake?
  • what were the thoughts and feelings of the women when Jesus greeted them?
  • what were Jesus’ thoughts and feelings as He greeted the women?
  • what happened to the angel after he spoke to the women?
  • when did the guards regain consciousness?
  • if the guards did not see Jesus depart from His tomb, did they search for His body after they regained consciousness?

The Birth of Jesus Christ October 8, 2017

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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 1:18-25.

Summary: In this passage, Joseph discovers that his fiancee, Mary, is pregnant. He resolves to divorce her – yet an angel informs him that Mary has actually been impregnated by the Holy Spirit; moreover, his unborn child is the Messiah. The angel commands him to give his son the name Jesus.

In response, Joseph marries his fiancee; later, she gives birth to a son named Jesus. This sequence of events fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14.

Thoughts: In verse 19, we see that Joseph planned to divorce Mary as he “did not want to expose her to public disgrace.” That being said, I am curious as to how his relatives and neighbors responded to Mary’s pregnancy. Did Joseph and Mary attempt to conceal her pregnancy? Did anyone accuse Mary of having illicit relations during her betrothal? Did anyone criticize Joseph for failing to divorce Mary and call him a cuckold? Was Jesus taunted by his peers as he grew up in Nazareth? I certainly anticipate meeting Mary and Joseph in the next life and probing them on these points.

The Angel and the Little Scroll January 20, 2016

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Here are my thoughts on Revelation 10.

Summary: In this passage, John observes a mighty angel descending from heaven. This angel holds a little scroll in his hand; seven thunders respond to his voice – yet John is not allowed to record their response. The angel swears by God Himself that His mystery will be accomplished. John is commanded to take the little scroll from the angel and eat it; it is sweet in his mouth – though sour in his stomach. John is commanded to continue prophesying.

Thoughts: In verses 9 and 10, we see that it was difficult for John to “digest” a little scroll from a mighty angel. It could be argued that it was difficult for John to digest the contents of the entire letter, since we have already encountered the following prophecies:

  • believers will experience intense persecution; moreover, some of them will be put to death for their faith
  • God will punish unbelievers for their refusal to repent of their deeds; in particular, some of them will be tortured and put to death
  • the physical world will be (partially) destroyed; life on earth will be irrevocably altered.

This passage also caused me to think of other passages from Scripture that are relatively difficult to digest, such as:

  • Joshua 6, which includes the destruction of an entire city and its inhabitants (except for Rahab and her family)
  • Psalm 137, which apparently includes approval of infanticide
  • Matthew 24, which includes a plethora of apocalyptic images.

As believers, we must be willing to wrestle with these passages – as opposed to only reading those passages that appear to be compatible with our culture. God has given us His (entire) Word, and He calls us to hold to His attributes – including holiness, sovereignty and love – as we read through all of it. Moreover, He calls us to wrestle with His complexity and grow in our limited understanding of Him through this endeavor.