Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 29 - Dinner Party

Day 29 – 10 people throughout history over for dinner

I have taken a Blog Challenge to blog daily for 30 days mostly about myself so that you and others can get to know me a bit better. Tell a friend about this month, or like and interact with me on my Facebook ministry page at

Now, respecting the guests of this figurative dinner table I would have to have a ground rule that I controlled the topics and flow of conversation, not so that I could dominate it but simply to establish some form of order because they would all have so very much to say. (we will also assume that they are all miraculously speaking English for the evening)
  1. Jesus – God himself
  2. The Apostle Paul – Dude could preach
  3. Saint Peter – Walked on water/ first bishop of Rome
  4. John Wesley – Anglican Priest/ instigator of the Methodist movement
  5. Martin Luther King Jr – Civil Rights Movement
  6. King David - Great King of the bible
  7. My Wife – I just love that girl and want her to be there
  8. Ghandi - Lead peaceful resistance in India against British Empire
  9. Sun Tsu – Author of “The Art of War”
  10. Catherine II – Empress of Russia 1762-1796

As Always thanks for your time and giving this a read. If you enjoyed it share it with friends, you can do so easily with one of the buttons below. I pray that you will embrace life in the Love and Grace offered to you through Jesus Christ, and that you will always remember Jeremiah 29:11.  – For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to Proper You and not for harm, Plans with Hope for the Future.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Week - Easter

Today I will be sharing with you one of my favorite parts of the Easter Story. Of course, I very much love and appreciate all the significance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and I especially love that they found the tomb empty on that morning. My writing today, however, does not come from the last chapter of Hamilton's book  24 Hours that Changed the World Instead today's reflection on the Risen Christ comes from what I think is one of the coolest scripture references about how great and mighty God is.

Matthew 28:2-4 says "for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men."

So one of the ways in which the chief priests argued for Christ to be Crucified was that they said he was trying to lead a rebellion against Caesar, against Rome. Of course, Pilate himself did not quite see their perspective but to please the crowd still had Jesus crucified. The priests also convinced Pilate to have the centurions guard the tomb to keep anyone from stealing the body. Pilate provided a "Guard" of them to watch over the tomb.

Now it has been suggested to me by a wonderful historian that there would have been at least 6 Centurions in a "guard" and as many as 300 depending on the perceived threat of the situation. Given Pilate's hesitations with crucifying Christ and that the Jews posed a very little physical threat to the Romans it was likely on the lower end of this number. Let me point out that of all the fighting men in all the history of the world, Roman Centurions were the toughest fiercest meanest killing machines that existed. The average Centurion had a kill ratio of 13:1 so if a Centurion were by himself he could face 12 armed fighters without blinking. So when you do the math you have at least 6 men with a kill ratio of 13:1 meaning together they could face and defeat easily 60 fighting men. However there is something else that you might want to know about the Roman Centurions, they were also the most skilled and disciplined strategic fighters and the reason for the minimum number of men in the "guard" was so they if needed could perform a defensive maneuver called the "Tortoise."  In this defensive position if these Centurions were to come under attack they would come together and use their shields to form a protective shell around them opening holes between shields just enough to see the enemy and kill them with a sword sticking out of the shell. Within this "Tortoise" maneuver they would have been able to survive against a much larger fighting force. It was likely that these men wouldn't even call for backup if faced by hundreds of lightly armed Jews that might come to Jesus tomb. They also had a strict no Surrender policy in which they were always committed to fighting to the death.(if I have mistaken any of this information I hope you would correct me in the comments below)

Now that we have that context, those passing verses have a different significance. To think that this "guard" of Centurions saw the Angel of the Lord and were so scared that they fell as if they were dead!!? What must they have seen? What is it about God that could scare them so much? Every biblical example of the Angel of the Lord appearing the Angel has to say "do not be afraid." It is hard for me to picture fearing God in this way. I understand God to be Love and I trust in his mercy and grace as the Bible instructs. But to think of seeing something so powerful to strike fear into the strongest men our minds could imagine, to think of that only makes me curious. I wonder what it would have been like to be there that morning. I wonder what the Angel of Lord might have looked like. I wonder what it would have felt like on a nice spring morning filled with sorrow, in a time of mourning the death of not only a friend but the Messiah to see the stone rolled back, to see the tomb empty. What would it have been like? Have you experienced the Risen Christ?

Get updates in your Inbox

Email Address

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Week - Saturday

This week is a very special week. It is the most important week on the entire Christian calendar and within this week we remember the events that changed our world forever. I always try to do something extra special this week of the year, and this year I have chosen to journey with you, through a book by Adam Hamilton. 24 Hours that Changed the World is a great book with only 7 chapters. So Each Day - Monday to Easter Sunday - I review a chapter from the book. I very much recommend that you click the link here and overnight yourself a copy so that you can join in the discussions of each chapter in the comments below.

Chapter 6 - The Crucifixion

Today, if we follow the footsteps of the disciples through the week, must have been the worst, how fitting it is that we examine the actual crucifixion today.

Hamilton points to two things about the method used and points to two common historical misconceptions about how Jesus may have suffered to the point of death. The first is to me less significant when it comes to exploring the emotions of the events that took place and that is the suggestion that Christ's feet were not one atop the other nailed to the cross but instead nailed separately on either side of the cross. This to me makes more logistical sense anyways considering the goal of crucifixion was a slow agonizing death and the nails in the feet were expected to be weight bearing so that the criminals could lift themselves to breathe and to ease the strain on their arms. So in a sense, the Romans would have wanted it to be easier for them to lift themselves up so the suffering would last longer (they kind of enjoyed that stuff).

The thing Hamilton points out that I want you to concentrate on is that there is a reason to believe that the cross was not nearly as tall as most imagery and movie scenes would seem to suggest. He says that it is likely that the vertical beam of the cross stood no more than 10 feet high with room above the criminal's head for the sign depicting the nature of his crime. This, for me, completely changes the emotions of the last 6 hours of Jesus' life. Hamilton begs us to imagine standing on a chair looking at our friends, from this vantage point it is still possible to look people in the eye. It is close enough to feel the emotion of your mother crying. It is close enough

to hear the voices of those mumbling statements of doubt. It is close enough to realize exactly what is going on as the soldiers are fighting over your clothes. As I mentioned this day, this Saturday after Good Friday and before Easter had to have been the worst day in the entire life of the disciples. Can you imagine being close enough to feel the struggle for life your Messiah went through as he prayed for those crucifying him? Can you imagine the sense of duty John must have felt when his teacher and his friend asks him to care for mother Mary? Can you imagine the sense of emptiness and defeat after Jesus Cried his last and they pierced his side? Can you imagine carrying Jesus Body into the tomb and laying down the dead corpse of the one you had believed would save the world? I am thankful that I did not have to suffer that day without the knowledge or understanding of what they would see come Sunday morning. I am thankful that I have never known a world that didn't know the best part of the story. Because in the moments of my life where I cannot see what God's plan could possibly be, in the moments of lowest hope in my life, it has to be nothing compared to laying Christ in a tomb and not knowing of the resurrection.

May you live a life that takes joy in knowing what they found the next day. May you live a life with the hope they did not know of on that Saturday long ago, and may you experience the reality of Christ resurrected.

Get updates in your Inbox

Email Address