My next post is going to be entitled ‘Sunrise Surprise.” As you might imagine, it is going to deal with the Resurrection. We aren’t very far from the studies having to do with Peter’s denial the night before the mock Trial. Then we briefly thought about the insane, evil, illegal rush to judgment and the humiliation and agony inflicted upon Jesus in Pilate’s judgement hall, through the streets, and then on the hill called “Golgotha” just outside the city of Jerusalem. Then, of course, we followed the steps of Peter completing his “comeback.”
What I’m trying to do in Scripturestudent is set aside all my previous notions, try not to consult other sources and have my thoughts perhaps heavily influenced, even if unintentionally, by what they have written. I wanted simply to read the Biblical accounts first hand…as though I’d never heard them before… and listen and think prayerfully. I try to read fairly widely, and also have enormous respect for every honest effort others have made to help us understand Scripture better.
But, it occurred to me that the early followers of Christ had few, if any, of the advantages we have today. There simply were no secondary sources. There were no Christian bookstores where they could go get the latest “book du jour” on the Christian bestseller list. Or the tapes, translations, commentaries or one of the fantastic study guides hot off the press. There were no places where they could go and leisurely sip a cup of latte while they browsed through an almost endless variety of books, cds, dvds, etc. Many of the early disciples may have been nearly illiterate. As if there were that many “books” to read! They didn’t even have Christian television to inspire them along their journey. All they had was what they heard, read aloud perhaps, in small huddled gatherings~often meeting clandestinely, fearful of being captured and perhaps executed.
However, they were electrified by what they heard! How is it that we, with all our “advantages,” have become so blasé? We’ve heard the story so often, perhaps we’ve developed a ho hum attitude about the entire affair. All the early believers had were these documents written by eye witnesses to the events and then read aloud in their “meetings.”
Do you suppose, if we were to suspend judgment, and try to listen to the Crucifixion narratives and the reports of the Resurrection that began to trickle in, that our own minds might be captivated? Or that our spirits might be ignited as theirs were?
I’d really enjoy hearing what you discover in your own first hand study, and will shortly share with you some of what I think.
In the meanwhile, I want to ask you to pray for those who serve our country. Earlier today, at the grocery store, I had an opportunity to meet and chat with one of them. He was getting ready for deployment to Iraq. Lance Cpl. Justin Getz is one of many for whom I’d encourage you to pray. He’s just twenty years old. He must be really talented. As we talked (has been “pitcher” to a stellar one), I discovered he had a 68 ~ 1 won lost ratio in high school! Soon after he’d enlisted in the USMC, his mother said three major league teams had contacted him, including the New York Yankees!
I told Justin I’d just completed the study of General Joshua and the “orders” he received before he engaged Jericho in battle and quoted Joshua 1:9. Told him he could have that as a gift, and I want to ask you to pray…specifically, and often, by name…for this young Leatherneck and his fiancé, Chelsi.
In editing the blog, I often look for quiet places where I can work without distraction. Often that’s in the library here near the Marine base. Today I met another fine young “Leatherneck” who’s already had tours of duty Afghanistan and Iraq. And he’s barely twenty-two and a native of Michigan. Add Neal and Kristin Brace to your prayer list, please.
God bless him, his colleagues whoever they may be or wherever, especially those who are in harm’s way for our sake…and, Please God, bless America.
God’s servant, your friend, brother and fellow student,