3/24/15

From Jim McGuiggan... Taking up the cross (2)*

Taking up the cross (2)*

In the previous piece I stressed Christ's blunt announcement that cross-bearing must be the act of the disciple and if a would-be disciple knowingly refuses to take up his cross he/she cannot be Christ's disciple. The cross must be his/hers the believer must embrace the cross as the way to Christ.
Yes, but what does Jesus mean when he says we're to take up our crosses and follow him? He means we are to identify with him and make his cross our own.
There's only one cross and all who are Christ's die on it.
Talk of "our" crosses might tend to obscure the truth (later developed in the epistles) that there really is only one cross and that we're to identify ourselves with that cross; it's the cross of Christ.
Paul (who took up his cross) makes it clear that it was on Christ's cross that he (Paul) was crucified to the world and the world to him (Galatians 6:14). "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
Manifestly he isn't talking about his own literal death on Christ's cross; but just as clearly, he's speaking about a death he has already experienced—a death by crucifixion—and a death that took place on Christ's cross.
In Galatians 2:20 Paul claims "I have been crucified with Christ." The phrase "crucified with" is a single Greek word and literally rendered is "co-crucified" (the prefix "sun" means with). He is not saying, "I have been crucified for Christ" though that is a truth. So Paul sees his own cross and crucifixion to be one with Christ's. In Romans 6:3-11 he makes the same point (though with a different agenda) when he speaks of "death with" or "buried with" or "raised with" or "crucified with" or "live with" using a whole series of "sun" compounds.
It's important that we understand that we don't simply die along with Christ, we die in him. Taking up our cross is not talking about our death; it is talking about our identification with and participation in his death. By faith we die "with" him because we died "in" him.  "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died." (2 Corinthians 5:14).
 Here's what he says in Romans 6:3-11:
 "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him…Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him…count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Let me say it again, the "with" truth must not hide the fact that we are crucified and die "with" him and live again "with" him because we die and live "in" him. Note the "into" and "in" phrases.
Making Christ's cross ours
If it's true that taking up our cross is in fact taking Christ's cross to be our own then the call of Christ is simply this, "Take up my cross. Make my cross your cross." And what does that mean? If we take up his cross it's clear that via a personal faith commitment we approve of and commit to him, his agenda and his method.
The crucifixion was not just a death on a cross but a death with a meaning and purpose determined by the Holy Father so when we're called to take up that cross and make it ours we're not just saying that Christ died a violent death. Nor are we all being called to die a violent death though for a few of us that might be the end result. Nor are we given here an exhaustive blueprint for ethical behaviour or decision-making.
We are being called to saving faith. Christ's, "Take up my cross and make it yours" is the equivalent to Paul's call for us to have "faith in his blood" (Romans 3:25). By faith the cross becomes ours! Faith embraces the crucified Christ and all that he stands for in relation to both God and man and claims it as its own vision, its own heart and longing and purpose. It rejects the way of the world (Matthew 16:23) and embraces the shame of the cross (Hebrews 13:11-13) and its meaning. 
In a host of ways the cross defines Jesus and we are to take Jesus for who and what he is and in doing that we are denying ourselves and taking up our crosses. The image in passages like Luke 14 and Matthew 16 is clear: We have Jesus out ahead carrying his cross to the place of execution and a long line of disciples following him each bearing his/her own cross. That's the image! The developed meaning of the image is that Jesus goes carrying his cross to his death (with all the richness of meaning and purpose in it) and believers unite with him in faith and embrace his death as their own.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

Jesus—Rose of Sharon by Kyle Butt, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=842

Jesus—Rose of Sharon

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

The song leader stands before the congregation and announces the number of the next hymn he wants the audience to sing. As you turn the pages, you quickly realize that the song is a familiar old favorite—“Jesus, Rose of Sharon.” But if you are anything like most of the people who sing this song, you probably do not know what the term “rose of Sharon” means. So, what does it mean?
This may come as something of a shock, but the term is used only once in the entire Bible, and in that instance it does not refer to Jesus. In Song of Solomon 2:1, Solomon’s beloved Shulamite bride referred to herself as the “rose of Sharon.” From her description, we can conclude that it is a complimentary term intended to express a certain beauty that the people of Solomon’s day would have recognized.
The word “Sharon” (sometimes spelled Saron) means a level place or plain. The Bible uses the term to describe one of the largest valley plains in all of Palestine. The term is found in numerous verses, including Acts 9:35, 1 Chronicles 5:16, and 1 Chronicles 27:29. If you were to examine a map of Palestine (the maps in the backs of most Bibles should suffice), you could locate this valley by finding the city of Joppa on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Joppa, and the Aijalon section to its southwest, were the approximate southern borders of the valley. It extended west from the Mediterranean Sea for about 10-15 miles, and north for about 30 miles. Topographical maps distinctly show this region to be a low valley bordered by higher mountains.
From all indications, the Sharon valley was a wild, fertile plain that was the home to a host of beautiful flowers. Isaiah 35:2 lists Sharon in a context discussing blooming vegetation, and describes the valley as “excellent” (NKJV). Sharon was renowned for its majesty and beauty. But what about its “rose”?
A true rose, like the one sweethearts exchange on Valentine’s Day, probably is not a good candidate for the flower described as the “rose of Sharon,” the primary reason being that these flowers are uncommon in Palestine. In fact, although no one can say for certain which flower is the actual “rose of Sharon,” many scholars think the best guess is the cistus or rock-rose. The cistus blooms in various parts of Palestine, and is well known for its soothing aroma and pain-relieving qualities.
When and why the title “Rose of Sharon” was given to Jesus is rather vague. But at least two reasons as to why it might have been assigned to our Lord seem fairly clear. First, Jesus Christ is the pinnacle of beauty and splendor. Of course, His earthly body could not boast of such attributes (Isaiah 53:2), but His spiritual beauty and majesty remain unsurpassed by any created being in Heaven or on Earth (2 Peter 1:16). Second, Christ’s healing powers and pain-relieving actions find a definite point of comparison with those of the rock-rose. Is it any wonder that the “Great Physician,” Who came to heal those who were physically ill as well as those who were spiritually sick, should be given the name of a flower known for its sweet aroma and soothing medicinal qualities?
Although the Holy Spirit never chose to inspire the Bible writers to refer to Jesus as the “Rose of Sharon,” it nevertheless is a name we can employ to speak of the majesty, beauty, and healing power of our Lord.

From Mark Copeland... "CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS" Manuscript Attestation For The New Testament


                          "CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS"

               Manuscript Attestation For The New Testament

INTRODUCTION

1. In an effort to demonstrate the RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT    AS
   A HISTORICAL DOCUMENT...
   a. We considered evidence which confirms that the 
      New Testament was
      WRITTEN AND BEING CIRCULATED SOON AFTER THE EVENTS TOOK PLACE;
      e.g.:
      1) The internal evidence
      2) Papyri fragments
      3) Patristic writings
   b. We noted that ARCHAEOLOGY CONFIRMS THE NEW TESTAMENT RECORD (as
      we have it today) in those areas which can be checked; e.g., references to:
      1) People
      2) Places
      3) Events

2. But ONE MORE QUESTION REMAINS in order to establish beyond a
   reasonable doubt the historical reliability of the New Testament:

   "What assurance is there, that what we have today in the form of
   the New Testament, is that which was penned by its original authors?"

3. In other words, since we don't have the original "AUTOGRAPHS" (the
   manuscripts penned by the authors), how do we know...
   a. There hasn't been SIGNIFICANT CHANGES OR ERRORS made in the
      process of copying over the years?
   b. There hasn't been COLLUSION (secret cooperation for deceitful
      purposes) among those who possessed the early copies of the originals?

4. This is where "THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST" in attesting ancient
   manuscripts can be applied to help answer such questions!

[The answer this "test" gives to the historical reliability of the New
Testament is an amazing one!  But first, it may help to briefly explain...]

I. THE "BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST"

   A. THIS TEST IS APPLIED TO ALL ANCIENT HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS...
      1. Such as:
         a) Julius Caesar's "Gallic War"
         b) "Histories" of Tacitus
         c) "Annals" of Tacitus
         d) The New Testament
      2. In an effort TO ESTABLISH THE LIKELIHOOD THAT WHAT COPIES WE HAVE:
         a) Are faithful representatives of the originals
         b) And have come to us free of changes, errors, or collusion

   B. QUESTIONS RAISED IN THIS TEST...
      1. "How many copies of the document in question are available?"
         a. In order to compare them with one another
         b. The more, the better
      2. "Where were the copies found?"
         a. If they all came from one place, collusion is possible
         b. But if they are from places far removed by time and location,
            collusion is unlikely
      3. "What length of time passed between the original and the earliest copies?"
         a. If the earliest copies we have were written hundreds of years
            after the original, a lot of changes could have been made and
            we would not know it
         b. But a short interval of time would increase our assurance in
            the reliability of the copies
      4. "What variances exist between the copies?"
         a. If the copies of a document are filled with significant
            differences, then it would not be possible to know what the
            original author wrote!
         b. But if the variances are few and minor, then the process of
            copying over the years has been faithful to the original!

[What answers do we find when these questions are applied to the New 
Testament?  And how does the New Testament compare with other 
historical documents of antiquity?]

II. THE "BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST" FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT

   A. HOW MANY COPIES OF NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS ARE AVAILABLE?
      1. Over 4,000 Greek manuscripts; 13,000 copies of portions of the
         New Testament in Greek!
      2. Compare this with other ancient historical writings:
         a. Caesar's "Gallic Wars" - only 10 Greek manuscripts
         b. "Annals" of Tacitus - 2
         c. Livy - 20; Plato - 7; Sophocles - 100

   B. WHERE WERE THESE COPIES FOUND?
      1. Various places:  Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy
      2. Such varied locations would make COLLUSION very difficult

   C. WHAT LENGTH OF TIME PASSED BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL AND THE EARLIEST COPIES?
      1. We saw in the previous lesson that several PAPYRI FRAGMENTS
         have been dated to within 50-100 years
      2. We have several nearly complete New Testament GREEK MANUSCRIPTS
         which were copied within 300-400 years, for example:
         a. Codex Sinaiticus, found near Mt. Sinai
         b. Codex Alexandrinus, found near Alexandria in Egypt
         c. Codex Vaticanus, located at the Vatican in Rome
      3. But COMPARE THIS WITH MANUSCRIPTS OF VARIOUS CLASSICAL HISTORIES:
         a. "Histories of Thucydides" - earliest copy is 1300 years
            removed from the original
         b. "Histories of Herodotus" - earliest copy is 1350 years
            removed from the original
         c. Caesar's "Gallic War" - 950 years
         d. Roman History of Livy - 350 years (and the earliest copy is only a fragment)
         e. "Histories" of Tacitus - 750 years
         f. "Annals" of Tacitus - 950 years (and there are only two manuscripts)

   D. WHAT VARIANCES EXIST BETWEEN THE COPIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT?
      1. It is true that there are SOME VARIATIONS between the many
         thousands of manuscripts available
         a. But the vast majority are very minor (spelling, differences
            in phraseology, etc.; modern translations often note the
            differences in footnotes)
         b. Only 1/2 of one percent is in question (compared to 5
            percent for the Illiad)
      2. Even then, it can be stated:  "No fundamental doctrine of the
         Christian faith rests on a disputed reading...It cannot be too
         strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is
         certain:  especially is this the case with the New Testament."
         -- SIR FREDERICK KENYON (authority in the field of New
         Testament textual criticism)

CONCLUSION

1. In regards to the "BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST" in attesting the manuscript
   evidence for the New Testament:
   a. The New Testament not only passes with flying colors...
   b. It does better than ANY other historical document come down to
      us from antiquity!

2. "The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater
   than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the
   authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning.  And if the New
   Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity
   would generally be as beyond all doubt." -- F. F. BRUCE

3. JOSH MCDOWELL makes some interesting comments:

   "After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the
   Scripture, I came to the conclusion that they are historically
   trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then he
   must discard almost all literature of antiquity."

   "One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of many to
   apply one standard or test to secular literature and other to the
   Bible.  One needs to apply the same test, whether the literature
   under investigation is secular or religious."

   "Having done this, I believe one can hold the Scriptures in his
   hand and say, 'The Bible is trustworthy, and historically reliable.'"

4. Why then would anyone question the New Testament record concerning Jesus?
   a. It is because reference is made to miracles, such as the
      resurrection of Jesus from the dead
   b. In our next study, we shall consider whether it is reasonable to
      believe that the New Testament is a LIE when it speaks of such
      things...


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker 

From Gary.... Bible Reading March 24


Bible Reading  

March 24

The World English Bible

Mar. 24
Leviticus 3, 4

Lev 3:1 " 'If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings; if he offers it from the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before Yahweh.
Lev 3:2 He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the Tent of Meeting: and Aaron's sons, the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar.
Lev 3:3 He shall offer of the sacrifice of peace offerings an offering made by fire to Yahweh; the fat that covers the innards, and all the fat that is on the innards,
Lev 3:4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, he shall take away.
Lev 3:5 Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh.
Lev 3:6 " 'If his offering for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh is from the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish.
Lev 3:7 If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before Yahweh;
Lev 3:8 and he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it before the Tent of Meeting: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.
Lev 3:9 He shall offer from the sacrifice of peace offerings an offering made by fire to Yahweh; its fat, the entire tail fat, he shall take away close to the backbone; and the fat that covers the inwards, and all the fat that is on the inwards,
Lev 3:10 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, he shall take away.
Lev 3:11 The priest shall burn it on the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 3:12 " 'If his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before Yahweh:
Lev 3:13 and he shall lay his hand on its head, and kill it before the Tent of Meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.
Lev 3:14 He shall offer from it as his offering, an offering made by fire to Yahweh; the fat that covers the innards, and all the fat that is on the innards,
Lev 3:15 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, he shall take away.
Lev 3:16 The priest shall burn them on the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a pleasant aroma; all the fat is Yahweh's.
Lev 3:17 " 'It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that you shall eat neither fat nor blood.' "
Lev 4:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 4:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If anyone sins unintentionally, in any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them:
Lev 4:3 if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull without blemish to Yahweh for a sin offering.
Lev 4:4 He shall bring the bull to the door of the Tent of Meeting before Yahweh; and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull, and kill the bull before Yahweh.
Lev 4:5 The anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull, and bring it to the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 4:6 The priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before Yahweh, before the veil of the sanctuary.
Lev 4:7 The priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before Yahweh, which is in the Tent of Meeting; and he shall pour out all of rest of the blood of the bull at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 4:8 He shall take all the fat of the bull of the sin offering off of it; the fat that covers the innards, and all the fat that is on the innards,
Lev 4:9 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, he shall take away,
Lev 4:10 as it is taken off of the bull of the sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering.
Lev 4:11 The bull's skin, all its flesh, with its head, and with its legs, its innards, and its dung,
Lev 4:12 even the whole bull shall he carry forth outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire. Where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.
Lev 4:13 " 'If the whole congregation of Israel sins, and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and are guilty;
Lev 4:14 when the sin in which they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for a sin offering, and bring it before the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 4:15 The elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before Yahweh; and the bull shall be killed before Yahweh.
Lev 4:16 The anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bull to the Tent of Meeting:
Lev 4:17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Yahweh, before the veil.
Lev 4:18 He shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before Yahweh, that is in the Tent of Meeting; and the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 4:19 All its fat he shall take from it, and burn it on the altar.
Lev 4:20 Thus shall he do with the bull; as he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.
Lev 4:21 He shall carry forth the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is the sin offering for the assembly.
Lev 4:22 " 'When a ruler sins, and unwittingly does any one of all the things which Yahweh his God has commanded not to be done, and is guilty;
Lev 4:23 if his sin, in which he has sinned, is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish.
Lev 4:24 He shall lay his hand on the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before Yahweh. It is a sin offering.
Lev 4:25 The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. He shall pour out the rest of its blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering.
Lev 4:26 All its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and he will be forgiven.
Lev 4:27 " 'If anyone of the common people sins unwittingly, in doing any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and is guilty;
Lev 4:28 if his sin, which he has sinned, is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has sinned.
Lev 4:29 He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering.
Lev 4:30 The priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.
Lev 4:31 All its fat he shall take away, like the fat is taken away from off of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.
Lev 4:32 " 'If he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring a female without blemish.
Lev 4:33 He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.
Lev 4:34 The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.

Lev 4:35 All its fat he shall take away, like the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them on the altar, on the offerings of Yahweh made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin that he has sinned, and he will be forgiven.

Mar. 23, 24
Mark 14

Mar 14:1 It was now two days before the feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by deception, and kill him.
Mar 14:2 For they said, "Not during the feast, because there might be a riot of the people."
Mar 14:3 While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard-very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.
Mar 14:4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, "Why has this ointment been wasted?
Mar 14:5 For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor." They grumbled against her.
Mar 14:6 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me.
Mar 14:7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good; but you will not always have me.
Mar 14:8 She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying.
Mar 14:9 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News may be preached throughout the whole world, that which this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her."
Mar 14:10 Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests, that he might deliver him to them.
Mar 14:11 They, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. He sought how he might conveniently deliver him.
Mar 14:12 On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make ready that you may eat the Passover?"
Mar 14:13 He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, "Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him,
Mar 14:14 and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" '
Mar 14:15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make ready for us there."
Mar 14:16 His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
Mar 14:17 When it was evening he came with the twelve.
Mar 14:18 As they sat and were eating, Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, one of you will betray me-he who eats with me."
Mar 14:19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, "Surely not I?" And another said, "Surely not I?"
Mar 14:20 He answered them, "It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish.
Mar 14:21 For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."
Mar 14:22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body."
Mar 14:23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it.
Mar 14:24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
Mar 14:25 Most certainly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God."
Mar 14:26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mar 14:27 Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'
Mar 14:28 However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."
Mar 14:29 But Peter said to him, "Although all will be offended, yet I will not."
Mar 14:30 Jesus said to him, "Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."
Mar 14:31 But he spoke all the more, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." They all said the same thing.
Mar 14:32 They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I pray."
Mar 14:33 He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed.
Mar 14:34 He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch."
Mar 14:35 He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him.
Mar 14:36 He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire."
Mar 14:37 He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you watch one hour?
Mar 14:38 Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Mar 14:39 Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words.
Mar 14:40 Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn't know what to answer him.
Mar 14:41 He came the third time, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mar 14:42 Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
Mar 14:43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came-and with him a multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
Mar 14:44 Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely."
Mar 14:45 When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Mar 14:46 They laid their hands on him, and seized him.
Mar 14:47 But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Mar 14:48 Jesus answered them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?
Mar 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
Mar 14:50 They all left him, and fled.
Mar 14:51 A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him,
Mar 14:52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Mar 14:53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.
Mar 14:54 Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire.
Mar 14:55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none.
Mar 14:56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn't agree with each other.
Mar 14:57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying,
Mar 14:58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.' "
Mar 14:59 Even so, their testimony did not agree.
Mar 14:60 The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?"
Mar 14:61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"
Mar 14:62 Jesus said, "I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky."
Mar 14:63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, "What further need have we of witnesses?
Mar 14:64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death.
Mar 14:65 Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, "Prophesy!" The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.
Mar 14:66 As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came,
Mar 14:67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, "You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!"
Mar 14:68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know, nor understand what you are saying." He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed.
Mar 14:69 The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, "This is one of them."
Mar 14:70 But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, "You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it."
Mar 14:71 But he began to curse, and to swear, "I don't know this man of whom you speak!"
Mar 14:72 The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that Jesus said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." When he thought about that, he wept.

 

From Gary... Dangerous curves ahead


Over the past few years, Linda and I have acquired the habit of saying "drive carefully" if the other one of us is going to take our vehicle out alone..  Having been in a few accidents over my lifetime, I can tell you that the cumulative effects of auto injuries increases over the years. So, this little exhortation before leaving helps- because, who really wants to get hurt, anyway?   Now, this picture of a pass in Switzerland looks dangerous, but there is a surprise to it. But first, think about the world we live in. Many things can happen to us; accidents, divorce, bankruptcy, arguments, illnesses of all kinds, etc.. However, while some of these things happen at random, most do not. My point is found in this Scripture...

Jeremiah, Chapter 10 (WEB)
23 Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.  24 Yahweh, correct me, but in measure: not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

Therefore, be careful out there and realize you are not alone- God is there!!!

And as far as that surprise goes....

The architect of the roadway knew of the dangers of this road and had phosphorescent paint placed in the boundary line paint.  I deliberately darkened the picture to simulate dusk and therefore show this feature.

When your life becomes dark and dreary, remember God's word- it will help you to "drive safely" amid the curves of life!!!