Category Archives: Easter Week
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. Matthew 27:57-60
Ordinarily I probably wouldn’t use a joke at this holy week, but I think this one so tells the story:
Joseph told his wife, “Honey you know that burial plot I carved out last week? I just lent it to somebody.” “You what!. “Don’t worry, dear, it’s only for three days!”
My daddy was buried in a borrowed tomb. My aunt let us have it because daddy hadn’t planned ahead. You don’t plan to die at 50. Know what? His decayed body has not left there. But one day, “the dead in Christ will rise first.” (I Thessalonians 4:16).
If you’ve already died when Jesus comes for his own, you won’t need that tomb anymore. If you’re still alive, you won’t ever need to buy one, cut one out of a rock or borrow one. Either way you win if you know that man with the borrowed tomb.
PIZZA ON THE SEA OF GALILEE
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
When the disciples took a second look, they saw Jesus throwing something up into the air. They looked more closely. It was some kind of leavened dough. He laughed as he continued tossing this raw bread into the air. He seemed to be having a great time.
None dared ask him what he was doing. They just continued to watch.
Finally Jesus broke the silence. “I’m making breakfast pizzas. Why do you look so puzzled? Have you never eaten breakfast pizza?”
No, you won’t find that in any version of John 21:12-14. But it reminded me of my lunch on the Sea of Galilee.
We were eating at a kibbutz, an Israeli commune. We could choose between fish straight from the sea or pizza. Sometimes I like fish and sometimes I don’t. After all our walking I was hungry and didn’t want to take any chances. I chose pizza.
I now think I know what those young cooks must have thought: “If these Americans insult us by not eating our tilapia, we’ll give them heated up frozen pizza, straight from their country. We’ll make it taste as much like cardboard as possible.
I don’t blame them.
I was offered a small piece of someone else’s fish—melt in your mouth, oh so good.
I could have had fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee, but no, I chose the safety net—pizza.
Jesus wants to give us those fresh gifts from His bounty, from the River of Life, but we don’t want to take any chances. So we pick the hard and tasteless, yet safe, pizza.
Sometimes our denominational dogma is like frozen pizza—hard and without any sustenance.
Our morning quiet time can be more like leftover pizza—boring and lifeless.
We can be happy with merely filling in the blanks in our Bible study book, or we can feast on the Bread of Life.
By the way, since I’ve been back to the States, I’ve had tilapia twice.
May you feast on God’s good manna during this Easter season.
I’d like to share with you a story from my book, Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends, as one of my Easter week entries.
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, One day they nailed Him to die on the tree. Suffering anguish, despised and rejected, bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He! From One Day, J. Wilbur Chapman, 1909
One day …Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin. O what a cute little baby. Too bad he has to be born in that stinky barn. It does look like his mom and dad love him. I’m sure he’ll have a good life. There’s a lot of commotion going on about him. I wonder what makes him special. No dignitary would be born in this place.
One day they led him up Calvary’s mountain…Is that Jesus, the one we saw in that stable a little over 30 years ago when we went to pay our taxes? It couldn’t be. I thought he would rise to greatness in spite of his humble beginning. What a disappointment. What pain he must be in. His poor mother! I wonder what he did to deserve this.
One day…angels came down o’er his tomb to keep vigil. Somebody suggested he might be the Messiah. Obviously they were wrong. He just died the death of a lowly criminal.
One day the grave could conceal him no longer. Somebody said that guy named Jesus is alive. It can’t be true. I know he died on that tree three days ago. I was there, watching.
One day the trumpet will sound for his coming! It’s true. That baby was the Messiah. He is the Messiah. They killed Him, but He didn’t stay dead. I know. I talked to Him. I asked Him to take me with Him to His home. He promised He would if I’d simply believe He is the Son of God. I mentioned that awful stuff I’ve done. He said that would be totally blotted off my record. How could I not believe! He has done everything He said He would do. One day He will fulfill the last of His promises. This kid from such humble beginning certainly did make good!
From about the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land l. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?” which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. Hebrews 12:2
If Yosemite, Oregon, Colorado and a chunk of Northern New Mexico were mine, I’d still be lost without Jesus.
Let’s think on Jesus this Easter week.
Pretty likable looking bunch, don’t you think? Truth is, every one of us is a ruined sinner whom Christ died to reclaim. Hallelujah what a Savior!
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus. (John 14:6)