The past four months of my inactivity on JonahzSong was unplanned. As the winter holiday schedule became hectic–kids and wife home, things to do, places to go, people to see, et cetera–I thought, “I’ll start back up on January First.” That day came quickly. . . and went. Then February and March and finally I aimed for April First, which didn’t happen either. Oh, well. . .
One thing I did do is to start back on a regiment of exercise. Mostly I’ve been riding a stationary, recumbent bicycle, which I’ve enjoyed. It’s different than a normal, upright bike. My legs got immediately back in the groove–muscle memory built from years of bicycle riding and touring. A lot of folks at the gym listen to music while they ride or run. I started listening to podcasts. I found a great one from Israel National Radio that is a talk show, Life Lessons with Judy Simon. She researches a subject, then thoroughly introduces it prior to bringing in people to interview.
The other thing I’ve been up to is a lot more reading. In addition to the Bible and various commentaries, I’ve read a lot more fiction. Detective novels and science fiction. Some good, some very good, some excellent. And I’ve spent some time with a story I began a few years ago. It’s still not finished, but I have a better understanding of where it’s going. Guide Gold tells the story of a man that discovers his wife really doesn’t know him at all. The deeper theme is one of failure and redemption.
Hummmmm. Failure and redemption. That’s the theme of all our lives, isn’t it? Yesterday we were suppose to be celebrating the only real redemption there is: redemption from death as demonstrated by the resurrection of Y’shuaJesus.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
Here’s what Matthew Henry wrote about Luke 24:1-12: “See the affection and respect the women showed to Christ, after he was dead and buried. Observe their surprise when they found the stone rolled away, and the grave empty. Christians often perplex themselves about that with which they should comfort and encourage themselves. They look rather to find their Master in his grave- clothes, than angels in their shining garments. The angels assure them that he is risen from the dead; is risen by his own power. These angels from heaven bring not any new gospel, but remind the women of Christ’s words, and teach them how to apply them. We may wonder that these disciples, who believed Jesus to be the Son of God and the true Messiah, who had been so often told that he must die, and rise again, and then enter into his glory, who had seen him more than once raise the dead, yet should be so backward to believe his raising himself. But all our mistakes in religion spring from ignorance or forgetfulness of the words Christ has spoken. Peter now ran to the sepulchre, who so lately ran from his Master. He was amazed. There are many things puzzling and perplexing to us, which would be plain and profitable, if we rightly understood the words of Christ.”
We fail. We fail in our lives simply because we forget. Muscles don’t forget, but they do get out of use. My muscles didn’t forget how they work the pedals of a bike using my ankles to add spin. They were out of practice, though, which is why a daily workout is necessary to maintain their optimum abilities. It’s like that with our life in Messiah. While listening to what others have to say is nice, we can be led astray too easily in these days of deceptive practices within the Church. We need daily a refresher, a reminder of the Lord’s Words.
From the five books of Moshe (Moses) to the writings of the minor and major prophets, and of the disciples themselves, we are shown how to listen to and how to live at peace with G-d. It is through the the scriptures that we come to understand our place in Y’shuaJesus. We must, as Matthew Henry put it, “rightly understand the words of Christ.” Then we avoid the pitfalls of misunderstandings, we stay out of petty disagreements, we see snares before being caught up in them. It’s the Words in Red, the Words of Y’shuaJesus, and it’s the whole of the Bible that we delve into, with prayerful consideration, from which we will grow and live gainfully in Messiah.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .