Why Did Jesus Fold The Napkin

 

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Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this….


John 20:6 tells us that the linen cloth covering Jesus face was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes. Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’ Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it…

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table until the master was finished. Now, if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done.’

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….. The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

He is Coming Back!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Here’s the URL for the article.  https://www.facebook.com/ShermontBaptistChurch/photos/a.218560688159850.66837.207115885970997/1280041892011719/?type=3&theater

How Can I Be More Like Jesus?

If you’re much like me you’ve given a lot of thought to becoming more like Jesus. To emulate (copy) another person’s characteristics is the greatest compliment you can give them.  One of the ways to do that is to know His attributes.  Now to do them all would take an entire library so I’ve selected just a few to consider.

Cross

 

 

LOVE  Doing what is best for others without expecting anything in return.                             1 Corinthians 13:4:7-8

JOY  Real happiness in every part of God’s creation.  Nehemiah 8:10

PEACE  A sense of tranquility which is a result of resting in His Spirit.  John 14:7

PATIENCE  Accepting all situations, even the really difficult ones, as part of God’s plan.  Ephesians 4:2

KINDNESS  A loving attitude toward all.  Ephesians 4:32

CONTENTMENT  Accepting God’s provision in whatever measure He gives. 2 Timothy 6:6-7

HOLINESS  Set apart to join Him in His activities.  2 Corinthians 7:3

SENSITIVITY  Opening our hearts and minds to compassion for those around us.  Romans 12:5

JUST  Doing what is right. Romans 2:11

SUBMISSION  Yielding to God’s authority in all things. Ephesians 5:21

GRACE  God’s free and undeserved favor.  2 Corinthians 12:9

There are so many more than these.  It’s interesting that each of us, through the Holy Spirit, has them all.  It really is our choice whether or not we let them shine through and out.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sunday’s Coming!

While studying for a class I was teaching I came across this sermon.  It was written by S.M. Lockwood.  This is not the whole thing but just a part.  I hope you’ll take the time to read and reflect and allow it to precede your joyous worship on Resurrection Sunday!

It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this.

Jesus prayingIt’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.  (Luke 22:39-46)

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming. (John 18:15-27)

Jesus before the high priestIt’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming. (Matthew 26:57-67)

 

 

Jesus beatenIt’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming. (Matthew 26:67)

 

 

220px-Flagellation-of-christ-_RubensIt’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.  (Matthew 27:26)

 

 

438px-Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_1580It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming. (John 19:5)

 

 

694px-Titian,_Christ_Carrying_the_Cross._Oil_on_canvas,_67_x_77_cm,_c._1565._Madrid,_Museo_Nacional_del_PradoIt’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming. (John 19:17)

 

471px-Gustave_Doré_-_Crucifixion_of_JesusIt’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.  (John 19:16-18)

 

 

dark skiesIt’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

 

 

Jesus on the crossIt’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.  (Matthew 27:46)

 

veil_tornIt’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.  (Mark 15:38)

 

inferno-295131_640It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

 

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

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Luke 24:1-8

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

– See more at: http://apologetica.us/2009/04/10/its-friday-but-sundays-coming-2/#sthash.Wo85rKBg.dpuf

Pleasing Who? Pt. 2

Sometimes the things I write have a way of going full circle.  At Tuesday morning’s Bible Study a friend came to me with a piece of paper and said if I was really serious about my comments in Part 1 here is how I could follow through.  On this paper was the address of the prison closest to us.  He explained how to use their website to find those from our area.  Now I can write them notes of encouragement and I am excited about doing that.  Thank you friend!!!

The next way to please God is Hebrews 13:3b.  It tells us to remember those who are suffering.  Not just in our thoughts but as though we were right there with them going through what they are.  I think the reason for the admonition is we have a tendency to say things like, ‘I know what you’re going through’ or ‘a friend had the same thing happen’ or …  Friends I don’t care if the exact thing happened to me it doesn’t make it easier for the one suffering.  I’ve found that my presence, a hug, words that say I love you, I care about you, tell me what I can do, are much more supportive.

I think I could do a year’s worth of blogs on this next one.  MARRIAGE IS TO BE HONORED BY ALL.  Faithfulness to our spouse shows the world who and whose we are.  Immorality and adultery will be judged by God.  40 years of marriage to one person has taught me a lot.  Ray is my lover, my counselor, my confidant, my helper, my supporter, my friend…and I am his.  We are man and woman together and that’s how God intended it to be.  We honor God by not only honoring one another but honoring the marriages of those around us.

Do not love money!!!  Be satisfied with what you have!  God is not saying we can’t be rich or not have possessions.  He is saying anytime, anything becomes more important to you than HIM it becomes your god.  You can have no other gods.  We are to be satisfied with Him, in Him, and through Him.

Ah, Lord, God, mighty and powerful, You are my One and Only!  Thank You for the privilege of teaching Your word.  Help us desire above all to be more and more like You.  Let our words, our lives, our actions be pleasing to You.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of my Jesus.  Make it so!

All God’s Children

While we were waiting for church to start this morning Taylor asked if I had some paper so she could draw. I watched her draw a cross and underneath she wrote Jesus’s cross. Next to the cross she drew Jesus . He was holding Taylor’s hand, she was holding Marlee’s hand & she was holding Morgan’s hand… Then she told me it was hers & Morgan’s job to help teach Marlee about Jesus & to let her know that He is always holding their hands. She then drew a picture of Bro. Kenny preaching to the congregation … her mommy, Morgan, Taylor, Nana & Pawpaw. It is amazing how much they learn & how quickly they pick it up. My girls are so bright, caring & loving especially to Marlee. I love these girls so much.

This beautiful word picture was painted by a dear friend in Alabama.  I loved it when she posted it on Facebook and have her permission to share it in this blog.  (The picture above is not the one the girls drew.)

It is so easy to read Matthew 19:13-15 and think I’m no longer a child.  That’s really not true.  We are all God’s children.  He wants us to come to Him regularly and learn from Him.  We tend, as adults, to become so independent that trusting anyone but ourselves is a rarity.  Proverbs 3:5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’.  That’s what Jesus is saying to ALL His children, trust Me, count on Me, lean on Me, I AM what you are searching for, I will hold your hands anytime you need Me.

Heavenly Father as I lift these words in the Name of Jesus, keep me constantly aware that I am Your child.  Throughout this day help me to trust You, to lean on You, to hold Your always extended hand.  Your awesomeness thrills me.  YOU ARE!

Attention!

attention icon.

How does God get your attention?  Does He quietly grab you in the calm of a new morning?  Does He speak through another person on a life issue?  Does He give you a ‘DeNozo’ (a tap on the head to say – – really?!)

Why does He need to get our attention?  In the day-to-day stuff of living we tend to start depending on ourselves to much and He needs to remind us who is really in control.  Through the phone ringing, dishes, laundry, taking the cat to the vet, mowing the lawn, waiting in line, daily issues He wants us to remember He is there.

So, then, how do we react?  Are we angry, irritated, grouchy, grumpy….  When these attention grabbing issues happen we often display whatever is in our hearts/minds at that point.  Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that what we think is who we are.  Jesus said in Luke 6:45 that a man speaks out of the nature of the heart.

Long Lines for the Bus

Do we consider these reminders of God’s control as a part of our daily joy?  James 1:2 says to consider it pure joy when we face trials of any kind.  Imagine what might happen if you’re having one of those days where the irritations start upon waking and just continue to pile up and you remember to ‘consider it pure joy’.  Would that change our behavior, demeanor, and attitude?  Hm-m-m-m-m–m-m

More than anything God wants us to become totally dependent on Him for every one of life’s issues.  He wants us to come to Him when we’re tired of the drama and the interruptions.  He is waiting to hear every good and bad part of our day.   He wants us!

Almighty, Most Holy Father,  my life is Yours.  I place all my good and bad in Your hands.  Take control of all today’s issues.  Let me find joy in everything that will happen.  Let me know Your Presence.  Keep me connected to You in every part of this day.  Make it so!

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

For yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. 

I do wonder why that last line is so often left out.  It’s definitely the perfect closing and every 2nd grader who has learned to write a letter has learned it must have a greeting, a body, and a closing.  Ah, well, I digress…..

How often have you said these Words in worship or prayer or song and that’s just what they are..words?  We’re going to take a couple of minutes and just look at a couple of hidden gems in this beautiful prayer.

 Jesus did not say ‘Every time you pray you MUST use these words.  He said, “This, then, is how you should pray:” meaning this is a template, blueprint, or even an outline of how to do it.  We are first, to recognize God for who He is and what He does.  Next, we are to ask for what we need…food, forgiveness and freedom (from evil).  Lastly, we are to once again give God all glory and honor for who He is.

Notice, in verse 11, He tells us to ask for our DAILY bread.  Look a little closer.  If we reverse the two words they become…bread DAILY.  I don’t think this is a mistake, nor would it be out of line to look at the words in this way.  God wants us to ‘pray without ceasing’, asking Him, talking to Him, giving Him credit every hour of every day, day after day.

Let’s take a look at verse 12.  The word debts can be transliterated sins.  Let’s think this through.  Here’s another verse that when reversed adds  more understanding.  What if we say it like this.  “As (in the same way) I forgive others, Father, forgive me.”  Can you imagine the change in our hearts if we thought about that when we say forgive me.  I don’t want to forgive the cruelty shown me by a church leader, but I expect You to forgive me anyway.  I’m not going to forgive the abuses of my childhood, but I expect You to forgive me anything.  I know in my heart that God has forgiven me completely but His expectation is that I will forgive all the hurts, wrongs, stabs in the back…just like He does. 

In the verses following this prayer I’ll paraphrase what He is saying:  Those who forgive will be forgiven by Me.  Those who don’t, won’t.  Those are pretty powerful words for those of us who believe.  Jesus was making a point that He wouldn’t have had to make if we were to remember what He said about forgiving…basically- JUST DO IT!  It will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but, I really don’t want to have to stand before a disappointed Father and explain why I chose not to forgive.  Not gonna happen.

Heavenly Father, Savior, Forgiver of my sins, teach me to forgive and not hold grudges.  Help me to let go of things others have said and done and let You handle the situation.  When I am asked to forgive just let me do it.  Let my life be an example of forgiveness for those around me.  Teach me Your ways, Lord.  Make it so!

Staying Power

Luke 15:4  “Remain in Me, and I in you.”  Remain, stay, abide, survive, (to) last.  These words reflect the power in the concept of this verse.  When I am connected to my Jesus, He is connected to me.  While I am waiting on Him, He is waiting with me.

A beautiful, old hymn says this very well:                                                         Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;                                                            The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.                                                   When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,                                                       Help of the helpless, O abide with me.                                                              I need Thy presence every passing hour;                                                         What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?                                     Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?                                             Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Stay with God…through dishes, dust, and laundry…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                           Stay with God…through hurts, losses, cruel words, and sadness of this world…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                            Stay with God…when there is not enough time to do it all…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                 Stay with God…                                                                                       Heavenly, glorious Father, I want to stay with You no matter what.  Walk with me and teach me, guide me, forgive me, and make me more like You.  Make me aware of the Spirit throughout this day.  Keep me totally focused on You, my God and my King.  I lift this prayer in Jesus name…Make it so!

4 Short Days

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey

Have you ever wondered what Jesus was doing between the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and the time of His arrest (Holy Thursday)?  He was teaching every day in the temple (Luke 19:47).  Some very important concepts and lessons were taught in that very short period of time.

Julius Caesar, Summer garden, Saint-Petersburg

Luke 20:20-26/Mark 12:13-17/Matthew 22:15-22  When asked if it was right for Caesar to exact taxes from them Jesus responded with, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  From this I ascertain that we live in the world and must abide by the laws of our country.  We model our faith when we obey the government.  It is not against our Christian beliefs to do so.

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse Synago...

Luke 20:39,40/Mark 12:18-27/Matthew 22:23-33  When asked what commandment is the most important Jesus quotes the Schema (Deut. 6:4,5).  First, love God, then, love people.  So simple, yet so difficult to do.  We all to often want to say, OK but I don’t have to like them.  Not so!  Jesus did not intend to separate the two feelings.  All people are to be loved.  We don’t have to like what they do, and we may have to remind them, but we must love them.

Luke 21:27-ff   Jesus was asked what will happen in heaven when the woman arrives in heaven after all seven of the brothers she has married have died.  He makes it very clear that heavenly thoughts are very different than earthly thoughts.  While here on earth we will think of earthly things but while in heaven our thoughts will be focused differently.

There is so much more He taught during those four last days.  Do take the time to read these teachings.  They’re still for us no matter what era we live in.

Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, give us wisdom to understand what we need to know.  Grant us insight into Your Holy Word.  Put those in our paths that we need to share The Story with.  Above all keep us safe and secure in your loving arms.  Make it so!

Gifts

Gifts

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

Why do we give gifts?  For birthdays?  Just because?  Anniversaries?  Christmas?

I recently really struggled with what to give my awesome husband for his birthday.  This is a really big deal for me because gifting is my primary love language.  I really wanted to give him a new truck or motorcycle but I don’t have the money for that.  I did tell him that’s what I wanted to give him just to make him smile…He was delighted with a motorcycle print shirt, a soft eagle print sport shirt, and a hand tooled leather belt (He had worn out his favorite one.)

John 3:16-17  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.

I have received many incredible gifts over the years.  Special things designed just for me.  Yet, none so special as the gift of eternal life.  A gift that will be mine simply because I believe without question that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.  I believe that He personally saved me and would have even if I were the only person on earth.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible, undeserved gift of my Lord, Jesus Christ.  Keep me always aware of Your presence.  Grant me the peace that comes with knowing who You are and Whose I am.   Make it so!