Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

Sunday Devotional: ‘I am the gate’

John 10:9, 11-15, 17, 18

“I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down,
and power to take it up again.”

And to the deists and those, like fake pope Francis, who say there’s no need to evangelize Jews and Muslims because they worship the same God as Christians, this is what Jesus the Christ said in John 14:6:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So, we only have two choices. Either Jesus was a mad man — but He displayed no evidence of insanity or irrationality — or He spoke the truth.

As St. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said in Acts 4:11-12:

“He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

Why We Need Justice Soon

“When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.” – Ecclesiastes 8:11

In plain talk, letting the wicked off the hook when when they are guilty of huge crimes, will have the result of multiplying their number. Instead of the Clinton Crime Family, we will have the Clinton Crime Extended Family.


What this means to me is that the longer we go without word that the treasonous mob is being brought to justice, the more we lose confidence in restoring the rule of law.

And if we want to know what it means to have a nation give up on law and justice, we need only look to Mexico, where police are corrupt or dead or both; where politicians are openly bought for bribes. And where people caught in the middle face tragedy. I haven’t been able to get this boy’s death out of my mind. I think about him and want to cry for a year.

Immortality in the Old Testament

“In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.” – Proverbs 12:29

Sometimes it’s the simplest verse in the Bible that helps me the most. Today that verse is Proverbs 12:29

It is a direct statement of immortality. In a world where the “shadow of death” is everywhere, this verse is like a bright light.

 

The Snake on a Pole and the Christ on a Cross

Numbers 21:8-9 is the reason for the famous medical symbol, caduceus.

The Bronze Snake

“The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” – Numbers 21:8-9

How can we possibly compare the sinless Son of God with a poisonous snake?

That was my question when I first read the snake-on-pole incident and heard that it was a foreshadowing of Christ’s death on the cross. My first feeling was that to even think such a thing about Jesus would be blasphemy.

Understanding this mystery reveals the full power of the cross.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

I knew Jesus took our sins and their punishment upon Himself to save us. What I didn’t understand was the profound depth of it:

Jesus actually became sin

And at that moment, all the wrath of God was poured out on one lone figure on a cross, killing Him and sending Him into the depths of hell. The devil actually thought he had finally defeated God.

In the horror of this moment, Psalm 22:6 was fulfilled:

“…but I am a worm (a serpent) and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.”

Then, as Satan gloated over his prize, with all his captives looking on in (hard to imagine) even greater despair, with Jesus Christ Himself dead, powerless and defeated, then to the devil’s own shock, the Spirit of the living God suddenly infused the forlorn victim of the cruelest torture and death, and transformed Him into the fully victorious resurrected eternal Messiah, triumphing over all the power of death and the devil.

In titanic combat He snatched the keys of Death and Hell and led the devil’s captives to freedom.

Colossians 2:13-15 sums it up:

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.


Thank you Lord!!!!!!!!!!

Note:

Due to the pagan influence on the caduceus medical symbol, I am adding another medical symbol that is more closely related to Moses’ brazen serpent on a pole.

serpent-pole

The point of the article was to understand why the Lord would foreshadow the crucifixion of His Son with an image that represents sin and the devil.

I apologize for the distraction I caused by using the tainted symbol of the caduceus to make my point.

If I had only shone Moses with the serpent on a pole, and Jesus on the cross, there would have been no distraction. However, if I were to edit out the caduceus photo from the article, it would accidentally make those who discussed the caduceus seem to have no context. So for their sake I simply add this note.

Thank you all for adding info about the caduceus that I didn’t know.

~ TD

 

Sunday Devotional: The two witnesses of the Resurrected Christ

Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Modern Christology, the systematic study (“ology”) of Jesus Christ, is a product of the Enlightenment, distinguished from the pre-modern variety in its purpose and intent. Instead of studying Christ as the object of religious devotion or faith by, say, exploring the abiding mystery of the Trinity (that three persons are in one God) or the hypostatic union (that Jesus has two natures, both God and man), modern Christology means to study Jesus as a figure in history, i.e., Jesus the man instead of Jesus the Christ.

Modern Christology’s historical reconstructions of Jesus have regularly been put forward as challenges to faith. In a speech in 1996, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said that “The identification of only one historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, with . . . the living God, is now relegated as a relapse into myth. Jesus is consciously relativized as one religious leader among others.” The result is an erosion of faith even among the clergy. As examples:

  • A survey in 2002 found that a third of the clergy in the Church of England doubted or outright disbelieved in the physical resurrection of Christ. No doubt the percentage is much higher today, 16 years later.
  • At the 2017 Christmas midnight Mass, Fr. Fredo Olivero of the Church of San Rocco di Torino in the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy, substituted the syrupy Italian pop-religious tune “Dolce sentire” for the Creed, explaining, “Do you know why I do not say the Creed? Because I do not believe it. . . . After many years I understood that it was something I did not understand and that I could not accept. So let’s sing something else that says the essential things of life.” (Source: George Weigel in First Things)
  • Not to be outdone, Fr. Paolo Farinella of Genoa, Italy, announced in the leftist Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, that Christmas is just “a fairy tale from the nativity scene with lullabies and bagpipes, the exclusive support of a capitalist and consumerist economy”. (First Things)

Having studied some of the writings of modern Christologists, what I find curious is that, in their search for the historical Jesus, these theologians and scholars pay scant attention to an important concept in law which is critical to the testimony and determination of truth.

That concept is “percipient witness.”

According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things she or he actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”

The apostles and disciples were the percipient witnesses of the historical Jesus. Their accounts are contained in the four canonical Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. And it is their behaviors, lives, and deaths that provide the most compelling testimony of not just Jesus the man, but Jesus the Christ.

This is what we know:

  • All the apostles, except the youngest named John, abandoned Jesus after he was taken away from the Garden of Gethsemane by Roman soldiers.
  • The apostle Simon Peter—on whom Jesus founded and to whom he entrusted his Church—thrice denied he even knew Jesus.
  • The apostles were understandably frightened by Jesus’ crucifixion, which was the Roman Empire’s cruelest form of execution reserved for the worst criminals. They were so frightened that they went into hiding.
  • On the third day after Jesus died, His body disappeared from the tomb.
  • After that, the apostles became completely transformed—from cowering to being fearless men; from illiterate fishermen to bold preachers in different languages (!) to crowds of strangers; from having abandoned their master and teacher to die alone on the cross to become martyrs for the faith.

Such a total transformation can only be accounted for and explained by their witnessing something extraordinary that happened in that brief interim between the crucifixion of Jesus and the disappearance of his body. What happened had to be something even more extraordinary than the miracles the apostles had witnessed in the three years of Jesus’ public ministry. Those miracles included:

  • The multiplication of a few fishes and loaves to feed thousands;
  • The healing of the blind, the lame, and the sick;
  • The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead;
  • The casting of demons from the possessed;
  • Jesus walking on water;
  • Jesus calming a stormy sea;
  • Jesus reattaching the severed ear of a Roman soldier in Gethsemane.

That super-extraordinary event was the Resurrection.

Only the risen Christ could have so convinced sane, rational men such as the two disciples in Luke 24, as to completely, with assistance from the Holy Spirit, transform them into men they were not. Only by seeing the risen Christ — by speaking, walking, and eating with Him and in the case of doubting Thomas, by touching the wounds of the risen Christ — could the apostles have changed overnight from being frightened little rabbits into fearless outspoken men whom no one could silence and who went to a martyr’s death, willingly and joyfully, for their risen Lord.

And so, in the end, modern Christologists’ quest for the historical Jesus remains ever sketchy and elusive because of their refusal to heed an important concept in law for determining and establishing truth — that of percipient witness. The quest for the Christ Jesus is right there, in the personal testimonies, lives and deaths of His apostles and disciples.

See also:

May the peace and joy of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

The Wells of Salvation

with-joy-you-will-draw

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

The Bible builds word pictures that can lodge in the heart of the reader. This verse, Isaiah 12:3, is one of those word pictures. Even as I read it this morning I feel refreshed by its hope.

Other famous word pictures include “He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” The effect on the mind is of the ease of flight, the mastery of the sky, the liberty of health.

If we keep the soil of our hearts well tilled, free from weeds like lust, greed, cares and worries, these word pictures can produce a harvest of peace and confidence in our lives that can spill over and help us and those around us.

Deepening Understanding of the Creation

Most know the Genesis account of Creation. What is not as widely known is that there are a number of other biblical references to the Creation that broaden and deepen our understanding of the world and our human condition. 

The Supremacy of the Son of God

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
– Colossians 1 verses 15-20


Origins – Darwin vs the Bible 

A wise teacher spoke years ago about the debate between Atheists and Christians in their methods of examining how things came to be.

The Atheist says,
“I must understand, in order that I might believe.”

The Christian says,
“I must believe, in order that I might understand.”

This can seem a frustrating thing, but both the Atheist and the Christian always starts with some kind of faith assumption, or pre-supposition, from which to build understanding.

If we choose the Atheist’s way, we plod along waiting for each piece of the puzzle to make sense. In Darwin’s case, each new piece of evidence served to erode his theory of origins.

If we choose the Christian’s way, we are ushered into revelations of the deepest inner workings of things, like the passage above in St. Paul’s letter to the Christians at Colossai.

My message to the atheists is, continue your research by all means, but please consider the invitation of of the gospel to fast-track your understanding of things through faith in Jesus Christ, while continuing your research into the countless scientific details. In believing, you will be amazed at what you come to understand. It will require faith, but not without reason.