Lazarus Rises 032412
Today’s scripture from John tells of Lazarus rising from the dead, and his being risen as the reason for executing Jesus, and Lazarus also! That’s ironic, as well as cruel: to execute a man for rising from the dead, and to also kill the source of life. That’s as crazy as executing a person for killing someone, since killing is wrong.
But it is interesting for us to try and understand the reasons given for executing Jesus, from a 1st century ‘Jewish under Roman domination’ perspective. Some think Jesus was killed by jealous Jewish priests and elders; some think it was because of disrupting the temple business when he overturned the tables.
But maybe we’re looking for a specific reason for Jesus’ execution. The Romans didn’t need to be specific, or to announce their reasoning, or to justify their actions to anyone. A parking ticket is enough ‘reason’, and the rumor that Jesus might be some kind of Jewish messiah that might disrupt Jewish subjugation—that suspicion was enough.
Do you suspect Jesus is a revolutionary now? If we really did as Jesus asks us, would we be arrested?
Pray for peace, which is revolutionary.
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
5Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
2O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy.
3God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. 4The brightness was like the sun; rays came forth from his hand, where his power lay hidden. 5Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind. 6He stopped and shook the earth; he looked and made the nations tremble. The eternal mountains were shattered; along his ancient pathways the everlasting hills sank low. 7I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction; the tent-curtains of the land of Midian trembled. 8Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Or your anger against the rivers, or your rage against the sea, when you drove your horses, your chariots to victory? 9You brandished your naked bow, sated were the arrows at your command. Selah You split the earth with rivers. 10The mountains saw you, and writhed; a torrent of water swept by; the deep gave forth its voice. The sun raised high its hands; 11the moon stood still in its exalted place, at the light of your arrows speeding by, at the gleam of your flashing spear. 12In fury you trod the earth, in anger you trampled nations. 13You came forth to save your people, to save your anointed. You crushed the head of the wicked house, laying it bare from foundation to roof. Selah
12Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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