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He is risen!

I wish I had been there on that morning long, long ago.  I wish I had come very early in the morning, like Mary, while it was yet dark – to discover that the tomb was empty;  to hear the angel say, “He is not hear.  He is risen from the dead.”

I’m sure I would have been as unsettled as Mary and the disciples, barely able to comprehend what had happened.  He was dead and they knew it.  He was placed in the tomb and it was sealed.  Now it stands empty!

A wonderful mystery is explained in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. 

In Exodus and Leviticus, God gave Moses the instructions for the seven feasts of the Lord to be celebrated throughout their year.  Each was to remind them of something.  And each was a foreshadowing of things to come. 

At Palm Sunday, Jesus was singled out as the Passover Lamb.  He was arrested on the night of Passover.  He was crucified and died on the feast of Unleavened Bread.  He who was the incorruptible Bread of Life said a grain of wheat must first die in order to produce much fruit.  His body lay in the tomb on Saturday, the Sabbath day of rest.  The day after Sabbath was the Feast of Firstfruits.  And  on that day He arose from the dead, being an example of resurrected life for those who would follow Him. 

According to Leviticus 23, the Feast of First Fruits was to be the day after the Sabbath (or the first Sunday) during the seven days of Unleavened Bread.   When the people finally settled in the Promised Land, the first crop of the season was a taste of what was to come.   They were to offer a portion of it to God along with a burnt offering.  This crop was the first of their fruits.  More would come later. 

Only God could have orchestrated the calendar to work out perfectly.  Remember that the Jewish month is according to the moon’s cycle.  So Passover could fall on any day of the week as the years go by.

On Jesus’ last Passover, it was a Thursday when he ate with His disciples in the upper room.  It was Friday and the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when he was crucified and died.  Scripture confirms the days because of the hasty burial due to the Sabbath coming at sundown.

And it was Sunday when He defied death, hell and the grave and claimed victory for us.  Though we walk through the valleys of suffering, heartache, pain, and eventually death, Jesus fulfilling the Feast of Firstfruits bears witness that we also shall live.

Hear the Apostle Paul encourage the Corinthians:

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.   But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 – 23)

This corruptible shell in which I walk and move shall one day put on incorruption.  This mortal body that aches and pains will be changed to immortality.  One day my tears will be wiped away.  No more pain, no more sadness, no more death.  No more wondering “why?”

Jesus’ resurrected life provides the hope of resurrection for me.  Because He lives, I shall  live also.  That is something to shout about!

Share your Resurrection Sunday with me in a comment. 

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It’s Spring!

Spring has sprung, and I could not be happier about it.  I’ve been looking forward to it since January 1.  It has been a long wintry season for Sweet William and me.

There are so many special things about the springtime.  Let me just count the ways.

Every year I have a ritual I call “surveying my kingdom.”  I am not rich by any means nor do I have acres and acres of land.  My kingdom is my home, my yard, and my field.  I like to walk its boundaries and look for signs of new growth on the tress and bushes, see what perennials are coming up, admire the daffodils in full bloom, and plan what I want to do this year.  Some of my plantings have come from other people, and when I look at them, I remember.

I’ve picked my first bouquet of yellow daffodils in several varieties, put them in a vase with a few pussy willow twigs, and carried them to work.  It became spring in my office.

The children who live on our lane have been playing up and down it, riding bikes, scooters and skateboards. Their laughter and childish play are like a dose of good medicine.

The Bradford Pear tree is putting on her white blossom dress.  The forsythias are yellowing, the willows are greening.

My grandchildren and I looked until we found the killdeer’s nest again this year.  She builds it right on the ground, camouflaged by the brown areas in the grass.  Trying to lure us away, mother killdeer fluttered and squawked like she was hurt badly when we got near the nest.  But we found it, taking careful slow steps so as not to step on the nest with its four beautiful speckled eggs.

I picked an egg from the fridge and stood it on its end at 7:09 pm on March 20, about the time of the vernal equinox.  It just stood there until 7:19 when it rolled over like an egg ought to do.

I fixed unleavened bread for supper tonight to go with the Somewhere in Thyme tomato soup recipe I love. Unleavened bread makes me think of the Jewish celebration of Passover and its wonderful symbolic relationship to Jesus’ last supper with His disciples.  (The bread the recipe is below if you want to make some.)

I watch with eagerness for the full moon. It will be a month from now and another full moon will shine on the first day of Passover which purposefully falls around the season of Good Friday and Easter.

I’m wearing my cross necklace now around the clock.  I touch it.  Mine is pretty.  His was not.  It is my constant reminder of Jesus’ last days before His crucifixion.  I think about His last month, the activities in which He was a participant, the determination He had as He set His face toward Jerusalem knowing what awaited Him there.

I’m preparing myself to watch The Passion movie.  It has become somewhat of an annual event.  It is not a movie I will sit down to view with a bowl of popcorn and a cola.  I must give it my attention to be reminded how much my sin cost my Savior.

The price paid for sin was not a cheap price.  The bounty of blessings I enjoy today  – joy, peace, reconciliation, restoration – are mine because God loved me so much that He gave His One and Only Son in my place.  My debt has been wiped clean.

It’s Spring.  It’s a season for new life.  And I am so thankful!

 

Recipe for Unleavened Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6-8 tablespoons water

Mix flour and salt.  Add oil and water.  Mixture should form a soft dough.  Add  more flour or water as necessary.  Roll or pat out the dough to about 1/4 inch.  Prick with a fork.  Place on a greased baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 12 to 16 minutes until golden brown.

Makes enough for 4 people.  Serve with soup.

Leave a comment and let me know if you like the Unleavened Bread.