Sunday, April 15, 2012

No qualms...

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study picks up where it left off. Qualms represent the letter Q. I realize I say the following statement: 'I have no qualms with it.' When I say that, I mean that I have no problem with the whatever is in reference. 

I've always been told that there will be trials in life to make us better on the other side. God never meant for you to go through something and not get something out of it. He intended for you to be better because you went through what you went through.

I have to borrow from TD Jakes this week as he shares a new spin about the miracle of the two fish and five loaves. 

Mark 8: 18-20 reads: "Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven."

Jesus feeds five thousand with just two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus takes a little boy's lunch and blesses it. That's when the miracle occurs. He blesses something that is not enough. Until you can be thankful for not enough, you cannot have access to more than enough. Jesus holds two fish and five loaves but when He breaks them, they multiply. So the blessing is in the breaking. The blessing is allowing God to break you. It really is true; no pain, no gain.

So now, I think I finally understand that parts of my childhood were about my brokenness. My early adult life was a part of my brokenness. Today's trials are all a part of being broken so He can use those times to help me share with others. With that understanding, I come forth to say I no longer have qualms with my past. The good, the bad, and the ugly all make me the person I am today. Well, if God's plan for me has more brokenness, I have no qualms with that.

Soli Deo Gloria, 

SA Brown

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Passion Week

Interrupting the Weekly Alphabet Bible Study for an important announcement. I hope Y'all won't mind.

What is Passion Week? It's the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. It is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for your sins. (Mine, too.)

Have you ever asked yourself what all happened in that week? Well, I did and this is what I discovered.

Before I begin, I want us to remember good old Zaccheus. He's the greedy tax collector that Jesus eats with just before Palm Sunday. People were angry that Jesus ate with ole Zacch but I think, sometimes, folks forget why Jesus came. By the end of their dinner, Jesus saves a soul that night. (Luke 19: 9-10)


We begin with Palm Sunday and the Trimphal Entry. Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling an ancient prophecy. (Zechariah 9:9) The people welcome Him with chants of 'Hosanna.' Deep down, He knows, by week's end, their tune will change.


Jesus returns to Jerusalem. On His way, He curses the fig-tree, a highly symbolic act. Explanation comes Tuesday. He then enters the Temple and chases out the corrupt money-changers. (Matthew 21:13) This shows His Messianic authority and fulfills another prophecy that implies the Messiah will appear there suddenly and take possession of it. (Malachi 3:1) On the way home, they see the withered fig tree.


On this day, Jesus personally confronts the authorities and defends His claim to be the Messiah. He pronounces a curse on the city, like He did the fig tree. Because the fig tree has leaves but bore no fruit, He cursed it. That is how Jesus describes the authorities. Like that tree, it was all for show. They had the look (leaves) but no fruit (faith). At the end of the day, Jesus gives the Olivet Discourse, a detailed prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple due to the rejection of Jesus as Messiah.


Perhaps, this is a quiet day of rest and mediation for Jesus. Most scholars say it spends it with family and friends. I say He was getting His mind right.


Jesus celebrates Passover and has His Last Supper in the Upper Room. (Cue Mahalia Jackson). Jesus announces there is a betrayer. Jesus gives us communion. Peter faces humility. Jesus prays for a reprieve but knows His destiny. (Matthew 26:39)  His closest friends let Him down. (Matthew 26:41) Judas comes and seals the deal with a kiss. (Matthew 26: 48-49) And so it begins...


Bogus trials--four of them. His fifth is before the Roman governor, Pilate, finds no fault with Jesus, but the people...the people want justice. Pilate gives the people what they want but washes his hands of the matter. (Matthew 27:24) Now comes the flogging. Jesus suffers licks meant for us. Jesus endures humiliation meant for us. Still, He begs for our forgiveness. (Luke 23:34) Even in the midst of the greatest despair, Jesus saves another soul. (Luke 23: 39-43) The sky darkens. Scholars say it symbolizes the Father turning His back on the one He had once called My Beloved Son. During this time, Jesus experiences hell for us all. Hell is to be utterly forsaken by God. (Matthew 28:46) Since no man can take His life from Him, Jesus willingly lays it down for us. (John 10:18) That's when Jesus proclaims, "It is finished" and gives His spirit back to God. (Luke 23:46) Even His death saves a soul. (Matthew 27:54) At that moment, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple splits in two; eliminating the separation between man and God forever. Now we can boldly and confidently into God's presence. (Ephesians 3:12) Hours later, Jesus is laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. More symbolism--because Jesus only needs it for a little while.


Jesus' body lies in its borrowed tomb. Scholars say He is in the depths of hell vying for our souls.


Early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and 'em go to the tomb and find the stone rolled away. Jesus was gone. He has risen. All the prophesies had come to pass. His death justifies believers and His perfect righteousness is imputed to sinners. His sacrifice secures our salvation. And when Jesus returns to His Father, He promises to send us a Helper (Luke 24:49) and to be with us always--even unto the end of this world. (Matthew 28:20) 

A lot sure can happen in a week...

SA Brown