Passion Week in Jerusalem

March 30, 2010

Where It All Happened - Historically & Geographically

Easter is about the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The events leading up to that resurrection actually took place in a physical location and in our recorded history.  Click on the map of Jerusalem and then click on the “pins” to get a description of what happened in each location.  Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the “holiday” mood that we either forget  the meaning of the holiday or else lose sight of it’s historicity.  So I was particularly delighted to see Justin Taylor’s blog in which he highlights the events of each day along with the biblical texts that explain these events.

I was also moved by the words to the anthem we sang at church on Sunday to focus on Christ’s ride on the colt of a donkey into the city of Jerusalem:

In lowly pomp ride on to die; O Christ, thy triumphs now begin o’er captive death and conquered sin.

The angel armies of the sky look down with sad and wondering eyes to see the approaching sacrifice.

Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh; the Father on his sapphire throne expects his own anointed Son.

In lowly pomp ride on to die; bow thy meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

For me, the week stirs every imaginable emotion:  sadness, because a righteous man was treated so unfairly; rage, because of the brutality of the arrogant people in authority;  guilt, because my sin(s) brought about the tragic sacrifice;  awe, because I can’t wrap around the love that would move a God to sacrifice so much on my behalf;  joy, because I am free to enjoy a personal relationship with God;  surrender, because that’s what He really wants to see in me;  peace, because all the ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life are answered;  and excitement, because God chooses to use me for His purposes.

What emotions get stirred in you by this week’s events?

Beyond Personal Comforts to Help Others: Haiti

March 10, 2010

What would motivate a Dallas Theological Seminary student to drop all his classes and go to Haiti to help with the relief effort there?  When Luke Perkins did this and after he was there for less than a week,  he asked  if I know some counselors who could come help him.  I simply sent his request to the Christian counselors I know in the Dallas area.  Within a couple of days,  a team of five counselors from Dallas Bible University responded with plans to go.  Their team leader,  Shannon Wolf,  leads their counseling center at DBU and is trained in crisis counseling.  Perfect.  Today, I heard from one of the team.  Here’s part of her e-mail:

Dr. Jagers,
I this is Erika, from DBU.  Dr. Wolf and her husband Peter are here in Haiti.  The workers have been amazing hosts.  Luke has gone above and beyond making us feel comfortalbe and making sure our needs have been met.  I have been keeping a few stories on my blog, feel free to check it out .

Today is our 3rd full day of back to back appointments.  Most of the people we’ve seen have been the nationals.  Most know good English, while a few need a translator.  We’ve also spoken to a number of the missionaries that were here during the quake.

What motivates these people to leave the comforts of their homes a do what they’re doing?  I think it’s love for others beyond self.  To me, it’s a picture of how to practice what the New Testament epistle of James called “pure and undefiled” religion.  There are good people doing good things in this world.  Blessings on you guys!