Sunday, November 28, 2010

TURMOIL IN ISAIAH

It only took my reading Isaiah, chapters 1-12 about six times before I untangled the mess Judah was in.  So, here it is:  Assyria attacks Israel and Syria, Judah refuses to join Israel and Syria against Assyria so Judah is attacked by Israel and Syria in retaliation.  Judah asks Assyria for help and Israel is attacked and falls.  Judah makes no new alliances and God rewards them by destroying Assyria.  Judah shows their temple treasure to the ambassadors from Babylon and this leads to the eventual capture of the Judeans and the Babylonian Exile.  YAY!  I GET IT!

Monday, November 15, 2010

JESUS A CRIMINAL?

The other day in bible study we talked about Christ being crucified and the significance of the cross.  I mentioned that I guess that's when the cross became a symbol of Christ.  I've thought about that some over the weekend.

Jesus was innocent of charges brought against him, and sentenced to execution, but he received so much worse.  I think of execution as a bullet through your head and immediate death. But he was  brutally tortured even before he was nailed to the cross.  The roman government knew their punishment rituals.  This "man" chose to not use his power and overcome his enemies, but rather to take upon himself all the evil thoughts and actions of the world and to die for our sins.  Even his last breathing moments were devoted to his followers, and non-believers alike.  He forgave the criminal next to him and asked God to forgive those "who know not what they do".

Grace is unmerited favor, and yet sometimes I think I'm supposed to do something to deserve it.  That's the point, I don't deserve it, but it's given to me anyway.  I should just be grateful and say Thank You!