My Family

My Family

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Week


It's been 3 days, as the Jews reckon time, since the murder of the Messiah. (Day 1, is Friday. Day 2, is Saturday. Day 3, is Sunday).

It's early Sunday morning, and Mary Magdalene ventures out to visit the tomb that Joseph of Arimathaea as placed the body of Christ in. The tomb is near Golgotha ("The place of the Skull") also called Calvary, where Christ was crucified.

She approaches the garden tomb, and sees that the stone has been rolled away from the opening. See doesn't notice two angels sitting on the stone as she peers into the tomb. He's gone! She quickly returns to where many of the disciples are gathered----possibly the upper room of Mark John's home. Peter and John are there as she rushes in to tell them that Christ's body is gone from the tomb. Peter---the quick acting, impetuous one--- immediately begins running to the garden tomb. John follows behind, but beats Peter to the doorway of the sepulcher. John stops to look in, but Peter doesn't. Peter rushes in and sees the linen cloth that covered the body in one place, and the napkin which covered the head in another place. John also enters the tomb, and they believe Mary's words, that his body is gone.

Peter and John leave, but Mary stays behind, weeping. She approaches the sepulcher again, and looks inside. She now sees the two angels, sitting within. One at the head and one at the feet of where Christ's body was laid.

They ask her, "Woman, why weepest thou?"

"Because they've taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him", she responds as she turns away. She then sees another man. "Sir", she asks,"If thou hath borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."

This man, whom she supposes to be the gardener, says in reply, "Mary". The familiarity of the words, and the voice causes her to realize that it is not the gardener, but Christ who speaks to her.

"Rabboni" which is to say "Master". Mary Magdalene, now becomes the first known human being to see and also to converse with a resurrected being. Other beings have been brought back to life, in effect returned to their previous mortal condition, but none have been resurrected to an immortal condition......never to die again.

He then tells Mary to return to the other disciples and tell them that "I ascend to my Father and your Father; and to my God and to your God"

Later that evening, he visits the Apostles who were "assembled for fear of the Jews". He stood in the midst of them, eating fish and honeycomb, and showed them the marks in his hands, feet and side. Later Thomas Didymus, another of 12 had a visit, though he doubted the stories of the others. Thomas felt the wounds in Christ's body. Resurrection is a tough thing to believe in.

He later appears to the Apostles again, while they are fishing on the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias); on the road to Emmaus with Luke and Cleopas; 500 people in Galilee and several other recorded episodes.

Much more could be written and endless commentary added. I feel that I must concur with the final written words of the Apostle John in his gospel "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that the world itself could not contain that books that should be written. Amen"

Truth is stranger than fiction. Is this truth or is it fiction?

End Notes and Bibliography

These previous write-ups were only intended as a positive view of something I find to be interesting and useful. Thanks for allowing me to indulge myself, particularly thanks to those who have no interest in such things. Thanks for being accommodating, without feeling threatened or feeling the need to argue about it. Accommodation and tolerance are keys to peaceful coexistence of all us varied animal species.

I've kept the story in line with the King James Version of the Bible, and have only used that book as a scriptural reference. Additional LDS scripture could add some doctrinal insight into the mix, but I specifically chose not to include it in any of the commentary. I wanted any Christian believing person to find the story interesting, without any concerns as to whether some detail was biblical or not. The general story as told in the Gospels, can be found in Matt 21-28, Mark 11-15, Luke 19-24 and John 12-21.

The sources I've drawn on over the years to help me understand and place the events in chronological order are:

Alfred Edersheim, "Jesus The Messiah". Written by an Austrian Jew who converted to a Presbyterian Minister in the late 1800's. This book and the one he wrote about the Old Testament are excellent. His other books on Jewish culture and it's influence on Christianity are likewise very informative and well worth the money. His books are still available on the market.

Frederic Farrar, "The Life of Christ". Also written in the late 1800's. Farrar was an evangelical Christian author and clergyman. His writing is extremely poetic but still very useful. All other writers since his book, have tried to sound as good, but they can't.

James Talmage, "Jesus The Christ". Familiar LDS book. An LDS Apostle who wrote in the early 1900's. He draws heavily upon Farrar's book and quotes it extensively and at great lengths. I think a useful and informative book, regardless of what Christian tradition you believe in. Very informative, without feeling threatened by Mormon doctrine. The best single-volume for an LDS reader.

Bruce McConkie,"The Messiah Series", specifically "The Mortal Messiah" books. An LDS Apostle who wrote in the 1970's and 1980's. These books are up to date with regard to biblical research and chronology of events. The most informative books for me, but a bit wordy. Written more for the LDS audience. He heavily draws on Edersheim for technical details as well as Farrar and Cunningham Geicke. The best overall books outside of scripture, to understand the life of Christ from the LDS perspective.
Thanks goes to Phil, my husband's friend, for this weeks commentary on the last week of Christ's life. I want to add my testimony of the reality of Christ's life. I do believe that those things recorded in the bible did take place, and that Christ did take upon himself the sins of all of us. He did suffer for those sins. He was indeed resurrected after his death. I believe, without a shadow of doubt that He is my elder brother, who loves me and is mindful of me. I love him with all of my heart.

*just a note - the book by James Talmage, that Phil mentioned - Jesus the Christ - is one of the best books I've ever read. It is a wonderful, inspired commentary on Christ's life. I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to learn more about him, and become closer to him.

Have a wonderful Easter.

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