Pastor’s Letter for March 2018

Pastor’s reflections

Luke 23:44-45 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

This account also appears in the other two gospels Marks account is slightly different he tells us:

Mark 15:33-37 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Death of Jesus

33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Matthew goes in to more detail, it is thought that Matthew used Mark gospel while writing his and Luke used both and the stories he had collected from people who were there.

Matthew 27:45-53 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Death of Jesus 

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.

From these account you can see that there was something happening that was not the normal way of a crucifixion in those times.  We learn last month that Jesus was more important than Elijah and Moses.  Earth quakes and temple curtains tombs opened, Even the Centurion, realized that this man was truly the Son of God. All this happened before Jesus rose from the dead.

As Luke tells us darkness came over the world, the sun’s light failed. Matthew says the earth shook.  I wonder if this was nature’s way of not wanting to witness what was happening to Jesus.  It just could not witness it or let anyone else see it.  He was dying for our sins so we should not suffer death for them. Did the earth shake to show it was finished? When we really reflect on what was happening, we cannot imagine what he was going through, he had to do it alone this was what he was sent to earth to do.

Then I look at this beautiful county, the snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffodils beginning to bloom, there are Lambs in the field, and catkins on the trees, primroses are beginning to bloom and the birds are busy.  Isn’t nature wonderful?   Every year at this time Lent is here and we are spring -cleaning our lives. Easter and Passion Week are fast coming.  And here is nature resurrecting its self from its winter rest.  What lovely symbols of God’s love and care.

Whatever we do his love is always around us keeping us safe and providing for us, and we sometimes do not stop and look around and appreciate Gods wonderful creation.  God‘s promises, his covenant with us is reflected in our world.  And all we have to do is Follow Jesus, trust him and have faith.  He does not tell us it is easy, but he has shown us that he has taken a large part of it on his own self, so we will never experience what he did.

Pastor Caroline

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