Tag Archives: temple

This Can’t Be Good: Part III

I can’t make sense of it. I feel as though I can not wake from the strangest dream – a nightmare. All week long I looked and waited for my friend, trusting we will find each other. And yet, I shared the Passover meal with strangers at an inn.

On my way to the temple, desperate to find my friend I had to wait for the ugliest parade procession ever. That guy people talked about all week, paraded through the streets. He was beaten so badly I barely recognized his gruesome image, barely able to drag his cross. Days ago a celebrity and now being treated as a criminal. Some of the same people I saw celebrating him earlier were mocking and accusing him of some vague crimes.

It’s as if people have lost their minds. How I wish I knew what has become of my friend.

Hardly anyone at the temple, I felt lost and desolate. The week certainly did not go as I expected or would have imagined. I wandered aimlessly until I came to the city wall and looked over the countryside. I saw the crowd dispersing from three crosses, a man hanging from each of them. Too far to see clearly, I am certain that guy, that Jesus in the middle. I knew he was in for trouble. But this… Bewildering.

calvary Good Fri

 

 

As I looked on from the wall, the sky seemed to fracture, the earth shook and the world became as dark at night. I was horrified. I lost all track of time. Then all I could think of was to get to the inn for the night.

Storm Good Fri

Confused and shaken, I made my way not remembering how I got there or anything I said. Overwhelmed by the images in my head, the strange, dark weather, the hideous feelings, all I had seen, chilled to the bone despite the warm day, I felt entirely alone among the strangers around me.

I don’t understand. I have done my best to be good and worshiped God as long as I can remember. And yet I wonder if I had only imagined this God. This week seems to be too much for me. I must be tired. I must rest. But I can’t shake the picture of the crucifixion on that hill. God, please help me.

 

“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?”

Psalm 15:1 (NLT)

 

Images Google Royalty Free Images/Pinterest 

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” Galatians 3:13 (NIV)

 

Originally posted 2016 March 23 on What’s Next

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Again; That Guy: Part II

Again I saw that guy. It’s like everywhere I go either he is nearby or I couldn’t help overhear someone that was obviously talking about him or something else he’d done.

jerusalem crowd

I couldn’t forget the priests in the temple among the debris, the image stuck in my mind. It’s like an earworm, but irrepressible. I hate the way the image makes me feel fearful, and I’m annoyed with myself that it bothers me. I’m exasperated that I haven’t found my friend – we agreed to meet at the Temple Gate. All I want is to be ready for the Passover.

I couldn’t go a block without hearing someone talking about the incident at the temple. People seemed obsessed; both excited and upset. I actually heard someone say that guy touched some blind, crippled and terminally sick people who afterward could suddenly see, walk and are no longer sick at all. How could that be? I must get to my business.

Shortly after eating, I was walking off my meal when I saw the guy again – coming toward me. I wanted to turn and walk the other way – where that guy went there was trouble. But as if the air between us was charged with some peculiar energy that drained me of my will, I couldn’t move.

The guy was not exceptionally tall, but as he moved closer he looked straight through the crowd surrounding him, right into my eyes. All motion seemed to stop – I was captivated, as if his face drew me closer. I suddenly felt as if the guy saw my entire history, knew my unspoken thoughts. I again wanted to leave, but I couldn’t. Distinctively unnerved, I wanted protection from him. For an instant a notion to call for a guard briefly flitted across my mind – I am such a hypocrite.

The moments seemed like hours and then before I knew it he continued moving on with his group. Like an idiot I stood there until I realized people were bumping into me as they passed in every direction. I checked for my bag and feeling it there I started walking again, aimlessly drifting with the crowd.

Later, making my way back to the temple, I heard people saying, “Heaven… wind… light… and Jesus.” I honestly don’t know why, but I am entirely unnerved. I feel drained, exposed, and remarkably uneasy. I long to find my friend and secure a place to stay the night.

“…A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.”
John 3:27 (NLT)

Featured Image courtesy ABSFreePic

Originally posted on What’s Next on 2016 March 22

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Who is That Guy? Part I

I can’t say why I’ve been coming most of my life. Every year. I want to honor and worship the Almighty One, but this annual journey seems futile, especially within Rome’s grip. Still, something in me brings me back.

Every year I scrimp and save to be here for the Passover. Every year I think it is going to be special. And every year by the time I get here, I am so worn and weary from trepidation, travel, the crowds of people, all clamoring to get on with it, the whole point seems to get lost. And yet I come.

jerusalem

When I arrived this morning, later than I intended, people seemed somehow livelier than ever before. I noticed palm leaves laying everywhere. I wondered if another dignitary had arrived, but looking around as I walked, I saw nothing special.

It took longer than usual to get to the temple. Once I reached the outer court that old feeling crept in again. I don’t like admitting it, but I feel conflicted, kind of resentful about the vendors lining the walls. I get that they offer a convenience for travelers who didn’t bring offerings. Ya gotta make a living somehow. Right? Still, so many times I’ve noticed inferior animals. I’m not gonna lie, I wonder how they justify that. But it’s none of my business.

After a while, I was glad to have found a space in the shade to rest a moment. Casually watching people passing through the gate, suddenly there was this guy. I don’t understand why I noticed him coming from yards away. Though he seemed to be with a group, he distinctly stood out. Steady, serene, he looked like a man with a purpose. He didn’t look particularly special, and yet I couldn’t stop watching him.

I watched his entire being seem to darken as he took in the court, his face visibly changed; he seemed to become troubled. For some reason my thoughts raced about what he might be thinking. Why? What is it about him? I don’t know him.

Though I saw the hawkers calling to him, I couldn’t look away from him. All of a sudden it seemed the whole court blew up. The guy went to a table, took a hold of one end and flipped it over! People jumped and scurried as he went on flipping the tables over, birds, animals and coins scattered everywhere.

Who is this guy?!

I wanted to run from what would be certain trouble, but I  couldn’t move. Over the noise, confusion and excitement, I heard him speak from across the court – loudly without raising his voice; intense words about his father, a house of prayer, a den of thieves. What the…?

Then I noticed the priests across the court stepping back, talking into one another’s ears. They looked shocked, confused and then outraged. The moment I looked away the guy was gone from sight. I saw an opening in the crowd and dodged out.

It’s been hours since the temple upset. Quiet now, everyone around me sleeps, but I can’t stop thinking about that guy. As if something deep within me wants to find him, talk to him, listen to him – and warn him about the priests. This is so strange. It’s none of my business.

It’s late. I am tired but I can’t rest. God, help me understand!

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NIV)

Featured Image Courtesy ABSFreePics

Originally posted on What’s Next 2016 March 21

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized