Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus. “And he took it down and wrapped it in linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb…” Luke 23:50-53 Just before His death, in His own words, Jesus told the disciples “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the Earth and dies, it remains by itself alone, but it if dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
The seed buried in the Earth, dies, and out of its death comes amazing life. The end of the story is the beginning for us! He is ALIVE! “He had risen!” He walked out of His tomb and left it behind. Sin and death are conquered. Go and grow in the light of this amazing resurrection life.
In the Hebrew tradition, a man always wore his talit (prayer shawl) so he could literally carry his prayer closet with him. This prayer closet (his personal “tent of meeting”) was formed by pulling the shawl over the head while holding the “wings;” the tassled corners of the garment. Watercolor and pencil combine in this rendering to depict the point at which Jesus covers the lifeless body of Jairus’ daughter with His talit. In this posture of prayer, Jesus then took the little girl’s hand and spoke, “Talitha cumi,” which is believed to be literally translated to, “Little girl who is in my tent, arise!” Mark 5:21-43
Shame was taken at the cross. No more poignant is the moment Jesus comes to Peter after the Resurrection, on the beach to affirm their relationship and three times takes the shame of three denials. Three time Jesus asks, “Do you love me, Peter?” Three times he commissions Peter to serve Him. We fail miserably, Jesus frees completely. We then can walk in His complete “Restoration.”
Peter warmed himself by the fire while Jesus was on trial, mocked and beaten. Three times Peter was accused of being with Jesus. Three times he denied it, saying with a curse, “I do not know the man!” Even in the midst of torture, abuse and betrayal, our Lord looks on us with compassion and calls us back to Him. Mourn your failures, feel your mistakes and then look up and see the freedom Jesus brings.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Rom. 3:23 1 John 1:9
An act of extravagant worship puts this woman of ill repute into history. Luke’s gospel records the story of a sinful woman who lavishes upon the feet of Jesus her tears, kisses and costly perfume from an alabaster jar. In humble adoration, from a heart full of gratitude, flow expressions of pure worship set in motion by His “Overwhelming Love.” Luke 7:36-50
Have you ever wondered what prompted the woman with the issue of blood to touch the “hem” of Jesus’ garment? The word translated garment in the story is translated elsewhere as “wing”. The Jewish prayer shawl, or tallit, has a very important, knotted, blue cord that hangs from the corner. This area is called the “wing”. When the Hebrew prayed they held the “wings” of their prayer shawl out to form a “tent”. This was their prayer closet. Old Testament scripture foretells that when Messiah comes, there will be “healing in His wings”. The woman familiar with this scripture knew to touch the “wing” of His prayer shawl to be healed. And Jesus said to her, “Your faith has healed you.” Mk. 5:34
“Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6 Our lives sometimes feel broken, shattered, unusable. In the art of ceramics, the cracked and broken pots are crushed and thrown into the sludge pot where they again become workable clay. This clay can then be placed on the potter’s wheel to be reformed. Giving our lives over to the Master Potter allows Him to perfectly mold and form us into the beautiful design He has in mind. What a privilege to be the clay “In the Potter’s Hands.”