“In Ezekiel 14:3, God says about the elders of Israel, ‘These men have set up their idols in their hearts.’ Like us, the elders must have responded to this charge, ‘Idols? What Idols? I don’t see any idols.’ God was saying that the human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.”
I’m reading Tim Keller’s ‘Counterfeit Gods‘ at the moment (Intro chapter free here). What a brilliant book (and what a brilliant man!). There is a section on Jonah (pg 133) which is truly insightful and heart-wrenching. The story of Jonah, and Keller’s skillful application in applying it to the human condition has cut me to the heart. If you’ve got the book, re-read pages 133-153. If I scan it sometime in the future I’ll put it up here.
On a different note, it’s raining today here in Stellenbosch. I really don’t mind the rain. I often actually enjoy it. It has many benefits: it forces me to read/work, it stops the neighbors dogs barking, and the screaming-crying kids now scream and cry inside not in the freaking garden (which is wonderful).
AND more importantly than all of the above (#best4last) it’s EASTER SUNDAY! When Jesus rose from death – “He has risen! He is not here” the angel told the two Mary’s. Jesus had conquered sin. As He says in Revelation 1:18:
“I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Praise God!! Thank-you Jesus!
Sometimes people get confused about what happened when, and don’t know why Good Friday and Easter Sunday are so special. See below for a brief chronology, (found here).
– Good Friday
In the early hours before sunup, Jesus is betrayed by the “Judas Kiss” and arrested. At sunrise, he is disowned by Peter. When brought before Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest, and his Council, he is condemned. He says that he will rise from death after three days.
Jesus is brought to Calvary, where on the “third hour” (9 am) he is crucified. He is mocked as he hangs between the Bad Thief and the Good Thief, whom he blesses. On the “sixth hour” (noon), darkness covers the land. Jesus cries out “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
After drinking sour wine, he commits his spirit to his Father and dies. Matthew (27:51-52) reports an earthquake that destroys the Temple. Many understand now that Jesus was the Son of God. His body is taken down and anointed. He is buried in a cave. This is the first day of death.
– Holy Saturday
The Jewish Council remembers his vow to return and has the tomb guarded and sealed with a heavy stone. His followers stay in the “Easter Vigil”. Second day of death.
– Easter Sunday
On the third day of death, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary see an angel roll away the stone in front of the tomb. The angel tells them Jesus is already resurrected and is on his way to Galilee. On their way to tell the others, Jesus appears to them.
Easter Sunday marks the beginning of Eastertide or the Easter Season of 7 weeks, ending with Pentecost.