Earless chocolate bunnies and leftover deviled eggs in the frig. Post-Easter. Now what? My all-time favorite holiday! Do we rummage through the calendar for another holiday or event to look forward to? What excites us about the future or even … daily? May I be so bold in asking, what causes our insides to burn with excitement, what consumes our mind and emotions?
Jesus’ resurrection, AMAZING! WONDERFUL! DIVINE! However, let’s not stop there. There is MORE! Let’s unpack this in brief summary. Stay with me, this is good! Luke 24, it speaks of the women going to the tomb, once there they find two angels who notify them that Jesus was no longer there, the gals go back to tell the others. Peter, as energetic as he was, runs to go see and confirms. Just following that, (v13) it says “Now that same day…” It proceeds to unfold the story of the two walking to Emmaus, who unknown to them at first, encounter Jesus. They are flabbergasted that this Stranger didn’t seem to know what had just transpired in Jerusalem. They shared their disappointment, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Going on they explained how Jesus’ body was not found. Verse 27, “Then He (Jesus) started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him.” WOW, I’d love a one on one instant Bible study from the lips of the Master!
It wasn’t until Jesus was seated at their table, in their home and they accepted the bread He offered, that their eyes were opened and they knew WHO He was. I LOVE their response, “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (v32, emphasis mine)
Their hearts burning within them. I want spiritual heartburn! I want my soul, mind, thoughts, passions, desires, and appetites to burn with Him and His word! The word Luke chooses to use for ‘burning’ is very colorful. It doesn’t just mean to strike a match and light the kindling and watch it slowly give off heat. No, it RAVISHES through the wood and consumes it! Burn Lord!
Yet some would argue that the two didn’t even recognize Jesus when He shared the Word with them. However, Paul writes, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) To have the very Son of God, His presence and He b-r-e-a-t-h-e these words to them, teaching them, training them, equipping them – THAT would cause their heart to burn. Notice Jesus didn’t lay hands on them, put mud on their eyes. He didn’t even send them to the Priest for verification; He simply… walked with them. Walking and talking, and they were transformed. The narrative says they got up at once and went back to Jerusalem testifying that Jesus has indeed RISEN.
For us? The next time we find our seat at church or open the Bible for devotion time, let’s not daydream off to another place, let’s do some talkin, and walkin. Jesus told us, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things…” (John 14:26) We just need to show up for the lesson.
And …burn Lord, BURN within us! Post-Easter.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
Recently celebrating Resurrection Sunday, I was again reminded of the journey of … the Lamb. From Genesis to Revelation the Lamb of God.
Genesis 22, God declares to Abraham to take his son Isaac, his only son to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice. An interesting ‘geeky’ point, verse two, God tells Abraham “Take now your son…” Often we miss SO much in the translation, in the Hebrew, the word ‘now’ is ‘na’. See how it reads in Hebrew, “Abraham and he is saying behold me, take you please! son of you, only one of you whom you love Issac…” (emphasis mine) The word translated ‘now’, literally is ‘beseech, please.’ Reading that again, you can almost hear the heart of God in this request. A Fathers heart. As Abe and son begin their hike up the mountain, father placing the wood on the shoulders of the son, Isaac says “The fire and wood are here.” Then asks, “but where is the lamb …?”
As the story progresses, Isaac willingly climbs up on the altar. Abraham obeys to the fullest, God knowing His heart, stops him, and provides a ram for the sacrifice. Noting, here in this chapter, is the first time love, (v 2) worship (v 5) and obey (v 18) are used. Whenever God introduces something new, we are to take notice! Love. Worship. Obey. The lamb. Hearing God, following His commands, sacrificing until it hurts. The Lamb … provided.
Exodus 12, in short: God prepares the Israelites to leave the captivity of Egypt. Instructions were given as the Angel of death would soon be unleashed, “… take the lamb…” slay and place the blood on the doorpost of the home. Taking the lamb into their home, the blood now over them, death avoided. Freedom from captivity. The Lamb … protected.
John 1, John the Baptist, known as an eccentric evangelist, (to say the least, can you say “YUM… bugs!”) sees Jesus approaching, he openly declares “Look, behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John purposely points to Jesus, the shift of attention. The Lamb … proclaimed.
Revelation 5, the angelic choir ‘gettin their worship on’, sings before the throne “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” THAT verse! Read it again as the Holy Spirit breathes on you with His Majesty! (Let’s all stand to our feet! Or face down!) The Lamb … praised.
We too, hold a progression of the Lamb. Perhaps we are wondering, where is He, agony of heart, NEEDING provision. Have we taken Him, the offering of protection and deliverance from our captivity. Are we beholding Him, openly declaring Him before others, re-shifting the focus from us to Him. Does our heart and lifestyle harmonize with heaven ‘worthy is the Lamb’ joining the celebration.
Jesus, from the foreshadowing in the Old Testament, the wood on His shoulders, willingly climbing on the altar, His blood, protecting and delivering, to US proclaiming … Him, to the celebration at the foot of the throne … the Lamb of God.
“Where is the lamb?” The Lamb, provided.
“Take the lamb” The Lamb, protected.
“Behold the Lamb” The Lamb, proclaimed.
“Worthy is the Lamb” The Lamb, praised.
This week, may we contemplate where WE are in our own personal journey of the Lamb.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” ~ Heb. 10:24)