Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Friday, March 29, 2024

Bible Study - tomorrow, 3/30

Hello All,   

Here are our Zoom Link and Bible Study notes for this Saturday'ssession at 8:00 AM PDT on 03/30/2024.  

I pray we all continue to thrive in 2024 as we lift our crosses, daily. Please join us on Saturday morningto continue our exploration of John's gospel. We will study John's writings about Jesus' burial and His empty tomb. These are the most significant days in the history of the world after the very first six and they are so similar.  John was the only apostle who was present for Jesus' death on the cross, His burial and the second of Jesus' followers to visit the empty tomb. We are given a new life, a new creation. Imagine the sorrow, disappointment and anxiety that Jesus' followers were experiencing.

We appreciate that you may have to adjust your daily routine because of varying time zones. It is easier for those of us in Oregon and Tokmok, we are thirteen hours apart. As we arise to meet the day, the folks of Tokmok are retiring for the evening. We love seeing all of you. It is your choice for how long you wish to be with us - for all or part of our study, prayer and fellowship. Our notes are designed to be saved and studied. 

We encourage you to share your stories, activities and prayers. Each story is unique and inspirational, your journey is yours, a human journey, no one else has the same story, and each one is important. It is encouraging to hear when and how the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to each of us. We are enriched as your brothers and sisters in Christ, when we are included in hearing your story. 

The Apostle John tells the story of Jesus in the most down to earth manner of all the gospel-writers. Was John Jesus's favorite disciple? John creates a story for all eternity: there is a main theme, with numerous subplots. From these we are able to learn about ourselves, the conditions we encounter in 'the world' of today and how best we may be able to participate. The latter is most important, we must read John not as a narrative written 2,000 years ago, but as a lesson written for our lives this very day. John reveals the depth of Jesus' prayers. He discusses what Jesus' followers will experience after he has left them. Jesus is the truth. 

Join us as we follow Jesus. Today John takes us to the very foot of the cross. We stand there with Mary, His mother, and three others. John also reveals the nature of authority then and by extension today; compelling, eye-opening material! John's view differs from the other Gospel writers. John's Gospel is a significant help as we navigate the darkness of Jerusalem in 33 AD and in 'the dark world' of 2024. Join us - you bless us with your presence. 

May the Holy Spirit bring you His wisdom and His understanding.

Happy Easter, He is Risen, Love, hank

Zoom Link:
For Study, Prayer and Fellowship - 8:00 AM PDT on 03/30/2024:
Passcode: 77299ere:

Study Notes:

03/30/2024 – Individual Freedom – Never be afraid to discuss religious liberty. Fight for liberty today, assuring it tomorrow. Jesus spoke to our ability to form government by 

referencing the kingdom of man and the Kingdom of God. We are not called to allegiance to Bishkek nor Washington, but to God. We are called to “Render to God …, [Matt. 22:20-22]. We are created in God’s image. [Gen. 1:27] Only God is the Lord of our conscience. Read Jesus’ words to Pilate. (no authority) [John18:10-11] Jesus asserted his rights under Roman law. [John 18:23] Paul used the same rights [Acts 21:3-5]. He was not afraid to speak. Nor should we: in voting, speaking or litigating. Be Humble. Be not seduced by power, use wisdom and grace in the public square. Do not seek to personally flourish, and  allow freedom to all faiths in the public square. [1 Tim. 2:2] Paul wrote at a time when persecutions, ostracization, and marginalizations were common. 


Tertullian, ca 150-225 AD was born into a Pagan family (Roman/ Africa) and converted to Christianity ca 197 AD. He was a scholar, a Christian author and a founder of Western theology. He converted quickly, saying the experience, transforming, declaring Christians are made not born. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.” Christians must pray and work for liberty, because freedom and prosperity lead to a stagnant, sinful church. [Rev. 1] He opined, the church had forsaken the Christian way of life and entered a path of destruction Be content to live, work and suffer in the environment we find ourselves. Be good stewards in shaping a better environment, be bold in our witness of the gospel.


[John 19:38-42] – The Burial of Jesus – He died a brutal death. Joseph and Nicodemus came to bury Him. They brought about 80 lbs. of spices they had purchased outside the walls of Jerusalem. This was 100 Xs what Mary had poured over Jesus in Bethany [12:3] It was an amount fit for a king. J&N agreed with Pilate that if Jerusalem was ever to have a king it would be Jesus. We have not met this Joseph (Arimathea). He was a secret believer and a member of the Sanhedrin. John stresses the tomb he gave for Jesus was nearby, new, never used. [v. 41] Part of John's emphasis is to be the mysterious next part.


We met Nicodemus [3:1-107:50-52] when he came to visit Jesus at night. He and N. had an extended dialogue as Jesus explained; ‘new birth’, ‘born from water’, and ‘the spirit’. Jesus also explained Moses ‘lifting up the serpent’ and the son of man being lifted in the same manner; so that all who believe in Him shall have eternal life.[ 3:14-16] Jesus spoke of those who do evil do not want to come into the light and those who do what is right come into the light so we may see what was done was done ‘in God’. [3:19-21] N. comes as nightfall approaches. He comes in the light. The body must be buried before nightfall – the sabbath begins. His discipleship took a while to develop. He had stood-up for Jesus as a matter of law and was mocked. [7:50-52] In this place with the sun setting; with nothing to gain and all to lose; he performs this last service for his strange new king.


As with Lazarus – no coffin, no cremation, a hollowed-out rock, enough for two people, ledges on both sides, and a small 4-foot door. Expensive to make so one hoped for several uses. The spices and wrapping were needed prior to the body completing the decom-position process. Between burials the tomb would be secured from grave robbers. A large stone was rolled in a groove as a front door. When decomposition was complete the bones were collected, placed in an ossuary. The boxed bones would be stored in the rear or other safe place. John tells us to remember the last time we stood before a tomb. [11:35] Yes, Lazarus and there was no smell. [11:41] John says, wait, watch with me through this sabbath. This quiet, sad rest. God rested on the seventh day – So must Jesus! This whole book is about new creation. Wait for the eighth day.


[John 20:1-10] - The Empty Tomb – Darkness over the deep, the formless beginning , the chaos, the wind, the word. God’s breath, God’s speech, calling things never known before, life and light, the first day, Creation. In the beginning was the Word, the Word became flesh. The flesh spoke, breathed, brought life and light. New creation spilled out wherever He went. Here is the man. The sixth day. Creation is complete. God saw all He had made. It was very good. Flesh dies, chaos comes. Darkness descends on the weeping group at the cross. Two men then do what must be done, the long sabbath, the rest is in the cold tomb.


In the darkness, the first day of the week, new week, new creation, the eighth day. Eyes red, sleepless, women at the tomb, more spices, a place to weep, to be there, nowhere else to be, nothing else to do, nothing else matters. Mary Magdalene is not in John’s gospel until she is with other Marys, at the foot of the cross, we know little of her via John. Her place here is spectacular. First, she brings news - the tomb is empty. A disturbing twist? Chaos upon chaos, someone took Him away. No faith, no hope, no maybe. Who …, a servant, laborer, soldier, gardener? Urgency MM runs back to a hiding Peter, back to the young boy she stood with at the cross. The one Jesus loved.


They run. John finds the tomb empty. He waits, seeing the linen cloth remains. Someone has taken the body, only the body. Why? Has this happened before? Peter arrives and w/o waiting enters the tomb, classic. The layout is curious. The linen wrap is lying there, but the piece for Jesus’ head is separate. As if the body was not picked up and unwrapped. It seems as if the body just disappeared, leaving the clothes like a deflated balloon.


John fully inside, viewing the discarded clothes suddenly feels irrelevant and delights in the creative power of God. He forever remembers the sensation of surging faith. He had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, that God sent Him, God’s man for God’s people in God’s world. But this was different – he saw and he believed. The new creation had begun. The world had turned the corner, spring at last, God had said ‘Yes!” to Jesus. God affirmed all Jesus had been, done and was alive again. He had not gone to heaven, [v. 17] but was alive again. Ancient peoples talked of a resurrection, but knew it did not happen. Most Jews believed in resurrection, but not the Sadducees. For the most part they believed that the resurrection would happen all at once to all people. [11:245:28-29] On this day it was odd, outlandish, unimagined and unheard-of.


Folks try to compare the death of Lazarus with Jesus’. Lazarus returned to life in the pres-ent. The events are not the same. Lazarus needs help with his burial cloth. Jesus left His behind. Lazarus returned to life and death still mattered. [12:10] Jesus died, went into a new world, new creation, new life where death had been defeated, where life could begin in all its fullness. Most folks think Christmas is the biggest day of the year – a romantic festival. The biggest event on its face is Easter – the moment of new creation. Without Easter no Christmas. The first day of God’s new week. The darkness is gone. AMEN

Hank Hohenstein, OFS
Land Steward
161 Osprey Vista
Shady Cove, OR 97539
Cell: 541-973-5442

No comments:

Post a Comment