Crucifixion8a
Meditation and Reflection

Good Friday: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"

 

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand
(Jn 19).

For Mark, Jesus is the Son of God; for Matthew, He is King; for Luke, He is Saviour. But for John, Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who was ritually bled so that no drop of blood remained in him. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, who was with Him at the creation of the world, to die the agonising death of a cursed criminal. The cross that killed the Son of God blotted out our every sin: that which was torture for Him was a sweet gift to us – the path to eternal life.

The day of Christ’s crucifixion coincides this year with the Jewish commemoration of the Passover, just as it did in AD33. As Christians meditate upon the Lamb of God who was led to the slaughter, Jews recall the time the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt by marking their doorposts with the blood of a pure lamb so that the Spirit of the Lord might pass over their homes in the slaughter of the first-born. The Lamb hangs on His cross, nailed there by our selfishness, our pride, our fits of anger, our lies, jealousy, greed and intolerance. We drove those nails into His feet and hands. Yet even in His deepest agony, He was forgiving us.

Jesus died the death of Israel’s Messiah at the hands of the Romans, at the request of the Sanhedrin, by the will of the people. He was crucified by Pontius Pilate, but it was a democratic crucifixion; a referendum on Christ’s prophethood and messianic claim. And Jesus lost: the people elected Barabbas as their saviour.

There were no signs and wonders; no apparent divine intervention; no empiric liberation. The death of Christ brought His disciples to the very depths of despair: they were abandoned, mocked and disillusioned. One had betrayed; another was afraid; and yet another doubted. The rest possessed within their hearts the peace which passes all understanding: an assurance; a hope that their time of testing might pass and that the curse of death might be conquered. They did not know; they believed. And the message they believed has been central to the Christian faith for almost 2000 years. It is one that has to be continually reinforced at times of stress, despair and danger; at moments when faith is tested and the will to overcome is undermined.

This is why Good Friday is so central in its symbolism. The descent of darkness, the portents of destruction, the expiry of vision and hope. It is the Good Friday that comes to every person at different times, when failure robs life of all meaning, joy and love. It is the collapse of enterprise, confidence, relationship and dignity. It is both the torment of a child abandoned by a father, and a father’s grief at the loss of a child. It is the descent into hell. God-forsakenness is something we might all feel, but, unlike Jesus, we never actually experience it. At His moment of mortality, He was nothing but an outcast and humiliated slave. When our moment comes, we are sanctified in His Shekinah and our fellowship will be consummate.

Christians endure what Josephus referred to as “that most wretched of deaths” on Good Friday because of the sure and certain eschatological hope of the Resurrection, which sustains us through the despair. This life does not promise the joy and ecstasy of the Easter event: that is for another place. All we can expect on earth is to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness: the world will hate us, but it hated Him first.

Today is a time to reflect, remember, re-enact how our sin brought Jesus to his death on Calvary, and what that death meant for our sinfulness and redemption. The gospels present the death of Jesus in the light of His life and the good news He preached. God delivered up His Son – surrendered Him – quite deliberately: the first person of the Trinity cast out and annihilated the second in order that we might be redeemed. In the infinite grief of that kenosis is perfect love. How can we not be grateful? Love so amazing, so divine, demands our souls, our lives, our all.

  • preacher

    A dark day, when even the Sun hid from the evil on the Earth. A day to reflect & remember indeed. To reflect for me on that day thirty plus years ago, an anniversary I shall never forget, when Christ pulled me from the mire of death into life & light.
    A day to reflect on the things that have passed since, the service that a grateful heart has been enabled to bear for my King & Lord. To reflect on the undeserved things that He has provided along the way, Proving His promise in a personal way to be always with us & to never leave us.
    A day also to reflect on the cost of discipleship for those martyrs that still die in His service. Those Brethren who were slaughtered in Kenya yesterday for bearing the name of Christ,a day to remember the families of those brothers & sisters & to Pray that the Lord would comfort them with His presence & confirm to those that mourn, that their loved ones are present with Him.
    A day to put on the armour of God again to enter the fray of a fallen World, not to Kill & seek revenge, but to bring life eternal to the lost & perishing. For our battle is not against flesh & blood, but against the spiritual powers of evil in the high places.
    On this day two thousand years ago the powers of darkness suffered a mortal blow. in the power of God may we finish the job.

    Preacher.

    • Linus

      A day to borrow the suffering of others and claim it for yourself, eh?

      Is there anything Christians won’t do to make sure the prophecy of persecution comes true? What have you in your comfortable life in a stable Western democracy ever truly suffered? The consequences of your own spoiled and selfish behaviour perhaps. But what else?

      The emptiness of your faith is proclaimed by your need to borrow other people’s suffering so you can find something to wail about. Because a Christian who isn’t wailing isn’t a real Christian. God told you you would suffer, so by God that’s what you’re going to do even if you have to muscle in on events in other people’s lives and claim them as your own.

      The more I get to know Christians, the more their faith comes to resemble an illness. A religious version of Munchhausen’s by proxy. When all else fails you can always borrow the passion of Christ, I suppose. I’m waiting for the stigmata to appear. Mind over matter…

      • preacher

        Linus you are one sad person. I feel sorry for you.

      • The Explorer

        The more I get to know Linus, the more his lack of faith comes to resemble an illness.

        I find the first sentence particularly confusing. Linus seems to be suggesting that Christians came first, and the Crucifixion came second. But without the Crucifixion, there would be no Christianity.
        Linus may be saying that some people love to think about suffering, and so Good Friday is a godsend (or would be, if God existed) because it gives them vicarious experience. Christianity is their natural home

        It’s a fair point. Deprive them of Christianity, and what would they be? Matter-hating Gnostics? Equal-opportunities activists pursuing gay-cake grievances?

      • Athanasius

        What is your major malfunction, Linus? I mean, really, YOU’RE the one who’s supposed to be the liberal here, not the Christians. YOU’RE the one supposed to be making a piety of live and let live, yet every day this week YOU’RE the one dripping the poison. So what gives? I mean, I know it’s standard operating procedure on an internet forum for each side to patronize the other and perform pseudo-psychoanalysis on them but come on, even by the standards of such an irrelevant medium, you’re really coming across like something that rhymes with that thing a ship uses to hold itself steady in one place. Hell, I know that nobody lapses like a Catholic lapses, but if you really think it’s all nonsense, can’t you just let go and walk away? I promise, you’ll feel better if you do.

        • Linus

          Live and let live while you lobby to restrict my human rights?

          You’re ‘avin’ a larff, mon pauvre.

          • Athanasius

            So, you have to come to places like this to defend your human rights, whatever they are this week? Well, at least you’ve given up on the inevitable-ism you were practicing a few days ago. I mean, why would you need to fight people whose demise is inevitable?

          • Linus

            If I can do anything to accelerate that inevitable demise (figurative, of course) then it’s my moral responsibility to do so.

            Even if only one single person reads my comments here and goes away wondering if Christianity has all the answers after all, I’m doing my bit to consign your moribund religion to the past, where it belongs.

          • Inspector General

            Ah, the truth escapes and runs about naked. You are a professional homosexual, sir. A militant, that be.

          • Linus

            I’m a private individual concerned that if Christians get their way, we’ll all be sent back to live in the Dark Ages with religious courts and public burnings.

            There’s an air of the rise of fascism in the 1930s on sites like this one. It mirrors the surge in political support for right-wing ultra-nationalist parties that we’re currently seeing in Europe. It’s a reaction to recession and joblessness, of course. The kind of person who votes for parties like that can usually be mollified with a job and a decent wage. But as our economies struggle to provide full employment, who knows where we’re going? Last time this happened we got Nazism. What will we get this time round?

            If Christianity has anything to do with it, the LGBT community is in for a tough time. You’re our sworn enemies and will stop at nothing until you’ve reduced us back to the state of oppression and subjection that you imposed on us for centuries. Fine words about loving your neighbours are just window dressing for deeply malevolent intentions. This is the true face of Christianity. If it gains any kind of political power or influence, we’re in danger of losing all our legal protections and being hounded out of our jobs, our homes and our relationships. We’ll all become Alan Turings. This is what the Church wants: a world where gays are shunned and reduced to living on the margins of society as a harassed and stigmatized minority.

            We won’t let that happen. Never again.

          • Inspector General

            You’ll get used to it, the resurgence of the centre right. You won’t like it, but you’ll get used to it. After four decades of the Left in charge, this country is beginning to resemble the last days of Rome. As for you and your homosexuality, relax. The Inspector has not detected any serious call to recriminalize the business, but that said, we’re going to have to come to a new understanding. It won’t be as before when you can hound bakers with your demands for unpalatable slogans. Those days will be over, and it will be for the best.

          • Linus

            “I’m really a very nice fellow,” said the crocodile to the fawn. “Come into the water and swim! I mean you no harm.”

            Heard it all before from people like you. It always ends in concentration camps and the elimination of those who can’t be “re-educated”.

            Luckily the majority of the UK electorate knows the dangers of voting for a party that loses a candidate virtually every day because they’re revealed to be intolerant old bigots who want to criminalize all behaviours they don’t approve of.

          • CliveM

            Blimey Linus, keep a grip!! Even during the great Victorian revival, there were no concentration camps for Gays.

            Only Atheists (or the National Socialist brand of it) have ever put Gays in concentration camps.

            Really you have nothing to worry about.

          • Inspector General

            This ‘intolerant old bigot’ as you have him labelled does not have an issue with homosexuality as a private matter between two, three, four, or God knows how many are involved in your orgies. It’s true, bugger away with the Inspector’s blessings. In fact, this man is rather pleased you have the affliction and the lifetime of angst that goes with it.

            Now, how about apologising to the bakers, you intolerant old queer bigot, on behalf of all gays of whom the vast majority no doubt are disgusted with the fascist activity of the militants.

      • Inspector General

        And the baker did upset the priestly caste. And the priestly caste went unto the authorities and said the baker has blasphemed against everything they held so dear. And the authorities said the baker had broken no law. And the priestly caste told the authorities that unless action was taken against the baker, then they would petition Caesar and his court of pernicious human rights. And the authorities said they washed their hands of the whole affair and handed the baker to the priestly caste. And the priestly caste now want to crucify the baker, for lo, what the baker did was anathema to them and must be scourged.

      • David

        Are you jealous of those who have a Christian faith ?
        You present as a very bitter and twisted human being.
        If the faith so repels you, why do you hang around, is it just to get some thrill from insulting the sincere folks who gather at this place ?
        This behaviour of yours cannot be healthy for you, surely ?
        Why not take an opportunity this Easter to reflect on what you are doing and why ?

        • Inspector General

          He is a mere self loathing junkie on a sympathy trip, as any pub psychiatrist will tell you. Still, if it helps get him through the day…

        • Linus

          Thank you, but I know exactly why I’m here and what I’m doing. If I’m raining on your self-promotion parade, you’ll just have to find an umbrella. Or pray to that imaginary god of yours to strike me down with a bolt of lightning. Because remember, ask and thou shalt receive. Or not…

      • Uncle Brian

        Always nagging, aren’t you, Linus. Nag, nag, nag.

      • Anton

        “Is there anything Christians won’t do to make sure the prophecy of persecution comes true? What have you in your comfortable life in a stable Western democracy ever truly suffered?”

        It is twisting the truth to say that we actively seek persecution when it is gay activists who deliberately ask us provocative questions in public to which the answers might be illegal under illiberal laws. We seek to live as the New Testament shows us and if that brings us persecution then so be it. I agree that persecution is currently negligible in Western lands compared to Islamic lands and North Korean secularism/Kim-worship. We have yet to learn the lesson of Christians in such places that it is no use bleating that Satan doesn’t fight fair. What else do we expect of him?

        As for stable Western democracy, we were brought up by our parents who were the survivors of WW2, themselves born to survivors of WW1; wars in which horrific numbers died. And we grew up with nuclear missiles pointing at us. It is still a dark world.

        • preacher

          Yes Anton, but it’s always darkest before the dawn. The Day is coming. All the revivals in history were preceded by a time of deep spiritual darkness.

          • Anton

            Revival or return?

          • preacher

            Revival brother, that is the historical precedent. A powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit that initially cleanses & purifies the Church. Then spreads into the surrounding areas & then even to other countries.
            The book of Revelations seems to prophesy a mighty time of revival just before the return of Christ.
            Although as we don’t know the time of His return, we must not be hasty in proclaiming any revival as the one that is the prelude to it.

          • Anton

            I am expecting persecution. It will bring a revival but not of the sort that traditional revivalist preachers think of; rather it will be a revival of the church in quality rather than quantity.

            I think that there are far too many loose words rattling round charismatic churches about revival (and I am in a congregation that I’d describe as “charismatic evangelical”). People need to remember what the penalty was for inaccurate prophecy in ancient Israel. Not because they face that risk today, but because God is holy.

          • preacher

            Bless you Brother. I’ve been in many Churches that think a revival is a big party, where we all celebrate, dance & enjoy.

            The truth is that God first brings conviction on the Church, & many who thought they were ‘good’ Christians fall on their knees & beg God for mercy.

            With this preliminary complete, the Lord pours out His Holy Spirit on the Churches & they reach out in unity with the Holy Spirit to those previously lost souls who find themselves convicted of sin & fearful of judgement.
            The Church then shows them the way of salvation & Many are saved.

            So you see we agree, but I see Quality, & Quantity.
            Persecution may come & is already here for many, but we must continue to work while the light is still here, whether we will be persecuted or spared.

      • “Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani?”

    • William Lewis

      Amen Preacher.

    • David

      Amen indeed.
      May God guide us, and strengthen us, and lead us by the narrow paths, never fleeing or flinching from the slings and snares of the enemy.

  • The Explorer

    Linus wants a god who will smile on same-sex marriage. The god of liberal Christianity does, but Linus knows perfectly well that that god is phony. The real, cruel God, the one of traditional Christianity, disapproves.

    Linus has two choices: abandon same-sex marriage, or abandon God. He will not abandon same-sex-marriage. On the other hand, he has a sneaking suspicion that the world is cruel enough that the real, cruel God just might exist. That’s why he visits here, to rail against Him and convince himself of God’s non-existence by putting straight the cruel God’s deluded believers.

    It’s not an ignoble position, and it’s a very understandable one. It’s not unlike the stance of A E Housman, whose main poetic theme is his war with God (even though God doesn’t exist) for creating Housman homosexual and then condemning him for being so.

    • Anton

      How I wish that Housman had taken seriously the explanation that he was not created as God intended because evil has entered the world, and there is a way to deal with it in the world but starting with oneself.

      The portrait of him by Gilbert Highet, another classicist, is telling, as a sensitive man with a pen sharp to the point of cruelty. Housman believed that civilisation rested intrinsically on slavery, although he lived in one that didn’t.

      His best known cycle of poems, A Shropshire Lad, is about young men, despair and death set in a beautiful rural landscape. Not much about God in it. It was favourite reading for British officers in the trenches of World War I’s western front. Many consider this his finest poem (not from Shropshire Lad):

      http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/tell-me-not-here-it-needs-not-saying/

      • The Explorer

        That he was not created as God intended would have undermined the rationale of his most bitter poetry. A lot follows from the denial of the concept of Original Sin. (He would have substituted wage slavery for literal slavery, by the way, and would have argued that it came to much the same thing.)
        “Whatever brute or blackguard made the world,” is strikingly similar in sentiment to some of Linus’ utterances.

        • Anton

          Please can you give me the names or first lines of the Housman poems you have in mind?

          • The Explorer

            ‘Brute/blackguard ‘Last Poems’ IX Stanza 3.
            ‘Last Poems’ XII “I a stranger and afraid/In a world I never made…. These foreign laws of God and man.”
            ‘Additional Poems’ XII: “Nor grieve to think how ill God made me.”
            ‘Additional Poems’ XVIII. “Oh, who is that young sinner… He can curse the God that made him for the colour of his hair.”

          • Anton

            Thank you. I suspect the last of these, while obviously what you say, is also is a parody of “The wearing of the green”. The second one you name is the strongest.

          • The Explorer

            Certainly has the same structure as ‘Green’, but I’ve always assumed it was about Oscar Wilde, who was set to pick oakum.

    • dannybhoy

      Sometimes and for whatever reason people just want to lash out.
      I think Linus wants to lash out. That’s my perception.
      Sometimes you have to listen to what’s not being said, and rightly or wrongly, I take Linus’s worse utterances with a pinch of salt because I think he just wants that reaction.

      • The Explorer

        But then you have to ask yourself why he wants that reaction. I stand by my contention that Linus’ war with God is moral before it’s intellectual.

  • preacher

    Gentlemen.
    Linus’ pleasure is diverting your attention on to himself & away from Christ. It’s compulsive, like a moth drawn to a flame, his demons force him to come here.
    Like the Ganderene demoniac, who rushed AT Jesus, he cannot resist, he seeks deliverance but will feed off condemnation. The Ganderene mentioned earlier used to self harm, just as Linus does, he gains pleasure from it, but at the same time hates himself for it. Please leave him alone – pray for his deliverance & turn your attention back to the One who can do this miracle & set him free.

    Blessings. P.

    • Inspector General

      How can we abandon Linus. He cries out in his anger and his shame. We need to be here for him…

    • sarky

      Look I may not agree with the phrasing of Linus’ s comment, but I do agree that christianity in the uk is suffering from a persecution complex. If you read these comments regularly you would think you were under sustained attack from all corners of society, which is evidently not true. “The world will hate us”, sorry to disappoint you, but I dont, I might disagree, but I dont hate, nor do the majority.
      Saying Linus is under demonic influence is just stupid and quite frankly laughable. The guy doesn’t like christianity – end of, and in his position who can blame him?
      You seem to want to shut down debate by encouraging others not to engage. Why? What are you afraid of?

      • preacher

        Hey Sarky. Are you qualified to speak for Linus, or are you speaking for yourself?.
        No one has accused you of hate & I’m sure that there are many who aren’t Christians who are welcomed on here to talk, share & disagree with what is expressed & you are one of them.
        Brother you may not agree with a diagnosis, but you could equally be wrong in your prognosis.
        Linus is totally different to you & if he dislikes us so much, why keep coming, unless it’s to be abused. No one blames him & as you know most of us are ready, willing & able to debate with genuine posts, not to discourage debate.
        As you are aware, many of us come from the same or similar positions as are now occupied by yourself & many others & seek only to share & testify to our own experiences of God’s love & salvation, in the hope that some may find that which they seek.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        To those who say there is no persecution of Chritstians in the West, please read the following article. This ihappened in the US, but as we all know, we tend to import America’s bad habits….

        http://anglicanmainstream.org/the-fake-news-story-that-forced-an-indiana-pizzeria-to-shut-down-and-its-christian-owners-into-hiding/

      • carl jacobs

        sarky

        You seem to want to shut down debate by encouraging others not to engage.

        You can argue about why Linus does what he does. You cannot argue about what Linus does. He comes here to pour acid and contempt on people. I tried to get him to change this behavior. He would have none of it however. He is going to end up like Greg Tingey. You have no idea who I am talking about. Those who have been around here as long as I have will remember him however. He is long gone.

        I typically won’t engage Linus anymore, and I typically don’t read his comments either. There is no reason to respond to the hostility and vituperation that he consistently reveals in his posts. There is no reason to waste time on a post that is nothing but pent-up rage. That isn’t a result of fear. There isn’t a worldview I fear less than atheism. I simply have no time to waste on making myself into a foil for someone whose only purpose in coming here is to vent his spleen.

        Linus does not show respect for his opponent. Rather he intentionally shows disrespect. Both he and this weblog would be better off if the Christians on this weblog all collectively refused to engage him.

        • Pubcrawler

          Indeed. Pearls should not be wasted.

        • CliveM

          Let’s be honest, on this day of all days, could Linus be any more irrelevant?

          There is a lot more to spend our time thinking about.

        • Inspector General

          Not the right attitude Carl. To know good, we must have bad. Linus provides the bad. The question is, does Linus realise he is bad. All we know is that Linus does not consider himself good. No one with good on their side can post what he does.

          • CliveM

            Inspector

            Each has to decide for themselves. I do wonder though if at this time of the year if we should less indulgent of his desperate attention seeking?

          • Inspector General

            Clive. Many homosexual men die by their own hand, and around his age too. Is his desperate attention seeking really just pure desperation because that is what comes over with his wailing…

          • CliveM

            Well I wouldn’t like to guess. You maybe right.

          • magnolia

            Behaviour modification theory would suggest that it is bad to encourage him by the gift of attention to cast himself in the role of bad fairy at the Christening party, as in Snow White. It is a demeaning role for one in the “image and likeness of God” as are all God’s children in creation, and he too, to take on, and we do him a disservice if we accept it or him in it.

          • Inspector General

            If you mean he needs to be taken by the collar and shaken, then yes, he needs that to escape his hysteria.

          • magnolia

            That is certainly an unusual interpretation of behaviour modification theory, and I am sorely tempted to say “whatever works for you”.

            I doubt whether he has a collar though. Too trad. altogether. Also doubt whether he does brogues.

        • Anton

          Steady on Carl. some of us who discuss with Linus are Christians convinced that we are doing what we ought. Do remember that this is a public forum and that some of His Grace’s viewers might think him unanswerable if some of us didn’t.

          • preacher

            Hi Anton. I think that most people regardless of belief or lack of it will see that his posts bear the hallmarks of one who has many problems. But instead of looking for answers, just thrashes about like a sulky, petulant child.
            Personally I’ve not sought to, as Carl put it, engage with him, but felt bound to reply when he rudely engaged with me.
            I hope that he finds the answers that he needs, even though they might not be the ones he likes or seeks.

          • carl jacobs

            Anton

            The usually isn’t anything to answer.

      • William Lewis

        “You seem to want to shut down debate by encouraging others not to engage. Why? What are you afraid of?”

        It’s not fear but we have been warned about casting pearls before swine and Linus’ incessant spew may well be demonic in origin. How do you know it isn’t?

      • DanJ0

        I find it a bit distasteful that he writes stuff like that under blog articles which are overtly religious, as the articles are in Easter Week every year, rather than just the normal religious-oriented political ones.

        • sarky

          Good point. We are absolutely right to question, but should always ‘try’ and do it with respect.

          • Pubcrawler

            Respectful questioning should always be welcomed. Speaking for myself, my own faith and understanding of it has over the years been greatly enriched through these comments threads and the discussions therein, whether from replies by those far more learned than I, or my own ponderings and explorations or close reading of scripture occasioned by the questions.

            Bilious triumphalist mockery and vituperation of the sort that we often get from across the Channel helps no one and is best ignored.

  • preacher

    Linus I know you have to answer, because the truth is out. You’ve remained silent for so long, bathing in your sadness & misery, enjoying your self inflicted pain.

  • David

    At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom, the earth shook and the rocks were split ……
    Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s son!”
    Let us all reflect on the fact, that starting this day, many years ago, God the Son began to conquer death, on behalf of all those who will accept him as their Saviour.
    May many more come to faith this Easter and may the faithful find that they are led into a deeper faith. Amen.

  • ‘He is despised and rejected by men,
    a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    …………
    But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was wounded for our iniquities;
    the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
    and by His stripes we are healed.
    All we like sheep have gone astray;
    We have turned every one into his own way;
    and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
    …………………..
    Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

    (from Isaiah 53. Written 700 years before the event)

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Great article YG. Many Thanks.
    I find Easter the most comepelling of our Christian festivals, with its promise of redemption, hope, and eternal life. Can’t think of a greater gift than that.

    • preacher

      Amen.

    • dannybhoy

      ‘Jesus Lover of my soul’ sung by Ken Medema. My musical offering for this Easter..

      Jack, we had our joint act of witness in the market place this morning. You’ll be pleased to know the Catholics were there in force.. 😉

      • But of course they were – we get everywhere, don’t ya know.
        Btw, how did you get on with the Catholic priest who visited your church recently?

        • dannybhoy

          I did post you an update some weeks ago, you must have missed it.

          I never consciously want to put another person down Jack -although to say I don’t sometimes would be a lie..!

          All I can say is that this man has I think gone into error with his interest and devotion to eastern meditation.

          Christian Zen

          The Way of Breath

          The Way of Silent Meditation

          Early Morning

          Finding Stillness in our everyday lives

          A journey with Zen

          Teisho – Through the Floating Mist

          The bother for me is that Zen is a religion just one that does not believe in God..

          • preacher

            I’m afraid you’ll find the same error occurring in many Churches Danny. New Age teaching is a weed that has been sown among the Wheat for decades, it has many different names & appearances. But it’s as poisonous as any fungus that looks like a mushroom.

          • dannybhoy

            I am reading Tom Wright’s “Scripture and the Authority of God.”

            Heavy going for a ‘pooh of little brain’ but the pictures help..
            We have to have an orthodoxy of basic beliefs as pertaining to our Christian salvation, and Tom Wright addresses this pretty well as far as I can understand it.
            In this chap’s case I am quite surprised that the Catholic church would have allowed the man to go quite so far down this buddhist route.

          • There’s a rapprochement between East and West taking place and has been since Vatican II. In the history of the Church, 50 years is a very short time span and, despite its reputation, the Magisterium tends to leave scope for individuals provided they accept the dogma and doctrine of the Church.

          • dannybhoy

            Well without giving you actual references I would say this man breathes out death, not life.
            We all need to be accountable to someone Jack, and the way I see that is being guided by someone living the Christian life, rather than someone who has a position conferred by a hierarchy whose criteria may be less than ideal.

          • Unlike you to be so harsh, Danny. What on earth did he teach? Do you know what society he is a member of?

          • dannybhoy

            (he) joined the Franciscan Order and became a priest six years later. St
            Francis had a wonderful appeal. It could be said that he was a
            practitioner of Zen because he was so in touch with the natural world.
            St Francis spoke of ‘Brother Sun and Sister Moon’! This is pure Zen.(!)

            Except it isn’t…
            http://www.praying-nature.com/site_pages.php?section=Sister+Mother+Earth&category_ref=57

            My initial (and vocal) reaction to this man’s teaching was that this is not of Christ. Subsequently I thought about how he had arrived at this attachment to eastern spritualism, and I did pray for him as a shepherd of a flock, and I would be prepared to discuss his situation with him should the opportunity present.

          • Well, I heard a pithy comment off an elderly nun about the phenomenon of “mindfulness” which seems to be everywhere at present – her attitude was that all it was was a reinventing of a thousand year tradition of Catholic contemplative prayer, while trying to take God out of it. She also reckoned they wouldn’t succeed – she said that if you teach people to be still and look within, they will find the God-shaped hole within, that only One can fill. I reckoned she was right.

          • As Jack’s dear ole mum would say: “God help us and save us.” Jack has come across a Franciscan recently who questions the physical resurrection of Christ. Others teach universal salvation. It’s all to do with phenomenology, evolution and quantum physics. Clever too as it mixes what sound like truths with lies. These ‘progressives’ are really ‘regressives’ as they’re moving us back to gnostic times – spirit and matter and God not revealing Himself to us.
            To think this order and the Jesuits were once fine defenders of orthodoxy.

          • preacher

            Many of the good teachers & preachers in the 20th Century warn us of a deception coming into the Church, posing as the Holy Spirit, it’s because many Church ministers have no experience of the Holy Spirit & therefore no discernment of false manifestations. Martyn-Lloyd-Jones, A.W Tozer & David Wilkerson among others warn of the danger.

          • Uncle Brian

            Not to be confused with Joseph Zen, who is a very sensible, down-to-earth cardinal.

            http://www2.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios2006.htm#Zen

          • Anton

            Wasn’t there a Cardinal Sin too?

          • Pubcrawler
          • Jack did warn you he sounded like a modernist-progressive.

          • dannybhoy

            Like any modernist progressive Anglican he can be whatever he likes, but what makes me somewhat cross is a clergyman of whatever rank staying in that role when he himself no longer believes the basics.
            The role of a shepherd is to provide food for his flock, protect his flock and tend his flock. A clergyman who goes off at a tangent harms more than just himself.

          • It seems to reflect the different paths/emphases of Eastern Orthodoxy and the Latin Church. In the East, prayer life is more focussed on the Resurrected Christ – the Divine – and experiential knowledge of God; in the West, it tends more towards a focus on the Crucified Christ – sin and suffering – and scholastic, rational, propositional knowledge of God.

            Jack is only familiar with the theory of these mystical approaches and practices like ‘Christian Hesychasm’ but it does seem to be growing in popularity. It does have affinities with Eastern religion more generally and with Hinduism and Buddhist meditation. However, even those accomplished in it do warn of its dangers. Nowadays, people want to feel and experience the Divine rather than think. That said, those who are committed to charismatic revival churches talk of being “born again in the Spirit” or “baptism of the Spirit”.

            Maybe there is something to be learned from it but ……….. ?

          • dannybhoy

            Jack, perhaps it reflects the loneliness of the long distance minister?
            I am sure you love your wife and recognise you would not be half the man you are without her love and influence?
            I feel exactly the same towards this my (second) wife of 24 years. I think she has given me much more than I have given her.
            This priest has no one with which to share his life and responsibilities, and I can quite understand how he could gradually be led further into an inner world which he may think is spiritually a-moral.
            The enemy of our souls prowls around seeking whom he may devour, and a man on his own with serious and Godly responsibilities is a prime target.
            I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the anointing and leading of the Holy Spirit, but these things are as open to trivialisation as any other.

          • Those practicing the meditative path tend to live in closed monasteries or as hermits. That’s what the Eastern tradition was built on.

            We can all find community, Danny, and it doesn’t always have to be with a spouse. God provides the graces suited to assist us in the path He calls us to follow.

          • dannybhoy

            True Jack, but personally and experientially I favour an Early Church approach, wherein even though an element of anticipation of our Lord may have affected them, they lived and worked and shared in close proximity.
            That is a model for community that even in these modern and fragmented times holds for me the best potential of expressing our communal love and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ.

          • Jack agrees, it has much to offer … but just imagine we band of Cranmerites all living together, praying and worshipping, and learning about Our Saviour!

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, insufferable but not insuperable!
            Us nonconformist/charismatic/evengelical types have a secret weapon Jack..
            Heavenly naivety.

            You know for many years I had a vision of old Victorian family houses being converted into self contained flats for older singles or couples with a dining room for a weekly communal meal presided over by dedicated house couple who would care for their medical /physical /spiritual needs as part of a local church.
            The possibilities are there Jack, we just need people motivated and anointed by the Holy Spirit…

          • One has to admire the Amish community for their steadfastness to their faith in communal living for families – young and old. The time may be coming when Christians have to consider other ways of living, raising their young and caring for one another in health and infirmity. It’s one of the main reasons Jack moved to a small village in rural Scotland, away from the white noise of London. He wanted his children to have a childhood.

          • CliveM

            I read a book on the Amish. I remember a question asked by the Amish to the author that has always stuck with me. “Why do your children leave the family they love, to go and do a job they hate”?

            It asks so many questions. Probably more then they realised.

          • Anton

            But there is a question for the Amish. “You call yourself Christian. But if your teenage son wishes not to remain Amish in his way of life, even if he remains a convinced believer in Christ, you disown him. Is that how a Christian father should treat a Christian son?”

          • preacher

            The Moravians seem to have a good balance of Spirit & scripture, as Wesley discovered to his surprise & joy as well as to the benefit of many.

  • ” … and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”… “

    G.K. Chesterton writes of this:

    ” … let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.”

    • sarky

      So he didn’t believe in himself? ?????????

      • Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm that describes the agony the Suffering Servant would endure. Jesus experienced the sense of Divine abandonment that humans often feel during times of great need and when in sin. The Son of God in his humanity experienced this human suffering too. He died for our sins, bore the weight of those sins and the feeling of abandonment that accompany them.

        By quoting this psalm, and the Jews watching would have known its significance and recalled the full words of the psalm, Christ was showing that He is the fulfillment of that prophecy – the Messiah.
        The psalm’s triumphant ending illustrates this:

        “He has not scorned or slighted the appeal of the friendless, nor turned his face away from me; my cry for help did not go unheeded. Take what I owe thee, my song of praise before a great assembly. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of his worshippers; the poor shall eat now, and have their fill, those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of him, Refreshed be your hearts eternally!

        The furthest dwellers on earth will bethink themselves of the Lord, and come back to him; all the races of the heathen will worship before him; to the Lord royalty belongs, the whole world’s homage is his due. Him shall they worship, him only, that are laid to rest in the earth, even from their dust they shall adore. I, too, shall live on in his presence,and beget children to serve him; these to a later age shall speak of the Lord’s name; these to a race that must yet be born shall tell the story of his faithfulness, Hear what the Lord did.”

        • Oh no! I’ve done it again!

          • Jack must be leading you astray, Martin.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmmmm..

          • I think I’m getting old and soft, and losing my non-conformist edge. Concentrate now, Martin. Must…….find……more……error!

          • Pubcrawler

            His choice of football team, for one.

          • Ah … serious earthly stuff … so what team do you support, Pubcrawler?

          • Pubcrawler

            Well, I was brought up in a strict WBA family, but I saw the light early on and have followed the Arsenal for as long as I can recall. My brother, for his sins, is a Villa fan.

          • Arrrrrrgggg ….

          • Pubcrawler

            I know, Villa?!?!?!?!?! How could he!

          • Martin – “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”.
            That should restore some balance in our relationship.

          • Anton

            Tautology; the church is the collective of the saved. All the trouble comes when some grouping of congregations says that that means them alone.

          • *sigh*

          • Anton

            Ditto

          • CliveM

            Sigh indeed!

          • Yep!
            Nothing like a nice bit of Papal error to put me back on my mettle!

          • There you go, all is well with the world once more.

          • The Explorer

            Although you are full-blown Catholic, and I am full-blown Protestant, I am constantly amazed at how much we seem to agree about.

          • That comment seriously worries Happy Jack. Perhaps his recent travels and contact with ‘modernist-progressive’ Catholics (an oxymoron), a seriously very frightening group, has made Jack see the faith of others in a different light.

            Mundabor will be very disappointed ….

          • The Explorer

            Okay, I disagree with all of that. And Mundabor’s a Catholic bigot. Hiss, boo. Happy now?

          • Seriously, there are disturbed, demoniac ideas out there. Islam, by comparison, is a relative puppy dog. Jack is beginning to wish he’d stayed at home and can understand Mundabor’s rage.

            “And there is no need to fear those who kill the body, but have no means of killing the soul; fear him more, who has the power to ruin body and soul in hell.”

          • The Explorer

            Islam may yet turn out to be the mechanism for curbing some of the madness. I don’t mean consciously on Islam’s part; I men in the way God used Cyrus the Persian.

          • Ivan M

            Protestants had they behaved themselves would fill one corner of the Catholic Church.

          • IanCad

            I do it more and more. He must be coming around!

          • If it helps ease your anxiety: “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”.

          • IanCad

            I’ve been doing the same lately. He must be coming around.

      • Inspector General

        Jesus’ destiny was still unfurling about him. He had yet to realise his immortal status, though he was aware he was here on this earth by divine providence.

        • Anton

          He knew very well that he was the one described by Isaiah’s prophecy, “unto us a child is born, who will be.. mighty God”. The answer to Sarky’s question is to do with the mystery of the Trinity.

          • Inspector General

            One sympathises with Jesus in that although he knew he was on a God given mission, it did occur to him that when nailed up on a cross, something, somewhere had gone badly wrong with the divine plan, which his cry attests to…

          • The Explorer

            And, of course, he is quoting Psalm 22.

            (Having posted, I now see that Jack has made the same point in more detail. Apologies, Jack: my comment here is superfluous, but you can’t delete altogether with Disqus.)

          • Not superfluous at all.

            The way to delete is to remove all comments and substitute with …………… or something else e.g. ;o); then push the delete button and it goes to ‘Guest’ with whatever you’ve replaced the comment with.

          • dannybhoy

            You can be very infuriating Jack..

          • Eh?

          • dannybhoy

            You know so much !

          • And it all counts for nought in the grand scheme of things, Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            No Jack it does count.
            When it’s offered in humility.
            Which I think in your case it is.
            OT As a Christian with some Jewish ancestry where do you stand on the Jewish understanding of original sin?
            You know of course that devout Jews do not believe we are born evil..

          • It was this issue that proved significant in my father’s own conversion. For him, God would not have been the instrument of evil by creating man with both a good inclination and an evil inclination and human progress being generated by a dynamic between the two inclinations. The Christian answer to the “mystery of evil” is, Jack believes, the correct one.

          • The Explorer

            Thanks, Jack

          • dannybhoy

            Truly God, truly man Inspector.
            It is as though you being part Irish so loved and pitied them in their confusion and sheer cussedness; you chose to be born as one so as to show them what an Irishman should really be like…….. 🙂

          • Inspector General

            It was a church council that bestowed divinity upon Jesus, Danny. He never asked for it. He was always talking about doing his father’s work. Everything else Jesus uttered is, literally, gospel, but man denies him his accuracy on his own status. Now, presumably that council’s decision was by no means unanimous…

          • Which council do you think that was, Inspector (have you been reading the ‘da Vinci Code’ by any chance?

          • Inspector General

            First council of Nicaea, and the defeat of bishop Arius’ reasoning…

          • You have been reading the da Vinci Code!
            Well that Council, called in 325 AD, did not ‘bestow divinity’ upon the Lord Jesus (as if it could!); it recognized that our Lord was very God and had been recognized as such from the very start. I don’t put much faith in the church fathers, but here’s Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the church at Rome about 125 AD, 200 years before Nicaea:

            ‘…..’Abundant greetings of unalloyed joy in Jesus Christ our God.’

            The term ‘Trinity’ was coined by Tertullian around 200AD, still 125 years before Nicaea. However, the main proof of our Lord’s Deity is found in the Bible. I’ll come to that presently.

          • Inspector General

            The Early Church fathers were tasked to established the religion’s dogma. It is apparent that “we don’t know as there is not enough to go on” was not an option. Quite obvious really.

          • OK, I.G., here are some parallel passages. The first is testimony to God the Father and the second is testimony to God the Son. There is ‘quite enough to go on’ to prove that Jesus is Jehovah.
            .
            Genesis 1:1. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’
            John 1:1, 3. ‘In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God, and the Word was God. Through Him all things were made.’
            .
            Isaiah 44:6. ‘This is what the LORD says- “…..I am the first and I am the last; apart from Me there is no God.’
            Revelation 1:17-18. ‘I am the first and the last. I am the living One; I was dead and behold I am for ever and ever!’
            .
            Jeremiah 23:24. ‘”Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Declares the LORD.’
            Ephesians 4:10. ‘He who descended is the very One who ascended higher than the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.’
            .
            Malachi 3:6. ‘I, the LORD, do not change.’
            Hebrews 13:8. ‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.’
            .
            Proverbs 16:4. ‘The Lord works out everything for His own ends.’
            Colossians 1:16. ‘All things were created for Him and by Him.’
            .
            1 Timothy 6:15. ‘God…..King of kings and Lord of lords.’
            Revelation 19:16. ‘On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of kings and Lord of
            lords.’

            Psalm 145:13. ‘Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations.
            Daniel 7:14. ‘His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.’
            .
            Isaiah 40:10. ‘See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power…..See His reward is with Him’
            Revelation 22:12a. Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me…….’
            .
            Psalm 62:12. ‘Surely You will reward each person for what he has done.’
            Revelation 22:12b. ‘…….And I will give to everyone according to what he has done.’
            .
            Father and Son in Salvation

            Isaiah 43:25. ‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions.’
            1 John 1:7. ‘…..The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.’

            .
            Exodus 34:7. ‘….Forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin.’
            Mark 2:5. ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’
            .
            Joel 2:28. ‘I will pour out My Spirit.’
            John 16:7. ‘I will send [the Counsellor] to you.’
            .
            Isaiah 54:5. ‘For your Maker is your Husband. The LORD Almighty is His name.’
            John 3:29. ‘The bride belongs to the Bridegroom.’
            .
            Ezekiel 34:16. ‘I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.’
            Luke 19:10. ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’
            .
            Proverbs 3:12. ‘The LORD disciplines those He loves.’
            Revelation 3:19. ‘Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.’

            .
            Isaiah 45:22. ‘Look to Me, all you ends of the earth and be saved! For I am God and there is no other.’
            John 1:29. ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’
            John 6:40. ‘…That everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life.’
            .
            Dozens more if you want them.

          • Inspector General

            Thank you for the trouble you’ve taken to collate that, MM. It is appreciated.

          • No trouble. I was leading a Bible study on the Trinity last week and so I had all the material to hand. Also, it’s not mine. Most of it’s taken from a 19th Century book called ‘The Trinity’ by a guy called Edward Bickersteth, former Bishop of Exeter. Great book if you can get it. Absolute slam dunk for the Trinity.

          • dannybhoy

            Inspector dear fellow, it’s a Mystery! I have heard the Atonement discussed and taught many times
            (and like you I’m still none the wiser..)

            I have no problem accepting that God as the Three in One Godhead, had a plan in hand in the event that Adam chose to listen to another voice other than his Creator.
            So the Son out of love for Adam became man, and lived and died to pay the penalty of that rebellion so as to secure the salvation required by a Holy God.
            If Jesus had just been one man he could only sacrifice himself for one other man. But as God in man His sacrifice could cover the sins of all those men who sought or responded to God’s salvation plan.
            How God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit relate to each other, and how they came into being, Alas, I am not qualified to say…
            Some things old chap, are truly beyond our ken: but that does not mean they aren’t true.

          • Pubcrawler

            “how they came into being”

            Er… (clue: they are eternal)

        • sarky

          He was on this earth because he sent himself.

          • Inspector General

            Now this is where this man parts company with the orthodox…

          • dannybhoy

            You are leaving out the Godhead, Sarky. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God manifested in three distinct persons.

      • preacher

        HI Sarky. What do you know or have been taught about the Trinity?

        • sarky

          Father, son, holy spirit. 1x 1 x 1 = 1, water, ice, steam all h20 etc, etc

          • preacher

            Great mate, using the same formula, Who was Jesus?

          • sarky

            Son/god

          • preacher

            Right on mate. So Jesus was unique – a One off, the same as His Father. Why do you think He came?

          • sarky

            You forget I spent many years in church! !!!

          • preacher

            No I haven’t. We’re just exploring what you were taught & the things that were never explained clearly.
            I never went to Church, curse or blessing? so I’ve had to search & discover who, what & why I believe, this makes it easier to help others!.

          • sarky

            It was all explained very clearly!!! Just interested in where your going with this?

          • preacher

            Just debating, a bit long drawn out I know, we could go much quicker in Costas but that avenue is not open to us here.
            If you are really an atheist, you do not believe that God exists right?
            Yet even in the middle of the agony of crucifixion, Jesus calls out to God , “My God, My God Why have you forsaken me?”. Confirming the existence of God His Father. So how could Jesus not believe in Himself, as he was one with the Father? the cry is because of the intensity of man’s sin that He was bearing, so awful but so essential for our salvation that God stepped back from His son. That cry of dereliction was also the first line of Psalm 22. The rest of the Psalm describes in graphic detail what was going on, why & the outcome of it.

          • sarky

            Does it confirm the existence of god? Or does it call into question Christ’s divinity?

          • Shadrach Fire

            It could well be that no man can convince you. You must ask God himself to show you his reality.

          • sarky

            Why? When I dont believe in him?
            Would be like asking father Christmas to show me the toy factory.

          • The Explorer

            Are you saying you don’t believe in Father Christmas?!

            (Don’t tell the Inspector. You’ll upset him.)

          • The call was to God … so it confirms His existence.

            The cry of abandonment is Jesus’ experience in in His humanity of that God awful feeling when our world falls apart and we are feel isolated in our grief. In His Godhead, as Son, Jesus offered Himself, both His physical and spiritual suffering, for our redemption. Watch a young infant when s/he suddenly believes their loving parent isn’t at hand. Then infinitely multiply that feeling.

            That cry could be the cry of the damned when they have finally rejected God and He eternally abandons them – and they realise what they have freely chosen. It’s the despairing cry of Judas.

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely Jack. When Jesus broke bread with the disciples he knew what was to come. Imagine the sheer loneliness He must have felt as a man, and the horror of experiencing real pain and real abuse at the hands of men whose souls He knew could only be saved/redeemed by His death and separation from His Father..

          • sarky

            But heres the clincher, at least he had the comfort of knowing he would be back in three days. How is that sacrifice greater than an atheist soldier, believing they only have one life, giving his life at aged 18 for his country?

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. The issue here is not the dying, but the nature of the death. I suppose the closest equivalent is a difficult operation. You know it will make you better, but it’s still difficult going through with it.

          • sarky

            But its a death that thousands at the time experienced.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. After the collapse of the Spartacus revolt, the slaves were crucified all along the Appian Way.

          • Sarky, you won’t get there through reason. You have to meet the Man from Galilee first.

            Why not pop into a Cathedral or a traditional Church where there is an altar with a *red light* signifying Christ’s presence. Jack says a traditional church because they effect the senses rather than the mind. Modern churches are stripped of mystery. Just absorb the atmosphere. Obviously, a Catholic Church would be better but so many of them are designed on protestant lines these days.

            Just go and sit there a while.

          • sarky

            “You won’t get there through reason”.
            Tells you something doesn’t it?
            To understand,all reason must be left at the door, because, to be honest, there are so many facets of the story that just dont make any sense.

          • The Explorer

            Imagine you are a novelist creating characters. You can represent the thoughts of someone less intelligent than yourself, but how do you go it for someone more intelligent?

            If God created us (evolved us, if you like) and our brains, then God will understand us, but the reverse does not apply. So some things are not beneath reason, but beyond reason.

            And consider falling in love. If it’s a reaction based purely on rationality, it probably isn’t genuine.

          • Pubcrawler

            Indeed, and I’m willing to bet that every single one of them would have done or given anything to escape it. Jesus accepted it.

          • …. and knowing it was your free choice too.

          • Pubcrawler

            And on someone else’s (our) behalf.

          • sarky

            It wasn’t a free choice though was it? It had to happen to fulfil the prophesies.

          • William Lewis

            Is God obliged to fulfil prophesies? Did God already know of Christ’s choice when the prophesies were made?

          • sarky

            As they are one and the same, I would hope so.

          • Anna055

            I’m not sure how much comfort it was at the time. The description of Him in the garden of Gethsemene (Luke 22) describes his sweat as like drops of blood. Aparently that can occasionally happen when someone is under extraordinarily extreme stress. By the way, like you I’m not sure why Jesus calling out to God on the cross proves God …..for me it’s the resurrection that proves God and the whole gospel story. (On the basis that there is good historical witness to the resurrection)

          • sarky

            Why is there not one contemporaneous account?? Would have thought someone coming back from the dead would have caused quite a stir! (P.s the bible doesn’t count, was written after the fact)

          • Anna055

            Lots of reasons I should have thought. Here are my immmediate thoughts:

            People who weren’t directly involved would probably have thought the same as people would today i.e. “It’s just made up”. Also, the people in authority seem to have been threatened by the fledgling Christian faith and would have had good reason not to write about the events which started it. The common people probably wouldn’t have had access to large quantities of writing material (or time!) and would in any case be primarily oral in culture even if they could read and write. I assume most Jews could read, because of the importance of the Law and the Prophets in their culture….but they probably didn’t have time or energy to read or write in thier normal life. Another reason is that it is unlikely that any writing that was done by ordinary people would have survived the frequent wars and general turmoil in the middle east since that time. We are lucky to have even one reference outside the Bible (Josephus) to what was initially pretty small beer, in a troubled corner of the Roman Empire. I also think we underestimate how different it was to live in a world where communication couldn’t move any faster than the people who carried it. Though maybe things aren’t so very different now – my understanding is that there have actually been a few (properly attested) contemporary resurrections from the dead which we don’t tend to hear about because they are not local to us in the UK.

            As far as the Bible itself is concerned, I’m not an expert at all about the history of the text, but my understanding is that at least two of the gospels (Mark and John) were eyewitness accounts written or dictated by apostles. Matthew I don’t know about, but Luke was involved from fairly early on even if he wasn’t around for the actual events.

            These are just my thoughts – there are probably experts reading this blog who could answer you much better!

          • sarky

            Its pretty widely acknowledged that the gospels were not written by the names associated with them and these accounts were written many many years after the events. There were many people writing in judea at the time whose accounts do survive, as for Josephus, the parts mentioned about jesus are thought to be much later additions, precisely because they weren’t in the original.
            People coming back from the dead? Thought this was meant to be a sensible discussion.

          • Anna055

            I’m afraid I don’t know enough to discuss it properly with you, but I believe that experts now are coming round to the idea that the gospels are much earlier than was thought at one stage. The only book I can think of immediately is “Can we trust the new testament” by John Robinson (of “Honest to God” notoriety so not a staight down the line conservative!).

            In reply to your last paragraph: “People coming back from the dead? Thought this was meant to be a sensible discussion.”……Well with reference to my earlier comment that people would say “It’s just made up”, I can only reply “QED!”.

          • Pubcrawler

            “as for Josephus, the parts mentioned about jesus are thought to be much later additions”

            Not anymore: contemporary scholarship regards them as substantialy authentic.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

            (I would, of course, normally cite a proper book rather than Wikipedia, but I can’t remember which box the relevant volume is packed away in right now.)

          • The Explorer

            I remember thinking about the missile hitting HMS Sheffield in the Falklands War. Those way down in the engine room didn’t stand a chance. The best way to cope with the prospect of such a situation must be to have absolutely no imagination.
            Having no imagination would also be the best way of coping with potential crucifixion. The more thoughtful and intelligent you were, the worse it would be. Whereas if you were as imaginative, intelligent and empathetic as the human side of Christ…

          • sarky

            Cant agree with that, the thought of crucifixion would be horrific for anyone, good imagination or not.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed, but my point is that given different imaginative levels the imaginative suffering is worse for some than for others. But my point is that, leaving aside what happens after death, the physical process of dying by crucifixion was agonising: and was agonising for Christ as well as for the two thieves.

          • Have you ever considered that our Lord sweated great drops of sweat so that it looked as if drops of blood were falling from his forehead? And this on a night when it was cold enough to need to light a fire in the courtyard of the high priest (Luke 22:44, 55). Sweat is the natural reaction of man to impending trauma.

          • Ivan M

            Those who were in the hands of the ISIS went to their deaths as brave men. The men in the Russian submarine Kursk met their doom the same way. In the stories surrounding Livingstone, a man, I think it was Stanley, reports that at the point where he felt the lion’s jaws about to clamp his neck – he somehow survived – a strange calm overcame him and he had no fear.

            There is the interior Jesus most explicitly developed in St John’s serene account, and the panic stricken Jesus of the other Gospels. All are true. It is about suffering and fear that cannot be wished way, one has to carry the cross with Jesus, there is no other way. No amount of theorising can wish away the pain. To deny this at one extreme, we have the Socrates dude, or David Hume, coolly meeting their deaths with some elegant theorising and the at the other end as apparently in the Koran, our friend Judas substituted for Jesus at the last moment in a charade performed by Allah. Neither Socrates nor the Jesus in the Koran can save us. Ultimately it is only God suffering with us, that can justify this valley of tears.

            The same God who put Abraham to test by asking for Isaac, but held his hand at the last moment did not do the same for His own Son. In the face of such love one is struck speechless.

          • The Explorer

            One thought about Hume. Some of those sceptical about the reliability of accounts of Christ’s death of doubt about the accuracy of accounts about Hume. But if you’re going down that route about doubting the motives and reliability of the narraor

          • Ivan M

            The atheists have their Lives of the Saints too, complete with the death watch. Though I don’t understand why they bother. Since life by whatever means has ended, never to return.

          • Inspector General

            Haven’t we agreed that Christ did not know the details of the plot. Well, haven’t we?

          • The Explorer

            Didn’t Christ say pull down this temple and I will raise another in three days: talking about himself? Two possibilities.
            1. Story dreamed up after the event.
            2. Words spoken before the event. Christ knew he would rise from the dead.

          • Inspector General

            Christ didn’t just whimper on the cross, like the rest of us would have done, he considered himself abandoned.

          • The Explorer

            I would agree if “Why have you forsaken me?” were his last words. AS it is, I agree with Jack about the significance of quoting Psalm 22.

          • preacher

            I believe it translates as “Paid in full” when money was owed, & the debtor paid it all, the invoice was marked with this,

          • Pubcrawler

            I looked into this a while ago when I first encountered it. While it certainly could mean that, I could find nothing to corroborate that particular claim. Anyone know?

          • preacher

            I looked it up, the word is Tetelestai. It has several meanings, but it generally refers to completion, worth checking out!.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yeah, I know the Greek (lapsed Classicist here). It’s the specific use in the context of marking a paid invoice I haven’t been able to find independent evidence for. Seems a bit obscure to me. And as for the question of whether that particular meaning is what Our Lord had in mind …

          • preacher

            I found it quite quickly on Wikipedia, granted it can be used in many ways but it is definitely one of them mentioned.
            In fact if the Lord used it in any of the contexts I believe it would be in a more positive way than a negative one as it appears to be a statement of accomplishment.

          • Hmmm … and here we may begin to part company. It’s where theology and translations become contested. Where the Catholic Mass, belief in the Real Presence and in purgatory and the priesthood and the Sacraments all clash with protestant theology.

            Jack’s favoured translation reads:

            “And now Jesus knew well that all was achieved which the scripture demanded for its accomplishment; and he said, I am thirsty. There was a jar there full of vinegar; so they filled a sponge with the vinegar and put it on a stick of hyssop, and brought it close to his mouth. Jesus drank the vinegar, and said, It is achieved. Then he bowed his head, and yielded up his spirit.”

            The focus is not Jesus paying the full penalty for sin, but fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy. It was when Jesus received the sour wine (vinegar) that He spoke these words, fulfilling the set up from verse 28. In fact, the Greek word for “finished” only appears twice in John, in verse 19:28 and 19:30, under the same verbal form. “tetelestai”, suggesting the two go together. And the context shows that a few other Old Testament prophecies were also going to be fulfilled (John 19:31-37). So it should really be understood as “It is fulfilled,” or more traditionally, “It is consummated.”

            The Reformed understanding of the text, “paid in full” relates to the finished work of Christ and salvation by faith alone. “It is finished”, by this understanding Christ did everything necessary for our salvation; He paid everything and all that’s left is for us to believe.

            This doesn’t mean “It is consummated” hasn’t got a
            deeper significance than just saying “this one prophecy was fulfilled,” but rather that Christ’s death is to be understood as the Old Testament said it would happen. Christ did open the way for reconciliation with God and offered Himself in sacrifice.

            Another ‘hard line’ example, is the saying already discussed: “My God, why have You abandoned me.” Some claim this verse shows the Father’s wrath was poured out on Jesus when He was intoning Psalm 22.

            Christ did not take our eternal punishment on Himself which is eternal damnation. He did not burn in Hell forever. The Atonement was so the world could be reconciled to God and the Mercy of God made available to man.

            Here’s a reflection:

            “It. Is. Finished. Accomplished. Complete. Consummated. Done. Paid in full. Consummatum est. Tetélestai!

            Still, what is “it”? If you Google the phrase “it is finished”, you will find many explanations, including explanations of the grammar of the Greek word (perfect middle/passive tense, third person singular of τελέω, meaning “perfect”), which doesn’t quell the controversies, contradictions or great misunderstandings of it.

            Tetélestai! It (whatever it is) is perfectly accomplished, now, and has no need to be redone.

            In the myriad of explanations of what it is, some may say that Jesus simply means that his life as a human is over. Some may say that it is the forgiveness of all sins of the human race, past, present and future, no further forgiveness required, thank you very much. Some may say that it is the atonement that provides us permission to ask forgiveness and reconciliation of our sins. Some may say that it is the moment when proof of God’s love for humanity was made manifest.

            Is it all of these? Is it none of these? Is it some mixture of all of the thoughts and explanations and contradictions? Do we see on the cross that death comes to all? Do we stop there? Is it the fact that all things die? Or do we see on the cross that it is a beginning, a renewal, a rebirth?

            Is it infinity? Perhaps it becomes all metaphors. Some people say that to believe in the afterlife is a crutch. That such belief is the net result of fear, fear of the sleep which never ends. Those who posit that death is the end, that there is no continuance in a metaphysical other place, aren’t they the ones who are truly afraid?

            Because Jesus, in his human body, died and returned to us, however briefly, before ascending to Heaven is why death shouldn’t be feared by those who, by faith and belief, know they’ll go on, that in that final rest, when the body is done, we know we will have life, that the companions of our lives will greet us with joy and will wait for us to cross the bridge from what was, to what will be.

            What is infinity? What is it? It is all. It is nothing. It is death. It is life. It is when we cease to know and begin to understand.

            Tetélestai! It is finished!”

            http://www.stdombenicia.org/good-friday-reflection-it-is-finished/

          • Pubcrawler

            “The focus is not Jesus paying the full penalty for sin, but fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy.”

            This. Whatever ones theology of atonement, this seems to me to be the most natural reading of the text. Which doesn’t rule out deeper meanings, of course, but they need to be considered in light of this.

          • The word teleo,translated ‘finished’ in John 19:30, appears quite a few times in the New Testament and has some very interesting meanings :-

            Matt 11:1, A.V. ‘…..When Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples…..’

            Matt 17:24. “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”

            Luke 2:39. ‘So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord…..’

            Luke 18:31. ‘…..And all the things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.’

            So what was made an end of at the cross? Our sins, the guilt of them and their very memory in the mind of God (Jer 31:34).

            What was paid? The price of our redemption (2). ‘Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us’ (Gal 3:13).

            What was performed? All the righteous requirements of the law.

            What was accomplished? All the work that the Father had given Christ to do (John 17:4).

          • Pubcrawler

            OK, I’ve found something about it in Moulton & Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, which I’d not heard of before. Mentions (near) contemporary papyrus evidence (though doesn’t quote any, annoyingly). So I’ll buy the possibility of the word being used that way. But it’s still not the primary meaning of the verb, so I wouldn’t want to base an entire soteriology on this narrow interpretation of one very broad word.

          • magnolia

            A beautiful poem by Conrad Aiken called “Tetelestai” incidentally.

          • preacher

            I’ll have to look that up, thanks magnolia.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. A lot more purposeful than the Inspector suggests.

          • No we haven’t. Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34.
            Do look them up, won’t you?

          • Gonna die anyway. No purpose, no meaning. Kill or be killed- no difference. Gonna fly that aeroplane right into the mountain.

          • sarky

            Don’t think you should make light of mental illness that caused the deaths of 150 people.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            The 18 year old Atheist Soldier will realise that he may die, but he will hope he won’t and if he does it will be quick.

            Christ KNEW he would die and that the dying would be horrendous.

          • Anton

            Remember the terrible weight of all those sins.

          • magnolia

            You speak as if this was quite a small thing. It is a big thing, larger than our ability to comprehend because it is God at work and has cosmic significance. There are different levels of knowing, and I think on one level he knew, but at another level he travelled to unknowing, hence the cry of dereliction, where he had, in experiencing godforsakeness for us, to feel the human agonies of that. He emptied himself, as he did in incarnation, because the nature of love is to meet us where we are in all its mess and nonsense.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus had to be, in some way which will be revealed in due course, ‘abandoned’ by the Father, for the sin he bore was impermissible in God’s presence.

          • magnolia

            I don’t disagree though that language can lead to many misunderstandings (e.g. Steve Chalke) from those who struggle with the mystery and interrelatedness of the Trinity.

          • Jack believes we underestimate the significance of the Last Supper and especially the Agony in the Garden. The trial in Gethsemane was as substantial at the physical torture of the crucifixion. It was this event on which our salvation depended.

            “And now he was in an agony, and prayed still more earnestly; his sweat fell to the ground like thick drops of blood. When he rose from his prayer, he went back to his disciples, and found that they were sleeping, overwrought with sorrow. “How can you sleep?” he asked. “Rise up and pray, so that you may not enter into temptation.” ”

            Our very God, in agony and overwrought with sorrow – and all He had to do was say “No”.

            ” “My soul,” he said, “is ready to die with sorrow; do you abide here, and watch with me.” When he had gone a little further, he fell upon his face in prayer, and said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass me by; only as thy will is, not as mine is.” Then he went back to his disciples, to find them asleep.”

            Jack remembers when he was young the Church would be open all night and the Real Presence displayed on a side altar. It was so still and so quiet. The altar was stripped and bare. All candles out but one and statues covered. People would come through the night to spend time with Our Lord in prayerful company. It was very moving and made a profound impact on Jack as a boy.

          • Pubcrawler

            It was when I first experienced the stripping of the altar that the dormant seed of my faith suddenly came alive; that, and the subsequent Watch till midnight, remains a particularly special part of the liturgical calendar.

          • sarky

            How can you be abandoned by yourself?

          • The Trinity, Sarky.

            In His humanity, he experienced abandonment; in His Godhead, He offered Himself. Remember, Jesus was both God and man.

          • water, ice, steam all h20

            Not wishing to be picky (well, maybe just a bit), but this is actually the ancient error of Sabellianism or Modalism as I’m sure H.J. will confirm.
            Trinitarianism is just this: one What; three Whos.

          • Indeed – water, steam and ice are manifestations of the one substance in different forms. Christians believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three manifestations of the one Triune God but that the Godhead is a community of three coeternal, coequal Persons.

            Imagine our forefathers grappling with these issues in the midst of speculation, working with the New Testament and attempting to square it with Jewish scripture. Then consider the philosophical and conceptual tools available. The Greek and Latin Churches arrived at an understanding of the Triune Godhead in slightly different ways. Christianity has elements of both apophatic and cataphatic theology, in that we know God has revealed Himself to us – but we are finite in our understanding of the infinite. In the West we have a tendency to approach this mystery of God through reason; in the East they approach it more through meditation.

            And then finding the words ……

            Man is still struggling with all this …. he will until Christ comes and even then we may not fully comprehend.
            .

          • CliveM

            How can we finite creatures ever fully comprehend the infinite?

          • Through the Scriptures, Clive.
            Consider Christ calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41 etc.). When He comes on to the boat, He’s tired and He needs to sleep. He’s a Man, with human physical weaknesses. He is Man as though He were not God.
            But when the storm arises, as the disciples come to Him in a panic, He arises and rebukes the wind and the waves, ‘and there was a great calm.’ He did not ask the Father to still the storm; He did it Himself, with a word. No wonder the disciples ‘feared exceedingly and said to one another, “Who can this be that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”‘ He is God, that’s who! God as though He were not man. Two natures, unmixed, but in perfect harmony.

          • …. but the Father, Martin. There’s the mystery. The Son and the Spirit we meet and we encounter in this life. But the Father ….

          • “have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Happy Jack? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?'” (John 14:9).
            .
            Do you recall how Moses asked God, ‘Please, show me Your glory!’ (Exod. 33:18)? And Moses was in the cleft of the rock and saw just a glimpse of God’s glory passing by. Well, ‘….the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth….and of His fullness we have all received…..No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him’ (John 1:14, 16, 18).
            .
            If you want to know what the Father is like, look at the Son. He is the image of the invisible God.

          • Well of course, Martin, but the Father is a co-eternal, co-equal Person, distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. We see God’s Love and Mercy in the Son. We experience the Holy Spirit. The Father’s Holiness, Justice and Perfection, who can see and understand this?

          • Indeed, we see the Trinity in harmony in Ephesians 1:3-14. In verses 1-6a, we have the work of the Father in election, predestination and the commissioning of the Son so that He may be just and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus ‘To the praise of the glory of His grace’. In verses 6b-12, the work of the Son in fulfilling the Father’s commission and in making Him known ‘To the praise of His glory’. In verses 13-14, we have the work of the Spirit, bringing us to faith and sealing us to the day of redemption ‘To the praise of His glory’. There is praise and glory for each Person of the Trinity. No doubt it is a great mystery, but it is one that has been revealed by the Spirit through the Word.

          • The “work of the Father” is above our human comprehension, Martin.

            Neat and tidy theological formulae that try to ‘explain’ and ‘pin down’ His Majesty fall short. Concepts like “election” and “predestination” can and are understood differently. We can only access the Father through the Son, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Even then, in this life, we are only offered a glimpse.

          • Pubcrawler

            The Orthodox are happy to say we cannot. God cannot be put into the category of things that can be fully comprehended, that would limit him and make our powers of understanding as equal to or greater than his. There’s something in Isaiah about that.

          • CliveM

            It would be arrogance to think that we could.

          • Pubcrawler

            I would say it verges on blasphemy.

          • David

            Your “water, ice and steam” analogy is a useful one for conveying a little of the mystery of the Trinity.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Good. Thanks.

  • Shadrach Fire

    What can one say but that I nailed him to the cross because of my sins. He bore the suffering because of his love for me. One day I shall be with him and he will expect no thanks.

  • IanCad

    As Christ rested in the grave on this solemn Sabbath so it is time for me to hang it up as well for the duration.
    Blessings to all.

    • dannybhoy

      God’s blessings Ian.

    • He descended to the dead; no copying of Our Lord, Ian.
      God Bless.

      • IanCad

        Thanks for the correction Jack. He was dead – otherwise no resurrection.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Jesus lives, Jesus lives! thy terrors now can no longer, death, appall us; Jesus lives! by this we know thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us…

    He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then GO QUICKLY AND TELL his disciples that HE HAS RISEN from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.

    • Inspector General

      Come on Dominic. Cranmer has that to come for us. Let us be concerned with the immediate and leave it to our host to unfold the days…

      • Dominic Stockford

        But he is risen, I shall not wallow in misery, but rejoice in hope.

        • Inspector General

          Well, if you want to dampen our host’s thunder, on your head…

        • Do you open presents before Christmas morning? Or ask the sex of the expected child in the womb?

          Time and season, dear man, and the liturgical rhythm of the Church.

          • Anton

            St Paul is explicit that observance of a church calendar is a personal and private matter. Let there be no “should”s.

          • Jack’s not being scriptural – just sensible.

          • CliveM

            Even if you’re not wanting to follow the Churches Calender, let’s follow the hosts Calender on this post!

          • Nonconformists, eh?

          • Anton

            “Do you open presents before Christmas morning? Or ask the sex of the expected child in the womb?”

            Don’t stop there Jack, read Job 38 and be inspired.

      • CliveM

        Good point Inspector.