Why the Resurrection?
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is one of the most important Christian doctrines, upon which many other doctrines depend. It is a great miracle and a unique event, like the virginal birth of Christ. Such event hasn’t happened in history and will not happen in the future: a person rising from the dead by His own will and power as He foretold prior to his death.
Christ’s Resurrection Proves His Divinity
He rose because He is God, and because He is God He rose by His own authority since it is obvious that the dead person is normally not able to rise by himself. It proves His divinity since death is a consequence of sin and its punishment, while Christ alone is holy, pure, perfect and sinless; therefore death has no power over Him. Therefore, since He died voluntary and willingly, for our salvation, He also rose by His will and authority. St. Paul emphasized this fact by saying, “… and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom 1:4)Continue reading…
Judas The Betrayer
Judas in the Gospels
Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (Jhn13:2), was one of the twelve disciples chosen by the Lord Christ. He was called “Iscariot”, which means “a man from Kerioth” referring to his city (Josh15:25) or it may means “a murderer”. This name is used to differentiate him from Judas, one of the Lord’s brothers (Matt13:55; MK6:3) who was one of the disciples, and was called “Judas, not Iscariot” (Jhn14:22) and “Judas the brother of James” (Lk16:6). Judas Iscariot witnessed the marvelous miracles of Christ, which proves His divinity, heard His spiritual teachings, and listened to His responses to the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Lawyers who tried to entangle Christ in His talk. Judas watched the way Christ dealt with His beloved and enemies, followers and disbelievers, repentant sinners and those who trusted in themselves that they are righteous. It was clear to Judas the meekness and humbleness of Christ, beside all other virtues in its perfection.
The Good Master chose Judas to be one of His disciples, in spite of His previous knowledge about Judas’ wicked nature, as Christ said, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve” (Jhn6:70,71). Like the other disciples, He sent Judas to preach; Jesus gave him the authority to cast out demons and to heal the sick (Matt 10:1). Jesus also gave him the special responsibility of carrying the donation box, spending from it for the needy, and buying the disciples’ necessities as for the Passover feast (Jhn13:29). Although Jesus knew that Judas did not care about the needy because he was a thief (Jhn12:6), Jesus tried to let Judas get rid of his greed and love of money. Christ also did not reveal Judas’ crimes; He didn’t expose him before the other disciples, He didn’t withdraw the box from him or cancel his responsibility, but he kept this responsibility till his death. Jesus did not reject Judas’ discipleship even after agreeing to betray Him, but He let him to attend their gatherings, and to know His news as one of the near by. It was obvious that Judas was very near to Christ on the table that he was able to dip his hand with Him in the same dish (Matt26:23). Out of His humility, the Lord washed Judas’ feet in love, equitable to the other disciples.Continue reading…
The Cleansing of the Temple
Driving out all who bought and sold
The cleansing of the temple is a proof of an authority that was exercised by Christ on that day. An authority that no one was able to contest, or stop Him. He cleansed the temple with complete authority, with strength and firmness:
- “drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple” (Mt 21:12)
- “and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Mt 21:12)
- He told the people, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ bu you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Mt 21:13)
- And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. (Mr 11:16)
- And as St. John says in an earlier place, “He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’” (Jn 2:15,16)
This shows us that Christ who is meek, was also firm. This event shows us how Christ had a perfect and balanced personality, which combined all the virtues together. For, He being gentle and lowly in heart (Mt 11:29) can become very firm when the circumstances call for it, as it happened on that day… He was firm in a way that they have never seen before, and His firmness was combined with teaching, as He said, “It is written ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer.’” This way He corrected what was wrong.Continue reading…
Prophecies Of The Holy Week
Triumphal Entry (Matt 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11 ; Lk 19:29-44)
- “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you, He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech 9:9)
- “Say to the daughter of Zion, surely your salvation is coming, behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him” (Isa 62:11)
Betrayal by a friend (Matt 26:21, 47-50 ; Mk 14:43-46; Lk 22:47,48)
- “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps 41:9)
Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Matt 26:14,15)
- “Then I said to them, If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain. So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver” (Zech 11:12)
Accused by false witnesses (Matt 26:59-61; Mk 14:55-59)
- “Fierce witnesses rise up; they ask me things that I do not know” (Ps 35:11)
Christ The King
On Palm Sunday, our Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as a King. Since He was not competing with Caesar, He didn’t encounter any resistance from the Romans. The problems rose internally from His people, the Jewish leaders. There was a problem in understanding the nature of His kingdom.
The nature of the Lord’s kingdom
The Lord Christ accepted to enter Jerusalem as a King. His kingdom was near by. The day, when He conquers Satan’s kingdom by His crucifixion was close. The Lord wanted a spiritual kingdom, but the Jews wanted an earthly kingdom. He wanted to establish a spiritual kingdom based on love. The Jews wanted a kingdom like the other earthly kingdoms, based on authority of the ruler like Samson or Gideon or Joshua. They also wanted the external appearance of force expressed in armed forces. They never thought of a Godly kingdom. They shouted “Hosanna the Son of David”, that is to say, “O Son of David, save us”. They requested a son of David as an heir to the throne and crown of David, not the Son of God.Continue reading…