Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were intertwisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lectors was probably the most severe of His flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body.
Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him without tears, as He stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood. As we feel sure and blessed healing which His stripe have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms
‘See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in His lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands,
And spit in their Creator’s face.
With thorns His temples gor’d and gash’d
Send streams of blod from every part;
His back’s with knotted scourges lash’d,
But sharper scourges tear His heart.’
We would fain go to our bedrooms and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with Him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost Him so dear.
Last night was the eve of a paper deadline and turned into one of the scariest non-life threatening scenarios I have ever had to go through.
The paper was going to take most of the night to write so I therefore started at 18:30 and for the next 5 hours everything was fine and dandy. I wrote about 1,500 words on German history 1871-1980 with just another half to go. Then as I clicked the save button an error message appeared saying that it could not save, and before I knew it Word had crashed and burned along with my writings. No auto-recovery, no file saved anywhere.
I learnt a vital lesson here, that whenever you save something, always save it onto an external drive! And hey, it gave me an interesting story to tell you. I finally did scrawl the paper in 1 hour and hoped the teacher wouldn’t mind. Thankfully, it all turned out okay in the end.
But it got me thinking, during my typing and my saving I thought that my work was safe, I thought that what usually happens to other people not as computer literate as I am (yeah!) would never happen to me. And so I suppose that what we could say is the same with life. We may think we’re safe, we put our money into banks, we hold important documents on the Internet, but more personally we believe that by doing these things we are safe.
The Bible says differently and goes to great lengths to say that we are not safe, no matter how safe we try to be. We will one day stand before a Holy God and he will demand your every action to have a reasons and consequence. All your safe money will be gone, all your precious documents will be gone everything from then will be gone, just like my paper that require meticulous research and rewordings – GONE.
This only adds weight to the poem so challenging to believers and unbelievers:
Only one life
‘Twill soon be past,
Only what’s done
For Christ will last.
Did my Grade 8 Piano exam today and it didn’t go so well. The parts I thought I would do really well in (my pieces) literally fell to pieces, but the parts I thought I’d slip up on (Aural, Scales and Sight-reading) went quite well. This doesn’t really bode well for me because it’s the pieces that carry the greatest weight.
I can’t believe I messed them up! Well, I let you know how I went, but ultimately I think I’ll be resiting in December during my gap year. After that then God-willing I’m to do some work on my DipABRSM, the next stage
Oh well, Que Sera Sera
Speak to you soon!
I have chosen thee in a furnace of affliction
– Isaiah 48: 10
Comfort yourself, tried believer, with this thought: God says, ‘I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction’, Doesn’t the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Isn’t it an asbestos armour, against which the heat has no power? Let affliction come – God has chosen me. Poverty, you may stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude, but I have a balsam ready – God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that He has ‘chosen’ me. If, believer, you require still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent bedroom of yours, there sits by your side One whom you haven’t seen, but whom you love; and often when you don’t know it, He makes all your bed in your affliction, and smooths your pillow for you. You are in poverty; but in that lonely house of yours the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, so he can visit you. Your friend sticks close to you. You can’t see him, but you may feel the pressure of his hands. Don’t you hear his voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, ‘Fear not, I am with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.’ Remember that noble speech of Caesar: ‘Fear not, you carry Caesar and all his fortune.’ ‘Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with you’, is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in the ‘furnace of affliction’. Won’t you, then, take a firm grip of Christ, and say:
Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I’ll follow where he goes.
– C.H. Spurgeon (am March 3)
Sometimes Christians can focus too much on the love of God and forget about the just God who must deal with sin. Other times, we can be the opposite, focusing on the judgement of God and his coming wrath. These words by Spurgeon really show how important it is sometimes to think about how much God does really love us. We’re living in a world that would laugh at this, and call us fools, but then again we must remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with
words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the
intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher
of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the
wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased
through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews
demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ
crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those
whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the
wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the
weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
– 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Isn’t it amazing, that even though the gospel sounds so foolish to unbelievers (and sometimes to us if we’re honest) – God has decided it to be that way.
Thanks for reading,
Happy Saint David’s Day! Yep, it’s that time of year again when we Welsh remember someone we only know the name of… Woohoo… Thanks to ex-PM Tony Blair, it’s not recognised as a national holiday (even after we literally made the Labour party a century ago! The cheek!)
Anywho, no matter, ’tis life. According to Wikipedia, since the death of Dewi Sant (Dewi = David, Sant = Saint) in 589 the Welsh have celebrated his deathday. From personal experience (not Wikipedia’s) March 1 is a day full of traditional ceremonies, dress and nationalism. The main festival associated with Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant is the Eisteddfod, a tradition going back to the early C12th where the arts are celebrated. The eisteddfod is also enjoyed in Australia and Argentina on March 1st. It’s an exciting time!
But it only get’s truly traditional when the traditional dress is worn. Thankfully for boys, the traditional dress of welsh kilts and tartan have long gone (opting for rugby shirts instead) but for girls this is not the case. Every March 1st that falls on a school day, the girls dress up in traditional dress much to their embarrassment but to the amusement of family and friends – it’s all a bit of fun (although some earlier welsh traditions encouraged discrimination of women and red heads – don’t worry you two, they’re gone…for now…!)
Surprisingly, Wales has a very dark and sinister history, especially with pre-Christianity involving human and animal sacrifice – Come to Wales*!
I hope this has been an insightful glance into the life of a Welsh person. ‘Til next time – Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus!
*as long as you are not English, a woman or have red hair. If you suffer with all or any these undesirables then there are steps you can take, go to the website… www.helpicantstepafootinwales.co.uk/undesirables … nah, only kidding!