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Allow Me To Explain (71 of 439) – Pallbearers

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71. Who buried Jesus? Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:43-46, Luke 23:50-53 vs. John 19:38-42 vs. Acts 13:27-29

The first three references tell the same part of the same story, so I’m only quoting Matthew for the sake of brevity.

Matthew 27:57-60
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.

John 19:38-42
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

Acts 13:27-29
For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.

Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us about a rich man named Joseph, of Arimathea, who prepared Jesus’ body and laid Him in his own tomb.

John doesn’t change the story, he merely adds Nicodemus. Similar to our conversation about “blind Bartimæus” and his friend, just because one account (or in this case, three) doesn’t mention a person in the story doesn’t mean that person wasn’t there. It just means the writer didn’t deem it necessary to mention him.

Why might Matthew, Mark and Luke have omitted Nicodemus? I can think of a few things to consider.  Continue Reading…

Allow Me To Explain (70 of 439) – Bears

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70. Should every man bear his own burden? Galatians 6:5 vs. Galatians 6:2

I’m still not sure if I should be insulted or amused when neighboring scriptures are quoted as contradicting. Surely they don’t think they’re the only ones who noticed in two thousand years?

Galatians 6:5 (King James Version)
For every man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:2 (New King James Version)
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I quote two different versions because I’m trying to play along.

Before we talk about word choice, let’s talk about Paul-was-not-an-idiot.

Let’s assume, for the sake of conversation, that Paul, the writer, was not inspired by the Spirit of God as he wrote. Let’s assume he was just a dude writing to his students. There’s no way anyone can read the collection of writing we have from Paul and tell me he was dumb enough that he would have so blatantly contradicted himself before re-dipping his quill. So something else would be going on here - Paul would be making a point.

So let’s look at what the poster leaves out:  Continue Reading…

Hope of Righteousness

Sometimes I learn things that I already know, but seeing it in new text and new context brings it into fresh light.

For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Galatians 5:5)

Paul doesn’t write that we eagerly wait for hope, because we have hope. He doesn’t write that we eagerly wait for righteousness, because we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21).

We wait for “the hope of righteousness.” It’s a specific hope, and not the kind of wistful desire that I think we associate with the word “hope” in our culture. This hope is an expectation, an anticipation.

Because we are made righteous, but we are also being transformed (Romans 12:2), so the fulfillment of our righteousness in the flesh is a process. It’s one that we won’t see completed until Christ returns, but we’re always getting closer.

Paul’s whole letter to the Galatians is to correct their falling back into pointless religious rituals, specifically circumcision. They didn’t need circumcision just like we don’t need religious ritual, if we’re in Christ.

We still sin. We still feel the weight of transgression, and so we turn to rites and traditions to ease our consciences and try to be active in our own renewal. But that discomfort is a tool in God’s hand, because our best efforts are like garbage anyway (Isaiah 64:6).

The way to “get better,” the way to respond to the discomfort of conviction – and the growing desire to be holy as He is holy – is to rest in Him, and trust in the Spirit to renew and lead us. He is the only one who can produce righteousness in us.

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