It’s All About You, Too

Holy Saturday, 2018

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> MATT WALSH: I Am Judas

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~ YOU SEE IT every day. They. Them. THOSE people. Those BAD people.

One of the favoured abstractions of modern thinking & ideological movements is to passionately externalize all evil, bad intent, failure, hypocrisy, dark deeds, and wickedness only & always to others, and never yourself. THEM.

It’s why a religion which preaches sin, hell, personal awareness, accountability, moral imagination, and repenting/ turning/ returning to God from sin & hell and death is so unpopular to so many people, even some inside the Church.

The One In The Mirror

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If you read the Gospel accounts of Holy Week and Good Friday, there is all our human nature laid bare. OURS. Not “Those horrible terrible Bad People Over There”.

As Matt Walsh points out, the horror of the Passion is that any one of us is or could have been scheming Judas, cowardly Peter, sleepy James & John, the fleeing and cowering other disciples; the governor Pontius Pilate; mocking King Herod Jr.; bloody-minded Caiaphas or Annas; hate-filled Barabbas; the justly punished thieves crucified on either side of Jesus.

Of course it hurts. Here is no happy happy false-Gospel. Here is humility, mercy, confession, forgiveness, sympathy, hope. The other way lies hell, hypocrisy, hatred, self-righteousness, cruelty, and bloodshed.

As we wait on Holy Saturday in quiet hope for God’s answer to Good Friday, let our ponderments help us to see how sin, death, and Hell have left their marks in us, our family & friends, our neighbour. Only then can we see with the eyes of his costly mercy; only then receive His victory over sin and death and hell washing over us and through us, making all things new.  For He has prayed for us, carried us in His heart, and despite our worst, has done his holy best for us, our friend the God-Man Jesus Christ.

And then tell others about this mighty salvation. ~

Thus saith,

Teh Binks

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 Ah, Holy Jesu

1 Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

2 Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

3 Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

4 For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

5 Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.


 


 

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Was He The One?

“The Way, The Truth, and the Life”, He said.

How can the walking talking Way be lost? How can the living breathing Truth be silenced and extinguished? How can the joyful and healing fullness of Life– die?

Now, imprisoned in a guarded tomb.

We all hide, numb and stunned– for surely we are next.

He was “The Resurrection and the Life”, He said. So He raised others– who shall raise Him to life again?

The local powers gloat; Rome marches on, with bloody sandals; Annas and Caiaphas have kept their power, and taught Pilate a bitter lesson. The crowds… one day with palms, another with shouts for His innocent death.

All our hopes and faith and trust are like ashes in the mouth; a shattered pillar; the cliff edge of a bottomless chasm. Shall we surrender to despair?…

“On The Third Day”, He said. He purposed this death to fulfill the Scriptures, He told us. Jonah three days in the belly of the whale? His dying eyes– “It is accomplished”, then.. over. Can God’s Son die?

The horrible drama is done. Let us quietly wait, on this Passover day. We cannot now rejoice, or join the crowds, or lift up our hearts unto God. Yet.

Early tomorrow, the women will go and do their work, and finish their preparation of his precious body with cloths and washing and spices. One last act of love….

Let us wait upon the Lord. For we love Him, and trust Him still… somehow….

All creation awaits with bated breath her Risen King.

Binks

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Even More Strange Things

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“The Upside Down is an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world. It contains the same locations and infrastructure as the human world, but it is much darker, colder and obscured by an omnipresent fog…. [a] dimension that is a dark reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay and death, a plane out of phase, a place of monsters. It is right next to you and you do not even see it.” … “Nope. No parallels under here.” (Hilary White)

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>> Hilary White: Two religions; one Church? – the infiltration of the Modernist Anti-Christ (Nov. 2017)

>>  REPORTING on the UnChurch: One Peter Five

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~ BINKS IS just about to finish ‘Stranger Things‘ on Netflix, Season 1. Must say, I love it.. and it’s hard not to binge-watch it.

No major spoilers ensue below. Promise.

Like The Matrix‘, the hit-show Stranger Things employs that familiar & human sense of displacement, weirdness, that there is an Unseen all around us which sometimes breaks in upon us in our ‘ordinary’ lives. That there is more going on than meets the eye.

In the popular Netflix series, which overflows with references to 80’s pop-culture, there is literally an evil copy parallel dimension called ‘The Upside Down‘, where people can be trapped, and eaten by a monster. The dimensional doorways can appear anywhere and everywhere: the wall of a house, a tree trunk, the basement of a top-secret government lab.

What both ‘The Matrix‘ and ‘Stranger Things‘ lack to make them universal is a spiritual universe above and inter-penetrating the visible ‘ordinary’ universe.. and a clear sense of God & His guiding providence. Sadly, religion plays almost no part in the show, or the lives of the characters.

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What ‘Meant’ Means

By comparison, the writer J.R.R. Tolkien repeatedly mentions providence without explicating that it is of the Valar (archangels) and Eru (God). The wizard Gandalf’s own long mission in Middle Earth was a sending from the Blessed Land to fight evil, help the free peoples via suffering and pity, and– ultimately– to defeat Sauron, the dark successor to Morgoth (a fallen Valar, the Satan-figure).

In that Lord Of The Rings scene– which Peter Jackson moves from Frodo’s kitchen to the Mines Of Moria– we read:

Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Review DVD Review

That ‘meant’ bears a world of significance. Consider.

‘Meant’ is God’s providence, in the world, in events, ‘coincidences’, and via people. The Bible proclaims: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Rom. 8:28] Note: NOT ‘all things will be pleasant, easy, and straightforward’.

Remember: Christians serve a Crucified and Risen King, who still bears His (now glorious) scars. No easy path there: take up your cross. Follow, die.

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Living Our Double Sight

And there’s another sense of “the unseen dimension”, our own actual “Upside Down”, which tempers our anger and enlightens our struggles. As Saint Paul teaches the Christians of Ephesus, and us:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Eph.  6:12]

Any battle with sin, darkness, heresy– in the church and the world, and in our own hearts, is a combination of many forces, many invisible, or acting through us or other people in a greater & darker pattern than the simply human (as bad as we can be).

Exorcists are still busy in 2018. Possessed people still exist– some in politics, and in the Church itself. Even some clergy may be thus.

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The Disorientation Is Real

In the current pontificate of Francis, there is unprecedented darkness, division, dishonesty, confusion and discouragement afoot. Papal hyper-loyalists rally ’round the revolutionary throne, throwing accusations at critics and radical (deep-rooted) Catholics who demand the whole witness of the Church to be heard, respected, lived, taught.

Sometimes, it feels as if an UnChurch from some evil parallel dimension like ‘The Upside Down‘ has invaded our reality, and is seeking to proclaim itself as the real, true, and only thing to serve. There is a spiritual war afoot: each of us can play a double part, on earth as in heaven, for good or bad. The darkness is not simply the opposition themselves, nor we only the bright good ones– for humility and reality’s sake, we admit there are brighter and darker forces in conflict within what we see, and in each soul.

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Via 1 Peter 5, Steve Skojec.

Holy loyalty and faithfulness and restraint are good: but we do not honour the Church or her current leadership via our blind obedience, nor forgetting Whom She really belongs to, and Whose Voice she is supposed to obey. His will is not simply to be identified with the novel dictates of people who seem bound to another message, an unKingdom, a utopia of exalted man making himself into a God, his desires and feelings the measure of all truth and goodness. OUR kingdom come, OUR will be done: and yet, even in this, a greater darkness can be felt, seeping through, pushing, ruining, distorting the Church, but also the fever dreams of utopia, too.

Some Christian Basics

That evil unholy being is not some exact counterpart to God, but a created and fallen Enemy, and likewise all the fallen angels and powers under his control. Alone, we cannot defeat such darkness, for we are but mortal and finite and compromised with darkness ourselves. From such, Christ came to deliver us.

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Ancient Paganism sought to placate the dark powers; to deflect the ill will of spirits, gods, sprites, and malicious beings of every sort. Animal and human sacrifice was the trading of precious life for benefits, or being left alone.

The Incarnation changed all that. Jesus is become the Lord of the living and the dead. The suffering King Jesus lays bare the plans and pride and shining schemes of Lucifer; He bore in himself our sin, and has already won the victory over sin, and death, and Hell.. yet the long wrapping up of the battle will seem almost like defeat, as the faithful must abide darkness in the world, the Church, the human heart, and in malicious spiritual forces.

But, but– What To DO?

Read the headlines; pray; comfort one another; love the sacraments; repent. Read the Bible & the Church Fathers, and the saints. Read solid blogs and books. Same as it ever was, and there’s no greener grass elsewhere. Cheer up! It will very likely get much worse.

Stay faithful, for God is faithful, and will not abandon us, or leave us weak and comfortless and enslaved to the machinations of the Enemy and his minions, nor to our own sins, negligences, and ignorances. These bizarre times WILL be sorted by God, and by his judgment & mercy, and by better Church leaders and theologians in decades and centuries to come. +

So saith:

Teh Binks

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“Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
[St. Matthew 28:20]

Easter III: Thus Saith Hilary

~ WISE WORDS worth pondering, about where we are in 2016, spiritually, and what it all means in the light of Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. The article is by commentator and freelance writer (and lucky friend of Binks), Miss Hilary White.

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

Cheers,

~B~

Hatred, Wisdom and Easter: What’s the Connection?

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Holy Saturday

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“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. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”

(Matthew 27:57-66)

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“It is accomplished!”, he cried from the cross. So it’s not over.. it’s just beginning.

For while the disciples weep, and His body sleeps in the cold silence of the sealed and guarded tomb, the Lord Jesus– Lord of both the dead and the living– He is already up and doing, in the spirit. The soul of Christ is amongst the dead, harvesting the first-fruits of his saving victory. Death cannot hold Him: love is stronger than death.

Long have the dead waited for the Light to arise upon them– Adam and Eve are called first, then the great saints and holy kings and prophets and faithful ones of the Old Covenant.. also John the Baptist, and the good thief on the cross. The gates of heaven are opened, and the rescued throngs pour in behind the victorious Lord. Even now, on Holy Saturday, the great Sabbath, He has begun to make all things new.  (Revelation 21:5)

And He’s not done yet….

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An ancient homily for Holy Saturday

Attributed to Bishop Melito of Sardis, c. AD 180

Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with thy spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, o sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.’

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in Me and I in you; together we form one person and cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, Whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on My Face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On My back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See My hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced My side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in Hell. The sword that pierced Me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise. Let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity. +

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More on Holy Saturday meaning & customs.

Poems for Holy Saturday | Lent & Beyond

Holy Saturday – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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So saith,

Teh Binksmeister

Good Friday II: Two Old Cloths

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THERE ARE TWO pieces of cloth– the smaller one closely matching some marks on  the larger one. They have apparently survived 17 years short of 20 centuries; not to mention invasions, Jihad and Crusades, long travel, display, trial, fires, and all the vagaries of time, history, and human frailty.

To the very first people who handed them on, these items were ritually unclean, polluted and polluting, and signs of an accursed, shameful, and unholy death, according to the Jewish Law, the Torah. That these bloody things from a gory execution and death were even handed on, passed down, and venerated in the first place is a strange, remarkable, and mysterious matter in itself.

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One is essentially a large bloody rag with pin-holes in it (above); the other is a 14-foot long piece of the very finest herringbone Egyptian linen, woven for use as a Jewish burial cloth, around the time when Julius Caesar had been dead only a little over 75 years. It’s now kept in Portugal. Other ancient cloth samples have likewise survived the centuries– but these particular two still exist because they were protected and kept safe, and for what they were thought to be.

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The larger cloth was always venerated down the ages, for the indistinct marks of a naked wounded man somehow imprinted as a photographic negative on the cloth itself, thought to be the image of the dead Jesus Christ. In 1898, an Italian photographer Secondo Pia was startled and surprised as he developed his photographic negatives of the longer cloth– he saw a positive image, with incredible details, leaping out at him from the images: a person, in positive, not negative.

The interest and excitement went international. Debate, discussion and study continue to this day.

Now It Is Seen Clearly

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Photographer Secondo Pia, c. 1898

To our modern eyes, these cloths tell a tale so clearly, so contemporary, that our modern forensic science and pathology can give an exact autopsy and cause of death for the dead man who was probably once wrapped in them. The image on the larger cloth is anatomically and medically correct, down to visible bones, blood flow, nerve damage, and other signs of the horrific torture and violence done to this long-ago man.

The man revealed clearly for the first time was tall, well-muscled, and about 5’11”, 185 pounds. The best guess is that average heights in Biblical times in the Holy Land were 5′ 1″ up to as tall as 5′ 5″, so Jesus was tall for his day and age. Average adult male height in 2016 Israel is about 5′ 9″. He had a mid-shoulder short pony-tail.

Via Pia’s photo negatives, previously indistinct marks on the larger cloth were now seen clearly for the first time in 19 centuries– blood-stains, whipping injuries, a large wound on the lower right chest, skinned shoulder and knees, bruised and battered face, broken nose, swollen cheek, torn beard, blood-soaked hair and marked forehead, a dislocated left shoulder, a distended belly, and holes in both wrists and mid-foot.

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Whip marks by a flagrum on a life-sized crucifix modelled after the Shroud of Turin, Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Christ was likely whipped & later crucified naked. The full cross may be seen here.

Over 230 distinct whip-marks and other lacerations appear on the back and front of the body-image, from chest & shoulder to shin & calf. Most marks are typical of the ancient Roman flagrum whip, a wooden handle with three leather thongs and two lead weights per thong. This flogging alone was almost enough to kill him: it was considered so brutal and potentially deadly that no Roman Citizen was supposed to be whipped this way.

Study And Research

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As increasingly serious and scientific investigations, imaging, and other reports into the two cloths went on through the 20th century, photographic comparisons and overlays of both were done– the blood and pleural fluid stains and many other marks actually overlapped almost exactly. This is a statistically unlikely ‘coincidence’.

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The two ancient cloths, overlapped, into one image.

That is: these two cloths had been used on the same person, the smaller one doubled over and pinned roughly around the dead man’s head, as he hung upright on a Roman cross; the larger wrapped around him from foot to head to foot after a quick washing of the body, which was then wrapped with winding cloths, in a inclined grave bed. The larger cloth is consistent with 1st century Jewish burial customs. Crucially, the shroud-cloth shows no signs or stains of corruption and decay, no blood smears of the body being somehow being buried half-alive, or moved after it was placed in the tomb.

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Despite controversy, certain attention-seeking scientists, and odd theories, a lot of serious peer-reviewed and multi-disciplinary scientific investigations over the last 40 years have been done with the larger cloth– known as The Shroud Of Turin since the 1500s. It has given up many secrets, except one: what is it?

Science can tell what it isn’t (painting, photograph, scorch, or some other artistic technique, or known natural effect), but not what the image on the cloth is, or how it was made. Since science rightly has no experimental categories or laboratory machines which render ‘evidence of God’, or ‘Jesus signs’, or ‘miraculous event’, this is as it should be.

Some scientists speculate that some kind of UV directional radiation flash or intense energy-burst might well have created the image on the Shroud.  We weren’t there.. but the Shroud was. There’s even an app for you to look at the Shroud: Shroud 2.0.

Barrie Schwortz, raised an Orthodox Jew, educating Christians about the Turin Shroud. He created the yuge Shroud.com (see the Latebreaking News page), and he was also part of the 1977-8 STURP Research Team.

Our Abiding Doubts

Still, it’s a possible relic which which only revealed the deepest detail to us– with our tools and experiments and analysis– in our scientific, skeptical, yet spiritually modern seeking age. It’s almost like a God-given sign for OUR age.  If this fact does not move you, perhaps nothing will.

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To simply declare “It’s a fake! A forgery!” is not a statement of fact, nor does it answer the basic question “A fake what?” Or to argue “You only say that because you want it to be genuine!” invites the fair response “Fine… but perhaps you only say that because you want it not to be genuine!” Remember– lots of his enemies saw the miracles and results of miracles performed by Jesus. Note: these hostile eyewitnesses did not dispute that something extremely strange and unusual had happened, only what it meant, and by what power Jesus had performed such signs and wonders.

An Abiding Question

If these two relics are original and authentic, they reveal to us a snapshot of two related moments from Good Friday, Jerusalem, most likely on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. They show us the image of a body which has been tortured, crucified and killed, but a body which did not decay, and which somehow vanished from the burial cloths leaving a very unusual image on the Shroud, by means yet unknown and undiscovered.

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Jesus never offered invincible proof as to who he was and is, forcing faith and belief in him; he did no undeniable miracles before stadium mobs, nor obeyed the Devil’s suggestion that he leap from the top of the Jerusalem Temple, and drift safely to earth in plain view of the massed crowds. Evidence, likelihood, strong suggestions, a willingness to test by faith and love– only these can take us the rest of the way.

It either is as he said, or not, after all. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe“, the Risen Jesus says to the no-longer doubting Thomas. To the eyes of faith, the Shroud & Sudarium are transformed from newspaper and internet curiousities into a love letter to our souls, written in his most precious blood.

Me? I believe it’s His, and that He was who He claimed to be: the Son of God Incarnate, the Lord.

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“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev. 1:18)

Decisions, Decisions

After pondering the testimony of early eyewitnesses, archaeology and history, the possible relics like the Shroud and Sudarium, the science, the wondering and asking, we must still overcome our pride and resistance to faith, and our tendency to self-deceptive false faith, or else sheer unbelief. It’s a costly sacrifice. It’s a step of faith, from ‘believing about’, to believing IN’.

That is– not irrational faith, not crazy faith, not faith in any old whatnot, on anybody’s say-so, or faith in spite of the facts, evidence, and likelihoods– but believing in Jesus, after He has called us to seek Him, learn of Him, follow Him, then live and die in Him.

It’s all about trust and love, above all evidences or proofs– for has truly He died and really risen again from death; and ascended bodily into heaven to prepare a place for us, that we might live in union with him and all the saved and the saints.

He will only gently ask us, never  force us– to believe and so live in Him, forevermore. ~

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The noble Joseph, when he had taken down Thy most pure Body from the tree, wrapped it in fine linen, and anointed it with spices, and placed it in a new tomb.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The angel came to the myrrh-bearing women at the tomb and said: “Myrrh is fitting for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption.”

Eastern Orthodox Troparion (hymn of the day) of Good Friday

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A blessed Good Friday to you all, and this article is my gift for you–

With much love,

The Binks

 

 

Good Friday I

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Crucifixion, seen from the Cross by James Tissot, c. 1890

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THE SACRIFICE

O all ye, who pass by, whose eyes and mind
To worldly things are sharp, but to me blind;
To me, who took eyes that I might you find:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

The Princes of my people make a head
Against their Maker: they do wish me dead,
Who cannot wish, except I give them bread:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Without me each one, who doth now me brave,
Had to this day been an Egyptian slave.
They use that power against me, which I gave:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Mine own Apostle, who the bag did bear,
Though he had all I had, did not forbear
To sell me also, and to put me there:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

For thirty pence he did my death devise,
Who at three hundred did the ointment prize,
Not half so sweet as my sweet sacrifice:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Therefore my soul melts, and my heart’s dear treasure
Drops blood (the only beads) my words to measure:
O let this cup pass, if it be thy pleasure:
Was ever grief like mine?

These drops being temper’d with a sinner’s tears,
A balsam are for both the Hemispheres,
Curing all wounds, but mine; all, but my fears.
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Yet my Disciples sleep: I cannot gain
One hour of watching; but their drowsy brain
Comforts not me, and doth my doctrine stain:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Arise, arise, they come! Look how they run!
Alas! what haste they make to be undone!
How with their lanterns do they seek the sun!
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

With clubs and staves they seek me, as a thief,
Who am the way of truth, the true relief,
Most true to those who are my greatest grief:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Judas, dost thou betray me with a kiss ?
Canst thou find hell about my lips? and miss
Of life, just at the gates of life and bliss ?
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

See, they lay hold on me, not with the hands
Of faith, but fury; yet at their commands
I suffer binding, who have loosed their bands:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

All my Disciples fly; fear puts a bar
Betwixt my friends and me. They leave the star,
That brought the wise men of the East from far:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then from one ruler to another bound
They lead me: urging, that it was not sound
What I taught: Comments would the text confound.
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

The Priests and Rulers all false witness seek
‘Gainst him, who seeks not life, but is the meek
And ready Paschal Lamb of this great week:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then they accuse me of great blasphemy,
That I did thrust into the Deity,
Who never thought that any robbery:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Some said, that I the Temple to the floor
In three days razed, and raised as before.
Why, he that built the world can do much more:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then they condemn me all with that same breath,
Which I do give them daily, unto death.
Thus Adam my first breathing rendereth:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They bind, and lead me unto Herod: he
Sends me to Pilate. This makes them agree;
But yet their friendship is my enmity.
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Herod and all his bands do set me light,
Who teach all hands to war, fingers to fight,
And only am the Lord of hosts and might.
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Herod in judgment sits, while I do stand;
Examines me with a censorious hand:
I him obey, who all things else command:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

The Jews accuse me with despitefulness;
And vying malice with my gentleness,
Pick quarrels with their only happiness:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

I answer nothing, but with patience prove
If stony hearts will melt with gentle love.
But who does hawk at eagles with a dove?
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

My silence rather doth augment their cry;
My dove doth back into my bosom fly,
Because the raging waters still are high:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Hark how they cry aloud still, Crucify:
It is not fit He live a day
, they cry,
Who cannot live less than eternally:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Pilate a stranger holdeth off; but they,
Mine own dear people, cry, Away, away,
With noises confused frighting the day:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Yet still they shout, and cry, and stop their ears,
Putting my life among their sins and fears,
therefore with my blood on them and theirs:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

See how spite cankers things. These words aright
Used, and wish’d, are the whole world’s light:
But honey is their gall, brightness their night:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They choose a murderer, and all agree
In him to do themselves a courtesy;
For it was their own cause who killed me:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

And a seditious murderer he was:
But I the Prince of Peace; peace that doth pass
All understanding, more than heaven doth glass:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

He clave the stony rock, when they were dry;
But surely not their hearts, as I well try:
Why, Caesar is their only King, not I:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Ah, how they scourge me! yet my tenderness
Doubles each lash: and yet their bitterness
Winds up my grief to a mysteriousness:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They buffet me, and box me as they list,
Who grasp the earth and heaven with my fist,
And never yet, whom I would punish, miss’d:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Behold, they spit on me in scornful wise;
Who with my spittle gave the blind man eyes,
Leaving his blindness to mine enemies:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

My face they cover, though it be divine.
As Moses’ face was veiled, so is mine,
Lest on their double-dark souls either shine:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Servants and abjects flout me; they are witty:
Now prophesy who strikes thee, is their ditty.
So they in me deny themselves all pity:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

And now I am deliver’d unto death,
Which each one calls for so with utmost breath,
That he before me well-nigh suffereth:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Weep not, dear friends, since I for both have wept,
When all my tears were blood, the while you slept:
Your tears for your own fortunes should be kept:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

The soldiers lead me to the common hall;
There they deride me, they abuse me all:
Yet for twelve heavenly legions I could call:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then with a scarlet robe they me array;
Which shows my blood to be the only way,
And cordial left to repair man’s decay:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then on my head a crown of thorns I wear;
For these are all the grapes Sion doth bear,
Though I my vine planted and watered there:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

So sits the earth’s great curse in Adam’s fall
Upon my head; so I remove it all
From th’ earth unto my brows, and bear the thrall:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Then with the reed they gave to me before,
They strike my head, the rock from whence all store
Of heavenly blessings issue evermore:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They bow their knees to me, and cry, Hail, King:
Whatever scoffs or scornfulness can bring,
I am the floor, the sink, where they it fling:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Yet since man’s sceptres are as frail as reeds,
And thorny all their crowns, bloody their weeds;
I, who am Truth, turn into truth their deeds:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

The soldiers also spit upon that face
Which Angels did desire to have the grace,
And Prophets once to see, but found no place:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Thus trimmed, forth they bring me to the rout,
Who Crucify him, cry with one strong shout.
God holds his peace at man, and man cries out:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They lead me in once more, and putting then
Mine own clothes on, they lead me out again.
Whom devils fly, thus is he toss’d of men:
                                            Was ever grief like mine?

And now weary of sport, glad to engross
All spite in one, counting my life their loss,
They carry me to my most bitter cross:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

My cross I bear myself, until I faint:
Then Simon bears it for me by constraint,
The decreed burden of each mortal Saint:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

O all ye who pass by, behold and see:
Man stole the fruit, but I must climb the tree;
The tree of life to all, but only me:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Lo, here I hang, charged with a world of sin,
The greater world o’ the two; for that came in
By words, but this by sorrow I must win:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Such sorrow, as if sinful man could feel,
Or feel his part, he would not cease to kneel,
Till all were melted, though he were all steel.
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

But, O my God, my God! why leavest thou me,
The Son, in whom thou dost delight to be?
My God, my God—————
                                             Never was grief like mine.

Shame tears my soul, my body many a wound;
Sharp nails pierce this, but sharper that confound;
Reproaches, which are free, while I am bound:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Now heal thyself, Physician; now come down.
Alas! I do so, when I left my crown
And Father’s smile for you, to feel his frown:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

In healing not myself, there doth consist
All that salvation, which ye now resist;
Your safety in my sickness doth subsist:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Betwixt two thieves I spend my utmost breath,
As he that for some robbery suffereth.
Alas! what have I stolen from you? death:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

A king my title is, prefix’d on high;
Yet by my subjects I’m condemn’d to die
A servile death in servile company:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They gave me vinegar mingled with gall,
But more with malice: yet, when they did call,
With Manna, Angels’ food, I fed them all:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

They part my garments, and by lot dispose
My coat, the type of love, which once cured those
Who sought for help, never malicious foes:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

Nay, after death their spite shall further go;
For they will pierce my side, I full well know;
That as sin came, so Sacraments might flow:
                                             Was ever grief like mine?

But now I die; now all is finished.
My woe, man’s weal: and now I bow my head:
Only let others say, when I am dead,
Never was grief like mine.

 
by George Herbert 1593-1633

Because We Said So…

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~ THERE IS a pernicious and stupid idea in parts of the West, that if we say so– in some meeting or parliament or committee– that it becomes so. Any pooling of ignorance will find and make things true, because committee.

Like one ‘Bully-Free’ school my kids attended, where the bullies roamed free, because.. there were no bullies. There was a school policy, you must understand. I took my kids to martial arts classes, and the imaginary bullying they were experiencing stopped almost immediately– I informed the principal that if the kids had to defend themselves, I would back them up if they were in the right 100%; if there was in fact ‘No Bullying’, then my kids were doing their part to get in shape.

The other great part about the ‘bully free’ school?– the victim got blamed for bringing up any bullying to school officials. Lose-lose, and little sociopaths can do as they want.

Feel The Derp

We have a larger version of this special kind of stupid rampant in church and society. We need some sort of rules to conform to or rebel against, so if we will not consult divine law and 2 millennia of Romano-Christian law and custom, then we have to make sh*t up as we go along, but enforce it as if it was the old kind of lawful just authority. Hence, speech codes, enforced celebrating of every kind of chosen sexual behaviour; and in the progressivized church, committee rules and endless newfangled concoctions imposed as mandatory policy– until the next group of rights-screamers or innovators come along.

The-Stupid

The End Of All This

One day, we all will be dead. Coming to the Judgement Seat of Christ, we cannot hope to plead “Well you see, Lord, we had a number meetings about all that stuff, and decided all the judgment-y bits of the Bible weren’t relevant. After all, we were duly elected. We have our rights.”

That is, if we stick to the idea that we can manufacture truth and goodness out of our own wills & self-assertion, we will have actually chosen sit on eternal time-wasting committees with no coffee breaks, in the warmish place where everybody thinks they are always right, and if that God-fella thinks otherwise, too bad for him. We send ourselves to hell.

To our wayward hearts which seek freedom and enslavement and not to choose, we are confronted with reality– His service IS perfect freedom; He IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other way to partake of eternal life than to receive it from God, by seeking his will, obeying his commands, and washing in his blood. ~

 

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