Thoughts of Christ’s Life as Bookends

I’ve been thinking about the bookends, so to speak, of Jesus’ life on this earth before His resurrection. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the first person to think of this, nor will I be the best at explaining it. I just wanted to write this idea down and see if I’m wrong or if there’s things that I’m missing.

To say that a pattern of 3’s occurs in the Bible is an understatement. We have the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). God created us with body, mind and soul. The creation account can be broken down into 2 different sets of 3 days. Jesus was 33 when He died for us and His ministry was 3 years long. These are just a few of the many, many examples.

As for the bookends I mentioned earlier, I’ve been thinking about them all Advent. Jesus has three different things with Him at His birth and death. His only possessions, if you would, are: dung, blood and wood.
1. Dung at birth was from animal vs. dung at death was our sins.
2. Blood shed at birth was Mary’s vs  blood shed at His death was His blood shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.
3. The wood at the birth was the manger He was laid in vs the wood at His death was the cross which He carried.

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

“He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, or angel, or ruler, or any one of those who bear sway over earthly things, or one of those to whom the government of things in the heavens has been entrusted, but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things—by whom He made the heavens—by whom he enclosed the sea within its proper bounds—whose ordinances all the stars faithfully observe—from whom the sun has received the measure of his daily course to be observed— whom the moon obeys, being commanded to shine in the night, and whom the stars also obey, following the moon in her course; by whom all things have been arranged, and placed within their proper limits, and to whom all are subject—the heavens and the things that are therein, the earth and the things that are therein, the sea and the things that are therein—fire, air, and the abyss—the things which are in the heights, the things which are in the depths, and the things which lie between.”

Mathetes to Diognetus
ch. vii

Ante-Father Quote of the Day

“The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling in the heavens. The soul, when but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number. God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake.”

Mathetes* Diognetus
ch. vi

* Note:  [a.d. 130.] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title (Mathetes) “a disciple of the Apostles,” … read more here.

Message from Pres. Harrison on "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell"

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

In a surprising turn of events in the waning days of the current Congress, the effort to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has gained new momentum with the announcement today of support from Republican senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine).  The repeal may be voted on in the Senate as early as tomorrow.  For a number of reasons, we encourage you to let your elected leaders know that The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue.

 

In terms of our spirituality, we are all alike sinners (Rom. 3:9ff.) in need of repentance and forgiveness.  For 2,000 years the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin.  The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin. We believe the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will sorely inhibit our military chaplains’ ability to call all sinners to repentance.

 

If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in our military branches—a behavior that we believe God’s Word identifies as intrinsically sinful (Rom. 1:26ff)—the implications are profound.  Military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling will find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men (Acts 5:29).      

Lastly, we express our concern as citizens that a move by the government to essentially affirm homosexual behavior within the armed forces will endanger the morale or esprit de corps—the unit cohesion and the primary mission of the military, namely, to prosecute and win the war—of the men and women who serve and willingly place themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.  

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge you to share this message today with your colleagues, congregational members, and any others whom you believe would benefit from it and be moved to contact their government representatives. 

 

You may find the contacts for your senators and representatives here:  http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/

 

For more information on this issue, see The Lutheran Study Bible, Page 1911, on Romans 1.

God bless you.

Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

 

Dr. Mark J. Schreiber,
CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.)
Director, LCMS World Mission’s Ministry to the Armed Forces

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

“And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Clement of Rome
ch. xxxii