‘Save Yourself’

It is completely beyond belief that Jesus, the Son of God, the creator of the world should hang helpless, bleeding and dying on a cross. The crowd who passed by shouted, ‘Save yourself, come down from the cross.’ The scribes jeered at Him, ‘He cannot save himself.’

That was the irony of the situation. The all-powerful Jesus could so easily have saved Himself. He had the power and way beyond to do that. His real power and strength lay in the fact that He didn’t save Himself. He knew He had to die and rise again to be able to save the sins of the world. No wonder He said ‘Father forgive them. They know not what they do.’ His life, His miracles and His teaching were not the important thing about Him. His dying and resurrection signified who He was and what He was about.

It is so sad for the people who regard Easter time as just another holiday or an interruption in their working week. They know about Ramadan and the Passover as religious times but fail to understand the significance of Easter. It is not just another Bank Holiday.


As Jesus travelled up to Jerusalem for the last time before His death on the cross, because He was both human and divine He would have had double dread and agony for the trials that awaited Him. His earthy part would have shrunk away from the coming horror; His divine part would have set His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem; God’s will would be done.

Then at Bethany He was met by the woman with an alabaster jar of this very expensive perfume. Because of her extreme love and devotion towards Jesus she broke it open and poured it over His head. With her overwhelming love I can imagine she shook the jar so that Jesus received every last drop of the fragrant perfume. She had found the Messiah, nothing and no-one would stop her.

In this story we often think about the woman, but this morning I want to think about the difference this act would have meant to Jesus. In this very last week before the crucifixion, He went to the cross having received this great love. As He hung on the cross I wonder if He remembered the action of this woman as the aroma of the perfume mingled with the sweat ran down His face.

Practice what You Preach

When I came across these words in Matthew in 23 twice in one day, I felt God was trying to speak to me. But then I fell to thinking about the many phrases from the Bible which we use in every day speech.’Don’t cast your pearls before swine,’ ‘Let the dead bury the dead,’ The first shall be last,’ Physician heal yourself,’ ‘Vengeance is mine’ (misquoted.)

I had a non-Christian relative who was amazed (and horrified) when I told him that when he ‘crossed his fingers’ he was referring to the cross and ‘touching wood’ was again thinking of the cross.

Of course, the Bible also has serious words to say to us as Christians!

Getting Nearer

Each day this week and next week we are getting nearer to the time to when Jesus dies on the cross for our sins and then rises on the third day. We know what is going to happen on the 15th of this month; the disciples didn’t. These men didn’t know that their time with Jesus was down to a few days. They imagined Jesus their Master would continue preaching and healing and some believed He would then conquer the Romans. It was outside their imagination that He would be crucified and their dreams would come crashing down. From where they were standing they didn’t know the concept of substitution and redemption.

Matters are so different for us. We are the other side of the crucifixion and resurrection. We know Jesus dies and rises from death. We know it was for our sins. Their incomplete picture is made complete for us. We can rejoice and not weep. Hallelujah Christ has risen.