by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the chief priests
and Pharisees came to arrest Jesus and brought a crowd with them. The King
James Version uses the word band. Other versions state multitude or detachment.
But the word is translated from the Latin speira (Strong’s 4686) and
denotes a Roman military cohort of 600 men. This shows what a threat Jesus
was to the religious establishment.
The Hebrews were fed supernatural bread that
met their physical needs for 40 years. This bread contained every nutrient a
human body needed for health and sustenance. Once they entered the promised
land and had opportunity to grow and harvest their own food, the manna ceased.
That bread’s purpose ended.
Sheep are dumb animals. They have no sense of direction or thoughts of danger until it is too late. They can wander away from the pasture where they are provided and cared for because their head is always down grazing on the grass. Once they are out of sight of the flock and the shepherd, they start bleating for help.
Religions the world over create doctrines that
claim a way to God. They all involve performance. But there is only one true
way to God. And it is through Jesus.
As humans, we have all experienced the loss of
loved ones through death. We grieve because we no longer have the earthly relationship
with them we had before. But as believers, we have the hope of the resurrection
where we will be reunited with our friends and families and never be apart
again. Our separation is temporary.
My husband and I toured some caverns a few years ago. The stalactites and stalagmites were illuminated with multi-colored lights which reflected off the cave walls. But when the guide turned off all the lights, the inky darkness could be felt. Fear engulfed me until he flipped the lights back on.
Soul darkness does the same thing. It
imprisons the victims and paralyzes people with fear. A hurting soul reaches
out for anything they think will bring relief. But unless it is Christ’s
freedom, the remedy they seek only causes more pain. God’s love through Christ
shines on empty hearts and translates us out of the darkness of deceit.
A gift of flowers is an appreciated expression of love or friendship. The bouquet soaks up water and the blooms remain fresh for a few days. But over time, the petals wilt and crumble. While the plants appear to be alive, the flowers died the day they were detached from the stems.