This Same Jesus


I wish I could have been there when Jesus fed the 5000. I can only imagine how it happened. Did the bread grow out and the fish enlarge? Maybe He broke the bread and fish into 12 pieces each, then give each disciple one piece each and then as they give the pieces to a person, there was still some there.

I have always wished I could have been there when he spit in the blind man’s eye. Did he neatly let the saliva drip from his tongue and politely wipe it on the guy’s eye? Or maybe he reared back like a tobacco-chewing Okie and let ‘er fly. Either way, the blind man received his sight.

I wish I could have seen him with the children. I think he probably rough-housed with them. Maybe he got down on all fours and let them ride his back like a horse. Maybe he drew pictures and wrote words in the dirt with them like he did with the Pharisees.

I wish I could have been there when Jesus rose from the grave. Just exactly how did he get the stone rolled back? Did he speak a word to it and it rolled by itself? Or did He touch it with his little pinkie and the sheer force of His touch propelled it back?

What about the time he suddenly appeared to the disciples in the room without coming through the door? Did he stick one hand through the wall first, then his shoulder, then his body? Or did He suddenly appear whole in a flash of light? Maybe he slid through like smoke.

But how exciting would it have been to be standing with the 500 disciples on the mountain, talking to Him, hearing His voice, and all of a sudden He started to rise up in the air.  Evidently He rose very slowly. It must have taken a while for him to get up so high the people couldn’t see Him anymore.

 “And while they were gazing intently into heaven as He went, behold two men [dressed] in white robes suddenly stood beside them, who said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was caught away and lifted up from among you into heaven, will return in [just] the same way in which you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11 Amplified Bible.

 I may not have been there and seen all that happened during Jesus’ time on earth, but one day I will see Him return–not another Jesus, not another Messiah, not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Sun Yong Moon, not someone claiming to be Jesus.

 Yes, this same Jesus is going to appear in the clouds just like He left.

Decoration Day

When I was a kid, we always visited the cemeteries on Memorial Day, or as we called it Decoration Day, to decorate graves of our relatives. Mama even decorated graves of old family friends and lonely graves that didn’t have any flowers.

 We spent the day driving to the cemetery, decorating the graves with Mama’s roses and snowballs in Mason jars, eating a picnic, and visiting with relatives we seldom saw. While the grown-ups talked, we cousins ran and played in the grave-yard, being careful not to step on the graves.

We always took photographs of tombstones. We still do—pictures and pictures year after year of the same tombstones.

One year probably about 1961 Uncle Cecil took Super-8 movies of us at the cemetery. Mom and three of my aunts were standing by the car when Aunt Irene, the staunch Pentecostal Holiness lady, decided to show us how to do the Charleston (dance). My cousin Donnie who was my age about 12 danced by in front of the camera making clown faces, then his brother Larry who was about 10 at the time started doing cartwheels. In the cemetery. On Memorial Day.

My dad is buried in that cemetery, as well as my mom’s parents, and my great grandparents. As much as I hate to think about it, if Jesus doesn’t return soon, I’ll be buried there too.

The ideal place to be buried is on top of a hill, with the body facing east, because Jesus Christ will appear in the eastern sky.  

If you travel to Jerusalem to visit the grave of Jesus, you’ll find any empty tomb. The cave door  is open and anyone can look in to see there are  no bones in Jesus’ grave. His body is not there.

When Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus’ dead body in the cave tomb he donated for Jesus’ burial, a large stone was placed over the entrance. The angels didn’t have to move the stone for Jesus to get out; they moved it to let the women in on Sunday morning.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen.” Luke 24:5-6

Jesus is alive!

Jesus Is Alive

I went with the other women, following along the marks on the pathway made by the cross He dragged. Spatters of blood muddied up the pathway. Even from a distance the groans that escaped His mouth sent daggers into my heart.

The men had fled. There was no hope of saving Him, so they saved themselves. But we couldn’t let Him die alone. The soldiers knew they had nothing to fear from us women so they left us alone.

His mother was with us. She had long pondered in her heart the words of Simeon, the day they took Jesus to be dedicated to the Lord. “Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also.” And now she knew. All these years she had kept these things in her heart.

After the soldiers nailed Him to the tree, we stood at His feet, mourning and weeping, until He turned to us. “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children.”

John who truly loved Jesus more than the threat of death stood at the foot of the cross, holding Mary’s arm. Jesus said to him, “John, take care of Mother for me. Mother, John is your son now.”

Jesus only spoke a few words after that. “I am thirsty,” and “It is finished,” then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. And He was gone. The soldiers came by to break His legs, so He would die quicker, but seeing He was dead, they only jabbed the spear into His side. His blood and water ran freely to the

Joseph of Arimathea secretly begged for His body and buried Jesus in his own new tomb.

On Sunday morning, the other women and I went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body and prepare it, but the stone was rolled back from the entrance and it was empty. Two men in shining white clothing spoke to us, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen.”

I remained there weeping while the others ran to tell the disciples. The gardener, I supposed, stepped out. “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Sir, where have you taken His body?” Then He replied, “Mary,” and I knew it was the Lord.

Then I remembered His words, “On the third day, I will rise.”

Jesus is alive.  And I believed.