Cross Experience 2017-18

                                                Cross Experience  2017-18

This past weekend gave us insight again, on how our Savior lived, died and was resurrected to give us the promise of eternal life.  So be it.

One of the songs we sang at Celebration Lutheran Church, was “Where You There When They Crucified Our Lord”. That song always get to me.  It is somewhat of a sad song, with much meaning.

I was meditating today and the scene of the crucifixion was imprinted on my mind. I started to remember the Scripture writings of the experience that our Lord, Jesus Christ went through.

In this respect, I WAS THERE!!!! 

I could see the three crosses stuck in the holes on the hill of the Skull as it was called.  I could smell the odors of the area where death was lingering, the smell of feces and urine was present from unwanted voids from the many people that had been put to death there. 

I could hear the wailing of the people that were in attendance to observe the deaths of those on the crosses and of those to be yet hung.  The Roman guards had a long list of those that required them to put to death.  It was not a nice scene or one to be a part of at that time.

The three on the crosses were there as described.  They were attached to the wooden trees with iron stakes that impaled their wrists to the horizontal beam. This helped to prevent the victim to pull loose and fall to the ground. It was not a pretty sight to see and I was emotional about it.

I was a spectator, and as such, I somewhat also had freedom to move around the area, which was strange to know and do at the time.  I did so.

I went past one of the three and looked up at him. At that moment he was not moving, or making any comments.  He looked ghastly and drawn and near death.

I finally arrived at the cross of Jesus Christ.  I hesitated to look up at Him.  I looked at one of the guards and he eyed me to see what I was going to do, if anything.

Jesus looked down at me.  He focused his look right at me.  He cocked His head and whispered something to me and I strained to hear.   He repeated it, and I got closer to Him and heard.  He said, “I know who you are”.   He said the exact same thing to me when I was observing Him get baptized, by John the Baptist, which I have reported on before. 

This statement startled me! It made me think of the baptism and what I saw then.  I was an observer then, as I was at the cross, and it made me think of myself and my relationship with God and Jesus.

I stood with mouth open and eyes open, looking up at Jesus. Then, I saw that by looking down at me it caused the crown of thorns placed on his head to move and disturb the wound they made.  A drop of blood formed on one of the thorns and I watched as it rolled down the cluster of wooden spikes in His head. 

Then it dropped toward me.  I watched as it sped to meet me at the bottom of the cross. I did not move. It continued falling and SPLAT, it hit me on my forehead.  I backed up away from the cross. I continued backing until I came to a boulder, behind me. 

I looked up at Jesus and my eyes teared and I wept.  His look was one of compassion and love and His head nodded up and down.

I thought of today’s Eucharist communion practice where we hear, “This is the body, given for us, then this is the blood shed for us”.   I raised my hand and touched my forehead where the drop of blood from my Savior Jesus Christ had landed.

My finger found the spot and it came away red with the liquid life of Jesus.  I looked at it and then I did something that was foreign to me, I kissed my finger where the blood was smeared on the tip of my finger. 

I, at that time, felt the Presence of God be a part of me.  His blood that he shed, was shared with me.  I knew at that moment what it was all about.  He, Jesus Christ DID die for me, DID give me the opportunity to live forever in paradise with Him.

I was blessed with His presence in person before at what I called The Happening, I had experienced His presence before after I had the stupor, I in my prayerful meditation had once again had His presence be brought to me like, when He was baptized my John the Baptist in the Jordon River.

Oh, my God, my God, how can I thank you for your blessings!

Peace be with you all

Dennis Betts

The Cross 2017-19

                                                                             The Cross    2017-19 

This is what I have published before in 2014, and represents what I feel about “The Cross”, which I wear to remind me who I am, what I am and why I am in relation to God. The cross is, like I state, a symbol, but to me, also, a way of life now.

Easter is a few days from now. I heard a man refer to it as “Resurrection Day”. That was interesting, as Easter is a day when we do remember Jesus on the Cross, but Resurrection Day is the day where it all comes together and is why we are Christians, and why we have the promise of eternal life, and not just the life we live here on Earth.

The Cross

A symbol to some, a statement for

others, a means of expression;

a way of telling a belief of

the mind in a way using no words.

 

A simplistic unadorned object

from the earth, representing a

means, a way of reaching the

universe, the heavens above.

 

An object signifying pain

and death, of cruelty beyond

description, but promising a

life of joy beyond belief.

 

A sign of a son of God

of suffering for the sons

and daughters of the Father

for the promise of eternal life.

 

Den Betts

 

Sacrifice 2015-11

I thought I better post this before it becomes February. Since we just celebrated Christmas and Easter will be upon us soon, this might be good to read now – DB

 

Sacrifice   2015-11

It is January,2015 as I write this about- sacrifice. The Christian world will be celebrating Easter on April 5, 2015 and, of course, Good Friday on the 3rd. The way my life is going, it will be here in no time, so I thought I would get a head start on the subject.

What is Good Friday and Easter?  When I was a kid Easter meant chocolate and yellow colored marshmallow chicks that we ate, but it meant nothing else.  Christmas was something about getting toys and having a big meal, but in both cases, nothing about church, Jesus Christ or what those days really meant. I found that was my loss and I did not know it at the time.

So, what is sacrifice? I heard something stated about Christmas in that it was the prelude to Easter! Wow, never thought about it in any way. But when you do think about it, the birth of Jesus Christ was for us  as people on Earth, and it was in the Sacrifice at Good Friday that led up to Easter that was why there are Christians today.

What is sacrifice again?    Food for thought:   Romans 3:22-25 “This righteousness from God comes through faith is Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of  His blood.”

Another verse would be from Hebrews, Chapter 10: 8-10   “ 8.First, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

I believe I am adding the above two Chapters in defense of my using the word sacrifice in conjunction with speaking about Jesus Christ.  I was told, at one time, that it, the crucifixion, should not be looked at as a sacrifice by the man-God Jesus, but I really cannot remember the exact WHY I should not do so. I ignore that request anyhow, and when I pray, part of my prayers say, “and thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, so that I have the chance of eternal life”. I have been told many things during my lifetime that I take with a grain of salt and discount them for one reason or another.

I can remember recently (in the last couple of years) whereas I “projected myself, in my mind, to be at the foot of the cross and watching Jesus die, so that my sins, and all other peoples, can be forgiven, because of this selfless act. It was eerie, scary, and life like to me at the time.  You can read in the Bible the things that happened to Jesus on Good Friday, but I felt His presence, felt his pain and suffering all at the same time.

Jesus Christ SUFFERED, so that we may live again. I fear not death, because I will have the chance to be with Him in what people call Heaven or Paradise.  Those that do not believe, I can only hope the best for them and do pray they will join me through the grace of God.

So, Christmas is more than toys, and Easter is more than good things to eat. There is meaning in the holidays more than what many of us acknowledge. Nobody knows the exact day of the birth of Jesus, but we do celebrate it on Dec 25th or the Orthodox do on Jan 6th. They are joyous days for the Christian faith, and I am so glad I have seen the light, of knowing what they mean now.

Den Betts