A Whistle-stop Tour Of #Ancient #Jewish #Worship #Music & Techniques

Hey!

Here’s a whistle stop tour of why Christians sing in church:

A History of Christian Worship

The early church was comprised of Jews who had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore, to understand what contemporary Christian worship is and why it is there, one must look at historical Jewish worship, as this is the foundation that modern Christian worship is based on.

The beginnings of Jewish music are not known, what is not shrouded in mystery is known by what the Bible tells us (Barton 2014, p.7). The book of Psalms is full of many musical directions of how to worship God, however, as there are no sound recordings or musical notation related to the musical directions in the psalms, we can only speculate as to how they would have sounded. The first mention in the Bible of music, a musical instrument and a musician is when a woman called Adah gives birth to her son whom she named Jubal, in Genesis 4:20-22:

“[20] Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. [21] His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. [22] Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.” (Genesis 4:20-22 NLT)

Here, we are introduced to three primary professions on earth, apart from tending the Garden of Eden, like Adam. Those who work with livestock (v.20), the musician (v.21) and the craftsman in bronze and iron (v.22) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The Hebrews, (as they were known before they arrived in Israel), were given instructions to worship God in the books of the Law, which, at the time, also involved animal sacrifice. They were told what to sacrifice and when but no specifics was given regarding worship (Williams 2018, Origins of Christian Worship).

There are a few examples describing how worship was lead in the Bible but again we do not know how it sounded. We read early on in the Bible that after leaving Egypt, Miriam, the sister of Moses, took a timbrel and led the other women, who also had timbrels and to praise God in Exodus 15; 20 and 21. In Leviticus, we are introduced to the Shofar, this is a Rams horn which was blown by a priest on feast days. The Shofar is still played today and sounds like a trumpet or horn. In Numbers 10:1-10, we are introduced to another kind of horn, the silver trumpet, like the Shofar, this is not strictly a musical instrument but is also only used by the priests who blew it to signal to the Hewbrew’s that they were moving the camp.

Fast-forward many generations to the book of Samuel we discover that there were prophets who were also musicians. Saul met them following an encounter with Samuel:

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. (1 Samuel 10:5 NLT)

Music was also used for therapeutic reasons, David played the harp for King Saul, conducted under what has become known as the Psalmist anointing, which is “…the power coming from God in the music to drive evil spirits away” (Barton 2014, p.9):

And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. (1 Samuel 16:23 NLT).

Later, once David became king and he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem there was dancing; singing; they were playing lyres; harps; tambourines and other percussive instruments (2 Samuel 6:5) and Rams horn’s were played in 2 Samuel 6.15. David also assigned men from the Levite clans to sing and play music in worship to God in the tabernacle, (which at the time was a tent), 24 hours a day and they did so until his heir and son Solomon built a temple made of brick (1 Chronicles 6:31-32). In fact, the whole of 1 Chronicles 25 also shows us that David appointed entire families from the Levite clans to play music, this would have amounted to several thousand singers and musicians (Barton 2014, p.9). David also appointed a choir leader, who functioned, I imagine, much in the same way as a modern choir leader (1 Chronicles 15:16) (Nehemiah 12:46). When David established the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, he personally paid for musicians out of his treasury:

“[4] David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the LORD–to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. [5] Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. [6] The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.” (1 Chronicles 16:4-6 NLT)

Before David’s Tabernacle (tent) was erected worship was quite solemn, as directed by Moses and involved animal sacrifice. In David’s Tabernacle worship livened up. This could have been because David was quite a creative and passionate person. The Bible tells us that he was a poet, harpist and singer, as well as a shepherd, King and warrior. The Bible also tells us that David also appeared to enjoy dancing as well, see 2 Samuel 16:14 (Barton 2014, p.15).

Once, Solomon, David’s son and heir had built the Temple of the Lord, he celebrated this with music, 120 priests playing trumpets and God responded to this by filling the Temple with His presence:

“[12] And the Levites who were musicians–Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers–were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. [13] The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. [14] The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 NLT) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The instruments used in the Temple worship in King Solomon’s times were:

Kinnor – A Harp or Lyre – a plucked string instrument probably with 12 strings. It is the national instrument of Israel still today.
Ugav – a flute or shawm – a wood instrument
Tof – a small tambourine-type instrument often played by women
Machalat – The nature of this instrument cannot be established

 

Non-musical instruments

Shofar – Ram’s horn
Pa’amon – Bells
Chatzotzerah – The Silver trumpet which God told Moses to make and used to signal the onward movement of the Hebrews in the wilderness and at other festival times – blown only by priests.
The tabret (or trimbrel) – was probably a small hand held percussion instrument (Rothmüller 1967) (Barton 2014, p. 16).

Following the destruction of this temple and the exile and return of the Israelites to Israel, worship changed slightly but the basic elements remained the same and there were still many musicians, Ezra records that 128 singers returned from exile with him (Ezra 2:41), later there were 200 women and men singers (Ezra 2:65). Nehemiah records in Nehemiah 7:67 that the singers were so numerous that they built villages around the capital to accommodate them and they were given a quota of food each day (Nehemiah 11:23) (Barton 2014, pp.17-18). What changed was the tone of worship during the exile of the Israelites from their own country to Babylon by the Babylonians. Singing in the synagogues was briefly banned, possibly due to the sorrow of exile as well as the rise of emphasis on the law by the Pharisee’s Some things were added, like the formalized order of public prayers, still used in Synagogues today, was established by the Great Assembly of Jewish leaders. This is known as the synagogue system (Barton 2014, p.19).

 

Historical Liturgical Synagogue Worship

The following are institutionalised liturgical practices from the synagogue system:

The Cantor

The Cantor was the leader of chanting prayers, psalms and scriptures in the synagogue, which became the dominant form of music in the synagogues for many centuries, following the lifting of the ban on singing in the synagogues. The chant was a liturgical practice that involved a number of syllables being sung to each note of a short melodic line that is repeated throughout the passage being read/sung. The cantor would take contemporaneous melodic patters or compose his own melodies. Chanting of Psalms was often done antiphonally with two choirs groups to lead the congregation. Rabbis did not allow women to sing, so all music was male led by men and boys and chanting was monophonic. The scales differed depending on the spatio-temporal location of the synagogue as the local folk music culture often influenced the Cantor’s musical creations (Barton 2014, p.21).

 

Cantillation

In the Cantillation the cantor or leader singer of a synagogue sings the declamatory form of the weekly text of the Torah, and the Prophets (Nevi’im) using pre-existing musical phrases. The musical phrases are chosen according to the text and book of the Bible being cantillated. There is no rhythm as different musical motives are combined together. Although there is reason to believe that cantillation goes back as far as Ezra in the Bible times – about 2,500 years ago – most melodies used today are no older that about the 15th or 16th century (Rubin and Baron 2006, pp.67-69) (Barton 2014, pp.21-22).

 

Jewish Liturgical Modes

A set of musical modes are called ‘Nusach’ which can refer either to a set of modes, melodies and also a set text or prayer. These modes or melodies link the prayer to a time of year or day and also indicate what prayer is to be sing or recited. These melodies became standardized, as did the prayers associated with the melodies. The Three main modes are: Ahavah Rabbah, Magein Avot and Adonai Malach. Today they are improvised from time to time) (Barton 2014, p.22).

 

Synagogue Prayers

The prayers of the Synagogues were chanted usually led by a Cantor and a male choir (if available). The Cantors usually sang in a florid and melodious style that was either of their own devising (before the modes became formalized) or influence by the local culture’s melodic lines. After the formalizing of the prayers the following forms emerged and remain until this day in the modern synagogues:

Piyyut: – a Jewish liturgical poem that is sung, chanted or spoken. A lot of Piyytim are poetic in character and often follow the order of an acrostic poem using the Hebrew Alphabet in order at the beginning of each line.

Zemiros: Jewish Hymns sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish or Ladino, sung at holidays, the Shabbat meal on Fridays or any other day.

Nigun: religious songs sung by groups that involve voice and with no formal words; syllables such as bim-bim-bam or ai-ai-ai are sung.

Pizmonim: Traditional Jewish songs associated with Middle Eastern Sephardic Jews – but are also among the North African and Mizrahi Jews. Texts may come from the Old Testament or by poets. They are composed to praise God and contain traditional teaching. They are often sung at religious rituals or festivities such as circumcisions, weddings Bar Mitzvahs or other ceremonies.

Baqashot: a collection of songs and prayers sung by Sephardic Jewish communities during Shabbat, but also may be recited during the long weeks of winter) (Barton 2014, pp.22-23).

That’s all folks!

Bibliography

Books

Barton, B. 2014. The Music of the Jews: An Overview. Fellowship Diploma dissertation. National College of Music, London.

Rothmüller, A. M. 1967. The Music of the Jews; an Historical Appreciation. South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff.

Rubin, E. and J. H. Baron. 2006. Music in Jewish History and Culture. Sterling Heights. MI: Harmonie Park.

 

Websites

Williams, B. ‘Origins of Christian Worship’ Academia Web site, at: <https://www.academia.edu/26562401/Origins_of_Christian_Worship > 15 October 2018

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Adam’s Spare Rib Story: More Significant Than You Think! #Jesus #Bible #Christianity #AdamandEve

Hey everyone I dug into the archives of my laptop to find some old notes I made about things. Here’s something I wrote in August 2011, just before I graduated First Class (heh!) from my degree! The conclusions are from 2019!

 

The story of Adams rib was more important than you think.

God put Adam to sleep and took out his rib and made Eve out of it:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'”

This means Eve was actually a part of Adam before she and he were separated and became two.

Now Eve was Adam’s wife and Adam was Eve’s husband. In Ephesians 5:28 it says:

(Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT) “[28] In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. [29] No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”

So a wife is a part of a husband’s own body – that s why when you, a husband, love your wife you love yourself. You look after yourself so you look after your wife – Jesus looks after us because we are a part of Him as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:15:

(1 Corinthians 6:15 NLT) “[15] Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!”

Also, again in 1 Corinthians 12:

(1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27 NLT) “[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. … [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

If your foot was broken you wouldn’t leave it alone? Paul shows, using the body metaphor how silly it is t neglect parts of the body of Christ AND THIS INCLUDES YOUR WIFE:

(1 Corinthians 12:15-27 NLT) “[15] If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. [16] And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” [22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, [24] while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. [25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

The weakest, most humble parts are sometimes the most necessary it says here. Your wife is physically weaker than you and socially disenfranchised, meaning that she is in a more humbled position than you, especially in Anglo-American societies that are Patriarchal. However, your wife is super necessary. Bear that in mind.

Anyway, back to Adam’s rib…

As I said, Adam was a metaphor of Jesus. The Bible even goes further to actually call Jesus the second Adam:

(1 Corinthians 15:45 NLT) “[45] The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit.”

In fact! The Bible even goes further to actually call Adam the Son of God in the genealogy that Luke provides that goes from Jesus all the way back to Adam:

(Luke 3:38 NLT) “[38] Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.”

It’s true. Adam (earthly man) and Jesus (heavenly man) were the only humans males that were not born through coitus. Making Adam and Jesus the only males who truly only had God as their father. In the same fashion, Eve (earthly woman) is the only woman not born through coitus. Meaning that Eve was the only woman who truly had no other father than God as well. In the same fashion, The Bride of Christ (the church) (spiritual woman), which is “born of the Spirit”, is the only female entity not born of coitus either, meaning that the church truly has no other father than God.

Just a quick explanation of this and the meaning behind this earthly man then heavenly man, earthly woman then heavenly woman symbolism:

(1 Corinthians 15:46-54 NLT) “[46] What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. [47] Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. [48] Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. [49] Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. [50] What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. [51] But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! [52] It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. [53] For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. [54] Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

This further explains the metaphorical relationship behind Adam and Christ, Adam shows humanity before salvation and Christ shows humanity after it.

Back to the Rib again lol… Now, in order to have his bride Adam had his side opened in Genesis 2:21-22:

(Genesis 2:21-22 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

This was the epiphany Jesus gave me all these years ago….

…In order for Jesus to have His bride, The Bride of Christ, which is the church, Jesus had to have his side opened as well. In fact, the last place Jesus bled on earth was His side:

(John 19:34 NLT) “[34] One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.”

The only difference between the two injuries is that God closed Adam’s wound:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.

…but Jesus’ wound was left open:

(John 20:19-20 NLT) “[19] That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. [20] As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!”

Fascinating! Do you see the relationship and similarities between Adam and Jesus now? And the Rib story? It’s there staring you in the face!

 

Closing Thoughts

The only thing I can say is do not expect that God is going to give you your perfect wife without dealing with you first. You want something nice. You must work for it and be prepared to sacrifice in order to have it. It may be that you have negative aspects of your personality that need to be purged? Or God just might just want to change you to make you the best version of you that you can be.

Jesus had to sacrifice for nice things and He is God, how do you expect to have nice things without sacrifice? Remember what Jesus said about what He went through and what could happen to us:

(John 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. [19] The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. [20] Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.”

We are the followers of Jesus, if Jesus had to sacrifice for His bride you will have to do the same thing:

(1 Peter 4:1-3 NLT) “[1] So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. [2] You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. [3] You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy–their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.”

I’m not saying that you should expect to be knifed up to get married. I’m just saying that you should just be prepared to change and sacrifice for your wife and your marriage. If you’re not prepared to change and or make any kind of intimate personal sacrifices in your life for the sake of other people you’re not ready to get married. Simple.

 

To Summarise

Adam and Eve were the first married couple. Eve was a part of her husband, Adam.

Adam had to sacrifice to get his wife Eve. In fact, Adam was actually injured in his side in the process of getting his wife. God decided that this was meant to be.

Jesus, like Adam, sacrificed and was actually mortally wounded in the process of getting His bride, the church. God made Jesus rise again so He is now living.

If even Jesus had to sacrifice something personal for His bride and Jesus is our example, that shows us that being a husband involves sacrifice as well– the likes of which many young men fail to fully realise until they are already married.

 

Catherine x

SPECIAL EDITION: #GoodFriday – The Day God Died (not for good though!)

Hello everyone,

It’s Good Friday today and I thought I would give you a run down of what happened and what it tells us about true love. Most of the info here is adapted from The Virtual Preacher (see the bibliography for more information).

On Good Friday Jesus had already had the sham trial Matthew 27:11-26 then the Pharisees also encouraged the crowd to request that Barrabas be released instead of Jesus. The Soldiers had whipped Jesus to within an inch of His life sentenced to Crucifixion and was now carrying the cross on the way to the Crucifixion site. Here’s where we will begin:

True Love Is Doing As Well As Feeling

(Matthew 27:27-32 NLT) “[27] Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. [28] They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. [29] They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” [30] And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. [31] When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. [32] Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

The Bible doesn’t reveal much about the identity of Simon except he was from a city called Cyrene in North Africa, probably a an African convert who came on pilgrimage during Passover.

Why was Simon reluctant to take the cross and help Jesus?

  • It was considered an unclean task as the cross was drenched with Jesus’ blood and other body fluids.
  • It was also difficult because the beam weighed over 300 pounds.
  • It was also embarrassing because only criminals condemned to death carried a cross. It was a sign of mockery.
  • It was also inconvenient.

The short story of what Simon of Cyrene shows that cannot truly be Jesus’ disciples unless we are willing to step out of the comfort zone. Being a follower of Jesus is not about the sacraments and pilgrimages. They are nice but real love is kinaesthetic, it’s an action as much as a feeling. Jesus died for us, which is an action that is how Jesus demonstrated devotion to us. For our part in Luke Jesus said:

(Luke 9:23 NLT) “[23] Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

True Love Puts Others First

(Matthew 27:33-34 NLT) “[33] And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). [34] The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.”

Gall was a pain killer in Jesus’ day. It was mixed with the wine to make it drinkable, women often offered it to the person being executed to dull the pain. Having lost a lot of blood from the sourging and having been nailed to the cross Jesus and was thirty but refused to drink the gall mixed with wine.

Why did Jesus refuse to drink?

  • Jesus was determined to complete His mission of fulfilling the law
  • Jesus did not want to compromise the mission in any way by doing things that would have made it easier than it should have been.
  • Jesus was committed to take the full extent of our pain, sorrow and shame because He considered that more important than His!

Jesus also showed us that real love is sacrificial and not self seeking, just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT) “[4] Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

True Love Stands In The Gap Between The Beloved And Trouble

(Matthew 27:35-54 NLT) “[35] After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. [36] Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. [37] A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” [38] Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. [39] The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. [40] “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” [41] The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. [42] “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! [43] He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” [44] Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. [45] At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. [46] At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, [“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”] which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [47] Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. [48] One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. [49] But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” [50] Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. [51] At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, [52] and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. [53] They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. [54] The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!””

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400 BC and was used by the Romans as a punishment for the most serious criminals. Death by crucifixion was slow and agonizing. The victims were crucified naked and in public which was humiliating, as you can see from the above people taunted Jesus.

Victims of crucifixion endured dehydration, blood loss due to flogging, shock from the pain and paroxysms (follow this link to find out what that word means), as they pulled up with their arms and pushed with their legs to keep their chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion. The eventual cause of death from crucifixion was: suffocation, cardiac arrest, loss of blood or all of above.

What is the significance of crucifixion?

  • It was a symbol of God’s curse on sin.
  • The bodies of those crucified were left to the birds. They were not given a burial. This is also considered a curse from God.
  • These factors indicate that Jesus stood in the gap and took the curse of God which we rightfully deserved on himself.

Jesus Christ took our curse upon himself and paid the price for our sin. Jesus stood in the gap between us and what we had coming to us. Our atonement to and relationship with Jesus God the Son and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah put it eloquently:

(Isaiah 53:5 NLT) “[5] But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Summary On True Love Displayed In The Good Friday Message

This Good Friday message gives us an example of the three distinct types of commitments of love displayed by Jesus:

True love is doing as well as feeling – This means a commitment for us to be willing to take a stand for Jesus not just say we are Christians, act like it.

True love puts others first – This means a commitment to be faithful: don’t compromise in times of crisis, always put Jesus first regardless.

True love stands in the gap: For me this just shows me how selfless Jesus was and what an example it is for us in our relationships with other humans, regardless of what kind of relationship it is. This shows also a commitment to be just as committed to Jesus as Jesus is to us and just to allow Jesus to love you and just enjoy being loved!

The type of commitment you need to make will vary depending on where you are in your life with Christ. Which one of these commitments do you think you need to make?

Have a happy Good Friday!

Bibliography

The Virtual Preacher. 2019. ‘Good Friday Sermon, Watching Jesus Die – Part 1’, The Virtual Preacher Website, at: <https://www.virtualpreacher.org/sermon-outlines/good-friday-sermon-2011-part-1/&gt; 19 April 2019

Goodbye #NotreDame, hello controversial donations…

Hey everyone,

I’m sure you have all heard the news about the terrible fire that ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. A terrible pity! Apparently it took some 200 years to build in the first place. the French Prime minister wants to rebuild it in 5 years. Given modern technology that is probably possible.

The thing that gets me though is, you have all of these companies and private citizens that are pledging millions of Euro’s to rebuild a cathedral, just plucking this spare money out of the air. That’s nice but that’s not the issue. The issue is that those companies and private citizens had millions spare all this time and they cough it up just to rebuild a dead piece of art??

I am a Christian and I think it is a shame about the cathedral and I do think yes they should rebuild it but I can’t believe the whole world has been going to hell this whole time and those donkey’s had obscene amounts of spare money to help this whole time AND THEY DIDN’T!?!!?!!???? Instead, they pledge money to a cause that the French government said would foot the bill for anyway…

Philanthropy starts with humans. The larger donors had the means to sort out the living and they didn’t, they just sat on their money. The building is dead, it isn’t living. Rebuild it by all means yes, make that a priority by all means yes but I just can’t believe that the larger donors had all this spare money, this whole time, knowing full well how desperate life is for some in the world and they did nothing. There’s parts of the world where people don’t get to a doctor for months! Damn you!

Shame on you! Where were you when people were dying of Ebola and aids? Or when community housing was lacking? Or people couldn’t get loans? Or when women couldn’t get equal pay? Or when it became clear how many adults were illiterate? Or when people were dying of diseases because they didn’t have proper sanitation? Or girls couldn’t go to school because they were too poor to buy sanitary pads/tampons? Where were you when charities needed money to stop FGM (Female Genital Mutilation – it’s female circumcision, it’s not legal and is practised by conservative Muslims, they tie the girls down and cut of their clitoris with a rusty, used, shaving blade, they then sew up their vagina’s only leaving a hole large enough for urination and menstruation. They then open them up on their wedding nights. It’s an extreme way of proving that the female in question has been a virgin since she was a child and only had sex on her wedding night. It’s not legal in Britain… obviously.) (Follow this link to the NHS page to read more about FGM) I mean you know, where were you even when all of your products ended up in the sea and everyone else had to foot the bill the clean it up?

*pfft*

FYI – remember that new #song I wrote? I put it on #SoundCloud! Listen to it here. | #acoustic #freelance

Hey everybody,

Just a quick FYI – you remember I wrote a new song? Well I realised I hadn’t put it up on SoundCloud so now I have 🙂 Enjoy!

Here’s a playlist with more of my acoustic songs:

Here it is again on YouTube and – PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

Catherine x

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Feeling better! 🙂

A post shared by Catherine Waithe-Arnold (@catherinewaithe.arnoldmusic) on

I Just Want To Say That #Jesus Is Good

Hello friends,

As you know I was ill which is why I have’nt been doing mahoosive posts or even videos! However, keep on reading each week and as I get stronger I’m going to surprise you with something wonderful! 😉

For now here’s a verse of scripture that has been keeping me going in these trying times:

(Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT) “[17] Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, [18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”

Catherine x

Getting back to work | #PhD #PhDlife #Jesus

Hey everyone!

As we speak I am working on an essay. My recovery has been steady which is great. Jesus has helped me to actually manage to keep to my deadlines despite what’s been going on with my health!

As you can imagine, I’m not going to be doing long blog posts or videos whilst I am recovering and trying to catch up with my work so please bare with me! I’m just blogging to let you guys know I am still here and thinking of you!

P.S. I would love one of those Japanese ‘dozing desk’ contraptions seen in the featured image at the top. If you would like to donate one to me post a comment below 😀

lots of love

Catherine x

Thanks for your prayers! | #singer #songwriter

Hey everyone!

Thanks for your prayers and consideration! I totally felt it this week!

God has been good. I’ll be back with a video or something soon so watch this space!

For now please entertain yourselves with the following playlist. The first song is a piece I composed for my Masters in Music Composition 🙂 Watch in the embedded player or follow this link : PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO ME ON YOUTUBE 🙂

Catherine’s Top Pick’s! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyXNhxziFkz8uxVK7BHogGtM3B_q6evwP

Catherine

[Video] I Wrote A New #Song! – #music #youtube #singersongwriter #freelance #acousticguitar –>

Hey everybody!

I thought it would be nice to take a little break from long blog posts and #PhD posts!

I wrote a new song! (Check out my other music by following this link) I came up with this song one day when I was really sick and laying in bed. Again, inspired by my favourite book of the bible, Song of Songs. I love the metaphor!

Like Song of Songs it has 3 levels of symbolism. It is a love song between a woman and a man, (where the woman is the one who pursues the man which is an aspect particular to this book of the bible), it is also representative of how women and men should behave in relationships but it also represents the relationship between the church (who is always represented as a bride in the bible) and Jesus (who is sometimes represented as a bridegroom in the bible). It’s a call to Jesus to just have His way in your life 🙂

If you like what you see please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

If you have questions about Jesus try the Alpha Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98KX77XLoCg

Catherine x