Sunday, March 31, 2013


Things are not always what they seem.

This little white flower grows in the woods locally and is one of the earliest species to bloom in spring.  It can be found over most of the Eastern U.S. Often, it blooms right around Easter. The plant grows from a branching rhizome and can spread, over many years, to become a rather large colony. The colony where I took this picture covers a large area on a hillside, perhaps as much as a hundred feet at it's two farthest points.

To look at the pure white blossom, you would never know it, but it's root was used as a red natural dye by native American Indians, hence, the name Bloodroot.

Things are not always what they seem.

I was reading through the gospel of Luke recently and noticed a couple of things I hadn't noticed before. Jesus made his "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem in the same week as the Jewish nation was preparing to celebrate the Passover. The Passover, also known as the feast of unleavened bread, was the annual feast held in remembrance of Israel's final night in Egypt where each family was to take an unblemished lamb, slaughter it, and apply the lamb's blood to the lintel of the door of their house. Later in the night, an angel of death went through the land of Egypt killing all the first born, but "passed over" any household where the blood of the lamb was found on the lintel.

As popular as he was when he made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, you would have thought someone would offer to let Jesus to stay in their home. But, where did Jesus sleep during that week? Did he stay with friends or at an inn? Well, Luke simply says "at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet." Lodged is putting it kindly. He slept under a tree. There were no houses on Olivet; it was an orchard. Jesus had said as much earlier - "Foxes have holes and birds have nests; but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head."

We can only speculate on what must have gone through his mind that final week as he would retreat to Olivet and try to fall asleep each night. Because, unlike most of us, he knew exactly what day he was going to die. And, he also knew it was going to be a horrible death preceded by mocking and reviling and shame and scourging and so much more pure hatred. He did not go into those final hours unaware of what was going to happen. He knew exactly what he was going to have to do to redeem you and me from eternal damnation. How could he sleep? Is it any wonder he was so distressed he sweat great drops of blood on that final evening on the mount of Olives? 

Jesus wasn't just a man. He was the innocent Lamb of God whose blood was shed so that if you apply His blood to the lentil of your life, your heart as it were, the angel of death will pass over you, honoring the sacrifice made by the Son of God on the day he gave every drop of blood he had to save you (and me) from certain death.

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