Jesus in the Temple: My New Video

What had happened that day?

How did this young travelling preacher change a man? A man in need, and a man in a bad place, a man who came into the temple searching for peace, but was only met with our disdain.

A man unclean, and yet Jesus met him and cared for him.

Healed him. Changed him. Loved him. And if I am honest I was changed too. I too wanted to be changed, wanted to be new, wanted to start again, hope again, live again. And Jesus, well He made all this possible.

To view and download my new video please click below:-

https://youtu.be/PVpgFFBY-u0

With many prayerful blessings

Geoffrey

It Wasn’t Me!

It wasn’t me who betrayed Him, surely that was Judas, with his hands firmly in the till, without a care for anyone but himself.

It wasn’t me who denied Him, surely that was Peter, so worried that he too may end up dead.

It wasn’t me who shouted “Crucify” – surely that was the crowd, with fickle minds, who are far too easily led.

It wasn’t me who washed my hands, surely that was Pilate, too afraid to stand up, and upset the authorities.

It wasn’t me who flogged Him, or drove the nails home, surely that was the soldiers, under orders, unable to disobey.

It wasn’t me that mocked and jeered, surely that was the priests, concerned about their own identity, and their own lives.

And it wasn’t me who left Him dying alone, surely that was His friends, who ran in fear.

However, today on this Good Friday, over 2000 years on, I look and see that Jesus is crucified again. And as I look more closely, I see the part I play, hear the words “Forgive them,” and know that they are for me.

It is me who betrays Him, each time I turn away, and hurt a fellow human with the things I do or say.

It is me who denies Him, each time I do not stand and fight against injustice, or lend a helping hand.

It is me who shouts out “Crucify”, for I’m of fickle mind; it’s easier to run with the crowd, and leave the cross behind.

It is me who washes my hands, and in doing so, I wash away the guilt. I refuse to see this Jesus, and the New World He has built.

It is me who flogs and nails him upon the wooden tree, but how quick I am to forget that He died to set me free.

It is me who mocks and jeers, as if I didn’t care, but after all He’s done for me, what makes me think I dare?

It is me who leaves Him dying, out in the cold and rain. I begin to see more clearly now that I have caused His pain.

So  Jesus  is  my  Saviour,  who  I  see  now  that  I’ve  killed,  but  with resurrection glory, my life will soon be filled.

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Curtain Was Torn

Listen to the roar of the crowd, the mocking laughter, the crack of the whip on His back.

Look into the faces of the priests and scribes that speak of victory; see the eagerness of the Roman soldiers as they gamble for what little He has, and gaze upon the tear stained faces of those that love Him.

Smell the fear – the fear of those hanging beside Him, and the stench of the blood left on instruments of torture which are now thrown haphazardly on the ground.

Look around – where do you stand? Are you there at the foot of His cross, or hiding somewhere behind?

Listen to Him crying out to His Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And hear the mocking voices that only days before had hailed Him as king.

Watch, as darkness covers the earth, as the very foundations on which you stand shake, as rocks split apart and the tombs of the righteous are wrenched open.

Strain your ears and dimly heed the curtain in the temple as it is torn from top to bottom, and try to understand what difference that will make to your very existence.

This is because, for as long as you and the people before you have known, the Holy of Holies in the temple, has been a no-go zone.

It was only accessed if you happened to be the High Priest that year. The curtain separated the Ark of the Covenant, the place of God, from the people of God. But now, on this day and with His death, the curtain is torn apart and God is, therefore, accessible to all.

Look around – where do you stand? Are you there at the foot of His cross, or hiding somewhere behind?

Examine the scene, as you and everyone around you wonders who this man really is. This man, who is dying in front of your very eyes, and yet the question of his true identity rages on.

For some, He is a convicted criminal getting His just desserts. For some, He is the man who they thought would rally an army, and fight with chariot and war horse against the Romans for freedom and peace. For others, He is a friend, dying an agonising death upon a cross, and for the few, for those who have seen beyond death to a new life, He is the Christ, the Son of God, the promised one, the Messiah.

Look around – where do you stand? Are you there at the foot of His cross, or hiding somewhere behind?

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

Move closer to the cross, hear Him utter those final words, “It is finished!” and observe, as He bows His head and dies.

 

Look around – where do you stand? Are you there at the foot of His cross, or hiding somewhere behind?

 

 

A Mother’s Cry – The Voice of Mary

I listened, but only because I had no choice. I heard, but only because I needed to.

I watched, but only because He was my son, and I winced and I crumbled inside, because of what they did to Him.

He was and is my son, He always will be. I held Him, cared for Him, and comforted Him when He cried.

Now, I could do nothing. Now I felt helpless and useless. I hid my eyes, but I could not hide my tears, as they flogged Him, mocked Him, and drove Him out of the city with a cross upon His back.

I followed, close enough, but not too close, in love and pain.  As I did so, I began to remember his birth, the presents from the strangers, and the man in the temple. He told me my heart would break, and now it was breaking, with every step He took to His death.

I looked on in horror as they pushed Him to the ground, stripped Him of his clothes, and nailed Him to the wooden cross.

I could hardly breathe as they lifted it skyward, and jerked it into place.

I felt His pain, almost as if it were my own, and in some strange way it was.

The crowd was full of anger; they who only days before had hailed Him as their king now laughed and ridiculed Him.

The priests ordered Him to save himself. The Romans rolled dice for His clothes, and His friends – they had deserted Him long before.

Only I stood watching, near enough to hear Him cry:

“Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

I saw and felt His agony. The nails in His hands and feet, the crown of thorns upon his head, but more that that, the moment of separation from His Father’s side.

I watched the sky turn black, and heard the temple curtain rip, as He uttered:  “It is finished!”

I cried every tear I had left to cry, a mother’s heart broken in two, and the hope of the nation dashed. They dragged me away; nothing left to see, just my son’s broken body, hanging on the tree.

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

You Would Have Done The Same – The Voice of Titus the Priest

In some of my recent posts I have included extracts from the wonderfully inspirational Kindle book by Deacon Becky Lovatt entitled ‘In The Shadows Of Victory: Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’.

And as we are now actually in Holy Week most of my blog posts this week will again be taken from Becky’s excellent book.

Today it is the turn of Titus the Priest:-

Believe me, if it had been you, you would have done the same.

This man Jesus was threatening our livelihood, our very existence. He was trying to turn our whole system of belief on its head by talking about knowing God personally.

How can you ever know the Almighty personally? I mean, what rot. God is God, never to be spoken of in human terms.

And then He went even further, claiming He was God’s chosen one, God’s only Son – maybe even divine. What else could we do? We couldn’t have Him going around saying things like that, could we?

If it had been you, you would have done the same.

He called us a brood of vipers, and said that we were only out for ourselves. He made out that we moved in some sort of inner circle, and He told stories, stories that painted us as cold and heartless human beings.

But we have families too; we have wives and children that depend on us. If we were made unclean by helping a beaten and bruised Samaritan, we would have missed our turn in the temple and that means no hours, no pay and no food for the table.

Now tell me that you would not have done the same.

He talked of destroying the temple in three days, the temple that His forefathers had sweated blood and tears to build. He spoke of the synagogue being within us and that God was accessible to all, not just the Jews. Not just God for God’s chosen people, but for all people. But how could that really be the case?

The man was a nightmare; if it had been you, you would have done the same.

We only thought what everyone else was thinking. Get rid of the man, stop Him from whipping up the crowd into a frenzy, and keep Him from trespassing on God’s laws and sacred places.

He was in the wrong, not us. He was the one who alleged He could forgive sins. How dare He, only God could do that. He was the one who touched the unclean, dined with sinners and made friends with Roman tax collectors.

He was the one who rode into the city on a donkey acting like He was some kind of king, and allowing the people to fall at his feet. The same people who so easily came to see things our way only a few days later. He was the one who brought it all on himself. We were not to blame.

It was His doing, He was the maker of His own downfall, and I know if it had been you, you would have done the same.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

A Dusty Room – the Voice of Larry, the House Owner

They came unexpectedly. Two of them following a man with a jar – he pointed me out, and then disappeared as the others hurried towards me. I recognised them immediately; they were followers of Him, the teacher.

We had spoken before, this teacher and I, He spoke wisely and seemed somehow to be able to look inside my very soul.

We had discussed money, something that I was very fond of, but He seemed to think that I should give more away, help the local poor, reach out to those in need around me. I was a little taken aback; after all, who was this man to tell me what I should do with my own money?

But He sowed a seed, and it really got me thinking. It was as if He knew it would, as if He even knew the outcome of my thinking.

Then of course it happened, his two disciples arrived and asked for my upper room so that they and the teacher could share the Passover together.

Here was my chance, to show Him that I had been thinking about our conversation. I welcomed the party and told them I would prepare it for them.

They went back to give Jesus the news and I went straight to the room that had not been used for a while and needed a good clean. I spent the afternoon cleaning everywhere, making it ready to receive Him.

It was not too long before they showed up. Everyone looked hot and bothered, He smiled at me as I had said nothing about charging Him for the use of the room. He knew I was beginning to change.

He asked me for a bowl of water, which I provided and then to everyone’s amazement He bent down and washed his disciples’ feet. I have never seen a teacher, a leader do that before. Who was this man who turned the norm on its head and changed everything from the inside out?

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

I Dried My Tears With My Hair:- The Voice Of A Sinful Woman

Everyone considered me an outcast, and they made jolly sure I knew my place, firmly at the bottom of the pile.

Firstly, it was because I was a woman, on a sticky wicket to begin with. Secondly, it was because I had been branded a sinner. I confess, I had not followed all their rules, and gone along with their agenda, but I had to eat, and so I found whatever method I could to allow that to happen.

I had heard about Jesus. People said that He befriended sinners, ate with them, and treated people like me as His equals, giving them the opportunity to ask for forgiveness and maybe even a new start. I wanted that – I didn’t want to carry on with life as it was. I wanted a fresh dawn, and I believed He could give it to me.

I knew that His friends would not allow me anywhere near Him, so I kept my ears to the ground and waited for a good time.

I heard about a dinner being hosted by one of the locals, so I turned up on the doorstep and got myself in. Officials tried to stop me, but I so wanted to see Jesus, I just kept on walking until I reached the main hall.

Suddenly, there He was, reclining at a table with the other guests. I didn’t wait – I ran, hit my knees, and poured perfume from the jar I carried all over his feet.

As I did I began to cry, as the weight of all my sin fell away. My tears and the perfume mingled together and I wiped His feet with my hair.

There was uproar! But not from Him, He smiled and gently helped me to my feet.

Someone complained that the perfume was expensive and could have been saved for the poor. He told them that there would always be poor people, but that they would not always have Him.

Someone else was quick to point out my reputation, after all I was a sinful woman, but He told them I had done a beautiful thing in preparing Him for burial – that had not been my intention but I was pleased He liked what I had done.

The dinner host and his guests condemned me. Jesus forgave me.

And I washed His feet with my perfume and my tears and dried them with my hair.

(From the book – ‘In the Shadows of Victory:-the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ – by Deacon Becky Lovatt, now available on Kindle)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey