Had to step away from the health care fiasco for a bit although I guess this may end up being related somehow or the other. One of my fellow bloggers did a great job raising issues and points of concern of which you may be unaware. So check out warrantonegirl for some good info.
Back to our regularly scheduled blog. For the uninitiated, the title refers to cemeteries. I had not heard the term until a co-worker identified where he lived as being across the street from the boneyard. Rather apt term, come to think of it. I actually grew up just a block or two from our local boneyard in Eden, nee Leaksville, NC. The name is Lawson Cemetery, the name of the street on which I lived.
I know very little about the place other than it has always been there( since 1843 I learned) and it was the final earthly resting place for both of my parents. I was always intrigued by the place as a child with all the different tombstones and grave markers and how old I thought they were, little did I know how true that was.
So why boneyards? I suppose with the onset of spring and the approach of Easter I have ben thinking about such issues. I typically read and re-read the Gospel narratives (Matthew,Mark,Luke and John) about Passion Week that of course culminates in Jesus resurrection. There will be a time a bit later for more about that subject.
But, strictly from a boneyard aspect, I remember teaching a high school age Sunday School class many years ago on the above topic and discovering that in New Orleans and in Israel ( not sure where else) that people had to be buried above ground due to those areas being largely below sea level. Not sure if the class was as fascinated with that trivia as was I .
I have noticed since my arrival in the northeastern corridor of our state that not all boneyards are like that of my childhood. There is a plethora of small, family plots in some of the most unlikely places. Usually there are just a handful of graves, often barely marked and separated from a busy highway by virtually no barrier at all. But, ahh the history that lies in these small plots, gradually but inexorably fading away.
As Holy Week draws to a climax, today is the day the day that we call good. In reality, some 1950+ years ago in Jerusalem, unspeakably bad things took place.As I was reading about the Last Supper last night, the thought struck me about how long the original Good Friday was and all that took place. So much of the gospel narrative takes place during Holy Week and particularly on Friday. Beginning with Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane all the way through the crucifixion and burial, its far more involved and agonizing than an episode of 24 could aspire to be.
All four New Testament gospels do a great job of putting us right in the middle of the chaotic and brutal events that took place. I’m partial to Luke”s account, although I don’t really know why.
The scriptures do not mince words in their treatment of Jesus’ scourging and crucifixion yet in some ways the account is almost matter of fact with no attempt to sensationalize as would be the case in our day. Several things jump out to me as I’m sure they wold to anyone who reads the account with an open mind. I will mention just a few that are quite meaningful to me.
For the first one, I go back to the Old Testament; Isaiah 52:14b
” So his appearance was marred more than than any man“
What a striking statement to describe just the outward effects of Jesus” suffering.
Secondly, I look to Matthew 27:12-15 when Jesus was questioned by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. I can scarcely imagine the confusion and chaos and the violently raucous atmosphere that must have been present during this event. But yet under intense questioning by a very powerful political leader, he answered not a word as had been predicted many years previously. John19:11 amplifies this conversation so beautifully,when Jesus said ” You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above”. Perhaps the most poignant and certainly the most difficult for me to even begin to fathom when at 3:00 PM in the midst of crushing darkness, just before the end, scripture tells us that Jesus said these words.
“My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?’ It is said to be the time when the inexplicable relationship between God the Father and Jesus was broken as Jesus took on our sin. No, I cannot fathom it , nor come close to explaining it. Those much better versed theologically should make those efforts. I will borrow a line from a Darlene Zschech song that says:
‘” I ‘ll never know just what it cost to see my sin upon that cross”
And so Good Friday it was and is, not for Him, but for us.
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