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I was born in 1961 in Independence Missouri. I was embarrassed to admit that for years. Well not for the City, but the hospital, Independence Sanitarium. The 1960’s were times exploding with CRAZY things. Somehow I always felt I took a bit of that with me. When in grade school it was a common theme to be asked where were you born. Most kids would just say the town, city, or maybe the state but NOT me, Independence Sanitarium I would blurt out, and then came the eruption of laughter. This would be followed by words like this. “No wonder you are so crazy” or “that explains a lot”. I came to enjoy it.

Independence Sanitarium

 

Years later my friend Bill Jones and I had traveling to Wyoming. We pulled over to view Independence rock. I began to read about the western expansion and how wagon trains would leave Independence Missouri for Oregon. Early July they would reach this large Rock outcropping. The story goes if they did not reach this point on the wagon trail by July 4th they were behind schedule. That would have been important, because they had to beat the snows to the mountains that awaited them in the great northwest.

17-0303a

Photo from the national archives https://catalog.archives.gov/id/516895

Independence Day, early this July 3rd 2017 as I contemplated that word I remembered one particular year. I was coming back from Uganda on a mission trip, and had a layover in London England. I was seated next to a very nice elderly gentleman. At some point in our conversation he must have felt comfortable enough to ask me a pointed question. He started it like this. He said “You know this is July 4th, and I just wanted to say happy Independence Day”. I said “Thank you” and smiled. Then with a smile he said, “have you considered that what some people call Independence others call Rebellion.  WOW, No I had never thought of that, but did for the next week or two. It was very difficult to contemplate because I am a bible thumper and this is what came to mind.

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Wow that was God’s word to Saul 1st King of Israel. Just a tad bit interesting to me being our Independence from England was a system of Kings. Israel had received their 1st King because they rejected God himself as king. Just a bit ironic for me a young man at the time so full of National Pride. I wondered had my freedom become a bit of an idol in itself. The answer is yes.

From that day forward until now this Independence born guy says “I am IN Dependence to Jesus”. That has served as a sort of reality check for me that the whole idea of a king and kingdom for an american is a terrible idea. That said I bow my knee to My king Jesus now and forever more.

I also want to give honor where honor is due. For all those who died to give me the national right to worship God as I see fit I say thank you. In great respect I say that with no reserve even in a time when our nation is so divided. That honor though as it should be is under GOD. With all this said I wrote this poem this morning and it seemed as if I could not have stopped the words from coming. They seemed to come from somewhere deeper than me. Maybe it is from my spiritual DNA from those from whom I came.

My hope is that these words in the poem below would impact you. That they would give a balance to our patriotism and voice to our faith.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

A life Dependent on Jesus

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Truth Telling Anointing

This past Sunday pastor David Bendett of Rock City Church in Flour Bluff Texas was fired up as usual in the 1st service. He was speaking out of Philippians 1:27 about the importance of the church being one in spirit and mind for the work of the kingdom of God. He began to take a detour over to Acts 16 telling the story of how the church in Philippi was birthed. During the story of the slave girl-fortune teller he said, and I quote “Truth telling Anointing”. When he said that the hair on my arms stood up and I started to tear up. Then He said “did you feel that” as he rubbed his arms he began to tell stories of seeing Jesus break into the lives of people in the occult in his own history.

It was a great message and the last two days I keep thinking about that phrase “Truth Telling Anointing” so this morning I put the words in parenthesis into google and this came up. No results found for “Truth Telling Anointing”.  I thought I understand the concept and really wondering why someone hadn’t coined that term. Did the Lord just give that to pastor David or was that just something he had understood to be true?

I decided to do a little study on the thought in scripture.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1st off Jesus is TRUTH

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

2nd thing is the Holy Spirit is TRUTH and guides us into ALL TRUTH

Acts 16:12-26 12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. 16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she* many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

3rd point the preaching of the TRUTH gets a demonic manifestation in which the words are TRUE. Oh no, that looks like a real can of worms. The girl is demon possessed and this didn’t just happen in passing, she continued for MANY DAYS. Notice Paul didn’t cast out the demons immediately, and he cast them out after being grieved which must of taken days. I would venture to say the outcome brought persecution and the church in Philippi was birthed.

Question does this sound familiar, the answer should be a resounding yes. It happened to Jesus check it out.

Mark 1:21-28 21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught* them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

WOW, take note the demon possessed man was in the synagogue. Why was he there? Maybe the same reason the girl followed Paul in acts 16. The big deal is the spirit declared the TRUTH, then deliverance came as Jesus the TRUTH set the man free.

Here is another account very similar

Mark 5:1-20 1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him*. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6 But when he saw Jesus afar off*, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea*, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home** to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Same reoccurring idea, Demon possessed show up at the preaching of the TRUTH, deliverance follows and the crowd gets to decide on what they will do with the TRUTH. One last point to make is in 1st John

1st John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need* not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

4th point is that just as Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit so is the preaching of HIM, the TRUTH it is fair to say the demon possessed may show up. They may even say the TRUTH. But the complete TRUTH is the good news, Jesus is the Son Of God and he died rose from the dead on the 3rd day and is seated at the right hand of the father. He provided Eternal life for those who would receive it and a life of freedom in this life even from demons!

That is the TRUTH! That we would walk in the TRUTH TELLING ANOINTING. Jesus is lord!

Philippians 2: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

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Well I was at work the other day and a few of us were talking about Jesus. My good Friend Mike Nicholas asked me “John where did God come from?” I said “From Nowhere” Then He said with very expressive hand gestures

‘The reason God came from nowhere is because there wasn’t anywhere for Him to come from. And coming from nowhere He stood on nothing, for there was nowhere for Him to stand. And standing on nothing He reached out where there was nowhere to reach, and caught something when there was nothing to catch. Then He hung that something on nothing and told it to stay there, and nobody said a word, because there wasn’t anybody around to say anything. Then God said to Him-self, ‘That is good!’

Well the way He told that from memory caused me to smile, the words were enough. Hope you enjoyed them not sure who gets the credit for the original but I am posting on wordpress so one of you guys can let me know. All that He made was good.

Update : I found it check the video link below of an actor portraying S M Lockridge Preaching. Before you watch this video. Just who was S M Lockridge? SM stood for Shadrach Meshach  and he was born March 7, 1913 and went to be with Jesus on April 4, 2000. He was raised in Texas the oldest of eight children. His Father was a pastor as he would be also. Most notably he  was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He had been active in the civil rights and known in many circles. One of his famous sermons was “That’s My King, Do You Know Him”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD0okdlmzvE&feature=related

I hope you enjoyed the video! So where in scripture does the idea that God came from nowhere come from?

King David described it like this.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)

It was good

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Pirates in the pulpit

It is 9:30 July 1st 2011 and I had a thought while doing a study on the “Golden Rule.” The thought was “Pirates in the pulpit.” I had never heard that before but it was ringing in my ears. I put the phrase in Google and pulled up 4 hits all were of a site that had an audio sermon by Sam Ketcher. I listened to it but it was in a different context of what I was thinking, so here we go on my little journey.

Golden Rule As attributed in the gospels.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

When did these scriptures become known as the golden rule? They say in the 1670’s which may be true. I found a book titled the Golden rule published in 1688 so for sure by that time. Pictured below:

        

A curious thing has happened, something so openly spoken of by Jesus ends up being the biggest secret of the world’s richest men and the most secret societies. The one thing that unites the world’s religions. Below are some examples.

     

The so called golden rule is a spiritual principal not unlike the law of gravity. The problem becomes when corrupt or even evil people use it for selfish gain or good people use it as a means of salvation. Though a godly principal that works, now seems to give credence to them, not just the principal. I hope to shed some light on how taking this principal into the world who is run by the god of this world “lucifer” has now boomeranged back into the church with a lot of baggage.

The 1900’s had opened the door to the “the new Thought Movement” which in short is the belief that “Infinite Intelligence” or “God” can be tapped into and repeated not unlike science. When those thoughts, became mans thoughts, even miracles would happen. In that circle was a young man named Napoleon Hall. Nap as he was known by as a boy, had lost his real mother when he was about 9. He was a bit rebellious and admired the bigger than life Jesse James. His new mother eventually got Nap to trade his six shooter, for a typewriter. That set him on a journey that ended up in the office of Andrew Carnegie the richest man in the world at the time. Nap would interview him and many of the wealthiest men in the world over the next few years. He discovered several things these men had done in common, they attributed to getting them where they were.

The first I will mention was what they called the “law of attraction” defined as “your thoughts and your feelings create your life.” Remember this is connected to the belief of tapping into “Infinite Intelligence.” Nap explained it after talking to Andrew something like this. You come into this world with 2 envelopes one with riches and blessings that are a possibility. 2nd is an envelope with the penalties for not achieving them. Then He goes on to explain the first 2 things that needed to be done. 1st Make a clear description of your main desire, in the end you will call it success. 2nd Make a clear description of what you are willing to give in return.

WOW , what will you give in return, where have I heard that before? Mark 8:36-37 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Interesting thing happened. Andrew gave the fortune away or at least a lot of it,  at the end some 350 million dollars. When you look at these guys they seem to have made a deal maybe with God, maybe the devil, but a deal none the less. Do a study of the health wealth preachers and you will see them using the same language as these men did 100 years ago. The thing that stands out as different is they are not giving it away in the end. The TV Pulpit empires have become Pirates, and have become islands unto themselves, and a tight circle of friends and family.

My thoughts are 100 years ago men bought a bill of goods that was not fulfilling on the death bed. But what we have today is beyond comprehension, and if they got their idea’s from Hall and Carnegie there will be a piper to pay and it way be sooner than they think, as the world economy spirals downward. Will they have a change of heart and open the treasure chest to the Poor, from where they got it. At least Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave some to the poor.

If you are a Pirate, justice awaits you BUT repent He who created the Gold made the Rules and that is what I call the Golden Rule.  Jesus Rules

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The whole world is looking for 1 man who will have an answer for every problem. Peace in the middle east , Health Care for everyone , and a plan to save the planet from certain destruction. I have had the pleasure to travel half way around the world and back this last year and I hear it everywhere. The reality is the world seems ready to follow anyone who is cloaked in the garments of change.

The truth is the 1 man is the fully God and fully man, He is Jesus Christ and is not cloaked in change.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Jesus came the first time as  the prince of peace, but He will be coming back with a sword. He is coming back for War.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Revelation 19:11-16 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

It is still about love, and we better get ready !

Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

Check out the song by Misty Edwards from IHOP KC

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Information just below is from the Hope City web page http://www.hopecitykc.org

Ray and Lisa Stribling

Ray and Lisa Stribling

Ray and Lisa Stribling are the directors and founder of Hope City KC. They carry the heart and the mandate to see the message of prayer break into the inner city. Ray and Lisa through Hope City, long to see the lives of the addicted, the homeless, and the poor radically and powerfully changed and brought into a productive, self managing, and independent life style, and as a result have a clear and defined function by which they actively participate within the body of Christ.

 

Ray and Lisa, have many years of experience in jail ministry, housing for the addicted, prayer ministry and street ministries involving feeding the poor.  The Striblings have a high level of commitment to the task at hand, as well as have the courage and heart to stand in the gap and to see others given an opportunity to succeed.

The ministry HOPE CITY ” inner city ministry located in Kansas City Missouri ” through my eyes, which are the eyes of a world missions guy. I bring that up because, through the years I have taken a lot of flak for doing ministry around the world while their is such need right here at home. The truth is, I have found such a similarity with 3rd world nations and the inner city and I love to be involved in both. Let me list a few.

#1 Needs are beyond complete human intervention !

#2 No facades, what you see is what you get !

#3 They are ready to receive !

Those 3 my friends are the ingredients that draw the heart of God. That my friends gives us Hope

HOPE CITY

Hope City KC
Hope City KC

I do have a point here about my eyes of world missions, it is this thing called indigenous. The meaning is this :: having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.

My point is that ministry is usually from the outside, coming in with all the answers, not understanding the culture or the needs. Indigenous ministry, are those from the outside coming in and serving what the Lord is doing in the local area. It means less control and Americans don’t like doing that, but the advantage is huge.

In Africa where I helped start an orphanage, we came in first and built relationships, and served the vision of local Christians. This form of missions work has been transforming Africa. it is effective because they understand the culture, and the needs, from a heart level, not a head level. It will transform the inner city as well.

INNER CITY : DO you really think white suburbanitescan can relate to what it feels like to live under a bridge in winter. You get my point, and it is that point that Ray and Lisa get. I have worked with them for several years and have watched them respond to zealous gifted people who are jumping at the bits to preach in the inner city. Their response ,”OK”  but first come serve in the Kitchen for a YEAR and we will see when you are ready.

WOW , I tell you serving, lays the foundation to a life-long ministry, that is actually effective. Ray and Lisa have life experience not unlike those they minister to, but from a place of serving the local leaders of the inner city. It is powerful, to watch what God had been doing through the ministry of Hope City among all colors and backgrounds. Whether it’s free haircuts in the park or flipping hamburgers for 1000 people , those that have gathered around Ray and Lisa  to serve the HEART of Kansas City are Family and the Family is growing.

3 ways you can get involved:

#1 Pray for them/us “prayer meeting every Monday night on forest just north of 27th at the Prayer Dome.

#2 Come Serve : many opportunities with related shelter’s and group homes.

#3 Your giving :

http://hckc.us.churchinsight.com/PaymentGroup/Registration.aspx?payment_group_id=1000000257

 

Their Story : http://www.melodygreen.com/Articles/1000053722/Last_Days_Ministries/LDM/Discipleship_Teachings/The_Devil_The.aspx?page=1

contact information

Lisa Stribling
816.729.2848
lisastribling@ihop.org

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Crucifixion, The most horrific public display of punishment unto death imaginable. While researching Crucifixion on any search engine you will find sites with the phrase CRUCI-FICTION. Many people believe the bible is a book of myth's and Jesus was just a man if he ever lived at all. The truth is Archaeology puts together more and more evidence to prove historical biblical events. One such article you will find below. For me I couldn't care less about evidence. I was strung out on drugs and no hope at all. Jesus broke into my life and I know He changed me and for 25 years now I find life worth living that is all the proving I need. If you are sinking in skepticism you need an encounter with the resurrected Jesus and he does not have a problem providing that. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

The biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ found in John 19:1-42

 1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” ‘ ” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. 24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

Jesus on the Cross

crucifixion of Jesus photo art by John Gross

Reflecting on the reality of the cross

crossheel1.jpg

Below you can read an article “Crucifixion — The Archaeological Evidence” an archaeologist working for the Israel Department of Antiquities, Tzaferis brings the evidence found in a tomb near Jerusalem that had been accidentally found by a construction crew. Bones of two generations of a Jewish family that lived in Jerusalem about the first century AD. A large nail piercing the heel bones of one skeleton led to the conclusion that this man had been crucified.

  • Tzaferis, Vassilios. “Crucifixion — The Archaeological Evidence”, Biblical Archaeology Review 11, February, 1985: 44–53.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Many people erroneously assume that crucifixion was a Roman invention.
In fact, Assyrians, Phoenicians and Persians all practiced crucifixion
during the first millennium BC. Crucifixion was introduced in the west
from these eastern cultures; it was used only rarely on the Greek
mainland, but Greeks in Sicily and southern Italy used it more
frequently, probably as a result of their closer contact with
Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

During the Hellenistic period, crucifixion became more popular among
the Hellenized population of the east. After Alexander died in 323 BC,
crucifixion was frequently employed both by the Seleucids (the rulers
of the Syrian half of Alexander’s kingdom) and by the Ptolemies (the
rulers of the Egyptian half).

Among the Jews crucifixion was an anathema. (2) The traditional method
of execution among Jews was stoning. Nevertheless, crucifixion was
occasionally employed by Jewish tyrants during the Hasmonean period.
At the end of the first century BC, the Romans adopted crucifixion as
an official punishment for non-Romans for certain legally limited
transgressions. Initially, it was employed not as a method of
execution, but only as a punishment. Moreover, only slaves convicted
of certain crimes were punished by crucifixion. Only in later times,
probably in the first century BC, did crucifixion evolve into a method
of execution for conviction of certain crimes.

Outside of Italy, the Roman procurators alone possessed authority to
impose the death penalty. Thus, when a local provincial court
prescribed the death penalty, the consent of the Roman procurator had
to be obtained in order to carry out the sentence.

Once a defendant was found guilty and was condemned to be crucified,
the execution was supervised by an official known as the Carnifix
Serarum. From the tribunal hall, the victim was taken outside,
stripped, bound to a column and scourged. Following the beating, the
horizontal beam was placed upon the condemned man’s shoulders, and he
began the long, grueling march to the execution site, usually outside
the city walls.

Sometimes the victim was attached to the cross only with ropes . . .
If the victim was attached by nails, he was laid on the ground, with
his shoulders on the crossbeam. His arms were held out and nailed to
the two ends of the crossbeam, which was then raised and fixed on top
of the vertical beam. The victim’s feet were then nailed down against
this vertical stake.

THE CRUCIFIXION OF YEHOHANAN

His remains reveal the horrible manner of his dying. From the way in
which the bones were attached [to the excavated nail], we can infer
the man’s position on the cross.

The two heel bones were attached on their adjacent inside (medial)
surfaces. The nail went through the right heel bone and then the left.
Since the same nail went through both heels, the legs were together,
not apart, on the cross.

A small seat, or sedile, must have been fastened to the upright of the
cross. The evidence as to the position of the body on the cross
convinced the investigators that the sedile supported only the man’s
left buttock. This seat both prevented the collapse of the body and
prolonged the agony.

Given this position on the cross and given the way in which the heel
bones were attached to the cross, it seems likely that the knees were
bent, or semi-flexed. This position of the legs was dramatically
confirmed by a study of the long bones below the knees, the tibia or
shinbone and the fibula behind it.

Only the tibia of the crucified man’s left leg was available for
study. The bone had been brutally fractured into large, sharp slivers.
This fracture was clearly produced by a single, strong blow. . . The
angle of the line of fracture on these left calf bones provides proof
that the victim’s legs were in a semi-flexed position on the cross.

The arm bones of the victim revealed the manner in which they were
attached to the horizontal bar of the cross. A small scratch was
observed on one bone (the radius) of the right forearm, just above the
wrist. The scratch was produced by the compression, friction and
gliding of an object on the fresh bone. This scratch is the
osteological (3) evidence of the penetration of the nail between the
two bones of the forearm, the radius and the ulna.

Christian iconography usually shows the nails piercing the palms of
Jesus’ hands. Nailing the palms of the hands is impossible, because
the weight of the slumping body would have torn the palms in a very
short time. The victim would have fallen from the cross while still
alive. As the evidence from our crucified man demonstrates, the nails
were driven into the victim’s arms, just above the wrists, because
this part of the arm is sufficiently strong to hold the weight of a
slack body.

The position of the crucified body may then be described as follows:
The feet were joined almost parallel, both transfixed by the same nail
at the heels, with the legs adjacent; the knees were doubled, the
right one overlapping the left; the trunk was contorted and seated on
a sedile; the upper limbs were stretched out, each stabbed by a nail
in the forearm.

Normally, the Romans left the crucified person undisturbed to die
slowly of sheer physical exhaustion leading to asphyxia. (4) However,
Jewish tradition required burial on the day of execution. Therefore,
in Palestine the executioner would break the legs of the crucified
person in order to hasten his death and thus permit burial before
nightfall. (5)

Several years ago while in Jerusalem we went to the back of the Arab bus station where the locals say Jesus was crucified at the place of the skull. Here is a picture we took, we made it to the top and Muslim men came running from everywhere to run us off. We did not know it but there was a cemetery on top of the skull.

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The place of the skull

Ironic or not at the eastern gate of the walls around Jerusalem where one day Jesus will return you find the gate bricked in with solid stone. In front of the gate again a cemetery. Death, hell and the grave will one day be swallowed up in Victory and no one will keep Jesus from sitting those nailed pierced feet down where they are destined to rule from.

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Eastern gate walled shut to keep Jesus out? It will not work.

DO YOU KNOW HIM?

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