Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord



Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

-Zechariah 9:9-10


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,

This is a beautiful introduction to Holy Week. While visiting Chicago this weekend I was fortunate to be able to worship in magnificent Rockefeller Chapel with my Father. I love this chapel not only for its beauty but also because so many denominations worship here, all offering praise to God.

Question for Palm Sunday:
When Christ resurrected Himself, He took up his body again (empty tomb). Do you believe Christ still posses this body? And if not, what happened to it at the ascension?

Have a wonderful week

~Scarlet Pimpernel

Matt Perkins said...

Hey Scarlet Pimpernel,

Happy Palm Sunday!

I certainly believe that Christ still possesses His resurrection and now glorified body. I don't see anything in the New Testament that would make me think otherwise. Of course there could be a lot of discussion about the properties of Christ's resurrection body as He was able to let Thomas feel His hands and side and also ate with the disciples but also appeared in a locked room without opening a door and was able to conceal His identity on the road to Emmaus. I know the reformers debated a lot about how Christ could be omnipresent if He was embodied in heaven. Luther taught the "ubiquity" of Christ's body by which His body could be present in the eucharist at many different locations at the same time and also in heaven, where He had ascended to. Zwingli and Calvin both rejected this idea of ubiquity. But these men all most certainly believed that Christ still possessed his resurrection body.

As the "firstborn from the dead," I think Christ's resurrection body also is a model, in some ways, of the body that the elect will possess at the resurrection of the dead or at the second coming of Christ when the bodies of Christians will be "changed . . . in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet."(1 Cor 15:51-52)

Thanks for making me think =)

Anonymous said...

Hi again Matt,

Happy Palm Monday! (If Australia can have Easter Monday, why not a Palm Monday?)

Are you sure I'm the one making you think? I'm like a child with never ending questions and poor grammar which you patiently answer and ignore, respectively.

So, as Alice would say, "Curiouser and curiouser"

If Christ has a body, and manages to still be omnipresent, does God the Father also have a body? Why would the Son have something His Father doesn't?

And yes, it is pretty amazing how a resurrected body can go through a wall and then eat. On the other hand, at the molecular level, is penetrating a wall that different from walking on water--which even mortal Peter could do? (This is the super-extra-credit question;)

~Scarlet Pimpernel

Jacob M. Aho said...

Matt:

I was delighted with your
response. I'm totally intrigued
by the way you responded to
a question that would of took
me months to answer coherently
and theologically pointed in a
proper trajectory. Again
I do drop by every so often
to check up on you.

Jacob M. Aho

Matt Perkins said...

Hi Jake,
Glad you still drop by!

Hey Scarlet Pimpernel:

I'm finding it "curiouser and curiouser" that you said you weren't a Mormon before because it seems like many of the implications you make in your comments are ones which would agree with LDS doctrine. And I do like Mormons. One of my best friends growing up was one. I just disagree with them vehemently. So to your question about God the Father having a body, I will simply answer with an affirmation which Christ made about the nature of God where He very simply stated, "God is spirit."(John 4:24) And if there's any doubt about how Christ defines "spirit" we read in Luke 24:39, "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

Scripture clearly speaks of Christ when it says, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." This is after the claim is made, "and the Word was God." So in the beginning of John's gospel we have the affirmation of Christ's divinity and also the doctrine of the incarnation. In Scripture this doctrine is unique to the Son. Nowhere is there talk of the Father or the Holy Spirit "taking on flesh."

Why would the Son have something His Father doesn't? I feel like this is basically the same as asking why is the Father different from the Son and the Holy Spirit, etc., etc. I don't know why the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have their unique roles. I don't know why it was the Son who would take on flesh and bear the sins of humanity and suffer the wrath that we deserved. But I believe these things because I believe they are taught in Scripture and have been affirmed and clarified by saints of the Lord throughout the history of the Christ's Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you once again for the question. And if you're really not a Mormon, I apologize again for assuming this a second time. And whether you're LDS or not I appreciate your comments and hope you will still continue to challenge me.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

I don't think I was ever packing any weapons, so I can't say you have left me disarmed. But it feels that way a little. I am struck by your statement that I am making implications in my comments. Brother, I'm just asking questions. And I ask because I want to hear other insights and know what you think. I really enjoy when you speak your mind and educate me as you do with every post. I don't want you to apologize for anything. This is your blog.

That said, I've been deliberating how to answer you because I am fearing a break in communication if I say (type?) the wrong thing.
Here goes...

It has been my experience that announcing a preference creates an automatic soapbox and closes doors of communication. I don't want to only discuss theology with people who have religious backgrounds identical to my own. How am I to learn from differing perspectives if I only look out one window?
This is why I have never claimed or denied any denomination on your blog. All that I have claimed--on January 27th, if you wish to review your archives--is that I am not familiar with any cults. Honestly, I wouldn't even know where to look for a cult in Vancouver.

This is about my ninth draft, and I recognize it still leaves much to be desired, but I'm going to stop here. I hope you will not.

God bless you, Matt.

~Scarlet Pimpernel

Matt Perkins said...

Hey S.P.,

I hope you'll continue asking questions... =)

Matt

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,

Well, you should know I'm not about to run out of questions anytime soon...:)

The topic of the trinity seems to be uncomfortably warm for us just now, so let's lay it aside.

Regarding the Good Book, there are so many options!
King James, New International, Revised Standard, New English, the list goes on.
After reading Bart Erhman's book "Misquoting Jesus" I came to have a greater appreciation for what a miracle The Bible really is in that it exists at all. But I have also come to understand how frail a lot of translations--including my beloved King James, which was read in my home growing up--are.

Anyway, Thomas Williams uses the RSV in his writings, but that's one opinion, and I'd like another.
So my question to you, far more learned in dead languages than myself, is--which translation do you feel is the most correct?

Happy Passover!

~Scarlet Pimpernel

Jacob M. Aho said...

~Scarlet Pimpernel

I have read Bart Erhman's book “Misquoting Jesus”. The book
certainly shows the miracle of the canon of scripture. However
he does an incredible disservice by insinuating that the canon of
scripture can not be fully trusted because of it’s minor errors in the overall scheme of history. I’m not able to give specifics because It’s been four years since I read the book.

Now, as to the right translation – I personally have several translations that I like, read and study. Each translation has it’s audience and purpose. Each translation has it’s bias. Some time go on Dr. Mounce’s web site Bibletraining.org and you will learn a lot about different translations and their issues. Dr. Mounce worked on the ESV translation project. I use the New Living Translation to get an overview of the book or chapter of the Bible that I’m reading. I use several different translation to dig into a specific text. For the purpose of deep study I use several translations NIV, NASB, Holman Bible and since I read the Finnish Language, I will check that one out as well. I’m biased, the King James is very difficult for me to understand and for that reason I shy away from it. However I’m not saying it’s a bad translation, it’s just one translation that I find difficult to comprehend. The issue for me is: not what translation are using but are you reading the Holy scriptures and being obedient to the scriptures.

Jacob M. Aho

Anonymous said...

Hi Jacob,

Thank you very much for your thoughts! I love hearing new perspectives...
Interesting that you read Finnish... I've heard again and again that the German Bible, Luther's translation, is more correct than anything in English. How do you feel about this?

~Scarlet Pimpernel

Matt Perkins said...

Jacob,

Thanks for the post. Surprised you read Ehrman's book but glad you didn't buy into the skepticism he is promoting.

Scarlet Pimpernel,

I'm not a big stickler for one translation being the best. And I'm not really learned in dead languages - took one concise Greek class in seminary and probably don't remember much of anything from it. So my respect for various translations is basically second-hand from people whom I respect. With that said, I use the ESV which I think is a very faithful translation which takes fewer liberties than some and stays very close to a word-for-word translation from the text. I think the NASB is similar to this. I like the NLT though too and have used the NIV a lot in the past. When it comes to problems with translations I remember hearing about some questionable things in the NRSV and I think some of the stuff in "the Message" is quite unfortunate. The KJV is, of course, from the "textus receptus," along with Luther's translation, which I've also read. Newer translations have the advantage of the use of older manuscripts and textual criticism in comparing manuscripts which vary slightly and trying to determine which is probably truer to the original. Fortunately none of these variations have any impact on any of the central or even more peripheral doctrines of Christianity.

Matt

Jacob M. Aho said...

~Scarlet Pimpernel

The problem is that I don't
know the German Language so I
can't make any kind of value
judgment on the subject.

Something off topic though, I
called CBD to find out if they
carried the ESV Lutheran Study
Bible? well they did however they
also carried a English/German
ESV Bible for 54.99. Matt with
your minor in German, you might
look into it, just a thought.

Jacob M. Aho

Ed said...

So I hadn't really looked at this picture before, but I must (just to be picky) say that it annoys me that the royal gate he is entering is the exact medieval gate that now stands. This would not have been the look of the gate through which Christ passed (look at the crenelation!).

(And yes, I am that Orthodox guy who gets annoyed by the Greek looking St. Athanasius pictures and the Russian Jesus pictures with blue eyes.) :-P