Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Korkmayın! (Mat. 28)

Ghost stories usually involve "things that go bump in the night," not things that happen in broad daylight. You find yourself in an ominous place, preloaded with trepidation, nerves on edge, and a cold shiver of dread going down your spine. Maybe you think you see something or someone uncanny out of the corner of your eye in uncertain light. The story gets bigger with the telling, and the next visitor to the haunted site is even more likely to verify your ghost story.

Every culture has its ghost stories. Apparently, we are hard-wired to sense an eternal dimension to our personalities, something that must extend beyond the termination of bodily existence. In most pagan pictures of the universe, the afterlife is the after-life, populated with disembodied spirits who float around, tethered to the pains of the past, bitterly envious towards those of us who are still "on the clean side of the dirt."

The resurrection of Jesus, the cornerstone of the Christian faith, does not follow these "ghost story" expectations. See for yourself:
Mat 28:2 Ansızın büyük bir deprem oldu. Rab'bin bir meleği gökten indi ve mezara gidip taşı bir yana yuvarlayarak üzerine oturdu.
Mat 28:3 Görünüşü şimşek gibi, giysileri ise kar gibi bembeyazdı.
Mat 28:4 Nöbetçiler korkudan titremeye başladılar, sonra ölü gibi yere yıkıldılar.
Mat 28:5 Melek kadınlara şöyle seslendi: "Korkmayın! Çarmıha gerilen İsa'yı aradığınızı biliyorum.
Mat 28:6 O burada yok; söylemiş olduğu gibi dirildi. Gelin, O'nun yattığı yeri görün.
Today's amazing phrase: O burada yok. He, at his place, is not!

Today's amazing word: Korkmayın! -- Fear not!

And, let's see how Matthew's biography of Jesus ends:
Mat 28:18 İsa yanlarına gelip kendilerine şunları söyledi: "Gökte ve yeryüzünde bütün yetki bana verildi.
Mat 28:19 Bu nedenle gidin, bütün ulusları öğrencilerim olarak yetiştirin; onları Baba, Oğul ve Kutsal Ruh'un adıyla vaftiz edin;
Mat 28:20 size buyurduğum her şeye uymayı onlara öğretin. İşte ben, dünyanın sonuna dek her an sizinle birlikteyim."
In heaven and on earth all power to Me has been given.
For this reason (Bu nedenle) go, all nations My disciples/students make ...
Behold I (İşte ben) the world's end until (dünyanın sonuna dek) all the time (her an ) with you I will be (sizinle birlikteyim).

The Muslim faith assumes that one as holy and beloved by God as Jesus could never have died such a shameful death on a cross. The problem is, the eyewitness accounts hold taht this is exactly what happened. Furthermore, it is the resurrected Jesus who sends us out to bring every nation under the oversight of our gracious King, and who promises to be with us as we pursue this assignment.

By the way -- I discovered an amazing Bible study tool on the web, at . Click here to download it yourself. In case you're wondering why I'm including longer Scripture extracts, it's because I no longer need to type them up myself on my Turkish keyboard. I now have the entire Turkish Bible on my computer, along with several other languages and versions. For example: the last time I priced the Septuagint (Greek OT), hard copies cost around $70. I now have a free copy on my hard drive. I can read a selected chapter, add my own notes to it, or see what Matthew Henry had to say about it.

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