Friday, June 11, 2010

as i walk from earth into eternity

Wanted to share something that I learnt in bible study training on Tuesday, that I found really interesting. We were learning about how to study the Bible more effectively, and one of the ways is to examine the culture of those times in the Bible to better understand the context of a passage or verse. During the time when Jesus was on earth, it was normal for people to go to toilets which were probably just a bush, and do their business. Then they would wash with water by themselves, not wipe because they didn’t have toilet paper. So that was a bit of a hassle. So the slaves thought of a way to make money, where they put a wet sponge at the end of a stick, sit behind everyone, and wipe for everybody. They would dip the sponge into water and wipe it. So obviously there was a problem of it being not hygienic because they were using the same sponge to wipe for everybody, because sponges were expensive, and people started getting sick and stuff. So then they put the sponge vinegar instead which helps kill bacteria and make it more hygienic. You probably already see where I am going.

When Jesus was on the cross, about to die, he said he was thirsty, and a roman guard dipped a sponge into vinegar and used a stick to feed Jesus. I always wondered (I guess never to a very curious extent cause I never bothered to find out) why the guards who mocked him all the way, tortured and hit him, would even bother to answer Jesus’ request for water. That was a little too nice. Well, they weren’t being nice. They took what people used to wipe others’ behind and put it to Jesus’ mouth. That was a total mockery of Jesus.

So yeah. Well, i am almost done with my orientation with Disney, i hope i can officially start work (or training) soon, should start by monday. Missed out on evangelism on wednesday because of orientation, they went to a mall. But i signed up for mercy ministry on saturday morning, where if there's opportunity groups of about 20 people will go and serve the community. I am not sure where we are going, i can't remember.

For social night on wednesday, we had a hoedown. So everyone dressed up really southern, played games, had baking and chilly cookout contest and danced to country music. I am going to the disney water park later, i don't know why but for water park we only get free entry until end of this week.

Thank you for praying for me. I feel like this is a great opportunity if anything, for me to grow deeper in my walk with Christ. So whatever comes, i am not gonna waste the chance to grow in my relationship with Jesus, and just build relationships with God's people, and serve in whatever way i can. I do miss home, and am excited that i can experience this but at the same time be able to go home not long after. Only thing i am not looking forward to is the heat at home. It is hot here, but it's just not as burning and sweaty like back in Malaysia (though the americans would beg to differ haha) and the whole room is air conditioned 24/7. My roommate said to go about in jeans and sweatshirts during the last week here to get used to the heat haha


Joel Lee Weng Yew said...

Hmm. So while I agree with reading passages in their cultural context, I wonder if the example you've used is a valid cultural observation.

If you look at Matthew's account of the crucifixion, Jesus is offered 2 drinks. The first, a wine mixed with gall, he tastes and then refuses to drink. The second, a sponge filled with wine vinegar, he drinks. My understanding of the culture of the time and the uses of the 2 drinks leads to the following conclusion.

The wine mixed with gall is designed to dull the senses. Jesus refuses to drink this, because he came to suffer in our place to the full. He wasn't going to take shortcuts at the cross. The wine vinegar was a common drink of labourers at the time, and in fact was seen as refreshing. By taking this drink, Jesus was keeping himself lucid so that he might be able to experience the full extent of his suffering.

So are his executioners treating him nicely? In the first case, it was customary to offer the person on the cross a drink to dull his senses. In the second case, they were helping to keep Jesus awake at the cross.

Btw, I hope you're enjoying your time in the US :) Just pray it doesn't take 60 hours to reach home :S

sarah said...

hey joel! thanks for your insight. when i first heard about that culture, i wasn't so sure myself, i attempted to do some research on it to see the history behind it but there wasn't much i could find.

i am having a great time, and treasuring all the experiences here :) haha it took about 30 hours to come here. i feel like if it takes 60 to go back, i would still enjoy it cause i would be looking forward to go home, probably won't say the same if it really happens lol. hope you're doing well!

Xjion89 said...

Happy Chinese New Year!
Hv a great rabbit year^^

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