simon peter sutherland
Christian, Theologian, Musician, Songwriter https://simonpetersutherland.com/ http://shimeon.co.uk/
Reflections on the Coronation of King Charles 111 at Manchester Cathedral and evangelism on the streets
Posted in Christianity, Evangelism on May 8, 2023
The day of the coronation of King Charles 111 was a very busy day for many folks. People from all over the country and the world flocked to London to be a part of the extravaganza. People lined the streets in London to watch the procession as the king made his way to Westminster Abbey.
I spent the morning at Manchester Cathedral to watch the broadcast and was interviewed for TV. Later I used the opportunity to reach people in the north for Christ. Over 800 people attended the Cathedral that day. Manchester is a great place for evangelism and people are open to calmly receiving the gospel.
So what then are my reflections on the coronation? I actually quite liked the symbolism and the use of Scripture. I recognised a lot of symbolism and Scriptures used. On that note the Bible Society has published a well researched article on this and you can view it here.
After the coronation I took to the streets and did the work of an evangelist, (2 Timothy 4: 5) Plenty of people were reached that day and many tracts given out. As always the day was packed with excellent and open conversations with the people who lingered around the market places.
One to one conversation is very effective, engaging and rewarding.
That’s a day to remember and let’s hope there will be a better, brighter, stronger and greener country to look forward to. Remember, if we didn’t have a monarchy, then parliament would only be answerable to parliament. What happens then?
I like many people have mixed opinions concerning the existence of monarchy but when it’s all said and done it keeps a long standing tradition going and offers our nation an identity.
Whatever a persons view is, when it comes to evangelism and the sharing of the gospel I keep things focused upon that singular event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have yet to find anyone who can verifiably object to that reality.
Did Christ Descend into Hell? In his 1549 sermon before King Edward sixth, Hugh Latimer says He did.
Posted in "Calvinism", The Bible, Theology on April 18, 2023
Hugh Latimer (1487-1555) was one of the truly great reformers. He was a Cambridge scholar and Bishop of Worcester and during the English reformation he was Church of England chaplain to King Edward sixth. He became one of the Oxford martyrs and during the reign of Mary Tudor, he was burned at the stake in Oxford in 1555.
Previously, in Latimer’s sermon before King Edward sixth, the reformer preached concerning a doctrine known as the Harrowing of Hell or the Descent of Christ into Hell. In Christian theology there is a belief that the soul of Christ went down into hell (or hades) during the three days between His death and resurrection.
I agree with this teaching. However, today many reformed and Calvinistic theologians and ministers have differences of opinions concerning the Harrowing of Hell. For some, the idea is unscriptural and even heresy. While others interpreted the belief to mean that Christ went only to the place of the dead, he did not go to hell. This is the view that many American reformers present to the younger generation who are new to reformed theology. The Scriptures however do not give us a great amount of detail, so it is not an open and shut case. Matthew 12: 40, Acts 2: 24, 31. Ephesians 4: 9, Colossians 1: 18, 1 Peter 3: 18, 4: 6, are all believed by some to affirm the Harrowing of Hell while others disagree. I however do believe that Christ did in fact go down to hell and I am not ashamed of that. The earliest creeds can be understood to communicate something quite different to the number of modern revisions.
For example the Apostles Creed, believed by some to be as early as 2nd century, affirms Christ’s descent into hell. Early English versions read that way. However the present Church of England version reads “he descended to the dead.” which is quite a significant variation. The place of the dead or hades can imply a place of waiting or a place where certain souls descended after death. Whereas hell implies the place of torment where the souls of unrepentant sinners will go.
The 39 Articles of Religion, 1562, (Article 111) affirms Christ’s descent into hell. However, for many people, the idea of this contradicts the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 19: 30). However I don’t agree with that claim.
There are however differences of opinion throughout Christianity concerning this matter and I am not going to cover all of them in this article. However what I do present is a view defended by Hugh Latimer before King Edward sixth in 1549. In this sermon Latimer affirms his agreement with the Harrowing of Hell in the face of the disagreements of his day.
In his own words Latimer says thus:
“There be some great clerks that take my part, and I perceive not what evil can come of it, in saying, that our Saviour Christ did not only in soul descend into hell, but also that he suffered in hell such pains as the damned spirits did suffer there. Surely, I believe verily, for my part, that he suffered the pains of hell proportionably, as it corresponds and answers to the whole sin of the world. He would not suffer only bodily in the garden and upon the cross, but also in his soul when it was from the body; which was a pain due for our sin.”
Latimer also stated the following,
“I see no inconvenience to say, that Christ suffered in soul in hell. I singularly commend the exceeding great charity of Christ, that for our sakes would suffer in hell in his soul. It sets out the unspeakable hatred that God hath to sin. I perceive not that it doth derogate anything from the dignity of Christ’s death; as in the garden, when he suffered, it derogates nothing from that he suffered on the cross.”
(Sermons by Hugh Latimer. The Seventh Sermon of M. Latimer preached before King Edward, April Nineteenth, (1549) P. 234-235. The Parker Society, Cambridge. M. DCCC.XLIV)
A person can disagree with the interpretations of the Scriptures I have presented here, but let it be not said that the Harrowing of Hell is not true reformed doctrine. It is difficult to find a truer reformer than Hugh Latimer. He was a brilliant 1st generation beacon light of the reformation.
Whatever your belief, I do believe that hell exists and is a very real place where unrepentant souls will go for eternity (Revelation 20: 10). I do not believe in universalism or annihilationism. I do however believe it makes sense Biblically to say that Christ went to hell in the place of those who would follow Him and believe.
I wonder, does that include you?
Easter reflections on Simon Peter and the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Posted in Christianity on April 6, 2023
One of my favourite modern Biblical documentaries is David Suchet’s “In the Footsteps of St. Peter”. In this film the actor traces the steps of St Peter from his early days in Israel, to his possible connections to Cappadocia and the final events of his life in Rome. Although I don’t connect St. Peter with the Vatican, I believe he was in Rome. It’s a fascinating place!
Fascinating for me, since St Peter is one of the leading figures of the New Testament and a person I can connect with. I was named after the apostle by my parents. Simon Peter is my given name. When I was growing up my father had a book called “The Big Fisherman” and it meant a lot to me. As a family we often watched “Peter and Paul” (1981) starring Anthony Hopkins, as Paul and Robert Foxworth, as Peter. I still enjoy that series and when we were in Rhodes, we visited a number of filming locations where key scenes were shot. One of these was in Rhodes Town, near St Paul’s Gate. Lindos also features as a filming location, which adds more realism to the film since Paul visited there (Acts 21: 1)
Like David Suchet’s documentary, “Peter and Paul” portrays Peter as a very strong person, and does not white wash his humans faults. In the gospels Peter is up and down, he makes mistakes and even denies knowing Jesus (John 18: 15-18) Yet in Acts 2: 14-39 Peter’s sermon is courageously outstanding. A proof of the indwelling presence of Holy Spirit.
Peter’s life can be understood to show that Christian’s are not perfect, if they were they would not need to be Christian’s. Yet his life also shows a progression from a sinful man to an apostle absolutely dedicated to Christ.
No surprise then that Simon Peter, (Shimon or Simeon) is an important figure in my Christian life. Like Peter I too have been a preacher and also a fisherman. One of my favourite pastimes are my days of sea fishing along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. For me there would be no greater pleasure than going out on the boat, catching fish from the shore and cooking them on the beach. Mackerel never tastes so good as when it cannot be fresher.
Back in the day I was just a simple musician desperately trying to get a recording contract, but each time something to do with church would deter or call me. Sometimes independent churches pressurise church goers to minister or evangelise even when it may not be their calling. I too at times wanted to be a minister but that has not yet come to pass. For me, going about in the Biblical lands, making free documentaries without all the fuss and clutter, works well. Maybe I’ve found my place in that.
But out of all the things in life, the uncertainties, the changes, the progressions, the ups and downs, one thing remains absolutely certain and that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 2 Peter 1: 16 Peter wrote; “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
In John 20: 6 Peter witnesses the empty tomb and sees the “linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief” that had been around the head of Christ. These were not scattered about, but folded together in a place by themselves. The eyewitnesses saw these happenings and believed. But it was not all a bundle of roses. The gospels communicate the real reactions of people. When the resurrection had happened and the body of Jesus wasn’t in the tomb, the apostles went fishing.
In John’s gospel Peter and the apostles are out on the boat and they weren’t catching anything. Then Jesus came along and told them where to fish and they caught “one hundred and fifty-three” (John 21: 11) In John Rylands Library, (my place of escape), there is a section above a stairway where the architectural dimensions are said to be built around St John’s reference. In sacred geometry 153 is apparently a sacred number communicating something of the dimensions of heaven.
In these days when Christianity is so difficult and it would seem like the whole world hates us and will not let us simply live in peace and practice our faith, there are times when I too (like Peter), withdraw and say “I’m going fishing” (John 21: 3) Then Jesus shows up and says ‘Simon, do you love Me, “Feed My sheep”.
For this reason I focus upon the truth of Christianity rather than the distortions of it. Feeding the sheep is better than arguing with wolves. I believe the proclamation of the Bible will overcome error. However, there has been many times when I have felt like walking away from Christianity and just keeping my faith to myself and simply go on living, doing my own thing. ‘Christianity’ has become so corrupt in many ways, I think. Too many churches are just exploitive money grabbing establishments of narcissism, power and people pleasing. If I focus upon them, it does no good. But then when I withdraw and keep focused upon who I am in Christ, and hold on to my Bible, I carry on and speak the truth. Christ raises me up and as one era draws to a closure, a new era opens up.
Perhaps some of you have felt this way? We are all only human after all.
Right now I do not know what the future holds for Christianity in Britain? I believe the truth will conquer in the end. Being in the Church of England I may well be seeing the final days of orthodoxy in that establishment? Glorious buildings, excellent liturgy, and when sung, Christ magnifying hymns edify the soul. Conservative evangelical Churches are growing. As for the rest, it’s not so good. Too many progressive liberal revisionists spend half their time arguing their way out of the liturgy.
Nevertheless, I wonder how you might let Christ serve you this Easter or Passover? Will you simply eat chocolate or attend a service? Or will you believe and go on believing. Will you let Christ serve you with a better breakfast than you have ever known before? Make life different this season, don’t let another year go by without doing something about it. If Jesus Christ truly rose from the dead, and I believe He did, the event cannot be anything else but earth shatteringly important and if He truly cares for you enough to die in your place, you cannot ignore Him.
No one need think that becoming a Christian means you must be perfect. Peter was not perfect, neither is any Christian. If we were we would not need a Saviour. Likewise believers need not feel over pressurised by other Christians as though imperfections make us false. We need the resurrected Saviour, without Him, humanity has no hope, and all our efforts and plans are nothing.
The Gospel and the Coronation of King Charles 111
Posted in Christianity, Evangelism, The Bible on March 29, 2023
This week I received my Charles 111 Coronation gospel tracks from Living Waters. They look great! Full colour and the quality is excellent.
These tracks are basically well designed free handouts that make it easy to share the gospel with people in the events surrounding the Coronation of King Charles 111 in May, 2023. On the back of each of them you’ll find the plain gospel, 110%.
Recently the Church of England has said it plans to use the coronation to convert people to Christianity. What better way to do it? Since a majority of the bishops appear to be busy spreading confusion and division rather than converting anyone, I thought things sound ripe for the gospel. After all, people don’t need to be clergy or a bishop to evangelise. Politicians cannot change people, and bishops can’t either, it’s the evangelists who change things. And all of us have the right to share our faith.
With so much division being spread throughout the land it can never be a bad thing to invite souls into the kingdom of Christ. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a growing need for the gospel and indeed such a hunger for it. Make no mistake, people are hungry for the gospel in the uk despite what some would have you to believe. But so often, converts decrease because evangelists are few, and more often than not it is the church itself that prevents the gospel being shared. With apostasy all around us, and the Church of England in crisis, what better time than to use this opportunity to share the good news of the kingdom and win souls for Christ. There’s no need to cause offence, no need to argue with people, no need to shout on street corners, just be kind to people, share the good news of the gospel and be a light in the darkness. Let God do the rest!
Remember quality is better than quantity.
The gospel is simple, effective and when properly communicated, life changing. Keep things focused, don’t get caught up in distractions, Christ is crucified, Christ is risen, and no one is without sin, and we broke the moral law of God (contained in the Ten Commandments) “Jesus paid their fine.” so repent today and trust in Jesus Christ and God will give you eternal life.
Remember, you too can spread the gospel to a nation that has lost their way. Be you rich or poor, employed or unemployed, clergy or lay person, you too can be a powerful witness for the gospel and it’s free and available for all.
On this day 12th March 1554
Posted in Christianity, Documentaries, Martyr George Marsh on March 12, 2023
On this day in 1554, a warrant was issued for the arrest of a farmer and preacher by the name of George Marsh. At that time Marsh was a Curate in the Church of England and had been to Cambridge and had run a school and ministered in both London and Lincoln. Upon learning the Church of England had swayed over to popular culture and had committed the apostate act of bowing the knee to Roman Catholicism, Marsh left his ministry and returned to his home town to preach in Bolton, Deane, Bury, and Eccles. A warrant was issued by the Earl of Derby for preaching without a licence, and after hearing about this Marsh wondered around the area of Deane Church, and the following morning he received a letter from a friend who advised that he should in no wise flee, but abide and “boldly confess the faith of Jesus Christ.”
In those days, the authorities gave the reformers the option of either leaving the country and going to Germany or Geneva. At that time the reformation was in full bloom in those countries. After reading the letter Marsh chose to stay and handed himself in to the local sheriff, master Barton.
It was a very costly decision. Marsh stood a small trial at Smithills Hall, and was sent to Latham, Lancaster, and eventually to Chester where he was burned at the stake on April 24, 1555.
May we never forget.
Hymn stories: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Posted in Christmas, Christmas or Nisan, Music on November 24, 2022
Christianity has in its favour the greatest hymns ever written.
There is no denomination in Christendom that has more superb catalogue to its credit than Anglicanism. So it is with the timeless Christmas classic “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Originally published as a Christmas Day hymn by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), it was included in John Wesley’s Collection “Hymns and Sacred Poems” in 1739. The previous year Charles had experienced a conversion in London on 21 May, 1738 and felt renewed in his faith. Soon he began to spread the good news of the Gospel and write the great hymns he is known for. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” displays that now bygone era and captures Wesley’s new found zeal. It is a glorious hymn.
When I was a boy I used to love listening to it on the opening credits of the 1951 version of Scrooge with Alistair Sim. It has never left me to this day. Unlike many of the shallow and theologically bland chorus’s sung in many independent congregations around the world, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” upholds the fabulous dignity of Biblical splendour. It presents in a glorious array the celebratory narrative of the Incarnate Christ. Inspired largely by the King James Version, Charles Wesley’s original lyrics read like so:
“HARK how all the Welkin rings
“Glory to the King of Kings,
“Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
“GOD and Sinners reconcil’d!
Joyful all ye Nations rise,
Join the Triumph of the Skies,
Universal Nature say
“CHRIST the LORD is born to Day!”
These words were adapted in 1758 by George Whitefield (1714-1770), and read like so:
“HARK! the Herald Angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
God and Sinners reconcil’d.
Joyful all ye Nations rise,
Join the Triumphs of the Skies;
Nature rise and worship him,
Who is born at Bethlehem.“
Whitefield’s version was published in 1782 in Tate and Brady’s New Version of the Psalms of David. But the story doesn’t end there. In 1855 musician William Hayman Cummings (1831-1915) gave the song a new lease of life by adding music by Mendelssohn (1809-1847). This is generally the hymn tune we sing today.
Wesley wrote, “Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild, “GOD and Sinners reconcil’d!“. Those original words by Charles Wesley proclaim the pure truth of the Gospel and rightness of the One and only person of Jesus Christ. The only peace that can ever be attained on this earth is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Remember this and never forget, works that have begun, do not always end there. They can go on to future generations and never be forgotten.
This season, go and find yourself a great carol service and sing your heart out until the place becomes unglued. Let the false teachers commence. Let them argue their way into apostacy. Let the world turn in on itself. Let the weak try and rule the strong by fear. Let them try and take away your freedom and right to think. But you, keep yourself unspotted from the world and know that they can never take away your right to sing!
Keep warm this Christmas and sing!
Farewell Queen Elizabeth 11
Posted in Christianity, The Welsh Bible on September 23, 2022
When a person dies, most of us remember the last time we saw that person. For some of us, those memories may relate to past loved ones, families, parents, or friends.
Over recent weeks many people have mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth 11 and since many have written tributes and messages of condolences, I thought I too should write some brief reflections.
In this post I would like to reflect upon my earliest memories of the Monarch and conclude with a brief perspective on her faith.
In the 1980’s (when I was a boy), my parents took me to London. This was a memorable event and seeing that city for the first time was a monumental experience.
I grew up in the north of England and the Lake District was my favourite place on earth. But still, the thought of going to London took my breath away.
It was a warm day when we arrived in England’s capital. I gazed up at Big Ben in awe and wonder. All around me were red telephone boxes and London taxis. ‘The Queen lives near here‘ I thought.
My parents bought me a souvenir. This was a small Britain’s Deetail Queens Guard metal figure. Afterward they took me to the area of Buckingham Palace. These are memories I cherish very deeply.
Back in those days my parents loved the Royal Family and whenever the Queen appeared on television we all sat around and watched. In our home there was never any challenge of those who were in authority, we accepted rules and that was that. But growing up in the north of England was tough and life was difficult. Many working class people hated the lifestyles of the rich and as a youngster I was horrified to learn that a certain group of protesters had thrown eggs toward the Queen during one of her visits to Manchester. Why would they do that I thought?
Times were changing I suppose. But change does not always bring stability and stableness does not always bring change. Life became tougher and the north became a difficult place to live. But for me, Queen Elizabeth 11 remained an enormous presence and gave our nation a sense of hope, identity and continuity.
I will remember Elizabeth 11 with fondness as the only Queen who will ever reign in my lifetime. All of us have been affected in some way by this extraordinary person and all of us will be effected by the Queens absence. As the saying goes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
When I learned of the passing of Elizabeth 11 on 8th September 2022, I felt chocked. I didn’t believe it. But when I realized it was true, I sat in silence and cried. Perhaps you also felt this way?
On Friday September 9, 2022, I attended an evensong service at Manchester Cathedral and read some of the tributes people had written. There for my first time “God save our gracious King” was sung.
On Monday September 19, the world watched the moderate and appropriate funeral. I too greatly admired the 7 sacred hymns that were performed. Commenting, Rod Benson had this to say:
“The removal of the crown, orb and sceptre to be returned to the high alter at the Queen’s committal was full of appropriate symbolism reminding the world that all human authority is on loan from the King of Kings himself and that he is the one who rightly holds all the instruments of power; conferring them for a finite time onto one of his servants before taking them back at the end of their life to pass onto their successor.”
It should be noted that over more recent years the Queen had become more vocal about her faith. Did you know Elizabeth 11 was Patron of the Bible Society?
This is perhaps reflected in the choice of a particular hymn sung at her funeral. It was based upon Psalm 121: 1, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills” a favourite Scripture of Mary Jones who’s story inspired the founding of the Bible Society in 1804.
I believe the Queen will leave behind an enormous legacy to this country. We will never see the likes of her reign again. Like many people, I am very thankful for the commitment, loyalty and uprightness with which the Queen lived out a life of service.
But no matter who we are, rich or poor, blind or lame, weak or strong, all our lives will come to an end. What happens then? For those who live for this life only, life is but a fleeting moment. But those who live for Jesus Christ live for an eternal destiny in glory.
As a Christian I believe all those who are in the faith are brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no inequality in Him. All my life my late mother Joyce, would sing the words of the famous hymn, “I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross, and exchange it some day, for a crown.” It is an eternal truth that in heaven there will be no kings or queens, no rich or poor, no hatred or division, we will all be made equal and we will all wear a crown.
Queen Elizabeth 11 believed that Jesus Christ has made all things new and when He returns the dead will rise again, “those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5: 29)
Speaking about her faith, in 2011, the Queen said this, “God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.”
I believe those words are thoughtful, and to be cherished.
As we remember the Queen, please do not forget her faith. Because we all have evil within us and power in the wrong hands can be lethal. We all have the Queens faith to thank for her many years of service and strength. In this world we need peacemakers who are willing to give their lives in the service of others. Let us not forget that as God loves us, He gave us so great a gift, Christ Jesus King of Kings, and without Him we have no hope.
Did the Resurrected Body of Jesus have scars?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the singularly most important event that has ever taken place since time began. It is such a powerful event that many people have no idea what to make of it. On the one hand some choose to ignore it, while on the other theologians, historians, lecturers, intellectuals, and artists want to explore it.
Artistic representations of the resurrection differ throughout the centuries. The earliest images are believed to be in Rome while later more westernised images appear around the world. Some of these images depict the resurrection in various ways. For many, the resurrected body is presented as clean, and free of scars, yet still containing the nail holes in His hands and feet and the spear hole in His side. While others may present a slightly more rugged body bearing the marks of a crucified man.
In many ways, these artistic representations have conditioned our minds. In the days before film and photography, paintings and stained glass windows served as the earliest cinemas. They presented Biblical stories for artists and Church goers who could not read. In our time Church buildings are not the only representatives of the Bible, movies and television programs have projected Biblical stories into our vision and in many ways have come to dominate how we see the resurrected Jesus. Biblically inspired films often depict the resurrected Christ as One who has suffered the pains of the cross yet risen as a new body with all the scars, wounds, and potential disfigurements airbrushed out. In many depictions the only damage to remain on the resurrected body of Jesus are the nail holes in His hands and feet. Many representations show nothing of the scars left from the crown of thorns, or the scourging, or the damage made to His face and body when He was hit and beaten (Matthew 26: 67, Mark 14: 65, Luke 22: 63-65, John 18: 22. Matthew 27: 27-30, Mark 15: 16-20, John 19: 1-3).
Although the gospels do not give us any graphic details about the passion, Josephus offers insight into how cruel Roman scourging could be and in one incident a man was so severely beaten that his bones were laid bare (Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 6, chapter 5.3).
In my opinion, it is possible that the resurrected body of Jesus still retained the scars inflicted during His passion. Likewise, the whole point of the resurrection is lost if a person assumes Jesus’ resurrected body was not the same body that was crucified. The point of the resurrection is that Jesus rose again in the same body that was crucified and in the same body that died. None of this is denied in the gospels and yet the texts read as though there was something different about the resurrected body. For example, in Mark 16: 12 Jesus appears to two disciples in “another form”. In Luke 24: 13-31 the two people on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognise Him. Luke claims “their eyes were restrained” until He broke the bread and their “eyes were opened” and suddenly He vanished from their sight. In John 20: 14-15 Mary Magdalene saw Jesus but did not know it was Him and supposed He was the gardener, yet in verse 16 when she turned, she knew it was Him. Yet in John 21: 7 Peter recognises Him.
Clearly there was something different about the resurrected body of Jesus and this is also affirmed in Philippians 3: 21 where Paul describes His resurrected body as “glorious“.
Yet in John 20: 24-29, Thomas will not believe until Jesus shows Him the nail holes in His hands and the spear hole in His side. On this occasion the doors were shut and suddenly Jesus appeared. Thomas sees the wounds with his own eyes and believes, so clearly the physical resurrected body of Jesus still bore the wounds of His crucifixion.
This begs the question: if His body retained the nail and spear holes, could it have also retained the scourge marks and other scars from His beating? It would seem logical to assume if the body retained the nail and spear holes it would retain other scars also, including the marks made by the crown of thorns.
Isaiah 53: 5 does not write about the stripes as though they are going to disappear, but as though by their very existence, we are healed. It is therefore possible that His body bears the marks of His passion as a witness to His death and resurrection.
In conclusion, I believe it certainly is possible that the physical resurrected body of Jesus Christ bore the marks made by the wounds inflicted upon Him when he was beaten, scourged, and crucified. It could help explain why some of the disciples did not recognise Him. Isaiah 52: 14 says “His visage was marred more than any man” so we can agree that after such a horrific beating, His appearance would have dramatically changed from His usual appearance. Also, He would have had a new robe on which would not have been the same garment and tunic He wore normally. His original clothing was destroyed at the crucifixion (John 23-24) This may have also made His appearance appear a little different to the disciples.
It should be noted that all the disciples forsook Him at the crucifixion apart from John, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus. Peter witnessed moments of trial. Both Mary Magdalene and Peter recognised Him, which could mean they knew how much He had been beaten.
Although the gospels make no direct mention of it, I believe it is possible, though I cannot prove it, that the resurrected body of our Lord Jesus Christ retained the scars and marks of the physical damage that was inflicted upon Him as He bled to death for us and our salvation.
It is a picture and a reality of hope, that no matter what life throws at you and how horrible people can be at times, those who believe in Jesus Christ will rise up and follow Him. We too will win in the end.
Believe in Jesus today. He died for you.
Biblical ‘curse tablet’ found on Mount Ebal
Posted in Biblical archaeology, The Bible on April 10, 2022
Biblical Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient tablet containing what could be the earliest known example of the Hebrew name name of God, Yahweh.
The Tablet was found on Mount Ebal mentioned in Deuteronomy 11: 26, 29.
The ‘curse tablet’ is an extraordinary discovery because it was found on a site believed to be the altar of Joshua. If proven beyond doubt it could be the most significant Biblical find since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1946/47.
The use of Hebrew would also predate the Dead Sea Scrolls by 1,350 years. Meaning the ancient Israelites had a much more advanced knowledge of Hebrew than modern scholars have thought.
If true the ‘curse tablet’ could prove the Books of Moses were written earlier than modern scholars have claimed. I say this because in recent years many modern sceptics have sought to challenge the claim that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. The use of Hebrew, they say, is too advanced. Yet Jesus said “If you had believed Moses, you would be Me: because he wrote about Me.” (John 5: 46). Clearly Jesus believed Moses was the author of the Torah.
I believe people today have to live with one of the biggest problems in history, they have lost confidence in the Bible. Secularists and revisionist modernisers have sought to drive away peoples trust in the Bible. But God is forever drawing them back.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is yet to be discovered by many people and for believers, telling people the truth about Christ is a little like doing archaeology, we must remove centuries of layers to uncover the truth.
The ‘curse tablet’ is great news in a world hell bent on destroying itself. If proven to be true, it is an excellent discovery. But don’t take my word for it. Look it up, see for yourselves! Have faith and be assured the Bible is true from cover to cover. Go tell someone about Jesus Christ today.
APOSTLE PAUL and the Island of Hippocrates
Posted in Documentaries, The Bible on October 18, 2021
It has been exactly ten years to this very day that I have been presenting Biblically inspired articles on this website. One of my first articles was published on October 18, 2011 on the theme “The Experience of Visiting Biblical Sites” Today, on October 18, 2021, I am continuing to share that joyful experience with my latest documentary.
This documentary is dedicated to my mother Joyce Sutherland, who went home to be with the Lord earlier this year.
I feel now a sense of completion that an era, or particular season, is drawing to to close. Ten years is a long time and I sense somewhat of a closure.
Over the last ten years I have stated many things that I believe, and that I will always do. So as a testimony to my faith, the articles published here will remain and represent a particular era of my life. I have much more to do and see and next year it will be exactly ten years (again) that I have been making Biblical Documentaries. These films simply reflect my personal faith. That will also be made complete.
But as for now, I sense a wind of change. I have said for many years “There’s an East Wind coming” and I believe it has come and will. But for now, as I withdraw to my curtain of silence, I leave you with a quote from THE COLLECT out of the Book of Common Prayer, for this day, October 18, SAINT LUKE THE EVANGELIST.
“ALMIGHTY God, who calledst Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and Physician of the soul: May it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”