I was flipping through the Servinemup.com Archives Page and I ran across a couple of articles that made me pause and smile out loud. It's always good to be able to have a glimpse of where I was, as compared to where I am now. Growth is a good thing. And although I was a lot 'rawer' writer, when I wrote Thug Life back in 2004, I still think I stay true to making the prescribed audience feel my words. It's just like the 2Pac classic goes, "Thug life, ya'll know the rules, gotta do whatchu gotta do..STAY TRUE!!"
2Pac was one of my favorite rappers, but yet my sad reality is that it's more n'gaz that believe that Tupac is still alive, than believe that Jesus is still alive. And some n'gz think BOTH of them are alive!! It's wild on the Southside.
But since this is the SUPER week for all those who have submitted themselves to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and people are going to see a lot of strange things happening this week.
One of the events that plays out the weirdest to me, is a whole bunch of kids dressed up in new suits, dresses, shoes, easter baskets, $40 hairdo's and $15 haircuts and then they're going to let them all loose and run around scrambling to find some hard boiled eggs that are painted different colors. Excuse me for being crass, but wtf???
The Easter bunny and even the word 'Easter' are not a part of the inspired Biblical canon, although you may read a lot of Bibles that actually use the word 'Easter' in Acts 12:4. But Biblical scholars know that the word 'Easter' was not in the original manuscript. That word was added later, the original word there was Pascha, 'the Passover'.
If you want to really understand what the Passover was all about, then you'd have to go back to when the children of Israel were about to leave Egypt and God ordered them to kill a spotless lamb and strike their doorposts and lintel with it's blood. And that night the Angel of the Lord came through the land, and any household that did not have that blood mark on it's door lost their firstborn to death.
Those who didn't follow the command suffered the death, not just to their children but to their livestock too. So that was the last straw and Pharoah told the children of Israel to leave and have God bless him. And the children of Israel left Egypt and headed toward the Promised Land. That was the first passover. You really need to read Exodus 12th-15th Chapters to truly feel it.
Orthodox Jews still observe this Feast, as well as Messianic Jews. This whole week they don't eat any leavened bread. Ain't got time to let the yeast rise for bread, nothing but crackers when you're in haste to leave.
Christians on the other hand, celebrate this as Passion Week. The last week that Jesus Christ lived. He entered the city of Jerusalem on the first day of the week, which is called Palm Sunday, because as he entered the city on a colt, the crowds who had seen Him perform miracles and had heard His powerful preaching and teaching were praising Him,
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!!" Luke 19:38
Even when Jesus was entering the city, He knew His time was near. The laws had already been tapping his conversations. He had private investigators and detectives following Him around everywhere He went. Everytime He spoke, they were right there with a tape recorder, trying to catch Him in some dirt that they could use as evidence against Him in court.
So Sunday, Palm Sunday, was the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus hit the block riding on swangers. - Luke 19:28-44.
Monday, Jesus went into the temple and ran all the haters and hustlers out of there. You see they had those 'bird flippers' running the church just like we do today. There's a lot of pastors and elders that are using their church as a conduit for their personal gain. Of course, that's a fine line between what a Pastor really needs and what he wants, but that's a whole different book in itself. But since Jews from far away were coming into Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Passover, they needed to buy animals to sacrifice. And if they didn't have the required currency, they had to deal with the mony changers who were charging exchange rates that were probably synonomous to extortion. Jesus had had enough of the thieves in the temple. And He went agg in there, but He didn't lose control though, cuz the police didn't come arrest Him for disturbing the peace or anything. But you can read that event in Luke 19:45-48.
Tuesday was a preaching and teaching day. Luke 20:1-22:6. All the religious leaders were around Him, the Pharisees and the Sadducees and they were intent on catching Him say something that they could use to convict Him in court. They wanted Jesus out of there. He was growing too powerful, too many people were starting to follow Him. He was changing too many lives and they were intimidated that He was taking away their authority. But Jesus being the ultimate teacher used parables to keep breaking them off, even though He knew they were going to beat Him and crucify Him, Jesus wasn't afraid of them n'gz.
"Then in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation." - Luke 20:45-47
(smiling) YEAH!! I like those parts when Jesus let's them fools know!! I guess that's just the thug in me. The Southside rapper Z-Ro has a T.H.U.G. song out, but it's an acronym that stands for True.Hero.Under.God
All joking aside, though, I can't stress how important this week in history is for the history of the world. Because if it wasn't for the tomb being empty early that Sunday morning, then we wouldn't have any reason to trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
If He didn't get out of the tomb, then we're worshipping a false god.
Now the leap comes in when you're being asked to believe something that happened over 2000 years ago. They didn't film the Resurrection on hidden camera, it's something we have to believe by faith. And this leap of faith that true Christians are required to make, can seem like a chasm to those who do not read, study and trust in the Word.
You could be like I was. I didn't want anybody to pee on my head and tell me it's raining. I wasn't about to fall for the okey doke and why should I believe some janky preacher who's telling me that Jesus rose up and at the same time he's passing out Easter eggs??? I had to know what was real. So I read the Bible for myself. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21 and all I can say is that it changed me.
And when you add on all the testimonies to the miracles and power of Jesus Christ from others around me. Not just in my family or neighborhood either. I've seen women who used to be crack whores that was literally in a ditch on the side of the road praying for their life and Jesus delivered them. I know families that were on the brink of destruction, and one and/or both of the parents turned their life over to Christ and He gave them a new life. I know He's real, because I know what He does for me EVERY DAY. The Blood that gives me strenght shall NEVER lose it's power.
My steelo hasn't changed, I'm still shooting at a T.H.U.G. audience.
Of course, if you're one of those people that is looking forward to getting your 'Easter' basket, Easter candy, Easter dress, Easter suit, Easter egg thang on..don't let me blow your high. Do you. Cuz no matter what, I know your momma or grandma or wife would love to see you in church this Sunday, cuz it's a LOT of people that practice in the EMC denomination. Only going to church on Easter, Mother's Day and Christmas. That should be a good joke, but unfortunately on the Southside of Houston, it's all the way real.