I've been working on the order of service for Thursday, slotting in Padi's hymn choices, which, as you can see from the picture of his journal (click on it to get a bigger view), he'd already chosen two years ago (the others are on another page). It's clear from his writing that the sting of death had been removed by Christ. There are always two realities operating. The one of 'sense' and the one of 'spirit'. We observed this when reading about the betrayal and capture of Jesus. I'll say more about this below. First though:
Important messages about the funeral:
- All welcome - some have asked if it's 'family only' - but we want as many of you to come as possible.
- Come early - the service is due to start at 1:30pm.
- Parking is very limited near the church. Pen-y-Wain Road is amazingly busy so even dropping off is tricky. There are only two disabled badge-holders' bays. The best plan is to park on Ninian Road and walk up Morlais Street.
- Come to the tea. We've got a range of food-types planned, with a decided Padi theme...
- The post-code for the burial will probably lead you to a red-faced Pantmawr Road resident's front door! The narrow lane that leads to the cemetery is on the bend as you come off the A470 (see map below or follow this link: http://goo.gl/maps/cfVlK ).
- If you cant come, remember we plan for the service to be streamed live to the internet and you can access this from the following link: http://tabernaclecardiff.org/go/live
In Matthew 26 we see Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane praying earnestly that if it were possible, 'let this cup pass from me'. The spiritual and scriptural realities were foremost in Jesus mind since he knew he had to fulfill prophesy and that included laying down his life as a ransom for our sins. His prayer could have been altogether different, as he says while rebuking Peter for attacking the High Priest's servant. The disciples, as we are all prone to, were operating in ignorance of the spiritual/scriptural dimension. As ghastly as events were, there was a purpose to them. If the disciples had fought on, they may well have been slain instead of living to see the resurrection and carry the gospel to a waiting world as apostles. If Jesus had prayed for those angelic legions he could not have saved us through his death on the cross. Jesus' pain was very real, but he did not panic because he perceived and acquiesced to the better plan. We may not know the details of the plan but we can confidently leave that with God, who never makes mistakes. When Jesus was finally awakened from sleeping in the storm-striken boat, the fearful disciples accused him of not caring. He rebuked their lack of faith but had they been on closer terms with the Saviour they would have felt at ease disturbing him before the storm or their tempers reached such a fearful pitch. This is still true today: 'When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word, what a glory he sheds on our way.'
Matthew 26: 51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?