Monday 5 April 2021

Easter Monday

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 28:8-15

To Seize

The chief priests and leaders of the people wanted to appropriate Jesus by means of the cross and his death, but He escaped from their hands as well as from their hearts. Now, gathered together, they consult one another – literally: they take the initiative, arrive at a decision and get advice – on how to seize Jesus. The Greek verb is lambàno, and in that lambàno there is all their purpose, their movement, their desire:  to seize.
The root of the verb lambàno is labh, "to take, to hold," and slagu, "force, violence." The active form of the verb means "to take over, to seize, to carry with oneself, to obtain something, to take, to grab, to hold in possession, to attach to something, to step inside." The verb lambàno indicates both the idea of participating in an action and then gaining experience, and the idea of receiving, getting hold of something. It also means taking upon oneself, affirming the right to accept, receiving upon request. There are several Akkadian bases: the oldest are lawa'um, "to go around something, to wrap, to lay siege," and labatu, "to put hands on someone."
The object of the elders of the temple is to seize Jesus. In order to survive, those in power need absolute control, and what they cannot control is perceived as the enemy. Every effort must be made to convince everyone that he is the enemy, a dark evil to fight and to destroy.
Will the influence of the benefits group council be enough to seize and secure Jesus?  Is an assembly enough to appropriate the wind of the Spirit? How can the renewal of the spirit be blocked by a meeting? How can a human council seize and control the power of a solar storm?
While the council of the chief priests and the people's leaders are meeting and making a plan to seize Jesus, the risen Jesus is already on the road: He is already in people’s hearts, He is already in the songs of praise, He is already in the veins and in the shivering skin, He is already in the interior hope for a new life. He is already in every gesture of love and sharing, He is already in the proclamation of His word, He is already in the smile of forgiveness, He is already walking, jumping, dancing, singing; He is the joyful Shepherd guiding His people of light.