Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Cleansing Blood of Christ

Cave Assignment - I have been spending a lot of time working on Calvin's cave project. I know he should be the one doing it but since the school allow for parents to help I got so engrossed in it, I overdid it. But then, it all stemmed from very unclear instructions.

We purchased the material required several days ago and was trying to figure it out since then. We end up using very little of what we bought. All we did was soak lots and lots of old newspaper, which was as instructed but I added starch, just so it'll all stick together. The rest consist of barley seeds as pebbles, real grass, plastic grass, cut up chopstick as firewood, chopsticks to pass off as weapons, and two cut up pieces of fabric as beds. We have also included a well and added a little water in it.

I am not sure if it will all hold up. It is still wet. I hope it will be dry, stable and ready by Wednesday morning, his deadline.

What else do you think we can do with it?

Pastor Christopher preached from John 2:1-11 today, one of my favourite exegesis passages, and one so apt for the First Sunday of Lent. It is my favourite because it is one that I had not realised its implications before I studied it exegetically. There is still so much more to learn from this passage but here's what I have learnt so far:

The Gospel of John is a book of signs. The concept of sign is familiar in the OT; it is used amongst other for events that herald things to come, especially in relation to the eschatological future. John uses signs as a message that Jesus is the Messiah, He is the One sent by God. And this is the first sign that John records in his Gospel, pointing to its main message. John's main message in this passage is not so much that Jesus is powerful and can perform miracles, that plain water can be turned into wine, though in truth, Jesus is. The main message is that Jesus is revealing through the signs, who he is - the promised Messiah, and it points to the cross.

The first clue is found in v.4 where Jesus said, "my hour has not yet come". When Jesus speaks of "the hour", he is referring to his death and glorification (12:23). In this, when Jesus then performs the miracle, it has to do with "the hour", his death and glorification.

Secondly, Jesus used stone jars, that do not contract uncleanliness like earthenware, making them suitable for ceremonial washing. Jesus changed the water from these stone jars used for ritual cleansing into something better. The cleansing water became wine. I tried looking into the commentaries I have - Morris, Carson and Beasley-Murray and none of them link the wine to the cleansing blood of Christ. I also remembered something someone said that this wine shoudl not be connected to the wine at the Last Supper. So am I going to far if I say that Jesus is giving a sign - in that by changing the ceremonial cleansing water into wine, he is showing the people that he is the one who will be offering the ultimate, that will cleanse all from unrighteousness, once and for all: his life, his blood, the cross.



  1. Nice job, Pearlie. I'm sure Calvin will have good memories of doing this project with you!

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  2. It's a real wonderful job! This brings back some memories of a similar school project I did almost 3 decades ago! well, I did not do that well for the project, and it was certainly not as elaborate as yours here.

    Perhaps what's missing is the people living in the cave...Haha

  3. great job. It looks so realistic.I am sure Calvin must be very proud. I know his mummy is :)

  4. Kar Yong,
    You did a cave too? hehe ... I never did and I should have referred to you as the cave supervisor! haha ... I cracked my head trying to figure out how to do this. I could not find any figurines real enough for the cave.

    Anyway, I added onto the post with regards to a passage in John, following the sermon for today - would like to know your thoughts on it.

  5. Alex,
    Hehe ... the truth is the mommy did most of the work - so it's more like Calvin would be very proud of his mommy! hahaha

  6. I think the cave is great!!! And I loved your comments on John!!!

  7. hi ... great looking project though one thing, ... since you made it all out of starched paper, and i assume the well is made of that too ... i think it's quite dangerous to add water if it's to hold up till wednesday unless you put the water in a transparent cup, like the ones we use for Holy Communion and slot it in inside that round well of yours. and the water may take the grey paint off after some days ... if you really want to overdo it, maybe some cavemen or a mammoth (like the movie trailer i saw recently called 'something-something' BC)

  8. or you could just take some transparent plastic bag and put water inside with a blue colour thing and tie it up with a ribbon. that way it'll never spill, i think

  9. not ribbon, rubber band sorry or better the fishing line.

  10. Thanks Melissa for the suggestions :) I am looking for real looking figurines and finding a mammoth toy at the right scale size would be just perfect. So far I have not been successful.

    The well is really a plastic container - the kind you get when you ta pau something from foodstalls - which I covered the outer part and a portion of the rim with the starched newspaper. And I did not use any paint. The "natural" colour from the newspaper is just right to pass off as rocks. But it seems to be getting dried now in some areas and has taken a lighter shade.

  11. Hi Pearlie,
    I did not do a cave - but I think it was a vase, or something that holds water.

    coming back to John 2 - I am a bit relunctant to say that the "hour" in John 2 has specific reference to the death and glorification of Jesus, although I do not completely discount this possibility.

    About the water into wine - again, I am a bit reluctant to make the connection between the wine and the blood, athough some scholars make that connection. I think I'd rather keep to the purpose of John's recording of this sign (after all, John's gospel is about signs) - what does this sign point to? It points to Jesus - that he is "the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20:31). How is Jesus the Christ, the Messiah? "He is the one who will be offering the ultimate, that will cleanse all from unrighteousness, once and for all: his life, his blood, the cross."