VBTS alumnus Luke Bylsma reflects on how he has seen and learned to more deeply appreciate the grace of God during his time at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. Luke Bylsma graduated from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity on May 4, 2014. He, his wife Karin, and their young daughter have moved to Grand Haven, Michigan to work at Lake Shore Baptist Church with two other VBTS graduates.
Last week Wesley Davey wrote a post entitled “Reading from the Right Script!” In that post, he framed living life simply as a choice between two storylines or scripts: (1) the Adam script and (2) the Jesus script. The idea of life being a choice between two radically different scripts has proven helpful in my current study in Judges and particularly in the Gideon narrative which presents Gideon’s choice to live and lead by either the YHWH script or the “adam” script.
A long series of MasterCard commercials ran in which several items were listed with their prices, followed by the value of their corresponding memories: priceless. Their slogan was, "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard."
Today we visited Herodium, the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem, the Praetorium in Antonio's Fortress, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Garden Tomb. Although visiting all of these sites was amazing, the Praetorium in Antonio's Fortress – where Jesus was questioned by Pilate and then flogged, beaten, and mocked before walking to the cross –had the most impact on me.
Thinking about the process of crushing olives and considering that this garden is where Jesus came to pray before his arrest, it gives some perspective on Isaiah 53:5 where it says that, "He was crushed for our iniquities," and again in Isaiah 53:10 it says, "But the LORD was pleased to crush Him." The evening that Jesus spent in the garden was a time of agonizing prayer, absolute betrayal and ultimate desertion. And that was only the beginning of the crushing of Christ.