Pastor’s viewpoint: June 4, 2016
Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Years ago, a friend was told in the hospital that he could no longer use salt on his food. He asked the doctor what might happen if he continued to use his salt. The doctor said he might die and my friend asked for a few days to think about it.
There are other spices we can use to replace the salt. I use pepper where I once used salt and I’m reminded that many historians believe spices literally changed the world in which we live. Pepper, along with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, was so valuable five centuries ago, it drove nations to sail across vast oceans searching for new routes to the spice-rich Orient. Back then, those colorful grains were used for flavoring food, making perfume, embalming the dead, preserving meat, and sprucing up salve recipes in traditional medicine.
Christopher Columbus was the first, and searching for a quicker route to India, discovered America instead. He named the people he found “Indians” and their local spice he called “peppers.” Vasco de Gama was the first to sail around Africa and then Ferdinand Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the globe … all the while searching for the elusive spices! (Livescience.org)
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:1-12)
Some historians say the women brought 75 pounds of spices, probably myrrh and aloes, to Jesus’ tomb; that would be enough for 100 more common Jewish burials. History tells us that the amount of spices used was related to the importance of the deceased, and the historian Josephus tells us that 40 pounds of spices were used for the burial of the Jewish elder Gamaliel. (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17c.8, s.3).
All those spices, all that history, all that preparation, and if we’re not careful we’ll miss the most important point in this story; “… they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus!”
Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley is a retired pastor serving Woodland and Bold Springs UMC, a marketplace chaplain, and with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.