Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passion Week with Pilgrim's Progress: Vanity Fair

Christian and Faithful must go through Vanity Fair to get to the Celestial City.  In the Fair, evil men from every nation tempt the pilgrims to buy the sinful wares.  Christian and Faithful refuse and declare, "We buy the truth!"  Only one man will make it out of Vanity Fair alive, but they take comfort knowing that the one who is killed "will be arrived at the Celestial City soonest." 



Behold Vanity Fair! the pilgrims there
Are chain'd and stand beside:
Even so it was our Lord pass'd here,
And on Mount Calvary died.

There, therefore, they lay for some time, and were made the objects of any man's sport, or malice, or revenge, the great one of the fair laughing still at all that befell them.  But the men being patient, and not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing, and good words for bad, and kindness for injuries done [...]

But Christian and Faithful behaved themselves yet more wisely, and received the ignominy and shame that was cast upon them. [...]  This put the other party yet into greater rage, insomuch that they concluded the death of these two men. [...]

Now Faithful, play the man, speak for thy God;
Fear not the wicked's malice; nor their rod:
Speak boldly, man, the truth is on thy side.
~The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come 
by John Bunyan

Jesus said...
And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.
~Luke 9:21-27

From the Passion Week...
And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
~Mark 13:3-13

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