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M13 Fellowship

Issue 4 April 2012

"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

“耶穌對他說、復活在我、生命 也在我。信我的人、雖然死了、 也必復活。凡活著信我的人、必 永遠不死。你信這話麼。” 約翰福音 11:25-26




Issue 4 April 2012 Content


The Garden of Olives: Gethsemane


The Catalogue of Death


The Timeline: Jesus' Death, Burial and Rise


Be Buried as a Jew

7 9

Once Upon a Feast: The Last Supper

The Empty Tomb: Resurrection of Jesus


The Roman Crucifixion

Editorial Easter is celebrated because Jesus resurrected three days after his death. As it was written in the Scripture, Jesus was put to death because to the ruling Romans He threatened their power over the Jews; to the elders of the Jews He committed blasphemy as he claimed himself to be the Son of God. We could read from the Gospels how he was condemned, mocked, tortured and crucified. When Jesus was on the cross suffering, the crowd challenged Him, 'if you are really the son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!' For sure, being the Son of God, had He wanted, He could have done it. He could have walked off the cross with ease. He did not even have to allow himself to be caught. He could have anything He wanted. But Jesus did not want to. Jesus came to die for us. From the beginning of the Old Testament, we know that the first sin was committed by Adam and Eve. Sin was not compatible with the holiness and righteousness of God and the only penalty of sin was eternal death. Despite our sins, God still loves us. So He sent His son Jesus Christ to us as a son of man. Jesus came to pay for our debt. Because he paid for us, we need not to pay ourselves. As the Son of God He has never sinned, but He chose to die for us. He chose to come to this world and be persecuted by people. He chose to be born to a poor carpenter. He chose to lower himself as He washed the feet of His own disciples, He chose to die the worst as He was put on the cross. Crucifixion was the cruelest way of death sentenced by the Romans. It was reserved for the treasonous and the most evil. The Son of God let Himself to be nailed to the cross. He died and resurrected. By dying once, He removed the sting of a bee, the fangs of a serpent. He conquered death. We still get to die one day - but there is no longer anything to be feared of. Death is no longer eternal. Death has lost its sting. Instead of falling into the fire of Hell, we gain a new life - an eternal one - after death. We know it because we saw it happened on Jesus. The story did not end there. After His resurrection Jesus talked to Mary of Magdalene, walked and ate with His disciples. He continued His teaching and He continued to stay with us. He did not only save us once from eternal death. He continues the personal relationships with everyone who believe in Him. He is still our saviour, saving us from daily temptations and difficulties. And He asks us to pick up our own crosses and follow Him: that all who got their eternal lives redeemed would lower themselves, serve their neighbours and spread the good news: that the Son of God Jesus had come to the world and pay for our debts!

Yours in Christ, LO Hui Yin

Editor-in-cheif, the Sign M13 Fellowship April 2012

The Garden of Olives:


Rank #14 attractions in Jerusalem Type: Nature, historical place Opening time: Closed on Sundays How to get there: Exit Jerusalem via Stephen’s Gate, then walk down to and across the Kidron Valley. Visitor rating: Suggested activities: To meditate and pray The Garden of Gethsemane is located at the bottom of Mount Olivet in the east of Jerusalem, adjacent to the Church of All Nations. In Hebrew, “Gat” means “a place for pressing” while “Shemanin” means “oil”. As its name indicates, the Garden of Gethsemane was actually a place where olives from the Mount Olivet were pressed into oil in the biblical time.

Famous historical event

It is always linked to prayers and betrayals.

After a while, the betrayer, Judas, arrived with soldiers, high priests and Pharisees, who were going to arrest Jesus. Jesus was identified by a kiss from the betrayer. Trying to protect Jesus, Peter cut off the right ear of the servant called Malthus. However, Jesus healed the man’s ear and let himself be arrested, leading to his crucifixion the next day.

Further reading

Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:4053 and John 18:1-11

Each of the Gospel writers describes the events of the night after the Last Supper. At that night, Jesus came to this garden with his disciples Peter, James and John to pray. He had awaken the disciples twice and reminded them to pray in order to avoid falling into temptation. Jesus also moved away from the three disciples to pray, “Father, if it is your pleasure, take this cup from me: but still, let your pleasure, not mine, be done.” As he received strength from an angel, he was able to pray much harder. At the time of stress and terror, he sweated profusely like drops of blood. (



The catalogue of

“Where does grandfather go, mom?” asked a three-year old boy. “He goes to a place which is far far away and becomes a star in the sky.” Everyone in the world lives and dies. Death could be an end to life, or an extension of life itself. No matter how well you know about death, it is always associated with some sort of fear, of uncertainty. However, when you don’t really know what you are heading for, why fear? According to bible, there are four types of death.

Physical death

The death of the body is not just about non reactive pupils or an ECG strip showing no rhythm. Early christians defined death as a separation of body and soul. “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) It can be caused by human diseases, wars, natural disasters or accidents.

Spiritual death

“But your iniquities have separated you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) The spiritual death means separation of man from God. Committing sin, like what Adam and Eve did before, brings spiritual death. It doesn’t take sins like murder for you to be separated from God. A single act of disobedience to the commandment of God can do.


Second death

It is also called eternal death, which means separation from God forever. It is often illustrated as the fearful hell of fire. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Death to sin

It is the separation of man from sin. We are saved by the precious blood of Jesus, who died for our sins. One of the purposes of Baptism is to illustrate what Christ has done for all sinners through His death, burial and resurrection. A resurrected life through a new birth in Christ is crucial to prevent a second death.

- Missing Person Name


Age (last shown up)

365 years old


"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him" (Hebrews 11:5)

Do you think Enoch has escaped from death? Which death do you think it is referred to?



The journey to Jerusalem

Jesus protested financial transactions within the temple; argues with chief priests Jesus predicted/announced the date of his execution Jesus warned against religious leaders, calling them hypocrites and snakes

The last supper

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed and arrested The religious leaders condemned Jesus "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

The road to Calvary

Jesus standed trial before Pilate Jesus was sent to Herod Jesus returned to Pilate Jesus was sentenced to death Jesus was led away to Calvary

On the cross

Jesus was crucified on the cross The soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothing Jesus was insulted and mocked Jesus and the criminal Jesus spoke to Mary and John Darkness covered the land Jesus cried out to the Father Jesus was thirsty “It is finished” "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

After His death

Earthquake & Temple veil splits in half Statements by witnessing Roman soldier (see below) Spear thrust into Jesus’ side. Roman soldier confirmed Jesus is dead Jesus was laid in the tomb Jesus was raised from death “Certainly this was a righteous man!" (Luke 23:47). "Truly this was the Son of God." (Mark 15:38).

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? "It is finished." "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

Jseus and two criminals on the cross Criminal 1 rebuked Jesus. Criminal 2: "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."


Be buried as a Jew

People involved 1. As a sign of respect, the body is never left alone. There will be shomerim(guards) staying with the body. They are not allowed to eat or drink near the body which no longer be able to do such things. 2. There is also a group of volunteers called chevra kaddisha (the holy society) who are responsible for washing the body (Tahorah), dressing the body in the shroud (Tachrich) and preparing for the funeral.

Treatment of the body 1. Cremation is not allowed traditionally. They are not allowed to desecrate a body artificially. 2. It will be buried as soon as possible instead. It is considered to be disrespectful to delay burial as his soul has returned to God, but his body is left in the world. 3. The entire body should be buried, thus, removal of organs is restricted. However, autopsies are allowed if it is requested by law. Organ donation is also allowed as it might save a life and

the organ will be buried eventually when the recipient dies. 4. The body will be clothed in a simple linen shroud, as it is affordable by the poor and everyone is equal in death. 5. Burial in a plain wooden casket is preferred. Nothing is put inside the casket as we come into the world with nothing so we leave with nothing.

At the funeral 1.

Tearing the Kria: the relatives of the deceased will tear their garments to symbolize the lost. 2. The service starts with the Kaddish, a special prayer for the deceased. It praises God instead of mentioning death. It’s considered a merit for the deceased to have these words after death as it demonstrates the children of the deceased are with strong faith to endure the death of a loved one.

After the funeral 1. The relatives or friends will prepare the “meal of condolence�, which consists of eggs and bread. The eggs symbolize life is like a circle and the mourners have no

6 The mourners’ Kaddish Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire house of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen. (Congregational response) May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from heaven and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. He who creates peace in His high places, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say Amen. words to describe their loss. 2. shiva - seven days of intense mourning, followed by schloshim which lasts until the 30th day after burial. The final period of formal mourning is called avelut, lasting for 12 months from burial. During the period of mourning, the relatives will not attend parties or celebrations. They do not shave or cut their hair as well. They will live a rather simple lif

Visiting the cemetery Visitors put stones on the grave to express the respect for the deceased person.


Yarzheit is the anniversary date of passing. The death is remembered at the synagogue. The son of the deceased will recite the Moruner’s Kaddish.


Once upon a feast

The Last Supper Wine

Red wine

First course

Unleavened bread (matzo) Hard boiled eggs Bittered herbs (mallows, chicory, radishes) with Haroset


Jacob’s red bean soup Matzo ball soup Lentil soup The last supper was actually a ceremonial meal called Seder, which means "order". It retells the story of Exodus from Egypt. "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance." (Exodus 12:12-14)

Red wine: a symbol of the fruitfulness of the earth. The unleavened bread: a symbol of the Jewish people's hasty departure from Egyptian slavery soon after Passover. Bitter herbs: a symbol of the harsh life of slavery led by the Jewish people Haroset: mixture of apples, nuts, wine and spices. It represents the mortar the Israelites were forced to use while they built structures for their Egyptian taskmasters.

Main Courses

Roasted Lamb with apricots and prunes Roasted Lamb with apple sauce

Side Dishes

Cooked olive Dilled parsnips and carrots



(bulgar, tomato, parsley, mint)


(dried eggplants)


Date cake Honey cake Roasted figs with honey

Roasted lamb: a symbol of the tenth plague in Egypt, when all first born Egyptians were killed. The Israelites marked the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb as a signal that death should pass over them, as it is written in Exodus. The Lord’s supper (Communion) Christians still observe Lord’s supper nowadays. It is not just a feast, it is a symbol of the new covenant we have with God through Jesus Christ. “After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:17-18) Jesus became the sacrificial lamb of atonement for sin and poured out His sinless blood through a tortuous death. The cup represents Jesus blood, the only thing that can cleanse and make permanent atonement for all sin. "And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me'" (Luke 22:19). The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus, which should never be forgotten as it was given to us. Have you observed a communion? Do you feel thankful for His death on cross for us? Do you want to live a new life in Christ?



The empty tomb

Resurrection of Jesus

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. Awaking from death seems impossible based on our knowledge, no wonder the women were so afraid when they were told that Jesus has risen. In medicine, there is a phenomenon called the Lazarus Syndrome. It is also called spontaneous return of circulation (SROC). The name comes from the story of Lazarus of Bethany in the

old testament, who was resurrected by Jesus at the 4th day of his death. Lazarus syndrome refers to waking up from clinical death. Some people believe the possible mechanism is related to the cardiac refilling and spontaneous return of cardiac function after a reduction of intrathoracic pressure when the patient reduces ventilation. For sure, the resurrection of Jesus cannot be explained by medical knowledge. It is supernatural, and out of our imagination. The resurrection revealed Jesus is God, the ruler of the world. It signifies His power over death and enemies, in other words, the power of sin and death was forever shattered and Christians need not to be afraid of Satan or death anymore. For all who accept His gift of salvation, they are forgiven and shall enjoy eternal life.

Which gift received by Jesus at birth signifies His death? Answer: can be found in The Sign - Christmas special

The Roman Crucifixion


Roman crucifixion was one of the most painful punishment reserved for the very worst criminals. However, Jesus was also executed in this way. It lasts for hours, even days before the prisoner finally dies.

What did the Romans need to crucify Jesus? 1. 2.

3. 4.


Titulus: a sign placed at the top of the stipes to identifies the prisoner. Sedile: a small board attached to the cross, allowing the prisoner a small seat. It actually causes more pain when the prisoner trys to sit on it. Iron spikes: 5-7 inches long, driven in by hammer through the median nerve. A small amout of flexibility and movement was allowed to enable the hanging process.

Stipes: the upright beam which remained implanted in the ground Patibulum: carried across the shoulders of the prisoner to the execution site, weighed ~110lbs

3 2 5 4 1

Crurifracture: an attempt to break the bones of the legs, in order to hasten the prisoner’s death.

Special for Jesus 1. 2.

Crown of thorns Purple robe: Royalty wears purple!

The purpose of the purple robe and the crown of thorns was to mock Jesus as the "King of the Jews."

【獻祭】 (SACRIFICE) 【中】

為贖罪或敬 拜,獻上(動 物或人)的 生命


offering (something or someone) to God as an act of propitiation or worship


hin3 zai 3

Have you thought about what to do with the shelves of space occupying medical books sitting in your room? Especially those that are just one edition older? Other than selling them at a disatisfying price or let them sit to collect dust before it is too outdated for paper recycling, there are better ways to manage your used textbooks. In fact, your used medical textbooks could potentially be a life-transforming tool. Medical students in developing countries are still struggling with corruption in the medical education system. I have heard great dreams from them to be good doctors and to open up hospitals to benefit those who are in need in their countries. However, in countries where the teachers are not well-trained themselves, students do not learn good medicine from them, in knowledge and in ethics. Of course, to fulfill their dreams, we could imagine their hurdles are high, and their roads are difficult, but can't we at least offer things that are not useful to us anymore? Several doctors from Hong Kong have already taken up the lead to work frontline. For years, they have been there among these students to teach medical knowledge and to build future doctors with integrity. I am hoping to call for used textbooks to facilitate their ministry in medical education. For security reasons, please excuse me for not publishing openly where the books are going to, but do feel free leave me questions directly. I would be more than happy to answer them. Looking for books that satisfy the following conditions: 1) Not photocopied 2) In one-piece with no missing pages 3) Within two edition old If you are a Christian, I would encourage you to attach a note with every book you give as a gift of love. Please kindly bring the books to HSH c/o: Room 419

Editorial Team Editor-in-chief Lo Hui Yin Features Editor Joanna Lam Luk Ping Creative Director Jimmy Ng Wai Sing

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The Sign - Issue 4  

This issue is about Easter