Good Friday Quotes: Charles Spurgeon – I Slew Him

April 18, 2014

“I slew him—this right hand struck the dagger to his heart. My deeds slew Christ. Alas! I slew my best beloved; I killed him who loved me with an everlasting love. Oh eyes, why do you refuse to weep when you see Jesus’ body mangled and torn? Give vent to your sorrow, Christians, for you have good reason to do so.”

- adapted from “The Tomb of Jesus” by Charles Spurgeon

H/T:  Bible Gateway


Holy Week Quotes: Fr. Tim Fountain on the tradition of veiling crosses during Holy Week

April 17, 2014

At Stand Firm, there is wonderful commentary from the Rev. Tim Fountain about the symbolism and significance of the common Anglican practice of veiling the cross during Holy Week:

There’s a certain contradiction or at least irony in the tradition.  We are proclaiming the cross, after all, and with intensity in Lent and Holy Week as we look at the burden of our sins and the Lord’s gift of his body and blood for the forgiveness of same.  [...]  So why veil what we’re so busy exalting?

My working answer is that veiling the cross does exalt it, via a negative path.  Hiding it reveals a tremendous absence, “What if the cross of Christ never existed?  What if that reference point didn’t exist for our understanding of life?  What if that sign never intruded into history and culture?”

I worked questions like those into a Lenten sermon decades ago.  I still remember a woman who came up after and said, “I felt all the air go out of the church when I thought about those questions you asked.  They were terrifying.”

So there’s power in veiling crosses for Lent.  It intensifies big questions, “What if we are left in our sins and our own self-justifying efforts to ‘balance them out?’  What if there’s no decisive God-given remedy for the human dilemma?”

And in aggravating that tension, the veiled cross sets up the strong medicine of Good Friday and the glorious recovery announced at Easter…

Go read the full entry.


Holy Week Quotes: Don’t miss the joy and the glory in focusing on the suffering

April 16, 2014

Of course, the four biblical Gospels, especially Matthew, Mark, and Luke, concur that Jesus suffered a great deal for us as he gave his life for our salvation so that we could be forgiven of our sins.

And yet, there is another aspect to the Easter story. It is best encapsulated in John’s statement that Jesus, when he “knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world … loved them to the end” (13:1, ESV). When introducing not only the scene of the foot-washing, but his entire passion narrative, John writes the following: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper…” (13:3–4; cf. 14:28).

In other words, John is at pains to show that the Cross was not a dead end but a station on Jesus’ way back home to the Father! This is why he strikes a triumphant note at the outset of narrating the Crucifixion: The Father had given all things into Jesus’ hands, and Jesus was on his way back to his pre-existent glory which he enjoyed with the Father (17:5, 24)! It is, as the writer of Hebrews put it, “for the joy that was set before him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame” (12:2). This Easter, let’s make sure we don’t leave out the “glory” part when we tell the story of Jesus’ suffering. No doubt, the Cross was glorious in and of itself in displaying Jesus’ perfect obedience, God’s love for humanity, and the God-man’s rendering of substitutionary atonement for sinners. Jesus’ earthly work is indeed “finished” (John 19:30), but his glorious work of ruling, reigning, and interceding continues to this day.

- Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor
From here


Holy Week Quotes: We construct our own whited sepulchres…

April 15, 2014

On this Holy Tuesday, let us reflect upon our blindness and deafness; our shortcomings, hypocrisies and inadequacies. Everything we do is dirty rags before the Lord. We construct our own whited sepulchres full of dead men’s bones, and are plagued by all manner of uncleanness, so let us take the Lord’s warnings about authority and hypocrisy very seriously indeed: we must not be outwardly what we are not inwardly, and our outward must be faithful to the inward. Many are called, but few are chosen.

– from the Cranmer blog, today


Quotes for Holy Monday: the piercing glare of Christ and the sin in our hearts

April 14, 2014

Jesus challenged the hypocrisy of these religious leaders, so does He challenge and confront every kind of hypocrisy and insincerity, all cheating and deceitfulness in our lives and societies. Any act that cannot stand the piercing glare of Christ has to be either purged or extricated from us. Hypocrisy is the direct opposite to purity, and thus we have to remember our Lord’s saying that only the pure in heart will be able to see God, and enter His kingdom. Simply put, we must come face to face with the reality that we cannot serve two masters. If our desire is for holiness, we like the temple must be purified and cleansed regularly from sin.

– from today’s Holy Week Devotional at Anglican Mainstream


Palm Sunday Quotes: the cries of “Hosanna!” required the cries of “Crucify Him!”

April 13, 2014

“…by yelling “Hosanna!” (which means “Save now!”), the crowd was already yelling “Crucify Him!” and didn’t even realize it. We could not be saved without His death on the cross.”

- a comment by poet Teresa Roberts Johnson related to her latest poem “Fourth Day”


Lent Quotes: George Whitefield – living our lives as a continual sacrifice out of love for Christ

April 1, 2014

“The death of Jesus Christ has turned our whole lives into one continued sacrifice—whether we eat or drink, whether we pray to God, or do any thing to man, it must all be done out of a love for and knowledge of him who died and rose again, to render all, even our most ordinary deeds, acceptable in the sight of God. “If we live by this principle, if Christ is the Alpha and Omega of all our actions, then our lowliest actions are acceptable sacrifices; but if this principle is lacking in our lives, our most pompous services avail nothing: we are nothing but a spiritual idolater; we sacrifice to our own gain and make an idol of ourselves. We make ourselves, and not Christ, the end of our actions: and therefore such actions are so far from being acceptable by God, that according to the language of one of the Articles of our Church, ‘We doubt not but they have the nature of sin, because they spring not from an experimental faith in and knowledge of Jesus Christ.'”
— adapted from George Whitefield’s sermon “The Knowledge of Jesus Christ the Best Knowledge”

H/t Bible Gateway’s Lenten devotional

The reflection question included in the Bible Gateway devotional is also worth noting:

Christ’s salvation is offered to us freely, and cannot be earned by our actions. Despite this, Christians have struggled since the earliest days of the church with the temptation to try and earn God’s forgiveness by doing good works, following the law, or just living “good” lives. Why is it so hard for us to accept Christ’s gift? Is this a struggle for you?


Lent quotes: Our most subtle temptation

March 21, 2014

In his March 17th devotional on the daily office readings, James Gibson, an Anglican priest in South Carolina wrote the following:

The most subtle temptation every Christian faces is the temptation to do something for Jesus before being with Jesus. We would do well to ask ourselves, during this Lenten season of self-examination, just how much the work we do in the name of Jesus reflects the time we spend in the company of Jesus.

Challenging words!!

I recommend checking out the whole devotional.


Lent Quotes: Leslie Newbigin

March 20, 2014

If anyone tells you that the life of prayer is one uninterrupted experience of being happy with Jesus, do not follow him. He is not a safe guide. Those who follow the Lamb know that there are stretches of darkness and loneliness and perplexity along the way, and they know that Jesus himself went that way. …Lesslie Newbigin

H/T  Pat Dague at her wonderful devotional blog “Incline Your Heart”


Lent Quotes: JD Greear on the practice of Spiritual Disciplines

March 14, 2014

Practicing spiritual disciplines is like cutting furrows that faith in the gospel can fill with new life. The discipline has no power in itself, but provides a context in which God form the affections of faith. And ironically enough, our obedience to God when we don’t “feel” like it can even be an act of faith in and of itself, a cry to God can change our hearts.

- from an interview with JD Greear  (It’s a great interview, I recommend the whole thing!)

h/t Trevin Wax


Lent Quotes: St. Augustine – in Him we have overcome the devil

March 12, 2014

Thanks to Will at Prydain for posting this wonderful quote from Saint Augustine of Hippo:

Our Lord’s will has been to prefigure us, who are His body, in that Body of His in which He has already died and risen, and ascended into Heaven; that whither the Head has gone before, thither the members may trust to follow. Therefore He represented us in Himself, when He willed to be tempted by Satan. For in Christ you were tempted, since Christ had flesh for Himself from you, salvation from Himself for you; death for Himself from you, life from Himself for you; insults for Himself from you, honours from Himself for you; therefore temptation for Himself from you, victory from Himself for you. If in Him we have been tempted, in Him we overcome the devil. Do you observe that Christ was tempted, and not also that He conquered? Recognize yourself as tempted in Him, and recognize yourself as conquering in Him.   (emphasis added)

–St. Augustine, on Psalm lx.


Lent Quotes: Pope Francis – Real poverty and real self-denial hurts

March 8, 2014

Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.

from Pope Francis’ 2014 Lenten Message


Lent Quotes: Ann Voskamp – the ONE big question to ask in Lent

March 5, 2014

I enjoyed Ann Voskamp’s Advent Devotional “The Greatest Gift”, so I went to her blog, A Holy Experience, today to see what she might be posting for Lent.   She’s got a devotional post today from John 4:13-14 (part of a year-long Scripture memory project of passages from John’s Gospel).

“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

In reflecting on that passage, she identifies a key question to be asking on Ash Wednesday, and throughout the 40 days of Lent:

Maybe the one big  question to be asking myself on Ash Wednesday is:

Give up something or don’t — the point is:

How am I giving more of myself to Jesus?

Great question!

Here’s more from Ann Voskamp on Lent, including information on how to download her free short Lent / Easter family devotional “Trail to the Tree.”


Lent 2013: Index of all our 2013 Lent Entries

March 3, 2014

Our Lenten blogging was a bit sporadic here at Lent & Beyond in 2013 (unlike 2012 when we blogged pretty much every day of Lent – you can find our 2012 Lent posts index here.)  But although the quantity of posts was less, there are some entries that are very worth revisiting.  Here’s an index, by primary category, of all our Lent posts during 2013:

***

Devotionals:

A Musical Confession for Lent: Crippled Soul, by Sojourn

Lenten Devotional Reflection on John 3 – Coming Into the Light

A Lenten Meditation on the Golden Calf and Our Own Sin

A Practical Suggestion for Lent – Remembering God’s Goodness and Grace

A Musical Prayer for an Ash Wednesday Evening

“The Lenten Call” – a poem by Teresa Roberts Johnson

A Great Essay by Mark Galli for Lent – Lent is Not Just Another Self-Improvement Routine

***

Prayers:

A Prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week

Lent Prayers – A Puritan Prayer to Cling to Christ and Rest on Him

Lent Prayers: Forgive what our lips tremble to name

Scotty Smith’s Ash Wednesday Prayer: “Over these next forty days give us an insatiable hunger for yourself”

A Musical Prayer for an Ash Wednesday Evening

Ash Wednesday: A favorite prayer from St. Augustine

***

Quotes:

A Holy Week and Good Friday Reflection – St. Augustine

A quote for Maundy Thursday – Christ washes our hearts, not just our feet

Lent Quotes: St. John Chrysostom on the Study of Scripture

Lent Quotes – JC Ryle: The Things Which Murder Souls

Lent Quotes: John Owen on daily mortification of the flesh

Lent Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI – Returning to the Lord “with all your heart”

Lent Quotes: David Fischler – Lent is really NOT about self-examination

Lent Quotes: Dean Robert Munday – What Lent Should Really Be All About

A quote from Pope Benedict XVI – appropriate as we prepare for Lent

***

Resources:

Kendall Harmon’s excellent Ash Wednesday posts

A roundup of Ash Wednesday posts

Recommended Blogs and Links for Lent 2013

 

 


WA Criswell: He is dead… He is dead… He is dead. Then, then then…

March 29, 2013

He was raised between the heaven and the earth, as though both rejected Him, despised by men and refused by God.

And as though abuse were not vile enough, they covered Him with spittle.

And as though spittle were not contemptuous enough, they plucked out His beard.

And as though plucking out His beard was not brutal enough, they drove in great nails.

And as though the nails did not pierce deeply enough, He was crowned with thorns.

And as though the thorns were not agonizing enough, He was pierced through with a Roman spear.

It was earth’s saddest hour, and it was humanity’s deepest, darkest day.

At three o’clock in the afternoon it was all over. The Lord of life bowed His head and the light of the world flickered out.

Tread softly around the cross, for Jesus is dead. Repeat the refrain in hushed and softened tones: the Lord of life is dead.

The lips that spoke forth Lazarus from the grave are now stilled in the silence of death, and the head that was anointed by Mary of Bethany is bowed with its crown of thorns.

The eyes that wept over Jerusalem are glazed in death, and the hands that blessed little children are nailed to a tree.

And the feet that walked on the waters of blue Galilee are fastened to a cross, and the heart that went out in compassionate love and sympathy for the poor and the lost of the world is now broken; He is dead.

The infuriated mob that cried for His crucifixion gradually disperses; He is dead.

And the passersby who stop just to see Him go on their way; He is dead.

The Pharisees, rubbing their hands in self-congratulation, go back to the city; He is dead. 

And the Sadducees, breathing sighs of relief, return to their coffers in the temple; He is dead.

The centurion assigned the task of executing Him makes his official report to the Roman procurator, “He is dead.” 

And the four, the quaternion of soldiers sent to dispatch the victims, seeing the Man on the center cross was certainly dead, brake not His bones, but pierce Him through with a spear; He is dead.

And Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin go personally to Pontius Pilate and beg of the Roman governor His body, because He is dead. 

Mary His mother and the women with her are bowed in sobs and in tears; He is dead.  

And the eleven apostles, like frightened sheep, crawl into eleven shadows to hide from the pointing finger of Jerusalem and they cry, “He is dead!” 

Wherever His disciples met, in an upper room, or on a lonely road, or behind closed doors, or in hiding places, the same refrain is sadly heard, “He is dead. He is in a tomb; they have sealed the grave and set a guard; He is dead.”

It would be almost impossible for us to enter into the depths of despair that gripped their hearts.

Simon Peter, the rock, is a rock no longer.

And James and John, the sons of Boanerges, are sons of thunder no longer.

And Simon the Zealot is a zealot no longer.

He is dead, and the hope of the world has perished with Him.

Then, then, then…

- W.A. Criswell (1909 – 2002)

 

via Trevin Wax


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