April 10, 2009


2 Cor 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Gal 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

1 Pet 2:22-24
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.


Listen: Behold the Wood

(Dan Schutte, from the album Here I Am, iTunes link)


Listen: Prayer before the Cross   (John Michael Talbot,  from Troubadour of the Great King, 1988.  iTunes link)


Prayers based on the Seven Words from the Cross

April 10, 2009

From our archives, originally posted Good Friday 2007

Prayers based on the seven words on the Cross

Filed under: Meditations & Devotions, Lent 2007, Lent Prayers — Karen B.

Below, I posted a series of meditations from Project Canterbury based on Jesus’ Seven Words from the Cross.

Since the whole text is long, however, I thought it might be profitable to post the prayers or exhortations which conclude each of the seven meditations to aid in our Good Friday devotions.

First Word.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Blessed Jesus, as we behold Thee being nailed to the cross, and listen to Thy words, we pray Thee that we may evermore be unselfish, mindful of others in all our trials and afflictions, be they never so severe; ever ready to forgive and to seek forgiveness; and ever guided and governed by the Holy Spirit in striving to speak and to do only that which is right, and the influence of which may be for the good of others.


Second Word.

“Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

Merciful and adorable Jesus, Thou who when dying didst promise Paradise to the dying, penitent thief, kneeling at the foot of Thy cross this day, we ask Thee to look upon us just as we are; there is no sin that we would keep back from Thee, for we desire that all may this day be forgiven, and we desire that we may be willing here after to suffer and to have our faith tried even as Thou wilt; if so be we may at the last be with Thee in Paradise, it matters not through what we pass in going thither.


Third Word.
“Woman, behold thy Son. Behold thy Mother.”

O blessed Jesus, our Lord and our God, help us so to hear Thy words and the words of Thy Father, that we may be enabled to fulfill all the duties which Thou wouldst have us fulfill towards all those whom Thou hast given to us. Let us not love father or mother, husband or wife, brother or sister, child or friend more than Thee; but ever mindful of Thy word and example, let not even our love for Thee, nor any thing, make us forgetful of the love and duty which we owe to others.


Fourth Word.
“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Let us then, brethren, while careful to check and control and put away, so far as possible, desponding thoughts, and watchful over our imaginations, not suffering them to fancy difficulties, obstacles, troubles, and failures, if like many saints before us and even like our Divine Master Himself, we have sometimes to pass through a cloud in the journey of life, not be afraid. If we sometimes have to feel that we are left, deserted, let us look up to Him and listen to His word which He has uttered for our consolation, our hope, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”


Fifth Word.
“I Thirst.”

But the same lips that said “I thirst,” said also, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” And into those lips no doubt is it that David put the words: Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God; so that as there was a longing for something to slake the natural thirst, so there was a thirst which was a longing for the souls of men, a hunger and thirst for righteousness and for the accomplishment of the perfect will of God. And, brethren, know we anything of this sort? Is there with us any desire for the higher life, for holiness, for attaining to the righteousness which God would have us reach; any desire for extending Christ’s kingdom for winning souls to Him; any desire to do all that in us lies for the missions and in the missionary work of the Church, answerable to the craving of the bodily appetite of thirst? O Blessed Jesus, that it might ever more be so! that we might be athirst for Thee, athirst for likeness to Thee, athirst for the saving of souls for which Thou didst hang this day upon the shameful tree.


Sixth Word.
“It is Finished.”

Let us then, dear brethren, now lift up our hearts to the Blessed Master and say: Hereafter may we strive, even in the very pettiest details of our daily life, and especially in all that we are to do in working out our own salvation, in the least as well as in the greatest of our secular duties, and in the least as well as in the greatest of our religious duties, to be more and more mindful, and more and more influenced by this Thy word upon the cross, “It is finished.”


Seventh Word.
“Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

And as we look up to Him with adoring love and gratitude, and with the echo of these last words still sounding in our ears, what is the use that we shall make of them? What is the resolution that we shall form from them for the future, whereby to testify our love and gratitude for all that was accomplished for us as on this day, whereby to manifest our desire to be like in all things unto Christ our Master and example? Shall we resolve in all things hereafter to strive to be more resigned to the will of our Heavenly Father–to give up ourselves utterly and forever, body, soul, and spirit into His hands–to be content and to desire that He should rule and direct all that concerns us, from the least thing to the greatest–to see His hand in all things–living and dying to have no wishes and no will but His? Shall we resolve that our last words at night, as our eyes close in sleep, shall be none other than Thine, Blessed Jesus–Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit? That ever as we draw near to the altar to commemorate Thy most precious death, we will repeat them, as Thy saints of old have been wont to do? And that, with our expiring breath, when we too shall be dying, we will strive to make them our last utterance! All this may we indeed do. But may we not fail our life long to do that which we doubt not will be most honorable, most acceptable unto thee–even that which Thou by the mouth of thine apostle Peter hast bidden us, viz.: daily in well-doing to commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful creator. Be this our resolution, at Thy cross this day, daily hereafter, in well-doing, in daily striving to follow the blessed steps of Thy most holy life, to commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful creator.

Good Friday Quotes: Oswald Chambers on the Cross

April 10, 2009

From our archives.  Originally posted April 2007.

Lent Quotes: Oswald Chambers on the Cross

Perhaps today’s Oswald Chambers meditation was written for Good Friday 


“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened – but the crash is on the heart of God.

–Oswald Chambers

Psalm 22:1-5

April 10, 2009

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1)
      Father, we cry out to you for the Episcopal Church: do not abandon us in our hour of need; come soon with the help only you can give. As you raised Jesus to new life from the grave, raise the Episcopal Church to new life in you.

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. (Psalm 22:2)
      Lord, hear our cries for your church and your people.

But you are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)
      Holy Spirit, please help us praise our father in heaven and his son Jesus, and enter into their throne room and worship there.

Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you delivered them. (Psalm 22:4)
      Father, somewhere the fathers of the Episcopal Church went off the rails and ceased to trust you and instead placed their trust in the works of their hands; have mercy on us and bring us back to a place of trust in you.

They cried to you, and were delivered; they trusted in you, and were not ashamed. (Psalm 22:5)
      Lord Jesus, I place my trust and my hope in you. Come and visit us with your Holy Spirit and renew the life of this diocese. Prepare our hearts to receive all that you are preparing for us at the Diocesan Convention.

      A word received: Pray for new life in my church. Pray for my people to receive and rejoice in the power of my Spirit. Pray that the fruit of my Holy Spirit will daily grow in their lives.

Good Friday: 22; Wisdom 1:16-2:1;12-22; 1 Peter 1:10-20; John 13:36-38
Holy Saturday: 95 & 88; Job 19:21-27a; Hebrews 4:1-16; Romans 8:1-11

      Notes from the Front Line

Pray for the worship at the Diocesan Convention.

Albany Intercessor

Good Friday Quotes – St. Theodore the Studite: Now a Tree Brings Life

April 10, 2009

How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the Lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord, like a brave warrior wounded in his hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory! Well might the holy Apostle exclaim: Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world! The supreme wisdom that flowered on the cross has shown the folly of worldly wisdom’s pride. The knowledge of all good, which is the fruit of the cross, has cut away the shoots of wickedness.

Read the full text here at the Crossroads Initiative.

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