Max Lucado – the Main Event

April 3, 2015

He_Chose_Nails_CDThe Cross IS the Main Event of human history.

Listen to Max Lucado’s reflection on this truth from the Holy Week musical “He Chose the Nails” (a great CD released in 2000, accompanying Max Lucado’s devotional of the same name – now out of print.)

 

 

Here is a partial transcript of the words:

[…] History has only one main event.
Scripture has only one main event.
Others matter but only one is essential . . .
David’s defeat of Goliath might reduce your timidity but only the cross prepares you for eternity.

For if there is no cross of Christ, then there is no truth to Christ . . .

To remove the cross is to remove the hingepin from the door of hope, the door of your hope.
For if there is no cross, then there is no sacrifice for sin.
If there is no sacrifice for sin, how will you face the sinless God?
Will you cleanse your own sin?

And if there is no cross of Christ, then there is no resurrection of Christ.
And if there is no resurrection, how will you live again?
Will you push back your own grave?

[…]

Let there be no mistake, the cross is not an event in history,
it is The Event of History.

– words courtesy of Janell Price’s blog Releasing the Word

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Music for Good Friday- John Michael Talbot- Prayer Before the Cross

April 3, 2015

One of my favorite worship songs – a musical prayer – just played in my Good Friday playlist.  I’m spending the evening listening to music focused on the Cross.  I thought I’d share this here since it’s from an older album that may not be so widely known or played these days.
Troubador

(John Michael Talbot,  from Troubadour of the Great King, 1981.  iTunes link)

We adore You, most holy Lord
Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus Christ
As we gather together in this place
And throughout all the world

We worship You, Lord
We adore you, Oh Lord
And we bless Your holy name
For by Your cross
You have redeemed us
You have redeemed all the world


Trevin Wax: My Jesus – Dead

April 3, 2015

Trevin Wax has written an amazing poem /meditation for Good Friday.  I’m reproducing the whole entry here.  Thanks Trevin for such profound words. (I’ve also tagged this under Holy Saturday, since it makes a good Holy Saturday reflection as well.)

CarracciAnnibale-The-dead-Christ-c.1582-Stuttgart-Staatsga

Art Credit: Carracci,Annibale The dead Christ c 1582, Stuttgart Staatsga

And Jesus called out with a loud voice,
“Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.”
Saying this, He breathed His last. 
(Luke 23:46)

~~~~~

He is dead: this man from Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Lord of the world.

With His dying breaths, He spoke words of forgiveness, finality, and faith.

But now the breathing has ceased, and the lungs that exhaled forgiveness are deflated. My Jesus – dead.

The eyes that looked at the crowds with compassion are closed. My Jesus – dead.

The arms that reached out to the unworthy are lifeless. My Jesus – dead.

The hands that touched the leper are driven through with spikes. My Jesus – dead.

The ears that heard the cries of blind men are deaf. My Jesus – dead.

The lips that that told news of a kingdom are stilled. My Jesus – dead.

The voice that calmed the seas is silent. My Jesus – dead.

The feet that walked on water are stopped. My Jesus – dead.

The heart that bled for sinful humanity no longer beats. My Jesus – dead.

The Bread from heaven, broken on earth.

The Light of the world, in the shadow of death.

The Vine that bears fruit, withered and fallen.

The Gateway to God, now sealed in a tomb.

The Shepherd of souls, struck down by the sheep.

The resurrection and life, a crucified corpse.

My Jesus – dead.

~~~~~

He loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)


Emily Polis Gibson – In the midst of sorrow, a terrible question (a Good Friday reflection in memory of the Kenyan martyrs)

April 3, 2015

Reflecting on some of the writings of Frederich Buechner and Julia Esquivel (a Guatemalan poet and theologian), Emily Gibson has posted a powerful and beautiful Good Friday entry which she has dedicated to the memory of the 100+ Christian college students brutally murdered in Kenya this week in yet another persecution of our faith.

I’m posting here one of her quotations of Buechner and three stanzas of her original poem which spoke so powerfully to my heart as I think of and remember those who have been martyred for their faith.  Thanks be to God that through His suffering Christ HAS conquered death and hatred even if it often seems they have the upper hand in this life.  We know this life is just a shadow, and that the Cross shows we can rely totally on the Father’s love for us.  There is nothing He has spared to bring us into His joy, not even the life of His own Son.

…{His is} the love for the enemy–
love for the one who does not love you
but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain.
The tortured’s love for the torturer.
This is God’s love. It conquers the world.
~Frederich Buechner from The Magnificent Defeat

This is God with a man’s beating heart,
who bleeds from open wounds of a man’s skin,
while nailed to a tree,
considering His torturers below
and forgives them.

[…]
This is God with a man’s frailty and fear,
feeling forsaken,
conquering death and hatred
by dying for us.

This is God with a man’s last breath
giving His spirit into the hands of His father
and in so doing, ensures we live forever.

Go read and reflect on the full entry.  It’s one of Emily’s best.

And please keep praying for the families of the students killed in Kenya yesterday.


Pray for Kenya – Good Friday statement from Abp. Wabukala

April 3, 2015

Somehow the suffering of Christians in Kenya today following yesterday’s killing of 147 students by Al Shabbab terrorists, as well as the memory of the recent martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Egypt brings Good Friday into focus much more sharply this year for me.  Below is the statement and the request for prayer from the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala.  May the Lord who suffered at the hands of evil men be near to those families who have suffered at the hands of terrorists.

***

Good Friday statement from the Primate of Kenya

‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother’
John 19:25

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Good Friday we gather in our churches across Kenya in the shadow of a great and terrible evil. People who deal in death have slaughtered 147 people in Garissa, most of them students, and brought wrenching anguish to their families and a deep sadness to our nation.

These young people died because they were Kenyans and they were Christians. This attack was a calculated manifestation of evil designed to destroy our nation and our faith, but on this Good Friday we are reminded that the very worst evil can do is not the last word.

Through spite and blatant miscarriage of justice, Jesus dies the agonising death of the cross, but his last words are ‘it is finished’. The cross was not a tragic accident, but the fulfilment of God’s purpose to reconcile men and women to himself through the atoning death of his Son, a reality gloriously confirmed by his resurrection from the dead.

But we must not rush on to Easter Day too quickly.  Today we stand at the cross with Mary and the other women, heartbroken by loss and suffering and despite the horror before their eyes, not running away.

Horror is fresh in our minds too and let us not run away or deny it, but stay by the cross. We stay with Jesus, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, we share in the grief of Mary and we share in the grief of those who have been so shockingly bereaved, but as Mary was to discover, we know that this is not the end of the story.

Jesus death upon the cross was not in vain. By his death, death has been destroyed. The stone rolled away and the empty tomb of Jesus assures us that death does not have the last word. As we think of those dear ones who died at Garissa because they were Christians, let us remember the promise of the Lord Jesus that nothing can separate them and us from his love.

Above all, let us resolve today that these deaths, and those of other Kenyans who have died previously at the hands of Al Shabaab, will not be in vain. We call on the government to do all in its power to protect the lives of its citizens and we call on the world community to recognise that this latest outrage is not just an attack on Kenya, but part of an assault on world peace. The time has come for the world to unite as never before in defeating this growing menace.

While governments have a vital role, even more important are the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Let us covenant together before God that we will never ever surrender our nation or our faith in Christ to those who glory in death and destruction. We will not be intimidated because we know and trust in the power of the cross, God’s power to forgive our sins, to turn death into the gate of glory and to make us his children for ever.

Amen
Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya

via the GAFCON website


A Poem for Good Friday – Amy Carmichael: Lest We Forget

April 3, 2015

I know I p0sted this last year, but I think it is my favorite Good Friday poem of all time. We have so many questions, there is so much we don’t understand about suffering and pain, but Calvary has the power to still all our questions with the truth that Christ suffered more than we ever will, and in His death is our life.

Lent & Beyond

I’ve been re-reading a bunch of Amy Carmichael’s poetry from her books Toward Jerusalem, and Mountain Breezes, this Lent.  Here’s one of her poems that’s appropriate for Good Friday.  I particularly like the last line… it reminds me to pray for those who are lost and wandering, that they would find their home, rest and joy in Christ.  How incredible that Christ’s pain was for our joy, and His death became our life – fullness of life for now and eternity.

Home of our hearts, lest we forget
What our redemption meant to Thee,
Let our most reverent thoughts be set
Upon Thy Calvary.

We, when we suffer, turn and toss
And seek for ease, and seek again;
But Thou upon Thy bitter cross
Wast firmly fixed in pain.

And in our night star-clusters shine,
Flowers comfort us, and joy of song;
No star, no flower, no song was Thine,

View original post 60 more words


Good Friday entries at Kendall Harmon’s TitusOneNine (2009 – 2015)

April 3, 2015

Rather than just linking to Kendall Harmon’s Holy Week category at TitusOneNine as I’ve been wont to do on Good Friday in past years, I thought it would be good if I did a round up of some of Kendall’s best Good Friday entries from today (so far) and years’ past…  As I did in last night’s Maundy Thursday roundup, I’ll post several prayers in full, and then post links to quotes, poems, music, sermon excerpts, etc.

A Prayer for Good Friday (I)

Lord Jesus Christ, who for the redemption of mankind didst ascend the cross, that thou mightest enlighten the world that lay in darkness: gather us this day with all they faithful to that same holy cross; that, gazing in penitence upon thy great sacrifice for us, we may be loosed from all our sins, and entering into the mystery of thy passion, be crucified to the vain pomp and power of this passing world; and finding our glory in the cross alone, we may attain at last thy everlasting glory, where thou, the lamb that once was slain, reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

A Prayer for Good Friday (II)

O Christ, who by the thorns pressed upon thy head hast drawn the thorns from the sorrows of this world, and given us a crown of joy and peace: Make us so bold as never to fear suffering, nor to suffer without cheerfulness in thy service; to the glory of thy holy name.

A Prayer for Good Friday (III)

Lord Christ, who didst enter into thy triumph by the hard and lonely way of the cross: May thy courage and steadfast loyalty, thy unswerving devotion to the Father’s will, inspire and strengthen us to tread firmly and with joy the road which love bids us to take, even if it leads through suffering, misunderstanding, and darkness. We ask it for thy sake, who for the joy that was set before thee endured the cross, despising the shame, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.

A Prayer for Good Friday (IV)

O God, whose blessed Son endured the loneliness and darkness of the cross, that we might enjoy eternal fellowship with thee: Grant that amidst life’s shadows we may know that we are never forsaken, but that we are ever walking in the light of thy countenance; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of William Temple

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst for me endure the horror of deep darkness, teach me by the depth of thine agony the vileness of my sin, and so bind me to thyself in bonds of gratitude and love that I may be united with thee in thy perfect sacrifice, my Saviour, my Lord, and my God.

A Prayer of John Wesley

O holy and ever-blessed Jesus, who being the eternal Son of God and most high in the glory of the Father, didst vouchsafe in love for us sinners to be born of a pure virgin, and didst humble thyself unto death, even the death of the cross : Deepen within us, we beseech thee, a due sense of thy infinite love; that adoring and believing in thee as our Lord and Saviour, we may trust in thy infinite merits, imitate thy holy example, obey thy commands, and finally enjoy thy promises; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

And Another Good Friday Prayer

O holy and adorable Redeemer, by whose condemnation we are acquitted, by whose stripes we are healed, by whose death we have life, by whose cross we gain our crown: Keep us, we beseech thee, ever mindful of thy boundless love; and when thou dost call on us to bear for a while thy cross, like Simon of old, make us to rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for thy sake, and accept our feeble sacrifice, through the merits of thine eternal redemption. (W. E. Scudamore (Rector of Ditchingham and Fellow of Saint John’s College, Cambridge)

Still Another Good Friday Prayer

O God, the Father of mankind, who didst suffer thine only Son to be set forth as a spectacle despised, derided, and scornfully arrayed, yet in his humiliation to reveal his majesty: Draw us, we beseech thee, both to behold the Man and to worship the King, immortal, eternal, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer for Good Friday (IX)

Hear us, O merciful Lord, and remember now the hour in which thou didst commend thy blessed spirit into the hands of thy heavenly Father; and so assist us by this thy most precious death, that dying unto the world, we may live unto thee; and that at the hour of our departing from this mortal life, we may be received into thine everlasting kingdom, there to reign with thee, world without end.

A Prayer for Good Friday (VII)

Dear Lord, who hast blessed us with the gift of family life, that we may learn to love and care for others: We praise thee for the example of thy Son Jesus Christ, who even when deserted and betrayed by closest friends took thought for his mother and his disciple. Open our eyes to recognize in all men the claims of kinship, and stir our hearts to serve them as brethren called with us into the sonship of thy love.

A Prayer for Good Friday (VI)

Almighty and eternal God, who in thy great love didst give thine only Son to die for our sins, and for the sins of the whole world: Enable us, we beseech thee, by thy Holy Spirit, to worship thee with reverence, and meditate with humility upon those mighty acts by which thou didst bring redemption to thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Poems, Quotes, Sermon Excerpts…

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MUSIC & SERMONS – Audio & Video links(I’m in the process of checking these links, not all may be working)


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