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


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.


Good Friday Quotes. John Piper – The Intentionality of Christ’s Death

April 3, 2015

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us. (1 John 3:16)

The love of Christ for us in his dying was as conscious as his suffering was intentional. If he was intentional in laying down his life, it was for us. It was love.

“When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1).

Every step on the Calvary road meant, “I love you.”

Therefore, to feel the love of Christ in the laying down of his life, it helps to see how utterly intentional it was.

Look at what Jesus said just after that violent moment when Peter tried to cleave the skull of the servant, but only cut off his ear.

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matthew 26:52–54)

It is one thing to say that the details of Jesus’s death were predicted in the Old Testament. But it is much more to say that Jesus himself was making his choices precisely to see to it that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.

That is what Jesus said he was doing in Matthew 26:54. “I could escape this misery, but how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”

I am not choosing to take the way out that I could take because I know the Scriptures. I know what must take place. It is my choice to fulfill all that is predicted of me in the Word of God.

from here:

http://solidjoys.desiringgod.org/en/devotionals/every-calvary-step-was-love

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-intensity-of-christs-love-and-the-intentionality-of-his-death


DEAD! The Author of Life lies in a tomb….

April 18, 2014
The Passion, detail.  Hans Holbein the younger.  From Web Gallery of Art.

The Passion, detail. Hans Holbein the younger. From Web Gallery of Art.

art credit

How incredible.  Jesus, God Himself, the Author of Life, was nailed to a cross and died, and his Body was placed in a tomb.  How can it be?  A devotional reflection from Desiring God in 2013 reminds us how and why it happened.  The blame rests on US!!

Holy Week makes us uncomfortable. There is glorious life and victory to come on Easter Sunday, but to get there we must pass directly through the darkness of Good Friday. We must remember the day when human malice broke barriers and reached levels of previously unmatched atrocity. The Messiah, the King, come to save mankind, was nailed to an accursed tree and left to die.

There is no immunity for such cosmic treason.

On Good Friday we feel the finger of guilt and culpability rightly shoved into the ribs of humanity:

  • “…this Jesus whom you crucified…” (Acts 2:36)
  • “…you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life…” (Acts 3:14–15)
  • “…whom you killed by hanging him on a tree…” (Acts 5:30)

 

Think on that fact for the next 24 hours….

art credit: (clicking on the image below will give you a larger version)

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, from the Web Gallery of Art.

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, from the Web Gallery of Art.

 


Good Friday related entries from the King’s English blog

April 18, 2014

As I did yesterday for Maundy Thursday, I thought many of our readers would appreciate have the links to various of the entries at the King’s English blog from past years that are tied to Scriptures related to Good Friday.

My kingdom is not of this world – John 18:36

Crucify him, crucify him – Luke 23:21

Pilate washed his hands – Matthew 27:24

Crown of thorns – Matthew 27:29

Hail King of the Jews – Matthew 27:29

Father, forgive them they know not what they do – Luke 23:34

Gave up the ghost – John 19:30

It is finished – John 19:30


One Brutal Death…. today’s Good Friday devotional from Desiring God

April 18, 2014


It is Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. It is the darkest day in human history, though most humans have no clue of this. In Rome, Tiberius attends to the demanding business of the empire. Throughout the inhabited world, babies are born, people eat and drink, marry and are given in marriage, barter in marketplaces, sail merchant ships, and fight battles. Children play, old women gossip, young men lust, and people die.

But today one death, one brutal, gruesome death, the worst and best of all human deaths will leave upon the canvas of human history the darkest brushstroke. In Jerusalem, God the Son, the Creator of all that is (John 1:3), will be executed. […]

One last move. Pilate tries to persuade the Sanhedrin to release Jesus. One last block and trap. “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar” (John 19:12). The Council has Pilate where they want him: cornered. Checkmate.

And the triune God has the Council, Pilate, and Satan where he wants them. They would have no authority over the Son at all unless it had been given them from above (John 19:11). Fallen Jews, Gentiles and spiritual powers unwittingly collaborate in executing the only innocent death that could possibly grant the guilty life. Checkmate.

The Cross

Morning wanes as Jesus stumbles out of the Praetorium, horribly beaten and bleeding profusely. The Roman soldiers had been brutal in their creative cruelty. Thorns have ripped Jesus’s scalp and his back is one grotesque, oozing wound. Golgotha is barely a third of a mile through the Garden Gate, but Jesus has no strength to manage the forty-pound crossbar. Simon of Cyrene is drafted from the crowd.

Twenty-five minutes later, Jesus is hanging in sheer agony on one of the cruelest instruments of torture ever devised. […]

Go read the full entry at Desiring God.


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