Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday/Easter video and shared thoughts on the Cross

Blessed Good Friday, friends.

Here's how we'll put our minds there. First, enjoy this video suggested by reader Susan:

Second, share what verse in the Bible is standing out in your mind at this moment as most revealing and meaningful to you concerning Christ's work on the Cross that Friday. We won't hold it to you as your here-I-stand position-statement on the most important verse in all of Scripture; just share what is standing out now, as you sit before your monitor.

Warming up to the topic: my surrface thought is actually a carol. "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight" is sung of Christ's birth, in "O Little Town of Bethlehem." It occurs to me that this applies richly to Easter as well.

The Scripture I go to is Ephesians 1:7 — "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." I think of that verse a lot; I often reflect on it as I partake of the cup in Communion.

The redemption rests on the truth that I was born a slave to sin, unable to obtain my own freedom. By nature, thought and choice, I was sold over to rebellion against God. I was a captive, willing and helpless, miserable of my bondage but wanting no part of the real God. It took a miracle to liberate me.

The blood reminds me that my salvation is objective and external, in this sense: it did not rise from within me. It was not improvement, enlightenment, a new leaf. It was conceived, bought and paid for by the Son of God. It was not a philosophy or a program of moral improvement that He taught. It was Him dying, Him pouring out His personal life in His blood, that purchased my release. My release was not secured by, and is not retained by, my feelings of piety or deeds of holiness. It was in spite of both. It was secured and is maintained by the infinite value of the blood of the Son of God.

And this blood secures both freedom and forgiveness. All my sins were atoned for by His blood. This includes my sin yesterday, and my sins today, for all my sins were future on that Friday; so all my sins were encompassed by His blood atonement.

All this is in Him, borne by His strong, immense shoulders, with the undergirding of His eternal resolve and His impeccable character. Apart from Him, nothing of lasting good. In Him, all good and blessing and hope and joy.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

What Scripture stands out to you, and why, Christian friend?


The Squirrel said...

I'm working on my sermon for Sunday, and my text is:

""Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."" - Acts 2:22-24, 36

It's all there; our sin, God's sovereignty, Jesus' death, burial, & resurrection.

Also, this whole week, Keith Getty's hymn "The Power of the Cross" has been running through my thoughts -- "What a love, what a cost, we stand forgiven at the cross."

Have a blessed Easter, Dan (& all).


ralph.d.kyle said...

I think most of 2 Corinthians 5:21...

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2 Cor 5:21(ESV)

I often reflect on this verse, especially on Good Friday, because it reminds me that the crucifixion was a work of God and my redemption is in Christ Jesus alone.

It also reminds me that Jesus was so undeserving of the treatment He received that day... yet He bore it... and why? My sin.

Al said...

I posted this on FB earlier today…

The Good Friday service at Providence Church is our only one without the Lord's Supper. Why? "And Jesus said to them, 'Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.'" The Church, the Bride of Christ, mourns. The Bridegroom has been killed, we have no taste for food.


When I think that God sent his Son do die for me it turns my stomach. Sunday will be a time for joy and feasting, but not today. That the Son of God should die for me? I scarce can take it in…

al sends

GrammaMack said...

At our Good Friday communion service this morning our pastor spoke on the first half of Romans 6:5, "For if we have been united with him in a death like his," emphasizing our death to sin and the law through Jesus' death, and on Sunday he will tackle the last half of the verse, "we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."

The song that keeps playing in my mind, though, is "Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o'er his foes; he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"

John said...

I'm with the squirrel - whom I am liking more and more...even bookmarked him.

Preaching on Matt. 27:45 tonight and doing a Spurgeon kind of thing for Sunday morning in that I have like 4 texts in mind and can't settle.

And listening to "Power of the Cross" the last few days and crying a lot. Even put my hands in the air a little earlier.

So humbling and so wonderful.

John said...

And then I had to go and read your thoughts on.

Dorothy said...

Romans 5:6
"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."

It is that we couldn't do anything (helpless) and we didn't deserve anything (ungodly) and yet Christ came and died for us anyway.

Stefan said...

One blessing about living in Canada is that Good Friday is a holiday, and thus we have the opportunity to fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ in a full communion service. (Pace Al, what better way to mark this day than to partake in the Lord's Supper?)

This Easter, I have been thinking deeply upon the Passover and the Exodus and God's faithfulness to His people, consdering the trials that God has led my wife and me through over the past year, and ultimately delivered us out of.

So paradoxically, this year it is not verses pertaining to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that have been sticking in my mind, but verses pertaining to redemption and deliverance. If I had to choose one verse, I'd have to settle on Exodus 6:7:

I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

The thing is, this is part of the one passage in Scripture that more clearly ties together the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants than any other...and really paves the way for the New Covenant as the greater and final working of God's great covenantal promises: the redemption of Israel and the salvation of the nations (that we still yearn for), made possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, for the forgiveness of sins—and His resurrection from the grave as the firstfruits of the great day of restoration yet to come!

Happy Easter to one and all!

SamKnisely said...

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit." 1 Peter 3:18

Thank God for Jesus!

I enjoyed listening today to "Beautiful, Terrible Cross"

Robert said...

2 Corinthians 5:21 - "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." The glorious exchange where Jesus paid a debt He didn't owe because I owed a debt I couldn't pay.

NoLongerBlind said...

1 Peter 1:18-19: "knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."

That the God against Whom I rebelled for so long would pay the debt I owe on my behalf, with His Own life, is too wonderful and amazing to adequately express.

"Hallelujah, what a Savior!"

Neil said...

Philippians 2:8-11

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I'll give you verse and song, together, from Handel's Messiah.

I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end
He will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh will I see God;

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

Job 19:25-26 and 1 Cor. 15:20-21

Somehow knowing God's Word set to music makes it easier for me to meditate on it. Those words are precious,

I KNOW that my redeemer lives.

Happy Easter, all.


The Squirrel said...

John said...
"I'm with the squirrel - whom I am liking more and more...even bookmarked him."

John, I'd have sent you an e-mail, but, if Dan will allow, since your profile doesn't have a contact link; Thank you.


Barbara said...

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:16-21

Because: the root and the fruit. Praise be His blessed Name.

Rabbit said...

Our pastor is taking us through Romans; we're in chapter 5 this month. So my mind is fixed on Romans 5:8-9. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

And the song that I tend to sing every Good Friday, up until Sunday morning: O Sacred Head.

It is a joy to reflect on these things along with your readers, Dan.

Gilbert said...

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." --Isaiah 53:5 (NIV).

First thing that came to me.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


Btw, as I was watching the very cool video clip, Gunnar (age 9) was looking over my shoulder.

Mom! What IS this? Why are you listening to that?!

All became clear as the message reversed, and he wanted his brothers to see it. But I love that his (ahem) 'malarkey sensor' was functioning so well.

Very cool video.


Sir Aaron said...

My verse is a little off the beaten path.

Revelation 7:9-12.

Susan said...

I'm struggling over some unresolved personal issues this Easter weekend, and this is my verse:

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).

And I couldn't help thinking about the ancient Easter greeting pair that come straight from the gospels:

A: He is risen! (cf. the synoptic gospels)

B: He is risen indeed! (cf. Luke 24:34)

(And Julie, I first saw this video link on FB, and some of my friends were commenting about it. When I sent it to Dan, I had to tell him to watch the whole thing because, as your Gunnar so astutely questioned, that first part of the video IS "malarkey" if left on its own! How sweet it is for you to get a taste of the fruits of your homeschooling labor!) :D

trogdor said...

The passage I've most been reflecting on is Romans 8:28. A non-traditional Easter passage, but lately I've had a few discussions about God's sovereignty and tragedy/evil, so it's been on my mind. God's sovereignty is so complete and so amazing that the greatest accomplishment Satan could ever dream of, the most evil act ever committed by man, was part of God's plan (Acts 4:27-28), and in carrying out their evil they were serving the ultimate good of God's people.

The song? The Champion by Carman. I'm only partially kidding.