Easter and Good Intentions

Well, it is almost 10 PM and I haven’t gotten a post for Easter written. I try to post something each day between Palm Sunday and Easter. However,  things just haven’t worked out as planned.  Between church, family and other responsibilities it is has been a busy week. According to the Big Guy it is one of the busiest weeks for a minister. I concur and would add for a minister’s family as well.  Anyway, back to this post. Today as I was thinking about what to write. It struck me that I was missing the point of Easter.

The point is that Christ his risen. He did what he said he  would do.   Because he has risen through faith we can have the hope and promise of life eternal.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Because He Lives by Matt Maher

Holy Week: Good Friday

Luke 23 records the details of Christ’s trial and crucifixion. It was the climax of a week filled with activity and emotions, especially for Christ’s followers.  His miracles and teachings had gained the attention of both the people and the religious leaders.

The week began with Jesus entering Jerusalem to the greeting of the cheering crowd. The same crowd that in a few short days would be cursing and jeering Him.

The religious leaders were unhappy with Christ’s challenge to their authority. He didn’t follow their rules. He didn’t fit their ideal of the Messiah. He taught with authority that they didn’t have.  In the end they would conspire for Christ’s destruction.

This was confusing time for Christ’s followers especially the Disciples. The Jews envisioned a Messiah that would reliever them from the oppressive Roman rule. A Messiah that would establish and earthly kingdom. A king who would enter on a white horse not a humble donkey.  Instead of taking charge of things Jesus taught about persecution, his death and the betrayal and abandonment by his own followers.

Jesus knew his purpose. He Jerusalem with determination that week. He spent time teaching and praying for his follower. Especially the 12 men he had spent the past 3 years teaching and training.

The Old Rugged Cross by George Bennard
Sung by Guy Penrod

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
Such a wonderful beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

Holy Week: Maundy Thursday

The Last Supper

14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.  21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. Luke 22:14-23 ESV

Come to the Table by Michael Card

Come to the table and savor the sight
The wine and the bread that was broken
And all have been welcomed to come if they might
Accept as their own these two tokens

The bread is His body, the wine is the blood
And the one who provides them is true
He freely offers, we freely receive
To accept and believe Him is all we must do

Come to the table and taste of the glory
And savor the sorrow, He’s dying tomorrow
The hand that is breaking the bread
Soon will be broken

And here at the table, sit those who have loved You
One is a traitor and one will deny
But He’s lived his life for them all
And for all be crucified

Come to the table He’s prepared for you
The bread of forgiveness, the wine of release
Come to the table and sit down beside Him
The Savior wants you to join in the feast

Come to the table and see in His eyes
The love that the Father has spoken
And know you are welcome, whatever your crime
For every commandment you’ve broken

For He’s come to love you and not to condemn
And He offers a pardon of peace
If you’ll come to the table, you’ll feel in your heart
The greatest forgiveness, the greatest release

Come to the table and taste of the glory
And savor the sorrow, He’s dying tomorrow
The hand that is breaking the bread
Soon will be broken

And here at the table, sit those who have loved You
One is a traitor and one will deny
But He’s lived his life for them all
And for all be crucified

Come to the table He’s prepared for you
The bread of forgiveness, the wine of release
Come to the table and sit down beside Him
The Savior wants you to join in the feast

Come to the table He’s prepared for you
The bread of forgiveness, the wine of release
Come to the table and sit down beside Him
The Savior wants you to join in the feast

Holy Week: Wednesday

Because of grace…

God sent his son.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

Christ took my place.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, I Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV

I have been redeemed.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight Ephesians 1:7-8 ESV

I have hope.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of glory, the King above all Kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
Leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of glory, the King above all Kings

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You laid down Your life
That I would be set free
Jesus I sing for all that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of glory, the King of glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The king of glory, the King above all Kings

Worthy is the lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Publishing: Seems Like Music / Phil Wickham Music (BMI) [admin. by Music Services], FBR Music / Josh’s Music / W B Music Corp (ASCAP) and Bethel Church (ASCAP)

Holy Week: Tuesday

As I prepared for Holy Week this year the theme of Grace resounded. It is much easier to accept that somehow by doing the right things I can somehow make up for my short comings. The truth is that I just can’t, no human can. That it was God’s enormous love for us that he created a plan for my redemption.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NLT)

And Can It Be That I Should Gain?
By Charles Wesley & Thomas Campbell
Preformed by the Gaithers and Friends

And can it be, that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love, how can it be? that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; for, O my God, it found out me.
Amazing love, how can it be? that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light –
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee!
Amazing love, how can it be? that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Holy Week: Monday

Throughout Lent and as I have been preparing for Easter Chris Tomlin’s At the Cross has been playing in my head. Holy Week is a time to reflect on what Christ has done for me.   I know “sin” is topic that isn’t very popular or politically correct in our society. However, the simple truth is that as humans we all mess up, we fail to hit the mark. Simply sin is failing to measure up to God’s standards.  I certainly mess up and don’t deserve the grace that God has lavishly bestowed upon me.

At the Cross by Chris Tomlin