Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

"Jesus Christ did not suffer so that you would not suffer. He suffered so that when you suffer, you’ll become more like him. The gospel does not promise you better life circumstances; it promises you a better life." - Tim Keller

"It cost God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious wills cost Him crucifixion." - C.S. Lewis

"The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me." - Tim Keller

"No matter how dark the hour, do not lose heart. Redemption is at work here." - Mike Donehey

On the cross, we see the greatest act of love ever demonstrated, its effects reverberating down through history and permanently altering the lives of those who believe. The importance of the cross will never diminish. In heaven, Scripture tells us, the majestic beings around the throne of God worship by saying, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12) When the love of God is extolled, both in heaven and on earth, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross is always the focal point, for there God showed his love in the most real and powerful way imaginable—by dying for those who hate him.

But the cross did not simply display love. On the cross, Jesus performed a real, tangible, beneficial action on our behalf. Though we are by nature children of wrath, Jesus died in order to achieve something for us. He “died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3), so that we can be “justified by his blood” and “saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:9).

Perhaps no writer in Scripture says it better than the prophet Isaiah, despite the fact that he preceded Christ by centuries: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4–5). Scripture plainly and clearly teaches that Jesus died in our place, as our substitute, taking from God the punishment for our sins.

On the cross, Jesus performed the ultimate act of love, and that act genuinely accomplished something—the Son of God absorbed the wrath of God on our behalf, taking our guilt away and enabling us to receive Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to us, so that we might be presented before him as righteous.

Adapted from Casey Lute, “But God…“ (Kindle Edition)

Mercy there was great and grace was free.
Pardon there was multiplied to me.
There my burdened soul found liberty.
At Calvary.!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Puritan Prayer

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.