Tag Archives: sacrifice

I Pray That…

“O Lamb of God, for sinners slain.
Redemption’s price, Your sacrifice, my ransom paid.
O Bread of Life, broken now for me.
Your blood, the cup poured out in love has set me free.”
– Travis Cottrell / O Sacred Head Now Wounded (O Lamb of God)

i pray that

Today, as we continue to reflect on the power of Christ in us made possible only by the cross, by His selfless and loving sacrifice…

I pray that we would remember the fullness of His suffering on the cross with the hope and assurance that comes from knowing that on this coming Lord’s Day, we will proclaim with boldness that He is risen, just as He said.

I pray that we would know the truth of that reality in the depths of our being, whether for the first time or for the hundredth time.

And I pray that we would come near to this Lamb of God who gave Himself up and poured Himself out for each one of us … because of His holy sacrifice, as the perfect and blameless and spotless Lamb, we are free.

Have a blessed Easter!

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Here and There

note: while i did have a specific “here” and “there” in mind when i penned this, in some ways, we all have a “here” and “there”. it may be a physical location, a goal, a hope, a dream, or just a what if. but regardless of the what, i would encourage you to to think of your own “here” and “there” as you read. and then rest in the truth of His promises.

What makes me think if I can’t manage time and priorities here in relative comfort, stability and ease, that I can manage time and priorities there in the midst of potential discomfort and unknown?

What makes me think if I can’t reach outside of myself here to fully invest in others as I should, that I can fully invest there within a limited framework?

What makes me think if I can’t write here from my heart for me (much less for them), that I can write there so publicly?

What makes me think if I can’t find the balance and consistency in the Word here that is right, that I can be consistent there in new and unfamiliar surroundings?

Yet even as I continue to ask the questions, which all really boil down to just one question of my own ability, and begin to acknowledge the underlying fears, I already know the answer. It’s the same answer I received so powerfully and directly on that old hotel room floor in Ocean City six years ago.

I can’t. But HE can.

And as I hear that truth once again, as I not only hear it, but believe it, as it resonates deep within me, the Lord comes in gently and lovingly (though not painlessly) to once again strip me of my pride and self-sufficiency and independence. Because this relationship, this walking with Him, this following Him, was never intended to be that way.

None of this depends on me. It never did. This is not about me at all. It never was.

It’s about trusting in Him, leaning into Him, depending on Him. It’s about surrendering self and sacrificing independence. It’s about acknowledging His strength in my weakness, His sufficiency in my insufficiency, His righteousness in my unrighteousness.

Both my here and my there are His. For His purpose and for His glory.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12-14 (ESV)

Reflecting on The Messiah

As the day approaches, knowing that I hope to somehow express the weight and the glory of this holiest of days, I find myself humbled by my own emptiness.

As I sit with the Lord, pouring out the thoughts and emotions that run deep, I boldly ask Him to clarify the message that He would have me write in this space. I ask that it would be loud and obvious … yet instantly, I know that’s not right.

Today is not a loud day. It is quiet.

“Easter is for shouting. But Good Friday is for not much talking.” – Jon Bloom (Desiring God Blog)

And as I reflect on Christ’s sacrifice in the quietness, all I have is not enough.

Christ gave all. ALL. On that cross.

And in return, all I have is emptiness and brokenness and not enough. Even all of me seems inadequate.

So as I’ve spent a considerable amount of time listening to Handel’s Messiah this week, reflecting on the beauty of the music, but much more so reflecting on the beauty, the weight, the glory of the message, I urge you to reflect with me on HIS words:

Part One

“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.” (#3 – Isaiah 40:4)

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (#4 – Isaiah 40:5)

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.” (#8 – Isaiah 7:14)

“His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (#21 – Matthew 11:30)

Part Two

“Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” (#22 – John 1:29)

“He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (#23  – Isaiah 53:3)

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” (#24 – Isaiah 53:4-5)

“And with His stripes we are healed.” (#25 – Isaiah 53:5)

Part Three

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (#46 – 1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

Jesus Christ came … Emmanuel, God with us … as a servant and humbled himself to death on a cross. The ultimate sacrifice. For You. For Me. For All.

He knew the cross would be His cup and He chose it anyway. Because He knew it was the only way.

“The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross.” – Oswald Chambers

And so although we know that Sunday is near, that the victory has already been won, and that great rejoicing will soon commence, in the quietness of this Good Friday, with a sense of both great hope and deep sorrow, we reflect on The Messiah and on His sacrificial death on the cross … in our place, to cover the sins of this world – our sins – once for all, leaving a veil torn, granting us access to the Father, for our salvation, that through Him we might have life eternal.