Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday

So I'm a little late to wish everyone a Happy Easter via the blogosphere...

We started Holy Week with a Good Friday service of Tenebrae, where we remembered the night of Jesus' betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. That's probably one of my favorite services, 2nd only to the glory of Resurrection Sunday's celebration.

I was particularly moved by one of the songs that the choir sang called, "Oh, to See the Dawn: The Power of the Cross", by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.

Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us.
Took the blame, bore the wrath -
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees,
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
‘Finished!’ the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

(Final chorus)
This, the power of the cross:
Son of God - slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Even though this very somber service ends in darkness and silence, we walk out remembering the cost that Christ paid for us with the hope of His resurrection on the 3rd day. It makes the Easter Sunday service all the more glorious and joyful.

I love singing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" on Easter Sunday, but I get very frustrated when I can't seem to get through all of the stanzas without choking up! I was doing fine this past Sunday until we got to,

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the Cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

I mean, that's the part of the song that you just want to belt out with all that you've got, and I might have well been a puddle on the floor at that point because I could barely speak the words. It made me wonder at the promise in Revelation 21 that there would be no more tears in the New Heavens and New Earth, and at the same time we're told that Christ Himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes. I cannot imagine being face to face with the risen Christ, seeing Him in all of His glory along with the wounds that still mark His body on my behalf, knowing more clearly and fully how utterly sinful and undeserving I am to be in His presence, and yet how unconditionally loved and accepted I am through Christ...and not having a flood of tears over all of this! I guess that's what Paul means when he says that our present sufferings are like a drop in the bucket compared with the eternal weight of glory that awaits us.

So Holy Week for us was wonderful (albeit very busy and time consuming for John) and gave us yet another taste of heaven.

Right after the Good Friday service, we added another thing to John's plate and sent him off to the airport to pick up my mom who was flying in for the weekend. The pictures that follow were all taken on Sunday, before and after church. (By the way, if you click on the pictures you'll get an enlargement of each).

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