Monday, 21 April 2014

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Risen Indeed!

"Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying,‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ (Luke 24:1-7 NKJV - my emphasis)

Simon Peter loved Jesus very much. However, on the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, in fear and weakness, Peter denied his Lord three times even with oaths. The Lord had warned Peter earlier in the night about this coming temptation and had encouraged him to watch and pray in order to withstand it. Peter did not heed this warning. However, the Lord prayed for him so that his 'faith would not fail' and would be restored. This prayer was answered and Peter repented with bitter tears (see Matthew 26: 31-35, 69-74; Mark 14:27-31, 66-72; Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; John 18:15-18, 25-26). However, he remained in confusion and sorrow during those few days of darkness and doubt, wondering whether he could be accepted again after this dreadful betrayal...Jesus, however, tenderly drew him in and restored him. In the Gospel of St. Mark we read that when the angels appeared to the women at the tomb, they instructed them to '"...go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”' (16:7 - my emphasis). The Lord singled him out in tenderness and love to reassure him that he was still one of His disciples and 'brethren' and that he has been forgiven. In Luke we also read of Jesus' private and personal appearance to him: '...“The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”' (Luke 24:34 NKJV). The following song tells of this story...Peter's sorrow, pain, and confusion...and the moment He came! I love songs that tell a story and this one is really special. I pray it blesses you on this Resurrection Day! Remember that Jesus died, but that He is now risen and that makes all the difference in all the world...He is the same, unchanged, yesterday, today, and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). 

"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes."(John 20:1-10 NKJV)

He's Alive 
by Don Francisco 
The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin' through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers' feet

But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she'd been
She said they might have moved Him in the night
And none of us knows where
The stone's been rolled away
And now His body isn't there

We both ran toward the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they'd taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn't lift me very high
'Cause I'd seen them crucify him
Then I saw him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove the shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With his arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had
Just melted into peace

He's alive yes He's alive
Yes He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Oh He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Hallelujah He's alive
He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive He's alive He's alive
I believe it He's alive
Sweet Jesus

In closing, I'd like to share a quote from Perter Marshall's book, The First Easter (1959),

", too, may have that fellowship with the Risen Christ. Indeed you will not believe the fact of the Resurrection for yourself until the living Christ lives in your own heart. When you  have in your own life that sense of His nearness and His power - ah, then you too will know!
"Your life today may be guided by Christ...Your problems may be solved by His wisdom...Your weakness may be turned to strength by His help...Your struggles may become victories by His grace...Your sorrows may be turned into joy by His comfort.
"To you there may come the same wonderful changes that have come to other men and women all down through the years.
"This is the reality that can be yours - this comradeship with the Resurrected Christ through His Sprit is available now... to the man in the street... to the government clerk... to the anxious mother... to the confused school boy or girl.
"This is the real meaning of Easter. Forget the bunny rabbit and the coloured eggs. Forget the the symbols of spring that so often confuse and conceal the real meaning of what we celebrate on that day.
"No tabloid will ever print the startling news that the mummified body of Jesus of Nazareth has been discovered in old Jerusalem. Christians have no carefully embalmed body enclosed in a glass case to worship. Thank God, we have an empty tomb.
"The glorious fact that the empty tomb proclaims to us is that life for us does not stop when death comes. Death is not  a wall, but a door. And eternal life which may be ours now, by faith in Christ, is not interrupted when the soul leaves the body, for we live on...and on.
"...Because the Resurrection is true, it is the most significant thing in our world today...'Because I live, ye shall live also.' This is the message of Easter." (pp. 91-93)


Friday, 18 April 2014

He Came In Love

Take a few moments with me on a small remembrance journey in song from The Witness Musical by Jimmy and Carol Owens, meditating on the deep love of our Lord Jesus and the great price He paid for our salvation and redemption...How deep is His love! How unfathomable! How immeasurable! Oh! How He love us! How He suffered for us!

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." (John 13:1 NKJV)

by Jimmy Owens

This is My body broken for you,
Bringing you wholeness, making you free.

Take it and eat it, and when you do,

Do it in love for Me.

This is My blood poured out for you, 
Bringing forgiveness, making you free.

Take it and drink it, and when you do, 

Do it in love for Me,

Do it in love for Me.

by Jimmy and Carol Owens

Mary and Choir:

The night is here,

My Little Lamb,
Try not to cry.
Soon the sun will shine again
And light the sky.
And though the night seems dark, my Child,
The morning will come again;
Now close your eyes and sleep for a while,
Don't be afraid,
Morning will come,
So sleep.

by Jimmy Owens


Pure and holy Son of God,
Taking on the form of man;
Left the glory of His throne,
Came to bring salvation's plan.
Righteous Father, Holy One,
Looking down on us in Love;
Gave to us His only Son,
Sent with blessings from above.

But we took Him and we nailed Him 
to a cross made of wood
And we raised it high and dropped it
in the ground where it stood
And the blood that flowed to the earth below
Bought forgiveness for the world
that had treated Him so.

"Peace on earth, Good will to men,"
At His birth the angels sang,
Love and mercy from the throne
Through the earth his message rang.

But we took Him and we nailed Him 
to a cross made of wood
And we raised it high and dropped it
in the ground where it stood
And the blood that flowed to the earth below
Bought forgiveness for the world
that had treated Him so.

He came in love to bring us light in our darkness,
He came in peace to bring release from our pain;
He came with joy to bring us rest in our weariness,
He came in love to bring us beauty again.


by Jimmy Owens


They took Him down, His poor dead body,

and prepared Him for his burial.

They took Him down, His poor pale body,
drained of life, ashen, and stained 
with its own life-blood.

His healing hands, now pierced and still;

Serving hands, that broke five loaves

to feed five thousand;
Holy hands, often folded in fervent prayer;
Poor gentle hands, now pierced and still.

His poor torn feet, now bloodied and cold;

Feet that walked weary miles

to bring good news to broken hearts;
Feet once washed in penitent's tears;
Poor torn feet, now bloodied and cold.

His kingly head, made for a crown,

now crowed - with thorns.

his poor kingly head, crowned with thorns.
His gentle breast, now pierced by

spear-thrust, quiet and still;

His poor loving breast.

His piercing eyes, now dark and blind;

Eyes of compassion, warming the soul;

Fiery eyes, burning at sin;
Tender eyes, beckoning sinners;
His piercing eyes, now dark and blind.

His matchlesss voice, fountain of the Father's

thoughts, stopped - and stilled -

to speak no more.
Silence now, where once had flowed
wisdom and comfort, Spirit and life;
His matchless voice, stilled, to speak no more.
They took him down, His poor dead body,
and prepared Him for his burial.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NKJV)

And so the buried Him, and they thought that was the end...BUT IT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...