Monday, April 6, 2009

Thoughts on Easter and Good Friday, that Beautiful Scandalous Night

As I've written before, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year as I love getting together with family and reflecting on all that God has blessed me with. I also love Christmas and the joy that seems to be in the air as we celebrate Christ's coming as a child and God dwelling among us. But there is something incredibly special about Easter. It is a much more solemn, but no less joyful, holiday for me and a time of year that causes me to meditate on the incredible sacrifice Christ made for me. I like to take time each day on the Monday through Friday before Easter to read the Easter account in each of the gospels. I find it helps me to prepare my heart for a time of reflection at our Good Friday service and then the beautiful celebration of the resurrection on Easter morning.

Adam and Eve rejected God in the Garden and we all bear the burden of that decision. Of course we do a pretty good job of rejecting God ourselves, at least I know that I do and as I look at the world around me, I'm fairly certain that I'm not alone. Without Christ's death and resurrection, we would all be lost and still wandering around in our sins with no hope of salvation because there is nothing we can do to earn it.

But my hope lies in this, that Christ came into the world because He loved me and willingly gave Himself to be brutally beaten and die a gruesome death so that I could spend eternity with Him. He took the punishment that I deserved even knowing that I would continue to sin and fight Him at every turn. Yet He chose me anyway. Certainly not because I deserved it, but simply out of His incredible mercy and truly amazing grace. I'm still blown away that the God and creator of the universe would come and go through all that for me. And not only did He die to pay my debt, but He defeated death by rising from the grave to give me the hope of eternal life in His heaven. So not only did He provide a path for me to Him, but He pursued me even in the depths of my sin, forgave me, and then welcomed me into His house. But not as a guest, as a son.

My prayer for everyone this Easter is that you would realize that God loves you that much as well. We cannot be good enough or do enough right things to get into heaven. But that is the beauty of Easter and the cross. We don't have to earn it. God's grace comes to each of us and pursues us if we are willing to turn to Him and recieve it.

May God truly bless you this Easter.

Dave

Beautiful Scandalous Night by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong

"Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

CHORUS:
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior's side

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified"

Follow this link to watch a video for this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3HmfiVQeww

1 comment:

Tony C said...

Well said Dave. Easter is unique to Christians and the foundation of our faith. Christ was destined to be the Second Adam, the perfect man, the one without sin, the moment the fruit was bitten.

You leave excellent comments, and I appreciate each and every one of them. God bless your Easter week of devotions and your Easter weekend of worship.