Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Have you ever considered that dying was a weird thing for a God to do-? Have you ever asked yourself why Jesus had to die? You don't really think he was just a good guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, do you?

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.


...we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Come and see, look on this mystery
The Lord of the Universe, nailed to a tree
Christ our God, spilling His Holy blood
Bowing in anguish, His sacred head
Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.
Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing of His faithfulness, pouring His life out unto death
Come you weary and He will give you rest

(Fernando Ortega, Sing to Jesus)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Jesus, the Creator and the Man

I have thought much on the splendour of God, our Creator. He is worthy of my worship not merely because He is the Highest One, but because his unfailing kindness and multi-faceted wisdom and warm mother-care and unparalleled brilliance and deep goodness are observable both in all that He has made and in all His dealings with us. Who could help but reverence the One who spoke worlds into existence, before whom the highest angels cover their faces and cry "Holy, Holy, Holy"?

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

But what about Jesus, the man? What is He to me? How shall I worship Him?

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you... for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation..."
(Revelation 5:9)

Jesus, God-with-us. He didn't pour grace from heaven; He packed up His position and His power, and He came here himself - not as a king, but as a homeless man. He wasn't too socially aloof to eat dinner with sinners or reach his hands out to lepers. He healed the blind and the sick, but he wasn't too morally uppity to provide wine for a wedding that had run out. He is the God who came down, and raises me up.

When I meet Jesus face to face, my eyes won't be on the blaze of His glory or the shining of his beauty. I won't look for the magnificence of the Eternal One, or the radiance of Him who is the Source of all Light. I will scan the crowds of heaven not for perfection, but for One who is forever marred. His hands and His feet, marked by man-made nails, will I seek among the incorruptible bodies of heaven's citizens.

No less the High and Holy, He is my Friend, the love of my heart. Though He sits now on the highest throne, he is none other than the God who became one of us, the God who knows as none other what it is like to be hungry and thirsty and tired; what it is like to cry and sweat and bleed.

Not with songs and low bows will I worship Jesus, the wounded One. When I see him, I will fling my arms around his neck. I will kiss his lovely feet.

THE cloudless day is nearing
When Thou, O Lord, wilt come,
Thy radiant beauty wearing,
To take Thy people home!
Bright hosts on hosts around Thee
Shall catch Thy living rays,
And all who once have found Thee
Breathe out new songs of praise.

But how shall I then know Thee
Amid those hosts above?
What tokens true will show me
The object of my love?
Thy glories, all excelling,
In pure effulgence shine;
But GLORY in Thee dwelling
Will ne'er proclaim Thee mine.

Thy wounds, Thy wounds, Lord Jesus,
Those deep, deep wounds will tell
The sacrifice that frees us
From self, and death, and hell!
These link Thee once for ever
With all who own Thy grace;
No hand these bonds can sever,
No hand these scars efface.