Thinking Out Loud

April 14, 2017

Quotations for Good Friday

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:51 am

Good Friday is the mirror held up by Jesus so that we can see ourselves in all our stark reality, and then it turns us to that cross and to his eyes and we hear these words, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” That’s us! And so we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. We see in that cross a love so amazing so divine that it loves us even when we turn away from it, or spurn it, or crucify it. There is no faith in Jesus without understanding that on the cross we see into the heart of God and find it filled with mercy for the sinner whoever he or she may be.

~ Robert G. Trache

Christ died.  He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better – His PEACE!

~ Matthew Henry

God led Jesus to a cross, not a crown, and yet that cross ultimately proved to be the gateway to freedom and forgiveness for every sinner in the world. God also asks us as Jesus’ followers to carry a cross. Paradoxically, in carrying that cross, we find liberty and joy and fulfillment.

~ Bill Hybels

Christ is the Son of God. He died to atone for men’s sin, and after three days rose again. This is the most important fact in the universe. I die believing in Christ. –

~ Watchman Nee (Note found under his pillow, in prison, at his death)

As out of Jesus’ affliction came a new sense of God’s love and a new basis for love between men, so out of our affliction we may grasp the splendor of God’s love and how to love one another. Thus the consummation of the two commandments was on Golgotha; and the Cross is, at once, their image and their fulfillment.

~ Malcolm Muggeridge

The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lamb once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a Eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.

~ John R. W. Stott

This Word played life against death and death against life in tournament on the wood of the most holy cross, so that by his death he destroyed our death, and to give us life he spent his own bodily life. With love, then, he has so drawn us and with his kindness so conquered our malice that every heart should be won over.

~ Catherine of Siena


April 10, 2009

Setting Our Faces Toward Jerusalem — Part Five

Filed under: Christianity, Jesus — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 3:24 pm


It has been good for me not have to choose or find a topic — or even think about catchy titles — for this week of blog posts.    Reconsidering the Easter story means the drama truly writes itself.

The headline I chose for this series is based on Luke 9:51, which appears below in KJV — probably a first for this blog — along with Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

When the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

1. There was a time fixed for the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus, and he knew well enough when it was, and had a clear and certain foresight of it, and yet was so far from keeping out of the way that then he appeared most publicly of all, and was most busy, knowing that his time was short.

2. When he saw his death and sufferings approaching, he looked through them and beyond them, to the glory that should follow; he looked upon it as the time when he should be received up into glory (1 Tim. 3:16), received up into the highest heavens, to be enthroned there. Moses and Elias spoke of his death as his departure out of this world, which made it not formidable; but he went further, and looked upon it as his translation to a better world, which made it very desirable. All good Christians may frame to themselves the same notion of death, and may call it their being received up, to be with Christ where he is; and, when the time of their being received up is at hand, let them lift up their heads, knowing that their redemption draws nigh.

3. On this prospect of the joy set before him, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem the place where he was to suffer and die. He was fully determined to go, and would not be dissuaded; he went directly to Jerusalem, because there now his business lay, and he did not go about to other towns, or fetch a compass, which if he had done, as commonly he did, he might have avoided going through Samaria. He went cheerfully and courageously thither, though he knew the things that should befal him there. He did not fail nor was discouraged, but set his face as a flint, knowing that he should be not only justified, but glorified (Isa. 50:7), not only not run down, but received up.for, and shame us out of, our backwardness to do and suffer for Christ! We draw back, and turn our faces another way from his service who steadfastly set his face against all opposition, to go through with the work of our salvation.

If that’s a longer quote passage for some of you, then just read part three.   The other verse that came to mind this week was Hebrews 12:2.   We’ll use the KJV again (just to be consistent) and again hear from Matthew Henry

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What it was that supported the human soul of Christ under these unparalleled sufferings; and that was the joy that was set before him. He had something in view under all his sufferings, which was pleasant to him; he rejoiced to see that by his sufferings he should make satisfaction to the injured justice of God and give security to his honour and government, that he should make peace between God and man, that he should seal the covenant of grace and be the Mediator of it, that he should open a way of salvation to the chief of sinners, and that he should effectually save all those whom the Father had given him, and himself be the first-born among many brethren. This was the joy that was set before him.


Today I also wanted to share another worship selection. Unlike yesterday’s, this one is more commonly sung congregationally, though it makes for a great solo as well. It’s At The Foot of the Cross by Kathryn Scott.

Here’s an excellent YouTube item using the original recording; but first time around, once the music starts, click back here and just follow the lyrics:

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received

And You’ve won my heart
Yes You’ve won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me

Matthew Henry commentaries used today were from Blue Letter Bible.

April 6, 2009

Setting Our Faces Toward Jerusalem — Part One

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:03 pm

I want to take the five days leading up to and including Good Friday to focus my thoughts completely on Christ and the cross.   It’s easy when blogging to get distracted with lots of other things; and I’ll probably be stockpiling some other links and comments this week, but I think it’s important this week to keep a strong Christ focus.

Today’s post is from the now-defunct blog Lenae’s Back Porch Musings.    Lenae works for a ministry organization and lives in Minnesota.   Her March 29th post was a spoken liturgy or worship resource based on the song “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”   She said it had been used in her church, I am assuming by the copyright that she wrote it herself.

This is a worship resource that we used in our church this morning. It can be used as an introduction to the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.


(Organ, piano, or other instrument[s] quietly plays through When I Survey the Wondrous Cross during the reading.)

Song Reader: This morning we will reflect on the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died.

Reader 1: Although the crosses that we often see are handcrafted in beautiful stained wood or inlaid with gold, when we truly survey the wondrous cross it is a bloodstained tool of reconciliation.

Reader 2: Paul writes in Colossians chapter 1, verses 19 and 20, For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Song Reader: My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Reader 1: Oh, that we would pour contempt on our pride and humble ourselves like Christ Jesus.

Reader 2: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Beautiful words from Philippians chapter 2, verses 6-8.

Song Reader: Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God!

Reader 1: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14). For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ¬ not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Song Reader: See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Reader 2: John Mark surveyed the crucified head, hands, and feet of Jesus and recorded these words in the book of Mark, chapter 15, verses 25-32, It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Song Reader: Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Reader 1: The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns mocking Christ’s claim to royalty. John chapter 19, verses 1-2 reads, Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.

Reader 2: But to God that wondrous cross and crown was a demonstration of His love for us! John 3:16 proclaims this glorious truth: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Song Reader: Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.

Reader 1: We survey the wondrous cross and wonder what we can give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on us.

Reader 2: The writer of Psalm 116 poses the same question and gives this response: How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:12-13, 17).

Song Reader: Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Reader 1: We must respond to the amazing love demonstrated on the wondrous cross, by being zealous and faithful in our worship and work for King Jesus.

Reader 2: Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

Song Reader: As we survey the wondrous cross during this season of Lent, let’s humbly and wholeheartedly give praise and thanks to King Jesus. Please stand and sing, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, all four verses.

© 2009, Lenae Bulthuis


The power of this hymn is best reflected in the fact that, as you consider the verses, depending on where you are reading this, three distinct tunes may come to mind, not including the more recent addition of the bridge “Wonderful Cross.”

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