Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Power of the Cross




Here is a wonderful new hymn written by Keith Getty (piano) and sung by his wife Kristyn. A wonderful meditation for Holy Week.

The Power of the Cross
Words & Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

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

Chorus:
This, the pow’r 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.
Ev’ry bitter thought,
Ev’ry 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 vict’ry 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 pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

© 2005 Thankyou Music.

9 comments:

Frontier Forest said...

Powerful way to begin “Holy Week!” On Thursday, Cheri and I will once again watch the “Passion of the Christ.” I know some of the “Stations of the Cross” are legend or tradition verses Scriptural accounts, but it is still very moving to watch the movie and follow our Lord through each horrific place of suffering. The 14 Stations of the Cross in Catholicism are:
The First Station: Jesus Condemned
The Second Station: Jesus carries his cross
The Third Station: Jesus falls
The Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother
The Fifth Station: Simon helps carry the cross
The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes Jesus' face
The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time
Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women
The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time
The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped
The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross
The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is buried
Christ rises (not included as a station, for what reason, I don’t understand?)
Pastor Tony, you shared yesterday about the Ultimate Sacrifice, being set in motion way back in Genesis 3:15, then carried throughout every work of Holy Scripture until Christ’s put the end of all sacrifice through His atoning death on the Cross. I was especially moved by the thought that Noah, emerging from of the Ark, after caring for and protecting these animals for so many months, now trusting Got to provide, builds an alter, offering blood sacrifices unto the Lord, knowing that God created these animals and will provide for others.

Malcolm said...

I greatly take to heart your message yesterday regarding the Cross and sacrifice. I hope today's Oswald Chambers encourages you.

The Collision Of God And Sin
“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”
1 Peter 2:24




The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God's judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened - but the crash is on the heart of God.

Zach said...

Frontier, watching The Passion has become an annual tradition in our home, as well--although we watch it on Good Friday. Last year, we invited our 13-year old daughter to watch it with us for the first time. She was moved. I think my favorite part of the movie is when Our Lord whispers to his mother, "Behold, I make all things new."

Incidentally, the resurrection does not appear among the Stations of the Cross because this devotion is meant to focus the believer's heart very particularly on the Lord's passion and suffering. It's purely a matter of scope.

Reepicheep said...

It's a tremendous movie. I've wondered when to let my children see it. 13 seems about right.

Rick Calohan said...

Wow, 14 Stations of the Cross, watching the Passion of the Christ, my how truly Reformed we are it sounds like in order to fully appreciate Holy Week we need to become Papist and Idolaters. Do not get me wrong if that draws you to Christ than Glory Be to God Alone.

I have seen the Passion Play in Eureka Springs, and I am sure countless movies and documentaries on Jesus over the years, the Crucifixion is nothing to sugar coat I grant you but to expose children to an R rated movie that is Graphically Violent, do we live in an age where the Word of God is not sufficient enough?

When I was a child reading the scriptures I got the point, Jesus was mocked, beaten, spat upon, flogged, nailed to a cross, in simplistic terms he was tortured and murdered. In a secular worldview, it was because Jesus was a threat to Jewish and Roman authorities, but the truth was because of me. My sins caused him to go to cross and be the perfect and sufficient sacrifice worthy is the Lamb of God.

Matthew 27
Jesus Is Mocked
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion
32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Mark 15
Jesus Is Mocked
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion
21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
The Death of Jesus
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

LUKE 23
The Crucifixion
26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

John 19
The Crucifixion
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Death of Jesus
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus' Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”



When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – Isaac Watts


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down:
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Reepicheep said...

Rick,

You're overstating your case.

Dramatic displays of what the bible teaches can certainly enhance our comprehension of the text. No, they are not necessary. I didn't read anyone say they were.

Like anything, we should view such things with biblical discernment. Take the wheat and throw out the chaff.

I greatly appreciatid the Passion of the Christ movie. It was well done. Realistic. I only had a few quibbles with it from a biblical perspective.

As for allowing our children to see a movie of whatever rating, what does "R" mean anyways? Violence? Well, the bible is pretty violent. My children read ALL of the biblical passages and have since they were little. Each parent should know their child well enough to decide when/if such a movie would be educational and helpful to them. I look forward to sitting with each of my sons to view the Passion of the Christ some day, when I think they're ready.

To be fair, I didn't read Woody or Zach to be saying "watch the Passion instead of reading Scripture" or "the Passion is equal with Scripture" or "the Scripture is not sufficient so therefore watch this movie".

I'm going to watch the movie Thursday night myself. It will only be the third time I've watched it. I saw it twice the week it came out and not since then.

Thanks for your perspective, I just think it's overstated.

Rick Calohan said...

Tony if I overstated than so be it. I trust you will also express to your Christian Reformed Presbyterian children what Mel Gibson feels will be the final outcome of those outside the Catholic Church.

http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0312/essays.htm

Reepicheep said...

Sure, if the subject of what Mel Gibson believes ever comes up, I'll be sure to discuss it with my children. I look forward to that discussion.

As astute reformed believers, by God's grace, they'll be able to discern his error.

Frontier Forest said...

Dear Brother Zach, thanks for the clarification about the lack of “Station” emphasis on the Resurrection! This does make since, thus to try to explain or display an exacting portrayal or an image of the greatest event since creation, I believe would do the Lord’s church, His purpose and His mission an injustice.
The most moving point of the movie for me was the quiet, almost obscure scene in the Garden. Jesus rises from His great lament, standing before the “rock of agony,” steps out of the darkness and purposes His foot on the serpents head. I wonder how many understood or gleamed the resolute, divinely appointed power that burst forth from Genesis 3:15?