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“Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ.”

A Good Friday Communion Meditation by Trevor Miller

I recall a story of how a group of Christian missionaries in India arranged to visit Mahatma Gandhi in order to discuss faith and the Way to God. Before they left Gandhi asked them to sing one of their Christian hymns. Which one, they said? He replied, “The one which best expresses the heart of what you Christians believe!” My! What would you have chosen?

They chose ‘When I survey the Wondrous Cross… love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all’.cross_4

They were right! The Cross is central; at the very heart not only of our faith but of God Himself! Even the mighty resurrection is but God’s vindication that what happened on the Cross was under His total control and that all was going according to plan!

To preach Christ without the Cross is like writing a biography of David Beckham or Wayne Rooney without mentioning football; like making a documentary on Theresa May without mentioning the Conservative Party or Donald Trump without mentioning the US Presidency.

In this Good Friday Eucharist meditation, I want to hone in on one phrase, the 6th of the 7 phrases uttered by Jesus from the Cross. More than any other it forcibly reminds us that even in the darkest night, God is planning for the brightest day! It is found in John 19:30 ‘It is finished.’

What it meant then!

Reviewing the scene on that black Friday makes us realize that many others would have said these very same words that day

– the Soldiers, after their dreaded execution shift was over, it’s finished, thank Jupiter!

– the Crowd, now that the hideous entertainment was done, it’s finished.

– Judas, when he realized the enormity of what he had done in betrayal, it’s all over, finished.

– Peter and the disciples, after 3 wonderful years, then denial and desertion, it’s finished.

– the Priests, having seemingly come through a really tricky business, “we’ve managed it, it’s finished now.”

However, no one could say it the way Jesus said it or mean it the way Jesus meant it!

The other gospel writers give us a clue. All of them say Jesus cried out with a loud voice but only John records what He said. One word in the original language, a cry of triumph, satisfaction, and victory = Finished! Accomplished! Done! Jesus in complete control, despite the agonizing pain that we must never minimize. It was a real pain, real thirst, real death BUT this was no resigned victim, it was a Reigning Victor! Not, I am finished but it is finished, for on the Cross God’s will was being done perfectly on earth as it is done in heaven! The Cross is no place of failure but of fulfillment. If we look at John 19:28 we will see that exactly the same word is used and translated in the NIV as ‘completed.’  So it reads that Jesus “knowing that all was now completed … said … completed … finished!  The task the Father began in Eternity had now been accomplished in time!

For the rest of the post…

Good Morning! 

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday! We get to celebrate the greatest event in history: the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead!

Worship begins at 10:15 am. There will be special music and a children’s sermon (no Children’s Church). I will preach about the resurrection and how it can make a difference in our lives based on Matthew 28:1-10.  

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

Pastor Bryan

March 22, 2016


Walk Away from the World to Pray

We’re straining to make “Holy Tuesday” special, aren’t we? On Palm Sunday we hail our King, on Maundy Thursday we relish in the obedience of Jesus, on Friday we commemorate his death, and on Sunday we celebrate new life and victory and the death of death.

But Tuesday? If we sit in this Tuesday for a moment, long enough for our ears to stop ringing from the celebration of Palm Sunday, Tuesday may grab us by the collar and give us something unexpected — something only Holy Tuesday can give.

Jesus is teaching theology in Jerusalem each day this week, and Tuesday is “Eschatology Day.” The temple will be destroyed (Luke 21:5–9), there will be many terrible apocalyptic events (Luke 21:10–24), Jerusalem will fall, the people will suffer twisted violence, families will be ripped apart. “There will be . . . people fainting with fear” (Luke 21:25–26).

Jesus breaks the fourth wall, reaches out of the pages of Scripture, grabs our jaw, and forces us to look at him: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34).

Tuesday’s Odd Gift

And then. Tuesday gives us its peculiar gift,

Every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. (Luke 21:37–38)

Jesus and the disciples were walking straight toward the jagged cleft of tragedy. They were running into trauma, into chaos, into sadness, into the hungry jaws of their cruel weekend. Certainly Jesus would be consumed with the busyness of his final week of life. But oddly, he chooses to commute to a place that is later said by Luke to be “a Sabbath day’s journey away” (Acts 1:12). Jesus didn’t get an apartment in the city. He didn’t room at the conference center. Even though he taught “early in the morning,” he chose to commute to do his common work from an inconvenient and an uncommon place. Why?

Jesus spent his Tuesday night on Olivet. Actually, Jesus went to Olivet every night. But it is in telling us about his Tuesday that Luke tells us his sleeping arrangements “at night.” Jesus elected this commute — even though it’s long enough, and even though he teaches early, and even though he faces certain death in a matter of days.

That Tuesday gives us three reels of lost footage on the life of Jesus.

Tuesday’s Pictured Hope

Imagine travelling back in time to June 5, 1944 — the day before the Invasion of Normandy Beach — and standing on the beach. Feel the sand in your toes. Look out over the Atlantic Ocean, at the sunset. Turn and look at the German armaments and weaponry behind you. Tomorrow, this is where it will happen. This is where history will turn, at the cost of thousands of lives. Today, it is just a protected beach. But tomorrow, it will change the course of history.

Olivet is the eschatological Normandy: “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east. . . . Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him” (Zechariah 14:4–5). This is where Jesus chooses to overnight. You can envision Jesus, teary-eyed, looking into the stars. This is all worth it. One day, I’ll come from there, and I’ll have my beloved with me. Ah yes, my sheep, my holy ones, my bride.

It is remarkable what quietly happens here at Olivet. The “last thing” that Jesus did on his last day of earthly eschatology teaching (Tuesday) is fall asleep on the very mount to which one day he will return. And Luke, for reasons we can imagine, finds that important to include — Jesus camps on what will be God’s own epic conflict with Satan. He returns, night after night: “but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet” (Luke 21:37).

Tuesday’s Practiced Peace

Jesus must have drawn strength from Olivet. Luke later appeals to Jesus’s commute as the habit that spins him into prayer in Gethsemane,

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed. (Luke 22:39–41)

Olivet was the place to which Jesus retired to find hope in God. It was the place where it was all going to end.

For the rest of the post…

“In the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we see God’s decisive victory not only over death but over all God’s other enemies as well. In that one climactic event, we see the certainty that someday, in the kingdom of God, there will be no more violence, war, jealousy, or death… These forces are still alive and at work in the world, but because of the victory that God won at Easter, their doom is certain. One day death will die.”

~ Stephen T. Davis, Risen Indeed

Thank you Father

that you gave your only Son Jesus 

to be the sin sacrifice for us!

His death on the cross paid the full price

for our sins.

Thank you that he was buried

and raised to new life on the third day.

May we live in the power 

of the resurrection day in and day out.

In Jesus’ Name!

Amen! 


Apr 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Here is an empty post in remembrance of an empty tomb.
Posted by Charles at 7:00 AM
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