Monday, April 5, 2010

The Glory of Easter

I am so honored and privileged to be part of the praise ministry team at my church led by Daryl Smith & Kaisara Esera. Right off the bat they gave me the song list for each Sunday mornings worship time and gave me accurate lyric sheets with the correct order that they will be singing/playing. So appreciated! After many Sunday mornings of everyone in church swiveling in their seats to look back at me running the slides when they weren’t right…oh how nice to know Daryl is so prepared. And they are good at expressing their gratitude, which is not necessary, but nice. Everyone likes a pat on the back now and again. Anytime they have made changes in how we “do business”, the changes are fully explained and they have always made sense to me. I see how we are constantly striving to make the worship experience better and better. How we want to make sure the focus is on God and that we do everything we can to not be a distraction.

This Easter was so special for me. Being part of such a reverent Good Friday service really set my mind to fully comprehend what an incredible sacrifice was made for ME. My Pastor wrote three monologues from the point of view of Simon Peter, Mary Magdalene and a Centurion at the crucifixion. I saw myself in each of them. Simon Peter…the times I know my behavior has betrayed my faith. The times I have behaved badly and it would be hard to know my identity is in Christ. The times I have ignored that still small voice in me and felt the eyes of Christ on me. The Centurion…the times I have been a part of something I know to be wrong and wished I could be somewhere else or be someone else. The times I have been afraid to speak out. And Mary…I have definitely had times in my life I walked with my eyes downcast and felt unclean. But I also know the feeling of being cradled in the arms of Christ and the forgiveness and cleansing only He can give. I spent much of the service in tears in the darkened sanctuary. Hearing the sound of the nails being pounded in...and knowing my guilt.

So many years I have gone from Palm Sunday and Christ’s triumphal entry straight to Easter morning and His resurrection. I haven’t really spent time thinking about the bloody and bruised and humiliated Christ. It’s so much more pleasant to think of beautiful baby Jesus in the manger and Christ in flowing white robes than to think of Christ covered in blood and torn flesh. But it’s SO important to remember daily just how deep the Father’s love for us was and is. And yes, Christ died for the sins of all mankind, but never doubt for one second that He would have gone through it all, JUST FOR YOU!

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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